• Devices

    by Published on 11-16-2018 02:50 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors

    I know what you're thinking and yes, it's the same Russian site that leaked what turned out to be legit photos of the Pixel 3 XL last August. Now, barely three months later, they've got photos of what they're claiming is a new Pixel variant; codenamed "Sargo", everybody seems to be calling it the Pixel 3 Lite.

    And yes, that is indeed a headphone jack along the phone's top edge. Other notable specs are reported to be as follows:

    5.56 inch 2220 x 1080 pixel IPS display @ 444 ppi
    Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 processor
    4 GB RAM / 32 GB of storage
    12 MP rear camera / 8 MP front camera
    2,915 mAh battery

    Android Police speculates that the processor—also found in Oppo's R17, for example—means that it's intended for Asia and Europe only. Unlike North America, where the Pixel's main competition bears an Apple logo and also doesn't come with an audio jack, there are plenty of Xiaomi and similar devices across the Near and Far East that do.

    Read more about Sargo at the links and source below.

    Source: Rozetked via Android Police, Liliputing

    by Published on 11-14-2018 03:00 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices

    Okay, I think this is it... the big push to make Wear OS the Windows of smartwatches. Available online tomorrow and in stores soon thereafter, Fossil's new Sport not only includes the new Snapdragon 3100 chip, but (almost) every other Wear OS feature that a user could want.

    First, there will be two case sizes, 41 and 43 mm, for male and female wrists. Second, there will be no less than six available colours: black, blush, grey, light blue, neon and red, plus an additional 28 options for bands and bracelets—plus your favourite third party quick-release strap from Amazon, your local watch repair shop, etc. Third, a heart rate sensor. Fourth, NFC for Google Pay. Fifth, a rotating crown to scroll through installed apps and notifications. Six, two additional customizable buttons to quick-launch your favourite apps. And seventh, the aforementioned Snapdragon 3100 chip, which should significantly improve both performance and battery life over past Wear OS releases.

    The only other feature a smartwatch user could ask for would be a trans-reflective display for readability in bright sunlight. But for $255 USD / $335 CAD you still get quite a lot!

    Here's an unboxing and tour of the Fossil Sport from Droid Life:

    Those interested can pre-order a Fossil Sport at either of the links below. Be sure to let us know how you like it...!

    Links: Fossil Sport for Canada / USA

    by Published on 11-13-2018 12:53 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Carriers

    Looking to score a free phone this holiday? For a limited time, the REVVL 2 is available for FREE after 24 monthly device credits when you add a line (regularly $168 or $0 down and $7 per month for 24 months on T-Mobile interest-free Equipment Installment Plan (EIP).

    Need a bigger HD display and battery? The new REVVL 2 Plus with dual rear-facing cameras, a bigger battery, an even larger screen and the same amazing warranty can be yours for $84 for a limited time. That comes out to only $3.50 per month when you add a line (regularly $252 or $0 down and $10.50 per month for 24 months on EIP).

    REVVL 2
    Camera: 13MP RFC/8MP FFC
    Battery: 3,000 mAh
    Color: Mirror Black
    OS: Android O
    Screen: 5.5” HD (1440x720) 18:9 display
    RAM: 2GB
    ROM: 32GB and expandable to 128GB
    Bands: LTE CAT 4, LTE Bands 2,4,5, 7,12, 66 & 71
    Security: Face recognition & fingerprint sensor
    Water/Dust Resistance: IP52
    Impact/Shock Resistance: IK02
    Dimensions: 147.1 x 68.8 x 8.5 mm
    Chipset: MediaTek MT6739
    Processor: 1.5 GHz Quad-Core


    REVVL 2 Plus
    Camera: 12MP + 2 MP RFC/8MP FFC
    Battery: 4,000 mAh
    Color: Mirror Black
    OS: Android O
    Screen: 6.0” FHD + (2160x1080) 18:9 display
    RAM: 3GB
    ROM: 32GB and expandable to 128GB
    Bands: LTE CAT 6, LTE Bands 2,4,5,12, 66 & 71
    Security: Face recognition & fingerprint sensor
    Water/Dust Resistance: IP52
    Impact/Shock Resistance: IK02
    Dimensions: 162 x 74.9 x 8.65 mm
    Chipset: MediaTek MT6739
    Processor: 2.5 GHz Octa-Core

    by Published on 11-12-2018 04:46 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices

    Only a few weeks after its official release we already have a new colour variant of the OnePlus 6T. They even went so far as to issue a press release about it:

    “The OnePlus 6T Thunder Purple is a stunning combination of power and beauty – the black-to-purple fade is like a thunderstorm on a summer night,” Pete Lau, Founder and CEO of OnePlus, said.
    Well, it's better than one of those stupid dbrand skins, at least

    It also seems awfully quick for a new colour; it was a full two months after the initial OnePlus 6 launch that the red variant appeared on the company's online store. On the other hand, Thunder Purple is already available as a China-only special edition, so there's no technical reason not to offer it to rabid OP fans worldwide.

    The Thunder Purple OnePlus 6T, with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, goes on sale in Canada and the United States at 9am Eastern this Thursday, November 15th.

    Sources: Android Police, Mobile Syrup, XDA

    by Published on 11-09-2018 07:38 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Carriers

    Although we've known about T-Mobile's streaming TV ambitions for over a year now the new FCC filing does hint at some form of imminent launch.

    Spotted first by Variety, this box is called the “T-Mobile Mini” in the user manual and is made by Kaonmedia, the same company that made set-top boxes for Layer3 TV.

    Per the diagram below there is a T-Mobile logo on the front, along with an Ethernet port, HDMI in/out, and of course a power port. There’s also support for USB, 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity and Bluetooth LE.

    Although we still don't know the exact date of launch T-Mobile did hint that their new service would launch "later this year," with a mobile launch in 2019.

    by Published on 11-08-2018 03:32 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on

    The original plan for today's post was to walk you through the steps for unlocking the Pixel 3's bootloader, installing TWRP and rooting with Magisk. Instead, I'm wiping my data and sending the phone, stand and two cases back to Google. I'll explain in detail below, but here's a quick summary if you don't care to read that far:

    The Great:
    - size
    - camera
    - haptic feedback

    The Good:
    - front-firing speakers
    - wireless charging

    The Bad:
    - hardware/software bugs
    - Google's launcher
    - Google's gestures
    - price

    Save for the glaring omission of Night Sight, the camera delivers everything you could ask for in terms of still images. The haptic feedback, especially on the software keyboard, was an unexpected pleasure. And if you're looking for a premium phone you can comfortably use with one hand well, there just aren't a lot of other options out there right now. Wireless charging and front-firing stereo speakers are also very nice to have.

    My biggest issue with this Pixel is that it feels like an unfinished product. Someone on some podcast somewhere said that Google treats their customers like beta testers—which is fine if you're getting free email but unacceptable for an ultra-premium piece of hardware. I may not be a fan of Samsung's extra apps, and their flagships may, over time, slow down to the point where they require a factory reset every few months, but at least when I poke around on one I feel like I'm using a finished product. That's just not the case with this Pixel 3. If it were really finished then I wouldn't have to install a hacked camera apk to access Night Sight, for example...

    Another example of unfinished business: that issue I wrote about earlier, with swiping across the rear fingerprint sensor. Turns out that it's not just me; other users are reporting the exact same problem with their Pixel 3s on reddit. Also, even after a software update I still can't get a dark background on my app drawer, despite the settings promising me that I can.

    But the single most frustrating thing about the Pixel 3 by far is its garbage implementation of gesture controls.

    What we're looking at above is the app switcher on the Pixel's native launcher. Every single time you swipe up you will be faced with this screen, even if 9 times out of 10 all you wanted to get to was your app drawer. If you swipe up with the index finger of your free hand (the one that isn't holding the phone) then you will mercifully see this screen but for a brief moment before you get to your apps. But if, on this perfectly-sized one-handed phone, you attempt the same gesture with the thumb of your phone-holding hand, guess what? The launcher will, for no good reason, dump you here at the app switcher, making you swipe up a second time to get to your apps. That's just dumb.

    Another launcher (like Nova) will at least provide the option of an app drawer button, but you'll still be forced to use Google's gestures elsewhere. Why? Because you just paid $1,000 CAD to be an involuntary beta tester for Google, that's why!

    If you love Google Assistant to the point where you want to see it everywhere, maybe this is the phone for you. Or perhaps you have young children, and want to have the best available smartphone camera with you at all times—if so then by all means give the Pixel 3 a try. Me? I'm just not willing to fork out this much cash for an unfinished product.

    by Published on 11-07-2018 03:55 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on

    I did my traditional photo walk through downtown Toronto's Graffiti Alley this morning, and here's the only photo from that shoot. Why? Because honestly, almost any modern camera phone can yield decent results outdoors on a cloudy day with even lighting. I'm actually much more interested in what the Pixel 3 can do in low light, so that's what I'm going to be focusing on (boo) for the remainder of this post.

    Before we proceed, some other notes about the camera(s):

    1. If video is your thing you probably already know that the Pixel only captures 4K at 30fps, so you can continue investigating that iPhone or whatever else you were looking into. Also, it was too windy this morning to effectively demonstrate the inferior audio quality of the P3's built-in mic.
    2. The wide-angle selfie cam is fine. No one here needs to see my face—or yours, if we're being honest.

    Now here's a face worth looking at... my middle-aged mouser is in this shot backlit by only a dim table light, but look at the sharpness in his fur and whiskers. My OnePlus 5T certainly wouldn't be able to pull off a shot like this. I'm impressed.

    Moving outdoors the high fidelity continues, and the exposure is surprisingly good, with only the direct light sources being blown out. You know, the CN Tower in the background reminds me a lot of a vacation photo I took last summer...

    Here's the Auckland Tower as seen from the harbour, taken with my OnePlus 5T. I'm including it here because of how OnePlus has chosen to deal with camera noise. Notice how the striped canopy in the foreground—and also the building directly behind it—look like they're painted? That's deliberate; the pixels are blended together with a mosaic effect to make the image look less noisy.

    But noise certainly won't be an issue on our Pixel 3, will it...?

    Here's a 100% crop of both photos, so you can see for yourself. With the Pixel (left) I'm seeing an unfortunate amount of noise, particularly around the top of the tower, whereas the OnePlus image (right) has suddenly turned from an oil painting into a watercolour—not necessarily better (and certainly not more accurate) but perhaps more aesthetically pleasing for sharing on social media?

    This isn't even a fair comparison, really, as the Pixel image was captured at night and the OnePlus at dusk, thus having a lot more available light. I guess the point I'm attempting to make here is that even the best camera has a threshold that, when crossed, starts to adversely affect image quality. And the Pixel, as impressive as it is, isn't entirely infallible. Maybe when the camera app is updated to include Night Sight it'll be a different story.

    by Published on 11-06-2018 04:35 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on

    Canada Post was kind enough to accommodate Pixel 3 week, and dropped off my phone and charging stand earlier this afternoon. I haven't yet put my SIM card in it, but I did set it up with my Gmail account. Here's how I'm getting on with it so far:

    I took this photo in the shadows of my office while Google Assistant was apparently updating over WiFi. Now that it has, the Pixel Stand mode is working as advertised. I even got it to read me the news, which was a neat trick, although I need to set up a Canadian source.

    But I'm guessing you want to know more about the actual phone than its charging stand, so...

    ... Here it is, still in the box! What immediately struck me when I took it out was how much I like its size. For reference it seems about as wide as the LG Nexus 5—not the 5X, the 2013 one—but taller. Some may say that they're getting more for their money with a bigger phone, and that's fine; for me, the less thumb gymnastics I have to perform, the better.

    Check out how my stupid OnePlus categorically refuses to focus on the Pixel's brushed glass finish... I do have to say, though, that I do find said finish entirely unremarkable to the touch, so into a funky cloth case it went straightaway.

    Oh and one thing about the fingerprint reader; I'm having a surprising amount of trouble using it to pull down my notification panel. I thought it might be the fabric case, but even without it the gesture still doesn't seem to work reliably.

    Over on the other side of the glass, annoyances continue. There are just a lot of ways to access Google Assistant here, dare I say too many? You can long-press the pill at the bottom of the home screen, tap on the right side of the non-removable search box above it or give the bottom half of your phone a friendly squeeze. Just one of these ways would be fine, thanks.

    The other big issue that I'm currently trying to solve is getting Google's night mode to stick. When enabled through developer options, your quick settings and app drawer are supposed to have a dark background, instead of the garish white that you'd otherwise see. I keep checking if the setting is enabled (it is) yet the garish white persists.

    Tomorrow I'll have a closer look at the Pixel 3's main attraction: its camera.

    by Published on 11-05-2018 03:43 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Carriers

    Good news tablet hunters! T-Mobile is launching Samsung's LTE-A flagship tablet this Friday.

    Features include:

    • Android Oreo
    • Facial recognition and an iris scanner
    • Quad speakers
    • S Pen stylus
    • 10.5-inch 2560×1600 Super AMOLED display
    • 13MP rear camera for your quick tablet photo captures and an 8MP front camera for video calling.
    • Octa-core Snapdragon 835 processor
    • Huge 7,300 mAh battery
    • 4GB of RAM and 64GB of built-in storage
    • Supports microSD slot expansion

    The device costs $700 full retail. You can EIP this unit for $28 down and $28 per month for 24 months with any data plan.

    However T-Mobile is sweetening the pot if you add a new line and activate a 6GB Simple Choice or T-Mobile ONE mobile internet plan or higher with autopay. With this option you'd pay $28 down but after credits you'll only pay $13.42 per month.

    Click here for the awesome optional keyboard: https://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/mo...2300420a240614

    by Published on 11-01-2018 02:05 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Carriers

    OnePlus has, in a forum post, clarified the differences between the T-Mobile-branded 6T and the unlocked version you can now buy direct from OnePlus.

    If, for whatever reason, you can't see the image above, the major differences are as follows:

    T-Mobile: mirror black
    Unlocked: midnight black, mirror black

    T-Mobile: 8 GB RAM + 128 GB storage
    Unlocked: 6 GB + 128 GB, 8 GB + 128 GB / 256 GB

    T-Mobile: single SIM card slot (because carriers)
    Unlocked: dual SIM card slot

    T-Mobile: T-Mobile network only
    Unlocked: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon

    The T-Mobile version can be network-unlocked once the phone has been paid off in full and used on the network for 40 continuous days. Once the device is network-unlocked then the bootloader will then be unlockable as well. The chart actually shows an error in its bottom-right cell: I'm fairly certain that phones purchased direct from OnePlus have bootloaders that are also unlockable rather than unlocked—the latter would be a pretty big security risk to those who don't understand what any of this means.

    Finally, there are two additional hardware features that you'll find on the company's previous OnePlus 6 but not on either version of the 6T—one is the headphone jack, the other is the notification LED. Never settle!

    Source: OnePlus Forums via XDA

    by Published on 10-30-2018 10:30 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices

    Apple's event at the Brooklyn Academy of Music has just wrapped. Here are my notes from the livestream, plus videos that were shown at the event...

    opening black & white montage of users and macs (mostly macbooks)

    Tim Cook, CEO:
    76% of new mac users are from china (ok)
    active install base worldwide=100 million macs
    mac os "is the soul of the mac"
    features inspired by pro users, accessible to everyone
    customers love their macs, and one in particular: macbook air
    "it's time for a new macbook air!"

    New MacBook Air:
    "retina display, and a whole lot more..."
    headphone jack, two usb-c/thunderbolt 3 ports
    13.3 inch display, over 4 million pixels
    smaller bezels (black)
    touch id authentication (in keyboard)
    apple t2 security chip
    keyboard - 3rd gen, 4x more stable
    new force touch trackpad, 20% more surface area
    better audio - three mics, louder speakers
    to 16 gb ram
    up to 1.5 tb ssd
    all-day battery life
    17% less volume than previous model
    15.6 mm thick / 2.75 lb weight
    environmentally-friendly - 100% recycled aluminum
    starts at $1,199 usd (8 gb ram / 128 gb storage / core i5)
    order today for delivery next week

    New Mac mini:
    new space grey finish
    4 or 6 core 8th gen cpus
    5x faster performance
    up to 64 gb ram
    up to 2 tb ssd storage
    apple t2 security chip
    thermal cooling, can be stacked
    lots of ports (+ headphone jack!)
    100% recycled aluminum
    starts at $799 usd (8 gb ram / 128 gb ssd / quad-core cpu)
    order today for delivery next week

    New iPad Pro:
    400 million ipads sold, more than all notebooks
    "magic piece of glass" - world's most popular computer
    new model has "liquid retina" lcd display
    smaller bezels, rounded corners
    5.9 mm thick
    11 inch case, same size as 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper
    also bigger 12.9 inch option
    now with face id (portrait or landscape)
    no home button; uses same gestures as iphone x
    new 7 nm a12x bionic chip
    faster than 92% of all portable pcs sold in last 12 months
    same performance as xbox one s in a much smaller package
    up to 1 tb storage capacity, via usb-c port
    port also supports external monitors up to 5k
    port can charge other devices, including iphone
    new 2nd-gen pencil: attaches magnetically, charges wirelessly
    new smart keyboard folio - easier to use
    four speaker audio, 12 mp camera
    gigabit lte in cellular models - esim only?
    11 inch starts at $799 usd (64 gb)
    12.9 inch starts at $999 usd (64 gb)

    iOS 12.1:
    available today
    dual-sim support for xr and xs
    group facetime
    70 new emoji

    by Published on 10-29-2018 05:37 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Carriers

    Hey T-Mobile fans!

    Are you itching for your next Android upgrade? T-Mobile has you covered! T-Mobile today has introduced the long awaited OnePlus 6T for a great price of $549. Still not convinced? Well the Magenta carrier is sweetening the deal by offering $300 off with eligible trade in! A flagship phone for only $249? You read that right! Tell me more...

    This isn't "up to $300," but rather $300 off period by trading in one of the following:

    Apple: iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus
    Google: Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel, Pixel XL
    LG: V30, V30+, G7, V20, G6
    Motorola: Z2 Force, Z2 Play, Nexus 6
    OnePlus: 6, 5T, 5, 3, 3T, X, 2, 1
    Samsung: Galaxy S8 series, Note 8, Galaxy S7 series, Galaxy S6 series, Note 5

    As a refresher, this thing is seriously packing the goods and rounding out the top are:

    6.41 inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 2340×1080
    Snapdragon 845 processor
    8GB of RAM, and there’s
    Up to 256GB of built-in storage
    3700mAh battery
    16MP front facing camera / 20MP rear
    Android OS: PIE 9.0

    As a T-Mobile flagship it includes all the necessary LTE bands 2, 4, 5, 12, 66, and 71 plus it supports gotta have geek features like 256 QAM, 4×4 MIMO, carrier aggregation, and License Assisted Access (LAA)

    The OnePlus 6T goes on sale at 3 a.m. PT on Thursday, Nov. 1, and will be available at T-Mobile stores and on T-Mobile.com. New York City residents can purchase the phone from T-Mo's Times Square store starting Monday at 5 p.m. ET.

    T-Mobile will sell the OnePlus 6T model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of built-in storage.

    EIP Pricing: $0 down and $24.17 per month for 24 months on EIP.
    JOD Pricing: $28 down and $24 per month for 18 months with a $120 buyout.

    With eligible trade in at this price this phone is the one to beat and settling for another mid range phone would make no sense. Who's getting one?

    Still on the fence? Check out this awesome video:

    by Published on 10-29-2018 11:18 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices

    I've just finished watching the OnePlus 6T announcement; here's a dump of my notes. Spoiler alert: OnePlus has their first official carrier partner in the USA!

    pete lau (first public speech in english):
    pop-up events for premium phones show that users want to try before they buy
    so... oneplus is indeed partnering with t-mobile usa
    from november 5th, the 6t will be available at 5600 stores across the nation

    kyle kiang - head of marketing (na & global):
    oneplus made 1.5 billion USD in revenue last year
    #1 premium smartphone in india for last two quarters
    5 million registered users worldwide

    6t specs:
    6.41 inch display
    2340 x 1080 pixels @ 402 ppi
    19.5:9 full optic amoled screen
    gorilla glass 6
    5 colour display profiles

    screen unlock - in-display fingerprint sensor
    first to market (in united states)
    0.34 seconds to unlock

    20 + 16 mp rear cameras, f/1.7 aperture
    ois + eis
    480 fps slow motion video
    nightscape - low light mode, also coming to oneplus 6
    new portrait mode: studio lighting, with kevin abosch (see below)

    snapdragon 845 / adreno 630
    smart boost (for gaming): uses ram as storage
    6 or 8 gb ram
    128 or 256 gb storage

    3,700 mah battery (23% bigger) with fast charge
    42 global bands - supports 233 carriers across 74 countries

    oxygenos, based on android 9
    airplane mode toggle - plane takes off and lands (ok)
    top (bottom) 10 android phones measured by failure rate
    os devs - team fse (fast, stable, efficient)
    full-screen gestures 2.0

    available in mirror black / midnight black
    $549 USD - 6 + 128 gb
    $579 USD - 8 + 128 gb
    $629 USD - 8 + 256 gb

    t-mobile launch offer: $300 off with trade-in
    30 devices eligible, including all previous oneplus phones

    new accessories:
    bullets type-c, plus dac from cirrus logic
    new backpack with one-hand locking mechanism - $99 USD

    kevin abosch - photographer, op innovation director:
    "so many faces... i love faces..." (?)

    christiano amon, qualcomm president:
    snapdragon 845 sets new bar for performance, ai and connectivity
    congrats to oneplus on t-mobile partnership
    5g is coming soon - oneplus has already sent first 5g tweet (ok)

    today: 5pm pop-up in Times Square T-Mo store - 6T available for purchase
    nov 1 launch in north america / nov 6 launch in europe

    by Published on 10-24-2018 03:05 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices

    Ah, it's good to be back. And if you're curious, that watchface looks even better in colour! But I'm getting ahead of myself here...

    Seeing how I will shortly be in possession of an almost $1,000 CAD Pixel 3 I've been getting reacquainted with the comparably-expensive smartwatch equivalent—that is, Wear OS. For the country wedding I attended last weekend I charged up my first-generation Skagen Falster to match my other fancy duds.

    And then, of course, I met someone there who was wearing a Pebble. They didn't have to charge their smartwatch for the entire weekend; I had to charge mine twice.

    So upon my return to the big city I immediately re-paired my Pebble 2 SE (I also have a Time and Time Steel) and was quickly reminded of at least five reasons why this cheap and cheerful line of smartwatches is still, almost two years into obsolescence, the best solution for me:

    1. Battery

    At three weeks plus the Amazfit Bip may still be the endurance champ, but the seven to ten days I get from any of my Pebbles is still ample. Even a 48-hour Wear OS device couldn't have made it from Toronto to Vancouver to Taipei to Brisbane to Auckland on a single charge; my banged-up Kickstarter Pebble Time, however, powered through with battery to spare.

    Part of what makes the Pebble lasts so long is its e-paper display, which only needs to light pixels when something changes, which brings us to...

    2. Display

    Sure, colour Pebbles can look a bit washed-out when using their built-in backlight, but for outdoors there is no smartwatch more legible than Pebble. The closest equivalent on Wear OS is the transflective LCD on the Casio Pro-Trek (also visible in the image above) and TicWatch Pro. And both of those displays only show basic information; with a Pebble you get the whole watchface, plus whatever complications come with it.

    Also, no lift-to-wake nonsense here. As with any proper timepiece the time is always visible.

    3. Buttons

    Another thing my Pebbles excel at is skipping ads on podcasts while I'm on a walk. To do the same on a Wear OS watch you'd need to first launch the Media Controls app and then try to skip ahead using the touch screen. I say "try" because if the screen is cold it doesn't always work, whereas with a Pebble I can do it without even looking.

    And in case you were wondering the Amazfit Bip doesn't have media controls at all.

    4. Size

    I suppose the Skagen is closest in size to my Pebbles, but it's considerably heavier; my all-plastic Pebble Time and 2 SE are so light that I quickly forget I'm wearing them—that is until a notification buzzes through. So I'm far more likely to wear a Pebble around the house, without needing to carry my phone in tow.

    5. Services

    Having taken over Pebble's backend servers, The Rebble Alliance is now providing weather and voice dictation to every Pebble that supports it. With a paid subscription they've got a unique and (hopefully) sustainable business model, ensuring that their users can continue to enjoy the full Pebble experience for years to come.

    And that, in a nutshell, is why my Skagen Falster is going back in the drawer.

    by Published on 10-18-2018 12:38 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis,
    4. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview

    Sonos has been around for some time for a while it felt like they owned the whole home audio market. However, there are now alternatives and many of them are not exclusive to a single manufacturer. Google’s Home, Amazon’s Echo and Apple’s Homepod devices are marketed first as speakers that have microphones/voice assistants which can also provide whole home audio.

    With that in mind, Sonos has released the One, a Sonos with built-in microphones. Out of the box it has support Amazon Alexa’s voice recognition. Presumably it also has the capability to recognize Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri commands if Sonos can work out necessary licensing deals. ...
    by Published on 10-16-2018 08:24 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis,
    4. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview

    Apple iPhone XS Max

    Here’s the Apple iPhone XS Max. According to Apple, “XS” is pronounced “Ten S”. However it’s hard for me to not see it as “iPhone Extra Small Max”. Silly name aside, the most striking thing about the Max isn’t its notched, large 6.5” display, dual cameras or even the cutting-edge 7nm A12 processor. No, it’s the Max’s breathtaking price tag; the 512GB variant costs a heart stopping $1999 Canadian before taxes. Let’s check it out. ...
    by Published on 10-15-2018 04:52 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Carriers

    Verizon fans: You ever take off for the weekend and wish you could take a smaller more portable version of your smartphone with you?

    Yeah me neither.... But a hot new Cali startup named Palm has you covered for all ya'll who don't have friends in low places. This company is hoping you have room in your life, and your wallet for a new Smartphone Companion. Yes you read that right! A smartphone companion. And Verizon got dibs on it first. Yay!

    For $10 per month, you too can carry this credit card sized piece of fresh air. This device itself which so far is known as: "The Palm," will set you back $350 gives you:

    Android 8.1
    3.3-inch HD screen
    Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor
    3 GB of RAM
    32 GB of storage
    12-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera
    800mAh battery
    LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a SIM card.

    The hoped for end result is that you pair this device to your phone like any other wearable with use of Verizon's NumberShare service as a pre-requisite. It's not a replacement to your phone only a compliment. The irony is that this device is supposed to get you away from being attached to your smartphone's display by.... adding another one.

    From an industry perspective, Palm is hoping to create a new category of devices that customers will soon realize they can't live without. Verizon is watching this closely to see if customers are willng to pad thier bills and increase DARPU (Data Average Revenue per User).

    Whether or not adding another screen to your life is worth it to you is totally a personal choice. Let's us know what you think? Will you be buying this? Do you know anyone who this would work perfect for?

    For more details check out this awesome video on the gadget:

    by Published on 10-15-2018 03:20 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices

    It looks like a review embargo for the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL is being lifted today; such things often happen so that reviewers get a chance to use something resembling production software. Anyway, I've chosen three reputable tech blogs—The Verge, Ars Technica and Mobile Syrup (Canada represent!)—plus a companion video by The Verge, above; together, they'll hopefully provide you with a pretty good idea of what Google's 2018 smartphones are all about.

    The Verge: The best camera gets a better phone
    "The single biggest improvement this year on both sizes is the quality of the screens. As we learned last year, it’s all too easy to make an OLED screen that looks bad. The Pixel 2 XL screen was muddy, reds looked more like browns, and it felt like there was a layer of parchment paper making everything hazy. There was also a burn-in scare at launch that caused a whole lot of drama.

    I obviously can’t speak to burn-in yet, but the color problems are 100 percent gone this year. The Pixel 3 XL’s screen is vibrant and bright with colors that pop at any viewing angle."
    Ars Technica: Google software deserves better than this hardware
    "The (3 XL's) notch design isn't just embarrassing, it actively hurts the phone's usability. The status bar might be twice as tall as normal, but horizontally, it doesn't have nearly enough room to work with. On the left side, you'll usually be able to see a whopping two or three notification icons. If you have exactly three icons, you can see three notification icons. But usually the third slot is taken up by the "more" icon, so you only actually see two icons."
    Mobile Syrup: All the small things
    "The Pixel 3 deserves special praise. For those who love smaller phones, its 5.5-inch screen and 68.2 mm x 145.6 mm x 7.9 mm body feels perfect. If you prefer the look and feel of the Pixel 3, don’t feel like you’re missing out going for the XL’s smaller sibling. A smaller screen and battery notwithstanding, the Pixel 3 is every bit as capable as the Pixel 3 XL. This is a departure from the Pixel 2, which, between its inferior haptics and older display technology, was the lesser of the two Pixel 2s."
    If you have another Pixel 3 and/or 3 XL review that you'd like to share, please do so below!

    by Published on 10-12-2018 03:15 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices

    This is just a stock photo from Wikipedia, but I have something almost identical to it sitting on my nightstand right now. I've had it for at least as long as I've lived in my current apartment—and come to think of it, the one before that as well. That's 21 years and counting!

    I don't think that I've used the radio function in about 10 of those years, and I don't even use the alarm any more. It's just a big, red LED display that I don't physically touch except to set the time an hour ahead or behind in the spring or fall.

    If ever there was a piece of home electronics ready for disruption, the ancient clock radio would be it.

    Enter the Google Home Hub. Just a year ago I was rather outspoken on the dubious value of Google Home products; now, but one product cycle later, the addition of a screen—and critically not a camera—makes an appliance you can yell at suddenly useful. I know it's able to control your smart home devices but I don't have any of that; what I do have is WiFi and a connected music streaming service, all this thing needs to match the same core functions as my current clock radio. Add to that the ability to view weather and traffic and the Home Hub becomes an easy sell to the person who shares my bed with me—all the impetus she needs to call in sick will be staring her in the face from the moment she wakes up.

    Hey Google, please bring the Home Hub to Canada, mmkay?

    by Published on 10-08-2018 03:39 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. News,
    4. From The Forums

    Release notes below:

    iOS 12.0.1 includes bug fixes and improvements for your iPhone or iPad. This update:
    - Fixes an issue where some iPhone XS devices did not immediately charge when connected to a Lightning cable
    - Resolves an issue that could cause iPhone XS devices to rejoin a Wi-Fi network at 2.4GHz instead of 5GHz
    - Restores the original position of the ".?123" key on the iPad keyboard
    - Fixes an issue where subtitles may not appear in some video apps
    - Addresses an issue where Bluetooth could become unavailable
    - For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222
    No word on LTE fixes.

    Source: MacRumors
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