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1 week ago

Google Assistant not working when prompted through Bluetooth headphones on Pixel 2

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The hits keep on coming.

Poor Pixel 2. Whether it be display controversy with the XL model, clicking/hissing noises with its smaller brother, or defective microphones across both handsets, to say that Google's latest and greatest has been faced with a bit of trouble would be an understatement.

In addition to everything else that's already going on with the phone, it's now being reported that both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are having trouble getting the Google Assistant to work when its prompted through a pair of Bluetooth headphones that can summon it.

On affected devices, connecting Bluetooth headphones to a Pixel 2/2 XL and then pressing the button on your headphones to bring up the Assistant plays the regular tone or sound to let you know that it's listening, but for some unknown reason, voice detection straight up doesn't work.

Even worse, the issue appears to be all across the board – affecting headphones from Beats, LG, Anker, and more. A community manager for the Pixel User Community forum has responded to the many complaints regarding this, but we're still waiting on an official statement from Google.

I personally don't have any problems with the Bose QC 35 II on my Pixel 2, but be sure to let us know in the comments below if your device is affected.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

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1 week ago

Samsung announces Exynos 9810 processor capable of gigabit LTE speeds

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All new tech for 2018.

Although Samsung phones here in the U.S. are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, those same devices in other parts of the world feature Samsung's own Exynos silicon. The company recently published a press release announcing the CES 2018 Innovation Awards that it's already won, and in doing so, quietly announced the all-new Exynos 9810 processor.

There aren't many technical details present here, but what we do know is that is that it features an upgraded CPU and GPU with support for gigabit LTE speeds.

The full description of the processor is as follows –

The Exynos 9 Series 9810 is Samsung's latest flagship processor, with 3rd-generation custom CPU cores, upgraded GPU, and gigabit LTE modem with industry-first 6CA support. It is built on 2nd generation 10nm process technology.

Gigabit LTE is being pushed more and more heavily these days by carriers and processor manufacturers alike, and the 6CA technology in the 9810 will allow for downlink speeds up to a whopping 1.2Gbps. Carriers certainly need to adapt and enhance their networks to allow for such increased data, but knowing that Samsung is already playing its cards right in these regards is great to see.

Exact specifications likely won't be unveiled for the Exynos 9810 until CES 2018 this January, but when they are, we'll be sure to outline all of the important details to see just how it compares to Qualcomm's imminent Snapdragon 845.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 India review: Two months later

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1 week ago

Pixel 2 Driving Do Not Disturb API coming to developers in 2018

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Helping to silence notifications while on the road.

It can sometimes be quite easy to get lost in our phones, and while there's nothing inherently wrong with this, there are times and places where our devices need to put away. Picking up your phone to check notifications or browse through Twitter while driving can be awfully tempting at times, and Google is rolling out a new API next year to help cut back on these potential distractions.

One of the new features of the Pixel 2/2 XL is Driving Do Not Disturb. This is a setting that allows you to automatically turn on Do Not Disturb when your Pixel 2 detects that you're behind the wheel, and the phone does this through the use of low power signals, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi connections.

The feature is currently limited to Do Not Disturb settings for the Pixel 2, but beginning in early 2018, Google says that it'll be releasing the API for this tech so that developers can integrate it into their own applications.

Google is calling it the Activity Recognition Transition API, and we'll likely see it adopted into navigation and safe driving apps that are meant to safely be used when on the road. A more specific ETA for the API's release has yet to be announced, but we can probably expect to see apps add the tech within Q1 of 2018.

Google Pixel 2 will automatically enable Do Not Disturb if you're driving

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

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1 week ago

Essential Phone review re-do: What a difference a discount makes

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I normally like to wait at least a year to give a smartphone the old "review re-do" treatment, but this is a special case. The Andy Rubin-led startup Essential changed everything when it slashed the price of its namesake flagship by $200 barely two months after launch, instantly instantly transforming the Essential Phone from an overpriced mobile with a terrible camera into a genuine bargain … with a terrible camera.

Yes, the Essential Phone's optics remain a sore spot even after a 28% price cut – but as with most things Android, there's a hack for that. Let's find out if the deep discount combined with a little sideloading can make the PH-1 a late-season winner! Revisit Android Central's Essential Phone review for some context, then hit up MrMobile's Essential Phone Review Re-Do for the November update!

Stay social, my friends

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1 week ago

The Essential Phone is a lot better than you might think

37

After price cuts and software updates, the Essential Phone is getting a lot of positive feedback.

Over the course of just a few months, the Essential Phone has transformed from an overpriced device that was hard to recommend to just about anyone into something that's very competitively priced and offers some of the best bang for your buck for $500.

The team over at Essential has been working nonstop to push out regular software updates to make using the PH-1 as enjoyable as possible, and at this point in November of 2017, the handset is exceeding a lot of people's expectations.

Some of our forum users recently got to talking about their experience with the phone, and this is what they had to say.

*/
Darius DuPree 11-07-2017 10:16 AM “

I ordered a white PH-1 as soon as the $499 price popped up, I was a little bitter after BestBuy dropped it to $450 but I wasn't charged tax through Essential.com so it cancelled out the price. After much second guessing myself while I waited for it to arrive and wanting to just spend the extra for a V30, I am glad to say it's way better than I expected it to be. Now I do have some minor issues,...

Reply
*/
andrew_ackley 11-07-2017 10:32 AM “

I love mine. I got the black one. Make sure for now you disable the swipe down on fps to open notifications bc that was causing my freeze ups. For under $500 this phone is fantastic. Beats the one plus in my opinion. I dropped mine from waist height onto concrete floor the day after I got it and all I have is a TINY almost unnoticeable nick in the material around the screen. Whatever that is...

Reply
*/
raqball 11-08-2017 09:42 PM “

My white came today from the Mothership so a few thoughts. Had to run 3 updates out of the box but all up to date now and rockin' along. The phone is gorgeous and built like a tank! The camera is nowhere even close to being bad. It's not the best but photos are more than adequate. It's fast and snappy. Just as fast and snappy as my Pixel and maybe even a little smoother. The screen? WOW!...

Reply
*/
modifier 11-09-2017 07:49 AM “

raqball - Glad to hear you like the phone so far. I know you were on the fence since launch and it sounds like the wait was worth it. Performance on the November update has been excellent. It keeps getting smoother with each OTA. And, you're right about the camera. I've been using the Essential camera app far more lately and uninstalled the Google HDR+ port. I'm getting better daytime...

Reply
*/
DominionRoofs 11-09-2017 09:51 AM “

I've had mine going on three days now. I really love this phone! Is fast and smooth. Perfect size and that screen!. So the only issue that still needs fixing (besides camera),which is what it is, is touch scrolling. Flick scrolling is great, but if you keep your finger on the screen without lifting and scroll, it's very choppy. I don't scroll the way but it does need to be fixed. There are...

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With all that said, we'd still like to hear from you – If you own the Essential Phone, what are your impressions of the device?

Join the conversation in the forums!

Essential Phone

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1 week ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 India review: Two months later

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Galaxy Note 8 review

The Galaxy Note 8 is the best phone you can buy in India.

Samsung jumped on the minimal bezel bandwagon earlier this year with the Galaxy S8 and S8+, offering an evocative design with top-notch internals. The Infinity Display design language backed by Samsung's industry-leading Super AMOLED panels ensured the Galaxy S8 and S8+ broke all sales records for the company, allowing Samsung to set record profits for three quarters in a row.

With the Galaxy Note 8, Samsung is looking to keep that momentum going. Samsung has perfected the two flagship-per-year release cycle: the Galaxy S series is aimed at mainstream users, whereas the enthusiast-focused Note lineup is the proving ground for the South Korean manufacturer's latest tech. That's no different this time around, with the Note 8 being the first phone to receive dual rear cameras. It is also the first Samsung flagship with 6GB of RAM.

The Note 8 is available for ₹67,900 in India, and at that price point there really isn't a lot of competition. The Pixel 2 XL is retailing in the country for ₹73,000, and while Google is stepping up its marketing efforts, it cannot meet the scale of Samsung's marketing might. Read on to find out why the Galaxy Note 8 is the best phone currently available in India.

Galaxy Note 8 What you'll love

Galaxy Note 8 review

Unlike the iPhone X, there's no notch to distract you from the beautiful OLED display.

The Galaxy Note 8 shares a lot of visual cues from the Galaxy S8+, which isn't necessarily a bad thing as the GS8+ is one of the best-looking phones in the market today. The phone has a slightly larger 6.3-inch QHD Super AMOLED display, and to accommodate the S Pen, Samsung increased the overall thickness to 8.6mm, 0.5mm more than the GS8+.

The increase in size makes the Note 8 rather boxy, with less pronounced curves at the front and back. However, the design works in the phone's favor, as you have more room to grip the device. The phone features an aluminum mid-frame sandwiched between two Gorilla Glass 5-backed glass panels. The Infinity Display is still a sight to behold, and unlike the iPhone X, there isn't a cutout for the front camera that mars the overall look at the front.

Like the Galaxy S8+, the screen on the Note 8 is one of its best features. Samsung has invested significant amounts of resources into its AMOLED display tech over the years, and the result is that the company has the best displays in the smartphone segment. Thanks to HDR10 Mobile certification, you'll be able to take full advantage of the panel in apps like Netflix and Prime Video.

The Note 8's display has a resolution of 2960 x 1440, but it runs at 2220 x 1080 out of the box. You can, however, head into the display settings and change the native resolution to QHD+. There are four display modes to choose from, which let you tailor the screen to your preferences. The panel gets sufficiently bright under harsh sunlight and goes all the way down to 2nits in low-light conditions. The Always On Display has picked up a few additions as well, giving you a quick overview of the time and incoming notifications without having to switch on the phone.

Coming over to the performance, the Exynos 8895 SoC coupled with 6GB of RAM ensure the Note 8 blazes through everyday tasks with ease. I haven't encountered any lag in over two months' of usage, and the phone continues to be a delight to use. (The North American version ships with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 SoC.)

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 specs

Galaxy Note 8 review

Not everyone picking up a Note 8 will use the S Pen regularly, but the stylus is a great addition. The ability to take notes while the screen is off comes in handy if you need to jot down a few lines in a hurry, and Samsung Notes gives you plenty of options for doodling. The screen-off memo is engaged automatically when the display is off, and Air Command kicks in when you pull the stylus out of its silo when the screen is on, giving you quick access to shortcuts. Smart Select allowing you to take screenshots of a particular area on the screen, Screen Write lets you doodle on the screen, and Translate gives you access to real-time translations.

You're better off just ignoring Bixby altogether.

Then there's Live Message, which is an interesting addition to the S Pen's feature set. Live Message lets you draw and send animated messages, with the feature recording your pen strokes in real time. There are several fonts and effects to choose from, and you can send the message in any app that supports GIFs. You can also invoke Bixby Vision from Air Command, but you're better off not using the feature.

Galaxy Note 8 review

With the Galaxy Note 8, Samsung finally made the switch to dual rear cameras. The manufacturer ended up using a primary 12MP camera — similar to that on the Galaxy S8+ — and augmenting it with a secondary 12MP telephoto lens. The primary shooter has an f/1.7 lens, 1.4-micron pixels, and Dual Pixel autofocus, whereas the secondary lens offers an f/2.4 aperture and 1.0-micron pixels.

What's different with Samsung's implementation is that both imaging sensors feature OIS. The introduction of the telephoto lens enables 2x optical zoom and a portrait mode in the form of Live Focus. The mode selectively blurs out the background, and you have the option to adjust background blur after the fact.

As is the case with the Galaxy S8+, photos and videos shot with the Note 8 are exceptional. The phone consistently delivers great images irrespective of the lighting conditions. Photos come out saturated and with plenty of dynamic range, and the phone is one of the best at shooting in low-light scenarios.

Galaxy Note 8 review

The Note 8 comes with Samsung Experience 8.5 atop Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box, and the overall experience is in line with that of the Galaxy S8+. It'll take you a few days to go through the sheer number of features on offer, and even if you don't end up using all of them, they're there if you need them.

Samsung Pay continues to be great for payments at offline stores, with the service picking up 1.5 million customers over the last few months. Barring a few retail stores, I haven't had any issues using the mobile payments service to pay for purchases over the last two months.

Samsung is great at including a lot of goodies with its flagships, and with the Note 8, you get AKG-branded earbuds in the box, spare tips for the S Pen, a clear case, and a USB Type-C to Type-A and a Type-C to Micro-USB converter. The AKG headphones are surprisingly good, with decent bass response and clear highs — they're certainly a far cry better than bundled earbuds from most other manufacturers.

You can also redeem a free wireless charger from the My Galaxy app, provided you purchased the Note 8 before October 21.

Galaxy Note 8 What needs work

Galaxy Note 8 review

Samsung was always going to be conservative regarding battery size following last year's debacle. The 3300mAh battery is smaller than the 3500mAh unit on the Galaxy S8+, and combine that with a slightly larger 6.3-inch screen and you'll find that the battery life on the Note 8 is one of its main drawbacks. The phone barely manages to last the course of a day, with usage spread across an hour or two of web browsing, streaming music over Spotify, social media, navigation, and an hour's worth of calls.

Battery life is really the only major knock against the Note 8 right now.

Screen-on-time averaged anywhere between three-and-a-half hours to four hours, but that varied wildly based on usage patterns. During the weekends — when I was out running chores and was primarily using cellular data — I saw screen-on-time of under three hours, with the battery lasting for just over 10 hours.

While vacationing in Thailand, a fully-charged Note 8 conked out in just under seven hours, with screen-on-time of under two hours. I managed to take a hundred photos, and that undoubtedly put a strain on the battery. But in the time it took the Note 8's battery to go down to 5%, the Pixel 2 XL — which was also used to shoot a lot of images — still had a 45% charge.

Galaxy Note 8 review

Samsung's much-hyped virtual assistant Bixby still needs a lot of work. Bixby Voice debuted in India last month, and while it's great for surfacing specific images from the gallery or delving into the settings, it isn't a service you'll end up using often. The lack of integrations make Google Assistant a much better alternative, particularly when you consider that the "Ok Google" hotword works even when the screen is off.

Another area of annoyance with the Galaxy Note 8 is the location of the fingerprint sensor. Its placement was awkward on the GS8+, and things haven't gotten any better on the Note 8. Given that the phone is larger than the S8+, you'll find it harder to reach the sensor.

Finally, the single speaker at the bottom is decent, but it's nowhere close to the BoomSound setup on the HTC U11 or the stereo speakers on the iPhone 8 Plus.

Galaxy Note 8 Bottom line

Galaxy Note 8 review

Although the Note 8 has sub-standard battery life, the phone more than makes up for it in other areas. The screen and the camera in particular are outstanding, and the sheer number of features on offer make it the phone to beat in 2017.

The Pixel 2 XL has a better software experience, and Google's advances in computational photography have led to an outstanding camera, but the lack of a 3.5mm jack is a drawback. Then there's the fact that the Pixel 2 XL has a blue tint across the display, and the phone is also plagued with quality control issues.

Simply put, if you want the best overall package, the Galaxy Note 8 should be at the top of your list.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 8

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1 week ago

New T-Mobile app checks if your phone supports Extended Range and VoLTE

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The app is called "BYOD Check App", and it's available on the Play Store right now.

T-Mobile's been one of the most disruptive carriers in the wireless space for some time now, and while some of the company's decisions have created for a fair bit of controversy here and there, there's no denying the Un-Carrier's constant push to offer the best wirelss service possible for its subscribers.

Shortly after announcing that its LTE Advanced network is now available in more than 920 markets, T-Mobile just released a new app on the Play Store called "BYOD Check App." It's a pretty simple application, but it serves an important purpose.

Once you open up the app and either type in the first eight digits of your phone's IMEI number or use your camera to scan it, the app will let you know whether or not your device is compatible with T-Mobile's Extended Range Network and VoLTE.

Phones with either band 12 (700MHz) or band 71 (600MHz) are supported here, and while you can just as easily find this info by doing a quick Google search, having an app right from the horse's mouth is nice to get that extra bit of confirmation that some folks might want before making the switch.

If you want to download the app for yourself, check the link above.

T-Mobile's LTE Advanced network now live in over 920 markets

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1 week ago

Essential 360 Camera can now livestream to Facebook

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Essential 360 Camera + Facebook Live 360 = ❤

One of the biggest draws for Andy Rubin's Essential Phone is the two-pin connection system on the back that allows for modular accessories. Unfortunately, for the time being, the only one that's available is the company's 360 Camera. Essential's snap-on 360 camera is actually pretty good, but one area where it's been lacking since its release is proper app support.

Thankfully, with the latest update to the Essential 360 Camera, you can now livestream videos in 360-degrees to Facebook Live 360. This is a feature we've been eagerly anticipating, and accessing it is quite simple.

You can livestream to Facebook Live 360 right through the camera app.

Once the Essential 360 Camera is connected to your Essential Phone, go to the 360 Live page once its companion app opens up and then tap on the red "Live" icon. Add your Facebook account details, allow the Camera to have the necessary permissions, and then choose who you want to be able to see your livestream.

You can type in a description if you'd like, and from here, tapping the red "Live" icon again will then start the Facebook Live 360 stream. When you're ready to stop, tap the square "Stop" button.

We're still waiting for 360-degree livestream support for YouTube and Twitter, but until then, this is undoubtedly a welcome addition.

Essential Phone

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1 week ago

How 'waterproof' is my phone? What those IP numbers really mean

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How do I tell what those IP ratings on my phone really mean? Just because a phone is rugged doesn't mean it will survive a dunk in the pool.

Manufacturers are making Android phones a little more rugged a little bit tougher than they used to be. It's a big selling feature. Phones from Samsung and LG and Motorola and even Google themselves now come with some degree of water and dust resistance. What those numbers represent can be important or even a deciding factor when spending the cash on a new phone.

You'll usually see "ruggedness" described with an IP rating or a MIL-STD rating or both. Those are standards (loose ones in some cases) that determine how resistant something is the elements — things like water resistance, shock (both electrical and physical), temperature, air pressure, and a host of other things that want to ruin your phone.

The ratings and certifications were developed long before the invention of cellphones — they cover things like valves and electrical boxes. But more recently, they do apply to phones, and not just the ones that are built like tanks. Let's break each rating down a little so you know what they really mean.

Ingress Protection

Don't do this

No, not the location-based game from those Pokemon guys, ingress protection refers to the ability for a product to prevent foreign objects — specifically liquid and dust particles — from getting inside. And while we usually think the term IP stands for ingress protection, it actually stands for International Protection, as in an International Protection Marking.

The IP Code is designated by the initials IP followed by two digits and possibly a letter, like a K. Most letter designations are something we'll never encounter on small portable electronic devices; they refer to something that can withstand high-pressure, high-flow spray jets, like a car wash sprayer nozzle. In that situation, your phone would be toast.

(Never run your phone through the car wash, unless it is one of these and you don't mind breaking the car wash. We're kidding. Don't run even the Nokia 3310 through a car wash, people.)

Never run your phone through a car wash to test its IP rating. Seriously.

The digits each represent a resistance rating. The first number stands for the level of solid particle protection (dust). The second number stands for liquid ingress protection. A manufacturer doesn;t have to test for both, but if it doesn't the number will be replaced by an X, so it would look something like IPX7 or IP6X. Here's how the numbers stack up.

Solid particle protection

Solid IP number How effective is it? IP number How effective is it? 0 Not protected at all against any size particle. 1 Protected against particles larger than 50 mm 2 Protected against particles larger than 12.5 mm
(This is the minimum rating to protect against putting your finger into a thing). 3 Protected against particles larger than 2.5 mm 4 Protected against particles larger than 1 mm 5 Dust Protected
Dust must not enter in enough quantity to affect the normal operation. 6 Dust Tight
Dust can't enter, even in a vacuum.

Liquid ingress protection

Liquid IP number How effective is it? IP number How effective is it? 0 Not protected at all. 1 Protected against dripping water. 2 Protected against dripping water when tilted up to a 15-degree angle from its normal position. 3 Protected against spraying water when tilted up to a 60-degree angle from its normal position. 4 Protected against splashing water at any angle. 5 Protected against water sprayed from a 6.3 mm nozzle at 12.5 Liters/minute and 30 kPa (pressure) from three meters away for three minutes. 6 Protected against water sprayed from a 12.5 mm nozzle at 100 Liters/minute and 100 kPa (pressure) from three meters away for three minutes. 6K Protected against water sprayed from a 6.3 mm nozzle at 75 Liters/minute and 1,000 kPa (pressure) from three meters away for three minutes.
(1,000 kPa is a standard amount of water pressure through a fire hydrant). 7 Protected against immersion in water up to one meter at normal pressure for 30 minutes. 8 Protected against immersion in water one meter or deeper at specifications detailed by the manufacturer. 9X Protection against water sprayed from high-flow and high-pressure jets at high-temperature
Water volume of 14 to 16 Liters/minute
Water pressure of 80 to 100 bar (up to 1,451 Psi)
Water temperature of 80-degrees
Distance of 0.10 to 0.15 meters. This could kill a person.

In addition (because this wasn't confusing enough) the IP Code has letter designations for additional protection. Like any K rating, you'll never see these on a cell phone but I'm putting them here because we're going to be complete. Deal with it.

Additional protection designation

Letter code What it means Letter code What it means f Oil resistant H High voltage protection M Motion during any testing S No motion during any testing W Weather resistant

Yes, the "f" is not capitalized, and "Weather resistant" doesn't tell us anything at all. We didn't write the specification so we're not sure why thinsg were written the way they are.

So when you buy a phone like the Galaxy S8 that has a rating of IP68 you can put it in a vacuum and dust can't get in, or let it sit in more than one meter of water forever, right? Nope.

Phones sent to a testing lab passed. Yours might not.

The dust protection rating leaves zero wiggle room. The S8 is dustproof under any conditions a human being can be in. The liquid ingress protection of 8 is "specified by the manufacturer", and Samsung says submersion up to 5.0 feet for up to 30 minutes.

Cool, let's go play with it in the bathtub and take videos of a rubber duckie versus GI Joe Wet Suit Frogman battle royale. This will be epic.

Not so fast. Samsung also says your device is not impervious to water damage in any situation, which is a total buzzkill.

The Galaxy S8 phones used for testing and certification were able to withstand dust intrusion under any circumstances up to and including a vacuum, and immersion in water 5-feet deep for a half hour. Your phone might not. The certification facility can't test every phone. The people who made it should be willing to talk about the warranty if you have an issue, though.

MIL-STD

This is a U.S. Military standard that specifies how something will fare against the environment during its lifetime. Android phones, watches and other electronics often carry the MIL-STD 810G certification, which means it was tested in a lab under conditions that simulate a gigantic list of environmental variables and still worked. Some of the things that are tested include temperature extremes, altitude, thermal shock, fungal ingress and being frozen solid. It's an exhaustive list, and if your phone passed these tests you can expect it to survive anything, including a week with Bear Grylls, right?

Nope.

This certification can be completely meaningless. For starters, the testing procedures clearly state that a manufacturer only has to test in simulated environments, which doesn't mean it will withstand the real thing. If that's not enough of a red flag, the fact that whoever does the testing gets to decide how anything is simulated and that the thing being tested doesn't even need to pass, only be tested should be. And feel free to see what happens to a phone with a battery when you freeze it and then thaw it out.

Dr. Conrad H. Blickenstorfer, Ph.D. explains it perfectly while discussing MIL-SPEC standards for laptops.

The MIL-STD-810G does not mandate standards or set minimum goals for the various tests; for the most part it simply describes how testing is to be conducted. This leaves considerable room for interpretation, and it is therefore important for manufacturers of rugged notebooks to provide detailed information on what tests were conducted, how exactly they were conducted, what the results were, and what those results actually mean. The claim that a product is "MIL-STD-810G tested" is not enough, and prospective customers should ask for more detail.

Saying something is MIL-STD 810G tested without providing a copy of the testing parameters and results means the same thing as "feels faster" or "excellent camera." Never use this as a factor in your decision to buy an electronic device unless you've seen those results.

Seeing IP numbers and Military toughness ratings on a phone you buy is generally a good thing. Not all individual devices will pass all real-life testing, but someone, somewhere decided it should be a little tougher than normal.

Having an IP-spec phone is great protection against accidents like spilling water or using it in a woodshop, and a MIL-STD 810G phone will probably fare an icy snowbank or fungal garden better than one without. Just remember, taking your phone scuba diving or spelunking just might mean time spent with a different phone while you discuss your warranty options.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

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1 week ago

T-Mobile's LTE Advanced network now live in over 920 markets

29

Gigabit Class LTE also available in 430 markets.

Although the technology for a 5G future isn't quite ready for primetime, carriers all across the country are working on building up their networks to offer as fast of speeds as possible using LTE. At an event in San Jose, T-Mobile recently announced that its lightning-fast LTE Advanced network is now available in more than 920 different markets.

T-Mobile's LTE Advanced network is being built in partnership with Qualcomm's Gigabit LTE modems that are slowly making their way into more and more smartphones. LTE Advanced also uses 4X4 MIMO and 256 QAM technology, and this allows for data speeds that are twice as fast as what's capable with traditional 4G LTE.

Phones that can take advantage of LTE Advanced include the Samsung Galaxy S8, Note 8, Moto Z2 Force Edition, and LG V30. Of those 920 markets where these devices can use T-Mobile's LTE Advanced, 430 of them currently have access to Gigabit Class LTE speeds.

Gigabit Class LTE is important because although it may not be as fast as speeds we'll see a few years down the road, it's the foundation T-Mobile is using for its future 5G network.

Per Mike Finley, the Senior VP and President of Qualcomm North America and Australia:

Global momentum for Gigabit Class LTE is continuing to pick up around the world, and we're delighted that T-Mobile is planning to deliver gigabit connectivity to millions of consumers in the United States. In addition to providing blazing fast mobile connectivity, Gigabit Class LTE enables operators to expand network capacity to accommodate increasing demands by unlimited data plans, and increases overall spectral efficiency, enabling faster speeds for all users in the network.

This latest announcement places T-Mobile well ahead of other U.S. carriers when it comes to LTE Advanced, and seeing as how the Un-Carrier hasn't shown any signs of slowing down since it first started testing this network in 2014, we don't expect that to change anytime soon.

Unpacking the doomed T-Mobile / Sprint merger

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1 week ago

OnePlus will let 10 people test drive the OnePlus 5T

5

You could be among the first ten people to get their hands on the OnePlus 5T.

After more than enough leaks and rumors, OnePlus will finally be taking the stage in New York City on November 16 to officially unveil the OnePlus 5T. We've seen plenty of promotion from the company in an attempt to hype up the device as much as possible, and in this latest move, OnePlus is now looking for ten people to review the 5T ahead of its official launch.

OnePlus is running this promotion through its "The Lab" program, and eager participants can fill out a forum to tell OnePlus why they should be considered as one of the lucky ten.

Submissions can be sent in starting now, and OnePlus says it'll select its ten reviewers on November 15 by 10:00 PM EST – just a day before the 5T is announced.

Those that are selected will be among the first ten people in the world to own a OnePlus 5T, and once they get their hands on the phone, they'll be tasked with putting it through its paces to let other users know just what they think about it.

If you're interested and think you're up for the task, you can fill out the submission form here.

OnePlus 5T and OnePlus 5

OnePlus Amazon

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1 week ago

Defective microphones on Pixel 2, Galaxy S8, Note 8 can be fixed by blowing in them

32

To blow or not to blow

Whether you're making a phone call, doing speech-to-text, or talking to Google Assistant, you use the microphones on your phone more than you probably realize. As such, the fact that mics on the Pixel 2, Galaxy S8, and Note 8 mysteriously aren't working has got a lot of customers quite irritated – and rightly so.

Google's Product Forums and the Samsung Community feature numerous users complaining that the microphones on their devices aren't responsive, and for a lot of people, it's said that blowing into the microphone ports actually gets the mics working again.

Blowing into the microphones appears to only be a temporary fix, however, as users report they eventually stop working and you'll need to blow into your device once again.

Stop the blowing and start an RMA.

Although this is a possible way to get your mic working again, we'd advise being careful about doing so. A microphone on a phone can stop working for a number of reasons, and one of those is if something gets in the way of the mic. If this is the case, blowing can move the obstacle out of the way and things can be hunky-dory once again.

On the flip side, if the microphone itself is damaged, blowing and blowing into it will do nothing but add moisture – something you definitely don't want to do.

You can certainly try the blowing technique if you're noticing this issue on your handset, but we'd suggest going the more proper route by starting an RMA process with either Google or Samsung depending on which phone you have.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Google Store Project Fi Verizon Best Buy

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1 week ago

How has your Google Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL battery life been?

42
Google Pixel 2 battery life

It's the most important spec for many people.

Battery life makes or breaks the smartphone experience. No, not just battery size but the combination of factors that lead to how long a phone will last on an average day before you start looking for a battery or a wall outlet. Battery life differs pretty widely among phones, but the biggest differences you see in reported battery life come down to the vast differences in how we use our phones. Ask two people with the same exact phone how their battery life is on a normal day, and you can get two very different numbers — one reassuring, and another unsettling.

Whether you have the Pixel 2, with its relatively small 2700mAh battery, or the bigger Pixel 2 XL with far better longevity prospects, we want to know how your battery life has been.

Despite its small battery capacity, some people are seeing great battery life on the Pixel 2.

*/
openwheelracing 10-21-2017 11:20 PM “

Yep, 3 straight days with 6+ hours of SOT with Pixel 2. This includes GPS, YouTube and camera. Not babying the battery at all. Going out of my way to use the phone. Im amazed how efficient this phone is. If I go easy, I can probably get 8+ hours SOT.

Reply

Seeing a whole bunch of reports like this. Impressive.

*/
Cakefish 10-23-2017 05:35 PM “

Over 4 hours of SOT with 50% still to go. Regular Pixel 2. Mixed 4G and WiFi usage. Adaptive brightness on. GPS on. Bluetooth off. AOD off.https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171023/92dbbb4e26bf2c49ce3e0bd1c5d59108.jpg

Reply

It's tough to find someone with a Pixel 2 XL who isn't very happy with their battery life.

*/
JHBThree 10-22-2017 05:37 PM “

Yesterday I had over 5 hours SOT and still had 40% in the tank when I went to bed. So far the battery life on the 2XL has been fantastic.

Reply

And the 2 XL is outperforming its predecessor as well, which is always a good sign.

*/
svenEDGE 10-21-2017 04:50 PM “

2 XL here... The battery life is incredible. I pulled it off the charger 6 hours ago. Since then I used my phone to navigate to work (25 minute commute), streamed music the whole way here, I've watched YouTube, used Instagram, I screenshared with support while I was troubleshooting an issue, plus other random stuff. I've currently had the screen on for 2 hrs and 20min and have my brightness maxed...

Reply

So where does your Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL battery life land on the spectrum? Is it more than enough, coming up short, or landing right in the middle? Jump into the forums and get in on the discussion!

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

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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 week ago

OPPO F5 with 20MP front camera makes its debut in India for ₹19,990

2

OPPO's latest selfie-focused phone is now available in India.

The OPPO F5 was unveiled late last month in the Philippines, and the phone has made its debut in India. The phone is available from Amazon for ₹19,990 ($310), and comes with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.

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1 week ago

Huawei's Mate 10 Pro could make its way to AT&T stores in the U.S.

9

Huawei is getting serious about the U.S. market.

Huawei relies on Amazon to sell devices in the U.S., but it looks like the company is tying up with at least one carrier to push sales of its latest flagship, the Mate 10 Pro. The folks at XDA Developers found a firmware file that suggests the phone will be sold and marketed by AT&T in the U.S.

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