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Android

15 top Android smartphones we reviewed recently

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Android

The second half of 2016 took off with some exciting launches from notable manufacturers like Motorola, HTC, Xiaomi and others. With so many smartphones being launched on a near-daily basis by brands both big and small, it gets quite difficult to keep track of them.

To help our readers in making their purchase decisions, here is a list of the 15 top Android smartphones we reviewed recently. Take a look.

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Android Leftovers

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Android
  • Android Wear: Should Manufacturers be Given More Freedom?

    In the world of Android, we’ve become accustomed to the myriad of different brands and manufacturers putting their own twist on Android. While this has caused some friction in some circles, it has given certain devices a unique sense of identity and now that most of these skins have been toned down somewhat, they often add a little more value, too. The case is no more clear than it is with Android tablets, stock Android might be just fine and dandy for a lot of users on smartphones, but on tablets it can feel stark and limited. The added features from the likes of Samsung and Sony often make an Android tablet a hell of a lot more useful out of the box, but in the world of Android smartwatches, there’s none of this. The only thing that device manufacturers can realistically change with their Android Wear watches is the different watch faces they include and include some different apps. Is it about time that this changed?

  • $99 Superdock turns Android phones into laptops — but why?

    Stop me if you've heard this idea before: Imagine turning your smartphone into a laptop just by plugging it into a laptop "shell."

    Yeah... it's not a new idea and yet Superbook, a product that promises to turn your Android phone into a laptop, has already smashed its Kickstarter campaign goal of $50,000 with more than $398,000 pledged as of this writing and 28 days left to go.

  • BlackBerry Hamburg Android phone release date soon, FCC now

    This week the folks at BlackBerry have had their latest Android device revealed by the FCC. Re-revealed, we might say, as the device was first leaked several weeks ago with its partner, both BlackBerry smartphones running Android. This device is being shown by the FCC this week with model name STH100-2 (RJD211LW) with GSM quad-band, UMTS penta-band, and LTE deca-band connectivity technology inside. We will very likely see this device released inside the United States very soon.

  • This smart shell can turn your Android smartphone into a complete laptop

    A US-based startup has launched a smart laptop shell that turns your Android smartphone into a complete laptop -- making it more convenient and affordable for people in developing countries like India and South Africa to carry their office in their pocket, literally.

    The shell, called Superbook by Andromium, makes an Android smartphone output look very much like a desktop environment. It is essentially a "dumb terminal"-- a notebook without a processor but with a keyboard, battery, trackpad and display, TreeHugger reported on Saturday.

  • SamsungOne is the new font for all things Samsung
  • Nokia set to make a comeback with two Android devices by the end of year

    Finnish telecommunications giant Nokia is all set to make a smartphone comeback with two new Android 7.0 Nougat devices by the end of this year, a media report said on Saturday.

    The two unnamed devices will have premium metal designs complete with IP68 certification, which means they will be as water resistant as Samsung's Galaxy S7, The Inquirer reported.

    The smartphones may come up with 5.2-inch and 5.5-inch QHD screens, along with fingerprint scanner and "innovations" in the camera, the report noted.

  • Cyanogen Inc. reportedly fires OS development arm, switches to apps

    Cyanogen Inc. seems to be in trouble. A report from Android Police cites "several sources" that say the three-year-old Android software house will be laying off 20 percent of its workforce. One source said the company would "pivot" to "apps" and away from OS development.

  • Cyanogen is chopping its staff after its alternative Android has failed to catch on with phone makers [Ed: Microsoft deal didn't work out, eh?]
  • When Will Android Users Get Prisma App?
  • This week’s top stories: New Android phones, Nougat details, best Android apps for July, & more
  • Android Nougat Update Schedule & Release Date: When's It Coming To Your Android Phone?

Android, Chromebook Make a Sweet Couple

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Android
Reviews

Running Android apps on a Chromebook gives the Chrome OS added functionality. It has the potential to morph the Chromebook into a portable computing device that offers the best of two Linux worlds.

Still, Google engineers have some tinkering to do before Android apps and the Chrome OS are fully implemented and functional. This transition will not be complete until the Google Play Store works out of the box on new Chromebooks without users having to "upgrade" through Developer's Mode.

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Karbonn confirms Android One smartphone(s) launching in Q1 next year

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Android

In an interview with TOI Tech, Karbonn Mobiles has confirmed it will be introducing new Android One-based smartphone(s) early next year. Karbonn's Managing Director Pradeep Jain said the company is in talks with Google for Android One, and we might see some Android One smartphone launch(es) in Q1 of next year.

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Android Leftovers

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Android

Andromium’s $99 Superbook turns your Android phone into a laptop (crowdfunding)

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Android

Smartphones have changed the way the world gets online, by letting you put a tiny, touchscreen computer in your pocket or handbag. But sometimes it’s still nice to have a larger screen, a full-sized keyboard, and a mouse or touchpad.

The Superbook is a smartphone accessory that gives you all those things. It looks like a laptop, but all the processing power and software comes from your phone.

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This New Android Is Like the Swiss Army Knife of Phones

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Android

Motorola’s Moto Mods offer more flexibility than most smartphone accessories, allowing Moto Z and Moto Z Force owners to easily bolster the phone’s abilities or add new features altogether. The Mods’ most impressive aspect is that they just work. Clicking a Moto Mod into place instantly turned my phone into a projector without any cables or hassle.

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Tough i.MX6-based Linux SBC targets wireless video, runs on 3W

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Android
Linux
OSS

The Gateworks Ventana GW5530 SBC runs Linux on an i.MX6, and has mini-PCIe and SIM expansion, a 9-axis IMU, three video inputs, and -40 to 85°C support.

The Ventana GW5530 is the latest in the 5th generation of the Gateworks Ventana family of NXP i.MX6-based SBCs, following last year’s similarly 800MHz, dual-core GW5520. The board is designed for wirelessly connected Man Portable Units (MPUs), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), digital signage, and robotics.

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More in Tux Machines

Linux 4.6.5

I'm announcing the release of the 4.6.5 kernel. All users of the 4.6 kernel series must upgrade. The updated 4.6.y git tree can be found at: git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.6.y and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser: http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-st... thanks, greg k-h Read more Also: Linux 4.4.16 Linux 3.14.74

today's leftovers

Leftovers: Software

  • The Linux Deepin File Manager Is a Thing of Beauty
    China-based Linux distro Deepin has shown off its all-new desktop file manager. And to say it's pretty is an understatement.
  • GRadio Lets You Find, Listen to Radio Stations from the Ubuntu Desktop
    Love to listen to the radio? My ol’ pal Lolly did. But let’s say you want to listen to the radio on Ubuntu. How do you do it? Well, the Ubuntu Software centre should always be the first dial you try, but you’ll need to sift through a load of static to find a decent app.
  • Reprotest 0.2 released, with virtualization support
    reprotest 0.2 is available in PyPi and should hit Debian soon. I have tested null (no container, build on the host system), schroot, and qemu, but it's likely that chroot, Linux containers (lxc/lxd), and quite possibly ssh are also working. I haven't tested the autopkgtest code on a non-Debian system, but again, it probably works. At this point, reprotest is not quite a replacement for the prebuilder script because I haven't implemented all the variations yet, but it offers better virtualization because it supports qemu, and it can build non-Debian software because it doesn't rely on pbuilder.
  • Calibre 2.63.0 eBook Converter and Viewer Adds Unicode 9.0 Support, Bugfixes
    Kovid Goyal has released yet another maintenance update for his popular, open-source, free, and cross-platform Calibre ebook library management software, version 2.63.0. Calibre 2.63.0 arrives two weeks after the release of the previous maintenance update, Calibre 2.62.0, which introduced support for the new Kindle Oasis ebook reader from Amazon, as well as reading and writing of EPUB 3 metadata. Unfortunately, there aren't many interesting features added in the Calibre 2.63.0 release, except for the implementation of Unicode 9.0 support in the regex engine of the Edit Book feature that lets users edit books that contain characters encoded with the recently released Unicode 9.0 standard.
  • Mozilla Delivers Improved User Experience in Firefox for iOS
    When we rolled out Firefox for iOS late last year, we got a tremendous response and millions of downloads. Lots of Firefox users were ecstatic they could use the browser they love on the iPhone or iPad they had chosen. Today, we’re thrilled to release some big improvements to Firefox for iOS. These improvements will give users more speed, flexibility and choice, three things we care deeply about.
  • LibreOffice 5.2 Is Being Released Next Wednesday
    One week from today will mark the release of LibreOffice 5.2 as the open-source office suite's latest major update. LibreOffice 5.2 features a new (optional) single toolbar mode, bookmark improvements. new Calc spreadsheet functions (including forecasting functions), support for signature descriptions, support for OOXML signature import/export, and a wealth of other updates. There are also GTK3 user-interface improvements, OpenGL rendering improvements, multi-threaded 3D rendering, faster rendering, and more.
  • Blackmagic Design Finally Introduces Fusion 8 For Linux
  • Why Microsoft’s revival of Skype for Linux is a big deal [Ed: This article is nonsense right from the headline. Web client is not Linux support. And it's spyware (centralised too).]

today's howtos