Essential Phone finally available to order, Sprint offering discount on lease

The Essential Phone2

It might be hard to believe, but it’s already been three months since Andy Rubin’s new company Essential debuted the Essential Phone. Hype was pretty strong at the time, but since then, the delay in its availability may have dimmed that lime light just a bit.

However, if you’ve been waiting to buy an Essential Phone, your time has finally come. Today Essential confirmed that the Essential Phone is officially available to order beginning today, and what’s more, Sprint has them available with a steep discount on a lease.

Beginning today, customers can order the Essential Phone from Essential itself, as well as Amazon, Best Buy, and Sprint. If you go with the unlocked model, that will set you back $699. Amazon and Essential are offering the unlocked model, while Best Buy and Sprint are offering up the Sprint version. The unlocked Essential Phone is capable of working on all four major wireless networks in the U.S.

Sprint is asking $0 down and $29.17 per month for 18 months for the Essential Phone. However, for a limited time Sprint selling the phone at half-off, so you’ll only pay $14.58 per month for 18 months. The carrier also confirmed that orders place will begin shipping by August 28.

If you want to go with the Best Buy option, you’ll be paying $29.17 per month for 24 months.

Finally, Android updates. Andy Rubin today also confirmed that the Essential Phone will be getting Android OS updates for two years. Those updates are guaranteed, similar to how they are for Pixel devices, so that should be good news for anyone that plans on using that device for that long. Meanwhile, security updates will arrive on a monthly basis for up to three years.

So, who’s picking up an Essential Phone?


http://androidandme.com/2017/08/news/essential-phone-finally-available-sprint-discount-lease/
http://androidandme.com/category/news/

YouTube TV expands to 14 more markets

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If you’ve been interested in trying YouTube TV but haven’t been able to because it’s not available in your market, you may now be able to give it a shot.

YouTube TV is expanding to 14 new markets sprinkled across the U.S. They include major cities like Boston, Las Vegas, and Seattle.

The full list of the 14 new markets that are getting YouTube TV today looks like this:

  • Baltimore
  • Boston
  • Cincinnati
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Jacksonville-Brunswick
  • Las Vegas
  • Louisville
  • Memphis
  • Nashville
  • Pittsburgh
  • San Antonio
  • Seattle-Tacoma
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg-Sarasota
  • West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce

In addition to those 14 markets, there are another 17 locales that YouTube TV will go live in in the “coming weeks”:

  • Austin
  • Birmingham
  • Cleveland-Akron
  • Denver
  • Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek
  • Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem
  • Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon-York
  • Hartford-New Haven
  • Indianapolis
  • Kansas City
  • Milwaukee
  • Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News
  • Oklahoma City
  • Raleigh-Durham
  • Salt Lake City
  • San Diego
  • St. Louis

As a refresher, YouTube TV costs $35 per month and includes more than 40 channels like ESPN, AMC, USA, NBCSN, IFC, FXX, and BBC World News. You can also buy access to Showtime and Fox Soccer Plus for $11 per month and $15 per month, respectively.

A subscription to YouTube TV also includes a cloud DVR to save shows for later as well as six different accounts, each with its own login and DVR.

There’s a free YouTube TV trial if you’d like a taste of the service before plunking down $35 per month. For a limited time, Google will give you a free Chromecast upon your first payment for a YouTube TV subscription.


http://androidandme.com/2017/08/news/youtube-tv-expands-14-more-markets/
http://androidandme.com/category/news/

ASUS unleashes five new phones in ZenFone 4 series, each with a dual camera setup

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We’ve been expecting a new ZenFone device from ASUS for a couple of weeks now, and today the company delivered and then some.

ASUS today introduced the ZenFone 4 and four different variants. Yep, there are five new ZenFone 4 series devices, and they’ve each got a dual camera setup.

The ZenFone 4 is packing dual rear cameras, one 12-megapixel with a Sony IMX362 sensor and f/1.8 aperture, while the other is an 8-megapixel camera with a 120-degree wide angle lens. ASUS is also talking up the ZenFone 4’s dual pixel PDAF, which the company says has an 0.03-second autofocus.

Also included with the ZenFone 4 is Android Nougat below ASUS’s custom ZenUI 4.0, which is running on a 5.5-inch 1920×1080 display. There’s a Snapdragon 630/660 processor paired with 4/6GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, a microSD slot, fingerprint reader, a 3300mAh battery, and USB Type-C.

On the audio side of things, the ZenFone 4 offers dual speakers, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and FM radio support.

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Moving on, we meet the ASUS ZenFone 4 Pro, which features some beefed up specs over the non-Pro ZenFone 4. It’s got a Snapdragon 835 processor, 6GB of RAM, 64/128GB of internal storage, and a microSD slot. Also included is a larger 3600mAh battery, USB-C, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a fingerprint reader.

The ZenFone 4 Pro’s got dual rear cameras, with one 12MP Sony IMX362 sensor and a 16MP Sony IMX351 sensor, the latter of which offers 2x optical zoom. Around front there’s an 8-megapixel camera and a 5.5-inch 1920×1080 AMOLED screen.

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Then there’s the ZenFone 4 Max Pro, which is packing a 5.5-inch 1280×720 display, Snapdragon 425/430 processor, 2/3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and a microSD slot. The dual rear cameras here include a 16MP standard camera and a secondary shooter with a 120-degree wide angle lens, and there’s a 16MP front-facing camera as well.

Rounding out the ZenFone 4 Max Pro’s feature set is a fingerprint reader, 3.5mm headphone jack, microUSB port, and a beefy 5000mAh battery.

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Next we’re moving to the selfie-centric ZenFone 4 models. The ZenFone 4 Selfie features dual front-facing cameras, with a 20MP main sensor with SelfieMaster beautification software and an 8MP wide angle sensor. Around back there’s a 16-megapixel camera.

The ZenFone 4 Selfie also offers a 5.5-inch 1280×720 display, Snapdragon 430 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a microSD slot, and a 3000mAh battery. Rounding things out is a fingerprint reader and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

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Finally, we come to the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro. This model offers a 12MP Sony IMX362 front camera with SelfieMaster beautification software as well as a secondary front camera with a 120-degree wide angle lens. There’s a 16MP camera on the back of the device, too.

The processor of the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro is a Snapdragon 625, a step up from the non-Pro model. Also included in the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro is 3/4GB of RAM, 64GB of built-in storage, a microSD slot, a fingerprint reader, microUSB, a 3.5mm jack, and a 3000mAh battery.

ASUS plans to offer its ZenFone 4 series of phones in Asia first, with a global rollout to follow.

One other detail worth noting about these ZenFone 4 devices is that while they’re running Android Nougat now, ASUS has committed to updating them to Android O. The company plans to update is ZenFone 3 series of devices to Android O as well.


http://androidandme.com/2017/08/news/asus-zenfone-4-series-dual-camera-setup/
http://androidandme.com/category/news/

Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile now available nationwide

Xfinity Mobile

Back in May, Comcast officially started rolling out Xfinity Mobile, and now the service is available nationwide.

Today Comcast announced that Xfinity Mobile is available across the United States, effectively completing the rollout it began months ago. Interested customers can sign up for the service via Comcast’s XfinityMobile.com or through participating retail stores, where the service is available. Xfinity Mobile is only available for Comcast’s Xfinity internet service customers, so if you don’t have that you can’t sign up for service under the MVNO’s umbrella.

For those who do want to sign up, there are two rate plans to choose from: The first is priced at $12 per gigabyte and also includes unlimited voice and text. The second is an unlimited data, talk, and text option. It is priced at $45 per month for Comcast’s Xfinity X1 internet customers, or $65 per month for everyone else. However, Comcast is hosting a limited time deal that allows any of its internet customers to pick up an Xfinity Mobile plan for $45 per month per line.

If a customer surpasses 20GB per month, Comcast will throttle network speeds down to 1.5Mbps.

Who’s going to sign up for Xfinity Mobile?


http://androidandme.com/2017/08/news/comcasts-xfinity-mobile-now-available-nationwide/
http://androidandme.com/category/news/

Google Home now supports voice calling in the United States and Canada

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Google confirmed a few months ago that Google Home would soon support voice calls, and now that feature is rolling out to everyone.

Beginning today, Google Home owners in the United States and Canada can use hands-free voice calling right from their smart speaker. It’s pretty straightforward in its usage: Say, “Hey Google, call [name goes here]” and you’re off. The process is, of course, handled by Google Assistant.

Calls from your Google Home will take advantage of the Wi-Fi connection, and they are free. It’s worth noting that when you do make a call, though, it will show up as either “No Caller ID” or “Unknown” to the person you’re calling, so you might want to give them a head’s up if they are prone to ignoring calls from unknown sources. Google does note that it plans on making it so that Google Home will show your phone number when making a call by the end of the year.

However, if you’re using Google Voice or Project Fi? Just head into the Assistant settings within the Google Home app and you can have your phone number displayed to the recipient.

Having a smart speaker that can make voice calls is a pretty great feature. Do you plan on using it?


http://androidandme.com/2017/08/news/google-home-voice-calling-united-states-canada/
http://androidandme.com/category/news/

Huawei Watch sale knocks price down to $199.99, Huawei Mate 9 drops to $449.99

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Amazon today kicked off some deals on a new wearable and a new smartphone.

First up, Amazon is selling the Huawei Watch for $199.99, which is $200 off its regular price. That price is good for the Black Stainless Steel with Black Stainless Steel Link Band model, and the watches that are being sold are brand new and are shipped from and sold by Amazon.

B&H Photo Video is also selling the Huawei Watch in Black Stainless Steel for $199.99.

While the successor to the Huawei Watch did recently launch, the original model received a lot of praise for being a solid, attractive Android Wear smartwatch. The Huawei Watch has also been updated to Android Wear 2.0, so you can get Google’s updated wearable software if you do take advantage of this Huawei Watch deal.

Also on sale today is the Huawei Mate 9. This flagship Android smartphone is available from Amazon for $449.99, down $50 from its normal asking price. This deal applies to both the Space Gray and Moonlight Silver models of the Mate 9, both of which ship from and are sold by Amazon.

Sources: Huawei Watch at Amazon, Huawei Watch at B&H, Huawei Mate 9 at Amazon


http://androidandme.com/2017/08/news/huawei-watch-sale-huawei-mate-9-discount/
http://androidandme.com/category/news/

Nokia 8 debuts with 5.3-inch QHD display and dual 13MP rear cameras

Nokia 8 official

It’s the year of dual rear cameras, and Nokia and HMD Global are back to contribute to that trend with a new flagship smartphone.

As expected, Nokia and HMD Global officially announced the Nokia 8 today. This is the first flagship, high-end smartphone from the pair, and it’s a handset that will probably catch quite a bit of attention.

First up, the specs. The Nokia 8 features a 5.3-inch QHD display with a resolution of 2460×1440. Under the hood is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, and there are variants with either 4GB of RAM or 6GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of storage. There’s a microSD card slot for expandable storage, too.

The Nokia 8 also features a 3090mAh battery, a USB Type-C port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack on board. Android 7.1.1 Nougat is on board, too, as well as a fingerprint reader for good measure.

The standout feature for this device is the pair of 13-megapixel cameras on the back, which features Carl ZEISS optics. One camera is a color sensor while the other  is monochrome. This setup offers PDAF, optical image stabilization, an IR range finder, and dual tone flash. Meanwhile, the front of the Nokia 8 features a 13-mgeapixel camera with PDAF.

Nokia 8

Tied to the cameras is a new Dual-Sight mode, which allows the owner to take a photo or video using the front camera and the rear camera at the same time. Nokia calls this “Bothies.” The phone also features built- in live streaming to both YouTube Live and Facebook Live.

The Nokia 8 also features OZO spatial 360-degree audio, which HMD Global says “accentuate the right sounds while reducing ambient sounds or background noise.”

The Nokia 8′s global launch will take place beginning in September and it’ll be priced starting at €599 (about $703 USD). It will be available in Steel, Tempered Blue, Polished Copper, and Polished Blue. There is also a Gloss Blue (there are a lot of blue options) that will be available with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of built-in storage.

So, who’s making the Nokia 8 their next phone?


http://androidandme.com/2017/08/news/nokia-8-official-5-3-inch-qhd-display-dual-13mp-rear-cameras/
http://androidandme.com/category/news/

Latest LG V30 leak reveals the flagship ahead of August 31 event

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We’ve seen a lot of rumors and leaks for the LG V30 so far, but today we’re getting our best look yet at the still-unannounced flagship smartphone.

High-quality images of the LG V30 have been leaked by Evan Blass. They give us a clear look at the front, rear, and sides of the V30, including its 6-inch 2880×1440 OLED display sans secondary screen. This latest leak reaffirms that the V30 will not feature a secondary display above the main one, instead relying on a semi-transparent floating bar in software to give users quick access to frequently used actions.

LG V30

[tipping for good service is always appreciated: https://t.co/NwZ9Q1RB0N] pic.twitter.com/NxAuLgrpE5

— Evan Blass (@evleaks) August 16, 2017

Around back we can see a dual rear camera setup with a fingerprint reader below it. We know that those cameras will have an f/1.6 aperture and glass lens, which LG has touted will let in more light and offer better color reproduction.

While this LG V30 is sure to draw comparisons to Samsung’s Galaxy S8, it still looks pretty nice in these leaked images. The move to slim bezels and the decision to move LG’s logo to the back of the phone will help to make it feel like you’re just holding a display in your hands, something that’s also aided by LG’s decision to ditch the hardware secondary display and opt for a software version. Plus, that floating bar in software can be hidden when a user doesn’t want it.

The LG V30 will be officially announced on August 31. What do you think of the LG V30 shown in today’s leak?


http://androidandme.com/2017/08/news/lg-v30-leak-revealed-ahead-of-august-31-event/
http://androidandme.com/category/news/

Google will show pollen forecasts in search results

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For anyone that has to deal with pollen allergies, Google wants to give you a clear idea what it’s going to be like when you go outside.

Google is rolling out a pollen forecast and index in its search results. The results that Google is showing is pulled from information gathered by The Weather Channel and it shows a five-day forecast to give folks a clear look at the immediate future.

On top of that, Google also says people can turn on notifications within the Google app if they want to be informed when the pollen index is particularly high. Just search for pollen forecast or pollen levels and then, when prompted to receive notifications, just switch it on.

This is definitely a nice addition, especially for those who suffer from bad allergies thanks to pollen. Being able to keep track and even see how it might look in the next few days could come in handy, especially if you’re planning a trip.


http://androidandme.com/2017/08/news/google-will-show-pollen-forecasts-in-search-results/
http://androidandme.com/category/news/

Sony Xperia XZ1 renders surface, show off familiar design

Sony Xperia XZ1 render

If you’re a fan of the Sony Xperia lineup, it looks like there’s one new addition on the way.

Sony’s newest device will apparently be called the Xperia XZ1, identifying it as a successor to the Xperia XZ, as revealed by @OnLeaks and Compareraja. It looks like the XZ1 handset will carry over quite a few details from the handset it’s replacing, including a 5.2-inch display. Under the hood there will reportedly be a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, and around back a 19-megapixel camera.

The Xperia XZ1 may run Android 8.0 when it launches, and there is a chance it’ll have some kind of water proofing. However, none of those features are a guarantee at this point, as all we know is what we can see with these new renders.

Probably the one thing that really stands out is the fact the Xperia XZ1 has some noteworthy bezels above and below the display, essentially bucking the slim bezel trend of 2017.

Think that’ll work out for Sony or no?


http://androidandme.com/2017/08/news/sony-xperia-xz1-renders-familiar-design/
http://androidandme.com/category/news/