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weekend poll

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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] Is Your Phone Rooted?

Around a year and a half ago, I asked you this very question. Two years before that, we also asked you. I'm asking you again, because I think rooting may be on the downswing even in the Android enthusiasts community these days, as Android itself has become more flexible and feature-rich over the years. In 2012, nearly three quarters of you said your primary Android smartphone was rooted, with the last poll around 18 months ago seeing the proportion of rooted devices drop by 10 points, to just 63%.

So, I ask you again today: is your primary Android smartphone rooted?

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[Weekend Poll] Do You Put Your Phone In A Case / Skin?

Protecting your smartphone is something that can be accomplished through both passive (e.g., waterproofing) and active (e.g., a case) means. But today I want to talk specifically about cases. Smartphone cases have endured over the years among a huge segment of the market, and cases have evolved into distinct subtypes - and oddities, like the pictured HTC Dot View above - to accommodate particular consumer demands.

What I want to know is this: do you use a smartphone case, and what kind?

As a phone reviewer, I don't really have the luxury of cases - I simply use too many phones to go out and buy endless accessories for, though if I did plan on using a smartphone for two years straight, I'd probably at least consider a skin of some kind.

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[Weekend Poll] Are You Happy With Your Phone's Battery Life?

Battery life is among the utmost concerns for many smartphone owners today, and it's also an area where alleged improvements can sometimes feel hit or miss. An objective hit, for example, came in the form of Samsung's Galaxy S7 and S7 edge this year, which have easily walked away with the battery life crown among their chief rivals. Still, perhaps for some of you, even those phones don't provide enough charge to make it through a day reliably - and that really should be the goal, shouldn't it?

So, this weekend's poll is all about your subjective satisfaction: does your current smartphone's battery life give you all you need and more?

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[Weekend Poll] Do You Want A Proper Reboot Function In Stock Android?

The reboot button has been a contentious issue in stock Android for years now, and Google has to date seemed content in not providing this function to users. We actually brought this up with core Android dev Dan Sandler at Google I/O this year - or, rather, Artem brought it up. There's no doubt in my mind that at least some on the Android team don't like the idea of the button because it's a tacit admission that Android needs to be rebooted frequently enough to make the key useful - i.e., it is not as stable over long uptimes as, say, iOS.

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Weekend Poll: Do You Shoot Images In RAW/DNG On Your Smartphone Camera?

Most high-end and even a number of mid-range Android smartphones today allow you to capture images with the rear camera in the "RAW" DNG format. The reason for this feature's existence has always been a bit befuddling to me, personally, though. While I can understand why a professional photographer found camera-less in a situation where an image absolutely must be captured and is forced to use their smartphone would want to use RAW capture, that's a hell of a niche use case.

The reason we most often hear is that RAW images are "better" for editing, which in and of itself I find myself grappling with.

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[Weekend Poll] Do You Plan To Buy A New Smartphone This Year?

There seems to be a prevailing logic that more and more people are choosing to hold onto their smartphones longer than ever before. Part of this, certainly, is that smartphones are just getting better. But increasingly, we're seeing inexpensive smartphones offering "premium" specifications at much lower prices, prices so low that even upgrading annually you might end up spending less than the every-two-years model with a high-end device.

So, do you plan on buying a new smartphone this year? Vote in the poll, and tell us why or why not in the comments!

Do you plan to buy a new smartphone - for yourself - this year (2016)?

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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] What Is Your Ideal Smartphone Screen Size?

Believe it not, we've only run this poll once before - I know, I was shocked, too. And the last time we ran it? 2011. Needless to say, display size preference on smartphones has likely changed a fair bit since then, and I'm quite curious to see how.

In 2011, just 19% of people wanted a display larger than 4.7" - the largest category we put in the poll! Today, that seems pretty small, doesn't it? Unfortunately, using the 2011 poll's exact dimension choices won't really work well given the size of today's smartphones - there aren't exactly many sub-3.5" displays out there anymore.

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[Weekend Poll] Galaxy S7, LG G5, Or HTC 10?

This weekend's poll is a good old-fashioned smartphone shootout in the simplest of terms: whose 2016 flagship do you think ranks supreme?

Samsung's Galaxy S7 showed up on the scene first this year, and it made a big splash (waterproofing puns aside). By going the Apple route and offering the "same" phone in two different sizes, Samsung's also allowing consumers a choice that LG and HTC are not with the G5 and 10, and I see a lot of big-phone fans opting for the S7 edge as their most recent smartphone upgrade choice. (Our review.)

The LG G5, well, you know I'm not its biggest fan (review here), but LG has a fanbase, and at least some of those fans can see something in the G5 that puts it over the top of its competitors this year.

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