TechCrunch Disrupt 2017: 5 startups to watch out for

On the 4th and 5th of December 2017, the Arena in Berlin’s trendy Kreuzberg district (soon to host a new Google campus) was swarming with entrepeneurs and enthusiasts over the course of the 2-day convention. Almost any trendy tech you could think of was represented—AR, VR, drones, wearables, blockchain, fintech, medicine, social networks, 3D printing and more.

Although your humble reporter could only spend one frantic morning at the event, I had the opportunity to chat with up-and-coming startups promising to disrupt the world of consumer electronics in the coming year. Here’s our pick of the Startup Allee at TechCrunch Disrupt 2017, and what they had to show.

Lightweight AR glasses that don’t look (totally) dorky

Augmented reality has been a buzzword for years already, but this futuristic tech is still going through its growing pains. Various companies big and small have tried to get us comfortable with different headsets and smart spectacles but they’ve generally been too bulky (or silly looking) to catch on.

Korean startup LetinAR might be the company that cracks the balance between comfort and functionality. Their AR glasses are compact and comfortable enough that I could really see them working with everyday use. Below you can see me modelling a pair alongside LetinAR CEO Jaehyeok Kim.

IMG 20171205 101929 The future’s bright. / © AndroidPIT

As you can see from the scene above, LetinAR’s glasses aren’t exactly fashionable but they are lightweight and feel natural (at least, to someone used to wearing regular glasses). 

As for use, LetinAR are currently partnered with BMW to provide navigation assistance for drivers and are planning similar software coupled with fitness trackers for cyclists. Perhaps most interesting of all, however, will be AR subtitles—watch a foreign language film through the glasses, and see the subs appear before your eyes.

LetinAR aims to release their glasses in 2017 for Android devices. This means you’ll still have to connect the glasses to your phone or tablet with a cable, but LetinAR’s ambitions go far beyond that, standalone glasses in the pipeline over the next couple of years.

Now, a machine can learn to speak with your voice

At AndroidPIT, we’ve been thinking about vocal recognition a lot this year, but mainly when it comes to smart home tech. Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and co will recognize and respond to your voice. But voice cloning tech startup respeecher looks at it from a different angle—what if machines could get to know our voices so well that they could perfectly imitate them?

This Ukrainian startup uses deep learning to create a synthesized version of someone’s voice, which can then be programmed to say anything. You can check out samples of voice cloning work on their website, and the accuracy and realism is really impressive.

According to CTO Dmytro Bielievtsov, the technology behind respeecher was born from just playing around but could have a wide range of commercial applications. For example, movies can be dubbed in the voice of the original actor. CEO Oleksandr Serdiuk also suggests that in the future, when you contact a customer support call center, the voice you hear on the other line might not belong to the real-life operator at all, but instead be a cloned voice copied from the charismatic and persuasive agent on the team.

The guys for debt collection in call centers, they told us that some guys do almost nothing, but always succeed just because they have such a good voice.

The technology behind respeecher needs an hour of speech from the original speaker to make a clone, which raises an interesting possibility for voice actors. Once you have an hour’s worth of your portfolio, could you just upload it and license it out to be cloned by your clients?

If the idea sounds creepy, Bielievtsov insist that their mission is actually to avoid the uncanny valley entirely. He finds it off-putting to interact with bots and automated speech, but hopes that his technology will put us at ease by making the machine speak with all the warmth, nuance and feeling of a real person.

A new world for VR

The idea of a shared virtual world as always captured the imagination of futuristic thinkers, ever since the classic cyberpunk novel Snow Crash. One of the latest efforts to make this a reality comes at the hands of Somnium Space, which promises an open and persistent VR world that is compatible across various different platforms—Oculus, Vive, Dayream, GearVR, etc.

I gave Somnium Space a spin (using the HTC Vive) and explored a little corner of their virtual world. While gamers and thrill-seekers won’t find much action here, it has potential as a social space, as users will be able to purchase virtual real estate and construct houses, office buildings, etc.

Naturally, the idea of virtual property pays a key part in the monetization of this experience—free to visit, but pay to settle down. This isn’t an action game, but a vehicle for creativity and commerce. You can create and produce things in Somnium Space, and yes, someone might even pay you for what you make.

Essentially, what we’re looking at is a VR version of something like Second Life, and if that’s anything to go by, there could be huge potential here.

somnium Somnium Space is not a hardcore game but it does have an arcade you can visit in town. / © AndroidPIT

Interestingly, Somnium Space will allow both VR-heads and those more skeptical of the technology to mix freely in their virtual world, since you don’t need to be in VR to be there, and whether you’re strapped in to a headset or not, you can still interact, play games with, or talk to, anyone else you meet in the virtual world.

It’s been a long time since Snow Crash, and even The Matrix, but the upcoming Steven Spielberg film adaptation of Ready Player One might propel the idea of shared VR worlds back into the public consciousness at a critical time for Somnium Space.

The ‘real’ world also gets the VR treatment

Those of us who find the idea of a completely artificial space such as the one offered by Somnium Space may still find something to like with the VR reality tours offered by ViarLive. This Moldovian startup enables conversation of footage taken by 360-degree cameras to be converted into VR spaces that can be hosted online and embedded onto websites.

Something like a Tube site for VR content, ViarLive is great for tech enthusiasts with the right equipment to be able to record their travels and experiences and have others really immerse themselves into them. Hike to the summit of a mountain, for example, then create a VR space that allows people all around the world to enjoy the view as if they were there.

Naturally, the main commercial application here is in tourism. By using the app below and any kind of VR headset, even the humble Cardboard, you can see how it works by looking around a beautiful Moldovan monastery.

Moldova Monasteries in VR Install on Google Play

Since ViarLive also offers the potential to access various interactive information points planted in the scenery, you’ll be able to look at statue and bring up information about who it represents, or interact with a table at a restaurant to make a reservation. All-in-all, great potential for tourists that really want to check out a place in detail when planning their next trip.

Multi-screen AR makes TV interesting again

I’ll admit that in the midst of all the exciting interactive entertainment technology available today, good old-fashioned television rarely excites me, no matter how smart TVs get. But German startup eyecandylab GmbH did manage to, uh, catch my eye. The particular kind of candy they offer is the prospect of using AR apps on your mobile device to enhanced your TV watching experience.

eyecandylab Eyecandy’s tech enhances the TV experience on the second screen. / © AndroidPIT

I had a chat with founder Tom Orzikowski, who gave me a demo of how it works. Basically, they aim to bring the “two screens”, namely the television and your mobile device, together for the first time. In the above picture, the tablet can see the football game on the TV screen and then surround it with additional interactive and visual information about the team and players. 

Additional examples included having the fish from a nature documentary pop out of the TV and follow you around on the tablet screen, and being able to pull out the car from a car commercial and see its stats and price.

Something I always found irritating about interactive television was that, when you activated it, everyone else watching on the couch with you had to see the same thing on screen, even if they didn’t want to. Eyecandylab’s tech could be used without disturbing anyone else watching, who may well be using different AR enhancements on their own devices at the same time.

2018 – A year of disruption?

These were just a few of the exciting startups that grabbed my attention during our short time at TechCrunch Disrupt 2017, but there were plenty more pushing for innovation over a range of different fields. Are you excited to see any of the above products next year? Or are you looking forward to something else entirely? Let us know in the comments!

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017) review: Worthy of more attention

The Samsung Galaxy J3 is one of the most popular smartphones in the Samsung range, not least because of its affordable price. The 2017 edition was therefore eagerly awaited by many users, as the South Korean manufacturer has decided to strengthen its technical data sheet a little more than usual. So what is the Galaxy J3 (2017) worth? We find out in our full review.

Good

  • Affordable price
  • MicroSD and Dual SIM
  • Long battery life

Bad

  • No fingerprint reader
  • Middle-of-the-road performance
  • Photo quality

Lowest price: Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017)

Best price

Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017) release date and price

The Galaxy J3 (2017) was made official last June by Samsung and you can easily find it for around $ 150. This is the dual-SIM version with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage (expandable by microSD card up to 256 GB). Three colours are available: black, light blue and gold. Finally, you should know that the phone is of course compatible with 4G.

Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017) design and build quality

At this price range, we don’t expect a particularly bold or stunning design. This Galaxy J3 (2017) is no exception to this rule. While far from original, the Galaxy J3 (2017) is a classic, ergonomically pleasing smartphone design. This is due on the one hand to the compact size of the camera and on the other hand to the rounded corners, which make it easy to handle.

Personally, I used it mainly with one hand and I never had any trouble using all the buttons with my index finger or thumb. The volume buttons are well-located on the left edge, as is the standby button on the right side.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy j3 0795 The Galaxy J3 (2017) is very easy to handle with one hand. / © AndroidPIT

Compared to last year, the dimensions were slightly increased from 142.3 x 71 x 7.9 mm to 143.2 x 70.3 x 8.2 mm. The phone also puts on a bit of weight, coming in at 142 grams on the scale (compared to 138 grams for the J3 (2016)).

Unlike the Galaxy J5 (2017) or Galaxy J7 (2017), the smartphone is not entirely made of metal. Only the central rear part is made of this metal and the chassis is made of plastic. The top and bottom edges at the rear are also plastic with separation lines for the antennas that form an attractive circuit on the hull. 

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy j3 0790 Unlike the J5 (2017) and J7 (2017), the smartphone is not fully metallic. / © AndroidPIT

As for the rest, it’s classic Samsung J style: a central button at the bottom of the front panel, which unfortunately doesn’t act as a fingerprint reader. Some competitors such as Honor or Alcatel, however, offer this functionality in smartphones sold at the same prices.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy j3 0807 The Galaxy J3 supports two SIM cards and a microSD card. / © AndroidPIT

Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017) display

The Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017) features a 5-inch (279 dpi) high definition (720p) display. Samsung didn’t do anything crazy, no surprises there. They could have opted for Full-HD, but that would probably have done more harm than good to the smartphone.

However, unlike last year’s model or its big brothers in the J range, it is not an AMOLED screen but a PLS TFT LCD screen (a cousin of the IPS). This results in a loss of contrast and brightness. Colors are also worse than last year’s model. Overall, it is a little disappointing to see the 2017 version of the J3 regress in some ways.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy j3 0798 No AMOLED screen this year. / © AndroidPIT

Thankfully, the touch screen works without any problems and the rendering remains clear and precise. Whether in full sunlight or in the shade, the Galaxy J3 (2017) has also responded perfectly to changes in the weather while remaining legible.

Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017) software

Android 8.0 Oreo has been official for months, but the new J3 still comes with Nougat. But it’s a good bet that the smartphone will receive the update next year, if we consider that the J3 (2016), released with Marshmallow, got Nougat.

Pending an update, the Galaxy J3 (2017) ships with Android 7.0 Nougat, Samsung Experience (the new name for TouchWiz) version 8.1, and the August security patch.

Samsung users won’t find any surprises when it comes to the interface. Either you like it or not. This includes Samsung’s blue interface and all its preinstalled Samsung apps for music, videos, news, Microsoft apps, social networks (such as Facebook) and Google apps. Bad point, most pre-installed applications can only be disabled.

androidpit software galaxy j3 2017 Android Nougat 7.0 is the default OS for the Galaxy J3 (2017). / © AndroidPIT

With 16 GB of internal memory (10 GB free for user storage), we strongly recommend to invest in a microSD card to avoid suffering any annoying slowdowns. When the memory is not full, the interface is more fluid, applications open (relatively) quickly. I did not notice any particular bugs during my test. Of course, if you are putting the Galaxy J3 (2017) through seriously intense use, or doing a lot of multi-tasking, you’ll likely encounter some delays. Considering the price, this is only to be expected.

Last but not least, this phone is also equipped with the Game Launcher, just like the Samsung’s A, S and Note Series devices.

Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017) performance

In the bowels of the Galaxy J3 (2017), one finds a fairly modest in-house processor, the Exynos 7570. This is a 1.4 GHz quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM. On the storage side, it’s the bare minimum with 16 GB of internal storage, fortunately expandable by microSD card up to 256 GB. In most cases, the J3 (2017) is fast enough to ensure a smooth daily routine even if it doesn’t wow.

On the graphics side, we find the fairly old Mali-T720 graphics chip. So forget about games that are too energy-intensive, otherwise you will experience rather unpleasant slowdowns and janky frames. Asphalt 8, for example, is quite disappointing on this type of device. Hardcore gamers should look elsewhere. 

You can get a more theoretical idea by observing the result on the benchmarks below. As you can see, the Galaxy J3 (2017) does not particularly shine compared to the competition.

Le Galaxy J3 (2017) benchmarks

  3D Mark Sling Shot ES 3.1 3D Mark Sling Shot ES 3.0 3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited ES 2.0 Geekbench CPU – Single-Core Geekbench CPU – Multi-Core PC Mark Work Performance PC Mark Storage Google Octane 2.0
Galaxy J3 (2017) 78 114 4360 626 1858 3445 3738

2908

Moto G5 298 570 9458 617 2507

3597

3968 3286

When it comes to SAR, the Galaxy J3 (2017) is reasonable with 0.658 W/kg at the head and 1.32 W/kg at the body.

Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017) audio

Don’t expect miracles here. The Galaxy J3 (2017) just about does the job, but that’s it. It has a single loudspeaker that manages fairly well. Its positioning on the right side of the device is nevertheless awkward because it is not very ergonomic, especially if you are playing a game or watching a video in landscape mode. Fortunately, for calls, it is more than enough.

The same is true for the audio output, which is within the average range. The headphones included in the box can be used but will not ensure the best possible audio quality. 

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy j3 0814 The speaker of the Galaxy J3 (2017) is located in a rather impractical place / © AndroidPIT

For calls, the voice is clear even in noisy environments. The sound on the receiving end is also adequate.

Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017) camera

Let’s start with numbers. The Galaxy J3 (2017) features a 13 megapixel main sensor at the rear with f/1.9 aperture, autofocus and LED flash. At the front, it features a 5 megapixel sensor with f/2.2 aperture and LED flash. This is a fairly standard configuration for a device in this price category.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy j3 0821 Like the J7 (2017), the camera has a 13 megapixel sensor, but it’s not the same. / © AndroidPIT

In practice, the J3 (2017) is quite average. It’s not the worst in the price range, but it’s not the best. If photoraphy is the main criterion for you, I wouldn’t recommend this one. A Moto G4 Plus or a Huawei P8 Lite 2017 have the advantage in this regard.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy j3 0802 The front camera is somewhat disappointing. / © AndroidPIT

In terms of quality, when the light conditions are good, the camera on the Galaxy J3 (2017) is doing quite well. There is a lack of detail and the backgrounds are often quite bland. The development is also a bit slow but the reactivity is decent and it is possible to take a series of shots on the fly without any problems. In low light conditions, it is a little more problematic because the Galaxy J3 (2017) sensor is not able to capture enough light. As a result, there is a lot of noise on the shots and pictures are often blurred. 

The front camera also gives fairly average results. The shots lack a little sharpness. Beware if you want to use the flash, as it tends to do more harm than good. Finally, on the video side, it is possible to film in Full-HD. The result is good and I find the quality of the videos better than the photos.

androidpit software camera galaxy j7 2017 The application of the Galaxy J3 camera (2017) is without surprises and easy to use. / © AndroidPIT

Overall, the J3 (2017) is a bit disappointing, camera-wise. But in my tests, it did do better than the 2016 version.

You can get an idea for yourself by looking at our pictures below:

Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017) battery

Battery life is clearly one of the most significant aspects of this Galaxy J3 (2017), if not the best. Under the hood, the J3 (2017) has an integrated 2400 mAh battery pack that is sufficient to power the 5-inch HD screen. On the PC Mark Battery test, the Galaxy J3 (2017) lasted 12 hours and 33 minutes.

It’s a little worse than last year, but the smartphone is able to provide a day of intensive use without charging. If you are not too greedy, it will even be possible to stretch it a little longer and spend two days without reaching for the recharge box. In the settings, you can activate two energy-saving modes to improve your battery life.

Unsurprisingly, the J3 (2017) does not offer a fast charging system or even a Type-C USB port. The J3 (2017) will justly be criticized for not being able to replace the battery, which was a great advantage of its predecessor

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy j3 0810 No USB Type-C port but it has a mini jack. / © AndroidPIT

Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017) technical specifications

Dimensions: 143.2 x 70.3 x 8.2 mm
Weight: 142 g
Battery size: 2400 mAh
Screen size: 5 in
Display technology: LCD
Screen: 1280 x 720 pixels (294 ppi)
Front camera: 5 megapixels
Rear camera: 13 megapixels
Flashlight: LED
Android version: 7.0 – Nougat
User interface: TouchWiz
RAM: 2 GB
Internal storage: 16 GB
Removable storage: microSD
Chipset: Samsung Exynos 7570
Number of cores: 4
Max. clock speed: 1.4 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 4.2

Final verdict

The Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017) is a good Android smartphone that will suit users looking for a versatile, reliable and affordable smartphone. Although it does not really stand out in any particular field except for battery life, the J3 (2017) does the job it’s made for. Its classic design, the reputation of its manufacturer and the fluidity of its interface explain the reasons for the commercial success of this smartphone. We would simply have hoped for some more improvements over last year’s model and some innovations, such as a fingerprint reader.

Its classic design, the reputation of its manufacturer and the fluidity of its interface explain the reasons for the success of this smartphone.

Anyway, if you’re looking for a cheap smartphone, this Galaxy J3 (2017) may be right for you. Just know that the alternatives are now numerous in this price range (Moto G4, Honor 6X, Wiko View…) and sometimes offer more than the J3 (2017), despite the Samsung brand name.

Where to buy Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017)

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Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017)

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Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Muslim Pro: Ramadan 2017 v9.2.6 Android Apk Download

Muslim Pro: Ramadan 2017 v9.2.6 PREMIUM Android Apk Download
The most popular Muslim app

Recognized by more than 30 million Muslims around the world as the most accurate prayer time & azan application, Muslim Pro also features the full Quran with Arabic scripts, phonetics, translations and audio recitations as well as a Qibla locator, an Islamic Hijri calendar, a map of halal restaurants and Mosques, etc…

MAIN FEATURES:

• Accurate prayer times based on your current location with multiple settings available (angles)
• Azan: visual and audio notifications for the calls for prayer with many muezzin voices to choose from
• Fasting times (Imsak and Iftar) during Ramadan
• The Holy Quran (Al Qur’an) with audio recitations (mp3), phonetics and translations
• Colored Tajweed to help you improve your pronounciation when reading the Quran
• “Tasbih” to count your dhikr
• Halal restaurants and mosques locations around you
• Animated Qibla compass and map to show you the direction to Mecca
• Complete Muslim Hijri calendar to estimate holy dates such as Eid-Ul-Fitr and Eid-Ul-Adha
• 99 names of Allah
• Beautiful Islamic greeting cards (Eid Mubarak, Ramadan Kareem, etc…)
• Hisn’ul Muslim (Fortress of the Muslim): a collection of doas and supplications)
• App and Quran fully translated to: Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Melayu, Deutsch, English, Español,

If you want to play this apps, you can download and play the game from the link below. Good luck.

Program Name: Muslim Pro: Prayer Times Kuran
Category: Android Program Download
Game Type: Lifestyle
Release Date: 24.05.2017
Language: English
Size: 10.8 MB
Developer Company: Muslim Pro Limited
File Type: .apk
Price Status: FREE
Mod: YES

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Amazon Fire HD 10 (2017) Review: Hold Alexa in your hands

Amazon has equipped its 10-inch Fire HD tablets with hands-free Alexa, effectively turning the tablet into a mobile Echo Dot. Whenever you call “Alexa”, the digital assistant appears like a genie from a bottle and attempts to help you using its artificial intelligence or control your smart home. In this brief review, we will be taking a quick look at the system.

Good

  • Child protection
  • Full Alexa integration
  • Sharp, colorful display
  • Stereo sound on the device

Bad

  • Many Android functions, services and the Play Store are missing
  • Heavy focus on its store

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2017) release date and price

If you can deal with having ads on the lockscreen, the new Fire Tablet HD 10 (2017) only costs $ 149, while it still costs $ 165 sans ads. As such, it seems to be quite inexpensive. But when you think about the fact that this is basically an Amazon shopping cart, the price only seems fair. You don’t get certain freedoms on an Amazon device that you get on other Android tablets, and it’s particularly apparent in the severely limited selection of apps and services.

AndroidPIT amazon fire hd 10 tablet alexa 2132 The Fire HD 10 (2017) masters Alexa voice input. / © AndroidPIT

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2017) design and build quality

I would describe the Amazon Fire Tablet HD 10’s (2017) design as sleek and functional. The tablet is almost a centimeter thick and has wide borders around its display. Amazon also bucks the trend when it comes to the choice in material: A good old-fashioned plastic body and a flat glass panel.

AndroidPIT amazon fire hd 10 tablet alexa 2143 Plastic, glass and a MicroSD slot. / © AndroidPIT

A MicroSD slot can be found behind the flap. It is not intended to run on mobile data networks and as such, it is missing a slot for SIM cards, and there’s no eSIM soldered inside either. A 3.5-millimeter headphone port lets you connect analog headphones, and the micro-B port transfers data at USB 2.0 speeds and charges the battery at 9 watts. 

AndroidPIT amazon fire hd 10 tablet alexa 2119 The power adaptor delivers 9 watts. / © AndroidPIT

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2017) display

The Fire HD 10’s (2017) display has a classic 16:10 1,920 x 1,200 resolution display and has a pleasantly stable viewing angle with its IPS panel. If there’s a window behind you or wish to use your tablet in the daylight, the Amazon Fire HD 120 (2017) may disappoint you, since its brightness is not strong enough to counteract the glare..

AndroidPIT amazon fire hd 10 tablet alexa 2128 The Fire HD 10’s display is sharp and accurately displays colors, but it is certainly not bright. / © AndroidPIT

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2017) special features

Thanks to a software update, hands-free Alexa turns the Fire HD 10 (2017) into a mobile Echo Dot. The hotwords “Alexa” or “Amazon” wake the tablet up from standby mode, and it listens to your voice command. At home, the digital assistant then connects to compatible smart home devices.

amazon fire hd 10 2017 alexa If you wish, Alexa can always be listening. / © AndroidPIT

If you have already configured Alexa with another device, the Fire HD 10 simply takes the configuration from your Amazon account. If not, you can set up the digital assistant for the first time using your new tablet along with all the smart home functions.

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2017) software

Initially, the pre-installed operating system on the Fire tablet, Fire OS, was at version 5.5.0.0 and is based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. During our review at the beginning of November 2017, we received an update to Fire OS 5.6.0.0, which delivered the aforementioned Alexa feature. However, due to heavy customization by the manufacturer, an Amazon tablet offers a severely limited Android user experience that you’re just going to have to deal with.

AndroidPIT amazon fire hd 10 tablet alexa 2132 It looks like a web search, but it takes you directly to Amazon’s store. / © AndroidPIT

If you’re coming from a device with a Google account or want to continue using services from your Android smartphone on your Amazon tablet, you can’t readily do so. Although you can install the Play Store if you really want to, it’s pretty tricky. However, the Fire HD will afterwards have true Google integration and even allow you to synchronize your Android smartphone and account with the tablet.

Amazon designed the software to be a storefront window for its product range. You have a choice of e-readers, music and film streaming from proprietary services, audiobook and podcast players, and electronic issues of daily newspapers. Amazon Prime subscribers above all can enjoy their usual services that way, but if you live outside of this ecosystem, the Fire HD could prove disappointing for you.

Apple Music, Google Play Music, Google Photos, Sky Ticket, and some other services that could be considered Amazon competitors cannot be found in the Amazon App Store, which would require the aforementioned trick with the Play Store. Or you can find the appropriate APK file and install it.

Child protection

Unlike normal Android, Amazon’s variant is equipped with comprehensive child protection. It locks app store purchases behind a PIN, makes Alexa unusable and restricts web browsing. Furthermore, you can specify times in which the device can be usable at all.

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2017) performance

The Fire HD is designed for streaming and e-books. Accordingly, its chipset is simple, and its gaming performance is sufficient for the few titles that you find in the app store. Its Wi-Fi unit supports all standards up to 802.11ac and ensures quick, smooth streaming. 

Overall performance on the Amazon tablet is pleasant, and there’s always a pause when switching between apps. However, there is no lag within the apps and as such, use is not negatively affected apart from slow multitasking.

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2017) audio

Thanks to its integrated stereo loudspeakers, the Fire tablet is very well suited for watching ordinary series. You will be able to follow dialog without any problems since the voices are reproduced clearly. However, Dolby Atmos does not have that truly atmospheric effect, since it lacks bass to do so, but you can always connect your trusty headphones to the headphone port.

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2017) camera

The rear camera is 2 megapixels and the front camera is 0.6 MP. And yes, you can use Skype on it.

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2017) battery

The Fire tablet has an excellent standby time clocking in at roughly one week. During active use at medium brightness, you can expect roughly 10 hours of on-screen time, according to our colleagues at TechRadar. Maximum brightness and continuous Wi-Fi streaming would knock a few hours of this number.

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2017) technical specifications

Dimensions: 262 x 159 x 9.8 mm
Weight: 500 g
Screen size: 10.1 in
Display technology: LCD
Screen: 1920 x 1200 pixels (224 ppi)
Front camera: 0.6 megapixels
Rear camera: 2 megapixels
RAM: 2 GB
Internal storage: 32 GB
64 GB
Removable storage: microSD
Chipset: MediaTek MT
Number of cores: 4
Max. clock speed: 1.8 GHz
Connectivity: Bluetooth

Final verdict

If you can deal with the software’s peculiarities, you will be happy with the Fire Tablet HD 10. One benefit of the 2017 models is undoubtedly the Alexa integration, which turns the tablet into a mobile Echo Dot and thus, a voice remote control for your smart home. Otherwise, Amazon retains the characteristics of its Fire series: The tablet is very affordable, although it is more of a digital shopping cart than a standalone product.

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2017)

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Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Dinosaur Simulation 2017 Mod Apk v1.1.4 Android Download

Dinosaur Simulation 2017 Mod (Money) Apk v1.1.4 Android Download

Explanation: Dinosaur Simulation 2017: This is Action game. Begin the city hunting and eat the animals that are worrying the people of the city. A wild game dinosaur simulator all ready to start the city hunting.

If you want to play this game, you can download and play the game from the link below. Good luck.

Game Name: Dinosaur Simulation 2017
Category: Android Games Download
Game Type: Action
Release Date: 02.12.2017
Language: English
Size: 46.7 MB
Developer Company: Nemo Games 3D Simulator
File Type: .apk
Installs: 500,000 – 1,000,000
Price Status: FREE
Mod: YES

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Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) review: a change of face and price

Samsung’s Galaxy J line is quite popular among users who are looking for a brand device that’s not too expensive. The J5 (2017) exhibits new materials and design compared to the previous generation. But how does it go about it in terms of performance? Let’s find out.

Good

  • Quality of materials and assembly
  • Battery life time
  • Dual SIM

Bad

  • Lack of notification LED
  • Keys are not backlit
  • Price too high
  • MicroUSB instead of Type C

Lowest price: Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017)

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Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) release date and price

The 2017 generation of the J5 is sold in the US as the Samsung Galaxy J5 Pro (2017). It’s available from Amazon for $ 204 in black, gold, blue and pink. It’s also available from Samsung UK’s website for £249 in black and gold, under the name Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017). There is only one model with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal memory, expandable via microSD up to 256 GB.

Samsung Galaxy J5 Pro (2017)

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) design and build quality

Don’t expect the same design, use of materials and build quality as the previous generation because Samsung has decided to improve the Galaxy J5 (2017). The smartphone abandons the plastic in favor of a body of 146.2 x 71.3 x 8 mm and 160 grams made entirely of metal.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy j5 0865 The J5 2017 is made of metal. / © AndroidPIT

The design is not original, but you should appreciate the upgrade of the materials used and the good assembly. The J5 thus adopts a classic Samsung look, rounded corners, logo on the opaque case and above the display, power button on the right and volume control on the left.

Back and multitasking keys are not backlit

To insert SIM and microSD you will need to use the trays on the left edge, which can be pulled out with the pin included in the purchase box. The model I tested is the dual SIM version: the smallest slot is dedicated to the main SIM card, while the largest slot is dedicated to the second SIM card and microSD card.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy j5 0842 Support for microSD and Dual SIM. / © AndroidPIT

On the body you can see the thin black stripes of the antennas and the non-protuding camera section highlighted by the silvery frame. On the front you’ll find the clickable home button that also acts as a fingerprint reader, also present in the J7 but omitted in the J3. Alongside the reader are the back and multitasking keys, but they are not backlit, a shame. The notification LED is also absent. 

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy j5 0834 MicroUSB port and mini jack for the cuffie. / © AndroidPIT

The Galaxy J5 (2017) houses the speaker laterally on the right (as on the A series), while along the lower edge it leaves room for the headphone mini jack and miniUSB port (no Type C). The keys are all easily reachable, are solid and respond to commands. The smartphone guarantees good ergonomics and does not slip even when resting on flat surfaces. The general look is similar to that of the Galaxy A5 (2017) but forget the certification against water and dust.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy j5 0855 The navigation keys are not backlit. / © AndroidPIT

Included in the purchase package is the 1.55 A charger, the microUSB charging cable and a pair of headphones with microphone.

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) display

The Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) mounts a 5.2-inch Super AMOLED screen and thus sits between the 5.5-inch J7 and the 5-inch J3. The resolution is 720 x 1280 pixels in 282 ppi. The screen is pleasantly bright and can be read even in sunlight. From the settings you can set the brightness automatically and the brightness sensor does its job.

The colors are bright, those typical of Samsung. From the dedicated menu you can balance colors to change the appearance of white tones, choose one of the four screen modes (Adctive, AMOLED Cinema, AMOLED Photos, Basic) and activate the blue light filter so you don’t strain your eyes too hard during your nocturnal readings.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy j5 0845 5.2 inch HD display in pleasantly bright HD. / © AndroidPIT

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) software

The Galaxy J5 (2017), like its siblings, runs Android 7.0 Nougat. Samsung could not opt for the latest version of the software, but at least we find Samsung Experience in version 8.1. Security patches are stationary until June.

Double Messenger (Settings>Advanced Functions) lets you create a second account for apps like Facebook and Skype.

The interface is fluid and pleasant to use but don’t expect a chip. The app drawer is accessible with a swipe upwards, but you need a side swipe to scroll between apps. Bloatware is limited to brand apps, Google, Upday for news management and the Microsoft app package. Pre-installed apps cannot be uninstalled but disabled by pressing and holding for a few seconds.

Like the Galaxy A, you can enjoy Game Launcher and secure your content in Personal Area. The possibility to customize the color of the folders with a simple tap. With a side swipe on the unlock screen you can manage the songs you are listening to. I was surprised to find the Dual Messenger (Settings>Advanced Functions) that allows you to create a second account for apps like Facebook and Skype just like with the Twin App on Huawei devices.

J5 software Android 7.0 Nougat and Samsung Experience 8.1 on the Galaxy J5 2017. / © AndroidPIT

16GB of internal memory isn’t much but with the use of microSD you won’t have any space problems. Apps open a little bit slowly. It’s a smartphone that isn’t designed for intensive multitasking or gamers. It’s got NFC. 

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) performance

The Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) incorporates an Exynos 7870 octa-core 1.6GHz processor flanked by the Mali T830MP2 GPU T830MP2 graphics drive, 2GB RAM and 16GB ROM. Performance is good for a processor and device of this range. This means that in everyday use, such as managing emails, calling, swiping, scrolling through Facebook, web searches and videos, you won’t have any problems.

The fingerprint reader is not one of the fastest but during my test it did not make a mistake. I found it convenient, as on the A5, the speaker placed on the right during the playback of videos or games less demanding. The NFC is present but, compared to the A series, there is no Always On that you can still have by downloading a dedicated app from the Play Store.

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) benchmark

  3D Mark Sling Shot ES 3.1 3D Mark Sling Shot ES 3.0 3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited ES 2.0 Geekbench CPU – Single-Core Geekbench CPU – Multi-Core PC Mark Work Performance PC Mark Storage Google Octane 2.0
Galaxy J5 (2017) 246 238 8089 733 3711 3839 5147

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) audio

The Galaxy J5 has a single speaker placed on the right that doesn’t disappoint in terms of audio experience but doesn’t work miracles. I found the maximum volume a bit low but, moreover, it’s not a smartphone designed for multimedia and during calls you won’t have any problems with volume or reception.

Accessing the Audio Quality and Effects submenu you can put your hand on the equalizer to handle bass and treble, allowing you to customize the audio to your preferences. There’s also integrated FM radio.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy j5 0837 The speaker is located on the right, at the top. / © AndroidPIT

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) camera

The Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) improves in the photographic sector compared to the previous generation: there are two 13MP cameras (S Sony IMX258 sensor) with f/1.7 on the back and f/1.9 on the front. Alongside the LED flash this provides good shots when the light is good. When light conditions deteriorate, the results are affected. Considering the range of the J line, the results are good.

J5 camera A basic Pro mode and real-time effects. / © AndroidPIT

With a swipe from right to left you can access real-time effects, a nice feature for those who like to share their shots on social platforms, including basic Pro mode that allows you to customize some parameters such as ISO and white balance. The selfie quality is good and the colors are close to the real ones. With the Galaxy J5 (2017) you can shoot 1080p videos.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy j5 0832 The Galaxy J5 features a 13MP camera in front and rear. / © AndroidPIT

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) battery

The 3000 mAh battery is one of the strengths of this smartphone. Coupled with an undemanding HD screen, it can guarantee an average of one and a half days with standard use of the device that reaches up to two if limited to calls, whatsapp and a few Facebook checks.

In our PC test Mark the Galaxy J5 (2017) reached 9 hours and 9 minutes.

In our PC Mark test, the Galaxy J5 (2017) reached 9 hours and 9 minutes. If you’re looking for a better performing device, you can stay with your family and focus on the cheaper J3 that has achieved a 12 hour 33 minute result. Unfortunately, the J5 relies on the almost outdated microUSB port for charging. Charging your smartphone completely takes about 2 hours.

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) technical specifications

Dimensions: 146.2 x 71.3 x 8 mm
Weight: 160 g
Battery size: 3000 mAh
Screen size: 5.2 in
Display technology: AMOLED
Screen: 1280 x 720 pixels (282 ppi)
Front camera: 13 megapixels
Rear camera: 13 megapixels
Flashlight: LED
Android version: 7.0 – Nougat
User interface: TouchWiz
RAM: 2 GB
Internal storage: 16 GB
Removable storage: microSD
Chipset: Samsung Exynos 7870
Number of cores: 8
Max. clock speed: 1.6 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 4.1

Final verdict

The Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) offers a more elegant design than the previous generation and houses the fingerprint reader. Overall it is an improved version, able to satisfy less demanding users (gamers stay away from this device). Good battery life guaranteed and nice shots in good lighting conditions; even more surprisingly, the selfie is surprising.

I don’t understand why Samsung has decided to discard the notification LED and I understand the list price even less, as it’s difficult to digest for a low end smartphone. On the hardware and software side, there’s nothing mind-blowing and if you find it online for less than $ 250 (it’s only $ 204 on Amazon right now), it’s worth thinking about it, hoping that with prolonged use it doesn’t slow down too much. If you find it for over $ 250 online, it doesn’t quite have enough to justify its cost over alternatives such as the Moto G5 Plus or Huawei P10 Lite.

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Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) review: a pleasant surprise

Samsung introduced its new Galaxy J7 (2017) model this past summer, and it has been very popular. Is 2017 a good year for the J series? We endeavored to find out. In the following in depth review, we explain all of the pros and cons of the device that we’ve found after several weeks of testing.

Good

  • Satisfactory performance
  • Good battery life

Bad

  • No USB Type-C port or fast charging
  • Unconvincing camera

Lowest price: Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)

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Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) release date and price

In theory, Samsung’s strategy is very clear: it offers entry-level, mid-range and high-end smartphones. But, it’s not clear where the Galaxy J7 (2017) fits in that line up. The Samsung Galaxy J7 is somewhere between the entry-level (J series), and the mid-range (A series). It’s even on the heels of this year’s Galaxy A5 model

The Galaxy J7 (2017) is going for $ 219 on Samsung’s website. Depending on where you get it from, there are three color options: gold, blue and black.

Lowest price: Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)

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The smartphone comes with 16 GB of internal storage and 3 GB of RAM. There is an extra slot to accommodate a second SIM card and a microSD card, with the possibility adding an extra 256 GB of storage.

Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) design and build quality

The J7 (2017) clearly isn’t a high-end device, but it doesn’t look like the bottom of the barrel either. The design takes us back to the pre-Infinity Display era with a classic Samsung look, like what we knew before the Galaxy S8 and Note 8. In other words, there’s an oval home button on the front between two capacitative buttons, a micro USB port and a headphone jack.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy j7 0910 Hello, home button. Some of us still like you in the front. © AndroidPIT

The smartphone’s body is made of metal, rather than the plastic of the last generation. The build quality is good for the price and it feels nice to hold. Though, you’ll probably have to use more than one hand. It is a phablet, after all.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy j7 0878 The microUSB port © AndroidPIT

On the left side, you will find the volume buttons and the main SIM card slot. Below you will find the location for the microSD card and for the second SIM card. Note that the device is not waterproof, unlike the A5 (2017). 

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy j7 0889 The main SIM card has its own spot. © AndroidPIT

The fingerprint reader is located on the home button and it is a real pleasure to use: it is easy to reach and it works flawlessly. The Galaxy S8+ and Note 8 have their fingerprint reader located very high in the back, where it is much less convenient.

In short, the Galaxy J7 (2017) looks a lot like the Galaxy A5 (2017), but doesn’t quite reach that higher level overall.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy j7 0899 Here is the Samsung Galaxy J7 Galaxy (2017). © AndroidPIT

Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) display

As usual, Samsung opted for a Super AMOLED screen on the Galaxy J7 (2017), and it leaves a good impression. Its Full HD (1,080 x 1,920 pixels) definition is an appreciable upgrade from the previous model’s HD display, and the pixel density, 401 ppi, is satisfactory for a display in this range. The display is still 5.5 inches this time around, with bezels above and below the display giving it a screen to body ration of 73.1 percent.

In practice, the screen is satisfying. The color representation is good and the maximum brightness (511 cd / m²) is  enough to use in the sun without trouble.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy j7 0907 Thanks to the AMOLED display, the blacks are deep. © AndroidPIT

Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) software

It’s no surprise that the J7 (2017) won’t ship with Android Oreo, which was released in late August. That being said, it’s not even getting the newest version of Android Nougat. Instead, it’s shipping with Android 7.0 and Samsung Experience 8.1. (Samsung Experience is the new name for TouchWiz, in case you hadn’t heard.) Aside from this, the real disappointment comes from the security patch level, which is still at June rather than the current month of October (at the time of writing).

As I explained in the review of the Galaxy A3 (2017), Samsung has done a good job with its interface in recent years. The bloatware is limited to its own apps, Google apps and some Microsoft applications, and the Upday widget which can only be disabled, but not deleted. The interface has become more fluid and, above all, nicer to look at. 

This smartphone also now has Game Launcher, like the devices in the A, S and Note series. This isn’t the most useful thing in the world since this isn’t a great gaming smartphone, but it’s there for those interested. Another notable feature is the Always On Display mode, which can be turned off if desired.

Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) performance

This Galaxy J7 (2017) uses the same midrange processor, the Exynos 7870, from the Galaxy A3 (2017). Yes, Samsung places a mid-range processor on its best entry-level smartphone. If it’s not broken, why fix it? The processor comes with a Mali-P830 GPU which, let’s be clear, will not be able to handle games with intense graphics smoothly. You’ll still be able to play most simple games, though. If you’re looking to buy an entry-level smartphone, you can’t expect premium performance.

There’s 3 GB of RAM, which guarantees a rather smooth multitasking experience. I only experienced slowdowns on two occasions while pushing multitasking to the limit. Any weakness in the device is very minor, and there’s nothing disappointing to report in terms of performance. You can get a more theoretical idea of its performance by taking a look at the benchmarking scores below. Notably, the Galaxy J7 (2017) scores better than the Galaxy A3 on Geekbench and PCMark Work Performance, but it ranks lower on the other benchmarks.

  • Geekbench 4.0 single-core : 731
  • Geekbench 4.0 Multi-Core : 3679
  • PCMark Work Performance : 3754
  • PCMark Storage : 3550
  • 3DMark Slingshot Extreme : 244
  • 3DMark Slingshot OpenGL 3.0 : 329
  • 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited : 8314
  • Google Octane : 2965

Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) audio

The Galaxy J7 (2017) has a speaker on the side, above the power button. This isn’t a very wise placement because it means it will get covered by your hand all the time. The quality isn’t perfect, but that’s not a surprise for a device of this price range. The maximum volume is high enough, but there’s a drop in quality that comes with higher volume, of course.

Samsung bundles standard headphones in the box and they’re fine, but don’t expect amazing results. It would be difficult to ask more of device at this price. In general, the volume is adequate, contrary to what is sometimes found in the competition.

As for call quality, I could understand and be understood during calls without the slightest problem.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy j7 0883 The speaker is on the right edge. © AndroidPIT

Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) camera

The rear camera of the Galaxy J7 (2017) uses the Sony IMX258 sensor from the OnePlus XLG G6 and the Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017). It’s a 13 MP sensor with an f / 1.7 aperture. It sounds promising on paper, but it can’t match the Galaxy S8 or other flagships. That said, for a camera in this range, the camera is no slouch.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy j7 0874 The camera has a 13 MP IMX258 sensor. © AndroidPIT

When the light conditions are decent and the contrast is limited, this 1 / 3.06 inch sensor does a rather average job. But it shows some limits and can’t manage light well. In poor lighting conditions, noise becomes readily apparent. There is also no optical stabilization, which can annoy those don’t have the most steady hands. And because the shutter time is 1/17 of a second, this can result in a blurred final result. 

androidpit test samsung galaxy j7 photo modes Several modes are at your disposal. © ANDROIDPIT

As for the color representation, there’s a lack of contrast and the colors can be a little pale. Of course, if you only want to do a few pictures from time to time in good light for the simple purpose of posting them on Instagram, this smartphone should meet your needs. The pro mode allows you to set the ISO, white balance and brightness correction.

The front camera is also 13 MP (with an aperture of f / 1.9) and also has an LED flash. Overall, the result is just right for a device of this price range, but it could be better, especially with the details.

Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) battery

Even if it is not as good as its colleagues in the A series, the Galaxy J7 (2017) has good battery life. It has a 3,600 mAh capacity, which sounds rather promising on paper. With basic use (WhatsApp, surfing, some YouTube videos…) you’ll reach a full day, or even two if you aren’t too greedy. Unlike the A5 (2017), the J7 (2017) does not offer fast charging, and it does not have a USB Type-C port. Instead, it packs a good old microUSB port of yesteryear.

Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) technical specifications

Dimensions: 152.5 x 74.8 x 8 mm
Weight: 181 g
Battery size: 3600 mAh
Screen size: 5.5 in
Display technology: AMOLED
Screen: 1920 x 1080 pixels (401 ppi)
Front camera: 13 megapixels
Rear camera: 13 megapixels
Flashlight: LED
Android version: 7.0 – Nougat
User interface: TouchWiz
RAM: 3 GB
Internal storage: 16 GB
Removable storage: microSD
Chipset: Samsung Exynos 7870
Max. clock speed: 1.6 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 4.1

Final verdict

The Galaxy J7 (2017) is a good smartphone that could even be mistaken for an A series device. It has a specs sheet similar to that of the A3 (2017). The design is also a clear reminder that it’s cut from the same cloth, despite the lack of waterproofing and no USB Type-C port. All this translates into a smartphone that’s not very innovative in terms of design but still pretty, and powerful enough to run most games fluidly.

It’s unlikely that you’ll regret your purchase if you’re looking at a device of this price range. It’s a great deal and it doesn’t miss the mark anywhere except photo quality. Indeed, the camera’s results are the only thing to remind us which range the phone belongs to.

As for alternatives, smartphones as convincing at the price point are quite rare. There are a few worthy of mention: the Huawei P9 has come down in price, then there’s the smaller but cheaper Samsung Galaxy A3 and finally the Galaxy A5 which has a fairly similar price.

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Top tips and tricks for the Samsung Galaxy J3, J5 and J7 (2017)

All smartphones have a range of hidden features, or at least features that would be hard to find for an untrained eye. While the knowledgeable, the ever curious and the DIY enthusiasts like to delve into the device’s innards to find them, others don’t have the patience and prefer to search for a list online. Here’s ours: our tips for the Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) and its brothers, the J5 (2017) and J3 (2017).

Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)

Deactivate the Always On Display mode

This trick is a real classic for Samsung devices. By default, the manufacturer activates the Always On Display mode, a feature which always displays the date, time, battery percentage and notification icons. This display mode can be annoying but, we promise, it can be configured. To do this, just go to Settings and select Always On Display in the menu at the top of the screen. You can then change the appearance (for example, change the clock to analog) or deactivate the feature completely.

androidpit always on display j7 Not interested in this feature? Deactivate it! © ANDROIDPIT

Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017), J5 (2017) & J7 (2017)

Use the screen with just one hand thanks to the Home button

The Galaxy J7 is far from a compact smartphone. It measures 5.5-inches diagonally, so using it with just one hand is quite difficult, perhaps even impossible. Fortunately, Samsung kept this in mind and offers a way to use the smartphone with one hand. What’s even better is that you can configure the Home button to adapt to the screen size.

Go to Settings and search for Advanced Features. Select “One-handed use mode”. Select “Touch”. However, by tapping the Home button three times successively, you’ll be able to place it on either side of the screen.

Activate the easy mode

This feature has existed on Samsung smartphones for a while now but, while it’s practical for some, it is quite overlooked. Most users want to use their phone in this mode, but some who are reluctant to use technology (you could call them technophobes) simply want a screen displaying the basic functions without the screen getting cluttered up with files and the (too) many annoying shortcuts.

To activate the easy mode, go to Display Settings. Then, you just have to activate Easy mode and that’s all there is to it!

androidpit one handed mode j7 Easy mode to the right, one-handed mode to the left. © ANDROIDPIT

Test out the hardware

It’s easy to tell if your device is working well or not, but often, after a fall or being drenched in a cup of tea, you might have to run some tests. Just enter the code *#0*# into the phone to access several types of tests, ranging from the color display to touch recognition.

androidpit fonctions j7 Does the touch screen work? © ANDROIDPIT

Take photos without touching the screen

It has happened to us all. When you have to take a photo quickly and by the time you unlock your smartphone, open the camera app and press the camera button to take the photo, the object that you wanted to capture has disappeared. Luckily, the manufacturers have taken this into consideration and have provided more simple ways of opening the camera and taking a photo. On the J7, and on all Samsung smartphones, you just have to double tap on the Home button to open the camera and use either of the volume buttons as a shutter button to take the photo. Simple, right?

Activate the multi-window mode

This mode is well known among Android fans, but rookies don’t really know much about it. It’s a shame because it can be very handy. You can display two applications at the same time (one on the left-hand side of the screen and one on the right-hand side, when the smartphone is held horizontally, of course). Just go to Settings, Advanced Features, Multi-screen and activate the Activate split screen display option. Then, go to an app and press the multi-tasking button (to the left of the Home button). Your screen will then be divided into two sections. You’ll be able to load the other application that you want to open in the blank section.

androidpit multiwindow j7 You can send an email while watching a YouTube video. © ANDROIDPIT

Do you know any other interesting features on these devices? Which trick is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

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Motorola's big stumbles of 2017

Products launched without software updates

When you buy a phone and it ends up only getting one update, it’s a huge disappointment, because it means that it becomes obsolete after only just a short while. Motorola takes this to the next level by launching devices that will never be upgraded.

moto e4 plus camera back The Moto E4 Plus was launched in 2017, and there’s no plan to update to Oreo. / © AndroidPIT

The Moto C Plus, Moto E4 and Moto E4 Plus were released in 2017. Even with the announcement of Android Oreo 8.0 a few months after that, these devices were left off Motorola’s official list of updates.

Inconsistent update schedule

Here we find Motorola’s second trip up. When the Motorola Moto G4 Plus was launched last year, the company reported that the update to Android O (the name at the time) was a guarantee. However, this year, when the company released its list of confirmed updates the G4 Plus was nowhere to be found.

motog4plus androidpit back Moto G4 Plus almost didn’t get an update. / © ANDROIDPIT

Needless to say, people weren’t thrilled. After all, this was a mid-range device which costs about $ 250, and many people bought it just because of the company’s promise to update it. In the end, the company had to backtrack and include the G4 Plus on its update schedule. However, it has emphasized that it’s not sure when that will happen exactly.

This has left a lot of users with the uncertainty of not knowing if the device they’ve bought will ever be updated, and may even be steering potential buyers away from it.

The system isn’t as pure as it used to be

One of the most significant differences in Motorola products from the launch of its first, beloved Moto X is the almost-pure Android system. At that time, it won over a ton of users (myself included), and the closer you were to a pure system the lighter it was. It offered fewer features and it was easier to handle than what the other big brands were offering.

moto x4 7 Moto X4 has one of the companies most modified interfaces. / © AndroidPIT

As time went by, the pressure from Lenovo was mounting. Simple things like native app icons were changed, and, as a whole, Motorola’s special features have been increasingly integrated into the interface.

Anyone who enjoys a cleaner, near-stock experience no longer gets that with this brand. However, I think it’s only natural that over time the system evolves and branches out from pure Android. The Pixel phones pretty much have pure Android on lockdown as well.

The Moto Mods are so expensive

Motorola was the only company to introduce a viable and practical modular phone solution. Its Moto Mods, with the magnetic connection on the back, are a fantastic idea. There are even different types of Mods, bringing with them various features and decorations for compatible devices.

AndroidPIT moto mods 3720 Moto Mods can get expensive. / © AndroidPIT

There are a wide range of Mods available, including multiple external battery models. There are even Mods that work with Alexa, others that give you the ability to wirelessly charge your phone and a plethora of style shells that let you change your phone’s look. Some of the coolest Mods are the projector, the 360º camera and the gamepad. Unfortunately, they’re really expensive. The projector, for example, sells for $ 300. So, even though there are so many really enticing options offered, it’s not practical for the average user to buy all the ones they would want. These phones are capable of so much, but because of the price, most users won’t be able to see them live up to their potential.

But there are a lot of wins as well

This article wasn’t intended to throw Motorola under the bus. I’ve never done that to any brand, and I don’t plan to start now. The idea was to point out to Motorola that there are some things they should avoid in 2018.

AndroidPIT moto z2 play 6298 Moto Z2 Play is a huge success. / © AndroidPIT

The company did make a lot of good decisions as well. Motorola promised to maintain Mod compatibility on its 2017 line, and it did. It has also launched new power packs and the new JBL speaker Mod. It nailed it with the Moto Z2 Play, and the Moto G5 is an excellent device for its price.

The Moto Z2 Force was launched with 6 GB of RAM, which I thought was a spot-on decision. It brought the company up to an even playing field with other brands’ top-of-the-line phones. This is something that hasn’t happened in a while. Plus, despite how expensive they are, the video game and 360º camera Mods are really cool.

Even though it’s continuously changing the Android system, Moto has brought some impressive new features, like Moto Key to manage logins, a Moto Voice update (which had died) and it brought back the Moto X.

Companies make mistakes and they make good decisions. It’s our job to help them along the way: AndroidPIT on the reporting side, and you guys on the side of deciding whether to buy their products or not.

What do you think were Motorola’s good or bad decisions this year? Discuss with us in the comments! And, if you have a Moto, tell us what you think of the device.

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Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) vs Galaxy J7 (2017): How different are they really?

A similar predecessor, but with some subtle differences in design

Things are pretty simple at Samsung: the S range launches a trend that the A and J ranges then follow. Consequently, both the A5 (2017) and J7 (2017) that were launched this year, are based on the Samsung Galaxy S7 design. They indisputably share a common ancestor (visually speaking), but in a more general manner, they follow a guideline found on all Samsung devices up to the Galaxy S8 model, which changed the trend. However, there are some differences between these two devices.

The Galaxy A5 (2017) is a little more elegant and has a better finish than the J7, but the performance of this entry-level smartphone should still be acknowledged, as it’s seen an evolution from the previous model. Plastic has made way to metal, a material that the A5 also proudly displays. So, what are the differences? The most obvious is obviously the size.  Given the dimensions 152.5 x 74.8, the smartphone is slightly larger than the Galaxy A5, which is 146.1 mm long and 71.4 mm wide. This difference in screen size is very noticeable: the J7 is sized at 5.5 inches and the A5 at 5.2 inches.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy j7 0899 At 5.5 inches, the Galaxy J7 (2017) is 0.3 cm larger than the A5 (2017). © AndroidPIT

Some of the differences aren’t visible at first glance. An example of this is the IP68 certification found on the A5 but not on the J7, which makes the phone vulnerable to water and dust. The microSD card, on the other hand, is available on both models. 

A very different level of performance

The Galaxy A5 (2017) is a mid-range level smartphone, whereas the Galaxy J7 (2017) is an entry-level smartphone. This translates into their performance, even if it’s not always noticeable. The J7 is powerful enough to give you a satisfying experience for easy operation, in other words browsing, messaging etc. However, if you want to get a little more out of the phone and really experience the graphics at their best, some games will be a problem because the Exynos 7870 octacore processor and the Mali-T830 MP1 graphics chip in particular have trouble keeping up. The US model has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, but we tested the Exynos model here. The Galaxy A5 (2017) has a Exynos 7880 processor and a Mali-T830 MP3 GPU (that is to say three times the power than on the J7).

Another big difference (that has to be pointed out) is that the internal memory on the J7 is only 16 GB, while the Galaxy A5 offers twice that. It’s worth mentioning as well that if you run out of space on either device, you can insert a microSD card of a maximum 256 GB. The amount of RAM is the same on both models.

AndroidPIT Samsung Galaxy a5 2017 4864 Active On Display is available on both devices. © AndroidPIT

False debate over the software interface

Samsung has upgraded its devices, but performance is only of practical interest in an operating system, and regarding this, the two devices are quite different. The A5 (2017) is outdated, offering Android 6.0.1 by default, but it can of course be updated to Nougat. The J7 (2017) uses Android 7.0 by default. Updates are always a tricky issue, especially when it comes to flagships. 

It’s important to keep in mind that even though geeks like us care about software versions, many entry-level users don’t, they just want a smartphone that can meet their (often simple) needs. They don’t care if their device will be using Android P or not, so both devices are suitable. Other users, on the other hand, value the importance of updates (especially for security reasons), but unfortunately Samsung isn’t the fastest to offer them. In any case, both devices will be using Android Oreo.

Opinion by Benoit Pepicq

Updates are crucial for a smartphone, even if only for security.

What do you think?

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The same strength and effort to provide

The Galaxy A5 (2017) is renowned for its battery life. It is powered by a 3,000 mAh battery and will be able to survive an entire day without charging, thanks to various software configurations. To top it all off, you can recharge it in a very short amount of time: the battery will go from 0 to 100% in 1 hour and 20 minutes. The Galaxy J7 (2017) offers similar specifications, even though it has a bigger battery (3,600 mAh), you should be able to survive the day without too much trouble. The real difference between these two devices is the charging speed: you’ll find that charging isn’t fast on the J7, not even through the USB Type-C port.

The real difference between these two devices is the charging speed.

In the world of smartphones, where prices skyrocket, it’s sometimes possible to find a good camera phone at the right price. While the J7 (2017) and A5 (2017) take decent photos given their range, they’re definitely not the phones’ strengths. With 13 MP with an aperture of f/1.7 and 16 MP with an aperture of f/1.9, the J7’s specs look better on paper. However, it did provide the most mixed performance. In both cases, it’s better to take photos in a well-lit environment in order to obtain quality photos.

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) vs. Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) technical specifications

  Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)
Dimensions: 146.1 x 71.4 x 7.9 mm 152.5 x 74.8 x 8 mm
Weight: 159 g 181 g
Battery size: 3000 mAh 3600 mAh
Screen size: 5.2 in 5.5 in
Display technology: AMOLED AMOLED
Screen: 1920 x 1080 pixels (424 ppi) 1920 x 1080 pixels (401 ppi)
Front camera: 16 megapixels 13 megapixels
Rear camera: 16 megapixels 13 megapixels
Flashlight: LED LED
Android version: 6.0 – Marshmallow 7.0 – Nougat
User interface: TouchWiz TouchWiz
RAM: 3 GB 3 GB
Internal storage: 32 GB 16 GB
Removable storage: microSD microSD
Chipset: Sorry, not yet available! Samsung Exynos 7870
Number of cores: 8 Sorry, not yet available!
Max. clock speed: 1.9 GHz 1.6 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2 HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 4.1

The logic of an illogical price

The Galaxy A5 (2017) is available on Amazon for just $ 319, while the Galaxy J7 (2017) can be had for $ 289. That means you can have a mid-range instead of an entry-level smartphone for only $ 30 more!

In short, if you have the budget and are prepared to opt for a smaller screen, it might be worth your while investing a few extra bucks to get a Galaxy A5 (2017). If you want a Samsung phablet for less than $ 300, the J7 is a good alternative.

Which of these two devices interests you most?

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