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Samsung rolling out Android Nougat for Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge

Android Nougat Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

Samsung announced in late-December that it would release Android Nougat for the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge in January. And it has lived up to its promise, as the much-awaited software update is now rolling out for the two flagships.

At the time of writing this article, the official Android Nougat update is only available for Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge users who joined the Galaxy Beta Program, but it is expected to be rolled out to more customers in the following days.

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HTC's U Ultra flagship is an epic fail

HTC U Ultra

HTC has a serious problem: it cannot deliver a flagship worth getting excited about. A while back, the company at least tried to do things differently, to get consumers talking, but lately it seems happy just to have a new high-end smartphone on the market -- even if everyone knows it's way behind the competition.

Last year's flagship, called HTC 10, was better than its most-recent predecessors, but it failed to stand out against devices like Apple's iPhone 6s and Samsung's Galaxy S7. So no one cared about it. This year's HTC U Ultra is no different -- it's probably the most uninspiring device in its segment. How disappointing.

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iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus are the best-selling smartphones in US (again)

iPhone 7 Plus

Apple traditionally enjoys very strong iPhone sales after it launches new smartphones. And this is certainly true of the three months ending November 2016, when the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus topped the sales charts in US and helped iOS close in on Android in Great Britain.

In US, it is actually an all-iPhone podium, with the iPhone 6s joining the newer models in the top three, according to a new Kantar Worldpanel ComTech report. Apple saw its share rise to 43.5 percent, while Google's Android dropped to 55.3 percent of the market.

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Apple is more environmentally-friendly than Facebook, Google and Microsoft

Bitten apple

Greenpeace has crowned Apple the most environmentally-friendly tech company for the third year in a row. The Cupertino, Calif.-based giant is well ahead of most of the big players in the field, being one of just three companies to get an "A" grade from the NGO, alongside Facebook and Google.

With a score of 83 percent, Apple has the highest clear energy index, using little natural gas, coal and nuclear energy. Facebook comes second with 67 percent while Google takes the last place on the podium with a score of 56 percent. Both companies rely more on natural gas, coal and nuclear energy than Apple.

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OxygenOS 4.0.1 rolling out for OnePlus 3T, OnePlus 3

oneplus-3t

OnePlus kept its word and launched the Android 7.0 Nougat-based OxygenOS 4.0 update for its OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 3 flagships by the end of 2016. But, as is usual with a first major release such as this, a small update is bound to arrive shortly thereafter to resolve some of the initial issues.

So now OnePlus is rolling out OxygenOS 4.0.1, for both the OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 3. The update comes with a couple of changes, as expected, but OnePlus also lists some known problems that users might experience and ways to deal with them.

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Chuwi Hi13 hybrid takes on Microsoft Surface Book

Chuwi Hi13 - 1

If you can't afford a Microsoft Surface device, chances are there is a pretty interesting alternative out there that does not break the bank. For instance, Chuwi's Hi12 falls in the same category as the Surface Pro 4, but can be had at a fraction of the cost.

Same goes for the new Hi13, which the company is pitching as a rival to the mighty Surface Book. Microsoft's hybrid device is very impressive, featuring high-performance internals, a premium build, and a price to match, so what does the Hi13 bring to the table?

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Apple paid $20 billion to developers in 2016

iPhone smartphone mobile apps

Apple users tend to spend a lot of money on apps. That much is obvious by looking at how much App Store developers earned last year. Apple puts the figure at a massive $20 billion, which, after taking into account the fact that it takes a 30 percent cut, would mean that the App Store generated -- at least -- $28.5 billion in revenue in 2016.

The actual revenue is likely to be higher -- though not by much -- because Apple also makes money in other ways, like through ads shown in the App Store's search results or Developer Program subscriptions. It just goes to show why so many major developers like it.

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A closer look at Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 835 flagship mobile processor

Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 penny

Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 835 last year, but at the time it did not reveal much about what's new in its latest flagship mobile processor. Today, right before CES 2017 officially kicks off, the US chip maker is giving us more information about improvements it introduces.

We know the basics: the Snapdragon 835 is Qualcomm's first mobile processor built using the 10nm FinFET manufacturing processor, comes with Quick Charge 4, real-time thermal management, and is, as you might expect, faster and more energy-efficient than the previous range-leader, the Snapdragon 821. Now, let's take a closer look at the changes in the new flagship.

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Samsung's new QLED TVs promise great image quality

Samsung QLED TV

One of the things that you can expect to see at CES is new TVs. Among the most interesting are Samsung's new Q9, Q8 and Q7, part of its new QLED TV series that promises to offer its "best picture quality -- ever" and a more advanced and user-friendly design.

The main appeal of the QLED TV series comes from the claimed advancements in image quality. Samsung says that the range can accurately display the DCI-P3 color space, no matter the level of brightness, using new metal Quantum Dots.

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Acer's insane Predator 21 X gaming laptop costs nearly as much as a new car

Acer Predator 21 X

It may be hard to believe, but Acer has a gaming laptop that is almost as expensive as a new car. It's called the Predator 21 X, and it has the craziest design and most-impressive specs sheet that I have ever seen. The price? It will be offered for a jaw-dropping $8,999 in the US and €9,999 in Europe.

Acer actually unveiled the Predator 21 X at IFA 2016, but only chose to reveal the price and availability right before CES 2017 kicks off this week. So, what exactly makes it so special to warrant that price tag?

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Linksys WRT32X is an AC3200 router for hardcore gamers

Linksys WRT32X

Wireless routers have come a long way in recent years when it comes to transfer speeds, but not in terms of lag, which remains a concern -- for gamers, in particular. To enjoy playing a game online, low latency is needed and over a wireless connection that can sometimes be a problem. It is why some routers include workarounds for users to turn to when they run into issues.

Linksys has come up with a different approach for its new WRT32X AC3200 router, which is meant for "serious online gamers". Its software includes a number of features, part of Rivet Networks' Killer Prioritization Engine, that should help reduce latency and lag when playing games, listening to music, or watching videos online.

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Lenovo unveils new ThinkPad X1 Carbon, Yoga, and Tablet

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Yoga Tablet

A week after updating a large number of devices in the ThinkPad range with new Intel "Kaby Lake" processors, Microsoft Precision TouchPads and Windows 10 Signature Edition, Lenovo now unveils a refresh for the ThinkPad X1 line that is meant to improve mobility, connectivity, and usability.

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is one of the three updated devices in the ThinkPad X1 line, which is showcased at CES 2017. Like other new ThinkPads, it gets a Precision Touchpad, but it is also smaller, offers more battery life, can be had with a Qualcomm modem, packs Thunderbolt 3 ports, and offers expanded docking capabilities. Oh, and it's also launched in a silver trim.

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Dell unveils 27-inch Ultrathin monitor with super-slim profile

Dell-S2718D-Ultrathin

Tech companies use CES to launch a ton of products. Most of them are boring, but some are actually quite interesting. Dell's new 27-inch Ultrathin monitor falls in the latter category, thanks to a very slim profile, sleek design, and some pretty attractive specifications.

The appeal of the 27 Ultrathin, as it's officially called, obviously comes from its thin side profile, which Dell has managed to achieve by having the components that are traditionally placed behind the screen moved to the base of the monitor. That's an elegant solution, which makes the 27 Ultrathin a pretty appealing option for a home office.

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Android Nougat officially rolling out for OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 3

Android-n-nougat

OnePlus announced in November that it would release Android Nougat for its latest flagship killers by the end of 2016. And it has kept its promise, as the much-awaited update will reach OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 3 units starting today.

CEO Carl Pei revealed on Twitter that Android Nougat will be gradually rolling out on December 31 and that, indeed, it is a "stable" build -- not a preview, like OnePlus publicly released for OnePlus 3 users to test.

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Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge will officially get Android Nougat in January

Android Nougat Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

Samsung introduced the Galaxy Beta Program in November to give Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge users in select markets the option to beta test the upcoming Android Nougat update. Four builds have seen the light of day so far, but there will not be a fifth -- the program closes today.

The Android Nougat betas have been well received, with users reporting a solid user experience and few major issues. So, as a result, Samsung is moving on to the next phase, putting the final touches on the much-awaited upgrade. The company expects it to be ready for prime time soon, announcing that it will release Android Nougat for Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge in January.

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