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Sonos Playbase review: The speaker to rule the living room

Let me start this off with the obvious: Sonos is a pretty legendary name these days. The company's product portfolio is pretty simple and easy to navigate, but each item serves a few specific purposes that help potential buyers decide which one to purchase. The selection of speakers, soundbars, and amps all fulfill different audio needs, whether you want a multi-room setup like Artem and/or a stellar surround sound experience.

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Synology DiskStation DS416play review: Cloud who? Personal servers can be cool and feature-filled too

This is one of the most difficult reviews I've had to write to date. I've been using the Synology DS416play for several months, yet everytime I sat down to start writing, I felt overwhelmed by what I should and shouldn't discuss and eventually found myself drifting to work on another simpler and more urgent news article. I love detailed reviews, I enjoy delving deep into every single feature a product offers and discussing its benefits and limitations, as evidenced by the lengthy reviews I've written on Android Police over the years. But if I wanted to do the same for this NAS, I knew I'd end up with 10K+ words at the very least without even scratching the surface of many options.

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Synology RT2600AC review: A beast disguised as a router

When Synology approached us with an offer to review a new product, I was thrilled. The company is well-known for its NAS (Network Attached Storage) machines, but the item in question turned out to be a router. Now, I know what you're thinking: a router review from Android Police? As some of you may well know, we do not exclusively handle Android-specific products like phones, tablets, etc. Sometimes, we like to provide all of you with our opinions on other accessories and the like to help improve your experience with your Android devices. Get it?

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Galaxy S8 and S8+ review: Another pair of excellent mainstream smartphones from Samsung

When you talk about Samsung's Galaxy smartphones, it's hard not to talk about 'the average consumer.' Because the Galaxy S series is the second-most popular line of smartphones on earth, its audience is unashamedly mainstream, and the vast majority of sales of these devices will be to consumers who aren't what you'd call tech-savvy. The issue for Samsung, increasingly, is learning how to split the difference between a smartphone that provides a good experience for everybody and maintaining that all important credibility with its fans and enthusiasts.

The Galaxy S8 and S8+, for example, have Quad HD displays - the best ones I've ever seen.

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Fitbit Alta HR review: Compromising features for a slim profile and 7-day battery life

There's little denying that the Fitbit Alta HR is a reiterative product. It looks very similar to the regular Alta and a bit like a smaller Charge 2, but it sits somewhere between the two in terms of features. When it was announced last month, Fitbit called it the slimmest fitness tracker with continuous heart rate monitoring, a distinction that had to be made to justify the same $150 price as the Charge 2 while packing fewer options on paper.

I came to the Alta HR a bit skeptic. The Charge 2 was by far the most convincing Fitbit I'd ever used and even one of the best all-around activity trackers on the market.

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Plantronics BackBeat 500 review: Budget headphones have a new challenger

I am not an on-ear headphones person so it's difficult for me to review them objectively without saying how much I dislike the idea and pressure they exert on my ears. Oddly, that's not the case with the BackBeat 500, the newest release from Plantronics. I don't hate them and I can manage wearing them for a couple of hours without wanting to rip them off my head. That's a good start.

I've reviewed many of the brand's headphones over the years including the in-ear BackBeat GO 3 and the big over-ear BackBeat Pro+ and Pro 2, and I've spent some time with the on-ear BackBeat Sense, so I do know what to expect: better value for the money than most brands, good sound quality, and nice design and build.

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Huawei Mate 9 review addendum: Alexa is a flop, but it's still a great phone

Huawei used to avoid releasing high-end phones in the US, but no more. The Mate 9 was launched in the US several months ago, and it was announced as the very first phone to have Amazon's Alexa built in. However, that wasn't ready at launch, and Huawei didn't even know exactly when it would be available. Alexa finally rolled out to the Mate 9 several weeks ago, but Google sort of cut Amazon off at the knees by launching Assistant on the Mate 9 and many other phones while we were waiting for this update.

As I noted in the original Mate 9 review, this is a good phone—Huawei has really turned things around in the software, the battery life is killer, and the build quality is top notch.

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YouTube TV hands-on: Google's off to a good start

The expansion of services like Netflix and Hulu has led to fewer people subscribing to traditional cable. Still, there are some things you can't get with those streaming services, most notably live TV feeds. That's what Google aims to offer with YouTube TV. Google announced the service a few months ago, and it went live in a handful of cities yesterday. I haven't had a cable subscription in years, so I was anxious to try it out. YouTube TV seems like an excellent start, but there are definitely some pain points.

The Basics

YouTube TV is currently only available in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Libby can give you access to tons of free books and audiobooks on your phone with just your library card

Those of us with a library card now have another means of easily accessing the local library’s free eBook and audiobook collection. OverDrive, a long-time manager of eBook collections for libraries, recently released their new Android app Libby.

For the uninitiated, a library card can get you a lot more than a dog-eared copy of The Girl on the Train these days. Most public libraries have long since entered the digital age and provide patrons with the convenience of eBooks and audiobooks at the same free price. It is worth noting, though, that not all library networks are the same, and many publishers place restrictions that can hinder use of some devices.

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OnePlus Dash energy drink review: This beverage has not settled

But really, it hasn't. I had to get paper towels.

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