BlackBerry KEYOne Black Edition with more storage

Keyboard enthusiasts among smartphone fans finally got something new with the release of the TCL-produced Blackberry KEYOne earlier this year. At IFA 2017, the manufacturer has unveiled the KEYOne in a Black Edition, which doesn’t just shine because of its all-black housing.

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The Blackberry KEYOne Black Edition not only received exterior changes, but internal ones as well. Instead of 32 GB of internal storage, this keyboard smartphone now has 64 GB under the hood. Nonetheless, there’s still a microSD slot for expansion. Its RAM was also increased from 3 GB to 4GB. The Blackberry KEYOne’s remaining hardware remains unchanged in the Black Edition.

It will be released in the UK, Germany, France, Canada and a few other countries this quarter at a price of 649 EUR, with more countries in Europe, Asia, and Latin America to follow later in the year. The US was notably missing from the list. The original version of the Blackberry KEYOne was released earlier this year at $ 549 and has retained much of its value; the price has not considerably dropped to date. Despite its very high cost, the KEYOne is very much beloved, and Blackberry has been able to sell just about one million units.

BlackBerry KEYone technical specifications

Dimensions: 149.3 x 72.5 x 9.4 mm
Weight: 180 g
Battery size: 3505 mAh
Screen size: 4.5 in
Screen: 1680 x 1080 pixels (433 ppi)
Front camera: 8 megapixels
Rear camera: 12 megapixels
Flashlight: Dual-LED
Android version: 7.1 – Nougat
RAM: 3 GB
Internal storage: 32 GB
Removable storage: microSD
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 625
Number of cores: 8
Max. clock speed: 2 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2

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Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro review: more evolution than revolution

Samsung didn’t miss an opportunity to drop hints about its new fitness tracker during the Galaxy Note 8 launch event, but now that the IFA is literally around the corner, it’s permitted itself to flaunt this wearable in all its glory. Designed to be the successor to the Gear Fit 2, the Gear Fit 2 Pro is quite simply an improved and updated Gear Fit 2. However, Samsugn has thrown a few innovations on board, which perhaps explains why Samsung wasn’t keen to change the number of the device.

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Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro release date and price

The Gear Fit 2 Pro is expected to hit the shelves soon, September 15 to be precise, and will sell for just under $ 200.

Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro design and build quality

While Samsung is keen to show off its latest gadget, it hasn’t made any profound changes compared to last year’s model. The Gear Fit 2 Pro looks really similar to its predecessor. Samsung has maintained the idea of a connected bracelet consisting of a single component whereby the screen and the bracelet are one piece. The Pro version adopts a slightly less regular design with ribs or angles on the bracelet. The bracelet strap is the same as before, with a buckle fastener. The bracelet itself has been slightly revised to better withstand activities in the wet.

samsung gear fit 2 pro colors The design of the Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro has barely changed. © AndroidPIT

In the middle, you get a nice 1.5″ curved screen. There are two buttons on the right to help you navigate through the menu. As with the Gear Sport, one button allows you to go back, while the other gives you access to the menu or go back to the home screen. On the back of the Gear Fit 2 Pro, there is an optical heart rate sensor, which detects your heart rate every second.

samsung gear fit 2 pro heart rate The heart rate sensor is more accurate on the Gear Fit 2 Pro. © AndroidPIT

On your wrist, the fitness tracker feels very comfortable. It weighs a meager 30 grams and it is less cumbersome than the Gear Fit 2 Pro, making it a perfect accessory for sports. The build and the finishes are decent and up to the level we’ve come to expect from this brand.

Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro display

Like the Gear Fit 2, the Gear Fit 2 Pro comes with a 1.5″ curved Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 216 x 432 pixels (310 pixels per inch). Samsung had the good idea to cover the screen with Gorilla Glass 3 to offer more resistance in case you drop the watch. The screen still offers the same level of comfort with excellent contrast. The readability is excellent, even in full light. The vertical display makes it easy to read and the screen’s responsiveness has proven to be flawless.

samsung gear fit 2 pro endomondo The Gear Fit2 Pro displays information vertically. © AndroidPIT

Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro special features

With this Pro model, Samsung has fixed one of the main defects from the first generation of this wearable: although the Gear Fit 2 had the IP68 certification, you couldn’t swim with it. Samsung has addressed this issue with the Gear Fit 2 Pro as it now comes with a pressure resistance of 5 ATM. You can now go for it with your Gear Fit 2 Pro strapped to your wrist in the swimming pool. To mark this new feature, Samsung has teamed up with Speedo (a sports equipment manufacturer specializing in swimming) to integrate a Speedo app that’s capable of tracking the user’s movements while swimming.

In addition to its aquatic capabilities, the Gear Fit 2 Pro has built-in GPS so you can use it during your activities without a smartphone. The connected bracelet is also able to automatically detect when you start a sports session and should also be able to detect the type of activity you are doing. Moreover, thanks to its 4GB of internal memory, you can even listen to music. Samsung also added compatibility with Spotify’s offline mode to listen to your favorite playlists while you exercise.

While we’re on the topic of partnerships, the Gear Fit 2 Pro also offers the app and services from Under Armor free to its users for 1 year. You can get a whole host of training programs through this app. Watch out though because some badly executed moves might do you more harm than good. Finally, the fitness tracker also allows you to use services like MapMyRun, MyFitnessPal and Endomondo to track your itineraries, calories and share your performances.

Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro software

Like the Gear Sport, the Gear Fit 2 Pro has the new Tizen 3.0 operating system. However, the developments on this bracelet aren’t obvious. Despite this, the fluidity of the Gear Fit 2 Pro is still good. It’s easy to navigate, the information displays correctly (heart rate, calories burned, exercise in progress, number of steps, number of steps climbed, number of coffees ingested, etc.). 

Fortunately, you can also use the bracelet from an iPhone. The Gear Fit 2 Pro is compatible with the iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, SE, 5 running iOS 9.0 at least and also Galaxy smartphones running Android 4.3 (and higher) and Android smartphones running Android 4.4 at least.

Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro performance

Under the hood of Gear Fit 2 Pro, there is a dual-core 1 GHz processor with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal memory. As with the Gear Fit 2, the new version also features an optical heart rate monitor, GPS, gyroscope, barometer and accelerometer to measure all your physical activities.

Like for other fitness trackers, you should take this information with a pinch of salt. These are often estimates.

samsung gear sport The Gear Fit2 Pro (left) vs the Gear Sport (right). © AndroidPIT

Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro battery

The Gear Fit2 Pro has a battery of 200 mAh, as did its predecessor. If the bracelet behaves the same way as before, you can reasonably expect a 2 day battery life under conditions of intensive use.

Samsung also kept the charging system. The bracelet can be recharged on a small magnetized proprietary terminal.

Early Verdict

With no real innovation, at first glance the Gear Fit 2 Pro seems to be a welcome update of Gear Fit 2. Samsung has corrected the major flaw in its connected bracelet by providing it with aquatic abilities now. Some partnerships have been added to enrich its tracking capabilities and its price hasn’t changed. The Gear Fit 2 Pro has everything to seduce people looking for a more luxurious fitness tracker with the same screen and ergonomics.

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Poll results: Google Duo may be more popular than you think

Google Duo is a video calling app, and it’s been around for around a year now, competing against Skype and FaceTime. It has reached 100 million downloads, but is it actually being used? That’s what we aimed to find out in our recent poll. Here are the results:

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Google Duo has really been gaining popularity, but 100 million downloads in the Play Store doesn’t necessarily mean 100 million active users. It’s competing against giants like WhatsApp, FaceTime, Skype, Facebook Messenger and Google’s own Hangouts. Can it get the edge over them with it’s advantages, like the minimalist interface or the recent addition of audio calls and other features?

The poll results show that Google Duo really does have a strong following. People aren’t just downloading it, they’re using it as their primary way to make voice calls and video calls! In fact, 40 percent of the over 300 voters chose it as the app they use most for calling. WhatsApp came in second place with a quarter of the vote, which I expected to be higher since it’s what I use most. 11 percent of respondents don’t do video calls at all, which is the same number of people who still use Skype. Following apps those were Hangouts with 6 percent, ‘Other’ with 5 percent and FaceTime with 2 percent. In the ‘Other’ category, one voter commented that they prefer Wire because it doesn’t require you to give your phone number and offers end-to-end encryption by default.

google duo poll results com The results of the original poll. / © AndroidPIT

In the future, Duo will be even better. Android O will bring picture-in-picture features so you can multi-task while on a video call. And we can only hope Google will come to their senses and merge it with Allo. There’s just no sense in having two separate apps. 

How often do you use Duo? What features should Google add? Tell us in the comments! And if you haven’t tried Duo yet, give it a shot!

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Best keyboard apps for Android: type faster and have more fun

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AndroidPIT Google keyboard The Google keyboard is a solid option that didn’t quite make this list. / © AndroidPIT

SwiftKey

You’re probably familiar with, or at least know about, SwiftKey’s Android keyboard app. A few months ago the company rebuilt the entire app to make it smarter with its predictions, as well as adding a couple of other neat features. The main bulk of what you should know though is that it offers predictions for key-by-key and swipe input and a variety of different sized keyboards to fit all needs, you can’t freely resize it though, as you can on some.

There’s also a good range of default themes you can apply to the keyboard, and if you want more there’s a whole theme store where you can buy them individually or in packs. You can also choose to enable a separate number row across the top of the keyboard, or integrate the numbers into the top row of letters. SwiftKey is also a good option if you need to install a number of different languages too.

The thrust of its appeal, however, is in the accuracy of predictions, which will continue to improve as you use it. SwiftKey isn’t the most exciting option on this list, but it’s been around a long time now and provides a dependable, customizable option.

Add in stats for most frequently used words (and which categories they come from) you can see how much time you’ve saved by using SwiftKey, so there’s enough to warrant checking it out if you haven’t recently.

androidpit swiftkey 2016 SwiftKey’s Android app has a whole range of neat features. / © AndroidPIT SwiftKey Keyboard Install on Google Play

Microsoft Hub Keyboard (Preview)

Microsoft’s Hub keyboard might seem like an odd option in this list, but it brings some options that will be of particular interest to users tied into Microsoft’s software ecosystem via Office365. You may have also guessed that it focuses more on delivering productivity over fun. 

As such, if you sign in with your Office365 account you’ll be able to search your documents or contacts directly from the keyboard. Even if you don’t, the options shown above the otherwise mostly standard QWERTY include quick access to the clipboard, Web search (Bing, naturally) and thesaurus tools. Perhaps the best part is the ability to get live translations from one language to another as you type. 

However, while it’s smart in some ways, it’s pretty limited in others – primarily the ability to customize the layout or theme. You can switch to a dark theme but that’s your only other option and there aren’t any size controls for the keyboard at all, which could make it a poor option for larger phones.

It is free though.

androidpit microsoft hub Microsoft’s Hub keyboard is functional, but doesn’t offer many customizable options. / © AndroidPIT Hub Keyboard, Preview Install on Google Play

Swiftmoji

Yes, yes, it is the second keyboard from SwiftKey in this list but it also happens to be one of the better emoji keyboards available on Android. While it’s not the same feature-laden affair the main app is, it does offer up predictive emoji based on the words (and context of the words) as you’re typing, which comes in handy if you find yourself using them a lot. While it’s not perfect, it’s pretty good for a free app.

It doesn’t offer access to the same level of customization as with SwiftKey, though you can still select from preset color schemes or enable a Dark Mode at night. You also get some of the same stats available in the main SwiftKey app, like taps saved, words swiped, etc.

As with the main app, for the best predictions you’ll need to sign in, give it permission to access your messages and use it for a while.

androidpit swiftmoji Swiftmoji offers up predictive emoji based on your input. / © AndroidPIT Swiftmoji – Emoji Keyboard Install on Google Play

Minuum

Minuum is a little different to others in this list, as rather than employ a swiping method in conjuction with a predictive word engine that’s really pretty smart. Its main way of doing this is by reducing the multi-line qwerty into just two lines of characters, which is where the smart predictions come in handy as this means you don’t need to hit the right letters very often. 

You can, of course, use Minuum in its non-minimized mode too. Here you get the full keypad and numbers, but the main thrust of the keyboard is that small row of minimized keys. You can also access different emoji from both expanded and minimized keyboard modes, and switching between modes is as easy as dragging the keyboard up or down.

It’s a potentially unnatural way to use a keyboard when you first try it but, providing you stick with it, you’ll almost certainly get faster. Whether or not you’ll be able to go back to a normal keyboard so efficiently is a different question. It does offer support for a range of languages and the ability to change the keyboard theme too, and there’s an option that changes multiple times throughout the days automatically.

Now for the stinger: it’s not free. Well, there’s a free 30 day trial, but if you want to keep using all the features after that you’ll need to pay $ 2.99. You should be able to work out if it’s useful to you within 30 days though. 

androidpit minuum keyboard Minuum’s single row of keys is a novel approach to an Android keyboard, if you can get used to it. / © AndroidPIT Minuum Keyboard Free + Emoji Install on Google Play

Chrooma

Chrooma is one of the lesser known keyboards in this list but it’s definitely one of the most customizable. That said, you’ll need to either pay for individual in-app purchases or opt for a one-off fee of $ 2.49 if you want to unlock all of the options. If you do choose to pay for those features or perhaps just want to sync your preferences between devices, you’ll need to sign in with a Google account. 

Even if you don’t pay for anything or sign in with your Google credentials, Chrooma is still fairly customizable in different ways and provides a wide feature set that makes it a good all-rounder. For example, you can input letters individually or use swipe input without needing to change any settings and the word predictions are fairly solid, though not always perfect. Plus it has all the staples like emoji support and a simple night mode.

Perhaps best though is the thought that’s been put into accessing the options. Yes, you can go to the main Settings menu within the app, but you don’t need to thanks to gesture support for common functions, like switching between one-handed mode with just a swipe of the keyboard in either direction or changing the keyboard color without switching themes.  

androidpit chrooma keyboard Chrooma’s keyboard has some well thought out options. / © AndroidPIT Chrooma GIF Keyboard Install on Google Play

Tenor GIF Keyboard

Tenor GIF is probably one of the most fun keyboards in this list, and that’s because (as the name implies) it’s all about GIFs. That, however, doesn’t make it unique. What does make it unique its ability to show them to you really quickly, which means no more waiting around to for GIFs to load only to find you need to tweak your search terms.

It’s different to the others ones on the list as it doesn’t provide its own keyboard as such. You use whichever one you prefer and Tenor GIF extends the functionality by allowing you to search and insert a GIF by typing the # and then a search term. It supports searching by GIF too. 

In this instance, as is my preference, I’ve used it alongside Swiftmoji. This means I’ve got access to GIFs, emoji, swipe or type input and a few customization options all within my keyboard setup. You might prefer a more productivity-focused approach though.

If you don’t use Swiftmoji, you can still search by GIF by tapping the icon next to the trending tap in the Tenor GIF popup. 

tenorgif Tenor GIF makes it simple to use GIFs anywhere. / © AndroidPIT GIF Keyboard by Tenor Install on Google Play

Gboard

The Google keyboard offers a simple and clean interface, but also many smart features. In addition to a modern look, the text-to-speech function allows you to write messages with your voice, and it recognizes many different languages. This keyboard is found by default on Nexus and Pixel smartphones. Just like Swiftkey, Google’s keyboard remembers everything you type and is able to optimize its suggestions.

AndroidPIT best keyboard apps 1625 Gboard in action. / © ANDROIDPIT Gboard – the Google Keyboard Install on Google Play

Swype

Swype is one of the first to have launched a swiping keyboard for Android. Overall, it offers the same thing as SoftKey, but with somewhat different ergonomics. The application also uses Artificial Intelligence to learn your writing style and adapt its suggestions, even for emoji. The interface is very clean.

There is a wide variety of options, including an intriguing “thumb” mode that creates a space between the left half and the right half of the keyboard. In addition, it is excellent for managing multiple languages ​​and is one of the only keyboards on which you do not need to manually switch between them. Simply select the languages ​​you want to use in the settings, and text predictions and special characters will automatically work for all languages. It’s very clever.

AndroidPIT best keyboard apps 1621 Swype has a lot of great options. / © ANDROIDPIT Swype Keyboard Install on Google Play

Fleksy

Fleksy allows you to write messages quickly, without sacrificing your desire to personalize your phone. Forget the old and boring black and white keyboards! Say hello to color! Many themes are available free of charge from the application, or there are paid ones if you so desire.

Fleksy, also allows you to send emoji, stickers and GIFs directly from the keyboard. You can also select predicted words as you type or customize the size of the spacebar to suit your needs. Finally, you can swipe to access different features, like autocorrect.

AndroidPIT keyboard fleksy hero 2 This is Fleksy. / © ANDROIDPIT Fleksy + GIF Keyboard Install on Google Play

What’s your favorite Android keyboard? Let us know in the comments below!

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Smartphone screens explained: display types, resolutions and more

Resolution

One major consideration when we talk about smartphone screens can largely be boiled down to the resolution of the display, and as a rough guide, larger numbers are better here. Encompassed within this ‘resolution’ category is the size of the screen (in inches), the number of pixels (how much information it can show) and how densely those pixels are packed, referred to as Pixels Per Inch (ppi)

If you know the size of the display, you can work out how many pixels are squeezed into one square inch: that’s the pixels per inch (ppi) figure, which is referred to as pixel density. You can easily calculate your phone’s ppi using a pixel density calculator.

We’ve got the major bases covered below, but will start with HD resolution or higher as that’s what most smartphones ship with now. You might also want to pay attention to the stated ‘nits’ too, which is a rating of brightness for displays.

Resolution

Resolution Number of pixels
(Horizontal x Vertical)
Names

Example handsets

‘True’ 4K 4096 x 2160 4K, Cinema 4K, True 4K None
4K Ultra HD 3840 x 2160 4K, Ultra HD, 4K Ultra HD Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
2K 2560 x 1440 2K HTC 10, Nexus 6P, Moto Z, Galaxy S7, LG V20
1080p 1920 x 1080 Full HD, FHD, HD High Definition OnePlus 3, Sony Xperia X, Huawei P9, iPhone 7 Plus
720p 1280 x 720 HD, High Definition Moto G4 Play, Galaxy J3, Xperia M4 Aqua

HD

HD stands for high definition. HD simply means a pixel measurement of 1280 x 720 pixels. No matter how large the screen is, as long as the pixel measurement remains at this measurement, it’s an HD display.

As you can probably tell, the smaller the HD screen the higher the pixel density and, theoretically, the better the picture. So simply having an HD display doesn’t mean much, as it will produce a very different image on a 5-inch screen form a 10-inch screen (note: screen sizes are measured on the diagonal to take account of slightly different aspect ratios).

On a 4.3-inch screen, for example, the pixel density is 342 ppi. On a 4.7-inch screen, the pixel density drops to 312 ppi, but both are still HD displays. According to Apple, 300 ppi is the sweet spot, because that is roughly the point at which the human eye stops being able to discern individual pixels at a certain viewing distance (and on a certain sized screen).

AndroidPIT moto g4 play review 4254 The Moto G4 Play has a 720p display. / © AndroidPIT

Full HD

Full HD is the next step up and is currently the standard for smartphone display definition, although 2K (QHD) has been gaining traction on high-end devices since the Oppo Find 7 and LG G3, the first commercially available devices to have QHD screens.

Full HD measures 1920 x 1080 pixels. Again, the pixel density will depend on how large the screen is overall. With smartphones at the 5-inch mark, the pixel density sits around 440 ppi, while on a 5.5-inch screen that number drops to 400 ppi.

androidpit oneplus 3t screen1 The OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3t both have 1080p screens. / © ANDROIDPIT

QHD, Quad HD or 2K

QHD stands for Quad HD, which is four times the definition of standard HD. That means you can fit the same number of pixels as four HD displays into a QHD display of the same size. The pixel measurement for QHD is 2560 x 1440 pixels. A 5.5-inch QHD display has a pixel density of 538 ppi. For comparison, the pixel density of a 5.5-inch Full HD screen is 400 ppi. 

Definitions are also often referred to by the smaller number of the pixel measurement, so HD will sometimes be called 720p, Full HD gets called 1080p and so on. With QHD though, the 2K name comes from the fact that the bigger of the pixel measurements is over 2000 pixels, which can admittedly be a bit confusing (and really ought to be referred to as 2.5K, if we were being entirely accurate).

Many current phones from Samsung, Motorola, Huawei and other big name handset makers include 2K displays now as standard.

AndroidPIT oneplus 3 vs Nexus 6P 8097 The Nexus 6P has a higher resolution display than the OnePlus 3. / © AndroidPIT

4K or Ultra HD

You can probably see where this is going. Like 2K, the 4K name comes from the larger of the two pixel measurements, which are, technically speaking, 4096 pixels in 4K and only 3840 pixels in Ultra HD. So while these two terms are often used interchangeably, they are actually a little bit different.

Ultra HD is 3860 x 2160 pixels and 4K is 4096 x 2160. Both definitions frequently get shortened to 2160p and the pixel difference is relatively marginal, but there is a difference. One of the first handsets to launch with a ‘4k’ display was Sony’s Xperia Z5 Premium, which offered Ultra HD resolution on a 5.5-inch screen.

Sony refers to this display as 4K, but it actually uses the smaller measurement of Ultra HD, “not real” 4K definition. Nevertheless, the Z5 Premium has a pixel density of 806 ppi – far beyond what many smartphones offer, and beyond what many people would say is necessary. Samsung’s upcoming S8 is rumored to include a 4K Ultra HD display too.

Androidpit Xperia Z5 Premium 11 Some people would say 4K on a phone is overkill. / © AndroidPIT

Resolution trends

While smartphone screens keep getting bigger, there hasn’t been the race to 4K from handset makers that we might have expected a year ago. As it stands, pretty much only Sony’s Z5 Premium is still the only one available.

Instead, what has become the norm at the top of the market is a 2K panel, rather than a higher resolution option. This, among other reasons, probably has a lot to do with concerns about power, as larger, higher-resolution displays demand ever more. With smartphone battery life already a sore topic for many, handset makers seem reluctant to make that leap just yet.

However, 2017 could well be the year that we’ll see more Ultra HD-equipped handsets going on sale.

Panel types

There are many display types used in smartphones: LCD, OLED, AMOLED, Super AMOLED, TFT, IPS and a few others that are less frequently found on smartphones nowadays, like TFT-LCD.

One of the most frequently found on mid-to-high range phones now is IPS-LCD. But what do these all mean?

ips lcd vs super amoled vs tft lcd There are many different types of smartphone display. / © MobileArena

LCDs

LCD means Liquid Crystal Display, and its name refers to the array of liquid crystals illuminated by a backlight, and their ubiquity and relatively low-cost makes them a popular choice for smartphones and many other devices.

LCDs also tend to perform quite well in direct sunlight, as the entire display is illuminated from behind, but does suffer from potentially less accurate color representation than displays that don’t require a backlight.

Within smartphones, you have both TFT and IPS displays. TFT stands for Thin Film Transistor, an advanced version of LCD that uses an active matrix (like the AM in AMOLED). Active matrix means that each pixel is attached to a transistor and capacitor individually.

The main advantage of TFT is its relatively low production cost and increased contrast when compared to traditional LCDs. The disadvantage of TFT LCDs is higher energy demands than some other LCDs and less impressive viewing angles and color reproduction. Its for these reasons, and falling costs of alternative options, that TFTs are less regularly used in smartphones now.

IPS stands for In-Plane Switching and it is a further improvement on TFT LCDs that delivers better color reproduction and, most notably, improved viewing angles than TFT-LCDs. It does this by using two transistors for each pixel combined with a more powerful backlight, but the downside is that they require more power than other types of non-LCD display. They generally use less power than a TFT display still though. 

There are other acronyms you many see combined with IPS too, like IPS-NEO. In that case, it’s a proprietary name for a technology created by JDI that claims to eliminate backlight leakage, but it works in the same essential way as any other IPS-LCD display.

AndroidPIT huawei p9 1643 The Huawei P9 uses an IPS-NEO LCD display. / © AndroidPIT

AMOLED

AMOLED stands for Active Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode. While this may sound complicated it actually isn’t. We already encountered the active matrix in TFT LCD technology, and OLED is simply a term for another thin-film display technology.

OLED is an organic material that, like the name implies, emits light when a current is passed through it. As opposed to LCD panels, which are back-lit, OLED displays are ‘always off’ unless the individual pixels are electrified.

This means that OLED displays have much purer blacks and consume less energy when black or darker colors are displayed on-screen. However, lighter-colored themes on AMOLED screens use considerably more power than an LCD using the same theme. OLED screens are also more expensive to produce than LCD.

Because the black pixels are ‘off’ in an OLED display, the contrast ratios are also higher than LCD screens. AMOLED displays have a very fast refresh rate too, but on the down side are not quite as visible in direct sunlight as backlit LCDs. Screen burn-in and diode degradation (because they are organic) are other factors to consider.

On the positive side, AMOLED screens can be made thinner than LCDs (because they don’t require a backlit layer) and they can also be made flexible.

androidpit samsung galaxy s7 edge pearl black Samsung’s Galaxy S range currently uses Super AMOLED displays. / © AndroidPIT

What’s the difference between OLED, AMOLED and Super AMOLED

OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode, and an OLED display is comprised of thin sheets electroluminescent material, the main benefit of which is they produce their own light, and so don’t require a backlight, which cuts down on energy requirements. OLED displays are more commonly referred to as AMOLED displays when used on smartphones or TVs.

As we’ve already covered, the AM part of AMOLED stands for Active Matrix, which is different again from a Passive Matrix OLED (P-OLED), though these are less common in smartphones.

Super AMOLED is the name given by Samsung to its displays that used to only be found in high-end models, but have now trickled down to more modestly specced devices. Like IPS LCDs, Super AMOLED improves upon the basic AMOLED premise by integrating the touch response layer into the display itself, rather than as an extra layer on top.

As a result, Super AMOLED displays handle sunlight better than AMOLED displays and also require less power. As the name implies, Super AMOLED is simply a better version of AMOLED. It’s not all just marketing bluster either: Samsung’s displays are regularly reviewed as some of the best around.

samsung display amoled maybe galaxy s8 While Samsung favors Super AMOLED displays, most use LCD. / © AndroidPIT

Retina

Retina is another marketing term, this time from Apple. A Retina display is not defined by a specific characteristic, other than that it is supposedly of sufficient resolution that the human eye can’t discern pixels at a normal viewing distance and has a pixel density over 300 ppi. As we already know though, Apple doesn’t measure ppi in the same way as other handset makers.

This measurement obviously changes depending on the size and resolution of the display. Apple popularized the Retina concept with the iPhone 4, which had a 960 x 640 pixel resolution on a 3.5-inch IPS LCD screen, resulting in 330 pixels per square inch (ppi).

Considering a 5.5-inch QHD display is fairly common on high-end Android phones these days and devices like the S7 Edge have 534 ppi, Apple had to ultimately capitulate on its belief that 300 ppi is plenty, which ultimately led to the iPhone 6 Plus offering a Full HD display with a pixel density of 401 ppi. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus offer 326 ppi and 401 ppi respectively.

AndroidPIT iphone 7 vs google pixel 0751 Apple’s iPhone range doesn’t strive for high ppi ratings. / © AndroidPIT

Which display type is better?

As we have seen, each term is not restricted to one manufacturer: AMOLED is not always Samsung and Retina is not always Apple (although no one else uses the term). iPhone IPS LCD displays are currently manufactured by LG, Samsung has built displays for the iPad and not all Samsung devices are AMOLED either. This is not simply a case of which display is better: it’s a trade-off between pros and cons.

The point of all this is basically to say two things: numbers and technical data are worth considering when comparing the screens on two smartphones, but the real-world performance of these displays is more important. It’s impossible to gauge a display on paper, but you really need to see it in real life to know if it is too cool or warm for you, whether you like its saturation, brightness or contrast levels, what its viewing angles are like, and so on.

Lastly, be aware of your usage habits and select a display accordingly: if you are a couch potato by night and are desk-bound all day, then the daylight viewing benefits of LCDs are probably not so important to you. If you’re an outdoors type, then maybe they are.

If you’re crazy about squeezing every drop of life out of your battery or are simply obsessed with eye-popping color and contrast, then take a look at AMOLED.

Do you have a favorite type of display? Have you noticed the difference between the different types of display available? Let us know in the comments below!

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Lenovo Moto Z2 Force: specs, release date, features and more

With big name launches in recent weeks from the likes of Samsung, information is now starting to trickle out about a possible successor to the Lenovo Moto Z. We’ll update this article as details continue to surface, leading up to the unveiling on July 25.

Lenovo Moto Z2 Force: release date and price

The original Moto Z Force, which was exclusive to Verizon in the US and didn’t ship to Europe, was announced in June last year, which ties the timing for these leaks in pretty neatly. We expect the Moto Z2 Force to be unveiled on July 25. The Moto Z Force 2 will, if keeping to a similar approach, cost upwards of $ 700. 

Opinion by Ben Woods

$ 700 is a reasonable price for this device

What do you think?

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Moto Z2 leak The Moto Z2 Force leaked images show a smaller camera bump.  / © Onleaks @Slashleaks

Lenovo Moto Z2 Force: design and appearance

While early leaked images of the purported Moto Z2 Force seem to show a handset that keeps to the same overall design as the Moto Z, meaning a super-slim glass chassis design. 

The square fingerprint sensor appears to have been replaced with the now more commonplace ‘pill’ shaped sensor. Changes have also been made on the rear, which are detailed below. 

Lenovo Moto Z2 Force: software and UI

With the original Moto Z Force now updated to Android Nougat, we’d expect the new version to launch with at least that, if not the newer Android O build, which is set to be fully detailed at Google I/O next month. 

If the successor device remains exclusive to Verizon Wireless, we’d expect to see the usual array of pre-installed bloatware that you’ll probably never use. 

Lenovo Moto Z2 Force: performance

At this stage, it’s too early to have an indication of performance, but judging from the specs of last year’s model, we’d expect it to be a premium device, and thus perform as you’d expect. 

Lenovo Moto Z2 Force: camera

On the back of the device, current leaks suggest that the single camera sensor has been replaced by a dual-sensor arrangement. Unfortunately, the camera still doesn’t appear to sit flush with the back of the device, making for a smaller overhang than previously, but an overhang nonetheless. 

Lenovo Moto Z2 Force: battery

Last year’s model had a huge 3,500mAh battery pack, so we’d expect at least the same level of power out of the Z2 Force. At this stage, no battery details have surfaced, however. 

Are you looking forward to the Moto Z2 Force? Let us know in the comments below!

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Tower Conquest v22.00.09g Apk Моd (Unlimited Gem & More)

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Bleach: Brave Souls Apk v5.1.1 Mod (God Mod & More)

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Bleach: Brave Souls Apk v5.1.1 Mod (God Mod & More) Android Action Games From Apkdlmod Download with direct link Apk Mods.  Unleash each Bleach character’s unique special moves to carve your way to victory. Special moves are fully voiced by the original Japanese anime voice actors.

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