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24
May

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished iMac Pro Models at 15% Discount


Apple today added refurbished iMac Pro models to its online store for the first time in the United States and Canada.

A selection of 8-core, 10-core, and 18-core configurations are available with various storage, memory, and graphics options, priced between $4,249 and $8,159 in the United States, reflecting savings of 15 percent. All of the refurbished configurations are currently available with next-day delivery.

The base model iMac Pro with a 3.2GHz eight-core Intel Xeon W processor, 32GB of DDR4 ECC memory, 1TB of SSD storage, and Radeon Pro Vega 56 graphics is available for $4,249, for example, compared to $4,999 brand new.

Apple released the iMac Pro in December 2017 as a powerful, top-of-the-line workstation designed for professional users with demanding workflows, such as advanced video and graphics editing, virtual reality content creation, and real-time 3D rendering. Benchmarks have proven it is by far the fastest Mac ever.

The all-in-one desktop workstation has a 27-inch Retina 5K display within a sleek Space Gray enclosure, and can be configured with up to an 18-core Intel Xeon processor, up to 4TB of SSD storage, up to 128GB of ECC RAM, and up to an AMD Radeon Pro Vega 64 graphics processor with 16GB of HBM2 memory.

Apple says all refurbished iMac Pro models are thoroughly inspected, tested, cleaned, and repackaged with a new box and all manuals and accessories, including a Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad and Magic Mouse 2 in Space Gray. Apple’s refurbished products are generally indistinguishable from brand new ones.

Any refurbished iMac Pro model comes with Apple’s standard one-year warranty effective on the date the computer is delivered. The warranty can be extended to up to three years from the original purchase date with AppleCare+ for iMac, at a cost of $169 in the United States, but the plan is unavailable in Canada.

All in all, customers can save between $750 and $1,440 on an iMac Pro, but better deals are sometimes offered by third-party resellers. Micro Center stores, for example, have twice offered $1,000 off the base model iMac Pro.

(Thanks, Alex!)

Related Roundup: iMac ProTag: refurbishedBuyer’s Guide: iMac Pro (Buy Now)
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24
May

Verizon Dialing Back Standalone Live TV Service Plans, Will Partner With Existing OTT Provider Instead


In March 2017, a report from Bloomberg stated that Verizon Communications was preparing to launch its own live streaming television service, entering as a competitor to DirecTV Now, Sling TV, PS Vue, and more. Later in October, the service was delayed to 2018, and now company CEO Lowell McAdam has hinted that plans for the OTT platform will shift to a partnership-focused model.

Speaking with Yahoo Finance this week, McAdam said that he believes the “linear” model of TV is dead, referencing how viewers traditionally received their content via a strict live schedule, in contrast to on-demand streaming. Reporting on the interview, Multichannel News stated McAdam is looking into integrating Oath’s content (a subsidiary of Verizon) with an existing over-the-top provider.

McAdam is believed to have a partner for this picked out soon, and the plan is to launch in the fourth quarter of 2018. Back in October, McAdam stated that the company was giving itself six months to decide whether to offer the service as stand-alone or through a partnership — a decision that now appears to be made.

Well by the time we launch in fourth quarter we will have a partner picked out, and we’ll integrate our Oath assets into the linear assets that they have and bring the full package to customers. We think that’s gonna be a big hit from a customer perspective.

It’s uncertain which platform Verizon might choose with the growing stable of live TV streaming services on the market. Least likely candidates are DirecTV Now due to AT&T’s ownership of the service, and T-Mobile’s own upcoming OTT service. Other popular services include YouTube TV, Hulu With Live TV, and fuboTV. All of these include options to watch linear live tv, as well as check out content at any time on demand.

At the time of the initial rumor, Verizon’s platform was reported to launch with “dozens” of channels and run between $20/month and $35/month, which are Sling TV’s and DirecTV Now’s starting prices, respectively. At the time of the delay, people close to the company referenced staff shuffling, negotiations for streaming rights, and technology reboots as contributing factors to the postponed launch, and likely affected the company’s decision to partner with an existing service instead.

At one point Apple was hoping to become a competitor in the live-streaming service field with its own dedicated cord-cutting bundle, but rumors of that service died down after news came out that the company was “frustrated” by its repeated inability to reach mutually beneficial terms with network programmers. Now, Apple is focusing on launching an on-demand streaming service along the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Tag: Verizon
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24
May

Apple Knew About Bendgate and Touch Disease iPhone 6 Issues Months in Advance of Repair Programs


As part of an ongoing lawsuit over the “Touch Disease” manufacturing issue affecting iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices, Apple was required to provide the court with internal testing documents that suggest the company knew about iPhone 6 and 6 Plus design problems before the two devices launched.

The full scope of the internal documents remain under seal, but the judge providing over the case, Lucy Koh, made some of the information public when she published an opinion on the case earlier this month, and Motherboard shared the details she offered up about the case.

Apple knew that the iPhone 6 was 3.3 times more likely to bend than the iPhone 5s, while the iPhone 6 Plus was 7.2 times more likely to bend ahead of the release of the two devices. Publicly, though, Apple said that the two devices had been “thoroughly tested” and evaluated for “strength and durability.” Bending, according to Apple, was “extremely rare” and only happened to a small number of customers.


At the heart of the Touch Disease problem is an earlier issue that received widespread attention — bendgate.

Bendgate was the first and most visible issue affecting the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but the malleability of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is also what led to Touch Disease, which occurs when the chip that detects touch input becomes unseated from the logic board from bending or as Apple claims, multiple drops. Apple quietly addressed Touch Disease in an engineering change implemented in May 2016, but did not launch a repair program until months later after the problem received significant attention. From Judge Koh:

After internal investigation, Apple determined underfill was necessary to resolve the problems caused by the touchscreen defect. As the Plaintiffs explain, “[u]nderfill is a bead of epoxy encapsulant that is placed on a circuit chip to reinforce its attachment to the board substrate and to stiffen the surrounding assembly. … Underfill is used to prevent the manifestation of chip defects induced by bending because it reinforces the connections and prevents them from bending away from the substrate.”

As part of the repair program that Apple eventually put in place, the company is replacing devices affected by Touch Disease with a replacement device for a service fee of $149.

The Touch Disease lawsuit is still ongoing and not all documentation has been made public. Judge Koh recently denied the plantiffs’ attempt to get class certification, but an appeal is in the works. The full court document covering the denial for class certification is available from Motherboard.

Tag: Bendgate
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24
May

First Alert’s All-in-One HomeKit-Enabled Smoke Detector, Speaker, and Alexa Assistant Now Available to Order


First Alert has announced that its Onelink Safe & Sound smoke and carbon monoxide detector is now available to order.

Introduced at CES 2018, the Onelink Safe & Sound distinguishes itself from a traditional smoke detector with a built-in speaker and noice-canceling microphones, and support for Amazon Alexa, making it a ceiling-mounted assistant.

Homeowners can ask Alexa to stream music from Amazon Music, Pandora, and soon Spotify, read the news, check the weather, control other smart home devices, and more. Audio playback is also supported via Bluetooth.


Onelink Safe & Sound also supports HomeKit, enabling iPhone and iPad users to control the detector with Siri or Apple’s Home app.

While its latest press release does not mention AirPlay 2, First Alert has informed MacRumors that the Safe & Sound’s speaker will support the since-delayed Apple protocol as soon as it is available, enabling multi-room audio and Siri control for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch users through the Home app.

AirPlay 2 support will allow a homeowner to install multiple detectors around the house and control audio on a room-by-room basis.

In terms of the detector itself, an alarm alerts homeowners on their smartphones in the event of a smoke or carbon monoxide emergency, whether home or away. With exclusive voice and location technology by First Alert, the Safe & Sound alerts users to the type of danger and its location within the home.

Beyond its smart alarm capabilities, the Safe & Sound also features a customizable night light with multiple colors and brightness levels.

The Onelink Safe & Sound is currently available for $249.99 from Amazon and First Alert’s online store in the United States, but a regular price of $299.99 is listed. It’s unclear when the $50 off introductory offer will end.

Tags: HomeKit, First Alert
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24
May

Handy OnePlus 6 tips and tricks to get the most out of your phone


Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

It hasn’t even been a year since the release of the OnePlus 5T, but if you’re now the proud owner of a OnePlus 6, you’ve made a good choice. The latest release boasts super-fast performance, a stunning all-glass body, and the largest display in the OnePlus family so far. Even though it does share many of the same features with its predecessors, the 6 manages to bring a few new tricks to the table.

We’re sure you have the basics down, but we’re here to help you get the most out of your new smartphone with these OnePlus 6 tips and tricks.

How to hide the notch

Regardless of whether or not you’re a fan of the notch, it’s become the smartphone trend of 2018. But for those who truly can’t stand it, Oxygen OS does give you an option to hide it. Simply go into Settings > Display > Notch Display. You’ll then have to tap on Hide the notch area to activate Compatibility mode, which doesn’t allow fullscreen apps to use the notch area.

For further customization, you can also choose from the Applications List that allows you to set notch settings for specific apps individually. By tapping on the app, you’ll have the option to choose between Fullscreen mode (which allows apps to use the notch) or Compatibility mode.

How to organize your Shelf

By swiping to the right on your display, you can access your Shelf — where all your widgets live. If it’s not enabled, simply long press on the home screen, tap on Home Settings, and toggle on Shelf.

To customize it, tap on the teal plus icon at the bottom of the screen and choose from the list of widgets the ones you want to add. You can also move a widget around by long pressing on it and dragging it to your desired location. You can also resize each widget — long-press on the specific one you want to adjust the size of and then drag the handle at the bottom. Once you’re satisfied with the size, tap on the screen to lock in the size. If you want to delete a widget, long press on it and then press the X icon.

How to use Portrait and Pro modes

With a dual-lens camera on the OnePlus 6, you have a variety of different camera modes to choose from. Aside from the regular photo mode, you can also snap shots in Portrait mode. To access it, tap on the Camera app and then tap the Portrait option. From there, you can adjust the depth effect on the right. You can also select whether you’re taking a photo of a person or an object.

A new feature you’ll find on the OnePlus 6 is the bokeh effects. You can add hearts, stars, and bubbles to the background of your photo when in Portrait. Simply tap on the icon in the right-hand corner and choose your shape. While we haven’t gotten this feature to work yet, it will most likely be available in a future update.

With Pro Mode, you have more customization and control over the camera — you can access it by swiping up in the camera app. Under this mode, you can adjust shutter speed, ISO, aperture, and white balance, which are all located at the bottom of the screen above the shutter button. You’re also able to choose whether you want to save your images in RAW format by tapping on the icon at the top of the screen.

How to turn on Reading mode and Night mode

For those who like to use their smartphone as an ebook reader, the OnePlus 6 helps to make it more enjoyable with Reading Mode. You can enable it by going to Settings > Display > Reading Mode to toggle it on. If you don’t want to have it on all the time, you can instead choose to turn it on for specific apps only. By tapping on the Add apps for Reading Mode section, you can choose specific apps you prefer to have the feature on for.

For Night Mode, go to Settings > Display > Night Mode. From there, you can toggle on Night Mode manually or allow it to turn on automatically. There’s an option to automatically enable it from sunset to sunrise, or schedule it by picking a custom time range so it will turn on automatically between certain hours.

How to use Parallel apps

For those who use more than one account to separate personal items from work items, the parallel apps feature allows you to clone specific apps. Rather than having to switch back and forth between social media accounts, you can instead clone them. To enable the feature, go to Settings > Apps > Parallel Apps and you’ll find the list of compatible apps. You can then toggle the slider on for the specific app you want to clone. Once you open the app drawer, you’ll see two icons for the app you selected. It’s also worth noting the feature is mainly available for social media apps.

How to customize your OnePlus 6 with OxygenOS

With OxygenOS, the OnePlus 6 gives you tons of options to customize the interface. To change the look of the icons, long press on the home screen and tap on Settings > Icon Pack. You can then choose from the default OnePlus icons, square icons, or round ones. If you tap on the More icon, you can browse the different icons available in the Google Play Store.

There’s an option to customize the buttons as well. By going to Settings > Buttons, you can adjust the settings for the Home button, Recents button, and Back button by switching the action for each one. For example, rather than the long press action triggering Google Assistant, you can choose to turn off the screen, open Shelf, or no action. Additional options to customize the display include Lift to Wake, which automatically awakens the screen when you pick up the phone. This can be accessed through Settings > Display > Ambient display, where you can toggle on Lift up display. This is also where you can toggle on the New Notifications setting, which wakes the screen whenever you receive notifications.

How to customize the navigation bar & gestures

Originally in beta with the OnePlus 5T, the navigation bar can now be customized based on gestures. By going to Settings > Buttons > Navigation bar & gestures, you can choose the navigation bar. You can choose to keep it at the bottom of the screen by tapping on Fixed navigation bar, which always shows it. But there’s also the option to hide it and show it only when you’d like, by tapping a button on the left-hand corner of the display.

Another option is to replace the navigation bar with gestures. A swipe up from the bottom center edge of the screen will bring you Home, while swiping up from the bottom center edge of the screen and pausing brings you to your recent apps. You can go back by swiping up from the left or right side of the screen. The navigation gestures are also the same if you’re in landscape mode.

How to customize gesture controls

With the OnePlus 6, you have plenty of options to customize the gestures to your liking. To access the controls, go to Settings > Gestures — you’ll then be able to choose which ones you want to customize. You have the ability to toggle on the fingerprint camera gesture with a long press, the flip to mute feature which mutes an incoming call by flipping the device, double tap to wake the screen, and more. You can also control music playback with gestures like drawing a straight line to play or pause. You can also draw the < or > characters for the previous or next track.

You can also set specific letters as gestures in order to enable apps. By choosing an O, V, S, M, or W and the app you want to associate it with, you can trigger the app by drawing the letter on the display when the phone is locked. Other features include the ability to tap the screen twice in order to wake the device, which can be toggled on under Gestures in the Screen off gestures section.

For those who like to take screenshots, the OnePlus 6 makes it easier. Rather than having to awkwardly hold down two buttons at once to take a screenshot, you can take one by swiping the screen instead. To activate the feature, go to Settings > Gestures and toggle on Three-finger screenshot. From there, you’ll be able to take a screenshot by swiping up on the display using three fingers.

For multi-page screenshots, you can also use the expanded screenshot feature. For instance, if you want to screenshot an entire article in one frame, just tap on the rectangular icon at the bottom of the screen once you screenshot the top of the page. The feature will then continue to scroll down — once it’s captured all that you need, tap on the screen again, and you’ll have the full article in one screenshot.

How to set up Face Unlock

With the OnePlus 6, you can use Face Unlock as a form of security. To set it up, go to Settings > Security & lock screen > Face Unlock and choose whether you want to use a PIN, Pattern, or Fingerprint — which you’ll need to remember in order to access the feature for future changes. Then you’ll be able to add your face data using the front-facing camera to identify your features.

After you’ve captured your face data, you’ll have the option to toggle Face Unlock on and off. You can also choose to turn on Auto unlock after the screen is on, which unlocks your phone with your face as soon as the screen turns on, without swiping first. You can also toggle on Face Unlock assistive lighting, which will allow the screen to light up when the camera is having trouble recognizing your face.

Under Security & lock screen, you’ll also find an App locker feature that allows you to select specific apps for encryption. By toggling on Hide notification contents, all of the content will be hidden for App locker-enabled apps. You can enable these apps by tapping Add apps, and then checking off the specific ones you want to encrypt.

How to customize the alert slider

Unlike past OnePlus devices, the alert slider is located on the right side of the OnePlus (instead of the left) and allows you to control notifications. You can choose from three settings — the top is silent, the middle is vibrate, and the bottom setting is ring volume. To customize the alert slider, go to Settings > Alert Slider. Under the Silent category — which silences calls and notifications with no vibration except for alarms — you can toggle on the media button if you want to block notifications while watching videos. You can toggle off Also vibrate for calls under the Ring setting.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • OnePlus 6 vs OnePlus 3T vs OnePlus 3: Is the new phone worth the upgrade?
  • OnePlus 6: Everything you need to know
  • OnePlus 6 review
  • The best OnePlus 6 cases to protect that all-glass body
  • OnePlus 6 vs. OnePlus 5T vs. OnePlus 5: Is it worth it to upgrade?


24
May

How does the OnePlus 6’s camera compare to the Pixel 2?


For the price, the OnePlus 6 does a fine job.

There’s currently a lot of buzz surrounding the OnePlus 6, and rightly so. The phone offers some of the best value for your money that you can find right now in the smartphone space, but as the saying goes, “something’s got to give.”

oneplus-6-hands-on-22.jpg?itok=pvK2-5NI

The camera department is one that OnePlus has often struggled with, and on the flip side, Google currently dominates this area with the Pixel 2/2 XL.

One of our forum users recently asked how the OnePlus 6’s camera compares to the one on the Pixel 2, and this is what the community had to say.

avatar661426_5.gifworldsoutro
05-22-2018 03:16 PM

Its unfair to compare O6 to a pixel 2 considering the price point and resources each company has in developing camera software. What O6 gives you is a solid camera experience nothing more, nothing less.

If you are looking for the best camera possible then you gotta fork over the money and buy a P20, Pixel 2xl or a Samsung device

Reply

avatar710602_5.gifMorty2264
05-22-2018 08:26 PM

I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s difficult to compare a “flagship killer” to a flagship in this regard. OP will have many excellent attributes but it is not at the same price point as a Google Phone and will therefore sacrifice a couple of bells and whistles. I think OnePlus makes a decent camera. It’ll get the job done and get the job done well. But if one wants a spectacular and…

Reply

avatar2425230_2.gifRaRa85
05-23-2018 10:59 AM

I think the OnePlus 6 is slightly behind the Google Pixel 2. Its definitely not a night and day difference to me and most of that margin can be covered in post processing. Also I think for video, the OnePlus 6 actually does better than a lot of the big names.

Reply

avatar1259824_1.gifArmeniandave
05-23-2018 07:30 PM

I’ve watched a ton of YouTube videos and I’d say the camera is fine. I’m not a professional photographer so I’m sure I’ll be happy if it’s even close to my Pixel. Doesn’t need to be better, just close.

Reply

What do you think? How does the OnePlus 6’s camera stand up against the Pixel 2?

Join the conversation in the forums!

OnePlus 6

  • OnePlus 6 review
  • OnePlus 6 vs. OnePlus 5T: How much changes in six months?
  • OnePlus 6 vs. OnePlus 5: Should you upgrade?
  • These are the official OnePlus 6 cases
  • The OnePlus 6 doesn’t work on Verizon or Sprint
  • Join the discussion in the forums

24
May

OnePlus 6 vs. OnePlus 3T & OnePlus 3: Should you upgrade?


Still rocking the OnePlus 3/3T? It’s time to switch to the OnePlus 6.

oneplus-6-vs-oneplus-3t-vs-oneplus-3.jpg

Unlike most manufacturers, OnePlus focuses exclusively on the mid-range segment, preferring to introduce new models once every six months rather than compete across price tiers.

While the strategy has served the manufacturer very well in recent years, the six-month release cycle means a new phone — with upgraded hardware — is always around the corner. The OnePlus 6 is the latest device from the company, coming just six months after the launch of the OnePlus 5T.

The OnePlus 6 introduces several improvements over its predecessor, including a new design, upgraded internals, and a new camera, but there isn’t a strong enough reason to upgrade as the 5T is still a very capable device. However, if you’re coming from the OnePlus 3 or 3T, the answer isn’t as straightforward.

OnePlus’ 2016 phones have aged well, but the industry has moved to the 18:9 form factor, and the company has made significant advances in the camera department this year. So should you make the upgrade from the OnePlus 3/3T to the latest flagship? Let’s find out.

OnePlus 6 vs. OnePlus 3T vs. OnePlus 3: Specs

Operating system Android 8.1 OreoOxygenOS 5.1.3 Android 8.0 OreoOxygenOS 5.0.2 Android 8.0 OreoOxygenOS 5.0.2
Display 6.28-inch AMOLED, 2280×1080 (19:9)Gorilla Glass 5 5.5-inch Optic AMOLED, 1920×1080 (16:9)Gorilla Glass 4 5.5-inch Optic AMOLED, 1920×1080 (16:9)Gorilla Glass 4
Chipset Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 8454×2.80GHz Kryo 385 + 4×1.70 Kryo 385 Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 8212×2.35 Kryo + 2×1.60GHz Kryo Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 8202×2.15 Kryo + 2×1.60GHz Kryo
GPU Adreno 630 Adreno 530 Adreno 530
RAM 6GB/8GB LPDDR4X 6 LPDDR4 6 LPDDR4
Storage 64GB/128GB/256GB (UFS 2.1) 64/128GB 64GB
Rear camera 1 16MP, 1.22μm, ƒ/1.7OIS, EISDual LED flash4K@60FPS, 720p@480FPS 16MP, 1.12μm, ƒ/2.0PDAF, OIS 16MP, 1.12μm, ƒ/2.0PDAF, OIS
Rear camera 2 20MP, 1.0μm, ƒ/1.7 None None
Front camera 16MP, 1.0μm, ƒ/2.0 16MP, 1.0μm, ƒ/2.0 8MP, 1.4μm, ƒ/2.0
Battery 3300mAh 3400mAh 3000mAh
Charging USB-CDash Charge (5V 4A) USB-CDash Charge (5V 4A) USB-CDash Charge (5V 4A)
Water resistance Splash resistant (no IP rating) No No
Security Fingerprint sensor (rear)Face unlock Fingerprint sensor (front) Fingerprint sensor (front)
Audio 3.5mm jack, AptX HDDirac HD Sound, Dirac Power Sound 3.5mm jack, AptX HD 3.5mm jack, AptX HD
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11ac , 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0USB-C (2.0), NFCGPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo Wi-Fi 802.11ac , Bluetooth 4.2USB-C (2.0), NFCGPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo Wi-Fi 802.11ac , Bluetooth 4.2USB-C (2.0), NFCGPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo
Dimensions 155.7×75.4×7.75mm177g 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.4mm158g 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.4mm158g
Variants Mirror Black, Midnight Black, Silk White Gunmetal, Soft Gold, Midnight Black Graphite, Soft Gold

What’s the same

oneplus-6-vs-oneplus-3t-vs-oneplus-3-1.j

Both the OnePlus 3/3T offered top-notch internals for their time, and they’ve aged very well on this front. The Snapdragon 820/821 can still handle everyday tasks without breaking a sweat, and the 6GB of RAM is more than sufficient for multitasking.

All three phones also run Oreo, although the OnePlus 6 is on Android 8.1 Oreo while the older OnePlus 3/3T are on the Android 8.0 Oreo build. That said, OxygenOS is just as fluid on all three devices, and you get a similar user experience, although a few features — like the navigation gestures — are missing from the older phones.

No one plays the value game better than OnePlus.

The OnePlus 3/3T offered great value back in 2016, and while the cost of OnePlus devices has gone up over the last 18 months, the OnePlus 6 is still a bargain compared to the likes of the Galaxy S9+ and other flagships. That’s particularly true in markets like India, where the OnePlus 6 costs just over half the price of the Galaxy S9+ or the Pixel 2 XL.

While the screen size has changed dramatically over the last two years, the resolution and quality of the AMOLED panel itself is the same. In short, OnePlus continues to offer some of the best displays in its category.

Another area where things haven’t changed over the years is battery life; in spite of varying battery capacities — 3000mAh on the OnePlus 3, 3400mAh on the OnePlus 3T, and 3300mAh on the OnePlus 6. All three devices last a day on a full charge, and when you do need to top up your OnePlus phone, there’s Dash Charge. OnePlus’ proprietary charging standard continues to be one of the best around, allowing your phone to charge up to 60% from zero in just 30 minutes.

What’s different

oneplus-6-vs-oneplus-3t-vs-oneplus-3-4.j

The main difference in the OnePlus 6 from its predecessors is the design — both at the front and the back. While the OnePlus 3/3T sported physical home buttons, the OnePlus 6 offers an all-screen front, with a notch at the top to maximize screen space.

The switch to the 19:9 form factor has allowed OnePlus to fit a larger display in roughly the same chassis as the OnePlus 3/3T. The slim bezels on the OnePlus 6 make those on its predecessors look huge by comparison.

As noted above, the panel quality hasn’t changed much over the last two years, but the thin bezels lead to a much more immersive experience when interacting with the display. The notch is an ungainly blot on an otherwise sleek front, but you can at least hide it from the settings.

The OnePlus 6 costs $130 more than what the OnePlus 3 launched at just under two years ago, and with the phone breaking the $500 barrier, it needed to look the part. OnePlus switched out the metal design for a Gorilla Glass 5-encased back, and has rolled out new color options.

The OnePlus 6 offers key upgrades in three areas: camera, design, and display.

The OnePlus 6 is available in a piano black finish that’s dubbed Mirror Black, as well as a Midnight Black edition and a new Silk White option. The latter two variants have a matte texture at the back, while the Mirror Black edition has a glossy finish.

The new materials combined with rounded corners and the overall fit and finish make the OnePlus 6 feel every bit as premium as other flagships available in the market today, and it justifies the added price tag.

The other notable upgrade is the camera: both the OnePlus 3 and 3T had capable shooters, but they were found to be lacking when it came to low-light shooting conditions. The OnePlus 6 addresses that issue with a larger imaging sensor and better software processing. There’s also a secondary sensor that is solely used for adding depth of field information to photos, leading to better background blur in portrait mode shots.

oneplus-6-sample-1.jpg?itok=wdY6SXfeoneplus-3t-sample-1.jpg?itok=4wZHlRAB

OnePlus 6 on the left, OnePlus 3T on the right.

oneplus-6-sample-2.jpg?itok=Pm0Z8eVmoneplus-3t-sample-2.jpg?itok=3O0K8bfS

oneplus-6-sample-3.jpg?itok=Axu4Lcxnoneplus-3t-sample-3.jpg?itok=vJxb5820

oneplus-6-sample-4.jpg?itok=BCrUuR9xoneplus-3t-sample-4.jpg?itok=oTowm8WJ

As you can see from the photos, the OnePlus 6 has much better dynamic range, true-to-life colors, and significantly less grain. The third photo (with the Pacman characters) highlights the differences well — the OnePlus 6 managed to capture the surface’s texture as well, whereas the OnePlus 3T smoothed out the finer details.

Should you upgrade?

oneplus-6-vs-oneplus-3t-vs-oneplus-3-2.j

If you’re still rocking a OnePlus 3/3T, it’s time to upgrade to the OnePlus 6. The phone offers a much more premium design, vastly improved camera, upgraded internals, and an immersive screen.

Furthermore, the OnePlus 3/3T have picked up two platform updates, so it’s unlikely either device will make the switch to Android P once it becomes available later this year. So if you’re looking for platform updates, you’ll have to make the switch to the OnePlus 6.

Overall, the OnePlus 6 is a worthy upgrade over the OnePlus 3 or the 3T. OnePlus devices usually retain their value very well, so you should be able to get a few hundred dollars for the 3 or 3T, which will make upgrading to the OnePlus 6 that much easier.

OnePlus 6

  • OnePlus 6 review
  • OnePlus 6 vs. OnePlus 5T: How much changes in six months?
  • OnePlus 6 vs. OnePlus 5: Should you upgrade?
  • These are the official OnePlus 6 cases
  • The OnePlus 6 doesn’t work on Verizon or Sprint
  • Join the discussion in the forums

24
May

Plex: Everything you need to know!


Do you want to start hosting a home media server? Plex is your best option!

While streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have a healthy catalog of content, they don’t have everything. It’s also a bummer when the show you’ve been binging gets removed while you’re still watching it. If you want to make sure you’ll always have access to your favorite shows and movies, a home media server may be the best option. There are a few different programs that let you run a home media server, but none are as pervasive as Plex.

Here’s everything you need to know about Plex!

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What is it?

At its most basic level, Plex is a program that lets you access your movies, shows and other content from any device, so long as you have access to the Internet. It works in two pieces: at home, your desktop, network attached storage or even your NVIDIA Shield TV stores the files. The Plex Media Server program gets installed, and does the hard work of actually transcoding and pushing your files over the Internet.

The other piece is your smartphone, Chromebook, tablet, game console or streaming stick. Install the Plex application on your device, sign in, and you’ll have access to all of your content. Since all the processing is done on your server device, your smartphone or other client just needs a strong Internet connection for your media to play.

What content is supported?

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Plex can host movies, TV shows, music, photos and personal videos. Plex also lets you automatically sync photos and videos taken on your phone with your home server, just like you would with Google Photos. Finally, Plex has started offering a curated news service.

How much does it cost?

Plex has two tiers: the free tier and the Plex pass. While other free services may be useless trails, Plex’s free tier actually has a robust set of features. The free tier offers:

  • Support for nearly any music, photo and video format.
  • Access to your content on any supported platform, anywhere you have an Internet connection.
  • Customs collections — you could create a collection of superhero movies, for instance.
  • Automatic organization of your library, including importing album artwork and DVD covers.
  • The aforementioned Plex News service.
  • Support for VR headsets.
  • Sharing your libraries with friends and family.
  • Recommendations based on the shows and movies you’ve watched.
  • Support for as much storage as you’re willing to buy.
  • Online channels such as NPR, TED Talks and more.
  • Chromecast support.

While you can easily get by with the free tier, the Plex Pass offers enticing options such as the ability to download your media for offline viewing, DVR support, Live TV support — though this also requires a compatible antenna — the aforementioned photo syncing and early access to new features.

A Plex Pass costs $5 per month, $40 per year, or $120 for life.

What platforms are supported?

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The Plex Media Server can be installed on any Windows, macOS, or Linux desktop; on compatible network attached storage units; on the NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 router; or on the NVIDIA Shield TV.

The Plex client is available for iOS, Apple TV, Android, Android TV, Windows (including Windows 10 Mobile), Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Amazon Fire tablets, Fire TV, Roku, any web browser, and most other smart TV platforms.

What else do you need?

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You obviously need some files to stream, and you’ll want to make sure they are named correctly. Your server should be something that stays powered on, like a desktop or your home router.

You’ll also want to make sure your router has the Universal Plug-and-Play (UPNP) protocol enabled. This protocol is what Plex uses to make your files available outside your home network. The instructions for turning this on vary from router to router, and some routers don’t even offer this feature for security reasons.

Finally, be cognizant of how many people are going to access your server at once. A NVIDIA Shield TV or a NAS unit aren’t going to have the power to serve as many video streams as a more powerful desktop would. You’ll also need some extra power for the Live TV and DVR features.

More: Your whole family will appreciate a home media server

What say you?

Do you use Plex for your media server needs? Let us know down below!

24
May

TicWatch Pro announced with battery-saving second screen and NFC


The watch is coming this summer with a price tag under $300.

Mobvoi is one of the few companies that’s been keeping Wear OS alive for folks not interested in watches from Kate Spade and Michael Kors, and the latest addition to its lineup, the TicWatch Pro, is shaping up to be its most exciting release yet.

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Where Mobvoi’s TicWatch S and TicWatch E have been cheaper/more affordable watches, the TicWatch Pro aims to offer every feature you could ask for. There’s NFC for making mobile payments with Google Pay, a heart-rate sensor, step-tracking, a potential LTE model in the U.S., an OLED display, etc.

All of that sounds like stuff you’d expect from a flagship smartwatch, but Mobvoi’s trying something different with the TicWatch Pro by adding a second FSTN LCD display on top of the OLED one. Here’s how it works.

When you’re interacting with the TicWatch Pro, you’ll see the OLED panel and use it like you would any other gadget. However, when you toggle the screen off or the watch is just sitting on your wrist, the OLED screen will turn off and the LCD one will kick into gear — showing basic information such as the time, your heart-rate, battery life, steps-taken, etc. When you lift the watch to your face or tap on the screen, the LCD will shut off and you’ll be met with your regular Wear OS interface and OLED display.

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The TicWatch Pro in normal mode (left) and with the power-sipping LCD panel (right)

This setup is designed to extend the battery life of the TicWatch Pro as much as possible, and according to Mobvoi, will result in two days of use before needing to charge up.

That’s not as impressive as the 4-5 days you can get out of watches like the Fitbit Versa and Ionic, but it’s still better than a lot of other Wear OS options on the market right now.

Furthermore, the TicWatch Pro will also come with an “Essential Mode” that’ll completely turn off Wear OS and the OLED screen and only show you the basic info found on the LCD panel. If you want to toggle Wear OS back on, you’ll need to wait about one full minute for the boot process.

Mobvoi plans on launching the TicWatch Pro this summer for somewhere under $300.

See at Mobvoi

24
May

NVIDIA Shield TV gets Android 8.0 Oreo update starting today


nvidia-shield-3.jpg?itok=mBdbFQv5 NVIDIA Shield TV is still the gold standard for Android TV. It starts at $179 on Amazon.

The only Android TV box you should buy just got better.

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Big news for those of you who have NVIDIA Shield TV — which, by the way is the only Android TV box you should consider right now. The Android 8.0 Oreo update (which brings it up to the latest major version of Android) is available starting today.

This’ll bring along a major update to the user interface. You’ll get new sections along the left side of the screen, with your favorite apps (customizable, of course), play next (where what you’ve been watching and playing recently will appear) and channels (which is what apps are now called, sort of).

In addition, Amazon Prime Video will get a major refresh, Plex Media Service is improved, and a whole bunch more.

And, of course, Google Assistant still plays a big role here, and that means you can take advantage of all the smart stuff you’ve got scattered throughout your home, accessible via the Shield remote or game controller.

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A few other things NVIDIA says to look out for:

  • Hold the back button to access to the settings menu from the home screen
  • A higher polling rate for gaming mice for NVIDIA GameStream
  • Improved support for game controllers like the Shield controller, Xbox 360 and DualShock controllers
  • Can connect to Wifi without disconnecting Ethernet
  • Improves Bluetooth re-pairing

To update your Shield TV, just head into the settings menu, then About, then choose the update option.

NVIDIA Shield Android TV

  • Read our Shield Android TV review
  • The latest Shield Android TV news
  • Shield vs. Shield Pro: Which should I buy?
  • Join the forum discussion
  • Complete Shield Android TV specs

Amazon

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