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3 weeks ago

Watch our Honor 8 Pro video review!

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The 400 euro price point is where we've seen some of the most exciting phones of the past year, bringing about the rise of brands like OnePlus and Honor. 2016's Honor 8 was a decent bet for anyone wanting a lot of phone for not a lot of money — but in many ways it was still a mid-range phone.

So what would happen if you took the DNA of the Honor 8 and applied it to a bigger flagship-tier product. Well — you'd get this: the Honor 8 Pro.

In a lot of ways, the Honor 8 Pro takes every aspect of the Honor 8 and cranks it up a notch or two. It's bigger physically, with a larger, higher-res display. It's more powerful, thanks to Huawei's latest Kirin 960 chip. It's got a whopping 6 gigs of RAM, up from 4 in the Honor 8. And the base storage has been bumped to 64GB, plus microSD. And fuelling all that is an enormous 4,000mAh battery, matching the two-day battery life of the Huawei Mate 9 in a much more compact body.

This is clearly Honor's most high-end handset yet, so how does it measure up? Check out our video review for the verdict!

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3 weeks ago

Motorola's next flagship will be called the Moto Z2

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When? We don't know. All we have to go off of is a brief tweet.

It's about that time of year again, where every Android phone maker has either already shown off their flagship smartphone for the year or is in the process of prepping it for launch. According to a tweet from notorious smartphone leaker, Evan Blass of Venturebeat, Motorola is next on the list with the follow-up to last year's modular Moto Z.

The second-generation Moto Z2 will be modular, just like its predecessor. We saw a tease of a what's to come at the company's MWC press conference earlier this year. Sprint was also using it to show off its upcoming Gigabit LTE service, which is interesting considering Verizon's history of shackling the Motorola brand. And while we don't have details about what's inside the purported Moto Z2 just yet, we can surmise there's a Snapdragon 835 on the inside by the sheer fact it supports Gigabit LTE.

Motorola — nay, Lenovo — is wholly committed to the Moto Mods and the smartphones that support them. But it's likely we won't hear too much more on the company's next flagship until the next Lenovo technology summit rolls around, which is where the Moto Z was originally introduced.

Moto Z, Moto Z Force and Moto Z Play

Motorola Verizon

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3 weeks ago

Put down the phone and go outside

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Better yet, put it into Airplane Mode and live free.

Locking gazes with someone is remarkably beneficial. A study found that it makes us more selfless and empathetic. We're more likely to remember the details of the interaction with that other person after the fact. But to truly reap the benefits of looking into another's eyes, you have to put the phone down.

In this age of constant and seemingly never-ending connectedness, the act of proverbially logging off might seem like too much of a personal commitment. And quite frankly, that's because it is. The modern smartphone has ostensibly changed the way we work and how we socialize, and too often we can become caught up in the ritualistic mindlessness of scrolling through social media feeds and watching other people's lives acted out through video stories.

It's called escapism

my woods.

I'm not surprised by the studies that show we're a technology obsessed society, or that there are so many of us who spend time on it in an attempt at evading what ails us, or what bores us. This is called escapism. At present, some of us are avoiding politics, while others are avoiding more serious threats to our emotional or physical well-being. Life is tough! But at least there's the internet.

I'm of the belief that there is such a thing as productive escapism, however, so I've started escaping to the woods. It's just as good for you as staring into someone's eyes, and it doesn't require socializing. Rather than go on Twitter, Instagram, and any of the other social networks that I've pinned to my home screen, or read through my long lists of bookmarks from the failing New York Times, I've opted to spend more time outside — away from the news, away from the people on the internet, and away from my smartphone.

I've opted to spend more time outside — away from my smartphone.

This is a difficult practice for me. I'm a gosh darn millennial who's had a computer in front of her for most of her life. The computer — which later became the internet — was my escape from the doldrums of being a teenager in the suburbs; from the heartbreak of failed assignments in college; and now, from the stresses of the day-to-day. Old habits die hard, and mine is to scroll endlessly through social media on my smartphone as I lay in bed, paralyzed by the fear of the unknown.

I've found refuge in the great outdoors, however. I use Google Maps to get where I'm going, but when I'm there I switch to the radio and set my Pixel XL to do not disturb. I bring a book or magazine to peruse — something to keep me occupied. I sit outside with my cheese and crackers, and I remain present. The only distractions here are the bugs buzzing near my ears...and my food.

Of course, you can find other hobbies of your own, if sitting outside is simply not your thing. But I encourage you to start a practice of disconnecting from your smartphone and any other internet-connected device at least once a week. Start with half an hour. While you're out, revel in the present; in the people around you, or the animals joyfully wagging their tails. And remember to breathe, because life still goes on even if you don't have your smartphone.

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3 weeks ago

Common Google Pixel problems and how to fix them

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Pixel problems? Here are the most common problems and how to fix them.

The Google Pixel is one of our favorite devices, but it has its share of problems. The good news is that because Google updates its phones directly, and issues monthly patches, there's a good chance your problem has been solved through software.

Updated, April 2017: This post has been updated with the latest information and fixes that came with Android 7.1.2.

What is the actual problem?

Like every story based on extremes, the reality is somewhere in the middle.

It's a phone. The interoperability of hardware and software is very complicated, and even though it now has much greater control over both, Google is still unable to check for every conflict before it ships.

The important thing to know is that not everyone is experiencing problems. The issues with the Pixel appear to be isolated and not endemic of the entire product lineup.

Let's go through each one to see where we stand.

Band 4 LTE issues

Early on, it became apparent that the Pixel was having trouble connecting to LTE networks that relied on Band 4 (AWS) in certain countries, specifically Canada, Chile, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Ecuador and others in the region. The phone, though compatible with Band 4 LTE, was staying on HSPA+.

That changed when Google issued the Android 7.1.1 update in early December, with many people finding their LTE connections upon booting up.

  • Best fix: Update to Android 7.1.2
  • Status: Solved

Audio distortion issues

Some Pixel owners found themselves dealing with audio distortion from the speaker at max volume — in fact, it was one of the most prevalent problems with the Pixel, largely because it is easy to reproduce. You either have the problem or you don't.

The issue stems from using particular apps, or playing back movies and music at high volumes; anything above a certain point — usually 80% to maximum — causes the audio to clip.

Google claims that the March security patch that was sent out with Android 7.1.1 fixed the problem for most people, and the wider Android 7.1.2 update fixed it for the rest. You should be good now.

  • Best fix: Update to Android 7.1.2
  • Status: Solved

Boot loops

Android phones falling into boot loops are not uncommon, and some manufacturers (ahem, LG) seem to have higher rates than others.

But shortly after the Pixel was released, and timed more frequently with monthly security updates, people began reporting instances where the phone would fall into an endless boot loop — failing to start up and rebooting when the process failed — forcing a factory reset through the Recovery menu.

On Google's product forums, a dozen threads with myriad entries each tell the story of frustration, especially since many of the Pixel and Pixel XL users were forced to perform hard resets, losing data in the process. Google's official word is to seek individual service through the Pixel's 24/7 customer support feature, but there are no permanent solutions just yet.

  • Best fix: Factory reset and, failing that, replace your Pixel
  • Status: Ongoing

Pixel shutting off at close to 40% battery

People have reported that the Pixel sometimes shuts down at 30% battery. Likely exacerbated by the cold weather in the northern hemisphere, the issue, according to Reddit user bal00, has less to do with software than with the state of batteries themselves.

If you've got a battery with a high internal resistance and a power-hungry load like the camera demanding a lot of current, other devices like the processor will see their supply voltage drop, and if it drops low enough, the phone will shut off. That's what's going on when a phone turns off with 40% battery left. There's plenty of water in the tank, but all the build-up inside the valve restricts the flow so much that the pressure takes a nosedive.

The strange part is that unlike the Nexus 6P, which has been in the market for over a year, the Pixel is new, as are the batteries inside them. Google says it has solved the problem with Android 7.1.2, adjusting the way the software deals with these drops in voltage.

  • Best fix: Update to Android 7.1.2
  • Status: Solved

Bluetooth shutting off unexpectedly

When Google updated the Pixel with the February 2017 security patch, people began reporting that the Bluetooth radio would randomly shut down without prompting. Google quickly identified the problem and rolled out a fix in Android 7.1.2.

  • Best fix: Update to Android 7.1.2
  • Status: Solved

So what can you do?

First thing's first: Google's Pixel is, like all other phones, not perfect. That its hardware and software are overseen by Google doesn't preclude it from having problems. Despite the numerous issues noted above, the Pixel is not disproportionately problematic compared to other Android phones.

You have three options if you have a severe issue with your Pixel:

  • Seek out counsel from Google through the Pixel Support feature: Google may be able to walk you through a temporary or permanent fix.
  • Update or revert your software: The issue(s) you're experiencing are likely software-based and an update could be the answer.
  • Replace your phone: If nothing works, or you're stuck in a permanent boot loop and a restore doesn't seem to be doing the trick, seek a replacement from Google or your carrier. The Pixel is still under warranty, and unless you dunked it in water or threw it onto cement, you shouldn't have an issue getting a new one.

What issues are you facing?

Are you facing issues with your Pixel? If so, any from the list above? If not, has it been flawless or still prone to derping every once in a while?

The good news is that Google will likely fix the majority of the Pixel's major issues with software updates, and faster than usual given its ability to push out updates directly.

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

Google Store Verizon

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3 weeks ago

Samsung India wants you to fill a form to 'register your interest' in the Galaxy S8 and S8+

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It's time to fill a form.

Like filling forms? You're in luck, because Samsung India is asking customers to fill one out to "register your interest" in the Galaxy S8 and S8+. Samsung is taking this very seriously, and as such there's a Captcha as well. Not the cool new invisible kind where it automatically detects that you're a human, but the old boring system where you'll have to enter numbers into a box. If you're up for it, here's the form.

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3 weeks ago

Honor wants a few brave Americans to beta test its buggiest software

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Honor is launching a beta program for its current hardware and upcoming software. You can sign up now!

Honor, the youth-oriented arm of Huawei, is launching a new beta program that will allow a select few Americans the ability to test current pieces of hardware and upcoming beta software from the company.

Facilitated through the company's Facebook page, the Honor Beta program will ask fastidious early adopters to give feedback on current hardware, along with software launches up to two years in advance of them being released to the greater public. The company claims that because it has no carrier footing, its customers are generally discerning and well-versed in the tech sphere, and are therefore primed to offer constructive feedback that could be worked into future product releases.

As a provider of unlocked devices, that allow for direct to consumer relationships, in addition to significant R&D resources, Honor can quickly evolve its products and strategy on a regional level.

Honor will explore what U.S. consumers want and adapt products and strategy each step of the way. Honor Beta is one big step in preparing to lead the unlocked smartphone market of tomorrow.

This is not the first time we're seeing a program like this from a Chinese manufacturer with nascent presence in the U.S. ZTE has been giving a small number of customers access to early builds of its software, and even Honor itself has offered a few software betas of its own for products like the Honor 5X, Honor 6X and Honor 8. Applicants to this program must live in the U.S. and be native English speakers.

Interested? Head to Honor's Facebook page to sign up

Honor 8

Amazon HonorBest BuyNeweggB&H

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3 weeks ago

Honor 8 Pro review: Killer flagship

79
Honor 8 Pro

The quick take

Honor's biggest, highest-end handset is a supersized, supercharged version of one of our favorite affordable flagships of the past year, offering a gorgeous design, speedy performance and legendary battery life for less money than you'd expect to pay.

The Good

  • Speedy performance
  • Slim, stylish metal chassis
  • Epic battery life
  • Good value at £475 price point

The Bad

  • EMUI will still be too customized for some
  • No on-contract buying options

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3 weeks ago

Honor 8 Pro specs

9
Honor 8 Pro

High-end Honor handset has hearty Huawei hardware.

Honor has just announced its latest flagship-tier handset for Europe, the Honor 8 Pro. We've got a full review ready for you right now. But if you'd prefer to take a quick glance down the spec sheet so you know what you're in for, look no further than the table below.

Behold! Numbers, acronyms and more!

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3 weeks ago

Honor 8 Pro is official: 5.7-inch display, giant-ass battery, Kirin 960

7
Honor 8 Pro

Honor's latest phone for Europe is a beast, and it'll cost £475 in the UK.

Huawei's Honor brand has taken the wraps off its latest high-end handset, which just happens to be the biggest, highest-specced Honor phone to date.

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3 weeks ago

Surprise: Galaxy S8 has the 'best smartphone display'

53
Galaxy S8 Plus

Improved color gamut, smarter always-on display and extremely high peak brightness are among the highlights, according to DisplayMate.

I got some face time with the Galaxy S8 and S8+'s screens last week, and I can tell you they look good. What I can't tell you is exactly how good, and that's where DisplayMate, a longstanding expert in display technologies, comes in.

The publication has gotten its hands on early Galaxy S8 samples, putting the them through a rigorous suite of tests covering just about every aspect of the displays. As you'd expect, there are significant improvements across the board, but there are also a few surprises along the way. Highlights include:

  • Contrary to pre-announcement rumblings, the GS8 uses a diamond subpixel pattern (as opposed to an RGB stripe, as was rumored.)
  • The GS8 supports subpixel rendering, where each (red, green or blue) subpixel can be addressed and rendered to, improving perceived sharpness.
  • Viewing angles have been improved, with a smaller reduction in brightness when viewed at 30 degrees.
  • The display supports 100% of DCI-P3, bringing its color gamut in line with current 4K TVs.
  • Peak brightness is a whopping 1,000 nits in high ambient light mode. (610 nits when the level is manually adjusted.)
  • As well as being certified for Mobile HDR Premium, there's also an Expanded Dynamic Range mode to upscale non-HDR content on the phone.
  • There's an ambient light sensor on the back of the GS8, to give a more accurate reading of environmental light levels.
  • The core functionality of the Always-On Display mode is reportedly now handled by hardware, as opposed to the app itself. This won't affect the user experience, but should save power.
  • Display power consumption is comparable to that of the Galaxy S7, only with a wider color gamut, this making it more efficient overall.

The verdict?

The Galaxy S8 is the first in a new generation of OLED Smartphones that have a Full Screen Display design. It has many major and important state-of-the-art display performance enhancements, features and functions, with mobile OLED display technology now advancing faster than ever. The Galaxy S8 is the most innovative and high performance Smartphone display that we have ever lab tested. So the Galaxy S8 becomes the Best Performing Smartphone Display, earning DisplayMate's highest ever A+ grade.

DisplayMate's write-up goes into great detail on all aspects of the Galaxy S8 and S8+'s displays, so be sure to take a look if you want to pour through all the technical details.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

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3 weeks ago

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs. Galaxy S6: It's time to upgrade

85
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs. Galaxy S6

Two years on, it's a great time to consider moving to the newest Galaxy S.

Holding over from the days of two-year phone contracts, most people choose to upgrade their phone on the same path today, even though financing plans have made it even simpler to move on to the latest devices every 12 months. The Galaxy S6 just had its second birthday, and while its hardware actually still feels quite modern, there are many parts of it that likely haven't aged well and will have longtime owners looking for an upgrade.

The question is, will you make the jump from a Galaxy S6 to a new Galaxy S8 and keep it in the Samsung family? We've put the phones side by side and have the information you should keep in mind when considering the move.

Hardware, specs and features

For all of the gripes about some of the internal spec choices on the Galaxy S6, you can't argue that its hardware design has held up nicely over two years. That metal and glass exterior was a complete change of direction for Samsung in 2015, and you can clearly see its influence in the Galaxy S8 today. Of course, some things have changed and for the better: The Galaxy S8 has small bezels to fit even more display in a compact frame, the body has been rounded off to be easier to use, and the camera bump on the back has been eliminated. Samsung also moved to waterproofing and reintroduced the SD card slot right after the Galaxy S6, which were key differentiators in 2016.

You can see the GS6's legacy in the GS8, but big improvements have been made in 2 years.

The Galaxy S6's 5.1-inch QHD AMOLED display actually still looks great today, but display technology has continued to advance and Samsung has done an even better job on the Galaxy S8. What hasn't changed are the characteristics of its AMOLED displays — they're crisp, low on glare, great in bright sunlight, and exhibit punchier colors than the competition. If you have the Galaxy S6 and not the S6 edge you may be worried about the curved screen on the Galaxy S8, but there's reason to look at this with fresh eyes as Samsung has nicely tweaked the design since 2015.

More: Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ preview

After two years of increasingly heavy apps and a few software updates the internal specs on the Galaxy S6 don't seem quite as state-of-the-art as they did in 2015. The Galaxy S8's new processor (a Snapdragon 835 or Exynos 8895) will beat the GS6's chip, and the extra gigabyte of RAM helps with multitasking. Perhaps the biggest spec jump is the battery, which was a critical flaw of the GS6 — the Galaxy S8's 3,000mAh cell, partnered with a more efficient processor and display, will outlast the GS6's 2,550mAh.

The camera is another key differentiator in the hardware. The Galaxy S6's 16-megapixel camera with an f/1.9 lens was a huge step up from anything the company had done before, but just like the rest of the hardware, that formula has now been applied to more modern components with improved results. The Galaxy S8's 12MP sensor has a better auto focus mechanism, larger pixels, and sits behind a faster f/1.7 lens. If you like what the Galaxy S6's camera can do (and it definitely still takes great photos), you'll love what the GS8 can do with the same ideas applied to new hardware.

Software and experience

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs. Galaxy S6

If your Galaxy S6 has been updated to Android 7.0 Nougat, you're actually getting a great feel for the software experience on the Galaxy S8. While Samsung may take a long time to get its big platform updates out, it does do a pretty good job of bringing all of the new software design and features (within reason) back to older models with an update.

Sure, the Galaxy S8 has a few tricks up its sleeve with the camera interface, new icons, and a redesigned launcher, but the core Nougat experience is very similar between an updated Galaxy S6 and a brand new Galaxy S8. While that means you won't have to upgrade just to see an updated interface, it also gives you the comfort to know you can get a new phone and not have to re-learn how to use its core features.

Software updates are important for security and features, and the GS6 isn't going to get many more.

The thing is, even though you may be happy with what Nougat has brought to your Galaxy S6, there's a good chance that that's the last big update the phone will ever receive. At two years old, the Galaxy S6 is hitting the age where Samsung is going to cut it loose from major platform updates and perhaps only support it for a while longer with security patches. That means that going forward, if you want to stay on Samsung's radar for updates, you're best making the jump to the newest phone.

Moving to the Galaxy S8, you'll also get to check out Samsung's latest features that won't be coming back to other phones via updates. The Bixby voice assistant is all new for the Galaxy S8, as is the new DeX desktop dock that lets you turn your GS8 into something approximating a light workstation with a keyboard, mouse and monitor. You may not be entirely sold on these features, but if you want to give them a try you'll be going to the latest phone to get them.

Bottom line

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs. Galaxy S6

After two years using a Galaxy S6, you know it's about time to upgrade — the only question is whether or not you want to stick with Samsung or move elsewhere. There are definite synergies in moving to the Galaxy S8, including familiarity with the software, consistency with the services if you've been using anything tied to a Samsung Account, and of course just brand loyalty. Chances are if you kept your Galaxy S6 for two years, you actually like what it offers.

It's time to update from the GS6 — the only question is whether you want to stick with Samsung.

If you move from the Galaxy S6 up to the Galaxy S8, you're going to get that same high-quality metal and glass build you're used to, now caressed into a more ergonomic curved shell with a much larger display in not much more body. You're also getting up to speed with Samsung's new default features, like an SD card slot and waterproofing, while also keeping wireless charging, fast charging, and a high-resolution AMOLED display. The camera has also notably improved since the Galaxy S6, with a real emphasis on being able to take great low-light photos.

Moving to a Galaxy S8 gives you the familiarity of staying with a Samsung phone, while also bringing you up into the future in terms of battery life, performance, hardware features, and of course future software updates. This is a great move to make, so long as you're happy with Samsung and want to stay on that path.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

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3 weeks ago

T-Mobile now offers free roadside assistance with its SyncUp connected car solution

19

Flat tire? Harrowing highway repair? T-Mobile has you covered.

Last November, T-Mobile did what a lot of wireless carriers are doing: it got into the connected car game. But it did so cautiously, launching a small tool called SyncUp Drive in partnership with ZTE and Mojio that plugs into the OBD-II port of any car made after 1996.

The idea is to not only give its connected users a way to monitor their car's health, but to provide a 4G LTE hotspot to passengers, along with other useful information. Multiple cars in a family can talk to one another to provide updates on whereabouts without having to text or make an unsafe call, while drivers also get a readout of potentially dangerous behavior and speeding alerts.

Now, T-Mobile says that after demand was double its initial forecasts, it is launching free roadside assistance with Allstate Motor Club. Anyone who buys a SyncUp Drive and at least 2GB of data per month on a 2-year plan gets the roadside assistance included. T-Mobile says that the addition was the biggest request from existing customers. The SyncUp Drive product itself is also down to $48 from $150.

To receive free roadside assistance, existing customers just need to update the SyncUp Drive app in the Play Store.

Do you use SyncUp Drive? If so, how do you like it? Let us know in the comments!

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3 weeks ago

Sony's impressive Xperia XZs is available Apr. 5, but you should wait for the Premium

19

Sony has a new phone out tomorrow, but you may want to wait for the real upgrade.

Sony makes a lot of phones, and many of them aren't particularly noteworthy in the U.S. Thanks to a long-term contract with Verizon that isn't set to expire until next year, Sony can't sell phones with fingerprint sensors in the country, making them more of a difficult proposition than they otherwise would be.

This week, the Xperia XZs is going on sale at Amazon and other online retailers for $700, a steep price to pay for any phone, never mind one that doesn't include the latest and greatest technology. The XZs was one of four phones that company announced during MWC 2017, and while it is an impressive handset in every way, it doesn't stand up to the competition.

Sony Xperia XZs specs

The phone is, for all intents and purposes, a repackaging of the Xperia XZ released in September, swapping out the 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage for 4GB and 64GB, respectively. It also has a Snapdragon 820 processor, which is unchanged from the XZ, along with a 2,900mAh battery. The major difference, aside from the bump in memory, is the new 19MP Motion Eye camera, which reportedly brings a new camera sensor that's better in low light and faster to autofocus.

For $700, the above sounds like a pretty lousy deal, especially with no fingerprint sensor. Sure, Sony's got some great software in there — the phone ships with Android 7.1.1 Nougat — but if you're really into the whole "I need a Sony" thing, you can get your fix in a couple of months with the gorgeous, far-more-impressive Xperia XZ Premium, which bumps up the spec sheet considerably, sporting a 4K HDR-ready display and a Snapdragon 835 platform.

If you're not into waiting, though, you can get the Xperia XZs starting April 5 at Amazon.

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3 weeks ago

Grab an unlocked LG V20 for just $450 from Newegg today!

58

Here's a great deal on a great phone.

In our comparison between the LG V20 and Huawei Mate 9, I said both phones are fairly comparable in terms of performance, while the V20 has the edge in the camera department and the Mate 9 tops the battery tests. But my conclusion was that, if you are buying the phone outright, the $599.99 Mate 9 is the way to go, since the V20 costs around $200 more.

But not today: the unlocked LG V20 is down to $449.99 at Newegg right now with promo code EMCSRERD5, which is an excellent price for a great phone. Specifically, this is the Titan (silver) unlocked model compatible with both GSM networks like AT&T and T-Mobile, and CDMA networks like Verizon and Sprint. Good deal!

The V20 may be the last great phone released with a removable battery, so if that's your thing, head to the source link!

See at Newegg

LG V20

AT&T T-Mobile Sprint B&H

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3 weeks ago

Samsung Galaxy S8+ vs. Galaxy S7 edge: Should you upgrade?

71

Do you really need all the latest and greatest Galaxy S8+? Or will last year's model suffice?

It's that time of year again. Spring has sprung and so has Samsung unearthed its new flagship smartphones. This year, the Galaxy S8+ was announced as the larger sibling of the Galaxy S8 for those who like to wield bigger smartphones. It's also the follow-up to last year's Galaxy S7 edge.

You might be wondering: Is it worth upgrading to the Galaxy S8+ if the Galaxy S7 edge is already on sale everywhere else? Well, that depends entirely on how big you like your display.

Hardware, specs and features

The Galaxy S8+ will undoubtedly remind of you the fabled Galaxy Note 7. But after you've shed a couple of tears for what could have been, wipe them away with your shirt sleeve and give the Galaxy S8+ a good once over. Notice its smooth edges, stunning chassis color, and recessed camera lens. This is an improved smartphone, and although the S7 edge is a looker in its own right, there's something inherently more polished about the design of the Galaxy S8+.

If you're looking for a pocket dweller, you might feel better suited with a Galaxy S7 edge.

The real question here is how big do you like the screen? The Galaxy S7 edge's Quad HD display is certainly large at 5.5-inches, but the Galaxy S8+'s 6.2-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display offers significantly more screen space for watching movies, editing documents, and taking part in brawls on social media. It also supports HDR, which Netflix and Amazon are supporting.

If you're looking for a pocket dweller, however, you might feel better suited with a Galaxy S7 edge. The Galaxy S8+ is certainly packs plenty of screen space into a thin chassis, but its tall, narrow body requires a bit of space to burrow inside a pair of pants.

GS8 fingerprint sensor

The Galaxy S8+'s fingerprint sensor is on the backside, high above the area where your index finger normally rests.

Now, let's talk about specifications. The Galaxy S8+ doesn't offer anything particularly groundbreaking when pitted against its predecessor. Despite the larger screen, it is not equipped with a larger battery, nor does it offer more RAM — though you do get a faster processor and an extra 32GB of internal storage. And like the Galaxy S7 edge, it offers wireless charging, an SD card slot, and waterproofing, as well as all the other marketable bells and whistles, including Samsung Pay. Regardless of which one you choose, you're not getting too much of a difference in terms of marquee Samsung features.

Samsung Galaxy S8+ specs

Software and experience

This is a Galaxy S8 and a Galaxy S7 edge, but you get the idea.

The Galaxy S7 edge is turning into the trusty old steed that's adopting what it can to remain as capable as the fawns who've since been introduced into the barn. It has Android 7.0 Nougat now, which is great if you're considering a smartphone at a discount but are hoping to avoid regressing on software updates.

When it comes to the day-to-day, there's not much difference between the software on the Galaxy S8+ and Galaxy S7 edge, and especially not if the latter is updated to Nougat. You'll get access to Samsung's lighter layout if the latter is on Android 7.0, though the Galaxy S8+ will have a couple of additions that have carried over from the Note 7's short-lived heyday.

You won't get iris scanning and facial recognition on the Galaxy S7 edge because it's not equipped with the right hardware.

Also, while the camera hardware may not have advanced much, the camera application did receive a bit of an interface trim and some silly feature additions. There's nothing particularly revolutionary that you're missing out on.

You are missing out on one software feature, however, that's possible only because of the hardware inside the Galaxy S8+. The phone features iris scanning and facial recognition to secure your files and folders. You won't get that on the Galaxy S7 edge because it's not equipped with the right hardware.

Galaxy S8+

Bottom line: The Galaxy S8+ looks great in Orchid Gray.

The Galaxy S8+ comes with Bixby, Samsung's new on-device voice assistant, which promises to help you navigate your new smartphone and keep you privy to your town's weather forecast. The chances are slim that Bixby will make it to the elder Galaxy smartphones, so if you're keen on living in the future with your favorite device maker, you'll want to get the phone with the hardware button dedicated to this feature.

The Galaxy S8+ positions itself as a better productivity machine by way of the fact that it's equipped with Samsung DeX capabilities. DeX is the Galaxy S8's hidden desktop interface, and you can unlock it by plopping the phone into the sold-separately dock. The DeX dock is a USB-C peripheral, so it's not inherently meant to work with the Galaxy S7 edge. Even if you inserted a Micro-USB to USB Type-C adapter, it's unlikely Samsung would spend much time optimizing DeX to make it compatible with older hardware.

Bottom line

New things are really nice to have, and shiny things can help attract new friends. But if it's the latest technology you're looking for, the Galaxy S8+ isn't too much of a leap forward to consider trading in a perfectly capable Galaxy S7 edge. The Galaxy S8+'s performance will be slightly better in the longer run by virtue of the fact that it's running a newer Snapdragon 835 chip, but its battery life will remain relatively the same, and the photos you take with it won't look too much different.

If you simply don't care for a larger display consider saving your money.

You aren't skimping out on any essential software features, either. Samsung DeX and Bixby are certainly interesting new offerings, but they're still in their first generation, and it'll take some time to see how each evolves.

Ultimately, whether you're looking to switch from a Galaxy S7 edge or are deciding whether to upgrade to the Galaxy S8+, consider your stance on wielding a taller phone. Smaller hands might find difficulty wielding the device one-handed, particularly if they plan to use the oddly located fingerprint sensor. The tradeoff is the Galaxy S8+'s bigger screen, which will net you more multitasking abilities in the long term.

See at Samsung

But if you simply don't care for a larger display, consider saving your money and adopting the Galaxy S7 edge.

See at Amazon

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

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