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Windows 8 upgrade diary: the buying experience

Windows 8 upgrade diary part one: the buying experience

There were balloons. There were streamers. There were brand new Ultrabooks, members of staff unfurling banners, and — once other customers started to arrive — there was even a vibe of genuine excitement for today’s official launch of Windows 8 in the UK. But whichever aisle I scanned, nowhere was to be found what I had come to buy: a Windows 8 disc for desktop upgraders. It was a faltering start, but it was also strangely symbolic of my mission — namely, to explore what Microsoft’s latest operating system can do for regular desktop folk. People who, in other words, aren’t yet looking to invest in touch-enabled monitors or laptops or all-in-ones; who rarely get the chance to lean back with a media-consumption tablet; and who simply want to upgrade their traditional tower PC before getting on with their lives. Read on past the break and you can begin this potentially short, hopefully sweet journey with me, starting with a quick rundown of my test rig (which also happens to be my mission critical work computer) and an anti-climactic revelation about whether, in the end, I ever found the software box I was looking for.

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Windows 8 upgrade diary: the buying experience originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 26 Oct 2012 18:41:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Samsung Phone Buyer’s Guide (October 2020)

When it comes to smartphones, Samsung is one of the biggest names in the game. As a founding member of the Open Handset Alliance back in 2007 it has been around since the very first days of Android.You’d be forgiven if you think Samsung has a new phone announcement every few weeks. They do stay quite busy with a seemingly constant barrage of devices.What started as a slow trickle and almost annual release, its Galaxy S series has expanded to include a handful of models.Moreover, it introduced a Galaxy A line a few years back and has been refreshing it with regular consistency. Most recently, it has offered up a Galaxy Z family of phones and is fast at work growing it with successors.While it may feel daunting to try to make sense of all of the different models, it’s not quite as confusing as it seems. Here, we’ll help you get an understanding as to what Samsung offers consumers in fall of 2020.Galaxy SThe flagship series of phones, its new models are typically introduced in the spring. If you’re looking for the best of what’s available in the smartphone space, the latest Galaxy S is going to be part of that conversation.You’ll have no problem finding these handsets as pretty much all wireless providers and major retailers offer versions of the Galaxy S. And while it was originally just one model arriving each year, the Galaxy S now comprises multiple devices and price points. The specs vary slightly from model to model, but largely share the same features.The current generation is made up of the Samsung Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+, Galaxy S20 Ultra, and Galaxy S20 Fan Edition. You’ll still find the predecessor (Galaxy S10) at a variety of carriers.Galaxy AIf the Galaxy S is considered the flagship line, the Galaxy A might best be described as the junior flagship line. It’s a great way to get most of the tech and features, including quality build materials. In short, the Galaxy A is a less expensive way of getting a quality Samsung experience.Instead of one model released each year, the Galaxy A is more of a family of phones that runs the gamut of entry-level all the way up to high-end. These are not as widely available as the Galaxy S but they’re becoming more popular.As of today, the key phones include the Galaxy A71, Galaxy A51, Galaxy A21, and Galaxy A01.Galaxy NoteThe biggest of what Samsung has to offer, the Galaxy Note arrives in the fall with bleeding-edge hardware. While the Galaxy S keeps getting a little bigger each year, the Galaxy Note is the only one with support for the built-in S Pen.Instead of one singular model to choose from, Samsung gives consumers multiple options in the Galaxy Note line. The key differences often being screen size and technology, battery, memory, and even color.You shouldn’t have trouble finding the Samsung Galaxy Note at the bigger wireless carriers; the selection sometimes varies from one provider to the next.The current model is the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. In many cases you’ll also find the Galaxy Note 10 still available.Galaxy ZThe newest line from Samsung, this is where you’ll find its folding phones. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is more or less a tablet that folds in half while the Galaxy Z Flip is a clam shell experience.These models don’t have the high-end hardware found in the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note, but that’s offset with unique designs with custom functionality.Folding devices are still new to the market so these are going to be among the most expensive products. What’s more, they’re a bit tougher to get your hands on. They’re not produced in the same volume levels and not all carriers offer them.Where to BuyOf all the phone makers using Android, Samsung devices are probably the easiest to find. Check with your wireless provider and you’re bound to see a couple of options to choose from.In addition to carriers, Samsung phones can also be found at major retailers. Samsung also sells its handsets direct to consumer in both carrier-branded and unlocked capacity.Quick LinksVerizonAT&TT-MobileAmazonBest BuyB&H Photo VideoWalmartTargetSamsung

Anker has some great Amazon Prime Day deals

We are big fans of Anker. The company makes solid accessories that don’t break the bank. It also has a long-standing partnership with Amazon as it’s main retail storefront. So, unsurprisingly, Anker has some really good Prime Day sales for today’s big discount campaign.While there are many more, these are the top five favorite reductions Anker has going today.Soundcore Liberty Air 2The Liberty Air 2 by Anker’s audio sub-brand are great Airpod competitors for much less. In our review, we pointed to great battery life and above-average audio as big selling points. Add that to a wireless charging case and comfy fit, and you have a winner.Prime Day will a large $30 discount off the normal $100 pricetag too! This applies to both the black and white variations.Buy now at Amazon: $69.99 normally $99.99Soundcore Flare +Want to share great audio with all your friends instead of keeping it to yourself? Then check out the Soundcore Flare +. This 360-degree speaker has amazing audio for the size with four 25Watt drivers. Pair that with IPX-7 waterproofing, 20 hours of playback, and an LED ring for some “flare” and you have a great Bluetooth speaker for your next party.This price reduction isn’t quite a large, but at $85 it’s still a good value.Buy now at Amazon: $84.99 normally $99.99Anker PowerPort CubeI love a good power strip and Anker has a great on in the PowerPort Cube. This compact charger gives you three full power outlets and three more PowerIQ USB ports in one devices the size of a tennis ball. The USB ports support adaptive charging up to 18W fast charging as well.It’s down to $17… what are you waiting for to buy?Buy now at Amazon: $16.99 normally $19.99Anker PowerPort Atom II Need something a little more just dedicated for your mobile devices? Check out this 60W PowerPort Atom II is an awesome addition to any travel bag. Both Power Delivery ports allow for full 60W charging via USB-C. This should give you one power brick for everthing from your phone to even a full size laptop with USB-C ports.And it’s cut by a steep dollar amount of $30 off.Buy it now at Amazon: $30.99 normally $50.99

Cricket Wireless Buyer’s Guide (October 2020)

A growing number of US consumers are becoming familiar with Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) like Metro, Boost Mobile, and Straight Talk. They operate using the towers and infrastructure from the big players but have their own rates, customer service, and phone selection.Let’s take a look at one of them in particular: Cricket WirelessAboutCricket Wireless (Cricket) initially launched in 1999 and is a US-based prepaid wireless service provider; it’s a wholly owned subsidiary of AT&T. It offers its own lineup of GSM phones, many of which are also found at other carriers. As one might expect, it uses AT&T for its coverage.Does Cricket have any special deals?Currently you can find a number of phones discounted with new phone numbers, upgrades, and porting your existing number. Some models are even free with the right combination of port-in and signing up for a particular rate plan.READ: Buying an unlocked phone? Consider these questionsAdditionally, Cricket has discounted phones from Motorola, Nokia, and Samsung with some of them potentially free with a plan.What are Cricket rate plans like?Cricket rate plans are no-contract, meaning you can go month-to-month with no long-term agreement or cancellation fees. Moreover, they do not charge for going over your allotted data and taxes are included in the cost.$30/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with 2GB of high-speed data$40/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with 10GB of high-speed data$55/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with unlimited data$60/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with unlimited high-speed data 15GB mobile hotspotCustomers can save $5 per month on most plans with automatic bill payment. The $55 plan has data speeds which are limited to a max of 8Mbps while the $60 option is quicker and includes the hotspot feature. Depending on location and phone, subscribers may see 5G speeds on the $60 plan.Does Cricket offer multiple line plans?Customers interested in family plans or multiple lines can do so with discounted pricing. Cricket will let you calculate rates for two to five lines. On the $55 Unlimited Plan, for instance, you get at the following monthly rates:2 Lines – $80/mo ($30 discount)3 Lines – $90/mo ($75 discount)4 Lines – $100/mo ($120 discount)5 lines – $125/mo ($150 discount)Which major prepaid carrier has the best $40 rate plan?Are there any other Cricket features or offerings?Cricket offers a handful of other options to its customers, most of which can pair with the aforementioned rate plans. Details here include international calling, insurance against lost and stolen phones, extra data, and mobile hotspot.Cricket also sells Data Only options with 20GB ($35), 40GB ($50), and 100GB ($90) allotments.What phones are available at Cricket?Taking a look at the current lineup of phones offered through Cricket we find familiar names from brands like LG, Samsung, and Motorola. There are also devices from the likes of Nokia, and Alcatel, too.Like most prepaid providers, phone selection skews toward affordability as opposed to performance. With that said, we do recognize there are some compelling devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S20+ and the LG Stylo 6.Can I use my own phone at Cricket?You can often use your current GSM phone, especially if it was previously paired with AT&T. Head to Cricket’s website to check whether your specific model is supported. You’ll want to ensure that your phone is unlocked prior to purchasing the SIM card kit currently priced at just $10.

Mous case: Get the iPhone 12’s magnetic charging and accessories on your Android phone

Apple held its big iPhone event today, and unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you already knew that. Among the usual upgrades such as a faster processor, improved cameras, 5G, and more; the new iPhones now include magnets for attaching accessories and charging.It’s not the first time Apple has used magnets in its devices, the iPad Pro models and new iPad Air also use strategically placed magnets for attaching the Magic Keyboard. Apple even uses magnets on the Apple Watch and charger to make it as effortless as possible to use.If all of this has you feeling some Apple envy over there, we wouldn’t blame you, but did you know its already possible to add this capability to your Samsung Galaxy or Pixel phone? All you need is the right case, like the ones from the Limitless 3.0 collection by Mous, a London-based tech accessory brand.By using one of the Limitless 3.0 cases on your device, you can hot-swap between car mounts, wall mounts, attach card wallets or flip wallets, and yes, Mous even has a range of magnetic Qi-enabled wireless chargers. No longer will you have to painstakingly slide your phone around on the pad to ensure its perfectly lined up and charging.Mous made this all possible by using its in-house AutoAlignPlus technology and engineering the magnets to work with its accessories without interfering with how your phone operates. That means the case attracts the various mounts and accessories by directing the magnetic field outwards, which avoids causing any interference with the compass and other components inside of your phone.While it’s not exactly the same as having the magnetic tech built into your phone, the Mous Limitless 3.0 system is an easy and effective way to add the same features to the phone you already own.You can pick up cases and accessories from the Limitless 3.0 lineup for your Samsung Galaxy or Google Pixel phone starting as low as $40 from either Amazon or Mous’s online store.