Oppo Find 7 review: A solid phone that faces stiff competition

The Galaxy S5. The One M8. The G3. Every notable player in the overcrowded smartphone space has a flagship, one heroic device that the company pins its hopes on... for a year or so, anyway. For Oppo, a Chinese phone maker whose profile has swelled thanks to a surprisingly solid phone lineup, that flagship is the Find 7: an unassuming slab that looks painfully pedestrian compared to the last time the company went all out. Maybe that's a bit harsh. The Find 7 pairs top-notch performance with one of the highest-resolution screens you'll find on a mobile today -- hardly a formula to sneeze at. But is it worth the $599 asking price? Is Oppo really a mobile force to be reckoned with? Follow me, friends, and we'll figure it out together.

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Amazon Fire phone review: a unique device, but you're better off waiting for the sequel

After producing a long line of e-book readers and tablets (not to mention a set-top box), Amazon has its sights set on the smartphone market. But finding success here won't be easy, even for an established tech giant like Amazon. With the Fire phone, the online retailer is coming in as an unproven underdog, hoping to bring iPhone and Android users into its fold. CEO Jeff Bezos says the only way to do that is to differentiate; to wow potential buyers with new features they didn't even realize they needed. These unique offerings include 3D head-tracking, product scanning and fast help from customer service agents.

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Deep-pocketed power users may buy new smartphones once a year or even every few months to take advantage of improved displays, better cameras and faster processors, but the majority of owners are more likely to tire of their device's appearance long before its outdated specs. A few manufacturers have taken a new approach when designing their handsets, opting to include not only replaceable batteries, but also swappable backs, that let you change the look of your phone for only a few bucks. Samsung's Galaxy S5 and LG's G3 are two recent flagships that you can change up after purchase, but there are a few other options to consider, too. If you're feeling extra ambitious, you could even replace the backplate on, say, an iPhone 5s, but such an undertaking requires precise work, pricier parts and a voided warranty. Click through for our customizable picks that keep things simple (and cheap).

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ASUS Transformer Pad TF103C

When it comes to ASUS, buying a full-size Android tablet has usually meant venturing past the $300 mark; even the Transformer Book T100 set you back $349 when it first came out, and that was considered a steal. That's no longer a problem in 2014. ASUS' new Transformer Pad TF103C costs $299 with the company's signature keyboard dock included, or as much as some smaller mid-range slates. While that's potentially a hefty bargain, it begs a few questions: Just what are you giving up to get that price? And is it worth the trade-off when you could likely snag a smaller, but more powerful tablet for less? As I've learned, you're making quite a few sacrifices in the name of a better deal. This is still quality hardware, but you have to know what you're in for.

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Vertu CEO Max Pogliani

Last month was a special one for Max Pogliani: Not only did it mark his first anniversary as Vertu's CEO, but it also saw the launch of his very own baby, the Android-powered Signature Touch. This new phone's up-to-date specs have already silenced critics; and despite the luxury market's slowdown, the Italian exec said his team's already ahead of budget in the first half of this year. Vertu's not stopping there, as it plans to expand its portfolio with an even more affordable smartphone, as well as new accessories like audio products and maybe even smart wearables.

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Despite being crowded by major networks such as Fox Sports, NBC Sports and, of course, ESPN, surely this space could still make room for one more. At least that's what the new, young brand 120 Sports is hoping for. As opposed to the rest of them, however, 120 Sports isn't trying to make broadcast TV its bread and butter; instead, it is seeking all-digital avenues to distribute video content, with a website and mobile applications that offer 24/7 sports coverage, live and on-demand. But, perhaps most importantly, it's delivering content without requiring authentication from a cable or satellite provider, and that's something made possible by having some high-profile backing.

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If you get offered a high-level position with HTC, run. At least, that's the reputation the Taiwan-based manufacturer has unfortunately built over the last two years. Since 2012, no fewer than 22 members of its senior management have left the company. Some took off for personal reasons; others faced criminal charges; and still others moved on to different companies. Many of these exits have been attributed to HTC's state of health, as the smartphone (and soon to be smartwatch) maker has made costly mistakes and experienced a string of decreasing profits stretching back to the end of 2011. Let's take a look at each major departure from the beginning until the present day.

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As the classic refrain goes, three is a magic number -- and that certainly sums up LG's latest smartphone, the G3. It's fronted by an extra-sharp, 5.5-inch quad HD (2,560 x 1,440) display and wrapped in a smooth metal exterior. The G3's rear button controls offer a distinct twist on the smartphone interface, and you'll find both a very quick, laser-focused 13-megapixel camera as well as enough battery power to get you through the day. Want one? LG is more than willing to share the love, as it's giving away brand new G3s to three lucky Engadget readers this week. Oh, and you get to choose from one of the big four carriers (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile) -- you probably won't have to switch networks just to get LG's latest. This particular giveaway is only for those in the US, but since the G3 is available worldwide, you can always pick one up. So, what are you waiting for? Head on down to the Rafflecopter widget below for your chance to win a G3 of your very own. It might just be your lucky day.

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FC Barcelona v Real Betis Balompie - La Liga

Many are referring to the 2014 World Cup as the best of the modern era -- think: since Korea/Japan in 2002. Was it due to the fact it set an incredible amount of viewing records? Or, perhaps, it has to do with how much social networks made the entire experience that much more enjoyable. After all, who could forget all the great memes and Tumblr accounts? The level of play wasn't bad either, with this year's tournament leaving behind formidable memories of great individual (Guillermo Ochoa against Brazil, Tim Howard against Belgium) and team (Germany's 7-1 thrashing of Brazil) performances. There's a reason why the sport is nicknamed "The Beautiful Game." Thankfully, football doesn't stop here. While we wait for the next World Cup, which Russia will host in 2018, here's how you, the new (or old) fan, can keep up with some of the professional leagues from across the globe.

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Huawei Ascend P7 review: the best mid-range phone you've never heard of

What is a flagship? For some companies, it's about cramming as many features into a device as physics allows. For Huawei, it means something else entirely: Though it creates smartphones for the power-hungry crowd, its most eye-catching devices typically favor mass appeal over brawn. Exhibit A: the Ascend P7, a smartphone that emphasizes design and user-friendliness over a blowsy spec sheet. When we reviewed its predecessor, the P6, last year, we found a gorgeous phone that struggled due to an underpowered engine and lack of LTE. The company promises it's learned from its mistakes, though. So is the P7 the mid-range smartphone you'll actually be proud to show off?

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Android Wear is finally here. Two devices were launched at Google I/O: LG's G Watch, and Samsung's Gear Live. Both became available in the Play store this week, and while we're sure you read our comprehensive review, with much of the spec-sheet almost identical (the same 1.2 GHz processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB of storage and IP67 waterproof rating) there's not a lot to call between them. But there are some things to consider. We break them down for you here; just jump into the gallery below.

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With two Google-powered smartwatches currently on sale, and the circular Moto 360 already causing a stir among design geeks, wearables are one step closer to securing a place on our wrists. And while many of us aren't ready to strap on a Gear Live, G Watch or Pebble just yet, that doesn't mean the smartwatch is a new concept. In fact, depending on your definition of "smart," these gadgets have been fusing time-telling with extra functionality since the early 20th century. From wrist-borne spy cams to radio-controlled timepieces, here's a look at this wearable's evolution.

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Speck Design's clientele has ranged from Apple to Samsonite to Fisher-Price in its history, and now it can add Google to the list of high-profile companies. But Google -- or its Advanced Technologies and Projects (ATAP) division, to be more specific -- is no ordinary client. The group is modeled after DARPA, which divides its agency into teams, with each one given a limited time to solve a pressing issue. Nearly a year and half ago, ATAP reached out to Speck, led by industrial designers Jason Stone and Vincent Pascual, with one such task: Build a tablet like no other.

The project is known as Tango. Its goal is to create technology that lets you use mobile devices to piece together three-dimensional maps, thanks to a clever array of cameras, depth sensors and fancy algorithms. As if that isn't enough of a challenge, Tango's team only has two full years to make this tech a reality. Those two years will be up in less than five months.

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As one of the Blocks smartwatch team reminded us today, modularity has played an integral role in modern computing. A desktop PC is only a collection of components, after all, which can swapped out and upgraded based on what you need from that particular machine (a process Razer hopes to simplify with Project Christine). Recently, Google and others have been working out how to bring the same level of customization to the smartphone. With smartwatches and fitness trackers a burgeoning tech category, both in terms of consumer interest and product development, the Blocks team sees no reason why wrist-worn technology can't benefit from being modular, too. It's in the process of creating such a gadget and today we caught up with the team at a London event, hosted by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, to talk about its progress and check out an extremely early prototype.

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We had a chance to test the OnePlus One a couple of months ago and it was one sweet piece of tech. The only downside, really, has been the incredibly limited supply. That's what makes this week's giveaway a bit of a standout. The folks at dbrand happened to have one on hand and they've passed it along so that one lucky Engadget reader can break away from the everyday smartphone crowd. The company has also included 16 of its custom OnePlus One skins to make it even more unique. You can even use the company's interactive preview tools to help personalize a variety of smartphones, tablets and game consoles with dbrand's selection of custom skins. As for the phone, the One boasts a 13-megapixel camera, 64GB of storage and runs CyanogenMod, letting users customize the OS almost as much as the exterior. This is an unlocked global version (supporting LTE, GSM and WCMDA) so users on T-Mobile, AT&T and various other carriers should be good to go. Just head on down to the Rafflecopter widget below for up to three chances at winning this OnePlus One and dbrand skins.

Winner: congratulations to Daryl J. of Hudson, OH.

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