OnePlus still wants you to care about the OnePlus 5’s DxOMark score

OnePlus 5’s DxOMark score is about to be revealed, but the phone maker is in a tough spot.

Back in May, before we knew what the OnePlus 5 looked like or whether its camera was a double, the company boasted of a partnership with DxOMark, a popular camera testing platform that companies like OnePlus (and HTC, Samsung, LG, and others) like to use as a way to promote their optical prowess.

Here’s what OnePlus said about the partnership at the time:

We’re happy to announce that we have teamed up with DxO to enhance your photography experience with our upcoming flagship, the OnePlus 5. DxO is perhaps most well-known for creating the defining photography benchmark, the DxOMark. They’ve got years of imaging experience and expertise, both for professional cameras and for smartphones.

Working alongside DxO, we’re confident the OnePlus 5 will be capable of capturing some of the clearest photos around.

Well, the phone’s June 20 announcement and release came and went, and nary a peep was heard from OnePlus or DxOMark about the so-called partnership. At the same time, we know a lot about the dual camera setup and have pitted the OnePlus 5 against incumbents like the Galaxy S8 and current DxO leader, the HTC U11, and it doesn’t fare so well.

Still, OnePlus has two things to lean on: further improvements to the camera through software updates and a high score from DxOMark, which should be coming soon, according to the company’s Facebook page.

http://ift.tt/2tNjKgS

There are two possible scenarios from this impending announcement: either OnePlus will score higher than the HTC U11’s current score of 90 and top the charts, putting into question all of our subjective and objective remarks on the company’s 16-megapixel shooter, or the phone will earn a decent-but-not-great score, likely 86 or 87, which would put it on the same level as the Huawei P10 or iPhone 7. The second result is more desirable, but it also wouldn’t look great on OnePlus, since the company went out of its way to optimize its camera setup for DxOMark’s test suite.

Of course, even the most stringent test suites have an element of subjectivity to them, since we all enjoy different visual aspects of camera sensors, lenses, and the software that powers them. But as with devices like the Google Pixel, it’s fairly easy to assert that its low-light performance is objectively better than most, if not all other phones on the market and that the HTC U11 does a fantastic job taking photos in almost any lighting condition.

Unfortunately, at this point in the game, as good as the camera can be, it would be hard to assert the same thing about the OnePlus 5.

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Limited-edition MrMobile t-shirt available now!

Show the world that you appreciate informative, entertaining technology reviews by picking up the ultimate t-shirt for the discerning gadget enthusiast. This Next Level Tri-Blend premium tee is available in black, and will announce to the world that you’re a tech genius on the move, sporting the best in both electronics and fashion.

Proceeds from sales help to support the Mr. Mobile YouTube Channel. The limited-edition official Mr. Mobile “Stay Mobile, My Friends” t-shirt is available right now from teespring.com. Grab one before this offer ends! …and Stay Mobile.

See at Teespring

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EU considers yet another record fine for Google, this time over Android’s anti-competitive terms

The EU and Google continue to battle over antitrust allegations.

Google may be facing yet another decision in an antitrust investigation in the EU, according to a new report by Reuters, including a fine that could exceed $2.7 billion. The news comes just a few days after the EU finalized a record-setting $2.7 billion fine over Google’s practices involving shopping ads in search. It serves to reason, then, that a fine for something as large as terms of licensing Android would surely be larger than one for a certain part of search results.

The EU is reportedly forming a special panel of experts to further investigate Google’s practices around licensing the Android operating system to manufacturers, which it claims is anti-competitive in nature. If this discussion sounds familiar, it’s because it actually stems from an investigation into the matter back in April 2016. Discussions about Google abusing its market dominance have been around much longer that that.

The ongoing fight over Android licensing in the EU may finally lead to financial damages.

EU regulators claim that Google’s terms for licensing Android, which require a specific set of Google apps to be loaded on the phone and prevent manufacturers from making Android devices without Google’s services, are anti-competitive and ultimately hurt companies. Google’s argument, naturally, is that those manufacturers are free to make phones using the open-source build of Android and their own services if they choose to do so. In contrast with other antitrust regulations, like those here in the U.S., the EU doesn’t necessarily need to show an abuse of monopoly power in order to levy a fine — as it has shown in prior cases.

Reports claim that the European Commission could reach a decision on the matter by the end of the year. Aside from yet another massive fine, it could also potentially force Google to change the terms of licensing Android in order to fall within the EU’s demands for competition in the mobile space. Given recent decisions against Google, the possibility of another such decision doesn’t seem so far-fetched anymore.

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Android Security Bulletin: Everything you need to know

Fixing the latest bugs and exploits in Android every month.

Google has detailed the latest Android Security Bulletin and released the fixes for Nexus and Pixel devices.

These are exploits and other security concerns that affect Android as a whole. Issues with the operating system, kernel patches, and driver updates may not affect any particular device, but these need to be fixed in the Android base by the folks maintaining the operating system code. That means Google, and they’ve detailed the things they have improved for this month.

Updated factory images for Pixel and Nexus devices that are supported are available, and over-the-air updates are rolling out to users. If you don’t want to wait, you can download and flash the factory image or OTA update file manually, and here are some handy instructions to get you started.

How to manually update your Nexus or Pixel

The company who made your phone uses these patches to send an update out to you.

These changes have been released to the people making Android phones for at least 30 days, but Google can’t force anyone to deliver them to you. If you’re using a phone from Samsung, LG, or anyone besides Google, you’ll need to wait for them to send an update and shouldn’t try to flash any of the above files.

Of course, Google has safety checks in place to prevent any problems on your phone because of any security exploits. Verify Apps and SafetyNet are at work anytime you add an app to your phone, and seamless updates to Google Play Services will keep them up to date regardless of any hold up from a manufacturer or carrier. Details and incident numbers can be found in the yearly Android Security Review (.pdf file).

Highlights for July 2017

July 2017’s update comes with two patch dates: 07/01/2017 and 07/05/2017.

  • An issue in the Android runtime that could enable remote code execution has been patched.
  • Over 20 issues that could allow remote code execution through the media libraries have been patched, with some changes going back to Android 4.4.
  • Qualcomm has patched numerous escalation of privilege issues in the Snapdragon platform. These include both closed source and open source changes. The closed source changes are available from Qualcomm for your device manufacturer to implement as needed.
  • NVIDIA, MediaTek, HTC, and Broadcom have also supplied patched device drivers for a range of issues rated from low to moderate. Any of these binaries that are applicable to Nexus or Pixel devices are available at the Google Developer site.

If you get an update with a patch date of 07/05/2017, you also have every issue addressed by the 07/01/2017 update in place.

Previous bulletin highlights

Here are summaries and highlights of recent patches from the monthly Android Security Bulletin. As with the current bulletin, these issues were also mitigated by Google’s Verify Apps, Safety Net, and seamless updates to Google Play Services.

June 2017

June 2017’s update comes with two patch dates: 06/01/2017 and 06/05/2017.

  • Google Pixel devices for the Canadian carrier Rogers will get a hotfix for VoLTE issues in addition to security updates.
  • Qualcomm has patched a slew of device drivers for the Snapdragon platform. Most were of moderate severity but a Bluetooth-specific update is a critical patch.
  • NVIDIA, MediaTek, and Synaptics have also supplied patched device drivers for a range of issues rated from low to moderate. Any of these binaries that are applicable to Nexus or Pixel devices are available at the Google Developer site.
  • Exploits that allow remote code execution while viewing media in an email, SMS or the browser continue to be addressed as new ones arise. This is a never-ending fight and a reason why monthly patches are important.

If you get an update with a patch date of 06/05/2017, you also have every issue addressed by the 06/01/2017 update in place.

May 2017

May 2017’s update comes with two patch dates: 05/01/2017 and 05/05/2017.

  • Qualcomm has patched an exploit that potentially could allow unauthorized bootloader access for devices using Snapdragon 800 series processors. Motorola has issued a separate update to address the Nexus 6.
  • A specific vulnerability in GIFLIB that can cause memory corruption when a bad file is received has been isolated and patched. This patch applies to Android 4.4 or higher and has been merged into AOSP.
  • Qualcomm, NVIDIA and MediaTek continue to address exploits that affect their “drivers” and have again refined the code for May 2017. Any of these binaries that are applicable to Nexus or Pixel devices are available at the Google Developer site.
  • Several moderate exploits in the Bluetooth stack that could allow a user to receive a file without explicit permission have been addressed. Patches have been merged into AOSP back to Android 4.4.

If you get an update with a patch date of 05/05/2017, you also have every issue addressed by the 05/01/2017 update in place.

April 2017

April 2017’s update comes with two patch dates: 04/01/2017 and 04/05/2017.

  • MediaServer is once again the focus of patches for potentially critical exploits. Six possible ways a media file can cause memory corruption during decoding and playing have been patched in all supported devices from Google. Changes have been merged into AOSP as far back as Android 4.4.
  • A potential exploit in the Factory Reset process has been found and fixed for all supported Google devices and changes were merged into AOSP in 4.4 and above.
  • Updated firmware binaries to address hardware-specific vulnerabilities were received from Broadcom, HTC, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and MediaTek. Any of these binaries that are applicable to Nexus or Pixel devices are available at the Google Developer site.
  • A number of important updates and patches for the Linux kernel have been found, applied and merged upstream.

If you get an update with a patch date of 04/05/2017, you also have every issue addressed by the 04/01/2017 update in place.

March 2017

March 2017’s update comes with two patch dates: 03/01/2017 and 03/05/2017.

  • A remote code execution vulnerability in OpenSSL and BoringSSL was patched. This exploit could allow a specially built file to corrupt files stored in memory and potentially could allow remote code execution. All Android devices (everything else that connects to the internet as well) are vulnerable. Google has built patches for Android versions 4.4.4 through 7.1.1.
  • An elevation of privilege vulnerability in the recovery verifier that could enable kernel access to a local app has been patched. As above, this is a critical patch for all devices and Google provides a fix in AOSP for versions 4.4.4 to 7.1.1.
  • The AOSP Messaging app has been further patched to address a vulnerability that could enable another app to bypass Android’s system-level protections and see data it shouldn’t be able to access.
  • Updated firmware binaries to address hardware-specific vulnerabilities were received from Broadcom, HTC, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Realtek, Synaptics and Google themselves for the ION subsystem. Any of these binaries that are applicable to Nexus or Pixel devices are available at the Google Developer site.

If you get an update with a patch date of 03/05/2017, you also have every issue addressed by the 03/01/2017 update in place.

February 2017

February 2017’s update comes with two patch dates: 02/01/2017 and 02/05/2017.

  • Qualcomm and MediaTek have issued updates that prevent a malicious app from gaining elevated privileges by executing code in the kernel space. The code for these patches is not publicly available, but updated binary files are available at the Google Developer site. Devices running Android 7.0 or higher were not affected.
  • The AOSP Messaging and Mail apps have been patched to address a vulnerability that could enable another app to bypass Android’s system-level protections and see data it shouldn’t be able to access.
  • The Bionic DNS function (Bionic is Android’s standard C library) has been patched to prevent a specific Denial of Service attack that would cause a device to freeze or reboot.
  • Updated firmware binaries to address hardware-specific vulnerabilities were received from Broadcom, HTC, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Realtek, and Synaptics. Any of these binaries that are applicable to Nexus or Pixel devices are available at the Google Developer site.

If you get an update with a patch date of 02/05/2017, you also have every issue addressed by the 02/01/2017 update in place.


Archives of all previous Android Security Bulletins are available at the Android Security website.

See the Android Security website for details on all bulletins

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Best Charging Stands for Google Pixel

Elevate your Pixel off the table while it charges with these charging stands.

Finding a charging stand for your Google Pixel is, as we learned, a matter of making compromises. One of the best features of the Google Pixel is its fast charging ability, but you’ll get the best results using the charging cable and wall outlet that came with your phone.

There are a number of charging stands that support a USB-C connection, but the power being supplied to the stand typically use older USB cables which are usually not enough to support USB-PD. Alternatively, there are universal stands that will accommodate the proper cords and wall chargers for rapid charging.

Ultimately, which style you go with will depend on how you plan on using the charging stand — if you intend to plug your phone in bedside while you sleep, or on your desk while you work (or vice versa), slower charging speeds might be a non-factor. But if you must have quick charging, you’re best off using your own trusted cables with a universal stand.

Encased Google Pixel Charging Stand

This charging stand from Encased was specifically designed for the Pixel — but does not support rapid charging. Despite that, it’s got a great look to it and will accommodate a slim case on your Pixel. The fit is snug, so much so that you’ll probably need two hands to remove your phone from the dock — better than having a flimsy connection, right? Even better, each charging stand comes with a lifetime guarantee from Encased, and is available for Amazon Prime shipping.

See at Amazon

FanTEK Desktop Charger Dock Station

Looking for an all-in-one desktop charging dock on the cheap? This FanTEK dock features a built-in USB-C connector but doesn’t come with the wall adapter so you’ll want to use the one that came with your Pixel for optimal performance. You may also have to take your phone out of a case to get a right fit, but it should work with slimmer cases. Best of all it is the price — at under $10 it’s the cheapest option on the list. Considering this is a mostly stationary accessory that’ll stay sitting on your desk, it’s worth checking out!

See at Amazon

Accesorz USB-C Charging Stand

Coming in at $12, this USB-C charging stand works well for the price, and states that it supports fast charging for the Pixel, but you’ll have to ensure that you’ve plugged the included micro USB cable in with a wall adapter that supports USB-PD. The USB-C connector is adjustable up to 15-degrees, and is deep enough to accommodate a case on your Pixel. There’s reusable sticky pads on the bottom, which help to secure it on your nightstand or desk.

If you don’t use a case on your phone and you find the connection is not as flush as you would like, you’ll want to reach out to the seller customer service. They should be able to help you out.

See at Amazon

SUPVIN USB-C Charging Dock

This dock has a classic look and will work great with your Pixel or Pixel XL. The USB-C connector is adjustable so you’ll be able to rest the body of your phone on the backrest, which also helps with the viewing angle of your device when you’re working at your desk. Again, this charger says it supports fast charging but it uses USB 2.0 cable to plug into a computer or wall charger, so don’t go in with high expectations. Other than that, this is a great option that won’t take up much real estate on your desk or nightstand.

See at Amazon

Esonstyle Desktop Cell Phone Stand

If rapid charging is a must-have for your Pixel charging stand, you’ll need to look at a universal stand, like this one from Esonstyle, that lets you use the USB-C charging cable and wall adapter that came with your Pixel. This stand is made from aluminum offers a nice viewing angle for using your device when you’re sitting at your desk. And, given that it’s universal, you have the versatility to use this stand with all your devices. With the price under $10, you really can’t go wrong here, can you?

See at Amazon

Lamicall Desktop Cell Phone Stand

This universal charging stand is another great option for using with your Pixel, or really any phone or tablet at your disposal. There’s ample space for the USB-C cable to plug into your pixel, and you’ll enjoy the design with the stylish and minimalist design. The rubber feet on the bottom help to keep it secure on your desk, while the rubber on the cradle helping to keep your Pixel secure while also keeping the edges of your device secure and protected from scuffs. It’s also available in silver, red or black.

See at Amazon

Update July 5, 2017: Added the FanTEK charging dock to our listl.

What are your thoughts?

Did we miss your preferred Pixel charging stand? Let us know in the comments!

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.devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1),
.devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link {
width: calc(50% – 2.5px);
}
.devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link,
.devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) {
margin: 0 0 5px 0;
}
}
@media all and (max-width: 800px) {
.devicebox {
margin: 0 0 30px;
max-width: none;
width: auto;
}
}
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.devicebox {
margin: 0 0 30px;
max-width: none;
width: auto;
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.devicebox a.buy-link:before {
display: none;
}
}
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.page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;}
.page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;}

/*–>*/

/*–>*/

/*–>*/

from Android Central – Android Forums, News, Reviews, Help and Android Wallpapers http://ift.tt/2sq2mv3
via IFTTT

Pixel and Nexus factory images with July security patches now available, OTAs arriving soon

Another month, another set of security fixes for Android.

Right on schedule, Google has released the latest factory images and OTA files for recent Pixels and Nexuses, including the July 5 security patches. This update will hit the Pixel XL, Pixel, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Pixel C, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player. The new software is still based on Android 7.1.2 for the modern devices, but of course 7.1.1 for the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, which continue to simply get security patches without new versions of Android.

Aside from the security patches — which are of course very important in their own right — Google isn’t highlighting any big bug fixes or feature changes for any specific devices.

If you want to flash the full factory image or OTA file to your phone or tablet, be sure to refer to our full guide on manually updating your Pixel or Nexus. Take care to notice that for some phones, there are different images available depending on what carrier you’re using — such as Verizon or Project Fi — that you should specifically pick.

For the rest of us who are a little more patient, OTA updates should be rolling out to Pixels and Nexuses soon, hitting everyone’s device in the next few days.

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from Android Central – Android Forums, News, Reviews, Help and Android Wallpapers http://ift.tt/2thyGmF
via IFTTT

Shortage of data causing Samsung troubles in launching Bixby Voice for the U.S.

Big data is a big deal.

The full launch of the English version of Samsung’s Bixby voice control interface for the Galaxy S8 is still in a holding pattern, after originally expecting to launch in June. The delay comes from a handful of issues with the service but is driven by a lack of usage data that’s ultimately required for the machine learning systems to work at their full potential. Although the service is already available in Samsung’s home country of South Korea, evolving Bixby for use with U.S. English is proving tougher.

Because of the vast number of potential commands and numerous pathways to accomplish those commands within the interface and apps on a phone, the only realistic way to make it all work is for machine learning algorithms to process large amounts of data and determine those links automatically. Samsung’s engineers can of course set them on the right path, but in the end, you need real-world usage data to show the algorithms how people are using the service and how to best accomplish the commands.

Working with big data is tough enough — and that’s after you gather it all.

With Bixby Voice actually coming to the U.S. late last month in an opt-in beta, presumably Samsung will be able to accumulate the data it needs to get to the point of launching fully on every Galaxy S8 and S8+. From there, the extra data gained from millions of users will help improve the service over time. But because Samsung doesn’t initially have the wealth of voice data that a company like Google does, it’s slow going at the start.

The question is, how long will people wait? Samsung isn’t yet offering a new timeline for a public launch of the service. With Bixby Voice being one of the headline features talked about with the launch of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ in April, it’s already a tad disappointing for people to not have access to it. Presumably Bixby Voice will be fully up and running by the launch of the Galaxy Note 8 later this year.

Then the discussion begins as to where Samsung will launch Bixby Voice next — with other massive markets like Europe and India needing attention, the U.S. is simply a stop on the road, not the finish line.

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from Android Central – Android Forums, News, Reviews, Help and Android Wallpapers http://ift.tt/2uqvmEx
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These are the Oculus Rift games launching in July

What Rift games are coming out in July?

The library of Oculus Rift games continues to grow each month, both on the Oculus Store and on Steam. To help you decide what to save up for, or just to give you something to look forward to, here are the Rift games confirmed to be coming July 2017.

See the full list of July Oculus Rift games at VR Heads!

from Android Central – Android Forums, News, Reviews, Help and Android Wallpapers http://ift.tt/2qJXYFD
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How to stop Facebook and Instagram notifications from driving you crazy

Before you delete Facebook for being annoying, take a dive into the notification settings.

Quick story time: A few weeks back I went camping out in the remote wilderness for the weekend. We were well out of my carrier’s range and so I was unable to check on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for three whole days. When I got back into range of a cell tower, my phone exploded with notifications as expected.

I don’t care that “so and so posted something for the first time in a while”!

But among the texts and emails, my Facebook and Instagram notifications stuck out to me. In my absence, no one had actually commented or liked anything on my profile — and yet I still received several notifications about “so and so posted something for the first time in a while” or “that old friend from high school who you barely ever talk to added new photos recently”.

Social media notifications are supposed to be about letting you know when someone has commented on or reacted to something you’ve posted, but then there are all these other types of notifications that seem to serve another purpose — get you looking at your phone, opening up that timeline, and getting distracted in the never-ending stream of content.

The biggest culprits seem to be Facebook and Instagram (which Facebook owns). Naturally, I took to Facebook to vent about this issue, then dove into the app settings to see what could be tweaked. If you’re getting fed up with these attention-stealing notifications but don’t want to go the nuclear route and delete the apps from your phone, here’s how to reel in social media notifications on the biggest culprits — Facebook and Instagram.

How to tweak your Facebook notifications

You’re only able to tweak how mobile notifications are delivered via the Facebook app on Android, so tweak the notifications themselves, you need to log into Facebook on a web browser.

  1. Tap the down arrow in the top-right corner.
  2. Tap Settings
  3. Tap Notifications.
  4. Tap On Facebook.

This is where you can tweak the majority of things Facebook will send notifications for. By default, Facebook will notify you of all activity that involves you, whether that’s someone tagging you in a photo or commenting on of your posts. If that’s all you’re after in terms of notifications, you can turn pretty much everything else off.

It seemed like the “Close Friends” notification was the biggest culprit for those random notifications about my friend’s Facebook activity. Once you’ve gone through the Facebook notification settings on your computer, you can fine tune your mobile notifications in the Facebook app.

How to tweak your Instagram notifications

With Instagram, I only want to be sent a push notification if I’m tagged in the post of someone I follow, someone likes or comments on my stuff, someone follows me, or someone is trying to direct message me. That’s it.

By default, Instagram will also send notifications if a Facebook friend has recently joined Instagram, the first time an account posts or adds to their Instagram story, any new feature integrations, and even reminders simply to check in on the app. Here’s how to turn those ones off.

  1. From your Instagram profile, tap the menu button in the top-right corner.
  2. Swipe up to scroll down until you see Push Notifications
  3. Tap Push Notifications.

  4. Swipe up to scroll through the available notifications.
  5. Tap Off to turn off any notification you don’t want to see

Instagram also gives you the option of only allowing push notifications from people you follow, which is good if you find yourself being harassed by spam bots. I’m still finding that Instagram is holding back notifying me on some likes for the sole purpose of getting me to check into the app. I’ll check the app and see that three friends have liked a photo, then a half hour later I’ll get a notification for one of those three friends. Hard to say if it’s a bug or a sneaky way for Instagram to look at your phone but it’s the one annoying notification quirk I haven’t solved yet.

What notifications drive you crazy?

Is there an app that you use all the time that just spams you with notifications? Let us know and we’ll look into helping you calm it down!

from Android Central – Android Forums, News, Reviews, Help and Android Wallpapers http://ift.tt/2uKGqM5
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Top 5 things HTC U11 does better than the Galaxy S8

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is our pick for best Android phone overall right now, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. And it certainly doesn’t mean you should dismiss the other flagships out there. HTC’s latest phone, the U11, actually gives Samsung a real run for its money — and there are a lot of reasons why you might want to pick up a U11 instead of an S8.

Check out the video above for the top five reasons why you might want to consider HTC’s shiny, squeezy flagship over the current king of the Android hill, the Galaxy S8.

Still on the fence? Let us know which handset you’d go for down in the comments!

from Android Central – Android Forums, News, Reviews, Help and Android Wallpapers http://ift.tt/2tpCYqQ
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