Android Police

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Bizarre OnePlus ads show implausibly odd series of smartphone tests

I've been told that smartphone enthusiasts are often a bit prickly about their preferences, though OnePlus is taking things to a bizarre new extreme with their latest campaign. Apparently titled "The OnePlus 5T Smart Tests," the first in the series features two men in underwear—one holding a OnePlus 5T, the other holding a Samsung Galaxy S8—having bits of cactus thrown at them, only able to leave after they open 20 "everyday apps." Truly, this takes advertising to a bizarre and unwarranted new level, and you should trust me on this because I live in Japan.

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[Deal Alert] ASUS ZenFone AR falls to $499.99 ($100 off) on Amazon

If you're interested in experiencing augmented reality on Android, you have very few options. The ASUS ZenFone AR is one of them. We reviewed it back in August and came to the conclusion that it's not a bad phone. Now you can pick one up for $499.99, $100 off its MSRP, on Amazon.

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Pixel 2 / Pixel 2 XL case & screen protector reviews: Protection for every scenario [Updated continuously]

With phones getting as expensive as they are, you'd have to be nuts not to get a case to protect your investment. A base model Pixel 2 is nearly $700 out the door, with the 128GB Pixel 2 XL going into four-figure territory. But even after you've made the decision to spend a few bucks on a case, you might be wondering which one in particular you should buy.

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Essential announces plans to skip 8.0 Oreo release in favor of 8.1, citing stability concerns

Essential—the phone company led by Android co-founder Andy Rubin—has had some difficulty in getting a stable 8.0 Oreo update released. After three beta releases, the company is not quite satisfied that the update is ready for general release. Because of these protracted issues, Essential has announced plans to skip the 8.0 release entirely in favor of 8.1, which will "push the public release back a couple weeks," according to the company.

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Zolo Liberty+ review: $150 gets you competent truly wireless earbuds

Truly wireless earbuds are fast becoming a crowded space, and it's getting tougher to discern who the big players really are, and who's just the latest to try and cash in on the next trend in personal audio. Enter the Zolo Liberty+.

Zolo is the audio sub-brand of Anker, the company famous for its battery packs, chargers, and mobile accessories. The Liberty+ are its second true wireless earbud, following up on the original Liberty. The Liberty+ feature a charging case with a larger battery (up to 48 hours of additional playback), an uprated wireless radio with support for Bluetooth 5.0 (though Bluetooth 5.0 doesn't really do anything to improve the experience), and "graphene-coated" drivers, which I'm going to take Zolo at its word on being a desirable product feature.

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26 new and notable Android games from the last week (1/24/18 - 1/30/18)

Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android games that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous week or so.

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VLC beta adds experimental Chromecast support

Google launched the Chromecast way, way back in 2013. Coming up on five years later, VLC is finally rolling out support for Google's streaming platform. The latest Play Store beta release (v2.9) includes experimental Chromecast streaming, and it (mostly) works.

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Google Photos v3.13 adds search filter for Motion Photos, notifications for Photo Books, and a shortcut to set up reciprocal sharing [APK Download]

We're getting a new version of Google Photos today, and breaking from the recent theme, this one actually has a few changes, though most of them don't stand out all that much. It's now easy to search for Motion Photos with a convenient search category. There are new notifications related to Photos Books, plus the settings to turn them off. And if anybody is auto-sharing photos with you, there's now a shortcut for setting up the same arrangement with them.

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Essential USB-C Earphones HD review: Earbuds that ditch the dongle, but add cost and compromise

The headphone jack is dead, or so we're told by OEMs, but the selection of wired USB Type-C headphones is still woefully inadequate. If you aren't interested in all the problems associated with Bluetooth audio, you're pretty much forced into the donglelife. But Essential just launched two new pairs of USB Type-C powered headphones, including the Earphones HD. Although the HDs aren't bad, for $100 it's tough to recommend them unless you absolutely can't use a dongle. 

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[Update: It's back] Deal alert: Unlocked LG V30 is down to $674.99 ($150 off) at B&H, no tax except in NY and NJ

Smartphones are getting stupidly expensive these days, with most flagships like the Pixel 2 XL, Galaxy Note8, and iPhone X costing well over $800 out the door. LG's V30 is one of those phones, though it hasn't seen the same popularity that the phones above have, at least among our readership. B&H is now offering a $150 discount on the unlocked V30, dropping the price down to a more palatable $675.

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