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26
Sep

Drake Debuts 23-Minute Short ‘Please Forgive Me’ Exclusively on Apple Music


Musician Drake today debuted a 23-minute visual companion to his most recent album “Views,” exclusively on Apple Music (via Billboard). Titled “Please Forgive Me,” the short film follows Drake and his girlfriend in the video (Belgian model Fanny Neguesha) as they attempt to make off with a wealthy man’s fortune. From Views, the songs “One Dance,” “Controlla,” “9,” “Views,” and more are featured.

The explosive visual companion to #VIEWS. @drake’s Please Forgive Me.
Only on #AppleMusic:https://t.co/86DnYZFruv pic.twitter.com/ANlLgr2imC

— Apple Music (@AppleMusic) September 26, 2016

Please Forgive Me will be available to watch on Apple Music “in perpetuity,” and is the third video to come out of Views, following the debut of “Hotline Bling” last year and “Childs Play” earlier this month. For one week, Views itself was an Apple Music exclusive, and reportedly sold 1 million copies in its five-day exclusivity window.

Recently, Apple began preparing to bolster its video content on Apple Music through the purchase of Carpool Karaoke, and the creation of original programming like Dr. Dre’s Vital Signs and the reality competition series Planet of the Apps. Apple iTunes chief Eddy Cue has said Apple is “not trying to create original TV shows” to become a Netflix or Amazon Video competitor, but will “help” producers on projects that are designed to promote its existing products.

On the music side of the service, Apple’s collection of streaming exclusives has come under fire from labels and music industry critics. Specifically, Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge has prohibited the practice of exclusive music streaming moving forward, meaning popular artists like Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift, and The Weeknd could all be removed from future Apple Music exclusivity deals since they each belong to various UMG labels.

Tags: Apple Music, Drake
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26
Sep

Sonos Speakers Coming to Apple Online Store Today, Retail Stores on October 5


Sonos today announced an expanded partnership with Apple, which will see its popular PLAY:1 and PLAY:5 speakers available for purchase from Apple’s online store and Apple retail locations around the world.

Sonos is a popular brand known for offering Wi-Fi connected speakers that are excellent for multi-room home speaker systems. The PLAY:1 ($199) and the PLAY:5 ($499) are expensive speakers, but the simple setup, ease of use, and sound quality can’t be beat.

“Our expanded collaboration with Apple is a great example of our ongoing work with our full ecosystem of partners to make it easier than ever to listen to music out loud at home,” said Patrick Spence, president of Sonos. “Apple Music on Sonos is a powerful experience, one we’re proud to bring directly to Apple fans at Apple Stores worldwide.”

Many Apple stores that sell Sonos systems will be offering hands-on in-store Sonos and Apple Music demos featuring the Sonos app on an iPad Pro.

As an incentive for new purchasers, those who buy a Sonos system from Apple between today and December 31 will get a free three-month Apple Music gift card.

The PLAY:1 and PLAY:5 will be available for purchase from Apple’s online store later today, expanding to 468 retail stores around the world starting on October 5. Online availability in other countries is expected in the coming weeks.

Tags: Sonos, Apple retail
Discuss this article in our forums

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26
Sep

How to watch tonight’s Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton debate – CNET


26
Sep

Stigo L1e Release Date, Price and Specs – CNET


The electric-powered Stigo may look like a bicycle, but take a closer look and you’ll see that it’s a foldable electric scooter. No need to balance upright — just perch on the saddle and coast along the pavement.

Despite its bulky appearance, this Estonian-built scooter is surprisingly light at 13.5 kg (or about 30 lbs), the weight of most foldable bicycles. Powered by a 250-watt motor, it easily hits a top speed of around 25 kph (15.5 mph). It comes in two variants, with a range of either 25 or 40 km (15.5 or 25 miles).

Stigo L1e e-scooter will take you places
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While testing the 25 km model, I was only able to clock around 20 km before I began to worry about running out of juice. That could have been because I was zooming at maximum speed for most of my journey.

A second trip of about 8 km at a slower pace left me with about 70 percent battery remaining, which made more sense. I tested the local distributor’s demo unit, so it’s possible the battery charge was already worn down by previous test drivers here in Singapore.

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The folded Stigo is so compact that you won’t need to feel guilty when you haul it onto your bus or train.

Aloysius Low/CNET

The Stigo rides more like a bicycle than a standing e-scooter. It’s easy to learn, but the front handle bars are a bit too low and aggressive. I would have preferred them to be set higher for a more comfortable ride, but I soon got used to the position. The throttle control is smooth — unlike some other e-scooters, you don’t go from barely any power to a full-speed charge with just a tiny twist of the throttle.

Key features

  • Top speed: 25 kmph (15.5 mph)
  • Range: 25 km (15.5 miles) or 40 km (25 miles)
  • Weight: 13.5kg (around 30 lbs)
  • Folds up for easy storage

Folding and unfolding the Stigo is ridiculously easy. It takes about two seconds to lock the front wheel into position and pull up the seat. Packing the scooter away is simple too, making this one of the quickest folding designs I’ve encountered. When folded, the Stigo is easy to roll around, thanks to two small trolley wheels at the base of the now-standing e-scooter. And you don’t need to worry about someone stealing it, as the vehicle is useless without the smart key you use to turn it on.

All in all, the Stigo makes for a fun ride, but only if you have the dough for it. It costs 1,700 euros, which converts to approximately $1,900, £1,450 and AU$2,500 respectively, or you can pay S$2,000 here in Singapore. There’s no distributor yet in the US or Australia, but Stigo will deliver to the UK.

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You’ll need to tap to unlock to use the Stigo.

Aloysius Low/CNET

26
Sep

Sony Xperia X Compact review


While we have seen a lot of “mini” iterations of popular flagship smartphones, these devices tend to fall in the mid-range category. Sony is the lone holdout in this regard, with their Compact devices only shrinking in size, while retaining the specifications and features of their flagship counterparts, which is the case with one of Sony’s latest offerings, the Xperia X Compact.

  • Sony Xperia X Performance review
  • Sony Xperia X Compact Hands on
  • Why Sony deserves some credit – but not too much
  • Sony Xperia XZ hands on review

Is there still a market for such compact smartphones, and what does this device have to offer? We find out, in this comprehensive Sony Xperia X Compact review!

Buy the Sony Xperia X Compact now

Design

While the Xperia X Compact is technically a smaller version of the Xperia X that was announced back at MWC this year, it borrows its design language from the flagship Xperia XZ that was launched alongside it at IFA 2016. However, it doesn’t feature the premium build quality of its high-end counterpart, with the Xperia X Compact being made entirely of plastic.

The X Compact may not offer the same feel as other Sony devices that offer metal and glass builds, but the phone is surprisingly sturdy. It comes with a very glossy finish, that gives it a ceramic look that is really nice, but does make for a huge fingerprint magnet. The top and bottom of the phone are completely flat, which means that the device can stand on its own, and there are frosted matching color inserts that flow well with the rest of the design.

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The X Compact also features what Sony is calling a “loop” design, which is essentially a fancy way of explaining the tapers along the sides the make the transition from glass to plastic seamless, and makes the phone more comfortable to hold. Despite some aesthetic changes, the signature rectangular shape that Sony is known for is still seen here.

The best part about the Sony Xperia X Compact is how easy it is to use with one hand, which is obviously the point of a mini smartphone. With so many large display phones out there, it is quite refreshing to use a device that is this compact, with a screen that you can reach across very easily and without any hand gymnastics.

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Taking a look around the device, the headphone jack and USB Type C port are at the top and bottom respectively, on the left side is the slot for the SIM card and microSD card, and on the right are the power button, volume rocker, and a dedicated camera button. The physical camera shortcut key is extremely convenient, with it not only providing a quick and easy way to launch the camera, but also because it works as a shutter button.

However, having all these buttons on one side can make it feel a touch cluttered, and the volume rocker sits too far down to make it comfortable to reach with your thumb. The position of the volume keys do make sense when using them to adjust the digital zoom of the camera, but is not in the optimal position for controlling the volume, which is its primary purpose.

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The Xperia X Compact also comes with a fingerprint sensor that is embedded into the power button, but for reasons unknown, this isn’t available with the US version of the device, which is certainly an extremely odd choice. Unlike its flagship counterparts and previous Compact smartphones from Sony, the X Compact doesn’t come with dust and water resistance, which is another surprising omission, and could be a deal breaker for some.

Display

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The Xperia X Compact comes with a 4.6-inch IPS LCD display with 720p resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 319 ppi. 720p may not be particularly impressive in the current scheme of things, but is certainly more than enough with a display of this size. The display is plenty sharp, and there have been no issues with reading text.

The display is pretty good, offering nice color reproduction and saturation, and good viewing angles. The screen also gets surprisingly bright, allowing for a comfortable viewing experience even in direct sunlight. Typing on the small screen isn’t much of an issue, but the media consumption experience isn’t going to be as good, not because of the quality of the display, but because of its size. It’s something that will take some getting used to, but is certainly not a deal breaker by any means.

Performance

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Under the hood, the Xperia X Compact retains the same processing package as its larger namesake, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 processor, backed by the Adreno 510 GPU and 3 GB of RAM. Even though it doesn’t feature top of the line specifications, performance hasn’t been an issue with the X Compact.

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Everything has been fast and responsive, and the device can even handle high-end games without struggling. Granted, the load times may be a little longer, but once a game loads, it runs very smoothly, with rarely any dropped frames to be seen. Overall, the performance has been quite impressive, and goes beyond what you would expect from a mid-range processor like the Snapdragon 650.

Hardware

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As far as storage goes, 32 GB is your only option, but expandable storage via microSD card allows you to add up to 256GB additional storage, which should take care of all your needs.

Above and below the display are two thin slits that house the dual front-facing stereo speakers. The overall volume is on the quieter side when compared to other front-facing setups, but the quality of the sound is actually quite good, with clean, clear sound, with no distortion.

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However, you will have a far better audio experience when plugging in a pair of headphones. The Xperia X Compact has built in support for Hi-Res Audio like FLAC, ALAC, DSD, and LPCM, but if you don’t have audio in these formats already, the device can also upscale any compressed audio files to give it a Hi-Res sound.

The Xperia X Compact comes with a 2,700 mAh battery, which allows for surprisingly good battery life, helped along by the relatively lower resolution display that it has to power. The battery comfortably provides a full day of use, and even with heavy usage that involved a lot of gaming and watching videos on Youtube, I rarely had to charge the device in the middle of the day.

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The device comes with Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0 support, and given the capacity of the battery, it doesn’t take long to get back to a full charge at all. However, one thing to remember is that Sony doesn’t include a QC 3.0 charger in the box, so you will have to pick up a third-party one to take advantage of the phone’s fast charging capabilities.

Camera

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Sony is also making a big deal about the camera of the Xperia X Compact. The front 5 MP shooter is a fairly standard wide angle lens camera, and gets the job done when it comes to taking selfies. On the back is a 23 MP camera, which is the same sensor that is found with Sony’s higher-end offerings like the Xperia XZ.

To improve the camera, Sony has added a new laser auto focus system to help with sensing distance and taking better shots in low light situations, and there is also a new color sensor to help you get much better white balance. The real kicker here is that the X Compact has 5 axis image stabilization for both the front and rear cameras when recording video, but there is no physical hardware inside to make this stabilization happen, with all the stabilization being software based.

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Before you get too excited though, the 5 axis stabilization is utilized only when recording “macro” shots, so unless you see the word macro pop up in the corner of the viewfinder, you only get 3 axis stabilization, which does work well to keep the footage stable and without any warping or distortion. It is somewhat strange that Sony hyped a feature that is used only in limited situations, since macro video isn’t something a lot of people typically use their smartphones to record.

The camera application offers what we’ve come to expect from Sony devices, and it doesn’t look like it has changed significantly over the years. You can swipe up or down on the viewfinder to switch between various modes, that include Superior Auto, manual, and video recording, along with the slew of camera effects that Sony always adds. It isn’t the most intuitive camera app, and HDR still only works when using the manual mode, but the overall camera shooting experience is fairly straightforward.

Sony Xperia X Compact camera samples:

It is easy to quickly launch the camera and take a shot using the dedicated camera shutter button, and the image quality is well above average. Images are extremely sharp and well detailed, and while there is a good amount of color and saturation to be had, shots do look more natural when compared to the oversaturated photos that are taken with some other smartphones.

The camera also has a predictive hybrid auto focus feature that can continuously track moving objects and capture them without motion blur. As long as the object isn’t moving ridiculously fast, this feature does work really well. In low light conditions, there is still a fair amount of detail to be had, and images generally tend to be noise free. However, the shutter speed can be really slow in such lighting situations, so very steady hands will be required to avoid blurry photos.

Software

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On the software side of things, the Xperia X Compact is running Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Sony’s custom skin on top. Calling it a custom skin is certainly a stretch however, considering how many stock Android elements are to be found throughout the user interface.

Sony has really scaled back on their own customizations, and has even gone as far as to add the Google Now homescreen to this launcher, which really makes the experience feel closer to stock. That said, it does come with a lot of bloatware, including pre-installed Sony apps and a few third-party ones, but all of these can be disabled and moved out of the way.

Overall, Sony has done a fantastic job with keeping the software experience clean and simple, which is also a contributing factor to the smooth performance that is available with the Xperia X Compact.

Specifications

Display 4.6” HD Triluminos IPS LCD
Processor Hexa-core, 64-bit Snapdragon 650 (2 x 1.8 GHZ, 4 x 1.2 GHz)
RAM 3 GB
Storage 32 GB + microSD
Dimensions 129 x 65 x 9.5 mm
Weight 135g
IP rating No
Main camera 23 MP, predictive hybrid auto-focus, triple image sensing technology, 5-axis stabilization
Front camera 5 MP
Battery 2,700 mAh, Quick Charge 3.0, Qnovo Adaptive Charging, USB Type-C
Fingerprint sensor Yes
Networks GSM GPRS/EDGE (2G), UMTS HSPA+ (3G), Cat. 6 LTE
Connectivity A-GNSS (GPS + GLONASS), Wi-Fi Miracast, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC

Gallery

Pricing and final thoughts

So there you have it for this in-depth look at the Sony Xperia X Compact! The unlocked version of the Xperia X compact is available in the US for $500, which is really steep for what is basically a mid-range smartphone, and its price point puts this phone in a rather awkward position.

Sony Xperia X Compact Review-14

There are a lot of other options out there, like the Nexus 6P, that arguably offers a lot more value despite being a year old, for the same price or less, and if you are looking for something more current, great choices include the OnePlus 3, the ZTE Axon 7, or the Honor 8.

  • Sony Xperia X Performance review
  • Sony Xperia X Compact Hands on
  • Why Sony deserves some credit – but not too much
  • Sony Xperia XZ hands on review

The Xperia X Compact is a great phone, and if you choose to buy one, you certainly won’t be disappointed. However, without a fingerprint sensor (with the US version), or features like dust and water resistance, the $500 price tag is hard to accept, just for the convenience that its size offers. If you are looking for the best value for money, this phone isn’t the one to get, but if you just want a compact phone that doesn’t compromise a whole lot, that’s when you might find this device to be worth every penny.

Buy the Sony Xperia X Compact now

26
Sep

Nexus owners, how’s the Nougat update treating you?


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So far the Android 7.0 update has been a bit of a mixed bag for Nexus devices and their owners.

One of the perks of being a Nexus owner is that you’re among the first to get a new version of Android when it drops. So if you’ve got a 6P, 5X or any other supported model, there’s a good chance you’ve gotten a look at Android 7.0 Nougat well before the rest of us. New features like split-screen multi-window, bundled notifications and data saver mode are among the main perks, along with smaller tweaks like the redesigned Recent Apps and Settings menus.

Nexus 6 owners are still waiting for an official OTA.

But as with any major software update, bugs can creep in. Some Nexus 6P owners on the AC forums have been seeing significantly reduced standby battery life on their phones. (There are similar stories over in the Nexus 5X forums too.)

Meanwhile, factory images and official OTA (over-the-air) updates aren’t even available for some devices, like the Motorola-built Nexus 6, and Nexus 9 LTE, leaving users having to join the Android beta program to get the 7.0 update. Google’s official line has been that updates will be hitting in the coming weeks.

So we want to hear from you, valiant Nexus owners. Which phone are you using, and how have you been getting on with the Android 7.0 update? (If you’ve even received it yet, that is.) And with the arrival soon of Google’s new Pixel phones, will you be upgrading, or sticking with your current handset?

Share your thoughts down in the comments, and be sure to hit up the Android Central forums for more advice, tips, tricks and discussion!

Android 7.0 Nougat

  • Android 7.0 Nougat: Everything you need to know
  • Will my phone get Android Nougat?
  • All Android Nougat news
  • How to manually update your Nexus
  • Join the Discussion

26
Sep

Best Android Phones 5.7 inches And Over


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If you’re looking for a phone with a huge screen, you’ve come to the right place.

Best Overall

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

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See at AT&T
See at T-Mobile
See at Verizon
See at Sprint
See at U.S. Cellular

In its new, non-exploding form, complete with green battery icon, the Galaxy Note 7 is not only the best big Android phone, it’s probably the best Android phone you can buy, period. The Note 7 takes the Galaxy S7’s design language and refines it further, with a 5.7-inch panel packed into a deceptively small chassis. Subtle curves adorn the sides of the display, giving you access to Samsung’s edge screen features — in addition to the Wacom-based S Pen for which the Note series has become known. The Note 7 also benefits from the GS7’s best-in-class internals and camera, which matches or beats just about anything else out there.

While the Galaxy Note 7 doesn’t yet have Android 7.0 Nougat, you do get Samsung’s most refined TouchWiz UI yet atop Marshmallow, with a ton of neat tricks for the S Pen.

Bottom line: The Note 7 has had a rough start in life, but it’s still a fantastic smartphone, and arguably the best all-round phone out there.

One more thing: Even though new, safe Note 7s are now in customers’ hands, you may face problems using the Note 7 on airplanes. At the time of writing many major airlines forbid using or charging any Note 7, new or old, in-flight.

Why the (new) Galaxy Note 7 is the best

The unprecedented global recall changes the game, but the Note 7 remains a phenomenal device.

Let’s be honest here: The Galaxy Note 7 brand has been tarnished — probably permanently — by the reports of exploding batteries and the subsequent recall. Frequent fliers may also want to look elsewhere if they want a phone they can use in the air without hassle.

But with those caveats out the way, the Note 7 is fantastic at everything it does. You’ll pay dearly, but the high price of admission basically gets you an improved Galaxy S7 with a larger display and an expanded feature set, thanks in part to the S Pen. The display is the best on any smartphone we’ve seen, and the luxurious build quality matches the best from Apple, and there’s solid battery life, backed up by wireless charging and fast charging. Samsung’s proven 12-megapixel camera is great in daylight and industry-leading in low-light photography. And for what it’s worth there’s also an iris scanner, which we can take or leave.

Overall, the Note 7 is a joy to use, and is packed with the very latest mobile tech, and an expansive feature set.

Best ‘not a Note 7’

LG V20

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Coming Soon

LG needed to raise its game after the modular mess that was the G5, and that’s exactly what Samsung’s local rival did with the V20. LG’s 5.7-incher gets you the same guts as the G5, without any of the modular nonsense, and with much improved build quality and some unique features thanks to the second display. As before, you can use the secondary ticker above the main screen to see app shortcuts, show a personal message or view notifications.

And the removable battery option is back, with the V20’s 3,200mAh swappable cell living behind a metal back panel, which pops off when you hit the release switch.

On the camera side, the V20 is every bit as good as the G5, with a main 16-megapixel sensor behind an f/1.8 lens, and a secondary wide-angle camera for fitting in more detail. LG’s also packed in new autofocus and stabilization technologies not present in that phone for even smoother video.

The V20 represents a significant milestone in the Android world too — it’s the first phone to ship with Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box, though you’re still looking at LG’s UX as opposed to a the cleaner Android UI you’d get on a Nexus.

Bottom line: The V20 is easily LG’s best phone ever. You get the proven cameras of the G5, along with Android Nougat and a solid metal chassis, plus the rarity of a removable battery.

One more thing: LG hasn’t announced any plans to range the V20 in Europe, so don’t hold your breath for an official way to buy the phone in that part of the world.

Best Pure Android

Nexus 6P

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See at Amazon
See at Google

Sure, the Nexus brand will soon be going away, but if you want a pure, untouched installation of the latest version of Android on a big screen, the 6P is where it’s at. It’s been around since late 2015, so you’re looking at specs in line with other high-end phones from that period: A Snapdragon 810 processor, 3GB of RAM and 32, 64 or 128GB of storage. Despite the reputation of the 810, the 6P performs just fine in most tasks, although battery life doesn’t extend past a day, even with a 3,450mAh cell inside.

The 6P’s hefty metal exterior comes in four colors, and the design is attractive if a little blocky. The main reason to buy this phone, however, is the software. As a Nexus, you get a completely pure, untouched stock Android install, as well as speedy updates from Google when a new version drops.

Bottom line: Given that it’s almost a year old, it’s possible to find the 6P online for not a whole lot of money compared to the upcoming Pixel phones.

One more thing: The larger of Google’s two Pixel phones will purportedly use a smaller 5.5-inch screen, so if you may need to eventually downsize when upgrading from the 6P.

Best not so expensive

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

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See at Verizon
See at T-Mobile
See at Amazon

For all the fuss about this year’s Galaxy Note, last year’s stylus-toting offering, the Note 5, has aged remarkably well. Across the board, you’re looking at a similar feature set to the Note 7, just a little less barnstorming across the board. A slightly older Exynos processor, and a 16-megapixel (optically stabilized) camera that doesn’t quite match the Note 7’s in low light, but is still damn good in its own right.

And the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update that landed earlier this year has given the Note 5 new life, porting over many of the features from the Galaxy S7. What’s more, Samsung has largely kept on top of rolling out Android’s important monthly security updates for the phone.

Bottom line: The Note 5 is still a fantastic phone, even by the standards of late 2016. In fact, it gives some of the lesser flagships of this year a run for their money. (And you’ll be able to use it on an airplane, too!)

One more thing: Samsung never officially released the Galaxy Note 5 in Europe, so if you’re importing and using it on European networks, be sure to check that the model you’re buying will work with your carrier’s cellular bands.

Conclusion

Samsung has been making big-screened Android phones since the beginning, so it should come as no surprise that — in spite of some early issues — the company’s latest all-singing, all-dancing Galaxy Note bests everything in the 5.7-inch and up category. You’re paying serious cash, but that gets you arguably the best-looking, most capable Android phone we’ll see this year.

Best Overall

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

galaxy-note-7-29.jpg?itok=ddMBcjzp

See at AT&T
See at T-Mobile
See at Verizon
See at Sprint
See at U.S. Cellular

In its new, non-exploding form, complete with green battery icon, the Galaxy Note 7 is not only the best big Android phone, it’s probably the best Android phone you can buy, period. The Note 7 takes the Galaxy S7’s design language and refines it further, with a 5.7-inch panel packed into a deceptively small chassis. Subtle curves adorn the sides of the display, giving you access to Samsung’s edge screen features — in addition to the Wacom-based S Pen for which the Note series has become known. The Note 7 also benefits from the GS7’s best-in-class internals and camera, which matches or beats just about anything else out there.

While the Galaxy Note 7 doesn’t yet have Android 7.0 Nougat, you do get Samsung’s most refined TouchWiz UI yet atop Marshmallow, with a ton of neat tricks for the S Pen.

Bottom line: The Note 7 has had a rough start in life, but it’s still a fantastic smartphone, and arguably the best all-round phone out there.

One more thing: Even though new, safe Note 7s are now in customers’ hands, you may face problems using the Note 7 on airplanes. At the time of writing many major airlines forbid using or charging any Note 7, new or old, in-flight.

26
Sep

Digital Offers: Learn to build apps from scratch for only $39!


The phrase “there’s an app for that” covers just about everything these days. Want a date? There’s an app for that. Want some food? There’s an app for that. Want to learn more about how to please a member of the opposite sex? You get the picture. Python is one of Google’s preferred coding languages, and learning it is a gateway to building your own apps and possibly creating the next Angry Birds!

How do you get started? Well, coding isn’t exactly easy to learn on your own, so you need to take some sort of course with structured lessons. But what if you already have a full-time job and other daytime responsibilities? You don’t have the time or the cash to go back to college and learn computer sciences. Maybe you already have a computer sciences degree and just want to add to your education? Either way, it’d be great if you could take courses online, at your leisure, and learn at your own pace. You know what’s coming!

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The Python Programming Bootcamp is your way into the wonderful world of meaningful app creation. You’ll learn everything, from the basics to the advanced, throughout 438 lesson — over 50 hours of content! You’ll learn the fundamentals of Python and learn to apply them to real-life projects. You’ll even learn the ins and outs of penetration testing so that you can be sure that the apps you create are as safe as possible for everyone who downloads them.

Going through college or other sources, courses like these may end up running you thousands of dollars. If you were to purchase lifetime access straight from the course provider, you’d pay almost $1100. But right now, through Android Central Digital Offers, you can become a Python guru for only $39! That’s lifetime access to 6 courses — 438 lesson, over 50 hours of content — for 96% off.

The world of apps is a wondrous and potentially lucrative one. Python is where it’s at for Google (which includes YouTube!), so if you want to get your feet wet and learn to build apps from scratch, enroll in the Python Programming Bootcamp and save over $1000 with Android Central Digital Offers!

See at Android Central Digital Offers

26
Sep

Hey Xiaomi, it’s time to end flash sales


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Xiaomi needs to reconsider its sales strategy.

Xiaomi makes enticing products that offer excellent value for money. Even though the brand does little to no marketing of its own (although that’s changing in India), it is one of the most talked-about companies on social media on account of the hype generated around every product launch. By undercutting its competitors, Xiaomi attracts a significant amount of interest without advertising through traditional marketing channels.

That move has worked incredibly well for the brand over the years, but there is one area where Xiaomi woefully falls short when compared to its rivals: availability. Most of Xiaomi’s latest products are available exclusively via flash sales, timed sales that are open for a short window once a week. This week, Xiaomi kicked off the first flash sale of the Mi Air Purifier 2, a $150 (₹9,999) smart air purifier that comes loaded with a slew of features that were previously limited to products that cost thrice as much.

I was very interested in buying Xiaomi’s air purifier. Air quality in most parts of India has deteriorated over the last few years, and while the situation isn’t as dire in Hyderabad as it is in Delhi, I wanted to get an air purifier to see if it made a tangible difference. I logged into the Mi Store app and waited for the sale to kick off at 12 p.m. IST. I hit refresh at 12 p.m. only to find that the air purifier was already out of stock.

Xiaomi’s products are often sold out in under 10 seconds.

This isn’t an isolated incident. I recommended the Redmi Note 3 to a relative earlier this year, and he tried — and failed — to buy the phone via weekly flash sales. He ended up getting a Lenovo K4 Note. Incidentally, the K4 Note was also limited to flash sales during the first month of its launch, but Lenovo was quick to make the phone available for everyone to purchase. Xiaomi did the same for the Redmi Note 3 in April, but availability issues lingered.

Xiaomi’s latest entry-level handset, the excellent Redmi 3S is in the same boat. The phone made its debut on August 3 and went on sale starting August 9. As you can imagine, the phone’s availability is still limited to flash sales.

Xiaomi’s products are priced close to their manufacturing cost, and as such the brand limits production to tens of thousand of units initially, eventually ramping up production over time as costs come down. It makes sense for the company to follow this approach as it allows Xiaomi to eke out maximum revenue from its phones. However, it means that early adopters looking to get their hands on Xiaomi’s latest products have to put up with frustrating availability issues.

Flash sales are bad for Xiaomi’s core audience — early adopters.

On average, Xiaomi receives millions of registrations for a flash sale, but it only makes about 50,000 units of a particular device available. The move also works out to XIaomi’s advantage, as the limited stock is usually sold out in under five seconds. But, by forcing users to jump through several hoops to get their hands on its latest devices, Xiaomi is creating a bad purchase experience for a majority of potential customers.

We’re already starting to see brands move away from flash sales. Lenovo’s Z2 Plus offers excellent hardware for its asking price of ₹17,999 ($270), and the phone is now available for purchase on Amazon India in general sale.

Xiaomi claims to be one of the largest manufacturers in the world. It’s time it started acting like one. As for an air purifier, I’m going with Philips. They’ve been making air purifiers for far longer than Xiaomi, and if their lighting products are any indication, I can look forward to excellent customer service.

26
Sep

New Roku box line-up official, starts at $30 and embraces 4K HDR


Roku has officially confirmed that it is replacing all the set-to-boxes in its line-up with all-new devices.

As rumoured over the last couple of weeks, there are five new Roku boxes, which start at just $29.99 for an entry-level device, going up to £129.99 for a top-of-the-line 4K HDR media streamer that also includes Dolby Digital Plus support, voice search and a lost remote finder function.

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The Roku Express and Roku Express+ models are 1080p streamers, much like the existing models available in the UK. The latter adds a composite video jack and A/V cable to the HDMI output, so is $10 more expensive at $39.99.

Roku

The Roku Premiere and Premiere+ are 4K-capable, with the latter also having HDR picture tech support. They cost $79.99 and $99.99 respectively.

Roku

Finally, the Roku Ultra is at that top-end $129.99 price point and includes the Dolby Digital Plus and other features detailed above.

In design terms, all of the 4K models will be familiar to those who have seen the Roku 4 (or Sky’s Now TV Smart Box in the UK). They are flat, square-like devices with rounded corners.

The Express models look different to anything Roku has done before and are tiny. The set-top-boxes are even smaller than the remotes they come with.

Roku has said that it is also keeping its Streaming Stick in the range.

All the devices will be available in the US from 9 October. There is currently no word on availability in the UK – after all, the Roku 4 still hasn’t even made it to these shores yet.

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