Essential Home is the newest smart speaker with a display


They say that home is where the heart is, but if you ask Google and now Andy Rubin’s Essential, it’s also a smart speaker that can help you control connected devices.

Today, following the unveiling of its first smartphone, Essential has debuted a brand new smart speaker in the same vein as the Amazon Echo Show, which also boasts a display on it. The basics are all there: You can control the smart devices in your home, you can play music from it, you can get news updates, and more. The Essential Home will also offer up proactive information, letting you know when you should leave your house based on traffic.


The Essential Home is running a new operating system called Ambient OS, which includes support for a variety of platforms including HomeKit and SmartThings. The Essential Home will also work with digital personal assistants from the likes of Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google Assistant, according to Wired.

One of the focuses of the Essential Home is privacy. Essential says it will avoid communicating information with the cloud when it can, preferring to keep everything local and on device while it’s communicating with the other connected devices in your home.

That’s all we know about the Essential Home for now. How much would you pay for the Essential Home?

Andy Rubin wants to begin shipping Essential Phone ‘in 30 days or so’


If you’re hungry for more Essential Phone details following the device’s official debut, Andy Rubin is happy to oblige.

Rubin took part in an interview with Walt Mossberg on May 30th, and in it he shared a few more details about the Essential Phone and his release plans. Essential has been pretty quiet about the Essential Phone’s release thus far, but Rubin revealed that we could begin to see the device hitting doorsteps in June. “You can reserve it now and I wouldn’t take reservations if it wasn’t going to ship in 30 days or so,” he explained.

Looking ahead, Rubin plans to get the Essential Phone in retail stores, too. Essential plans to get its phone in both carrier stores and other points of retail distribution.

Then the topic of bloatware came up. When Android phones arrive on US carriers, we typically see them get loaded up with some carrier-branded apps and service, but Rubin is trying to fight that with the Essential Phone. “I’m trying as hard as I can to have a pro-consumer product where you get to decide what’s on your phone,” he explained.

Finally, the front-facing camera came up. The Essential Phone has a unique front-facing camera placement, having it cover a small portion of the top of the display. Rubin says that Essential did this because it knows that Android notifications grow inward, so the camera shouldn’t block anything on the screen. He added that because the display is 19:10, the camera won’t get in the way of 16:9 videos. Rubin also explained that he didn’t want to put the Essential Phone’s front camera in its chin, like the Sharp Aquos Crystal or Xiaomi Mi Mix, because he says that that turns it into a “nostril cam”.

The Essential Phone is an interesting device, combining a clean design with high-end specs and coming from the father of Android. It’s no surprise that there’s a lot of interest surrounding it right now, and while we haven’t really gotten to see it in action yet, the good news is that that may change next month if Essential can get its phone into consumers’ hands as quickly as it’s hoping to.

T-Mobile celebrating the anniversary of T-Mobile Tuesdays with more rewards


T-Mobile Tuesdays were made to thank T-Mobile customers for sticking with the company. They offer free perks like movie tickets, pizzas, and more for those who tune in.

The anniversary of the Un-carrier move brings more rewards and prizes through the month of June. Tickets to four big movies are going to me $4 a piece, and the first movie is Wonder Woman. One of the Tuesdays will offer a free Baskin-Robbins ice cream under $4, and every week you’ll be able to get a sundae for $0.99 if you buy one at full price.

There are also big prizes you can win, like a year of free ice cream for you and three friends, a year of free gas from Shell, free movie tickets for a year, or a trip to the T-Mobile Arena for a show of your choice. This “thankathon” starts at 9 AM Pacific time on June 6 and there will be a prize every hour for 12 hours.

There is a lot more to look forward to, so hit the source link and check out all of the benefits and potential prizes you can win!

The Essential Phone is now official with 5.7-inch display and more

The Essential Phone2

Word has been floating around on the street that Andy Rubin, the “father of Android,” would be launching a new company called Essential and a brand new smartphone. Rubin teased that phone earlier this year.

Now the Essential Phone is officially official, and it’s stuffed to the gills with features you’d expect in a high-end handset. That includes a 5.7-inch display, which will take up the lion’s share of attention thanks to its near-borderless design. The Essential’s display actually reaches further up than even Samsung’s Galaxy S8, but there is a bit bigger of a bezel on the bottom.

The phone itself is built using titanium for the frame, ceramic for the back panel, and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for the cover glass. The other specifications include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor under the hood, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of built-in storage (no mention of a microSD card slot, though), a fingerprint reader on the back, USB Type-C, a battery that measures in at 3040mAh, and fast charging support. There is no 3.5mm headphone jack, but there is Android 7.1.1 Nougat.


On the back, there are a pair of 13-megapixel cameras, and Essential is following a trend started by Huawei. That second camera is a monochrome shooter, and the camera system features “image fusion technology” so that the Essential Phone can capture better low-light photos thanks to that monochrome sensor taking in more light. The primary rear camera also boasts a f/1.85 lens with Hybrid Auto Focus, combing Contrast, Phase Detect and IR Laser Assist Focus. Meanwhile, the 8-megapixel front-facing camera can record 4K video, too.

One other major takeaway: The Essential Phone is another go at a modular design. Essential is creating a 360-degree camera to start as well as a charging dock, and both will attach to the Essential phone via pogo pins that are located near the top-right edge. More accessories will be delivered in the future at some point.

And, finally, the Essential Phone is unlocked to work on all the major wireless networks in the United States, where it will be launching first. Customers can reserve their own unit right now if they wish, and it retails for $699.99.

So, who’s buying an Essential Phone?

Essential Phone will work on all four major US carriers


A smartphone that works across both GSM and CDMA carriers is not a common find. The Nexus and Pixel line of devices feature both sets of radios, as well as some Motorola phones, but you still have to choose one or the other with most phones these days.

The Essential Phone was just announced and it looks beautiful. It advertises compatibility with all four major carriers, and now three of the four have confirmed that the device will function on their networks. Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint have all officially confirmed basic functionality. AT&T has not, but it features the most universal GSM bands so there is no doubt it will work.

Of course, advanced functionality like VoLTE, WiFi calling, and more may be absent since there is no carrier model of the phone. These details have yet to be announced by any carrier.

Since Essential is so new to the game, having compatibility with all four major US carriers is a big deal. Though it’s unlikely we’ll see a carrier selling the device in its retail stores, fans will be able to pick one up no matter the carrier they use.

Amazon Echo and Echo Dot now on sale


We’ve seen some nice Amazon Echo and Echo Dot deals lately, but if you missed out on them for one reason or another, you’ve now got another chance at a discounted device.

Amazon is now offering sales on both the Echo and Echo Dot. For the standard Echo, you can get $40 off by using the promo code ECHOSAVE40 at checkout. This will knock the price of the Amazon Echo down to $139.99.

If you’d prefer the smaller Amazon Echo Dot, you can use the code DOTSAVE10 to get $10 off the Echo Dot, knocking it down to $39.99.

One thing to note is that both of these codes are only good if you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber.

Amazon’s Echo and Echo Dot come with the Alexa assistant built in, which you can use to answer questions, check the weather, control your smart home devices, and use services like Pandora, Spotify, Uber, Dominos, and more.

Sources: Amazon Echo, Amazon Echo Dot

Samsung launches SoundAssistant app to boost your Galaxy device’s audio controls


Heads up, Samsung Galaxy device owners, because there’s a new app on the Play Store that you might want to check out.

SoundAssistant is a new app from Samsung that is pretty much what it sounds like. The app will assist you in controlling the audio on your Galaxy device, giving you added controls and the ability to fine tune volume.

Included with SoundAssistant is a toggle that’ll let you control your phone’s media volume with the volume keys rather than the ringer volume, as well as a feature that’ll let you set the volume of individual applications. There’s also a Floating Equalizer that includes 150 steps of volume control so that you can get the volume setting just right.


There’s a mono audio switch in the SoundAssistant app, too, as well as a feature called Scenarios. With Scenarios, you can set a specific date and time for your phone to enable a certain audio setting, like enabling vibrate mode while during your work hours on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.


SoundAssistant looks like a pretty nifty app for Samsung Galaxy device owners. The app adds some new features, like the Floating Equalizer that’ll give you the ability to fine tune your audio outside of the app, and in general looks like it’ll make listening to audio on your Galaxy device a better experience.

You can find SoundAssistant in the Play Store at the link below.

LG said to be working with Qualcomm on Snapdragon 845 processor for LG G7


After the LG G6 skipped the Snapdragon 835, possibly because Samsung snapped up the first batch for the Galaxy S8, it sounds like LG may be taking steps to ensure that the same thing doesn’t happen again next year.

A new report claims that LG and Qualcomm have started development work on the Snapdragon 845 processor for the LG G7. That’s according to Aju Business Daily, via The Investor, who also claims that the Snapdragon 845 will be based on 7-nanometer chip manufacturing technology and that the Snapdragon 845 will be 30 percent more powerful than the Snapdragon 835.

The LG G6 features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 processor, which is last year’s flagship chipset, while LG’s competitors are coming out with phones that have newer Snapdragon 835 processors. While the Snapdragon 821 is still a capable processor, LG probably isn’t thrilled to have a flagship with last year’s chipset while the competition has a newer processor. By working with Qualcomm on the Snapdragon 845 and LG G7, LG would be taking steps to ensure that we don’t sees something similar happen in 2018.

Kyocera’s rugged DuraForce PRO arrives on T-Mobile


The rugged DuraForce PRO with Kyocera branding has finally arrived on T-Mobile‘s network. The handset launched on AT&T and Sprint’s networks late last year, and arrived on Verizon earlier this year.

Nothing has changed in the specs department when it comes to the Un-carrier launch. The DuraForce PRO features a 5-inch 1080p HD display, an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor, and 3GB of RAM. There is 32GB of built-in storage and a microSD card slot to expand upon it. The battery measures in at 3240mAh, and the DuraForce PRO features wireless charging, too.

Two of the major takeaways are the rear Super Wide View HD action camera as well as the T-Mobile-exclusive Action Overlay mode while recording a video. With this latter feature, owners can record video and include a heads-up display that will show interesting details like g-force, a date stamp, time elapsed, and altitude.

There’s also 13-megapixel camera on the back and a 5-megapixel front-facing shooter on the other side. The DuraForce PRO is IP68-rated for dust and water resistance and it reaches Military Standard 810G, which means the handset can survive sudden extreme conditions, including shock, temperatures, salt fog, freezing rain, and even solar radiation, among other elements.

The DuraForce PRO for T-Mobile is available now and it’s priced at $17 down and $17 per month for 24 months, for a total of $425.

Best Buy offering Verizon’s LG G6 for only $11.99 per month

Verizon LG G6

If you’re in the market for a new phone and happen to be under Verizon Wireless‘s network umbrella, Best Buy has a good deal for you.

For a limited time, Best Buy is offering the Verizon LG G6 for only $11.99 per month (in both silver and black), which comes out to a total price of $287.76 after 24 monthly installments. If you’re keeping tabs, that’s just over $380 in savings when it’s all said and done. However, it’s an even more impressive $440 discount when compared to Best Buy’s retail price for the phone.

The LG G6 launched a couple of months ago, and it’s still one of the most powerful handsets on the market, with a minimal bezel design and a gorgeous display. As far as specs go, you’ll get a 5.7-inch display with a resolution of 2880×1440 and an aspect ratio of 18:9 that supports High Dynamic Range. There’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor under the hood, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of built-in storage, and a microSD card slot for expandable storage. There are a pair of 13-megapixel cameras on the back and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera on the other side. The G6 is running Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box and comes with Google Assistant built-in.

Who’s taking advantage of this promo?