Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 review

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When you are on a budget, one of the biggest questions you must answer is which features you are willing to compromise on. Whether it’s a lower resolution display, less RAM, less capable cameras, poor build quality, or perhaps an underpowered processor, these are all things you must consider. There’s a host of budget smartphones to choose from, and most tend to compromise at least one area. Here in the United Kingdom, the Moto G (2015) is often viewed as the go-to device for people with limited budgets, but perhaps there’s an alternative, the Smart Ultra 6 that is available from Vodafone UK for just £115. 

Design

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The Smart Ultra 6 has a unibody design. But, before you get your hopes up with thoughts of the HTC One M9 and its beautiful aesthetics, without being too blunt about it, the Smart Ultra 6 is fairly bland. While many unibody designs will strive for a smooth, sleek appearance without a noticeable seam along the length of the device, the Smart Ultra 6 has gone the other way.

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For some reason, the designers went out of their way to put a fake seam on the Smart Ultra 6 that makes it appear as if its has a removable rear panel, except it doesn’t. It isn’t the worst thing you’ve ever seen on a smartphone, it’s just a little odd. On to the dimensions, and the Smart Ultra 6 is 154 x 77 x 8.35mm and weighs 159 grams. For a 5.5-inch handset, it’s quite pocketable, being a couple of millimeters narrower than my Samsung Galaxy Note 4. The bezels aren’t the thinnest you’ve every seen, but then again, they aren’t the biggest either with the handset having a screen-to-body ratio of 70.3%.

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The silver volume and power buttons are both on the right-hand-side of the display. The power button is in the middle of the phone, which is far too low for my personal liking but that’s just my preference. The buttons themselves are responsive, easy to find, and reward each press with a satisfying clicking sound. Navigation achieved by way of the on-screen buttons, and there’s a neat blue LED light for notifications that also serves as the Home button.

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There’s a speaker on the rear of the handset, along with the Vodafone logo. Up top is the 3.5mm audio socket, with a microSD card slot on the left-hand side of the phone. On the right-hand-side is the SIM slot, just above the volume buttons. As you might expect, the micro-USB port is present on the bottom end of the handset.Vodafone_Smart_Ultra_6_TA (7)

When I say the Smart Ultra 6 is bland and inoffensive, don’t get me wrong. The build quality is good, the handset doesn’t creak or bend, and the glass feels sturdy enough. The Smart ultra 6 isn’t a terrible looking handset either, unlike some budget devices that are around. But it is bland, albeit inoffensive. The grey metallic plastic is not unpleasant to hold, the material isn’t terribly slippy in the hand, and it serves its purpose. Thankfully, a case can definitely smarten it up and add some bling if needed. If grey isn’t your thing, the Smart Ultra 6 is also available in silver.

Hardware

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The Smart Ultra 6 features a 5.5-inch Full HD (1920×1080) IPS LCD display, Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor, Adreno 405, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, a 13MP rear camera, a 5MP front camera, a 3000mAh battery, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, and Bluetooth 4.0.

Bands:

4G LTE (3, 7, 20)
HSDPA
GSM (850, 900, 1800, 1900)

Performance

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The Smart Ultra 6 is nippy. The Snapdragon 615 is a mid-range processor with 8 Cortex A53 cores providing enough grunt to play the high-end games such as Asphalt 8 with acceptable frame rates. While the Smart Ultra 6 isn’t going to set new benchmark records, it will do the job, without noticeable strain. The rear of the handset doesn’t become overly hot, but it does get warm after playing Asphalt 8 for around 30mins. Although the Snapdragon 615 does its job well, it is possible to make it stutter now and again. For reference, the Smart Ultra 6 scores 2359 on Geekbench 3, and 31192 on Antutu.

Where some affordable handsets fall down when it comes to the display, here the Smart Ultra 6 carries on going. It’s 5.5-inch Full HD LCD display, with In-Plane-Switching (IPS) technology allows for impressive viewing angles and vibrant colours. I think it’s safe to say that you won’t find a better display on a similarly priced handset. Possibly the only letdown with the display is the lack of an automatic brightness option.

The speaker on the rear of the handset offers a rather middling performance. Its single driver sounds a little thin and isn’t anything to write home about, but, it is acceptable and delivers its top volume without distorting. Call quality is also at a good level, with callers able to hear you talk clearly. You won’t be scratching your ears off, but you also won’t want to be using the Smart Ultra as a portable speaker for any length of time.

While the handset is naturally locked to the Vodafone network, it is possible to unlock the Smart Ultra 6 with a minimum of fuss thanks to the unlock codes found on Ebay, which only around £4.

Battery

On to the battery and here the 3000mAh battery really helps the Smart Ultra 6 stand out. Despite having to provide the juice for a large 5.5-inch Full HD display, the battery manages to hold out for around 2 days with light usage. For normal usage, most users should manage to get through the day without having to charge. I found that by 9 PM, I had around 15% left, after the usual notifications, calls and texts, social media, checking accounts and emails, 20-30 mins gaming, and around 20 minutes of YouTube. As with pretty everything else about the Smart Ultra 6, it’s a good result. Not fantastic, not terrible, but firmly in the middle. On average I managed around 4 and a half hours of screen-on time.

Software

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Quite often we see these overbearing custom UI’s on Android handsets, whether they are cheap or expensive. Thankfully, Vodafone has refrained from putting its stamp on proceedings, leaving an almost stock Android 5.1.1 Lollipop experience. On that topic, there’s no word as yet when, or if, an update to Marshmallow is forthcoming.

While there are a few pre-installed apps present, that would appear to be the extent of Vodafone’s meddling. Even the wallpapers are stock Android, which is no bad thing. One feature that is missing, however, in common with stock Android, is the ability to see the battery percentage in the status bar. One way to get around it is by installing an app such as Circle Battery Widget from the Play Store.

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Let’s get to the pre-installed apps. While the apps themselves are no blight on the handset, Vodafone has somehow decided that these apps are to be front and centre when opening the app drawer. There are seven apps pre-installed, and luckily you can uninstall 5 of them while the other two can be disabled. Other than possibly the Smart Tips and Smart Flow apps, you’ll probably find the pre-installed apps to be fairly pointless.

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Pre-installed apps:

  • Updates: Lets you install more Vodafone applications
  • Direct Access: Links directly to Vodafone’s accessory store
  • Message: Vodafone’s free messaging app.
  • Discover: Helps you discover other Vodafone services
  • My Web: A shortcut to a Vodafone web page
  • Smart Flow: A wallpaper app that cycles through images. When it works it’s ok
  • Smart Tips: Helpful hints on how to use the Smart Ultra 6, and its features

Camera

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It would seem that almost all the mid-range budget phones are using a 13MP sensor for the rear camera, and here the Smart Ultra 6 is no different. Features such as HDR, Panorama, Smile Detection, Multi-Exposure as well as the option to add a filter to your masterpiece are present. You can choose between three modes: Manual, Automatic or Mode which gives you access to the features previously mentioned.

As to the quality of the images, that can be a bit of a mixed bag, but for the most part, the sensor copes adequately when taking pictures in good lighting. In low-light conditions, however, the sensor does struggle to give sharp, detailed results, and can look a little washed out. For a £125, the camera is more than acceptable, so long as you are okay with chucking out the odd photo here and there. You can check out the sample shots I took with the Smart Ultra 6 below.

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Closing

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Vodafone partnered up with ZTE to develop the Smart Ultra 6, and the result is a handset boasting an impressive array of components for a very affordable price. Yes, the design is somewhat uninspired and nondescript, but it isn’t terribly offensive, and you can always put a case on it to add a bit of excitement. No, the camera is not going to compete with the Galaxy Note 5, and yes, the Snapdragon 615 can stutter at times when you are racing through the apps. But for a handset with a Full HD display, a beefy battery, and competent cameras that usually costs just £115, it’s downright appealing.

I would say that the Smart Ultra 6 is the definitive budget smartphone in the UK at the moment. If you are on a tight budget, this is the mobile phone you should be looking at. For £115, you just can’t go wrong.

[Vodafone]

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Android News, Rumours, and Updates

More renders of the Galaxy S7 Edge leak, shows off all three colors

galaxy s7 edge renderYep, we have more renders of the Galaxy S7 Edge. There’s really not much more to hide at this point, as we’ve seen images showing off the curved sides of the device and nearly every detail about the phone and its smaller sibling have been leaked at this point.

These renders do give a pretty good indication of the colors we can expect to see Samsung unveil this time around. We have the titanium silver that’s been popular on some of the company’s international models, as well as the solid black (no more blue-ish tint!) and the champagne gold that’s becoming increasingly popular. Everything else is in line with what we’ve seen, including the softer curves and stark resemblance of last year’s Galaxy S6.

Do any of these colors have you ready to throw down some cash on a pre-order later this month? Personally, I’m a big fan of white/silver phones, but the titanium gray might be a nice replacement if Samsung decides to drop a totally plain white phone this time around.

source: Evan Blass (Twitter)

Come comment on this article: More renders of the Galaxy S7 Edge leak, shows off all three colors


Android News, Rumours, and Updates

VanDerWaals charging purses are the perfect Valentine’s gift for your lady

With mobile charging handbags from VanDerWaals, your leading lady won’t be able to say that she didn’t respond to your text because her phone was dead. She’ll just have to come up with another excuse.

The post VanDerWaals charging purses are the perfect Valentine’s gift for your lady appeared first on Digital Trends.

Wearables–Digital Trends

Give the gift of music this Valentine’s Day, Google Play Music now 50 percent off

Chocolates goes bad and flowers die, but the love of music lasts forever. Grab a Google Play Music All Access subscription, along with YouTube Red, for 50 percent off right now for that someone special in your life.

The post Give the gift of music this Valentine’s Day, Google Play Music now 50 percent off appeared first on Digital Trends.

Android Army–Digital Trends

Weekend Workshop: Build a semi-automatic snowball launcher

Dominate your neighborhood snowball fights with these easy-to-build semi-automatic snowball launcher made from a cordless leaf blower and some ABS piping. You can thank ex-NASA engineer Mark Rober for the ingenious idea.

The post Weekend Workshop: Build a semi-automatic snowball launcher appeared first on Digital Trends.

Cool Tech–Digital Trends

The YouTube AdBlitz Champion of 2016 is …

Another football season is in the books, but the Big Game ads continue to live on – on YouTube. While there’s been plenty of Monday morning quarterbacking about the best Big Game spots, fans have been weighing in this week by voting for their favorite ads on YouTube AdBlitz.

All the votes have now been tallied, and it’s time to reveal the Top 5 winners. With more brands and more overall ads competing in this year’s YouTube AdBlitz than ever before, the competition was fierce. But one brand rose to the top as the clear-cut fan favorite:

Congratulations to Pokémon! With over three times as many votes as the second place ad, and more votes overall than the other four winners combined, Pokémon has been voted by fans as the YouTube AdBlitz Champion of 2016!

 

Here are the rest of the Top 5 – all fan favorites as determined by your votes. Second place belongs to T-Mobile’s “Drop The Balls” starring a completely faultless (this time) Steve Harvey:

 

In third place is … T-Mobile again! This time featuring a very agreeable Drake:

 

It would be hard to imagine a Big Game ads season without puppies, monkeys or babies. So Mountain Dew Kickstart came to the rescue, snagging fourth place with Puppymonkeybaby:

 

Finally, KFC became the first brand ever to make the YouTube AdBlitz Top 5 without airing their ad during the Big Game’s national TV broadcast. The ad aired during the CBS live stream of the Big Game, connecting with fans online who then came to YouTube AdBlitz to cast their votes.

 

Visit YouTube AdBlitz to watch all of this year’s Big Game ads.

Posted by Natalie Marchant, YouTube Sponsorships Program Manager, recently watched “Beyoncé & Bruno Mars Crash Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show | NFL.”


YouTube Blog

Apple’s 3D Touch and Force Touch form basis of a patent infringement action

Apple’s 3D Touch and Force Touch haptic feedback technologies landed the company in hot water, as California company Immersion is suing Apple for patent infringement. Immersion also seeks a sales injunction covering Apple’s devices.

The post Apple's 3D Touch and Force Touch form basis of a patent infringement action appeared first on Digital Trends.

Mobile–Digital Trends

Shape-shifting polymer straightens out from body heat

There have been plenty of tries at shape-changing materials, but this one might be the most practical yet. The University of Rochester has created a polymer that returns to its original shape when subjected to body heat — touch a curled mess of the…
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Carv is an all-knowing ski instructor inside your boot

Carv is the latest sports technology project to slide onto Kickstarter, and it’s aimed at skiers. The in-boot system monitors your every move, and provides real-time feedback and advice as you ski.

The post Carv is an all-knowing ski instructor inside your boot appeared first on Digital Trends.

Wearables–Digital Trends

Samsung pushing 91MB update to the Gear S2

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People with Samsung’s Gear S2 are being greeted with a software update that ushers in performance improvements and bug fixes.

Here’s the full changelog:

  • This update includes new features, performance improvements, and bug fixes.
  • Add new applications: World Clock, ESPN, News Briefing
  • Add new watch faces: Mendini watch faces
  • Add search function in the Contacts application
  • Add new screen time out Setting (Settings – Display – Screen timeout)
  • Show an unread notification indicator on the watch face
  • Alert shown when Bluetooth connection is disconnected
  • Enter emojis directly using the keyboard
  • You should upgrade the Samsung Gear application to the latest version for this update.
  • Some changes may vary depending on countries

The software update, which is labeled as version R720XXU2BPA4, is 91MB.

Samsung’s Gear S2 (along with the Gear S2 Classic model) was released in October 2015 after debuting at IFA 2015. Then, at CES 2016, the company announced two new variants of the Gear S2 Classic are on the way. The Gear S2 Classic in Rose Gold and Platinum will be sold by Amazon, Best Buy, Macy’s, and other retailers starting tomorrow, February 12.

Come comment on this article: Samsung pushing 91MB update to the Gear S2


Android News, Rumours, and Updates

Google might make a VR headset that doesn’t need a phone to work

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We have been hearing talk that Google is working on a new VR headset. They already have the Google Cardboard, but this one is said to be much better.

One of the reasons this headset will be much better, and totally different from anything else out there, is the fact that it will be an all-in-one device. It won’t need a phone or a PC in order to work.

Google is actually said to be releasing two new VR headsets. One that is similar to a Samsung Gear VR, which uses a phone to be powered, and another one that doesn’t need anything else to work. The second one would be in its own class as everything else out there must have other devices to function properly.

We don’t know if these reports are true or not as we have heard that one headset is supposed to debut this year, however, we have also heard that Google might dump the idea entirely. If the rumours are true, a likely time frame to see the device would probably be at the Google I/O developer conference later this year. However, it would probably be the headset that works with phones first, and not the stand-alone one just yet.

Source: WSJ
Via: Engadget

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Android News, Rumours, and Updates

Smuggled into North Korea, your old flash drives could help topple a dictatorship

The Flash Drives for Freedom campaign smuggles foreign media like films, movies, interviews, and website archives into North Korea. Under Kim Jong-un’s ban, citizens are indoctrinated to fear the world outside North Korea and they have no access to outside resources.

The post Smuggled into North Korea, your old flash drives could help topple a dictatorship appeared first on Digital Trends.

Cool Tech–Digital Trends

Samsung’s Gear S2 Classic is finally available in Rose Gold and Platinum

samsung gear s2 colorsSamsung’s Gear S2 Classic has been teased in Rose Gold and Platinum for a few months now, with Samsung repeatedly showing off the premium iterations of their flagship smartwatch to build up some anticipation. The company announced that the new colors would be available in February, and they’re finally here.

If you’re interested, you can buy both models for $ 449 at tons of retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, and directly from Samsung. The 18K Rose Gold comes with an ivory band, while the Platinum comes with a black leather band. Everything else about the watch has stayed the same, including Samsung’s unique rotating bezel that controls the interface of the watch.

Anyone interested in picking one of these up?

source: Samsung

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Android News, Rumours, and Updates

You can run over 1,000 Windows 3.1 programs in your browser

The Internet Archive has spent many years gathering and storing digital content from the past. It now hosts millions of web pages, texts, videos and audio snippets, but recently the site expanded its collection to include software, or more specifical…
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Blu Pure XL review

On paper the Blu Pure XL smartphone should be an absolute monster, but after spending time with it, those amazing specs didn’t quite deliver on their promise. Is it still worth considering? We find out in our review.

The post Blu Pure XL review appeared first on Digital Trends.

Android Army–Digital Trends

The FBI still hasn’t cracked the San Bernardino terrorists’ encrypted smartphone

The FBI hasn’t cracked the encryption on a smartphone belonging to the perpetrators of the San Bernardino attack, the agency’s director recently told the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The post The FBI still hasn’t cracked the San Bernardino terrorists’ encrypted smartphone appeared first on Digital Trends.

Android Army–Digital Trends

[TA Deals] This Getflix Lifetime Subscription will let you watch Netflix anywhere (91% off)

getflix-hero

Watching video streaming outside of the US whilst traveling can be a huge problem because of geographic restrictions. If you’re on vacation in say, Germany, and want to catch up on a couple of movies or TV series you’ve heard good things about, chances are, you won’t be able to since you’re connecting to Netflix from Germany. That’s where Getflix over on Talk Android Deals comes in, letting you access geo-restricted content anywhere in the world!

  • Access popular global streaming services from anywhere around the world
  • Access over 50+ VPN nodes
  • Enjoy a fast & reliable solution for watching TV, listening to online radio & more
  • Benefit from easy-to-use Smart DNS technology
  • Get a free, optional VPN & SmartVPN account to encrypt all your traffic with 256Bit SSL encryption
  • Use w/ all of your favorite devices (unlimited)
  • Utilize the services without needing to install any software
  • Please note: Getflix doesn’t replace the need for a subscription streaming service

Getflix’s suggested pricing sits at $ 855, but it’s been discounted to just $ 69 (91% off) for our readers over on Talk Android Deals. Getflix is a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that promises top Internet speeds. Many VPNs tank your Internet speed, but Getflix promises to only offer the best so that you can truly enjoy all of your favorite Netflix content abroad.

But, you’ll need to act fast! This 91% discount is only going on for another two days. Anyone plan on buying?

[Talk Android Deals]

Come comment on this article: [TA Deals] This Getflix Lifetime Subscription will let you watch Netflix anywhere (91% off)


Android News, Rumours, and Updates

Get your popcorn ready! Our first YouTube Red Originals are now available

YouTube Red Originals are now live! The first four original series and movies from your favorite creators are now available, exclusively for YouTube Red members. Members can now enjoy movies and shows from Lilly Singh, Rooster Teeth, PewDiePie and AwesomenessTV. And fans who haven’t signed up for YouTube Red yet can watch short previews or sign up for a free 30-day trial YouTube Red membership.

Here are the first of many new YouTube Red Originals to come :

  • A Trip to Unicorn Island: From the team at Astronauts Wanted, this feature-length movie gives fans an extraordinary look inside the life and journey of Lilly Singh as she embarks on a challenging 26-city global tour where she has to remember to practice what she preaches: happiness is the only thing worth fighting for.
  • Lazer Team: In this feature-length action-comedy from Rooster Teeth and Fullscreen Films, four small-town losers stumble upon an alien ship carrying a mysterious cargo, leading to a battle to save Earth from an all-powerful enemy.
  • Scare PewDiePie: In this reality-adventure series from the creator and executive producers of “The Walking Dead” at Skybound Entertainment and Maker Studios, experience thrills, chills and laughter as PewDiePie encounters terrifying situations inspired by his favorite video games.
  • Dance Camp: This film from AwesomenessTV weaves an amazing story of unlikely friendships, unleashing passions, and discovering yourself all through the power of dance.

We’ve loved working with our creators on these series and movies and seeing them take their passion to new heights. We’ve never seen PewDiePie more scared or seen Lilly crush it as hard as she does on her world tour. We’re blown away by Meg DeAngelis’ moves and the way the Dance Camp crew breaks it down. And who ever thought the human race could rely on the Rooster Teeth guys to save them from an alien invasion? We love these new features and couldn’t be more excited to share them with YouTube Red members today.

And as we mentioned in our blog post last week, this is just the beginning. We’re also excited to announce two brand new projects set to be released later this year:

  • Untitled Gigi Gorgeous Project: YouTube creator Gigi Gorgeous and two-time Academy Award winner Barbara Kopple have partnered with SELECTNEXT and Sander/Moses to create this feature-length documentary that explores the intimate journey of a transgender woman from her childhood to life as a successful media personality. Together, they will ask the question, “What does it mean to be transgender in the uncensored new media world?”
  • Foursome: An original series from AwesomenessTV, stars Jenn McAllister (JennxPenn) as Andie, an undateable sophomore — thanks to her older brother Alec (Logan Paul), who makes sure no guy comes near her. Andie must rely on the unbreakable bond she has with her three best friends, as they navigate the hormone-induced journey known as high school.

And as we previously announced last year, we have a full slate of YouTube Red original series and movies from even more of your favorite creators over the next few months:

  • Prank Academy: YouTube’s most sensational pranksters, Jesse and Jeana of PrankvsPrank and BFvsGF, take their mischief to the next level and put their expertise to work as they mentor celebrity guests, teaching them how to pull off their most ambitious and complicated pranks yet with the help of some of YouTube’s biggest stars.
  • Fight of the Living Dead: In an unprecedented social experiment reality show from Alpine Labs, “Fight of the Living Dead” takes popular YouTube talent and traps them in a frighteningly realistic zombie apocalypse. They must use their instincts and gaming skills to survive as they battle the elements for the ultimate prize of survival.
  • Untitled 360 Game Theory: YouTube educator and pop culture expert MatPat from The Game Theorists invites the audience to come along for the ride in an innovative new series and 360 VR experience. In each episode Matt explores the real-life science behind popular video games by throwing gamers into the high-stakes scenarios they play through every day, from water jetpacks to bomb disposal.
  • Bad Internet: Written by and starring the cast of CollegeHumor, along with special guests, this new anthology series will take a dark and comedic look at the absurdity of Internet culture.

As you can see, 2016 is shaping up to be an exciting year for YouTube Red members with a steady stream of amazing new original movies and series coming soon. YouTube Red members can check out our new YouTube Red Originals channel to stay up to date on the latest movies, shows, clips, trailers and exclusive behind-the-scenes content from your favorite creators. And if you haven’t already, sign up here for a YouTube Red membership and the first month is on us (if you’re outside the U.S., you can click here for more details on availability in your country).

Susanne Daniels, Global Head of Original Content, YouTube, recently watched “Elton John Carpool Karaoke.”


YouTube Blog

[Deal] Best Buy is knocking $50 off the Nexus 6P in Matte Gold, throwing in an extra $25 gift card

nexus_6p_gold_front_back_lineupLooking to save some cash on a Nexus 6P? Best Buy is offering a solid $ 50 discount on the Matte Gold variant of the device, bringing the 32 GB down to $ 449 and the 64 GB down to $ 499. That’s about as good of a deal that we ever see on the 6P, especially in its newest color.

In case that cash discount wasn’t quite enough for you, though, Best Buy is also tossing in a $ 25 gift card that you can use on anything else the electronics retailer sells. While that gift card doesn’t put any cash back in your pocket, it does make this the best deal we’ve seen on the 6P yet, all things considered.

Hit the link below to place an order.

source: Best Buy

Come comment on this article: [Deal] Best Buy is knocking $ 50 off the Nexus 6P in Matte Gold, throwing in an extra $ 25 gift card


Android News, Rumours, and Updates

Samsung’s new trademark might mean ambient notifications for its next major smartphone

Samsung has applied for the trademark “Always On Display” in the U.S., which offers a hint that it may plan to introduce an ambient notification feature in its next flagship smartphones.

The post Samsung’s new trademark might mean ambient notifications for its next major smartphone appeared first on Digital Trends.

Android Army–Digital Trends

You Valentine’s Day date could be a dog, and we mean that literally

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and you just realized that you don’t have a date. How about giving man’s best friend a shot? The Bark ‘N’ Borrow app can help you find just what you’re looking for.

The post You Valentine’s Day date could be a dog, and we mean that literally appeared first on Digital Trends.

Mobile–Digital Trends

SpaceX plans ocean landing attempt following February 24 launch

SpaceX will make its next launch attempt and possible ocean landing on February 24 when it is slated to deploy an SES-9 satellite into orbit. The firm’s goal is to send rockets into orbit every few weeks for the rest of 2016.

The post SpaceX plans ocean landing attempt following February 24 launch appeared first on Digital Trends.

Cool Tech–Digital Trends

Game over. Long live the game on YouTube.

Over 1 million people from all over the country made their way to the San Francisco Bay Area for the Big Game, but for those watching from home, a friend’s party or their favorite local restaurant, it was more than just what was happening on the field. During the game, people spent 300K hours watching the Big Game ads1 and teaser videos on YouTube and overall we’ve seen nearly 4 million hours of Big Game ads and teasers watched so far. Big Game ads and teasers have been watched over 330 million times, with 60 percent of that coming from mobile devices — the most we’ve ever seen. And that game ain’t over yet.

Brands keep getting in on the game

On YouTube, the game starts well before the kickoff and it continues long after the trophies are handed out, as brands engage with their audience before, during, and after the Big Game. For the ninth straight year, the YouTube AdBlitz program is helping brands extend their reach and brands got in on the game more than ever, with the number of teasers and ads up 25 percent over last year. AdBlitz has been a great way for viewers to watch their favorite Big Game ads again and again, and to share them with friends.

Here are some of people’s favorite Big Game ads so far:

Top Trending Big Game Ads on YouTube based on views (as of 2/8 3 a.m. ET)2

  1. Hyundai – The Chase – Hyundai Super Bowl Commercial | The 2017 Hyundai Elantra 
  2. Pokémon – #Pokemon20: Pokémon Super Bowl Commercial 
  3. MINI USA – MINI USA | #DefyLabels Big Game TV Spot 
  4. Hyundai – First Date – Hyundai Super Bowl Commercial | The 2016 Hyundai Genesis 
  5. Mountain Dew – Mtn Dew Kickstart: Puppymonkeybaby | Super Bowl Spot 
  6. Hyundai – Ryanville – Hyundai Super Bowl Commercial | The 2017 Hyundai Elantra 
  7. Axe – AXE – Find Your Magic [60 second version] 
  8. Doritos – Doritos® Crash The Super Bowl Finalist – Ultrasound 
  9. Snickers – SNICKERS® – “Marilyn” 
  10. Doritos – Doritos® Crash The Super Bowl Finalist – Doritos Dogs 

In years past, we’ve seen a big spike the day after the game as people get to work on Monday morning and reminisce about their favorite Big Game moment. In fact, last year more than 40 percent of total watch time for Big Game ads happened in the weeks after the game.3 Some of these ads get ahead, while others will sustain their leadership. Don’t forget that you can vote for your favorite before February 10 at midnight ET.

Moments to remember

People turned to Google to search for their favorite moments of the game – from going Gaga over the national anthem to an end-zone hand jive. Many of us couldn’t get enough of Beyonce’s much-awaited performance and went searching for more: We saw a 1,000 percent spike in search interest in Beyonce after the halftime show. Meanwhile, searches for “Longest punt return” spiked 8,000 percent in the first quarter of the game.

Top Searched Moments of the Super Bowl

  • Beyonce performing “Formation” 
  • Lady Gaga performing the National Anthem 
  • Jonathan Stewart scores touchdown 
  • Brandon McManus scores field goal 
  • C.J. Anderson scores touchdown 

The Big Game might be over, but there’s always overtime on YouTube. Over the next few days, weeks or years, you get to check out some of the best ads that ran this Sunday. Thanks for joining us once again – and tune in Friday to find out the YouTube AdBlitz winner!

Posted by Natalie Marchant, YouTube Sponsorships Program Manager, recently watched Super Bowl 50 Highlights | Panthers vs. Broncos | NFL

Classification as a “Big Game ad” was based on public data such as headlines and tags, and may not account for every Big Game ad available on YouTube.
Trending Big Game ad, teaser or trailer videos from brands based on number of views as of Feb. 8, 2016
YouTube data, January–February 2015, global. Classification as a “Big Game ad” was based on public data such as headlines and tags, and may not account for every Big Game ad available on YouTube.


YouTube Blog

Neit debuts world’s first collapsible, hard case suitcase

Premium quality luggage brand Néit developed a line of suitcases that can be collapsed to nearly 70 percent its original size, making it convenient to store away when it’s not in use.

The post Neit debuts world's first collapsible, hard case suitcase appeared first on Digital Trends.

Cool Tech–Digital Trends

Huawei brings the G8 to the U.S. and renames it the GX8

The budget-friendly G8 was launched globally in September of 2015, except in the U.S. Huawei is rectifying that with the GX8, which matches the same specs as the G8. It’s now available for purchase at $ 350.

The post Huawei brings the G8 to the U.S. and renames it the GX8 appeared first on Digital Trends.

Android Army–Digital Trends

[Deal] Amazon’s Fire 7-inch tablet now $10 off for a limited time

Amazon-Fire-7-hero-ta

Amazon offers some really great value in its Fire tablet, priced at only $ 50. And now, they’re adding even more value by offering the 7-inch tablet for an additional $ 40 off!

The tablet is normally priced at $ 50, but the $ 10 discount will bring it down to $ 40. The model without special offers regularly costs $ 65, but this discount brings it down to an appealing $ 55, which is about the same price as the version with special offers at no discount.

As far as specifications go, this 7-inch tablet has a 1.3GHz quad-core processor in tow, 8GB of internal storage, a front and rear camera, and a decent battery that should hold up to a little over a day of frequent usage. At a resolution of 1024 x 600, the display isn’t the best, but still hard to pass up at that temporary $ 40 rate.

There’s currently no official timeline as to when the discount will end, so you may want to snatch up this tablet rather quickly. At $ 40, the Fire 7-inch tablet truly offers some of the best value on the market (review here), and is a hard one to pass up.

Anyone plan on buying?

[Amazon]

Come comment on this article: [Deal] Amazon’s Fire 7-inch tablet now $ 10 off for a limited time


Android News, Rumours, and Updates

A North Korean satellite passed over Levi’s Stadium after the Super Bowl ended

A North Korean satellite, the second of two confirmed by NORAD, passed over Levi’s Stadium about an hour after Super Bowl 50 ended.

The post A North Korean satellite passed over Levi’s Stadium after the Super Bowl ended appeared first on Digital Trends.

Cool Tech–Digital Trends

Twitter’s timeline isn’t actually changing very much

motorola_moto_x_pure_edition_twitter_profile_TAWorried about Twitter making your timeline more like Facebook? Turns out, things aren’t going to be so bad. While we had originally heard that things would shift to an algorithmic timeline and away from a chronological timeline, Twitter is actually probably just going to be expanding on the “while you were away” feature, which most of us have probably already seen.

The earlier rumors would taken out of context, according to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and that drastic changes were never even planned within the company. Instead of completely adjusting the timeline around, Twitter is only going to be tossing in a handful of popular tweets in your timeline. You might see a tweet from 10 hours back while you’re only at 3 hours back in your timeline, for example. Hardly a Facebook-esque shift to a curated display.

Twitter’s claim to fame is its timely updates about everything you care about, and that’s likely going to be its core functionality for a very long time. You’ll still see Twitter experiment with other kinds of content (look at Moments or the aforementioned “while you were away” sections) but we probably won’t see them become the backbone of the social media site.

source: The Verge

via: Engadget

Come comment on this article: Twitter’s timeline isn’t actually changing very much


Android News, Rumours, and Updates

Weekly Rewind: Photobombing horses, exoskeletons, Key and Peele do the Super Bowl

In the tech world, a lot happens in a week. So much news goes on, in fact, that it’s almost impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of the top 10 tech stories.

The post Weekly Rewind: Photobombing horses, exoskeletons, Key and Peele do the Super Bowl appeared first on Digital Trends.

Wearables–Digital Trends

Watching the Super Bowl tonight? So are the astronauts on the ISS

Tonight, over 100 million viewers are expected to tune in to watch the action between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers, and among that enormous audience will be members of the International Space Station crew.

The post Watching the Super Bowl tonight? So are the astronauts on the ISS appeared first on Digital Trends.

Cool Tech–Digital Trends

Samsung Gear VR users can mingle on AltspaceVR

Samsung Gear VR users can start making friends in a virtual reality world now that AltspaceVR has released its app for the headset to the public. In fact, they can mix and mingle not only with other Gear VR users, but also with people who use the HTC…
Engadget RSS Feed

Tackle Super Bowl 50 with these super apps

The Panthers and the Broncos won’t take the field in Santa Clara for Super Bowl 50 without their equipment, so don’t be unprepared for the Big Game on Sunday without these apps on your phone.

The post Tackle Super Bowl 50 with these super apps appeared first on Digital Trends.

Android Army–Digital Trends

Roll out the YouTube Red carpet! Our first YouTube Red Originals premiere February 10

The wait is over! On February 10, we’ll premiere the first of our YouTube Red Originals. In addition to getting all of YouTube uninterrupted and a premium YouTube Music experience, a YouTube Red membership will now give you exclusive access to new original series and movies from some of our top creators, beginning with these first four:

  • A Trip to Unicorn Island: From the team at Astronauts Wanted, this feature-length movie gives fans an extraordinary look inside the life and journey of Lilly Singh as she embarks on a challenging 26-city global tour where she has to remember to practice what she preaches: happiness is the only thing worth fighting for.
  • Dance Camp: This feature film from AwesomenessTV weaves an amazing story of unlikely friendships, unleashing passions and discovering yourself all through the power of dance.
  • Lazer Team: In this feature-length action-comedy from Rooster Teeth and Fullscreen Films, four small-town losers stumble upon an alien ship carrying a mysterious cargo, leading to a battle to save Earth from an all-powerful enemy.
  • Scare PewDiePie: In this reality-adventure series from the creator and executive producers of “The Walking Dead” at Skybound Entertainment and Maker Studios, experience thrills, chills and laughter as PewDiePie encounters terrifying situations inspired by his favorite video games.

The diverse, dynamic creators behind these films have already built massive audiences on YouTube, rivaling many cable shows. With YouTube Red Originals, we want to help them tell bigger and bolder stories that delight you, their fans. YouTube Red is your opportunity to support the passion projects your favorite creators have only dreamed about until now. If you haven’t already, sign up here for a YouTube Red membership and the first month is on us.

And these series and movies are just the beginning. We have lots more thrills, chills, LOLs, smiles, romances and surprises from more of your favorite YouTube stars coming later this year. In the meantime, check out our new YouTube Red Originals channel to stay up to date on the latest clips, teasers and trailers for our series and movies.

If you live in a country where YouTube Red hasn’t launched yet, never fear! We’ve got you covered. Click here for more details on when these new series and movies will be available in your country and how you can watch them.

Susanne Daniels, Global Head of Original Content, YouTube, recently watched “Snowboarding With the NYPD.”


YouTube Blog

Keep your Lumia 950 looking stylish and safe with these 10 great cases

Want to add a splash of color, a new texture, or some solid protection to your Microsoft mobile? We’ve got you covered here with a run-down of the best Lumia 950 cases that money can buy.

The post Keep your Lumia 950 looking stylish and safe with these 10 great cases appeared first on Digital Trends.

Android Army–Digital Trends

GoPro and Microsoft ink patent licensing deal

GoPro and Microsoft have forged a partnership, and it's a very secretive one. The two companies have signed a patent licensing "for certain file storage and other system technologies." That is seriously all they're willing to tell us at this point, a…
Engadget RSS Feed

Conspiracy theorists think this ancient Greek statue depicts a laptop user

Conspiracy theorists think time travelers brought laptops back to the ancient Greeks — presumably via TARDIS or a plutonium-powered DeLorean — pointing to a marble statue to make their point. It was probably a just chest.

The post Conspiracy theorists think this ancient Greek statue depicts a laptop user appeared first on Digital Trends.

Cool Tech–Digital Trends

Watch Hannibal Buress try VR for the first time (and we snuck in some porn)

Famed comedian and Broad City star Hannibal Buress reviewed virtual reality on the Samsung Gear VR. The comedian swam with dolphins, danced with rappers, watched the universe begin and had some fun with a few porn stars, all in virtual reality.

The post Watch Hannibal Buress try VR for the first time (and we snuck in some porn) appeared first on Digital Trends.

Android Army–Digital Trends

New York City drivers will now be able to pay for parking meters via phone

One of the last remaining vestiges of pre-mobile payment times is finally joining the 21st century — the much dreaded parking meter, a ubiquitous sight along New York City streets, is finally letting you pay via your smartphone.

The post New York City drivers will now be able to pay for parking meters via phone appeared first on Digital Trends.

Mobile–Digital Trends

Nearly two centuries worth of Big Game ads watched on YouTube so far

A couple of weeks ago we announced our ninth annual AdBiltz program,1 where fans come each year to watch, share and vote for their favorite Big Game ads. As we approach the Big Game, we wanted to give you an idea of how much we’ve all been watching and enjoying the Big Game ads, some of the amazing trends we’re seeing, and we wanted to highlight the Top 10 Trending Big Game Ads and teasers so far.

More small screens watching Big Game ads
Big Game ads and teasers have been watched more than 140M2 times so far this year, with more than half of all views coming from mobile devices. In fact people have watched nearly 200 years worth of Big Game ads3 and teasers so far on YouTube, and while the Big Game is only half a century old, so far we’ve seen over a century’s worth of Big Game ads watched on mobile alone.

Live long and prosper
Close to 40 Big Game ads, and over 130 teasers and ads combined, have been posted to YouTube so far, representing nearly all of the brands who will be airing spots during the Big Game. And for good reason: brands that release their ad on YouTube before the game receive an average of 2.2x more views than those that waited until game day to post an ad.4

This year, Pokémon released their first ever Big Game ad a full two weeks before the game, and it has already amassed more than 12M views. And currently the fastest rising Big Game ad is from Hyundai. It has surpassed 15M views in the past three days to become the most watched ad or teaser so far this year.

“We use YouTube to jump-start the conversation around our commercials,” said Dean Evans, Chief Marketing Officer, Hyundai Motor America. “People need to see them, like them and want to talk about them. And that’s what YouTube allows us to do.”

It’s never too late for a first
In our many years of YouTube AdBlitz, we’re still able to see something we haven’t seen before. Every year, voting for your favorite ad begins immediately following the game, and we often see brands encouraging their fans to vote through ads and social media. This year, for the first time, a brand has incorporated a shout out in an exclusive teaser ad created just for AdBlitz. Well played, Shock Top!

And now, here are the top trending Big Game ads and teasers, so far:

Top trending Big Game ads and teasers on YouTube (by views) – through Feb. 3

  1. Hyundai – The Chase – Hyundai Super Bowl Commercial | The 2017 Hyundai Elantra
  2. Pokémon – #Pokemon20: Pokémon Super Bowl Commercial
  3. Pepsi – Jerry Rice and Shannon Sharpe Party Fail Study | Walmart | Pepsi
  4. AXE – AXE – Find Your Magic
  5. TurboTax – TurboTax 2016 Commercial “George Smoot Simple Questions” (Official :30) TV Ad
  6. TurboTax – TurboTax 2016 Commercial “Michio Kaku Absolute Zero” (Official :30) TV Ad
  7. UnitedHealthcare – UnitedHealthcare | Delivery :30
  8. Wix.com – Kung Fu Panda’s Po Discovers the Power of Wix | Wix.com #StartStunning 2016 Big Game Campaign
  9. TurboTax – TurboTax 2016 Commercial “S. James Gates W-2” (Official :30) TV Ad
  10. MINI USA – MINI USA | #DefyLabels Big Game TV Spot

Also don’t forget to check out our exclusive YouTube AdBlitz creator’s series, hosted by Jake and Amir with friends (MyLifeAsEva, Ten Second Songs, ScottDW, etc), as they teach fans at home how to become legends off the field for that special Sunday Big Game party through relevant tips spanning music, food, fashion, dance, and many others.

Of course, this is just the beginning – as people turn to YouTube for Big Game content before, during and after the game, there will be lot more to come.

Posted by Natalie Marchant, YouTube Sponsorships Program Manager, recently watched “DANCE BATTLE: DENVER vs CAROLINA! #YouTubeAdBlitz (4K).”

1 Full disclosure: Okay, so we announced it as our 8th year – for the second year in a row. We’re not afraid of aging, it’s just that we have so much fun with this program each year, we lost count!
2 YouTube Data Jan. 1 – Feb. 3, 2016. Global. Big Game ads are based on publicly available information and may not account for every such ad on YouTube.
3 YouTube Data Jan. 1 – Feb. 3, 2016. Global. Big Game ads are based on publicly available information and may not account for every such ad on YouTube.
4 Pixability Industry Study. Super Bowl 2015 YouTube Ads.


YouTube Blog

Scientists extend the lifespan of mice by up to 35 percent

Would you like to live 35 percent longer? Apparently the trick is removing worn-out "senescent' cells that have a degenerative affect on your body. "Cellular senescence is a biological mechanism that functions as an 'emergency brake' used by damaged…
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Now you can make calls, text, and control your Android Wear Watch with gestures

Your smartwatch just got smarter. Android Wear 1.4 Marshmallow introduces big new features, including support for phone calls on select devices, support for third-party messaging app dictation, and a bevy of new gestures.

The post Now you can make calls, text, and control your Android Wear Watch with gestures appeared first on Digital Trends.

Wearables–Digital Trends

Fossil Q Founder review

The day has arrived when a smartwatch no longer has to look like a second-class citizen next to a regular watch. The Fossil Q Founder may lack on the tech side, but it makes up for it in style and class. Here’s our review.

The post Fossil Q Founder review appeared first on Digital Trends.

Wearables–Digital Trends

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus rumors and news leaks

Forget about the iPhone 6S — that’s already old news. Rumors have already started to spread about Apple’s latest offering, the iPhone 7, a device we almost certainly won’t see until the end of 2016.

The post iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus rumors and news leaks appeared first on Digital Trends.

Mobile–Digital Trends

eBay bug lets hackers embed malicious code into auction pages

Security firm Check Point Software has discovered an eBay vulnerability that gives attackers a way to use the website to phish unsuspecting users or to infect their devices. So long as attackers use a programming technique known as JSFUCK, they can b…
Engadget RSS Feed

Samsung’s removal of certain S Pen features might mean Android N will get stylus support

With both Apple and Microsoft now supporting a stylus, it seems to be a no-brainer that Google will do the same with Android. Samsung’s developer page seems to indicate that it’s more of a reality than sheer speculation.

The post Samsung’s removal of certain S Pen features might mean Android N will get stylus support appeared first on Digital Trends.

Android Army–Digital Trends

Finally! A wearable that excretes caffeine directly into your blood

Joule is a caffeine wearable designed to take away the discomfort of transdermal patches, while also placing the patch in an area without much fat resistance, allowing the substance to flow faster into your body.

The post Finally! A wearable that excretes caffeine directly into your blood appeared first on Digital Trends.

Cool Tech–Digital Trends

Hands on: Here Active Listening System

Doppler Labs’ new Here Active Listening system offers a brilliantly simple way to enhance, augment, and silence the world around you in real time, like augmented reality for your ears.

The post Hands on: Here Active Listening System appeared first on Digital Trends.

Cool Tech–Digital Trends

This new soft robotic gripper can gently pick up objects of practically any shape

Robots aren’t exactly known for their delicate touch, but soon, the stereotype of the non-gentle machine may change. Scientists say they have managed to develop a robot with “a new soft gripper” that uses electroadhesion.

The post This new soft robotic gripper can gently pick up objects of practically any shape appeared first on Digital Trends.

Cool Tech–Digital Trends

Scientists unveil new ‘4D-printing’ technique that produces shape-shifting objects

This week, scientists from Harvard University unveiled a new 4D printing process which manufactures objects capable of changing shape when submerged in water. The process uses a hydrogel composite filled with fibers of cellulose.

The post Scientists unveil new ‘4D-printing’ technique that produces shape-shifting objects appeared first on Digital Trends.

Cool Tech–Digital Trends

Nintendo will for success in mobile games, new hardware and maybe even VR in 2016

After reporting shrinking profits, Nintendo teased upcoming projects and new areas of corporate “interest,” including mobile gaming, virtual reality, and the upcoming NX console.

The post Nintendo will for success in mobile games, new hardware and maybe even VR in 2016 appeared first on Digital Trends.

Mobile–Digital Trends