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1 month ago

Essential Phone coming to Canada as a Telus exclusive

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Telus nabs Andy Rubin's Essential Phone for sole distribution up in Canada.

This was unexpected. Essential Phone, the titanium-and-ceramic wünderhandset from Android creator Andy Rubin's company of the same name, will debut in Canada later this summer on Telus.

The company said in a press release that the phone will be available for pre-order at the end of July, with availability later this summer. According to Rubin, Telus was chosen as the sole carrier "due to our strong alignment on the importance of continuous innovation and support for consumer choice."

Essential Phone Specs

Essential announced earlier this month that the Phone would be available for $699 when it goes on sale unlocked in the U.S. Sprint then came out as the sole U.S. carrier offering the phone. With Telus locked in for Canadian distribution, it would seem that Essential's strategy is in place.

Canadian pricing hasn't been confirmed just yet, but Telus said it will be available outright — likely for close to $1,000 given today's exchange rates — or on subsidy with select shared data plans. Telus also plans to sell Essential's 4K 360-degree camera accessory in its stores.

See at Telus

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1 month ago

Honor 9 is the sum of many incremental upgrades, and that's just fine

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Honor 9

The biggest upgrades in this year's Honor flagship will be software, camera, and audio.

The Honor 9 won't be announced in Europe for another couple of weeks — a launch event is scheduled for June 27 — but thanks to the standard early Chinese launch, we have a pretty good idea of what to expect from the handset.

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1 month ago

The Moto Z2 Play is now up for sale on Flipkart for ₹27,999

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Moto Z2 Play is available at an attractive price and comes with several launch day offers.

The Moto Z2 Play is now up for sale on Flipkart for ₹27,999 ($435). The phone made its debut in the country last week, and will be available at thousands of retail stores in addition to Flipkart.

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1 month ago

How to keep your smartphone cool during the hot summer months

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Sun's out, the smartphone's out. But don't forget that in addition to slathering on the sunscreen, you'll have to keep your phone protected, too.

Summer is all about streaming the hits of year's past and shooting a bounty of selfies. But while you're out doing that, remember to keep tabs on how hot your smartphone becomes as you're having fun.

The warmer weather months don't offer a friendly climate for electronics, and the heat can actually be hazardous to overall device health. Here are a few tips to keep your smartphone cool for the summer.

Don't leave the phone in the car

Grab one of these if you need to tend to use turn-by-turn directions, in your car, during the hot summer months.

There's a reason it's illegal in some areas to leave your child or a pet behind in a hot car. Even with the windows cracked a bit, cars are effectively giant metal incubators. It's also why you shouldn't leave your smartphone behind.

Overall, it's best to pre-plan where you'll put things before you get into the vehicle. If you're driving long distances, for example, grab a magnetic car mount to keep the phone affixed to the air conditioning vent as you're using turn-by-turn directions. If you have to leave the phone in the car for safety reasons, try storing it in the trunk instead. That's the part of the car with the least "greenhouse gas" effect (link is a PDF).

Another rule I abide by is to never leave any gadgets in the glove compartment, even if I'm streaming music and my phone is connected to the auxiliary cable located inside. Glove boxes are hot enough to melt the cassette tapes of yore, and unless you've got an air conditioning vent located inside, it's definitely hot enough to toast your electronics.

Turn off what you don't need

Bluetooth, LTE, Wi-Fi, and GPS — if you don't need these things while you're out and about, turn them off. That will ensure your phone isn't working in overtime in your purse or pocket while you're out gallivanting in sun-stroked gardens. It'll also be a boon for battery life, which you'll want considering how much warmer a smartphone gets when it's plugged in for a charge.

Take off the case

Don't bother with a case in the hot summer months. It'll just make things hotter.

You wouldn't wear layers in the hot summer heat, right? There is no need to pile them on top of your smartphone, either. If you're in need of a case because you're engaging in outside activity, put the phone inside an Otterbox and keep the screen off during your excursion.

Keep devices separate

I don't live in a humid climate or in the desert, so I've never had this sort of issue. But if you're walking around with several devices clustered in a bag or backpack and the air is positively thick with heat, be sure that they're powered off and kept in separate compartments. This gives all the metal things on your shoulder a little room to breathe as the world outside bakes everything else.

Don't put it in the fridge

A strange practice that isn't worth practicing at all.

I used to do this with my MacBook Air until I was scolded for doing so. According to Gazelle, a site where you can sell your old gadgets, cooling your gadgets too rapidly could actually damage the inside components.

Don't cool it too fast. If your phone overheats, your initial reaction is going to be to rush it to the coldest place you can find. However, rushing the cooling process can cause condensation to get trapped on the inside of the devices and inevitably, water damage.

Whoa! The best thing to do if you feel like your device is too hot is to slowly cool it down by turning it off completely and leaving it alone for a while. You should also unseat the battery pack, if it's removable, and definitely place the phone away from direct sunlight.

What are your tricks?

We all have our own tricks for dealing with the heat. What are you some of your methods for cooling your smartphone down when the world outside is burning up? Let us know!

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1 month ago

Samsung Pay comes to the budget segment with the Galaxy J7 Pro

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Samsung is aggressively expanding Samsung Pay in India.

After launching Samsung Pay in India earlier this year, the South Korean manufacturer is now making its digital payments service more accessible by bringing it to the budget segment —with the Galaxy J7 Pro the first device to feature the service. Samsung also rolled out another device in the Galaxy J series — the Galaxy J7 Max — which offers Samsung Pay Mini for UPI and Paytm transactions.

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1 month ago

Xiaomi Mi 6 benchmarks: Putting the Snapdragon 835 to the test

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It's time to see how the Xiaomi Mi 6 holds up in benchmarks.

The Xiaomi Mi 6 is one of the first phones to be powered by the Snapdragon 835. Built on Samsung's 10nm FinFET node, the chipset offers a laundry list of improvements over last year's Snapdragon 820 and 821, including a new semi-custom octa-core Kryo 280 CPU with four cores clocked at 2.45GHz, four cores at 1.90GHz, and an Adreno 540 GPU.

Synthetic benchmarks aren't indicative of real-world usage, nor do they highlight a device's user experience. For instance, the Galaxy S8 with its Snapdragon 835 (or the Exynos 8895) absolutely crushes it when it comes to benchmark scores, but the numbers don't reveal the odd stutter that's still present in the UI.

That said, benchmarks are an important metric to a lot of users, and more often than not, a high score in apps like AnTuTu forms the basis for a purchasing decision, particularly in markets like China and India. Without further ado, here's a look at how the Xiaomi Mi 6 fares next to the competition:

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1 month ago

How many Pixels has Google actually sold?

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The sales numbers remain a mystery to all of us, though there are a few theories floating around.

With all the fervent rumormongering regarding the next batch of Pixel smartphones, it seems an appropriate time to take a look at several of the theories making the rounds about how many millions of Pixel and Pixel XL units Google has actually sold.

The phone launched eight months ago and has remained a strong seller at Verizon, where it was marketed as an exclusive (it's not; it's also sold unlocked in the Google Store). Regardless, that was certainly a winning strategy, as 7.5% of all phone activations on Verizon late last year (since the phones launched) were a Pixel or Pixel XL. (Sadly, thanks in part to a disjointed marketing strategy, other carriers only ranked in at 2% for the same end-of-2016 time period.)

So, we know the phone is selling relatively well with the help of the carrier that was heavily marketing it as an exclusive. But how well did it sell for Google? According to Ars Technica, it just barely hit a million units:

Unlike just about every hardware manufacturer on Earth, Google doesn't share official sales numbers for the Pixel phones, choosing to bundle the income under Alphabet's "Other Revenues" during earnings reports. We do have one very solid signal for Pixel sales, though: the Play Store, which shows install numbers for apps. If there was an app that was exclusive and install-by-default on the Pixel phones, like say, the Pixel Launcher, the install number would basically be the number of sold activated phones.

This calculation is complicated by the fact that Google Play doesn't show exact install numbers; it shows installs in "tiers" like "100,000-500,000." So most of the time, we won't have an exact Pixel sales number—except when the Pixel Launcher crosses from one download tier to another. So guess what just happened? The Pixel Launcher just crossed into the "1,000,000-5,000,000" install tier (you can see some third-party tracking sites, like AppBrain, still have it listed at 500,000). So for this one moment in history, eight months after launch, we can say Google finally sold a million Pixel phones.

Since there aren't any official sales numbers offered by Google (or Alphabet, as it were), the guesstimate is based on the number of downloads of the Pixel Launcher in the Play Store. The result paints a rather grim picture, however, which didn't seem to be the case when we initially pored over Verizon's Q3 2016 finance reports:

Let's look at Verizon's Q3 2016 earnings report, where we can see it activates roughly 8 million phones per quarter. If you assume Verizon activates a similar number in Q4, that'd average out to 600,000 Pixels activated at Verizon in the first three months...

Last year, the company had a record of activating roughly 8 million phones a quarter. If we assume Verizon maintained a consistent number of Pixels activated per quarter — 7.5% of 8 million, which makes it about 600,000 units — then that puts the number at close to 2 million units, on Verizon alone, since the initial debut. The result then gives less credence to the idea that only a measly million units were sold.

Overall, we don't know how Google actually calculates its Play Store install numbers, but based on what we know about Verizon's sales we certainly can't make the inference based solely on the number of installs displayed in the Play Store.

What we do know is that Google still has a long journey ahead of it before its branded smartphones sell as well as Apple's iPhones (or any of the dozens of companies surely above Google's sales currently). There sure are plenty of Android users in the world, but only a small fraction of them are on the Pixel or Pixel XL.

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

Google Store Verizon

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1 month ago

LG Pixel XL 2017? Here's what it could mean

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Pixel XL

Clues on Google issue tracker point to LG-made, Google-branded device being in the works.

The codename "Taimen" has cropped up a few times over the past few months, apparently in reference to a new big-screened Google device — presumably carrying the premium Pixel branding. Droid-Life first reported the name back in March, with claims it was a "separate project" within Google. The company uses various species of aquatic life as codenames for its phones and tablets, so Taimen, one of the largest salmonids in the world, fits the bill for something with a larger display.

Geekbench results point to a Snapdragon 835 and 4GB of RAM, but not much else is known for a fact — including whether Taimen is a phone or a tablet. The few scattered references to Taimen in AOSP (Android Open-Source Project) commits don't do much beyond confirming Taimen's existence as a Google Android product with Snapdragon 835.

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1 month ago

Nokia 3, Nokia 5, and Nokia 6 go official in India: Everything you need to know

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Here's what you need to know about Nokia's Android phones in India.

Nokia's phones have always been well-received in India, and while the brand's Windows Phones sold relatively well, customers have been clamoring for a Nokia-branded phone running Android for several years now. Thankfully, the wait is finally over.

At a media event in New Delhi, HMD Global — the company that has exclusive rights to the Nokia brand — has launched the Nokia 3, Nokia 5, and Nokia 6 in the country. The Nokia 3 will go up for sale initially, and will be followed by the Nokia 5 and the Nokia 6. There's a lot to talk about, so let's get started.

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1 month ago

Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro review: A great phone with one major drawback

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Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro review

Samsung gets a lot of things right with the Galaxy C7 Pro, but outdated software and a high price prevent the phone from achieving greatness.

The Indian handset segment saw a lot of changes over the last two years. One of the key trends was the influx of Chinese brands like Xiaomi, Huawei, and Lenovo, which siphoned off market share from local manufacturers. Chinese brands now account for 50% of all handset sales in the country, and that number is only set to increase as competition intensifies and new players make their entry.

In all this time, the one constant has been Samsung. The South Korean manufacturer not only managed to retain its position as the number one phone brand in the country, but it also successfully increased its market share. The reason it was able to do so was because of its competitiveness across key segments — the Galaxy S series and Galaxy A series targeted the high-end and mid-tier categories, whereas the Galaxy J and Galaxy On series catered to budget buyers.

While the Galaxy S series undoubtedly occupies a majority of the mindshare, it is the Galaxy J series that leads the way for Samsung in India — over the last two years, Samsung sold tens of millions of devices in this segment, allowing the brand to solidify its position as the leading smartphone vendor in the country.

That leaves us with the Galaxy C series. The lineup sits one tier below the Galaxy A series, and there are a few key differences — the Galaxy C7 Pro isn't water-resistant, and there's no Samsung Pay. The upside is that the C7 Pro is available for ₹25,990, or ₹7,500 less than the Galaxy A7 2017. Does the C7 Pro have what it takes to hold its own in a segment that's dominated by the OnePlus 3 and 3T?

Let's find out.

About this review

I (Harish Jonnalagadda) am writing this review after using the Galaxy C7 Pro for two weeks in Hyderabad, India, on Airtel's 4G network. The phone came with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out of the box and picked up the May 1, 2017 security update midway through the review.

Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro review

Metalhead

Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro Hardware

Samsung has been offering gorgeous metal-and-glass designs with the Galaxy S series for a few generations now, with the Galaxy S8+ showcasing the best that the manufacturer has to offer. The Galaxy A series offers a similar design ethos with a glass back, but with the Galaxy C series, the company went with an all-metallic chassis that looks great.

The front of the phone is dominated by a large 5.7-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display. It's not a QHD panel like the Galaxy S8, but it makes up for it with vibrant colors and excellent viewing angles. Having used the C7 Pro after the Galaxy S8, I didn't notice any major issues with the panel.

The earpiece sits above the display and is flanked by the front camera and the notification LED. There's a Samsung logo underneath the earpiece for good measure, and you get a physical home button with an embedded fingerprint sensor that lets you store three prints. As always, the multitasking key is to the left of the home button, with the back button located to the right.

The power button is located on the right, and the SIM card tray is located right underneath. The C7 Pro has a hybrid SIM card slot, which means you can use a single SIM card along with a microSD card, or two SIM cards. The volume buttons are to the left of the device, and they offer decent travel. The phone features a USB-C port at the bottom, flanked by a 3.5mm jack and a microphone to the left and a speaker to the right. There's a secondary microphone located at the top of the phone.

The Galaxy C7 Pro is built like a tank.

Round the back, the C7 Pro has antenna lines that run across the top and bottom of the device. The camera sits in the middle and protrudes slightly from the surface of the phone. While the C7 Pro may lack the design aesthetic of the Galaxy S8, it is built like a tank. It certainly feels much more durable than Samsung's current flagship, and the build quality is top-notch, as one would expect in this segment.

The phone is available in two color options — gold and navy blue, and the blue variant looks better thanks to the all-black front plate. The gold version has matching accents for the earpiece and the fingerprint sensor at the front, giving the phone an added visual flair.

The highlight of the C7 Pro is its svelte profile, with the phone coming in at a thickness of 7mm. The sleek chassis makes it comfortable to hold the phone, but its sheer size makes it difficult for one-handed use.

Performance

The Galaxy C7 Pro is powered by a Snapdragon 626 — the same chipset as the Moto Z2 Play. There's 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage, and Samsung's memory management is still way too aggressive, closing down apps in the background with wild abandon.

The Snapdragon 626 is more than adequate for everyday use, and while you'll notice the odd stutter in visually intensive games, there are no issues with day-to-day performance when using the device.

Continuing in the same vein, the 3,300mAh battery on the C7 Pro easily lasts a day on a full charge.

Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro review

Burn it down

Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro Software

If you've used a Samsung phone in the last two years, the UI on offer with the C7 Pro will feel right at home regarding the sheer number of features available. The interface itself has picked up a fresh coat of paint, and it looks much more modern. The phone also offers an always-on display mode that shows the time, date, and unread notification icons.

The leftmost home screen is taken up by Flipboard, but it can be disabled if you're not a fan of the Briefing feature. There's a standard app drawer, and Samsung continues to offer horizontal scrolling for the launcher. You'll be able to sort apps alphabetically or in your own order. There's also a blue light filter, which is useful when viewing the screen at night, and you also get a theming engine that allows you to customize the look of the UI.

The main drawback with the Galaxy C7 Pro is that it's still running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. In mid-2017, there really isn't an excuse to not offer Nougat out of the box, particularly in this segment. Samsung has done a great job of rolling out the Nougat update to its high-end devices in the country — India is usually one of the first markets to pick up the update for the Galaxy S series — but the company continues to ignore its mid-range offerings.

In mid-June, there's no mention of when the Nougat update will be available for the device. That said, Samsung offers a ton of features out of the box, including a multi-window mode, one-handed mode, ability to lock apps with your fingerprint with S Folder, S Health, power-saving features, and much more. And unlike the Galaxy S8, you can quickly launch the camera by double pressing the home button.

Reverse Batman

Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro Camera

The Galaxy C7 Pro has a 16-megapixel camera at the back that features an f/1.9 lens and PDAF along with a dual-tone LED flash. Samsung offers multiple shooting modes, including a food mode that makes objects in the foreground stand out. There's also a panorama mode, a night mode, HDR, and a manual mode that lets you adjust the ISO, white balance, and exposure settings.

Images taken with the C7 Pro tend to look good for the most part — photos in daylight conditions offer a lot of detail and accurate colors. The camera struggles in low-light conditions, taking too long to dial in on a subject. The front 16MP camera is decent as long as you're sharing images on social media.

Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro review

It is what it is

Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro Bottom line

The Galaxy C7 Pro has a lot of strong points — the build quality is great, the Full HD AMOLED display is excellent, the overall performance is adequate, and the battery life is amazing. The lack of Nougat is a major downside, and it doesn't look like an update is forthcoming for the device any time soon.

There's no Samsung Pay as well, a noticeable omission considering it is available on the Galaxy A5 and A7. The C7 Pro is tailored for multimedia, and in that role the phone excels. The large screen is great for viewing content, and the battery life ensures that the phone lasts a full day.

Should you buy it? Your call

It would've made a lot of sense for Samsung to release the Galaxy C7 Pro offline. After all, the manufacturer can leverage its distribution network to boost sales of the device at offline stores, making it a viable contender to what OPPO and Vivo have to offer in this segment.

However, that isn't the case. The C7 Pro is up for sale on Amazon India, where it is going up against the likes of the OnePlus 3T. The phone doesn't offer nearly as much value as the OnePlus 3T, but Samsung is targeting the likes of the Moto Z2 Play with the C7 Pro. Samsung's offering wins out in that context, offering much better display and class-leading battery life.

See at Amazon India

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1 month ago

Xiaomi's phones, LED lights, and accessories are heavily discounted right now

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Dozens of Xiaomi products are on sale right now.

Chinese retailer GearBest is running its mid-year sale, offering lucrative discounts on a variety of Xiaomi products, including phones, tablets, smart home accessories, audio products, and much more. With most of Xiaomi's offerings limited to China, it isn't always easy to get a hold of its products outside the country, making this sale that much more enticing.

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1 month ago

Deal brings Moto Z down to $499 with 2 years of extended warranty

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There's a pretty great deal on the original Moto Z right now.

Motorola knows how to sell unlocked phones. To wit, the company has discounted its excellent Moto Z — the OG Z, if you will — to $499.99 and is throwing in an extended 2-year warranty called Moto Care, which offers up to three (!!) low-deductible exchanges and free shipping back and forth.

So should you get a Moto Z right now, especially when the Moto Z2 Play is coming soon at the same price? Well, the Moto Z is more powerful and has a better camera, and while it doesn't yet sport the software updates that come with the Z2 Play's Android 7.1.1 build, it's likely that it will get it at some point (we've reached out to Moto to confirm).

Nevertheless, the Moto Care addition costs $75 on its own, so even if the phones themselves are a wash, if you are clumsy and expect to need to replace your phone's screen, this deal is pretty attractive.

You'll need to enter the coupon code MOTOZ200OFF at checkout to get the discount and warranty extension. Who's buying?

See at Motorola

Moto Z, Moto Z Force and Moto Z Play

Motorola Verizon

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1 month ago

A larger version of Google's Pixel XL may be in your future

53

It's probably not going to be called the Pixel XXL, but wouldn't that be fun?

What's better than a big smartphone? An even bigger one. And with the Galaxy S8+ and iPhone 7 Plus making waves in their own right, it's possible Google hopes to jump on that bandwagon, too.

According to Android Police, there are rumblings that Google has shelved its plans to release one of its upcoming Pixel smartphones in favor of a larger device.

The device, which was originally codenamed Muskie, was supposed to be the followup to the Pixel XL. Instead, we'll be met with Taimen, according to a rumor put out earlier this year by Droid Life. It's expected to have a larger display and chassis compared to the Muskie.

The Walleye is likely still making its way into your hands later this year, as that's the codename behind the smaller second-generation Pixel device Google will introduce. We'd reported a few months back that the moniker had already been mentioned in the Android Open Source Project's gerrit, or code repository.

For those who aren't aware, Google typically chooses the name of a water-dwelling creature as the alias for any upcoming smartphone and tablet.

Android O

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

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1 month ago

Moto E4 and E4 Plus specs: Not quite a G thing

15

What magic do the Moto E4 and Moto E4 Plus have inside? Here's what you need to know.

Bringing the success of the Moto G line down to more affordable price points, the Moto E4 and E4 Plus are tactical moves intended to fill out gaps in Motorola's market coverage. Both phones maintain similar looks to the earlier Moto G line, and to all of Motorola's current-generation phones in general, but pare back much of the spec sheet to keep the price as low as possible.

Here's what we're looking at with the Moto E4 and Moto E4 Plus.

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1 month ago

How hot is your Android smartphone?

19

We used the FLIR One Pro to measure how hot the LG G6, Galaxy S8, and Pixel XL become when they're charging or running applications.

Naturally, when you're equipped with a thermal imaging camera, you want to point it at all the things. The FLIR One Pro thermal imaging camera is certainly fun to play with, even though its battery life is finicky. I rounded up a couple of the latest Android-powered smartphones I had laying around, including the LG G6, Galaxy S8, and Pixel XL, to see how hot they become (if at all) when they're plugged in and running a benchmark. Why the heck not?

Note: I'm using a version of the FLIR One Pro thermal camera that's running on beta software.

As they lay charging

galaxy s8lg g6pixel xl

The temperatures of the Galaxy S8 (left), LG G6 (middle), and Pixel XL (right) as they're charging with the screens on at high brightness.

It took a while for the FLIR One Pro to charge up enough to shoot the three smartphones. I pointed the One Pro at a Galaxy S8 as it charged through a USB-C cable connected to an Aukey power strip. It measured in at about 89 degrees Fahrenheit. The LG G6 measured in around 84 degrees. Both had their screens set on to full brightness.

The Pixel XL measured in surprisingly warmer at nearly 94 degrees. It was charging from the same power strip, with the screen brightness on full blast. The FLIR One Pro simply reinforces what I've been thinking for the past eight months: the Pixel XL runs hot.

While they're benchmarking

Have you ever seen how hot a smartphone becomes when it's plugged in, throttling, and running a graphics-intense benchmark at the same time? That's what the FLIR One Pro can show you. In this case, we have a very warm set of phones, all of which are running the 3DMark benchmark suite while charging from the same power strip.

The G6 and Galaxy S8 benchmarking, side-by-side.

Here's the Pixel XL benchmarking (left), as well as the Pixel XL running Snapchat (right).

Of course, we can't overlook the fact that there are two different processors at play here. The Pixel XL and LG G6 are both running on a Snapdragon 821 processor, while the Galaxy S8 is powered by a Snapdragon 835. Both processors have different GPUs, too, though none of that seemed to really affect the temperature of either device while it was powering through 3DMark and filling up on battery. In fact, the overall heat output of each phone seem to correlate more with the brightness of each screen. For instance, perhaps the G6 measured the lowest because its screen was the dimmest of the three.

What about a smartwatch?

What about a smartwatch? Unfortunately, it was not a warm-enough day for me to show how truly heated an Android Wear watch like the LG Watch Style gets — or at least, seems to get, based on my own anecdotal experience — but it sure is dormant when it's not being bombarded with app notifications. Interestingly, when it's charging, it measures in at about the same temperature as the Pixel XL.

The LG Watch Style, in thermal mode.

Where else should we feel the heat?

Got ideas about what we should shoot for next?

Not only is thermal imaging such great fun, but we're also still in the midst of testing out the FLIR One Pro. We're planning to shoot plenty more gadgets with it. Perhaps a networking module like Google Wi-Fi, or the NEST camera while it's on? We're taking requests!

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