Once you get here, right-click on the CurrentVersion folder in the left sidebar. Select New > Key. Give it the name MTCUVC.
Looking for the perfect Android phoneA few years ago, many Android phones paled in comparison with the latest iPhone. Most of them were made out of plastic. And Android was simply too clunky back then. 2018 is a completely different story as you have a lot of options. Maybe you like Samsung devices or the pure Android experience of the Pixel 2. And maybe you’ve been looking at Huawei devices from afar. But if you live in the U.S., you won’t be able to buy the P20 Pro any time soon. Let’s start with the overall design of the phone. It features a gigantic 6.1-inch OLED display with a now familiar notch at the top. It’s not as prominent as the one in the iPhone X, but it’s clear that Apple has started the next trend in smartphone design. The frame of the design is made out of polished aluminium. It’s shiny and looks like stainless steel — but it’s lighter than steel. It feels good in your hand and is a great indication of what an iPhone X Plus could be. The glass back comes in multiple colours. My review device had the twilight back. It’s a nice gradient from purple to blue that makes the P20 Pro stand out from the crowd. It’s much more distinctive than unified (boring) colours. You can also use the P20 Pro as a portable mirror to fix your makeup or your hair when you’re on the subway. But the back of the device is so shiny that it was covered in fingerprints most of the time. That’s increasingly the case when you have a smartphone with a glass back. Below the display, you’ll find a good old fingerprint sensor. In my experience, it works well and I like having it on the front of the device when my phone is resting on a table. Unfortunately, it makes the phone quite tall overall.
Why stop at two when you can have three camerasEverybody laughed when smartphone manufacturers started putting two camera sensors at the back of their devices. And yet, many people upgrade their phone to get a better camera. Some people even choose their next phone based on the camera exclusively. And Huawei went a bit crazy on this front as the company integrated three cameras at the back of the device. There’s a 40 megapixels lens combined with a 20 megapixels monochrome lens and an 8 megapixels telephoto lens. And the phone supports super slow-motion videos at 960 frames per second. On paper, it sounds like a bit too much. But it’s true that those three cameras are the most important and remarkable feature of the P20 Pro. I used both an iPhone X and the P20 Pro on my last vacation to Cambodia. And here’s a gallery of some sample photos:
Fine printsLet’s go through some miscellaneous items. The P20 Pro doesn’t feature wireless charging. While it’s not a dealbreaker, it’s hard to go back to plugging a cable if you were already using wireless charging. The system-on-a-chip is a Kirin 970 made by Huawei. Instead of boring you with benchmarks, let’s just say that it was perfectly fine and I didn’t feel limited at any moment. The P20 Pro is on par with other flagship Android devices. But it was particularly well optimized for power consumption. Battery life on the P20 Pro was very good. The P20 Pro doesn’t have a microSD slot but comes with 128GB of internal storage by default. There’s a single USB Type-C port (no headphone jack) and you’ll find both USB Type-C earbuds and a USB Type-C to headphone jack adapter. My device had two SIM slots, but be careful if you plan on buying the P20 Pro. Huawei said that some versions of the device will only have one SIM slot. When it comes to software, the P20 Pro runs Android 8.1 with Huawei’s EMUI custom skin. I’m not a fan of EMUI as the company regularly pushes you to create a Huawei account. The company has also developed its own version of many of Google’s apps. It can be confusing if you’re just looking for Google’s own apps. But this is understandable as all Google services are still blocked in China. Chinese users need Huawei’s alternatives. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the P20 Pro. It ticks all the right boxes to become a strong Samsung Galaxy S9 contender. But more importantly, Huawei didn’t just build a safe phone. The P20 Pro has a strong personality and the company made some polarizing choices. You can see it across the board, from the back of the device to the beautifying effect when you’re taking selfies. Huawei has been using the camera as the main element of its advertising campaign for the P20 Pro. The company is right to brag about its camera as it performs incredibly well. But software correction and saturated colours sometimes go too far, depending on your taste. For years, most people looked at the new Samsung Galaxy S phone and the new iPhone to see what’s next in the smartphone world. But Huawei is now also pushing the needle forward with this phone.
Use of metal components to increase weigh
Complex mold design of headband
Minimal use of screws
- 2 percent scrap rate
- 1 cavity / tool
- 20 percent regrind allowed
- No additives (Meaning not glass filled, etc)
- Machine rate, setup labor, and direct labor adjusted per component
- Cycle time of 15 seconds is assumed per part
- Markup is not included
- Tooling cost is amortized assuming 1M units
- No downtime factored into molding machine
- Assume simple tooling (It’s known that some of these parts have actions, but was not added to the tooling cost)
- Tooling cost assumptions are broad and based in China
- Production costs based on Asia. Somewhat conservative and broad
- 5 percent scrap rate
- 160 ton press
- 95 percent uptime, 8hr setup
- Quoted from Zirui @ qty 6000 FOB
- CB with routing and v-score, 1 part placement
- 25 seconds to solder @ Shenzhen min wage RMB2,030/mo = US1.50/hr
- Exact equivalent not found; found 40mm x 5.6mm, 32 ohm, 25mW for0.75
Over the last year, as you’ve likely seen, a company called HMD Global has resurrected both, upgrading and updating them just-so for a world that still needs feature phones aplenty. What could have been a lazy cash-grab reboot—looking at you, Michael Bay’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles—has instead turned out two thoughtfully designed and executed devices. And they couldn’t have come at a better time.
A quick clarification: HMD is a company that makes the phones—both smart and feature—sold under the Nokia brand, so this isn’t technically the same company that dominated the cell phone landscape through the turn of the millennium. But HMD resides in the same building as Nokia’s headquarters, and was founded by former Nokia employees—including chief product officer Juho Sarvikas, who shepherded the return of the 3310 and 8110, and started at Nokia over a decade ago. Everything about it is Nokia DNA.
That shows in its feature phone revivals. Take last year’s 3310, released nearly two decades after its namesake. It looks just enough like the original for instant recognition, but has just enough new design touches and feature improvements—smoothed over edges, a 2-megapixel camera, a web browser—to be viable today. Oh, and its battery still lasts a month.
That balance took more work than you might think.
“We actually took a long time to deconstruct the original 3310,” says Sarvikas. As it turned out, recreation required a certain degree of invention. “One of the most difficult things with the 3310 was to make the corner of the display so close to the edge of the physical enclosure. That was one area where we had to develop a completely new solution that did not exist in this space.”
And the reason it didn’t exist is fairly simple: Feature phones are cheap, which means they’re made with cheap parts. They all look basically the same, because the companies that make them typically buy in bulk from the same suppliers.
“Having attractive feature phones, standing out on design, when the other vendors who are doing feature phones are really plain vanilla, is a smart strategy,” says Avi Greengart, tech analyst with GlobalData.
That’s partly why the 3310 stood out so much; it was as much a familiar face as it was a rethinking of a whole category of devices grown stale.
A refined exterior also required some serious interior engineering; the original 3310 hadn’t had to accommodate internals for 2G or 3G signals; the 2017 model launched with the former, and got a network upgrade last fall. “It’s not about simply throwing together a nice-looking shape for the design. There’s a lot of very advanced engineering and asset development that you need to do. It’s amazing how much a couple of millimeters matter,” says Sarvikas.
This year’s 8110—that’s the banana phone, which you’ll remember best from The Matrix—presented an even more daunting challenge both inside and out. Start with the shape, which outside of an ill-fated dalliance with curvature from LG in 2013 simply doesn’t exist anymore. The phone doesn’t just curve; part of it pops down with the push of a button.
“How do you configure the length versus the thickness versus the actual physical curvature of the banana,” says Sarvikas. “As you’re building the inner blocks and designing the electromechanics around that, it becomes a really intriguing exercise. You could not modify one dimension without throwing the whole thing around and reconfiguring from the beginning.”
The slider mechanism, too, requires balance. It needs to travel smoothly from open to shut; it needs to lock firmly but be easy to open; it needs not to wiggle when extended. And Sarvikas points to one last consideration: You absolutely must be able to spin it like a top. “The spinning is the ultimate party trick,” he says.
The 8110 also represents a more ambitious effort under the hood; it comes with both 4G and Google Assistant on board. And yes, even with that gilding, the battery life still nudges up against a full month.
It might seem odd, in 2018, to focus so closely on a company’s feature phone efforts. Smartphones, after all, rule much of the world. In the US and Western Europe, feature phones account for less than 7 percent of sales. But in regions with limited broadband or resources generally, Nokia—again, really HMD—has become once again a dominant player.
HMD sold 59.2 million Nokia feature phones in 2017, a 70 percent bump over the previous year. That’s still nowhere near iPhone territory; Apple sold 77 million of those in its most recent quarter alone. But think what it must take to actually grow feature phone sales, to nearly double them, in a day and age when they’re in a decade-long decline. And because the 3310 and 8110 stand out so much, they can command a higher price than the competition.
“Is this going to make them number one? Obviously I don’t think that’s going to happen,” says Tuong Nguyen, a mobile analyst with Gartner. “But it gives them a better foothold than some of their competitors, the guys who are focusing on features or security or a super low price.”
‘The spinning is the ultimate party trick.’
Juho Sarvikas, HMD
Some of that resurgence comes, too, from people who see the 3310 and 8110 not just as a nostalgia trip, but a legitimate chance to disconnect from the always-on lifestyle amid mounting concerns over smartphone addiction. The 8110, in particular, connects just enough that you don’t feel unmoored, but not enough to keep you glued to its 2.4-inch display.
“I think there’s an increasing number of people who want to buy a secondary device,” says Sarvikas. “Most often it’s something you want to use to switch off a bit.”
A second phone, Sarvikas argues, still needs to offer what he calls “lifeline communications,” particularly messenger services that have gradually subsumed SMS. But maybe you don’t need Instagram or Candy Crush while you’re taking a long weekend. Maybe you just need a banana phone and Snake.
“For me as a tech geek, I’m a little bit excited about the Nokia products,” says Nguyen. “I’m OK with giving up many of those smartphone features to have less of a cognitive load on a daily basis. I definitely feel that I would be a lot happier, even though I’m giving up things like navigation and social networking.
The success of the retreads has also had a halo effect for Nokia smartphones, largely by reminding people that the Nokia brand, well, still exists.
And they’ll continue to. A ton of iconic Nokia designs await revitalization; Greengart has his fingers crossed for the 8800, which features prominently in John Wick Chapter 2. And Sarvikas says they’re nowhere near done.
“There’s so much to draw from, and there are so many cool emerging technologies,” he says. “I don’t think we’ll run out of fun things to do any time soon.”
Three lensesThe new flagship’s three rear cameras each offer different capabilities. The main sensor has an unusually high resolution of 40 megapixels. But it uses “light fusion” software to combine data from groups of four adjacent same-coloured pixels to produce 10MP photos.
- a 20MP black-and-white sensor that can be used to take monochrome shots or to provide depth information to blur the background of images taken by the main sensor
- an 8MP telephoto offering a hardware-stabilised 3x zoom lens, which can produce 5x shots when used in conjunction with a software-based digital zoom. This compares favourably to the 2x zoom of the Galaxy S9+ and iPhone X
AI-enhanced photosLike the Galaxy S9, the P20 Pro has a super-slow mode in which 960 frames per second can be filmed at 720p “high-definition” resolution. Huawei is seeking to convince consumers it can produce better photos than Samsung’s new phones But it also offers its unique long-exposure trick. To achieve this, Huawei says, the device uses its ability to distinguish objects to find the optimum frame for each item contained in a shot. It then takes information from other frames to improve the definition of each object, while ensuring that edges do not become blurred as a consequence. Finally, all the digitally finessed items are merged together to create a single photo.
Dialled-up threatHuawei narrowed the gap with Apple last year, despite coming under pressure from other Chinese technology companies, including Oppo, Xiaomi and Vivo.
|Manufacturer||2017 handset shipments||Year-on-year change||Market share|
|Huawei (incl Honor)||154.2 million||+10.7%||10.6%|
|Industry total||1.46 billion||-0.5%||100%|
The bug will get fixed in an upcoming update.
ple on Monday responded to an open letter from investors who called for the company to address the negative impact of the iPhone on children and teens. Though the company listed a number of controls provided to help parents screen content, it offered little to address the investors’ chief concern: the amount of time teens and younger children spend on phones.
Jana Partners and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, which together have invested about US$2 billion in Apple, on Saturday published the letter, which urges Apple to give parents more choices and tools to help ensure that young consumers are using the company’s products “in an optimal manner.”
There is a growing body of evidence that frequent use of Apple’s products by young people could be having unintentional negative consequences, notes the letter, which is signed by Jana Managing Partner Barry Rosenstein and CalSTRS’ Director of Corporate Governance Anne Sheehan.
The average American teenager who uses a smartphone first obtains a phone at age 10 and spends more than 4.5 hours a day on it — excluding texting and talking, Rosenstein and Sheehan pointed out.
Seventy-eight percent of teens check their phones at least hourly, and 50 percent report feeling “addicted” to their phones, they added.
“It would defy common sense to argue that this level of usage, by children whose brains are still developing, is not having at least some impact, or that the maker of such a powerful product has no role to play in helping parents to ensure it is being used optimally,” Rosenstein and Sheehan wrote.Read more at: https://www.technewsworld.com/story/Apple-Skirts-Tech-Addiction-Issue-in-Response-to-Worried-Investors-85052.html
In recent years, CES largely has usurped the North American International Auto Show in Detroit as the “first auto show of the year.” Automakers have used the annual Las Vegas shindig for all things consumer electronics to highlight the latest technology in vehicles.
So perhaps it was fitting that this year NAIAS, more commonly known as the “Detroit Auto Show,” looked a bit more like a technology trade show than a car show.
In addition to the major automakers’ press events highlighting vehicles that soon could be on road and futuristic concepts cars, this year’s auto show featured sessions on artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicle systems, vehicle security and mobility.
Read more at https://www.technewsworld.com/story/Tech-Takes-Front-Seat-at-Detroit-Auto-Show-85067.html
Huawei has announced the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro, two new phones that occupy the highest end of its lineup. The Mate 10 phones see the Chinese giant get on board with the skinny-bezel trend of 2017 while leveraging its ability in silicon design to supposedly improve AI-related performance.
The main difference between the two phones is in screen size and shape. The Mate 10 features a 5.9-inch 2560 x 1440 LCD while the Mate 10 Pro’s display is a 6-inch 2160 x 1080 OLED; both have thin, symmetrical bezels at the top and bottom. The Pro feels like the smaller phone, however, due to the narrower 18:9 aspect ratio it shares with many of this year’s similarly sized “bezel-less” phones.
The regular Mate 10’s sharper 16:9 screen makes for an unusually proportioned device, albeit one that’ll probably work well for YouTube and other casual video watching — it feels very wide in the hand, but the combination of a huge, standard aspect ratio screen with slim bezels lends a distinctive heft.
Both phones feature glossy glass construction and come in “mocha brown” or “pink gold,” with additional black and gold finishes for the Mate 10 and blue and gray colorways for the Pro. There’s also a Porsche Design special edition Mate 10 Pro with a “diamond black” finish. The Mate 10 is 8.2mm thick and has a fingerprint sensor below the screen; the Pro is 7.9mm and has its fingerprint sensor around the back. The Pro features IP67 waterproofing and an IR blaster, while the Mate 10 gets a headphone jack and a microSD card slot in return.
Beyond external differences, both phones are similarly specced. They each feature a Kirin 970 CPU, 4GB of RAM, a 4,000mAh battery, 64GB of storage, and dual cameras with f/1.6 lenses. That camera setup includes a 20-megapixel color sensor and a secondary 12-megapixel monochrome sensor designed to gather additional luminance information and detail, as with the P10 and other recent Huawei flagships. The Pro has an additional variant with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, while the Porsche Design model comes with 6GB of RAM and ups the storage to 256GB.
Both phones use USB-C, as you’d expect, and Huawei has developed a desktop docking solution that’s similar in concept to Samsung’s DeX, which in turn is similar in concept to Windows Continuum and the Motorola Atrix and a lot of other things that didn’t work out. Huawei’s spin doesn’t require a dock, however — you can plug your phone directly into a monitor with a cable and expect to get around three hours of use in the desktop environment, which features resizable windows and Office support. The system allows you to use your phone as normal while it’s powering the larger monitor, and there are privacy controls that allow you to stop notifications from popping up.
But the biggest differentiator for Huawei this year is the Kirin 970 chip, developed in-house at the company’s HiSilicon semiconductor arm. The Kirin 970 includes what Huawei is calling an NPU, or neural processing unit, which is designed to handle tasks related to AI and deep learning. Apple announced much the same with the iPhone 8 and X’s A11 Bionic chip, which includes a “neural engine,” but Huawei is leaning harder into making the Kirin 970’s NPU a core feature of the device.
One of the biggest claims is that Huawei’s AI processing will be able to significantly reduce the phone’s performance degradation over time, which the company has identified as a major problem with Android devices in general. The Mate 10 uses on-device processing to build a model of how you use the phone and allocates resources accordingly with machine learning predicting user behavior. And while Apple’s lead in raw CPU processing speed is seemingly unassailable in the mobile space, Huawei believes it will be able to outstrip the new iPhones when it comes to on-device deep learning tasks such as image recognition.
It’s hard to judge any of this without having the phone in hand — in fact, it’ll be hard to judge much of it without having used the phone for several months. But it’s clear that dedicated AI hardware is going to have its uses, and Huawei is demonstrating a significant advantage by managing to spin up its own take on the idea before the likes of Qualcomm.
Huawei’s last flagship, the P10, came with some disappointing quirks, and the company’s claims about the Mate 10 require that we reserve judgement even further. On paper, though, Huawei’s latest are intriguing devices that carry a lot of potential.
Huawei has set European pricing at €699 ($824) for the Mate 10, €799 ($942) for the Mate 10 Pro, and a staggering yet unsurprising $1,395 ($1,645) for the Porsche Design Mate 10 Pro — the release date hasn’t been announced yet, nor have any plans for a US launch.
Kwon Oh-hyun, Samsung Electronics’ CEO, vice chairman, and the head of its hugely successful components business, has announced his resignation. He will step down from the CEO role, as well as his positions on the board and as CEO of Samsung Display, in March 2018.
“It is something I had been thinking long and hard about for quite some time. It has not been an easy decision, but I feel I can no longer put it off,” Kwon said in a letter sent to employees. “As we are confronted with unprecedented crisis inside out, I believe that time has now come for the company start anew, with a new spirit and young leadership to better respond to challenges arising from the rapidly changing IT industry.”
The unnamed “crisis” in Kwon’s letter no doubt includes the imprisonment of Lee Jae-yong, the de facto leader of the entire Samsung group, on corruption charges. While Lee didn’t take a hands-on role in Samsung Electronics’ regular business, Kwon’s resignation is the first sign that the scandal could have a major impact on the company’s operations and culture.
Samsung Electronics is performing well, however, having announced earnings guidance hours ago that predicts a second straight quarter of record profits. The company expects its operating profit to have nearly tripled year on year, demonstrating strong recovery after the equivalent period in 2016 saw the Galaxy Note 7 recall disaster. But Kwon says that the current performance is thanks to decisions made in the past, casting doubt over the company’s ability to predict trends and grow in the future.
“There are no words to describe how proud I am that we built together one of the most valuable companies in the world. We have come a long way to create a company that truly changes how people live, work and communicate with each other,” Kwon’s letter continues. “But now the company needs a new leader more than ever and it is time for me to move to the next chapter of my life.”
Kwon, 64, has been Samsung Electronics CEO since 2012 and was named Samsung Display CEO in 2016. He joined the company in 1985, rising to lead its semiconductor business before his appointment as CEO. Samsung hasn’t announced a successor, although Kwon has had two “co-CEOs” — BK Yoon and JK Shin — in the past. Both stepped back from day-to-day operations in 2015, however, retaining their titles.Read more at : https://www.theverge.com/2017/10/12/16467790/samsung-ceo-resigning-crisis-kwon-oh-hyun
Ben is MakeUseOf’s Gaming section editor and Creative Co-director. He holds a B.S. in Computer Information Systems from Grove City College, where he graduated Cum Laude and with Honors in his major. He’s currently focusing on ramping up MUO’s Gaming content to appeal to gamers both casual and hardcore.Read more at : http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/old-volume-control-windows-10/
Google Assistant Makes All the DifferenceThe Pixel Buds are wireless earbuds you wear around your neck. They connect to your mobile device via Bluetooth, offer audio controls via a touchpad, and come with a charging case. So far, so meh. The real genius of the Pixel Buds comes in the form of Google Assistant and Google Translate.
The Babel Fish Is RebornAs for the Google Translate functionality, this lets you get real-time translations of any of 40 different languages. Making you an instant multilinguist without any of the effort. Adam Champy, the Product Manager for the Pixel Buds, explains it best in a post on the Google Blog, saying:
“It’s like you’ve got your own personal translator with you everywhere you go. Say you’re in Little Italy, and you want to order your pasta like a pro. All you have to do is hold down on the right earbud and say, ‘Help me speak Italian.’ As you talk, your Pixel phone’s speaker will play the translation in Italian out loud. When the waiter responds in Italian, you’ll hear the translation through your Pixel Buds.”
The Pixel Buds Class SystemBefore you get too excited about the Google Translate functionality, this feature is only available on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. At least for now. One has to assume that this is the first stage of the plan, with the ultimate goal being to offer real-time translations on every device. But that’s some way off.
A Genuinely Innovative Product… on PaperThe Pixel Buds look, on paper at least, to be a genuinely innovative product. With a little help from Google Assistant, and a lot of help from Google Translate. Unfortunately, we don’t yet know how good these real-time translations will be in the wild, so we’ll reserve judgement for the time being. Do you like the look of the Google Pixel Buds? Are you happy to pay the asking price for a pair of earbuds? Has the Google Assistant functionality sold you on the Pixel Buds? Or are you more excited by the real-time translations? Please let us know in the comments below!
What Is the iPhone X?It’s a phablet-sized iPhone with everything you’ve ever wanted inside of it. It isn’t the 10th iteration of the iPhone. Instead, it celebrates the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. If Apple forgos an iPhone 9, this follows suit with the Windows model of jumping from Windows 8 to Windows 10. Its specifications are a testament to advancements in smartphone technology. Onboard, you’ll find an OLED screen that’s just under six inches. A phablet form factor, the iPhone X comes in a whopping 5.65 x 2.79 x 0.30-inch package that weighs 6.14 ounces. Primarily, facial recognition is a top feature the iPhone X touts.
Should You Buy an iPhone X?On paper, the iPhone X is a terrific buy. Because of its gorgeous screen and top of the line specs, it’s arguably the best phone available. If you’re ingrained in the Apple ecosystem, you may consider the iPhone X as your next handset. However, upgrading will cost around $1,000. For that price, can snag a tablet, phone, and laptop. Maybe even a desktop. But if you are an Apple user (and have no qualms about dropping $1,000 for a new handset), by all means, splurge for the iPhone X. For the vast majority of consumers, though, an iPhone X is not worth the cost.
Best iPhone X Alternatives
1. Moto G5When it comes to spectacular devices on a budget, Motorola is king. TechRadar calls the Motorola Moto G5 the “best cheap phone in the world.” That’s high praise and well deserved. Starting with the exterior, the Moto G5 features a high-end feel that extends into its interior. The body is part metal, a pleasant touch considering even some flagships come with cheap plastic outers. The screen is lifelike, and there’s even a fingerprint scanner. Why you should consider this as an iPhone X alternative: The Moto G5 is the best phone available for under $300. Android Authority awarded the ZenFone 3 (our 8-point review) an 8.2 out of 10 in their score, hailing it as a premium device masquerading as a modest handset. Asus’s third generation ZenFone affords silky performance and commendable battery life. Both its front and rear shooters capture spectacular photos and video. It’s also a sexy device. But Android Authority does note that the ZenFone 3 comes with a bit too much bloatware. Moreover, it’s prone to collecting fingerprints and is a tad slippery. Still, for under $300 the ZenFone 3 is a solidly specced device that’s gorgeous to look at and use. Why you should consider this as an iPhone X alternative: Sweet appearance and performance.
3. Moto Z PlayMotorola’s Moto Z Play stands out as a very unique handset. That’s largely on account of its modular design with add-on accessories. Dubbed Moto Mods, these snap-on accessories are simple to install and include functional tools such as a speaker, projector, and True Zoom camera. This mod makes the Moto Z Play a phone with one of the best cameras. Additionally, the Moto Z Play delivers long-lasting battery life. Whereas Motorola dumped the headphone jack a la Apple on its Z and Z Force, the Moto Z Play retains a 3.5 mm headphone jack. As CNET reports, the Z Play isn’t as powerful as the Z and Z Force, but the modular accessories, stellar battery life, and headphone jack make it a top Android device. Why you should consider this as an iPhone X alternative: Has a headphone jack, superb battery life, and modular accessories.
4. OnePlus 5Since the OnePlus 1, OnePlus devices have created lots of buzz. That doesn’t change with the OnePlus 5 (our OnePlus 5 review), except that it continues to offer incredible hardware at an affordable price point. In their opinion, Android Authority lauded the OnePlus 5 for its vivid 1080p screen and dual-camera array. Unlike many handsets, the OnePlus 5 opts for a metal build which lends a premium feel. Why you should consider this as an iPhone X alternative: Fantastic dual-camera setup and blisteringly fast performance.
5. iPhone SEAs CNET explains, a year later the Apple iPhone SE remains an amazing device. A departure from the phablet trend, it’s a device capable of being used with a single hand. The iPhone SE (our review) yields a snappy experience and excellent cameras on its front and rear. It’s available with as much as 128GB of storage space. But where the SE shines is with a low price. Apple’s iPhone SE holds the distinction of being the most affordable iPhone on the market. Why you should consider this as an iPhone X alternative: The iPhone SE stays in the Apple ecosystem and balances power, storage, and affordability.
6. iPhone 7Though the iPhone 7 (our review) doesn’t pack the same punch as the iPhone X, it’s a solid device. While many new versions don’t deliver exceptional upgrades, the 7 does. There’s a great camera, up to 128GB of storage space. Why you should consider this as an iPhone X alternative: Stays in the Apple ecosystem and is less expensive. In our review, we found the Samsung Galaxy S8 to be one of the best overall handsets available. Unfortunately, at launch, its high price proved detrimental to recommending adoption. A technically well-endowed phone, the S8 competes with high-end phones including the iPhone 7, 8, and Google Pixel. Its Infinity Display and luscious screen make Samsung’s Galaxy S8 a wonderful contender for the iPhone 8. For fans of virtual reality gaming, the S8 sports both Gear VR, and Daydream compatibility. With its powerful hardware, the S8 may even be used as a desktop with the DeX dock. Why you should consider this as an iPhone X alternative: Infinity Display, powerful hardware.
iPhone X Alternatives: What You Should Buy InsteadFact: the iPhone X is an amazing phone, and arguably the best phone you can buy. Its A11 Bionic completely obliterates the competition in sheer brute force computing power. However, it’s difficult to justify the price when it doesn’t really do all that much that its Android and even Windows phone counterparts are not capable of performing. Rather than snagging an iPhone X, consider what attracts you to the iPhone X. Then, look for those qualities in a smartphone. If you’re set on staying in the Apple space, the iPhone 8, or even iPhone 7, are top choices. Don’t overlook the iPhone SE which is still one of the best iPhones you can buy. For Android, flagships such as the Samsung Galaxy S8 should satisfy anyone thinking of getting an iPhone X. But plenty of budget and mid-range devices pack plenty of features, including the best budget pick in the Moto G5, premium specced ZenFone 3, and all-around amazing OnePlus 5. Though Windows Phones are hard to recommend, the HP Elite x3 serves as a condensed desktop or laptop, though it’s primarily relevant for the business world instead of the average consumer. What iPhone X alternatives do you recommend?
We Love You, 3.5mm Headphone Jack!In the time since Apple launched the iPhone 7, other smartphone manufacturers have removed the headphone jack from their flagship devices. But given how Google mocked Apple over its decision just 12 months ago, I expected the Big G to be the last man standing by refusing to follow the herd. Instead, the Pixel 2 has arrived, and the 3.5mm headphone jack is nowhere to be found.
“The primary reason [for dropping the jack] is establishing a mechanical design path for the future. We want the display to go closer and closer to the edge. Our team said, ‘if we’re going to make the shift, let’s make it sooner, rather than later.’ Last year may have been too early. Now there are more phones on the market.”This is the very definition of following the herd. Apple broke ranks first, others followed, and now Google feels comfortable enough to jump on board the edge-to-edge express. The problem is not everyone is obsessed with a bezel-less future. Especially those who have spent a fortune buying a decent pair of headphones.
I’d Rather Have Beefy Bezels, Thank YouSo, in conclusion, while Apple sat the headphone jack down in the electric chair, it’s Google that has flipped the switch. Are you interested in buying a Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL? If so, what’s the main draw for you? Are you bothered by Google removing the headphone jack? Would you prefer a bezel-less, edge-to-edge display over a headphone jack? Or has Google messed up? The comments are open below. Image Credit: B Rosen via Flickr
- iOS devices have to be running iOS 11 and have Bluetooth turned on.
- You have to be in each other’s contacts.
- Home owners can also use their Macs to share their Wi-Fi connection, but must be running MacOS Sierra for it to work.
At my high school, it wasn’t “cool” to make an effort during PE. I distinctly remember being told this during a basketball game where I out-hustled a kid six inches taller than me for a rebound. I paused for a moment, and then went back to hustling. “Nah,” I thought to myself. “I’d rather win.” Ever since then, I’ve always considered myself on the side of the tryhards. If you can win with seemingly zero effort, good for you. But in my opinion, it’s better to break a sweat than to lose the game.
The part of this blog post where I talk about playing sports is now complete. Thank you for your patience.
It’s hard to think of Google as a scrappy underdog, but in the hardware business that’s absolutely the case. And, more importantly, in the Paul-buys-phones-sometimes business, Google is almost a non-player.
I’ve been an iPhone user since the day the first model came out in 2007. I’ve used a bunch of Android devices for work, and even bought a couple for my personal use over the years, but I always come back to iOS’s welcoming arms. But something about Google’s hardware event this week really spoke to me, in a way that Apple’s recent iPhone X event didn’t.
Google looks like a bunch of tryhards right now, and it’s great.
It sounds like a stupid distinction, but it matters to me that the Pixel 2 is $649, while the iPhone 8 is $699. Is $50 a lot of money? Not really. But by undercutting Apple on price (even just a little), Google looks hungry to compete, while Apple looks like it just needed a way to get more cash out of its regular customers.
According to Apple, people like me who enjoy small phone form factors don’t deserve the best cameras the company has to offer. Google begs to differ, and managed to put its version of Apple’s Portrait Mode in both the Pixel 2 XL and the regular-human-sized Pixel 2, using the exact same sensors in both phones. Thanks, Google!
In Apple land, if you take too many photos and video you basically brick your phone, and even if you pay for extra iCloud storage beyond the sad default of 5GB, it’s a chore to keep your local storage clean. My solution? Don’t take too many pictures. In Google’s world, cloud storage is cheap enough to offer as a carrot, and with the Pixel 2 you can upload unlimited original-quality video and photos to Google’s cloud. As a company desperate to contend with Apple and Samsung as a hardware brand, it makes sense that Google is willing to spend a few extra 2017 dollars on data centers to win converts who might stick around into the future.
Google sadly missed an opportunity to dunk all over Apple by keeping the headphone jack. But I do prefer the neckbud form factor of Google’s Pixel Buds to Apple’s imminently losable AirPods. I’m not going to put this in the “Google wants it more than Apple” column, but at least Google’s tastes here line up with mine.
I like that Google moved the search bar down to the bottom of the phone where it’s easier to reach with my thumb. I like that Google is going with OLED on phones that aren’t $999. I like that Google is doing a low-key Shazam on the phone 24/7, and can show me information when the screen is “off.” I like that the Pixel 2 does quick charging with the charger that comes in the box. I think the Pixel 2 is beautiful. And the Pixel 2 XL with that orange side button and tastefully sized top and bottom bezels is perhaps the best-looking phone since the iPhone 5, if it wasn’t a big phone which I hate.
It’s like Google really gets me right now, in a way Apple just doesn’t.
In fact, Apple is increasingly getting on my nerves. The number one app I use on my phone is Audible, but Apple’s draconian app policies mean I can’t actually purchase new books from within the Audible app. Apple’s FaceTime doesn’t support multi-person video calls, so I’ve been transitioning to Facebook Messenger for those purposes. iOS has always had the best and highest-quality third-party apps, and I feel like that’s still true, but I’m seeing more small upstarts and experimental apps show up as Android exclusives.
Many of the things that make Android appealing right now aren’t new to Android users, but as an Apple user who has trusted deeply in one company to manage a large portion of my digital life for me, it’s much more appealing to see Google offer an alternative to the iPhone than another hardware player like Samsung or LG. Google, now more than ever, has a clear vision for what phones should be like, how they should be used, and how they should integrate with Google services. I already use Google’s Inbox, YouTube, and Docs on my iPhone all the time. Now that Google’s hardware looks mature and in sync with its services, it’s finally made me take Android seriously in a way I never have before.
I think I can tolerate my iPhone 7’s cracked screen for a few more months (maybe a little bit longer). But when the time comes to upgrade, I’m going to have a really hard decision to make. The iPhone 8 seems boring and lazy, the iPhone X is big and expensive, and Google’s got a $649 phone now that’s almost made exactly to my tastes.
The hardest part of leaving the iPhone would be becoming a green bubble to my friends and family. iMessage has a powerful hold over me. But if I switch, it won’t be me leaving iMessage. It will be the platform that runs iMessage leaving me.
Today’s Google event was a non-stop two hour deluge of Assistant news. Yet one small, overlooked announcement may have been the biggest bit boost to the company’s burgeoning AI ecosystem so far. The simple decision to include a Home Mini in early Pixel 2shipments could prove a more successful method for spreading the Assistant gospel than anything Google has done to this point.
The bundle highlights what’s so unique about Google’s play. The company is the only one of the the big three that has solid footing in both the mobile and home markets. Amazon has managed to get Alexa on a smattering of phones with limited success, and Apple’s first smart speaker is still several months away from release. Google, meanwhile, has slowly seeded Assistant on both sides of the fence.
The Pixel/Mini bundle represent a key bridge between the two sides. Users who play around with Assistant on the phone will be able to bring it into the home with no extra charge. Sure, the limited availability of the bundle won’t be nearly enough to tip smart home marketshare (Amazon currently commands between 75 and 80 percent, depending on who you ask), but it lowers the barrier of entry considerable for people looking for something other than an Echo.
Most users don’t want to deal with multiple voice assistants in their lives — it’s a bit like asking someone to constantly switch between desktop or mobile operating systems. The company that’s able to grab the biggest piece of the mobile and home marketshare will have a unique foothold in the market. Google has a leg up on everyone in that respect, and the introduction of a virtually free home device will tip it over even more in that direction.
Of course, in order to make sure the free Minis don’t end up sitting in the closets of early adopters collecting dust, Google needs to provide the most seamless experience possible. It’s a play that wouldn’t have worked in the earliest days of Google Home, but the company’s solid integration of applications like Calendar and Gmail will go a ways toward realizing the company’s dream of making Assistant a persistent presence.
Sure, Google still seems to be playing catch up from a hardware perspective, and it’s hard to see the Mini as much more than a direct response to the Echo Dot, but this small gesture is bound to do a better job advocating for Assistant than any ad campaign.Source : techcrunch.com
Another domino has fallen in the march toward a post-headphone jack world. Today Google became the latest company to drop the once ubiquitous port from its phones, though it hardly devoted any time to its own courageous move. The driving motivation for dropping the jack is pretty clear after a quick survey of the mobile landscape: the Pixel is moving to an edge-to-edge display.
“The primary reason [for dropping the jack] is establishing a mechanical design path for the future,” Google product chief Mario Queiroz told TechCrunch after the event. “We want the display to go closer and closer to the edge. Our team said, ‘if we’re going to make the shift, let’s make it sooner, rather than later.’ Last year may have been too early. Now there are more phones on the market.”
The move was “absolutely” a driving factor in the company’s decisions to launch its own AirPod competitor, the Pixel Buds, according to Queiroz. The company essentially created an opening in the market by dropping the jack, and it was able to step right in with hardware that also helps make Assistant more ubiquitous, while turning Translate into a real world version of Douglas Adams’ Babelfish.
The inevitable death of the bezel was also a big driver behind the company’s move to P-OLED for the larger Pixel XL. “It’s a new technology, but we’re really excited about the possibility of being able to wrap the screen around the side,” explains VP Product Management,” Brian Rakowski. “We designed it in a way that’s still comfortable to hold and you’re not necessarily holding the display. It gives you the ability to get a little bit closer, so you can start to see the curve without it being more a blocky, slab of a phone.”
Of course, a quick glance at the new Pixels makes it clear that Google opted not to go in that direction this time out, unlike the likes of Apple, Samsung and LG. So, why not just go full bore into the bezel-free future? The move was overrided in part by the decision to include the front-facing speakers that flank the screen.
According to Queiroz, the company also simply wanted to give users a place to hold the phone. “One of the things that I pushed pretty hard for was the side band so you don’t feel like you’re gripping the display,” he explains. And with the Pixel’s 2 U11-inspired Active Edge feature, it also means a more place to put the squeeze on.
Control Phone from PC when phone screen is broken?When your phone screen is broken or becomes unresponsive, this free phone control app allows you to use the PC as the phone screen so you can still export data from phone to computer, send files from PC to phone or else. Note that the USB debugging on the Android device must be enabled already.
Today, Apple published a newly refreshed privacy page. With it came the most new information the company has released on Face ID since the iPhone X was announced. The details come from a new support page and a technical white paper on Face ID security, mentioned during the keynote and currently live on Apple.com. Over the course of six pages, the paper walks through the various privacy and security measures built into the new facial recognition system, including crucial details on how the new system works and how it will hold up under pressure.
The most detailed information comes from the description of how the iPhone X stores faceprints. In broad strokes, Face ID works the same way Touch ID did: the system reads your face (or fingerprint), then creates a partial version to compare against future prints. It’s a purposefully incomplete picture, so even if you could extract the data, it would be impossible to fully reconstruct a person’s face. According to the white paper, there’s also a random element to which information is retained, making it even harder to predict and spoof the system.
Even more interesting is that the initial enrollment is just the beginning of the process. Once you’ve registered your face with the system, Face ID will update its model by occasionally pulling images from successful login photos. The white paper insists those updated face images won’t leave your phone, although they may be stored there for longer than usual. That rolling enrollment explains why Face ID won’t be thrown off if a user grows a beard or buys new glasses. With new images periodically incorporated into the model, the phone’s idea of what you look like can grow incrementally, just like the face itself. Here’s how the white paper puts it:
To improve unlock performance and keep pace with the natural changes of your face and look, Face ID augments its stored mathematical representation over time. Upon successful unlock, Face ID may use the newly calculated mathematical representation — if its quality is sufficient — for a finite number of additional unlocks before that data is discarded. Conversely, if Face ID fails to recognize you, but the match quality is higher than a certain threshold and you immediately follow the failure by entering your passcode, Face ID takes another capture and augments its enrolled Face ID data with the newly calculated mathematical representation. This new Face ID data is discarded after a finite number of unlocks and if you stop matching against it. These augmentation processes allow Face ID to keep up with dramatic changes in your facial hair or makeup use, while minimizing false acceptance.
Apple is also preparing to step in when the system doesn’t work. The white paper goes into detail on a process Apple calls “Face ID Diagnostics,” which lets users reset the enrollment process and walk through it with Apple riding shotgun. If you’re setting up Face ID in diagnostics mode, you’ll be able to send enrolled pictures to Apple for examination and veto any enrolled pictures that might be throwing off the system. Apple insists that process would only take place as part of customer support, basically as one more option for an Apple employee trying to fix a misbehaving phone. Still, the measures go well beyond what’s available for Touch ID, suggesting Apple wants to be prepared for any users that end up on the wrong side of the algorithm.
After Face ID was announced, one of the biggest concerns was the chance that it could be used to unlock a person’s phone against their will. The new document details some of the protections against that kind of unlocking, but it’s not entirely reassuring. Your eyes will have to be open and pointed at the phone for Face ID to trigger the system, but the system is fast enough that instinctively looking at a presented phone might be enough to unlock it. The good news is: you can disable Face ID by pinching the side buttons to put the phone in shutdown mode. After that, it will require a passcode to unlock.
Some measures seem to acknowledge the possibility of an accidental unlock. Face ID is designed to work with Apple Pay, giving users an easy way to transfer money without typing in any passwords. But just looking at your phone won’t be enough to trigger a transaction. Apple Pay requires you to “confirm intent” by double-clicking the sleep button before holding the phone up to the payment terminal. It’s a smart protection to have, but it suggests Face ID is every bit as easy to accidentally trigger as the early demos indicated.
Then there’s the impostor problem. Phil Schiller joked about evil twins (specifically Evil Spock) at the keynote, but Apple clearly takes the problem seriously, recommending against Face ID use if you’re worried about someone with your facial features accessing your phone. The support page puts it this way:
The probability that a random person in the population could look at your iPhone X and unlock it using Face ID is approximately 1 in 1,000,000 (versus 1 in 50,000 for Touch ID)…. The statistical probability is different for twins and siblings that look like you and among children under the age of 13, because their distinct facial features may not have fully developed. If you’re concerned about this, we recommend using a passcode to authenticate.
In security terms, this is a pretty obscure line of attack. Even if you have a twin, it seems unlikely that an attacker could successfully enlist them in a scheme to unlock your phone. (Let’s call it a Bowfinger attack.) Still, the attack tells us something about Face ID’s limitations. Apple has built protections against printed photos and masks, but if there’s a real face with the same features as yours, it might slide through. That’s the price of a fast and seamless system.
There are still a lot of unanswered questions — most notably how well Face ID will hold up across different races. Apple says it tested the system on a diverse set of a billion different photos, but like a host of other questions, we won’t have a solid answer until the iPhone X goes on sale next month. Facial recognition is a much trickier process than fingerprint scanning, but so far, Apple seems to be treating Face ID like a smarter, faster version of Touch ID.