Devices By Manufacturer

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[Deal Alert] US unlocked Galaxy S8 (G950U) and S8+ (G955U) on sale for $549.99 and $639.99 on eBay

The prices for the S8 and S8+ have been plummeting over the past few weeks. Just a couple of days after the latest price drop, Samsung has once again lowered the prices on both its flagships over on its eBay storefront, and is now selling a brand new Galaxy S8 for $549.99 and an S8+ for $639.99. Unlike some previous deals, these are the US unlocked models and not the dual-SIM variants. They're also only available in Midnight Black.

Considering that these phones started retailing for $720 and $840 when they first came out in April, these sales are a pretty considerable saving.

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Google announces Nearby Connections API v2.0 with full offline functionality, more bandwidth, and less latency

Some of you might remember the Contextual App Experiences talk at I/O this year. The seemingly convoluted name actually held some pretty big news, as it was during that talk that Google revealed its plans to refresh the Nearby Connections API. That set of APIs is used to provide communication between your phone and other things in physical proximity to you, further expanding your ability to share info and data locally. Well, as of today version 2.0 of that API is now available, bringing new features for developers. 

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Bluetooth battery level indicators could be coming to stock Android soon

Over the years, one of the most annoying feature omissions in stock Android has been a battery indicator for connected Bluetooth devices. There is a public standard for reporting battery life from (supported) Bluetooth devices, but stock Android just doesn't use it. A few OEMs have implemented it themselves in the last few years, like Samsung and LG, but not Google.

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The Moto Z2 Force's 'unbreakable' screen may be a deal breaker

Motorola is set to launch the Moto Z2 Force in a few weeks on all major US carriers. Those carriers are doing their part to make the launch a success with various promos, but you ought to look upon these deals with skepticism. Our full Moto Z2 Force review will be ready in a few days, but I thought it would be prudent to expand on something I touched on in the hands-on: the ShatterShield display. I'm afraid this screen will be a deal breaker for many people. While it doesn't crack, there are plenty of other issues with it.

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Asus sets ZenFone 4 unveiling for August 19th

The explosion of budget phones several years ago allowed Asus to become a larger player in the smartphone market. There have been ups and downs since then, including a ZenFone 3 launch that took way too long to come to fruition. Perhaps things will be different with the ZenFone 4, which Asus is announcing on August 19th.

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Google Chrome's native ad blocker is now live in Canary and Dev builds

Earlier in the year, we learned that Google would be introducing a native ad blocker in its Chrome web browser, both on desktop and mobile. The company confirmed as much last month, saying that the feature would be available in 2018. That date likely relates to the stable build, but we're now seeing the 'Ads' setting in Chrome Canary and Dev on Android.

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[Update: Best Buy, Amazon, and Samsung.com too] Deal Alert: Get a US unlocked Galaxy S8 for just $575 and an S8+ for $650 on eBay

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are some of the best phones on the market, with their main downside being that their MSRPs are a little too high. Not to worry, though - the US unlocked models of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ have now dropped to $574.99 and $649.99, respectively, on Samsung's own eBay storefront. That's $25 lower than we've previously seen for the S8 and $50 lower for the S8+.

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Nokia 3 will be updated to 7.1.1 by the end of August

It might not be available in the US just yet, but HMD Global is already preparing to update the entry-level Nokia 3 to Android 7.1.1. The phone launched with Android 7.0 Nougat, which isn't too shabby, but 7.1.1 will bring with it a few new features. If this is a predictor of future software support, customers that pick up one of the new Nokia Android phones may have a lot to look forward to. 

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Google Home team is investigating issues with playing uploaded and purchased music

Last month, Google Home got a feature many users had been longing for since launch: the ability to play songs uploaded to or purchased from Google Play Music. Before that, you could only play songs in Google's catalog, which is kind of useless if you're not a subscriber. Unfortunately, it seems that users are experiencing mixed success with the new feature and Google is now investigating the problems.

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Google Play Services passes five billion downloads, becomes first app to do so

Five billion is a big number. If you combine the populations of the top 10 most-populated countries on Earth, you get less than that number. The best-selling game console of all time, the PlayStation 2, only sold enough units to cover 3.2% of five billion. Google Play Services has now passed five billion downloads on the Play Store, becoming the first app to do so.

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