October 18, 2016: Launch day.
I love review embargo day. So much work and planning goes into that one moment where everything needs to go off without a hitch. If everything goes well, you shouldn't notice. You should just see the posts and videos appear as they should, magically and effortlessly. If something goes wrong, the complaints come quick and often. I won't say what happened, because it was corrected very quickly, but today had its fair share of excitement behind the scenes. That's why this job is so much fun!
And then, when everything calms down, you survey the competition. Everyone covers new devices differently, of course: some from a wider-market perspective, including phones from other platforms; others take a more narrow approach, drilling down into a few important features for a built-in audience. Either way, there was a lot of great coverage of Google's new phones today, and some that was, well, pretty bad. I'm all for people taking an opposing opinion to mine, but this review came off as rushed and spiteful. It was also incorrect in a number of key ways.
The most interesting part about reading other sites' reviews is inspecting tone. Some people come at it from a wide-eyed perspective of a true fan, a champion of that product and the brand. Others take a more measured approach, opting to acknowledge the bad with the good. And others still go into the review with a preconceived notion. There's a market for all of these takes, but I think there is more value in finding ways to be optimistic about the future. Even if what you're talking about is just a slab of metal and glass.
A slab of metal and glass that has changed the world in under a decade.
The Google Pixel reviews are in
ICYMI, we reviewed the Pixel. Twice. It's a great set of phones, and probably the best Android experience you can get right now. Other people seem to agree, too. The highlights? The camera is close to the Galaxy S7 and beats the iPhone 7 in most situations. The software additions are individually minor but add up to a big improvement. And the phone is wicked-fast.
Samsung sets up Note 7 exchange booths at airports
Samsung is setting up trade-in booths for the Note 7 at airports around the world to process exchanges for customers that have been traveling with the device. More
Unlocked LG V20 to cost $799 at B&H, Newegg
Australia will get the world's first gigabit LTE network
Qualcomm is partnering with Netgear, Ericsson, and Australian carrier Telstra in rolling out the world's first gigabit LTE network in the country. The network is slated to go live before the end of the year, and once it does, customers will be able to leverage gigabit speeds with Netgear's Mobile Router MR1100 hotspot. More
Qualcomm's Snapdragon 653, 626, and 427 now official!
Qualcomm has rolled out incremental updates to its mid-range and entry-level SoCs. The Snapdragon 653, 626, and 427 support dual cameras, Quick Charge 3.0, and a Category 7 X9 LTE modem. More
Give folks free Wi-Fi, and they'll use it for porn
Google's public Wi-Fi initiative is seeing a lot of usage in Indian railway stations:
More than anything, porn sites have been watched and downloaded by the people at Patna railway station.
Unlike other smartphone manufacturers, Samsung tested its own Note 7 batteries
Samsung's been working overtime to do damage control for the Galaxy Note7, but a new report suggests it could have avoided the entire fiasco if it would have just done what every other manufacturer does: Test its smartphone batteries with a certified third-party lab.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the batteries used in the Note7 were vetted by Samsung's own internal battery testing lab. The company claims that its own testing did not reveal any problems in both the original and replacement Note7 devices. But most manufacturers—including Apple, Lenovo, and even Microsoft—all contract smartphone battery testing through a third-party lab certified by CTIA, the U.S.'s wireless industry trade group. Those labs ensure that battery packs comply with standards set by the IEEE, though testing through these particular labs is purely optional.
Samsung said it plans to significantly change the way its tests batteries from here on out, though it's unfortunate it had to go through two recalls before uprooting its process.
Alphabet shares hit record on positive Google Pixel reviews
Good news for Google parent, Alphabet, after primarily positive reviews for the company's first phone sent the shares to highs not seen since 2004, when Google first traded publically. Shares briefly hit $828 before sliding to $826. No word if Google Assistant gloated about it to Siri and Cortana.
A new Moto X may be on its way
Evan Blass of Venturebeat tweeted a familiar-looking, unreleased phone today, which could turn out to be another Moto X release. No fingerprint, rounded corners. Yeah, that's about it. Meanwhile, read out Moto Z Play review.
Rogers CEO Laurence ousted after tension with owner family
This was out of left field. After seeing him present a new wireless product earlier this month, Rogers, Canada's largest wireless carrier, announced this week that CEO and President Guy Laurence is stepping down, effective immediately. The company is bringing in former Telus CEO Joe Natale to replace him, though a non-compete clause is preventing him from starting for another couple of months. According to the Globe and Mail, Laurence's unorthodox management style frequently butted heads with the Rogers family, a number of whom sit on the board.
That's it for tonight! See you tomorrow.