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2 days ago

Bixby Voice is rolling out to the Galaxy S8 for those who signed up for early access

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bixby voice

It's a bit finicky in its preview state, but Bixby's tender voice will help you forget it's still half-baked.

I can't tell you how excited I was to see that the Bixby Voice preview had hit my unlocked Galaxy S8. There was a bit of a language barrier between the two of us in the beginning, but after a bit of fumbling with Google Translate and a bit of digging into the settings, Bixby is now ready to use on my device.

Droid-Life posted earlier today about the Bixby Voice preview going live to those who had signed up for the Early Access Program last week. Coupled with the strange little update I received this week on the Galaxy S8, I was curious about whether that meant Bixby was on its way to my device.

Lo and behold, it appeared in the settings right after I'd updated my apps through the Galaxy Apps store, as Droid-life had originally suggested. I went through the setup process in Korean and then switched it to English from the settings.

A hint of what to look for when you're looking for the Bixby Voice settings.

Once you have access, you'll see an entirely new subset of options populate the Bixby settings panel. They include the ability to have Bixby "wake up" to the sound of your voice, as well as whether you want messages read aloud in high-quality audio. There is also a dictation option, and you can choose how terse or explanatory Bixby is once it fulfills a command.

At present, you can choose from three voices for Bixby through the preview. Two of them speak exclusively in Korean and will require that you understand the language for it to be effective. The other is Bixby's female voice for the English-speaking audience. There are also video tutorials you can watch in case you're totally lost on what it is that Bixby is supposed to do.

To make Bixby work, press and hold the dedicated button on the left side of the Galaxy S8 until you see the Bixby prompt pop up on the screen, then speak your command. I haven't been able to get this particular feature to work in the interim, however, and I'm not entirely sure why, since Bixby has had no trouble recognizing my voice after I registered it.

There are definitely a couple of kinks that need to be worked out, not to mention a whole host of new options to parse through. For now, if you signed up for last week's preview access, keep checking your phone until the update hits.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

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About

The Galaxy S8, and its larger sibling the S8+, are Samsung's top-end devices for 2017 meant to appeal to the general consumer and power user alike. The two phones are only differentiated by screen and battery size: 5.8 inches and 3000mAh, and 6.2 inches and 3500mAh.

The displays have a new 18.5:9 aspect ratio with a QHD+ resolution, meaning they're extra tall and narrow. Samsung moved to on-screen buttons and reduced bezel size dramatically in order to fit as much screen into the body as possible. That moved 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.

Though the batteries haven't increased in size from the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, the hope is that the improved efficiency of the new 10 nm processor inside will provide some help. The processor is backed up by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. 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 a new ISP and software.

Specs

Width Height Thickness 5.86 in
148.9 mm
2.68 in
68.1 mm
0.31 in
8 mm
5.47 oz
155g grams
  • Display:
    • 5.8-inch AMOLED display
    • 2960x1440 resolution
    • 18.5:9 aspect ratio
    • Dual-curve infinity display
  • Cameras:
    • 12MP ƒ/1.7 rear camera
    • Dual-pixel phase detection autofocus
    • 1.4-micron pixels
    • 8MP ƒ/1.7 front camera
  • Battery:
    • 3000 mAh battery
    • Non-removable
    • USB-C fast Charging
    • Qi + PMA wireless charging
  • Chips:
    • Snapdragon 835 processor
    • Samsung Exynos 8896 processor
      (varies by region)
    • 4GB RAM
    • 64GB internal storage
    • microSD card slot
    • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • GS8+
    • Samsung Galaxy S8+
    • 6.2-inch AMOLED display
    • 3500mAh battery
    • 6.28 in x 2.89 in x 0.32 in
      159.5mm x 73.4mm x 8.1mm
    • 6.10 oz / 73g

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2 days ago

The LG V30 said to be announced at IFA 2017

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It's big, bold, and should appear in Berlin this September.

According to the Korean technology site ETNews, we should see the new LG V30 at September's IFA 2017 show.

The G6-inspired design features an edge-to-edge OLED display. This would be the first OLED display LG has used since the G Flex series, but the industry trend has clearly seen the advantages OLED offers and the days of an LCD panel for mobile devices are numbered. LG also makes great displays and has heavily invested in building OLED panels. Other specs are said to be a Snapdragon 835, 3,200mAh battery, and an ESS Sabre DAC with a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

Expect to see 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB versions, which will be available in South Korea by late September. Price is rumored to be 800,000 KRW ($700) for the 64GB version. Also, expect to see the internet speculate that this is what to expect from the rumored LG Pixel 2 coming later this year.

While the original V10's style surely has fans, the V30 is looking pretty good and might tempt more than a few people looking for the premium Android experience. We'll know more when IFA fires up — we'll be there to tell you everything worth talking about!

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2 days ago

Watch our OnePlus 5 review video!

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After plenty of hype, we have all of the details on the OnePlus 5. Coinciding with our complete review of the phone, we have also worked up an all-encompassing video review to bring you the quick take on the phone. Five minutes of our analysis of the OnePlus 5 paired up with some beautiful shots of the phone in action — just what you've been waiting for.

Be sure to check out the video review above, and when you're done and looking for even more OnePlus 5 information you can read our full review to learn everything else about the phone.

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2 days ago

Virgin Mobile goes all-in on iPhone, will no longer offer Android phones

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In a sea of prepaid carriers, you have to do something dramatic to differentiate.

Virgin Mobile, the unconventional MVNO operating on the Sprint network, has announced it's going iPhone-only. That's right, it's a whole mobile carrier that will only sell iPhones and service for them, in a move to hopefully focus on a profit center and distinguish itself from other prepaid carriers.

Virgin Mobile is kicking off the new iPhone exclusivity with a crazy plan that gives you 12 months of unlimited talk, text, and data for just $1 when you buy a new iPhone. Virgin Mobile's "Inner Circle" also gives you access to some "exclusive" perks with partner companies. It all sounds very on-brand for Virgin.

Virgin Mobile wasn't that great of a carrier, and there are plenty more to choose from.

It isn't clear at this point what Virgin Mobile will do in terms of support for the customers it has who currently use Android phones, but we would assume there will be a long sunset period as those devices are phased out. The Virgin Mobile website has already cut out all of its Android devices, leaving you with the choice of a handful of iPhone models to buy. Virgin Mobile is surely hoping to convert many of its current Android customers to new iPhones as they consider switching to a new carrier.

Thankfully there are tons of prepaid carriers available that compete directly with Virgin Mobile, including the Sprint-operated Boost Mobile, and many let you bring your own device with no strings attached. Aside from offering a couple flagships a year, Virgin Mobile was rather selective in what phones it offered, giving you fewer choices than we'd like to see.

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2 days ago

Best Water-resistant Bluetooth speakers

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Best Water-Resistant Bluetooth Speakers

Choose a great water-resistant Bluetooth speaker and singing in the shower will sound better than ever!

Bluetooth speakers are one of the most convenient ways to listen to music from pretty much any device. If you get yourself a water-resistant one, you don't have to worry about it getting wet. Enjoy a poolside singalong by getting yourself a quality, water-resistant Bluetooth speaker. We've rounded up some of our favorites!

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2 days ago

Snapchat's new Snap Map does exactly what you'd think

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See what's happening around the world on Snapchat.

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Snapchat has introduced a new feature called "Snap Map" that does exactly what you'd think it does: shows you Snaps, on a map. You can move and zoom the map from city level all the way up to global level to see where people are, and you can see hot spots where multiple people are at the same place sharing.

You get to choose if you want to share your location with your friends, or you can go into Ghost Mode and keep things private. Snapchat says the app will only update when you open up Snapchat, rather than continuously track your movements.

This isn't necessarily a direct competitor to the more granular location sharing features that apps like Google Maps and Glympse offer, but it is helpful for keeping people inside of Snapchat rather than jumping out elsewhere to find out where everyone is.

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2 days ago

How to set up an iCloud email account on Android

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There's no need to abandon your iCloud email address when you get a new Android device.

If you're moving to an Android device from an iPhone or iPad, there's every possibility you're already set up and using an iCloud email address. Android devices require you to have a Google account (Gmail), but you might want to keep using your iCloud account for email. And that's just fine.

The good news is it's perfectly possible to get your iCloud email address up and running on your Android device. It's pretty straight forward but does involve a little effort on your part. Here's how.

How to add your iCloud email address to your Android device

Besides the Gmail app on your Android phone or tablet, you should also have an app just called "Email." (There are also dozens of great alternatives on Google Play.) How it looks may vary from phone to phone, but the overall function should be the same since you need to set up your iCloud account using IMAP and SMTP.

However it looks, the key information remains the same. Here's how to add your iCloud email address to your Android device,

How to add an iCloud email address to Android

  1. Launch Settings by swiping down to reveal the notification shade and tapping the gear button.
  2. Tap Accounts. On some phones, it may be under something like "Cloud and accounts".
  3. Tap Add account.
  4. Tap Email if the option is there or tap Personal (IMAP) next to the Gmail symbol. If you choose the Gmail option, Gmail will automatically recognize your iCloud address and import the correct server settings.
  5. If you chose the Email option, you'll have to add the server settings manually:
    • Incoming mail server:
      • Server name: imap.mail.me.com
      • SSL required: Yes
      • Port: 993
      • Username: The name portion of your iCloud email address. So if it's johnsmith@icloud.com, just the "johnsmith" part.
      • Password: Your iCloud email address password. You can also choose to generate an app-specific password.
    • Outgoing mail server:
      • Server name: smtp.mail.me.com
      • SSL Required: Yes
      • Port: 587
      • SMTP Authentication Required: Yes
      • Username: Your full iCloud email address, including the @icloud.com part
      • Password: Use the password you used in the incoming mail server section, whether it was your original or the app-specific password you generated.
  6. Tap Next or Continue or whichever button finishes the process.

If there is an error message in the SSL required section of either the incoming or outgoing mail server sections, use TSL instead.

Hopefully, the details above should be enough to get you up and running. It's a little fiddly to get set up – especially if you've come from the iPhone which does it all for you – but it works, and it gets your existing email onto your new Android device.

Of course, there may be other apps out there that do this for you, or you might know of some tips and tricks to make things run a little smoother. If you've got anything that'll help, drop it into the comments below!

Questions?

Let us know in the comments below.

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2 days ago

Pavlov VR Early Access preview: Is this Counter-Strike VR?

 Is this Counter-Strike VR?

A multipurpose shooter that will appeal to Counter-Strike and Call of Duty fans.

Pavlov VR is officially available for HTC Vive but also works with Oculus Rift through Steam VR.

Seeing some of the most popular standard PC games get the VR treatment is a thrill. We have Onward, a VR mil-sim that takes a page from ARMA's pacing and teamwork book, we have Breach It, which borrows Rainbow Six: Siege's destructible environments, and now we have Pavlov VR, which looks a whole lot like the insanely popular Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO).

Let's take a close look at Pavlov VR to help you decide whether or not it's worth adding to your library.

See the full review at VR Heads!

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2 days ago

OnePlus 5: Which model should you buy?

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OnePlus 5 colors

Do you require 64GB or 128GB of space? And is the extra RAM really that necessary?

OnePlus has certainly figured out its formula for selling smartphones: take a no-fuss design, shove in an all-day battery along with the latest processor, and keep the Android software tweaks at a minimum. The OnePlus 5 is a great depiction of that vision as it's equipped with all the components that fit in with the company's winning smartphone strategy.

This year, OnePlus is offering two different models of its marquee device in an attempt to appeal to those stray few who might still require a bit convincing to steer clear of a phone from a better-known manufacturer. Rather than go with a bigger screen, however, OnePlus is offering more storage space and more memory for an extra $60.

We're going to help you choose the OnePlus 5 model that's right for you.

Decide how much storage you need

OnePlus 5

There isn't much of a difference between the two OnePlus 5 models. You either get 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, or 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage — and no, you can't pick and choose your RAM and storage independently. In either case, you'll get the same Snapdragon 835 processor, as well as a larger-than-average 3300mAh battery. You're also getting a 5.5-inch 1080p display, 16-megapixel rear camera, and a near-stock version of Android, which is partly what's helped make the OnePlus lineage of smartphones so attractive in the first place.

There's no SD card slot, so get the storage right from the start.

Your primary decision here is whether you'll need the full 128GB of storage — and that will depend entirely on your sort of usage. After all, there is no SD card expansion slot on OnePlus's latest, so you'll have to choose the right size from the start.

If you're stuck, try thinking of it like this: are you planning to shoot a ton of 4K video with the OnePlus 5? Perhaps you're planning a project where you document your life at a minute a day? Or maybe you expect to load up the device with movies and television shows you've purchased specifically for the long commute you endure daily? If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, you might want the extra space. For everyone else, 64GB of storage is probably sufficient, especially if you get into the habit of backing up your data regularly to several cloud services in tandem. On the flipside, if you're simply too lazy, or maybe life leaves you feeling a little scatterbrained at times, the bigger storage unit might be the best solution as it offers plenty of wiggle room.

What about the extra RAM?

Don't be fooled by the allure of having 8GB of RAM in the 128GB storage version of the OnePlus 5. Granted, it sounds like a good package, especially for the small additional cash, but that extra bit of RAM hardly factors into the performance of the smartphone. As explained by our own Andrew Martonik in his review:

…I'm using the model with 8GB of RAM, but this really doesn't factor into the performance at this point. The highest average memory usage I ever reached, according to the phone's settings, is 4.7GB — comfortably underneath the 5.5GB ceiling (500MB is reserved for the system) of even the standard 6GB RAM model.

You may personally decide that the added RAM is worth the price since it effectively helps future proof the phone — who knows what OnePlus may be able to do with software a year from now that uses the extra memory. That's a totally fine way of thinking; but don't expect the extra RAM to do much for overall performance in normal day-to-day usage today.

Choosing a color

OnePlus 5

Completely secondarily to internal specs that actually influence how the phone works, you'll also have to keep in mind the chassis color.

The sleek "Midnight Black" finish of the OnePlus 5 shown off in our review is available exclusively on the 8GB/128GB version. The standard 6GB/64GB model is a lighter shade called "Slate Grey" that lands somewhere between the grey and black options offered in the OnePlus 3 and 3T. If you like wielding the special thing, the extra $60 may very be worth it for the midnight black color alone. But also consider that once you option up for it and hit the $539 price point, it's not that much more money to get into the territory of buying an LG G6 or HTC U11.

Which model of the OnePlus 5 will you be picking up? Let us know in the comments!

OnePlus 5

OnePlus

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2 days ago

Ace three top cybersecurity certification exams with this $69 bundle!

The cybersecurity business is booming and shows no signs of slowing down; it seems like every day there is a new high profile hack or breach. That means the need for professionals in this field is at an all-time high.

Break into a new cybersecurity career with this certification training bundle! Learn more

What you need is a bundle of courses that starts with the basics of cyber security and moves through to more advanced topics covered in the certification exams needed to break into this lucrative industry.

Right now, Android Central Digital Offers has a deal on a Cybersecurity Certification Mega Bundle that includes the training needed to pass three top certification exams. Instead of the usual $999 price tag, you can right now get it at $69. That's 93% off the regular price.

Following completion of the courses in this bundle, you'll be set to ace the CISA, CISM, and CISSP certification exams. These three certifications are among the top needed and are what potential employers look for.

Ace the CISA, CISM, and CISSP exams with this $69 bundle! Learn more

If you're ready to jump into a new, lucrative cybersecurity career, this bundle will help you get where you're going. Access remains open forever once you're enrolled, but this deal is only here for a limited time.

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2 days ago

For less than $15, you can add this missing feature to the OnePlus 5

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The OnePlus 5 is out and it looks pretty great… except for one thing.

The OnePlus 5 has landed and it looks top shelf — featuring high-end specs, blazing fast charging speeds and that premium build quality that OnePlus is known.

But the one thing that is missing (besides water resistance, I guess) is support for microSD expandable memory. If you end up settling for the 64GB model, you might feel the storage crunch sooner than if you went with the 128GB model depending on how many apps, games, media, and photos you collect on your phone. Fortunately, there's a workaround available using USB On-The-Go.

You're able to turn on USB OTG in the Advanced Storage Settings on your device, which then let you plug in a USB-C adapter for connecting flash drives, microSD cards, or other USB accessories. Having an SD card filled with your favorite media is perfect for those times you're traveling or out of service range, or for those of us who quickly fill up your phone's included storage. Best of all, these accessories are typically around $15 or less.

It needs to be said that these accessories are for temporary situations. Leaving a small accessory plugged into your phone's charging port 24/7 isn't a great idea, as your daily pocket carry and usage might put stress on the phone's port, which might lead to damage. With that said, let's take a look.

Dash Micro USB-C Mini MicroSD Card Reader

This handy adapter has been tested on the OnePlus 3 and works great, letting you quickly connect a microSD card to your phone and access all your favorite media on the go.

Alternatively, you can use this accessory to transfer photos or larger videos off of your phone to free up space. The adapter comes with a pocket-sized carrying case with a ring for adding it to a keychain. That way, you can take this handy tool with you, and have it within an arm's length at all times.

See at Amazon

Anker USB-C to USB 3.1 Adapter

If you're like me, you probably have a ton of USB flash drives sitting around collecting dust. Give them new life with your OnePlus 5 and this handy USB-C to USB 3.1 adapter from Anker.

This short cable connects to your phone via USB-C and then offers a full USB 3.1 port for connecting your own microSD card adapter, flash drives, or any other USB accessory you may have including a mouse and/or keyboard. If you want more options for transferring or accessing files, along with using other accessories you might have to kicking around the house, this is an affordable accessory to look into. It will also work with the latest laptops that use USB-C, too, so you should get years of use out of it.

See at Amazon

Transcend JetFlash 890S

Combining the best of both worlds mentioned above, the Transcend JetFlash 890S is a USB-C to USB 3.1 adapter with 64GB of onboard flash storage. This means you can connect your own flash drives or microSD cards for transferring files, or simply use the 64GB of storage included on this keychain-sized accessory.

It's the pricier option but offers much more functionality and convenience. Double up your OnePlus 5's storage with this sleek, impressive accessory.

See at Amazon

Is 64GB enough for you?

It seems like just yesterday that 16GB was an insurmountable amount of storage for the average user, but that's no longer the case. If you're getting the OnePlus 5, let us know which size you're getting (64GB or 128GB) and whether OTG storage options are something you'd consider!

OnePlus 5

OnePlus

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2 days ago

Best headphones for Daydream View

Headphones make a massive difference in your Daydream View experience.

Few things improve your Daydream View experience quite like a good set of headphones. It's the difference between having a mediocre VR trip through a game and feeling totally immersed in the world around you. Sometimes that immersion can be a little too real, like when you're having the daylights scared out of you, but in most situations you need some good headphones to really complete the experience!

Read More at VR Heads!

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2 days ago

Love wins when you use these Pride-themed wallpapers

97

Show your love and your compassion with pride.

June is Pride month, one of unity and hope and celebration and love, and in trying times like these, I can think of nothing we need more. No matter who you love — or who you don't love, for the asexuals and aromantics out here — we can all unite in love, and we can let that love and unity protect us all. We all want the same thing: to be safe, to be accepted, to be happy. So let's be happy and let our colors fly.

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2 days ago

There's a single OnePlus 5 version for the whole world

28

OnePlus managed to build a single version of the OnePlus 5 for the whole world. That means easier roaming and much better worldwide compatibility.

The OnePlus 5 is here, and it's a pretty great device in a lot of ways. But in terms of network connectivity, it breaks down interesting new ground, and finds itself among a select few devices that takes advantage of some of the Snapdragon 835's latest advances.

Here are the biggest takeaways from the device that is available to purchase right now.

Every model comes unlocked out of the box

Like all previous OnePlus devices, the OnePlus 5 comes unlocked out of the box. This means that as long as it supports a particular network, you'll be able to put in your SIM card and it will just work. If the network is really obscure, you may have to enter the APN information manually, but those are edge cases and shouldn't apply to the vast majority of users.

What is an APN and how do you change it?

It's dual-SIM

The OnePlus 5 has two SIM slots, which for many Americans will be an unusual inclusion but for millions of others it will be essential. Both SIM cards can operate at 4G LTE speeds which is nice, and Android can dynamically switch between them if necessary. Flexibility FTW!

There's only one version for the entire world

This is really neat. The OnePlus 5 is only being released in one version for the entire world, which means that the version sold to Americans is physically the same hardware as the one sold in China, India and South Africa. This is a big deal. Last year's OnePlus 3T had two distinct versions for the U.S. and Europe/Asia, and the LTE bands were largely not compatible between the two regions, which made it difficult to roam.

Now, the OnePlus 5 has 34 distinct cellular bands, covering at least one band in every country — in one piece of hardware. That's pretty impressive.

It's only meant to work on AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S.

The OnePlus 5 may have 34 distinct cellular bands, but none of them form explicit compatibility with Verizon or Sprint in the U.S. Instead, the phone has been developed with AT&T and T-Mobile users in mind, and it will work flawlessly out of the box with both of them.

It has even been optimized for T-Mobile's Advanced Calling features, including VoLTE (Voice over LTE) and VoWiFi (Voice of Wi-Fi), which are configured and enabled out of the box. Just pop in a T-Mobile SIM and it should work.

So no Verizon compatibility?

Nope. It may look that way because the phone technically supports one of Verizon's legacy CDMA frequencies and a handful of its LTE bands, but OnePlus has no intention of ever officially supporting Verizon.

Turn a bunch of technical jargon into English for me

From a network perspective, the OnePlus is more about efficiency than speed.

Sure! The OnePlus 5 supports download speeds of 600Mbps and upload speeds of 150Mbps thanks to the use of 3x carrier aggregation, 256QAM and 2x2 MIMO.

Let's break things down: carrier aggregation is the combination of three separate "channels" of airwaves into a single stream of data. It forms the foundation of the LTE-Advance standard, and makes it possible for phones to come close to those "gigabit" speeds that we've seen in recent marketing.

256QAM is the modulation, or shape, the data forms. Think of it as a ones and zeroes packed really tightly together into a box; the more tightly packed the data, the more information the box can store.

And finally, 2x2 MIMO indicates the number of antennas in the phone that can send and receive data at the same time. Other phones like the Galaxy S8 and HTC U11 support 4x4 MIMO, which together with 3x carrier aggregation and 256QAM can achieve download speeds of close to 1,000Mbps, or 1Gbps.

OnePlus 5 specs

Does this matter in the real world?

Will you notice a difference in download speeds between the OnePlus 5 and Galaxy S8 on the same network? Maybe, but only in artificial speed tests, since real-world usage maxes out at speeds much lower than even the OnePlus 5's theoretical maximum.

At the same time, it's unfortunate that OnePlus chose not to try to implement 4x4 MIMO, which from an engineering perspective is admittedly quite hard to do, but would have been great for its speed-focused marketing to include gigabit cellular.

What about Wi-Fi? Bluetooth?

Here there's some good news. The OnePlus 5 supports 2x2 MIMO, dual-band (2.4/5GHz) 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which is among the fastest you can find in a device today. It also supports the nascent Bluetooth 5.0 standard, which has no hardware support at this point, but this should future-proof the phone for when speakers, smartwatches and other gadgets beginning including the new wireless tech.

It also supports aptX and aptX HD audio codecs, which is great for those (like me) who use Bluetooth headphones and want to eke the best-possible sound quality.

Anything else cool?

Yes! The OnePlus 5 is actually the first phone from a Chinese manufacturer to support Envelope Tracking and closed-loop Antenna Tuning, two technologies that, relatively new to the industry, maintain high signal quality while keeping battery use down and prevent the dreaded "death grip" that older devices used to suffer from.

So what's the takeaway here?

The OnePlus 5 is one of the most advanced phones on the market from a network perspective, and manages to reinforce the company's strategy of simplicity by building one model for the entire world. Even Samsung and Apple, with its enormous resources, haven't managed to do that. Sure, OnePlus alienates a few networks in the process — Verizon and Sprint, in particular — but this is as worldwide a phone as it comes these days.

OnePlus 5

OnePlus

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2 days ago

OnePlus 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S8: What the extra money gets you

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OnePlus 5 vs. Galaxy S8

OnePlus has dropped the 'flagship killer' moniker, but that continues to be how its phones are measured.

OnePlus has made a name for itself with phones that offer high-end specs and experiences at prices a couple hundred dollars less than the true flagship competition. And even with the OnePlus 5 marking the company's most expensive phone yet, at $479 it's still $245 less than a Galaxy S8.

When comparison shopping, that's a big price gap to fill for a phone that on paper just has the same overall spec sheet and even comes up short in a couple of areas. But of course there's far more to a comparison than just specs — let's see how the OnePlus 5 and Galaxy S8 compare.

What's the same

When you buy either one of these phones, there are some base level qualities you can expect to get. You get a Snapdragon 835 in either phone, along with plenty of RAM and a base level of 64GB of storage. Yes OnePlus offers 6GB of RAM versus 4GB in the Galaxy S8 ... but it's hard to see any real-world performance improvement from that added memory right now. Both phones are snappy and consistently quick, though you could see the OnePlus 5 holding up better over time with its cleaner software and extra room to expand into that RAM in a year or two.

Both phones offer the base specs and experience you expect from today's high-end phones.

The same ends up being true with the batteries, where the OnePlus 5's 3300mAh cell beats the Galaxy S8's 3000mAh on paper but doesn't offer dramatically longer real-world use. If you leave the GS8 on its default screen resolution and turn off Always-on Display, it's going to last you the same full day the OnePlus 5 does with its 1080p display. Both phones offer quick charging capabilities, with the Galaxy S8 having cross-compatibility to Qualcomm's Quick Charge; the OnePlus 5 arguably has a faster and better thought-out system in Dash Charge, but it's proprietary to only OnePlus accessories.

Finally, both phones are solidly built. The OnePlus 5 has a bit more overall heft while the Galaxy S8 has trimmed-down metal all around, but both feel substantial and well made rather than flimsy or cheap. They also have the typical smartphone comforts of a USB-C port, headphone jack, single down-firing speaker and buttons in the expected places.

Key differentiators

OnePlus 5 vs. Galaxy S8

Yes you get the same core experience in either phone, but the OnePlus 5 and Galaxy S8 each have strengths that separate them from the competition.

Where the Galaxy S8 wins

Let's start with the Galaxy S8. Samsung's tent pole features of a fantastic screen, waterproofing, an SD card slot and wireless charging are the key differentiators for the GS8. The display still leads the industry in brightness and overall quality, while full waterproofing, expandable storage and wireless charging are three features just not on offer from OnePlus.

In terms of feature volume and variety, the Galaxy S8 takes the cake.

Then there are more subtle and subjective differences that are often preferred. The Galaxy S8 is certainly narrower and easier to grip, though it comes at a small price of having a more fragile curved display. The Galaxy S8's software also gives you a huge number of choices in features and capabilities right out of the box, which for some is preferable to finding everything in the Play Store.

Samsung's final big point of emphasis, and where it still comes out above the OnePlus 5, is low light photography. Samsung's tuned and tweaked 12MP sensor, f1/.7 lens and OIS combine to give you consistently good low-light shots, and the OnePlus 5's main camera can't match it every time.

Where the OnePlus 5 wins

Now, here's where the OnePlus 5 stands out. The biggest area is probably its software: if you like a near-stock Android experience, the OnePlus 5 is the better choice. OxygenOS gives you a handful of customization options, but OnePlus doesn't make any big assumptions about how you want to use your phone — the configuration is all up to you. This results in a simpler, easier to understand and consistently cleaner experience.

The OnePlus 5 is simple, sleek and takes few risks — but the execution is great.

And with a single hardware version that's available everywhere in the world, OnePlus has a huge advantage in software updates. There is no reason why the OnePlus 5 should be getting software updates slower than any Galaxy S8 model — let alone later than the dozens of various regional and carrier GS8 models that have staggered update paths.

The OnePlus 5's fingerprint sensor is also in a standard, logical place below the screen — right where Samsung used to put its sensor. This seems like a small thing, but that's because you don't think about it every time you set your finger down and it just works — you can't say the same about the GS8's frustrating biometric security options.

Talking cameras, as mentioned the OnePlus 5 isn't as consistent in low light shots as the GS8. It does, however, have a trump card in its secondary 20MP telephoto lens. Not only does it give you unique shooting options with a longer focal length, but also provides shallow depth of field effects in its "Portrait Mode" that the Galaxy S8 can't.

Bottom line

OnePlus 5 vs. Galaxy S8

It's clear that the gap is narrowing between ultra-high-end phones like the Galaxy S8 and strategically value-focused high-end offerings like the OnePlus 5. For a completely reasonable price, the OnePlus 5 offers a similar spec sheet to the Galaxy S8, even besting it in some respects, and both performance and battery life that match Samsung's latest.

Yes the OnePlus 5 doesn't have the same screen quality or the sheer volume of hardware features, but at this price there was bound to be some feature disparity there. The interesting thing to see is how many areas the OnePlus 5 actually offers a preferable experience over the more expensive phone. This isn't a comparison in which you'd only choose the OnePlus 5 based on its lower price — some may choose it because for them, it's the better phone for them overall.

OnePlus 5

OnePlus

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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