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Category: #Android (Page 2 of 9)

Why You Shouldn’t Spend More Than $500 on Your Next Phone

The Pixel 4a with the display on, lying on a white backgroundThe Pixel 4a might be the best Pixel ever. And it’s $350. Cam

Flagship phones are great. They push innovation forward with (mostly) thoughtful improvements. But we’re at a point where even budget and midrange smartphones are generally impressive now, mostly thanks to trickle-down technology from their flagship brethren. The affordable phones of today are the flagships of yesterday.

High-end phones are how we end up with features that drive the industry forward. Things like Apple/Google Pay, fingerprint sensors, or computational photography that can make even subpar photos look incredible. These tools started out on the flagship phones of their day, but are now pretty much prolific on the majority of phones—even in the budget price range.

Of course, but sometimes you pay extra for “innovation” that you don’t actually need—like the Soli radar chip in the Pixel 4 and 4 XL, for example. Sure, it’s innovative and forward-thinking, but that doesn’t immediately make it useful. Almost every Pixel 4 owner I know disabled Motion Sense (the features that use the radar chip) almost immediately, and haven’t turned them back on. It’s a novelty.

But innovation works through experimentation. That’s why I’m still glad Google put the radar in a phone and tested the waters. If the rumors are true, the Pixel 5 won’t have this. Maybe because it was realized that it’s a novelty, and there wasn’t a lot more that could be done with it. Maybe it’s to get the price down. Who knows. Either way, it’s proof that trying new things is a gamble.

A screenshot from the Pixel website showing Motion Sense in actionMotion Sense on the Pixel 4 was an interesting innovation but a novelty nonetheless. Google

But I digress. The things that become mainstays and eventually make their way into more affordable smartphones become the foundations that we all rely on. And when you can get that sort of reliability from a phone that costs half that of a flagship, why pay more?

Affordable Phones Have Everything You Need…

“Need” is a funny word when talking about smartphones, especially when thinking about it in the most basic sense. By its very definition, “need” means to “require because it’s essential.” So, we’re only going to talk about things that most would consider essential in a smartphone.

What defines “essential” in a smartphone, anyway? Let’s think about a few key ingredients:

  • A great display. This is the first thing you see, and the very thing you’ll look at the most when you see your phone. It has to have a good display. This is non-negotiable.
  • A form of biometric security. Gone are the days of needing to type passwords or PINs to log into your phone or other apps. A fingerprint sensor or other form of biometric login is a must.
  • A good camera. They say the best camera is the one you have on you, and your smartphone pretty much fits that bill all the time. A good camera is now expected on all phones at every price point.
  • Usable performance. This means different things to different people, but at a minimum, you shouldn’t want to throw your phone across a room because it’s taking too long to load your favorite app.
  • Reliable and timely updates. An outdated phone is an insecure phone, period.

Let’s look at the iPhone SE and Pixel 4a for excellent examples. These are incredible phones for the respective operating systems.

The iPhone SE uses a slightly older design—a tried-and-true form factor that Apple uses for years. It skips newer (and more expensive) features, like Face ID, for the sometimes-preferred Touch ID fingerprint sensor in the home button. That was innovative during its time, and now it’s a tested feature that has made its way to the most affordable iPhone ever.

A screenshot from the Apple website showing the iPhone SE's Touch ID sensorThe iPhone SE champions the return of Touch ID, a tried-and-true form of biometric security. Apple

But it ticks all of the boxes above. It has a good display (even if it is on the smaller size respective of today’s popular phones), the aforementioned inclusion of touch ID, a very good camera, the fastest smartphone processor on the market today, and regular updates from Apple. Boom—all the needs, covered.

The same can be said for the Pixel 4a. Google took the most useful features from the Pixel lineup and baked them into a $350 smartphone. It has an excellent OLED display, Pixel Imprint (the fingerprint sensor), arguably the best camera on the market thanks to Google’s magic sauce, snappy performance, and monthly security updates from Google. All that in a $350 package. What else do you need?

The Pixel 4a showing astrophography modeThe Pixel 4a features astrophography mode. It can literally capture the stars. Google

…And Even Some of What You Want

Just because a phone falls within a certain budget or is considered “midrange” doesn’t mean it skimps on some excellent quality-of-life features. The SE is a great example here because it features wireless charging and an IP rating, which really sets it apart from the pack. I will be absolutely shocked if Google doesn’t follow suit with at least one of those features for next year’s assumed Pixel 5a. Probably both.

A screenshot from the Apple website highlighting the iPhone SE's water and dust resistanceThe iPhone SE has an IP67 rating. Apple

Just a few short years ago, these were both features that were reserved exclusively for flagship smartphones. But Apple put them into a device that starts at just $399.

The Pixel 4a also has something the iPhone SE doesn’t, however: a headphone jack. You won’t find this on many flagship phones today, so dropping to the budget/midrange category actually gets you something that’s missing on more expensive phones. The headphone jack is a big deal to a lot of people!

Modern Midrangers Are the Best Bang for Your Buck

A closeup of the Google logo on the back of the Pixel 4aCam

When it comes time to upgrade your smartphone, don’t disregard the midrange—this whole category has come a long way in 12-18 months. The Pixel “a” line and iPhone SE have changed how we think of affordable smartphones. Right now, the midrange might actually be the fastest-moving smartphone segment.

Plus, with all that money you saved, you can get yourself a smartwatch and some killer earbuds.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Cameron Summerson

How to Change the Notification Sound on Your Android Phone

how-to-change-notification-sounds-featur Every Android phone comes with its own set of default notification sounds, but if you’ve grown quite bored with them over time, you’ll be interested to know that it’s possible to change them. It’s quite a straightforward process. Whether you’re craving some variety or just want to differentiate your phone’s sounds from other similar models, we detailed below a series of methods to change the notification sound on your Android phone and make it stand out. Related: How to Disable Android Notifications for Various Social Networks Change Default Global Notification Sounds on Android … Read more13857862.gif

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Alexandra Arici

What to Do When Windows Won’t Recognize Your Android Device

what-to-do-when-windows-wont-recognize-y Usually, it’s a simple matter of connecting your Android device to an available USB port in Windows and you’re connected. Windows automatically recognizes the device. However, there are times when Windows won’t recognize Android devices for various reasons. Typically, it’s a simple issue to resolve, though it may take a few troubleshooting steps. Note: this issue should not prevent you from receiving Android notifications on your Windows desktop. Check USB Connection Type The first step is to always check the USB connection type on your Android device. While some Android systems default to File Transfer… Read more13858044.gif

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Crystal Crowder

6 Tips to Make Your Samsung Watch More Google-y

Samsung Galaxy watches are, arguably, the best smartwatches for Android phones. However, they lack one major thing that people who use Android love: Google. There are a few ways you can make your Samsung watch a bit more Google-y.

Read This Article on How-To Geek ›

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Joe Fedewa

How to Customize Your Google’s Discover Feed in Android

how-to-customize-discover-featured.jpg Google’s Discover feed – currently available on most Android phones via the Google app – is designed to make exploring personal interests easier. The tool enables mobile device owners to get updates for their passions without searching. Since Discover is all about you and your interests, the tech giant has included a handful of ways to help you customize what you see. In this article we explore how to customize your Google’s Discover feed to make sure you never miss an article of interest again. Where Can You Find the Discover Tab? You can access Discover through… Read more13849656.gif

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Alexandra Arici

Samsung Announces Galaxy Z Fold 2 Release Date, Carrier Info, and Pricing

We already know a lot about the upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 2. It has a larger external screen, an improved camera experience, 5G capability, and an edge to edge internal screen. But what we didn’t know was how much the phone would cost, which carriers you could use it with, or when you could buy it—until now. Samsung says the Galaxy Z Fold 2 will release on September 18, and it will cost $1,999.99. You get get it through Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile.

Read This Article on Review Geek ›

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Josh Hendrickson

The Best Software Options for Recovering Lost Data on Your Phone

From photos to SMS messages, there are hundreds of important files you can lose on your smartphone in any number of scenarios. Luckily, there is software out there that can help you at least attempt to recover lost files, and we have the best picks—regardless of if you use Android or iPhone.

Read This Article on Review Geek ›

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Suzanne Humphries

The ASUS Zenfone 7 and 7 Pro Use a Flipping Triple Camera to Nix the Notch

ASUS Zenfone 7 and Zenfone 7 ProASUS

As soon as front-facing camera notches became a thing, companies searched for a way to get rid of them. We’ve seen pop-up cameras, and even cameras that can shoot through a screen. ASUS is refreshing an older idea for its latest Zenfone: a module that rotates, allowing the rear cameras to become selfie cams and keep that beautiful screen unmarred.

The rotating camera module is the most obvious feature of the Zenfone 7 and its slightly higher-specced brother the Zenfone 7 Pro. It was a feature of last year’s Zenfone 6, too, but this one’s improved with a third module (and aesthetically enhanced by a cleaner, more even bezel on the front screen). They use 64, 12, and 8 megapixels for primary, ultrawide, and 3x optical telephoto lenses, respectively. Point 64 megapixels at your face and you should be able to individually count your own nose hairs. The motorized flipping mechanism can withstand 200,000 individual uses.

Other specs are suitably impressive for flagship devices. The Zenfone 7 uses a 6.7-inch OLED screen with 90Hz refresh (just 1080p resolution, though), a top-of-the-line Snapdragon 865 processor, 6 or 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage plus a MicroSD card slot. The phone uses a massive 5000mAh battery with quick charging, but alas, there’s no mention of wireless charging. The phone uses a fingerprint sensor integrated into a power button with custom gestures, but there’s no mention of an IP rating.

There “7 Pro” model keeps almost all of the same hardware, but bumps the processor speed from 2.4GHz to 3.1GHz, comes with 8GB of RAM standard, and boosts storage to 256GB. Both phones are available in white or black.

The Zenfone 7 will cost 21,990 Taiwanese dollars, just shy of $750, while the Pro will run NT$27,990 (a little over $950). Availability in Asia and Europe has been confirmed, with no news of a wider release. The Zenfone 6 eventually became available in the US through resellers, so don’t give up hope.

Source: ASUS via 9to5Google

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Michael Crider

Firefox’s New Android Browser Is a Pretty Placebo For Your Privacy Woes


Every browser has a certain something to set it apart from the others. Edge has that logo. Chrome hogs your memory. And Mozilla’s Firefox really, really cares about your privacy. The idea of keeping your web-browsing experience personal is something the company’s been emphasizing in every product update for the past…

Read more…

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Shoshana Wodinsky

How to Sync Fitness Data from Samsung Health to Google Fit

Samsung Galaxy smartwatches include the company’s fitness software. It works just fine, but what if you already have fitness data stored in Google Fit? Thankfully, you can sync Samsung Health to Google Fit, and keep all your data in one place.

Read This Article on How-To Geek ›

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Joe Fedewa

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