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Apple Releasing iOS 12.0.1 With Fixes for Wi-Fi 2.4GHz Bug, Lightning Charging Issue [Update: Now Available]

Apple is today releasing iOS 12.0.1, the first official update to the iOS 12 operating system. iOS 12.0.1 comes three weeks after Apple released iOS 12.

The update will be available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the update, go to Settings –> General –> Software Update. iOS 12 users should be able to download iOS 12.0.1 when it is released at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time.

Today’s update fixes several high profile bugs that have been plaguing iOS 12 users. It resolves an issue that could cause some iPhone XS devices not to charge when connected to a Lightning cable, an issue that was discovered shortly after iOS 12 was released.

Reports suggested multiple iOS 12 devices were affected rather than just the iPhone XS, and it’s likely that if other devices are impacted, the new update solves the problem.

iOS 12.0.1 also fixes a major Wi-Fi bug that could cause some iPhone XS devices to prefer to join a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network rather than a 5GHz Wi-Fi network, resulting in perceived slower Wi-Fi connection speeds. After this update, many users who were stuck with their phones connecting to a 2.4GHz network should see much faster Wi-Fi connection speeds as the devices once again prefer a 5GHz network.

Other bug fixes in this update include a reorientation of the “123” number key on the iPad, which was moved in the iOS 12 update and swapped with the emoji/language key, a fix for a problem that could cause subtitles not to appear in some video apps, and an issue where Bluetooth could become unavailable.

Many of these bugs have also been addressed in the upcoming iOS 12.1 update that is currently being beta tested by developers and public beta testers.

Apple’s full release notes for the update are below:

iOS 12.0.1 includes bug fixes and improvements for your iPhone or iPad. This update:
– Fixes an issue where some iPhone XS devices do not immediately charge when connected to a Lightning cable
– Resolves an issue that could cause iPhone XS devices to rejoin a Wi-Fi network at 2.4 GHz instead of 5 GHz
– Restores the original position of the “.?123” key on the iPad keyboard
– Fixes an issue where subtitles may not appear in some video apps
– Addresses an issue where Bluetooth could become unavailable
– For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website:

The new iOS 12 update introduces a slew of new features like Siri Shortcuts for creating voice-controlled automations, Screen Time for monitoring your iOS device usage, Memoji on devices with a TrueDepth camera, improvements to Do Not Disturb and notifications, ARKit 2.0, privacy enhancements, and more.

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For additional details on everything new in iOS 12, make sure to check out our roundup.

Related Roundup: iOS 12
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Apple Seeds Third Beta of macOS Mojave 10.14.1 to Developers

Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming macOS Mojave 10.14.1 update to developers, one week after seeding the second beta and two weeks after releasing the macOS Mojave update.

macOS Mojave introduces a new method of installing software updates, so after the initial beta has been installed using the appropriate profile from the Developer Center, additional betas can be downloaded through opening up System Preferences and choosing the “Software Update” option.

The 10.14.1 update includes support for Group FaceTime, a feature that was removed during the beta testing period. Group FaceTime, which lets you chat with up to 32 people at once, is also present in the iOS 12.1 beta.

macOS Mojave 10.14.1 introduces more than 70 new emoji characters that are also available in iOS 12.1 and watchOS 5.1. There are new options for red hair, curly hair, no hair, and gray hair, along with characters to represent superheroes, cold face, party face, pleading face, and face with hearts.

There are a number of new animals and food items like kangaroo, parrot, lobster, mango, lettuce, and cupcake. Tweaks have been made to some existing emoji as well. The iPhone emoji, for example, has been updated to look like the iPhone X with no bezels or Home button.

We didn’t find any other significant new features in the first two developer betas of macOS Mojave, so it’s not clear if there are any additional changes. The update likely includes performance improvements and bug fixes for issues that have been discovered since the release of the Mojave update.

Should new features be found in the third beta, we’ll update this post.

macOS Mojave is a major update that brings features like a systemwide Dark Mode, stacks for organizing messy desktops, new Finder capabilities, new tools for taking screenshots, a Continuity Camera option for easily transferring photo scans and documents from iPhone to Mac, and more. For more on macOS Mojave, make sure to check out our roundup.

Related Roundup: macOS Mojave
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How to watch Intel’s Fall desktop event live from NYC

Intel is preparing a press event for today, October 8, in New York City, where we’ll learn more about what the company has in store.

The chip giant hasn’t indicated exactly what the event will cover, but we’re hoping to see the unveiling of some new ninth-generation processors aimed at gamers. Who knows? Maybe we’ll get a hint at what the company is up to in graphics cards too. We can hope, right?

When and how to watch

The event is scheduled for Monday, October 8, at 10 a.m. ET (7 a.m. on the West Coast).

Fortunately, Intel will be live streaming the entire event. You can have a look below.

We’ll be attending the event live in NYC and reporting with news, hands-on demos, and more coverage on what Intel shows off.

What to expect

Intel’s Core i9-9900K

While Intel has been quiet on what we’ll see, we’re all hoping to see some new processors. Rumors surrounding the launch of the Core i9-9900k chip have been intensifying as of late, with a recent leak showing off some stylish packaging and a hefty $580 price tag. The leak (pictured above) also mentioned speeds of up to 5.0 GHz, overclocking capabilities, and hyper-threading technology for “16-way multitasking.” This would be Intel’s first eight-core, 16-thread processor — and according to some leaked benchmarks — could have some pretty impressive results. These new processors are in direct competition with AMD’s new eight-core Threadripper chips.

Finally, we’re also highly anticipating the launch of some new graphics cards from Intel, although those probably won’t be launched until 2020. Even so, we’d be delighted for some hints or teases at what those cards will be like though considering Intel’s recent hires. If it does, it’ll prove to be an important moment for the company and for GPU buyers as a whole.

In addition to the processors themselves, we hope to see the Fall lineup of the latest and greatest machines from the top desktop manufacturers. These big manufacturers often time updates with the next generations of Intel processors, which means more goodies for us. We’re hoping to see some demos and get some hands-on time with these new machines as well.

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Entertainment-centric Alcatel 3T 8 is a 4G-enabled tablet for just $150

Choosing a reliable tablet can be a tricky business, especially in a market dominated by Amazon’s Fire tablets and Apple’s iPads. You might assume that you have few other choices when it comes to a lower cost entertainment tablet, but that’s thankfully not true. Alcatel has launched a 4G-enabled, entertainment-focused tablet for just $150, and it looks like it could be a great choice for mobile streaming, or a child’s first media device. Here’s everything you need to know about the Alcatel 3T 8.

Alcatel has seemingly focused on delivering a sli9m and lightweight device that’s comfortable to hold for hours on end. The tablet weighs 10.37 ounces (294 grams), and is just 0.33 inches (8.3 mm) thick. It’s not the most stylish looker, but the thick bezels mean there’s always room to grip the tablet without accidentally touching the screen. You’ll find a Micro USB port at the top of the device, along with a headphone jack and an infrared blaster that allows the tablet to double as a TV remote — something of a rare feature these days.

The 8-inch display is an IPS LCD outputting a 1200 x 800 resolution. You can also cut out potentially harmful blue light with the included Eye Care Mode, which also optimizes brightness and tone in extreme lighting conditions. The display itself isn’t the sharpest, but it still displays 720p HD content.

The 3T 8 is powered by a quad-core 1.5GHz processor backed up by 2GB of RAM and 16GB of onboard storage. The processor won’t be the fastest mobile CPU in the world, but it should be up to the task of handling most day-to-day tasks, and you can boost the rather small amount of storage by up to 128GB with a MicroSD card. The Alcatel 3T 8 also has access to T-Mobile’s super-fast 4G network too, and it takes Micro SIM cards. There’s a beefy battery too, with a capacity of 4,080mAh that Alcatel claims will last up to 500 hours of 2G standby, or over 8 hours of Wi-Fi video streaming.

Very few people buy a tablet for the cameras, but they’re here. The rear camera is a 7-megapixel lens that will capture video up to 1080p at 30 frames per second. The front-facing camera is a 5-megapixel lens with the same support for video capture. It would have made more sense for a tablet to have these numbers reversed, as people are more likely to use a front-facing camera for video calls on a tablet, but they’re not terrible numbers either way.

It isn’t running the latest Android 9.0 Pie, but it does come with Android 8.1 Oreo, as well as access to Google Assistant. The 3T 8 also comes with the Alcatel-exclusive CloserTV app, which brings together your cable TV programs, Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon subscriptions into one place, so there’s no need to swap between apps while looking for programs to watch. There’s also a built-in Kid’s Mode that allows parents to set usage timers and bar certain apps from being used by children.

The Alcatel 3T 8 will be available exclusively from T-Mobile and can be bought in T-Mobile stores and online from October 12. It will be available on T-Mobile’s Equipment Installment Plan (0 percent APR) for $6 down and $6/month for 24 months.

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Apple writes letter to U.S. Congress denying reports of Chinese hack

Apple’s vice president of information security, George Stathakopoulos,   has denied that the company was hacked by China following news reports of interference in the electronics supply chain of many major U.S. companies. Although Apple bought servers from Super Micro, a company that utilized reportedly compromised hardware in constructing its products, Apple claims that its security tools would have picked up on any malicious manipulation of its systems.

A recent report suggested that members of China’s People’s Liberation Army had compromised the supply chain of major electronics manufacturers, arranging for the insertion of a tiny chip on server boards which were sold to the San Jose, California-based Super Micro Computer. Apple was one of the companies supplied by Super Micro, and was cited in the original news reports as a potential victim of the hardware hack. In his letter to Congress, though, Stathakopoulos staunchly denied the claims.

“Apple’s proprietary security tools are continuously scanning for precisely this kind of outbound traffic, as it indicates the existence of malware or other malicious activity. Nothing was ever found,” he wrote in the letter to both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, quoted by Reuters.

That statement was repeated to the press, and Stathakopoulos claimed that Apple saw no malicious chips or vulnerabilities in its hardware, nor had it been in touch with the FBI to warn about such compromises. Those statements were made by an Apple spokesperson. Great Britain’s Cyber Security Center and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security made follow-up statements indicating that they have no reason to doubt Apple’s assertions.

Despite such denials, Bloomberg, the publication which broke the original story, has stuck by its claims that it believes Apple and as many as 30 other U.S. companies and government organizations were compromised. However, it has been noted that some of Bloomberg’s claims were reliant on a single anonymous source said to be familiar with the matter, so evidence for some claims is not well corroborated.

Apple is not the only company cited in the original reports to deny the hacking claims. Both Amazon and Super Micro Computer have released separate statements denying the hardware interference described in the original Bloomberg article.

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The OnePlus 6T will be unveiled on October 30

OnePlus is going to end 2018 with a bang.

Ever since it was released this past May, the OnePlus 6 has been one of the absolute best values in smartphones we’ve seen in 2018. The phone’s only gotten better thanks to striking new colors and fast software updates, and right around the corner is its incremental successor — the OnePlus 6T.

The 6T likely won’t shake up the OnePlus 6’s formula too much, but even so, it’s already shaping up to be one of the year’s most interesting smartphones.

Without further ado, here’s everything we know about the OnePlus 6T!

The latest OnePlus 6T news

October 8, 2018 — The OnePlus 6T is launching on October 30

The #OnePlus6T is coming. Unlock The Speed on October 30.

— OnePlus (@oneplus) October 8, 2018

OnePlus has confirmed that it will unveil the OnePlus 6T on October 30. The phone will be making its debut at an event in New York, and OnePlus is set to kick off pre-orders on the same day.

The company will also hold a satellite event in India — its largest market — on October 30, and fans will be able to purchase tickets for the same starting 10:00am IST on October 17.

October 7, 2018 — OnePlus teases Monday announcement on Twitter

Check back in 24 hours for an exciting announcement. #OnePlus6T

— OnePlus (@oneplus) October 7, 2018

The OnePlus 6T is expected to be announced to the world any time now, but we might not have to wait much longer — at least, for an event date. OnePlus tweeted out a tease for fans, telling them to come back in 24 hours for an “exciting announcement”.

While we expect said announcement to be an event date for the official unveiling of the OnePlus 6T, there is also a chance that the official announcement of the device. OnePlus has had a busy week of teases, leaks, and the official confirmation that the 6T will lack both a headphone jack and wireless charging, and OnePlus might be ready to show the world one of the most anticipated phones of the year.

Tomorrow is also the day before the Google Pixel 3 event — and the beginning of Pixel 3 pre-orders — so whatever OnePlus announces tomorrow may very well end up being an appetizer before the October 9 feast of new Google products.

October 2, 2018 — OnePlus 6T confirmed to not have wireless charging, better water-resistance

CNET recently sat down for an exclusive interview with OnePlus CEO Pete Lau, and during it, a few interesting tidbits were revealed.

Perhaps most importantly, the interview confirms that the OnePlus 6T will not support wireless charging. According to Lau:

We’re working hard on this. When we get to the day that the wireless charging can get up to speed of [Dash Charge] without the implication of heat that we expect, then I believe we can integrate the technology.

Lau also commented on the 6T’s water resistance, saying that it’s the most water-resistant phone the company’s made yet. However, in an attempt to save money, you won’t find an official IP rating.

Last but not least, Lau confirmed that one of the main reasons the 3.5mm headphone jack was removed was to make room for the in-display fingerprint sensor. He also said that it was “one of the most difficult decisions for us [OnePlus] to make.”

Read the full interview here

October 1, 2018 — Here are renders of the OnePlus 6T in Midnight Black and Mirror Black


Midnight Black

Need more OnePlus 6T renders in your life? Lucky for you, WinFuture recently got their hands on just that.

A few new images of the phone show its front and back in both Midnight Black and Mirror Black finishes — two colors that are also available for the OnePlus 6.


Mirror Black

Although the 6T’s design has already been confirmed in other leaks, these renderes once again show off the waterdrop style notch, the absence of the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, and dual rear cameras.

September 28, 2018 — OnePlus begins teasing the 6T

We already know that the OnePlus 6T is coming, but now thanks to a teaser clip on its official Twitter page, OnePlus is ready to start hyping up the phone ahead of its announcement.

OnePlus 6T. It’s coming.

— OnePlus (@oneplus) September 28, 2018

The short clip is just 5 seconds long and features the tagline “Unlock the Future” along with the OnePlus 6T logo.

There’s not much else to see, but with the hype train starting, an official reveal should be coming soon.

September 26, 2018 — OnePlus 6T appears in a bunch of new renders


Earlier this month, we got our first render of the OnePlus 6T showing off the top rear portion of the phone. Now, thanks to @OnLeaks and MySmartPrice, we have full device renders of the 6T that shows what it’ll look like from every angle imaginable.

As expected, the 6T’s body shares a lot of similarities with the Oppo R17. There’s a large 6.4-inch display around front with a tiny waterdrop style notch at the very top. Around back is a dual camera system, glass construction, and no fingerprint sensor. This time around, OnePlus is hiding it underneath the display.

The 6T is said to be a bit thicker and wider than the 6, coming in at 157.5 x 75.7 x 8.2mm compared to 155.7 x 75.4 x 7.8mm.

Are you liking what you’re seeing?

September 19, 2018 — OnePlus 6T teaser video airs in India, shows off dual rear cameras

OnePlus has started airing a OnePlus 6T teaser video in India that shows off the back of the upcoming phone. A render from earlier today revealed that the device will have dual rear cameras — and not three like previously rumored — and the video further reinforces that. The commercial features OnePlus’ India ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, and also references the in-display fingerprint sensor.

Amazon India is also building up interest for the device by opening up a “Notify Me” page for the OnePlus 6T ahead of the rumored October 17 launch.

September 19, 2018 — OnePlus 6T render confirms dual rear cameras, logo also teased


Thanks to the folks over at WinFuture, we now have our very first render of the upcoming OnePlus 6T. The render admittedly doesn’t reveal a lot of the phone, but even so, it does manage to confirm a couple of key details.

First of all, it would appear that OnePlus will be sticking with two rear cameras on the back. On that same note, the cameras are also in the exact same position as they are on the OnePlus 6.


Along with this, we can also see that there’s no longer a fingerprint sensor below the camera lens. OnePlus already confirmed that the 6T will be its first phone to use an in-display sensor, so we’re now seeing how all of that will come together.

Last but not least, WinFuture also shared the 6T’s official logo. There’s nothing particularly exciting about it, but here it is for your vieiwng pleasure.


September 13, 2018 — The OnePlus 6T will not have a headphone jack

Yep, you read that correctly. As confirmed by OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei in an interview with TechRadar, the 6T will not have a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Having a headphone jack on its phones is something OnePlus has adamantly bragged about for the last few years, so why is the company now deciding to remove it? First of all, Pei notes that by removing the headphone jack, more features can be crammed into the 6T.

Some of that space is likely going to the in-display fingerprint sensor that was already confirmed by the company, and along with that, Pei says battery life is being improved, too. We don’t have raw numbers, but it’s said that the improvement will be “substantial enough for users to realize.”

Another reason for the jack’s removal is timing. Per a survey that OnePlus conducted earlier this year, 59% of its users already have some sort of wireless earbuds. Furthermore, Pei expects that number to now be higher following the release of the Bullets Wireless.

OnePlus expects some backlash from its community, and like we’ve seen from Apple, Google, and others, a 3.5mm-to-USB-C dongle will be included in the box so you can continue to use your old wired headphones.

What do you think about the 6T not having a headphone jack?

September 10, 2018 — OnePlus confirms in-display fingerprint sensor for OnePlus 6T


Less than a week since the OnePlus 6T retail box leaked, OnePlus has confirmed to CNET that one of the main features shown there — specifically the in-display fingerprint sensor — will be present on the phone at launch.

In an email sent to the publication, OnePlus said:

We unlock our phones multiple times a day, and Screen Unlock reduces the number of steps to complete the action. By adding this feature as an addition to other display unlocking options such as Face Unlock, users will have options to unlock the display in a way that is most efficient for them.

OnePlus also shared a screenshot of the 6T’s lock screen, and as you can see, an icon near the bottom of the display will show users where to put their finger to unlock the phone. Similar to devices like the Vivo X20 Plus UD and Vivo Nex, the 6T uses an optical scanner under its screen that views your print, matches it with one that’s been set up, and unlocks your phone.

In-display sensors have typically been slower than traditional ones on the front or back of a device, and if that’s the case with the 6T, at least we’ll also have Face Unlock as an unlocking option, too.

September 4, 2018 — Retail box reveals an in-display fingerprint sensor and “waterdrop” notch

Our first big OnePlus 6T leak has finally arrived!


A retail box for the phone recently appeared in a few photos online, and while the phone itself isn’t anywhere to be seen, the packaging actually confirms a couple key details about it.

Thanks to an outline of the 6T inside the box, we can see that it adopts a very similar design compared to the Oppo R17 that was announced in mid-August. As such, we’ve got a phone with very slim bezels, a tiny chin at the bottom, and a waterdrop style notch at the top.

This outline also shows a fingerprint near the bottom center of the display — suggesting that the 6T will be the first OnePlus phone to adopt an in-display fingerprint sensor.

August 17, 2018 — OnePlus 6T to launch on T-Mobile in the U.S. in October

A new report from CNET surfaced today, and if you’ve been waiting for more juicy details on the OnePlus 6T, there’s plenty for you here.

OnePlus phones in the U.S. have always been sold exclusively as unlocked handsets through OnePlus’s website, but with the 6T, OnePlus will be launching the phone on its first carrier partner in the States — T-Mobile. The T-Mobile version of the OnePlus 6T is said to be “optimized for T-Mobile’s network” and will work beautifully with the Un-Carrier’s 600Mhz band.

Pricing for the OnePlus 6T is said to be about $550 (a slight increase from the $529 OnePlus 6) and it’ll launch at some point in October.

August 14, 2018 — The new Oppo R17 is likely the phone the OnePlus 6T will be modeled after


If you’ve been following OnePlus for a while, chances are you know that its parent company is Oppo. OnePlus typically uses Oppo phones as references for its own hardware, and this year, the reference device for the OnePlus 6T will likely be the all-new Oppo R17.

While the 6T won’t be identical to the R17, the phone’s biggest features will likely carry over — including the waterdrop notch at the top of the display and all-glass back.


The R17’s notch is one of the smallest we’ve ever seen, and should this make its way to the 6T, it’ll be a big win for the phone’s design. The display below that measures in at 6.4-inches, and to not much surprise, retains a resolution of 1080 x 2280 Full HD.

Where will I be able to buy the OnePlus 6T?


Like previous OnePlus phones, we’re certain that the OnePlus 6T will be sold unlocked on OnePlus’s website.

However, new this year in the U.S., OnePlus has apparently secured its first carrier partner.

In addition to selling the phone unlocked, OnePlus will also sell the 6T via T-Mobile. The unlocked variant will work just fine on TMO, but by having the phone sold directly through the carrier and available to purchase via monthly financing, this should hopefully get the 6T in more people’s hands than previous OnePlus devices.

When will the phone be released?

According to a report from CNET, the OnePlus 6T will launch this fall — sometime in October, to be exact.

Seeing as how the OnePlus 5T went on sale November 21 and sales for the 3T opened up November 28, we have no reason not to believe OnePlus will shoot for an October launch. It’s not uncommon for OEMs to move up launch dates by a month or so compared to previous releases, and seeing as how the next-gen iPhones will be announced on September 12 and the Pixel 3 will be unveiled on October 9, OnePlus appears to be slotting itself in nicely with those big-name launches.

How much will the 6T cost?


Per that same report, the OnePlus 6T will cost $550.

In typical OnePlus fashion, that’s a minor price hike compared to its past releases. Here’s how the $550 OnePlus 6T will compare to previous OnePlus phones:

  • OnePlus 6 — $529
  • OnePlus 5T — $499
  • OnePlus 5 — $479
  • OnePlus 3T — $439
  • OnePlus 3 — $399

OnePlus 6 review: The matter is settled

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


Is the Pixel 3 XL’s notch really going to be a big deal?

It’s almost here!

After months of relentless leaks, tomorrow is finally the day when Google will officially unveil the Pixel 3 and 3 XL. We already know just about everything going on with these two handsets, and one aspect that’s created for a lot of commotion is the Pixel 3 XL’s notch.


Notches have become quite common this year, but the one on the 3 XL is definitely one of the biggest we’ve ever seen. It’s been mocked and ridiculed nonstop, but is it really going to be a big deal when it comes time to purchase the phone?

Here’s what our AC forum members have to say.

10-06-2018 06:07 PM

Extremely ugly! That notch and no headphone jack, no micro SD? Come on! Google is saying about the notch, “hey look, we got one too! Ours is bigger than yours!”


avatar901760_3.gifI Can Be Your Hero
10-07-2018 12:01 AM

No headphone jack and no SD card don’t bother me, but that notch does. Impressive that Google managed to put in the largest, most intrusive notch and thought that was a better design than not having a notch and just having the top bezel go all the way across.

I’d rather lose that screen real estate and have a full top bezel than have a notch that size.


10-07-2018 09:37 AM

I think it’s interesting that there haven’t been any sightings of the standard Pixel 3 … AT ALL! How can a store in china be selling the XL, but not the standard ahead of release? They only have that model and only the black one? Did they contact the “Russian black market” and put in an order for 50 or something?

On the notch, listen I’m in the “no notch” camp for sure. IMO, it’s a lazy…


avatar3043574_1.gifMr Segundus
10-07-2018 06:47 PM

Big notch, big chin. Gross. I have an iPhone XS Max with a Note 9 and both don’t have that lack of symmetry. Yes, the iPhone has a notch, but it doesn’t have that big, ugly chin. Google should’ve made that bottom speaker a bottom-firing speaker so the display could go all the way to the edge.


What do you think? Is the Pixel 3 XL’s notch really that big of a deal?

Join the conversation in the forums!


Google Pixel 2, one year later review: Ancient-looking powerhouse

The Pixel 2’s design hasn’t aged gracefully, but everything else has.


Google’s Pixel 3 series is nearly upon us, and when the new phones are announced on Tuesday, they’ll be replacing the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL from last year. Before that happens, I want to take a look back at the former of those two devices and see how the regular Pixel 2 is holding up a year after it was first released.

Without further ado, here’s our Pixel 2 one year review.

The things that are still great

To be perfectly honest, almost everything about the Pixel 2 works just as well as it did from day one (and in some cases, even better).

The phone feels just as fast and snappy as it did out of the box, and following the update to Android 9 Pie, the new animations and gestures give the Pixel 2 a fluidity I didn’t even know it was missing. Those gestures do take some getting used to, but once you get a feel for them, it’s a vastly superior experience compared to the three static buttons of yesteryear.

I’ve been messing around with Android Pie on my OnePlus 6, and even though it has a newer processor (Snapdragon 845 vs. 835) and more RAM (8GB vs. 4GB), Pie on the Pixel 2 continues to feel so much more polished and fluid. The excellent hardware and software optimizations that you get with the Pixel line is undoubtedly one of the best reasons to buy into it, and the Pixel 2 continues to be a prime example of that.

Something else that I’ve really enjoyed is the Pixel 2’s camera. It’s no secret at this point that the Pixel 2 has one of the best cameras on the market, but even so, the thing continues to put a smile on my face each time I press the shutter button. There may not be any manual controls to tweak your shot like you can find on Samsung or LG devices, but the consistency of good-looking pictures I’ve taken is better than any other phone I’ve ever used.

How else has the Pixel 2 held up well? The battery still sees me through a full day of use, the fingerprint sensor hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down, and the Active Edge and Now Playing features are easily some of my favorites I’ve used out of any phone over the last few years.

What hasn’t held up so well


Without a doubt, the Pixel 2’s weakest aspect is its design. This was never a strong suit for the phone, and as time’s gone on, things have only gotten worse.

The Pixel 2 isn’t necessarily an ugly phone, but when stacked up against everything else that’s come out this year, it simply looks like an ancient relic. This, of course, is thanks to the gigantic bezels.

Not only do flagship handsets like the Galaxy S9 and LG G7 have much better screen-to-body ratios, but even smartphones such as the Honor 7X and Nokia 7.1 that range from $199 to $350 look like gadgets from the distant future compared to the Pixel 2. Bezel size certainly isn’t the end-all-be-all when it comes to phones, but the ones on the Pixel 2 don’t do it any favors.

Also, while this may be more of a personal preference than anything else, the 16:9 aspect ratio of the Pixel 2’s screen just looks weird after using so many phones with 18:9 setups. It’s not technically bad or wrong, but after going back to using it for a while, I’m certainly glad the industry has moved on to taller and narrow panels.

Should you still consider buying it?


Based on what we’ve seen so far (which is almost everything), the Pixel 3 will be an all-around better phone in nearly every way. It’ll have a faster processor, improved cameras, wireless charging, and a much more modern design with a larger display.

If you’re okay with the outdated design, the Pixel 2 is still a good purchase.

If you’ve got the cash to spend and want what’ll likely be one of 2018’s best Android phones, I recommend waiting for the Pixel 3. However, if you want to save a couple hundred bucks and don’t need to have the very latest and greatest, the Pixel 2 is still a damn good phone one year later.

Google’s promised three years of software updates and security patches for the phone, meaning it’s guaranteed to get the Android R update when it lands in 2020. That’s a big deal in the Android space, and it makes the Pixel 2 a lot more appealing if you’re considering picking it up a year into its life cycle.

Let’s hear from you

If you’ve been using a Pixel 2, how has it been holding up for you? Are you going to keep it for a while longer or move on to the Pixel 3? Let us know in the comments below!

The Google Pixel XL, two years later: Going down with a fight

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

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

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Facebook introduces Portal and Portal+ with prices starting at $199

Wait, what? Why?!

Facebook has just introduced a pair of new communication devices that are aimed at bringing you closer to your friends and family. These new widescreen displays are designed to help you feel as though the two of you are in the same room. The smaller of the two options, the Portal, offers a 10-inch display, while the Portal+ jumps up to a 15-inch display that can pivot between portrait and landscape modes. Unlike when making a video call on your mobile device, these allow you to be hands-free, so you can use your hands to show off items, wave, and more while chatting with your friends and family.


On the surface, these may look like some of the other smart displays on the market, like Lenovo’s Smart Display or Amazon’s Echo Show, it’s what’s inside that makes it different. Its Smart Camera feature will automatically pan and zoom the camera to keep everyone in view as you move around during the chat, and Smart Sound ensures that the background noise is reduced and enhances the volume of the other party on the call.

You can use Portal to call your Facebook Messenger friends, even if they don’t have a portal, and each call supports up to seven people at once. You can use the Portal hands-free by using the command “Hey Portal”, and it also has Amazon’s Alexa built-in so you can access all of its great features as well.

Understanding that it doesn’t have the best reputation in the industry when it comes to privacy, Facebook has baked in a bunch of features to help keep this device more secure. You can completely disable the camera and microphone with just a single tap, and both the Portal and Portal+ come with a camera cover to easily block the lens at any time. To prevent unwanted visitors from using your Portal, you can set a passcode from four to 12 digits in length. Facebook says it doesn’t listen to or store the contents of any Portal call, and all of the A.I. features for Smart Camera and Speaker run locally in the device, not on Facebook’s servers. The only time Facebook will send anything through its servers is after you initiate a “Hey Portal” command. You can delete the voice history from your Facebook Activity Log at any time.

Pre-orders are available from Facebook right now, with the smaller Portal being priced at $199 and the Portal+ coming in at $349. You can save $100 when buying two of them at the same time, and these will also be available at other retailers like Amazon and Best Buy.


Binge watch all day with the $40 Roku Streaming Stick

Switch from one program to the next cause that’s how it should be.

The Roku Streaming Stick media streaming device is down to $39.99 on Amazon, and it normally sells for around $49. We used to see these devices drop in price more often, but it has been almost two months since the last deal.

If you want 4K content, Roku’s 4K Streaming Stick Plus is also on sale today for $59. That’s $10 off its street price and a match for the best deal we’ve seen in the last few months as well.

These are Roku’s newest streaming devices, a refresh of previous models. Roku claims the processor in the new stick is 50% faster. The remote is also updated with voice control and a few extra buttons, including power and volume control. Roku supports hundreds of streaming apps, including all your favorites like Netflix and HBO.

It comes with two AAA batteries, but you might consider adding some rechargeable batteries so you can just power them back up and keep on streaming when they get low.

See on Amazon

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