Nexus 6..!! All you need to know

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Google is today introducing the Nexus 6, the latest in its line of smartphones designed to show off the capabilities of new Android releases. This is the biggest Nexus phone that Google has released yet, adopting a 6-inch display — bigger than both the iPhone 6 Plus and Galaxy Note 4. Like the Note 4, Google's Nexus 6 also uses a Quad HD display, which means that text and images on the phone should still be really sharp, despite its large size. The phone has a Snapdragon 805 processor, a 13-megapixel rear camera, a 2-megapixel front camera, a 3220 mAh battery, and two front-facing speakers. It can include either 32 or 64GB of internal storage and comes in either blue or white.

It's the Moto X made way bigger
Nexus phones have always been lightly modified versions of existing smartphones — the Nexus 5, for instance, was based off of the LG G2 — and there's no hiding here that the Nexus 6 is a blown up version of Motorola's updated Moto X. Just like the Moto X, the Nexus 6 features metal trim around the outside, a circular flash ring, and even a dimpled Motorola logo. That's by no means a bad thing, though: the Moto X is a very nicely made phone, so the more cues the Nexus 6 takes from it, the better.














The Verge's Moto X Review

The Nexus 6 comes running Android 5.0 Lollipop, which is also being launched today. Lollipop was first demonstrated back in June, when Google showcased a brand new design style for Android that adopted a playful and colorful look based around simple shapes and sheets of paper. Lollipop is also said to include a battery saving feature that can extend a phone's life by up to 90 minutes. On top of that, the Nexus 6 also includes one of Motorola's Turbo Chargers, which can charge the phone back up to six hours worth of battery life in 15 minutes — so Google clearly wants you to be able to keep this thing going.
The Nexus 6 is going to be sold unlocked for $649, making it far more expensive than any other Nexus model to date. Google has long used the Nexus line as a way to help expose people to stock Android by giving its phones a low price, but that's also meant that Google likely hasn't made much — if any — real money on them. With this new pricing, it appears as though Google's priorities are changing. Or at the very least, it's no longer willing to stomach the costs associated with pricing a phone so low.
The Nexus 6 will be available to preorder on October 29th and available in stores beginning in November. You'll also be able to buy it on monthly contract. The unlocked model will work on all four major US carriers, and Google says it'll also be offered through AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, US Cellular, and Sprint. Google is continuing to sell the Nexus 5 as well.
In addition to the Nexus 6, Google is also releasing the Nexus 9 tablet today. This is the second large tablet to bear the Nexus name, with Google previously trying out large tablets with the Nexus 10 nearly two years ago. You can read our full article on the Nexus 9 for more coverage. Google is also announcing a streaming media box called the Nexus Player, which is the first device to run Android TV.


source: The Verge


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Windows 10 v/s Windows 8.1. What's new?

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Microsoft unveiled the next version of Windows at a developer event in San Francisco, catching everyone by surprise by leap-frogging Windows 9 and labelling it Windows 10.
With many enterprise and power users sticking with Windows 7, due to its familiarity and stability, will Windows 10 offer enough features to justify an upgrade? We take a look at what Microsoft is offering.
1 - Start Button strikes back
Probably the biggest complaint about Windows 8 was the decision to ditch the familiar Start Button. Microsoft was so focused on introducing the world to its Live Tiles interface, it assumed users wouldn’t mind a Desktop with reduced functionality. It was a critical error, which has been addressed.
We’ve known for a while the Start button would make a triumphant return but we’re still excited as it will be supercharged. The Start Menu will allow you to access apps, search for content as well as pin apps, contacts and websites into it.


2 -  Windows 10 interface will adapt via Continuum
Microsoft was so keen to push the “touch-first” mantra with Window 8, the experience on traditional machines where keyboards and mice were the primary form of input suffered. This was addressed to some extent with the 8.1 update and the problem could now be solved with Windows 10.
Continuum will allow the Windows 10 interface to adapt based on the hardware it is running in. 
If you're working with a 2-in-1 hybrid like the Surface, you'll be met with the standard desktop while the Type Cover keyboard is connected. However, when you detach the keyboard the OS will detect this and prompt you to switch over to tablet mode.
3 - Multiple desktops debut 
Borrowing from Apple’s OS X, Microsoft has finally introduced multiple desktops.
This is something power users have been craving as it will make it easier to work on different projects simultaneously. This will also be handy for employees as they can keep their personal and work environments separate.
4 - A unified app store
Developers will now be able to create one app that runs across all Windows devices from phones through to 85in touch displays. 
Microsoft said it’s also going to allow volume app purchases based on existing organisational identity and allow businesses to reclaim or re-use licenses.
Larger enterprises will be able to create their own customised app store for employees, with the ability to include selected public apps alongside in-house apps.
5 - Universal apps
One of the main problems with Live Tile apps was the fact they could not be controlled like regular programs. This all changes with Universal apps. They will be framed in the same windows as programs so they can be resized, moved, maximized, minimized and closed.
6 - Flexible security updates
Security and critical updates will continue to be pushed out on a monthly basis.
Consumers will get updates as soon as they are ready via Windows Update and now businesses will be able to ‘opt-in’ to a fast-paced cycle as well.
Microsoft will also allows businesses to lock-down mission critical apps and segment user groups to deliver updates in a more flexible way too.
7 - Improved multitasking
Windows 10 will introduce a quadrant layout allowing up to four apps to be snapped on the same screen. The OS will even make smart suggestions to fill available screen space.
You’ll be able to cycle through open apps using the familiar Alt + Tab shortcut, but there is also a Task View button on the taskbar. Pressing this will show all open apps, allow you to re-arrange them and switch between virtual desktops.
8 - No more typos in Command Prompt
Power users rejoice as copy and paste will be enabled in Windows 10’s Command Prompt.
9 - MDM built in
Admins will be able to manage devices through traditional methods like Active Directory and System Center.
Windows 10 will include extended built-in mobile device management (MDM) capabilities - making it easier to manage device from the cloud.

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Windows 10 is here..!!

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It’s a humbling and amazing thing to work on Windows, which is used by over 1.5 billion people in every country of the world. From kids playing with computers for the first time, to writers and journalists, to engineers, to gamers, to CEOs, at some point Windows has empowered all of us.
In the Windows team, we’re proud of this – but we also know that the world today is very different from the one in which Windows grew up. Today, devices outnumber people. Connectivity is like oxygen. The tension between the desire for agility versus stability poses a huge challenge for IT Pros. Experiences – no matter what device you’re on – just need to work. The only thing that hasn’t really changed is the situation for developers – still too much to do, and not enough time.
One way to look at it is that Windows is at a threshold :-). It’s time for a new Windows. This new Windows must be built from the ground-up for a mobile-first, cloud-first world. This new Windows must help our customers be productive in both their digital work and their digital life. This new Windows must empower people and organizations to do great things.
That new Windows is Windows 10.
Windows 10 represents the first step of a whole new generation of Windows. Windows 10 unlocks new experiences for customers to work, play and connect. Windows 10 embodies what our customers (both consumers and enterprises) demand and what we will deliver.
Windows 10 will run across an incredibly broad set of devices – from the Internet of Things, to servers in enterprise datacenters worldwide. Some of these devices have 4 inch screens – some have 80 inch screens – and some don’t have screens at all. Some of these devices you hold in your hand, others are ten feet away. Some of these devices you primarily use touch/pen, others mouse/keyboard, others controller/gesture – and some devices can switch between input types.
We’re not talking about one UI to rule them all – we’re talking about one product family, with a tailored experience for each device.
And across this breadth of devices, we are delivering one application platform for our developers. Whether you’re building a game or a line of business application, there will be one way to write a universal app that targets the entire family. There will be one store, one way for applications to be discovered, purchased and updated across all of these devices.
Windows 10 will deliver the right experience on the right device at the right time. It will be our most comprehensive platform ever.
Now, during the design of a new Windows, we spend time with many diverse customers. One of the most important of these customers is the enterprise. In the past year I’ve talked to dozens of enterprise customers and listened to how they are using and deploying Windows, and what they need from us.
These customers are betting their businesses on Windows – in the first half of this year, shipments of enterprise PCs grew 14%. In that same time period, shipments of Windows enterprise tablets grew 33%.
Tomorrow, we are excited to announce the Windows Insider Program, where PC experts and IT Pros can get access to a technical preview of Windows 10 for desktops and laptops. Soon after, we’ll also be releasing technical previews of Windows Server and our management tools.
With the Insider program, we’re inviting our most enthusiastic Windows customers to shape Windows 10 with us. We know they’re a vocal bunch – and we’re looking forward to hearing from them.
The Windows Insider Program is intended for PC experts and IT pros who are comfortable using pre-release software with variable quality. Insiders will receive a steady stream of early builds from us with the latest features we’re experimenting with.
This week’s announcements are just the first chapter of our conversation with customers about Windows 10 – with a focus on enterprise features (because enterprises have a need to evaluate software early on) and the desktop/laptop experiences. Early in 2015 we’ll introduce the consumer chapter and talk much more about other device types and more consumer features. We’ll then continue the conversation with the developer chapter at our Build conference, and later in the year we’ll release Windows 10 and look forward to some amazing new devices.
Today was an important beginning for our customers and partners as we embark on the Windows 10 journey together. I encourage everyone reading this to sign up for the Windows Insider Program, download the technical preview, and let us know what you think. Check here tomorrow for specific details – but in the meantime, here’s a peek at some of the new features you can test drive once you become an Insider:
Tech Preview_Start menu
Start menu: The familiar Start menu is back, but it brings with it a new customizable space for your favorite apps and Live Tiles.
App_Commands
Everything runs in a window: Apps from the Windows Store now open in the same format that desktop apps do and can be resized and moved around, and have title bars at the top allowing for maximize, minimize, and close with a click.
Tech Preview_Three program snap and suggestions
Snap enhancements: You can now have four apps snapped on the same screen with a new quadrant layout. Windows will also show other apps and programs running for additional snapping and even make smart suggestions on filling available screen space with other open apps.
Tech Preview_Task view
New task view button: There’s a new task-view button on the taskbar for quick switching between open files and quick access to any desktops you create.
Tech Preview_Virtual desktop
Multiple desktops: Create desktops for different purposes and projects and switch between these desktops easily and pick up where you left off on each desktop.
Find files faster: File Explorer now displays your recent files and frequently visited folders making for finding files you’ve worked on is easier.
Watch the below video from Joe Belfiore to see many of these features in action. Immediately you’ll see how Windows 10 carries forward a sense of familiarity, while providing new capabilities to help you way the work you want to and be more productive.
Today was an important beginning for our customers and partners as we embark on the Windows 10 journey together. While it’s early and things are bound to change as we collaborate together in the months ahead, this should give a strong sense of where we’re going not only with the desktop experience, but in general overall. We’re looking forward to getting your feedback on Windows 10, as well as continuing this conversation in the weeks and months to come.

Source: Windows Blog

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Latest news on Windows 9..!!!

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With Windows 8 and now Windows 8.1, Microsoft tried - not entirely successfully - to make tablets part of a continuum that goes from number-crunching workstations and high-end gaming rigs through all-in-one touchscreen media systems and thin-and light notebooks down to slender touch tablets.
The general consensus is that it still has a long way to go to produce a unified OS.
Despite rumors of an aggressive development and shipping schedule, there's no official word about what's in the next version of Windows, but there are plenty of rumors (many of them from Chinese enthusiast sites that claim to have leaked builds), plus more reliable information from job postings for the Windows and Windows Phone teams.
There are also patents, which may or may not be relevant, and some rare comments from developers on the Windows team. Here's what we've heard about Windows 9 and what we think is happening.
Cut to the chase
What is it? A complete update of Windows 
When is it out? We expect it to be out in 2015
What will it cost? We really have no idea. But if Windows 8 is anything to go by, it won't cost much to upgrade.
Windows Blue turned out to be Windows 8.1 rather than a completely new version of the Windows OS - Windows 9 will be that new version.
As for interim releases, we'll probably also get Windows 8.2 before we get Windows 9. And we have already seen the initial update to Windows 8.1, called Windows 8.1 Update 1.
Windows 8.1 Update 1
The new update features improvements to the Start Screen including the ability to boot straight into the Desktop, the return of shutdown on Start and a more familiar task bar to unify the old and new user interfaces. The update was announced at Build 2014, along with features teased for Windows updates to come.
It certainly seems there's a new development cadence for Windows in action. It seems that Microsoft is set to put out new releases of Windows, Windows RT and Windows Server every year, the way it already does for Windows Phone.
The next complete version of Windows is being referred to as Windows 9, though this may change. And a new codename has appeared - Threshold, possibly in refrence to moving across from our reliance on the desktop to a new world where the Start screen is at the heart of how we use Windows.
While still just a codename, Windows 9 was referenced by Microsoft in a job posting, spotted by MSFT Kitchen on March 13, 2013.
The ad, for a Bing Software Development Engineer, says that the team will be delivering products "in areas including Windows 9, IE11 services integration, touch friendly devices including iPad and more."

Windows 9 release date

Microsoft communications chief Frank Shaw said the company wasn't ready to talk about how often Windows might come out when we spoke to him in January, but he agreed "you have certainly seen across a variety of our products a cadence that looks like that; Windows Phone is a good for example of that, our services are a good example of that".
We don't know if Windows 9 will be available as an upgrade from Windows 7 that you can buy as a standalone product or if you'll have to have Windows 8 to get the upgrade. But it may not be with us for a while yet - Windows business chief Tami Reller has talked about "multiple selling seasons" for Windows 8, meaning that we'll likely have several versions of it.
Some rumors have suggested late 2014 or early 2015 for a Windows 9 release, though the former seems wide of the mark. While claims and reports are all over the place, it seems like Windows 9 should drop before September 2015 at the latest.
In January 2014, well-known Microsoft blogger Paul Thurrott said he believes the company plans to release Windows 9 (codenamed Threshold) in April 2015, less than three years after Windows 8.
The thinking appears to be that the Windows 8 name is now too tarnished and that - in contrast to Reller's comments above - Microsoft wishes to clear things out by releasing Windows 9 instead.
ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley recently echoed these reports, citing sources pointing toward a spring 2015 release for Windows 9.
In May, prolific Microsoft leaker FaiKee released two separate documents that he or she claims to be Redmond's full roadmap for Windows 9 and other products. The first of which, released to the My Digital Life forums, pointed to text reading "Windows 9 Windows Preview Release @ 2015 02-03."
That appears to point toward a preview release of either February or March 2015. The second leak was caught by Myce.com, and is a bit more vague in timing but less so in the actual text. That alleged official document detailed a preview release between Q2 and Q3 2015, so by September of next year at the latest.
In June, we learned from a ZDNet source that Microsoft would launch a preview build of the latest Windows in the fall. But most recently, WZOR struck again with a rumor that Windows 9 in full will launch in that same time frame. Naturally, a Microsoft representative snapped back at the rumor on Twitter.

How much will Windows 9 cost?

Not a cent. At least that's what Russian leaker collective WZOR claims to have heard. The group reports that Microsoft is considering pushing out Windows 9 for free, but cannot confirm at this time.
What the collective has heard exactly is that a prototype version is in the works in which a barebones version of Windows 9 will be available for free. For additional functionality, users would have to pay up through a subscription.
That said, ZDNet's Foley has heard the opposite: different SKUs of Windows will be offered for free or at different prices to OEMs and consumers, but that the desktop version will indeed have a sticker price. A recent, subsequent leak provided by WZOR seems to not only corroborate Foley's sources, but render its previous report moot

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Download BBM for Windows Phone

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BBM Beta
Fllowing a brief stint in private beta, BlackBerry has announced that its popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) app is now available for all Windows Phone 8 users.
The company said it has tried to pick up on Windows Phone’s own specific UI design, so the app looks a little different compared to its incarnation on other platforms, although it does obviously provide many of the same core features found on the iOS and Android apps.
You can check out a full walk through of the Windows Phone 8 beta build for more details on the differences.

Go to the following link to download the free BBM for your Windows Phone.



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HTC's next Windows Phone to be a One M8 clone?

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Why change a winning formula? That seems to be the question HTC asked itself when planning its next Windows Phone offering, which is said to be almost identical to the One M8 but without Android, according to new reports. It even has almost exactly the same name, but instead of being labeled just the “One M8,” it’s the “One M8 with Windows.”

Internally, the handset is codenamed the W8, but it appears HTC wants to cash in on its trademark One brand when the device goes on sale later this year. According to the ever-reliable @Evleaks, the handset will make its debut on Verizon with Microsoft’s latest Windows Phone 8.1 operating system pre-installed.

Not only could the One M8 with Windows looks just like the original One M8 (confused yet?), but it’s also expected to offer many of the same specifications — including front-facing BoomSound speakers, and that unique Duo Camera setup. It will also support VoLTE, but it’s unclear whether this will be available at launch.

Citing its own sources, Engadget says that the One M8 with Windows will be available during the third quarter, “or no later than the end of September.”

The One M8 with Windows does sound like a pretty silly title, but HTC has been known to call its Windows Phone devices strange things in the past. It’s last offering, for instance, was officially named the “Windows Phone 8X by HTC.”


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A Motorola Nexus 6 reportedly leaked

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A new report has come about that is suggesting Motorola will be the manufacturer of the Nexus 6. Speculation from the community pointed to LG giving another go at the the Nexus phone, but according to Android Police, Motorola and Google have a phone in the works with the codename Shamu. Why Shamu? This phone is going to be HUGE is my guess.

The Moto Nexus 6 from this report says that it will rock a 5.9-inch display, and will be due out this November. That is usually the time when Google announces their new Nexus devices, and the report also mentioned it will be available on all major carriers. The evidence is there, and we know that Google hasn’t given up on their Nexus line, so let us know what you think about a 5.9-inch Moto Nexus 6.

Source: 9to5google


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Bolt: The new Messaging app from Instagram

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Instagram teases their new messaging app ‘Bolt’
As if they haven’t had enough scorn from their Slingshot app, Facebook is toying with messaging again. This time, it comes via Instagram, where some users are seeing an invitation to try something called Bolt. It’s messaging, and it’s photo-centric.

Though it’s not yet clear just what Bolt really is, a collective groan went out when screenshots of the invitation leaked. Like Slingshot, the invitation is vaporous, disappearing as quickly as it arrived. One user told The Verge that Bolt’s banner-ad invite went away in about 15 minutes. It’s oddly reminiscent of Slingshot, which “accidentally” leaked, letting a select few in.
What does Bolt do? All we ca glean from the invitation is that it’s a “one tap photo messaging” platform, and falls under the Instagram banner. The invitation lead the users reporting on it — both on Android — to a dead-end Play Store link. It’s not clear if Facebook/Instagram are simply teasing the product, or if it’s meant for a select few and the banner ad manifested widely.
Like iPhone 6 leaks, a new messaging app seems to roll out weekly. This would also mimic Facebook in the “social app that runs a messaging platform” arena. As popular as Instagram is, it’s not clear that the world can withstand another messaging app.
Via: The Verge

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LG sells record 14.5 million smartphones in Q2

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LG_Logo_02_TA_CES_2014
It is no secret that LG was no longer content to watch Apple and Samsung battle for supremacy in the smartphone and tablet markets. This prompted the company to increase their efforts at producing devices consumers would be interested in, like the recently released LG G3 or their L Series of devices.  Those efforts seem to be paying off as LG announced they shipped a record 14.5 million smartphones during the second quarter and their mobile division turned a profit for the first time after three consecutive quarters of losses.
LG indicates the smartphone shipments represented a 20 percent increase compared to the same period last year. Smartphones with LTE capability accounted for more than one-third of all smartphones sold this year as LTE markets continue to expand around the globe. Financially, LG smartphone sales increased 16 percent year-to-year, totalling KRW 3.62 trillion ($3.51 billion USD) netting the company KRW 85.9 billion ($83.4 million USD) operating profit.
LG says they expect performance to remain strong during the latter half of the year as they continue to rollout the G3 to more markets and introduce more “mass tier” products like the LG G3 Beat and more L Series smartphones.
source: LG


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Download Modern Combat 5: Blackout Free For Android Now

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modern_combat_5_blackout_app_screenshot_google_play.jpg


























Gameloft has finally released its much-awaited first person shooter game for smartphones and tablets,Modern Combat 5: Blackout, for Android, iOS and Windows Phone platforms.
Modern Combat 5: Blackout is the latest instalment in the first person shooter franchise for mobile, and includes four character classes - heavy, recon, assault and sniper. Users can add class-specific skills by earning skill points as the game progresses.
The game features spec-ops missions that lets users perform different objectives like covering allies, clearing a building, eliminating a single target, and much more.
Besides improved graphics and new single player features, Modern Combat 5: Blackout also comes with multiplayer gaming mode that supports up to 6 vs 6 players at a time. Players can compete in the individual and squad leaderboards and can chat with each other on a global chat window. Limited-time events are also featured in the gaming app.
The new game lets players progress each level by accumulating XP by playing both single and multi-player missions. New weapons will also be available once the user masters the previous tier weapons. Customisation of weapons is also possible in Modern Combat 5: Blackout.
The FPS game comes with Two Kill streak packages with 6 different abilities, namely Airstrike, Bomber, Assistant drone, Auto-turret, EMP, and Recon Helicopter.
First introduced in April, the story of Modern Combat 5: Blackout will commence from Venice, Italy where the main character, Phoenix, is sent on an operation to "secure a transport of WMDs" to prevent attacks from a group of terrorists.
Gameloft added that Modern Combat 5: Blackout will have players set on a globe-trotting adventure, including Tokyo, where Phoenix is said to fight in a total anarchy situation.
Modern Combat 5: Blackout supports HID game controllers including the Moga Pro controller. Unfortunately, the game comes as a paid app on all three app stores. While on Google Play the game costs Rs. 390, on App Store and Windows Phone Store the app is priced at Rs. 420 and Rs. 360 respectively.But here you can download it for free
Modern Combat 5: Blackout runs on devices running Android 4.0 Jelly Bean OS or later, while on Apple devices it runs on iPad, iPhone or iPod touch devices running iOS 7.0 and later. For Windows Phone users, the app works only on WP8 and WP8.1 OS.
Modern Combat 5: Blackout - screenshot thumbnail

Modern Combat 5: Blackout - screenshot thumbnail

Modern Combat 5: Blackout - screenshot thumbnail

Download Torrent:



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Oppo Find 7: Hands-On Review A Solid Phone But Can it Survive

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Oppo Find 7 review: A solid phone that faces stiff competition
The Galaxy S5. The One M8. The G3. Every notable player in the overcrowded smartphone space has a flagship, one heroic device that the company pins its hopes on... for a year or so, anyway. For Oppo, a Chinese phone maker whose profile has swelled thanks to a surprisingly solid phone lineup, that flagship is the Find 7: an unassuming slab that looks painfully pedestrian compared to the last time the company went all out. Maybe that's a bit harsh. The Find 7 pairs top-notch performance with one of the highest-resolution screens you'll find on a mobile today -- hardly a formula to sneeze at. But is it worth the $599 asking price? Is Oppo really a mobile force to be reckoned with? Follow me, friends, and we'll figure it out together.

Pros
  • Plenty of horsepower
  • Pretty good screen
  • It charges really fast with the right gear
Cons
  • ColorOS can take some getting used to
  • Mediocre camera 
  • Safe, uninspired design
Summary The Find 7 is Oppo's best phone to date, and that means something for a relatively unknown company that's already put out some solid phones. Its combination of strong performance and a Quad HD screen make it a worthy choice, so long as you don't mind learning a new flavor of Android.

Hardware

If Oppo's N1 pushed the boundaries of sensible smartphone design, then the Find 7 is a celebration of the slabby status quo. With its squared-off corners, flat sides and plain black face, the whole thing is almost unapologetically monolithic. The only real concession to the notions of grippability and comfort is the gently curving (and removable!) backplate. Ours was dark gray with an ersatz carbon fiber finish that squeaks when you run your nails across it, though there's a white model, too. If you really dislike the finish (and want to save a little money), there's a slightly lesser version of the device called the Find 7a that has pure, smooth backs.
There's an Oppo logo etched under the 13-megapixel camera and dual LED flash. All that sits above the surprisingly solid speakers sitting low on the Find 7's rear cover. You're technically supposed to depress a tiny button embedded in the phone's edge to pop that cover off, but a little elbow grease (or, you know, some fingernails) will do in a pinch. Once you manage that little feat, you'll discover the 3,000mAh battery along with your bog-standard micro-SIM and microSD card slots. If you were to peer further still into the 7's chassis, you'd also spot the 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 CPU, 3GB of RAM and Adreno 330 GPU that keep things running so smoothly (more on that later). Then again, you'd need X-ray vision for all that, and I like to think that if that were the case, you'd be using it for the greater good instead of reading this review. To each their own, I guess.
Things aren't much more exciting when you flip the 7 over, but that doesn't mean it's totally lacking in visual flair. There's not much to get excited about when that big 5.5-inch display is off, but there's a 5-megapixel camera situated nearby and a blue notification light (they call it the "Skyline Notification") pulses lazily when you've got a new message to peek at. Now if the light shining through the navigation keys below the screen wasn't so wimpy, Oppo might be onto something; it's damned near impossible to see under the harsh, summer sun... or any sun, for that matter.
There's a fine line between subtle and boring, and the Find 7 skews toward the latter end of that spectrum. Before you accuse me of being too harsh, know that there are some things worthy of praise. Take the overall construction of the device, for instance. Despite being crafted out of plastic, there's no give, no creaking, not even the slightest suggestion of physical inadequacy. Oppo may not be a name you run across too often, but there's little question that the company brought its A game when it came time to putting the Find 7 together. Factor in some pleasant heft and you've got a phone that feels a damn sight better than it looks.

Display and sound

If there's one spec, one technical tidbit that makes the Find 7 such a desirable piece of kit, it would be that 5.5-inch Quad HD (2,560 x 1,440) IPS display. Oppo's design philosophy this time around seems to reflect that very fact -- the Find's face is so unassuming that there's nothing for your eyes to lock onto except for the screen. That's why it's a bummer to have to proffer this reality check: For all the commotion the Find 7's screen has caused in geekier corners of the web, it still has its share of flaws. Don't get me wrong: It's just as crisp as advertised, with individual pixels that are impossible to pick out with the naked eye, and viewing angles that'll make you popular with your airline seatmates. If all you care about is pure pixel density, the Find 7 won't leave you high and dry. But how about color reproduction? Erm, it's a little wonky: Whites tend to take on a cooler cast, which means every image is just a little bit off in terms of accuracy. Is it a dealbreaker? For a staggering majority of people out there, the answer's a definitive "no way." Most will just ooh and aah over the screen's crispness, and will never plop the Find 7 down next to another phone to see where those color differences lie.
What's a little more troubling is the Find 7's persistent trouble with brightness. You'd perhaps expect that a screen with so many pixels squeezed into it would fare well outdoors. You'd be wrong, mostly. Cranking brightness up to the maximum is almost always a necessity once you take the Find 7 out on the town, and even then it's not always enough to outshine the sun's harsh rays.
I don't expect much from most phone speakers. It's frustrating to see manufacturer after manufacturer cut corners and take shortcuts on a crucial part of the media experience, so you'll just have to imagine my surprise when the Find 7's rear speakers came to life in a big way. Yes, that's speakers, in the plural -- there's a single grille drilled into the 7's backplate, but it actually obscures a pair of speakers that renders audio with a clarity that's downright unusual for a smartphone.
That's not to say they're perfect. Mounting speakers on a device's back cover is an accepted practice, but it also means you'll occasionally shoot sound directly into your mitts. The other issue here, though, is one of depth... or the lack thereof. The Find 7's speakers get plenty loud for when you need to power all those mobile dance parties and what does come out is undeniably crisp. After a few moments of listening, however, you'll probably start to notice an absence of forcefulness in that sound, even in tracks that roll and thrum with energy. Par for the course for smartphone speakers? Sure, but it can still be a bummer.

Software

The Find 7 is physically pretty vanilla, but the software is anything but. At its core, it's Android 4.3 painted over in broad strokes with what Oppo calls ColorOS, one of the most extensively customized interfaces I've seen in a long time. No, wait, don't groan just yet. I'm about as big an Android purist as you'll find, but Oppo's approach -- while peculiar and extensive -- does bring lots to the table.
It all starts very subtly, with a lock screen that seems none too foreign -- one quick swipe and you're greeted by a familiar-looking home screen. That impression doesn't last for long. You see, the whole shebang is eminently skinnable; what you see out of the box almost certainly isn't how things will look after a few days. By my count, there are close to 150 various styles available for the Find 7 in the preloaded Themes app, with some obviously more up your alley than others. Oppo is far from the first OEM to embrace skinnable interfaces, but it adds plenty of appeal for folks who can't stand the notion of rocking the exact same thing as everyone else.
There's a camera interface that lives to the right of your home screens by default, too. It's a little kooky -- you're presented with a full-screen widget that shows you what the camera is pointing at, and tapping to snap a shot yields a photo with a Polaroid-esque white border. You can peck out little notes on those borders too, in case you just needed to complete the visual metaphor. Mildly neat? Sure. Particularly useful? Not quite. Oppo calls these more static screens "exclusive space" panels, but there are only two on board: the photo panel and one for music that displays a skeuomorphic turntable while you rock out. Thankfully, they're just as easy to dismiss as deleting an extra home screen.
The notification bar is a two-parter: Swiping down from its right half reveals a lightly tweaked version of the classic Android notification shade. Swipe down from the left, however, and you'll be looking at a gesture panel that implores you to trace out a shortcut pattern or create one of your own. Only two gestures are ready for you out of the gate: You can trace a circle on the screen to invoke the camera, and drawing a "V" fires up the rear LED for use as a flashlight. The real magic happens when you move outside of that single panel. Try tracing a circle on the 7's screen while it's sleeping -- it'll instantly spring to life and bring up the camera interface. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you I fell in love with this seemingly simple feature; I've set mine to wake and unlock with a simple swipe up on a dark screen, kind of like on the HTC One M8. Alas, it's not quite as flexible as I hoped it would be -- you can connect certain actions like calling someone or recording audio to pre-made gestures, but you can't define your own pattern to be used on a sleeping screen.
And then there are the little touches, which I'm convinced make the biggest difference. Pressing and holding an app in the launcher causes them all to start wiggling in anticipation, and tapping the X in the corner prompts you to confirm its deletion. Should you accept, that's that; the app simply disappears from your life. It's a decidedly iOS-like touch, but it's not one I'm unhappy to see. Swype also came pre-installed on our test unit. I found myself installing Google's own stock implementation shortly after my first boot, but that's a purely personal choice -- the Swype keyboard has never been a slouch, and it's likely to be a welcome addition for some people.
So, would I choose ColorOS over stock Android or a less thoroughly skinned version of the OS? Absolutely not, but that's not to say what Oppo has cooked up is bad by any stretch. It occasionally feels overwrought, but it never feels overbearing. You get the impression that Oppo had the best intentions when crafting its user experience, even if you don't always agree with its decisions.

Camera

Say goodbye to the swiveling selfie camera of days past -- Oppo went with a more traditional camera setup this time around, which means the device lacks the kooky charm that made the N1 such a head-turner. As it turns out, the Find 7 actually uses the same 13-megapixel Sony Exmor sensor as the (much cheaper) OnePlus One, which means most of the imaging issues we've run into in the past are still present. I'd hardly call any of them dealbreakers: Soft focus will occasionally (and subtly) mar some of your more frenzied shots, and color saturation isn't quite as punchy as I'd like. In optimal conditions, you won't have to worry about these issues as much, but it's still disappointing to see an otherwise ambitious phone let down by a decidedly average camera.
While the primary sensor and the six-element lens aren't exactly unique to the Find 7, Oppo's nifty imaging app makes up for some of the camera's shortcomings. It's easily one of the cleaner camera interfaces I've come across: Separate shutter and video-recording buttons are nestled along the screen's right edge, and a simple settings grid can be invoked with a tap on the lower-left corner of the screen. Changing modes -- from slow shutter to GIF to panorama to HDR -- is handled by a separate menu that hovers near the shutter buttons, though you'll want to proceed carefully. Consider HDR mode, for instance: Photos tend to look a little too lurid even for me, so I've come to prefer the undersaturated results from Auto mode just a bit more.
And then there's the ballyhooed "Ultra-HD" feature, which essentially takes a series of 10 shots and stitches the four best together into a single 50-megapixel image. Sounds impressive, no? The whole thing works better than you'd expect since blurry or otherwise subpar photos get axed from the mix immediately, but the six- to seven-second delay means you're sometimes better off just snapping a few shots and calling it a day. Oh, and the Find 7 shoots 4K video too. As you might expect, the end product is always acceptable, but never outstanding, thanks to some autofocus wonkiness that usually forces you to tap on subjects manually if there's too much going on.

Performance and battery life

So far, the Find 7 seems like a mixed bag, with its lackluster looks and largely impressive display. Now here's the real question: What's it like to actually use? Surprise, surprise: As it turns out, a snappy processor paired with 3GB of RAM makes for a device that basically screams if you give it the chance. Put another way, you may not have heard of the Find 7 (or the company that made it), but it'll handle everything you throw at it during your daily grind and then some. There's no need to belabor the point too much considering it rocks a spec sheet that'll seem awfully familiar if you've fiddled with other recent flagships.

Oppo Find 7 HTC One (M8) LG G3
Quadrant 2.0 21,162 25,548 25,548
Vellamo 2.0 2,963 1,804 1,405
3DMark IS Unlimited 19,495 20,612 16,662
SunSpider 1.0.2 (ms) 751 782 918
GFXBench 3.0 Manhattan Offscreen (fps) 28.8 11.2 N/A
CF-Bench 35,872 40,223 24,667
SunSpider: Lower scores are better; results compiled on Chrome. HTC One benchmarked on Android 4.4.2

The Find 7 is right up there with more of its big-name competitors, and pulls slightly ahead of the pack in certain areas. Of course, you can't stick a number to everything, and thankfully there were hardly any performance issues to note during my weeks of testing. I was afraid that Oppo's ambitiousness with ColorOS may have taken a toll on performance, but my fears were quickly assuaged. What few instances of lag I noticed seemed to crop up because I was swiping furiously among home screens -- we can probably chalk that up in part to ColorOS, but I suspect you'll rarely encounter that as you go about your day. The rest of my time spent with the Find 7 was filled with smooth scrolling and menu transitions, along with frenzied bouts of Asphalt 8, all of it stutter-free.

In our standard video-rundown test (looping video and WiFi on, but not connected), the Find 7 lasted for a solid 10 hours and 13 minutes before needing a top-up. That's a good hour less than what we saw with the Oppo N1 under the same conditions, but considering the size and resolution of the Find 7's screen, it's still impressive. Just be sure to keep the included VOOC charger handy. With it, the Find 7 goes from absolutely bone dry to fully charged in just over an hour. Most of that electrical magic happens pretty early on, too: Leaving the phone plugged in for 30 minutes should get you back up to around 70 percent. Alas, the Find 7's charger is bigger and more brickish than you might expect, so you may have to pack your go-bag carefully if you want that quick-charging power at your disposal.

The competition

It's nearly impossible to look at the Find 7 and not draw a comparison to the LG G3. It is, after all, the only other smartphone on the market right now that features the same sort of super high-resolution display as the Find 7. The two phones may share a near-identical spec sheet, but LG has made some serious strides when it comes to a thoughtful user interface and industrial design that make it a much more attractive option than the Find 7. And that's to say nothing of the potential price differences, too: Just about every carrier in the US has committed to selling the G3, making it both easier to come by and easier on the wallet up front (as long as you don't mind a little long-term tomfoolery). In the event you're still not so keen on Quad HD screens, there's always the HTC One M8 and the Samsung Galaxy S5 to consider. They're the de rigueur recommendations for high-end smartphones, but that's because they're reliable and wot

Oppo Find 7 Oppo Find 7a
Dimensions 152.6 x 75 x 9.2 mm (6.01 x 2.95 x 0.36 inches) 152.6 x 75 x 9.2 mm (6.01 x 2.95 x 0.36 inches)
Weight 6.03 oz. (171g) 6.00 oz. (170g)
Screen size 5.5 inches 5.5 inches
Screen resolution 2,560 x 1,440 (534 ppi) 1,920 x 1,080 (403 ppi)
Screen type IPS LCD IPS LCD
Battery 3,000mAh (removable) 2,800mAh (removable)
Internal storage 32GB 16GB
External storage MicroSD (up to 128GB) MicroSD (up to 128GB)
Rear camera 13MP Sony Exmor RS, f/2.0 13MP Sony Exmor RS, f/2.0
Front-facing cam 5MP, f/2.0 5MP, f/2.0
Video capture 2160p (30 fps), 1080p (60 fps), 720p (120 fps) 2160p (30 fps), 1080p (60 fps), 720p (120 fps)
NFC Yes Yes
Radios Depends on the market Depends on the market
Bluetooth v4.0 v4.0
SoC 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801; Adreno 330 GPU 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801; Adreno 330 GPU
RAM 3GB 2GB
SIM slot Micro-SIM Micro-SIM
WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n, WiFi Direct 802.11a/b/g/n, WiFi Direct
Operating system Android 4.3, Color OS
Android 4.3, Color OS
Then again, if you're more a fan of the Find 7's Chinese underdog vibe, the OnePlus One might just be a better fit for you. Its screen isn't quite as pixel-dense as the one on the Find 7, but its internals produce the same amount of oomph (maybe even a little more, with less software cruft in the way). And, assuming you can even get your hands on one, you can have the OnePlus One for half the price of the Find 7. Alternatively, in the event that you really are more of an Oppo fan, there's always the Find 7's little brother: the Find 7a. For about $100 less, you get a nearly identical looking phone, albeit with a 1080p screen, a slightly slower CPU and 2GB of RAM instead of three.

Wrap-up

I dig the Find 7. A lot, even. Despite a smattering of faults, it still stands tall as the company's finest mobile effort to date and Oppo die-hards shouldn't hesitate to pick one up. The tricky truth for everyone else is that the Find 7 doesn't live in a vacuum. There's no shortage of contemporaries like LG's G3 and the tantalizing OnePlus One that will make more sense because of carrier availability or cost -- although the latter is still admittedly tough to get your hands on.
Those are factors that Oppo can't control. What Oppo can do is make a solid device, and that's exactly what we've got here. Do you need an unlocked phone? With powerful specs, an impressive screen and a fast charging system? Can you appreciate a somewhat peculiar takes on the traditional Android experience? If you answered 'yes' to all of those questions, the Find 7 just might be worth the plunge.

 Source: Engadget


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Sony Xperia Z2 Problems and how to fix them

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Sony Xperia Z2 front sides
You won’t find many Android smartphones that can compete with the Sony Xperia Z2 right now.  It blends premium style with excellent performance, but not everyone is delighted with it. In this roundup, we’re going to look at the issues and irritations being reported by Z2 owners and see if we can find a way to deal with them. These are the most common Xperia Z2 problems.

Problem: Dropped calls and proximity sensor

Screenshot_2014-07-17-15-47-39

There have been a number of complaints about calls randomly dropping with a beep sound and about the screen failing to come back to life when a call ends and the owner pulls the Z2 away from their face. There’s a good chance that this is actually the same issue and it relates to the proximity sensor turning the screen off, but not turning off the functionality, so holding it to your face could cause you to press the end call button. Since the proximity sensor isn’t working correctly, it will also fail to bring the screen back to life when the call ends.
Potential solutions:
  • Go to Settings > Display and scroll down to make sure that Tap to wake up is not checked. Now try a call and see if the problem occurs again.
  • It could also be caused by dirt, a screen protector, or a case that obscures the proximity sensor. You can test the proximity sensor by going to Settings > About phone > Diagnostics and choosing Test device and check Ear proximity. If there is a hardware fault you’ll need to contact your carrier, retailer, or Sony about a replacement.
  • Dropped calls can also be down to the network. Call your carrier and ask about coverage in your area.

Bug: Facebook videos won’t play

A lot of people have encountered an issue on the Xperia Z2 when they use the Facebook app. They can click on a video and it will start to play, but after a few seconds it will stop and the message “Sorry, but an unknown error occurred while trying to play this video” will come up. There are a few ways to solve this:
Workarounds:
  • Go to Settings > Apps > Facebook, tap Clear cache, and then try again. This seems to temporarily solve the problem for some people.
  • You can also try fast-forwarding or skipping beyond the point where the video fails.
  • You can also uninstall the Facebook app and then reinstall it, but this also seems to only work temporarily and the problem returns.
Potential solutions:
  • Make sure that you have the latest Facebook app update, you can check by loading up the Play Store app and selecting My apps from the menu on the left. This issue has cropped up on some other Android devices, which would suggest that the app is the problem.
  • Some people suggest that disabling one of the pre-installed Sony apps works. Go to Settings > Apps and slide over to the All tab and scroll down to Xperia with Facebook. Tap Disable and then return to your Facebook app and try videos again.

Problem: Xperia Z2 won’t turn on

Sony Xperia Z2 review

A few Z2 owners have run into a problem with the phone refusing to turn on. All the buttons and the screen seem to be completely unresponsive.
Potential solutions:
  1. Hold down the Power button and the Volume up button until the Z2 vibrates three times and then try turning it on again.
  2. If that doesn’t work, try plugging the Z2 into the charger for 20 minutes and then try step 1 again.
  3. If it still doesn’t work, open the flap where the Micro USB port is on the left spine and find the small red button. Find something that isn’t too sharp and use it to press the red button down until the phone vibrates.

Problem: Echo in calls or caller can’t hear you

There have been reports of trouble with echo sounds during calls and some people have found that the other caller can’t hear them properly at all. For some Z2 owners there seems to be a lag issue so voices are delayed.
Potential solutions:
  • Try going to Settings > Call settings and uncheck Microphone noise suppression and then see if that helps.
  • Try installing PC Companion or the Sony Update Service on your computer. Backup anything precious on your Z2 first and then plug it in and see if you can repair it or update the software.
  • If the problem persists then it’s time to contact your retailer, carrier, or Sony about a replacement.

Problem: Gaps in handset

A number of people have found that their brand new Xperia Z2 has some physical gaps that shouldn’t be there. Specifically, complaints have focused on a gap on the front of the phone at the top right where the glass meets the aluminum frame. This has prompted fears that the handset won’t be waterproof. It has been reported more often with the white version, but that’s possibly just because it’s easier to see a gap against the white.
Potential solution:
  • This is undoubtedly a build issue and your only course of action is to get a replacement. Contact your carrier, retailer, or Sony and explain the problem. According to Hardware Zone Singapore, Sony is looking into this issue already and you can take it to a Sony Center for a waterproof test.

Glitch: Overheating when recording 4K

Xperia_Z2_screenshot_update

We tend to work our smartphones pretty hard nowadays and that can lead to them to getting very warm, but they shouldn’t get uncomfortably hot. Unfortunately, some Xperia Z2 owners have reported an issue with the 4K video recording causing the device to overheat and shut down. This seems to be related to recording 4K video for extended periods.
Workaround:
  • Don’t record 4K footage for extended periods. Sony Mobile Singapore reportedly suggested: “We are aware of some users encountering issues when shooting 4K video for extended periods. Shooting movies in high quality 4K resolution can make significant demands on your phone’s processor and battery life, as well as phone memory. Therefore for the best experience, we recommend you install a high capacity SD card (Xperia Z2 can take a card up to 128GB) and shoot 4K video in short bursts of no longer than a few minutes at a time.”
Potential solution:
  • Sony has already released an update to fix the camera overheating issue and improve performance generally. It should arrive OTA, but you can have a check in Settings > About phone > Software updates > System updates.

Problem: Wi-Fi won’t connect or keeps dropping

Xperia_Z2_screenshot_WiFi Here’s an issue that crops up with every new smartphone on the market. Some Z2 owners are complaining that the handset won’t connect to their Wi-Fi network, or that it repeatedly drops the connection. There are also reports that it’s running extremely slow. If you are suffering Wi-Fi problems then start by checking that it’s not your network. Access your Wi-Fi using a different device and if it works fine, but your Z2 is still struggling, then try these steps:
Potential solutions:
  1. Turn off your router and your Z2 for a few seconds, and then turn them on again. You can do a soft reset of your Xperia Z2 by holding down the Power button and the Volume up button until it vibrates three times, or you can open the USB flap and hold the red button.
  2. Go to Settings > Wi-Fi and press the three vertical dots at the bottom right to get more options. Choose Advanced and tap Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep.
  3. If you are using power saving modes then go to Settings > Power management and turn them off.
  4. Make sure that your password is correct and that it doesn’t contain any special characters.
  5. Try setting a manual IP by going to Settings > Wi-Fi, then tap and hold the network you are connecting to and choose Modify network. Tick the Show advanced options box and select Static under IP settings and then Save.
  6. Make sure that your Z2 software and your router firmware are up to date. Go to Settings > About phone > Software updates > System updates on your Z2 to check. You’ll need to consult your ISP or manufacturer for the router.
  7. Take a look at your router settings and try changing the mode or channel.
  8. Make sure that the MAC filter is turned off on your router or add your Z2’s MAC address to the filtering table. You can find it on your Z2 via Settings > About phone > Status where it’s listed as Wi-Fi MAC address.
  9. You could try a factory reset. Back up anything that’s important to you first, then go to Settings > Backup & reset > Factory data reset > Reset phone.
  10. If none of that works, it’s time to contact your carrier, retailer, or Sony.

Problem: Slow charging

A few people have complained that the Xperia Z2 is taking hours to charge or that it doesn’t seem to be charging at all. Bear in mind that if the battery is completely dead, you’ll need to leave the Xperia Z2 plugged in for a while before trying to turn it on, give it half an hour at least before you try.
Potential solutions:
  • This is almost always down to the charger or the cable you are using. Third-party cables and chargers can cause problems. Make sure that you use the charger and cable that came with the phone and that it’s properly connected.
  • If that doesn’t work, try using a different cable and charger, or plug your cable into a computer USB port to see if a faulty charger is the problem.

Glitch: Tap to wake not working

Xperia_Z2_screenshot_Tap_to_wake

A lot of Z2 owners seem to be having trouble getting the tap to wake feature to work. You should be able to double tap quickly on the screen to wake the device up. You can make sure that the feature is on in Settings > Display > Tap to wake up.
Potential solution:
  • Make sure that you tap with your fingertip twice in exactly the same spot on the touchscreen. It works best when the phone is sitting on a hard surface, like a desk.

Annoyance: Call and notification volume too low

Xperia_Z2_screenshot_xLoud

There have been many complaints about low volume on the Xperia Z2 for incoming calls and notifications. Owners are reporting that the ringer volume and notification alerts are much quieter than the general audio volume for things like music.
Potential solutions:
  • Try going to Settings > Sound and scroll down to change your ringtone or notification sounds. The easiest way to add your own is to plug your Z2 into your computer and go to My Computer > Xperia Z2 > Internal Storage and then drag and drop audio files into the Notifications folder or the Ringtones folder.
  • You can also go into Settings > Sound > Sound effects > Sound enhancements and tap on the Settings tab to switch xLoud on.
That’s all the Xperia Z2 problems we have right now, but we’ll add more issues and solutions as we discover them. If you’ve encountered an issue or you have a good fix for a problem then please post a comment and share your experience.

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