The Sennheiser PXC 550 can keep your ears closed off to the rest of the world. A must-have for those of you with long holiday travels and long holidays with family. They’re good-looking and long-lasting, just like everything you’d want in a … pair of noise-reducing headphones. With the added luxury of a touch-sensitive panel to help control what you’re listening to, you’ll really drive your … headphones wild.

MrMobile, in his infinite wisdom, will help you decide if these cans are what your ears have been looking (listening?) for, or if you’re better off with the Bose QC35. Take Michael Fisher’s advice, and you’ll be ready for all that December has to offer.

Stay social, my friends

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

Get your tech-centric pal or loved one something new to play with.

Life is full of little gadgets that make life more interesting, so why not help out a friend or family member? We put together a list of neat tech that quickly automates your home or adds a bit of flair to your smartphone. There are great choices at $50, $100, and $200 price points!

Under $50 

Tylt Y-Charge 

Find yourself consistently without any battery power in the car? Get a double-headed Tylt Y-Charge. It’s designed to keep cables separate, but organized. Each USB port charges at 2.1 amps. It works with both smartphones and tablets of all sorts and comes in four different colors.

See at Amazon

AUKEY Ora Lens

Have a friend or family member that’s curious about getting serious with their smartphone photography? Grab the Aukey Ora Lens. It’s a dual 140-degree wide angle and 10x macro clip-on lens and it snaps on easily to almost any Android smartphone.

See at Amazon

Chromecast Audio

Help your pals turn any speaker into a Chromecast-connected one. Chromecast Audio lets you stream apps like Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio and Google Play Music from your smartphone to your favorite speakers of choice. Chromecast Audio is also a cheap way to turn that dusty amplifier in the garage into a party machine.

See at Google


Surely, you’ve misplaced your keys or wallet at least once in your lifetime. We bet your friend knows what that feels like, too. Help them out preemptively for the next time this happens with a Tile Mate key finder. It’s a small, thin Bluetooth tracker that you can clasp onto your keys — or whatever else you might want to track — to keep tabs on your stuff. When you’re desperate to locate your things, use the app to determine its last-pinged location. There’s also the Tile Slim for affixing to phones, tablets, and wallets.

See at Amazon

Choetech USB-C Adapter

It’s a USB-C to Micro USB adapter that attaches to your keys! It’s a genius little too that will no doubt come in hand for you and your friends sporting Android’s next-generation standard. These come in a pack of two and make thoughtful stocking stuffers for those friends who are transitioning their cords over just like you.

See at Amazon

Amazon Echo Dot

Easily automate any home with the Amazon Echo Dot. This voice-controlled apparatus utilizes Amazon’s Alexa to do things like play music, control smart home devices, and give you the day’s daily headlines. Best of all, you don’t need the regular Amazon Echo to take advantage of this affordable gadget.

See at Amazon

Under $100

Daydream View VR headset

Give the gift of virtual reality. Daydream View enables access to virtual reality’s vast offerings. You can use it to play games, watch movies, and even make new friends in virtual worlds. It also comes with a stowable controller that utilizes precision tracking. The only slight setback might be your pal’s phone; Daydream View requires a Daydream-ready device.

See at Google

If you’re unsure of the kind of your phone your friend’s wielding, the more universal, and cheaper Cardboard also makes a nice gift for potential VR heads.

Philips Hue LED Starter Kit

If your friend has already got an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot in the home, considering pairing them with a Philips Hue LED Starter Kit to get their voice-activated apparatus even more revved and roaring. The kit includes two white LED bulbs and a Hue bridge hub, which is also compatible with any other ZigBee-certified and Wink home automation gadgets.

See at Amazon

Under $200

Google Home

It looks like a fancy air fresher, but it’s really one of the simplest ways to technologize a home. Google Home gives you immediate access to Google Assistant. All you have to is call out, “Ok Google” to ask it questions and tell it do things. You can also use it to play music and voice-control other smart devices in your living room.

See at Google

Nest Cam Indoor security camera

Be your friend’s gateway to home security. The Nest Cam Indoor security camera is simple to set up and offers around the clock video. It records in Full HD and features night vision. Once it’s activated, you can easily check in from anywhere with the Android app. Nest Cam also comes with a free trial of Nest Aware, which is required to activate intelligent alerts and continuous cloud recording,

See at Amazon

Your turn

What are your favorite gifts at any price this holiday? Let us know!

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

It’s been… real.

Samsung has encouraged the return of 93% of the 1.9 million recalled Galaxy Note 7s since the second recall was issued on October 13. That’s a lot of phones, but that still means there are over 130,000 units still to be recovered, many of which could have defective batteries.

Samsung America, as a way of persuading those obstinate holdouts, will issue a software update beginning December 19 to cut off all remaining power and radio connectivity to those devices. In other words, after the mandatory firmware patch, the phones won’t charge or connect to any cellular networks — even Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. A press release states:

To further increase participation, a software update will be released starting on December 19th and will be distributed within 30 days. This software update will prevent U.S. Galaxy Note7 devices from charging and will eliminate their ability to work as mobile devices.

Together with our carrier partners, we will be notifying consumers through multiple touchpoints to encourage any remaining Galaxy Note7 owners to participate in the program and to take advantage of the financial incentives available.

This is the true end for the disastrous Note 7, as the phone’s largest market finally resorts to crippling the phone. Users can get information for a full refund or exchange for another Galaxy device at Samsung’s dedicated recall portal.

Similar actions were taken in New Zealand and Canada, and will likely be replicated in all markets the phone was launched.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

The Axon 7 is getting Nougat soon, and they want you to test it!

ZTE is preparing Nougat for release on the Axon 7 and is looking for some enterprising Axon 7 users from the Z-Community to preview and evaluate the build before it pushes out to everyone. If you’re itching to get split-screen on your 5.5″ beauty, your chance has finally come!

Users looking to sign up for the preview must be members of ZTE’s Z-Community forums in order to provide feedback. You can sign up for the Axon 7 Nougat Preview here by providing your Z-community username, email and IMEI.

Keep in mind that previews like these are not always stable, so if your Axon 7 is your primary phone, you might want to wait for the stable release, but Nougat’s many features like split-screen and improved Doze functionality are tempting. One can only hope that the software gimmicks we noted in our experience with the Axon 7 have been toned down in 7.0, but we’ll see how ZTE’s take on Nougat fares.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

Spruce up your Android device with Cortana’s digital assistant features.


Cortana for Android is coming and it features all the same helpful functionality as the Windows 10 desktop app. This includes cross-platform reminders, missed call alerts, and daily summaries. You can even ask Cortana for help on various matters the same way you would with Google Now. Cortana also lets you manage notifications on your Windows PC and across various Android phones.

If you’re in the United Kingdom, Cortana will be available to you over the coming week. And if you’re wondering what the heck Cortana is, this is a good place to start.

Download: Cortana (free)

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

Say goodnight, Gracie.

Apparently, the Verge received an image from a Galaxy Note 7 user on US Cellular today about the fate of the now-deceased Note 7 line. In the photo, a message saying it was from US Cellular states: “AS OF DEC. 15, SAMSUNG WILL MODIFY THE SOFTWARE TO PREVENT THE GALAXY NOTE7 FROM CHARGING. THE PHONE WILL NO LONGER WORK.” The message, in all caps so you know they mean business, spells out what many have said would happen — the end of the Note 7.

Having Note 7 phones still in the wild is a liability issue for Samsung and carriers in the US.

While there is no way to determine the validity of the information provided to the Verge, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Samsung take more drastic measures to get the last remaining phones out of the hands of the knuckleheads diehards still clinging to it. New Zealand and Canada have said that they were killing functions up to and including disabling the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios and banning the phone’s use on cellular networks. Samsung has also sent out updates across the world to limit battery capacity. These companies are serious and want people to stop using the phone.

We all know how the saga went down. Some Note 7 batteries ruptured and exploded and caused fires. The phone was recalled in September of 2016, and replacements had just started filtering out — and subsequently doing the same thing and burning more stuff — in October. Samsung finally pulled the plug and ate the loss. Most phones have been returned, but Samsung and the people who actually sold them are determined to get them all back or in a landfill somewhere in New Jersey. They know people intransigent enough to keep using a Note 7 would also be the same people who would hold others liable when things take a turn for the worse.

If you’re still holding onto a Note 7, for God’s sake just turn the damn thing in already.

Everything you need to know about the Galaxy Note 7 recall

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

Time to give it up, Canada.

Samsung Canada is following New Zealand’s lead by cutting off network access for all unreturned Note 7 devices as of December 15.

The company has announced that although 90% of the approximately 39,000 Note 7s sold through Canadian channels have been returned, the remaining 4,000 or so outstanding units will lose access to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on December 12, along with cellular abilities three days later, on December 15. An update will also include “a limitation on the battery charge,” though it’s unclear to what percentage. Other markets have limited the Note 7′s defective battery to 60% to prevent overheating and expansion.

Samsung implores Canadians holding onto a Note 7 unit to return it as soon as possible:

We strongly urge any customers still using their Note7 to return their device to the place of purchase for a refund or exchange between December 7th and December 15th. We have been in continuous communication with Note7 customers to remind them about the need to return their recalled device and will continue to communicate daily with a push notification about this network deactivation event to ensure they continue to receive adequate notice.

As a recalled product, Note7 device owners are legally prohibited from selling or even giving away the recalled device. We would like to remind customers that they need to return their Note7 device.

The company notes that even after the update, Note 7s will still be able to call 9-1-1 for safety reasons.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

Samsung’s answer to the Jet Black iPhone 7 is here.

Update: Samsung has officially announced the Pearl Black variant of the Galaxy S7 edge. The phone will be available with 128GB storage, and will debut in “select markets” on December 9.

Samsung is looking to introduce new color options to boost sales of the Galaxy S7 edge for the holiday season. We’ve already seen the Blue Coral variant break cover last month, and Samsung is now getting ready to launch the Pearl Black color option in South Korea on December 9. Notably, the new color variant is expected to come with 128GB of storage.

The information comes by way of SamMobile, which posted live photos of the device last month. From the images, the Pearl Black color option looks like a glossier version of the Note 7′s Black Onyx variant.

Samsung is expected to officially launch the Pearl Black color option shortly, and as of now there’s no information to suggest it will make its way to global markets. We’ll let you know if we hear otherwise. What do you guys make of the new color variant?

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

For the month of November, HTC was able to pull in $240 million (7,670,000,000 NT$) in revenue. The figure is 25% lower than what HTC posted in November of 2015, but November was also HTC’s third-best month in 2016.

While … Read More

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 | Posted by | Categories: HTC |

Save on a new case for your Nexus 5X or 6P.

Today, we bring you a couple great deals from Ringke on some cool clear cases to both protect and show off your Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P.

Simply click through the links below and enter the coupon code to get these cases for just $5.99. To take advantage of these deals, you’ll need to ensure you select the option to fulfill the order from the manufacturer, Ringke, and then simply add the coupon code during checkout to save. Supplies are limited, so act now!

Nexus 5X

Nexus 6P

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |