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Sufu cell phone buying guide. What's really good?

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And Google will not be selling this phone directly to consumers. They say that experiment is over, and this phone will be available initially at Best Buy in the U.S. (on T-Mobile)

i thought it was going to be unlocked

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Just got the Samsung Fascinate from Best Buy on black friday for $0.

Great phone, I've gotta say. The touch screen is as good or better than the iphone and the screen quality is obviously better being a AMOLED. It's the Samsung Galaxy phone on other networks. I'd say it's the best phone available for Verizon right now until Samsung releases their new flagship in 2011.

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I work for a software company that does a lot of outsourcing for different cellphone companies. I have used nearly every Blackberry, iPhone, many Android phones, and a lot of Nokias.

In terms of the best overall phone the iPhone wins because it has the most apps and the apps are generally of a higher quality compared to Android. However, if you want to do any game emulation or anything else like tethering you're better off getting a Droid 1/2/X.

Nokia phones may make a comeback in 2011/2012, but it might take longer. Same with Window Phones 7, good phones but not a huge catalog of apps yet.

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Samsung Galaxy S II official: dual-core 1GHz CPU, 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus, coming this month (hands-on with video)

By Chris Ziegler posted Feb 13th 2011 12:29PM

Hands-On

Breaking News

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One of the worst-kept secrets of MWC this year -- the Galaxy S II -- is finally official, and we'd say it definitely lives up to its name as a proper successor to the original Galaxy S that lit the Android marketplace on fire last year. Major (and largely expected) features include a 4.27-inch 800 x 480 Super AMOLED Plus display, an 8 megapixel primary camera with 1080p video capture accompanied by a 2 megapixel cam up front, Gingerbread with TouchWiz 4.0, integrated NFC support (on some versions), and a shell measuring just 8.49mm thick, making it likely the thinnest smartphone ever to roll off an assembly line -- in fact, it's over 0.2mm slimmer than the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc's thinnest point. The biggest news here, though, might be that Sammy's going with an NVIDIA Tegra 2 core -- the same as the LG Optimus 2X, Motorola Atrix 4G, and Droid Bionic -- despite the fact that its own Exynos 4210 was just announced for March production. Update: We were originally told that the Galaxy S II would be using an NVIDIA Tegra 2 SOC, but have been informed that was incorrect -- the phone will indeed have a dual-core 1GHz Samsung chip, and quite possibly the Exynos. There's also 1GB of RAM.

We were able to spend a little bit of time with the Galaxy S II today, and we can conclusively say that this is one gorgeous device. It shares the Infuse 4G's aspirations as an ultra-thin Android device and arguably shares most of its industrial design elements, but interestingly, the Infuse steps down from 4.5 to 4.3 inches -- either a nod to the fact that 4.5 is too big for a mainstream smartphone, or a sign that the 4.5-inch Super AMOLED Plus component simply isn't ready yet. You totally notice how ridiculously thin the phone is as it rests in your hand, and the effect is amplified by the fact that it's got so much surface area -- the screen-to-edge ratio is off the charts. Though we still prefer the stock Android experience, TouchWiz 4.0 (as it's being called) on top of Gingerbread is clearly Samsung's most refined custom Android skin to date; a new Game Hub in ROM has potential to do battle with Sony's PlayStation Suite and allows developers to bypass the download size limits of the Android Market, but we weren't able to test it on the preproduction unit we were given.

Owing to a lack of time and connectivity, we weren't able to put the phone through a suite of speed tests, but the entire UI felt perfect fast and smooth, a testament to the processor's chops. As at CES, we were blown away by the clarity and brightness of the Super AMOLED Plus display -- picture the already-excellent Super AMOLED technology amped up on steroids, and you'll have a good sense of what we're talking about here. All told, this seems like a great upgrade to the Galaxy S; if anything, we're a little concerned that it's going to be a smidge too big for people that were perfectly happy at the 4-inch tier, but odds are good Samsung will continue to crank out smaller devices for those folks. It'll be on the market in parts of Europe and Asia as soon as this month; no word on North America, but as always, there's little doubt Samsung has some plans in the works. Follow the break for our quick video and the full press release.

Samsung Galaxy S II first hands-on!

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Samsung Galaxy S II official shots

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had my galaxy for a month or two now.. put it on Darky's rom and it runs great

galaxy s2 looks so gg

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well my palm pre is finally breaking down with plenty of hardware and software issues (of which webos doctor could not fix).

i went to best buy to see what could be done about replacing it b/c i love the webos platform, but anyway, the sales rep told me that best buy no longer carries the pre and that if my phone were sent in, it would be junked/scrapped and they would give me a replacement of my choice under the warranty plan i was paying. which is pretty great news as it wont interfere with the time wait between upgrades

so im deciding between the samsung epic and htc evo.

any epic or evo users out there with input on which is the better phone? im leaning towards the evo because my experience with pre has me thinking that physical keyboards (no matter how much i love them) shorten the life of a phone. ive heard the epic is faster. i guess though my main focus is a smooth and simple web browser like palm's

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epic is smoother and will be getting froyo next week...about time...

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LG Optimus 2X report card

Taylor Wimberly on Mar 09 at 6:37 pm 46 comments

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The LG Optimus 2X is coming to America soon so we figured it was time to post our review of this highly anticipated device. The only problem is we received an international version of the phone (LG-P990), so I don’t think the traditional smartphone review is the best format. Instead I would like to submit to you my LG Optimus 2X report card, which is a snapshot in time or progress report of this device and its performance to date. Did the Optimus 2X live up to the hype? Read the report card to see how we graded it.

For our first report card we have no format, so I’m just going to talk about the highlights of the device, how it performs on a daily basis, what’s in store for its future, and what issues have arrived so far.

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For anyone new to the party, let’s just jump right in with how LG is promoting the Optimus 2X. LG has branded the Optimus 2X as the World’s first dual-core phone and wants you to know it offers “Super-fast web browsing & app. Start-up, seamless multi-tasking, full HD & HDMI mirroring and true visual gaming.”

Key specifications of the Optimus 2X include Android 2.2, 1Ghz dual-core processor (NVIDIA Tegra 2), 4-inch ISP-LCD WVGA screen, 8GB memory (up to 32GB via microSD), 512 MB RAM, 1,500 mAh battery, 8 megapixel rear camera and 1.3 megapixel front camera, HDMI mirroring, and 1080p MPEG-4/H.264 playback and recording.

Please keep in mind these specs are for the international version and they could be tweaked for a US launch.

NVIDIA Tegra 2 super chip

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The NVIDIA Tegra 2 system-on-a-chip (SoC) is the highlight of the Optimus 2X and the main reason this device is a revolutionary step forward and not just an evolution of an existing model. Tegra 2 is the first mobile super chip to feature a dual-core CPU, which offers faster web browsing, a more responsive UI, and better overall performance.

System performance

tegra-2-smartbench-prod.jpgSmartbench 2011 is one of the few multi-core friendly benchmarks.

Our Optimus 2X came loaded with Android 2.2 which was not designed for multi-core processor architectures, but it still supports multi-threaded applications. Several games are optimized to take advantage of Tegra 2, but most apps are not.

A few synthetic benchmarks like Smartbench 2011 are multi-core friendly and we saw the potential when we matched the Optimus 2X against several single-core phones. In the Smartbench 2011 productivity suite, the Tegra 2 devices scored nearly three times higher than single-core phones.

Overall we did notice a big boost in performance when browsing the web. NVIDIA worked with Adobe to make Flash 10.1 fully hardware accelerated, which improved page load times and made scrolling and zooming more smooth. Browsing a heavy desktop website like ESPN.com provided an enjoyable experience.

Moving forward, performance should continue to increase with future versions of Android. Google just released Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) for tablets which was the first version of the platform designed to run on multi-core processor architectures, and those enhancements should find their way into a smartphone soon.

Google’s Android 3.0 platform highlights say that a “variety of changes in the Dalvik VM, Bionic library, and elsewhere add support for symmetric multiprocessing in multicore environments” which will result in increased performance. The good news is that these optimizations can benefit all applications, even those that are single-threaded.

To read more about the benefits of multiple CPU cores, see our previous report.

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Games performance

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Tegra 2 offers the fastest GPU, for now.

The LG Optimus 2X offers the best gaming experience of any Android phone that is commercially available.

It features an ultra low power GeForce GPU, which shares a similar architecture to NVIDIA’s desktop graphics cards. This means that games engines which were originally developed for multi-core desktop CPUs and desktop GPU architectures can be easily ported to run on Tegra 2.

In our recent round of Tegra 2 benchmarks, the Optimus 2X came out on top of every graphics test we threw at it. Motorola’s Atrix 4G has the same Tegra 2 platform, but it scored lower since it has to push 30% more pixels thanks to its high resolution qHD display.

NVIDIA has focused on premium content with their new Tegra Zone application, which showcases games that are optimized for Tegra 2. The selection of games available at launch is limited, but NVIDIA has demonstrated the quality of titles coming to Tegra 2 devices and over a dozen game studios are on board to fill up their lineup.

This includes Gameloft who has already ported seven of their games to the Optimus 2X and EA Games who is working on some flagship titles. A representative of Gameloft even told me that Tegra 2 and other dual-core Android phones were their primary focus for 2011, so you can bet there will be a steady flow of big releases that will all be optimized for the Optimus 2X.

Check out out previous post Gaming with the LG Optimus 2X for another take on what to expect.

10-point multitouch touchscreen

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The Optimus 2X touchscreen performance is so good I thought it deserved special attention. LG’s display has a 10-point multitouch controller that can independently track all of your fingers. I can’t think of any apps that take advantage of this, but it just shows you the ability and accuracy of the screen.

As noted in our gaming preview, it offers the best touch performance when playing games with multitouch controls. I hope this becomes the standard of Android phones.

1080p video with full HDMI Mirroring

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Thanks to the performance of the Tegra 2 chip, the Optimus 2X supports 1080p video capture and playback. Another cool feature is full HDMI mirroring which displays everything from your phone onto a big screen. This enables some cool experiences like big screen gaming or browsing the web on your TV. Hopefully the US carriers will leave the HDMI mirroring enabled, because I really enjoy this feature.

Camera performance

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I really suck when it comes to taking good photos, but the LG Optimus 2X is the first phone camera that exceeded my expectations by producing great results. Check out our Hands-on the Optimus 2X camera for picture samples, a walkthrough of the camera UI, and a 1080p video clip. To put it simply, I found the Optimus 2X offers the best camera performance of any Android phone I have tested (until the Sony Ericsson Exmor R sensor comes out).

Battery performance

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Battery benchmark via Anandtech.

The Optimus 2X features a 1500 mAh battery and it’s performance is comparable to other high-end Android phones. A single charge should get you through the day and you must charge it every night. Total battery life depends on so many factors, but I found the Optimus 2X stood up to my heavy usage.

For a more detailed battery analysis, see the Optimus 2X review from our friends at Anandtech.

Software

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Our reivew unit of the LG Optimus 2X shipped with Android 2.2.1, and an upgrade to Gingerbread Android 2.3 is already in the works. LG says they are committed to software updates, but we will have to wait and see how they perform.

We expect T-Mobile will start selling the G2x (their version of the Optimus 2X) by April and our sources tell us an over-the-air update for Gingerbread could be available “within weeks” of the official launch date.

Everyone likes to focus on the custom skins that handset makers are slapping on their devices and criticize them, but the beauty of Android is that you can load any alternative home screen and easily change the look and feel of your phone. I didn’t really care for LG’s custom UI and iPhone-inspired keyboard, so I quickly changed them out.

My biggest gripe with the software on this Optimus 2X unit was the exclusion of some of the core Android apps that are not available on the Android Market. The two omissions that annoyed me the most were the default keyboard and messaging app, but 3rd party software from the Android Market satisfied my needs (Smart Keyboard Pro and Go Messager).

Often the more important question with Android phones has become – “Is the device locked?”

Early research shows that the Optimus 2X has a locked bootloader but it is not signed like the Motorola Atrix and it should be easily hacked. Previous LG phones like the Optimus One already have working ports of CyanogenMod 7, so that gives you an idea of how hacker-friendly LG phones can be.

Community developer Paul O’Brien of Modaco fame announced on his forums that he will be purchasing the Optimus 2X, so you can be sure there will be plenty of custom ROMs and support for this Tegra 2 phone.

Needs improvement

My only real complaint with the Optimus 2X has been some instability issues that I experienced.

Several times the phone would slow down and then lock up, which forced me to pull the battery. My unit was meant for review purposes and it had pre-production software, so I’m not really worried about this in the long run.

Just about every new Android phone has some minor software oddities at launch, but that’s the price that early adopters pay. If you want to really be sure that all the bugs are ironed out, then wait till Android 2.3 is rolled out since it should include a lot of enhancements.

..........

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LG Optimus 2X grade for March 2011: A

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After spending nearly a month with the LG Optimus 2X, I would grade it a solid A. The dual-core processor guarantees this device will be future-proof for awhile and I believe LG when they tell me that software support is a high priority.

Hardware wise, the Optimus 2X offers industry leading performance and it will only get better when Google catches up and optimizes Android on smartphones for multi-core processors. Rumors suggest that Google might release dual-core optimizations for smartphones with Android 2.4 around May. This means the Optimus 2X should see a nice performance boost in the second half of this year.

While we wait for the OS to catch up, NVIDIA’s Tegra Zone should supply us with a constant flow of premium games that are multi-threaded and take full advantage of Tegra 2′s power. In the mean time, Tegra 2 devices will continue to lead in web browsing performance when compared to single-core phones.

I’d like to be more critical of Optimus 2X and make some suggestions for LG to improve the experience, but it’s difficult to find much fault in this phone. Any Android fan should be proud to carry the Optimus 2X as their daily driver.

Soon we will learn how T-Mobile chose to customize this phone to their liking, but I feel pretty confident in being able to recommend it right now. I’m sure these decisions have already been made, but it would be a dream come true if T-Mobile decided on a stock Android build similar to their G1 and G2. LG’s custom UI and widgets bring nothing new to the table and T-Mobile is better off just letting their users customize the phone how they see fit.

LG pleasantly surprised me with their mid-range Optimus One and the company did it again by producing a quality high-end Android device on their first try. Just like every Android phone before it, the Optimus 2X will be outclassed six months from now but it offers a big enough jump in performance to enjoy a healthy life and I think it will still be competitive a year from now.

We know that LG Mobile had a really tough time last year, but now I get the impression they are fighting for their life in 2011. I like that attitude and I think LG could be a big winner with US consumers if they continue to push the limits of today’s smartphones and really focus on delivering the best software support. It won’t be an easy road, but devices like the Optimus 2X (and the upcoming Optimus 3D) show me that LG is on the right path.

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HTC Pyramid revealed in leaked renders

Taylor Wimberly on Mar 15 at 2:49 pm 112 comments

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New images have surfaced of the HTC Pyramid, which is expected to be the first Android phone with a dual-core Snapdragon CPU by Qualcomm. The Pyramid codename first surfaced in a rumor report last month, where we said it was likely headed to T-Mobile in May.

Along with the leaked pictures were also some specs which included “Android 3.0, 1.2 GHz processor, 4.3-inch SuperLCD display with qHD resolution (960 x 540), 8 megapixel primary camera and 1.3 megapixel front-facing cameras, and 768MB of RAM”. All of these specs match what we reported last month except for Android 3.0, which we expect to be a miscommunication. It is more likely the HTC Pyramid will launch with Android 2.3.

Qualcomm might end up having the fastest mobile CPU with their dual-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon (MSM8x60), but they have yet to release performance numbers and we have been unable to benchmark a device yet.

Sprint customers should also pay attention because the rumored EVO 3D might be very similar in hardware specs with the addition of a 3D display.

Several testers in the US already have access to the HTC Pyramid, so we expect an official announcement is coming soon. Hopefully we will learn more in a couple of weeks at CTIA in Orlando.

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Motorola Droid 3 to feature OMAP4, Motorola Targa to be first phone with quad-core NVIDIA Kal-El?

Taylor Wimberly on Mar 16 at 11:46 am 35 comments

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New information has surfaced on a trio of upcoming Motorola phones headed to Verizon. We already knew that Verizon was launching the dual-core Droid Bionic later in Q2, but they also have a growing lineup of multi-core devices including the Droid X2, Droid 3 and Droid Targa.

Read on after the jump for the latest rumors and speculation.

Motorola Droid X2

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The Droid X2 is a refresh of the original Droid X, but this time Motorola went with a dual-core CPU. Rumored specs include a 1 GHz Tegra 2, 4.3 inch qHD display, 512 MB RAM, rear and front-facing cameras, and all the other bells and whistles of the original. Unlike the Droid Bionic which operates on Verizon’s 4G LTE network, the Droid X2 will only support Verizon 3G.

Look for this device to debut around early Q3 for $149-199 with a 2-year contract.

Motorola Droid 3

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The keyboard-packing Droid is back again for its yearly update. Lately Motorola has been giving NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 a lot of love, but we hear the Droid 3 will still use a Texas Instruments chip like the first two versions. Rumored specs for the Droid 3 include a dual-core 1 GHz OMAP4430 CPU, 4 inch qHD display, rear and front facing cameras, and a five-row QWERTY keyboard. It is also said to be a global device and feature a SIM card slot for GSM networks.

We have yet to learn if the Droid 3 will support 4G LTE or be limited to 3G only. I expect the Droid 3 will appear on Verizon in early Q3.

Motorola Droid Targa

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The most interesting Verizon device to leak out is the new Motorola Targa. This smartphone just appeared on Howard Forums and little is known about it other than a rumored Christmas release date.

Motorola launched the first dual-core phone in the US with the Atrix 4G, so there is a chance that the Targa could become the first quad-core phone. NVIDIA recently demoed their quad-core Project Kal-El and said we should expect smartphones with the chip by Christmas.

Motorola has a good relationship with NVIDIA, so I think they should be in the running to get the first smartphone with Kal-El.

Verizon already has the most impressive lineup of upcoming Android device in the next six months and it looks like they will continue to lead throughout the remainder of 2011.

How would you grade the rumored upgrades to Verizon’s Droid family?

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LG G-Slate and G2x arriving in T-Mobile stores on April 20th

Taylor Wimberly on Mar 17 at 1:19 pm 69 comments

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Our friends at TmoNews are reporting T-Mobile will ship their highly anticipated G2x and G-Slate devices on April 20th. The official announcement has yet to occur, but T-Mobile is expected to reveal all the details next week at CTIA in Orlando.

The G-Slate will become T-Mobile’s first Honeycomb tablet and the G2x is the carrier’s first dual-core smartphone. Both devices will operate T-Mobile’s 4G HSPA+ network, but we have yet to learn the exact speeds that each will support.

Staying true to the G-Series, both devices will ship with stock versions of Android. The G-Slate will run Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) and the G2x will launch with Android 2.2 (FroYo).

Based on the comments from our last G2x article, it looks like T-Mobile has a winner on their hands. We have already seen quite a few dual-core phones featuring the Tegra 2 chip, but the G2x will be the first to offer a pure Google experience. We would have liked to see it ship with Android 2.3, but our sources tell us an over-the-air update will be available shortly after launch.

If you are on T-Mobile, let us know if you plan to pick up either device. What price points would you like to see from T-Mobile?

...........

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^ I've been using the first gen lg chocolate for over 2 years and it still works fine :)

a bit off topic, because I can't afford a data plan, is there anything better than an itouch (4th gen)? Would like to run some simple apps/ google voice

thanks!

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I don't thinkI'll ever go near a Sammy phone after seeing how they update and take care of their customers, same with LG. HTC or Moto for me. My dad just copped the thunderbolt and it's pretty damn hefty for a mobile and honestly built better imo than the EVO. I'm still holding out for some dual core swag.

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Same for Samsung but T-Mobile too. I regret ever switching from AT&T especially now that they're going to be absorbed anyway.

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god i hope tmobile just becomes at&t so i can quit doing sketchy shit to my iphones

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god i hope tmobile just becomes at&t so i can quit doing sketchy shit to my iphones

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recently got the iPhone 4s. honestly, i don't find myself using Siri too much, probably just out of old habits (never used voice dialing on my old phones that had it), but the phone itself is pretty solid. my only complaint is the battery life. it seems to lose charge really quickly; even my first candy bar phone from about a decade ago lasted longer on a charge. had to get a car charger for those long days in the field.

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Lately I've been using a lot of Ericsson products since they're high quality and the battery life is above par.

http://www.gsmarena....ctures-4134.php

The new Xperia Arc S is pretty good

Sony phones really are very nice ,I went from an x10 to an ARC .

highly considered the xperia P but went with an S2 Skyrocket lte due to specs & availibility . Xperia ION is coming soon though

Galaxy S3 & iPhone 5 are releasing this year those are THE two to have

Edited by BLUKGEEAMD85

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I recommend for the iPhone 4s, If you do not want to wait for the iPhone 5.

If you love Android, I think Samsung Galaxy s3 is the best now.

I've owned both. I must say it's great.

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