OnePlus and Meizu found to be inflating benchmark scores

The entire point of benchmark scores is comparing devices on an even playing field. If scores are being manipulated by CPU boosting and other methods that change the way the device behaves in specific apps, then the scores are no longer any use. Geekbench and XDA have found that both OnePlus and Meizu have been cheating benchmark scores by detecting benchmark apps and changing the way the device runs. Specifically, the OnePlus 3T and Meizu Pro 6. Here are the multi-core test scores for the OnePlus 3T with the regular build of Geekbench and a modified build that was not detected as a benchmark.

OnePlus 3T benchmark

You can see that the difference is quite big. this is due to a more aggressive CPU governor being used when the software detects certain apps. OnePlus responded to these accusations:

In order to give users a better user experience in resource intensive apps and games, especially graphically intensive ones, we implemented certain mechanisms in the community and Nougat builds to trigger the processor to run more aggressively. The trigger process for benchmarking apps will not be present in upcoming OxygenOS builds on the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T.

Despite the reassurance that this will be changed, it seems to be a very intentional “feature.” If you’re relying on benchmark scores when buying a new phone, don’t believe everything you see because this is not the first time benchmarks have been manipulated and this is definitely not going to be the last.



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Samsung confirms MWC 2017 event for February 26

Samsung’s got some “big news” to share, and it’s going to be revealed pretty soon.

Samsung will hold an MWC 2017 event, the company confirmed today, and it’s going to happen on February 26. Samsung also shared a teaser image for the event, which you can see above.

We’ll have to wait until February 26 rolls around before we know exactly what Samsung has planned, but one thing that we do know is that the Galaxy S8 won’t be it, because Samsung said earlier this month that the GS8 won’t be making an appearance at MWC 2017.

It’s looking like the star of Samsung’s February 26 show will be a tablet. Rumors have suggested that Samsung is prepping a Galaxy Tab S3, which should make for a nice upgrade from the Galaxy Tab S2 if its rumored specs hold true.

Would a new Samsung tablet interest you?



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Huawei Honor 6X review

These days, $250 can get you a great phone. The days of having to pay at least $600 for a decent phone are long over. The age of good budget phones is here. The Honor 6X continues a tradition of a budget phone with premium build quality and decent hardware.

Details


5.5-inch 1080P LCD
Kirin 655 octa-core
3GB RAM
32GB storage + microSD slot
12MP + 2MP rear camera with phase detection autofocus
8MP front camera
Android 6.0 with EMUI 4.1
3,340 mAh battery

Hardware

The device features some pretty good specs. On the front is a large 5.5-inch 1080p display that is surprisingly pretty. It’s not very high resolution, but it’s reasonably sharp. However, the brightness and colors are very good, especially for the price. It’s a very enjoyable display, and unlike most budget devices, it’s just as responsive to touch as high end phones. Above it is an 8MP camera, sensors, and a notification light.

Huawei Honor 6X 3

On the rear is the dual camera setup and a fingerprint sensor. This fingerprint sensor is lightning fast and doesn’t get inaccurate over time. It’s worked every time for me as long as my fingers weren’t wet. Unlike the Honor 8, this one isn’t a button and can’t be programmed as a shortcut. However, it can also be swiped up and down to activate the notification shade.

The SIM card is located in a tray on the side of the device. It also has a second slot that can either house a second SIM card or a microSD card.

Huawei Honor 6X 2

On the bottom are the speaker, microphone, and a charging port. Despite the Honor 8 using a Type-C port, this phone uses an older microUSB port.

Two things to note are the audio quality of the main speaker and the haptic motor. The loudspeaker is quite mediocre and tinny, about what you’d expect for the price. The haptic motor is not great too. Unlike high end phones, which give quick bumps when typing, this one gives vague buzzes. It’s not as bad as other budget phones, but it could be a lot better.

Build quality

The front panel is a sheet of 2.5D glass while most of the rear is made out of metal. There are two pieces of plastic on the top and bottom of the metal, and the side buttons are also plastic.

The smooth curved glass feels very premium and the metal rear feels almost like a flagship device. However, the two pieces of plastic flanking it don’t feel very nice. A better quality plastic could have definitely been used.

Overall this phone feels very well made. There are no creaks or bending and it feels great in the hand. If it weren’t for the two pieces of cheap plastic, it would feel like a premium device. For $250, it’s definitely above average.

Software

If you’re interested in what I think of Emotion UI 4.1, check out my Honor 8 review. The software is pretty much identical to what the Honor 8 currently runs. Everything I said then holds true.

The main thing to look out for is the app cleanup feature, which will kill apps when you lock the screen. You’ll have to manually approve apps to stay running! Otherwise you’ll be wondering why Google Fit isn’t collecting data and Reddit isn’t sending you notifications.

There is one significant difference and it’s actually a nice one. There is a new setting for DPI called View Mode. There are small, medium, and large settings. All phones should have this! The display is spacious and it’s nice to fit more on it at one time, so a DPI setting is always appreciated.

There is an update for Android 7.0 Nougat coming with Emotion UI 5.0 in tow in Q2 2017. That’s quite far away, but EMUI 5.0 is a huge upgrade. It’ll change the phone for the better, making it more stock-like and even nicer to use.

Performance

With a more budget-oriented processor, I figured the performance of this phone would suffer quite a bit over the likes of higher end devices. I mean, how much can you ask for from a $250 phone?

You won’t be getting flagship levels of smoothness, but the Honor 6X is a zippy device. It does most tasks very quick and retains a decent level of smoothness. There is a bit of visual stuttering throughout the OS but speed was never a let down.

As far as games go, it handles them just fine. Pokemon Go seems to be a particularly poorly optimized game yet the Honor 6X takes it like a champ. The same can’t be said for cheaper devices.

The 3GB of RAM is plenty, it never fills up. The phone isn’t very aggressive with closing apps in the background either.

Camera

Huawei Honor 6X 4

This device uses a dual camera setup much like it’s big brother the Honor 8. But instead of two of the same sensor, it has a 12MP main sensor and a secondary 2MP sensor. The second sensor helps with focus, adding a bokeh effect and more.

Yes, the features of the camera are its main draw. You can add a really nice bokeh effect using the depth data from the second sensor, and you can change it later on. There are also modes like a night mode for a long exposure, painting, and more.

The actual performance of the camera is quite good. In good light, it captures very nice images. They’re large and detailed and the colors are fantastic. They’re a lot better than I expected for the price. Sometimes, they’re downright amazing.

At night, this camera has a bit of trouble. Oftentimes the photo will simply be blurred. It’s possible to get good shots in the dark, but it isn’t very easy. Check every shot after taking it to make sure you got it. However, if you keep the phone stable enough, night photos look quite good.

The front facing camera is an 8MP sensor that captures quite good photos as well. Huawei seems to use very good front facing sensors to nail your selfies.

Overall, the camera is very good but doesn’t handle low light very well. Nonetheless, it can take some shockingly great shots.

Huawei Honor 6X Photo Samples

Battery life

With a 3,340 mAh battery and fairly mid-range specs, the battery life is outstanding. With normal use, you can easily go two days on one charge. Even with heavy use, it’ll last a full day with ease. Throw hours of Google Maps and music streaming at it and still get home with plenty of juice.

Firing up games like Pokemon Go still drains the battery at a significant rate, but you’ll have many many hours of play time before needing a charger.

Unfortunately, there is no quick charging with this device. Charging isn’t slow, but it’s what you were used to before the advent of quick charging.

Huawei Honor 6X9 / 10

Huawei Honor 6X 5

In the realm of budget phones, it’s all about compromise and getting the best bang for your buck. The Honor 6X offers almost everything you could possibly want from a flagship phone. Dual cameras, a big battery, a pretty display, it has it all.

The compromises made are few and easy to handle. The vibration motor isn’t very good, the processor can’t make the UI perfectly smooth, and the camera suffers in low light. However, for $250, it’s a fantastic phone.



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Alleged prototype of LG G6 leaks

The LG G6 is going to be launching pretty soon, so it’s time for the major leaks to start coming. This latest leak is an alleged prototype of the G6 and it’s looking pretty good so far.

The front has a big display with tiny bezels and what looks to be curved corners, something that’s been rumored before. There is also chamfered metal all around the device

On the back is an unfinished piece, but it shows off the dual cameras and center mounted fingerprint reader. On the bottom is a USB Type-C port and a speaker.

The G6 is looking good, and that front with the tiny bezels should attract quite a few buyers. Let’s hope that the older Snapdragon 821 processor won’t steer too many people away. What are your thoughts? Leave a comment!

lg-g6-prototype-1 lg-g6-prototype-3 lg-g6-prototype-2

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 rumored for MWC debut with 9.6-inch display

We’ve already learned that Samsung doesn’t plan on announcing the Galaxy S8 at this year’s MWC, but it looks like the company will have a tablet to show off instead. Naver News is reporting that the Galaxy Tab S3 will see a big reveal at the end of February.

The report also sheds light on the rumored specifications for the upcoming device, which will reportedly include a 9.6-inch display with a resolution of 2048×1536. There will be a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor under the hood, and there will be Wi-Fi and LTE models available.

The report also suggests the tablet will have a 12-megapixel camera on the back, Android 7.0 Nougat on board, and 4GB of RAM. Pricing could be somewhere around $600.

The report expects the Galaxy Tab S3 to arrive in South Korea sometime in March, with an international launch planned at some point after that. What do you think of the Galaxy Tab S3′s rumored specs?



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Jason Mackenzie leaving HTC after 12 years

Weeks after revealing its new flagship, the U Ultra, HTC has lost a major presence in its human lineup.

Jason Mackenzie, HTC’s global Executive Vice President, has confirmed that he will be leaving the company. He tweeted out the news today and thanked Peter Chou, Cher Wang, and the rest of the HTC team.

This is another high-profile executive departure for HTC, as Claude Zellweger recently left to join the Google Daydream team. Mackenzie didn’t announce what’s next for him.



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Lenovo Vibe K5 Stock Firmware, Tool, Driver [Vo-LTE] – Download Now

Lenovo announced the Vibe K5 smartphone last year in the month of February. This is again one of the most successful smartphones from Lenovo as they sold a lot of them. Soon after the launch of this smartphone, the company made the stock ROM for this smartphone available for users. If you don’t know what stock ROM is, you can simply install the stock ROM to bring your smartphone back to the way it was when you got it. For instance, if you end up bricking your device while installing any custom ROM, then you can simply flash this particular ROM and bring it back to life.

About the smartphone

The Lenovo Vibe K5 smartphone was launched in the month of April last year, and it is a mid-range device in the market. It features a 5″ IPS LCD on the front with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels. It is powered by a Qualcomm MSM8929 Snapdragon 415 processor along with Adreno 405 GPU. The smartphone has 2GB of RAM along with 16GB of internal storage. On the camera side of things, we have a 13MP camera on the front which is good for 1080p videos, and there is also a 5MP front-facing selfie shooter. The whole package is kept powered by a 2750 mAh battery.

About the Firmware

In this tutorial, we will be using the stock firmware which the smartphone shipped with. Out of the box, the Lenovo Vibe K5 was running on Android Lollipop OS, and hence the stock ROM which we are using here is also running the same. This firmware is compatible with Lenovo Vibe K5 only which is also known as A6020a40. Do make a note that we have also included a firmware which will enable the Vo-LTE support in the smartphone. Hence be sure to download the appropriate firmware which you are looking for from the links given below.

Lenovo Vibe K5 A6020a40 s022

Lenovo Vibe K5 A6020a40 s027

Lenovo Vibe K5 A6020a40 s029

Lenovo A6020a40 s033

Lenovo A6020a40 s034

A6020a40 s034 to s102 Recovery [Volte]

Follow the below-given guide carefully if you wish you install the stock ROM for the Lenovo Vibe K5.

Installation

  1. Assuming that you have downloaded all the necessary files which you wanted to flash, we can now proceed with the instalaltion
  2. The first step is to extract the downloaded .zip file which you downloaded the from the links given above.
  3. Now once that is done, simply open QPST Tool.
  4. Once you are in the tool, click the browse button and browse to the file with “.mbn” extension from the firmware folder.
  5. Once that is done, the select build will automatically select the update or stock ROM preference.
  6. The next step is to load the XML file, and you can do that by clicking the load XML button and browsing for the file “rawprogram_unparse_without_qcn.xml.” After selecting this, choose Patch0.xml.
  7. Once you do this, all your previous data will be lost.
  8. Now it is time to switch off your phone and connect it to your PC.
  9. Once you are connected, hit the download button and it will start flashing once it is done.
  10. Once the flashing is done, you can now disconnect the phone and power it on. Now you will see that your device has been reverted to the stock ROM with which it was shipped with.

Do make a note that the first reboot may take longer since it has to set everything from scratch. Hence we suggest you be patient with it. If you have any queries with this, then be sure to let us know in the comment section below and stay tuned for more tutorials like this.



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Viber is offering free calls from the U.S to the Countries affected by Trump’s travel ban

The free messaging app Viber is now allowing users to make free calls to offer a helping hand towards the people affected by the US president Donald Trump’s immigration order. Viber has announced that the user will be able to make free international calls from their Viber Out app. The users can make fees for calls to landlines or mobile numbers between the U.S. and the seven countries impacted by the travel ban, including Syria, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

Google announced that it is donating $2M to the organizations working to assist the refugees and will also match employee donations up to a further $2M. Airbnb is also supporting the people by offering free housing to the refugees and to the people prevented from returning to the USA. Viber says’ that it has always been committed to enabling people to connect freely and securely whenever and wherever they are. It also said that under these circumstances, they feel obligated to enable the users to remain close even when apart.



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Nextbit has been acquired by Razer

Nextbit managed to get plenty of attention with its first and only smartphone, the Robin, thanks to its focus on seamless cloud backup and an interesting, eye-catching hardware design.

But the longevity of that approach has never been ignored, and getting acquired by a larger company always seemed like a possibility. Sure enough, that just happened.

Nextbit has officially confirmed that it has been acquired by Razer.

Nextbit has stopped selling its Robin smartphone as well as all accessories. However, the company did confirm that it will be releasing security upgrades until February 2018 and that warranties for the Robin itself will be honored for the next six months.

As for what’s next, the Nextbit blog post says that the team will still be focusing on “mobile design and experiences,” but that their goals are simply much bigger now thanks to the Razer acquisition. There’s no telling what that means at this point, but considering Razer’s ability to launch its own noteworthy accessories and devices, it will hopefully be interesting.

Did you ever pick up a Nextbit Robin?



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Android 7.1.2 beta now available for Nexus and Pixel devices

It’s been a bit of time since Google officially released Android 7.1.1 to the public, so it’s about time for a new beta to make an appearance.

Google has confirmed on its developer blog that Android 7.1.2 is currently in beta and is now rolling out to select Nexus and Pixel devices. Google says the update is focused on “refinements” and that it includes “bugfixes and optimizations, along with a small number of enhancements for carriers and users.”

The devices that can access the new beta include the Pixel C, Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus Player, and the Nexus 5X. Google says that a separate release will be made for the Nexus 6P soon. The public launch should happen “in just a couple of months,” where it will be available for the same list of devices, but to the public.

Do you plan on installing the new software?



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Master & Dynamic ME05 earphone review

Generally, audio quality and fashion are polar opposites in the headphone world. I won’t name names, but many of the hip and expensive brands simply can’t produce audio that’s representative of their price. So what can these golden headphones do?

Details


Drivers: 8mm titanium
Impedance: 16 ohms
Price: $199.99
Where to buy: Master & Dynamic

These earphones are made out of solid brass with silicone ear tips. As you can imagine, these will attract dirt. Master & Dynamic includes a polishing cloth to keep the brass looking like a mirror.

Master & Dynamic ME05 3

Out of the earphones extends a tangle free flat cable. They have a remote and mic, but not in the same unit as on earphones. The mic is a separate piece closer to the mouth for better audio quality, and the remote is below at the junction of the two cables. The remote is a sexy metal cylinder with three rubber buttons inside. The mic housing and the 3.5mm plug are also metal.

Build quality

Much like Master & Dynamic’s other products, these earphones are built to an impeccable standard. The materials used are fantastic. The brass bodies shine like a mirror and are beautifully designed. The cables are smooth rubber and are of high quality and feel rugged. The metal bodies used for the plug, remote, and mic feel absolutely fantastic.

It should be noted that the remote is, as customary for most earphones, made for Apple devices. The mic and center button will work fine with Android devices but the volume buttons won’t work. I wish they offered an Android version, but no luck.

Master & Dynamic ME05 4

The earphones come in a round leather box. The top layer has the earphones displayed in foam, though I could never wrap them the same way again. Underneath is three extra sizes of ear tips for a total of four sizes, along with an extra set of filters. Also included is the aforementioned polishing cloth, a cable clip, and a canvas carrying bag.

 

Comfort

The ME05s are very comfortable, especially considering their weight. A testament to the quality of design is the weight of the brass bodies. They’re heavy, which should make them uncomfortable in the ear. However, they’re balanced in a way that causes them to rest in the ear comfortably.

I’ve mentioned before that I have strange ears and most earphones don’t create a proper seal. But thanks to the four sizes of ear tips (and me having to use two different sizes), I was able to get a good seal and for the earphones to stay in. To my surprise, the brass bodies and metal remote did not cause any pulling or discomfort.

Sound quality

This is where the earphones will either impress or fall short, depending on the person. For regular consumers, they’re likely to shine. But those into good audio likely won’t be too impressed.

The sound quality is excellent, with no distortion until you’re hitting really high volumes. The highs are clear and the bass is impressive and sharp. The amount of bass is quite good for their size, and it packs a good punch.

However, they’re extremely colored. The bass is prominent and the highs are overboosted and borderline shrill. For some, this becomes unpleasant at high volumes. For others, this will create the feeling of detail and depth to music. I think they’re simply far too bright out of the box.

With a little EQ work, you can make them sound far more balanced (and can add a good bit more bass). There’s only so much you can do, but even folks into high end audio can appreciate these earphones when properly set up. The difference is quite big!

It all depends on what you enjoy. Do you love reference audio? These may not be for you (although even audiophiles often own “fun” headphones). Are you just a music lover looking for a great sounding pair of earphones? These very well may be for you.

Master & Dynamic ME057.5 / 10

Master & Dynamic ME05 1

Master & Dynamic really makes products that are special. They’re masterfully built and both look and feel great. The golden mirror shine is simply beautiful, and grabbing that metal remote is a pleasure.

The audio quality may not be for everyone (especially with the $199 price point that many audio enthusiasts aim for), but they definitely do sound great and very clean. They’re worth the price tag if just for the build quality, but they won’t disappoint once in your ears. If you do buy them though, fire up an equalizer. They’ll impress even more when tuned right.



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Fate of ZTE Hawkeye uncertain, might be cancelled altogether

The response to ZTE’s Project CSX, now known as Hawkeye, has not been all that positive. The project crowdsourced ideas and used the most popular to make a device that has an adhesive back and eye tracking, allowing users to stick their phone somewhere and use it hands free.

However, the low-end specs upset a lot of people. ZTE was aiming to make a phone that would sell in all markets, but users wanted a flagship-tier device. The company tried to fix the situation by asking people what they would change, but it doesn’t seem to be working. The Kickstarter campaign for the device is sitting at $36,000 of its $500,000 goal.

The project may very well be cancelled in its current form, as ZTE now believes Kickstarter wasn’t the right place to try to sell the device. However, the two staples of the Hawkeye will still be used in a device that will come to the market.

If people don’t express more interest in the Hawkeye, it may be cancelled. And honestly, that might not be a bad thing. The project isn’t exactly looking so strong right now. Let us know what you think in the comments!



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Honor 8 is $110 off at B&H with free Doctor Strange gift box

The Honor 8 is a fantastic smartphone at a low price, and now it’s even cheaper. B&H has discounted the device by $110, bringing it down to $289 for the 32GB version and $339 for the 64GB version.

With the Honor 8 you’ll also get a free clear case and a Doctor Strange gift box. Inside that gift box is a Doctor Strange case and two comics.

Unfortunately, the sale doesn’t apply to the (gorgeous) sapphire blue model. You’ll have to pick up a midnight blue or pearl white model to save $110. The case and gift box are still available to the sapphire blue model, though.

If you want to take advantage of this deal, hit the source link and let us know if you pick one up!



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Pokémon Go updated to not pause music when launched

Pokémon Go had an annoying tendency to pause your music when you launch the app. You’d have to bring down the notification shade, which is hidden on the splash screen, and resume your music. Many months after the game was released (and many months after its peak in popularity), this issue has been partially fixed.

The newest version of the Pokémon Go app will no longer pause your music, opting to just reduce the volume. While this isn’t ideal for many (I know a lot of people keep the app’s sound off entirely), it’s a big improvement.

For those of you still playing, hit the Play Store and download the latest version. It’ll also speed up load times on Android devices and fix some minor bugs.



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Starbucks launches voice ordering in its iPhone app, Android version coming later this year

Artificial intelligence (AI) is getting a ton of attention from many companies out there, and now Starbucks is getting in on the fun.

The company has officially announced that it is rolling out “My Starbucks Barista,” which will be embedded within the company’s stock iOS app beginning today. It’s also making its debut as a skill for Amazon Alexa, with a Starbucks Reorder Skill making it possible to just use your voice to order your drink.

Starbucks says its My Starbucks Barista available beginning today or iOS, but that it will be rolling out to Android devices later this year.

With the feature, you’ll be able to simply tell the digital barista what you want to drink or eat, then pay for all of those things even before you get to the Starbucks location to pick it all up. You can use text to order through the new feature as well, if you don’t feel like talking to a digital Starbucks barista out in public.

Starbucks says this My Starbucks Barista is a limited beta trial for now. Only 1,000 people will get to try it out in this initial wave, with further rolling releases happening over the next few months.



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T-Mobile will reimburse the sales tax on your new smartphone

If you’ve been thinking about buying a new T-Mobile smartphone, T-Mo’s latest promotion may put you over the edge.

T-Mobile today announced its latest offer, which will reimburse you for the sales tax that you pay on a new smartphone. You just need to buy a new phone on an Equipment Installment Plan, enter your account info and the promo code 17DEVICECREDIT on T-Mo’s promotions webpage, and then you’ll get a prepaid MasterCard card worth 11.2 percent of your phone’s cost (11.55 percent in Puerto Rico) to cover the sales tax.

This new deal begins on February 1 and runs for a limited time. Both new and existing customers are eligible to take part, but you will need to be on a T-Mobile One plan or Simple Choice Unlimited 4G LTE plan in order to take advantage of the deal.

T-Mobile has been focused on simplifying its offerings in 2017. Earlier this month, T-Mo revealed Un-carrier Next, which brought an all-in T-Mobile One plan with taxes and fees built-in so that the price you see is the price you pay. Now this promotion is trying to do something similar by simplifying the final price of your smartphone by refunding you the sales tax so that you can treat yourself to a new case for your phone, a lunch, or something else.



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Top 5 most popular Android apps from last week: realMyst, Pixabay

Every week we cover new Android apps with Fresh Meat on Wednesday, followed by Android Gaming on Thursday and Top 10 App Updates on Friday. When Monday rolls around, we look back to see which apps were the most appealing to our audience. Read on for the five most popular Android apps from last week. These apps are ones that are most likely new and haven’t appeared in the top five list more than three times.

1. Pokémon Duel

Pokemon Duel

App info: Pokémon Duel is a strategy board game that uses Pokémon figures. Build a deck with your favorite figures and then leap into a League Match! Compete with players from around the world for a chance to enter the top League rankings in League Matches.

 

2. Wallpapers with Filters

Wallpapers with Filters

App info: Make your screen look great with exclusive background and customize with awesome FILTERS. This is the ONLY wallpapers app you’ll ever need! Download now for FREE and prepare to explore and apply filters on your wallpapers!

 

3. Pixabay

Pixabay

App info: Over one million royalty free photos, illustrations and vector graphics – and thousands of free video clips. All images and footage on Pixabay are released under Creative Commons CC0: Free for commercial use, no attribution required.

 

4. realMyst

realMyst

App info: realMyst is all-things Myst, but amazingly more real. You can explore anywhere, unfettered, and in realtime! Pick your own path through the forest on Myst Island. Look lazily upward into the Channelwood Age trees.

 

5. FitzyTV

FitzyTV

App info: Log in with your cable provider and watch your favorite live channels on the go, or on your TV with Chromecast support! We are in beta so please send any bug reports to bugs@fitzytv.com.

 

Note:  To ensure that all apps receive a fair chance to make the list, we will retire any app that has made the list for three consecutive weeks.



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How to Install Official Android 7.1 Nougat Lineage OS 14.1 For Nexus 6P

The Huawei-made Nexus 6P smartphone is one of the tops of the line smartphone that is available in the Nexus series. Being a Nexus smartphone, it is also one of the first few devices to run the Android 7.0 Nougat software. Currently, the Nexus 6P is running on Android 7.1.1 Nougat build which is one of the newest build released by Google. Although the Nexus 6P is running the stock Android, most people still prefer to use Cyanogenmod for the customization options. While CyanogenMod is now called Lineage OS, the company behind it is still responsible for all the updates, and they have already started pushing them as of now. On the same lines, the Nexus 6P also has the LineageOS 14.1 readily available for it. And if you are planning to install the same and are wondering how to go about it, then you are in the right place.

About the smartphone

The Nexus 6P was launched back in the month of September 2015, and it is pretty much the last Nexus device ever launched since Google has now started selling phones under Pixel brand. It features a 5.7” display on the front with QuadHD resolution and Gorilla Glass protection on top of it. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 SoC with 3GB of RAM along with 32GB/ 64GB of internal storage. On the camera side of things, we are looking at a 12.3MP rear-facing sensor and an 8MP front-facing selfie shooter. The whole package is kept powered by a 3450 mAh battery, and out of the box, it was running Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

About the ROM

In this tutorial, we will be installing the LineageOS 14.1 for Nexus 6P which is nothing but CyanogenMod as the name is now being changed. Do make a note that this is not a final build for the device and it is just a nightly. Hence if you are using the Nexus 6P as your daily driver, then you should probably think before you upgrade to this. However, if you are looking to install a third party ROM for your device, then is your only option since it is the first this party ROM with Android 7.0 Nougat for Huawei Nexus 6P. Once the stable ROM rolls out for this, you can be certain that it will be smooth without any issues while offering goo performance. Also, do make a note that you will need a recovery software for the same and check the prerequisite to follow for more info on that.

Prerequisite

  • The first step as usual before installing any third party ROM is to make sure that you create a backup of your data. Since we will be using a custom recovery software to install this ROM, the device will be completely wiped out during the setup.
  • You will also need a custom recovery software to be installed for this procedure. You are free to use any custom recovery software however, it is suggested that you go for TWRP which we will be using for this particular tutorial.
  • Make sure that your device has about 50-60% battery before you begin the installation. If incase your device’s battery drains out during the installation, then there are chances that you might end up with a bricked phone.
  • Also make sure that download the .zip file of the ROM which you are about to install from the links given below. You can also download the GApps from the link since you will need that as well if you want to run Google Apps.
  • If you have never installed a third party ROM before, then it is suggested that you follow this tutorial very carefully and read all the steps.

Download Lineage OS 14.1 for Nexus 6P

GApps for Nexus 6P

Installation

  1. As mentioned in the prerequisite, you have to download the files from the link given above. Once they are downloaded, make sure that you copy them to a USB drive and keep it ready for the installation. Normally for another device we would use SD card, however since Nexus 6P doesn’t support SD card, you have to use USB OTG to get this one.
  2. Once it is done, power off your device and get into the recovery mode. You can do so by pressing volume down button + power key at the same time.
  3. This will take you to the recovery mode, and once you are in the recovery mode, you have to go to Wipe and Format option -> wipe data, system, cache and Dalvik cache. This will completely wipe your data, and if you haven’t taken a backup of your data, this is when you will end up loosing everything.
  4. Once that is out of the way, it is now time to install the ROM itself. This part will require the files which you downloaded ready in the USB.
  5. Go to the install option and navigate to the file which you want to flash.
  6. Select the file and swipe to flash it. This will take some time, and hence we suggest you be patient with it.
  7. Once it is done, it is now time to install the gapps as well. Follow the same procedure for that also and wait for it get installed.
  8. Once both the files are done installing, it is now time to reboot it, and once you get back to your device, you will be running the LineageOS 14.1 on your Huawei Nexus 6P.

Do make a note that the final reboot may take a lot of time since it has to set the device up, and hence we suggest you to stay patient. Let us know if you have any queries with the installation and stay tuned for more such tutorials.



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Samsung to Soon Launch the Xcover 4 Rugged Smartphone in the U.S

After launching the Xcover 2 smartphone in 2013, Samsung took two years to launch its successor, Xcover 3. Now in 2017, the company is expected to launch the Xcover 5 in the next few weeks. While the Galaxy Active devices cover the premium rugged smartphone users, the Xcover series caters to the entry-level rugged smartphone users with its affordable pricing. Last week, a new Samsung device with the model number SM-G390F got the Wi-Fi certification. This new device is expected to be the Xcover 4 since the Xcover 3 came with the model number SM-G388F. While there is no official information known about this device, the Wi-Fi certification revealed the device to run on the latest Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box.

At the upcoming MWC 2017 event that will be held from February 27th to March 2nd, Samsung was earlier expected to unveil the Galaxy S8, but the recent leaks suggested the flagship launch event to be postponed to April. Though the Galaxy S8 will not be unveiled during that event, we will be seeing other Samsung device launches. We also expect the Xcover 4 to be officially unveiled during the event. As seen with the earlier launched variants, the Xcover 4 will also feature rugged polycarbonate shell and will be IP certified making them water and dust resistant. Additionally, the device might also get the military standard certification (MIL-STD). Unlike the Xcover 3, we hope to see some decent specifications on the Xcover 4.

Talking about the Xcover 3, it came with a 4.5-inch display with WVGA (800 x 480 pixels) resolution. It is powered by a Marvell Armada PXA1908 quad-core processor clocked at 1.2 GHz and coupled with 1.5GB of RAM. At that time, the device was launched with just 8GB of internal storage that can be further expanded via MicroSD card slot.The Xcover 3 features a 5MP autofocus rear camera with LED flash and a 2MP front camera. It even sports the physical navigation buttons placed below the display and the upcoming Xcover 4 might also continue using them. While the 2015 launched Xcover 3 came with 3G HSPA connectivity, the Xcover 4 will supporting 4G LTE for offering faster data speeds and better call clarity.

We will be updating once we get more information about the upcoming rugged smartphone. At the CES 2017 held in the first week of this new year, Samsung unveiled the new Galax A 2017 lineup by launching the Galaxy A3 2017, Galaxy A5 2017, and Galaxy A7 2017 smartphones. For the first time, the company made Galaxy A devices water and dust resistant by offering IP68 certification. Instead of the metal body, Samsung used the 3D glass on the rear along with a metal frame to strengthen the device. All the three devices support Samsung Pay as they feature the fingerprint sensor and offers NFC connectivity.

Via



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{APK} Download Pixel Launcher for your Android Phone

Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL Android devices comes with the refreshed launcher and provides a differentiated home screen experience. With benefits like instant access to personalized information from Google at just a swipe away, this launcher can be applied to Nougat OS devices and to some specific Marshmallow devices as well. This new Pixel Launcher isn’t much heavy for your device as its just over 2MB of size which shouldn’t hurt your device memory much.

Let’s check out some of the screen captures of Pixel Launcher along with the list of Key features;

Pixel Launcher 1 Pixel Launcher 2 Pixel Launcher 3

Key features:
• Swiping right from home screen will show personalized Google Cards which comes with the news and personalized information
• Swiping up from bottom of the screen will provide the list of apps in A-Z order
• While showing the list of apps, the top row is reserved for most frequently accessed for additional convenience
• When long pressed on app, it will provide instant access to key features of that app or also it can be dragged on to the home screen for quick shortcuts.

Please note that this Pixel Launcher supports all the Android devices which are on Android 7.0 Nougat OS like One Plus 3, Samsung Galaxy series, Moto G4 Plus, Moto X Play etc. This may not supported for most of the devices which are either on Android 5.0 or Android 6.0 devices as there is no specific list of supported devices.

Download Pixel Launcher APK

Do let us know in the comments section just in case if you need any more details about this Launcher.



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How to Install the Official Android 7.1 Nougat Lineage OS 14.1 For Xiaomi Mi 5

Android 7.0 Nougat is slowly making its way to more and more flagships now. A couple of 2016 flagships like the S7/ S7 Edge, etc. are now getting the update. However, while only the flagships from 2016 are getting the update, there are still a ton of smartphones which are yet to get the update. On the same lines, Xiaomi’s Mi 5 is yet another smartphone. Xiaomi’s Mi 5 is now getting a Nougat beta however, the beta is not open to everyone. Hence if you are waiting for the Nougat on your Xiaomi Mi 5, then your only option is to flash it using a custom ROM like LineageOS, etc. And if you are planning to do that, then you are in the right place as in this tutorial we are going to show exactly how to install the official Android 7.1 Nougat LineageOS 14.1 for Xiaomi Mi 5.

About the smartphone

Xiaomi Mi 5 is one of the most popular smartphones that Xiaomi has ever launched. They sold a ton of units, and the phone was particularly popular for its build quality and the specs that it was offering for the price. It features a 5.15” display on the front which is an IPS LCD panel with a resolution of 1080 x1920. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC which is an octa-core processor with an Adreno 530. The device comes in 3GB & 4GB RAM configurations and has internal storage upto 128GB. On the camera side of this, we are looking at a 16MP rear-facing shooter, and we also have a 4MP front facing camera for the selfie enthusiasts. The entire is package is kept powered by a 3,000 mAh battery, and the smartphone runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box.

About the ROM

In this tutorial, we are going to install and official Android 7.1 Nougat based LineageOS 14.1 ROM. LineageOS, as you may or may not know, is nothing but Cyanogenmod. Just the name is changed after the acquisition. This custom ROM needs to be flashed using the TWRP recovery software. If you are new to the whole process of flashing the ROM, then we suggest you follow the steps given below very carefully. Do make a note that this particular ROM comes fully optimized with all the LineageOS features. It is fully optimized, and this particular version of the software which is about to install is fully optimized with Xiaomi Mi 5. It comes with fully custom theme change support, and it also has a CM browser.

Prerequisite

  • The first thing which you need to do is make sure that you are creating a backup of your data. As mentioned earlier, this installation requires a recovery software method and hence all your data will be wiped clean during the installation.
  • You also need to have a custom recovery software. You can free to download any one of your choices. However, the TWRP recovery software is recommended.
  • Make sure your device has about 50-60% battery before you begin the installation. If at all your device’s battery drains during the installation and it dies, you may end up with a bricked device.
  • You also need to download the LineageOS software from the link which is given below. It is essential for the installation. You can also download the GApps if you wish to install the GApps.
  • Download LineageOS 14.1 for Xiaomi Mi 5

    GApps

    Installation

    1. Assuming that you have downloaded the LineageOS 14.1 .zip file readied for the installation, the first step is to copy the .zip file to your SD Card. If you wish to install the GApps as well, then you need to copy that as well. Make sure you are copying the files to the SD Card and not internal storage since your internal storage will be wiped clean.
    2. Once that is done, switch your device and enter the recovery mode. You can do this by pressing volume down + power key at the same time.
    3. In the recovery model, go to “Wipe and format option” in which you need to look for “Wipe Data, system, cache & Dalvik cache.” This is when your device will be wiped out completely, and if you haven’t created a backup of your device then you will end up loosing everything.
    4. Once done, now the next step is to Install the software itself.
    5. To do that, navigate to rom.zip file which you downloaded before the process. Once you have located it, select it and swipe to flash.
    6. It will start installing the software, and it may take a while. Once done, it is now time to install the GApps if you wish to install it. To do this, follow the same process.
    7. Once it is done, it is now time to reboot your device, and you will see that you will be running the lineageOS 14.1

    Do make note that the final reboot may take a lot of time since it needs to set up your device for the first time. If you have any queries in the procedure, the be sure to write them in the comments section and stay tuned for more such tutorials.

    Source – Gizrom



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