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21
Oct

Apple Allowing iPhone Upgrade Program Customers to Get a ‘Head Start’ on iPhone X Upgrade


Starting on Monday, October 23, iPhone Upgrade Program customers will be able to get a “head start” on the iPhone X pre-order process by getting pre-approved for an iPhone Upgrade Program loan.

Apple started notifying customers about the option this morning through its website and via a notice in the Apple Store app.

Customers will need to download the Apple Store app and choose their preferred iPhone X model to get pre-approved for a loan ahead of the launch of iPhone X pre-orders. Apple says this process, which was also offered for the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, will let customers “speed through checkout on 10/27.”

Once approved for a loan on a device, customers can use the Apple Store app when iPhone X pre-orders kick off to complete the purchase, making the pre-order process faster for iPhone Upgrade customers as no approval will need to be completed at the time orders are placed.

Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program is designed to allow customers to upgrade to a new iPhone after at least 12 payments have been made towards an existing iPhone. The Upgrade Program, which includes AppleCare+, requires customers to trade-in their current phones to get a new phone. Customers can choose to make payments for 24 months and keep their devices, however.

iPhone Upgrade Program members are able to use a Trade-in Kit this year to return their existing devices to Apple, alleviating the need to visit an Apple Store to purchase a new device.

Apple has made marked improvements to the iPhone Upgrade Program since last year. In 2016, new customers were forced to reserve an iPhone from a local Apple retail store due to in-store trade-in requirements, which left upgrade customers with limited stock to choose from.

A smooth and quick pre-order process for iPhone Upgrade customers will be important when it comes to the iPhone X, as rumors have suggested supplies are heavily constrained. It’s likely available stock will sell out quickly, so it could be difficult to get an iPhone X for the remainder of the year.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
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21
Oct

Weekly Rewind: The new Moto, a 12-year-old’s lead-detection invention, and more


A lot can happen in a week when it comes to tech. The constant onslaught of news makes it nigh impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of this week’s top tech stories, from the Digital Trends 2017 Home Awards to what we know about Bohemian Rhapsody — it’s all here.

After a 2-year hiatus, the Moto X returns with an all-glass design

Once upon a time, the Moto X was the crown jewel of Motorola’s (and its parent company Lenovo’s) lineup. But that was back in 2015. Last year’s modular Moto Z shifted the manufacturer’s strategy a bit, and now Lenovo’s trying to rekindle some of the magic with a refreshed, revamped fourth-gen Moto X4.

Just like its predecessor, the new Moto X4 won’t break the bank. In the U.S., the Moto X4 costs $400 from Google’s Project Fi, Fry’s, B&H, Best Buy, Jet.com, Newegg, Motorola.com, Republic Wireless, and Ting. It’s available for pre-order starting October 19, and ships a week later on October 26.

Read: After a 2-year hiatus, the Moto X returns with an all-glass design

Middle school student wins $25k award for device that detects lead in water

A seventh grader that we featured in July for inventing a lead-testing device in drinking water has won a prestigious award for his invention. Gitanjali Rao, who competed in a distinguished science competition in the United States, won the 3M-sponsored science competition and was awarded the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist,” along with a $25,000 prize.

Her invention, a sophisticated method for testing for lead contamination in water, could significantly improve the response to chemical disasters like the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. In fact, Rao’s water-testing device was partially inspired by stories of chemical contamination such as the situation in Flint.

Read: Middle school student wins $25k award for device that detects lead in water

Everything we know about ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ the Queen biopic

One of the most iconic musicians of the modern era, Queen frontman Freddie Mercury is the focal point of the upcoming band biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. Mr. Robot star Rami Malek is portraying the multifaceted singer, songwriter, and producer, widely regarded as one of the greatest vocalists of all time.

Set to be directed by X-Men franchise veteran Bryan Singer from a script penned by Academy Award nominee Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything), Bohemian Rhapsody will chronicle the period between the band’s formation in the 1970s and Mercury’s tragic death in 1991. Queen band members Brian May and Roger Taylor are serving as producers on the film.

With Bohemian Rhapsody now scheduled to hit theaters December 25, 2018, here’s everything we know about the film so far.

Read: Everything we know about ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ the Queen biopic

Digital Trends 2017 Home Awards

The ever-expanding list of smart home products — from security systems to smart locks, lightbulbs, ovens, smoke alarms, and baby monitors – presented us with a unique problem when we set about choosing winners for the 2017 Home Awards: How do we compare the newest appliances to products like Wi-Fi connected vacuum cleaners or BBQ grills? Does a better dryer beat a connected egg timer? What if it’s a really great timer?

In the end, we opted to focus on the one thing that makes all the products on this list award-worthy: innovation.

Our 2017 Home Awards recipients are game-changers in their respective fields. They don’t just improve on their predecessors; they change our expectations entirely.

Read: Digital Trends 2017 Home Awards

Just in time for Halloween, this spooky robot mask will help teach you to code

There are plenty of cool educational robotics projects we see rolling out on a regular basis but, to the best of our knowledge, only one promises to give you a creepy Phantom of the Opera-style mask to learn to code with. The makers of Nova have presented this spooky gift to the world with their new Arduino-based artificial intelligence robot, now available on Kickstarter.

Creoqod’s Nova is a do-it-yourself kit that lets users build their own artificially intelligent robot, while practicing their coding and engineering skills. It’s compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux, and promises to be both a great tool for newcomers, and also a fun testing platform for seasoned professionals. Building it will provide a good overview of various engineering and computer science concepts, ranging from computer vision and image processing, to kinematics and control theory. The finished robot can recognize and track faces, identify colors, measure distances, and move in five different axes — all while looking like a cross between The Terminator and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s aforementioned scarred musical maestro.

Read: Just in time for Halloween, this spooky robot mask will help teach you to code

GM plans to send its self-driving cars onto the manic streets of Manhattan

Drivers in New York City may soon have to ask themselves the profound question: If the car in front is a self-driving one, is there any point in honking my horn?

General Motors’ (GM) self-driving unit, Cruise Automation, could soon begin tests of its modified Chevy Bolts in a move that would see “fully autonomous” Level 4 vehicles tooling along the busy streets of Manhattan for the very first time.

Read: GM plans to send its self-driving cars onto the manic streets of Manhattan

Asics wants to microwave you a custom, crazy-colored pair of sneakers

Getting voted best dressed is a lot harder when you’re wearing the same thing as everyone else around you. Luckily, Asics is here to ensure that you never commit such a fashion faux pas again. For its next trick, the athletic company is unveiling a new giant microwave intended not for your culinary pleasure, but rather for your customization needs. In just 15 seconds, these large microwaves will be able to “bake” a pair of custom soles for eager customers, giving them the ability to customize their footwear on-site in stores.

Read: Asics wants to microwave you a custom, crazy-colored pair of sneakers

Using drones to charge your EV while you’re driving is Amazon’s latest idea

Whether or not Amazon’s R&D team comes up with most of its ideas during Friday night drinks is immaterial. The reality is that, possibly on a Monday morning, it files those ideas with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). And after a period of time, the USPTO grants Amazon the patent.

Some of those patents will be forgotten by the Seattle-based company over time and therefore never see the light of day, but as technology develops, others may eventually come to fruition.

Read: Using drones to charge your EV while you’re driving is Amazon’s latest idea

Innovative new spray-on cement helps old buildings survive earthquakes

Earthquakes can cause massive amounts of devastation. Using modern building materials and designs, architects have created a number of impressively reinforced buildings around the world that are able to survive quakes that would level many structures. However, what can you do to earthquake-proof an existing building? That’s a question that civil engineering researchers at the University of British Columbia took on in a recent project.

As a result of the research, they’ve developed a new type of concrete that can be sprayed onto walls, which will successfully protect buildings from being damaged in the event of even major quakes. This is possible thanks to a fiber-reinforced design which allows the concrete to bend, rather than fracture, when it is violently shaken. In simulation tests, the “eco-friendly ductile cementitious composite” (EDCC) was able to withstand an earthquake with a magnitude equal to the 9.0 – 9.1 quake that hit Tohoku, Japan back in 2011.

Read: Innovative new spray-on cement helps old buildings survive earthquakes

Editor’s Recommendations

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  • Weekly Rewind: Apple AR goggles, Fisker’s Tesla killer, tiny robot surgeons
  • Weekly Rewind: Translating headphones, tech flops, Tesla trucks, and more
  • Weekly Rewind: Cheap solar roofs, the fastest cars, Spotify’s new record
  • Weekly Rewind: The best Porsches ever, a new Nest security system, Google’s HTC acquisition




21
Oct

Weekly Rewind: The new Moto, a 12-year-old’s lead-detection invention, and more


A lot can happen in a week when it comes to tech. The constant onslaught of news makes it nigh impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of this week’s top tech stories, from the Digital Trends 2017 Home Awards to what we know about Bohemian Rhapsody — it’s all here.

After a 2-year hiatus, the Moto X returns with an all-glass design

Once upon a time, the Moto X was the crown jewel of Motorola’s (and its parent company Lenovo’s) lineup. But that was back in 2015. Last year’s modular Moto Z shifted the manufacturer’s strategy a bit, and now Lenovo’s trying to rekindle some of the magic with a refreshed, revamped fourth-gen Moto X4.

Just like its predecessor, the new Moto X4 won’t break the bank. In the U.S., the Moto X4 costs $400 from Google’s Project Fi, Fry’s, B&H, Best Buy, Jet.com, Newegg, Motorola.com, Republic Wireless, and Ting. It’s available for pre-order starting October 19, and ships a week later on October 26.

Read: After a 2-year hiatus, the Moto X returns with an all-glass design

Middle school student wins $25k award for device that detects lead in water

A seventh grader that we featured in July for inventing a lead-testing device in drinking water has won a prestigious award for his invention. Gitanjali Rao, who competed in a distinguished science competition in the United States, won the 3M-sponsored science competition and was awarded the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist,” along with a $25,000 prize.

Her invention, a sophisticated method for testing for lead contamination in water, could significantly improve the response to chemical disasters like the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. In fact, Rao’s water-testing device was partially inspired by stories of chemical contamination such as the situation in Flint.

Read: Middle school student wins $25k award for device that detects lead in water

Everything we know about ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ the Queen biopic

One of the most iconic musicians of the modern era, Queen frontman Freddie Mercury is the focal point of the upcoming band biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. Mr. Robot star Rami Malek is portraying the multifaceted singer, songwriter, and producer, widely regarded as one of the greatest vocalists of all time.

Set to be directed by X-Men franchise veteran Bryan Singer from a script penned by Academy Award nominee Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything), Bohemian Rhapsody will chronicle the period between the band’s formation in the 1970s and Mercury’s tragic death in 1991. Queen band members Brian May and Roger Taylor are serving as producers on the film.

With Bohemian Rhapsody now scheduled to hit theaters December 25, 2018, here’s everything we know about the film so far.

Read: Everything we know about ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ the Queen biopic

Digital Trends 2017 Home Awards

The ever-expanding list of smart home products — from security systems to smart locks, lightbulbs, ovens, smoke alarms, and baby monitors – presented us with a unique problem when we set about choosing winners for the 2017 Home Awards: How do we compare the newest appliances to products like Wi-Fi connected vacuum cleaners or BBQ grills? Does a better dryer beat a connected egg timer? What if it’s a really great timer?

In the end, we opted to focus on the one thing that makes all the products on this list award-worthy: innovation.

Our 2017 Home Awards recipients are game-changers in their respective fields. They don’t just improve on their predecessors; they change our expectations entirely.

Read: Digital Trends 2017 Home Awards

Just in time for Halloween, this spooky robot mask will help teach you to code

There are plenty of cool educational robotics projects we see rolling out on a regular basis but, to the best of our knowledge, only one promises to give you a creepy Phantom of the Opera-style mask to learn to code with. The makers of Nova have presented this spooky gift to the world with their new Arduino-based artificial intelligence robot, now available on Kickstarter.

Creoqod’s Nova is a do-it-yourself kit that lets users build their own artificially intelligent robot, while practicing their coding and engineering skills. It’s compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux, and promises to be both a great tool for newcomers, and also a fun testing platform for seasoned professionals. Building it will provide a good overview of various engineering and computer science concepts, ranging from computer vision and image processing, to kinematics and control theory. The finished robot can recognize and track faces, identify colors, measure distances, and move in five different axes — all while looking like a cross between The Terminator and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s aforementioned scarred musical maestro.

Read: Just in time for Halloween, this spooky robot mask will help teach you to code

GM plans to send its self-driving cars onto the manic streets of Manhattan

Drivers in New York City may soon have to ask themselves the profound question: If the car in front is a self-driving one, is there any point in honking my horn?

General Motors’ (GM) self-driving unit, Cruise Automation, could soon begin tests of its modified Chevy Bolts in a move that would see “fully autonomous” Level 4 vehicles tooling along the busy streets of Manhattan for the very first time.

Read: GM plans to send its self-driving cars onto the manic streets of Manhattan

Asics wants to microwave you a custom, crazy-colored pair of sneakers

Getting voted best dressed is a lot harder when you’re wearing the same thing as everyone else around you. Luckily, Asics is here to ensure that you never commit such a fashion faux pas again. For its next trick, the athletic company is unveiling a new giant microwave intended not for your culinary pleasure, but rather for your customization needs. In just 15 seconds, these large microwaves will be able to “bake” a pair of custom soles for eager customers, giving them the ability to customize their footwear on-site in stores.

Read: Asics wants to microwave you a custom, crazy-colored pair of sneakers

Using drones to charge your EV while you’re driving is Amazon’s latest idea

Whether or not Amazon’s R&D team comes up with most of its ideas during Friday night drinks is immaterial. The reality is that, possibly on a Monday morning, it files those ideas with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). And after a period of time, the USPTO grants Amazon the patent.

Some of those patents will be forgotten by the Seattle-based company over time and therefore never see the light of day, but as technology develops, others may eventually come to fruition.

Read: Using drones to charge your EV while you’re driving is Amazon’s latest idea

Innovative new spray-on cement helps old buildings survive earthquakes

Earthquakes can cause massive amounts of devastation. Using modern building materials and designs, architects have created a number of impressively reinforced buildings around the world that are able to survive quakes that would level many structures. However, what can you do to earthquake-proof an existing building? That’s a question that civil engineering researchers at the University of British Columbia took on in a recent project.

As a result of the research, they’ve developed a new type of concrete that can be sprayed onto walls, which will successfully protect buildings from being damaged in the event of even major quakes. This is possible thanks to a fiber-reinforced design which allows the concrete to bend, rather than fracture, when it is violently shaken. In simulation tests, the “eco-friendly ductile cementitious composite” (EDCC) was able to withstand an earthquake with a magnitude equal to the 9.0 – 9.1 quake that hit Tohoku, Japan back in 2011.

Read: Innovative new spray-on cement helps old buildings survive earthquakes

Editor’s Recommendations

  • Weekly Rewind: Tiny iPhones, injectable bandages, Bitcoin for dentists, and more
  • Weekly Rewind: Apple AR goggles, Fisker’s Tesla killer, tiny robot surgeons
  • Weekly Rewind: Translating headphones, tech flops, Tesla trucks, and more
  • Weekly Rewind: Cheap solar roofs, the fastest cars, Spotify’s new record
  • Weekly Rewind: The best Porsches ever, a new Nest security system, Google’s HTC acquisition




21
Oct

Weekly Rewind: The new Moto, a 12-year-old’s lead-detection invention, and more


A lot can happen in a week when it comes to tech. The constant onslaught of news makes it nigh impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of this week’s top tech stories, from the Digital Trends 2017 Home Awards to what we know about Bohemian Rhapsody — it’s all here.

After a 2-year hiatus, the Moto X returns with an all-glass design

Once upon a time, the Moto X was the crown jewel of Motorola’s (and its parent company Lenovo’s) lineup. But that was back in 2015. Last year’s modular Moto Z shifted the manufacturer’s strategy a bit, and now Lenovo’s trying to rekindle some of the magic with a refreshed, revamped fourth-gen Moto X4.

Just like its predecessor, the new Moto X4 won’t break the bank. In the U.S., the Moto X4 costs $400 from Google’s Project Fi, Fry’s, B&H, Best Buy, Jet.com, Newegg, Motorola.com, Republic Wireless, and Ting. It’s available for pre-order starting October 19, and ships a week later on October 26.

Read: After a 2-year hiatus, the Moto X returns with an all-glass design

Middle school student wins $25k award for device that detects lead in water

A seventh grader that we featured in July for inventing a lead-testing device in drinking water has won a prestigious award for his invention. Gitanjali Rao, who competed in a distinguished science competition in the United States, won the 3M-sponsored science competition and was awarded the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist,” along with a $25,000 prize.

Her invention, a sophisticated method for testing for lead contamination in water, could significantly improve the response to chemical disasters like the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. In fact, Rao’s water-testing device was partially inspired by stories of chemical contamination such as the situation in Flint.

Read: Middle school student wins $25k award for device that detects lead in water

Everything we know about ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ the Queen biopic

One of the most iconic musicians of the modern era, Queen frontman Freddie Mercury is the focal point of the upcoming band biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. Mr. Robot star Rami Malek is portraying the multifaceted singer, songwriter, and producer, widely regarded as one of the greatest vocalists of all time.

Set to be directed by X-Men franchise veteran Bryan Singer from a script penned by Academy Award nominee Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything), Bohemian Rhapsody will chronicle the period between the band’s formation in the 1970s and Mercury’s tragic death in 1991. Queen band members Brian May and Roger Taylor are serving as producers on the film.

With Bohemian Rhapsody now scheduled to hit theaters December 25, 2018, here’s everything we know about the film so far.

Read: Everything we know about ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ the Queen biopic

Digital Trends 2017 Home Awards

The ever-expanding list of smart home products — from security systems to smart locks, lightbulbs, ovens, smoke alarms, and baby monitors – presented us with a unique problem when we set about choosing winners for the 2017 Home Awards: How do we compare the newest appliances to products like Wi-Fi connected vacuum cleaners or BBQ grills? Does a better dryer beat a connected egg timer? What if it’s a really great timer?

In the end, we opted to focus on the one thing that makes all the products on this list award-worthy: innovation.

Our 2017 Home Awards recipients are game-changers in their respective fields. They don’t just improve on their predecessors; they change our expectations entirely.

Read: Digital Trends 2017 Home Awards

Just in time for Halloween, this spooky robot mask will help teach you to code

There are plenty of cool educational robotics projects we see rolling out on a regular basis but, to the best of our knowledge, only one promises to give you a creepy Phantom of the Opera-style mask to learn to code with. The makers of Nova have presented this spooky gift to the world with their new Arduino-based artificial intelligence robot, now available on Kickstarter.

Creoqod’s Nova is a do-it-yourself kit that lets users build their own artificially intelligent robot, while practicing their coding and engineering skills. It’s compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux, and promises to be both a great tool for newcomers, and also a fun testing platform for seasoned professionals. Building it will provide a good overview of various engineering and computer science concepts, ranging from computer vision and image processing, to kinematics and control theory. The finished robot can recognize and track faces, identify colors, measure distances, and move in five different axes — all while looking like a cross between The Terminator and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s aforementioned scarred musical maestro.

Read: Just in time for Halloween, this spooky robot mask will help teach you to code

GM plans to send its self-driving cars onto the manic streets of Manhattan

Drivers in New York City may soon have to ask themselves the profound question: If the car in front is a self-driving one, is there any point in honking my horn?

General Motors’ (GM) self-driving unit, Cruise Automation, could soon begin tests of its modified Chevy Bolts in a move that would see “fully autonomous” Level 4 vehicles tooling along the busy streets of Manhattan for the very first time.

Read: GM plans to send its self-driving cars onto the manic streets of Manhattan

Asics wants to microwave you a custom, crazy-colored pair of sneakers

Getting voted best dressed is a lot harder when you’re wearing the same thing as everyone else around you. Luckily, Asics is here to ensure that you never commit such a fashion faux pas again. For its next trick, the athletic company is unveiling a new giant microwave intended not for your culinary pleasure, but rather for your customization needs. In just 15 seconds, these large microwaves will be able to “bake” a pair of custom soles for eager customers, giving them the ability to customize their footwear on-site in stores.

Read: Asics wants to microwave you a custom, crazy-colored pair of sneakers

Using drones to charge your EV while you’re driving is Amazon’s latest idea

Whether or not Amazon’s R&D team comes up with most of its ideas during Friday night drinks is immaterial. The reality is that, possibly on a Monday morning, it files those ideas with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). And after a period of time, the USPTO grants Amazon the patent.

Some of those patents will be forgotten by the Seattle-based company over time and therefore never see the light of day, but as technology develops, others may eventually come to fruition.

Read: Using drones to charge your EV while you’re driving is Amazon’s latest idea

Innovative new spray-on cement helps old buildings survive earthquakes

Earthquakes can cause massive amounts of devastation. Using modern building materials and designs, architects have created a number of impressively reinforced buildings around the world that are able to survive quakes that would level many structures. However, what can you do to earthquake-proof an existing building? That’s a question that civil engineering researchers at the University of British Columbia took on in a recent project.

As a result of the research, they’ve developed a new type of concrete that can be sprayed onto walls, which will successfully protect buildings from being damaged in the event of even major quakes. This is possible thanks to a fiber-reinforced design which allows the concrete to bend, rather than fracture, when it is violently shaken. In simulation tests, the “eco-friendly ductile cementitious composite” (EDCC) was able to withstand an earthquake with a magnitude equal to the 9.0 – 9.1 quake that hit Tohoku, Japan back in 2011.

Read: Innovative new spray-on cement helps old buildings survive earthquakes

Editor’s Recommendations

  • Weekly Rewind: Tiny iPhones, injectable bandages, Bitcoin for dentists, and more
  • Weekly Rewind: Apple AR goggles, Fisker’s Tesla killer, tiny robot surgeons
  • Weekly Rewind: Translating headphones, tech flops, Tesla trucks, and more
  • Weekly Rewind: Cheap solar roofs, the fastest cars, Spotify’s new record
  • Weekly Rewind: The best Porsches ever, a new Nest security system, Google’s HTC acquisition




21
Oct

Google Pixel 2 vs iPhone 8: The next generation of smartphone combat


At its October Pixel event, Google made a point that may have surprised followers of the smartphone wars: You can’t expect massive hardware changes every year. That didn’t stop Google from unveiling a bevy of new devices, however, including new versions of its flagship smartphone: The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. While the Google Pixel 2 will look familiar to owners of the original, it does make a number of small improvements to a device that we consider the pinnacle of Android smartphones. So how does it compare to the latest incarnation of Android’s rival, the iPhone 8? We break down each phone’s capabilities in search of an answer.

Specs

The Pixel 2 sports a shiny, new Snapdragon 835 processor. It’s a ferocious chip in a tiny package, with eight cores, and a 2.45GHz clock speed. While we haven’t had a chance to formally review the Pixel 2, the 835 offers a marked improvement over the already impressive Snapdragon 821 found in the previous Pixel phone. The Pixel 2 comes with 64GB or 128GB storage, and 4GB of RAM. Given the improvements over the original Pixel, the Pixel 2 should be able to handle any smartphone games you want to run on it, and Google is even pushing it as a solid device for virtual and augmented reality.

The iPhone 8 uses Apple’s new A11 Bionic chip which, true to its imposing name, is a beast. In our tests using Geekbench 4 and the AnTuTu benchmarking tool, the iPhone 8 blew away the competition, including the Snapdragon 835-equipped Galaxy S8. The iPhone 8 does have a mere 2GB of RAM, however, and we found the augmented reality apps devoured the battery life.

Overall, the iPhone 8 is more powerful, but both phones should be able to handle any app or game you would conceivably throw at them.

Winner: iPhone 8

Display, design, durability

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

In our review of the iPhone 8, we noted that the design, aside from some minor refinements, is basically the same as that of the previous generations. In this instance, that’s not as great a knock against it, since the Pixel 2 — much like the Pixel — emulates the iPhone’s general design. Both embrace minimalist color schemes, but the Pixel 2 has a two-tone back. Both phones are IP67 dust- and water-resistant, and both lack headphone ports; if you want to listen to music privately, you’ll need Bluetooth headphones (such as Apple’s AirPods or Google’s new Pixel Buds), or a USB-to-headphone jack adapter.

If you want to blast music from your phone for all to hear, both the Pixel 2 and iPhone 8 rock powerful (for smartphones) speakers in stereo configurations.

The displays are where the differences really start to appear. The iPhone 8 has a 4.7-inch LCD screen with a resolution of 1,334 x 750 pixels. The Pixel 2 sports a 5-inch AMOLED display, meaning it can display deeper blacks, has better contrast, and a higher pixel density (1,920 x 1,080).

Although the Pixel 2 may draw on the iPhone design for inspiration, its two-tone design and sharper display give it the edge.

Winner: Pixel 2

Battery life and charging

One of our biggest complaints about the iPhone 8 was the battery life; its battery weighs in at 1,821mAh and you’ll need to charge it up at the end of most days. The Pixel 2 has a much larger 2,700mAh battery, and even with a bigger, sharper screen to power it should outlast the iPhone 8. Both support fast charging, though you’ll have to pay extra for the right cable and adapter to fast charge your iPhone 8. The iPhone 8 also supports wireless charging, which the Pixel 2 doesn’t. But overall, the Pixel 2 edges this category.

Winner: Pixel 2

Cameras

Both phones come with the standard front and back camera setup. The Pixel 2 has an 8MP front camera with an f/2.4 aperture, and a 12MP rear camera with an f/1.8 aperture. The iPhone 8 sports a 7MP front-facing camera with an f/2.2 aperture and a 12MP main camera with an f/1.8 aperture. Both offer optical image stabilization, but the Pixel 2 uses machine learning to enable a bokeh mode, similar to the iPhone 8 Plus’ Portrait Mode, which, sadly, the iPhone 8, lacking the Plus’ dual-camera, cannot match.

We have not yet had a chance to formally review the Pixel 2’s camera, however, respected image-rating site DxOMark gave it the highest rating it has given to a smartphone camera, a score of 98 (slightly higher than the iPhone 8’s 94 rating). The site singled out the Pixel 2’s color rendering and consistent exposures for praise.

Winner: Pixel 2

Software

Simon Hill / Digital Trends

Few debates get more heated than iOS vs Android, with partisans of each side marching in lockstep to tear down the other, so if you champion either system, you probably already know which phone to get. For the neutral among you, the Pixel 2 runs the latest version of Android, Android 8.0 Oreo. In our review of Oreo, we noted that it is not a radical update, instead streamlining the interface while offering some nifty, if non-essential, features such as Vitals and picture-in-picture mode.

Apple’s iOS 11 offered users a redesigned control center, with quick access to a number of critical features. It also added a number of new photo-editing options and effects, for those who want to step up their Instagram game.

Overall, you can’t go wrong with either operating system; both have similar strengths and few noteworthy weaknesses. It all comes down to whichever you feel more comfortable using.

Winner: It’s a draw

Price and availability

The iPhone 8 is currently available, and comes in two models: A 64GB model for $700, and a 256GB model for $850. You can buy an unlocked model, or get one from any of the major carriers in the U.S.

The Pixel 2 is currently available for pre-order. You can purchase a 64GB model for $649, or a 128GB model for $749. Google is also offering a bonus for a limited time: If you purchase a Pixel, you will get a Google Home Mini for free through October 19 or while supplies last.

If you want a lot of storage space, the iPhone 8 is your best option, albeit at $850. The Pixel 2 is cheaper, and the inclusion of a free Google Home Mini is enticing. That’s nice added value!

Winner: Pixel 2

Overal Winner: Pixel 2

Both phones are lovely, and the choice will likely come down to whether you prefer iOS or Android — although if you are an iPhone loyalist it seems like you might be better served waiting for the upcoming iPhone X.

While both phones are powerful (the iPhone 8 perhaps more so) the Pixel 2’s superior display, stylish look, and mighty camera, as well as its lower price, combine to make it the more attractive option.

Editor’s Recommendations

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  • Google Pixel 2 XL vs. Google Pixel XL: Is newer really better?
  • Battle for the Android throne: Can the Google Pixel 2 best Samsung’s Galaxy S8?




21
Oct

Save big on your next cell phone with T-Mobile’s pre-Black Friday deals


Thanksgiving will be here in no time, which means the savings will start pouring in. Leading the charge when it comes to mobile service providers and their deals is T-Mobile. Many of their deals don’t actually start on Black Friday, but rather earlier. As always be sure to review all the T-Mobile plans to get the best one to meet your needs.

T-Mobile has already made major moves this year with un-carrier events, meaning these deals are just the icing on the cake. So just consider your exercise to stay in shape this upcoming holiday season to be running to the T-Mobile store to grab one of these pre-Black Friday deals before they run out.

Below, we rounded up some of T-Mobile’s best deals, though more may still be forthcoming. We’ll keep you posted as new ways to save emerge from the Un-carrier.

T-Mobile Black Friday deals

  • $300 off iPhone 8  Get a total of $300 off an iPhone 8 purchase via 24 monthly bill credits with a finance agreement and a qualifying device trade-in.
  • Three months free Apple Watch Series 3 network service — Sync your phone number and get service free for first three months, then the cost will rise to $10 with AutoPay automatically.
  • Buy a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and get a free Galaxy Tab — Via 24 monthly bill credits with finance agreements, plus get $200 back on your new Galaxy Note8 via Samsung Pay when you switch carriers.
  • Activate a Google Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL and get up to half the device price back — Buy an unlocked Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL at Google Play, Best Buy or Verizon, buy a T-Mobile SIM and plan and complete a short redemption form using promo code 17PIXEL2HALF.
  • $0 down when you switch — Get an awesome smartphone for $0 upfront and as low as $7 per month with Jump! On Demand. An 18-month lease agreement is required and you must contact T-Mobile before you switch.
  • Save up to $500 when you buy two LG V30 smartphones —  Buy the LG V30, LG G6 or LG V20, add a line, and get a second of equal or lesser value free via rebate (up to $500) when you purchase on a qualifying rate plan and finance both devices on an equipment installment plan.
  • Get $80 off Samsung Galaxy S7 (certified pre-owned) — When you purchase a Samsung Galaxy S7 certified pre-owned on T-Mobile.com or through 1-855-366-5653, you will save $80. Qualifying service and new activation may be required.
  • Get $50 off Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (certified pre-owned) — When you purchase a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge certified pre-owned on T-Mobile.com or through 1-855-366-5653, you will save $50. Qualifying service required and new activation may be required.

Keep checking back, as we will be updating this post with more great deals from T-Mobile.

Looking for more great Apple accessory deals and discounts on other electronics? Check out our deals page to score some extra savings on our favorite tech.

We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and choose what we cover carefully and independently. If you find a better price for a product listed here, or want to suggest one of your own, email us at dealsteam@digitaltrends.com. Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.

Editor’s Recommendations

  • Looking for a new device? These smartphone deals can save you up to $930
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  • Save 50 percent or more on top-notch tech products this weekend
  • Check out these 12 hot mobile deals on phones, tablets, and accessories




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Set the mood and ambiance with Wiz Connected Lights’ home lighting system

21
Oct

Set the mood and ambiance with Wiz Connected Lights’ home lighting system


Why it matters to you

Wiz Connected Lights offers various lighting options that you can control anywhere based on your mood.

There is no shortage of companies designing ways to light your home for your every need.

 Wiz Connected Lights is hoping its voice-controlled lighting system will be the last one you ever need to buy.

The system was rolled out in North America in late August and features smart LED light bulbs, recessed lighting, and sensors, among other things, to keep your home well-lit. No smart home hub is required to turn on the system, which lights up through an app that allows you to “pair and share” in 30 seconds.

To activate Wiz Connected Lights, link up the lighting system to your home’s Wi-Fi using an intelligent setup system that is quick and easy. All you have to do is screw in your Wiz light bulb or plug in a Wiz luminaire.

Then, download the company’s app, which you can find on Google Play and the Apple App Store, which allows you to “pair and share” by tapping on your screen once and quickly clicking your light switch three times. Wiz does the rest, identifying the lights and activating them in under a minute.

There are multiple ways to light up the Wiz Connected Lights system, including through Wi-Fi on the app, remotely on your mobile network, using the Wizmote infrared remote control, through preset scheduling, or through voice commands via Amazon Echo or Google Home. You can access two preferred light modes with a simple click.

You can also use the app to remotely set up and control different rooms for different lighting options. Guests are also able to control your lighting if you give them access to your Wi-Fi network and Wiz app.

The Wiz Connected Lights system comes equipped with 64,000 shades of white and 16 million colors you can choose from. If you’re away from home, you can use the app to access vacation mode and turn your lights on.

The system can also connect and interact with a number of motion-detection cameras, sensors, mobile GPS, and even the weather app. One such example is the Nest camera, which can turn your lights on when it detects movement. It can also change the lighting to fit the mood when the temperature changes.

In fact, the Wiz Connected Lights include various preset white light functions such as cozy, warm, daylight, cool, focus, relax, and bedtime. It also includes more dynamic lighting options such as fireplace, mojito, forest, ocean, romance, and sunset.

You can buy the lighting system at Costco stores, online through Home Depot, and for $40 on Amazon.

Editor’s Recommendations

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  • Ditch the studio lights — Apple’s new camera feature uses AI to light your face




21
Oct

Red Bull Music Academy uses 100 cars to make the largest synth orchestra ever


Why it matters to you

These type of installations showcase the vast musical applications of everyday products.

Recently, 100 car owners had their cars turned into instruments in an unconventional orchestra. For the Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA) Festival in Los Angeles, world-famous artist Ryoji Ikeda arranged 100 cars to play note ‘A’ sounds for his long-running installation series A [For 100 Cars], creating the world’s largest synth orchestra.

A [For 100 Cars] premiered on the roof of a parking lot in downtown L.A on October 15, showcasing the various frequencies before 440 Hz became the internationally accepted standard pitch frequency in 1955. Each car used in the automotive musical composition had its sound system attached to a portable sine wave synthesizer developed by Ikeda, along with RBMA’s Tatsuya Takahashi and Berlin-based firm E-RM Erfindungsbüro. Each device was preset to a specific frequency with the car owners inside the car twisting the device’s knobs according to the synth orchestra’s score.

Ikeda prepared 100 different scores for all 100 car owners with timestamps that would instruct each to either honk their adjust the volume, honk the horn, flash the car lights, or even change the octave blaring from the car’s sound system. The frequencies of note ‘A’ in the devices ranged between 376.3Hz to 506.9Hz and car owners were able to also adjust the octave of note ‘A’ from A1 to A8.

The end result is a 27-minute, almost meditative hum of noises that sounded like being stuck in the longest traffic jam with the most impatient drivers. The symphony may have been music to the spectators’ ears, but it was a different story inside the cars.”If you got a 4-kilowatt sound system and you’re playing 55 Hz at 120 decibels, physically, it’s a real kind of experience,” Takahashi told The New York Times. At one point during the symphony, a 1978 Cadillac DeVille couldn’t handle being a glorified music instrument on wheels and began sputtering out smoke.

Ikeda’s A [For 100 Cars] was part of the first Red Bull Music Academy Festival to take place in Los Angeles. The L.A. edition of the yearly festival runs from October 6 to October 29. You can still get tickets for remaining events during the festival at the festival’s official website.

Editor’s Recommendations

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21
Oct

LG V30 review by MrMobile


LG didn’t do itself any favors by waiting until October to release its V30 smartphone in the US, after first announcing it back in August. But it’s telling that, in the intervening weeks, I haven’t been able to go a day without someone on my Twitter feed asking me for an ETA on my LG V30 review. This is a smartphone that’s got people stoked.

Part of that is the natural demand for an underdog alternative to Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8, or curiosity about how much of the V30’s DNA made it into the LG-made Google Pixel 2 XL. But comparing the V30 to either of those competitors misses the point. The V30 isn’t just LG’s higher-end model for the fall; it’s one of the only three smartphones in recent memory designed specifically for shooting near-professional-quality mobile video. (The other two were its immediate predecessors, the LG V10 and V20.)

The V30 packs updates to the styling and specs of its forerunners, while tossing in more cinematography features like in-camera color grading and support for the Cine-Log format. It also brings its own version of the super-wide-angle dual-camera system that kept the LG G6 in my pocket for much of this year, and includes a 32-bit Hi-Fi DAC and 3.5mm headphone jack for the audiophiles in the audience. But with a price point starting at $800 and a selfie camera that falls far behind the quality of the primary shooter, will the LG V30 be able to live up to the hype created by its long road to release? Check out MrMobile’s LG V30 review to find out, and then hit up Alex Dobie’s LG V30 review for the full take, as only Android Central can tell it.

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21
Oct

This is the most pointless Moto Mod ever made


Stop it.

The Moto Z2 Force was a pretty weak follow-up to last year’s Moto Z/Z Force, but even so, it’s still one of the few phones on the market that’s compatible with Motorola’s Moto Mods. The Moto Mod system is the best “modular” smartphone platform we’ve seen hit the market so far, and while there have been a lot of cool and useful Moto Mods, there have been others that left us scratching our heads.

Android Authority recently got exclusive details on the latest Moto Mod that’s in the works. It’s called the AT&T Mobile TV Cast, and it’s offensively pointless.

ATT-Moto-Mod_0.jpg?itok=OOyF1bmn

The AT&T Mobile TV Cast will attach to the back of your Moto Z device like all other Moto Mods, and just like the Alexa speaker Moto Mod that was announced earlier this week, there’s no camera cut-out for whatever reason. Instead, it’s been replaced by a bright blue AT&T logo.

Below the logo is a stick that pops out of the Mod, and plugging this into your TV will allow you to cast DirecTV Now (AT&T’s live TV streaming service) to your television. The source that provided Android Authority with this information says that the stick uses USB, but we’re inclined to believe that this is incorrect and that it’ll actually use an HDMI input like the Chromecast, Fire TV Stick, and other streaming devices.

Speaking of those other streaming solutions, they’re the exact reason why there’s no reason for this Moto Mod to exist.

chromecast-ultra-with-box.jpg?itok=JkJfL

Google’s Chromecast costs $35, and it’s the main reason you shouldn’t bother with this latest Mod.

The AT&T Mobile TV Cast will allow you to mirror your phone’s display for viewing other content, and presumably the ability to cast from other streaming apps in addition to DirecTV Now. There’s also a 2,730 mAh battery packed into the Mod, and this is expected to act as a battery bank for your Moto Z so you can have another way to charge up while on the go.

That’s all hunky dory, but here’s the problem – Moto Mods are historically very pricey. Just a regular battery pack Moto Mod can set you back an easy $80, and while exact pricing details for the AT&T Mobile TV Cast have yet to be announced, we wouldn’t be surprised if it cost around $100 (if not more).

Why is this a thing?

Google’s Chromecast costs $35. Amazon’s Fire TV Stick can be yours for just $40. Better yet, they’re not tied down to particular smartphones.

I understand that Motorola’s trying to branch out with the Moto Mod system and try new things, but no matter how you look at it, there’s no reason why anyone should buy this over any of the other streaming solutions we already have. The AT&T Mobile TV Cast is a simple cash-grab between Motorola and AT&T, and while that’s fine, it doesn’t mean you should hand over any money for it when it’s eventually released.

Moto X4 pre-orders starting soon, Amazon Alexa Moto Mod coming November

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