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1 month ago

Huawei P10 vs. P10 Plus camera comparison: Tiny improvements

7
Huawei P10 + P10 Plus

Just how much difference does the P10 Plus's f/1.8 lens make?

In addition to a bigger, higher-res screen and the ability to max out your RAM and storage, the jump from the Huawei P10 to P10 Plus gets you Huawei's most advanced Leica camera to date. The trusty f/2.2 Summarit-branded lens, used in the past a generation of Huawei flagships, makes way for a brighter f/1.8 Summilux aperture.

On paper that should allow for a modest improvement in photo quality across the board. A wider aperture lets you capture more quickly, resulting in less motion blur, or keep the shutter open for longer at lower ISO levels, reducing the appearance of noise.

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1 month ago

Galaxy S8 breaks cover in blue, white and silver

25

Some GS8 models may have colored front panels, if latest leak is to be believed.

The most recent Galaxy S8 render leaks may have given us the impression that Samsung's next major phone will use black front panels, even if the rest of the phone is silver, grey or some other color. However fresh live photos of the phone, scooped up from Chinese social network Weibo by Dutch outlet Techtastic, suggests that at the very least some GS8 models may feature colored front panels as well.

Behold, the Galaxy S8 in blue, white (we think — though it may be gold) and silver:

The shots appear to show legitimate, functioning Galaxy S8 models — though it's tough to get a feel for which of these might be the larger GS8 Plus. At the very least, it shows that Samsung is considering colored bezels for some GS8s, even as it reduces the screen borders to almost nothing.

So if you'd like a little more color in your, it appears that may well be an option. And if you'd prefer to not be looking at seven very obvious cut-outs in the top bezel (for various cameras and sensors), it seems that'll be an option too.

Multiple color options for the GS8 would be in line with the past few release cycles for Samsung flagships — even if they don't reach all regions. A purple hue has also been rumored in recent days.

We'll know more when the Galaxy S8 officially launches in New York on March 29.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint

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1 month ago

Xiaomi Redmi 4A goes live in India with 720p display, Snapdragon 425 for just $90

2

The Redmi 4A shows that sub-$100 phones don't have to be boring.

At a media event in New Delhi, Xiaomi rolled out the latest product in the Redmi series, the Redmi 4A. The phone will be sold exclusively on Amazon India for ₹5,999 ($90), making it the most affordable phone launched by the Chinese manufacturer in the country.

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1 month ago

Rogers and Telus now rolling out Nougat update to the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

6

Nougat update is now live for most Galaxy S7 and S7 edge variants in Canada.

The Android 7.0 Nougat update for the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge made its way to Canadian carriers SaskTel, Bell, Virgin Mobile, Eastlink, Videotron and Freedom Mobile last week, and the 1.2GB OTA update is now rolling out to Rogers and Telus subscribers.

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1 month ago

The beauty of having a good camera in every pocket

129

Cheaper smartphones that don't suck mean better cameras, and better photos.

While the rest of the team has been playing with phones that border (or safely fall into) the designation of 'expensive,' I've been erring on the side of budget, switching between four devices that are, to me, just as interesting, as much for what they lack as what they offer.

One of those phones is the ZTE Blade V8 Pro, a phone that barely got any attention when it was announced for the U.S. unlocked market back in January. I don't even think we wrote about it. But ZTE offered me a review unit, and after spending some time with it I'm glad I accepted. This $230 phone has pretty much everything you need from a handset these days: a great screen, excellent performance, awesome battery life, and software that doesn't make me want to poke my eyes out (though it ships with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, which is decidedly 😕).

Increasingly, we carry cameras that make phone calls, not the other way around.

But more than anything else on its spec sheet, it's the impressive camera that really surprises me. The phone lacks all the buzzwords you'd expect from a device three times its price — stabilization, phase-detection autofocus, laser autofocus — but it does have two 13MP sensors that act in unison to improve photo quality in daylight, impart some intelligence in low light (though less than I would like), and provide some impressive features that feel less gimmicky the more time I spend using them.

More than anything, though, its excellent camera credentials reinforce the thing I find myself repeating every year: we no longer carry smart phones that take photos but smart cameras that occasionally make calls (and connect to the internet, but don't kill my symmetry).

As impressive as it is to see the $649 Google Pixel and LG G6 increasingly offer "real camera" performance from tiny sensors, I love that I can recommend a $230 ZTE Blade V8 Pro to someone and ensure him or her a reliable experience that takes good photos in most situations. When I started reviewing phones, that's really all I wanted: to be able to trust the camera in my pocket the way I could the Auto mode on my Canon or Sony point-and-shoot, the diminutive single-purpose gadgets that I, along with millions of other people, began stuffing in drawers and forgetting about around the turn of the decade.

It's been six years since I brought a camera camera with me on vacation, and though the quality dipped for a time, I've reached the point of comfort (though maybe that's just what comes with age and acceptance of the things one can't control) with the relationship between convenience and quality.

When I started reviewing phones, all I wanted was a camera that took photos reliably. It took until now to make that happen.

Using the Blade V8 Pro (what a name) also reinforces, to me at least, that cameras are really the last true area of competition in the smartphone space. You can get a $100 phone that performs well, has decent battery life, and ships with a version of Android that doesn't make you want to saw off your fingers with a blunt object, but it's still pretty easy to tell the difference between a photo (or video) taken from an LG Stylo 2 and an LG G6. But you just said the $230 Blade V8 Pro takes awesome photos! Yes, but it's still a clear area of research, development, and cultural fascination for those who create, market and buy phones. That Blade V8 Pro, or any $200 phone, takes photos as good as the ones it outputs, is incredible; that the LG G6 takes photos as consistently beautiful as it does — perhaps not three times as good, but close — is also incredible.

That we get to benefit from the fierce competition around which company can outfit its pocket computer with the best camera — that's pretty incredible, too.

Elsewhere in the news:

Have a great week!

-Daniel

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1 month ago

New Galaxy S8 leak reveals colors and pricing

165
GS8 colors

Three colors shown by veteran leaker, alongside euro pricing for phones, desktop dock, 360 camera and new Gear VR.

Veteran leaker Evan Blass has kicked off what might otherwise have been a lazy Sunday with fresh revelations surrounding Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. First, Blass gives us a closer look at three of the GS8's color options — "black sky, orchid grey and arctic silver."

Notably, all three of these colors feature the same black front face, an understandable move given the sheer number of sensors and other cutouts up top. (As we've previously seen in this leak of the gold version.) The "black sky" variant is the murdered-out black model we've seen in many other leaks, with its pitch-black anodized metal frame. Meanwhile the "arctic silver" model seems to be the version shown in one of the first live leaks back in January. And the grey model, as far as we can tell, is somewhere in between.

It's unclear how these colors — and others which have been rumored — will be split between various carriers and regions. Samsung has fielded a broad palette of colors in the past, but not all of them have had widespread availability.

Blass has also given us European pricing details for the two phones, along with the DeX desktop dock, the new Gear VR with motion controller and what will presumably be a new Gear 360 camera.

The prices for the phones are in line with earlier leaks, and pre-order listings (since pulled) from UK retailer MobileFun. As for U.S. prices, expect them to line up right around those same numbers (after tax), on account of the current near parity between the dollar and the euro.

Between the two new phones, rumored new facial recognition features, a new Gear VR and Gear 360, and that intriguing new desktop dock, the March 29 press conference in New York is shaping up to be a bumper event.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint

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1 month ago

Galaxy S8 benchmarks show Exynos 8895 outpacing the Snapdragon 835

112

Samsung's Exynos version of its Galaxy S8 appears to outperform Qualcomm's in GeekBench.

Adding to the pile of Samsung Galaxy S8 rumors that are stacking up as high as the Leaning Tower of Pisa is this GeekBench discovery. Uploaded earlier this week, the GeekBench score shows Samsung taking the cake. It has the top two spots on the chart, with its Exynos 8895 processor leading the pack, and the Galaxy S8+ with the Snapdragon 835 ranking in at a close second.

The Exynos 8895 is the successor to the Exynos 8890, which was featured on the international variant of the Galaxy S7 Edge. Like its predecessor, the Exynos 8895 will be exclusive to the Galaxy S8 sold in international markets. The U.S. will get the Snapdragon 835 version, which is what's sitting pretty in second place.

But all in all, benchmarks are still just numbers, and just because they exist within certain benchmarking suites, those numbers aren't the final say on whether one processor is best for a mobile device over another.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint

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1 month ago

HTC U Ultra review: A beautiful group of questionable decisions

81
HTC U Ultra

In a market filled with great high-end phones and tons of up-and-coming prospects at lower prices, the HTC U Ultra is unable to live up to its bloated price tag.

The quick take

HTC continues to get the basics right with flagships. The U Ultra has a great screen, amazing build quality and stunning design. You get just about every spec inside you'd expect, and the day-to-day performance as a result is fantastic with a super-smooth software experience. Unfortunately, HTC's camera performance once again lags behind the pack, its secondary display is all but useless and there's no headphone jack or waterproofing — all in a phone that's charging a premium price of $749.

The Good

  • Fantastic performance
  • Great screen
  • Stunning hardware
  • Unlocked and bloat-free
  • Absolutely nails the basics

The Bad

  • 2016-level camera performance
  • No headphone jack
  • Second screen lacks utility
  • No water resistance
  • Too big for most hands

See at Amazon See at HTC

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1 month ago

How to take a screenshot on the Google Pixel

45

How do I take a screenshot on the Google Pixel?

The Google Pixel runs Android 7.1, which is pretty special. There are a whole bunch of new features, and there are rounded icons — for better or worse. If you're using the new phone, you're likely going to want to show off some of its awesome looks in the form of screenshots.

It's easy to take a screen on the google Pixel. Here's how.

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1 month ago

Best Phones to use with Mint SIM

Best overall

Google Pixel

See at Google

When buying an unlocked phone to use with a prepaid carrier, our recommendation is unchanged from our overall best Android phone pick: it's the Google Pixel. Google's first own-branded phone is absolutely hit, from its understated hardware design to its lightning fast performance, full-day battery life and of course its top-of-the-line camera.

The Pixel simply does everything faster than the competition, and does so while integrating with all of Google's excellent services and no extra bloat. It's also going to be the most up-to-date in terms of software, getting monthly security updates and also being at the front of the line for big platform jumps.

You'll pay for the privilege, but if you want the slickest and cleanest Android phone that you can buy unlocked and bring to a prepaid carrier, the Pixel is the way to go.

Bottom line: For the fastest, simplest and best-supported experience, you can't go wrong with Google's own phone.

One more thing: You can opt for the 5.5-inch Pixel XL if you want more screen to work with and longer battery life.

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1 month ago

Huawei P10 Lite is official — launching Mar. 31 for £299

4

Affordable version of Huawei's latest flagship will arrive on EE, Vodafone and at Carphone Warehouse.

Huawei has today expanded its P10 series with a new mid-priced model, the P10 Lite. Pre-orders kick off today at Vodafone, EE and Carphone Warehouse ahead of the March 31 street date.

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1 month ago

Watch our Huawei P10 + P10 Plus video review!

2

Huawei is big in China, and growing the West. In the past twelve months, it's gone from being that one company that made great hardware but could never seem to get the software right, to being able to legitimately compete with more established brands in Europe.

So in 2017, the new P10 phones are tasked with building on that momentum, while also competing with what's to come from Samsung and Apple. In our video review of the 5.1-inch Huawei P10 and its 5.5-inch sibling the P10 Plus, we'll see how Huawei has created two of its best phones yet, with superb build quality, an eye-catching "dazzling" finish and a competitive camera. But is it all undone by one fairly major hardware oversight?

Hit the video above for our comprehensive take on the Huawei P10 and P10 Plus!

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1 month ago

Samsung Galaxy S8 will use facial recognition for mobile payments

74

It's straight out of a science fiction novel.

The rumor of the Samsung Galaxy S8's facial recognition abilities is becoming stronger with each passing day. Bloomberg is reporting that the South Korean smartphone maker's next smartphone will use that particular ability for securing mobile payments.

Here's a snippet of the report:

Samsung Electronics Co.'s new Galaxy S8 will employ facial-recognition technology for mobile payments within months of release, adding cutting-edge security to help the marquee device stand out from rivals such as Apple Inc.'s iPhone, people familiar with the matter said.

The Galaxy S8 to be unveiled later this month will blend fingerprint, iris and facial detection to verify users accessing mobile services including Samsung Pay, the people said. It's already working with banks to help them embrace facial recognition systems in coming months, they said, asking not to be identified talking about a private matter. Samsung declined to comment.

Fingerprint, iris, and facial recognition — that is quite a bit of security that relies on organic matter to unlock! And it's certainly the future that we're headed towards.

Wondering what else might be in the Galaxy S8? We've got a roundup of rumors for you.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint

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1 month ago

LG G6 coming to Sprint on April 7 for $708

29

Sprint is also throwing in a free 49-inch television and Google Home.

Last, but not least, Sprint has finally released details on its part in the LG G6 launch. The shiny metal-and-glass smartphone will debut on April 7 at Sprint stores and online for $708.

Sprint is using the G6 launch as a way to herald its network's High Performance User Equipment (HPUE) abilities. What does that mean? To you, dear user, it doesn't mean too much. For the most part, LG is part of a broad range of manufacturers have signed on to this particular 2.5GHz standard, which makes it easier for devices like the G6 to latch on to cell towers.

The G6 also comes equipped with other you-facing features, including Google Assistant, wide-angle cameras, and few gimmicks. If you're looking to jump into a monthly payment plan, Sprint will offer the G6 for $29.50 a month for 24 months. Sprint is also throwing in a free 49-inch LG television, as well as honoring the promotion for Google Home. Interestingly, Sprint's free Google Home offering extends through May 11, compared to LG's original end date of April 30.

See at Sprint

LG G6

Verizon Sprint T-Mobile AT&T B&H

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1 month ago

Galaxy S8 expected to improve camera capabilities with 1000 fps video

22

More camera details surface prior to the launch.

The soon-to-launch Galaxy S8 will offer ridiculously high frame rate 1000 fps slow motion video capture, according to new reports. That's over four times the frame rate of the Galaxy S7's 240 fps video, and even a hair more than Sony's upcoming Xperia XZ Premium with 960 fps.

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