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Sentio Desktop Is A Free Phone-To-PC Solution For Android

48e49_4 Sentio Desktop Is A Free Phone-To-PC Solution For Android

Best of Android 2017 – Which phone has the best Audio?

c5672_Boa-2017-Audio-840x473 Best of Android 2017 – Which phone has the best Audio?

As part of our in-depth Best of Android 2017 edition, we’re taking a closer look at the capabilities of 10 of the best Android flagships to see which comes out on top. Today we’re dealing with audio, a very important quality to look out for, whether you’re streaming your music online, porting around a Hi-Res FLAC library, or looking to listen to movies on the go.

We’ve broken down our testing into three major parts, looking at both the loudspeaker volume, built-in DAC capabilities, and Bluetooth codec support. When it comes to the DAC, we’re looking at the noise level to assess how clean the phone’s signal chain is. The lower the noise floor, the more detail you can pick out from higher resolution files. We’re also taking a look at Total Harmonic Distortion, as this reveals how much, if any, extra distortion information is added to your music. In other words, it’s a good judge of how close the phone is to perfectly reproducing the original source.

The loudest loudspeakers

Let’s start with the loudspeaker. It’s a pretty simply test, we max out the volume of the speaker to get an idea of how easy the phone is to hear while playing back movies and music, etc. This is particularly useful to know if you want to hear a hands-free call in a noisy environment or want to watch a movie while your family chatter away in the living room.

The key thing to remember here is that for every 6 to 10 dB of difference between two sources, the perceived volume doubles. So going from 60 to 70 dB doubles the perceived volume of the source. Decibels are a logarithmic rather than linear scale.

c5672_Boa-2017-Audio-840x473 Best of Android 2017 – Which phone has the best Audio?

The result above produces two clear winners and one notable disappointment, with the rest of the handsets fielding results that would be difficult to tell apart with your ear. The Nokia 8 and the Google Pixel 2 XL are the loudest phones at 74 dB peak volume, while the Moto Z2 Force will sound almost only half as loud at a mediocre 67 dB peak volume.

For reference, heavy rainfall or a normal conversation clock in at around 60 dB of volume, so all these phones can surpass this marker. Freeway traffic and most household appliances have a volume of around 70 dB, meaning that most handsets will struggle to standout in these environments, with the arguable exception of the two winners. And none of them can compete with the 90 dB volume of a typical subway train.

Listening with headphones

On to the internal DAC and amp, which is the component connected up to your 3.5 mm headphone jack or USB Type-C side-pin ports if your phone doesn’t have a 3.5 mm jack. Again the 6 dB rule applies here, reducing the amount of noise by half. The key marker to look out for is -96 dB, as this is the noise floor that you’ll get from a 16-bit CD file and provides a very clear listening experience. A result below this has potential benefits for Hi-Res or properly dithered CD files, while anything better than -90 dB is perfectly fine for compressed streaming services.

c5672_Boa-2017-Audio-840x473 Best of Android 2017 – Which phone has the best Audio?

The noise results provide one standout winner, the Razer Phone with -106 dB, which really pushes close to the limits of our testing suite. Other notable mentions include the Galaxy Note 8, Nokia 8, LG V30, and the Pixel 2 XL, which all achieve -100 dB or better, suggesting they’ll benefit somewhat from Hi-Res 24-bit audio. The Mate 10 Pro, BlackBerry KEYone, and Xperia XZ1 fall below the -96 dB market for CD quality, meaning no potential benefits from 24-bit files when listening over wired headphones.

c5672_Boa-2017-Audio-840x473 Best of Android 2017 – Which phone has the best Audio?

The Total Harmonic Distortion data shakes up the results further though, with a different handset taking a clear lead and two which perform much more poorly. The LG V30 is the winner here at 0.0009%, providing an incredibly clean signal path. The Note 8, KEYone, and Mate 10 Pro are also very close performers with just 0.0013% each. None of the other phones will sound notably distorted, but the results for the Xperia Z1 and more so the Razer phone are below what we would expect from top-tier products. Distortion won’t be horrendous, but those with sensitive ears will definitely be able to hear some undesirable coloration to their music on these phones at louder volumes.

Bluetooth codec support

Finally, with wireless speakers becoming increasingly popular and cableless headphones closing in on the quality of wired models, support for matching Bluetooth codecs is increasingly important. Furthermore, those passionate about music quality might want to take advantage of higher resolution Bluetooth codecs like Qualcomm’s aptX HD and Sony’s LDAC. The table below shows which handsets, according to their spec sheets, are compatible with each major Bluetooth codec.

It’s worth remembering that even though Android Oreo now introduces software support for all of these codecs out of the box, it’s still up to OEMs to enable the hardware and pay the correct licenses. As you can see from the table, not every phone supports every codec, even if they’re running Oreo. If you’re looking for phones that support all the codecs, the Pixel 2 XL, Mate 10 Pro, and Xperia XZ1 are your best Bluetooth audio options. That being said, aptX HD support is beginning to reach more and more flagship handsets too, including the LG V30 and OnePlus 5T.

And the winner is…

c5672_Boa-2017-Audio-840x473 Best of Android 2017 – Which phone has the best Audio?

c5672_Boa-2017-Audio-840x473 Best of Android 2017 – Which phone has the best Audio?

c5672_Boa-2017-Audio-840x473 Best of Android 2017 – Which phone has the best Audio?

Across all of our testing, it’s the LG V30 that just pips the Google Pixel 2 XL to the post for best in class audio quality. LG certainly hyped up its “Quad DAC” solution and it fortunately sounds just as good as the promises. The phone’s speaker is acceptable too, and you’re also getting aptx HD support for your wireless headphones too.

The Google Pixel XL 2 comes in a very close second, scoring exceptionally well on the speaker test and providing a top-notch listening experience over its USB Type-C port too. If you don’t want to live the dongle life, there’s LDAC and aptX HD support for Hi-Res Bluetooth headphones too.

Third place goes to the Huawei Mate 10 Pro. It might not score the best on the headphone output rankings, but an impressively power speaker and support for high quality Bluetooth options make this a compelling choice too. The Galaxy Note 8 and notably lower cost Nokia 8 also score well across the board, and are worthy of honorable mentions.

There you have it, the LG V30, Google Pixel XL 2, and the Huawei Mate 10 Pro are your best of 2017 choices if you’re looking for a smartphone with the best audio setups. If you’re looking for some other key attribute for the best smartphone, be sure to check out the other entries in the Best of Android 2017 series.

Which phone do you think is Phone of the year? Vote in our poll below, as the winner will be crowned People’s Choice Smartphone Of The Year 2017!

Remember, we’re giving away the three smartphones that come placed first, second and third in Best of Android! To enter, check out all the details in the widget below and for five extra entries, use this unique code: BOAA17.

Best of Android 2017 3 Phone Mega Giveaway!


Credits

Series Contributors: Rob TriggsGary Sims, Edgar Cervantes, Sam Moore, Oliver Cragg, David Imel
Series Editors: Nirave Gondhia, Bogdan Petrovan, Chris Thomas

Mission Impossible? How To Find An Apple Phone X For Your Christmas

Are you hoping to purchase an iPhone X before Christmas? It looks like that you could be in luck, at least in the US. Apple’s online store is reporting that shipments of the iPhone X with carrier contracts are being fulfilled in around two days, with SIM unlocked models available in a similar timescale.

202df_960x0 Mission Impossible? How To Find An Apple Phone X For Your Christmas

Some floor model iPhone Xs are seen inside the the Apple Store Union Square prior to the store’s opening on November 3, 2017, i (Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP/Getty Images)

Given the handset zoomed out to a six-week wait not long after it was publicly released on November 3rd, Tim Cook and his team in Cupertino will be delighted to have the stock levels under a modicum of control ahead of the festive gift buying period. It’s not the same as being able to walk into an Apple Store and walk out with one of the tenth-anniversary handsets, but it does mean that if you want a handset and can contain yourself for seventy-two hours, you will get a handset.

Apple and its mobile partners can now happily turn up the heat on the festive marketing, safe in the knowledge that any demand created will be sated. That means you can expect to hear a lot more about FaceID, you will see a lot more about the tweaks to portrait mode, and you’ll read even more about the ‘bezel-free’ nature of the iPhone X (just make sure you, er, ignore the visible bezels).

Whether this final burst of sales in the last quarter of the year will be enough to allow Q4 figures to show a rise in sales, or if it will be the third Q4 to show falling sales remains to be seen. No doubt the ongoing sales of the iPhone X in Q1 2018 will balanced out any lower performance.

Now read more about how the iPhone X fails to light up Apple’s future…

The Mirabook is a £200 laptop powered entirely by a Windows 10 Mobile phone

Microsoft’s Windows 10 Mobile could be making a comeback in 2018 thanks to the Mirabook laptop that uses the Continuum feature to power it.

One of the better features of the rather lacklustre Windows 10 Mobile platform was Continuum, which allowed users to run a desktop-like version of the mobile operating system when connected to a monitor or dock, effectively bridging the gap between mobile and desktop Windows 10 experiences in a rather basic fashion.

Originally teased at CES back in January, the Mirabook builds upon that idea but essentially uses Continuum to pipe Windows 10 Mobile into it while providing a 1080p 13.3-inch display, a backlit keyboards and a whole range of connections running from USB Type-C to HDMI and the faithful 3.5mm audio jack.

Essentially, the Mirabook provides all the additional kit you need to get the most out of Continuum, wrapped up in a aluminium chassis and offering a 10 hour battery life, without the need for extra docks, breakout boxes and peripherals. And it does this for a reasonable $249/£186.

The Mirabook offers a fairly affordable way to access mobile Windows 10 apps in laptop form without the need to wrangle with web or Android versions of them on a Chromebook, which have previously offered cost-effective alternatives to Windows 10 machines.

But there doesn’t appear to be a huge amount of people using Windows 10 Mobile phones; look around any public area and you’ll spot iPhones and Android handsets but not many Windows-based phones.

This doesn’t appear to be a concern for the Mirabook as it also offers support for Android devices that offer desktop experiences, notably Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 through Samsung’s DeX interface, and the Huawei Mate 10 via it’s EMUI desktop user interface.

As such, the Mirabook could be the device you’ll want if you fancy getting more out of your Windows 10 Mobile device or a compatible flagship Android phone. Pre-orders of the Mirabook are live with units expected to ship around May next year.

Related: Best laptops of 2017

Can the Mirabook breath life into a flagging Windows 10 Mobile? Let us know your thoughts on Facebook or tweet @TrustedReviews.

Phone Addiction Is Real — And So Are Its Mental Health Risks

A lot of us must be wondering if we’re hooked on our tech: Searches for “phone addiction” have risen steadily in the past five years, according to Google Trends, and “social media addiction” trails it closely. Interestingly, phone addiction and social media addiction are closely intertwined, especially for younger people, who probably aren’t playing chess on their phones or even talking on them—they’re on social media. And according to a growing number of studies, it’s looking more and more like this pastime is addictive. Even more concerning is the fact that this addiction is linked to some serious mental health risks.

68020_960x0 Phone Addiction Is Real -- And So Are Its Mental Health Risks

Shutterstock

Last month, MIT’s Sloan Management Review published a clever experiment—professors at two business schools in Italy and France made giving up one’s smartphone for a day a requirement of the students in their courses. Most of the students, who could plan what day they’d give up their phones, felt some degree of anxiety. They didn’t know what to do with the extra time, from eating breakfast to riding on public transportation. They also noted how often people who did have phones checked their phones—one student pointed out that his friend checked his phone four times in a 10 minute period—and that that was probably what they themselves looked like on a typical day.

An earlier study, in the U.S., which also had young people give up their phones, found that they performed worse on mental tasks when they were in “withdrawal,” and felt physiological symptoms, like increased heart rate and blood pressure. They also felt a sense of loss, or lessening, of their extended self—their phones.

But the reality, especially for younger people, is that phone use, especially heavy use, isn’t so lighthearted. A study last month looked at the rise in depression and suicide in teenagers in recent years. The CDC had noted a rise in the rates of both over the years 2010-2015, and found that girls were particularly at risk: Their suicide rate rose by 65% in those five years. The number of girls with severe depression rose by 58%.

The authors of the new study wanted to see what might be causing these disturbing trends. Though it’s only a correlation, the team found a tight relationship between mental health issues and a rise in “new media screen activities.” About 48% of those who spent five or more hours a day on their phones—a lot of time by any measure—had thought about suicide or made plans for it, vs. 28% of those who spent only one hour per day on their phones. No other variables—like household financial issues, homework, or school pressure—could account for the rise in mental health issues over that time.

“Although we can’t say for sure that the growing use of smartphones caused the increase in mental health issues, that was by far the biggest change in teens’ lives between 2010 and 2015,” study author Jean Twenge said in a statement. She’s the author of the book iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy–and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood–and What That Means for the Rest of Us, and has been following this pattern for years.

Interestingly, teens who spent more time doing sports, homework, socializing with friends in real life, and going to church had a lower risk for both depression and suicide.

The problem is that teens are spending more and more time, not talking on the phone like they were in decades past, but Instagram-ing and snapchat-ing. These are dangerous pastimes because they give the appearance of social interaction, but they couldn’t be further away from it. The comparisons that are implicit in looking at other people’s lives online, which are often highly manicured (and misleading), is thought to be what’s so depressing about social media. “These increases in mental health issues among teens are very alarming,” Twenge said. “Teens are telling us they are struggling, and we need to take that very seriously.”

Another study, presented last month at the Radiological Society of North America conference, looked at the brains of teens who fell into the category of smartphone or internet addiction. The authors found some differences in the chemistry of the reward circuits of the brain, particularly in the ratio of the neurotransmitter GABA to other neurotransmitters. Interestingly, when the teens went though cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for their addiction, their brain chemistry changed and looked more like non-addicted controls.

Earlier studies have also looked at activity in the addiction circuits of the teenage brain when they’re actually interacting with social media. It found that cells in one of these areas, the nucleus accumbens, were activated when participants viewed Instagram pictures with more “likes.”

Finally, a particularly telling sign that something’s wrong is that some of the developers of social media features have started speaking up about its addictive risks. Features like red, rather than blue, notifications were intentionally designed to grab people’s attention, and keep them coming back for another hit. Loren Brichter invented the pull-to-refresh mechanism for an app that Twitter eventually acquired. “Smartphones are useful tools,” he recently told The Guardian. “But they’re addictive. Pull-to-refresh is addictive. Twitter is addictive. These are not good things. When I was working on them, it was not something I was mature enough to think about. I’m not saying I’m mature now, but I’m a little bit more mature, and I regret the downsides.”

Part of the problem with “using” is that we think social media will give us a boost, but it doesn’t—it makes us feel worse. This is a “forecast error” that keeps us coming back, even though it often has a negative effect on our mental health. And this cycle sounds eerily like a classic addiction.

It will be interesting to see how our interactions with our phones change over time—maybe the pendulum will swing back the other way as cell phones, and social media, become less novel. But for young people who have grown up with both, it’s not a novelty, it’s just a way of life. It may take bigger pushes to help them see just how addictive phones can be, and how damaging to their mental health.

Phone Addiction Is Real — And So Are Its Mental Health Risks

A lot of us must be wondering if we’re hooked on our tech: Searches for “phone addiction” have risen steadily in the past five years, according to Google Trends, and “social media addiction” trails it closely. Interestingly, phone addiction and social media addiction are closely intertwined, especially for younger people, who probably aren’t playing chess on their phones or even talking on them—they’re on social media. And according to a growing number of studies, it’s looking more and more like this pastime is addictive. Even more concerning is the fact that this addiction is linked to some serious mental health risks.

68020_960x0 Phone Addiction Is Real -- And So Are Its Mental Health Risks

Shutterstock

Last month, MIT’s Sloan Management Review published a clever experiment—professors at two business schools in Italy and France made giving up one’s smartphone for a day a requirement of the students in their courses. Most of the students, who could plan what day they’d give up their phones, felt some degree of anxiety. They didn’t know what to do with the extra time, from eating breakfast to riding on public transportation. They also noted how often people who did have phones checked their phones—one student pointed out that his friend checked his phone four times in a 10 minute period—and that that was probably what they themselves looked like on a typical day.

An earlier study, in the U.S., which also had young people give up their phones, found that they performed worse on mental tasks when they were in “withdrawal,” and felt physiological symptoms, like increased heart rate and blood pressure. They also felt a sense of loss, or lessening, of their extended self—their phones.

But the reality, especially for younger people, is that phone use, especially heavy use, isn’t so lighthearted. A study last month looked at the rise in depression and suicide in teenagers in recent years. The CDC had noted a rise in the rates of both over the years 2010-2015, and found that girls were particularly at risk: Their suicide rate rose by 65% in those five years. The number of girls with severe depression rose by 58%.

The authors of the new study wanted to see what might be causing these disturbing trends. Though it’s only a correlation, the team found a tight relationship between mental health issues and a rise in “new media screen activities.” About 48% of those who spent five or more hours a day on their phones—a lot of time by any measure—had thought about suicide or made plans for it, vs. 28% of those who spent only one hour per day on their phones. No other variables—like household financial issues, homework, or school pressure—could account for the rise in mental health issues over that time.

“Although we can’t say for sure that the growing use of smartphones caused the increase in mental health issues, that was by far the biggest change in teens’ lives between 2010 and 2015,” study author Jean Twenge said in a statement. She’s the author of the book iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy–and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood–and What That Means for the Rest of Us, and has been following this pattern for years.

Interestingly, teens who spent more time doing sports, homework, socializing with friends in real life, and going to church had a lower risk for both depression and suicide.

The problem is that teens are spending more and more time, not talking on the phone like they were in decades past, but Instagram-ing and snapchat-ing. These are dangerous pastimes because they give the appearance of social interaction, but they couldn’t be further away from it. The comparisons that are implicit in looking at other people’s lives online, which are often highly manicured (and misleading), is thought to be what’s so depressing about social media. “These increases in mental health issues among teens are very alarming,” Twenge said. “Teens are telling us they are struggling, and we need to take that very seriously.”

Another study, presented last month at the Radiological Society of North America conference, looked at the brains of teens who fell into the category of smartphone or internet addiction. The authors found some differences in the chemistry of the reward circuits of the brain, particularly in the ratio of the neurotransmitter GABA to other neurotransmitters. Interestingly, when the teens went though cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for their addiction, their brain chemistry changed and looked more like non-addicted controls.

Earlier studies have also looked at activity in the addiction circuits of the teenage brain when they’re actually interacting with social media. It found that cells in one of these areas, the nucleus accumbens, were activated when participants viewed Instagram pictures with more “likes.”

Finally, a particularly telling sign that something’s wrong is that some of the developers of social media features have started speaking up about its addictive risks. Features like red, rather than blue, notifications were intentionally designed to grab people’s attention, and keep them coming back for another hit. Loren Brichter invented the pull-to-refresh mechanism for an app that Twitter eventually acquired. “Smartphones are useful tools,” he recently told The Guardian. “But they’re addictive. Pull-to-refresh is addictive. Twitter is addictive. These are not good things. When I was working on them, it was not something I was mature enough to think about. I’m not saying I’m mature now, but I’m a little bit more mature, and I regret the downsides.”

Part of the problem with “using” is that we think social media will give us a boost, but it doesn’t—it makes us feel worse. This is a “forecast error” that keeps us coming back, even though it often has a negative effect on our mental health. And this cycle sounds eerily like a classic addiction.

It will be interesting to see how our interactions with our phones change over time—maybe the pendulum will swing back the other way as cell phones, and social media, become less novel. But for young people who have grown up with both, it’s not a novelty, it’s just a way of life. It may take bigger pushes to help them see just how addictive phones can be, and how damaging to their mental health.

Phone Addiction Is Real — And So Are Its Mental Health Risks

A lot of us must be wondering if we’re hooked on our tech: Searches for “phone addiction” have risen steadily in the past five years, according to Google Trends, and “social media addiction” trails it closely. Interestingly, phone addiction and social media addiction are closely intertwined, especially for younger people, who probably aren’t playing chess on their phones or even talking on them—they’re on social media. And according to a growing number of studies, it’s looking more and more like this pastime is addictive. Even more concerning is the fact that this addiction is linked to some serious mental health risks.

68020_960x0 Phone Addiction Is Real -- And So Are Its Mental Health Risks

Shutterstock

Last month, MIT’s Sloan Management Review published a clever experiment—professors at two business schools in Italy and France made giving up one’s smartphone for a day a requirement of the students in their courses. Most of the students, who could plan what day they’d give up their phones, felt some degree of anxiety. They didn’t know what to do with the extra time, from eating breakfast to riding on public transportation. They also noted how often people who did have phones checked their phones—one student pointed out that his friend checked his phone four times in a 10 minute period—and that that was probably what they themselves looked like on a typical day.

An earlier study, in the U.S., which also had young people give up their phones, found that they performed worse on mental tasks when they were in “withdrawal,” and felt physiological symptoms, like increased heart rate and blood pressure. They also felt a sense of loss, or lessening, of their extended self—their phones.

But the reality, especially for younger people, is that phone use, especially heavy use, isn’t so lighthearted. A study last month looked at the rise in depression and suicide in teenagers in recent years. The CDC had noted a rise in the rates of both over the years 2010-2015, and found that girls were particularly at risk: Their suicide rate rose by 65% in those five years. The number of girls with severe depression rose by 58%.

The authors of the new study wanted to see what might be causing these disturbing trends. Though it’s only a correlation, the team found a tight relationship between mental health issues and a rise in “new media screen activities.” About 48% of those who spent five or more hours a day on their phones—a lot of time by any measure—had thought about suicide or made plans for it, vs. 28% of those who spent only one hour per day on their phones. No other variables—like household financial issues, homework, or school pressure—could account for the rise in mental health issues over that time.

“Although we can’t say for sure that the growing use of smartphones caused the increase in mental health issues, that was by far the biggest change in teens’ lives between 2010 and 2015,” study author Jean Twenge said in a statement. She’s the author of the book iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy–and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood–and What That Means for the Rest of Us, and has been following this pattern for years.

Interestingly, teens who spent more time doing sports, homework, socializing with friends in real life, and going to church had a lower risk for both depression and suicide.

The problem is that teens are spending more and more time, not talking on the phone like they were in decades past, but Instagram-ing and snapchat-ing. These are dangerous pastimes because they give the appearance of social interaction, but they couldn’t be further away from it. The comparisons that are implicit in looking at other people’s lives online, which are often highly manicured (and misleading), is thought to be what’s so depressing about social media. “These increases in mental health issues among teens are very alarming,” Twenge said. “Teens are telling us they are struggling, and we need to take that very seriously.”

Another study, presented last month at the Radiological Society of North America conference, looked at the brains of teens who fell into the category of smartphone or internet addiction. The authors found some differences in the chemistry of the reward circuits of the brain, particularly in the ratio of the neurotransmitter GABA to other neurotransmitters. Interestingly, when the teens went though cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for their addiction, their brain chemistry changed and looked more like non-addicted controls.

Earlier studies have also looked at activity in the addiction circuits of the teenage brain when they’re actually interacting with social media. It found that cells in one of these areas, the nucleus accumbens, were activated when participants viewed Instagram pictures with more “likes.”

Finally, a particularly telling sign that something’s wrong is that some of the developers of social media features have started speaking up about its addictive risks. Features like red, rather than blue, notifications were intentionally designed to grab people’s attention, and keep them coming back for another hit. Loren Brichter invented the pull-to-refresh mechanism for an app that Twitter eventually acquired. “Smartphones are useful tools,” he recently told The Guardian. “But they’re addictive. Pull-to-refresh is addictive. Twitter is addictive. These are not good things. When I was working on them, it was not something I was mature enough to think about. I’m not saying I’m mature now, but I’m a little bit more mature, and I regret the downsides.”

Part of the problem with “using” is that we think social media will give us a boost, but it doesn’t—it makes us feel worse. This is a “forecast error” that keeps us coming back, even though it often has a negative effect on our mental health. And this cycle sounds eerily like a classic addiction.

It will be interesting to see how our interactions with our phones change over time—maybe the pendulum will swing back the other way as cell phones, and social media, become less novel. But for young people who have grown up with both, it’s not a novelty, it’s just a way of life. It may take bigger pushes to help them see just how addictive phones can be, and how damaging to their mental health.

Best of Android 2017: Which phone has the best display?

c0969_best-of-android-2017-display-1-840x472 Best of Android 2017: Which phone has the best display?

Welcome to the first installment of Best of Android 2017, our in-depth search to find out which smartphone is the best of the year. This segment kicks off with the most obvious thing on all devices — the screen. Which screen has the best colors? Which one looks the best? Which is the most accurate? Let’s find out.

What is Best of Android?

In Best of Android, we take the most important smartphones of the year and compare them side-by-side and in-depth. This year, with smartphones hitting $1,000 for the first time, we’ve made our search broader and deeper than ever before!

For 2018, we’ve introduced an all-new 50+ point testing process that will shape our reviews and provide one of the most comprehensive looks at Android smartphones. In anticipation of that, we’ve bought this testing to Best of Android 2017. After putting ten of the latest flagships through their paces, we’re going to crown one Phone of the Year.

The phones we’re featuring in our third annual Best of Android comparison are:

Let’s kick things off with the display.

Display Luminance

Starting off our display testing is luminance or maximum brightness in other words. This is a particularly handy metric if you’re looking for a smartphone display that’s easy to view in outdoor environments. It’s also becoming increasingly important for viewing HDR content on your display. Higher is better in both regards; a display has to be able to produce over 540 nits of peak brightness to meet the UHD Alliance Mobile HDR specification.

As we’ve seen in previous tests, a number of smartphones actually offer a higher peak brightness level when set in auto mode than when adjusted manually. The BlackBerry KEYone, Huawei Mate 10 Pro, LG V30, Moto Z Force, and Galaxy Note 8 all see notable boosts to their peak brightness when auto mode is enabled, pushing some of them into HDR capable territory.

Standard mode

We retested each smartphone that offered a standard, rather than adaptive, display mode to see if this made any difference. Out of the ten phones on the list, only four had separate standard modes: the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, OnePlus 5T, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and the Sony Xperia XZ1. Other devices offered different modes for cool, warm, and color saturation.

For devices without a standard mode, we used the same data from the default, out-of-the-box state to provide some context and offer a comparison point.

There are some minor differences in peak brightness between certain handsets when switching between display calibration modes, but it doesn’t amount to much. Auto mode holds much more sway here.

Overall, the Nokia 8 and BlackBerry KEYone have the brightest panels, at 677 and 664 nits respectively. These two are followed closely by the Sony Xperia XZ1, giving the top three places to phones with LCD panels. Our major OLED players, the V30, Note 8, and Pixel 2 XL, offer a wide variety of brightnesses, with the Pixel 2 XL scoring second lowest overall at just 399 nits.

The Galaxy Note 8 offers the lowest possible brightness setting, which might be handy to note if you’re looking to do some night reading or video watching.

Color Temperature

Color temperature refers to the degree to which a display tints towards a slightly cooler or warmer color. White LED comes in at around 5500 to 6000 kelvins. Temperatures below that produce a warmer, more orange hue, while 6500K and above looks cooler and more blue. The closer to white, the more neutral and accurate the look, although that isn’t always everyone’s preference.

We tested both default and standard color profiles, where available, to gain a better overview of what’s possible on each handset. This was a much sought-after feature by some, after Google’s Pixel 2 XL didn’t pack the typical punch consumers expected from OLED-type displays.

Standard Mode

The BlackBerry KEYone, Nokia 8, and, perhaps surprisingly, LG V30 offer the coolest displays, meaning that this isn’t a phenomenon strictly limited to LCD technology. The Google Pixel 2 XL is notably warmer than the V30 despite using the same panel, suggesting this is a software calibration choice rather than a hardware characteristic. Samsung’s AMOLED is notably warmer, especially when switching the Note 8 to standard mode, which pushes it much closer to perfect white. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro and Razer Phone are the next two warmest looking phones, though the Mate 10 Pro is notably cooler in its out-of-the-box profile.

Overall, there’s a big range of white point colors across these flagships. However, a number of models allow for greater control over the look of their phones with different profiles. Interestingly, the Google Pixel 2 XL’s mode to boost colors doesn’t actually change the white point, unlike Samsung’s settings.

The best display is…

c0969_best-of-android-2017-display-1-840x472 Best of Android 2017: Which phone has the best display?

c0969_best-of-android-2017-display-1-840x472 Best of Android 2017: Which phone has the best display?c0969_best-of-android-2017-display-1-840x472 Best of Android 2017: Which phone has the best display?

After our range of display tests, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 came out on top. It performed well across all of our scenarios and offering plenty of color customization. Samsung’s AMOLED is still the best technology on the market, while LG’s reentry into the OLED space was a little disappointing. The LG V30 performs reasonably well, coming in 4th place, but the Pixel 2 XL only just edged out the Razer Phone to avoid last place.

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro comes in second place and impressively, the Nokia 8 was right behind its far more expensive rival, showing that you don’t have to spend a fortune to own a top-notch display.

Which device do you think is the phone of the year? Vote in our poll below, which counts toward the winner of our Reader’s Choice Smartphone of the Year award!

Remember, our Best of Android 2017 Mega Giveaway is running right now and we’re giving away the top three phones overall. You could win one of these smartphones! Check out the widget below to enter and get five extra entries using the unique code: BOAD17.

Best of Android 2017 3 Phone Mega Giveaway!


Credits

Series Contributors: Rob TriggsGary Sims, Edgar Cervantes, Sam Moore, Oliver Cragg
Series Editors: Nirave Gondhia, Bogdan Petrovan, Chris Thomas

Best of Android 2017: Which phone has the best display?

c0969_best-of-android-2017-display-1-840x472 Best of Android 2017: Which phone has the best display?

Welcome to the first installment of Best of Android 2017, our in-depth search to find out which smartphone is the best of the year. This segment kicks off with the most obvious thing on all devices — the screen. Which screen has the best colors? Which one looks the best? Which is the most accurate? Let’s find out.

What is Best of Android?

In Best of Android, we take the most important smartphones of the year and compare them side-by-side and in-depth. This year, with smartphones hitting $1,000 for the first time, we’ve made our search broader and deeper than ever before!

For 2018, we’ve introduced an all-new 50+ point testing process that will shape our reviews and provide one of the most comprehensive looks at Android smartphones. In anticipation of that, we’ve bought this testing to Best of Android 2017. After putting ten of the latest flagships through their paces, we’re going to crown one Phone of the Year.

The phones we’re featuring in our third annual Best of Android comparison are:

Let’s kick things off with the display.

Display Luminance

Starting off our display testing is luminance or maximum brightness in other words. This is a particularly handy metric if you’re looking for a smartphone display that’s easy to view in outdoor environments. It’s also becoming increasingly important for viewing HDR content on your display. Higher is better in both regards; a display has to be able to produce over 540 nits of peak brightness to meet the UHD Alliance Mobile HDR specification.

As we’ve seen in previous tests, a number of smartphones actually offer a higher peak brightness level when set in auto mode than when adjusted manually. The BlackBerry KEYone, Huawei Mate 10 Pro, LG V30, Moto Z Force, and Galaxy Note 8 all see notable boosts to their peak brightness when auto mode is enabled, pushing some of them into HDR capable territory.

Standard mode

We retested each smartphone that offered a standard, rather than adaptive, display mode to see if this made any difference. Out of the ten phones on the list, only four had separate standard modes: the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, OnePlus 5T, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and the Sony Xperia XZ1. Other devices offered different modes for cool, warm, and color saturation.

For devices without a standard mode, we used the same data from the default, out-of-the-box state to provide some context and offer a comparison point.

There are some minor differences in peak brightness between certain handsets when switching between display calibration modes, but it doesn’t amount to much. Auto mode holds much more sway here.

Overall, the Nokia 8 and BlackBerry KEYone have the brightest panels, at 677 and 664 nits respectively. These two are followed closely by the Sony Xperia XZ1, giving the top three places to phones with LCD panels. Our major OLED players, the V30, Note 8, and Pixel 2 XL, offer a wide variety of brightnesses, with the Pixel 2 XL scoring second lowest overall at just 399 nits.

The Galaxy Note 8 offers the lowest possible brightness setting, which might be handy to note if you’re looking to do some night reading or video watching.

Color Temperature

Color temperature refers to the degree to which a display tints towards a slightly cooler or warmer color. White LED comes in at around 5500 to 6000 kelvins. Temperatures below that produce a warmer, more orange hue, while 6500K and above looks cooler and more blue. The closer to white, the more neutral and accurate the look, although that isn’t always everyone’s preference.

We tested both default and standard color profiles, where available, to gain a better overview of what’s possible on each handset. This was a much sought-after feature by some, after Google’s Pixel 2 XL didn’t pack the typical punch consumers expected from OLED-type displays.

Standard Mode

The BlackBerry KEYone, Nokia 8, and, perhaps surprisingly, LG V30 offer the coolest displays, meaning that this isn’t a phenomenon strictly limited to LCD technology. The Google Pixel 2 XL is notably warmer than the V30 despite using the same panel, suggesting this is a software calibration choice rather than a hardware characteristic. Samsung’s AMOLED is notably warmer, especially when switching the Note 8 to standard mode, which pushes it much closer to perfect white. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro and Razer Phone are the next two warmest looking phones, though the Mate 10 Pro is notably cooler in its out-of-the-box profile.

Overall, there’s a big range of white point colors across these flagships. However, a number of models allow for greater control over the look of their phones with different profiles. Interestingly, the Google Pixel 2 XL’s mode to boost colors doesn’t actually change the white point, unlike Samsung’s settings.

The best display is…

c0969_best-of-android-2017-display-1-840x472 Best of Android 2017: Which phone has the best display?

c0969_best-of-android-2017-display-1-840x472 Best of Android 2017: Which phone has the best display?c0969_best-of-android-2017-display-1-840x472 Best of Android 2017: Which phone has the best display?

After our range of display tests, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 came out on top. It performed well across all of our scenarios and offering plenty of color customization. Samsung’s AMOLED is still the best technology on the market, while LG’s reentry into the OLED space was a little disappointing. The LG V30 performs reasonably well, coming in 4th place, but the Pixel 2 XL only just edged out the Razer Phone to avoid last place.

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro comes in second place and impressively, the Nokia 8 was right behind its far more expensive rival, showing that you don’t have to spend a fortune to own a top-notch display.

Which device do you think is the phone of the year? Vote in our poll below, which counts toward the winner of our Reader’s Choice Smartphone of the Year award!

Remember, our Best of Android 2017 Mega Giveaway is running right now and we’re giving away the top three phones overall. You could win one of these smartphones! Check out the widget below to enter and get five extra entries using the unique code: BOAD17.

Best of Android 2017 3 Phone Mega Giveaway!


Credits

Series Contributors: Rob TriggsGary Sims, Edgar Cervantes, Sam Moore, Oliver Cragg
Series Editors: Nirave Gondhia, Bogdan Petrovan, Chris Thomas

Best of Android 2017: Which phone has the best display?

3a3c3_best-of-android-2017-display-1-840x472 Best of Android 2017: Which phone has the best display?

Welcome to the first installment of Best of Android 2017, our in-depth search to find out which smartphone is the best of the year. This segment kicks off with the most obvious thing on all devices — the screen. Which screen has the best colors? Which one looks the best? Which is the most accurate? Let’s find out.

What is Best of Android?

In Best of Android, we take the most important smartphones of the year and compare them side-by-side and in-depth. This year, with smartphones hitting $1,000 for the first time, we’ve made our search broader and deeper than ever before!

For 2018, we’ve introduced an all-new 50+ point testing process that will shape our reviews and provide one of the most comprehensive looks at Android smartphones. In anticipation of that, we’ve bought this testing to Best of Android 2017. After putting ten of the latest flagships through their paces, we’re going to crown one Phone of the Year.

The phones we’re featuring in our third annual Best of Android comparison are:

Let’s kick things off with the display.

Display Luminance

Starting off our display testing is luminance or maximum brightness in other words. This is a particularly handy metric if you’re looking for a smartphone display that’s easy to view in outdoor environments. It’s also becoming increasingly important for viewing HDR content on your display. Higher is better in both regards; a display has to be able to produce over 540 nits of peak brightness to meet the UHD Alliance Mobile HDR specification.

As we’ve seen in previous tests, a number of smartphones actually offer a higher peak brightness level when set in auto mode than when adjusted manually. The BlackBerry KEYone, Huawei Mate 10 Pro, LG V30, Moto Z Force, and Galaxy Note 8 all see notable boosts to their peak brightness when auto mode is enabled, pushing some of them into HDR capable territory.

Standard mode

We retested each smartphone that offered a standard, rather than adaptive, display mode to see if this made any difference. Out of the ten phones on the list, only four had separate standard modes: the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, OnePlus 5T, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and the Sony Xperia XZ1. Other devices offered different modes for cool, warm, and color saturation.

For devices without a standard mode, we used the same data from the default, out-of-the-box state to provide some context and offer a comparison point.

There are some minor differences in peak brightness between certain handsets when switching between display calibration modes, but it doesn’t amount to much. Auto mode holds much more sway here.

Overall, the Nokia 8 and BlackBerry KEYone have the brightest panels, at 677 and 664 nits respectively. These two are followed closely by the Sony Xperia XZ1, giving the top three places to phones with LCD panels. Our major OLED players, the V30, Note 8, and Pixel 2 XL, offer a wide variety of brightnesses, with the Pixel 2 XL scoring second lowest overall at just 399 nits.

The Galaxy Note 8 offers the lowest possible brightness setting, which might be handy to note if you’re looking to do some night reading or video watching.

Color Temperature

Color temperature refers to the degree to which a display tints towards a slightly cooler or warmer color. White LED comes in at around 5500 to 6000 kelvins. Temperatures below that produce a warmer, more orange hue, while 6500K and above looks cooler and more blue. The closer to white, the more neutral and accurate the look, although that isn’t always everyone’s preference.

We tested both default and standard color profiles, where available, to gain a better overview of what’s possible on each handset. This was a much sought-after feature by some, after Google’s Pixel 2 XL didn’t pack the typical punch consumers expected from OLED-type displays.

Standard Mode

The BlackBerry KEYone, Nokia 8, and, perhaps surprisingly, LG V30 offer the coolest displays, meaning that this isn’t a phenomenon strictly limited to LCD technology. The Google Pixel 2 XL is notably warmer than the V30 despite using the same panel, suggesting this is a software calibration choice rather than a hardware characteristic. Samsung’s AMOLED is notably warmer, especially when switching the Note 8 to standard mode, which pushes it much closer to perfect white. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro and Razer Phone are the next two warmest looking phones, though the Mate 10 Pro is notably cooler in its out-of-the-box profile.

Overall, there’s a big range of white point colors across these flagships. However, a number of models allow for greater control over the look of their phones with different profiles. Interestingly, the Google Pixel 2 XL’s mode to boost colors doesn’t actually change the white point, unlike Samsung’s settings.

The best display is…

3a3c3_best-of-android-2017-display-1-840x472 Best of Android 2017: Which phone has the best display?

3a3c3_best-of-android-2017-display-1-840x472 Best of Android 2017: Which phone has the best display?3a3c3_best-of-android-2017-display-1-840x472 Best of Android 2017: Which phone has the best display?

After our range of display tests, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 came out on top. It performed well across all of our scenarios and offering plenty of color customization. Samsung’s AMOLED is still the best technology on the market, while LG’s reentry into the OLED space was a little disappointing. The LG V30 performs reasonably well, coming in 4th place, but the Pixel 2 XL only just edged out the Razer Phone to avoid last place.

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro comes in second place and impressively, the Nokia 8 was right behind its far more expensive rival, showing that you don’t have to spend a fortune to own a top-notch display.

Which device do you think is the phone of the year? Vote in our poll below, which counts toward the winner of our Reader’s Choice Smartphone of the Year award!

Remember, our Best of Android 2017 Mega Giveaway is running right now and we’re giving away the top three phones overall. You could win one of these smartphones! Check out the widget below to enter and get five extra entries using the unique code: BOAD17.

Best of Android 2017 3 Phone Mega Giveaway!


Credits

Series Contributors: Rob TriggsGary Sims, Edgar Cervantes, Sam Moore, Oliver Cragg
Series Editors: Nirave Gondhia, Bogdan Petrovan, Chris Thomas

Will You Find Apple’s Phone X For Your Christmas?

Are you hoping to purchase an iPhone X before Christmas morning? It looks like that you could be in luck, at least in the US. Apple’s online store is reporting that shipments of the iPhone X with carrier contracts are being fulfilled in around two days, with SIM unlocked models available in a similar timescale.

57d67_960x0 Will You Find Apple's Phone X For Your Christmas?

Some floor model iPhone Xs are seen inside the the Apple Store Union Square prior to the store’s opening on November 3, 2017, i (Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP/Getty Images)

Given the handset zoomed out to a six-week wait not long after it was publicly released on November 3rd, Tim Cook and his team in Cupertino will be delighted to have the stock levels under a modicum of control ahead of the festive gift buying period. It’s not the same as being able to walk into an Apple Store and walk out with one of the tenth-anniversary handsets, but it does mean that if you want a handset and can contain yourself for seventy-two hours, you will get a handset.

Apple and its mobile partners can now happily turn up the heat on the festive marketing, safe in the knowledge that any demand created will be sated. That means you can expect to hear a lot more about FaceID, you will see a lot more about the tweaks to portrait mode, and you’ll read even more about the ‘bezel-free’ nature of the iPhone X (just make sure you, er, ignore the visible bezels).

Whether this final burst of sales in the last quarter of the year will be enough to allow Q4 figures to show a rise in sales, or if it will be the third Q4 to show falling sales remains to be seen. No doubt the ongoing sales of the iPhone X in Q1 2018 will balanced out any lower performance.

Now read more about how the iPhone X fails to light up Apple’s future…

Tips for shooting portraits on your Apple iPhone X (or any phone …

57d67_snapseed Tips for shooting portraits on your Apple iPhone X (or any phone ...

Learn how to take the best portraits on your iPhone.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Shooting lovely pictures of your family and friends is one of the best uses for your phone’s camera. Though I regularly shoot weddings as a professional photographer using expensive DSLRs and lights, I also love using my iPhone ($849.00 at Apple) to take gorgeous portraits.

Taking your phone portrait photography from casual Facebook snaps to frame-worthy art is simple, you just need to follow these easy tips. While I shot my pictures on the iPhone X ($1,149.00 at Apple), most of these examples will apply to any phone camera.

This article is part of my series on how to take better photos with your phone. Make sure to check out my best tips on taking great shots of cars and how to take amazing action sports photos.

Consider the setting for your portrait

Location is everything, so think carefully about where you’ll shoot and whether the surroundings match the people you’re photographing and tell the story you want to capture. Hoping for a sweet photo for your grandparents’ anniversary? That gritty wall of street art probably isn’t the best place to represent them and the time they’ve spent together (unless they painted it, of course).

A natural pose for a natural shot

One of the best ways to turn awkward holiday snaps into stunning portraits doesn’t involve equipment at all. Forget about asking your subjects to stand up straight and stare straight into the camera — it’s not a natural pose, and it sure as hell won’t look it in the pictures.

57d67_snapseed Tips for shooting portraits on your Apple iPhone X (or any phone ...

Get your subjects to pose naturally. 


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Instead, talk to your subjects and help them to relax. Put your phone down for a moment and see how they naturally position themselves when they’re not being photographed. Don’t force it; give them time to unwind and try a few different poses — sitting, standing, even lying down — and see how they respond. Remember that if they feel uncomfortable, they’ll look uncomfortable.

Try for a variety of facial expressions, too. If you’re taking photos at a wedding or birthday, try to get your subjects to laugh — their expressions will convey the joyful emotions of the day and result in a natural-looking photo. For a more candid feel, have them look away from the camera too, as though they didn’t know you were there taking photos.

Creative composition

57d67_snapseed Tips for shooting portraits on your Apple iPhone X (or any phone ...

Always remember the rule of thirds.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Composition is crucial in all aspects of photography, but nowhere is it more important than in portraits. Simply putting your subjects in the middle of the frame with no thought about where they are in the scene won’t produce the best shots. But taking a moment to think about how you’ll compose a photo and how your subjects will fit into it is a great step towards a better portrait.

Rather than framing a subject so your shot includes the body down to the waist, try moving in to fill more of the frame with their head and shoulders. Then, move away to capture the entire body and more of the background.

Don’t have people stand in the center of the picture, either. Consider the photography “rule of thirds” and frame in the right or left third of the image instead. Most smartphones have a rule-of-thirds grid overlay (look in the Settings menu) that’ll help you compose this shot.

57d67_snapseed Tips for shooting portraits on your Apple iPhone X (or any phone ...

Portrait mode isn’t just for iPhone users.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Pay attention to the background in the shot, and make sure that all the elements are where you want them to be. Check that the horizon line is straight, that there’s no streetlight or tree sticking out of the top of someone’s head and that any buildings (such as a church spire) aren’t sliced off at the top. Remember that you can fix some lighting and color issues with editing, but you can’t rescue bad composition.

Composition is important for lighting, too. With a bright sky in the background you have two choices on a phone: Expose for the sky and plunge your subject into shadow or expose for your subject and likely wash out the sky. Instead, move your subject to a location where they’re lit well by the sun, but with no bright background.

Use portrait mode

Portraits shot on a DSLR with a telephoto lense have a characteristic blur to the background which helps the subject really pop out of the scene. Now that feature has come to phones. The iPhone 7 Plus ($894.99 at Amazon.com), 8 Plus and X all have a portrait mode which can simulate that effect and give a great depth of field to your images.

You’ll get the best results when your subject is close to your camera (between 3 and 6 feet). When you switch to portrait mode, your phone’s camera will automatically apply the depth effect when it focuses on your subject’s face. It can be a bit hit and miss (busy hairstyles with lots of flyaways don’t always produce good results), and might take a few attempts to get just right, but it works well if you take the time.

Phones like the new Pixel 2 ($649.99 at Best Buy), Note 8 and OnePlus 5T have portrait modes as well, so it’s not just iPhone users who can get this effect.

Don’t be afraid to experiment

Even with all I’ve just said, don’t stick too rigidly to rules of how a photo “should” be taken. It’s when you start to break the rules and play around a bit that the creativity really starts to flow. Move around your subject while you’re shooting to mix up your composition, try some new angles, or find some unusual locations.

Never be afraid to try something new and unusual in your photos. With the ability to store hundreds of pictures on your phone, the worst-case scenario is that you simply delete an image that didn’t work out. You might just come away with a wonderfully unique image that you’ll treasure for years.

Edit for artistic results

57d67_snapseed Tips for shooting portraits on your Apple iPhone X (or any phone ...

Have fun with your edits, you can always return to the original. 


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Clever editing is a great way to turn an everyday snap into a beautiful piece of artwork. When shooting on your phone, apps like Snapseed, VSCO and even Instagram (all free on both iOS and Android) have a variety of filters and tools to tweak your portraits to your desires.

There’s no single correct way to edit a photo. I love simply playing around with different effects and seeing what works. You can always undo your edits if you don’t like them and go back to the original.  

For some general editing tips however, try to avoid increasing contrast and structure too much (unless you want a very stylised, dramatic effect) as it can produce an unflattering effect on skin. Also avoid any colour filters that result in too much of a sickly green tinge to the face. 

Will You Find Apple’s Phone X For Your Christmas?

Are you hoping to purchase an iPhone X before Christmas morning? It looks like that you could be in luck, at least in the US. Apple’s online store is reporting that shipments of the iPhone X with carrier contracts are being fulfilled in around two days, with SIM unlocked models available in a similar timescale.

eb72b_960x0 Will You Find Apple's Phone X For Your Christmas?

Some floor model iPhone Xs are seen inside the the Apple Store Union Square prior to the store’s opening on November 3, 2017, i (Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP/Getty Images)

Given the handset zoomed out to a six-week wait not long after it was publicly released on November 3rd, Tim Cook and his team in Cupertino will be delighted to have the stock levels under a modicum of control ahead of the festive gift buying period. It’s not the same as being able to walk into an Apple Store and walk out with one of the tenth-anniversary handsets, but it does mean that if you want a handset and can contain yourself for seventy-two hours, you will get a handset.

Apple and its mobile partners can now happily turn up the heat on the festive marketing, safe in the knowledge that any demand created will be sated. That means you can expect to hear a lot more about FaceID, you will see a lot more about the tweaks to portrait mode, and you’ll read even more about the ‘bezel-free’ nature of the iPhone X (just make sure you, er, ignore the visible bezels).

Whether this final burst of sales in the last quarter of the year will be enough to allow Q4 figures to show a rise in sales, or if it will be the third Q4 to show falling sales remains to be seen. No doubt the ongoing sales of the iPhone X in Q1 2018 will balanced out any lower performance.

Now read more about how the iPhone X fails to light up Apple’s future…

The $500 OnePlus 5T is my favorite Android phone of the year, and it’s even better after comparing its camera …

ade42_oneplus-5t The $500 OnePlus 5T is my favorite Android phone of the year, and it's even better after comparing its camera ...Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

I’m a big fan of the OnePlus 5T. 

It offers incredible performance, unbelievable value, an understated modern design, and now I truly know that it takes great photos after comparing its camera with the best camera on any smartphone, the Pixel 2 XL.

It’s true that the Pixel 2 XL takes slightly better shots than the OnePlus 5T, but the 5T isn’t far behind, which is an amazing feat when you consider its $500 price tag. 

You may notice that I compared it to the $850 Pixel 2 XL rather than the regular $650 Pixel 2, but both phones have exactly the same camera, and the XL model is more comparable in size to the OnePlus 5T. 

Check out the photos I took with the OnePlus 5T and the Pixel 2 XL to see for yourself:

The key to winning at HQ Trivia is an Android phone

I won HQ trivia.

Confession: I cheated.

You should know that it still wasn’t easy to do, and it’s not a foolproof strategy. But it works, and the key is an Android phone. That’s right, the most important tool for cheating at HQ is the phone that you can’t play HQ on – at least not yet (it’s coming later this month).

For those not familiar with the app, HQ has burst onto the scene as the hot new live trivia app, complete with a Quiz Daddy, hundreds of thousands of users, and cash prizes.

So, naturally, we tried to cheat at it.

With only 10 seconds to tap your answer to HQ’s trivia questions, you don’t have a lot of time to cheat. But we here at Mashable have spent roughly the last two weeks devising some very complex hacks to test HQ’s system. On Friday, we won—with some help from Google Assistant. 

Here’s the setup. Managing editor Annie Colbert played and I sat beside her with my thumb hovering over the Google search bar shortcut on my home screen. The fastest way to do it is to use the Google voice search on an Android phone. We tried other ways—typing into Google or even some complex player grouping systems—but nothing quite worked. 

Just how you use the app is crucial. Don’t bother starting with “OK, Google.” You’ll lose precious time you can’t afford. But if you hit the mic icon and make a very strategic query, you should be able to get a pretty reliable Google result with 2 to 3 seconds to spare – just enough time to process it and tap the right option. 

Phrasing is key. Plenty of HQ questions are put in a way that make this tough for a search engine to answer. We found that the trick is not to try to ask the exact question, but rather focus on the keywords and trust Google’s powerful search algorithm to surface the needed info.

One of the afternoon’s questions was about which Pedro Almodovar movie featured a female bullfighter. Repeating the whole question would have taken too long, but a quick voice search of “Pedro Almodovar female bullfighter” returned Talk to Her as the first hit. It was one of the answers so we went with it—and we got it right.

There’s not a ton of time. We put in many of our answers with maybe a second to spare. You’re definitely not winning every time with this. And it didn’t get every answer, meaning you’ll still need to have some knowledge and get a little lucky.

But it can work. You can win.

Is cheating at HQ through a voice Google search unethical? Maybe. Certainly it has to be something the game designers anticipated, and the time limit alone suggests that they’re trying to make it hard to do. For a trivia purist, it also sucks out a bit of the show-off-your-brain fun. But this is about winning—and taking home nearly a dozen dollars.

It’s important to note here that this isn’t a foolproof strategy. Firstly, it works best with straightforward questions that lend themselves well to searches. An early question about categorizing Spotify, Netflix, and Hulu probably wouldn’t have worked. The question is too long, and the results too awkward to get through it all in time. 

Second, sometimes you’ll screw it up and have to guess. One question about a German painter wasn’t caught correctly in the voice search, and you only have enough time to try once. So we did what everyone does – guessed… and got lucky. 

The same thing happened on the final question, about what the Washington Post considered the “game of our era”. 

We bungled the search and ultimately listened to that little voice inside (as well as another colleague). Quiz Daddy Scott Rogowsky drew out the answer to the question. With our newsroom at a standstill (sorry, boss), we waited patiently to hear if our combination of hacks, knowledge, and luck had paid off.

Scott finally let it rip: the answer was Settlers of Cataan. We celebrated.

862be_https%253A%252F%252Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com%252Fuploads%252Fcard%252Fimage%252F672147%252Feab2a91f-ba84-42e8-b064-69699c0e1e70 The key to winning at HQ Trivia is an Android phone

Image: annie colbert’s phone

And I’m $11.76 richer — which, by the way, I can’t cash out until I get to $20 in the bank. 

We reached out to HQ for comment and will update if they get back to us.

WATCH: The cutest, most Instagram-famous pets of the internet

The key to winning at HQ Trivia is an Android phone

I won HQ trivia.

Confession: I cheated.

You should know that it still wasn’t easy to do, and it’s not a foolproof strategy. But it works, and the key is an Android phone. That’s right, the most important tool for cheating at HQ is the phone that you can’t play HQ on – at least not yet (it’s coming later this month).

For those not familiar with the app, HQ has burst onto the scene as the hot new live trivia app, complete with a Quiz Daddy, hundreds of thousands of users, and cash prizes.

So, naturally, we tried to cheat at it.

With only 10 seconds to tap your answer to HQ’s trivia questions, you don’t have a lot of time to cheat. But we here at Mashable have spent roughly the last two weeks devising some very complex hacks to test HQ’s system. On Friday, we won—with some help from Google Assistant. 

Here’s the setup. Managing editor Annie Colbert played and I sat beside her with my thumb hovering over the Google search bar shortcut on my home screen. The fastest way to do it is to use the Google voice search on an Android phone. We tried other ways—typing into Google or even some complex player grouping systems—but nothing quite worked. 

Just how you use the app is crucial. Don’t bother starting with “OK, Google.” You’ll lose precious time you can’t afford. But if you hit the mic icon and make a very strategic query, you should be able to get a pretty reliable Google result with 2 to 3 seconds to spare – just enough time to process it and tap the right option. 

Phrasing is key. Plenty of HQ questions are put in a way that make this tough for a search engine to answer. We found that the trick is not to try to ask the exact question, but rather focus on the keywords and trust Google’s powerful search algorithm to surface the needed info.

One of the afternoon’s questions was about which Pedro Almodovar movie featured a female bullfighter. Repeating the whole question would have taken too long, but a quick voice search of “Pedro Almodovar female bullfighter” returned Talk to Her as the first hit. It was one of the answers so we went with it—and we got it right.

There’s not a ton of time. We put in many of our answers with maybe a second to spare. You’re definitely not winning every time with this. And it didn’t get every answer, meaning you’ll still need to have some knowledge and get a little lucky.

But it can work. You can win.

Is cheating at HQ through a voice Google search unethical? Maybe. Certainly it has to be something the game designers anticipated, and the time limit alone suggests that they’re trying to make it hard to do. For a trivia purist, it also sucks out a bit of the show-off-your-brain fun. But this is about winning—and taking home nearly a dozen dollars.

It’s important to note here that this isn’t a foolproof strategy. Firstly, it works best with straightforward questions that lend themselves well to searches. An early question about categorizing Spotify, Netflix, and Hulu probably wouldn’t have worked. The question is too long, and the results too awkward to get through it all in time. 

Second, sometimes you’ll screw it up and have to guess. One question about a German painter wasn’t caught correctly in the voice search, and you only have enough time to try once. So we did what everyone does – guessed… and got lucky. 

The same thing happened on the final question, about what the Washington Post considered the “game of our era”. 

We bungled the search and ultimately listened to that little voice inside (as well as another colleague). Quiz Daddy Scott Rogowsky drew out the answer to the question. With our newsroom at a standstill (sorry, boss), we waited patiently to hear if our combination of hacks, knowledge, and luck had paid off.

Scott finally let it rip: the answer was Settlers of Cataan. We celebrated.

862be_https%253A%252F%252Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com%252Fuploads%252Fcard%252Fimage%252F672147%252Feab2a91f-ba84-42e8-b064-69699c0e1e70 The key to winning at HQ Trivia is an Android phone

Image: annie colbert’s phone

And I’m $11.76 richer — which, by the way, I can’t cash out until I get to $20 in the bank. 

We reached out to HQ for comment and will update if they get back to us.

WATCH: The cutest, most Instagram-famous pets of the internet

Android creator Andy Rubin is back at his phone startup after allegations of an ‘inappropriate’ relationship at Google

  • Andy Rubin led the charge for Android within Google. He left Google in 2014, and founded a smartphone startup named Essential in 2015.
  • A report surfaced in late November on The Information, which uncovered a Google complaint from 2014 alleging Rubin had an “inappropriate” relationship with a colleague.
  • He subsequently took a leave of absence from his startup, but has since returned.

Andy Rubin is back at Essential, the smartphone startup he founded to take on his former employer, Google, and Apple.

The “father of Android” took a leave of absence from Essential in late November after a report in The Information was published that concerned his time at Google. The report unearthed a Google internal complaint from 2014 that accused Rubin of having an “inappropriate” relationship with a colleague in Google’s Android division.

Rubin denied the allegation of a non-consensual relationship at Google through his spokesperson at the time and said his leave was due to “personal matters” and had been requested before the report from his time at Google surfaced.

He also contested that he was even made aware of such a complaint. “Mr. Rubin was never told by Google that he engaged in any misconduct while at Google and he did not, either while at Google or since,” Rubin’s spokesperson Mike Sitrick told The Information.

Essential launched its first product, a high-end smartphone, earlier this year.

It’s not clear what the “personal matters” were that caused Rubin to the leave of absence, or whether the leave was for a specified period of time.

Recode first reported on Rubin’s return to Essential late on Friday, citing two people close to Rubin; Business Insider has confirmed his return independently. Representatives for Rubin declined to offer an official statement.

Android creator Andy Rubin is back at his phone startup after allegations of an ‘inappropriate’ relationship at Google

  • Andy Rubin led the charge for Android within Google. He left Google in 2014, and founded a smartphone startup named Essential in 2015.
  • A report surfaced in late November on The Information, which uncovered a Google complaint from 2014 alleging Rubin had an “inappropriate” relationship with a colleague.
  • He subsequently took a leave of absence from his startup, but has since returned.

Andy Rubin is back at Essential, the smartphone startup he founded to take on his former employer, Google, and Apple.

The “father of Android” took a leave of absence from Essential in late November after a report in The Information was published that concerned his time at Google. The report unearthed a Google internal complaint from 2014 that accused Rubin of having an “inappropriate” relationship with a colleague in Google’s Android division.

Rubin denied the allegation of a non-consensual relationship at Google through his spokesperson at the time and said his leave was due to “personal matters” and had been requested before the report from his time at Google surfaced.

He also contested that he was even made aware of such a complaint. “Mr. Rubin was never told by Google that he engaged in any misconduct while at Google and he did not, either while at Google or since,” Rubin’s spokesperson Mike Sitrick told The Information.

Essential launched its first product, a high-end smartphone, earlier this year.

It’s not clear what the “personal matters” were that caused Rubin to the leave of absence, or whether the leave was for a specified period of time.

Recode first reported on Rubin’s return to Essential late on Friday, citing two people close to Rubin; Business Insider has confirmed his return independently. Representatives for Rubin declined to offer an official statement.

Pervert, 26, who had more than 100 pictures of women having sex with animals on his phone ‘to show to his friends in …

  • Russell Dawkes, 26, kept the extreme images on his phone which he would show his friends 
  • He admitted one count of possessing extreme pornographic at Worcester Crown Court on Wednesday
  • He was handed a suspended prison sentenced and ordered to do 120 hours unpaid work

Katie French For Mailonline

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ecd1a_471C7FE600000578-0-image-a-2_1512746984305 Pervert, 26, who had more than 100 pictures of women having sex with animals on his phone 'to show to his friends in ...

Russell Dawkes, 26, kept the extreme images on his phone which he would show his friends after drinking sessions in the pub

A pervert who had more than 100 pictures of women having sex with animals has been banned from using the internet unless he tells police first.  

Russell Dawkes, 26, kept the extreme images on his phone which he would show his friends after drinking sessions in the pub. 

Dawkes, of St John’s Worcester, admitted one count of possessing extreme pornographic at Worcester Crown Court on Wednesday.

He was handed a 15-week prison term, suspended for two years, ordered to do 120 hours unpaid work and told to pay £535 in court costs.

Judge Nicolas Cartwright said: ‘The public should understand that possession of these images is a serious criminal offence.

‘The market for photographs like this is a market driven by supply and demand.

‘Your behaviour had led to the exploitation of the women who are required to engage in this activity.’

Dawkes was also given a five year sexual harm prevention order banning him from using any device capable of accessing the internet unless he first notifies police first.

He must also keep the browser history on the device which can be examined by police on request.

The court heard police were speaking to Dawkes about unrelated matters in January this year when they examined his mobile telephone and found 115 extreme pictures.

Prosecutor Paul Whitfield said: ‘The images depicted adult females having sexual relations with various types of animal.

‘When he was interviewed Mr Dawkes freely admitted that the phone was his and he had, together with others, dallied with such sites and downloaded the material.’

Mark Sheward, defending, said: ‘This started when he was with a group of friends in a public house messing about with their phones.

‘Someone found an image of this nature. He searched himself for images of that nature out of curiosity.’

 


ecd1a_471C7FE600000578-0-image-a-2_1512746984305 Pervert, 26, who had more than 100 pictures of women having sex with animals on his phone 'to show to his friends in ...

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Internet and phone outage strikes valley for third time in 4 months

While not as extensive as the Nov. 22 outage, Chaffee County experienced another temporary outage of internet and telephone service through Charter Spectrum Tuesday, which also affected the 911 system, Sheriff John Spezze said.

“This seems as though it’s becoming more and more common,” Spezze said. “You’re always supposed to have 911 service. I’ve tested it in several spots throughout the county, and it was spotty.

“It’s beginning to make me mad. I’ve tried to contact someone to ask about it, but they won’t call me back. If this happened in Denver, it would be a huge problem, but it doesn’t seem to matter out in a rural area.”

It was the third outage in the last four months. Representatives from Charter Spectrum said the first three were caused by fiberoptic lines being cut.

“An issue on a third-party carrier’s network impacted services for Spectrum customers in Chaffee County,” Bret Picciolo, a Charter Spectrum representative said about Tuesday’s outage.

“While this incident is unrelated to other recent service disruptions, we are working with partners locally to explore options that would increase reliability in the area.”

Gyff Lacy, co-owner of Buena Vista Automotive, said, “It’s getting to be too regular, it’s getting to be a pain. We can’t afford to be shut down like this.”

Lacy said they were unable to order parts, process credit and debit cards or receive calls from customers.

Gyff’s brother Duff Lacy, who is also a co-owner of Buena Vista Auto, is a town trustee who said this in a conversation about improving broadband speeds in town last month:

“What I need is reliability,” Duff Lacy said. “All that speed doesn’t matter if you’re not getting it.”

Lucas Smith, owner and pharmacist at Buena Vista Drug, said he was planning on changing from Charter Spectrum to CenturyLink for his phone service, so at least one stays up.

He said the outages really hurt his business because he can’t call in prescriptions, and he has no choice but to send people across the street to City Market, which has a satellite backup.

“I can get some stuff done if I have one, but with both (internet and phone) out, I’m stuck,” Smith said. “It’s frustrating. That means it’s more expensive for me because I can’t bundle them.”

Some shops, like Midland Station coffee shop and Jailhouse Craft Beer bar, make do by using point-of-sale systems that save credit cards internally, but those cards aren’t billed until the internet connection comes back.

Lori Roberts, Heart of the Rockies Chamber of Commerce executive director, said the chamber had not receive any calls about Tuesday’s outage, but several businesses contacted the chamber after the November outage.

“One of the big problems during the November outage was people were unable to contact us,” Roberts said.

Roberts said she also visited some businesses downtown on Tuesday.

She said one business she spoke to couldn’t open because it couldn’t complete credit or debit card transactions.

“Fortunately we are not too far into the holiday shopping season yet,” Roberts said. “If it had been a big shopping weekend, it could have been much worse.”

Times reporter Max Smith contributed to this story.




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