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Blu Pure XR review: Mostly decent hardware choked by bad software

I have in my hands the Pure XR, Blu's latest flagship. Teased back at the beginning of August, many noted that the phone bore some striking similarities to a few other phones from the front. Despite this, Blu was quick to express its excitement for this new device. Looking at the company's portfolio, notably the last member of the Pure line, the Pure XL, the reason for the fuss is pretty obvious. I have been using it for about a week now and I have a lot of thoughts on it. Foremost is that at the price of $299, this phone packs some good specs into a very nice frame.

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LG V20: First impressions and thoughts

I've now been using the LG V20 for about two days (two half days, one full day), and I'm ready to give you some thoughts and impressions on the newest high-end device from LG.

I didn't review the V10 - Android Police editor emeritus Cameron Summerson had that job - so I'm using the V20 with a fresh set of eyes. What I do know about the V10 is that fans of that phone loved it. Not since the LG G2 and G3 had I seen quite such a positive reaction to an LG smartphone, and I think that had to do with the V10's "no nonsense" approach to the large smartphone market.

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Huawei Honor 8 Review: A bargain of a phone - if you can live with it

Huawei’s budget sub-brand Honor is the subject of increasing chatter in phone geek circles of late. In January, the Honor 5X introduced the “company” (insofar as they operate as a separate business unit) to a Western audience with a very affordable, metal-bodied phone.

The device, though, seemed to land on deaf ears, at least among enthusiasts. I can’t speak to how the Honor 5X did in US sales channels, but initial launch buzz quickly wore off once reviews went to press, and the phone itself really was pretty mediocre in retrospect. Its dazzle, its allure really came from looking the part of a $300-400 phone while costing much less.

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Quick review: Motorola's Hasselblad True Zoom Moto Mod camera

Motorola launched the Moto Z on Verizon a few weeks back with three optional Mods—a battery, speaker, and pico-projector. Before that was all announced, there were rumors of a camera Mod with optical zoom. It wasn't available at launch, but now the Hasselblad True Zoom Mod is official, and it costs $300. I've been snapping photos with the Hasselblad Mod for a few days, and here are a whole bunch of them. Spoiler: they're kind of disappointing.

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Samsung Galaxy Note7 Review: A great (very expensive) phone

WARNING

We are updating our review of the Galaxy Note7 to issue a do not buy warning for this device. Because of a growing number of fires in the "fixed" version of the Galaxy Note7, we can no longer in any way recommend purchasing one. Not only is the Note7 potentially dangerous, it is in danger of seeing reduced support, resale value, and major flight restrictions as a result of the fallout from this incident. Do not buy the Galaxy Note7. For more information, see our full post here.

A few years ago, Samsung was not known for making phones that looked nice.

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[Game Review] Deus Ex GO: An engaging mobile take on a fantastic franchise

Following a surprisingly fun couple of mobile titles, Deus Ex GO takes Square Enix's formula for adapting its popular AAA series to handheld devices and brings it to the delightful Deus Ex Universe. This turn-based “point-and-click” style board game shares precious little with its cyberpunk dystopian source material (which happens to be one of my favorite franchises). However, that is not to say it is a bad thing, as the fanboy in me screams to claim. It is actually a fun, rewarding, and decidedly challenging experience that fits in nicely with the Deus Ex library.

Gameplay

Deus Ex GO, much like Hitman GO and Lara Croft GO before it, reminds me of some of the classic point-and-click PC titles that I grew up playing. You, the player, have a top-down isometric view of the game “board” which contains various pre-determined paths.

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Google Duo review: When video calls are this simple, I will surely use them more

Of the two communication apps that Google announced at I/O, Duo surely seemed like the less interesting one. Video calls have been done again and again, and by now, if you have someone you want to talk to and see at the same time, odds are you already have your preferred way of doing that. But my last few days with Duo have shown me another side to the story. Duo isn't trying to revolutionize video calls, it just wants to approach them from a more modern perspective, one that builds on our smartphone-carrying habits, our needs for immediacy, and our disdain for complexity.

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Galaxy Note7: Six days with Samsung's latest

It's Galaxy Note7 review day here in the US! ...Our review isn't ready. I received my evaluation device less than a week ago, and we've been swamped here with various leak posts and bringing on some new faces (say "hi!" to the newest members of our team when you spot their bylines), and there just hasn't been time for me to fully formulate thoughts and compile them into a 5000-word-plus post for you. But would you take an abridged review/extended hands-on until I can make good on that promise? If so, read on.

Early review notes

  • Industrial design and attention to physical detail continue to climb to ever-greater heights at Samsung.
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ZTE Axon 7 review: Mostly good hardware, but bad software

ZTE has long been known as a purveyor of inexpensive devices—you might even call them cheap. Many phones manufactured by ZTE in past years didn't even have the company's name on them. Last year, it started going after the premium device market with the Axon Pro. ZTE is back in 2016 with another Axon—the Axon 7. This $400 phone seems to target potential OnePlus 3 buyers with similar specs and a few notable improvements, at least on paper. Does the Axon 7 mark ZTE's arrival in the budget flagship space or does OnePlus still own it?

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Fitbit Blaze review: A great activity tracker that looks like a smartwatch, wants to be a sports watch, and is neither

Activity trackers are not miracle workers. Wearing a Fitbit isn't going to make you healthier, just like buying a piano for the living room won't make you a pianist. They're not going to force you to take a run instead of eating bags of Doritos while binge watching House of Cards for an entire weekend, and they're not magic pills that will do the hard work for you.

Activity trackers, however, are invaluable tools and immense help if you really want to get healthier and/or stay healthy. If you have already made the decision to be more active and it isn't just a spur of the moment, short-lived resolution, then activity trackers can be one more weapon in your arsenal.

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