Phones

Galaxy Note 7 survives falling 100ft in a block of ice

Galaxy Note 7 survives falling 100ft in a block of ice

The Galaxy Note 7 is a beautiful phone, but some have questioned its durability. So-called torture tests are nothing new, and Samsung's latest handset has already been subjected to many of them. This latest torture test, though, is a bit different: someone frozen the phone in a block of ice, then dropped it off the top of a parking garage onto the concrete ground below. Spoiler alert: the phone makes it.

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BLU Pure XR crams 4GB RAM, 3D Touch, f/1.8 camera in mid-ranger

BLU Pure XR crams 4GB RAM, 3D Touch, f/1.8 camera in mid-ranger

As demonstrated by Archos yesterday, China isn’t the only one with crazy cheap but decent quality smartphones. Now US-based BLU Products is chiming in with its latest Pure XR. Looking at some specs and the price tag, it definitely looks the part of a mid-range smartphone. But you might not be able to easily tell because of its design and its features, which includes 4 GB of RAM, a pressure sensitivity displays, and a camera that, on paper, should give high-end flagships a run for their money.

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Sony Xperia X Compact leaked specs almost good to be true

Sony Xperia X Compact leaked specs almost good to be true

Some people loved the idea, some have asked the whether there was a point to it. Suffice to say, the possibility that there might be an Xperia X Compact has people suddenly looking intensely at Sony again, especially after a lukewarm reception of the new Xperia X trio. After all, a small, handy smartphone with still flagship specs is definitely going to appeal to some users. That might exactly be what Sony is hoping for if this sighting of the Xperia X Compact in GFXBench is the real deal.

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Archos 55 Helium, 50f Helium phones give wallets some relief

Archos 55 Helium, 50f Helium phones give wallets some relief

If you thought only Chinese device makers could drag their price tags to almost nothing, French manufacturer Archos is going to give you pause for thought. Ahead of an IFA 2016 appearance, the company is announcing a total of five new smartphones from its Helium line of budget friendly Android smartphones. While the Archos 55 Helium Ultra offers an odd mix of specs, the 50f Helium boasts of a fingerprint scanner, one of the very rare smartphones to sport that feature at that price tier.

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LG V20 teaser extols Android Nougat features

LG V20 teaser extols Android Nougat features

Considering it is beating Google’s own Nexus smartphones in the race for first, it isn’t surprising that LG is trying to squeeze every bit of marketing juice that it can from being the first to have a new smartphone to come out with Android Nougat out of the box. That is exactly what it is trying to do with the latest teaser video for the LG V20, somewhat ironically advertising features that won’t exactly be unique to the smartphone. At least not when other new smartphones start shipping with Android 7.0 later this year.

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Moto Z Play gets another spec leak

Moto Z Play gets another spec leak

IFA 2016 is just around the corner and while Motorola hasn’t exactly hinted at it, we might finally see the Moto Z Play in the flesh. Of course, we still have a lot of time to squeeze in some last minute leaks, like this spec sheet coming hot off GFXBench. It all pretty much confirms the things we’ve seen before, especially from TENAA, which paints the picture of a rather plain mid-range smartphone that will hopefully be made more exciting with compatibility with exciting, and especially upcoming, Moto Mods.

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Anker recalls, refunds USB-C cable over faulty implementation

Anker recalls, refunds USB-C cable over faulty implementation

Things might be getting a bit dangerous in USB-C land as poorly or even wrongly implemented accessories threaten to damage devices. USB-C “Crusader” Benson Leung, with help from Nathan K. exposed one such accessory, Anker’s Powerline 3.1Gen2 USB-C cable, that could damage a smartphone after it was used to charge a higher voltage device like a laptop. To its credit, Anker did the right thing and have issued a recall of the faulty cable as well as a refund to customers who have already purchased the said accessory.

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Future iPhone said to feature tap-to-pay chip for Japan’s trains

Future iPhone said to feature tap-to-pay chip for Japan’s trains

Next generation iPhone models in Japan may be getting an exclusive new feature that makes it easier for residents to pay for rides on the country's extensive train-based public transportation system. A new report from Bloomberg says that Apple is working to add Sony's FeliCa tap-to-pay technology to its devices sold in Japan, allowing iPhone users to quickly pay for train rides in a way that's even faster than the NFC-based Apple Pay.

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HTC Desire 10 Pro leaked specs reveal a flagship device

HTC Desire 10 Pro leaked specs reveal a flagship device

With the HTC 10 reportedly not doing so well in the market, it seems that HTC will be trying to attack the problem from a different angle. By putting out another smartphone with almost the same high-end specs under a different name and, hopefully, a lower price tag. That might seem to be the strategy it will indeed be employing if the HTC smartphone spotted at GFXBench is indeed the HTC Desire 10 Pro, which would blur the lines between HTC’s two smartphone lines. And probably confuse buyers as well.

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LG V20 gets a “real” but grainy photo leak

LG V20 gets a “real” but grainy photo leak

3D renders, fabricated PR images, and mockups of upcoming smartphones are easy come by these days, so there is much to be said when alleged real-life photos of said devices pop up. Although we’re just a good two weeks away from LG’s scheduled unveiling, there’s still enough time for that kind of leak for the LG V20. Despite being rather grainy, it’s the discussion around what’s not in the photos that are, ultimately, what’s more interesting about it than the photo itself.

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Sony Xperia X Compact, XZ leaked by Sony’s own website

Sony Xperia X Compact, XZ leaked by Sony’s own website

Some say that good things come in threes and Sony seems to be a fan of that of late. It unveiled the Xperia Z5 line threes and the new Xperia X in threes as well. Going by that pattern, we presumed that the Xperia XA was taking the place of the company’s “Compact” model. Apparently not, at least based on the Sony’s own Dutch website. Keen observers have spotted links to a certain Xperia X Compact as well as an Xperia XZ, hinting that Sony is far from done with new Xperia X models this year.

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Android Nougat rollout allegedly hampered by Snapdragon 800

Android Nougat rollout allegedly hampered by Snapdragon 800

If you’ve been wondering, maybe even irate, that some rather capable Android smartphones, like the Nexus 5 or the HTC One M8, aren’t officially getting the latest Android 7.0 release, then LlabTooFeR might have the answer you’re looking for. But it won’t be the answer that you want. According to the leakster, many older smartphones dating 2014 and earlier are being left out of the Nougat party simply because Qualcomm won’t be releasing updates to the graphics driver of the Snapdragon 800 or 801 powering those devices.

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