Low-cost Nest Learning Thermostat is all about plastic in ev-leaked render

There may finally be a new version of Google’s Nest Learning Thermostat around the corner, with a plastic build and more sensible pricing.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Specs, images, release date and more

Everything we know so far about the successor to Samsung’s ill-fated Note 7.

Oh boy. It’s time for a new Samsung Galaxy Note.

As you may remember, things didn’t go too well for the last entry in the Note series. And although the Galaxy S8 has enjoyed strong sales and critical praise in the meantime, Samsung will remain under intense scrutiny as it looks to relaunch the tarnished Note brand. That’s important for every market in which Samsung operates, but particularly so in Europe, which hasn’t seen a new Note since 2014′s Note 4.

So the next Note needs to be good, and it needs to not catch on fire. Beyond the obvious, the phone also needs to show us how the Note brand can coexist with the larger “Plus” variant of the Galaxy S series, if that’s to continue.

So far, most of the reliable info points to Samsung playing it relatively safe this year. The design, based on press renders, largely mirrors that of the Galaxy S8+. Rumors point to similar specs with a modest RAM and display size upgrade, and a modest battery capacity downgrade. In the absence of the long-rumored in-display fingerprint scanner, the most exciting feature this year is likely to be the new dual camera setup.

Let’s dig into what we know so far about the Galaxy Note 8.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 specs

The most reliable info available on the Note 8′s internal hardware comes from VentureBeat’s Evan Blass — aka @evleaks on Twitter — who has a good track record with this kind of thing. There was also a brochure that leaked, corraborating the information from @evleaks.

Category Specification
Operating System Android 7.1.1
Display 6.3-inch SuperAMOLED Infinity Display
2960×1440 resolution
Processor Samsung Exynos 8895 or Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, depending on region
Storage 64 or 128GB
microSD card slot
Battery 3300mAh
Rear cameras 12MP f/1.7 main lens with OIS
12MP f/2.4 telephoto lens with OIS
Front camera 8MP f/1.7
Other features Wireless charging, S Pen, Iris scanner, Rear fingerprint scanner, DeX support, water resistance
Dimensions 162.5 x 74.6 x 8.5 mm
Colors Black, blue, gold

So the major spec changes from the Galaxy S8 include a larger 6.3-inch display, likely making the Note only slightly larger than the Galaxy S8+. The rumored 6GB of RAM should help the Note keep more apps in memory without reloading — an area where current Samsung phones don’t exactly excel. Meanwhile, the option of 128GB of storage will make the Note an ideal phone for gamers and heavy app users who don’t want to offload content to slower removable storage.

Aside from the S Pen, a new dual-camera setup with OIS could be the main reason to get excited about the Note 8.

The battery capacity — a mere 3300mAh, down from the 3500mAh of the S8+ — is likely a necessity because of the space taken up by the S Pen. Even though the Note 8 will be slightly larger than the S8+, there’s less space for a battery inside the chassis.

As for the dual camera setup — a first for a Samsung phone, though a long-rumored feature — the 12-megapixel resolution suggests Samsung might use the image sensor from the Galaxy S8 in its new phone, at least in the primary camera. And the optically stabilized secondary camera, at one time rumored to boast up to 3X telephoto capabilities, could produce significantly more detailed zoomed shots than the iPhone 7 Plus or OnePlus 5, both of which lack OIS in their telephoto cameras.

Those are just the raw hardware specs we know (or think we know) so far. The Note 8 is sure to introduce new software tricks as well — expect new capabilities for the S Pen, and perhaps some small visual changes from Samsung Experience 8.1 as we know it on the Galaxy S8. One possible software trick is [a feature similar to Apple's "3D Touch."(/galaxy-note-8-allegedly-have-3d-touch-feature)

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 design + size

We now have a nice set of press renders of the Note 8 (from none other than @evleaks again), as well as a couple live shots that purport to show the phone. The renders seem legit, and give us a much clearer look at the phone compared to early renders that were based on CAD models.

We're looking at a device that clearly borrows from the Galaxy S8+'s design, but in many ways the Note 7's design as well. The corners are tighter, making the phone more rectangular overall, but the front and back glass still curve dramatically making the metal frame on the side narrow. The bezels are tiny, of course, and that has pushed the fingerprint sensor to the back next to the new dual camera setup. Everything else looks normal — including the Bixby button on the left side, and the ports and S Pen silo on the bottom. In addition to those renders, a Weibo user shared the clearest images we've seen yet, showing the device from all angles.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 release date

Samsung has announced it's holding one of its Unpacked events in New York City on August 23, and that will of course be where it announces the Note 8. The timing is interesting as it lands just one week before LG will unveil the V30, which is its hopeful competitor.

As for actual retail availability, we can expect pre-orders for the Note 8 to open up closely after the launch event, by the end of August at the absolute latest. Shipments and in-store availability should kick off in the first week of September. From a listing on Samsung's site, we can presume the U.S. unlocked model will be on sale about the same time as the carrier models. In the past, the unlocked model has been delayed by at least a month, so it will be great if unlocked buyers can order the device sooner.

What are you looking forward to seeing in the Galaxy Note 8? Share your thoughts down in the comments, and join the discussion on the Android Central forums!

Update August 20: This article was last updated with all the most recent Galaxy Note 8 leaks and inside information.

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Accidents and teasers: Galaxy Note 8 unveiled by Samsung, re-veiled in ads

The Galaxy Note 8 was posted to Samsung Mobile’s main US webpage for a short time on Friday while the Korean unit gets the advertisements rolling.

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Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 concept video shows off razor-thin bezels

The Mi Mix 2 will be a true bezel-less phone.

The Galaxy S8 and LG G6 took the idea of bezel-less displays mainstream, but it was Xiaomi’s Mi Mix that kicked things off last year. It looks like the Chinese manufacturer is aiming for an even more ambitious design for its successor, if a new video shared by the phone’s designer Philippe Starck is any indication.

The video shows off a virtually bezel-less front panel, with just the bottom part of the phone sporting a thin bezel to accommodate the front camera. The effect is quite striking, and makes the FullVision 18:9 display on the LG G6 look outdated by comparison. Xiaomi slotted in a piezoelectric ceramic driver in lieu of an earpiece and used an ultrasonic distance sensor in place of a traditional proximity sensor, so it’ll be interesting to see what’s in store for the Mi Mix 2.

Xiaomi unveiled the Mi Mix last October, and we’ll likely see the Mi Mix 2 make its debut at around the same time. The latest rumors suggest the phone will feature a 6.4-inch QHD panel, Snapdragon 835, 6GB of RAM, 128GB storage, 19MP rear camera, 13MP front shooter, and a massive 4500mAh battery along with Android 7.1.1 Nougat.

The Mi Mix was sold in limited quantities, but here’s to hoping that changes with the Mi Mix 2. What are your thoughts on Xiaomi’s upcoming bezel-less phone?

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How your phone can help you walk more (and not hate it)

Take the stairs. Walk, don’t drive. Every little step adds up when you’re trying to get fit!

In the first Tech for your Health column, we discussed using apps and technology to help establish better nutrition habits. With all that extra energy that comes along with eating right, it’s time to step up your physical activity.

They say you need to learn to walk before you can run. While that idiom relates to mastering basic skills before tackling more complex projects, it’s also fine advice to take literally when you’re easing into a healthier routine. It’s incredibly easy to procrastinate and binge on technology indoors, when fitting in just an extra 30 minutes of walking into your daily routine can make a big difference in your health, physical and mental.

We’ve got some tips if you’re considering tech to help break you free from your couch-potato habits.

A fitness tracker isn’t going to fix your bad habits

Fitness trackers have been the trendy workout accessory for years now, with the space blowing up with tons of brands trying to jump into the emerging market. If you were to believe the marketing hype, slapping a $ 200 activity tracker to your wrist is all that’s been stopping you from achieving your fitness goals.

But if you’re the initial goal is to simply get a bit more active and you’re only looking to track your daily step count you can totally get by using the device you already carry with you at all times: your phone.

Google has continued to develop and flesh out its own health app, Google Fit, and if you haven’t checked it out you really should.

There are a number of free step counting apps that use the sensors built into most Android phones to give you a fairly accurate assessment of how much activity you get in a day. Google has continued to develop and flesh out its own health app, Google Fit, and if you haven’t checked it out you really should. Not only does it let you set and track activity goals for yourself — whether that’s a daily step goal, active minutes, or weekly run goals — but it also syncs up nicely and aggregates information from other fitness and nutrition apps you may also be using. It’s a great free app that should help you get started down the path to a more active lifestyle

Alternatively, if you’re using a Samsung phone, you’ve got a pretty decent health tracking app pre-installed. Samsung Health offers a full suite of functions and services for tracking your activities and diet. Samsung has also been including a heart rate sensor in all its flagship devices since the Galaxy S5, allowing you to receive a more advanced breakdown of your health vitals without the need to buy a heart-rate monitoring fitness tracker. It also plays real nice with the Samsung Gear S3, Samsung Gear Fit 2, or any of their other smartwatches and fitness trackers.

Now don’t get me wrong, fitness trackers can be great tools for keeping you honest and tracking your progress (and I’ll be looking at them more in-depth in future columns). Fitbit is the household name and has developed a number of great features within its app that I’ve enjoyed using, especially the daily and weekly Fitbit challenges. You can compete with your friends, family, and co-workers to Fitbit complete challenges — because a little healthy competition is never a bad thing.

But like I touched on in my previous column about nutrition, you’re best off taking your time, doing your research, and work on setting new habits before you start investing in a fancy piece of tech. I’ve known too many people (myself included) who end up with a growing collection of fitness trackers that just end up collecting dust in a drawer after a couple months of use.

So use your phone to start, work on building those healthier habits, and then when you feel you’re fully committed to your goals you can grab

Find apps that inspire you to get outside

It shouldn’t be too much of a challenge to get outside for an hour or two each day and take a walk around the block, and yet it’s something I still struggle with on a weekly basis. Working from home I’ve spent countless evenings transitioning from work to leisure without leaving the house, spending the entire evening just laying around staring at my phone — it’s the ultimate tool for my procrastinating needs.

Get off your damn butt and walk — and listen to a good podcast or audiobook while you do it.

Ideally, I’d like to get into the habit of waking up early and going for a morning walk, but I’m not quite there yet. So I’ve sought out other ways to use my phone to help me get steps in throughout the week. If I need to do a quick trip to the grocery store, I’ll check out the walking time estimates in Google Maps, find a podcast or playlist that’ll fill that time nicely, and head out on foot rather than taking my car. Small decisions like that have a way of compounding over time, and once you get used to the new habit it’ll just become second nature.

Podcasts and music are a natural accompaniment for any walk or run, but there are other great apps and games available for mobile that can help you get outside and get moving. In spite of its haters, Pokémon Go is still going strong with a number of new features and Pokémon released this summer. But there are many more cool apps worth trying out — check out the rundown we published at the start of summer!

The best apps and games for getting out and enjoying the outdoors

Ready to start running?

In the next column, I’ll be stepping things up and looking at using tech to help you transition from walking to running, but if you’re already feeling ready to hit the pavement, might we suggest a Couch to 5K app to get you started!

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