All posts by phablist

Meet the Maze Alpha: A 6-inch smartphone packed into a 5.5-inch like body

Chances are you haven’t heard of smartphone maker Maze before. They are a new manufacturer who made their debut with their first Android smartphone, the Maze Blade, which received little fanfare thanks to a relatively boring design with huge bezels.

Now it seems the young Chinese company has learned from its mistakes, coming out with a new flagship device aimed at phablet fans that features a bezel-less 6-inch screen that can be easily managed with one hand. The new Maze Alpha features a marvelous design, combined with a plethora of cutting edge hardware features packed inside.

best big screen smartphones meet the maze alpha 6-inch phablet
The Maze Alpha sports a dual camera setup featuring 13 MP and 5 MP sensors around back.

With almost no bezels on right, left and top side, the Maze Alpha features a rather thick bottom bezel that houses the 5MP front camera and a physical home button that doubles as a fingerprint sensor. The main highlight of the phones face, of course, is the 6-inch Full HD AMOLED display with 16:9 aspect ratio.

Thanks to a true edge-to-edge design, Maze has managed to pack this 6-inch display into a smaller 5.5-inch like body. This makes for an extremely comfortable one-handed experience despite the large screen size.

Powered by Helio P25 Octa Core 2.5GHz chipset, the Maze Alpha sports a dual camera setup featuring 13 MP and 5 MP sensors around back. The phone is available in two RAM variants: 4GB RAM with 64GB of storage, and 6GB RAM with 128GB storage.

No matter which variant you choose, a microSD card slot will be there to back you up, in the event that the default storage capacity isn’t enough for you. The Maze Alpha runs Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box and comes with a USB Type-C connector at the bottom for charging and date transfers.

best 6 inch smartphones maze alpha
Thanks to a true edge-to-edge design, Maze has managed to pack this 6-inch display into a smaller 5.5-inch like body. Photo: Maze.

As for the dual camera, the 13 MP main sensor is combined with an assistive 5 MP sensor that is used to collect information about depth and lighting. The main camera has an F2.2 aperture does not feature an OIS module, so don’t expect this camera to outperform the best players in the market.

Perhaps one of the most interesting features of the Alpha is its massive 4000 mAh battery, which is much larger than what you will find on the latest flagship devices from big manufacturers such as Samsung, LG or Apple. To help put things into perspective, the LG G6 comes with a 3300 mAh battery, while the Galaxy S8 Plus featured a much smaller 3500 mAh battery despite having a much larger screen resolution and size.

According to the Maze, the Alpha phablet will cost $179.99 if you pre-order before June 30, while the actual price will be roughly $219.99. A price like that makes the Maze Alpha the cheapest bezel-less smartphone on the market, giving the more expensive Essential Phone and Samsung Galaxy S8 a hard run for their money.

You can purchase the phone online through Chinese electronics importer GearBest, but Maze is targeting the European market with the Alpha by including 4G LTE connectivity with the most common carriers. 4G LTE bands in the United States aren’t supported by the Alpha, but 3G signals should be compatible.

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Galaxy Note 8 Rumors: This could be the greatest phone of 2017

Last year, the Galaxy Note 7 turned out to be a disaster for Samsung. The phone had major issues with exploding batteries, which ultimately resulted in a total global recall. With the release of the Galaxy S8, the company was able to redeem its reputation, and Samsung will be looking to continue its 2017 success story with the launch of the rebooted Galaxy Note 8.

The company’s next flagship device is expected to make its official debut at IFA 2017, which kicks off on Sept. 1 in Berlin. Although the expected release is still a few months away, rumors and reported leaks will be in abundance as we get closer to the day. In this post, we take a closer look at all the rumors surrounding the Galaxy Note 8, including what to expect in terms of design, hardware, and more.

Keep in mind that this is just a rumor roundup, however, so take these leaks and tidbits of information with a grain of salt. This post will be constantly updated.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 could be launching sooner than expected

Korean publication Naver is reporting that Samsung is planning to announce the Galaxy Note 8 at a special press event in New York City on August 26, citing anonymous sources who claim to have knowledge of the company’s plans but couldn’t speak publicly on the matter.

Reuters is also reporting that Samsung will unveil the Galaxy 8 at a press event in NYC in late August. According to the anonymous source, the new flagship will “sport a curved screen that is marginally larger than the 6.2-inch version of the Galaxy S8 smartphone and feature two rear cameras.”

The Galaxy Note 8 could be the first phone to sport a Snapdragon 836 chipset

A new report found in the Chinese publication ITHome lays claim that Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 8 will be the first phone to feature the new Snapdragon 836 processor, which is slated to be released in July. The Snapdragon 836 allegedly retains its 8-core design, but features a CPU clock of 2.6GHz (an increase from 2.45GHz) and a GPU clock of 740MHz (an increase from 710MHz).

Samsung won’t enjoy the exclusivity for long. The report also claims that flagship smartphones launching in the second half of 2017, like the LG V30 and Google Pixel 2 XL are all supposed to pack Snapdragon 836 chipset.

Samsung’s Note 8 may look just like the Galaxy S8

The Galaxy Note 8 is rumored to inherit the same design language found on the S8 and S8 Plus. A leak from Ice Universe on twitter claims to show the front panel of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, revealing the same “infinity display” found on the Galaxy S8 (retaining the same 18.5:9 aspect ratio), along with the location of the iris scanner, front camera, and ear speaker. The phone will reportedly come with a 6.3-inch (or 6.4-inch) QHD+ panel.

A separate image found on Weibo purportedly shows a Galaxy Note 8 press render, but it seems more like a fan-art piece rather than an official design, considering that there are no side buttons are visible.

The Galaxy Note 8 could feature dual cameras and a better location for the fingerprint scanner

A technical drawing found on SlashLeaks shows the rear of the Galaxy Note 8 with a dual lens camera setup along with a fingerprint scanner underneath the two cameras. If accurate, this would offer a much better experience compared to the heavily criticized setup found on the Galaxy S8.

Dual cameras offer huge improvements for photography including the ability to zoom and produce DLSR-style depth of field. If the Note 8 does include a dual-lens snapper it will place it one step ahead of the Galaxy S8.

The Galaxy Note 8 may retain the 3.5mm jack and feature dual speakers

The drawings found on SlashLeaks also indicate that the Galaxy Note 8 will sport a dual speaker system — with one speaker placed on the bottom of the device, and a second one is found at the top. The schematic also indicates that the phone will retain the 3.5mm headphone jack.

The Galaxy Note 8 will most likely ship with Android 7

Searching through the HTML5Test database for product name SM-N950F reveals a possible Galaxy Note 8 running Android 7.1.1. While many people would prefer to see the device launch with Android 8.0, it more likely that the units will be ready to ship before Android O is official. There will most likely be an OS update in late 2017 or early 2018.

According to the HTML5Test benchmark, the Galaxy Note 8, which was running the Samsung Internet 5.2 web browser, scored a total of 488 out of 555 points. For comparison, an iPhone 7 Plus scores 415 points on the same benchmark.

There could be two versions of the Galaxy Note 8, one with 8GB of RAM

A new post on Chinese microblogging site Weibo claims that Samsung will launch two Galaxy Note 8 variants. The standard one will reportedly pack 6 GB of RAM, while a higher-end model dubbed the “Emperor Edition” will boast a whopping 8 GB of RAM.

If this rumor is true, the 8 GB variant will most likely be exclusive to China, as was the case with the 6 GB version of the Galaxy S8/S8+. An interesting side note, the same leak also indicates that next year’s Galaxy Note 9 could pack as much as 12 GB of RAM, which seems excessive but could hint at a more powerful Samsung Dex experience in the coming years.

Reports from Android Soul have echoed the Weibo post about the Emperor Edition of the Galaxy Note 8 and added that this model could also come with 256 GB of storage.

The Galaxy Note 8 is probably codenamed “Great”

Rumors have been hinting that Samsung has chosen the codename “Great” for the upcoming Galaxy Note 8. This internal name indicates that the company has something great in store for the next generation Galaxy Note, which is needed to overcome the Galaxy Note 7 debacle from last year.

The Galaxy Note 8 will undoubtedly come with the same eight-point battery safety program touted with the Galaxy S8 in an effort to quell any remaining damage to the brand.

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These are some of the biggest smartphones you can buy in 2017

Phablets are all the rage for those interested in greater battery life and more screen real estate to get things done, but while most phablets range in screen size from 5.5 inches to 6 inches, some companies seemingly want to push the boundaries of what we can still call a smartphone.

If you think the 5.7-inch LG G6 and 6.2-inch Galaxy S8+ are huge phablets, then you might want to keep reading. We’ve rounded up some of the best phones larger than 6 inches that are worth considering in 2017. Simply put, these phones are so big you probably won’t be fitting any of them in your trouser pocket.

Best phones larger than 6 inches 2017

  1. Xiaomi Mi Max 2
  2. Huawei Honor Note 8
  3. Samsung Galaxy J Max
  4. Asus Zenfone 3 Ultra
  5. Huawei P8max

Xiaomi Mi Max 2

best big screen smartphones xiaomi mi max 2
The Mi Max 2 is targeted at users that consume a lot of multimedia on their phones.

Like its predecessor, the Mi Max 2 is targeted at users that consume a lot of multimedia on their phones. It’s 6.44-inch IPS Full HD display is paired with stereo speakers that activate as soon as you switch to landscape mode , making this phablet ideal for watching videos and movies on the go.

The Mi Max 2 also includes some really cool features like one-handed mode that shrinks the screen down to a more manageable size, and split screen functionality that makes multi-tasking a breeze. You also get premium features like an all-metal unibody design, and rear mounted fingerprint sensor.

Powered by a 2.0GHz Snapdragon 625 SoC, the Mi Max 2 packs a 5300mAh battery which Xiaomi clams can last two days, touting over 18 hours of video playback, 21 hours of GPS navigation, and 57 hours of talk time. When the battery does get low, Quick Charge 3.0 allows you to juice up the Mi Max 2 to 68% in just an hour.

You can capture all of your life’s memories with a 12MP Sony IMX386 camera around back and a 5MP front shooter up front. In addition to 64GB and 128GB storage options, the Mi Max 2 features a microSD slot and an IR blaster – something that’s becoming scarcer in 2017.

Xiaomi Mi Max 2 full specifications and comparison

Huawei Honor Note 8

largest phablet 2016 huawei honor note 8
The Huawei Honor Note 8’s display is larger and sharper than its Xiaomi rival.

Honor might be a Huawei sub-brand, but it’s been churning out some nice devices lately. Introduced late last year, the Honor Note 8 is an upper-mid-range behemoth meant to take on the likes of Xiaomi’s Mi Max.

The focal point here is undoubtedly its 6.6-inch, 2,560 x 1,440 Super AMOLED screen — it’s both larger and sharper than its Xiaomi rival, and clearly built for those who use their smartphone as their sole computing device. Under the hood of this huge phablet is a lot of firepower with the Kirin 955 chipset, featuring a fast Octa-core processor and 4GB RAM.

Unlike the standard Honor 8 model, the Note variant does not come with an exotic dual-camera setup. Instead, the Honor Note 8 combines a 13MP image sensor with a fast f/2.0 aperture lens, featuring optical image stabilization and a dual-LED flash. Video quality is capped at 1080p Full HD resolution and an 8MP front camera is available for selfie-shooting and video calls.

The Note 8 runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but you’ll find it heavily layered with EMUI 4.1, Xiaomi’s UI overlay that resembles the likes of iOS. If you’re willing to give up one of the SIM card slots, you can expand the Mi Mix 2’s standard 32 GB of storage via microSD card, up to 128 GB.

Huawei Honor Note 8 full specifications and comparison

Samsung Galaxy J Max

which smartphone has the biggest screen? samsung galaxy j max
The Samsung Galaxy J Max features a 7-inch display with a relatively low screen resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels.

The Galaxy J Max is essentially a 7-inch tablet with an earpiece, which is being marketed as a smartphone. Like many of Samsung’s other Galaxy J phones, the Galaxy J Max is an affordable product with features that aren’t suited for apps that require intense processing or graphics.

Even larger than the Galaxy Mega of years past, the J Max features a 7-inch display with a relatively low screen resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. While technically an HD screen, its sheer size makes for a low pixel density of only 216 ppi.

The J Max is fitted with a quad-core 1.5 GHz processor, LTE connectivity, dual SIM support, an 8 MP rear camera. You get also get 1.5 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of expandable storage space.

Powered by a 4000 mAh battery, the J Max runs the much older Android 5.1 Lollipop, so you shouldn’t expect very much screen time or innovative software features. Bottom line, if you are looking for the biggest smartphone you can buy on the cheap; the Galaxy J Max can be seen as a more viable upgrade over the 7-inch Galaxy W from 2014.

Samsung Galaxy J Max full specifications and comparison

Asus Zenfone 3 Ultra

biggest phablet you can buy in 2017 asus zenfone 3 ultra
Unlike the Galaxy J Max, the screen size is not going to be the only selling point of ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra.

If you like the Xiaomi Mi Max, but wish it was a little bigger, feast your eyes on the gargantuan 6.8-inch 1080p display of ASUS Zenfone 3 Ultra. One of the most notable features here is a Super AMOLED display that will deliver vibrant colors with sharp textures, along with a ton of visibility when you’re outside.

Unlike the Galaxy J Max, the screen size is not going to be the only selling point of ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra. Since large smartphones come with the advantage of being fitted with bigger batteries, this phablet boasts a hearty 4,600mAh cell.

Though it is smaller than the 4,850mAh battery present in Xiaomi Mi Max, ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra’s battery has one feature that most phones don’t – the ability to function as a powerbank. While most power banks with a lower battery capacity only deliver a 1A current output, the Zenfone 3 ultra is able to provide juice to mobile devices with a 1.5A current output.

Aside from reverse charging, another major advantage the Zenfone 3 has is an impressive 23 MP f/2.0 camera around back that features Full HD video recording capabilities. The shooter up front features a somewhat standard 8 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens.

Staying true to the ASUS name, this phone features some decent hardware specs, including a Snapdragon 652 chipset. You have the option to customize your Zenfone 3 Ultra with 3 GB or 4 GB of RAM, along with 32/64/128 GB optional system storage.

Asus Zenfone 3 Ultra full specifications and comparison

Huawei P8max

phones larger than 6 inches huawei p8 max
Aside from the spacious screen, the biggest advantage found on the P8 Max is a whopping 4,360mAh battery .

Featuring an incredibly large 6.8-inch Full HD IPS-Neo JDI display, the Huawei P8 Max shares the same design philosophy found on the smaller P8, and brings a supremely thin metal unibody construction that measures just 6.8mm thick.

Aside from the spacious screen, the biggest advantage found on the P8 Max is a whopping 4,360mAh battery that promises about 2.2 days of typical battery life, or about 15 hours of non-stop web surfing or video playback.

Around back, you’re getting the same 13-megapixel stabilized rear camera found on the P8, featuring a “professional-grade” imaging processor, two-tone flash and modes for both long-exposure shots and multi-phone photography.

Unlike its average-sized counterpart, you only get a 5-megapixel camera on the front of the P8 Max instead of 8 MP, but you’ll still get the same 2GHz octa-core Kirin 930 processor and 3GB of RAM as in the higher-spec P8.

Huawei P8max full specifications and comparison

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Galaxy S8 and S8+: What you need to know before you buy (FAQ)

The Samsung Galaxy S8 duo is without a doubt one of the best and most attractive looking pair of Smartphones you can buy to date. Both phones feature innovative technology in terms of its hardware specifications – the main difference being screen size – and feature a design language that is arguably the best on the market today.

Samsung’s latest flagship will be its first flagship since the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 and a lot rides on the success of the handset for the company. The Galaxy S8 and S8+ pack many new features and have changed a bit from Samsung’s previous flagships in a few ways.

If you are planning to buy a new Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+ but have some questions first, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve rounded up some of the most frequently asked questions and answers surrounding Samsung’s eighth rendition of the Galaxy S family.

Check out our FAQ below for just about everything you need to know about the S8 and be sure to leave us a comment if you have unanswered questions that can be added to the list!

  1. What are the primary differences between the Galaxy S8 and S8+?
  2. Why do both phones look so tall?
  3. Will apps designed for 16:9 aspect ratio work with the Galaxy S8’s 18.5:9 display?
  4. How will the new aspect ratio affect entertainment such as movies, TV, and games?
  5. How much resolution does the Galaxy S8 display have?
  6. How do you change the Galaxy S8 screen resolution?
  7. Can you change the DPI settings on the Galaxy S8 without rooting?
  8. Is it true that the Galaxy S8 display has a red tint?
  9. Is there a risk of the Galaxy S8 battery exploding suddenly like that of the Galaxy Note 7?
  10. Does the Galaxy S8 still have a physical home button?
  11. How do you take a screenshot on the Galaxy S8 without a home button?
  12. With no home button, where is the fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S8?
  13. Does the Galaxy S8 support fingerprint gestures?
  14. What about the headphone jack? Is it still there?
  15. Is Samsung bundling AKG earbuds with the Galaxy S8 in all markets of the world?
  16. Is the Galaxy S8 camera better than the Galaxy S7?
  17. Can you record slow-motion videos on the Galaxy S8 and S8+?
  18. What is Bixby?
  19. Are the Galaxy S8 and S8+ dust or water-resistant?
  20. What kind of build materials will you find on the Galaxy S8 and S8+?
  21. How many color options are available for the Galaxy S8 duo?
  22. Does the Galaxy S8 have a removable battery?
  23. What kind of SIM card slot does the phone have? Can one use two SIM cards and a microSD card at the same time?
  24. Which version of Android do the handsets run on?
  25. Is fast charging supported on the Galaxy S8?
  26. How much free storage space does the Galaxy S8 have?
  27. Do the Galaxy S8 and S8+ have expandable storage?
  28. Does the Galaxy S8 offered by mobile carriers feature any operator logo or apps?
  29. Can you uninstall or disable pre-installed apps on the handset?
  30. How fast can you launch the camera app on the Galaxy S8 and S8+?
  31. What accessories come with the Galaxy S8 packaging?
  32. Does the Galaxy S8 and S8+ support USB OTG?
  33. Does the Galaxy S8 have an IR blaster?
  34. Does the Galaxy S8 have a Wi-Fi hotspot?

What are the primary differences between the Galaxy S8 and S8+?

The two phones differ from each other only in terms of their dimensions, screen size, and battery capacity. The Galaxy S8 is the smaller of the duo and features a 5.8-inch QHD+ display with a 3000mAh battery, while the Galaxy S8+ features a larger 6.2-inch QHD+ display.

The larger dimensions of the Galaxy S8+ handset allow Samsung to pack a bigger 3500mAh battery to maintain battery life along with a larger screen. Also, due to the fact that each phone has identical resolution with different size screens, the Galaxy S8 has a higher pixel density of 570 ppi over 529 ppi on the Galaxy S8+.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ screen size comparison
The two Galaxy S8 phones differ from each other only in terms of their dimensions, screen size, and battery capacity.

Why do both phones look so tall?

The big reason the S8 looks so different from any other phone is its new screen, which Samsung has dubbed the “Infinity Display.” It features a new 18.5:9 aspect ratio that’s similar to the 18:9 screen on the LG G6, but taller and skinnier than the traditional 16:9 screens the vast majority of other smartphones have.

Will apps designed for 16:9 aspect ratio work with the Galaxy S8’s 18.5:9 display?

Sometimes some apps may fail to stretch across the giant display on the Samsung Galaxy S8, leaving slim black bars around the corners of the screen while running some apps. This issue can be fixed easily by going to Settings > Display > Full Screen Apps.

From here, just select the apps that aren’t displaying properly to force them into have them be stretched to full screen in the future. We can probably expect speedy updates from app makers to fix these issues as different aspect ratios becomes more popular, making this a somewhat temporary fix.

How will the new aspect ratio affect entertainment such as movies, TV, and games?

Because some videos display at 16:9, the S8 and S8 Plus is going to smack some vertical black bars on the left and right of files you watch in that format. Android automatically resizes apps to work with various screen sizes, so you won’t have to worry about mobile games and other apps doing the same.

How much resolution does the Galaxy S8 display have?

The Galaxy S8 has a Quad-HD display that offers a maximum resolution of 2960×1440 pixels; however, the screen resolution is set to 2220×1080 pixels out of the box.

How do you change the Galaxy S8 screen resolution?

If you want to change the display resolution to full Quad-HD resolution at 2960×1440 pixels, then go to the Settings > Phone Settings > Display. From here, you can then choose the “Screen Resolution” option. Going with a lower screen resolution is a great way to improve battery life on your Galaxy S8.

Save battery life on the Galaxy S8 by setting a lower screen resolution.
Lower resolution translates to lower power consumption and vice versa. Photo: Phablist

Recommended: Improve your Galaxy S8/S8+ battery life with these simple battery saving tips.

Can you change the DPI settings on the Galaxy S8 without rooting?

Yes, you can change the DPI Settings on your Galaxy S8 without the need of rooting but first you have to enable developer options. Do this by going to Settings > About Phone. Look for the “Build Number” option and tap it 7 times in succession. This will enable the “Developer Options” on your Samsung Galaxy S8.

Next, go to “Settings” and then tap on the “Developer Settings” option. Under Developer Settings, tap on the “Minimum Width” option. From here, you can change the DPI value of your Samsung Galaxy S8 by setting your desired value on the space provided.

How to change the DPI setting on the Galaxy S8/S8+ without rooting
You can change the DPI Settings on your Galaxy S8 without the need of rooting. Photo: Phablist

Is it true that the Galaxy S8 display has a red tint?

Shortly after the Galaxy S8 series was launched, some users found their Super AMOLED screens were more red than they should be, which Samsung said was not hardware related but a calibration misalignment that could be solved using software.

An official update that fixes the issue has since been released, but if you are still having problems, the color balance of the display can be adjusted by going to Settings > Display > Screen Mode > Color Balance and then moving the color sliders of the S8 display to suit your liking.

Is there a risk of the Galaxy S8 battery exploding suddenly like that of the Galaxy Note 7?

Not Likely. Since the Note 7 exploding battery incident, Samsung has taken multiple steps and introduced an eight-point safety check to ensure that such a recall fiasco will never happen again. In addition, the company says that the Galaxy S8’s battery has a better lifespan as it will be able to retain 95% of its efficiency two years down the line.

Does the Galaxy S8 still have a physical home button?

No, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are the first smartphones from Samsung to ditch iconic physical home button. Instead, the devices feature an on-screen navigation bar, with the home button area having a 3D Touch-like response. This allows users to quickly bring up the home button by hard pressing on that area on the screen, even while using full screen apps.

How do you take a screenshot on the Galaxy S8 without a home button?

The process of taking a screenshot is slightly different on the Galaxy S8 since it lacks a physical home button. The key combination has now changed to Volume Down + Power, which is similar to many other Android devices out there.

How to take a screenshot on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+
The key combination to take a screenshot has changed on the Galaxy S8.

With no home button, where is the fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S8?

Unlike previous Samsung devices with a home button, the fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S8 and S8+ is now located on the backside, right next to the camera sensor. You might find the new position slightly awkward, especially on the larger Galaxy S8+.

Does the Galaxy S8 support fingerprint gestures?

Yes, the Galaxy S8 does supports fingerprint gestures like swiping down on the scanner to open the notification shade.

What about the headphone jack? Is it still there?

Yes, Samsung doesn’t plan on getting rid of the traditional headphone jack anytime soon. The good news is that you can still listen to your favorite tracks through wired headphones.

Not only that, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ come bundled with a pair of wired headphones from Harman’s AKG, which is well known for churning out high-end audio products. The wired Harmon AKG headphones feature killer audio and are worth $99, alone.

Is Samsung bundling AKG earbuds with the Galaxy S8 in all markets of the world?

Yes, not matter which part of the world you are in, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ is bundled with premium AKG wired headphones.

Is the Galaxy S8 camera better than the Galaxy S7?

Not really. While Samsung has traditionally made significant improvements in the Galaxy S camera with each new release, the Galaxy S8 features the same 12-megapixel rear-mounted camera found on the Galaxy S7.

That’s the same megapixel count as last year, alongside an f/1.7 aperture and Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). Nothing much has changed this time around, unfortunately. On the front, both the Galaxy S8 and S8+ come with an 8-megapixel shooter with an f/1.7 aperture and autofocus.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 uses two different camera sensors
It won’t matter whether you get a Sony or Samsung-made main camera. Photo: Phablist.

Can you record slow-motion videos on the Galaxy S8 and S8+?

Yes, the Galaxy S8 can record in slow motion. However, unlike the rumors would have you believe, the S8 duo is NOT capable of recording slow motion videos at 1,000fps.

What is Bixby?

The most significant change you will find on the Galaxy S8 is the arrival of Bixby, Samsung’s built-in virtual personal assistant. Bixby is useful for tasks similar to that already done by the Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana.

However, unlike Siri or Google Assistant, Samsung claims Bixby is more “intelligent” and designed for “completeness” allowing you to use your voice for everything you would otherwise do by tapping the screen.

Bixby also has an image recognition feature that works with the camera that can identify an object and provide additional info or suggest where you could purchase it – similar to the Firefly feature that was first debuted on the Amazon Fire Phone.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 features a dedicated Bixby button to its left side, whose only function is to launch the Bixby virtual assistant application. It can’t be remapped for the camera, for example, without rooting.

Are the Galaxy S8 and S8+ dust or water-resistant?

Yes, just like their predecessor, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ feature an IP68 certification that makes them dust and water-resistant. So, in essence, if you drop it down the toilet or into the bathtub while tweeting, you’ll probably be OK.

What kind of build materials will you find on the Galaxy S8 and S8+?

The entire body of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are made of Gorilla Glass, however not all surfaces are created equal. The front of the handsets makes use of Gorilla Glass 5, while the rear glass panel makes use of Gorilla Glass 4.

How many color options are available for the Galaxy S8 duo?

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are available in five color options, including Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Coral Blue, Arctic Silver, and Maple Gold. We think that Coral Blue and Orchid Gray are colors that standout better than all the others.

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are available in five color options
The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are available in five color options.

Does the Galaxy S8 have a removable battery?

No, the battery on both the Galaxy S8 and S8+ is not removable. The last Galaxy S phone to feature a removable battery was the Galaxy S5.

What kind of SIM card slot does the phone have? Can one use two SIM cards and a microSD card at the same time?

Galaxy S8 smartphones sold in the US and Europe features a nanoSIM card and microSD card slot. The Asian variants of the handsets feature dual-SIM functionality; though it will be a hybrid slot meaning you can use either two SIM cards or one SIM card and microSD card at any given time.

Which version of Android do the handsets run on?

Both the Galaxy S8 and S8+ comes shipped with Android 7.0 Nougat. There is little reason to believe that an update for Android 8 won’t be available when the new OS rolls out.

Is fast charging supported on the Galaxy S8?

Yes, the handset supports fast charging as well as fast wireless charging. Unfortunately, Samsung has not made any significant improvements to their fast charging technology so expect charging speeds equivalent to Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0.

How much free storage space does the Galaxy S8 have?

The Galaxy S8 comes with 64GB of internal storage. After subtracting space used for the operating system and bloatware, you get about 52GB of usable space out of the box.

Do the Galaxy S8 and S8+ have expandable storage?

Yes, both variants of the Galaxy S8 feature a microSD card slot that supports memory cards of up to 2TB.

Does the Galaxy S8 offered by mobile carriers feature any operator logo or apps?

No and Yes. Although the Galaxy S8 and S8+ will not feature any carrier logos, – at least in the US – the device will still come preloaded with carrier specific apps and bloatware.

Can you uninstall or disable pre-installed apps on the handset?

Yes, you can uninstall or disable some of the pre-installed apps and bloatware on the Galaxy S8 and S8+ but you won’t notice much increase in storage space unless the apps that you choose to disable have updates installed.

How fast can you launch the camera app on the Galaxy S8 and S8+?

Since the Galaxy S8 has no physical home button, the double press camera app shortcut has changed on the device. Instead of the home button, you now have to double press the power button to open the camera app from anywhere in the OS.

What accessories come with the Galaxy S8 packaging?

Inside the box, you get the handset, a 9v 2A fast charger, a USB-C cable, SIM ejector tool, AKG earphones, and documentation.

Does the Galaxy S8 and S8+ support USB OTG?

Yes, USB On-The-Go is supported on the Galaxy S8 duo. This allows you to directly connect pen drives, external hard disks and other peripherals using an adapter to the device. Since the Galaxy S8 now comes with a USB-C port, you will need to use a new OTG adapter with it.

Does the Galaxy S8 have an IR blaster?

No, since the Galaxy S8/S8+ doesn’t feature an IR blaster, you won’t be able to operate your infrared controlled devices with the handset.

Does the Galaxy S8 have a Wi-Fi hotspot?

Yes, the both S8 phones have hotspot capabilities but the availability and usage depends on your mobile carrier data plan. To share your mobile connection over a WIFI Hotspot with your Samsung Galaxy S8 navigate to Settings > Wireless & Networks > Personal Hotspot. Some carriers will throttle your speeds after a certain amount of hotspot data has been used for the billing cycle.

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Essential Phone: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

After months of teases and hype, Android creator Andy Rubin has finally unveiled the first smartphone by his new company, Essential. And as expected, it’s a cutting edge Android phone with a minimalist design and a hefty price tag.

The Essential Phone has a flagship Snapdragon 835 chipset featuring an octa-core processor that’s been paired with 4GB of RAM, so on paper this phone is just as powerful as the HTC U11 and Sony Xperia XZ Premium. The phone also has 128GB of storage (though seemingly no microSD card slot) and runs Android. It’s not clear how heavily skinned Essential’s take on the OS will be though.

It’s not just a smartphone, the Essential Phone is part of a new ecosystem designed to offer an alternative to Google’s Android, with a focus on design, performance, and versatility. Here are 5 fast facts you need to know:

1. The Essential phone sports a 5.7″ Nearly Bezel-less Display

It appears that 2017 is the year of the slim-bezel smartphone. The Essential Phone features an 5.71-inch 2560 x 1312 edge-to-edge display that tries to outdo the edgeless displays found on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S8, LG G6, and Xiaomi Mi MIX.

When we say edge-to-edge display, we are not mincing words, as there’s virtually no bezel seen, except for just a small portion at the bottom and a cut-out for the front-facing camera. We can say that it has possibly the strangest implementation of a front-facing camera we’ve ever seen; by slicing a big U-shaped chunk out of the top center of the display.

The Essential phone sports a 5.7" Nearly Bezel-less Display
The Essential Phone has a 5.7-inch display with a 19:10 aspect ratio. Photo: Essential.

Moving it off to the side where the selfie camera traditionally sits, along with a smaller profile, would have been a better move. Screen space near the top of the device would have been more usable this way as people rarely look at the top right corner of their screen; putting it in the center just wastes valuable screen space.

The Essential Phone has a 19:10 aspect ratio, which means that, like the 18:9 Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG G6, it’s more narrow than a typical 16:9 phone. This makes it surprisingly compact given the size of the screen, measuring 141.5 x 71.1 x 7.8mm with a weight of 185g. For comparison, despite having a 5.7-inch edge display, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was 153.5 x 73.9 x 7.9 mm because of it’s 16:9 screen ratio.

2. The Essential Phone has a Titanium build

The Essential Phone utilizes an unusual combination of ceramic and titanium materials for its build. The titanium was chosen because it’s harder, stronger and more resilient than aluminum, making the device more likely to survive a scratch or a fall. While it’s likely to be incredibly durable, there has been no mention of waterproofing, so you probably won’t want to get it wet.

The Essential Phone has a Titanium and ceramic build
Photo: Essential.

3. The Essential Phone features a slick modular design

One other major highlight of the Essential Phone is its modular design that allows for additional accessories, similar to that of the Moto Z. The first one being touted by the company is “the world’s smallest” 360-degree camera that for now is just being called the “360 camera”.

The rear of the Essential Phone is where most of the modular magic happens. Next to the dual camera setup, you see accessory power pins that will power the camera once its clipped. The ‘360 camera’ is an cutting edge smartphone accessory considering how videos today are incorporating 360-degree cameras as social media sites like Facebook and YouTube are adding support for the technology.

The Essential Phone features slick modular design
The Essential Phone features slick modular design. Photo: Essential.

4. The Essential phone has no headphone jack

In a move to achieve a near port-less design, Essential does not include the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack with the Phone. It’ll ship with a dongle, however, so all of your wired buds and cans will still work – along with some added bulk.

It’s possible that other audio accessories could be made that could clip on to the magnetic accessory port but we would recommend picking up a pair of bluetooth headphones. Audio quality has really improved with the latest Bluetooth standards and the freedom you get with wireless headphones is unmatched.

While Apple may have been successful in ditching the headphone jack with the iPhone, there has yet to be a flagship Android device that doesn’t feature an analog audio input. Interesting side-note: iPhone-maker Foxconn is was one of the investors in the company.

5. The Essential Phone has dual cameras, 4K, and a dedicated B&W sensor

Similar to Huawei’s P9 and P10, Rubin’s company has opted for world’s thinnest dual camera system on any phone with a sensor dedicated to monochrome imaging. It can be used standalone for black and white photos, or combined with the color sensor for better detail and improved low-light performance.

The Essential Phone has dual cameras, 4K, and a dedicated B&W sensor
The Essential Phone features dual cameras, including one dedicated to monochrome imaging. Photo: Essential.

The essential has two 13MP f/1.85 cameras around back, we think the most notable feature here is the lack of camera hump found on most other phones. The front-facing camera, meanwhile, is an 8-megapixel f/2.2 snapper that is capable of shooting 4K video.

Price and Availability

The Essential Phone was officially announced May 30 and you can pre-orders are already being accepted in the US for $699 or $749 if bundled with the 360-degree camera attachment. There’s no shipping date yet though and no news on whether it will launch in other markets.

You can get the Essential Phone in your choice from four colors, including Black Moon, Stellar Grey, Pure White, and Ocean Depths. Essential says that unlocked phones bought on its site “will work with any carrier”, and the company adds that its phone supports Carrier Aggregation.

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The Xiaomi Mi Max 2 is a slight disappointment but worth the upgrade

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi on Thursday launched its next generation Mi Max phablet at an event in Beijing, China. It’s a 6.44-inch mid-range phablet with one outstanding feature: a 5,300-mAh battery that can charge the iPhone 7 Plus twice over.

Much like its predecessor, the Mi Max 2 stays true to Xiaomi’s reputation of offering up decent specs at a competitive price but some would argue it’s a slight downgrade over the Mi Max when it comes to raw processing power. Below, we take a look at the Mi Max 2 and breakdown whether or not it makes sense to make the jump to the latest version.

The display hasn’t changed

The Xiaomi Mi Max 2 has the same 6.44-inch full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution display we saw on the original Mi Max smartphone with 2.5D curved glass, and a peak brightness of 450 nits. These are decent specs for a mid range device that give you a pixel density of roughly 342 ppi, which is more than enough to provide sharp text and rich graphics.

It’s a little larger and heavier than the Mi Max

Despite having the same size display and build, the new Mi Max is slightly heavier when compared its predecessor. Measuring 7.6mm thick, the Mi Max 2 is just 0.1mm thicker than the previous model, giving room for the larger battery.

The Mi Max 2 favors efficiency over raw processing power

Unlike the Mi Max that was gunning for raw power courtesy of a Snapdragon 650 SoC, the Mi Max 2 is all about power saving and thermal efficiency courtesy the slightly dated Snapdragon 625. Some rumors were suggesting the Mi Max 2 would be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 octa-core SoC, instead the phablet is actually powered by a 2GHz octa-core processor coupled with an Adreno 506 GPU.

The main highlight here is that the Snapdragon 625 is the first 600-series chipset to be built on the power-efficient 14nm finFET process, which allows the processor cores to run at higher clock speeds without overheating and draining the battery to fast.

In typical usage scenarios, you’re likely to get much longer battery life and little to no overheating since the Snapdragon 625 consumes up to 35 per cent lower power than its predecessor (the Snapdragon 617), according to Qualcomm. Xiaomi has had a fine run with the Redmi Note 4 courtesy the Snapdragon 625, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Xiaomi stuck with the same processor for the Mi Max 2 as well.

The added efficiency, however, comes at a catch. The Adreno 506 GPU inside the Mi Max 2 is good but not better than the Adreno 510 found inside the original Mi Max. Graphical intensive gaming could leave a lot be desired on the Mi Max 2, just the way it did in the case of the Redmi Note 4.

There’s no 6GB RAM version as previously rumored

Unlike the original Mi Max, which offered up a 3GB and 4GB model, the new version will launch with 4GB of RAM. Previous rumors had suggested that the Mi Max 2 would be available with 6GB of RAM but Xiaomi has not hinted toward that possibility.

The original Mi Max was available with 3GB RAM + 32GB, and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 processor. Later, Xiaomi released the Mi Max Prime with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 coupled with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage.

Battery performance is impressive on paper

Xiaomi claims that the larger 5300mAh battery Mi Max 2 can be charged up to the 68% mark in just one hour thanks to Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0. The company also claims up to 18 hours of video playback time and an impressive 57 hours of talk time.

What’s more, the phone can double up as a power bank too. Xiaomi has enabled reverse charging and claims that on full charge, the Mi Max 2 can charge the iPhone 7 Plus twice over. Xiaomi’s Lead Product Manager, Jai Mani jokingly tweeted that it’s bigger than a power bank.

It will be interesting to see how the Mi Max 2 battery actually stands up to the hype up once its released. The original Mi Max came with a 4850mAh battery and had a regular micro-USB charging port and Quick Charge was not a feature in all markets.

The camera has better low light performance

At the rear, the Mi Max 2 features a 12MP f/2.2 primary camera utilizing the same Sony IMX386 sensor with 1.25 micron sized pixels found in the Mi 6 flagship, which will boost low-light performance compared to the original Mi Max with a 16MP rear camera and f/2.0 lens.

For selfies, the phablet includes a 5MP snapper on the front with an 85-degree wide-angle f/2.0 aperture lens. Xiaomi is promising a significant improvement on the camera front, and has also shared some interesting camera samples as well.

The Mi Max 2 has stereo speakers

One of the best improvements on the Mi Max 2 by far is the addition of dual power amplifier stereo speakers over the single speaker unit found on the original Mi Max. The new phablet includes a front facing and a bottom-facing speaker, which are said to intelligently switch from mono to stereo when the device is moved into a landscape orientation.

The Mi Max 2 supports 256GB memory cards

Both the Mi Max and Mi Max Prime supported expandable storage via a microSD card up to 128GB. The latest version of the Mi Max now supports cards up to 256GB, giving you up to 384GB of total space.

Xiaomi has ditched the ugly antenna lines

Just like the original Mi Max, the new smartphone also boasts a full-metal body, except this time Xiaomi has pushed the antenna lines that once ran across the top and bottom of the device toward the extreme edges (similar to the iPhone 7). Now the Mi Max sports a full metal unibody, giving it a much sleeker look from the backside.

The Mi Max 2 will come in two variants

While most of the specs listed above will be shared by both variants, the two will differ when it comes to storage capacity and price. The entry-level 64GB variant has been priced at CNY 1,699 (roughly $250) while the 128GB storage variant will set customers back by CNY 1,999 (approximately $290).

Both variants will also run on MIUI 8 and come equipped with a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, as well as an IR Blaster placed on the top of the device that can be used as a universal remote to control third-party electronics & appliances. A recent TENAA listing reveals the device will come in five colors – gray, silver, gold, black, and white.

It will probably never make it to the US

Xiaomi Mi Max 2 has only been launched in China for now. We’ll have to wait and see whether the phone will be available to the US and at what price. Mi Max 2 will be available from June 1 in China.

Bottom Line: The Mi Max 2 is worth the upgrade, unless you need performance. Although there is much to be desired in terms of raw processing power, the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 has a sleeker design, a better camera, increased battery life, and stereo sound.

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10 must-have accessories for the LG G6: essential tech for 2017

We break down some of the best gadgets — from cases and car chargers to connected devices — that will help to protect your LG G6 as well as make it more functional.

LG’s latest flagship handset — the G6 — is a major leap forward over its predecessor with its large 5.7-inch display and slick new 18:9 design. While the G6 is easily one of the best Android smartphones available in 2017, your user experience can be improved even further when paired with some great accessories.

Depending on the type of user you are, these accessories are either a must-have or a down-right necessity. Since the LG G6 is among the major flagship Android devices launched this year, you will find some decent discounts and deals on most of the accessories featured here.

Best LG G6 Accessories

  1. Screen Protectors
  2. microSD Cards
  3. Protective Cases
  4. USB Car Chargers
  5. USB Charging Cables
  6. Micro-USB to USB-C Adapters
  7. Wireless Charging Pads
  8. Chromecast
  9. Bluetooth Speaker
  10. Bluetooth Headphones

1. Screen Protector

LG gave its flagship phone a major makeover this year with a new design and a nearly bezelless display with an innovative 18:9 aspect ratio. But that great looking screen comes at a cost. The G6 has more surface real-estate than the G5, which means there’s more that can be broken after a tumble.

And as it turns out, LG did not make all surfaces equal on the G6. The curved glass panel on the back is made from the strongest Gorilla Glass 5, but for some reason the screen’s glass uses the overall weaker Gorilla Glass 3.

No matter what type of glass you have, it’s always a good idea to use a protective layer to stop minor scuffs and scratches from ever reaching your screen. They are the most inexpensive way to keep your display looking great and the best part is that they can be easily replaced, giving you that fresh out of the box feel.

Here are our top picks for the best LG G6 screen protectors:

Spigen Glas.t(R) Slim Screen Protector

best removable screen protector for lg g6
The Glas.t(R) Slim is our first choice for LG G6 protection.

One of the first brands to offer real glass screen protectors was Spigen, which is why the Glas.t(R) Slim is our first choice for LG G6 protection. Made from 9H tempered glass, its precision laser cut to perfectly fit the LG G6 and covers the entire screen, but it will still mesh well with a protective case.

Users who are turned off by glass screen protectors due to their size should know that the Glas.t(R) is an extremely thin piece of glass that offers superior protection for its size. When it gets scratched or cracked, you can easily take it off and apply a new one. You can find these in a two pack on Amazon.

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SuperGuardZ Privacy Anti-Spy Screen Protector

best privacy screen protector for lg g6

If you don’t like the added thickness that tempered glass screen protectors add, this SuperGuardZ screen protector from Armorsuit is made from premium Japanese PET film. It is an ultra HD clear screen protector that will not only protect your display, but it will also protect the body, which is also important since the back of the LG G6 is also glass and can be scratched and shatter pretty easily as well.

The SuperGuardZ Privacy screen protector also features a tinted screen that keeps what you are doing on your phone private. This will help keep prying eyes off your screen while in a crowded area, bus, train, airplane, etc.

Just keep in mind that privacy comes with a cost. Some users don’t like privacy screen protectors because the tinted film will darken your display, requiring a boost in screen brightness – and thus a reduction in battery life.

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Those of you who don’t like the added darkness from privacy films should consider the non-tinted version of the SuperGuardZ.

2. microSD card

With all our photos, apps and games, if there’s one thing we never seem to have enough of on our smartphones, its space! One of the greatest features on the LG G6 is the microSD reader that’s expandable to 2TB.

Of course, there isn’t that much storage available on a single memory card available yet, but it’s good to know that your phone is virtually future-proof when it comes to storage. If you want to increase your phone’s memory or invest in small, secure backup storage, you have many options when it comes to microSD cards.

Below are our top picks for the best LG G6 memory cards. Once you pick something out, we recommend taking a look at our guide on how to turn your Android smartphone into a portable WiFi hard drive.

Samsung EVO+ 256GB

best micro sd card for lg g6
The Samsung EVO+ 256GB is our top pick for expanding the storage space of your LG G6.

One of your best options for expanding your phone’s storage is Samsung’s 256GB EVO+ microSD card. Featuring read speeds of up to 95MB/sec and write speeds up to 90MB/sec, this card is easily fast enough to handle storing all the high-resolution photos and videos you take with your G6, while also letting you load up all your favorite music and movies with you on the go.

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SanDisk Extreme 128GB Micro SD Card

best memory cards for lg g6
SanDisk Extreme is waterproof, shockproof, and X-ray proof.

As with other of SanDisk’s microSD cards, the Extreme series is waterproof, shockproof, X-ray proof, and can stand up to extreme conditions. This card is also slightly faster than the Samsung one we listed above, coming in with read and write speeds of around 90MB/s. This card is plenty fast for recording video, even in 4K resolution. The Extreme 90MB/s microSD cards are available in 16, 32, 64GB capacities as well.

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SanDisk Ultra 32GB Micro SD Card

best cheap micro sd memory card for lg g6
The SanDisk Ultra features up to 80 MB/s transfer speed and comes with SD adapter for use in cameras and computers.

Looking for just a little bit of extra space, or need multiple cards on the cheap? Then SanDisk has you covered with thier Ultra microSD card. This is a 32GB micro SD card, and while it likely won’t give you a ton of space on the LG G6, it will give you a bit extra, and for some people that may be all they need. It’s a Class 10 card, which means it can read and write full HD video as well as 4K without any real issues.

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3. Protective Case

While the LG G6 might be a design success, it isn’t the most robust of devices, and a screen protector alone does not protect the body. Yes, thanks to IP68 certification it’s dust-resistant and waterproof to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes – but an accidental drop onto concrete will see it become a spider’s web of broken glass, both front and back.

Not only that, but the LG G6’s stunning finish could quickly become tainted with scuffs and scratches as the rigors of daily life take their toll. Unless you wrap the phone in a protective case, that is.

Spigen Slim Armor Case

best case for lg g6
This case features a built-in kickstand for hands-free viewing experience.

Being part of the Slim Armor family, this Spigen protective case is comprised out of an inner matte TPU material for shock absorption thanks to its Air Cushion Technology, and an outer matte polycarbonate frame that’s meant to primarily protect it from scratches and blemishes.

On its surface, the Spigen Slim Armor case looks a bit generic and bland, despite the four different color options you can choose from. In term of protection, the Slim Armor case is capable of handling minor falls or drops – though, the plastic outer shell makes the case feel a bit hollow.

It has a very appealing shape that follows the same rounded design language of the phone, giving you a form-fitting case that adds only a little bit of size to the overall device.

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Vigeer Shockproof Slim Fit Case w/ Card Holder

best card holder case for lg g6
A card slot is hidden on the back of this case and it’s perfect for securely storing your credit card or ID.

Nowadays, many people are going cashless, relying solely on their cards for payments, which isn’t a bad idea at all, since everything you need to carry around is a couple tiny pieces of plastic, instead of a big, chunky wallet. And if you can carry the card alongside your smartphone, things are even better!

If you are looking for something a bit more rugged than the Slim Armor, you might consider this Shockproof Slim Fit LG G6 case with cardholder from Vigeer, perfect for those who have a tendency of dropping their phones. Featuring a combination of premium soft TPU and premium PU leather, this case offers full degree of protection, being able to withstand even some serious shocks.

The card slot is hidden on the back and it’s perfect for securely storing your credit card/ID or even some cash. It also has an integrated kickstand, allowing viewing at multiple angles, and comes in five color options including Navy, Black, Gray, Mint Green and Rose Gold.

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Spigen Thin Fit

best slim protection for lg g6
The Spigen Thin Fit features for form-fitted PC constructions keeps the phone slim and lightweight

If you absolutely hate the idea of using a wallet case because of the added bulk, perhaps you should consider the LG G6 Thin Fit case from Spigen. While it won’t offer as much drop protection as some of the other cases featured here, it will protect your phone from scuffs and scratches throughout the day, especially while in your pocket or bag.

All your ports and side buttons are left wide open, and the case is thin enough to let NFC and wireless charging pass through without issue. Just remember that if you’re looking for a case that offers drop protection, you should consider some of our other options.

For those of you in the market for a slim and lightweight case to offer the most basic protection from nicks and scratches, this is your best bet.

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Maximum Protection

If you work in extreme environments, let your children play mobile games at the dinner table, or just have a bad case of butter fingers, you might be interested in a case that offers maximum safekeeping.

We are talking about serious protection here, these cases are designed to withstand almost anything you can throw at it, just know that these cases do add some considerable bulk and will make your phone feel much larger.

Otterbox Defender

best rugged case for lg g6
The Otterbox Defender features Triple-layer defense: inner shell, outer cover and touchscreen protection built in.

The Defender cases are the most rugged and most trusted phone cases, offering top protection against shock, drops, scuffs, throws, hammers, you name it. (Well, maybe not the last two). This family of cases from Otterbox is designed to protect your phone not only from keys and coins in your pocket, but also from damaging it in rough environment. The LG G6 Defender Series case is a good choice, if you are looking for a solid case that will withstand the test of time and don’t mind having your phone feel more brick-like.

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Spigen Rugged Armor

best protective case for lg g6
This case from Spigen features Mil-Grade certification with Air Cushion Technology for anti-shock protection.

If you are somewhere in the middle – looking for good protection without adding too much bulk to your phone – Spigen’s Rugged Armor cases are always a great option. This G6 case features a premium look with carbon fiber textures on the back, clear cutouts for your ports, camera and fingerprint scanner, including spider web shock absorption on the interior of the case along with Air Cushion Technology in all the corners.

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4. USB Car Charger

No matter how much battery life your phone has, its always a good idea to plug up whenever you can. Having an option to recharge your phone while on the go is important, and if you have a long commute, or use your phone for navigation, music, and more, while in the car, having a good car charger can make a world of difference.

Aukey CC-T8 Car Charger with Dual Quick Charge 3.0 Ports

best quick car charger for lg g6
This charger can handle 2 compatible devices simultaneously with Quick Charge 3.0

Because the LG G6 supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 standard, you will want to take advantage of USB car chargers that offer faster charging speeds, which is why our first choice is the Aukey CC-T8. It boasts two ports, each of which supports Quick Charge 3.0 speeds—and is backward compatible with 2.0, meaning there’s no “wrong” port to connect to.

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Tronsmart Dual USB Car Charger w/ Quick Charge 3.0 technology

best usb car chargers for lg g6
This car charger features a fixed cable and extra USB port.

Tronsmart’s car charger with a built-in USB-C cable is another great option for keeping your LG G6 juiced while on the road. It features a convenient, hard-wired USB-C cable so you’ll never need a second cable each time you drive. This charger also includes a handy USB Type-A port for charging another device at the same time via Quick Charge 2.0 or 3.0.

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5. USB Charging Cable

With LG, HTC, Huawei, and even Samsung making the switch to USB-C, micro-USB Android smartphones are clearly out their way out. If you decide against a charger with a built in cable, you’re going to need at least one extra USB-C charging cable so you’re not always carrying around the one that came with the phone. Whether you’ll be using it solely in the car or leaving it at work, it’s never a bad idea to have a few extra charging cables lying around.

Belkin 3.1 USB-A to USB Type C Charge Cable

best usb type c cable for lg g6
The Belkin USB-A to USB-C Charge Cable lets you charge your USB-C device as well as sync your photos, music and data to your existing laptop.

Belkin has always made close to OEM cables and chargers and is well known for its quality. That being said this USB C to USB A 3.1 cable is no joke – it’s got a sturdy build to it, measures 3 feet in length, and can handle 3 amps of charge output with a 10Gbps data transfer rate.

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iOrange-E USB Type-C to Type-A Cable

best usb cable for lg g6
Premium Aluminum housing and sturdy nylon fiber jacket adds to the durability of this cable.

Here’s another good-looking, well-made cable. This iOrange-E Type-C to Type-A accessory comes with a braided cable made of nylon fiber and aluminum ports. It’s twice the length of the Belkin at 6 feet, so you also won’t have to struggle to use your phone while charging. The one downside here is that these cables will only supports charging at 2.4 amps and data transfers at 480 MB/s. That is still plenty fast, though.

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6. Micro-USB to USB-C adapter

If the LG G6 is your first Android phone that uses USB-C charging cables, chances are you’ve got quite the stash of Micro-USB cables lying around that are about to become obsolete.

Anker USB-C to Micro USB Adapter

best usb-c to micro usb adapter for LG G6
These adapters feature a fool-proof design with no installation required—simply plug and play.

If you want to continue using your old Micro-USB cables with the G6, you’ll want to pick up this two-pack of Anker adapters. These adapters are great because they are inexpensive and will get the job done, especially if you’ve got chargers or devices with integrated cables that can’t be swapped out easily.

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7. Wireless Charging Pad

The LG G6 supports wireless charging in the U.S. and Canada markets, and if you like the idea of keeping it conveniently charged without being tethered, and then you’ll need to pick up a wireless charger. When browsing for wireless charging pads, keep in mind that the LG G6 does not support fast wireless charging, so you needn’t worry about the speed of any wireless charger — they’ll all work just as quickly.

Anker PowerPort Qi 10 wireless charging pad

best wireless charging pad for lg g6
Simplify charging into just setting your phone down on a pad with this Anker wireless charger.

The Anker PowerPort Qi 10 wireless charging pad is your best bet. It’s simple to use with a premium design that features breathing LEDs to indicate your devices’ charging status. The non-slip pad keeps your phone secure and built in safety features prevent your device from overheating while protecting it from short circuits and electrical surges.

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Spigen Essential F300W wireless charging stand

best wireless charging stand for lg g6
The Spigen Essential F300W Wireless Charging dock features a stand design for comfort viewing.

This wireless charger from Spigen has more of a stand design that sits at an angle so you can easily glance over and see your screen, which is perfect for keeping at your desk. The Spigen Essential is fitted with three coils, so you can place your G6 vertically or horizontally and still have it receive a charge. This is great for giving your phone some juice while watching TV and movies.

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8. Chromecast

best accessories for lg g6
Use your LG G6 to stream content to your TV. While you’re streaming, you can also take calls or send messages without interrupting what’s playing.

With its portable size and ease of setup, the Google Chromecast is hands down one of the best accessories you can buy for any Android phone. This little dongle connects to your TV via an HDMI port and lets you “cast” all sorts of media from your phone over Wi-Fi. You can choose to mirror your phone display, or stream content from a growing number of Chromecast-enabled apps such as YouTube, Netflix, HBO Now, Chrome browser, and more.

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9. Bluetooth Speaker

Next to the USB Type-C port on the bottom of the G6, you’ll find a single speaker. While it seems loud for such a little speaker, like all bottom-mounted speakers, its sound quality is mediocre and you can accidently block it when using it in one-hand in landscape mode.

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to get high quality sound playing around your home or on the go, then nothing beats the convenience of a Bluetooth speaker. Simply charge it up, pair it to your phone, and you’ll be able to play your entire audio collection wherever you choose.

Choosing a wireless speaker is always going to be a compromise between portability, sound and water resistance. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of Bluetooth speakers floating around, and sorting out which ones are worth your money can be a time-consuming process. We’ve rounded up our top three picks to help you along the way.

JBL Flip 3 Portable Bluetooth Speaker

best portable speaker for lg g6
The Flip 3 can connect up to 3 smartphones or tablets to the speaker and take turns playing surprisingly powerful, room-filling stereo sound.

JBL, part of HARMAN, makes some great looking and sounding Bluetooth speakers and this is one of their less-expensive models. The Flip 3 is a splash-proof speaker, meaning you can use it outdoors without worrying too much about sudden showers, dust and other hazards of the elements, and it offers up 360-degree sound. With the included 3000mAh battery, you can get around 10 hours of playback.

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Philips BT3500B/37 Wireless Portable Bluetooth Speaker

best bluetooth speaker for lg g6
Philips offers advanced audio performance with a slim design and anti-clipping for loud, distortion free music.

This Bluetooth speaker from Philips looks and sounds great but it does not have splash protection like the Flip 3, so be sure to keep it away from the water. The main feature here is that the speaker has NFC in addition to Bluetooth, making it super easy to pair a new smartphone or tablet by simply tapping it on the speaker. Of course, it does also have some pretty great battery life, around 8-10 hours per charge.

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Bose SoundLink Color II

best portable wireless bluetooth speaker for lg g6
This speaker features innovative Bose technology that packs bold sound into a small, water-resistant speaker.

The Bose SoundLink Color II offers good sound quality and tons of features in a compact, splash-proof body. This Bluetooth speaker has crisp sound, rich in lows / highs, and a decent bass, especially considering its small form factor. In addition, you get an IPX4 splash-proof rating, making this the company’s only speaker that can stand up to the outdoor elements.

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10. Bluetooth Headphones

The world we live in is going wireless, and this includes headphones. Whether you’re commuting, traveling, or simply listening to music around the house, wireless headphones are just way more convenient than their wired counterparts are.

Photive BTH3 Over-The-Ear Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

best wireless headphones for lg g6
Enjoy wireless freedom by streaming music directly from LG G6 and say goodbye to annoying, tangled cords.

Photive has maintained an excellent reputation by introducing a wide range of high quality headphones to the market and the BTH3’s are no exception. These headphones are comfortable and conveniently equipped with many different controls for playback and volume, including a dedicated power button.

You can answer calls in the middle of playback thanks to a built in Mic and you can get nearly 12 Hours of use between charges, depending on your usage. You even get a Hard Travel Case to keep your headphones looking new. While there may be better headphones out there, you will be hard pressed to find a better option for the same price.

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Cowin E-7 Active Noise Cancelling Wireless Bluetooth

best over the ear bluetooth headphones for lg g6
Enjoy significant noise reduction for travel, work and anywhere in between with the Cowin E-7 wireless headphones.

The Cowin E-7’s offer up a lightweight, comfortable, around-ear fit you can wear all day long. Like the BTH3, the E-7 has an on-board Mic plus controls for volume and switching up playlists. These over the ear headphones hold an exceptional value for the price and include outstanding features.

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Jaybird X3 Bluetooth Earbuds

best wireless bluetooth earbuds for lg g6
The X3 Headphones by Jaybird are designed to be as small as possible without sacrificing performance and looks.

If you don’t like the bulkiness of over the ear headphones, or need something compact for workouts, you should consider these Jaybird X3 Bluetooth earbuds. They come with three different pairs of wing tips and six pairs of ear tips that made it easy to find the perfect fit. The X3s have a slim profile that also makes them easier to wear. Like the X2s before them, these have an 8-hour battery life and now come with a charging cradle for when they die.

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SoundPEATS QY8 Wireless Earbuds

what are the best bluetooth earbuds for the lg g6
You can attach the two headphones together for a convenient way to wear them when not in use.

Those looking for Bluetooth earbuds on the cheap should consider the Soundpeats QY8’s, which have been impressing people in terms of connection, fit, and sound. These headphones have found a special following, mainly among runners, but those same features are what make them a great all-around choice.

The one downside is in battery life. The Qy8s last about 5-6 hours on a charge, which isn’t horrible, but certainly isn’t great. If you want a decent pair of inexpensive headphones that you can take with you on your commute and then to the gym after work, these might be for you.

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Bose Soundsport Wireless

best lg g6 wireless headphones for running
Bose StayHear + tips provide nice comfort and stability, with a soft silicone material and a unique shape that sits gently in your ear.

For a pair of wireless running headphones, look no further than the Bose Soundsport. These wireless earbuds are comfortable, feature easily accessible playback controls, and won’t fall out of your ear when running thanks to the signature Bose StayHear+ tips.

These earbuds are constructed with a sweat and water resistant plastic. If you intend to use them for running you should use the included shirt clip just to be safe, but you probably won’t need it for everyday use.

The Soundsport is designed so that the wire lies flat against the back of your neck, keeping the weight of the control module from pulling them out of your ear. The control module also houses a mic and the playback controls, which let you do everything from answer a phone call to skip tracks.

Battery life on these Bose earbuds is petty average at only about 6 or 7 hours, which should easily last you the day under normal conditions. For the average runner, these earbuds will not let you down. If you don’t mind spending a little extra, Bose also offers a version with a built in heart rate monitor.

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Extend your Galaxy S8 battery life with these simple tips and tricks

No matter what kind of phablet you have, squeezing out every last drop of battery life is a constant struggle. The Samsung Galaxy S8+ is equipped with a 3,500 mAh battery, which is smaller than the 3,600 mAh battery in the Galaxy S7 Edge. The Galaxy S8 features a 3,000 mAh battery, which is the same capacity as the regular Galaxy S7.

Odds are that either Galaxy S8 device will get you through a busy day with some juice to spare, but you might be wondering what can be done if you’d like to get even more time between charges. Below, we’ve compiled a number of tricks and tips that will improve the battery life on Samsung’s latest flagship.

Some of these battery saving tips will be obvious to just about any Android user, while others require a little bit of digging. Of course, nobody is suggesting you use all of them, but you should test them all out and decide what works best depending on your situation.

With that said, let’s look at some of the easiest and most effective ways to improve your Galaxy S8 / S8 Plus battery life!

Samsung Galaxy S8 / S8+ Power Saving Tips and Tricks

  1. Use a dark color scheme for more on screen time
  2. Turn down the automatic brightness
  3. Ditch the Always On Display
  4. Put apps to sleep with the App power monitor
  5. Minimize battery drain while gaming with Game Launcher
  6. Turn off “Smart Stay”
  7. Set a quicker screen timeout for more power gains
  8. Set a lower screen resolution for everyday use
  9. Turn NFC off to save power
  10. Turn off the LED indicator
  11. Avoid butt-dials with Keep screen turned off
  12. Turn Off “Nearby device scanning”
  13. Switch to the GPS only location method
  14. Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth scanning
  15. Ditch the useless Gestures
  16. Enable Power saving mode
  17. Use a Power Bank
  18. Use a Battery Case

1. Use a dark color scheme for more on screen time

Samsung Galaxy S8 dark theme wallpaper save battery life
Dark color schemes require less graphics processing, and thus, battery power. Photo: Imgur.

Opting for a darker color scheme with your Samsung phone is a simple and efficient power saving trick. Due to the way Samsung’s Super AMOLED displays are designed, the color white requires the most out of the screen in terms of power draw, so going for a black or darker color theme will save you a decent amount of power.

You can change your theme by going to Settings -> Wallpapers and themes.

Bonus Tip: Try out these exceptional minimalist black AMOLED wallpapers that can extend your battery life!

2. Turn down the automatic brightness

The huge display found on the Samsung Galaxy S8 is among the most power-hungry components inside the device, so you should tweak the automatic brightness setting to keep it in check. Your phone will still adapt to your surroundings, but keeping a slightly lower max brightness will help you save some precious battery juice.

Save battery power by tweaking the Galaxy S8 display auto brightness
Save battery power by tweaking the Galaxy S8 display auto brightness.

Lower the max brightness by navigating to Settings > Display > Auto Brightness.

You can also adjust the brightness by pulling down the notification shade and adjust the slider. Moving the slider to the left will lower the brightness, moving the slider to the right will increase the brightness. If you hit the arrow to the right of the slider, a menu will drop down so you can toggle auto brightness on or off by click on the box to the right.

3. Ditch the Always On Display

Disable S8 Always on Display to save battery life.
Always on Display makes your battery bleed a slow death. Photo: Janitors (Flickr CC)

Glancing at your phone as it sits on your desk to check the time or notifications is nice, but it’s also makes your battery bleed a slow death. Moreover, when you’re looking for increased battery life, every little bit helps, which is why it makes more sense to simply light up your screen when you need to check something out.

With Always-On Display (AOD) turned off, your phone’s screen will remain off while it is locked. On the plus side, you’ll be more productive if there isn’t a constant distraction sitting in front of you.

Disable Samsung’s Always-On Display by opening Settings > Lock screen and security > Always On Display.

4. Put apps to sleep with the App power monitor

The app power monitor is a great feature present on your Galaxy S8/S8+ that helps you save power by putting apps running in the background to sleep if they’re not used for 3 days. Samsung also added the option to manually put apps to sleep.

When an app is “sleeping,” it won’t run in the background, and any push notifications to the app will be paused. The next time you open the app, it will wake up, with notifications and updates returning to normal.

Sleep apps by going to Settings -> Device maintenance -> Battery. You can also long-press on an app icon until a settings popup is shown. Select Sleep from the list, and then tap OK.

5. Minimize battery drain while gaming with Game Launcher

Use Samsung game launcher to save battery life when playing games
You can find Game Launcher in the Apps Drawer. Photo: Phablist

Game Launcher was first introduced with the Galaxy S7 duo. This nifty little app can help you save battery life by reducing the screen resolution and frame rate when playing mobile games.

Of course, tweaking your screen settings will result in a slightly degraded gaming experience, so it may not be for everyone. Nevertheless, if you are in a pinch and just have to get your Pokémon Go fix in, this may be a trick to keep in the bag.

You can find Game Launcher in the Apps Drawer. You can adjust power saving options by tapping on “Save power during game.”

Bonus Tip: Game Tuner is a Samsung app that isn’t installed with your S8 by default but you can download it free at Google Play. This application also lets you tweak the performance settings of mobile games that require tuning for different Android devices.

6. Turn off “Smart Stay”

Disable "Smart Stay" to save battery life on the Samsung Galaxy S8 / S8+
Disable “Smart Stay” to save battery life on the Samsung Galaxy S8 / S8+. Photo: Phablist

Smart Stay is an interesting feature that uses the Galaxy S8 selfie cam to figure out if you’re looking at the phone’s display. Your screen won’t go to sleep as long as you’re looking at it, which can be very useful if you like to read e-books or just stare at your phone.

While this feature is undoubtedly handy, your selfie camera and the Smart Stay app both consume battery and processing power. Therefore, if you want to maximize your daytime phone usage, it might be a good idea to turn Smart Stay off.

Disable this battery killer by navigating to Settings -> Advanced Features -> Smart Stay.

7. Set a quicker screen timeout for more power gains

Save Galaxy S8 battery power by setting a quicker screen timeout
The Galaxy S8 has a default screen timeout of 15 seconds, giving you the most battery saving potential. Photo: Phablist.

All of us probably used to turning the phone screen off when we are done using it, which is why it makes no sense to set a long timeout period for your display. Setting your timeout to 30 seconds or a minute should be plenty in case you forget.

The Galaxy S8 has a default screen timeout of 15 seconds, giving you the most battery saving potential. We recommend you leave it there or, if you must, bump it up to 30 seconds. Any longer than that and you’ll be wasting your battery.

Customize this feature by going to Settings -> Display -> Screen timeout.

Setting the timeout to a minute or less should be more than enough for most people’s needs, while ensuring that the display won’t stay turned on for too long while not in use.

8. Set a lower screen resolution for everyday use

Save battery life on the Galaxy S8 by setting a lower screen resolution.
Lower resolution translates to lower power consumption and vice versa. Photo: Phablist

We already discussed how adjusting your screen resolution could save battery power when gaming, but what about adjusting the resolution for everyday tasks? Well, there are three other display resolution options available on Galaxy S8 duo – HD+ (1480 x 720) FHD+ (2220 x 1080), WQHD+ (2960 x 1440).

You can switch between these options by going to Settings -> Display -> Screen resolution.

Here, things are simple – lower resolution translates to lower power consumption and vice versa. Do you really need super high-res WQHD+ resolution for sending Facebook messages? Probably not, but you will definitely need it when watching Netflix and YouTube. The trick here is balance.

Out of the box, the Galaxy S8’s screen resolution is set to full high-definition but you can probably get away with leaving the display set to FHD for everyday use. Then you can step it up to high-performance mode when you’re playing games or binge-watching your favorite TV show.

You can switch back to a more efficient mode at any time by using the same method to turn off high-performance mode. Using HD+ mode will certainly help if you find yourself in a pinch when you need to get the most out of your battery.

Bonus Tip: There is a dedicated tile to boost the Galaxy S8 performance in the quick settings menu.

9. Turn off NFC to save power

Disable NFC to save battery life on the Samsung Galaxy S8
Get more battery life by turning off NFC. Photo: Phablist

Unless you are going on a shopping spree or transferring data through NFC, there’s really no reason to keep it on all of the time. The overall drain on your battery from this radio is negligible, but it’s important to remember that all of these little tweaks result in big savings overall.

Use the dedicated toggle for NFC in your notification shade/pull down menu. You can also turn it off by heading over to Settings -> Connections.

10. Turn off the LED indicator

Disable Galaxy S8 notification blinking led
You can disable the notification LED to be more productive. Photo: Janitors (Flickr CC)

The LED indicator is that little light that blinks when you have unread notifications, turning it off will give your battery a tiny boost. More importantly, however, you will be eliminating a huge distraction from your day by not grabbing your phone every time an app sends you a notification.

Kill this nuisance by heading over to Settings -> Display -> LED indicator. You might even get more sleep at night.

11. Avoid butt-dials with Keep screen turned off

Use keep screen off to stop butt dials on the galaxy s8
Keep screen turned off is a neat feature that lets your Samsung device recognize when it’s inside a pocket or bag. Photo: Phablist

This setting should be enabled by default on your Galaxy S8 / S8+, but you might want to double check just to be sure. Keep screen turned off is a neat feature that lets your Samsung device recognize when it’s inside a pocket or bag, and shouldn’t be turning on if a button is accidentally pressed.

While this feature will consume processing power, it will save you from butt-dialing people and have a net positive effect on battery savings. You can check if it’s turned on by navigating to Settings- > Display -> Keep screen turned off.

12. Turn Off “Nearby device scanning”

There is a feature in the Galaxy S8 / S8+ called “Nearby device scanning” that makes it easier for your phone to find Bluetooth devices by constantly scanning for them, even if you have Bluetooth turned off. The feature uses Bluetooth Low Energy to make the connection process easier when you actually want to hook up to something, but unfortunately, it has a negative on the phone’s battery life.

Needless to say, unless you are having problems connecting to Bluetooth accessories, you can live your life to the fullest without using this feature, so make sure to turn it off by going to Settings -> Connections -> More connection settings.

13. Switch to the GPS only location method

switch to gps only location mode on galaxy s8
Save your battery and privacy with low accuracy location settings. Photo: Phablist

It seems like just about every app these days want access to your location, which is not only harmful to your battery but also incredibly creepy. Knowing your precise location is obviously a great thing to have in certain situations but remember that your handset uses a lot of processing power to pinpoint where you are.

Luckily for you, there is a way of saving some battery juice with location turned on by switching to a GPS only mode. You phone will use less power this way because it won’t utilize your WiFi and Mobile Network hardware to get the job done.

You can switch to a GPS only mode by going to Settings -> Connections -> Location -> Locating method and switching to Phone only.

14. Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth scanning

While we are on the topic of the Location tab, make sure to tap on Improve accuracy and shut down Wi-Fi and Bluetooth scanning. These options are designed to improve the accuracy of your phone’s location services, but as mentioned above, your precise whereabouts are usually not that essential for most apps.

15. Ditch the useless Gestures

Even though Samsung has eliminated the number of “gestures” over the last few years, you can still find plenty of them on the Galaxy S8 duo. What you choose to go with here is completely personal preference, but pick them wisely because each one is a leech on your battery.

Customize your phone gestures in Settings -> Advanced Features. Options here include: Smart capture, Palm swipe to capture, Direct call, Smart alert, Easy mute, Swipe to call or send messages, and Direct share.

16. Enable Power saving mode

galaxy s8 battery power saving mode tips and tricks
The power-saving setting gives you the option to choose predefined settings, or you can manually pick how aggressive you want the power saving to be by tweaking the brightness, screen resolution, CPU speed and network usage. Photo: Phablist

If you’ve been web browsing all day and watching YouTube videos, chances are your battery will be running low by the late afternoon. This is where Power saving mode comes in.

Power saving mode halts some processes that may eat away at your battery. Your apps will stop fetching new data in the background, location services will be turned off, and even vibrations will be kept to a minimum.

There are a few caveats here. When power saving mode is enabled on the Galaxy S8, for example, emails or notifications won’t come through unless you are using the associated app. Texts and calls, however, will remain unaffected.

Access the power saving mode by navigating to Settings > Device Maintenance > Battery, or find it in the quick settings (drag down from the top of the screen with two fingers to see all options). You can choose to manually enable it, or have it activate when you batter percentage reaches a predefined level.

The power-saving setting gives you the option to choose predefined settings, or you can manually pick how aggressive you want the power saving to be by tweaking the brightness, screen resolution, CPU speed and network usage. You potential battery savings are displayed underneath each option.

If the normal power saving mode isn’t strong enough, MAX POWER SAVING MODE is your last resort. This power saving mode will squeeze the maximum life out of your device by switching the display to low resolution black-and-white, and all applications are disabled except for Phone, Messages and Internet.

17. Use a Power Bank

samsung galaxy s8 power bank
Going with a power bank ensures you always have some extra juice on hand. Photo: RAVPower.

When the aforementioned software tweaks aren’t enough, one of the easiest ways to extend your Galaxy S8 battery life is to simply recharge on the go whenever you can. You should consider picking up a power bank or portable charger in the size, shape and capacity that best suits you.

improve battery life with a wireless charger
Wireless chargers are a super-convenient way to charge your phone.

Keeping a wireless charger at your desk, in the kitchen, or by the bed is the most convenient way to keep your phone topped off throughout the day. We recommend one of Samsung’s Adaptive Fast Chargers, as these will allow you to recharge much faster than with a traditional power bank.

Bonus Tip: You might like these battery banks and wireless chargers

18. Use a Battery Case

samsung galaxy s8 battery cases
Cases with built-in batteries stay connected to your phone – and they recharge at the same time as your phone. Photo: Caka

Another great accessory to consider is a protective phone case with a battery pack built-in, which allows you to increase your battery capacity with ease. Cases with built-in batteries stay connected to your phone – and they recharge at the same time as your phone – just keep in mind that these cases add to the size and weight of the phone, along with an added measure of protection.

Bonus Tip: Check out these battery pack cases for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus!

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8 Fast Facts about the Samsung Galaxy S8

The Samsung Galaxy S8 duo was officially revealed last week to glowing first impressions, and it’s easy to see why. It has a gorgeous infinity display, impressive internals, and a tried-and-true camera.

Samsung is redefining the limitations of a smartphone and this is evident in the Galaxy S8. This year, the focus is on the big display and the large screen real estate of the S8 will blow you away.

Here are 8 facts about the Galaxy S8 you might not know about:

1. The Samsung Galaxy S8 uses two different camera sensors

Samsung has been known to make some of the best smartphone cameras in terms of performance and image quality. One of the reasons why they’ve gained that reputation is the innovation that goes into designing the Galaxy S series.

As it turns out, Samsung is using two different sensors for the rear and front camera in the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. Units have been spotted using a Sony IMX333 sensor and a S5K2L2 ISOCELL sensor made by Samsung subsidiary, System LSI, on the rear.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 uses two different camera sensors
It won’t matter whether you get a Sony or Samsung-made main camera. Photo: Phablist.

Around front, the new 8MP autofocus selfie camera is sporting either a Sony IMX320 unit or an ISOCELL S5K3H1. The different cameras share the same specs all around, so the pictures from either camera should ultimately be the same.

It won’t matter whether you get a Sony or Samsung-made main camera, you will still have a 1/2.55″ 12.2MP sensor with dual pixel autofocus. The optics will remain the same as well – f/1.7 aperture and optical image stabilization. There’s no need to worry about which one you have.

2. The Exynos 8895 model beat the iPhone 7 Plus in 2 out of 3 benchmarks

With the Galaxy S8 launch official, we are starting to see some of the first performance benchmarks roll in, giving us a true glimpse of how the new flagship will stand up against its competition.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Exynos 8895 model beat the iPhone 7 Plus in 2 out of 3 benchmarks
Samsung Galaxy S8 (Exynos 8895) performance benchmarks. Photo: Phablist (Click to enlarge)

The Galaxy S8 with Exynos 8895 narrowly beat the iPhone 7 Plus in the AnTuTu 6 benchmark, which is still one of the best all-round performers. Samsung barely squeezed by with a score of 174155 over Apple’s 173110 (higher is better in this case).

Samsung also beat the iPhone 7 Plus in Geekbench 4 multi-core benchmark, with a score of 6339 over 5664 (higher is better in this case). The Galaxy S8 beat out the Kirin 960 chip found inside the Huawei P10 Plus as well, which scored 5821 (also beating the iPhone 7 Plus).

The Exynos and Kirin are quite similar as both are based on the Mali-G71 GPU, but the Samsung model uses customized A73 cores, whereas the Huawei version is not modified.

Where the Galaxy S8 fell short was Single-core performance, scoring a 1974 in the Geekbench 4 benchmark. Although an improvement over the Galaxy S7 edge (1696), the margin is much smaller and Apple’s cores take the crown here with a score of 3473. Samsung did manage to squeeze out a win over the Huawei P10 Plus, however, which scored 1937 points.

Note that these scores are from an Exynos 8895 unit, there’s also a Snapdragon 835 version not included in these scores. The numbers should be similar across the board, as Samsung claims that both chipsets are basically identical in performance.

3. The Galaxy S8 has facial recognition security – but it’s flawed

Not only does Samsung’s latest flagship have a fingerprint an iris scanner for security, it can also use the front facing camera to recognize your face. Simply pick up the phone, wait a split second, and it unlocks.

Samsung touted the handset’s security features during the Galaxy S8 launch event, but a recent video has surfaced online that shows how easily the facial recognition system can be fooled. All you have to do is place a photo of the owner in front of the S8 and it will unlock.

It may take a couple tries to get it right, but the video suggests that the Galaxy S8 facial recognition system has some serious security flaws. It appears that the camera can’t easily distinguish between an actual person holding the handset and a photo of that person, which makes it easy for a hacker to gain access to your private data.

Thankfully, there’s more than one way to secure a Galaxy S8. So until the facial recognition feature is improved, its best to use the fingerprint sensor or iris scanner to keep things locked up.

4. Samsung Galaxy S8 lets you disable app drawer

In an effort to clean up TouchWiz, Samsung has made many changes in the last couple of years with its Galaxy S lineup. The latest change being the ability to hide the app drawer in the Galaxy S8 – keeping all of your apps on the home screen.

Samsung Galaxy S8 lets you disable app drawer
The ability to hide the app drawer was first available in the Galaxy S7 as an experimental setting. Photo: YT.

Users now have the choice to show or hide the apps button through the settings menu. This feature was also available in the Galaxy S7 but it was buried deep underneath the Samsung Labs app as an experimental setting.

5. The Galaxy S8 and S8+ won’t face any supply issues

Samsung’s latest flagship is one of the most anticipated smartphones of 2017. It is the first major release from the Korean company since the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, and Samsung has high expectations for its performance in the market.

Samsung is very confident that the Galaxy S8 will shatter the sales record of the Galaxy S7 for the first year, which is why the company has announced they will produce around 20,000,000 units for the initial production run.

Samsung’s head of mobile, DJ Koh, promised that the Galaxy S8 series would not see any supply issues whatsoever. The company is ready to sell double what it did when the S7s were launched last year. “Since we are preparing the supply without difficulty, there will be no issue of supply delay”, Koh said in a statement to The Korea Herald.

6. You use the power key and the volume down to take a screenshot on the Galaxy S8

One of the biggest changes with the Samsung Galaxy S8 lineup was removal of the Samsung signature physical home button. What once served as a multi-function trigger with real feeling is now replaced with an on-screen icon with haptic feedback via a smart vibration engine.

With the physical home button gone, many Galaxy S8 owners may discovering that taking a screenshot the usual way – holding the home and power button together – doesn’t work anymore. The key combination to take a screenshot has changed on the Galaxy S8 duo.

How to take a screenshot on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+
The key combination to take a screenshot has changed on the Galaxy S8.

You now take a screenshot on the Samsung Galaxy by simultaneously pressing the power key and the volume down button. Hold them together for a second and you will see the screen flash and a preview of the screen grab appears. From here, you have some additional options:

  • Scrolling Screenshot: Tap to scroll and automatically stitch the tow images into one tall screen grab. This is very useful for saving a webpage and other content that normally doesn’t fit on a single screen.
  • Crop Screenshot: Tap and you will see a preview with the on-screen buttons and taskbar automatically cropped. This feature is best for removing any unnecessary information from your screenshot.
  • Draw on Screenshot: Tap to draw on top of a screenshot and annotate it. Use this feature when you need to circle or underline something, or even write your own notes.

7. The Galaxy S8 can stream music to two Bluetooth devices at the same time

Perhaps one of the most under-reported features of the Samsung Galaxy S8 is the existence of Bluetooth dual audio. This Sonos style software enables users to stream Bluetooth audio to two different speakers or headsets simultaneously, allowing you to control the volume of both audio sources separately.

The new feature comes to the S8 family alongside Bluetooth 5.0, which is said to have four times the distance and twice the speed of Bluetooth 4.0. It’s also supposed to be more energy efficient, and have a wider throughput capacity – this should help with decreasing those annoying audio cutouts.

8. The Galaxy S8 is surprisingly strong, but you will still want a case

You’ll want to save up another $20 for a Galaxy S8 case after watching YouTuber TechRax, who recently posted one of the internet’s first Galaxy S8 drop test videos.

The latest Samsung flagship was dropped twice onto a concrete floor from a height of approximately five feet. On the first drop, the Galaxy S8 bounced off one of its corners and onto its back. Despite some scratches and dings, the unit held up well.

Drop two is what did the new infinity display in, as the Galaxy s8 was dropped directly on its screen. It managed to turn in midair, landing mostly on its side, but the screen shattered on impact. Surprisingly though, the phone was still operational.

In another TechRax video, the Galaxy S8 is put through a torture test with a harsh assault from both a large knife and a hammer. The rear glass panel gave way to the knife after some very firm stabs and the front display managed to survive many firm hammer strikes before finally caving in. Despite the abuse, the display and touchscreen functioned perfectly fine despite a huge hammer hole right in the center.

There is very little chance that your phone is going to be going up this kind of abuse in a real world situation, unless you encounter a knife attack. As we’ve seen in the past, a Samsung Galaxy phablet can double as body armor in the right situation. Despite the resilience of the galaxy S8, however, odds are you will still want to buy a case.

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ASUS Zenfone 3 Ultra: 10 incredibly useful tips and tricks

Featuring a 6.8-inch Full HD display, the Zenfone 3 Ultra is without question one of the biggest smartphones you can buy right now. Pushing the limits of what can be considered a phablet, the Zenfone 3 is a great choice for those who use their smartphone as their primary computing device.

In this article, we will show you some awesome Zenfone 3 features that will help you get the most out of your extra large smartphone. Best part is that not any of these tips require any additional apps or other downloads, everything is available right out of the box. So let’s get started.

ASUS Zenfone 3 Tips and Tricks

  1. Add your favorite apps to the lock screen
  2. Add a sticky note to the home screen
  3. Customize the Quick Settings Panel for faster device tweaks
  4. Record your phone calls to an audio file
  5. Charge the battery of another mobile device with your Zenfone
  6. Tips for maximizing battery life
  7. Always capture the perfect shot with your camera
  8. Get professional-style photography touch-ups on the fly
  9. Turn your pictures into a creative slideshow
  10. Use your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot

1. Add your favorite apps to the lock screen

Asus Zenfone 3 lock screen shortcuts make your favorite apps accessible directly from the Lock Screen.
Lock screen shortcuts make you favorite apps accessible directly from the Lock Screen. Photo: Phablist.

Lock screen shortcuts, as the name implies, allow you to launch a favorite app directly from the Lock Screen. The Zenfone 3 lock screen includes quick access buttons for the camera, phone, and web browser by default, but these shortcuts can be changed to launch other apps on the lock screen by using the following steps:

  1. Launch the quick settings panel by swiping down twice from the top of the display and then tap the gear icon to launch the device settings.
  2. Scroll down and select Lock screen, then select Quick access.
  3. From the Customized quick access field, slide the bar to ON.
  4. Select the app that you want to replace and choose a new app from the list.

Bonus Tip: You can hold and drag the quick access buttons to rearrange their order.

2. Add a sticky note to the home screen

You can add sticky notes to your screen so you see them no matter which app you're working in.
You can add sticky notes to your screen so you see them no matter which app you’re working in. Photo: ASUS.

There are a massive amount of reminder apps available for Android that can be used to manage your “to do” list but some people need something like a “Post-It” note that will stick out and be in front of their face at all times. You can add sticky notes to your screen so you can look at them regardless of which app you are currently working in. To create a sticky note on the Zenfone 3:

  1. Launch the app drawer and choose Quick Memo.
  2. Tap on the squiggled line to write with your finger or stylus. Tap the keyboard icon to type your note.
  3. Tap the pushpin icon to stick the note to the Home screen.

3. Customize the Quick Settings Panel for faster device tweaks

The Quick settings panel gives you single touch access to some of the wireless features and settings on the Zenfone 3. Swipe down from the top of the display to launch the quick settings panel.

How to customize quick settings on ASUS Zenfone 3
Swipe down from the top of the display to launch the quick settings panel. Photo: Phablist.

Each quick setting feature is represented by a button and can be enabled or disabled by tapping on the buttons. A blue button indicates that the feature is currently enabled while a gray button indicates that a feature is disabled. Green buttons are the individual utilities that you can easily access via the Quick Settings panel.

Some of the buttons available on the quick settings panel include Wi-Fi, auto-rotate, Sound, do not disturb, one handed operation, location, airplane mode, mobile data, bright filter, hotspot, Bluetooth, and auto-sync. Below the clock, you will find a slider for changing the screen brightness, as well as buttons to open the display and phone settings. You can also swipe up on the clock area to view the notifications panel.

You can add or remove buttons from the Quick settings panel by tapping on the edit button (paper and pencil). Next, tap the box beside the feature you wish to add or remove from the panel. A checked box means that the button will appear in the Quick Settings panel. Tap the left pointing arrow to go back.

4. Record your phone calls to an audio file

Have you ever wanted to record a phone call? Maybe you have a bad experience with a company over the phone and you want proof of the incident. Alternatively, maybe you received training or some other help that you want to reference again later.

The ASUS Zenfone 3 has a built in feature that allows you to easily record a phone conversation for future reference. It’s important to note that you should always obtain permission from the other party before recording a call.

To record a phone conversation on the Zenfone 3, call a contact or dial a number and then tap the “REC” button. Recording will be indicated by the button and you can stop the recording at any time by pressing the record button again.

How to record mobile smartphone phone call on Asus Zenfone 3
The ASUS Zenfone 3 has a built in feature that allows you to easily record a phone conversation. Photo: Phablist.

When you are done recording, you can access the file by swiping down from the top of the screen, and then tapping the Call recording saved notification. Remember to always ask permission from the other parties involved before recording a call.

5. Charge the battery of another mobile device with your Zenfone

A Majority of us are familiar with the use of cell phone power bank to handle emergency power needs for our smartphones. The ASUS Zenfone 3 has a huge 4600 mAh battery that can be used as an external power supply for other mobile devices equipped with a USB charging port.

The reverse charging mode only requires a “on the go” USB cable that will need to be bought separately. This cable is fitted with a USB standard port on one end and the normal android compatible pin on the other end. You can find very affordable OTG cable options on Amazon.

How to charge other mobile devices with the Zenfone 3
Connect one end of the USB cable to the device that you want to charge and the other to the OTG cable. Photo: ASUS.

To charge other mobile devices with the Zenfone 3:

  1. Connect one end of the USB cable to the device that you want to charge and the other to the OTG cable.
  2. Connect the other end of the OTG cable to the Zenfone 3. It is important that you make sure the OTG cable is securely connected to the Zenfone 3 to ensure proper charging.
  3. Choose either of the following charging modes:
  • OTG mode: Charges the attached device with a standard current, up to 0.5A.
  • Reverse charging mode: Powers off the Zenfone 3 to provide rapid reverse charging that is capable of outputting a high charging current up to 1.5A. The maximum output current is dependent on the device being charged. In this mode, the Zenfone 3 will monitor the charge levels. When battery power on the Zenfone 3 falls below 20%, the phone will automatically turn on and charge in OTG mode. Reverse charging mode will only support devices with CDP (Charging Downstream Port) mode.

6. Tips for maximizing battery life

Without a battery charger or a spare battery with you everywhere you go, you’ll have to make due with minimizing the consumption of battery juice. Here are some ways you can conserve battery power on the Zenfone 3 for longer life between charges:

  • Close all running apps that are not in use. Launch the recent applications menu by tapping the recent apps physical button. Tap and hold on the application you want to close and swipe it to the right. This should kill the process and free up some RAM.
  • Keep the speaker volume at a low level. When Smart Mode is enabled, Zen UI chooses the best audio quality for the currently running app.
  • Decrease the brightness of the display from the quick settings by swiping down from the top of the screen and using the slider to adjust the screens brightness.
  • Disable wireless radios that are not in use such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth via the quick settings panel.
  • Turn off the display auto rotate function, also accessible through the quick settings panel.
  • Disable all auto-sync features on your device. Changing this setting will not only conserve battery power but also mobile data when you are not near Wi-Fi. The only disadvantage is that you will have to remember to manually sync to see your data across other devices.

7. Always capture the perfect shot with your camera

How to take better smartphone photos with the Asus Zenfone 3.
The ASUS Zenfone 3 was built with photographers in mind. Photo: Asus.

Instead of relying on taking the perfect snapshot, it’s better to take multiple photos of your subject. If the only photo of your romantic kiss in front of Niagara Falls is out of focus, you will probably regret it later.

Using the Time Rewind feature on the Zenfone 3’s camera will set the shutter to take burst shots two seconds before pressing the capture button. This will produce a timeline of images from where you can choose the best image to save on your gallery.

To use Time Rewind, simply tap the advanced settings icon (located next to the video record button) and tap the associated button to enable it. Next, tap the camera icon to start capturing photos and adjust the time interval and direction that you want the photos to be played back. Tap the check mark icon when done.

After pressing the shutter, the Time Rewind view is displayed on top of a captured photo. You can rotate the button on the viewer to browse through the photos you just took and select the best. Tapping the Best icon will have the Zenfone 3 suggest the best photo from the timeline for you.

Bonus Tip: Time Rewind can only be used with the rear camera.

8. Get professional-style photography touch-ups on the fly

When taking pictures with the Zenfone 3, you can use the Beautification feature to make live enhancements on your subject’s face prior to taking a shot. To enable this feature in the camera app, first tap the advanced settings icon and choose Beautification.

Next, tap the camera icon to capture your photo. Tap the thumbnail to preview the photo and display the beautification settings. Tap the beauty camera icon, select your preferred Beautification setting, and then tap the checkmark to save the photo.

9. Turn your pictures into a creative slideshow

You can use the MiniMovie feature from the Zenfone 3 photo gallery to easily create slideshow presentations of your favorite pictures and share them on social media. It’s an easy way to create and share slideshows of, for instance, that amazing trip you took over the weekend to your family’s lake house.

Create a MiniMovie from a photo folder by following these steps:

  1. Launch the Gallery app, and then tap the menu icon to select the location of our photo folder.
  2. Select the photo folder and then tap the menu icon and select Auto MiniMovie.
  3. Choose a theme to apply to your photo slide show by tapping the template to see its preview.
  4. After deciding on the appropriate theme template, tap the disc icon to save the slideshow. You can access your saved slideshows from the File Manager by navigating to Movies > MiniMovie.
  5. Slideshows can be shared on social networking sites or instant messaging apps.

10. Use your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot

It can be pretty frustrating when working on the go, from a hotel room or airport for example, only to find there’s no Wi-Fi internet access. Even when at home, what happens if your home network ISP goes down, leaving you without access to the web?

Lo and behold, you can share the mobile internet connection on the Zenfone 3 with other devices when Wi-Fi service is not available by enabling the portable Wi-Fi hotspot feature.

How to share Asus Zenfone 3 mobile internet connection with phone or laptop using wifi hot spot
With mobile hot spot, you can share the mobile internet connection on the Zenfone 3 with other devices when Wi-Fi service is not available. Photo: Phablist.
  1. Swipe up from the bottom of your Home screen, and then tap System settings.
  2. Tap More > Tethering > Portable Wi-Fi hotspot.
  3. Turn the associated slider to ON.

Bonus Tip: Your mobile internet connection can also be shared with a laptop or tablet over Bluetooth. Pair your phone with a second device and then from the settings screen, tap More > Tethering, then slide Bluetooth tethering to ON.

Note:Some mobile carriers may require you add this feature to your data plan before using the hotspot function. You connection speed may also be throttled by your mobile carrier depending on data usage.

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