Asus was not on the radar of most US phone buyers until the ZenFone 2 popped up a few years ago with solid specs for a reasonable price, but the ZenFone 3 family hasn't been as prominent. It took Asus ages to roll these devices out in North America, and the pricing was not as generous. However, there are more variants of the ZenFone 3 still trickling out, from the flagship-level "Deluxe Special Edition" to the low-cost "Laser." The ZenFone 3 Zoom is somewhere in the middle with its $329 price tag and mid-range Snapdragon 625 chip.
The ZenFone 3 Zoom has some very impressive aspects, like the massive 5,000mAh battery and a camera with 2.3x optical zoom. Read More
Samsung just launched an app late last night for parents to keep track of their children's smartphone usage, but this one has an interesting twist. Instead of just being forced to follow whatever guidelines are set by the parent, this app relies on positive reinforcement via your offspring's initiative. They set their own limits, and the app rewards their self-control and independence. That's actually pretty awesome. Read More
Oh, BLU. You make good phones for the money, but you've shown you just don't care about software time and time again. The brand new R1 Plus features some decent hardware, like 3GB of RAM and a 4000mAh battery, for $159.99... but it has Android 6.0 Marshmallow onboard. It's 2017, guys. Read More
No one is going to claim Android updates are perfect, but Google isn't hiding anything. As it does most months, it has just updated the developer dashboard with new platform distribution numbers. Nougat is still just picking up steam, but it had another solid month of growth. The combined share of 7.0 and 7.1 is at nearly 5%. I know that doesn't sound impressive, but it's not bad historically. Read More
Huawei is keeping up its attempts to break into the saturated U.S. smartphone market with its sub-brand Honor. It started with the 5X and continued with the Honor 8. The premise is to bring mid- or high-tier specs and slap them in a premium chassis, then sell it at a very affordable price. However, as good as those devices have been, their weakness has been the software (again). Read More
When Google announced that the Assistant would start rolling out to devices running Android 6.0 and above, there was one little detail we didn't pay close attention to: the official blog post only talked about "smartphones," "Android phones," and "Android partner phones." Tablets? Nada. So when the rollout started earlier this month and more and more phones received Assistant with nary a sign of a tablet getting the same treatment, many of our readers were left wondering: will tablets get Assistant?
We've reached out to Google and got an official answer that's sure to break some hearts:
The Assistant will be available on Android Marshmallow and Nougat phones with Google Play Services, this does not include tablets.
I guess it was bound to happen: Google Assistant is finally breaking free from the shackles of the Pixels and launching onto the millions of devices running Android 6.0 Marshmallow and above, no need for GApps or root.
But this shouldn't come as a surprise to you. The signs were there all along. Despite being revealed as a Pixel exclusive on phones in the Android 7.1 changelog, Assistant has been available through Allo on all Android 4.1+ phones, announced for all Android TV 6.0+ devices, and was shortly enabled by mistake through an alpha version of the Google app on non-Pixel phones. Read More
It's been a few months, but OnePlus is again updating its 2015 flagship to a new version of the OxygenOS software, v3.5.5. The OTA brings a slew of new things, the most notable being VoLTE support. This update comes with a few caveats, which we'll get into after the changelog. Read More
We're in that awkward phase of the Android upgrade cycle, when customers want nothing more than the latest release of the OS on their phones... but manufacturers and carriers are still slowly, slowly making their way through the backlog of updates from over a year ago. So it is with the ZMAX 2, a big-screen budget ZTE phone offered on AT&T starting in September of 2015. Today AT&T is sending out the Marshmallow update that probably should have come at least a year ago. Hey, don't knock it - a lot of budget phones don't ever get upgraded at all. Read More