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Greenpeace Protestors Takes over MWC Samsung Keynote

Greenpeace Protestors Takes over MWC 2017 Samsung Keynote

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At the Mobile World Congress 2017 during Samsung’s presentation at Barcelona, Greenpeace protestor’s began showcasing banners that call for Samsung’s attention and demanded an answer for the companies plans for handling the millions of recalled Galaxy Note 7 smartphones.

Upon the steps that lead up to the Samsung stage stood a protestor holding a banner. The banner showed Samsung’s log, the recycling logo, the #GalaxyNote7 handle, and the slogan: “Rethink, Reuse, Recycle”. This prompted Samsung Electronics Europe’s chief marketing officer, David Lowes, to address the protestor, “You’ve made your point.”

On the building outside protestors unleashed large banners outside beside the Samsung Press Conference signs. The Samsung keynote notified the public that the company will be releasing the Galaxy S8, the Note 7’s successor at the end of March.

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Samsung had been under fire for some time since the company announced that they would destroy the entire stock rather than refurbishing them last year. Environmentalist groups such as Greenpeace from around the world began demanding a greener approach from Samsung through various protests’ online and now at the keynote event. The environmentalist group’s wanted transparency as to how Samsung would rethink their tactics and become more responsible with their Note 7’s.

 

OnePlus Unveils a Midnight Black OnePlus 3T

OnePlus Unveils a Midnight Black OnePlus 3T

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OnePlus had a bit of fun with various tweets which hyped up a mysterious release date. Recently announced after this was a black color variant of the OnePlus 3T. OnePlus calls it the “colette edition”. This variant of the 3T series was first made available through exclusive sales at colette’s physical store in Paris. Unfortunately due to the nature of this exclusive sale, the majority of OnePlus fan’s will have very little opportunities to buy this beauty.

In response to this, OnePlus has now released this special color variant to other markets in the world which they are calling it the OnePlus 3T Midnight Black.

The company teamed up with Hypebeast to launch an online sales event beginning on March 24 (4PM GMT) where only 250 units of the Midnight Black variant will be available for sale (initial sale).

Customers situated in North America and Europe will have a chance at purchasing the Midnight Black color 3T through OnePlus’ website at OnePlus.net. The company has mentioned that the device color option will be made available for a limited time “at a later date”.

The OnePlus 3T Midnight Black (128 GB) variant will be sold for 479$ while supplies last.product-01-e1490199899946


 

Samsung Galaxy S8 DeX Dock Resembles Continuum

The New Samsung Galaxy S8 DeX

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As we approach the official unveiling of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus on March 29 leaks and news reports are becoming more unified and clearer. It is possible that Samsung will fail to surprise the crowd with their “hidden” design anymore. It is more of a re-introduction than anything else. However, today we discuss an interesting accessory that will be included (reportedly) with the S8 devices; the Samsung DeX docking station.

What is Samsung DeX?

Running under the brand “Samsung Galaxy Desktop” this DeX station will enable a Microsoft Continuum-esqe functionality. Simply plop your brand new S8 or S8 plus into one of these docks and you will have a desktop experience using the power of the S8’s hardware.

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The connection is handled through an HDMI port for transferring 4K content at 30 frames per second. There is also two USB 2.0 ports and a 100Mb/s Ethernet port. The USB ports will enable users to connect a mouse and keyboard for use with the interface.

The hub also features a power supply port and an embedded cooling fan to keep the phone cool while delivering 4K content.

Dropping the S8 into the dock is purported to launch a desktop friendly UI on the monitor which Samsung may call the “Samsung Galaxy Desktop.” The pricing is said to be about $214.47 CAD.

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Nokia 5: A Good Mid Range Device

Nokia 5: A Good Mid Range Device

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Quick Specs Sheet:

  • Dimensions
    • 149.7 x 72.5 x 8 mm (5.89 x 2.85 x 0.31 in)
  • Display
    • 5.2 Inch IPS LCD (1280 x 720) resolution (~282 ppi pixel density)
    • Corning Gorilla Glass (Unknown type)
  • Operating system
    • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (Octa-Core 1.4 GHz Cortex A53)
    • GPU: Adreno 505
    • OS: Android v7.1.1 (Nougat)
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Storage: 16 GB, microSD up to 256 GB
  • Camera
    • 13 MP, f/2.0 PDAF + Dual-LED
    • 8 MP, f/2.0
  • Battery
    • 3,000 non removable Li-Ion battery

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Good Points:

  • Affordable Cost
  • Good Design
  • Fingerprint Scanner is available

Nokia 5 Pricing

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The Nokia 5 is a middle child amongst Nokia’s new 2017 smart phone line up. Sitting just below the Nokia 6 the Nokia 5 has specs that fit a middle range smart phone market. The pricing is going to be about $200 US. This will buy you a smartphone with an HD display, octa-core cpu processor, a premium full metal body and a sizable battery.

We expect the Nokia 5 to go on sale during Q2 2017 which translates to sometime this April or June.

Design and Display

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The Nokia has a compact full metal form factor which should help convince potential buyers to make the purchase. The design gives it a more ergonomic feel with curved edges which allow the phone to comfortably nestle into your palm. The screen is small enough as well to allow one handed use thanks to its 5.2inch IPS HD display which is also quite sharp and good to look at. The body is also compact with dimensions measuring

  • 149.7 x 72.5 x 8 mm (5.89 x 2.85 x 0.31 in)

According to Nokia, the body is made from a single block of 6000 series aluminium that gives off a premium finish. Gorilla Glass is added to increase durability of the display.

The available colors of the Nokia 5 will be: Matte Black, Silver, Tempered Blue, or Copper.

Performance, Specs and Features

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The phone features relatively small bezel’s which feels like it blends into the chassis. The display resolution is a 1280 x 720 HD panel which is expected for a mid range pricing in the market. The display, despite the 720p spec, was still found to be vivid, bright while display good colors.

The Nokia 5 runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 430 processor which is also the same one found on the older brother the Nokia 6. The 430 processor has an integrated Adreno 505 graphics card. The device also packs a 2 GB RAM inside. By today’s standards the Nokia 5 shouldn’t cause any performance issues. the 430 is a low to mid range processor but should still be enough for daily tasks and smooth performances for various tasks. Heavy gaming would not be ideal for this hand set.

16 GB of internal storage is include along side microSD expansion support for up to 128 GB.

The Nokia 5 will come shipped running on the latest Android update (Android Nougat 7.1.1). HMD Global (the company that bought out Nokia) decided to go with a “Pure Android” experience which gives users a stock Android minus any OEM skins. Vanilla Android fans will love this.

Thanks to a vanilla approach to Android, HMD Global has promised regular updates to the software.

 

How To Unlock an AT&T or T-Mobile Phone

Unlock AT&T Phones

While some devices are sold unlocked so that  people can use them with any carrier, the majority of phones are sold SIM-locked. If a device is locked it can only be used through one particular carrier.  Let’s assume you’ve  purchased a phone from AT&T and have chosen a plan. It’s not as easy as you might think to switch over to T-Mobile or another service provider.  You’ll first have to unlock the phone using one of our unlock codes.

Below is a simple step-by-step procedure to unlock ATT phones.

Unlocking AT&T devices

Before attempting to unlock any device that’s locked into AT&T, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:

  • You must at one time have subscribed to the AT&T carrier network.
  • You must be sure that the device you want to unlock is from AT&T.
  • The phone should not be reported stolen.
  • You must not have attempted to unlock the device more than five times.
  • The device must have been active or carry a record of 60 days with no unpaid balance.
  • You must be sure that the phone isn’t associated with any fraudulent activity.

Unlocking T-Mobile devices

Unlocking a T-Mobile device is a little different. Check that the following requirements are met:

  • Make sure the phone is a T-Mobile device.
  • The device should not be reported stolen.
  • You have not made than two unlock request within that year.
  • You should be sure that 18 consecutive monthly payments have been paid, if the device is on service contract.
  • Your account should be in “good standing.”

If your phone meets the requirements above, you can either unlock your phone by contacting the AT&T (or T-mobile) customer service, or send us your details. We promise fast turnaround time and guarantee the lowest price. We won’t bother you with unnecessary details as well.

Looking for ATT unlock codes? Contact us!

Android O Announced by Google (Developer Preview 1)

Android O Announced by Google (Developer Preview 1)

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Amidst the flashing lights and presentations of Android 7.0 Nougat, Android O (v8.0?) was undergoing development. The developer preview 1 has been released and made available for Supported Device. If you are interested in what the future holds, are tired of Android Nougat already, and if you are a big fan of the most popular mobile operating system Google has a treat in store for you.

While the name of Android O is not officially known, we can begin our name guessing game and we will have a few months this year to try to figure this out. Google did not reveal everything there is about the next major Android update but they have released a good deal of information about it. Google’s attempts at fixing and improving a big topic hanging around all smartphone’s is still in the works: battery life.

In essence, Google’s aggressive policies as to what apps can do and not do in the background is becoming even more refined and specific. This is something that has already been done in the iOS ecosystem a long time ago. However, due to Android being open sourced with so many different kinds of phones out there Google has their work cut out for them. The new policies set in place will ensure that rogue processes will not eat up your battery life. Dave Burke, Android VP of engineering, quoted: “We’ve put additional automatic limits on what apps can do in the background, in three main areas: implicit broadcasts, background services, and location updates.”

Undoubtedly we expect for these automatic limits to have some rather large consequences upon existing apps that have all these permissions needed to operate. Developers of apps will need to review their privileges soon. Battery life is a fickle topic. Due to the insane amount of variance from device to device in this huge market it is almost impossible to have the right solution. Google’s strategy to create a blanket to cover all Android phone’s is, on the most part, working for most people. That is good news because it means that Google is still very much alive and hard at work to give that important aspect of this mobile world to us consumers.

So whats new in O?

Android O introduces various new features and API’s for developers to implement into their apps and for manufacturers to work with. Here are some of the features.

Background Limits

Android Nougat introduced a new way of handling apps in the background via Doze mode being constantly on. Android O will put extra priority on battery life performance. This is done by introducing “automatic limits” which will affect three main areas:  implicit broadcasts, background services, and location updates. In essence, Google is laying a foundation to kill rogue background processes in Android Nougat and will continue to build on top of that in Android O. More power to the system and the user. Google has released documentation for developers to use to create apps that have little impact on battery life.

Notification Channels

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Android O will also introduce a new method of streaming notification to the user. Categories will be created on an app-defined basis. Channels will then allow developers to give more control over the various types of notifications available. Users will be able to block or change a behavior of each channel individually instead of handling all of the applications notifications together. New visual’s and and grouping techniques will make it easier on the eyes and will make it more clearer to see what is going on with incoming messages or when users take a peek at the notification shade. Android O will discontinue the developers ability to set priority levels of individual notification. Users will be able to set a recommended importance level when creating a notification channel. When a channel has been created the system will be able to change its importance which will give power back to the user.

Furthermore, snooze functions have been added so that users can “snooze notifications” to reappear at a later time. Notifications will reappear with the same level of importance as was modified during the set up procedure. Apps will be allowed to remove or update a snoozed notification as well while updating a snoozed notification will not cause it to reappear at an any given time.

Autofill APIs

Autofill API is finally supported. Android O will be the first major update to officially recognize the importance of password managers via Autofill API. This platform will allow users to autofill login credentials instead of having to input that information in a repetitive fashion. This will allow setting up new apps or placing transactions easier. The platform support for this feature is pretty big and will bring about a lot of convenient experiences.

PIP and New Windowing Feature

Picture in Picture (PIP) display has been available for a while in some tablets and phones. However, official support will begin with Android O. This system enables the user to watch videos while on call or when hailing a car. Applications will have the ability to activate PIP mode from a resumed or paused state. Users will also be able to select the aspect ratio and other custom interactions (ie. Play/Pause). A new window function includes app overlay windows for apps. This can be used instead of using the system alert window from the notification bar. Multi-display support will also be made available which enables users to launch an activity on a remote display.

Font resources in XML

Fonts are now a fully supported resource type in Android O. Apps can now use fonts in XML layouts as well as define font families in XML — declaring the font style and weight along with the font files.

Adaptive Icons

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Android O will introduce adaptive icons as well. This will then display a variety of shapes and across different devices and models. Users will be able to select launcher icons using a circular shape on a device while using a “squircle” or square on another. Each device OEM will provide a mask with which the system can use to render the various shapes and sizes of the icon. The system will also be able to animate interactions with the icons and use icons in shortcuts, the settings app, and the overview screen.

Wide-gamut Color for Apps

Imaging apps can now take advantage of new devices that have wide-gamut color capable displays. For apps to achieve this, devs will need to set it so that apps will enable a flag in their manifest per activity and load bitmaps with an embedded wide color profile. The folks at XDA developers have been praying for this feature and it seems that Google has heard their prayers.

Connectivity

Android O will support high quality Bluetooth audio codecs such as LDAC from Sony. aptX will also be supported which is a high-quality Bluetooth codec from Qualcomm. There is a new Wi-Fi feature which includes Wi-Fi Aware. This is also known as the Neighborhood Aware Networking (NAN). If the device you own also have the appropriate hardware, apps and nearby devices can now discover and communicate with one another over Wi-Fi without requiring an internet access point.

Google will also be extending ConectionService APIs from the Telecom framework to third party calling apps to integrate their apps with the System UI and operate seamlessly with other audio apps. This enables third party app developers to enable their apps to send call displays to external displays with different UI’s, for example, a car head unit.

Keyboard Navigation

Android O is now building a reliable arrow and tab navigation. Users will be able to use hardware keyboard on devices to control apps.

AAudio API for Pro Audio

AAudio is a new native API. This is a high performance, low latency audio format. Apps will be able to use this on appropriate hardware.

WebView enhancements

In Android Nougat we introduced an optional multiprocess mode for WebView that moved the handling of web content into an isolated process. In Android O, we’re enabling multiprocess mode by default and adding an API to let your app handle errors and     crashes, for enhanced security and improved app stability. As a further security measure, you can now opt in your app’s WebView objects to verify URLS through Google Safe Browsing.

Java 8 Language APIs and runtime optimizations

Android now supports several new Java Language APIs, including the new java.time API. In addition, the Android Runtime is faster than ever before, with improvements of up to 2x on some application benchmarks.

Partner platform contributions

Hardware manufacturers and silicon partners have accelerated fixes and enhancements to the Android platform in the O release. For example, Sony has contributed more than 30 feature enhancements including the LDAC Codec and 250 bug fixes to Android O.

Accessibility Feature: Fingerprint Gestures

Accessibility services can also respond to alternative input mechanisms such as a directional swipe gesture along a device’s fingerprint sensor. This means that third-party developers can take advantage of fingerprint gestures, officially, to perform their own actions!

Developer Previews

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If you want to try out Android O, remember that this is only a beta and there will be bugs. Supported devices will include the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Google Pixel, Pixel XL and the Pixel C. In addition you can download the SDK to try out Android O on the official Android Emulator. It is heavily suggested by Google that the developer preview be tested by developers only. It is not intended for daily and consumer usage. Manual download and flashing will be the only method available for now.Enrollments for the Android Beta program will open as Google reaches further along the production time line. On top of the Developer Preview 1 there will be 3 more Developer Previews before final release in Q3. We will have the opportunity to test out and play with the new Oreo update.

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For instructions on how to download click on this link.

Samsung Exynos 9: Best Tech Announcement of MWC 2017

Samsung Exynos 9 Launched (Exynos 8895)

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What is it?

At MWC we not only witness the birth of great new smartphones and gadgets but also some of the hardware that power our smartphones into the future. In 2017 Samsung has finally taken off the wraps on the new SoC (System On Chip) toted as the Samsung Exynos 9. Labelled as the Exynos 8895 Octa-Core Processor it is built on Samsung’s own 10nm FinFET Process Technology. This chip set is the latest premium product released by Samsung for 2017. On paper we expect to see a 27% increase in higher performance while utilizing 40% less battery power when compared to the 14nm FinFET chips.

The Exynos 8895 is an octa-core processor which includes four of Samsung’s custom designed CPU cores (2nd generation) and four Cortex-A53 cores for power efficiency. With upgraded SCI (Samsung Coherent Interconnect) technology the chip will support Heterogeneous System Architectures which enables faster calculations for use in areas such as Artificial Intelligence and Deep Machine Learning.

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On the graphical front the 8895 features an ARM Mali-G71 MP20 GPU. This enables future smartphones to take advantage of next level 3D graphic’s performances while minimizing 4K UHD Virtual Reality latency. The GPU contains 20 graphical processing cores which, again on paper, toute’s a whopping 60% increase in performance compared to the previous generation.

The Exynos 8895 will support display panels with WQUXGA (3840 x 2400) resolutions and 4K UHD (4096 x 2160) displays as well. The 8895 will also have the capability to support LPDDR4x memory speeds along side eMMC 5.1, UFS 2.1 and SD 3.0 for faster storage speeds.

4K UHD 120fps play back and video recording is made possible thanks to an advanced MFC (Multi-Format Codec) with codec support including HEVC(H.265), H.264 and VP9.

The ISP on board (Image Signal Processor) will support 28 MP camera sensors on the front and back of the device. Smart WDR and PDAF will be supported as well for a more efficient and faster focusing experience. The ISP also supports dual camera module support with a 28MP+16MP configuration. The chip will have two ISP units installed; one for high quality imaging while the other is dedicated to reduce power consumption through low power processing.

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The processor also will support biometric solutions such as iris and fingerprint scanners. A separate processing unit will be embedded on the chip to handle the security ends of the user experience. An embedded VPU (Vision Processing Unit) is used to analyze items and movements for improved video tracking of subjects, panoramic imaging, and machine vision technology.

Fast LTE Downlink and Uplink speeds

The Exynos 8895 will be the first mobile processor to support an integrated gigabit LTE modem. This modem can support up to 5CA (Carrier Aggregation) for downlink which supports maximum speeds of up to 1 Gbps (Cat.16) as well as Cat.13 speeds of 150Mbps or 2CA for uplink.

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Samsung has notified the press that the Exynos 9 Series 8895 SoC is currently under mass production. We should expect to see new high end smartphone devices to be unveiled later in the year with this fantastic processor. We hope to see the likes of the Note 8 unveiled with this chip, which will most likely be the case.


 

 

Unlock Claro iPhone

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Nokia 6: Hands On Review

Nokia 6: Hands On Review

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The Nokia 6 was revealed at MWC 2017 and is the top end model among Nokia’s new offerings. In terms of specs and design the Nokia 6 does not impress anyone. However, what is impressive is that the Nokia 6 marks the return of an age old technology company who in a time past lead the world with innovative mobile products. The company was bought out by HMD Global (it’s headquarter’s found in Finland) while the staff of Nokia remains largely the same (original Nokia employees). Due to this fact we are quite optimistic about Nokia’s future and their smartphone’s to come.

The Nokia 6 is not considered a high end device. It runs a Snapdragon 430 processor which falls in between entry level and mid range. The processor features an octa-core design with all eight Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.4 GHz. The clock speed here is quite low which would deter people who are used to fast speeds and performances in gaming. The Adreno 505 is the integrated GPU found on the chip set. The Adreno 505 will be able to achieve generally okay speeds in various android games but will need to be toned down to medium graphical settings to play somewhat smoothly in other more graphically intense games. Despite the low to medium end graphic and cpu chipset we found that the Nokia 6, as expected, is still very smooth in normal tasks and operation when launching, swiping through, and trying out the phone.

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The Nokia 6 comes with a 5.5inch IPS LCD 1080p display. The display looks sharp and bright. Many have commented that, in the age of manufacturers pushing a bezel-less trend, the Nokia 6 has rather large bezel’s. The glass looks smooth and covers curves into the bezel’s and we particularly liked the deep black color option. The black color of the device sort of masks the thickness of the bezel until you turn on the phone with a contrasting wall paper applied. The bezel will be made of metal materials which should help in withstanding drops or bumps.

Still, Nokia did a good job with the design of the phone considering it as a medium range device. The edges are sharp and the device looks and feels excellent. There is a bit of a one plus look with an iPhone 7 glass. The back side came in a Matte Black color option.

Furthermore, the Nokia 6 comes with a 4 GB RAM module and 64 GB internal storage. This storage configuration will be made only available in the “premium” option of the Nokia 6. The standard Nokia 6 will have only 3 GB’s of RAM and 32 GB’s of internal storage.

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We found that the Nokia 6 has a 3,000 mAh battery pack (non removable). The Snapdragon 430, being power efficient and significantly less power hungry than its higher end counterparts (such as the Snapdragon 821) should have minimal impact on the battery life of the phone.

There is a 16 MP back camera with an aperture of f/2.0. The video recording is capped at 1080p so don’t expect any 4K or high end video features here. The CPU would have bottlenecked any resolution’s higher than 1080p. The front facing selfie camera is a 8 MP f/2.0 module.

The smartphone does come with a finger print scanner on the front. The module works pretty well but is not as fast or accurate as we would have liked. Perhap’s we are to used to finger print scanners to just work and not cause a fuss.

The Nokia 6 will ship with Android 7.0 Nougat.

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Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge Nougat Update Finally Arrives in Canada

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge Nougat Update Finally Arrives in Canada

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What Happened?

Canadians rejoice! Today is the day (March 19 to be precise) that Samsung’s version of Android 7.0 is finally released to Canadians. It seems that the majority of Canadian networks have begun releasing the Android 7.0 Nougat update to the Galaxy s7 and S7 Edge devices. This includes carriers such as; Telus, Koodo, Bell, Virgin, Rogers and Fido etc. This is quite the good news for many despite the slowness of the update to hit Canadian markets.

How big is it?

The software update is large which weighs about 1.3 GB in file size (which is to be expected for a big OS update) and will install Android 7.0 with Samsung’s customized Grace UX onto your device. This comes with a slew of changes which range from battery / performance customization options to UI design changes. Expect to see flatter more uniform color schemes implemented for your app icons as well as a more fresher (note 7 like) settings menu and notification area. Within the settings users will be able to change resolution’s between QHD down to simple HD to help with performance and battery life as well as how hard the CPU is allowed to work. All this should give the S7 / S7 Edge owner a feeling of newness to their 1 year old device.

The S7 and S7 Edge recently received another award for being the best smartphone of 2016 and for being the most innovative at MWC 2017 by the GSMA. This was given due to the prowess of Samsung’s engineering and performances exhibited by these fantastic phones. We know the phones are good but we do have certain concerns that do arise with this update. As reported on various sites for a while, many users reported that battery performance actually was found to be reduced by several hours compared to the Marshmellow OS. Keep in mind that there are still yet many people who refute this and claim that they are actually seeing improved battery life with Android N. On paper, Nougat should be able to squeeze out more of your battery due to Doze mode being made active even when the screen is turned ON (as opposed to working only when the display is turned off). This optimizes applications to prevent spikes in battery usages via excessive uses in the background. We will be performing further tests to see what happens into the future. As with any phone, at least a good week will be needed for the system to re adjust. Canadians also use the Exynos version of the S7 Edge which is known to give better battery life overall compared to the Snapdragon brethren in the U.S.

Another point of worry involves the version itself. While Google has already released bug fixes and incremental patches for the Android 7.0 (currently on 7.1.1) Samsung just released v7.0. We aren’t really sure if Samsung themselves fixed any of the bugs found on a brand new Android OS but we are hoping for the best.

Some Cool Features We Got…

Other than these caveats we are thoroughly pleased with the new features that come with Android Nougat. This involves Secure Folder (ported from the Note 7), deeper ability to customize your battery saving modes,  blue light mode, and video enhancer (for brighter, vivid colors when viewing video content on youtube, google play movies / TV and Video Player). The UI theme and redesign is awesome, cleaner and makes more sense. The camera app has been vastly improved to look more like the Note 7. The changes involve using finger gestures to activate certain functions of your camera. For example, you can now swipe upwards or downwards to switch between the front camera and the back camera. Swipe left to pull in the various effects mode and swipe right to bring out the various photography functions such as wide angle selfie mode. Wide angle selfie seems to work a lot better than it did on MM but we will need to test this out soon.

The performance of the software update shouldn’t be much of an issue. The phone is fast with high end hardware which has been receiving various awards even in 2017. In real world usages the S7 Edge has fantastic battery life, great performance in games, excellent camera modules and image quality, as well as it’s modern design.

We hope you enjoy your Nougat update!

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