Samsung Galaxy Note 5: What do you want from the *next* next big thing?

Some hopes and expectations for the next Galaxy Note

It’s almost time for a new Samsung Galaxy Note — and it looks like this year’s model could bring a few changes. It’s the first time we’ll see Samsung’s new Galaxy S6 design language applied to a larger, stylus-equipped handset. And if the latest reports are to be believed, the Galaxy Note 5 could arrive significantly earlier than expected.

The Note line is a series of products with a unique appeal and a loyal following. The Notes are the only pen-toting phones to have sold in large numbers. They’ve also been showcase devices for Samsung’s homegrown multitasking features, multi window and popup window.

So what’s next? We’ll make a few early predictions after the break, but we also want to hear from current Note users and anyone considering upgrading — what’ll make the Note 5 your next Android phone?

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US Cellular Samsung Galaxy S4 Lollipop Update Now Available

US-Cellular-LogoLollipop has just arrived for Samsung Galaxy S4 on US Cellular. The upgraded software build is based on Android 5.0 with the new version number R970TYUGOE2.  Per the norm for Galaxy devices the update is available as an OTA or through Samsung Kies on your computer.

Full instructions on how to update your S4 are available here. Or, you can just read the screenshot of the instructions below.

Screenshot 2015-07-13 at 10.22.51 AM

If you have an S4 on US cellular and were able to download the update OTA please let us know in the comments below.

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US Cellular Samsung Galaxy S4 Lollipop Update Now Available was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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The Pebble Time Steel goes into production this week, shipments begin later this month

In March, Pebble officially introduced the Pebble Time Steel, its high-end option for those that might not want to go with the regular Pebble Time variant.

While the Pebble Time Steel would see a delay in production and shipping when compared to the Pebble Time, the wait is almost over. The company has officially announced that production on the Pebble Time Steel kicks off this week and that shipments for the early backers will begin by the end of July.

For those that didn’t back the project immediately, Pebble says that shipping and tracking information for the Pebble Time Steel will arrive beginning in early August.

For some early buyers, Pebble is going to include the steel and leather bands with their Time Steel. For those that miss that window, though, Pebble will send out a steel band at a later date for those early backers. It’s a nice bonus, considering Pebble will only sell the steel band as an accessory at some point in the future.

For those that want to go for the regular Pebble Time, though, Best Buy opened pre-orders for the wearable not too long ago.

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Best Sprint Android phones (July 2015)

Sprint logo Shutterstock

We’ve already taken a look at the best phones you can buy on Verizon and AT&T, and now it’s Sprint’s turn. Sprint has a wide selection of top-tier, mid-range, and low-budget phone options, so we’ll help you decide which one is best suited for your lifestyle.

The categories for the best phones are solely based on price range, split up into three tiers: above $200, under $200, and under $50. Remember, we’re talking about on-contract pricing here, so don’t get too excited! We’ve also listed the off-contract prices for your convenience. Many of the prices listed here are directly through Sprint, though we tried to also include the best deals on Amazon.

Editor’s note – we will be updating this list as more devices hit the market.

Update – July 13, 2015: A lot has changed on the Android market since we last updated this list. Joining our ranking of best AT&T Android smartphones are the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, and the LG G4, while devices like the Galaxy S5 and the LG G3 remain on the list thanks to their lowered price.

Best phones above $200

#1 – Samsung Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 Edge

Samsung’s attempts to turn things around with the Galaxy S6 proved successful. The company’s latest flagship device implements a new design language worthy of awards and able to compete against the best in the market. It’s certainly the most attractive smartphone the company has created to-date, edged with a metal frame and covered with Gorilla Glass 4, in a body that measures only 6.8 mm in thickness.

The phone may come with its defects, including a lackluster non-removable battery and featuring no expandable storage, but it touts a spec list that will not disappoint even the fiercest of critics. We also can’t forget about that 16 MP camera, which is likely the best in the market.

Those interested can get the Galaxy S6 for $199.99 on a 2-year contract, or you can opt for the curved display on the Galaxy S6 Edge, which will set you back $299.99.

  • Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Batte…

  • Samsung Galaxy S6 vs S6 edge…

  • Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Revie…

  • Samsung Galaxy S6 Review!

Specs

  • 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display with 1440 x 2560 resolution
  • Octa-core 4×2.1GHz + 4×1.5GHz 64-bit 14nm Samsung Exynos 7420 CPU
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32/64/128GB of on-board storage, no MicroSD expansion
  • 16MP rear-facing cam, 5MP front-facing cam
  • Non-removable 2550mAh battery (2600 mAh for the Galaxy S6 Edge)
  • 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm, 138g
  • White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop

Read more

  • Samsung Galaxy S6 review: the change we’ve been waiting for
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 hands-on and first impressions
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Apple iPhone 6
  • Best Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge cases

Buy the Galaxy S6 from $199.99
Buy the Galaxy S6 Edge from $299.99
Buy the Galaxy S6 from Amazon
Buy the Galaxy S6 Edge from Amazon
#2 – LG G4

In an industry where every manufacturer is trying to sacrifice battery life and customization for thinness, LG manages to stand out from the crowd by sticking to its own philosophy. They are proving it’s not necessary to follow standards in order to make a great phone. Its superior set of specs is worthy of placement in the high-end category, but the true value rests in the ability to remove that large 3000 mAh battery, allowing you to swap batteries as needed. In addition, the LG G4 is one of the very few smartphones to continue supporting microSD cards.

That is all great and dandy, but we all know many of you still care about aesthetics. Can the LG G4 accomplish a good look and build quality without metal and glass? It certainly can! In fact, the LG G4 feels great and looks stunning. One can even opt for leather backing, which will give the mobile device an elegance that can be matched by very few other devices.

Because the LG G4 is worthy of standing next to the best phones in the market, it’s also priced as such. The phone will run for $199.99 on a 2-year contract, or you can opt not to sign any papers and get the phone for $649.99 off-contract.

  • LG G4 vs LG G3

  • LG G4 review

  • LG G4 Top Features

  • LG G4 vs Samsung Galaxy S6/e…

Specs

  • 5.5-inch LCD Quantum Dot display with 1440 x 2560 resolution
  • Hexa-core 2xCortex A57+ 4xCortex A53 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 CPU
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, MicroSD expansion up to 128GB
  • 16MP rear-facing cam with f/1.8 aperture, 8 MP front-facing cam
  • Removable 3000 mAh battery
  • 149.8 x 76.2 x 6.3-9.8 mm, 155g
  • Gray, gold or white plastic. Black, brown, red, sky blue, beige or yellow leather.
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop

Read more

  • LG G4 review
  • Best LG G4 cases
  • LG G4 vs LG G3
  • LG G4 vs Samsung Galaxy S6/S6 Edge – camera shootout

Buy now from $199.99
Buy now from Amazon
#3 – Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Despite being one of the older new-generation devices, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 continues to impress with an amazing performance, incomparable note-taking features and ample screen real estate. Some would go as far as saying this is Samsung’s true flagship smartphone, as the Galaxy Note series is usually a tad better over the Galaxy S line-up.

Thinking of picking one up? It’s not cheap at $199.99 on a 2-year contract  or $760 off-contract, but it is still a worthy phone if you like your large screens.

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  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review…

Specs

  • 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with 1440 x 2560 resolution
  • 2.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 CPU
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128GB
  •  16MP rear cam, 3.7MP front cam
  • Removable 3220 mAh battery
  • 153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm, 176g
  • Frosted White, Charcoal Black, Bronze Gold, or Blossom Pink
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop

Read more

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4 officially announced
  • Best cases for your Galaxy Note 4

Buy now from $299.99
Buy now from Amazon
#4 – Google Nexus 6

The Nexus 6 is a staple on any list of top Android handsets of the moment regardless of the carrier, looming large both literally and through what it represents – Google’s vision of what Android software should be like and what hardware that software needs in order to truly shine. That’s always been the case with Nexus devices, but the Motorola-made Nexus 6 is nothing like the understated Nexus 5, which almost vanished in the background to let Android shine through. The Nexus 6 is big and powerful; it makes a statement about its user and it turns heads.

The biggest drawback of the Nexus 6 is the one that makes it stand out – with its six inches display, the Nexus 6 will never be a good choice for everyone. However, if you’re fine with the size, there’s a lot to like about this phone – the screen is amazing, the processing package is top-notch, the camera is powerful, and build quality is as good as any. Plus, even if Motorola and other phone makers are upping their updates game, Nexus is still the way to go if you like your phones up to date.

  • Best cases for the Nexus 6!

  • Nexus 6 Tips and Tricks!

  • Nexus 6: Camera Shootout

  • Nexus 6 Review

Specs

  • 5.96-inch Super AMOLED display with 1440 x 2560 resolution
  • 2.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 CPU
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of on-board storage, non-expandable
  • 13MP rear cam, 2MP front cam
  • Non-removable 3220 mAh battery
  • 159.3 x 83 x 10.1 mm, 184g
  • Midnight Blue, Cloud White
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop

Read more

  • Nexus 6 review
  • Best Nexus 6 cases
  • Nexus 6 camera shootout
  • Nexus 6 vs the competition
  • Nexus 6 vs Nexus 5: early look

Buy now from $199.99
Buy now from Amazon

Best phones under $150

#1 – HTC One M9

No One can deny the HTC One M9 is worthy of battling the best of phones. Its simple metal design and superior build quality are second to none. It looks gorgeous, it feels great and it performs as any high-end smartphone should. It’s also now priced lower than its direct competitors.

You can get yourself an HTC One M9 for as low as $99.99 if you get it straight from Sprint on a 2-year contract!

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    HTC One M9 Camera Shootout

  • HTC One M9 Review!

  • HTC One M9 vs HTC One M8 – Q…

  • HTC One M9 Dot View Case Fir…

Specs

  • 5.0-inch Super LCD 3 display with 1080x1920p resolution
  • 2.0GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 CPU
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB of internal storage
  • 20MP rear cam, 4MP front cam
  • 2840mAh battery
  • 144.6 x 69.7 x 9.61 mm, 157g
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop

Read more

  • HTC One M9 review
  • HTC One M9 camera shootout
  • Best HTC One M9 cases
  • LG G4 vs HTC One M9

Buy now from $99.99
Buy now from Amazon
#2 – Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung really ramped up its design efforts with this year’s GS6, but that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. The S6 and S6 Edge might look sleek and refined, but that comes with a big cost – fragility. That’s the entire reason why the Galaxy S5 is on this list.

It’s still a fast, somewhat rugged device that’s running the latest version of Android, and oh yeah, it has a removable battery and expandable memory. For Samsung fans looking for a quality option that won’t break the bank, you can’t go wrong with the S5.

Want in? You ca get your hands on a Sprint Samsung Galaxy S5 for only $49.99 on a 2-year contract. Otherwise, the full price is $552.

  • The Samsung Galaxy S5… Now

  • Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Samsung…

  • LG G3 vs Samsung Galaxy S5

  • Samsung Galaxy S5 Review

Specs

  • 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 1080 x 1920 resolution
  • 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16/32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128GB
  • 16MP rear cam, 2MP front cam
  • Removable 2800mAh battery
  • 142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm, 145g
  • Charcoal Black, Shimmery White, Copper Gold
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop

Read more

  • Samsung Galaxy S5 review
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 officially announced
  • Best cases for the Samsung Galaxy S5

Buy now from $49.99
Buy now from Amazon
#3 – Samsung Galaxy S5 Sport

Samsung was one of the first manufacturers to create rugged smartphones actually worth using. The Samsung Galaxy S5 Sport comes with a very fair set of specs, which were top-of-the-line when it was released. In addition, it features a gorgeous display and a build quality that should give room for a drop or two. It may be a bit old, but we are sure the resistant device will make plenty of you happy, especially if you have an appreciation for sports and activity applications.

The Galaxy S5 Sport is a Sprint exclusive and goes for $99.99, so it also won’t break the bank.

Specs

  • 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 1080 x 1920 resolution
  • 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128GB
  • 16MP rear cam, 2MP front cam
  • 2800mAh battery
  • 144 x 74 x 8.9 mm, 158g
  • Cherry Red, Electric Blue
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop

Read more

  • Samsung Galaxy S5 Sport review
  • Best Samsung Galaxy S5 Sport cases

Buy now from $99.99

Best phones under $50

#1 – LG G3

At the time of it’s release, the G3 had some of the best specs on a smartphone any. It made headlines as the first phone to boast a Quad HD display, and along with it came a big 3000 mAh battery. The massive (at the time) screen, powerful 2.5GHz processor, and sleek build quality became a force to be reckoned with amongst other flagships.

The best part? You can pick up the LG G3 for only $0.01 from Amazon!

  • LG G Flex 2 vs LG G3

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs LG …

  • LG G3: Everything You Need t…

  • LG G3 Review!

Specs

  • 5.5-inch LCD display with 1440 x 2560 resolution
  • 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU
  • 2/3GB of RAM (depending on storage option)
  • 16/32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128GB
  • 13MP rear cam, 2.1MP front cam
  • Removable 3000mAh battery
  • 146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm, 149g
  • Metallic Black, Silk White, Shine Gold, Moon Violet, Burgundy Red, Blue Steel
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop

Read more

  • LG G3 Review
  • LG G3 officially announced
  • Best LG G3 cases

Buy now from $49.99
Buy now from Amazon
#2 – LG G Stylo

lg g stylo

Remember those days when having a larger screen meant spending a fortune on your new smartphone? Those times are now gone, with devices like the LG G Stylo catering to those who love sizable displays, but don’t need all the high-end specs of a flagship smartphone. Its 720p screen loos good enough to provide a pleasant experience, and the Snapdragon 410 processor is more than enough power to run your casual tasks (and even the occasional game).

It’s clear this is no high-end phone, but that $49.99 price point will have you wondering if you really need all that power.

Specs

  • 5.7-inch IPS LCD display with 720x1280p resolution
  • 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 CPU
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 16GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128GB
  • 8MP rear cam, 5MP front cam
  • 3000 mAh battery
  • 154.2 x 79.2 x 9.7 mm, 164g
  • White Frost, Black Mist
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop

Read more

  • LG G Stylo now available on Sprint
  • LG G Stylo arrives to Boost 
  • LG Leon LTE and LG G Stylo coming to T-Mobile

Buy now from $49.99
Buy now from Amazon
#3 – Samsung Galaxy S4

The Samsung Galaxy S4 was once the king of the hill. Successors have far surpassed it, but that doesn’t mean the Galaxy S4 is a bad device. In fact, it’s a very capable phone and can still hold its own. Remember, old doesn’t always mean bad, and the Samsung Galaxy S4 is pure testament of this belief. It can still perform like a champ!

Those on a budget can take advantage of the fact that the Samsung Galaxy S4 is a couple generations old and is now free with a 2-year contract. Of course, there’s also options for paying the device on installments, or you could get it for $499.99 off-contract (though at this point we wouldn’t recommend that).

  • Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy …

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Best Scree…

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  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Review

Specs

  • 5-inch Super AMOLED display with 1080 x 1920 resolution
  • 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16/32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 64GB
  • 13MP rear cam, 2MP front cam
  • Removable 2600 mAh battery
  • 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm, 130g
  • White Frost, Black Mist
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat (Lollipop update coming down the pipeline)

Read more

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Review
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 gets official in New York City
  • Best Samsung Galaxy S4 cases

Get it now for free
Buy now from Amazon

How do like our list? Is there any device you’d add or remove when it comes to pricing categories? Let us know your opinions in the comments!

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Be the biggest cell you can be in Agar.io, now on Android

You’ve heard it being talked about by casual gamers. You’ve seen your officemates or friends playing it on their PC’s. You yourself may have been playing it on your own computer. But now, you can take the game with you everywhere, as the cell-eating craze Agar.io is now available for your Android devices. But if you’re playing it for the first time, you’ll be surprised to know that it’s not an RPG with the most advanced graphics or the best storyline, but rather a minimalist online game where you aim to be the biggest cell in the block.

Basically, Agar.io’s gameplay is all about you eating up all the other cells in order to become the biggest cell in the game. But it’s not that simple as it is a massive online multiplayer game, and at times, there may be dozens of other players doing the same. So it’s literally a case of eat or be eaten with this game. You’re also trying to avoid being eaten by the other bigger cells, and so it makes it more challenging.

What makes it even more complicated is the fact that the bigger you get, the slower you’ll get to trudge along. But it also means that the chances of the smaller cells bumping into you becomes bigger, and so you get bigger too. An option would be to divide your massive body into several smaller, more nimble ones, all the better to eat up more cells. Your nickname and the other players’ nicknames are written on your cell bubbles so there won’t be any confusion.

You can download Agar.io for free from the Google Play Store. There are in-app purchases available to help you along, but aren’t necessary to play the game.

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Reconsidering the overall index in our Radeon R9 Fury review

I’ve been pretty active over the weekend responding to questions in the comments section for our Radeon R9 Fury review.

As you may know, our value scatter plot puts the R9 Fury just behind the GeForce GTX 980 in our overall index of average FPS scores across our test suite. Some of you have expressed surprise at …

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Play Store Adds Additional International Carrier Billing Options In Mexico, Slovakia, And More

GooglePlayStore-ThumbThe most common way to pay for content in the Play Store is with a good old-fashioned credit card, but carrier billing is also available to many of us. It just depends on whether or not it’s supported on your carrier. Starting today, the Play Store supports carrier billing on several new international carriers, including for the first time ever in Mexico.

Here are the newly supported carriers.

  • Mexico: Nextel and Iusacell
  • Slovakia: Slovak Telekom
  • Indonesia: XL/AXIS

If you charge an app, game, or anything else to your carrier account, you’ll just pay for it at the end of the month in your bill.

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Play Store Adds Additional International Carrier Billing Options In Mexico, Slovakia, And More was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Android M Developer Preview 2 Nexus OTA ZIP Roundup

nexus2cee_android-m_thumb.pngThe Android L developer preview remained largely static in the time between its launch and Lollipop’s official release. That isn’t the case with Android M, which Google says will receive monthly over-the-air updates. The first of them is now available for the Nexus 5 and 6.

There isn’t much new to see in this update. Google announced it last week when it released system images, and you can see the provided list of changes in our coverage at the time.

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Android M Developer Preview 2 Nexus OTA ZIP Roundup was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Sonos App Updated To v5.4 With Play Music Recommended Playlists, Improved Shuffle, And More

Sonos-ThumbThe Sonos app has gone through a couple big changes recently, and the result is an app that no longer makes your eyes bleed. That’s always nice. Today’s update to v5.4 doesn’t make any changes on the level of reducing ocular bleeding, but it’s still a good one.

nexus2cee_screenshot_2015-07-13-17-25-15 nexus2cee_screenshot_2015-07-13-17-25-29 nexus2cee_screenshot_2015-07-13-17-25-43 nexus2cee_unnamed

Here’s the changelog for Sonos v5.4.

  • Radio by TuneIn has new icons and high-resolution album art making browsing more fun!

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Sonos App Updated To v5.4 With Play Music Recommended Playlists, Improved Shuffle, And More was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Sonos gets an update that improves Google Play Music support

Sonos systems are gaining in popularity and the company is doing a good job of keeping its software updated as well. A new version of the Sonos app is now rolling out that includes multiple new features. These include a new list that reflects shuffled tracks so that you can see what’s coming up, visual and navigation improvements to TuneIn Radio within Sonos and enhanced clarity through the PLAY:1 speaker.

One of the biggest pieces of the update is improvement for Google Play Music support. Google Play Music’s playlist curation is now available within Sonos, allowing you to easily find recommended playlists based on the time of day, your mood and your listening history. You can also now add and remove tracks and albums from your library, right within the app. Finally, you can now get automatically built playlists that are based on your track rating and other playlists that you’ve built.

The update is now rolling out, so check to see if you’ve received it yet!

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