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Updated 2018-08-19 01:20
Get better multiplayer performance by changing your PS4's NAT type
Your NAT type might well be holding you back in online multiplayer games. Here's how to open it up.Network Address Translation (NAT) is a big part of connectivity for online multiplayer games, deciding how incoming traffic is handled. For gamers, NAT can play a huge role in who you can play with, establishing barriers if it's not set up right.There are a bunch of reasons you may have a strict or even double NAT showing on your network, but with the help of port forwarding, you can easily overcome the hurdles. It's not the only method, indeed, for many folks ensuring Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) enabled on their router will be enough.Here's how to set it up on the PlayStation 4.What is port forwarding?It doesn't just apply to the PlayStation, in actual fact to achieve an open NAT you'll hardly touch the console. Port forwarding is done on your router.Our pals at Windows Central sum it up: Ports are essentially digital channels for your router, used for sorting in...
The Moto Z3 is official, coming to Verizon on August 16
There's also a new 5G Moto Mod!At a press event at its HQ in Chicago, Motorola officially announced the Moto Z3 on Thursday, August 2. This is a more powerful version of the Z3 Play that was unveiled earlier this year, and similar to past Z flagships, the Z3 will be sold exclusively on Verizon in the United States.The Z3 looks a lot like the Z3 Play with its 6-inch bezel-lite Super AMOLED display and dual 12MP rear cameras, but under the hood, you'll find more powerful internals like the Snapdragon 835, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of internal storage.Like we were expecting, Motorola stuck with a similar design once again as to accommodate all of the Moto Mods that have been released up until this point. Speaking of Mods, the Z3 is launching alongside Motorola's latest snap-on accessory that brings 5G speeds to the phone. The 5G Moto Mod won't be available until 2019.There's no word quite yet as to how much the 5G Moto Mod will cost, but once it's available, you'll be able to pl...
Samsung Galaxy S9 vs. Galaxy S8: Should you upgrade?
This one is a tough sell — but a sell Samsung isn't really trying to make in the first place.It doesn't take long to realize the Galaxy S9 is very similar to its predecessor. Hand the two phones to an average person, and they wouldn't likely know which one is the "newer" device. They have extremely similar designs, the software is near-identical and the insides haven't dramatically changed either.Nevertheless, people who love their Galaxy S8 are likely to be interested in anything Samsung has to offer, and will want to know whether the next flagship is worth their time and money. Here's what you can expect when looking to upgrade from the Galaxy S8 to the Galaxy S9.What's the same Samsung seems happy with its current design language because it kept things nearly identical for its 2018 flagship. The Galaxy S9 is almost the exact same physically as the outgoing Galaxy S8, with only a 1.2 mm reduction in height and 8-gram increase in weight separating the two. The meta...
Would you like a flat screen on the Galaxy Note 9?
A matter of form vs. function.Samsung's been dabbling with curved displays for quite a few years now, but since the launch of the Galaxy S8 series last year, the company's gone all in on these curves for its flagship phones. The Note 8 and S9 series that followed the S8 also came equipped with curved sides, and with the Note 9 on the horizon, people are debating whether or not this is a trend that should stick around.Some of our forum users recently started talking about if they want to see a curved screen on the Note 9, and for the most part, they seem to want flat displays to make a return. recDNA 04-24-2018 01:45 PM “ I would pay extra for a Note 9 with a flat screen the same size and screen ratio as my old Note 7. Reply Rukbat 04-24-2018 02:42 PM “ We can "get" curved protectors, but they still don't lie as flat as p...
I'd rather have excellent software over flashy hardware
When it comes to this endless debate, software is the clear winner in my book.A couple weeks ago, Android Central's Hayato Huseman offered the question of "Is hardware or software a bigger determining factor when buying a phone?" This is a question that's helped settle countless smartphone-buying decisions throughout time, and it's one I felt like answering.Both hardware and software are required to create any phone, but in my case, I'd much rather use one with a top-of-the-line software experience – even if it means settling for mediocre hardware.Take the Google Pixel 2, for example. I bought this phone last October shortly after it was announced, and it's been my daily driver ever since. It's not a particularly attractive or modern-looking phone, but even so, it's quickly become one of my favorite purchases of recent memory. Why? Google's nearly perfected the end-user experience thanks to rigorous software optimizations. Samsung's phones are beautiful, but they'...
Today's best deals you won't want to miss
Whether you're looking for new tech gear or household items, we've got you covered.Today you can get huge discounts on Logitech PC peripherals like mice and keyboards, 20% off Amazon's Alexa-enabled hardware, and more! Don't pass these up.View the rest of the dealsIf you want to know about the deals as soon as they are happening, you'll want to follow Thrifter on Twitter, and sign up for the newsletter, because missing out on a great deal stinks!...
Best Replacement Watch Bands for Samsung Gear S3
What are the best third-party watch bands for Samsung Gear S3?The Samsung Gear S3 is one of our favorite smartwatches, and a great alternative to many of the Android Wear watches out there. The Gear S3 supports standard 22mm watch bands, making it really easy to upgrade with something new.Here are a few of the best third-party watch bands to consider once you pick up your brand new Samsung Gear S3!ArtStyle nylon strapEloBeth Milanese Magnetic Loop StrapRerii leather bandTRUMiRR Milanese stainless steel bandBarton silicone bandRechere stainless steel watch bandArtStyle nylon strapKeep things simple, fun, and functional with the ArtStyle watch band made from a sturdy nylon material and a durable metal buckle! The ArtStyle nylon strap is easily adjustable and is hypoallergenic, making it the perfect band to wear if you have sensitive skin.The material from this particular band is also breathable and waterproof on top of being extremely comfortable to wear day-to-day....
Tidal app makes its way to Amazon Fire TV and Android Auto
Available to download right now.Just a few months after its Android TV app was released, Tidal's announced a new app for Amazon's Fire TV platform. You can download it on both the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, and the layout is similar compared to its Android TV counterpart.The home screen showcases all of the latest Tidal content, and jumping over to My Collection will show you all of your favorite songs, videos, albums, etc. Along with this, you can also search through Tidal's collection of 50 million titles to find just the right tune at any given moment.In addition to the Fire TV, Tidal is also making its way to Android Auto. As long as you have a compatible car/entertainment unit and a phone running Android 5.0 or later, you can use Tidal with Android Auto to browse through your personal collection of songs, as well as an Explore page to find all of the latest tunes, artists, podcasts, and everything else the service has to offer.Tidal's Fire TV and Android Auto apps are la...
You'll soon be able to use Allo's web client independent of your phone
Is this too little too late for Allo?In Google's neverending quest to create the perfect messaging service, Allo is one of its most, interesting, attempts. There's a lot that Allo gets right, but at the same time, there are features that are totally absent that you can find in Hangouts and Google Voice.Allo finally got a web client last August, and while this was a step forward, it has one big caveat — you need to have your phone turned on and connected to data/Wi-Fi in order for it to work. Thankfully, according to the head of Google Duo, Justin Uberti, this is something that should be changing in the near future.When asked about this on Twitter, Uberti said:Yes, we are in the process of migrating the backend system to support completely independent devices.— Justin Uberti (@juberti) March 8, 2018Once Google implements this change, you should be able to use Allo on your computer without having to touch your phone. This is something that should have been there i...
Clean your gear with a 24-pack of microfiber cleaning cloths for just $10
Update: The 24-pack is out of stock, but you can pick up 48 Zwipes for $20, which is effectively the same deal.Great cloths for electronics, glass, kitchen counters. You name it.The Zwipes 24-pack of microfiber cleaning cloths is down to $9.99 on Amazon. These same cloths were selling above $16 in early February, and this drop is the lowest we've seen since August. At this price point, the 24-pack is actually cheaper than the 12-pack.Being microfiber means you can use these cloths just about anywhere without fear of scratches. They are lint-free, streak-free and non-abrasive. They're also washable and can be reused hundreds of times. Users give them 4.6 stars based on more than 4,700 reviews.See on Amazon...
Best T-Mobile Phones in 2018
Best overallBest runner-upsBest for videoBest dual camerasThe Galaxy S9 has just been announced and it will be released on March 16! We are still evaluating the phone and will add it to this list once it is available.Best overallSamsung Galaxy Note 8See at T-MobileAfter the unprecedented recall of the Note 7 due to battery issues, all eyes were on Samsung to deliver something spectacular with the Galaxy Note 8. They delivered. Building on the Galaxy S8 design, the Note 8 is a refinement in all the right places with a large, almost bezel-less display in a package that still fits comfortably in your hand.The beautiful look is complemented by the very latest specs and features. A whopping 6 GB of RAM, dual 12MP cameras, and Samsung's impressive S Pen technology make the Note 8 the phone to buy if you need the best entertainment or productivity tool.Bottom line: The Galaxy Note 8 is large and in charge with ultra high-end specs and productivity features galore.One m...
Add a HDMI port to your new Chromebook with this $17 Anker adapter
Anker's USB-C to HDMI adapter is only $16.79 with code ANKER836. It's $24 without the code and has not had a direct price drop from that price in many, many months.In The Wirecutter's roundup of the best USB-C adapters, they consider this one the best for anyone who wants to hook up a modern USB-C only laptop to an HDMI monitor or high-definition TV. Not only does this tiny adapter have a solid build quality and support 4K video and 60Hz refresh rates, it's also designed to work with the newer Chromebooks. Users give this adapter 3.8 stars based on 192 reviews.See on Amazon...
The Best Indie Games for PlayStation 4
If you are on the lookout for some great independent games for your PS4 then check these out.There's no denying that the PlayStation 4 has made a comfortable home for blockbuster games and their developers. Every year there is a seemingly endless stream of huge titles. But what about the little guys? Independent developers are just as capable of creating amazing and engaging games as the big guys. Here are just a few of the very best independent titles that PS4 has to offer.What Remains of Edith FinchRocket LeagueHellblade: Senua's SacrificeHotline Miami 1 & 2Rogue LegacyFezWhat Remains of Edith FinchIf you're looking for a fantastic storytelling experience bolstered by gorgeous visuals then developer Giant Sparrow has you covered. What Remains of Edith Finch may not be for every gamer but if you are enticed at the idea of having your heartstrings tugged and you enjoy a meditative gaming experience then it's certainly worth your time and money. See at PlayStatio...
This is what Fuchsia OS looks like on the Pixelbook
Fuchsia OS technically runs on the Pixelbook, but there's still a lot that's broken.At the very beginning of the year, it was discovered that Google had added the Pixelbook as an official test device for its mysterious Fuchsia OS. Just about a couple weeks later, the team at Ars Technica managed to get Fuchsia running on the machine with some (expectedly) mixed results.Unlike an early version of Fuchsia that came out in May of 2017, this is running directly on the Pixelbook rather than just showing a UI on top of Android. You can read Ars Technica's article to learn about all the nitty-gritty details, but what I find most interesting is how the UI works.Starting first with the lock screen, you'll see the time in the middle with a plus icon near the bottom right. Tapping this brings up shortcuts for Wi-Fi, Login, and Guest, but for the time being, all of these are quite broken.Fuchsia's lock screen (left) and home screen (right)Once you move past this and get to the home s...
3 awesome things you get with your PlayStation Plus subscription
PlayStation Plus is a lot more than a subscription service. It's an essential part of the PS4 experience.It seems that nearly every video game console developer has some version of a premium online subscription service. Nintendo will soon be launching a premium online subscription service, Microsoft has had Xbox Live Gold for quite some time now, and of course Sony has PlayStation Plus.Each platform offers various services and perks to their subscribers. Have you been kicking around the idea of pulling the trigger on a PlayStation Plus subscription but you're not entirely sure what you will be getting in exchange for your hard earned dollars? Let's take a look at three things you will get with your PS Plus subscriptionOnline playWith the exception of free to play or subscription based games a PlayStation Plus account is required to play multiplayer games online. So that means if you are picking up a copy of Destiny 2 and you expect to jump online and start leveling up your ...
Russell's Favorite Tech of 2017
Russell's Favorite TechThe way I use a lot of my tech changed quite a bit this year. I'm working out a lot more than I used to, my priorities shifted from being hyper portable to being as capable as possible, and of course I've been playing with a whole lot of VR and AR. Those changes meant altering a lot of my routines as well as a lot of my day-to-day tech.It's fun to look back over the year and see how those changes impacted how I interact with my world, and so I wanted to share all of the things I enjoy using the most with you.Samsung Galaxy S8As fond as I am of Google's new Pixels, 2017 is the year Samsung did a lot of things right with the Galaxy line. The standard Galaxy S8 offered me enough battery life to be enjoyable in every situation, and the new display setup is still downright futuristic. The cameras are excellent, and it now supports both Google Daydream and Samsung's Gear VR. This would up being the phone I used the most this year, which is a firs...
OnePlus 5T review: Come for the value, not the excitement
This company never stops moving, and that means we get a fresh look at the latest hardware twice a year.OnePlus isn't interested in holding back on specs, features or capabilities to make a big reveal of a new phone just once a year. The scrappy company has settled in on a refresh cycle every six months, with a big release followed by a mid-cycle bump to bring in the latest things it's been working on. The OnePlus 5T isn't meant to be an innovative leap of technology that blows your socks off — and honestly, none of its predecessors have been particularly groundbreaking, either.Nope, the 5T is still about value, simplicity and being tuned for what the Android enthusiast crowd craves from its phones. At $479 there wasn't much about the OnePlus 5 you could find a flaw with. Now six months later with a bigger screen, new secondary camera, neat Face Unlock feature and a $20 price bump, it's a pretty easy equation to figure out.But while the OnePlus 5T hasn't changed much from...
Huawei Mate 10 + Mate 10 Pro announced: AI-focused flagships with dual f/1.6 cameras, giant batteries + Oreo
Huawei unveils two new flagship phones — but only one will be coming to the U.S. and UK.At a special event in Munich, Germany, Huawei has just taken the wraps off its new flagship smartphones, the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro. Following on from last year's Mate 9, the new model comes in two different flavors: A vanilla Mate 9 with a 5.9-inch 16:9 screen, and a 6-inch Mate 10 Pro with a taller 18:9 panel. Most readers can safely disregard the regular Mate 10, though, as only the higher-end Mate 10 Pro will be sold in the U.S. and UK later this year. The Mate 10 line sees Huawei overhauling the design language of the Mate series, and dropping the chunky metal unibody that had barely changed since 2014's Mate 7. The new glass sandwich design is more in keeping with modern flagships like the Galaxy S8 and LG V30, representing a clean break from the look and feel of previous Huawei handsets.On the inside, both phones run Huawei's own Kirin 970 CPU, an octa-core 10nm chip featuring ...
Huawei Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro specs
See how Huawei's two new flagship phones measure up.The Huawei Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro are official, bringing Android 8.0 Oreo, a new AI-equipped CPU and a promising dual f/1.6 camera setup. But in addition to the really obvious differences between these two new flagships — like the taller 18:9 aspect ratio of the Pro — there are a handful of other hardware differences worth noting.Check out the full specs for both the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro below, and be sure to read our hands-on preview when you're done. Which would you pick? Shout out in the comments!Category Huawei Mate 10 Huawei Mate 10 ProOperating System Android 8.0EMUI 8 Android 8.0EMUI 8CPU Huawei Kirin 970 10nm, 4X Cortex-A73 + 4X Cortex-A53, ARM Mali G72-MP12 GPU, Neural Processing Unit (NPU) Huawei Kirin 970 10nm, 4X Cortex-A73 + 4X Cortex-A53, ARM Mali G72-MP12 GPU, Neural Processing Unit (NPU)RAM 4GB 6GBStorage 64GB + SD 128GB + SDDual SIM Dual 4G/VoLTEHybrid slot Du...
How to request a refund on Gear VR games
If you don't like that new Gear VR game, just request a refund!Gear VR gives you access to tons of greats games and experiences available for download. Let's face it though, not every game is fun for every player. Previously if you purchased a game, and it was a dud, you were stuck with that purchase whether you wanted it or not. However, Oculus has recently introduced a new refund policy which makes it easy to request a refund. We've got all the details for you here!Read more at VRHeads...
Google paid $7.2 billion last year to have its apps installed on your phone
Of the $19 billion Google spent in total traffic acquisition costs last year, $7.2 billion went towards mobile products.Google is one of the most well-known companies in the world, but even so, the search giant still pays a nice chunk of cash each year to maximize profits and visibility as much as possible. Money that Google pays to have Google-served ads on websites, the default search engine on iOS, and Google apps preinstalled on Android phones is referred to as "traffic acquisition costs", and the company pays $19 billion each year for it.That's no small amount of money by any means, and it's steadily growing for Google's total Internet properties. Money spent on traffic acquisition costs was around seven-percent in 2012, but now in 2017, it's reaching up to eleven-percent.These costs naturally go up as Google's traffic increases, and when looking at mobile-centric partners, Google has already paid $7.2 billion in the past year (three times more compared to what it paid in ...
You can now browse the web in VR with Google Chrome and Daydream
Google Chrome 61 now lets you view the World Wide Web in VR.Google's Daydream VR platform is one of the best around for mobile virtual reality experiences, and although the list of available VR apps is already rather lengthy, there are still plenty of other apps/games that we'd like to see added. Just about a year after its debut alongside the Google Pixel, Daydream now supports web browsing with Google Chrome.Googler François Beaufort announced on Google+ that you can now view any website in virtual reality with Daydream as long as you're running Chrome 61 on your Daydream-supported Android device. At this time, Chrome 61 allows you to view and navigate through any website of your choosing in a VR setting, including the ability to click on links and seamlessly switch between regular 2D pages and 3D ones that support WebVR.If you want to give virtual reality web-browsing a try for yourself, the process is fairly simple. Just open Google Chrome on your phone, go to the we...
Google Assistant expands to LG refrigerators, washing machines, and more
The Google Assistant is now available for 87 of LG's smart appliances, and you can score a free Google Home by purchasing one next month.Since its debut on the Google Pixel and Home last October, we've seen a fairly rapid expansion of the Google Assistant to other phones and smart home devices. LG is the latest company to inject the Assistant into more of its products, adding the AI to 87 different smart appliances.LG made this announcement in Seoul this morning, revealing that the Google Assistant is now available for its Wi-Fi connected refrigerators, ovens, washing machines, dryers, air purifiers, vacuums, etc. Because of this, you can now control many of LG's smart appliances through your Android or iOS device, Google Home, or other smart speakers with the Google Assistant built-in.Users have previously been able to control LG's smart appliances through the LG SmartThingQ application, but with the introduction of Google Assistant support, you'll now be able to use your phon...
Bell Mobility takes a first step in replacing SMS in Canada
Bell has launched its version of the RCS standard for Galaxy S8 users.Slowly but surely, more carriers are starting to move to RCS to hopefully begin replacing SMS over the long run. All the pieces are in place in Android phones for RCS, since Google has built the standard into the Android Messages app. But users won't be able to actually use the new standard until their carriers update their piece of the puzzle.Bell Canada has annouced that it will begin offering the RCS experience to customers, starting with Galaxy S8 and Note 8 owners. Users will not need to install another application to get the new advanced features.RCS is intended to replace SMS and MMS in the long run, and bring features found in instant messages such as Allo or Facebook Messenger to "regular" text messages. This includes better read receipts, better media sharing, and video calling all through a user's phone number, without the user needing a second account.Are you excited about Advanced Messaging? Le...
This $14 Bluetooth speaker is a great addition to any shower
Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time with a great deal on a highly-rated Bluetooth speaker.Right now you can grab VicTsing's Bluetooth shower speaker for just $13.99 with coupon code FYYLBKB5, a savings of $5. This speaker is a great option for anyone looking for something durable and waterproof thanks to its silicon casing that allows it to be shock, dust, and waterproof.Featuring a built-in mic, you could use it for phone calls as well as music playback, making it even more versatile. Inside it has a 5W speaker for nice loud sound quality, and with more than 5,600 reviews at Amazon, it maintains a 4.2-star rating!Odds are this price won't last very long, so if you are looking for an affordable Bluetooth speaker that both looks great and is waterproof, act quick!See at AmazonMore from ThrifterUpgrade your makeup bag this summer on a budgetHow to avoid baggage feesFor more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!...
Facebook's Sponsored Posts suck, but not how you probably imagine
If you've ever purchased anything from a Facebook ad, there's a good chance someone was ripped off.Every social network has some form of advertising baked in, and the one thing all forms of sponsored posts have in common is the potential for abuse. Anyone with a couple of bucks can broadcast to a large audience based on Facebook's interest algorithm. For someone like me, actively babbling about tech and whatever TV show or game I am currently excited about, it's easy to pick things to float in my feed that I would be at least casually interested in.To Facebook's credit, this system works well for me. I regularly see things I would honestly consider buying. Unfortunately, a significant majority of those things turn out to be either massive scams where people don't get the things they ordered or stolen art from all over the web sold as original content. It sucks, and Facebook seems entirely uninterested in dealing with this problem.Screwing artists overI buy a lot of nerdy t-sh...
Keep your screen on in Pokémon Go (or any app) with Tasker
The moment your screen goes unexpectedly black is gut-wrenching.You're getting to the juiciest details of an e-book when the story cuts to black. You're looking at some breath-taking artwork and a wet blanket of darkness kills the mood. You're trying to find an elusive Pokémon before its spawn window ends and your screen times out just as an outline appears. Sure, this horror is momentary, and a simple press of the power button ends your blackout, but its effects can be devastating, and we don't need our screen timeout cranked up all the time; cranking it up for specific apps can let us fight back against the darkness.This is also a great way to introduce yourself to Tasker.What is Tasker? Read this first!This is a simple Tasker profile with two one-action tasks and no plugins needed. We'll take advantage of the automation app's ability to change basic system settings to change our Android phone's screen timeout setting when we're in a particular app and when we exit...
Xiaomi's dual camera-toting Mi 5X may launch in India next month
Xiaomi is launching its first dual camera phone in India next month.Xiaomi is currently riding a high, and the company is looking to capitalize on that momentum by introducing a new phone in the Indian market. Xiaomi VP and India head Manu Kumar Jain tweeted that the company is all set to launch its first dual camera phone in the country next month, and all signs point to the device being the recently announced Mi 5X.Can't wait for you guys to check out Xiaomi's first dual-camera phone in India! Coming next month! ☺️Can you guess which one? pic.twitter.com/UhtFphm0GT— Manu Kumar Jain (@manukumarjain) August 8, 2017The phone features a 5.5-inch Full HD display, Snapdragon 625, 4GB of RAM, 64GB storage, 5MP front camera, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 4.2, and a 3080mAh battery. The highlight of the Mi 5X is its dual 12MP cameras — a primary lens augmented by a telephoto shooter. The camera configuration is the same as that of the Mi 6, while the design of the devic...
LG V30 uncovered in Joseph Gordon-Levitt's latest HITRECORD project
Get a clear look at LG's V30.Joseph Gordon-Levitt's HITRECORD organization is once again partnering with LG, and the latest Find Your Frame project has a couple of interesting entries.Droid-Life was able to suck some stills out of the 1,900 plus video submissions that are almost surely showing off the LG V30. This isn't too surprising as everyone is sure the phone will launch at IFA on August 31, and HITRECORD has played a major role in the launch of previous LG phones. But still, these are some pretty clear shots of a phone most of us haven't been able to see just yet.These match up almost perfectly with the leaked renders we saw on August 3: they are the right size, the right shape, and the right color.There are also several clips supposedly shot on the V30, including one that switches between normal and wide angle in real time. We expect big things from the V30 when it comes to the camera, as LG has touted the V series as a creator's tool since the launch of the original V...
Cord cutters, watch live TV for free with the $15 Mohu Leaf Metro antenna
Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time with another way to help you cut that cord!The Mohu Leaf Metro TV antenna is down to $15 right now on Amazon. Over the last year it has predominantly sold at $20, with a few drops here and there. The drop to $15 is one of its lowest prices ever and its first drop under $20 since May.The Metro antenna is an non-amplified, indoor, HDTV antenna with a 25-mile range. It works best in an urban environment and can access plenty of over-the-air channels like ABC, PBS, NBC and others. It is small enough and light enough that you could actually travel with it if you wanted to.Tom's Guide gave the Metro TV antenna 8 out of 10 and an Editor's Choice. They said, "the Metro did well in our urban test environment, pulling in 12 channels that we considered watchable. There were soap operas on CBS, NBC and Telemundo; The Avengers on an NBC subchannel; programs for kids on PBS; and cooking shows."Unsure why you might want one of these antennas...
Best OnePlus Phone
Best OverallBest for lessBest budget Best overallOnePlus 5See at OnePlusSee at AmazonThe latest flagship from OnePlus follows nicely along the company's steady evolution of providing top-end specs at an affordable price. The OnePlus 5 features a familiar-yet-fresh design for an Android flagship that's slim and sleek and anchored by a revamped dual-camera setup.You can see the steady progress OnePlus has over the last year by looking at the specs of its last three devices, with the OnePlus 5 obviously standing atop the heap with the latest Snapdragon 835 SoC and an option for a whooping 8GB of RAM — meaning your phone will be able to handle things more efficiently than most other flagships for years to come.The best part, and the reason why the OnePlus bandwagon continues to grow is the low pricepoint — starting at just $479 for the Slate Grey model with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, you won't find better value for an Android flagship in 2017. But you'l...
Pixels and Nexuses now receiving August security patch from Google
In some ways, it's the most important update you'll get.Google has just released its August 5, 2017 security patch, releasing it for its own Pixel and Nexus devices but of course also providing it to other manufacturers to release to their devices as well. As for Google's own hardware, the August 5 update will arrive for the Pixel XL, Pixel, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, and Pixel C.The latest security bulletin includes several fixes across the framework, media frameworks, Broadcom components, MediaTek components, and more. But you don't necessarily need to know the particular details — you just need the patch in order to be protected from the exploits they may have enabled.Over-the-air updates will be arriving shortly for those supported devices, but if you're particularly impatient Google has already posted the files to apply them to your phone or tablet manually. You can download the OTA files from Google here, and if you're not familiar with the ...
Dive into home automation and save $120 on this Google Home and Philips Hue bundle
Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time with a bundle deal you won't want to miss out on.Getting up and turning your lights off is so 2016. Home automation is the future, and if you want to jump into it, this Google Home and Philips Hue bundle is a great first step at just $188.99 at Best Buy. This is around $120 less than if you were to buy both pieces separately, which is money you'll then be able to use for your next purchase (like a smart outlet or two).The Google Home lets you change the color of your new smart lights, turn them on/off and more, using only your voice. It also can help you answer tough questions, keep your daily life organized and other tasks.If you've been considering the purchase of either item or both, this is your chance to do it and save some money. Once you get started with home automation, you won't want to look back. You can also grab the Philips Hue Motion Sensor for just $31 at Amazon, or a 3-pack of white lights for just $40.See at Be...
New in-hand Google Pixel 2 leak confirms design elements, missing headphone jack
This is Google's new phone.We got our first look at the Google Pixel 2 last week, and now we have a fresh pair of photos showing both sides of the phone that corroborate with the first set. The photos show an early development unit — laden with barcodes, naturally — but in much better lighting with the context of being in-hand.There's nothing particularly new or shocking about the hardware here, but it does help confirm that this is what the smaller Google Pixel 2 is going to look like. The glass portion of the back is much smaller now, with a more pronounced camera housing and that tried-and-true rear fingerprint sensor. On the front, we see pretty distinct openings at the top and bottom, presumably for proper stereo sound.GSMArena's source that provided the images confirmed that this phone has no headphone jack, which unfortunately matches earlier rumors. If the decision stands past these dev units, people will undoubtedly be upset with this move, particularly as ...
Verizon thinks customers want a rewards program for paying their bill
Yes, this is just what we all wanted.As the U.S. carriers have increasingly similar services and devices available, they're all looking for something to differentiate themselves with. Verizon thinks that a rewards program is what people have been craving, so it made one — called "Verizon Up."The premise of Verizon Up is pretty simple: pay your monthly bill, and as you spend, you earn credit that can be redeemed for rewards or experiences. Every $300 you spend on a Verizon bill (which shouldn't take long), you get one credit — that's enough for one reward. Simple enough. Each month Verizon will roll out six new rewards for you to choose from — the first round is four months of Apple Music, a 20% off voucher for JetBlue flights, and three months of HBO Now. Most people would prefer Verizon just lowered their bill.There are also other reward categories that you can take advantage of. You can get every-day discounts at Verizon partner retailers, pile up $10 v...
The 'Soft Gold' OnePlus 5 is a pretty phone, with one big downside
It's easy to get excited about something that's a limited-run exclusive.OnePlus has once again trotted out a limited edition color of its phone, this time going with a "Soft Gold" variant of the OnePlus 5. This fair-skinned version of the OnePlus 5 has all of the exact same specs and features — 6GB of RAM, 64GB storage, etc. — as the "Slate Grey" color, and even has the same price. But it also has the distinct advantage of being relatively exclusive; once OnePlus sells out of these soft gold OnePlus 5s, it won't restock them, so you're going to be part of an exclusive club.Now a new color isn't worth dropping your current OnePlus 5 to get, but if you were considering the phone and want something a bit less generic looking, here's what you can expect from the soft gold model. OnePlus uses the word "soft" to describe the finish, and it's accurate. The gold is more of a champagne-like finish, and in bright light from some angles it almost looks silver (as you can see...
OnePlus 5: Which model should you buy?
Do you require 64GB or 128GB of space? And is the extra RAM really that necessary?OnePlus has certainly figured out its formula for selling smartphones: take a no-fuss design, shove in an all-day battery along with the latest processor, and keep the Android software tweaks at a minimum. The OnePlus 5 is a great depiction of that vision as it's equipped with all the components that fit in with the company's winning smartphone strategy.This year, OnePlus is offering two different models of its marquee device in an attempt to appeal to those stray few who might still require a bit convincing to steer clear of a phone from a better-known manufacturer. Rather than go with a bigger screen, however, OnePlus is offering more storage space and more memory for an extra $60.We're going to help you choose the OnePlus 5 model that's right for you.Decide how much storage you needThere isn't much of a difference between the two OnePlus 5 models. You either get 6GB of RAM and 64GB of sto...
OnePlus 5 has a new 'Soft Gold' color, 8GB of RAM model now comes in grey
Phone color choices aren't always exciting.For a third consecutive version, OnePlus is releasing a limited edition "Soft Gold" color option of its flagship phone — this time just over a month after the original launch in black and grey. Starting today, you can buy a soft gold OnePlus 5 for the standard $479 / £449 / €499 price and with the usual 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage — that is, while supplies last.See at OnePlus OnePlus isn't saying exactly how many soft gold OnePlus 5s are available, but we have to guess it isn't that large of a number. Previous limited-edition OnePlus colors were available via flash sales and pop-up stores, so the fact that these are selling right away online shows us there may be a few more than usual. But we wouldn't count on this exclusive color lasting more than a few weeks at most. It's a nice-looking phone, and it won't be on sale for long.Keeping with the color announcements, OnePlus is also expanding the "S...
Digital Offers: Keep your browsing private for life for $49
It's probably trite and a bit cliché at this point, but we increasingly live our lives online. Our bank information, personal information, likes, dislikes, and more are all over the internet — often whether we like it or not. That's all data, and nowadays, data's a commodity. Your information is being bought and sold. Sometimes it's simply to show you catered ads; other times it's for the stuff that after school specials used to warn you about.What can you do to combat all of this online tracking? Do you turn to VPNs? Sure, but they don't necessarily block tracking in every sense. Did you know that there are services and apps that actually block online trackers in order to keep your data safe?Disconnect is one of the best tracker blockers around. It blocks tracking requests from connecting to any of your devices, thereby keeping your data safe. It even masks your location so that you can access websites as though you're in another country (like a VPN). Apps like thes...
Slip this thin 10000mAh power bank into your pocket for just $14
Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time with a slim portable battery that puts 10000mAh of power into your pocket for less!We continue to demand more and more out of our phones these days, and that means battery life sometimes takes a hit. No one wants to sit attached to a wall all day to keep their phone charged, and luckily you don't have to. Aukey has recently released a new 10000mAh dual-USB portable power bank that is super slim, and right now you can pick one up for just $13.99 with coupon code 4WBMEFZL, a savings of $6. This power bank is 14mm thick, which is less than twice the thickness of a Google Pixel.You can charge two devices at the same time using the cables of your choice, and at 10000mAh of capacity, you'll be able to charge most phones and tablets anywhere from 2 to 4 times per charge of the power bank. The side of it has four LEDs to show you how much power is left at a glance.See at AmazonMore from ThrifterSkip the expensive pet store options a...
T-Mobile's JUMP! On Demand now lets you upgrade your phone once every 30 days
JUMP! On Demand is ideal for those looking to switch devices every few months.T-Mobile launched JUMP! On Demand back in 2015, offering customers an easier way to upgrade their phones — up to three times in a year. The carrier is now making a change to the plan that lets customers upgrade their phones once every 30 days.With JUMP! On Demand, you'll need to enter into an 18-month lease agreement, after which you can pay off the rest of the cost of the device or trade it in and start over. Your overall monthly payment will be a combination of your lease — which is based on your credit rating — and the Simple Choice plan you opt for.JOD made a lot of sense even with three device upgrades a year as it allows customers access to promotional offers manufacturers roll out when they launch a flagship. In recent years, Samsung gave away a six-month subscription to Netflix, free 256GB microSD cards, Gear VR controllers to those pre-ordering its flagships.T-Mobile Buy...
Best Places to Buy a Used Phone
Buying a used phone doesn't have to be overly complicated or stressful.The used phone market is an iceberg; you can only see the tip sticking out of the water, but it goes far deeper than you can imagine. This bears out in a recent Deloitte report that claims the used phone market grew to 120 million units in 2016, generating $17 billion for their owners. That number is only going to get bigger faster, too: IDC believes that by 2020, over 220 million used devices will be sold or traded in annually.That's a lot of gear, and similar to how a new car loses its value once it's driven off the lot, phones immediately become cheaper once they're removed from the plastic wrapping. For a seller — even one who treats his or her phone with the utmost care — that can be problematic. For a buyer, though, that becomes an opportunity to pick up a gently-used device for a great deal.Things to consider before you buy a used phoneWe've already written of the most important consider...
These are coolest things we've seen from the HTC Vive Knuckles controllers
With developers getting hands-on with the upcoming SteamVR "Knuckles" controllers, these are the coolest implementations we've seen so far.Valve's upcoming "Knuckles" are now in the hands of developers – finally providing a sneak peek at what the motion controllers are capable of. While a consumer release date is yet to be decided, in recent months, some prolific VR studios have already received pre-release prototypes of the devices. Some of the biggest HTC Vive games are now being adapted with support for the new input method, teasing what's to come for these motion-controlled titles.With a few studios already posting demonstrations of their experiments, we've started to round up some of the best (and coolest) uses of the Knuckles controllers so far.Read more at VRHeads...
Galaxy S8 Active goes official, is exclusive to AT&T 'for a limited time'
The Galaxy S8 Active offers a rugged design and a large 4000mAh battery.After numerous leaks and rumors, the Galaxy S8 Active is now official. Dubbed the "toughest Galaxy smartphone yet," the rugged phone features a frame that's shatter-, dust-, and water-resistant.The S8 Active offers a 5.8-inch shatter-resistant Quad HD Super AMOLED display with the same 18.5:9 screen ratio as the Galaxy S8 and S8+. The phone lacks the curved Infinity Display, but the added durability more than makes up for it. The back of the phone is textured for a better grip, and a bumper on all four sides offers added resistance from tumbles.The S8 Active is powered by a Snapdragon 835 chipset, and there's 4GB of RAM, 64GB storage, 12MP f/1.7 rear camera, and an 8MP front shooter. The highlight — aside from its rugged exterior — is the battery, which at 4000mAh is a sizeable bump from the 3500mAh battery on the S8+. The phone will be available in Meteor Gray or Titanium Gold.Early leaks o...
T-Mobile targets Baby Boomers with two unlimited lines for $60 promotion
T-Mobile is targeting Baby Boomers with its latest Uncarrier plan.T-Mobile has announced a new plan that's targeted at Baby Boomers, giving them the ability to pick up two unlimited lines for just $60. With the offer, those aged 55 and above can register for the first T-Mobile One plan for $50, with the second line costing just $10 — after factoring in a $5 per line Autopay discount.Calling Boomers the "most loyal, long-term wireless customers in the world," T-Mobile's outspoken CEO John Legere said: For years, the carriers have been patronizing the generation that invented wireless. They thank these mobile pioneers by selling dumbed down 'senior' plans with exactly zero data and — get this — night and weekend minutes! That's not just idiotic — it's insulting! Today, the Un-carrier ends this ridiculousness with T-Mobile ONE Unlimited 55+ — an offer that recognizes how Boomers and beyond actually use their smartphones! When this generation ...
What is Tasker and how does it work?
Tasker is the essence of Android.Android is about customization and making your phone work for you, and nothing exemplifies that quite as well as Tasker… except maybe Nova Launcher. Tasker is an automation app that lets us mere mortals work a little Android magic. Yes, magic. Magic is science we don't understand yet, and that makes it a perfect analogy for Tasker, as really the biggest obstacle the app faces is people not knowing what it is, how it works, and just what it can do for you.So, let's answer those questions and make a little magic.What is Tasker?Tasker is an automation app. You create a list of actions, called a task, which can then be executed according to a variety of contexts. You tell Tasker you want it to do A, B, and C when X and/or Y happens. You might be thinking that Tasker's like IFTTT, and you'd be half right. Tasker tasks are similar to IFTTT applets, and both services have a wide variety of plugins. IFTTT has wider service support and cross...
First live pictures of the Galaxy Note 8 surface
First live images of the Galaxy Note 8 show off a familiar design.We're just a few weeks away from the official launch of the Galaxy Note 8, and the leaks are starting to fly in thick and fast. Press renders of Samsung's upcoming flagship leaked last week, highlighting a design that's reminscent of the Galaxy S8 and S8+, albeit with a more squared-off look.Today, we're being treated to the first live images of the Galaxy Note 8, possibly from a prototype unit. The photos show off a dedicated Bixby button to the left of the phone, as well as a dual camera setup at the back — a first for Samsung. The fingerprint location hasn't changed much from the Galaxy S8, with the sensor located at the back next to the camera sensor.The leaked images also show off the redesigned S Pen, which matches up with last week's leak.The Galaxy Note 8 is also expected to offer a similar set of specs as the Galaxy S8, including a Snapdragon 835 / Exynos 8895 combination, but the phone will ...
Fleksy's new developers strive to revive the app as the next keyboard platform
Fleksy isn't dead. Instead, it's being ushered into a new direction by ThingThing in a bid to make the smartphone keyboard app into a platform of its own.Consider the fact the way you type to a friend or family member is kind of like a language of its own. Think about it: the emoji you use, the shorthand you elect, and the sentences you choose to complete are all part of a system of rhetoric you've developed around communicating with others via a smartphone. The plan is to open up Fleksy to third-party developers to turn it into a bonafide platform.And what if your keyboard doesn't support the kind of fluidity you need to have conversations? Well, then it's frustrating to use. These sorts of scenarios are what ThingThing is attempting to eliminate, in addition to seeking to make its users feel like they're able to express themselves regardless of the messaging app they're conversing in."We take for granted the keyboard for just being a key input, but if [what you need] is ...
How to remove a Style Ring from your phone
Before you die, you see the Ring.You might have noticed a lot of people just love these Spigen Style Rings. In case you have no idea what we're talking about, they're a metal ring you affix to the back of your phone designed so you can slip a finger in to help hold it. You know, like a ring. They're made of some sort of brushed metal on a plastic base and have adhesive attached to the back so the two parts — your phone, and the ring — stick together and form something beautiful.There are two types of people in this world: people who love the Style Ring and people who know better. Seriously though, you already know if you think this is a good idea and if you do, just go for it. Style Ring the living hell out of the back your phone and own it. We're all wired differently and you should totally do the things you think are cool and buy the things you like.If you are like me and refuse to follow the instincts that have served you well throughout your life, here are some ...
Google slashes price of Pixel and Pixel XL by up to $200, throws in a free Daydream View
Grab the 32GB Pixel with Daydream View for just $524.With the Pixel 2 on the horizon, Google has started offering lucrative discounts on the Pixel and Pixel XL. The 32GB Pixel is on sale for $524, a $125 discount from its retail price. The Pixel XL, meanwhile, is seeing a $200 decrease in price, and is now available for just $569 for the 32GB variant and $669 for the 128GB model. Google is also throwing in a free Daydream View with every order — just add the VR headset to your cart along with either the Pixel or Pixel XL.Here's the breakdown of the new pricing:32GB Google Pixel - $524 - down from $649 ($125 off)128GB Google Pixel - $624 - down from $749 ($125 off)32GB Google Pixel XL - $569 - down from $769 ($200 off)128GB Google Pixel XL - $669 - down from $869 ($200 off)Google mentions that the free Daydream View promotion is valid only until supplies last. If you're interested in either the Pixel or Pixel XL, now is the time to act.See at Google Store...
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