Recent Articles | Android Central

Pre-order Samsung Galaxy S8: AT&T | Verizon | T-Mobile | Sprint

Headlines

1 week ago

Galaxy S8 enjoys record-breaking pre-orders in Korea

12
Galaxy S8 Plus

Pre-orders more than five times that of the Galaxy S7, according to local media.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 went up for pre-order in South Korea over the weekend, where it's been met with a record-breaking reception. ZDNet reports that Koreans snapped up 550,000 Galaxy S8 and S8+ phones in the two-day period since pre-orders began, ahead of the phone's April 21 street date.

To put that number in perspective, it's 2.75 times that of the late Note 7 and 5.5 times that of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. The Galaxy S8+ model with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage — exclusive to Korea and China — was reportedly in highest demand.

Strong demand around Samsung's new flagships in its home market follows a massive marketing campaign by the company. What's more, the lack of a big-screened Samsung flagship last year following the Note 7 recall likely created pent-up demand for the larger of the two phones.

Korean pre-order customers will be among the first to get their hands on the GS8 and GS8+, with pre-orders arriving from April 17.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint

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;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Read more and comment

 
2 weeks ago

Android feeds my constant yearning for something better

56

Constant change is music for my soul. Android's frenetic pace of change fuels that.

Grado's SR125e, a newer version of the classic.

When I was a teenager, I bought headphones. As many internet-addled 15 year-olds do, I found gaming (Diablo 2) and I found forums, one of which was head-fi.org. It's still running today — it's great, you should go! — but back in the early 2000's it was home to a few thousand people really obsessed with pairing great music with equipment that evoked its Platonic ideal, its highest fidelity.

I got hooked. I started small, as obsessions often do, but at my peak — and remember, I was 15 or 16 years old, with very little disposable income — I had seven or eight pairs of very good, carefully-picked headphones to pair with music tastes that, in retrospect, were not that discerning. I wasn't particularly interested in listening to Brahm's Violin Concerto on my Sennheiser HD600s, nor test the soundstage of a deluxe pressing of Miles Davis's Kind of Blue on a pair of Grado SR125s. My musical world was small and fragile, but I kept yearning to find ways to eke the best possible sound from Radiohead's OK Computer and Jethro Tull's Thick as a Brick (I inherited my dad's taste for weird, early 70's prog rock). I would replace one set of headphones with another, constantly trying to contrive the perfect three-minute window to whatever profound truth was awaiting me on the other side.

Being dissatisfied with what you have isn't good, but trying to improve what you have is empowering.

Today, that same quest for perfection continues to propel me forward, but my canvas has changed: the perfect cup of coffee; the right watch; the ideal phone. In fact, I turned that longing for something better into a career (I'm a lucky guy), and the disorder that is my office will attest to that fact that I don't remain contented for long. Part of that is the job itself — I'm always testing a new phone — but part is something else, a driving need to find the right phone, the right experience to fit into my life.

What I didn't realize until now, though, was that with every new Android phone I now immediately try to recreate the same experience. Call it the minimalist in me — really, call it getting older — but I've pared down my digital life to 20 or so apps and services, and now use the same home screen layout (a saved Nova Launcher backup) on every phone.

You'd think that would be where creativity goes to die, but of course, being me, I've found a new canvas to obsess over. Because I have unified the look and feel of my homescreen across all devices, I have turned to wallpapers and icon packs as a new outlet. I've spent more money on icon packs than I have on apps this month as I, predictably, try to find the perfect combination of 15 icons that, without speaking, says everything about me. Here's the thing, though: minimalism is hard, and it takes a lot of work. A finished canvas is as much about the silence, the empty space, as it is about the music or the paint. I keep thinking I'm finished with this little project only to find that I have just started, and am far less satisfied than I was at the beginning. (My favorite icon packs right now: Dives, Pixel Icon Pack, Glim, Orbit UI, and Polycon.)

And I'm fine with that, because playing with headphones, with phones, with the minutiae of icon packs, all fulfill the same psychological purpose: to strive, to tweak, and to discover something better. I know enough about myself to channel that nervous energy into small projects, so the big ones — building a good life, raising a family — feel a little more manageable.

A few other thoughts for this Sunday:

  • You may have caught a Galaxy S8 post that was taken down. I'm happy to explain exactly what happened once the phone is more widely available, but it's pretty easy to read between the lines: Samsung is very excited about this phone.
  • We recorded a really great podcast this week all about the Galaxy S8 and what it means for Samsung's future products, including the Note 8.
  • I got some pushback over the article I wrote about how OnePlus is doing everything right lately. Namely, that I didn't address in detail the company's propensity to discard its old phones as soon as its newer ones are released. I've spoken to the company about this numerous times, and while the OnePlus One is likely dead in the water due to the complicated relationship with Cyanogen, the OnePlus 2 is very much alive, and the newly-consolidated software team is working to make Nougat happen. After that — who knows.
  • This phone is ridiculous. I got to play with it briefly when the AC team converged in New York, and my goodness — the excess is real.
  • I don't really know what to make of Comcast's opening salvo into wireless. The company will never take on the Big Four directly — even if it buys spectrum in the 600MHz auction, it will never have enough to launch a wireless network of its own — but the move feels inevitable, if only because when you're a bloated, vertically-integrated, pseudo-monopoly like Comcast, you have to offer the proper connectivity bundle of internet, TV and wireless or you can't call yourself a true enemy of Net Neutrality.
  • I'm kind of bummed this isn't coming to the U.S. I've been using the Huawei P10 Plus for the past few days, and I really like it.
  • Jerry has a very smart take on the future of Android, why its open-source nature is becoming less and less aligned with Google's business goals.
  • Feels good to write about the Canadian wireless market every once in a while. It's so different (and less exciting) than the American equivalent, but it's home, and home feels good.

Hope you're all comfortable in your home today. Have a great Sunday!

-Daniel

Read more and comment

 
2 weeks ago

Samsung Galaxy S7 Deals for April 2017

32

Looking to save some money on a Galaxy S7? Here are the best deals available right now!

Samsung's Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge have been extremely popular since being announced, and Samsung has been marketing them with a big push. From offering freebies with the handset to carriers discounting it, there are a ton of different deals available out there. Before you can pick the best deal for yourself, you need to make the decision on which model you are even looking at.

The two models are very similar but also very different. On the regular Galaxy S7 you've got a 5.1-inch flat display while the Galaxy S7 edge offers a 5.5-inch display with dual curves. If you are looking for a smaller form factor that is a bit easier to hold, the regular Galaxy S7 is the one to look at, but if you want something a little more unique then the Galaxy S7 edge is sure to catch your attention.

Aside from the screen difference, the only other big difference you will find here between the two models is the battery capacity. The Galaxy S7 edge features a 3600mAh non-removable battery while the Galaxy S7 a 3000mAh battery inside. Besides this, the camera, processor, storage and everything else is the same between both models.

Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge: Which should you buy?!

Now that you have some more insight as to which one you'll want to pick, let's take a look at some of the best deals available right now to help you save some money! Keep in mind that we will continue to see various deals on the Galaxy S7 as we approach the official retail availability of the Galaxy S8. This will make it even easier to save more money on a great phone, so be sure to be on the lookout!

Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

Other deals?

Have you found any other deals that aren't mentioned here? If so, be sure to drop a comment in with a little about the deal and a link to where others can grab it!

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

Unlocked AT&T Sprint T-Mobile 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;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Read more and comment

 
2 weeks ago

Best Minimalist Cases for Galaxy S7

26
Best minimalist cases for the Galaxy S7

Protect my phone, fine, but don't bulk it up!

Updated April, 2017: Added Spigen Thin Fit at the behest of our readers and removed discontinued cases and those that don't cut the mustard anymore. What remain are still our favorites!

Aside from the edge, the Galaxy S7 is Samsung's thinnest offer right now. Sure, you want to protect it, but you definitely don't want any of the bulk that comes along with some of the heavy duty cases.

We've rounded up some of the best minimalist cases for your S7; just remember that toning down the thickness of the case may make your phone a little more vulnerable when dropped from on high.

Spigen Thin Fit

Spigen Thin Fit

Spigen's Thin Fit cases are slim and somewhat plain, so if you're looking for a minimalist case for your Galaxy S7, this is a great place to start. Buttons and ports are all cut out instead of covered up, so tactile feedback remains true and oh-so-satisfying.

Thin Fit is made from hard polycarbonate, adding minimal bulk to your phone, so it seems like it's wearing nothin' at all. There are also raised bezels around the camera cut out and the screen to protect the glass from scratches You have your choice of black, mint, or white.

See at Amazon


Cimo Premium Slim Fit

Cimo Premium Slim Fit

This is the little black dress of phone cases, offering sleek protection in the form of soft TPU. The benefit of having a case made out of black TPU as opposed to clear TPU is that the black stuff won't yellow over time due to sunlight.

Though this one is quite form-fitting, there is still a touch of a lip (0.8 mm) on the front, so when you place your phone face-down, it's not sitting on the screen. The non-slip TPU feels grippy in your hand and it's dust-resistance helps with an all-black case. If you couldn't care less about goofy designs or bling, then pick up a slim, black case and be done with it.

See at Amazon


Maxboost Vibrance Series Protective Slider

Maxboost Vibrance Series Protective Slider

If you're looking something with a little more pizzazz, but don't want any bulk, then the Maxboost Protective Slider is a solid choice, combining just enough protection with some cool colors to give you just what you want: slim sexiness.

This line isn't called the "Vibrance Series" for nothing; these cases come in two color combinations: turquoise and "Champagne Gold" or "Italian Rose" and "Champagne gold." It comes in black, too, but I don't see how that's very "vibrant."

It's got a soft interior to protect from scratches and a grippy exterior, so you're styling and protected with minimal bulk.

See at Amazon


Caseology Skyfall Series

Caseology Skyfall Series

You just know that a case with a James Bond-related name is going to be sleek, sexy, and slim. The Caseology Skyfall Series case is a two-piece with a rubberized cover and harder wraparound edge piece. This case is best for those of you who chose the gold S7, since that outer edging is gold. So, you'll have a seemingly 100 percent clear case.

There are air pockets in each corner of the Caseology Skyfall, so if you drop your S7 from a reasonable height, you probably won't shatter the entire outer layer of your phone.

That harder polycarbonate edging won't impede buttons, since it wraps around your phone behind the buttons.

See at Amazon


Bear Motion

Bear Motion

Looking for customizable minimalism? Then get going with Bear Motion. These cases come in nine colors, with a matte finish, which give them an excellently grippy feel, so you know your phone is protected and won't be slip-sliding out of your hands.

At only 0.3 ounces, these Bear Motion cases add no real bulk to your phone, but protect it from drops while leaving the necessary ports, buttons, and sensors open for easy use.

Starting around $6, there's no reason not to give Bear Motion a try, especially if you're after a very thin case that feels great in your hand, looks great on your phone, and adds a splash of color to your S7.

See at Amazon

Sick of cases altogether?

If you just plain hate cases, but still feel like your phone is naked and vulnerable, you may want to consider a skin, like the ones Dbrand makes.

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

Unlocked AT&T Sprint T-Mobile 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;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Read more and comment

 
2 weeks ago

Vertu Constellation hands-on: The $6000 smartphone

14

If you're here, then you already know: good phones aren't cheap. The flagship phones from the big manufacturers can easily run you $700 or more. Many would consider it a luxury to have one. Then there's the Vertu Constellation. Luxury doesn't even begin to describe what this phone is aiming for, and it all starts with a $6,000 price tag.

I'm Michael Fisher, aka the High Duke Baron Chancellor Von MrMobile, and no, I can't afford this phone. But honestly, there's few things about this phone that would make me want to (though that Concierge service has its perks …). Hit up that video above, and watch me take a spin through how the other half lives. And if you're seriously considering this phone, and want to know more about it, check out Android Central's review here. Also, I'm available to discuss it over the phone (for a moderate hourly rate), or in person if you're willing to send your private jet.

Stay social, my friends

Read more and comment

 
2 weeks ago

Vertu Constellation Review: The Billionaire's Phone

92

What do you get when you pay $6,000 for a phone?

Most of us live in a world where smartphones cost somewhere between $200 and $800. There's a wide variety of phones in that range, from bargain ZTE and Motorola devices to top-end iPhones and Samsung Galaxy handsets. But there's a whole world beyond that, the exclusive and expensive realm of the luxury smartphone. The latest phone to join those rarified ranks is the 2017 Vertu Constellation. This is both a pedestrian smartphone and one that's sporting out-of-this-world services and construction. The Constellation is a measure in contradictions, as many things made for the billionaire class are.

Vertu Constellation

Vertu has been at this for many years. They were founded as a division of Nokia and have traded hands since a few times; most recently the company was purchased by Turkish businessman Hakan Uzan for £50 million. So Vertu is a small, niche company that deals in small, niche electronics. Their latest release is the 2017 edition of the Constellation, which is what amounts to their mid-tier smartphone.

Mid-tier in Vertu Land means a starting price of $6,000.

Yeah, that's a lot for a phone. Can it possibly be worth that much?

See at Vertu

About this review

We're publishing this review after two weeks with the Vertu Constellation, running on the AT&T network in Cincinnati and New York City. Our review unit, loaned from Vertu, was running Android 6.0.1 with the 1 January 2017 security patch.

Vertu Constellation Video Review

Feels so good…

Vertu Constellation Hardware

The Vertu Constellation stands out in a sea of black slab phones. Where more and more phones are becoming more and more anonymous, Vertu has opted to adorn the front of their smartphone with, well, bling. There are at least seven different materials showing on just the front of the phone, yet somehow it's an attractive device. There's no denying that it's ostentatious (the shiny chrome accents see to that), but I found myself liking it as soon as I pulled it out of the box, and it's grown on me ever since.

There's no denying that it's ostentatious, but I found myself liking it right away.

Those materials are a mix of machined aluminum, calf leather, and sapphire. Owing to their relatively small production count, Vertu can get away with sourcing truly premium materials for their phones. Apple tried and failed hard to get a sapphire screen for the iPhone, and after using the Constellation I can understand why Apple spent hundreds of millions of dollars on that quest. The sapphire display cover here is smooth, crystal clear, and supremely hard — sapphire is one of the hardest materials out there, and is far more scratch resistant than even the latest iteration of Gorilla Glass. It's also expensive, especially at the 140 carats needed for the Constellation.

Vertu Constellation

That display is a sharp 5.5-inch QHD model with a 534ppi pixel density. It's an AMOLED panel, but it's been tuned without the excessive color saturation that's a hallmark of AMOLED king Samsung. The panel wasn't incredibly bright, though, and struggled with visibility in sunlight.

Right below the screen, wrapped in a silver accent, is a front-facing fingerprint sensor. This is a first for Vertu, and it's spacious, accurate, and highly responsive. The set-up process is straight Nexus Imprint, with none of the customizations for customization's sake that other manufacturers have seen fit to implement. The fingerprint sensor also doubles as a home button in conjunction with the on-screen key.

These are, hands-down, the best sounding and loudest speakers I've heard on any phone.

Flanking the screen at top and bottom you'll find a pair of stereo speakers. These are, hands-down, the best sounding and loudest speakers I've heard on any phone — even the lauded HTC BoomSound speakers of years past. They're offering Dolby tuning with on-the-fly EQ adjustments through a widget or the on-screen volume controls. The remarkable quality of these speakers helps make up for the regrettably large bezels on this phone — in an era where smartphones are moving more and more towards smaller and smaller bezels, Vertu has either bucked or lagged behind on that trend. The flip side is that there's plenty of space for the large 13mm x 17mm drivers and the necessary acoustic chambers.

Wrapping around the sides of the Vertu Constellation is a hefty machined aluminum frame. Eschewing the smooth and rounded aesthetic of Apple and Samsung, the constellation's metal has a sand-blasted finish, hard corners, and a concave character line that runs the entire height of the phone. It looks like it should be really uncomfortable, but it actually feels great, and helps this large phone grip with ease. That frame is host on the right side of the phone to a volume rocker and an unfortunately wiggly power button, while the left side is home to the dual SIM card/microSD card tray and a ruby button to launch the Vertu Concierge service (more on that later). Up top is a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, while on the bottom left corner is a USB-C port — it's angled to match the slightly pointed base of the phone.

If you thought the front of the Constellation was busy, wait until you get a load of the back. We're again looking at multiple materials, and without the requirement to work around the phone's black rectangular screen, Vertu's designers had a canvas to work with. Given what has come out of Vertu's workshops in the past… I think they showed remarkable restraint. It's a relatively simple layout — a band of brushed aluminum bordered by chrome strips stretches across the phone about 1/3 of the way from the top, with the camera and dual-LED flash housed dead center; the matte aluminum frame wraps around on either side, and the rest of the space is filled with a flat expanse of soft brown leather.

Vertu Constellation leather

The end result is a phone that has some serious heft — at 241 grams it's one of the heaviest phones we've seen in a long time, but then again, Vertu never made any claims otherwise. And there's something that just seems right that a luxury smartphone should be a weighty one. It's a tech reviewer cliché, but the Vertu Constellation truly does feel great in the hand, and in a completely different manner than a svelte, smooth, and featherweight phone like the new Galaxy S8.

So if this phone is so heavy and expensive, you'd hope for some high-end internals, right? Eh… you're not getting a state-of-the-art smartphone here. The Vertu Constellation launched in early 2017, but it's sporting the specifications of a phone from a year prior. Crack it open an inside you'd find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of internal storage augmented by a microSD card slot. Yep, that's what you would find in a Samsung Galaxy S7 or LG G5 from a year ago — not even the later-in-2016 Snapdragon 821 made it into this phone. The reasoning is simple: Vertu doesn't work in big numbers of anything, so their purchasing power is limited, their development team is small, and their engineering lead time is longer. Will the Snapdragon 821 and the brand-new 835 eventually make it into Vertu phones? Without a doubt, but you'll be waiting for a while.

The Vertu Constellation launched in early 2017, but it's sporting the specifications of a phone from early 2016.

That said, the Snapdragon 820 is still a mighty fine chip, even if it's no longer the best in town. It carries the Vertu Constellation with aplomb, certainly far better than the Snapdragon 801 handled itself in the Vertu Signature Touch of 2014. It could simply be that with an 820 running things, the less-than-optimized Vertu software just can't bog it down enough to matter.

Rounding things out on the hardware front, the Constellation sports dual-mode Qi + PMA wireless charging, Bluetooth 4.2, 21 LTE bands, dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and a 3220mAh battery. That's far from the largest battery we've ever seen, and for the weight of this phone we'd have expected something more inside. But then again, Vertu doesn't have the engineering bench to quickly bring the latest processors to market, let alone develop space-age battery tech.

You'll find a 12MP camera on the back and a 4MP shooter on the front. Both are reasonably good in daylight, though they often struggled with focus and fell short when night fell. I'd have expected more, but as we saw for a long time with Android phone manufacturers: doing cameras right is hard and takes a lot of engineering talent. Vertu might have a great sensor behind that lens, but the pictures it puts out are merely adequate.

Vertu Constellation

The numbers story

Vertu Constellation Specs

Category Spec Operating System Android 6.0.1 Display 5.5-inch QHD AMOLED
140-carat sapphire cover CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 RAM 4GB Storage 128GB + microSD (uses SIM slot 2) Audio Stereo Dolby front-facing speakers
3.5mm headphone jack SIM Dual Nano Rear Camera 12MP ƒ/2.0, 1.55 micron pixels
phase detect autofocus, dual-tone LED flash Front Camera 4MP ƒ/2.0, 2 micro pixels Battery 3220mAh non-removable Charging USB-C Dimensions 162mm x 77mm x 10mm Weight 241g

Marshmallugh.

Vertu Constellation Software

So if the Vertu Constellation's design is aesthetically unique (and debatably attractive — I get it if you don't like it, though I'll admit that it looks a lot better in person), it's certainly got to have some sort of software ace up its sleeve, right? Yes and no. When it comes to the Android OS, Vertu's gone close to stock Android here, with only a custom launcher, old-school-style notification shade, and a few widgets on top of Android 6.0.1. There's nothing terribly special about Vertu's implementation of Android.

The custom analog clock widgets are nice, both in a functionality and a throwback sense. They show the time, and tapping in the center will take you to the clock app, as you'd expect. But along the outside you'll find colored strips indicating your upcoming appointments — tapping there opens an agenda view that will take you to the Vertu Calendar app. And, of course, Vertu felt the need to build their own versions of apps like Calendar and Gallery, but they're blessedly few and easy to ignore. Vertu's software shines in the form of the services it ties into: Vertu Certainty, Vertu Life, and Vertu Concierge.

Vertu Concierge Suite

Certainty is a suite of apps — some third-party, others from Vertu, that aim to provide peace of mind for the Vertu owner. Some are security apps like Silent Circle for encrypted phone calls and messaging or Vertu's own "anti-theft service" (it does not stop your phone from being stolen, only giving you the ability to remotely locate, lock, and wipe the phone through Vertu's website). Others are about convenience, including sync to Apple's iCloud calendar, contacts, and reminders and global Wi-Fi hotspot access through iPass.

Also rolled under the Certainty umbrella is remote assistant support where Vertu's support staff can actually remotely take control of your phone to fix a setting for you or show you how something is done. That's the sort of thing that Vertu can afford to do when they have a relatively small userbase and charge thousands of dollars for their phones.

Vertu Life

Vertu Life is essentially what'd happen if the concierge had a bulletin board. Vertu's agents have arranged for access to a wide range of events and venues, and they're all available to you. From backstage passes for Coachella to 19th-century port wine to a luxury vacation to Antarctica (complete with emperor penguins and champagne) to priority reservations with perks at restaurants around the world, you'll find a lot worth exploring in Vertu Life. It all comes at a cost, though. Vertu might have arranged for special discounts or bonuses with these packages, but none of them will be particularly cheap.

The crown jewel of the Vertu services is Concierge. If there's any reason to buy a Vertu, this is it. Concierge isn't some newfangled AI or virtual assistant — it's real people making real judgment calls about what will best help you. Concierge is all about meeting your needs, be it something as basic as booking dinner reservations or things far more complicated. They offer communications in voice call, text chat, or via email — whatever suits your needs at the moment.

When the service is first set up for a new user, Vertu will call you (after making sure it's a good time to call) to orient you with the service, what they can do (basically anything), and how it all works. I took the opportunity to ask my primary Concierge manager, Melanie, what the most unique request she'd fulfilled was: she booked a Hollywood A-list makeup artist to fly to Miami and spend five hours teaching a client how to do makeup like the stars.

Vertu Concierge chat

I could have searched through thousands of restaurants in New York City, but I let the concierge make a reservation for me. The steak was phenomoenal.

I used Concierge for something a bit more pedestrian: dinner reservations in a city I don't know that well. I was in New York City for the Samsung Galaxy S8 launch event, and for that evening I wanted to be able to take the team out for dinner (and to celebrate the simultaneous birthday of one MrMobile). I could have been a normal person and spent too much time researching restaurants on Google and Yelp (Did you know that there are a lot of places to eat in New York? Who knew!) and then finding an available reservation via OpenTable.

Instead, I hit the ruby button on the side of the phone, fired up the Concierge chat, and asked for a reservation for someplace nice but still somewhat casual. The concierge I was connected with confirmed the date and number of guests, and then went to work. An hour later, there was a reservation in my inbox for a steakhouse in downtown Manhattan. I probably wouldn't have picked it myself, but that's for the best, because it ended up being one of the best steaks I've ever had. Vertu even went so far as to arrange for complimentary appetizers (have you ever had a religious experience with bacon, because I did that night) and a round of Prosecco for the table at dessert.

You're special

Vertu Constellation In Real Life

It's kind of strange to think that something as simple as a phone could make you feel special, but Vertu phones do that to me. It might simply be because they're absurdly expensive and it feels so weird to know that I've been walking around with one in my pocket. And it might be because of the human-driven power of Concierge and knowing that it's just a ruby button away from fulfilling my every wish. Or it might be because I'm just kind of smitten with this phone, flaws and all, because it is so ridiculous and ostentatious.

Vertu Constellation ruby button It's a real ruby!

But there is no getting around that this is not a perfect phone, especially for what you might expect for a $6,000 price tag. You're not getting top-end specs or the latest Android software (Nougat is several months away, if ever coming at all), and with heavy use you'll still struggle to make it through the day, despite the heft of this phone making you think it must be full of lithium-ion battery.

For all those shortcomings, though, the Vertu Constellation is still the sort of phone I think would be fun to have weighing down my pocket. It's certainly a conversation starter amongst my also-not-billionaires friends — I usually start with telling them which phone it is, walk them through the various features and materials, and then ask for a price. Everybody lowballs it because nobody can conceive of a phone costing this much.

Do you wear a crown? A real one?

Vertu Constellation: Is it worth it?

This isn't an easy phone to review. In 2017 I feel as if I should be lighting on fire and throwing into a dumpster any phone that comes with these specs at anything approaching consumer flagship pricing, let alone blowing past it on its way to thousands of dollars as the Vertu Constellation does. But a Vertu phone is more than just the specs, more than just a dumb screen to run smart apps like every other Android phone.

It's a status symbol; that you can afford to live the kind of lifestyle where a $6,000 phone is nothing and where you have the time and money to ask a Concierge to arrange for you to do things like party backstage at Coachella or reserve a dinner at the booked-for-the-next-year hot restaurant of the month.

Vertu Constellation

You can see the target customer in setting up your Vertu Account. Where a typical phone might offer only a few options for title — Mister, Miss, Doctor — Vertu Accounts offer a laundry list of titles, ranging from King and Queen to Sheikh and Lord and His Excellency (my favorite). This is a phone for the super rich, for oil barons and oligarchs and literal royalty.

You're not getting a technically superior product in the Vertu Constellation. You're getting a luxury product, with all of the trappings that a luxury gadget should provide. No, a Vertu can't make you coffee, but it can help you find the best coffee shop on the planet and book a private jet to get you there.

As the old saying about prices goes, "If you have to ask…"

See at Vertu

Read more and comment

 
2 weeks ago

Everything you need to know about the Galaxy S8's cameras

49

The 12-megapixel 'Dual Pixel' rear-facing camera is back and paired with a better front-facing camera and a tweaked camera interface.

Samsung doesn't seem to be making too much of a spectacle of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+'s main camera, and that's likely because it hasn't changed the hardware. The flagship duo come equipped with the same camera hardware as their predecessors: a 12-megapixel "Dual Pixel" sensor that was often heralded as the best before the Google Pixel.

But regardless of the reprise, there are some new camera features to check out in Samsung's new smartphones. Let's take a look at the new additions, including new photo processing, a better front-facing camera, Snapchat-like features, and a slightly tweaked camera interface that makes it easier to multitask between camera modes.

Rear camera

gs8

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ feature a 12-megapixel "Dual Pixel" rear-facing camera with a f/1.7 lens, which is similar to the Galaxy S7, though it's not the same image sensor. It's equipped with OIS (optical image stabilization) and PDAF (phase-detect auto focus), as well as auto HDR and a manual mode that enables you to shoot in RAW.

There are no new camera modes.

There are no new camera modes to the Galaxy S8, but you'll see all the usual suspects in the interface, including a Panorama mode, Selective focus mode (akin to the iPhone 7's Portrait mode), and Hyperlapse mode. The same live colored filters made popular in older Samsung phones are included here, too, and there's also a new feature that brings Snapchat-like augmented reality filters to the viewfinder. You can use them as you're recording video or while snapping photos. I'm not sure if the filters will work with multiple people in the shot (like some of Snapchat's filters do), but they did work on Mr. Mobile.

A few snapshots of the Galaxy S8's camera interface.

The camera app interface also remains relatively unchanged. It's simple to use; a quick swipe to the left starts up the video recording mode, and a swipe to the right brings you to the different camera modes. There is a slight tweak this time around in that you can slide the shutter key up and down to digitally zoom — way quicker than pinching on the viewfinder to zoom.

We obviously haven't used the camera in any sort of extended period where we can evaluate its quality, but this will, of course, be the biggest question: How much has Samsung improved its software to make a step up over last year's quality? Though the Galaxy S7's camera was really good, in this industry if you're standing still you're falling behind — new camera firmware and improved processing from the new ISP (image signal processor) should improve things, but we don't know how much yet.

Front camera

You can use the silly Snapchat-like features here, too.

The Galaxy S8 and S8+'s front-facing camera is a complete revamp: 8 megapixels with auto focus and an f/1.7 lens. You'll get decent low light photos just as you would with the rear-facing camera, and the Galaxy S8 will have a simpler time attempting to keep your face in focus — most phones today, even in the high end, still don't have auto focus on the front-facer. You can use the silly Snapchat-like features here, too, and there is a beauty mode that buffs out your imperfections and makes you look like the freshly airbrushed model you wish you could be. The filter also works on your friends in group selfies.

There's so much more to the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ than just its cameras. Be sure to read our full rundown of the devices and breakdowns of the various features from Samsung's latest flagship family!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint

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;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Read more and comment

 
2 weeks ago

Five things the Galaxy S8 does better than the LG G6

188
LG G6 vs Galaxy S8

The Galaxy S8 is a good deal more expensive than the LG G6. Here are five things that (sorta) justify the cost...

Samsung and LG's Android flagships, the G6 and Galaxy S8 are set to go head-to-head in the coming weeks, in what'll be one of the biggest Android rivalries of the year. This year, both manufacturers are targeting slightly different price points for their high-end offerings, with the G6 selling for $100 (or more, depending on your carrier) less than the GS8.

So what does Samsung bring to the table to (potentially) justify that extra cash? Let's take a look...

Read more and comment

 
2 weeks ago

LG G6 review: A return to form

232
LG G6

After years of chasing gimmicks, LG decides to just make a good phone.

The quick take

The quick take: LG achieves its goal of packing a balanced, powerful Android experience into a more hand-friendly form factor. But it remains to be seen whether the G6 is a true "flagship" to compete with the upcoming Galaxy S8. The LG G6's success (or otherwise) will depend on its price tag, and how the competition measures up.

Read more and comment

 
2 weeks ago

LG G6 now available: Here's everything you need to know!

96

The LG G6 is one of the most exciting phones of the year, and a good introduction to flagship season 2017! Should you buy it or wait for the Galaxy S8?

It's April 7, and that means the LG G6 is now available to buy in the U.S. and Canada (though carriers have been shipping them to some lucky pre-orderers for a couple of weeks now). Choosing to buy a new phone is a tough decision, but choosing to buy the LG G6 when the Samsung Galaxy S8 is on the horizon — it comes out in two weeks — makes the choice that much harder.

If you're in the market for a new phone, and are considering the LG G6, here are some things you need to know.

It's got a big screen, but feels really compact

The LG G6 is the first of likely many phones with a non-standard screen aspect ratio. Specifically, its 2:1 (or 18:9, for a more standard comparison) screen makes it considerably taller than most phones out there today, but coupled with the near-elimination of bezels around the bright, beautiful IPS display, it's one hand-friendly.

The screen really is beautiful. Contrast is great for an IPS display, an area where Samsung's AMOLED panels traditionally take the lead, and colors are punchy and accurate. Indeed, LG's 2880x1440 pixel screen is Dolby Vision HDR certified, as well as HDR 10 certified, two competing standards that, with the help of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu and others will make it much more pleasant to watch video content on a relatively small phone screen.

How the LG G6 was made

It's got wireless charging, but only in the U.S. and Canada

For some reason, LG decided to keep one of its best features, wireless charging, limited to the North American market. It's not a huge deal — most people rely on Quick Charge wired charging through the USB-C port — but it's strange nonetheless. Still, the phone's 3,300mAh battery may need a top-up, wired or wireless, once or twice throughout the day, as we've found the phone to have less-than-stellar uptime compared to phones like the Pixel XL.

These LG G6 features are limited to some regions

Its two cameras are wonderful and creative

Like the G5 and V20, the LG G6 has two cameras on the back, each 13MP in resolution but with differing focal lengths that transition seamlessly using toggles in the simple-yet-powerful camera app.

We've spent some time playing with G6's optics, and while the regular, optically-stabilized is great indoors and out, it's the wide-angle sensor that we've grown to love, especially when taking landscape photos that capture the whole field of view.

LG's also got some really fun camera modes that take advantage of its symmetrical screen, which can be divided into two perfect squares. You may not want to use the word 'twofie', but the phone can take two square photos at the same time using the front and back cameras.

Only the Korean unit gets the Quad DAC

One of our favorite features from the LG V20, the Quad DAC that makes music incredibly inviting, full and sonorous, is not coming to the North American or European models of the G6. Citing higher costs, LG says that there just isn't a big market for audiophile components in smartphones — but that doesn't exactly assuage our frustrations.

Get a microSD card, because the storage won't last

Another strange decision, especially in light of the Galaxy S8 coming with 64GB of storage by default — the North American and European LG G6 only comes with 32GB of internal storage, with no option to buy a higher-capacity model. Sure, 32GB should be fine for most people, but it won't last forever, which is why we recommend you buy a big, spacious microSD card for it.

Don't buy an LG G6 without a microSD card

The launcher is still pretty terrible

We like the software on the G6 — it's LG's most restrained take on Android to date, and there's very little to complain about. But the launcher, which eschews the app drawer and adds ugly borders around all homescreen icons, is pretty bad.

Our recommendation? Download Nova Launcher, Action Launcher, Evie Launcher, or something that resembles the opposite of whatever LG is thinking.

Those colors are gorgeous

Black or platinum — doesn't matter. Both colors are really, really nice, and they shimmer and reflect light in their own unique ways. I haven't been a big fan of the generic silver that seems to ship with every phone these days, but LG's take on it, called Platinum, is really something else altogether. And then there's the shiny, fingerprint-friendly black color, which I've been using. I love it; as long as you keep it clean, it's one of the crispest-looking phones I've ever had in my pocket.

There's also a white variant, but it's not coming to the U.S.

Which color LG G6 should you buy?

It's a really solid phone

Honestly, the LG G6 doesn't do anything badly. It's well-designed, gorgeously-engineered, and comes off as a mature, reliable piece of equipment. As MrMobile said in his review, it wears its chunkiness on its sleeve, not trying to hide its metal frame with sloping glass. As a result, it may feel a bit squat next to the Galaxy S8, but I've grown to really love that solidity, both in my hand and my pocket.

#mn_oembed_c:before { display: none; } #mn_oembed_c { display: table; width: 100%; max-width: 700px; box-sizing: border-box; cursor: pointer; position: relative; background: #dee9eb; padding: 35px; left: 35px; margin: 0 auto 0 auto; border-radius: 4px; border: 1px solid #dbe1e4; font-family: 'Fira Sans', sans-serif; line-height: 1.5; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; text-decoration: none; } #mn_oembed_i { padding: 0 13px 0 23px; font-size: 18px; display: table; width: 100%; box-sizing: border-box; } #mn_oembed_a { position: absolute; width 65px; height: 65px; left: -33px; top: 20px; border-radius: 50%; border: 2px solid #dbe1e4; } #mn_oembed_un { color: #ff5200; text-decoration: none; } #mn_oembed_t { color: #858b8e; font-size: 12px; } #mn_oembed_q { float: left; font-family: 'PT Mono', monospace; font-size: 100px; margin: -5px 0 0 -10px; color: #858b8e; } #mn_oembed_p { margin: 20px 0 0 50px; padding: 0; color: #07080a; font-weight: 300; } #mn_oembed_b { margin: 20px 0 0 0; font-size: 16px; float: right; cursor: pointer; background-color: #fff; color: #ff5200; border-radius: 4px; padding: 0 20px; line-height: 38px; text-transform: uppercase; box-sizing: border-box; display: inline-block; text-decoration: none; transition: all ease-in .2s; } #mn_oembed_b:hover { color: #fff; background: #6ab2be; } @media (max-width: 767px) { #mn_oembed_c { margin: 0 auto; } #mn_oembed_a { margin: 0 20px 0 0; float: left; position: relative; height: 65px; left: 0; top: 0; border-radius: 50%; border: 2px solid #dbe1e4; } #mn_oembed_i { padding: 0; } #mn_oembed_u { height: 69px; } #mn_oembed_un { padding: 12px 0 0 0; } #mn_oembed_q { display: none; } #mn_oembed_p { margin: 20px 0 0 0; } }

donm527 04-02-2017 12:07 PM “

The LG G6 has clean strong lines and thick frame leans on the industrial side. Bezels down to a minimum and screen framed with the right amount of chin. Silver has a business classy look to me while the murdered out black reminds me of my LG G2 days and very nice too. You say the S8 UI looks clean but can't understand how you can say that compared to the G6. The G6 would be closer to stock...

Reply

It's waterproof, drop-resistant, and covered in glass, just like the Galaxy S8. And while it lacks this year's Snapdragon 835 platform, I've yet to worry about its performance, since the Snapdragon 821 — which powers the Pixel and Pixel XL — is still so good, and feels so new.

The bottom-firing speaker is good, the headphone quality is great, as is the call quality and LTE reception. I had some trouble connecting to one particular LG Bluetooth speaker, and the Bluetooth volume was unexpectedly low on another speaker, but that's the extent of the bugs I've found so far.

It's around $100 cheaper than the Galaxy S8

So here we come to the final decision. At between $650 and $700, depending on the carrier, the LG G6 is around $100 cheaper than the Galaxy S8. That's a lot of money to save on a phone that's better in some ways (it's much easier to pick up off a table, and the fingerprint sensor placement is so much better) and nearly as good in others.

If you've made up your mind, you can learn everything you need to know about the phone in our forums!

Then you can figure out which carrier to buy it from.

Where to buy the LG G6 in the U.S.

LG G6

Verizon Sprint T-Mobile AT&T B&H

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;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Read more and comment

 
2 weeks ago

Where to buy the LG G6 in the U.S.

75
LG G6

You can now buy the LG G6 in the U.S.

One of our favorite phones of 2017 so far is now available on American shores. The big four U.S. carriers have started selling the LG G6, and all are offering a free Google Home, courtesy of LG, if you order your G6 before April 30.

Read more and comment

 
2 weeks ago

Limited edition Galaxy S8 Asiana Airlines version can be bought with miles

0

Koreans can use airline miles to bag a cheaper GS8 — as long as they don't mind a bit of extra branding.

For a limited time, Asiana Airlines passengers will be able to purchase a limited edition Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ using airline miles. The promotion, which follows a similar deal for last year's Galaxy S7 series, offers Samsung's new phones at a discount with 30,000 mileage points.

Read more and comment

 
2 weeks ago

Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro lands in India with 16MP front and rear cameras

5

Samsung is going after OPPO and Vivo with the Galaxy C7 Pro.

To create more of a differentiation between its Galaxy A series — which sits one tier below the flagship Galaxy S lineup — and the budget Galaxy J series, Samsung is rolling out the Galaxy C lineup. First unveiled in China earlier this year, the Galaxy C7 Pro has made its debut in India, and there's a lot to talk about.

Read more and comment

 
2 weeks ago

Where to buy the Huawei P10 + P10 Plus in the UK

10
Huawei P10

Huawei's latest flagship phone is available to pre-order in the UK!

The P10 is Huawei's best mainstream flagship yet, available in 5.1- and 5.5-inch flavors. It packs Huawei's latest Kirin 960 processor, up to 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage (in the P10 Plus), and the company's best Leica-branded camera yet. (Check out our review for more on what's great — and not so great — about the phones.)

The regular P10 is available across all major operators plus Carphone Warehouse, while the P10 Plus is offered across all but O2.

Read more and comment

 
2 weeks ago

Everything you need to know about Sprint's Unlimited Freedom plan

37

A complete breakdown of Sprint's Unlimited Freedom plan and everything else you can get when you sign up for service.

In the United States, there are a lot of companies that can get you and your phone online, but most people use one of the four biggest: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. Choosing between them can be difficult. Your first priority should be what service works best in the places you spend your time. It's not worth saving $10 a month if the service is bad. Once you have that sorted, you can look at what each company has to offer and the prices they charge for it.

More: Which unlimited plan should you buy?

Let's take a look at Sprint to see what they can give you and what it will cost.

Updated, April 2017: This post has been updated with the latest information about Sprint's plans and pricing.

Sprint Unlimited Freedom plan details

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data (with certain restrictions)
  • Unlimited data for streaming video up to 1080p
  • Unlimited data for gaming up to 8Mbps
  • Unlimited data for streaming music up to 1.5Mbps
  • 10GB high-speed mobile hotspot with VPN and P2P support
  • Add a tablet with unlimited data for $25 per month

Note: These features apply only to new accounts.

Sprint's definition of Unlimited Data means that after you use 23 GB in a single month, your service can be slowed down if you're in a congested area. You'll hear the word throttled used here but you need to know that it's only a temporary deprioritization of your data connection when you're in a busy area. It may not happen at all depending on how many other customers are using the same towers.

Buying a phone and getting exactly the data plan and extras you want is far easier on Sprint than every other company we've tried.

Sprint's Unlimited Freedom plan applies only to new customers who are also buying (outright purchases or financing) or leasing phones from Sprint at the time of purchase, and credit approval is required. There is an activation fee of up to $30 per line and the Unlimited Freedom Plan requires eBilling. Current customers can call 1-866-275-1411 with questions about changing their plan.

Advertisement

Sprint offers a 14-day satisfaction guarantee and devices purchased on installments are subject to a $350 early termination fee.

Additional lines can be added to a Sprint Unlimited Freedom plan. Every line has the same benefits outlined above and requires an equipment purchase. Here is a pricing breakdown.

  • One line of service is $50
  • Two lines of service is $80
  • Three lines of service is $100
  • Four lines of service is $120

These prices are part of a limited promotion and are set to change on June 30, 2018. They also include the standard AutoPay discount ($5) the carrier uses to determine their advertised pricing.

Sprint Unlimited Freedom plan add-ons

Sprint's Unlimited Freedom plan is a no-frills option at a low price. There are few extras and add-ons available if you want international options or a few extra features.

  • Free Sprint Open World Winter Promo: Free calls, texts and high-speed data from Canada, Mexico and 25 other countries in Latin America until March 31, 2017
  • Mexico-Canada Plus: Unlimited calls and texts from the U.S. to Mexico and Canada, unlimited messaging to 180 countries and discounted international calling rates from the U.S. for $5 per month
  • Upgrade your phone every 12 months with a $5 monthly charge

Sprint also offers trials and discounts on some premium services for new customers. Spotify Premium has a 30-day trial available, as does Lookout and Sprint Family Locator. After the trial period, normal monthly rates apply.

Sprint also will offer "unlimited access to exclusive artist content not available anywhere else" now that the company has bought one-third of Tidal, though exact details on this aren't yet available.

See at Sprint

Read more and comment

 
Show More Headlines

Pages