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BlackBerry KEYone hands-on: The QWERTY candybar's last stand?

BlackBerry wants to sell you a candybar phone in 2017. This is the bottom-line with the freshly-minted KEYone - which I will call the KeyOne from here on for sanity's sake - and if it's a proposition you're not interested in, there's nothing here that will change your mind. The one I'm using here in Barcelona, by the way, is the finalized version of the phone, running Android 7.1.1 (preproduction software) and basically ready for retail. So, what's it like?

Obviously, this is a very niche smartphone, but one that knows and doesn't apologize for it. BlackBerry is playing to an audience, and it's apparent at every level: this is not the next phone for the specification crowd, nor is it for the exceptionally budget-minded.

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BlackBerry Mercury announced as the KEYone, coming in early Q2 for $549 unlocked

BlackBerry has forged a partnership with TCL to push its Android hardware forward. We've seen a few phones come out of this association so far, but they've been recycled Alcatel designs. The KEYone is all new and all BlackBerry. This phone was pre-announced as the Mercury, but now it's official and coming to the US and Canada in "early Q2" and elsewhere shortly thereafter.

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Sony Xperia XZ Premium leaked, and it's very shiny

The Sony Xperia XZ was announced at IFA last year, and later released in the United States in October. As you might expect from a phone initially costing $699, it's powered by a Snapdragon 820 CPU with 3GB of RAM. Now Xperia Blog has posted the first image of the upcoming XZ Premium, and it's very shiny.

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Android 7.1.2 Beta finally hits the Nexus 6P, but fingerprint gesture support is missing

If you're using the Nexus 6P and enrolled in the beta program, you should be checking your phone for a new update. The 7.1.2 Beta is rolling out now, bringing the larger 2015 Nexus in line with the other Google devices. Those of us who felt snubbed last month when our phone was left out should feel better now.

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Verizon's Motorola DROID Turbo 2 is now receiving its Nougat update

Verizon phones, especially exclusives like those sold under the DROID brand, don't have a very good reputation for quick updates. The most notable offender of this, the DROID Turbo, took until December of 2016 just to get an official Android 6.0 Marshmallow update. However, the Turbo 2's Nougat update is here, and thankfully, it didn't take nearly as long.

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InBrief
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Samsung Pay is launching in Malaysia

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LineageOS 14.1 builds now available for the HTC 10, Galaxy Note 10.1 2014, Wileyfox Storm, and more

LineageOS, the successor to the ill-fated CyanogenMod, is off to a great start. The ROM has already passed 600,000 active installs, and has steadily added support for more devices since launch. Now official LineageOS builds have expanded to several more phones and tablets.

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Google announces RCS support for Orange, Deutsche Telekom, and Globe subscribers

Late last year, Google announced that Sprint would be the first carrier to use its Jibe RCS Cloud platform. Several more carriers have joined since then, including Rogers in Canada and Telanor in Europe and Asia. In a blog post from Google, the company announced that Orange, Deutsche Telekom, and Globe will be rolling out Jibe RCS to their customers.

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[Update: Fix coming soon] Bluetooth randomly turning itself off on some devices, including the Pixel and Pixel XL

Over the past week or so, hundreds of users have reported about a particularly annoying bug with Bluetooth on the Pixel and Pixel XL. For seemingly no reason at all, Bluetooth will suddenly turn off. It can be turned back on just fine, but it will later shut itself off again.

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