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.
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.
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?