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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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Pixel 3 has already been rooted via Magisk

Magisk developer topjohnwu is nothing if not prolific. A mere two days after the Pixel 3's formal launch (and just a day after receiving his own phone), he's already achieved root via Magisk on Google's latest flagship. Those hoping for root on their own Pixel 3s probably won't have much longer to wait for a stable release.

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Pixel 3 could have a memory management issue that kills background apps

Google's recent batch of Pixels aren't without their issues, and as more phones get in consumer's hands, new reports of problems surface. The latest controversy stems from the Pixel 3's apparent inability to shuffle more than a few apps at a time. In fact, taking a photo is apparently enough to kill Spotify if it's playing music in the background, and in our own tests cycling more than 3-4 apps can force some out of memory. Maybe 4GB of RAM wasn't enough for a flagship phone in 2018 after all, Google?

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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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How to set up Live Albums and recent photo highlights on Google Home Hub (and other Smart Displays)

Live Albums were one of the most appealing features announced last week for Google Home Hub and other Smart Displays. They let you create a dynamic album from your Google Photos that automatically updates and contains photos of specific people in your life. The ability to make Live Albums rolled out to the Photos app, but it wasn't until yesterday that the albums started working properly in Ambient Mode on Smart Displays.

In the tutorial below, I'll explain how you can set these up to show on your Lenovo Smart Display, JBL Link View, Google Home Hub, or any other upcoming Assistant speaker with a built-in display.

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Google's 2018 product boxes have reflective anti-counterfeiting labels

Odds are that you won't encounter any fake Pixel 3s or Home Hubs, and if you're reading this site, you'd probably be able to identify a counterfeit Google product pretty easily. But if you're buying a piece of Google hardware off, say, Craigslist, and you want to verify its authenticity, the company's 2018 products each come with a reflective anti-counterfeiting sticker that'll let you know what's real and what isn't.

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