These are the lucky November winners of some cool Huawei/Honor swag.

There’s nothing like being a cool person on the internet and winning great gadgets while doing so. But with our Huawei/Honor Community Incentive Program, you can do just that! The basis is pretty simple: be an active, engaged and friendly member of the Huawei or Honor communities in our forums to win great stuff.

Here are the winners from November:

  • br77494 — Congrats, you’ve won a Huawei Mate 9!
  • gtt1 — Congrats, you’ve won an Honor Band Z!
  • editguy — Congrats, you’ve won an Honor Band Z!

We’ve already well into December, but there’s still plenty of time to get to the top of the charts and win some amazing stuff! All you need to do is be active our Huawei/Honor communities!

Learn more about the Huawei/Honor Incentive Program!

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It’s a portable charger that fits in your hand.

This Anker black Astro E1 ultra compact portable charger is down to $13.19 on Amazon. It normally sells around $17 and the other colors are selling for $20 right now.

This charger is the size of a candy bar but has 6700mAh, which means it’s got enough power to fully charge a Galaxy S8.

Features include:

  • Exclusive PowerIQ Technology: Detects your device to deliver its fastest possible charge speed up to 2 amps. Does not support Qualcomm Quick Charge.
  • Add over two full charges to an iPhone 7 or 6s or at least one full charge to a 7 Plus, Galaxy S8, Nexus 5 or other smartphone
  • Fits perfectly in your pocket. Recharges in 5.5 hours with a 1A adapter (not included) and the included Micro USB cable.

It has an 18-month warranty from Anker. Users give it 4.5 stars based on 539 reviews.

You can use the included micro USB cable or upgrade to a 3-foot cable from Anker for $5.

See on Amazon

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

Available now at Best Buy.

Google’s Daydream VR platform has grown quite a bit since its launch in October of 2016, and the best way to experience it is still with the Daydream View headset. Google released a slightly updated version of the Daydream View alongside the Pixel 2 this October, and while it came with a few new features, this also resulted in a slightly higher price of $99.

Our own Russell Holly said the new Daydream View headset was well worth its larger price tag, but if you’ve been waiting to pick one up, you can now purchase one from Best Buy for just $78.99.

That’s a saving of $20.01, and it brings the price down to the regular cost of last year’s model.

The 2017 version of the Daydream View still works fundamentally the same as the previous version, but it comes equipped with less light leak, a heat sink to keep your phone as cool as possible, a comfier head strap, and quite a bit more.

We aren’t sure how long this deal will last, so if you want to pick up a Daydream View for yourself or someone on your holiday shopping list, click/tap the button below.

See at Best Buy

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

The HTC U11 and U11+ represent a new direction for the Taiwanese company, featuring an all-glass build, great camera and squeeze input.

HTC has, to put it lightly, seen better days. And years. In 2017, the company is trying an all-new design language to entice customers. Gone are the solid metal builds from the HTC One lineup, replaced by slick, reflective glass. On the inside, the HTC U11 and U11+ feature standard flagship components for 2017, and the company can finally stand toe-to-toe with competitors’ cameras.

Here’s everything you need to know about the HTC U11 and U11+.

Read and watch our reviews

The U11 was released in spring of 2017, with the U11+ coming out in the fall. Both are similar enough on the inside, with the U11+ featuring a more modern, small-bezel design. Be sure to check out our review of the U11 and hands-on preview of the U11+.

More: HTC U11 review: Back in the running

More: HTC U11+ review: The best phone you can’t buy

Check out the specs

Phones need something inside to make them go beep, and the U11 and U11+ both feature the best internals for 2017:

Category HTC U11 HTC U11+
Operating System Android 7.1.1 with HTC Sense
Android 8.0 upgrade rolling out
Android 8.0 with HTC Sense
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Network 4G LTE Cat. 16 4G LTE Cat. 16
RAM 4 / 6GB (Varies by region) 4 / 6GB (Varies by region)
Storage 64 / 128GB UFS
microSD up to 2TB
64 / 128GB (Varies by region)
microSD up to 2TB
Dual SIM Some regions. Hybrid SIM2/SD slot Some regions. Hybrid SIM2/SD slot
Display 5.5-inch Quad HD SuperLCD 5
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
6-inch SuperLCD 6, 2880×1440
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Main Camera 12MP, 1.4μm pixels, f/1.7 lens, OIS, EIS
UltraPixel 3, UltraSpeed AF, HDR Boost
12MP UltraPixel 3, 1.4-micron pixels, f/1.7
UltraSpeed Autofocus, BSI sensor, OIS, Dual LED flash
Front Camera 16MP, f/2.0 with UltraPixel mode 8MP, f/2.0, 85-degree field of view
BSI sensor, HDR Boost
Water/Dust Resistance IP67 IP68
Battery 3,000mAh
Quick Charge 3.0
Quick Charge 3.0
Audio HTC BoomSound Hi-Fi
HTC USonic
USB-C + noise cancelling headphones
HTC BoomSound Hi-Fi
HTC USonic
USB-C + noise cancelling headphones
Qualcomm aptX HD, LDAC 24-bit high resol
Colors Ice white, brilliant black, sapphire blue, solar red, amazing silver Brilliant black, translucent

The U11+ has a sweet translucent variant

HTC isn’t one to shy away from exotic colors on its smartphones. The U11 has a fiery red version and I always wanted to pick up the awesome blue HTC One M7. For the U11+, HTC went in a slightly different direction. There’s the standard glossy black variant, but also a really intriguing translucent variant. It isn’t completely clear, but you’d be able to pick out the NFC antenna and other components on board.

More: HTC U11+ hands-on preview: More screen, more battery, translucent body

The squeeze feature is surprisingly useful

While squeezing the side of your phone may sound gimmicky, it’s actually quite practical. Users can map a short or long squeeze to two separate actions, including custom actions within applications. For example, you can set a short squeeze within Google Maps to zoom in on the map, while a long squeeze could start navigation home. Squeezes can also be used for system functions like launching the camera app, toggling the flashlight or taking a screenshot.

More: The HTC U11 is the most solid phone of 2017 so far

The U11+ is kinda, sorta related to the Pixel XL 2

Smartphones take about 18 months to develop from start to finish, and along the way, things can get complicated due to supply constraints or a different focus within the company. There were rumors earlier this year that we’d see three Pixel phones: what we now know as the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, and a third device slotted somewhere in the middle. That rumored device had a lot of similarities to the Pixel 2 XL, with a 6-inch 18:9 screen, a rear fingerprint sensor, and the same general proportions. But some of that is table stakes: the Pixel 2 line and the U11+ use similar internal components because they’re using the standard 2017 flagship parts. It’s fun to think about, but it’s unlikely the U11+ was meant to wear the Google badge.

More: HTC U11+ started life as a Google Pixel 2 XL project — but the story isn’t that simple

Oreo has arrived

The U11+ launched with Android 8.0 Oreo, making it one of the first non-Google phones to run that version of Android. This also means Project Treble is supported, hopefully adding to the longevity of software support for this phone. Meanwhile, the standard U11 launched with Android 7.1.1 Nougat, with Oreo rolling out to the unlocked version of the phone. The carrier variants should receieve the update shortly.

More: Android 8.0 Oreo for unlocked HTC U11 now available

Compared to other flagships

The unlocked HTC U11 is priced at $649, putting it in the same league as the Moto Z2 Force, Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG G6. Among these devices, the U11 stands well: the camera is solid, second only to the Google Pixel line. The U11 has a very striking design, though it is a bit dated with its capacitve navigation buttons and front facing fingrerprint sensor. The U11 finally added IP67 water resistance, and the squeeze feature is suprisingly effective in everyday use. Where the U11 falls apart is general availability: most carriers aren’t stocking the phone, meaning you won’t be able to try one in store before buying it.

The U11+ corrects the design flaw, but compounds on the availability issue. The U11 Plus’s design catches up in a big way with other 2017 flagships, moving the fingerprint sensor to the back, moving to software navigation keys and including an 18:9 (or 2:1 for those that like math) display. But HTC isn’t selling the U11+ anywhere in the United States, meaning those that aren’t HTC faithful probably aren’t going to even know the device exists in the states.

More: Moto Z2 Force vs. HTC U11: With so much in common, it’s a tight race

Be sure to check out our forums!

Want to know more about the U11 and U11+? The Android Central forums are a treasure trove of information, so be sure to stop by there and ask any remaining questions you have!

More: HTC U11 on Android Central forums

Updated December 2017: Updated with all the latest information on these phones!

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

Everyone loves a good drink. Whether it’s coffee, wine, beer or something a little bit stronger, these gifts are perfect to quell that thirst. From The Periodic Table of Wine to GrowlerWerks’ Pressurized Growler, there’s something here for every price range.

Yeti Roadie 20 Cooler
Made for the rough and tumble, and designed to keep your water in its frozen state, this cooler is also the perfect size for one-day events like tailgating or hiking.


Instant 1-Button Electric Wine Aerator
If you’re drinking your wine straight from the bottle without letting it breathe, you’re doing it wrong. This electric aerator will change the way you drink.


GrowlerWerks uKeg 128 Pressurized Growler for Craft Beer
You can’t just get your beer to go in a plastic cup. You need to go with a growler that can preserve the flavor and the temperature.


All-In-One 7-piece Espresso/Cappuccino Machine Bundle Set
Stop wasting all your money at Starbucks. Waste it on this instead. Get espresso or cappuccino on your kitchen counter every day. Great if your family has a lot of coffee drinkers.


KitchenAid Cold Brew Coffee Maker
Really, the only true way to drink iced coffee is with cold brew. So, if you’re going to spend $80 on a coffee maker, it should be a cold brew coffee maker.


Moscow Mule set of 4 16oz copper mugs
These mugs look great and work well with any ice-cold drink you want: water, beer, soda. You name it.


Kovot 9-piece Wine Travel Bag and Picnic Set
This perfect picnic accessory works really well when you want to bring wine but you’re already over-encumbered by a giant picnic basket. It’s easy to carry and has everything you need.


Yeti Rambler 10oz Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Steel Lowball
These Yeti Lowball tumlers are short and fat instead of tall and skiny like most designs. That makes them great for sipping hot tea, cider, or a small cocktail.


Glogex 11-piece home bar tool set
Whether you want to impress your friends or make a complicated drink for yourself, this set has all the tools you need to setup the perfect home bar.


Mr. Coffee 2-in-1 Iced Tea Brewing System
This is not a system designed to be complicated. Find your favorite tea bag or tea leaves, select the strength of the brew you want, and let Mr. Coffee handle the hard part.


DuoMuo Coaster Set of 6 Colorful Vinyl Record Disk Coasters
This unique set of coasters are designed to look exactly like tiny vinyl records. Perfect for the music-obsessed coffee drinks that really don’t want any rings on the coffee table.


The Periodic Table of Wine
Enhance your wine-ication with this book that breaks down all the different variables in wine and actually presents a unique way to introduce you to vintages you’ve never tried before.
Think Geek


Oster cordless electric wine bottle opener
Please stop living in the 20th century and start using an electric wine bottle opener. All you have to do is press a button and there’s nothing standing between you and your favorite red.


Simple Modern Spirit 12oz vacuum-insulated Wine Tumbler
This collection from Simple Modern features solid colors and design, vacuum-insulation to keep beverages hot or cold for longer and different styles for wine or coffee.


Goodnight Brew: A Parody for Beer People
Whether you want to get your kids working at your bewery real young, or the brew master in your life isn’t quite all there, this parody take on the famous Goodnight Moon! will teach everyone about the joys of making beer.


Reusable K-Cup (4-pack)
If you prefer specialty coffee but like the simplicity of using a Keurig, this is the way to go.


K-Cup Carousel
Stop storing your K-Cups in a random drawer, and instead display them in a way that makes them easier to find.


64oz Chalkboard Growler
Most people only care about the beer inside the growler, but having a cool growler is a conversation starter. This chalkboard painted growler lets you customize it as you wish, making it perfect for every situation.


Corksickle Chillsner Beer Cooler
There’s no beer worse than a warm beer. Trust me. Don’t be that friend that serves a beer that isn’t cold enough, and instead have a few of these in your freezer.


Beer Chilling Coaster Set
The refridgerator isn’t the only place that can keep your beer cold. These coasters will help keep them chilled while you are sipping on them (and it helps prevent rings on your table!).
Uncommon Goods


Bormioli Rocco Selecta 7-Piece Whiskey Gift Set
This seven piece whiskey set features glasses and a carafe, but if you give this as a gift it should really be an 8-piece set with some whiskey to really round it out.


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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

You’ll be thanking yourself years from now.

PlayStation Plus members know how crucial the subscription service is if you enjoy playing multiplayer on the PS4. Though the price of the one-year subscription was ratcheted up by $10 earlier this year to $60, most PS4 gamers continue to pay Sony monthly or yearly for their membership between $5 and $8 a month depending on the subscription length purchased. Right now however, you can pick up multiple years of PlayStation Plus at just $39.99 each via Amazon, bringing your monthly cost down to $3.33.

Maybe your current subscription still has six months left before it expires – that’s still no reason to hold off on this deal. You could grab two years of PS Plus for just $20 more than one year regularly costs right now, and the codes stack so you can enter them all as soon as they arrive and have your membership locked in for a while. What’s great about PlayStation Plus is that the membership you buy can be used on a variety of PlayStation consoles too, so if you buy five years, you’ll be able to use your membership on your PS5 / PSV whenever that comes out too.

Other than multiplayer, PS Plus subscribers also get access to free game downloads monthly along with exclusive PlayStation Store discounts and more.

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Take a look at the other side of working around VR.

While the current excitement in the world of VR is gaming, especially with titles like Fallout and Doom hitting the shelves, the world of VR video continues to grow at an incredible pace. I was recently invited to attend an event on Samsung’s journey so far with the Gear VR, and sat down with actor and philanthropist Theo Rossi to talk about his recent experiences on the other side of this new kind of camera.

Read more at VRHeads!

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

HDMI 2.1 promises to deliver 10K video, 120 Hz refresh rates and much more. Here’s everything you should know about HDMI’s next revision.

Earlier this year HDMI 2.1 was unveiled, the latest revision of the now-commonplace audio/video cable standard across consumer electronics. And while still in its early stages, the final specification provides a new spectrum of high-end features, designed to deliver premium home entertainment experiences. With improvements focusing on both video consumption and gaming, HDMI 2.1 lays the foundation for clearer and smoother future. But what does this mean to you?

What is HDMI 2.1?

HDMI 2.1 is the latest revised specification of the HDMI interface, which is used for transmitting both audio and video across modern devices. Having become the go-to solution across consumer electronics, you’ll have undoubtedly encountered previous versions of the cable or port over the last decade. And while using a visually identical connector, HDMI 2.1 delivers hardware refinements that push improved video and audio quality.

After its first unveiling at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2017, HDMI Forum, the body managing the interface’s development, has created a specification for HDMI 2.1 going forward. As of November 2017, the specification was finalized, allowing manufacturers to begin adopting the technology itself.

HDMI 2.1′s new features

Improved bandwidth

One of the principal developments with HDMI 2.1 is a boost in available bandwidth, allowing for transfer rates up to 48 Gigabits per second (Gbps) – a significant step up from the 18 Gbps available with HDMI 2.0. In contrast to the leap from the 10.2 Gbps offered by its predecessor, HDMI 1.4, HDMI 2.1 represents a significant advancement in the potential throughput. Not only does this allow for improved visual clarity, but other video and audio upgrades have been detailed that take advantage of this overhead.

Higher resolutions and framerates

For general consumers, one of the alluring promises is a leap in both supported resolution and framerates when using an HDMI 2.1 connection. Topping out at 10K resolution and 120 Hz at lower pixel counts, the new revision should provide more than enough flexibility for any consumer display hitting the market for the years ahead.

While 10K video won’t be among the mainstream anytime soon, HDMI 2.1 also leverages its improved bandwidth to target lower resolutions. On supported displays, 8K (7,680 pixels x 4,320 pixels) at 60 Hz will be possible, as well as 4K (3,840 × 2,160) at 120 Hz. These resolutions also see the full benefit of High Dynamic Range (HDR) across supported content, with a wider gamut of colors and improved contrast ratio. Stepping up from the limit of 4K at 60Hz imposed with HDMI 2.0, resolutions can now be pushed even further without comprising fluidity.

Dynamic HDR

HDMI 2.1 also ushers in “Dynamic HDR,” which extends the potential of existing HDR technology with improved color tuning. When the feature is in use, dynamic metadata is processed on a frame-by-frame basis, allowing color settings and brightness to adapt on the fly. The result is an improvement to how colors are displayed, depending on the current scene. While dynamic metadata is already available over HDMI 2.0 with “Dolby Vision,” HDMI 2.1 aims to deliver this to the open HDR10 standard.

More: The difference between HDR10 and Dolby Vision


In a move to continue simplifying household entertainment centers, HDMI 2.1 adopts support for enhanced audio return channel (eARC), which is used to deliver audio over an HDMI connection to soundbars and receivers. Building on the existing ARC implementation implemented in earlier HDMI specifications, this allows a single HDMI to send and receive audio, reducing the cabling between external devices.

eARC is an extension of this technology, making your TV the central hub for entertainment, rather than a traditional receiver. With support for integrated TV tuners, streaming apps and other devices connected to the TV via other HDMI ports, the TV can handoff essentially all audio to an external sound system. With support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, too, this delivers high-quality sound to audio-only receivers, soundbars, and amplifiers.

Other features of HDMI 2.1

While the most impressive features of HDMI 2.1 deliver improvements to visual clarity and color, several other additions are making an arrival with the specification. Tailored for video playback and gaming, these provide enhancements for more specific scenarios.

For gamers, one of the most promising features of HDMI 2.1 is support for Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) outputs. In essence, VRR adapts the refresh rate of your display to that out outputted content, reducing screen tearing and stuttering, without the input lag suffered when using a similar solution known as V-Sync. This makes for a much smoother overall experience for gamers on supported displays, although has few applications for other content types.

HDMI 2.1 also delivers support for a minor feature known as “Quick Media Switching” (QMS), which streamlines the process of changing media types on the fly. On traditional displays, changing framerate, resolution and other settings can result in a short blackout. If using a QMS-supported display, HDMI 2.1 will smoothen the process of changing source material, without dropping the signal.

Another welcome feature for gamers is support for “Quick Frame Transport” (QFS) – a relatively simple concept, which makes for a snappier experience. When using QFS, frame output latency is reduced, which delivers a much more responsive experience to displays and VR headsets.

To further enhance refresh rates comes “Auto Low Latency Mode” (ALLM), which automatically adjusts latency on the fly, to make for the smoothest, lag-free viewing experience.

Pushing more advanced visuals, “Display Stream Compression” (DSC) is also a part of the new specification, meaning devices can theoretically surpass the 48 Gbps limit on HDMI 2.1 displays. With this feature enhanced, video streams can be compressed on the fly, delivering improved visual quality to supported displays.

Getting started with HDMI 2.1

With the HDMI 2.1 specification only recently having been finalized, development of hardware utilizing the technology is still in the early stages. Despite using the same connector, the revised interface requires dedicated ports and cables designed for the latest specification, meaning there are no consumer setups available that offer its feature set.

To take advantage of all the new features offered by HDMI 2.1, a new “Ultra High-Speed HDMI Cable” will be required. Cables certified for use with the new standard will be built for 48 Gbps transfer rates and all the other features details with the revised specification. As of publication, manufacturers are yet to release cables that have passed the HDMI 2.1 Compliance Test Specification (CTS), however, they are expected to first hit the market sometime in 2018. But be warned – at first, these cables won’t be cheap.

Some HDMI 2.1 features are accessible with older HDMI cables, but to get the complete range of features, you’ll have to invest in an Ultra High-Speed variant. For example, eARC can be accessed using HDMI High-Speed Cables with Ethernet, while less intensive resolution and frame rate combinations can be output alongside Dynamic HDR using older HDMI cables. Ultra High-Speed cables are backward compatible with older ports, only with older features offered by the port.

The same concept applies to devices themselves, meaning both outputting and receiving devices must support HDMI 2.1 to take full advantage of the interface. Using the same connector means that implementing HDMI 2.1 shouldn’t be too challenging for major manufacturers, but due to the infancy of the specification, it will once again be some time before these devices are in the home.

So, should you care about HDMI 2.1?

Not really — at least not yet. While HDMI 2.1 delivers some anticipated premium features, with the specification only recently having been finalized, the technology is still in early stages. It will still be some time before supported devices are available to consumers – and that’s not even touching the fact that price will be a major barrier to entry.

4K displays are only just finding a place among the mainstream, meaning the technology showcasing the greatest benefits of HDMI 2.1 will come at a cost. Simply put, HDMI 2.1 is so future-proofed, displays simply haven’t caught up to its capabilities. Once HDMI 2.1 is more accessible, there will be welcome improvements for both video and gaming experiences, but you’ll have to wait for now.

What is HDR and why should you care?

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

If you’re among those who already own the HTC U11+, you should be receiving yet another software update. HTC is pushing out the 1.10.709.23 software build which weighs in at 447.18 MB for the Taiwanese model of the phone. The changelog simply … Read More

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 | Posted by | Categories: HTC |

OnePlus fans in India will be able to watch the upcoming Star Wars movie for free.

OnePlus is celebrating its third anniversary in India, and to mark the occasion the company is giving away 10,000 complimentary tickets to its fans for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which is hitting theaters on December 15. The company is also set to launch the OnePlus 5T Star Wars edition in the country on December 14.

OnePlus fans in nine cities across India will be able to avail the promotion: Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi, Bangalore and Kochi. The tickets will be rolled out in two phases — on December 13 and December 15 on OnePlus’ website and on Paytm — and the first phase is now live.

Anyone that has purchased a OnePlus device over the course of the last three years is eligible for the offer. All you have to do is register your OnePlus device’s IMEI number, select the city, and pick a time for when you want to see the movie. You’ll receive a ticket code that can then be redeemed on Paytm for the ticket.

You’ll be able to choose tickets for showtimes on December 16 and 17 at PVR and Cinemax theaters at these locations:

  • Mumbai – PVR Phoenix Mills – Lower Parel
  • Pune – PVR Pune – Market City
  • Hyderabad – PVR Kukatpally Forum Sujana Mall
  • Chandigarh – PVR Elante Mall
  • Chennai – PVR Ampa Sky Walk Mall
  • Kolkata – Cinemax Mani Square Mall
  • Delhi – PVR DLF Mall of India
  • Bangalore – PVR Forum Mall – Koramangala
  • Kochi – PVR Lulu International Shopping Mall

OnePlus is also rolling out pop-up stores at the aforementioned nine cities, giving its fans the ability to go hands-on with the Star Wars-themed variant of the OnePlus 5T. The first round of tickets are now available from the link below.

Register your OnePlus device

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |