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12
Jun

The space-age Vivo Nex is 2018’s most exciting smartphone yet


Remember the Vivo Apex, the crazy concept phone shown at Mobile World Congress this year? Vivo recently announced it would be the basis for a phone we could actually buy, and has now revealed the final device. It’s called the Vivo Nex, and not only is it very close to the Apex we swooned over at MWC, it’s also like nothing else we’ve seen come out this year — and that makes it very exciting.

Vivo has managed to achieve a stunning 91 percent screen-to-body ratio with the Nex, squeezing a massive 6.59-inch screen into the almost bezel-less body. Take a close look at the screen in the pictures and you’ll notice something missing. Well, actually you’ll notice there’s nothing missing, as the Nex doesn’t have a notch like we’re seeing on most phones with slim bezels at the moment.

This is possible through the use of three technologies we saw demonstrated on the Apex concept. The first is the 8-megapixel selfie camera, which “pops up” from the top of the phone — a fun and innovative alternative to placing the lens at the bottom of the phone, like Xiaomi did with the Mi Mix series. The second is turning the screen itself into the speaker, rather than using a notch to house a single speaker. We had a quick demo of this at MWC, and the sound quality was surprisingly good.

In-display fingerprint sensor

Finally, the Vivo Nex has an in-display fingerprint sensor. Vivo says it’s the third-generation of the tech inside the Nex, following on from the X20 and X21 phones. The X20 worked superbly with Synaptics fingerprint sensor, but the multi-finger sensor inside the Vivo Apex wasn’t quite so successful. We’re hoping the Nex is closer to the X20/X21 experience.

Add all these things together, and the Vivo Nex becomes a look at the next generation of smartphone design and technology. It definitely reminds us of how the Xiaomi Mi Mix influenced the industry when it was released in late 2016. Vivo has also embraced artificial intelligence for the Nex, adding A.I. elements to the camera — including scene recognition, filters, and compositional advice — which it had also revealed separately this year. The Nex also has its own A.I. assistant called Jovi, who we expect will be there, forever and a day, always.

This is a flagship phone too. Inside is a Snapdragon 845 processor and 8GB of RAM, plus 256GB of storage space, and a massive 4,000mAh battery. Android 8.1 Oreo is the operating system but with Vivo’s Funtouch OS user interface over the top. The dual-lens camera on the back has a 12-megapixel, f/1.8 aperture lens, and a secondary 5-megapixel f/2/4 aperture lens. Vivo hasn’t announced when the Nex will go on sale or the price, but the company mainly sells its hardware in China, so you’ll have to import a Nex if you want one.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • The crazy full-screen Vivo Apex concept is being made into a real phone
  • Bezel-less Vivo V9 has seen a million faces to help you take the perfect selfie
  • Xiaomi unveils the near bezel-free Mi Mix 2S with dual camera
  • Xiaomi Mi 6X hints at what’s to come for company’s next Android One phone
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S review



12
Jun

FBI lands a big catch, busts 74 and shuts down $16 million phishing ring


The FBI has dismantled a global phishing ring and recovered more than $16 million in a crackdown on fraudulent email schemes. A total of 74 people were arrested across a number of territories, including the U.S. and Nigeria, with most of those arrested accused of taking part in a “business email compromise” scam.

Email phishing is an old scam but an effective one. It’s one of the most enduring social engineering attacks in the digital world and is said by some authorities to have led to the loss of more than $3.7 billion since the Internet Crime Complaint Center began tracking it, as per Ars Technica. That said, the FBI and Department of Justice have struck a blow to its global reach with this latest string of arrests.

In the U.S. 42 people were arrested, with a further 29 detained in Nigeria. Arrests were also made in Canada, Mauritius, and Poland, with all of those arrested involved in the phishing scam in some capacity. Reportedly it would involve a malicious actor sending emails to company employees and tricking them into giving the fraudsters access to financial credentials to transfer money. The FBI said that it had seized $2.4 million as part of the raids, with a further $14 million in fraudulent wire transfers also recovered.

“Fraudsters can rob people of their life’s savings in a matter of minutes,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “These are malicious and morally repugnant crimes. The Department of Justice has taken aggressive action against fraudsters in recent months, conducting the largest sweep of fraud against American seniors in history back in February.”

The arrests involved a number of agencies, including the FBI, double digits of U.S. Attorney offices, the Secret Service, Postal Inspection Services, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Treasury Department, not to mention their counterparts in the various involved countries. The Department of Justice said that this string of arrests was a “model for international cooperation against specific threats that endanger the financial well-being of each member country’s residents.”

Staying safe online often involves being skeptical, even when everything seems fine. Social engineering scams are always evolving, as well, so while you might not fall for Nigerian prince scams, there are new variants that are looking to hook people in all the time.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • From the doctor to the DMV, blockchain can make governments swift and secure
  • Connected CloudPets teddy bears blab on owners, leak 2 million voice recordings
  • Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now (May 2018)
  • Facebook was always too busy selling ads to care about your personal data
  • Escape reality with the best augmented reality apps for Android and iOS



12
Jun

Runvi’s A.I.-infused smart insoles help runners correct their form


We’ve seen a lot of smart exercise tools designed to help runners get faster and more efficient, including a host of fitness trackers, smart shoes, and apps. Now you can add smart insoles to the list as well, as a new product called Runvi promises to be an artificial intelligence-driven running coach to help you achieve your running goals.

Runvi, which launched on Kickstarter on Tuesday, June 12, consists of the aforementioned smart insoles and an iOS app — complete with Apple Watch support — which work in tandem with one another to offer insights into a runner’s performance. For instance, each of the insoles is equipped with 30 advanced pressure sensors and two accelerometers to collect an accurate representation of an athlete’s form while running. The device can tell whether or not the user pronates his or her foot, has too slow of a cadence, or is a heel striker, all of which can impact running efficiency.

That data is then compiled and examined by A.I. to offer real-time feedback to the runner on how to improve their form. That feedback can even come in the midst of a run, with a voice in their headphones making suggestions on how to correct inefficiencies while on the go. The goal is to eliminate excess fatigue, avoid injuries, and improve their speed, too.

But that is just the tip of the iceberg. Runvi can also use a runner’s historical data to create personalized training plans to assist in their long-term fitness goals too. Users are able to set goals for themselves within the app, which analyzes the workout data collected by the smart insoles to suggest a workout schedule custom built to help them achieve their objectives. If you want to run faster, the system can suggest drills to help you do that, and if you want to run further, it can help with that, too. Runvi is reportedly smart and adaptive enough that it can assist both beginning runners who are just starting out or experienced athletes preparing for a marathon.

The creators of Runvi are hoping to raise bout $59,000 to get the device into production. If successful in those efforts, they plan to begin shipping the final product this fall at a price of $235. Early bird supporters will find substantial discounts for getting in on the action early, but as always it helps to understand the risks that come along with backing any crowdfunding campaign.

Find out more on the Runvi website.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Your running form sucks. Lumo Run is here to fix it
  • Digitsole’s A.I.-powered insoles strive to improve your cycling performance
  • Studio’s new running class takes its workout show on the road
  • Strava vs. MapMyRun
  • Reebok debuts the Liquid Floatride Run, its latest 3D-printed shoe



12
Jun

How to change exercise shortcuts on Fitbit Versa and Ionic


Exercise shortcuts on the Versa and Ionic are great, but changing them is a little tricky.

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Your Fitbit Versa or Ionic can be used for a ton of different things, but at the end of the day, they work best when helping you stay active and healthy. It’s really easy to start tracking a workout on either watch, but did you know you can actually add and remove these shortcuts as you see fit?

Fitbit doesn’t really make this super apparent, so we’re here to walk you through the process step-by-step.

How to change your workouts

Tap on your Versa/Ionic icon near the top right.

Scroll down and tap Exercise Shortcuts (it’s the third-to-last option).

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From here, you’ll see a list of the workouts currently on your watch. You can move the position of how they appear on your watch by dragging the four bars next to each one, and if you want to remove one, swipe it to the left.

You can have up to seven workouts on your Versa/Ionic at a time, and if you have room to add more, you’ll see a + icon near the top right.

To add more workouts to your watch:

Tap the + icon.
Select the workouts you want to add.

Tap Add to Versa / Add to Ionic.

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How to sync your watch

After you’ve updated your workouts, you’ll want to manually sync your Versa/Ionic to ensure your changes are added to it.

Tap on your Versa/Ionic icon near the top right.

Tap Sync Now.

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Need more help?

Need more help with anything we covered here? Just want to say hi? Leave a comment down below!

Best watch faces for Fitbit Versa and Ionic

Fitbit

fitbit-ionic-vs-fitbit-versa-4-amun.jpg?

  • Fitbit Versa vs. Fitbit Ionic: Which should you buy?
  • Fitbit Versa hands-on: Fitbit’s finally getting serious about smartwatches
  • Fitbit Versa and fitness: Everything you need to know
  • Best Fitbit fitness tracker

Fitbit Ionic
Fitbit Versa
Fitbit Charge 2 HR

12
Jun

Xiaomi Redmi 6/6A bring face unlock and 18:9 displays to the entry-level segment


Xiaomi’s latest entry-level phones pack MediaTek chipsets and 18:9 displays.

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Xiaomi unveiled its 2018 flagship at the end of last month, and the brand has now turned its attention once again to the entry-lvel segment. The Redmi 6 and Redmi 6A feature noticeable improvements from their predecessors, including 18:9 panels, faster hardware, and dual cameras (on the Redmi 6).

Both phones run MIUI 10 based on Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box, enabling AI-assisted face unlock and navigation gestures. Here’s what you need to know about Xiaomi’s latest entry-level phones.

Xiaomi Redmi 6: 5.45-inch 18:9 panel with dual rear cameras

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The Redmi 6 is the more interesting of the two devices, as it sports dual cameras at the back. The phone has a 12MP primary sensor joined by a secondary 5MP module, and like of the rest of Xiaomi’s portfolio, the device gets AI-assisted features for portrait mode and beautify filters.

Other specs include a 5.45-inch HD+ (1440×720) display, 2.0GHz octa-core 12nm MediaTek Helio P22 SoC, 3GB/32GB or 4GB/64GB options with a dedicated microSD card slot along with dual SIM card slots, 5MP front shooter, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/g, Bluetooth 4.2, MicroUSB, and a 3000mAh battery.

Xiaomi Redmi 6A: 13MP camera and 3000mAh battery

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The Redmi 6A shares the same hardware as the Redmi 6, but it comes with a quad-core Helio A22 chipset and sports a single 13MP camera at the back. The phone is also available in a single variant with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage.

Sure, the phone isn’t the fastest in the world, but with a retail price of just $95 (¥599), you’re getting a lot for your money.

The Redmi 6, meanwhile, will go on sale for $125 (¥799) for the version with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage will retail for the equivalent of $155 (¥999). Both phones go up for sale in China starting June 15.

Like last year, the phones will be making their debut initially in China, but they should be heading to India in the coming months considering the Redmi 5 and the Redmi 5A sold incredibly well in the country.

12
Jun

Do you prefer LCD or OLED displays on smartphones?


Would you like yellowish whites with those deep blacks?

When it comes to smartphone displays, the two most popular technologies are LCD and OLED/AMOLED. OLED panels have quickly become the norm for flagship phones thanks to their deeper blacks and rich contrast, but phones like the LG G7 are evidence that LCD screens can still stand on their own.

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The G7 is one of the only flagship Android phones in 2018 that still relies on LCD, and some of our forum members recently got together to talk about whether or not they’re glad LG used this screen technology for the phone.

Here’s what they had to say.

avatar2214619_1.gifB0WIE
06-10-2018 01:15 PM

I was really impressed by the screen. Even more impressed when I was able to clearly see the screen in direct Arizona sunlight. I’ve never seen another phone even come close to that. I have an OLED TV that I love but the G7s LCD screen speaks for itself and I’m happy with it. Best screen I’ve used, by far.

Reply

avatar3054247_1.gifAARON BRYANT2
06-10-2018 01:27 PM

If they had LCD screens that had deep blacls like oled then I would instantly choose that. But till they do, I dont think lcd picture quality is as good.

Reply

avatar16414_15.gifexperiment 626
06-10-2018 05:19 PM

Very much Yes. Apple, Sony, and LG all know how to make high-quality IPS LCD screens.
I’ve never had an issue with my S5’s screen but I’ve seen real bad burn-in issues on other Samsungs and tinted newer LGs like the V30.

Reply

avatar122375_2.gifsushiguy732
06-10-2018 06:40 PM

my only issue with this screen is some white bleed through at the bottom of the phone.

Reply

Moving to a broader scale, we’d now like to hear from you — Do you prefer LCD or OLED displays on smartphones?

Join the conversation in the forums!

12
Jun

Vivo NEX is official with super-thin bezels, pop-up front camera and top-end specs


Vivo solves the notch problem with a retractable front camera and neat sensor solutions.

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Vivo showed off a concept phone back at MWC with ultra-thin bezels and a pop-up front camera, and the company has formally unveiled the product in China. The Vivo NEX comes with a 6.59-inch FHD+ 19.3:9 Super AMOLED display that offers a 91.2% screen-to-body ratio, with the company noting that it took several “industry-first” technologies to maximize the screen real estate.

Vivo ditched the standard earpiece in lieu of Screen SoundCasting Technology, which turns the entire screen into a speaker. The tech is similar to what you’d find in bone conduction headsets, and Vivo says it offers more powerful bass and smoother treble, all while enabling the brand to shrink the top bezel.

Vivo NEX hands-on: One step closer to a bezel-less future

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Speaking of bezels, the top bezel is just 2.16 mm thick, with the bottom bezel coming in at 5.08 mm and the side bezels at 1.71 mm. The NEX also features a third-generation in-display fingerprint sensor, with the brand stating that the new sensor is 50% better at recognition accuracy with a broader detection area and 10% faster unlock speed.

While the front of the phone gets all the attention, the back isn’t all that bad either. The glass back is coated with what Vivo calls “Holographic Diffraction Dynamic Color” illusion technology, which sees thousands of “diffraction units” laser engraved onto the back of the device to create a “dreamlike sci-fi effect.”

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The phone’s pièce de résistance is the retractable 8MP front camera. The module is hidden away in everyday use, and pops up whenever you activate the front camera to take a selfie. It takes just over a second for the module to pop up, and Vivo says that the micro-drive system along with the independent drive ICs allow the camera to elevate with “absolute precision.”

The motor can push up to 500 g, withstand a thrust force of 45KG, and can be raised and lowered over 50,000 times. Vivo is basically saying that the module won’t break should the phone take a tumble when it is activated.

Under the hood, the NEX is powered by a Snapdragon 845 chipset, and it comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage as standard, and you can also pick up a variant with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. There’s also a 4000mAh battery, dual 12MP + 5MP cameras at the back (with 4-axis OIS), and the phone runs Funtouch OS 4.0 based on Android 8.1 Oreo. And unlike the Mi Mix 2, the Vivo NEX has a headphone jack.

Vivo is also selling a base variant of the NEX with a Snapdragon 710 along with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, which will be available for ¥3,898 ($610).

Vivo NEX specs

Vivo is touting the AI capabilities of the NEX, with the phone offering AI-assisted scene recognition, HDR, filters, and photo composition. Vivo is also rolling out updates to its China-specific Jovi voice assistant, which can now launch apps and identify objects on a user’s screen, à la Bixby Vision.

Vivo’s solution for the notch is certainly intriguing (and it looks really cool), but it remains to be seen if the retractable camera works seamlessly in day-to-day usage.

For now, the Vivo NEX is limited to the Chinese market, where the phone will go on sale for the equivalent of $610. The variant with the Snapdragon 845 will retail for ¥4,498 ($700), and the version with 256GB of storage will set customers back ¥4,998 ($780). There’s no indication that the device will make its way to global markets, but we’ll let you know should that change.

In the meantime, what are your thoughts on the Vivo NEX?

Vivo NEX hands-on: One step closer to a bezel-less future

12
Jun

How to fix common Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL problems


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Having trouble with your Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL? Here’s where you start.

No phone is perfect. And even though the Pixel 2 and 2 XL seem to be pretty solid devices, there are some issues that have cropped up over time as thousands and thousands of them made their way out into the wild. Some of the problems are inherent in all smartphones, others appear in rare cases and a couple are simply unavoidable in the Pixel 2 and 2 XL in particular.

If you’re having trouble with any aspect of your Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL, this is a great place to start. We’ve gathered up some of the most common issues owners are having, and accompany them with some possible remedies.

Pixel 2 XL is slow to wake up following June 2018 security patch

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One of the upsides to Google’s Pixel phones is that you’re first in line for big firmware upgrades and monthly security patches. The June 2018 security patch fixed a handful of small bugs, but shortly after users started to download it, complaints started popping up about the larger Pixel 2 XL being considerably slower to wake up.

Instead of the screen powering up in less than a second, multiple owners of the Pixel 2 XL are reporting that it now takes between two and three seconds. There are a few threads on Reddit highlighting the issue, as well as a report on Google’s Issue Tracker.

Shortly after complaints about this bug started popping up, a Googler on Reddit said that the company’s aware of it and that a fix will be rolling out “in the coming weeks.”

In the meantime, you can temporarily fix this by enabling the Always On Display mode. To do so, head to Settings -> Display -> Advanced -> Ambient Display -> Always On.

Pixel 2 XL has issues with the proximity sensor

Way back in December 2017, Pixel 2 XL owners started complaining about issues with the proximity sensor following the Android 8.1 update. Screen protectors would cause Always On Display to turn off, turning the screen back on proved to be a challenge while on a call, and more.

All of this seemed to revolve around strange behavior with the proximity sensor, but thanks to the June 2018 security patch, it’s been fixed. As noted in the Android Security Bulletin:

  • A-68114567 & A-74058011 Display Improve consistency of Always On Display Pixel 2 XL
  • A-70282393 Performance Improve proximity sensor behavior Pixel 2 XL

MMS messages aren’t being received properly

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As popular as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and other services are, it’s still hard to beat the universal use of good-old texting. Unfortunately for Pixel 2 and 2 XL users, MMS messages aren’t working as they should.

When receiving an MMS file, such as a picture or video, it just shows up as “Message not found.” Google said that it fixed this bug back on March 31, but even so, a lot of users weren’t seeing any resolution. On April 10, Google then noted that:

Although text message issues should already be resolved for some of you, we’ve heard the feedback that this is still a problem for some of you. We’re still investigating this issue with AT&T for those affected, and we’ll post updates here when we know more.

If you’re still experiencing trouble here, it’s reported that the issue is fixed by going to Settings -> Network & Internet -> Mobile Network -> Advanced and then toggling off Enhanced 4G LTE Mode.

Fingerprint sensor is slower (Android P beta only)

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There’s a lot to unpack in Android P, but if you choose to dive into the open beta, be aware that your fingerprint sensor might work a bit slower than you’re used to.

A few members on the Android Central forums have reported that the fingerprint sensor on the Pixel 2 XL doesn’t unlock the phone as fast as it did when running Oreo.

Some users have reported that the sensor is now “ultra slow” with others not noticing any difference at all. Although not yet confirmed, I’d expect we see this patched with the next update to the beta.

Adaptive Battery turns off by itself (Android P beta only)

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If you downloaded the Android P beta on your Pixel 2, one of the new features you’ve likely been eager to check out is Adaptive Battery — a tool that learns your habits and then limits CPU usage accordingly to extend your battery life even longer.

Turning the feature on is as easy as jumping into settings and tapping on a toggle, but some of our forum users are reporting that Adaptive Battery tends to turn itself off with no prior warning.

To check and see if Adaptive Battery is still turned on, go to Settings -> Battery -> Adaptive Battery. If the toggle is turned off, just tap Use Adaptive Battery to turn it back on. There’s not a fix for this quite yet, but here’s to hoping it’ll be patched in the next beta update.

Screen color is ‘wrong’

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How you feel about the color and saturation of your phone display is a very personal decision, and everyone has different thoughts on what looks “right.” But the Pixel 2 XL in particular has taken heat for not having the most colorful or saturated display out there, to the point of looking dull to some. If you’re not a fan of how your Pixel 2 or 2 XL’s screen looks, you have some options.

Go into your Settings, then Display and tap on Colors and choose between the three options. “Natural” will be the most neutral and simple, “Boosted” will be natural still but with a little extra punch, and “Saturated” will go more over the top with colors. Most people will be happiest with Boosted, but those coming from other OLED phones that are often tuned to offer deeper colors will want to switch to Saturated to keep things familiar.

Noticing screen burn-in

Perhaps the biggest hullabaloo surrounding the Pixel 2 XL has been early reports of image retention and full-on burn-in on the screen. The former isn’t much more than an annoyance — sometimes things that have been shown on the screen for a long time stay there faintly for a bit after switching away. The latter is more of an issue — burn-in seems the same as image retention at first, but the effects are permanent and typically seen for core interface elements like the navigation and status bars.

Don’t go hunting for screen burn-in, but if you see it early you should get a replacement.

The most important thing to say here is that you probably shouldn’t go hunting for signs of screen burn-in on your phone. If you don’t notice it in the regular use of the phone, you shouldn’t have any issue with it — and at the same time, every phone today with an OLED-based screen will have some level of burn-in over time. It’s just a characteristic of the display technology at this point.

But if you’re noticing screen burn-in on your Pixel 2 or 2 XL early on, such as within the first few weeks, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact Google support and get a replacement device. While burn-in is relatively common, it doesn’t typically set in on phones so rapidly — and seeing a considerable amount right from the start isn’t a great sign for how that display will look a year on. Google will offer you at least a two week return period, and you should take advantage of it. For serious cases, Google has also extended its manufacturer defect warranty to a full two years.

Bad battery life

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“I’m seeing bad battery life” is the holy grail of problems that are nearly impossible to diagnose. But here are some good basic principles to follow when trying to improve battery life:

  • Check for power-hungry apps: One badly coded app can be a nuisance; a handful of badly coded apps can destroy your battery. At the end of the day, go into your battery settings, scroll down and see what percentage of your day’s battery life was consumed by which apps. If a single app is using more than 5%, think about if it really needs to be using that much — investigate to see if you can get it to calm down.
  • Uninstall unused apps: A bad app can’t drain your battery if it isn’t installed. If you started up your new Pixel 2 and just installed all 100 apps from your last phone, chances are there are dozens on there you don’t actually need. Uninstall the useless ones — you can always install them later if you decide you need them.
  • Turn off always-on display: It doesn’t have a huge effect, but any time the screen is even partially illuminated it’s using battery. Go into the Display settings and turn off “Always-on” — a nice compromise is keeping “Lift to check phone” turned on to have it illuminate when you grab your phone.
  • Reduce display sleep time: In the same vein, you can set your display to go to sleep quickly when it isn’t being interacted with. By default the phone is at 1 minute, but you can set it as low as 15 seconds if you’d prefer to save the battery instead of the convenience of having the screen stay awake.
  • Use a static wallpaper: Out of the box the phones use a great “living wallpaper” that subtly animates. It looks cool, but also uses up battery. Switch to a static wallpaper, and you’ll save some precious juice.

One thing to consider at some point, particularly on the Pixel 2 with its 2700mAh battery capacity, is that you just won’t be able to get more battery life out of your phone no matter what you do. Even if you follow all of the above steps, you have to use your phone at some point — and if you use it hard, it’s going to drain the battery quickly.

Slow performance

Chances are your Pixel 2 or 2 XL is still zippy, but perhaps 6 or 12 months into owning it you’ll notice it slow down a bit. This is normal, but it’s also preventable! It’s no coincidence that some of the fixes for bad battery life noted above are also applicable to issues with bad performance. The best thing you can do is figure out if there is an app (or multiple apps) running rogue in the background and sapping your processor power or memory.

The best thing you can do is check on misbehaving apps and clear up your storage.

First, go to your battery settings and see if an app is draining an an usual amount of your battery over the course of the day — if it is, there’s a good chance it’s also using up other system resources. While you’re thinking about apps, also consider uninstalling old apps you haven’t used in a while — there’s no need to keep them around, potentially running in the background, if you have no intention of using them.

Next, go into Settings and then Storage to see if you have enough free space on your phone. Chances are if you’re at a critically low storage level you’ll have a notification bothering you about it, but if you’re pushing up past 90% full storage you may run into other performance issues. The Storage settings give you a readout of what’s using up storage, and an option to automatically free up space.

LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS problems

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Dealing with wireless radios is so often referred to as a sort of dark art — something that’s difficult to understand but so often extremely frustrating to deal with. But on phones, we rely on mobile networks, Wi-FI, Bluetooth and GPS on a daily basis. If you’re having troubles with any of the set, here are a few tips to consider trying:

  • Turn the radio off and back on again. Yes, really — just toggle on airplane (flight) mode, and turn it back off about 15 seconds later. Give your various radios a few minutes to reconnect to everything, and see if that fixes your issues.
  • At the same time, power cycle the device on the other end. There’s a good chance the cheap pair of Bluetooth headphones, or the wireless router at home, is what’s having an issue. Turn it off and start over.
  • Forget the network or device you’re having trouble with. Whether it’s a Bluetooth speaker or a Wi-Fi network, go into the network/device list and forget it — start back from scratch and see if it fixes it.
  • Reset network settings by going into Settings, Reset options and “Reset WI-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth.” Confirm you want to reset, and it will return all of these areas back to their defaults. Now you can start fresh and reconnect to each device one at a time to determine where the issue may be.

There are so many potential issues here that it’s tough to get into the details. But start here — and hopefully you get on the right path to troubleshooting where the issues are and how to fix them.

Clicking noise in Pixel 2 earpiece

One of the more peculiar issues on the Pixel 2 in particular is a reported “clicking” or “hissing” noise heard in the earpiece when making a call. It wasn’t present on all calls or all phones, but it’s happening on enough phones that Google has addressed the problem. According to Google it has rolled out a fix for the clicking sound.

Previously, Google had indicating that turning off NFC would fix the problem temporarily, and though some have reported that this doesn’t work, it may be worth a shot if you’re still waiting for that November update. If the problem persists beyond that update, that points to a potential hardware problem and you may want to contact Google support and look for a replacement device if you’re still within your return window.

How to factory reset the Pixel 2 or 2 XL

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For the software-related issues noted here, if the step by step processes to try and fix them don’t work sometimes the only way to go is a full-on factory reset of the phone.

Before going any further, make sure you’ve backed up any data you want to save. Make sure Google Photos is synced, and you have any other important data offloaded to a service like Google Drive or Dropbox. Then, proceed.

Go into Settings and scroll down to select System.
Tap on Reset options and then Erase all data (factory reset).
Scroll down to acknowledge and tap Reset at the bottom.
Confirm your PIN or passcode, and proceed.

After a brief period and a reboot of the phone, it will come back exactly as it did the first day you took it out of the box. Use this opportunity to start anew — don’t necessarily just reinstall all of the same things you had before, because that may be how you had troubles in the first place!

Updated June 12, 2018: Updated the Pixel 2 XL slow wake section with a statement from Google.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

  • Pixel 2 FAQ: Everything you need to know!
  • Google Pixel 2 and 2 XL review: The new standard
  • Google Pixel 2 specs
  • Google Pixel 2 vs. Pixel 2 XL: What’s the difference?
  • Join our Pixel 2 forums

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12
Jun

Vivo NEX specs: 6.59-inch display, Snapdragon 845, 4000mAh battery


Here’s what you get in this crazy-looking flagship.

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Vivo’s new NEX phone is pretty crazy looking — at least if you didn’t get a glimpse of these features with the Vivo Apex concept phone. But now that the NEX is here and fully announced, we also know the kind of specs that Vivo is able to get into a phone with this crazy hardware design — just about the highest-end components, it turns out.

Here’s the complete Vivo NEX spec sheet.

Operating System Android 8.1 OreoFuntouch OS 4.0
Display 6.59-inch 19.3:9 FHD+ Super AMOLED91.2% screen-to-body ratioDCI-P3 color gamut
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Adreno 630 GPUor Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, Adreno 616 GPU
RAM 6/8GB
Storage 128/256GB
Expandable No
Rear camera 1 12MP (Sony IMX 363), 1.4-micron pixels, f/1.84-axis OIS, EIS, dual pixel auto focus
Rear camera 2 5MP, f/2.4
Front Camera 8MP, f/2.0
Battery 4000mAh
Charging USB-C
Water resistance No
Headphone jack YesVivo Hi-Fi V1 DAC
Security In-display fingerprint sensor
Connectivity Wi-Fi ac 2×2 MIMO, 4×4 MIMO LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, USB 2.0, USB OTG
Dimensions 162 x 77 x 8 mm
Weight 199 grams

12
Jun

Silk White OnePlus 6 hands-on: Kiss from a rose (gold)


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The same great phone in a gorgeous new color scheme.

The OnePlus 6 is the epitome of bang for your buck. For just $529, you can nab a phone with a Snapdragon 845, 6GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage — not to mention excellent dual cameras and a clean build of Android 8.1. At that price, you’ll end up with the Mirror Black finish, a high-gloss look that’s reminiscent of Apple’s Jet Black.

For another $50, though, you can get OnePlus’s new Silk White finish, along with upgraded internals at 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

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The Silk White OnePlus 6 is striking, to say the least. Despite still having a glass backing, it doesn’t feel like glass. The matte coating makes the OnePlus 6 feel almost identical to the aluminum backing of last year’s OnePlus 5T. Around the metal sides and accents of the phone, including the fingerprint scanner and logo, there’s a new rose gold finishing, which looks pink in some lights and gold in others.

Which color OnePlus 6 should you buy?

Around the front, the display glass is thankfully still all black, which is especially important given the notch up top and OnePlus’s need to be able to hide it if the user so chooses. You can still see the rose gold accenting form the front along the chamfered edges of the phone, which I’m quite fond of. I’m not typically a fan of white phones, but this Silk White finish has become one of my favorites in recent history.

If you want to pick up a Silk White OnePlus 6 for yourself, you’ll have to be vigilant and quick. It’s a limited edition finish, and when it first launched last week, it sold out in less than 24 hours. Luckily, it’s going back on sale today at 10 AM EST (June 12), so you’ll have a second chance to snag this flashy finish for $579.

There’s no guarantee it’ll be around all day, but in the worst case scenario, you can still always pick up the Mirror Black model if you’re too late for the Silk White.

See at OnePlus

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

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