Don’t do these 7 things when buying a smartphone


Don’t fall for the advertisements

There it is, in the newspaper you’re reading or in the commercial break of your favorite TV show. A perfect shot of a beautiful smartphone spinning in great lighting. Choreographed dancers, celebrities and everyday people fawning over the device in every scene. Ads are here to manipulate you. 

xiaomi mi6 ceramic 01 Where are the fingerprint smudges? / © Xiaomi

By only showing you a device in the best possible light, you don’t know what it will look like once it has been covered with fingerprints, if you can play your favorite games on it or if the battery is long lasting. In the end, ads can only make you aware of a device, and not teach you much about it.

Don’t fall for the sales pitch

If you’re a salesperson, try not to be offended, as we wouldn’t want to paint all of you with the same brush. There are some sales representatives at carriers who are well-intentioned and know what they’re talking about. But, the vast majority care more about their sales targets, commissions and bonuses than helping you choose the right device for your needs. 

So, it’s important to be careful, especially if you don’t know much about technology. If that’s the case, bring a knowledgeable friend who can help ask the right questions and keep the salespeople from pushing you into what “sells more” or what “everyone is buying”. Don’t fall into the trap or let anyone pressure you.

AndroidPIT Xiaomi Shop Barcelona 6630 Ready to sell. / © AndroidPIT

Don’t buy from the first shop you go to

By all means, go into a store and try out some phones to help you pick the one that fits your price range, performance needs and design wants. But, if you find a winner, don’t buy it there! Even if you need a new phone urgently, you should do an hour of internet research and price comparison first.

Buying from a carrier store is very likely to make you lose money. You have to check both online and in-store to compare prices and plans. Doing this, even just briefly, could save you hundreds of dollars.

Don’t pick the most expensive or the cheapest

The iPhone X costs the most, so it must be the best, right? Don’t run out and buy it. You don’t want to spend a lot of money, so buying the cheapest phone is fine, right? Think again. Neither option is a good idea, you’ll throw away money by choosing either one.

AndroidPIT iPhone X 6036 Is it worth the price? / © AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova

You can lose money by even buying the cheapest option. How is this possible? The device could break much earlier than expected and have to be replaced. Cheap is expensive, as they say. Of course, on the other hand, it’s more obvious that you would lose money by picking the most expensive option. Less expensive phones can get the job done just the same, maybe with less cool factor.

In addition, price has a lot to do with branding and exclusivity. So, more expensive definitely doesn’t mean better. The best way to go is just shopping based on your needs.

Don’t choose based on brand loyalty

We can all list the most famous brands in the world: Apple, Samsung, Huawei and so on. Obviously, they all produce great smartphones with the latest technology, but you shouldn’t stick to just one brand you love. Keep an open mind, and even think of lesser known brands which could pleasantly surprise you.

AndroidPIT OnePlus 5T 2 The OnePlus 5T says hello. / © OnePlus

There are a ton of smaller brands you don’t hear about as much, and even more Chinese brands you’ve probably never heard of. With these manufacturers, you can get a more affordable phone that fits all your needs, and maybe also packs some unique features. Don’t overlook these alternative brands in your search!

Don’t rule out last year’s models

It’s not only the latest that can be the greatest. Not all new phones can outshine their predecessors. Smartphones like the Galaxy S7 are still here and kicking, despite not being shown off in shop windows anymore. You can find older smartphones online instead, and at a great price.

You can pay way less than a smartphone cost when it came out and still get all the features you want. It can really pay off to get an older flagship instead of a brand new mid-range smartphone.

androidpit s7edge The Galaxy S7 Edge is still a good choice in 2018. / © AndroidPIT

Don’t shop without knowing your priorities

Finally, here’s the most important point. Even if you ignore all the previous tips, listen to this one.You can buy the cheapest, the most expensive, the newest or the one from the TV commercial. But, only do it if it’s the one you need.

If you’re a keen photographer, don’t buy a smartphone with a lackluster camera. If you spend your day out and about with no charger, don’t get a phone with poor battery life. If you’re a big gamer, a small display or weak processor will only leave you disappointed. The best advice we can give you is to think about what matters most to you. What do you want to do with the smartphone? Only by identifying your priorities will you get what you really want and need.

What do you think about when buying a smartphone? Is there anything in particular that you avoid?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

The folding smartphone: Who will win the race to market?

Foldable smartphones: we’ve been talking about them for a while now, but they’re still yet to arrive. The Galaxy X could be the first folding device, but it seems like Huawei, once again, might be close to beating its rivals and winning the race. This could happen as soon as November.

Folding smartphone: Huawei could present it in November

According to rumors, Huawei could be ready to present the first folding smartphone in history by November. But how will they do it? Don’t expect any pictures: as of yet there haven’t been any leaked images circling the net (unfortunately).

It does sound like Huawei will be working with LG to make this happen. The South Korean manufacturer is to provide a flexible panel for the display. Otherwise, the device would remain a thin smartphone, and wouldn’t be all that different from those we’re used to using. No other details have emerged so far.

A race to the finish line

It’s not easy to make a folding smartphone. A flexible display isn’t enough; one of the biggest problems is software optimization. This is likely the issue that has kept Samsung busy, since the Galaxy X (if it’s to be called that) has been in operation for some time. People were talking about it in January 2018, but nothing came out of it, and there are now rumors of a release at the beginning of 2019.

Samsung flexible display 2 bicubic The Galaxy X might bend inwards.  / © LetsGoDigital

But Samsung isn’t the only company that wants to offer users this technology. LG also seems to be thinking about it: there were two patents a few months ago that revealed their intentions. We’re not aware of the extent of their work, since it’s not clear when we’re just talking about prototypes. You can never know whether these patents will become the brand’s core products.

Lg foldable 2This solution is undoubtedly original! / © GSMinfo.nl

Apple will also ask for LG’s help in producing OLED panels and flexible printed circuit boards for a possible prototype of a folding iPhone. But the California company might wait until 2020 for the release of such a device, so now Huawei is emerging as at the front of the pack…

Which brand will be the first to arrive?

If Huawei actually manages to present a foldable smartphone in November, they’ll leave Samsung in the dust once again. And Apple as well. The Chinese manufacturer has already proven its ability to reach the finish line first when it came to integrating the fingerprint reader into the display.

Of course, this long-awaited technology was only integrated into the Mate RS Porsche Design, a ‘luxury’ smartphone released as a limited edition, so the feature wasn’t released on such a large scale. But this wouldn’t have been possible with a large number of devices. But now Honor is thinking about offering this feature to the masses: will it really manage this feat with the Honor 10?

One thing is for certain: if these rumors are true and Huawei can present a folding smartphone in November, you’ll still have to wait some time before you can have one. The market launch will take a few months longer and the price could be another another major obstacle.

Are you curious to find out what these decides will look like and how folding smartphone will work? Which brand do you think will be the fastest to hit the market? Let us know your opinion in the comments!

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

How to back everything up on your Galaxy smartphone

Our steps here are suitable for most Samsung Galaxy devices, so whether you’re still hanging on to your trusty S4, S5, S6 or S7, or whether you have a new device such as the S8, S8 Plus or the recently released Samsung Galaxy S9 or S9 Plus and most other Galaxy devices, you can follow these steps to secure your data.

MobiKin Assistant for Android

So, how do you backup your Samsung? The fastest and easiest way to backup everything on your Galaxy is to get the MobiKin Assistant for Android. Enjoy the peace-of-mind of knowing all of your contacts, text messages, music, videos and more are backed up.

Simply download the software to your PC, plug your phone in and everything will be backed up very quickly. All you need to do is follow some easy instructions. You can also recover your data from this device if you so choose. 

mobikin screenshot Backup and recover everything on your Galaxy S4, Galaxy S5, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S8, Galaxy S9 and the majority of other Galaxy phones / © MobiKin

MobiKin backs up all your data by securely exporting your files to your computer, all of which will be transferred in their original format and data quality, at the end you’ll not only have a backup, but you’ll free up precious memory on your device. Get started by downloading the software and secure everything on your Galaxy.

Which category should I use to backup my Samsung Galaxy?

Backups basically fall into two categories: those for rooted users, and those for non-rooted users. If you are not rooted, there are several options available, which we’ll cover below. If you do have root level access, you’ll have an easier time performing your backup (that’s a topic for another tutorial).

We’ll show you the best methods for keeping your apps and data safe so if you have your phone stolen, get a Gremlin-filled update or otherwise fall foul of good luck, your essential data will still be safe.

Important: don’t only rely on backups

There’s a lot to be said for the old-fashioned way of backing things up: regularly transferring them to your computer. Connect with a USB cable (don’t forget to install the Android USB drivers first) and copy your pictures, music and documents to your hard drive.

You can also use cloud storage to automatically save various files on your computer, such as Google’s great Photos app that automatically uploads your camera shots. You can also link certain folders to a cloud service such as Drive or Box (I do this for screenshots).

Your emails are internet-hosted and WhatsApp messages are safe because they are backed up to your SD card every day at 4 am anyway, so you just need to save the database file before doing a reset.

backup1 CAPTION – REPLACE ME! / © Mobikin

Your device isn’t rooted? No problem, there’s another option

In the settings menu of your smartphone or tablet you’ll find the backup and reset settings, where you can add an account to which your apps, data and passwords can be backed up. This is usually your Google account.

This is also where you set your restore options and activate a factory reset. It is also a good idea to sign in to your favorite apps with an account that can be used to store your data if you lose your phone or have to reinstall the app at some point. Many apps also offer cloud backup options and you’ve got plenty of cloud backup services that you can use to regularly schedule backups too.

How to create a backup

If you don’t want everything stored in the cloud or on your Google account then you can simply use your computer to make a backup of your apps and data. The best in class in this area is Clockworkmod’s Carbon Backup, now known as Helium.

Helium – App Sync and Backup Install on Google Play

Simply install Helium on your Android and then on your computer, click the following link to download Helium for desktop and follow the prompts. You’ll be able to backup all sorts of stuff, including your apps and data, predictive typing predictions, text messages and call logs. Here’s how it’s done.

AndroidPIT USB Debugging Developer Options You need USB Debugging enabled first. / © AndroidPIT

1. Don’t forget: you need to have USB Debugging enabled in Developer Options in your phone first (see screenshots above).

2. Tap build number (in Settings > About Phone) seven times until it pops up. Connect your Galaxy to your computer with a USB cable and establish the connection.

mobikin image 2 Go to Settings > Accounts tab > Backup and reset and set up your backup account. / © AndroidPIT mobikin image 3 Ensure USB debugging is enabled. / © AndroidPIT

3. Once the connection is established, start selecting the apps and data you’d like to backup.

4. ”Select all” or select individual apps and you also have the option to only backup your app data, but not the app itself. This makes your backup file much smaller, and you will simply need to reinstall the app from the Play Store before restoring your data.

mobikin image 4 Tap the blue window icon in the bottom left to get started, or tick individual apps. © AndroidPIT / © AndroidPIT

5. Make sure you enable PC Download in the action overflow menu to activate a unique IP address on the Helium server from which you can access your backup from your computer. Type in the unique URL to download your backup for safe keeping. Otherwise, hit Backup and you’re done.

Now, you just need to remember to do backups regularly!

AndroidPIT Helium Backup Server Backup everything on your Galaxy. / © AndroidPIT

Have you ever lost all the data on your phone? We hope you’ve backed everything up on your Galaxy now! Leave a comment and let us know.

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

The 7 biggest mistakes you can make when buying a smartphone

Don’t trust TV commercials

Right there, during the commercial break of your favorite show, that beautiful device glides through the air. With perfect lighting and a high quality video. It dances in fluttering clouds, there’s a celebrity holding the device in his hand. Commercials, as we all already know, are made to make you feel good and desire what is being shown.

xiaomi mi6 ceramic 01 Where are the fingerprints? / © Xiaomi

However, the commercial only shows the highlighted functions and the ones that are the best. You don’t get to see what it looks like when it’s full of fingerprints, how it runs with your favorite games and how much battery it consumes. For your purposes, commercials should only serve to let you know that the device exists.

Don’t go by what they say in the store

If you’re a seller, don’t be offended. There are many vendors who understand what they are talking about, who are well-intentioned, and who will really help you choose the best product, but the overwhelmingly vast majority need to hit sales targets, and receive commissions and bonuses if they sell more of a particular brand.

So, you need to be very careful. If someone you know who understands little about technology is about to go make a purchase at the store, go with them to help, because the seller will certainly try to push something that “sells more” or that “everyone is going for”. If you’ve already done your searching beforehand, you won’t fall for any kind of deception.

AndroidPIT Xiaomi Shop Barcelona 6630 Ready to get the most commissions possible. / © AndroidPIT

Don’t purchase from the first place you find a device

If you pass by a shop window at the mall and see an attractive device that fits your budget, don’t go in and buy it! If you’re without a smartphone or need a new one, an hour of searching on the internet will be of great use to you. If you just take it from anywhere, without doing any research, in most cases that will lead you to waste money. Both online and offline stores may offer better prices, and a little more research on the internet could save you a lot of money in the long-term. Now think about what you could do with all that money you save…

Don’t buy the most expensive or the cheapest

The iPhone X is the most expensive, so it must be the best. Right? Or alternatively, you could go to the store and purchase the cheapest smartphone available. Neither of these options is a good idea. Both will lead you to waste money in the long run, and you’ll likely still end up being unsatisfied.

AndroidPIT iPhone X 6036 You know the answer: is it worth paying the price of the iPhone X? / © AndroidPIT

If you go with the cheapest option, you may lose money once the device breaks much earlier than expected, and then you’ll likely be paying double to replace it. As for the most expensive option, everyone who understands a little bit about technology and marketing knows that you can get practically the same thing and spend far less.

There’s a lot of marketing that goes into the price, and carrying the most expensive phone doesn’t mean that it’s the best of them all. The price might also drop in a few months time. So it’s best to see what you need and take your time making your decision.

Don’t cling to famous brands

We all know the most famous brands available: Apple and Samsung. Obviously these brands have great models available, but the trick here is not to stick to them, and to instead explore lesser-known brands.

AndroidPIT OnePlus 5T 2 I am loving my OnePlus 5T. / © OnePlus

There are smaller brands that are great even if you haven’t heard of them. Some of them are Chinese, and some are full of features you’ve never even heard of. In these niches, you can find gems that will satisfy your needs in a way that already established brands can’t.

Be sure to consider last year’s models

Are new releases always good? Do all releases outperform their predecessors? Of course not, and devices like the Galaxy S7 are out there to prove it two years later. They might leave the scene on shop windows, as it’s necessary to show that new things are coming, but you’ll still find these great items for sale online.

Along these lines, you can even look into a used smartphone, which in good condition and for a good price, can offer much more than a new and less powerful device.

androidpit s7edge The Galaxy S7 Edge is still a great device. / © AndroidPIT

Don’t buy without knowing your priorities first

The last tip is the most important. Even if you ignore all other advice, don’t throw this one aside. Buy the most expensive, the cheapest, this year’s model or last year’s, do exactly what they tell you to do at the store or on the TV… you can make all these mistakes if the device provides you what you need.

If you like photos, it’s no use buying a bad camera. If you spend the day away from home, having a weak battery will only cause stress. If you like games, a small screen or poor performance will ruin everything. So whenever you buy a new phone, figure out what matters most to you. Once you’ve done that, you’ll already have a good idea of what you’re looking for.

But let’s hear from you! What precautions do you take when buying a smartphone?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

How to make sure your next smartphone gets the latest updates

Every single day, it’s like you’re waking up in a nightmare. You’re about to buy a new smartphone and remember that half of the world’s devices, more than a billion of them, are outdated. You’re feeling desperate, run around the house and ask yourself again and again: how can you buy a smartphone that has the best chance of receiving the latest Android updates? Sit down and listen, because we have some vital advice for you.

The tips that we’ll share may seem very basic, but bear in mind that it’s difficult to remember all the criteria for a good purchase. So before you buy anything, stop and take the opportunity to refresh your memory.

AndroidPIT root flash recovery mode fastboot 1007 gears It’s not that simple to upgrade your device, so you have to keep an eye out. / © AndroidPIT

Check the history of the manufacturer’s series

It’s an old tradition. Before making a purchase, look up everything you want to know about the device on the internet. In addition to its complete configuration and reviews, you may also encounter production issues and specific information about how regularly the brand receives updates.

And don’t assume that because a brand updates a device that it will update all of its smartphones; quite the opposite is true. It is much smarter to look for the rate a specific product line gets updates. For example, it’s far more likely that Samsung will upgrade its S line in comparison to its J line.

Check the line’s history with other users

Though it’s important to check a brand’s tradition of updating their devices, it’s also crucial to see what users are saying too. Look for online communities that follow the device or the brand, and see what users are saying.

You can check our forum, but you can also search for Facebook, Google+ or Telegram groups. Users often provide more accurate information than manufacturers, which always promise more than they provide, and which despite official information are always slow to update some devices.

androidpit ui comparison hero Manufacturers like to customize Android devices. / © AndroidPIT

Buy a flagship this year

Okay, we know that not everyone has the money for it, but this is one of our most valid tips and it should be taken into account. If you’re the kind of person who cares a lot about having a device that is as up-to-date as possible, it might be worth spending a bit more and having a top-range smartphone.

It’s also wise to wait at least a month before buying a new device. This will allow you to learn more about it and its possible defects, and the price could also go down considerably. Top brands like Samsung, LG, and Sony will certainly receive at least one update and are more likely to receive a second one as well (and if you’re lucky, maybe even a third). Apart from that, they usually reach the market with the latest version of Android, which cheaper lines are usually lacking.

AndroidPIT Samsung Galaxy S9 0729 As Samsung’s flagship, the S9 will certainly receive some updates. / © AndroidPIT

Shop for better known brands that have higher sales

This is a tip that may seem obvious, but that matters a lot. Many smaller companies launch only a few devices and have little or no concern about upgrading their products. These devices are often generic, with designs that are bought in China and are then resold in other countries.

And of course, these smaller companies may end up upgrading their smartphones, but the odds are always low. So go for brands like Sony, LG and Samsung (or Xiaomi, OnePlus, Google and Huawei), which will provide some reassurance that you’ll receive an Android update. Just be sure to check the other items on this list as well.

Choose devices with Android One or from Google

Here’s a tip that’s a little less simple and that may require some research. If you really want faster and more frequent updates on Android, it’s good to consider devices that come with Android One or pure Android stock. Check out the article below to get more detailed information:

In the U.S. you can now purchase a Motorola Moto X4 or HTC U11 Life with Android One. And in other regions, there are a handful of other devices available with Android One, including the Nokia 7 Plus, Nokia 6 and Nokia 8 Sirocco. You can also choose devices in Google’s Pixel line, which come with the purest Android software and receive the fastest updates.

Don’t buy from carriers

It’s sad, but true. Unfortunately, the devices sold by mobile carriers end up having an extra layer of difficulty when it comes to receiving system updates. Each time an update arrives on an unlocked device, it will need to go through another round of settings to incorporate carrier apps, system settings, and possible functions. This isn’t always the case, as for example, the Galaxy Note 8 received Oreo on carrier versions slightly earlier. But nonetheless, it’s still a good rule of thumb. Just don’t forget to research the manufacturer’s history as noted above.

The article above will tell you which devices will get an update to Android P, but what you really need to know is that in the end, the same model of a device may end up not getting an update from its operator, even if the unlocked version receives an update. It is therefore best to avoid any doubt and purchase the device unlocked.

What do you think of our tips? Do you know of any other tricks to make sure you’ll have an up-to-date smartphone?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

How to lock individual apps on your smartphone


Method 1: App lock apps

The Play Store is packed with apps that can be used to block apps. The search term ‘app lock’ will deliver dozens of results. We chose two examples that won’t require too many authorizations from you. We took a closer look at the following two apps:

Let’s start with a warning: app lock apps aren’t real protection against curious people, if they’re clever enough! They are often not even able to completely hide the last viewed content in an app; the most recent messages can be quickly seen before the code entry appears.

Until the Android interface and the App Locker work better together, your best off switching to a method that comes with Android’s factory software. These methods are presented below.

Tip: Definitely lock the settings app, because otherwise a resourceful person can simply uninstall the app locker and bypass it.

App Lock from Keepsafe

Keepsafe doesn’t let you take screenshots, so we’ll have to explain our observations in words. First of all, I like the fact that the app doesn’t require any authorizations. The setup wizard asks for the type of lock: PIN, pattern, or fingerprint. You don’t have to register a fingerprint again, since the app uses the fingerprint already stored in your Android phone. This builds trust, because it means the app can’t send your fingerprint back to the app creators.

applock gmail AppLock blocks apps… insecurely. / © ANDROIDPIT

You need to provide your email address for security, but you can also skip this point. The app then sends you to system settings, where you grant access to the data usage. Without it, the app can’t tell if it has been opened. Then return to App Lock, where you can select apps to lock. Popular apps like Settings or WhatsApp are listed on top, and the rest follow alphabetically.

App Lock: Fingerprint Password Install on Google Play

When we tried it out, we only blocked WhatsApp. Afterwards we went to the homescreen and started WhatsApp. App Lock lays over WhatsApp and prevents it from being operated. A stranger is unable to send a message or read other messages without a PIN, pattern, or your fingerprint. Unfortunately, App Lock doesn’t react fast enough. WhatsApp can still be used for a short time despite App Lock. So if a curious person opens your WhatsApp several times and goes back to the home screen, they can shimmy through your chats and read the latest messages. Even screenshots can be seen in this short window. So the results are disappointing.

CM Security Antivirus Applock from Cheetah Mobile

CM Security works similarly to Keepsafe’s App Lock, with a pattern that covers protected apps. Alternatively, you can use your fingerprint. When you set up the app it asks for access to your contacts. We were able to reject authorization without any negative effects. As a plan B for a forgotten pattern, CM works with a security question. The app also asks for access to data usage during setup.

Note: Cheetah Mobile also offers the App CM AppLock, which we omitted. It requires all-inclusive access to your location, files, camera, number and more. All this data is unnecessary for the app’s core function.

AppLock – Fingerprint Unlock Install on Google Play

CM Security Antivirus Applock is actually well thought out. The app can even hide your notifications if you give it permission on request. Unfortunately, even CM can’t block apps fast enough. A quick glance at the most recent notifications is still possible.

Another disadvantage typical of Cheetah Mobile is the annoying internal advertising. CM wants to recommend even more of its products to you and explain to how that your smartphone is horribly optimized. Our recommendation for optimizing is to uninstall the CM app.

Method 2: Block apps with tools you have

Samsung’s Secure Folder

With Samsung smartphones, you can store apps, pictures and other files in the Secure Folder. This is shielded from your main account by a separate code. You can’t even access the data in the secure folder externally with a USB cable and a PC.

samsung secure folder 2018 03 The Secure Folder in Samsung smartphones offers a real private area. / © AndroidPIT

Using the Secure Folder does mean that you will need to completely setup WhatsApp or other apps again. Notifications are sent from the Secure Folder to your main profile. A luxurious settings menu makes it easy to set your desired privacy options. In return, you get protection at the system level, which makes it difficult even for resourceful spies.

Huawei/Honor PrivateSpace

The Huawei EMUI user interface offers a similar feature to PriveSpace. In this case as well, images, data and apps are isolated by the main user. But you don’t need to retrieve apps to put them there. Instead, you can create a second user on your Honor or Huawei smartphone. To start the protected area, you simply use a different finger on the lock screen than you use for the main profile.

Android features for blocking apps

Unlike apps, Android’s features work reliably. Unfortunately, they are not available to everyone. The following features were introduced with Android 5.0 Lollipop in autumn 2014.

Create a user or guest account

If the apps above aren’t reliable enough for you, you should use the operating system’s options. If the temporary user isn’t meant to use your main profile, you can quickly create a guest account or a second user account on your smartphone. You can do this through a button located above the quick settings on the top.

AndroidPIT multi user 2985 Tap on one of the icons above the quick settings and add a user. / © AndroidPIT

Simply create a new user. They will have their own account or no Google account at all. They’ll only be allowed to install apps from the Play Store, and can’t make phone calls, send SMS messages, or access others’ data. This of course also includes your apps. If you set it up as a user and not as a guest, you can even regularly pass the phone to another person, who can store their data on it as if it were their own personal vault.

Screen lock

Maybe reverse logic is right for you: simply determine which app (singular!) other people may use. Thanks to the lock screen on Android 5.0 Lollipop, Android has mastered how this trick works. Simply pin the apps that can be opened without unlocking the screen.

android nougat screen pinning Pin your apps. / © AndroidPIT

Locked apps can be opened by simultaneously pressing the back key and the multitasking key. Then Android will ask for the screen lock pattern if you’ve set it that way. So in principle all your apps are blocked, except the pinned ones.

Conclusion

App lock applications could be a good idea, but their effect on security shouldn’t be overestimated. Android resources or manufacturer features on the system level reach deeper and are harder to find a way around.

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Poll: What price will you pay for a smartphone in 2018?

Smartphone prices have rocketed and our shiny new devices are burning bigger than ever holes in our pockets. Considering all of the new technologies and innovations (or lack thereof) being introduced by brands, we want to know how much you’re willing to pay for a smartphone this year.

Some may feel that they’re being ripped off, and for good reason. In our article about how much it actually costs to make a flagship, we discovered that it costs around 30 – 40% of the final price for the Galaxy S8 or the iPhone X for example, which seems extortionate. However, we can expect it to increase with the development of new technologies and design features.

OnePlus is a good example of this, with its latest device rumored to be $ 749. The brand built a solid fan base on the fact that it provides phones to compete with the latest flagships, at an attractive price, so the fact that it is swaying from its niche could be a sign of the times. Alongside the almost $ 1000 S9 Plus or iPhone X though, it’s still quite reasonable. A good thing to look out for are deals, such as Google’s offer on the Pixel 2 XL, or Verizon’s buy one get one free offer on the S9s.

Alternatively, you might be more inclined to go for a mid-range. With brands such as HuaweiNokia, Xiaomi releasing decent mid range devices, sometimes it’s just as good to opt for one of these if you don’t need the best and latest. 

Last year, most of you wanted to pay around $ 300-$ 400. Are you willing to splash the cash for the high-end phones? Or do you prefer to save your money? Cast your vote and comment!

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

These applications are harming your smartphone

We tend to think that all you need is a smartphone with a good specs to use it smoothly. Big mistake, as even with the most high-end components your device can show signs of slowing down or see its battery level drop due to certain applications. Avast has identified the worst offenders.

Avast is famous for its antivirus, but also because it shares a report disclosing the most greedy applications in different categories. With great detail, Avast explains in its report on the 3rd quarter 2017 which wasteful applications are the most used (what a surprise, Facebook takes the top spot) and which are the most popular devices (mainly Samsung). This also doesn’t come as much of a surprise. It also shows how well Samsung runs, to the great dismay of the competition.

Let’s get to the heart of the matter: which applications pose a problem? We have organized them in the tables below and present the three categories that we find most interesting, namely applications that slow down the system by consuming too many resources, applications that consume the most battery and applications that consume the most data.

Apps that slow down your system

If your mobile device (smartphone, tablet or other) has slowdowns, the problem may sometimes come from certain applications. That’s why we’re revealing apps that tend to slow down your smartphone.

Performances 

Top 10
(applications started automatically)
Top 10
(applications started manually)
Samsung AllShare Samsung WatchON
ChatON Voice & Video Chat Google Docs
Google Play Music Beaming Service for Samsung
Samsung Push Service SHAREit
Google TalkBack Flipboard
Google Maps Google Text-to-speech
Google Play Newsstand Clean Master
ChatOn Super Bright LED Torch
Google Plus LINE: Free Calls & Messages
Quick Search Box Adobe Acrobat Reader

As you can see, we find many from Google and Samsung in this ranking. These applications, often preinstalled, slow down the smartphone in a more or less obvious way, to the great misfortune of users.

Applications that drain battery 

Other applications can sometimes be a little too resource-intensive. When you know that battery life is one of the most important criteria for many users, the following list of applications is interesting to discover, especially if you are looking to extend the life of your smartphone.

Battery life

Top 10 
(applications started automatically)
Top 10
(applications started manually)
Samsung AllShare Beaming Service for Samsung
Samsung Security Policy Updates Samsung WatchOn
ChatON Voice & Video Chat Netflix
Google Maps Snapchat
WhatsApp Messenger LINE: Free Calls & Messages
Facebook Clean Master
AppLock PhotoGrid
WeChat Super-Bright LED Torch
Microsoft Outlook ES File Explorer File Manager
DJ Battery Saver Amazon Shopping

Here again we find several Samsung applications as well as some other big names in high-tech: the instant messaging services Facebook/WhatsApp, Snapchat, LINE and WeChat, the streaming service Netflix and the famous application Clean Master, which has a questionable use.

Applications that exhaust your data plan too quickly

Unlimited packages become more common, but some people still suffer from data problems at the end of the month. You will find below the most greedy applications with an appetite for phone data.

Data Consumption

Top 10 
(applications started automatically)
Top 10
(applications started manually)
Google Talkback Netflix
Facebook LINE: Free Calls & Messages
Instagram Snapchat
Yahoo! JAPAN Clean Master
Facebook Lite Amazon Shopping
Spotify Music Samsung WatchON
Firefox Browser Beaming Service for Samsung
WhatsApp Messenger Amazon for Tablets
The Weather Channel Superbright LED Torch
Google Chrome ES File Explorer

Few surprises on this side, these applications are the ones that consume the most data so it is normal to find in first place the most popular video streaming application: Netflix. That said, I am very surprised not to see YouTube in this ranking. Most of the other applications were already present the last time around, they are generally the repeat offenders.

Do you use these applications? Have you encountered performance or autonomy problems?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Why our approach to smartphone batteries is misguided

Is this the stupidest idea the mobile industry ever came up with? That is, installing batteries into smartphones so that they can’t be replaced without expert knowledge. All comprehensible, reasonable arguments from the customer’s point of view clearly speak against doing this. Nevertheless, there is no longer a high-end smartphone with a replaceable battery and fast-charge technologies and power banks offer little consolation.

A few weeks ago, reports circulated that users were finding temperature-related errors in the fast-charging system in the Pixel 2 XL. We picked up this story and found a lot of comments had hit the nail on the head, “It’s not my fault if manufacturers don’t replace batteries and force users to recharge their smartphones outside in the cold.”

The battery is obviously the weak point, if not the breaking point, for smartphones. Devices have to recharged almost without exception every day and age so quickly that they’re ultimately unable to survive a complete working day by the time a contract ends, and sometimes even at the end of the warranty period.

AndroidPIT lg g5 friends 0352 The LG G5 marked the end of the replaceable battery in the high-end market. / © AndroidPIT

It was possible until 2014 to replace the batteries in a number of top-range devices, including those made by Samsung and LG, and now this is no longer an option in new smartphones. The last top smartphones with replaceable batteries, the LG G5 and the V20, have left the market.

Customers aren’t confronting this disgrace

It seems paradoxical that the greatest and most obvious design flaw in all the products of an industry doesn’t seem to have any influence on sales. If it really mattered, the LG G5 would have done much better than the Samsung Galaxy S7 and its built-in battery. But of course, the G5 flopped and a year later was replaced with the LG G6 that came with a build-in battery, the first in the series since the LG G2.

Even if the problems that built-in batteries have caused in energy-hungry devices like smartphones appear obvious, they cannot be solved by supply and demand alone. Customers prefer to replace their old device with a new one in order to get the new features along with the addition of a fresh battery. Thanks to contract extensions, this is still somewhat affordable, at least in the short-term.

qualcomm iaa 03 Qualcomm sees smartphones only as a training platform. In the future, Quick Charge will also be used to quickly load electric cars.  / © AndroidPIT

Quick Charge, powerbanks and nonsense

Built-in batteries have led to absurd trends. Every smartphones manufacturer now has its own quick-charging standard or relies on Qualcomm’s Quick Charge or at least on the advantages of a Type C connection. Individual companies are able to generate additional revenue through licensing agreements and findings that they then later use to make profits in the electric car industry.

Powerbanks are batteries meant to charge other batteries on the road. If someone had told me ten years ago that people would need them to use their cell phones normally, I would have laughed. But here we are.

Not only are smartphone batteries difficult to replace, they are also too small. And instead of making smartphones a bit more resilient, they are built with exactly one day of battery life. In this case, an ideal has been established that makes no sense at all. Think of it this way: our cars don’t come with fuel canisters that carry three or four more times the capacity of the actual tank.

And if the fast-charging technology doesn’t start at temperatures below 20°C, it will bring me to tears.

This needs to be regulated somehow

Since consumers have proved to be incapable of holding manufacturers accountable, there needs to be some other way for this to change. We need incentives for repairs, a more accessible spare parts market, and above all, an easily accessible battery. What is your view on the subject of replacement batteries and built-in batteries? Let us know in the comments!

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

How much memory do you really need on your smartphone?

The amount of internal memory varies from device to device. In some cases, you could use a microSD slot, but this isn’t always possible. How much memory do we really need on our smartphone? Well, it depends on how you use it.

The options on the market: what to choose?

There are a huge variety of devices out there for Android, all equipped with different internal memory and RAM. Depending on the price range, your options change, but you can see how far manufacturers have come with this compared to some years ago, especially in the mid-range where 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internet memory are now the norm. For this reason, life is easier for Android users compared to iPhone users.

Manufacturers release devices with 8, 16, 32, 64, 128 and 256GB of internal memory. At least, this is what it will say on your smartphones packaging, but these figures don’t necessarily reflect the amount of space that is available to you. Part of this is taken up by the system itself and bloatware.

AndroidPIT Sony Xperia XA2 0180 Don’t underestimate the space pre-installed apps take up on your smartphone / © AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova

Having said that, opting for 8GB of internal memory is quite limiting: just the files received on WhatsApp and a few photos are enough for the system to start lagging. Personally, I’d advise against choosing this memory option. Manufacturers should stop offering such a limited internal memory. 

You can just about survive with 16GB, but take this advice: you’ll have to make sure you clean up your smartphone from unnecessary apps and take advantage of cloud services such as Google Photos, for example. Heavy multitasking and demanding games are a definite no, so therefore your experience is limited to general web browsing, emails, WhatsApp, and not much more. At the moment, low end smartphones still offer 16GB of memory, including Samsung’s popular J line (J3 2017, J5 2017 and J7 2017).

32GB is reasonable, unless you’re used to taking a lot of photos and the cloud is still a world you don’t know. In any case, this is a good solution for those who don’t need a top of the range device, and don’t require a lot of apps. Another example, again, is Samsung with its Galaxy A5 2017

A robust 64GB is perhaps the best choice. This option allows you to have enough space for apps, photos and other files, and you won’t have to deal with constant system slowdowns while playing games or multitasking. A good candidate with 64GB and 6GB of RAM is the OnePlus 5T or Huawei P10, which are available online for around $ 500-$ 700

Huawei P10

128 and 256GB of internal memory are two options reserved for those who have no budget problems (the Honor View 10 is an exception to this rule), opting for a recent flagship and use the smartphone a lot, perhaps even for work (the HTC U11+ is a good example).

There is no definite answer

Your budget and the way you use your smartphone are the two factors to consider when choosing the best memory option to suit your needs. Media files take up a lot of space, and one way to solve this problem is to reduce photo quality in your camera’s settings. However, this is not ideal if you’re a keen photographer, so forget devices with 16 or 32GB is this is the case.

AndroidPIT Scott surviving 1 Would you survive with 16GB of internal memory? / © AndroidPIT

Regarding apps, you can enjoy music and TV series by using streaming services such as Spotify and Netflix, for games though, it’s different. Gamers: compromising isn’t an option, you need to go for a bigger memory. As for other users who only like to play games occasionally, you should ensure that you clean up unused apps, and any other type of unwanted files.

Go to the settings on your smartphone, how much memory do you have available? How much memory would you ideally like to have on a new device? Let us know in the comments.

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT