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Posts from the ‘Comparison’ Category

28
Oct

The 13-inch MacBook Pro vs. the competition: Small but effective


It’s been a while since we’ve seen a revamp of the MacBook Pro, and this year’s models are definitely a big change thanks to the new OLED touch bar. Meanwhile, rival companies have been busy releasing machines that are increasingly more powerful, slimmer and even a bit sexy. We’ve highlighted some of the more outstanding small and light machines on the market here to see which slim chassis brings the most thunder under the hood.

Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch
Surface Book i7
Dell XPS 13
HP Spectre 13.3
Price
$1,499 / $1,799 / $1,999
$2,399 / $2,799 / $3,299
$800 / $1,000 / $1,150 / $1,300 / $1,400 / $1,650 / $1,850
$1,100 / $1,170
Dimensions
11.97 x 8.36 x 0.59 (304.1 x 212.4 x 14.9 mm)
12.30 x 9.14 x 0.90 inches (312.3 x 232.1 x 22.8 mm)
11.98 x 7.88 x 0.33 inches (304 x 235 x 15 mm)
12.8 x 9.03 x 0.41 inches (325.12 x 229.36 x 10.41 mm)
Weight
3.02 pounds (1.37 kg)
3.63 pounds (1.65 kg)
2.7 (non-touch) or 2.9 (touch) pounds (1.2 or 1.29 kg)
2.45 pounds (1.11 kg)
OS
macOS Sierra
Windows 10
Windows 10
Windows 10
Display
13.3-inch IPS LED
Touch Bar with integrated Touch ID
13.5-inch PixelSense touch
13.3-inch InfinityEdge touch or non-touch
13.3-inch BrightView LED / IPS LED
Resolution
2,560 x 1,600 (227 ppi)
3,000 x 2,000 (267 ppi)
1,920 x 1,080 (166 ppi) / 3,200 x 1,800 (276 ppi)
1,920 x 1,080 (166 ppi)
Processor
Intel Core i5 (2.0 GHz) / Core i5 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Core i7
Intel Core i3 (2.4 GHz) / Core i5 (3.1 GHz) / Core i7 (3.5 GHz)
Intel Core i5 (2.5 GHz) / Core i7 (2.7 GHz)
Memory
8 GB
8 / 16 GB
4 / 8 / 16 GB
8 GB
Graphics
Intel Iris Graphics 540 / 550
NIVDIA GeForce GTX 965M
Intel HD Graphics 620
Intel HD Graphics 620
Storage
256 / 512 GB
256 / 512 GB / 1 TB
128 / 256 / 512 GB
256 GB
Ports
Thunderbolt 3 (x2) / Thunderbolt 3 (x4)
USB 3.0 (x2), Mini DisplayPort, SD card reader
USB 3.0 (x2), Thunderbolt 3, SD card reader
USB Type-C (x3)
Wireless
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
Battery
54.5 WHr, 10 hours / 49.2 WHr, 10 hours
16 hours
60 WHr, 18 hours
38 WHr, 9.75 hours

* Specs listed are for default configurations and do not include upgrade options available at checkout.

Click here to catch all the latest news from Apple’s “Hello again” event.

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28
Oct

The 15-inch MacBook Pro vs. the competition: More than touch


The larger MacBook Pros have always been about getting serious work done, and now you might be able to do even more thanks to the new Touch Bar. But there are plenty of other 15-inch machines to choose from — they may not have an OLED touch strip, but keeping features like USB 3.0 ports and an SD card reader can make a big difference in your routine. We’ve put some current mid-size laptops toe-to-toe with the new 15-inch MacBook Pro to see which one is best equipped to tackle your day.

Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch
Dell XPS 15
HP Envy 15
Samsung Notebook 9 Pro
Price
$2,399 / $2,799
$1,000 / $1,200 / $1,400 / $1,650 / $1,850 / $2,550
$920 / $1,050
$1,400
Dimensions
13.75 x 9.48 x 0.61 inches (349.3 x 240.7 x 15.5 mm)
14.06 x 9.27 x 0.66 inches (357 x 235 x 17 mm)
14.96 x 10.04 x 0.71 inches (379.98 x 255 x 18 mm)
14.72 x 9.83 x 0.70 inches (373.89 x 249.68 x 17.78 mm)
Weight
4.02 pounds (1.83 kg)
3.9 (non-touch) or 4.4 (touch) pounds (1.78 or 2 kg)
4.3 pounds (1.95 kg)
4.45 pounds (2.02 kg)
OS
macOS Sierra
Windows 10
Windows 10
Windows 10
Display
15.4-inch IPS LED
15.6-inch InfinityEdge touch or non-touch
15.6-inch IPS touch / IPS LED non-touch
15.6-inch LED touch
Resolution
2,880 x 1,800 (220 ppi)
1,980 x 1,080 (141 ppi) / 3,840 x 2,160 (282 ppi)
3,840 x 2,160 (282 ppi)
3,840 x 2,160 (282 ppi)
Processor
Intel Core i7 (2.6 GHz) / Core i7 (2.7 GHz)
Intel Core i3 (2.7 GHz) / Core i5 (3.2 GHz) / Core i7 (3.5 GHz)
Intel Core i7 (2.7 GHz) / Core i7 (2.2 GHz) / Core i7 (2.5 GHz)
Intel Core i7 (2.6 GHz)
Memory
16 GB
16 / 32 GB
12 / 16 GB
8 GB
Graphics
Radeon Pro 450, Intel HD Graphics 530 / Radeon Pro 455, Intel HD Graphics 530
Intel HD Graphics 530 / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
Intel HD Graphics 620 / Iris Graphics 540 / HD Graphics 520
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
Storage
256 / 512 GB SSD
HDD (+32 GB SSD): 500 GB / 1 TB
SSD: 256 / 512 GB / 1 TB
1 TB (5,400 rpm) + 128 GB SSD / 512 GB SSD
256 GB SSD
Ports
Thunderbolt 3 (x4)
USB 3.0 (x2), Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, SD card reader
USB 3.1 (x3), USB Type-C, HDMI, SD card reader
USB 3.0 (x3), USB Type-C, SD card reader
Wireless
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1
Battery
76 WHr, 10 hours
56 / 84 WHr
52 WHr, 7 hours
57 WHr, 6.5 hours

* Specs listed are for default configurations and do not include upgrade options available at checkout.

Click here to catch all the latest news from Apple’s “Hello again” event.

26
Oct

Surface Studio vs. the competition: Beauty isn’t skin deep


Over the past few years we’ve seen Microsoft take on the world of tablets with the Surface and, for those who prefer something more on the laptop side, the Surface Pro and Surface Book. But it hasn’t truly tackled desktops until today’s announcement of the all-in-one Surface Studio. As cool as features like the zero-gravity hinge might be, the Studio will be facing off against established lines like the iMac. We’ve assembled the specs of some of the leading 27-inch machines on the market and matched them up against the 28-inch Studio to see which is worthy of sitting on your desk.

Microsoft Surface Studio
Apple iMac
HP Envy 27
Dell XPS 27
Price
$2,999 / $3,499 / $4,199
$1,799 / $1,999 / $2,299
$1,300 / $1,500 / $1,700
$1,550 / $1,650 / $1,850 / $2,300
Dimensions
25.09 x 17.27 x 1.26 inches (63.73 x 43.89 x 3.22 cm)
25.6 x 20.3 x 8 inches (65 x 51.6 x 20.3 cm)
25.7 x 19.3 x 7.95 inches (65.28 x 49.02 x 20.19 cm)
26.14 x 19.32 x 9.44 inches (66.4 x 49.22 x 24 cm)
Weight
21.07 pounds (9.56 kg)
21 pounds (9.54 kg)
24.25 pounds (11 kg)
35.3 pounds (16 kg)
OS
Windows 10
OS X Sierra
Windows 10
Windows 10
Display
28-inch PixelSense touch
27-inch Retina 5K
27-inch LED touch or non-touch
27-inch IPS LED touch
Resolution
4,500 x 3,000 (192 ppi)
5,120 x 2,880 (218 ppi)
2,560 x 1,440 (109 ppi)
2,560 x 1,440 (109 ppi)
Processor
Intel Core i5 / Core i7
Intel Core i5 (3.2 / 3.3 GHz)
Intel Core i5 (2.2 Ghz) / Core i7 (2.8 Ghz)
Intel Core i5 (3.4 GHz) / Intel Core i7 (4 GHz)
Memory
8 / 16 / 32GB
8GB
8 / 12 / 16GB
8GB
Graphics
NVIDIA GTX 965M / 980M
AMD Radeon R9 M380 / M390 / M395
Integrated / GeForce GTX 950
Intel HD Graphics / NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
Storage
1 / 2TB hybrid drive
1TB HDD (7200 rpm) / 1TB Fusion Drive / 2TB Fusion Drive
1TB (5400 / 7200 rpm)
1TB (7200 rpm)
Ports
USB 3.0 (x3), Mini Displayport, SD card reader
USB 3.0 (x4), Thunderbolt 2 (x2), gigabit ethernet, SDXC card reader
USB 3.0 (x4), gigabit ethernet, 3-in-1 card reader
USB 3.0 (x6), HDMI, gigabit ethernet, 8-in-1 card reader
Wireless
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0

* Specs listed are standard configurations and don’t include upgrade options available at checkout. Width dimensions include the base.

Click here to catch all the latest news from Microsoft’s big Surface event.

6
Oct

Google Pixel XL vs Samsung Galaxy Note 7 first look


Google has taken the wraps off the Pixel XL, their new flagship handset, so it is only natural to compare it to one of our all-time favorite series. In this post we are putting the new Google Pixel XL right up against the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Shall we get started?

Right off the bat you can tell these are two very different smartphones. The Google Pixel XL brings forth a style we have grown very used to in the industry. It has a metal design and a sleek body that has become a standard in the high-end market. Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 sports the same metal edge and glass front and back currently recognizable in all the latest Samsung handsets.

But that is all looks, right? Which one looks and feels best is a matter of preference. What we can tell you more about is resistance. The Google Pixel XL rocks an IP53 rating, which makes it dust and splash resistant. Meanwhile, Samsung goes all out with an IP68 rating – it is dust tight and can be immersed in water up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes.
samsung galaxy note 7 aa autom3otices ryan vergara (23 of 23)

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 also has that now-iconic curve along the edges of the front. This doesn’t do too much in terms of functionality, but it does make the phone feel thinner and more comfortable in the hand. The Google Pixel XL is also a beauty to hold, though. It’s just a matter of whether you like metal or glass better. What we can say is that the Google Pixel XL feels very solid. It is manufactured by HTC, after all. Samsung phones do tend to feel a little more fragile.

google pixel xl vs galaxy note 7 quick look aa-4

In terms of color choices both handsets have a few, but the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will grant more options. Sammy’s handset comes in Silver, Gold Platinum, Blue Coral, Black Onyx. Meanwhile, Google’s new phone has three variants: Very Silver, Quite Black and Really Blue (yes, that’s what they are calling these colors).

USB Type-C continues to become the standard and now we can see both handset featuring the new port. It can still be hard to adapt to it, due to lack of adoption, but it is the future and does provide certain improvements. A reversible connector, faster transfer speeds and better compatibility are only a few examples.

google pixel xl vs galaxy note 7 quick look aa-2

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 comes with a slightly larger screen, but the quality turns out to be nearly as good in both cases. Google’s Pixel XL features a 5.5-inch AMOLED display with a 2560×1440 resolution, while Samsung’s phablet touts a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED panel with the same definition.

High-end specs can only get so good nowadays, and both phones are nearing the current threshold.

In terms of performance we should see nearly identical results. High-end specs can only get so good nowadays, and both phones are nearing the current threshold. The Pixel features a powerful Snapdragon 821 processor with 4 GB of RAM, and the Note 7 is not far behind with its Exynos 8890. But when it comes to internal storage the Google Pixel XL has the upper hand, as it comes in variations of 32 and 128 GB. The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is limited to a single 64 GB version.

Things change once we start considering external memory, though. Google has built no expandable storage support into the new Pixel phones, and Samsung’s device can take microSD cards.
google pixel xl vs galaxy note 7 quick look aa-5

Battery life should also be pretty similar, as both phones feature nearly identical specs. The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 does have a bigger 3,500 mAh battery, but it only beats the Pixel XL by 50 mAh. The Galaxy Note 7 does win this round too, though, as it has better options for charging. Both come with fast-charging capabilities, but this time around Google is doing away with wireless charging, something many of us consider disappointing.

Shall we talk security? These handsets have great fingerprint readers with super fast recognition, but Samsung is bringing something interesting to the table – an iris scanner, which uses a dedicated camera near the selfie cam to search for a registered set of eyes to unlock the phone.
google pixel xl vs galaxy note 7 quick look aa-6

At first sight it may seem like these cameras are very similar, but there are a few key differences to be noted. The 12.3 MP Pixel XL camera has no OIS, but does promise large pixels (better light intake), super fast laser auto-focus, an f/2.0 aperture, slow motion and 4K video capture.

google pixel and pixel xl first look hands on aa-42See also: Shootout: How good is the new Pixel XL camera?54

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 doesn’t fall behind, though, and some may say it is better. Its 12 MP sensor does have a better f/1.7 aperture, optical image stabilization and a dual pixel set-up for improved light intake. You can be sure we will be testing sample photos further. For now we really can’t pass judgement on which is better.

google pixel xl vs galaxy note 7 quick look aa-3

Overall, the user experience of these phones will predicate on Android and multitasking preferences. The Note 7 has a myriad of features to boast, including all of the different methods of multitasking that include the Multi Window and the Pop-Up View – and, of course, the S Pen brings its own very long list of features to the fold. Sharing is easier than ever in the Note, with tools like Screen Write, the Notes application that consolidates pretty much all ways of working with digital notes, and the Smart Select that now has a tool for recording 15 second GIFs of (almost) anything that is going on in the given frame. And for the users who need a constant reminder of any piece of information, the Screen Off Memo can pin notes to the Always on Display so that it is constantly within view.

Also read: 

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review
  • Google Pixel and Pixel XL hands-on
  • Google Pixel and Pixel XL vs the competition

The Google Pixel XL is limited by what the vanilla Android experience has to offer. It is a better option for those who prefer a cleaner experience with no bells and whistles, but we also can’t deny Samsung’s improvements have proven to be very convenient to many of you. One thing is for sure, the UI on Google’s software will be easier on the eyes and much more simplified.

The huge benefit Pixel users get is the promise of quick Android updates. Remember this is the replacement to the Nexus brand, which promises to keep you on the bleeding edge of Android software. And I must say, Android Nougat is so far quite delightful, bringing a lot of refinements to what we are used to in Marshmallow, including better ways of handling tasks and notifications as well as a bit more eye candy to please the design-minded.

The Pixel XL also packs a couple of features that are going to stay exclusive to it: the most important is Google Assistant, the greatly improved replacement to Google Now. But you also get unlimited original format photo and video storage, an integrated support app, and a customized launcher you won’t see on other devices.

google pixel xl vs galaxy note 7 quick look aa-9

Now, let’s talk money. The Google Pixel XL starts from $769, which is expensive, but then the Note 7 is even more pricey, costing as much as $900 at US carriers.

google pixel and pixel xl first look hands on aa-38See also: Here’s where you can buy a Google Pixel in the US18

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 does show some advantages, mainly in software optimization, an iris scanner, S-Pen features and certain camera specs, but the Google Pixel XL offers performance, a clean software, Google Assistant, a metal construction and timely updates for what could be a slightly lower price point. Android purists will definitely choose Google’s phone any day.

But tell us what you think! Which phone will you go for?

6
Oct

Google Pixel XL vs Nexus 6P first look


Google has now taken the wraps off the Pixel XL, leaving behind the Nexus family in favor of a new direction that sees Google more directly compete against Samsung and Apple in the smartphone hardware game. The new Pixel XL brings a lot to the table, but how does it compare to its predecessor?

Let’s take a look as we put the the Pixel XL up against the Huawei-built Nexus 6P in this quick comparison.

Aesthetically speaking, the Pixel XL and Nexus 6P have little in common in common, other than perhaps the use of metallic unibody designs and the circular fingerprint scanner found on the rear.

The Google Pixel XL offers up a unibody metal design that features a unique area of glass of the rear that starts around the fingerprint reader and stretches to the top. A subtle “G” can be found at the bottom, with no oversized logos or markings in sight. The front of the phone is completely devoid of buttons, with just a single speaker at the top middle, a sensor below, and the front-facing camera found to the left. Below the display is a pretty sizable chin, where honestly we would have liked to have seen a secondary speaker.

thumb google pixel and pixel xl hands on aaSee also: Google Pixel and Pixel XL hands on34

Turning to the Nexus 6P, the Nexus is a bit larger and heavier than the Pixel XL, but it is a bit slimmer for what it is worth. Just like the Pixel, the phone is a unibody metallic device, but instead of the partially glass back, the 6P instead offers a unique camera “wedge.” Otherwise, the back is pretty plain with simple Nexus branding and a circular fingerprint scanner in the middle. One area that the Nexus 6P stands triumphantly over the Pixel is the front-side, thanks to its dual speaker configuration.

At the end of the day, both phones take an otherwise ordinary metallic design and add a little extra flair. With the 6P, it’s the camera bump. With the Pixel, it’s a half-glass backing. We suspect the Pixel’s design will be met with split reception, similar to the 6P before it, but really it comes down to personal preference as to which design is more appealing.

google pixel xl vs nexus 6p quick look aa-4

Both the Pixel XL and Nexus 6P offer QHD AMOLED displays, though this time around Google has shrunk the size down to 5.5-inches from the 5.7-inch size of the 6P. The smaller size means the Pixel XL will have slightly higher PPI, but overall you’re looking at pretty similar viewing experiences with all the characteristics you’d expect from an AMOLED panel.

google pixel xl vs nexus 6p quick look aa-3

Performance favors the newer phone, which is expected. The Pixel XL features the brand new Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, paired with 4GB RAM. Of course, the Nexus 6P is no slouch with its Snapdragon 810 and 3GB RAM, either. Though the processing package isn’t the latest or greatest anymore, it is more than capable of providing a great Android experience.

If you’re looking for plenty of storage options, the Pixel XL will probably disappoint a little, as your choices are between either 32GB or 128GB. In contrast, the 6P offered 32, 64, and 128GB configurations. Neither phone offers expandable memory, but that’s pretty much expected from Google. It is worth noting that the Pixel XL does include free unlimited storage of videos and pictures at full resolution.

Battery life will likely be fairly similar between these two phones, with both offering 3450mAh battery configurations. Both phones also feature quick charging and USB type-C. Whether the Snapdragon 821 offers any noticeable battery optimizations over the Snapdragon 810 remains unseen, but we’ll be sure to put the phone through its paces once we get our review unit.

google pixel and pixel xl first look hands on together aa-6

The Nexus 6P completely raised the bar on what to expect from the Nexus family in terms of camera performance. Offering less megapixels in favor of larger ones, the 6P offered a 12MP shooter with f/2.0 aperture that prioritized low light performance. The end result was a pretty solid camera overall.

google pixel and pixel xl first look hands on aa-42See also: Shootout: How good is the new Pixel XL camera?50

A similar story plays out with the Pixel XL, which features a 12.MP shooter with f/2.0 aperture and 1.55 μm sized pixels. On paper, this is a very similar configuration to the 6P. While we won’t be able to definitively say how the cameras compare until we’ve done a full review, it is worth noting that DxOmark has rated the Pixel XL with an 89 — beating out the Nexus 6P, Galaxy S7, and the iPhone 7 and receiving the highest mark from the company to date.

google pixel xl vs nexus 6p quick look aa-5

Like the Nexus 6P, at the heart of the Pixel XL is a stock Android experience. That said, Google has been less shy about adding on special features this time around. Out of the box the Pixel XL features Android 7.1 Nougat with the new Pixel launcher preloaded. Swiping up from the dock brings up the app drawer and circles are more the motif for this launcher. Another Google G is in plain view at the top, opening up a familiar Google Now search bar.

But the real star of the show is Google Assistant, now baked right into the OS. Previously found within the Allo application, the latest iteration offers a greatly improved experience over what you’d find with Google Now. Asking it contextual questions yields clear, accurate answers. For example, I asked Assistant to play me wrestler TJ Perkins’ entrance from WWE. Once I said the request, Youtube appeared and played the video in question.

The fast, fluid stock experience is alive and well on the Nexus 6P as well, with Android 7.0 Nougat currently being the latest version on offer. While the experience is largely identical, Pixel Launcher and the baked in Google Assistant are not part of the formula here. While it’s possible these new features will come to the Nexus family in some form down the road, for now these special extras remain something you’ll only be able to experience with a Pixel.

google pixel xl vs nexus 6p quick look aa-6

In many ways, the Pixel XL and Nexus 6P share a lot of the same DNA, despite offering different looks and different overall approaches. After all, they both run mostly stock Android software and have been built with Google’s influence. Still, the Pixel represents a big leap forward with Google not just influencing the software and hardware, but instead fully controlling it.

Pricing is another area where the two phones greatly differ. While the Nexus 6P could be had for just $399, the Google Pixel XL’s premium specs and features start at $769. It remains a matter of debate whether the Pixel XL offers enough improvements to justify that price hike, but it’s clear that Google wants to send a very different message with the Pixel family than it did with the Nexus line before it.

google pixel and pixel xl first look hands on aa-42See also: Google Pixel & Pixel XL vs the competition101

The Pixel XL is an evolution of the Nexus formula, a device where Google doesn’t just control the software experience, but has equal power over the hardware. For Google fans looking for a phone built from the ground up with Google’s intentions and full blessing, it doesn’t get any better than that.

5
Oct

The Google Pixel vs. the competition: Ready to rumble


We may be saying goodbye to the Nexus name, but we’re not saying goodbye to the things we’ve come to expect from Google’s premiere phones. The new Pixel still offers everything you’d expect in a flagship, including a highly-rated camera, a fingerprint sensor and the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack. But, with so many current phones offering similar chipsets, features like Google Assistant could make all the difference. We’ll take a closer look at some of the bells and whistles in our eventual review, but for now there are specs to chew over. Check out the table below to see how the Pixel measures up on paper to some of its leading competition.

Pixel
iPhone 7
Galaxy S7
LG G5
HTC 10
Pricing
$649, $749 (off-contract)
$649, $749, $849 (off-contract)
varies by carrier, starts at $650 off-contract
varies by carrier on contract; $650 off-contract
$699 (off-contract)
Known dimensions
143.84 x 69.54 x 7.31mm (5.66 x 2.74 x 0.29 inches)
138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm (5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 inches)
142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9mm (5.61 x 2.74 x 0.31 inches)
149.4 x 73.9 x 7.3mm (5.88 x 2.91 x 0.29 inches)
145.9 x 71.9 x 3.0-9.0mm (5.74 x 2.83 x 0.12-0.35 inches)
Weight
143g (5.04 ounces)
138g (4.87 ounces)
152g (5.36 ounces)
159g (5.61 ounces)
161g (5.68 ounces)
Screen size
5.0 inches (127mm)
4.7 inches (119.38mm)
5.1 inches (129.2mm)
5.3 inches (134.62mm)
5.2 inches (132.08mm)
Screen resolution
1,920 x 1,080 (441 ppi)
1,334 x 750 (326 ppi)
2,560 x 1,440 (577 ppi)
2,560 x 1,440 (554 ppi)
2,560 x 1,440 (564 ppi)
Screen type
Full HD AMOLED
Retina HD
Quad HD Super AMOLED
Quad HD IPS LCD Quantum
Quad HD Super LCD 5
Battery
2,770mAh
1,960mAh
3,000mAh
2,800mAh
3,000mAh
Internal storage
32/128GB
32/128/256GB
32GB
32GB
32GB
External storage
None
None
microSD
microSD
microSD
Rear camera
12.3MP, f/2.0, 1.55µm pixel size
12MP, f/1.8
12MP, f/1.7, 1.4µm pixel size
16MP, f/1.8, 1.12µm pixel size
12MP, f/1.8, 1.55µm pixel size
Front-facing cam
8MP, f/2.4, 1.4µm pixel size
7MP, f/2.2
5MP
8MP
5MP, f/1.8, 1.34µm pixel size
Video capture
4K at 30fps
4K at 30fps
4K at 30fps
4K
4K
NFC
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Bluetooth
v4.2
v4.2
v4.2
v4.2
v4.2
SoC
Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
Apple A10 Fusion
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
CPU
2.15GHz quad-core
2.23GHz dual-core
2.15GHz quad-core
2.15GHz quad-core
2.2GHz quad-core
GPU
Adreno 530
6-core
Adreno 530
Adreno 530
Adreno 530
RAM
4GB
2GB
4GB
4GB
4GB
WiFi
Dual band, 802.11ac
Dual band, 802.11ac
Dual band, 802.11ac
Dual band, 802.11ac
Dual band, 802.11ac
Operating system
Android 7.1
iOS 10
Android 6.0
Android 6.0
Android 6.0
Standout features
Fingerprint sensor, USB Type-C
Touch ID, IP67 certified, Lightning connector
Fingerprint sensor, IP68 certified
Fingerprint sensor, USB Type-C
Fingerprint sensor, USB Type-C
Accessories
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
LG Friends: Cam, Cam Plus, Hi-Fi Plus (not available in US), VR
Not applicable

* Specs in italics are unconfirmed, but we will update as more details become available.

Click here to catch all the latest news from Google’s fall event!

15
Sep

Microsoft is still bragging about Edge’s battery superiority


Microsoft says it has made the Edge browser on the Windows 10 Anniversary Update even more efficient than the previous version, and is again boasting about its performance compared to rivals. When streaming Netflix, the new tweaks will help your Windows 10 PC last 45 percent longer than with Chrome, and 69 percent longer if you’re using Firefox. For general purpose browsing, PCs running Edge last 24 to 43 percent longer than with other browsers, according to Redmond.

Microsoft said it achieved a 12 percent efficiency improvement over the last version thanks to tweaks in both the browser and Windows 10 itself. Other tests are closer, though — Chrome sucks just 11 percent more power on a Vimeo test, for example. In real-world tests, however, Edge trounces both browers, consuming around 450 milliwatts of power compared to 550 milliwatts for Firefox and about 770 milliwatts with Chrome.

While Microsoft called the tests “realistic and transparent,” it’s still running them on its own Surface Books, not third party hardware. And power consumption isn’t everything — Google app users may prefer to stay within the Chrome ecosystem, for one thing. In any case, Edge’s share of the desktop browser market hasn’t budged from around 4.2 percent recently, so Microsoft’s efficiency message doesn’t seem to be getting across.

Its also as much an indictment of Chrome and Firefox as a pat on the back for its own browser. Chrome users have already noticed a significant degradation in performance, and even Google admits that it’s time to fix that. Still, if you need to eke the maximum endurance from a Windows 10 laptop, the latest tests give you a solid reason to consider Edge.

12
Sep

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 vs Galaxy Note 5


With the latest addition to the popular Galaxy Note series, Samsung decided to make the leap from 5 to 7. As is the case whenever a new generation of a device comes out, the question on everyone’s mind is whether it is a worthy upgrade.

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In doing so, we can also revisit the 5th version of the Galaxy Note, and find if it is still a phone you can keep in your pocket, or save a little bit of money on, instead of the latest and greatest that Samsung has to offer. This is the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 vs the Galaxy Note 5.

Buy the Galaxy Note 5

Design

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The glass and metal unibody construction that was introduced with the Galaxy S7 was not just an experiment, but rather the baseline for the design that Samsung was going to use going forward. This was made abundantly clear when the Galaxy Note 5 was released, even though plenty believed that having the Galaxy Note device taking the lead of the S line, and not the other way around, brought the former down a peg in importance.

One design aspect helped soften the blow, however, which was the curve on the back of the device that made it easier to hold. This curve, when on the front, was rather controversial with the Galaxy S6 Edge and its larger, S-Penless brother, but putting it on the back was a simple, but significant glimpse, into how it could help with handling.

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That said, the Galaxy Note 5 is still a large device, through and through. Since we have the Galaxy Note 7 in our hands now, it seems like a long time ago that such a large phone with a sharp metal frame was the norm. While the Galaxy Note 5 feels a little larger than the two, both have the same large canvas that plenty of users clamor for.

Now, that curve on the back of the Galaxy Note 5 makes even more sense , because it has been married to the front curve, with its successor. There’s no getting around it, this is the next baseline going forward. The edge is the norm for the Galaxy Note 7, not an extra version that will be built alongside what used to be the existing flagship. It’s a feature, not a novelty, and Samsung wants that to be official.

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Samsung continues to provide the familiar aspects, including the home tactile button, button layout, and even the heart rate sensor, with the S Pen nestled to the bottom right portion of the phone, and now, the curved display is a part of that lexicon.

In the Galaxy Note 7, Samsung threw everything at their flagship device and the result is a phone that does continue the path that the Galaxy S7 Edge paved, but surpasses it. Unlike its predecessor, the Galaxy Note 7 can stand alone, and it does. Handling is better on the Note 7 in pretty much every way, and seeing and holding both phones together plainly shows the evolution.

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Some key issues were also addressed in the new Galaxy Note, most importantly, the S Pen going in backwards and breaking. This time around, the Pen won’t even go into the slot backwards more than just a little bit. If you aren’t careless with the S Pen, this probably won’t be a big problem anyway, but Samsung did well to address one of the few issues that actually got a lot of press.

Display

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The screen of the Galaxy Note 5 is still one of the better ones out there, featuring a Quad HD resolution, and sporting the Screen Off Memo that proved to be a useful, quick tool for jotting down notes or small pieces of information. That returns in the Galaxy Note 7, which has the same Super AMOLED display with the same specs, but sports a couple of enhanced features.

Basically, the Screen Off Memo returns again, but can be pinned to the new feature, the Always On Display. Coming straight from the Galaxy S7 line, the AOD can show a clock, some text, an image, or a calendar, so there is always information available even in standby.

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Of course, there is also the new Edge UX, which comes from the S7 Edge and provides no new features. Empirically, this is one of the new features that the Galaxy Note 5 simply doesn’t boast, making the Galaxy Note 7 the easier device to recommend overall.

Performance

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Performance on the Galaxy Note 5 continues to hold up, but that brings up an interesting aspect of this comparison, and when revisiting the old device, which came out at a time when Samsung was sticking to its own guns.

The Exynos 7420 is a more than capable processing package, enough to power all typical tasks of today’s smartphone user. We’ve even had a good time with Pokemon GO on the Galaxy Note 5, even it doesn’t last too long because of its smaller battery.

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With the Galaxy Note 7, the Exynos is kept to markets outside of the US, while the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 reigns in the West. That doesn’t pose a problem for performance though, because both do a great job with keeping the phone speedy.

Where we found a little bit of an issue was in the amount of RAM. Going over the standard 4GB is still a bit of a rarity in today’s smartphone world, but considering the exorbitant amount of features and capabilities in the Galaxy Note 7, it felt like having a bit more could have kept the phone from getting bogged down. Or, at the very least, it would keep the user from having to clean it up in the the Device Maintenance area from time to time.

Hardware

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Part of what made the design change in the Galaxy Note 5 a bit harder to handle was the move away from what power users wanted. The move to glass and metal bodies made removable backings impossible, which cut off the access to the replaceable batteries and expandable storage. The lack of both hurt plenty of users, but expandable storage was more missed, when users had to settle for 32GB.

We have a plethora of users at Android Authority with different needs, and found that the power users who did a lot of gaming definitely had an issue with this, while the more moderate users were able to make it work for a long time until the pictures and videos took up all the space. No matter where users are on the spectrum, that amount of space was about as finite as it could get.

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Which is why the Galaxy Note 7 continues to impress, mostly because it was able to address all of that in a couple simple moves, with 64GB of on-board storage, and the return of microSD card expansion. Not to mention Samsung put another foot forward by releasing a 256GB microSD card that will make all storage woes go away.

The speaker is still bottom mounted and just isn’t very good at overall sound and volume. The headphone experience gets enhanced with customizable EQ settings, though.

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3,500 mAh brought the Galaxy Note 7 to a proper part of the power spectrum, where we’ve so far found a nice long amount of battery life, especially with moderate usage. Thankfully fast charging has really moved forward in efficiency as well, so the Note 7 benefits from even just half an hour of charging to get to 50% battery.

Wireless charging returns, too, so that getting power doesn’t have to be a tethered affair. If better battery life and faster charging are important, and we know it is, the Note 7 continues to iterate in the right ways.

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Which makes Samsung’s main addition a pretty big deal for the Note 7. The fingerprint reader on the Note 5 was already a good and fast biometric security feature, but the next step in such measures comes in the form of iris scanning.

A dedicated camera near the front facing camera does an infrared scan for a registered pair of eyes. Simply swipe up on the lock screen and gaze into the camera. For anyone that is looking for a little more security and ways of unlocking the phone, the Iris Scanner is definitely a “wow” feature, and can be used in conjunction with the fingerprint reader.

Camera

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The cameras of the Galaxy Note 5 still have the specs of a high-end device, and continue to be reliable even a year after the phone was released. Compared to Galaxy the Note 7, it is just a few steps back in terms of sheer capabilities, but overall it continues to be a very good picture companion.

Sporting 16 MP shooter with a f/1.9 aperture, the Galaxy Note 5 doesn’t quite have the low light performance of the Note 7, that has 12 MP dual-pixel camera with a f/1.7 aperture. While the focus speed of the latter is definitely faster, it is one of the only advantages that can easily be experienced.

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I used the Galaxy Note 5 in New York when we were getting to know the Note 7 for the first time. It proved to be an easy companion to have for all sorts of pictures and videos, including the occasional vlog or Instagram story.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 camera samples

So, to that end, the pictures between these two aren’t too far off in quality. Structurally speaking, the lower aperture of the Note 7 means slightly better bokeh for softened backgrounds, and that is also true for the front-facing camera.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 camera samples

Overall, the pictures and videos coming out of either phone show that Samsung has continued to provide some of the best camera experiences in the world of Android. While there are definitely some advantages to having the Note 7’s cameras, we don’t see there being much problem with the Note 5, given that video and picture quality hasn’t made any big steps or leaps since its inception.

Software

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Finally, the software for both of these phones is still pretty similar, with the Galaxy Note 7 basically adding a few coats of polish over the existing Samsung UI. Touchwiz isn’t quite the name that they use for the software anymore though, and for good reason.

Especially with the Note 7, there has been some cleaning up in what used to be a bloated and very cartoonish interface. While some of those elements are still around, there is a noticeable unification to it all, that makes the Note 7 look a bit better on the inside.

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That said, these are still some of the most feature packed software packages available, and more so with the Galaxy S7, because of the addition of the Iris Scanner, the Edge UX, and the Always On Display. Some other additions include the the Blue Light Filter and the enhancements to the S Pen.

The S Pen can now translate words, magnify elements on the screen, and create GIFs. All of these features were delved into more in the full review of the Note 7, coming eventually to the conclusion that they do add to the overall S Pen experience, even if they are tools that are situationally useful.

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Strip that all away and the software experience is essentially that of the Note 5. Which makes this comparison a bit simple. If all that was added onto the Note 7 experience doesn’t really entice you to upgrade or even go further than the 5th version of the line, then the Note 5 can provide all of the elements that you may be used to already.

MultiWindow, Pop Up View, existing Screen Write and Notes capabilities, and even theming abilities are still all available and viable. It comes down to one simple question – are the additions in the Note 7 and the interface polish enough to put it over the top?

Specs comparison

Display 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display
Quad HD resolution, 518 ppi
5.7-inch Super AMOLED display
Quad HD resolution, 534 ppi
Processor 2.15 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
Adreno 530 GPU
2.1 GHz octa-core Samsung Exynos 7420 processor
Mali-T760MP8 GPU
RAM 4 GB 4 GB
Storage 32/64 GB
expandable via microSD card up to 256 GB
32/64/128 GB
not expandable
Camera 12 MP rear camera, f/1.7 aperture, OIS, LED flash
5 MP front-facing camera with wide angle lens
16 MP rear camera, f/1.9 aperture, OIS, LED flash
5 MP front-facing camera with wide angle lens
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.2
NFC
GPS + GLONASS
USB Type-C (USB 3.1)
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.2
NFC
GPS + GLONASS
microUSB 2.0
Battery 3,500 mAh 3,000 mAh
Software Android 6.0 Marshmallow Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Dimensions 153.5 x 73.9 x 7.9 mm
169 grams
153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm
171 grams

Gallery

Final thoughts

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So there you have it for this in-depth look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 vs Galaxy Note 5!  A lot of this comparison shows how the Note 7 is the definitely the phone to beat. Better on-board and expandable storage, a bigger battery, and the new features make the Note line feel fresh again. Or at the very least, it makes us feel the way the Note 5 failed to when it was first released.

However, that doesn’t mean that the Galaxy Note 5 isn’t a good value in and of itself. Even without the leaps forward, it was still a top 2015 device, and some believed it could only be surpassed by the next Galaxy S and, in this case, the new Galaxy Note.

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Without some of the many features that make up the incredibly stacked package of the Note 7, the Note 5 continues to be a good and reliable daily driver. If you need the best, the latest, or the capabilities that appeal to the power user, then the Note 7 might be the phone that you’ve been waiting for.

That said, users still using the Galaxy Note 5 have a lot to be happy about. If you have, however, been holding onto an even older phone and need to save a little bit of money, the tradeoffs between these two devices, while significant, are not immediately dealbreaking. The Galaxy  Note 5 still has ability to be a viable choice in today’s smartphone climate, which makes it a value that users should definitely consider if these are the two phones in contention.

Buy the Galaxy Note 5

8
Sep

The PlayStation 4 Pro vs. the original PS4: What’s changed?


With only three years since the release of the PlayStation 4, Sony isn’t quite ready to give us a completely new console. But while it did unveil a new slim redesign, there’s also the PlayStation 4 Pro: Not quite 4K gaming, but the new HDR looks good enough to give players a taste of the next generation. We’ve pitted the stats of the new systems up against the OG PS4 to see how far we’ve come in the past few years.

PlayStation 4 Pro
PlayStation 4 Slim
PlayStation 4 (2013)
Price
$399
$299
starts at $349 (originally $399)
Dimensions
295 x 327 x 55mm (11.61 x 12.87 x 2.17 inches)
265 x 288 x 39mm (10.43 x 11.34 x 1.54 inches)
275.1 x 305.1 x 53.1mm (10.83 x 12.01 x 2.09 inches)
Weight
3.3kg (7.28 pounds)
2.1kg (4.63 pounds)
2.8kg (6.17 pounds)
Output resolution
480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p, 4K (video only), HDR
480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p, 4K (video only)
480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p, 4K (video only)
CPU
AMD Jaguar x86-64, 8-core
AMD Jaguar x86-64, 8-core
AMD Jaguar x86-64, 8-core
GPU
AMD Radeon, 4.20 TFLOP
AMD Radeon, 1.84 TFLOP
AMD Radeon, 1.84 TFLOP
RAM
8GB
8GB
8GB
Internal storage
1TB
500GB / 1TB
500GB / 1TB
Physical media
Blu-ray, DVD
Blu-ray, DVD
Blu-ray, DVD
WiFi
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
802.11 b/g/n
Wired network
10/100/1000 Ethernet
10/100/1000 Ethernet
10/100/1000 Ethernet
Bluetooth
v4.0
v4.0
v2.1
Ports
USB 3.0 (x3), HDMI 2.0a, S/PDIF
USB 3.0 (x2), HDMI 2.0a
USB 3.0 (x2), HDMI 1.4, S/PDIF
Controller
DualShock 4
DualShock 4
DualShock 4

While we won’t have a full review until the systems are released in the coming weeks, stay tuned for further impressions of the PS4 Pro here on Engadget.

Find all the news from Sony’s big PlayStation event right here.

8
Sep

The iPhone 7 vs. the competition: Win some, lose some


The new 4.7-inch iPhone is here and, just like the rumors predicted, the headphone jack is no more. If you’re not thrilled with having to shop for a new pair of earbuds, it might be worth looking to see how the new water-resistant handset stacks up against its Android competition. We’ve taken a few recent flagships and laid out their specs for your perusal, including Sony’s new Xperia XZ. With most top-tier Android devices running Snapdragon 820, these phones end up having a lot in common. However, there’s a few key differences to keep things interesting.

iPhone 7
Galaxy S7
LG G5
HTC 10
Sony Xperia XZ
Pricing
$649, $749, $849 (off-contract)
$200 (on-contract)
varies by carrier on contract; $650 off-contract
$699 (off-contract)
Not available
Known dimensions
138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm (5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 inches)
142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9mm (5.61 x 2.74 x 0.31 inches)
149.4 x 73.9 x 7.3mm (5.88 x 2.91 x 0.29 inches)
145.9 x 71.9 x 3.0-9.0mm (5.74 x 2.83 x 0.12-0.35 inches)
146 x 72 x 8.1 mm (5.75 x 2.83 x 0.32 inches)
Weight
138g (4.87 ounces)
152g (5.36 ounces)
159g (5.61 ounces)
161g (5.68 ounces)
161g (5.68 ounces)
Screen size
4.7 inches (119.38mm)
5.1 inches (129.2mm)
5.3 inches (134.62mm)
5.2 inches (132.08mm)
5.2 inches (132.08mm)
Screen resolution
1,334 x 750 (326 ppi)
2,560 x 1,440 (577 ppi)
2,560 x 1,440 (554 ppi)
2,560 x 1,440 (564 ppi)
1,920 x 1,080 (424 ppi)
Screen type
Retina HD
Quad HD Super AMOLED
Quad HD IPS LCD Quantum
Quad HD Super LCD 5
Full HD TRILUMINOS LCD
Battery
Size not available, but up to 14 hours usage on WiFi
3,000mAh
2,800mAh
3,000mAh
2,900mAh
Internal storage
32/128/256GB
32GB
32GB
32GB
32GB
External storage
None
microSD
microSD
microSD
microSD
Rear camera
12MP, f/1.8
12MP, f/1.7, 1.4µm pixel size
16MP, f/1.8, 1.12µm pixel size
12MP, f/1.8, 1.55µm pixel size
23MP
Front-facing cam
7MP, f/2.2
5MP
8MP
5MP, f/1.8, 1.34µm pixel size
13MP, f/2.0
Video capture
4K at 30fps
4K at 30fps
4K
4K
4K
NFC
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Bluetooth
v4.2
v4.2
v4.2
v4.2
v4.2
SoC
Apple A10 Fusion
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
CPU
Not available
2.15GHz quad-core
2.15GHz quad-core
2.2GHz quad-core
2.15 or 2.2GHz quad-core
GPU
Not available
Adreno 530
Adreno 530
Adreno 530
Adreno 530
RAM
Not available
4GB
4GB
4GB
3GB
WiFi
Dual band, 802.11ac
Dual band, 802.11ac
Dual band, 802.11ac
Dual band, 802.11ac
Dual band, 802.11ac
Operating system
iOS 10
Android 6.0
Android 6.0
Android 6.0
Android 6.0
Standout features
Touch ID, IP67 certified, Lightning connector
Fingerprint sensor, IP68 certified
Fingerprint sensor, USB Type-C
Fingerprint sensor, USB Type-C
Fingerprint sensor, IP68 certified, USB Type-C
Accessories
Not applicable
Not applicable
LG Friends: Cam, Cam Plus, Hi-Fi Plus (not available in US), VR
Not applicable
Not applicable

* Specs in italics are unconfirmed, but we will update as more details become available.

Keep an eye out today for hands-on impressions of the new iPhones, and stay tuned to Engadget for our full review later this fall!

Click here to catch all the latest news from Apple’s “See You” event.

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