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ASUS ZenFone 2 Review: A Good Inexpensive Phone That Would Be Much Better With Stock Android

When you think smartphones, ASUS probably rarely comes to mind. While the company has been building Android phones for several years now, their market penetration outside of Asia has been relatively low, and so they rarely get much attention in American or European markets. But the ZenFone 2, when it launched at CES six months ago, definitely raised eyebrows.

At a starting price of just $199, ASUS is offering up a phone with extremely impressive specifications for a do-a-double-take MSRP - it almost sounds too good to be true. Thankfully, I don't think it is - the ZenFone 2 is a solid phone that works pretty much like any Android 5.0+ device you'll encounter while simultaneously blowing the doors off pretty much any competitor at this price point for raw spec sheet power.

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Verizon's Prepaid Version Of The Moto E (Second Generation) Updated To Android 5.1

Hey Verizon, you do know that your flagship and completely exclusive DROID Turbo is still running on Android 4.4, right? Right? That being the case, does it seem a little odd that the cheapest of the Moto line, the Moto E, which is only sold to pre-paid Verizon customers, now runs the latest version of Android? No? Well OK, then. If you have the second-gen version of the Moto E, expect an update sometime in the next few days. If you have a DROID Turbo, buy a Moto E.

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Verizon's notes on Lollipop 5.1 don't mention anything out of the ordinary for the update, which shouldn't surprise you, since Motorola's cheaper phones run a version of Android that's almost completely stock.

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Sony Xperia Z4 Launches In Japan With Overheating Warning From Carrier NTT Docomo And Plenty Of User Complaints

Sony is in a strange place these days. It has been on a 6-8 month flagship update schedule for several years, which is surely hard to maintain. Now the Z4 is out in Japan and the Snapdragon 810 at its heart is reportedly getting very, very toasty. So much so that carrier NTT Docomo has warning signs in retail stores. Ouch.

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Nest's New Cam And App Leak Ahead Of The Company's June 17th Event

After Nest acquired Dropcam and started integrating some of its hardware with the security cam, it was only a matter of time before the company got its ducks in a row for an official Nest-branded camera. It seems that the wait is about to be over. Nest has a press event scheduled on June 17th, and among the possible announcements is the Nest Cam.

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According to Droid-Life, this is the new Cam. It looks like a Dropcam, predictably, but slimmer, more modern, and like the result of a Stuart the minion and Mike Wazowski inspiration. Bee doo bee doo! Presumably, the Nest Cam will be capable of 1080p streaming and recording, though the report wasn't clear on whether that means local storage or Dropcam's expensive subscription tiers.

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An Exclusive Early Look At Hangouts 4.0

Back in September, Hangouts switched from gray to green in its 2.3 update, ostensibly making the first baby steps on its journey toward joining Google's material design parade. Then in December we first spied a slightly more material version of the app. Now, users are running version 3.3 and many aren't satisfied with the app's layouts or structure. Things like the seemingly unnecessary contacts tab, the somewhat messy drawer, and the non-standard toolbar are common complaints.

It looks like Google is working on fixing a lot of issues with an upcoming update to Hangouts 4.0 though. We've heard rumblings from Reddit of the new update, and now we've got an early look at the app.

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New Android Auto Update Includes Compatibility Fixes For Samsung Galaxy S4 And S5 On Sprint, AT&T, And Verizon [APK Download]

Android Auto is starting to finally show up in cars and third-party head units, but there are still a handful of compatibility issues to work out, it seems. The latest update to the Android Auto app includes compatibility for the Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5 on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon.

Android Auto

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Gmail Update Adds Support For Oauth On Yahoo And Microsoft Email Accounts [APK Download]

Google made some big changes to Gmail when it retired the stock email app. You have the ability to manage non-Google email accounts in the app these days, but here comes something new. Today's Gmail app update has improved matters further by adding Oauth support for Yahoo and Microsoft accounts.

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Rumor: Razer Is Looking To Buy Struggling OUYA To Bolster Its Android Gaming Efforts

There hasn't been much news out of OUYA for the last year or so, and Razer's first effort at mobile hardware, the Android TV-powered Forge TV, hasn't exactly been lighting the world on fire either. Would combining forces make either of these products better? Probably not. But according to a recent post on TechCrunch, at least someone thinks it might be a good idea.

TechCrunch reports that premium game accessory maker Razer is interested in purchasing OUYA, or at least what's left of it now that the "mini console" fad has come and gone. OUYA has tried numerous strategies to gain back the excitement of its initial Kickstarter campaign, including the addition of a subscription service and farming out its game library to competitors like MadCatz.

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International HTC One M9 Getting OTA Update (v1.40.401.5) With Camera And Battery Life Improvements

HTC is pushing an update to the One M9 today, but only if you're using the international version of the device. Phones in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa should see the v1.40.401.5 update popping up any time now. It's not a major update, but it addresses several common M9 complaints.

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Huawei Watch Reportedly Delayed Until Late Q3 Or Early Q4

A new report claims that Huawei has pushed back the release of the Huawei Watch until September or October. Of course, there was never an official launch date for the watch, but that's much later than everyone was expecting. The reason cited in the report for the delay is "incompatibility issues with Android Wear." That could mean any number of things.

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