Android Police

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Essential Phone announced in three new colors — Ocean Depths, Stellar Gray, and Copper Black — for $100 extra

The day before yesterday, we received word by way of a Twitter teaser that Essential was finally planning to release its hotly-anticipated Ocean Depths color. It turns out that Andy Rubin and friends actually had even more in store, with a Stellar Gray and a never-before-seen Copper Black also coming onto the scene. Unfortunately, these will cost $599 apiece — a full $100 over the price of a Moon Black or Pure White unit, and significantly more than the going rate.

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Project Fi now has coverage in 170 countries

Google's Project Fi would already work in 135 countries around the world, but today that number balloons to a whopping 170. In newly added countries like Belize and Myanmar, you pay the same $10 per gigabyte of data, and data after bill protection kicks in is free (but slow). You'll even know if a country is covered before you go just by opening the Fi app.

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Leaked renders show upcoming Nokia 7+ with Android One, plus cheap and cheerful Nokia 1

Under the stewardship of HMD Global, the revival of Nokia-branded phones continues apace. The company seems intent on filling out its Android lineup with every number one through ten, and the next devices rumored to be joining the ranks are the Nokia 7+ and the Nokia 1. Thanks to serial leaker Evan Blass, we now know what they're going to look like.

HMD's recent Nokia devices have been well supported and well received – check out Rita's Nokia 8 review, for example. The Nokia 7 was only announced in October, but it seems a plus version is already on its way, likely to be debuted at MWC 2018 in Barcelona at the end of the month.

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Microsoft's Photos Companion is a neat utility for transferring images from Android to your PC (Hands-on)

Microsoft Garage releases plenty of new projects with some being wacky and some more interesting with potential to grow into a real Microsoft app. The latter is the case of the new Photos Companion, an app that does what its name suggests: it's an Android (and iOS) app that lets you quickly transfer photos from your phone to the Photos app on a Windows 10 PC via WiFi. It works very well from my experience and might become my go-to way for sending screenshots to my computer.

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Nokia puts its Digital Health business, formerly Withings, under strategic review

Back in 2016, Nokia announced it wanted to acquire French wearables and health company Withings. One year and two months later, in June of 2017, the acquisition and assimilation was complete and Withings became Nokia Health and started releasing some more products, the last of which was Nokia Sleep which was introduced at this year's CES. Now Nokia has announced that it has initiated a strategic review for this Digital Health business.

The division is famous for its Steel and Steel HR hybrid smart watches, which seem to be well loved thanks to their long battery life, as well as its smart scales (I reviewed the original Withings Body Cardio and was left impressed), and caters to both consumers and enterprise partners.

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Echo and other Alexa speakers are now officially available in India

Last October, Amazon announced that its line-up of Echo speakers was coming to India, but only for those who requested an invite and got approved. Later in the month, the Echos started shipping to those who pre-ordered them and now the invite-only system is over and anyone can purchase an Echo or an Alexa speaker straight from Amazon.

There are 3 Echos to choose from and 2 Alexa speakers from other brands as well:

  • Amazon Echo (2nd gen) in black, grey, or white: ₹9,999 ($156 approx)
  • Amazon Echo Plus in black: ₹14,999 ($234)
  • Amazon Echo Dot in black or white: ₹4,499 ($70)
  • Harman Kardon Allure in black: ₹22,499 ($352)
  • Eufy Genie (still only by invitation):  ₹5,000 -> ₹3999 (momentarily discounted).
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Google Phone v17 adds floating "chat heads" for quick access to in-call functions, prepares RTT support [APK Teardown]

There's a new update to the Google Phone app rolling out to Google-supported devices (e.g. Pixel, Android One, etc.), and this one brings a long-awaited feature: Chat heads. More specifically, this is the floating widget with the contact photo of the person you're talking to. Also coming in the future, or possibly already live for some, is support for the new Real-Time Text protocol.

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The ZTE Axon 7 has an Oreo beta program, but the requirements to join are steep

Over the past couple of months, more and more phones have begun receiving Android 8.0 Oreo. Despite being about six months old now, Oreo is still rolling out to several devices, slowly contributing to its 1% marketshare. Just recently, Samsung started (and then stopped) the official rollout of Oreo to the Galaxy S8 and S8+, and now ZTE is joining the club by announcing its Axon 7 A2017U Oreo Preview Program.

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Razer Phone factory images now available for download

The Razer Phone launched last year with plenty of features that cater to power users. There's a 120Hz screen, a huge battery, front-facing speakers, and more. One thing that was missing: the option to flash factory images. The phone was unlockable, but the images didn't exist. Well, now they do.

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[Update: Now available for $100] Official Pixelbook sleeve pops up on the Google Store as 'coming soon'

With a device as pricey as the Pixelbook, you're probably going to want some sort of protection to make sure it doesn't get scratched or dented. The Google Store currently sells a leather Bellroy sleeve for the Pixelbook, but at $89, it's rather expensive. If you don't want to spend that much but still want a Google-approved solution, you're in luck - the 'Sleeve for Pixelbook' is now showing up on the Google Store as 'coming soon.'

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