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In The Wake Of Terrorist Attacks And Violence, Google Makes Hangouts Calls Free To Belgium And Turkey, Adds Info To Now

In the wake of the tragic events in Brussels today and the recent violence and bombings in Turkey, Google has made calls to both countries free via Hangouts, Hangouts Dialer, and Google Voice. Calls to people on Belgium's biggest carriers — Lycamobile, Mobistar, Proximus, and Telenet — are free, along with calls to all landlines in Turkey. Google's announcement follows earlier news of all major U.S. mobile carriers offering similar free calling and texting to Belgium (Turkey was not mentioned).

In addition, for the Brussels area, Google has been publishing Google Now cards with transit updates, keeping the public informed and up-to-date, plus a direct link to the Government Crisis Centre.

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[Weekend Poll] Are You Considering Purchasing An LG G5?

The LG G5 comes into 2016 the unabashed underdog to Samsung's Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. While Samsung is refining its lineup - based on a largely successful reimagining in the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge+ of last year - with more practical benefits this time around (better camera, much better battery life), LG's smartphone identity seems more than a bit confused.

Last year's V10 was very successful with owners, especially those who didn't find what they wanted in the G4 (most people I've talked to with a V10 love it), but that phone doesn't quite ring as mainstream - it's a powerhouse of specifications and general capability.

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Marshmallow Starts Rolling Out To The International LG V10 In Turkey

LG's current portfolio of smartphones isn't that big, yet the company still struggles to keep even its flagships updated to the latest Android version. Take the G4 for example. The company announced Marshmallow would begin seeding to the device way back in October in Poland, but it took a lot longer to graduate to full roll-out. Sprint had it in December, US Cellular in January, while AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and the international variants got it in February. That was a gruesome wait, but it doesn't even compare to the LG V10.

We're just now hearing about the first instance of an OTA update rolling to the V10, and that's hitting the international variant for users in Turkey.

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LG Announces The LG G5 And Friends: CAM Plus, Hi-Fi Plus, 360 VR, 360 CAM, And Rolling Bot

Out of this year's Mobile World Congress flagship announcements, the LG G5 has been one of the most leaked and just as equally intriguing. Now the smartphone has been officially unveiled at the company's press conference in Barcelona and it's not coming alone. Instead, the modular approach to the G5 has allowed LG to introduce a slew of extensions and accessories for the phone. There's a lot to go through, so let's get right to it.


First, the G5 will boast a metal aluminum body with an "invisibly integrated antenna" and a slide-out bottom that lets you easily swap the battery.

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Hands-On And First Impressions With The LG G5 ("And Friends") At MWC 2016 (Video)

The LG G5 is the dark horse to Samsung's Galaxy S7 and S7 edge here at MWC, no doubt. While LG has received increasing critical acclaim and its flagship G series gained many fans in recent years, the mainstream smartphone narrative firmly places LG products in the shadow of those of their domestic rival. Could the G5 finally change the conversation and help LG stand out? If it doesn't, it certainly won't be for a lack of trying - the G5 is easily the most dramatic evolution of LG's smartphones in several years. Whether that evolution will translate to sales, or even a substantially better phone, though, remains unclear.

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[Deal Alert] Get A Brand New AT&T Unlocked LG G3 For $209.99 On eBay With Free Shipping

The G4 is LG's latest flagship phone, but the G3 is still a slick piece of hardware. At this point we're approaching the end of its software support cycle, but the hardware is more than adequate to keep most folks satisfied for another year or two. And if you consider the existence of CyanogenMod nightlies, there's a solid chance owners will get to run a few more major versions of Android on this thing.

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T-Mobile Offers Buy One, Get One Half Off Prices On Samsung And LG Flagship Phones, But Not On The Web

Cars. Houses. Contracted electronics. These are items for which the old "buy one, get one" scheme rarely works. But since T-Mobile has ostensibly given up cellular contracts, it makes a sort of sense... at least if you're buying phones for more than one person on the same plan. The carrier is now offering a buy one, get one 50% off discount on all versions of the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge+, Galaxy Note 5, the LG G4, and the LG V10, as well as the latest two generations of iPhones.

All colors and capacities sold by T-Mobile are eligible, and you can purchase up to 12 phones at a time(!) and apply the discounts.

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LG Sends Invites To MWC 2016 Press Conference With Mysterious "Play Begins" Teaser, Most Likely For The G5

LG is ready to play and is inviting everyone to come play with it. That's all we can glean from the event teaser and invite that was just sent to press members for LG's MWC 2016 event. The conference will take place on Feb 21 at 14:00 and will likely see the announcement of the LG G5. The rumors have been accelerating regarding LG's next flagship and MWC would be a nice venue for it to make its grand debut.

It might seem soon to you, but LG has been pushing forward its G series announcement year after year, starting with the G2 in August 2013, G3 in May 2014, and the G4 in April 2015.

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LG's Factory Reset Protection Can Be Bypassed In Mere Minutes

Google added factory reset protection to Android in Lollipop 5.1 last year, but not all devices implement Android in exactly the same way. That has led to some potential methods to bypass the account check. "RootJunky" already managed to find a workaround for Samsung phones, and now there's one for LG devices as well. It only takes a few minutes to get around factory reset protection.

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Leak Suggests LG G5 Will Have A Secondary Ticker Display And 'Magic Slot' Expansion Port

LG has continued to offer more modular phones that appeal to those offended by Samsung's move to unibody devices. A new leak from VentureBeat's Evan Blass (AKA @evleaks) claims that the G5 will take things a step further by adding a "Magic Slot" for installing new hardware modules, as well as a secondary display a la the V10. The report also backs up a few details we've heard before.

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