• Devices

    by Published on 01-17-2018 08:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors

    Some slides from Motorola's upcoming presentation at Mobile World Congress seem to have leaked to Droid Life... or maybe all of them? If the source is legit we can at least have an advanced look at this year's updated hardware designs.



    Moto X5

    5.9 inch FHD+ 18:9 display
    Dual front and rear cameras

    No other information is available for Moto's traditional flagship. However, from the graphic above we can see an Essential/iPhone-esque notch at the top of the screen and some sort of software navigation bar at the bottom.

    Also, does the world honestly need yet another smartphone assistant?



    Moto Z3, Z3 Play

    6 inch FHD+ 18:9 display

    Moto's midrange Z series continues to be the only line to support Moto Mods. And speaking of Moto Mods, get a load of this one...



    Moto 5G Mod

    As crazy as it sounds, this accessory would bring 5G wireless service to any compatible phone. Have we even decided what 5G is yet?



    Moto G6, G6 Play, G6 Plus

    5.7/5.93 inch FHD+ 18:9 display
    Snapdragon 450/630 processor
    3/4/6 GB RAM, 32/64 GB storage
    12 + 5 MP rear cameras, 16 MP selfie cam
    3,000/3,200/4,000 mAh battery
    Fingerprint readers on all models

    The cheapest hardware from Motorola also has the most leaked information. In addition to the specs above there are the following colour options:

    G6 - black, rose gold, silver
    G6 Play - blue, charcoal, gold
    G6 Plus - black, silver, teal

    There is even some pricing information—nothing for the G6 Play as of yet, but the G6 and G6 Plus are expected to retail for $240 and $330 USD respectively.

    Keep in mind that these are unconfirmed leaks, and some or all of the slides may well turn out to be fakes. I'm still trying to wrap my head around that 5G Mod...

    Sources: Droid Life (1) (2) (3)

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    by Published on 01-16-2018 08:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    Anyone remember the Motorola Atrix 4G Lapdock? Here's a new iteration of that same idea, with a unique twist: while bringing the empty shell of a notebook computer to life your smartphone also does double duty as an oversized trackpad for that same notebook.

    Razer showed off a prototype of this oversized accessory for their flagship Android phone at CES; it currently goes by the name Project Linda. The Verge got an early peek, and seemed impressed with how well it all worked:

    Hooking up the Razer Phone to Project Linda is simple: place the phone into the slot, and press a hardware button that causes a USB-C port to extend directly into the Razer Phone, simultaneously locking it in place. The entire hardware is powered off the phone; all the Project Linda base contributes is some extra storage space (around 200GB on the current prototype) and extra batteries, so the Razer Phone charges the entire time it’s docked.
    The phone actually does triple duty here—in addition to bringing the notebook to life and serving as its trackpad it also provides audio via its front-facing speakers. There is a separate webcam above the larger 13-inch QHD display, which is a good thing; using the phone's front-facing camera in this setup would give your video chat partner a view of your chin and nostrils only.

    You can read more about Project Linda at the links directly below.

    Links: Razer, The Verge

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    by Published on 01-12-2018 07:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    One more bit of Japanese gadget porn before we return to our regular schedule of mobile-related news...

    I don't use Windows but I've always had a thing for Panasonic's Japan-only Let's Note laptops. Maybe it's the circular trackpad and array, the silver chassis or the exotic etchings on the bright white keyboard... I've just always found them rather fetching. And on my recent visit to Kyoto and a mandatory stop at Yodobashi Camera I came across something new, or at least new to me: this CF-XZ lets the user detach the notebook's touch screen from the keyboard.

    It's a design that makes a lot more sense to me than an unnecessarily thick laptop with a base and keyboard folded behind; in operation it looks like this:



    Not sure whether that accessory that locks the screen to the base is included or not.

    The Let's Note CF-XZ has an Intel Core i5 7200U processor powering its 12-inch QHD screen. There are three separate models, each with some combination of a 128 or 256 GB SSD and Windows 10 Home or Pro. All models come with 8 GB of RAM. If anyone can find evidence of it running a recent version of Ubuntu or Linux Mint please let me know!

    Link: Let's Note CF-XZ (Japanese)

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    by Published on 01-11-2018 07:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    My opinion on smartwatches hasn't changed; while their mission statement may be to show you phone notifications on your wrist, I still firmly believe that their killer feature is the ability to customize your watch face to match your band, clothing, mood or whatever. This monochrome watch, spied by yours truly at Tokyu Hands in Osaka, Japan, takes that customization up a notch with an e-ink band to complement its e-ink display.

    It's called the FES Watch, which I can only assume is an acronym for Fashion Entertainments and Sony. There are currently two separate product lines, the regular FES Watch available in either black or white, and the more premium FES Watch U, which I'm guessing stands for "Unlimited", and here's why: the regular FES watch has 24 separate watch/band combinations which can be cycled through with repeated presses of the watch's only button. The FES Watch U has a companion app for Android and iOS that can sideload and customize many more faces and bands via Bluetooth. Here's a demo of how that works:



    It even looks like you can use a photo taken with your smartphone as a background for the watch, making me really wish I had brought one home with me. Then again, there doesn't seem to be any ability to display notifications from your phone. If Sony ever decided to add that functionality it would instantly make the FES Watch U a pretty compelling smartwatch.

    Links: FES Watch, FES Closet on the App Store, Google Play

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    by Published on 12-21-2017 08:45 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    The fan site Nokiamob brings news of a new IDC report on global smartphone shipments, in which Nokia and Xiaomi are singled out for impressive 50% year over year growth. Feature phones still account for much of Nokia's consumer business, but industry expert (and former Nokia exec) Tomi Ahonen estimates that HMD Global will end up shipping well over 10 million Nokia-branded Android handsets by the end of 2017.

    That's fairly impressive for a brand that only barely has a retail presence here in the Americas. But how does it compare to Google's Pixel, the must-have sidearm for the serious Android fanboy? Pretty well, as it turns out—assuming that the one available data point for Pixel sales is accurate.

    Back in June Ron Amadeo of Ars Technica observed that downloads for the Pixel Launcher had just crossed the threshold for 1-5 million installations. That achievement took a full 8 months; even with improved second-generation hardware I don't see how Google could possibly move more than 2 million Pixels by the end of the year... Which means that Nokia smartphones could potentially outsell Google-branded ones by as much as 5 times.

    Oh, and if you're wondering where Nokia's sales are coming from, Tomi Ahonen lists China, Germany, India, Indonesia and Russia as its top five markets.

    Sources: Ars Technica, Nokiamob, Tomi Ahonen

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    by Published on 12-20-2017 08:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    But it's not why you might think.

    The urban myth is that Apple deliberately sneaks code into iOS updates to make your older iPhone run slower, in the hopes that you'll buy a new one. It's like that old joke: Android users buy a new phone because they're not getting software updates, while iPhone users buy a new phone because they got a software update.

    As far as I know, nothing about this has ever been proven—at least not until now. Ars Technica has compiled an excellent report on research by Geekbench developer John Poole and the iPhone community on reddit. It turns out the Apple may indeed be deliberately throttling performance on your older hardware, but its reasons for doing so are benign. There's no planned obsolescence here, but there is code within iOS that senses battery degradation, and limits performance for the express purpose of preserving your battery.

    The successful remedy to a throttled iPhone is to replace the battery, but Apple really doesn't want you to do that, bringing us right back to the contentious issue of planned obsolescence. Maybe the next best thing would be to buy one of those battery cases...?

    Source: Ars Technica

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    by Published on 12-13-2017 08:15 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    And with only minor cosmetic damage—it's the one on the left.

    An unlucky redditor on r/apple tells the harrowing tale of an AirPod that fell out of their ear, rolled right into the gap between an open elevator door and the 19th floor of a building and then tumbled 21 floors to the basement below. To Apple's engineering credit (or dumb luck) the hardware survived and still works without issue, but what I find amazing about this story is that the AirPod was recovered at all. Kudos to the elevator maintenance crew that assisted in the rescue.

    For me the moral of this story is that the most alluring feature of truly wireless earbuds is also their biggest downfall. It's truly liberating to be able to listen to music completely unencumbered by wires, but should a bud become dislodged from your ear then there's nothing to protect it from a fall, either.

    I had a similar, albeit much more minor accident the other day while walking through the University of Toronto campus. As a cold arctic wind suddenly picked up I instinctively raised the hood of my jacket to cover my head, and in so doing knocked both of my BOSE wireless earbuds out of my ears and onto the hard sidewalk below. The buds were undamaged, which was good, but I looked like an idiot as I scrambled to retrieve them, which was maybe not so good.

    Welcome to the future, folks!

    Source: reddit

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    by Published on 12-08-2017 08:30 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    Amazon.ca continues to bolster its first party hardware portfolio with two new tablets—new for Canada, at least. At present it looks like they'll only be available for purchase individually, rather than those crazy six-packs that were selling to Americans a few years back.

    You want specs? Prepare to be underwhelmed:

    Fire 7
    7 inch display, 1024 x 600 pixels @ 171 ppi
    8 or 16 GB of storage + microSD
    Quad-core 1.3 GHz processor
    2 MP camera, VGA selfie cam
    Mono speaker, built-in microphone
    Up to 8 hours of battery life
    Starts at $59.99 CAD

    Fire HD 8
    8 inch display, 1280 x 800 pixels @ 189 ppi
    16 or 32 GB of storage + microSD
    Quad-core 1.3 GHz processor
    2 MP camera, VGA selfie cam
    Dolby Atmos, dual stereo speakers, built-in microphone
    Up to 12 hours of battery life
    Starts at $99.99 CAD

    I had always thought that Amazon's affordable tablets would be perfect for the novice Android modder—with an unlocked bootloader and root access you could kill the Amazon bloat and be left with a mean and lean F-Droid machine. But the XDA forums for these devices leads me to believe that rooting them is only possible on older versions of their OS. Would any Android hackers care to weigh in on whether or not the extra hassle would be worth it?

    Source: Amazon via Liliputing

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    by Published on 12-05-2017 08:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    If you're the unlucky owner of a bricked BLU Life One X2, help is finally on the way.

    For those unfamiliar with the story, this affordable dual SIM Android smartphone was crippled by a November 28th software update that applied itself on devices with an unknown password. Making matters worse was the radio silence from BLU. The good news is that now, almost a week later, a software fix has been made available.

    And how exactly would one apply such a fix to a device they're locked out of? I was wondering that myself... In a dispatch from their official Twitter account BLU is asking affected users to email [email protected] so that they can be walked through the procedure of fixing their phones.

    If anyone reading this goes through that procedure feel free to share your experiences here.

    Source: @BLU_Products on Twitter via Android Police

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    by Published on 12-01-2017 09:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on

    To see what its camera setup could do I took the OnePlus 5T with me on a walk through downtown Toronto's Graffiti Alley. It was maybe an hour after high noon and the sun, though weak, was fairly direct.

    All of the photos here are straight from the phone; the only editing I've done is to scale each of them to 1200 x 900 pixels for faster loading.



    This first shot seems just about perfect, with nicely saturated but still accurate colours. Even light seems to be the 5T's friend.



    This one didn't turn out quite as well. The shaded wall is correctly exposed but the sky on the left is clearly blown out.



    This face forced the OnePlus 5's camera into portrait mode and the fake bokeh effects that come with it. The 5T did much better.



    Taken in direct sunlight... the blue bin here looks good but the colours on the wall seem washed out.



    This one looks better. And I have to say that I'm impressed by the detail in the shadows on the ground. Maybe that second low light lens wasn't such a half-baked idea after all!



    Another light/shadow test. I think the 5T handled this very well, whereas the phone before it wouldn't have.

    If you want to compare these results with previous OnePlus phones check out my graffiti walks with the OnePlus 5, OnePlus 3 and OnePlus One.

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    by Published on 11-30-2017 08:15 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on



    There's honestly not much more to show you than this big expansive screen.

    I totally get the point of 2017's war on bezels now—you get a much more immersive experience in a body that's about the same size as the phone you were using before. On this device there can sometimes be a reachability issue with the taller 2:1 display, but OnePlus has included some thoughtful touches to help with that. You can program a shortcut for any of the navigation buttons (ie. a double tap or long press) to show the notification panel at the top of the screen; the same action can be assigned to a swipe down gesture across the fingerprint sensor on the back, just like a Pixel.

    For the record, I prefer a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor as it lets you unlock your phone as you're pulling it out of a pocket or bag. And where OnePlus put the sensor is perfect: dead centre, one third of the way down the phone and nowhere near the camera assembly.

    You'd expect the screen's extra pixels to have an adverse effect on battery life, especially when its the same 3,300mAh cell as the one in the OnePlus 5. But if there is a difference I've yet to notice it; it has consistently given me a day and a half or more with medium to heavy use.

    It's been an interesting ride for yours truly with OnePlus this year... After a great experience with the OnePlus 3 I was expecting the 5 to be no different, but quality control issues on the hardware I received ended up giving me my first experience with the company's "no-hassle" return policy. But I ended up with another OnePlus 5, given to me by my girlfriend's sister as we passed through Hong Kong in September. My big justification for buying the 5T was actually Freedom Mobile; because both the 5 and 5T support Band 66 the girlfriend and I can now give FM's 4G service an extended test, in the second SIM slots of our OnePlus phones.

    Once you go dual-SIM there's no going back.

    I was, by the way, able to root my 5T as soon as I got it. There isn't yet an official version of the TWRP custom recovery, but there's an unofficial version on XDA that did the trick. Android Nougat is actually a blessing on this phone, as Magisk and AdAway are fully supported out of the box.

    My one big concern with this phone is its cameras. Not content to keep the portrait lens from the 5, OnePlus has instead decided to pursue low light performance; the second lens now has a wider aperture but the same focal length. It sounds to me very much like unfinished business, a stopgap solution for something that couldn't be finished in time or delivered on budget. I'll post some camera samples tomorrow.

    In just about every other respect, though, this is a fantastic Android phone. And in this dawning age of ultra-premium flagships it's an undeniable bargain.

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    by Published on 11-24-2017 08:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Tips,
    4. Carriers,
    5. Apps



    Too late for the midnight stampedes, but I'm hoping this will at least serve as a starting point for your mobile-centric Black Friday shopping. It's not exhaustive by any means; you'll notice that Android Police and Mobile Syrup are responsible for a few links each. Kudos to them for doing the grunt work so that I didn't have to.

    Canada

    Amazon Canada’s Black Friday tech deals are now live!

    Best Buy VIP Black Friday sale now live with discounts on smartphones, tablets, smart home devices

    Freedom Mobile offers up to $450 in MyTab savings for Black Friday

    Here are Canadian carriers' 2017 Black Friday deals

    Rogers and Fido launch Black Friday iPhone deals

    USA

    2017 Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals roundup [Updated continuously]

    Deal: Get 3 months of unlimited data for $99 from Rok Mobile

    Fossil smartwatch Black Friday sale: 30% reduction on Android Wear

    Free iPhone 8: The Best Black Friday Deal Is From T-Mobile

    Here are Google Play's Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals

    Feel free to add any deals not mentioned above, for the benefit of anyone else reading this. Happy bargain hunting, and stay safe out there!

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    by Published on 11-22-2017 07:30 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Carriers



    Mobile Syrup has a pretty big scoop this morning: they've been able to confirm that Freedom Mobile will start carrying the iPhone in-store as of December 8th. And not cast-off refurbished hardware, either—the carrier will offer new stock and the full complement of 2017's iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X.

    In Western Canada there will be even more Apple product to choose from; because FM is already running their 2500MHz spectrum in that part of the country the iPhone 6, 6s, 6s Plus, SE, 7 and 7 Plus will be available on the same date. Those same devices will be available in Eastern Canada once that spectrum gets lit up in early 2018.

    Canadians who finance their smartphone purchases (ie. most of us) stand to reap some considerable savings over 24 months, as all iPhones will be $0 down. Check the link below for details on that.

    It will be interesting to see what Apple's iconic smartphone can do for Freedom's subscriber numbers and, if there ends up being a big influx of new users, whether or not FM's young LTE network can handle it.

    Source: Mobile Syrup

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    by Published on 11-21-2017 08:45 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    Yup, it's true... Germany's telecommunications regulator has ruled that smartwatches for kids fall under the category of unauthorized transmitters. Sales of new devices—even over the Internet—are now illegal, and the regulator is urging parents to destroy existing equipment.

    Germany is a country that apparently takes user privacy very seriously, and its government seems especially vigilant when it comes to children. Only a few months ago the same regulator issued a similar ban on an Internet-connected talking doll that listens to its owner and responds in real time. That smart toy was deemed to be a surveillance device.

    Similar issues are present in child-friendly connected watches. The problems are twofold: first, the SIM card in these watches allows parents to listen in on their child in class (for example), violating the privacy of everyone present in the classroom—including the kid wearing the watch! Also, and perhaps because these products can be construed as toys, they are insecure enough to be at risk from third-party attackers.

    That for me is the most interesting aspect of this story. Nearly every security expert I come across warns about the dangers of an unsecured Internet of things. Hopefully the people who make these smart toys and other connected devices will get their act together and step up the security of their products.

    Sources: BBC, HackRead

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    by Published on 11-15-2017 08:30 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis,
    4. Apps



    More bad news for OnePlus... on the eve of a new product announcement they've been accused of backdooring their devices, allowing an attacker with physical access to gain root access without having to unlock any bootloaders— which we all know would wipe any and all sensitive data from your phone, right? Anyone? Bueller...?

    Anyway, as privacy scares go, this one has been blown out of proportion just a bit. It's still bad, but nowhere near as bad as the data that OnePlus was caught harvesting last month.

    The "backdoor" here is actually a Qualcomm testing app called EngineerMode. With the correct password (which has already been reverse-engineered) it will indeed grant root access via the Android Debug Bridge (ADB). What it won't do is allow malicious software with root privileges to be installed on your device. In fact, XDA has put their own spin on this vulnerability, citing it as a great new way for modders to root their OnePlus device.

    OnePlus absolutely should have removed this app before shipping out hardware to their customers. As to why they didn't, signs point to laziness rather than something more nefarious. Oh, and by the way, some ASUS and Xiaomi phones were also sold with the same Qualcomm testing app on board.

    Sources: Android Police, OnePlus Forums, XDA

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    by Published on 11-13-2017 08:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors



    It's not due for its official unveiling until this Thursday, but here's an early peek at the 5-month refresh of the OnePlus 5, the OnePlus 5T. That's it on the left. The photo is from a gallery published by ZDNet's German office, since taken down. Here's their explanation, with a little help from Google Translate:

    ZDNet.de received a review sample of the OnePlus 5T without being asked. It contained no cover letter—only a review guide was included in the shipment. The editors had no knowledge of an embargo date. An NDA was not agreed in writing or orally.

    Late Friday evening two e-mails reached the editorial office with the request to take the article offline, asking for reporting on the OnePlus 5T from November 17th only. The editors have decided to meet this request.
    So ZDNet's gallery is gone, but savvy tech blogs have already saved copies of the photos and re-hosted them—like Android Police, for example.

    The big news about the new phone is its new 18:9 screen, 1080 x 2160 pixels @ 401 ppi. Thanks to much smaller bezels (and a fingerprint sensor moved to the back of the device) the display fits into a shell only slightly taller than the current OnePlus 5. Everything else about the 5T seems to be the same; it's got the same Snapdragon 835 processor, the same 6 or 8 GB of RAM / 64 or 128 GB of storage, the same headphone jack... And unfortunately the review units are still shipping with Android 7.1.1 Nougat rather than Oreo.

    Thankfully, the price of the new model is also expected to stay in the range of the current OnePlus 5, which in this age of ultra-premium flagships can only be a good thing.

    Source: ZDNet Germany via Android Police

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    by Published on 11-10-2017 08:30 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Tips



    To honour the 10th anniversary of the smartphone that changed everything, I forced myself to read the entirety of Brian Merchant's The One Device. It's definitely meant for Apple fans, and seems at times to be set in a fictitious world where Android doesn't even exist.

    To be fair, one of the chapters where Android is actually acknowledged turned out to be the most illuminating one, at least for me. The author visits the infamous Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, China, where a surprisingly candid employee had this to say about the local job market:

    “I was tricked to work for Foxconn,” a new recruit says. “I intended to work for Huawei,” he adds, referring to the Chinese smartphone competitor. “People feel way better working for Huawei, better corporate culture, more comfortable.” In fact, he says, “Everyone has the idea of working in Foxconn for one year and getting out of the factory and going to work for Huawei.”
    So congratulations to any Huawei owners reading this; you can rest easy with the knowledge that the people who built your device were treated well while making it. And if you were wondering about that other big smartphone OEM, later in the same chapter a Foxconn higher-up had this to say:

    “I had a meeting with Samsung executives and they said they would just follow Apple [...] That’s what they told us—they would do whatever Apple did.”
    So what exactly does Apple do? If you're not familiar with Cupertino's decidedly hands-off approach to manufacturing, check out my Christmas Downer post from 2014.

    Links: The One Device on Amazon.ca / Amazon.com

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    by Published on 11-09-2017 08:45 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on



    Though I will fight for the smartphone audio jack with my last dying breath I am also, somewhat paradoxically, a fan of wireless earbuds. I try to get in about four to five hours of podcast listening per week, and usually do so on a morning or afternoon walk. Wired earbuds serve this purpose fairly well, except for the cord that either gets tangled as I pull out my phone to skip through an ad, or gets caught on some random object as I walk by it. So-called "neckbuds", a set earbuds connected by a cable that goes around the back of one's head, are only slightly better; the cable has an annoying habit of snagging on my shirt or jacket collar and reminding me that it's there.

    But these... these are by far the most comfortable earbuds I've ever worn. Right out of the box they fit my ears perfectly, and if they didn't I'd still have two other sets of in-ear gels to choose from.

    BOSE recommends that you install their Connect app on the phone that you're pairing their earbuds with, which isn't at all a necessity—maybe when there's a firmware update to install, but otherwise no. Pairing them to my Android phone was as easy as any other Bluetooth device, and the connection has been rock solid ever since.

    Sound quality is on par with any other BOSE earbud or headphone, which is to say excellent. Keep in mind, though, that I'm most often listening to mono podcasts rather than stereo music.

    With their charging case BOSE seems to have solved the problem of battery anxiety. No one wants to head out on a two-hour run only to have their wireless earbuds die halfway through. These earbuds are primed for 5 hours of battery life, and their charging case is good for an additional two charging cycles. I usually go out for about an hour at a time, and find myself putting the buds back in the case as soon as I get back. The button that opens the case can also indicate the charge; pressing it lights up a row of LED lights immediately below. And if you put one bud into your right ear you'll hear a voice telling you your battery level the moment you remove the left bud from the case. Clever!

    These particular wireless earbuds aren't cheap; in Canada and the United States they retail for $250 USD and $330 CAD respectively. But for comfort, sound quality and ease of use they've so far been worth it.

    Links: BOSE SoundSport Free - Canada / USA

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    by Published on 11-03-2017 07:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Carriers



    Mobile Syrup has confirmed what I myself tested yesterday, that the upstart Android smartphone-maker OnePlus now has much better support for LTE Band 66 on Canada's upstart carrier, Freedom Mobile.

    Here's the changelog from the official announcement on the OnePlus Forums:

    Supported Airtel VoLTE in India
    Supported Band 66 of Freedom in Canada
    Fixed Wi-Fi WPA2 security issue
    Optimized battery usage in some cases
    Optimized GPS accuracy
    General bug fixes
    After flashing the update I went for an mid-afternoon stroll through several neighbourhoods in downtown Toronto: Baldwin Village, the U of T campus, The Annex, Kensington Market and Chinatown. Everywhere I checked I had a solid 4G signal, and every time I ran a speed test I got the same results that were so elusive to my device just a week before.

    Building penetration is still an issue, of course. In certain places, like the bathrooms at the back of restaurants, the best available data signal is still HSPA+ or worse. But the software update is enough of an improvement that I can now recommend the OnePlus 5 to anyone on the Freedom network—more than any other phone, in fact, since you can test a Freedom SIM in either of the phone's dual SIM slots while keeping your current SIM in the other one!

    Links: OnePlus Forums, Mobile Syrup, XDA

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    by Published on 11-02-2017 07:45 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    ... Because that's totally a thing, right? Anyone?

    Just to get you up to speed, back in 2016 there was this crowd-funded Android phone called the Nextbit Robin. The company that made it was acquired last January by Razer, Inc.—an outfit known for making gaming-centric products like laptops, controllers and other accessories. And after much speculation (and a few leaks) this, the Razer Phone, was revealed yesterday.

    The phone's design is similar to its blocky Nextbit predecessor, but the new model puts its large forehead and chin to good use, cramming multiple Dolby ATMOS-compatible speaker drivers into each (no headphone jack, though). But what really sets this device apart is the option to run its screen at 120Hz, with enough battery power to do so for more than a few minutes at a time. Other specs:

    Snapdragon 835 processor
    5.7 inch QHD LCD display @ 60Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz
    8GB of RAM / 64GB of storage + microSD
    12 and 13MP wide and telephoto rear cameras / 8MP selfie cam
    4,000mAh battery with Qualcomm QuickCharge 4+
    Android 7.1 Nougat (at launch)

    The Razer Phone will be available in murdered-out black only, with a limited edition adding a neon green logo on the back. It will retail for $699 USD. I would think that an Android phone for serious Android gamers would also have an unlockable bootloader so that you could root it and install AdAway to kill ads on free-to-play titles; maybe that's just me.

    Source: Razer via Android Police

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