Android Police

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LG V30 review: Proof that LG can build a grown-up phone, mostly

For years, LG's smartphones have always seemed to trail Samsung's in some crucial ways. Being direct rivals hailing from the same country, this must rub LG the wrong way. Samsung's OLED displays have always bested LG's IPS LCDs. Its cameras have generally been well ahead in terms of quality and features. Samsung was waterproofing its phones before LG was. Samsung Pay beat LG Pay. Samsung's Gear smartwatches have received far more critical acclaim than LG's Android Wear ones.

And when LG has been able to get features to market before Samsung - curved displays and wireless charging, for example - Samsung has become known for them, while LG gets little credit.

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[Deal Alert] Anker Soundbuds Curve down to $25.99 on Amazon ($44 off MSRP)

When it comes to Bluetooth earphones, you can either go high-end and pay a hundred or several hundreds of dollars for a set, or look for cheap almost no-name brands on Amazon and see if there's something that can do the job without emptying your wallet. The Anker Soundbuds Curve fall in the latter category, but they do at least have the privilege of carrying the Anker brand name with them, and that usually means good quality at a very decent price.

Based on the Curve's 4.2 average rating from more than 560 reviews, I'd say that holds true in this case.

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Verizon Galaxy J3 and Sprint Galaxy J7 Perx get updated to Android Nougat

Forget that rounded black biscuit sandwich filled with cream and let's talk about the chewy sweet made of egg whites and nuts instead. (Said no one, ever.) But seriously, let's just pretend Oreo doesn't exist and focus on Nougat. It was a great Android OS with multi-window, bundled notifications, quick replies, and plenty of other great improvements.

Now you'll be able to enjoy those same features if you own a Galaxy J3 on Verizon or a Galaxy J7 Perx on Sprint. Both devices have started receiving a software update to Nougat. The J3 jumps to build number NMF26X.J320VVRU2BQJ1, whereas the J7 Perx goes up to J700PVPE2BQJ2.

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Second Android 8.0 Oreo beta is now rolling out to the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus

At the beginning of the month, Samsung started rolling out its Android 8.0 Oreo beta to its Galaxy S8/S8 Plus devices in the US, UK, and Korea. The company isn't resting on its laurels, it seems, as the second beta build is already making its way to users. The firmware may have the build number G950FXXU1ZQK4 or G955USQU1ZQK6 depending on which region you're in.

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[Deal Alert] Eero 2nd gen router and beacon packs discounted up to 24% at several retailers

If you're looking to blanket your home with WiFi, the mesh network options are many nowadays. But eero has been around the block for a couple of years and the 2nd generation of devices, which was announced only a few months ago, has improved on the formula and been very well received by everyone who's been using it.

And now's the perfect time to jump on the eero bandwagon and grab a set for your house. Amazon, Best Buy, and B&H have very neat discounts on the different new 2nd gen eero packs, but you'll find the better deal on the router + beacon (24% off) and router + 2 beacons (20% off) sets.

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Android Pay joins up with Justice League to offer collectible bugdroid doodles

If you use Android Pay regularly, you'll probably be aware of the little bugdroid characters that will sometimes appear when you pay for stuff. The cute little animations have previously included the Android mascot in space, as well as specially themed bugdroids for things like Halloween and the Wimbledon tennis championship.

Android Pay has now joined forces with the new Justice League movie to show superhero bugdroids. Between now and December 31st, you'll be able to collect five different characters from the film: Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman.

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Amazon Music app adds Chromecast support

Amazon and Google's relationship over the past few years has been nothing short of an epic love-war popcorn-worthy chess battle. Amazon removes Chromecasts from its store, Google disables YouTube on Echo Shows, Amazon removes the Prime Video app from the Play Store then for some reason returns it. Now in one surprisingly nice move, Amazon has added Chromecast support to its Music app, maybe finally realizing that locking users out of certain functions or devices doesn't do it any good.

The Chromecast integration has been showing up for a couple of weeks inside the Amazon Music app: TechHive reported it at the start of the month, but at the time it was only showing for some devices.

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SmartThings app adds Scenes, fingerprint authentication, visitor lock codes, and more

One of the most requested features in the SmartThings app has been scene support. I'm new to the system, so I'm sure there were some enterprising solutions to the lack of scenes, but there wasn't any native and easy way to do it. That changes with the latest update to version 2.10 of the SmartThings app.

Scenes reside inside the My Home tab, next to Things and Rooms, and allow you to change multiple lights, switches, and devices to different presets to suit a certain mood. So if you're working, you can have the lights go all the way up but if you're watching a movie, they can be dimmed down.

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Android Pay is now available in Czech Republic and Brazil

Following rumors that Google's digital wallet service Android Pay would be launching this month in Brazil and the Czech Republic, Google has made the news official today. With the Brazilian launch, this is Android Pay's first foray into South America.

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Motorola (sort of) returns to the tablet market with the AT&T 'Moto Tab'

The 2011 Motorola XOOM is one of the most legendary Android devices of all time, even if it wasn't a very good product. Motorola and Google went big with a Super Bowl commercial, and it was the first device to run the tablet-tailored Android 3.0 Honeycomb. It was perhaps the first real iPad competitor, but the high initial price and lack of tablet-optimized apps meant it never really took off. Later that year, Motorola released an incremental update, and that was the last tablet Motorola ever made... until today.

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