The Blu Life One X

BLU-Life-One-X-hands-onThe next phone that we will feature in our “Best Budget Phone” series is the Blu Life One X. Blu is a smartphone manufacturing company with headquarters in Miami, Florida. This company have been around since 2009 and recently was able to gain more chunks in the US smartphone market with their very affordable and contract-less android smartphones. They also have started to penetrate and have their presence felt in emerging markets in South America, South East Asia, Africa, and Europe. The company is now venturing into mid-tiered phones that can equal the computing power of those high-end flagship phones.

The Blu Life One X does pack a solid punch. It has a MediaTek MT6753 chipset with an octa-core processor clocked at 1.3Ghz. It does have a measly 2GB RAM which is quite low by today’s standards . The phone can still run faster if overclocked via android rooting. It comes with Android 5.1 Lollipop with a planned upgrade to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It has a roomy 16GB internal storage which can be expanded to 64GB externally via a MicroSD card. This phone is also LTE ready. It has a 13MP rear facing camera with autofocus and a LED flash. It also has a decent 5MP front facing camera.

This phone has a 5.2 inch display made up of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 which makes it scratchproof. Resolution can go up to 1080 x 1920 pixes with a 424 ppi (pixel per inch) density which is more than good enough for a mid-end phone. Battery life should be no problem as this android smartphone has a 2900mAh Li-Ion battery.

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On paper, the phone’s specification is designed to perform well but it is even more impressive when tested with real world use. Priced at $184.99, this phone is definitely bang for the buck and i would recommend it to everyone who wants to have a daily driver phone that performs well but won’t burn a big hole as big as the ozone layer on your budget.

Last year, we saw the improvement of budget smartphones. From being the last choice for us consumers, mid-end phone sales have been slowly but surely climbing up because they can now perform at par levels with the expensive flagship phones. Android rooting has also played a big role in this trend because rooted mid-end phones can run faster and can make them more efficient. A healthy competition from emerging smartphone companies has also made pricing very competitive. A combination of good performance and very good pricing has really enticed a lot of consumers to get budget smartphones.

Take your Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (G935F) to Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow

gsmarena_011Android introduced by Google, is now considered as one of the most buzzing platforms for mobile operating system. It has changed the era of previous leading platforms like iOS. It has gained remarkable popularity across the globe in the field of mobile applications. The main reason behind this familiarity is the convenience offered by this platform to design stylish and wonderful utility applications that make our daily life easier.

Google has recently released the latest Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow which is considered to be more convenient to the users. Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow is mainly focused on improving the user experience of Lollipop by bringing a change in architecture, flexibility, power management, fingerprint improvement, USB connectors, MicroSD and in many other internal aspects.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge which is by default centered on Android OS, v6.0 (Marshmallow) can now be upgraded to latest Android OS, v6.0.1 (Marshmallow). Users of Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge can easily perform this upgradation via the system update from the manufacturer.

What is new to Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow?

A longer battery life

The latest version of android ensures a longer battery life for your mobile phone. Google says it “A battery that works smarter, not harder”. Battery is the heart of your mobile phone. You may have lots of features on your phone, but they are useless if your phone is turned off due to power shortage. Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow saves your battery and ensures you a longer using experience than before. When you sleep, your phone also sleeps. ‘Doze’ will automatically do this for you. Moreover, the new ‘App Standby’ feature saves battery by limiting the number of standby apps on your phone. So no more battery drainage!

Enhanced security with fingerprint

What a boring task is it when you have to put password each time to unlock your phone? Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow offers you a better way to skip the boring situation. You can now unlock your phone with your fingerprint. This is easy and secured!

Easy and convenient root access

Users of Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (G935F) can easily root their phones on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow stock firmware by using CF-Auto-root. The latest update of the operating system makes rooting easy.

CF-Auto-root has developed a custom root support that emerges a simple way of rooting Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. Despite the complexities of rooting procedures, this new root support of Android 6.0.1 is determined to deliver the root facilities to its user in a more convenient manner.

Moreover, a lot of other exciting features are waiting for you in Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. To take a look over them, upgrade your phone today!

LG G5 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Xiaomi Mi 5

It seems that our choices for our next android smartphones have been laid out before our eyes. Samsung, LG, and Xiaomi have already unveiled and released their newest flag carriers. Here comes the problem for us buyers. Most of us, if not all, would like to take  all three android flagship phones home but sadly we can only afford one. If only money was no problem then we could buy all 3 and test them out simultaneously.  It just so happened that we are all not floating in cash so we have to choose one and we have to choose wisely. For now the best choices we have are the LG G5, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, and the Xiaomi Mi5.

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Let’s start with the LG G5. At first glance, you’d immediately notice that this android flagship phone looks like a cross between the iPhone 6S and the Samsung Galaxy S7. It looks elegant rather plain but if you examine it carefully, you’ll see that LG has put the best materials available on this metallic unibody piece of art. All variants have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset and the best Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) the Adreno line has to offer. There is no doubt that this is one powerful phone.  But what does this phone have that the others don’t possess? This android phone’s designers worked out ways for it to accept hardware attachments to improve some of the G5’s functions. There is one attachment that enhances the camera and also provides additional battery. LG phones also have good android rooting support.

Samsung’s bet, the Samsung Galaxy S7 is  beast. Speedwise, it performs same if not a bit better than the G5. The Galaxy S7 has the best resolution and screen. If you decide on looks alone, the Galaxy is the clear runaway winner. One takeaway for the S7 is its software. Samsung has always been at the forefront of developing software for android phones. The only lousy software that they have made is their Swiftkey keyboard software. If you want to find a phone that has easy android rooting steps, then Samsung is for you.

If you are on a tight budget but still want to experience having a flagship phone, get the Xiaomi Mi5. Nobody can beat Xiaomi’s pricing. In all smartphone segments, Xiaomi has always priced their phones competitively. The Mi5 also uses the same Qualcomm Snapdragon processor as with the G5 and S7. The only drawback about this phone is its software package is not as advanced as its competitor. Android rooting could also be pain with Xiaomi phones.

Video Leak of Samsung Galaxy S7

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An Indonesian site has leaked the images and a video of the upcoming flagship phone from Samsung, the Galaxy S7. The video starring the Indonesian archer Dellie Threesyadinda, featured a Samsung phone which is believed to be the Galaxy S7 since it does not match any other previous Samsung phones.   The phone that was featured had wireless charging (which is very good), enhanced camera, and was at least a bit of waterproof as the phone was not affected by the downpour of rain. This is very good news for people who have been wanting to get Samsung’s newest flagship phone.  Its ruggedness and almost all metal design will definitely bring more allure to the phone.

According to reliable sources, these phone will feature monster innards. It is rumored to have an octacore processor on either Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 or Samsung’s in-house Exynos chips paired with an Adreno 530 Graphics processing unit. It will have at least 4GB RAM and at least 64GB storage. Yes, that is a whopping 64GB! Who could have thought phones would go this far. Imagine if you can overclock this phone using Android rooting methods.  Good news is that Samsung has brought the expandable storage back from the dead which will support up to 200GB of data. The phone will have a competition killing camera based on the recent video leak.  It is also rumored to have a fingerprint sensor as Google has finally released the fingerprint API to be integrated in Android 6.0 Lollipop.

With all the goodies that the phone comes with, some experts are really baffled why Samsung held out on the USB Type-C socket. The company is still sticking their bets on the Micro USB slot. Other flagship Android smartphones like the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, OnePlus Two and computers like the Chromebook Pixel 2  and the MacBook has already jumped to the USB Type-C port last year. Why won’t Samsung take the plunge? We all know that the USB Type-C will overtake the MicroUSB as the preferred port of the near future, so why hold back?

Will buyers still consider buying the Samsung Galaxy S7 even if it still is sticking to MicroUSB? I think so, yes. For some it does not really matter what port it uses as long as its processor and camera are good enough. Some also just prefer the looks. To them if the phone looks and feels good, then it is a good buy. Whatever reason we may have buying this phone let’s just hope did not make the Galaxy S7 to disappoint.

Smartphone 2015 Sales Figures

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The numbers are out.  Sales reports from smartphone manufacturing companies have just been released and it turns out that Samsung, the Korean manufacturing giant, has retained the top spot in terms of units sold. It has sold about 399.5 million smartphone units which is about a 5.7% increase from last year’s units sold. We are not sure if Samsung has seen an increase on their profits though. Last year Samsung’s stockholders were not at all pleased even though they sold a lot of units because their profit was  minimal.  The company had to slash their prices a bit on their low end to mid end units to compete with Chinese manufacturers like Huawei, Xiaomi, and OPPO. Samsung’s product line is a bit more favorable for techies and power users as they have a huge android rooting support community.

Apple, the Silicon Valley trailblazer, has also sold 20.2% more units than on 2014. Their sales number skyrocketed after the release of their flagship phone, the iPhone 6S, last December 2015 and reached up to 231.5 million units. Their high volume sales also translated to high profits as they posted an $18 billion profit from October to December 2015.

Third on the list is the manufacturer from China, Huawei. The company has sold 106.6 million units for 2015 which has grown a whopping 44.3% from units sold on 2014. Its market share has also rose to 7.4%. The boost in sales came in as a result of their product line revamp and pretty sleek innovation for their flagship phone the Huawei P8.  Not only did they put better phones on the market, they also made android rooting for their phones easier with customs ROM support so their customer base expanded.

Lenovo came in at fourth place in terms of units sold. They were able to dispatch 74.0 million android smartphone units last year which was 24.5% better than last year. Looks like Lenovo is gaining ground against Huawei and it is crawling bit by bit to claim more market share on the smartphone industry. I have to give it to this company for making good and sleek looking devices, always doing things the unconventional way. Android rooting support has also been good for Lenovo phones.

Xiaomi came in at fifth with 70.8 million units sold. This company has gone a long ways since it first entered the smartphone market and is continuing to grow slowly but surely.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro Announced

xiaomi-redmi-note-3The CES or Consumer Electronics Show 2016 has really given us a lot of insight about the future of the Android operating system. One of the most active booth’s was Xiaomi’s. This Chinese manufacturing giant just recently announced their newest flagship phone the Xiaomi Mi5 and now they have announced yet again another ace up above their sleeves. Lei Jun, the company’s co-founder delighted the media by announcing their upcoming release of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro.

The smartphone poses significant advancements over its predecessor the Redmi Note 3. The Redmi Note 3 was just released last November and now an upgrade has been announced. Even though the phone has good android rooting potential, I believe that phone was positioned wrongly and sales have been a little sluggish that is why Xiaomi’s top brass decided to give it a bit of facelift and more firepower.

The new phone will flaunt a Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 processor which is derived from combining Cortex A72 and Cortex A53 cores paired with an Adreno 510 Graphics Processing Unit or GPU. These specs are pretty much mid-end but with android rooting these chips have potential to rival the newest Exynos and Snapdragon chips when overclocked. The manufacturing company packed a 4,050mAh battery to this phone so the extra power drawn from overclocking should not be an issue.

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Aside from the serious firepower from its hexacore chip, the upcoming phone will also have a x8 LTE modem which would enable the device to use 4G+ signals and will support VoLTE or voice over LTE. This means if you should be able up to 150Mbps download speeds if your network will permit. Variants will have the 2GB RAM + 16GB internal storage or the 3GB RAM + 32GB internal storage. And of course the fingerprint present from the previous model will still be present on the Pro model. The camera has been upgraded as well to a 16 MP rear camera with Phase Detection capabilities.

Xiaomi is really posed to overtake the major players of the smartphone market like Samsung, and Apple with the direction the company is going with right now. Their top executives have the vision to innovate and experiment boldly with new technologies. My only wish is that they continue the path they have taken to provide consumers with quality products still retaining their very reasonable pricing.

Updated AirDroid, AirMirror to Support Non-Rooted Android

imagesDuring the first days of AirDroid, Screencasting your phone was originally possible but one must comply to the special requirement– rooting. And during those days of AirDroid which a lot of people found it convenient but the process totally changed the scene. However good news to AirDroid avid fans, the latest update brings the said feature back. It is now called as ‘Screenshot’– this screenshot feature already works with non-rooted devices but only to those Android that are powered by Android 5.0 Lollipop or higher.

The AirDroid v3.1.6 update brings the feature to AirDroid Web and more and yu will notice that the Camera feature’s image quality and speed has greatly improved. Previous issues concerning Contacts and Files preventing actions such as creating new contacts and detecting external SD cards were already fixed and polished. To get started, open Screenshot on AirDroid Web then choose ‘Start Now’ and you can just follow the prompts. And lastly, tick on ‘Don’t show again’ if you don’t want the step to be repeated in the future. Enjoy the feature.

Not just for Android, another related update is also now available on Mac. The AirDroid v3.2.1 update for Mac OS also brings that ability to non-rooted Android devices to take advantage of AirMirror as well which means you can control your Android device right on your computer.

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In order to take advantage of AirMirror, rooting your Android is not a requirement as well. No need to root a phone because AirMirror is now improved with such additional support. Are you excited to use AirMirror with your unrooted Android phone? Don’t be in a hurry though, and just make sure you have the latest AirDroid Mac (v3.2.1) and AirDroid Android app (v3.1.6) versions being mentioned a while ago, and set up a few things first to start AirMirror on your phone.

The improvements and bug fixes were made including an optimized CPU usage for AirMirror, better scroll speed, background tasks can be viewed in the app, copying of content in an SMS notification also now allowed, and error in displaying contact photos were also fixed.

Now, just feel free to download the updated AirDroid and AirMirror and ensure that full support is available and accessible all the time.

Any Android Devices are at Risk to Chrome Exploits

Android-chrome-exploitA critical vulnerability in Chrome for Android has been reported that makes it possible for attackers to take over a device without notice. The vulnerability was demonstrated and tackled  at the MobilePwn2Own, PacSec conference in Tokyo where the researcher believes that the vulnerability affects no exceptions, all versions of Android capable of running the latest version of Chrome.

The Qihoo 360 researcher Guang Gong the one who showcased the exploit. The vulnerability is said to reside in JavaScript v8, which is the Google’s open source JavaScript engine and for the vulnerability to be exploited, users needs to be wisely  tricked to visit a malicious website using Chrome Web browser, sometimes it redirect the user.

Once the user goes to that page on the browser, the attacker  then be able to install an arbitrary application and gain the full privileges of the device. The researcher noted that the attack was “one shot exploit,” which essentially means that it takes just one vulnerability and is enough to perform the attack. The exploit worked on many other Android devices as well

What’s impressive thing about Guang’s exploit is that it was just one shot; most people these days have to do exploit several vulnerabilities before it gets the privileged access and load software without interaction.
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Once the phone accessed the malicious website, the JavaScript v8 vulnerability in Chrome was used to install an arbitrary application (in this case a BMX Bike game) without any user interaction to demonstrate complete control of the phone, without prior notice and consumer’s knowledge.

Working details of the vulnerability haven’t been disclosed yet and it is said that Google had been made aware of the vulnerability and started something to counterpart the issue.

At the same event at the demo, the two security researchers managed to trick the non-rooted  Samsung Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, and the Galaxy Note 4 to connect to a compromised malicious base station and had the calls and messages go through it and as a result of which, a victim’s calls and messages could be intercepted.

As for the rooted Android devices, vulnerabilities come  just easily and without interaction. With rooted devices, viruses, malware, adware and other vulnerabilities are so much welcome, thus putting your Android device and your self at greater risk of insecurity and dangers.

Right Time, Right Place for the BlackBerry Priv to be at Market

Blackberry PrivThe app market is now fed up of scrupulous malware or security scare especially to Google Android which os becoming almost weekly basis. That’s why Google has vowed for monthly security updates on their Nexus phones  and is hoping that its hardware partners do the same.

It’s also the reason why now is the right time for the BlackBerry to make its entry into the Android market with its new bet, the BlackBerry Priv smartphone.

Details of the handset have been around for a while now, and definitely you can mostly expect what’s found in other flagship Android phones. One key difference are the keys, which is definite a BlackBerry trademark–the skide-out keyboard wĥich  has the presence of a physical qwerty keyboard testifies to that.

It’s basically the first BlackBerry phone to run on a third-party OS specifically, the Android 5.1.1 Lollipop.

However, the most interesting selling part is its Grsecurity enhancement feature which basically means that it’ll be much  better protected against a range of security threats than your average Android phone.

BlackBerry is bringing its “Root of Trust” to Android, keeping unique crypto keys at the hardware level as a base to build on, but still on its safety net, which makes the phone difficult to crack.
Another is BlackBerry’s Verified Boot and Secure Bootchain used to determine all layers, from hardware to software and the company also beefs up the Linux kernel used to enhance the security at the operating system level.

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The company finally made a line in the sand early this week and imposed that all new Android 6.0 devices must support it although there’s a catch: If a device doesn’t meet certain performance requirements it can be exempted from full encryption by default.

However, users can always enable it themselves, but a default option is absolutely far better and safer, provided their handset performance isn’t too adversely affected.

While the Blackberry Priv itself may not stand out from the multitudes of high-end Android phones in the market these days, the security aspect can be their best asset at this time. Though BlackBerry is now considering an Android-based smartphones, it may not have a great impact on the crowd, and besides there are solid Android devices for every budget these days. However, this Priv has something we haven’t seen for quite some time now.

And BlackBerry is playing their card right, the more people hear about Google Android security scares, the more  BlackBerry’s security heritage and approach could bring a surprising number of handset sales, both to consumers and enterprise workers alike and that’s for sure.

And for its status if it can be rooted is still unknown at the moment, but considering its Android-based system, Android rooting is definitely possible. But at this moment, it’s absolutely something to eye on.

Cheap Amazon’s tablet can run the Google Play Store Without Rooting

hqdefaultAmazon’s new Fire tablet has been getting a lot of attention these days, thanks to its $50 unbeatable price tag. Primarily, the 7 inch Android tablet doesn’t have stellar specs, but the hardware is not awful and the price is hard to beat either. But what if you don’t want to be locked into Amazon’s app and media ecosystem, and you wanted even more, explore more of Amazon?

Sure, you can install apps like Netflix and HBO Go if you’d prefer to get your videos from non-Amazon sources where you can usually enjoy. But if you really want to open up the tablet unrestraint, you might want to install the Google Play Store, which offers access to hundreds of thousands of great Android apps.

Though it may seems so complicated and tricky, it turns out it’s pretty easy to do that… and you don’t even need to root your Android tablet. Some may require Android rooting inorder to access exclusive apps.

Developers have posted tools and instructions for installing the Google Services Framework and Google Play Store apps in forums where you can download and make use of. You can follow these simple steps to get the access without rooting.

Here’s what you’ll do, basically it requires connecting the tablet to a Windows PC and running a batch file that will connect to the tablet via adb and load all of the necessary apps and files needed for the procedure. After that’s done, you’ll have to wait about 10 minutes before doing anything, so that the Google services app automatically updates.

If you’re into scripts, if you’d prefer not to use a script, there are also instructions for doing things manually, by installing a series of apps including the Services Framework, Google Account Manager, and Google Play Store.

There are lots of videos posted a on the internet showing the install process, you only have to choose the best way to do it.

Not only will this let you download and install third-party apps from the Play Store, but the framework will let you run other Google apps that primarily wouldn’t work on an Amazon tablet, which includes Gmail, Google Chrome, and the official YouTube app.

None of this is officially supported by Google or Amazon though, so you may run into some problems or relevant issues. Google’s Inbox email app, for instance, does not work.

Still, it’s a good thing to know that you can kind of transform Amazon’s $50 Fire tablet into a full-fledged unchained Android tablet without even rooting the device or installing a custom ROM, or at least you can for now… there’s no telling if Amazon will block support for Google services in a future software update or somewhere down the process. So you might want to find a method for disabling over-the-air updates and so.