Last week Verizon started rolling out the first update to their Note 8. Now it looks like T-Mobile is rolling out the same update. This is just a small stability update which adds stability improvements to the navigation app, google maps, and the weather widget. The update also brings the latest security fixes for August. This update brings your Note 8 to version N950USQU1AQ15 and comes in at 200MB. Head to the phone's settings to check for the update.
Over the weekend the founder of Android Police "Artem Russakovskii" took to twitter to reveal more Pixel 2 features. His source is someone who claims to have played with the Verizon Pixel 2. Apparently the camera app has a new portrait mode feature that adds a software blurred background. The Pixel Launcher has a refresh with the search bar below the dock and a new layout for the Google Home Page. The Pixel 2 seems to have a feature that always listens for music and will put the title and artist of whatever song is playing in the background on your lockscreen. The Squeeze feature triggers Google Assistant and works from being asleep. Finally the source confirmed dual front facing speakers and says the glass appears to be flat and not 2.5d. None of these features have been confirmed.
The Essential phone is finally starting to slowly ship to those who pre-ordered the device. If you never were able to get in on the pre-order, but are still interested in this phone you will be happy to know that you can now buy the phone from Best Buy. The phone will be sold unlocked and can be purchased in store or online. The phone's main feature is probably its very vanilla version of Android. Best Buy's version of the Essential is listed in the Black Moon color, has 4G LTE connectivity and 128GB of onboard storage. The full retail price is $699.99.
The LG V30 has to be the hands down best bang for your buck phone of late 2017. We still don't know what the final price of the V30 will be in the US, but do expect it to fall at least $100 below the price of the Note 8 and iPhone X. LG will be adding even more value to the purchase with a free Google Daydream VR headset according to recent leaks by Evan Blass. The VR headset will also come with a VR Content Package. The total value for the package will be $145.
An AT&T promo video for the LG V30 that has been removed indicated that the device will come with a 2 year warranty. Most flagships only come with a one year warranty. This goes right along with what we saw LG do with the G6 earlier in the year when they upgraded the phone's warranty from one year to two. LG is expected to open up pre-orders for the V30 any day now. LG's own sweepstakes appeared to have confirmed a $750 price tag. If they would hurry up and sale the device at that price it might actually fair well.
Last week popular publication "Tom's Guide" released an article stating that they had tested the iPhone 8 against just about every major Android phone under the sun. They came to the conclusion that the iPhone 8 was the fastest device in existence, and they even said there is no phone in the iPhone 8's league.This was all based on benchmarks. Earlier today I did a speed test of my own pitting the Note 8 against the iPhone 8.
The Note 8 features the Snapdragon 835 cpu with 6GB of RAM while the iPhone 8 features an A11 chip with 2GB of RAM. During the speed test I test the phone's performance when opening 15 apps. The second round tests the phone's performance when multitasking, and compares how well the phone manages memory.
In this test the iPhone 8 wins the initial speed open test by 6 seconds. The Note 8 does a better job with the 6GB of RAM and is able to store all open apps in the background. The iPhone 8 has to close apps to make room for more apps to open, and fails the multitasking test miserably. In the end it looks like the Note 8 is the overall better performing phone.
The latest craze in customization apps has to be the apps that add an iPhone X notch to your Android smartphone. A simple search in the Google Play Store brings up several options. It's quite funny that these apps have hundreds of thousands of downloads. Folks go from wanting no bezels to wanting to add a huge notch to the top of their phones. Overall the apps seem to pick fun at the less than optimal feature of the iPhone X. Grab one of these apps for your phone and see if you can trick anyone into thinking that you have the new iPhone X. Report back with your results.
Ahead of the upcominning Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL announcement google has launched their new trade in program. With this new program you can send in your old device for up to $388 off your order. When you click buy you are taken to the options page, from there you can click the trade in button. They accept phones from 6 manufacturers. It looks like you get the least back with a Nexus 6 trade in and the most back with an iPhone 7 Plus trade in depending on condition of course. For some of the pricing schemes on these trade ins you might be better off selling your phone, however if you have already tried and had no success this may be a great option for you. Either way it's nice to see Google giving us a chance to save some green!
LG announced the LG V30 several weeks ago to much fan fare. They sent out pre production units to many news outlets and got lots of initial coverage. While the reviews were mostly positive LG was unable to capitalize on this since they were not quite ready to release the device. They didn't even have a release or pre-order date.
Here we are weeks later and LG has still kept quite on the matter. We do have some good news though. It looks like the V30 is now available for purchase in Korea. This would be the first step in LG's normal worldwide roll out. If you have been holding out for the V30 you wait may soon be over!
Google has just secured the next 10-20 years of their hardware development future with a $1.1 Billion transaction with HTC. They have acquired part of HTC's mobile team. These are the same members who have already been working closely with Google to work on Pixel devices. The deal also includes a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property.
HTC will only employ about 2,000 of the original 4,000 design staffers after the acquisition. This means that Google just picked up a bunch of talent. HTC will continue to build their own smartphone and VIVE virtual reality business following the acquisition.
I have been carrying my Note 8 for about two weeks, and so far the battery life has been pretty great. I am averaging about 6 hours of screen on time and my battery doesn't die until it is time for me to go to sleep. I am getting a good 18 hours of life out of the 3300mah battery every day. Not everyone has had the same experience with battery life as me. If you don't mind adding a brick to a device that is already quite beefy zerolemon will be releasing their Note 8 battery bank in early October. This will add 5500mah of additional battery life which should have your Note 8 running strong for days. I can definitely see something like this being useful if you have a long trip or plane ride coming up. They have not given us a price for the case yet. You can buy this at the link below once it is available.