Pretty much everyone has a cell phone these days, even toddlers and children who may not really know how to use them. Not only are they convenient and helpful, they are also fun because they offer users so many different things. With cell phones being one of the many purchases that people will make over and over again in their lives, as you make your way from phone to phone, there are things you will want to look at when choosing your next one.

Here are a few tips for choosing the perfect cell phone.

Price

The fancier the phone, the more expensive it is. This is something to keep in mind when you are on the hunt for the perfect phone and only have a certain amount of money to spend. Since the price of the phone is affected by the features, what your phone can do is also something you will want to look at when shopping around.

Features

From pictures and videos to internet and Bluetooth, phones have come a long way since they first came into existence. As the years go by, phone manufacturers continue to upgrade their products and add to the list phone capabilities. This is good for you because when you go to purchase a new phone, you will have the option to purchase one that is better than your last phone in a number of ways. It is likely that you will look for features that your last phone had, but also newer ones that could prove to be helpful.

Size

It seems as if every time a new cellphone comes out, the size goes up. While phones with bigger screens can be nice for certain activities, they aren't always that convenient. For example, a lot of people with cell phones tend to stick them in their pockets when they aren't using them. If your phone is too big, you won't be able to fit your phone in the pocket of your pants you got from Lane Bryant last week. You may even have to shop for pants with pockets that can accommodate the size of your phone, which will end up costing you more money.

With there there being so many different types of phones on the market, it may be difficult to decide which one you want to purchase. Ideally, you will want to look at the price, features and size to help you weed out the phones you don't want, but also help you find the perfect one. It may take some time, but that doesn't mean the perfect phone isn't out there.

 

 

 Yes, yes, yes, we're fully aware that the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus have only just gone on sale, but the rumour mill has started to churn, and the first mutterings of a possible iPhone 7 release date have already reached our ears – don't shoot the messenger, alright.

Given the fickle nature of the tech industry and our insatiable need for something faster, thinner and with a new design – something the iPhone 6S lacked – the iPhone 7 is already being tipped as one of the most eagerly awaited additions to the 2016 smartphone roster.

So, what exactly can we expect from the iPhone 7? Well, read on to find out and bookmark this page as we'll continue to update it with all the latest iPhone 7 rumours, leaks and announcements moving forward.

iPhone 7 release date: When can we expect it?

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If you're putting off that overdue upgrade until the iPhone 7 drops, we've some bad news for you; you've got one hell of a wait ahead. Probably at least a full year. That's right, 12 long months, not too far off 400 sleeps of waiting as rival handsets – such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 – come and go, tempting you along the way.

Although Apple is currently holding its iPhone 7 release date cards close to its chest – and will continue to do so right up until the brink of unveiling – the company's past smartphone launches can give us a sign of what's to come moving forward.

Over the past five years – ever since the iPhone 4S, Apple has unveiled its latest smartphone wares in early September, bringing the devices to retailers' shelves just a few weeks later.

As such, there's no reason not to expect the iPhone 7 to formally enter the realms of reality in September 2016. This might be pure conjecture right now, but one thing we know for certain is that you're not going to have this device filling your pocket anytime soon, sorry, folks.

iPhone 7 design: It's time for something new

The iPhone 7's design will inevitably be the phone's big talking point, after all, tradition tells us it's time for something new, and who isn't excited about that? The iPhone 6/iPhone 6S design is now in its second year, the traditional cut-off point for past Apple efforts. With the next full step in numerical announcements should come an all-new look and feel.

Just like the rounded iPhone 6 followed the boxy 5S, and the 4-inch 5 lined up after the smaller 4S, the iPhone 7 will mark a new design direction for the company that has time and again set the standard in smartphone aesthetics.

Sadly, what form this new look and feel will take is currently a mystery. Well, mostly. Apple is known to be working on curved and flexible phone designs – leaked patents have told us so – but it is unclear if such a radical new form factor will be bestowed on next year's phone or held off for future iterations.

One thing we do know about the iPhone 7 design, however, is that it will be slimmer than its predecessor. Leaked Apple patents have suggested the phone could be considerably slimmer than this year's model, with the iPhone 6S having jumped from the 6's 6.9mm to a slightly plumped 7.1mm form factor. As such, expect the next-gen model to dip back beneath that 7mm marker.

iPhone 7 specs: It might be time to buy new headphones

Helping this iPhone-themed Atkins diet is a change in the handset's components, most notably the phone's headphone jack. Now, this might not sound like the most exciting move in smartphone enhancement, but bear with us here, it's going to be a much bigger deal that you'd expect.

Despite the headphone market universally supporting a standard 3.5mm audio jack – you know the one – Apple patents have shown the iPhone 7 could forge its own new path in audio connections. The slimmer orifice dubbed a 'D jack' because of its squared-off, semi-circular shape, is just 2.0mm across. Now, while the introduction of a D jack would help ensure a slimmer iPhone, it would come at a pretty severe cost – none of our current headphones would be compatible without an adaptor. So, not only would you be buying a new iPhone, you'd be investing in an entirely new tech roster.

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This isn't where the early iPhone 7 specs leaks have stopped, either. The phone's new power supply has already made a premature appearance. As if the Apple's current A9 chip didn't offer enough power, early leaks have claimed the upcoming iPhone 7 will see the iPad maker move to a new, more powerful six-core processor.

As well as introducing added grunt, the new chip – presumably set to be dubbed the A10, because that's how numbers work – the added cores should see Apple better manage this power, further helping extend the phone's already impressive battery life.

iPhone 7 screen: It's time to move to Full HD

Like with the phone's design, it's time for Apple to up its screen efforts. Although the iPhone 6S offers one of the brightest, most vibrant and colour accurate displays on the market, its resolution is lacking by current standards.

The device's 4.7-inch screen boasts a 1334 x 750 pixel resolution. When the likes of the LG G4 and the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ are now rocking 2560 x 1440 pixel, QHD panels, and the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium has just landed as the world's first phone with a 4K display, the Apple offering is starting to look slightly grainy and dated.

While it's unlikely that Apple will jump straight to a QHD display - that sort of numerical specs race baying is not the company's style - early speculation has suggested the iPhone 6S Plus's 1080p, Full HD panel could be scaled down for the smaller of Apple's two flagship phones.

A feature tipped to have been bestowed on the 6S before sadly missing the cut, we'd be hugely surprised to see the iPhone 7 not running a Full HD, 3D Touch-friendly panel.

iPhone 7 camera: Don't expect big differences

Contrasting the phone's design and screen updates, don't expect the iPhone 7 to be on the receiving end of any major camera updates. This isn't a bad thing though; the phone simply doesn't need them.

The iPhone 6S took what was already arguably the best smartphone camera on the market and gave it a 12-megapixel spit polishing. As well as the improved megapixel count, the 6S switched to a new lens construction and added a raft of new camera-focused software tweaks - including the largely gimmicky Live Photos feature.

Although the iPhone 7's camera has yet to be the focus of many leaks, next time out we'd expect to see the 12-megapixel sensor retained, with a few further software enhancements thrown into the mix. 4K video capture, a new addition on the 6S, is likely to be an increased focus this time next year, too as the next-gen imaging tech becomes more prevalent.

iPhone 7 software: Siri wants to listen to everything

Given that the iOS 9 update has only just hit existing iPhones and iPads, Apple's next software release is still a largely unknown entity. It's pretty damn likely to be dubbed iOS 10 though, because that's just how numerical progression works.

While the ins-and-outs of the iPhone 7-bound software are unclear, a couple of early rumours have started to float around.

One such report has tipped further Siri progression to be atop the features hit list. According to unnamed insiders, it has been suggested that Siri will soon gain the ability to transcribe your voicemails, converting them into text form. Handy? Sure. Sinister that Siri's listening into your voicemails? You bet.

iPhone 7 price: Start saving now

As we're sure you can appreciate, there's no official word on the iPhone 7 price just yet, and there won't be anytime soon. Again though, just like the company's launch patterns, Apple's past pricing structures offer a heavy hint as to what's to come next time around.

The iPhone 6S is expensive. A lofty price tag is a staple feature of all Apple handsets, so don't expect the iPhone 7 price to be anything but wallet-stretchingly high.

iPhone 6S prices start at £539 for the 16GB model and we can't expect the iPhone 7 to rock up any cheaper. You might want to start saving those pennies now then.

That's all we know for now, but stay tuned for all the latest iPhone 7 news and rumours as new details emerge.

To hear more from the editors of Popular Mechanics, download this week's episode of The Most Useful Podcast ever here, and be sure to subscribe and comment on iTunes!

​​You say you want to ride a 'hoverboard'? Congratulations! Freely admitting that you're open to embarrassment and potential injury are key to getting on a board with confidence. To ensure the rest of your first foray into hands-free Segway propulsion goes as smoothly as possible, follow these steps:

Stop calling it a 'hoverboard.' Because it is not that. While this is 2015 and these things don't work on water either, your two wheeled-front facing menace is defiantly tied to the ground unlike that of Marty McFly's magnetic wonder. We prefer the term scooter. You can call it a Hovertrax, if that's what you bought—and is the US patent-holding original two wheeled, batter powered scooter. Or you can call it a rover, as in the Monorover R2 which is what we tested out in the Popular Mechanics' office and is featured on the Testing Roundtable segment of this week's "Most Useful Podcast Ever" podcast. You wouldn't call a Kia your Porsche, so don't call this a hoverboard.
Get on quick. And have some support. When the scooter's on, it's ready to go, waiting for the weight of your foot to tell it to get moving. So as soon as one foot lands on it's platform, it'll start turning. Get your other foot on as soon possible to straighten yourself out. It helps to have a surface nearby for brief support, like a counter or wall or a pal's shoulder.
When you're on, exhale. Coaches tell this to people when they're first learning to ice skate to help them keep balance. Your body tenses up as you're trying to stay upright and the scooter is unforgiving towards rigidity. Let out a deep breath to relax, put your legs in a slightly athletic stance with some weight in your butt, pelvis forward, shoulders back, look straight out ahead. Project confidence, and you'll look just half as dopey as you already do on this thing.
To go forward, do less. The scooter responds to just the slightest shift in your weight. So you don't have to do much to get going other than push slightly down on the balls of your feet. Nothing else really needs or ought to move. Wanna go right? Let up the pressure on your left foot. Vice versa to go left. Reverse? Lean back in your heels ever so slightly.
Smile. You look ridiculous. Embrace it.

 

​Tests by ComplainTV, a researched group funded by the EU, have run some tests and found out that while Samsung TVs do a good job at reducing power consumption during efficiency tests, those results don't really hold up in the real world.

According to The Guardian, the issue has to do with Samsung TVs' "motion lighting"​ feature, which is designed to reduce screen brightness when there's a lot of motion on screen, saving power. Evidently, it activates during power efficiency tests much more often than it does in real life. The European commission is set to investigate whether this is intentional.

Obviously, there are comparisons to be drawn with VW which was recently discovered to be cheating emissions tests with nearly half a million of its diesel-powered cars. Samsung insists this situation is different because motion lighting is a standard, public feature and just happens to activate a lot during testing. A Samsung spokesperson put it this way in a statement to The Guardian:

There is no comparison. This is not a setting that only activates during compliance testing. On the contrary, it is an 'out of the box' setting, which reduces power whenever video motion is detected. Not only that, the content used for testing energy consumption has been designed by the international electrotechnical commission to best model actual average picture level internationally​.

Whether motion lighting is specifically designed to cheat power efficiency tests or not, the discrepancy at least proves that the tests aren't accurate. And the more this happens, the more you have to wonder if any of them are.

Android 6.0 Marshmallow is on its way and your Android smartphone and tablet are heading for a sizeable software update. Possibly. If you're lucky and pray to the Google Gods that is.

The search giant has confirmed that its next major Android patch, Android M, will roll out to new and existing devices later this year, bringing with it a host of new features.

As with past Android updates however, it's currently unclear which devices will be deemed worthy of the advanced functionality. Compatibility issues aside, here's what you need to know about the battery-boosting, USB-C-supporting Android Marshmallow.
Half of the fun of a new Android announcement is guessing what sweet treat the software will be named after, and seeing its themed statue unveiled outside of Google HQ.

On August 17, Google put an end to all the name-guessing hype and hysteria, overlooking the likes of 'Milkshake', 'Malt Ball' and 'Meringue' to officially confirm that Android M will be formally known as Android Marshmallow.

The campfire-fearing squishy treat follows equally sugary software offerings to launch, with past Android offerings having been dubbed everything from Éclair to Jelly Bean, KitKat to, most recently, Lollipop.

As well as the 'M' in Android M having now been assigned a home, the software has also been handed its official number.

Despite its slightly iterative nature, Android Marshmallow has jumped straight to the next step in the number run, missing the expected 5.2 tag to become Android 6.0.

Android Marshmallow: Features

Naming nuances aside, Google has a raft of new features set to make an appearance with Android Marshmallow. A few of you might even recognise some of them, as, despite Android and iOS forever pulling in different directions, they are consistently being pushed together.

Apple's upcoming iOS 9 patch has been criticised for adding a number of 'new' features that have been available on Android for some time. In a similar vein, Marshmallow will add a selection of updates that will be all too familiar to existing iPhone 6 owners.

An Apple Pay rival, enhanced app permissions and fingerprint payment support are all on the cards in the update Google is tipping as the 'most powerful Android release to date' - sound familiar?

With 'hundreds' of updates and improvements on the cards, hidden within this mass of minor edits and bug fixes are a few software gems.

Doze

Addressing one of the smartphone market's biggest on-going issues - limited battery life - Google, with Doze, is looking to stretch out your handset's staying power.

Capable of doubling your phone or tablet's battery life, Doze puts your phone into a deep sleep mode when it senses it's not being used - such as at night or while sat on your desk at work.

Still letting your notifications and alerts through, Doze will even know when your phone is placed prone, screen-down, kicking into battery conservation mode without prompting.
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App Permissions

Finally! It's about to become much clearer what aspects of your phone Android apps are dipping their noses into. Instead of bombarding you with a list of confusing allowances when downloading an app, you'll soon get to see what it's accessing, when it's accessing them.

If you're tetchy about handing over your contacts book or email access free rein, you'll know when to be wary. While this might not end all of your data-driven security concerns, it will give you a better handle on them.

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Android Pay

In a classic case of anything you can do, we can do better, Google has confirmed that Android M will see it relaunch its digital wallet efforts to take on Apple Pay.

Imaginatively dubbed Android Pay, the chief Apple Pay alternative will let users slap their handsets down on any contactless payment terminal to exchange digital currency for physical goods.

Like with Apple's service, your actual account number is not shared with retailers, with a virtual account identifier stored on the device to improve security. Although launching alongside Android Marshmallow, Android Pay will not be restricted to the new OS, working with all NFC-enabled devices running Android KitKat or above.
Standardized Fingerprint Support

Tying in with Android Pay is the Android Marshmallow-inbound standardised fingerprint support for Google-powered devices.

Opening the door for more widespread biometric sensor adoption on Android handsets, standardised fingerprint support will let you use your digit for far more than unlocking the device. In-app and online purchases will be given the fingerprint-locked seal of approval, as will contactless payments. It all sounds very iOS 8, don't you think?

Now on Tap

Just like iOS 9's comprehensive Siri improvements, Google will address its own voice-activated personal assistant in Marshmallow. Marking the dawn of our AI downfall, Google Now will soon understand context, and be able to hold more conversational interactions with you, its current user, soon to be minion.

Want restaurant suggestions when texting about dinner plans? Cinema times when deciding on what film to catch? Google Now will be watching, learning and delivering in contextually-aware fashion - it's unnervingly brilliant.
USB Type-C

This new, reversible connection standard is still very much in its infancy, but over the next 18 months it's about to become an ever-present feature on leading gadgets. It's already on the new MacBook and heading to the OnePlus 2, but expect to see it on all smartphone and tablets soon.

Quicker transfer times and speedy charging are promised but, most importantly, USB Type-C will also spell the end of fiddling with cables trying to blindly work out which way up the bloody thing is supposed to go.

When is the Android Marshmallow release date?

Google will start dishing out Marshmallow treats to anyone with a Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7, Nexus 9 or Nexus Player device from the week commencing October 5.

This was announced during the web giant's Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X launch event on September 29, and it comes as no surprise given that Google's own devices are always at the front of the queue for new updates.

The Huawei-made Nexus 6P and LG's 5X will, of course, run the latest operating system out of the box.

It is unclear when Android devices from the likes of Samsung, Sony, LG and HTC will receive the update, but history would suggest a staggered rollout.

These things are never simple in a world where so many manufacturers are attaching their own bells and whistles to Android, but we'll be sure to update this article when we hear from Sammy and co.

Is my device Android Marshmallow compatible?

Even when Android Marshmallow's wider rollout begins, it is unlikely your smartphone or tablet will be offered it straight away - no matter how new it is.

The $1m question of when users' devices will be offered the new Android OS update is, sadly, the question that is never very clear to answer.

Unlike Apple, which pushes out a single patch to all compatible devices on day one, the highly fragmented nature of Android means smartphone and tablet owners running Google's OS are often left waiting days, weeks, months, and even indefinitely for the latest patch.

There are a few handsets that have already been confirmed to be heading for an Android M update - including the HTC One M9 and One M8 - although timelines for these are still unclear.

Even when your handset of choice is given the Marshmallowy greenlight, you could still be left wanting, with network-locked devices also having to get through carrier testing before updates are rolled out.

​Designer Hadeel Ayoub​ , a Goldsmiths, University of London student, created a glove that translates sign language into text and speech. Actually, she's created three different prototypes, the latest of which incorporates a text-to-speech chip to say out loud what's being signed so that the blind can actually hear the deaf. As outlined in Ayoub's full academic report, the main goal is to improve communication between "the hearing, speech and visually impaired."

 The glove works by using several flex sensors attached to the fingers that record their position. An accelerometer​ keeps track of which way the glove is oriented. All of this data feeds into a computer program that identifies the gestures and displays the correct output.

The first of her prototypes was a bit clunky—wired on top of what looks like a traditional cold weather glove. It output only single letters to a simple display, and had a number of wires jutting to and fro. The second glove simplified the design, using another mitten of sorts as a base. The microcontroller was smaller, the design less clunky, but the whole thing no longer had to be directly connected to a computer. It also had a change in software that allowed it to produce text on a small scrolling screen.

The final prototype, seen above, looks to be based on a batting glove and has the majority of the components actually sewn into the liner, making it look both high-tech and simple at the same time. This is the one with the text-to-speech chip previously mentioned, and it's still not done. The next prototype, codenamed ​Reach All​, is planned to connect to smartphones via a Wi-Fi chip.