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4
Nov

ICYMI: Read your dog’s mood swings with tech


ICYMI
Today on In Case You Missed It: A new product out of Japan called Inupathy is giving dogs the Dug treatment, with a light up harness that tracks their heart rate, telling you information about their emotions via changes in color. We’ve no idea if it works as advertised, but you gotta admit the rainbow pattern signaling ‘happy’ is the most human expression for happiness in animals we could ever think of. Obviously your dog won’t know what it means, since the silly loves are color blind.

NASA released a video touting its so-far success in crafting the Webb Telescope, which we love for multiple reasons but perhaps most for the fact that this is a group that gets to actually use inspiring music and over-the-top pomposity without making us want to throw up. The Webb is slated to launch in October 2018.

The GoKart everyone wants is here, the square hole cutter every hobbyist and contracting professional will want asap is here. As always, please share any interesting tech or science videos you find by using the #ICYMI hashtag on Twitter for @mskerryd.

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4
Nov

The Engadget Podcast Ep 13: A Chicken with its Head Cut Off


Editor in chief Michael Gorman and executive editor Christopher Trout are in town this week and stop by to talk Peter Thiel, Vine and online voting with host Terrence O’Brien and reviews editor Cherlynn Low. Then, after they’ve had their fill of beating up on Thiel, the four will explore how dating and sex have changed in the age of apps. Warning, things get a little NSFW.

The Flame Wars Leaderboard

Wins

Loses

Winning %

Christopher Trout
5
1
.833
Mona Lalwani
3
1
.750
Dana Wollman
10
6
.625
Devindra Hardawar
10
9
.526
Chris Velazco
3
3
.500
Cherlynn Low
6
7
.461
Nathan Ingraham
4
6
.400
Michael Gorman
1
5
.167

Relevant links:

  • Supporting Peter Thiel isn’t embracing ‘diversity’
  • Facebook chief explains why Peter Thiel is still on the board
  • Gawker settles with Hulk Hogan for a reported $31 million
  • Is tech billionaire Peter Thiel prepping for a life in politics?
  • Memories of a better Vine
  • Twitter’s identity crisis killed Vine
  • How to outsource your love life
  • Ghosting redefined
  • The incredibly sad world of niche dating apps

You can check out every episode on The Engadget Podcast page in audio, video and text form for the hearing impaired.

Watch on YouTube

Watch on Facebook

Subscribe on Google Play Music

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

Subscribe on Pocket Casts

4
Nov

Indie darling ‘Bastion’ comes to Xbox One next month


Bastion’s dream-like watercolor visuals and deep, satisfying RPG mechanics won it plenty of praise back in 2011. Since its launch on PC and Xbox 360, the game has been ported to a range of platforms including Mac, PS4 and Android. Now, developer Supergiant Games is bringing its debut adventure to Xbox One. The new, “faithful adaptation” arrives on December 12th and will be free until the New Year for people who purchased the Xbox 360 version. Otherwise, you’ll need to fork out $14.99 to brawl as “the Kid” and listen to the narrator’s gruff, dulcet tones.

Wondering why Bastion is worth a second playthrough? Well, the game now runs at 1080p (the Xbox 360 version was stuck at 720p) and includes a bunch of new achievements. The Xbox One edition also comes with Stranger’s Dream, a DLC pack with another playable sequence and a lively Score Attack Mode. Bastion might be five years old, but its charm and crunchy combat still hold up. Whether you’re new to the game or a longtime fan, it might be worth picking up the Cael Hammer one last time.

Also, the soundtrack is properly brilliant.

<a data-cke-saved-href=”http://supergiantgames.bandcamp.com/album/bastion-original-soundtrack&#8221; href=”http://supergiantgames.bandcamp.com/album/bastion-original-soundtrack”>Bastion: Original Soundtrack by Darren Korb</a>

Via: Game Informer

Source: Supergiant Games (Blog Post)

4
Nov

2017 Honda Pilot Features CarPlay


Honda has announced its 2017 Pilot will be available with CarPlay and Android Auto in models EX and above in the United States. The software platforms will be built into an improved 8-inch touchscreen with a new anti-fingerprint coating.

The three-row SUV is the latest Honda vehicle to support CarPlay after the 2016 and later Accord, 2016 and later Civic, 2016 Clarity Fuel Cell Sedan, and 2017 Ridgeline. Honda did not mention if wireless CarPlay will be supported.

The 2017 Honda Pilot goes on sale beginning November 7, with a suggested starting price of $33,030 for the CarPlay-supported EX model.

CarPlay is available in over 100 vehicle models worldwide from over two dozen automakers, providing hands-free or eyes-free access to common iPhone apps such as Maps, Messages, Music, Phone, and Podcasts, and select third-party apps. Apple keeps a periodically updated list of available models on its website.

Related Roundup: CarPlay
Tag: Honda
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4
Nov

How to fix Google Pixel battery life problems


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How do I extend battery life on my Google Pixel?

Google’s Pixel XL offers impressive battery life for a phone of its size, but determined users can definitely drain it over the course of a hectic day. The smaller 5-inch Pixel with its 2770 mAh battery doesn’t always offer the same longevity, offering less wiggle room if you have heavier-than-usual use or forget to charge overnight.

Though both should be able to make it through an average day for most people, if you’re finding your Pixel’s battery coming up short sometimes, you’ll want to follow a few of these handy tips to make the most of what you have.

Check for battery-draining apps

pixel-battery-usage.jpg?itok=H9-LrvHD

The Pixel really uses its systemwide battery-saving function called Doze, which puts the system and apps into a low-power state to help save battery when the phone isn’t in use. A vast majority of the time the system can handle all sorts of apps and manage them so you still get notifications even while other apps are “sleeping,” but in some cases a poorly coded app can keep the system awake when it’s not supposed to, draining your battery in the process.

To find if there are any apps causing issues, head into your Settings, tap on Battery and look at the list of apps under “Use since last charge.” You’ll see most of the usual suspects like the screen, Android OS and Bluetooth or Voice calls, but if you see a seldom-used app taking up more than a couple percent of your battery drain, you should investigate to see if it’s doing things it shouldn’t be.

Use Battery optimization features

The “Battery optimization” feature in Android is a tad bit complicated, and in most cases will simply work as intended without your management, but if you’re having battery life troubles it’s worth checking out. Battery optimization builds on the battery-saving features of Doze to identify how and when you use apps to put forcibly them to sleep when they shouldn’t be awake draining your battery. Go into Settings, tap on Battery and then tap the Menu button and tap Battery optimization to get started with this.

The system does a great job on its own, but you can still check in on it.

By default, the system has been analyzing how you use your phone since the minute you started installing apps, optimizing usage on the apps to get the most battery out of the phone while keeping your most-used apps available when you need them. In the main screen of the Battery optimization settings you’ll see the “Not optimized” list, which you can see will include some apps that can’t be optimized, along with some stragglers that may not be optimized yet.

If you see an app that you want to be optimized, tap it and switch to “Optimize.” If you want to switch to a full apps list, tap the top bar and you’ll see the option to view “All apps.” Here you can tap on individual apps and switch them to “Don’t optimize” if you wish to let the app have free reign to run as it pleases. You may choose to do this for critically important apps like those for travel or banking — just know that most of the time, the system will handle these functions exactly as you want, with the added benefit of optimizing them for battery savings.

Use Battery saver

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Though it isn’t nearly as comprehensive as similar features on other phones, the Pixel includes a Battery saver mode that can help extend your battery life with the flip of a switch. With Battery saver turned on, your phone will have reduced performance, limited vibration, limited location services and reduced background data. Together the limitations don’t have a huge effect on the usability of the phone, but they do save precious battery drain.

Battery saver can add a couple hours of life in a pinch.

Pull down the notification shade, tap on your battery icon and you’ll see a “Battery saver” toggle you can turn on and off as you please when you know you need a bit more longevity. If you prefer, you can also have it come on automatically at 15 or 5% battery, which is what most people will be more comfortable with. Battery saver automatically turns off when you start charging your Pixel.

Battery saver isn’t something you’ll want to leave on all the time, but in a pinch it can help you get through the end of the day or a tough time away from the charger — it’s just another tool to make the most of the Pixel’s battery.

Uninstall unused apps

Of course you can mitigate the issues from the prior situations by simply uninstalling apps that you’re not using that often (or at all). When you have a little free time, sit down and open up your app drawer — check out your apps and see which ones you’ve honestly opened in the past couple weeks. Chances are you’re going to find more than a few you haven’t even touched since you got your Pixel.

Going forward, when you’re setting up a new phone a good rule to follow is to just install the basic apps you need from the start, and only install additional apps when you find you need them. After using several different phones we often fall into the trap of installing dozens of apps we think we’ll need, but in reality never touch — and in the end we have to end up uninstalling them later.

Last resort: A mobile battery pack

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Yes, we know, a portable battery pack doesn’t fix the root problem of bad battery life on a phone, but it does fix the issue of a low battery. If you can’t manage making it through a heavy day without needing a charge, and can’t spend time plugged in at any point, you’ll want to invest in a mobile battery pack.

There are plenty out there that will charge up your Pixel super quickly, and top up your friends’ phones as well, like the Anker PowerCore 10,000 mAh battery, or this 20,100 mAh battery from Jackery that has USB-C. For a relatively inexpensive purchase, these batteries can be a great backup solution when you can’t spend time at a power outlet.

How have you been finding battery life on the Pixel and Pixel XL? Did any of these tips help extend its life? Let us know in the comments!

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

  • Google Pixel and Pixel XL review
  • Google Pixel XL review: A U.S. perspective
  • Google Pixel FAQ: Should you upgrade?
  • Pixel + Pixel XL specs
  • Understanding Android 7.1 Nougat
  • Join the discussion in the forums!

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4
Nov

New Zealand carriers will cut off access to the Note 7 from Nov 18


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Still holding on to your Note 7? Samsung is rendering it useless.

Despite repeated efforts from Samsung to retrieve the discontinued Galaxy Note 7, the handset is still being used by customers that are unwilling to part with it. Samsung is now teaming up with New Zealand’s telecommunications industry to blacklist the Note 7 on the country’s mobile networks, essentially preventing the phone from being able to make calls, send texts, or use cellular data.

From Samsung:

As part of our commitment to ongoing safety, Samsung would like to make our customers aware of plans to discontinue network service for Note7 devices. From the 18 November, customers still using the Note7 will no longer be able to connect to any New Zealand mobile network services to make calls, use data or send SMS messages.

We strongly urge any customers still using their Note7 to return their device to the place of purchase for a refund or replacement. Between November 4th – 18th, we will contact our customers on at least two separate occasions with information about this network discontinuation event to ensure they have received adequate notice.

According to New Zealand’s Telecommunications Forum chief executive Geoff Thorn, most of the Note 7 devices have been returned to Samsung, but a few hundred are still estimated to be out in the wild:

Numerous attempts by all providers have been made to contact owners and ask them to bring the phones in for replacement or refund. This action should further aid the return of the remaining handsets. Anyone who is still in possession of a Samsung Note 7, please return it to your service provider as soon as possible.

Carriers in the country will use an IMEI-based filter to cut off Note 7 units, and although cellular access will be blocked, the handsets will be able to use Wi-Fi. While the move is limited to New Zealand, it is likely Samsung will work with regulators in other countries to enforce a similar ban on the device. This isn’t going to stop until the company retrieves all remaining Note 7 units.

4
Nov

Moto M press renders leak ahead of Nov 8 unveil, show off metal body


We got a first look at the Moto M last week, and we’re now being treated to leaked press renders of the device. The leak comes from NowhereElse, and showcases the phone’s metal chassis as well as the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor.

moto-m-leak.jpg?itok=H6U1peOK

The Moto M made its way through China’s TENAA earlier this week, revealing the hardware on offer. The phone will feature a 5.5-inch Full HD display, 8MP front camera, 16MP shooter at the back, 4GB of RAM, 32GB storage, and a microSD slot. Last week’s rumor suggested we’ll see the Snapdragon 625 powering the device, but it’ll come with a 2.2GHz MediaTek Helio P15 instead. We could see the Snapdragon 625 variant in other markets. The 5100mAh battery rumor didn’t pan out as well, and in its place we’ll see a 3050mAh battery.

The phone is expected to make its debut in China on November 8, with official pricing slated to be ¥1,999 ($295).

moto-m-leak-2.jpeg?itok=rvOno8sRmoto-m-leak-1.jpeg?itok=pJJas7Z1moto-m-leak-3.jpeg?itok=w_hneRY5moto-m-leak-4.jpeg?itok=NTy9AFj4moto-m-leak-5.jpeg?itok=Eete2-fu

4
Nov

Best To-Do App


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Todoist: To-Do List is the best to-do app that you can get right now. It offers tons of features, as well as access across PC and mobile devices.

Best overall

Todoist: To-Do List

todoist-material-design-update.jpg?itok=See at Google Play

Of the many to-do apps that are available, Todoist easily rises to the top. It uses Material Design to deliver an intuitive and easy to navigate UI that offers plenty of options for your tasks. You can separate your lists out by project and use filters to only see the lists that you need access to in a pinch.

It also delivers a calendar that lets you see your tasks for the upcoming week, as well as a daily tab. It even delivers a profile that allows you to take a look at the tasks you have completed recently, which can help to keep you on task and track your progress towards goals. If you choose to upgrade to a premium membership, which will run you $28.99 a year, it gives you expanded access to your history, and delivers new features like the ability to tag your lists. With premium you can also access your lists across your phone, Android Wear smartwatch, and PC so that you always have access to your to-do list.

Bottom line: Between the features they deliver, and the ease of use, Todoist is easily the best app for for keeping track of everything you need to do. It’s easy to use, and gives you options that let you take charge of your lists.

One more thing: Todoist Premium even gives you the ability to look back and see everything that you’ve gotten done, and which tasks you missed.

Why Todoist is the best

Todoist delivers a great experience that allows you to access your lists almost anywhere, and tag and filter them so that everything you need is right at your fingertips.

Being able to easily check your phone to see what you have left to do makes staying on top of everything in your busy life so much easier. Todoist will send you notifications both when a task you have listed is due, and with your task list for the day. It’s a small thing, but it just makes things so much easier to deal with. Instead of having to remember to go through the app, it’s right there waiting for you when you slide down your notification tray.

Part of Todoist’s charm comes from how easy it is to add things to lists. Thanks to Material Design, the add button is right at the bottom of your screen. From right there you can date, tag, and filter your new list item all at once. Premium members get the option to tag people and further customize their list items as well.

Best for less

Google Keep

google-keep-hero.jpg?itok=akF_TMTASee at Google Play

Google Keep is primarily a note keeping app, but it does have pretty awesome to-do features baked right into it. It should be no surprise that it’s well designed, and easy to use, since it is Google’s own product. This also means that you may have it installed on your phone already and not even realize it.

You can easily create new lists from the add menu at the bottom of your screen, but to edit existing lists you’ll need to find them within the app. Once you’ve completed a task on your list you can cross it off by editing the list, and tapping that item. It will then appear with a slash through it. This makes it easy to keep an eye both on what needs to be done, and what you have already completed.

If there is a list that has priority tasks on it, you can pin it. This will ensure that you can easily find and edit the list while you are out and about. In addition to typing in items for your list you can also add media. If you have a photo for a project, you can add it to your list to make it easier to find when you need it.

Bottom line: Google Keep offers great accessibility and ease of use. While it doesn’t have tons of options for your to-do lists it can get the job done, and might even be installed on your phone already.

One more thing: To set a date for lists in Google Keep, you’ll need to set a reminder with a time from within the list itself.

Best for Windows users

Wunderlist: To-Do list and Tasks

wunderlist-new-1.jpg?itok=HgjCB7RFSee at Google Play

Wunderlist is a great app that is built specifically for to-do lists. It allows you to easily make customized lists which can be edited with just a few taps. In addition when you create new lists, you can also add other people to the list which lets you easily collaborate on projects with colleagues.

From within each list you can set dates and reminders, add subtasks for each item in a list, and add notes or files. This allows you to really customize your to-do lists and make sure that every step is listed out for you to check at a glance. If you add any of these to an item in a list, small icons will pop up next to it from the list view. This means you can tell when there are extra items involved in a task, before you just tap it to mark it as completed.

Wunderlist also offers a premium version of the app. The premium version allows you to upload larger files to your to-do lists, assign tasks in a to-do list to a specific person, and includes unlimited subtasks on list items for $4.99 a month. Because Microsoft owns Wunderlist, it is well integrated into the company’s services, including Outlook.

Bottom line: Wunderlist lets you easily build and customize to-do lists with plenty of features to make getting everything done easy. It gives you the ability to easily collaborate, break big tasks into manageable chunks, and even upload files pertinent to specific tasks.

One more thing: You can talk to your collaborators from within the app by commenting in a shared list. This makes communicating with colleagues on a project simple and self contained.

Best for speed

Any.do

anydo-3-hero-motox.jpg?itok=12u8P5MNSee at Google Play

Any.do is an app that aims to keep you organized through to-do lists, and delivers a beautiful experience while doing just that. You can build multiple lists, and customize each one with the tasks you need to complete. Any.do will also link up with your Google Calendar if you sign up using your Google Account, which means everything is in one place.

When you add items to a list within Any.do, you get access to a range of features that are handy no matter what you’re doing. You can add subtasks to list items, move task items between lists, add reminders, add notes with media attachments, and share list items with colleagues and collaborators. All of this together lets you have real power over everything in your to-do list. Clearing items when you finish a task is easy as well. All you have to do is swipe right across your screen to strike through completed items.

There is also the option to upgrade to a premium membership. You get perks like location based notifications, allowing more attachments to your lists, customizable colors, and access to a daily planner called Any.do moments.

Bottom line: Any.do gives you access to a well designed app with plenty of lists to help keep track of every item on your to-do list. With free features like collaboration, and Google account integration it can become an organizational hub for your schedule.

One more thing: Any.do moment will give you a breakdown of your tasks for the day, and it’s just one of the perks of going all in with a premium membership.

Conclusion

There are plenty of apps out there that can help keep you on track with your to-do list. Not all of them are created equal though, and this was a collection of the best to-do apps available on Android. Each one has its own pros and cons, but there is one app that rises to the top as the star. Todoist is easily the best app for getting everything on your to-do list completed.

Best overall

Todoist: To-Do List

todoist-material-design-update.jpg?itok=See at Google Play

Of the many to-do apps that are available, Todoist easily rises to the top. It uses Material Design to deliver an intuitive and easy to navigate UI that offers plenty of options for your tasks. You can separate your lists out by project and use filters to only see the lists that you need access to in a pinch.

It also delivers a calendar that lets you see your tasks for the upcoming week, as well as a daily tab. It even delivers a profile that allows you to take a look at the tasks you have completed recently, which can help to keep you on task and track your progress towards goals. If you choose to upgrade to a premium membership, which will run you $28.99 a year, it gives you expanded access to your history, and delivers new features like the ability to tag your lists. With premium you can also access your lists across your phone, Android Wear smartwatch, and PC so that you always have access to your to-do list.

Bottom line: Between the features they deliver, and the ease of use, Todoist is easily the best app for for keeping track of everything you need to do. It’s easy to use, and gives you options that let you take charge of your lists.

One more thing: Todoist Premium even gives you the ability to look back and see everything that you’ve gotten done, and which tasks you missed.

4
Nov

Google Pixel XL vs. LG V20: Opposite approaches to greatness


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You have choices when you go to spend big money on a phone today, with Google and LG being near the top.

When LG introduced the V series of phones in 2015 with the V10, it was aimed at a certain small group of people that wanted every possible spec and feature without much of a consideration of size, usability or style. Now the V20 is here, and it has much broader appeal with a sleeker body — but it hasn’t given up the pile of features that made the V10 so appealing to power users. On the other end of the spectrum is Google’s first phone, the Pixel XL, that’s all about simplicity, not specs — though it has plenty going under the hood, it misses out on a few features in exchange for a more cohesive experience.

It’s two ways to attack the high-end smartphone market, arguably with different potential markets for each. But when you put them head-to-head, which one comes out on top? We’re here to answer that question.

Hardware, specs and features

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The Pixel XL and LG V20 are both made out of metal and glass, and both include some high-end specs inside — but when you see them on a table together or you wrap your hands around each one you can immediately note that they are very different phones.

The Pixel XL is slightly more compact, and more importantly feels better.

Google’s Pixel XL feels a bit smaller than its dimensions, with a nicely-sculpted body that has a subtle yet noticeable “wedge” shape that’s thinner at the bottom where you hold it most often. It’s solid and sleek, though a bit boring to some people’s eyes. The V20 takes a less-inspired design approach: it’s huge, and feels huge. The slab has no interesting design aspects or features that help you grip it, and while LG deserves praise for making a phone with a removable battery door feel solid, the plastic top and bottom of the phone are depressingly cheap-feeling plastic.

Up on the business end of the phones you’re greeted by two great displays, though they get it done in different ways. The Pixel XL’s AMOLED panel is a bit warmer and more saturated (as is often the case for AMOLEDs), while the “Quantum Display” LCD on the V20 is cooler and more natural. Both are really fantastic in terms of brightness, clarity and viewing angles — unless I set them side-by-side I wouldn’t be able to pick out any issues with either one. The V20’s larger 5.7-inch display also incorporates the extra bit of real estate for the Second Screen — it can perform a few functions, but chances are you’ll fall back to just using the main display to get things done.

Both phones round out in terms of hardware features just fine as far as having a USB-C port, headphone jack and better-than-average down firing speaker — but the LG V20 has the distinct advantage of a much nicer DAC for headphone listening and better mics for recording loud environments. The two big hardware features many will focus on are the removable battery and microSD card slot of the V20, to which I’ll say that if you know you need them, you can get the V20 — most people, however, will be served just fine by the 3450 mAh sealed battery and 32 or 128GB storage of the Pixel XL.

Now, how about the full spec breakdown? Things are pretty much a dead heat, aside from the few feature-focused specs noted above.

Operating System Android 7.1 with Google UI Android 7.0
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
RAM 4GB 4GB
Display 5.5-inch 2560x1440AMOLEDGorilla Glass 4 5.7-inch 2560x1440LCD Quantum DisplaySecond ScreenGorilla Glass 4
Rear Camera 12MP f/2.01.55-micron pixelsPDAF, LDAF4K video, 240fps slow-mo Main: 16MP f/1.8, OISSecondary: 8MP f/2.4 wide-anglePDAF, LDAF4K video, 120fps slow-mo
Front camera 8MP, f/2.4 5MP f/1.9 wide-angle
Battery 3450 mAhNon-removable 3200 mAhRemovable
Charging USB-C Rapid Charging Quick Charge 3.0
Connectivity USB-CBluetooth 4.2, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, NFC USB-CBluetooth 4.2, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, NFC
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Storage 32/128GBNon-expandable 64GBmicroSD card up to 2TB
Dimensions 154.7 x 75.74 x 8.6 mm 159.7 x 78.1 x 7.7 mm
Weight 168 g 173 g

Software, performance and battery life

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These phones are both running Android Nougat, meaning you’re getting the benefits of the latest base platform no matter which you choose. We’ve all seen what Google’s done a little differently in Android 7.1 on the Pixels, and its coat of paint adds real cohesion and simplicity to the experience. The Pixel XL’s software is simple, slick and super fast, though more advanced users will probably prefer to swap out its launcher and install a handful of apps to add extra features. LG’s coat of paint (to stick with that metaphor) is a bit thicker and more wide-reaching on the V20 — things have changed stylistically all around, but the biggest differences are within LG’s redesigned system apps and group of minor changes throughout the interface. It’s easily LG’s best take on Android yet, but it’s still unfortunately not as good as Google’s.

This is LG’s best software yet, but that just isn’t good enough to top Google at its own game.

Something else to keep in mind here is how the V20’s software experience can also differ depending on where you buy it. Buying the V20 unlocked you’ll get the software experience LG intended, but buying from one of the U.S. carriers (as most people do) will change things considerably. Because LG still hasn’t figured out how to put its foot down and stop the pile of carrier changes from infesting its phones, each carrier version of the V20 offers a different experience — from dozens of uninstallable bloat apps to changes in LG’s own system apps and even removal of core features in some cases. It’s annoying, tiring and borders on unacceptable at this point that we should have to deal with these software issues when buying a top-of-the-line phone.

As I mentioned above, the speed at which the Pixel XL does everything really is something to behold. Every app and experience is lightning quick but also smooth, without dropping a frame in animation or skipping a beat in opening windows. LG’s software and hardware on the V20 just don’t seem to fly at the same pace, though once again LG deserves praise for shipping its best software implementation to date here. It just isn’t quite as slick as the Pixel XL, and it’s not something you really notice until you’ve spent time with a Pixel yourself and then moved to another phone.

So many additional words could be spent here talking about the differences in the cameras as well, but in order to do that comparison justice I have a separate camera-specific head-to-head battle between the Pixel XL and LG V20 here. In short, both phones take awesome photos, and the V20 has a few extra photography tricks up its sleeves.

More: Camera comparison: Pixel XL vs. LG V20

In terms of battery life, the numbers add up in the Pixel XL’s favor, if only slightly. The 3450 mAh battery in the Pixel XL gets you through an average day with plenty to spare, though it isn’t such a battery champion that you could push it two days. The V20’s slightly smaller 3200 mAh battery is powering a bigger display and understandably lasts a bit shorter — you can still go a full day without issue, but you’ll head to bed with far less in the tank, probably around the 10% mark. Both use USB-C to charge up, but I have to give the V20 a slight nod for having a more widely used fast charging standard in Quick Charge 3.0 — plus, for those who want it, you have a removable battery.

Bottom line

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As individual products, the Pixel XL and LG V20 each get the job done. Google’s vision for a slick, complete phone that makes calculated compromises in order to enhance the overall daily experience of using it really worked out in ways it never did with Nexuses. LG’s V20 took many ideas from both the V10 and G5 to make a combined device that does more than other phones — and does it well — with some added polish not seen in its predecessor.

Both phones execute their vision properly — but that doesn’t mean they appeal to the same people.

But just because both phones are good at what they set out to be doesn’t mean they’re direct competitors or have much overlap in their target markets. On one hand the Pixel XL is simpler and more of a “mainstream” device that focuses on its great cohesive experience, rather than mounds of features in specs — it doesn’t have a removable battery, SD card slot or tons of camera features, but it’s built better, is faster and has smoother software. On the other, the LG V20 appeals to more of a power user mentality of wanting all of the raw components and features to manage and tweak as they see fit — but that comes at the expense of not having such a sleek overall product or a phone you can easily use in one hand.

If you see the appeal of the V20’s specs, brawn and unabashedly large size, chances are you’re someone who knows what they want and won’t be convinced by the slick Pixel XL. Someone who doesn’t want to focus on the specifics and prefers a phone that just works and delights them every day will lean toward Google’s latest.

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

  • Google Pixel and Pixel XL review
  • Google Pixel XL review: A U.S. perspective
  • Google Pixel FAQ: Should you upgrade?
  • Pixel + Pixel XL specs
  • Understanding Android 7.1 Nougat
  • Join the discussion in the forums!

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  • LG V20 review: Built for power users
  • LG V20 specs
  • All LG V20 news
  • LG V20 vs. Galaxy Note 7
  • Discuss the V20 in the forums!

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4
Nov

Huawei Porsche Design Mate 9 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 edge: What’s the difference?


Huawei has announced two new Mate smartphones: the Mate 9 and the Porsche Design Mate 9. The latter is a smaller, more premium model of the Mate 9, offering a curved display and a lovely premium build.

First glance at the Huawei Porsche Design Mate 9 and you’d think you were looking at a Samsung Galaxy S7 edge. They are pretty damn similar, more so from the front than the rear. How else do they compare though? Read on to find out.

Huawei Porsche Design Mate 9 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 edge: Design

  • S7 edge is smaller, slimmer, lighter and waterproof
  • Both premium designs
  • Both front-mounted fingerprint sensors

The Huawei Porsche Design Mate 9 measures 152 x 75 x 7.5mm and weighs 169g. It offers an entirely metal build with the Porsche Design logo at the top of the screen on the front, along with the PD logo on the rear.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 edge is slightly smaller, slimmer and lighter, measuring 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7mm and hitting the scales at 157g. It is made from a combination of metal and glass, with a tempered glass rear sporting the Samsung logo in the middle. It is also IP68 water and dust resistant.

Both offer fingerprint sensors, and both sit within the physical button on the front of the device. This is typical of Samsung devices, while Huawei’s tend to be rear-mounted traditionally.

  • Huawei Porsche Design preview

Huawei Porsche Design Mate 9 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 edge: Display

  • Both curved AMOLED displays
  • Both 5.5-inch, Quad HD resolutions

It is the display on both these two devices that put them on the same team. Both the Galaxy S7 edge and the Porsche Design Mate 9 have a 5.5-inch curved AMOLED display, making their designs more appealing and exciting than some other flagships around.

Both also have 2560 x 1440 resolutions, delivering pixel densities of 534ppi so they should both deliver sharp, crisp images with good colour vibrancy. Samsung offers some extra software functionality that makes use of the curved display, while Huawei doesn’t.

  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review

Huawei Porsche Design Mate 9 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 edge: Cameras

  • PD Mate 9 has a dual rear camera setup, 20MP and 12MP
  • S7 edge has wider aperture but single setup
  • Both have OIS

The Porsche Design Mate 9 features a dual camera arrangement like the P9 and it continues the partnership with Leica. The camera setup on the rear is arranged vertically, with one sensor on top of the other, rather than them sitting side-by-side as they do in the Apple iPhone 7 Plus and LG G5.

The Porsche Design Mate 9 has a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor coupled with a 12-megapixel RGB sensor, both of which sport a f/2.2 aperture and optical image stabilisation. The front camera is an 8-megapixel sensor with autofocus.

The Galaxy S7 edge has one 12-megapixel sensor on the rear, featuring an aperture of f/1.7, phase detection autofocus and optical image stabilisation. The front camera is 5-megapixels with an aperture of f/1.7 and Auto HDR capability. It’s worth remembering that megapixels aren’t everything however and Samsung’s S7 edge is a fantastic camera performer.

  • Best smartphone camera: iPhone 6S Plus vs SGS7 edge vs LG G5

Huawei Porsche Design Mate 9 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 edge: Hardware

  • PD Mate 9 has more RAM and internal storage
  • S7 edge has microSD support
  • PD Mate 9 has larger battery capacity

The Porsche Design Mate 9 features Huawei’s Kirin 960 octa-core processor, coupled with Mali-G71 MP8 graphics and 6GB of RAM. There is 256GB of internal storage available but unlike the standard Mate 9 model, there is no microSD support despite the Dual-SIM functionality.

The Galaxy S7 edge has either Samsung’s Exynos 8990 octa-core processor, or Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 quad-core chip, depending on the region. The former has Mali-T880 MP12 graphics, while the latter offers Adreno 530, and both have 4GB of RAM. Storage options are 32GB or 64GB, both of which have microSD expansion.

The Porsche Design Mate 9 offers a 4000mAh battery, while the Galaxy S7 edge has a 3600mAh battery, and both support quick charging. The Porsche Design Mate 9 has USB Type-C on board, while the Galaxy S7 edge opts for Micro-USB.

  • Huawei Mate 9 preview

Huawei Porsche Design Mate 9 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 edge: Software

  • PD Mate 9 runs on Android Nougat with EMUI 5.0
  • S7 edge runs on Android Marshmallow with TouchWiz

The Porsche Design Mate 9 runs on Android Nougat with Huawei’s Emotion skin over the top. It has a simpler interface and a cleaner design than previous EMUI builds, along with some interesting options like dual Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp use via the Dual SIM. 

The Galaxy S7 edge runs on Android Marshmallow with Samsung’s TouchWiz skin over the top. It will eventually see an update to Android Nougat and as we mentioned, it features some extra software functionality that takes advantage of the curved display.

Huawei Porsche Design Mate 9 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 edge: Conclusion

The Huawei Porsche Design Mate 9 has a similarly exciting design to the S7 edge with a curved display that is the same resolution and size as the Samsung alternative. It also offers more RAM, a dual camera setup, a larger battery capacity and more internal storage.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 edge has a slightly smaller and lighter build however, it’s also waterproof and its camera capabilities have proven to be excellent. It also offers microSD support and it is significantly cheaper.

The Huawei Porsche Design Mate 9 costs €1395 and will be available in limited quantities from December, while the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge starts at £639 and is widely available.

  • Huawei Porsche Design Mate 9 preview
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review
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