[Deal Alert] UE BOOM 2 more than 50% off at Best Buy, now $98.99

Bluetooth speakers may be a little passé nowadays, what with everyone moving toward streaming and casting, but there’s something to be said about the universal nature of the standard: no matter what audio you’re playing on your devices, you can send it via Bluetooth to your speakers. There’s also something to be said about the portability of such speakers, since they don’t need to be bound to a WiFi connection to work.

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[Deal Alert] UE BOOM 2 more than 50% off at Best Buy, now $98.99 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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[Update: Now available] AT&T launching ‘Primetime’ tablet on August 25 for $10 per month

Mobile carriers used to rely heavily upon bespoke hardware made specifically for them by OEMs, but now you can mostly get the same devices from all carriers. There are some exceptions like the recently unveiled T-Mobile REVVL and the Verizon Ellipsis tablets. Now, AT&T is going back to the old ways as well with the AT&T Primetime tablet.

You can probably guess from the name that this tablet is aimed at entertainment, and it leverages AT&T’s ownership of DirecTV.

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[Update: Now available] AT&T launching ‘Primetime’ tablet on August 25 for $10 per month was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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[Update: Now available] AT&T launching ‘Primetime’ tablet on August 25 for $10 per month

Mobile carriers used to rely heavily upon bespoke hardware made specifically for them by OEMs, but now you can mostly get the same devices from all carriers. There are some exceptions like the recently unveiled T-Mobile REVVL and the Verizon Ellipsis tablets. Now, AT&T is going back to the old ways as well with the AT&T Primetime tablet.

You can probably guess from the name that this tablet is aimed at entertainment, and it leverages AT&T’s ownership of DirecTV.

Read More

[Update: Now available] AT&T launching ‘Primetime’ tablet on August 25 for $10 per month was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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IFA 2017 preview: What to expect from Europe’s largest tech show

IFA Berlin, Europe’s largest technology trade show, is scheduled to take place between September 1 and September 6, 2017. Hundreds of tech companies will be present at the event, which, every year, is the venue for numerous product launches.

Despite the fact that IFA 2017 is just around the corner, only a few companies have shared specific details regarding exactly which devices will be revealed at the show. However, we can make some educated guesses based on what was announced last year and the latest rumors that are making the rounds right now.

In this post, we’re taking a closer look at the devices companies like Samsung, Sony, HTC, LG, and others will show off at IFA in Berlin.

On a side note, those of you interested in attending the show can already purchase tickets online. One-day tickets are currently available for €40, while two-day tickets cost €58. These prices will rise to €49 and €72 if you buy them at the event. You can get them on IFA’s website via the link above.

See also:
Best Android phones (August 2017): our picks, plus a giveaway

Best Android phones (August 2017): our picks, plus a giveaway

3 weeks ago

Samsung at IFA 2017

The Galaxy Note 8, which was initially rumored to make its debut at IFA in Berlin, has recently been announced at an event in New York City. Nevertheless, the new Note 8 will be one of the major attractions in Berlin, despite the fact it has already been revealed. For most people, IFA will be the first occasion to see the Note 8 in real life, and interest in the device will be sky-high. Following the disastrous recall of the Note 7, Samsung really needs to nail the new entry in the series.

So, what exactly will Samsung announce at IFA? Well, there’s a good chance we’ll see the Gear Fit 2 Pro, which was recently listed on Samsung’s Spanish website for a short period of time, likely by mistake. The listing revealed quite a few details about the upcoming device and gave us a good look at its design (see image below). The Gear Fit 2 Pro features a 1.5-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 216 x 432 pixels, 4 GB of internal storage space, and a 200 mAh battery. It’s also water resistant to 5 ATM, sports Bluetooth 4.2 as well as GPS, and will be available in at least two color options:  black and black/red.

We have also heard rumors regarding a Bixby-enabled pair of wireless earbuds — similar to Apple’s Airpods — which were initially rumored to be announced alongside the Note 8. Since that didn’t happen, we just might see it launch at IFA in Berlin together with the Gear Fit 2 Pro.

Additionally, Samsung might also take the wraps off a Bixby-powered speaker in Berlin. Although we have heard reports claiming that the company doesn’t plan on entering the smart speaker market anytime soon, it looks like it is, in fact, developing a device that will go head to head with the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and others. This has recently been confirmed by DJ Koh, the president of Samsung’s mobile division, in a chat with CNBC. He didn’t go into details regarding the speaker or its release date, but did say, “Maybe soon we will announce it.” This means it might be revealed at IFA or perhaps at a later date.

LG at IFA 2017

Last year, LG didn’t announce any new smartphones at IFA. It looks like things might be quite different this year, as the company will show off the LG V30 at the show in Berlin. LG has confirmed that it will officially announce the device during an event taking place one day before IFA officially kicks off, on August 31.

This will be the first time that LG takes the wraps off a V series smartphone at Europe’s largest consumer electronics trade show. Although both the V10 and V20 were announced in September (2015 and 2016), the former made its debut in New York, while the latter was revealed at a press event in San Francisco. So why the change? Well, for one, the V30 will actually be available in Europe, unlike the V10 and V20, so it makes sense to show it off in Germany.

The LG V30 is expected to be a high-end device that will go head to head with the upcoming Galaxy Note 8 and other phablets. It’s expected to feature an OLED display, the latest Snapdragon 835 chipset, a dual-camera setup on the back, a new ESS Quad DAC, and will be available in three storage variants: 32, 64, and 128 GB.

Unlike its predecessor, the V30 won’t have a removable battery, likely because it will be resistant to water and dust. It will reportedly be quite different than the V20 in terms of design and is expected to look a lot like the G6. To learn more about it, check out our LG V30 rumor roundup post.

Sony at IFA 2017

Sony is expected to reveal quite a few new smartphones in Berlin. The company has already announced that its press conference will take place on August 31, a day before IFA officially starts.

According to rumors out of China, Sony might take the wraps off a bezel-less smartphone. It is expected to feature a 6-inch LCD display with 18:9 aspect ratio, similar to what we’ve already seen on the LG G6. Despite the fact that Sony is known for making smartphones that have large bezels, the rumor just might be true. The reason for this is that display manufacturer JDI, a joint venture comprised of Sony, Toshiba, and Hitachi has already started mass-producing a “Full Active” QHD display with thin bezels. The technology is already there, so it would make sense that Sony would be the first company to use it commercially.

In addition to the bezel-less smartphone, we have also heard rumors about three upcoming Sony devices called the Xperia X1, XZ1, and the XZ1 Compact that might be revealed at IFA as well. The XZ1 will reportedly be a high-end smartphone with a 5.2-inch Full HD display, Snapdragon 835 chipset, and 4 GB or RAM. What appear to be press images of the device — one of which you can see below — have recently leaked online, so we assume that the device is just around the corner.

The XZ1 Compact is expected to feature similar hardware but will sport a smaller display measuring 4.6-inches. The Xperia X1, on the other hand, is said to be a mid-range device that will come with a 5-inch Full HD display, the Snapdragon 660 chipset, and 4 GB of RAM.

Huawei at IFA 2017

Huawei has announced that it will hold a press event at IFA on September 2. It looks like the company will show off its AI (artificial intelligence) efforts in Berlin, although there’s no word on what exactly we can expect to see. One possibility is a digital assistant that will go head to head with Google Assistant, Alexa, and others.

Unfortunately, the rumor mill has been pretty dry when it comes to any possible devices that Huawei might reveal at IFA. At last year’s show, the company took the wraps off the Nova and Nova Plus. Their successors — Nova 2 and Nova 2 Plus — have already been announced in May, but they aren’t available in Western markets yet. It’s therefore quite possible that the company will officially launch the two devices in Europe at IFA. The smaller of the two smartphones has actually already popped up on websites of various retailers in the Netherlands, revealing that it will set you back €400. Of course, pricing will likely vary from country to country within Europe, as it usually does.

We probably won’t see any high-end smartphones announced by Huawei in Berlin, as the flagship P10 series was revealed in February, while the upcoming Mate 10 phablet will make its debut on October 16 in Munich, Germany.

HTC at IFA 2017

Back in February, HTC announced that it only plans to release six or seven smartphones this year. These will either be mid-range or high-end devices, as the company doesn’t plan on launching any entry-level smartphones — the competition is too fierce and the profit margins are too thin to justify the effort.

Three of HTC’s 2017 phones have already been revealed — U11, U Play, and U Ultra — which means we’re expecting to see three or four more by the time 2017 comes to an end. A few of them (probably not all) just might be shown off at IFA in Berlin.

As of now, we have only heard a few things about one of the upcoming device that’s codenamed Ocean Life. According to one of our sources, the smartphone will launch as the HTC U11 Life and will feature a 5.2-inch Full HD screen, the Snapdragon 630 chipset, and a two 16 MP cameras (front and rear). What’s even more interesting is that it will come with HTC’s Edge Sense technology, just like the U11. However, the device is said to launch “later this year,” which means it might be revealed sometime after IFA.

 

If the U11 Life will indeed make its debut towards the end of the year, HTC will likely announce one of the other smartphones it has in the pipeline. The company has unveiled quite a few new devices at IFA over the last few years, and we think that this trend will continue in 2017. Last year, for example, it showed off the One A9s.

Lenovo at IFA 2017

Lenovo has also announced the date of its IFA press conference. Just like Sony and LG, the company will reveal new devices on August 31, a day before Europe’s largest tech show officially opens its doors.

As of now, there’s no word on which Lenovo products will see the light of day. But based on last year, we can expect to see quite a few of them. At IFA 2016, the company unveiled the K6 series of smartphones, the Moto Z Play, the Yoga Book ultrabook, as well as a convertible touchscreen laptop called the Yoga 910.

This year, Lenovo just might announce the successors to the K6 series along with new convertible laptops and ultrabooks. However, we probably won’t see any Moto smartphones at the event. The Moto Z Play successor has already been announced in June, the Moto Z2 Force is already official, and the Moto X4 is due on August 24.

Final thoughts

In addition to the ones mentioned above, we’ll obviously see a lot of other tech companies at IFA in Berlin as well. Acer, Asus, ZTE, and Alcatel will be there, just to name a few.

As soon as we hear more, we’ll update this post to keep you up to speed with the smartphones, tablets, and other gadgets that might be unveiled. Meanwhile, let us know which of the devices mentioned in this post are you most excited about.

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Some Google Voice users aren’t receiving SMS messages, Google is investigating

Bugwatch season is in full swing here at AP and Google Voice is the latest culprit. It was only in June when we last heard of issues with the service, which was to do with broken notifications. This time people are reporting that they aren’t receiving text messages to their Google Voice accounts.

A number of users have taken to Google’s help forum to voice their displeasure over the issues. The original poster said that her business uses 4-5 Google Voice numbers, and while SMS could be sent from their accounts and received by clients, responses weren’t coming back.

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Some Google Voice users aren’t receiving SMS messages, Google is investigating was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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