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Opera Browser Beta Updated With 64-Bit Support, Chromium 42 Codebase, Improved Text Wrap, And More

It's easy to forget that Opera is still out there with all the talk of Chrome and Firefox, but it's still a capable browser. Even more so after it switched to a Chromium base a while back. The beta version of Opera is getting an update today, and it's based on a new version of Chromium with a few added features.

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HTC One M9 Review: The Phone Only HTC Could Build... For The Third Time

HTC was one of Android's earliest supporters. When the Dream launched in 2009, little did HTC likely know that its fortunes would skyrocket in the few years after, along with its share of the smartphone market. Not long after, though, those fortunes began to wane - with the launch of the original One series (One X, S, V), HTC's first attempt to rebrand its smartphone design image began.

The One X was, and I still think is, a beautiful phone. While the Tegra version was lamentable, the Qualcomm-powered variants received generally wide praise. The next year, One M7 launched. It, too, was very good-looking, and while the Ultrapixel camera was controversial, the phone debuted to very positive reviews.

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Microsoft Partners With Samsung, Dell, And Other OEMs To Preload Office And Skype On New Android Phones And Tablets

It should come as no surprise that Microsoft wants to have a larger footprint in the mobile market. So the company is taking one of its flagship products and having it shipped preloaded on a significantly larger number of phones and tablets. No, silly, not Windows. I'm talking about Office.

Office

Microsoft has announced that it is partnering with a good number of OEMs to have Office shipped out of the box on a plethora of hardware over the next year. When you fire up such a device, look for the likes of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive, and Skype.

The largest partner is Samsung, who already announced that it was including Office apps on the Galaxy S6.

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Samsung Electronics Announces A 128GB eMMC Flash Storage Module For Mid-Range Phones And Tablets

While the headline might seem familiar with the same keywords of Samsung producing 128GB flash storage modules, this story is different from the previous one. Last month, Samsung announced a 128GB storage based on the new and anticipated UFS 2.0 standard and targeted for flagship high-end devices — it made its debut in the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. This new module, however, is based on the established eMMC standard and it will appear in mass market mid-range devices.

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If you missed the previous explanation about the difference between eMMC and UFS, you should know that eMMC is the de-facto standard for storage on smartphones right now.

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Futuremark Releases Alternative 3DMark 'Sling Shot' Benchmark For Android To Make Your Brand New Phone Cry

Some graphical benchmarks are meant to be fairly boring but reliable tests of visual output - the reliable Quadrant benchmark from Aurora Softworks is a good example. Others create an intense graphical test by making a fully-realized 3D environment, essentially a tech demo that's meant to be a digital ruler for the performance of competing components or devices. 3DMark's Android benchmark, with its space battle cutscene, is one of these tests.

2015-03-18 17.47.16 2015-03-18 17.47.37 2015-03-18 17.50.49

Now there's an alternative version of 3DMark. It tests the same technical parameters: frames per second, physics engine accuracy, power output, that sort of thing. The only thing that's different is the 3D cutscene.

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HTC One M9 Official US Launch Date Announced: April 10th

During today's Uh-Oh Protection Q&A event, HTC announced when carriers will start offering the One M9—April 10th.

The manufacturer didn't specify who will retail the phone on April 10th, just that the date marks when someone will start. All four of the major US carriers have confirmed that they will, indeed, sell the handset.

HTCUhOhEvent

April 10th is the same day that the Galaxy S6 is scheduled to launch internationally (with US carriers following in the weeks after) so this date is hardly a coincidence. HTC wants you to see a shiny new HTC One M9 on display next to the Galaxy S6 when you head into the nearest carrier store.

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IK Multimedia's iRig 2, The First Digital Music Interface With Android Support, Is Available Today For $40

Back in early January of this year, IK Multimedia announced the iRig 2, one of three Android-compatible digital music interfaces announced by the company in recent months. While the first one -- the iRig HD-A -- is compatible exclusively with Samsung Professional Audio devices (Note 3/4, Galaxy S5/6/Edge), the iRig 2 is the first interface on the market that should support most Android 5.0 devices in some way or another.

Today marks the public release of the iRig 2, and it's already available from retailers like Musician's Friend and Sweetwater Music, though Amazon shows that it's actually not available until March 30th.

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HTC Teases A Big One M9 Announcement In The US This Wednesday, Possibly T-Mobile-Related

The HTC One M9 is probably the less exciting of the two flagship announcements we got at MWC, but HTC's US president Jason Mackenzie says you're going to love what they announce on Wednesday March 18th. That's the same day T-Mobile plans to have an event in New York with the slogan "This one's a real piece of work." Related? Maybe.

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[Deal Alert] Amazon Gold Box Offers SanDisk MicroSD Cards On The Cheap: 32GB For $12.99, 64GB For $24.99

The state of MicroSD card support for Android is kind of odd right now. Long-time expandable storage champion Samsung has decided to forego it for the latest flagships, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, while its competitors at HTC and LG are including MicroSD card slots in their high-end phones. If you're still in the market for a card, Amazon is selling them in 32GB and 64GB capacities at two speeds for a significant discount through the Gold Box daily deal portal.

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If you just need a little bit of extra storage, the SanDisk Ultra 32GB card with speeds of up to 48MBps is going for $12.99, a modest discount of $4 (and still much lower than you're likely to find at most brick-and-mortar retailers).

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[Deal Alert] Omaker 15,600 mAh Portable Charger With Dual 2.1A Output Is $24.99 On Amazon After Extra $5 Off Coupon

It seems like portable chargers are getting smaller, cheaper, with a larger capacity all the time. What better example of this phenomenon than this Omaker external battery, which boasts 15,600 mAh and two USB output ports that push 2.1A, the amperage needed to charge tablets and some phones at faster than a snail's pace. The device itself supports 2.1A input too, so it should refuel reasonably quickly once you've drained it.

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For reference, the new Samsung Galaxy S6 will have a 2550 mAh battery. HTC's upcoming M9 will have 2840 mAh. You can do the math: you're looking at about 5 full charges for one of these flagships before this portable charger is empty, and that's a conservative estimate.

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