Essential Phone: Frustrated buyers may get their phones by Thursday, Verizon compatibility hits a roadblock

Andy Rubin’s Essential Phone is an impressive piece of hardware for a first-generation product built by a startup, but even the father of Android himself hasn’t gotten this device to market without its fair share of issues. Early buyers have been voicing concerns about their pre-orders for several days now, but it seems that orders are finally on their way.

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Best flagship Android phones you can buy [August 2016]

It’s August, and with an ever-increasing number of notable Android OEMs reaching maturity, we’ve seen more new handsets than usual launch this summer. The summer started off strong with the Moto Z and Moto Z Force (not shipping!), and most recently Samsung finally showed us its Galaxy Note 7 after many months of leaks. But which ones are the best buys?…

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Google says 11 Daydream VR-compatible phones will be available by the end of 2017

Google’s Daydream VR platform is arguably the best mobile VR option, but it only works on a small portion of the vast Android ecosystem. Devices like the Pixel, Moto Z, and ZTE Axon 7 are all supported, but there’s not much outside of that. Yesterday on Google’s earnings call, CEO (and recently appointed Alphabet board member) Sundar Pichai revealed that quite a few more compatible devices are incoming.

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So, what’s the deal with the Essential Phone’s camera? [Gallery]

The Essential Phone is just about to ship to early customers, and there’s a lot that’s good about the first product from Andy Rubin’s startup. Early reviews have been glowing overall, but the camera has been disappointing for most. I’ve spent the past couple of days using the Essential Phone as my daily driver in preparation for my full review, and I’ve been testing out the camera quite a bit. Is it actually as bad as everyone has been saying? Well…

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Sony beats Google’s Pixel, begins pushing out Feb. security patch to several Xperia phones

Every month Google gives device manufacturers an updated build of Android with security patches that remove vulnerabilities and fixes bugs. Although we normally see these patches hitting Pixel and Nexus devices first, it would appear that Sony is on top of its game this month and is already rolling out the February security patch to several of its handsets before it arrives on any of its competitor’s devices…

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Some budget Android phones in the US reportedly affected by ‘backdoor’ which sent personal data to China

There are a lot of fantastic budget smartphones on the market today, but there are always concerns with smartphones that are super cheap. One of those is security, an increasingly important part of any smartphone. Now security firm Kryptowire has uncovered an alleged backdoor hidden within some budget Android smartphones.

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Qualcomm says new 3D camera capabilities coming to next year’s Android phones, inc infra-red [Video]

Qualcomm says that next year’s Snapdragon processors will offer much more sophisticated 3D camera capabilities, including the ability to use infra-red for facial recognition.

In particular, the chipmaker seems to be aiming to ensure that Android flagships can match or beat the face-recognition system expected to be a headline feature of Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8

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Verizon wanted to install more bloatware on phones, would have received $1-$2 per device for each app

One of the biggest downsides of buying a carrier branded Android smartphone is bloatware. Regardless of the carrier, you’re going to find at least a handful of added applications on your device which, in most cases, you can’t delete. Verizon isn’t always the worst in this area, but things could have been much worse if an idea from the company had come to fruition.

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