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Hands-On With The Blu Life One And Life 8 XL: Two Upcoming Budget Smartphones With A Lot To Offer For The Price

Back at CES earlier this year, Blu announced a handful of phones, including the Vivo Air, Studio X, and Studio Energy. Today, we're looking at the final phone from that announcement, the Life One, as well as another handset Blu has coming out in a few weeks, the Life 8 XL.

Let's jump right in with specs.

Life One

Specs

Display 5-inch 1280x720 display with Gorilla Glass 3
Processor 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 with Adreno 306
RAM 1GB
Camera 13 MP rear shooter, 5MP front
Storage 8GB with SD card slot (up to 64GB)
Ports microUSB, 3.5mm headphone jack
Wireless LTE, HSPA+, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Dimensions 143 x 72.1 x 7.5mm, 125g
Battery 2420mAh
OS Android 4.4.2 (Lollipop coming next month)
Price $149 ($99 for one week during pre-orders)
Buy Amazon (Pre-order; release date: June 19th)

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The first thing worth noting about the Life One is the processor - it's a 64 bit Snapdragon 410.

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ASUS Announces ZenWatch 2 (In Two Sizes), ZenFone Selfie, And New ZenPad Tablets (In Three Sizes)

Today at a press event during Computex, ASUS announced many new Android products, and I'm guessing you'll be intrigued by at least one of them.

ZenWatch 2

Let's get to the headliner: the big news with the ZenWatch 2 is that it now comes in two sizes - 37mm and 41mm (width). The smaller 37mm sports an 18mm strap, with the 41mm having a larger 22mm band. Both have AMOLED dipslays with Gorilla Glass 3, IP67 dust and water resistance, magnetic charging cables, and use unspecified Qualcomm processors (likely still a Snapdragon 400). The ZenWatch 2 has a crown now, too, which ASUS says adds functionality, but isn't exactly specifying how just yet.

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Galaxy S6 Edge Owners Reporting Scratched Screens After Using Samsung's First-Party Clear View Cases

Every time Samsung releases a new high-profile phone or tablet, it also makes a bunch of pricey first-party cases to go with it. And why not - they're high-margin accessories that get stocked by the likes of Best Buy and carrier stores, and most of the time they're actually pretty nice. But the first round of official cases for the Galaxy S6 Edge are showing some remarkable problems: they might actually be damaging the gadgets they're designed to protect.

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We're talking about the "Clear View" series of cases in particular, which wrap around the back of the phones and cover the screen with a translucent piece of plastic, allowing the time and other information to shine through.

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Xiaomi Officially Debuts The Mi Note Pro With 5.7" QHD Display, 13MP Camera, 4GB RAM, 64GB Storage, Dual SIM With LTE Cat 9... And Snapdragon 810

Back in January Xiaomi announced the Mi Note, a rather fetching midrange smartphone, and let loose some details regarding its more powerful sibling: the Mi Note Pro. Today, we got more information and an official release date for the Pro.

Mi Note Pro 1 Mi Note Pro 2

The Mi Note Pro is pushing the envelop of high-end smartphones with all-singing all-dancing all-heating specs. It has a sunlight-optimized 5.7" QHD 2560x1440 display from Sharp that crams 515 pixels per inch, 4G of RAM, a 64GB eMMC 5.0 storage module, a 13MP camera with OIS, dual SIM slots with LTE Cat 9 support, and Qualcomm's feverishly maligned Snapdragon 810 processor. Everything is powered by a 3090mAh battery with Quick Charge 2.0.

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Hands-On With The Blu Selfie: Dual 13MP Cameras And A Great Form Factor Go A Long Way

While smartphone enthusiasts typically care deeply about every spec inside the phones they buy, there's one feature that nearly every smartphone owner wants: a good camera. In fact, on several occasions, I've had friends and family ask which phone they should buy based around that one qualification: which phone has the best camera? Needless to say, a good shooter is a pretty big deal in the smartphone world.

With a name like Selfie, to say that Blu's newest handset is all about the camera experience would be pretty accurate. Not only does it have a 13 MP rear shooter, but also a 13 MP front camera with flash.

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Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 (5.5") Review: $250 Buys You So Much More Phone Than It Used To

Not long ago, a $250 unlocked smartphone was probably asking for trouble - a sketchy processor, WVGA display, potato-resolution camera, and 3G were basically what you could expect. But as technology has marched forward, component costs for things like 1080p LCD panels, 13MP camera sensors, and LTE have become much cheaper.

The Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 5.5" (I know, I know, the name is ridiculous), which I will from here on call the Idol 3 for the sake of brevity and sanity, has the things you want in a modern smartphone. A big - but not ridiculously large - 1080p IPS-LCD display, a modern Qualcomm processor, dual front-facing speakers, LTE, a 13MP Sony IMX image sensor, and a respectably capacious 2910mAh battery.

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Review: Samsung's Most Unexpected And Best Phone To Date

Samsung must have known it had a problem early in the Galaxy S5's run when most of the reviews called the phone "boring" or "predictable," while also conceding that it was a good device. A good, predictable phone isn't going to sell like gangbusters, and indeed, the Galaxy S5 fell short of expectations. Over the next few months, we saw devices like the Galaxy Alpha and Galaxy Note 4 that played around with more premium materials and different designs, but the Galaxy S6 is the culmination of Samsung's plans to rehab its reputation.

The Galaxy S6 is still distinctly Samsung with the oblong home button, big camera sensor, and industry-leading AMOLED panel, but it almost feels like it was made by a version of Samsung from some bizarre parallel reality where plastic doesn't exist.

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[Deal Alert] Nexus 9 16GB On Sale At Best Buy For $325 (A $75 Discount)

If you have been on the fence about whether or not to purchase Google's latest tablet, the Nexus 9, Best Buy may have made your decision a little easier. For the next two days, the blue box store is discounting the price of the 16GB model by $75, bringing the price down to a more reasonable $325. The verdict is still out among Android Police staff on whether or not this is a great tablet, but a lower price might make up for some of its warts.

As a reminder, here is a quick breakdown of the key specs.

  • Processor: NVIDIA Tegra K1 'Denver' dual-core at 2.3GHz
  • GPU: NVIDIA Tegra 192-core Kepler
  • Display: 8.9" IPS LCD 2048x1553 (4:3 aspect ratio) w/ Gorilla Glass 3
  • Memory: 2GB RAM, 16GB storage
  • Cameras: 8MP rear, 1.6MP front
  • Battery: 6700mAh, non-removable

Screenshot 2015-04-03 at 1.26.44 PM - Edited

The tablet ships free and is available in both white and black.

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[Weekend Poll] Battery Life Versus Thinness, FIGHT!

Almost four years ago, we ran a poll on the subject of battery life versus thinness. Four years ago, Android's battery life was even worse than it is now, batteries were smaller, and LTE radios could be a death sentence on newer handsets. Today... battery life still isn't that good on most phones, but it's not as bad as it once was, and all the while the phones are getting thinner and lighter and sleeker.

There are phones with massive batteries out there (Huawei Ascend Mate 2/7, DROID MAXX, etc.), but batteries have generally only sought to keep pace with screen size over the years instead of actually growing enough to appreciably extend the amount of time we spend off the charger.

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Galaxy S6 And S6 edge Hands-On: This Is The Nicest Android Phone Anyone Has Ever Built

This year at MWC, there's little in the way of room for the notion that Samsung failed to deliver on the hype. The Galaxy S6 is the most dramatic redesign the Galaxy S has ever seen, and is more Samsung than ever before. Down to the NAND storage and Exynos chipset, the S6 takes Samsung's larger corporate vision of vertical integration seriously, and that should have Samsung's competitors on edge (no pun intended).

To start, the physical hardware simply seems superb. Even the relatively early units we played with had outstanding fit and finish, and I don't mean that in the forgiving sense we typically are forced to provide Android handsets because of the median build quality in the industry.

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