Recent Articles | Android Central

Order Samsung Galaxy S8: AT&T | Verizon | T-Mobile | Sprint | Unlocked

Headlines

1 week ago

Samsung Chromebook Plus vs. Pro: The Differences and Which Should you Buy?

32

Samsung's 2017 Chromebook lineup offers something for everyone with two equally great models.

Samsung introduced a pair of great Chromebooks with the unveiling of the Pro and the Plus. In addition of the Chrome OS features we've been using like built-in security and the best web browsing experience you can get anywhere, Samsung and Google have introduced pressure sensitive drawing using a familiar Samsung Pen. And everything is wrapped up in an awesome package no matter which model you choose.

Most of us won't be buying both models, so the natural questions are what's the difference between them and which one should I buy? We're going to have a look and help you get the right answers.

Chromebook Plus at Amazon

Beautiful and light

That's going to be your first thought no matter which model you are looking at. Both models are built the same using identical parts — on the outside.

The screen is the best we've seen on a Chromebook.

Checking in at just 0.5 inches thick and 2.38 pounds, these 12.3-inch laptops use the same Samsung design language as their high-end Windows counterparts. Built with a brushed magnesium-alloy body paired with a 2400 x 1600 LED display, both models are not only good looking but sturdy and great for carrying all day long. We especially loved the bright and crisp display.

The keyboard and trackpad aren't the best we've used but they're not bad, either. The omission of backlighting was a bit disappointing, but in the end, we were more than satisfied with both keyboard and trackpad even if we couldn't give either the level of praise we have for the screen or the materials used.

The screen rotates and flips to turn the Chromebook into a large tablet, and also allows for a "tent" or "easel" configuration to stand the screen without the keyboard area extending. This is a great way to watch a video or full-length film on the display.

The spotlight feature of both devices is Samsung's S Pen. We'll see stylus input in future Chromebooks, but Google partnering with Samsung to build the first models was the smart move. The Pen is the same S Pen you'll find for Note phones and tablets, and Chrome has been tailored to make the stylus an excellent tool for annotating screenshots, taking notes and drawing. The Samsung Chromebook folded into a 12-inch tablet makes for a great canvas for any digital artist.

We give both models high marks on looks, durability, function, and ease of use. These are great laptops.

Where to buy the Samsung Chromebook Pro and Plus

What's inside

Here is where you'll find the differences between the Plus and the Pro. Both come with the same 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage configuration, but the processor arrangement and electronics for wireless radios define the price points.

Category Chromebook Pro Chromebook Plus Display 12.3-inch 2400x1600 (3:2) LCD 12.3-inch 2400x1600 (3:2) LCD Processor Intel Core m3-6y30 Rockchip RK3399 ARM hexacore CPU Memory 4GB LPDDR3 4GB LPDDR3 Storage 32GB 32GB Audio/Video 720p webcam
Stereo 1.5W speakers 720p webcam
Stereo 1.5W speakers Ports USB-C (2), headphone/mic, microSD card USB-C (2), headphone/mic, microSD card Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11ac dual-band, Bluetooth 4.0
Accelerometer, gyroscope Wi-Fi 802.11ac dual-band, Bluetooth 4.0
Accelerometer, gyroscope Input Touch screen
Pressure-sensitive stylus
Keyboard, trackpad Touch screen
Pressure-sensitive stylus
Keyboard, trackpad Battery 39 Wh (5140 mAh)
USB-C charging 39 Wh (5140 mAh)
USB-C charging Dimensions 280.8 x 221.6 x 13.9 mm
2.38 pounds 280.8 x 221.6 x 13.9 mm
2.38 pounds

With most things being equal between the two, the processor and extra horsepower that comes with the Pro is the only real hardware difference.

The Pro's Intel CPU offers more power if you need more power. Most won't.

On paper, it makes quite the difference. The Intel m3 in the Pro has the potential to render web pages twice as fast as the Plus' ARM chip. You'll find plenty of Octane browser benchmarks that show this in a convenient number. In real-world use, the Pro model will let you keep more browser tabs or apps running before things start to slow down. Benchmark differences in rendering web pages may be significant, but you have to factor in that the ARM CPU in the Plus model is plenty fast enough and you won't see any actual difference when rendering a single web page or opening an app.

The Pro is clearly a more powerful machine on the hardware front, and we shouldn't dismiss that. But the Plus offers a more than satisfactory experience for the majority of Chrome users.

Software differences

Both models have essentially the same software with Chrome OS being universal across most every Chromebook. The one difference may be a deciding factor — Android apps through the Google Play Store.

There will be Android apps that don't perform as well on the Pro because of the CPU architecture.

The Play Store will be available for both models, and the majority of apps you can use on a Chromebook will work well on either. But the Intel processor that gives the Pro an edge in hardware also holds it back a bit when it comes to app compatibility and user experience. You can use Google Play on the Chromebook Plus and have a great experience, but the Pro is still rough around the edges.

This is mostly a function of Android itself and not a fault of the hardware. A developer can build a universal application for Android that runs using the same instructions on most any processor architecture. That means an Android app is the same on any device. But certain apps that use specialized code will be less than ideal on the Intel chip. Most notable are graphic intensive apps and games, and while most will install they just don't run as well. Great developers will step in and rectify this by supporting the Intel CPU better, but Google Play's relaxed nature means developers aren't forced to do so.

Which should I buy?

Sometimes this is a difficult question to answer, but this is not one of those times. Most people are better served with the Chromebook Plus.

Most buyers are better served with the Chromebook Plus.

A Chromebook is best as a secure and fast computer built to bridge the gap between your phone and a desktop PC. Mobile apps through Google play round out the software needs and for all but the most demanding users, the $100 difference between the two isn't worth the upgrade. If you rely on Android applications, right now the faster Intel chip is actually a weakness compared to the tried and true ARM configuration in the Plus.

For the power user: web developers or those looking for an alternative OS for their Chromebook, the Pro was made for you. The extra oomph from the Intel m3 CPU will make a difference and the Chromebook Pro is an excellent machine for developing and testing web applications. The extra money is well spent and you'll have a more pleasant experience when you're in the zone with 25 tabs and a text editor open.

It's great to see two simple and great choices from Samsung on the high-end, and anyone's needs are well covered.

Chromebook Plus at Amazon

Note: The Chromebook Pro has been delayed past its initial release date of the end of April. We will update this post when we have links to purchase the laptop.

Updated July 2017 to add more information about the availability of the Pro.

Chromebooks

Android Marshmallow

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;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

Chromecast for Gear VR has started its rollout

What is Chromecast for Gear VR?

Back in May 2017, Oculus announced that they were toying with Gear VR support for Chromecast, and gamers rejoiced. Now it would be even easier to play awesome group games like "Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes" or to show off just how awesome a particular game or experience is when you only have one headset. However, there wasn't anything resembling a timeline on when we were to expect this update; only news that the update would be rolling out slowly.

For some folks, this update has already hit, and we're excited to fill you in!

Read more at VRHeads

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

Grab an unlocked Galaxy S8 for just $575 for a limited time

16

We haven't seen a price like this before.

Competition between retailers and carriers has offered us some pretty great Galaxy S8 deals since it launched, but this is the lowest price we've seen for a U.S. unlocked Galaxy S8 or S8+. Groupon has the phones on sale for $575 for the Galaxy S8 or $675 for the Galaxy S8+. That's a full $50 less than what Best Buy was offering them at on sale.

Some of these deals from sites like Groupon can be a mixed bag, but this one looks pretty good. These are actually U.S. unlocked models, meaning you can take this to any U.S. carrier, and they're brand new rather than the usual refurbished phones you can see on deep discount. That means you get an original box and accessories, as well as the one-year Samsung warranty you'd get if you bought it directly from the company.

The sale ends on July 18, technically, but we wouldn't be surprised if this one sells out well before that end date considering that great price.

See at Groupon

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

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;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

How to take advantage of Google Home offers

0

Google Home Offers let you take advantage of specials to make your home even more awesome.

Google Home brings you a hub that lets you control your connected home, listen to music, and plenty more. Hidden inside of the menu in the Google Home app, you'll also find a tab called "Offers" filled with special deals that can let you enjoy everything this accessory has to offer at a discount. These include Play Movie rentals for just $0.99 or discounts on a SmartThing lighting kit and more.

We've got all the details for you here!

How to take advantage of Google Home offers

  1. Launch the Google Home app.
  2. Tap the menu button(it looks like three horizontal lines in the upper left corner of the screen).
  3. Tap Offers.

    Open the Google Home app, Tap the Menu button, tap Offers

  4. Tap the offer you want to take advantage of.
  5. Follow the instructions on screen to take advantage of it.

    Tap the offer you want to take advantage of, follow the instructions on screen.

Questions?

Do you have any questions about taking advantage of offers on Google Home? Have you taken advantage of any of these offers? Leave us a comment below and let us know about it!

Google Home

Google Store Best Buy Target

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;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

Vertu closes shop, leaving billionaires to buy phones elsewhere

31

It's finally the end of the road for this UK luxury phone company.

After running with what seemed like an unsustainable business model for years, luxury phone maker Vertu has shut down. The BBC reports Vertu is currently in the process of liquidating its assets, and 200 people have subsequently lost their jobs.

Vertu had previously changed hands a couple of times since being founded in 1998, most recently being sold by its Chinese owner in March to a Turkish businessman who planned to put in the necessary money to keep it going. It is reported that Vertu was running on a deficit of £128 million, however.

On the face of it, this isn't all that surprising. Vertu has made some absolutely gorgeous smartphones with brilliant materials and truly unique craftsmanship that were fun to think about owning. But the prices were completely out of consideration for just about everyone — its most recent phone, the "mid-range" Constellation, started at $6,000. Some models were over $15,000.

People want a great smartphone experience more than they want a diamond-encrusted phone.

The prices were that high because they were hand-made in the UK out of exceptional materials — and naturally, produced in very small numbers. At the same time, Vertu wasn't able to keep up with the latest innovations that all smartphones were offering — its specs weren't great, its skin of Android was dated and it never produced a great camera. This model of creating bespoke ultra-luxury phone made far more sense 10 years ago before high-powered smartphones were the norm, but in the past few years this model was becoming increasingly unsustainable.

Even multi-millionaires, with all of their conspicuous consumption, typically just use the same iPhone 7 or Galaxy S8 that you and I do because they're simply the best phones. These flagship smartphones are really good, and having a phone made out of calf leather, titanium, sapphire and diamonds actually isn't worth using subpar software and a mediocre camera.

Vertu's Turkish owner will retain the rights to the Vertu brand as well as its in-house technology and licenses, but it isn't yet known if he plans to do anything with it. For now, the select few who own a Vertu have an (even more) extremely limited edition piece of smartphone history.

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

Aukey is offering 3-packs of its USB-C cables for as little as $9, 5-packs for $14

5

Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time to aid in making the USB-C transition a bit more affordable.

USB-C has been slowly taking over, and recently we've seen more and more electronics include it as the standard charging method. While USB-C has plenty of advantages, this change means that all of your old cables will no longer help you charge, and now you'll need a bunch of new ones. Right now, Aukey is offering some pretty nice discounts on its 3 and 5-packs of USB-C cables, which helps make the transition a bit more affordable.

You can grab a basic 3-pack for as little as $8.80, or opt for the braided ones which are perfect for those who are a bit harsher on their cables) for just $11.99. You'll need to use a coupon code during checkout at Amazon to get these prices, so be sure to use the matching coupon code below for the listing you select.

Be sure to stock up on these cables now, your future self will thank you later.

For more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

Google Pixel 2 leaks: What we know so far

37

We're a few months out from the launch of Google's next Pixel phones, but the first details are already starting to leak, painting a very interesting picture of at least two new Pixel models for 2017.

Same as last year, it looks like we're getting two phones from Google in 2017, but this time there are two different manufacturers: a smaller Pixel made by HTC, and a larger one manufactured by LG.

And while much of what we think we know about Google's next-gen phones is limited to rumor and conjecture, we've recently gotten our first look at the new Pixels thanks to a new mock-up by a usually reliable source.

Check out our video roundup for an overview of everything we know about Google's upcoming handsets!

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

Moto E4 vs. Moto G5: Battle of the budget phones

8

Motorola has stuffed the budget market full of great phones, but does the low-end Moto E4 hold its own against the G5?

This year has been one of overhaul for Motorola's budget lineup, as evinced by the debut of six handsets in the C, E and G lines. They all share aesthetic similarities, but are are staged linearly, each appealing to a different segment of that entry-level market.

The Moto G refresh came first, at Mobile World Congress, and bifurcated the G5 and G5 Plus largely on performance lines — the former sported the Snapdragon 430 platform and a removable battery while the latter went mid-range with the proven Snapdragon 625 and a larger, enclosed battery, a superior camera and up to 4GB of RAM.

When the Moto E4 was announced, it wasn't clear why Motorola decided to sell it in North America instead of the G5, but after using both for a time, it makes sense: they're fairly similar — closer than one would initially think — and overlap in a few important ways. The Snapdragon 425 or 427 in the Moto E4 is definitely a little bit less powerful, and the 8MP rear camera considerably less reliable, not to mention the less pixel-dense 720p display, but overall the phones provide similar experiences.

You also can't officially buy the Moto G5 in the U.S. That's perhaps the most confusing part of this whole thing: Motorola sells the Moto E4 and the G5 Plus on its website, while the E4 Plus was just released in India and the G5 is available in markets like Canada, Europe, Latin America and other areas where the budget segment is less controlled by carriers.

So the main takeaway here isn't so much a direct comparison between these two products, at least not for Americans, since the only way you can officially purchase the Moto G5 is for way too much money on Amazon, but rather to show that the sacrifices made in going down to the E4 aren't tantamount to a downgrade, and as Jacklyn points out in her excellent video above, may in some ways provide a better experience.

What do you think? Would you import a Moto G5 over buying a Moto E4, or would you rather spend a bit more to jump up to the Moto G5 Plus, which is currently on sale? Let us know in the comments below!

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

Best Tempered Glass Screen Protectors for HTC U11

4

Want to keep your HTC U11 in pristine condition? That means you'll want to look into a tempered glass screen protector. The U11 has a slight curve around the edge of the screen, which makes pure edge-to-edge protection from a tempered glass screen protector difficult.

Nevertheless, if you pair a tempered glass screen protector with a quality case, you'll get supreme protection for your new phone. Here's a rundown of some of the best options for the HTC U11.

Supershieldz (2-pack)

This two-pack of screen protectors from Supershieldz is compatible with cases and features a black border with precise cutouts around the fingerprint sensor, ear speaker, and camera. It features hydrophobic and oleophobic coatings to protect against sweat and oil from your fingerprints.

The adhesive is around the edges, which is less than ideal and may lead to issues such as a rainbow effect when the screen is turned off. If that's not a dealbreaker for you, you can get two for under $10, and enjoy Supershieldz's no-hassle lifetime replacement warranty.

See at Amazon

Wimaha (2-pack)

Don't like the look of a black border on your screen protector? Consider this two-pack from Wimaha. As mentioned above, it does not offer full edge-to-edge protection, but does cover the entirety of the display and is compatible with cases for better protection.

This screen protector includes curved edges for a smooth touch experience and features cutouts around the fingerprint scanner and camera to avoid any weak points in the screen protector's design. The package includes everything you'll need to ensure a clean, bubble-free installation with both of the protectors included. Wimaha backs its product with a lifetime warranty.

Again, this is far from being the ideal edge-to-edge protection we all want in a screen protector, but unless phone manufacturers go back to a flat sheet of glass for screens, we're going to be dealing with this issue for the foreseeable future.

See at Amazon

Orzero (2-pack)

Another option comes from Orzero, with another two-pack of tempered glass screen protectors with black borders. They feature hydrophobic and oleophobic coatings with rounded edges and include a complete package for a bubble-free installation.

It goes right up to the curved edge of the screen but leaves a bit exposed — perfectly covered by a case. You'll want to take your time during installation to ensure all the cutouts are precisely lined up with the fingerprint scanner, ear speaker, and front-facing camera. Since it's a two-pack, you'll get two shots at getting it right, and it's backed by Orzero's lifetime replacement warranty.

See at Amazon

How do you keep your HTC U11 safe?

Have you tried out a different make of screen protector? Opting for a film protector for better coverage? Let us know in the comments below!

HTC U11

Amazon Sprint HTC

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;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

This $8 portable battery packs 10000mAh of power to keep your devices going

1

Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time with a great deal on a portable battery pack you're going to want!

Manufacturers have finally started putting more focus into the battery performance on smartphones, but often times with how busy we are they still don't meet our needs. No one wants to sit connected to a wall to get extra power during the day, and luckily you don't have to. Portable batteries are an investment everyone should make, especially when they are this inexpensive. Right now you can pick up a 10000mAh battery pack from Kmashi for just $7.99 with coupon code 5EX29OBFat Amazon.

This is a discount of $4 off its regular price and brings it around $1.50 lower than we normally see deal prices on it for. It has 2 USB ports so you can easily charge multiple devices at the same time (outputs at 2.1A), and the built-in LEDs show you how much power the battery itself has left. If you struggle to make it through the day with your battery life or need something for when traveling, you won't want to miss this deal.

See at Amazon

For more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

The OnePlus 5 is filled with great little software customizations to make it your own

11
OnePlus 5

It's your phone, and you should be able to change things — no matter how small.

The OnePlus 5 receives appropriate praise for its clean software experience, but there's more to it than simplicity. OxygenOS, as OnePlus calls it, integrates a ton of little useful customization options to let your OnePlus 5 look and act just how you like it. Now there isn't so much customization in here as to let you change the entire experience, but there are things you can change on a OnePlus 5 that you typically have to load a custom ROM on your phone to get, and that's great.

Here are some of the little things you can change on your OnePlus 5's software to make it your own.

Status bar

OnePlus 5 status bar customization

Now this is a really nerdy thing, but one that's wonderful: you can choose exactly which icons show up in your OnePlus 5's status bar. Just head into Settings and then Status bar to get started.

Of course most people will keep the usual set of icons for the volume status, Bluetooth connection, Wi-Fi and such ... but the best part about this is being able to turn off the more annoying and relatively useless icons. Things like the VoLTE status, Wi-Fi calling, NFC, and the headset indicator. If you don't want to see them, you don't have to. It's rather magical and we seriously wish every phone did this.

On top of that, you can of course choose what battery indicator you want, show the active network speed, and change the clock to actually show the seconds as well.

Navigation buttons

OnePlus 5 button customization

Probably the best example of the software's customizability is the navigation buttons. Not only can you decide between on-screen and capacitive navigation keys, but you have so many options beyond that simple choice. Head into Settings then Buttons to get started.

If you choose to go with the capacitive keys below the screen, you get the most customization options — and the most screen real estate, of course. You can of course swap the back and recents keys but also enable both a "long press" and "double tap" action for all three buttons. Each of the six actions can do things like open or close the menu, launch Google Assistant, turn off the screen, open your last-used app, and more. It will take a while to learn but can be extremely powerful and save you time.

For the software navigation bar, you can simply choose to swap the back and recents keys (if you're perhaps used to Samsung phones), or enable the hardware home button so it works even though you have an on-screen button. That's useful in full-screen apps. If you turn on the hardware home button, you also unlock the long press and double press actions for that button as well.

Gestures

OnePlus 5 gestures

OnePlus honestly had some troubles with its gesture control system early on, but has refined it to make it relatively useful for those who want extra "hidden" things they can do with their phone. Found in Settings then Gestures, you'll see a few different things you can do by swiping your finger around on the screen when it's turned off.

The basics are double-tap to wake, which we've seen on many phones, and music controls that let you swipe down with two fingers to play/pause media or draw an arrow to skip back or forward.

You then get five more gestures you can turn on and customize. By drawing an O, V, S, M or W, you can choose to perform actions like launching the camera, turning on the flashlight, or just launching any app on your phone. Between all five letters, you can do a whole lot without actually turning on your phone and tapping an app icon. That's powerful.

Launcher, theme, and icon packs

OnePlus launcher icon packs

If you choose to stick with the stock OnePlus Launcher, which closely mimics the Pixel's launcher and is quite nice, you get a few nice features. One hidden nugget is the ability to swipe up anywhere on the home screen to access the app drawer but also swipe down anywhere to bring down the notification shade — no more reaching! In the launcher settings, you can turn off the notification swipe if you want but also turn off the Android Nougat long-press app shortcuts if you find them annoying.

OnePlus includes an important feature for those who love to tweak their phone: full icon pack support. Just pinch in on your home screen and select Settings. The stock launcher lets you choose between three different icon styles — standard, rounded or square — but also supports any third-party icon pacs you may have installed. That means you can get one of the hundreds of custom icon sets out there, install it, and have the OnePlus 5 switch to it seamlessly. They usually take a bit more work than that, so it's great to see native support for this sort of niche tweak.

To complete the look with your icon pack, you can also choose between different themes at a system level as well. Under Settings and Display, select Theme and choose between the default theme, a light theme, or a dark theme. Yes, a default dark theme.

Notification LED

OnePlus 5 notification LED settings

Knowing its target market, OnePlus still includes a notification LED on the top bezel of the phone — it also gives you great control over it in the settings. Under Settings then Display and LED notifications, you'll find all of the available options.

You get to choose between eight different colors — dark blue, light blue, orange, green, red, yellow, purple, and pink — for the LED for basic functions like charging, battery full, battery low, and any general notification coming in. But you can also choose exactly which apps will light up that "general notification" color. You probably don't care about the LED blinking for Android Pay or Dropbox, but you do want to be notified by Gmail or your banking app. Just scroll through the list and pick which ones you want.

Unfortunately you can't pick different LED colors for different apps or get super granular and start addressing different apps with a different flash pattern, but a vast majority of people will be happy with the included settings.

The coolest part about all of these tweaks is that if you don't want to change anything, you don't have to! None of these settings particularly get in the way or interfere with just using the OnePlus 5 right out of the box. That's great design right there.

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;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

Why the Huawei Mate 9 is severely underrated

50

The Huawei Mate 9 slipped between the cracks of high-end U.S. releases in late 2016, but I'm here to tell you that, in 2017, you should give it a look.

I've used a lot of phones in the past year, and one device continues to age better than most: the Huawei Mate 9.

For me, the phone kind of came out of nowhere: it was my first interaction with Huawei's flagship lineup, after having suffered through the middling performance and aging software aesthetic of the Honor 5X, and the Mate 9 came out swinging. You can read more about the phone in our review, but the thing that I can't say seven months later about every phone I review is that everything holds up.

Pretty much everything is great except the low-light camera performance.

From the screaming performance of the phone's Kirin 960 chip to the seemingly-everlasting battery life, the Mate 9 impresses as much today as it did in December. Perhaps even more so, actually, given the relatively frequent software updates that cleared up some performance issues and software inconsistencies.

Truly, the one thing that irked me, and continues to do so to some extent, about the Mate 9 is the camera. Not that it's bad, because it's not, but it is easily outperformed in low light by newer devices. Even the separate-but-equal P10 and P10 Plus seem to be a better job in darker situations. But that hasn't stopped Huawei from issuing a bunch of updates to improve how the camera reacts to particular situations, and while I can't say the results are night-and-day improved, they're certainly better.

But I'm not the only one who loves the Mate 9 all these months later. In our forum, people continue to praise the phone for its great value-to-performance ratio:

#mn_oembed_c:before { display: none; } #mn_oembed_c { display: table; width: 100%; max-width: 700px; box-sizing: border-box; cursor: pointer; position: relative; background: #dee9eb; padding: 35px; left: 35px; margin: 0 auto 0 auto; border-radius: 4px; border: 1px solid #dbe1e4; font-family: 'Fira Sans', sans-serif; line-height: 1.5; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; text-decoration: none; } #mn_oembed_i { padding: 0 13px 0 23px; font-size: 18px; display: table; width: 100%; box-sizing: border-box; } #mn_oembed_a { position: absolute; width 65px; height: 65px; left: -33px; top: 20px; border-radius: 50%; border: 2px solid #dbe1e4; } #mn_oembed_un { color: #ff5200; text-decoration: none; } #mn_oembed_t { color: #858b8e; font-size: 12px; } #mn_oembed_q { float: left; font-family: 'PT Mono', monospace; font-size: 100px; margin: -5px 0 0 -10px; color: #858b8e; } #mn_oembed_p { margin: 20px 0 0 50px; padding: 0; color: #07080a; font-weight: 300; } #mn_oembed_b { margin: 20px 0 0 0; font-size: 16px; float: right; cursor: pointer; background-color: #fff; color: #ff5200; border-radius: 4px; padding: 0 20px; line-height: 38px; text-transform: uppercase; box-sizing: border-box; display: inline-block; text-decoration: none; transition: all ease-in .2s; } #mn_oembed_b:hover { color: #fff; background: #6ab2be; } @media (max-width: 767px) { #mn_oembed_c { margin: 0 auto; } #mn_oembed_a { margin: 0 20px 0 0; float: left; position: relative; height: 65px; left: 0; top: 0; border-radius: 50%; border: 2px solid #dbe1e4; } #mn_oembed_i { padding: 0; } #mn_oembed_u { height: 69px; } #mn_oembed_un { padding: 12px 0 0 0; } #mn_oembed_q { display: none; } #mn_oembed_p { margin: 20px 0 0 0; } }
DamianP 05-22-2017 08:00 AM “

I got the Mate 9 back in Feb and used it as a daily driver for a while and switched to a pixel XL, and LG G6. Ultimately I came back to the Mate 9 for a few specific reasons that are important to me. 1. Radio - it's incredibly strong. It's typically 4-10 db better than my G6 in the same location. I haven't found a phone that I have used that's better. I have been carrying both the G6 and...

Reply

All of this poster's points are true: the phone does have a great, bright screen despite its relatively low pixel density — something that I don't notice at all during day-to-day use. The battery is astoundingly good, and that Huawei fit a 4000mAh cell inside this slim and almost single hand-friendly chassis is amazing. And the black-and-white secondary sensor is one of the most enjoyable experiences I've had with a camera phone in years.

#mn_oembed_c:before { display: none; } #mn_oembed_c { display: table; width: 100%; max-width: 700px; box-sizing: border-box; cursor: pointer; position: relative; background: #dee9eb; padding: 35px; left: 35px; margin: 0 auto 0 auto; border-radius: 4px; border: 1px solid #dbe1e4; font-family: 'Fira Sans', sans-serif; line-height: 1.5; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; text-decoration: none; } #mn_oembed_i { padding: 0 13px 0 23px; font-size: 18px; display: table; width: 100%; box-sizing: border-box; } #mn_oembed_a { position: absolute; width 65px; height: 65px; left: -33px; top: 20px; border-radius: 50%; border: 2px solid #dbe1e4; } #mn_oembed_un { color: #ff5200; text-decoration: none; } #mn_oembed_t { color: #858b8e; font-size: 12px; } #mn_oembed_q { float: left; font-family: 'PT Mono', monospace; font-size: 100px; margin: -5px 0 0 -10px; color: #858b8e; } #mn_oembed_p { margin: 20px 0 0 50px; padding: 0; color: #07080a; font-weight: 300; } #mn_oembed_b { margin: 20px 0 0 0; font-size: 16px; float: right; cursor: pointer; background-color: #fff; color: #ff5200; border-radius: 4px; padding: 0 20px; line-height: 38px; text-transform: uppercase; box-sizing: border-box; display: inline-block; text-decoration: none; transition: all ease-in .2s; } #mn_oembed_b:hover { color: #fff; background: #6ab2be; } @media (max-width: 767px) { #mn_oembed_c { margin: 0 auto; } #mn_oembed_a { margin: 0 20px 0 0; float: left; position: relative; height: 65px; left: 0; top: 0; border-radius: 50%; border: 2px solid #dbe1e4; } #mn_oembed_i { padding: 0; } #mn_oembed_u { height: 69px; } #mn_oembed_un { padding: 12px 0 0 0; } #mn_oembed_q { display: none; } #mn_oembed_p { margin: 20px 0 0 0; } }
Gayle Lynn 07-05-2017 01:47 PM “

5 hrs sot and 70% left. How many phones can do that? 5.8" screen real estate. Would love to see more but hey. There were 4 updates. Bought it Jan 5th from Amazon. So yes it does. Would like to see 7.11 and EMUI 5.1 but at least seems to get essential security update. Wickedly fast fps. Paying is more reliable fast and easy without even installed Android Pay, even than iPhone 6S...

Reply

The phone also posts battery numbers that are really hard to account for by any other device except, perhaps, the original Moto Z Play.

And though the form factor does seem a bit wide when placed next to the Samsung Galaxy S8+, the perfect placement of the rear fingerprint sensor and high-quality aluminum chassis more than makes up for it in my opinion. Huawei also arguably got on board the slim bezel train before LG debuted the G6 four months later, since despite retaining a 16:9 screen aspect ratio there are barely any bezels on the sides of the LCD panel, and the ones above the screen are impressively tiny.

You may want to wait for the Mate 10, but if you need a great unlocked phone right now, you should consider the Mate 9.

With the Mate 10 approaching in October or November, normally recommending this phone would be a cautionary tale, but with its frequent discounts to under $500 on Amazon, its primary sales channel in the U.S., I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the phone right now. Huawei has already committed to an Android 8.0 update, though it's pretty slow on the trigger in general, and the Kirin 960 chip inside the phone is actually faster in many respects than the much-newer Snapdragon 835, for what it's worth. I wouldn't pay its MSRP of $599, but even its current-as-of-writing price of just under $550 is a pretty great deal.

See at Amazon

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

ASUS' Tango and Daydream-ready ZenFone AR debuts in India

4

World's first smartphone with 8GB of RAM lands in India.

When ASUS unveiled the ZenFone AR earlier this year, it became the first phone to feature 8GB of RAM. It's also the first device that can handle both Tango and Daydream — Google's AR and VR platforms. The ZenFone AR is now available for sale in India for ₹49,999 ($775), with the device exclusively sold on Flipkart.

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

Grab the 32GB Moto G5 Plus for $199, 64GB model for $249

1

For one day only, get the Moto G5 Plus with 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage for $249.

The Moto G5 Plus is one of the best budget phones currently in the market, and you can pick one up for just $199 on Newegg. That's a $30 discount on the model with 2GB of RAM and 32GB storage. Amazon is also getting on the action, offering the variant with 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage for $249, which comes out to a savings of $50 from the phone's $299 retail price.

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

Xiaomi Mi Smart Shoes review: Obsessively track your workouts

1

Xiaomi's smart shoes automatically detect and catalog your workouts.

Xiaomi is no stranger to the wearable segment — its $20 Mi Band is immensely popular worldwide — and the brand is once again turning to fitness tracking with its latest product, the Mijia Smart Shoes. Like the rest of its Mi Ecosystem portfolio, Xiaomi's smart shoes offer great value for money.

Read more and comment

 
Show More Headlines

Pages