The SHIELD TV, easily the best Android TV device available (in an admittedly very short field), will be upgraded to Android Marshmallow at some point. That was never really in question; NVIDIA has been quite good about upgrading software for its first-party Android devices, usually in a timely manner. That's not the important bit of NVIDIA's recent blog post. Nope, the important part is that Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, a PS3 port promised since the SHIELD TV was revealed way back in March of last year, will finally be available on Thursday.
The Huawei Honor 5X's sales pitch isn't complicated, and it doesn't have to be: $199 gets you a metal-body smartphone with a fingeprint scanner, LTE, and a 5.5" 1080p display. There's no uninstallable 3rd party bloat (Twitter, Facebook, FaceTune, and Shazam can all be removed), and while it does run Android 5.1.1 with Huawei's lamentable custom UI layer, the price really does make this easier to ignore.
Is the Honor 5X the perfect smartphone for the Android enthusiast on a budget? Probably not, if I'm honest, unless you're willing to hold out for the possibility that a robust custom ROM community emerges after the handset's launch.
The BlackBerry Priv is the sole option for Android users looking for a high-end phone with a physical keyboard. But, here in the States, the phone is currently only available on AT&T. Want the Priv? You need that carrier. Network not good in your area? Tough.
Except, that's about to change. BlackBerry announced at CES that the phone will soon come to the other big three carriers. T-Mobile will get the phone on January 26th. Sprint and Verizon will presumably get the device at some point after.
In BlackBerry's home country of Canada, Rogers, Bell, and Telus are all already supported.
We've had a chance to spend some significant time with the Huawei Mate 8 in the last 24 hours, and so I felt an intial impressions post was warranted. The "space gray" (yes, really) 32GB unit I've been using is technically preproduction per Huawei's own disclaimer, though the software feels largely finished and the phone physically feels ready for sale.
The Mate 8, by the way, is not a phone you'll be seeing in America. Huawei has taken a pretty careful approach in regard to its US device launches, and its most expensive handsets generally never make it here through any official channels.
CES always seems to have at least one major trend at the trade show, and this year's hot ticket is virtual reality. With a new HTC Vive headset, the announcement of the Oculus Rift's pricey consumer model, and all manner of smaller announcements, it's safe to say that VR is the belle of the ball on the show floor. But all of them have one thing in common: you can't fit them in a pocket. Even Google's super-cheap Cardboard system is about the size of a dSLR camera when assembled. Case maker Speck thinks it's solved that problem with a new design, which is about the same size as a phone.
Plugging in the little dongle is hardly a difficult task, but it's still less sightly than having the functionality built-in. Throughout this year, B&O Play, Harman Kardon, Onkyo, Philips, Pioneer, and Raumfeld will all join Sony and LG in producing Google Cast-enabled speakers. As they roll out, Google will introduce the ability to sync playback across multiple speakers and rooms using them as well, just as you already can with Chromecast Audio.
Huawei has only released a few phones in the US market, and the new Mate 8 isn't among them. Instead, we'll get the mid-range Honor 5X. No, it doesn't have anything to do with the LG-build Nexus 5X. The Honor 5X has somewhat more modest specs than that other 5X, but the price is lower too at just $199.
If you want frequent Android updates but don't have the cash to pick up a 5X or 6P, then the Nexus 5 may still be your best option. Right now you can buy a refurbished16GB model for just $150 on Daily Steals. The 32GB model is also available for just $30 more.
Shipping is free and no tax is added to the sale price. Both black and white options are available in each capacity. If you want a different (notice I didn't say new?) Android phone, and have less than two bills to spend, there aren't many better options out there, especially for someone who enjoys rooting, flashing, and customizing their phone.
If you own a Xiaomi device, and you probably don't if you live outside of Asia, then you're familiar with MIUI. This build of Android ships on all of the company's devices. 7.0 arrived a couple months ago, and now folks are receiving the first update of 2016, version 7.1.
The update is small, and so are many of the tweaks. The file manager has changed private folders to "Hidden Folders," which let you hide files from view and protect them with a password. The code will be the same one guarding your lockscreen unless you leave your phone unlocked.