100 days with the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact: packed with power

Smartphones can be either compact or powerful: it seems like manufacturers use one of these two attributes to describe smartphones, but it’s hard to find a device that is both. Sony has achieved this with the Xperia Compact series. But can you actually ‘survive’ everyday use with a 4.6-inch smartphone? I was able to test the powerful yet compact Xperia XZ1 Compact for 100 days and I was more than impressed.

The trend in smartphones is towards ever larger screens and larger smartphones. After all, in the age of modern communication we need a lot of display space to consume as much content as possible. But not everyone wants a 5.5-inch smartphone that keeps popping out of the back pocket of their jeans. I often wished I had a small smartphone. But at the same time, however, I want device that is technically well-equipped and will last 24 months and quickly receive software updates.

AndroidPIT sony xperia xz2 compact vs xz1 c front u5d Two generations come together: on the left the Xperia XZ1 Compact, on the right the XZ2 Compact. / © AndroidPIT

Pro: Compact dimensions and future-proof software

Now some of you may be thinking: “Well, just get a cheap 5-inch smartphone in the supermarket”. Although those devices may certainly meet my requirements in terms of size and weight, they won’t be great in the near future. They won’t receive fast security updates or an update to Android P or perhaps Android Q in 2019. This means that I can completely disregard the likes of a Huawei Nova, Samsung Galaxy J3 or similar devices from Wiko, ZTE and co.

With the Xperia XZ1 Compact, which is admittedly not exactly cheap, top hardware comes in a compact format with software that is still up to date, even after more than 100 days. This can also be seen in its version of Android and its security patches. Not many devices have Android 8.0 and the latest security patch from February 1, 2018. Only Google can offer more up-to-date software on its Pixel Phones and HMD Global Phones.

Pro: On the same technical level as flagships

The Xperia XZ1 Compact is full of power. After all, Sony is the only manufacturer that forces the Snapdragon 835 into such a compact smartphone. The top SoC from 2017 still has 4 GByte of LPDDR4X and 32 GByte of fast UFS memory available. Thanks to a microSD card that can be opened without a SIM card slot picker, it is also possible to insert and replace a microSD card while using the device.

AndroidPIT sony xperia xz1 compact 9673 Always practical: SIM and MicroSD card slot can be opened without tools. But be careful: if the SIM card is removed, the Sony Phone will restart. / © AndroidPIT

The Xperia XZ1 Compact’s features are just as good as new. USB type C, 3.5 mm jack audio connection, stereo speakers, Bluetooth 5.0 including aptX HD, LDAC, HiRes Audio and LTE Cat 15 are all quite respectable.

Con: Motion eye camera doesn’t perform well in low light

The Xperia XZ1 Compact also uses the XZ Premium’s Motion Eye camera. It still has the ability to record in super slow motion at 960 fps, and can also scan three-dimensional objects with the help of the 3D Creator, but it also has weaknesses in low lighting conditions. But let’s be honest: the majority of people using smartphones don’t notice image noise, especially not against the background in pictures that are only shown via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and are distorted with filters.

Pro: The nosedive in price

Considering that the successor of the XZ1 Compact is already in the starting blocks and the smartphone has been on the market for almost six months, the price is the best argument for choosing the XZ1 Compact in the coming days and weeks. Initially the Xperia XZ1 Compact cost $ 599, but the price has since gone down $ 449. It’s unclear whether this price will get any lower, since the XZ2 Compact, which is now 5 inches, isn’t yet officially available. But as soon as it becomes available at the beginning of April, another price slump could occur.

Conclusion after 100 days:

The Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact is in many ways a smartphone to fall in love with and maybe even to collect. Thanks to its top hardware and up-to-date software, the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact will surely provide good service for the next 18 to 24 months.

The Xperia XZ1 Compact could have even more significant for Sony fans. This smartphone will probably be the last Xperia smartphone to be sold in the OmniBalance design. And with its 4.6-inch display, it is very compact. The successor, the XZ2 Compact, with its 5-inch and 18:9 display, is built in an Ambient Flow Design and is much more focused on trend in the smartphone market, and is catering more to the tastes of the masses. This alone makes the XZ1 Compact a smartphone with character and soul.

What do you think? Does a smaller smartphone have more to love about it?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

These 5 apps will help control your social media use

Studies show that 71% of mobile phone users sleep with their device less than three feet from them. But this isn’t just a habit they keep in the wee hours. On average, we consult our phones about 150 times a day. And believe it not, smartphones accompany one in three users when they enter the bathroom (hopefully to take selfies). That’s why it seems like social networks control us and that we don’t control them. If this is true about you, don’t worry, here are the best apps to control your social media use. Are you ready to quit?


Instant is absolutely one of the best apps for controlling the amount of time you spend on a given activity. And not just on social networks, but also sleeping, visiting places, travelling or exercising. It collects real-time data that makes it very easy to set short-term goals or objectives for sleeping, your time on social networks, or daily exercise routines.

Instant – Quantified Self, Track screen time usage Install on Google Play


Its confusing name is short for ‘if this, then that’. This app contains hundreds of options you can configure to save time you spend checking your phone or reducing the time you spend on social networks. For example, you can set up notifications for certain apps that will automatically be turned off when you enter your office. You can also have the device send a message to a certain contact when you leave your house. The more creative you get, the fewer times you’ll have to take your smartphone out of your pocket.

IFTTT Install on Google Play


Using the famous Pomodoro technique, which sets out to create invisible work intervals of 25 minutes and five minutes of leisure, Forest makes you more responsible with your phone use, so you can really focus on the important things in your life. Utilizing a creative idea, this Android app makes you plant a tree that will only grow if you’re able to keep concentrated instead of checking your phone. In the end, you’ll have a more effective work routine and a forest full of trees.

Forest: Stay focused Install on Google Play

Quality Time

With more than a million downloads, Quality Time is one of the best apps in this field. Among its best features is its ability to count how many times you’ve logged on to an app in a certain time range (day, week, month), as well as notify you when you’ve reached a previously set time limit on each social network app.

QualityTime – My Digital Diet Install on Google Play


In a really simple way, Checky counts how many times you’ve unlocked your phone and looked at it during the day. The counter is reset at midnight every day, and the information collected in 24 hours is transferred to the statistics section, where you can review and monitor your behavior more independently.

Checky – Phone Habit Tracker Install on Google Play

And what about you? Do you know of any other good apps for controlling your social media addiction? Let us know in the comments!

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Apple iPhone 8: a stunning new render has surfaced

Shortly after the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8, more and more rumors and supposed leaks about the Apple iPhone 8 are starting to emerge. The market is buzzing with the possibility that Apple might be releasing not just two, but three different models. The rumors surrounding an “anniversary” iPhone 8 are especially interesting. The latest news is of a new leaked render.

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Apple iPhone 8: design

The iPhone 8 seems to differ greatly from previous models from a technical point of view. Apple, it seems, will focus on a display almost no bezels and abandon the traditional home button. The frame around the screen will measure only 2.6 mm. If the other two new iPhones, the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus, stick with the home button and large bezels on the top and bottom, then the iPhone 8 will mark a true design departure.

After seeing the previous renders from the notorious @VenyaGeskin1, here come some new ones – this time brought to light by reliable leaker @OnLeaks. The below render video gives us a close idea of the possible iPhone 8 design.

The rendering in the video is based on CAD information and made by doing a 360 degree rotation of the images themselves. With Apple’s hardware upgrades, it’s not hard to understand why they may have inventory problems due to production difficulties, according to a prediction by Ming-Chi Kuo, a financial analyst at KGI Securities.

With this design, however, the Apple engineers are setting themselves up for an extremely difficult task. Not only do they appear to be planning to build a fingerprint sensor into the display (a first for Apple), the rumored additional 3D camera and sensors will also need to be integrated into the glass and display panel as well. 

There are already several interesting aspects to the design for the speaker, which would use cantilever piezoelectric ceramic acoustic technology. This would allow sound to come right out of the screen’s glass panel. All these issues will most likely ensure that Apple will delay getting the phone into users’ hands.

One thing is clear even now: the bloody battle to grab the crown of the smartphone market begins with the iPhone 8. If Apple manages to develop its new design without irritating the fans, the iPhone anniversary will be a huge hit.

Apple iPhone 8: display

All the experts agree, the screen of the iPhone 8 will be the strong point of the new Apple smartphone. Just like the Samsung Galaxy S8, Apple will also greatly reduce bezels around the screen for the iPhone anniversary. While the display resolution is still unknown, it is almost certain that Apple will equip the iPhone 8 with an OLED panel, while the 7S model will keep the LCD display. Fingerprint reader, speaker, camera and sensors might be integrated behind the glass.

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iphone 8 leak No bezels and a fingerprint scanner behind the glass of the display? / © KK Sneak Leaks

Apple iPhone 8: camera

Apple might also be experimenting a bit with its camera setup. The dual camera orientation might be switched from horizontal to vertical on the iPhone 8 to improve the image quality. In addition, Apple’s latest smartphone might also feature a dual-lens dual camera on the front of the phone. If you want to learn about the advantages of a dual camera, check out this article.

Apple iPhone 8: technical specs

There’s no truly reliable information out there about the iPhone 8’s technical specs. It is assumed that the new Apple smartphone will be equipped with a more powerful processor, probably called the A11. The anniversary model should also have more internal memory, up to 256GB.

Apple iPhone 8: special features

For a special occasion like the iPhone’s tenth anniversary, Apple should be coming up with something special in terms of accessories. The Cupertino firm prefers simplicity to wires, as shown with their new wireless earbuds. And now, the classic charging cable may disappear. Vendors like Powermat even confirm it.

Apple iPhone 8: accessories

It’s very likely that the iPhone 8 will come with AirPods, rather than the usual EarPods with a lightning cable and connector. It’s also expected that a docking station like Samsung’s DeX could be available for the iPhone 8.

Apple iPhone 8: fingerprint scanner

The fingerprint scanner could be a unique aspect of the iPhone 8, because it would be the first time a manufacturer will hide this sensor under the display glass.

Apple iPhone 8: price and release date

In recent years Apple has presented its new iPhone in September, placing them on the market shortly after. Even the iPhone 8 will probably be presented to the ninth month of the year, but the wait to have it in your hand be a bit longer than usual. BGR reported that Apple has been choosing components for the iPhone Anniversary model that will be completely new, and this will ensure that there will be an adequate inventory of the iPhone 8 only in October or November (even if there is even talk of January 2018). 

But let’s talk about the price. The Apple iPhone 8 will cost a pretty penny. The model created for the tenth anniversary of the Cupertino firm phone leaves the “normal” iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus as alternatives. While the two “normal” iPhone are expected to follow the current pattern of prices, it is expected that with the iPhone 8 approaches the threshold of $ 1000. Here is what the price distribution may look like:

  • Apple iPhone 7S: from $ 750
  • Apple iPhone 7S Plus: from $ 900
  • Apple iPhone 8: probably over $ 1000

With the release of the Samsung Galaxy S8, it should be clear to everyone that, in order for it to remain competitive, Apple will need to step up its game. If the engineers in Cupertino do succeed in creating an iPhone with all these rumored display specs and features, it will definitely be an innovative push within the market.

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Poll: Should you limit the time children spend using phones?

It’s a situation that’s very familiar in modern society: excessive smartphone use. We’re hearing more and more about the health implications and the dangers of excessive smartphone use, which begs the question: should parents be stricter in controlling their children’s use of tech? 

Despite all of the social pressures of having a smartphone, and the obvious benefits of using smartphones and tablets, experts continue to call out to parents to be more conscientious when deciding to buy a phone for their kids. In a recent campaign called “Truth about Tech“, an event was held to raise awareness of the negative impact of tech on children, and how they are becoming addicted. 

It’s often a bit of a joke, seeing how everyone is literally glued to their smartphones like zombies, and yes, most of us use our phones day-to-day with no problems. But, one of the most alarming things is how kids start using devices at such a young age, so it isn’t surprising that more and more parents are limiting the technology their kids use at home. Let us know your thoughts on this subject by voting in the poll:

Have you already limited the time your kids spend using tech? Do you think smartphone use is good or bad for your health? Leave a comment and tell us why.

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

5 super apps to download this week

We’ve delved into the Play Store over the week to discover some apps, and here are the ones we have to tell you about. Some new, some we were actually already using, but all have some great new updates. Plan your journey, translate a letter, discover some new music, or sit back and relax, these are all the things you can do with our list of apps.  


With our smartphones, we can look up most places and find out how to get there. I don’t know about you, but i’m so dependent on Google maps to find transport routes, and I would have definitely ended up lost if it wasn’t for my trusty smartphone. A lot of you probably haven’t considered an alternative to this, so here is a great one we’ve discovered. 

Moovit works in many locations including the US and the UK, and its developers are constrantly updating and improving the app. It updates with travel information too, so if there’s an unexpected delay, the app will tell you about it. You’ll be able to easily find where you’re going with notifications both on and ahead of your journey. 

Moovit: Bus & Train Live Info Install on Google Play

Text Grabber

This app is extremely practical and useful particularly if you’re travelling or living abroad. Open the app, point your camera at some text and it will translate it for you, and impressively it recognizes over 60 languages, and you can make use of these functions offline, too.

TextGrabber – image to text: OCR & translate photo Install on Google Play


We’re all familiar with this situation: you’ve started piecing together your jigsaw puzzle, and when you’ve nearly completed it, you realize that there’s a piece missing. Obviously, this is impossible if you’re using an app. With a range of puzzles (that aren’t too complicated to complete), including landscapes, buildings, animals and flowers, this app is a real stress reliever. 

Jigsaw1000 – Jigsaw puzzles Install on Google Play jigsaw An easy to use and relaxing app! / © incolor


Many of you will already be familiar with Shazam, especially if you love your music. We’ve noticed one thing from using the app recently, is that it’s a lot faster and a lot more accurate. So, if you’ve never downloaded it before, or deleted it due to slowness or incorrect identifications, then we suggest you give it a go. 

Shazam Install on Google Play

Super Mario

In case you missed it, March 10 was Super Mario day, so we thought it would be quite fitting to mention Super Mario Run. You might have fond memories of this classic game, and this little app is bound to give you some nostalgia, and it’s free!

Some new features have been implemented, including additional courses and the ability to listen to your favorite music while you play (but the Mario theme tune is amazing anyway). Gameplay has also been improved, with some tricky levels being made easier. 

Super Mario Run Install on Google Play

Have you used any of these apps? Do you have any more recommendations? Leave a comment

Where to buy Samsung Galaxy S9+

Best price

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Could the Huawei P20 compete with the Samsung Galaxy S9?

With the absence of HTC, Huawei, LG, and Lenovo, Samsung used the Mobile World Congress as an opportunity to quietly present its new high-end smartphones, the Galaxy S9 and S9+. And let’s just say right away that the South Korean manufacturer shined bright that week, despite the fact that there were no game-changing innovations. Fortunately for us, Huawei will be the first manufacturer to react at the end of the month with the presentation of their new flagships. But will they pose a threat to Samsung’s dominance of the market?

We already wrote about this topic in the weeks leading up to MWC. The Barcelona show was a perfect opportunity for Samsung to showcase itself. The world leader took advantage of the other manufacturers’ absence to show that it was the manufacturer most equipped to compete with Apple’s iPhone in terms of sales. Without really having any novel features, the Galaxy S9 appears nevertheless like one of the best smartphones at the moment.

Huawei is preparing its response

But the competition hasn’t yet had its last word, and it will have some additional time to prepare its response. Huawei will be the first to strike. The brand has invited the press to Paris on March 27 to present its new Huawei P20, which will replace the Huawei P10 and P10 Plus. The event should be important, as the Chinese manufacturer has decided to privately book the Grand Palais for the occasion. This year, the company approached the event knowing that MWC was reserved for Samsung. And to prevent its new smartphones from being overlooked, Huawei decided to postpone its launch.

In addition to a big show, the Chinese manufacturer should present some interesting new features in its flagships. Although last year the manufacturer didn’t present anything especially original, this year could be somewhat different. According to the latest rumors, the new Huawei P20 will come with a notch just like the Essential Phone, iPhone X or other recent smartphones presented at MWC. What a nice way to seduce iPhone fans users as well Android users.

huawei p20 pro winfuture This is what the new Huawei P20 Pro should look like. / © Huawei vía Winfuture

The complete camera package

Year after year, Huawei has perfected its products and built its line with special attention to photography. Their partnership with Leica in their previous versions proved this to be the case. For the first time this year, Huawei will offer three rear photo sensors, and two of them have an f/1.6 aperture. The third sensor has an f/2.4 aperture on its top model, the P20 Pro. It also has the option of having a zoom X3 (with focal lengths of 27 and 80 mm).

The three sensors should be able to capture up to twice as much light as the previous generation and should be accompanied by automatic scene recognition and intelligent parameter management using artificial intelligence.

Nothing to envy (except the image)

The Huawei P20 will have no reason to envy Samsung smartphones in terms of technical features. Under the hood, the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro should carry the latest Kirin 970 processor (with artificial intelligence), which is already used on the Mate 10 Pro and the Honor View 10. The more premium version would also offer 6 GB of RAM and a 4000 mAh battery. Huawei’s P series devices should also finally receive certification for water-resistance and dust-resistance.

In the European market, the prices for the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro are somewhat more affordable than the prices for the Galaxy S9 and S9+. The prices in the American market have still not been released, but we can probably expect this trend to follow suit in the US. To give you a general idea, the following European prices for the P20 were revealed:

Converted to US dollars, that’d be around $ 835 for the P20, $ 1,110 for the P20 Pro, and $ 455 for the P20 Lite. Flagships (like the Galaxy S9) tend to be released at lower prices in the US, so we can expect the new Huawei flagships to be somewhat more affordable than these numbers would suggest.

To conclude, the only element that Huawei may still be lacking in comparison to Samsung is the manufacturer’s image. There are still a lot of misconceptions about the manufacturers and Huawei is still regarded as the Chinese manufacturer whose products have a small following and are poorly optimized (not to mention the high DAS). It’s not easy for the company to rid itself of its reputation. Samsung has already been through this in its competition with the iPhone. There’s no reason why Huawei can’t also overcome these issues.

So what do you think? Can the Huawei P20 be a worthy competitor against the Galaxy S9?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Private browsing: how to use incognito mode on Android

The benefits of private browsing on Android stretch further than just preventing others from seeing what you have been searching for online. Private browsing, incognito mode – call it what you will, but this feature isn’t just for when you want to covertly do some gift shopping, there is far more to it than that. Read on to find out how to browse privately on Android, and why you should.

How to turn on private browsing on Android

Using private browsing, also known as incognito mode, is very easy to do on Android, but it can vary across devices and browsers. Here’s how to do it on Chrome:

To turn incognito mode on:

  • Open Chrome, tap the three dots icon on the top right for more options, then tap New incognito tab.
  • You can have multiple incognito tabs open at one time, if you like.

To turn incognito mode off:

  • Tap the square icon on the top right to open your tabs, then close each incognito tab individually or tap the three dots and select Close incognito tabs to close them all.
  • You’ll want to close the incognito windows when you’re done to keep people from finding them.

AndroidPIT incognito mode private browsing screenshot This is what incognito mode looks like on Chrome on the Galaxy S7 Edge. / © AndroidPIT Google Chrome: Fast & Secure Install on Google Play

The generic default browser that came pre-installed on your phone might have an incognito mode, too. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S9 has a Secret mode in its Samsung Internet browser. To use it, tap the Tabs icon, then Turn on Secret, proceed with or without a password and you’re good to go. To turn it off, go back to your Tabs and tap Turn off Secret.

Popular open source browser Firefox also supports incognito browsing. Here’s how it works:

  • To open a blank, private tab: Tap the Firefox Menu button (either below the screen on some devices or at the top-right corner of the browser) , then tap New Private Tab.
  • To open a link in a private tab: Long press on a link to bring up a menu and choose Open link in Private Tab.
  • To view open private tabs: Tap the tab icon at the top of your screen, then tap the mask icon to view the sites you’ve opened in Private Browsing.
  • To close a tab, tap the X next to the tab you want to close. You can also close all open tabs by tapping the menu button, then Close Private Tabs.

Firefox for Android Beta Install on Google Play

Why would you want to browse privately?

1. To log into your accounts

Browsers often want to save passwords and log-in details to make logging in easier and quicker on private computers.

It makes sense, who wants to have to log into Facebook every time they want to do a bit of digital stalking? But on a smartphone this is different. Phones get shared, swapped and sometimes stolen.

Logging into your various accounts while incognito means the browser won’t be able to save your log-in details or form data. This means that if you happen to log into your own accounts on anybody else’s device you should choose a private browsing option there, too!

2. When you don’t want to be targeted by advertising

Private browsing won’t stop advertisements from appearing, but it does mean that your searches won’t be affected by your previous search habits. Google collects data from all over the place to target advertisements and promotional material specifically at you, and if you wish to avoid this and conduct a “pure” search, private browsing is the way to go.

3. To use multiple accounts at once

Have two Google accounts? Want to be logged into both at the same time? Open one normal browser tab and one incognito browser tab.

4. When you want to research something in private

This could be for any number of reasons. Maybe you want to do some gift shopping or research something in secret? Browsing in private means you don’t have to worry about anybody else discovering your search habits when they pick up your phone, if you just remember to close your browser window when you are done.

5. For testing and debugging

If you are worried about the effects of your cache and cookie data when trying to run website tests or debugging software, conducting your session in private mode will have a clean user experience. 

So there you go, the benefits of private browsing. If you want to be even safer and more private, you could try a VPN, which disguising the location you are browsing from.

Do you use private browsing mode on Android? Which browser do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below.

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Hands-on with the Moto Z2 Play: Is it still the battery king?

The Moto Z line left a positive impression with smartphone enthusiasts and critics alike when it was officially launched last year, in part thanks to the Moto Mod accessories. Lenovo has graced us with a new addition to the Moto Z line this year: the Moto Z2 Play. I took part in the official unveiling in São Paulo, Brazil – and had the chance to take a closer look at the new smartphone and present you with my first impressions.

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Motorola Moto Z2 Play release date and price

Motorola held an exclusive event in São Paulo today (June 1, 2017) and presented the new Moto Z2 Play. The smartphone is available from today, but currently only in Brazil. When the device will be released in the US is still unclear (most likely at some point this summer), but Verizon will be selling it unlocked for $ 499.

The new Moto Z2 Play will be available in the following colors: Lunar Gray, Nimbus Blue and Fine Gold.

Motorola Moto Z2 Play design and build quality

Motorola has made a few changes to the design of the new Moto Z2 Play compared to its predecessor. Most of the changes are a definite improvement, such as switching out glass for aluminum. Unfortunately, Motorola decided to buckle the trend of thinner frames and left the front panel unchanged – meaning large. On the upside, the Moto Z2 Play is noticeably thinner than the Moto Z.

AndroidPIT Moto z 2 12386124858 front The front facing camera and the dual-tone LED flash of the Moto Z2 Play  / © AndroidPIT

Personally, I’m not too bothered about the thickness of a smartphone as in most cases, a thin smartphone means that you have to cut certain features. The Moto Z Play from last year had to sacrifice some of its good looks for the sake of a larger battery. The same applies in reverse to this year’s model. The battery power was sacrificed to make the Moto Z2 Play thinner. For comparison, the Moto Z2 Play is 5.99 mm thin and weighs in at 145 grams, while last year’s Moto Z Play was 6.99 mm thin and weighed 165 grams.

AndroidPIT Moto z 2 You can also use the home button to navigate through your Moto Z2 Play / © AndroidPIT

You can definitely say that the Moto Z2 Play is a smooth fit when you hold it, even if it doesn’t really look like it at first glance. The frame itself is pleasantly rounded. For fans of the Moto Mods, there is good news: Lenovo kept its promise, the Moto Z2 has the necessary pins to connect it with Moto Mods.

AndroidPIT Moto z 2 123124 The Moto Z2 play has gotten noticeably rounder / © AndroidPIT

Another nice change is the shape of the physical button on the front, which also acts as a fingerprint sensor. This is now similar to the Moto G5 Plus. This can (just like with the Moto G5 Plus) be used to navigate through the phone’s system.

Motorola Moto Z2 Play display

The display of the Moto Z2 Play has been left virtually unchanged. The Moto Z2 Play still has a 5.5-inch full-HD AMOLED display – which is largely down to the fact that it needs to be compatible with the Moto Mods. In terms of sharpness, detail and colors, seeing as the display is virtually the same as last years Moto Z Play, we can expect that it will perform just as well. 

AndroidPIT Moto z 2 12386124858 The Moto Z2 Play with its 5.5-inch full-HD AMOLED display. / © AndroidPIT

Motorola Moto Z2 Play software

The Moto Z2 Play will be shipped with Android 7.1.1 Nougat, so it seems that Motorola continues to follow up on its update “tradition”. Along with Android 7.1.1, you can expect to find the Moto app, which continues to be the central nervous system of the Moto Z2 Play’s smart features.

The app lets you assign different gestures to the fingerprint sensor. If you you disable it, the on-screen navigation buttons will re-appear. In the short time that I had to test the Moto Z2 play, I didn’t experience any issues – no lagging or crashing – which sums up nicely what I’ve come to expect from a Moto smartphone.

The Moto Display app now also registers voice commands and performs the appropriate actions. For example, you can respond directly to messages, open the calendar or view a weather report. The function reacts very quickly and accurately. To do this, you must first teach the Moto Z2 Play your voice and set up a call command, such as “Hello Moto” or “Ok Moto”. Also the Moto Z2 Play brings the Google Assistant with it, which carries out very similar tasks. As with Samsung and HTC, this function seems to be duplicated.

Motorola Moto Z2 Play performance

The Moto Z2 Play packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 processor. The chip reflects the typical strengths of the 600 series and provides above all good battery performance. The processor has 8 cores with a maximum clock frequency of 2.2 GHz. The RAM was upgraded to 4 GB.

The Moto Z2 Play has an internal memory of 64 GB, which can thankfully be upgraded by an microSD. In theory, the hardware doesn’t disappoint, so I’m not expecting any performance issues (especially considering that the software has been optimized and manages to suffice without any unnecessary frills). The biggest question that opens up at this point is the battery performance. It’s shrunk down to only 3000 mAh, so it’s questionable if the Moto Z2 Play will be able to keep up with its predecessor.

Motorola Moto Z2 Play camera

The camera certainly wasn’t one of the Moto Z Play’s strong points – something that Motorola has tried to improve with this new one. The Moto Z2 Play now has a 12 megapixel sensor instead of the previous 16 megapixels (yes, it’s gone down), but it also has a new autofocus. This should greatly help with focusing speed and image quality. Similar to the Moto G5 Plus, the Moto Z2 Play can now record videos in 4K resolution. 

The front facing camera has a resolution of 5 megapixels and remains virtually unchanged. This also means that it’s still got that front facing flash to help you with your selfies. 

AndroidPIT Moto z 2 12386124858 cam The Moto Z2 Play now has a 12 megapixel camera / © AndroidPIT

Motorola Moto Z2 Play battery

The battery of the new Moto Z2 Play measures 3000 mAh, which is 510 mAh less than its predecessor. According to Renato Arradi, Product Manager of Lenovo, this step was necessary to make the device thinner and to ensure that the Moto Mods fit better.

According to a Lenovo survey, 80% of all Moto Z Play users still had battery charge left at the end of a day’s use. These results led Motorola to incorporate a battery that had sufficient power, but still a lower capacity than the previous model. According to the Motorola employee, users who need more capacity can simply buy the corresponding Moto Mod to achieve longer battery times.

Renato Arradi also points out that the stated 12 hour battery run time was determined by laboratory test run by the manufacturer. The Moto Z Play underwent the same test under the same conditions and achieved a battery life of 45 hours. We’ll find out in our final review if this decision paid off.

Motorola Moto Z2 Play technical specifications

Dimensions: 156.2 x 76.2 x 5.99 mm
Weight: 145 g
Battery size: 3000 mAh
Screen size: 5.5 in
Display technology: AMOLED
Screen: 1920 x 1080 pixels (401 ppi)
Front camera: 5 megapixels
Rear camera: 12 megapixels
Flashlight: Dual-LED
Android version: 7.1.1 – Nougat
User interface: Stock Android
Internal storage: 64 GB
Removable storage: microSD
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 626
Number of cores: 8
Max. clock speed: 2.2 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth

Early Verdict

The Moto Z Play series has clear goals: longer battery life for the customers and more functions thanks to the Moto Mods. The fact that Motorola is launching this new Z2 Play initially only in Brazil shows that the strategy at least has worked in this market. So now there is a new Moto Z Play smartphone, which costs roughly the same as the predecessor, doesn’t really do anything drastically different, except with exactly the single feature that made the predecessor so good: the battery.

Moto Mod owners can of course be happy that Lenovo kept its word and made its new smartphone compatible. Only our final test will show if the new Moto Z2 Play is really better than the Moto Z Play, and how much off a performance impact the smaller battery has. 

Motorola Moto Z2 Play

To device database

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

How to open and play all file types on Android

What type of file do you want to open?

Get to work with office files

The Play Store offers a wide variety of apps to read and edit Office documents. The Google Drive and Microsoft Office apps are technically just “view” apps – meaning you can view and read the document, but not edit.

If you want to open, edit, save or even convert a DOCX, XLSX, PPT, PDF file on Android, then you’re best off downloading one of the specialist apps.

In this case those would be Docs (Google), Sheets (Google), Slides (Google), Word, Excel and PowerPoint. All of them can export PDF files, which most Android smartphones can open thanks to the fact that Google Drive has a built in PDF viewer pre-installed.

File type compatibility

Google Drive Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
WPS Office Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Microsoft apps No Yes Yes Yes No No No No

Quite a few smartphone manufacturers also pre-install WPS Office. This app contains ads, and if you want to unlock new fonts and convert documents/files on Android, you will need to pay. Nevertheless many users appreciate the seamless dropbox connectivity and good syncing capabilities between smartphone/tablet and PC.  

Another worthwhile app to use for those looking for a completely free Microsoft Office alternative for Android is SmartOffice. This app still has a few kinks depending on your device, but it’s ad-free, lightweight and regularly updated.

wps office formats prices Get to work with WPS Office / © AndroidPIT WPS Office – Word, Docs, PDF, Note, Slide & Sheet Install on Google Play Google Drive Install on Google Play Microsoft Word Install on Google Play Microsoft Excel Install on Google Play SmartOffice – View & Edit MS Office files & PDFs Install on Google Play

Catch up on your reading with ePub and ebook files

In order for you to open and read ePub and other ebook files you’ll need a dedicated ebook reader. We recommend the Moon+ Reader, as it’s capable of opening EPUB, PDF, MOBI, CHM, CBR, CBZ, UMD, FB2, TXT, HTML, RAR, ZIP and OPDS files.

Moon+ Reader Install on Google Play

A great free alternative to Moon+ can be found in the form of ReadEra. ReadEra supports EPUB, PDF, DOC, RTF, TXT, DJVU, FB2, MOBI and CHM formats, and has no ads or IAPs.

ReadEra – free ebook reader Install on Google Play

Open, edit, and sort your photos and images

Many phones come with the Google Photos app preinstalled already, which at this point can even handle RAW files. But if you really want your smartphone or tablet to be capable of dealing with every image file out there, we can recommend RawDroid Pro. For $ 5 |€5,40 in the Google Play store, your Android will be capable of reading the following image formats:

.3fr (Hasselblad), .arw .srf .sr2 (Sony), .bay (Casio), .crw, .cr2 (Canon), .cap, .iiq, .eip (Phase_One), .dcs, .dcr, .drf, .k25, .kdc (Kodak), .dng (Adobe), .erf (Epson), .fff (Imacon), .mef (Mamiya), .mos (Leaf), .mrw (Minolta), .nef, .nrw (Nikon), .orf (Olympus), .pef, .ptx (Pentax), .raf (Fuji), .raw, .rw2 (Panasonic), .raw, .rwl, .dng (Leica), .srw (Samsung) und .x3f (Sigma).

RawDroid Pro Install on Google Play

RawDroid is still a solid app, though an older one which may have some compatibility issues. Dedicated photographers should consider Adobe Photoshop Express and Lightroom CC for more advanced features and regular updates.

Adobe Photoshop Express:Photo Editor Collage Maker Install on Google Play Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC Install on Google Play

On the other hand, those who just want to be able to open and view a large amount of RAW file types should be happy with Sharpened’s File Viewer, which offers excellent and expansive support for image files as well as other types.

File Viewer for Android Install on Google Play

What’s the best app for playing video files on Android?

The pinnacle of play-anything desktop media players is VLC. The Android version can play almost all audio and video files (as well as stream) and handle multiple audio tracks, subtitles, auto-rotation of the display and corrections to the aspect ratio.

VLC for Android Install on Google Play

Volume and brightness can be controlled by gestures, and there’s widgets available too. We’ve got a nice article which gives a little bit more of an insight about codec errors and unsupported audio files.

ANDROIDPIT best video player Playing videos on Android is super easy / © ANDROIDPIT

Two other well-engineered video players are MoboPlayer and MX Player, both of which also support subtitles, multi-audio, streams and playlists and can also play back formats that are not supported by the default video player.

The bookmark function is also very convenient: when you leave a movie halfway through, the next time you open the app it will pick up where you left off.

What’s your jam? Play any audio format on Android

The default Android media player has no problems with MP3s, and can natively play MP4, 3GP, M4A, OTA, MKV and TS audio files – but there are some audio formats which can be a little troublesome.

Any Android user consumed by music and audiobooks on their smartphone or tablet will sooner or later embark on a search for an audio player that can support their particular requirements.

The offerings out there are as varied as individual tastes – for an overview, see our list of the top 5 music players for Android. As far as sheer versatility of supported file formats goes though, here are two candidates worthy of your consideration.

AndroidPIT spotify 1 2 The best apps for listening to music on the go. / © ANDROIDPIT


Besides MP3s, the PowerAmp music player supports the following formats: MP4; M4A; ALAC; OGG; WMA; FLAC; WAV; APE; WV; and TTA. The extensive functions, the intuitive user interface and the all-round adaptability make this app one of the most popular audio players out there. There’s a free trial version, otherwise the app costs a few dollars.

Poweramp Music Player (Trial) Install on Google Play

MortPlayer Music

A solid free alternative is MortPlayer Music, which can handle all of the same formats listed above. the team as well get along with the formats listed above, although the playback of FLAC and WMA files is device-dependent.

MortPlayer Music Install on Google Play

Open, unzip, unpack archive files

The excellent and versatile free B1 Free Archiver opens the following file formats:  7z, apk, a, ar, arj, bz2, bzip2, cab, deb, gz, gzip, jar, iso, lha, lzh, lzma, mtz, rpm, tar, tar.bz2, tbz, tbz2, tar.gz, tgz, tpz, taz, tar.lzma, tar.xz, tar.Z, xap, xar, xz, Z, zipx.

B1 Archiver zip rar unzip Install on Google Play

If you’re looking for a file manager to open Android archive files, get the AndroZip app. Its design is very clear, allowing users to quickly access their Android archive files to open or encrypt files. The app is also an excellent way to manage Android archive files on the tablet.

AndroZip™ FREE File Manager Install on Google Play

Do you have any favorites for difficult file types that we haven’t included? Leave your suggestions in the comments!

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Poll results: the S9 didn’t live up to expectations

Since its release, there has been a common theme in opinions: that the S9 isn’t so different from the S8, with unimpressive new features, hardly worth shouting about. There is no doubt about it, it is an excellent phone, but with such high expectations, was the device disappointing for most?

The brand backed out on certain features, such as an in display fingerprint sensor that many of you were hoping for, didn’t make any drastic design changes. They did however make it easier to reach the sensor, so you won’t have to do any finger yoga as with the S8. At a high price of around $ 700 (though thankfully, not $ 1000) we expected more.

In the poll, it seems that you agreed with this thought, with 57% of you saying that it doesn’t improve on the S8:

poll resuklts Most of you weren’t impressed with Samsung’s latest flagship / © AndroidPIT

If you’re still looking to get your hands on an S9 though, there’s good news, we still had a lot of positive opinions in our review, and an update has already been announced for the device, which will be available as soon as you take your new phone out of the box. Plus, if you’re one for dropping or somehow damaging your device, it looks like the S9 is pretty durable. In this video, as is tradition with new devices, the S9 is put through the resistance test.

Overall, yes it’s a good phone, but it’s somewhat boring. As we approach the end of the month, we can expect some more exciting news from other brands, such as Huawei’s P20

What do you think about the results? Are you still excited about the S9?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT