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3 days ago

Best Android Phone Over $700

Samsung Galaxy S8

Best overall

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

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Samsung's big-screened flagship phone delivers just about everything you could want from a premium handset — and with outright prices approaching $1,000, you'd hope so. The centerpiece of the Note 8 is its gorgeous 6.3-inch SuperAMOLED display, which can reach a dizzying 1,2000 nits in bright daylight for maxium visibility. You also get Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 835 processor (or Samsung's latest Exynos 8895 processor outside North America), plus 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage as standard.

The solid camera experience of the GS8 has been augmented by a second telephoto lens, the first zoom lens with OIS (optical image stabilization) in an Android phone. And that's backed up by all the core features you'd expect from a modern Samsung phone, like water resistance and fast wireless charging. And the S Pen is more useful than ever, with a bunch of new features.

Bottom line: The Galaxy Note 8 reigns supreme in the premium Android segment, with excellent performance across the board, only tarnished slightly by wonky fingerprint scanner placement.

One more thing:Want to pay a little less and get a slightly larger battery? Take a look at the Galaxy S8+.



Why the Galaxy Note 8 is the best

Samsung has successfully shrugged off the unfortunate legacy of the Note 7, returning with a fantastic handset that builds on the solid foundations of the Galaxy S8 series.

In addition to a slightly angular take on the S8's design, Galaxy Note 8 owners will get everything we loved about the S8+, with a bigger and better display, the added utility of the S Pen, and a dual camera setup that introduces some really fun and creative photo possibilities. A phone that demand such a high asking price needs to excel across the board, and the Note 8 lives up to the high standards we demand from a phone in this price category.

The only thing your money won't buy you is the latest version of Android Oreo out of the box — the Note 8's still on Nougat for now.

Best runner-up

Google Pixel 2 XL

Google Pixel XL

See at Verizon See at Best Buy See at Google Store

The Google Pixel 2 XL gets the number-two spot here, but its basically a coin toss between these two handsets. They're both really, really good.

Despite some controversy around display quality — for what it's worth, the Note 8 definitely wins in this area — the larger of Google's two second-gen Pixel phones is a force to be reckoned with. It packs top-tier specs, a unique painted aluminum chassis in either black or panda black-and-white colors. And the curved glass front, while not quite as bezelless as Samsung's current phones, looks sleek and futuristic.

The Pixel 2 XL also boasts the latest version of Android Oreo out of the box, with speedy updates to Android 8.1 and beyond. And the rear camera, with Google's HDR+ technology, ranks as the best smartphone camera out there right now.

If you want a cleaner Android experience, or the latest software, or if Samsung's designs just don't do it for you, the Pixel 2 XL is a great alternative.

Bottom line: For a clean, fast and simple Android experience with probably the best low-light camera on any phone, the Pixel 2 XL is a fantastic choice.

One more thing: Since you're likely buying the Pixel 2 XL unlocked anyway, consider Google's own carrier, Project Fi.



Best tough phone

Samsung Galaxy S8 Active

Moto Z Force Droid

See at AT&T See at T-Mobile

Available on AT&T and T-Mobile in the United States, the Galaxy S8 Active is the latest ruggedized take on a modern Samsung flagship. Once again, building on the basis of the regular Galaxy S8, the Active model sports a chunkier, more durable chassis, loses the curved dispay and boasts an enormous 4,000mAh battery for epic longevity.

Add to that all your core GS8 features, likea great 12-megapixel rear camera, a bright screen and strong performance, and you've got the best tough Android phone you can buy.

Bottom line: It's not as pretty as the regular GS8, but the Active pulls ahead with a giant battery and a less accident-prone chassis.

One more thing: The Active is only available on AT&T and T-Mobile, so your buying options are much more limited compared to the Note 8 or GS8.

Conclusion

If you're looking to spend top dollar on a phone, our top choice is the Galaxy Note 8. It's followed closely by Google's top-end Pixel 2 XL, though, and if you need something tougher (and you live in the United States), you can consider the Galaxy S8 Active.

Best overall

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

See at Verizon See at AT&T See at T-Mobile See at Sprint See at Best Buy See at Amazon

Samsung's big-screened flagship phone delivers just about everything you could want from a premium handset — and with outright prices approaching $1,000, you'd hope so. The centerpiece of the Note 8 is its gorgeous 6.3-inch SuperAMOLED display, which can reach a dizzying 1,2000 nits in bright daylight for maxium visibility. You also get Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 835 processor (or Samsung's latest Exynos 8895 processor outside North America), plus 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage as standard.

The solid camera experience of the GS8 has been augmented by a second telephoto lens, the first zoom lens with OIS (optical image stabilization) in an Android phone. And that's backed up by all the core features you'd expect from a modern Samsung phone, like water resistance and fast wireless charging. And the S Pen is more useful than ever, with a bunch of new features.

Bottom line: The Galaxy Note 8 reigns supreme in the premium Android segment, with excellent performance across the board, only tarnished slightly by wonky fingerprint scanner placement.

One more thing:Want to pay a little less and get a slightly larger battery? Take a look at the Galaxy S8+.

Update, November 2017: The Galaxy Note 8 is our new winner, closely followed by the Google Pixel 2 XL. And the new best tough phone is the Galaxy S8 Active.

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3 days ago

Huawei Mate 10 Pro now on sale at Vodafone UK; first 1,000 orders get a free Huawei Watch 2

0

Huawei's latest flagship is now available from Vodafone UK.

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is now up for sale from Vodafone UK. You'll be able to pick up the handset for £46 per month for 24 months when you pay an upfront fee of just £10, which gives you access to unlimited texts, calls, and 4GB of monthly LTE data . Vodafone is incentivizing the launch by giving away a free Huawei Watch 2 to the first 1,000 customers.

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3 days ago

How much storage have you used so far on your Pixel 2?

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Thank goodness for generous storage amounts.

One of the smaller changes that Google made this year with the Pixel 2 was the amount of storage available for the base model. Unlike last year's Pixel that came with a minimum of 32GB, the Pixel 2 comes equipped with 64GB at the very least. That's a healthy amount of space for most folks, but if you really need the added room, you can still increase it to 128GB for an extra $100.

Some of our forum users recently got to talking about how they've been using their local space with the Pixel 2 so far, and these are a few of the responses.

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Almeuit 11-14-2017 12:31 PM “

I will lose this most likely (jk.. I know I will haha) but how is your storage working for you on your Pixel 2/XL? I have the 128 GB Pixel 2 XL and I have loaded up a good amount of media. Mainly just my playlists from Google Play Music, anime from Netflix, and some movies I enjoy from Vudu/etc. I do have unlimited data (Verizon) so I still stream certain things (such as Crunchyroll - an...

Reply
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Ca_lvn 11-14-2017 12:58 PM “

My primary means of storage on this phone will be photos, I plan on exploring the camera a lot more, at that point most likely I'll have to delete from the phone. I kept it on a budget with the 64 gigabyte drive. Surprisingly I have 85 apps installed, kind of hard to believe I have that many on the phone. Google photos is my guaranteed safe backup so I'm confident that will meet all my...

Reply
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paradroid 11-14-2017 01:48 PM “

24 out of 128 gigs used. I don't watch cartoons so none of those stored. For movies I wouldn't waste watching a good one on a 6 inch phone screen, I'd use my 65 inch Ultra Hi Def TV with surround sound. If I did need to watch a movie on the go (flying overseas) I'd use my tablet or laptop for the bigger screen. Downloaded music from google play takes minimal space. My 500 albums are all...

Reply
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Almeuit 11-16-2017 03:39 PM “

I currently have 42% free space on my 128 GB variant :).

Reply

Now, we'd like to pass the question on to you – How much storage have you used on your Pixel 2?

Join the conversation in the forums!

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Google Store Project Fi Verizon Best Buy

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3 days ago

HTC U11 Life (Android One) review: Keep it simple

5
HTC U11 Life

HTC's first Android One device has everything you want from a mid-range phone — with highlights including Oreo out of the box, and a surprisingly capable camera.

Android One has arrived in Europe, and HTC is one of the first manufacturers to ship an affordable, Google-branded phone. The Android One badge made its debut in India and parts of Asia, as Google emphasized quality software on super-cheap hardware. But with its latest round of "One" handsets, the prices are higher, the products more premium, and the hand on the software rudder a little firmer.

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3 days ago

OnePlus 5T is coming to India on Nov 21 for ₹32,999 — the same price as the OnePlus 5

1

The OnePlus 5T will launch at the same price point as its predecessor in India.

India is a key market for OnePlus, and the company is looking to stay competitive in the mid-range segment with the OnePlus 5T. The phone will make its debut in the country starting November 21 via an early access sale on Amazon India, with general availability kicking off from November 28. Crucially, the OnePlus 5T will debut at the same price point as the OnePlus 5: the 64GB variant will retail for ₹32,999 ($507), whereas the 128GB edition will cost ₹37,999 ($585).

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3 days ago

Download the official OnePlus 5T wallpapers right here

4

A few wallpapers to make your current phone look like OnePlus's latest.

After weeks upon weeks of leaks and rumors, OnePlus finally took the wraps off of the OnePlus 5T on November 16. The phone is shaping up to be one of the absolute best ways to spend $500 on a new device, and if you're anxiously awaiting November 21 to get here so you can order the phone, you can now download all of the 5T's official wallpapers.

The most notable feature with the OnePlus 5T is its large 6-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 2160 x 1080. The aspect ratio's been changed to a more modern 18:9, and like a lot of other phones we've seen this year, OnePlus drastically slimmed down the bezels from every angle.

In an attempt to show off the true power and capabilities of the 5T's display, the wallpapers that ship with it are, unsurprisingly, filled with a lot of bright and vibrant colors. There are five new wallpapers that'll be available on the 5T when it's released, but if you want to download them to your phone right now, you can do just that.

Check them all out below!

OnePlus 5T hands-on preview: Relentless iteration

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4 days ago

OnePlus 5T vs. OnePlus 3T: Should you upgrade?

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OnePlus 5T and OnePlus 3T

The iterative march can make it tough to know when to upgrade.

The average OnePlus phone owner likely upgrades faster than owners of other brands, but even they have limits. Most won't drop the money to get a new phone every six months ... but jumping up every year is totally reasonable. With the release of the OnePlus 5T there are a whole lot of OnePlus 3T owners eyeballing this upgrade who understandably passed on the quick jump to the original OnePlus 5 while their own purchase was still nice and fresh. And there are probably many OnePlus 3 owners feeling the same way, not wanting to wait another half a year for whatever succeeds it.

Whether you're hanging onto a OnePlus 3 or the slightly upgraded 3T, we want to give you the information you need to know if the OnePlus 5T is a worthy upgrade at $499.

What's the same

OnePlus 5T and OnePlus 3T

OnePlus has held a pretty amazing consistency in its flagships from the original OnePlus One up to today's 5T. Though the exterior of the OnePlus 5T looks quite different from the 3 or 3T, the core experience of using the phone hasn't changed all that much. Android 7.1 Nougat on the OnePlus 3 and 3T is near-identical to what ships on the 5T, and all three phones are slated for the Android 8.0 Oreo update by the end of 2017.

The core experience of using the phone hasn't changed much from the OnePlus 3 to the 5T.

Performance, too, is extremely consistent between the phones. Though the OnePlus 3 may seem "old" to phone nerds, its Snapdragon 820 processor and 6GB of RAM are more than capable of pushing this nimble OxygenOS software and all of the latest apps at nearly the same pace as a Snapdragon 835 and (potentially) 8GB of RAM on the latest OnePlus 5T.

Beyond the software being displayed on the screen, the core hardware experience hasn't changed much either. We'll talk about the design changes below, but when you think about the basic hardware features — like ports, buttons, speaker, radios, etc. — you'll find few discrepancies between the previous generation and the latest. Again, it's worth remembering that even the OnePlus 3 isn't particularly old at this point, and when it was released it had most of the latest and greatest internals — they've aged well.

What's different

OnePlus 5T and OnePlus 3T

The most obvious difference with this upgrade is the change of hardware design. OnePlus is using the same simple, solid and efficient hardware in the 5T as it did back with the 3, but it's much more sleek and refined in 2017. The OnePlus 5T has a bit more character, more polish and more style when set next to the generic-looking OnePlus 3. The feel isn't much different between the two, but looks are important.

There's no doubt the OnePlus 5T feels like a far more 'modern' phone.

The same goes with the view from the front, where the 6-inch 2:1 display on the OnePlus 5T just feels more modern compared to the larger bezels surrounding a 5.5-inch 16:9 display on the older phones. And it isn't just for looks: you get the benefit of more usable screen space in effectively the same package, too, and the fingerprint sensor is just as usable on the back of the phone. The Optic AMOLED display panel itself isn't notably improved from last year, but getting more of it in the same basic package is a win-win.

We've established that the OnePlus 5T doesn't necessarily have a huge lead in terms of performance today compared to the older phones, but its newer specs certainly give it a longer runway into the future. The Snapdragon 820 holds up just fine today, but how about in another year? It won't feel the same as the 5T's Snapdragon 835. And that brings up a larger point about the future of software on these phones: the OnePlus 3 and 3T are likely done with official software support following the Oreo update, while the 5T will see at least the "P" release in 2018.

The 5T's specs aren't game-changing today, but they will help a ton going forward.

The one clear point of differentiation in terms of specs and their actual effect on your daily use right off the bat will be when talking about battery. The OnePlus 3's 3000mAh capacity is of course 10% smaller than the 5T's 3300mAh, but the newer phone also has a much more efficient processor on board to make better use of it. That's a real-world improvement you'll see in battery life day after day. Now when talking about the OnePlus 3T with its 3400mAh capacity, you won't see much of a difference — you can't argue with that extra capacity.

The camera comparison between these phones is a bit of a mixed bag as well. You can quite easily argue that the OnePlus 5T's newer sensor, secondary lens for low light and Portrait Mode as a complete package is better overall than the single 16MP camera on the OnePlus 3 and 3T. But in many shooting conditions that old camera — with its optical image stabilization — is going to do an admirable job that'll compare favorably to the OnePlus 5T. Yes the newer phone has more features, but in terms of raw shot-to-shot photo quality OnePlus just hasn't made massive strides in the last year.

Should you upgrade?

As you can see, OnePlus hasn't made huge improvements in features or performance when comparing the OnePlus 5T to even the original OnePlus 3. But that really is more of a testament to how well the OnePlus 3 has held up over time than the OnePlus 5T being unattractive on its own. OnePlus takes a relatively conservative approach, and isn't particularly willing to throw out features or specs with the new phone — it instead refines in some areas and adds in others to give you a better phone with each generation.

This isn't a 'sure thing' sort of upgrade, but you can find reason for it — and it may not be expensive.

When you look at things this way, it's easy to say that your can be happy with your OnePlus 3T or even OnePlus 3 at the end of 2017, choosing to not drop the extra money on a new OnePlus 5T that isn't a substantial upgrade. Yes the hardware is nicer, the screen is larger and the specs give you more runway for the future; but today you'll get almost the same experience using a OnePlus 3 as you do on the OnePlus 5T.

The one thing making this upgrade decision interesting is how well OnePlus phones seem to hold their value on the used market. Browsing OnePlus listings on popular trade site Swappa shows OnePlus 3s still selling for over $200, and 3Ts often snagging upwards of $300. That's a solid return on a phone that's at least a year old, and gets you about half way toward your new OnePlus 5T, should you decide to upgrade.

If you're willing to sell on your OnePlus 3 or 3T, you can hop onto the latest and greatest from the company for what comes out to a modest investment. And in doing so, you're getting a phone with a longer runway into the future and the same great day-to-day OnePlus experience you already know and love.

OnePlus 5T and OnePlus 5

OnePlus Amazon

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4 days ago

Best Large Android Phone

Best Overall

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

See at Verizon See at AT&T See at T-Mobile See at Sprint See at Best Buy See at Amazon

Forget last year's missteps — the Samsung Galaxy Note line is back in style. This year's Note takes everything we loved about the Galaxy S8 Plus and adds even more display real estate, an impressive new dual-camera rig, boasting 2X telephoto with optical image stabilization, and new features for the S Pen stylus, including animated written messages.

Samsung's best-in-class display gets even better with new capabilities including a 1200-nit daylight mode. And the Note's performance is supercharged thanks to 6GB of RAM as standard, and software enhancements in Samsung Experience 8.5.

You of course get Samsung's trademark S Pen stylus, which is smarter than ever in the seventh-generation Note. But the biggest reason to invest in one of the priciest Android phones on the market might be the Note 8's new dual camera setup. The main camera mirrors the excellent performance of the GS8, while the secondary shooter captures zoomed in shots with greater detail than any Android phone, thanks to its 12-megapixel resolution and optical stabilization.

Bottom line: The Galaxy Note 8 boasts a fearsome price tag, but it's easily the best handset in this category. Between the display, performance, cameras, and productivity features, there's no better big-screened phone

One more thing: The Note 8's fingerprint scanner is in kind of an awkward place — not unlike the Galaxy S8. And in addition, the face unlock and iris scanning features can be temperamental.

Why the Galaxy Note 8 is the best

Simply put, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is the best at almost everything it does.

Samsung's latest big-screened handset steps out from the shadow of the Note 7, excelling across the board and building on the success of the Galaxy S8 line. The huge 6.3-inch SuperAMOLED display looks fantastic, with the best daylight visibility we've seen in a phone and bright, vibrant colors. And the phone itself is beautiful, with a symmetrical design that shows off its epic display.

What's more, the Note 8 has everything you could ask for in a high-end handset with a top-tier dual camera array, software that's differentiated but not overbearing, and speedy performance.


Best alternative

Google Pixel 2 XL

See at Verizon See at Best Buy See at Google Store

The larger of Google's two second-generation Pixel phones brings a tall 18:9 display with slimmer bezels, a big battery, an excellent camera, and the best software experience on any Android phone. There's a curved "3D glass" front, a unqiue painted metal exterior, along with water- and dust-resistance capabilities and 64GB of storage as standard — big, necessary upgrades from the older Pixels.

You'll of course get Android Oreo out of the box, with the promise of swift updates to future versions of the OS, along with some excellent software customizations from Google. Google Lens will tell you what' in your photos, and "Now Playing" can identify songs in the background without using mobile data. And to top it off, Google's second-generation Pixel camera excels across the board, with legendary low-light and high-contrast capabilities. While the display isn't the best out there, it's still decent, and the rest of the phone is absolutely top-tier.

Bottom line: Despite some concerns around the screen, the Google Pixel 2 XL is a phenomenal smartphone with awesome software, and the best camera out there.

One more thing: We have to pick one overall winner, but the Pixel 2 XL is about equal with the Note 8, on balance. It just depends what your priorities are.



Best for battery life

Huawei Mate 10 / Mate 10 Pro

See at Amazon

Chinese manufacturer Huawei continues to go from strength to strength, and the latest Mate 10 phones — in particular the Mate 10 Pro — stand out as great overall devices with particular focus on battery life. Both Mate 10s are fast, run Huawei's Android Oreo-based EMUI 8 software, and run the new Kirin 970 chip, which comes with cutting-edge AI hardware for added future-proofing.

Beyond its size and software, the Mate 10 series nails the fundamentals of a great Android experience, with quick performance and between 64 and 128GB of storage as standard, plus microSD expansion on the regular Mate 10, and one of the best dual camera setups we've seen. Unlike Huawei combines two cameras with the same focal length, but with one OIS (optical image stabilization) 12MP camera capturing colors, and the other, a 20MP monochrome sensor, picking up fine detail, behind super-bright f/1.6 lenses. The result is a camera setup that goes toe-to-toe with the Google Pixel 2 in many situations.

Bottom line: Huawei has nailed the camera experience this time around, and that, combined with the Mate line's historic strength in battery life, make for a great device.

One more thing: We're still waiting for the Mate 10 series to launch properly, though Amazon pre-orders for the regular model are available, and a European launch for the Pro is immiment.

Best for less

LG V30

See at AT&T See at Verizon See at Sprint See at T-Mobile

LG has successfully built on the G6 with its best big-screened phone to date, the V30. The V30 takes the design of its G-series forerunner and smoothes out the angles, with curved Gorilla Glass 5 front and back, polished aluminum on the sides, and plenty of power lurking within. It's also LG's first flagship phone in more than two years with an OLED screen, and while it's not quite as spectacular as the Note 8's Super AMOLED, LG's latest display is great in its own right.,

On the inside, you get a standard loadout of high-end smartphone specs: Snapdragon 835, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage (or 128GB if you get the V30+). But as with most LG phones over the past year or so, the biggest reason to choose the V30 might be its camera capabilities. The main shooter is a 16-megapixel unit with a new, super-bright f/1.6 lens, with OIS. And that's paired with a brighter wide-angle camera with f/1.9 aperture, so you can capture dramatic 120-degree views even in low light.

LG has also built out new cinematic video shooting features in the new Cine LOG recording mode, which is great for videographers wanting to edit footage from the phone in Final Cut or Adobe Premiere.

Bottom line: The V30 is a great overall package. If you want many of the top features of the Note 8 without breaking the bank, LG's latest is well worth a look.

One more thing: No more weird regional variations! All V30s come with LG's famed Quad DAC for high-quality wired audio, as well as wireless charging and IP68 water resistance.

Best 'Almost a Note 8' phone

Samsung Galaxy S8+

See at Verizon See at AT&T See at T-Mobile See at Sprint See at Best Buy See at Amazon

Samsung delivers a great big-screened Android experience in the larger of the two Galaxy S8 models. The new 18.5:9 aspect ratio, combined with a 6.2-inch display size (6.1 inches excluding the rounded corners) makes the Galaxy S8+ big, but not impossible to hold. And the extra height of that beautiful Quad HD+ SuperAMOLED panel means you'll fit more on screen, too.

The design work Samsung started in 2016 can be seen coming to fruition in the GS8+, with an almost completely symmetrical metal and glass chassis that complements the big screen. And Samsung nails the fundamentals of the smartphone experience too, with fast performance and a great camera, improved from the GS7 thanks to new processing tricks. On the software side, Samsung's UI feels more polished and mature than ever, with a new sci-fi aesthetic that's slick and unique but not overbearing.

Bottom line: It's expensive for sure, but the Samsung Galaxy S8+ easily one of the best phablets out there.

One more thing: The Galaxy S8+'s fingerprint scanner is in kind of an awkward place, around the back and next to the camera lens. But at least you've got face unlock and iris scanning to fall back on.

Conclusion

If you want the best Android has to offer in a big-screened phone, look no further than the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. The size of Samsung's 6.3-incher is both a strength and a weakness — thanks to the extra-tall 18.5:9 aspect ratio, this is a very tall phone. But if that's what you're after, Samsung does a great job of showcasing an enormous, bright display and backing up a great physical design with good-looking software and unique software tricks, the S Pen and a fantastic dual camera setup.

Best Overall

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

See at Verizon See at AT&T See at T-Mobile See at Sprint See at Best Buy See at Amazon

Forget last year's missteps — the Samsung Galaxy Note line is back in style. This year's Note takes everything we loved about the Galaxy S8 Plus and adds even more display real estate, an impressive new dual-camera rig, boasting 2X telephoto with optical image stabilization, and new features for the S Pen stylus, including animated written messages.

Samsung's best-in-class display gets even better with new capabilities including a 1200-nit daylight mode. And the Note's performance is supercharged thanks to 6GB of RAM as standard, and software enhancements in Samsung Experience 8.5.

You of course get Samsung's trademark S Pen stylus, which is smarter than ever in the seventh-generation Note. But the biggest reason to invest in one of the priciest Android phones on the market might be the Note 8's new dual camera setup. The main camera mirrors the excellent performance of the GS8, while the secondary shooter captures zoomed in shots with greater detail than any Android phone, thanks to its 12-megapixel resolution and optical stabilization.

Bottom line: The Galaxy Note 8 boasts a fearsome price tag, but it's easily the best handset in this category. Between the display, performance, cameras, and productivity features, there's no better big-screened phone

One more thing: The Note 8's fingerprint scanner is in kind of an awkward place — not unlike the Galaxy S8. And in addition, the face unlock and iris scanning features can be temperamental.

Updated November 2017: We've added the Pixel 2 XL and Huawei Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro to our lineup!

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4 days ago

OnePlus 5T hands-on preview: Relentless iteration

57
OnePlus 5T

The march of innovation never ends.

OnePlus has perfected a strategy over the last two years. Rather than expanding its product portfolio, it simply takes its flagship phone and iterates on it, adding subtle features and updating the design, while sticking to the core principles of having fantastic specs for the money. And in the past two generations now, that has included a mid-cycle refresh of its phone with a "T" variant. Understanding that the diehard fans don't wait to wait a whole year for a new phone, for fear of having "old" tech in their pocket, OnePlus stays on the bleeding edge by giving a six-month refresh with a few key changes and a small price bump to match.

Comparing the OnePlus 5T to its immediate predecessor, the OnePlus 5, isn't all that exciting. But watching OnePlus relentlessly iterate with one phone after another, unceremoniously killing off its predecessor in the process, sure is. Here's what OnePlus has to offer in the 5T.

Moving look

OnePlus 5T Hands-on video

Some things are best conveyed with video. To see the OnePlus 5T in action, you'll want to watch our hands-on preview above. When you're finished, continue on for all of the details!

OnePlus 5T and OnePlus 5

What's the same

OnePlus 5T Carryovers from the OnePlus 5

Let's just lay it out from the start: about 90% of the OnePlus 5T is identical to the OnePlus 5. I'll get into the specifics of what has changed below, but despite those subtle proportional differences the core materials and build quality are identical to its predecessor. The aluminum slab of a frame is near-featureless, with rounded sides and almost no texture to help you hang on to it. Even though the 5T is slightly different in size the ports and switches are all in the exact same places — the headphone jack and Alert Slider both remain, thankfully.

Let's just lay it out from the start: about 90% of the OnePlus 5T is identical to the OnePlus 5.

The spec sheets for the two phones are also identical. A Snapdragon 835 processor runs the show, supported by either 6GB of RAM and 64GB storage or 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage once again. A 3300mAh battery provides the power, and the 5V/4A Dash Charge charging system refills it. But beyond that, you'll find all of the same finer details, down to the same radio bands and connectivity options. This is, in every respect, the same platform inside.

OnePlus 5T specs

The OnePlus 5T is still running Nougat, barely changed from what's on the OnePlus 5 today — there are a couple subtle launcher changes and a new gesture in the camera app, but no wholesale redesigns or feature additions. Funnily enough, the OnePlus 3 and 3T are actually a step ahead of the 5T in one respect, as it has an early look at the Oreo update through its beta program already, which is the software that will be coming to all phones from the OnePlus 3 onwards by the end of 2017.

OxygenOS is still great — one of my favorite manufacturer customizations of Android — but it continues to be a head-scratcher why OnePlus doesn't time new software releases to coincide with new hardware. With so much shared between the 5 and 5T in terms of hardware and specs, it would've been a nice little differentiator to see the new phone also debut new Oreo software and at least have that head start going for it.

OnePlus 5T

A few tweaks

OnePlus 5T Hardware changes

So, what is different? Well, the few changes that have been made actually have an influence on how the potential buying public will perceive the OnePlus 5T. Unlike the OnePlus 3 to the 3T last year, the company swapped out the display to completely change the look of the front of the device.

You simply get more screen in the same body — it's a win-win.

Gone is the "old"-looking 5.5-inch 16:9 panel, replaced by a 6-inch 2:1 panel instead. It's a near-identical Optic AMOLED screen, with very similar tuning, colors and brightness, and though it isn't a mind-blowing panel like the Galaxy Note 8 it also doesn't have any notable flaws that'll put you off at first glance. The bigger display necessitated the reduction of the top and bottom bezels to keep the phone manageable in the hand, and it definitely still is. The OnePlus 5T is just marginally taller than the 5 and the same width and thickness, so you simply get more usable display in effectively the same footprint — it's win-win.

That necessitated the removal of capacitive keys below the display, which was a long-held nod to the enthusiast crowd that traditionally loves OnePlus phones. But alas, it's time to let go — I see a not-so-distant future where no phones have capacitive keys, and it's beautiful. The fingerprint sensor also moved, of course, repositioning to the rear where many of the same enthusiasts happily use it on phones like the Pixel 2 XL. It's still a super-fast sensor, and it has an ergonomic placement that makes plenty of sense — it also lets you swipe on it to lower the notification shade. Nice.

Those smaller bezels seem to have had a direct correlation to the camera bump on the back of the phone growing in thickness, as there just wasn't as much room to jam everything above the display. It's still a dual camera module and is the same width and height, but sits higher off the back and provides for a bigger wobble when the phone is on a table. A subtle difference, and one you probably wouldn't notice unless someone told you.

OnePlus 5T Face Unlock

Camera changes

OnePlus 5T A few feature additions

The remaining changes and differentiators with the OnePlus 5T are extremely subtle, and they have to do with the cameras.

It seems as though OnePlus wasn't happy with the OnePlus 5's secondary telephoto lens, as it has scrapped it just a few months in with the 5T. The secondary camera remains, but it now has the same focal length as the primary camera. The sensor itself has changed, though, to a Sony IMX 376k (from IMX 350) and the lens is now f/1.7 to match the primary. That new sensor is still 20MP with quite small 1-micron pixels and doesn't have OIS — which isn't typically a recipe for success in bad lighting even though OnePlus claims the second sensor is "tuned" for low-light photography.

I think everyone would trade Portrait Mode for better photos out of the main camera.

You can't explicitly switch to that secondary low-light camera, so it only comes on automatically — and early indications are that it only enables in really dark scenes. The secondary camera is shaping up to once again be more of an afterthought than a point of strength, just like on the OnePlus 5, leaving me leaning toward being upset that the main camera didn't pick up any improvements. Yes that dual lens approach lets OnePlus do its Portrait Mode shots, but that's about it — and I think just about everyone would trade that feature for better photos from the primary camera.

Over on the front side, OnePlus hasn't changed anything about the camera hardware — a 16MP Sony sensor with f/2.0 lens — but has managed to leverage something in it for a fresh feature: Face Unlock. Though this is far from what Apple is doing with Face ID, OnePlus is claiming (and initially, delivering) much better accuracy and speed than Android's longstanding built-in "Trusted Face" unlocking.

Face Unlock works by using the front camera to identify 100 reference points — but not depth information — in your face, and works entirely locally to the phone without storing a complete picture of your face. It starts working the moment you press the power button (or double tap the screen to wake it), and it unlocks extremely quickly — almost unsettlingly so. To that point, OnePlus isn't making any claim that Face Unlock is particularly secure, and is positioning it as a good offering for someone who doesn't typically want to deal with secure lock screens. If you want to keep things locked up tight, you still need to use a password or fingerprint.

OnePlus 5T

Relentless iteration

OnePlus 5T First thoughts

The OnePlus 5T in itself isn't very exciting. It isn't even much of an improvement over the original OnePlus 5. But with the way that OnePlus operates, it doesn't really matter. You can't buy the OnePlus 5 anymore — and the new 5T is simply a better version of that phone for a starting price that's just $20 higher. To evaluate the OnePlus 5T properly, you have to see how it stands on its own, and what it offers as a complete package for $499 at the end of 2017.

Anyone who was intrigued by a OnePlus 5 a month ago will be happy with the 5T, that's for sure. And if you've been holding onto a trusty old OnePlus 3 or 3T it offers a great upgrade proposition — once again simply offering a newer and better version of the phone you have now. The OnePlus 5T, with its full spec sheet and solid hardware, still compares favorably to the rest of the market even as its price took another small jump. Provided people aren't put off by the idea of OnePlus continuously refreshing its flagship phone every six months at the expense of the prior model immediately becoming obsolete, it's poised to have the same success as its other flagships have up to this point.

We'll have full impressions of this phone in our complete review — look for it here in the coming days!

OnePlus 5T and OnePlus 5

OnePlus Amazon

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4 days ago

OnePlus 5T specs: 6-inch display, Snapdragon 835 and new low-light camera

19

Everything inside the latest from OnePlus.

Unlike the jump from the OnePlus 3 to the 3T, moving from the OnePlus 5 to the 5T focuses on exterior changes and leaves the internal specs near identical. The same core components of the processor, RAM, storage, battery and charging remain. The only notable changes are the screen size, fingerprint sensor placement and switch to a secondary camera that focuses on low light performance rather than a telephoto lens.

Here's everything you'll find inside the OnePlus 5T.

Category Spec Operating system Android 7.1 Nougat Display 6-inch Optic AMOLED, 2160x1080 (18:9 aspect ratio) Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core
Adreno 540 GPU Storage 64/128GB UFS 2.1 RAM 6/8GB LPDDR4X Rear camera 1 16MP (IMX 398), 1.12-micron pixels, f/1.7
Dual LED flash, 4K 30 fps, 1080p 60 fps, 720p 120 fps video Rear camera 2 20MP (IMX 376k), 1-micron pixels, f/1.7 Front camera 16MP (IMX 371), 1-micron pixels, f/2.0
1080p 30 fps video Battery 3300mAh
Non-removable Charging USB-C
Dash Charge Water resistance No Security One-touch fingerprint sensor Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, 2x2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, aptX HD
USB-C (2.0), NFC
GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo Network 3xCA, 256QAM, DL Cat 12, UL Cat 13
FDD-LTE Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/18/ 19/20/25/26/28/29/30/66
TDD-LTE Band 34/38/39/40/41
TD-SCDMA Band 34/39
HSPA Band 1/2/4/5/8 Dimensions 156.1 x 75 x 7.3 mm
162 g Colors Midnight Black

OnePlus 5T and OnePlus 5

OnePlus Amazon

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4 days ago

Oreo is coming to the OnePlus 5 and 5T in beta by the end of 2017

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OnePlus 5T Oreo release

OnePlus has been pretty good about rolling out consistent software updates to its 2016 and 2017 devices, and that's set to continue.

The OnePlus 5T is launching on November 21, and when it does it will ship with Android 7.1.1 Nougat, not 8.0 Oreo as many expected.

That's all part of the plan, according to OnePlus; the company is treating the 5T as an extension — essentially the same phone — as the OnePlus 5. From a software perspective, despite minor differences and a few additional features in the newer model, they are identical.

Stable Oreo builds won't arrive until 2018.

With the OnePlus 3 and 3T currently testing Oreo as part of an open beta program, OnePlus plans to add the 5 and 5T to the same program before the end of the year. The OnePlus 5 will get it in "late November," while the OnePlus 5T will be added to the beta in "late December" since, according to OnePlus, the software is more complicated.

Then, a few weeks later, the OnePlus 3 and 3T will receive final versions of Oreo, since they're a fair bit ahead in terms of development. Finally, the OnePlus 5 and 5T will get upgraded to stable versions of Oreo in "early 2018."

All told, OnePlus is confident that its 2016 and 2017 lineups will receive Android Oreo far before most other flagships, and that's good news for current and prospective owners. Even if it's a bit disappointing to wait until the new year for the stable Oreo build on the latest phones.

OnePlus 5T and OnePlus 5

OnePlus Amazon

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4 days ago

The OnePlus 5T is official, on sale Nov 21 for $499

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OnePlus 5T

It's time for another T.

For the observant phone geeks, the OnePlus 5T hype cycle and leaks have revealed much of what there is to know about the phone. But of course, we needed confirmation from OnePlus itself: yup, the OnePlus 5T is here, and it's up for sale earlier than many would've thought. Unveiled at its first in-person launch event in New York City, the OnePlus 5T focuses on improving a shortcoming of its predecessor, the camera, while modernizing the design a bit with a move to a larger, taller display.

Unlike the jump from the OnePlus 3 to the OnePlus 3T where the focus was purely on internal spec bumps, the OnePlus 5T marks changes in the exterior hardware and leaves the internals nearly identical. The most striking change is the move to a 6-inch 18:9 AMOLED display that's quickly becoming an industry standard form factor. It removes a lot of excess bezel in the process, and moves the fingerprint sensor to the phone's back. It's arguably a more ergonomic placement, and it lets OnePlus give you more screen in a body that's only marginally taller than the OnePlus 5.

OnePlus 5T specs

The 5T adds a few new features, and doesn't lose anything in the process.

Beyond that larger display, things are identical — you'll find buttons, switches and ports in all of the exact same places, and even the hardware materials and build feel the same. The internal specs carry over, but that's not a bad thing. A Snapdragon 835 with 6 or 8GB of RAM and 64 or 128GB of storage is still great for a 2017 flagship, as is the 3300mAh battery with Dash Charge quick charging. The body still doesn't have an IP67 water-resistance rating, but that's simply one of those corners that has to be cut to keep the price down.

OnePlus has interestingly given up on the telephoto secondary camera after less than a year, with the OnePlus 5T's secondary instead being a "low light" specialized sensor with the same focal length as the main camera, which remains unchanged. That second sensor is 20MP with 1-micron pixels, and lacks OIS — which on the face of it is a puzzling decision for a camera meant to enable better low-light photos. The camera app automatically switches to the second sensor in really dark situations, so expect to use the main sensor most of the time — and therefore get effectively the same photos as you would on a OnePlus 5.

Is $499 pushing the envelope of what OnePlus fans will pay?

One other interesting change is a new "face unlock" feature that's much better than promises to be better any other we've seen on an Android phone but nowhere near on the same level as the iPhone X's Face ID. It's designed to be super-fast, but because it identifies just 100 features of your face using the front-facing camera it isn't nearly as secure as Apple's solution. A neat selling feature for sure, but not one meant to replace the fingerprint sensor.

The OnePlus 5T is launching on Android 7.1.2 Nougat, rather than Oreo as we originally expected. OnePlus is claiming it will have a beta version of the Oreo update ready for both 5T and 5 owners by the end of 2017, but we'll have to wait until "early 2018" for a stable build on the phones.

We've finally shrugged off the whole "invite" nonsense for good, as OnePlus is once again opening up sales almost immediately. On November 21, dozens of countries get a chance to buy. Pricing has bumped modestly, slotting up to $499 (€499, £449) for the 6GB/64GB model and $559 for 8GB/128GB. That's still a relative bargain as flagship phone prices have ballooned over $800 as of late, and even though OnePlus hasn't changed much from the OnePlus 5 it's easy to see this as a great upgrade for fans with a OnePlus 3 or 3T or for someone who wants to keep cost down but still get a "flagship" phone.

Press release:

Presenting the OnePlus 5T – A New View

6" Full Optic AMOLED Display with 18:9 aspect ratio, and dual camera deliver immersive viewing experience and enhanced low-light performance in sleek flagship smartphone

NEW YORK – November 16, 2017 – OnePlus today announced the OnePlus 5T its latest premium flagship device. The OnePlus 5T is the company's most competitive product to date, offering key hardware and software updates inspired by the active OnePlus community, including a higher resolution, 18:9 display, enhanced low-light camera performance, and numerous new software features. "We love nothing more than offering our community the latest and greatest technology and a user experience to beat expectations," said OnePlus Founder and CEO Pete Lau. "Once again, we've worked hard to refine every last detail."

Immersive Display

The OnePlus 5T marks the introduction of a 6-inch Full Optic AMOLED Display with an 18:9 aspect ratio to deliver a more immersive viewing experience, all while keeping a form factor similar to that of the OnePlus 5. Thanks to the built-in software algorithm, the OnePlus 5T's Full Optic AMOLED display features a new Sunlight Display that adapts automatically to harsh light to facilitate a great viewing experience. In addition to enhancing the visual appearance of the device, the larger display helps to improve the overall user experience. Users can calibrate their screens based on their viewing preferences across four different modes, including default, sRGB, DCI-P3 and adaptive. To ensure the OnePlus 5T's seamless front design, OnePlus moved its famously fast ceramic fingerprint sensor, which unlocks the phone in under 0.2 seconds, to the back of the device. The seamless aluminum unibody of the OnePlus 5T is both functionally and visually slim, creating a phone that is not only comfortable to hold but extremely durable. Designed with painstaking attention to detail, the OnePlus 5T continues OnePlus design's proud tradition of refinement and total cohesion.

Dual Camera with Enhanced Low-light Performance

The OnePlus 5T comes with key improvements that enhance camera performance in low-light. The OnePlus 5T features the same main camera as that of the OnePlus 5, but boasts an improved secondary camera equipped with a large f/1.7 aperture for superior low light photography. With Intelligent Pixel Technology, the OnePlus 5T's secondary camera merges four pixels into one, reducing noise in low-light environments and enhancing clarity.

Additional software improvements have also been added to Portrait Mode to improve noise reduction. This is accomplished through new multi-frame algorithms that compare different frames of the same scene to filter out inconsistencies and improve the overall clarity of portraits.

Android Refined – OxygenOS

OnePlus' operating system, OxygenOS, offers a refined Android experience that is faster, cleaner and more customizable than other Android experiences. OxygenOS' new platform enables a more streamlined software development process, resulting in faster, more consistent updates guided largely by user feedback. Newly added to OxygenOS is Face Unlock, which allows OnePlus users to unlock their phone just by looking at their device. One of the fastest on the Android market, Face Unlock uses over 100 identifiers to unlock the OnePlus 5T. Similar to its approach to hardware, OnePlus' approach to software is centered around an experience that is refined, efficient and minimalistic. New features are vetted by OnePlus users through channels like the OxygenOS Beta Program and only added once OnePlus is confident the features can improve the way users use their phone.

A Day's Power in Half an Hour

First introduced with the OnePlus 3, Dash Charge is one of the fastest charging solutions on the global market and a favorite feature amongst OnePlus users. A quick half-hour charge gives the OnePlus 5T enough power for the day. By carrying more current and shifting the power management from the handset to the adapter to keep the phone cooler during charging, Dash Charge can continue to fast charge the OnePlus 5T even while using GPS or playing graphically intensive games.

Smooth Performance

The OnePlus 5T offers a smooth experience through a combination of powerful hardware and intelligent software that works seamlessly together. With up to 8 GB of LPDDR4X RAM, the OnePlus 5T can run a large number of apps in the background without a single second of lag, allowing users to switch between apps with ease. The OnePlus 5T's dual-lane storage, based on UFS 2.1, ensures faster app loading and read/write speeds.

The OnePlus 5T takes advantage of one of the most powerful and energy efficient platforms on the market, the Qualcomm® SnapdragonTM 835. The Adreno 540 GPU boosts graphical performance, so users can play demanding games smoother than ever before.

Price and Availability

The OnePlus 5T in both the 64 GB and 128 GB (Midnight Black version) storage options will be available on OnePlus.net in the United States and in Europe on November 21st starting from USD 499 / EUR 499 / GBP 449.

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4 days ago

T-Mobile offering BOGO deals on Galaxy S8, LG V30, Note 8, and more

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New and existing customers can get buy one phone and get another free – as long as you add a new line of service.

If there's one thing that's certain, it's that there are some seriously great tech deals to be found this time of year. With Black Friday quickly creeping up on us, it seems like more and more deals are being announced every day in preparation for the holiday shopping event.

T-Mobile recently unveiled its own slew of deals, and if you're looking to score two phones for the price of one, the Un-Carrier has something for you. Starting on Friday, November 17, you'll be able to buy a variety of flagship phones and get another one of equal or lesser value for free.

You'll get that free phone via a rebate that's paid through a Mastercard prepaid gift card, and the promotion is available for the following phones:

Both new and existing customers will be able to take advantage of this deal, but like a lot of T-Mobile's BOGO offerings, you'll need to add a new line of service and buy the phones on an Equipment Installment Plan in order to participate.

To go along with your shiny new phones, T-Mobile is also discounting a few of its Magenta accessories, including:

  • Twilight Magenta Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM for $179.99 ($70 off)
  • Twilight Magenta Ultimate Ears BOOM 2 for $99.99 ($80 off)
  • Speckled Magenta Mophie Powerstation Mini for $18 ($11.99 off)

See at T-Mobile

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4 days ago

PSA: Google Pixel 2 and 2 XL are back in stock on the Google Store

16

Most models of Google's flagships are back in stock with fast shipping dates.

Last year, trying to buy a Pixel or Pixel XL was something of a nightmare. Even months after the phones' release, it wasn't uncommon to see an "out of stock" message on the Google Store when trying to place an order for Android's latest and greatest. Certain models of the Pixel 2/2XL have still proven to be difficult to get this year as well, but Google recently refreshed stock so you can finally get your hands on the coveted Panda version of the 2 XL.

We aren't sure how long stock will last this time around before you're prompted to join a waitlist, but at least at the time of publication, this is what the current stock for the Pixel 2 and 2 XL looks like:

Pixel 2 (Unlocked)

  • Just Black, 64GB – Ships immediately
  • Just Black, 128GB – Ships immediately
  • Clearly White, 64GB – Ships by November 27
  • Clearly White, 128GB – Ships by November 20

Pixel 2 (Verizon)

  • Just Black, 64GB – Ships immediately
  • Just Black, 128GB – Ships immediately
  • Clearly White, 128GB – Ships immediately

Pixel 2 XL (Unlocked)

  • Just Black, 64GB – Ships immediately
  • Just Black, 128GB – Ships immediately
  • Black & White, 64GB – Ships in 3 - 4 weeks
  • Black & White, 128GB – Ships in 3 - 4 weeks

Pixel 2 XL (Verizon)

  • Just Black, 128GB – Ships by November 27
  • Black & White, 64GB – Ships in 2 - 3 weeks

Your best chance of getting a Panda Pixel 2 XL ASAP is with a Verizon unit, but remember that the only thing that differentiates this model is the fact that there's a Verizon SIM included. In other words, you'll be able to use it on any other carrier of your choosing.

Also, the striking Kinda Blue option is still nowhere to be seen. It might not be as bright or vibrant as last year's Really Blue, but it sure is proving to be just as difficult to get.

See at Google Store

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4 days ago

How the Pixel 2 XL, Note 8, and iPhone 8 Plus stack up to each other

21

A comparison of three of 2017's best.

Each and every year there are certain handsets that stick out above the rest. There were quite a few devices this year that managed to do just that, and three of them are the Pixel 2 XL, Galaxy Note 8, and iPhone 8 Plus. All three of these offer some of the best experiences you can find on a smartphone in 2017, and one of our forum users decided to see how each one compared to one another.

As you'd expect, this got quite a lot of people talking and chiming in with their own thoughts on the comparison. Here's what some of you had to say.

*/
alodar101 11-14-2017 12:40 PM “

I currently have in my lineup, iPhone 8+, Note8, and the pixel 2xl. Each of them had their time to be top dog. This weekend I tried the iPhone 8+ again. It failed to dislodge the pixel as top dog... Not even close. I just turned the Note8 back on.... We'll see what happens....

Reply
*/
Orion78 11-14-2017 12:46 PM “

I absolutely love my Pixel 2 XL. That phone will be a keeper for me. With that being said, I'm looking to get the Note 8 as well. Waiting for Black Friday.

Reply
*/
Ken in CA 11-14-2017 01:02 PM “

I have both the N8 and 2XL. I really like my 2XL except for a minor blue tooth issue with my podcasts / music as it won't display artwork or artist on my 2017 Prius Prime. Also in my workspace, I get reception with my N8 (1 bar) and zero reception with my 2XL. I'm interested to see how your evaluation pans out.

Reply
*/
AustinTech 11-15-2017 01:12 PM “

I tried the 2 XL, s8+, and iPhone 8 plus. I couldn't stand the blue shift and crap colors on the 2 XL so it went back. iOS 11 isn't working very well on the iPhone 8 plus, lots of odd bugs and the battery life isn't so great. My s8+ has some occasional stutters and dropped frames, but everything works well and the battery life is great. So I'm sticking with the s8+ for now. I really wish the u11...

Reply

There's still plenty more that can be said here, so we'd like to know – How do you think these three phones stack up to one another?

Join the conversation in the forums!

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