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12
Mar

Tons of room-scale games are headed to the HTC Vive


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Room-scale VR is a big deal, and developers are making a lot of noise about it.

A big question that has yet to be answered for the HTC Vive is what games will be available at launch. One of the big features to this VR setup is the ability to enjoy room-scale games and apps, but that only matters if there’s a healthy selection of those games to pay for and enjoy when you get the headset. We know there’s been growing support for seated VR experiences being made for both the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive — Elite: Dangerous, for example — but what about wandering around and doing things?

It’s looking like there’s going to be quite a bit available in the not-too-distant future to take advantage of the HTC Vive’s room-scale features. What’s especially cool about this is how many developers are eager to share their progress as these titles are being developed.

Room-scale interactions mean a couple of different things. Out of the demos we’ve seen so far, it frequently means walking back and forth between counters to pick up tools so you can interact with something in the center of the room. The Portal-based lab demo, cooking demo, and Job Simulator by Owlchemy Labs fit into this category. All incredible things to try, and a great way to introduce people to Vive interactions. There are also experiences like Tilt Brush, which turns the entire space your HTC Vive lightboxes can see into a canvas for you to paint on and walk through. These are just the things we’ve seen in the demos HTC has been taking around the world. The things being made for Vive by other woks gets a whole lot more engaging.

If you’re looking for action, the folks at Stress Level Zero turn your room into a hovercraft that you fly around to shoot at other hovercraft. The appropriately named Hover Junkers lets you decide where to fortify your floating mess box and even works as a local multiplayer game. Of course, that would mean having a space where two HTC Vive could play nice in the same building. Not overly likely, but an incredibly fun thing to think about should the opportunity arise.

If you’re down for more of a strategy/action room-scale game, XLR by Metaware Limited seems like the way to go. Instead of fighting directly against your opponents, XLR is a first-person tower defense game. You do a fair bit of shooting as critters come to attack your ship, but you also have turrets that need to be deployed and maintained to help you fend off waves of attacks. The game movement is largely focused on teleporting from place to place on the map, but it’s visually impressive and full of all the loud noises that make shooters fun.

Triangular Pixel’s Unseen Diplomacy is possibly the most interesting of the room-scale games in development for the HTC Vive. The big bragging point for this game is that is uses every inch of your room to generate puzzles for you to wander through. You’ll need to reach up to your ceiling to unscrew something, crawl through a duct on the floor to access another room, and occasionally sort through an entire wall of drawers to find what you’re looking for to advance. It’s the kind of thing you’ll look even more ridiculous doing in front of strangers, but the game itself looks like hours of fun.

This is a small handful of the games that are under development in the open. As we get closer to launch, or if you’re paying attention to the Steam store, you’ll see there’s a whole lot more going on. From flying spaceships to drawing doodles in mid-air, room-scale VR is going to be a big deal this year. Be sure to add the VR game you’re most looking forward to in the comments below!

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12
Mar

Why I Won’t Purchase the New Galaxy S7 (or Edge)


Samsung officially announced the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge at Mobile World Congress 2016 for release on March 11, 2016. Along with some other Android devices, namely the LG G5, these new models came with a lot of hype.

A deeper investigation into Samsung’s new flagships shows that hype is basically all there is. Yes, the S7 and Edge are sleek, top of the line devices running on Android’s latest Marshmallow operating system—but as Engadget’s own Chris Velazco stated so simply, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are beautiful, if unsurprising sequels. So these are great phones, but I’m a little let down. To be honest I have been a bit surprised, not by the awesomeness of the S7, but by all it’s lacking.

I have been using Samsung phones for about four years, since the release of the Galaxy S3. I’m currently equipped with a Galaxy S5 that I love. Heck if I could have Marshmallow on my phone, I probably wouldn’t even consider an upgrade. But I do see a bit of lag on my version of Lollipop, I know the phone could be faster and sleeker, and I’m a sucker for redesigned, new tech.

So why won’t I be purchasing the new S7 or Edge, even though the offer of a free Gear VR is compelling? I haven’t tested the phone, though test drives of the S7 and Edge are ongoing at Best Buy, but I’m underwhelmed by the specs and I don’t imagine the new Galaxy could be much better than my S5.

Battery
So the S7 and Edge both have a larger battery than my current S5, but a jump from the S5’s 2800 mAh to the S7’s 3000 mAh is pretty insignificant. Even the S7 Edge with a 3600 mAh battery is not compelling considering that the battery is not removable, so there’s no option for swapping.

Wireless charging is one of the cool “new” features of the S7 Edge, but I don’t really see a draw. Until charging becomes truly wireless, to the point where my phone doesn’t have to sit unused on something that looks like a coaster, I probably won’t use it. I’m perfectly happy having a plug sticking out of the bottom of my phone, because at least I can still use the device.

Features
Scouring the news about the S7 Edge, one of the most common gripes users have with the S7 line is a lack of an IR blaster. An infrared blaster makes it possible to use your phone as a remote control, and guess what? My Galaxy S5 has one. It’s 2016, we shouldn’t have a need for remote controls anymore. Tech companies should be consolidating devices, not leaving out features that do just that. I use my phone as a remote all the time. When one of the most prominent first world problems is that remotes get stuck in the couch, having a phone that can act as a remote is amazing.

Then there’s the issue of memory. The S7 Edge and S7 come with one option for storage, 32GB of storage, and that’s it. Knowing how much Samsung (and my carrier Verizon) love bloatware, I’m betting I’ll get less than the 25GB of usable storage that PhoneScoop says I’ll get. The real problem is that even though there’s a micro SD slot and support for huge memory cards, that memory is not adaptable. That means that you’ll only be able to transfer certain things to external memory. In my own experience, I run out of internal memory even when I have a huge amount of external space.

How about the processor on the S7 and Edge? It’s got to be bigger than the GS 5, right? Wrong. Both the S7 and Edge come with a 2.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, which is undoubtedly zippy, but still smaller than the 2.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 that comes with the GS 5. I’m almost positive that despite the difference in size, the Snapdragon 820 is faster, but it’s about principle. I’m coming back to the question of: why would I buy a new phone just to downgrade?

Durability
One of the most lauded features of the S7 line is that it’s once again waterproof. With an IP68 rating, these phones are protected well enough for scuba diving, supposedly. The Galaxy S5, with an IP 67 rating is only good enough for snorkeling. So in that regard, I guess the S7 wins, but who really needs to go scuba diving with their phone? Realistically, a waterproof phone should be waterproof enough to survive a drop in the toilet and my phone has done that many a time, including once today.

Also, the sleek new designs of the GS7 make it look fragile. The GS5 is anything but fragile. If we take a look at a drop test comparing Samsung’s Galaxy line, we notice that the S5 fairs just as well as any of the other devices. It’s truly a more durable device than any other I’ve had. I have even dropped my phone off my apartment balcony (4 floors) and it survived (well… it still worked though it was severely cracked). If you want real scientific proof that the S5 is durable, peak the top YouTube comment on the linked video:
I don’t know how durable the new S7 line is, but with the Edge’s edge, I imagine that it’s prone to breaking. And breaking my high expectations is all the new S7 line has done so far. Prove me wrong, Samsung.

12
Mar

How ‘Ratchet and Clank’ preserves history by starting over


If you could go back and redo anything you’ve created, would you? The team at Insomniac Games was able to do that and give the original Ratchet and Clank from 2002 a complete overhaul. But it isn’t a “definitive edition” like we’ve seen with Uncharted or Gears of War. Insomniac isn’t taking a page from Resident Evil’s book and just rereleasing the original game, warts and all, on a new console, either.

Creative Director Chad Dezern says doing a quick-and-dirty nostalgia grab like that didn’t jibe with what the team ultimately wanted to do.”It’s about trying to make a game that’s great on its own merits and not just because you remember what it was like the first time you played,” he says.

“There are times I’d want to play a game in its exact original format almost to see how things have changed over the years,” he continues. “That’s not exactly what we were after for this one.”

And besides, they had already done something like that on the PlayStation 3 in 2012.

With the new Ratchet and Clank, Insomniac has the opportunity to reconsider the game using everything it’s learned in the intervening 14 years. How would Insomniac approach this as a foundation for future games while maintaining the spirit of the original? “Apply everything we’ve realized about Ratchet and his origins that we didn’t necessarily know at the time we were making it,” Derzen says.

And unlike the glut of HD remasters that have been released on the PlayStation 4, Wii U and Xbox One, it actually does look and feel like a modern game rather than a time capsule piece. This new Ratchet and Clank is what the team would’ve made if the PS4 had existed in 2002. That means back-of-the-box bullet points like gorgeous graphics, bigger worlds, more to see and do and better narrative structure. But somehow it doesn’t feel like a cash-grab; the love is tangible here.

For example, Dezern notes that with the first game, it almost felt as if difficulty in shooting was a core design philosophy. That wouldn’t fly in 2016. So the team added much-needed, proper third-person shooter controls that can stand alongside any modern release, with the ability to strafe and better use an incredibly responsive dual-analog aiming method. “We wanted to design a game around ‘it feels really good to shoot’ as a core premise,” he says. That had some unexpected consequences: Every enemy encounter had to be reworked given the changes to the game’s arsenal and controls.

“Changing the shooting mechanic changes everything in the game when it’s based around that,” Dezern adds.

Gunplay isn’t where the revisions end. Every planet has been expanded with new areas to explore; hoverboarding has been reworked and made adorable; eponymous Clank’s gameplay segments have been redesigned. Based on the preview build I played, none of it feels bolted on, a la Twilight Princess HD’s challenge dungeon, either, because rather than only one aspect being new, everything is.

From an entertainment perspective, it’s awesome, but it trades historical accuracy for modern sensibilities and power. It’s something Dezern is keenly aware of. “As a developer, you always worry that things move so quickly, progress happens so quickly, that your work is invalidated,” he says. “None of us like that feeling.”

He says things such as streaming classic games from the likes of PlayStation Now or GameFly and releasing HD remasters are vital to the industry from an artistic standpoint because it makes gaming less disposable. For all the things that video games get right, historical preservation isn’t one of them. But it is getting better.

“It feels really good that we’re in a place where we can start really building on existing work instead of feeling like each console generation invalidates the work of the previous generation,” Dezern says.

That’s not to say Insomniac doesn’t value its past. If anything, this new game is a testament to how much the studio cares about one of its core franchises. In fact, the upcoming feature film uses a lot of the core themes and narrative beats from the original as its basis because they’re intrinsic to the franchise’s story.

Ratchet is still an orphan on the arid planet Veldin, Captain Qwark is still an egocentric doofus. The overarching themes are present in the new game, but they’re told in a very modern way, breaking the fourth wall at times and recognizing that there’s a bit of revisionist history going on. It’s still incredibly tight in terms of narrative, though — something Dezern admits wasn’t the case with the 2002 game.

“It was a little bit rambling because we made some things up along as we went,” he says.

Working alongside production house Rainmaker Entertainment, which has worked on video game trailers and cutscenes prior, had some surprising benefits. Dezern says the movie and game were a “true co-development,” with Insomniac and Rainmaker trading back and forth throughout the entire process. For instance, Insomniac would create a 3D model of a character or environment and send it to Rainmaker so it could be added to the movie. Rainmaker would send its version back so Insomniac could alter it to add it into the game, so there would be parity between the pieces.

“Every single element has been touched by both parties in a lot of cases,” Dezern says. “There have even been times where we’ve taken film shots and matched them up as precisely as we can because we want the whole thing to feel cohesive and like it’s the same universe presented in two different ways.”

The cinematic to-and-fro was an asset for other reasons, too. Insomniac uses the same color-correction tools as movies and overall, the game feels incredibly filmic in presentation and play. Animations are buttery smooth; each scene is bursting with activity and details, and it all looks absolutely gorgeous. For decades, game makers have been clamoring for the moment when users feel like they are playing a Pixar movie, and Ratchet and Clank could finally be it.

Dezern says that’s because the power of the hardware means few compromises to artistic vision.

“Suddenly it’s ‘Let’s make the right decision for the game we’re making’, and not ‘Let’s make the only decision we can because of the constraints we’re under.”

12
Mar

Making your own functioning R2-D2 is a labor of love


Last year at CES, I remember seeing a life-size, fully functioning R2-D2 unit (minus the Leia hologram, sadly). I assumed it was hired out from a professional movie props unit or something similar; now I’m not so sure. Walking around SX Create — the maker faire section at SXSW — I bumped into not one, but two equally well-made replicas only to find they were handmade. In fact, there’s an entire club — funnily enough, called R2-D2 Builders — dedicated to making them. What’s more, the models I saw were built using a veritable menagerie of weird and wonderful items, including a good old lazy susan. But that doesn’t mean building your own R2 comes cheap, or is a project for the feint-hearted.

Jamie McChan from the Central Texas charter of R2-D2 Builders explained how he made his. First of all, you’re going to need deep pockets and an understanding family. His R2 (they also make R5s and other iconic droids from the franchise) cost him a relationship-testing $8,000 and two years of dedication. McChan says that figure can reach nearer $10,000 if you want to upgrade the finish with more aluminum parts. You also can’t cheap on the wood. A typical R2D2 weighs in at around 150lbs, which requires Baltic birch to stop the force of gravity from reducing it to parts even the Jawa couldn’t sell.

While it might be a costly hobby, it’s not one without rewards. McChan told me that the club mitigates some of the cost by grouping together to buy in bulk. Even then, the aluminum dome alone can set you back $5-600. Of course, when you’ve invested so much time and money, you end up with an R2 that’s good enough to pass for something from a Hollywood props department. McChan says he’s even had his R2 at events with NASA and in front of Lucas himself — they also feature them at shows like ComicCon as additional ways to support the habit. When they’re not doing that, they take them to charity events and children’s hospitals. Something we’re sure even Rylo Ken would approve of.

Just met this guy at SXSW. #SXSW #sxsw16 #R2D2 #starwars #ENGADGETSXSW

A video posted by James Trew (@thatstrew) on Mar 11, 2016 at 10:05am PST

Source: Astromech

12
Mar

Klipsch R-15PM review – CNET


The Good The Klipsch R-15PM is a breeze to set up, and its abundant feature set is buoyed by feisty, solid performance. The phono input will be of interest to fans of vinyl new and old. The speakers are solidly built and attractive.

The Bad The Klipsch R-15PM’s sound veers toward the bright side of neutral. If you’re using stands it will take a little more effort to hide cabling. For best results, a subwoofer will help.

The Bottom Line The Klipsch R-15PM is a likeable powered speaker offering convenience, lively sound and an abundance of features.

When it comes to buying sound equipment, most people either buy a receiver and speakers or an integrated solution like a sound bar. But there is another. A set of powered speakers can be an inexpensive way to incorporate the benefits of both sound bars and separates.

The Klipsch R-15PM offers the connectivity and stereo separation of a receiver-speaker combo as well as the all-in-one simplicity of a sound bar. Sound quality is neck-and-neck with competitors like the less-expensive Audioengine A5+, and the Klipsch’s addition of a remote control, and a phono input helps mitigate the price difference.

The Klipsch does have its disadvantages — for instance, dangling four different connections plus a power cable and a speaker output may get messy when these are sitting on stands, and adding a subwoofer is definitely recommended. However, for this kind of money the RP15PM makes it a refreshing and “proper” hi-fi alternative to the all-in-one sound bar systems you usually see.

Design

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These new Klipsch R-15Ms are a pair of powered speakers you can add to your audio or home entertainment system.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Given the similarities in the model names, you could reasonably assume the RP-150M and the R-15PM are riffs on the same basic speaker: the former being passive, and the latter a powered monitor (PM). But the R-15PM is a little less than an amp shoved in the RP-150M, though it shares many of the same technologies.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

The most obvious difference between the two speakers is size. The RP-150M is a medium-size bookshelf speaker (14.57 inches high by 7.67-inches wide and 10.67 inches deep), while the R-15PM shaves off a couple of inches off at 12.5 inches high and 7 inches wide.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

Both speakers do employ Klipsch’s 5.25-inch “Spun Copper Cerametallic Cone Woofer” and a 1-inch horn-loaded Tractrix tweeter, but the R-15PM uses the company’s older, less-fancy tweeter enclosure.


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Sarah Tew/CNET

Both speakers use the brushed black vinyl wrap also favored by budget speakers like the new ELAC Debut and Uni-Fi ranges. Be aware that these mark and scuff easier than traditional wood veneer/vinyl wraps.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

The system comes with a credit-card-style clicker, which is fairly easy to use for basic things such as volume and changing the input.

Features

Compared against rivals like Audioengine or lesser-known folks like Emotiva, the Klipsch offers an embarrassment of features for the money. The most intriguing of these is the phono preamp, designed to coincide with the planned release of Klipsch turntables sometime in 2016.

12
Mar

Parrot Zik 3.0 review – CNET


The Good The Parrot Zik 3 Bluetooth headphone has a slick, eye-catching design and excellent build quality, plus a wealth of features, including wireless audio streaming, effective noise-cancellation, and touch-sensitive controls on the right earpiece. Also, the sound is very good for Bluetooth, the battery is replaceable, and the headphone can be charged wirelessly using an optional Qi accessory.

The Bad Battery life has improved from previous model but still isn’t great; despite its high price, only a basic cloth carrying case is included.

The Bottom Line Parrot has made some small but significant upgrades to its Zik 3 headphone, making it one of the best wireless headphones with active noise-cancellation.

Parrot’s Zik 3 Bluetooth headphone looks a lot like the Zik 2 but has been improved in some significant ways. This new model, which also features active noise cancellation and is probably the most high-tech, feature-packed headphone you can get, costs $400 (£300, AU$500).

The biggest changes on the outside are the new colors and textures, including “croco” and “overstitched” effects. Also, for those of you with big heads, the headband has been enlarged in an effort to improve comfort. And while this headphone isn’t quite as comfortable as Bose’s SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphone II, it’s still a comfortable headphone, and at 9.5 ounces or 270g, it’s lighter than the original Zik.

On the feature front, the touch-sensitive controls in the right earcup remain — I like them, but some people don’t — as does the removable and replaceable battery that provides about 7 hours of battery life with both noise canceling and wireless turned on. While that’s a small improvement on the Zik 2’s battery life, it’s still not great, but it does improve if you listen at more moderate volume levels or turn off noise canceling. It’s also worth noting that you can buy a second battery as a backup.

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Parrot’s leather covered Zik 3 headphones feature new ‘croco’ and ‘overstitched’ effects in a few different color options.


Sarah Tew/CNET

The headphone now has a wireless charging option (it works), though you do have to buy a compatible Qi charging accessory to use it (Samsung’s Galaxy and other Android smartphones phones charge wirelessly using the Qi standard so there are plenty of Qi charging pads out there).

Additional features include noise canceling that smartly adapts to your environment, and there’s a new “hi-fi quality” wired USB listening mode for those who just don’t think Bluetooth audio streaming cuts it.

That’s not all. As with earlier Ziks, there’s a bone-conduction sensor in the right earpiece that’s supposed to help pick up low frequencies of your voice better for phone calls, NFC tap-to-pair technology, and a sensor in the right earpiece that detects when the headphones aren’t on your head and automatically pauses the music when you rest them on your neck (you can turn this feature off from within the app).

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Like its predecessors, the Zik 3 only comes with a simple cloth carrying case.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Companion app

The headphone pairs with a companion app that allows you to tweak both the sound and the amount of noise cancellation and also check how much battery left you have left. The app is available for iOS and Android and carries over to certain smart watches (it’s actually one of the more useful apps I’ve used on the Apple Watch). You can also download preset equalizer settings from a variety of artists.

I personally don’t like playing around with all the digital processing modes, some of which can make things sound a little weird (you can toggle between “silent room,” “living room” and “concert hall” effects). But thankfully you can turn everything off and just use the default EQ setting, which is fairly well balanced.

12
Mar

LG G5 pre-orders begin at Best Buy on March 18


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Best Buy will begin pre-orders of the LG G5 on March 18 according to a new landing page on its site. The G5 was originally announced at Mobile World Congress, and is expected to be officially released in early April. Pre-orders have begun on Amazon in the UK and pricing information for Canada has been made available.

The listing from Best Buy doesn’t yet reveal pricing for the U.S. variant. If you are interested in pre-ordering the 5.3-inch LG G5, you’ll want to hit up your local Best Buy or visit their site on March 18 to place your order. Is the LG G5 the next phone for you, or does something else have your interest. Let us know your thoughts!

See at Best Buy

Thanks for the tip, CJay!

LG G5

  • LG G5 hands-on
  • LG G5 complete specs
  • LG G5 CAM Plus module
  • LG G5 B&O Hi-Fi audio module
  • The G5 has an always-on display
  • LG G5 keeps the SD card, shuns adoptable storage
  • Join the LG G5 discussion

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12
Mar

Where to buy the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge in the U.S.


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No more pre-orders: the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge are finally available.

Now that you can drop your hard-earned money on a Galaxy S7 or S7 edge here in the U.S., it’s time to find out just where you can do so. Whether you want to buy it from a carrier or decide to go a different route with an international unlocked version to use here, we have you covered.

Where to buy the Galaxy S7 edge

If you’re interested in the larger, curved Galaxy S7 edge, the nice thing is that it’s available anywhere the standard version is. Just get ready for some sticker shock — you’ll pay at least $100 more for the edge model. When buying from the carriers you’ll have your choice of silver, gold or black colors, and remember that this year 32GB of internal storage is your only option. Here’s where you can buy one:

Amazon

Amazon has you covered if you’re looking to buy full-priced and unlocked, where you can go pick up the “F” variant that’s best compatible for GSM networks in the U.S. like T-Mobile, AT&T and their respective prepaid carriers. Don’t expect to buy this one and use it on Verizon or Sprint, but if you know what you’re getting into and don’t want the carrier bloat this may be the way to go.

See at Amazon

Verizon

Maybe you want to go with Verizon instead. It’ll set you back a cool $792 at launch, or $33 per month for 24 months with Verizon’s financing.

See at Verizon

Sprint

If you’re a Sprint customer, this is where you’ll go. Sprint has a few different ways to buy the Galaxy S7 edge. You can pay $30.50 per month and upgrade to a new phone after 12 months. You can also get on a proper financing plan for 24 months of $31 per month. Sprint even has a two-year contract price of $299. Or if you want to buy it without any strings attached, you’re paying $749 out the door.

See at Sprint

T-Mobile

T-Mobile has two standard choices for buying, just like Verizon. You can pay $779 up front and buy one outright, or you can get on a payment plan. How much you’ll have to put down on the financing depends on your credit, but T-Mobile advertises $59 down and $30 per month for 24 months.

See at T-Mobile

AT&T

AT&T just barely has the most expensive price at launch, with the full freight setting you back $794. If you choose to finance, AT&T will sell it to you for $26.50 … but that’s for 30 months instead of the usual 24, so take notice. You can also choose $33.13 per month for 24 months or $39.75 per month for 20 months if you want to pay it off quicker.

See at AT&T

Where to buy the Galaxy S7

It’s more of the same here for the smaller (and therefore less expensive) Galaxy S7 — you can go with an unlocked international model from Amazon, or hit up a U.S. carrier with some better financing and incentive options. If you go to the carriers, note you’ll only have a choice of gold or black colors — you’ll have to go elsewhere to find silver or white.

Amazon

Amazon is the way to go if you want unlocked version without any tampering from the carriers — and it’s the only way to get silver or white colors. Just remember this phone isn’t guaranteed to work on any carrier in the U.S. — but the bands line up for AT&T and T-Mobile, at least.

See at Amazon

Verizon

Same story as above here, but with lower prices. $672 all-in, or $28 per month for 24 months on a financing plan.

See at Verizon

Sprint

Even more pricing options! Sprint will sell to you without commitment for $649, or you can choose different financing plans. It really pushes you to the lease option at $25 per month with an option to trade-in and upgrade after a year, or you can choose a proper financing plan of $27 per month over 24 months. You can also go on an antiquated two-year contract for $199 up front.

See at Sprint

T-Mobile

More of the same from T-Mobile here: $669 up front if you don’t want financing, or a plain $27 per month for 24 months if you’d prefer to finance — again, potentially different with a down payment, depending on your credit.

See at T-Mobile

AT&T

Once again, make note that AT&T’s default financing plan is over 30 months instead of the usual 24 — you’ll be expected to pay $23.17 per month in this case. If you go with a 24 month financing plan it’s $28.96, or $34.75 for 20 months — and if you want to pay it all up front it’ll set you back $694.

See at AT&T

And those are the best places to pick up a Galaxy S7 or S7 edge here in the U.S. If you’re still on the fence, be sure to check out all of our great coverage to help make your decision!

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

  • Galaxy S7 review
  • Galaxy S7 edge review
  • Galaxy S7 edge with Exynos: A Canadian perspective
  • Here are all four Galaxy S7 colors
  • Details on the Galaxy S7’s camera
  • The SD card is back on the GS7
  • Join our Galaxy S7 forums

AT&T Sprint T-Mobile Verizon

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12
Mar

Star Wars: Card Trader celebrates its first anniversary with new twists on classic cards


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Topps is celebrating the one-year anniversary of their Star Wars: Card Trader game with “National Star Wars Day” on Saturday, March 12. As part of the celebration, Topps is is introducing new Revisited card sets, which puts characters from Star Wars: The Force Awakens in classic card designs from the app’s first year.

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Revisited cards are available through the Revisited store, and come in Blue, Green, Black, Gold, and Die-Cut variants, each with differing levels of rarity. There are also a total of eight Revisited packs in the store, and the Blue, Green, Black, and Die-cut cards will only be available available until March 14. New and current fans of Card Trader will be able to log into the app on March 12 and claim a free card.

If you want to participate in “National Star Wars Day,” just open up the Star Wars: Card Trader app and head over to the Revisited store to get started. You’ll find Star Wars: Card Trader on the Google Play Store now.

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12
Mar

Where to buy the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge in Canada


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The Galaxy S7 and S7 edge are Samsung’s best devices to date, and they’re now available in Canada.

They’re possibly the two most important Android phones of the year, and if you live anywhere near a Canadian mall it’s been impossible to miss the torrent of pre-order competition and fan excitement.

Now that they’re available, let’s go over the various places you can purchase the Galaxy S7 and its edge counterpart.

Where to buy the Galaxy S7

The smaller Galaxy S7 is available at pretty much every carrier in the country. Prices range from $299 at Wind Mobile on its WindTab financing program, rising to $400 at most other carriers, including the Big Three: Rogers, Telus and Bell.

Rogers

Rogers sells the Galaxy S7 for $399.99 on-contract and $899.99 outright, which works out to a standard $500 subsidy. Share plans begin at $75 for 1GB of data with unlimited local calling, and rise to $385 per month for 60GB of shared data. Rogers is also currently offering a $100 bill credit for all customers signing a two-year contract with the purchase of a new smartphone.

Rogers offers the GS7 in either black or silver colours.

See at Rogers

Bell

Bell sells the Galaxy S7 for $399.99 on-contract and $899.99 outright, which works out to a standard $500 subsidy. Share plans begin at $70 for 500MB of data with unlimited local calling, and rise to $165 per month for 15GB of shared data. Bell is also sweeting the deal somewhat with a $100 bill credit when you sign a two-year plan with 2.5GB of data or higher.

Bell offers the GS7 in either black or silver colours.

See at Bell

Telus

Telus sells the Galaxy S7 for $400 on-contract and $900 outright, which works out to a standard $500 subsidy. Share plans begin at $65 for 1GB of data with 300 local calling minutes, and rise to $150 per month for 10GB of shared data. Telus requires a minimum monthly spend of $80 to purchase the GS7 at full subsidized pricing, though.

Telus offers the GS7 in either black or silver colours.

See at Telus

Wind Mobile

Wind Mobile sells the Galaxy S7 for $299 on its WindTab Boost program, which incorporates both a small subsidy and a $25 monthly financing program into the deal. The phone costs $899 outright, or $799 on the plain WindTab (the system is changing on March 22nd. See more about that at Wind Mobile.

Wind currently has the best monthly rates for Galaxy S7 owners, with a $50 plan that includes unlimited Canada/U.S. calling, unlimited worldwide text messaging, 8GB of full-speed data and 1GB of U.S. roaming. Unfortunately, reception on the Wind network isn’t great, though the company is trying to improve things. It also lacks LTE, so GS7 users won’t be able to take advantage of the ultra-fast LTE-Advanced capabilities of the phone.

Wind offers the GS7 in either black or silver colours.

See at Wind Mobile

Videotron

Quebec’s Videotron actually has interesting pricing going on to break through the monotony. The GS7 has different prices depending on the amount of data subscribed to per month: it costs $249.95 with an $84.95, 5GB plan, or $349.95 with a $74.95, 3GB plan. The device costs $899.95 outright like everywhere else. Videotron is also offering a $100 bill credit with the purchase of the phone on a two-year contract.

Videotron offers the GS7 in either black or silver colours.

See at Videotron

MTS

Manitobans know they have it pretty good, with the presence of MTS bringing down monthly wireless prices across the province. While the company sells the Galaxy S7 for the same $399.99 / $899.99 price as everyone else, plans begin at a reasonable $60 for unlimited Canada-wide data and 200 weekday minutes.

MTS offers the GS7 in either black or silver colours.

See at MTS

SaskTel

As with MTS, SaskTel adds a healthy dose of competition to Saskatchewan’s (flat, flat) mobile landscape. The Galaxy S7 is the same $399.99 / $899.99 price as at other carriers, but monthly plan prices start at $75 for unlimited local calling and 10GB of Canada-wide data.

SaskTel offers the GS7 in either black or silver colours.

See at SaskTel

Eastlink

Eastlink, which offers service in the Maritime provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward County, approaches handset pricing like the U.S. carriers: on a financing plan. Instead of getting customers to sign a two-year contract, the carrier separates the value of the phone from the plan, allowing customers to add the price to the end of their monthly bill until the phone is paid off after 24 months.

The Galaxy S7 costs $0 down with Eastlink’s EasyTab Plus, along with 24 payments of $33 each month. The retail price is $912 outright, slightly higher than at other providers.

Eastlink offers the GS7 in either black or silver colours.

See at Eastlink

Fido, Koodo and Virgin Mobile

These flanker brands are being bundled because they’re technically not independent.

Fido offers the GS7 for $400 on a Max Plan, in either black or silver. It rises to $550 on a Smart plan, and $900 outright. Fido’s got a decent BYOP deal right now where you can get 200 local minutes and 1GB of data for $45, which includes two years of Spotify and Daily Vice.

See at Fido

Koodo offers the GS7 for $400 on the Tab Plus, which is a hybrid financing system that tacks on the remaining balance of the phone ($500, so 24 payments of $21 per month) to a customer’s monthly plan. Koodo’s got a decent deal right now where you can get 500 nationwide minutes and 1GB of data for $45.

See at Koodo

Virgin Mobile offers the GS7 at the same price as parent company Bell: $399.99 on-contract and $899.99 outright. Plan pricing is somewhere in the middle of Fido’s and Bell’s, with a decent $53 limited time offer (as of writing) for 300 Canada-wide minutes and 1GB of data, but only when purchasing the phone outright.

See at Virgin Mobile

Where to buy the Galaxy S7 edge

The larger, sleeker Galaxy S7 edge is available where its sibling sells, but comes at a $100 premium. Prices range from $0 down at Eastlink to $399 at Wind Mobile on its WindTab financing program, rising to around $500 at most other carriers, including the Big Three: Rogers, Telus and Bell.

Rogers

Rogers sells the Galaxy S7 edge for $499.99 on-contract and $999.99 outright, which works out to a standard $500 subsidy. Share plans begin at $75 for 1GB of data with unlimited local calling, and rise to $385 per month for 60GB of shared data. Rogers is also currently offering a $100 bill credit for all customers signing a two-year contract with the purchase of a new smartphone.

Rogers offers the GS7 edge in black.

See at Rogers

Bell

Bell sells the Galaxy S7 for $499.99 on-contract and $999.99 outright, which works out to a standard $500 subsidy. Share plans begin at $70 for 500MB of data with unlimited local calling, and rise to $165 per month for 15GB of shared data. Bell is also sweeting the deal somewhat with a $100 bill credit when you sign a two-year plan with 2.5GB of data or higher.

Bell offers the GS7 edge in black.

See at Bell

Telus

Telus sells the Galaxy S7 for $500 on-contract and $1000 outright, which works out to a standard $500 subsidy. Share plans begin at $65 for 1GB of data with 300 local calling minutes, and rise to $150 per month for 10GB of shared data. Telus requires a minimum monthly spend of $80 to purchase the GS7 edge at full subsidized pricing, though.

Telus offers the GS7 edge in black.

See at Telus

Wind Mobile

Wind Mobile sells the Galaxy S7 for $399 on its WindTab Boost program, which incorporates both a small subsidy and a $25 monthly financing program into the deal. The phone costs $999 outright, or $899 on the plain WindTab (the system is changing on March 22nd. See more about it at Wind Mobile.

Wind currently has the best monthly rates for Galaxy S7 edge owners, with a $50 plan that includes unlimited Canada/U.S. calling, unlimited worldwide text messaging, 8GB of full-speed data and 1GB of U.S. roaming. Unfortunately, reception on the Wind network isn’t great, though the company is trying to improve things. It also lacks LTE, so GS7 users won’t be able to take advantage of the ultra-fast LTE-Advanced capabilities of the phone.

Wind offers the GS7 edge in black.

See at Wind Mobile

Videotron

Quebec’s Videotron actually has interesting pricing going on to break through the monotony. The GS7 has different prices depending on the amount of data subscribed to per month: it costs $349.95 with an $84.95 / 5GB plan, or $449.95 with a $74.95 / 3GB plan. The device costs $999.95 outright like everywhere else. Videotron is also offering a $100 bill credit with the purchase of the phone on a two-year contract.

Videotron offers the GS7 edge in black.

See at Videotron

MTS

Manitobans know they have it pretty good, with the presence of MTS bringing down monthly wireless prices across the province. While the company sells the Galaxy S7 edge for the same $499.99 / $999.99 price as everyone else, plans begin at a reasonable $60 for unlimited Canada-wide data and 200 weekday minutes.

MTS offers the GS7 edge in black.

See at MTS

SaskTel

As with MTS, SaskTel adds a healthy dose of competition to Saskatchewan’s (flat, flat) mobile landscape. The Galaxy S7 is the same $499.99 / $999.99 price as at other carriers, but monthly plan prices start at $75 for unlimited local calling and 10GB of Canada-wide data.

SaskTel offers the GS7 edge in black.

See at SaskTel

Eastlink

Eastlink, which offers service in the Maritime provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward County, approaches handset pricing like the U.S. carriers: on a financing plan. Instead of getting customers to sign a two-year contract, the carrier separates the value of the phone from the plan, allowing customers to add the price to the end of their monthly bill until the phone is paid off after 24 months.

The Galaxy S7 costs $0 down with Eastlink’s EasyTab Plus, along with 24 payments of $37 each month. The retail price is $1,008 outright, slightly higher than at other providers.

Eastlink offers the GS7 edge in black.

See at Eastlink

Fido & Koodo

These flanker brands are being bundled because they’re technically not independent.

Fido offers the GS7 edge for $500 on a Max Plan, in either black or silver. It rises to $650 on a Smart plan, and $1000 outright. Fido’s got a decent BYOP deal right now where you can get 200 local minutes and 1GB of data for $45, which includes two years of Spotify and Daily Vice.

See at Fido

Koodo offers the GS7 edge for $500 on the Tab Plus, which is a hybrid financing system that tacks on the remaining balance of the phone ($500, so 24 payments of $21 per month) to a customer’s monthly plan. Koodo’s got a decent deal right now where you can get 500 nationwide minutes and 1GB of data for $45.

See at Koodo

Where else can you buy the Galaxy S7 + S7 edge?

Big box retailers such as Best Buy, Costco and Walmart are selling the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. Costco even offers a $10 discount when purchasing the devices outright.

The best deal, if purchasing outright, can be had at the Samsung Experience Stores in Richmond, B.C., Burnaby, B.C., Toronto, Ontario, or Edmonton, Alberta. At those stores, Samsung bundles a free unlock code with every purchase, which is useful when switching carriers.

Where did you purchase your Galaxy S7 or S7 edge? Did you find any great deals? Comment down below!

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

  • Galaxy S7 review
  • Galaxy S7 edge review
  • Galaxy S7 edge with Exynos: A Canadian perspective
  • Here are all four Galaxy S7 colors
  • Details on the Galaxy S7’s camera
  • The SD card is back on the GS7
  • Join our Galaxy S7 forums

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