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5
Mar

Awesome tech you can’t buy yet: Smart workbenches, cosmic fidget toys, and more


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At any given moment, there are approximately a zillion crowdfunding campaigns on the web. Take a stroll through Kickstarter or Indiegogo and you’ll find no shortage of weird, useless, and downright stupid projects out there — alongside some real gems. In this column, we cut through all the worthless wearables and Oculus Rift ripoffs to round up the week’s most unusual, ambitious, and exciting projects. But don’t grab your wallet just yet. Keep in mind that any crowdfunded project can fail — even the most well-intentioned. Do your homework before cutting a check for the gadget of your dreams.

Nexus Workbench — compact, high-tech worktable

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Are you a maker, tinkerer or some other word that ends in “-er,” who requires a garage workstation to do your thing?  Do you occasionally look at existing workbenches and find yourself wishing they would borrow a bit more of their design language from the 1982 film Tron?  If you answered yes to both of these questions, you will probably fall head over heels in love with the Nexus workbench, a new Kickstarter project which launched on Tuesday.

“The Nexus workbench is a game-changer for the home garage, solving these problems with unique storing capabilities and a plethora of features,” Zeb Fish, founder and CEO of Garage Mastermind, told Digital Trends in an interview. “Using linear actuators, the Nexus effortlessly transforms from its generous 3-foot by 8-foot workspace position into its storage position, sitting less than six inches from the wall. This means when you’re not working on a project, you can tuck the Nexus out of the way with just the flip of a switch.”

The foldaway element is not the only exciting aspect of the Nexus. As well as space issues, most garages also lack adequate lighting and electrical outlets — which is where the workbench’s bright LED lights on its flex arms come into play. There are also eight integrated electrical outlets and the same number of USB charging ports, so you can charge batteries, power devices, and run your assorted power tools without having to stop to switch cords.

Find out more

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5
Mar

Awesome tech you can’t buy yet: Smart workbenches, cosmic fidget toys, and more


awesome-tech-you-cant-buy-yet-280x75.png

At any given moment, there are approximately a zillion crowdfunding campaigns on the web. Take a stroll through Kickstarter or Indiegogo and you’ll find no shortage of weird, useless, and downright stupid projects out there — alongside some real gems. In this column, we cut through all the worthless wearables and Oculus Rift ripoffs to round up the week’s most unusual, ambitious, and exciting projects. But don’t grab your wallet just yet. Keep in mind that any crowdfunded project can fail — even the most well-intentioned. Do your homework before cutting a check for the gadget of your dreams.

Nexus Workbench — compact, high-tech worktable

Please enable Javascript to watch this video

Are you a maker, tinkerer or some other word that ends in “-er,” who requires a garage workstation to do your thing?  Do you occasionally look at existing workbenches and find yourself wishing they would borrow a bit more of their design language from the 1982 film Tron?  If you answered yes to both of these questions, you will probably fall head over heels in love with the Nexus workbench, a new Kickstarter project which launched on Tuesday.

“The Nexus workbench is a game-changer for the home garage, solving these problems with unique storing capabilities and a plethora of features,” Zeb Fish, founder and CEO of Garage Mastermind, told Digital Trends in an interview. “Using linear actuators, the Nexus effortlessly transforms from its generous 3-foot by 8-foot workspace position into its storage position, sitting less than six inches from the wall. This means when you’re not working on a project, you can tuck the Nexus out of the way with just the flip of a switch.”

The foldaway element is not the only exciting aspect of the Nexus. As well as space issues, most garages also lack adequate lighting and electrical outlets — which is where the workbench’s bright LED lights on its flex arms come into play. There are also eight integrated electrical outlets and the same number of USB charging ports, so you can charge batteries, power devices, and run your assorted power tools without having to stop to switch cords.

Find out more

5
Mar

5 songs you need to stream this week: Laura Marling, Ryan Adams, and more


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Every week, there are thousands of new songs hitting the airwaves — and it’s just too much for your two ears to handle. With all those options, you can’t be wasting your time on tracks that deserve a thumbs-down click.

But don’t worry, we’re going to save you the hassle. We listen to some of the most-hyped and interesting songs each week, and tell you which are worthy of your precious listening time.

More: Spotify may upgrade its free account to give users more on-demand streaming

Here are our top five songs to stream this week. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our Spotify page for a playlist of our weekly picks, which can also be found at the bottom of this post.

Laura Marling — Nothing, Not Nearly

The latest song from British songwriter Laura Marling’s upcoming album Semper Femina features the skillful touch of Alabama Shakes producer Blake Mills. A simple 6/8 beat underlays this folky number, with rambling and poetic lyrics and a dirty electric guitar center in the middle. Like much of Marling’s catalog, this one is simple and subtle, the kind of thing you’ll come back to time and time again.

Ryan Adams — Streets of Philadelphia

On a recent trip to the U.K. to promote his latest album, Prisoner, Americana songwriter Ryan Adams shared a solo acoustic version of Bruce Springsteen’s Streets of Philadelphia on BBC radio, eschewing the heavily produced synth tones of the original in favor of simple vocal melodies.

Cadence Weapon — My Crew (Wooo) (Produced by Kaytranada)

Two Polaris Prize winners join forces on My Crew (Wooo), where a space-like beat from Canadian producer extraordinaire Kaytranada pairs with the quick-spitting style of rapper Cadence Weapon. The trap influence is apparent throughout the slow-rolling track, but the duo still manage to keep the song a bit higher brow than the genre’s typical fare, forming a song that’s suited to both deep listening and the dance floor.

Beach Fossils — This Year

Beautiful string melodies join acoustic guitars and a simple drum beat on the latest song from Brooklyn’s Beach Fossils. This one feels like a long lost Real Estate single — the kind of song that makes you want to put on your jogging shorts and run around in the cold spring air.

Hot 8 Brass Band — Can’t Nobody Get Down

New Orleans’ Hot 8 Brass Band made a special appearance on California’s KCRW radio this week, celebrating Fat Tuesday with a rash of high-energy second-line music. On Can’t Nobody Get Down, the energy in the room jumps through the screen, raising your spirit to full-on New Orleans party mode. All that’s missing is a tall, cool drink.

That’s it for now, but tune in next week for more tunes — and check out the playlist loaded with our recent selections below:

5
Mar

From the Editor’s Desk: Wrapping up MWC 2017


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Even without a big phone announcement from Samsung, MWC was a wild ride.

Mobile World Congress is always crazy. This was my sixth year covering the Barcelona-based show, which each year lives up to its reputation of being a whirlwind of hype, announcements, events and surprises. It’s exhausting, but never a chore.

The absence of a big Galaxy S8 announcement from Samsung created a vacuum that just about everyone else tried to fill. In the Android phone space, that meant new flagships from LG, Huawei, Sony, BlackBerry and Nokia, along with the usual scattering of wearables, tablets industry buzzword-mongery (5G! — it’ll be great once we figure out what it actually is!)

For me, the winning phone of the show was the LG G6, which will be my daily driver for the foreseeable future. (Go read our review to find out why.) In the U.S., the G6 stands a decent chance of being the de facto (Android) alternative to the GS8 — though it’s pretty much inevitable that it’ll be steamrolled by Samsung in terms of sales and public mindshare.

LG will eventually be forced to lower the G6’s price, or get steamrolled by Samsung.

The G6’s greatest strength is that it’s no longer chasing gimmicks, and instead focusing on being a solid overall device, differentiated by one or two great features, like the extremely fun wide-angle camera and extra-tall display. Sooner or later, LG will be forced to compete with the Galaxy S8 on price — especially if, as listed by one retailer, it launches at £699 unlocked in the UK. Nevertheless, coming from what was basically a total dud in the LG G5, the G6 represents a promising return to form. LG is back in the game.

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On a related note, some of background on the G6 review, since we were pretty early in publishing this time. Review timings involve balancing a lot of different factors: Sometimes you’ll be dealing with non-final software or hardware (whenever that’s the case, we’ll always say so upfront in the “About this review” section.) Sometimes there are pre-planned embargo times to hit, sometimes it’s less clear-cut.

With the G6, we went about as quickly as I’d want to for a new phone, pushing an initial review after a couple of days with it in Barcelona, and a good amount of time with it in Korea the previous week. For each phone we review the circumstances are different, but with the G6 review I think we struck a good balance between speed of delivery and depth of analysis. As always when we’re dealing with pre-release firmware, we’ll update our review once we have final builds in-hand.

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Meanwhile, Chinese juggernaut Huawei brought us two pretty good phones and one pretty meh smartwatch. First, the not-so-great: The Huawei Watch 2, on a functional level, is perfectly fine. The problem is that the name places it as a direct successor to a very different wearable with very different priorities, and in design terms there’s just no way you can make a favorable comparison between the first Huawei Watch and its successor. One actually looks reasonably stylish, at least by smartwatch standards. The other is an ugly plasticky toy. (Incidentally, the pre-release paperwork inside our review device’s box mentions the name “Huawei Watch 2 Sport,” a monicker which may have made more sense.)

The problem with the Huawei Watch 2 is the name as much as the cheap, boring design.

The Huatch 2 Classic looks less objectionable, but does little to justify its eye-watering €399 price tag.

Huawei did a better job with its phones. The P10 Plus in particular, with its top-notch specs and promising f/1.8 camera, should do well in the UK, where it’ll be ranged on all but one of the major operators. (The smaller P10 will launch on all four, plus Carphone Warehouse.)

But I’ve been vexed by what seems to be an insane product decision from Huawei. As far as I can tell, neither P10 model has an oleophobic layer on its screen. (That’s a smudge-resistant layer included in all but the cheapest phones as standard.) Sure, there’s a factory-fitted screen protector on there out of the box, which many P10 buyers may leave intact. But if you want to use it without a screen protector, your display will soon become a maddening hellscape of fingerprint smudges. I’m currently trying to confirm with Huawei that retail P10s will also exclude the olephobic layer; if so, it’s a baffling decision, and perhaps a reason to pass on these phones altogether.

Trying to replace a button is the definition of over-engineering.

I’m also not keen on the newly relocated fingerprint scanner on the P10, nor the weird gesture input Huawei touts as an alternative to Android’s soft keys. (Single-tap on the scanner for back, long-press for home, swipe for recent apps.) Vlad Savov of The Verge makes a good case for the new gesture setup. My counter-argument is that trying to replace a button (a button!) is pretty much the definition of over-engineering. At least soft keys are still the default button configuration on the P10, in what appears to have been a last-minute change. (At a briefing a few days ahead of the announcement, we were told gestures were the default.)

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Sony’s Xperia XZ Premium, which I got to fondle for a few minutes at MWC, is another nice-looking Sony phone which will probably fail to move the needle for the Japanese firm. The standout features include the Snapdragon 835 SoC — which, given that Samsung has first dibs on the chip, means the XZ Premium will ship in May at the earliest — and a 4K display which isn’t VR ready, giving it questionable utility.

Next to the likes of the G6, Sony’s new flagship is a boxy, bezely beast — and I’m still not sure what exactly Sony’s supposed to be doing better than anyone else, with the exception of pixel density. And then there’s the whole fingerprint sensor situation, which has Sony, because of bad business deals made some years ago, releasing an $800+ phone with a core feature disabled in software in the U.S. (Andrew Martonik has the scoop on that over here.)

It’s been a good couple of years since Sony released a phone that I found exciting in any way. It’s possible that the XZ, with its new camera features and unique mirrored chassis, will reignite that fire. But on the surface, this appears to be another incremental, half-yearly upgrade for the Xperia range.

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Beyond the hype over new flagships, it’s been cool to see some of the genuine enthusiasm (fuelled as much by nostalgia as anything), around Nokia and BlackBerry. Both brands saw a resurgence at MWC, with Nokia promising well-built mid-rangers with software that doesn’t suck — your move, Motorola — and BlackBerry Mobile kicking off a new range of phones with a QWERTY device aimed squarely at the core CrackBerry enthusiasts, as well as enterprise and government.

I’m more optimistic about BlackBerry (Mobile)’s chances in the long run, especially if the KEYone is followed by a compelling display-centric device for normals that’s able to boast the same performance, software features and battery life. By comparison HMD’s pretty but under-specced Nokias have a mountain to climb — first of all, the brand has to clearly convey what’s special about a Nokia phone in 2017.

Other odds and ends for a post-MWC weekend:

  • No really, you don’t say!?
  • Smart move by Google brining Assistant to… basically everything. But I can’t help wondering whether this was the plan all along, or if Goog’s hand was forced by Samsung’s upcoming Bixby assistant, and the fact that Amazon’s sniffing around for Alexa partners.
  • Between Android O and Google’s upcoming laptop plans, Google I/O should be big this year. I’ll see you in Mountain View this May!
  • The Studiously Studio Meow Meow 3 is a pretty funny glimpse into the fake branding used in Huawei prototypes. Also see this P10 proto, with chimp-based branding.
  • If you’ve got 20 minutes to kill, check out this extended cut of Andrew and I talking LG G6 in Korea for lots of juicy behind-the-scenes stuff.

That’s it for MWC week. Roll on GS8 launch season!

<hype>

5
Mar

After Math: Living Large


It was a big week for big shots. Bitcoin is now worth its weight in gold, a wayward Army drone channeled the Brave Little Toaster and Apple just saved half a billion dollars in court costs. Numbers, because stuff. And reasons. But mostly, stuff.

5
Mar

The best hair straightener


By Hannah Waters & Tiffany Kelly

This post was done in partnership with The Sweethome, a buyer’s guide to the best homewares. When readers choose to buy The Sweethome’s independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions that support its work. Read the full article here.

After spending 10 hours on research and interviews and more than five hours on testing the grip, heat, and performance of 11 hair straighteners on four different people with different hair textures, the GVP Digital stood out from the competition with its adjustable temperature in 10-degree increments, and an easy-to-read digital display that updates in real time.

Who should buy this

Anyone can use a hair straightener, but how well a straightener will work on your hair—how straight it will get, how long it will stay that way, and how much damage it will endure from the heat—depends on a combination of genes, climate, and practice. The curlier or more textured your hair, the more heat, time, or styling products you’ll need to invest to get the style you want; the finer your hair, the more easily it will be damaged by high temperatures. If you live in a humid climate, your hair will reabsorb water more quickly, which restores its natural (less straight) shape. With practice, you can figure out the ideal temperature for your hair and how to best maneuver the tool to create the style you want, taking things low and slow at first is best.

The downside is that a straightener can damage hair if used incorrectly—or even correctly. (See the How we picked section in our full guide where we address the heat-hair conundrum.) If you can straighten your hair to your liking with a less direct heat method, like a hair dryer, you should probably stick with that.

How we picked and tested

Hair straighteners, or flat irons, are essentially two hot metal plates, held like tongs, that you slide over sections of hair to dispel water from individual strands, leaving them sleek and smooth. No straightener avoids split ends, frizz, or breakage entirely, because heat damage is an inevitable consequence of applying heat to hair.

Wider plates are bulkier and increase the chances of accidentally clamping the same sections of hair multiple times. We aimed for straighteners with plates on the long side, but not so long the straightener wouldn’t be maneuverable.

We knew weight and cord length would be important, as they are with hair dryers. We also preferred products with warranties (because sometimes the electronics simply burn out) and automatic shutoff features, as leaving hot plates lying around is dangerous.

Price can vary, with straighteners that cost from as little as $20 to more than $200. After hearing consistent reports from our experts, we decided to exclude most straighteners that cost less than $50, except for one or two of the highest rated ones to be certain. See the rest of our criteria in our full guide.

Of the models we looked at, we decided to test 11 devices. We weighed each straightener on a postal scale, measured the length of the cords, and used a stopwatch to time how long it took to heat up. Then we turned on each straightener and compared the button placement, temperature ranges, and temperature dials. Next, we tested the straighteners on many, many strands of 1-inch-wide dry hair. Some pieces we straightened; other pieces we flipped up or curled under.

Once we picked our favorites, we tested the straighteners over a couple of weeks. We noted the time it took to straighten or style hair with each straightener and if any snagged pieces of hair. We tested the straighteners on strands of three friends’ hair to see how they worked on different hair textures.

Our pick

Photo: Michael Hession

All flat irons straighten and curl hair about the same, but the GVP Digital stands out because it heats up quickly and is well-constructed enough to style hair without causing snags or dents. The GVP also includes features that are usually found on higher-end models, like a real-time digital display and accurate temperature, at a midrange price.

Most of the straighteners we tested were equipped with a dial to change the temperature instead of a digital display. GVP’s digital display shows the temperature of the straightener in 10-degree increments from 160 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (Celsius is available in a separate setting), and it tracks the temperature in real time, so you know when the straightener is heated up. Per all our experts’ advice, figuring out the right temperature to get your hair straight in as close to a single fluid pass is crucial to helping it maintain its health. The GVP’s display will best allow you to figure out the right temperature and use it consistently.

The GVP weighs 0.56 pounds—it was one of the heaviest straighteners we tested, but it weighed only 0.12 pound more than the lightest straightener we tested. The straightener’s other features, such as quality plates and a digital display, compensate for the added weight. The cord is 9 feet long, giving you plenty of space to plug it into an outlet that is located far from a mirror. The straightener is 13 inches long, which we found to be the perfect length to wield while styling hair—and the plates are around 3½ inches long, plenty sufficient to capture a good-size section of hair.

Lighter and more compact

Photo: Michael Hession

The Rusk W8less is around the same price as the GVP, but it offers a lighter and more compact design. At 0.50 pounds, it was among the lightest straighteners we tested (the lightest was Rusk’s Deepshine, at 0.44 pound). Rusk W8less was one of the easiest to hold for long periods of time.

The Rusk W8less has a manual dial that goes to 450 °F, the same max temperature as the GVP. However, it lacks some of the features of our main pick. Besides the temperature dial and the on-off switch, this straightener has no other buttons. The temperature dial goes from 1 to 50, which correspond to 10-degree increments between 240 °F and 450 °F. If you want more settings, such as auto shutoff or a display that shows the digital temperature of the straightener in real time, you may be happier with the GVP.

Less expensive, more unwieldy

Photo: Michael Hession

Our pick is in the middle range for straighteners, but we liked another one that costs around one-third of the price. The Conair Infiniti Pro is very lightweight—0.51 pound—and clamping the plates together doesn’t require a lot of muscle. We tested the 1-inch-wide model with a purple casing, but Conair makes this straightener in three sizes and seven colors, so finding one that suits your needs is easy.

It is slightly longer than our pick, at 14 inches, which made it a little unwieldy when styling. However, one advantage to a longer straightener is that it can straighten wider sections of hair at once, which can save time.

This guide may have been updated by The Sweethome. To see the current recommendation, please go here.

Note from The Sweethome: When readers choose to buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn affiliate commissions that support our work.

5
Mar

The TetraBIN wants to make throwing things away fun


Why it matters to you

A smart trash can might be the best solution yet to litter in urban areas.

Who knew throwing things away could be so…fun? And no, not in a Marie Kondo-esque way in which you purge and thereby declutter your home and life (though that can be therapeutic too), but rather in a smart garbage pail way. Meet the TetraBIN from Sencity, a connected trash can that actually gamifies the act of creating garbage.

It’s a creative way of tackling waste in big cities, where trash cans are either overflowing or just … not used. To cut down on the problem of litter, the TetraBIN rewards you for throwing things away.

The three-sided container features a wrap-around screen, a side-scrolling green field that comes complete with bats in the air (apparently this is a green field in a cave) and dogs on the ground. When you throw something into the trash can, motion detectors sense this movement, and it’s represented on-screen as chicken drumsticks falling through the sky to feed the hungry dogs.

More: GeniCan makes any trash can smart enough to create grocery lists

And when you feed a dog, you win. A code will appear on the TetraBIN that you can input on Sencity’s website for prizes, some of which are even tangible objects you’ll get in the mail. This, the company hopes, will incentivize the act of throwing things away, appealing in particular to young people who may develop a no-littering habit early on.

Sencity’s goal is to partner with city governments and local business improvement districts to bring the TetraBIN to the masses. And in cities like New York, where some trash cans already double as Wi-Fi hubs, this smart bin seems like a natural addition. TetraBINs employ 4G technology and can actually communicate with one another, opening up the possibility of an entire connected trash can network. Don’t want games on the bin? It displays other things too, like public transportation schedules, traffic updates, and the weather.

Get excited, friends. Looks like TetraBIN just may make throwing things away fun again.

5
Mar

The 10 best themes available on the Chrome Web Store


Part of the appeal of Google Chrome is its refined simplicity. It’s just enough browser, with room for add-ons if you need a bit of extra functionality, but it’s specifically engineered for efficiency. Unfortunately, this means it’s usually a bit boring to look at. For the most part, every Chrome install looks the same — flat, gray, minimalist, with a few pops of color depending on your extensions.

More: 25 extensions to super-charge your Chrome browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality, however, to look a little different, to ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. If that’s the case, you’ve probably ventured into the Chrome Web Store at least once or twice. And let’s be honest, it’s a bit of a mess in there. So rather than subject yourself to the torturous experience of wading through garish, and oftentimes offensive themes, we’ve done it for you. Here are the 10 best themes available, broken into several categories.

Best minimalist themes

Chrome has a great look on its own. It’s simple, straightforward, and easy on the eyes. If you like that look, but maybe want to change it up a bit — but not too much — these themes are for you. They take that classic Chrome aesthetic and make some subtle changes.

Material Dark

Material Dark

Modern Flat

Modern Flat

Best dark themes

Like the minimalist themes above, these themes re-skin your browser to make things darker, dimming the lights and eliminating that gray-white color scheme common to vanilla Chrome.

Dark Horizon

Dark Horizon

Dark Theme V3

Dark V3

Best colorful themes

Stepping out of the dark and into the light, we scoured the Chrome Web Store for most colorful themes for anyone who wants their browser to look a little less dour. These themes keep things simple, but inject a little color into your Chrome experience.

Bluegreen Cubes

Bluegreen Cubes

Plumage

Plumage

Best landscape themes

The best landscape themes borrow an excellent photo and skin your browser based on the colors and overall feel of the original picture. These themes do more than just change a color scheme, however — they’ll turn your browser into a window to the outside world.

Yosemite Inspired

Yosemite

City and Bridge in the Fog

Best cute animal themes

Sometimes you just need to look at a cute animal. Full stop. Thankfully, these themes inject cat and dog photos into your everyday experience, so you can enjoy them any time you open a new tab.

Puppy Love

Puppy Love

Kittens

Kittens

5
Mar

Problems with your OnePlus 3 or 3T? Here’s how to fix them


So you’ve got a OnePlus 3 or 3T, but after setting it up and using it for a bit, you’ve run into a frustrating issue. This isn’t uncommon for a new smartphone, but it’s still annoying all the same, especially with a device as well made and inexpensive as OnePlus’ latest. We did some looking around to see what problems other OnePlus 3 or 3T owners were running into, and we’ve compiled a list of the most common ones, as well as what to do to address them. Hopefully, whatever troubles are ailing your OnePlus 3 or 3T can be solved with these fixes.

More: OnePlus 3 plus one case equals protection: Here are the best OnePlus 3 and 3T cases

Problem: Device randomly restarts

There have been people on the OnePlus forums, Reddit, and the XDA Developers forums who have reported seeing their devices restart for unknown reasons. In most cases, this occurs while browsing the internet.

Official solution:

  • OxygenOS 3.2.4 included a fix for this specific issue, but if the problem persists, or comes back afterwards, your best bet is to update to OxygenOS version 4.0.2, which further improves system stability, or to the latest version of OxygenOS, which is version 4.0.3 for the OnePlus 3 and 3T.

Potential solutions:

  • Let the phone sit until its battery is completely drained and won’t turn on. Leave it for up to 10 minutes, then plug it into its charger until the battery is fully charged.
  • You can try a factory reset and start over from scratch. Do this by going to Settings > Backup & Reset > Factory data reset > Reset phone > Erase everything.
  • Your final option is to reach out to OnePlus Support to get your phone repaired or replaced.

Issue: Unable to update

Users on the OnePlus forums have been unable to update their devices using the usual method of downloading the update over Wi-Fi. Attempts to get the new software over Wi-Fi seem to result in failure, or the phone boots into recovery mode.

Potential solutions:

  • This may sound silly, but turn your device completely off, then turn it back on and retry the update.
  • You can install OxygenOS updates manually by downloading it to your Mac/PC and connecting your device to your computer using a USB cable. OnePlus has clear, step-by-step instructions on how to update your device using this method, which you can find on the OnePlus downloads page.

Problem: Device overheating or becomes hot while charging

Quite a few people on the OnePlus forums have complained about that their phones are running hotter than usual, either during everyday use, while in their pocket, or while charging. It was one of the more common issues with the OnePlus 3, and the issue has persisted with the release of the OnePlus 3T.

Potential solutions:

  • Restart your phone and continue using it normally to see if it gets hot again.
  • An app constantly running in the background may be causing the problem. Be sure to close any apps that aren’t needed, or ones you’re not currently using.
  • If the problem started after installing new apps, the new apps may be the cause of the issue. Delete them one by one to see if your phone’s temperature changes during regular use.
  • If your device gets hot while charging, the easiest thing to do is to stop using it while it charges.
  • The OnePlus 3 has a feature known as Dash Charge, which is meant to charge your device quickly but keep the phone cool. However, the feature only works with the Dash Charger Adapter, which costs $20 on the OnePlus website. If you think the charger your device came with is the culprit, consider replacing it, or get the Dash Charge Adapter.
  • The fingerprint sensor has also been said to be the culprit, especially when your smartphone is placed within a pocket. The sensor continues to search for a fingerprint while in the pocket, assuming the screen is facing your leg. A quick solution is to turn the phone around before popping it in your pocket. You could also invest in a flip case, which also has been said to eliminate the problem.
  • If none of the aforementioned solutions are an option, you can always disable the fingerprint scanner until a fix is implemented. Hopefully, you don’t rely on it too much.

Annoyance: Device doesn’t auto-rotate

When changing the phone’s orientation from portrait (vertical) to landscape (horizontal), the display does not rotate as it should, even when the feature that allows the display to automatically change is enabled. This  problem has been talked about on the OnePlus and XDA Developers forums.

Potential solutions:

  • Some have seen the auto-rotate feature work just fine after a quick restart. Turn your phone off and on again to see if the problem fixes itself.
  • If the problem started after installing a certain app, or a series of apps, consider uninstalling them one at a time to see if that was the cause of the issue.
  • There are apps on the Google Play Store like GPS Status & Toolbox that will allow you to see if all of a devices sensors are working, and re-calibrate them if necessary. Similarly, there are apps like Rotation Control that let users control and adjust the screen orientation, as well as prevent other apps from changing it.
  • If the problem continues, reach out to OnePlus Support to get a replacement smartphone.

Issue: Can’t connect to Wi-Fi

All smartphones run into this particular issue at some point or another. Either your connection is terrible, or a connection can’t be made at all. Fortunately, the solutions remain the same and will help those on the OnePlus forums that are suffering from this particular issue.

Potential solutions:

  • The easiest thing to try is turning your phone off and on again and seeing if the connection works or improves. You should also try restarting your router, if restarting your phone didn’t change anything.
  • Go to your Wi-Fi settings and remove or forget the network you’re currently connected to, or trying to connect to. Then, enter the required details again to retry the connection.
  • OnePlus Support has two additional suggestions, following the release of OxygenOS 4.0.3:

    • If you experience frequent Wi-Fi disconnections, please go to Settings > Wi-Fi > Configure Wi-Fi. Scroll to bottom of the page and check the IP address format (IPv4 = Single line, IPv6 = Multiple lines). If the IP address is IPv6 based, then turn off the IPv6 Support toggle and see if the disconnections stop.
    • If you experience frequent Wi-Fi disconnections while switching between Wi-Fi and data, please try turning off the Smart Wi-Fi Switcher in Settings > Wi-Fi > Configure Wi-Fi and see if the disconnections stop.
  • If your device is constantly trying and failing to find a network connection, go to Settings > Mobile Networks > Network Operators and manually choose a network. This may also reduce your phone’s battery consumption.
  • Head into your settings and disable Power Saving Mode, which affects your Wi-Fi performance.
  • Go to Settings > About Phone and locate the device’s MAC address and make sure your router allows it.
  • You can also try performing a factory reset if nothing else has worked for you — some have managed to alleviate their Wi-Fi issues after doing this. Back up your data first, then go to Settings > Backup & Reset > Factory data reset > Reset phone > Erase everything.

Problem: Camera app doesn’t work or basic functions are unresponsive

The camera app that comes pre-installed on the OnePlus 3 doesn’t always work as it should. It doesn’t seem to properly take photos — or doesn’t take them at all — and the shutter button is unresponsive. Even using the volume down button to take a photo fails to work. The OnePlus 3T has also had problems with the camera app, including one where changed settings are not saved.

Official solution:

  • Previous updates to OxygenOS, such as update 3.2.1 for OnePlus 3, and update 3.5.3 for the OnePlus 3T added improvements to various aspects of the camera app. The most recent update for both smartphones, 4.0.3, contains even more improvements. Specifically, “increased stability of the Camera app,” and “optimized exposure when taking night time photos.” Consider updating to version 4.0.3 if your camera isn’t performing to the best of its ability.

Workaround:

  • There are tons of alternative camera apps you can download and use on your OnePlus 3/3T, such as Open Camera and Camera MX.

Potential solutions:

  • Wiping the cache partition has worked for some users. You can do this by turning the phone completely off, then turn it back on while pressing and holding the volume down button until the phone vibrates. Your phone will start in Simple Recovery mode, and you’ll need to use the volume buttons to navigate to the Wipe Cache Partition option and the power button to select it. Once the process is done, you’ll be told the cache wipe is complete.
  • Perform a factory reset, then test the camera again.
  • Reach out to OnePlus support, as it may be a hardware issue you’re ill-equipped to deal with.

Problem: Screen timeout doesn’t turn off display

Screen timeout is a feature of the OnePlus 3 that will dim the display of the device after a predetermined amount of time, or turn it off entirely. Some owners’ devices are not dimming as they should, which could lead to battery drain.

Potential solutions:

  • Restart your device.
  • Go to Settings > Display > Screen timeout and change how much time should pass before the screen is turned off.
  • Clear the cache after updating – Turning the phone off, then turn it back on while pressing and holding the volume down button until the phone vibrates. Your phone will start in Simple Recovery mode, and you’ll need to use the volume buttons to navigate to the Wipe Cache Partition option and the power button to select it. Once the process is done, you’ll be told the cache wipe is complete.
  • Try a factory reset.

Problem: Dash Charging doesn’t work

When using the supplied charging cable and wall charger to charge the OnePlus 3/3T, the device fails to charge the device quickly. It will, however, still charge the phone, but at a normal pace. These two threads on the OnePlus forums support the existence of the problem, with users discussing the unfortunate situation and offering simple, straightforward advice.

Potential solutions:

  • Restart the phone.
  • Try different wall outlets. Possibly ones in a totally different room.
  • Clean out the charge port on the phone and check the charge cable and wall charger for imperfections.
  • If possible, use another charging cable to see if charging works as intended.
  • Attempt a quick restart of the device.

Problem: Display doesn’t turn off when making phone calls

The OnePlus 3T’s display is supposed to turn off when users make phone calls. For some owners, however, the display remains on. This leads to the display using more battery life and makes it easy to accidentally tap the screen during the call.

Potential solutions:

  • Cancel the call, restart your device, and retry the call again.
  • Test your proximity sensor by dialing “*#808#” and using the various options provided to test it.
  • Go to Settings and find the Apps section. Tap Phone > Storage > Clear Data. Try making a call again.

Issue: No longer receiving voicemail notifications

After missing a call, if the caller leaves a voicemail, the receiver is supposed to be notified by their OnePlus 3/3T that a voicemail was left and is available to listen to. However, users on the OnePlus forums, and a few on the XDA Developers forums have ceased to get these notifications.

Temporary solutions:

  • Restarting the device will result in the notifications being shown.

Potential solutions:

  • Disabling Visual Voicemail is the current method people have been using to deal with their sudden lack of voicemail notifications. To do so, open your call settings, then select the SIM card you’re currently using. Select your Voicemail settings and disable Visual Voicemail. The one downside to this, of course, is that you’ll no longer have the Visual Voicemail feature. Fortunately, T-Mobile has its own Visual Voicemail app on the Google Play Store.

Problem: Poor battery life after OxygenOS 4.0.3 update

Many people have noticed a drop in their OnePlus 3/3T’s battery life after updating it to version 4.0.3. Prior to the update, their phones would last a relatively long time during normal, everyday use. If you need additional examples, look no further than the OnePlus forums, which are full of people reporting poor or reduced battery life.

Potential solutions:

  • Forums user JoshuvaAntony has provided a list of steps to deal with terrible battery life or quick battery drain, and several other members have said that the steps have alleviated the issue:
    • Go to Settings > About Phone and tap Build Number several times until you get a message saying “You are now a developer.”
    • Go back to Settings and there should be a new option called Developer Options. Tap Developer Options and enable it, then enable Doze Mode and Advanced Reboot. Don’t enable anything else.
    • Go to Settings > Battery and tap the ellipses in the upper-right corner. Then, disable Aggressive Doze and App Hibernation.
    • Go to Settings > Storage and Memory > Storage > Cached Data > OK.
    • Go to Settings > Apps > Google Play Services > Storage > Manage Space > Clear Data. After doing so, make sure to not press Back or the Home key.
    • Press and hold the Power key, then tap Reboot. You should now have three options to choose from — Reboot, Recovery, and Bootloader. Tap Recovery and your phone will boot into Recovery Mode.
    • While in Recovery Mode, tap English > Wipe Data & Cache > Wipe Cache > OK. Afterward, tap Reboot and your phone will boot up normally. When it gets to the lock screen, don’t do anything. Give your phone a couple of minutes to idle, then it should be okay to use. At this point, you can choose to go back to the Developer Options and disable Advanced Reboot.
  • You can also try reverting your phone to its factory settings if the aforementioned steps don’t work, or if you feel that performing a factory reset will be easier to do.

Annoyance: Apps being closed prematurely

A number of people in this thread are finding that their apps are closing prematurely. Specifically, while they’re still using them. Reports started with the problem only affecting exercise apps such as Runkeeper and Endomondo, but a few have said it affects games as well.

Potential solutions:

  • Update the affected app(s) if an update is available.
  • Uninstall the affected app and reinstall it, then try running the app again.
  • Go to Settings > Battery and tap the ellipses in the upper-right corner. Then, disable Aggressive Doze and App Hibernation. Some have found success with their apps after doing this.
  • Open the affected app, then trigger the app switcher and lock the app by tapping the lock icon beside it.
  • Go to Settings > Apps > Gear icon, then enable App Auto Launch. If you’re using Runkeeper, enable the app’s auto launch feature as well.
5
Mar

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