OnePlus Will Let You Review the OnePlus 3 Early

To kick off the week with a Monday announcement, a Monday that just so happened to be a pretty major holiday here in the US and is not exactly a great day to announce anything that might be headed this way, OnePlus unveiled a program for the upcoming OnePlus 3 that could land you one ahead of time, for review. The program is called “The Lab,” and it works as a “peer review” program that involves 30 of OnePlus’ biggest fans reviewing the OnePlus 3 to deliver a “comprehensive community review.”  (more…)

Google: Current Smartphones Unlikely to be Supported by Daydream VR Platform

Google’s overseer of Virtual Reality, Clay Bavor, states that folks looking to get into Daydream, the Android VR platform, should hold off on upgrading their smartphone for a couple of months. For anyone who wanted to upgrade within the next few weeks, if VR is an important purchasing factor, you may want to take Bavor’s advice. According to Bavor, it is “unlikely” that many current devices, or any at all, will be “Daydream-ready” out of the box when the platform is made available to consumers later this year.  (more…)

Droid Life Q&A Sessions: Volume 40 Answers

We have gone over all of your submissions for Volume 40 of the Droid Life Q&A Sessions, and we now have answers for you. We received quite a few questions this week, ranging in topics from what we saw at Google I/O, to what’s the best way to get started in the connected home game. We also covered whether we feel it would be right for Google to take a more “controlled” approach toward Android updates.

Take a look at our answers below, then let us know if you agree in the comments. If you don’t, we will be more than happy to argue with you. Bring it on.  (more…)

Samsung Made a 5.5-Inch 4K Display “For VR”

Rumors of the next Galaxy Note (6 or 7?) have long-mentioned the possibility of Samsung upping the resolution of the display featured inside. We have heard talk of 4K, which makes a lot of sense because it seems to be the next step up from QHD, but also because the company is heavily invested in VR, where higher resolution displays are needed to improve the experience.

This week, at Display Week, Samsung showed off a “high resolution for VR” display that weighs in a 5.5-inches and with a resolution of 3840×216 (4K or UHD). It’s currently only a prototype, but one has to consider the idea of it being featured in the next Galaxy Note. Then again, that would mean a shrinkage in screen real estate from recent Note offerings.  (more…)

Report: Samsung Pay Will Soon Move Into Online Payments too, on Both Android and iOS

To help boost the amount of users making purchases through Samsung Pay, Samsung is reportedly working on an extension to the existing Samsung Pay platform that will be available to both Android and iOS devices, as well as online for desktop users. According to industry insiders, this Samsung Pay extension could launch as early as June.

To recap Samsung Pay as a whole, it is a bit different from what is offered by Google (Android Pay) and Apple (Apple Pay). As of right now, only select Galaxy device owners can use Samsung Pay in stores, and it is also limited to whichever banks support it. The list of supported banks is growing, but there are still plenty that do not. If you do have a supported bank and smartphone, users can upload banking and credit card info into Samsung Pay, then pay for goods at almost any retailer in the US, as long as there is a MS-powered credit card terminal. Samsung Pay does not entirely run off of NFC (Android Pay and Apple Pay do), so it allows users to benefit from the service in more places. (more…)

The Smartphone Industry Needs to Take New Chances, Like Motorola and LG are Doing With Modules

With Motorola on the verge of announcing its newest phone fit with modular capabilities and LG having just come off a an opening month or two where it introduced its take on a modular phone, I think it’s clear that smartphone makers have realized that in order to survive going forward, they need to do something new. It’s time to innovate again. It’s time to take chances, offer more value in new ways, make phones more than just phones, and move beyond the simple, slab smartphone that just gets the basics right. The smartphone world needs something new, something fresh. The last thing it needs are a bunch of devices that the average consumer can’t tell apart but seem to fit a tech media narrative of what they view as success or good.

Many of your favorite smartphone makers, outside of Samsung, are struggling and have been for years. Since the early gold rush to Android supremacy four and five years ago, the industry has matured, maybe even plateaued, and made it extremely difficult for anyone to succeed. Companies like Samsung and Apple are still doing quite well as they established dominance long ago and haven’t given it up, partially because they have massive marketing budgets, but also because they keep making great products that mean something to owners of them. For companies like Motorola and LG, they can’t compete with that reputation or marketing budget by just doing the same old thing. And that right there is why I’m glad that they are both taking chances by going this modular route. (more…)

DEAL: Buy HTC 10, Receive Free RE Camera During Memorial Day Weekend

A Memorial Day weekend sale from HTC can net you a free RE Camera with the purchase of a HTC 10. Currently, the HTC 10 is available via HTC’s website for a whopping $699, but with that purchase, you get a free RE Camera, which has a current sale price of $80. Regularly, the RE Camera is priced at $199. Do note that this deal is not limited to which HTC 10 you buy, whether it is the Unlocked, T-Mobile, Verizon, or Sprint model.  (more…)

Here is the Batman Galaxy S7 Edge, and OMG It’s Hot

The Batman themed Galaxy S7 Edge that Samsung teased earlier in the day is now official and fully unveiled. As we mentioned earlier, the partnership is based on the game Injustice: Gods Among Us, but from this “unboxing” video, it’s clear that Samsung and DC spared no expense.

In the clip, we get to see a Bat symbol emblazoned box with both Galaxy S7 Edge and “Injustice” branding. Inside, Samsung is showing off a gold plated Bat symbol accessory that matches the branding on the back of the gold and black phone, specially themed Gear VR unit, and matching case. There are headphones in there as well, though they aren’t shown outside of their box.  (more…)