smartphones Stories June 7, 2016

best android phones june 2016

The summer is here, and that means we’ve seen a lot of new Android smartphones announced in the first half of this year. Starting off the year was the Huawei Mate 8 and Honor 5X at CES in January, of course followed later by Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and S7 edge as well as the LG G5 in February at Mobile World Congress. But which ones are the best buys? Keep reading to find out…

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smartphones Stories May 27, 2016

Daydream

A few days ago, it was revealed that most of today’s best and most powerful phones won’t support Android N’s seamless updates feature. Sadly, in order for updates to install in the background, the phone needs a special partition in its memory to make that possible. As it happens, it’s also very unlikely that any of the current crop of  flagships will be certified ready for Daydream VR either, but for different reasons.

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smartphones Stories May 26, 2016

axon-7-lead

ZTE has just unveiled the next phone in its series of high performance, affordable, flagship-beating smartphones; the ZTE Axon 7. Like last year’s Axon, this year’s model seeks to offer a competitive experience at a price which undercuts similar smartphones from big-name manufacturers, and it might succeed at just $450 USD.

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lenovo-logo

Lenovo has now published its financial earnings report for the final quarter of its 2015/16 fiscal year, ending in March. Highlights for the Hong Kong-based company include full year revenue of $44.9 billion, with Q4 revenue of $9.1 billion, which is down 19% on the same quarter last year. On the whole, it was a fairly uneventful quarter, but Lenovo recognizes its bid to bring in Motorola hasn’t gone as smoothly as planned.

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OnePlus 3 TENAA listing all but confirms design and specifications

With the OnePlus 3 rumored to be making its first public appearance on June 14th, it’s about the right time for the next “flagship killer” to appear in a listing on China’s TENAA site. Similar to the FCC in the US, all phones launching in China tend to land on TENAA a few weeks before they launch. OnePlus is no exception, and was spotted by Engadget China, with pictures from every angle and a list of specifications.

smartphones Stories May 25, 2016

OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X get permanent price drops ahead of OP3 launch

OnePlus announced in a community forum post this morning that it will sell all of its current phones at ‘new prices’. That means the OnePlus One, OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X will all be cheaper than they have been, almost certainly because a new phone is about to be launched by the ambitious Chinese startup.

OnePlus 3 rumored to launch on June 14th

June is shaping up to be a pretty busy month in the tech world, as it usually is. Google I/O has now passed us, and we can now look forward to what’s next. For Apple fans, that’s WWDC next month. For those who prefer Android we have both Lenovo’s Tech World event and the Moto Z launch, as well as a OnePlus unveiling.

The OnePlus event is set to be the first to take place in a VR world set in space, and will allegedly be happening on June 14th, if a conversation between a customer and a OnePlus CS rep is anything to go by…

Nextbit Robin hits India, will sell for just 19,999 Rupees ($295) from May 30th

The Nextbit Robin — a cloud powered smartphone that we happen to like a lot — has made its way to India. Customers wanting to grab the Robin in India can do so exclusively from Flipkart, where it will cost 19,999 Rupees (roughly $296), that’s around $100 cheaper than it was at launch in the US.

smartphones Stories May 24, 2016

OnePlus 3 specs rumored to include 5.5-inch 1080p screen (again), 64GB storage and Snapdragon 820

Evan Blass, the serial leakster has shared a brief overview of the OnePlus 3‘s specifications. For the spec-hungry among you, they might make for disappointing reading given that they’re much the same as last year.

smartphones Stories May 23, 2016

P1010678

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a number of projections and claims that we are now in a ‘Post PC era’. But despite the fact that more people than ever are using mobile devices and tablets for web browsing and gaming, when it comes to getting real work done, you can’t replace a physical keyboard with a virtual one.

While using a Bluetooth keyboard with a smartphone or tablet is never going to make for a compelling laptop replacement, it may just be the accessory that saves you in a pinch, especially if you have little space to store gadgets while on the move. The iClever folding keyboard is a wireless affordable keyboard with sturdy metal construction that you can take anywhere.

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LG g5 USB-c

As it often happens with new technologies — especially the ones that aim to replace fundamental, widely used parts of our digital devices — the early implementations are often challenged by a series of missteps and various other problems.

The latest concrete example of this is the promising-yet-troubled USB-C, which led to a few controversies as of late. However, it seems, with its latest G5 flagship, LG may be one of the few manufacturers that got it right (via gtrusted)…

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smartphones Stories May 20, 2016

android-n-dev-preview-3-lead

One of the lesser talked about but more important new features in Android N is seamless updates. Essentially, what that means is that future Android devices running the next version of Google’s mobile OS will be able to download and install software updates in the background without interrupting your use of the phone. Sadly, none of the current crop of Android phones will get the feature.

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smartphones Stories May 19, 2016

moto-razr

It was 2006, you were in high school, and everybody had a Motorola RAZR. At least, that’s how Motorola wants you to remember your life ten years ago, in its latest teaser for the upcoming Moto X (or Moto Z) announcement.

Of course, one year later the iPhone was launched and the entire mobile industry was turned on its head. But for that one brief spell, the RAZR was without doubt the most popular phone around, and it turned heads.

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android-n-dev-preview-3-lead

Last night, in addition to launching the first public beta for Android N, Google pushed the third developer preview out and it includes some notable differences from the previous two…

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smartphones Stories May 18, 2016

HTC confirms One M9, One A9 and HTC 10 will get Android N

Hot on the heels of Android N’s first beta landing for the public, HTC has already announced which of its phones will be receiving the next version of Google’s mobile OS. Whether it’s called Nutella, Nougat, Nachos or whatever you decide to name it, HTC will be pushing it out to HTC 10, One A9 and One M9 users.

Google wants you to name Android N this year…

While revisiting Android ‘N’ in today’s Google I/O opening keynote, Google’s “Rock Start” engineer David Burke said they’re struggling to come up with a dessert name for the new OS’s name. That means one thing: Google wants you to name this year’s version of Android

nokia-logo

Nokia Technologies announced in a press release this morning that it has signed an agreement with HMD global to build “a new generation of Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets.” Although we don’t know exactly what flavour of Android, or how heavily skinned it will be, Nokia’s announcement states that Google’s mobile OS will be powering the new devices.

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smartphones Stories May 17, 2016

moto-g-4-launch

Update: There’s also a smaller, less powerful version called the Moto G Play coming to the States with a 2,800mAh battery. It’s powered by a Snapdragon 410 processor, has a 5-inch 720p display, 2GB RAM, water repellent coating, 8MP rear camera, 5MP front snapper and 16GB internal storage (expandable to 128GB via MicroSD.

Lenovo took to the stage this morning at an event in New Delhi, India, where it took the wraps off the latest generation Moto G smartphones. Unlike previous years, the Moto G is not a small, one-handed device. Instead, this year’s Moto G range features two versions and both are equipped with large 5.5-inch displays…

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oneplus-3

A fresh press render has leaked this morning courtesy of the fount-of-all-leaks, Evan Blass, showing the OnePlus 3 in a much more flattering light than the recent prototype leaks. The image seemingly confirms OnePlus’ move away from the replaceable plastic rear panels, with the company intent on releasing a metal-bodied device.

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smartphones Stories May 16, 2016

Moto G 4th gen shows up in leaked press render, sans fingerprint sensor

Well-known leaker, Even Blass has produced yet another render of the next generation Moto G, this time it’s the regular model without a fingerprint sensor on the front panel. If accurate, it virtually confirms the previous speculation that this year’s G-series Moto phones will be available in regular and ‘Plus’ variants.

PSv6.7 For those who are fairly experienced in the app world, joining betas is always exciting and fun — since it allows people to access the latest features and design tweaks — despite the usual presence of bugs.

With the rollout of version 6.7 of the Play Store, Android Police first spotted, Google will now allow you conveniently see if you’re in a beta testing group from within the Store itself, leave and join potential betas, and even give developers some feedback regarding the latest build…

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smartphones Stories May 14, 2016

scosche-cable-lead

One of the undoubted benefits of USB Type-C is the fact that it’s reversible. It doesn’t matter which way around it is, you can just shove it in your phone and know it’ll work. Of course, it has other benefits too, which is why Samsung’s decision not to use it in the Galaxy S7 series was a little puzzling. Still, you can at the very least get the reversible factor using the right cable. One available option is the SCOSCHE reversible light-up Micro USB which I’ve had for the past month or so.

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smartphones Stories May 12, 2016

samsung-official-accessories

When Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S7 Edge, they also showed off some official accessories. Some of them we’d seen before, while others have been redesigned to fit the Galaxy S7 Edge. I decided to check out the new S-View Cover, keyboard case and wireless charger built by Samsung specifically for its newer devices.

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Barclays launching its own UK Android contactless payment service next month, beating Android Pay to market

While Android Pay has been alive in the US for some time now, Google is yet to launch its mobile payments system across the pond in the UK. Back in March they stated that the service would go live ‘within months’, but it appears Barclays has beaten them to market. Having already announced that it won’t be supporting Android Pay, the popular bank today announced a new Android-based mobile payment service which will go live next month.

smartphones Stories May 11, 2016

HTC 10 will be available from T-Mobile beginning May 18, free gifts for early buyers

T-Mobile has announced this morning that it will be offering the brand new HTC 10 through its own direct channels from May 18th. Customers will be able to pick one up in store, or online and can snag a free rapid charger and ICE View case if you buy it soon enough.

OnePlus 3 prototype shows up in fresh leaked photos, corroborate previous images

Just days after the first batch of OnePlus 3 leaks surfaced, more have appeared on Chinese social networking site, Weibo. This time, the device is shown completely case-less, with the boot-up screen clearly showing the OnePlus logo.

At this point it seems safe to assume that the third-generation device from OnePlus will indeed be this OnePlus 2/HTC One crossover.

Deal: New LG Nexus 5, unlocked with 32GB storage down to $149 on Woot (Reg. ~$280)

Update: According to the store’s forums, Woot has been shipping customers 16GB refurbished or ‘open box’ versions instead of the 32GB new version advertised in their original listing. If yours hasn’t shipped yet, be sure to check your device as soon as it comes to make sure you have been sent the storage capacity advertised. If you get the incorrect version, get in touch with Woot for a solution. They’re aware of the issue, a Woot staff member posted the following message:

Hey all. Good morning. I know you’re upset and we are as well. We are working hard to figure out what all happened with this.

As soon as we get it all sorted out, I’ll post here and you’ll get an email from CS as well.

I’m so sorry for this and please know that I’m working to keep on top of it.

Online retailer Woot has a one day only offer on the unlocked LG Nexus 5 in new condition with 32GB storage. For those of you who have been looking out for a pure Android smartphone on a budget, today’s offer on 2014’s Nexus may be too good to miss.

honor-v8-lead

Huawei has taken the wraps off its latest Honor smartphone in China and, if the spec list is anything to go by, this could be one of the best-equipped affordable smartphones around. With a 5.7-inch screen, high-end processor, fingerprint sensor, dual cameras and a premium metal build, the Honor V8 looks astonishing for its starting price of 2299 yuan ($352).

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smartphones Stories May 10, 2016

LG reshuffling mobile division to ‘move faster and lighter’

Following a third straight quarterly operating loss in its mobile division, LG’s CEO Cho Juno sent an email out to employees informing them that the company needs “to change the way we work to move faster and lighter”.

In practice, this means moving people out of its mobile division, and on to other divisions where the company has been more successful. The news comes via The Korea Herald, and comes as no surprise.

xiaomi-mi-max-lead

Xiaomi, this morning, took the wraps off its latest affordable metal-clad flagship. The Mi Max, as the name suggests, is a big phone, but Xiaomi claims it still comfortably fits in a pocket. With its 6.44-inch display, it’s easily the largest phone in the Chinese manufacturer’s lineup and comes with some incredible specs for the sub-$300 price.

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smartphones Stories May 9, 2016

lenovo-project-tango

Lenovo announced today that it will be bringing its second annual Tech World to San Francisco on June 9th. As well as bringing together some industry leaders to discuss the latest developments in virtual reality, smart connected devices and cloud technology, Lenovo will launch some new products. One of them will be the first consumer Project Tango-equipped Android smartphone.

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HTC Q1 2016 earnings reveal 64% drop in revenue

HTC has published its financial results for Q1 2016 and things continue to look bleak for the once-giant of the smartphone world. The company made a loss of NT $4.8 billion ($148 million) on revenues of NT $14.8 billion ($455 million). Despite that, the company is predicting a strong 2016, thanks to the recent launch of its flagship smartphone and the market-leading Vive VR headset.

oneplus-3

A collection of photos has landed on Chinese social networking platform, Weibo, showing what is claimed to be the next generation OnePlus flagship phone. While the front looks familiar, and almost identical to the OnePlus 2’s facade, the rear looks far more like something HTC or Huawei would build.

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smartphones Stories May 7, 2016

ASUS announces ‘Zenvolution’ event, will likely reveal Zenfone 3 lineup on May 30th

ASUS has announced that it will be hosting a press event on May 30th at Humble House Taipei, where it is expected to reveal the next generation Zenfone, among other Zen-branded devices. Dubbed ‘Zenvolution’, the event will kick off at 2pm local time (6am GMT/1am Eastern/10pm Sunday 29th Pacific). Following the launch, ASUS will have a booth open at the Computex 2016 tradeshow between May 31st and June 4th at the Taipei World Trade Center Nangang Exhibition Hall.

smartphones Stories May 6, 2016

galaxy-s7-edge-panel For the past few years, since the Galaxy Note 4, Samsung has built special versions of its flagship phones with an ‘Edge’ screen. Initially, with the Galaxy Note Edge, the single, large curved secondary display was mostly there to show off what Samsung could build rather than being particularly useful. It was also huge.

Since then, the Korean tech giant has been working on developing it in to a useful feature. Now, thanks to third party support and an actual a decent implementation as far as functionality goes, the Edge screen on the Galaxy S7 Edge can be genuinely useful at times. Here’s how to use it…

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galaxy-s7-active

Rumors of the upcoming durable version of Samsung’s latest flagships have gone quiet more recently. Until today, that is. Real-life images have been published this morning showing the unreleased Galaxy S7 Active in all of its ‘glory’. To break it down to its most basic description, it looks like a regular Galaxy S7 with a bulky 8-bit camo-patterned case attached.

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smartphones Stories May 5, 2016

honor-v8

We’ve read (and written) about the Honor V8 handset a couple of times over the past few weeks. Huawei’s sub-brand is expected to unveil the budget-friendly high-end phablet at an event next week, and it could be the first Honor phone to be equipped with a dual camera system, similar to the setup on the more premium Huawei P9.

Initial leaks and online listings suggested that the Honor V8 would come with a Quad HD screen (another first for Honor), but we’ve been doing a little digging on TENAA and discovered another model of the same phone with a lower resolution screen, less powerful processor and less storage.

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smartphones Stories May 4, 2016

Android-split-screen-lead

Android N has been available in the form of a Developer Preview now for a few weeks and is already in to its second preview. Part of this upcoming major software update is the baked-in ability to have two apps side-by-side on the screen, otherwise known as split-screen multitasking. Here’s how you use it…

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9to5Toys Lunch Break: LG G5 (unlocked) $575, Samsung Gear VR $80, PowerBeats2 Wireless $120, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

TODAY’S CAN’T MISS DEALS:

LG G5 w/ 32GB flash GSM 4G LTE (factory unlocked): $575 (Orig. $650)

Samsung Gear VR Virtual Reality Headset: $80 shipped (Reg. $100) | eBay

Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless In-ear Active Collection Headphones $120 shipped (Reg. $140+), more

Daily Deals: Samsung 28-inch 4K Ultra High Definition Monitor (Refurb) $305, Targus Drifter II 17-inch Laptop Backpack $30, more

 

These are the best Android phones you can buy in May 2016

MORE NEW GEAR FROM TODAY:

Upgrade your Mac w/ a speedy Crucial 500GB 2.5-inch Internal Solid-State Drive for $130 shipped (Reg. $150+), more

MORE DEALS STILL ALIVE:

Take to the skies w/ DJI’s Phantom 3 Standard Quadcopter for $399 (Reg. $499)

NEW PRODUCTS & MORE:

Erato’s Apollo 7 is the latest Kickstarter project with a goal of completely wireless earbuds

Cloud-powered Nextbit Robin smartphone now available for just $299 on Amazon (Reg. $399)

Nextbit has announced via a short blog post that it’s kicking off a limited time sale to celebrate its phone, the Robin, landing on Amazon. Between today and May 10th, you can order the Nextbit Robin for $299 SIM-free and unlocked in either Mint (green/white) or Midnight (navy). That’s $100 (25%) cheaper than it would normally cost to order from Nextbit direct. For $300, this phone is no slouch.

micromax-flagship

Indian smartphone manufacturer, Micromax, has teased its next phone in a forum post claiming that it will not only redefine flagships, it will break them. Micromax’s chief posted a short update claiming that the next device is “nothing short of incredible” and that it is “insanely beautiful”…

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smartphones Stories May 3, 2016

huawei-nexus-6p-1

We’re nearing the end of the first half of 2016, and that means a lot of new Android smartphones have been announced. Starting off the year was the Huawei Mate 8 and Honor 5X at CES in January, of course followed later by Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and S7 edge as well as the LG G5 in February at Mobile World Congress. But which ones are the best buys? Keep reading to find out…

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Deal: Unlocked AT&T BlackBerry PRIV down to $389 (Reg. $649)

Months after its launch, the BlackBerry PRIV has finally seen its first decent price cut. While ShopBlackBerry — the manufacturer’s official online store — cut the price to $649 a few weeks ago, one trusted eBay seller is now offering the device for under $400.

Oppo’s line-leading R7s and R7 Plus to get almost stock Android experience this month with Project Spectrum

You may remember a few months ago, Oppo released Project Spectrum for its Find 7 handset. The idea was to remove some of what many of us find frustrating about ColorOS (Oppo’s custom Android skin), and make it much more like stock Android. While it retains some useful Oppo software tricks, it looks and feels a lot more like ‘regular’ Android.

htc-desire-830

HTC has seemingly released its latest mid-range Desire series smartphone in Taiwan. Dubbed ‘Desire 830’ it looks to follow on from the Desire 820 in bringing attractive specs and features to the mid-tier market.

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smartphones Stories April 29, 2016

oppo-f1-plus-lead

Oppo is one of the fastest growing smartphone manufacturers in the world. Having sold around 50 million smartphones last year, it’s closing in on LG, which is pretty impressive given the size of the company. The F1 Plus looks to continue that success in 2016 and having spent some time with the phone, Oppo’s got a great shot of doing just that, even if the device needs a little work.

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smartphones Stories April 28, 2016

moto-g-4-case-leak

Taking into account all the leaks and rumors we’ve seen over the past few weeks regarding the upcoming 4th generation Moto G, it’s safe to assume the device is going to be announced relatively soon. Corroborating those leaks we’ve already laid our eyes on, another batch of detailed renders has found its way online.

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smartphones Stories April 27, 2016

priv-marshmallow-lead

Yesterday, BlackBerry finally started pushing out the Android Marshmallow for the PRIV. And while it contains everything we already know about Marshmallow, BlackBerry added a few new useful and cool features of its own.

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