Android

Galaxy S8 dropped to test survivability

Galaxy S8 dropped to test survivability

The problem with smartphones is that as they become more sophisticated, more "premium", and more expensive, they also start to look more fragile. The transition from polycarbonate plastic to aluminum to glass definitely makes devices look more exquisite, but, at times, they also make them more susceptible to certain kinds of accidents. So when Samsung went with a nearly all glass Galaxy S8, one whose display stretches over almost its entire face, one of the biggest questions that comes to mind how well will it survive the most common accident of all: dropping the phone on pavement. The answer might surprise you.

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LG G6 begins is global availability this week

LG G6 begins is global availability this week

Samsung may have gotten the spotlight last week, but it will be LG who will get the first laugh. Who gets the last one, however, remains to be seen. But for now, LG fans who have been drooling over the LG G6 need not wait much longer. LG has announced the start of the rollout of the LG G6 across the world and in major markets, with the US getting theirs this Friday. Now all that's left is to see if the G6 will fare significantly better than its modular predecessor.

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This iPhone 8 video shows what Galaxy S8 does right and LG G6 does wrong

This iPhone 8 video shows what Galaxy S8 does right and LG G6 does wrong

It's difficult to say exactly why it is Samsung and Apple dominate the smartphone market - but this video takes a crack at it. What we're looking at is a spinning iPhone 8 concept - a device that's most likely going to come out next year, but commands search terms in Google this year because "iPhone 7s" is too many characters to be bothered typing. What we see here is style - design finesse - a sense of assuredness in the phone's overall excellence. That's what Apple and Samsung have, or appear to have, that most other phone companies lack.

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Niantic’s Pokemon GO Easter surprise: Virtual Trespassing Lawsuits!

Niantic’s Pokemon GO Easter surprise: Virtual Trespassing Lawsuits!

This week it's become clear that Niantic isn't easily going to duck a number of lawsuits filed against them in courts in both the United States and abroad. In The Hague (in the Netherlands), authorities were successful in pressuring Niantic to remove virtual monsters from certain areas of their beloved city. Just before a court date set for October of 2016, Dutch authorities cancelled Niantic's appointment in favor of a (then pending) simpler solution. Whether or not this same sort of solution is being sought here in the United States - we'll see very soon.

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Huawei launches Honor beta program in US

Huawei launches Honor beta program in US

Huawei's fans in the US might like to know that the company has launched a new Honor beta program. Revealed today, this beta will center around both hardware and software, and consumers in the US is invited to sign up. Unfortunately, details about what we can specifically expect are still sparse.

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Huawei Honor 8 Pro Review

Huawei Honor 8 Pro Review

Just when you thought you've seen all the Android flagships that this half of 2017 has to offer, along comes Honor to blow your presumptions away. Many might brush off this Huawei sub-brand because it is, well, a sub-brand. That, however, would be a grave mistake with the Honor 8 Pro. Because as far as this latest Honor flagship is concerned, it could have been called the "Huawei P10 Plus Lite". Which is to say, it's pretty darned impressive. Especially for something that comes well under this year's high-end smartphone prices.

Design

Let's face it. A lot of consumers will knock the Honor 8 Pro off for looking like an iPhone knock off. Admittedly, that impression might be warranted. You have the same soft curves on the edges and the same all-metal unibody build. It even has the very conspicuous antenna lines though, thankfully, not as bad as the iPhone 6 and 6s.

There are subtle differences, of course, and the biggest one is the rear camera bump. Or rather, the lack of it. Despite being only 6.97 mm thin, Honor has seemingly done the impossible and made the camera bump disappear. What you get is one, flat, continuous rear what won't rock when placed on a flat surface.

You'd be doing yourself a great disservice if you stopped at how the Honor 8 Pro looked. If you manage to get past the all too familiar surface, you'll discover a treasure trove of features you'd only find in more expensive smartphones this time of year.

Specs

Calling the Honor 8 Pro a "Lite" version of Huawei's P10 Plus is actually not too far-fetched. Actually the Honor 8 Pro is larger than the P10 Plus, so we can't really call it "mini" either. But for almost all intents and purposes, the two are eerily similar, give or take a few misses.

With the Honor 8 Pro, the company is jumping onto the QHD bandwagon at long last. Previous models would settle for 1080p Full HD, even at 5.7 inches like this one. It is powered by the latest Kirin 960, the very same processor inside both the Huawei P10 and the P10 Plus. There's also an 8 megapixel front camera, exactly like those other two.

Of course, there are differences as well, and, quite surprisingly, for the better. Unlike the Huawei P10 Plus, for example, the Honor 8 Pro only has one memory configuration: 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of expandable storage. And also unlike the P10 Plus, the Honor 8 Pro has a larger 4,000 mAh battery that's promised to last even longer but still charge just as fast. Here's a rundown of those juicy numbers:

• Operating System: Android 7.0 Nougat, EMUI 5.1
• CPU: Huawei Kirin 960, octa-core 4x2.4 GHz + 4x1.8 GHz
• RAM: 6 GB
• Storage: 64 GB, expandable up to 128 GB
• Display: 5.7 inches, 2560x1440 QHD (515 ppi)
• Main Camera: 12 MP + 12 MP f/2.2
• Secondary Camera: 8 MP f/1.9
• Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4 GHz/5 GHz, Bluetooth 4.2, micro USB, 3.5 mm headphone jack
• Battery: 4,000 mAh, fast charging
• Dimensions: 157 x 77.5 x 6.97 mm
• Weight: 184 g

The bottom line here is that the Honor 8 Pro is almost, blow for blow, equal to the Huawei P10 Plus, which is no slouch in any department. The Kirin 960 is one of the underestimated powerhouses in the mobile processor market, and Huawei's EMUI 5.1 promises even more performance optimizations on the software side.

Of course, the Honor 8 Pro isn't the Huawei P10 Plus, so something, other than the design, has to be different. Or to put it bluntly, worse. Sadly, that comes down to the cameras, but it isn't as bad as it sounds.

Camera

Huawei has found its calling in dual camera smartphones and that DNA has naturally been inherited by is sub-brand as well. Unfortunately, it couldn't inherit everything (otherwise, it would be a clone, wouldn't it?). Some things, like a privileged contract with famed camera maker Leica, are reserved for the bigger brand.

Here, the Honor 8 Pro had to settle for a bit less. Instead of the P10 Plus' massive dual 20 megapixel f1/.8 sensors, the Honor 8 Pro only gets a 12 megapixel f/2.2 combo, almost similar to last year's Huawei P9. Almost. There is no trace of Leica here, however, which would give some more professional mobile photographers pause for thought.

In practice, however, the Honor 8 Pro still packs quite a punch in this aspect, better than its rivals on this tier. Photos, especially in bright light, are bright and colors are quite vivid. With the right manual settings, you can get near-professional output without having broken your bank account. Of course, there are tons of modes and features that ad a bit of flavor to your photos and videos, like the now common Beauty mode. The "wide aperture mode" is probably going to give the most interesting effect, blurring the background for a bokeh effect.

Naturally, it has its shortcomings, especially in handling less than ideal lighting situations. Then again, even the Huawei P10 Plus, with its f/1.8 aperture, sometimes falters there. What chance does an f/2.2 has then? And unlike the P10 or P10 Plus, the Honor 8 Pro's front camera doesn't have extra features to boast of. It's not bad, definitely, but nothing to fall head over heels either.

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Wrap-up

The Honor 8 Pro is definitely one of the unexpected surprises of the smartphone market this year. You would have never expected that Honor, whose smartphones so far have been on the far side of mid-range, would come so close to Huawei's own flagship while still remaining within reach for many consumers. That translates to around 500 EUR, roughly $540, still well below the $700-800 tags on this year's premium handsets.

It's not perfect, mind you, but it gets damned close, especially for that price. Sure, you won't get FullVisions or Infinity Displays, Quad DACs or even Leica lenses. But you still get a solid performing smartphone with a very acceptable camera at a bargain. You might call it the "poor man's Huawei P10 Plus" or even the "iPhone 7 Plus for Android fans", but don't let that prevent you from seeing what the Honor 8 Pro truly is: one of if not the most formidable Android smartphones to hit the market this year.

This is how much a Galaxy S8+ with 6GB RAM could cost

This is how much a Galaxy S8+ with 6GB RAM could cost

One of the biggest disappointments with the Galaxy S8 and S8+ was that it didn't seem to fully exploit all the power that it packed. In particular, some of its features, specifically Samsung DeX, would have benefited from more RAM. Instead, Samsung chose to play it safe and stick to conventions that is almost 2 years old by now. There have, indeed, been rumors of a 6 GB RAM model and that might still be true. You might not, however, want to buy one when you hear how much it'll cost.

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Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 breaks cover with 13MP camera, talented screen

Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 breaks cover with 13MP camera, talented screen

Samsung's launch of the Galaxy Tab S3, though received with some mixed reactions, might have inspired the "Apple of China" to take another stab at the Android tablet market as well. It has been quite a while since Xiaomi has put out a Mi Pad, so you'd think it would make a big splash about it. The Mi Pad 3's arrival, however, is somewhat on the silent side which probably fits its less than extravagant personality.

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Apple Music Android app now looks more like the iOS app

Apple Music Android app now looks more like the iOS app

Apple, to date, has had only two apps on Android (excluding a Beats-specific app), and both seem to be rather half-hearted attempts to wean users over to iOS. One is even called "Move to iOS". Apple Music, which gives Android users access to the company's music streaming service, hasn't fared any better. It hasn't seen some major action until today. With version 2.0, Apple Music on Android finally gets updated to the look and feel of iOS 10, which was released half a year ago.

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LG G6’s reliability put to a scratch and bend test

LG G6’s reliability put to a scratch and bend test

Next to the larger screen, the next big focus of the LG G6's marketing is its reliability. Normally, that translates to dust and waterproofing but JerryRigEverything is definitely interested in more than that. Being reliable also means surviving some scratches and the pressure of your posterior. Fortunately, it seems that the LG G6 does perform with flying colors, though there's still some things left to be desired overall.

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Galaxy S8 “Infinity Display” graded by DisplayMate

Galaxy S8 “Infinity Display” graded by DisplayMate

Another year, another Samsung Galaxy flagship. Which means another chance for DisplayMate to review the Galaxy S8's screen and rank it among others in the market. Given that DisplayMate has consistently crowned Samsung's premium smartphones as the best in OLED class every year, it's hardly surprising to hear it do so again this time. It is, however, interesting to hear just what made DisplayMate think so.

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S Health changed to Samsung Health, adds ‘Ask an Expert’ feature

S Health changed to Samsung Health, adds ‘Ask an Expert’ feature

Back in January, we heard rumor that Samsung had plans to change its S Health app to coincide with the Galaxy S8's launch, and that such changes include a doctor-centric feature. It wasn't clear at the time whether the app would be exclusive to the S8 or would be a general update to S Health, but now we have our answer: the app has been updated on the Google Play Store, and it has received a new name.

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