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This USB-C cable is down to just $10 today / July 24, 2017


Odds are you have nowhere near the same amount of USB-C cables as you did micro USB, so if you need some more you should check out Incipio’s option. It supports USB 3.1 speeds and is down to just $10 today!

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From the Editor's Desk: Hitting the road /

By Daniel Bader

While we wait for the next big thing, it’s time to take stock, and a break.

I’m out of town. When you read this, I’ll be blissfully offline.

I often talk to my friends about phone addiction to understand how the effects of spending too much time with one’s screens impacts those whose lives don’t revolve around evaluating them. Studies continue to show that after spending too much time with phones, half-concentrating on the person talking to them, the effects are far-reaching and devastating: we are losing the ability to concentrate. So I’m going to spend a weekend concentrating on one thing, and that’s the people around me, and on myself.

I genuinely think that the very technology we draw closer to our bodies every day is the same thing making us tired, and anxious, and alone. Be it refreshing Instagram one too many times or falling down a YouTube black hole, it’s too easy to get sucked into a vacuum of myopia: the internet is at once never-ending and unknowable and yet completely bite-sized and accessible, contained within a supercomputer in our pockets. It’s quite intimidating.

How many of you use your phone before bed? How has that impacted the number of books that you read every year? For me, if I can find more than an hour a week to read the novel I’ve been trying to finish for a good six months now, that’s generous. If my phone isn’t the first thing I look at in the morning, it’s because I slept in and am still sleeping. And as much exercise as I do to shake away the cob webs, if I don’t make a concerted effort to avoid looking at anything that emits light (even the sun — especially the sun) for a few hours a day, I will almost certainly end up with a headache.

So this weekend is meant to do just that. Meanwhile, here’s what I’m excited for in the weeks ahead.

  • The Galaxy Note 8 is officially arriving on August 23. It’s a known quantity at this point, but I’m holding out for some old fashioned Samsung surprises.
  • The Essential Phone is late, but it’s coming. What impact can it realistically have, even if it’s the reincarnation of the perfect Nexus phone?
  • I’m legitimately excited about the Moto Z2 Force announcement next week. The Moto Z2 Play is almost a perfect phone, but for its poor low-light camera abilities. If Moto can finally pull off a decent nighttime shooter, we’ve got a winner.
  • I’ve been using the HTC U11 for the past few days, and I’m kind of in love. It’s exactly what I want in a phone: powerful, attractive, with an amazing camera, great battery life, and software that gets out of its own way. More of this, please.

Hope you get to enjoy your weekend, as I plan to!

Have a good one.


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Best MicroSD Card For Android /

By Alex Dobie

Best top-tier

Samsung EVO+ 256GB

See at Amazon

Samsung’s very-highest-of-the-high-end microSD card isn’t cheap. In fact, it’s the priciest on this list. But you’re also getting a winning combination of performance and storage capacity, with 90MB/sec write speeds and 95MB/sec reads, and an enormous 256GB of space.

That’s more than you’ll ever need in a smartphone, and the high read/write speeds will help if you’re shooting lots of 4K video on a high-end phone like the Galaxy S8 (as too will that enormous capacity.) Better still, it’s water, temperature, X-ray and magnetic proof, so you needn’t worry about it getting damaged while you’re out and about.

Best value – capacity

Samsung EVO Select 128GB

See at Amazon

If you want a nice high storage capacity without breaking the bank, Samsung’s128GB card is a good option — it provides a staggering amount of storage, and with pretty fast read and write speeds to boot — though remember your phone probably won’t be able to achieve the maximum read and write speeds quoted here. It’s about the lowest price we’ve seen for a 128GB card, and a great way to free up a ton of space on your phone or tablet.

What’s more, you can pay an extra $8 at checkout and get an OTG reader thrown in too.

Best value – speed

Lexar Professional 1000x 32GB UHS-II/U3

See at Amazon

If speed is more important, you might want to give this Lexar card a shot. It uses UHS-II flash memory and boasts read speeds of up to 150MB/sec — but only to supporting PCs and cameras, no phone we’re aware of currently supports UHS-II speeds for reads and writes. The capacity isn’t the greatest, but if you’re up for paying $27 more you can double your capacity to 64GB.

The Lexar card also comes with a USB reader for plugging into your PC and transferring data at higher speeds.

Best Balanced

Lexar High-Performance microSDXC 300x

See at Amazon

This Lexar card won’t break the bank, but offers a great balance of speed and capacity. 64GB should be enough for most people’s photo, video and offline music needs, while the card’s UHS-I speed rating provides ample performance.

There’s no full-sized SD adapter bundled with this card, but you can’t argue with the price for this kind of microSD.

Update, July 2017: This list has been updated with a new entry in Best Balanced, and other minor corrections.

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Get a rechargeable Saberlight Plasma lighter for only $15.95 /

By Marc Lagace

It’s the 21st century, why the heck are you still using traditional flame lighters? Electricity-generated plasma beams are much hotter and cleaner than a butane flame, plus it’s also windproof and splash proof so you’ll be able to get something lit no matter the weather.

Save 84% off the Saberlight Rechargable Plasma Lighter! Learn More

If this sounds like an amazing invention, you’re going to love this deal from Android Central Digital Offers! You can get a Saberlight Rechargeable Plasma Lighter for just $15.95, that’s 84% off the regular price of $100.

This lighter is TSA approved and includes a built-in rechargeable li-ion battery and a microusb charging cable. You can get up to 300 uses on a fully charged lighter, and like we said it’s way healthier and safer than a traditional butane lighter. Looking to double down and buy one for yourself and a second for a friend? Check out this two-pack for just $29.99 and save 85%!

This deal won’t last for long, so make sure to get yours today!

Save 84% off the Saberlight Rechargable Plasma Lighter! Learn More

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How to record your Gear VR gameplay /

By Jen Karner

Recording and sharing your Gear VR gameplay is easier than you think.

So you’ve got your Gear VR, and you’ve been enjoying the games and apps you can access on it. The time has come to get your friends excited about VR, and share these awesome experiences. You might not know how to record your Gear VR gameplay so that you can share it online or with friends directly.

Well, we’ve got good news for you. There is a super easy way to record your gameplay and it’s baked right into the Gear VR. Unlike recording gameplay on Google Cardboard you won’t need to download any apps or use anything other than your Gear VR.

at VRHeads

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Galaxy S8 Active images and details leak, show off familiar design and 4000mAh battery /

By Richard Gao

For four years now, Samsung has released an “Active” variant of its flagship Galaxy S devices, starting with the Galaxy S4 Active. They’ve all carried the same basic formula, adding a durable body, MIL-STD certification, and a larger battery to the phones they’ve been based on. Now, pictures and some details of the Galaxy S8 Active have leaked online, revealing that the phone doesn’t stray too far from the family tree.

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Galaxy S8 Active images and details leak, show off familiar design and 4000mAh battery was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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12 unmissable PC/console games on Android /

By Pierre Vitré

Did you know that your favorite old PC and console games are available on Android? Find out which ones have arrived, like Sonic, Tomb Raider and GTA.

(This is a preview – click here to read the entire entry.)

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Two guys talk about the Galaxy Note 8 and stuff [#acpodcast] /

By Andrew Martonik

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How to take photos at night with your smartphone / July 23, 2017

By Stefan Möllenhoff

Have you ever tried to take a photo in the dark and all your photos just come out blurry? Here’s some tips and tricks for how to take photos on your smartphone at night.

(This is a preview – click here to read the entire entry.)

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Where did all of this Qualcomm hate come from? /

By Jerry Hildenbrand

Qualcomm’s patents and their usage fees have many up in arms and are at the center of a big legal mess.

Around the web, you’ll find plenty of things written about Qualcomm. Most of it is news about its latest products, or reviews of the same products but you’ll also see a new trend of … distaste for Qualcomm. Most of the time there is no back story given about why. So that’s what we’re going to talk about in a non-lawyerly way and with no full disclosure on the standards-essential patents fees or any royalty caps. If you’re reading and happen to know patent law, please feel free to correct the “internet wisdom” at play here in the comments so we all can benefit.

Qualcomm makes great stuff

Qualcomm has done some amazing things to move mobile forward. Its Snapdragon platform blends processing power, graphics rendering and network connectivity together in a way that’s better than anything else you can buy off the shelf, especially if you’re in North America. Qualcomm’s products don’t need to have the best CPU (they aren’t), the best GPU (same, not even) or the best wireless radios (they do, though) as long as the complete package is better than anyone else’s complete package. And Qualcomm’s packages are just better than the competitions.

Qualcomm’s networking technology is unmatched.

Qualcomm’s networking technology — including things like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi as well as LTE — is a must for any mobile device in North America. Not only because it’s great, but because patented technology is needed to properly connect to this generation of robust LTE networks, as well as the next generation. Qualcomm invented a lot of this stuff. And like any other company, they patented it.

Since you need to use this technology to properly connect to the latest networks, the patents are labeled as fair-use. Some rules go with that, mostly about who can use them (anyone) and what they should cost. Here’s where things go south, because the way Qualcomm is charging for this technology has some other companies up in arms. And rightfully so.

Fees and royalties need to be fair

Qualcomm prices the use of their tech differently for people who buy a complete Snapdragon package than they do for a company who just wants the network patents. This isn’t unheard of, and it’s a fine way to sell your products: use our stuff and you don’t pay extra for our other stuff. But some companies think Qualcomm is charging too much and are unhappy with the way Qualcomm is charging for these fair-use patents on their own. Most notably, Apple, who has started an action in court to have this addressed.

More: Qualcomm: Unfair, unreasonable, and discriminatory and why Apple needs to win (

Qualcomm is said to charge between …read more