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Galaxy Note 8 specifications, pricing, release date, pre-orders, and more (US)

Samsung has made the Galaxy Note8 official, and if you're looking for an easy-to-digest roundup of information about Samsung's latest high-end smartphone, we've concentrated it for you here. Below, you'll find specifications, release date information, helpful links, and more.

Dates and availability: Pre-order, release date, carriers, retailers

Samsung has announced that pre-orders for the Galaxy Note8 will begin on August 24th. Pre-order dates may vary by carrier or retailer, but most will probably start then.

AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-mobile, U.S. Cellular, Cricket, C Spire, Straight Talk, and Xfinity Mobile will all be stocking the Note8. Retail availability for these providers in physical stores will begin on September 15th, though pre-orders may ship before this date (as often occurs).

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Verizon splits unlimited plan into three tiers, throttles video on all of them

Verizon ruffled some feathers last month when it was caught throttling Netflix on its LTE network. At the time the carrier said it was merely testing video optimization technology, and now we know why. Verizon has done away with its standard unlimited data plan, replacing it with three tiers of unlimited data. All of them include video throttling—in fact, you can't get 1080p video on phones on any of them.

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AT&T Galaxy S8 and S8+ receiving updates with navigation bar auto hide, August patch, and more

Most Galaxy S8 and S8+ variants are receiving updates every one to two months, and today, it's the AT&T versions' turn. This latest update for S8s on the Death Star carrier include "navigation bar auto hide," the August 2017 security patch, and quite a few more miscellaneous improvements.

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[Deal Alert] T-Mobile is offering a free LG G6 or V20 via rebate after you purchase one on EIP

T-Mobile is no stranger to "buy one, get one" promotions. In fact, the Bellevue-based company has even run one that included the LG G6 and V20 before. This latest one, then, will probably be pretty familiar to those of you who've seen a T-Mobile BOGO in action before.

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Essential Phone pre-orders are live in Canada, but only on Telus

It took a few months longer than expected, but the Essential Phone went up for pre-order in the US yesterday. Our friends north of the border didn't have any way to buy the phone at the time, but that changes today. The Essential Phone is now live on the Telus website... and that's all. Telus is the only place you can get the Essential Phone in Canada.

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Xfinity Mobile is now available across Comcast's entire nationwide retail network

Back in April, Comcast announced that it was entering the wireless game with Xfinity Mobile. It promised "a new kind of network" and the plans actually weren't too bad, with $12 per GB, a $45 unlimited tariff, and discounts for Xfinity home internet customers paying for the more expensive packages. 18 million Wi-Fi hotspots are also accessible, helping to keep cellular data costs down. Xfinity Mobile has now been rolled out across all of Comcast's service areas.

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Sprint says KEYone's bloatware bug will be fixed in an OTA update

The KEYone is available as an unlocked phone, and that's probably how most BlackBerry fans will buy it. However, there's a Sprint version, too. Owners of the Sprint version recently reported an aggravating battle with bloatware, which was constantly reinstalling itself on the phone. Sprint has now confirmed this is a bug, and it'll be fixed soon.

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AT&T and Sprint waive fees to Barcelona following terrorist attack

Earlier today in Barcelona, Spain, at about 5 PM local time, the driver of a white van deliberately drove though one of the city's most popular boulevards. This horrible tragedy killed somewhere around 13 people (there are conflicting reports), and has been labelled a terrorist attack by the local police. In response to this event, both AT&T and Sprint are waiving all fees to calling from the United States to Spain.

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T-Mobile has started deploying 600MHz LTE, phones coming later this year

T-Mobile spent big on the FCC's 600MHz spectrum auction earlier this year, and it's already putting those new licenses to use. The carrier reports that it's flipped the switch on 600MHz LTE in Cheyenne, Wyoming using new Nokia equipment. Residents of Cheyenne can't do anything with that fancy new network yet, though. No current phones have support for the latest network technology, but that'll change in the coming months.

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MetroPCS's ZTE Blade ZMAX offers a 6.0" 1080p display and dual rear cameras for $129

ZTE phones are well known for delivering great bang for the buck - the Axon 7 and $99 ZMAX PRO immediately come to mind. Now, there's a new ZMAX phone on the block, the Blade ZMAX, and it offers quite a few flagship-level features for only $129.

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