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2018-02-25T01:48:01.269Z
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We are just days away from seeing a slew of new devices launched that will burn holes in our pockets. However, BLU is looking to help you save a few bucks and has announced its latest ‘flagship’ device with the BLU Vivo X.

The device sports a 6-inch display with an aspect ratio of 18:9, along with a resolution of 1440 x 720. Powering the Vivo X is the MediaTek 6757 chipset, which has been coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage.

BLU upped its game with the Vivo X, as smartphone cameras continue to become more and more important. On the front, we have a dual-camera setup with a primary 20MP sensor and a secondary 120-degree wide-angle 8MP sensor, which will allow you make sure that everyone is in the shot.

Moving to the rear, there is another dual-camera system, with a primary 13MP sensor and a secondary 5MP sensor. This secondary sensor is said to help provide “depth of field” shots, which...

Enterprise is a major market when it comes to smartphones. Blackberry was seemingly untouchable in this market for a long time, but Android devices have come a long way. Google just announced a new certification program to convince more companies to trust Android smartphones for enterprise. It’s called Android Enterprise Recommended.

The big hurdle to overcome with Android for business is the sheer volume of devices in the wild. It’s hard to ensure consistency and steady updates, which are crucial for security. Google will recommend specific devices that meet requirements for business. The list right now includes the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, BlackBerry KeyOne, Huawei Mate 10, LG V30, LG G6, Moto X4, Moto Z2, Nokia 8, and more devices.

Some of the requirements include Android 7.0 or later, support for bulk deployment of devices, security updates within 90 days of release from Google for up to three years, and unlocked devices. You can find the ever-evolving list of devices right here.

We know Huawei is planning something for MWC 2018 next week and it likely has something to do with a successor to last year’s P10. While we don’t know the name, the Huawei P20 (name TBA) is getting the hands-on treatment courtesy of our friends at Android Authority who have obtained leaked photos of an alleged prototype version of the device.

I’ll be honest with you, I wasn’t expecting much and at first glace there isn’t much here other than the phone’s beautifully small bezels. I mean, just take a look at them, they’re so small they’re virtually non-existent, with the P20 possibly featuring the smallest bezels on an Android device to date. Maybe. We’ll need to a ruler to it when we receive a review unit.

The most interesting change is a complete...

HTC was once the darling child of Android, but it has been a long time since they had a financially successful phone launch. Despite making some of the best Android phones, they have been on a steady decline for at least a couple of years. Google recently acquired a large chunk of HTC employees from the hardware division. Unfortunately, HTC is still laying off a large portion of its US team.

According to sources at Digital Trends, HTC has laid off a majority of the US team. These are people that work exclusively in the US market. The only employees remaining in the US office are those that work for HTC Global. HTC released the following statement:

We have recently brought our smartphone and VR businesses under common leadership in each region. Today, we announced a restructure in North America for the HTC smartphone business that will centralize the reporting structure within the region. In doing so, there have been some employee reductions to align the businesses and empower the teams to share more resources.

This is bad news for HTC fans in the US and even worse news for all those who lost their jobs. It’s tough going in the smartphone industry right...

Huawei has been touting their in-house Kirin 970 processor — currently found in the Huawei Mate 9 and Mate 9 Pro — as the next big thing in mobile thanks to a dedicated neural processing unit. While that sounds impressive enough, really the most this AI chip can do, at least in its current state, is recognize objects in the real world using the phone’s camera. Scene and object recognition is really nothing that new, but Huawei promises this is just the first step in a smartphone that can grow smarter over time.

To show off the power of the Kirin 970’s AI chip, Huawei has uploaded a YouTube video where the Mate 10 Pro — and the Kirin 970 processor inside — are able to control a vehicle, leveraging the power of their AI chip to recognize and avoid obstacles. Obstacles like cute, fluffy little animal friends you’d never want to put in harms way by testing your new smartphone. That kind.

Make no mistake — this is a commercial. There’s no possible way they’d put a dog’s life in danger while they tested their phone’s ability to recognize objects in the real world. With that being said, you can...

With the noted exception of OnePlus, it’s hard to find a high-end smartphone these days that wont break the bank. Although the idea of what constitutes as “expensive” varies from person-to-person, in recent years we’ve watched as the prices of smartphones inch ever closer to, and in some cases break the $1,000 mark.

With this year’s Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ looking like a smaller, iterative update, some might think the phone would launch at the same price, maybe even be less expensive than previous year’s models, right? Let me stop you right there.

We’ve already heard rumors that the phones would get really close to the $1,000 mark and today @evleaks is confirming this with a leaked photo showing the European pricing for the Galaxy S9. According to the screenshot provided, the Galaxy S9 will retail for 841€ ($1,037) while the Galaxy S9+ will come in at 997€ ($1,299).

Last year’s Galaxy S8 and S8+ launched at $740 and $850, respectively, and while a straight Euro to dollar conversion isn’t likely, we’re expecting the price to be somewhere in between last year’s models and this year’s European pricing. Make sense?

If everything works out, this year’s Galaxy S9 will be more expensive than last year’s S8, but with bundles, BOGO deals, financing deals, and whatever else carriers can come up with, it probably wont make...

If you thought paying $1,000 for a smartphone was expensive, you might want to check out the price of admission for Google I/O 2018. Earlier this month, Let the games begin: Google I/O 2018 will take place on May 8th its yearly developer conference would be taking place in May, and now you can register.

As has been the case for the last few years, Google is allowing everyone to throw their names into a hat, before selecting exactly who will be able to attend. “General Admission” tickets are priced at a steep $1,150, while Academic Pricing starts at just $375, provided that you are a full-time student, professor, or staff member.

Ticket registration begins today and will last until February 27th at 5PM PST. On February 28th, those who “won” tickets, will receive their invitations to the I/O 2018 and the credit card on file will be charged.

As a reminder, I/O 2018 will take place from May 8th and will last until May 10th, while taking place at...

Back in December, Google announced Android Go, an ultra-lightweight platform for budget devices. Android Go is targeting the same devices as all those “Go” Google apps: phones with 512MB to 1GB of RAM.

We haven’t heard much about Android Go since the announcement. Several Google apps have received the “Go” treatment in that time. Google is finally ready to show off some Android Go devices at MWC next week. The devices will be running Android Oreo Go, but we don’t know anything about the manufacturers yet.

Google also said they will have some news about Android One to share. With the addition of Android Go, Android One seems a little redundant. Android One is targeting a clean stock Android that can still run most apps, while Android Go is very lightweight and can only run special apps.

Stock Android — as found on devices like the Google Pixel or Android One devices — has a lot going for it, but one feature Google has long shied away from has been official theme support. It’s not like Android diehards have asked for a lot, just the ability to toggle between a light or dark mode UI at will.

This was actually voiced in November of last year in a Google Issue Tracker thread with a user requesting Google add the feature in Android 9.0. The request was shared with Google’s engineering team but there’s been no word since then.

Today, the internet lit up with news that — holy crap — Google’s engineering team had actually added this feature and that it would “be available in a future Android release.” Needless to say, Android fanboys lost their got damn minds (and for good reason). But not so fast…

Google is swiftly raining on this parade and now says there was a miscommunication and the feature wouldn’t be added. So what the heck is going on? Google explained in the following comment:

What we *have* added in a future Android release is a developer-facing setting (via Developer Options) to toggle the -night UI mode qualifier, which will make it easier for developers to create and test apps that implement night mode.

This qualifier has been in the platform since Froyo (SDK 8) and globally modifiable via UiModeManager since...

Remember last week when we told you guys about a strange battery draining bug affecting the Pixel 2/ Pixel 2 XL after a recent software update? Well, it seems to have finally caught he attention of Google.

For those catching up, a few weeks ago some users began reporting severe battery drain after installing the February security patch. For some (myself included), the problems began earlier than that, with my Pixel 2 XL suffering from abnormal battery drain after first updating to Android 8.1 back in December. Performing factory resets didn’t do anything to help, something I typically recommend after applying a major software update.

A Pixel User Community Manager inside Google’s support forum recently began reaching out to those affected by saying, “We want to look into this issue and I’m going to reach out privately for bug reports.” Unfortunately, that means an actual bug fix likely wont be pushed out right away since they’re still investigating.

While you could twiddle your thumbs in the meantime, some users on XDA claim to have found a fix. For some folks, the issue could have something...

Mobile World Congress 2018 is about to kick off, and we’re expecting big things from Samsung and Sony. The problem with these devices has nothing to do with the design or features, it’s all about the price.

A recent rumor from Evan Blass suggested that pricing for the Galaxy S9 would start around $1,000. This is a lot of money to spend if you need a new phone, and that’s where refurbished and older options come into play.

Today, Woot! is offering a great deal on the Pixel and Pixel XL. These devices were released back in 2016 but are running the latest version of Android still, and are some of the most reliable devices on the market, despite being more than a year old.

Pricing for the standard 5-inch Pixel starts at $279 for the 32GB model and goes up to $319 for the 128GB version. As for the 5.5-inch Pixel XL, pricing begins at $299 for the 32GB version. Unfortunately, the 128GB model is currently not in stock.

Perhaps the most surprising part of this deal is the fact that Woot! has the ‘Really Blue’ version of...

Google Assistant is great, but it can’t do much if it doesn’t understand your language. That’s why Google is adding more than 30 new languages to Assistant by the end of 2018. The company announced the new languages and some upcoming features in a blog post today.

Google says the new languages will cover 95% of all Android users. But what’s even cooler than that is a new feature that will allow Assistant to detect languages. You’ll be able to switch between languages on the fly and Assistant will still be able to understand without you manually changing the language settings. This will be very handy for multiple language households that use Google Home devices.

Assistant currently supports French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, and Portuguese. Among the first new languages will be Danish, Dutch, Hindi, Indonesian, Norwegian, Swedish, and Thai. They will be added in the next few months. Language is a big barrier for products like Assistant, so hopefully, this allows more people to experience it.

Google today announced the public availability of ARCore 1.0. The new development kit allows developers to easily create rich AR experiences with the power of Google’s vision engine behind them.

What’s more is that ARCore doesn’t need new hardware to run, with over 100 million of the world’s smartphones already able to get in on the pho……….ne. Those phones include Google’s Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL; Samsung’s Galaxy S8, S8+, Note8, S7 and S7 edge; LGE’s V30 and V30+ (Android O only); ASUS’s Zenfone AR; and OnePlus’s OnePlus 5. You can bet more devices coming in 2018 will look to offer up the same.

Developers can grab the ARCore kit and start tinkering with it themselves. Users on the other end looking to be wowed have a few choices available today:

  • Snapchat has created an AR experience that...

Well, the cat’s out of the bag. After weeks of rumors surrounding the Sony Xperia XZ2 (and XZ2 Compact), touching on everything from hardware specs to whisperings of a completely new design, we now get our first good look at what Sony has planned for MWC 2018.

Crystal clear press renders of the Xperia XZ2 have been leaked by none other than @evleaks, showing us the front and back of the device. According to Blass, the phone is going all-glass, with the larger XZ2 being Sony’s first “full screen” smartphones. That’s seems to be an extremely loose definition and while the device’s bezels are most certainly smaller than previous flagships, it doesn’t hold a candle to devices like the Galaxy S8 or LG G6 which launched last year. Hey, it’s still an improvement.

Blass goes onto confirm a few of the device’s hardware specs including a 5.7-inch display, rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, wireless charging for the larger XZ2, 19MP f/1.8 camera with 4K HDR recording and super slow mo, and 3180mAh battery. The smaller 5-inch XZ2 Compact ditches the glass back for plastic and doesn’t feature wireless charging, while also coming with a smaller 2,870mAh battery.

Both devices will come with a Snapdragon 845 processor and “S Force”...

While Qualcomm continues to play Pong with Broadcom about a possible acquisition, the company is continuing to push forward as if nothing is going to happen. This was evidenced by a new partnership with Samsung in regards to its 7nm process for future processors, as well as a move to 5G capabilities

The announcement was made official by Samsung in a press release which confirmed that Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon 5G chipsets will be based on Samsung’s 7-nanometer process. The reason for this partnership is to help Qualcomm achieve a smaller footprint for its future processors while bringing Samsung’s chipsets into more devices.

“Using 7nm LPP EUV, our new generation of Snapdragon 5G mobile chipsets will take advantage of the process improvements and advanced chip design to improve the user experience of future devices.”

–  RK Chunduru, Qualcomm

Currently, Samsung’s processor division mainly focuses on its own devices with the Exynos lineup. Things are about to change in a big way after seeing the Meizu M6S which features the Exynos 7672 chipset. This marks the first non-Samsung device to be powered by an Exynos chipset.

Of course, Samsung will likely continue holding its flagship chipsets for its own global flagship units. However, the partnership with Qualcomm makes much more sense when you consider that Qualcomm dominates flagship devices launched here in the US.

The Moto Z2 Play was one of the most underrated Android devices from last year. With a premium build and great hardware specs, the mid-range device felt more like a flagship. And let’s not forget about the attachable Moto Mods which really made the device a jack of all trades.

The only thing holding the phone back was the price, launching at steep $500. We’d later see that price drop a full $150 in time for Christmas, but it’s only now that a similar deal is taking place for Valentine’s Day.

Starting February 4th, you can grab the Moto Z2 Play for just $350. The Moto Z2 Play features a 5.5-inch AMOLED display while being powered by the Snapdragon 626 SoC and either 3GB or 4GB of RAM. As for storage, you’re looking at either 32GB or 64GB which can be expanded with a microSD card.

But what good would the phone be without those nifty Moto Mods? Well, you can also grab those for an extra 25%-off which includes the newly released Polaroid Insta-Share Printer or those Gorilla Glass 5 Style Shells. If you’re in need of something a little higher-end, the Moto Z2 Force

As the days pass by, we are beginning to hear more and more about the plans from carriers to implement the upcoming 5G network. While AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon have outlined some plans, Sprint was left in the wind a bit.

However, during an earnings call today, the company confirmed that it will bring 5G network speeds to its customers in the first half of 2019. Along with the plans to implement faster network speeds, Sprint will also be forced to increase the cost of its unlimited plans, bumping up to between $70 and $80 per line.

When looking at the rest of the competition, AT&T confirmed plans to bring its 5G network to up to 12 cities by the end of the year. Verizon will be implementing its new network in the “second half” of 2018, while T-Mobile will be waiting to implement 5G until 2020.

We are definitely in for another carrier race, especially if AT&T and Verizon end up falling behind its initial plans for rolling out 5G. This may be the time for Sprint to gain some subscribers, but the 4th largest carrier in the US will need to make sure that all of the kinks are ironed out.

Nonetheless, this all will be rather interesting to see play out as we get closer and closer to the end of the year. You can definitely expect to see more devices released with...

We talk a lot about the Pixel Launcher, but the Google Now Launcher is available on more devices. The often-overlooked launcher just got a new feature in the latest update. The search bar at the top of the home screen has a new Home icon that launches straight to the Google Feed.

The Google Feed is usually just a swipe away on the home screen, but it is possible to turn it off. The search bar, however, can not be removed. This new Home icon is a way to put the Google Feed more front and center. People that don’t use the Google Feed will find this rather annoying. Hopefully, this isn’t a trend.

[via Android Police]

As someone who is looking to move into a home of my own in the very near future, a question has been sparked inside of me – How am I going to make my home as “smart” as possible? This is my plan for implementing some of my favorite products into my new home and how I will be interacting with them on a day-to-day basis.

Getting started with the front door

The Smart Home possibilities are endless, but let’s start where the home begins – at the front door. There are a lot of new options that have arrived on the market for smart home locks in the last year, but one has my eye for a variety of reasons: August, which recently launched its 2nd Generation Smart Lock.

The big benefit here is the fact that it works with both Amazon Alexa and Apple’s Siri voice assistants. This is important because while my primary device switches between iOS and Android, I want to be able to use this regardless platform.

Another big benefit with the August Smart Lock (See on Amazon) is the fact that this lock is extremely easy to install...

After months of betas, the guys at OnePlus have been hard at work pushing out official Android Oreo updates to their flagship devices. Oddly enough, their most recent handset — the OnePlus 5T — has been left out, sitting back while older devices like the OnePlus 5 and even OnePlus 3/3T received Android 8.0 not too long ago.

Early last month the update was headed out as a beta, but was quickly pulled because of bugs. Wednesday, the OnePlus 5T officially began receiving OxygenOS 5.0.2, otherwise known as Android 8.0 Oreo. The update brings a handful of new core features, UI changes, and extra goodies like a patch for that nasty Spectre exploit, and new versions of systems apps. Here’s the changelog:

OnePlus 5T OxygenOS 5.0.2 changelog:

System

  • Upgraded Android version to Oreo(8.0)
  • New design for Quick Settings
  • General bug fixes and improvements
  • Applied CPU security patch: CVE-2017-13218

Applications

  • Updated Launcher to v2.2
  • Updated Gallery to v2.0
  • Updated Weather to v1.9
  • Updated File Manager to v1.7.6

Misc

  • We’ve adjusted the volume for headsets to better align with European voltage regulations. It may seem a bit lower volume to some.
  • We’ve added an APK called Mkey, this is a font resource that was provided officially for India for local font compatibility needs. This can be uninstalled by users if not needed or wanted, but we are required to provide it.

The update started rolling out earlier this week but only in stages. It’s possible you wont actually see the...