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XDA-modified YouTube app allows playback with the screen off

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Playing YouTube videos with the screen off has been a highly requested feature for a very long time and finally you can have it today. Thanks to the work of an XDA developer theos0o, who has modified the YouTube 4.4.11 apk file, the feature is now a reality.

The nice thing about the modified app is that you don’t need to have root privileges on your device. Simply uninstall the existing YouTube app by visiting the Play Store (you can always re-install it later on), then side-load and install the modified YouTube app. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy Alpha to get a 64GB version as well

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Samsung already showed off the metal-clad Galaxy Alpha in Russia over the weekend sporting 32GB of built-in storage. Interestingly, SamMobile claims to have information that confirms the phone is also gong to launch in a 64GB variant.

The Galaxy Alpha doesn’t feature a microSD card slot and considering its high-end metal posture, it’s logical for Samsung to consider a 64GB version, too. Read more »

Security-heavy Blackphone gets rooted in five minutes

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This must be really awkward for the party involved. The security-heavy, Android KitKat-toting Blackphone handset got rooted in five minutes at the BlackHat security conference.

To make matters even more interesting, the abovementioned feat was achieved without the need to unlock the Blackphone’s bootloader. Read more »

Huawei giving 40 percent off on Ascend Mate2 accessories

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Huawei is running a promotional offer on their website that lets customers purchase accessories for the Ascend Mate2 at a 40% discount.

To avail the discount, you have to enter the code HW40OFF and you will get a 40% off on your price. The list of accessories include items such as headsets, cases, Bluetooth speakers, car chargers, external power packs, and charger cables. Read more »

HTC One (E8) battery test

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The HTC One (E8) sheds the weight of the aluminum unibody and drops the low-res UltraPixel camera in favor of a 13MP shooter. Neither of those affects battery life compared to the One (M8) and the battery capacity is still at 2,600mAh.

What could affect the battery endurance is the new chipset – the One (M8) we tested used a Qualcomm 8974AB while the One (E8) uses 8975AC. Read more »

HTC Desire 616 dual sim battery test

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The HTC Desire 616 dual sim has a large 5″ screen, eight CPU cores and two SIM cards – add those up and you’d think the phone needs a big, beefy battery. Except HTC decided that 2,000mAh should be enough.

How did that work out? Well, the endurance rating is good enough but that big screen and octa-core CPU really take their toll. Read more »

Sony Xperia T3 hands-on

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Another Xperia smartphone landed in our office this week. We’ve already met the Xperia T2 Ultra, Xperia Z2 and Xperia M2, but we were also eager to check out what the Xperia T3 has to offer. And now we got the chance to give you a glimpse of what to expect in our in-depth review.

The Sony Xperia T3 packs a 5.3″ IPS display of 720p resolution and is powered by the popular mid-range Snapdragon 400 chipset. Sony has provided the Xperia T3 with an 8MP ExmorRS camera sensor and the phone comes with the Android 4.4.2 KitKat OS out of the box. Read more »

Weekly poll results: Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 vs Apple iPad mini 2

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The week is done and so is the last poll we did. It faced probably the best portable tablets on the market currently in the face of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 and the Apple iPad mini 2.

You guys gave your votes and now that we’re about to close the subject we can reflect and see what’s what. Some fights were very close the whole week and ended close, others ended with a big difference in scores. The verdict – sorry Apple fans but your portable slate got its digitizer handed to it in a statement win for the Galaxy Tab S 8.4. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini hands-on

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The day finally came when Samsung unleashed a powerful mini to go along with its flagship smartphone. The Galaxy S5 mini isn’t just an under-powered lookalike of the Galaxy S5 but retains most of what makes the S5 one of the most desirable smartphones on the market, only in a more pocketable form factor.

Samsung has gone with a bigger 4.5″ display (compared to the 5.1″ of the Galaxy S5 and the 4.3″ of the Galaxy S4 mini) but more importantly, it has still bundled the mini with a superb Super AMOLED panel. The fingerprint scanner and IR blaster are here as well and so is the water resistance – yay! Read more »

Samsung Gear Live getting a software update

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Samsung has started rolling out a software update for Gear Live. The update will change the build number to KMV78Y, which is about the only thing we know it does so far.

The update had started rolling out for the LG G Watch earlier and it fixed the corrosion issue with the charging connectors on the watch. The Gear Live had no such issue, so it’s hard to tell what exactly the update does on the latter, other than bringing the two devices at parity. Read more »

Facebook Messenger receives barrage of one-star reviews amid forced switch

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As has been expected for quite a while, Facebook has started taking the Messenger part out of its official app for iOS and Android this week, prompting those who want to use the feature to install the standalone Messenger. To say that this hasn’t gone well with users would be an understatement.

Facebook Messenger is now the No.1 app in the iTunes App Store for iOS, but it has a paltry one-star rating. It’s unclear if something like this has ever happened before – for the most downloaded app in the App Store to have such dismal reviews. Read more »

Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 hands-on

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The Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 is the Chinese company’s first tablet attempt, and we’ve got our hands on the import in our latest hands-on video.

The Mi Pad takes some obvious design cues from the Apple iPad mini 2, but comes in significantly less than the Cupertino offering. But is it worth it? Let’s find out. Read more »

Meta M1 is a steam-punky premium smartwatch

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Meta used to be the king of the smartwatch roost back in the day, but they’ve been pretty quiet on the wearable front. That is, until now.

Meet the Meta M1, which goes on pre-order today. Read more »

Oppo outs ColorOS V2.0.0i Beta for Find 5

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The Chinese designer and manufacturer of high-end smartphones Oppo released a new ColorOS Beta for the Find 5. Version V2.0.0i brings a host of improvements to the company’s 2012 flagship, though there’s no official word on which Android version it is based on.

Color V2.0.0i Beta brings a revamped, more minimalistic UI redesign. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook event scheduled for August 20

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Samsung and Barnes & Noble announced a partnership that should have come to fruition in early August. However, it’s early August already and the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is nowhere to be seen. A press invite for August 20 means things will finally get a move on later this month.

Samsung and B&N will be hosting the event at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square, New York. Read more »