It's been a while but one of our staff members (@CJM) thought it may be time to bring it back and you know what we agree.
In a year where Android and smartphones have been awesome, from a dream gaming phone to Samsung making its triumphant return with their Note, it is a great time to celebrate how far Android has come. And what better way than to show off your holiday spirit with your phone.
With the winners having the opportunity to win some stocking stuffers, break out the Android phone and let's see what you can do.
So here are the rules:
Have fun and be creative
Submit either a few screenshots or a short YT video of your themed device by the deadline.
One phone entry per person is eligible to win (If you own both an iPhone and an Android phone and post an entry for both you must choose the one you want to compete for the contest.
Submissions must meet forum rules and guidelines (no politics, inappropriate images, or content).
As long as you follow those rules you can go as advanced as creating a theme through theme manager or as simple as using a launcher like nova, a few theme packs, and your favorite wallpaper and be creative.
1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will be chosen by you the forum members by poll with tiebreakers being broken by staff.
Any questions feel free to post them here as we will create a separate thread for submissions.
Last month it was reported that Andy Rubin had taken a leave of absence from the smartphone company he founded, Essential. The story that was published by "The Information" alleged an inappropriate relationship between Rubin and a subordinate of his during his time at Google. The timeline did make since as Rubin had moved to the robotics arm of the company shortly before his departure. Google launched an investigation at the same time Rubin moved departments.
Rubin maintains that he took part in no wrongdoing. The new report from Recode suggests that Rubin was only working out person issues in the past weeks. Rubin returned to work on December 8th, and the Essential team has continued their work on next year's phone release. There has been no official comment from Rubin or Essential on the matter.
The new Honor 7X was released just released at an event in the UK! The Honor X series by Huawei has to be one of the best values in Android hands down. The series is ultra affordable and they are including some pretty great specs in this series for the price point. The new 7X is only $199 and will begin shipping on December 15.
The phone features an "Edge-to-edge all screen" desing. The 5.9" display is 1080p. The frame is curved for a comfortable grip. With the minimized display design you get the 18:9 aspect ratio giving you a wider field of view for gaming. The rear camera features a dual lens setup. The main lens is 16MP while the secondary lens is 2MP. This setup brings an all new portrait mode to the X lineup. The single 8MP camera on the front also includes a portrait mode.
The battery is 3340mah which should last you all day especially since the battery sipping Kirin 659 chipset is powering the device. The included 3GB of RAM will ensure that you are able to multitask with ease, and Huawei has even included a Screen Split function to make multitasking even easier. The Honor 7X will ship with Android 7 Nougat and EMUI 5.1.
The Honor 7X is missing a few features that you would find on much higher priced flagships like waterproofing, wireless charging, and face unlock, but this is to be expected at the price point. This is...
If you are looking for a great gift for your loved ones this Christmas season Amazon has just discounted their Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. This will be the last time to take advantage of discounted rates on these devices for the year so if you are interested you will need to act quickly. The Fire TV Stick includes "Alexa Voice Remote" allowing you to control your TV with your Voice. You will be able to stream content from your favorite streaming subscriptions HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, Amazon Video, Disney, Watch ESPN and more. You can also run programs like Kodi to stream content from your local library to your TV. You can even stream live TV from services like DirecTV Now, and Sling TV. The stick is currently on sale for just $34.99 while the TV is on sale for just 54.99. Grab these from the link below.
The Galaxy Note 8 still ships with Android Nougat, however Samsung has just recently announced their Beta program for Android Oreo for the Galaxy S8 and S8+. The Note 8 would naturally be the next in line to receive this treatment. Normally to access beta builds on Samsung devices you need to first register for the beta program. You can now install Android Oreo Beta on your Snapdragon Galaxy Note 8 without registering for the Beta program as the build has been leaked!
You will need to be updated to Samsung's Nougat build 2BQK2 before installing the Beta build. This update has only been officially rolled out to the Verizon version of the device. That being said you can manually install this firmware with ODIN if necessary. This unreleased build of Oreo for the Note 8 is likely not very stable so just be aware that there will probably be some bugs. Grab what you need to get Oreo installed from the link below.
The LG V30 is already one of the best smartphones of 2017, but LG is making it even better with their Signature Edition. The just announced the tweaked version of the device for Korea. The SE V20 will be extremely rare with a production run of only 300 devices. The Signature Edition version will include 256GB of onboard storage and 6GB of RAM. The phone will also be shipped with Android Oreo. You will get two pairs of B&O headphones one wired and one wireless. Other than the previously mentioned features the devices comes with the same specs as the OG V30 which comes with a 6" P-OLED display, dual rear cameras, Snapdragon 835 CPU, and 3300mah battery. The phone will launch with a price tag of $1823 in South Korea only. What do you think? Is the device premium enough to warrant the price tag?
According to the latest rumors regarding the Samsung Galaxy S9 the device will be smaller, but will include the same size display as the Galaxy S8. The source stated that Samsung will be switching to a 21:9 aspect ratio. The new display will take up 90% of the front of the phone. So we expect to see even smaller bezels than before. Another source suggested that the aspect ratio will remain 18.5:9 which seems to make more sense and further suggest we will just see the phone shrink around the same size display.
The source also states this will be an evolutionary upgrade and not a revolutionary upgrade in regards to design. The only thing we will see change here is a reduced top and bottom bezel. The S9 and S9+ are expected to have a 5.8" and 6.2" display just like the displays found on the S8 and S8+. The report also suggest that the smaller S9 will have a single rear camera and the S9+ will have a dual lens rear camera. We will likely see the S9 announced near the end of February with a release date in March or April.
While scientist continue developing the next generation of battery technology Qualcomm continues to be on the cutting edge of battery charging tech. For now the options we have for full day battery life is to put giant 3000mah + batteries in our phones, optimize software for better efficiency, and recharge our phones during the day to get us through. With the Snapdragon 845 processor Qualcomm has also announced the all new Quick Charge 4. Quick Charge 4 will give you a 0-50% charge in about 15 minutes. Even if your phone won't last you the entire day I think it is safe to say we can all spare 15 minutes for a quick top off. The charger shown off at the announcement is about 2x the size of Samsung's current adaptive fast charger, but that being said it will likely remain plugged into a wall so it doesn't necessarily need to be super portable. Hopefully the next advancement we see will be in extremely long life batteries.
Qualcomm just unveiled their latest flagship chip for smartphones, the Snapdragon 845, and it's really bringing the heat! The new chip has all kinds of new features like 4 h 4k HDR capture, 3 h VR, 2 d UltraHD Audio, Quick Charge 4, Heterogeneous computing and more. The chip will perform 30% better than the Snapdragon 835, and will be 30% more power efficient. This is due to the new heterogeneous computing. The chip also includes Adreno 630 Visual Processing Subsystem for a 30% improvement in graphics and video rendering with a substantial power reduction when compared to previous gen chips. The built in Snapdragon X20 LTE Modem is capable of 1.2Gbps Gigabit LTE Cat 18, License Assisted Access, and Dual SIM-Dual VoLTE. The chip is also built on the 10nm LPP FinFET process technology. All in all this looks like a pretty great upgrade for upcoming flagship devices.
This next bit of news regarding the Galaxy S9 should of course be taken with a grain of salt. The Galaxy S8 and S8+ as well as the Note 8 did consumers a solid by offering a base model of 64GB. This is huge considering that most of the content we consume these days is digital. You can easily load up your onboard storage downloading movies for long plane rides or simply taking high quality videos and pictures.
Samsung may be ready to do something quite ridiculous. It is being reported that Samsung may be looking at adding a 512GB option for the Galaxy S9 and S9+. They have just started mass producing that size of eUFS storage meant for mobile devices. Read speeds on this chip will reach speeds of up to 860MB per second and write speeds of 255MB per second. Samsung has not mentioned when the chip will be ready, but we may see it as soon as the Galaxy S9. Do you have any need for this much onboard storage in a smartphone? Do you think this could mean that Samsung is ready to ditch the micro SD card slot for good?