Chinese phone makers are smacking Samsung and others around right now, but it's still hard to find high-end, non-carrier-branded devices stateside. That said, ZTE -- which has quietly become the world's number five smartphone brand -- has just launched its Nubia 5S mini LTE in the US unlocked for $280. You may be more tempted by a Nexus 5 if specs are your thing, as the Nubia 5s mini is "merely" equipped with a quad-core Snapdragon 400, 2GB RAM, 16GB expandable memory and a 4.7-inch, 720p screen. But ZTE's wooing a younger crowd by touting the ample 5-megapixel front/13-megapixel rear cameras with f/2.2 iris and manual controls, along with the photo effects, LTE (for GSM carriers) and pocketable size. It also vows to repair any damage you inflict for any reason up to 18 months after purchase for $80 -- a boon to any of us who've broken a screen. It's now up on pre-order at Amazon, with shipping set to start on August 27th.

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Secret on an iPhone

Secret's app is ostensibly meant for office gossip and getting transgressions out of your system, but it has also been abused by bullies wanting to intimidate and shame others. Well, one Brazilian judge is fed up with that misuse -- enough so that he's ordering Apple and Google to remove Secret not just from their respective local app stores, but from people's devices. Microsoft also has to yank Cryptic, an equivalent Windows Phone app. If the companies don't take action within 10 days, they face fines of 20,000 Reals ($8,876) per day. That's a drop in the bucket given their massive revenue streams, but it's reasonable to say that they'd rather not pay that much just to keep one title available in one country.

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Now that home automation is all the rage, household security outfit ADT is looking to dive further into the fray with a hand from If This Then That (IFTTT). Using the home alarm company's Pulse system and the appropriate channel from the recipe-based app, you'll be able to leverage automated chores from IFTTT's library of tasks including disarming the alarm when your wearable switches out of sleep mode. You can also set a coffee maker in your kitchen to start brewing when your phone alarm wakes you and get a real-time video clip when the doorbell rings. ADT Pulse allows for remote control of a home security system from a mobile app, sending alerts and sorting remote video monitoring, too. It can the wrangle the connected thermostat and outlets for lighting and small appliances as well. Right now, the cooperative effort is looking to enter beta testing shortly with plans to open up a channel to the public afterwards that's full of pre-made recipes alongside the ability to create your own.

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It's sure been a long time since Sharp shipped a smartphone to American consumers. And, let's be honest with ourselves, the FX Plus wasn't exactly taking the market by storm. The Sidekick-esque slider was dated even by 2011 standards. But the company is hoping its AQUOS Crystal will have better fortunes. The (almost) bezel-less device offers high-end looks with decidedly mid-range internals. The 1.2GHz chip inside isn't going to set land-speed records, but it should be enough for most folks. The most important feature, though, is the edge-to-edge 5-inch display. While Sharp's description of it as a "groundbreaking" device might be a little over the top, we must admit it's quite a stunning panel -- especially for being five inches and only 720p.

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Once you tiptoe past a certain age, ignoring calls from mom and dad sort of becomes de rigueur as you go about your day. That sort of filial nonsense doesn't fly when you're younger though, and now there's an app to make sure you return you young'uns return your parents' calls - it's called Ignore No More, and it essentially works by locking down your smartphone until you call them to verbally check in.

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Feeling blue that the HTC One M8 for Windows is exclusive to Big Red? Good news: AT&T just confirmed that it'll carry the flagship Windows Phone... eventually. The carrier can't openly discuss details like pricing or availability yet -- likely because it can't sell the phone until the terms of the exclusive contract expire -- but at least we can rest a little more easily knowing that this top-of-the-line Windows Phone will expand its reach to more than just one carrier. Who knows: Since a GSM version will be available, that may open the door for the device to go to other parts of the world as well. While you wait, check out our hands-on coverage of the device here.

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Denver Broncos v San Francisco 49ers

When an NFL team builds a brand new stadium, it's usually packed with the latest tech to insure a flashy introduction. The Dallas Cowboys have absurdly large video screens over the field and the Arizona Cardinals can move the entire playing surface outdoors to soak up some rays. This season, the San Francisco 49ers moved from Candlestick Park to Levi's Stadium: the first of the NFL's venues to be LEED certified, thanks in part a solar collection system that will power all ten home games. To enhance the fan experience, there's a smartphone app that sorts tickets, concessions and wrangles instant replay. In fact, you can use it to scout the line at the nearest beer cart or place an order in advance for pickup or seat-side delivery. As you might expect, this past weekend's first game action put the new system to the test, and as is common with most new large-scale tech, fans felt the bugs pretty quickly.

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The onward march of the selfie, there's no stopping it. Many people shudder at the slightest mention of the (now official) word. Others need only the flimsiest (and sometimes eyebrow-raising) reason to extend one arm and assume the duck face. Unsurprisingly, as with any part of popular culture, there's a backlash. SLMMSK is an "antiselfie" app for iOS (and Android eventually) that subverts the selfie, using the art form's very own weapon of choice -- the filter -- to obscure, rather than enhance, the subject's face. The app also adds a CCTV-esque grain effect and VHS-style timestamp to ramp up the underground vibe. You just need to pull your best grin, say YOLO, and take the snap. The "filters" include a black censor bar, heavy pixelation, warping and more. The dislike for selfies doesn't extend to social sharing though -- you can upload your best shots to Instagram and Facebook and jostle for attention among the uncensored self portraits as per usual. Judging by the associated (and equally anarchic-looking) website, you might even increase your infamy by bagging a featured spot.

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Fandango movie ticket purchasing for Android

Fandango slipped up in a big way between 2009 and 2013: its mobile apps would send your movie ticket purchases without a basic security measure, leaving credit card info and other data vulnerable to theft. However, the company is about to make amends for playing fast and loose with your personal info. The FTC has just approved a settlement with Fandango that will require the movie service to follow the straight and narrow. As agreed to in March, Fandango has to implement new procedures that address security concerns in apps before they reach the public; it will also have to get independent security reviews every other year for the next 20 years. The remedy won't help much if someone swiped your banking details while you were watching a summer blockbuster, but it should at least reduce the chances of a movie-related breach in the future.

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Photo Sphere Camera on an iPhone

Google's all-encompassing Photo Spheres are no longer limited to Android users and those comfy with photo stitching software -- the internet giant has just released a Photo Sphere Camera app for the iPhone-toting crowd. As before, it lets you create 360-degree panoramas just by spinning around in place. You can both share the resulting masterworks with others (including the Google Maps community) and check out others' spheres in the Views hub. It's overkill if you're perfectly content with alternative panoramic apps or plain old landscape shots, but it's hard to object to having one more way to liven up your vacation photos. Swing by the App Store to check out Photo Sphere for yourself.

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Sony's mobile division still lags behind Samsung, LG and HTC in all but one area: waterproofing. That's why it's no surprise to see the company's mid-range Xperia M2 getting an element-resistant remake as the M2 Aqua. The device comes with IP65/68 waterproofing -- making it better than the IP58 Xperia Z2 -- and will sit in depths of 1.5 meters for up to half an hour without complaint. The rest of the spec list is unchanged from the original that debuted five months ago, with a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400, LTE, a 2,300mAh battery and 8-megapixel camera. There's no word on pricing, but we'd expect it to come in above the €220 ($300) that the vanilla M2 was marked up at, and it'll launch in the fall, destined for Latin America, Asia Pacific and Europe. Yup, Sony still don't got no love for North America.

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The transition from mobile to desktop seems like a natural evolution for Mailbox, which began as a clever time-saving email app for iOS. Four months ago, the Dropbox-owned venture excited fans by announcing that it would soon have an option on Mac as a limited beta. Today's the day: Mailbox is ready to roll out the app to the first batch of early adopters. The service will begin rolling out to those who've signed up for the beta online, as well as a handful of current Mailbox users. If you're not one of the lucky winners tomorrow, be patient -- the rollout will come in batches, and the company assures us that you'll still get your hands on it before the final version is ready. Each beta tester will be issued a betacoin (not to be confused with other forms of digital currency), and you'll even receive additional betacoins to share with friends as soon as you download the app.

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Microsoft's OneNote has long been available for Android (among many other platforms), but this latest update makes it easier to use specifically on tablets. The note-taking app now comes with handwriting support that takes advantage of the devices' relatively bigger screens, as well as with better options for formatting your notes. If you're going back to school soon and have a Windows device, though, OneNote for Windows sounds like the better choice with its new ink highlighter, printing support and ability to insert files and PDFs. Finally, the latest Livescribe+ update lets you set up a OneNote notebook where the Livescribe 3 pen can automatically upload what you're writing down on paper. All these changes are rolling out right now, so expect to get pinged for an update soon if it hasn't appeared yet.

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You tell yourself you're gonna go running. You might even have an app that gently prods you to get your lazy keister up off the couch. But let's be honest, the most effective motivator is the good ol' fashioned bribe. That's why RunKeeper is teaming up with Kiip, a company that delivers ads and rewards through games and mobile apps. The idea isn't just to get you casually jogging though, but to actually get you to push yourself. Through the new workout rewards program, RunKeeper will deliver discounts on Propel Water, Secret Deodorant or even a Pebble smartwatch when you reach a personal best in distance or pace for instance. All the rewards are specifically chosen to appeal to RunKeeper's athletic market niche, so you shouldn't have to worry about being offered discounts on Transformers Blu-rays. You won't get bombarded by offers either, they'll only pop up sometimes -- and you'll really have to work for them. But it might be nice to get something at the end of a long marathon than a smug sense of self satisfaction.

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The above picture isn't Photoshopped -- what you're seeing really is the HTC One M8 for Windows (Phone), and it's available today as a Verizon exclusive. Thanks to Microsoft's latest update, it's now possible for manufacturers to slap the third-place smartphone OS onto existing hardware (replacing Android), and HTC is the first mainstream phone maker to take advantage of the opportunity. Spoiler alert: The hardware of the Windows Phone-equipped One M8 is completely identical to that of the Android version launched earlier this year, aside from gratuitous Verizon and Microsoft logos. What makes this new variant so special is on the software side.

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