Gresso launches new luxurious smartphones coated in gold and titanium

Gresso has launched a new luxurious line of smartphones, coated in gold and titanium. Usually when we look at these expensive smartphones, we're taken by just how unattractive the designs are. Luckily, that's not the case for the Gresso Regal with impressive specifications matching the premium design. But that's not to say we're preparing to fork out for one (or two).

Firmware update brings better accuracy to Fitbit Surge

Fibit has announced a new firmware update for its latest Surge, which the company describes as a "superwatch." With the latest version 9.2 firmware, the Fitbit Surge gains better accuracy with step counts, battery level indicator, and also GPS tracking. Additionally, runs that are being tracked at midnight, for all the night owls who sport a Surge, will now be tracked correctly.

Samsung will once again send ChatOn into the sunset

Samsung will once again kill off its ChatOn messaging service. After it was previously reported and subsequently denied by Samsung that ChatOn will bite the dust, the Android Galaxy-maker has made the termination official, announcing that the service will be closed to conversations and emojis effective February 1, 2015 at 9 AM.

The clock's ticking: Vote now for the Android Central 2014 Reader's Choice Awards!

There are just two days left to vote for all your favorite things from 2014. The best Android phone. The best smartwatch. The best tablet. Your favorite Android Central Editor. (We're totally making that a category next year.) The best apps. All the Android things.

And the winners are still very much up for grabs, folks. If you don't vote, you don't get to complain later.

Vote now in the 2014 Android Central Reader's Choice Awards!

Nexus 9 Magic Cover lands at Best Buy for $49

In addition to being available on the Google Play Store, Amazon, and through HTC, the Nexus 9 Magic Cover is also arriving at Best Buy. Retailing for $49, the black Magic Cover is currently listed as out of stock at Best Buy online and through most local stores, so you may want to check the big box retailer's inventory before headed out to your nearest Buy Buy store to snag one.

There are more reasons every day to consider a prepaid plan for your Android

Prepaid plans just keep getting better, even as postpaid offerings get more enticing

I wrote all the way back in September 2012 of the benefits of considering prepaid service over more traditional postpaid plan offerings. Now, over two years later, things just keep getting better for those who think outside the box and go a different route for their phone service. Having LTE is now the norm on prepaid, while data packages keep getting larger and flexibility with BYOD is expanding.

I do have to say, however, that the increased competitiveness of these prepaid carriers have caused postpaid carriers to mix things up as well to try and entice you back to the other side. Separation of device subsidies from plans have cut down he overall cost of owning a phone for the savvy consumers, and new differentiators like inexpensive global roaming plans, shared data buckets and other add-ons make the choice a bit tougher.

But in the end if your bottom line is the be all end all for phone service, prepaid is still the way to go — and you don't have to give up as much as you used to before.

Secret app updated with chat and communities

Secret's anonymous confession app has had a significant overhaul in both style and function. In addition to being able to spill the beans about anything without fear of reprisal, now you can enter private conversations with other anonymous users.

Huawei Honor 6 mini-review

The first device in the new-for-Europe Honor brand mixes high-end specs and an affordable price point

Huawei's continued push in Europe has recently seen the launch of the Honor brand, and with it the Honor 6. It's an interesting proposition, in so much as it's offering a high-end Android smartphone at a low price thanks to avoiding carrier partnerships. The Honor 6 is available through Amazon for an extremely reasonable £250 all-in, and for that you get quite a lot of smartphone.

Honor is being marketed and delivered completely separately to Huawei's flagship, Ascend line, but there are a number of similarities between the two. 2014 has been an impressive year for Huawei, so does the Honor 6 close it out in style? Read on to find out.

Angry Birds Epic intros player-versus-player duels

Turn-based fantasy strategy game Angry Birds Epic has a new player-versus-player system, complete with different leagues and leaderboards. Players gather in the arena on Terence's ship and have to defend their banner while attacking those of their opponent. Participating in league play unlocks new gear for your banner, which provide unique bonuses to the owning team.

A look at the new Android 5.0 Lollipop quick-settings panel

A fast and easy way to change your most often used settings

The idea of easy shortcuts to settings you use often isn't new. HTC had them in early versions of Sense, and Samsung and LG have mastered them in the most recent versions of their Android interface. They are definitely handy, and something most of us probably appreciate and use. Whether you want to turn off Bluetooth or stop your screen from rotating to portrait — or much more — you'll be glad there's a better way to do it than digging through the device settings.

Google has included quick settings in Lollipop, and a double swipe-down gesture (or a two-finger drag) of the notification shade brings up the new panel. While much of this settings window looks familiar, it's worth a closer look.

Verizon now lets you text Starbucks to your friends

Verizon is helping users give the gift of Starbucks this holiday season. Through the Verizon Messages app, users can send an Starbucks eGift card of $5, $10, or $15 to virtually anyone on any U.S. carrier. The cost of the card is billed to the senders account, and the recipient simply needs to scan the barcode at any Starbucks location, or add the gift to a Starbucks card.

Tales from the Borderlands hits the Google Play Store

Hold onto your Butt Stallion, Tales from the Borderlands is now available on Android. It offers the familiar dialog-heavy adventure style as Telltale's other games, while lathering on the distinctive cel-shaded art and over-the-top antics of the Borderlands series of shooter games.

GTA: Chinatown Wars drives onto Android devices

GTA: Chinatown Wars has been available on iOS for quite some time, but now makes a grand appearance on Android as well. Built specifically for mobile devices, GTA: Chinatown Wars has you taking the roll of Huang Lee on a mission to deliver an ancient sword to your uncle — but as you'd expect — there are many objectives to tackle in the process.

Don't miss your chance to save 50% today on HTC One M8 Dot View Cases

There's a unique new way to sport your HTC One (M8) that offers a retro style and sufficient protection against drops and scratches! This custom flip case has an interactive front panel that allows you to respond to calls, access your calendar, alarms and even view notifications without even opening the case. Get yours for just $24.95

Exiles sci-fi RPG now available on Android

The fine folks behind fantasy role-playing game Ravensword: Shadowlands have released a sci-fi counterpart called Exiles today. It features the same large-scale open world and stellar 3D graphics, but swaps out broadswords for laser rifles and full plate for mech suits. You'll find vehicles, a rich back-story, plenty of quests, different classes to try out, giant, ugly aliens to blow up, and not a single in-app purchase.

Santa Phil Day 4 — Win an ASUS ZenWatch!

We've reached Day 4 of our holiday giveaway, and I'm pretty excited about this one because it's Android Wear smartwatch I've been wearing for the better part of a month now. (Well, not the exact same watch, this one will come still sealed in the box, all nice and new.) I'm talking about the ASUS ZenWatch. Our ZenWatch review will be out tomorrow, but I can easily say that it is of the two best Android watches you can buy.

And, so, it's time to win one. Here's how.