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Microsoft finally announced a version of its Office productivity suite for the iPad today, and it's a solid, functional set of apps. As we say in our review, "Office for iPad is elegantly designed, with a robust feature set and intuitive layout." And it's free, as long as you're only interested in reading or viewing docs, that is. Want to edit that spreadsheet, or create your own PowerPoint deck? You'll need an Office 365 subscription, starting at about $10 a month. That may seem steep compared to the price of some other iPad productivity apps, like Apple's iWork suite, which is free for some iPad users. But that price includes the full desktop versions of the Office suite, which you can install on up to five computers.

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Led by CEO Peter Chou, HTC has developed a reputation for making phones that are just as visually appealing as they are functional. The company's latest flagship device, the One (M8), is another in a long lineup of beautifully crafted smartphones, and we had a chance to sit down with Chou to discuss the handset and some of the process behind how it came to be. "Our challenge was how do we break through from M7 to M8?" Chou told us. "I decided last year that I'm going to spend most of my time in product to help break through. Make it premium, like watches or jewelry. We want to stand out."

Chou was definitely deeply invested in the success of the M8, and was directly involved in its development -- he lost 5kg testing out the Fitbit integration, and even spent several weeks walking around with an M8-shaped block of wood in his pocket. "I tried to simulate when I take it out, how it feels when I put it on my ear, and when I talk." In other words, Chou wanted to see it through the lens of any other consumer. During this process, he provided feedback to his design team on which areas needed to be tweaked. "We were working back and forth on fine-tuning it; 'I don't like this curve, I want it to be more natural in the hands, I want this completely metal, completely pure.'"

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Benchmarking the new HTC One: less cheating, better performance

There are actually two "Ones" that launched this week. The star attraction is undoubtedly the HTC One, but let's not forget the brand-new Snapdragon 801 running under its hood: a cutting-edge processor that will also power the Sony Xperia Z2 and the Samsung Galaxy S5, but which happens to have reached the market first in HTC's flagship phone. This chip represents a significant upgrade over the Snapdragon 600 in the old One, promising a hat trick of better all-round performance, more fluid gaming and longer battery life, and these are precisely the claims we're about to explore using a combo of benchmarking apps and real-world tests. At the same time, HTC has suddenly decided to come clean on the issue of benchmark cheating, which makes it a bit easier for us to trust what the numbers are telling us.

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The "all new" HTC One has been one of the worst-kept secrets of 2014, but today it's a secret no more. The Taiwanese manufacturer has taken the wraps off its latest flagship and fans of last year's model (count us among them) won't be disappointed. The phone boasts the same aluminum unibody construction as last year's model, but with more pronounced curves and even more metal this time around. A full 90 percent of the body is made of aluminum, quite a bit more than the 70 percent on the previous model. That means it's about half an ounce heavier, but it seems like a small trade-off given the incredible design and spacious 5-inch screen. That panel is still a 1080p S-LCD3 one, which means you can count on the same bright colors and deep blacks. Plus the whole front is protected by a sheet of Gorilla Glass 3. Oh, and before we go any further -- the pair of capacitive buttons have been replaced with the standard trio of Android soft keys! (Phewww...)

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The HTC One was one of our favorite smartphones of 2013. It featured a gorgeous industrial design, a fantastic display, great camera and top-of-the-line performance. HTC poured its heart into it, as evidenced by nearly every aspect of the device. The phone exceeded nearly all of our expectations, but that also left a big problem: We now expect history to repeat itself. After all, if the original One was such a great device, its successor should, in theory, be even better, right?

Of course it should be. But does this year's version of the One have what it takes? On paper, the answer is yes: It has a larger screen, offers two curious-looking rear camera sensors, boasts an improved version of HTC's Sense UI and features a chassis with even more metal. It appears, then, that there's a lot to love here, but it's difficult to take our breath away twice in a row. Here's what impressed -- and what didn't.

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We all knew it was coming, and after a lengthy list of leaks, the new HTC One is finally official. This time of year is known for its gaggle of new handsets, so we've lined up the latest offerings so you can see for yourself how they stack up. Flagships from Samsung, Sony and LG are all here to see which mobile device will nab an edge on paper. Want to compare these to your current daily driver? Mosey on over to our comparison tool to do just that. Otherwise, head past the break for our neatly compiled list of specs and form your own analysis of the lot.

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The time has finally come to see what the hullabaloo is all about -- this year's version of the HTC One is going to be announced here very soon, and we'll be bringing all of the big news to you live from New York City! Stay tuned as we get this liveblog rolling just before 11AM ET.

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Engadget giveaway: win a Samsung Galaxy S 4 and blinged-out Galaxy Gear courtesy of Brilliance!

You've tricked out your ride, splurged on some curves for your home theater and even recreated that floating Burnquist ramp for extreme weekend fun, but there's still something missing. The gem and jewelry purveyors at Brilliance have just the thing; they've provided an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S 4 and bundled it with a gemstone-studded Galaxy Gear, so that one lucky Engadget reader (or someone near and dear) can rock a bit of bling like the stars. Brilliance offers gemstone customization for a variety of gadgets and has recently worked with Samsung to create shiny custom wearables for celebrities like Jennifer Hudson. You get to choose the color of the Galaxy Gear and take your pick of real-life gems, so you can rock your rocks while wearing your tech -- Xzibit would be proud. To get a chance at winning this sparkly wrist machine and life companion smartphone, you'll need to enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. Go ahead, it might just be your chance to shine.

Winner: congratulations to Shanaan C., Fort McMurray, AB

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We've seen the teasers and we've seen the leaks, so it's about time to see the real thing. Oppo has finally unveiled the Find 7 in Beijing just now, and as promised, this Android 4.3 device really can take 50-megapixel photos! But as with many things in life, there's a catch here: the sensor is actually a 13-megapixel Sony IMX214 CMOS, so it's a software trick. Still, the results we saw earlier were surprisingly good, so read on to check out how it's done and what the rest of the phone is like.

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For many Engadget readers, part of the work day consists of telling co-workers to "move" so they can get in there and fix the computer -- after advising a restart, of course. So we're offering an IT-centric giveaway this week courtesy of CrushFTP, makers of robust and secure file transfer server software and long-time gadget hackers. They've given us an Apple Mac mini and a full enterprise version of CrushFTP for one lucky Engadget reader. This prize pairing provides all the tools necessary for setting up a fully functional file server with a browser-based UI for monitoring and controlling all the exchanges. CrushFTP includes modern HTML5 support, ad-hoc sharing, customizable web forms and a litany of other high-level features to help keep server workflows running smoothly. All it takes is a few clicks and you could be on your way to winning this Apple Mac mini and software package; just head on down to the Rafflecopter widget to enter. You'll barely even have to move yourself.

Winner - congratulations to: Christopher K., Shepherdsville, KY

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When Gionee's spin-off online mobile brand IUNI -- taken from "I am unique" -- launched back in November, it vowed to go right after Xiaomi with a similar sales strategy, but it's also differentiating itself by delivering "stunning" hardware design and "elegant" UI at the same time. Earlier today, the Chinese company finally showed off what it's been working on: the U2. This 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800 device is positioned as the best single-hand metallic phone, featuring a 4.7-inch 1080p LTPS display -- similar to that of last year's HTC One -- tucked within a 65mm-wide aluminum body, which is narrower than the Huawei Ascend P6 and even the Moto X. Oh, and it's cheap, too: the 32GB version with 3GB of RAM is just CN¥1,999 (about $320) unsubsidized, whereas the 16GB version with 2GB RAM is just CN¥1,799 (about $290).

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It's about that time again. That time for NCAA Division I schools to battle it out on the court during the month of March, all in search of men's basketball glory. Naturally, the NCAA, in partnership with CBS and Turner Sports, couldn't have kicked things off without revamping its beloved March Madness Live, both on the desktop and mobile apps. For the most part, however, the streaming service remains largely unchanged -- and we'd say that's a good thing. That said, there are a few new things coming to March Madness Live this year, such as apps for Kindle Fire, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8 (we'll come back to the latter two in a bit).

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Japan Earns Softbank

Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son has been on a mission to purchase T-Mobile and merge it with the Now Network. His campaign began in secret, first involving several visits to regulators in Washington DC. In the past week, however, he's become much more vocal. Son appeared on The Charlie Rose Show and CNBC on Monday, claiming a post-merger Sprint will be good for the wireless industry. The next day he argued that broadband in the US is one of the slowest and most expensive in the world, and the answer is to encourage mobile broadband deployment.

Son's solution to the speed problem is to eventually deploy mobile broadband as fast as 200Mbps, but would a T-Mobile acquisition bring down the cost to consumers? The CEO certainly thinks so: he says the merger will launch a price war and enhance wireless competition unlike anything this country has ever seen. He's going up against federal regulators, two of the largest carriers in the country, and history: just over two years ago, AT&T's attempt to purchase T-Mobile fell flat when the FCC and Department of Justice determined that competition would take a nose dive. So we know Sprint's position on the matter, but what does the rest of the industry think about it?

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Axpro is a Taiwanese company that makes flash drives, so it's surprising to see it building app-connected toys like U14 Free Kick - a game that's a weird hybrid between Frujit Ninja, Subbuteo and Robot Football. Making Fruit Ninja-style swipes on the iOS app determines the power and direction of a free-kick made by a robotic footballer, in the hope of getting it up and over a defending wall. It's been designed for groups of soccerball fanatics who want to show off their ball-curving prowess without doing the real thing, and seems ideal for late night pub competitions. Unfortunately, it won't become commercially available until Axpro finds a distributor, so we might have to clip our nails and dust off that Subbuteo box after all.

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Most smartwatches act as a secondary display for your phone, but there's a select few, like the Neptune Pine, that just want to replace it altogether. It's in this latter category that you'll find the chunky Exetech XS-3: a watch that stands almost two centimeters tall from your wrist. Wrapped in plastic and attached to a heavy-duty rubber strap, the hardware looks tougher than it really is. There's no back cover other than the battery itself, which is exposed to the elements and leaves us concerned as to how sweat-resistant (let alone rain-resistant) this device will be. In any case, it's with the internals and software that things start to get interesting, because the XS-3 comes pretty close to replicating every major function of a smartphone.

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