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Weekend poll: are you playing Pokémon GO?

Pokémon GO has become an overnight sensation - probably far exceeding even the expectations of Nintendo America or Niantic. Tens of millions of players are already searching their world for new Pokémon, battling in gyms, and collecting various items to help increase the power of their pocket monsters.

While it's not officially available everywhere yet, you can always sideload the APK from APK Mirror (our APK is completely safe and was taken directly from the Play Store - we aren't shifting shady package files) to get in on the action.

I played for a solid couple of hours today, wandering my neighborhood (which is packed with Pokestops, apparently) and collecting new creatures and several-hundred Poké Balls.

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Weekend poll: do you think Google Allo should replace Hangouts?

Google Allo is scheduled for a summer release, and recent changes to the app's iconography on the Play Store have brought back discussions on just what purpose the app really serves. With Hangouts probably being one of the most oft-derided Google products in existence, a replacement - even though Allo isn't technically replacing Hangouts - might be welcome. Or it might not: many Hangouts users would rather Google revamp that platform with Allo-like features instead of just releasing yet another chat app. How Allo and Hangouts will coexist remains unclear at this point - will Hangouts languish as Allo becomes Google's favored chat platform?

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[Weekend Poll] How Happy Are You With Your Carrier's Mobile Data Speeds?

I'm working on an article about 5G - it is becoming increasingly, exasperatingly long - and one of the major themes I'm finding is that new mobile technology is often touted as being the silver bullet for a problem with existing technology. For example: my AT&T LTE service here in Los Angeles sucks, like sub-1Mbps up and down speeds outside not next to a tall building. I've started using HSPA+ more and more just to avoid LA's ultra-congested AT&T LTE network - it's that bad in my area. 5G, of course, promises to fix all of this (I won't get into the hows and whys here - that's what the article is for).

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[Weekend Poll] Do Smartphone Accessories / Add-On Hardware Actually Matter To You? Would You Buy Them?

LG's G5 has proven nothing if not a divisive and unique piece of hardware. While I understand that many people do like the phone, I had a hard time coming to a favorable conclusion when evaluating it over the last few weeks. Conclusions aside, I want to talk about smartphone accessories - and I don't mean TPU cases (well, maybe HTC's Dot View or Samsung's new copycat thereof may count).

When I look at buying a smartphone, I'm looking at the smartphone. Freebies that come to loyal pre-order customers are always nice, but the vast majority of consumers buy a phone and generally a phone only (again, aside from a case) these days when they walk into a store or submit an order online.

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[Poll] Galaxy S7 / S7 Edge Or LG G5?

Undoubtedly, the topics of the week in the smartphone world are Samsung's Galaxy S7 (and S7 edge) and LG's G5. Both are flagship products, and comparisons are bound to be drawn. We know a fair bit about both devices at this point, so what we want to know is this: what's your initial impression? Which do you prefer? Why? Let's talk about it, and be sure to vote in the poll below.

Which do you prefer: Galaxy S7 / S7 edge or LG G5?

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[Weekend Poll] How Do You Secure Your Phone's Lock Screen?

Device security is a pretty personal thing, and we all likely have a given level of security we're comfortable with before impracticality starts to get in the way. While a secure lock screen is highly advisable, some of us still don't even do that (which is slightly scary) because it can be an annoying barrier to using your phone.

Google knows this, and features like Smart Lock have attempted to combat lockscreen non-usage by linking device security to connected devices, your face, your location, your voice, or even whether your phone thinks it's actually on your person. The idea being that if you're too lazy or encumbered by a traditional lockscreen (or don't have a fingerprint scanner), your phone can have a variety of "safe" scenarios in which it's probably OK for your device to be unlocked, only locking when those conditions aren't met.

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[Weekend Poll & Discussion] Nexus 5X And 6P Owners: What Issues, If Any, Are You Having With Your Devices?

The Nexus 5X and 6P are both pretty good smartphones. But they're not without flaws - and this weekend, we'd like to talk about what issues have troubled your new Nexuses now that you've had a couple of months (well, some of you) with your devices.

I just recently acquired a Nexus 6P, and I've barely had time to use it with a number of phone reviews on my calendar. But the few days I did use it as my daily driver, I was generally quite satisified. But that's really no time at all, and as we've heard in dozens of emails from you, our readers, both of these devices do have issues, and we'd love to know which ones are the most widespread, serious, or just plain weird.

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[Weekend Poll] What Kind Of Headphones Do You Use With Your Smartphone? Wired? Wireless?

As all sorts of headphone form-factors begin to go wireless (and come down in price), the personal audio market is being increasingly shaped by the smartphones we often listen to our music through. Because of things like Bluetooth allowing us to go wire-free, many people are more comfortable choosing a style or variety of headphone that appeals to their listening preferences as opposed to mere ergonomic concerns.

So, what kind of headphones do you use with your smartphone? I've tried to provide a pretty complete list here, with the option to choose multiple items if you regularly use more than one kind of headphone.

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[Weekend Poll] What Is Holding Back Android Tablets More, The UI/Features Or The Apps?

Tablets are a tricky business. For a while there, it looked like tablets might well overwhelm the consumer laptop market with their excellent portability, wireless accessory prowess, and generally better-than-a-laptop battery life. Everyone was also pretty hip on the novelty of the touchscreen in the early tablet days, too, and laptops had yet to really catch up on that front.

But the tablet market has now begun to stagnate, and competition has become more heated than ever before. Ultraportable convertible devices like the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and other similar form factor experiments are attempting to prove that a tablet can be a real laptop, or vice-versa.

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[Weekend Poll] How Much Did You Pay For Your Current Smartphone?

The cost of a smartphone can vary wildly - anywhere from $50 (or even less) to over $1000 depending on just which phone you're talking about. That wide range of prices also means a wide variety of devices are out there that cater to the specific needs or desires of you, the consumer. There are also a growing number of ways to pay for your phone if you really want the expensive stuff.

In America, phone subsidies from carriers (mobile operators) were long the preferred method to acquire a phone. In exchange for a promise to stay with a carrier as a post-paid customer for two years or more, the carrier would greatly subsidize the cost of a smartphone up front.

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