The LG G6 is the first device in a while to basically receive praise universally from those who had a chance to preview the device. The few weeks that I had with the phone were rather enjoyable. I think LG has done a great job with the design of the device and they have finally provided the features that we have all been asking for with IP68 water resistance and wireless charging capabilities in the US.
The LG G6 is now available for pre-order in the US with a shipment date of March 30th. It can be ordered right now on Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. The G6 is available at Verizon for $672 or 24 payments of $28 per month. T-Mobile has the G6 for just $650 or 24 payments of $26 with a down payment of $26. AT&T has the device for 30 payments of $24 making it the most expensive option at $720 when all your payments are complete. Is anyone picking up this device?
Samsung Pay is now becoming widely used by Galaxy owners. I use the service quite often. It is one of the reasons I tend to stray from rooting my Samsung devices these days. Samsung is always looking to make mobile payments more secure. They may be adding a facial recognition feature for payments with the S8. We are already hearing reports that the device will include an advanced facial recognition feature which can unlock a device in merely 0.01 seconds.
It is expected that the device will use a combination of fingerprint, iris scan, and facial recognition to make Samsung Payments super secure. The report states,"Samsung is already working with banks to help them embrace facial recognition systems in coming months.". The Galaxy S8 just continues to look better and better. I am most excited that the facial recognition may help the iris scanner to become more seamless. Unlocking the Note 7 with the iris scanner took several steps. You needed to first wake the device, then swipe up, then the iris scanner would activate and unlock the phone. Hopefully the S8 will be able to unlock justy by raising the phone to your face.
Over the past few days there have been many complaints that Google Home is injecting Beauty And The Best ads into normal search results. If you ask it for the weather it will give you your normal weather report and then ad at the end "By the way, Beauty and The Beast opens in theaters today". Some Android users reported hearing this from their normal Google Assistant app as well. Google has responded saying this was not intended to be an ad, rather it is simply a part of the "My Day" feature which attempts to incorporate relevant and timely content after giving you your usual helpful information. According to Google this is just an attempt to provide "unique" content to their users. In an age where we encounter ads everywhere we look it is clear that folks are ad fatigued. Anything that looks like an ad in a place it wasn't expected can trigger the mildest of people. Google will have to be careful going forward injecting ad like content. If Google's Assistant remains a free service forever do you think it is fair for them to eventually inject ads as a way to monetize the assistant? Would normal ads in your information deter you from using the service?
We are expecting a dedicated Galaxy S8 announcement to take place at New York and London on March 29th. A poster for the event has been leaked. The poster shows off the dual curved edge display design with the minimized bezel. The large S in the middle of the phone drives home the fact that this event will be dedicated to the Galaxy S lineup. A date of March 2017 can be seen towards the bottom of the poster with the Samsung Logo in the top right hand corner of the poster. The device is expected to release first in the US and South Korea on April 28th with pre-orders possibly going live on April 7th. This will all be confirmed in a few short weeks.
It looks like the Stock wallpapers for the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus have been leaked. The source for these wallpapers has provided several wallpapers. The first four they say are leaked from the actual Galaxy S8, and then they have another 8 wallpapers which they are claiming are just renders. The authenticity of the first 4 is in question as they are standard QHD 1440x2560 resolution even though the S8 and S8 Plus will have a slightly higher resolution. We have actually seen the "Galaxy" wallpaper in some of the leaked images of the phone itself. If you want to give these wallpapers a try on your phone head to the link below.
The LG G6 will be available for pre-order from Verizon on March 17th and Verizon is offering some very attractive promos. For starters the device will only cost $672 or you can pay $28 per month for 24 months on the installment plan. Their will be 3 promos to go along with the pre-order of the phone. Anyone who pre-orders the LG G6 through Verizon will also get a free Google Home! If you are Upgrading on an existing line you get the Home plus $200 in trade in credit. If you open a new line you will get a free 43" LG Smart TV to go along with your Home and $200 trade in. There is also a $650 Switcher offer if you are coming from a new carrier that stacks on top of these other offers.
We are only a few weeks away from the official announcement of the Galaxy S8 which means production is in full swing and those around the device just can't help but upload pictures to the web. Today we got an entire gallery of photos showing off the device in all black. In the photos we have further confirmation of everything we already know about the design with the minimal bezels, rear fingerprint scanner, and lack of home button. We do however see the deep black color that is expected to accompany the device at release. I have to say this color is growing on me for the Galaxy S8.
Several Nexus 6 owners were a bit baffled to receive an OTA update rolling their phones back to Android 7.0 from Android 7.1.1. The initial thought was that there must have been some sort of huge security bug or some other bug that Google thought it necessary to downgrade phones. Google's response as to why they released the downgrade OTA was to keep everyone on the OTA update supported track. So the update was meant for those who were sideloading beta builds but was made available for all and is stated to be the version of Android you must be on to guarantee future OTAs. Google says if you wish to sideload your own updates feel free to stay on Android 7.1.1.
In order to fully cut the cable you need a good local channel solution. You could buy an antenna for each TV and hang it in a window. If you do that you will need to switch away from your Android TV interface to surf the channels on your TV. There is a much cleaner option with the HD Home Run. With this device you simply set up one antenna near your router and the HD Home Run feeds local channels right into your home internet network.
To access these live local channels for free all you have to do is download an app to your Android TV. They even have DVR software which can be purchased separately so you can record your favorite TV shows and sports events for watching later. They have different devices for different setups, but the CONNECT includes 2 tuners so you can watch live TV on two devices at a time. This seems to be the perfect device for grabbing those live channels for the cord cutter.
HTC got ahead of all the other OEMs with a flagship release earlier this year. They strategically released the U Ultra which is mostly about the user experience and less about the overall specs. The phone features a 16mp rear facing camera and a 12mp "ultra selfie" camera. It also features the "HTC Sense Companion" which is HTC's version of an ai assistant. This flgaship is as good as any other on the market so far and is likely HTC's best phone ever.
Yesterday HTC teased a surprise announcement for March 20th on their Taiwanese Facebook page. There is no telling what this could be. It isn't likely to be any sort of smartphone release as we would have more than likely seen some leaks by now. It may be something coming specifically to the Taiwanese market since this tease is contained to that market. The teaser simply says "Spring is coming" on top of a background of leaves. While the image appears very springy it doesn't really hint at what is coming. This could be a discount on the U Ultra or a new color. We will see in just a few days.