WhatsApp: ultimate tips and tricks for Android

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WhatsApp Messenger Install on Google Play

Basic functions

How can I listen to WhatsApp messages discreetly?

Voice messages are played through the main speakers on your smartphone, and will usually allow all of your nearest and dearest to listen in as well. There is a deceptively simple solution for this issue: just hold the phone to your ear. The proximity sensor will think it is a standard phone call and will automatically switch speakers.

How do I cancel a WhatsApp voice message?

When you send a voice message via WhatsApp you need to hold the record button. As soon as you stop pressing the button, the message will be sent. That said, you are still able to cancel these messages. Just slide your finger to the left of the input field and a small trash can will appear. This indicates that your message has been deleted. 

whatsapp messages vocaux Did you stammer? No problem! Delete your message and try again. / © AndroidPIT

How do I mark a favorite WhatsApp message?

If you are a heavy WhatsApp user you’ll be writing and receiving a lot of messages. For one reason or another, you may want to have some of these messages more readily available than others. Go to the conversation and press down on the message you want to bookmark, all you need to do then is press on the star in the new menu at the top.

To access your favorite messages, go to the main window and click on the three vertical dots. Then enter the “Starred Messages” tab and you will find your favorites there. 

whatsapp favori Selecting favorites makes them easier to retrieve. / © AndroidPIT

How do I find individual contacts or messages in WhatsApp?

Do you need to find the details for one of your contacts but hate to scroll through everyone else to find them? No problem! Just click on the magnifying glass and type the name of the person you are looking for. 

Searching is not limited to finding your contacts. If you have had a long conversation with a contact and you want to find a specific message, you can easily access it. Go to the conversation and click on the three vertical dots in the top menu, click on search and then just enter your key search words. 

In addition to searching, you can see your whole contacts list by going to the messages tab and tapping the tiny message icon on the top right of the screen.

whatsapp search You can check as many contacts as there are conversations. / © AndroidPIT

How do I send a file to a contact on WhatsApp?

Just follow the same procedure as above to find your contact, except this time you will need to press on the paperclip and choose “Document.” You can then access your memory, select the file you want and send. You can also send multiple files at once.

How do I send my location or a contact number via WhatsApp?

In some circumstances, you may need to send your exact location or send the phone number of another contact. All you need to do is go to the chat window for your contact, and then click on the top right paperclip. In the menu select “Location” (obviously) and you will be given multiple options. Select the option which best fits where your current location is, and it will be sent to your contact. 

To send a contact, simply select “Contact” on the same menu, pick one from the contacts list and confirm with the arrow. 

whatsapp send You can send files and your location via WhatsApp. / © AndroidPIT

How can I be sure I have the latest version of WhatsApp?

As a general rule, the Play Store will notify you when your apps can be updated. Of course, you are able to check whether a new version is available by visiting the Play Store, click on “my apps” and you will be able to see if any updates are available. If you don’t want to wait for the update to become available in the Play Store, you can always go to the APK file and install it manually. 

If you’d like to see what’s new in WhatsApp, we recommend you wait for a WhatsApp beta to become available. 

How do I install the latest WhatsApp APK?

First, head to Settings > Security > Unknown sources and ensure the box is checked.

Then, on your smartphone browser either head to the WhatsApp website or APK Mirror and download the latest APK (APK Mirror is usually ahead of the WhatsApp website). Once the file has downloaded, open it to install the latest WhatsApp APK.

How can I participate in WhatsApp beta?

Like many apps, Facebook / WhatsApp offers its users the opportunity to test new features in a pre-release version. Once you’re all signed up you can install the beta version of WhatsApp from the Play Store. 

whatsapp beta You too can become a WhatsApp beta tester. / © AndroidPIT

How can I send messages via WhatsApp with Google Now?

If for whatever reason are unable to use your hands, you should know that you can go through Google Now to send messages via WhatsApp entirely by speech interface.

Simply start it manually or say “Okay Google” (if you have it voice enabled), and then say “Send to #message #contact on WhatsApp.” For example, “send Cuckoo Carole on WhatsApp.” The application will then ask you to confirm, so you can either press the arrow or confirm vocally.

How do I make an audio or video call using WhatsApp?

Nothing could be easier! On the conversation window you will find in the top right the symbol of a phone next to the paperclip. Press it, and the application will ask if you want to make an audio or video call. Just select your preferred function and the call will start. 

whatsapp calls With two taps you can make a call. / © AndroidPIT

How do I change my WhatsApp status?

Simply click on the three vertical dots in the upper right. On the menu, click “Status.” All you need to do is press on the pen at the end of your current status and you edit the text to your liking. Alternatively, you can also select the default statuses that are already available.

whatsapp status2 You can change your current status quickly. / © AndroidPIT

How do I add photos and video to my WhatsApp Status?

The process is nearly the same as with text statuses, but the new feature allows you to post photos and videos which disappear after a day, just like Snapchat. You can edit them to add emojis, text, stickers and more. To create and send a GIF, check out our tip above.

whatsapp status welcome feature Now you can add photos to your Status. / © WhatsApp

How do I delete my WhatsApp status?

If you send a photo or video by accident, you can remove it before your friends see it. Just go to the Status tab, tap the three dots next to your status and then tap the little trash can icon at the top right.

How do I find out who looked at my WhatsApp Status photo or video?

Just like Snapchat or Instagram, the new WhatsApp Status feature allows users to post videos and photos which last 24 hours as part of their status updates. As with these other apps, you can also see who has viewed your photo or video status updates. Simply go to the Status tab, open the published status and swipe up from the bottom of the screen to see a list of who has viewed it.

Photos and videos

How can I create and send a GIF in WhatsApp?

You can take a video and convert it into a GIF to share. Tap the camera icon in a conversation, record a video, then hit OK. When the video trimming page pops up, tap the camcorder icon on the upper right and it will switch to a GIF icon. Then you can send your up-to-six-second-long video as a GIF.

AndroidPIT whatsapp video gif feature tips tricks 2 Create, clip, convert and send your videos as GIFs! / © AndroidPIT

How can I share GIFs in WhatsApp from Giphy or Tenor?

Tap the emoji button and you can choose between the GIF and emoji modes on the bar that shows up at the bottom. Choose GIF and you can see a list of popular emoji or search by keyword for just the right GIF for the occasion. The GIF feature is from either Giphy or Tenor, with users split between the two services evenly. This works the same on Android as it does on the PC web version of WhatsApp.

AndroidPIT whatsapp gif 01 Use the GIF button on the keyboard. / © AndroidPIT

How do I delete photos and videos sent via WhatsApp?

WhatsApp can be annoying sometimes because every time you send a picture or a video, it is saved to your phone. For instance, if you took a photo in town today and then sent it to a friend, that photo will be stuck not only in your photo file but also in your WhatsApp conversation. 

You can delete these manually. Just go to the WhatsApp folder in your phone’s internal memory to the media file and select what you want to delete, and then go to the “Sent” folder and select the items you want to delete. 

How can I disable automatic downloading of multimedia files on WhatsApp?

When you receive a lot of images via WhatsApp, you don’t always want them to be downloaded by default. This isn’t only because they are not that interesting, downloading them consumes a lot of data. Fear not, you can disable the annoying automatic download. Instead, you will need to validate the download manually.

Go to the settings menu then “Data Usage”. You can then choose which items can be downloaded automatically with mobile data, WiFi or roaming. Simply click on the configuration that you want, for example “using mobile data”, and then select your preferred options – you can ignore the ones you don’t want.

If nothing needs to be downloaded automatically, simply turn off all of the available options.

whatsapp data usage WhatsApp can be configured so you can avoid any unpleasant surprises. / © AndroidPIT

Blocking and muting

How do I block someone on WhatsApp?

It’s actually very simple. Open the conversation with the contact, press the “Menu” key and select “Block.” If you decide its time to start talking again, you can find your list of blocked contacts in Settings > My Account > Privacy

whatsapp block Getting messages from an unwelcome contact? Block them! / © AndroidPIT

How do I block and report spam on WhatsApp?

Since WhatsApp version 2.1.23 was introduced it has been possible to block and report users if you receive messages you don’t like or they are spamming you. You’ll be offered this option every time, unless the contact is already in your address book. 

How do I stop someone from calling or messaging me on WhatsApp?

If you do not want to receive calls from certain contacts, you can simply block them. To do this, go to the WhatsApp Settings, select “My Account” adn then “Privacy”. You will find “Blocked”, and the procedure for blocking contacts will be outlined in there. In the new window, click on the small icon at the top right and choose the contacts to block.

whatsapp block2 Choose who shouldn’t contact you via WhatsApp. / © AndroidPIT

How do I know if someone has blocked me on WhatsApp?

There are four ways to suss whether someone has blocked you on WhatsApp. Each sign is largely meaningless by itself, but together they form a solid reason to believe that your friend doesn’t want to be your friend.

Take note that WhatsApp has deliberately made it difficult to tell whether someone has blocked you or not, in order to maintain users’ privacy. There’s always an outlying chance that you’re just being paranoid, even when all four of the below points apply.

Check the ‘last seen’ time

A contact’s ‘last seen’ time appears in the top bar right under their name. If there’s no information about when they were last online, this could be a bad sign. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ve blocked you – it is possible to stop this information appearing without blocking someone. Your friend might just value their privacy, so don’t go burning bridges just yet. Read on.

androidpit whatsapp last seen If you can read this, everything is okay. / © AndroidPIT

Check the double check

Check marks are WhatsApp’s way of compounding your obsessive streak by ensuring that you know what’s going on on the other end of the line.

The first check mark means that your message has been sent. When the second one appears, your message has been received by the recipient’s phone. This doesn’t mean that the person has read your message, just that it is on their phone; when those check marks turn blue, that’s when they have seen the message. If you see the check marks turn blue, they haven’t blocked you, and everything is fine. Take a deep breath.

If your messages never get beyond that single, sad gray tick, you might have been blocked.

There’s a vague chance they still love you, though, surely? Time to keep digging.

androidpit whatsapp single tick A single gray tick is bad news for any relationship. / © AndroidPIT

Do your calls go through?

Another indicator that your friend hates you is that all those desperate WhatsApp calls you make never go through.

Again, maybe their phone is broken, maybe they’ve changed their number, etc, etc, but if this one is true and the two signs above it are, too – well, things aren’t looking good, are they?

Has their picture or profile changed?

If you notice that a contact hasn’t updated or changed their profile in a while, or they’ve had the same picture for months, this could mean that they’ve blocked you. Or that they just never update their profile. Maybe everything is fine.

Let’s go a step further and check from a different account, meaning from a mutual friend’s smartphone. If you see here that your estranged friend’s profile information and picture have changed, then we’re sorry to break it you, but your friend has blocked you and, given how strangely you’ve been acting, with good reason.

How do I mute those annoying WhatsApp group chats?

We’ve all been here. You’ve somehow been dragged into a group chat that you either didn’t really want to be in in the first place or just don’t want to receive notifications from every couple of minutes. Rather than just leave the chat, which may offend some people, you can simply mute the chat so you stop receiving notifications from it. 

In WhatsApp, select the “Chats” tab and then tap on the group you want to mute. With the group open, tap the Options icon at the top right. Tap Mute, then select the amount of time you want to mute the group for. You can also untick the Show notifications box so that you never hear from the group again until you decide otherwise.

whatsapp group Are you being harassed by group chat notifications? Go into the chat and mute it. / © AndroidPIT

Privacy and security

How do I lock WhatsApp?

Some conversations are not for further circulation. WhatsApp helps you along here by allowing you to use a PIN to access the app, so all you will need to do is remember your numbers. Some smartphone manufacturers will offer this feature by default, a good example here is the App Locker on OnePlus models, but if it isn’t already in your device you can easily download an app that will do this for you. 

Your choices here include Messenger and Chat Lock, App Locker or CM Security AppLock AntiVirus.

whatsapp pincode The AppLocker on OnePlus devices allows you to block access to application. / © AndroidPIT

How do I hide my “Last Seen”, profile picture or current status on WhatsApp?

For one reason or another you may want to hide this information from your contacts. Go to the settings tab “My Account”, “Privacy”, and you can adjust everything from the next screen. With “Last seen” you can specify who can see your date of last access, with “Profile photo,” this is obviously your picture with “Status” you can set who can see your personalized message.

whatsapp privacy Can you see me? Not anymore! / © AndroidPIT

How do I enable the two step verification system on WhatsApp?

This is a great feature as it gives your WhatsApp an added layer of security. Go to settings, My Account > Verification in two stages. You can then choose to receive a verification email when you need to login to WhatsApp, such as when you’re using another device.

whatsapp verification Protect your WhatsApp account. / © AndroidPIT

How do I delete my WhatsApp account?

For anyone wanting to leave WhatsApp, it is possible to delete your account. If you do decide on this option, you should know that all of your contacts, message history and other settings will be deleted completely, and you will not be able to restore this data if you end up changing your mind. 

If you are accepting of all of this and really, really want to delete WhatsApp, go to “Settings” and then enter the “My Account” tab. You will then find the “Delete my account” option. Confirm your selection by pressing the “Delete my account” tab.

whatsapp delete Deleting your WhatsApp account is easy. / © AndroidPIT

What do I do if my smartphone is stolen?

Firstly, don’t panic. If your device has been stolen your best option is to remove the number from your network, or at least to block the SIM card. If for whatever reason you aren’t able to do any of this – again don’t panic, you can deactivate your account via email. That said, this option is not effective if the thief can connect to your WhatsApp account. 

Just send an email clearly outlining your situation and a specific request to deactivate your WhatsApp account. Once you send the message, you’ll have 30 days notice prior to deactivation. In other words, if you reconnect within 30 days after sending the email, the procedure will be canceled. 

Here’s the information your email needs to include:

  • The subject of the email should be “Lost / Stolen: Deactivate my account”
  • In the body of the email, type “Please deactivate my account. # 33 your-number”

After following these steps, please send email to support@whatsapp.com. If necessary, WhatsApp will contact you for more information concerning your request.


How do I get floating notifications on WhatsApp?

You can get floating notifications, or Chat Heads, by using the WhatsBubbles app. Here you will get floating notifications that are similar to those you find on Facebook Messenger. Another application you could consider using is SeeBye Chat Heads, which will also give you floating notifications but you will need root rights to use this app. 

whatsapp notification Floating WhatsApp messages. / © AndroidPIT

How do I completely disable WhatsApp notifications?

Do you have that many contacts that you are receiving a notification every 30 seconds? The simple solution would be to just turn them off. To do this, all you need to do is go to “Settings” and you will find this option either in the notification options or in the application options itself. You can then disable your notifications.

How do I turn off the sound on notifications WhatsApp?

Getting a little tired of hearing an alert every 10 seconds? Just turn them off! Enter the “Settings” and then in the notifications menu, you can choose whether or not a noise will announce the arrival of any new messages. An alternate method is to simply press and hold on a conversation from the main window, then click the crossed-out speaker at the top right.

whatsapp notification2 You can decide how you want to manage your notifications. / © AndroidPIT

How do I respond to WhatsApp messages from pop-ups?

If notifications are not enough, you can configure WhatsApp to open a window in the middle of your screen when you receive a message. You can then quickly respond directly from this window without having to open the entire application.

To enable these pop-ups, enter the “Settings”, go to “Notifications” and then select “Popup notification”.

whatsapp popup Respond directly from popups. / © AndroidPIT

WhatsApp for PCs

How can I install WhatsApp on my PC?

All you’ll need to do is go to the WhatsApp website and download the app directly from the site. 

The identification process is the same: you will still need to connect your smartphone to your PC using a QR code. Once you’ve got past this part, you’ll then be able to chat directly from your computer.

It’s important to note that WhatsApp can only be installed if your computer’s operating system is Windows 8 (or newer) or Mac OSX 10.9 (or newer). For any other operating systems, it’s recommended you refer to the WhatsApp website for further information. 

How can I receive WhatsApp notifications on my PC?

In these cases, you can always opt for getting your Android notifications sent directly you to your PC. Apps such as Desktop Notifications and Pushbullet will send any notifications you to receive on your Android device directly to your PC. 

How can I delete my message history in WhatsApp Web?

Don’t want people to spot the content of your chats on your computer screen? You can delete your chat history on your computer and the change will also be reflected on your phone.

To do this, open the conversation you want to clear and tap the three dots button, then select the option to clear all of the messages.

How can I change the chat window color on WhatsApp for PC?

Like changing the wallpaper or background color of your WhatsApp chats on your smartphone, you can also change the background color of your PC chats. Open up the Web or PC version of WhatsApp and tap the three dots icon, then go to Settings and select a new background color. It’s that easy! Doing so changes the background color for all of your chats, though, not just individual ones.

Group chats and mailing lists

How do I add an administrator to a WhatsApp group?

It’s possible to have multiple administrators within a group chat, and any admin within a group can make another participant an admin. All you’ll need to do is access the group information and select the member of the group you want to make an admin. Then tap “Make group admin.”

How do I archive a WhatsApp conversation?

WhatsApp allows you to store your conversations so they no longer appear on your “Chats” screen, but can still access it later if you need them. To do this, go to the chats screen and long press on the chat you want to hide. On the top bar select, the “Archive” icon.

How do I erase or delete a WhatsApp conversation?

Here you have to make a choice as to what you want to do with your messages. Delete means your conversations will be removed entirely and you will not be able to recover them. Erase is more or less the same, but you will be able to retrieve these messages after a restore. You’ll find these options via Settings > Discussions > Chat History. You can also delete a specific conversation directly from the chats screen. 

whatsapp chat history Archive, delete, erase… the choice is yours! / © AndroidPIT

How do I send a WhatsApp message to multiple contacts through a group?

Sending in bulk is a great way of circulating information without the hassle of forwarding individual messages to multiple contacts. To create a new group, tap on the “Menu button” and select “New group.” Select the contacts you want to add to your group and then tap on the green arrow. Once your group is set up you and all your friends will be able to chat in real time. 

How do I send a WhatsApp message to multiple contacts via a mailing list?

If you want to send the same message to several contacts, but do not necessarily want all of them to chat with one another about it, you can always create a mailing list. All you need to do is tap on the three dots in the top right-hand corner of the chat screen, and then select “Broadcast lists.” Then select your contacts and save your list to your app. 


How do I send automatic messages on WhatsApp?

While it is possible for you to send automatic messages on WhatsApp, you will need a rooted smartphone to do so. Don’t despair, as all is not lost. You can download Seebye Scheduler ROOT, which will allow you to configure your device. The app is very intuitive, so all you will need to do is name your process, select the contacts and then configure the date, time and content of the message.

whatsapp automatic message Seebye Scheduler ROOT allows you to send messages automatically. / © AndroidPIT

How can I chat faster on WhatsApp?

Like many other apps, you can send messages using the “Enter” key instead of skipping a line. Just go to the settings, and then in “Discussions” select “Enter is send.”

whatsapp enter send It’s faster as well. / © AndroidPIT

How can I decrease my data consumption on WhatsApp?

Texting actually consumes very little data, but calls and sending pictures and videos will easily eat into your allowance. Rest assured, there are methods available to help you get around this issue. Enter the settings and in the “Data usage” tab select “Low data usage.”

whatsapp low data usage Lower your data consumption. / © AndroidPIT

How can I access my WhatsApp conversation statistics?

Unless you reset the app, WhatApp automatically scans how many messages, data and calls you’ve sent and received. To access this information you’ll need to go to the settings and open “Data usage.” In the “Network usage” tab you will find all the data you’ve been looking for. 

whatsapp network usage How many messages have you sent? / © AndroidPIT

General use

How can I create a shortcut to WhatsApp conversations on the home screen?

It’s now possible to use a widget as a shortcut to your favorite WhatsApp conversations. Go to the widgets list – which will usually come up after a long press on the home screen – and select “WhatsApp discussions.” You’ll then be asked which conversation you want to select and all that needs to be done is to validate your choice. 

Alternatively, in the conversation window enter the options in the right-hand corner and click “More.” You’ll find the “Add shortcut” option, which will then be automatically placed on your locked screen.  

shortcut whatsapp A simple widget will allow you to place the conversation icon on the home screen. / © AndroidPIT

How do I change the WhatsApp font size?

If for some reason you want a bigger or smaller font, you can easily change this in the options. Click the three vertical dots at the top right-hand corner to open the settings, then enter “Chats” and then “Font Size”. It’s up to you to choose which one you prefer.  

font size whatsapp You can change the font size of conversations. / © AndroidPIT

How do I change the wallpaper on WhatsApp?

After a while the default wallpaper can become a little annoying. The simplest solution is to change it, and WhatsApp has made this a relatively straightforward process. Just go to the options and enter the “Chats” menu. You’ll then find the “Wallpaper” options. Here you can:

  • Use an image from your own gallery
  • Change the color of the wallpaper
  • Use a wallpaper from the WhatsApp library
  • Use the WhatsApp default wallpaper option
  • Opt to not use wallpaper at all

wallpaper whatsapp Several options are available to change the wallpaper of conversations. / © AndroidPIT

How do I turn off the read receipts on WhatsApp?

When you see the blue ticks at the side of your messages, this means they have been read by the recipient. This also the case for any messages you send to a contact. There may be times that you don’t want your contacts to know you have read their messages, so WhatsApp allows you to cover yourselves on these occasions. That said, you can disable the read receipts but this also means you will not know whether your own messages are being read. 

If you’re willing to take that chance, just go to the options and enter “Account” and “Privacy.” All you need to do now is uncheck “Read receipts.” 

read receipts whatsapp Read receipts can easily be turned off in WhatsApp. / © AndroidPIT

How do I put text effects into my WhatsApp messages?

Maybe there are some key words or phrases you really want to stand out in your WhatsApp messages. For bold text just put your word or phrase between two *, and for italics between two _. You can even do both!

change police style whatsapp Italics, bold – or both! / © AndroidPIT

How do I mark a conversation as unread on WhatsApp?

You can select a message as unread so you don’t forget it. This can be useful if you read a message when you are not able to respond, as this will enable to you remember that your contact is waiting for a reply.

On the main window, press and hold the conversation once it has been validated (you will find the tick symbol next to your contact’s profile photo). All you have to do then is tap on “Mark as read.”

mark unread whatsapp Simply select a conversation and click Mark as unread. / © AndroidPIT

Connectivity and updates

How do I install WhatsApp on a tablet?

It’s possible to install WhatsApp on a tablet, but you must keep in mind that if you do you will not be able to use the app on your smartphone. 

How do I use WhatsApp without a SIM card or with another number?

If you’ve already configured WhatsApp to your number you’ll still be able to use it even if the SIM card is no longer in it. If you have never set up your device with a phone number, well that’s different.

When you install WhatsApp, you need a phone number to check your device. That said, this number may very well be a fixed telephone number or another smartphone. In the verification phase, you receive the code by SMS so you can copy it to your device. Better yet, you can ask WhatsApp to call you directly to give you the code.

How do I change my phone number?

Your WhatsApp account is associated with a number. If you change your number but want to keep your WhatsApp account as it is, all you need to do is contact WhatsApp and inform them that you have a new number.

To do this, simply go to the three dots in the top right-hand corner, then in “My Account” select – of course – “Change number”. Press “Next” at the top right, enter your old number in the first line, the new one in the second line and validate by clicking “Done” at the top right.

change number whatsapp You can easily change your phone number. / © AndroidPIT

Restoring messages

How can I backup my WhatsApp conversations on Google Drive?

To keep your conversations and avoid the disappointment of loosing all that info, you can follow this easy step-by-step guide:

  • Open WhatsApp on your old phone.
  • Go to “Settings”.
  • Click Chats > Chat backup > Backup
  • You can also set the backup to be done automatically (on Google Drive, of course).

save chat google drive Backing up to Google Drive can be done in seconds. / © AndroidPIT

How do I backup my WhatsApp conversations and send them via email?

Want to keep track of your chats? Nothing’s easier. Just go to the chat window and click on the 3 points at the top right-hand corner, click on “More” and you will see an option which will allow you to send the conversation by email.

email chat whatsapp Send your conversations by email. / © AndroidPIT

How do I backup my WhatsApp conversations to my internal or external memory?

Your conversations are recorded daily by default on your phone in the / WhatsApp / Databases in your internal memory or sdcard / WhatsApp / Databases in your external memory. You’ll need to use this folder during restore in order for you to find all your conversations.

local files whatsapp Backup files can be accessed via a file explorer. / © AndroidPIT

How can I restore my WhatsApp chat history?

When you reinstall WhatsApp it will ask you if you want to restore your chat history. By default you will be able to use the Google Drive system we saw above.

You can choose to restore your conversations via local files, but you will have to roll up your sleeves and do a bit of work.

  • Go to the directory where your files are stored (sdcard / WhatsApp / Databases for microSD cards) (/ WhatsApp / Databases for internal memories)
  • Rename the file you want to restore (the save date is in the name) by giving it the name msgstore.db.crypt12. Do not change the crypt number if the name was in crypt10 or crypt9.
  • Uninstall and then reinstall WhatsApp
  • Restore when the option appears on the screen

Other tips and tricks

Which Xposed modules can I use on WhatsApp?

Why settle for the Facebook version of WhatsApp if you can get something which will give you more freedom? The most popular of these is definitely WhatsApp Mods . It allows, among other things, to delete the camera and voice symbols, and to highlight (using another color) messages in group chats.

You might enjoy WhatsApp Quiet Hours, which allows you to mute WhatsApp for a specific period of time. You’ll be able to disable notifications, vibrations, and notification LEDs without changing your system settings.

How can I use WhatsApp without the Internet?

I regret to inform you that this is impossible. If you can not get the Internet, you will have to stick with good ol’ text messaging. Anyone who says otherwise is trying to sell you a pup.

How can I use WhatsApp in the car?

This serves as a good prompt to remind you that sending and / or reading messages while behind the wheel is a really bad idea and I advise you avoid doing so. If you need to send a message urgently, I advise you to opt for the simplest solution: the voice interface. Google Now will be able to send a message to a WhatsApp contact if you ask.

Do you use WhatsApp as your main messaging app? What’s your own favorite tip or trick for using WhatsApp? Let us know in the comments below!

This article has been rewritten since first publication. Comments below may not reflect current content.

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Best USB Type-C battery pack

USB Type-C is found on more and more Android smartphones now, like the Google Pixel, and our best external battery recommendation in this category goes to the Anker PowerCore+ 20100.

This one is our favorite because it charges fast, has a large capacity and is sturdier than its closest competitors. At around $ 50, it’s not the cheapest charger on the list, but this isn’t an outrageous price for something with a capacity of 20,100 mAh.

This amount of stored power will easily charge your Android device several times over, and it can even charge multiple USB Type-C devices at the same time! For those who are looking for standard Micro-USB charging, there’s another Anker battery pack in this list too, which is ideal for a weekend away.

What’s more, the PowerCore+ 20,100 features 10 LED lights on the face which display its current charge level rather effectively (some batteries only have a single on/off LED).

androidpit anker hero 2 Anker has the goods for USB Type-C charging. / © Anker

Best portable charger for your wallet

Yes, credit card-size batteries do exist, but the TravelCard’s style and performance ensure it’s our current number one for your wallet. The TravelCard charger’s dimensions come in at around 3.1 x 2.1 x 0.2 inches and it weighs just 57 grams. Its incredible sleekness – it’s about three credit cards thick and only a little longer – means it’s perfectly capable of fitting in a normal-sized wallet.

The TravelCard comes with cables built into its body to guarantee a compact feel and its 1,500 mAh of power will fill most modern smartphone batteries by around 30-40 percent.

It’s not especially fast to load your device – largely due to limitations caused by its size and heat transfer – and it’s also expensive for the capacity it holds. What you are paying a premium for here is the convenience.

It’s a good idea, well-presented, and could help you out when you’re in a tight spot. Find it at their site via the link below.

androidpit travelcard one hero The TravelCard is small enough to fit inside a wallet. / © TravelCard

Best external battery for your pocket

We recommend the Limefuel Blast L25X as the best pocket-sized portable charger. It measures just 3.6 x 1.5 x 0.8 inches and weighs only 2.3 oz – about the same as lip balm.

The Limefuel Blast L25X holds 2,500 mAh of power, which is not quite enough to fully charge most modern handsets but it’s enough to give it a quick boost. The Blast L25X’s price and portability make it a great value, no-hassle charging solution.

androidpit limefuel blast l25x For the best pocket-friendly battery pack, go with Limefuel.  / © Limefuel

Best external charger for your bag

The EasyAcc 6000 mAh is slightly larger than the Limefuel option above, both in battery capacity and physical size, but it’s still reasonably portable and slightly cheaper. We recommend the EasyAcc 6000 mAh if you want a portable power source that can fully charge your device with juice to spare, and don’t mind sacrificing a little ease when it comes to portability. 

It’s a cleverly designed external battery, featuring a built-in USB cable, which is neatly concealed in the side of the device, and it can charge two units at once. It’s well-regarded and well-priced, and you can check it out at the Amazon link below.

androidpit easyacc 6000 power bank The EasyAcc’s 6,000 mAh capacity will charge most devices more than once. / © EasyAcc

Best power bank for a weekend trip

For a weekend trip, we recommend the Anker PowerCore 15600. Anker is a veteran of portable power solutions, and the PowerCore 15600 combines a high energy capacity with lightning fast charge times and a durable build.

The Anker PowerCore 15600 can charge two devices at once and is still small enough to carry in a bag. With enough power to charge the Galaxy S7 four times over (five times, in theory), this should be your go-to power bank when you’re going to be away from a power outlet for a number of days.

The PowerCore 15600 used to cost more, but it’s a crazy good value at its current price of $ 19.99.

Anker PowerCore 15600

androidpit anker powercore 15600 hero The Anker PowerCore 15600 is little more expensive but gives a lot more juice. / © Anker

Best USB Type-C charger

Anker’s PowerPort+ 5 is a desktop charger with five ports, one of which is a Type-C connector. It delivers 30 watts and can be used for the MacBook or Nintendo Switch. In our test with the Nexus 6P, it reached an average of 3 amps – meaning that a smartphone with a 3,450 mAh battery like this one could be fully charged in around 80 minutes. Not bad! The four Type-A ports have Anker’s PowerIQ technology, which mainly ensures faster charging with Apple devices, as it isn’t compatible with most of the fast charging standards for Android phones.

Anker PowerPort+ 5: 5-Port 60W USB Type-C Wall Charger

androidpit charger anker PowerPort plus 5 usb c The Type-C connector, marked in blue, charges up to 30 watts. / © ANDROIDPIT

Best Micro USB charger

With the UC5F, Tronsmart is offering us a Quick-Charge 2.0-capable beast of a charger. In addition to Quick-Charge, Tronsmart’s Volt-IQ fast-charging technology is also used, which enables your devices to be charged as quickly as possible without Qualcomm’s standard. Unfortunately, Tronsmart has not installed a Type-C connector in the Titan adapter. The maximum total load is 90 watts, thus beating all other candidates in this collection. So if you want to charge five Smartphones at the same time just using one socket, you should buy the Tronsmart UC5F.

androidpit charger tronsmart UC5F This beast has a total output of 90 watts. / © ANDROIDPIT

Best car charger

Do you need two Quick-Charge sockets for your car? Tronsmart has exactly what you need with the CC2TF if you’d like to be able to charge two devices during your commute. Particularly advantageous is the Volt-IQ technology which allows Apple devices to charge even faster, too.

Tronsmart CC2TF 2-Port USB Car Charger

androidpit charger tronsmart cc2tf The small Tronsmart plug has it all. / © ANDROIDPIT

Best solar charger

In our search for a clever solar charger, only one has been able to convince us of its performance as well as design. It is the CHOETECH 19 W Solar Charger. It can be attached to your backpack and it provides integrated pockets that you can put your power bank or smartphone into.

Two USB ports provide a combined power of up to 19 watts. However, direct sunlight is required in order to reach peak charging. Otherwise, the current is reduced and fluctuates. So, have patience and keep a power bank plugged into it at all times. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with one built-in, though.

CHOETECH 19W Solar Charger

CHOETECH 1 4 Simply attach the solar charger to your backpack when on the go. / © ANDROIDPIT

What’s your favorite portable battery pack? Have any brands gone beyond expectations or let you down? Let us know in the comments.

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Apple iPhone SE (2017): photo leak reveals glass back

The first 16 GB iPhone SE was first released back in March 2016 and since then has been relaunched with 32 and 128 GB storage variants. Now, it seems Apple may have the next iteration of their most affordable smartphone in the works. We could see an announcement at the firm’s WWDC event, beginning June 5, but not much is known about the iPhone SE (2017) yet. The latest news is that a photo of the back of the device has been leaked.

I would love to get to know the developers behind my favorite games.

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3395 participants

We don’t know much about the next iteration of the iPhone SE – even the name iPhone SE (2017) is unconfirmed. But the first hints are exciting, nevertheless. A Weibo user has posted a photo leak showing the back of the device. This gives us a clear idea of what to expect from the design and camera setup.

iphone se 2017 leak glass back weibo The iPhone SE (2017) / © Weibo user 测评吧

Opinion by Brittany McGhee

I’m not a fan of fragile glass backed phones

What do you think?

Be the first to vote

As you can see in the image, this would mark a shift for Apple from metal to a glass back. In the background, it shows that the shell is made from Ion-X Glass, which is prone to scratches, but less expensive, lighter and more flexible than sapphire glass.

Another change in design is visible with the LED flash placement. Rather than sitting beside the camera lens, it has been moved to just below it. A vertically oriented camera setup is also rumored for the iPhone 8’s dual rear camera.

What do you think of the iPhone SE 2? Let us know in the comments.

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Best Android browsers: new ways to surf the web

Opera: best for data savings

“Do more online with Opera for Android,” is Opera’s slogan, and with more than 50 million installs from the Play Store, it appears that many believe in it. Opera has been around on desktop for almost 20 years and the Android version offers many of the same great features, plus some helpful extras. 

Opera browser syncs across multiple devices so you can take the same browsing experience from your smartphone to your PC. It also includes typical functions such as bookmarks and private browsing. 

But it’s Opera’s data-saving features that really set it apart from other Android browsers. Opera can compress videos when viewing on mobile, so they use up less of your data (but still provide a great viewing experience), in addition to saving a few bytes when viewing regular pages.

It’s not the fastest browser but once a page opens you almost always get the whole of the page at once; there’s no waiting around for extra images to load.

AndroidPIT Opera browser 2 Opera Browser for Android is clean and efficient. / © ANDROIDPIT Opera browser – latest news Install on Google Play

Chrome Beta: to stay ahead of the curve

I’m not just talking about boring old regular Chrome. This is the better version of Chrome. It’s the Beta version… 

Stay ahead of the pack by getting the latest Chrome updates before they reach your mates who are still rocking the standard Chrome version (losers). Chrome Beta gives you access to new features first, and although you’re encouraged to provide feedback, it’s not a requirement.

Stability problems with Chrome Beta are to be expected, but they are so infrequent that we are still recommending this browser ahead of the normal Chrome.   

androidpit chrome beta hero 1 Chrome Browser Beta gives you new Chrome features first. / © ANDROIDPIT Chrome Beta Install on Google Play

Flyperlink: best for multitasking

Apps like Flyperlink look to place the traditional browser in its grave. They work on the assumption that our browser is often a secondary, background tool that we refer to frequently. Flyperlink allows you to open links in a floating window that is easily minimizable, being kept permanently in the foreground as a small bubble, which you can press on to expand. 

Flyperlink allows you to use the share button in an app to open its contents in a floating window, and support for Chrome Custom Tabs was also recently added.

If you often need to switch between apps and web pages, or there are a handful of sites that you frequently refer to, then Flyperlink is an excellent solution, and could well even replace your default browser.

AndroidPIT best android browsers 3 Flyperlink is the ultimate multitasking browser. / © ANDROIDPIT Flyperlink Install on Google Play

Firefox: best for customization

Firefox is a stalwart of the browser domain and, as such, offers a very solid experience. But more than that, its comprehensive features list makes it a close contender for the top spot. Syncing the mobile browser with the desktop version works brilliantly, and it offers tons of customization options, from reorganizing your home panels to a host of fully-integrated add-ons. 

Elsewhere, Firefox comes packed with the usual array of privacy and sharing options, and the reader mode provides a clean way of displaying articles without any clutter.

androidpit firefox browser best browsers 1 Syncing’s easy on Firefox and the customization options are excellent. / © ANDROIDPIT Firefox Browser fast & private Install on Google Play

Link Bubble Browser: best for time-saving

Link Bubble Browser is a little bit cheeky. It doesn’t offer a dedicated search function, but we think it’s the browser of the future. 

Developed by Chris Lacy, the brains behind Action Launcher 3 and the fantastic TapPath Browser Helper, Link Bubble is known for one key feature: when you click on a link in an app, Link Bubble Browser will load the web page in the background, and let you know once it has fully loaded.

This allows you to carry on with what you are doing, rather than waste time hanging around for web pages to open in front of you. Clever and useful.

androidpit link bubble browser best browsers 1 Link Bubble Browser is redefining the way you browse the internet. / © ANDROIDPIT Link Bubble Install on Google Play

Puffin Browser Free: best for speed

Puffin Browser free is an interesting choice. Not only is it quick and highly customizable, with backgrounds and other add-on functions, but it also has the ability to emulate a mouse cursor and a trackpad. It’s ideal for those who miss the laptop experience on mobile. 

Puffin Browser works by transferring material to its cloud servers before delivering it to your handset, which helps with loading bigger website files on devices with smaller bandwidth (i.e. smartphones). For this reason, Puffin Browser may well be the fastest Android browser, but it does feature some annoying ad banners across the bottom of the screen.

androidpit puffin browser best browsers 1 Puffin Browser can emulate a cursor and trackpad. / © ANDROIDPIT Puffin Web Browser Install on Google Play

Dolphin Browser: best user-experience

Dolphin Browser is a favorite among the Android community. It’s functional, it looks great, it’s feature-packed and comes with some great gesture controls too. It’s also very handy when it comes to transferring preferences between devices and sharing content.

Possibly the best part of the Dolphin Browser experience is that it still supports good-old Flash Player, meaning you don’t have to suffer just because older websites can’t keep up with current technology. 

androidpit dolphin browser best browsers 1 Dolphin Browser is one of the most popular on Android. / © ANDROIDPIT Dolphin – Best Web Browser 🐬 Install on Google Play

UC Browser: total speed

This is an Android browser from China that has had millions of downloads on Google Play. The key to the fast browsing experience with UC Browser is data compression. Its interface is not the most beautiful in the world, but it does its duty without any problems. 

You’ll be able to sync bookmarks and tabs between devices using the same Google or Facebook account. The browser is completely free, and it deserves a try – you won’t come away disappointed!

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

What Google can learn from Apple's latest changes to their App Store

Making the most of the keynote at WWDC, the Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, the Cupertino firm announced the remodeling of their app store. The new App Store, which will be available with iOS 11 next autumn, has gained a new look after 9 years of good and loyal service. A remodeling which aims to facilitate app discovery and to revive the number of downloads, something that Google should draw inspiration from to please its users.

It’s no secret that Google is still experiencing difficulties in helping users to discover new apps and games. The number of apps available on Google Play Store means that users often bypass practical and useful apps, because they are little known and the organization lacks clarity. In short, the Play Store is a jungle, but Google hasn’t really done anything to improve the situation except small aesthetic retouches on the rare occasion.

Opinion by Pierre Vitré

Google has forgotten that the aim of the app store was to discover apps and not just to download them.

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Until last night, Apple’s App Store suffered from the same downfalls as the Play Store. However, faced with a decrease in app downloads, the Californian giant decided to react. The result: The App’s structure and design were remodeled. The App Store has a new interface which is strongly inspired by Apple Music with a more colorful look. However, it’s the new format with a better selection of apps and a true editorial policy, in particular, that helped Apple turn things around.

Returning to the essence of an app store: app discovery

Apple understood. Users like to discover new applications, but they aren’t necessarily experts on how to find them. They need help and this is achieved through a better structure and providing suggestions. The new App Store benefits from a new structure which is divided into 5 tabs: Today, Games, Apps, Updates and Search. While the last two categories already existed, the first three are new to the app.

androidpit new app store ios 11 The App Store has turned into a news page. © Apple

The ‘Today’ tab acts as a new welcome page and it has a clear objective: to help users discover apps and games. This tab also offers a selection of apps and games recommended by Apple which are presented in the form of cards. On each card, you’ll find a short piece of text describing the app, its advantages and graphics… What’s even better is that these recommendations will be updated daily (and by humans, not algorithms!) Apple has transformed their App Store into a news page that users can consult regularly. Apple has made the most of this space so that its users can find advice, plus tips and tricks for apps that they have, or that they will, download. The App Store has become livelier and up to date.

The App Store’s other new feature is the distinction between apps and games. This new interface allows the store to provide more clarity for users. Users can find recommendations for new games (or new apps), the top apps according to the Apple editorial teams, videos and a more powerful filters among games and apps by using categories. Finally, Apple has improved their search system for finding apps.

The Play Store should take inspiration from the App Store

While the aesthetic choices for the new App Store are questionable, there are no complaints about Apple’s new editorial strategy. Of course, unlike Apple, Google hasn’t waited 9 years to improve their app store but users still find their structure chaotic. The Mountain View company would have good reason to take inspiration from the App Store for their Play Store, particularly with suggestions and recommendations. Not only will the users be better off, as they’ll discover new apps and games that they didn’t know about, but Google (and the developers) will also be better off because the number of downloads on the Play Store (and, therefore, their revenues) will increase.

androidpit play store Searching for apps isn’t easy on the Play Store. © AndroidPIT

What do you think of the App Store remodel? Should Google take inspiration from Apple for their app store?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Huawei P8 Lite (2017) vs Huawei P9 Lite: the clash of two mid-range devices

Huawei P8 Lite (2017) vs P9 Lite: design

Both the P8 Lite (2017) and the P9 Lite have beautiful designs. While the first seems to reflect the design of the P10 generation, the second is a reminder of the P8’s design. The P9 Lite has more squared angles than the P8 Lite (2017), it doesn’t offer the bezel-less effect that you find on the P8 Lite (2017), and a housing in the plain style of the P8 with a camera module surrounded by a transparent border.

The P9 Lite reminds me more of the P8 generation, whereas the P8 Lite (2017) reminds me more of the P10 range.

The P8 Lite 2017 device’s body is just as solid as that of the P9 Lite, with thanks to the more squared angles and a less smooth polycarbonate casing. The differences in size are minimal (147.2 x 72.94 x 7.6 mm compared to 146.8 x 72.6 x 7.5 mm for the P9 Lite). The loud speaker (mono), the volume and power buttons, the Nano SIM and SD card (or double SIM card) slots, the Type-C USB port as well as the headphone socket, are located identically on both devices.

AndroidPIT Huawei P8 Lite 2017 vs P9 Lite 9668 The P9 Lite is slightly bigger than the P8 Lite 2017. / © AndroidPIT

You’ll find a fingerprint reader on both smartphones – circular in shape on the P8 Lite (2017) and square in shape on the P9 Lite – which work well: they are fast even if you touch them with different parts of your finger. Although the P9 Lite doesn’t collect as many fingerprint marks as its rival, the P8 Lite (2017) has a more top-range look. This is achieved with the glass panels at the front and back, the 2.5D screen and a plastic casing, whereas the P9 Lite has a metal casing, plastic panel on the back and a glass panel on the front.

The glass-plastic combination, although it collects more fingerprint marks, is more attractive than the P9 Lite’s polycarbonate casing. For this reason, regarding the physical appearance of the two smartphones, I think that the P8 Lite (2017) is the clear winner.

AndroidPIT Huawei P8 Lite 2017 vs P9 Lite 9683 Which device do you think has a more top-range look? / © AndroidPIT

Huawei P8 Lite (2017) vs P9 Lite: display

On paper, the devices are twins. The screens on both the P8 Lite (2017) and the P9 Lite have a diagonal measurement of 5.2-inches, 1080 x 1920 pixel Full-HD resolution with LCD IPS technology, and display clear, detailed images. On the other hand, upon increasing the brightness to the maximum, it’s important to note that the P8 Lite (2017) has a brighter, more detailed screen with more vivid contrasts. As you can see from the screenshots below, both devices are displaying the same wallpaper and the result is far superior on the P8 Lite (2017).

p8lite p9lite schermo P8 Lite (2017) to the left, P9 Lite to the right. / © AndroidPIT

The visual angles are good on both devices. In sunlight, you won’t see a lot unless you increase the brightness to the maximum. However, when the smartphones aren’t in direct sunlight, you’ll have no problem reading any content, provided that you increase the screen brightness.

Of course, among the additional options available by default on the P8 Lite (2017), you’ll find the eye protection mode which is useful if you want to use the smartphone when there is little light (perfect for reading before bed). On this device, in the display settings, there’s also an option that allows you to improve readability in sunlight, but it doesn’t change much.

AndroidPIT Huawei P8 Lite 2017 vs P9 Lite 9677 The P8 Lite’s display is good at showing details. / © AndroidPIT

Huawei P8 Lite (2017) vs P9 Lite: software

The software on the P8 Lite (2017) benefits from being several months newer. The P9 Lite, launched during MWC 2016, runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, whereas the device that arrived on the European market at the start of 2017 runs on Android 7.0 Nougat by default.

AndroidPIT Huawei P8 Lite 2017 vs P9 Lite 688 The P8 Lite (2017) was released with Nougat, while the P9 Lite runs on Marshmallow. / © AndroidPIT

In terms of performance, not much has changed but, in the long term, the most recent Kirin 655 can do even more. The big difference, as I said, is the adaptation of the operating system for different interfaces: the P9 Lite was launched with EMUI 4.1, then upgraded to Android Nougat 7.0, whereas the P8 Lite 2017 already has version 5.0, the same interface as the Huawei Mate 9, with all the advantages that Nougat brings along.

Huawei P8 Lite (2017) vs P9 Lite: performance

Under the hood of these devices, you’ll find two Huawei house processors: the HiSilicon Kirin 655 on the P8 Lite (2017) and the Kirin 650 on the P9 Lite. On the first device, there’s an octa-core chip with 2.1 GHz quad-cores and four others at 1.7 GHz. On the second device, quad-cores running up to 2.0 GHz and four others at 1.7 GHz. Both devices have a Mali T830 GPU chip with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable internal memory via microSD (up to 256GB).

In this regard, the winner is obvious: the youngest is also the strongest.

Huawei P8 Lite (2017) vs P9 Lite: camera

The only difference between the two models here is the main camera. The lens integrated in the P9 Lite has an LED flash, a f/2.0 aperture and 13 MP, compared to 12 MP on the P8 Lite (2017).

AndroidPIT Huawei P8 Lite 2017 vs P9 Lite 9656 Nearly identical cameras on paper, but… / © AndroidPIT

However, even though both devices appear to be identical on paper, in reality, the photographic results aren’t the same. Depending on the situation, they show different details. In order to get an expert opinion, I asked my colleague Stefan Möllenhoff what he thought:

For photos of the countryside/towns, the P8 Lite is better because it highlights contrast and vibrant colors. Even with selfies, the P8 Lite (2017) is better because the exposure concentrates mainly on the subject instead of the background. For wide shot photos with the main camera, I prefer images taken with the P9 Lite because they capture even more detail, but the difference between these two smartphones is minimal.

p8 lite 2017 Selfie taken inside and outside with the P8 Lite 2017. / © AndroidPIT p9 lite Selfie taken inside and outside with the P9 Lite. / © AndroidPIT

Regarding selfies, the P8 Lite 2017’s camera software certainly helps. The Beauty mode is better, in the sense that it masks flaws better than the P9 Lite, but without exaggerating as was the case on the previous P8 Lite. You can establish a level of Beauty from 0 to 10 on both devices but, once again, the feature on the P8 Lite 2017 works better. Alternatively, you can find the same features in the settings.

To get a better idea of the performance of these two smartphones, take a look at these photos taken with the devices:

Huawei P8 Lite (2017) vs P9 Lite: technical specs

Huawei P8 lite (2017) vs. Huawei P9 lite technical specifications

  @VARIANT Huawei P9 lite
Dimensions: 147.2 x 72.94 x 7.6 mm 146.8 x 72.6 x 7.5 mm
Weight: 147 g 147 g
Battery size: 3000 mAh 3000 mAh
Screen size: 5.2 in 5.2 in
Display technology: LCD LCD
Screen: 1920 x 1080 pixels (424 ppi) 1920 x 1080 pixels (424 ppi)
Front camera: 8 megapixels 8 megapixels
Rear camera: 12 megapixels 13 megapixels
Flashlight: LED Dual-LED
Android version: 7.0 – Nougat 6.0 – Marshmallow
User interface: Emotion UI Emotion UI
RAM: 3 GB 3 GB
Internal storage: 16 GB 16 GB
Removable storage: microSD microSD
Chipset: HiSilicon Kirin 655 HiSilicon Kirin 650
Number of cores: 8 8
Max. clock speed: 2.1 GHz 2 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 4.1 HSPA, LTE, Bluetooth 4.1

Huawei P8 Lite (2017) vs P9 Lite: battery

Under the hood of both these devices, you’ll find a 3,000 mAh non-removable battery to power the 5.2-inch screens and Full HD IPS technology. Battery life and battery performance has never been a problem for Huawei. The devices didn’t disappoint us during our reviews: they both lasted a full day (using calls, videos, internet, WhatsApp, etc.).

During the benchmarks carried out with the P8 Lite 2017, it lasted 4 hours and 53 minutes with the WiFi and brightness set to the maximum. The P9 Lite, with the same settings, lasted 4 hours and 35 minutes. Unfortunately, the devices don’t have the quick charge capability that can charge devices in around two hours.

AndroidPIT Huawei P8 Lite 2017 vs P9 Lite 9653 No quick charge, but both devices have a battery that won’t let you down! / © AndroidPIT

If you’re a little short on battery, you can always resort to the options in the Battery section in Settings. The P8 Lite 2017, as well as having an energy saving mode, also offers the Ultra option which allows you to activate the use of only certain applications or certain display features. On the P9, you can choose between the Performance mode (recommended for gamers), Intelligent mode (for daily use) and the Ultra option (for when you need to save battery).

Huawei P8 Lite (2017) vs P9 Lite: verdict

I have to be honest, I was a bit biased when I set out to write this article. I had already compared both phones to each other for another article, and although they’re similar, the P9 Lite had left a better impression on me. But, looking at them more closely, I see that they’re more similar than I had realized – especially now that the P9 Lite has been upgraded to Nougat. It’s a close call with the camera quality as well, since a keen eye can tell that the P9 Lite was capable of getting better shots sometimes.

Opinion by Sveva Biocca

The P9 Lite is just a step below the P8 Lite 2017

What do you think?

3 participants

Nevertheless, the P8 Lite 2017 has a more attractive look, more up to date software (which will be updated again in the future), the battery performance is slightly better, as is the photo quality, and the screen is brighter. And, last but not least, it is even slightly cheaper!

Huawei P9 Lite

Which would you choose? Tell us in the comments!

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Protect your smart home by securing your WiFi network

The fragility of IoT revealed by an 11-year-old child

Reuben Paul, who is just 11 years old, showed us how a teddy bear could be hacked. During the international security conference that took place in The Hague, he left everyone speechless when he accessed the devices of people in the room through Bluetooth to manipulate his teddy, Bob, and was able to access the cloud via WiFi and Bluetooth. By using a Raspberry Pi (a micro-computer well known among geeks) and Python, he found smartphones in the crowd with activated Bluetooth, recovered telephone numbers, connected one of the devices to the teddy and, by taking control of the lights, he was able to send a message. He showed experts how this type of toy can be a double-edged sword.

“From airplanes to automobiles, from smartphones to smart homes, anything or any toy can be part of the Internet of Things (IOT)…From terminators to teddy bears, anything or any toy can be weaponized.”

In some countries, like Germany for example, this type of toy is prohibited. However, the point is: the experiment carried out on the teddy can be carried out on a refrigerator, a thermostat or any other type of connected device. Thanks to Bluetooth and WiFi, any IoT-connected device can be used to access our information. Of course, Reuben Paul isn’t just any child (he created the CyberShaolin Association to inform children and adults on security) but it’s worth asking questions about security for smart home devices.

Guest network: a solution to secure your smart home

What can you do to stop the worst from happening? Securing your WiFi network is important to guarantee the security of your personal information. Opt for a router that has a guest network. This way, you can create two different WiFi networks, so you can connect your nearby IoT devices to one, and carry out your online payments and keep an eye on your bank account with the other one. You can also have a network just for your use, and keep another one available for your parents’ or friends’ devices when they visit, so you don’t lose your sensitive data.

Creating a guest network is the first essential step for securing your information.

Guest networks are networks that, through different SSIDs and certain access restrictions, allow you to better protect your information by using your own domestic network. This type of network offers different security settings in order to not allow clients to access a router or your private devices. In short, these networks are the first essential step to secure the network so you can sleep at night, and they are very easy to install.

To create two networks, you’ll need a router that supports this feature. There are many of them on the market, but keep in mind that the router your service provider may have given you isn’t likely to. To guarantee that your router supports this feature, check on the website of, or the instruction manual from, the manufacturer.

AndroidPIT router wifi 2 Establish a guest network for friends and guests. / © AndroidPIT

How to create a guest network

If you have a router at home that supports a guest network, follow these steps:

  1. Enter the IP address for the router into your browser and enter your username and password.
  2. Find the guest network settings (often called “Guest Zone” or “Multiple SSID”).
  3. Activate it and enter your SSID identifier for the guest network.
  4. In the security settings, select the guest network, establish a security method and enter your password.
  5. Save and wait several minutes for the router to restart.

Check the available networks: you should see the new network that you created. Now, you just need to save the password for the network that you want to keep private for your own use, and share the password for the second network with your guests, which will also be connected to nearby IoT devices which, due to their vulnerability, can be more easily hacked.

If you have a router that doesn’t support a guest network, you can connect a hotspot or another router to have a second available network. For increased security, the best solution would be to create three different networks: one for your private devices (such as your PC and smartphone, for example), one for your IoT devices and one for guests.

Opinion by Jessica Murgia

We often underestimate the importance of regularly changing passwords for devices and online services.

What do you think?

1 participant

Given that your smart home and your information is secured through your network, don’t forget to:

  • Change the default password and replace it with another that is harder to guess (this seems obvious but, often with smartphones, many people choose passwords such as 1234 or 0000).
  • Change your network password regularly.
  • Change the name of your network (but don’t include your name with your date of birth, for example).

In addition, speaking of IoT, it’s important to use secure devices (avoid unknown and cheap brands) and keep your software up to date.

Do you use a guest network at home?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs HTC U11: which flagship is best?

In this battle, I’ll be talking about the features and functions of the Galaxy S8 that make me consider it to be the best device launched in 2017. In the opposite corner, my colleague Luis Ortega will be telling you about why he believes the HTC U11 deserves the title of best smartphone of the year.

samsung galaxy s8 vs htc u11 hero Galaxy S8 vs HTC U11 / © AndroidPIT

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs HTC U11: design and display

I’ve been using the Galaxy S8 for about two months now, and I haven’t seen any other smartphone that comes close to its modern design. It fits so nicely in the hand that sometimes I forget it has a 5.8-inch screen. There are so many one-handed features on the S8 that you really never need to use two.

I think it’s a sin to hide this device under a protective cover, especially the covers manufactured by Samsung, so I’ve been using the Galaxy S8 straight out of the box. Even though in these last two months I’ve had it in my back pocket, my backpack and on my table, the glass on both the front and back are like new, which is a huge plus for me. I’ve also been caught in the rain a few times with the device unprotected and I can honestly say that this phone handles those conditions as well as any of them.

AndroidPIT HTC U 11 VS Samsung S8 4841 On the left, the 5.5-inch HTC U11; the right, the 5.8-inch Galaxy S8 / © AndroidPIT

When it comes to the display, in addition to offering a crystal-clear experience, with a delicate balance between its brightness and contrast, realistic while at the same time vivid colors, it lets Samsung develop features based on the Edge display. So, even without the option of knocking on the display to quickly access the notifications bar on the S8, we can slide from right to left and use the shortcuts on the Edge display. These shortcuts are very customizable and can be adjusted to each user’s needs.

The Galaxy S8 is longer than most devices on the market today since it comes with a new aspect ratio of 18.5:9 instead of the traditional 16:9. Besides this feature increasing the “useful life of the device” by offering a more modern industry standard, it also provides an improved experience by being able to show more content on its display. It’s true that there are a lot of Android apps that need to be updated to the new ratio, but that’s the price you pay when you’re leading the way.

Opinion by Camila Rinaldi

I’ll stick with the Galaxy S8, hands down

What do you think?

4 participants

The HTC U11 comes with a traditional format display, the one we’re all used to seeing. On the Galaxy S8, some games are cut off and there are strange reflections on the display’s border. This isn’t the case with the HTC U11, however. YouTube videos get the most out of the 5.5-inch display by reaching from corner-to-corner. Another plus for games and videos is that it comes with a GPU Adreno 540, which is something only a few S8 users get to enjoy since the Qualcomm processor is only available in select countries like the US.

The build quality is excellent, and the feeling it emits with the mixture of glass and aluminum is fabulous. The blue models are particularly attractive. They emanate a sense of elegance.

The back camera, surrounded by the glass real panel, protrudes a bit from the back of the device. Its solid finish that gives you a sense of security.

Opinion by Luis Ortega

The Galaxy S8 may be pretty, but the U11 is what a true phone should be

What do you think?

4 participants

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs HTC U11: special features

As I said before, the display on the S8 doesn’t offer just an excellent visual experience, but also useful features like the Edge display. You can explore direct shortcuts to system features as well as your most used apps and favorite contacts. This makes it much more practical to use the device one-handed.

The feature that I use most on the Edge display is the device maintenance settings, as it gives me quick access to the performance modes. This is where you can choose between four different performance modes, save some battery life if you need to or set it up for the best experience with audio, video and games.

It’s impossible not to mention the Game Launcher as a special feature on the Galaxy S8. You’ll rarely find a game center as complete as this one on any Android-based smartphone. No matter how nice it is that Google Play Games offers the ability to record and share games, it doesn’t let you lock push buttons (the home button, for example) or other features that could interfere with gameplay, such as activating the Edge display without meaning to.

Opinion by Camila Rinaldi

The display on the Galaxy S8 doesn’t just offer an excellent visual experience, but it also opens up the possibilities for some useful functions.

What do you think?

4 participants

Edge Sense is the best smartphone innovation we’ve seen in 2017. It represents a completely new way of interacting with your phone. In my opinion, it’s on par with the invention of the mouse, which broadened the computer’s capabilities and is a must-have today.

So far, there are two actions you can perform with Edge Sense: a hard or soft squeeze on the sides. By pressing on the phone’s edges, you can access apps and tasks, such as starting or ending a video recording. Obviously, these features are simple for now, but the best is yet to come.

Developers could incorporate Edge Sense technology into their apps, which would allow for unique interactions between hardware and software. It might even replace the volume button in the future.

Opinion by Luis Ortega

Edge Sense is the best innovation of the year.

What do you think?

4 participants

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs HTC U11: quality and audio features

One of the audio features that I’ve used the most on the Galaxy S8 is thanks to Bluetooth 5.0. With its extra audio dimension, I can connect two Bluetooth speakers at the same time. Plus, the software lets you choose specific audio outputs for different apps.

This means that I can use Spotify on my Bluetooth speakers, and at the same time, use the phone’s speaker to talk to my friends on WhatsApp, all while sitting on my couch at home. Also, when my foreign language teacher sends me my homework, this means it won’t cut off my music.

At last, software features that let me optimize audio quality on my headphones have arrived. This can make a huge difference depending on the quality of the audio file or the equalizer mode used. However, I need to be honest, the quality of the AKG headphones would be much better if it offered noise canceling, or at least insulation from external sounds.

AndroidPIT HTC U 11 VS Samsung S8 4860 The Galaxy S8 still has the headphone jack, while the HTC offers digital audio via a USB Type-C cable / © AndroidPIT

Boom Sound is incredible. To start with, the sound on the HTC U11 is quite loud and clear on both speakers and headphones, even when you’re using a headphone jack adapter. This is an important point since the device doesn’t come with standard headphone jack.

The sound isn’t quite as loud as devices that have the speaker on the front though. The volume on the bottom part isn’t that strong, but it’s better than anything else you’ll find among the competition.

Opinion by Luis Ortega

The shortcoming is not using the USB Type-C port to improve sound quality.

What do you think?

1 participant

The HTC USonic headphones provide the best experience I’ve ever had with this type of accessory (in-ear headphones). The sound is crisp and full of detail. To use it, however, you’ll need to create an audio profile, which will measure and adapt to your ear canal with the end goal of finding the best sound for you.

The lack of a standard headphone jack could be considered an oversight for some users, but with regard to audio quality, the real error is not using the USB Type-C to improve the sound.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs HTC U11: camera

The camera on the Galaxy S8 is quite competitive, and it’s among one of the best that you can find on smartphones nowadays. In good lighting conditions, all you need is to do is open the camera app and take a photo or video without worrying about anything. It’s every consumer’s dream. The autofocus responds quickly, it has great white balance and it doesn’t get too ambitious in post-processing, which gives you a decent margin with which to edit images in programs like Photoshop. For more options, you always have Professional mode and the opportunity to take images in RAW format.

On a cloudy day, the 12 MP lens with f/1.7 aperture on the Galaxy S8 still has a high degree of color and contrast. Even in low-light, video and photos are still high-quality. It’s all very similar to what we had last year with the Galaxy S7.

The front camera on the Galaxy S8 delivers balanced and realistic colors. Its quality was proven in the previous blind camera test, where many users voted for the selfie taken with an 8MP lens and f/1.7 aperture on the Galaxy S8.

Check out this gallery of photos taken with the Galaxy S8.

AndroidPIT HTC U 11 VS Samsung S8 4851 Galaxy S8 (left); HTC U11 (right) / © AndroidPIT

The camera on the HTC U11 is quite strong. So much so, that it got a great score on DxOMark, a website which specializes in analyzing cameras. It made me fall in love with the device at first sight, pretty much like what happened with the LG G4 when it was launched.

In my opinion, the U11 is proof that one lens takes better photos than two. I don’t think this dual-lens system is anything more than a marketing ploy, and it still needs a lot more work to overtake a quality sensor.

This being said, I can assure you that the dynamic range of the U11 is one of the best that I’ve ever seen. I really like the color representation, which combines natural colors with a soft touch that highlights the images’ details. The optical image stabilizer and quick shoot are icing on the cake.

Check out the photos taken with the HTC U11 in this gallery.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs HTC U11: security and privacy

If you read my review on the Galaxy S8, you must be asking yourself why I didn’t talk about the position of the fingerprint sensor as the first topic of the comparison. Yes, this does hamper the use of camera when it’s used regularly, considering one could smudge the lens with one’s finger. However, this shouldn’t be your reason for writing off the Galaxy S8. Samsung knows how to play defense with a broad range of lock screens and system access options.

The iris scanner and fingerprint reader for payments are safe, fast and easy to use. Plus, you can use Samsung’s facial recognition as a screen lock, and PIN or password as a backup. This means you can have a least three security levels.

In addition to all that, the South Korean manufacturer still offers a series of security apps through Knox, a complete security system which protects everything from hardware to apps. 

AndroidPIT HTC U 11 VS Samsung S8 4848 HTC U11 (left); Galaxy S8 (right) / © AndroidPIT

We have a few options with which to unlock the HTC U11, like the fingerprint sensor, which is fast and discreetly located on the front of the device. There’s also Smart Lock, which registers the user’s face to unlock the device. This option works similarly to the facial recognition on the Galaxy S8, however, there are a few faults in its performance.

In the system security options, you’ll find a feature that password protects access to third party apps of your choosing.

Samsung Galaxy S8 or HTC U11?

If you’d prefer a smartphone with style, which offers practically exclusive options in just one device – such as Bluetooth 5.0, 18.5:9 display ratio, an iris scanner, and different performance modes – then you’ll want to go with the Galaxy S8.

The device comes with a high-performance processor, the Exynos 8895, which, combined with the 4 GB of RAM, guarantees incredible performance, especially since Samsung has also streamlined its interface, Experience 8.1. The software is full of features that, when used correctly, could increase your battery life from hours to days.

As always, two months isn’t long enough to feel a loss in performance on a smartphone like the Galaxy S8. However, I don’t have any complaints so far. Naturally, apps and games have frozen, but those are the exception, not the norm. Between the Galaxy S8 and the HTC U11, I’ll stick with the S8, hands down – this is partly because HTC doesn’t sell their devices in my home country of Brazil!

AndroidPIT HTC U 11 VS Samsung S8 4856 You don’t need to know which device is which to notice that the differences are enormous. / © AndroidPIT

The HTC U11 may not be as amazing as the Galaxy S8, which sparks love at first sight for some people, but it does have its upsides. It has innovations, like digital audio output and Sense Edge technology, and it also has a similar design to phones currently on the market.

Aesthetics aside, it’s a practical and well-constructed device. It comes with the best processor on the market, and it will receive updates over the next two years. Regarding hardware, however, there’s just one small problem, and that’s battery life – but this plagues the Galaxy S8 and other current high-end devices as well.

The Galaxy S8 is quite good, but if you want to use a true smartphone, what you’ll need is the HTC U11.

Now, it’s up to you:

Choose Samsung Galaxy S8 or HTC U11.

You picked undefined!
What would your friends choose?

  • Oops! Seems like something went wrong. Reloading might help.

    Samsung Galaxy S8

  • Oops! Seems like something went wrong. Reloading might help.

    HTC U11

In an attempt to maintain the argument of each editor and, thus, respect both opinions, neither Luis nor I interfered in the editing of text done by the other.

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

OnePlus 3 and 3T Android update: latest news

OnePlus 3 & OnePlus 3T update: Android O

OnePlus founder and CEO Pete Lau has just confirmed on Twitter that Android O will be made available for the OnePlus 3 and 3T. Despite their recent decision to stop producing any more of these smartphones, the manufacturer is still committed to supporting these two popular devices and upgrading them to the next version of Android.

Android O update for OnePlus 3 and 3T

  Android O
OnePlus 3 Planned
OnePlus 3T Planned

OnePlus 3 & 3T Open Beta update

A new OxygenOS beta build has just been released for the OnePlus 3 and 3T. The update version number is 15 for the OnePlus 3, and 6 for the OnePlus 3T. The update delivers new optimizations and improvements to both devices.

Here is the full changelog:

  • New dialer and incoming call interface: swipe down to answer and swipe up to reject an incoming call
  • UI refreshed with optimizations for Messages, Settings and Contacts
  • New action bar for Messages and Settings: collapsible and expandable action bar
  • Optimized high power usage notifications
  • Bluetooth optimizations
  • Night mode optimizations
  • Bug fixes

If you want to try it out, click the link above for your device, and follow the instructions there carefully to flash it properly.

OnePlus 3 & OnePlus 3T update: OxygenOS 4.1.5

The incremental rollout of OxygenOS 4.1.5 has just begun for the OnePlus 3 and 3T, and users can expect to receive it over-the-air shortly. The update is based on Android 7.1.1. The update will bring updates to network settings for some carriers, the OnePlus community app, and a ‘WiFi no internet’ indication icon. It will also include the latest monthly Android security patch. There’s also been a brand new addition: system push notifications for priority information from OnePlus. And, finally, there have been a host of bug fixes (storage issues with third-party file managers, VoLTE issues with some SIM cards, connection problems with Android Auto) and optimizations (battery, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, proximity sensor, camera low light focus, expanded screenshots, system stability).

OnePlus 3 & OnePlus 3T update: OxygenOS 4.1.0

The incremental rollout of OxygenOS 4.1.0 has just begun. Users can expect to receive it within the next few days. This update is based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat, and also includes the March 1 security patch from Google. The update has added expanded screenshots, reduced blur when taking photos of moving objects, improved video recording stability, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity and a few bug fixes.

Opinion by Georg Seebode

I’m looking forward to Android Nougat

What do you think?

87 participants

Google Assistant for the OnePlus 3?

While it seemed like the only way to get Google Assistant on your non-Pixel device was to use Google Allo or install the APK of the Google Alpha App (this method doesn’t work anymore by the way) – it looks like there might be a new official way to get your hands on the Assistant. Google is currently rolling out Google Assistant to all Android smartphones running Android 6.0 or higher. An anonymous tipster sent Phonearena some screenshots of his device receiving the Google Assistant update on his OnePlus 3 – so those among you who have been looking forward to receiving the update can rejoice. Be warned though, as this update is happening OTA, it will probably take some time before you’ll actually receive it.

AndroidPIT OnePlus3 soft gold vs gray silver 6634 We’ve got the latest OnePlus 3 update news. / © AndroidPIT

OnePlus 3T update: Hydrogen OS 3.0 version 2 (China-only)

A new software update is now being rolled out via OTA for all OnePlus 3T devices, based on Android 7.0 Nougat. This brings with it several improvements and as you might expect, a few bug fixes. The Hydrogen OS 3.0 version 2 update is exclusively for the Chinese version of the OnePlus 3T, these devices run this system instead of OxygenOS. This latest update weighs in at about 1.4 GB.

The update brings with it some new third-party apps and updates for pre-installed third-party apps on the 3T. You’ll be happy to hear (or read) that the 2G network registration has now been improved, so it’s much more stable. OnePlus has also optimized the camera app, in-game audio and enhanced the overall stability of its software. 

OnePlus 3 & OnePlus 3T update: OxygenOS 4.0.2

OnePlus has confirmed that the latest update, OxygenOS 4.0.2, will be rolled out to all OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T devices over the next few days. The rollout will be done, as usual, as an incremental OTA update, so only a small percentage of devices will be updated upon its release. That said, a much broader distribution will take place over the coming days. 

The official changelog for the rollout outlines what OnePlus 3T users can look forward to:

Upgraded to Android 7.0 Nougat

  • New Notifications Design
  • New Settings Menu Design
  • Multi-Window View
  • Notification Direct Reply
  • Custom DPI Support
  • Added Status Bar Icon options
  • Improved Shelf Customization
  • Updated APN Settings for select Carriers
  • Fixed Proximity Sensor bug during calls
  • Fixed Google Play Store download bug
  • Increased System Stability

***Known Issues and Fixes

  • WiFi connectivity might still fluctuate

Source: OnePlus 3 forumOnePlus 3T forum

OnePlus 3 update: OxygenOS 4.0.1

The latest update to the Nougat-based OxygenOS 4.0 is here to sort out some bugs. OxygenOS 4.0.1 has begun rolling out OTA for both the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T. If you don’t want to wait for the update to reach your device over the coming weeks, you can download it here for the OnePlus 3T. The update will allow for workarounds for a known issue with the Google Play Store not downloading apps. OnePlus says to try the following workarounds: follow Google’s troubleshooting steps, try Battery Saving mode, reset Play Store app preferences, and uninstall Truecaller, AVG Antivirus and PayTm if you have them.

The update also should fix mobile data issues caused by APN settings for certain carriers (which you can check manually), proximity sensor bugs during calls and WiFi connectivity fluctuations. However, a fix for the performance issues with the camera app is yet to come.

Here is the official changelog of the update from the OnePlus forum:

Upgraded to Android 7.0 Nougat

  • New Notifications Design
  • New Settings Menu Design
  • Multi-Window View
  • Notification Direct Reply
  • Custom DPI Support
  • Added Status Bar Icon Options
  • Improved Shelf Customization
  • Updated APN Settings for select Carriers
  • Fixed Proximity Sensor bug during calls
  • Increased System Stability

***Known Issues and Fixes

  • Apps might not download from Play Store.
  • If you are trying to download via Data Roaming, it will not work. This is a known Google issue.
  • Please follow Google’s troubleshooting steps and see if the problem is resolved.
  • Try turning on Battery Saving Mode and reset Play Store app preferences.
  • If you have these 3 apps installed: Truecaller, AVG Antivirus and PayTm, please try to force stop or uninstall them before performing download from Play Store.
  • If you still experience mobile data issues caused by APN, please go to APN settings page and manually choose try all the options. In the case that mobile data is still unusable, please send me a pm along with affected career and device model.
  • WiFi connectivity might still fluctuate, if you experience this issue, please send me a pm.

Source: OnePlus 3T forum, OnePlus 3 forum

OnePlus 3 update: OxygenOS 4.0

OxygenOS 4.0 has arrived, and it brings Nougat to the OnePlus 3 and 3T. Users can expect improvements to the design of the notifications and settings menu, new features like Multi-Window View and the ability to reply to messages directly from notifications, plus new customization options for status bar icons and the Shelf. You can read our first impressions of the update here: OnePlus 3 running Android 7.0 Nougat: here’s what you can expect.

OnePlus 3 update: OxygenOS 3.2.4

The OnePlus 3 has received a troublesome new update, with OxygenOS 3.2.4 recently being pushed out to handsets. The 26 MB hotfix patch that rolled out has caused more problems than expected, with reports that it has fixed some issues while also creating new ones. Firstly, the good news. The update includes a fix for the auto-reboot issue which previously affected some devices, along with improved call quality. There are also other minor optimizations.

Now onto the bad news. Shortly after the update was released, reports of the hotfix breaking things began to appear. Some OnePlus 3 owners said that Android Pay no longer worked, and others that the phone was unable to maintain a proper LTE connection, instead dropping down to 3G or even 2G speeds. A thread has been opened in the OnePlus forum to deal with these bugs, so head there if you’d like more information about what to do. 

It’s certain that OnePlus is working on fixes for these issues. As soon as we know more about it, we’ll update this article with the details. 

OnePlus 3 update: OxygenOS 3.2.2

OnePlus seems to be paying special attention to its new flagship, with a second update to the firmware being released within a month of the first. This new update is slimmer than the last and offers a few improvements and bug fixes.

As detailed on the OnePlus forums, the update improves notification management in Doze, addresses an issue with the alert slider, and disables the fingerprint scanner when the device is in your pocket, along with a few other things.

As always, the roll out is incremental, so don’t worry if you haven’t received the new version yet: it is on its way.

OnePlus 3 update: OxygenOS 3.2.1

Less than a month after launching, OnePlus released the first update to the OnePlus 3 firmware. The phone left the factory with the company’s own OxygenOS 3.1.1 on board, but the software was updated to version 3.2.1 through a download weighing 396 MB.

The latest version of the OS fixes an issue related to rather aggressive RAM management. Although the OnePlus 3 packs 6 GB of RAM into its slender frame, the device only actually makes use of 4 GB. Whether the update addresses this is yet to be seen, but, at the very least, it should manage the 4 GB it uses with a more delicate touch once updated.

androidpit oneplus 3 oxygenos update 3 2 0 composite The updating coming in OTA to a user on the OnePlus forums. / © werksmannschaft

Elsewhere, there’s a new sRGB mode, which should improve the display quality, but it has to be enabled through the Developer options.

The update is also said to contain improvements to the device’s GPS performance, updated custom icon packs, and fixes for issues with notifications.

Have you received the OxygenOS update on your OnePlus 3? let us know in the comments.

With prior contributions from Chris Marshall.

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Camera blind test results: Pixel, S8 and iPhone are top, while LG, HTC and Sony flop

The overall principle hasn’t changed since our last blind test. The Xperia XZ Premium and the HTC U11 were added as challengers this time around. The expectations for the Sony smartphone were high given its breakthrough DxOMark rating and that Sony is the market leader in image sensor technology.

We’ve captured and then cropped the same scenes with each of the six smartphones, each with their factory settings, apart from setting them to their maximum resolutions and to automatic mode. To provide a reference shot, we’ve also taken the same photos with a Canon DSLR. Then, we invited everyone to vote for the best in each category.

The smartphone with the most votes in a category got six points. Second place got five points, third place got four points, and so on. In the case of a tie, both phones received the points that corresponded to the respective place, but the next place was omitted. 

blindtest q2 2017 1f This image belongs to the Google Pixel and collected 43 percent of the votes. / © AndroidPIT

The results

For the two new contenders, the Xperia XZ Premium and U11, the results were more (Sony) or less (HTC) a huge disaster. While the U11 made it to third place twice, the Xperia XZ Premium only made it there once – all other times these two were either in last or second to last place.

The overall top spot was won by the Google Pixel, closely followed by the Galaxy S8 and iPhone 7 Plus. Trailing behind a bit were the HTC U11 and LG G6, while the Xperia XZ Premium fell flat in last place.

  • 1st place, 20 points: Google Pixel
  • 2nd place, 18 points: Samsung Galaxy S8
  • 3rd place, 16 points: Apple iPhone 7 Plus
  • 4th place, 11 points: HTC U11
  • 5th place, 11 points: LG G6
  • 6th place, 9 points: Sony Xperia XZ Premium

You can look back at all the pictures in the original poll here, as we’ve now updated the captions to reveal which photos belonged to which phone.

blindtest q2 2017 2e This was the LG G6’s only first place winning photo, which took 30 percent of the vote. / © AndroidPIT

Software over hardware

It is intriguing that in the past half a year, no one has managed to surpass the Google Pixel in terms of photo quality. The 1 / 2.3-inch image sensor of the Pixel is quite considerable in size, however, the IMX378 is also found in the BlackBerry KeyONE and the Xiaomi 5S. Yet, these two phones don’t come anywhere near the picture quality of the Google flagships. While Android is more or less open, the proprietary camera app of the Google Pixel is not.

This could be a way to keep other manufacturers at bay, because unlike Google Photos or Gmail, no data is generated for Google to leverage to train neural networks for its “AI-first” corporate strategy. User photos come to Google through Google Photos now anyway. This strategy shows in another new technology, which will be in Android O, called Google Lens, which allows cameras to understand what they see. Now, back to the cameras…

blindtest q2 2017 3b In this scene, the iPhone 7 Plus and Pixel did similarly well, with 23 and 34 percent of the vote respectively. This image comes from the Apple smartphone. / © AndroidPIT

Smartphone cameras in the future

Right now, most manufacturers are already tinkering with their own camera apps, like those of Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and HTC’s U11. Although both the camera sensors and the operating system are freely available, you must be aware that Google has its own agenda and no reason to share its optimizations with the competition.

With the competition from Windows Phone and BlackBerry OS out of the way, and iOS sticking around 20 percent market share, things are pretty fixed. With no other alternative available, Google has tremendous leverage. This leverage will be used again in Mountain View as the next generation of the Pixel is diligently crafted. The Pixel 2 is already announced.

It’s tough for smaller manufacturers like HTC and Sony to devote a lot of resources to outdoing Google in the software department, with either their camera app or their image processing. I don’t believe we will see HTC, Sony or even LG reach the top ranks in the near future for this reason.

Even if the camera sensors and the Android operating system are freely available, Google isn’t in the business of giving anything away for free unless it benefits the firm. Android is not a donation to needy manufacturers. Android has been, and probably always will be, a tool for Google to knock competing platforms aside and enforce its own strategy.

We saw this strategy in action this week in the Pixel’s superior picture quality. Were you surprised with the results? Let us know what your think in the comments.

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT