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galaxy s8

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Galaxy S8 Active review: A really rugged, really expensive phone

The Galaxy S8 Active is the fifth Samsung S phone to bear the Active name, and it's easily the most refined take on the concept yet. Currently, the S8 Active is only available on AT&T, and that's the model we've received for review, but eventually, Samsung has less than subtly implied it will make its way to other carriers here in the US, as well to the unlocked market.

What's new compared to the outgoing S7 Active? Frankly, everything.

There are no more hardware navigation keys. The Active key is gone, too. It also doesn't look like it was styled by someone at the local army surplus, either.

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Verizon updates its Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ with faster face recognition and other fixes

Hot on the heels of the Pixel update earlier today, Verizon is also rolling out an update for Galaxy S8 and S8+ devices on the network. Don't get too excited, it's still just Android 7.0 Nougat. But, you do get a pile of bug fixes and improvements like an option for faster face recognition, navigation bar tweaks, and fixes for things like VPNs, car Bluetooth, and alarms.

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AT&T Galaxy S8 and S8+ receiving updates with navigation bar auto hide, August patch, and more

Most Galaxy S8 and S8+ variants are receiving updates every one to two months, and today, it's the AT&T versions' turn. This latest update for S8s on the Death Star carrier include "navigation bar auto hide," the August 2017 security patch, and quite a few more miscellaneous improvements.

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Snapdragon US Galaxy S8 and S8+ can now be rooted by all with SamPWND

It's pretty funny how Exynos-powered Samsung devices used to be considered less developer-friendly, but it's now their Snapdragon counterparts that are getting harder and harder to crack. This was the case with the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge last year, as well as the current Galaxy S8 and S8+. Some talented developers were able to get these locked-down Samsung phones rooted earlier this month. It's now available to the public, and it's (appropriately) called SamPWND.

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TWRP now supports the Xperia XZ Premium, Redmi 4X, and more

TWRP recovery continues to add support for more and more devices. Last time we took a look at the project, unofficial builds for the Snapdragon Galaxy S8/S8+ were available (but not for the US models). Over the past few weeks, more phones have been added to the official support list.

First up is the Sony Xperia XZ Premium, which was released two months ago in the US. The Xiaomi Redmi 4X, Lenovo K33, and two variants of the Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro (C900F/Y and China) are now supported as well. Finally, those builds for the Galaxy S8 and S8+ we previously covered are now official.

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Sprint Galaxy S8 and S8+ get updates for Calling PLUS, a VoLTE-WiFi calling combination

VoLTE and WiFi calling are both features that have existed on multiple carriers for some years now, but until now, Sprint devices haven't been able to use them in conjunction with each other, save for two rather unimportant devices. The latest updates for the Sprint Galaxy S8 and S8+ enable Calling PLUS, Sprint's lingo for its VoLTE - WiFi calling combo.

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Samsung's Snapdragon Galaxy S8+ (G955U) has been rooted, but it isn't ready for prime time yet

XDA is the living, breathing embodiment of the spirit of software engineering. At least, as applied to Android. And thanks to those fine folks, the inevitable march of progress has advanced yet again. XDA member BotsOne made two posts yesterday in which he confirmed that he and the others working on it were able to get read/write access to the system partition, and were subsequently able to install SuperSU.

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[Update: Now available in the Play Store] Game Live from Samsung will live stream your screen to Facebook, Twitch, or Youtube

Samsung gets a lot of stick for what's perceived as bloatware on its devices, even if that situation has improved somewhat in recent years. With that, it's easy to forget that the Korean company does actually produce some really useful software, as evidenced by a new app that's aimed at mobile gamers. Samsung Game Live will allow users to live stream their gaming prowess to various other services.

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Daydream VR support is rolling out to the Galaxy S8 and S8+

When the Galaxy S8 was initially released, it lacked support for Google's Daydream VR platform. But at Google I/O, the company confirmed that the phone would receive an update "over the summer" that added Daydream support. Then T-Mobile said the update was coming, followed by Verizon.

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[Deal Alert] US unlocked Galaxy S8 (G950U) and S8+ (G955U) on sale for $549.99 and $639.99 on eBay

The prices for the S8 and S8+ have been plummeting over the past few weeks. Just a couple of days after the latest price drop, Samsung has once again lowered the prices on both its flagships over on its eBay storefront, and is now selling a brand new Galaxy S8 for $549.99 and an S8+ for $639.99. Unlike some previous deals, these are the US unlocked models and not the dual-SIM variants. They're also only available in Midnight Black.

Considering that these phones started retailing for $720 and $840 when they first came out in April, these sales are a pretty considerable saving.

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