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22
Sep

Removing ‘zombie cells’ in the brain could help battle the effects of dementia


Mayo Clinic

No, this isn’t a plot twist straight out of The Walking Dead: “Zombie cells” are a real thing, referring to cells which go into a type of suspended animation as your body gets older. Just like in any fictional zombie invasion, the longer you wait around, the more of these so-called senescent cells turn up. But here’s the good news: Stopping the accumulation of these cells could potentially help stave off or even reduce the effects of cognitive decline in the brain, including types of dementia.

“In previous studies, we and others have shown that senescent cells, which are irreversibly growth-arrest cells that acquire a distinctive pro-inflammatory phenotype, accumulate with age and at sites of pathology,” Darren Baker, a Mayo Clinic molecular biologist, who led the study, told Digital Trends. “In recent years, they have been shown to actively contribute to aging and a variety of age-related diseases. In this study, we tested whether senescent cell accumulation promoted neurodegeneration in mice.”

In their study, the researchers used a mouse model which imitated aspects of Alzheimer’s disease. This was achieved by using genetic engineering to create an altered version of the brain protein tau, which resulted in the mice losing the ability to recall new information. When the mice were given an enzyme to eliminate the buildup of senescent cells, these signs of dementia disappeared. This resulted in them regaining the ability to form memories, eliminated signs of inflammation, and more.

As exciting as this research is, however, it’s important to note that this is still early days. Science’s understanding of the exact relationship between senescent cells and human diseases is still sketchy. Baker also stressed that carrying the work over to human subjects is not in the cards for the near future.

“My laboratory is focused on the molecular understanding of senescence to aging and age-related diseases using mice as a model system,” he said. “We have shown the benefits in animals without adverse effects, but we have no idea if the same cells can be effectively or safely targeted in people.”

A paper describing the work was recently published in the journal Science.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Lab-grown mini-brains will help us gain a better understanding of the real thing
  • Gene editing can reverse balding and wrinkling in mice — and maybe humans, too
  • Scientists may soon be able to treat autism with CRISPR gene editing
  • Yale scientists edit genetic diseases out of mice before birth; humans are next
  • CRISPR halts fatal genetic disease in dogs, could soon do the same in humans



22
Sep

The best iPhone XS screen protectors


Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The iPhone XS is the flagship phone of the moment. Apple’s latest and greatest combines everything that made the iPhone X magnificent, and crams in the new A12 Bionic processor. The result is a phone that’s gorgeous and capable of flexing some serious silicon muscle. It’s a powerful phone, but not an invincible one — and that’s certainly the case when we’re talking about falls, drops, and bumps. You may have your iPhone XS case sorted out, but what about the 5.8-inch AMOLED display? Safeguarding that protects your window onto the world, so it’s one of the most important parts to cover.

But don’t panic, we’ve got your back. We’ve checked out the options and put together a list of the best iPhone XS screen protectors that will keep your display safe.

Peel Glass Protector ($29)

Peel is well known for its super-slim cases that leave little to the imagination — but did you know Peel also makes a screen protector? Peel’s screen protector is made from slim glass that’s been precisely cut to match the edges of your iPhone XS, and has been rounded to match the gentle curve of the AMOLED display. The glass feels like your iPhone’s display and has a colored border to match your phone’s body. Peel seems to have put a lot of thought into making this protector match your iPhone well. Like Peel’s cases, it’s likely you’ll forget this protector is applied. It’s also designed to perfectly align with a Peel case — so if you’re rocking a Peel case, this is a perfect match.

Buy it now from:

Peel

Tech Armor Anti-Glare Triple Pack ($8)

The iPhone XS’s screen gets bright enough, but it can still be a struggle to read your display if light is reflecting from it. That’s where these screen protectors from Tech Armor come in. These protectors have a matte finish that reduces glare on the screen, without impacting screen clarity or touchscreen sensitivity. Tech Armor claims there’s no chance of bubbles developing during installation, and there’s an oleophobic coating to resist fingerprints. Since this is made from film, it won’t be as protective as tempered glass, and won’t absorb impacts in the way glass would — but this is still a great choice if glass isn’t an option.

Buy it now from:

Tech Armor Amazon

Moshi AirFoil Glass ($25)

Moshi has been making high-quality accessories for Apple’s products for years now, so it came as no surprise when it announced a range of screen protectors for the iPhone XS. The AirFoil Glass is created from atomically-strengthened glass, which Moshi says makes the AirFoil protector super-durable, shock-proof, and scratch-proof. It’s really thin, too, measuring only 0.3 mm thick — and it has rounded edges to match the iPhone’s screen. Installation is also a doddle thanks to Moshi’s AirFoil adhesive. After cleaning your display, just align the protector and tap the center of the glass to set the adhesive off. It’s not too expensive for a glass screen protector, making this a great choice for many.

Buy it now from:

Moshi

Tech21 Impact Shield ($30)

Tech21’s Impact Shield film protector is special because it contains “BulletShield,” a material Tech21 claims is most often used in the manufacture of bulletproof glass. That doesn’t mean it can stop a bullet — and we don’t recommend you try — but it should mean that the Impact Shield is well suited to resisting scratches and other damage. The protector also comes with a precise-align applicator to ensure an easy fit onto your device, and it’s been finished with a self-healing layer, so minor scratches should heal up over time and not accumulate. It is expensive for a film protector though.

Buy it now from:

Tech21

Bodyguardz Pure 2 EyeGuard ($45)

Bodyguardz is an up-and-coming name in screen protection, and with a screen protector like the Pure 2 EyeGuard, it’s easy to see why. Bodyguardz uses aluminosilicate in its tempered glass, an advance that Bodyguardz claims allows its protectors to be thinner but more durable than the glass found in other screen protectors. But there’s also a twist — this protector contains technology that helps to filter out blue light from the device’s display. This blue light may stop us from sleeping at night, and may have other detrimental side effects. The Pure 2 EyeGuard is purported to cut out 43 percent of blue light, reducing screen-strain without changing the color of your screen. It’s expensive, but if it’s better for your eyes, it may be a good buy.

Buy it now from:

Bodyguardz

ArmorSuit Full Body Protection ($23)

If you’re not rocking a case on your iPhone XS, then screen protection is just the start. ArmorSuit provides film protection that protects both the front and the back of your iPhone XS. It’s made from a film that’s also used to protect military aircraft, helicopters, and space shuttles, and has been treated to resist yellowing as a result of UV light. ArmorSuit claims this protector is scratch-proof with a self-healing layer, and an oleophobic coating that reduces fingerprints and oils clinging to the surface. ArmorSuit says it’s easy to fit and bubble-free, and while it won’t be as protective against drops and bumps as glass, it’s a lot better than nothing.

Buy it now from:

Armorsuit

Whitestone Dome Protector ($49)

The Whitestone Dome screen protector provides a close fit like no other, and that’s because of its unique liquid application method. Whitestone places a layer of adhesive between the glass protector and your screen, giving a seamless connection between protector and display. That adhesive is then cured with a UV lamp, securing your protection tightly to the screen. The protector itself is rated at 9H hardness, cuts a quarter of blue light, and comes with an oleophobic coating. It can even be applied to a broken screen as the adhesive fills in cracks, helping to stop further damage. It’s expensive, but considering the high level of protection, it’s a great choice if you want the best.

Buy it now from:

Mobile Fun Amazon

InvisibleShield HD Ultra ($30)

InvisibleShield provides a large range of screen protectors, but the HD Clear is a great choice for lovers of film screen protectors. It’s a full cover screen protector that curves to follow the iPhone’s edge-to-edge display, and it comes with a self-healing layer that seals up minor scratches and dings. InvisibleShield also says it has worked hard to increase the clarity of its screen protectors, to the point where the HD Clear provides a crystal-clear 100-percent clarity, and doesn’t impair touch-sensitivity. Since this is a full cover protector keep in mind that it may be pushed up by snug cases which may overlap with its area of protection. It’s also fairly expensive for film — but it’s covered by a lifetime warranty so you can get a replacement if your first one wears out.

Buy it now from:

InvisibleShield

UAG Glass Privacy Tint ($50)

Keeping your personal data to yourself is extremely important, but all the cyber-protection in the world won’t protect you if someone’s just watching your screen on the train. UAG’s glass protector isn’t just a great protection option made from tempered 9H-hardness Japanese glass, it’s also equipped with privacy protecting anti-snoop measures. Look at it straight on and it’s clear, but tilt it to an angle and the screen fades to black, stopping prying eyes from seeing your data. It’s also super-thin, measuring just 0.2 mm, comes with an oleophobic coating, and is compatible with Apple’s 3D Touch. It’s super expensive, but if it stops someone from spying on your mobile banking then it might be worth it.

Buy it now from:

UAG Amazon

Rhinoshield Impact Protection ($25)

Last, but certainly not least, it’s Rhinoshield’s Impact Protection protector. It’s made from film — but don’t let that put you off. Rhinoshield claims this protector is hammer-tested, and can take at least five times the impact energy of Gorilla Glass 3. That’s a hefty boast, and even more impressive given how thin it is. It’s clear and comes with an oleophobic coating to resist greasy fingerprints. Applying it is easy thanks to the forgiving adhesive that allows you to lift it back up and try again if not successful the first time. While Rhinoshield’s boasts are impressive, we would still recommend you look at glass if you’re very worried about drops — but otherwise, this is a great all-around protector.

Buy it now from:

Rhinoshield Amazon

Editors’ Recommendations

  • The best iPhone XS cases
  • The best iPhone XS Max cases and covers
  • iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR: How to buy Apple’s new phones
  • Keep that flagship phone safe with the best iPhone X cases and covers
  • The best Samsung Galaxy Note 9 screen protectors



22
Sep

Apple iPhone XS Max vs. Huawei P20 Pro: Clash of the titans


The design overhaul that Apple introduced with the iPhone X is here to stay with a trio of new notched iPhones landing this year. The pick of the bunch has to be the iPhone XS Max. Featuring the biggest display Apple has ever put in an iPhone, lightning-fast performance, and slick software, the XS Max is a formidable prospect.

People have been demanding ever bigger and more powerful phones — and that’s reflected in the Android landscape, too. We decided to compare the iPhone XS Max with one of the biggest Android smartphones around, the Huawei P20 Pro.

Specs

Apple iPhone XS Max
Huawei P20 Pro

Size
157.5 x 77.4 x 7.7 mm (6.2 x 3.05 x 0.30 inches)
155 x 73.9 x 7.8 mm (6.1 x 2.9 x 0.3 inches)

Weight
208 grams (7.34 ounces)
174 grams (6.14 ounces)

Screen size
6.5-inch Super Retina AMOLED display
6.1-inch OLED display

Screen resolution
2,688 x 1,242 pixels (458 pixels-per-inch)
2,240 x 1,080 pixels (408 pixels-per-inch)

Operating system
iOS 12
Emotion UI 8.1 (over Android 8.1 Oreo)

Storage space
64GB, 256GB, 512GB
128GB, 256GB

MicroSD card slot
No
No

Tap-to-pay services
Apple Pay
Google Pay

Processor
A12 Bionic
Kirin 970

RAM
4GB
6GB, 8GB

Camera
Dual 12MP rear, 7MP FaceTime HD front
Triple-lens 40MP, 20MP, and 8MP rear, 24MP front

Video
2160p at 60 fps, 1080p at 240 fps
2160p at 30 frames per second, 1080p at 30 fps, 720p at 960 fps

Bluetooth version
Bluetooth 5
Bluetooth 4.2

Ports
Lightning
USB-C

Fingerprint sensor
No
Yes

Water resistance
IP68
IP67

Battery
3,174mAh
4,000mAh

App marketplace
Apple App Store
Google Play Store

Network support
AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint
T-Mobile, AT&T

Colors
Space Gray, Silver
Black, Blue, Pink Gold, Twilight

Price
$1,000
899 euros (around $1,100)

Where to buy it

AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Apple

Huawei

Review score
Hands-on review
4.5 out of 5 stars

Performance, battery life, and charging

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

While most Android flagships sport Qualcomm’s wares, the Huawei P20 Pro relies on the proprietary Kirin 970 processor with a special Neural Processing Unit (NPU). That’s backed up by 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, or 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. It’s a fast phone, and the NPU is designed to offer speedy artificial intelligence.

The iPhone XS Max has Apple’s A12 Bionic processor inside with 4GB of RAM, and it looks to be the most powerful chip around at the moment. If early benchmarks are anything to go by, the iPhone XS Max is significantly faster and more powerful than the P20 Pro. In fact, it’s the fastest smartphone on the market.

The P20 Pro scores some points back with a whopping 4,000mAh battery and support for fast charging out of the box, but it lacks wireless charging support, which the XS Max does have. The battery capacity of the XS Max is significantly lower at 3,174mAh, and we expect it to need daily charging. We’re disappointed that the fast-charging kit costs extra, as it really should be supplied in the box for a phone this price.

Stronger performance carries the day for Apple here.

Winner: Apple iPhone XS Max

Design and durability

With the XS Max, Apple has supersized the design it introduced with the iPhone X. The front is dominated by a stunning edge-to-edge OLED screen, with that distinctive notch at the top housing the FaceID tech, which replaces the TouchID fingerprint sensor. The stainless steel frame curves into a glass back with a dual-lens camera module at the top left. It’s an attractive phone, and it’s also the closest Apple has come to a bezel-less design. Apple’s assault on bezels has enabled it to squeeze an extra inch of screen into a phone that’s a touch smaller than the 8 Plus.

The P20 Pro also has a notch at the top of a large screen, but with a bottom bezel that also houses the fingerprint sensor, it’s more of a design decision than a necessity. While the XS Max is easily the better-looking of the two from the front, the P20 Pro has a much more interesting back thanks to the gradient finish, which changes color as it catches the light.

Buying a case for the iPhone XS Max or the Huawei P20 Pro is sensible as they’re both mostly glass. The iPhone earns a slight advantage in the water-resistance department with an IP68 rating, which means it can survive in slightly deeper water than the IP67-rated P20 Pro.

Winner: Apple iPhone XS Max

Display

Measuring 6.5 inches diagonally, the iPhone XS Max has the largest screen we’ve ever seen in an iPhone. It’s an AMOLED screen with a resolution of 2,688 x 1,242 pixels and it looks fabulous. Huawei has also used an AMOLED screen in the P20 Pro, but it’s a bit smaller at 6.1 inches and not as sharp at 2,240 x 1,080 pixels.

Winner: Apple iPhone XS Max

Camera

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

With an unprecedented triple-lens setup, the Huawei P20 Pro is an incredibly versatile device for photography. There’s a 40-megapixel lens, an 8-megapixel telephoto lens, and a 20-megapixel monochrome lens in the main camera. It offers 3x optical zoom, massive amounts of detail, and the best low-light performance we’ve seen. There’s also A.I. scene recognition, motion-based autofocus, and super-slow-motion video. The front-facing camera is rated at 24 megapixels. The camera is a major selling point for the P20 Pro.

The iPhone XS Max looks similar to the iPhone X on paper with a dual 12-megapixel lens main camera and a 7-megapixel selfie camera, but Apple has made some important tweaks in the software, powered by that improved processo, and enhanced with a new camera sensor. It excels in portrait mode and you can now adjust the depth after taking a shot to achieve the exact level of bokeh — or background blur — you want. There’s also Smart HDR, which combines frames to create perfectly exposed images.

We think the average person will be delighted with the shots that the iPhone XS Max can capture without the need for any tweaking of options, but there’s no denying that the P20 Pro has more tricks up its sleeve.

Winner: Huawei P20 Pro

Software and updates

The Android vs. iOS battle often comes down to familiarity — whichever you’re used to is best. The truth is that both platforms are feature-packed, user-friendly, and offer access to a world of apps and games. With the P20 Pro, you’ll also get EMUI, which may take some getting used to if you’ve never used a Huawei phone before.

The update schedule for Android has long been a problem because manufacturers apply their own user interface on top of the platform and it often takes a long time for new versions to filter through. Sadly, the Huawei P20 Pro is no exception. We know that Huawei plans to roll out Android 9.0 Pie, along with EMUI 9, imminently, but beyond that there’s no certainty.

Apple rolls out new versions of iOS regularly and it tends to continue supporting devices for longer than Android manufacturers do. That alone is enough reason to give the iPhone the win.

Winner: Apple iPhone XS Max

Special features

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Both Apple and Huawei have aimed to turn out strong all-rounders here and they’ve succeeded. That impressive triple-lens camera, which we’ve already covered, is the headline feature for the P20 Pro. The iPhone XS Max has the TrueDepth front-facing camera, which powers FaceID and also enables fun features like Animoji and Memoji. You can also unlock the P20 Pro with your face, but it’s not as secure, so you can’t use it for payments like you can with FaceID. There isn’t anything else here that one of these phones has that the other doesn’t, so this one is a tie.

Winner: Tie

Price

When the Huawei P20 Pro first went on sale, it was priced at around 900 euros (about $1,100), but you can order the international version on Amazon now for about $750. There was no official U.S. release for the P20 Pro and it won’t work with Verizon or Sprint as it lacks CDMA and some LTE band support.

The iPhone XS Max starts at a whopping $1,099, but you will be able to buy one through all the major carriers in the U.S.

Overall winner: Apple iPhone XS Max

These are two of the best phones you can buy right now, but the iPhone XS Max ekes out the win largely thanks to unsurpassed performance, a great display, and a stylish design. The P20 Pro has a lot to offer, and it will probably suit Android fans and photographers better, but we think the XS Max is a stronger all-around device. If you’re concerned about the high price, then the P20 Pro probably offers more value for your money, especially now that the price is dropping, but if you just want the best phone then it’s the iPhone XS Max.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • iPhone XS Max vs. iPhone 8 Plus vs. iPhone 7 Plus: The big guys clash
  • Apple iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 vs. iPhone 7 vs. iPhone 6s: Which is best for you?
  • The Huawei P20: Here’s everything you need to know
  • Save up to $1,000 with the best smartphone deals for September 2018
  • iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR: How to buy Apple’s new phones



22
Sep

Stable Android 9 Pie update rolling out to all OnePlus 6 owners


Unlock the secrets.

oneplus-6-review-4.jpg?itok=SeTB5quh

The OnePlus 6 is now available, and it’s a compelling option for someone looking for an unlocked phone at a reasonable price — starting at $529 to be specific. But price aside, it’s a great choice for anyone, even those considering more expensive options, thanks to a combination of hardware and software, and a community that continues to support the company and one another.

Here’s everything you need to know about the OnePlus 6!

The latest OnePlus 6 news

September 21, 2018 — Stable Android 9 Pie update rolling out to all OnePlus 6 owners

oneplus-6-pie.jpg?itok=HVNSHhOq

Less than a month after OnePlus launched its Pie Open Beta, the company is already rolling out a stable build of the new Android version to everyone that owns a OnePlus 6!

This update includes everything first introduced with the Open Beta, such as a refreshed UI, Pie’s new gesture navigation, Gaming Mode 3.0, and more. Also included is the September 2018 Android security patch.

Android 9 is making its way to OnePlus users now as part of a staged rollout. That means it’ll be hitting a “limited number” of people today and will then expand to others over the coming days.

September 3, 2018 — Every OnePlus 6 owner can install Android 9 Pie right now, provided they want to use beta software

After a couple weeks running in a closed beta, OnePlus has opened up its Android 9 Pie update for the OnePlus 6 to any willing participant. The new update is the first public taste of the actual OxygenOS-customized version of Android 9 Pie, as early builds during the Developer Preview stage didn’t have a full suite OnePlus tweaks and additions.

As is typically the case with beta builds, there are known bugs and problems with this first open beta release. OnePlus says that Google Pay will not work on this build, and Google Play may complain that your device “is not certified.” If you’re willing to deal with those known issues and some occasional instability, you can head to the OnePlus forums and download the file for your own phone. Note that there are different update processes depending on whether you’re currently on the stable build or the original developer preview.

August 20, 2018 — OnePlus starts accepting applications for Closed Beta group

On its community forums, OnePlus announced that it’s opening up a Closed Beta group for the OnePlus 6.

Unlike the OxygenOS Open Beta that’s open for anyone to sign up for, the Closed Beta will be restricted to just 100 users who own a OnePlus 6, are active in the forums, and are willing to provide constant feedback/communication with the OnePlus team through Slack.

Members of the Closed Beta will be able to test bleeding edge versions of OxygenOS before they’re even moved over to the Open Beta, and because of this, all users that are accepted must sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement with OnePlus to ensure that any features/bugs found in the builds are kept under total secrecy.

If you’d like to apply for the OnePlus 6 Closed Beta Program, you can do so here.

July 18, 2018 — OnePlus 6 Android P Developer Preview 3 adds bug fixes and tweaked UI

On July 18, OnePlus announced its third developer preview of Android P for the OnePlus 6.

This update mainly focuses on big fixes, with some of the highlights in the changelog including improved system stability, fixed issue with mobile hotspot, better camera functionality with third-party apps, and improved overall image quality with the camera. Also included is the July 2018 security patch.

oneplus-6-android-p-recents.jpg?itok=TsQoneplus-6-android-p-settings.jpg?itok=unoneplus-6-android-p-shelf.jpg?itok=LbjED

Our friends at 9to5Google recently got their hands on the beta, and as they spotted, this preview includes a few UI changes — most notably the recents page/app switcher.

The cards on the recents page have a more rounded appearance and appear to be smaller than Android P on Google’s Pixel phones. There’s also a menu button near the top of each app that lets you quickly hop into split-screen mode. Other chnages include a redesigned settings page and a white paint job for the Shelf.

July 10, 2018 — The OnePlus 6 Red is now available for purchase

The day has finally come! You can now buy the striking OnePlus 6 Red exclusively from OnePlus’s website.

This limited edition model of the phone costs $579, and for that price, you’re getting the most powerful configuration with 8GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage.

OnePlus is making a limited run of this color, so once it’s gone, it’s gone.

See at OnePlus

July 3, 2018 — OnePlus shows off different colors/patterns it was testing for the OnePlus 6

OnePlus recently launched the lustrous OnePlus 6 Red, and while there’s no doubt it’s one of the most gorgeous phones on the market right now, it was just one of many designs that the company was toying with before ultimately selecting the red we now have.

PCMag was recently invited to tour OnePlus’s headquarters in Shenzen, China, and during the visit, got a chance to look at some other colors OnePlus was testing for the 6. As you can see in the video above, OnePlus was messing with glass backs that had subtle patterns, gradiant designs, and much more.

The video also showcases early prototypes of not only the OnePlus 6, but other OnePlus phones, too. I’m a big fan of the OnePlus 6 we ended up getting, but it is cool to see what could have been.

July 1, 2018 — OnePlus is adding a limited-edition red OnePlus 6 to the mix

oneplus6red-lifestyle-shot03.jpg?itok=si

oneplus6red-lifestyle-shot01.jpg?itok=93oneplus6red-lifestyle-shot05.jpg?itok=8L

Late on Sunday night in the U.S., OnePlus is announcing a limited-edition red OnePlus 6, which is coming to North American and European markets on July 10 for $579. The model will just be available in the now-common 8GB/128GB RAM and storage combination, and only from OnePlus.com.

Following the launch of the critically acclaimed OnePlus 6, which sold over 1 million units in just 22 days, OnePlus is bringing a new limited-edition color to Europe and North America, the OnePlus 6 Red.

The OnePlus 6 Red is designed to match power with style, with attention to detail paramount. The metallic red shimmer coupled with the red, mirror-like fingerprint sensor elegantly contrast the silver accent around the camera.

Six panels of glass make up the back of the OnePlus 6 Red. With this variant, OnePlus has added an additional anti-reflective layer to create a sense of depth by allowing more light to reach the bottom layers before being reflected off the device. A translucent orange layer has been intermixed with the red base layer to achieve a radiant and glossy red, unique to OnePlus design.

OnePlus also says that the Bullets Wireless headphones will also be restocked on July 10.

More: The OnePlus 6 in red

June 14, 2018 — One million units of the OnePlus 6 were sold in just 22 days

We expected the OnePlus 6 to sell like hotcakes, but I don’t know if anyone was anticipating demand on this level. On June 14, OnePlus confirmed that it crossed one million sales of the OP6 just 22 days after it launched.

OnePlus notes that this demand is a “sharp upward hike from even the OnePlus 5T”, and as such, the OnePlus 6 is now taking the title of the company’s best-selling product to date.

For comparison, both the OnePlus 5 and 5T each crossed one million units sold within three months of launching.

June 14, 2018 — OnePlus 6 comes with Dirac’s latest sound optimization solutions

Swedish-based audio technology company Dirac works with the likes of OPPO and Xiaomi to provide optimized audio solutions, and the company announced that its latest technologies are baked into the OnePlus 6.

Dirac Power Sound is a micro-speaker tuning technology that optimizes the performance from the built-in speaker to deliver a clearer, more natural sound with richer details and more powerful bass.

Dirac HD Sound, meanwhile, is a sound optimization solution that tweaks impulse and frequency response to improve sound quality. Dirac says it has worked closely with OnePlus to ensure that the sound output coming out of the 3.5mm jack is “optimized to the highest level, while also capable of producing sound characters tuned to OnePlus users’ preferences.”

June 12, 2018 — The OnePlus 6 in Silk White is back on sale for a limited time!

If you missed out on the opportunity to grab a sexy OnePlus 6 in sexy Silk White, now’s your chance — though it will probably sell out pretty quickly.

See at OnePlus

June 6, 2018 —Bullets Wireless earphones and Silk White OnePlus 6 sell out in 24 hours

Just 24 hours after they were made available for purchase, both the $69 Bullets Wireless earphones and $579 Silk White OnePlus 6 both sold out.

If you didn’t get a chance to grab either of these yesterday, OnePlus says the Silk White OP6 will be back in stock on June 12 with the Bullets Wireless following shortly after.

June 4, 2018 — Silk White OnePlus 6 and Bullets Wireless earphones launching June 5 @ 10:00 AM ET

oneplus-6-hands-on-4.jpg?itok=IT6Abbn-

About two weeks following the OnePlus 6’s launch, the limited edition Silk White version of the phone and OnePlus’s Bullets Wireless earphones are officially going on sale.

The Silk White OnePlus 6 is “the company’s boldest design to date” featuring six layers of white glass that have been mixed with pearl powder and gold accents for the frame, fingerprint sensor, and more. It’s a downright stunning look and will cost $579 USD with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage “while supplies last.”

Along with the Silk White OnePlus 6, the excellent Bullets Wireless earphones are launching, too. Andrew recently gave these a glowing review, praising them for their surprisingly great sound quality, USB-C charging, comfortable design, and competitive $69 price tag.

Both the Silk White OnePlus 6 and Bullets Wireless will be available on June 5 at 10:00 AM ET.

May 31, 2018 — Battery percentage coming to the status bar, fix for rear camera autofocus issue, and more

As part of a Q&A session OnePlus held of its forums, the company answered a lot of burning questions on users’ minds. You can read through the full rundown here, but the highlights include:

  • The three dots in the status bar will be removed in the next update.
  • A battery percentage is coming to the status bar in the next update.
  • Scheduled Do Not Disturb will be added in the next update.
  • The next update will fix low volume for calls and notifications.
  • Future updates will correct issues with the rear camera’s autofocus.
  • Your network will properly work when using an IDEA as a non-data card in the next update.
  • A fix in the next update will resolve an issue that causes sound to stop working when switching to the speaker from the earpiece.

May 29, 2018 — JerryRigEverything tears down the OnePlus 6 to see how waterproof it really is

It was expected that OnePlus would have to cut a few corners in order to keep the OnePlus 6’s price as low as it is, and one of those cuts came in the way of a proper water resistance rating.

Unlike other flagship phones, the OnePlus 6 doesn’t come with a proper IP rating. However, OnePlus does note on its website that the phone “is well-equipped to survive a drop in the sink or a spilled glass of water.”

To test out just how “water resistant” the OnePlus 6 actually is, JerryRigEverything cracked open the phone and determined it’s about as protected as other phones that have a proper IP rating. Check it out above!

May 23, 2018 — The OnePlus 6 is now available!

It was only announced a week ago, but the OnePlus 6 is now available to order from oneplus.net starting at $529 USD.

Are you ordering?

Read our review and watch the video

First thing’s first, watch the video and read the review. There’s plenty about the phone to learn, even though much of it is familiar. But the essential question a review tries to answer is, Should you buy this thing? And the response is an unrestrained, Yes.

The OnePlus 6 is the company’s finest phone ever, with excellent design, build quality, battery life and, for the first time, cameras.

Read the review

Review the specs

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Once you’re done reading the review, you should, ahem, review the specifications. The phone is powerful — like one of the most powerful on the market today — with plenty of headroom and legroom (it’s proverbially spacious is what I’m trying to say) for whatever you want to throw at it. Apps-wise, not like object-wise.

OnePlus 6 specifications

How does it compare to other phones?

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Of course, the OnePlus 6 doesn’t exist in a bubble — you have to compare it to other devices if you’re going to decide whether you should buy it. Thankfully, we’ve done most of the work for you, comparing it to the best flagships on the market right now.

  • OnePlus 6 vs. Google Pixel 2 XL: Which should you buy?
  • OnePlus 6 vs. Samsung Galaxy S9+: Which should you buy?

What about to other OnePlus phones?

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Yeah, OnePlus owners like to keep it in the family, so to speak, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see many upgrading, or thinking of upgrading, from an existing OnePlus device, like a 3, 3T, 5, or 5T. Of course, with the company releasing two phones a year these days, it won’t be long until the next upgrade cycle hits, but that also means that the existing phones age quite well, thanks to frequent software updates (the joys of not going through carriers).

If you have a OnePlus 5 or 5T, you can probably hold onto those phones for a bit longer — unless you need the camera improvements. OnePlus’s 2016 phones, on the other hand, may be getting a bit long in the tooth and could use a replacement.

  • OnePlus 6 vs. OnePlus 5T: Should you upgrade?
  • OnePlus 6 vs. OnePlus 5: Should you upgrade?
  • OnePlus 6 vs. OnePlus 3T & 3: Should you upgrade?

Is the OnePlus 6 camera that much better than before?

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This photo was taken in nearly pitch-dark conditions. OnePlus ramps up the light sensitivity to ISO6400, which would normally produce a lot of grain, but this photo is totally usable thanks to better software processing.

Yes! The OnePlus 6 has a larger 16MP sensor than previous OnePlus devices, with pixels that are 19% bigger, so low-light photography is immensely improved. It’s not going to overtake the Huawei P20 Pro or Pixel 2 for Low Light Champion Of The World, but it’s reliable in all conditions, and that’s more important than anything else.

The camera is probably the biggest improvement over previous OnePlus models.

The phone’s main sensor is aided by a fast ƒ/1.7 aperture, so true depth of field is a thing, along with drastically improved image signal processing from Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845. Together, the phone is able to detect the correct settings more quickly, take multiple shots if necessary, enable HDR mode automatically, and reduce or eliminate grain in dark conditions.

There’s also Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), which was in the OnePlus 3 line but removed in last year’s series for unknown reasons. It’s back now, and paired with a larger sensor and faster main lens, the results speak for themselves.

On the other hand, the OnePlus 6’s secondary camera has less to do — it’s a 20MP sensor with an ƒ/1.7 lens, but its main purpose is to facilitate portrait mode which, while good, isn’t enough reason to have a second sensor in the first place.

Is the notch distracting?

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The notch is what it is. You may hate it out of an aversion to all things Apple, or you may learn to live with it and forget it’s there. Most people will fall somewhere in the middle — it’s a character trait, like a freckle or a certain hairstyle.

What it does, though, is open up spme additional real estate on the 6.28-inch screen, which is great. But it also limits the number of icons that can be seen in the notification area, which is a bummer. Plus, the clock on the left side of the notification bar will never make sense. If you watch the video below, though, you can see ways to tweak the notification area to your liking. And you can also disable the notch altogether if you want to.

How’s the software?

It’s good! Running Android 8.1 Oreo, OxygenOS has turned into one of the most enjoyable, reliable versions of Android to date. OnePlus has also added a number of additions to make the whole thing run more smoothly, especially if you’re looking to maximize your screen real estate.

One of the more interesting changes to the software is a set of gestures that eliminates the bottom navigation keys, relying on swipes up from different areas of the bottom edge to go back, home, and enter multitasking. It’s different, but not bad. You’ll have to try it yourself.

As for tips and tricks, we’ve already got that list going, so if you’re looking to make the most of your OxygenOS experience, we have you covered.

  • How to enable navigation gestures on the OnePlus 6
  • How to disable the notch on the OnePlus 6

What’s it cost?

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The OnePlus 6 starts at $529 USD for the base model and goes up to $629 for additional RAM and storage. There are three configurations and three colors, and here’s a breakdown of which one to buy.

Here’s how the pricing breaks down in various regions.

6/64 $529 €519 £469 $699
8/128 $579 €569 £519 $769
8/256 $629 €619 £569 $839

See at OnePlus

Tell me more about the colors

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There are four colors: Mirror Black, Midnight Black, Silk White, and Red.

  • Mirror Black is going to be the most common, since it’s the only color offered in the cheapest tier. It’s shiny, reflective glass, so it gets fingerprint-y, but that’s OK because you’ll likely put the phone in a case (see below). It’s also a little slippery, which is to be expected. Mirror Black is offered in 6GB / 64GB configurations for $529.

  • Midnight Black is the color we’ve come to expect from OnePlus over the years, though the matte-looking finish belies a glass back, too, like the Mirror Black. Midnight Black is only available in 8GB / 128GB and 8GB / 256GB configurations for $579 and $629, respectively.

  • Silk White is one of the more limited of the four colors. It’s also covered in glass, but like the Midnight Black model it has a matte finish and is easier to grip. Its white back has rose gold accents, and it’s definitely the nicest and most unique of the three colors. It’s only available in the 8GB / 128GB configuration for $579, and once the run is sold out, OnePlus is not making any more.

  • Red is also a limited edition color and is easily the most vibrant of the four that are available. It has a similar shiny finish like Mirror Black but uses a translucent orange layer and red base layer to create one of the most powerful reds we’ve ever seen on a smartphone. Sales open on July 10 and it’ll be available with 8GB RAM + 128GB storage for $579.

What color OnePlus 6 should you buy?

I heard there’s an Avengers version — TELL ME EVERYTHING

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Yes, you heard right: OnePlus has once again worked with Disney on licensing a special version of the OnePlus 6 for the Chinese and Indian markets. Last year, OnePlus offered an understated Start Wars variant of the OnePlus 5T, and now the Avengers version takes advantage of the hype behind the recent film release.

The Avengers version comes in a unique box and includes an Iron Man case and a OnePlus/Avengers co-branded medallion, which is neat. And while there’s a familiar glass back on the Avengers Edition, it has a Kevlar-style design underneath. Because Kevlar=superheroes, or something.

While the special edition isn’t coming to the U.S. officially, I’m sure that some entrepreneurial Indian and Chinese resellers will do the dirty business of importing some of them at a huge premium to this side of the world.

This is the OnePlus 6 Marvel Avengers Edition

The OnePlus 6 doesn’t work on Sprint or Verizon

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The OnePlus 6 technically supports the CDMA bands for Verizon and Sprint in the U.S., but the phone lacks certification for their networks, so those users — just under half the smartphone-wielding U.S. population, is out of luck.

We’ve got your full technical explainer below.

The OnePlus 6 doesn’t work on Sprint or Verizon

Do you like cases?

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As it does with all of its phones, OnePlus has unveiled a series of first-party cases for the OnePlus 6, and they’re all pretty great.

This year, there’s a fancy new protective bumper made of woven nylon, and while it adds a bit more bulk than the typical snap-on, I think it looks and feels awesome.

These are the official OnePlus 6 cases you can buy at launch

What are your thoughts on the OnePlus 6?

Let us know in the comments!

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

Updated July 3, 2018: Added the OnePlus Red to the list of colors!

22
Sep

This could be the Google Pixel Stand — a new accessory for the Pixel 3


It’ll charge the Pixel 3 and turn it into a mini Smart Display.

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Google’s October 9 event is quickly approaching, and to literally no surprise at this point, the Pixel 3 and 3 XL will be the stars of the show. To go along with the new phones, Google appears to also be working on a new charging stand accessory called the Google Pixel Stand.

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The folks over at 9to5Google got their hands on a short GIF showcasing the Pixel Stand, and while it doesn’t reveal any specifics about the mystery product, there are a few key details we can pick out from it.

The stand itself appears to have a circular base that the Pixel 3/3 XL docks into. Based on the charging indicator in the photo and GIF, it likely docks into the stand via USB-C so it can charge up while connected. The GIF also shows various slides of different photos, indicating that the Pixel Stand will kick the Pixel 3 into a Smart Display-like interface to show pictures, weather, calendar appointments, and more.

We don’t know how much the Pixel Stand will cost or if it’ll work with phones other than the Pixel 3, but even so, it is exciting to see Google expanding its first-party accessory support for its hardware.

Do you think you’ll pick up a Pixel Stand?

Google Pixel 3: News, Rumors, Release Date, Specs, and more!

22
Sep

The best car chargers for the Galaxy S9


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The Samsung Galaxy S9 is designed to let you do more — as long as your battery doesn’t run out! With USB-C and wireless charging capabilities, there’s more than one way to keep your phone topped up while in the car. We love the Aukey 27W USB-PD option but all the below choices are great.

Quick Charge pick

Aukey Car Charger with 5V/3A USB-C and Quick Charge 3.0 USB-A

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Aukey makes two slightly different versions of its compact car charger. This version has a USB-C port with 15W of output, and the USB-A port is branded for Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0. With charging speeds on both ports that can fill up your Galaxy S9 at the maximum rate, this charger makes it easy for you and your passenger to charge up with whichever cable they need.

$15 at Amazon

Futureproof pick

Aukey Car Charger with 27W USB-C PD and 5V/2.4A USB-A

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Aukey’s charger features the best of both worlds — a USB-C port with Power Delivery 2.0 and a more traditional USB-A port with AiPower adaptive 5V/2.4A charging — and either port will charge your S9 at a respectable rate, so whichever cable is in your bag, you can still top off. With 27W of output on the USB-C port, this Aukey charger can charge up USB-C tablets and laptops, which is another big plus.

$20 at Amazon

Double USB-A excellence

Spigen 30W Quick Charge 3.0 Dual USB-A car charger

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While Spigen’s charger is not USB-C PD compliant since it uses USB-A, it supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 standard, offering swift charging for the Galaxy S9 and most other Android phones. It supports a total of 30W between the two ports, so even with two phones plugged in, they’ll both charge up at the maximum rate.

$14 at Amazon

Go wireless

iOttie Easy One-Touch 4 QI Wireless Charging Mount

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The Galaxy S9 allows for wireless charging, and this car mount from iOttie is one of the best wireless car chargers I’ve tested, even working with a case on. It includes a 12V adapter with a hardwired cable for supplying power to the mount, and a telescopic arm and adjustable mounting options make it easy to affix to your dash or windshield.

$50 at Amazon

While there are a multitude of car chargers out there — and a growing number of cars that come with USB charging ports built into directly into their center console or radio — a dependable car charger is an affordable investment that can easily outlast your phone or car so long as you’re not throwing a massive purse at it every time you get in the car.

Updated September 2018: The list now includes two great Aukey options, which can charge up your Galaxy S9 and another device at two different price points.

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

  • Galaxy S9 and S9+: Everything you need to know!
  • Galaxy S9 review: A great phone for the masses
  • Complete Galaxy S9 and S9+ specs
  • Galaxy S9 vs. Galaxy S8: Should you upgrade?
  • Join our Galaxy S9 forums

Verizon
AT&T
T-Mobile
Sprint
Amazon

22
Sep

Huawei hands out battery packs and apple-free juice to iPhone XS buyers


Trolling at its finest.

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Today’s Friday, September 21, 2018. In other words, it’s iPhone XS and Apple Watch Series 4 launch day. Fans around the world are lining up to be among the first to own Apple’s latest phone and wearable, and as such, Huawei used this opportunity to troll Apple by promoting itself while folks wait in line.

At the Apple store in London, Huawei arrived with a juice van offering “ju%ce that lasts.” Actual juice was given out to people in line that had “no traces of apple” in it, in addition to charging outlets so people could top up their phones.

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Additionally, Huawei employees handed out 10,000 mAh battery packs to Apple fans in Singapore. On the packaging for the packs reads “Here’s a power bank. You’ll need it. Courtesy of Huawei.”

Is this too cheeky? Perhaps. But then again, it’s not like Huawei was hurting anyone. Who doesn’t want free juice and battery packs? The iPhone XS brings a lot to the table that we’d like to see come to the Android space, but on October 16 when Huawei unveils the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro, you can bet it’s going to do what it can to top Apple in every way it can.

Huawei Mate 20 rumors: Release date, specs, price, and features!

22
Sep

Add some illumination with Luminoodle LED bias lighting as low as $7 today


Inexpensive way to improve your lighting.

The Power Practical Luminoodle LED bias lighting strips are all on sale today, and they have never dropped this low before. These strips help reduce eye strain and can help improve the contrast of the screen you’re watching. The Power Practical Luminoodle 13-feet LED TV bias lighting strip is down to $18.74 on Amazon. This is the largest available strip, and it usually sells for around $25.

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While these strips are designed to be easily cut to the size you need, you might not need one that long. Try the 9.8-foot strip for $14.99. It normally sells for around $20 and has never gone lower than $16.

The medium-sized 6.5 foot strip is down to $10.50 today. That’s a $7 price drop and one of its lowest ever. The smallest strip is only 3.3 feet, and it’s currently about $3 off its lowest price at $7.49. That’s a good place to start if you haven’t used one of these before and just want to see what the fuss is all about.

See on Amazon

22
Sep

Score three months of Mint Mobile’s 2GB plan for just $45 total


Pricing this low is hard to pass up!

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Mint Mobile is no stranger around here. We’ve talked about them a bunch in the past, and even reviewed our experiences with the service, but it’s been a bit since we reminded you just how affordable your phone bill can be. The MVNO currently has packages starting at just $45 for three months of service that includes 2GB of high-speed data. That’s just $15 a month, which I am pretty sure is a huge savings compared to your current bill.

Not everyone can get away with 2GB of data per month, but that’s why Mint Mobile also offers a plan that includes 5GB of data for $60 or 10GB of data for $75 for the three-month period. After the promotional period, each plan does go up by a little, but the prices still remain way under the competition. To put it into perspective, MetroPCS’ base plan starts at $30 per month for 2GB of data, and AT&T’s base plan offers only 1GB of data for the same monthly cost.

With Mint Mobile being an MVNO that operates on T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network, it means that you can likely pop your current SIM card out of your device and simply replace it with one from Mint Mobile. If you’re in the market for a new device as well, Amazon’s Prime-exclusive devices are a great value, though just about any unlocked phone will do.

From time to time Mint Mobile offers additional discounts, which we keep track of, so be sure to check back on that page every so often to see if you can save a little extra on top of the already-low prices.

See at Mint Mobile

22
Sep

The Microsoft Excel Master Certification Bundle is now just $49!


Microsoft’s Excel, the spreadsheet tool in its Office suite, has an incredible amount of depth that most people never touch. Figures and graphs are what Excel is usually used for, but there’s so much more potential if you have the correct knowledge.

Master Microsoft Excel for less than $50! Learn more

Whether it’s PivotTables, Pivot Charts, macros, or powerful formulas, in-depth Excel training to automate spreadsheets and solve complex problems can be quite expensive. There’s a lot of content to cover, and there are many questions to answer.

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If you’re interested in extensive spreadsheet training, Android Central right now has a Microsoft Excel course that includes over 28 hours of content spread over nine courses. Instead of paying the regular price of $1,066, you’ll instead pay just $49. That’s 96 percent off the regular price!

Give your resume a boost with some valuable Excel skills! Learn more

Access to this course remains open forever, so even if you don’t have the time at this moment, you can jump in whenever you’d like. At just $49 for extensive Excel training, how can you go wrong?

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