Facebook finally acknowledges that some newsworthy content is NSFW


Facebook has finally caved in on its censorship of NSFW content, even when it is incontrovertibly newsworthy and significant. Facebook has announced it will begin showing content on its site even if it breaks the rules as long as it is “significant” or “important”.

instagram-live-video-storiesSee also: Instagram live video streaming might be on its way

Moving forward, Facebook will work with its partners and community to decide what is deemed significant and important. But it only takes a quick look at recent scandals to see why Facebook has finally decided to loosen its iron grip on what is publishable.

The Facebook live video of Philando Castile’s shooting obviously resonates here as one of the most significant live streams in memory. Facebook came under scrutiny for removing the video and later reinstated it due to its significance for public debate.

Facebook also copped flak for removing the historical Vietnam War-era “Napalm girl” photo because it exhibited nudity. That said, Facebook intends to “allow more images and stories without posing safety risks or showing graphic images to minors and others who do not want to see them”.

Do you think this is a positive move? Or is Facebook’s censorship a good thing?

New Huawei Mate 9 render leaked

huawei-mate-9-render-silver-cropThe Huawei Mate 9 has once again been leaked in render form by Evan Blass on Twitter. The device is to be unveiled officially at an even in Munich on November 3, but the leaks just keep a-comin’, this time in a nice lilac hue.

huawei mate 9 (3)See also: Huawei Mate 9 to pack 6GB RAM, 256GB storage, Leica-branded dual-camera46

The new render shows several sides of the upcoming flagship from Huawei, including the same dual-lens Leica Summarit H 1:2.2/27 ASPH camera array found on the Huawei P9. That means one lens for capturing grayscale and the other for RGB.

You’ll be pleased to hear that there’s also a 3.5 mm headphone port up top, what looks to be an IR blaster and USB Type-C at the bottom. The render unfortunately crops at just the wrong place (not to mention the bizarre proportions of that bottom view), but it looks like there might be stereo speakers on the bottom, although that may well turn out to be the old twin-grills-with-only-one-speaker trick. Hopefully Huawei has learned its lesson from the Mate 8 and gone stereo.

The latest rumor mill Mate 9 specs include a 5.9-inch QHD or Full HD display, 64-bit, octa-core Kirin 960 chipset and a variety of memory options including 4 GB of RAM with either 64 GB or 128 GB of storage and a 6 GB/256 GB monster.

Thoughts on the new color? Are you pumped for the Mate 9?

Instagram live video streaming might be on its way


Instagram appears to be testing a new live streaming video feature in the beta version of its app. According to a Russian news site, which has images and video of the feature running on a Nexus 6P, a new “live” section in Stories will feature “popular live broadcasts”.

InstagramSee also: Instagram update: you can finally save posts as drafts!6

Considering the success of Facebook live video on that platform, it was only ever a matter of time before it was introduced to Instagram’s photo sharing community. Although Instagram has received flak for blatantly ripping off Snapchat’s stories idea, live streaming video certainly feels at home on Instagram.

In the beta app, Stories icons now appear at the top of the Explore tab as well as on the home screen. The first Stories icon in Explore features a “live” tag and takes you to a page labelled “popular live broadcasts” (which is obviously not yet functional).


Meanwhile, a new “Go insta” button appears in the camera app which starts recording live video, along with a “Schedule” button in the top right corner (you may recall Facebook also recently introduced a scheduling option for its video streaming).

I tried getting this working on a Nexus 6P running a developer preview of Android 7.1 and a OnePlus 3 running Marshmallow but had no luck. If you manage to get it working, let us know in the comments.

Would you use Instagram live streaming?

Opinion: The Pixel Camera Software Pushes Google Beyond Other OEMs

Google has finally outclassed other companies when it comes to cameras. This is a statement that some individuals might have thought they never would have heard. When it comes to the camera, Google’s line of hardware which up until now resided in the Nexus camp for smartphones, was never thought of as the best phone on the market for photos. Each passing year presented consumers with a new Nexus phone that ultimately had better pictures than the phone that was released the year before, but they have never actually had the best smartphone camera. That changed this year with the Pixel and the Pixel XL, which has helped push Google past other OEMs in the photo department. This isn’t just due to the sensor that Google has used inside of the phone, although that does factor in quite a bit, but rather a large part of it has to do with the camera software. This is the real magic behind the curtain.

Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL have a handful of special little tweaks and perks that are part of the software side of things which are aimed at enhancing the smartphone experience for users, and while Google did pack special features in throughout the software in numerous areas, such as with the unlimited photo and video storage backups at full resolution, the special software used in the camera is a huge focus this year it seems, and that’s a good thing because it will help Google’s two new phones succeed more than they likely would have if their camera wasn’t rated the highest smartphone camera to date. On the specifics, a large portion of the camera software on the Pixel and Pixel XL are automatic and intelligent. When you pick up the Pixel and snap a photo, things happen quickly and rather effortlessly, the camera opens extremely fast and is ready to take a shot in pretty much no time at all. Now, speed of the camera is one very good aspect of what Google has done here with the camera software, but more of what makes this camera great should be attributed to the HDR+ mode that Google has switched on by default.


It’s HDR+ that is the real star of the show for the way the Pixel and Pixel XL handle images, and there are more than a few elements to this, but one important factor that boosts the camera up is the way HDR+ takes multiple image shots before the shutter button is pressed. This makes it so that capturing pictures is more of an instant affair and aside from giving a person more time to take more shots, it also better ensures that people are going to get the “right” shot, and that’s the key detail. Getting the right shot. While HDR+ is on by default and Google trusts it to give you the perfect photo every time (and it expects you to trust it as well), the reality is that it likely isn’t going to give you the perfect picture every single time you press the shutter button. That said, the likelihood of getting a great image that you can feel proud to show off to friends and family is much higher than on past Nexus devices, and probably much higher than on other top-end flagships from this year. You might be asking, if the pictures are already saved to the sensor (which is a state of the art Sony IMX378 sensor) before the shutter button is pressed, then what does the shutter button actually do? Well, you still have to press the shutter button to get the image and have it saved, it just isn’t taking the image at that time any more. It does however use the time you pressed the shutter button as a timestamp for the photo.

The other thing that HDR+ does differently than HDR modes on other devices is combining multiple images that are taken only in low exposure instead of mixing multiple images in high, medium, and low exposure levels. Google’s argument here is that using multiple low exposure shots helps them get a better set of low-light image results. In shorter terms, underexposing the images is key to what makes the camera on the pixel produce the shots that it can. Google’s software is great at denoising images (getting rid of most of the noise in images taken in low-light) which is a point we made in our full review of the Pixel and Pixel XL, and this leads to Google being able to keep colors saturated in those low exposure shots which makes for a vibrant and colorful picture with more depth and clarity than you would expect with less light. The Pixel’s software also keeps a little bit of the noise in images, as this allows the pictures to keep some of the texture that add to the overall quality of the shot. Of course, it’s important to note that you can switch HDR+ off if you want to, but as mentioned above it’s set to HDR+ Auto as the default setting, and even though HDR+ auto takes multiple images at low-exposure, you can easily adjust the exposure manually by simply dragging your finger up and down the screen to fine tune things to just the way you want them, with a range of +2.0 all the way down to -2.0.


While the Pixel and Pixel XL lack optical image stabilization, they do carry electronic image stabilization so there is still some stabilizing of photos going on, and OIS, according to Google, is actually not needed as much with HDR+, making for yet another way that the Pixel’s default camera mode helps to push the pictures on the device past those of its competitors. Because HDR+ is capable of taking multiple shots at low exposure and then blending those together for the end result, the image doesn’t really need to be stabilized in the way that OIS would provide, as OIS is typically meant for a photo at longer exposure times. This doesn’t mean that the Pixel camera will win out every single time against competing devices with similar hardware that do have OIS included, but it’s quickly becoming apparent that HDR+ was Google’s ace in the hole as far as the camera is concerned, as it seems to have allowed them to achieve a really great image quality in a number of ways. Having said that, HDR+ is not the only thing that makes this a great camera, as there are still options for other camera modes and there are a handful of other elements that you can adjust to make your pictures your own. As with past Google devices, those of which belonged to the Nexus line, panorama is a mode that has returned to allow you to grab wide frame shots by stitching together multiple images. Other modes like Photo Sphere, and Lens Blur have returned as well, and there’s even a Slow Motion mode which can grab imagery at either 120fps in 1080p resolution, or 240fps in 720p resolution. While the 720p resolution is lower quality, the 240fps is something that not many other high-end flagships have included in their smartphone cameras, giving the Pixel an edge here too. If this is a feature that you plan to use.

While relatively small compared to something like HDR+, other features in the software like a quick double tap on the power button to the open the camera (which works both while the screen is sleeping and while it’s awake) give the camera an extra boost. It is also worth noting that the Pixel is not the only phone which allows for such quick access to the camera, but when paired with everything else in the software it simply adds to appeal. So, while Google’s Pixel camera software may not have as many modes or scene effects that can be applied when taking pictures, HDR+, and the capability to snap photos extremely fast still helps it to achieve greatness beyond what other OEMs have done with their phone cameras so far. Of course, each person is different and other users will appreciate the unique features that their own device provides, but it’s still hard to argue against Google coming closer to perfecting the camera software on an Android device when they were able to grab the best rating for a smartphone so far. That said, it’s highly likely and very probable that Google as well as other OEMs will continue to improve their cameras and camera software as new devices are developed, so this is really a win for everyone.

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Deal: Snag Season 1 of The Walking Dead for just $0.99


The Walking Dead is just two days away from starting its seventh season, but if you have never checked out the highly popular zombie TV drama, you can get in on the ground floor for less than a dollar at the Google Play Store.

fear the walking dead dead run splashSee also: Fear the Walking Dead: Dead Run is a stylish endless runner with a campaign2

For a limited time, you can snap the first six-episode season of The Walking Dead for just $0.99. That’s less than the normal price of one episode of the show, and the first season normally goes for $15.99. There’s no word on how long this sale will last, so if you want to snap up the first season, this is a perfect time to do so.

Get it at Google Play Store

If you haven’t seen the show before, all we will tell you is don’t get used to the cast that you will be checking out in Season 1. Indeed, the zombie apocalypse turns out to be a highly dangerous place to live in, and not just from the “walkers” who are moving in the streets of Atlanta or the Georgia countryside. We also get introduced to the show’s lead character Rick Grimes, who definitely goes through a ton of changes between his first appearance in Season 1 to the end of Season 6.

The Walking Dead’s Season 7 premiere is bound to be one of the most talked about TV episodes of the year, as it finally promises to tell us which of the 12 characters was killed off by ultra-villain Negan in the Season 6 finale. Will you be watching the show on Sunday?

Swappa Brings Streamlined App For Buying & Selling

For years, Swappa has been known as one of the best and easiest ways to buy and sell used electronic devices on the internet. Their website makes it simple and easy to not only browse through devices that are for sale, but also getting paid for selling that phone or a tablet that’s been sitting in your desk drawer for a year. They are also known for their great team, who assist in making it feel safe and inviting to conduct transactions through their website. Swappa has now matured from not only buying and selling phones and tablets to now being able to buy and sell VR headsets, wearables, and Chromebooks. In the past, this all worked okay going through a desktop browser or through a mobile browser. Now, Swappa is hoping that their new Android application is not only going to make things easier, but possibly more accessible for those who prefer a more streamlined interface through an app. It’s also worth noting that this is different from the “Swappa Price” app that was launched last Summer, which would only serve as a means to figure out what your device was worth.

When you first open the Swappa app, you are greeted with a list of carriers at the top. This will help you find or sell a device that is is tied to one of the wireless carriers. If you’d prefer to buy or sell an unlocked device, that option is there too. Navigating down, you can choose from different categories including: Unlocked Devices, Tablets, Chromebook and Wearables. You have the option of selecting from a device in one of those categories, or, if you know already what you want to buy or sell, you can select the search option from the top right and type in what you are looking for. After you’ve selected the device, and just like the Swappa website, you can scroll through the various listings to find the device that your are looking to buy.

If you’d rather sell that particular device, tapping on the circular plus icon at the bottom right will take you to the “Create Listing” page to fill out the information needed to list your device. In addition to buying and selling, you can also view your profile which will include things like location, Swappa rating, my listings and feedback. Overall, using the application is very simple and intuitive allowing you to buy or sell items in minutes. It’s nice to know that there is an additional option available to sell devices through Swappa over an app rather then through the mobile version of their website. If you are thinking about buying or selling any gadgets in the near future, click on the Google Play button down below to grab the app from the Google Play Store.

Google playGoogle Play Button NEW Swappa-app Swappa-app swappa-app swappa-app Swappa-app

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Report: AT&T Close To Acquiring Time Warner For $85 Billion

US telecom giant AT&T is reportedly in serious talks to acquire Time Warner, a proud owner of popular TV networks including HBO, Warner Brothers and CNN. According to a report by Wall Street Journal, the deal is fast approaching advanced stages and could become finalized as early as this weekend, with AT&T potentially offering the company around $85 billion, or about $110 per share. Just recently, there have been incidents where telecoms show continued interest to acquire media and tech companies. Verizon, America’s largest wireless carrier has already acquired AOL and is in another deal to acquire Yahoo as well. AT&T, America’s second largest wireless company only after Verizon, has been promoting Time Warner’s entertainment assets through its mobile, broadband and satellite TV services and it is now about time it acquires the company.

Time Warner has a market capitalization of about $65 billion and this makes it a perfect acquisition target for AT&T which has a market capitalization as high as about $238 billion. If the deal goes through, this means AT&T will add a host of media companies to its assets which would include HBO and the others mentioned above. AT&T has had a series of some acquisitions and one of the most recent ones was another satellite provider – DIECTV, which has proven to be a good investment for them so far.

As it appears now, the acquisition deal focuses on AT&T and Time Warner, but other reports state that it’s rumored Verizon could also place its bid near in the future if the deal between AT&T and Time Warner did not end well. This could increase tension between AT&T and Verizon, forcing the former to strengthen its bid in order to knock out the latter as its rival. It can be recalled that Timer Warner rejected a $75 billion buyout from 21st Century Fox two years ago, this shows that AT&T would likely need to offer a stronger bid mark to be able to close the deal with the company. Though the deal could close possibly this weekend, it is still unclear how much AT&T would offer Time Warner or what the settled on price would end up at, if the acquisition talks are true in fact more than just rumors. For the acquisition to go through, it is expected to go under some standard regulatory procedures before it closes.

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Top 10 Best – Android Tablets and 2-in-1s: October 2016 Edition

With the Fall now well and truly upon us, and a particularly prickly Presidential Election ahead of us, it’s time to think about long nights drawing in, and perhaps some presents for the Holiday. While there haven’t been any major tablet releases in 2016 just yet, there are still some excellent choices from last year available, and now these are often a little cheaper. Of course, since we mixed this list up a little bit with 2-in-1s running Chrome OS and Android, there’s even more choice to choose from.

10. Amazon Fire 7

Amazon Fire, 7 Display

There’s really not much you can get for $50 these days, but Amazon is willing to sell you a fully-functional Android tablet. The Amzon Fire 7 might not run Google’s vision of Android, but with some great Amazon apps as well as the majority of your favorite apps from the Amazon Appstore, there’s not much to worry about here. As a tablet for a gift, or something to have lying around the living room to check things or browse the web, this is $50 well spent. There’s also a kids version to purchase as well, and with a 1024 x 600 display and a quad-core CPU, the specs here really aren’t all that bad, either.

Amazon Fire 7

09. Acer Chromebook R11

Acer Chromebook R11 AH-38

With an 11.6-inch display and a display resolution of 1366 x 768, the Chromebook R11 isn’t going to win any awards as a straight-up laptop. When you consider how little it costs, as well as its ability to run Android apps and the speedy performance, then the Chromebook R11 starts to sound even better. There’s an Intel CPU on the inside here and with the power of the Desktop Chrome browser as well as the flexibility of the Play Store and its millions of Android Apps, the Chromebook R11 is a great option, especially for someone that’s in the market for a laptop, as well as a tablet, but can’t decide on either.

Acer Chromebook R11

07. CHUWI HiBook Pro 2-in-1 Ultrabook


As we discovered in our recent review, the HiBook Pro from CHUWI might not be the best-looking piece of hardware out there, but it does offer some of the best value for money. With both Windows 10 as well as Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow in the same machine, this opens up a world of possibilities to its users. As does the keyboard dock, which turns the whole package into a laptop. An Intel Atom CPU and 4GB of RAM keeps the show running, with a 10.1-inch 2560 x 1600, making it among the sharper displays in this list. Sure, this only comes with 64GB of storage, which can be trying across two different operating systems, but with a microSD card slot as well as some excellent value all round, this is one option that’s definitely worth looking into further. Especially if you find Android to be too limited on its own.

Buy the CHUWI HiBook Pro from GearBest

07. Samsung Galaxy View

Samsung Galaxy View 03

If the current crop of Android tablets just doesn’t do it for you, then perhaps the 18.4-inch Galaxy View might be the one different option that does. The Galaxy View is essentially a portable Smart TV masquerading as an Android Tablet, but with all the same apps as other Android tablets out there, the Galaxy View could be used as a replacement computer, a smart display or just a massive way to browse the web on the sofa. Regardless of what you want to use the Galaxy View for, Samsung have one of the more interesting options available on the market, but good luck finding a messenger bag to comfortably carry this around in.

Samsung Galaxy View

06. Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet

Xperia Z4 Tablet AH 14

As powerhouse Android tablets go, there’s a lot going for the Xperia Z4 Tablet, and while there’s a hefty price to tag to go with it, this has everything you could want. With a 10.1-inch Quad HD display, waterproofing, a thin profile at 6.4mm thick as well as an included keyboard dock, there’s little that the Xperia Z4 Tablet doesn’t offer users. The Snapdragon 810 and 4GB of RAM give this some of the best performance out there, and Sony have made some thoughtful adjustments to Android that make it a little more useful in a form factor such as this. For a lot of users, this might be too expensive, but if you want an Android laptop, that’s also an Android tablet, then the Xperia Z4 Tablet is a great option, and one that has a great display to go with it.

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet

05. Lenovo Yoga Book

Lenovo Yoga Book AH-23

Lenovo was the one firm that had something new to share this year on the tablet front, and the Yoga Book is something that will intrigue all manner of users. The graphics tablet and touch keyboard part of the “book” is what makes the Yoga Book interesting. With the ability to draw whatever you want on it, as well as turn on a touch keyboard to start typing up your next novel. The 10.1-inch display might be “only” Full HD at 1920 x 1080, but with a quad-core Intel CPU and 4GB of RAM, the Yoga Book is a powerful Android tablet that also tries to do something new, and they should be commended for that.

Pre-Order the Lenovo Yoga Book



If power and affordability are the two big things you’re looking for in a tablet, then the SHIELD Tablet K1 is what you’re looking for. The Tegra K1 CPU inside of this 8.0-inch HD tablet handles games at better graphics and performance than anything else in this list. The hardware itself might not be the most attractive out there, and the display could be better, but given is asking price, and the excellent job that NVIDIA have been doing with their updates and such, the SHIELD Tablet K1 is well worth your time. With the SHIELD controller as well as the option to connect it to a TV, this is a flexible gaming option, as well as an affordable Android tablet for the everyday, too.


03. ASUS Chromebook Flip

Chromebook Flip

With a quality look and feel that you wouldn’t expect from something that costs so little, the Chromebook Flip is one of the better options out there when it comes to Chromebooks, and thanks to the compatibility with Android apps, it’s a good alternative to Android tablets, too. It’s got a fairly standard 1280 x 800 10.1-inch display and 2 or 4GB of RAM and a rockchip CPU, but what it lacks on the inside it makes up for in overall flexibility. It can run Android apps, it’s very affordable, and has a good looking display overall. While it doesn’t have a lot going for it in terms of specs, it’s a great option for those looking for a computer as well as tablet without breaking the bank.

ASUS Chromebook Flip

02. Google Pixel C


The Pixel C might not be the latest Pixel device on the market, but it is one that shares some common DNA with the new phones. The overall designs are similar, and this Pixel happens to have its own magic tricks, such as the slick magnetic keyboard that charges itself from the tablet, as well as offering a number of different angles to type on. The tablet itself is good-looking, well-built and has a great display that’s closer to the size on A-series sheet of paper. Software wise, Google have made subtle changes to Android, and with the new Android 7.1 Developer Preview, the Pixel C continues to get better and better.

01. Samsung Galaxy Tab S2


Available in both 9.7-inch and 8.4-inch sizes, the Galaxy Tab S2 is notable for a lot of reasons, but the Super AMOLED display is chief among them. Easily the best display to grace a tablet ever, the Quad HD Super AMOLED panel here looks excellent, and won’t disappoint those looking for a great way to watch movies or play games on the move. Thanks to Samsung’s own adjustments to Android, there are some excellent features that make this great for the everyday as well, and the hardware itself is well made and good-looking.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

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Phone Comparisons: Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Google Pixel


Do we have a good one for you today – the venerable Samsung Galaxy S7 goes up against the latest Google Pixel device. By now, we know all about Galaxy S7’s all glass and metal frame construction. It is a genuine workhorse and has an excellent reputation. The new kid on the block, the Google Pixel, is designed out of polished glass and metal and available in your basic black, white, or bright blue. This is the smartphone that Google hopes will carry them into the future. They want the Pixel to help them develop an Apple-like ecosystem that keeps you coming back for more. Pricing is high, but so are the specs for the most part. Just how does this new entry from Google stand up to the tried and true Galaxy S7? Let’s take a look at just what these two have in common before we take a closer look at each.

The Galaxy S7 and the Google Pixel do have a few things in common, and we can start with physical size. Even though the Pixel is slightly larger than the Galaxy S7, the S7 weighs in at 9 grams heavier. They both have some water resistance, but the Galaxy S7 takes the prize here with its IP68 rating. The displays are almost identical in size – 5.1-inch on the S7 and 5.0-inches on the Pixel – and they use the same AMOLED technology, Gorilla Glass 4, but have different resolutions. They both use a Snapdragon processor, 820 and 821, and the same Adreno 530 GPU for graphics. They both have 4GB of DDR4 RAM, and they both offer a 32GB variant of internal memory – the Galaxy S7 can be expanded, but the only option in the Pixel is to purchase a 132GB model. The main camera areas are very similar, and both take excellent shots. They both have a non-removable battery with fast charging built in and both enjoy a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device or authorizing mobile payments. The usual suspects are here – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and a USB port (microUSB v2.0 on the S7 and Type-C reversible on the Pixel.)

Please take a thoughtful look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the “View Full Comparison” link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each device in greater depth and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information, we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.


Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung-Galaxy-S7-Gold-AH-NS-05It is no secret that what Samsung does, so too does the rest of the market. The other manufacturers look to see what the new Samsung Galaxy S series will bring to the table and then try and keep up or exceed that bar. The Galaxy S7/S7 Edge outsold all other Android smartphones. Besides the new processor, the Galaxy S7 is a refinement of last year’s complete makeover. Other than a few minuscule design changes, the same metal and glass construction can be found on the outside. The camera area was the big talk this year as we all expected to see a 21MP sensor; but instead, Samsung used a Dual Pixel 12MP shooter.

The Galaxy S7 sports a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with a QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels with 577 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) Samsung added an ‘always-on’ display, to help save battery life by allowing you the ability to glance at the time, date, and notifications without turning on your main device. If you purchased your Galaxy S7 in the US, your processor would get the 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15GHz. In other countries, Samsung will use their Exynos 8890 octa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.6GHz and four cores clocked at 2.3GHz. The Galaxy S7 packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and has 32GB of the faster UFS 2.0 memory, as well as possible expansion up to 200GB via a microSD card.

Samsung surprised everybody this year by using a new Dual Pixel 12MP camera that has a larger sensor than the old 16MP. Samsung increased the aperture to f/1.7, included a faster phase detection autofocus (PDAF), auto HDR and OIS. The Galaxy S7’s front-facing camera (FFC) comes with a 5MP sensor, a wide-angle lens, the same f/1.7 aperture as the primary camera, and Live HDR. This allows excellent low-light selfies and video chatting. Samsung did increase the non-removable battery to 3000mAh, and it features Quick Charge 2.0 and Quick Wireless Charging.

The Galaxy S7 is able to use both Android Pay as well as Samsung Pay to make mobile purchases just about anywhere you can swipe a credit or debit card. It has IP68 certification against dust and water; it sports a heart rate and oxygen sensor, High-Res audio for listening through earphones, and has wireless charging. The Galaxy S7 measures 142.4 x 69.9 x 7.9 mm, weighs in at 152 grams, is available in Black, White, Gold, and Silver, and costs about $670. Please make note that many special promos are being run all of the time.

Google Pixel

android-nougat-pixel-ah-1I feel like a broken record, but just in case you haven’t heard, Google has made a huge change by getting rid of the Nexus line. Their new line of smartphones is called Google Pixel with two models – the Google Pixel or Google Pixel XL. Google claims they are in this for the long haul and that by building hardware and software together, they can more quickly get their own ecosystem going. Let’s see how this newly designed Pixel with its polished glass and metal construction holds up to the Samsung Galaxy S7’s design and specifications.

The Google Pixel sports a 5.0-inch AMOLED display with an FHD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with 441 PPI. It is using the newest Qualcomm 821 quad-core processor with a dual-core clocked at 1.6GHZ and a dual-core clocked at 2.15GHz. The Snapdragon 821 is supposed to give a boost in performance of 10-percent over the regular 820 model. It packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB or 128GB of fast UFS 2.0 memory with no means to expand. It uses a 2,770mAh non-removable battery for power and has rapid charge capabilities.

Google engineered a great camera in the Pixel devices even though the specifications do not seem that impressive – a 12.3MP sensor for their primary camera along with an aperture of f/2.0, phase detection autofocus (PDAF) and laser autofocus, a dual-tone LED flash, and no OIS. Even with these specs, the Pixel camera was tested by DxOMark and received a score of 89 – the highest yet for a smartphone. There is a large 8MP FFC that comes with a f/2.0 aperture, a 1.4µm pixel size, and 1080p. This setup should offer excellent selfies and video chatting.

A rear-mounted fingerprint sensor will allow you to unlock your device or authorize mobile payments, including Android Pay. The Pixel is IP53 rated splash and dust resistant. It will be running Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box. The Google Pixel measures in at 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.5mm and weighs in at 143 grams. It comes in Quite Black, Very Silver, and Really Blue (as a limited edition) and the 32GB Google Pixel will cost you about $650.

…And The Winner Is…


The Final Word

We are looking at two flagship devices that cost basically the same, and for this reason, I had to go with the Galaxy S7 as the winner of this comparison.The Pixel does come with Android Nougat and will be the first device to receive the next upgrade, but it takes more than that to be chosen the winner.

The Galaxy S7 has a Super AMOLED QHD ‘always-on’ display. It has expandable memory, is IP68 certified, incorporates a heart rate sensor and oxygen saturation sensor, Hi-Res Audio, Samsung Pay, a larger battery, and wireless charging.

It is also true that the Google Pixel uses the Snapdragon 821 versus the 820 in the Samsung. This addition will theoretically give you a 10-percent boost in performance. However, when you look at the entire package, the Galaxy S7 seems to offer just a little bit more. The Google Pixel is a solid buy, and if you are an old Nexus fan, it may just be your cup of tea.

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Google Play Books Now Allows Book Gifting

Gifting items from the Google Play Store has been a long sought after feature, and it will be a joyous occasion when Google finally allows this to be a part of the lives of users. As they say, there’s nothing quite like the gift of giving, and in this case, the ability to gift books is now available in the Google Play Books app. Whether you are an avid reader yourself or not, you may know someone who loves to bury their nose in a good book, digital or otherwise, and now you can surprise them with a new read that they may or may not have been hoping to lay their eyes on.

It should be noted that, the ability to gift a book from within the Play Books app should begin with a pop up alert that the feature has now been added, however, if it’s not there that doesn’t necessarily mean that the option is not open to you. If you wish to check, simply find a book you’d like to gift and tap on the three dots that reside in the bottom right corner of that book listing instead of tapping on the book to go to its actual page. Once you tap the three dots there should be an option to “Buy as gift” which will allow you to enter who you want to send the book to, then proceed with paying for it.

Before you hit the send button to take you to the next screen, you can also add a little personalized message to your gift if you feel so inclined. You are limited to 200 characters here, so that’s not much more than what’s allowed in a Twitter Tweet, but 200 characters should be plenty, as you’re not trying to gift the person a novel-sized message just before they read an actual novel. A couple of key points are worth mentioning, and that’s the fact that you can’t buy books as gifts if you’re viewing the book’s individual page listing. As mentioned above, you can see the option to buy a book as a gift from the home screen that pops up in Play Books when you open it, which lists off recommended titles and such, or if you’re actually in a book on the reading screen. That said, the books you buy as a gift for someone else can also be from a free sample, so if there is a book that you know someone wants that isn’t listed on the front page and you don’t own it, you can simply download the free sample, and then buy the book as a gift from there. With the weather cooling down and Fall setting in, there’s never been a better time to check a few books off your reading list, or someone else’s reading list.

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