Alcatel tries to move up in the market with A3 XL

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At CES 2017, Alcatel announced a new smartphone (which they rather unfortunately refer to as a “phablet”) that represents an ¬†attempt to try to move up into a more premium part of the market. The hardware included in the device suggests that Alcatel really just plans to take a tiny step up within the budget phone category. Alcatel says the A3 XL represents their initial offering in a new line of “A” series devices that will focus more on a premium offering for consumers.

These new phones will join the Daydream-ready family soon

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Google officially launched its Daydream VR platform in November last year, but had very few phones that were ready to handle Daydream. The Pixel was, at first, the only option, although the Moto Z joined the Daydream-ready family soon after. But now Google is announcing on its blog a bunch of new phones getting the official Daydream-ready tag.

LG will focus on “aesthetics and usability” for the G6 instead of modules

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It goes without saying, LG’s modular design efforts with the LG G5 failed big time. Consumers didn’t seem to be a huge fan of the modular design, and promises for making more modules available after the LG G5’s launch fell flat. Now, at CES 2017, LG announced for the G6 it’ll be moving away from modules and focusing their efforts on “aesthetics and usability.”

ASUS ZenFone AR specifications

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Augmented reality on mobile devices is rising, but Google’s platform could use help getting approachable hardware into the hands of consumers. Lenovo’s PHAB2 Pro didn’t quite end up being a hit; however, a new phone from ASUS could change the outlook for Tango. The ZenFone AR is a compact, AR-ready device. The design is attractive, the specifications are high-end, and the technology within is innovative. That’s a good recipe for success.

Hit the break for the spec sheet.

ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom specifications

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If you’re searching for a phone that masters photography and never gets tired, the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom might just be the perfect choice. It’s dual-camera setup and massive battery are a combination that keeps you taking pictures and shooting videos for hours before needing more power. Throw in mid-range specifications that are nearing high-end classification and ASUS is putting forth a solid unlocked phone.

Hit the break for the spec sheet.

Nothing Xiaomi launched at CES 2017 will be sold in the U.S.

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Let’s all collectively sigh.

Not a single product showcased by Xiaomi at its CES 2017 presentation will leave China, at least for now. It’s a decision that leaves you, me, and many other people frustrated that the company isn’t yet offering major products and services in the United States and elsewhere. Xiaomi feels its existing markets are most important to focus on for the time being.

Hit the break to see what most of us can’t buy.

ZTE Blade V8 Pro offers solid mid-tier choice for buyers

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ZTE is bringing the latest version of their Blade series of phones to the U.S. market and it should prove to be a capable mid-tier device. The ZTE Blade V8 Pro will hit the market priced at a mere $230 suggested retail price. Although some of the internal specs may not turn on power users, ZTE did pack in an impressive set of features and hardware, especially in the camera department.

ZTE’s Hawkeye, live on Kickstarter now, tracks your eyes for hands-free use

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No one would question that ZTE has more than enough money to develop a new device at-will, but the company is taking a different approach in bringing the unique Hawkeye to consumers. It’s a crowdsourced theme that started with the world telling ZTE what crazy features are wanted in a phone. Now it’s time for the world to put its money where its mouth is.

A Kickstarter campaign launched by ZTE is aiming to raise $500,000 for the Hawkeye to be released later this year.

ASUS ZenFone AR brings Tango and Daydream to the smartphone platform

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Two of Google’s more cutting edge technologies find themselves loaded up on a device from an unlikely source. ASUS announced the ZenFone AR today, the first smartphone that comes with both Tango and Daydream technology on-board. We have seen other devices hit the market with one of these platforms from Google, but this is the first device that includes both of them. As a reminder, Tango is the technology that enables a device to “sense” the world around it to help build or play in an augmented reality space. Daydream may be more familiar as it is the technology used for virtual reality in the new Google ecosystem.

Shoot and record longer than ever with the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom

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People like to take pictures and record videos with their phones. Batteries, however, aren’t very kind to these two activities. It’s taxing on phone batteries because camera modules are complex and require heavy lifting to put together crisp, rich photos and videos.

Leave it to ASUS to make a phone that doesn’t let your camera ruin battery life. The ZenFone 3 Zoom features multiple cameras and a massive battery to keep your longer sessions going as long as you want.

Stylus phone fans can look forward to the LG Stylo 3

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Although LG’s entry into the stylus-equipped smartphone market may not set things on fire like some competitor’s devices, the mid-range entry is still rated as a solid contender for buyers who want the added features of a stylus. LG is inviting folks to sign up for news and updates about the LG Stylo 3 and shared the device with some sources to get their impressions.

Samsung targets 10 million units in initial Galaxy S8 sales orders

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Samsung fans will be excited to know that sources are reporting manufacturers are starting to receive their orders to commence production of the new Galaxy S8 devices. We have already seen indications that production orders for the displays may have gone out in December and now other components are joining the pipeline. Samsung appears to be planning for some big sales numbers based on initial orders being good for 10 million units.