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17
Aug

Apple Watch Series 3 Enters ‘Final Testing Phase’ Ahead of Rumored September Launch


Apple Watch Series 3 models have entered the “final testing phase” in the manufacturing process, with mass production set to begin soon, according to a new Chinese-language Economic Daily News report [Google Translate].

The report, citing unnamed supply chain sources, said Taiwan-based manufacturer Quanta Computer will begin shipping Apple Watch Series 3 models to Apple in the fourth quarter, lining up with the smartwatch’s widely rumored September launch, alongside new iPhones and possibly a 4K-capable Apple TV.

Apple Watch Series 2 models and slightly upgraded Series 1 models launched last September alongside the iPhone 7, so it’s reasonable to assume that Series 3 models could launch this September as well. The original Apple Watch, now unofficially dubbed Series 0, launched in April 2015.

The rest of the report cites KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who recently claimed Apple Watch Series 3 will be available in both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + LTE models in 38mm and 42mm sizes. Kuo said the cellular-enabled model will have an embedded SIM, but it might support VoIP calling only.

Apple Watch Series 3 models will also reportedly have improved performance and longer battery life, at least for the Wi-Fi-only version.

What’s less certain is whether the Apple Watch will be significantly redesigned for the first time since being unveiled in September 2014.

Apple blogger John Gruber recently said he heard Apple Watch Series 3 models could have an all-new form factor, but he stressed that the tidbit came from an unconfirmed source who could be wrong. Kuo, meanwhile, said Apple Watch Series 3 models won’t have any “obvious” form factor changes.

“It could also be that both my birdie and Kuo are correct,” said Gruber, in a follow-up post yesterday. “The phrase ‘will not feature an obvious new form factor’ leaves a lot of wiggle room with the word ‘obvious’,” he added.

Few other details are known about the next Apple Watch at this point, and no components have leaked from the supply chain yet.

Apple has filed patents for a number of ideas that could eventually be included in an Apple Watch, such as a heart rate identification system, modular bands, haptic feedback band, and a band with a built-in charger. More significant health and fitness features could be added pending further FDA approvals.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3, watchOS 4
Tag: udn.com
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)
Discuss this article in our forums

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17
Aug

Best iOS app deals of the day! 6 paid iPhone apps for free for a limited time


Everyone likes Apple apps, but sometimes the best ones are a bit expensive. Now and then, developers put paid apps on sale for free for a limited time, but you have to snatch them up while you have the chance. Here are the latest and greatest iOS app deals available from the iOS App Store.

These apps normally cost money and this sale lasts for a limited time only. If you go to the App Store and it says the app costs money, that means the deal has expired and you will be charged. 

Monogram Plus

Monogram Plus allows you to customize your screen with various personalizations. Edit six different types of complications using emojis, your name, your initials, a reminder, a note, an image, and more.

Available on:

iOS

Millimeter

Millimeter Pro is a easy to use and helpful measurement tool for your iPhone. It uses your touchscreen as a ruler or tape measure to make quick measurements.

Available on:

iOS

Student Planner

The student planner designed for the modern student with powerful features all designed to be used quickly and easily.

Available on:

iOS

Todokit

Organize tasks by project, priority, and urgency. Then, track your progress for each task and check your past achievements.

Available on:

iOS

ListBox

The most important thing about this reminder app is that it won’t leave you alone until you notice the reminder, and when you do, it suggests an action.

Available on:

iOS

Moody

How were you feeling last week? What was your mood last September? It’s usually hard to remember your mood, but Moody is here to help you.

Available on:

iOS




17
Aug

Samsung Galaxy S8 Active vs. Galaxy S7 Active: Rugged smartphone shootout


A good rugged phone is hard to find. A good rugged phone that doesn’t sacrifice performance, even harder. Fortunately, Samsung has been a leader in the segment with its Galaxy S Active series of phones. Last year’s Galaxy S7 Active retained everything we loved about the regular Galaxy S7 — the fantastic camera, lightning-fast processor, and gorgeous display — while beefing up the battery, drop protection, and water resistance.

Thankfully, Samsung appears to have taken the same approach with the Galaxy S8 Active. The result is a tried-and-true flagship that doesn’t skimp on anything to deliver the most durability in the segment. Read on to find out how the S8 Active stacks up against its predecessor.

Specs and performance

Samsung Galaxy S8 Active

Samsung Galaxy S7 Active

Size
151.9 x 74.9 x 9.9mm (5.98 x 2.95 x 0.39 in)
148.8 x 74.9 x 9.9 mm (5.86 x 2.95 x 0.39 in)
Weight
7.34 ounces (208 grams)
6.53 ounces (185 grams)
Screen
5.8-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED flat
5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED
Resolution
2,960 x 1,440
2,560 x 1,440
OS
Android 7.0 Nougat
Android 7.0 Nougat
Storage
64GB
32GB
SD Card Slot
Yes
Yes
NFC support
Yes
Yes
Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
RAM
4GB
4GB
Connectivity
4G LTE, GSM, CDMA, HSPA+, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
4G LTE, GSM, CDMA, HSPA+, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
Camera
12MP rear with OIS, 8MP front
12MP rear with OIS, 5MP front
Video
4K
4K
Bluetooth
Yes, version 5
Yes, version 4.2
Fingerprint sensor
Yes
Yes
Other sensors
Accelerometer, ambient light, compass, GPS, gyroscope, Hall, heart rate, iris scanner, proximity
Accelerometer, ambient light, compass, GPS, gyroscope, heart rate, proximity
Water Resistant
Yes, IP68 and MIL-STD-810G
Yes, IP68 and MIL-STD-810G
Battery
4,000mAh
4,000mAh
Ports
USB Type-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
Micro USB, 3.5mm headphone jack
Charging
Quick charging, Qi/PMA wireless charging
Quick charging, Qi/PMA wireless charging
Color
Meteor Gray, Titanium Gold
Camo Green, Titanium Gray, Sandy Gold
Marketplace
Google Play Store
Google Play Store
Price
$850, or $28.34 per month for 20 months
$695, or $23 per month for 17 months
Availability
AT&T
AT&T
DT Review
N/A
4 out of 5 stars

The S7 Active was at the bleeding edge of mobile hardware last year, and the same is true of the S8 Active today. The S8 Active has a newer Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. It features the same 4GB of RAM as last year’s model, though the amount of internal storage has seen a sizable bump: 64GB, up from 32GB in the S7 Active. Both phones feature MicroSD slots for expansion up to an additional 256GB.

To tip the scales even further in the S8 Active’s favor, the new model features Bluetooth 5.0. The S7 Active made do with only version 4.2, which has half the data transfer speed, and cannot pair to more than one device at a time.

In terms of power and performance, there’s really no contest. The Galaxy S7 Active would still be plenty fast for just about anyone, but the S8 Active is simply a generation ahead.

Winner: Galaxy S8 Active

Design

Samsung

Where design is concerned, the S8 Active is the more attractive handset, at least head-on. Although the screen isn’t curved on the S8 Active, presumably for durability concerns, it covers significantly more surface area than the S7 Active’s did. The bezels are quite slim on every side for such a rugged device, but the S8 Active is only a bit taller than its predecessor. In terms of width and thickness, they’re exactly the same.

That larger 18.5:9 screen comes at a price — the S7 Active’s physical navigation buttons are nowhere to be found on the new model. Aesthetically, it’s a good look — but if you’re in a line of work where you’re interested in the S8 Active to begin with, the lack of a tactile, clickable interface may inhibit usability with gloves.

For that reason, it’s hard to recommend the S8 Active lock, stock, and barrel over its predecessor in the design department. In other respects, both have the typical hallmarks of a rugged phone: Textured surfaces, cushioned corners, unnecessary molding along the sides, and, in the S8 Active’s case, screws that serve no obvious purpose. They’re not as garish as they could be, but they make for a phone that is no match for the svelte, classic S8, or for that matter the HTC U11, LG G6, or iPhone 7.

Winner: Tie

Durability

Jessica Star Lee/Digital Trends

While durability is probably the Active’ series foremost consideration, the S8 Active doesn’t seem to be any better at taking a beating than its predecessor. That’s not to say it’s not tough — simply that improvements haven’t really been made.

Both phones are rated IP68 water and dust resistant. If you drop either in the pool, they’ll survive for 30 minutes, at a depth of 5 feet. Both adhere to the MIL-STD-810G military equipment standard, meaning they can withstand a variety of environmental conditions and physical trauma that would demolish lesser devices. And both feature “shatter-resistant” displays, according to Samsung, as well as shock-absorbing corners to weather drops. No matter which Active you choose, you’ll be equally protected against the elements.

Winner: Tie

Display

Malarie Gokey / Digital Trends

The real difference between the displays in each of these phones is the size. Whereas the Galaxy S7 Active featured a 5.1-inch panel with a conventional 16:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of 2560 x 1440, the S8 Active’s is bigger and sharper. At 5.8 inches, it fills up far more real estate on the front, making the body feel surprisingly compact. The 18.5:9 aspect ratio leads to a taller screen when you’re holding it in portrait mode, and the resolution has been improved to 2960 x 1440 for those extra pixels at the top and bottom. Both devices utilize AMOLED technology, delivering rich blacks and vibrant colors. In a nod to the regular S8, the S8 Active’s panel features rounded corners — although it lacks the futuristic, sloping edges.

Winner: Galaxy S8 Active

Battery life and charging

Jessica Star Lee/Digital Trends

Whereas the standard S7 had a 3,000mAh battery, Samsung bumped the capacity to 4,000mAh for the S7 Active. It has taken the exact same approach this time around. Both the S7 Active and S8 Active feature large 4,000mAh batteries, good for at least a day-and-a-half of use, with the potential to go beyond that.

Although the sizes are equal, the S8 Active’s 835 chipset is said to be 25 percent more efficient than the outgoing 820 found in the S7 Active. This would give a slight edge in battery life to the newer model. Fortunately, both devices support Samsung’s quick charging protocol as well as wireless charging, so topping up those big batteries shouldn’t take too long. However, the S8 Active features a USB Type-C connector, while the S7 Active makes do with Micro USB. The latter isn’t quite as fast, isn’t reversible, and can’t serve as many different purposes.

Winner: Galaxy S8 Active

Camera

Malarie Gokey / Digital Trends

The photography experience is another area where there’s very little separating the S7 Active and S8 Active. Last year’s device basically carried over the regular S7’s 12-megapixel rear shooter, which we found to be excellent in testing. That camera was mostly unchanged moving to the S8, and it’s been preserved in the S8 Active. The only difference is the front-facing camera, which benefits from an 8-megapixel sensor, compared to five in the S7 range.

While extremely good, the cameras could always be improved. Samsung has received serious competition from Apple and Google in this space over the last year, so perhaps it’ll be time for a serious upgrade when the Galaxy S9 rolls around. Regardless, whichever Active device you choose, you’ll get a similar camera experience on par with the best flagships. Selfie fans will want the S8 Active.

Winner: Galaxy S8 Active

Software

Jessica Star Lee/Digital Trends

The S8 Active includes Bixby, Samsung’s new virtual assistant. In theory, Bixby should be a huge part of Samsung’s TouchWiz Android experience, making every task a bit easier. In practice, however, it just isn’t that useful yet. Even with Bixby Voice finally releasing in English after months of delays, there’s very little reason right now you’d use it instead of, say, Google Assistant.

Bixby was supposed to be Samsung’s defining new feature. Without it, you’re looking at two very similar phones from a software perspective. Both Active devices feature a subsection of mini-apps called the Activity Zone, which acts as a portal to lots of outdoorsy tools and information, like the flashlight, stopwatch, compass, and barometer. If you’re interested in a rugged smartphone to begin with, you’ll probably find it somewhat useful — but it exists on both the S8 Active and S7 Active, so you’re not forced to choose.

Winner: Tie

Price and availability

Both the S7 Active and S8 Active are unfortunately AT&T carrier exclusives, so if you’re on another network, you’re out of luck. The S8 Active runs $850 at launch, while the S7 Active has dropped down to $700 after a year on the market. The S8 Active costs $50 more than its predecessor did when it was new.

So the availability is equally poor for both phones, and the S8 Active demands a $150 premium for the latest tech. AT&T does have a couple of promotions going on to lessen the blow, like the ability to receive up to $200 for trading in an eligible device. If you can string them together, the S8 Active begins to make more sense — though on price alone, it loses this battle.

Winner: Galaxy S7 Active

Overall winner: Galaxy S8 Active

Great as the Galaxy S7 Active was, the newer model benefits from a next-gen, state-of-the-art processor and a nearly full-screen display. In terms of its ruggedness, the S8 Active doesn’t offer a significant upgrade — but if you want a phone that doesn’t cut back on power and performance to deliver best-in-class durability, look no further than Samsung’s latest.




17
Aug

This limited-edition all-aluminum hybrid superyacht has Porsche DNA


Why it matters to you

A Porsche-designed hybrid superyacht lets you be eco-conscious while enjoying luxury and performance.

A limited few lucky people will be able to travel in a Porsche-designed, eco-friendly, performance vessel across the Atlantic Ocean starting this fall. Monaco-based yacht builder Dynamiq hooked up with Studio F.A. Porsche for the design of a small lineup of limited edition GTT hybrid performance yachts. The first in the series, currently nearing completion, is the Dynamiq GTT 115 Hybrid superyacht.

First, let’s clear up the terminology. In the yachting world, GTT means “Gran Turismo Transatlantic.” In plain English, that means a GTT boat is purpose-built to cross the ocean relatively quickly in luxury and style. Dynamiq is building three sizes, 85, 100, and 115 feet in length. The 115-foot (35-meter) GTT 115 Hybrid model will be available for purchase in September. The 85-foot and 100-foot models, respectively the GTT 85 and GTT 100, will be ready later in 2017.

Studio F.A. Porsche, previously Porsche Design Studio, is now named after its founder Professor Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, who is also known for another of his designs, the Porsche 911. Porsche designed both the interior and exterior of the GTT yachts.

The GTT hulls were developed in the Netherlands by naval architectural firms Vripack and Van Oossanen. The shipyard where the GTT 115 Hybrid is currently under construction is in Viareggio, Italy.

Not all Dynamiq GTTs will be hybrid superyachts. The GTT 115 Hybrid is powered by twin 1213 kW (1,667 horsepower) MAN diesel engines paired with Fortjes 5000 pods each rated to 2,000 kW or 2,682 hp, driven by 45kW generators.

The hybrid power is optional, but with the combination of diesel and electric power, the yacht can top 21 knots. The GTT 115 Hybrid’s 3,400 nautical mile range means transatlantic crossings are not a problem.

The GTT 115 has a shallow draft of less than 5 feet which lets it move freely in many areas in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and the waters of Southeast Asia that are typically inaccessible to yachts in the same size range with deeper draft hulls.

The GTT 115 Hybrid design has interior space for three or four luxury cabins, but three is the ideal number, according to Dynamiq CEO Sergei Dobroserdov.

“When we talk about comfort and top service, the ideal for this size of yacht is six guests in three cabins served by a 1:1 ratio of six crew for genuinely exclusive onboard service,” Dobroserdov said. “We also designed the interior ceiling heights to more than 2.15 meters (7 feet), even in the lower deck cabins: that’s real luxury on a 35-meter yacht.”

Dynamiq has an online Configurator program that allows clients to personalize every aspect in outfitting yachts and to track progress and cost in real time. According to Dynamiq, the Configurator software can reduce delivery time from the typical 3 to 5 years to just 15 months from the date of order.

The starting price for Dynamiq GTT 115s is just under $14 million, but that doesn’t include the hybrid power system or other upgrades.

The first of the seven GTT 115s will be at the 2017 Monaco Yacht Show in late September and then at subsequent international yachting events. Should you be interested in purchasing the first of the series it will also be for sale in September. For more information on the GTT 115 series or other GTT yachts, contact Danamiq directly.




17
Aug

Are you thinking of switching your carrier?


Change can be good, as long as you’ve thought things through.

There are now like a million different phone plans from a bunch of different companies. And you can buy an unlocked version of most any phone that will work on one or more of them.

That’s good stuff! When there are more choices for any type of service, companies have to find ways to entice us to pick what they have to offer over what the other guy has. Companies fighting over our business means better service and cheaper prices, and who doesn’t love both?

More: Wireless carrier buyer’s guide

prepaid-sim-cards.jpg?itok=Nzjwox1q

At AC, we’ve been talking about carrier plans and unlocked phones that can be used to jump between them for a while because it’s something a lot of us actually do. And we’re seeing more and more interest in it every day.

With this in mind, we want to do up a little informal poll.

Advertisement

Take a second and visit this post in the forums. Vote in the poll so we all have a general idea of how many of us are at least thinking of making a change, then be sure to talk about why you answered the way you did in the replies.

AC Forums: Are you thinking about switching your carrier?

Discussing all the pros and cons and various reasons for or against is bound to be a great conversation and maybe we can all find out ways to get more while paying less!

Alternative carriers (MVNOS)

mint-pixel.jpg

  • What is an alternative mobile carrier?
  • What are the advantages of going with an alternative carrier?
  • How to make sure your phone works on a prepaid alternative carrier
  • 8 Important Considerations When Switching To An MVNO
  • These are the cheapest data plans you can buy in the U.S.
  • Mint SIM vs. Cricket Wireless: Which is better for you?

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17
Aug

This $20 smart plug can be controlled by your voice


Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time with a great deal on a smart plug you’ll want to buy!

Right now you can pick up D-Link’s Smart Plug for just $19.99 at Amazon, which is a savings of $10 from its regular price. This smart plug works with both Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant, meaning you can use just your voice to control the power to the outlet if you wanted. It can also be controlled from the mydlink app, which is available on both iOS and Android.

dlink-smart-plug.jpg?itok=I2sU1K2V

  • Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control (devices sold separately)
  • Turn devices on or off from your smartphone or tablet from anywhere. Create on/off schedules for your devices
  • Easy setup. Designed to work with existing Wi-Fi networks (no additional hub required)
  • Use with other mydlink Home devices and the free mydlink Home app to create a smarter, more secure and more aware home. Works with any smartphone or tablet running Android 4.1 or higher or iOS 7.0 and higher
  • Electrical rating of 120V/15A/60Hz/1800W (for indoor use). IFTTT compatible – Pair with any IFTTT enabled product or app to connect your Wi-Fi Smart Plug to the world in fun and useful ways

At this price, you may want to pick up a couple of these to have around the house. They are great for controlling your lamps, fans, and other household accessories. You can also pick up a 2-pack of TP-Link’s smart plugs for $40 with coupon code 15SMARTKIT at Amazon right now.

See at Amazon

More from Thrifter

  • How to maximize your Amazon Prime membership
  • How to buy and resell your wedding decor

For more great deals, be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

17
Aug

Best tips for wrangling Bixby to get it to do what you want


bixby-tips.jpg?itok=pey4TDYf

Getting Bixby Voice to do what you want can be pesky, but these tips can help.

Bixby Voice for Samsung’s Galaxy S8 delivers a pocket assistant that you can talk to in order to get things done. However, if you can’t seem to get Bixby to do what you’re asking, then this assistant can be more of a hassle than a help. That’s why we’ve put together this handy list of tips to get Bixby Voice to listen when you give it a command!

  • Ask Bixby to open an app
  • Check compatible apps
  • Be specific
  • Take the time to teach Bixby
  • Use Quick Commands

Ask Bixby to open an app

When you’re trying to get Bixby Voice to complete a specific task for you, the first thing that you need to do is ask it to open an app. Saying “Hey Bixby, Open my Calendar” will open up your Calendar, but once you have an app opened up, you’ll be able to ask it to complete specific tasks without causing confusion for your pocket assistant.

Taking the extra moment to ask Bixby to open an app before giving her specific commands means that she’ll know which app you’re talking about, and you’ll have a better shot of getting things done correctly the first time that you ask.

Check compatible apps

bixby-tips-quick-command.jpg?itok=iN9V2p

While Bixby works with many apps already, and Samsung is adding more to that catalog, it definitely does not include everything. If you want to be sure that Bixby is capable of doing what you are asking it to, double-check that the app you’re talking about is compatible with Bixby.

There’s a full list of every fully compatible app that you have access to. On top of that, if you take a look at Bixby Labs, these are apps that are currently being tested with Bixby. They may well lack full functionality for now, but knowing whether the app you want Bixby to use is available is key to getting it to do what you want it to.

Be specific

bixby-tips-specific.jpg?itok=O24Rz5YA

When asking Bixby to complete a task for you, be sure that you’re being specific. Just asking her to do something vague isn’t going to do you any favors. By being quite specific when you talk to Bixby, you’ll be in much better straits to have the app do what you’ve asked it to on the first try. By saying “Bixby do I have anything on the Calendar for August 22, 2017?” it’s much easier for it to complete my request in a single try than if I say “Bixby what’s going on next week?”

Simply put, by being as specific as possible, Bixby will be able to understand exactly what you are asking it to do without clarification needed.

Take the time to teach Bixby

Every time that you have Bixby complete a task for you or answer a question, you have the ability to teach Bixby and give feedback. In some cases, Bixby gets the picture quickly, but if you find that the app is regularly mishearing your words, then you’ll definitely want to correct it.

Bixby learns by interacting with you, and the better it understands you and what you’re asking, the easier time it will have to complete all of the tasks you set.

Use Quick Commands

bixby-quick-command-office.jpg?itok=MkLf

Quick Commands with Bixby Voice gives you access to really customizing your experience. By building your own quick command, you’ll be able to launch specific actions with a phrase that you choose.

This means you can create phrases that will automatically launch what you need them to do. For instance “Take me to Mom’s House” can automatically launch Maps and start navigation to your desired location. By setting up a cadre of Quick Commands, you can always be sure that your verbal commands are fulfilled correctly by Bixby.

Questions?

Do you still have questions about getting Bixby to do what you want it to? Is there a tip for using Bixby Voice that we should have included here? Let us know about it by dropping us a comment below!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

  • Galaxy S8 and S8+ review!
  • Galaxy S8 and S8+ specs
  • Everything you need to know about the Galaxy S8’s cameras
  • Get to know Samsung Bixby
  • Join our Galaxy S8 forums

Verizon
AT&T
T-Mobile
Sprint
Unlocked

17
Aug

Comcast’s XFINITY Mobile now available in all Comcast markets


Comcast has finished rolling out their mobile network to all the markets that it offers home Internet.

Comcast announced its Xfinity Mobile service — mobile plans for existing Xfinity subscribers — earlier this year. The network runs on the Verizon Wireless network, so Comcast has plenty of spectrum they can use, but the company did not yet have the Xfinity Mobile service in every Xfinity market.

That changes today. Comcast has announced that it has completed the roll out of the Xfinity Mobile service, and any Xfinity user in any market will be able to sign up for the service. Comcast is offering two data tier options for subscribers: $45 per month per line (up to five lines) with no usage limits or $12 per gigabyte per line. The company does note that speeds will be throttled after reaching 20GB of usage in a month. From Comcast:

PHILADELPHIA – Aug. 17, 2017 – Comcast today announced it has completed its nationwide rollout of Xfinity Mobile across all of its sales channels in all of Comcast’s markets. Xfinity Mobile is a new wireless service designed for the way people use their phones today, with internet at the center of their experience, and is now offered in all of Comcast’s service areas through the company’s newly redesigned retail stores and a new online experience at XfinityMobile.com.

“We created a unique mobile experience that’s simple and saves customers money by connecting to our nationwide Wi-Fi network, and allows them to only pay for the data they use,” said Greg Butz, president of Xfinity Mobile. “Now that we’re available across all of our distribution platforms, including our retail locations in all of our markets, we look forward to introducing even more customers to Xfinity Mobile.”

Xfinity Mobile combines the nation’s largest and most reliable 4G LTE network with the largest Wi-Fi network of more than 18 million hotspots nationwide to support a seamless internet and entertainment experience inside and out of the home. Xfinity Mobile customers are using Wi-Fi to connect and save on their cellular data charges. In addition to using Wi-Fi at home, nearly 70 percent connect to Xfinity WiFi when they are on the go.

Most consumers can save 30 percent on their wireless bill with Xfinity Mobile compared to other providers. Available to all Xfinity Internet customers, the service includes up to five lines with unlimited nationwide talk and text, and no line access fees. Each Xfinity Mobile customer receives 100 MB of shared data across all lines on the account to get them started, and the freedom to choose from two straightforward data options.

Xfinity is offering the iPhone 7 series, iPhone 6S series, iPhone SE, Samsung Galaxy S8 and S7 series and the LG X Charge for customers to pick from. Customers cannot bring their own devices from previous networks. There are no activation fees for new lines, and customers can save data by automatically connecting to Comcast Wi-Fi networks.

Are you considering switching to Xfinity Mobile? Let us know down below!

17
Aug

The Essential Phone is now available to order


After a long wait, the Essential Phone is now available for purchase.

Andy Rubin’s Essential Phone was announced back in May, with the company planning for a June release date. June came and went, and we heard near the end of July that part of the delay was due to complications in the certification process.

essential-sketch.jpg?itok=JgRTKcaZ

It is now August, and the Essential Phone is finally available to purchase. The phone can be purchased from Essential, Sprint and Best Buy. The device will also be available in Sprint and Best Buy’s physical retail locations. While the Sprint version is locked to that carrier, the model sold on Essential’s site is SIM unlocked and will work with all of the big four carriers.

With a retail price of $699, the Essential Phone certainly isn’t cheap, but there are some deals to be had. For a limited time, Sprint is offering the device for $14.58 per month for 18 months, totaling $260. The carrier is also offering the Essential 360-degree camera for $16.67 per month for 12 months, totaling $200. Essential if offering its own bundle by pairing the phone and 360-degree camera for only $749, a savings of $150.

The Essential Phone features a 5.7-inch bezel-less display covered in Gorilla Glass 5, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of non-expandable storage, dual 13MP rear camera with f/1.85 lenses, recording at up to 4K at 30fps and laser autofocus, a 8MP, f/2.2 front camera with recording up to 4K at 30fps, a 3,040 mAh battery, USB-C charging and data transfer, no IP dust and water resistance rating and no headphone jack.

Are you picking up the first Essential phone today? Sound off in the comments!

  • See at Essential
  • See at Sprint
  • See at Best Buy

17
Aug

Four Great Galaxy S8 armbands for running and working out


Galaxy-s8-Best-armband-running-cases-her

Hit the pavement running with your Galaxy S8 secure and accessible!

Itching to take your Galaxy S8 with you on your runs? Sure, you could awkwardly keep it in your pocket, but you’re best off getting an armband case. It keeps your phone protected and accessible to you, so you can check on your progress in your [Couch to 5K app]https://www.androidcentral.com/best-couch-5k-apps) or control your music as you run.

While these armbands won’t help with your running motivation, they sure will make running with your phone more convenient and comfortable. Lets dive in!

  • Lifeproof LifeActiv Armband with QuickMount
  • Sporteer Velocity V150 Universal Armband
  • SUPCASE Sports Running Armband
  • Revere Sports Running Armband

Lifeproof LifeActiv Armband with QuickMount

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Our first armband on this list is by Lifeproof, known for making some high-quality accessories that offer supreme protection for a wide range of phones.

The LifeActiv Armband with QuickMount is a compelling option if you hate dealing with the usual armband style that has you take off your phone’s case and slip it into the armband sleeve. Instead, LifeProof has opted to include its QuickMount technology which is found in car and bike mount accessories as well. This ideally works with LifeProof case for your Galaxy S8, but you should be able to adhere the QuickMount adhesive to any flat-back case (or even the back of the phone if you choose).

There’s an Amazon reviewer who’s an ultra runner and has been using the LifeProof armband for over 1,000 miles. While he states he had an issue with the adhesive coming loose after nearly 300 miles, he was able to re-adhere it and have no issues with it for the next 700 miles — and this is a guy who runs through all elements like Lifeproof intends. If you’re more of a casual runner, that means this accessory will certainly live up to your needs. You can get your LifeActiv Armband with QuickMount attachment for your phone for just $25 on Amazon.

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Sporteer Velocity V150 Universal Armband 

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If you’re looking for an armband that includes a bit of extra space for storing things you might also want with you on your run, check out the Sporteer Velocity V150 Sport Armband. It features a zip pouch that lets you slip your phone in but also provides space to house keys, earbuds, an ID or credit card, some cash, and maybe one of those energy gel packs or a small snack. It’s basically a small fanny pack for your arm.

Because it’s a zip-up case, you’re able to leave a gap for your headphone cable, which is nice. You can buy yours for $29 on Amazon. The armband is sweat-resistant and includes reflective patterns to help keep you visible to drivers on night runs. This product is backed by a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer.

See at Amazon

SUPCASE Sports Running Armband

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SUPCASE knows phone accessories, and unlike the other universal armbands on this list, its running accessory is specifically designed for the Galaxy S8. The case features a dual-layer design that is essentially a rugged TPU case with the option of slipping through a velcro arm strap around when it’s time for a run.

It might take some time to disassemble this case to remove your phone, but that only speaks to the snug fit and security it provides. If you’ve been holding off on buying a case for your Galaxy S8, and want something that also works well for running, this is your option. Best of all, it’s only $15 from Amazon.

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Revere Sports Running Armband

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Outdated product images aside, the Revere Sport Running Armband for the Galaxy S8 is a traditional, flexible armband sleeve made from lightweight neoprene material that’s sweat-resistant and includes reflective striping for night runs. The manufacturer has also included an extender strap to fit larger arms — up to a 20-inch circumference. Just make sure you’ve added the Galaxy S8 model to your Amazon shopping cart.

Revere Sport offers a 30-day money back guarantee if you’re not fully impressed by the premium quality of its product and also offers a lifetime replacement guarantee if you happen to run into any issues. Get this lightweight armband for your Galaxy S8 for just $15!

See at Amazon

How do you run with your Galaxy S8

Do you have any experience with the armband cases we’ve highlighted above? Got another product that’s served you well? Let us know in the comments!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

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