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16
Jul

Samsung Expected to Match 2018 iPhone Sizes With Galaxy S10 Lineup


Apple is widely rumored to introduce a trio of new iPhones in September, including a second-generation 5.8-inch iPhone X, a larger 6.46-inch version dubbed iPhone X Plus, and a 6.1-inch model with only some iPhone X features.

Galaxy S9
Perhaps inspired by those plans, respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Samsung will follow suit with its Galaxy S10 lineup next year, including 5.8-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.4-inch models. Kuo outlined his predictions in his latest research note with TF International Securities, seen by Business Insider.

Kuo notes that the 6.1-inch and 6.4-inch models will be equipped with an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner built into the display, a feature that Apple decided against on the iPhone X. The technology will also be built into the Galaxy Note 10 later in 2019, according to his research note.

Kuo’s prediction will surely reignite a long-standing debate about Samsung copying Apple, just weeks after the two companies settled a seven-year-long lawsuit in which Samsung was found guilty of copying the iPhone’s design.

Korean website The Bell previously reported that one of the Galaxy S10 models will be a lower-cost option, in line with the rumored 6.1-inch iPhone, which is expected to have some iPhone X features like Face ID, and an edge-to-edge display with a notch, but lack others, like an OLED display.

The lower-cost Galaxy S10 will also have tradeoffs, such as a fingerprint scanner built into the edge of the device, according to Kuo.

The Bell also said the Galaxy S10+ will feature five camera lenses: three on the back, and two on the front. The rear system is said to include the same 12-megapixel wide-angle lens and 12-megapixel telephoto lens as the Galaxy S9+, plus an all-new 16-megapixel 120º ultra-wide-angle lens.

Apple is also rumored to introduce at least one new iPhone with a triple-lens rear camera in 2019, but likely not until September, which would likely be after the first triple-lens Galaxy S10 is released, so it’s not always Samsung following second. Huawei was first to release a triple-lens smartphone regardless.

Samsung is also said to be considering adding 3D facial recognition to the Galaxy S9 lineup, in line with Face ID on the iPhone X. Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S9 models already feature facial recognition, but it is 2D, and tests proved that the systems could be spoofed with a photo of a face.

One feature that Samsung has yet to copy, unlike several other Android smartphone makers, is the iPhone X’s notch. Galaxy S9 models still have slim, uniform bezels along the top and bottom of the display, although Samsung has patented a notched smartphone design, and could use it eventually.

As usual, Samsung will likely unveil its Galaxy S10 lineup at Mobile World Congress in February 2019, with availability in March.

Related Roundup: 2018 iPhonesTags: Samsung, Ming-Chi Kuo, Galaxy S10, TF International Securities
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16
Jul

Amazon Prime Day Live Blog: The Best Deals Worth Checking Out


Today kicks off Amazon’s annual Prime Day shopping event, offering customers with an Amazon Prime subscription the chance to save money on nearly countless items across the retailer’s storefront.

Since we routinely share great deals on Apple products and accessories being sold on Amazon, we’ve launched a live blog today that will track notable Prime Day discounts from Apple accessory makers like Anker and EasyAcc, as well as other interesting sales as they go live. Prime Day will officially begin this afternoon at 3 p.m. ET and continue for 36 hours afterwards.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Before that time, Amazon has debuted early access Prime Day discounts on its own range of Alexa and Echo devices, with up to 50 percent off of products like the Echo Look, Fire TV Stick, Fire HD 10 tablet, and more, which are expected to last throughout Prime Day.

In contrast to deals that last for a majority of the event, there will also be limited-time lightning deals that appear at different times throughout the day and night, and only last for an hour or so.

In this live blog, we’ll be tracking lightning deals, longer-lasting discounts, and competitor sales as products get marked down throughout Prime Day, so be sure to bookmark this page and check back for new bargains as Amazon’s mid-year shopping event continues into Wednesday morning.

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Tags: Amazon, Amazon Prime, Prime Day
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16
Jul

Apple Highlights Upcoming 2018 Emoji in Celebration of World Emoji Day


World Emoji Day kicks off on July 17, and in celebration of the event, Apple today shared details on new emoji that are coming to iOS devices “later this year” as part of the Unicode 11 emoji release.

Apple plans to introduce 70 new emoji characters later this year, with new options for red hair, gray hair, curly hair, and no hair, along with smiley faces that include cold face, party face, pleading face, and face with hearts.


Super heroes, an eye-shaped nazar amulet, and an infinity symbol will be added, along with new animals such as kangaroo, peacock, parrot, and lobster. New food items include mango, lettuce, cupcake, and moon cake.


A full list of the emoji included in Unicode 11 are listed on the Emojipedia site, and Emojipedia was also able to interview Alan Dye, Apple’s VP of User Interface Design to get some insight into how Apple designs new emoji.

According to Dye, when designing new emoji characters, Apple aims for a design that’s “the most iconic” and “the most timeless representation” of the item in question. There’s no specific formula, though, behind the look of each individual emoji.

“Without a doubt, we want it to always feel like an Apple emoji and that’s what we’re going for, but we really make that decision on a case by case basis,” Dye said.

Apple often discusses adding more diverse options, such as emojis for black families, but it’s a challenge to come up with an appropriate interface. “I think that you need a UI that can accommodate the variations,” Dye told Emojipedia.

All of the new emoji Apple shared today will be available across iOS, macOS, and watchOS, joining the hundreds of emoji options that are already available. Apple has not said when the new emoji will be released, but they could come out either alongside the release of iOS 12 this September or in an iOS 12 update later this year.

Related Roundup: iOS 12Tag: emoji
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16
Jul

Samsung’s Galaxy Watch could be the smartwatch we’ve been waiting for


With Wear OS, Samsung Pay, and more, the Galaxy Watch could be huge.

Smartwatches aren’t quite as popular as they were a couple years back, but in 2018, that may start to change. Google appears to be prepping its own Pixel Watch, Qualcomm’s working on all-new processors for wearable devices, and Samsung’s getting ready to release the Galaxy Watch.

Today, I’d like to take a moment to talk about what Samsung’s doing.

Rumors have been piling up for the Galaxy Watch as of late, and should they turn out to be true, Samsung could have one of 2018’s best smartwatches. Here’s why.

The Wear OS rumors and why this would be huge

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First thing’s first, the biggest and most interesting aspect of the Galaxy Watch is that it may use Wear OS instead of Samsung’s own Tizen operating system.

Tizen is what powers gadgets like the Gear S3, Gear Sport, and Gear Fit 2. It’s not a bad OS by any means and has seen a lot of improvements over the years, but the developer support just isn’t there when compared to competing platforms.

With Wear OS, there’s no shortage of apps to choose from — including Spotify, Google Maps, Nest, Lifesum, Uber, Delta, and many more. Along with that, there’s a massive selection of both paid and free watch faces to help you find the look that’s right for you.

Wear OS has superior developer support and Google Assistant — two things lacking from Tizen.

Those are two things Tizen just can’t offer, but that’s not all Wear OS would bring to the table.

S Voice is Tizen’s voice assistant of choice at the moment, and while there’s a report that Samsung will bring along Bixby with the Galaxy Watch, Wear OS is also home to the vastly superior Google Assistant.

Whether you need to send off a quick text, start your workout playlist, or simply check the weather, the Google Assistant is still miles ahead of Samsung’s own efforts in the assistant space.

Along with all that, Wear OS is just easier to use. There are still some kinks here and there that Google needs to work out, but the user experience is still much simpler to understand and navigate compared to the often confusing setup of Tizen.

All of that would only be better with Samsung Pay

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The addition of Wear OS would be a huge plus for the Galaxy Watch, but that does leave one big question unanswered — what would happen to Samsung Pay? We’ve yet to see a smartwatch not running Tizen support the mobile payment system, and while it does work on Android phones, this is only true if they’re made by Samsung.

Samsung Pay is far more convenient and feature-rich than what Google or Apple’s doing.

Google’s trying to push Google Pay as much as it can, but if Samsung’s willing to drop Tizen in favor of Wear OS, maybe that’s a big enough bargaining chip for Google to allow Samsung Pay.

If so, the Galaxy Watch would offer one of the best mobile payment solutions around. Not only does Samsung Pay reward users with points for each transaction they make, but if Samsung can fit an MST chip inside the Galaxy Watch as it did with the Gear S3, that would enable the Galaxy Watch to make payments at virtually any store — no matter if they support NFC or not.

I’m even more skeptical about this happening than I am with the Wear OS rumors, but this wouldn’t necessarily be unheard of. Samsung showed that it was willing to open up Samsung Pay to all Android users with the Gear S3, so if it can make a deal with Google, there’s no reason why we couldn’t see the service brought over to a Samsung-made Wear OS watch.

Samsung’s still experimenting with its hardware

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Samsung may not have the best setup on its hands when it comes to Tizen, but in regards to unique hardware design, this is something it’s been consistently great at.

Even though it’s now three years old at this point, the rotating bezel mechanism first introduced on the Gear S2 is still one of the best ways to interact with any smartwatch. It blends seamlessly into the design of a watch and feels much more natural than tapping away on a tiny touchscreen.

One report claims that Samsung’s working on a “new UX interaction” for the Galaxy Watch, and while it’s still unclear what exactly this means, it suggests Samsung’s not done coming up with new and exciting ways for us to use our smartwatches. Will this be a continuation of the rotating bezel? Maybe something else entirely new? Whatever it is, I can’t wait to go hands-on with it.

Also, in addition to the typical heart rate sensor, the Galaxy Watch may pack a built-in blood pressure measurer. This is certainly more of a niche feature, but it’d be a huge plus for people that are big into health-tracking and want to keep tabs on their body at all times.

Are you excited for the Galaxy Watch?

I’m still anxious to see what Google has up its sleeves with the Pixel Watch later this year, but based on the recent talk about the Galaxy Watch, Samsung might have something to steal the thunder away from Google.

Assuming Wear OS, Samsung Pay, and the new hardware features come together like I’m hoping, the Galaxy Watch would easily become the go-to choice for Android users looking for a new wearable.

However, seeing as how all of this is just rumors and speculation at this point, there’s no telling what Samsung will do.

In any case, what are you looking forward to the most with the Galaxy Watch?

Samsung Galaxy Watch rumors: Release date, specs, price, and features!

16
Jul

Should you buy the OnePlus 6 or wait for the 6T?


You can’t go wrong either way.

If you’re in the market for a new Android phone, the OnePlus 6 is a fantastic choice even if you have more than $500 to spend. It’s fast, has an incredible design, and its camera performance is surprisingly great.

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However, as much as we like the phone, is it still worth upgrading to it at this point in the year? The OnePlus 6 is already almost two months, and if the past couple years are anything to go by, we’ll see a OnePlus 6T get announced a few months later in November.

With that being the case, should you still pick up the 6 or wait for the inevitable 6T?

When posed with this question, one of our forum users is leaning towards just getting the 6 right now.

default.jpgjtcannonball
07-14-2018 11:27 AM

I might do it in the next week or two.

Reply

On the flip side:

avatar2453845_2.gifchanchan05
07-14-2018 08:12 AM

I’d suggest waiting because the 6T is right around the corner. You’d have buyers remorse if you bought the 6 in 30 days only for OnePlus to announce the 6T like 2-4 weeks after.

Reply

With that said, we’d now love to hear from you — Do you recommend getting the OnePlus 6 or waiting for the 6T?

Join the conversation in the forums!

OnePlus 6

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  • Join the discussion in the forums

16
Jul

What to play when you get bored with Fortnite on PlayStation 4


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Never got into the Fortnite craze? Just got sick of it? Here’s what else you can play if you’re bored

All right, I know. Fortnite is the talk of the town. It’s hard to ignore its popularity when it takes over the media like it has. I got a text from a good friend of mine a few weeks ago who substitutes as a teacher that Fortnite is all her class could talk about. Even my local news channel has done segments on it. But that doesn’t mean you’re a part of the craze. It happens to all of us. We fall into a gaming slump. Maybe there are no new games to play. Maybe you’ve burned yourself out on a multiplayer title recently. Whether you’re just not a battle royale person or happened to grow tired of Fortnite, we hope these suggestions help get your gaming motivation back.

Everyone’s different, and no one’s tastes will be aligned perfectly. Because of this, I’ll list games that range from single-player titles to multiplayer within a variety of genres. If you’re bored with Fortnite, you may need a tight, linear experience to get your groove back, or you could opt for a similar multiplayer experience if Fortnite doesn’t scratch that itch just right.

  • The Last of Us
  • Borderlands 2
  • Assassin’s Creed Origins
  • Destiny 2
  • Inside
  • Fallout 4

The Last of Us

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This might seem like an odd title to include, but bear with me. The Last of Us provides a strong focus on narrative and character with linear gameplay levels. It might as well be the antithesis of Fortnite. And that’s why it may be the perfect game for you to play.

The Last of Us, developed by Naughty Dog, is by far one of the most acclaimed games to ever release. Its 3rd-person gunplay isn’t all that impressive by itself, but the atmosphere it exudes along with its character-driven story more than make up for any shortcomings. If you’re bored with Fortnite, you could just be tired of the constant grind to first place. Try picking up The Last of Us and giving it a shot.

See at the PlayStation Store

Borderlands 2

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Fortnite stands out from a lot of battle royales, namely PUBG, because of its art style. Its cartoonish look with vibrant colors is the polar opposite of the hyper-realistic gritty shooters we’ve grown accustomed to. If that’s what drew you to Fortnite in the first place, try out Borderlands 2, developed by Gearbox Software. Its art style is attributed to cel shading by most fans, though I’ve spoken with a former Gearbox developer on Twitter, and internally they refer to it as a concept art style, since cel shading is a tad different. Either way, you’re getting bright, popping colors and designs that prioritize style over realism.

Borderlands features chaotic action with millions of different guns. From pistols and rocket launchers to guns that literally talk as you shoot them. It’s known for its wacky and crude humor, if that’s up your alley. Even better, you can buy The Handsome Collection on PS4 to get double the fun with Borderlands 2 and The Pre-Sequel.

See at the PlayStation Store

Assassin’s Creed Origins

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The Last of Us may be too linear for some player’s tastes, so that’s where Assassin’s Creed Origins comes in. You’re given a large map to explore at your leisure, and countless side missions to complete whenever you’d like. This is the closest the series has come to a full-blown RPG to date, and since it’s a bit of a soft reboot and takes place earlier than any other Assassin’s Creed game, you can jump into it without feeling lost.

The Assassin’s Creed series never relied too heavily on guns, and that’s especially true in Origins. Taking place in ancient Egypt, Origins swaps pistols for swords. For Fortnite players, this might be the perfect change of pace that you need. Combat is up close and personal, focusing on melee attacks, timing your blows, and swiftly dodging. It’s less precision focused, although Origins did implement a hit box-based combat system. If that’s really more your style and you need to get that satisfaction of a head shot, you can still use your bow and arrow to do so.

See at the PlayStation Store

Destiny 2

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Games-as-a-service has become increasingly common these days. Fortnite certainly falls under that category, but so does Destiny 2. Part of what players love is that both games continue to offer up new content to be eagerly devoured. Both provide a longevity that most single-player games are generally incapable of.

Maybe you just want to hop into quick PvP matches. Destiny 2 has got you covered. Is that too competitive for you and you want to take a break to mow down alien NPCs? Destiny 2 has got you covered there, too. It’s the perfect mixture of competitive PvP fights, fantastic 1st-person shooting, exploration, cooperative raids, the list goes on. There’s a little bit of something for everyone in it.

See at the PlayStation Store

Inside

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Like The Last of Us — though I’m hardly comparing the two — Inside is a far cry from the experience of Fortnite. This is a platformer that can be played in one sitting. Sometimes you need that instant gratification of beating a game. That feeling may not come from winning first place in a last man standing free-for-all, but instead by completing a challenging puzzle in the nick of time. Believe me, when you’re being chased by unknown threats (or vicious dogs), there’s a thrill when you figure out what to do just in time to escape death.

Inside will challenge your intellect and reflexes while giving you an unforgettable story that’s impressively told without dialogue. Everything is environmental. It’s easily one of the most polished games to come out in years, with every part of it feeling perfectly crafted and necessary. There’s no extra “fluff” to it, so to speak.

See at the PlayStation Store

Fallout 4

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Fortnite isn’t just about vying for that coveted No.1 spot. It’s also about building. With Bethesda’s latest entry in its Fallout series, players were able to able to scavenge various materials throughout the world and create their own settlement system, much like building a fortification in Fortnite.

Areas to build these settlements are located all over Fallout 4’s recreation of post-apocalyptic Boston. Though there are some ground rules when building and you don’t have as much freedom to place your objects as you do in something like Halo Forge, nearly the only limits you have are determined by your imagination. You’d be surprised at the elaborate creations that can be made with a bit of ingenuity.

See at the PlayStation Store

Now are any of these games free-to-play? Unfortunately not. I understand that a large part of why Fortnite has been so successful is its accessibility due to it being free. But many of the aforementioned games no longer retail for $60, or never even cost that much to begin with. You won’t be breaking the bank should you decide to purchase any of them.

16
Jul

Moto E5, E5 Plus and E5 Play: Everything you need to know!


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Your next cheap phone.

Motorola has been riding a huge wave of success with the Moto G series since it was introduced, but over time that line has added capable and also price. The Moto E series now fills in the inexpensive slot underneath for people who still don’t (or can’t) spend much on a smartphone. The latest in the line is the Moto E5 series, which was unveiled in mid-April.

As is regularly the case with Motorola, the Moto E5 isn’t one phone but three — and there are a few odd differences between the group that you should take into consideration when buying one. But when you figure it all out, you may find it’s the go-to choice the next time you go to buy an inexpensive phone. Here’s what you need to know.

The latest Moto E5 news

July 16, 2018 — Motorola announces an Android Go version of the E5 Play

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A few months after the Moto E5 series was announced, Motorola’s launching a new variant of the E5 Play that ditches the full Android experience for Android Go.

Dubbed as the Moto E5 Play with Android Oreo (Go Edition), this updated model actually has a few key spec differences compared to the regular E5 Play. Most notably, where the E5 Play has a 5.2-inch 16:9 display, the E5 Play Go Edition has a larger and more modern 5.3-inch 18:9 panel.

Also, seeing as how Android Go is designed for hardware with 1GB of RAM or less, that probably means we’ll see the E5 Play’s 2GB RAM cut in half.

In regards to pricing and availability, Motorola says the E5 Play will be sold in “various countries” across Europe and Latin America with pricing starting at €109 (about $127 USD).

All the big details

Read (and watch) our hands-on preview!

To get the quick take on the new Moto E5 series, check out our hands-on video above. And for the full layout of the entire line, including how the different models compare and which one is best for different buyers, read our full hands-on preview!

Moto E5 and E5 Plus hands-on preview: Your next cheap phone

Three different E5 models

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Just like the new Moto G6 series, there are three different E5 models for 2018. There’s the “regular” Moto E5, along with a Moto E5 Plus and a Moto E5 Play. The E5 and E5 Plus are very similar in terms of performance and experience. They have large 18:9 displays, large batteries, TurboPower charging and pretty solid specs for their price. The E5 Plus only differentiates in its even larger battery at 5000mAh and a few spec bumps in processor, RAM, storage and screen size.

The E5 Play is the cheapest of the bunch, and is clearly a different base device that feels more like a continuation of last year’s Moto E4 than a bottom-tier version of the new E5 design. It has a 16:9 display, small (but removable) battery and low-end specs designed to hit the lowest possible price for prepaid carriers and price-sensitive markets.

Moto E5, E5 Play and E5 Plus specs

Most regions around the world will only have access to two of the three models. In the U.S., we’ll have access to the E5 Plus and the E5 Play, and everyone but the most price-conscious among us will be best off getting the more modern and capable E5 Plus.

Big battery life

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The Moto E5 series puts a big emphasis on battery life above just about any other feature. The Moto E5 has a sizable 4000mAh capacity, while the E5 Plus has a massive 5000mAh. Neither battery is removable, but that shouldn’t be a problem — with power-efficient Snapdragon 400 series processors inside and just HD displays, either phone will be able to stretch a full two days so long as you’re not hitting it too hard. Both phones also come with TurboPower fast chargers in the box for quicker top-ups when you do need to charge.

The Moto E5 Play interestingly doesn’t take the same approach. It has a relatively small 2800mAh battery, which is proportionate to its 5.2-inch 16:9 display — but it’s also removable, which is still an important feature for many people at this inexpensive price point. If you’re willing to buy a replacement battery and have it charged up, a quick swap (and a phone reboot) will have you back up and running quickly.

Micro-USB, and (probably) no NFC

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Motorola has almost entirely embraced the new USB-C port standard … except on its least expensive phones, like the Moto E5 series. All three models have the older Micro-USB standard, which is rather disappointing from the standpoint of technology enthusiasts who are already on their second or third phone with USB-C. But Motorola says that a large portion of potential Moto E5 buyers still have a Micro-USB phone and Micro-USB accessories, and aren’t quite ready to switch over to USB-C yet (for cost reasons).

More frustratingly and less excusable is the NFC situation. Across the E5 line (and G6 line), Motorola hasn’t standardized on whether it will include NFC in its phones. Some models in some regions have NFC, and the same models in other regions don’t. If NFC is important for you for mobile payments, be sure to carefully read the exact spec page for the exact model you’re buying to make sure it has the radio.

Where and when can you buy them?

Motorola’s E5 launch plans start in Latin America, which means we’re going to have to wait a while longer for sales to open up in North America and other regions. We don’t have a solid date yet, but we can expect late May or early June for retail availability — things can get a tad murky when you start looking at the various prepaid carrier variants as well.

As for pricing, expect it to stay low. The Moto E5 Play should debut around $100, and the E5 Plus should cost around $175 — again, carrier differences could influence these numbers heavily.

16
Jul

Moto Z3 Play vs. OnePlus 6: Which should you buy?


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A battle of battery life and modularity versus … pretty much everything else.

If you’re shopping for a new phone in the range of about $500, there are two big contenders you might be considering — the Moto Z3 Play and the OnePlus 6. Both Motorola and OnePlus are well-established in this price tier, and each phone offers great value in vastly different ways.

Specifications

A lot of the time when comparing phones at similar price points, the spec sheets end up looking almost identical, but that’s really not the case at all here. If you’ve been paying attention to these two companies in recent years, it probably won’t surprise you that OnePlus takes an easy win here.

Operating System Android 8.1 Oreo Android 8.1 Oreo
Display 6.01-inch 18:9 Super AMOLED 2160 x 1080, 402PPI 6.28-inch 19:9 Optic AMOLED 2280 x 1080, 402PPI
Chipset Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 636, eight 1.8GHz Kryo 260 cores Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, four 2.8GHz Kryo 385 Gold + four 1.7GHz Kryo 385 Silver
GPU Adreno 509 Adreno 630
RAM 4GB 6GB/8GB
Storage 32GB/64GB 64GB/128GB/256GB
Expandable Yes (microSD slot) No
Battery 3000mAh 3300mAh
Water resistance Splash-resistant p2i Water-resistant (no IP rating)
Rear Camera 12MP f/1.7 + 5MP depth sensor, PDAF, 4K at 30fps 16MP f/1.7 + 20MP f/1.7, PDAF, 4K at 60fps
Front Camera 8MP f/2.0, 1080p video 16MP f/2.0, 1080p video
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS, GLONASS, USB-C Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, GLONASS, USB-C
Security Fingerprint sensor (side) Fingerprint sensor (back)
SIM Nano SIM Nano SIM
Dimensions 156.5 x 76.5 x 6.8mm 155.7 x 75.4 x 7.8mm
Weight 156g 177g

What the Moto Z3 Play does better

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You might not be impressed with the Moto Z3 Play on paper; its processor, storage, RAM, and cameras are all bested by the OnePlus 6. But if things were that simple, there’d be no need for this comparison. Motorola’s made a name for itself with its wide range of Moto Mod accessories that allow Moto Z owners to augment their phones with larger batteries, louder speakers, and even niche features like pico projectors. This does introduce an additional cost to the phone, and carrying multiple Mods around isn’t always convenient, but Moto Mods keep the Moto Z3 Play feeling fresh and useful.

To start you off, Motorola includes a free Power Pack Mod in the box with the Z3 Play, extending the phone’s battery by 2220mAh. Using the Z3 Play with the included Power Pack Mod, I’ve been able to achieve an insane eight hours of screen-on time under a heavy workload — something the OnePlus 6 can’t come close to, despite a larger integrated battery. Even without the Power Pack Mod, the Moto Z3 Play is often able to outlast the OnePlus 6.

Motorola also has a great suite of gesture-based shortcuts to useful tools; you can double-twist the Moto Z3 Play in your hand to launch the camera, or double-chop to launch the flashlight. On top of this, the Z3 Play arguably has a much better optional one-handed navigation mode. While you’re presented with the same pill-shaped button as stock Android P, Motorola uses its own gestures — tap to go home, swipe left to go back, and swipe right to view recent apps.

Lastly — and this is a big one — Motorola takes a significant win in availability. On top of being cheaper, starting at $449.99 on Amazon, the unlocked Moto Z3 Play works on all major U.S. carriers. In contrast, the OnePlus 6 is only compatible with GSM networks, leaving out Sprint, Verizon, and their subsidiaries.

See at Amazon

What the OnePlus 6 does better

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If modular accessories aren’t your thing, and you’re on a GSM carrier like AT&T or T-Mobile, the OnePlus 6 is a seriously compelling option. In terms of specs, it completely overpowers the Moto Z3 Play and just about every other phone in its price range, with a Snapdragon 845, 6 to 8GB of RAM, and up to 256GB of storage. The storage is non-expandable, but even the baseline should be more than enough for most users at 64GB. Oh, and did I mention the OnePlus 6 still has a headphone jack?

You’ll also enjoy a larger screen with a taller 19:9 aspect ratio on the OnePlus 6. The catch? There’s a notch up top, though it’s small enough that you’ll barely notice it’s there, even if you’re vehemently against notches. It’s a better display, too — while the Moto Z3 Play has a great Super AMOLED panel, the OnePlus 6’s Optic AMOLED is even brighter with more vibrant colors.

Thanks to its ultra high-end specs, performance on the OnePlus 6 is considerably snappier than that of the Moto Z3 Play, with a similarly clean build of Android 8.1 Oreo. While Motorola’s software has some nice tricks of its own, OxygenOS is more customizable with systemwide themes, customizable long-press shortcuts on each navigation button, and shortcuts to wake the phone and launch user-set apps by drawing letters on the screen.

The OnePlus 6 has pretty great camera performance, too. While both phones have dual cameras (and both use the secondary sensor largely for augmenting portrait mode, rather than different focal lengths), the OnePlus 6 takes fantastic photos in daylight and even does reasonably well in poor light, where the Moto Z3 Play falls apart.

See at OnePlus

Which is right for you?

If you’re on a CDMA carrier, the choice is already made for you — the Moto Z3 Play is the only option that works with Sprint and Verizon. It’s also the cheaper phone of the two, and with the inclusion of a free Moto Mod in the box you’re arguably getting a better value. If you’ve owned a Moto Z phone in the past, any of your existing Mods will work on the Z3 Play too. Even if you’re on AT&T or T-Mobile, the ridiculously long battery life could push you in favor of the Moto Z3 Play.

If, on the other hand, you’re after power first and foremost, it’s hard to argue with the OnePlus 6 — high-end specs at a low price is basically OnePlus’s business model. You’ll also benefit from superior camera performance, a better display, a 3.5mm headphone jack … you get the point. If you can afford to spend a bit above $500 (starting at $529 and reaching up to $629), the OnePlus 6 is definitely your best bet if you aren’t worried about modularity.

Which phone would you buy, and what are the biggest reasons? Let us know in the comments below!

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

16
Jul

Relay is an LTE walkie-talkie for kids (and for MrMobile)


In a world of smartphones that do everything, it’s refreshing to try a gadget that does … one thing. Relay is an LTE walkie-talkie from Republic Wireless designed to keep your kids in contact with you (and each other) without forcing them into the same crippling smartphone addiction that’s slowly sucking the life from all of us grown-ups. You may remember it from the excellent hands-on piece that Russell Holly published not too long ago, wherein he proclaimed it “a fantastic take on a kid-friendly ‘phone’.”

Given Russell’s status as an actual father, you might expect his word to be the final one on the matter. But that would require you to forget about my unhealthy obsession with walkie-talkies in all their forms. Step aside, Russell; it’s time for pretend-dad MrMobile to take a crack at these things! Join me as I put Relay through the ins and outs of a typical week, musing on the difficulties of making push-to-talk over cellular function properly, and dropping references to 90s gems like Crimson Tide and the YakBak in the process. Click on through to MrMobile’s Relay review above, and be sure to stay tuned for Android Central’s followup coverage in the months ahead!

Note: Before my Relay review was published I received feedback from Republic about the difficulties I faced with my review devices (detailed in the video above), and I share it below so potential buyers have the full picture:

“Our latest software build is 1.2 (112) which has some improvements to the resiliency of LTE on CDMA […] We’ve had a small % of customers needing a SIM swap but it has helped almost all of them. The swap is simple [from] a customer perspective, just remove existing SIM and insert new SIM and reboot. We have some algorithms that help us evaluate coverage both based on the vector data we get from the carriers and on real customer experience (eg. if a customer in the same area has requested a swap previously). These data drive future considerations for the coverage we give customers.”

You can also track the current sentiment from Relay walkie-talkie owners in Republic’s forums here.

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16
Jul

Roku’s new $199 wireless speakers are made especially for Roku-powered TVs


roku_tv_wireless_speakers.jpg?itok=rl2JB The Roku TV Wireless Speakers sport not just one but two remote controls.

Preordering gets you a discount, but the speakers aren’t available until October.

Roku today announced its new (and highly anticipated) Roku TV Wireless Speakers. They are, as the name implies, wireless speakers made specifically for Roku TV. The speakers won’t be available until October.

Pricing bounces a bit depending on when you buy. Preorders today through July 23 will cost $149. From July 24 to Oct. 15 you’ll pay $179. And from Oct. 16 on the retail price is $199.

The bundle includes a pair of Roku TV Wireless speakers, a voice remote, tabletop remote, a pair of power cables, and four AAA batteries.

See at Roku

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Roku Announces Roku TV Wireless Speakers Making it Easy for Consumers to Add Premium Sound to Any Roku TV

LOS GATOS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Roku, Inc. (Nasdaq: ROKU) today announced the Roku TV™ Wireless Speakers, the first ever speakers made exclusively for Roku TV. Adding a new dimension, exceptional depth and stereo separation to movies, TV and music, Roku TV Wireless Speakers are meticulously engineered and calibrated to deliver powerful, premium audio to Roku TVs. Because Roku controls the software in both the speakers and TV, Roku is uniquely able to provide seamless wireless setup and connectivity, optimize sound for the picture and ensure audio video sync. Roku TV users can pre-order from Roku.com between July 16 – 23, 2018, for a special introductory price of $149.99.

“Picture quality, a tremendous selection of content, value, and ease of use make Roku TVs some of the most popular smart TVs on the market today,” said Roku CEO Anthony Wood. “Adding great audio dramatically enhances the way people experience their favorite entertainment. With Roku TV Wireless Speakers, we’re able to offer our customers a simple and affordable way to further immerse themselves into the TV, movies and music they love, while providing them with a better whole home entertainment experience.”

Unlike home theater systems, set up is simple with wireless pairing to Roku TVs via Roku Connect. Once paired, users can listen to audio from any streaming channel on the Roku platform, live TV from an antenna, or other devices such as a cable set-top box through the Roku TV Wireless Speakers. The speakers support Bluetooth music streaming from mobile devices. The speakers also offer Automatic Volume Leveling to lower the volume on loud scenes and boost the volume on quieter ones and Dialog Enhancement to improve the intelligibility of speech.

Roku TV Wireless Speakers work exclusively with Roku TVs, which accounted for one out of every four smart TVs sold in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2018. They ship with a Roku TV Voice Remote, which controls both the Roku TV and the speakers, as well as the all-new Roku Touch™. Roku Touch is a battery-powered tabletop voice remote featuring a press-and-hold design for voice commands, playback control buttons and programmable preset buttons. Some of the most popular channels on the Roku platform are streaming music channels, and with Roku Touch it is even easier to use Roku TV and Roku TV Wireless Speakers to listen to music.

Pricing and Availability

The Roku TV Wireless Speaker bundle has an MSRP of $199.99 and begins shipping to customers by late October. The bundle includes:

  • (2) Roku TV Wireless Speakers
  • Roku TV Voice Remote
  • Roku Touch tabletop remote
  • (2) Power Cables
  • (4) AAA Batteries

Pre-order pricing for the bundle is $149.99 today through July 23, 2018. From July 24 through October 15, 2018, Roku TV Wireless Speakers will be available for a special price of $179.99. Beginning October 16, pricing is $199.99.

For more information on Roku TV Wireless Speakers visit Roku.com.

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