adminSeptember 24, 2018
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6min4040

With the launching of its latest flagship phone, Google is set to conquer the hearts, as well as wallets, of consumers today. The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are now available for purchase, and many people are curious whether the device is worth every penny.

With Pixel 3 XL, it is evident that Google has invested in things that people want out of a smartphone: great screen, great camera, and a sizeable battery life, among many other elements that make a great phone. Whether the claim rings true or not, let’s try to find out.

 

Pros

  • Improved screen
  • Superb front-facing speakers
  • Exceptional camera and wide angle front camera

Cons

  • Awkward notch
  • Rear finish is prone to scratches
  • Limited availability from US carriers and internationally

 

Screen and Display

If you’re curious what the biggest improvement on Google’s newest release is, I would say that it’s the quality of the screen. The screen of the Pixel 3 XL is absolutely wonderful as it uses OLED technology, which displays vibrant and bright colors, as well as deep blacks, and significantly lowers the power consumption of the device.

Looking at it as a whole, one could easily conclude that the company has spent a lot of its time and resources to make its flagship device worthy of being called just that by means of enhancing almost every aspect of the device, including longevity, brightness, and color accuracy.

Another great thing about the Pixel 3 XL is the new color mode that Google is using as a default scheme, and it is called adaptive. Adaptive considerably enhances the vibrancy of the colors on the screen without making human skin tones look out-of-this-world. Of course, it still doesn’t compare to the screen technologies of Samsung Galaxy S9 and iPhone X, but you will notice that the purples and the reds can be quite flattering.

Going back to the screen, the Pixel 3 duo are indeed significantly larger than the previous models, which they owe to reduced bezels and taller aspect ratios. It is especially true for the Pixel 3 XL since it has been extended to the top corner, which gives it a chin and a notch.

The notch can be quite annoying for some people, but you will see that the often you use the phone the notch becomes kind of unnoticeable. Actually, it looks way worse in photos than it does in real-life.

As for the speakers, they have indeed been improved. The company is claiming that they are 40% louder, but there isn’t that much extra volume when tested out. However, instead of the extra volume, it seemed like the quality of the sound had been improved.

Hardware

Now I can finally say that the latest Pixel phones are worthy of their price tag. These top-tier models cost a thousand bucks, and I believe that it’s worth every penny. It’s not to say that it’s better than Samsung’s and Apple’s flagship devices, but it’s finally on par with these high-end phones. As a matter of fact, it’s the little things that actually make these phones feel premium.

The Pixel 3 XL finally features a Gorilla Glass 5 front and rear panel and, more importantly, its overall fit and finish are way better than the previous models. It also comes in three color: “not pink”, “clearly white”, and “just black”. You’ll also be delighted to see that the only logo you will see on the whole device is a single G on the back, which is one of Google’s logos.

Camera

The camera is definitely one of the major reasons why someone would choose to buy the Pixel 3 XL. Google didn’t really change much about the traditional camera specs as there is still only one camera at the back with a 12.2 megapixel sensor located behind an image-stablized f/1.8 lens. In addition, the Pixel 3 XL also makes use of an updated Pixel Visual Core chip for image processing.

The biggest hardware update so far is the second wide-angle selfies camera located on the front portion of the device as well as a flicker sensor at the back, which means that most of the changes would come from the software. Most of the camera capabilities and tricks are still the same although they are significantly better at it now.

Should you choose the Pixel 3 XL as your new device? Well, it depends on your preference. If you want to have a great Android experience and the best phone camera, then you should definitely try out the Pixel 3 XL.

 


adminSeptember 24, 2018
145393-laptops-review-review-asus-rog-zephyrus-s-gx531-initial-review-the-world’s-thinnest-gaming-laptop-for-now-image11-iusgmbidah.jpg

4min1040

Compared to previous models of Asus ROG laptops, the Asus ROG Zephyrus S appears to be well-built and smaller, owing to its slimmer screen bezels and thinner body. As a result, it is the smallest, thinnest, and quietest Nvidia Max-Q laptop ever. However, I am quite concerned whether the company had to cut corners in order to make the Zephyrus S as portable as possible. Let’s find out more.

 

Pros

  • 15-inch gaming laptop in a 14-inch shell
  • Sturdier overall build quality
  • Lightest, thinnest gaming laptop in its class

Cons

  • Graphics max out with Nvidia GTX 1070 Max-Q
  • Battery size and capacity hasn’t increased

 

Design

The previous model, the Asus ROG Zephyrus, impressed the consumers with its thin and light gaming laptop that showed no compromise whatsoever to its performance. With the Zephyrus S, consumers are sure to become even more impressed.

The Zephyrus S offers a 15-inch gaming laptop that is in a 14-inch body, thanks to its screen bezels being chipped away and by cutting down on the laptop’s thickness. You don’t need to worry, however, because the performance isn’t compromised by these. In fact, the Zephyrus S promises performance that is on par with the Dell XPS 15 and Gigabyte Aero 15 X.

The Zephyrus S measures 12 x 10.6 x 0.59-0.62 inches and weighs about 4.63 pounds or 2.1 kilograms. Moreover, the laptop has also undergone some relevant changes in terms with design, including its slightly hinge-forward design and a silhouette that is quite similar to the Alienware 15.

Performance

The Zephyrus S comes equipped with Intel Core i7-8750H CPU and Nvidia GTX 1070 Max-Q GPU, which is also used by the Razer Blade and MSI GX65 Stealth Thin. So, it is quite reasonable to expect that the performance of the Zephyrus S would be on par with the two.

However, it won’t be able to support the Nvidia GTX 1080 Max-Q as a configurable graphics option. So, if you want Nvidia’s most powerful and thinnest mobile GPU, you’re better off with Alienware 15 and Acer Predator Triton 7000.

According to the laptop’s specifications, the Zephyrus S will make use of a 4-cell 50WHr battery, which can last for about two hours at best.

Price and Availability

The Zephyrus S comes in two different versions: the expensive and powerful GX531GS and the less expensive and less powerful GX531GM.

The GX531GS version, which comes equipped with an Nvidia GTX 1070 Max-Q graphics card, can be availed at Amazon for only $2,199. On the other hand, consumers can also choose to purchase the less expensive GX531GM version, which is equipped with an Nvidia GTX 1070 Max-Q graphics card and sold at around $1,999.

Overall, I do think that the Asus ROG Zephyrus S is a decent gaming laptop as opposed to previous ROG laptop models. Well, it certainly looks the part. However, I’m not so sure about the decision of the company to limit the laptop to Nvidia GTX 1070 Max-Q and its less than impressive battery life.


adminSeptember 24, 2018
android_birthday_1.jpg

9min850

Although iOS is arguably the world’s first smartphone operating system, Google’s Android is without a doubt the most popular among consumers. Android has come a long way since its release back in 2008. Looking at it in retrospect, it has already been 10 years since then and a lot of significant updates have come to pass.

Seeing that this year is Android’s 10th year anniversary, let’s look back on the brief history of the OS and its various updates since then.

A Brief History

Android was first introduced to be used on an HTC-made T-Mobile device in 2008. However, the origin of Android dates back before it was even made available on smartphones. As a matter of fact, Android was first developed and released for digital cameras in 2003 by Andy Rubin.

He soon realized, however, that digital camera operating systems aren’t all that profitable, and so he shifted his attention toward smartphones. By 2005, Google purchased Android and used it to enter into the mobile device business. The company promoted Android to other manufacturers, specifically catching the eye of HTC, who used the platform to produce the first Android phone, which is the HTC Dream.

The Different Android Versions

Android mobile operating system had its origin with the release of the Android beta on November 2007. A year later, the first commercial version, which was named Android 1.0, was released to the public. From there on, there had been a number of minor and major updates to the mobile OS. Here is the complete list of the Android updates to date:

  • Android 1.0
  • Android 1.1 – Petit Four
  • Android 1.5 – Cupcake
  • Android 1.6 – Donut
  • Android 2.0 – Éclair
  • Android 2.2 – Froyo
  • Android 2.3 – Gingerbread
  • Android 3.0 – Honeycomb
  • Android 4.0 – Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Android 4.1 – Jelly Bean
  • Android 4.4 – KitKat
  • Android 5.0 – Lollipop
  • Android 6.0 – Marshmallow
  • Android 7.0 – Nougat
  • Android 8.0 – Oreo
  • Android 9.0 – Pie

Various Updates on the Android OS

Following the production of the first Android phone, Google released Android version 1.0, which was obviously far less developed compared to the operating system that we have today. It featured the Google Play Store, which was called the Market at the time. Moreover, it also featured the use of home screen widgets, which the iOS didn’t have at the time.

A year later, Google made its first two updates to the operating system: Android 1.1 and Android 1.5. Not only did the OS get a new version number; it was also the first update to use Google’s unique naming scheme as well. Android 1.1, which was called Petit Four, was released on February 9 and featured a few minor changes, including longer in-call screen timeout and the ability to save attachment in messages; whereas Android 1.5, which was also known as Cupcake, was significant for a lot of reason. The most important one would be that it was the first version to have an on-screen keyboard. The new update also allowed users to capture photos, which they were not able to do with the previous version.

The next big update on Android came in the form of Android 1.6, which is also called Android Donut, in 2009. The much recent update offered support to CDMA networks like Verizon, Sprint, and other big networks in Asia. Donut was primarily aimed to making Android more user-friendly, for example, by enabling it to support different screen sizes. By doing this, manufacturers could create devices with varying display sizes and Android could still run in them.

In the same year, Google made another update on Android, which has now become Android 2.0 Éclair. Éclair perhaps is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, update on Android to date. Most of the changes it brought are still prevalent today, including Google Maps navigation, HTML5 support, and the lock screen.

The following year, Android 2.2 Froyo was introduced, which served as a means to refine the Android experience for users. Froyo also brought mobile hot spot support to the table, as well as the PIN lock screen.

In the same year, Android 2.3 Gingerbread was released and offered a redesign of Android’s widgets and home screen. The update also came with an enhanced keyboard, which lets users to press on multiple keys in order to get access to a second set of keyboard, and the front-facing camera. Would anyone care for a selfie?

In 2011, Google made two other updates to the Android OS, namely the Android 3.0 Honeycomb and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. These updates were made to refine most of what is seen on the home screen as well as the widgets. Other features that were added were face unlock, data usage, analysis, and apps for the calendar and mail.

Another big update on Android came in 2012 with the release of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. There are a number of significant changes made by this update, but I would say the most important would be Google Now and Project Butter, which aimed to notably improve the touch performance of the OS by tripling the buffering graphics.

After Android Jelly Bean, Android 4.4 KitKat was launched and brought with it a number of amazing features, mostly focusing on aesthetic changes to the OS at the time. KitKat also brought changes like the “OK, Google” command prompt, a new phone dialer, and the Hangouts app, among many others.

Android 5.0 Lollipop was then released a year later after Andoid KitKat was released. Lollipop featured the company’s “Material Design” philosophy; however, the changes were not all about aesthetics alone. Google also made some major changes under the hood.

After Android Lollipop, along comes Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which brought some design changes as well as changes under the hood. The most significant change would probably be the app menu. In the new update, the background is white rather than the typical black background from the previous OS versions.

The 14th Android version would be the Android 7.0 Nougat, and it is arguably one of the biggest updates to Android since its first release. Google Now got replaced with the much better Google Assistant. Other notable changes are the split-screen mode, an improved multitasking capability, and an enhanced notifications system.

A year after Android Nougat was released, another update was made and was subsequently called Android 8.0 Oreo. This new update brought about a lot of amazing features, such as picture-in-picture, notification dots, and native split-screen.

The most recent Android update, which was released just recently, is named Android 9.0 Pie. Android Pie offered a lot of visual changes; as a matter of fact, looking at a visual standpoint, it is arguably the biggest update to Android in the last few years.

All these complete the evolution of Android, from its simple beginnings to how impressive it is now. With that, I do believe that we will be seeing a lot more impressive things from Android in the coming years.



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