Android

Essential Phone first-impressions

Essential Phone first-impressions

In a crowded smartphone world you need to do something seriously special if you want to stand out. Essential's mix is a combination of pure Android, high-end build quality even a Vertu fan would have to give credit, and an ambitious roadmap of modular accessories, multiple form-factors, and a new generation of AI. Today, though, with the Essential Phone in hand and most of the rest still somewhere on a nebulous roadmap, I can't help but wonder: would it be taken as seriously if it wasn't the handiwork of Andy "Father of Android" Rubin?

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ZenFone 3 will eventually get Android O but you don’t have to wait

ZenFone 3 will eventually get Android O but you don’t have to wait

ASUS’ launch of the ZenFone 4 series just a week before Google is expected to launch Android 8.0 “O” has naturally brought questions of updates. While it is definitely expected that the ZenFone 4 will get Android O, the same can’t be said for last year’s ZenFone 3 line. In its press conference, ASUS assured fans that ZenFone 3 will not only be upgraded to Android O but will also get the its new ZenUI 4.0. There still, however, is the question of when. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for ASUS to get its act together. With a bit of daring, you can unlock your ZenFone bootloader and be on your way to installing custom ROMs, including future Android 8.0 ROMs.

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Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 teaser shows almost no bezels

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 teaser shows almost no bezels

Xiaomi arguably started this whole bezel-less trend when it put out the Xiaomi Mi Mix last year, a smartphone that was meant to be more of a commercial concept design. Now, however, everybody (except Sony) seems to be jumping on that train. So what is Xiaomi to do? It could try to do one better. The Mi Mix 2, which could be announced in just two weeks, could break through the barriers with a phone that is perhaps only 1-2% bezels, as hinted by this teaser coming from the designer of the first Mi Mix himself.

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BlackBerry KEYone screen fix has indeed happened

BlackBerry KEYone screen fix has indeed happened

It’s almost hard to believe that the BlackBerry KEYone, so far the last BlackBerry phone to hit the US market, is just a little over two months old. On the one hand, that does mean it still has plenty of time to make up for some missed opportunities. On the other hand, it does mean that it took BlackBerry that long to correct some mistakes. Fortunately for BlackBerry fans and hopefuls, the company has indeed done so and the KEYone’s screen has indeed been “fixed”, as attested to by JerryRigEverything himself.

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Galaxy Note 8 leaked brochure tells all

Galaxy Note 8 leaked brochure tells all

By the time Samsung announces the Galaxy Note 8 next week, there will really be nothing left to be surprised about. While it isn’t exactly spilling most of the information the way LG does, almost every aspect of the Galaxy Note 8 has been leaked, some even coming from official sources. Like this marketing brochure snagged from Samsung Australia, which confirms the highlight features of the pen-enabled phablet just days before its official reveal.

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ZenFone 4 Max, Max Pro round out ASUS’ 2017 team

ZenFone 4 Max, Max Pro round out ASUS’ 2017 team

If you were surprised that ASUS announced four smartphones at the same time, all of them bearing the “ZenFone 4” name, worry not. ASUS actually announced six. Yes, six “ZenFone 4” models with very close specs and confusing names. Rounding out the list are two “Max” phones that boast of large batteries and very long battery lives. That is, if you can live with the very mid-range spec that the ZenFone 4 Max and ZenFone 4 Max pro are offering.

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Xperia XZ1 Compact renders are thick like nobody’s business

Xperia XZ1 Compact renders are thick like nobody’s business

It seems that Sony is going to play the contrarian this year in terms of smartphone designs. While everyone is scrambling to banish bezels from their phones’ faces, Sony is still sticking to lots of them in its upcoming Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact. With the latter, however, it seems to be going above and beyond the call of duty. While the trend for the past years have been to make phones impossibly thin, based on these leaked 3D renders, Sony will make the Xperia XZ1 Compact uncharacteristically thick instead.

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Galaxy Note 8 dummy unit reveals the phone from every angle

Galaxy Note 8 dummy unit reveals the phone from every angle

The Galaxy Note 8 was just bared for all to see in the form of a dummy model. Images of the dummy unit were posted on the Chinese website Weibo, and they reveal the handset from every angle. Assuming we're seeing an accurate representation of the phone, there's really nothing left to wonder about, at least as far as the design is concerned.

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Essential Phone just made some huge Android promises

Essential Phone just made some huge Android promises

Earlier today, the Essential Phone went up for pre-order at a number of different locations, including Sprint, Amazon, and Essential's own store. That announcement was made in a rather long blog post that outlined what makes the Essential Phone special in a sea of other flagship devices. While some of that content is precisely what you'd expect to read when a new phone is being marketed, there were a few interesting promises being made that anyone considering the phone will want to pay attention to.

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Google’s app just hit the remix button

Google’s app just hit the remix button

Today users are finding the Google App completely re-done in Google's latest image of what a system app should be. This app is accessed on Pixel phones by swiping all the way to the left on one's own home screen. This app is also known simply as "Google" in the Google Play app store.

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These 2 SnapChat tips just fixed my phone

These 2 SnapChat tips just fixed my phone

I just made to TINY changes to SnapChat and fixed two relatively giant issues with my phone. The app requests a bundle of permissions when it's first downloaded on a smartphone - that can be an issue. But it's not unfixable. As a couple of Reddit-based smartphone users made plain to me over the past 24 hours: SnapChat causes some seemingly-unrelated problems that I might never have guessed.

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Skype Preview hits non-Win10 and Mac starting now

Skype Preview hits non-Win10 and Mac starting now

The next generation in Skype functionality is coming to Apple and non-Windows 10 computers. Yes, you read that correctly, non-Windows 10, as in every version of Windows before Windows 10 version 1511 (OS Build 10586). For everyone who has the newest version of Windows 10, there's also good news to be had.

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