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U.S. Cellular grabs up Galaxy Note 3, Gear for $300 apiece

As promised, U.S. Cellular starts selling the 5.7-inch Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone and Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch on Wednesday.

The carrier will stock the black version of the Note phablet, which is distinguishable by its Android 4.3 operating system, top-rate quad-core processor, and smarty-pants stylus.

Customers can pick it up for $299.99 with a new, two-year service agreement. Elsewhere, the Note 3 also comes in white.

Pricing is also a heady $299.99 for the Galaxy Gear, which, with a built-in camera and microphone, voice actions, and a pedometer, is much more than your average … Read more

Smartphones with long battery life (roundup)

Smartphones are the Swiss Army Knives of the tech world.

They're cell phones, music and video players, mobile Web browsers, and personal organizers, among other things. Not surprisingly, all this can take a toll on battery life, and when you depend on your smartphone for so much, the last thing you want is for it to run out of juice when you need it most.

Generally speaking, with moderate use, smartphones can give you a full day's performance before needing to be recharged, but not all gadgets are created equal -- some simply run out of steam early, whereas others will hang in there for the long haul.

Below, you'll find six smartphones (in no particular order) with battery usage that really impressed us, whether it was because they scored well in our lab tests for battery drainage, or simply because their usage time stood out from the crowd of humdrum cell phone batteries we encountered (and believe us, we encounter a lot). Give one of these devices a try if you're looking for a phone that packs some decent juice.

Editors' note: This post was originally published October 31, 2011, and is updated frequently.… Read more

High-tech money -- redesigned $100 bill gets security features

Come Tuesday, people should begin to see colorful newly redesigned $100 bills in circulation. This is good news for shops and businesses that need to verify the money and bad news for counterfeiters.

The Federal Reserve Board, which hasn't been shuttered in the government shutdown, announced that the new Benjamin Franklins will make their debut chockfull of security features -- most notably a blue 3D security ribbon and a color-changing image of the Liberty Bell.

The security ribbon is said to be easy for people to verify but difficult for counterfeiters to replicate. It's a blue ribbon woven … Read more

Tips and tricks for the Galaxy Note 3

The Galaxy Note 3 is one of the biggest smartphones of the year, literally. Not only did Samsung pack in a larger 5.7-inch display and a faster 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, but the company also added a number of new features to help set the device apart from the competition.

Along with many of the software enhancements found in the flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone, the Galaxy Note 3 includes advanced multitasking capabilities, a new way to discover content, and other features.

These tips will help you get started with your new device:

Multiwindow mode Like the Galaxy … Read more

10 must-see videos of the week

We've got a great selection of video picks for you this week! First up, check out the premiere episode of our brand-new show Googlicious, hosted by Brian Tong. Googlicious will cover the latest news, rumors, tips, tricks, and how-tos and big Google events and announcements. Plus, you can count on a few wacky signature segments like "My First...with Google Glass" and many, many more. In this week's episode we check out the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear and look at some of the new specs for the upcoming Nexus 5.

Speaking of smartphones, would … Read more

Samsung: We didn't cheat on Galaxy Note 3 benchmarks

Samsung has been forced on the defensive yet again over reports that its top-notch smart phones are cheating at benchmark tests.

The Korean company has denied its Galaxy Note 3 superphone exaggerates its performance when it detects well-known benchmarks running, as was claimed Tuesday in an extensive, well-documented report on the Web site Ars Technica.

"The Galaxy Note 3 maximises its CPU/GPU frequencies when running features that demand substantial performance," Samsung said in a statement to CNET UK.

Read more of "Samsung defends Galaxy Note 3 benchmarking shenanigans" at Crave UK.

iPhone 5C and Samsung Galaxy S4 are $50 off at Best Buy

Best Buy is offering a deal on certain Apple and Samsung smartphones this weekend. Basically, all shoppers willing to buy the devices in-store will get a free $50 gift card from the big box retailer.

The gift card can go toward buying any model of Apple's new iPhone 5C or certain Samsung Galaxy smartphones, including the Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 2, and the Galaxy S3. That means the iPhone 5C 16GB will cost $50 and the Samsung Galaxy S4 16GB will cost $150 with a two-year contract. No contract Galaxy S4 and S3 devices are also available.

In efforts … Read more

Make sure you're using the S Pen correctly

Samsung's latest flagship device is scheduled to arrive in stores this week. The Galaxy Note 3 is bigger and better in nearly all respects. The company added a larger, 5.7-inch display with a higher resolution, a speedy 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, and 3GB of RAM, and gave its S Pen stylus even more features, all while making the device slimmer and sleeker than its predecessor.

The S Pen is the primary reason for the success of the Note line of smartphones and tablets. The special stylus brings added functionality to Samsung's devices, allowing users to … Read more

T-Mobile launches new no-money-down promotion

If you have a hankering for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S4, or LG G2 but don't want to fork over a ton of money up front, T-Mobile says it has a tempting offer.

The carrier just unveiled a new promotion, which offers all three heavy-hitting Android smartphones for no money at time of purchase. Billed as "Zero Dollars Down," this special deal promises that customers will be able to sign up, then walk out of the store holding one of these powerful mobile devices without cracking open their wallets.

Sounds great, but shoppers aren't … Read more

First Samsung Galaxy Gear, Note 3 ad: Annie Lennox, puppet love

Look around you.

Do you see inspiration? Or do you see squalor? Do you see hope? Or do you see despair?

If it's squalor and despair, that's either because you've been at the Calvados or because you don't have a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear watch.

With these, you can turn your surroundings into an art form.

In a charming ad for both its new gadgets, Samsung attempts to prove the point.

Here we have a nice girl with short, blonde hair. She's looking for something to get her out of bed. She … Read more