OnePlus Smartphones Finally Available Without Invites

 

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For the past few years OnePlus has made good smartphones. The OnePlus One, Two, and X have all been popular phones. But until now you had to sign up for an invite and wait a long time sometimes to get your phone. In the days of Amazon Prime 2 day shipping it is hard to stomach a 2 month wait for a smartphone.

The OnePlus 3 will launch on June 14th without needing an invite. Whether this means they have enough stock to not sell out quickly or not is still to be seen. It would be a waste of time to make a big display about not having invites, then having the phone sell out and have a 2 month wait.

Nexus 5X only $199 with Project Fi Signup

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The Nexus 5X has always been a good value at $349. It has a 5.2 inch screen with a good camera, up to 32GB of storage, and other specs not found in low end phones. Now until June 9th, Google is having a sale on the phone and bringing the 16GB model to $199 and the 32GB model to $249 when you sign up for Project Fi.

Project Fi is Google’s entrance into the world of wireless carriers. They are not just another reseller of mobile networks like the other providers other than the big 4. Project Fi combines Sprint and T-Mobile’s wireless networks so you are able to get the best coverage in every area. It switches seamlessly between networks, and even allows for Wi-Fi calling when indoor reception is limited. The pricing starts at $30 per month for 1GB of data, unlimited calling and texting. Project Fi is not for heavy data users, but if you are looking for an affordable Nexus 5X and to try it out, it is a good deal.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Review

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Is the Samsung Galaxy S7 the best Android phone ever made? Many review websites are saying that could be the case. Many point towards the Nexus line by Google as the best phones, but it takes more than just stock Android to be the best phone. Let’s break this phone down in detail.

Screen
The screen on the Galaxy S7 is probably the best out there with the 2k resolution screen. Keep in mind the screen size is only 5.1 inches, so your eye can’t even begin to see the individual pixels anymore. The brightness of it is excellent too. Add in the new “always on” screen mode that shows the time, date, battery life, and certain notifications when the screen is off too.

Camera
All the reviewers of the Galaxy S7 have said this is the best cell phone camera hands down. It even beats the iPhone 6S. The low light capabilities are amazing. It can take a photo in low light and make it look great without a flash. Even better than many DSLR’s can do.

Look/Feel/Functionality
Samsung has raised their game again when it comes to the look and feel of the phone. It is an all glass phone front and back and has that premium feel to it. It is still a very light phone even though the battery size has increased from the S6. Pair this premium look and feel with the new waterproofing that is now included and you have a really well-built phone.

Battery Life
The battery life of the S7 has greatly improved above the S6. This is partially because the battery size is almost 20% larger, but also because of the improvements Android 6.0 brings to the table. Android now does a better job of putting unused or background apps to sleep when they are not used so the standby time increases greatly.

Operating System
The Samsung version of Android has come a long ways in the past 3 years. It went from being a clunky, ugly OS to something that is nearly as good as stock Android. It is easy to use, lightweight, and almost fun to use.

Overall the phone is an excellent choice if you are in the market for a new phone. Samsung hasn’t made any mistakes this time when putting it together unlike in the past.

iPhone SE is Now Available for $399

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Apple announced their newest iPhone to be released: The 4 inch iPhone SE. It is the first attention any company has put towards a smaller phone in years. Some people still prefer a smaller phone even though most everyone has a 4.7 inch (iPhone 6S size) and above.

The phone is priced at an affordable $399 for the 16GB model. Though these days most people will want a 32GB or larger phone due to the size of all the games and apps there are to download. The $399 price brings it to only $16.66 per month if you decide to use the device payment plan with Verizon. This brings cell phones down to a more affordable level for those who don’t need the larger screens.

It has a similar processor and camera as the iPhone 6S so it has a lot of power behind it. The screen resolution is still much lower than the other higher end phones on the market, but for most people it is just fine. The phone doesn’t break so much new ground as it does give Apple a new affordable phone they can promote. It is good to see more mid-range phone becoming available these days like the One Plus and Nexus lines. Not everyone should be stuck paying $700 for a new smartphone.

[Deal Alert] Buy a New Galaxy S7 and Get Gear VR Free

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If you are in the market for a new Galaxy S7 you will get a free Gear VR headset with the purchase of the phone from any major carrier. The offer only lasts for a limited time.

The Gear VR is Samsung’s entry into the virtual reality realm. It is a headset that you place your smartphone in and the strap onto your head. There are already games available in virtual reality, and the Gear VR also includes a bundle of 6 of them. Personally, I don’t see the draw in virtual reality headsets, but then again I haven’t tried it. If I am given the chance I will.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Now Available

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Samsung has just released the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge phones which marks their newest entries into the smartphone arena. The Galaxy S7 has gone back to the ways of the Galaxy S5. It brought back the waterproofing, and MicroSD card slot. These are excellent features to have because it is always tough to lose a phone by dropping it in water. The phone isn’t meant to be used under water, but it is now fully sealed without the need for a flap over the charging port like there was on the S5. The MicroSD card slot is a great feature for power users because it allows for extra storage space up to 200GB! That is a lot of music or videos that can be loaded onto your phone.

Overall, reviews have been excellent with many calling this phone the best Android phone ever. The camera has been greatly improved and is considered the top cell phone camera out there right now by many reviewers. It even beats out the iPhone 6S which has one of the top cell phone cameras.

Is it a must-buy? Well it depends on if your contract or phone payment is up and you are ready for a new one. At $699 on average for the S7 and $799 for the S7 Edge it is a big investment, but it has all the features we expect of the flagship models. It is the best Android phones along with the Google Nexus phones.

Google Hangouts Will Soon Feature Better Call Quality

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I have recently started using Google Hangouts to keep in touch with other people in the Google realm. I have found though the voice calling to be inconsistent. I would have calls that were choppy, drop out, and have other issues all the time.

Google has just stated they are going to improve the quality of voice calls on the Android, iOS, and desktop apps. They said they will do this by establishing a peer to peer (P2P) connection instead of routing the calls directly through the Google servers. To me it sounds like it would work better the opposite way. That is the calls would be higher quality going through the servers than P2P. But I guess Google probably knows what they are doing!

Microsoft Acquires Popular Smartphone Keyboard SwiftKey

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Microsoft announced they are acquiring the SwiftKey keyboard company. If you haven’t heard of SwiftKey for Android and iOS then you are missing out. It is the top custom keyboard for both Android and iPhones. It features a word prediction engine that can guess what you are saying next based on previous keyword entries.

I have been using SwiftKey for several years now and have found it to be the best keyboard since it is able to save me time typing because of its prediction technology. It is free and available for Android and iOS phones. Get it in the app stores.