The Pixel 4 XL (and, by extension, the slightly smaller Pixel 4) is a stunning piece of technology and a worthy flagship. It really is. And yet, even six weeks on, I can’t possibly recommend anyone buy it… yet. While its camera system is stunning, while its stereo speakers are jaw droppingly good, while its face recognition system is fast and effective, at least for unlocking the phone, real world activity is still massively impacted by third party banking and password apps not supporting the new biometric APIs (think Face ID) system. Again… yet. It’ll all come together in time and, as usual Google will need an update or two of their own (a ‘feature drop’ is happening as I write this), so I’ll leave a lengthier verdict for some time in early 2020.
A popular feature every year, here’s our ‘Top 10’ phones from the Android world at Christmas 2018. Yes, CES and MWC are just around the corner in 2019, but for now here’s the best of the best in our (team opinion), presented in reverse order to err…. increase suspense! Factoring in functionality and value, there’s something for everything below…
Every. Single. Reviewer. Slams every single phone with no headphone jack and manufacturers just aren’t listening.
You know the drill by now. In a review (or preview) of (e.g.) the (new) Pixel 2 or Essential phone or iPhone 7/8/X or HTC U11, the reviewer says something like: “Sadly” or ‘Unfortunately” or even “Unforgivably”, in the context of there being no 3.5mm headphone/audio jack. I have yet to see a single reviewer or commenter exclaiming “Hooray, the jack has gone”.
Every year, we see a bunch of Android flagships being launched with some new technological breakthrough. Last year, Samsung’s Galaxy S7 started the trend of waterproofing in flagship smartphones, while the Moto Z showed how modular phones of the future will work. In a bid to outdo each other, Android OEMs end up quickly copying such features to their next flagship handset. However, there is one feature that still remains exclusive to an excellent Android smartphone launched last year: OnePlus 3‘s Dash Charge.
The launch of Google Pixel and Pixel XL has stirred quite a controversy in many online forums. Not only did Google put an end to its renowned Nexus line of devices, but its new Pixel smartphones also have an iPhone-like pricing that has not gone down well with Nexus lovers.
Security scares are everywhere in 2016, both on the desktop and on mobile. But how worried should you be as an Android user? In short, not very – but that doesn’t mean you should relax completely, I still have some hard hitting advice to impart and some settings that I’d strongly advise are in place. Read on and (hopefully) be reassured….
Blackberry has produced some stunningly good designs in the past and some stunningly bad compromises. And the Priv probably ranks among the latter, I’m afraid. It’s the company’s first foray into Android, which is why you’re reading this here on AndroidBeat. Don’t get me wrong, the Priv is a supremely powerful computing device, but it’s also unnecessarily overpriced and overcomplicated. Blackberry is absolutely right to give up on BB OS 10 and head for Android, but this isn’t the beachhead that we wanted.
With the admittedly huge caveat that the LG G5 hasn’t even been announced yet, one of the surest leaks has been about the rear camera set-up, in at least that it will feature twin lenses. Which should get tech heads scratching – how will having two lenses help image quality? While nothing’s certain until the launch event, I thought I’d attempt a diagrammatic explanation. We’re certainly in an era where clever software and some lateral thinking can mimic what used to take bulky optics.
If you’ve had a new Android-powered smartphone for Christmas then you may still be wondering which applications to grab to make the best use of it. Fear not, for we’ve listed our favourites below, along with download links and, if the item is commercial, free alternatives, in case you’re still feeling cash-strapped.
Compared to all the other major flagship Android devices released last year, the LG G4 felt lacking in many areas. While it was the only flagship Android smartphone to offer a removable battery and a microSD card slot, it was also the only one that still featured a plastic build.