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The OnePlus 5T will receive a number of camera improvements with upcoming update
For the OnePlus 5T, the company replaced the OnePlus 5‘s telephoto lens with a 20 MP shooter that supposedly captures more light and performs better in low-light scenarios. Instead, we noted in our initial review that the OnePlus 5T’s low-light performance was fine, something that OnePlus CEO Carl Pei hopes to rectify with future updates.
Pei took to OnePlus’ forums to share that the OnePlus 5T will receive an update that looks to improve the cameras’ low-light performance, particularly when it comes to sharpness. Indeed, pictures taken in low-light scenarios with the OnePlus 5T looked somewhat soft to our eyes, so any improvement in that arena is a welcome one.
The update also looks to improve the front-facing camera when it comes to more natural exposure in selfies. Finally, OnePlus’ beautification mode, a very strange mode that airbrushes your face and is a boon for those living the kawaii life, will only be on by default in certain Asian markets moving forward.
To what extent the update will improve things, I cannot say — Essential and Razer also are trying to make camera improvements of their own through software updates. The main difference is, while the Essential Phone’s and Razer Phone’s cameras were not that good to begin with, the OnePlus 5T’s cameras are good, if unremarkable. In other words, there’s already a good foundation with the OnePlus 5T’s cameras, so improvements look more like icing on the cake than the cake itself.
According to OnePlus, it will test the update with a private group next week, with a general roll-out scheduled for sometime in early December. In the meantime, let us know in the comments if you own the OnePlus 5T and are happy with the phone’s camera performance.
Source:: android authority
Facebook Messenger set to get more annoying thanks to “streak” feature
Snapchat is the messaging platform that every other messaging platform is looking to for ideas. This, despite recent reports of $443 million in losses and slowing user base growth (yes I know it’s still reasonably popular). While Snap eyes a redesign for its mobile app, Facebook looks like it’s nabbing another one of Snapchat’s current features.
As pointed out by The Verge, Facebook Messenger users have taken to Twitter to announce that they are now seeing Snapchat-like “Streaks” feature when using the service. This appears to be in the testing stages right now, it’s only available to some users, but the functionality is basically the same as Snapchat’s Snapstreak implementation.
Messenger is testing out streak counts… Streak counts really bug me. pic.twitter.com/leDRemkSR3
— case (@CaseSandberg) November 22, 2017
When Facebook Messenger users message the same contact for two days in a row, a lightning bolt emoji will appear to show that they’re on a streak. Users must then continue to message on a daily basis to maintain the streak or risk losing it.
While the feature may make sense to companies purely from business perspective — i.e. keeping users coming back to their app each day — streaks can frustrate some users because they incentivize messaging for messaging’s sake. It doesn’t matter the context or contents of the conversation, you’re “rewarded” only for taking part. And even though the reward of an emoji next to your conversation might seem hollow (because it is), I’ve read reports of users feeling obligated to maintain it; it can cause unnecessary stress.
Just because Facebook is testing this feature doesn’t mean it will implement it, however; whether it does will no doubt depend on how users interact with it. So, do us all a favor, and please ignore it, eh?
Source:: android authority
SanDisk microSD cards, flash drives, and other memory products discounted at Amazon
By Alex Wagner
Need some more storage for your smartphone or tablet? If so, Amazon’s the place to go today.
Amazon is discounting many SanDisk memory products for Black Friday. The most notable deals for us mobile folks are on microSD cards, with Amazon offering cards in different capacities for nearly half off. There are smaller 32GB and 64GB cards as well as larger 128GB, 200GB, and 256GB cards on sale.
There are several other SanDisk products on sale for other devices, like for your camera or computer. For example, you can score a deal on a 32GB or 64GB SD card, 128GB and 256GB flash drives, and 64GB and 128GB Ultra Fit flash drives. Also of note is a deal for the iOS users out there.
Amazon is selling the 64GB iXpand Flash Drive for iPhone and iPad for half off its regular asking price.
Amazon says that these SanDisk deals are only good today, November 23rd, so you’ll want to act soon if any of these offers interest you. You can see all of the discounted SanDisk products at the link below.
OnePlus isn’t about that Black Friday life, leaves the OnePlus 5T’s price mostly intact
Here in the US, today is Thanksgiving, which means it’s the official start of Black Friday shopping. Many retailers and companies use today as a means of pushing as many of their products into your shopping cart as possible with a litany of deals, but do not count OnePlus as one of those companies.
If you visit OnePlus’ website, you’ll be met with a large message that basically states that the company will not partake in Black Friday discounts. According to OnePlus, folks already save money buying its smartphones because they offer similar internals and a better user experience compared to their competitors. In other words, it would not make sense to discount the OnePlus 5T, the company’s current flagship, since it’s already offered at what OnePlus believes is a fair price.
At the same time, OnePlus says that it needs to make money to pay its team and keep making products. We’re not sure if those last two bits are true, but it makes sense for a company trying to be as lean as possible by opting for direct sales and little to no marketing.
Whichever reason you buy into, the result is that you can buy the OnePlus 5T at roughly the same price — there is a $0.01 discount off your purchase. Also, you can pick up the Dash Power Bundle, which comes with a Dash Power Adapter and Dash USB Type-C cable, for $17.56, almost half of the bundle’s normal price tag.
It’s an interesting manifesto to have plastered on your website, but then again, we almost expected something like this from OnePlus, which is known to do some out-there things. What are your thoughts on the company’s coming out against discounting the OnePlus 5T? Do you agree with its stance? Let us know in the comments below and, if you are looking for Black Friday deals elsewhere, make sure to check out our round-up of the best deals we could find.
Source:: android authority
Amazon Echo, Fire tablets, and other devices now on sale for Black Friday
By Alex Wagner
Remember those Black Friday deals that Amazon previewed last week? All of the sales on Amazon hardware are now live.
There are lots of Amazon devices now on sale, ranging from Echo smart speakers to Fire tablets and Kindle e-readers. You can get the brand new Amazon Echo (2nd Gen) on sale, including the brand new red model that’ll ship next month. The Echo Dot is on sale, too, at nearly half off its normal price.
Android-powered Fire tablets on are sale, too. The Fire 7, Fire HD 8, and Fire HD 10 are being discounted, giving you several screen size options, as are the toughened Fire 7 Kids Edition and Fire HD 8 Kids Edition.
Other notable Amazon devices that are on sale today include the Amazon Cloud Cam security camera, the Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, and both the standard Kindle and the Kindle Paperwhite.
You can see all of the Amazon hardware that’s on sale for Black Friday at the link below.
Google Store Black Friday sale now live, deals on Home Mini, Chromecast, and more
By Oliver Cragg
The Google Store is kicking off its Black Friday celebrations a day early and is offering discounts on a number of Made by Google devices. If you’ve been looking to pick one up directly from the source, now would be a good time to do so! If you’re after the best savings on the Play Store, be sure to check out our other post here.
To save any possible disappointment going in, be aware that you won’t find any discounts on any Pixel phones, the Pixelbook, or the Pixel Buds earphones. Nevertheless, there are a couple of enticing reductions that might tempt you to take out your wallet.
The best deal of the lot undoubtedly goes to the Home Mini, which is on sale for just $29. That’s already $20 off the usual price, but to sweeten the deal Google is also throwing in a $10 voucher that can be spent on any Chromecast, Nest, Wifi, or Home products.
That means you’re effectively getting a Home Mini for $19. As amazing as that is, if you’re after a stupidly good price on the Home Mini, you can take advantage of the same $20 discount (minus the voucher) combined with a $25 Google Express promo code over at Walmart. That works out to $4 if you account for the promo. You can grab this incredible deal via the button below.
Back on the Google Store, the original Home is also reduced by $50, taking the price down to $79. That’s a very good price for the Home’s base model, especially if you want a smart speaker with reasonable audio quality on top of the Assistant features.
In case you’re the last person on Earth who doesn’t own a Chromecast, both the regular media streaming device and its 4K counterpart, the Chromecast Ultra, are $15 off (priced $20 and $54, respectively). The Chromecast Audio is also down to $25 (originally $35).
If you’re after a boost to your home Wi-Fi you can pick up Google’s mesh routers on the cheap too. One Google Wifi unit will set you back $99 during the sale (down from $129), or you can grab a three-pack for $249 instead of the usual price of $299.
Finally, there’s $20 off the latest version of Google’s virtual reality headset, the Daydream View. If your phone is Daydream-compatible and you fancy giving mobile VR a spin, you can pick one up for $79 for a limited time.
The offers end on November 27th, just before midnight Pacific Time, so click the button below to grab any of the deals mentioned above while you still can. Also, be sure to check out our main Black Friday deals page so you don’t miss any other great offers.
Source:: android authority
Black Friday 2017: Here are four great smart speaker deals you should check out
If you’re in need of some help from a virtual assistant, one of the better routes to go down is by picking up smart speakers. Not only are they perfect items for budding cord-cutters, but with Black Friday coming up fast, they look to be great stocking-stuffers for those wanting a little extra functionality out of their speakers.
Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up a handful of what we believe are great deals for smart speakers. If you are looking for other sorts of technology deals, make sure to check out our Black Friday round-up, where we collected the best technology deals we could find just in time for the busiest shopping day of the holiday season.
For the rest of you, let’s see what smart speaker deals we have lined up, though keep in mind that these are upcoming deals.
Amazon Echo (2nd Generation)
This might not be the Echo Plus and its fancy built-in smart home hub, but the regular Echo is arguably a better choice for those who want a more home-y smart speaker. That’s partially thanks to the use of a fabric-colored shell, which is removable and can be replaced with other shells that feature different material choices.
Regardless of the shell choice, the Echo is an all-around solid smart speaker that is smaller and more affordable than the original, yet is just as functional. In other words, while you can use the Echo on its own and summon Alexa to respond to a variety of queries, you can have the Echo communicate with other smart home devices to turn off the lights or lock the doors, for example.
Typically going for just under $100, you can pick up the Echo for $80 at the links below.
Amazon Echo Dot
As good as the Echo may be, it might also be overkill for someone looking to dip their toes into the world of smart speakers. Whether it’s because of that, or because you want to save as much scratch as you can, the Echo Dot could be for you.
For the most part, the Echo Dot accomplishes as much as its larger cousin in a much smaller package. This means that sound output will not be nearly as nice, and the design makes the Echo Dot look more like a hockey puck than something inviting. Even so, you still have an array of microphones that can pick up your voice from across the room, and you still have Alexa, which lets you do everything from ordering a pizza to turning the lights off.
The Echo Dot’s normal $50 price tag was already impressive, but even more impressive is its $30 price tag through Amazon, Best Buy, and Target at the links below.
Google Home may be the company’s first foray into the world of smart speakers, but it has gained a significant number of features since its debut last year. Even better, it has seen a significant price cut just in time for Black Friday.
Since launching in November 2016, Google Home lets you make hands-free phone calls, cast different shows and movies, find your smartphone, and plenty more. As with Amazon’s Echo products, you can have your Google Home act as a conduit for your various other smart home products. Coupled with the presence of Google Assistant and a decent speaker setup, and you can see why the Google Home would be the top choice for someone who lives and breathes Google.
If you consider yourself such a person, then you might be licking your chops at the Google Home’s $79 price tag through Google, Best Buy, Target, and Kohl’s, with Costco netting you a $50 discount if you pick up two Google Home units. Whichever retailer you pick, we have links for you below.
Google Home Mini
Just because the Google Home is large and in charge doesn’t mean you should ignore the smaller Google Home Mini. The smart speaker might be smaller in stature when compared to its larger cousin, but its feature set is almost identical to the regular Google Home’s, even down to the touch-sensitive mesh on the top.
That being said, you need to tap that mesh if you want to bring up Google Assistant — Google disabled the ability to say “Hey, Google” or “OK, Google” due to a bug that kept recording sounds in the home and sending the recordings to Google. Also, the Google Home Mini will not sound as nice as the regular Google Home, so if your intention is to listen to music and not much more, look elsewhere.
Then again, it’s easy to forgive those sticking points given the $50 price tag, which keeps it competitive with the Echo Dot. Even better, that price has effectively been knocked down to $19, given the gift cards you get with your purchase. You can check out the links for the discounts below.
Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact review: small but powerful
By Lanh Nguyen
While most smartphone OEMs are creating standard and plus or XL sized versions of their smartphones, Sony believes there’s still a market for a small, compact flagship that doesn’t skimp out on the specs. But is there still a need for a small phone with flagship caliber specifications or have consumers fully adapted to the abundance of large screened smartphones that we have today? Find out in our full review of the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact!
The Xperia XZ1 Compact, as the name suggests, is a smaller version of Sony’s main flagship, the Xperia XZ1 and as such it shares many of the same features and specifications. Aside from the phone’s smaller size there are a few key differences, the most notable being the phone’s design.
Instead of the rounder and slightly curvier design of the XZ1, the XZ1 Compact is more reminiscent of classic Sony designs with a more boxy rectangular look. There are some slight tapers all around but for the most part the XZ1 Compact has a flat appearance on all sides and has a less aggressive loop design when compared to the XZ1.
The phone’s construction is also worth noting as it’s made mostly from plastic whereas the XZ1 features an all metal construction. Despite the difference in material choices, the XZ1 Compact has a very solid and sturdy feel and there are hints of metal on the top and bottom portions of the phone that add to the phone’s overall build quality. The phone’s body is coated in a non-glossy satin-like finish that provides a nice grip and doesn’t attract fingerprints.
The XZ1 Compact’s main appeal is that it’s just as powerful as the standard XZ1, only smaller
If it wasn’t obvious enough already, the XZ1 Compact’s main appeal is that it’s just as powerful as the standard XZ1, only smaller. This smaller size equates to a phone that is an absolute breeze to use in one hand.
Many manufacturers are attempting to make bigger phones smaller by slimming down bezels, but Sony simply made a smaller phone. While having a small phone can have it’s drawbacks, it’s extremely refreshing to use a phone that can be navigated without two hands or any awkward shuffling just to reach the farthest corners of the screen.
A smaller body naturally means a much smaller display. The XZ1 Compact’s screen is an IPS LCD measuring in at at 4.6 inches with a resolution of 1280×720 which is .6 inches smaller on the diagonal than the XZ1 and also lower resolution.
Compared to many smartphone screens that we’ve seen in 2017, the screen on the XZ1 Compact is fairly standard. It’s surrounded by thick bezels on all sides and doesn’t feature any fancy curves or rounded corners. It’s a screen that could easily sound underwhelming but it’s a more than serviceable display especially on a smartphone of this size.
The 720p resolution is low but on a 4.6-inch screen it works perfectly fine, equating to 319 ppi
The 720p resolution is low but on a 4.6-inch screen it works perfectly fine, equating to 319 ppi. It clearly isn’t the sharpest and, having grown so accustomed to quad HD displays, my eyes were immediately able to see the difference. But it’s still sharp enough to comfortably read text, flip through photos or browse the web.
Regardless of sharpness, the quality of the display is quite nice as colors are pleasantly vibrant, the viewing angles are good and outdoor visibility is not an issue in direct sunlight as long as the screen is at max brightness.
Sony’s software allows for tweaking of the display’s colors with a few different profiles that can change the display’s vividness and contrast, and white balance adjustments can also be made to better suit your tastes.
If you’re big into media consumption, the small amount of screen real estate feels undeniably cramped.
If you’re big into media consumption, the XZ1 Compact’s screen won’t offer the best experience simply due to its small size, which is the only real downside to this display. It still works fine for watching YouTube or playing games but the small amount of screen real estate feels undeniably cramped.
The guts of the XZ1 Compact are completely identical to it’s bigger brother. The XZ1 Compact features the same Snapdragon 835 processor with 4 GB of RAM and, as expected, the phone performs beautifully. It’s fast to launch apps, play games, and swiping and scrolling through web pages or the Android interface is smooth and fluid.
The lower resolution display certainly makes the phone feel ever so slightly snappier due to less strain being put on the processor. The phone performs every bit as well as any other flagship with the same specs …read more
Source:: android authority
Make big savings on SanDisk storage products today only on Amazon
SanDisk is one of the most popular producers of external storage products and is favored by many Android users (we consider it one of the best microSD card brands too). Among the bazillion other Black Friday deals currently ongoing is a SanDisk sale which includes a range of microSD cards and flash drives.
You can find them all on Amazon at the links below, but note that these particular offers are available only until midnight tonight.
- 32 GB SanDisk Ultra — $9.49 (list price: $14.99)
- 64 GB SanDisk Ultra — $13.99 (list price: $24.99)
- 128 GB SanDisk Ultra — $28.49 (list price: $49.99)
- 200 GB SanDisk Ultra — $49.99 (list price: $84.99)
- 256 GB SanDisk Ultra — $89.99 (list price: $149.99)
- 128 GB SanDisk Ultra w/ adapter — $29.99 (was $43.37)
- 32 GB SanDisk Ultra Fit — $9.99 (list price: $11.99)
- 64 GB SanDisk Ultra Fit — $14.99 (list price: $18.99)
- 128 GB SanDisk Ultra Fit — $25.99 (list price: $39.99)
- 128 GB SanDisk Cruzer USB 2.0 — $22.49 (list price: $29.99)
Have you found any better deals on storage products this Black Friday? Let us know what they are in the comments and check out our Black Friday 2017 hub for more.
Source:: android authority
HMD Global brings budget-friendly Nokia 2 to India this Friday, priced ₹6,999
By Oliver Cragg
HMD Global has managed to successfully revitalize the Nokia brand with reliable, secure phones with an impressive price-performance ratio, and as far as the current range goes, they don’t come much more pocket-friendly than the Nokia 2.
The entry-level 5-inch device is already available in various markets, including the US, and now the Finnish company has announced that its most affordable Android-powered Nokia phone yet will go on sale in retail stores in India from tomorrow (November 24th).
The phone will be priced at ₹6,999 and comes in three color options: Black, White, and Copper. As an added bonus, Reliance Jio customers will also get a meaty 45 GB of data to play with, as well as an additional 5 GB for every top-up of ₹309 or above until August next year (limited to nine top-ups).
While it isn’t exactly a stunner to look at, its aluminum frame and polycarbonate back offers consumers a sturdy package for the money. Plus, as we all know, true beauty is on the inside, and it’s here where the Nokia 2 delivers.
The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 processor backed by 1 GB of RAM and a 4,100 mAh battery. HMD Global promises the phone’s low-power chipset and gigantic battery come together to offer two days of juice on a single charge.
The company has also promised regular security updates and OS upgrades too. Out of the box the Nokia 2 runs Android Nougat, but if HMD Global sticks to its words then an Android 8.0 Oreo update should be just around the corner.
The Nokia 2 also comes with 8 GB of storage as standard (expandable up to 128 GB), dual-sim support, an 8 MP rear camera and a 5 MP selfie snapper. That might sound a little dreary if you’re used to flagship-grade specs, but the Nokia 2 is a great little device that would definitely be a perfect gift for a first-time smartphone user.
Source:: android authority