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Alcatel Announces The Ruggedized GO PLAY Smartphone And GO WATCH Smart Watch

Alcatel Onetouch has been working to become more than a purveyor of mega-cheap devices that lurk in the back of carrier shops. The Idol 3 was a step in the right direction, and now there are two new devices in Alcatel's portfolio, the GO PLAY and GO WATCH. One is a phone and the other is a watch. Can you guess which is which?

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[Deal Alert] Amazon Chopped Another $150 Off The Nexus 6: 32GB Is Now $350, 64GB Is Now $400

Deal hunters, get an early start on this one. Amazon's US store has slashed the unlocked Nexus 6 price by another $150 (in addition to the $150 price cut a few months ago). That means a full $300 off of both models: the standard 32GB version is now $349.99, and the 64GB version is $399.99. This is a fantastic deal on an unlocked phone, and one that still keeps up with most of the 2015 flagships. Get your order in quickly, because at this price stock is going to disappear very soon.

Remember, the US version of the Nexus 6 works with all four major carriers (including Sprint and Verizon), most GSM MVNO carriers, and Google's own Fi.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 5 And S6 edge+ Review: Pretty Much Exactly What You'd Expect

The Galaxy S6 edge+ is a large Galaxy S6 edge. If you want this phone distilled to its essence, there it is. It is derivative. That is its sole reason for existing, and if that is the bar to meet, the Galaxy S6 edge+ meets it with unforgiving literalness and exacting precision.

The Galaxy Note 5 is a large Galaxy S6... with a pen. And a curved backplate (a reverse edge, if you will). The Note 5 is very clearly defined not by the Note device that preceded it, but by Samsung's larger "premium" corporate brand image unveiled with the S6, and makes all but a complete break from last year's device except in regard to the stylus.

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Barnes & Noble Brings Back The Nook As A Branded Version Of Samsung's 8-Inch Galaxy Tab S2

Ah, the Nook Color. I have fond memories of Barnes & Noble's don't-call-it-a-tablet tablet, if only because that early hardware was a gateway drug to custom ROMs and root modifications. The Nook brand eventually crashed and burned against the twin onslaughts of cheap Android tablets and Amazon's unstoppable Kindle e-readers, but there are still at least a few B&N product managers who want to keep the hardware kicking, as evidenced by "Nook" versions of Samsung tablets. The latest to get the treatment is the new Galaxy Tab S2.

nook

Specifically the 8-inch version of the Tab S2, because that makes the most sense as a "reader" device.

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Samsung Teases A Gargantuan 18.4-Inch Tablet Called The Galaxy View

Rumors began circulating a few weeks ago about a supposed Samsung tablet with a humongous 18.4-inch screen. At the time we suspected it was just a typo in an inventory system somewhere (an extra 1 in front of 8.4-inches). However, Samsung slyly showed off the huge Galaxy View during the Gear S2 announcement, so it looks like this one is real.

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T-Mobile Announces Native Video Calling, Available Today On The Galaxy Note 5 And Galaxy S6 Edge+

T-Mobile has been pushing some new network technologies lately, like the Advanced Messaging platform announced a few months back. Now it's moving on to video calling by adding native support to its network for select devices. It will require a software update to use, but the experience of placing a video call should be somewhat less annoying.

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NVIDIA Pushes Upgrade 106 To SHIELD Portable And 1.4 To SHIELD Android TV

If there's one thing to say about NVIDIA's support of SHIELD devices, it's that they're doing a pretty dang good job of constantly pushing enhancements to all three devices - SHIELD Portable, SHIELD Tablet, and SHIELD Android TV.

And today, two of those are getting updates of their own, with a minor update to SHIELD Portable and a slightly larger bump for SHIELD Android TV. Let's start with the former.

nexusae0_wm_IMG_0351

SHIELD Portable is currently receiving upgrade 106, which brings a few rather minor - but still useful - enhancements:

This update contains button functionality fixes and security improvements, including:

2015-09-03_10h52_18

If you missed the start button from KitKat, it's back.

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 Is Now Available For Purchase From Retailers And Carriers

It's been a while since we've seen Samsung do anything in the high-end tablet market; in fact, the original Tab S was probably the last flagship tablet the manufacturer released. But today marks the nationwide availability of that tablet's successor(s), the Tab S2 9.7 and S2 8.0.

As the names suggest, this pair packs 9.7-inch and 8.0-inch displays, respectively, both using the 4:3 aspect ratio that many users crave (and equally as many users hate). Otherwise, these are both packing some pretty intense hardware under the hood:

  • SoC: Quad 1.9GHz + Quad 1.3GHz, Octacore application processor
  • Display: 2048×1536(QXGA) Super AMOLED
  • OS: Android 5.0 (Lollipop)
  • Camera: 8MP AF(rear), 2.1MP(front)
  • Memory: 3GB(RAM) + 32/64GB internal memory, microSD up to 128GB
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac MIMO (2.4GHz/5GHz), Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth®4.1 BLE
  • GPS: GPS, GLONASS
  • Sensor: Accelerometer, Finger Scanner, Gyroscope, Compass, Hall Sensor, RGB Sensor
  • Audio: MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, Vorbis, FLAC
  • Video: H.263, H.264(AVC), MPEG4, VC-1, WMV7, WMV8, VP8.
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Google Admin Gets An Updated Material Design Look, New Icon, Richer User Profiles, Bulk Actions, More [APK Download]

It's taken Google more than a year to update its own apps to comply with its new design philosophy, and we're still seeing apps just now receive the Material blessing. Google Admin, the administrator app of Google Apps, is the latest one to get a fresh coat of paint. This follows the update to the Admin web console that we saw back in February this year.

You should know by now what to expect of a Material design look so I won't dwell over that. For a comparison, this is what Google Admin looked like a few days ago and below is what you should see once the app is updated.

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Lenovo's VIBE P1 And P1m Bring 5000mAh And 4000mAh Batteries And Fast Charging To The Midrange (But Not To North America)

I love this smartphone era we're going through. Two years ago, something like Lenovo's new P1 or P1m would have cost a fortune, but now these devices are launching in the low to midrange, with prices that could awe and tempt the best of us. As David said a few days ago, the cheap smartphone is rising and that benefits us all.

So what's so special about these Lenovo devices? Mostly, their battery size. The larger P1 (5.5" Full HD IPS display) has a 5,000 mAh battery, good for about 45 hours of 4G talk time. The smaller P1m (5" 720p IPS display) gets a 4,000 mAh battery, which should last for 16 hours of 4G talk time.

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