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hands-on

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[Hands-on] Disney Heroes: Battle Mode, a boring auto-brawler with a kid-friendly theme

PerBlue Entertainment's Disney Heroes: Battle Mode is an upcoming free-to-play hero collection auto-brawler that takes advantage of both Disney and Pixar licenses for its theme. I have been able to get my hands on a working pre-release version, so I figured why not give some insight on what this game has to offer before it officially releases so that our readers will have a good idea what to expect. So without further ado, here are my thoughts on the beta of Disney Heroes: Battle Mode.

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[Hands-on] IKEA Place uses AR to see if your Ektorp goes with that Lövbacken

Today IKEA has announced that its IKEA Place augmented reality app, previously exclusive to iOS, is now available for Android. With it, prospective furniture customers can see if a given IKEA product will be a good fit—in every sense. From relative sizes to aesthetic comparisons, you can choose just the right side table, lamp, or shelf to fit your particular niche, and even search for your existing IKEA furniture in the app.

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Hands-on with the ASUS ZenFone 5Z and 5 series: Shameless notch-envy

ASUS' Android phones might slide under the radar for most, but the company's new ZenFone 5 series probably won't. The company has had some trouble historically trying to penetrate the US phone market to any great depth—perhaps a result of its crowded, sometimes confusing product portfolio—but nonetheless it persists. Some of its phones have even been pretty good. But now that the wraps have been taken off its latest line of phones, it seems like ASUS has found a successful way to attract the attention it wanted: by copying the iPhone X's notch. 

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[Hands-on] Android Go is more capable than you think

It's been a while since Google first talked about Android Go at last year's I/O, but the first phones are finally appearing. There are several Go devices making their debut here at Mobile World Congress, and we've spent some time using one and talking to Google about what consumers can expect from Android Go. I was relieved to see how full-featured Go phones are. This isn't Android Lite; it's Android with some smart optimizations.

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[Hands-on] The Cat S61 is a more refined rugged smartphone

The Cat S60 of 2016 was a decidedly interesting phone, and it was good in context. The Cat S60 was not intended to compete with a Samsung Galaxy or an iPhone—it was big, heavy, and had a built-in thermal camera. The new Cat S61 is much the same, but the design is more refined, and the thermal camera is more powerful. It still feels more like a tool than a traditional smartphone, but whereas the Cat S60 was a cheap Craftsman hammer from Sears, the Cat S61 is a high-end professional tool.

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Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact hands-on: Sony takes a [small] step in the right direction

Today at MWC 2018 in Barcelona Sony announced its latest flagship Android phones, the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact. Looking at them without context, you'd be forgiven for thinking they were released a couple of years ago. Yet these are Sony's most modern smartphone designs ever, with curved 3D glass and much smaller bezels than previous Xperia devices.

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Hands on with the Nokia 1, Nokia 6 (2018), Nokia 7 Plus, and Nokia 8 Sirocco

The Nokia phone brand has been on quite a journey since its heyday in the late nineties and early two-thousands (or aughts, as David would have me write it). After Nokia's smartphone business was sold to Microsoft and became the Windows Phone flagbearer while that was still a thing, the baton has now been passed to HMD Global. HMD has been releasing Android phones under the Nokia name for just over a year now, and it's fair to say the brand is stronger than it has been for a very long time.

At MWC 2018 here in Barcelona, HMD has added to its already burgeoning phone lineup with four devices, three of which are part of the Android One program and an ultra-low-cost Android Go phone.

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[Hands-on] OnePlus brings the limited edition Lava Red 5T to the U.S. and Europe just in time for Valentine's Day

The OnePlus 5T has been a big deal for the Chinese company since the launch in November. Initially available in a plain old black, the 5T received a special Star Wars edition in December that was exclusive to India. That shortly arrived for the U.S. and Europe about a month later, minus the Star Wars goodness (that red Alert Slider, though). Now, OnePlus is ready to launch another previously-seen color for its Western audience. This is the Lava Red 5T... and it's a looker.

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[Hands-on] Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, a solid choose your own adventure that gets the job done

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery may not be the first officially licensed Harry Potter game on Android, but it's probably going to be the most popular, at least until we see what Niantic has up its sleeve for its upcoming augmented reality title Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. Only just recently has Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery arrived on the Play Store as a soft-launch title, which means it's getting close to an official release. But since there is still no hard date set for when that will happen I have decided to sideload the APK in order to see what it has to offer and share my thoughts.

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Honor View10 first impressions: An affordable flagship with AI-smarts that could be ready to take on OnePlus

Huawei’s cheaper sub-brand Honor held an event in London early December to announce the launch of not one but two new smartphones. Jordan has already reviewed the first of those, the Honor 7X, which impressed him as a contender to the Moto G5S Plus in the budget category. But Honor actually spent more time at the show talking about the View 10, its latest flagship device.

The View10 sports Huawei’s Kirin 970 chip, with a built-in neural processing unit that the company says can be used to learn your habits and improve your overall experience. Features of the moment such as face unlocking, an 18:9 screen, and dual cameras potentially make the View10 a compelling option in the affordable flagship category, where it slightly undercuts the OnePlus 5T at £449 in the UK (around $600).

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