It's been a long, long time since Sharp shipped a phone in the United States (remember this thing?) but it looks like that drought may soon be over. The Japanese electronics giant just pulled back the curtain on a pair of smartphones that barely have bezels, and one of them is slated to land here sooner or later. Sharp's Aquos Crystal X is the more impressive of the two -- aside from the fact that there's hardly any material running around its 5.5-inch 1080p display, there's a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 801 ticking away inside its 10mm thick chassis. Alas, it's the less-powerful Aquos Crystal that's expected find its way stateside. There still aren't any bezels to speak of, but it packs a comparatively paltry 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 and a 5-inch 720p display -- expect the price tag to reflect those decidedly mid-range ambitions.

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The plain old padlock is getting rather dull, but add Bluetooth to it unlocks (pun intended) a whole new level of possibilities. As the name suggests, this waterproof Noke smart padlock by Fuz Designs doesn't come with any physical keys; instead, you unlock it by first getting near it with an assigned iOS or Android device (with Bluetooth LE), and then click the Noke's hook. Better yet, you can also assign a Noke to your best pals, thus eliminating the need to pass a key around. But what if your phone runs out of battery? Well, that's where your pre-assigned click pattern comes in: Simply tap that in on the hook and your Noke will magically open up. On a similar note, the device itself can last over a year with a CR3032 battery, which can be easily replaced even when completely out of juice (but it'd still be locked, of course). Check out the demo video after the break, and then you can head over to the Kickstarter page to grab one for an early-bird price of $59.

Update: Canada's OckCorp previously tried to raise funds for a similar project but failed to reach goal.

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It's the times we live in: an app that delivers booze just isn't appealing enough. Saucey, an app that does exactly that is launching a sleepover pack that involves collaborating with an underwear company.. and some purchases will be accompanied by underwear models. Priced between $40 and $100, packages will include that all-important liquor, some mixers, clean underwear, sunglasses (?) and a hangover recovery drink. If you're looking for the accompanying underwear models, they'll be delivering around LA between 4 and 9pm - and no, they won't be along for every order. The deal only runs for a week, though, which is hopefully short enough to ensure that nothing disastrous occurs.

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AllCast icon on a Nexus 5

AllCast has let almost any Android device send photos and videos to the Chrome desktop browser for a while, but mirroring your screen has been a pain; if you didn't have a Nexus 5, you were out of luck. That clever feature is about to get a lot more useful, though. Koushik Dutta has reworked the app's mirroring code so that it now uses a common video format (H.264), letting you mirror the screen of any halfway modern phone on your PC; if you can run AllCast in the first place, you're probably fine. There's significant lag, but it should be enough to show your friends a hot new app without having to buy a Chromecast (or a TV, for that matter). The upgrade should arrive soon, so swing by Google Play if you'd like to use your computer as a second screen.

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Sony may have given up on its Xperia Play, but Chinese gaming companies 78point and Much think there's still a demand for Android phones with built-in gaming buttons and joysticks. Funnily enough, both brands ended up sourcing their hardware from the same OEM, which is why 78point's P01 and Much's W1 are technically identical, with the exception of their Android 4.2 skins. This dual-SIM (WCDMA/GSM) device is essentially a typical Chinese mid-ranger, for it features a 5-inch 720p IPS display plus MediaTek's 1.7GHz octa-core MT6592 SoC (with 2GB of RAM and Mali-450 MP4 graphics). You also get 16GB of internal storage, microSD expansion of up to 64GB, 8MP/2MP cameras and a generous 3,000mAh battery.

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Nexus 7 tablets will soon be a common sight on Virgin America planes, but unlike other airlines that lend passengers tablets for entertainment, you can only use them if you're part the crew. On a VA plane, you can easily order grub by pressing a special "food button" on an in-flight entertainment system's touchscreen panel or on a seat's armrest remote control. When you do press the button, the order's relayed to (you guessed it) a tablet connected to the system. Well, the company felt that it was time to replace its old tablets, so its employees took the Nexus 7 for an obviously successful 30-day test run. Branson and his cohorts (who've decided to call the modified 7-inch device the CrewPad) have already begun handing out new tablets to flight crew members. But, with a 9-inch entertainment system in front of them and several programming options to keep them occupied, it's not like passengers have any reason to feel envious.

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Hillary Clinton checks her BlackBerry

Germany may be upset with the US over its eagerness to spy on national leaders (and seemingly everyone else), but it turns out that Germany itself isn't completely above reproach. Der Spiegel has revealed that the country's BND intelligence agency accidentally scooped up calls from US Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton (in 2012) and John Kerry (in 2013) while spying on Middle Eastern terrorist targets. The German agents reportedly destroyed the intercepted calls as soon as they realized what they had, but they also kept the discovery hush-hush.

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A year later, and strangers still ask.

"Is that the Lumia with the crazy camera? How do you like it?"

And, after a year, I still offer up the same basic response.

"Great camera, solid phone."

But after 12 months, and with a slew of new handsets on the way, it's time to reevaluate if my bright yellow Lumia 1020 is still the best choice as my daily driver. Is being great good enough?

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Remember that Nikkei report that said Nintendo was eyeballing mobile devices? The one that Nintendo immediately denied? It might be true after all -- sort of. The Pokémon Company has confirmed that the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online will be available as an iPad app later this year. The app, a digital update of the 1996 trading card game of the same name, was spotted by Twitter user Josh Wittenkeller at a Play! Pokémon event. Nikkei's original report suggested that Nintendo was planning to use mini-games on smart devices to lure gamers to its console products, and this definitely seems like a step in that direction.

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Microsoft's WindUp on a Lumia 1020

There's no official Snapchat app for Windows Phone right now, but don't worry -- Microsoft is offering an equivalent that might do in a pinch. The new WindUp app covers very similar ground, letting you send media and messages that disappear after a set amount of time; you're supposed to "wind up" your friends by giving them just a brief glimpse of what you're sharing. No, we don't get the (fairly contrived) explanation any more than you do, but Microsoft isn't worried about marketing here. While this technically competes with services like Snapchat, it's really a research experiment meant to explore how people "create, share and converse," not to topple someone else's messaging empire. Don't expect WindUp to evolve or reach other platforms, then. Even so, it may be worth checking out if you'd like a ephemeral chat app focused solely on Windows Phone fans.

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People watch as car drives into tunnel through giant sequoia tree, Yosemite National Park, California

The folks in Mountain View have been adding new tools to Google Now, like suggesting another flight if yours is delayed. The search company's Field Trip app has been suggesting local points of interest since its launch in 2012, and now the two are in cahoots. Now already displayed a list of nearby sights, but with a recent update, the other app's more detailed info on art, architecture and more is automatically beamed to your mobile device. So when you're out of town, expect to see a few more recommended cards in that feed to entice you to change those plans.

[Photo credit: Melville B. Grosvenor/National Geographic/Getty Images]

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It's no secret that the relationship between Apple and China hasn't always been the best. From the banning of its products for government use, to the Chinese state media wanting the Cupertino company "severely punished" for NSA spying, these cases are well-documented. That said, China's consumer market is extremely important to Apple -- which isn't really surprising, given the sheer magnitude of it. But now, with a number of new iDevices hitting shelves there of late, Apple's had to look to servers located in mainland China to store Chinese users' personal data. As Reuters notes, this is the first time the company has begun storing this type of data in that country -- Apple says the decision was made as part of a plan to improve the overall performance of its cloud service, iCloud.

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If it didn't already feel like mobile operators were squeezing you for every penny, EE's new customer service charge could certainly help drive that notion home. BBC News reports that the carrier has introduced a new option on its support lines, allowing you to pay 50 pence to jump to the front. Think of it as the opposite of net neutrality, but for support centres.

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Apps that use your smartphone's microphone need to ask permission, but the motion sensors? No say-so needed. That might not sound like a big deal, but security researchers from Stanford University and defense firm Rafael have discovered a way to turn Android phone gyroscopes into crude microphones. They call their app "Gyrophone" and here's how it works: the tiny gyros in your phone that measure orientation do so using vibrating pressure plates. As it turns out, they can also pick up air vibrations from sounds, and many Android devices can do it in the 80 to 250 hertz range -- exactly the frequency of a human voice.

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It's not unusual for people who speak several languages to forget particular terms, and that can be pretty frustrating when you're trying to look up stuff through Google Voice Search. Thankfully, the latest Voice Search update for Android gives you the power to choose up to five languages as your default instead of just one, making random lapses in memory a bit less annoying. This change, spotted by Android Police (and which the Google Search team first revealed on Reddit in July), allows you to do voice queries in different tongues without having to dive into the settings page each time. The app now even understands a query even if it's spoken in more than one language -- the bad news is you're still stuck with English as the sole default if you use the OK, Google command. If that's not a dealbreaker, just sit tight and wait for the update to arrive on your phone, if it hasn't yet.

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