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New health care model given legal clearance to be tested in Missoula

Dr. Carol Bridges, the co-founder and co-owner of CostCare in Missoula, said their family practice location at 2819 Great Northern Loop in Missoula, off Mullan Road, will be changing to a direct primary care model on Jan. 1, 2018. The urgent care walk-in clinic on Russell Street, across from the YMCA, will still accept insurance.

The best iPhone X cases tested at 4.30pm on Facebook Live

90a6b_405 The best iPhone X cases tested at 4.30pm on Facebook Live

When it comes to phone cases, everyone is different. Some like them slim, others like to stay safe with bulkier cases – and rightly so: when you are spending £999 on a new phone, you want to make sure it’s protected. On Facebook Live, we will be taking a look at the best cases from Alto, Apple, Greenwich Design, Moshi, Mous and Tech21 to protect your iPhone X.

Like GQ on Facebook to watch at 4.30PM

The cases range in price points and styles such as leather, folio and plastic. If you can’t wait, check out our list of the 7 best premium iPhone X cases.

The best iPhone X cases tested at 3pm on Facebook Live

16429_405 The best iPhone X cases tested at 3pm on Facebook Live

When it comes to phone cases, everyone is different. Some like them slim, others like to stay safe with bulkier cases – and rightly so: when you are spending £999 on a new phone, you want to make sure it’s protected. On Facebook Live, we will be taking a look at the best cases from Alto, Apple, Greenwich Design, Moshi, Mous and Tech21 to protect your iPhone X.

Like GQ on Facebook to watch at 3PM

The cases range in price points and styles such as leather, folio and plastic. If you can’t wait, check out our list of the 7 best premium iPhone X cases.

We Tested iPhone Fast-Charging And You Should Definitely Upgrade Your Charger

ce6c2_pjep7thvbox9p6ezlupa We Tested iPhone Fast-Charging And You Should Definitely Upgrade Your Charger

Your iPhone can charge a lot faster than you thought. When Apple announced the new iPhone 8 and iPhone X, the company glossed over the fact that all three of its new handsets were capable of fast charging – similar to what Android phones have been doing for years. Even now, if you go the spec page for Apple’s latest phones, all you get is a single line saying fast charging can add up to a 50 per cent charge in 30 minutes, but without getting a magnifying glass out and reading item nine of the fine print, you would have no idea how you’re actually supposed to accomplish that.

The info you really need is buried deep within Apple’s support pages. There, you’ll finally discover that, at minimum, you will need a new Lightning cable – because the one bundled with new iPhones can’t carry enough juice – and a new power adaptor: One of Apple’s 29-watt, 61-watt or 87-watt USB-C power bricks. But that still doesn’t really tell the whole story does it? So in order to figure out how fast Apple’s fast charging really is, I went on a shopping spree and tested almost every charger Apple makes (plus a 30-watt charger from Anker thrown in).

How We Tested

The setup for the test is pretty simple. I killed each phone, fully draining its battery, and then plugged them in, recharging them using one of the Apple’s many power adapters. I then recorded the battery percentage at 30 minutes, and then again at 60 minutes. For chargers that called for a standard USB Type-A to Lighting cable such as Apple’s 5-watt and 12-watt chargers, I used the one that came in the iPhone X box. On tests that called for a USB Type-C to Lighting cable such as the 29-watt and 61-watt power bricks, I bought a brand new official 2m cable from a nearby Apple store.

The Results

ce6c2_pjep7thvbox9p6ezlupa We Tested iPhone Fast-Charging And You Should Definitely Upgrade Your Charger

As expected, using a USB-C to Lighting cable and an appropriate power adaptor fully lived up to Apple’s promise of delivering a 50 per cent charge in 30 minutes. And if you give the iPhones a full hour to recharge (see the chart below), you can hit between 80 and 85 per cent – more than enough for a full day’s use.

But what I didn’t foresee is how much better fast charging is compared to the standard power adaptor and cable Apple includes with every iPhone. Across the board, upgrading to a USB-C to Lighting cable and a burlier adaptor recharged two times faster than using the standard cable and 5-watt adaptor. We also found virtually no difference between the $69 29-watt USB-C power brick and the $99 61-watt charging adaptor, which means you don’t need to buy a more expensive charger to get the best speeds. That said, the 61-watt adaptor is the same brick that comes with new MacBook Pros, which could put folks one step closer to their fast charging dreams.

Note: Because we only had time to perform a limited number of tests (it takes quite a while to discharge batteries), there is a little variance to the data. However, you can still see a very clear pattern to the numbers.

ce6c2_pjep7thvbox9p6ezlupa We Tested iPhone Fast-Charging And You Should Definitely Upgrade Your Charger

Additionally, the 29-watt adaptor charged significantly faster than the 12-watt adaptor in almost every case. The one exception to that was with the iPhone 8, which still achieved optimal recharging speeds (most likely due to its smaller battery capacity) when using the less expensive $29 12-watt charger (which happens to be the same charger that comes with new iPads).

But aside from that one case, if you’re looking to get the best charging speeds using official Apple accessories, you’re going to need two things: A USB-C to Lighting cable, and the 29-watt USB-C power adaptor.

But here’s the bad news: This combo doesn’t come cheap. Unlike most Android phones that come with fast-chargers bundled in the box, it’s going to cost you $104 to fast-charge your new iPhone, assuming you don’t already have one of Apple’s USB-C chargers lying around from a different device.

We chose not to test Apple’s 87-watt USB-C charging brick, because after seeing results from the 29 and 61-watt adapters, we didn’t see the point in spending $109 on something that would charge an iPhone any faster. And with a current 2 out of 5 star rating on Apple’s site, neither should you.

How to Get Fast-Charging For Less

ce6c2_pjep7thvbox9p6ezlupa We Tested iPhone Fast-Charging And You Should Definitely Upgrade Your Charger

Anker’s $US30 ($40) PowerPort Speed PD 30 charger costs almost half the price of Apple’s 29-watt brick, but you may have to do a bit of hunting if you want to find it in Australia.

ce6c2_pjep7thvbox9p6ezlupa We Tested iPhone Fast-Charging And You Should Definitely Upgrade Your Charger

Finding a cheaper USB-C to Lighting cable is a bit more challenging because trusted names such as Anker, Monoprice and Belkin haven’t released an affordable version of Apple’s official cable. There are some such as this one from Metrans that cost just $US9.99 ($13), though user reviews are mixed, with some owners saying that the cable can’t carry enough power to achieve fast-charging speeds. So while the idea of saving a few bucks on a cable is pretty enticing, this is definitely a situation where you might get what you pay for.

Well, now you know. It just sucks that most people are looking at spending a significant amount to fast charge their iPhone. But like with a lot of Apple products, things don’t come cheap.

ce6c2_pjep7thvbox9p6ezlupa We Tested iPhone Fast-Charging And You Should Definitely Upgrade Your Charger

We Tested iPhone Fast-Charging and You Should Definitely Upgrade Your Charger

8ac50_pjep7thvbox9p6ezlupa We Tested iPhone Fast-Charging and You Should Definitely Upgrade Your Charger

Your iPhone can charge a lot faster than you thought. When Apple announced the new iPhone 8 and iPhone X, the company glossed over the fact that all three of its new handsets were capable of fast charging—similar to what Android phones have been doing for years. Even now, if you go the spec page for Apple’s latest phones, all you get is a single line saying fast charging can add up to a 50 percent charge in 30 minutes, but without getting a magnifying glass out and reading item 9 of the fine print, you would have no idea how you’re actually supposed to accomplish that.

The info you really need is buried deep within Apple’s support pages. There, you’ll finally discover that, at minimum, you will need a new Lightning cable—because the one bundled with new iPhones can’t carry enough juice—and a new power adapter: one of Apple’s 29-watt, 61-watt, or 87-watt USB-C power bricks. But that still doesn’t really tell the whole story does it? So in order to figure out how fast Apple’s fast charging really is, I went on a shopping spree and tested almost every charger Apple makes (plus a 30-watt charger from Anker thrown in).

How We Tested

The setup for the test is pretty simple. I killed each phone, fully draining its battery, and then plugged them in, recharging them using one of the Apple’s many power adapters. I then recorded the battery percentage at 30 minutes, and then again at 60 minutes. For chargers that called for a standard USB Type-A to Lighting cable like Apple’s 5-watt and 12-watt chargers, I used the one that came in the iPhone X box. On tests that called for a USB Type-C to Lighting cable like the 29-watt and 61-watt power bricks, I bought a brand new official two meter cable from a nearby Apple store.

The Results

As expected, using a USB-C to Lighting cable and an appropriate power adapter fully lived up to Apple’s promise of delivering a 50 percent charge in 30 minutes. And if you give the iPhones a full hour to recharge (see the chart below), you can hit between 80 and 85 percent—more than enough for a full day’s use.

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But what I didn’t foresee is how much better fast charging is compared to the standard power adapter and cable Apple includes with every iPhone. Across the board, upgrading to a USB-C to Lighting cable and a burlier adapter recharged two times faster than using the standard cable and 5-watt adapter. We also found virtually no difference between the $49 29-watt USB-C power brick and the $69 61-watt charging adapter, which means you don’t need to buy a more expensive charger to get the best speeds. That said, the 61-watt adapter is the same brick that comes with new MacBook Pros, which could put folks one step closer to their fast charging dreams.

Note: Because we only had time to perform a limited number of tests (it takes quite a while to discharge batteries), there is a little variance to the data. However, you can still see a very clear pattern to the numbers.

Additionally, the 29-watt adapter charged significantly faster than the 12-watt adapter in almost every case. The one exception to that was with the iPhone 8, which still achieved optimal recharging speeds (most likely due to its smaller battery capacity) when using the less expensive $19 12-watt charger (which happens to be the same charger that comes with new iPads).

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But aside from that one case, if you’re looking to get the best charging speeds using official Apple accessories, you’re going to need two things: A USB-C to Lighting cable, and the 29-watt USB-C power adapter.

But here’s the bad news, this combo doesn’t come cheap. Unlike most Android phones that come with fast-chargers bundled in the box, it’s going to cost you $74 to fast-charge your new iPhone, assuming you don’t already have one of Apple’s USB-C chargers lying around from a different device.

We chose not to test Apple’s 87-watt USB-C charging brick, because after seeing results from the 29 and 61-watt adapters, we didn’t see the point in spending $79 on something that would charge an iPhone any faster. And with a current 2 out of 5 star rating on Apple’s site, neither should you.

How to Get Fast-Charging For Less

Thankfully, Anker’s $30 PowerPort Speed PD 30 charger costs almost half the price of Apple’s 29-watt brick, but it seems you better act quick if you’re hoping to save some dough, because Amazon is continually running out of stock.

Finding a cheaper USB-C to Lighting cable is a bit more challenging because trusted names like Anker, Monoprice, and Belkin haven’t released an affordable version of Apple’s official cable. There are some like this one from Metrans that cost just $9.99, though user reviews are mixed, with some owners saying that the cable can’t carry enough power to achieve fast-charging speeds. So while the idea of saving $15 on a cable is pretty enticing, this is definitely a situation where you might get what you pay for.

Well, now you know. It just sucks that most people are looking at spending around $50 to fast charge their iPhone. But like with a lot of Apple products, things don’t come cheap.

iPhone power adapters tested: Is fast charging worth the price?

New to this years’ iPhones is fast-charging capability. According to Apple, you can juice up your phone to 50 percent in just 30 minutes! There’s just one catch: You have to buy a new power adapter. Oh, and a new USB-C to Lightning cable, too. That’s two catches, and it’s starting to sound expensive.

Is it even worth it? We grabbed five power adapters and three iPhones, ran a bunch of tests, and got to the bottom of the iPhone charging mystery. The truth is, while USB-C fast charging certainly works, you’re much better off buying Apple’s 12W USB-A Power Adapter—the one that comes with most iPads. It’s a lot less expensive ($19) and nearly as fast.

How we tested

The iPhone X, 8, and 8 Plus all support fast charging from USB-C power adapters that support the new USB Power Delivery (USB-PD) specification. It’s the same way the new MacBooks get charged over USB-C. 

But we wanted to see how well that stands up to using the adapter that comes with your phone, and the 12W adapter that Apple includes with iPads. What’s more, we wanted to see how these new phones stack up against older iPhones that do not officially support USB-PD fast charging.

We tested three phones: iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone 7 Plus.

The iPhone 8 Plus and X have essentially the same size battery. The former is 2691 mAh and the latter 2716 mAh—that’s about a 1 percent difference, so we’ll just call those 2700 mAh. The iPhone 7 Plus has a slightly larger batter at 2900 mAh. That’s less than 8 percent larger, but it is enough of a difference that, even if the iPhone 7 Plus were to draw just as much power as the other phones, it would take just a little bit longer to charge up.

For each of these phones, we drained them to 1 percent remaining battery life, then made sure no apps were running and the phone was in airplane mode to prevent any background activity like app updates or photo syncing. We then charged them up with each of our five test adapters, making note of the charge level every five minutes.

078a7_iphone-chargers-100741701-large iPhone power adapters tested: Is fast charging worth the price?Jason Cross/IDG

The five adapters we tested.

The five adapters tested, along with their price and maximum output wattage, are as follows:

iPhone power adapters tested: Is fast charging worth the price?

New to this years’ iPhones is fast-charging capability. According to Apple, you can juice up your phone to 50 percent in just 30 minutes! There’s just one catch: You have to buy a new power adapter. Oh, and a new USB-C to Lightning cable, too. That’s two catches, and it’s starting to sound expensive.

Is it even worth it? We grabbed five power adapters and three iPhones, ran a bunch of tests, and got to the bottom of the iPhone charging mystery. The truth is, while USB-C fast charging certainly works, you’re much better off buying Apple’s 12W USB-A Power Adapter—the one that comes with most iPads. It’s a lot less expensive ($19) and nearly as fast.

How we tested

The iPhone X, 8, and 8 Plus all support fast charging from USB-C power adapters that support the new USB Power Delivery (USB-PD) specification. It’s the same way the new MacBooks get charged over USB-C. 

But we wanted to see how well that stands up to using the adapter that comes with your phone, and the 12W adapter that Apple includes with iPads. What’s more, we wanted to see how these new phones stack up against older iPhones that do not officially support USB-PD fast charging.

We tested three phones: iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone 7 Plus.

The iPhone 8 Plus and X have essentially the same size battery. The former is 2691 mAh and the latter 2716 mAh—that’s about a 1 percent difference, so we’ll just call those 2700 mAh. The iPhone 7 Plus has a slightly larger batter at 2900 mAh. That’s less than 8 percent larger, but it is enough of a difference that, even if the iPhone 7 Plus were to draw just as much power as the other phones, it would take just a little bit longer to charge up.

For each of these phones, we drained them to 1 percent remaining battery life, then made sure no apps were running and the phone was in airplane mode to prevent any background activity like app updates or photo syncing. We then charged them up with each of our five test adapters, making note of the charge level every five minutes.

078a7_iphone-chargers-100741701-large iPhone power adapters tested: Is fast charging worth the price?Jason Cross/IDG

The five adapters we tested.

The five adapters tested, along with their price and maximum output wattage, are as follows:

UAG Apple iPhone X case roundup: Drop tested protection for the best smartphone

eb626_image-2017-10-31-at-12-05-01-pm UAG Apple iPhone X case roundup: Drop tested protection for the best smartphone

There are six Urban Armor Gear models, in various colors, available for the Apple iPhone X. I tested four models with my space gray iPhone X and the Monarch remains my favorite, but the clear Pylo may soon move into that position.

see also


eb626_image-2017-10-31-at-12-05-01-pm UAG Apple iPhone X case roundup: Drop tested protection for the best smartphone


iPhone X vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Which has better business specs?

Here’s how these phones compare for business buyers.

Read More

UAG sent along the Graphite Monarch, Black Pathfinder, Black Trooper, and Ice Plyo cases. These cases range from $34.95 to $59.95, which is reasonable given the construction, style, and protection offered. You can also choose a Plasma or Metropolis series for $39.95 each.

UAG Monarch series

The UAG Monarch series is the top end style at UAG, thanks in large part to its double military standard drop protection and integration of leather and metal hardware in the case. The side honeycomb traction grip looks great and makes it easy to hold onto your Apple iPhone X, which is a very slippery device by itself. The Graphite Monarch perfectly matches my space gray iPhone X.

The long side button has ridges on it to provide great tactile feel so you can easily press it every time. The volume buttons are also raised and easy to activate. There is a large enough opening to activate the ringer switch. Openings are present on the bottom for the Lightning port, speaker, and microphone grilles.

The Monarch series offers five-layers of protection wtih a tough frame piece, top grain leather, a polycarbonate shear plate, alloy metal hardware torx screws holding the layers secure, and impact resistant rubber. The case meets the 2X military drop-test standards, MIL STD 810G 516.6. It also comes with a 10-year limited warranty, which is longer than anyone ever keeps a smartphone. There is plenty of rubber material in the corners to help with drops and material inside to also protect your phone while it rests in the case.

There is honeycomb patterned material on the sides, that extends around to the back, for excellent grip. There is a large opening in the back for the dual camera and flash. Wireless charging and Apple Pay both work just fine with the iPhone X mounted in the case.

Sometimes cases with drop protection can be a bit bulky and heavy, but that’s one aspect I love about UAG. Its cases provide excellent protection while being fairly light weight due to the composite construction.

The case is available now for $59.95 in Graphite, Platinum, Crimson, Black, and Carbon Fiber. Some of these are new colors for UAG and I may have to give that cool Carbon Fiber one a try soon.


eb626_image-2017-10-31-at-12-05-01-pm UAG Apple iPhone X case roundup: Drop tested protection for the best smartphone


eb626_image-2017-10-31-at-12-05-01-pm UAG Apple iPhone X case roundup: Drop tested protection for the best smartphone


eb626_image-2017-10-31-at-12-05-01-pm UAG Apple iPhone X case roundup: Drop tested protection for the best smartphone


eb626_image-2017-10-31-at-12-05-01-pm UAG Apple iPhone X case roundup: Drop tested protection for the best smartphone


eb626_image-2017-10-31-at-12-05-01-pm UAG Apple iPhone X case roundup: Drop tested protection for the best smartphone



















UAG Pathfinder series

The Pathfinder series is the original style and design we saw launch on UAG. It is similar to the Monarch series, but has a simpler back design and is not as robust for drop protection even though it still meets the military drop standard.

The reinforced corners are more pronounced on the Pathfinder while also being angular in design rather than rounded like we see on the Monarch. The same side button and openings are present, but there is not the same side design for improved grip like we see on the Monarch.

The UAG Pathfinder is available for $39.95 in black, white, and orange. Apple Pay and wireless charging are supported by this case as well.

UAG Trooper series

With continued support at retail locations for Apple Pay, I see more and more people using their iPhone and a case as their only wallet. The Trooper series makes this possible with a compartment on the back that can hold up to four credit cards. I used it to carry my office door access card, driver’s license, and ORCA transit pass. The transit pass worked through the case, but my office access system was not able to pick up the card in the case.

This is one UAG case that does have some bulk due to the rear compartment, but it is in depth and not width or much weight. This case is about 18 mm thick, compared to about 11 mm for the Monarch series. Due to this depth, wireless charging is not supported by the Trooper case. Apple Pay does work though. Added depth still feels fine in my hand, but I’m personally not yet ready to commit to such bulk given how pocketable the new iPhone X is in a smaller case.

The buttons and openings are the same as the Monarch with angled corners similar to the Pathfinder. The camera opening is deep due to the rear compartment, but it is also large enough that I haven’t seen any impact on camera performance.

The sides have a matte finish with no texture on them. The back door has a textured pattern on it and an opening on the left side to help you open the rear compartment. There are two hinges for the door and it closes securely.

The Trooper case is available only in black for $39.95. Once you place your iPhone X in this case, it is quite difficult to remove it so be careful when taking out your iPhone. I found pressing in on the camera through the opening to be a good start at removal.

UAG Plyo series

The Plyo series is similar to the Monarch series with rounded corners, textured buttons, and the same openings. However, this case is clear and flexible so it gives you protection with a bit closer feel to naked.

The Plyo series is drop certified thanks to the clear armor shell and air-soft corners that are designed to absorb and spread the impact of a drop. You can see the color and design of your iPhone X through the clear case, which also means it is quite glossy and has fingerprints on the back that are evident.

Apple Pay and wireless charging are supported too. You can see on the back how the center inch or so is pressed against the back of your iPhone while the four sides around this area angle out to the edges.

If you are loking for solid drop protection in a case that doesn’t add much in size, weight, or looks then the Pylo may be what you are looking for. It is available for $39.95 in Ice, Ash, and Crimson.

UAG Apple iPhone X case roundup: Drop tested protection the best smartphone

8d7d8_image-2017-10-31-at-12-05-01-pm UAG Apple iPhone X case roundup: Drop tested protection the best smartphone

There are six Urban Armor Gear models, in various colors, available for the Apple iPhone X. I tested four models with my space gray iPhone X and the Monarch remains my favorite, but the clear Pylo may soon move into that position.

see also


8d7d8_image-2017-10-31-at-12-05-01-pm UAG Apple iPhone X case roundup: Drop tested protection the best smartphone


iPhone X vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Which has better business specs?

Here’s how these phones compare for business buyers.

Read More

UAG sent along the Graphite Monarch, Black Pathfinder, Black Trooper, and Ice Plyo cases. These cases range from $34.95 to $59.95, which is reasonable given the construction, style, and protection offered. You can also choose a Plasma or Metropolis series for $39.95 each.

UAG Monarch series

The UAG Monarch series is the top end style at UAG, thanks in large part to its double military standard drop protection and integration of leather and metal hardware in the case. The side honeycomb traction grip looks great and makes it easy to hold onto your Apple iPhone X, which is a very slippery device by itself. The Graphite Monarch perfectly matches my space gray iPhone X.

The long side button has ridges on it to provide great tactile feel so you can easily press it every time. The volume buttons are also raised and easy to activate. There is a large enough opening to activate the ringer switch. Openings are present on the bottom for the Lightning port, speaker, and microphone grilles.

The Monarch series offers five-layers of protection wtih a tough frame piece, top grain leather, a polycarbonate shear plate, alloy metal hardware torx screws holding the layers secure, and impact resistant rubber. The case meets the 2X military drop-test standards, MIL STD 810G 516.6. It also comes with a 10-year limited warranty, which is longer than anyone ever keeps a smartphone. There is plenty of rubber material in the corners to help with drops and material inside to also protect your phone while it rests in the case.

There is honeycomb patterned material on the sides, that extends around to the back, for excellent grip. There is a large opening in the back for the dual camera and flash. Wireless charging and Apple Pay both work just fine with the iPhone X mounted in the case.

Sometimes cases with drop protection can be a bit bulky and heavy, but that’s one aspect I love about UAG. Its cases provide excellent protection while being fairly light weight due to the composite construction.

The case is available now for $59.95 in Graphite, Platinum, Crimson, Black, and Carbon Fiber. Some of these are new colors for UAG and I may have to give that cool Carbon Fiber one a try soon.


8d7d8_image-2017-10-31-at-12-05-01-pm UAG Apple iPhone X case roundup: Drop tested protection the best smartphone


8d7d8_image-2017-10-31-at-12-05-01-pm UAG Apple iPhone X case roundup: Drop tested protection the best smartphone


8d7d8_image-2017-10-31-at-12-05-01-pm UAG Apple iPhone X case roundup: Drop tested protection the best smartphone


8d7d8_image-2017-10-31-at-12-05-01-pm UAG Apple iPhone X case roundup: Drop tested protection the best smartphone


8d7d8_image-2017-10-31-at-12-05-01-pm UAG Apple iPhone X case roundup: Drop tested protection the best smartphone



















UAG Pathfinder series

The Pathfinder series is the original style and design we saw launch on UAG. It is similar to the Monarch series, but has a simpler back design and is not as robust for drop protection even though it still meets the military drop standard.

The reinforced corners are more pronounced on the Pathfinder while also being angular in design rather than rounded like we see on the Monarch. The same side button and openings are present, but there is not the same side design for improved grip like we see on the Monarch.

The UAG Pathfinder is available for $39.95 in black, white, and orange. Apple Pay and wireless charging are supported by this case as well.

UAG Trooper series

With continued support at retail locations for Apple Pay, I see more and more people using their iPhone and a case as their only wallet. The Trooper series makes this possible with a compartment on the back that can hold up to four credit cards. I used it to carry my office door access card, driver’s license, and ORCA transit pass. The transit pass worked through the case, but my office access system was not able to pick up the card in the case.

This is one UAG case that does have some bulk due to the rear compartment, but it is in depth and not width or much weight. This case is about 18 mm thick, compared to about 11 mm for the Monarch series. Due to this depth, wireless charging is not supported by the Trooper case. Apple Pay does work though. Added depth still feels fine in my hand, but I’m personally not yet ready to commit to such bulk given how pocketable the new iPhone X is in a smaller case.

The buttons and openings are the same as the Monarch with angled corners similar to the Pathfinder. The camera opening is deep due to the rear compartment, but it is also large enough that I haven’t seen any impact on camera performance.

The sides have a matte finish with no texture on them. The back door has a textured pattern on it and an opening on the left side to help you open the rear compartment. There are two hinges for the door and it closes securely.

The Trooper case is available only in black for $39.95. Once you place your iPhone X in this case, it is quite difficult to remove it so be careful when taking out your iPhone. I found pressing in on the camera through the opening to be a good start at removal.

UAG Plyo series

The Plyo series is similar to the Monarch series with rounded corners, textured buttons, and the same openings. However, this case is clear and flexible so it gives you protection with a bit closer feel to naked.

The Plyo series is drop certified thanks to the clear armor shell and air-soft corners that are designed to absorb and spread the impact of a drop. You can see the color and design of your iPhone X through the clear case, which also means it is quite glossy and has fingerprints on the back that are evident.

Apple Pay and wireless charging are supported too. You can see on the back how the center inch or so is pressed against the back of your iPhone while the four sides around this area angle out to the edges.

If you are loking for solid drop protection in a case that doesn’t add much in size, weight, or looks then the Pylo may be what you are looking for. It is available for $39.95 in Ice, Ash, and Crimson.

Google and MediaTek will ship pre-tested, pre-certified builds of Android to OEMs

dacd9_mediatek-interview-mwc-2017-aa-2-of-8 Google and MediaTek will ship pre-tested, pre-certified builds of Android to OEMs

Google and MediaTek have teamed up to launch a new Android conformance and compatibility program which will help smartphone manufacturers build devices using MediaTek SoCs that will come pre-installed with Google’s Mobile Services (GMS), e.g. Google Play, Gmail and YouTube.

Known as GMS Express, the program lets MediaTek ship a version of Android to its partners that is more than just the bare minimum that you get from the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), but rather a more consumer-oriented version that includes the Google Mobile Services and is ready for Google’s Compatibility Test Suite (CTS) certification by third party labs.

MediaTek Helio P30 and P23 arrive with improved multimedia

Under the new program, device makers can get handsets to market quicker, cheaper and yet with a consistent consumer experience. Previously, MediaTek would have provided its partners with low level support in the form of a Board Support Package (BSP), basically the hardware-specific drivers, and a version of Android based on AOSP. The Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) would then need to independently built its consumer offering and have it verified by a Google authorized lab. This last part can be time consuming and expensive as any certification problems would require several iterations between the OEM and the testing lab to ensure that everything is compliant.

MediaTek can now provide device makers with pre-tested, pre-certified, and fully compliant builds of Android. According to MediaTek this means that its partners can reduce the typical compatibility certification process from three months to four weeks.

Pre-tested, pre-certified, and fully compliant

But the benefit isn’t just for the OEM. GMS Express also benefits consumers, as it ensures that only pre-tested and certified Android builds appear in the marketplace, giving consumers confidence they have a secure and compliant version of Android. Secure because MediaTek will be frequently sending new versions of Android to its partners with the latest security patches, meaning that companies using the GMS Express program should be able to keep their devices up to date with minimum effort.

dacd9_mediatek-interview-mwc-2017-aa-2-of-8 Google and MediaTek will ship pre-tested, pre-certified builds of Android to OEMs

MediaTek told me that it has already been working to get this program up and running with several key partners and that it will use Android Oreo as a base for GMS Express today, with plans to move to Android P whenever that is released by Google (probably sometime in 2018).

During a phone call with MediaTek I asked about future-proofing and I was told that a current 2017 SoC, like the entry level 4G LTE MT6739, would support Android Oreo and then Android P. Furthermore, MediaTek offers GMS Express to its partners building Android One devices. Android One devices are guaranteed to receive at least two years of upgrades to the latest version of Android.

Many people probably see MediaTek as a hardware/chip company, but hardware without software is just silicon. To that end, MediaTek likely employs more software engineers than it does hardware engineers. For the GMS Express program, it has a specialist team of software engineers that form part of its Android Software Solutions team.

Since Google Mobile Services aren’t used on devices in China, the GMS Express program is aimed at OEMs, inside and outside of China, that are making international devices including devices for Europe and North America.

Read next: A lack of alternatives to Qualcomm is hurting the ecosystem

What do you think? Will offering a pre-tested, pre-certified, and fully compliant build of Android with Google Mobile Services help MediaTek’s partners make secure and compliant Android devices? Please let me know in the comments below.

iPhone X Review: How We Tested (and Tricked) FaceID – WSJ

I have very few complaints about the iPhone X’s facial-scanning technology—other than it failed to alert me to the piece of lettuce I had stuck in my teeth for nearly half a day.

It recognizes me in the dark, and also when I put on my sunglasses and take off my makeup. Although it does struggle to recognize me with my Groucho mustache and eyebrows on. (It’s a joke, Apple!)

As…

iPhone X Review: How We Tested (and Tricked) FaceID

I have very few complaints about the iPhone X’s facial-scanning technology—other than it failed to alert me to the piece of lettuce I had stuck in my teeth for nearly half a day.

It recognizes me in the dark, and also when I put on my sunglasses and take off my makeup. Although it does struggle to recognize me with my Groucho mustache and eyebrows on. (It’s a joke, Apple!)

As…

iPhone 8 Drop-Tested: Here’s How Tough It Really Is


Apple claims that the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have “the most durable glass in a smartphone ever – front and back.” That’s a pretty hefty claim, but both new phones do boast a 50 percent deeper strengthening layer, according to the company, along with a new steel substructure.

But how much abuse can Apple’s flagship take before it finally breaks? We put the iPhone 8 to the test, dropping it from varying heights on plywood and concrete. We also dropped the handset down a set of stairs, and the results were mixed.

Here’s how tough the iPhone 8 really is.

Test 1: Drop from 4 feet

 iPhone 8 Drop-Tested: Here's How Tough It Really IsFor our first test, we used our Dropbot 5000, a machine we built specifically for drop-testing gadgets. We can adjust the height of the platform, and the base onto which gadgets land is made of plywood, which is similar to MIL-SPEC testing standards. We dropped the iPhone 8 twice from 4 feet, and both times, it emerged unscathed.

Test 2: Drop from 6 feet

 iPhone 8 Drop-Tested: Here's How Tough It Really IsWe then raised the Dropbot 5000’s platform to 6 feet, again dropping the iPhone 8 twice from this height. As with the 4-foot test, the phone remained undamaged.

Test 3: Drop from 3 feet onto sidewalk

 iPhone 8 Drop-Tested: Here's How Tough It Really IsPlywood’s one thing; unforgiving concrete is another. To simulate more of a real-world test, we then took the iPhone 8 outside and dropped it twice from waist height (about 3.5 feet) onto a New York City sidewalk.

On the first drop, the iPhone 8’s lens cracked, and on the second drop, the corner of the phone chipped. However, both the front and back cases didn’t crack, the phone remained on and the camera still worked, though there was a lens flare in photos taken with the camera, as a result of the lens being cracked.

Test 4: Drop from four flights in a stairwell

 iPhone 8 Drop-Tested: Here's How Tough It Really IsFor the final test, we dropped the same iPhone 8 down a four-flight concrete stairwell — 32 feet, to be exact. Not surprisingly, it didn’t survive. Both the front and back of the phone were smashed — there was glass everywhere — the camera lens popped out, and the phone wouldn’t turn on.

Bottom Line

The iPhone 8 (and, presumably, the iPhone 8 Plus) should be able to survive short drops onto certain surfaces, such as carpet and wood. We were especially impressed that the phone survived a 6-foot drop in our Dropbot without any real damage. However, the iPhone 8 is not tough enough to stand up to concrete and certainly not durable enough to survive a 30-foot drop.

If you’re concerned about keeping your handset protected, we recommend getting a good iPhone 8 case. If you don’t want to bother with a case and would prefer a phone that can really take a beating, you’re better off with a handset with a shatterproof screen, like the Moto Z2 Force or the Galaxy S8 Active. But, overall, the iPhone 8 is more durable than we expected.

See Also : 20 Essential iPhone 8 Tips and Tricks


 iPhone 8 Drop-Tested: Here's How Tough It Really Is




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