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Unread 2017-10-25, 09:26 AM   #11026
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooby24 View Post
Yeah seeing the burn in posts ...that's a deal breaker. I don't think I'll get one unless they can show they've managed to resolve it.
I think long term its shaking out to be more of a retention issue than true burn in at this point, too quick. Burn in happens to all of them at some point though.

The thing that worries me more is the slew of reports of banding, dead pixels, etc this quickly. That and the weird "black not being black" light bleed looking issue. Light bleed isn't a thing on POLED so it sounds like there is some real issue with the screen drivers. Not that it cant be resolved but I would definitely not want to be in the "first wave." Id say Id hold out and get them on discount later but my biggest beef is that the baby pixel doesnt gain much in the way of an advantage for its smaller size (aka big bezels).
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Unread 2017-10-25, 01:57 PM   #11027
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Google announces Android 8.1 developer preview, final release planned for December


.

Google launched the new Pixel phones with Android 8.0, which is what last year's Pixel's have been running since the update. A new version of Oreo is on the way, though, and you can try it right now. Google has launched a developer preview for Android 8.1. As usual, it's supported on recent Google devices and can be installed in two ways.

The system images are available for download now, but that requires an unlocked bootloader. The beta program with automatic OTA updates will be available as well. You can sign up now, but it looks like the switch hasn't been thrown to push out the OTAs just yet. If you want to get on the dev preview, it's compatible with the following devices. The OTA files are available for sideloading, though.
  • Nexus 5X
  • Nexus 6P
  • Pixel C
  • Pixel
  • Pixel XL
  • Pixel 2
  • Pixel 2 XL
The Android 8.1 preview runs from today until the OS is released, which Google expects to happen in December. Installing the preview should not affect your data, but you never know. Running a developer preview does come with some risk, so make sure you've got your data backed up. Leaving the beta program will result in a device reset as well.
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Unread 2017-10-29, 03:53 PM   #11028
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Just got my Pixel 2 XL to replace my Pixel XL. Haven't seen any issues. As usual, typical media hype.
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Unread 2017-10-30, 10:35 AM   #11029
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New Samsung Galaxy S9 Design Concepts Emerge With Specs




New design concepts detailing the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus recently emerged online, with their authors claiming they’re based on the latest rumors about the upcoming Android flagship duo. The images that can be seen below are accompanied with a number of specs supposed to be part of Samsung’s next high-end devices, many of which have already been the subject of previous reports about the Galaxy S9 lineup.


Compared to the Galaxy S8 series, the next pair of premium Samsung-made smartphones will apparently have an even thinner bottom bezel and otherwise succeed the general aesthetic of the 2017 handsets. The devices are both said to feature the company’s Infinity Display panel with a tall aspect ratio of 18.5:9 and a QHD+ resolution. Screen sizes should also remain identical year-on-year, with sources claiming that the Galaxy S9 will feature a 5.8-inch display, whereas the Galaxy S9 Plus will have a 6.2-inch one. Apart from a larger physical footprint, higher battery capacity, and a more premium price tag, the Galaxy S9 Plus should be identical to its smaller counterpart. A reduced chin should also allow Samsung to make its next flagships somewhat shorter than their predecessors, with insiders now claiming that the Galaxy S9 will be 144.1mm in length, or 4.8mm shorter than the Galaxy S8. Likewise, the Galaxy S9 Plus is said to extend 155.2mm in length, 4.7mm less compared to the Galaxy S8 Plus. The width and thickness of the upcoming handsets are rumored to be unchanged compared to the previous two additions to the Galaxy S product family.


Latest reports claim that the Galaxy S9-series devices will lose their 3.5mm audio jacks which is the first time such rumors have started, even though they may not amount to anything; the Galaxy S8 lineup was also rumored to be ditching the headphone jack and Samsung reportedly even experimented with some prototypes lacking this conventional port but ultimately decided against doing away with it. The rear panels of the two devices are said to feature a 16-megapixel dual-camera setup, with their top bezels also possibly accommodating a two-sensor combo with 12-megapixel modules, according to some new rumors of dubious legitimacy. IP68 certification should also be part of the package, with Samsung still experimenting with an on-screen fingerprint sensor, though one is unlikely to be commercialized by the company before the Galaxy Note 9, recent reports suggested.


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Unread 2017-10-31, 11:29 AM   #11030
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Reality Check: The Pixel 2 XL’s Screen Problems Are Overhyped

October 30, 2017 - Written By Nick Sutrich


Keep Calm and Pixel On


Last week Google released the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, much to the fanfare of us and plenty of other press outlets as well. Google’s latest devices are a stunning blend of technologies, working together to create an experience that’s smoother and more refined feeling than the vast majority of phones on the market. It’s also got a killer camera that’s absolutely top in its class, better wireless support than almost any other phone out there, and battery life that lasts and lasts. Aside from design differences, the actual displays in each size phone are completely different too; the smaller Pixel 2 features a 5-inch Samsung AMOLED display, while the Pixel 2 XL features a 6-inch LG pOLED display.


Just after most reviews started going live, we saw the first reports of complaints about the display on the Pixel 2 XL, ranging from a blue tint when tilting the phone, to possible burn-in issues reported by a few. Some of these problems are design flaws, others are preferential things, and even still some may be actual problems. Despite not having even landed in the hands of many consumers yet, and without any knowledge of how widespread any of the real issues are, some press outlets have pulled their reviews and called for Google to stop selling the phone altogether, recalling any that have been sold thus far. This sort of knee-jerk reaction from some members in the media is unprecedented at this level, and it raises the question of whether or not something deeper seated is happening, or if some simply don’t understand the purpose of a recall.
Let’s go back just a year to the end of August 2016, when consumers first started reporting that some Samsung Galaxy Note 7 models were exploding. Knowing that this sort of thing can happen to any battery that doesn’t go through proper quality control (QC) in manufacturing, these serious issues were thought to be relegated to a small batch of phones that slipped through the cracks. Samsung issued a recall, but without having done the proper verification of which models were actually being affected, problematic units were once again sent out to customers, and the aforementioned recall turned into a second, more final recall of the phone. This is the perfect use of a recall; one that endangers human health, and causes total device failure.
Recalls are often used in situations where severe problems exist; seat belts don’t work as designed, airbags deploy hazardous materials instead of inflating properly, batteries exploding, etc. Recalls should not be used for when a product doesn’t meet certain quality standards that a specific price tag suggests, instead that’s where we as reviewers attempt to help consumers understand what a product brings to the table, and if there are better alternatives in one way or another. Let’s explore some of the issues that have been reported, and find out whether or not these are actually severe problems in Google’s supply chain or quality control standards, or if this display just isn’t as good as everyone was hoping.
Preference or Opinion

Some of the issues reported aren’t problems at all; they’re merely preferences that some may have positive or negative opinions toward. Let’s take a look at some examples of these.
Pale Screen

AMOLED panels, Samsung’s in particular, have almost always been known for their excessively saturated colors that “pop.” This is more visually appealing to the human eye, and has been part of the reason Samsung’s displays are so loved throughout the world, but ultimately these colors are not realistic. The problem with unrealistic colors is that these colors are not what the designer or developer of a phone or app intended users to see, and as such you’ll find some displays where the same app or color is wildly different than others. We’ve seen more muted colors from other displays on the market, regardless of the underlying technology used, but Google set out to help developers better control the colors displayed regardless of the phone or technology with Android 8.0 Oreo. Oreo now has colorspace awareness, and by default will show sRGB + 10% on all apps that do not specify a colorspace. Some developers may prefer ultra-saturated colors, while others trend toward more natural, “muted” colors, and it’s here where the heart of this discussion lies.
Since we’ve had ultra-saturated colors on AMOLED panels for years, and Samsung is the biggest vendor of smartphones worldwide, it’s obvious that many people have come to expect this look from their smartphones. While the displays Google uses on either Pixel 2 model are capable of showing these colors, Google specifically chose not to use them. The default colorspace used in Oreo, specifically on the Pixel 2, is “low.” This mode refers to sRGB color, and generally looks muted compared to the more saturated displays we’ve come to know on phones. By default, apps that don’t specify a colorspace are then placed into this sRGB mode, which is the “color correct” version of the app. This is more of the actual issue than the display itself. By forcing sRGB on all apps that don’t specify HDR or wide color gamut, all apps look more muted than others, and there’s no system-level toggle to change this.
















Other OEMs give users the option to adjust their displays, ranging from presets like “vibrant” or “standard,” to actual sliders that enable the adjustment of display properties like saturation or contrast. While Google’s design to allow developers to force a colorspace is great, giving users the option to override apps that don’t specify this colorspace would have been a good option for folks that prefer more saturated colors. Google needs to be leading by example with this change though, and while it’s nice to offer developers the option to specify this colorspace, Google’s own apps don’t even do it yet. This is part of why people find the launcher, Photos, and other apps to be more washed out. It’s yet another case of where the left hand doesn’t seem to be communicating well with the right hand at Google. It’s not the first example of this, and unfortunately, it’s likely to not be the last either.
Saying the Pixel 2 XL’s screen is bad because it’s not the color you want is ridiculous, and it shows a deep misunderstanding that many folks have developed concerning displays and color accuracy. It’s not the screen that’s bad here, it’s the color management implementation that needs work, and that’s what needs to be differentiated. I too am guilty of preferring more saturated colors on my mobile displays, but to say the screen is poorly calibrated or looks bad because of this is a paradigm that needs to change, and that change starts with Google helping to educate users on the benefits of color-accurate displays, as well as developer control over said colors.
Verdict: Will be “fixed” per app by software. Google may also roll out a global solution.
Grainy Display
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Unread 2017-10-31, 11:30 AM   #11031
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Google is using an LG pOLED display in the Pixel 2 XL, but in reality, both displays are Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode displays using a plastic substrate. The specifics of how LG and Samsung manufacture these displays, along with the specific plastics used aren’t necessarily divulged, but they’re used to make the displays thinner and lighter than other technologies can. That being said, despite what seems to be identical manufacturing processes and designs, Samsung and LG’s displays look very different from each other, especially when viewed under certain lighting conditions. This can be attributed to a number of different factors, but subpixel structure and other components used outside of the ones mentioned here are likely the reasons for the results we’re seeing. Regardless of this, LG’s pOLEDs all have a very distinctive grain look to them that doesn’t look far from what we’d expect out of a fine 35mm film grain, but only when viewed in very specific circumstances.
When using the phone in normal circumstances you’ll likely never notice this grain. In fact it’s almost only ever noticeable when in a dark room, with the brightness at its lowest, and when looking at a solid color image. A 50% gray image makes this most apparent and is what we use to test displays for various issues. Human eyes pick up differences in gray imagery very well, and it’s here that we can see the sub-pixel structure best, and also here where our brains will form an opinion on whether what we see is bad or good. As a whole, I’m OK with grain to an extent. Film grain is a very distinctive characteristic that many people love, and I too enjoy a nice 35mm film and the character that brings to a movie. Subsequently, I’m not a person who must see every scratch of grain removed from a photo when it’s taken in sub-optimal lighting conditions, which plays part and parcel to my criticism of Samsung’s photography processing methods during the day. There’s no reason to erase all the grain; grain is natural and a result of many factors, and while you don’t want tons of grain in your image, it’s crazy to try and erase all of it at the expense of detail.














For me, LG’s pOLED displays have a sort of Plasma TV look, and I rather like that. Most displays on the market feel cold and digital, which of course makes sense given that they are digital technologies, but LG’s more “organic” or “dirty” look is something I actually prefer, and I feel it looks more natural as a result. Many have cited that Samsung’s AMOLED displays from 3-4 generations ago used to have these same results, and Samsung has cleaned up this process since then, but is it a process that’s really necessary to clean up? Is this really a manufacturing flaw, or is it something LG is using as a way of differentiating the look of its pOLED displays from other OEMs out there? We’ve seen this effect on every LG-made OLED in the mobile space so far; from the G-Flex series years ago, to the Android Wear watches that use LG’s pOLEDs; the grain is always there. You may never notice the grain in the majority of circumstances while using the phone, but if you do, you’ll just have to be OK with it being there unless LG changes something.
Verdict: Not changing
Design Flaws

Sometimes a problem is due to an oversight or a design flaw that just isn’t going to get fixed in a product for one reason or another. No amount of complaining will be able to fix these issues, but they could also be the side effect of trying to fix another problem that was deemed more important.
Blue Tint

Take any phone you have and tilt it to the side. See what happens? Most phones exhibit a slight bit of color tinting or dimming at the side, and depending on the screen technology and other materials used, this tint or dimming may be worse on some displays than others. When comparing LCD displays to OLED displays, it’s clear that OLED is the winner in the tilting category, as it inherently displays no difference in quality when looking at it from any angle. So why does the display on the Pixel 2 XL tint blue almost immediately, while the smaller Pixel 2 doesn’t show this effect until viewing it at extreme angles? We’ll first examine why this shift occurs in mobile displays and not other types of displays, and it begins with the polarizer behind the glass. Since phones are used in all sorts of lighting conditions, from dark rooms to bright sunlit parks, manufacturers have to consider all of these conditions and optimize a display to work best in all of them. To further complicate matters, some folks use polarized sunglasses, while others use standard tinted glasses instead. It’s these polarized lenses that have effectively begun the problem we are seeing, and manufacturer’s methods of counteracting the way polarized glasses work is what makes this blue shift happen.


















Not every phone ships with the same kind of polarizer underneath the glass; in fact you’ll notice that some phone screens turn completely black when held in landscape mode while wearing polarized sunglasses. This is due to how the display emits light, and specifically how polarized sunglasses are designed to block light from certain directions. Samsung and LG both use polarizers in their displays to keep users from experiencing completely dark screens (since that would be completely useless), but LG seems to have issues with its application of said polarizer, where Samsung doesn’t. This same effect is seen on many displays out there, and has been around for years, but the recently released LG V30 suffers from the blue tint less than the Pixel 2 XL does, even though they appear to be using identical panels. The only conclusion we can come to is that the display panel and glass application on the Pixel 2 XL is done poorly when compared to other phones, and it’s not likely that we’re seeing the results of poor quality control on this subject either.
When held in standard portrait mode, you won’t notice color shifting until you turn the display significantly to the left or right, however, the color shift is almost instant when tilting up or down. Google has said this is normal behavior, which means it was accepted at design this way, and is not a defect, rather a design flaw. Why Google accepted this behavior, especially at the $850+ price point, is strange, but they’re not the only ones that have this issue. Plenty of displays on other phones showcase this issue, and it’s not something that only the Pixel 2 XL is prone to. Some phones, like the Nexus 6p for example, showed a rainbowing pattern when tilted at any angle; something we noted in the review but didn’t see users complain about once they actually got the phone and started using it. Subsequently, we’ve seen plenty of reports of users on Reddit who have received the phone and don’t seem to care one way or another. This is something we shouldn’t be seeing on a device in this price range, but nonetheless, it’s not just the Pixel 2 XL that suffers from this, and it will never be fixed unless Google deems this a huge problem and changes the manufacturing process for the phone.
Verdict: Not changing
Image Retention

Burn in, or as Google terms it “differential aging,” is something all displays suffer from in one form or another. It’s the result of keeping static images on a screen that never change and never move, and over long periods of time the natural aging of pixels happens faster in these areas, since they have been displaying an image longer than other surrounding pixels. The Pixel 2 XL has not been available long enough to deem the screen as overly prone to burn-in, but what we’re seeing right now is simply image retention of static elements. The navigation buttons on the bottom of the screen are the easiest on-screen element to use for examination, as they almost never change or go away. What we’ve seen from many sites is a simple test using the same 50% gray image we talked about earlier in the grain test, and it’s done by bringing this gray image full screen. If you look in the area where the navigation bar was hid (at the bottom of the screen), you’ll see a faint image retention of the nav bar itself for a few seconds. After a few seconds this goes away on all panels we’ve tested (both the review unit and final retail units), and is likely to get worse as time goes on; unless Google does something about it.
You can see the nav bar for a brief moment when moving into full screen

This isn’t a new problem by any means, and Google assures us that the OLED on the Pixel 2 XL doesn’t suffer from long-term burn-in any more than other OLED panels might, and that they are working on software fixes for the problem. The developer preview update to Android 8.1 Oreo this week has already provided solutions Google has obviously been working on for a while, and at least for the navigation bar portion, dims static elements on the UI to help alleviate burn-in on panels. Doing this same test on my personal Pixel XL (from 2016) reveals actual burn-in to the panel, but it’s important to note where this burn-in can actually be seen. Just like the grain test, this burn-in is almost only ever noticeable when testing the display using this 50% gray image, and is not visible on most other colors. Oranges, reds, yellows and other warm colors like this don’t show the problem unless you look really closely, but cooler colors are definitely more obvious. The amount of time spent in full screen will determine whether or not you even see this issue at all, and it’s an issue that Google can definitely fix (and already is) with software solutions that work to keep pixels from displaying the same thing for long periods of time (months, not minutes).
Verdict: Will be mitigated through software
RMA Issues

There are issues that arise with any product, especially early batch production products as our review devices were. These problems can and should be filed with Google as an RMA, and Google will send you a new device as a replacement. They’ve also extended the warranty on the Pixel 2 to 2 years, meaning Google is clearly standing behind their manufacturing methods and cleaning up QC to deliver a better, more consistent product for end users.
Inconsistent Brightness

This goes hand-in-hand with the aforementioned grainy look of the display, but takes the look and turns it into an actual problem. Some panels seem to be showing inconsistent brightness levels across the panel, meaning groups of pixels aren’t passing proper quality inspection processes during manufacturing. It’s entirely possible that this issue will go unnoticed unless you test for it, but this is most certainly a manufacturing problem that needs to be addressed by Google. We’ve seen this issue with panels used on pre-production models of the V30, and it’s something LG needs to work on fixing before these phones get into the hands of consumers.
Verdict: Get it RMA’d
Real Burn-in

We discussed image retention above, but over time this can turn into real burn-in and be a real problem. Burn-in happens when static images age pixels in a different way, causing pixels to literally get older than the surrounding pixels. These pixels exhibit different brightness and color properties, and as a result, will hold the retained image over other images. More than likely you’ll only ever see the software nav bar on the bottom have this issue, although it’s entirely possible that the status bar up top could see the same problem too. Months of usage can certainly cause real burn-in, and if it’s distracting or problematic in any way, it’s time to send the device in for an RMA. It’s going to take months before we get to this point, so long as there isn’t an actual defect in LG’s displays in this regard. The worry, of course, is that there is an actual problem and that we’re going to see massive cases of burn-in in just a few short weeks.
Verdict: Only time will tell. If it’s bad, RMA.
Conclusion

How serious are the issues with the display on the Pixel 2 XL? From my point of view, not very, and certainly not worthy of calling for a recall or to stop selling the Pixel 2 XL in any way. Much like we saw when Samsung had devastating problems with the Galaxy Note 7, I have full faith and confidence that, if there are big problems with burn-in on every panel, Google will do the right thing and refund everyone for buying a defective device. We saw Google replace broken Nexus 6p units with the Google Pixel for many customers, which shows that Google is serious about keeping its customers happy when hardware fails. The rest of the issues listed here are generally not issues at all. Maybe they bother you, maybe they don’t, but almost none of them are problems that would warrant Google having to replace a device.
If the display isn’t up to the standard of quality someone expects when they pay $850 or more for a device, there are more than enough premium high-end phones on the market that offer better displays for your money. As for me, I’ll be sticking with the Pixel 2 XL; it’s got the best camera on the market, better (and more consistent) performance than most phones out there, better wireless audio support than most phones, and the full backing of Google’s software team and all the cool tools and immediate updates that come with that. At the very least the smaller Pixel 2 is still here, without the display problems of the Pixel 2 XL, and is quite a bit cheaper too, all while offering the same experience in every other regard.
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Unread 2017-11-01, 04:24 PM   #11032
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Exactly what I've been saying. The media outlets are sensationalizing this for views and that's it. Yes it is not as super saturated as most displays out right now but that's because it is a more accurate representation of true colors. From a photography aspect, I appreciate Google doing that.
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Unread 2017-11-01, 06:13 PM   #11033
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My Pixel 2 XL was shipped today and will arrive Friday. Since Google bumped the warranty to 2 years, im not concerned about the possible problems.
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Unread 2017-11-02, 07:55 AM   #11034
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Quote:
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Exactly what I've been saying. The media outlets are sensationalizing this for views and that's it. Yes it is not as super saturated as most displays out right now but that's because it is a more accurate representation of true colors. From a photography aspect, I appreciate Google doing that.
Nevermind the fact that the iPhone X also has some blueshift, but the exact opposite of what happened to the Pixel is happening with it.

"Apple has good QC, it isn't even comparable!" etc.
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Unread 2017-11-02, 08:17 AM   #11035
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squeaky192 View Post
Nevermind the fact that the iPhone X also has some blueshift, but the exact opposite of what happened to the Pixel is happening with it.

"Apple has good QC, it isn't even comparable!" etc.
I think Android users are more critical of the products. Apple users are pretty much lemmings and it doesn't matter what Apple does, it's fucking gold.

I don't care about blueshift or saturation levels or stuff. As long as the screen is attractive to look at, I don't care. I'm not doing any professional photo editing on the damn thing, FFS. The retention/burn in issue is still a concern, IMO. Of course, I wouldn't get the larger variant anyways, so it doesn't matter to me so much.
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Unread 2017-11-02, 02:42 PM   #11036
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The HTC U11 Plus was originally intended to be the Google Pixel 2 XL





Say hello to ‘muskie’, the Pixel phone that never was

HTC U11 Plus Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge Close observers of the Android rumor mill will know that Google made an abrupt change to its Pixel phone plans this summer, shelving its original successor to the Pixel XL, which was codenamed “muskie,” in favor of another device bearing the code title of “taimen.” Taimen went on to become the LG-manufactured Google Pixel 2 XL, while muskie seemed to fade into oblivion — however this week the latter name has resurfaced in the latest Android source code drop. More than that, the code associates the device with HTC as the manufacturer, points to it having the same pixel density as the eventual Pixel 2 XL, and indicates that muskie had a pretty huge battery.
Here’s the cool part: muskie didn’t die, it just became the HTC U11 Plus.
The Verge has confirmed with a source familiar with HTC and Google’s tumultuous recent history that the U11 Plus, the device freshly announced this morning, is indeed the muskie handset that Google rejected in favor of the LG alternative. Not in its original Google-approved form, of course, but the core design and engineering that we see presented under the HTC brand today was essentially done to build the next Google Pixel XL.
Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge It’s not hard to spot the similarities. The U11 Plus is the first HTC phone to feature a fingerprint sensor on the back for a long time, maybe as far back as the HTC One Max in 2013. When I spent some hands-on time with the U11 Plus, that fingerprint reader struck me as being essentially the same as that on Google’s Pixel phones. Now we know why: that’s what it was initially intended and designed to be.
The display size and proportions of HTC’s U11 Plus are a direct match for the LG-made Pixel 2 XL: both have 6-inch screens with 18:9 aspect ratio and a 2880 x 1440 resolution. The major difference, however, is that LG’s display is an OLED panel with a laundry list of problems, whereas HTC’s is a more conventional LCD that just looks very nice. In hindsight, it appears obvious that Google should have stuck with its muskie plans instead of making a last-minute switch to LG; that would have saved the company a ton of headaches and bad press, and probably would have made the Pixel 2 XL the sort of potent iPhone rival we’ve long been waiting for.
Google Pixel 2 next to HTC U11 Plus and U11 Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge The U11 Plus that is coming out now does have a few HTC hallmarks, such as its fancy all-glass rear shell and the same excellent camera system of the U11. It also has a massive 3,930mAh battery, which is more than the Pixel 2 XL has and even bigger than the source code suggests muskie would have had. My first time with this HTC device was encouraging, and I already consider it one of the most complete and compelling Android phones coming to the market this holiday season. But what might a U11 Plus with Google’s unparalleled Pixel camera have looked like? What might the world have been like if the Pixel 2 XL had a screen worthy of its premium price and positioning?
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Unread 2017-11-06, 09:49 AM   #11037
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Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 Android Flagship Code-Named ‘Crown’





Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 Android flagship is code-named “crown,” according to recent reports which originated from South Korea earlier today. An unnamed source close to one of Samsung’s smartphone parts suppliers was cited as saying that a pilot production run of the Galaxy Note 9 is set to begin at some point in the first quarter of 2018. The claim itself hasn’t been verified and could also be just an educated guess, with Samsung recently providing an outline for its research and development efforts related to the Galaxy Note devices and confirming that its “Note Kickoff” meetings are always taking place early in the year.

If the report is accurate, it implies that first photographs of some Galaxy Note 9 prototypes may start emerging come early spring, with Samsung’s devices traditionally being prone to leaking in an extensive manner for months prior to their official introductions. According to the same source, the codename of the successor to the Galaxy Note 9 is meant to be illustrative of Samsung’s efforts to solidify its position as the world’s number one manufacturer of premium Android smartphones. With previous reports suggesting that the Galaxy Note 9 may introduce a number of industry firsts including an optical fingerprint recognition reader embedded into a mobile display panel, the possibility that the company is internally referring to it as the “crown” appears to be somewhat plausible. The supposed codename of the Galaxy Note 8 wasn’t related to Samsung’s industry ambitions but its large screen, with the Seoul-based tech giant allegedly referring to the recently released phablet as “baikal,” thus alluding to the world’s deepest lake Baikal in Russia.



The Galaxy Note 9 is expected to be introduced around the same time of the year its predecessor debuted, with Samsung’s previous product launch patterns pointing to a mid-August announcement. The 6.3-inch Super AMOLED panel with an aspect ratio of 18.5:9 that’s part of the Galaxy Note 8 is also expected to be succeeded by its follow-up, though no firm details regarding the device’s hardware specifications have yet been provided by any credible sources. Before the new addition to the Galaxy Note family is unveiled, Samsung should launch the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus, as well as the widely reported foldable smartphone that may be marketed as the Galaxy X.
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Unread 2017-11-06, 10:18 AM   #11038
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New Samsung ad tells iPhone owners it’s time to “Grow up”


Samsung’s marketing department is always on point. Say what you will about their phones, but Samsung knows how to put out a great commercial. They’re especially good when it comes to jabbing the competition. Right now, that competition is the iPhone X, the darling child of the tech world.




Something went wrong. Please make sure you added the video correctly.

Video URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R59TevgzN3k


The new ad is the story of an iPhone user who makes the switch to the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. It follows the guy as he buys the very first iPhone and waits in line each year for the new model. Along the way, he notices annoyances with the iPhone and his friends’ Galaxy devices. Finally, he decides to ditch the iPhone and go with the Note 8.
This is a pretty successful ad. Samsung knows that they already have a large portion of the Android crowd. Their next target is longtime iPhone users. It will be very hard to get those people to switch, but an ad like this could speak to people who have have the same feelings as the main character. What do you think of this ad?
Oh, and this guy was in the ad. Bravo, Samsung.


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Unread 2017-11-08, 02:29 PM   #11039
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Samsung Starting Galaxy S9 Mass Production In December: Report





Samsung is planning to start the mass production of the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus in December, South Korean media reported Wednesday, with no specific sources being cited. The Seoul-based phone maker is said to have already completed a pilot production run of its upcoming Android flagships in October and has allegedly finalized their design, thus being all set for flow production. It’s still unclear how many units is Samsung targeting for its initial shipments but with the Galaxy S8 series reportedly having its first manufacturing batch set at approximately 17 million units, the successors to the widely popular smartphones are unlikely to fall below that mark, though the final number of manufactured units ready for launch will depend on Samsung’s yield rates that are often unpredictable in the context of cutting-edge technologies being made at scale.

Latest reports also add more credence to previous rumors that the Galaxy S9 lineup will miss out on an optical fingerprint scanner as Samsung once again failed to commercialize the technology in time, having originally attempted to implement it into the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus before once again unsuccessfully trying to embed a fingerprint reader into the display panel of the Galaxy Note 8. Insiders claim that Samsung remains adamant to eventually increase its yield rates to the point of having a commercially viable on-screen scanner, adding that the South Korean original equipment manufacturer will have another go at the demanding technology with the Galaxy Note 9 that’s expected to launch in the second half of summer 2018.



The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus are rumored to succeed the 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch Infinity Display panels of their predecessors and should also boast QHD+ screens with a tall aspect ratio of 18.5:9. Samsung reportedly already reserved initial batches of Qualcomm’s unannounced Snapdragon 845 SoC for the Galaxy S9-series devices meant to be sold in the United States and China, whereas international models are expected to be powered by a Samsung-made silicon that may be called the Exynos 9810. The bezel-less handsets should offer 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal flash memory at a minimum, in addition to featuring a dedicated Bixby button like the previous flagship duo from Samsung.
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Unread 2017-11-08, 02:31 PM   #11040
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[Update: You can turn it on now] Chrome 64 will block those pesky redirecting ads everyone hates


Over the past few months, we've received dozens of complaints about redirecting ads on this site, which we have been repeatedly reporting to our ad networks. The problem ultimately comes down to rogue ads being published through common ad networks (even 'safe' ones like AdSense and AdX), which then show up on sites like ours. When the ads load, they hijack the parent page to load a misleading message, like the one pictured above, often while turning on the device's vibration motor to make it seem more realistic.
Most ad networks don't have any kind of manual review process, making this behavior difficult to pinpoint, and the ad's code can even be obfuscated to hide the malicious behavior. Google is now trying something different - blocking the behavior at the browser level.
Starting with Chrome 64, which is currently in the Canary and Dev channels, the browser will block all redirects coming from third-party frames, unless the user had been previously interacting with the frame. In other words, unless you tap an area inside the ad, the redirect will be blocked. Instead, Chrome will show an info bar, letting you know that the redirect attempt was disabled.
Google is also working on another change to prevent malicious behavior. Some pages will open links in new tabs, while redirecting the original tab to a malicious page. This essentially circumvents Chrome's built-in popup blocker. With Chrome 65, this behavior will also be blocked, and an info bar will be shown to the user.
These changes, combined with Chrome's upcoming ad blocker, should make the web a much nicer place for the average user. Hopefully, other browsers will follow suit and implement these changes as well. You can see a demo of a redirect here.




Update: 2017/11/08 10:49am PST This feature is already live in Chrome, even the current stable version (Chrome v62). See this post for more details about how to turn it on.
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Unread 2017-11-09, 10:46 AM   #11041
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Alleged pictures of 'Xiaomi Mi Mix 2s' show iPhone X-like notch

Xiaomi has never shied away from copying Apple, especially when it comes to design. Last year's original Mi Mix was a substantial departure from the company's previous phones, and its edge-to-edge screen (minus the bottom bar) made headlines worldwide. Here are a year later, and bezel-less phones are a bit more common now, with the iPhone X gaining the most attention.
Xiaomi just released the Mi Mix 2, with roughly the same design as last year's model, and is a pretty great device (Jordan is in the process of reviewing it). But it looks like another variation could be in the works, one that looks far more like an iPhone X. A few alleged pictures of the 'Mi Mix 2s' showed up Weibo (where else?), with a large cutout at the top.
The iPhone X's notch is filled with sensors for face recognition, along with a front-facing camera. Pumping up the exposure on one of the pictures seems to indicate that the Mix 2s' notch has a camera, an earpiece speaker, and a possibly an ambient light sensor:
There is always the chance this could be fake, since this is coming from an unconfirmed source. But it does seem like something Xiaomi would do.
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Unread 2017-11-09, 02:02 PM   #11042
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Is it an iphone like knotch or is it an essential phone knotch?
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Unread 2017-11-09, 02:09 PM   #11043
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Notches are stupid and ugly. Terrible trend, I hope it dies.
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Unread 2017-11-09, 02:16 PM   #11044
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an android phone with a big notch? LOL! ya, that's going to work great with the notification system.
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Unread 2017-11-09, 02:24 PM   #11045
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Amid Awful Quarter, Snapchat Announces Android App Redesign



Snapchat’s quarterlies were announced this week, and as you’d expect, they were quite quarterly. Thanks to more than tripling quarterly losses and uncountable amounts of unsold Spectacles glasses, the company’s shares took a dive of nearly 20%. Unless you’re a stockholder, this news doesn’t affect you, but during a conference call, prepared remarks directly from Evan Spiegel (Snapchat’s CEO) will directly affect Snapchat’s Android app you know and love.
According to Spiegel, the company is about to pour a ton of resources, also known as $$$, into redesigning the Snapchat app for Android. In doing so, it hopes to attract many more Android users.
One thing that we have heard over the years is that Snapchat is difficult to understand or hard to use, and our team has been working on responding to this feedback. As a result, we are currently redesigning our application to make it easier to use.
While a redesign does sound exciting, and could be a solid way to attract more users, Snapchat is completely aware that a huge change to the way Snapchat behaves could be detrimental in the short term.
There is a strong likelihood that the redesign of our application will be disruptive to our business in the short term, and we don’t yet know how the behavior of our community will change when they begin to use our updated application. We’re willing to take that risk for what we believe are substantial longterm benefits to our business.
The redesigned Snapchat will roll out to select markets first, then to the rest of the world. We don’t yet have timing on this launch, but given it seems to be quite the undertaking, it could be a little bit before we see it.
We’ll keep you posted.
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Unread 2017-11-09, 02:25 PM   #11046
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November’s Pixel 2 XL Update Adds Color Profiles, Nav Bar Dimming (Pixel 2 Too)






Google tucked a couple of unexpected surprises into the November security patch for the Pixel 2 XL, which just went live as an over-the-air update. To take care of a couple of display complaints, Google included a new Colors section in display settings that lets you adjust the phone’s color profile, plus they added in a fading navigation bar to address any burn-in concerns.
NOTE: These new features are included in the Pixel 2 builds as well.
Google told us these two adjustments were coming and we even saw the fading nav bar show up in the Android 8.1 beta. We weren’t exactly expecting both in a regular monthly security patch, though.
The Saturated color profile that adds a punch to the colors of the Pixel 2 and 2 XL can be found in Settings>Display>Advanced>Colors. Once in there, you can choose from Boosted, Natural, and Saturated. Boosted is likely the Vibrant setting that came with the phone out of the gate, while Natural is likely the sRGB-tuned style that Google would rather you use. Saturated will be less accurate overall, but potentially more pleasing to your eye.
As for the new fading navigation bar, well, you don’t have to do anything to activate it. In fact, it’s not a mode, it’s just the way the navigation bar works now. When in apps or moving around the OS, if you don’t touch any of the navigation buttons for a few seconds, they’ll do a subtle fading shift. This should help prevent any long-term burn-in, Google hopes.
To check for the update, head into Settings>System>System update.
And yes, the update is live right now even if the factory images and OTA files from Google do not currently exist for public download.
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Unread 2017-11-14, 02:03 PM   #11047
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Google's Pixel Buds Aren't Even Close to Being Good

All photos: Adam Clark Estes
There was always something off about the Pixel Buds. Google released the smart, wireless headphones a full year after Apple released the AirPods. But the Pixel Buds aren’t exactly wireless, and they’re not exactly smart, either. In fact, after spending a few days with the product, I’m prepared to say it: the Pixel Buds suck.
The Pixel Buds suck, but they shouldn’t.
HeadphonesGoogle



Pixel Buds

What is it?

Wireless earbuds for Android phones

Price

$160

Like

Easy access to Assistant

No like

Basically everything else







Google is a remarkably enormous tech company that’s made some neat hardware in recent years. The Google Home and its new junior edition, the Google Home Mini, are giving the Amazon Echo a run for its money. The Daydream headset is a delightfully different take on virtual reality. And despite some hiccups in the first generation, the Pixel 2 is a pretty great smartphone. In light of all this hardware success, I expected to be blown away by the $160 Pixel Buds, which feature Google Assistant on demand as well as real-time foreign language translation.




That didn’t happen. The Pixel Buds confused me as soon as I opened the box. They’re wireless earbuds, but they’re not truly wireless—there’s a cord connecting them together. And although they’re bigger than the AirPods, the Pixel Buds feature the same five-hour battery life. They also come in a charging case, but it feels flimsy, like a takeout container. The case and earbuds combo is so unintuitive that Google includes instructions on how to wrap the wire around the case so that it will close. The company even sent me a gif to make it extra clear:




The confusion didn’t stop with those little details. The Pixel Buds use a new, proprietary Bluetooth trick to make it easier to pair the device to your phone. Guess what? It’s not that easy. When you do the initial set up with the earbuds, you have to put the case next to your phone, open it, and hope that your phone recognizes the signal. This worked fine when I paired the earbuds to a Samsung Galaxy S8, but I soon learned that not all Pixel Buds features are available on the Samsung device. In order to take advantage of the Pixel Buds’ ability to translate foreign languages in real time, you have to use them with a Google Pixel or Pixel 2 smartphone. When I tried connecting the Pixel Buds to a Pixel 2 to test these features, the phone wouldn’t connect to the earbuds.
I’d like to say that using the Pixel Buds was maddening or frustrating. That wouldn’t be precise, though. It’s confusing. I finally got the earbuds to pair with the Pixel 2, but only after emailing Google and getting instructions for a reset process that involved a button inside the case that I hadn’t even realized existed until the company pointed it out. You can only connect the Pixel Buds to a single Android or iOS 10 device at a time, and you can’t connect them to a computer or even a Chromebook. By the way, the Google Assistant capabilities only work on Android Marshmallow or higher, and the fast pairing feature only works on Android Nougat or higher.
If Apple products are so self explanatory your grandparents can use them, this Google product is so counterintuitive that figuring out the nuances feels like solving a trigonometry problem.




I did get the translation feature to work, by the way, and it’s just as confusing as everything else about the Pixel Buds. You’d think that you could just tap the right earbud and ask Google to translate what you’re hearing, but it’s more complicated than that. You do have to tap the earbud and ask Google to translate, but then you have to open up the Google Translate app and hold your phone in front of your foreign language-speaking friend. And, of course, your phone must be a Google Pixel or Pixel 2.





The Pixel Buds play music too, and it will sound okay. I’d compare the quality to the wired Apple EarPods. Like the EarPods, the Pixel Buds have two speakers—one facing forward and one straight into your head. Also like the EarPods, the Pixel Buds rest on your ear rather than create a firm seal in your ear canal, and I should point out that the earbud itself is quite big, not good for teeny ears. The resultant sound is crisp but surprisingly one-dimensional. The vocals on “Ready for the Floor” by Hot Chip come through cleanly, but the whole song sounds limp, since the Pixel Buds produce so little bass. “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver sounds terrific, although that song always sounds great to me.




Audio is middling, but the Assistant stuff is cool. The right earbud features a touch-sensitive surface that lets you play or pause the music, adjust the volume, beckon the Google Assistant (if your phone is new enough), learn the time, and listen to your latest notifications. It’s a little bit too slick, though, as I found myself accidentally hitting play any time I touched the earbuds. I’d pause my music, for instance, take the buds out of my ears, and then inadvertently hit play again when I set them on the table. It was confusing!
And yet, like a lighthouse blinking on a faraway shore, I think Google is up to something good. The idea behind the Pixel Buds is appealing, even though this initial implementation is a bit of a mess. Tapping your ear to get a readout of your latest notifications is a cool idea. You can even use Assistant to send a text message or find a nearby coffee shop. The AirPods do stuff like this with Siri, too, but in my experience, Google is just better at natural language processing. As I learned from testing the Google Home, you can just talk to the robot, and the robot knows what you want. And at best, the Pixel Buds are a little Google Home in your head.




I think Google jumped the gun on this product. The company announced the product in a whirlwind of hardware announcements last month, a splashy event that included some things that were obviously experiments. (We’re looking at you, Google Clips.) The Pixel Buds feel like an imperfect version of what Google was really trying to do. In an ideal world, that pesky wire that connects the two earbuds and requires special instructions would not exist. If Google really wanted to sell the most earbuds to the most people, the Pixel Buds would work equally well with any device, including Chromebooks and laptops. Heck, assuming Google values user experience, the earbuds would be able to connect to more than one device at a time.
When I step back and think hard about the Pixel Buds, my head explodes. Not in a good way. It’s utterly insane that the one truly unique thing Google did with the Pixel Buds, on demand language translation, is a thing that will only work with Google’s own smartphone. I’d expect this shit from Apple, sure. But Google is the champion of the open platform. Android is supposed to be the egalitarian alternative to the iOS fiefdom. Now it feels like Google is walling in its own kingdom.



I’d be less grumpy if the Pixel Buds cost $60, but they cost $160, the same price as AirPods. For that price, you might as well spend $200 and get Sony’s truly wireless earbuds, or even $250 on the Bose Soundsport Free, both of which work with Google Assistant. Or you could just buy AirPods. In a shocking plot twist, the Apple earbuds are more versatile than the Google earbuds and actually work with Android devices as well as laptops and other Bluetooth-enabled gadgets. Why anyone would buy a wireless gadget that only worked with specific devices is beyond me. Unfortunately, the Pixel Buds are currently sold out, so even if you actually want to buy these crappy things, you’ll have to join a waiting list.
Good luck with that, Google. Or actually, better luck next time.
README

  • Google’s answer to Apple’s AirPods at the same $160 price point
  • Terrible user experience due to poorly conceived design
  • Only connects to certain Android devices
  • Cool translation feature only works with Google Pixel phones
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Unread 2017-11-14, 05:51 PM   #11048
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Gizmodo is some click-baity shit.

I'll wait til some reputable tech reviewers give their opinion before putting much value into their take, considering how their OG Pixel review was.
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Unread 2017-11-14, 07:21 PM   #11049
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I got my P2XL Panda 128gb today. UI experience is exactly as I'd expected. Smooth, simple, clean. Device itself is great. I legit cannot believe these display issues people perceive to be such a problem are real concerns from real people. There has to be a more nefarious motive.

Whatever...it got google to offer a 2 year warranty so I guess no skin off my back.
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Unread 2017-11-15, 11:42 AM   #11050
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Pixel UI is sooooooooooooooooooo smooth and fast. Every other Android phone I've tried since I got my Pixel XL is just a pain to use, even briefly. iOS is pretty similar in its responsiveness. No going back, just like going back from a 144hz monitor
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