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1 month ago

From the Editor's Desk: Saying sorry

119

Some Sunday thoughts from cottage country.

It's hard to say sorry. Big companies especially need to get better at it. Hell, I'm Canadian and say it all the time and still need to get better at it.

What struck me about this whole Note 7 mess is that Samsung just hasn't made people feel good enough about its response. It did all the right things — got the phones back en masse, issued new ones quickly, with sufficient (albeit strange) differentiation — but they missed the emotional impact that this recall had on people. And now, after several replacement Note 7s have reportedly exploded, the company has stayed largely silent, except to say the investigation continues. The trend is disturbing.

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1 month ago

The Galaxy Note brand is now damaged beyond repair

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Should Samsung give up on the Note brand entirely?

There's no question that the beleaguered Galaxy Note 7 is having a hard week, after a hard month. Things were looking up for the Korean giant after the recall was deemed a success, a huge undertaking from around the world that attempted to corral over two million handsets. But then an AT&T-branded Note 7 caught fire on a still-grounded Southwest flight after being powered off and things went to hell again very quickly.

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1 month ago

Should you upgrade to the Google Pixel from the Nexus 5X?

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There's a ton of hype surrounding Google's new Pixel, but should you upgrade from last year's Nexus 5X?

If you picked up the Nexus 5X last year, you were likely swayed by one reason or another — appreciation for a smaller size screen versus the Nexus 6P, or simply nostalgia for its Nexus 5 predecessor. You might also enjoy the soft-touch plastic backing which helps you maintain your grip. However, if your experience actually using the phone on a daily basis has been anywhere similar to that of the AC writers who gave their thoughts on the Nexus 5X three months on, you may share their common complaints about inconsistent performance, limited storage space and some questionable moments when using the camera.

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1 month ago

The Google Pixel is IP53 certified — here's what that means

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Phones don't make good dive buddies. But it's important to know what those certification numbers mean.

One spec you won't find on the sheet for the new Google Pixel and Pixel XL is their IP53 certification. Google has confirmed that like the HTC 10 that they resemble, both Pixel phones are indeed tested and rated with an ingress protection score. Let's have a look at what that really means.

Your new Pixel won't be waterproof. Not even a little bit.

IP certification is all the rage recently. Not too long ago you had to look for a clumsy phone in a thick outer shell to gain any type of protection from the elements, but now many phones come with some level of dust and/or water protection rating. Some, like the Galaxy S7 or the iPhone 7 take things a bit further and make a serious attempt to keep the environment out. We've compiled a full breakdown of exactly what all those letters and numbers mean so you'll have a better understanding the next time a tech giant starts throwing them at you.

Rugged phone ratings: Everything you need to know

For now, let's focus on that magic number 53 that was assigned to the Pixel and Pixel XL.

IP ratings are divided into two categories — dust and dirt protection is identified by the first number, and it can range from zero to six — with zero as no protection and six as completely dust-proof even under pressure. The second number is the liquid protection rating, and it's not quite as straightforward with it's zero to nine-K rating system. For example, six is always better than seven or eight, but sometimes seven is better than eight or vice versa. Liquid ingress protection is one of those things you need to look up unless you have to memorize it for some crazy reason. It's also important to have the testing standards from the manufacturer handy for some of the results where parameters can vary.

  • The first number, five, means that "dust must not enter in enough quantity to affect the normal operation." The amount of dust that can get inside the phone isn't defined, but we're assured enough to make things stop working normally isn't going to happen.
  • The second number, three, means the Pixels are "Protected against spraying water when tilted up to a 60-degree angle from its normal position." Normal velocity (not under any type of external pressure) can rain down on the phone while it's flat and the phone can be tilted like it was in use in your hand and still not be damaged.

The worst part about dust or dirt getting inside your Pixel phone is that you have a dusty dirty phone that you'll probably never get clean. Any parts that can't withstand being coated in solid particles (household dust can contain decaying hair, human skin, and burnt pieces of meteorites) are inaccessible to those particles or are self-cleaning. I don't want to think about using a dusty phone, but it's nice to know that I could be stranded at the beach with no beverages and my phone wouldn't die.

The IP in IP certification stands for Ingress Protection — keeping things out of your phone.

Your Pixel or Pixel XL is not waterproof. Being splashed or sprayed with water not under pressure and not when the phone is vertical is not even close to being able to withstand being dunked in the pool or dropped in the toilet. This is great if you're caught out in the rain or if you spill water (that's important — these IP ratings are for water only) at dinner, but nothing more extreme.

In any case, we don't recommend you bury any phone in the backyard to test its dirt protection or even take your phone to the pool for some underwater shots no matter what IP rating it has received. Quite often phones fail real-world tests of these ratings, and the numbers mostly are a sort of insurance policy that would get a replacement if there was damage. For every story you read about someone taking their phone diving or livestreaming water polo, you'll find one where the phone was damaged and had to be replaced. Replacing your phone is never fun.

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

Google Store Verizon

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1 month ago

The Pixel camera team posts more sample photos for us to oogle

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In the right hands, the Pixel camera certainly looks ready to take great pictures.

Isaac Reynolds the product lead for the Pixel's camera has a few more Pixel photo samples to share with us.

Posted in the Google Pixel user community, Reynolds reiterates that they think the camera is one of the best features of the new Google phone and wants to share a handful of their favorite images. As Reynolds says, seeing is believing!

These are just a few examples so you'll want to click through to see them all. We're excited to give the new Pixel cameras a test of our own, but it's always fun to see what can be done in the hands of a skilled photographer.

#NoFilter Needed with your new Pixel gallery on Google photos

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

Google Store Verizon

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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1 month ago

Save $100 on an unlocked HTC Desire 826 right now!

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If you are looking for a backup phone or something for the kids, this deal on the HTC Desire 826 may be a perfect option. Right now you can pick one up for just $150, a $100 savings from its regular price. The 5.5-inch phone has 32GB of onboard storage, 2GB of RAM and a 13MP camera on the rear. This isn't a high-end device but packs some great specs, especially at the lower price point.

At $150, this makes for a great backup phone to have around or something for the kids as their first phone. This deal won't last long, so if you are interested in grabbing one you will want to act quickly.

See at Daily Steals

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1 month ago

Should you get Device Protection insurance for your Pixel?

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Should you buy Pixel Protect with your new Google phone? For an extra $100, you're paying for peace of mind.

You might not think you need that device protection add-on for your shiny new device, but with Google's new Pixel smartphones, you might consider springing for it in the case of an emergency.

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1 month ago

Xiaomi sells 500,000 phones in India in three days, claims third spot in the country

3

Xiaomi's stock is on the rise in India.

This year's Amazon Great Indian Festival and Flipkart Big Billion Days are behind us, and it looks like Xiaomi has emerged victorious from both sales. A statement issued by the company earlier this week reveals that it sold 500,000 smartphones from October 1 to October 3, setting a new record in the country.

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1 month ago

Lenovo Z2 Plus review: Meet the new flagship killer

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Lenovo Z2 Plus

A 5-inch phone with the latest internals that retails for the equivalent of $300. This is the Lenovo Z2 Plus.

Quick take:

With the Z2 Plus, Lenovo is ready to stake its claim on the mid-tier segment. Featuring a compact body, high-end internals, and a great camera, the Z2 Plus gets all the basics right. By pricing it at just ₹19,999 ($300), Lenovo is undercutting its Chinese rivals by a significant margin. Read on to find out if the phone can hold its own in this highly competitive segment.

The good

  • Compact design
  • Excellent performance
  • Great battery life
  • Unmatched value for money

The bad

  • Slippery body
  • Uncertainty over software updates

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1 month ago

ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe up for pre-order in U.S., shipping later in October

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ZenFone 3 Deluxe

Flagship ZenFone 3 Deluxe ranges from $399 to $799 — with the top model boasting 6GB RAM and 256GB storage.

The ASUS ZenFone 3 series will go on sale in the United States later this month, as the manufacturer has listed three flavors of the ZenFone 3 Deluxe, as well as the laser-focusing ZenFone 3 Laser.

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1 month ago

First comparison: Google Pixel XL vs. Galaxy Note 7

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Pixel XL and Note 7

Google's going big in both size and price with the Pixel XL, and that means it lines up right next to the Note 7.

No longer can we compare the latest phones from Google and Samsung on an uneven scale — at $769, the Pixel XL goes toe-to-toe with the Galaxy Note 7's price. And for that money, you're looking to get a top-end phone in either case. Both have big screens, solid hardware, all the specs you want and a few interesting points to differentiate from the pack.

With the Note 7 returning from its recall and the Pixel already up for pre-order, it's a great time to see which one is the best choice at the top-end of the Android world. Read on.

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1 month ago

Which color Google Pixel should you get?

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Quite Black. Very Silver. Really Blue. Which color Pixel or Pixel XL should you get?

Google is offering three different color choices for the Pixel and Pixel XL, and their names are a bit silly. Very Silver, Really Blue, and Quite Black (Pretty self-explanatory). The hard part may be deciding which of the colors you should order, but we've got you covered. There are a few reasons why you may pick one of the colors over the others, so let's take a look and see which may be best for you.

Will it be a blue, black or silver Pixel that makes its way into your pocket this year? Let's see how they differ and which you may be most interested in!

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1 month ago

LG V20 arrives on T-Mobile October 28 with support for new AWS-3 network

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T-Mobile is debuting the LG's V20, the spec beast, on October 28.

America's third-biggest carrier is set to sell one of the biggest phones of the year, the LG V20, starting on October 28.

Every purchase, for a limited time, comes with a pair of B&O BeoPlay H3 headphones, which at a retail cost of $149 is a nice bonus, but the big takeaway here is that we finally have a date for when this phone is going to be sold.

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1 month ago

Firmware flash enables fingerprint on U.S. Xperia XZ + X Compact

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Xperia XZ

Bafflingly, the U.S. models' biggest feature gap seems to be a software limitation.

For the past year, high-end Sony phones sold in the United States, in the Xperia Z5 and X series, have lacked the fingerprint scanner tech found in their international cousins — a major feature omission for a modern high-end phone. The same applies to the recently launched Xperia XZ and X Compact — fingerprint internationally, no fingerprint in the U.S.

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1 month ago

Note 7: Samsung obtains hazardous materials permit for defective phones, CPSC investigating Southwest plane report

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Galaxy Note 7

Details emerge of how Samsung will retrieve more than 100,000 potentially dangerous phones. Meanwhile, the U.S. authorities are investigating a reported fire involving a 'new' Note 7.

With the Galaxy Note 7 recall progressing, and Samsung resuming sales in the U.S. and South Korea, we're starting to learn exactly how Samsung will get some of the unsold Note 7s in the U.S. back to its Korean headquarters. Fierce Wireless reports that Samsung has obtained a hazardous materials permit from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, allowing it to ship 137,000 unopened Galaxy Note 7 devices from U.S. retailers back to Korea.

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