Details on the three upcoming BlackBerry devices leaked

BlackBerry has been rumored to be readying three devices for release, and we finally have some potential details about them. The devices are codenamed Neon, Argon, and Mercury, which are pretty awesome codenames (unlike Marlin, perhaps).

The Neon is said to be a mid-range device with a 5.2-inch full HD display, a Snapdragon 617 processor, 3GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a 2,610mAh battery with Quick Charge 2.0, and 13MP/8MP cameras. It will not have a physical keyboard, but it should be very cheap and free on contract.

The Argon is the higher-specced device, with a 5.5-inch QHD display, a Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of memory, a 3,000mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0, 21MP/8MP cameras, a fingerprint reader, and USB Type-C. This sounds like a very solid device.

The Mercury is the only one here with a keyboard, which is something BlackBerry enthusiasts will want. It’s not a slider though: it’s a candybar with a keyboard and 4.5-inch HD display with 3:2 aspect ratio. Other specs include a Snapdragon 625 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 3,400mAh battery, 18MP/8MP cameras, and a metal body.

The company will allegedly release one device per quarter for three quarters, with the Mercury coming in last in Q1 2017. They should all be competitively priced as well, aiming for both business users and consumers. We’re excited to see what BlackBerry has in store, especially with the use of Android on some solid hardware. Are you interested in these devices? Let us know in the comments!



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Google adding information about local earthquakes in searches

Earthquakes can be extremely dangerous, and they’re definitely something to keep in mind if you live in California. We’re always at risk of big earthquakes, and smaller but still significant earthquakes happen all the time.

Google will now show earthquake information in cards at the top of search results in the event of an earthquake near you. It’ll show a map with earthquake intensities for different areas, the size of the quake, and even tips for staying safe in the event of an earthquake affecting your area.

Info showing up in search will mean more people will be able to stay safe and up-to-date on their situation in the case of an earthquake. It’s definitely a helpful feature and I’m sure I’ll be using it soon.



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Dell discontinuing Venue line of Android tablets, ceases software updates

Dell isn’t a name you hear often when it comes to Android devices, but the company has built quite a few devices over the years. The Venue line of tablets has always been interesting but unsuccessful, so it’s no surprise that Dell announced it is discontinuing its line of Android tablets.

The company’s move to discontinue its current Android tablets also means that software support is ending. Devices will no longer be getting any updates, though thankfully warranty and service will still apply.

The company will now be focusing on 2-in-1 Windows devices, which have become popular lately. The tablet market, on the other hand, has declined with the influx of budget tablets flooding the market. RIP Dell Android devices, we never loved you, but we’ll miss you.



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OnePlus says red OnePlus 3 isn’t coming

Not long ago, we got to see a red OnePlus 3 on the official OnePlus site, but the photo was quickly taken down. We were hoping for a third OP3 color option to come to the market alongside the current Graphite and the upcoming Soft Gold options.

Unfortunately, it seems that the photo was posted in error and a red OnePlus 3 isn’t actually coming. The company confirmed that only two colors will be available: the current Graphite color and Soft Gold.

A red OnePlus 3 would be nice, but we can imagine it may not sell as well as the more conservative, classy options. Would you have purchased a red OnePlus 3? Leave a comment!



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Review: Huawei P9

The mobile landscape has shifted dramatically over the past few years. Companies that once reigned supreme are now struggling to stay afloat, while newcomers have arrived at the table and quickly made their way to the top. Among these newcomers are Chinese companies such as Huawei, Xiaomi, and OnePlus, all of which are working hard to make their mark.

Huawei is taking an approach of collaboration and partnership to stand out among other manufacturers. The latest piece in this is a long-term partnership with Leica, the renowned German camera maker. The first fruits of this partnership are already in existence with the Huawei P9, a high-end smartphone that uses Leica camera tech to capture stunning shots. Is it enough to give the company a leg up?

Hardware

Huawei hasn’t skimped on the specs when it comes to the Huawei P9. Here’s the rundown:

  • 5.2-inch 2.5D 1080p display
  • 64-bit octa-core Kirin 955 processor with four A72 cores at 2.5GHz and four A53 cores at 1.8GHz
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 64GB of storage
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Dual 12-megapixel rear cameras
  • 8-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 3000mAh battery
  • USB Type-C port
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow with EMUI 4.2 overlay

The body of the P9 measures in at 145mm x 70.9mm x 6.95 mm, with a weight of 144g. As for colors, there are three options: Prestige Gold, Titanium Grey and Mystic Silver.

Design and Build Quality

When it comes to design, Huawei excels at creating simple, elegant devices. With the P9, that same philosophy is brought to life in the best of ways. The metal exterior of the device is a matte grey that is both tasteful and bold, with chamfered edges that make it even more eye-catching. The fingerprint scanner rests near the top of the device, perhaps a tad higher than is comfortable, but perfectly acceptable.

Above the fingerprint scanner is an expanse of black glass that encompasses the device’s dual cameras. To the right of the flash, you’ll find small silver text reminding you of the camera’s Leica origins, along with the specs of the lens directly below that.

Like most other smartphones, the front of the Huawei P9 is a swath of glass, broken up only by the Huawei logo and the speaker. Moving onto the sides, you’ll notice that the Huawei P9 bears a striking resemblance to the iPhone 6s, with similiar antenna breaks and identical port and speaker placement. The primary difference is that the P9 swaps the location of the volume rocker and SIM card slot.

While Huawei’s design may not be original, it still boasts a striking elegance that deserves merit.

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Display

Huawei has a personal relationship with smartphone displays. While its competitors have rushed to pack in the pixels, Huawei believes that it can achieve a great display and great performance while using a more reasonable resolution. The 5.2-inch display on the Huawei P9 has a resolution of 1920×1080, putting it on par with flagships from the past two years. That being said, the display offers 16.7 million colors and is able to render some of the most beautiful scenes we’ve seen on a smartphone.

Sharp as a tack and more vivid than life, the display on the Huawei P9 is sure to satisfy. Blacks are deep and rich, while whites are pure and bright, though a cool tint is present. When it comes to color, you’ll be stunned at just how well the P9 handles them, weaving them together to craft a gorgeous image.

As far as the display goes, you have no need to worry. The Huawei P9 will satisfy.

Software

Google has worked hard to turn Android into an operating system that’s both functional and attractive. With the latest iteration, Android can proudly stand as its own OS, yet manufacturers continue to craft UI overlays, most of which detract from the experience.

Huawei has come under fire for mimicking Apple in more ways than one, but the influence of iOS can be blatantly seen in Huawei’s UI. Full of Gaussian blur, standardized icon designs and, most notably, the lack of an app drawer, Huawei’s EMUI 4.1 is clearly trying to mimic the success of iOS. While it’s a valiant effort and the software is actually quite nice, the lack of originality and the departure from its Android roots makes EMUI a strong swing and a slight miss.

Performance

While not being sold as a flagship in many countries, the Huawei P9 has the performance to act as a flagship. It flies through any task thrown at it without a stutter. Not once in my entire time reviewing the device did I see a slowdown or stutter. While we may knock the software for resembling Apple devices, the animations are buttery smooth and work without flaw.

In real world performance, the Huawei P9 is sure to stun. As far as quantitative statistics go, you can see the table below.

Benchmarks

Benchmark Test Score
AnTuTu 95450
Quadrant 36055
Geekbench 3 1668 (single-thread) 6220 (multi-thread)
AndEBench Pro 10045
3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited 12990
Sunspider 1.0.2 460ms

_DSC7124

Camera

When looking for a great smartphone camera, there a number of factors to consider. Does it perform well in low light? How accurate are the colors? What is the start time? Huawei considered those questions and turned to an expert for help. As part of a new partnership with Leica, the Huawei P9 was born.

Sporting dual 12-megapixel cameras, BSI CMOS sensors and F/2.2 apertures, the rear camera setup on the Huawei P9 is incredible. Additionally, while one sensor shoots in full color, the other is a monochrome sensor that excels at capturing details. Combining the photos from both sensors lead to sharp, vivid images that are stunning.

An important benefit of the dual-camera setup is that users can adjust the aperture while shooting, as well as after shooting. This capability isn’t common and is extremely useful for creating photos with high-quality depth of field. Photos taken on the Huawei P9 can truly rival those taken by certain DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.

Check out the sample images below. These images are straight from the camera and have not been edited.

Huawei P9 Review Pictures

Battery

As far as our review capabilities went, the battery life on the Huawei P9 is excellent. Being an international device, our review unit in the U.S. wasn’t connected to a cellular network and didn’t act as a daily driver. Nonetheless, we can relay our experience, which was quite positive. The battery on the P9 seems to last for a very long time, with the device being exceptionally good at preserving battery life in standby mode.

Over our three-week review period, we charged the Huawei P9 four times, with the device making the most of those charges. It should be noted that the Huawei P9 uses a USB Type-C port for charging, so be sure to keep that in mind when looking at accessories.

_DSC7058

Huawei P99.5 / 10

Rarely does a device cover as many of the bases as the Huawei P9 does. The device exudes quality in every way, offering powerful performance and a superb camera. It not only covers the technical aspects, but extends further to the exquisite design and stunning display.

Huawei has created a device that excels in multiple areas, so much so that it’s difficult to find anything to complain out. Perhaps the software is a bit unoriginal, but it performs in such a manner that its imitative features are overlooked. That is the key to a great device. When the comprehensive package is enough to overlook the flaws, you know you’ve found a device that’s worth your time.

Follow this link to purchase the Huawei P9 through Amazon.

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HTC ‘Marlin’ specs rumored to feature 5.5-inch QHD display, 12MP camera, and more

Rumor has it that HTC is manufacturing a pair of Nexus-branded devices this year. A week ago we heard our first rumors regarding the specs for the smaller of the two, codenamed “Sailfish,” and now there’s word on what features larger “Marlin” device might boast.

According to an anonymous source providing information to Android Police, the Marlin will be a powerhouse. The report states that the Marlin will boast a Qualcomm quad-core processor under the hood and a 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED display. On the back there’s a 12-megapixel camera, while the front-facing camera is an 8-megapixel shooter.

Other specs include a USB Type-C port, a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, 4GB of RAM, a 3450mAh battery, and bottom-firing speakers. The Marlin will also apparently come in 32GB or 128GB variants and feature Bluetooth 4.2.

The report also indicates that the Sailfish, the HTC-branded Nexus phone with a 5-inch screen, will feature a 1080p AMOLED display.

The new Nexus smartphones should be running the newest version of Android, which has just been confirmed to be called Android Nougat.

Based on what you’ve heard about HTC’s Marlin, are you looking forward to the next Nexus smartphone?



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Samsung Galaxy Note 7 front panel leak hints at iris scanner

Reports recently surfaced that claimed Samsung would be skipping the Galaxy Note 6 name this year, and instead jump ahead to Galaxy Note 7. Since then we’ve heard the device could be unveiled in early August and that it could boast an iris scanner. Now what’s believed to be the front panel for the upcoming Galaxy Note 7 has leaked, seemingly confirming not only with the handset feature an iris scanner for added security, but that it will indeed offer a dual-edge display measuring in at 5.8 inches.

The image shows that there are a few more cutouts on the front, above the display area, that aren’t present on Samsung’s Galaxy S7 edge. That’s where many expect Samsung to include the iris scanner on the upcoming phablet flagship. If the rumors are true, the Galaxy Note 7 will be the one of the first Android smartphones featuring iris scanner security tech, and it’s likely that it will reach other Samsung-branded devices in the future.

Are you looking forward to the Galaxy Note 7?



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Amazon Prime Day hitting on July 12 with more deals than ever

Amazon is the world’s largest e-retailer, and part of the company’s strategy for success is Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime is Amazon’s incredibly successful benefits program for customers which offers an incredible value. For just $100 per year, users can access a myriad of benefits, such as free two-day shipping, Prime Instant Video and special sales.

Last year, Amazon began celebrating its Prime customers with the introduction of Prime Day, a day full of sales exclusively for Prime customers. To put the scope of Prime Day in perspective, it rivals Black Friday and Cyber Monday for the biggest day of Amazon sales. In fact, Amazon has increased its inventory of TVs this year to nearly double that of Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

Prime Day hits on July 12 and will include a myriad of sales on things in every country where Prime is offered. Deals begin at 12AM PST and will be updated as often as every five minutes. Users can take their chances and browse on their own, or they can use the Amazon app to select items and be automatically notified if they go on a Prime Day sale.

There are plenty of other offers, promotions and sweepstakes happening on Prime Day, and you can read more about them by following the source link below.

Are you going to participate in Prime Day 2016? Did you participate last year?



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Android N is officially known as Android Nougat

When Google hosted its keynote for Google I/O 2016, the company said that it still hadn’t settled on a new name for Android N, the version of the platform that’s set to launch to the public later this year. As a result, Google reached out to the Android fans out there to try and help figure it out. The Developer Preview for Android N teased us well enough, giving us Android “Namey McNameface,” but we also knew that the official name would soon be unveiled.

And sure enough, here we are.

Android N is now Android Nougat.

The wait has felt long, but it’s finally over. So how do you feel about Android Nougat as the next name for Google’s mobile operating system? Were you hoping for something else?



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AT&T Thanks offers free movie tickets every Tuesday, early access to concert tickets

T-Mobile Tuesdays offer a ton of free stuff to T-Mobile customers, like movie downloads and a Wendy’s Frosty. And now AT&T customers can get thanked every week, too, with AT&T Thanks.

AT&T Thanks just announced its first offer, called Ticket Twosdays, which lets AT&T customers go to a movie every Tuesday and bring a friend with them for free. Ticket Twosdays begins today (it’s Thursday!), and is available AMC Theatres and the Regal Entertainment Group, which both account for over 1,000 theaters and over 13,000 theater screens in the U.S.

Qualified subscribers can get thanked with free movie tickets every Tuesday “while supplies last,” and for as long as the AT&T Thanks program is available. AT&T doesn’t say how long that will be, though. You’ll need to head to http://ift.tt/29fIKFt and enter your phone number to find out if you’re eligible for the promotion. If you are, you’ll get a PIN to enter at movietickets.com for a free movie ticket when you buy one.

Just to reiterate, AT&T Thanks means you’ll need to buy a movie ticket for yourself, and you’ll get a free one for a friend.

That’s not all, though. AT&T Thanks will also be rolling out pre-sale access to concert tickets beginning this fall. AT&T says there’s no sign-in or opt-in required; customers will just have access to buy the tickets early just for being a post-paid customer.



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Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 edge now available unlocked in the U.S.

Samsung’s latest flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, launched on U.S. carriers a few months ago, and now Samsung is finally bringing unlocked variants to U.S. shores, too.

Samsung officially announced that unlocked versions of both handsets are now available in the U.S. The Galaxy S6 is priced at $669.99, while the Galaxy S7 edge costs $769.99. They can be purchased from Samsung directly, or if you prefer you can order yours from Amazon, Best Buy, eBay, Sam’s Club, and Target.

One of the other benefits of going with an unlocked handset is the lack of pre-installed apps from carriers, which is reason enough for some to go with an unlocked handset. The unlocked devices also support LTE bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 29, and 30, which means the handsets support all four major wireless carriers.

Do you plan on picking up an unlocked Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge, or did you already buy one from your carrier?



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Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro launched with 6.0″ FHD display, 5000mAh battery in Malaysia

The South Korean giant had recently launched Samsung Galaxy J3 V handset in the U.S. and priced at $168 (approx. Rs. 11268). Now, the company has announced the international variant of Samsung’s Galaxy A9 Pro smartphone in Malaysia. Earlier, it was listed on GFX Benchmark & TEENA database. After that, it was launched in China with the price tag of 3,499 Yuan (approx. $540 / Rs. 35,800). Though, the device is not listed on their official Malaysia website yet.

galaxy a9 pro

The device flaunts a 6.0-inch Super AMOLED screen with FHD (1920 x 1080 pixel) resolution that offers a 367ppi of pixel density which gives excellent viewing angles to your device. Under the hood, it comes equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 Octa-core processor clocks at 1.8 GHz paired with Adreno 510 GPU. It runs on the customized TouchWiz UI based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow overlaid. The handset supports dual SIM dual standby and offers 4G LTE network.

Connectivity options on the device include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, MicroUSB, FM Radio and A-GPS. It houses a 32GB internal storage which will further expandable up to 128GB based on microSD card slot and enhanced 4GB of RAM compared to 3GB RAM on Galaxy A9 handset. The device comes with a fingerprint sensor, which is embedded with a physical home button on the front. The device comes powered by a massive 5000mAh battery, which can give the battery life more than a day of usage.

As per as cameras are concerned, it bears 16-megapixel autofocus rear camera with LED flash, which is the enhanced version of the Galaxy A9. It can also record videos up to 1080p at 30 frames per second. In the front, it has an 8-megapixel secondary camera for selfie shots. The handset will be available in Pink, Rose Gold, and White color variants. Now, the device is available for purchase in Malaysia and priced at RM 1,999 (approx. Rs. 33548 / $496). It also providing exclusive benefit offers to you like )% IPP up to 36 months and one year warranty.

Source: SENHENG



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Blu R1 HD smartphone Launched with 4G LTE, Android Marshmallow

Blu, the Miami-based handset maker, has known for launching low-end devices with decent specifications. Now, the company has announced another budget level smartphone named as Blu R1 HD. Nowadays, most of the companies are releasing impressive smartphones with decent specifications in all affordable price in range. The Blu R1 HD smartphone is now exclusively available on AmazonUS and is priced at $99.99. It is also offering the handset for half of its retail price at $49.99 with Amazon Adds (it’s only for Amazon Prime consumers) and can also get a deal on AmazonUS for the Moto G4 smartphone at $150 (only for Amazon Prime members).

Blu R1 HD

The device comes with a metal trim finish body and sports a 2.5D 5.0-inch IPS display with 1280 x 720-pixel resolution which gives you impressive view from every angle and offers 294ppi of pixel density. There is a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 screen which protects from cracks, scratches, and breakage. Under the hood, it relies on MediaTek MT6735 Quad-core processor clocks at 1.3 GHz paired with Mali T720 GPU. It comes powered by latest Android Marshmallow laid on the top.

The handset supports dual SIM dual standby and offers 4G LTE, which can give the coverage across the entire United States. It comes with 8GB and 16GB internal storage options which are paired with 1GB RAM and 2GB RAM respectively. It can also be further expandable up to 64GB based on microSD card slot. Connectivity options on the device include Bluetooth, A-GPS, Micro USB, FM Radio, Wi-Fi, Hotspot, and OTA. It measures 143.5 x 72 x 8.7 mm dimensions and unknown weight.

On the camera department, it packs an 8-megapixel autofocus primary camera with f/2.0 apertures and 4P lens, which gives all your images as perfect as you expected. It can record videos up to 1080p at 30 frames per second. Up front, it has a 5-megapixel wide-angle front shooter with LED flash for selfies will be flawless with the BLU Final Touch software. The device comes equipped with a 2500mAh battery which gives a battery more than a day of usage.

The prime-exclusive version device comes with preinstalled applications that are providing to Prime members access to their benefits such as TV shows, Prime Videos, Thousands of movies, Music, Amazon deals, unlimited photo storage and backup.



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Verizon to introduce new features, including carryover data

In the fierce competition between U.S. carriers, every operator has to find a way to stand out. While Verizon has long held its ground by boasting the best network, the company looks to be finding some other ways to boost value for customers. According to a new image that popped up on Reddit, the company is going to add some new features.

Verizon New Features

The first of these is carryover data, allowing customers to roll unused data over into the next month’s data allotment. It’s important to note that each month rolls over into the next month only, so you can’t indefinitely hold a massive data allotment.

Second is Safety Mode, which is essentially a removal of data caps on plans, albeit at throttled speeds once you go past your paid-for allotment. This comes free on XL and XXL plans, but will be an additional $5 per month for customers on other plans.

Finally, Verizon will offer customers the ability to bring their text, data and voice allotments with them to Mexico and Canada. This perk also includes free calling from the U.S. to Mexico and Canada. Like Safety Mode, this feature is free for XL and XXL customers, but will be available to other customers for an additional charge (though the exact price is unclear).

Droid-Life was able to receive confirmation of these changes from at least one source, and Verizon replied by saying that it’s “going to have some fireworks next week.”

Any of these features pique your interest?



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Verizon announces $249.99 4G LTE Network Extender for better in-home coverage

Carriers always try to expand their coverage when they can, but it’s just not possible to cover every place. Verizon customers who have discovered their network quality isn’t that great inside their home, can get a new in-home network extender to help with that.

It’s called the 4G LTE Network Extender, and it does exactly what the name suggests: it extends Verizon’s 4G LTE network to reach where the regular network may not cover. The device will cover 7,500 square feet, and there can be seven devices connected to it at once. There’s a separate eighth channel reserved for 911 calls. The 4G LTE Network Extender also offers HD Voice coverage for the devices that support it.

Verizon says the 4G LTE Network Extender can “automatically learn its surroundings and adjust its coverage to improve user experience.” If you leave the Network Extender’s range, you should automatically be switched over to Verizon’s standard 4G LTE network, as long as coverage permits.

Verizon’s new 4G LTE Network Extender launches on June 30 for $249.99. For it to work, though, Verizon says you’ll need to have broadband internet service in your home, with speeds at least up to 10Mbps down and 5Mbps up. Verizon recommends internet speeds of 20Mbps down and 10Mbps up for it to work as well as it can.

Do you use a network extender?



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NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV update adds support for Netflix in HDR, YouTube 4K 60FPS, and more

For a set-top box, being able to access the highest-quality content is certainly one way to get a leg up on the competition, which is fierce these days. For anyone that owns a SHIELD Android TV box from NVIDIA, an update is on the way that helps to do just that.

NVIDIA officially announced today Software Upgrade 3.2, which brings with it what NVIDIA calls “industry-leading features” to the set-top box. At the top of the list is support for High Dynamic Range, or HDR, content from Netflix. With HDR, viewers get benefits like a wider color gamut, brighter highlights, and even more detail in darker scenes. You’ll need a TV that supports HDR to get the full benefit. Specifically, you’ll need a TV that supports HDR10, the open source format in the fledgling format war. Samsung, Sony, and LG support HDR10 out of the box. Vizio will support HDR10 for some of its M- and P-Series TVs later this year.

The update also includes support for watching YouTube content in 4K at 60 frames per second, as well as 4K support for VUDU. And for the audiophile out there, the SHIELD Android TV also supports Dolby Atmos surround sound pass-through.

Here are the other new additions coming today to the SHIELD Android TV:

Best Universal Search

  • Perform a natural language search for music, movies, TV shows or games and get results from over 60 apps including top new additions: Netflix, VUDU and Spotify.

Media Streaming – At Home and On the Go

  • With PLEX Media Server now built-in, you can stream your personal media collection from SHIELD to mobile devices, even outside the home. Accelerate your media (even from a NAS) with SHIELD’s HD transcode. Learn more here: http://ift.tt/293PUrw

More Top Apps Streaming to Your TV

  • If you’re a sports fan you can now stream all WatchESPN has to offer. Music lovers now have access to Spotify. For news junkies, CNNGo, NPR and ABC News are on the way. Family-friendly programming will get a major boost with WATCH ABC, Freeform, Disney Channel, Disney Jr. and Disney XD, and Nick. Viacom also brings popular shows with MTV and Comedy Central.

Automatically Turn your TV Off

  • Rounding out our HDMI CEC support, SHIELD now automatically turns off your TV when SHIELD sleeps. Enable in Settings > HDMI > HDMI-CEC preferences.

Share SHIELD Folders with a PC

  • Access SHIELD folders from a network PC or Mac and enjoy drag-and-drop file sharing. Enable in Settings > Storage & reset > Access SHIELD folders on PC.

Mount Network Storage

  • Mount a network attached storage device (NAS) to SHIELD to access your complete media collection. Stream this media to mobile devices using the Plex app and SHIELD’s HD hardware transcode. Set up in Settings > Storage & reset > Network storage.

Improved Picture Quality

  • Enable YCbCr 4:4:4 color space for improved video quality on supported TVs. Go to Settings > HDMI > Color space.

The new software should be rolling out beginning today, so keep an eye out. The SHIELD Android TV was recently updated to Android Marshmallow as well, so NVIDIA is certainly keeping the ball rolling when it comes to new software.



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Amazon is discounting unlocked Android phones and loading them with lock screen ads

How would you feel about looking at ads on the lock screen of your phone? What if you could save some money on the price of a new unlocked phone by doing so? That’s what Amazon Prime Exclusive is all about.

The new Prime Exclusive program from Amazon offers new, unlocked Android phones at discounted prices. In exchange for those lower prices, the phones will show you ads on the lock screen and come preloaded with Amazon software, including apps and a widget to display daily deals. If you see an ad on your lock screen that you like, you can tap on it to learn more. If you don’t care for the ad, you can simply unlock your phone like normal to dismiss it.

amazonprimeexclusivemotog4aam

The first two phones to be available through Prime Exclusive are the Moto G4 and BLU R1 HD, and they’re both being discounted by $50. That means that the Moto G4 is $149.99 for the 16GB model and $179.99 for the 32GB version, while the BLU R1 HD is $49.99 for the model with 8GB of storage and 1GB of RAM or $59.99 for a version with 16GB of storage and 2GB of RAM.

Both the Moto G4 and BLU R1 HD are available for pre-order today, and they’ll begin shipping on July 12. In order to buy them, though, you will need to be an Amazon Prime subscriber.

amazonprimeexclusiveblur1hdaam

While the idea of having ads on your lock screen may sound crazy to some, Amazon’s Prime Exclusive phones could be a nice option for budget-conscious shoppers. These are brand new, recently-released Android phones that come unlocked out of the box, and the $50 discount that you get with them is a sizable chunk of their total price. And because the ads are on your lock screen, you could end up not even seeing them half the time that you use your phone, as you just quickly swipe to unlock the phone and dismiss the ad.

What do you think of Amazon’s Prime Exclusive phones? Would you deal with ads on your lock screen in exchange for getting $50 off of a new phone?

Via: Amazon
Sources: Moto G4, Blu R1 HD



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Wink Relay control panel adds new features such as Uber and Fitbit monitoring

Wink is a integrated smart home system that allows you to use and automate all your smart home devices all with one app. If you haven’t heard of the Wink system, we’ve been reviewing the system, some of the devices that work with Wink, and how we use them in our homes such as the smart garage door controller and ecobee3 Wi-Fi thermostat with more to come. Today Wink announced that their Wink Relay, a touchscreen control panel and light switch replacement that that’s powered by Android, added a few new nifty features such as Uber, Fitbit, and IFTTT integration.

In my home, I don’t have a Wink Relay so if my smart devices aren’t automated I have to use them through my phone. Most of the time that’s convenient enough for me, but it also could be convenient to be able to access the smart devices from a central hub within my home such as the Wink Relay. The Wink Relay is a smart light switch replacement that also acts as a hub for all your Wink devices. In my initial review of the Wink system, I use a Wink Hub in my home. I believe with this Wink Relay you don’t need a Wink Hub. The Wink Relay acts as a hub and does all the smart device integration for you. You connect it to your Wi-Fi and your smart devices and you can automate and control your smart home from the Relay or from anywhere.

Uber_arrivingOn Tuesday Wink announced some neat new features for the Wink Relay: Third party integration. The Relay now has widgets that can do things such as call an Uber. I just Ubered for the first time a few weeks ago and thoughts the experience was pretty great. If I Ubered on a regular basis, I think it would be fun to call and Uber and be able to monitor to progress on the Wink Relay. In addition to Uber, you can now monitor you Fitbit step goal progress and smart buttons to trigger lights or IFTTT recipes. In addition to the third party integrations, if you have multiple Wink Relays in your home, you can now use them as an intercom which a nice new feature.

Home automation is a passion of mine. I think it’s fun, challenging, add protection to your home and can save you money if you do it right. If you’re on the lookout for smart devices to add to your home the Wink system deserves a look and the Wink Relay with its new updates seems like a great place to start. The Wink Relay is available on Wink.com for $99 or Amazon from 3rd party sellers for more than $99.

Fitbit_on white-cropWhat are you thoughts on the Android powered Wink Relay and its recent updates? Would you like to call an Uber from where your light switch used to be? Do you already have a Wink Relay? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below!



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Wileyfox introduces the Spark family, powered by Cyanogen OS

Wileyfox likely isn’t a name you’ve heard, but the British start-up is beginning to make a name for itself. The company uses CyanogenOS to power its new family of smartphones, the Spark family. This series includes the Spark, Spark+ and the Spark X, all of which are affordably priced and reasonably specced. Let’s take a look at the base model Spark.

  • 5-inch 720p IPS display
  • 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek processor
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 8GB of storage plus a microSD card slot
  • 8-megapixel rear camera
  • 8-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 22oomAh battery
  • Dual microSIM card slot
  • Cyanogen OS 13/Android 6.0 Marshmallow

As you can see, the Wileyfox Spark is midrange. But its price might make up for it. Wileyfox has the Spark priced at just £89.99 or €119.99.

The Spark+ doubles the storage and RAM to 16GB and 2GB, respectively. The rear camera is also bumped up to 13-megapixels. The Spark X takes all the specs of the Spark+, but bumps up the display size to 5.5 inches and also boosts the battery capacity to 3000mAh.

Pricing for the Wileyfox Spark+ is set at £114.99 or €149.99. Pricing for the Wileyfox Spark X is set at £129.99 or €169.99. The Wileyfox Spark is now up for pre-order through Amazon, with orders shipping on July 12.



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Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus now available to pre-order in the U.S.

Back in May, Motorola made the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus official, and now folks in the United States who want to get their hands on one of the new Moto phones can pre-order one of their own.

That’s right, both the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus are available on Motorola’s official website and can be customized through Moto Maker to create that device you really want. Prices start at $199 for the 16GB Moto G4, with the highest-end option being the 64GB Moto G4 Plus with 4GB of RAM, which will set your wallet back $299.99.

If you order now, your device should arrive by July 12. If you happen to be a Republic Wireless subscriber, Motorola says both devices will be available for the carrier on July 28.

The differences between the devices are worth noting. The Moto G4 Plus features a fingerprint sensor below the display, while the Moto G4 doesn’t. Additionally, the Moto G4 Plus boasts a 16-megapixel camera on the back, while the Moto G4 features a 13-megapixel shooter. And lastly, the Moto G4 Plus with 64GB of built-in storage offers up 4GB of RAM, while the Moto G4 tops out at 2GB of RAM.

Do you plan on picking either model up?



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Android Pay is now available in Singapore

Google went to go all-in with mobile payments when it launched Android Pay in the United States near the end of 2015. Since then, Android Pay has gained support from more U.S. banks and credit unions, but its international rollout is taking a more measured approach.

Android Pay officially launched in the United Kingdom last month, and now it’s rolling out in another country: Singapore. As of this writing, Android Pay is is available to use at any checkout spot in Singapore that accepts contactless payments. Singapore is the first country in Asia to support Android Pay, and we hope that its adoption in the region will expand quickly.

Android users in Singapore will need to have an Android handset that’s running Android 6.0 Marshmallow and a handset that supports NFC to use Android Pay. Just download the Android Pay app from the Play Store, then add your credit or debit cards that you’d like to use.

Android Pay is now available in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Singapore. Google has confirmed that Android Pay is headed to Australia next, but there’s no firm launch date just yet.



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Wileyfox Spark, Spark+ & Spark X Smartphones with Cyanogen OS Launched

Last Year, Wileyfox had launched Swift & Storm smartphones priced at £ 127.87 and £ 198.99 respectively. Now, the British-based handset maker has launched three new smartphones in the spark series line-up named as Wileyfox Spark, Spark+ and Spark X. These three smartphones run on CyanogenOS based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It comes with decent specifications in all affordable price in range like the brands Xiaomi, LeEco, and OnePlus.

spark

Wileyfox Spark:

The Wileyfox Spark sports 5.0-inch HD IPS display with 1280 x 720-pixel resolution and offers a 294ppi of pixel density. Under the hood, it comes powered by MediaTek MT6735A Quad-core processor clocks at 1.3 GHz paired with Mali-T720 Graphics. It supports dual SIM dual standby and carries 4G LTE network. Connectivity options include 3G HSPA+, Bluetooth, A-GPS, Micro USB and FM Radio. The Wileyfox Spark smartphone houses 8GB inbuilt storage which can be further expandable upto 32GB via microSD card slot and 1 GB RAM.

As per as camera are concerned, it bears an 8-megapixel autofocus rear camera with LED flash that will record videos up to 1080p at 30 frames per second. Up front, it has an 8-megapixel front shooter with Fixed Focus for selfies and video calling. The handset comes equipped with a removable 2200mAh battery which can be lost a battery more than a day of usage. It measures 143 x 70.4 x 8.65 mm of dimensions and weight is around 134.5 grams.

Wileyfox Spark+:

It comes with similar specifications of the base model Wileyfox Spark smartphone except camera department, storage, and RAM. It has a 16GB internal storage which will also be further expandable up to 32GB through microSD card slot and 2 GB RAM. In the camera department, It sports a 13-megapixel autofocus primary camera with LED Flash and same 8-megapixel secondary camera with Fixed Focus for capturing the selfies and video chat with friends.

Wileyfox Spark X:

The handset features 5.5-inch IPS HD resolution that offers a 267ppi of pixel density. It relies on MediaTek MT6735 SoC, which has a Quad-core processor clock at 1.3 GHz accompanied by Mali-T720 GPU. It supports 16GB built-in storage which will further expandable up to 32 GB based on microSD card slot and 2 GB of RAM. It is packed with a removable 3000 mAb battery.

Coming to camera department, It sports a 13-megapixel autofocus Image sensor with LED flash that can record videos upto 1080p at 30 frames per second. In the front, it bears an 8-megapixel Fixed Focus front snapper for capturing selfies. It measures 154.35 x 78.6 x 8.75 mm of dimensions and 162.9 grams of weight.

Pricing & Availability:

All three devices will be available in Balck and White color variants and priced at just £89.99 (approx $120 / Rs. 8,150) for the base model (Wileyfox Spark), £114.99 (approx $153 / Rs. 10,400) for Wileyfox Spark+ and £129.99 (approx $173 / Rs. 11,800) for Wileyfox Spark X. These devices are now available for pre-registrations and goes sales from mid-july.



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T-Mobile updates Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge to Marshmallow

T-Mobile is updating both the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the Galaxy Note Edge to Marshmallow today! The two devices are almost two years old at this point, but T-Mobile and Samsung are bringing them to the latest version of Android.

Marshmallow includes features like Doze mode for improved battery life, customizable app permissions for better security, Google Now on Tap, better volume controls, and a lot of tweaks and improvements for better performance and smoothness.

Both devices’ updates are over 1.5GB, so be sure to use Wi-Fi to download them.

Source: T-Mobile (2)



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T-Mobile updates Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge to Marshmallow

T-Mobile is updating both the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the Galaxy Note Edge to Marshmallow today! The two devices are almost two years old at this point, but T-Mobile and Samsung are bringing them to the latest version of Android.

Marshmallow includes features like Doze mode for improved battery life, customizable app permissions for better security, Google Now on Tap, better volume controls, and a lot of tweaks and improvements for better performance and smoothness.

Both devices’ updates are over 1.5GB, so be sure to use Wi-Fi to download them.

Source: T-Mobile (2)



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Project Fi app officially updated with U.S. Cellular support

Google announced earlier this month that U.S. Cellular was becoming a partner for Project Fi, and now Fi users will be able to experience the changes. The Project Fi app has been updated in the Play Store, and it features U.S. Cellular support.

U.S. Cellular is the third carrier to partner with Project Fi, the other two being Sprint and T-Mobile. With a third carrier, Fi coverage should be even better. If you’re on Project Fi, make sure to head to the Play Store and update the your app to ensure that you’re able to connect to U.S. Cellular. Post a comment if you see improved connection quality!



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Leaks support Galaxy Note 7 name, iris scanner, and some specs

The latest leaked info from Evan Blass has corroborated the rumored name for the next Note device. Samsung will be skipping the Galaxy Note 6 in favor of the Galaxy Note 7, a name that lines up with its current flagship, the Samsung Galaxy S7.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

This change has been long-rumored, so it doesn’t come unexpectedly. Some Note 7 specs have also been leaked, such as the 5.7-inch QHD Super AMOLED display, 64GB of memory with a microSD slot, a 12MP rear camera, a 5MP front camera, IP68 water resistance, and three colors (black, silver, and blue).

And of course, one of the biggest rumors is the inclusion of the iris scanner. This has also been corroborated by Blass.

While this is big info, it’s still not official. We’ll have to wait until the device is announced in August to hear the confirmed specs. But based on the rumors so far, it’s shaping up to be a great device. What do you guys think? Leave a comment!

Source: @evleaks (1)(2)(3)



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HP announces budget Chromebook 11 G5

HP has announced another Chromebook to add to its lineup. The Chromebook 11 G5 will sit under the existing HP Chromebook 13 as a budget option, starting at a low $189.

The device features a smaller body, slimmer bezels and weighs in at just 2.51 pounds. It also has an Intel Celeron N3060 processor and an optional HD IPS touchscreen, though the touchscreen option brings the battery life estimate down from 12.5 hours to 11 hours.

If you need a barebones laptop to do work or schooling from, a Chromebook may be a great option. And with the Google Play Store coming to Chrome OS later this year, the devices will get even more useful. The laptop should be available in July and come to retail stores in October. Hit the source link for more info!



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Google Expeditions app for Android lets students explore distant locales

One of the benefits of VR is being able to set foot in another place without actually leaving the room you’re in. Google wants to make that into a learning experience with a brand new Android app called Expeditions. With it, you’ll be able to go to places like historical landmarks, launch yourself out into space, or dive under the waves and scout out oceans.

Google has over 200 expeditions available right out of the gate, all of which have dedicated pieces of information that you can listen to and watch while exploring the area. That includes a list of descriptions for each expedition, questions, interesting facts that can be used as talking points, and more.

googleexpeditionsandroidappsmall

Getting Expeditions uses Google Cardboard with an Android phone or with just an Android smartphone or tablet using a “Magic Window” mode that lacks the 3D VR experience, but still offers the other features.

Google is offering Expedition kits through Best Buy, too, which include a total of 30 Mattel viewers, 30 devices, an Insignia teacher device, three rapid chargers, a TP-Link router, and a Pelican case, all for $9,999. The kits are available to pre-order by schools right now.

Expeditions for Android is available right now, and it will be available for the iPhone and iPad at some point in the near future.



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Review: Fitbit Blaze

Quantified health is the new norm. The new age of health and fitness has given rise to a wave of devices and services designed to gather data. More than ever, consumers are tracking exercise, calories and more in an attempt to reach peak health. Fitness trackers were designed and marketed to track data all of the time, even while users sleep. While fitness trackers remain popular, the category has begun to merge with smartwatches.

Fitbit’s Blaze fitness watch is the result of that mingling. The Blaze is a fitness watch that bears remarkable similarities to a smartwatch, but with a serious fitness focus. The Blaze is quite attractive when it’s geared up in its case and strap. We were sent a model with a black strap and silver metal casing. All assembled, the Blaze is stylish, yet subtle. The simple design allows it to work with nearly any outfit, regardless of formality. It’s also quite comfortable, with plenty of room for adjustment. Once you get it dialed in, it’s far more comfortable than many smartwatches due to the rounded square shape of the bottom of the Blaze.

Popping the Blaze out of its casing reveals a bland design. It’s simply a small black square. That’s acceptable, however, as the only time you’ll need to pop it out is to charge it, which is done with pins on the back of the Blaze. Simply pop it into the charging cradle and you’re good to go.

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Battery life is more than acceptable with the Blaze, with our unit lasting an average of four and a half days on a single charge, quite good for a watch that’s tracking day and night. And when the battery does run out, the device recharges quite quickly, allowing you to get back to business in just a short matter of time.

Fitbit ships the Blaze with an elastomer band that’s water resistant, as is the watch itself. Inquiring about water resistance led us to find out that it is splash, rain and sweat resistant, but you won’t want to immerse the Blaze into water. While that’s slightly disappointing, it’s also not unexpected, as there’s only a handful of fitness and smartwatches that are fully waterproof.

The Blaze is primarily designed to track everyday activity and land exercise. The device collects quite a bit of data, including your heart rate, steps, calories burned, distance covered and floors walked, and that’s all available on the watch itself. Opening the Fitbit app reveals a wealth of information compiled from what the Blaze’s sensors have collected and what you have manually entered.

Sleep tracking is an important feature of the Blaze, as the device uses movement and heart rate sensing to determine your sleep cycle. Fitbit then uses the data collected to determine when you were asleep, when you were restless and when you were awake. Is it 100% accurate? No, but it helps to create a larger picture of your overall health and can indicate what adds and detracts from your sleep quality.

Users can also track food and water intake through the Fitbit app. While many people use apps like MyFitnessPal, using the Fitbit app allows users to quantify and consolidate their health data into a single hub. Surpisingly, however, the Fitbit app doesn’t allow you to sync in data from other apps, making it less useful. With that hindrance, it makes it easier to connect the Fitbit app to MyFitnessPal and log food and water within that service, while logging fitness and sleep data in the Fitbit.

As for tracking on the Blaze itself, it’s quite accurate and useful, particularly when performing non-exercise activities that still require physical exertion. For hiking or running, the Blaze is a dream, as it will essentially track the exercise on its own, even it’s not officially logged as exercise. For other activities, you’ll need to manually begin tracking on the Blaze and manually end it when you finish your exercise.

_DSC7411

An interesting feature of the Blaze is the addition of Fitbit’s FitStar program, which offers three quick bodyweight workouts right on the Blaze. These include a warm-up session, a classic 7-minute HIIT workout and a 10-minute abs workout, which is the most intense of all three, but is also focused on just one major muscle group. Nonetheless, these are great when you have a bit of extra time and want a quick workout without having to head all the way to the gym.

The Blaze can be used to set alarms, vibrating when the selected time strikes. It can also be used as a stopwatch or timer, which is handy for workouts and everyday life. When connected to a phone via Bluetooth, the Blaze will pull in notifications for texts, phone calls and calendar events, but other notifications are confined to your phone. The Blaze can also be used to control the music on a phone while connected.

The fact of the matter is that the Blaze is a great fitness watch. It keeps its goals in check and doesn’t try to do more than it needs to. The point is simple: It’s a fitness watch, not a smartwatch. The Fitbit Blaze is filling a surprising gap in the market, and because of its excellence in its abilities, the Blaze has quickly become my favorite wearable. If you’re looking for a straightforward fitness watch, the Fitbit Blaze could just be the perfect device for you.

Purchase the Blaze from Fitbit or Amazon.

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