Google Announces Project Fi, the Company’s Long-awaited Wireless Carrier

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Google is finally raising its flag in the wireless carrier market. In a blog post this morning, Google announced Project Fi, a wireless carrier run through its own devices via 4G LTE networks. The first available phone for Project Fi will be Google’s own Nexus 6. Plans will cost $20/mo for basic talk/text/wifi tethering, and international coverage. After this it’s $10/1GB of data. In reality, this doesn’t initially save users a lot of money compared to Verizon and AT&T plans (its main competitors) with the additional cost of a Nexus 6 and added taxes and fees, however Google will credit users for their unused data. This means if you use 1.3 GB on your 2 GB plan, you’ll receive the extra data’s compared value back in credit. Google is using Sprint and T-Mobile’s towers for the carrier and signals will switch between them depending on signal strength.

For the full run down, check out Google’s first Project Fi ad and the full blog post below:

In today’s mobile world, fast and reliable connectivity is almost second nature. But even in places like the U.S., where mobile connections are nearly ubiquitous, there are still times when you turn to your phone for that split-second answer and don’t have fast enough speed. Or you can’t get calls and texts because you left your phone in a taxi (or it got lost in a couch cushion for the day). As mobile devices continually improve how you connect to people and information, it’s important that wireless connectivity and communication keep pace and be fast everywhere, easy to use, and accessible to everyone.

That’s why today we’re introducing Project Fi, a program to explore this opportunity by introducing new ideas through a fast and easy wireless experience. Similar to our Nexus hardware program, Project Fi enables us to work in close partnership with leading carriers, hardware makers, and all of you to push the boundaries of what’s possible. By designing across hardware, software and connectivity, we can more fully explore new ways for people to connect and communicate. Two of the top mobile networks in the U.S.—Sprint and T-Mobile—are partnering with us to launch Project Fi and now you can be part of the project too.

Our three focus areas include:

Helping you get the highest-quality connection
Project Fi aims to put you on the best network wherever you go. As you move around, the best network for you might be a Wi-Fi hotspot or a specific 4G LTE network. We developed new technology that gives you better coverage by intelligently connecting you to the fastest available network at your location whether it’s Wi-Fi or one of our two partner LTE networks. As you go about your day, Project Fi automatically connects you to more than a million free, open Wi-Fi hotspots we’ve verified as fast and reliable. Once you’re connected, we help secure your data through encryption. When you’re not on Wi-Fi, we move you between whichever of our partner networks is delivering the fastest speed, so you get 4G LTE in more places. Learn more about our network of networks.

Enabling easy communication across networks and devices
Project Fi works to get technology out of the way so you can communicate through whichever network type and device you’re using. Wherever you’re connected to Wi-Fi—whether that’s at home, your favorite coffee shop or your Batcave—you can talk and text like you normally do. If you leave an area of Wi-Fi coverage, your call will seamlessly transition from Wi-Fi to cell networks so your conversation doesn’t skip a beat. We also want to help phone numbers adapt to a multi-screen world. With Project Fi, your phone number lives in the cloud, so you can talk and text with your number on just about any phone, tablet or laptop. So the next time you misplace your phone, you can stay connected using another screen. Check out how it works.

Making the service experience as simple as possible
Project Fi takes a fresh approach to how you pay for wireless, manage your service, and get in touch when you need help. We offer one simple plan at one price with 24/7 support. Here’s how it works: for $20 a month you get all the basics (talk, text, Wi-Fi tethering, and international coverage in 120+ countries), and then it’s a flat $10 per GB for cellular data while in the U.S. and abroad. 1GB is $10/month, 2GB is $20/month, 3GB is $30/month, and so on. Since it’s hard to predict your data usage, you’ll get credit for the full value of your unused data. Let’s say you go with 3GB for $30 and only use 1.4GB one month. You’ll get $16 back, so you only pay for what you use.Get all the details about our plan.

Be part of the project from the start

We’re beginning Project Fi’s Early Access Program to invite people to sign up for the service. Project Fi will be available on the Nexus 6, which we developed with Motorola and is the first smartphone that supports the hardware and software to work with our service. If you live where we have coverage in the U.S., request an invite atfi.google.com to get started.

We look forward to connecting!

Source: Google Blog

AT&T BlackBerry Classic Q20 Review: A Retro Smartphone for the Stubborn Bussinessperson

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There was a time when BlackBerry was still relevant. It was probably six years ago when BlackBerry smartphones were more prevalent to businesses, and the iPhone was still in its early development. “Apps” were new and Research in Motion was adapting to the new market with capacitive touchscreens and the introduction of BlackBerry App World, the company’s first app store. But the company did this all the while holding staunch to keeping its design–a beloved tactile QWERTY-style keyboard below a squared-display in a well-designed package. Believe it or not, they’re still here. Despite previous market woes for Research in Motion forcing the rebranding from RIMM to BBRY on NASDAQ, BlackBerry is still around pumping out new smartphones with a unique feature in 2015. As you might guess, it’s those same old tactile QWERTY keyboards. Below you’ll find our full review of one of these new age artifact, the BlackBerry Classic Q20 on AT&T. It’s definitely no Passport, and it will definitely fit in your pocket.

Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge May Be Slightly Waterproof

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The Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge took a nosedive on features in its debut at Mobile World Congress last month. Without a MicroSD card slot and a removable battery, many were very quickly disappointed considering how previous models had all of these features, including the Note 4. The Galaxy S5 was also quite infamous for its incredible IP67 water resistance rating thanks, in part, to its sealed charging port. But the S6 and S6 Edge scrapped all of that and has not advertised one bit of water resistance since it started selling the device in April.

Removing Sticker off Samsung Galaxy S6 Could Void Warranty

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Update: Further research done by our readers has shown this customer service representative was incorrect on the sticker removal. As it turns out, warranty tracking information for Samsung is stored on the cover elsewhere. The sticker can indeed be removed.

If you’re an early adopter like me, you may have just purchased a shiny new Samsung Galaxy S6 (and hopefully for a discount). Unfortunately, when Verizon Wireless handed me mine, I found this silly QR code sticker on the back of the device. Of course, I opted to attempt to remove it as soon as possible. Because really, who buys a $700 device and expects to leave the stickers on it? It’s a shiny and new piece of beautiful hardware.

But as it turns out, this “IMEI sticker” is used for tracking your product for repairs. According to a Redditor named Aaron, who sought Samsung’s Customer Service support after purchasing his S6, removing the sticker will actually void the warranty. Despite this sticker being outside of the phone, Aaron was told not to remove it if he ever wanted to get repair services from Samsung on the device.

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A customer rep named David said, “Unfortunately, removing the sticker does in fact void the warranty so we recommend that you do not remove it.”

So much for your attractive new device, folks. Still, this issue could seriously be remedied by carriers telling customers this fact in the first place. I’m fairly certain this lack of information up front wouldn’t hold up in court if push came to shove. Nevertheless, we have a simple recommendation to avoid such trouble in your S6’s future. When you buy a new phone, feel free to take off any stickers you like. Just be sure to keep them in the phone’s box in a safe storage space. After all, you can always stick them back on. How’s that for a LifeProTip?

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Have any of you bought the new Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge? Let us know your thoughts so far.

Source: Reddit

Oral-B Pro 5000 with Bluetooth Review: A Wonderful Toothbrush with a Slight Gimmick

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Brushing your teeth is a staple morning and evening task of the day for most of us. In fact, it’s something so bland, we don’t put much thought into what tools are used for this chore. Sure, we might buy water flossers and whitening products for improved dental hygiene. And it definitely helps, but perhaps it’s not always what fluoride you choose that makes the improvement we’re all striving for; it’s that damn Stone Age manual toothbrush. So this week we’ve reviewed the most advanced electric toothbrush we’ve ever seen–the Oral-B Pro 5000 SmartSeries powered by Braun.