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UL Benchmarks accuses Oppo of cheating, pulls scores for Find X and F7

Synthetic benchmark tests rarely prove how well a smartphone performs in real-world use, especially because most phone manufacturers have been caught tampering with results. Huawei, Samsung, OnePlus, and others have implemented software tweaks that speed up their devices while benchmarks are being executed. You can now add Oppo to that list, according to UL Benchmark (the maker of 3DMark and other popular testing software).

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[Deal Alert] Unlocked LG V40 ThinQ up for pre-order for $750 ($200 off) with free 256GB microSD card at B&H

In spite of having less name recognition than competitors like Google, Samsung, and Apple, LG is bold enough to ask $949.99 for its V40 ThinQ. The V40 is the best phone LG's ever made, but as we said in our review, that's not quite enough. Luckily, B&H is slashing $200 off, bringing the price down to a much more palatable $749.99, and it's also throwing in a free 256GB SanDisk microSD card and a second year of warranty.

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Pixel 3's 'gesture' navigation and new multitasking UI can be disabled — but it'll cost you the Pixel Launcher

Google decided to change things up when it came to navigating around Android, starting with Pie. Although the new "gesture" system was an optional change for updated devices, it's a mandatory part of the Pixel 3 experience.  Thankfully for those that dislike Google's forced change to navigation — which has none of the space-saving advantages of iOS' gesture system — the folks at XDA have already figured out how to disable it, but you'll have to give up the Pixel Launcher.

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The RED Hydrogen One is an act of will given physical form — but will you share its creator's dream?

This past week in New York City, Red founder Jim Jannard stood before a huddled crowd of tech journalists, passionately making the case for his dream phone: the Hydrogen One. It's a big, heavy phone that looks little like the sleek handsets that dominate today's sales, built with a totally different set of priorities than we're used to seeing from mainstream OEMs. At a time when even Motorola looks like it's losing passion for modular hardware, Jannard and the Hydrogen One are eager to embrace it. And while we thought 3D screens on phones had died over half a decade ago, Jannard and his baby sure want to convince us there's life in them yet. 

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ASUS announces its first 15-inch Chromebook, the C523

There aren't many Chromebooks larger than 13 inches across, with the current leader being the Acer Chromebook 15. There will soon be at least one more option, because Asus just revealed its first 15-inch Chromebook — the C523.

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Alexa's Whisper Mode is now available, but you have to turn it on

One of my few remaining complaints with my Google Home is that it responds to questions at whatever the current volume is. If I was listening to loud music earlier in the day and forgot to turn down the volume later, my request to turn off the room lights results in "OKAY, TURNING OFF THE BEDROOM LIGHTS" being blasted. This is no longer a problem for Alexa owners at least, with the new 'Whisper Mode' feature.

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13 new and notable Android apps from the last week including Three.do, Fog of World, and crabhands (10/13/18 - 10/20/18)

Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous week or so. This week we have a new task and note-taking app that's designed for ease of use, a unique travel app designed to incentivize exploring new places, and an app that makes it easy to know when your favorite bands are in town. So without further ado, here are the most notable Android apps released in the last week.

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[Update: Listing removed] Dead Cells is coming to Android, and you can pre-register right now

Hey, look at this, the Metroidvania indie hit Dead Cells is coming to Android. The listing just popped up on the Play Store a few minutes ago, and it's currently available for pre-registration. I can't promise that the publisher Playdigious didn't jump the gun a little early, so make sure to check this out while you can.

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[Update: Official new languages + floating keyboard is live] Gboard v7.6 Beta adds a floating keyboard, but it might still be in testing [APK Teardown]

Back in July, a teardown of Gboard v7.4 revealed Google's intent to add a floating keyboard to the experience. With v7.6, it looks like that keyboard is ready for prime time. There are also signs of upcoming Halloween GIFs, plus quite a few new languages.

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Google app v8.33 beta gets closer to opening up notes and lists, prepares personalized news and home screen settings, and more [APK Teardown]

The latest Google app update is rolling out to the beta channel, but as usual, you're probably not going to see much in the way of changes after installing it. The version number lept from 8.27 to 8.33, which looks odd, but I assure you, it makes total sense if you think about it. Today we'll be talking about a new page for home screen settings, more about linking services to notes and lists, personalized news settings, and more.

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