Huawei Mate 10 Pro: Fake reviews in exchange for free smartphones?

“A free Huawei Mate 10 Pro just for a quick product review on a retailer’s website? Sure! Why not?” That’s what thousands of Facebook users thought in the US following Huawei’s call for willing Mate 10 Pro beta testers. Trading a free smartphone for a fake review? Could Huawei really be behind this?

The call for US Mate 10 Pro beta testers is clear in the “Huawei | Honor Beta” Facebook group. So far, so good. But in a beta test, the participants should get the product first, test it and then evaluate it. Huawei’s process in the US seems to be different: In order to become a beta tester, the first step is to rate the Mate 10 Pro at Best Buy. This can only be considered a fake review, after all, sales in the US have not even started yet. How could people truly review something they’ve never tried? If you send in the link to your fake review, you could receive the Huawei Mate 10 Pro as a free gift.

The Facebook group has since been deleted, but if we’ve learned one thing in recent years, it’s this: the Internet never forgets. As such, numerous screenshots from the aforementioned group are circulating which supposedly prove Huawei’s immoral offer of a free Mate 10 Pro in exchange for a fake review.

huawei facebook The post has since been deleted. / © 9to5google

The Best Buy ratings are apparently in the process of being reviewed and deleted, as currently only 72 ratings with an average of 4.8 stars are still visible. That’s still a lot for a product you can’t even buy. Like other online shops, Best Buy begs the question why reviews for an unavailable product like the Mate 10 Pro are accepted at all.

customer reviews huawei 51092dlg best buy 2018 02 12 14 57 17 108 reviews for an unreleased product? Seems high. / © 9to5google

But were these really the official actions of Huawei, which is now trying to cover its tracks? In an age dominated by social media, even a child could tell you an open call like this could go the wrong way. If the post goes viral, you could suddenly have not hundreds but thousands of reviews. Of course, you can’t give away that many smartphones as beta test devices. Sometimes things can go wrong and you can get caught. Now the media is aware and denouncing this immoral attempt to get fake reviews. There’s not much to be gained by this practice, in fact, there’s far more to lose.

AndroidPIT Huawei Mate 10 2528 The Huawei Mate 10 Pro. / © AndroidPIT

Does Huawei want to make up for its recent defeat in the US?

Huawei has recently suffered a bitter defeat in the US. Almost at the last minute, massive pressure from the government under President Trump led to Huawei not being able to launch the Mate 10 Pro with AT&T and Verizon. The CES trade show, which was originally planned as a great kick-off for Huawei, fell through, and CEO Richard Yu was appropriately emotional about it. The Mate 10 Pro will now be launched without the carriers, which are so essential to selling phones in the American market. Huawei could surely put its marketing budget to good use, as it has done very effectively in Europe. Such an obviously risky move doesn’t sound like Huawei at all. It’s quite possible that there were other forces at work here. For example, it could be someone posing as Huawei to collect contact information on Facebook fraudulently.

We have asked Huawei for a statement on this matter, and if we get a response, we will update this article accordingly. 

What do you think of all this? Do you think Huawei is capable of such a clumsy move?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Sustainable smartphones must be “sexy” to succeed. But how?

An uncomfortable truth is that most smartphones in the market have some dark secrets, with the manufacturing process buying minerals from conflict areas, causing pollution, and even exploiting children in factories. Ethicalconsumer.org has a good overview of the problems connected with smartphones and electronics in general, but we’ll look at a recent study that focuses on what can be done to improve things.

This study comes from German NGO Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH), which analysed many of the biggest players in the consumer tech market and their activities across the globe. But this study aims for a call to take positive action. Instead of criticizing individual manufacturers, DUH highlights positive examples and draws up recommendations for action for companies, consumers and legislators.

AndroidPIT Fairphone 2 8449 Due to its modularity, the Fairphone 2 is regarded as a pioneer in ecological smartphone design. / © AndroidPIT

Even with this positive agenda, however, don’t expect a feelgood story. Positive examples are rare, because companies only act as role models in exceptional cases. Mainstream brands don’t care too much about leading the way in terms of ecological practice.

The status quo is unsustainable

Unfortunately, the list of deficiencies in most mainstream hardware is overwhelmingly long:

  • Hardware upgrades are often not planned.
  • Repairs are complicated and rarely feasible for consumers.
  • Spare parts are often difficult or impossible to find.
  • Old appliances are often not returned.
  • Many of the materials used cannot be recovered.
  • Raw materials recovered from recycling rarely find their way back into new equipment.
  • Important software updates are not supplied.
  • Business rarely communicate how long they take to deliver software updates.

According to DUH study participant Michael Berger, things are only getting worse: “Unfortunately, the overall trend is negative. For example, the lifespan of smartphones and other electrical appliances continue to be shortened, there is little progress towards better eco-design, the ability of most devices to be repaired is diminishing, and the collection of old devices is also showing clear deficits.”.

But it’s not all bad news. The DUH study has produced a list of recommendations for action, and some of these can already be observed by our customers today. The following table is taken from the study, translated into English.

DUH recommendations for action for sustainability in the technology industry

For corporations For consumers For legislators
  • Improve eco-design, including durability, repairability and the use of recycled materials.
  • Focusing business models on services instead of resources
  • Offer used devices
  • Provide spare parts and updates
  • Take back old equipment and prepare it for a second use
  • Include environmental aspects in marketing
  • Use products for a longer period
  • Prevent damage, e. g. with protective covers, waterproof bags and display foils
  • Buy used devices
  • Pay attention to respectable eco-labels and good support when buying products
  • Repair defective devices
  • Sell old devices
  • Favor environmentally friendly products and services for tax purposes
  • Establish legal minimum standards for ecological design
  • Defend “Right to Repair”
  • Set target quotas for the collection and reuse of obsolete devices
  • Commit public procurement to used and environmentally friendly products

What positive trends do we already see today?

There are some positive approaches. There are numerous leasing models for routers, for example, which can be rented and returned. These old appliances are then used by other customers.

Then there are manufacturers who support returning used equipment, effectively letting you bring in old smartphones as payment. Apple, Honor, Samsung and others are already promoting this growing market.

Individual manufacturers focus on environmental friendliness.  Fairphone is no longer completely alone in trying to offer a sustainable smartphone. For some time now, German company ShiftPhones is also getting in on the eco-friendly smartphone niche.

Efforts to make sustainable, meaningful use of human and natural resources are manifold and are becoming more and more successful, of course with varying degrees of success. Companies like ShiftPhones and Fairphone are going to have to break into the mainstream (and inspire imitators) to really tempt consumers in this competitive market. Either that, or the bigger market leaders should offer consumers an ethical choice.

Some people are willing to pay extra for eco-friendly products. If it were not, there would not be a fair trade shelf in many supermarkets. Mainstream smartphone providers should not leave this relatively untapped market to outsiders.

AndroidPIT FAIRPHONE 2 12 So, now imagine this again with Samsung or Apple’s “sexy” design. / © AndroidPIT

Smartphone manufacturers are missing out on opportunities here. Instead, Apple continues to drive obscene margins to satisfy shareholders. With glossy, “sexy” models such as the iPhone X, the Cupertino company leads the way in the discipline of psychological obsolescence. The competition is watching and learning how Apple encourages its customers to buy new products for no apparent reason.

Talking of obsolescence…

Whether planned obsolescence exists or not can hardly be proven. There always seems to be an excuse. However, today’s technology products and especially smartphones have weak points that no one can overlook. If a display wasn’t meant to break, it wouldn’t be made of glass. And if a smartphone should remain usable for a long time, its battery would be replaceable and there would also be a possibility to update the software without the help of the manufacturer.

Legislators do not have a handle on this situation and cannot keep up with the necessary regulations. However, this is to the detriment of the consumer and, in the form of environmental pollution, at the expense of his or her children. The status quo of the smartphone industry is completely unacceptable and certainly not sustainable.

AndroidPIT iphone clock ios clock 8580 $ 999 or more, and still obsolete in two years. / © AndroidPIT

Industry giants have all the power in the world to do better. There are millions of consumers who want to spend over a grand on a sleek sexy phone that isn’t even built to last. In the face of this, the idea that consumer simply just want everything at the cheapest price doesn’t seem to hold up. We already pay so much for what is basically lifestyle marketing. And more and more people want a ‘greener’ lifestyle.

If a Galaxy S8 or iPhone X style device, with all the snazzy features, would suddenly come into the shops under a green flag, I wouldn’t see such a bad chance for it.

Are you ready to spend more money on a sustainably produced smartphone? Let us know in the comments!

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Samsung shipped more smartphones than any other brand in 2017

Two reports just published by Strategy Analytics and International Data Corporation reveal a snapshot of how the smartphone market did in 2017, and how specific manufacturers have fared in the past year. The data shows that 2017 saw little change in smartphone shipments overall, and Samsung managed to ship more units than any other manufacturer by far. Let’s take a look at the details.

Compared to Q4 2016, Q4 2017 was especially tough for manufacturers. According to the latest report from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments fell 9 percent, from 438.7 million to 400.2 million units, making it the biggest annual fall ever. Strategy Analytics Director Linda Sui says this was due to demand in China, a massive market, falling 16 percent from longer replacement cycles, fewer carrier subsidies and a lack of ‘wow’ models. International Data Corporation’s data showed a smaller decline in the slow holiday quarter, though it was only 6.4 percent rather than the whopping 9 percent found by Strategy Analytics, with 403.5 million units shipped compared to 430.7 million units in the same quarter of 2016.

Nevertheless, looking at the year as a whole rather than comparing quarters between years, 2017 saw little change. According to Strategy Analytics, there was 1 percent growth in smartphone shipments (setting a 1.5 billion unit record high). International Data Corporation, on the other hand, reports a less than 1 percent decline, with 1.472 billion units shipped compared to 2016’s 1.473. Regardless of which report you’re looking at, you’ll see that 2017 overall didn’t deviate greatly from 2016.

Which manufacturer came out on top in 2017? Despite pressure from Chinese competitors in large markets like China and India, according to Strategy Analytics Executive Director Neil Mawston, Samsung remained the largest smartphone brand in the world in 2017, shipping 317.5 million units. That’s compared to the runner up, Apple, with its much fewer 215.8 million units, followed by Huawei, OPPO and Xiaomi with 153.0, 118.0 and 91.3 million units, respectively. International Data Corporation’s ranking for 2017 was the same, though the shipment numbers vary slightly. Samsung remained number one in 2017, in spite of losing the top spot to Apple in the holiday season of Q4, thanks to a strong comeback from the Note 7 disaster with the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8. Looking forward, the Galaxy S9 could cement its position at the top in 2018.

What do you think of these results? Are you surprised Samsung is still the number one?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Sony Xperia smartphones could pack LG OLEDs in the future

As we have been saying in recent weeks, keep an eye on Sony and its 2018 smartphones, even if they are in the shadow of Samsung, Apple and Huawei. Not only is there a major design evolution in the works for the Japanese firm’s smartphones, there may also be a change in display technology. Future high-end Xperia smartphones may be equipped with OLED panels from LG.

For a long time Sony Mobile stuck to old habits. The OmniBalance design introduced years ago, for example, is getting long in the tooth. The fact that Sony’s competition in the smartphone world is getting more out of its image sensors than it can was only slightly countered last year with the exclusivity of the Motion Eye Sensor for the company’s own top-of-the-range models. As with the aforementioned old Sony traditions, this year’s intention is look forward, and focus on displays with OLED technology. At least that is what a report by Business Korea says, which in turn cites a representative of LG Display.

AndroidPIT Sony xperia XZ Premium vs Samsung galaxy s8 0630 Compared to the Galaxy S8 (right), the Xperia XZ Premium (left) looks like yesterday’s tech. / © AndroidPIT

According to the report, Sony is not only looking for a reliable OLED panel manufacturer, but is also looking for flexible solutions. LG Display produces such panels, plus the Bravia TVs already have a good cooperation with the Japanese manufacturer. So why not use OLED screens from LG for Xperia smartphones in the future? It’s not confirmed whether Sony Mobile is seeking flexible displays or to put a foldable smartphone on the market in 2018. Surely Sony’s engineers are already working on concepts, but a foldable Xperia smartphone in 2018 might be too radical for for the Japanese company.

What do you think? Will we see the Sony Xperia XZ Pro with an OLED screen at MWC 2018, or will such display panels from LG Display only be seen from Sony in the second half of the year or later? What else do you want from future Sony smartphones that’s missing in the current smartphones from Japanese manufacturer? Let us know in the comments below!

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

What we can expect from smartphones in 2018

2017 was not the revolutionary year we wanted. Of course, some devices were interesting last year, and there is no doubt that some technologies are on the verge of glory, but 2017 wasn’t really that great overall. Looking at all of the exciting changes and differences in smartphones so far in 2018, it’s looking like things could very well change soon.

Our expectations are high. Some smartphones are classics (watertight, fast loading, etc.), others are more idealistic (more affordable prices, a return to the mini-jack plug from some manufacturers, etc.). They have all been discussed in many of our articles over the past couple of years, often at length. So let’s take a closer look at some of the more recent news and get an idea for the year to come.

18:9 Screen 

You might say,  “It’s unique to high-end smartphones”. We instantly think of the Galaxy Note 8, LG V30 and other flagships, but the 18:9 screen is no longer limited to these high-end phones. The Wiko View for example still offer this large screen, and other smartphones that are not necessarily as popular or well known, such as the Huawei Honor 9i.

It is therefore likely that this screen format will become more common in mid-range phones. The Galaxy A5 (2018), for example, could adopt this idea since the design will be inspired by the Galaxy S8. One question remains unanswered: do we want it? A large screen is convenient for multimedia content and is now considered aesthetically pleasing, but it also makes the device more susceptible to damage on impact, and more surface area means more scratches overtime.

AndroidPIT HTC U11 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note8 1931 HTC U11 Plus and Samsung Galaxy Note 8 both have a 18:9 screen. © AndroidPIT

Quick unlocking

If the screen covers most of the front surface, there is no room for a fingerprint reader. There are not many solutions either: change the size of the player, move it to the back (as Samsung and LG did), or replace it. The first option is not really feasible, both in terms of aesthetics and practicality. The second one showed its limitations with the S8+ and Note 8+. When the model is large the button becomes difficult to reach, too high and it is difficult to press. If it is too low it becomes annoying. One solution, currently under consideration, is to place this button directly on the screen, but the technology is not yet fully developed.

What about the third option? There are alternatives to fingerprint scanners, but they are not as practical. One is to scan the iris, the other is to scan the entire face so that facial recognition can be performed to unlock the device. However, Apple is doing quite well with this latest technology, which is used on the iPhone X with the ‘name Face ID’. Other manufacturers such as Samsung have adopted all of these methods, but they have not worked as well as they should. In 2018, we’re expecting a solution to this problem.

AndroidPIT eye sensor scanner Photo illustrating the iris scanner technology. © AndroidPIT

More artificial intelligence

Certainly, this point is intended more for flagships than mid-range smartphones. What’s certain is that artificial intelligence is trying to make its mark with smartphones, whether by using smart wizards such as Google Assistant or by using a hardware chipset like Huawei does on the Mate 10 Pro.

The race for artificial intelligence is leading to competition between manufacturers that are all working on developing this technology and we can therefore expect each of them to reveal their own AI features. AI has become a buzzword, creating intrigue among users (even if some doubt it) because this technology does have great potential and might in fact make life easier for smartphone users. This is illustrated fairly well with Google’s photo recognition system (Motion), or with the post-processing performance due to the NPU chip of the Mate 10 Pro as well as translation features.

amazon echo plus AI is irreplaceable for systems like Alexa © Amazon

What are your expectations for the smartphones of 2018? Let us know in the comments!

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Power users: Which of these 8 smartphones suit your style?

Last week I wrote about how we have this cellphone revolution on our hands where a mid-range smartphone can handle the majority of tasks for a large part of the population. However, premium, top-of-the-line, and other trailblazing devices still have their place in the hearts of those who insist on having the best.

AndroidPIT Samsung Galaxy s8 vs xiaomi mi 6 6962 Power users simply look for the best, without worrying about price. / © AndroidPIT

They’re called power users. They’re those people who use the special and complicated features on the best smartphones they can find. It doesn’t have to be a top-of-the-line model either. They could use the best mid-range model or the best from a couple of years back. It doesn’t matter. Power Users will get the most out of their devices.

2017, in particular, has been an excellent year for this type of person. We’ve seen some impressive smartphones on the market and even more commercial exploration of niche devices, which are those that have one special feature, aimed at a specific population.

It could be an incredible speaker, a stylus with extra features, magnetic modules, dual screens or even specific hardware for anyone looking to create content. These devices are the ones with really high price tags. However, for those who buy them, the price is justified, to the dismay of many others.

If you’re a Power User, you’re probably rubbing your hands together thinking about that perfect device that was released with just what you were looking for, whether you wanted to play intense games or create videos, or maybe you’re obsessed with productivity. You have that super expensive device that you dream about. Let’s get to the list.

Razer Phone – perfect for games

AndroidPIT razer phone 2998 Who doesn’t want to play on a Razer Phone? / © AndroidPIT

This phone is a shining beacon of what niche means. Razer has never actually made a smartphone, and the brand is more well-known for its gaming accessories. We couldn’t expect anything less than a powerful device, with the best hardware, made especially for gamers.

So they went beyond that, and the Razer Phone comes with a Snapdragon 835 chipset, 8 GB of RAM, SD card slot and front stereo Dolby Atmos. However, the cherry on top is the display, a Quad HD OLED, that has nothing less than a 120 Hz refresh rate, something that hasn’t been seen on any other device.

In other words, this is a phone for gamers. There probably won’t be anything to write home about on the camera, system, productivity or recording quality. But it’ll run games like you’ll never believe.

Moto Z2 Force – perfect for early adopters

AndroidPIT moto mods 3740 Moto Mods give you a ton of possibilities / © AndroidPIT

It’s a bit much to ask that the Z2 Force will be a sales success for Motorola. The price tag is just too high to make it a widely-sold device. It does have some top specs though, with a Snapdragon 835 chipset and 6 GB of RAM.

However, having top-of-the-line hardware isn’t the best thing about it. The best thing is the fact that the display won’t crack or shatter, and this makes it ideal for the awkward people out there who can afford to pay a bit more for this feature. Plus, it’s perfect for anyone who wants to play with it on the ground now and then to show their friends how sweet it is.

Z2 Force owners will also probably get a nerd nickname among their friends when they show off their Moto Mods. They’re not cheap accessories, but the more you have, the fewer and farther between your friends’ complaints will be when you show them how much you can do with just the magnets on the back: improved sound, zoom, game controls, projector, 360º camera, battery and much more. This is a device worthy of early adopters.

ZTE Axon M – perfect for multitaskers

Axon M 8 Bet your phone doesn’t do this, does it? / © ZTE

The Axon M could also be a solid idea for early adopters since its dual screen is a real eye-catcher. However, anyone who wants this device is someone who’s crazy about getting the most they can out of their phone. With a Snapdragon 821 chipset and 4 GB of RAM, it’s not out of this world running games, but it’ll make productivity die-hards very happy.

On one display you can search Chrome, read the news, and on the other, you’ve got WhatsApp open getting work done. Or, one is downloading a video you’re saving for later, and the other is on Gmail, where you’re taking care of business.

You can even do the same thing on both screens, where it becomes a dream for people who love a huge, spacious screen to create and get stuff done. Since it’s the first of its kind, it’s not perfect, but it’s certainly the start of a new line of productivity cellphones.

Google Pixel 2 XL – perfect for photographers

google pixel 2 xl hand For Google lovers / © AndroidPIT

When the new iPhones arrived in 2017, the Pixel line got knocked out of first place for the best photos. However, Google retook its title this year with the Pixel 2. The Pixel 2 XL comes with a Snapdragon 835 chipset, but “only” 4 GB of RAM.

However, with Google’s light system and very little personalization, a bit less RAM really isn’t a problem. It’s also not a big deal that it doesn’t have manual settings or a dual camera either. The artificial intelligence and sensors only need you to snap a shot at the right time, and it’ll take incredible photos all by itself.

You can lock in the focus and exposure though, which will help out a bit as well. Obviously, for power users, if you install a more complete app like the Open Camera or ProShot (or whichever you want) you’ll have all the special controls you could ever want. This phone is perfect for anyone who cares more about the Decisive Moment by Bresson than the settings.

BlackBerry KEYone – perfect for execs

AndroidPIT blackberry Keyone 7566 Long, but it’s much easier to type on it / © AndroidPIT

You’ll see, there are still execs out there carrying around a Blackberry with a physical keyboard. This feature launched the company to success, and it was also what brought it all crashing down after it was bought by a Chinese company.

However, niche is the new black, and there’s space for everyone, even the work of art that is a physical keyboard. It doesn’t have high-end specs, with just a Snapdragon 625 chipset and 4 GB of RAM, but what it offers will be the savior of anyone who doesn’t want to type on the screen. It’s quite simply the best option out there.

If you want top photos, heavy games or a discreet phone, the KEYone is not for you. If you spend your day responding to emails and WhatsApp messages, then there’s really nothing better than a physical keyboard. Period.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 – perfect for those who want something attractive

AndroidPIT Xiaomi mi mix 2 2271 There’s nothing to dislike here. / © AndroidPIT

Speaking of discreet, that isn’t something that people who want a Mi Mix 2 are looking for. With the display turned off, just laying on a table, it might seem normal, but when you turn on the screen, and you see that there’s almost no bezel on three of the four sides of the device, there’s no mistaking it for anything less than what it really is.

With a Snapdragon 835 chipset and up to 8 GB of RAM, it doesn’t disappoint on performance either, although it doesn’t have the best usability on gaming. It’s a prestigious device, made to show off and be admired. The sound system will amaze you as well. It’s based on piezoelectricity which doesn’t need any audio outputs.

Apart from that, the Android interface from Xiaomi, MIUI, is clean and understated, which is a big deal for design enthusiasts. Xiaomi doesn’t make the best cameras and typing probably isn’t very convenient on this device, but boy is it good looking and powerful.

LG V30 – perfect for content creators

AndroidPIT LG V30 0545 Dual camera and more features to create content / © AndroidPIT

Finally, we’ve got an LG. The V30 doesn’t have one of the best cameras out there, so how can it be ideal for people who like to make films, vlogs and post photos on Instagram? It comes with a Snapdragon 835 chipset and 4 GB of RAM, but it also has a dual camera and one of them is wide-angle.

Not only are there manual settings for photos, which is pretty standard on high-end phones, but also for videos, which gives you more freedom when you’re shooting. It also records in LOG, which is much more professional, and it can capture external audio, pl it has a lot of other tools for all the creative types out there.

What all that means is that you can leave your professional camera at home when you’re going out to shoot, since making incredible videos with the V30 is a breeze. The features from LG are easy to use and perfect for someone looking to make adjustments without wanting to go too deep.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 – perfect for those who want the best

AndroidPIT Samsung NOTE 8 GOLD 4352 For someone who wants the best of everything. / © AndroidPIT

There’s no way this device couldn’t make this list. The Note 8 is officially the most expensive Android smartphone on the market. It’s for those people who aren’t messing around when they say they want the most powerful and fluid device that comes with all the best features.

The Note line is comprised of the only devices that truly know how to take advantage of a stylus. Apart from a range of practical tools, it’s also full of features, including memos that show when the AMOLED screen isn’t awake. It comes with a Snapdragon 835 and 6 GB of RAM.

The curved screen is massive and is unrivaled in the features it has for its stylus. It brings together the best in just one device, fixing all the problems with the Note 7. The term power user could have been created because of Samsung and its Note series.

An incredible selection of devices, don’t you think? Which would you go with?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Best Android smartphones under $300

In this selection, we’ve picked the five Android smartphones that we found to give the most bang for your buck. Specifically, bang for under 300 bucks. Among them are older high-end mobile phones, followed by some excellent mid-range devices that provide a good everyday user experience.

Note: Keep in mind that this article is a work in progress. To be more clear, this means that the list of smartphones will change and/or evolve over time. We will be updating the list periodically as we get the chance to review more options on the market.

Best smartphones under $ 300 – skip ahead to:

Huawei P9

The Huawei P9 is the 2016 flagship of the up-and-coming brand and is a high-performance, well-designed smartphone. Despite being a year old, the P9 is still a top-of-the-range device. Pleasant to hold in hand, it testifies to the increasing success of the Chinese manufacturer.

AndroidPIT huawei p9 1459 TheHuawei P9 isn’t so far behind its successor, the P10. / © AndroidPIT

Under the hood, the Huawei P9 features a HiSilicon Kirin 955 processor, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory. The camera is high-performance and meets even the needs of hardcore photographers who want to venture beyond the automatic mode (special mention to the excellent black and white mode). 

In terms of battery life, it’s a little disappointing since the smartphone often struggles to last through the day. Fortunately, the P9 has been updated to second-latest version of Android and the new EMUI interface with more customization options.

Huawei P9 technical specifications

Dimensions: 145 x 70.9 x 6.95 mm
Weight: 144 g
Battery size: 3000 mAh
Screen size: 5.2 in
Screen: 1920 x 1080 pixels (424 ppi)
Front camera: 8 megapixels
Rear camera: 12 megapixels
Flashlight: LED
Android version: 6.0 – Marshmallow
User interface: Huawei EMUI
RAM: 3 GB
Internal storage: 32 GB
Removable storage: microSD
Chipset: HiSilicon Kirin 955
Number of cores: 8
Max. clock speed: 2.5 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2

Lowest price: Huawei P9

Best price

Honor 7X

A device with a screen 18:9 screen, decent performance and a metal body for less than $ 200? Honor has just made it possible.

AndroidPIT honor 7x iso The Honor 7X has a great price-performance ratio. / © AndroidPIT

The Honor 7X is characterized by a modern design, with a display that covers the entire front of the smartphone, a metal unibody and a dual rear camera. The recent Kirin 659 octa-core processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of microSD expandable internal memory. The Honor 7X comes with a 3340mAh battery and Android 7.0 Nougat installed (but the update to Oreo is confirmed).

Lowest price: Honor 7X

Best price

Honor 7X technical specifications

Dimensions: 156.5 x 75.3 x 7.6 mm
Weight: 165 g
Battery size: 3340 mAh
Screen size: 5.93 in
Display technology: LCD
Screen: 2160 x 1080 pixels (407 ppi)
Front camera: 8 megapixels
Rear camera: 16 megapixels
Flashlight: LED
Android version: 7.0 – Nougat
User interface: Huawei EMUI
RAM: 4 GB
Internal storage: 64 GB
Removable storage: microSD
Chipset: HiSilicon Kirin 659
Number of cores: 8
Max. clock speed: 2.36 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 4.1

Moto G5S Plus

The phone is an enhanced version of the Moto G5 Plus, which came out earlier this year for $ 230. At $ 280, the G5S Plus is still very affordable, considering the extra features.

AndroidPIT Motorola Moto G5s 9597 An extra 50 bucks nets you some nice advantages. / © AndroidPIT

In exchange for the price bump from the previous model, you get a bigger, better phone: it has a 5.5-inch 1080p screen instead of a 5.2-inch 1080p screen; an 8-megapixel front camera instead of a 5-megapixel front camera; and dual 13-megapixel rear cameras instead of a single 12-megapixel camera.

Lowest price: Motorola Moto G5s Plus

Best price

Motorola Moto G5s Plus technical specifications

Dimensions: 153.5 x 76.2 x 9.5 mm
Weight: 170 g
Battery size: 3000 mAh
Screen size: 5.51 in
Display technology: LCD
Screen: 1920 x 1080 pixels (400 ppi)
Front camera: 8 megapixels
Rear camera: 13 megapixels
Flashlight: Dual-LED
Android version: 7.1.1 – Nougat
User interface: Stock Android
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, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 4.2

LG Q6

LG’s mid-range smartphone has just had a significant fall in price and is now one of the most attractive purchases in this market range.

With a beautiful 18:9 display, a top-of-the-range look and well equipped software with interesting features, the LG Q6 is easily one of the best phones that can be nabbed for under $ 300.

AndroidPIT lg q6 7154

The LG Q6 is a mid-range smartphone with a premium look. / © AndroidPIT

Lowest price: LG Q6

Best price

LG Q6 technical specifications

Dimensions: 142.5 x 69.3 x 8.1 mm
Weight: 149 g
Battery size: 3000 mAh
Screen size: 5.5 in
Display technology: LCD
Screen: 2160 x 1080 pixels (442 ppi)
Front camera: 5 megapixels
Rear camera: 13 megapixels
Flashlight: LED
Android version: 7.1.1 – Nougat
User interface: LG UX
RAM: 3 GB
Internal storage: 32 GB
Removable storage: microSD
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 435
Number of cores: 8
Max. clock speed: 1.4 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 4.2

Honor 6X Pro

If the Honor 7X doesn’t immediately wow you and you want to save a few extra dollars, the Honor 6X Pro is now available for under $ 200 and could do it for you, if you’re willing to make a few sacrifices in performance.

The Honor 6X Pro comes with a bright 5.5-inch LCD IPS screen with Full HD resolution, a HiSilicon Kirin 655 processor flanked by Mali-T830 GPUs, 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM and 64GB of expandable memory via microSD.

Everything runs smoothly and will not disappoint in normal daily use. Unfortunately it still comes with Marshmallow preinstalled, but at the first power up you should already find Nougat waiting for you to update. 

AndroidPIT honor 6X 3016 Honor 6X pro is aesthetically indistinguishable from the previous 6X. / © AndroidPIT

Honor 6X Pro technical specifications

Dimensions: 150.9 x 76.2 x 8.2 mm
Weight: 162 g
Battery size: 3340 mAh
Screen size: 5.5 in
Display technology: LCD
Screen: 1920 x 1080 pixels (401 ppi)
Front camera: 8 megapixels
Rear camera: 12 megapixels
Flashlight: LED
Android version: 6.0 – Marshmallow
User interface: Huawei EMUI
RAM: 4 GB
Internal storage: 64 GB
Removable storage: microSD
Chipset: HiSilicon Kirin 655
Number of cores: 8
Max. clock speed: 2.1 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 4.1

If you have other good deals to propose to us for less than $ 300, do not hesitate to let us know in the comments! We will be pleased to review your proposals, and perhaps add them to the article in the future. 

In the meantime, we hope that this top list will help you to find a great smartphone at a low price!

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Your wallet will be thanking us for these budget smartphones

There are many small smartphone companies worldwide that lend their hand to creating a diverse smartphone market, extending past the likes of Samsung, LG and Huawei, which provide users with an abundance in choice. These smaller enterprises, many of which originate in China, offer cheap phones that also perform well to meet your daily communication, gaming, photography and video needs, to name a few. Here are some smartphones, all available for purchase online, that come with affordable prices to meet any budget.

DOOGEE Mix 2

The DOOGEE MIX 2 has a 5.99-inch bezel-less display with an 18:9 aspect ratio and FHD+ resolution, featuring 4 cameras, one if which is a 130° wide-angle front camera. This is the first bezel-less smartphone to come with four cameras. The DOOGEE Mix 2 also features Face Unlock and four other unlock methods in order to protect your information. Regarding the hardware, the DOOGEE smartphone is powered by a MTK Helio P25 processor, in addition to 6GB of RAM and a 4,060mAh battery. Here’s where you can buy the DOOGEE MIX 2 today.

DOOGEE MIX 2 Get your hands on the bezel-less DOOGEE MIX 2. / © DOOGEE

MAZE Alpha

The first thing that you’ll notice about the MAZE Alpha is its 6-inch FHD display that fills close to 83 percent of the phone’s front. This is pretty remarkable such an inexpensive handset. The dual camera found on the Alpha is also quite decent with both 13MP and 5MP on the back. The front shooter snaps pictures with a 5MP sensor. Inside the device you’ll find a Helio P25 chipset that is able to deliver blistering results when playing games and multitasking. The phone can be purchased with either 4GB or 6GB of RAM. On board you’ll find Android 7.0 Nougat, which will soon be upgraded to Android Oreo. Powering the entire device is a healthy 4,000mAh battery that can provide you with around a day and a half of usage. Find out how you can purchase the MAZE Alpha today.

MAZE Alpha Borderless pleasure on one device, that’s the MAZE Alpha. / © MAZE

AllCall W1 smartwatch phone

When you purchase the AllCall W1, you get a watch, a smartphone and a smartband, all rolled into one. The AllCall W1 comes in a classic black color and along with a stainless steel plated case that has been polished to give it a premium look. The display is a beautiful Samsung 1.39-inch AMOLED display. The smarwatch holds a mtk6580m processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB internal storage. It also offers a 420mAh battery with three to four hours of standby time. AllCall W1 is a great asset when it comes to doing sports and taking care of your health, thanks to such features as its built-in professional pedometer and heart rate detector that allow you to to achieve multi-dimensional sports data monitoring. You can even monitor your the duration and quality of your sleep. To stay fit and healthy, get a hold of the AllCall W1 smartwatch today.

W1 The power of a smartphone on your wrist. / © AllCall

LeEco Le Max 2

The LeTV LeEco Le Max 2 is an Android smartphone thats design is based on the unique look LeTV smartphone, though it has received an upgrade in color and it is even more pleasing to the eye. On the device you will find a 5.7-inch 2K retina screen with almost no bezel. Inside the LeEco Le Max 2 you will find a quadcore Qualcomm-made Snapdragon 820 processor along with 4GB of RAM. For taking pictures, the smartphone presents a dual camera on the back made up of 21 and 8 MP lenses. The Android handset even comes with a fingerprint ID. Finally, when it comes to software, the phone runs Android 6.0 and its own user interface called eUI. Get your own LeEco Le Max 2 today.

leeco le max 2 LeEco Le Max 2 comes with a dual camera. / © LeEco

What do you think of these affordable smartphones? Would you add any to your shopping cart?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

What is the best material for smartphones and tablets?

The humble mobile phone has evolved in so many ways, that even the choice of material used has become a “feature” that manufacturers tout. While silicon leads plastic by a wee bit in making up a smartphone, iron is not too far behind, holding the third place at 20.47 per cent according to Statista. Here is a closer look at what are the most common materials used to make smartphones and tablets, in addition to an overview of what’s used in the various the flagship models today. If you have a preferred material for smartphone bodies, be sure to let us know in our poll!

Aluminum and glass mixture

A combination of aluminum and glass has become quite the trend in recently, and many different smartphone manufacturers have incorporated that into their flagship handsets. While we do not deny that these materials make any handset stand out and ooze with class, there’s the unfortunate drawback of turning your device into a fingerprint collector all too easily. No matter how tough glass can get, it does not welcome falls and knocks too kindly, so cracks are bound to be a common occurrence for those with sweaty palms or clumsy fingers. It is in your (and your smartphone’s) best interest to invest in a good protective case for your smartphone if its body is made out of aluminum and glass.

CNC aluminum/aluminum

Offering a premium look and feel, aluminum works great most of the time since it is one of the better materials out there that can conduct heat, hence helping to keep the handset cooler when the processor works hard. This is assuming that there is a proper amount of insulation or airflow designed into the aluminum body. It is also far more durable compared to plastic, so having the smartphone body crack would take some pretty serious abuse. 

Opinion by Edwin Kee

The great look of aluminum & glass is well worth all the fingerprint cleaning.

What do you think?

16 participants

ABS plastic

ABS, or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene in full, is a very cheap and extremely light plastic, but it fares poorly in terms of conducting heat. You will find entry level smartphones make use of ABS plastic, which helps to lower the overall manufacturing cost. 

Carbon fiber

Carbon fiber is not only lightweight and flexible, it is also very strong when compared to plastic. While it allows one to enjoy a lighter weight without sacrificing structural integrity in the event of a knock or drop, it is a poor heat conductor. Smartphones that feature a carbon fiber body would need a good heat dispersion or cooling system to keep the innards nice and well ventilated when the processor is called upon to work harder than normal. 

The state of the flagship

We will now look at Samsung, LG, HTC, Google, Motorola and Apple with their respective flagships and materials used for the smartphone chassis, where the aluminum and glass combination seems to be a major trend at the moment.

Samsung

Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ will feature Gorilla Glass 5 in front and at the back, while the camera’s glass is protected by Gorilla Glass 3. Long gone are the days when the Samsung A300 (famously known as the Blue I) flip phone featured a stunning secondary display that glowed in a blue color. Never mind that it felt like recycled plastic , there was an overwhelming coolness about it. The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ both use a mixture of glass and aluminum alloy that exudes elegance, although that automatically qualifies it as a fingerprint magnet. The Galaxy Note 8 phablet also follows a similar route.

AndroidPIT glaxy note 8 vs lg v 30 0032 Samsung and LG compete to perfect the glass & aluminum look. / © AndroidPIT

LG

Anything that Samsung does, its bitter rival LG will also attempt to usurp. Case in point, the LG G6 and LG V30 which too, comes with a body that emphasizes on aluminum alloy and glass to get the job done. At the end of the day, a whole lot of success in selling a smartphone model also lies in its design, and we certainly think that LG has done a very good job for both flagship models in terms of marrying aesthetics to functionality and materials used.

HTC

HTC’s U11 might be your latest smartphone squeeze, and it also follows in the footsteps of aluminum alloy and glass. No surprise there as the Taiwanese company makes an attempt to return to its glory days where it was top dog in the world of Android smartphones. We like the idea of incorporating a squeeze feature to access various features on the smartphone, where glass and aluminum have made that possible.

google pixel 2 side2 Pixel 2 is good looking but demands protection. / © AndroidPIT

Google

Google’s Pixel 2 takes a slightly different route, although it plays with the same idea. Featuring a mixture of metal and glass, you will find that there is a certain solidity to the Pixel 2 handset. Still, with glass on the outside, the same drawbacks remain, including it being a fingerprint collector and being more prone to cracking when dropped or knocked against a hard surface. Why not check out what are the best Pixel 2 accessories that you can get to keep your shiny new Pixel 2 protected?

Motorola

Motorola’s Z2 Force is the cream of the crop for this year, and it does stand out from the crowd by featuring just an aluminum alloy to make up its chassis. This automatically makes it more durable (at least the back segment) since there is no glass to worry about should you accidentally bump into the corner of a table or drop it on the floor. However, like all metals, there is a possibility of bending or denting in certain situations. Still, the Z2 Force is proof that a smartphone can look good with a standalone milled aluminum case. 

AndroidPIT sony xperia xz1 review 9241 Polycarbonate and aluminum allow make up this beautiful looking Xperia XZ1 from Sony. / © AndroidPIT

Sony

Sony’s foray into the smartphone arena continues, but their market share is a far cry from earlier days. The Xperia XZ1 is the flagship model for this year, where it boasts of a body that is made out of a polycarbonate and aluminum alloy. Sony’s aesthetics have always been its strong suit, and you can be sure that the Xperia XZ1 might even feel as though you were carrying a mini Bravia TV in your pocket. One thing is for sure though, you will spend far less time wiping fingerprints from the Xperia XZ1 compared to many other flagship smartphones from other manufacturers. Sleek looking and functional, this is a decent purchase for anyone who wants a top shelf smartphone.

Apple

Apple’s take on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus also plays to a similar tune, where it features a mixture of aluminum with glass in front and at the back. This trend will most probably continue for at least a few more smartphone generations down the road before pragmatism or a new design idea takes over. 

Which material do you like the most?

At the end of the day, customers have no say in the choice of material used by smartphone manufacturers, but we can vote by our wallet. No doubt some of us are ‘forced’ to embrace the aluminum and glass mixture simply because of brand preference. Which particular material do you think works best for you, and why? Let us know your favorite in our poll below.

What’s your personal phone made out of? Would you change it for your next one?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Smartphones without borders: where they came from and where they're going

I only read this article because I was bored at work.

What do you think?

16506 participants

Life is unfair. It may be able to play videos in 4K with a beautiful display, run the most demanding games and have a battery that lasts two days, but it wouldn’t matter. It will be judged according to its borders and lose all credibility among the competition.

Who would have thought that borders would be such a hot topic? On the new iPhone X, in addition to the Galaxy S8, S8+ and Note 8, the Xiaomi Mi Mix and even the LG G6 are all headed that way, but these weren’t the first borderless smartphones out there. The idea isn’t even from 2017.

In the distant days of 2014, Sharp launched its Aquos Crystal which, despite having a huge border under the display, almost entirely erased it from the sides and top. It’s still living by that same motto in 2015 and 2017. ZTE, with its Nubia line, also launched the Z9 with borderless sides in 2015.

Sharp Aquos Crystal 11 Sharp Aquos Crystal, the original borderless phone / © AndroidPIT

Sony has been known to play around with its borders quite a bit as well. However, it’s now attracting flak for its latest high-end models, the XZ Premium and XZ1, which had an unacceptable amount of border since in 2015. The Xperia C5 Ultra, on the other hand, impressed with its borderless sides. The XA1 is still using the design today (below).

AndroidPIT sony xperia xa1 review 3774 Whoever said that Sony has never played around with the borders on its models? / © AndroidPIT

Rounding out these pioneering smartphones is the iconic S7 Edge, which got rid of any bezel that the S6 Edge hadn’t already done away with. Plus, it was the Edge line that popularized the display with curved sides.

Obviously, we also have some current examples which are an even more extreme, with basically non-existent borders. One of the most symbolic is the Xiaomi Mi Mix from last year and its recently-launched second version. In addition to the iPhone X, the Essential phone (from the company of one of the Android founders, Andy Rubin) puts the camera in the middle of the display.

essential phone front back Essential phone from Andy Rubin / © Essential

Our hall of fame of bezel-less phones has plenty of stars, doesn’t it? Even though it came about in 2014, it’s a trend that’s really starting to gain momentum, and it’s practically required on any smartphone nowadays. They really are breathtaking, and it gives off an incredible futuristic feel. But, what’s the practical application of all this?

Not having a border doesn’t add any features to a smartphone, no real innovation, it’s all aesthetic. Design is essential for these devices, but so is usability.

One of the only devices that was really able to get anything useful out of the minimum border was the Edge line from Samsung. It had a few exclusive tools, but they weren’t among the most popular ones from Samsung.

s7edge Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and its Edge features / © AndroidPIT

When it comes to usability, I don’t see any practical benefit here. I have an S7 Edge because of its great camera. I usually take videos with it but for me, using it in my daily life is obnoxious. Many times, as I have somewhat fat fingers, I accidentally push something I don’t want to since there isn’t any place to hold onto it.

In bed, trying to hold the S7 Edge to read an article without accidentally pushing a button is almost impossible. There’s nothing to grab onto, so I usually end up dropping it on my face. I’ve stopped using it because of things like that. And if I can’t use it, it isn’t practical.

Opinion by Stella Dauer

Borderless smartphones still aren’t very good when it comes to usability

What do you think?

4 participants

Furthermore, the lack of borders takes away from other features on the front of the device. The sensors are a complicated issue, but where does that leave the camera? On the Mi Mix and similar devices, it was put beneath the display, and you need to be careful not to get your conversation in the shot when you were taking a selfie. It’s a weird place to put a camera.

On the Essential phone and others, like the Sharp Aquos S2, the camera is in the middle of the display, making developers go crazy thinking about how they’re supposed to get their apps to work around it. The notch screen on the iPhone X will also require apps to be redesigned around it.

apple keynote iphone x 15

Apple iPhone X with its notch screen / © Apple

In this last case, all is not lost. The iPhone X, like Android phones, has an 18:9 ratio or something similar (another trend). Many apps and video content just won’t use that part of the screen (although some do). However, this makes the part around the camera useless, which doesn’t seem like too good of an idea to me.

Thinking more logically, I can see some advantages in the midst of all this. The problems mentioned above are what we have to deal with today, but nothing is stopping them from being fixed in the near future. New devices are always being released and, with them, things that we’ve never seen before.

xiaomi mi mix 2 05 Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 / © Xiaomi

The Mi Mix is an excellent example of that. Without any way to output sound on the front, it’s now reverberated throughout the entire device with a piezoelectric system. On the iPhone X, we can see a facial recognition which is more secure and faster, and which will make fingerprint sensors obsolete, or they could be integrated into the display with ultrasound.

It’s not often that innovation comes without the growing pains of change and adjustment. It’s not always the first ones that work best, but they do open the way for those that really do work.

So despite the fact that currently I’m not a fan of borderless devices, I think they’ll be a part of our future and that someone, very soon, will come up with a solution that will make me enjoy using them.

Do you like borderless smartphones? What do you think the future has in store for this trend?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT