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3 weeks ago

LG X Charge with 4500mAh battery lands on Comcast's new cellular service

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LG X Power2 comes to North America as the X Charge.

LG has announced the X Charge, a budget phone with a 5.5-inch 720p display and a massive battery that is now available on Comcast's new cellular service, Xfinity Mobile. The 4500mAh battery is the largest LG put in a phone thus far, with the brand claiming that the phone will deliver battery life that will last an entire weekend. If that sounds familiar, it's because the X Charge is a rebranded variant of the X Power2, which made its debut earlier this year at MWC.

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3 weeks ago

Watch our Honor 9 hands-on preview!

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With the recent launch of phones like the Honor 9 and OnePlus 5, it's never been clearer that we're living in the age of the affordable flagship. The Honor 9, the latest phone from the Huawei-owned brand, isn't coming to the United States, but European customers will soon be getting their hands on the device, which just might offer the best balance between internal hardware, design and price.

The Honor 9 isn't as spec-obsessed as its rival, the OnePlus 5, but instead you get a beautiful reflective, curved glass chassis, a solid dual camera setup based on the camera of the P10, and the company's best Android-based software yet. It's also hand- and pocket-friendly, with a 5.15-inch screen diagonal complemented by an ergonomic shape.

And you get all that stuff for a mere £379.99 in the UK (or €449 in the eurozone).

Check out our hands-on video preview above for a rundown of what to expect in the Honor 9, and stay tuned for our full review, coming up next week!

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3 weeks ago

Honor 9 vs. OnePlus 5: Beauty and the 8GB Beast

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Honor 9 vs OnePlus 5

Two very different kinds of affordable flagships enter the fray.

OnePlus and Honor have always been rivals, but this year sees the two brands going head-to-head more directly than ever before. With the OnePlus 5, the company focuses on high-end specs, including a ridiculous 8GB of RAM, alongside a new dual camera setup. And the Honor 9 builds on its predecessor with a few meaningful upgrades of its own, including a beautifully curved glass back panel and an enhanced dual camera system.

Both phones hover either side of the £400 mark — the OnePlus 5 starts at £449, while the Honor 9 undercuts it at £379. So how do these two shape up? Let's dive in with a first comparison, a day into using these two handsets side by side.

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3 weeks ago

Battery packs don't get much better than Nomad's Powerpack

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You don't have to spend $100 on a battery pack, but when you do, you get what you pay for.

I'm not one to spend a lot of time thinking about a battery pack, especially one that costs $100. But Nomad's well-designed, beautifully-made, rugged Powerpack may just be worth spending that extra cash on. Here's why.

See at Amazon

The basics

The Powerpack comes in one flavor, a 9000mAh rounded rectangle brick covered in a thick polycarbonate housing and, along the edges, a TPU rubber casing. It's basically the same material you'd find on an Otterbox Defender case, but protecting a battery instead of, well, a more expensive battery.

It's a chunky thing, but portable, with a solidity that I find eludes all but the most expensive power banks from companies like Anker and Zagg. On one side of the unit is a series of buttons, ports and LED indicators, and that's where the fun begins. This is not some legacy battery pack that trickle-charges using Micro-USB. No, this is USB-C, and the future is awesome.

There are two USB-C ports and fast charging on board, so consider yourself future-proofed.

Specifically, there are three ports:

  • USB-C "In" at 3.0A
  • USB-C "Out" at 3.0A
  • USB-A "Out" at 2.4A

Why have two separate USB-C ports for input and output? Because Nomad believes that you may want to do so-called passthrough charging overnight — recharging the Powerpack itself from a wall adapter while charging your phone with the battery. It's all very useful in theory, but the real benefit here comes from having two high-ampere ports in both modern varieties of charger — USB-C and USB-A.

The former supports Adaptive Fast Charging, a Qualcomm technology offered by most smartphones today. When topping up using a USB-C to USB-C cable, the brick will vary between 5V / 3A, 9V / 2A, and 12V / 2A depending on the level of the phone's battery. The USB-A port doesn't offer fast charge, but can be used simultaneously if you have a second phone, tablet, or even a Chromebook.

At 9000mAh, the battery should be enough to get you through multiple full phone charges, or a combination of phone and tablet. Nomad claims that it uses high-quality Panasonic batteries, and while I didn't manage to measure the exact capacity of the cell, I was able to get roughly two and a half full charges of my 3000mAh Galaxy S8 before the battery died, so the number appears to be within the specified range, taking overhead and heat loss into account.

What to look for when buying USB-C chargers and cables

As a compact charger, I really couldn't ask for too much more. I am so happy I can finally leave my Micro-USB cables behind when traveling with a battery pack, and I feel confident knowing that, if dropped, the unit's rugged exterior will not damage the components within.

A Tile upon your houses

One of the more interesting inclusions in Nomad's Powerpack, and one that goes along with the company's shrewd history of partnerships (it exclusively uses Chicago's Horween leather tannery for its wallets and phone cases), is support for Tile.

A few years ago, Tile raised $2.6 million on Selfstarter to fund what was then a novel concept: a small, passive, Bluetooth-powered tracker that, when in range of a connected phone, would play a tune to help locate whatever its keyring hole was attached to. I backed a set of four Tiles and put them in everything from wallets to bags to overseas luggage, and while I truly enjoyed using them, when they ran out of juice a year later I decided not to spend the $40 or so to replace them.

Tile's crowdfunding campaign kickstarted an industry of Bluetooth trackers, but it's still the best.

Nomad's Powerpack is the first third-party accessory with Tile support, and in rekindling my love for the brand and the idea, I discovered that the company's incredibly ambitious plan of creating a network of Bluetooth trackers that, should a product be lost or stolen, talk to phones in the area to help locate them, is actually working.

See, Tile uses the increasingly common Bluetooth LE standard to constantly send out a low-level "ping" while the battery is intact. The idea of creating this network is to create a network of Tile users that, in theory, inform the original owner of the location of something that is out of Bluetooth range. Say my bike gets stolen with a Tile attached to its chassis. Another Tile owner walks by the warehouse in which it's being stored and, thanks to the 40-foot range of Bluetooth LE, informs the person of its new location.

When I added the Powerbank to my existing Tile account, it told me that nearly 5,000 other Tile owners are "nearby," though it's unclear how the app determines proximity. Either way, it's encouraging to know that there's a chance, however small, that I could recover something lost because of this growing network.

Back to this device, Tile support on a large battery pack may not seem inherently intuitive, but there's method to this madness. When traveling with the Powerpack, it's often with very important and expensive tech, including my laptop, phone(s), headphones, camera equipment and more. If the presence of the Powerpack inside the bag makes it even remotely easier to find should it get stolen or go missing, the inclusion is worth it.

Tile support isn't a reason to buy the Powerpack, but it justifies the higher cost.

The Tile app for Android is simple to a fault. After setting up an account, you use the Tile button on the Powerpack to initiate pairing and, once complete, the app is able to locate the battery and usher in a little tune to increase the odds.

The benefit to Tile living inside something like the Powerpack is that in trading size for convenience, you end up with a tracker that will likely never run out of batteries (since the damn thing is a battery). I may not use it all that often, but I am comforted by its presence, and impressed with its reliability.

Should you buy it?

At $99.95, the Powerpack is double the price of most 9000mAh battery packs, and I can't say for certain whether those contain cells of any lower quality. But I continue to be thoroughly impressed by Nomad's attention to detail, and the quality of its products. I love the size, heft and overall design of the Powerpack, and appreciate the little things, like the ambient light-sensing charging LEDs that lower in brightness with the dimness of the environment.

I like that I can stick the thing in a bag with a single USB-C to USB-C cable and feel reassured about being able to use my phone for a few days at a time. And I enjoy that every time I've needed to contact Nomad about a replacement product in the past I've received a response, and a brand new unit, within a few days.

Sometimes you end up paying not just for the product but the accompanying brand, and the promise of that brand, and the "Nomad tax" is a premium I'm happy to continue paying for.

See at Amazon

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3 weeks ago

Bixby may be even better than we hoped

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Bixby is pretty damn good, even this early in its life. Here's what our community says.

Samsung's Bixby assistant has enjoyed a rough road to stardom, but now that it's in an open preview for U.S. Galaxy S8 users, we're starting to get the impression that the wait may have been worth it.

One of our forum members, erasat, sums things up nicely for us:

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erasat 06-21-2017 05:00 PM “

A lot better than expected, so far the commands are great, I love the easiness creating shortcuts, it works great with a location reminder that btw was very easy and fast to create, I'm already in level 5 with 20 minutes of teaching it my voice and most commands. You can turn the phone off, reboot reboot in safe mode, etc... in a summary most of the settings commands are available. If you try to...

Reply

The one thing that people keep pointing out about Bixby is how different it is from Google Assistant and Siri, and how capable it is at reproducing what your fingers do to navigate through your phone. Stringing commands together in natural language makes a lot of sense when you realize just how complex some of the apps are that we use on a regular basis.

One member, GRUNT11B, points out that Bixby is better than Google Assistant and Siri for a number of tasks:

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GRUNT11B 06-24-2017 05:57 PM “

I've been at it comparing the same commands with both Bixby and Google Assistant. And can say bixby is winning. And that says a lot as it's still in beta. From system settings to sharing photos. You can get more of a true hands free experience with Bixby.

Reply

Another poster, Sapient, isn't quite sold on Bixby just yet, claiming that some things will just be done faster using fingers — but there is plenty of room for improvement given that the service is still in preview in the U.S.

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Sapient 06-22-2017 01:15 PM “

I really want to like it, and I've found a couple of things to be cool, but mostly I find it irritating and slow. I think it is super cool to say "Open camera and take a slow motion video". I find it really irritating to say "Send a message to Pedro" and all I get is a list of apps to open, or maybe a list of the one person in my contacts named Pedro. Where I think it could shine for me is...

Reply

What are your impressions of Bixby so far? Like it? Hate it?

Join the conversation in the forums!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

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3 weeks ago

Best Verizon Phones

Want a new Verizon phone? See what the largest operator in the United States has to offer.

Whether you're an existing Verizon subscriber looking to upgrade, or you're thinking of coming over to Verizon and want to know what its phone selection looks like out, we're here to help you.

We've put together our list of the best phones Verizon has to offer. Check out the linked reviews to learn more about each device featured below. If you're ready to pull the trigger, we've also included handy links to take you directly to Verizon.

Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+

The best smartphone on the market right now is the Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ not only because it packs a ton of fantastic features into one stylish chassis, but also by virtue of the fact that it's the phone everyone knows about. You'll see it at the carrier store with its giant display; you'll see it on TV during commercial breaks; and you'll see it advertised on billboards around your city. So, what's everyone talking about?

The Galaxy S8 is a stunning, nearly bezel-less mobile device fueled by the latest Snapdragon 835 processor and 4GB of RAM. It comes in two configurations: a 5.7-inch version with a 3000mAh batter, or a 6.2-inch version with a 3500mAh battery. There's definitely a difference in size between the two devices, too, so consider heading over to your nearest Verizon store, where you can try them both on.

Curious about what else there is to the Galaxy S8 and S8+? Have we got a review for you!

Samsung Galaxy S8 review

Made up your mind? Buy it from Verizon:

See the GS8 at Verizon See the GS8+ at Verizon

Google Pixel

The Google Pixel is not just a great phone; it's a duo of phones in different sizes that both pack some serious power. Available as the 5-inch Pixel and the 5.5-inch Pixel XL, Google's strategy with its first home-built device is clear: simplicity and speed. And it delivers.

The design may not be particularly inspiring — though it is clearly "inspired" by other devices on the market — but the Pixel has some very solid specifications, including a Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of RAM, and either 32GB or 128GB of storage. The 12.3MP rear camera is a big improvement over last year's Nexus 6P, too, and thanks to some Google Magic, it's one of the fastest out there.

On the software side, Google Assistant is a tentpole feature that shouldn't be overlooked, especially if you're already invested in Google's services. It's smart right now, letting you ask all sorts of questions, and it's still getting better with each passing day.

Google Pixel review

Made up your mind? Buy the Google Pixel from Verizon.

See the Pixel at Verizon See the Pixel XL at Verizon

L6 G6

LG did away with the strange modular concept practiced in last year's G5 and opted for a stylish, nearly bezel-less aluminum model instead. The G6 comes with a 5.7-inch 18:9 LCD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of storage, 32GB of RAM (in addition to an expansion slot), and a 3300mah battery. It's also water resistant, so yes, you can use it by the pool.

The LG G6's dual 13-megapixel cameras are fun to use, too, particularly if you're the outdoorsy type who would appreciate the aid of a wide-angle camera for neat social media shots. The 5-megapixel front-facing camera is also a solider performer when it comes to making you look good.

Need some more details?

LG G6 review

Or buy it right now through the Verizon site:

See the G6 at Verizon

Samsung Galaxy S7

Want a flagship-level Samsung smartphone that's smaller and cheaper than the Galaxy S8? Verizon still offers last year's Galaxy S7 as an option. The 5-inch device comes in Black Onyx or Gold Platinum and it isn't a bad deal if you're not too concerned with the specs race. The device's rear camera is pretty stellar, too, and it's water resistant, which not too many other devices at this price point can boast about.

Want an in-depth breakdown?

Samsung Galaxy S7 review

Or buy it right now through the Verizon site:

See the Galaxy S7 at Verizon

Moto Z2 Play

Motorola went a little iterative for the sequel to the Moto Z Play, but it's worth a look if you're interested in the company's modular smartphone setup and you don't want to resort to last year's flagship.

Inside, it's powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 processor, 3GB of RAM, and a 3000mAh battery, though you could always tack on more with a mod. It also features a front-mounted fingerprint sensor, a headphone jack, an expansion slot, and a 5.5-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display.

The Moto Z2 Play is also compatible with the entire lineup of Motorola's Moto Mods. Verizon sells most of them, including the Insta-Share Projector Moto Mod and the Kate Spade Power Pack.

Extra, extra! Read all about it if you want to know more:

Moto Z2 Play review

What do you think? Is this the one for you? Buy it at Verizon:

See the Moto Z2 Play at Verizon

Updated June 27 2017 Swapped in Galaxy S8/S8+, LG G6, and Moto Z2 Play.

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3 weeks ago

Moto Z2 Play comes to Verizon to disrupt the mid-range

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Get the Moto Z2 Play at Verizon beginning...now.

The Moto Z2 Play is a great phone, and even though it may not completely improve on the original in every way, it's one of the best smartphone deals around if you decide to get it from Verizon, where it's available starting today, July 29.

The device features Motorola's familiar Moto Z design, with a 5.5-inch LCD display and support for Moto Mods, the options of which have recently been shored up with the new Turbo Charger battery and upcoming Gamepad.

Read: Moto Z2 Play review

The Verizon version, which retails for $17/month or $408 outright, isn't quite as spec'd out as the one I reviewed, featuring just 32GB of storage and 3GB of RAM (the unlocked version, available later this summer, will have a 4GB/64GB option for $499), but it features the same excellent 12MP rear camera and seemingly-everlasting 3000mAh battery, along with Qualcomm's upgraded Snapdragon 626 platform.

Each purchase also comes with a free JBL SoundBoost 2 speaker attachment, which is a great bonus and will normally cost $79.99.

If you're interested, you can pick one up on Verizon's website, with shipments delivering July 6.

See at Verizon

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3 weeks ago

Moto Z2 Play review: Midnight in the garden of good and sequel

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Moto Z2 Play

The Moto Z2 Play is a great phone, but it's not a great sequel.

The quick take

Motorola went iterative for its Moto Z Play sequel, announcing it just nine months after the original. It's not a complete overhaul, and in two major ways is a downgrade, but it's also one of the most well-rounded and enjoyable-to-use Android phones on the market.

The Good

  • Excellent performance
  • Beautifully made and well-designed
  • Good battery life
  • Commendable camera quality
  • Moto Mods support

The Bad

  • Higher price than its predecessor
  • Choice of aging processor isn't great
  • Worse battery life than previous generation

Last year was tough for Motorola. It fundamentally altered the way it approached building, marketing and selling phones, upending its traditional flagship X lineup for something more exciting and far less traditional: a series of ultra-thin phones with add-on capabilities.

Moto Z. Moto Mods. A distinct and predictable design and screen size for at least two years to ensure compatibility. We're now into the second year of the Moto Z line, beginning with the Moto Z2 Play, and despite a few deserving criticisms, I could not be happier with the device.

Moto Z2 Play

About this review

I, Daniel Bader, am writing this review after using the Moto Z2 Play for one week on both the AT&T network in the U.S. and the Rogers network in Canada. It was running Android 7.1.1 build NPS26.74-34 with the May 1, 2017 security update. It was not updated during the review period.

Moto Z2 Play

Thin, at the cost of battery

Moto Z2 Play Hardware

If you've used a Moto Z or Moto Z Play, you'll know what to expect here. In fact, the Moto Z2 Play is a hybrid of those devices, thinning out the girthy frame of the original while replacing its scratch-prone glass back with the same smooth aluminum of the higher-end flagships.

That alone can't justify the extra $50 base — the Moto Z2 Play will cost $499 when it debuts unlocked in the U.S. later this summer — but there are a few choice upgrades that do.

Still great, but more expensive.

For starters, the Snapdragon 626 that powers the phone is 10% faster than the 625 in the Z Play, and the phone now comes standard with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. Its 5.5-inch 1080p AMOLED display is not changed from the original, which is fine: the 626 can't support higher-resolution displays, and doesn't need to, since I've found this size and density to be a long-term sweet spot for battery life.

Moto Z2 PlayMoto Z2 Play

Underneath the screen, you'll find the only major aesthetic difference between the Z2 Play and its predecessor: the front fingerprint sensor is now rounded, and much wider, making it easier to find and activate. There's also the optional One Button Nav feature, which I don't care for but understand many people, including our own Harish Jonnalagadda, have fallen in love with since it debuted on the Moto G5 series. To be honest, I'd update to the Moto Z2 Play for the improved fingerprint sensor alone, but there is more.

Moto Z2 Play

The phone is a full millimeter thinner than the Moto Z Play, owing to a 17% smaller battery cell that the company hopes you'll augment with one of the company's new high-capacity battery Moto Mods. Yes, there's only a 3000mAh battery in here now, and while it doesn't completely decimate the superior uptime of the original, it definitely cuts into its legacy a little bit.

The phone is a millimeter thinner than the Moto Z Play, but that doesn't make up for the loss in battery life.

This is a vexing and, in my opinion, ill-conceived move by the company; the Moto Z Play built a legacy on incredible multi-day battery life, and now I'm lucky to finish the day with 15% remaining in the tank. There are other reasons to buy the Moto Z2 Play, for sure — the camera is a huge upgrade, for instance — but the $449 original grew into an low-key battery darling through word of mouth and effective advertising.

Moto Z2 Play

Standard slick Moto

Moto Z2 Play Software

Though the older phones in the series may receive the same upgrade at some point this year, right now the Moto Z2 Play showcases the best of Motorola's understated software effectiveness. Nowhere is that better conveyed than the updates to Moto Display, which now support image thumbnails quick replies without having to unlock the phone.

Here's what I wrote about Moto Display last year, in the Moto Z Play review:

Moto Display. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: If you value notifications — and if you're using an Android phone, you likely do — Motorola's screen-off implementation is the best there is.

It's amazing how, despite improvements in always-on display technology from Samsung, LG, and even Google, nothing can touch what Motorola continues to do here.

Moto Z2 PlayMoto Z2 PlayMoto Z2 Play

Another interesting, but far less useful, feature this year is something called "Show Me." Inserted as part of the Moto Voice suite, it allows you to launch a number of screen overlay widgets, or any app on the phone by saying "Show Me X" when the display is off. The whole thing is remarkably, annoyingly simple: it uses Google's Voice Search API to recognize that single phrase paired with a host of commands like "Show me the weather" and "Show me my schedule," or "Show me Twitter." Of the commands that are pre-programmed, a fullscreen widget sits on top of the screen until you dismiss it; when asked to open an app, a small graphic shows up near the top beckoning you to pull it down.

Moto Z2 PlayMoto Z2 PlayMoto Z2 Play

I don't anticipate anyone will really find much use from this extremely limited and poorly-implemented feature, and it's worrisome that something so ham-fisted and half-baked was included on a Moto device, but I hope that Motorola takes it back to the engineering team with plans to either drastically improve it, or eliminate it altogether, especially since the Moto Z2 Play also supports screen-off "OK Google" prompting.

Moto Z2 Play

That brings me to the launcher, which is adapted from the one found on the Moto G5 Plus and is about as close as you'll find to the Pixel Launcher without Google's name on it. Google's Feed (formerly Google Now) is a swipe to the right, while the app drawer is a swipe up from the translucent icon dock. Thanks to Nougat's improved screen scaling options, you can now fit more icons on the screen at a time, and the entire thing just flies. I love this launcher, and hope that older Moto devices inherit it in a future update.

Moto Z2 Play

Questionable decisions

Moto Z2 Play Performance and battery life

The Moto Z Play is well known to be one of the biggest battery surprises of 2016: it just keeps on going. It's easily a two-day phone and can be, with a Moto Mod battery attachment, a long weekend phone if you're careful with use.

The Moto Z2 Play shaves 17% from its predecessor's battery capacity while adding 10% of clock speed to a chip that has otherwise no additional energy efficiencies. So while I would not say that the Z2 Play disappoints when it comes to uptime, I would quickly follow up by saying that it no longer impresses, either. It's just good, and in 2017, that's not good enough.

Performance, on the other hand, is demonstrably improved over the Moto Z Play, particularly in app load speeds. Coupled with that additional performance from the Snapdragon 626 SoC, Motorola has upped the base RAM amount to 4GB (though a cheaper 3GB option will be available if you care to save $50 from the unlocked MSRP, though I wouldn't bother). I really tested this phone, and came away impressed each time: despite the lack of high-powered Cortex-A72 cores, the Snapdragon 626 is a fine chip, and one that managed to keep up with my demanding workload every time.

Moto Z2 Play

Much better

Moto Z2 Play Camera

The front-facing camera on the Z2 Play is identical to its predecessor's, and it's good. Fine.

The rear camera, however, has been G5'd, dropping from 16MP to 12MP while expanding the aperture to f/1.7 and adding Dual Focus Pixels to make the laser-assisted and phase-detection autofocus options even more accurate.

In daylight shots, I came away impressed with what this shooter was capable of. And despite it not coming close to the lifelike sharpness and accuracy of the Galaxy S8, it did a great job taking digital photos that, well, look digital.

In low light, the Moto Z2 Play really impressed me: it managed to find the right exposure and focus in even the most challenging of lighting situations. And unlike the Moto G5 Plus, which on paper has an identical camera setup, I came away from the Moto Z2 Play with a bunch of great low-light shots that I wanted to share.

Moto Z2 Play

The problem with the Z2 Play's camera is its speed: its aging image signal processor just can't keep up with the latest-generation stuff from Qualcomm. That angst is exacerbated by the fact that the phone doesn't run Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 630 SoC, which features a much-improved image signal processor.

If you don't use a Style Shell back cover, the camera hump can get annoying to avoid, and distracting.

There were more than a few situations I found myself with a photo of action past, or action blurred. The camera just doesn't know when to ramp up light sensitivity (ISO) in order to preserve a higher shutter speed and avoid a blurry subject. Anyone with a dog or a kid knows how crucial that intelligence is, and newer phones, like the Galaxy S8, do a far better job in this respect.

Moto Z2 Play

Chip questions

Moto Z2 Play Odds and ends

Like last year's model, the Z2 Play features maximum LTE download speeds of 300Mbps and 150Mbps, with 2x carrier aggregation. That's far behind the incumbents, and half the potential of the newer Snapdragon 630 and 660 chips, the latter of which is coming to phones very shortly and will eat up a lot of space in this $500 price point.

It may have been a mistake not to wait for the Snapdragon 630, or opt for a slightly higher price with the Snapdragon 660.

While I had no connectivity problems at all, and managed to find LTE-Advanced in a number of areas around New York and Toronto, I can't help but feel that Motorola did itself a huge disservice not waiting for the Snapdragon 660, even if it meant eating some of the profit from this new phone. The Snapdragon 626 is old news from a network standpoint.

But I did use the phone to make calls and listen to music over Bluetooth and connect to Wi-Fi and do a bunch of other things people do with their portable computers and loved how reliable everything was. Not a dropped call nor a stuttery connection. And the single front-facing speaker? Pretty darn good.

Moto Z2 Play

The bottom line

Moto Z2 Play: You should probably buy it

I love this phone. I don't even want to go back to my Samsung Galaxy S8 right now because the Moto Z2 Play does everything I need it to, and has the deep (and growing deeper) Moto Mods ecosystem to help do what it can't out of the box. That's great.

But I am also partial to many things Motorola does, including (especially) Moto Display and a low-fat version of Android. I am also not overly concerned about the diminished battery, despite the fact that I no longer get the same astronomical uptime as I did on the Z Play. That's because I always have a portable charger with me, and the Z2 Play still — even without anything external — still manages to last the whole day with room to spare. That room is just a little more cramped this time around.

Finally, I love the little things, like the speed and placement of the fingerprint sensor, and the way the camera takes reliable photos in basically any lighting condition. I appreciate the aluminum back, which means I don't have to wear a Style Shell if I don't want to. I love the well-calibrated side buttons.

I am also aware that the phone is probably too expensive, at $499 unlocked, for most people, and that when it's available at a carrier (for an unknown price right now) it's once again going to be a Verizon exclusive for a while before an unlocked model comes available. I know that the chip inside the phone is already old, and will get older quickly. And I know that the 3000mAh battery is going to turn off the very people that made the Moto Z Play such a cult hit in the first place.

I know all these things and yet, after using the phone, I don't really care. After using the phone yourself, you probably won't care, either.

See at Motorola

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3 weeks ago

OnePlus 5 vs. HTC U11: More money, more quality

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OnePlus 5 vs. HTC U11

We have so many great high-end smartphone choices this year.

OnePlus is riding pretty high after a year of great success with the OnePlus 3 and 3T, and it's trying to parlay that momentum with the OnePlus 5. It's sticking to the same recipe as before, but doubling down on the importance of the camera and also raising its price. Despite being the bigger of the two companies, HTC broke out from a slump in 2017 with the U11. It's a great overall phone that directly competes with the flagships of the year, surprising many after a few years of lackluster high-end phones.

With the OnePlus 5 ostensibly targeting all of the flagship competition, and having the highest price of any phone from the company's history, it's worth comparing it directly to the U11 as one of the current leaders in the market. Does the OnePlus 5 have what it takes to be considered over the U11, considering it comes in at $170 less? Here's what you can expect.

What's the same

As is the case with most of the leading phones today, you get a great baseline experience from both of these phones. Both are built on a Snapdragon 835 processor, plus plenty of RAM and storage. That leads to both the OnePlus 5 and HTC U11 having super fast software all around. Both phones offer a solid battery, USB-C and fast charging. They're also both sold unlocked with wide LTE support, which is always great to see.

In terms of the external hardware, they're quite similar from the front where they stick with traditional 16:9 displays, normal bezels, a front fingerprint sensor and capacitive keys (though the OnePlus 5 offers optional on-screen navigation). The volume and power buttons land in expected spots as well. Both phones give you a solid feel when you pick them up, though the U11 feels a bit heftier around back as it's thicker than the OnePlus 5.

Key differentiators

OnePlus 5 vs. HTC U11

For all of the similarities between these two, there are a handful of clear differences you can find — with the U11 and OnePlus 5 each winning in specific areas.

Where the HTC U11 wins

Being the more expensive of the two, the HTC U11 is bound to have some areas where it's ahead of the OnePlus 5. The big differentiators right out of the box are the things you see and feel: the screen, and the back of the phone. The 5.5-inch display is the same size as the OnePlus 5, but its QHD resolution is higher and its overall properties are better. It gets brighter than the OnePlus 5's AMOLED panel, and that helps boost the colors a bit as well.

The finer points of the hardware, and an outstanding camera, nudge the U11 ahead.

So long as you're not vehemently opposed to glass-backed phones (which some people definitely are), you'll find the U11 looks and feels better than the OnePlus 5. Its unique color-infused glass looks great in any of its five color options, and the combination of a curved glass back and solid metal frame feels great. It's also just downright more exciting looking than the more generic OnePlus 5. The hardware also hides two other nice-to-have features: full waterproofing, and a dual speaker setup that offers fuller sound than the single speaker on the OnePlus 5.

Perhaps the biggest area that the U11 differentiates itself in is the camera. Hardware-wise, it's all there: 12MP, big 1.4-micron pixels, f/1.7 lens and OIS. Software-wise, HTC has just about nailed the processing in a way that really leverages the hardware to get really great photos. During the day it's crisper and more colorful than the OnePlus 5's photos, and at night it competes with the best out there — meaning it's a step above what OnePlus is offering right now. That's not at all to say the OnePlus 5's camera is bad, but more so that HTC has finally pulled it all together to make a great all-around camera, and it doesn't stumble in the few areas the OnePlus 5 does.

Be sure to check out our HTC U11 review and OnePlus 5 review for the details and our best photos from each.

Finally, it's a small thing but for those of us in the U.S. you could potentially be tempted to check out the U11 because it actually supports Verizon and Sprint. Yes it doesn't have CDMA on the unlocked model, but that's a small detail — if Verizon or Sprint are your carrier, the U11 will work on them, while OnePlus 5 just isn't an option.

See at Amazon

Where the OnePlus 5 wins

The OnePlus 5 continues to step ahead where it always does in these comparisons: in the software experience. Now don't get me wrong, the HTC U11 has an equally amazingly fast and responsive interface — but the OnePlus 5 is completely free from the shackles of any interface customization or bloat apps. HTC's changes to Android are nice and relatively clean, keeping well within reason, but if you like that "stock" Android look the OnePlus 5 is the better bet. It also includes tons of wonderful customization options to tweak the little things without making any big changes to how you use the phone.

It's all about the software experience ... oh, and a headphone jack.

Then there are a couple more subtle things that help the OnePlus 5 stand out with its hardware. If you're in that group mentioned above that just can't stand glass-backed phones, you'll be happy to know the OnePlus 5's aluminum body is solid and far less susceptible to damage. There's also one big feature: the inclusion of a 3.5 mm headphone jack. Despite being thinner than the U11, it has this port so many people still rely on — and even if you don't use it daily, you can't argue a 3.5 mm headphone jack isn't nice to have considering its amazing ubiquity in the world.

OnePlus technically one-ups the U11 with its RAM and storage options, even though HTC technically offers a model in some regions with 6GB of RAM and up to 128GB of internal storage. OnePlus can always take the cake with offering 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage everywhere in the world if you pay up the extra $60.

I've already mentioned how the U11's camera is a solid step past the OnePlus 5's, but OnePlus deserves a mention for at least offering something different. The secondary 20MP rear camera lets you zoom in with far more fidelity than the U11's 12MP camera, and the Portrait Mode, while not perfect, gives you a neat effect in some shots that once again just can't be done by the U11. That addition isn't enough to make up for the shortcomings in the main camera, but it does make things a bit closer.

See at OnePlus

Bottom line: Pay more, get more

OnePlus 5 vs. HTC U11

Even at its increased price of $479, the OnePlus 5 still offers an incredible value. But you still get more for the added cost of bumping up to the $649 HTC U11. Choosing to spend the extra money for HTC's latest phone gets you an arguably better-looking phone, a nicer display, waterproofing and a better overall camera than the OnePlus 5.

But for those who are more price-conscious, it's a great sign that the OnePlus 5 and HTC U11 are matches in most areas across the specs, performance and features. The OnePlus 5 even bests the U11 in a couple areas, namely the near-stock software and inclusion of a headphone jack.

If you can find the extra money to step up to a higher-end device, the U11 is probably your best bet. But if you can't go beyond that $480 level, know that the OnePlus 5 still offers a great experience that nearly matches it.

OnePlus 5

OnePlus

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3 weeks ago

Galaxy Note 8 render gives us a better look at the dual rear cameras

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It looks like the Galaxy Note 8 will also have a fingerprint sensor next to the camera.

We've heard a lot about the Galaxy Note 8 this week — the phone is allegedly launching in September with dual cameras at the back, and leaked CAD renders showed off what the device would look like. And now, accessory retailer MobileFun is serving up another look at Samsung's upcoming flagships through Olixar case renders.

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3 weeks ago

Best Android Phones of 2017

Samsung Galaxy S8

Best overall

Samsung Galaxy S8

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

The Galaxy S8 has slick new hardware with tiny bezels that let it have a big screen in a small body, but inside it still offers everything you want: a high-end processor, lots of storage, an SD card slot, full waterproofing and a top-end camera.

Yes the fingerprint sensor is slightly awkward to use, but the GS8's iris scanner is dramatically improved to make up for it. And it only takes one look at the industry-leading display to start to forgive Samsung's decisions on the back.

Though its software can be a little overwhelming to novices, you can't argue that Samsung continues to pack in hundreds of features to a single phone, making sure there's something in here for everyone's needs. Samsung continues to take this approach of offering more more more with just a few compromises — and it continues to work.

Bottom line: The Galaxy S8 gives you piles of features in a beautiful body, and is a great choice for a wide range of potential buyers.

One more thing: Of course, you can always pay a little extra and get the larger Galaxy S8+ for a bit more screen and battery life.

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Why the Galaxy S8 is the best

Samsung's Galaxy S brand carries considerable weight in the mobile world, and the Galaxy S8 continues to both leverage that brand while also offering a fantastic overall smartphone experience that today's consumers want. Once again, Samsung took its core principles of great hardware, a top-end display, waterproofing, solid cameras and mounds of features and updated it all for 2017.

The result is a fresh design that shrinks down the display bezels and really smooths out all of the sharp edges to give you a sleek, thin phone with a really large display that doesn't feel that large. The extra-tall 18.5:9 aspect ratio comes in at 5.8-inches across on the Galaxy S8 and 6.2-inches on the Galaxy S8+, and in both cases feels quite a bit smaller than the numbers would lead you to believe.

The sleek body still packs in top-end specs, of course, starting with that magnificent Super AMOLED display and backing it up with a Snapdragon 835 or Exynos 8895, 4GB of RAM, larger 64GB of storage (plus an SD card slot), a new USB-C port and locking it all down with waterproofing. The batteries are no bigger than last year's models, but battery life hasn't taken any hit. On the other side of the hardware, there's one big downside: Samsung moved the fingerprint sensor to an awkward position on the back next to the camera, leaving you with the less-consistent and less-convenient face scanning and iris scanning instead.

Samsung continues to make phones with all of the design and features people are clamoring for.

The camera experience has actually changed more on the front than the back with a new 8MP unit that packs auto focus. But the 12MP rear camera is still no slouch — Samsung has improved its processing to get even more out of this setup, and it remains a competitor for the best overall smartphone camera out there.

The ongoing point of contention when it comes to Samsung phones is the software, and that's the same once again on the Galaxy S8. Samsung continues to put in a massive number of features without removing any from years prior, leaving you with lots of things to get in the way and confuse you when you're trying to get the basics done. On the other hand, it's hard to find someone who can't get done what they need to get done right out of the box on this phone. It truly is aimed at being relevant to as diverse a set of consumers as possible, and it succeeds on that point.

By putting up with a few of the out-of-the-box quirks and taking some time to set it up how you like it, the Galaxy S8 can do anything you want and get it done at a fast pace while looking great as well.

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Best Google experience

Google Pixel XL

Google Pixel XL

See at Google See at Verizon

The Google Pixel XL does almost everything right. Its metal body is well-built and easy to grip, and its spec sheet is still capable, featuring a Snapdragon 821 and 4GB of RAM powering its 5.5-inch QHD display

But the Pixel XL really makes its case because Google owns both the hardware and the software. Even the best manufacturers can't achieve what Google has with its first-party powerhouse. It's fast, clean and lovely to use with Google's apps and services. The downside is the Pixel can't match the others in terms of raw features.

Then there's the camera, which continues to be one of the best in the business, helped along by Google's exemplary electronic stabilization that gives you silky smooth video recording.

Bottom line: Google doesn't compete in the raw number of features, but offers a sleek, consistent and holistic experience that absolutely deserves praise.

One more thing: The Pixel is available unlocked through Google's store in most countries, but if you're in the U.S. we suggest considering buying through Google Fi.

Best for less

LG G6

LG G6

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

The LG G6 uses a tall 18:9 display and tiny bezels (hey, it even came out before the Galaxy S8) to give you a larger screen in a smaller body. The all-new metal-and-glass design may not be totally inspired, but it's built amazingly well and incorporates lots of little features — like waterproofing — to help it hold up over time.

All of the internal specs you expect are here, even though the battery isn't removable like its predecessors. The one downside here is regional differences: the higher-quality Quad DAC is exclusive to Asia, while wireless charging is only for the North American market.

LG's dual camera setup has returned but with a refined emphasis on the wide-angle camera so it packs the same sensor as the standard camera. The main camera takes fantastic photos to go toe-to-toe with the best of them, and the wide-angle shooter adds in something that no other phone offers.

Bottom line: This is LG's best flagship phone to date, and going a step further it's one that comes in at a notably lower price — around $500 now — than the Galaxy S8 and Google Pixel XL.

One more thing: Shop around a bit before buying, as different retailers and carriers can have varying pricing schemes.

Best alternative

HTC U11

HTC U11

See at Amazon See at HTC

HTC is back at the top competing with the big names after a few years where its flagships just weren't up to speed. The HTC U11 is a great overall phone that has followed industry trends and also executed really well on them.

When viewed from the back you get a beautiful shining glass back that's truly unique. Around front it's a bit more boring, but the 5.5-inch QHD display is a strong panel — and the fingerprint sensor is sensibly located below the screen.

The best example of HTC turning things around is its camera — the 12MP sensor gets all the hardware right, and also has the processing to take best-in-class photos.

Internally you get all of the right stuff, with a Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB storage, a big-enough 3000mAh battery and complete waterproofing. The one thing missing? A headphone jack on the bottom.

Bottom-line: The U11 is a great all-around phone at a reasonable $650 price that should definitely be considered in the same realm as other high-end options.

One more thing: This is the only phone on this list without a headphone jack — be ready to use Bluetooth or the included USB-C adaptor.

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Best for speed

OnePlus 5

OnePlus 5

See at OnePlus

OnePlus continues to iterate on its proven formula of offering a phone with top-end internal specs, great software and no obvious flaws for a really competitive price. The OnePlus 5 is blazing fast, has super-clean software and solid battery life.

At this discounted price you get hardware design that's rather simple, a good-but-not-great screen and a simply above-average camera — plus, it's missing waterproofing. OnePlus continues to do well with all of the basics, though.

Even at a slightly higher price of $479, the OnePlus 5 is a great deal in 2017 — especially for those who can't (or won't) spend $600+ on one of the flagship options.

Bottom-line: For a solid experience and future-proof specs for a lower price than the flagship competition, the OnePlus 5 is a great choice.

One more thing: Remember you won't get Verizon or Sprint compatibility on the OnePlus 5 — you'll have to stick to GSM/LTE networks.

Conclusion

For most people, the Galaxy S8 will serve as the best possible choice with its excellent design, top-end hardware, great camera and piles of software features. It's hard to go wrong with this phone, whether you're choosing the Galaxy S8 or the larger Galaxy S8+.

Best overall

Samsung Galaxy S8

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

The Galaxy S8 has slick new hardware with tiny bezels that let it have a big screen in a small body, but inside it still offers everything you want: a high-end processor, lots of storage, an SD card slot, full waterproofing and a top-end camera.

Yes the fingerprint sensor is slightly awkward to use, but the GS8's iris scanner is dramatically improved to make up for it. And it only takes one look at the industry-leading display to start to forgive Samsung's decisions on the back.

Though its software can be a little overwhelming to novices, you can't argue that Samsung continues to pack in hundreds of features to a single phone, making sure there's something in here for everyone's needs. Samsung continues to take this approach of offering more more more with just a few compromises — and it continues to work.

Bottom line: The Galaxy S8 gives you piles of features in a beautiful body, and is a great choice for a wide range of potential buyers.

One more thing: Of course, you can always pay a little extra and get the larger Galaxy S8+ for a bit more screen and battery life.

Update, June 2017: The Galaxy S8 stays at the top of the list. The OnePlus 5 replaces the OnePlus 3T, while the HTC U11 joins the list and pushes the Moto G5 Plus off.

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3 weeks ago

Samsung Galaxy S8: Everything you need to know

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Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Get to know the new Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ from Samsung.

Samsung is an absolutely massive player in the smartphone space, and that all comes down from up high with the flagship Galaxy S line. The latest in the lineup, the Galaxy S8 and its larger partner the Galaxy S8+, build on the core features and experiences from the Galaxy S7 and bring things into the future with great new design and a few eye-catching features that are all new for 2017.

Here's everything you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.

Galaxy S8 and S8+: The basics

The two phones, which are only differentiated by their screen size and battery capacity, come in at 5.8-inches and 6.2-inches with extra-tall 18.5:9 aspect ratio displays. That battery difference is pretty subtle: 3500mAh for the Galaxy S8+ and 3000mAh for the standard Galaxy S8. You may note that the Galaxy S8+'s battery is actually 100mAh smaller than the Galaxy S7 edge of last year, while the Galaxy S8's is the same size as the Galaxy S7 despite being a larger phone.

Though the batteries haven't increased in size, the hope is that the improved efficiency of the new 10 nm processor inside — that'll be the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or the Samsung Exynos 8895, depending on the region — will provide some help. The processor is backed up by 4GB of RAM, an increase to 64GB of storage, and of course a microSD card slot. Waterproofing and wireless charging are still here as well, plus a new USB-C port on the bottom. The rear camera is unchanged in terms of its 12MP sensor and f/1.7 lens, but has improved processing thanks to new software and a new ISP (image signal processor).

This is some beautiful hardware all around.

The overall design for the phones is identical on both sizes, and is still shimmering glass and metal much like the previous generation. It's punctuated by the long edges of the displays curving subtly off the side, more so like the Galaxy Note 7 than the more dramatic Galaxy S7 edge — and to that point, there is no "edge" model here, as both phones sport the curves.

Read: Samsung Galaxy S8 review

The displays have a new 18.5:9 aspect ratio with a QHD+ resolution, meaning they're extra tall while staying relatively narrow. Samsung has also moved to on-screen buttons and reduced bezel size dramatically in order to fit as much screen into the body as possible. That necessitated the movement of the fingerprint sensor to the back of the phones, where it sits somewhat-awkwardly next to the camera lens. Iris scanning makes its return in a new-and-improved version from the Note 7 to try and pick up the slack.

Get familiar with all of the Galaxy S8's specs

Samsung is trying to drive a narrative that we've moved beyond specs (and you can definitely argue that we have), but the enthusiasts will always want to know the details of what's powering the latest phones. You get just about everything in here that you'd expect

Category Galaxy S8 Galaxy S8+ Operating System Android 7.0 Nougat Android 7.0 Nougat Display 5.8-inch AMOLED
2960x1440 (570 ppi) 6.2-inch AMOLED
2960x1440 (529 ppi) Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
or Samsung Exynos 8895 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
or Samsung Exynos 8895 Storage 64GB (UFS 2.1) 64GB (UFS 2.1) Expandable microSD up to 256GB microSD up to 256GB RAM 4GB 4GB Rear Camera 12MP Dual Pixel, f/1.7
1.4-micron pixels
OIS 12MP Dual Pixel, f/1.7
1.4-micron pixels
OIS Front Camera 8MP, f/1.7
auto focus 8MP, f/1.7
auto focus Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11ac MIMO
Bluetooth 5.0
NFC, GPS, Glonass, Galileo, BeiDou
LTE Cat.16 Wi-Fi 802.11ac MIMO
Bluetooth 5.0
NFC, GPS, Glonass, Galileo BeiDou
LTE Cat.16 Charging USB-C
Fast charging
Qi wireless
Powermat wireless USB-C
Fast charging
Qi wireless
Powermat wireless Battery 3000mAh 3500mAh Water resistance IP68 IP68 Security One-touch fingerprint sensor
Iris scanner
Samsung KNOX One-touch fingerprint sensor
Iris scanner
Samsung KNOX Dimensions 148.9 x 68.1 x 8 mm 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm Weight 155 g 173 g

As for the two different models, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are identical internally aside from the batteries and of course screen sizes.

Notable camera improvements on the GS8

On the face of it, the spec hounds among us won't be satisfied with the fact that Samsung has stuck with the same camera specs from the Galaxy S7 in the new Galaxy S8. Yes that means we're looking at a 12MP "Dual Pixel" camera with an f/1.7 lens — but remember that the software and ISP (image signal processor) have been improved since last year, and this was arguably the best camera of 2016. On the other side, Samsung has completely revamped the front-facing camera to an 8MP unit with auto focus — all the better for your selfies of all types.

How does it all come together? Here's Daniel's take from our Galaxy S8 review:

Since the Galaxy S8 has the same fundamentals as its predecessor, it's still one of the fastest, most reliable cameras on any phone. [...] Unlike some of the other substantive hardware improvements, the Galaxy S8's rear camera is another solid effort, but not more.

Compared to the Galaxy S7, the Galaxy S8 takes naturally sharper photos (meaning it uses less artificial sharpening), and also takes less-saturated and more accurate photos. Those are both overall quality improvements, while the GS8 also remains lightning quick with lots of extra software features to boot.

The Galaxy S8 has what it takes to capture wonderful photos with extreme reliability, but unlike this time last year it is challenged overall by the flagship competition — namely the LG G6, Google Pixel XL and HTC U11.

Everything you need to know about the Galaxy S8's cameras

All of the new software features in the Galaxy S8

As Samsung often does, we got a good sneak peak at the Galaxy S8's software experience in the form of the Android Nougat update for the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. But there are some changes to make note of.

What you'll find on the Galaxy S8 is very similar in terms of its design, core apps and behaviors, but you'll also find a new launcher layout, new icons, on-screen buttons and of course a bunch of new features. Not the least of which being Bixby, DeX, S Pen-styled note taking features and more.

A complete look at the Galaxy S8's software in our review

Bixby Voice is a whole new way to use your phone ... well, soon

Bixby isn't so much a head-to-head competitor with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, but instead an assistant to help you on the phone phone itself. That means Bixby is designed to help you locally throughout the phone using the screen, the camera and soon also your voice. The problem is Bixby wasn't fully ready at the launch of the phones, and at the end of June just started rolling out Bixby Voice in beta. Without Voice, it only has a small set of features, limited to some intelligent information offered in "Bixby Home" on your home screen, and "Bixby Vision" for identifying objects using the camera.

Bixby is initially limited, but shows promise.

That's frustrating, but the system itself has potential. Bixby Voice can basically respond to any command and perform actions within whatever app you're using as if you tapped though the software yourself. Samsung also claims Bixby can fail more gracefully when it doesn't understand your query entirely, getting you through the answer as far as it can before asking for more information. Samsung is betting this is the next interface paradigm, and it's exciting to watch the developments on the Galaxy S8.

Everything you need to know about Bixby Voice

This is Samsung's DeX desktop dock for the Galaxy S8

Samsung DeX dock

Far on the other end of interaction from Bixby is the new "DeX" desktop docking system for the Galaxy S8. It's a little piece of hardware no larger than a wireless charger that lets you plug in your Galaxy S8, attaching it to a keyboard, mouse and monitor to transform it into a desktop-like environment. The Galaxy S8's interface scales up gracefully to fill the large monitor, and Samsung's own apps have been designed to be resized and operated with a keyboard and mouse.

Samsung has also struck deals with Adobe and Microsoft to bring their most popular apps to the big screen — the only question is how it works with other non-optimized apps, and who will invest in these docks and this setup to use DeX on a regular basis.

Samsung DeX review: This isn't a replacement for your laptop

Compare the Galaxy S8 today's hot devices

Plenty of people will just pick up the Galaxy S8 or S8+ because Samsung is the brand they know, but many of us will comparing it head to head with other leading devices. To help you make up your mind on which phone is right for you, we've compared the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ to the likes of the Pixel and Pixel XL, LG G6 and of course the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

Galaxy S8 and S8+ vs. Pixel and Pixel XL: Two ways to do a flagship
Galaxy S8 vs. LG G6: Tall, skinny and very similar
Galaxy S8 vs. iPhone 7: Battle of the platforms

Which one should you buy?

So now that you have all the information, which one should you buy? You have a big phone and a bigger phone; one with a big battery and a bigger battery. There are so few differences between the Galaxy S flagships this year that it comes down to size and battery preference alone, and that may make your decision even harder.

Should you buy a Galaxy S8 or a Galaxy S8+?

Where to buy the Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are now on sale. In the U.S., you'll have your choice of the Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+, both in 64GB storage configuration, in one of three colors: black, silver or orchid grey. You can also pick up a proper U.S. unlocked model from Samsung or Best Buy if you don't want to bother with a carrier. Prices are in the range of $720-750 for the Galaxy S8, and $820-$850 for the Galaxy S8+.

Where to buy the Galaxy S8 in the U.S.
Where to buy the Galaxy S8 in Canada

Updated June 2017: Article updated with new links and information on Bixby Voice and Samsung DeX.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

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3 weeks ago

How to take better photos with the Huawei Mate 9

5

Are you Mate 9 photos not looking so good? Try these tips.

The Huawei Mate 9's dual rear-facing cameras are a ton of fun to shoot with, made even better by their bundled in camera modes and extra features. But maybe you're feeling a little overwhelmed by it all and you're not sure where to start — that's okay. Here's are some quick tips for putting the Mate 9's cameras to proper use.

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3 weeks ago

Nougat update finally rolling out to ZenFone 3 Zoom and ZenFone 3 Laser

3

Nougat update brings much-needed features to the ZenFone 3 Zoom and ZenFone 3 Laser.

ASUS is finally rolling out Android 7.1.1 Nougat to two models in the ZenFone 3 lineup — the ZenFone 3 Zoom and the ZenFone 3 Laser. The update comes in at roughly 1GB, and increments the version number of the ZenFone 3 Zoom to V20.31.49.2 and that of the ZenFone 3 Laser to V30.41.12.1.

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3 weeks ago

Vivo shows off Qualcomm's cool new under-display fingerprint tech

11

Vivo gets early access to Qualcomm's ultrasonic fingerprint technology.

Earlier today, Qualcomm announced that it was developing an ultrasonic fingerprint technology that allows manufacturers to integrate a fingerprint sensor directly into the display of a phone. Under-display fingerprint scanning won't be ready until early 2019, but Chinese manufacturer Vivo showed off the tech in action on a prototype unit of the Xplay6 at Mobile World Congress Shanghai.

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