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10
Jan

Best Charging Stands for Google Pixel


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Elevate your Pixel off the table while it charges with these charging stands.

Finding a charging stand for your Google Pixel is, as we learned, a matter of making compromises. One of the best features of the Google Pixel is its fast charging ability, but you’ll get the best results using the charging cable and wall outlet that came with your phone.

There are a number of charging stands that support a USB-C connection, but the power being supplied to the stand typically use older USB cables which are usually not enough to support USB-PD. Alternatively, there are universal stands that will accommodate the proper cords and wall chargers for rapid charging.

Ultimately, which style you go with will depend on how you plan on using the charging stand — if you intend to plug your phone in bedside while you sleep, or on your desk while you work (or vice versa), slower charging speeds might be a non-factor. But if you must have quick charging, you’re best off using your own trusted cables with a universal stand.

  • Encased Google Pixel Charging Stand
  • Accesorz USB-C Charging Stand
  • SUPVIN USB-C Charging Dock
  • Esonstyle Desktop Cell Phone Stand
  • Lamicall Desktop Cell Phone Stand

Encased Google Pixel Charging Stand

google-pixel-desktop-charging-dock-press

This charging stand from Encased was specifically designed for the Pixel — but does not support rapid charging. Despite that, it’s got a great look to it and will accommodate a slim case on your Pixel. The fit is snug, so much so that you’ll probably need two hands to remove your phone from the dock — better than having a flimsy connection, right? Even better, each charging stand comes with a lifetime guarantee from Encased, and is available for Amazon Prime shipping.

See at Amazon

Accesorz USB-C Charging Stand

acessorz-usb-c-charging-stand-press.jpg?

Coming in at $12, this USB-C charging stand works well for the price, and states that it supports fast charging for the Pixel, but you’ll have to ensure that you’ve plugged the included micro USB cable in with a wall adapter that supports USB-PD. The USB-C connector is adjustable up to 15-degrees, and is deep enough to accommodate a case on your Pixel. There’s reusable sticky pads on the bottom, which help to secure it on your nightstand or desk.

If you don’t use a case on your phone and you find the connection is not as flush as you would like, you’ll want to reach out to the seller customer service. They should be able to help you out.

See at Amazon

SUPVIN USB-C Charging Dock

supvin-usb-c-charging-dock-press.jpg?ito

This dock has a classic look and will work great with your Pixel or Pixel XL. The USB-C connector is adjustable so you’ll be able to rest the body of your phone on the backrest, which also helps with the viewing angle of your device when you’re working at your desk. Again, this charger says it supports fast charging but it uses USB 2.0 cable to plug into a computer or wall charger, so don’t go in with high expectations. Other than that, this is a great option that won’t take up much real estate on your desk or nightstand.

See at Amazon

Esonstyle Desktop Cell Phone Stand

econstle-desktop-cell-phone-charger.jpg?

If rapid charging is a must-have for your Pixel charging stand, you’ll need to look at a universal stand, like this one from Esonstyle, that lets you use the USB-C charging cable and wall adapter that came with your Pixel. This stand is made from aluminum offers a nice viewing angle for using your device when you’re sitting at your desk. And, given that it’s universal, you have the versatility to use this stand with all your devices. With the price under $10, you really can’t go wrong here, can you?

See at Amazon

Lamicall Desktop Cell Phone Stand

lamicall-charging-stand-press.jpg?itok=9

This universal charging stand is another great option for using with your Pixel, or really any phone or tablet at your disposal. There’s ample space for the USB-C cable to plug into your pixel, and you’ll enjoy the design with the stylish and minimalist design. The rubber feet on the bottom help to keep it secure on your desk, while the rubber on the cradle helping to keep your Pixel secure while also keeping the edges of your device secure and protected from scuffs. It’s also available in silver, red or black.

See at Amazon

What are your thoughts?

Did we miss your preferred Pixel charging stand? Let us know in the comments!

10
Jan

Casio breathes new life into wearables and action cameras


Casio’s CES booth held some great tech for the adventurer. The WSD-F20 smartwatch isn’t just a weighty name; the watch has improved over its previous iteration. The FR200 action camera shoots in 4K, has an 180-degree viewable angle, and is waterproof, dustproof, and shock-resistant.

MrMobile takes to the forest of CES to seek the tree of tech knowledge. Michael Fisher knows now what the future holds, and imparts that wisdom unto you, adventurer. This ain’t no text adventure, get moving with Casio active tech!

Stay social, my friends

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10
Jan

LG G6 to feature extra-tall 5.7-inch display


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LG’s new flagship will reportedly focus on screen-to-body ratio.

Just as LG looks set to dump modularity in its 2017 flagship, there’s another eye-catching gimmick to take its place: An extra-tall, extra-large display. As it’s done in the past, the Korean firm has started trickling out details of its next major phone release, ahead of what’ll presumably be a Mobile World Congress unveiling at the end of February. LG Display has told The Korea Herald that the upcoming handset will use a “QHD+” LCD display at 1440×2880. LG Display calls it an “18:9” aspect ratio, in a move sure to anger math nerds the world over.

“QHD+ is expected to maximize users’ experience and value by providing ultra-high definition, differentiating it from all other mobile display panels,” LG display SVP and head of mobile development Kim Byeong-koo is quoted as saying, though it’s not clear how this “ultra high definition” is supposed to be any different to previous LCDs with similar pixel density.

LG also claims touch response, a thinner profile and better daylight visibility in its new display, all of which we’d expect from a new generation of panels. It’s also said to be 30 percent more efficient than “predecessors,” which presumably means the class of LCD used in the G5 and V20.

Meanwhile, citing sources, The Verge reports that the LG G6 will focus on “maximizing the screen-to-body ratio,” which LG attempted with 2013’s G2, but which has been lacking from the company’s more recent handsets.

The Korea Herald says the G6 will break cover sometime “next month,” which would fit with a launch event at MWC.

10
Jan

HTC’s latest announcement is all about U, kicks off Jan 12 at 3 a.m. ET


The first big smartphone launch of the year is already here.

CES 2017 has come and gone, and now we’re shifting right away into the early-2017 release season. HTC is the first to kick things off with an announcement set for January 12 at 3:00 a.m. ET — and if you’re wondering about the funny timing, it’s to coordinate with an actual launch in the evening in Taiwan. No matter what someone’s waking up at a weird hour to follow along.

Based on the teaser video accompanying the announcement, HTC’s latest device release is all about you (well, “U” but whatever) — and it cleverly shows off that the U is simply the HTC logo’s “C” … clever.

It is all about U. Join us live 12 Jan 2017 (3AM EST/12AM PST) #BrilliantU https://t.co/JnC81xU7AV pic.twitter.com/4c65hmnPfb

— HTC USA (@HTCUSA) January 10, 2017

So what could we be seeing? Well the best bet is a smartphone, or perhaps more than one. Rumors have swirled (though been light on information) of a phone code-named “Ocean” coming out early in the year, and this event would surely coincide with that. That being said, it’s a bit early in the year to unveil a true successor to the HTC 10 — we’d expect that closer to the MWC time frame.

If you want to find out, join HTC’s livestream of its event on Thursday at htc.com — and hopefully you don’t have to wake up too early to do so.

10
Jan

LeEco expands sales, starts offering Le Pro3 and Le S3 at Target


An important step for LeEco in the U.S.

After launching in the U.S. via its own online sales at LeMall.com, LeEco is expanding its phone sales to Target as well. The massive U.S. retailer will carry the Le Pro3 and Le S3 online, but it doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility to start stocking the phones in-store as well considering the types of budget devices it currently sells.

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LeEco’s first phones to launch in the U.S. haven’t exactly taken off as well as it would’ve hoped, but the Le Pro3 in particular has caught the eye of spec-hungry consumers on a tighter budget. Though its software and external hardware don’t scream high-end, the internals are really solid for the price — $399 for the Le Pro3 and $249 for the Le S3.

If you’re interested in buying a new LeEco phone and don’t want to jump through the (relative) hoops of its own LeMall site, you can find the three available LeEco models at Target.com right here.

10
Jan

Keep your Huawei Mate 9 protected with this great case for just $5


Looking to pick up a Mate 9 and want to keep it protected while showing it off? If so, you’ll want to check out Ringke’s Fusion series case, which offers a thin clear layer of protection for just $5 right now. You’ll be able to pick from a couple of different variants of the case which add a bit of color to the border, but the back on all of them is clear. The case will prevent your phone from getting scratches and dings, as well as protect the edges during a minor fall.

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This time around the coupon codes should work for items both fulfilled by Amazon and the seller, but if you are having issues with the codes try picking the option with fulfillment from the seller.

  • Fusion Clear – $4.99 with coupon HOAQIV2T
  • Fusion Smoke Black – $4.99 with coupon U8LL22DW
  • Fusion Ink Black – $4.99 with coupon MIRCD9BG

If you are looking to purchase a Mate 9 and want something basic to keep it protected, this is the case for you. Which color option will you end up with? Let us know in the comments!

See at Amazon

10
Jan

The Best File Managers


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Asus File Manager is the best file manager currently available for Android. You can move, share and delete your files, as well as compressing them to help save space.

Best overall

ASUS File Manager

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See at Play Store

ASUS File Manager manages to heave itself to the top of the file manager food chain on Android by delivering tons of great features that work well together to make your life easier in the long run. You’ll see the usual features like moving, sharing and deleting the files on your phone, as well as less common features like compressing files, and streaming files located in cloud storage. Of course you’ll also find the ability to easily browse your files, and manage your files with their cadre of useful disk tools.

Bottom line: ASUS File Manager delivers a great experience with all of the features you didn’t realize that you wanted. From managing files, to storage, their features all work well together delivering a simple and easy to use app.

One more thing: ASUS File Manager is the highest rated file manager on Google Play, with over 600,000 reviews for a scored of 4.6. And despite the name, it’s not exclusive to ASUS devices!

Why the ASUS File Manager is the best

ASUS File Manager delivers a great experience with tons of features, at the low, low, price of free.

I’ll be clear, that when I’m looking for a good file manager what I’m most concerned about is price, quality, and features — although not necessarily in that order. With that being said, it’s fairly clear how ASUS File Manager is able to climb to the head of the pack.

To begin with, ASUS File Manager is absolutely free. There are no add-ons, or pro editions that you’ll feel obligated to buy in order to access all of the features that you want. One of the biggest perks here is the ability to share, save, edit and delete your files whether they are located on your phone, microSD card, or in cloud storage. When it comes to cloud storage, you’ve also got access to accounts whether they happen to be Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, and more.

ASUS also gives you the ability to stream media that you’ve stored in the cloud. That means that you don’t need to keep all of your photos or videos stored on your phone if you want to show them to friends, you can upload them to the cloud and still whip them out at a moment’s notice.

Of course the most important aspect of any file manager is how easy it is to actually manage your files. Well, ASUS File Manager has you covered on that front as well. To save space on your phone, you have the ability to compress or extract files into and out of ZIP and RAR files. From the ASUS File Manager home, you can browse through all of your files and adjust them as necessary. Additionally their Disk Tools like the storage analyzer and recycle bin help you make sure that everything is exactly as you want it.

While you might find some of these features in other file managers, having them all in one place with an app that is easy to use, is why ASUS File Manager is the best file manager currently available on Android.

Best for Privacy

File Explorer

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See at Store

File Explorer is currently the second highest rated file manager on Google Play with over 50 thousand reviews chiming in for a 4.4 rating. That’s because what File Explorer does, it does quite well, delivering an easy and intuitive file manager that lets you easily handle your business.

While File Manager does have plenty of awesome features, to access absolutely everything offered you’ll need to purchase File Explorer Pro. When using the app there are popups which will inform you of an error, as well as help you out in learning the app, making it far more intuitive than many of its competitors. When using File Explorer you’ll be able to you can transfer files from phone to phone using Wi-Fi, it supports multi-windowed mode, gives you the ability to see the size of each folder on your phone, and offers a home screen to allow you to easily browse and adjust your files. However, to access features like extracting ZIP and RAR files, connect to Cloud storage, and directly browse your multimedia files you will need to upgrade to File Explorer Pro.

Bottom line: File Explorer is a decent option for those who don’t need a ton of bells and whistles, or who prefer an easy and intuitive app to use. However, some of their best — and most useful — features are hidden behind a paywall.

One more thing: If you’ve been looking for an ad-free experience that also does not participate in user tracking, then File Explorer is definitely your best bet.

Best for multiple devices

ASTRO File manager

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See at Store

ASTRO File Manager has been one of the best file managers on Google Play for years now, and with good reason. It’s got an easy to use and intuitive UI which is always a solid plus, but it also comes at the lovely price of free. While ASTRO File Manager includes many of the same features as other file managing apps, it also has a few surprises that nobody else currently includes.

To begin with, ASTRO File Manager includes a task killer. This means that it’s easy to kill tasks or processes killing your battery life, without a hassle. You also have access to File Manager Backup, which can be a boon for anyone who has to switch phones often, or is prone to losing their devices.

ASTRO File Manager also delivers the best features that you’re used to have access to. You’ll be able to deal with files located on your phone, SD card, Cloud Storage, LAN, and even on Facebook. There is also the ability to add FTP and SMB servers.

Bottom line: ASTRO File Manager delivers you the awesome features you need in order to access and organize your files, as well as a task killer, and the lovely ability to backup your filed before switching phones. With access to files on your phone, social media, and cloud storage, you’ll always be able to access what you need with a tap.

One more thing: ASTRO File Manager is available in 13 different languages, making it ideal for non-english speakers and readers.

Conclusion

Plenty of us use File Managers in order to keep track all of the many files we have. While there are many dozens of them available on the Google Play Store, many don’t offer the features or ease of access that you want — or need—in a file manager. Of the many managers out there, ASUS File Manager delivers the best experience and price, with all the features you could ask for.

Best overall

ASUS File Manager

asus-file-manager.jpg?itok=UYnvkecA

See at Play Store

ASUS File Manager manages to heave itself to the top of the file manager food chain on Android by delivering tons of great features that work well together to make your life easier in the long run. You’ll see the usual features like moving, sharing and deleting the files on your phone, as well as less common features like compressing files, and streaming files located in cloud storage. Of course you’ll also find the ability to easily browse your files, and manage your files with their cadre of useful disk tools.

Bottom line: ASUS File Manager delivers a great experience with all of the features you didn’t realize that you wanted. From managing files, to storage, their features all work well together delivering a simple and easy to use app.

One more thing: ASUS File Manager is the highest rated file manager on Google Play, with over 600,000 reviews for a scored of 4.6. And despite the name, it’s not exclusive to ASUS devices!

10
Jan

Steadicam comes to smartphones with the gyro-stabilized Volt


Steadicam changed the film industry with unrestricted tracking shots in films like Rocky and The Shining, and now, it’s going after smartphone users. Parent company Tiffen has unveiled the Steadicam Volt, a handheld gimbal up for grabs on Kickstarter for $139. Unlike models you may know like DJI’s $299 Osmo, the Volt (built in collaboration with drone-maker Yuneec) is not an entirely electronic affair. Rather, it uses a combination of Steadicam’s traditional balance-type gimbal and motorization to give you a smooth tracking shot with more control over tilts, pans and other moves.

Steadicam inventor and camera operator legend Garrett Brown calls it an “electronically gyro-augmented Steadicam for smartphones that weighs one pound, with the inertia an feel of a 40 pound rig.” What that means (I think) is that it works like a simple hand-held gimbal stabilizer, but uses a motorized gyro to give it artificial inertia, keeping the phone steady when you move your hand. Unlike motorized three-axis gimbals, it’ll work even when the battery is dead.

The Volt can accept iOS and Android smartphones weighing 100 to 200 grams (3.5 to 7 ounces), from 58 to 80mm wide. It comes with an app that helps you balance and tune it, and has dual operating modes for novices or advanced users. The lithium-ion batteries last eight hours between charges, but you can run the device in a reduced way with no juice.

Since it’s more of a mechanical gimbal than a fully motorized rig, the Steadicam Volt probably has a steeper learning curve than the DJI Osmo, and looks to require some manual dexterity. However, the company says that also makes it more responsive and gives shots a more natural look. In a side-by-side demonstration, Brown shows that the fully motorized Osmo has trouble keeping up with the more manually operated Volt.

The Steadicam Volt is less complex than a fully motorized rig (therefore probably less likely to break), and at the Kickstarter price of $139, is a lot less money, too. That said, some operator skill is required as with pretty much all Steadicam devices, so don’t expect a fully automatic experience.

The product has already met its Kickstarter goal after just a few days (the early-bird $119 offer is already gone, unfortunately), and with Tiffen behind it, you can be pretty sure that the June 2017 shipping time and price won’t slip. As a bonus in the video below (at around 1:02), see Brown on the set of Return of the Jedi operating a special gyro-equipped, Vistavision steadicam rig used to film the speeder bike background plates at 0.75 frames per second.

Source: Kickstarter

10
Jan

LG G6 to use the “world’s first QHD+ screen with 18:9 aspect ratio”


LG Display has confirmed the screen to adorn the next LG flagship, which we all know will be the G6, will be a 5.7-inch 1440 x 2880 Quad HD+ LCD panel, some improvement on the 5.3-inch Quad HD panel found in the G5.

  • LG G6: What’s the story so far?

The new screen with be the first of its kind to sport an ultra wide 18:9 aspect ratio and will serve up 564ppi to make it super sharp and deliver an “immersive viewing experience”.

LG has also said the screen will be ideal for multitasking and dual-screen functions, giving a hint as to some of the G6’s features.

The new screen will also use LG’s in-Touch technology, which gets rid of the usual touch cover glass to make finger touches that bit more accurate and more responsive. The module is also incredibly thin at just 1mm, which could mean larger components can be fitted behind it, such as a battery, but it also allows the bezels to be thinner than before.

LG says left and right bezels will be reduced by 0.54mm, while the top will shrink by 0.2mm, suggesting the majority of the front of the G6 will be taken up by screen.

Visibility in sunlight is also said to be increased by 10 percent, while power consumption is down 30 percent, so hopefully whatever battery is fitted to the G6 will last that bit longer.

  • Mobile World Congress 2017: Smartphones, smartphones, smartphones to expect
  • LG confirms the G6 will have no modules

We expect to see the LG G6 unveiled either at MWC itself, or a day before the show officially begins.

10
Jan

Samsung Galaxy Note 8: What’s the story so far?


Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 was a fantastic phone, until the battery issues destroyed its reputation and left it with a legacy of being the only phone to be singled out before boarding a flight.

We expected the Note family to die with the Note 7, but there’s murmurs that it lives on, reborn like a phoenix from the ashes of its forebear. Here is everything we know so far about the Note 8, based on the rumours.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Release date

  • Note 8 pretty much confirmed
  • Likely to be latter half of 2017

Samsung has pretty much confirmed the release of a Note 8 after it announced an upgrade scheme in South Korea following the Note 7 debacle. The scheme allowed anyone who bought a Note 7 to get a Galaxy S7 or S7 edge for half price, after which they would be able to upgrade to the S8 or Note 8 when they were released in 2017.

As to specifically when the Note 8 will be released, that’s anyone’s guess at the moment. Traditional patterns would suggest the end of the year, around August or September time, but Samsung might do it earlier in order to ensure it has a flagship phablet in the market that isn’t two years old and doesn’t explode.

  • Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus: What’s the story so far?

Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Design

  • Metal and glass likely
  • Possibility of reduced bezels and no home button

Currently, rumours are few and far between when it comes to the Note 8’s design. We wouldn’t expect it to stray too much from what the Note 7 delivered, though it wouldn’t be surprising to see the bezels reduce.

The Galaxy S8, rumoured to launch sometime at the beginning of 2017, is said to be ditching the physical home button and headphone jack. If this is the case, we would expect the Note 8 to do the same, meaning the fingerprint sensor could be built into the display or perhaps removed entirely with just an iris scanner offered instead.

In terms of materials, we’d be surprised to see a move away from the metal and glass combo that has served Samsung so well over the last couple of years. We can also assume USB Type-C will be on board, along with the S Pen.

  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Display

  • Big screen is a given
  • Dual-edge display is likely again
  • 4K resolution for VR rumoured

The Samsung Galaxy Note series is known for its large display so it’s a given that the Note 8 will also have a big screen. Traditionally, this has been 5.7-inches, at least since the Note 3, though the S8 Plus is claimed to be to increasing to 6.2-inches without a huge change in body dimensions so perhaps the Note 8 will do the same.

Even if the rumours don’t give us anything for a while regarding screen size, the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus should offer some indication as to what path the Note 8 could take. A good screen to body ratio would probably be a safe bet though, as would Super AMOLED technology and Mobile HDR, the latter of which launched on the Note 7.

The Note 7 featured a dual-edge display with a Quad HD resolution, and while the dual-edge is likely the remain, leaks suggest the Note 8 might increase the resolution to 4K in order to be better equipped for a new Gear VR. This is plausible as there is now more 4K content becoming available and VR is becoming more prominent so the benefits of having a 4K display are more apparent than they were when Sony launched the Xperia Z5 Premium.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Camera

  • Possibility of dual-rear cameras
  • Likely to offer same features as Note 7, with advancements

When it comes to smartphone cameras, more megapixels doesn’t always mean better, as Samsung and Apple have both proved, with both companies’ flagships producing great results despite not offering the highest resolution sensors.

The Note 8 is therefore likely to continue this legacy and offer brilliant snappers, though how many megapixels will appear and what other features will be on board remains to be seen for now. We’d expect the same functionality as the Note 7, including optical image stabilisation, along with some advancements.  

The Galaxy S8 has been rumoured to come with a dual-rear camera or a 30-megapixel rear camera. The former is a big trend in smartphone cameras at the moment, with Apple, LG and Huawei all offering their own takes so we wouldn’t be surprised to see Samsung do the same with the S8 and the Note 8.

  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus review

Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Hardware

  • Qualcomm or/and Exynos chips likely
  • 6GB of RAM plausible expectation
  • Large battery capacity expected

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will come with the latest hardware under its hood, as is typically the case with the Note series. The latest and greatest Exynos or Qualcomm chips will no doubt be running the show, depending on region, and there’s a good chance of 6GB of RAM. The S8 has seen talk of 8GB of RAM so if this ends up being a reality, we’d expect the Note 8 to offer the same.

We’d also expect a minimum of 32GB internal storage and microSD support for further storage expansion, though we’d hope Samsung will finally offer Nougat’s adoptable storage feature to allow the internal storage and SD storage to work in tandem.

In terms of battery, the Note 8 will hopefully have one that doesn’t blow up. That would definitely be a good start anyway. The Note 7 offered a 3500mAh capacity so we would expect a similar capacity from the Note 8, though there have been no specific rumours as yet.

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review

Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Software

  • Android Nougat with TouchWiz
  • Bixby voice assistant
  • Improved S Pen features rumoured

The Galaxy Note 8 will probably arrive on Android Nougat with Samsung’s TouchWiz software over the top. TouchWiz was refined for the Note 7, offering less duplication and a more streamlined design so we would expect this to be the case for the Note 8 too, hopefully with some extra refinement.

There will no doubt be some new features for the Note 8 specifically, along with the S Pen features of course. Rumour has it the Note 8 will offer improved stylus features over the Note 7, along with the Bixby voice assistant, which is also confirmed to be coming to the S8.

  • Android Nougat review

Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Conclusion

The main focus for rumours is currently the Galaxy S8 and the S8 Plus, so at the moment there isn’t a great deal to go on when it comes to the Note 8.

This is likely to change over the next few months and rumours and leaks will no doubt increase following the launch of the other flagships.

The only thing we can be almost certain of is that a new Note will launch and it will hopefully bring all the brilliant elements of the Note 7 and more. As always, we will update this feature as more information appears.

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