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24
Aug

HTC reportedly considering selling its Vive VR business


Back in the day, HTC was one of the biggest and best Android manufacturers out there. It made a number of the most important Android handsets in the early days, including the very first — the T-Mobile G1 — as well as Google’s Nexus One. In recent years, however, Samsung took over the market with its Galaxy series; as such, HTC has been losing money and struggling for relevance. Given those struggles, it looks like HTC is investigating a major shakeup. Bloomberg is reporting that the company is investigating a sale of some kind.

It could sell off its Vive VR hardware business, which is probably the most successful and valuable part of the company these days. This would follow a move made last year when control of the Vive business was put in the hands of a wholly-owned subsidiary company. Another option being considered is a full sale of the entire company, which would include both the smartphone and VR businesses. Sources Bloomberg spoke with feel this is less likely because such an sale doesn’t fit quite as well with one single buyer.

This is far from a done deal; no potential buyers were cited nor was any timetable given. But given how difficult it is to make money as an Android device manufacturer, it’s not terribly surprising to hear that HTC is figuring out alternatives to just staying the course. That said, HTC has gotten some of its smartphone mojo back in the last few years, at least from a product quality point of view. Both 2016’s HTC 10 and this year’s U11 are the best phones the company has produced in years and the first that we could really recommend without reservation. HTC also was the manufacturer behind Google’s first Pixel phones, a contract that lends the brand some credibility.

But good hardware doesn’t lead to success — HTC just isn’t a household name in the way that Samsung and Apple are, and thus it’s been hard for the company to reverse its fortunes. How selling the Vive business — arguably the only part of HTC that’s truly hitting on all cylinders — would help HTC in the long run remains to be seen. (Besides the cash infusion that would come with that, of course.) We’re probably getting ahead of ourselves with all the speculation, as even Bloomberg says nothing may come of this. But it’s definitely worth keeping an eye out to see what’ll happen to the first Android smartphone manufacturer in the coming months.

Source: Bloomberg

24
Aug

Review: Honeywell’s $199 Lyric Round Thermostat Features a Nest-Like Design With HomeKit Support


Some of the more interesting types of smart home devices are thermostats, which can help save energy by optimizing scheduling, automatically sensing when the home is occupied or vacant, and more. One of the early entrants into the field on the HomeKit side is Honeywell, which has introduced several different smart thermostats, starting with the second-generation Lyric Round, which debuted early last year.

I’ve been using a Lyric Round for quite a while now, and I’ve come to appreciate its integration with HomeKit and its ease of use, while Honeywell has continued to improve its function and stability over time.

Installation

As with any hardwired electrical accessory, installation takes a little bit of work and patience, although thermostats are generally pretty straightforward. Depending on your type of heating and cooling system, you’ll find a variety of wires that need to be attached to the back of thermostat.

If you’re replacing an existing thermostat, it’s pretty easy to get everything hooked the same way on the new thermostat, as long as you make sure to keep track of which wire is which. And of course, it’s always good practice to turn off power to the thermostat at the circuit breaker when performing the installation.

The thermostat itself comes in two pieces, a wall plate and the thermostat body. The wall plate screws directly to the wall and contains the hookups for the wiring, as well as a handy built-in level to make sure everything is lined up as you mount the plate. The body of the thermostat then snaps onto the wall plate.

Depending on the form factor of your existing thermostat, you may also need to use the optional wall cover included with the Lyric Round in order to fully cover the hole in the wall, as I had to do in replacing a rectangular style thermostat. The wires feed through a small hole in the cover and the Lyric Round simply snaps onto the cover. The wall cover does detract from the sleek look of the Lyric Round itself, but there’s only so much you can do in trying to cover a hole in the wall unless you want to take on a drywall patching job.

I actually had a fair bit of difficulty with my installation, as the wiring for my existing thermostat terminated in a junction box, whereas typical thermostat wiring simply exits through a relatively small hole in the wall as junction boxes are generally not required due to the low voltage of the systems.

Junction box that caused some difficulties in installing the Lyric Round
The presence of a junction box not only required the use of the wall cover to hide the large hole in my wall, but also interfered with the mounting of the new thermostat, as the large hole left no drywall where I needed to attach the Lyric Round to the wall. Some sort of standardized adapter plate for junction boxes would have been handy, but Honeywell was unable to assist me in that regard, so I fashioned my own box cover that I was then able to screw the Lyric Round wall cover to.

Setup

Once I had the Lyric Round mounted to my wall and the power turned back on, setup was simple. Thermostat functions are managed through the Lyric app on iOS, which walks you through step-by-step to get you registered for a Honeywell account and let you specify details of your heating and air conditioning system such as type of heating system, fuel source, compressor stages, backup heat, and more.


Finally, the Lyric app allows you add your thermostat to HomeKit, integrating with the rest of your smart home devices and performing tasks like charging the temperature using Siri and controlling simple settings from Apple’s centralized Home app on iOS.

Lyric controls in Apple’s Home app for iOS

Interface

The Lyric Round itself has a simple and intuitive interface consisting of several components, with the simplest being a chrome ring around the edge of the thermostat that you turn left or right to adjust temperature, very similar to Nest’s iconic thermostat design. Subtle backlighting behind the thermostat in blue or orange gives you visual feedback when you’ve adjusted the settings cooler or warmer, while there are optional audible bleeps as you rotate the ring for additional feedback.

The Lyric Round also includes some touch sensitive buttons on the front, including a small screen at the top that lets you switch among heating, cooling, and off, with animated icons for heating and cooling when the system is running.


To the left of the main temperature display is a Weather button that brings up the current outdoor temperature and humidity, as well as forecasts for 6 and 12 hours into the future to help you make decisions about setting your thermostat.


To the right is a Home/Away button that lets you manually tell the Lyric Round you’re going to be away from the house for a period of time, and it will adjust the thermostat to your Away settings to reduce energy usage.


The Lyric Round also includes a basic motion sensor that allows the display to dim to a customizable level when not in use but then brighten and light up its buttons when it detects a person in the vicinity.

Lyric App

While basic controls are available at a touch on the Lyric Round, more advanced functions are managed in the Lyric app, which is a fairly slick-looking app with a simple main screen that displays the current temperature in a large font and a dial at the bottom of the screen to make it easy to adjust the temperature. Outdoor weather and indoor humidity are also displayed on the main screen, as are quick access icons for accessing fan mode, heating/cooling mode, and scheduling.

Main screen (left) and setting menu (right)
A menu button in the top left of the screen gives you access to a host of other features including home setup, multiple user management, HomeKit settings, and alerts and notifications.

Geofencing

The Home/Away function also supports geofencing, allowing you to set a customizable radius around your home. Once you leave that radius, the Lyric Round will automatically switch to your Away settings, reducing energy usage. When you reenter the geofenced radius, it will return to normal settings.

Sleep Settings and Scheduling

In addition to separate Home and Away settings, the Lyric app also lets you turn on Sleep settings for a different comfort levels at night, simply setting the desired sleeping temperatures or heating and cooling and choosing the times you want them to be in effect.


Those looking for more customization can use schedules, setting temperature and times for Wake, Away, Home, and Sleep. You can apply the settings on an everyday basis, separated into weekdays and weekends, or on a single-day basis.

Adaptive Recovery and Fine Tune

With adaptive recovery, Lyric learns how quickly your system is able to heat and cool, adjusting its timing to optimize comfort as your schedule changes. Fine tuning capabilities also allows Lyric to take into account the humidity and outdoor weather to adjust its settings for maintaining comfort.

Temperature Alerts and Filter Reminders

The Lyric app lets you set up several different types of alert notifications, including high and low indoor temperature and humidity limits that can alert you to problems with your heating and air conditioning system.


You can also set up push notifications to remind you to change your air filters, with customizable time frames ranging from one to eleven months.

Wrap-up

Thermostats are proving to be one of the more popular HomeKit accessories with third-party manufacturers, due in large part to the usefulness of including smart home technology in these products. Scheduling, geofencing, intelligent monitoring and comfort adjustments, and other features make for nice upgrades over more traditional thermostats, even those that have for many years supported basic scheduling functions.

The Lyric Round is a quality entrant into this market, with its attractive design meshing nicely with many home decors and offering some of the same benefits of a Nest thermostat but with HomeKit support. The classic round design originally made famous by Honeywell decades ago has been updated with the smooth ring to make manual temperature adjustments simple. Scheduling and geofencing functions make it easy to “set it and forget it” and let the thermostat maintain your comfort level and save energy.

The Lyric Round was originally priced at $249 last year, but Honeywell has since reduced the price to $199 and it is available from a variety of retailers including Amazon. Be aware that some retailer including Apple are still selling the Lyric Round for $249, so be sure to check pricing before you buy.

Note: Honeywell provided the Lyric Round to MacRumors free of charge for the purposes of this review. No other compensation was received. MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon and may earn commissions on purchases made through links in this article.

Tags: HomeKit, review, Honeywell
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24
Aug

Tim Cook Hits the Road to Visit Testing Equipment Manufacturer CTS in Cincinnati [Updated]


Apple CEO Tim Cook is on the road in the weeks ahead of the iPhone 8 reveal, expected sometime in early-to-mid September. In a tweet posted this morning, Cook shared a visit he made in Cincinnati to CTS (Cincinnati Test Systems), where he met and discussed with the teams who build leak detection equipment for Apple.

CTS builds leak detection hardware for a variety of industries, including automotive and medical, collecting data that provides pressure decay, vacuum decay, mass flow, helium leak, and other leak detection resources for its customers. The company likely does the same for Apple and its suppliers, providing quality assurance for Apple during the manufacturing stages of its devices.

Thanks to the team at CTS in Cincinnati, manufacturers of best-in-class testing equipment for Apple. Enjoyed my visit this morning! pic.twitter.com/lFLW5caYxw

— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) August 24, 2017

It’s unclear at this time where Cook might be heading next, or how his travels might be tied into the reveal of the iPhone 8, iPhone 7s, and iPhone 7s Plus next month. We’re expecting event invites to go out very soon, especially if Apple decides to hold the reveal within the first week of September.

In a report yesterday that sourced French telephone carriers, Mac4Ever said that the event would be held in the second week of the month, on September 12, and the iPhone 8 would then launch on September 22, but the official dates are still unconfirmed.

Update: Tim Cook will also visit Des Moines today, where he will attend a meeting focused on Apple’s just-announced data center in Waukee, Iowa.

Tag: Tim Cook
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24
Aug

iPhone 7s Plus Bare Logic Board Surfaces With A11 Chip and Intel Modem Markings


Benjamin Geskin‏ today shared a photo of what appears to be four bare logic boards that are likely for the so-called iPhone 7s Plus.

Alleged logic board likely for iPhone 7s Plus via Benjamin Geskin
We know the logic board is likely for the iPhone 7s Plus because the placement of the screw holes is consistent with the iPhone 7 Plus logic board, while the top narrow portion is wider than the iPhone 7 logic board.

The so-called iPhone 8, meanwhile, is expected to have a stacked logic board design with a L-shaped two-cell battery pack, which effectively rules out this logic board being for the widely rumored OLED display model.

The logic board isn’t populated with components, but there are pads etched on it that suggest the iPhone 7s Plus will be powered by an Apple A11 chip, while at least one model appears to have an Intel modem.

We know this because blurry images of the alleged A11 chip were shared by Chinese social media account GeekBar last week, and the rear design of the chip is consistent with the pad on the bare logic board.

Alleged photos of Apple’s A11 chip via GeekBar
Apple’s A11 chip reportedly uses a new 10-nanometer FinFET manufacturing process introduced by supplier TSMC, and it will undoubtedly be faster than the A10 Fusion chip in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

As for the modem being supplied by Intel or Qualcomm, the modem pad pattern is virtually identical to the one on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus logic board, and those smartphones are equipped with Intel’s XMM7360 chip.

While not pictured, Apple will likely continue to dual source modems from Qualcomm for its upcoming iPhone lineup. Qualcomm’s legal dispute with Apple, however, could push more orders in Intel’s direction.

The logic board is etched with a “3217” timestamp, corresponding with the 32nd week of 2017, suggesting it was manufactured in early August.

The rest of the logic board is largely the same as the bare iPhone 7 logic board that surfaced last August — and proved to be real.

Alleged iPhone 7s display assembly via Slashleaks
In related news, photos of what could be the iPhone 7s’s display assembly have surfaced on Chinese social platform Weibo. If real, the part reveals no surprises for the iPhone 7s, which is expected to look similar to the iPhone 7.

Apple is expected to announce its new iPhone lineup at a September event, potentially alongside a new 4K Apple TV and Apple Watch Series 3.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8
Tags: Intel, A11 chip
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24
Aug

How to make a ZIP file on a Mac


If you send or download things on a frequent basis, you have probably encountered your share of “zipped” files. These files have been compressed to cut down on the file size, making it quicker to upload or download them. If you’re a Mac user, you may want to know how to use these files to transmit data, whether for work or personal use. Here is how to make a ZIP file on a Mac.

So, what is a ZIP file?

When you need to send lots of data, you might be distraught at how long it takes. This can be especially troublesome with music or video files, which, depending on the format, could take hours to upload or download. The way around this is to compress the files, either by eliminating redundancies in the files, which can then by recreated (lossless compression) or by cutting out unnecessary bits, albeit at the cost of a perfect replica (lossy). Compressed files are packed into various archive formats such as RAR and ZIP. When you download a compressed file, you will need to extract the contents — or “unzip” them — in order to access them.

How to create a ZIP file on a Mac

Creating a ZIP file on a Mac is quick and easy, as MacOS contains a built-in utility for compressing or unzipping files.

First, find a file or group of files you want to compress. For a single file, simply right-click it and select Compress [file name].

You will see a ZIP file appear in the same folder as the original, which will still be present.

To compress multiple files into one ZIP file, select them all, then right-click and select Compress X items, with X being the number of highlighted files.

A single Archive file will appear in the folder the originals are in.

How to unzip a file

Unzipping a ZIP file is about as easy as creating one. Simply right-click the file in question, hover over Open With, and choose Archive Utility (or a third-party unzipping program, if you have one).

MacOS will automatically create a new folder containing the zipped files in the same location as the ZIP file. If you want to secure your ZIP files with a password, we have a guide for that, too.




24
Aug

Virtual Reality is set to change how we live and have fun


Hollywood and its action flicks have been teasing the whole world with a new type of lifestyle based on Virtual Reality. In the 80s the blockbuster movie Total Recall was based in an interplanetary conspiracy that started with the lead actor being entertained with a VR machine.

An endless amount of films, books, and TV shows have made Virtual Reality the center of their plots, but in real life VR has not been as close to our everyday lifestyle as it was once advertised. Or at least not until now. We’ve seen that in the last couple of months there have been new attractions that are based in Virtual Reality, let’s see what they are all about.

Let’s start with roller coasters. The colossal metal monsters have been giving thrills and chills to entire generations, but a new wave of machines are being designed to enhance the experience. For example, we have Kraken Unleashed at SeaWorld Orlando. If you live adrenaline you’ll have a blast in this incredible attraction that uses Virtual Reality to make the ups and downs more exciting.

Theme parks from all over the world are jumping in the VR wagon, as roller coaster enthusiasts are always looking for the next best thing. In Orlando, Kraken was already a classic as it was introduced to the public in the year 2000, but the park has decided to take it up a notch and they added a headset to give it a new underwater feeling. The goal is to make the visitors have a face to face meeting with the legendary monster on its own turf: the deep ocean.

Visitors can decide on whether they go on the classic version or the new VR version. The ride lasts two minutes, but that is enough for most people.

But not only theme parks are embracing this new technology, Virtual Reality has also made its presence felt in the casino business. Casino players are always hungry for new experiences and if you are curious you can try the VR in combination with live casino in the comfort of your home. You’ll see that you will never want to go back to the traditional machines.

You can be sure that Virtual Reality is here to stay, all the new tech releases are going in that direction and the market is giving consumers just what they want. If you still don’t know what all the fuss is about we recommend you see for yourself, you will be very surprised.

24
Aug

Know the different ways to tracking phones


Phones have become a part of the daily existence of everyday life. People can’t simply do without a phone these days. Having established the importance of the phone, smart or not, we can imagine the dreadful experience we face when we lose it or the phone gets stolen. In a way, our life comes to a standstill.

With great advancements in technology, tracking phones have become as easy as a walk in the park, provided you have made a proper back-up for the data on your phone. Once you are able to retrieve your phone, getting back old data will make life easier for you; you will carry on like nothing’s happened instead of recollecting the lost data.

How do you track a cell phone?

As mentioned earlier, technological advancement has paved way for tracking phones at a much easier level and at the comfort of your home. Today’s scenario is such that it is better to be prepared for action in case you do lose the phone. Many apps and software have launched in the market that keeps you prepared for tracking phones, in the case of stolen or lost phones.

To find more and better options for tracking phones, log on to https://www.mspy.com/current-gps-location.htmlnow and get a wide range of options.

Few of the best apps available for tracking phones are

  1. Prey, compatible both with ios and Android phones.
  2. Lookout, it combines tracking, security and malware protection.
  3. Avast anti-theft, compatible for Android phones only.
  4. Cerberus anti-theft, best anti-theft app compatible with Android phones.
  5. Find my device for the Android users.
  6. Find my iPhone for the ios devices.

In order to track a cell phone, you need to be prepared in advance by installing the best app that suits your phone.

How do you track an iPhone?

To track an iPhone, that you might have lost or might have got stolen, the best way is to locate it using another iPhone and the Find My iPhone app. If you are using ios 5 or later versions, this app comes as default in the iPhone. The app works with the icloud and is able to track your phone, provided your phone is connected to the internet.

You can type in your number on any iPhone’s Find My iPhone app and locate your phone.In case you aren’t able to locate the phone, there are options of leaving a message on the phone to inform the person who finds it that the phone has been lost and a contact number is provided in case the person who finds it wants to contact the phone owner directly.

Another option is to completely erase the data on the phone. This is done in order to protect from misuse of personal information and data that is stored on the phone, like the photos, contacts, bank details, email addresses and such.

Trying to locate and track a cell phone has been made so easy that you don’t have to be dependent on professionals to look for the phone you lost. You can do it all by yourself with a laptop, an ios phone or an Android phone.

And there are more advanced ways in which you can track phones without letting the owners know that they are being tracked, mostly in case of some criminal activity.

24
Aug

Latest Windows 10 Insider build lets you poke your tongue out in My People


Why it matters to you

Microsoft’s latest Insider build is mostly bug fixes, unless you’ve ‘skipped ahead,’ in which case it’s looking to bring augmented reality to the fore.

Microsoft’s new Windows 10 Insider build 16273 is mostly designed to improve stability and fix bugs ahead of the Fall Creators Update, but it does have a few new features too. One of them is the introduction of emoji notifications in My People, letting you use Skype emojis in your chats with friends and family through the Windows communication tool.

Although Microsoft’s Windows Insider program has for some time now maintained a couple of different “rings” — fast and slow — this preview build begins the new branch in the “Skip Ahead” program, giving those part of it their own release cycle. However, all Insiders will be getting builds more frequently as we edge closer to the launch of the Fall Creators Update.

Build 16273 itself adds the new emoji notifications for the My People chat tool — you can use the Windows Insider Emoji Bot to grab emojis from Skype — and a new font called Bahnschrift. A common road-sign font in Germany, it is not only a new style choice for Windows Insiders in its own right, but also leverages Microsoft’s new OpenType variable font system to offer an expanded spectrum of weighting. That means you can pick much more nuanced weights than just light, regular, or bold.

One feature that is being reserved for Skip Ahead members is a new mixed reality feature in the View 3D application. Using this update you can add 3D creations to the application and then interact with them in mixed reality. Working a little like the Disney Magic Bench that was recently unveiled, users will be able to take downloaded creations or ones they made themselves in apps like Paint 3D and have them come to life.

View 3D handles the tracking of the augmented reality characters, and also provides the ability to take high-resolution snapshots of them in action, making it easier than ever to share your augmented creations with the wider world.

Microsoft has also made a multitude of smaller changes in this Insider release, including fixes and improvements to Windows Shell, Microsoft Edge, and Windows inputs. For a look at all of the hundred plus fixes and changes, have a read of the full changelog on Microsoft’s blog.




24
Aug

Bill Gates and Richard Branson make a beefy investment in lab-grown meat


Why it matters to you

Someday soon you may be noshing on meat that was grown in a lab.

Meat just ain’t what it used to be. Locally raised beef has entered the market even as the factory-farmed kind remains king, but now lab-grown sources are beginning to look like where the future of food is headed. How long until ethical vegetarians take a guilt-free bite out of a burger and the chide “Does your food have a face?” falls into obscurity?

The truth is, it will probably be a while. When the startup Memphis Meats announced in April that it had for the first time grown chicken meat in a lab, the firm admitted that the achievement came at a cost of $9,000 per pound. That’s a pricey bite.

But today Memphis Meats announced a development that puts its patties into perspective and demonstrates just how much support the lab-grown meat movements has. Business leaders like Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and Kimbal Musk have joined food industry giants like Cargill and venture capital firms in backing the startup with $17 million in a Series A round of funding. In total Memphis Meats has raised $22 million.

We believe this is a very important day for the future of protein,” Steve Myrick, vice president of business development at Memphis Meats, told Digital Trends. “This marks the first public commitment to the clean meat movement by top venture investors or meat industry leaders. This announcement also marks a major moment in which the meat industry and mission-driven groups have come under the same tent. This funding is validating for the clean meat space, and Memphis Meats is now established as the clear leader.”

The shift from farm and factory raised to lab-grown meat might not be an easy one for society to swallow and, as Gizmodo recently pointed out, the startup’s ambition is great but it’s unclear when an affordable product will be available. But lab-grown meat would likely drastically cut carbon emissions.

“This is a momentous occasion for anyone who wants to see a food system that is safe, good for the planet and animals, and completely satisfying to consumers,” Bruce Friedrich, executive director of the Good Food Institute, said in a statement. “Memphis Meats is doing amazing work to make this vision a reality. We are excited to welcome a meat industry leader into the fold, and I believe they have enormous potential to support and accelerate this work. For animal welfare and environmental advocates, today is a huge step forward.”

The recent investment suggests that there’s more to the lab-grown meat than meets the eye.




24
Aug

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 vs. Galaxy S8 Plus: More than an S Pen


Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 is launching roughly a year after the disastrous debut of the recalled Note 7. But it also comes on the heels of Samsung’s last flagship, the much-lauded Galaxy S8 Plus. So what are the differences?

The Note 8 is a bigger smartphone, for starters, and comes with Samsung’s S Pen stylus. It’s first in the Samsung smartphone with a dual camera, but it packs the same Qualcomm’s octa-core Snapdragon 835 processor on the S8. It’s the second, after the S8, to support the company’s computer-replacing Dex Station and AI-powered Bixby assistant. But the Galaxy S8 Plus is impressive in its own right. We put Galaxy Note 8 vs. Galaxy S8 Plus to see which is the better phone.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Galaxy Note 8

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

google pixel vs samsung galaxy s8 thumb

Size
162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6 mm (6.40 x 2.95 x 0.34 inches)
159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm (6.28 x 2.89 x 0.32 inches)
Weight
6.88 ounces (195 grams)
 6.1 ounces (173 grams)
Screen
6.3-inch Super AMOLED
6.2-inch Super AMOLED
Resolution
2,960 x 1,440
 2,960 x 1,440
OS
 Android 7.1.1 Nougat
 Android 7.0 Nougat
Storage
 64GB (U.S.), 128, 256GB (International)
  64GB (U.S.), 128GB (International)
MicroSD Card Slot
 Yes
 Yes
NFC support
 Yes
 Yes
Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Samsung Exynos 8895 (international)
 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Samsung Exynos 8895 (international)
RAM
 6GB
 4GB (U.S.), 6GB (select markets)
Connectivity
 GSM, CDMA, HSPA, EVDO, LTE
 GSM, CDMA, HSPA, EVDO, LTE
Camera
Dual 12MP rear, 8MP front
 12MP rear, 8MP front
Video
 4K
 4K
Bluetooth
 Yes, version 5.0
 Yes, version 5.0
Fingerprint sensor
 Yes
 Yes
Other sensors scanner 
Accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, geomagnetic, heart rate, proximity sensor, iris scanner, pressure sensor
Accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, compass, heart rate, proximity sensor, iris scanner
Water Resistant
 Yes, IP68 rated
 Yes, IP68 rated
Battery
 3,300mAh
 3,500mAh
Charger
 USB-C
 USB-C
Quick Charging
 Yes
 Yes
Wireless Charging
 Yes, Qi and PMA
 Yes, Qi and PMA
Marketplace
 Google Play Store
 Google Play Store
Color offerings
Black, gray, blue (international), gold (international)
 Black, silver, gray, blue (international), gold (international)
Availability
 AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, Unlocked

AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, Unlocked

Price
$930
 $850
DT Review
Hands-on review
4 stars out of 5

The Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8 Plus share a lot in common.

The Note 8 packs Qualcomm’s octa-core Snapdragon 835 processor, same as the Galaxy S8 Plus. (Qualcomm claims it has a 27-percent performance advantage over its predecessor, the Snapdragon 821.) But the Note 8 has an advantage: Extra memory. The Note 8 comes with 6GB of memory, whereas the Galaxy S8 Plus has 4GB. Whether the extra RAM will be useful is still up for debate.

It’s pretty much the same story in the storage department. Both the new Note and the Galaxy S8 Plus have 64GB of internal memory, and a MicroSD Card slot allows you to easily add more storage.

The Galaxy Note 8’s extra memory may provide an advantage with multiasking, but it will hardly be discernible from the S8. Still, since it does offer more RAM, we’re giving it the win.

Winner: Galaxy Note 8

Design and display

galaxy note 8 vs. galaxy s8 plus display
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Galaxy Note 8 may be bigger and blockier than the Galaxy S8 Plus, but the two phones are cut from the same cloth.

Take the Galaxy Note 8’s frame, for example. It’s constructed from the same metal-and-glass mix as the S8 Plus, and features the same shatter-resistant Gorilla Glass 5 casing. Little else has changed. The Note 8 has a USB-C port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a fingerprint sensor, and an iris scanner. Same goes for the S8 Plus.

Given that the Note 8 and Galaxy S8 Plus are made from the same materials, it’s not surprising that they’re equally durable. They’re both IP68 certified for water resistance, meaning they can be submerged in up to 5 feet of water for half an hour without sustaining damage. Neither are rated for drops or scratches, meaning they’ll both need a case to survive more than a heavily-cushioned fall.

The similarities extend to the edge-to-edge screen. The Note 8’s screen is a bit larger than the Galaxy S8 Plus’ — 6.3 inches versus 6.2 inches — but it boasts the same curved bezels and narrow sides on the top and bottom. With the exception of the Note 8’s corners, which taper off more gradually than those on the S8 Plus, it’s tough to tell the two apart.

The Galaxy Note 8’s screen isn’t markedly different from the S8 Plus’ in terms of specs, either. It’s a bright, colorful Super AMOLED model with the same Quad HD+ resolution (2,960 x 1,440 pixels) and an 18.5:9 aspect ratio.

Despite the similarities between the Galaxy Note 8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus, we’re partial to the S8 Plus. Its gradual curves make the S8 Plus look more futuristic and less aggressive than the Note 8, which we think is a good thing.

Winner: Galaxy S8 Plus

Battery life and charging

galaxy note 8 vs. galaxy s8 plus battery
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Galaxy Note 8 has a 3,300mAh battery, which comes in slightly under the Galaxy S8 Plus’ 3,500mAh battery. It’s too early to tell how much of a difference that 200mAh difference will make in the real world, but we’re not expecting anything dramatic. The Galaxy S8 Plus lasted about a day with moderate to heavy use in our testing, and we’re expecting the same of the Note 8.

Both phones support wireless charging (Qi and PMA), as well as Samsung’s Adaptive Fast Charging. With a compatible adapter, you can expect the Note 8 to charge just as quickly as the S8 Plus — in about 90 minutes, give or take.

Regardless, the S8 Plus still does have a bigger battery, so we’re giving it the win.

Winner: Galaxy S8 Plus

Camera

galaxy note 8 vs. galaxy s8 plus camera
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The biggest difference between the Galaxy Note 8 and the Galaxy S8 is the camera.

The Note 8 is the first flagship Samsung phone with dual lenses. They’re both 12-megapixel lens, but one has a f/1.7 aperture, while the other has a f/2.4 aperture. It’s one of the world’s first dual smartphone camera with optical image stabilization on both lenses. The Galaxy S8 Plus, on the other hand, has a 12-megapixel camera with an f/1.7 aperture.

The Note 8 puts those dual cameras to good use. Live Focus, a new camera mode, lets you apply a DSLR-like blur effect — bokeh — before or after you capture a photo. Dual Capture takes a close-up shot and a wide-angle shot at the same time.

The Galaxy S8 Plus has Selective Focus, which essentially mimics Live Focus’ bokeh effect with software. Sadly, however, the results don’t always look natural.

On the front, the Note 8 and Galaxy S8 Plus feature the same 8-megapixel sensor with an f/1.7 aperture. If the S8 Plus’ selfie performance is any indication, you can expect the Note 8’s front-facing camera to perform well in low-light scenarios.

Winner: Galaxy Note 8

Software

galaxy note 8 vs. galaxy note 7 software

The Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8 Plus ship with Google’s Android mobile operating system, but Samsung has added its own interface as a layer called TouchWiz. Unsurprisingly, the two versions are practically identical.

Perhaps the highlight when it comes to software is Samsung’s Bixby assistant, featured on both, which taps into the 10 different Samsung apps that come pre-loaded on the Galaxy S8 to serve up contextually useful information. Both phones also support Dex Station, a docking station (sold separately) that transforms the Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8 Plus into a functional desktop replacement. Both the Note 8 and Galaxy S8 Plus have iris scanners and face-scanning cameras on the front, which save you the trouble of having to type in a password. The Note 8 does run a more recent version of Android, version 7.1.1, while the S8 Plus is on Android 7.0. Both will like get Android 8.0 Oreo by early 2018.

But the Note 8 has something that the Galaxy S8 Plus doesn’t: Samsung’s S Pen stylus. There’s Screen Off Memo, a feature which lets you sketch and write memos without switching on the Note 8’s display, and Smart Select, which generates GIFs. Air Command provides a list of shortcuts to apps whenever the S Pen is removed from its slot, and Magnify turns the S Pen into a digital magnifying glass, enlarging the text and images around its tip. A new feature called Live Messages lets you sketch an animated image and share it with friends or on social media as a GIF.

Then there’s App Pair, which lets you add a shortcut to launch two apps in split-screen mode at the same time. This feature will likely come to the S8 Plus later on.

Winner: Galaxy Note 8

Price and availability

The Galaxy Note 8 isn’t available yet — it’s available for pre-order, and it goes on sale in September. But when it does launch online and in stores, it’ll be a heck of a lot more expensive than the Galaxy S8 Plus.

Galaxy Note 8 pre-orders start at midnight on August 24 at AT&T, C Spire, Cricket Wireless, Sprint, Straight Talk Wireless, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon Wireless, Xfinity Mobile, Samsung.com, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart.

The Galaxy S8 Plus, on the other hand, is currently available from all major carriers, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. The 64GB models starts at $850.

Galaxy Note 8
Galaxy S8 Plus
Verizon
$40 for 24 months ($960)
 $35 for 24 months or ($840)
AT&T
$31.67 for 30 months ($950)
 $35.42 for 24 months or $28.34 for 30 months ($850)
T-Mobile
$39 for 24 months ($930) or $30 per month and $210 down
 $130 down $30 for 24 months or $0 down and $33 for 24 months ($850)
Sprint
$40 for an 18-month lease
 $35.42 for 24 months ($850)

We wouldn’t be surprised to see discounted pricing for the Galaxy S8 Plus in the near future, but based on the MSRP pricing, the Note 8 is the far better value.

The Galaxy Note 8 is pricier than the Galaxy S8 Plus across the board, as you can see. But to sweeten the pot, Samsung, retailers, and carrier partners are extending freebies and discounts to early buyers.

  • From now until September 24, customers who pre-order the Note 8 get a choice of a free Samsung Gear 360 camera (a $230 value) or a free Galaxy Foundation kit with a 128GB memory card and wireless charging convertible (a $190 value).
  • Samsung is also extending a substantial discount to former Note 7 owners who reserve the Note 8 early. They’re eligible for an instant trade-in rebate of up to $425 when they upgrade their current phone for a Note 8.
  • Verizon is offering 50 percent off the Note 8’s retail price to subscribers who trade in their old phones, plus $100 off the Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch with a new two-year activation, $50 off the Samsung Power Bundle, which includes a wireless charging stand, portable power pack, and car charger.
  • AT&T is throwing in a free Galaxy Note 8 for customers who sign up for DirecTV service.
  • U.S. Cellular is giving customers who switch from another carrier up to $300 in credit.

There’s no two ways about it: The Galaxy Note 8 has better hardware than the Galaxy S8 Plus. But the Note 8 isn’t available right now, and at $930 unlocked, it’s one of the most expensive Samsung phones in history.

Winner: Galaxy S8 Plus

Overall winner: Galaxy Note 8

Samsung’s Plus-sized phones have always threatened to cannabalize its Note series, and this time is no exception. There’s very little to distinguish the Note 8 from the Galaxy S8 Plus: It has the same Snapdragon processor, the same screen resolution, the same storage capacity, and even many of the same software features (like Bixby and Dex dock compatibility).

What the Note 8 offers is Samsung’s S Pen. It’s included in the box, and lets you jot down notes when the screen is off and launch apps by removing the pen from its holster. The Note 8 also features dual cameras. If you don’t care about the Note 8’s stylus and dual cameras, you’re better off with the S8 Plus. You’re sacrificing a stylus, true, but gaining a slightly bigger battery and better design for roughly the same price.




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