Skip to content

Archive for

11
Jun

Type away for days on an unlocked BlackBerry KEYone for just $400


Amazon currently has the unlocked BlackBerry KEYone on sale for just $399.99, which is a $100 discount. When it was first released, the KEYone sold for $550, and before this discount, it had never dropped below $440.

blackberry-keyone-boxes-1.jpg?itok=6EvZV

The KEYone has an intuitive smart keyboard with flick typing, fingerprint sensor, and customizable shortcuts. It’s built with aluminum casing and Corning Gorilla glass for protection. It also has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, a 3505mAh battery, and runs on Android’s Nougat operating system.

CrackBerry has the rundown on everything you need to know to use your new KEYone, including a Beginner’s Guide and a list of helpful how-to articles. BlackBerry Mobile also announced the KEY2 which will retail for $649, though that’s not currently available to order.

See at Amazon

11
Jun

LG V40: How LG’s next flagship can win me over and find success


The V30 wasn’t a bad phone, but LG can make the V40 truly spectacular.

lg-v30-review-hero.jpg?itok=Nk9MIhvE

In just the last three years since the original LG V10 was released, the V series has changed a lot. The V20 followed up on the V10’s formula of packing in every feature imaginable in addition to providing a high-quality DAC for headphone users and a removable battery.

The V30 still offered a phenomenal wired audio experience but ditched the V10 and V20’s utilitarian designs in favor of a sleek glass slab. The removable battery went away, LG adopted an OLED panel, and bezels slimmed down a lot. The V30 ended up being a really great phone, but like so many other LG products, had a tough time standing out from its competition at the time.

We’ve already seen two minor updates to the V30 in 2018 with the V30S and V35, but later in the year, we should get a proper sequel in the form of the LG V40. A lot of the phone’s minute details remain a mystery, but I’ve got a few ideas for LG on how to make sure it can stand on its own against the Note 9, Pixel 3 XL, and others.

Keep bezels slim without adding a notch

lg-g7-hands-on-22.jpg?itok=EQCe4pgB

The notch-touting LG G7.

Without a doubt, one of the most controversial trends in smartphones for 2018 is the notch. Ever since Apple released the iPhone X, we’ve seen Asus, Xiaomi, OnePlus, LG, and countless others mimic this design by slapping a notch onto their own hardware.

The notch itself really isn’t a big deal, but any phone that comes out with one is ridiculed for its design and is seen (at least by the tech community) as just another iPhone clone.

LG’s shown that it’s willing to adopt the notch with the G7, but I think the right move is to not include it on the V40. As we’ve seen from companies like Vivo, it’s entirely possible to slim down bezels without adding a cutout in a phone’s screen. This requires innovation and a willingness to take risks, but that’s what the V series used to stand for.

Rather than fading into the background by just adding a notch and calling it a day, LG can make the V40 shine by finding another way to keep bezels small without obstructing the top portion of the screen. I know that’s no small feat, but it’s one LG needs to be willing to tackle.

LG needs to make a big deal about the things it gets right

lg-v30-raspberry-red-7.jpg?itok=5Lyjy4N7

Two areas LG’s been excelling at recently are audio and haptic feedback, but unless you actively follow the tech world, chances are you don’t have any idea about that.

LG gets a lot of stuff right but fails to educate people about it.

The G7 provides one of the best audio experiences around, giving users a Hi-Fi Quad DAC and “Boombox Speaker” that kicks out a surprising amount of bass for an external speaker on a phone. Furthermore, its haptic feedback, while not up to the same level found on Apple’s recent iPhones, is far superior to just about any Android phone on the market.

These are two big selling points when targeted at the right demographics, but for whatever reason, LG doesn’t seem to invest a lot of money into marketing them. Compared to the Galaxy S9, the G7 kicks its butt when it comes to providing a high-quality audio experience and premium feedback for your taps and swipes.

Assuming the V40 picks up these strengths of the G7, I’d like to see LG give them the attention they deserve. They may not sound like huge additions on their own, but when paired with everything else on this list, could make they V40 unstoppable.

Commit to fast updates and prolonged software support

lg-v30s-oreo-1.jpg?itok=OR8tDM-6

Two of the worst companies when it comes to updating its phones have historically been LG and Samsung. Recently, however, LG’s been doing a much better job than Samsung in these regards.

In just the past couple weeks, Android Oreo’s arrived on the unlocked, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon models of the G6 from 2017 with April to May security patches. On the other hand, Samsung’s latest Galaxy S9 is still rocking the February security patch it was released with.

LG opened a “Global Software Upgrade Center” in April to increase the speed at which it updates its phones, and so far the effectiveness of this seems to be paying off.

Assuming LG keeps improving the speed at which it kicks out big upgrades and regular security enhancements, it could get a big lead over just about every Android OEM (save for Google, of course).

Reconsider the pricing strategy

It’s no secret that smartphones are getting more and more expensive, but the price tags on LG’s past couple releases have been tough to swallow even considering the current market conditions.

The LG G7 costs at least $750 in the United States, the V30S is selling at a discounted price of $730, and the most recent V35 will set you back a whopping $900.

With Google and Samsung’s latest flagships going for $650 to $720, LG’s shooting itself in the foot.

If the V40 debuts with a $900+ price tag, it’s going to be DOA. However, if LG can work that down to $650 – $700, it’ll be much more appealing to folks looking for an alternative to the Galaxy Note 9 or Pixel 3 XL later in the year.

What do you want to see?

That’s what I think the V40 needs to succeed, but what about you? Sound off with your wants/wishes in the comments below!

LG V40 ThinQ: News, Rumors, Release Date, Specs, and More!

LG V30 + V30S ThinQ

  • LG V30S hands-on: A 2017 phone with 2018’s buzzwords
  • LG V30S specs
  • LG V30 review: The no-BS flagship
  • Top LG V30 camera features
  • Full LG V30 specs
  • Join our LG V30 forums

Amazon
Best Buy
Verizon
AT&T

11
Jun

Command & Conquer: Rivals now available in pre-alpha on the Play Store


Remember, pre-alpha = bugs, bugs, and more bugs.

Even though E3 hasn’t even technically begun yet, there’s already been a heap of announcements from EA, Microsoft, and Bethesda. During EA’s press conference, the company announced the first new Command & Conquer game since 2012 — Command & Conquer: Rivals. This is a mobile game that’s going to be free-to-play, and you can already sign up to check out the title in a pre-alpha state.

If you head over to the game’s listing on the Play Store, there’s a pre-register button that allows you to get notifications about the game’s release and be eligible to play it even this early in its development. I haven’t had a chance to play around with it myself, but since it’s still in pre-alpha, don’t be surprised if you come across a healthy amount of bugs, glitches, etc.

On the Play Store listing, Rivals is described as a “competitive real-time strategy game on mobile” in which you “battle to dominate your enemy with Commanders from the Global Defense Initiative and Brotherhood of Nod.” I’ve never touched a Command & Conquer game, but for fans of the series, it looks like EA’s crafting a great way to get your strategy fix while on the go.

The free-to-play nature of the game means that you’ll have to deal with loot boxes, but that shouldn’t come as any sort of a surprise in mid-2018. Also, if you pre-register before Rivals is released, you’ll get an Early Bird Bundle that includes a Titan unit, Diamonds, and Credits you can use in the game when it officially launches.

Command & Conquer: Rivals should be finished later this year.

Pre-register on the Play Store

11
Jun

Samsung’s 128GB EVO Select microSD card is down to $37 today


Upgrade your card.

The Samsung 128GB EVO Select microSD card is down to $36.99 on Amazon. That’s the lowest price we’ve ever seen by $3 and $8 off its regular price. This is a good deal we don’t expect will last very long.

If price is more important than speed, you can also get the PNY U3 Pro Elite 64GB microSD card for just $24.99 right now. It is usually around $33, and this is one of the best prices we’ve seen.

81jps9hc3ll._sl1500_-3klz.jpg?itok=h7Fdg
Samsung’s EVO Select microSD cards are extremely popular cards, and there’s a good reason for that. This Class 10 UHS 3 card has read speeds of up to 100MB/s and write speeds of up to 90MB/s. It works great for recording video (even 4K), as well as playing mobile games, taking pictures, and more.

The card comes with a full-sized SD card adapter as well so you can put it into devices that accept SD cards instead of microSD cards. This is within a few dollars of this card’s all-time low price, so don’t miss out.

See on Amazon

11
Jun

How to keep your Oculus Go from fogging up


The Oculus Go is great, as long as you can see what you need to. Here’s how to keep it fog free.

oculus-go-lenses.jpg?itok=vKm3T2Kl

So you’ve setup your brand new Oculus Go and put it on to jump into some VR action, only to find that the lenses fog up so you can’t see a thing. This is a common issue for users of any VR headset and there are some easy remedies to help you get back to enjoying VR.

Warm up the headset

oculus-go-headphones.jpg?itok=AoeKfzcM

The reason this issue happens is that the cold lenses of your Oculus Go meet with the warm air coming off of your head. It’s the same reason that glasses fog up when you walk into a room on a cold Winter’s day. The easiest way to prevent your Oculus Go from fogging up is to place it on your head, but not over your eyes, for around five minutes before you start using it for VR. This heats up the lenses and will stop fog from impairing your vision.

Use a microfiber cloth

Amazonbasics-microfiber-cloths.jpg?itok=

While it’s not a way to prevent fogging, using a microfiber cloth is an easy way to remove fog that has shown up. The makers of Oculus warn you not to use wet cleaners on your Oculus Go so a microfibre clutch is a dry way to take off fog while also removing smudges.

Try a little spit

This might sound like an odd solution but spit is used by divers and skiers to prevent fogging up in their goggles. The same principle can be used with your Oculus Go, though we’d recommend against this one if you want to share with your friends. Before you use your headset, get a little bit of spit on your finger and then gently rub in around the lenses. A light touch is best since the lenses are small and you don’t want to make a mess.

As mentioned above, Oculus warns against using any liquid on your headset so use this solution at your own risk.

Lens wipes and sprays

antifog-wipes.jpg?itok=YGrOs4Fz

Instead of using your own spit, you can use synthetic sprays and wet wipes to prevent your lenses from fogging up. These work the same way but can be more sanitary, which is great for use with the Oculus Go because the device practically begs to be shared.

Remember to apply only a small amount on the small lenses of the Oculus Go and to do so at your own risk.

Ready to go!

That’s it! You’re ready to jump into virtual reality without any fog on your lenses. Let us know how you keep your lenses clear in the comments below.

Oculus Go

Oculus Go

  • A parent’s guide to Oculus Go
  • Oculus Go vs. Lenovo Mirage Solo
  • Best Gamepad for Oculus Go
  • Best Battery Backup for Oculus Go

Oculus Go 32GB
Oculus Go 64GB

11
Jun

Best Charging Stands for Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL


google-pixel-2-android-p-beta-1.jpg?itok

Spruce up your desk with a nice charging stand.

If you’re anything like me, the thought of a messy, cluttered desk drives you crazy. That includes small details like your phone sitting randomly next to your keyboard — luckily, a charging stand can clean things up and turn your phone into an elegant and functional part of your desk, rather than part of the mess.

Though my preferred solution is a wireless charger like Samsung’s convertible pad, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL don’t support wireless charging. That doesn’t mean stock Android fans can’t still enjoy a charging stand, though — in fact, it just means you don’t have to pay more for slower charging speeds. Here are some of the best charging stands for your Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, or any other USB-C phone, for that matter.

  • Spigen Mobile Stand S310
  • Encased Pixel 2 Charging Dock
  • FanTEK USB-C Charging Dock
  • Sinjimoru USB-C Charging Dock

Spigen Mobile Stand S310

pixel-2-spigen-stand.jpg?itok=oTbdQOUk

If you don’t mind providing your own cable and you’re strictly after aesthetics, it’s hard to go wrong with Spigen’s S310 phone stand. It closely resembles the stand for an iMac, mostly made of aluminum with Nanotac feet to keep it in place and a TPU mount (the same material used in Spigen’s cases) to keep the S310 from scratching the back of your Pixel 2.

Since you can use your own cable with the S310, you don’t have to worry about charging rates — just use the charger that came with your Pixel 2, or a similar USB-C PD charger. Best of all, the S310 is sturdy enough to accommodate larger devices like the Nintendo Switch, for those quick gaming sessions between studying or working. The only major downside of the S310 is its fairly steep price at $29.99, but again, if aesthetics are your main concern this is a great option.

See at Spigen

Encased Pixel 2 Charging Dock

pixel-2-encased-stand.jpg?itok=xBUOWpXT

While there’s nothing wrong with a slotted stand that holds your cable in place, it’s nice to have a stand with a built-in USB-C port that won’t move around or fall out when not in use. The Encased charging dock isn’t just compatible with the Pixel 2 — it’s designed specifically with it and the larger variant in mind. Of course, you can still use it with other devices, and there’s a wheel in the back to adjust the height of the USB-C plug-in, but who can argue with a charging dock catered specifically to your phone?

The downside? Despite Encased advertising otherwise, customer reviews indicate that this dock doesn’t support quick charging. On the bright side, Encased includes two cables with the dock (one Type-C cable and one C-to-A cable) — for only $19.99, that’s not a bad deal at all.

See at Amazon

FanTEK USB-C Charging Dock

pixel-2-fantek-stand.jpg?itok=0mskAAJs

The FanTEK dock may not have been made with the Pixel 2 in mind, but it works with it all the same — and with the smallest footprint on the list. It’s not much bigger than the phone itself, and you can move the front of dock back and forth to best fit your phone, even if it’s in a thick case. There’s also still a small backing for support, keeping the USB-C plug from snapping off over time.

FanTEK makes this dock in a few different colors; you’ll be able to choose from black, silver, gold, and rose gold. It supports quick charging, and best of all, it’s the cheapest dock on the list at just $7.99.

See at Amazon

Sinjimoru USB-C Charging Dock

pixel-2-sinjimoru-stand.jpg?itok=i6QWpLc

This is another dock that relies on your own cable without a built-in USB-C connector. Sinjimoru makes its dock out of pure aluminum, and takes on a unique C shape with feet holding it in place, rather than the more traditional flat base. Available in silver or black, it’s one of the more eye-catching charging stands around, and it doesn’t occupy much space on your desk. Just keep in mind that while this stand includes a USB-C cable, you’ll need to provide your own charging brick.

For $21.99, this is a bit more expensive than the offerings from Encased or FanTEK, but that price might be worth paying if you’re after a unique stand to showcase your Pixel 2.

See at Amazon

Which one is right for you?

Have you considered a charging stand for your Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL? Would you buy one of the stands we recommended here, or is there a different one that’s caught your eye? Let us know in the comments below!

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

  • Pixel 2 FAQ: Everything you need to know!
  • Google Pixel 2 and 2 XL review: The new standard
  • Google Pixel 2 specs
  • Google Pixel 2 vs. Pixel 2 XL: What’s the difference?
  • Join our Pixel 2 forums

Best Buy
Verizon
Google Store
Project Fi

11
Jun

Huawei’s unlocked powerful Mate 10 Pro is now down to $550


Don’t let this limited time discount slip out of your hands.

From its 6-inch display to its 6GB of RAM or 128GB of internal storage, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro packs a whole lot of features to justify its price tag. In early-April, this phone dropped $150 from its regular $800 price, but now it’s down another $100 from that price. It’s available in both blue and gray at this price.

huawei-mate-10-pro-second-1.jpg?itok=aN5

Our review here at Android Central delved into the pros and cons of this device, stating:

Huawei will tell you the Mate 10 is all about onboard artificial intelligence and everything that AI can bring to the smartphone experience.

And AI is all well and good. What makes the Mate 10 Pro a great buy today is its excellence in the core smartphone experience. Things like getting to the end of the day on a single charge, no matter what you’re doing. And taking excellent photos even in challenging night-time conditions.

B&H has matched this discount, and keep in mind that it doesn’t charge sales tax at the time of purchase to those who live outside of NY and NJ.

See at Amazon

Huawei Mate 10

  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro review
  • Huawei Mate 10 series specs
  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro U.S. review: Close to greatness
  • Join the discussion in the forums
  • More on 2016’s Mate 9

Updated June 2018: Refreshed this article to be relevant with the current discount available for the Mate 10 Pro.

11
Jun

The Fitbit Ace is now available for $99.95 and is made specifically for kids


You can buy the Fitbit Ace at Amazon, Best Buy, and more.

Although the Versa was the highlight of Fitbit’s hardware event this past March, the company also used it to announce Ace — its first fitness tracker designed specifically for kids. A little less than three months since it was announced, the Ace is now available for purchase around the globe.

fitbit-ace-3.jpg?itok=e1B94Oa1

If the Ace looks similar to past Fitbit products, that’s because it’s essentially a Fitbit Alta that’s been updated with a kid-first focus. Fitbit Ace tracks steps-taken, activity levels, sleep, and more. Out of the box, the activity goal is set to 60 minutes per day with a recommended 9 hours of sleep every night as suggested by the CDC.

Ace gives kids reminders throughout the day to keep moving, has a battery that’s rated to last 5 days on a single charge, includes 10 clock faces to choose from, and is “showerproof” to survive “splashes and spills.”

Fitbit’s new Family Account gives parents control over what kids can see and do in the Fitbit app.

If you buy an Ace for your kid, the setup process is a bit different compared to past trackers Fitbit’s released. You’ll be asked to create a Fitbit Family Account, and with this, you can make secure profiles for your kiddos so they can keep track of their activity while also staying safe. Parents can view the activity of their kids, manage what they see in the app, set bedtime reminders, and more.

Fitbit Ace is available in two colors, Power Purple and Electric Blue, and costs $99.95 in the U.S. You can buy it directly from Fitbit’s website, as well as Best Buy, Amazon, Target, and Kohl’s.

See at Fitbit

Fitbit

fitbit-ionic-vs-fitbit-versa-4-amun.jpg?

  • Fitbit Versa vs. Fitbit Ionic: Which should you buy?
  • Fitbit Versa hands-on: Fitbit’s finally getting serious about smartwatches
  • Fitbit Versa and fitness: Everything you need to know
  • Best Fitbit fitness tracker

Fitbit Ionic
Fitbit Versa
Fitbit Charge 2 HR

11
Jun

Best Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact Cases


sony-xperia-xz2-compact-review-15.jpg?it

Smaller phones need cases, too.

The Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact is a small phone living in a big phone’s world. Despite its pint-sized form factor, it’s a great phone with impressive specs.

We’ve rounded up the best cases available for the Xperia XZ2 Compact so you can keep your new phone safe from harm.

  • Ringke Onyx case w/ wrist strap
  • Spigen Rugged Armor Case
  • 32nd Classic Series Folio Case
  • Anccer Ultra-Thin Case

Ringke Onyx case w/ wrist strap

ringke-onyx-case-xperia-xz2-compact-pres

Ringke is one of the top phone accessory makers the world over, and the Onyx case is one of its most well-known designs.

Featuring precise cutouts around the camera and fingerprint sensor on the back, the bottom half of the case features a ridged pattern that’s sure to help with your grip. And it looks pretty sleek as well. The top half has a brushed steel look, with a reinforced bumper that protects against drops.

Ringke’s Onyx case is available for $11 in both black and lilac purple color options.

See at Amazon

Spigen Rugged Armor Case

spigen-rugged-armor-xperia-xz2-compact-p

From Spigen comes the Rugged Armor case, which is my go-to recommendation for pretty much any phone out there.

The reasons this case is so great is because it’s thin and lightweight while offering the protection your device needs, especially in the corners. The carbon fiber accents at the top and bottom look great, too, when paired with the matte finish of the rest of the case.

You can get Spigen’s Rugged Armor for your Xperia XZ2 Compact for just $11.

See at Amazon

32nd Classic Series Folio Wallet Case

32nd-wallet-case-xz2-compact-press.jpg?i

Wallet cases are both stylish and functional, and if you want one for your Xperia XZ2 Compact, this case from 32ndShop is your best option.

These cases are made with genuine leather and a soft satin finish on the inside, where you’ll also find a card slot and a pocket for cash and receipts. The case doesn’t impede the functionality of the phone at all, and the front cover protects the display better than any other case on this list.

Get this stylish case in your choice of three colors for just $20 on Amazon.

See at Amazon

Anccer Ultra-Thin Case

71vsj3whu5l._sl1000_.jpg?itok=uiUO6Iof

Anccer is known for making thin-and-light cases that don’t add much bulk to the phones they’re attached to. On a device as chunky as the Xperia XZ2 Compact, being able to protect the phone’s frame and back without adding weight or thickness is definitely appreciated.

Moreover, the Anccer Ultra-Thin Case, which is available for most phone models, has a grippy “gravel” texture that makes the phone easy to grip.

Grab it for just under $12.

See at Amazon

Which is your favorite case?

Let us know what you’d use to protect your Xperia XZ2 Compact in the comments below!

11
Jun

Apple Store Modernization Efforts Continue From Los Angeles to London


Apple’s process of modernizing its chain of over 500 retail stores continues in several major cities around the world.

Over the weekend, Apple celebrated the grand opening of its relocated Beverly Center store in Los Angeles. Apple’s original store in the shopping mall, opened November 2005, permanently closed at the end of Friday.

Apple’s new Beverly Center store via Instagram
Apple’s remodeled stores often gain additional square footage to accommodate an increased number of both products and customers. The extra space is also beneficial to Today at Apple sessions related to photography, coding, exercising with the Apple Watch, and other topics.

Apple’s latest retail design, introduced in 2015, typically includes large glass doors, large video screens for product marketing and in-store events, and sequoia wood shelves on the walls for accessories.

Apple recently announced that its flagship Covent Garden store in London will be closed starting June 27 to allow for renovations to be completed. Of note, this location became Apple’s largest store when it first opened in 2010, although it has since ceded the title to a newer store in the United Arab Emirates.

A sign at Apple Covent Garden tipped by a MacRumors reader
Likewise, 9to5Mac’s Michael Steeber reported that Apple Wangfujing in Beijing will be closed for renovations starting June 24.

Elsewhere in the Greater China region, Apple has revealed that it will be opening a second store in Macau, along the Cotai Strip, an area with several hotels, casinos, and resorts, earning it the nickname of the Las Vegas of Asia. Apple has yet to specify an exact opening date, but it could be within the next month.

Apple’s banner for its second store in Macau via MacRumors reader Chris Gooda
Apple’s renovation efforts continue at its iconic Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan, and at its Palo Alto store, often visited by Apple CEO Tim Cook on product launch days due to its close proximity to Apple’s headquarters.

Apple reinstalling its glass cube on Fifth Avenue via MacRumors reader David Bills
Other regional stores closed for renovations include locations in Charlotte, Nashville, and Westchester County in Upstate New York.

Update: As noted by a MacRumors reader, Apple Causeway Bay in Hong Kong is also undergoing renovations, although the store remains open.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores
Discuss this article in our forums

MacRumors-All?d=6W8y8wAjSf4 MacRumors-All?d=qj6IDK7rITs

%d bloggers like this: