If you are interested in an unlocked Android smartphone and you are not hung up on buying something from one of the “name” manufacturers, then Best Buy may have a new option available for you. Introduced earlier this month at CES 2016, the BLU Vivo XL is now available for online orders from the retailer.
The BLU Vivo XL is equipped with a Mediatek processor running at 1.3GHz and is backed by 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory that can be expanded by another 64GB using a microSD card. This processing power drives a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display running at 1280 x 720 resolution. The Vivo XL has a 13MP rear-facing camera and a 5MP front-facing camera, supports 4G LTE speeds and is running Android 5.1 Lollipop.
Although the Vivo XL is unlocked, it currently only supports GSM based networks like AT&T or T-Mobile. Best Buy is taking orders for the Solid Gold or Midnight Blue versions and they indicate the phone typically ships within 1 business day.
As a special launch offer, Best Buy has knocked $50 off the normal retail price, so you can grab this smartphone for only $99. Best Buy anticipates adding the BLU Vivo V to the product lineup in February.
source: Best Buy
Come comment on this article: BLU Vivo XL now available at Best Buy
It’s hard to believe that it’s only been a few weeks since the first major leaks for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge started to drip from the faucet, and yet this weekend has not only seen a possible press picture of the potential product, but now a seemingly straightforward sign of a release date. Once again, Evan Blass (@evleaks) is the man with Samsung’s plan:
The pictures look to be Samsung press invites for its latest and greatest Mobile World Congress press event. There has been much speculation in the last few months as to when the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge will launch, with rumors circling around Sunday, February 21st. It is assumed that Samsung would be launching its 2016 flagships the day before the massive mobile tech trade show formally kicks off in Barcelona, Spain.
One main mention from the first image in the Tweet is the hashtag, #TheNextGalaxy, something that Samsung was making more than modest use of last year:
Still up in the air however, is the release date of the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. Reports have been coming in – some from Blass himself – of a March 11th release date in both the USA and Europe. This would put the new devices on sale almost a month before last year’s S6 and S6 Edge hit. Also up for discussion are the full product range of smartphones Samsung may – or may not – be releasing.
Rumors originally suggested there would be four different Galaxy flagships: the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, and the Galaxy S7+ and Galaxy S7 Edge+. Later leaks have basically retracted the idea, including one recent story that claims the Galaxy S7 Edge+ has been canceled. If true, it may be due to the fact that the standard Galaxy S7 Edge is supposedly shipping with a 5.5-inch display, an idea that was seemingly confirmed with the last bombshell from Mr. Blass:
The size factor
Logically it would make little sense for Samsung to put out a 5.7-inch Galaxy S6 Edge+ when the standard model is expected to be almost the same size and shape. As for a Galaxy S7+, that also seems less likely given the presence of a larger curved sibling. In fact, this almost mirrors Apple’s approach with the iPhone, having the iPhone 6S for customers who like smaller phones, and the iPhone 6S Plus for those who want a formal phablet. Of course Samsung will seemingly be taking things one step further and making its larger leader a curved creation.
Assuming the Galaxy S7 Edge is a larger device, it will inevitably come at a higher price tag than its standard sibling. It is unknown as to if this would mean a “simple” $100 premium as was the case with last year’s S6 Edge, or if it might be considerably more given the bigger screen and the curves.
It also remains to be seen as to if Samsung will better optimize the Galaxy S7 Edge. Last year’s S6 Edge and S6 Edge+ disappointed many customers who were contemplating upgrading from the Galaxy Note Edge for the simple fact that while the Note variant had a full-fledged second screen along the side, the S6 Edge relegated both of its slanted slopes to a much more mundane, sparse set of skills.
Watch this site’s space
With Samsung’s latest event seemingly just 21 days away, it is safe to assume there will be a lot of leaks to be looked over in the three weeks leading up to the big day. Make sure you check back with Android Authority regularly to keep tabs on all the latest Samsung Galaxy S7 rumors and realizations. For those in need of a full detailed breakdown of the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge be sure to check out our rumor roundup linked above, or access it by clicking right here.
Hello Android fans! Are you excited for MWC yet? This week we’ve got a slew of reports about devices coming at MWC, including the Galaxy S7, LG G5, and the Xiaomi Mi 5. A set of credible Galaxy S7 press renders leaked out, along with info about Samsung’s upcoming upgrade program. We’ve also got a glimpse of the LG G5, while LG cleared out an issue affecting many G4 owners. Google brought out updates to many of its apps, including the troubled Hangouts. Several big companies released their quarterly earnings, giving us an idea of their financial health. And the first major One M10 leak happened, courtesy of @evleaks.
Inside AA HQ
Our Josh Vergara took some well deserved time off late last year and he thought about trying something new. For the entire month of December, Josh used an iPhone. Oh my, I know what you’re thinking. What was Josh thinking and how could he betray Android like that. No worries, Josh returned to work and to the Android ecosystem come CES, so nothing really changed, but he did come with some interesting conclusions out of the whole experience. Check the full story out right here.
We gave out some excellent prizes over the years, including some of the hottest smartphones of the moment. This Sunday Giveaway is a little different, because the manufacturer of the prize is less well known. That said, the Nuu Mobile X4 is definitely worthy of your attention, and we’re giving away five of them right now. Good luck everybody!
The stuff you shouldn’t miss
- Feature: Looking back at the 2016 Nexus, and what that tells us about this year’s generation
- Review: Affordable premium? Is that even possible? Honor 5X review
- Hands-on: What it’s like to use the Galaxy S6 with the Marshmallow beta
- Feature: These are the six phones we look forward to the most this year
- Opinion: Andrew has a request for Huawei: please help your lousy software!
- Tech talk: Graphene – what you need to know about this wonder material
- Feature: HTC struggled throughout 2015, will 2016 be any better?
News of the week
The Next Galaxy
- Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge: possible press renders revealed
- The Galaxy S7 Edge+ has reportedly been cancelled, only two flagships left
- Rumored Galaxy Upgrade Program scheduled for S7 launch
- Galaxy S7 could launch in Europe on March 11th
- Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge: possible press renders revealed
- Leaked: Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge release date
LG comes clean on G4 issue
- LG G4 owners launch petition to address bootloop issue
- LG admits G4 bootloop problem is a hardware fault, will repair affected devices
LG G5 details surface
- Display case seems to confirm LG G5 button placement
- The LG G5 and its “magic slot” modules: some thoughts
Google apps updates
- Latest Inbox by Gmail update will help you find important info much faster
- Google Hangouts version 7.0 rolling out, quick replies and conversation shortcuts on board
- Google Play Store adds a thumb for quick positive feedback
- Google Docs mobile suite now has full comment control
- Google Calendar updated with new event suggestions, holidays and languages
- OPPO sold over 50 million units in 2015 demonstrating 67% annual growth
- LG posts narrower loss, sold 60 million handsets last year
- Samsung rewards Mobile division employees despite poor performance in 2015
- LG Display sees Q4 profits tumble, bets big on OLED
- Global smartphone sales hit a record high in 2015, but growth is slowing
- Qualcomm declares 24 percent drop in profits
- Sony image sensor and smartphone sales take a hit
- Samsung’s fourth quarter earnings out, profits down 40%
MI 5 @ MWC 2016
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If you’re excited about the new Samsung Galaxy S7 and the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, you won’t have to wait much longer. Legendary leaker Evan Blass has once again worked his magic and leaked new slides from what appears to be a Samsung presentation that confirm when the new flagship devices will launch.
That date appears to be February 21, 2016. You may wonder why that date has significance. It just so happens that the February 21 is the day before Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain kicks off. Samsung, and other device makers, have a history of announcing their early year flagships at MWC. It looks like this year is no different. LG and Huawei have also been rumored to have major announcements at the show.
The launch date is great, but when can you get your hands on it? The release date info is a little more murky, but we’ve seen the date March 11, 2016 multiple times. This would put it in the same month-long period where we normally see Samsung’s Galaxy S line launch so that makes sense.
By Harry McCracken
This article originally appeared on Fast Company and is reprinted with permission.
Slate‘s David Auerbach has a plan to fix Twitter. In brief, it involves making it a more welcoming place and minimizing harassment by shielding users from tweets other than those sent by people they’ve chosen to follow. He outlines his strategy—soberly headlined “What Twitter Must Do”—in the form of an open letter to Twitter itself:
Social networks such as Twitter and Facebook share two purposes: They are information networks for high-content sharing and friendship networks for low-content social interaction. By defaulting to mostly public information sharing, Twitter has become a great information network but a horrendous friendship network. Currently, the friendship network is the price you pay for the information network. But restricting information sharing to reduce trolling will simply turn you into a second-rate Facebook and doom you for certain. Rather, Twitter, you need focus on information sharing while you gut and rebuild the friendship network, devolving moderation down to individual users.
That’s why you need to rethink yourself from the ground up. Start with an information network of tweets and retweets but no replies or mentions as we currently know them. Twitter users would see what their friends post and retweet and subscribe to people they find through retweets or hashtags. Already, things are a lot better. You don’t encounter anyone beyond the filter of your list of friends unless you search a hashtag. If a hashtag fills up with crap, you avoid it.
By helpfully providing advice directly to Twitter in the form of an open letter, Auerbach is following a tradition that’s been around nearly as long as Twitter has been a household name.
What leads people to write these letters? Well, more than any other modern kingpin of the web, Twitter has never reached a point of happy equilibrium in which everyone agrees it’s in fantastic shape. A sizable chunk of its users have always been convinced that it needs to to change—and much of the remaining chunk has consisted of people who are afraid that Twitter will change.
Moreover, the service’s intensely personal feel leads many people to conclude that all Twitter needs to do to thrive is to make people like themselves happier—despite the fact that Twitter is radically different things to different users.
Herewith, some earlier letters to Twitter, dating back to the era when it was a privately owned startup with 18 million users, 30 employees, and no advertising whatsoever.
April 2009: “An Open Letter to Twitter”
In an early example of the Twitter open letter, Web developer Arthur Kay tells Twitter that it’s fundamentally annoying, but—unlike many who would follow—fails to provide any advice on the matter:
What am I doing right now (in 140 characters or less)? I’m wondering why anyone cares! If anyone really wants to know what I’m doing, they should call me. If they don’t have my phone number, then I’m worried they might be stalking me.
Seriously, if anyone has time to wonder what Shaq is doing right this minute then they really need to get a life. If he’s doing something worthwhile, it will make the news.
Twitter—you need to stop this madness. Your friends are encouraging people to share intimate personal information about themselves with the entire world. . . and I’m really getting sick of companies and [newscasters] saying “Check us out on Twitter.”
June 2010: “Get Shorter: An Open Letter to Twitter”
In no less an august venue than The New Yorker, Blake Eskin gripes that the http:// in links eats up too many precious characters, and should be replaced with a single symbol:
Winstead proposed a colon (e.g. :tmky.us/3191); Kottke suggested % or //; another correspondent floated ^ or =>. My own preference would be for !, although I discovered, on a site devoted to microsyntax, proposals that the exclamation point should be reserved for “urgent or time-sensitive posts” or even as a Tweet 911, for posts “associated with a specific named disaster or emergency.” In either case, it will have to be reclaimed from bubbly teens, soccer fans, and publicists.
July 2011: “Dear Twitter: Don’t Change the 140-Character Limit”
Responding to Farhad Manjoo’s call for Twitter to double its 140-character limit, my friend Lance Ulanoff contends that longer tweets would only encourage people to hold conversations on Twitter—and that if people want to converse, they should use something like Google+:
In the case of conversations on Twitter, they work differently. Usually someone posts something interesting and someone responds. The response doesn’t have the original tweet, just a little notation that it was “in reply to…,” which links to the original tweet. These conversations can go on for a while and sometimes expand to a number of Twitter members. The person outside the conversation will see a random post from this Twitter conversation in their feed and have absolutely no idea what it’s about. Conversation tends to clutter up Twitter and make it far less useful. This is not to say that I do not use Twitter for crowdsourcing. I ask concise questions and get concise answers.
People who want to have conversations online have numerous options, including old-school forums, Facebook, and threaded comments on various websites. Google+ is the newest and easily most exciting one. I’m using it to say more and collect richer thoughts from all Google+ conversation participants. Oddly, I sometimes have to remind myself that I can post and respond in more than 140 characters (I see other people with this problem, too).
December 2011: “Twitter, How About Liberating Some Usernames?”
In a post which uses the phrase “An Open Letter to Twitter” as as subheading, the Royal Pingdom blog argues that too many of the good Twitter user names are in limbo, registered to people who don’t use them:
It doesn’t have to be complicated. If a Twitter account is completely unused for six months, go ahead and delete it. If you must, send an email to users before you do it and give them a week to sign in to avoid having the account deleted.
Granted, you’ll have fewer “registered users” to boast about if you start deleting unused accounts, but this is the right thing to do. Your users will have a more positive introduction to your service and a better user experience.
February 2012: “Dear Twitter: Don’t Mean to be Rude, But Maybe It’s time to Hire a Full-Time Product Guy”
Eleven months after Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey’s return to the company as chairman—splitting his time with his new startup Square—Business Insider founder Henry Blodgett concludes that the company’s problems are too big to be solved on a part-time basis:
So, how’s Jack doing?
Well, officially, everyone raves about the amazing leadership and influence Jack has had at Twitter, and everyone gushed all over some of the recent product innovations Twitter announced under Jack’s leadership.
But I have to say this.
As a massively heavy Twitter user, the recent changes that Twitter has made to my Twitter app—TweetDeck—have been all for the worse.
My old TweetDeck for iPhone stopped working, so I had to upgrade to the new one. Yes, it’s buggy and crash-prone, but the old version had that problem, too. But it’s the “improvements” to the new version of the TweetDeck app that bug me the most. I won’t chronicle them here, but suffice it to say that I don’t like them. The new version of TweetDeck is now less intuitive and harder to use than the old one. And I’m holding Jack responsible for that.
October 2013: “An Open Letter to Twitter”
Speaking on behalf of ad-deleting software Adblock Plus, Ben Williams urges Twitter to come up with ads which ABP users won’t want to block:
…your users might not be too thrilled about what’s in store—and that will inevitably send that many more of them running to Adblock Plus. Our numbers are swelling even if advertising revenue is growing as well. Over 200 million people have downloaded our software, and last week alone we had over 1.5 million downloads. Your current ad offerings are actually not far from what we’d consider non-annoying (see more below)—but the idea of a fundamentally changed Twitter, now with ads round every corner, may direct users to Adblock Plus for no other reason than that they want their “old” Twitter back.
So why not work together? We would like to partner with you to engineer acceptable, nonintrusive advertising that would conform to our guidelines and make it to our whitelist. That’s right, we want you to advertise. But we want you to do it responsibly, by adhering to our Acceptable Ads guidelines.
March 2015: “An Open Letter to Twitter HQ”
Semil, a contributor to a site called Openlttr, basically informs Twitter that it’s way too stagnant, and should consider new features such as Klout-like reputation scores:
Reward engagement with reputation—maybe similar to an eBay score or forum rating mechanism. The higher your number the more likely your engagement will be noticed via a highlight, notification, or display in streams. Or perhaps create a perks system for the highly active users. Enticing people to engage will reward content producers for their time and effort with a simple retweet or comment, and it will go a long way.
Another perk here would be to allow people to select what level of reputation score they want to see on a daily basis or maybe have highlighted to them with a notification.
August 2015: “An Open Letter to Twitter: It’s Time to Advertise”
Ad man Rick Webb declares that Twitter’s salvation involves goosing its user base by spending at least $100 million on…advertising itself!
Twitter has advertised on TV before, or at least made TV ads. There’s another one I remember seeing that was a great sort of anthemic, inspirational piece. I can’t find it online anymore. But it was really good. Like many people who dip their toes into broadcast, it was too little media time, and maybe too soon. They used some people they knew personally (I hear), and didn’t really get some hardcore, outside genius experts. By the way, that’s an amazing, great thing about the advertising industry — it’s doesn’t cost any more to hire a legend such as Lee Clow as it does anyone else. God bless good old American competition, amirite?
But Twitter is a different company now. They have the money, they have the product, they have the story, they have the mainstream potential. In advertising, that’s exactly when wide-spread, go-big TV advertising becomes something you should seriously consider.
January 2016: “Dear Twitter: Please Don’t Do It”
At its core, Twitter is a real-time medium. It’s for a quick thought or a fast-paced conversation. Hashtags allow us to monitor what is #trending.
Twitter is not ideal for creating original long-form content, although it is a tool for sharing what exists on other sites and networks.
Reading through all of these, I’m struck by their confident tone. Also obvious: Today’s Twitter doesn’t seem to have been shaped in the least by the sort of advice doled out in open letters, with the possible exception that it continues to cling to the 140-character limit, at least for now.
And you know what? If Twitter had implemented most of the recommendations which people dispense in these letters, I bet that its current health wouldn’t be radically different one way or another. And no matter what, the letters would have kept on coming. That’s part of what makes Twitter, well, Twitter.
[Photo: Flickr user Alexandre Duret-Lutz]
Many automakers are working on self-driving cars, but Volvo is the first to announce plans for completely “deathproof” vehicles by the year 2020. Meanwhile, General Motors invested $500 million in Lyft to create a network of autonomous vehicles. Snowstorms snarl traffic, but engineers have a solution: electric roads that de-ice themselves without the need for road salt. We also spotted a unique circular bridge in Uruguay that encourages drivers to slow down and enjoy the view. And Ford teamed up with fashion designers to debut a collection of couture made from recycled upholstery.
Real estate comes at a premium in Japan, but that’s not stopping the nation from building a massive solar farm. Kyocera just began construction on the world’s largest floating solar plant, and when it’s complete it will provide enough electricity for 5,000 homes. Meanwhile, Australia is capitalizing on its abundance of sunshine with its first major photovoltaic plants, which some hope will “usher in the birth of large-scale solar” in the nation. Scientists harnessed energy from an unexpected source by making eco-friendly batteries from fallen leaves. And a group of resourceful researchers put MacGyver to shame by generating electricity with nothing more than cardboard, tape and a pencil.
Most homes take months (or even years) to build, but this Gomos house can be assembled in three days flat. The secret? A set of modular, factory-built components that snap together like LEGO bricks. In other design news, architects just unveiled the world’s largest 3D-printed polymer house, and a Portuguese company has developed a rotating solar home that generates five times more energy than it uses. We’ve heard of maglev trains, but what about maglev plants? Japanese company Hoshinchu’s Air Bonsai appear to magically float above their pedestals. And in another astounding development, Fontus has developed a water bottle that actually fills itself by absorbing moisture from the air.
Amazon really wants you to listen to its podcast and audio-book service, Audible. And it’s hoping to win you over by grabbing comedians like Maria Bamford and folks from the public radio and podcast world for original content, according to Bloomberg. Audible’s also looking to fill some 100 jobs around the world (there’s a recruiting fair in New Jersey next week), looking for software engineers, designers, lawyers and a slew of writers. In so many words, Jeff Bezos and Co. are working to separate Audible from the myriad other places you can find podcasts and audio books by creating exclusive programming for its a la carte and $14.95 per-month subscription service.
Bloomberg purports that this could be a natural fit for the Echo speaker, and that’s a pretty logical connection to make. Think about it this way: Amazon’s in the business of selling people stuff that makes it easier to consume its products. Could the Echo be the online shopping juggernaut’s audio version of the Kindle for ebooks or Kindle Fire HD tablet for its Prime Video service? This move puts the needle closer to “yes” than it does any other direction.
Congratulations to last week’s winner of the LG V10 International giveaway: Petar S. from Serbia.
NUU Mobile X4 — #FeelTheAllure
The stunning X4 by NUU Mobile blurs the lines between style and tech.
Now, we’re giving away five of these beautiful devices to our fans all around the world.
Like, share and follow Nuu Mobile on social media for your chance to win!
Use the #FeelTheAllure hashtag, and remember: more entires = better odds!
Winners Gallery on Google+
Terms & Conditions
- The giveaway is an international giveaway (Except when we can not ship to your Country.)
- If we can not ship to your country, you will be compensated with an online gift card of equal MSRP value to the prize.
- We are not responsible for lost shipments.
- You must be age of majority in your Country of residence.
- We are not responsible for any duties, import taxes that you may incur.
- Only 1 entry per person, do not enter multiple email addresses. We will verify all winners and if we detect multiple email addresses by the same person you will not be eligible to win.
- We reserve all rights to make any changes to this giveaway.
- This giveaway is operated by Android Authority.
- The prize will ship when it is available to purchase.
The ESA’s and Airbus Defence and Space’s ambitious European Data Relay System (EDRS) project has reached a milestone this January 29th. Its first laser-satellite system has blasted off to space aboard a Proton rocket from Kazakhstan. The satellite is now heading towards its geostationary position above Europe, where it will follow the Earth’s direction as it rotates. The EDRS project, which is also called “SpaceDataHighway,” aims to launch a constellation of geostationary satellites that can receive and transmit data in near-real time.
It will provide a quick means of communication between satellites, drones, spacecraft and ground stations. A satellite in low-Earth orbit observing the planet could, for instance, relay data to an EDRS node via laser beam. The EDRS can then immediately transmit that info to the ground, and users can access it in near-real time. Low-Earth satellites typically have to come within view of a ground station before they can relay data. That makes the EDRS extremely useful for disaster response and rescue missions, as it would allow first responders to download photos and other data they need as soon as possible.
The first node deployed on January 29th will be used by the European Commission’s Copernicus Sentinel satellites that monitor our environment from above. Next year, the partners are launching a second laser-satellite combo, followed by a third one in 2020. Before the third node lifts off, though, the EDRS will start relaying data for the ISS in 2018.
We tend to take the internet for granted around these parts of the planet, but access to the world wide web happens to be a bit of a privilege. According to Internet Live Stats, only about 40% of the world has an internet connection.
Considering that Google’s business revolves mostly around searching and browsing, we know they want as much people to be connected as possible. This is why they have undertaken ventures such as Project Loon, which aims to bring internet to under-developed areas through floating balloons that would communicate to the ground.
But the Search Giant is not stopping its quest for a more connected world. A new report from The Guardian swears Google has been working on a new movement that goes by the name Project SkyBender. The idea is similar to Project Loon, with the only main differences being that this time they are using “self-flying” solar drones and millimetre wave technology.
I am no expert, so those sound like nothing but fancy words right now, but we can tell you what this translates to for the user. It is said this is the technology that will power 5G networks, and it has the capability to transfer gigabits of data (yes, plural) per second, beating current 4G speeds by about 40 times.
- Project Wing: Google’s drones could one day drop your groceries from the sky
- Is Google preparing to test Project Loon in the US?
- Google reveals “Project Loon”, set to bring balloon-powered Internet to the world
According to the report, Google has rented Virgin Galactic’s 15,000 square feet hangar space for $1,000 a day. Located in New Mexico, near a town named Truth or Consequences (what a name for a place), this Google is holding all its tests. Sadly, Google had promise not to take any photos inside the building, so we won’t be looking at any goodies soon.
All we can do now is continue waiting for more details to emerge. The point here is that if I can get multi-gigabit speeds, I don’t care where they come from. Google is definitely onto something here, wouldn’t you think?