100 days with the Razer Phone: the edgy outsider

An alternative style

Over the course of using the Razer Phone as my daily driver for several months, I got plenty of comments from friends about its appearance. We might know it as the Nextbit Robin in its edgy goth phase, but for most people, it’s just that weird black block phone.

Now, your mileage may vary according to taste, but I have some affection for the unfashionable Razer Phone. With the smartphone industry dominated by lemming-like following and trend-chasing, the Razer Phone stands out from the crowd. Does the Razer Phone look sexy? Nope, but it looks different, and that has a charm of its own.

AndroidPIT razer phone 0298 No sexy curves for this geeky gamer phone. / © AndroidPIT

While the Razer Phone may not have the shiny sleekness of the latest Samsung or Huawei, it’s not by omission, but by design. The Razer Phone knows exactly what it wants to be. And if you plumped for an outsider like the Razer for your phone of choice, chances are you have a pretty clear idea of what you want too. As you’ll see in this article, the Razer Phone’s form serves its function.

Mean multimedia machine

If you see your smartphone as a portable media device or palm computer, then it’s hard to find better than the Razer Phone. The audiovisual experience is incredible, thanks to the gorgeous screen and absolutely fantastic front facing stereo speakers 

Many of the strengths of the Razer Phone really became apparent when I’ve been on holiday or on the road, far from my precious PC. The front facing speakers and the ability to prop the phone up in landscape (well worth all the comments about the ‘blocky’ design) has made it more than able to serve as my music and video player on the go without ever feeling like I’ve compromised on quality.

AndroidPIT razer phone 0303 The ability of the phone to rest on one side is highly underrated. / © AndroidPIT

A January software update enabled support for Netflix HDR videos as well as Dolby Digital 5.1, so the Razer Phone is still in the top class when it comes to playing multimedia. And as you would expect from Razer, this naturally includes gaming. 

The gaming, tho

As a lifelong gamer, I ‘get’ what Razer is trying to do here, and appreciate what they’ve done for gamers while also realizing the problem of the gamer’s smartphone. Most gamers who can afford the $ 700 Razer Phone would already have a good PC/console at home, which the Razer Phone can’t compete with. So how much gaming are you really going to do with it?

This is something that anyone who buys into Razer’s marketing will have to consider. The Razer Phone is just as good a handheld gaming platform as it is a general multimedia device on the go, capable of running the most demanding, cutting edge mobile games with ease. 

AndroidPIT Razer Phone Gaming 03 The Razer Phone can take the most demanding games on the Play Store, no trouble. / © AndroidPIT

You want AAA graphics on the go? You got it with the Razer Phone. Aside from travelling and the daily commute, I’ve also had the pleasure of using the Razer Phone as my main test device for all those tasty game reviews I’m serving up here on a daily basis. I haven’t been tempted to swap it out for any others.

For more details about the Razer Phone gaming experience, and how games from the 120Hz IGZO LCD display and Razer’s Game Booster, settings, I’ll point you to my dedicated article. 100 days on, I can still confidently say that the Razer Phone is the best choice if you want your smartphone to also be a handheld gaming device.

They see me scrollin’, they hatin’

Even I don’t spend the majority of my time with the Razer Phone playing games or even watching videos. Like many people, the majority of my use is taken up by social media and web browsing. Maybe I spend more time than the average person going through documents and news feeds in the course of my research.

AndroidPIT razer phone 0311 You won’t want to slow down. / © AndroidPIT

It’s in these simple everyday tasks that the Razer Phone shines again, thanks to the display’s 120hz refresh rate and relatively clean software. Scrolling and navigating on the Razer Phone is lightning-fast, butter-smooth and highly addictive. Once you’re used to it, most other devices feel sluggish under the fingers.

A beefy battery

The Razer Phone’s chunky 4,000 mAh battery gives it a good lifespan even with the screen set to 120 fps all the time. Even taking into account a couple of short gaming sessions with something like Arena of Valor, PUBG, or Shadowgun Legends, the phone chugs through the whole day. With just casual use, it’s usually a day and a half before I reach for the cable.

Taking full advantage of the phone’s media and gaming capabilities on the go though, means either diving into the game booster to tone down the framerate and graphical goodies, or having an power source nearby. Luckily, the packed-in charger juices it up to full power in no time thanks to Quick Charge 4+.

Great in the hand, awkward in the pocket

Touching again on the Razer Phone’s shape, the rectangular shape that makes it a great portable media player and helps a secure grip in both hands while gaming makes it pretty inconvenient in the pocket. More than once I’ve been annoyed at the phone poking my legs or sliding up out of my jeans. 

AndroidPIT Razer Phone Gaming hero 6803 The size and shape of the Razer Phone makes it somewhat inconvenient to carry around. / © AndroidPIT

Speaking of jeans, I’m fairly confident this phone is responsible for wearing a hole through my cheapest pair. Should I shake my fist at Razer? Or Primark? The Razer Phone’s unwieldiness is especially inconvenient the summer when lighter clothing is required. This ain’t a phone to casually carry around in your shorts and text with.

The camera can’t catch up

In our initial review of the Razer Phone, it was clear that the camera just didn’t measure up to the quality of other similarly priced devices, and despite updates rolled out by Razer, this situation hasn’t changed. This is the major factor keeping the Razer Phone from joining the cool kids table and counting flagships from Huawei and Samsung among its peers.

Uncertain updates

Part of the unease with the Razer Phone is that we’re still not sure how well Razer will do with regard to software support. So far, it’s a mixed bag. I didn’t expect them to do miracles with the camera updates but the ability to play HDR content on Netflix was much appreciated. 

The real test will be with Android versions and security patches. I’m still waiting for the update to Android 8.1 Oreo, which is meant to arrive later this month. It’s a far from speedy update schedule, and it doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence about the Razer Phone’s future-proofing.

A loveable misfit

Despite some misgivings, I’m glad I took a chance on the outsider and stuck with the Razer Phone over the long term. In many ways, it’s a specialist phone for particular interests. As a gamer and multimedia enthusiast, the Razer Phone’s strengths align with my use, with the camera being the only cause for regret.

The Razer Phone clearly has room for improvement, and that’s why I’m also looking forward to the next generation to fix its weaknesses and also watching out for Razer’s ambitious Project Linda, which would allow the Razer Phone and its successor to serve as a 13-inch laptop.

Weird? Niche? Yes, but that’s part of the appeal. After 100 days, I’ve found a lot to love in this misfit, and while there are mobile games to be played and music to be blasted, we’ll be keeping company.

Have you tried the Razer Phone? What do you think of it?

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100 days with the Mate 10 Pro: no divorce planned

Most smartphones, no matter how good, end up showing signs of wear and tear. Is this the case with the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, or has it improved over time like a good wine? I tested this smartphone for 100 days, so now let’s check out the results. Has the device stood the test of time or is it a no-go?

Let’s get down to it: am I still satisfied with the Huawei Mate 10 Pro after 100 days? My experience is very positive, but it’s not perfect either. Below, I will explain what I liked and disliked as well as what surprised me.

Gaming and media: an great experience

Although the Mate 10 Pro is still versatile, it is clearly aimed at gaming and media enthusiasts. Its large 6-inch screen (18:9 format) makes video playback and game use very enjoyable. It doesn’t have the best definition on the market, but I’m still happy with the result. The components of the device are top of the range, meaning the device can run any game without any problem. Personally, I haven’t had a problem with slowdowns in the games, and the smartphone has never overheated despite the extra work I forced it to do.

My favorite feature was the stereo sound: when you use the device in horizontal mode, the stereo sound is switched on (this can be changed in the settings) to provide a better experience. This changes from the usual single speaker set-up on the lower edge that we find in most smartphones. Another element that will probably satisfy many users is the large storage capacity, and another, is the Easy Projection mode: not necessarily amazing, but it still does the job.

AndroidPIT Huawei Mate 10 Pro Easy Projection 8 With EasyProjection, you can have your smartphone on the PC © AndroidPIT

There is always a but: the absence of the mini-jack plug is more problematic than I imagined. When you have your Bluetooth headset with you, it’s fine. But if you forget it, it means you’ll have to spend your whole day with no music. Gone are the days when you get to work and find your trusty mini-jack headphones. It’s a bit like USB-C, the technology evolves for the better, but when you don’t have the right hardware you can’t do anything. It’s a case of changing your habits, or improving your memory!

Does its artificial intelligence actually make it intelligent?

Huawei highlights its developments in artificial intelligence. The Neural Processing Unit is designed to support the device’s CPU (up to 25 times faster) and GPU (up to 4 times faster), while consuming less power. In other words, your smartphone will be quicker. This will give your applications a boost, providing better results in the camera and translation application.

What about in practice? The NPU chip certainly takes effect and the photos are of good quality (although I still prefer the Pixel 2 camera), and I particularly liked the portrait mode. To put it simply, we have a very good camera here. But to what extent does the NPU chip play a role? It’s hard to say.

AndroidPIT huawei mate 10 pro review 1836 The NPU chip acts on the camera. © AndroidPIT

For the rest, the situation seems to boil down to a single word: marketing. It makes you wonder whether the chip does everything Huawei claims. I personally don’t think it makes any difference on a daily basis. I’ve had the opportunity to use many high-end devices and I don’t think that the Mate 10 Pro is faster, I didn’t notice applications launching more quickly, or learning from my use.

As for the translation application, except for the design it does no better than Google Translation. Of course, it will still be improved (and it needs it), but currently, it is rather disappointing. As for voice translation, it leaves even more to be desired.

Yes, I do, for better or for worse.

Not everything is perfect. On a few rare occasions there were some odd moments with the Mate 10 Pro. For example, I was using WhatsApp and all of a sudden the screen switched off for a few seconds, then returned to the locked screen. And another small problem: the search parameters on EMUI don’t always work very well, I type what I’m looking for, but it doesn’t find the option even though I know it exists. It’s a shame, as it would help to avoid getting lost in menus, especially if it’s to find features that Huawei hasn’t fully adopted (for example Smart Lock).

The positives outweigh the negatives, so I highly doubt you’ll regret your purchase. The camera is powerful, and takes good quality photos, and the battery life is also excellent. If you keep in mind that it is not a perfect smartphone, you’ll be more than happy with the Mate 10 Pro.

Do you have one of these devices? Let us know what you think of it.

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100 days with the Honor View 10: An imperfect but reliable partner

It’s been three months since I inserted my SIM card, or rather my two SIM cards, into the Honor View 10. I’ve spent 100 days with the device, from morning to sunset, always side by side. Sometimes, I admit, I’ve slept with the smartphone next to me. In this article I’ll tell you what I liked most about Honor’s flagship. and what I didn’t find so convincing.

A good battery

The battery in the View 10 doesn’t perform miracles, but it does work well and allows me to stay away from the charger for a day. It’s important to have a good partner at your side without having to worry too much about battery life. SuperCharge charging provides solutions in the short-term when faster charging is needed: in half an hour 50% of the battery can be recharged.

So if you use your smartphone mainly for WhatsApp, managing emails, listening to music on Spotify, partying from time to time, taking pictures and selfies, watching short videos on YouTube and Facebook, and watching TV series through a Chromecast connection, the View 10 makes for great company.

AndroidPIT honor view 10 9988 The Honor View 10 won’t leave you stranded in the middle of the day! / © AndroidPIT

Your face unlocks the device in a snap

The View 10’s fingerprint reader is fast and accurate, remaining worthy of the Huawei/Honor family. But I have to admit that once I was introduced to face unlocking via a software update, I started to prefer it to the fingerprint reader.

The face recognition feature is really convenient unless you’re in dark surroundings: when I have my smartphone on the table in front me (not at the office) and especially when I have the device in my hand or pull it out of my pocket.

Ideal for concerts…

In these three months together, I’ve brought the View 10 with me to several concerts. In the case of Depeche Mode and Franz Ferdinand, I was satisfied with the videos I shot during the show. The sound is clear and the same can be said of the images, although in both cases I wasn’t in the front row.

… but not for photos at night (including selfies)

I unfortunately can’t say the same thing about photos. When the light isn’t good, the quality of the shots decreases. This results in blurry shots and noise in the photographs. Holding your hand motionless is difficult without the use of a tripod and personally I don’t go around town with a tripod in my bag.

Sure, low-light shots are difficult for all smartphones, but there are devices that can do better than others: the Pixel 2 XL is one of them, to give an example. And when it comes to the camera, the protrusion over the phone’s frame is really annoying. Without a cover, the edges of the lens will always show signs of wear.

AndroidPIT EMUI tips tricks 1720 Artist Mode and AR Lenses for your social media! / © AndroidPIT

Don’t be jealous of AI, you won’t notice it anyway

The View 10, like the Huawei Mate 10 Pro before it, incorporates a unit dedicated to artificial intelligence. The integrated NPU is mainly visible when you use the camera: once you point to an object, you’ll be able to recognize it and change the mode accordingly.

But aside from that, you won’t notice it, at least for the time being. Don’t expect Bixby Vision-style features where the camera even shows the name of the object and makes suggestions where to buy it. After three months with the device, I only noticed AI in the camera app icon.

Imperfect but reliable

The three months flew by. People say that you can’t put a price on love, but when it comes to smartphones the talk changes (but not always, as fans of Apple and the Galaxy S series know): $ 499 for a similar device is well spent. Just keep in mind that you won’t have the best camera on the market and your photos might be disappointing at night.

But the View 10 is a great companion for enjoying videos, music, games, and for doing what you usually do with your smartphone everyday. Not to mention the presence of the headphone jack and the option of using two SIM cards at the same time, a feature that I still use with SIM cards for two different countries.

The View 10 has its flaws (it’s not waterproof, if you wear polarized glasses the display will be a mystery to you and it lacks an image stabilizer), so don’t expect to be able to work on it. But it will still be able to entertain you and prove itself to be a faithful companion.

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

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

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

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

Pro: Compact dimensions and future-proof software

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

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

Pro: On the same technical level as flagships

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

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

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

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

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

Pro: The nosedive in price

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

Conclusion after 100 days:

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

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

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

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100 days with the Huawei Mate 10 Pro: Not living up to the hype

Most smartphones, as good as they may be, end up showing signs of wear and tear. Does the Huawei Mate 10 Pro follow this trend or does it age like a fine wine? I tested this smartphone for 100 days and now it’s time to take stock. In this article you’ll find out if the device is a hero or a no-go.

Let’s just cut to the chase: am I still satisfied with the Huawei Mate 10 Pro after 100 days? The experience has been undeniably positive, but it hasn’t been perfect either. Below I’ll explain what elements I liked as well as where I was completely displeased and simply surprised.

An excellent multimedia experience

There are smartphones for all types of users and although it can be versatile, the Mate 10 Pro is clearly for multimedia fans. Its large 6-inch screen (18:9 aspect ratio) makes video playback and gaming particularly enjoyable, and although it isn’t the best available on the market, the experience is overall fantastic. The device has top-range hardware, which means that it can run any game without any problems. As far as I’m concerned, I had no slowdowns in games, and the smartphone never overheated despite the work overload.

The most positive aspect of the multimedia experience is the stereo sound: when you use the device in landscape mode, the stereo sound turns on (you can change this in the settings) to provide a better experience. This is different from what you’ll find on many of the devices that have a loudspeaker on the bottom. And the storage capacity is another element that will likely satisfy many users. And one more? The Easy Project, which isn’t necessarily as extraordinary as you’d imagine, but it does the job.

AndroidPIT Huawei Mate 10 Pro Easy Projection 8 With EasyProjection, you can game on your desktop computer. / © AndroidPIT

But (and there’s always a ‘but’) the absence of the mini-jack plug is more problematic than I imagined. When you carry your Bluetooth headset on you, it’s no problem. But on the other hand, if you forget it at home, it means that you won’t have music on your smartphone all day long. Gone are the days when you could forget your Bluetooth headphones and simply plug in your old-fashioned mini-jack headphones. It’s a bit like USB Type-C, since the technology has evolved and turned out better than what it used to be, but without the right hardware you can’t do anything. It’s a matter of developing new habits (and a better memory).

Does artificial intelligence really make a device more intelligent?

Huawei highly praises the virtues of its artificial intelligence. Its dedicated chip, the neural processing unit, aims to support the device’s CPU (up to 25 times faster) and the GPU (up to 4 times faster), all while consuming less energy. In other words, your smartphone will work more quickly. This should also result in better results with the camera and the translation app and will also generally boost application.

But how does it work in practice? The NPU chip certainly has a small effect and the photos are of a good quality (although the Pixel 2 did a better job of convincing me), and I have to admit that I am very enthusiastic about the portrait mode. To put it simply, this is a very good camera. But to what extent does the NPU chip play a role? It’s hard to tell.

AndroidPIT huawei mate 10 pro review 1836 The NPU chip works with the camera. / © AndroidPIT

With the rest of the device’s functions, it seems to boil down to one word: marketing. I don’t doubt that the chip is in there, or that it does everything Huawei says it does, but I think in daily use it doesn’t make a real difference. I’ve had the opportunity to use a lot of high-end devices and I don’t find the Mate 10 Pro to be any faster. I also don’t think the apps launch any faster or learn from my use. This may be the case, but then again I’ve only used it for a short time, so perhaps it wasn’t really noticeable.

With respect to the translation app, aside from the design it isn’t any better than Google Translate. Of course, it will be further improved (and needs to be), but in its current state it’s quite disappointing. As for the voice translation, it leaves even more to be desired.

Yes, I like it, but with some reservations

Not everything is perfect. On rare occasions the Mate 10 Pro has caused some funny scenes. I was, for example, chatting quietly on WhatsApp and suddenly the screen went black for a few seconds and then came back on the locked screen. There was also another small problem: the search for parameters on EMUI doesn’t always work very well. When I type what I’m looking for, it isn’t always able to find where it’s located. It’s a shame, because it would stop me from getting lost in the menus, especially when I’m looking for features that Huawei hasn’t fully adopted (like Smart Lock).

With that said, the camera is still excellent after 100 days. Its autonomy is also exemplary, and these qualities take precedence over the defects. Purchasers won’t regret their choice, but on the other hand, it’s not a perfect smartphone, and you’ll be occasionally reminded of it.

Have you already had experience with the Huawei Mate 10 Pro? Share them with us in the comments!

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100 days with the Pixel 2 XL: so flawless it's boring

The photos are dreamy…

I’ll start with the feature that made me fall in love with this device. It’s no secret that the Pixel 2 XL’s photographic capabilities are at the industry’s highest level, but this smartphone has entirely changed my photography habits.

I certainly don’t want to compare the quality of a photo sensor in a smartphone with that of a professional camera, because they’re still worlds apart. But this smartphone produces images of an incredible quality.

iphone x pixel 2 bokeh iPhone X has a great camera, but the Pixel 2 XL will always my first choice. / © AndroidPIT

Whether it’s thanks to a superior sensor, the use of computational photography, Pixel Visual Core processing, HDR+ technology or some strange voodoo ritual, I don’t care. Every single shot produced by this smartphone should be seen and every single image captured by this camera should live on and shouldn’t be deleted. I’m so at ease when I take photos, I can’t compare it to any other smartphone nowadays (and remember I have an iPhone X in my other pocket). I’ll explain in greater detail with a practical example.

Think about every time you have a special evening with friends or participate in some particular event. Now think about what usually happens during these moments when you’re ready to take a picture: you pull out your smartphone, open the camera, take a picture and then put your smartphone in your pocket, right? No, that’ll never work. Because every time you take a picture, you have to check whether it’s in focus, that the phone hasn’t been moved and that it came out correctly. You’ll have to delete it and take another one. That simply doesn’t happen with the Pixel 2 XL. You can take the picture and forget it.

AndroidPIT HTC U11 LG V30 Galaxy Note8 Pixel2 plus Huawei Mate10 pro 1983 There are many good smartphone cameras, but none compare to the Pixel 2 XL. / © AndroidPIT

Of course, it’s not that everyone else is suffering so horribly, but after having this smartphone for this long I’ve lost the habit of re-checking photos after I take them. I wouldn’t trade this luxury for any other feature in the world. I took some of the most beautiful photos of my entire life with the Pixel 2 XL. Plus there’s unlimited store space on Google Photos in original quality for images and videos. Google, however, doesn’t let you enter a ‘manual’ or ‘pro’ mode.

… but look at them on another device

Unfortunately, this is the case. The quality of the display calibration casts shadow on this device that otherwise has been almost perfect. And I’m not talking about the display quality, only about its calibration.

There’s nothing wrong with the display of the Pixel 2 XL. The panels are the same as those mounted on the LG V30, but the final results are completely different. The LG V30 would have been the perfect smartphone for me if only the camera didn’t produce mediocre shots (at least from what I saw after a few days of testing), but as always I’m searching for something else.

AndroidPIT lg v30 vs google pixel 2 xl 7088 LG V30 (left) and Google Pixel 2 XL (right). Same panel, two very different results. / © AndroidPIT

But to return to the Pixel 2 XL display, I don’t find it bad at all. I was recently able to closely compare it with the iPhone X OLED panel, which overall is one of the most pleasant I’ve ever seen. I noticed that the colors of the two smartphones were very close to one another when they’re compared in terms of content. The colors on the Pixel 2 XL are only slightly less saturated in a direct comparison when using the boosted color profile. When using the saturated profile, they’re only slightly too saturated and some nuances are lost, especially in the orange/red part of the spectrum. In any case the calibration is good, but there is still something lost.

I’ve continued to compare the same content on both smartphones for a while and I’ve come to the conclusion that what’s wrong is not directly in the colors. The display of the Pixel 2 XL lacks contrast, which is quite ridiculous for an OLED display. It’s true, the blacks are absolute, but the whites don’t shine and are almost always tending slightly to gray. It’s like having an Instagram filter active 24 hours a day and it’s annoying if you have a second smartphone that you can use to compare. Obviously if you use the Pixel as your only smartphone you won’t notice it at all.

AndroidPIT Google Pixel 2 XL 1654 If you use the Pixel as your only smartphone, you won’t notice the unconvincing color rendering. / © AndroidPIT

It really gets on my nerves that this flat ‘color profile’ disappears completely when you observe content in HDR. In these cases, the Google Pixel 2 XL’s display really shines with brilliant but natural colors that are worthy of the brand. It’s a pity that 99% of the content that counts for most users (including me) is not in HDR and above all that there are thousands of other things to do on a smartphone, including watching videos.

The software shows its power…

We’ve said it a million times, first for Nexus and now for Pixels: software has always been the strength of Google smartphones. In addition, this year Google decided to dare to equip its smartphones with some exclusive elements.

Some elements of the interface are slightly and imperceptibly retouched to provide something special that isn’t found on other smartphones. Some areas of the operating system (such as the notification area, lock screen and shutdown menu) have a light hue in the background. The color of the background depends on the wallpaper you’re using. The launcher, for example, has a dark mode when you set a background with mostly black tones.

AndroidPIT android O Oreo 2094 The latest Android version is just one of the software advantages of the Pixel 2 XL. / © AndroidPIT

The device moves between screens very sleekly, switches from one application to another in the blink of an eye and you’ll never notice the Pixel slowing down, even under the weight of heavier tasks. And that’s a relief. The same goes for the camera: thanks to the fact that the software is protected by Google, you can use your smartphone with more ease. Opening heavy documents, quickly scrolling through photos and videos, switching between apps to copy content or respond to messages becomes a pleasure.

The Pixel 2 XL becomes a magic tool that gives you everything you want.

I think that this is the best way to summarize what you feel using the Pixel 2 XL in your daily life: the smartphone becomes a magic tool that gives you everything you want. It even transcends being a smartphone. This is a sensation that you only feel in the Android world once you have a Pixel.

Google is aiming for an experience in which what counts are the services and not the means by which they’re reached. It also achieved this with Google Home, but not exclusively. The only other smartphone that does this at the moment is Apple’s iPhone (any recent version). And in this way you could call the Pixel 2 XL is Google’s iPhone Plus, which isn’t necessarily a good thing in all respects.

…as well as a major weakness

Every year I tried to get my hands on the latest Google smartphone right away because every year I wanted to immediately try the latest version of Android. For many years this made the first weeks with the device a pleasure.

There’s a curiosity about the new features, in addition to the pleasure of using such a fast new smartphone. But after a few months the only thing left is boredom.

AndroidPIT google pixel 2 xl vs samsung note 8 front close The Pixel 2 XL and the Galaxy Note 8 are software opposites. The former keeps only the basic functions, the latter has as many functions as possible. / © AndroidPIT

Google smartphones simply work, do whatever you need and do it well. Do you need an application to edit documents? There’s an app for that and the Pixel runs it perfectly. Need to read news? Open the store and you’ll find thousands of applications to perform this function. Internet browsing? Fast and smooth. The photos? Very good and you won’t have to mess around with the settings. Customization? There are beautiful animated backgrounds.

You can say the same things about Apple. I realized this only by talking about the Pixel 2 XL with some friends. All the things that are usually associated with the iPhone are also true for the Pixel as well.

Google has turned its smartphone into an iPhone as Android is finally ‘proofed’ to users with little experience. Anyone who takes a Pixel into their hands is able to use it easily and smoothly, but this is at the expense of the freedom of the most discerning users. True, there are launchers, mods, ROMs and those who have more of them get to see more of the benefits. But if you just use the device as it comes out of the box you’ll end up bored in a few months. This is a feeling that I used to associate only with iPhone.

Most recently, I’ve been always using stock exclusively from Android, and I’ve started to appreciate the software additions made by some manufacturers to the most popular mobile operating system in the world. Using smartphones with skins at least seems like a nice ‘change of air’.


I wanted to focus on these few elements because I think they deserved to be explained in greater detail and have left everything else for the conclusion. Once I got over my excitement for the new smartphone and the latest Android version, the Pixel 2 XL left me with contrasting feelings.

The battery has proven to be more than sufficient for my daily use and it charges quickly enough. The performance makes it a true flagship and the manufacturing is really solid, although it’s all really subjective when it comes to aesthetics. The fingerprint reader is quick, well positioned and squeezing the edges to activate Google Assistant is more useful than I ever thought it would be.

The device is able to perform its tasks in an exemplary way, and despite the fact that the price is not quite for everyone, it’s a smartphone that I’ve recommended and will continue to recommend. Sometimes, reflecting on it, I think there is nothing that prevents me from changing phones and switching to any other flagship on the market, and that does somewhat sadden and disappoint me.

AndroidPIT LG V30 iPhone 8 plus Galaxy Note 8 One Plus 5T HTC U11 Google Pixel 2 Huawei Mate 10Pro 5630 In a world populated by excellent flagship stores, why choose the Pixel 2 XL? / © AndroidPIT

But then I open Google Photos and think about the camera. This year Google has really set the bar high with its photographic elements and I can’t help but realize that being able to shoot great photos carries enormous weight in my selection of a person device.  

I don’t view myself as a photographer, but I take great pleasure in capturing moments of my life and I want to do it in the best possible way. If you then consider which smartphone camera is the best on the market and that you’re holding it in your hand, the Google Pixel 2 XL can be forgiven for any other shortcoming.

MVIMG 20171013 183439 One of the shots taken with the Pixel 2 XL. / © AndroidPIT

If I stop to think about it, that feeling of boredom that sometimes accompanies having this smartphone is actually the peace of mind that comes when everything is working flawlessly.

You never have to think about how many apps are opened for fear of slowing down the device, you do not have to continuously check the battery out of fear that it’s draining. You won’t go crazy with late notifications or accounts that don’t synchronize with each other, and you’ll never have to ask yourself if the latest apps in the Play Store are working properly.

I unconsciously take these things for granted in everyday use. Usually you notice things don’t work properly and have to change your smartphone use accordingly to get around the problem. You don’t realize when your smartphone is excelling because you don’t have a reason to stop and think about it.

For these reasons it is impossible for me to remove the SIM card from its casing and abandon this boring machine that builds lasting memories. Every flagship is able to open Facebook, send an email and surf the internet without a problem. But there’s no smartphone other than the Pixel 2 XL that I’d like to have with me when it really matters.

How do you feel about the Pixel 2 XL? Are there ways it could improve or do you also find it’s the best device on the market? Tell us what you think in the comments.

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

100 days with the Note 8: Impressive, but not for everyone

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is a wonderful smartphone. But after 100 days, every smartphone doesn’t just show its sweet side; it also starts revealing minor or major weaknesses. The Galaxy Note 8 is no exception.

When it was tested, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 was very impressive across the board and proved that it can make you forget about the Note 7. I’ve now been using the Samsung phone for quite a while to find out how it fares in everyday use in the long run. Here I’ll to introduce my five most important pros and cons of the Galaxy Note 8 after 100 days, switching back and forth between the pros and cons.

Pro: The design

Smartphones usually look very similar, so it’s hard for a design to really stand out. Samsung was able to do this with the Galaxy Note 8 in all respects. The flowing forms of the curved glass in the front and rear, the slim aluminum frame in between, hardly any display edges, everything perfectly finished – it’s just wonderful. I don’t particularly like the blue version, but the golden one looks really outstanding.

galaxy note 8 gold back The golden Galaxy Note 8 looks simply elegant. / © AndroidPIT

Con: Usability

As fancy as the Note 8 looks, it’s usability is a different story. The smartphone is simply huge, heavy and also relatively thick compared to others in its class. With such a large case, the small details are the determining factor when it comes to whether the phone will fit well in your hand. With the Galaxy Note 8, nobody who’s held the phone in their hand thought it was a success in this regard. The corners are too pronounced and the edge of the frame is too prominent. This mixture doesn’t seem to go well together. Lastly, when the Note 8 is in a case, it’s just too big for most pockets as well as for my daily use.

Pro: The display

I’ll lay all my cards on the table here: the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has the best display that is currently available among smartphones. The only exception might be the Razer Phone for gamers with its 120 Hz display, but really only specialists needs that kind of high refresh rate. The Super AMOLED panel in the new Note has everything that makes a good screen: black level, color display, contrasts, viewing angle stability, brightness– all at the next level. I would gladly see Samsung do away with the sharp edges on the corners, but they don’t bother me in the Galaxy Note 8. The display is just such a feast for the eyes. Nice work, Samsung!

Con: The biometric unblocking

Samsung has decided to offer three biometric unlocking mechanisms for the Galaxy Note 8: a fingerprint sensor, facial recognition and iris scan. These features are great in and of themselves, but I’m not that impressed with them in everyday use. Face recognition has too many problems with sunglasses, hats and especially in low lighting conditions. The iris scanner takes too long to unlock, and the phone always has to be held awkwardly in front of your face. In the end I had to use a good old PIN again, and that takes too hands because of the phone’s sheer size. Doing this several times a day is bound to strike some nerves.

Pro: The camera

The Galaxy Note 8 is one of the best smartphones on the market. In everyday life I was particularly impressed by the speed at which the smartphone focuses, triggers and saves photos. I take a lot of pictures of my frantic kids, and no other smartphone has ever led to fewer blurry pictures than the Galaxy Note 8, and the quality is also really good overall. The effect with the blurred background in portrait shots doesn’t always work, but if the phone correctly recognizes all levels of depth, the pictures come out great. Though I think the double zoom is mostly useless since I can just as easily take a step forward, if it helps me render a nice bokeh effect, that’s enough for me.

Con: The speaker

In contrast to the camera, the Galaxy Note 8’s speaker doesn’t meet high demands. The small mono speaker, which sends sound downwards, isn’t suitable for listening to music or a podcast on the go. The volume is too low and the sound is too shallow. Moreover, the smartphone speaker rattles if you really want to turn it up.

Pro: The S Pen

I’ll admit it: when Samsung unveiled the pen with the first Galaxy Note, I thought it was a pretty stupid idea. But a few generations later, I’m a real fan of the S Pen. I don’t use it everyday, but more often than I thought I would. With the Galaxy Note 8, I especially appreciate the option of taking notes on the lock screen. Even for those users who aren’t constantly drawing their masterpieces on the digital canvas, the S Pen is a sensible alternative when it comes to operating the device in a controlled way. It’s a beautiful detail that nobody besides Samsung can offer.

Con: The battery

After the Galaxy Note 7 was such a disaster, batteries are now a highly sensitive issue for Samsung. This should’ve been reason enough for the Korean brand to play it safe with the new Galaxy Note, in order to avoid outcries about burned out smartphones. It’s understandable, but still annoying for users that the Galaxy Note 8 doesn’t have the best endurance. This is a real disadvantage, especially since the smartphone is primarily intended for high-demand users who use devices frequently. Although the Note 8 never let me down before the end of any given day, the battery also wasn’t able to pleasantly surprise me. Things were different with the earlier Notes.

Pro: The performance

The Samsung Exynos 8895, which is built into the Galaxy Note 8, is one of the strongest smartphone chips on the market and can easily cope with any application out there. The 6 GB of memory ensure that you’ll never get the feeling that the phone is too slow. Samsung also did a bit of work on the software. Just a few years ago, the Samsung interface acted a bit like a brake pad and many users were bothered by the expensive flagship’s jerks and delays. Those days are long gone, and Samsung’s attachment to Android doesn’t affect the Note 8’s performance. So you can rest assured that this phone won’t weigh you down in a few years’ time.

AndroidPIT Samsung NOTE 8 GOLD 4385 The Note 8 has perfect performance, but where’s Oreo? / © AndroidPIT

Con: Updates

It’s 2018. Android 8 Oreo is already four months old. It’s ridiculous that the smartphone industry leader still hasn’t been able to manage to update its most expensive flagships with the latest Google software. Even a Galaxy smartphone that comes with Oreo is still not in sight. But it does seem like Samsung is pushing itself to finally support Project Treble. The bottom line is that a luxury class smartphone like the Galaxy Note 8 should have reasonable software support, and Samsung still doesn’t have it.

Conclusion: A phone for everything, but not for everyone

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 hasn’t disappointed me in everyday use. I’ve quite enjoyed look at the fantastic display and scribbling with the pen. The performance is also outstanding in all respects, there’s no doubt about that. Nevertheless, I didn’t have a hard time putting my SIM back into another smartphone, especially one that’s a bit smaller, more comfortable and more convenient. But the bottom line is that it’s a matter of taste. If you’re into really big smartphones and don’t shy away from the disadvantages of an XXL format, you’ll be pretty happy with the Galaxy Note 8.

What do you think of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8? Are you completely satisfied with it or do you you still think there’s room for improvement?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

13 DAYS OF LIFE v13 b23 Mod Apk Full Download

13 DAYS OF LIFE v13 b23 Mod Apk Full Download
Hi guys. After leaving his hometown, closed in himself, after the death of his parents, Mark moved in the little place called Sallen Town, where he wants to start a new life…

You can buy this game for a fee in the Android store. (apkxmod.org) You can also download FREE from the link below.

Game Name: 13 DAYS OF LIFE
Category: Android Games Download
Game Type: Action
Release Date: 19.01.2018
Language: English
Size: 60.7 MB
Developer Company: THIRTEENDAYS
File Type: .apk
Price Status: FREE

What’s In The MOD APK:

googleplay logo

Found files “ESET NOD32” virus scanning is done with the program.

Download Link
MOD APK Download
Alternative Link
MOD APK Download

Android APK Download

OnePlus 5T unboxing video leaked days ahead of launch

The OnePlus 5T launch is right around the corner, and one reviewer seems to have gotten a little ahead of himself by leaking an unboxing video early. The video was posted and then taken down for obvious reasons, but has since been re-uploaded by others. Check it out below.

The OnePlus 5T is due to be launched just days from now, on November 16 in New York. The livestream will happen at 11:00 AM, and you can watch it here. Though, there won’t be much left to be surprised about at launch, especially if you watch this leaked unboxing video from YouTube vlogger Karl Conrad:

As you can see from the unboxing above, the OnePlus 5T won’t differ much from the OnePlus 5. Except this time around, no one will accuse OnePlus’ latest of looking dated, as it’s all screen. The brand’s first 18:9 smartphone will be FHD+ (2,160 x 1,080) rather than QHD, according to a previous specs leak. To accommodate the larger display and tinier bezels, the fingerprint scanner has migrated to the back to an easily reachable position.

Opinion by Brittany McGhee

The OnePlus 5T looks less dated than its predecessor.

What do you think?

11 participants

All in all, it’s a 2017 flagship that looks the part, and it has killer specs just like the OnePlus 5. As always with OnePlus, the price tag will be reasonable at around $ 500-600. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the OnePlus 5T leaks and rumors here on AndroidPIT.

What do you think of the design? Will you buy the OnePlus 5T?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT