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Hands-On With The Blu Vivo Air LTE: Now With 100% More 4G Speed

Earlier this year, Blu released what would end up being my favorite phone from the manufacturer today: the Vivo Air. It was super sleek and thin, had a beautiful display, and was a generally great phone for just $199. Today, Blu announced the Air's successor, the Vivo Air LTE.

This phone basically corrects the weaknesses found in the original Air by bumping the RAM up to 2GB and adding LTE. This, of course, means the processor has also changed, and Blu has chosen to go with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 this time around. Otherwise, most of the other specs are the same:

Specs

Display 4.8-inch 1280x720 Super AMOLED with Gorilla Glass 3
Processor 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410
RAM 2GB
Camera 8MP rear, 5MP front
Storage 16GB
Ports microUSB 2.0, 3.5mm audio
Wireless GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, HSDPA 850 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100, LTE 1700 (4) / 1900 (2) / 2600 (7), Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0
Dimensions 141.9 x 68.1 x 5.1mm, 98 grams
Battery 2050 mAh
OS Android 5.0.2 (slated to get Marshmallow in Q1 2016)
Available colors Black, White
Price $199
Buy Pre-Order exclusively on Amazon

It's really an incremental update, but it's a pretty significant incremental update...if that makes sense.

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Google OnHub Review: A $200 Bet On The Future

Google has been branching out into new areas of hardware in recent years. It bought Nest and Dropcam, and now the Google Store acts as a storefront for Google to push its own hardware, as well as products made by others. The OnHub was an unexpected twist for Google's hardware aspirations, though. It does make some sense when you think about it. Routers are usually ugly and annoying to use, but is the $200 OnHub the best way to fix that?

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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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OnePlus 2 Review: The Flagships Are Safe For Now

OnePlus came out of nowhere last year with a phone that appealed to a lot of cynical smartphone-using curmudgeons. A device with great specs, capable software, and a reasonable price? What's the catch? Oh, invites. Well, the OnePlus One still managed to win a lot of fans, and now the company's followup, the OnePlus 2 is (sort of) available. This device also has an invite system, and the price is a little higher. Is it worth scrounging and begging to get an invite to buy this one, though? After all, they claim it's a "2016 flagship killer." Let's find out.

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PowerSquare Tango Position-Free Wireless Charger Review: A Premium Accessory For A Premium Price

Here's the thing about wireless charging: in its current form, it's a convenience. A perk, another skirmish in the eternal arms race of mobile specifications. It's nice. Wireless charging is great if you happen to sit at a desk or other stationary place, for hours at a time, and need to constantly refer to your phone. Coincidentally, that pretty much describes the entire working life of a gadget blogger, so the Tango wireless charger is great for me. Whether or not it will work for you, or be worth the considerable expense for what's basically a neat way to avoid plugging your phone in half a dozen times, will depend on how much you value that convenience.

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Hands-On With The Nuu Z8, A Decent New Smartphone In the $250-300 Range

We're entering into an era where you no longer have to spend more than a few hundred dollars on a good, usable smartphone. Manufacturers like Blu have done a lot for the budget smartphone, and more mainstream phone makers like Motorola have brought the words "budget" and "flagship" together in a way we didn't think would ever be possible.

I've been messing with a new affordable device from a relatively new manufacturer to the scene here lately: the Nuu Z8. Nuu currently has a couple of other budget devices on the market, but the Z8 is what the company is calling its flagship device.

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Creative Labs Sound Blaster Roar 2 Review: A Killer Successor To One Of The Best Speakers I've Ever Heard

Back in June of last year, I took the Creative Labs Sound Blaster Roar for a spin (and loved it). When Creative pinged me about the Roar's successor, I naturally couldn't wait to get my hands on it - and with a tagline like "Smaller, Lighter, & Sexier," I hoped that it would be even better than its predecessor.

Spoiler: it is. This thing is legit. And for a starting price of $170, it's hard to deny that it's one of the best speakers around right now.

Appearance and Features

From an aesthetic standpoint, the Roar 2 looks a lot like last year's model. No surprise there, really - what would be the point of completely changing the design and keeping the same name?

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Asus ZenPad S 8.0 Review: An Almost-Great Tablet Held Back By Its Software

Asus was one of the first Android tablet OEMs to distinguish itself with devices like the original Transformer, and it followed that up with two 7-inch Nexus tablets. While Asus is no longer the Nexus tablet maker of choice at Mountain View, it's still doing some interesting things with Android slates. After a run of heavily budget-oriented tablets, Asus is launching a somewhat more premium offering, the ZenPad S 8.0. As the name implies, this is an 8-inch Android tablet with a very similar vibe to the Zenfone 2. Depending on how you look at it, that can be either good and bad.

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Amiigo Review: An Activity And Gym Workout Tracker With Lots Of Potential And Even More Issues

I had my eyes on Amiigo the moment it was mentioned here on Android Police back in January 2013. The promised features seemed like everything I wanted in an all-day sleep and activity tracker, especially with its waterproof design and swimming capability. See, runners and cyclists have it easy: there are dozens if not hundreds of gadgets they have been able to use for the past years to track their workouts. But swimmers, well, let's just say the choice has always been limited and it was even more so in 2013 when you wanted a smart tracker that synced with Android.

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Microsoft Translator And Google Translate Compared: Is There A New Challenger In The House?

Microsoft's Translator isn't the first service to attempt to confront Google in the translation game, but it may be one of the first to pose a real challenge to Google Translate. Out of the gate, the app has an Android Wear component, a sorely missed feature in its competitor, and even though Translator does seem quite simplistic and limited, it has most of the basic features covered to warrant a more thorough comparison against Translate.

A different approach

While many of Microsoft's recent apps have adopted Material Design in their interface, Translator is more subtle about it. Both the welcome and the translation screens' blurry background and iconography are modern but not exactly Material.

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