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[Update: Note Edge too] Verizon updates the 3-year old Galaxy Note 4 with the Blueborne security patch

Credit where credit is due. Verizon and Samsung are doing a good job of keeping relatively older devices updated with security patches. After upgrading the Galaxy S5 (2014) to the August security patch, they're now releasing an update to the Note 4 (also 2014) with the latest security patches that brings it to software version MMB29M.N910VVRS2CQE1.

Although Verizon's update page doesn't specifically state they're the September security patches, and we don't have a Note 4 on Verizon to verify, odds are that's what we're talking about.

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US carriers respond to Hurricane Maria and the recent earthquake in Mexico

In the wake of natural disasters, it seems like an unofficial race begins between all the US carriers. Which among them will be the first to provide free calls or credits? With the double-whammy of Hurricane Maria and the earthquake in Mexico, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon have all released statements about how customers in affected areas can continue to access service. To make things easy, we've put all the statements from each of the carriers together here. 

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Android One Moto X4 is official, and it's coming to Project Fi for $399

Project Fi, Google's pre-paid carrier, isn't quite as appealing as it once was. Now that the Nexus 5X and 6P are not sold (and suffering from hardware issues), the only phones available on Fi are the Pixel and Pixel XL. And unlike most pre-paid carriers, you can't use whatever device you want, as Fi uses specialized software to switch between networks. Customers have been asking Project Fi to begin selling cheaper devices once again, and the carrier has been listening.

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[Deal Alert] Refurbished Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus on sale for $499.99

Samsung is currently pushing the Galaxy Note 8, but it's extremely expensive. The Galaxy S8 Plus is a good alternative if you want a big Samsung phone, and it just so happens there's a refurbished model on sale right now. For $550, you get a Verizon GS8 Plus, which is also unlocked for use on GSM networks. Add a coupon code, and it's $499.99.

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T-Mobile boosts prioritization point on unlimited lines from 32GB to 50GB

T-Mobile is all in on unlimited data plans—you can't even buy a traditional capped plan anymore. Oh, there are still limits, of course, but Tmo isn't alone there. However, T-Mobile is making one of its unlimited limits a bit less irksome. Unlimited users now have to use more data before the network starts slowing them down.

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T-Mobile and Sprint are apparently still in merger talks

A merger between Sprint and T-Mobile has been rumored for years at this point, and a new report from CNBC claims there two are indeed still at it. An announcement may be a few weeks out, or it may not happen at all, but CNBC reports that the current framework would see T-Mobile and its parent company Deutsche Telekom emerge as the majority owner of the combined carrier.

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AT&T releases standalone THANKS app for its rewards program

AT&T has just released a new app on the Play Store and this one is dedicated for its THANKS rewards program. Previously, Thanks was part of the myAT&T app, but now it's getting its own dedicated app, because AT&T can't settle for having just one icon in your app drawer. Gee, thanks!

Anyway, the new app lets you view available offers like Ticket Twosdays, presale on concert tickets, and free same-day delivery and setup of your shiny new devices. You can redeem any offer, track it, view a history of your rewards, and get notifications when new offers are available.

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Essential Phone is now fully compatible with Verizon networks

Those of you who read about the Essential team's AMA on reddit yesterday probably saw that Essential was working on Verizon certification for the PH-1 (PH-One, get it?). Andy Rubin has lived up to his word; just a day later, the Essential Phone has indeed gotten fully certified for Big Red.

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 goes on sale today—here are all the launch deals

Samsung's latest phone is a spendy piece of hardware. While it's essentially a Galaxy S8 Plus with a stylus, that still means it's a great phone. The phone is available unlocked and from all the major US carriers, and everyone is offering deals to entice you—the deals are important when the phone costs almost $1,000. So, let's break it all down so you can figure out how many piggy banks you'll have to bust open to gather the necessary funds.

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Essential Phone arrives at Sprint today

The Essential Phone has been long-awaited, not just because it was developed by Andy Rubin (co-founder of Android), but also because it's a pretty sleek device. After the initial delays, it showed up for pre-order a month ago and began shipping to customers soon after.

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