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HP Pro Slate 8 Review: A Cool Little Tablet With A Mediocre Gimmick

You don't usually think of HP as a company that makes desirable Android tablets. And in fact, when you go to the HP site and peruse the tablet section, you'd be proven right. However, tucked away in the business-oriented side of the site are some devices that might qualify as lust-worthy for certain Android fans.

One such device is the HP Pro Slate 8, which was announced back in January and was released late this spring. It's basically an iPad Mini running Android, plus a screaming ultrasonic pen. That sounds more awesome than it is.

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Android Auto: A Second Take On Google's In-Car Efforts

When Google announced Android Auto at Google I/O 2014, I was already sold. And by "sold," I mean I fully expected it to be something I'd want [were I in the market to buy a car that had it]. And while I don't actually plan on buying a car with Auto any time soon, after spending a week with it, I do feel pretty OK with that gut feeling. We reviewed Auto earlier this month on a Pioneer head unit, but I figured I'd also share my own thoughts on it.

For a little bit of background, recently Hyundai allowed me to borrow a Sonata sedan (I reviewed it) with Android Auto loaded up.

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MOTA Battery Case For Samsung Galaxy S6 Review: Affordable, Functional, And Some Drawbacks

If you aren't familiar with the controversy over Samsung's decision to make the S6 and S6 Edge's batteries non-replaceable, you probably don't follow Android news very much. Because you can't just swap out another battery, more people have gotten interested in figuring out how to ensure they have an operating phone after a long day. One method that owners of many smartphones have been using for years is the battery case. While there are tradeoffs involved in putting a case on your phone that is big enough to house a battery, there is a payoff too: no need to find an outlet or juggle wires when your device would normally be running out of juice.

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[Game Review] Fallout Shelter Is A Beautiful, Truly Free Game, But Extended Play Reveals No Heart Or Soul (iOS Version)

Yep, we're reviewing the iOS version. Don't worry, we're not planning on making a habit of this. Fallout Shelter is one of the only mobile games in recent years to garner true attention from the mainstream gaming press, and it has skyrocketed to the top of the App Store since its release. It is an exceptional case. Since an Android port is currently under development and the ETA unknown, I felt it would be best do a review now while the game is still fresh in the minds of many people, instead of waiting months to review something that would already be old.
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[Android Car Review] The 2015 Hyundai Sonata Is Android Auto's Debut Vehicle, And It's A Great One

Yep, you read that right: we're reviewing a car. On Android Police. I know, it's weird. But we'll get through it, together! We might even have some fun.

In all seriousness, we're going to be reviewing as many cars that come with Android Auto - or are powered by Android in some form - as we can this year. Consider it something of an experiment. I've never reviewed a car before, and I'm already rolling out the crust for my humble pie as I write this, but you've got to start somewhere, right? With that in mind, the focus of our car reviews will obviously be technology.

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UE ROLL Review: Rock'n And Roll'n Its Way To The Top Of The $99 Speaker Market

It's no secret that I love Ultimate Ears' Bluetooth speakers - the BOOM was my absolute favorite speaker for nearly two years. Then the MEGABOOM came out, and UE once again impressed the hell out of me with the amazing sound it can get out of such a portable package. Today, the company announced the smallest in what I still think can be classified as the "BOOM Family" - the UE ROLL. (OK, it doesn't necessarily have BOOM in the name, but c'mon - it's clearly part of the family.)

The ROLL is made to take the place of the UE Mini BOOM, which was the smallest member of the family.

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Quick, Rapid, Turbo, And Fast Charging Explained: What You Need To Know About Charging Your Smartphone

You've probably heard of quick charging, turbo charging, adaptive fast charging, rapid charging, and Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 before - or at least one or two of these things. What you may not know is that all of them are actually basically the same thing, based on the same licensed technology from Qualcomm known as Quick Charge.

With that basic premise in mind, what I want to dispel in this article is the notion that you need an OEM-branded charger to get the maximum charging speed out of your smartphone, because this generally isn't true. And understanding that could save you a fair bit of money, especially if your phone doesn't come with a quick charger, or you need a second one for work or travel.

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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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Neo Smartpen N2 Review: A Sleek, Viable Option For Making Your Notes Digital Without Ditching Pen And Paper

The Neo Smartpen N2 is the company's second shot at an intelligent analog writer and this one comes with very few compromises. In a market without a whole lot of competition, especially for those who support Android, Neo's N2 needs to be on your radar if you want a smartpen. I've been testing it out for a couple of weeks and, on the whole, I am really excited about it. With that said, it does have a few drawbacks that you will want to think through before deciding to buy.

This is the second smartpen I've reviewed for Android Police. The first is the Livescribe 3, whose review you can see here.

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Hands-On With The Blu Life One And Life 8 XL: Two Upcoming Budget Smartphones With A Lot To Offer For The Price

Back at CES earlier this year, Blu announced a handful of phones, including the Vivo Air, Studio X, and Studio Energy. Today, we're looking at the final phone from that announcement, the Life One, as well as another handset Blu has coming out in a few weeks, the Life 8 XL.

Let's jump right in with specs.

Life One

Specs

Display 5-inch 1280x720 display with Gorilla Glass 3
Processor 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 with Adreno 306
RAM 1GB
Camera 13 MP rear shooter, 5MP front
Storage 8GB with SD card slot (up to 64GB)
Ports microUSB, 3.5mm headphone jack
Wireless LTE, HSPA+, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Dimensions 143 x 72.1 x 7.5mm, 125g
Battery 2420mAh
OS Android 4.4.2 (Lollipop coming next month)
Price $149 ($99 for one week during pre-orders)
Buy Amazon (Pre-order; release date: June 19th)

wm_IMG_5825

The first thing worth noting about the Life One is the processor - it's a 64 bit Snapdragon 410.

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