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.
The new Leagoo S9 is unashamedly an iPhone X clone running Android. Why spend over $1000 on a phone that will upset you in the end because it doesn't run Android? Leagoo is a Chinese company known for copying the look of flagship phones and they have done an excellent job replicating the design of the iPhone X from the edge to edge display, to the notch, the vertical camera, even down to the iOS status icons. The design does differ in the fact that it does have a rear mounted fingerprint sensor. The specs for the phone include a Helio P40 processor, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. If you must have a phone that looks like the iPhone X you can pick up the Leagoo S9 for just $300.
Google's AR Stickers is a new feature that is currently only officially available for 1st and 2nd gen Pixel phones. The feature allows you to overlay AR images over the image your viewfinder is currently on. There are all kinds of fun stickers from Star Wars to Stranger Things and more. The feature can now be installed on some rooted phones like the Nexus 6P, OnePlus 3, and Xiaomi Mi 5. The full instructions an be found at the link below.
T-mobile has just announced their acquisition of TV tech pioneer "Layer3 TV". They will be launching an all new TV service in their "Un-carrier" fashion in 2018. T-Mobile will be working closely with the Layer3 TV team to build their new TV service. John Legere CEO of T-mobile hopes to bring some extra choice to the market place and remove the normal pain points of cable TV.
The strategy here will be to "do away with multi year contracts, confusing sky high bills, exploding bundles, clunky technology, outdated UIs, closed systems, and lousy customer service." T-mobile will utilize its LTE service to deliver TV. Layer3 TV already offers streaming cable tv services in 5 cities nationwide.
Layer3 TV does seem like a premium service in the midst of the other streaming cable options available. Services like DirecTV Now and Youtube TV only offer a handful of channels while Layer3TV gives you the entire IPTV experience with more than 275HD channels, the ability to record up to 1000 shows, and the ability to record up to 8 streams at once. If T-Mobile finds a way to offer this exact service over LTE for a fraction of the cost of traditional cable they may be able to gobble up a huge chunk of the market. This definitely looks interesting. I look forward to see what T-mo and Layer3 are able to come up with.
The NVIDIA Shield TV is in my opinion the best Android TV device on the market. It gives you all the benefits of a streamer with the added bonus of bringing you full PC games through GEForce NOW cloud gaming. NVIDIA has also managed to keep this device updated and has added some pretty beneficial features like being able to use Google Assistant, and the ability to act as a smart hub.
The NVIDIA Shield TV with standard remote is currently on sale for just $149. This is a pretty good deal as it shaves about $30 off the normal price. The deal even comes with a free 3 month subscription to Youtube RED which offers access to Google Play Music and ad free youtube viewing. If you would rather have the Bundle with the Game controller it is unfortunately not on sale and will set you back $198.
CES is just right around the corner. This is were the tech world converges to reveal their most prolific tech to would be buyers. We have seen many huge tech advancements announced and demoed at past Consumer Electronics Shows. Synaptics has announced that they will be showcasing Under Display Fingerprint Scanner technology at the event. They even went on to say that it will be shown off on a Tier 1 flagship device from a Top 5 OEM.
According to Synaptics "Clear ID performance is twice as fast as 3D facial recognition and requires only one touch to access your smartphone". The latest generation of this tech is the FS9500 optical solution which is what we will see from Synaptics. Could this mean that we will indeed get a glimpse of the Galaxy S9 at CES? Synaptics could have been referring to any of the other Top 5 OEMs such as OPPO, Huawei, Vivo, or even Xiaomi. We won't need to wait long to find out.
If you are a Pokemon Go addict you might be interested in Sprint's new deal. They are offering $100 in Pokemon Go Pokecoins to anyone switching carriers to join Sprint. This is in cooperation with Niantic who is celebrating the introduction of more Pokemon from the Hoenn region in Pokemon Go. The $100 is good enough for 14,500 PokeCoins which will allow you to gain 3600 Pokeballs, 480 Max Revives, 145 Premium Raid Passes, or 96 Incubators. When you switch to Sprint unlimted you get unlimited talk, text, and data for just $25 per line and get a 5th line free. The package also includes 10GB of tethering. The offer is hard to beat. Head to the link below for more details.
Some Android Wear Devices will be receiving the update to Android Wear Oreo soon. The update won't be as big as the update to Android Wear 2.0, but will bring some useful new features. The main new feature will be touch-lock. This will help you in wet conditions apparently. Other new features include notifications channel, battery enhancements, and adjustable vibration strength. The list of devices that will receive the update can be found below.
Earlier this year Apple released what has to be one of the most advanced Face unlock feature on Smartphones today with FaceID. Face ID uses 3d facial scan which projects tiny dots onto your face. The feature works in pitch black darkness, and tends to work most of the time. The only real downside to this feature is that it is pretty slow when compared to other face unlock solutions.
Samsung is doubling down on their Iris Scan unlock technology as they more than likely won't be able to develop a 3D facial unlock tech to compete with Face ID in time for the Galaxy S9. The current Iris scanner on the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 is already incredibly fast and works in the dark. The only real downside is it won't work if you are wearing sunglasses and you need to do a pretty decent job of lining up your eyes with the camera.
The new and improved Iris Scanner will include an improved camera lens and functions which will help it to recognize the users iris faster. The scanner will be bumped up to 3mp from 2mp. The Iris scanner will be able to recognize irises even when the user is wearing eyeglasses. The new tech will also be able to recognize irises when the eye is moving, you are in too dark or too light situations. The new iris scanner will also have a shorter than 1 second response time.
To celebrate the company's three year anniversary in the country of India OnePlus will be giving out 10,000 Star Wars "The Last Jedi" movie tickets to fans in India! The company will also be releasing their OnePlus 5T Stars Wars edition phone on December 14th. The tickets will be made available on OnePlus' website on December 13th and on Paytm on December 15th. To be eligible for the free tickets you only need to have purchased a OnePlus device within the past three years. You can choose tickets for showtimes on December 16th and December 17th at PVR and Cinemax theaters. If you are a OnePlus fan in India you should register for these free tickets as soon as they become available as they will go very fast. Head to the link below to get your device registered.