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21
Oct

Samsung CHG90 Ultrawide gaming monitor review



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Samsung CHG90 Ultrawide Monitor

No one buys a 49-inch curved ultrawide monitor because they need one. No. This is about extravagance. This is about luxury. This is about hubris.

If you have a craving for the excessive — or perhaps just a spark of curiosity in your mind about what it might be like to game on the world’s widest ultrawide gaming monitor — the 49-inch Samsung CHG90 must be seen to believed.

You may need a bigger desk

Curved, ultrawide monitors could have been just a fad, but instead they just keep getting larger and more exciting. The CHG90 feels like the pinnacle of that development, stretching out to an ungodly 49-inches wide. It looks like something that belongs on the bridge of the starship Enterprise.

Riley Young/Digital Trends

We had it set up for weeks in the office, yet every day someone new stopped to gawk as they walked by. Who can blame them? It took up nearly the entire width of a desk. The base is large as well, dominating the surface and leaving little room for a keyboard, mouse, or laptop.

What’s the benefit of its size? You can open multiple browser windows, or applications, full screen side-by-side. The experience of using the CHG90 isn’t unlike a dual 27-inch monitor setup — just without the divider in between.

But the CHG90 isn’t merely for productivity, though it’s great at that. This thing is a tried-and-true gaming monitor. As we learned, a screen this large offers big advantages in games. When sitting at the center of the monitor’s curve, your field of vision is closer to that of the natural human eye. It’s not virtual reality, but it’s the next best thing. It looks beautiful and can give you a competitive edge, as you can see an enemy sneaking up beside you in Fortnite or gain a broader view from your sniper’s nest in Battlefield V.

Riley Young/Digital Trends

The 1800R curve matches what you find in monitors like the BenQ EX3501R. It provides just the right viewing angles when you sit right in the center of the monitor, and looks downright futuristic from behind.

The base, stand, and case are all made of plastic, but it’s durable enough hold up the 26 pounds of pixels from falling forward. And while you won’t need to do much swiveling and tilting given this monitor’s size, but Samsung still provides an adequate amount of height, swivel, and tilt adjustment. A comfortable viewing angle is easy to find.

Lacking in USB-C

The ports, pointed down beneath the display, are a bit hard to reach, though they keep your desk looking clean. Connections include USB-A, DisplayPort, mini-DisplayPort, and HDMI. USB-C unfortunately isn’t available. Newer monitors like the Dell UltraSharp 4K 32 provide a simpler single-cable that can power a laptop while also extending the laptop’s screen to the monitor.

Riley Young/Digital Trends

Meanwhile, the menu system is a bit confusing. The three physical buttons provide quick access to some gaming profiles where you can have features like FreeSync, response time, and black levels automatically adjusted. A joystick on the right gives you access to sharpness, contrast, brightness, and volume. It’s not as expansive of options as what you’d find on something like the BenQ EX3501R, but it has the basics covered.

While we prefer intuitive menus, Samsung at least provided quick access to brightness by pressing up or down, and volume by pressing left or right. Don’t forget which is which, though – they aren’t clearly labeled.

Pre-calibration image quality

The CHG90 could have been a gimmick. Fortunately, it has a panel worthy of taking over the entirety of your desk, and we saw that in our imaging tests.

Whether it’s contrast ratio, color accuracy, or color gamut, the CHG90 leads the pack. For gaming-focused monitors, it’s common to see narrow color gamuts or color accuracy in favor or big, splashy features companies can easily market. Instead, Samsung delivers the goods in image quality. Everything it shows looks sensation.

It’s not the brightest monitor in the world, however, peaking at 286 nits. That’s an area where monitors like the BenQ EX3501R or HP Z38c fare a bit better.

After calibrating the screen, we didn’t see a major change in image quality.

There’s a long list of tech that can be packed into a monitor. 4K? HDR? 144Hz refresh rate? G-Sync? Those are all important features that can affect how games feel and play. The CHG90 offers three out of the five: A 144Hz refresh rate, support for HDR, and a one millisecond response time.

It all works to make games look incredible. Battlefield 1, which supports HDR, was a particular highlight, offering an awesome sense of depth and contrast that made the game look similar to a 3D image. While HDR on Windows 10 is still an ugly affair, certain games benefit hugely from it.

Resolution is the monitor’s only weakness. It offers 3,840 x 1,080 which, when spread out across this 49-inch monster, is the same pixel density you’d find on a 27-inch 1080p screen. Individual pixels are noticeable if you look closely, and that can detract from the monitor’s overall beauty. You’ll notice it most in games with high-contrast graphics, or games that don’t have great anti-aliasing options baked in.

Riley Young/Digital Trends

It should also be noted that G-Sync isn’t available on this monitor. It’s a feature made to prevent screen-tearing on Nvidia graphics cards, but it often adds hundreds of dollars to the price tag of a gaming monitor. Because many gamers are willing to pay the extra price, we wish Samsung would provide a G-Sync option. As of now, only AMD cards will benefit from the FreeSync support this monitor includes, and AMD video cards are much less popular among PC gamers.

Post-calibration

Samsung has shipped a solid screen right out of the box, which should please those looking for precise color accuracy. After calibrating the screen, we didn’t see a major change in image quality. Contrast increased ever so slightly, as did color accuracy, but the changes were relatively minor

Samsung CHG90 Ultrawide Monitor Compared To

BenQ EX3200R Gaming Monitor

Samsung CFG70

HP Dreamcolor Z32x

Philips 276E6ADSS LCD monitor

Acer S277HK

Acer XB280HK

Acer B286HK

AOC mySmart A2472PW4T

Dell P2314T

HP 2311gt

Samsung SyncMaster BX2450

Gateway XHD3000

HP w2207

Gateway FPD1930

Samsung Syncmaster 173T

That’s in contrast to displays like the LG Ultrafine 5K or the Dell Ultrasharp UP3218K, where we saw sharp increases in color accuracy after calibration.

Our Take

A thousand bucks is a lot to spend on a monitor but given the other monitors that sell for around the same price, such as the HP Z38c or the LG 38UC99-W, Samsung’s 49-incher feels like a good deal. It’s among the most impressive monitors we’ve ever used.

Is there a better alternative?

Not yet. Samsung’s 49-inch monitor is as large as they come, and with how well they did it, it may be king of the hill for quite some time. There are some great 38-inch monitors out there, though the extra eleven inches puts this in an entirely different category.

Dell recently introduced a similar 49-inch monitor with a better 1440p resolution, though it’s $600 more expensive and isn’t a gaming monitor. It’s also not currently available.

How long will it last?

This 49-inch monitor is fit to sit on your desk for many years. It’s built well and is ahead of its time in terms of size. The monitor comes with a parts and labor warranty that lasts for three years, which is standard for expensive monitors.

Should you buy it?

Yes. If you’re ready to spend a grand on a monitor, why not go big?

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21
Oct

The best lite apps for Android and iOS


For people with limited storage and memory on their smartphones, apps can be a difficult thing to navigate. Many of the most popular apps in the U.S. — Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat — are large downloads and extremely demanding to run. A phone that has 16GB of storage and 1GB or 2GB of RAM will quickly run out of space for new apps (or photos, music etc.) and running those heavy apps will often result in crashes, overheating, and slowdowns.

What’s more, those kinds of apps eat a ton of data, which is not ideal if you’re on a budget, or use your phone as your primary access point to the internet (as is the case for 20 percent of Americans, according to this Pew report). Thankfully, there is an alternative. The majority of the most-used apps on the market offer “lite” versions that reduce the drain on your phone and monthly data allotment. If a lite variant isn’t available, platforms often have Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) which provide basic functionality through a mobile browser. PWAs don’t require a download and are much less processing-intensive. Often, companies cover their bases by making their web app into a lite app, offering identical service on both.

We’ve rounded up a comprehensive list of the best lite apps and PWAs available for major apps on the market today.

Google Maps Go

Maps Go is the light version of Google’s navigation app. Google Maps is the go-to app for navigating across a variety of travel methods, from walking to driving to using public transit, so using a lightweight version can make a big impact on performance and data usage. Unfortunately, this app is only available for Android users, but it is possible to reach a PWA version on iOS through following the link below in the Chrome browser.

Try now for:

Android iOS

Facebook Lite

Facebook is the largest social media platform for mobile users in the U.S. It’s also a hefty and demanding app that requests a lot of data permissions from users (for example, device location) — so it makes sense to get rid of it in favor of a lightweight version. There’s Facebook Lite for Android, but when it comes to iOS, the app is still in testing. For now, those with iPhone devices can just visit the mobile version of the website in their browser of choice.

Try now for:

Android iOS

Spotify Lite

Spotify, the world’s largest music streaming app with over 180 million monthly active users, is still beta testing a 15MB lite version of its approximately 100MB primary Android app. It’s possible to enroll in that beta, but unfortunately, the test is limited at the moment when it comes to regions and compatible devices. Also, reviews so far note that many key features like offline playback are missing, leaving much to be desired. Android users who really want in and are willing to take a risk could try downloading an unofficial (and thus potentially unstable) copy of the app. Below is a link to the official beta Spotify Lite app. As for people on iOS, there is no lite app or PWA available at the moment.

Try now for:

Android

Facebook Messenger Lite

Facebook’s chat tool, Messenger, is massive in its own right with more than 1.3 billion monthly active users. Facebook Messenger Lite strips down the messaging app to the bare essentials, bringing the app size down to 5MB. However, following a common theme, it’s only available for Android. The good news is the lightweight app is in testing. The bad news is, that’s only outside of the U.S. for now. Plus, there doesn’t seem to be a PWA option yet. Looks like those using iPhones will just have to wait a bit longer.

Try now for:

Android

YouTube Go

YouTube Go, the miniature version of Google’s massive social video platform, launched in 2016 and is available in more than 130 countries, though not in any Western markets. The simplified platform offers minimal but effective features. When selecting a video, YouTube Go asks if you would like to download a low-quality version instead, allowing for a bit more control over data usage. Plus, you can send videos to your friends via Bluetooth. If you’re in one of the markets where it does exist and you own an Android phone, you can grab it below. Otherwise, you’re out of luck for now.

Try now for:

Android

Google Go

Google Go is a lighter and faster version of the Chrome browser that promises data savings of up to 40 percent. Weighing in at only 5MB, it also barely takes up any space on your device. For now, this handy tool is only available in emerging markets for Android users — primarily countries in Asia and Africa. Those who are looking for an alternative available in the U.S., have to look no further than the next entry in the list.

Try now for:

Android

Opera Mini

Can’t get your hands on Google Go? Try the Opera browser’s lite offshoot, Opera Mini. This lightweight browser’s main focus is conserving data for the budget-conscious, plus it offers a built-in ad blocker. Other features include a download button for videos — not YouTube videos, unfortunately, but a variety of others — and data tracking in the settings menu.

Try now for:

Android iOS

Gmail Go

Gmail Go launched in February 2018 in emerging markets including India and Indonesia. It takes up only 25MB of storage space, much less than the standard Gmail’s app 47MB. As for features, it offers most of the standard capabilities you’d expect from Gmail, including multiple account support, attachments, and push notifications, while reducing mobile data use. While it syncs fewer days of emails, and things like scrolling are a little choppier in Gmail Go than the full version, it’s a worthwhile trade-off for many users. It’s only available on Android for now.

Try now for:

Android

Skype Lite

Microsoft built the minimal Skype Lite platform specifically for the Indian market, but it’s available in North America as well. The unreleased (read: potentially unstable) Android app offers all the essential Skype features — you can message, make audio and video calls, and use it as a VOIP service. Plus, Skype Lite offers an additional intelligent text filter to help reduce SMS clutter, and a data saver mode for making calls over a cellular network.

Try now for:

Android

Twitter Lite (PWA)

You might end up using Twitter Lite without recognizing it — the PWA is Twitter’s standard mobile web platform, available at mobile.twitter.com. You can also access it by downloading the Twitter Lite app on Android in over 45 markets with heavy mobile usage (including Ghana, Turkey, Ukraine and many more).  The app is designed to load quickly on 2G and 3G networks, offers a data saver mode to download only images and videos you want to see, and only takes up 3MB of space.

Try now for:

Android Mobile

Google Photos (PWA)

Google updated its Photos site in June 2018 to operate as a web app, allowing both Android and iOS users to use a quick-loading version of the service simply by heading to photos.google.com. What’s more, you can add it your home screen on Android by traveling to the app in Chrome, going to the top right menu button and tapping on “Add to Home screen.” The PWA doesn’t have push notifications yet, but you can upload photos, view shared photos, create albums, and do most things you would in the full app.

Try now for:

Mobile

Files Go

Files Go is a storage manager from Google, and it’s particularly useful for those with minimal smartphone storage. It provides recommendations for files to erase, makes it easy to delete collections of data in a single tap, and provides other tools for managing and viewing storage space. It also offers offline file sharing via Bluetooth that’s similar to Apple’s AirDrop functionality. It’s available globally on Android.

Try now for:

Android

Editors’ Recommendations

  • The best Android apps (October 2018)
  • Here are the 20 best travel apps for vacations and trips
  • The best photo-editing apps for Android and iOS
  • The best yoga apps for iPhone and Android
  • The best augmented-reality apps for Android and iOS



21
Oct

How to turn off Safe Mode in Tumblr


Although it’s not as mainstream as Facebook or Twitter, the social network Tumblr is popular — particularly among younger generations — as a place to share and explore artwork, music, and ideas. It’s also a place to find some more … salacious material. The seedy underbelly of Tumblr is home to various blogs and pieces of art that could be called “adult,” and while Tumblr has gained a lot of notoriety for its adult content, new users won’t necessarily find it right off the bat. If you’ve recently created a Tumblr account, your account will, by default, have “Safe Search” turned on, keeping innocent eyes away from naughty blogs.

Further reading


How to get followers on Tumblr


Best free blogging websites

If you’re an adult who wants the pure, uncut Tumblr experience — or maybe you just have an uncontrollable lust for Bowsette fan art — you can take the training wheels off and ride into a world of forbidden delights. Here’s how to turn off Safe Search in Tumblr.

Disabling Safe Search in your browser

If you typically view Tumblr in your desktop browser, pull up the site and log in as you normally would.

Step 1: Once logged in, click the icon that resembles a person in the upper-right corner of your dashboard.

Step 2: From the drop-down menu, click Settings.

Step 3: Look for the field marked Filtering, with a button next to it labeled Safe Search. Click this button to disable Safe Search.

Disabling Safe Search on your mobile device

If you prefer to browse Tumblr using your mobile device, the process for disabling Safe Search is just as simple.

Step 1: Launch the Tumblr app as you would normally.

Step 2: Select the humanoid icon in the bottom-right corner.

Step 3: Tap the gear icon in the upper-right corner to access the Accounts menu.

Step 4: Select General Settings at the top of the resulting menu.

Step 5: Scroll down to Filtering, and tap it.

Step 6: You should now see a field labeled Safe Mode. If the button beside it is blue, that means Safe Mode is currently enabled. Tap the button to disable the feature.

That’s it! You should now be free to explore the strange, sometimes titillating world of NSFW Tumblr. Beware, however! Wandering through the dark, cavernous netherworld of NSFW Tumblr, you may see things that you can never erase from your mind. Proceed at your own risk.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • How to get followers on Tumblr
  • How to clear cookies
  • New to Snapchat? Follow our guide and go from newbie to pro
  • How to delete a Netflix profile from your account
  • How to change your Twitter username and display name



21
Oct

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 vs. Surface Pro 6


Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

If you’re looking for a premium Windows 2-in-1, both the Surface Pro 6 and the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 might be appealing for you.

Each of these devices shares a similar form factor and design, but be it LTE connectivity or difference in pricing there are disadvantages and advantages to both. In this comparison, we’re stacking the two against each other to help you choose the one that is best for your money.

Design

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Surface Pro 6 and the Galaxy Book 2 both share a few design elements, most notably the kickstand, weight, and dimensions. Both feel premium to hold, but Surface Pro 6 is made of magnesium, whereas the Galaxy Book 2 is made of aluminum. The difference in materials makes for subtle differences in how it looks too. The magnesium on the Surface Pro 6 means for more dull and rough edges, whereas the aluminum on the Galaxy Book 2 makes for shiny edges that make the device pop. The kickstand is also the same between the two, sturdy enough to make typing comfortable.

As for the displays, it is hard to beat Samsung’s Super AMOLED panel. The Surface Pro 6 comes in with a 12.3-inch display with 2,736 x 1,824 resolution and 267 pixels per inch. On the Galaxy Book 2, the display is smaller at 12 inches, but with a resolution of 2,160 x 1,440 or 216 pixels per inch. Samsung might be packing fewer pixels per inch, but the Super AMOLED panel makes for vibrant and bright images. We won’t know for sure until we properly test the display, but these are two very high-quality panels.

Just like the display, the keyboards also make a difference between the models. The keyboard on the Surface Pro 6 is great, with no cramps to deal with when typing. However, it is not included in the $900 pricing. With the Galaxy Book 2, both the keyboard and pen are included in the $1000 price, ensuring that you’ll get the most out of Windows 10 without any extra purchases. We found the typing experience on the Galaxy Book 2 keyboard feels equal to the Surface Pro 6, providing solid room for travel when speed typing.

Performance

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The big catch between the Surface Pro 6 and the Galaxy Book 2 is the processors, configurations, and connectivity. The Samsung Galaxy Book 2 starts at $1,000 and sports 4GB RAM, a 128GB SSD, and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 processor. On the other hand, the Surface Pro 6 comes with options for a quad-core 8th-gen Intel Core i5 processor an Intel Core i7 processor with 8GB or 16GB RAM, or 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of storage. The base-level $900 Surface Pro 6 comes with the Core i5-8250U processor, which we found was good enough for running more intense software.

For the Surface Pro 6, you’re getting a much more powerful processor, for tasks like photo and video editing, The Galaxy Book 2’s Qualcomm processor, on the other hand, has less horsepower. Though we haven’t yet fully benchmarked the device, we’d be surprised to find it as powerful as the Core i5. Not to mention that the Galaxy Book 2 ships with Windows 10 Home in S mode, so you’ll initially be limited to just apps in the Windows Store. Switching to regular Windows 10 is free, but with a lot of the Qualcomm drivers being proprietary, there might be performance issues.

However, what the Galaxy Book 2 might lack in performance, it leaps ahead in terms of connectivity. The Snapdragon 850 provides the device with LTE, which means it’s always being connected to the internet. On top of that, it also has two USB-C ports, which the Surface Pro 6 lacks.

Portability

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Samsung Galaxy Book 2 comes in at 0.30 inches thick and 1.75 pounds in weight. That is roughly the same as the Surface Pro 6 which comes in at 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches and 1.70 pounds. The weight is pretty common on these devices, as is the thickness. Neither is as light as an iPad Pro, but both are still comfortable to hold as a tablet and easy to throw in a bag and travel with.

We’re also going to warn about battery life here, as the differences are significant. In our testing with the Surface Pro 6, we got to about 9.5 hours of web browsing and 14 hours of watching videos. Samsung talks up a big 20-hour battery life for the Galaxy Book 2, but we haven’t tested that as yet. In our initial hands-on time with the device, we were given a unit with a 67 percent charge, and it held up for a full hour and a half of web browsing. The Qualcomm processor on board is similar to what is found in phones, so it should provide better standby time and longer battery when on the road.

Go for power and buy the Surface Pro 6

Dan Baker/Digital Trends

There’s still more to know about the Galaxy Book 2. We haven’t yet tested important metrics such as the battery life, processor performance, and display quality. But for now, it’s not hard to see where the device pulls ahead of the Surface Pro 6. The built-in LTE connection and bundled-in accessories make it a more versatile device right when you pull it out of the box.

However, the Surface Pro 6 offers up more powerful specs for not too much more money. For those looking for a proper laptop replacement, it is the more capable PC.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Surface Pro 6 vs. Surface Go
  • Surface Pro 6 vs. Surface Pro 5
  • Surface Go vs. Surface Pro
  • Surface Pro 6 vs. iPad Pro
  • Google Pixel Slate vs. Microsoft Surface Pro 6



21
Oct

How to take great photos with the iPhone XS, Apple’s finest camera phone yet


Andy Boxall/DigitalTrends

Your iPhone takes great pictures, almost regardless of the one you have in your pocket right now. If you’re fortunate enough to have the new iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max, then both represent the pinnacle of Apple’s camera technology, and you’re assured of excellent performance.

We’ve been using the iPhone XS Max since it launched, and we adore the photos it takes. However, as with all smartphones, it’s important to know how to get the best from them before heading out to take pictures.

Here’s our hands-on guide to getting the best from your iPhone XS camera.

Camera specs

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Worried the iPhone XS Max may take better photos than the iPhone XS, or vice versa? Don’t be, because they both have exactly the same camera on the back. What applies to one, applies to the other.

What do you get? A dual-lens 12-megapixel camera made up of a main wide-angle lens with an f/1.8 aperture, and a second telephoto lens with an f/2.4 aperture. The sensor is larger than the one used for the iPhone X, measuring 1.4nm. This provides a 2x optical zoom, and has dual optical image stabilization, a Smart HDR feature, and a portrait mode. It will also record video at up to 4K resolution and 60fps, in stereo. The front camera has 7 megapixels and an f/2.2 aperture, 1080p video recording at up to 60fps, and it also offers a portrait mode, although here it’s purely software driven.

Getting started

You know where the camera icon is on the iPhone’s homepage, but do you know the various ways to quickly access the camera from the lock screen? There are two. The first is to simply slide your finger from the right to the left of the lock screen, and the camera viewfinder automatically appears. Alternatively, one of the two shortcut buttons Apple places on the lock screen — it’s the one on the right — opens the camera app straight away. We like this method, as it has a pleasing amount of haptic feedback when you press the button.

There are two ways to actually take a photo, too. The shutter release button is obvious, but you can also use the volume up key on the side of the device to snap a photo.

The camera app

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The iPhone’s standard camera app is one of the easiest to use, and one that doesn’t get bogged down with many features you will never use. All the modes are spread across the screen under the viewfinder window, and you swipe left or right to select them. Flip to the front camera using the button in the bottom right of the screen, which is opposite a shortcut to the Gallery. Along the top, there are two options you should pay attention to: Filters and Live Photo. Tap Live Photo to shoot a short, animated GIF-style picture, or tap the Filter button — the far right button — to show real-time filters.

Smart HDR

This is one of the new technologies introduced by Apple for the iPhone XS range. It makes use of software, a new image signal processor (ISP), the A12 Bionic chip and its Neural engine, along with the various camera sensors inside the phone. Like all the best tech, it’s “silent,” in that you don’t really need to do anything to see the benefits.

Initially, you should make sure Smart HDR is active. Go to Settings, Camera, and then look for the toggle next to the Smart HDR option. Make sure it’s active. While you’re there, if you switch Keep Normal Photo on, then both a regular and a Smart HDR image will be saved to your camera roll. It’ll take up more storage space, but you’ll be able to see the differences between the two shots. Remember, the Smart HDR version may not always be the best.

Andy Boxall/DigitalTrends

What is Smart HDR? It’s an evolution of the iPhone’s old HDR mode, but here it combines nine photos taken in succession at different exposures, then using hardware and software wizardry, it analyses them, takes the best parts of each, and then puts them all together to create a single image. HDR brings out more detail, avoids nasty shadows, and balances highlights. The clever part is, even though it shoots multiple images, you will never notice any lag or time delay taking your photo.

It’s worth noting that when Smart HDR is active, Apple tends to use it to some degree in every photo the phone takes. If you save a normal photo too, you will see the difference it makes more clearly. If you don’t, the HDR badge above the photo in the Gallery may not show unless the HDR effect is at maximum. We suggest leaving it on and letting the camera do its stuff. The difference it makes is considerable.

Depth of field, or adjust that blur

Portrait mode has been improved on the iPhone XS and XS Max, bringing an adjustable depth of field that was never available before on the iPhone. While we have seen the feature on other devices that can generate a bokeh effect, it’s the first time Apple has given us control over the final photo, and the good news is that it’s also available in both the front and the back camera.

Andy Boxall/DigitalTrends

It’s very easy to use. Open the camera and select Portrait mode from the options running beneath the viewfinder. Next, point the camera at a person, or an object, and tap on it in the viewfinder to focus. This step isn’t always necessary, but it does help ensure you get the photo you’re after. We’ve found the image you see at this stage, isn’t always exactly representative of the final product, which is a software problem that may be fixed in later versions. Just make sure you take the photo and check it in the gallery regardless of how it first looks on screen.

Take your picture, and view it in the Gallery app. Tap Edit in the top right of the screen, and look for a sliding scale along the bottom labeled Depth. Swipe left or right on this scale to change the aperture, which increases or decreases the amount of background blur. You can scale between f/1.4 and f/16. The iPhone denotes the aperture it took the photo at with a small dot above the relevant point on the scale.

Andy Boxall/DigitalTrends

It’s the same process when you take a photo with the selfie camera. Additionally, when editing, you can also select one of Apple’s Portrait Lighting modes. There are five available, and they can produce great effects, depending on your subject and how well the phone has picked out the edges. As with all editing, you may decide the original is best but it’s fun to play around.

Live Photo effects

Introduced in iOS 11, these fun effects are a little hidden away, so although they’re not new, it’s worth pointing them out, especially if you’re a newcomer to iOS and the iPhone. Activate Live Photo using the circular button along the top of the screen in the camera app. It’s second from the left.

Andy Boxall/DigitalTrends

When you’ve taken your Live Photo, head over to the Gallery and select it. Next, swipe up on the photo — which will be labeled Live in the top left corner — to reveal three alternative styles: Loop, Bounce, and Long Exposure. Tap to select, and see how it changes your Live Photo. You can also edit them in the usual way, including removing the audio, and adding a filter.

Stereo video recording

Photography isn’t the phone’s only strong point. Video is great, too. The iPhone XS and XS Max have four microphones and these can be used to record stereo audio in video and it can be played back on the device’s own stereo speakers. This all happens automatically provided you ensure one setting is correct. Go to Settings, Camera, and provided the Record Stereo Sound option is switched on, you’re good to go.

Now that you’re prepared, go out and shoot awesome pictures with your iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • iPhone XS Max review
  • Apple iPhone XS vs. iPhone XS Max vs. iPhone XR
  • How to buy the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR in the U.K.
  • Master your iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max with our favorite tips and tricks
  • iPhone XS review



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