Mihăiță Bamburic

Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 is the small Android tablet you've been waiting for [Review]

Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 front

There aren't many small Android tablets that can set your world on fire. The manufacturers that are still invested in this market no longer seem to be interested in producing smaller devices, as their attention is now either focused on larger slates or hybrid devices. So, if you are in the market for a small tablet that runs Android, you clearly aren't spoiled for choice.

This is why, after nearly three years on the market, the second-generation Nexus 7 is still my favorite. Google's last small slate got so many things right back in 2013 that I have been struggling to find an attractive replacement for it. But since Xiaomi introduced the Mi Pad 2, I have been wondering whether it is the successor that I have been waiting for so long. Given the opportunity to test it, I set upon to find out whether there truly is a small Android tablet to get excited about these days.

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Samsung Pay makes its European debut

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay is nearly nine months old at this point yet it is only available in a handful of markets across the globe. That does not include Europe, though Samsung earlier this year announced that it would bring its mobile payments service to more countries in 2016.

The company is keeping its promise, as, after launching Samsung Pay in South Korea, US and China, it is now introducing the service in the first European market -- Spain. Here is what you need to know.

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Lost your Android smartphone or iPhone? Google will help you find it

Google My Account Find my phone

There are lots of services that help you find your lost smartphone, but nothing beats the convenience of a built-in tool like Android Device Manager or Find My iPhone. However, Google might have something that's even better.

Google believes that locating a smartphone should be as simple as a Google search, so the company has introduced a new feature in My Account that lets you do just that. And it works no matter if you have an Android smartphone or iPhone.

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Xiaomi unveils Mi Band 2 fitness tracker -- here's what you need to know

Xiaomi Mi Band 2

Xiaomi may be best known for its smartphones, but the company is also a major player in the wearables market. In the first quarter of the year it actually took second place, following the renowned Fitbit, thanks to shipments of 2.6 million units.

Xiaomi owes its success in the wearables market to the affordable Mi Band fitness tracker. Its latest upgrade arrived in late-2015, but even with the addition of a heart rate monitor the company managed to keep the cost under the very reasonable $30 mark. But now that the Mi Band 2 is here, what can Xiaomi bring to the table to woo even more consumers?

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T-Mobile introduces Tourist Plan for visitors to the US

Lufthansa plane airplane

Before traveling to a different country you should think about how much it will cost to use your smartphone there. Chances are you will be sharing photos with your friends, checking out places to visit, getting directions, talking to the family, and so on -- and those things are typically not included or covered entirely in your plan. So, what can you do?

Roaming is the comfortable option, but it can be a very expensive affair. Ideally, you would find an affordable local plan that gives you enough minutes and data traffic, and swap out your SIM as soon as you arrive. If you plan on visiting the US anytime soon, T-Mobile has introduced a plan that might just offer what you need to enjoy your trip.

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Microsoft, don’t be evil

Devil businessman

Microsoft is like an annoying salesman who pitches a product you don’t want then refuses to leave you alone after getting a loud and clear "No". So, it keeps trying, again, and again, and again, hoping that you will finally make the "right" decision. It does not care why, when or how you do it, just as long as it gets you on the Windows 10 bandwagon.

This is the Microsoft of today, a company that risks being in the position of having what I consider to be the best Windows release yet and a user base alienated by its overly aggressive tactics. Desperate people do desperate things, I know, but this feels like a step too far in the wrong direction.

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ASUS' new Transformer 3 hybrids target Microsoft Surface

ASUS Transformer 3 Pro T303_01

There is no shortage of Surface competitors these days, as more and more manufacturers realize that there is huge potential for growth in the hybrid device market. Even Apple has entered this space, launching the iPad Pro last year to quickly establish itself as the sales leader. Can ASUS, with its new Transformer 3 devices which it just unveiled at Computex, have something to say in this market?

ASUS seems to understand what makes hybrid devices -- or ultraportables -- so appealing. The Transformer 3 Pro -- the top of the line model in the line -- features powerful hardware in a shell similar to a large tablet. It also has a keyboard, that is included in the box, and a screen big enough for every day use. On paper, it might be a better laptop replacement than Microsoft's Surface Pro 4.

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ASUS' new ZenBook 3 is more powerful, lighter than Apple MacBook

ASUS ZenBook 3_UX390_Intel Core i7 processor and 1TB SSD

It may be among the best looking, smallest and lightest ultrabooks available today, but the MacBook hasn't quite taken consumers by storm. Fortunately, this means that there is room for competitors to make a splash, which is what ASUS is hoping to achieve with its new ZenBook 3.

The MacBook lacks the guts required for more demanding applications, but that looks to not be an issue for the ZenBook 3. The device will be available in a configuration featuring an Intel Core i7 processor, which should deliver a healthy performance boost over the Core m3 and Core m5 processors that the MacBook can be equipped with.

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ASUS unveils new ZenFone 3 smartphone line -- here is everything you need to know

ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra

If you are looking for a smartphone that offers great value for money, the ZenFone family includes some of the nicest Android handsets that you can get today. The devices are attractively priced and offer specs that can appeal to just about anyone shopping in their segment. However, a lot has happened since the introduction of the second generation, so now it is time for ASUS to take the wraps off the ZenFone 3 line.

ASUS has chosen Computex 2016 to unveil three new ZenFone 3 devices: the ZenFone 3, which is the base model featuring mid-range specs, the ZenFone 3 Deluxe, the flagship in the family, and the ZenFone 3 Ultra, a massive phablet which borrows features from the other two handsets.

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Samsung unveils Batman-themed Galaxy S7 edge Injustice Edition

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge Injustice Edition phone

If you're a Batman fan and like the Galaxy S7 edge then you're in for a treat. In celebration of the third anniversary of the Injustice: Gods Among Us game, Samsung has teamed up with Warner Bros. to release a Batman-themed, limited-run version of its latest Android flagship phablet.

Known as the Injustice Edition, it features a black Galaxy S7 edge with a gold Batman logo on the back and matching accents and a number of attractive extras which include a black Gear VR headset and what appears to be a gold-plated batarang.

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Microsoft stops you from using weak passwords

hand stop

Having a good password can make the difference between your account being hacked and receiving a notification informing you of a failed login attempt. Even though this should be common knowledge, it seems that many folks are in the dark about this. You do not need to look hard to find evidence of this, as there are many reports that reveal passwords like "1234567890" to be very popular still.

Since it is clear that it cannot rely on its users to make the right decisions about their account security, Microsoft is taking a proactive approach by "dynamically banning commonly used passwords". So, if you think that "qwerty123" is good enough to keep all your emails private, luckily you will not have to find out whether you are right or not.

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Xiaomi's new Mi Drone starts at just $380

Xiaomi Mi Drone

Xiaomi is now entering the drone market, as today the company officially takes the wraps off its new Mi Drone. The device starts at just $380, making it one of the more-affordable offerings in this segment, a price which includes a 1080p camera that's built-into the Mi Drone.

Xiaomi is also making a more powerful version of Mi Drone, which packs a 4K camera, that will be available for about $460. In both cases, the camera is paired with a 104-degree wide angle lens and a three-axis gimbal for image stabilization.

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Ulefone Vienna: A competitive phablet that doesn't break the bank [Review]

Ulefone Vienna

Up and coming Android manufacturers are proving that you do not have to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars to get a good smartphone. The Xiaomi Mi4c, which I reviewed late last year, is a fantastic alternative to big-name devices from the likes of Samsung and LG that does not break the bank. The new Mi4s is shaping up to be even better, and the Mi5 looks to be more impressive still.

But, say you prefer something that's a bit larger that is also relatively inexpensive. Well, in this case, you should take a look at the new Ulefone Vienna, which packs a big display, large battery, nice camera, and competitive specs, all at a sub-$200 price point. You can read my impressions below.

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Tronsmart CC1T charger brings Quick Charge 3.0 in your car [Review]

Tronsmart CC1T

Quick Charge is a wonderful technology that enables your smartphone or tablet to top up its battery at a much faster rate -- up to 400 percent faster, for its latest iteration. But, to enjoy the benefits that Quick Charge has to offer, you will have to use a compatible charger. One may be provided in the box, but if that is not the case there are some very nice wall chargers that are great for the job.

But if you need to charge your smartphone or tablet while driving you will have to pick up a dedicated car charger. I've been testing Tronsmart's CC1T car charger, which is one of the more-basic options with Quick Charge 3.0 support in the company's lineup, and you can read my impressions of it below.

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Android N's seamless updates may not support existing devices

sad sorry puppy dog

Android N is coming later this year and it will introduce some pretty interesting new features. One of them is seamless updates, which makes it possible for software upgrades to be performed in the background without interruptions in the user's flow. As you may know by now, this feature is already implemented in Chrome OS with good results. However, it may not be available on existing devices after users upgrade to Android N.

Naturally, many of you will want to experience it on your devices after they get Android N support, but technical limitations are getting in the way. How the feature is designed, for seamless updates to work on existing smartphones and tablets, some serious modifications would need to be performed beforehand.

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