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Best Prime Day phone deals: Save on Samsung Galaxy Note 20, Google Pixel and more – CNET

This story is part of Amazon Prime Day 2021, CNET’s guide on everything you need to know and how to make sure you get the best deal. Amazon Prime Day is officially here: The big sale kicked off on Monday and lasts until the end of Tuesday. On top of that, we’re getting competing sales from Walmart…

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Best Prime Day phone deals: Save on Samsung Galaxy Note 20, Google Pixel and more     – CNET

This story is part of Amazon Prime Day 2021, CNET’s guide on everything you need to know and how to make sure you get the best deal.

Amazon Prime Day is officially here: The big sale kicked off on Monday and lasts until the end of Tuesday. On top of that, we’re getting competing sales from Walmart and Target at the same time. Prime Day has only just started, and more specials will be rolling out as it progresses, but we’ve already found lots of discounts on phones with prices so low they’re matching earlier Prime Day or Black Friday prices on Amazon and other sites.Note that prices and availability were accurate at the time of publication, but are subject to change. Make sure to check back often for the latest deal prices, as we’re updating this article on a rolling basis to account for newer, better Prime Day phone deals and expired offers.

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Change these Android settings immediately to get the most out of your phone – CNET

Change these settings on your new Android phone.  Andrew Hoyle/CNET Android comes with an abundance of settings that allow you to customize and improve your smartphone experience. By default, Android picks what it considers the best settings, but depending on the type of user you are — beginner, average or pro — tinkering with your…

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Change these Android settings immediately to get the most out of your phone     – CNET

Change these settings on your new Android phone. 
Andrew Hoyle/CNET
Android comes with an abundance of settings that allow you to customize and improve your smartphone experience. By default, Android picks what it considers the best settings, but depending on the type of user you are — beginner, average or pro — tinkering with your Android preferences and settings is a good idea to get the most out of your device.However, you need to know where these controls are and what they can do for you. In this guide, we’ll go through settings that may help you improve your battery life, clean up the clutter on your home screen, find a stolen or lost device and more.

So whether you have the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, Google Pixel 6 Pro or OnePlus 9 Pro, these are the settings you need to change immediately to get better performance out of your Android smartphone.Note: Not all Android devices are created equal, and certain settings may be missing or in a different place depending on the version of Android you’re running and the maker of your phone, so just be aware of that when you’re adjusting these settings.An overly bright display will drain your battery incredibly fast. 
Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET
Settings to improve battery life Living with a phone that has poor battery life can be infuriating, but there are some steps you can take to maximize each charge right from the very beginning: 1. Turn off auto screen brightness — it may be called adaptive brightness — and set the brightness level slider to under 50%. The brighter your screen, the more battery power it requires. To get to the setting, pull down the shortcut menu from the top of the screen and adjust the slider, if it’s there. Some phones may have a toggle for auto-brightness in the shortcut panel; otherwise, you need to open the settings app and search for “brightness” to find the setting and turn it off.2. Use Adaptive Battery and Battery Optimization. Google introduced both of these features in Android 9.0 Pie: They focus on learning how you use your phone, knowing which apps you use and when, and then optimizing the apps and the amount of battery they use.  Some Android phones will have a dedicated Battery section in the Settings app, while other phones (looking at you, Samsung) bury these settings. It’s a little different for each phone. I recommend opening your settings and searching for Battery. The results should get you to the right screen. Your phone may also have an adaptive charging setting that can monitor how quickly your phone battery charges overnight to preserve its health.Using dark mode on any phone is an easy and good-looking way to save battery.  Dark mode is your friend Another way to improve battery life while also helping save your eyes is to use Android’s dedicated dark mode. Any Android phone running Android 10 or newer will have a dedicated dark mode option. According to Google, dark mode not only reduces the strain that smartphone displays cause on our eyes but also improves battery life because it takes less power to display dark backgrounds on OLED displays (used in most flagship phones) than a white background.  Depending on which version of Android your phone is running, and what company made your phone, you may have to dig around the settings app to find a dark mode. If your phone runs Android 10 or newer, you’ll be able to turn on systemwide dark mode. If it runs Android 9, don’t despair. Plenty of apps have their own dark-mode option in the settings that you can use whether or not you have Android 10.  To turn it on, open the Settings app and search for Dark Mode, Dark Theme, or even Night Mode (as Samsung likes to call it). I suggest using dark mode all the time, but if you’re not sure, you can always set dark mode to automatically turn on based on a schedule, say from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. every day, or allow it to automatically switch using your location at the time of sunset/sunrise. One key benefit of Android is a clutter-free home screen. 
Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET
Keep your home screen free of clutter Planning to hit up the Google Play Store for a bunch of new Android apps? Be prepared for a lot of icon clutter on your home screen, which is where shortcuts land every time you install something. Thankfully, there’s a simple way out of this: Long-press on an empty area of your home screen and tap Home settings. Find the option labeled something along the lines of Add icon to Home Screen and turn it off.  Presto! No more icons when you install new apps. You can still add shortcuts by dragging an app’s icon out of the app drawer, but they won’t clutter up your home screen unless you want them to. DND gives your mind a chance to take a break from the constant onslaught of notifications. 
Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET
Set up Do Not Disturb If your phone routinely spends the night on your nightstand, you probably don’t want it beeping or buzzing every time there’s a call, message or Facebook alert — especially when you’re trying to sleep. Thankfully, Android offers a Do Not Disturb mode that will keep the phone more or less silent during designated hours. On some phones, this is referred to as the Downtime setting or even quiet time. Bottom line: Head to Settings > Sounds (or Sounds and notifications or maybe Sound & vibration), then look for Do Not Disturb or a similar name. Using the feature, you can set up a range of hours (usually nighttime) when you want to turn off the digital noise. But don’t worry, any notifications you get while Do Not Disturb is turned on will still be waiting for you when you wake up.  Also, you can typically make an exception that allows repeat callers and favorite contacts’ calls to go through. Turn that on. If someone is calling you in an emergency, odds are they are going to keep trying. What someone who finds a lost or stolen Android phone will see after you use Find My Device to lock it. 
Jason Cipriani/CNET
Be prepared to lose your phone Is there anything worse than a lost or stolen phone? Only the knowledge that you could have tracked it down if you had turned on Google’s Find My Device feature. To set yourself up for a successful recovery, here’s what you need to do: Open the Settings app and then search for Find My Device. It’s usually in the Security section of the Settings app. Or if you have a Samsung device, you can use Samsung’s Find My Mobile service found in Settings > Biometrics and security > Find My Mobile.  Once enabled, you can head to android.com/find from any PC or mobile device and sign in to your account. Samsung users can visit findmymobile.samsung.com to find their lost phone.  Losing a phone is never a fun experience. 
Angela Lang/CNET
If you run into any trouble setting any of this up, be sure to read through our complete guide to finding a lost Android phone. Assuming your phone is on and online, you should be able to see its location on a map. From there you can make it ring, lock it, set a lock screen note to tell whoever has it how to get it back to you, or, worst-case scenario, remotely wipe the whole thing. There’s a lot more to learn about a new phone, of course. If you have a phone with Android 12, which was released recently, here’s what you need to know about downloading, compatibility, new features and more. And if you’re looking to upgrade to a newer device, here are our top Android phone picks for 2021.

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8 amazing photo-editing apps for your iPhone or Android phone – CNET

Edited in Bazaart. Andrew Hoyle/CNET Maybe your phone storage is crammed full of images you haven’t looked at since you took them, or perhaps you’re simply excited to get out and take some new shots, doing some creative photo editing can be a great way to get more out of your photography. And it doesn’t even matter…

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8 amazing photo-editing apps for your iPhone or Android phone     – CNET

Edited in Bazaart.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET
Maybe your phone storage is crammed full of images you haven’t looked at since you took them, or perhaps you’re simply excited to get out and take some new shots, doing some creative photo editing can be a great way to get more out of your photography. And it doesn’t even matter if you have the new iPhone 13 Pro, the Pixel 6 Pro or an older, cheaper phone; the iPhone App Store and Google Play Store on Android are full of powerful apps that can give your existing shots a whole new look, all from the comfort of your favorite squashy armchair. I’ve rounded up a selection of my top picks, so have a read, make a cup of tea and settle down for an evening editing session. You can even turn your favorite shots into a photo book.You can also check out these creative ideas to flex your photography muscles at home if you want to shoot and edit something new.Edited in Snapseed.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET
1. Snapseed Free on iOS and Android.Google-owned Snapseed offers a wide range of exposure and color tools to make tweaks to your images, but also has plenty of filter options, from vintage styles to modern, punchy HDR looks. You can layer the effects up to create some interesting edits on your image. And best of all, it’s totally free.Edited in Lightroom mobile.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET
2. Lightroom iOS and Android, some functions available for free, or $5 per month for full access.Adobe Lightroom remains an industry standard for professional photographers and the mobile version is much the same. You’ll find no stickers, animations or emoji here, but you will get fine grain control over your image and the same set of tools you’d find in Lightroom on desktop. It’s the app I use the most to edit my own images on my iPhone and iPad, not least because the images sync in the cloud, letting me start on one device, and continue on another. Edited in Photoshop Express.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET
3. Adobe Photoshop ExpressFree on iOS and Android.Photoshop Express has many of the same features you’d find in Lightroom, including exposure, contrast and color editing options, but strips out some of the pro tools and cloud syncing and, crucially, ditches the subscription fee. It’s a great tool for tweaking your images to bring out their best, but you’ll also find a decent selection of filters and overlay textures, as well as tools for making cool collages from your images.It’s not as open to wild creativity as other options on this list, but it’s a solid editing app at a price that’s hard to argue with. Edited in Prisma.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET
4. Prisma iOS and Android, $8 a month or $30 a year.Prisma doesn’t deal with subtle filters and basic image corrections. Instead, its trippy filters will transform your images into often bizarre artistic creations. The results have a painterly effect and indeed many filters are inspired by artists such as Salvador Dali and Picasso. The filters are strong, and while you can tweak them, not every filter will work with every image. I found some to be more suited to portraits while other filters worked best with landscapes.But it’s great fun to experiment with and when you find a photo that works, it really works. Edited in Bazaart.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET
5. BazaartiOS only, $8 a month or $48 a year.Bazaart’s montage and collage tools let you combine multiple different elements — from photos, to text, to graphics — and layer them all up to create a finished work of art. It has tools that let you instantly erase the background from behind a portrait subject (I was amazed at how well it worked!) in order to put in a new background or layer up multiple effects. It also has a huge variety of templates to create gorgeous collages for Instagram stories too. There are so many different ways you could try and composite different images together that the only boundary will come down to how creative you’re feeling. Head over to Bazaart’s Instagram page for some inspiration. Edited in Photofox.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET
6. PhotofoxiOS only.Like Bazaart, Photofox has powerful tools for removing subjects from background that let you composite in new backgrounds, or apply awesome effects. I particularly like Photofox’s dispersion effect, which makes it look like your subject is bursting into particles (trust me, it’s cool), as well as the glitch effects and the double exposure that overlays two images on top of each other. As with Bazaart, there are endless possibilities of what you can do by layering and compositing different types of images and applying different effects to each. Edited in VSCO.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET
7. VSCOiOS and Android, limited functions for free, or $20 a year with a seven-day free trial.VSCO began life making color grading presets for Lightroom and its roots are clear in the app today. Rather than offer stickers and animated GIFs for Snapchat enthusiasts, VSCO is all about the more artful filmic color filters. The app has a huge range of presets available, including looks designed to emulate classic rolls of film from Fujifilm, Kodak and Ilford.It’s got a great selection of black-and-white filters too, making it a great choice to experiment with if you’re into your moody monochrome shots.Edited in PicsArt.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET
8. PicsArtiOS and Android, limited functions for free or $48 a year for the whole suite.PicsArt has a huge range of editing tools available to you, from basic adjustments like exposure and contrast, through to cinematic color grading and dramatic filters that transform your images into painting-like pieces of art. There are loads of options for both the tone and shape of your face in selfies — I won’t go into the ethics of using these tools for “beauty” purposes, but I had fun in using the tools to intentionally transform my features into bizarre proportions. There’s a whole Instagram-style social sharing element to PicsArt as well, if you’re interested in that. Personally I was mostly interested in the editing options.Make sure to check out my guide on creative at-home photo projects, see our whole catalog of awesome tips and tricks for better phone photos or see how the iPhone 11 Pro captured Scotland’s beauty in my epic road trip.

Discover the latest news and best reviews in smartphones and carriers from CNET’s mobile experts.

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Google Store Black Friday 2021: Save on Pixel 5A, Nest hardware – CNET

Black Friday sales are now available at the Google Store. Sarah Tew/CNET This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2021, our list of ideas, by topic, by recipient and by price, to help you discover the perfect gift. Black Friday is here, but Google Store has been running discounts for more than a week. It’s…

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Google Store Black Friday 2021: Save on Pixel 5A, Nest hardware     – CNET

Black Friday sales are now available at the Google Store.
Sarah Tew/CNET
This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2021, our list of ideas, by topic, by recipient and by price, to help you discover the perfect gift.

Black Friday is here, but Google Store has been running discounts for more than a week. It’s mostly focused on the company’s smart home devices, so you might want to look to other retailers for the best value on phones like the Pixel 6.Deals on Google NestIf you’ve thought about investing in the Google Nest ecosystem of home devices, now’s the time. Google slashed prices on a bunch of its popular devices, including $90 off the Nest Wifi router and mesh system, which provides coverage throughout the entire house, doubles as a smart speaker with Google Assistant and supports up to 200 connected devices. Read our Nest Wifi review. Sale on Pixel smartphonesThe Google Store has one of its smartphones on sale.And while Google has not announced any plans to discount the recently released Pixel 6, multiple other retailers slashed the price by $50, bringing the total for the unlocked 128GB phone to just $549 for their Black Friday sales.Pixel AccessoriesMore great deals

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