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2
Aug

Apple is Officially a Trillion Dollar Company as Shares Cross $207 Mark


Apple has officially become the world’s only trillion dollar publicly traded company, in terms of market capitalization, which is simply the company’s number of outstanding shares multiplied by its stock price.

Apple achieved this milestone by hitting a stock price of $207.05 and above in intraday trading today, giving it a market cap slightly over $1,000,000,000,000, based on its 4,829,926,000 outstanding shares as of July 20, 2018, which the company disclosed in its quarterly 10-Q filing with the SEC on Wednesday.

While some publications declared Apple a trillion dollar company earlier in the day, this was based on an outdated number of outstanding shares in Apple from tools such as Yahoo Finance, which powers Apple’s own Stocks app.

Apple beat out other large tech companies, including Amazon, Microsoft, and Google parent company Alphabet, in the race to a trillion dollars. As with most milestones of this nature, however, Apple reaching exactly a trillion dollar market cap doesn’t have too much significance, beyond the vanity of it.

Apple’s stock has appreciated over eight percent since the market closed on Tuesday, following its record-breaking earnings results. Apple set a new fiscal third quarter record with $53.3 billion revenue, easily topping Wall Street expectations, and there were also indications that the iPhone X is selling quite well.

The milestone is a testament to the strength of Apple, which has already been the world’s most valuable company for several years. Aside from 2016, which is now an outlier, Apple has been steadily increasing its revenue and profits since 2003, fueled by the massive popularity of products like the iPhone and iPad.

Apple will look to build upon its success with a wide range of new products expected later this year, including a trio of iPhones, iPads with Face ID, Apple Watch Series 4 models, updates to several Macs, new AirPods, and much more.

Update: Apple’s stock price has since dipped below $207 as it continues to fluctuate on the intraday market.

Tag: AAPL
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2
Aug

Mimeo Photos Releases Themes, Book Sizes, and Templates ‘Identical’ to Apple Photo Books as Apple’s Service Ends


In July it was discovered that Apple is planning to discontinue its physical Photo Books printing service on September 30, 2018. With Apple’s first-party option disappearing, users will be left to create and buy physical books from third-party companies, and now one such company — Mimeo Photos — has announced the release of “identical” formats, templates, and book sizes that Apple Photo Books currently offers its users.

This means that those users who opted for Apple’s printing service in the past will now be able to transition to Mimeo Photos and its macOS extension to find all of the features that they’re used to. Specifically, in Mimeo Photos the company says customers will now find design themes, product sets, templates, book sizes, materials, and print quality that is all “the same” as Apple’s Photo Books service.

“This is a real opportunity for us to expand our successes as a prominent Apple Photos extension since the beginning,” said John Delbridge, CEO, Mimeo. “We are really excited to see an increase in demand from countries like Australia and Japan in addition to our strong US customer base.”

The company points out that in addition to the same Apple themes, book formats, and other materials now found within the extension, Mimeo Photos also offers a few other features for designing and creating physical photo books, cards, and calendars. Users can crop and move photos easily with in-depth transformation tools; write personalized texts in numerous fonts, colors, and sizes; add colors into pages with various background options; and choose from a “large variety” of layouts.

Pricing for the two services also appears largely similar, with Mimeo Photo’s softcover landscape books starting at $9.99 in a medium size and increasing to $49.99 for extra large hardcovers. There are also calendars available for $19.99 and cards starting at $0.99, just like Apple Photo Books.

Those interested can download Mimeo Photos for free on the Mac App Store [Direct Link].

Related Roundups: macOS High Sierra, macOS Mojave
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2
Aug

Apple Maps Transit Directions Expand to Luxembourg, New Cities in the US, and Canada’s VIA Rail


Apple recently updated its Maps app to expand the availability of transit directions to several new regions.

Transit data is now available in Luxembourg, a country that has an expansive transit system including buses, trains, and the Luxembourg City tram.

Apple also appears to have made transit data available in several new cities in Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, and Oregon.

Transit directions were previously available in some of these locations in select cities such as Philadelphia, Houston, Dallas, Seattle, and Portland, but the transit information appears to have expanded to encompass much of these states.

In Canada, Apple has added support for the VIA Rail system that operates across much of the country, spanning more than 7,000 miles across eight provinces. Popular lines include the Canadian that runs between Toronto and Vancouver and the Ocean running from Montreal to Halifax.

There’s also a Corridor service between Ontario and Quebec, and several adventure routes offering transportation to rural areas.

Transit directions were first added to Apple Maps in 2015 with the launch of iOS 9. Maps initially only offered transit information in a handful of cities, but over the course of the last few years, Apple has worked to expand the feature to additional areas.

Transit information is now live in dozens of cities and countries around the world, with a full list available on Apple’s iOS Feature Availability website.

(Thanks, Ram!)

Tag: Apple Maps
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2
Aug

Checking the pressure in your car’s tires is vital — here’s how to do it


how to check your tire pressure 2017  dt photos by chris chin 11 Chris Chin/Digital Trends

Other maintenance guides


How to change your spark plugs


How to change a car battery


How to rotate your tires


How to jump-start a car

Checking your tire pressure might seem like a simple task, similar to the job of making sure there’s gas in the tank. However, believe it or not, checking tire pressure is something that often goes overlooked as people get caught up in their daily grind.

As seasonal changes yield different outdoor temperatures, your tires can perform very differently. For instance, the air pressurized in your tire can expand or contract according to use and ambient temperature, altering the contact patch, the behavior of your tire, and thus the way your vehicle performs. For the sake of motoring safety, it’s crucial to often check your tire pressure to make sure it’s correct before you drive. If you’ve never checked your tire pressure before, no worries — we’ve created a simple guide that’ll show you how.

Ways to check tire pressure

There are various ways to check the tire pressure on your vehicle. If you have a car that was made around or just after 1986, there’s a chance it comes with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). Those chances increase as the cars get newer. For instance, the U.S. saw its first TPMS-equipped car in 1991, thanks to General Motors equipping the Chevrolet Corvette with the system. If your car was made after September 2007, your car unquestionably has TPMS, a federal safety mandate for light-duty vehicles (weighing less than 10,000 pounds), imposed through the United States TREAD Act of 2000. It’s a policy enacted following the historic and major Firestone tire recall of the late 1990s that affected Ford Explorer trucks equipped with faulty tires from the factory.

What does TPMS do? It automatically notifies you via a lit dashboard icon if you either have too much or too little air in your tires. Some of the systems are particularly rudimentary, with a single warning light suggesting one or more of the four tires isn’t filled properly. With more recent cars equipped with infotainment systems or trip computers embedded into the gauge cluster, there are more comprehensive TPM systems that tell you the approximate pressure of each tire.

Here are a few examples of TPM systems on newer vehicles:


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TPMS on a Ferrari 458 Spider Chris Chin/Digital Trends

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TPMS on a Cadillac ATS-V Coupe Chris Chin/Digital Trends

If your ride doesn’t have a TPM system, or it does but it doesn’t display individual tire pressures, you’ll need to check the tires the old-fashioned way. First, you need to acquire a tire pressure gauge. These can be picked up very easily from places like your local gas station quick-mart, or any local automotive parts or general hardware department store. Most are just a few dollars, but the fancier ones can cost as much as $20 or $30.

These are the two most common types of tire pressure gauges, analog versus digital:


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Analog tire pressure gauge Chris Chin/Digital Trends

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Analog tire pressure gauge Chris Chin/Digital Trends

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Digital tire pressure gauge Chris Chin/Digital Trends

Step 1: Determine your correct tire pressure

Your owner’s manual will tell you the proper tire pressure readings for your vehicle application and associated weight. On most cars, like this 2017 Cadillac ATS-V Coupe, the tire pressure information is printed on a sticker placed on the inner door as well.

how to check your tire pressure 2017  dt photos by chris chin 16 Chris Chin/Digital Trends

Step 2: Double-check the tire sidewall

Read the tire sidewall and compare the information provided to the figures you got from your owner’s manual. As long as your tires are stock or within stock requirements (custom wheel arrangements notwithstanding), this is where your car’s tire pressure should be.

Step 3: Remove the tire valve stem cover

Access any one of your four tires and remove the tire valve stem cover.


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Chris Chin/Digital Trends

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Chris Chin/Digital Trends

Step 4: Take a reading

Take your tire pressure gauge, and place it at the tip of the valve stem with the female receiver end of the pressure gauge. Give it a nice push for a couple seconds, and you’ll hear some air hiss out of the stem — no worries, this is completely normal.


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Chris Chin/Digital Trends

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Chris Chin/Digital Trends

Step 5: Read the numbers

Read the numbers, often in pressure-per-square-inch or psi, and compare them with the recommended tire pressure from steps 1 and 2.


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Chris Chin/Digital Trends

Step 6: Rinse, wash, repeat

Repeat this process on every tire, including your spare if you have one, to ensure all the tires on your vehicle are properly pressurized.

Step 7: Fill, if needed

If your tire has too little air in it, which is likely since tires are slightly porous and can lose air in drastic ambient temperature changes, you can top it off using a store-bought air compressor or hand pump. Alternatively, you can pop by your local gas station and use their air pump in exchange for some quarters.

Typically, air pumps at stations have built-in tire pressure gauges to notify you of the pressure reading. Some of them can be worn and thus inaccurate, which is why it’s advised to just buy a tire pressure gauge and keep it in your car at all times.

Notes on nitrogen-filled tires

If your car was at a Costco Tire Center or even a dealership, there are chances your tires were filled with pure nitrogen. The reason for using nitrogen over any plain air is that nitrogen is less volatile of a gas. When plain air heats up, its mass expands and becomes less dense and when it cools down, its mass contracts and becomes more dense, thus affecting the pressurization of a tire. The use of nitrogen would be signified by the use of a green valve stem cap, rather than a normal dark colored one. Although it is advised not to fill nitrogen tires with normal air, there’s no real harm to topping it off if your tire pressure is off by a few psi.

You can get your tires refilled completely with nitrogen. However, average Joe tire shops will charge up to $30 a tire to empty them completely and refill them with nitrogen. Alternatively, you can pop into your local dealership and they might honor a tire refill as part of a customer courtesy. And if you bought your tires at Costco, they offer free nitrogen refills as part of their tire packages for consumers.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • How to rotate your tires, and why it’s important
  • Here’s how to unlock your phone automatically with Android Smart Lock
  • Ridy smart camera will alert drivers when they’re drowsy or distracted
  • Here’s how to program an RCA universal remote
  • Get the job skills you need for your resume in 2018 with these online courses



2
Aug

Moto G6 and Moto G6 Play review: The best cheap Android phones you can buy


The beauty of Android is that you can buy a phone no matter how much cash you have to spend. If you’ve got upwards of $800, buy a Pixel 2 XL or Galaxy S9 Plus. If your budget’s more modest, Motorola’s Moto G6 and Moto G6 Play are worth considering.

For between $200-$250, you get a sleek design, two-day battery life, and the best software experience outside of a Pixel or Android One phone. Read the full Moto G6 and Moto G6 Play review to see if these phones are right for you.

Moto G6 review notes: I’ve been using the Moto G6 and Moto G6 Play on T-Mobile’s network in the U.S. for 10 days. Our Moto G6 is running Android 8.0 Oreo and software version OPS27.104-15-10 on the March 1, 2018 security patch, while the Moto G6 Play is running 8.0 Oreo and version OPP27.91-35 on the April 1, 2018 security patch. We’ll refrain from adding review scores until we can put the devices through our full suite of tests.

The Moto G6 and G6 Play used in this review were provided to Android Authority by Motorola.

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Design

Phones in this price range all make sacrifices to cut costs, but you won’t find any in the design of these phones.

The Moto G6 feels like a $400-$500 phone.

The Moto G6 and G6 Play’s all-glass designs make them feel more expensive than they are. They’re both comfortable to hold despite the slippery glass designs, mostly thanks to the curved edges around back and the 18:9 aspect ratio screens.

The G6 Play is almost a full millimeter chunkier than the regular G6, and about 13 grams heavier, which makes it phone feel a little cheaper — but not by much. It still feels like a more expensive device than it is.

Also read: The best Moto G6 cases you can buy

motorola moto g6 review software display motorola logo fingerprint sensor

motorola moto g6 review design buttons
motorola moto g6 review design usb type-c port headphone jack
motorola moto g6 play review microusb port

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Best budget phones ($500 and under)

There are a lot of great phones out there, but the reality is many of them cost well over $500. In 2017 we even saw flagships reach the $1,000 mark. So what if you want …

They both have fingerprint sensors, and the G6’s is especially quick and accurate. It’s located on the bottom bezel below the screen. I don’t have any issues with that, though it was curious, considering the G6 Play’s sensor is located on the back of the device.

The differences don’t stop there. The Moto G6 has a USB Type-C port, while the G6 Play has the older Micro-USB port. We want all phones to have USB Type-C ports, but let’s face it: Micro-USB is cheaper.

Both phones have a power button and volume keys on the right side, as well as 3.5mm headphone jacks.

To keep costs down, Motorola decided not to make either of the devices water resistant. Instead, the company included what’s called a water-repellant nano-coating to shield the device from splashes of water. Just don’t go dropping your phone in the toilet anytime soon.

Display

motorola moto g6 and moto g6 play review software display

It’s really nice to see 18:9 aspect ratio screens on budget phones. It makes them seem more modern.

Both devices come with 5.7-inch IPS LCDs covered in Gorilla Glass 3. The Moto G6 has a higher Full HD+ resolution (2,160 x 1,080), while the G6 Play has an HD+ screen (1,440 x 720).

I’ve been really impressed with the G6’s display quality. It’s crisp, easy to read outdoors, and gets plenty bright or dim no matter if you’re in direct sunlight or reading on your phone in bed.

The G6 Play’s 720p resolution is less than ideal. The lower resolution combined with the big 5.7-inch screen makes everything fuzzier. The screen alone would make me want to fork over the extra $50 for the regular G6. However, it’s worth noting the G6 Play’s display gets both much brighter and dimmer than the G6.

Performance and hardware

motorola moto g6 and moto g6 play review software display

Performance has been mostly great on the Moto G6. The mid-tier Snapdragon 450 SoC backed by 3GB of RAM is more than enough to handle “easy” tasks like scrolling through social media, watching YouTube videos, and loading web pages in Chrome. Multitasking in split-screen mode works just fine too, as does using Google Maps in picture-in-picture mode while using other applications.

Everything starts to slow down when gaming. Alto’s Odyssey and Monument Valley 2 lag quite a bit, even though they aren’t the most graphic-intensive games out there.

The Moto G6 also comes in a variant with 4GB of RAM, so you might want to go that route if you play a lot of games.

Performance is only an issue if you play games. For everything else, both Moto Gs will perform just fine.

The G6 Play can mostly keep up with the G6’s performance, though I have noticed a few instances of lag. Gaming performance is a bit laggy too. The Snapdragon 427 chipset won’t win any performance awards, but the 3GB of RAM certainly helps make for a mostly good experience.

There’s also a version with 2GB of RAM, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re really looking to save some cash.

Related: Spec showdown: Moto G6, G6 Play, G6 Plus, and Moto G5 series

motorola moto g6 and G6 Play review design

NFC shouldn’t be something we have to beg companies to include.

Both phones in this review have 32GB of storage. You can also buy a Moto G6 with up to 64GB of storage, or go the cheapest route and buy the Moto G6 Play with just 16GB of storage. Thankfully, all models come with a microSD card slot for an extra 128GB of storage if you need it.

The biggest downside on the hardware front is the lack of NFC, which means no Google Pay. That’s not something we should see in 2018.

Call quality has been just fine on both models. I noticed switching phone calls to speakerphone mode results in a bit of lag, though.

Speaking of speakers (heh), both the G6 and Play have a single front-firing speaker above the display. They’re difficult to cover up when watching videos or playing games, and they get pretty loud. They don’t get HTC U12 Plus or Pixel 2 XL loud, but they’re loud enough for listening to podcasts or music around the house.

Battery

motorola moto g6 play review software battery

You will not be disappointed by either phones’ battery life.

Also readrelated article

Fact check: Is smartphone battery capacity growing or staying the same?

If there’s one axiom of portable electronics it’s that longer battery life is always better, there’s simply no downside to having our gadgets last longer. Unfortunately, very few smartphones are known for their outstanding battery …

Despite the Moto G6’s relatively small 3,000mAh battery, standby and screen-on time has been great. Even when streaming podcasts and playing Alto’s Odyssey for a couple hours, I got roughly five to six hours of screen-on time every day with this phone. If you only use your phone to make calls and send texts, you’d likely have no problem making it last well into the second day without having to top up.

The Moto G6 Play’s battery life is even better. The 4,000mAh battery, coupled with the low-res screen, means the phone will last two days on a single charge — easily. There were a few days I even went to bed with 75 percent charge left, which is fantastic. It’s not out of the question to get seven, eight, or even nine hours of screen-on time with this phone.

moto g6 battery stats
moto g6 battery stats
moto g6 play battery stats
moto g6 play battery stats

Camera

motorola moto g6 review camera

The cameras are about what you’d expect from budget smartphones under $300, but they pull off decent shots every once in awhile.

The G6 has dual rear-facing cameras with a 12MP (ƒ/1.8) main sensor and a 5MP RGB sensor. There’s unfortunately no optical or electronic image stabilization included here.

You’ll rely on the main 12MP sensor for normal shots, while the secondary sensor jumps in when you take portrait photos. If you’re taking photos in a place with enough light, the 12MP sensor can produce some impressive photos. Colors are bright and there’s plenty of detail. Highlights were blown out more often than I’d like, though.

Note: The camera samples in this review have been resized. You can see all the full-res Moto G6 camera samples here and the Moto G6 Play camera samples here.

moto g6 review camera samples

moto g6 review camera samples
moto g6 review camera samples
moto g6 review camera samples

In anything but great lighting conditions, the Moto G6’s camera struggles. It’s slow to take photos in rapid succession, and sometimes struggles to lock onto subjects.

moto g6 review camera samples

Portrait mode shots are decent if enough light is in the frame, but you’ll have to take multiple photos to ensure your subject is in focus. About one out of every three or four portrait shots produces good results. On the plus side, you can adjust the amount of background blur before and after you take your photo, and change the focus subject after the fact.

moto g6 review camera samples bb-8 star wars

Photos taken with the 8MP front-facing shooter are surprisingly good. Colors are rich and there’s plenty of detail in each shot. You won’t have any issues finding selfies to post on social media or sending to your friends.

Selfies with the Moto G6 Play’s 8MP sensor lack detail and color, unfortunately. I haven’t been able to pull off many acceptable photos with the cheaper device.

moto g6 review camera samples
moto g6 play review camera samples

On the back, the G6 Play has a single 13MP ƒ/2.0 aperture sensor. It’s much more difficult to snap an acceptable picture with the Play’s camera, no matter what light there is. Colors are dull, there isn’t a lot of detail, and images often come out blurry or blown out if there’s too much light.

moto g6 play review camera samples

moto g6 play review camera samples
moto g6 play review camera samples
moto g6 play review camera samples

Despite the camera quality, Motorola’s camera app is a joy to use. All the main controls are easily accessible with one hand, and switching between menus or different modes is as easy as swiping left or right. Both phones also include a manual mode if you’d like a little more control.

You may not use the app’s various extras (face filters, text scanner, and a YouTube Live shortcut), but all in all the interface is intuitive and polished.

Software

motorola moto g6 play review software display android oreo

It’s always bittersweet when talking about Motorola and software. Motorola’s software update track record used to be one of the best — it even rolled out major Android releases ahead of Google’s Nexus phones — but those days are over. Ever since the Lenovo acquisition, software updates from Motorola have been extremely late.

It took Motorola 123 days to roll out Android Oreo to its first phone, the Moto Z2 Force, which already ran a near-stock Android experience. That’s unacceptable. The company is even okay with launching a phone it says will never receive a major software update.

I can’t tell you if these phones will receive timely software updates. Motorola says both will be upgraded to Android P, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that didn’t happen until well into 2019.

Alright, enough complaining. Now onto the good stuff.

motorola moto g6 review software screenshots
motorola moto g6 review software screenshots
motorola moto g6 review software screenshots
motorola moto g6 review software screenshots
motorola moto g6 review software screenshots
motorola moto g6 review software screenshots
motorola moto g6 review software screenshots
motorola moto g6 review software dolby atmos

Motorola makes one of the best versions of Android out there. The stock Motorola launcher is customizable and fast, and there isn’t a ton of extra bloatware like you’d get on a Samsung or LG handset.

Just about all of Motorola’s software additions are tucked away nice and neat inside the Moto app, which can suggest ways to clear up storage, or give you battery saving tips and tricks. This is also where you’ll control all your Moto Actions (chop twice for flashlight, twist to open the camera, or use three fingers to take a screenshot). These are all super handy, and I use them just about every day.

motorola moto g6 review ambient display screen

On the Moto G6, you can even eliminate the traditional three navigation buttons in favor of fingerprint sensor gestures. This mode isn’t enabled by default, but it’s easy enough to turn it on within the Moto app.

Moto Display makes its return and remains one of these phones’ most convenient software features. It’s not an always-on display feature like on the Galaxy S9 or Pixel 2, but it essentially does the same thing. Wave your hand over the device and it’ll show you the time, date, battery percentage, and notifications. What’s more, you can act upon notifications without unlocking your phone. Just press and hold the notification, and you can dismiss it, archive it, or reply right from that ambient screen. It’s awesome.

Specs

Display 5.7-inch IPS LCD
2,160 x 1,080
407ppi
18:9 aspect ratio
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
5.7-inch IPS LCD
1,440 x 720
282ppi
18:9 aspect ratio
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 450
1.8GHz octa-core
Qualcomm Snapdragon 427
1.4GHz octa-core
GPU Adreno 506 Adreno 308
RAM 3/4GB 2/3GB
Storage 32/64GB
microSD slot up to 128GB
16/32GB
microSD slot up to 128GB
Cameras Rear:
Main 12MP sensor with ƒ/1.8 aperture
Secondary 5MP RGB sensor

Front: 8MP

Rear: 13MP, ƒ/2.0 aperture

Front: 8MP

Battery 3,000mAh
Non-removable
USB Type-C port
15W TurboPower charger
4,000mAh
Non-removable
MicroUSB port
10W rapid charger
SIM Dual Nano SIM Dual Nano SIM
Headphone jack Yes Yes
Fingerprint sensor Yes (front) Yes (rear)
IP rating No, water-repellant nano-coating No, water-repellant nano-coating
Software Android 8.0 Oreo Android 8.0 Oreo
Dimensions and weight 153.8 x 72.3 x 8.3mm
167g
155.4 x 72.2 x 9.1mm
180g
Colors deep indigo, black, blush, silver deep indigo, flash gray

Gallery

Pricing, availability, and final thoughts

The Moto G6 and G6 Play are both compatible with the big four carriers in the United States, and the standard G6 is even compatible with Project Fi. You can buy them unlocked from pretty much any major smartphone retailer, including Amazon, which currently sells both devices at a discount if you don’t mind picking up the Amazon Prime Exclusive models. Normally they’d cost $250 and $200, respectively, but the Prime Exclusive models go for $235 and $190.

Moto G6 on Amazon
Moto G6 Play on Amazon

The Moto G line is Motorola’s best-selling smartphone line, and for good reason. They’ve always brought tons of value, striking a perfect balance between quality and compromise. The Moto G6 and G6 Play are no different.

The Moto G line is know for striking that perfect balance between quality and compromise, and these phones are no different.

You’re not going to find a better, more premium-looking phone at this price than the Moto G6. I switched to it from my Pixel 2 XL for the past week or so, and honestly, I don’t want to send it back — it’s that good. No, the camera isn’t great (and neither is Motorola’s software update track record), but everything else is. The build is fantastic, the software is a joy to use, and it’s compatible with all the major carriers in the States.

The Moto G6 Play is great too, but I’d urge everyone to spend the extra $50 (if that’s an option) for the G6. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with a lower-res screen, slower performance, a worse camera, and a legacy Micro-USB port. Sure, you’ll have a bigger battery, but you’ll deal with far fewer compromises with the higher-end phone.

That’s it for our Moto G6 and Moto G6 Play review. What do you think? Let us know in the comments. 

2
Aug

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 vs. iPad Pro: Which high-end tablet takes the crown?



For the past few years, the iPad Pro has reigned as the go-to tablet for professionals and creatives. Samsung has been trying to get in on the action, but the problem lies with Android, which offers few tablet-optimized apps. The Galaxy Tab S4 is looking to shake up the Android tablet space, thanks to Samsung’s Android desktop mode, which catapults the Tab S4 into a productivity machine.

So how do the two compare? We pit Galaxy Tab S4 vs. the iPad Pro (2017) to find out.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4
 10.5 inch iPad Pro (2017)

Size
249.3 x 164.3 x 7.1 mm (9.81 x 6.46 x 0.28 inches)
250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1 mm (9.87 x 6.85 x 0.24 inches)

Weight
482 grams (17 ounces)
469g (16.5oz)

Screen size
10.5-inches  Super AMOLED
10.5-inches LCD with True Tone

Screen resolution
2,560 x 1,600 pixels (287 pixels-per-inch)
2,224 x 1,668 pixels (264 pixels-per-inch)

Operating system
Android Oreo 8.1
iOS 11.4

Storage space
64GB, 256GB
64GB, 256GB, 512GB

MicroSD card slot
Yes, up to 512GB
None

Tap To Pay services
Samsung Pay, Google Pay
None

Processor
 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Apple A10X Fusion

RAM
4GB
4GB

Camera
Rear 13MP, front 8MP
Rear 12MP, front 7MP

Video
2,160p at 30 frames per second
2,160p at 30fps, 1,080p at 60fps, 1,080p at 120fps, 720p at 240fps

Bluetooth version
Bluetooth 5.0
Bluetooth 4.2

Ports
3.5mm headphone jack, USB-Type C
3.5mm headphone jack, Lightning

Fingerprint sensor
No, iris scanner
Yes

Water resistance
No
No

Battery
7,3000mAh, fast charging
8,134mAh

App Marketplace
Google Play Store
App Store

Network support
Verizon (more carrier support to come later, including AT&T, US Cellular, Sprint)
T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon

Colors
Black, Grey
Silver, Gold, Space Gray, Rose Gold

Price
$650-plus
$650-plus

Buy from
Samsung, Amazon, Best Buy, Verizon
Apple

Review score
Hands-on
4.5 out of 5 stars

Performance, battery life, and charging

The entire point of a pro tablet is for it to perform extremely well, right? Well, both the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 and iPad Pro should be able to handle just about any task you can imagine. In terms of processor power alone, the Galaxy Tab S4 has a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, while the iPad Pro is packing Apple’s A10X Fusion chip. Both have 4GB of RAM, which is plenty for multitasking. Apple’s processor does edge out a win here because it’s more powerful than the Snapdragon 835.

When it comes to battery life, things are a bit more tricky. Samsung claims the new Galaxy Tab S4 should last through 16 hours of video playback on a single charge, while Apple offers a more conservative 10 hour estimate of “surfing the web on Wi‐Fi, watching video, or listening to music.” The Tab S4 has a 7,300mAh battery, but the iPad Pro packs an 8,134mAh battery capacity. We’ll need to test Samsung’s claim, but either way, both of these tablets should easily get you through a day of use. If you do find yourself running low, Samsung’s newest tablet has a fast-charging adapter in the box; if you want a quick charge on the iPad Pro, you’ll need to buy a separate adapter.

Overall, we’re calling this round for the iPad Pro. It’s performance outmatches the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, and it features a battery that will definitely get you through a full day.

Winner: iPad Pro

Design and durability

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Both the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 and the iPad are gorgeous tablets, so personal preference will win out here. We think the front of the Tab S4 looks more contemporary, but prefer the rear design of the iPad Pro.

Durability-wise, the Galaxy Tab S4 loses points for its all-glass body (Gorilla Glass 3). Apple only has glass over the screen and aluminum on the back, which means you won’t have to worry about the back shattering after a drop. While Samsung’s glass back is nice, it doesn’t really serve a purpose other than design: There’s no wireless charging on the tablet.

Design is mostly a draw here, but durability lands the iPad Pro the win.

Winner: iPad Pro

Display

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Samsung managed to pack an absolutely gorgeous Super AMOLED display into its Galaxy Tab S4, and its precisely what you’d expect: Colors are vivid, blacks are inky, and the viewing angles are excellent. The iPad Pro, on the other hand, uses a laminated LCD display with a 120Hz refresh rate and color-adjusting True Tone technology. The high refresh rate makes scrolling through apps feel incredibly smooth, and it’s a technology not available on any other tablet on the market.

This round goes to the iPad Pro. While the colors may be a bit more vivid on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 — and the screen a little sharper — the iPad Pro’s 120Hz refresh rate simply makes the tablet even more of a joy to use.

Winner: iPad Pro  

Camera

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 features a 13-megapixel camera on the back, with an 8-megapixel camera on the front. On the iPad Pro, you’ll find a 12-megapixel camera on its back and a 7-megapixel selfie cam. So, in terms of overall specs, the two are pretty similar.

While the iPad Pro camera may be better here since it’s more or less the iPhone 7’s camera system, we don’t put a ton of stock into tablet cameras since they’re not used in the same way you’d use the camera on your smartphone. You’ll find a satisfactory camera experience here for both devices, though we’ll be testing the Tab S4 in more detail for the review.

Winner: Tie

Software and updates

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Last year, this comparison would have basically come down to an iOS vs. Android comparison, but things are a little more exciting this year. Samsung is bringing its DeX mode to the Galaxy Tab S4. DeX mode creates a desktop-like Android experience right on the tablet. It works great with Samsung’s suite of apps and third-party support is growing. The 10.5-inch iPad Pro, on the other hand, still relies solely on iOS, which can be a challenge for productivity. The iPad does have a slew of multitasking features, such as split-screen and drag and drop, but DeX seems to offer a more comfortable laptop-like experience.

We think DeX mode has a lot of potential, but Samsung is not as diligent about software and security updates as Apple. You can be sure to receive Android P and Android Q, but don’t expect those updates to come in a timely manner. If that’s important to you, stick with the iPad Pro — it’s what makes this section a tie.

Winner: Tie

Special features

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Looking for special features you won’t find on other tablets? Well, both the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 and iPad Pro have one major special feature: The S Pen and Apple Pencil, respectively. Both styluses allow you to draw, sign documents, and take notes. On Samsung’s newly updated S Pen, you’ll even find a button that will open a list of frequently used apps for quick access.

While we think the Apple Pencil is a much better tool for creators, it costs $100, and you need to charge it. The S Pen is included with your Tab S4 purchase, and it doesn’t need charging.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

Speakers

A great tablet has to have great sound, right? Well, both the Samsung Tab S4 and iPad Pro offer a quad-speaker setup that is sure to please the average listener. On the Tab S4, you’ll find speakers tuned by AKG with Dolby Atmos Sound, and while that sounds good, there are a few problems. First off, they’re not as loud as we’d like: They’ll probably be fine for a movie, but you’re definitely not going to want to play music on them during a party. The bigger problem is they simply don’t work well when the tablet is attached to Samsung’s Book Cover Keyboard. The sound is muffled, so you’ll need to take it off or use a different case.

The iPad Pro, on the other hand, also has a quad speaker setup that isn’t affected by a cover. The audio sounds great, and it gets plenty loud. The iPad Pro takes the win.

Winner: iPad Pro

Price

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 sells for $650 for the 64GB model and $750 for the 256GB model. An LTE version will be available on Verizon but we haven’t received pricing for it just yet. Both models will be available on August 10. Support for other carriers such as AT&T, Sprint, and US Cellular will arrive later this year. It’s an extra $150 for the Book Cover Keyboard.

The iPad Pro 10.5 inch comes in at $650 for the 64GB model, $800 for the 256GB version, and a whopping $1,000 if you want to max out your storage at 512GB. Add $130 to those prices if you want to pick up the LTE model that works on all major carriers. It’s also an additional $160 if you want the Smart Keyboard cover.

Overall winner: iPad Pro

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The iPad Pro takes the crown. From its slightly more durable design to its superior processing power, the iPad Pro is our first choice when it comes to a pro tablet. That’s not to say the Samsung Tab S4 is a slouch. The new DeX mode shows a lot of potential, and if it works well enough with third-party apps, it just may be an excellent laptop replacement. We’ll continue testing it for our full review.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 vs. Galaxy Tab S3: Android Tablet Showdown
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 hands-on review
  • The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is a tablet and computer rolled into one
  • What to expect at Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event in August
  • The best tablets you can buy



2
Aug

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 vs. iPad Pro: Which high-end tablet takes the crown?



For the past few years, the iPad Pro has reigned as the go-to tablet for professionals and creatives. Samsung has been trying to get in on the action, but the problem lies with Android, which offers few tablet-optimized apps. The Galaxy Tab S4 is looking to shake up the Android tablet space, thanks to Samsung’s Android desktop mode, which catapults the Tab S4 into a productivity machine.

So how do the two compare? We pit Galaxy Tab S4 vs. the iPad Pro (2017) to find out.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4
 10.5 inch iPad Pro (2017)

Size
249.3 x 164.3 x 7.1 mm (9.81 x 6.46 x 0.28 inches)
250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1 mm (9.87 x 6.85 x 0.24 inches)

Weight
482 grams (17 ounces)
469g (16.5oz)

Screen size
10.5-inches  Super AMOLED
10.5-inches LCD with True Tone

Screen resolution
2,560 x 1,600 pixels (287 pixels-per-inch)
2,224 x 1,668 pixels (264 pixels-per-inch)

Operating system
Android Oreo 8.1
iOS 11.4

Storage space
64GB, 256GB
64GB, 256GB, 512GB

MicroSD card slot
Yes, up to 512GB
None

Tap To Pay services
Samsung Pay, Google Pay
None

Processor
 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Apple A10X Fusion

RAM
4GB
4GB

Camera
Rear 13MP, front 8MP
Rear 12MP, front 7MP

Video
2,160p at 30 frames per second
2,160p at 30fps, 1,080p at 60fps, 1,080p at 120fps, 720p at 240fps

Bluetooth version
Bluetooth 5.0
Bluetooth 4.2

Ports
3.5mm headphone jack, USB-Type C
3.5mm headphone jack, Lightning

Fingerprint sensor
No, iris scanner
Yes

Water resistance
No
No

Battery
7,3000mAh, fast charging
8,134mAh

App Marketplace
Google Play Store
App Store

Network support
Verizon (more carrier support to come later, including AT&T, US Cellular, Sprint)
T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon

Colors
Black, Grey
Silver, Gold, Space Gray, Rose Gold

Price
$650-plus
$650-plus

Buy from
Samsung, Amazon, Best Buy, Verizon
Apple

Review score
Hands-on
4.5 out of 5 stars

Performance, battery life, and charging

The entire point of a pro tablet is for it to perform extremely well, right? Well, both the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 and iPad Pro should be able to handle just about any task you can imagine. In terms of processor power alone, the Galaxy Tab S4 has a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, while the iPad Pro is packing Apple’s A10X Fusion chip. Both have 4GB of RAM, which is plenty for multitasking. Apple’s processor does edge out a win here because it’s more powerful than the Snapdragon 835.

When it comes to battery life, things are a bit more tricky. Samsung claims the new Galaxy Tab S4 should last through 16 hours of video playback on a single charge, while Apple offers a more conservative 10 hour estimate of “surfing the web on Wi‐Fi, watching video, or listening to music.” The Tab S4 has a 7,300mAh battery, but the iPad Pro packs an 8,134mAh battery capacity. We’ll need to test Samsung’s claim, but either way, both of these tablets should easily get you through a day of use. If you do find yourself running low, Samsung’s newest tablet has a fast-charging adapter in the box; if you want a quick charge on the iPad Pro, you’ll need to buy a separate adapter.

Overall, we’re calling this round for the iPad Pro. It’s performance outmatches the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, and it features a battery that will definitely get you through a full day.

Winner: iPad Pro

Design and durability

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Both the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 and the iPad are gorgeous tablets, so personal preference will win out here. We think the front of the Tab S4 looks more contemporary, but prefer the rear design of the iPad Pro.

Durability-wise, the Galaxy Tab S4 loses points for its all-glass body (Gorilla Glass 3). Apple only has glass over the screen and aluminum on the back, which means you won’t have to worry about the back shattering after a drop. While Samsung’s glass back is nice, it doesn’t really serve a purpose other than design: There’s no wireless charging on the tablet.

Design is mostly a draw here, but durability lands the iPad Pro the win.

Winner: iPad Pro

Display

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Samsung managed to pack an absolutely gorgeous Super AMOLED display into its Galaxy Tab S4, and its precisely what you’d expect: Colors are vivid, blacks are inky, and the viewing angles are excellent. The iPad Pro, on the other hand, uses a laminated LCD display with a 120Hz refresh rate and color-adjusting True Tone technology. The high refresh rate makes scrolling through apps feel incredibly smooth, and it’s a technology not available on any other tablet on the market.

This round goes to the iPad Pro. While the colors may be a bit more vivid on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 — and the screen a little sharper — the iPad Pro’s 120Hz refresh rate simply makes the tablet even more of a joy to use.

Winner: iPad Pro  

Camera

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 features a 13-megapixel camera on the back, with an 8-megapixel camera on the front. On the iPad Pro, you’ll find a 12-megapixel camera on its back and a 7-megapixel selfie cam. So, in terms of overall specs, the two are pretty similar.

While the iPad Pro camera may be better here since it’s more or less the iPhone 7’s camera system, we don’t put a ton of stock into tablet cameras since they’re not used in the same way you’d use the camera on your smartphone. You’ll find a satisfactory camera experience here for both devices, though we’ll be testing the Tab S4 in more detail for the review.

Winner: Tie

Software and updates

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Last year, this comparison would have basically come down to an iOS vs. Android comparison, but things are a little more exciting this year. Samsung is bringing its DeX mode to the Galaxy Tab S4. DeX mode creates a desktop-like Android experience right on the tablet. It works great with Samsung’s suite of apps and third-party support is growing. The 10.5-inch iPad Pro, on the other hand, still relies solely on iOS, which can be a challenge for productivity. The iPad does have a slew of multitasking features, such as split-screen and drag and drop, but DeX seems to offer a more comfortable laptop-like experience.

We think DeX mode has a lot of potential, but Samsung is not as diligent about software and security updates as Apple. You can be sure to receive Android P and Android Q, but don’t expect those updates to come in a timely manner. If that’s important to you, stick with the iPad Pro — it’s what makes this section a tie.

Winner: Tie

Special features

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Looking for special features you won’t find on other tablets? Well, both the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 and iPad Pro have one major special feature: The S Pen and Apple Pencil, respectively. Both styluses allow you to draw, sign documents, and take notes. On Samsung’s newly updated S Pen, you’ll even find a button that will open a list of frequently used apps for quick access.

While we think the Apple Pencil is a much better tool for creators, it costs $100, and you need to charge it. The S Pen is included with your Tab S4 purchase, and it doesn’t need charging.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

Speakers

A great tablet has to have great sound, right? Well, both the Samsung Tab S4 and iPad Pro offer a quad-speaker setup that is sure to please the average listener. On the Tab S4, you’ll find speakers tuned by AKG with Dolby Atmos Sound, and while that sounds good, there are a few problems. First off, they’re not as loud as we’d like: They’ll probably be fine for a movie, but you’re definitely not going to want to play music on them during a party. The bigger problem is they simply don’t work well when the tablet is attached to Samsung’s Book Cover Keyboard. The sound is muffled, so you’ll need to take it off or use a different case.

The iPad Pro, on the other hand, also has a quad speaker setup that isn’t affected by a cover. The audio sounds great, and it gets plenty loud. The iPad Pro takes the win.

Winner: iPad Pro

Price

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 sells for $650 for the 64GB model and $750 for the 256GB model. An LTE version will be available on Verizon but we haven’t received pricing for it just yet. Both models will be available on August 10. Support for other carriers such as AT&T, Sprint, and US Cellular will arrive later this year. It’s an extra $150 for the Book Cover Keyboard.

The iPad Pro 10.5 inch comes in at $650 for the 64GB model, $800 for the 256GB version, and a whopping $1,000 if you want to max out your storage at 512GB. Add $130 to those prices if you want to pick up the LTE model that works on all major carriers. It’s also an additional $160 if you want the Smart Keyboard cover.

Overall winner: iPad Pro

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The iPad Pro takes the crown. From its slightly more durable design to its superior processing power, the iPad Pro is our first choice when it comes to a pro tablet. That’s not to say the Samsung Tab S4 is a slouch. The new DeX mode shows a lot of potential, and if it works well enough with third-party apps, it just may be an excellent laptop replacement. We’ll continue testing it for our full review.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 vs. Galaxy Tab S3: Android Tablet Showdown
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 hands-on review
  • The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is a tablet and computer rolled into one
  • What to expect at Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event in August
  • The best tablets you can buy



2
Aug

Microsoft Surface Go vs. Asus NovaGo


Rich Shibley/Digital Trends

Microsoft’s Surface line just got a little smaller, with the diminutive Surface Go that’s aimed squarely at Apple’s iPad as an option for tablet lovers. At the other of the iPad competition spectrum is the Asus NovaGo, a convertible 2-in-1 that’s one of the first Windows on ARM devices to hit the market.

Both of these machines want to take their place as viable Windows 10 alternatives to the small, light, and long-lasting iPad, but they take very different approaches. We pitted the Microsoft Surface Go against the Asus NovaGo to see which one can better tackle your non-traditional PC tasks.

Design

Rich Shibley/Digital Trends

Microsoft Surface Go looks like a shrunken version of its successful Surface Pro, and that’s no coincidence. It is a shrunken version of the Surface Pro, down to the very familiar magnesium chassis and silver-gray design aesthetic. It’s also just as robustly built, with that “hunk of metal and glass” feeling in the hand that evokes confidence in its durability and quality. And it really is tiny for a full-on Windows 10 machine, coming in at 1.15 pounds and 0.33 inches thick. The bezels aren’t the smallest, and so it’s slightly larger in width and depth than it might otherwise be, but that’s nitpicking at this point. As with other Surface models, the optional snap-on Type Cover provides a satisfying typing experience and a responsive Microsoft Precision touchpad.

The NovaGo isn’t nearly as small nor as light, coming in at 0.59 inches thick and 3.06 pounds. And its build quality and aesthetic aren’t quite so exquisite — Asus built it well enough that you won’t worry about it falling apart and it’s not an eyesore. But you won’t come away thinking you under spent on the NovaGo by hundreds of dollars. And while the NovaGo is a 360-degree convertible with a more traditional keyboard, it’s a bit spongy and so doesn’t quite live up to the Surface Go Type Cover’s excellent typing feel. The NovaGo’s touchpad is larger, though, and just as responsive a Microsoft Precision version, and so that’s a plus in its favor.

Ultimately, choosing between these two devices, at least regarding their design, comes down to whether you prefer a detachable tablet or a convertible 2-in-1. You’ll appreciate the Surface Go’s build quality a bit more, especially at this price point (more on that later, but suffice it to say that these aren’t premium products), but you won’t find the NovaGo to be cheaply made, either.

In the end, being thin and light has its advantages, and so the Surface Go wins this round. Plus, the Surface Go supports an active pen while the NovaGo does not, and that’s another notch in Microsoft’s favor.

Performance

With its dated Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 CPU, the NovaGo isn’t going to win many drag races against other Windows 10 machines. We found it sluggish overall, whether in Windows 10 in S Mode — the default — or in Windows 10 Pro mode running legacy Windows apps in emulation.

The Surface Go is an exception to that general rule, however. It, too, is sluggish, with an Intel Pentium 4415Y CPU that’s a far cry from the Core U-series processors that power the rest of Microsoft’s portable Surface line. As we said in our review, the Surface Go is even slower than some low-end Chrome OS devices on some of our tests, and it’s no faster than the NovaGo.

Also, the Surface Go has a slower solid-state drive (SSD) and the NovaGo utilizes even slower universal flash storage (UFS), meaning that neither is going to break any speed records when it comes to booting, opening apps, and reading and writing files. Combined with their CPU performance, we have to call overall quickness a draw.

The Surface Go does win out, though, when it comes to the sheer quality of its 10-inch 1,800 x 1,200 resolution IPS display. We found it sharper, brighter, more colorful, and with better contrast than the 13.3-inch Full HD panel on the NovaGo. The Surface Go carries on the Surface tradition of excellent displays, and that’s a real advantage in this category.

Portability

As we mentioned above, the Surface Go is eminently more portable. It’s thinner, lighter, and smaller, even with its Type Cover attached and ready for use. It’s far easier to put into a backpack and carry around for long distances.

However, the NovaGo is a Windows on ARM device, and that means its battery life is off the charts. It lasts just about twice as long — at least — as the Surface Go on a charge, and so you’re going to be able to work not only a full day on the NovaGo’s battery, but you’ll be powered into the next workday as well. We put these two devices into entirely different classes when it comes to battery life, and that includes how well they maintain battery life when on standby. The NovaGo acts a lot more like an iPad when it comes to closing the lid and picking it up later — there’s almost no delay in waking it up, and the battery life will be close to what it was when you put the NovaGo to sleep.

If you’re looking for the thinnest and lightest portable option, then the Surface Go wins out. But if you want to work as long as possible away from a plug, then the NovaGo has you covered.

The Surface Go is the better value

Rich Shibley/Digital Trends

The Microsoft Surface Go starts at $400 or 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage, and it jumps up to $550 for 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. That doesn’t include the $130 Signature Type Cover or the $100 Surface Pen, meaning that your investment will be $630 or more if you want to take full advantage of the Surface Go’s capabilities.

The Asus NovaGo has just one configuration, and Asus priced it at $700 for 6GB of RAM and 128GB of UFS storage. There’s no additional outlay for a keyboard, and the NovaGo doesn’t support an active pen at all, and so these two devices are relatively close in pricing.

If you’re choosing between these two devices today, then we recommend the Surface Go. The NovaGo is already behind the curve when it comes to Windows on ARM devices. Perhaps when Qualcomm ships faster Snapdragon CPUs, we’ll be more prepared to give a device like the NovaGo the win. For now, stick with the Surface.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Surface Go vs. Surface Pro
  • Tips on how to save battery life on an iPhone
  • Shoot smarter in the woods with the best photography gadgets for camping
  • Electrolux, SideChef to bring customized recipes app to Asia-Pacific market
  • Here’s how to track an Android phone, tablet, or smartwatch



2
Aug

Edifier S880DB speakers review: Taking your music to a whole ‘nother level


edifier-s880db-speakers-2.jpg?itok=lhcK0

Big sound, small package, right price. Edifier gets it all right with its S880DB speakers.

Choosing the right set of speakers for your desk or living room can be fun but tough all at once. There are so many different choices in all price ranges and most of the time you can’t just borrow a set to try them out. Ideally, you want options so you can use them with a small receiver or through your computer, and having Bluetooth as well as an easy way to connect a Chromecast Audio is a must for most of us.

Edifier sent me a pair of S880DB speakers to try and I’m impressed. These little speakers not only look beautiful but deliver where it counts: great sound without spending a ton of cash. $300 brings true Hi-Res audio to any room in a compact and complete package.

Edifier S880DB speaker system



edifier-s880db-speakers-3.jpg?itok=Hb_2z

Price: $299.99

Bottom line: Edifier’s S880DB speaker system not only is easy to use almost anywhere, but they sound like components that cost a lot more.

The Good

  • Lovely, elegant design
  • Choice of input methods
  • Hi-Res file support
  • Cables included

The Bad

  • More expensive than other desktop speakers
  • Light wood and white color scheme won’t match every decor
  • A few inches of clearance needed because of thick cables

See at Amazon

They’re surprisingly small considering the sound they can put out; each speaker measures 5.5 inches wide by 6.5 inches deep and is only 9 inches tall. They’re active speakers, which means you don’t need any sort of external amplifier but you will need to supply power from a wall outlet. Y

ou can use them through a standard set of RCA jacks, USB from a computer, and coaxial and optical connections are there if you want to ramp things up a notch. For wired connections even the cables you’ll need are included: you’ll find a 3.5 mm to RCA splitter, an RCA cable, a shielded USB cable, and an optical cable at the top of the box in their own little tray.

Of course, Bluetooth is an option and the S880DB speakers are Bluetooth 4.1 ready for easy pairing with your phone, laptop, or tablet. you’ll be able to connect to these speakers no matter what you’re using to play your music.

edifier-s880db-speakers-6.jpg?itok=AhpKSedifier-s880db-speakers-5.jpg?itok=THdIDedifier-s880db-speakers-3.jpg?itok=zlpJF

The wireless remote not only powers the pair on or off, but has controls for Bluetooth audio (FF, Rewind, Play, and Pause) and four EQ settings. Choose from Monitor, Dynamic, Vocal, or Classic to change settings so the sound matches what you’re playing.

I didn’t expect a lot from these, but I was pleasantly surprised and you really do have a nice mix of sound profiles as well as a flat studio monitor setting if you do your fine-tuning elsewhere.

Since they’re active speakers, Edifier has also included some basic audio controls in the rear panel and you have an analog knob for treble, bass, and volume if you’d rather set things up and not have to touch them again.

circuit1_skacjwhjx.jpg?itok=b2DQ8BhZ

A 192kHz DAP means your Hi-Res source files are going to sound the way you expect them to sound: awesome.

Everything above makes for a great set of bookshelf speakers for almost any room, but what really puts these over the top is the onboard processor and amp. When you’re using the USB, coaxial, or optical connection the digital audio processor has a 192kHz sample rate. with the right source files, these tiny little bookshelf speakers are true Hi-Res monitors that will make your inner audiophile tingle just a little bit.

edifier-s880db-speakers-1.jpg?itok=4b2dOedifier-s880db-speakers-7.jpg?itok=dHZst

You’re not going to get a wall of sound effect from the 19mm 12 watt treble drivers and 32-watt 3.75-inch bass drivers but you will get more than enough sound to fill any room with enough separation to make you think you’re listening through something that costs a lot more and takes more space.

More: Forget Sonos, Chromecast Audio is the better whole-home audio solution

I’ve been using these through my desktop, paired to my phone, and with a Chromecast Audio for a week and I am going to hate sending them back. The Edifier S880DB set brings a complete audio solution for almost everything in a compact and sexy looking package, and sound as good as my own desktop setup consisting of a Yamaha receiver, Pioneer monitors and a bird’s nest of wires.

If you’re looking for premium audio for your house, no matter how you want to connect them, these are one of the best ways to get there.

See at Amazon

2
Aug

Apple’s AirPods work great with Android phones, and today they are just $145


These don’t go on sale all that often.

apple-airpods-open-box-231z.jpg?itok=Dk_

Amazon is currently offering the popular wireless headphones from Apple for $144.99, which is about $15 off the normal going rate. We don’t see many discounts (outside of Costco’s recurring one) for these truly wireless headphones from Apple, so if you have been looking for a set, this is a deal you won’t want to miss out on.

Don’t forget, just because Apple makes the headphones doesn’t mean that they don’t work beautifully with Android devices. I’ve been using my AirPods with various Android devices since I got them, including my LG G6, BlackBerry KEYone, Essential Phone, and more. The experience is flawless, and the comfort and convenience greatly outweigh any silliness that you may think that they add to your ears visually.

The AirPods are powered by the W1 Bluetooth chip, which means they connect easily and have improved sound over Bluetooth. They’re ready to use with Apple devices out of the box. They can detect when you put them in your ears and immediately start working. You can double tap to access Siri. No wonder they’ve been in such high demand.

Don’t forget to grab some protection for the case the AirPods sit in, as well as a strap so you don’t lose one when traveling!

See at Amazon

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