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18
Mar

What’s more stressful, losing a smartphone or a terrorist threat? You may be surprised


Why it matters to you

Think you lead a stressful life? Apparently, a lot more of that stress is caused by your attachment to your smartphone than you may think.

Priorities: we may not have them totally in order. As per a recent report from the London-based Physiological Society, the stresses of today are not only completely unimaginable to those from previous generations, but may also seem a bit … petty. For example, the possibility of losing a smartphone, the Society’s study suggests, causes the denizens of the 21st century about the same amount of stress as the threat of a terrorist attack.

In conducting its study, the Physiological Society asked around 2000 men and women in the U.K. to rank key life events from a scale of 0-10. Zero indicated “Not at all stressful,” whereas 10 was deemed “Very stressful.” Key life events included a work promotion, Brexit, and the death of a spouse or relative.

Generally speaking, the new study’s results remained in line with those found by the famous 1967 stress study conducted by Holmes and Rahe — it found that the death of a spouse, relative, or friend, and imprisonment to be the two most stressful life events. Flood or fire came in third, illness in fourth, and getting fired, divorced, having your identity stolen, and financial issues rounded out the list of most anxiety-inducing scenarios.

More: Is this the anti-smartphone? Siempo’s phone cuts out distracting notifications

But then, things started to take a more modern turn. Commute delays saw an average stress score of 5.94, placing it higher on the list of stressors than a terrorist threat (5.84). And the idea of losing a smartphone was a 5.79 on the stress scale. Just let that sink in for a minute.

And as for topical, timely issues like Brexit, well, that barely registered as a stress at all — on average, study participants gave it a stress ranking of just 4.3.

Across the board, women were found to be more stressed by these various situations, though both sexes reported about equal levels of stress with regard to the arrival of a first child.

“The modern world brings with it stresses we would not have imagined 50 years ago, such as social media and smartphones,” Dr. Lucy Donaldson, chair of The Physiological Society’s Policy Committee, said in a statement. “It was striking that for every single event in this study, from money problems to Brexit, women reported greater stress levels than men. This could have a real impact on women’s health.”

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18
Mar

5 songs you need to stream this week: Frank Ocean, The Shins, 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 vs. Apple Music: Which service is the streaming king?

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.

Frank Ocean — Chanel

R&B superstar Frank Ocean released a song called Chanel last week on Beats 1 radio, his first new single since the debut of his much-lauded 2016 album Blonde. A mellow crooning single with extremely subtle musical layers, this one centers on the soft tones of Ocean’s voice, with lyrics that describe the complicated personal and professional juxtapositions that the singer witnesses in everyday life.

The Shins — The Fear

The Shins recently appeared on Southern California’s KCRW radio, playing songs from their new album Heartworms. On this live take — an acoustic version of the album’s closing single The Fear — the band employs a trio of strings to add a wistful musical layer to the song that helps elevate the instantly recognizable vocal tone of frontman James Mercer to beautiful new heights.

Surfer Blood — Frozen (and more)

This live take of Surfer Blood’s Frozen is the kind of thing you put on when you need to clean a kitchen, and you want to dance while doing it. Raw, upbeat, and full of catchy melodic elements, it captures your ears and forces you to your feet — the kind of thing that makes even menial household tasks enjoyable.

Dolly Spartans — Hanging Out

A clean-cut garage rock song with great vocals, the Dolly Spartans’ Hanging Out feels destined to soundtrack a solid number of skateboard videos — and it would also absolutely rock a college party. The New York band uses clean hooks and a quick-paced baseline to drive the pop single, resulting in a clean bit of music that feels plain fun to listen to.

Cold War Kids — So Tied Up (Los Feliz Blvd) (Featuring Bishop Briggs)

The Cold War Kids may have risen to prominence as a dirty-rocking indie band, but there are some serious pop hooks going on in So Tied Up (Los Feliz Blvd), which relies heavily on the soul-styled vocals of singer Bishop Briggs. This acoustic version of the track, which employs violin and acoustic piano, comes closer to what we’d expect from an older iteration of the band — skipping the heavily produced claps and background vocals from the radio-friendly studio version in favor of something more organic.

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

18
Mar

You now have up to a year to add AppleCare+ to your iPhone, so go insure yourself


Why it matters to you

Whereas you previously had just 60 days to add AppleCare+ to your iPhone, you now have up to a year to insure yourself.

Good news, Apple iPhone owners (who also happen to be butterfingers). According to a new report from MacRumors, customers that purchase a new Apple smartphone now have up to a year to add on AppleCare+ to their delicate devices. This is a huge improvement from the previous time window of just 60 days, giving customers a lot more opportunity to discover how easy it is to cause damage to a device you use just about every moment of your life.

While Apple hasn’t updated the fine print on its own website, MacRumors has confirmed the new policy “with a senior AppleCare advisor,” the website reported. So what does this new window of opportunity mean for you? In essence, you can add AppleCare+ to your device as long as it’s still in its one-year limited warranty period. But, be warned — if you already have done something to your device that would require AppleCare+’s attention (like crack your screen), you’re out of luck. Alas, Apple will do a physical inspection to buy the insurance policy in-store, and a remote diagnostic test if you elect to make the purchase online.

More: Amazon’s Alexa is now accessible straight through the Amazon iPhone app

But if you have a history of dropping your phone on concrete or are worried that your shiny new iPhone 7 may not be quite as hardy as you, this could be the time to add on Apple’s care package. After all, it dropped the price of screen repairs from $99 to $29 just last year, so it can’t hurt to have that peace of mind.

The change to the iPhone AppleCare+ policy means that the company has now standardized its warranty process for its smartphone, Mac, and Apple TV — owners of all these devices now have the option of buying AppleCare+ up to a year after purchasing the hardware.

As per MacRumor’s sources, this new extension only applies to the iPhone, though it includes any and all iPhones sold within the last year.

18
Mar

The newest project for the company behind the AK-47 is a 20-ton UCGV


Why it matters to you

After making the AK-47, Kalashnikov seemed to have reached its zenith. But now, it could be reaching new heights with the new 20-ton UCGV, which may also be a harbinger of the future of combat.

When the product that makes your company famous is the AK-47 rifle, your next big project must make a bang. Russian company Kalashnikov Concern is certainly well aware of the public’s expectations, and it looks like it’s doing its best to deliver. In an interview with Russian media, the CEO of the  company behind one of the world’s most famous guns said that his company is now in the process of creating a new unmanned combat vehicle.

The plan for the unmanned combat ground vehicle, or UCGV, is to carry machine guns and anti-tank missiles, and weigh in at 20 tons. The Russian company is no stranger to UCGVs — indeed, just last year, the company debuted its 7-ton BAS-01G Soratnik (Comrade-in-arms) unmanned vehicle and then in December, showed off its impressive capabilities to the Russian Ministry of Defense, outfitted with four anti-tank rockets and a machine gun.

More: Totally rad Nerf gun prosthetic makes hands look boring in comparison

But the new UCGV would make this look like child’s play. At three times the size of Soratnik, this new vehicle is slated to be about the same size as a U.S. Army M1126 Stryker ICV. And doubtless, it’ll just build upon the autonomous abilities of its younger sibling. The Soratnik, for what it’s worth, can operate autonomously for up to 10 days in standby mode, waiting to engage in action. It can also be modified to carry up to a 30mm gun or eight Kornet-EM laser-guided anti-tank missiles, Guns.com reports.

It’s unclear how the new 20-ton monstrosity will perform when it comes to speed. The Soratnik tops out at 25 miles per hour and has a range of up to six miles. But we’ll just have to see what Kalashnikov has in store for us when it unveils its newest headline-maker.

In the meantime, you can check out footage of the Soratnik here.

18
Mar

WikiLeaks won’t share CIA exploits unless companies meet terms


WikiLeaks offered to work with tech companies to patch the CIA’s leaked security exploits, but there has been a whole lot of silence ever since. Why? That depends on who you ask. Motherboard sources claim that WikiLeaks “made demands” of the companies before it would hand over necessary details of the vulnerabilities, including a requirement that they promise to issue security patches within 90 days. Potential fixes are reportedly stuck in legal limbo, the tipsters say, as the companies are worried about writing patches based on leaked info, not to mention the origins of the leak. They’re worried that Russia might have been responsible for forwarding the info.

WikiLeaks has confirmed the core of the story, but has a decidedly different take on the situation. While it acknowledges that most of the companies haven’t taken action, it claims that Google and others aren’t reacting to WikiLeaks’ “industry standard responsible disclosure plan” due to “conflicts of interest” from their work with the US government. Supposedly, they’re prevented from fixing these kinds of flaws due to their contracts.

More details on this situation are coming next week, WikiLeaks says. However, it’s already threatening to name and shame companies by comparing their responsiveness with their “government entanglements.” It points out that Mozilla and some European firms have been quicker to respond and have received some exploit data.

While it’s difficult to know who’s right, some caution is definitely necessary. WikiLeaks has a habit of playing up leaks, such as implying that the CIA could crack encrypted chat apps (it can only crack the devices used by those apps). Although leaks have suggested that companies might cooperate with US agencies, the truth in this case could be decidedly less exciting. Even a company fully opposed to backdoor surveillance may not want to patch flaws unless it’s absolutely sure that it’s legal to do so.

Source: Motherboard, WikiLeaks (Twitter)

18
Mar

Ethan Hawke shot most of his forthcoming biopic with DJI gear


Ethan Hawke’s forthcoming biopic, Blaze, sees the actor make the move from center stage to the director’s chair. The movie tells the story of the late country and western artist Blaze Foley, and is being filmed in almost entirely with DJI products. That doesn’t mean most of the movie is filmed from the air, though. DJI drones are part of the production, but the company’s non-flying camera gear, including the Osmo RAW and the Ronin DSLR stabilizer, were used extensively throughout the production. DJI was at SXSW in Austin to talk about its involvement in the film — all part of its DJI Creative Studio initiative.

Foley’s story is peppered with misfortune and tragedy. Most notably, his untimely death at just 40 years old, after a neighbor’s son shot him in the chest. Couple this with a period in his life known as “the missing years” and a musical influence that reaches luminaries such as Willie Nelson, and you essentially have a biopic that writes itself. Except, this one was written by Hawke and Blaze’s former sweetheart, Sybil Rosen. Hawke approached Rosen about the project after reading her own telling of Foley’s story in the book “Living in the Woods in a Tree.”

DJI’s involvement with the project came after Hawke had experienced some of their products, and thought they would be a good fit for the movie. Blaze‘s producer, Jake Seal, explains that Hawke “was very clear on certain aspects of the film being very fluid, and looking like water.” It’s a theme Hawke wanted to use to represent Foley’s “rolling stone” lifestyle, and something he felt was represented in the stabilized images that both the Inspire 1, and the Osmo RAW hand-held. Seal claims that the during the first two days of shooting, 80 percent was recorded on the Osmo alone.

Compared to Hawke’s movies as an actor, Blaze is a relatively small production. The lead role of Foley is played by newcomer Ben Dickey (a musician by trade), and fans of Netflix’s Arrested Development will spot Alia Shawkat as the female lead (Sybil Rosen). Rosen plays her own mother in the film.

Despite Hawke’s enthusiasm for DJI’s products, the movie’s director of photography wasn’t initially so sure. “Steve [Cosens], the DoP needed convincing,” Dickey said. “At least a few hours.” But he, too had his doubts: “The first time we used it [the Osmo] it was really weird. I was like ‘is this really a movie?’”

Scott McLeslie, the film’s drone operator, was understandably more confident about what flying cameras and the Osmo could bring to the table. Not just as part of a smaller operation, but in their ability to do things that conventional Hollywood gear could not. “They opened possibilities that none of the cinematographers could dream of,” he said. McLeslie claims that shooting a close up in a moving car normally requires a rolling platform and half of the vehicle to be cut open. “With DJI tech you can just put it behind the wheel and have a never before seen scene.”

A DJI spokesperson says that, “We don’t have any sort of official relationship [with the production]. McLeslie is just an avid user of our products and was instrumental in helping Ethan and Director of Photography Steve Cosens use our products to get the shots they wanted.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time DJI has put its name to a movie. The company has been showing up at the Sundance Film Festival for the last few years trying to associate it’s products with serious movie makers. It’s also far from the only player in the game. Hardcore Henry was almost exclusively shot using GoPro cameras, and the ubiquitous action camera has shown up in The Martian as well as being the go-to guy for point-of-view and in-car/underwater shots since its launch.

Seal explained that there was a point when they were considering shooting the whole film with the Osmo (which is the same camera on the Inspire drone as the handheld). “In the end we didn’t quite have the bottle to jump in with that, but with the Ronin and the drones it was a game changer,” he said.

While it’s good to see even more movies coming out shot with gear that you or I can buy (or even, already own), there’s still some way to go before people shake off the perception that to shoot Hollywood quality, you need Hollywood budget. Especially, perhaps, when it comes to the actors and their egos: “The Osmo… it does look silly, don’t get me wrong, it’s great, but it does look silly,” Dickey joked during a panel at SXSW.

Blaze is currently slated for a 2018 release.

Click here to catch up on the latest news from SXSW 2017.

18
Mar

‘Super Mario Run’ reaches Android on March 23rd


Android users won’t have to wait much longer to find out whether or not Super Mario Run has justified any of the hype. Nintendo has made good on its earlier promise and revealed that the Android edition of the touchscreen runner will arrive on March 23rd, in sync with version 2.0 of the game. That update will give you more character choices beyond the current six, and will throw free players a bone by letting them tackle World 1-4 if they complete a challenge. There’s more to 2.0 than that, Nintendo teases, but you’ll have to wait to learn the rest.

The news sets a firm end date for Apple’s temporary exclusive on Super Mario Run, which first hit iOS in December. That lock-in wasn’t great news for Android fans, but it appears to have paid off for both Apple and Nintendo. Even though the number of paying customers didn’t meet Nintendo’s loftier goals, the game still raked in $53 million in revenue before the end of January — no mean feat when it was only available on the smaller of the two dominant mobile platforms. While Nintendo isn’t necessarily poised for a windfall the moment Mario comes to Android, it’s no doubt eager to see how the wider device support improves its bottom line.

Source: Nintendo (Twitter), Google Play

18
Mar

OK, Google, what can you do? New tips and tricks for the Google Home


Google Home has been out for a few months now, which is long enough for its owners to really tinker with it and get a feel for its capabilities. Programmers recently got access to start making third-party skills, increasing the voice assistant’s uses. We thought that it was high time we lay out some of the best tips for the Home, just in case you want customize your morning report, name your device, or seek out some of the better Easter eggs baked directly into Google’s first smart speaker. Here are some tips to get you started with your new IoT buddy.

More: Every device that connects to Google Home

“Hey, Google”

It’s interesting that the A.I. personality that powers the Home doesn’t have a name, which seems to undermine the organic relationship between user and device that Google is working so carefully to curate. Apple has Siri and the Amazon Echo has Alexa, but the engineers behind the Home and other Android-driven devices have stuck steadfastly to the generic “Google Assistant.” Despite vocal feedback from users, Google still only allows users to wake up the device by saying “OK, Google,” “Hey, Google,” or, oddly enough, “OK, Boo Boo.”

However, there is a way to get your assistant to call you by a different name when it responds to you. You might not get to address your Google Home as “Princess Fluffycakes” or “Hey, Claptrap,” but you can get it to call you by your preferred nickname; we recommend “Your Highness” or “By Your Command,” for starters.

Use your mad skills to automate… everything

There will come a day when devices like the Home will be delivered via drone, automatically crawl out of their own boxes, and thrust out a mechanical paw to introduce themselves before plugging themselves in and personalizing their functions to your home. In the meantime, it’s vital for Home power users to learn more about IFTTT.

More: If this, then that: A beginner’s guide to the wonderful world of IFTTT

IFTTT is what’s called an “applet creation service.” The acronym stands for its creator’s basic idea: “If This, Then That.” Basically, it’s a simple way to make your Home do cool stuff for you automatically. After downloading the app, you can create command modules that can integrate with Google Assistant apps such as Tasker and Autovoice to automate certain functions. For example, you could wake up in the morning, say “Hey, Google,” and the Home can change the color of your Hue lamps, fire up NPR, and start a pot of coffee on your behalf. You can also set it to respond to notifications, which will prompt it to alert you when that special someone emails you, track your hours in Google Calendar, and back up texts to a worksheet so you don’t lose any valuable work or personal interactions.

Or, just stick to the basics

If you’re just not an applet kind of person, it’s still important to use the Home’s basic applications to make your life easier. It’s worth running down a list of the basic commands available to you upon the Home’s arrival, meaning you should ask Google Assistant questions, set alarms, connect your calendar, and carry out a host of other basic commands to better familiarize yourself with your new virtual companion.

Keep in mind that right now, Google Home only works with a single user’s account. Your commute times and calendar will be the device’s reference point, so your roommate or spouse won’t find it very useful if they need to check the timing of their next appointment.

Shop ’til you drop with Google Express

Google is sparing no expense in helping the Home and Google Assistant products mature, and that means new features are coming online all the time. One of the bigger complaints from Home owners upon the device’s launch was that, unlike its competitor Alexa, it wouldn’t allow users to shop hands-free. That changed in March when Google officially announced that the Home will now integrate with Google Express, the company’s shopping platform. The service allows users to order from more than 40 stores, including Walgreens, Whole Foods, Costco, and Toys R Us. Users can order products costing between $4 and $100 just by asking, and the Home will give users a total that includes tax and shipping before confirming the order.

A recent report from The Wall Street Journal predicts that another massive update is due to shake up the Home market as well, if Google actually implements its planned voice-calling features. Insiders say this feature may be implemented before the end of the year, assuming privacy, FCC regulations, and emergency services can be addressed in time.

Read and reply to messages

One of the new features of Google Assistant is its ability to manage your SMS messages when you text. Tell Google Assistant to “Show me my messages,” and you’ll see any unread texts. But if you ask it, “Do I have any messages?” Google Assistant will actually read your unread messages to you. The Home can also read SMS-enabled messages from Facebook Messenger and Hangouts, but, sadly, the feature is currently only compatible with the Google Pixel, Pixel XL, and other Android smartphones.

Customize your morning report

One of the functions that Home owners were quickest to embrace is the universal command “Tell me about my day,” which triggers an audio report. What some basic users haven’t realized is that the “Tell me about my day” command can be customized to offer different information. In the menu, it’s possible to select different categories, including the weather, traffic conditions, Google Calendar reminders, and even your flight status. It’s also possible to not cut off the report at the end, but instead, have the Home default to a custom news feed.

Embrace the ecosystem

If you’re interested in the Home, there’s a good chance that you already use several of Google’s other products. The Home was designed to work within Google’s ecosystem, and as such, the product is most useful for people who frequently utilize services such as Google Calendar and Google Keep. With these services, the Home can truly be your own personal assistant. You can have it check your schedule, set reminders, or add items to your shopping lists with a simple voice command. Google Home also works with a few smart home products, including Google Cast, Nest, Philips Hue lights, and Smart Things.

Get connected

While the Home can’t match Alexa in terms of connected apps — at least not yet — the personal assistant does play well with the most common streaming services. For music, you can connect your speaker to Pandora, TuneIn, Google Music, and Spotify, and use Netflix or YouTube for movies and video. If you use any of those services, it’s a good idea to link your accounts. You can also choose your preferred music service, so when you tell Google to “play music,” it will automatically start playing from your favorite music provider. Google Home will also act as a Chromecast receiver, so any app that works on Chromecast can also be controlled by addressing Google Home.

More: Is Google Home giving you trouble? Solutions to the most common problems

While some of Google’s connected services deal with products inside your home, you can also connect this speaker to your Uber account and other third-party services. Kayak, Domino’s, Food Network, and WebMD all have “services” you can use. Unlike with Alexa, you don’t need to enable them, but you may need to create or link an account. To access them, try saying, “OK, Google, ask Food Network…” To see a list of all the services in your app, tap menu, more settings, then services.

Name your devices

Google Home is meant to be the center of your smart home life. If you have a Google Chromecast connected to your TV, for example, you’ll be able to use the Home to play a YouTube video or a song from Pandora on your television. This isn’t too complicated if you only have one connected device, but if you have multiple gadgets connected to your Home, you’ll want to personalize their names. You can change the name of your Chromecast to “TV,” for instance, or “Living Room.” You’ll want to pick a name that’s easier to say than “Chromecast,” and one that helps you remember the location of your device.

Mute the mic and get some privacy

One of the reasons why gizmos like the Home are such useful devices is that they’re always listening, as evidenced by all those stories of A.I. devices ordering doll houses without permission or the Super Bowl commercial that made Home devices go crazy around the globe. But for most people, being able to ask the Home a question or issue a command hands-free is its most useful feature.

However, this feature might be a little unnerving for some people. Do you really want Google, or any other company, to listen to everything you say? It’s also possible for the Home to butt into your conversations, even if you haven’t directly addressed it. Google’s four-syllable wake phrase, “OK Google,” will probably prevent this from happening too often, but we’ve had it perk up at strange times. Thankfully, you merely need to press the mute button on the back of the device to disable the “always listening” feature.

Reset it

If you find that your significant other gets way more use out of the Home than you do, it’s a kind gesture to turn the device over to them so they can personalize it to their needs. If your account is already set up, you can do a factory reset by holding down the microphone button. This allows you to link to a different Google account. With time, the speaker may work with multiple profiles.

Delete those “special questions”

On the bright side, Google Assistant is based around a semi-intelligent A.I. created by harvesting quadrillions of bytes of data from billions of Google customers. On the not-so-bright side, Google Assistant remembers everything. If you want to delete a delicate query from your industry, you can so in the app by accessing My Activity in the settings tab. Here, you can either play back or remove your search history. In the app, tap the menu button, more services, and scroll down to My Activity. You can delete one by one or in larger chunks by date. For the latter, hit the three vertical dots in the Search Assistant bar. Choose “Delete activity by” and set the date range.

Have a little fun with Easter eggs

Much like Alexa, the Google Home has a sense of humor. Just ask it for “Things you can do,” and the device will offer a variety of fun activities, including poetry, (bad) beatboxing, and a host of trivia games. With a quick search, you can also turn up a bunch of funny queries, such as “Hey Google, are you Skynet?” and “OK Google, Hodor.”

18
Mar

Huawei P10 vs P10 Plus: Which P10 is right for you?


Huawei has taken the wraps off of the much-hyped P10 and P10 Plus, two flagship devices with a lot to offer. When it comes to standard and “plus”-sized phones, however, many manufacturers choose to build two devices where the size is the only difference. That’s not true of the P10 and P10 Plus — instead, there are a few more differences to speak of. If you’re thinking of buying either the P10 or P10 Plus, there are a number of things you should consider before you make your purchase. Thankfully, we’ve put together this guide outlining the major differences between the two.

More: 6 pro tips to taking amazing portrait photos with the Huawei P10

Specs

Huawei P10

Huawei P10 Plus

Size
145.9 x 69.3 x 7 millimeters (5.72 x 2.73 x 0.28 inches)
153.5 x 74.2 x 7 millimeters (6.04 x 2.92 x 0.28 inches)
Weight
5.11 ounces
5.82 ounces
Screen
5.1-inch IPS LCD
5.5-inch IPS LCD
Resolution
1,920 x 1,080
2,560×1,440
OS
Android 7.0 Nougat
Android 7.0 Nougat
Storage
32/64GB
64/128GB
SD Card Slot
Yes
Yes
NFC support
Yes
Yes
Processor
HiSilicon Kirin 960
HiSilicon Kirin 960
RAM
4GB
4/6GB
Connectivity
GSM/HSPA/LTE
GSM/HSPA/LTE
Camera
Front 8MP, Rear dual 20MP+12MP
Front 8MP, Rear dual 20MP+12MP
Video
2,160p 4K UHD
2,160p 4K UHD
Bluetooth
Yes, version 4.2
Yes, version 4.2
Fingerprint sensor
Yes
Yes
Water Resistant
Yes
Yes
Battery
3,200mAh
3,750mAh
Charger
USB-C
USB-C
Quick Charging
Yes
Yes
Wireless Charging
No
No
Marketplace
Google Play Store
Google Play Store
Color offerings
Silver, Rose Gold, Black, Gold, Blue, Green
Silver, Rose Gold, Black, Gold, Blue, Green
Availability
TBD
TBD
DT Review
Hands-on
Hands-on

Performance

As previously mentioned, many manufacturers now build a standard and “plus” handset with identical specs. That’s clearly not true of the Huawei P10 and P10 Plus, however. Let’s get something out of the way right now: The Huawei P10 Plus is the better device. The question is, how much better is it?

For starters, the two phones feature the same processor — the HiSilicon Kirin 960 — which is actually a decent chip. According to benchmarks, the chip performs a little better or a little worse than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, depending on the benchmark in question. In other words, it’s about on par with Qualcomm’s 2016 flagship, but not as powerful as the company’s latest chip, the Snapdragon 835.

When it comes to storage and RAM, the difference is more stark. While the standard P10 comes with 4GB and RAM and either 32 or 64GB of storage, the P10 Plus comes in two variants, one with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage and another with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Basically, the low-tier P10 Plus is on par with the better P10.

Both devices offer a MicroSD card slot, however, so if you don’t want to shell out cash for the models with more storage, you can just make use of the MicroSD card slot.

These two phones are both powerful, but the Huawei P10 Plus is obviously the better device here.

Winner: Huawei P10 Plus

Design

The P10 and the P10 Plus are almost identical in terms of design — the only difference is their size. The design of the phones is actually quite nice, too. Although each features a unibody look that’s typical of most modern smartphones, they also offer a more comprehensive camera module. The module has been developed in partnership with Leica, which is easy to tell if you glance at the branding right next to the cameras. You’ll also find a basic Huawei logo on the back of the phone.

The front of both phones is also pretty standard. Here, you’ll find a home button that doubles as a fingerprint sensor, as well as a front-facing camera in the upper-left corner.

As previously mentioned, however, the phones differ in size, but only when it comes to some dimensions. Both phones are 7-millimeters thin, and it’s great that Huawei has managed to keep the bulk down on the larger device. The smaller, standard P10 measures 145.9 x 69.3 millimeters, while the larger device sits at 153.5 x 74.2 millimeters. The P10 Plus is heavier, though, and weighs an additional 0.71 ounces.

In the design department, this is a tie.

Winner: Tie

Display

Instead of opting for the same display, Huawei outfitted the P10 Plus with a better alternative. While the standard P10 has a decent LCD screen in its own right — which sits at 5.1-inches and touts 1,920 x 1,080-pixel resolution — the P10 Plus includes a 5.5-inch screen with 2,560 x 1,440-pixel resolution. Although the P10 Plus’ LCD panel is larger, the higher resolution is enough to push it above and beyond the P10’s pixel density. The P10 comes in at 431 pixels per inch, while the P10 Plus sits at 534.

That’s a pretty decent difference. While most people won’t be able to notice the difference, others will, especially those interested in using the device for virtual reality purposes.

Winner: Huawei P10 Plus

Battery life and charging

The two phones use the same charging method. Both feature Huawei’s proprietary SuperCharge technology, which could come in handy in a pinch. We don’t know exactly how long the handsets will last on a single charge just yet, and, sadly, neither of the phones have wireless charging, which is a bit of a bummer.

On paper, it looks like the Huawei P10 Plus has better battery life, but in real-world use, this may not be the case. The P10 touts a 3,200mAh battery, while the P10 Plus offers a 3,750mAh battery. You may also recall, however, that the P10 Plus also has a higher-resolution screen, which will eat up a lot more battery than the display on the P10. So, they may actually end up lasting around the same amount of time as one another when put to use. The P10 may even last longer.

When it comes down to it, however, we’ll have to wait until we can perform more tests to determine a winner in the battery department.

Winner: Tie

Camera

Huawei has gone all in for the cameras on the P10 and P10 Plus, and it has worked with renowned camera maker Leica on the camera modules for both phones. That’s good news for those wanting a device with a top-tier camera. While at first glance you might assume that the cameras are the same on both phones, this isn’t actually the case.

In the P10, you’ll find dual Summarit lenses, one of which is a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor and the other a 12-megapixel color camera. The two cameras work in conjunction to create more detailed and in-depth shots, which is certainly welcome.

While the sensors in the P10 Plus are the same type and feature the same megapixel count, they’re Leica Summilux sensors, which should provide sharper and brighter shots. Moreover, unlike the f/2.2 aperture in the Huawei P10, the camera in the P10 Plus offers a f/1.8 aperture.

Unlike previous Huawei smartphones, this partnership with Leica extends beyond the rear-facing camera. The front-facing shooter on both phones is also built by Leica.

Because the sensors in the P10 Plus are slightly better, this winner is clear.

Winner: Huawei P10 Plus

Software

Both smartphones feature Android 7.0 Nougat, which is the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system. On top of that, each device boasts Huawei’s EMUI 5.1 software, which brings a number of great features to the handsets. These include enhanced machine learning, along with better photo-tagging and video-generating software.

Android 7.0, as a whole, also brings some great features. The software boasts better multitasking features thanks to a new split-screen mode, for instance, as well as shortcuts that allow you to quickly access features from the home screen.

However, because the phones both have Android 7.0 and Huawei’s EMUI 5.1, this one is a tie.

Winner: Tie

Durability

The two phones are identical in the durability department. While reports indicate that they do have “waterproofing,” the level of waterproofing is unspecified. Thanks to their metal body and inclusion of Gorilla Glass 5, however, they should both be able to withstand a few drops.

Both phones seem durable enough, but like any device, you should be careful with them regardless. That said, we always recommend buying a protective case for your phone.

Winner: Tie

Price and availability

Unfortunately, neither of the two devices will make their way to the United States, though they will be available in much of Europe and Asia. Considering the P10 Plus is a better phone, you might expect it cost quite a bit extra. Thankfully, it doesn’t. While the P10 comes in at 650 euros — which equates to around $690 — the P10 Plus comes in at 700 euros, or $743. This is a small price to pay for the extra features afforded by the P10 Plus, so if you have that extra 50 euros, we certainly recommend the P10 Plus over the P10. Nonetheless, since the P10 is cheaper, it wins the pricing section.

Winner: Huawei P10

Overall winner: Huawei P10 Plus

There’s a clear winner here, and that’s the Huawei P10 Plus. However, most people will be fine with what the P10 has to offer. If you like gaming, virtual reality, or running multiple apps at a time, opting for a P10 Plus with RAM may be the better option for you. If, however, you don’t need that extra power, the P10 is still a great phone.

Of course, there’s also the question of size. A 5.5-inch display might be a bit much for some people, but others may appreciate the extra real estate, especially if you like to stream video content on the go.

18
Mar

6 Huawei P9 problems and the solutions to deal with them


The Huawei P9 is a gorgeous smartphone with a host of powerful hardware and software to ensure it stands tall next to the competition. It launched running Android 6.0 with a Huawei-developed UI on top, but has recently been updated to Android 7.0. Sadly, like many other Android-powered phones, it’s still prone to familiar problems, and we found a few new ones that are unique to the P9. If you’ve encountered any Huawei P9 problems or issues, perhaps our list of fixes and workarounds can help you out.

More: Just learning your way around the Huawei P9? Here’s how to use that superb dual-lens camera

Problem: Unable to connect using Bluetooth, or maintain a Bluetooth connection with other devices

This a common problem that many people with different smartphones run into, but the P9 can also share data with other phones via Bluetooth, which further complicates the matter. That said, the solutions on the P9 should sound familiar.

Potential solutions:

  • Make sure your phone is up to date and running the latest software version.
  • This sounds silly, but make sure Bluetooth is enabled by going to Settings > Bluetooth. Go to Clock and tap Slide to turn off alarm at the bottom of the screen, and make sure Visibility is enabled, so that your phone can be found and paired to.
  • If you’re trying to send data to another phone, make sure the Bluetooth has been enabled on the other device and that it’s discoverable. Also, make sure that it supports the file type you’re attempting to send.
  • If you’re trying to connect the P9 to other devices — i.e. headphones, cars, or speakers — check and see if they’re connected to another phone, if they have have enough battery power, and whether they’re within range.
  • Restart your phone and the Bluetooth device you’re trying to interact with.
  • Clear cached application data by going to Phone Manager > System optimization. You’ll then be given instructions to follow, which will allow you to manually clear files and and configure their settings. When the process is done, hit Finish.
  • Wipe the cache partition. Start by turning the phone off, then press and hold the Power and Volume down keys until the Huawei logo appears. Use the Volume Down button to navigate to wipe cache partition and use the Power key to select it. Once the cache partition is wiped, go to reboot system now and use the Power key to select it.

Issue: Can’t add Google account or open Play Store

Some P9 owners have found themselves unable to add a Google account, sign into their Google account, or even access the Google Play Store. Google-related apps and services such as Gmail, YouTube, and Google Drive are affected, with some apps instantly closing or becoming unresponsive when launched.

Potential solutions:

  • Restart your phone and try accessing one of the Google apps or services again.
  • Make sure you’re using the correct password for the Google account. According to user B.Diddy in the Android Central thread linked above, changing the password for your Google account will prevent you from logging in from a new phone for some time.
  • Try removing and re-adding your accounts again. You can do this by going to Settings > Accounts.
  • Go to Settings > Apps > the affected Google app(s) > Clear Cache/Clear Data.
  • Perform a factory reset. First open Backup, then head to Backup > Internal storage > Next and choose the files you wish to backup. Then, select Backup. Now open Settings and head to Advanced settings > Backup & reset > Factory data reset. If you want to format your internal storage, now is the time to do so. Once done, hit Reset phone. You can also tap Erase internal storage, which will do what you expect, but if you made a backup, you’ll be deleting that. Finally, tap Reset phone and your device will automatically restart when the process is complete. Restore your data by opening Backup, going to Restore > Restore from internal storage > Next. Afterward, choose the backup and data you want before tapping Start restoration.

Issue: Android Pay not working

In some cases, Huawei P9 users have been unsuccessful with Android Pay. When trying to use the feature, they’re met with the message “unsupported card” on the NFC reader’s screen, or the NFC reader doesn’t detect their phone at all.

Potential solutions:

  • If you have one of the dual-SIM Huawei P9 models, keep in mind that it doesn’t support NFC. Only single-SIM models offer NFC support.
  • Android Pay was updated in March. If you haven’t already,update the app to the latest version.
  • Make sure Android Pay supports your card and bank, as well as any stores you attempt to use it at.
  • Restart your phone and make sure it’s updated to the latest software version.
  • Remove the cards you’re trying to use, then re-add them.
  • It could be a faulty NFC reader at the retailer.
  • If none of the aforementioned solutions works for you, reach out to your carrier, or take your phone to the retailer you bought it from and ask about repairs or a replacement. Alternatively, locate a Huawei Service Center. There may be something wrong with your phone’s NFC capabilities.

Problem: Error message when using Camera app

When using the Camera app on the P9, a handful of users in this thread ran into an error message informing them that the camera is recording audio and “Com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox:interactor can’t open at the moment.” Fortunately, this problem isn’t as dramatic as it may appear, and there are a few easy things you can try.

Potential solutions:

  • Go to Settings > Google > Search > Voice > OK Google detection > Delete voice model > OK. This will disable a feature that allows you start a Google search from any app or webpage with the phrase, “OK Google.”
  • Wipe the cache partition. Start by turning your phone off, then press and hold the Power and Volume down keys until the Huawei logo appears. Then, use the Volume Down button to navigate to wipe cache partition and use the Power key to select it. Once the cache partition is wiped, go to reboot system now and use the Power key to select it.

Problem: App notifications not coming through

Some Huawei P9 owners have noticed that notifications for apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Twitter, and Facebook are not coming through unless the app is open. This is frustrating, because leaving the app(s) open when not in use can drain your battery at an unreasonable rate.

Potential solutions:

  • Open Power Manager > Protected Apps > The app you want notifications for > Toggle the switch on.
  • Go to Settings > Notification panel & status bar > Notification manager > the app you want notifications for > Toggle on the Priority display.

Problem: Bricked phone or phone is unresponsive

A number of people in these three threads on the XDA Developers forums have bricked their devices and have been unable to get them working again. Bricking isn’t unique to the P9, however. All Android phones can be rooted, making it difficult to know what, exactly, caused the issue.

Potential solutions:

  • Huawei has a program known as HiSuite, which may be able to help you get your Huawei P9 back in working condition.
  • Locate a Huawei Service Center to have your phone repaired.
  • Reach out to Huawei Support, as you may be able to have your device replaced.
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