Blu Products has done some interesting things in the affordable smartphone market. Oftentimes, you will hear Blu devices described as "great for the money" because the value that you get from them is rather surprising. Even on the lower end, I have found that Blu can do what I need a smartphone to do: make calls, check email, and use Hangouts. Ever since the Vivo 5 and Vivo XL, priced at $199 and $99 respectively, released earlier this year, Blu has really upped its game on its core value proposition. Recently, we saw the Energy XL, a mammoth of a phone with an equally large battery, for $299 that turned out to be quite a competitor in the market. Read More
The idea of a smartphone that magically turns into a full PC has been something of a pipedream for a while now. Motorola tried it with its Atrix laptop dock, Canonical is trying something similar with its Ubuntu Unity phone OS that can dock into a monitor. Even Microsoft is giving it a go with Windows Phone devices that can dock into a slimmed-down ARM Windows environment. The latest attempt with an Android base comes from "Maru OS," the brainchild of developer Preetam D'Souza. Read More
Google Fi is one of the best carriers, especially in the United States, when it comes to international roaming. International data costs the same as domestic rates, cellular calls are $0.20 per minute, and there's even free texting. Google Fi also gives you alerts when you're reaching your data cap. Well, except for international data usage.
But all that is changing, and starting now you will receive alerts for international data usage like you would domestically. This is the first phase of improvements to Google Fi's international tracking, according to Reddit user /u/ProjectFiCM (who has been verified to actually be from Google). Phase two, for which a date has not been formally announced, includes adding international data usage to Google Fi's in-app data usage graph. Read More
Okay, so the G5's modular design hasn't set the world on fire in quite the manner that LG probably hoped it would. But aside from some of the foibles of its unique form factor, it's still a high-end flagship device with some of the latest specs and a great camera. And if you chop the original retail price down, it turns into a pretty good deal. Such is the case with this eBay listing, which is selling the international model of the G5 for just $399.99.
There's a new paradigm in strategy games. Whereas the old guard in real-time titles like Starcraft, Age of Empires, and Command & Conquer tended to get more complex with each release, the point of Auralux and its imitators is to boil strategy down to its purest components. It does so by making offense, defense, and resource gathering all more or less the same game mechanic, in the tradition of Galactic Conquest (AKA Galcon). Now the sequel to Auralux is out, and it's looking pretty great. Read More
In the early days, Android Wear had a luxury problem. Okay, the early models had a far way to go to be considered luxury. They had to first work their way up to unembarrassing, let alone classy.
But these days you can throw half a grand at a stylish gold watch if you want to. Better yet, you can catch one on sale for less than half that. Read More
Actively watching Nougat roll out to Nexus owners this week? Most Android devices don't have a shot at getting an update to the latest and greatest. Some, like the Galaxy S5 Active, are only just now getting an update to last year's version. Read More
The Android update news this week has been all Nougat all the time. But what of the lowly Samsung Galaxy S5? AT&T is rolling out an update during Nougat week, but it's only Android 6.0 Marshmallow. I mean, not that Marshmallow is bad, but running just a little late, aren't you AT&T? Read More
Many of us have spent the last five years hoping beyond hope that Google Fiber would be deployed on our home turf. Fiber has been expanding little by little, but the costs are still astronomical. Alphabet CEO Larry Page has reportedly gotten fed up with Google Fiber burning through cash. He's demanded Fiber chief Craig Barratt cut his staff to 500 from 1,000 and reduce the cost of acquiring new customers to one-tenth of current levels. Read More
Backup/restore features are a bit of a sore point on Android; Google's efforts can be called nothing better than pathetic, while most other manufacturers don't offer a service to entirely back up a device like Apple does with its own iOS devices and iCloud. However, Samsung, which has already had one software success this year, may be onto something with Samsung Cloud, which is launching with the Galaxy Note7. Sam Mobile has confirmed that the feature is also coming to the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, courtesy of a 150MB update - it's currently live in Italy and India with more countries presumably on the way. Read More