Smartphones – Mobile Geeks http://www.mobilegeeks.com Covering the Latest Mobile Technology News Wed, 12 Dec 2018 08:00:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 39846093 OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition Hands On http://www.mobilegeeks.com/review/oneplus-6t-mclaren-edition-review/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/review/oneplus-6t-mclaren-edition-review/#respond Tue, 11 Dec 2018 12:00:40 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?post_type=review&p=39281

The OnePlus 6T is getting a “Salute to Speed” with the McLaren Edition which increases the RAM to 10GB! The mirrored glass back now comes with a carbon fiber-like accent weave and an orange tint along the bottom. The internet has unanimously agreed that the OnePlus series of phones is the best bang for your […]

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The OnePlus 6T is getting a “Salute to Speed” with the McLaren Edition which increases the RAM to 10GB! The mirrored glass back now comes with a carbon fiber-like accent weave and an orange tint along the bottom.

The internet has unanimously agreed that the OnePlus series of phones is the best bang for your buck that you can get. Umit doesn’t necessarily agree, he thinks the phone is overhyped, and he is right, Android enthusiasts are cult-like with their love of the OnePlus. I do, however, think is he had to shell out for his own devices he might have given the 6T a little more love. The 6T has been my daily driver for nearly a month since I got the Thunder purple and I love the camera, performance and battery life.

The McLaren edition promises to be more performance centered with identical specs save the Warp Charge 30 charge and 10GB of RAM.

Warp Charge 30 gives you a full day’s power in 20 minutes because of integrated circuits in the phone and charger. The power management software allows for 30Watts of power to head into the phone without slowing it down or getting hot. We’ll have more on this in the full review dropping on December 13th. Along with a full breakdown on performance, battery life and camera (which is identical to the 6T, so expect no surprises there).

Today, we’re going to focus in on design and the McLaren edition touches we found in the UX.

The design aesthetic of the signature McLaren is black with a carbon fiber pattern and Papaya Orange accents. The carbon fiber pattern only appears around the camera halfway down the handset. The Papaya orange is elegantly traced up the bottom edge and side of you’ve got a McLaren orange sexily sliding up the handset.

Carbon fiber is at the heart of McLaren cars since 1981 when it was introduced in their Formula 1 car design and later into their cars in 1983.

None of the buttons come with the papaya accent and when you head into the UX you’ll find plenty of little touches.

The software on the McLeran edition is identical to the Android 9.0 found on the 6T, apart from a few little accent color tweaks.

The animation for the in display fingerprint sensor is new, and it is oh so futuristic, however, it is often slow and inaccurate when you compare it to traditional. Unlocks sometimes happen in half a second, but regularly take upwards of 2 seconds. That doesn’t seem like a long time, but it really is when you’re just sitting there staring at an animation wondering if you need to shift your finger. A typical capacitive sensor will recognize or reject a fingerprint in 0.2-0.4 seconds. But the animation is cool, so at least you have that to look at while you wait.

When you first boot it up, you’ll have the option to use the handset for AR to learn more about the collaboration between McLaren and OnePlus. I haven’t found a way to activate this again outside of the initial boot up, hopefully OnePlus makes a QR code available, it’s a neat party trick you’ll want to show friends.

In Settings – Display – Theme – McLaren, allows your OnePlus to have orange accents throughout the UX. In the navigation bar and settings are the easiest places to find them. You have to really like orange, and at Mobile Geeks we do, so we’re pleased that there is a Mobile Geeks theme on this phone!

The display is still the 6.41-inch with an Optic AMOLED panel and a resolution of 2340 x 1080. It is still one of the best in this category, with excellent contrast levels and vibrant colors. When out and about I didn’t have any issues with sunlight visibility.

Unboxing

The box is beautiful and comes with a papaya orange woven Type-C cable, carbon fiber case, McLaren power supply rated a2A or 5V-6A Max for Warp Charge 30.

There is a McLaren Speedmark logo recreated in McLaren-designed F1 AA grade carbon fiber, the same material used in the McLaren MCL22 2018 Formula 1 car. Over six F1 cars’ worth of carbon fiber was used in the production of the Speedmarks.

The device will be available in Western Europe and North America on December 13th with availability in the Nordics, India, and China soon after. The OnePlus 6T McLaren edition is available for $699.

Stay Tuned for the full review that drops on Dec 13th to find out what 10GB of RAM stack up!

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LG V40 ThinkQ Review: A Month Later http://www.mobilegeeks.com/review/lg-v40-thinkq-review-a-month-later/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/review/lg-v40-thinkq-review-a-month-later/#respond Sun, 25 Nov 2018 12:26:12 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?post_type=review&p=38951

I’ve been a loyal LG fangirl for many years, it’s that wide angle lens that made it my daily driver. Even though they may not have had the best selfie camera or low light performance, in my mind that wide angle made up for it. For years no one else seemed to get the joy […]

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I’ve been a loyal LG fangirl for many years, it’s that wide angle lens that made it my daily driver. Even though they may not have had the best selfie camera or low light performance, in my mind that wide angle made up for it. For years no one else seemed to get the joy of the wide angle, they wanted to creep in on the world around with there 2 times optical zoom.

The V40 ThinkQ is the first phone to come out with 5 cameras, in addition to the three on the back their are two on the front. They are 5 distinct stand alone cameras, the Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) has one depth sensing camera, so we don’t think it counts.

With all of its cameras and it’s best in class specs, we think LG might have come out with a phone with very few compromises. However, At $950 unlocked, the V40 seeks to play in the smartphone big leagues. Let’s find out if it stands its ground.

Design

+
Premium look and feel
Moroccan Blue with its frosted glass finish feels so nice and it is NOT a fingerprint magnet.


All glass means you can crack the back of your phone too

The LG V40 ThinQ has a distinguishing feature with its triple-lens camera on the back, and two small cameras on the front. It feels VERY premium in hand and it weighs just 168g. It’s noticeably lighter than the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (201g) and the iPhone XS Max (208g).
It’s the weight of a sizable plastic phone, with all the benefits (and risks, in terms of potential dings and scratches) of a premium, all-glass design.

The power button returns to the right side of the phone – a switch from the LG V30 and other V series phones before it, which had the rear fingerprint sensor button pulling double duty as a power button and a form of authentication. Now the rear sensor is just a pad for unlocking the phone, and the new clicky side power button is dedicated to sleep/wake.

Hardware

  • The fingerprint scanner is on the back (as on the G7, it’s no longer the power button), The fingerprint scanner is in a very good location, and I’ve no real complaints to report as to its responsiveness or accuracy – it’s very good.
  • There’s a dedicated Google Assistant launch key on the left hand side of the phone. I’m not sure I’m likely to use it very much, but at least it’s not mapped to Bixby, so I’m calling it a pro
  • Wireless Charging
  • IP68

Cameras to the side, the 6.4-inch V40 is the largest-diagonal V-series LG phone, for those keeping records. The must-haves that no longer make headlines include the Snapdragon 845 chipset, 6gigs of RAM and 64GB/128GB of storage which 1. is expandable and 2. opens the possibility for a top-spec V40S+ (or something) version with, say, 256GB.

LG V40 ThinQ specs

Body: Aluminum frame with Gorilla Glass 5 on front and rear; MIL-STD-810G transit drop test compliant; IP68 rated for dust and water resistance.
Screen: 6.4″ QHD+ FullVision OLED; 19.5:9 aspect ratio with a notch (LG calls it ‘Second screen’), 537ppi; HDR 10 support.
Camera: Primary: 12MP, 1.4µm pixel size; f/1.5 aperture, 78-degree FOV lens, 25mm equiv. focal length, OIS, dual pixel PDAF; Ultra wide-angle: 16MP; f/1.9 aperture, 107-degree FOV lens, 16mm equiv. focal length, fixed focus. Telephoto: 12MP; f/2.4 aperture, 47-degree FOV, 50mm equiv. focal length, 2x zoom, PDAF.
Selfie cam: Primary: 8MP, f/1.9 aperture, 80-degree FOV lens; Secondary: 5MP, f/2.2 aperture, 90-degree FOV lens.
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845: octa-core CPU (4×2.8 GHz Kryo 385 Gold & 4×1.7 GHz Kryo 385 Silver), Adreno 630 GPU.
Memory: 6GB of RAM; 64GB storage; microSD slot.
OS: Android 8.0 Oreo with LG UX, Android P update expected.
Battery: 3,300mAh Lithium Polymer (sealed); Quick Charge 3.0/Power Delivery fast charging; Qi fast wireless charging.
Connectivity: Single-SIM, Dual-SIM available in certain markets; LTE-A, 3-Band carrier aggregation, Cat.16/13 (1Gbps/150Mbps); USB Type-C; Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; GPS; Bluetooth 5.0; FM radio.
Misc: Fingerprint reader; Hi-Fi Quad DAC; 3.5mm headphone jack; 2 mics, Boombox speaker.

We’d have liked to see some more battery inside the V40, and we wouldn’t be ourselves if we didn’t complain about the dated OS version at launch – Oreo is no Pie, to state the obvious.

Display

It has a virtually all-screen 6.4-inch OLED screen on the front with that small notch cut-out at the top, making its face look like the iPhone X and every Android clone since. The notch is easy to ignore, with enough room to fit the two front-facing cameras and a smaller earpiece speaker. There is slightly more bezel around the sides and chin than on an iPhone, but you’ll only see the difference in a side-by-side comparison.

The new-and-improved OLED display is a generational leap over last year’s panel – much to my relief. While not quite on the level of Samsung’s latest displays for brightness and viewing angles, these new LG OLEDs are pleasant to behold and offer vastly improved ambient brightness and contrast. I think there was a real worry that LG would remain years behind Samsung in the OLED game, but the V40 sees that gap substantially closed, if not entirely eliminated. The screen supports HDR, too, so you can really take advantage of that expanded color gamut in apps like YouTube and Netflix.

Camera

Primary rear camera

The best photos come from the 12MP standard camera, which captures what’s in front of you with a typical 78-degree field of view.

This lens has a fast f/1.5 aperture to pull in more light, and the size of the pixels, or photosites, on the sensor is larger than is typical at 1.4 microns, improving the light-gathering capabilities of the sensor; combined, these two features offer improved performance in low-light situations. LG’s Super Bright Camera tech is also here, offering a mode that amps up the brightness in dark environments, but cuts the normal resolution.

Super-wide rear camera

The LG V40 is ready to capture everything that’s in front of you with its super-wide rear camera that has a 107-degree FOV. It’s not as dramatic as the 120-degree FOV on the original LG V10, but that’s in order to reduce barrel distortion at the edges.

The resulting 16MP photos from this f/1.8 lens gives you better context of scenes. The wide-angle effect works, but we did notice blurry and soft edges in the corners of most photos we took. You’re not getting OIS on this super-wide camera, and it’s noticeable sometimes when you’re looking for details.

Telephoto rear camera

This is new for LG, like the competition you’re able to get twice as close to subjects without distortion when digitally zoomed in.

Matt over at trusted reviews pointed out to me that low light photos while using the telephoto lens actually use the normal camera lens and just crop the image. He found this out because the EXIF details prove it uses the f/1.5 aperture of the normal lens. Apple and Samsung do this with their telephoto lens, so it’s not unusual. Things end up being less blurry with a faster aperture at nighttime.

Where things get interesting is that in triple Shot mode (which cycles through all three cameras) forces the telephoto lens to be used, even in low light situations. Which does lead to blurrier-than-normal shots. You also don’t really have the ability to frame properly in triple shot so it is a bit of a non-feature in my mind. You need to stay really still as the handset cycles through all three lenses. It takes 4 seconds, and I’ve found even if I’m really still the photos seem a little off, either blurry or the framing sucks.

Primary front-facing camera

The LG V40 has an upgraded 8MP front-facing camera, and that’s good news for anyone who tried the LG V30 selfie camera and hated the results.

This f/1.9 lens with an 80-degree FOV is capable of taking portrait photos, and while it’s not our favorite among selfie shooters, it’s a huge step in the right direction for LG. Just be sure to turn beauty mode off. We love using it, but the result in the photos are more aggressive than what is shown on the screen. So have it turned way, way down!

The wide front-facing camera from the LG V10 – our favorite feature on the original V series phone – gets new life in the LG V40, although things have changed a bit in 2018 as a result of feedback from users. This 5MP f/2.2 lens is limited to a 90-degree FOV, which is only slightly wider than the standard selfie camera and far tighter than the 120-degree FOV on the LG V10 wide front-facing camera.

Portrait photos did an okay job for us on the LG V40. There’s a healthy amount of blur in the background, though you’ll notice the blur drop into foreground subjects, especially around the hair.

Example of a photo that looked fine in preview, but looks insane after it was taken.

Software

+
You can add an app drawer

Does not ship with Android 9.0. For nearly $1000 this is disappointing.
UI feels busy and cluttered

The LG UI has always been a little bit of love it or hate it. I’m pretty adaptable, changing phones often means that I notice differences but I also don’t mind changing my flow to the way the manufacturer thinks I should be using a phone.

It is hard to argue that LG does have a busier UI than most, pulling down on the notification bar offers a lot of information and the settings are tabs. You can add an app drawer, which I really like, I feel more organized when I can tuck away hardly used apps and I have a place to scroll for an app that I can’t find because I organized it away in some folder.

You’ll either love the V40’s software experience or you’ll hate it. I really enjoy the simple bubble theme, since it matches Google’s Material Design 2.0 quite well.

Sound

The LG V40 has just one speaker, but we found it gets plenty loud thanks to its Boombox Speaker concept. We saw this with the G7, too – inside, the entire back of the phone is dedicated to a resonance chamber. You’ll also find a 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC and DTS:X 3D Surround Sound, continuing the V series tradition of offering some of the best audio on a phone when you’re using it with headphones.

Battery Life

3300mah battery
Wireless charging

The battery in the LG V40 is 3,300mAh, which is admittedly a bit small for a screen this large. This also translates fairly directly into screen-on time. I would get between 4.5-5.5hr of screen-on time, leaning towards five on average. This isn’t exactly ideal, especially when LG markets this as the phone that can do everything. I would have loved to see a 4,000mAh battery to properly compete with Samsung’s Note 9.

Price

It is expensive, no way around it. However, not everyone cares about price, they upgrade and hardly take notice of the addition to their monthly bill.

It is hard to justify the cost when you can pick up one and a half OnePlus 6T’s. However, in hand, it feels premium, and the camera versatility is fantastic. Those who like the pen of the Note9 are paying for that feature, it depends on how much you love the zoom-wide angle combo.

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Oppo R15 Pro Review http://www.mobilegeeks.com/review/oppo-r15-pro-review/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/review/oppo-r15-pro-review/#respond Thu, 09 Aug 2018 18:23:53 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?post_type=review&p=38061

Where the difference between mid range and high-end smartphones is becoming less and less noticeable OPPO is taking on the smartphone market with a focus on sexy design and great selfies. Oppo is already making its mark in its native China, but with a big push planned for India in 2016 as well as starting […]

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Where the difference between mid range and high-end smartphones is becoming less and less noticeable OPPO is taking on the smartphone market with a focus on sexy design and great selfies.

Oppo is already making its mark in its native China, but with a big push planned for India in 2016 as well as starting to push for a presence in Europe, it could well become a name we begin to get more familiar with.

The R15 Pro is a phone has great cameras combined with an excellent display and a stunning design that grabs eyeballs.

The 6.28-inch Super AMOLED display is fantastic, offering vibrant colors, excellent contrast, and great viewing angles. I had no issues reading the screen in harsh sunlight, and the panel goes all the way down to 2 nits, making it conducive for reading at night. You don’t get the option to select from sRGB or DCI-P3 modes, but there is a setting to adjust the color balance. And like most phones available today, you get a blue light filter for night-time reading.

On the subject of battery life, I was easily able to get day’s worth of battery consistently from the 3400mAh unit on the R15 Pro. The one downside in this area is that the phone charges over Micro-USB, like the Vivo X21. There’s no place for a Micro-USB port on a $500 phone in 2018, but for what it’s worth both Vivo and OPPO finally made the switch to USB-C with their latest flagships.

The phone features OPPO’s VOOC fast charging solution, which works in the same fashion as Dash Charge. OnePlus, in fact, licenses VOOC from OPPO and rebrands it to Dash Charge. VOOC works at 5V and 4A, resulting in a 20W charge. You get a proprietary wall charger along with a Micro-USB cable in the box, and using a third-party charger will limit the charging output to 10W.

With VOOC fast charging, you’ll be able to top up from zero to 57% in just 30 minutes, and it takes just over an hour and a half for the battery to fully charge. As is the case with most Chinese manufacturers, ColorOS comes with a host of battery-saving optimizations that let the device eke out the most out of the battery.

ColorOS takes some getting used to, it’s a shame you can’t put another launcher on top of it. We’re not sure why OPPO would bring this phone to western markets and not cater to the regions need for heavy customization.

While the customization options are welcome, the interface itself needs a lot of work. There’s no app launcher, the settings pane needs an overhaul, and there’s a lot of duplication when it comes to the stock apps. That’s understandable given that there’s no Play Store in China, but the international version of ColorOS also comes with OPPO’s suite of apps.

Whereas OnePlus is all about offering flagship-level performance at the $500 mark, OPPO’s main area of focus is the camera department. OPPO’s tagline continues to be “Camera Phone”, making it clear where the brand’s priorities lie. The dual 16MP + 20MP shooter on the R15 Pro does a fantastic job taking photos in daylight conditions, however, low light leaves a lot to be desired. I believe it’s even worse in quality than it’s predecessors.

While the OnePlus 6 isn’t quite a carbon copy of the R15 Pro, it uses most of the same internal components. As noted above, both phones feature the same 6.28-inch display, and the R15 Pro also has the same 16MP + 20MP dual camera arrangement at the back — including the same sensors. The OnePlus 6 has a slight edge in this area as the R15 Pro is missing out on the Snapdragon 845’s excellent image signal processor, but in most well lit shooting conditions the R15 Pro manages to hold its own.

The camera app itself is identical to what you’d find on the OnePlus 6, with OPPO offering an AI-assisted selfie mode that automatically removes blemishes and cleans up your portraits. The AI feature also recognizes over 120 scenes — much like the P20 Pro. The rear camera has portrait mode, and you’ll be able to choose from various soft lighting options, including film light, tone light, and more.

The butterfly loses it’s antenna when you use portrait mode!


Selfies on the OPPO R15 Pro look great! The AI beauty mode can be a little aggressive at times, but I still like it very much. Personally, I like the beauty set at level 1 just to even out my skin tone a little.

Low light selfies are another story compltely. They lack detail and aren’t often blurry, you’ll see that the low light photos in general on the R15 Pro aren’t very good. They lack detail and are compltely dark when other handsets would have been able to produce something usable.

Overall we’re pleased with the camera, but extremely disappointed with the low light chops.

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OnePlus 6 Red – An affordable highend beauty http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/oneplus-6-red-affordable-highend-beauty/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/oneplus-6-red-affordable-highend-beauty/#respond Sun, 29 Jul 2018 22:27:36 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?post_type=article&p=38078

OnePlus has come out with a new handset color and we’re in love! To get this stunning color, OnePlus mixed a translucent orange glass panel with a red base layer. The end result is one of the deepest, brightest, and most pleasing reds I’ve ever seen on a phone. We’ve already got a full and […]

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OnePlus has come out with a new handset color and we’re in love! To get this stunning color, OnePlus mixed a translucent orange glass panel with a red base layer. The end result is one of the deepest, brightest, and most pleasing reds I’ve ever seen on a phone. We’ve already got a full and detailed review of the OnePlus 6 up, this is only about the new color, so if you’re thinking about picking one up and its stunning looks aren’t enough you should give it a read.

MobileGeeks took it around Ithica New York to test its chops and see if the new color matched our active lifestyle!




Along with the back of the phone, the red also makes its way to the frame, buttons, and alert slider. To complement all of this red, OnePlus also added a sleek gold accent to the OnePlus Logo, “Design by OnePlus” branding, and around the rear camera lens and fingerprint sensor.

If you want to pick up a OnePlus 6 Red for yourself, it’s on sale now at OnePlus’s website for $579 with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. The red is limited edition, but OnePlus has learned its lesson and there are still unit available which is why we decided to give this beautiful device a little feature.

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How do I remove Spyware from a phone? http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/remove-spyware-phone/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/remove-spyware-phone/#respond Thu, 31 May 2018 12:00:17 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?post_type=article&p=37629

Spyware is software that enables a user to obtain covert information about another’s computer activities by transmitting data covertly from their hard drive. Due to its nature, it’s really difficult to remove. Below are the best steps to getting as much spyware off of your phone, however, the only way to know if your phone […]

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Spyware is software that enables a user to obtain covert information about another’s computer activities by transmitting data covertly from their hard drive. Due to its nature, it’s really difficult to remove. Below are the best steps to getting as much spyware off of your phone, however, the only way to know if your phone is free from spyware is to do a factory reset.

To keep on top of what’s happening in your phone it’s a good idea to check out the apps installed on your phone every once in a while. On Android, it’s the Apps menu in Settings; on iOS, you can go to General then Apps to see what’s installed. Again, use a quick web search to look up anything you don’t recognize or remember installing to see if it’s anything you need to worry about.

By its very nature, stalkerware is designed to be well-hidden and hard to detect, but it’s difficult for something to stay on your laptop or smartphone for long if you’re specifically looking for it. Getting rid of whatever’s been installed on your device is only part of the process of dealing with being spied on, but you can at least make sure the spyware is off your device.

Remove Spy Software from Android

If you want to check spying tools on an Android device, go to the Settings and proceed to Applications. Secondly, go to Running Services and see what services are currently running. If you find any unknown service, Tap it and uninstall it after clearing the cache. Also, check for spying software in the Manage Application screen and follow the same process if you come across any malicious tool.

Once again, the best chance you have of being spyware free is to do a Factory reset.

Remove Spy Software from Apple iPhones

The simplest way of removing spyware from an Apple mobile device is to do a software update. If you’ve jailbroken your phone, you’ll want to restore it to the original operating system. Jailbroken phones are actually much less secure and the vast majority of commercially available iPhone spyware requires the device to be Jailbroken in order to function. Jailbreaking is the process of un-restricting the device so that 3rd party applications that have not been approved by Apple (e.g. spyware) can be installed. Updating the device’s iOS version removes the Jailbreak, thus causing any spyware installed on the device to no longer function.

On the device:
1. Go to “Settings”
2. Tap “General”
3. Then tap “Software Update”

OR

On your computer:

1. Open iTunes on your PC or Mac
2. Connect your iOS device
3. Select your iPhone or iPad when it appears in iTunes
4. In the Summary pane click “Check for Update

If you want to be extra safe, perform a factory reset

This is a more thorough removal method. This method erases all data from the device and installs the latest iOS software, returning it to its original ‘factory’ state. You should perform a backup of your device using iTunes or iCloud before doing a factory reset so that you can restore all of your personal data again when finished.

1. Open iTunes on your PC or Mac
2. Connect your iOS device
3. Select your iPhone or iPad when it appears in iTunes
4. In the Summary pane click “Restore iPhone” or “Restore iPad” depending on your device
5. Click “Restore” again to confirm
6. The device will then restore to factory settings and restart. This can take several minutes to complete
7. When completed you will have the option to restore from a backup to restore all of your personal data to the device
There are many other products that are similar to spyware, such as parental monitoring programs. Unlike spyware, most parental monitoring programs are visible on the phone, meaning that you can see that some type of monitoring service is running on the phone. Go through your phone to see if an app was installed without your knowledge. There are some parental monitoring programs that are hidden and can’t be seen by scrolling through the phone’s apps. In this case, resetting the phone to factory setting should also remove the parental monitoring program.

A Factory Reset may not be enough

The best chance you have of removing spyware is to do a factory reset, but this isn’t a guarantee either. From my time in China, some friend of mine would just get a new phone when they figured out my device had spyware on it. If you’re dealing with sensitive information, I know many executive that have a secondary phone for travel to countries where spyware is a greater risk.

How do I preserve evidence of mobile spyware?

If you’re a victim of intimate partner abuse you may want preserve evidence. It is illegal to install spyware on devices for the purpose of spying or stalking another person. If you choose to remove the spyware, it will also remove the evidence. If your goal is to preserve the phone for evidence, it is important to work with local police, who may have a specific process on analyzing mobile phones for evidence purposes. Until you speak to the police, it is best to put the phone in airplane mode and keep the phone’s battery charged.

This article is part of a larger story about Intimate Partner Violence and how to protect yourself from unwanted surveillance.

 

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LG G7 ThinQ Review – A great phone with some compromise http://www.mobilegeeks.com/review/lg-g7-thinq-review/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/review/lg-g7-thinq-review/#comments Wed, 30 May 2018 12:00:50 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?post_type=review&p=37499

LG has cornered the market on good-looking smartphones with a wide angle lens. This unique camera feature combined with outstanding audio & high-end specs make the LG G7 ThinQ worthy 2018 flagship contender. Design looks like an evolution of the LG V30, not the G6 Beautiful color choices Nearly 50% thinner than the LG G6 […]

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LG has cornered the market on good-looking smartphones with a wide angle lens. This unique camera feature combined with outstanding audio & high-end specs make the LG G7 ThinQ worthy 2018 flagship contender.

Design

  • looks like an evolution of the LG V30, not the G6
  • Beautiful color choices
  • Nearly 50% thinner than the LG G6
  • Looks like yet another phone with a notch
  • Colors: Moroccan Blue, Aurora Black, Raspberry Rose, Platinum Gray

Design wise the G7 has more in common with the V30 than it does the G6, the G6 had a flat boxy design which made it a tank.

It’s got a solid metal and glass design, One of the biggest design changes is the relocation of the power button from the back to the side and the addition of a quick access AI shortcut key.

Positive

  • Solid metal glass design
  • feels very light yet durable in hand

Negative

  • The glass on the front and back means there is twice as much change to crack a surface

Display

  • 6.1” LCD display with QHD+ resolution
  • Full Vision
  • Super Bright display 1000nits based on DCI-P3 Standard
  • Yet another phone with a notch
  • New Second Screen floating bar

AI is the name of the game in 2018, and the display on the G7 has gotten smarter, depending on the type of content you’re viewing, the display can be set to six different display modes: Auto, Eco, Cinema, Sports, Game and Expert. In Auto mode, your phone automatically analyzes the content – photos, videos, website, game, etc. – to optimize the display and power consumption. The user can also further refine the image by adjusting the color temperature and the individual RGB levels.

The New Second Screen displays notifications without taking up space and can be customized to your taste. The display can be fully expanded for an almost borderless look, or can be set to a more traditional style with notifications on a black background or another color to achieve a more “personal” effect.

The display is perfect for anyone who spends a lot of time outside, The brightness boost is especially useful in direct sunlight where screens can be most troublesome to read. At 1,000 nits, the G7 ThinQ’s screen is very easy to see.

Rather than use the traditional sub-pixel arrangement of red, green and blue, the G7’s MLCD+ display adds a white pixel to boost brightness without using more power. You might argue that a quarter of the pixels don’t add anything for picture quality, and you’d be right, but the resolution is higher than some competitors and most importantly it looks nice and sharp. Yes, the G7 is yet another phone with a notch, if you’re not a fan, LG’s software allows for the areas around it to be turned black, camouflaging it as a normal bezel.

Positive

  • Excellent outdoor visibility with a Super Bright 1000nit display
  • Clear and bright with accurate color representation

Negative

  • If you’re used to IPS display’s this will seem less saturated and punchy
  • Always on display turns on the whole display and not just the pixels that are engaged
  • the notch feels gimmicky

Hardware

  • Snapdragon 845
  • Options for 4/6GB of RAM depending on the market with 64/128GB of storage options
  • 3000mAh battery
  • IP68
  • Dedicated Google Assistant button

The Snapdragon 845 comes sporting a processing unit (SPU) that Qualcomm says offers “vault-like security” with the microprocessor, memory, crypto engine and random number generator all sitting on its own power island.

Performance and battery life will also improve, thanks to an octa-core Kryo 385 CPU with four 2.8GHz high-power cores and four 1.8GHz low power cores; the 845 is meant to be 30 percent more efficient than the 835 for gaming, video and AR/VR.

Qualcomm’s new super-fast X20 LTE modem is built-in, offering CAT 18 speeds of more than 1Gbps, as well as an enhanced Spectra 280 image signal processor. Qualcomm has bumped up video recording potential to Ultra-HD, and added in various AI improvements.

The LG G7 ThinQ comes with great flagship specifications which will remain competitive for a while.

Positive

Some of the highest specs you can currently get on a smartphone

Negative

LG G7 ThinQ Specifications

LG G7 ThinQ Specifications

Display

6.1-inch MLCD+/OLED panel Super Bright
QHD+ resolution (3120 x 1440, 564dpi)
18:9 aspect ratio

Processor

Snapdragon 845 with platform AI

RAM

4/6GB LPDDR4x

Storage

64/128GB UFS 2.1

MicroSD

Yes support up to 2TB

Camera

Dual 16MP super wide-angle camera (F1.9 / 107°) / 16MP OIS camera (F1.6 / 71°)

8MP wide angle (F1.9 / 80°)

IP rating

IP68/MIL-STD

Headphone jack

Yes

Battery

3,000mAh with Wireless Charging

Pay

LG Pay

Size (mm) weight (g)

153.2 x 71.9 x 7.9 / 162

Audio

Hi-Fi Quad DAC/ Boombox speaker

Connections

Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac / Bluetooth 5.0 BLE / NFC / USB Type-C 2.0 (compatible with 3.1)

Other

Super Bright Display / New Second Screen / AI CAM / Super Bright Camera / Long Range Voice Recognition / Boombox Speaker / Google Lens / AI Haptic / Hi-Fi Quad DAC / DTS:X 3D Surround Sound / IP68 Certification for Water and Dust Weight / MIL-STD 810G Compliance (14 tests) / HDR10 / Google Assistant Key / Face Recognition / Fingerprint Sensor / Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ Technology 3.0 / FM Radio

Bio recognition

Finger print/Face/Voice

Far field voice recognition

Software

Android 8.0 Oreo

Colors

Moroccan Blue, Aurora Black, Raspberry Rose, Platinum Gray

Quick Spec Comparison LG G6 vs G7 vs V30

LG G7 on the left, LG G6 on the right

LG G7 ThinQ LG G6 LG V30
Display 6.1 inches (LCD)
3.120 x 1440 pixels
5.7 inch (LCD)
2880 x 1440 pixels
6 inch (AMOLED)
2880 x 1440 pixels
Chipset Snapdragon 845 Snapdragon 821 Snapdragon 835
Memory 4 GB OF RAM
64 GB of memory
4 GB OF RAM
32 GB of memory
4 GB OF RAM
64 GB of memory
Haupkamera 16 MP (71° – f/1.6)
16 MP (107° f/1.9)
13 MP (71° – f/1.8)
13 MP (125° – f/2.4)
16 MP (71° – f/1.6)
13 MP (120° f/1.9)
Front camera 8 Megapixel (80° – f/1.9) 5 Megapixel (100° – f/2.2) 5 Megapixel (90° – f/2.2)
Battery 3,000 mAh (QI Support) 3,300 mAh 3,300 mAh (QI Support)
Price (MSRP) ~ 800 Euro 749 Euro 899 Euro

Camera

  • Dual 16MP super wide-angle camera (F1.9 / 107°) / 16MP OIS camera (F1.6 / 71°)
  • 8MP wide angle (F1.9 / 80°)
  • Ai CAM
  • The wide angle has been reduced to a 107-degree field-of-view from previous generations, to completely eliminated barrel distortion on the edges of photos
  • The LG G7 ThinQ has the infamous dual lens set up on the rear that allows for a standard and super wide-angle configurations, both lenses are now 16MP. On the front we have an improved 8MP Selfie Camera.
  • LG launching an improved Ai Cam which first debuted in the LG V30ThinQ. AI CAM now offers 19 shooting modes, compared to the initial 8 and users can still tweak their shots with one of four preset color options after the camera has identified the object or scene.
  • LG has added a few new features to the G7. Live Photo mode records a second before and after pressing the shutter release button, it’s basically live photo from the iPhone. The Stickers feature uses facial recognition to enrich your images in real time with fun 2D and 3D stickers!
  • The G7 also comes with Portrait mode, the bokeh effect can be created using either the standard or super wide-angle lens. You can not zoom in while using Portrait mode, but you can adjust the level of blur after you’ve taken the photo. The wide angle lens is used to give the depth effect.
  • LG is using pixel binning or pixel oversampling on the G7. The camera combines the information from four neighboring pixels into a single large pixel. This helps to produce and image that has less digital noise and can perform better in low-light situations.With this technology in mind, the G7 has a Super Bright Camera, which takes up to four times brighter images. This is thanks to a new image sensor and improved software processing, the AI algorithm automatically adjusts the camera settings for the best balance of brightness, clarity, resolution and color when shooting in low light.

I’m torn about the camera experience. I love the wide angle, it’s become an addiction. I’ll forgive a lot for the wide angle, I just find it so much more convenient when I’m cropping photos for Instagram. And of course not having to keep walking back to get the shot. But the photos on the G7 feel a little too processed and digital, the low light photography leave a lot to be desired. Moving from the Huawei P20 the difference was noticeable. I want to say the camera is good enough, because over the last 2 weeks, I’ve take some great photos, but it’s not there when you look at where the bar has moved for low light photography. LG has added the Super Bright Camera which turns on automatically in low light. It uses a technique called pixel binning which helps to get better results from the camera, but it means that you get 4MP photos rather than 16MP. But even with this it’s still out performed by the competition.

Standard lens HDR off

Wide angle lens HDR on

Low light

Food photos

The AI cam on the on the G7 is a completely separate shooting mode, unlike the P20 series where it works quietly in the background. If you’re in AI cam mode there’s a one-second delay before you can take another photo, with the AI CAM turned off, there are no perceptible delays when shooting in good light.

Portrait mode is another key feature, as people expect their new phone to be able to blur out the background for a nice DLSR-style effect. The G7 keeps the same field of view as when shooting with the main camera, unlike most phones which use the zoom in and have a much narrower view.

Overall, image and video quality is good, you can take phenomenal photos with the G7, but it won’t be taking the title for best camera on a smartphone.

I do have to give it to LG, they did improve the selfie camera significantly, though it wasn’t hard, the selfies on the G6 were unusable most of the time.

Selfies

 

Video Quality

If you’re taking video, having Super Bright enabled in the settings means the same method is used, so you get full HD quality rather than 4K in low light. You can also use the wide-angle camera in Super Bright mode, and the AI CAM mode too.

Getting back to video, the G7 tops out at 30fps in 4K, but you can record video in HDR. There’s also a nifty ‘Cine Video’ mode which applies some Hollywood-style filters to make your footage look more cinematic. Whichever mode you choose, stabilization is available not just at 1080p but also 4K.

Slo-mo is unimpressive for a 2018 flagship as the G7 can record 240fps at 720p. We’d have expected this to be 1080p, and the competition can record in short bursts at 960fps.

OnePlus 6 vs LG G7 Camera comparison

Here is a gallery of photos, the G7 will be first followed by the OnePlus 6, you’ll be able to see that the G7 is a little overexposed, oversharpens the photos, and  it has less dynamics and detail.

Positive

  • The wide angle is an outstanding camera features
  • Good selfies
  • Great overall camera experience

Negative

  • AI Cam slows down the camera performance
  • photos can look over processed
  • low light photography is good but does not keep up with the rest of today’s flagship smartphones

Software

  • Google Lens
  • Google Assistant has a hardware button, means you never have to say “Ok Google Again”
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • Facial recognition will work on up to 5 faces

The LG G7 will be one of the first smartphones to offer Google Lens ready to use. Google Lens was developed as an object recognition tool that can identify and provide more information about places of interest, plants, animals and books, as well as recognize text.

The Google Assistant button is versatile, a single press will launch the Google wizard, two presses will activate Google Lens. Users can also press and hold the button to start talking to the Google Assistant right away.

LG has launched long-range voice recognition with the G7, it’s a highly sensitive microphone that will let you talk to Google Assistant’s when you’re up to five meters away. This feature can separate the controls from the background noise, making the LG G7 a great alternative to a home IA speaker even when the TV is on or the vacuum cleaner is running.

Software wise LG has done a good job at reducing the bloatware, offering a cleaner interface, and better app design.

Positive

  • Fast and light
  • Little bloatware installed

Negative

  • Android 8.0 not 8.1 (really not a big deal, this is a very minor update)

Sound

  • Boombox speaker
  • DTS:X gives you 7.1 audio channels
  • 32 bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC

Sound is another strong feature on the G7 ThinkQ, we’ve got Quad DAC and it comes with a physical headphone jack. It’s also the first phone to have a DTS:X 3D system which turns any headphones into a virtual 7.1 sound system. Despite having a mono speaker in the bottom edge rather than stereo speakers, the G7’s sounds better than you’d expect from a phone. That’s because the ‘resonance chamber’ is 17 times larger than previous phones. The empty space inside the phone is sealed with water-resistant tape that makes the whole phone a speaker cabinet. This means the back of the phone vibrates when sounds or music is played. Bass is certainly better than any other current phone.

Positive

  • The sound is A-mazing!
  • High-end audio all around
  • Resonance chamber is very cool and works very well

Negative

—-

Battery life

  • 3000mAh battery
  • Wireless Charging
  • The Snapdragon 845 is 35% more efficient than the 835

 

When it comes to battery life, I was getting through the whole day, even with pixel launcher running which would use up a bit more battery. I also stream a few hours of music a day and of course, my Fitbit is connected as well.

In general use, we found the G7 would just about last a day with normal use including taking lots of photos. If you’re a mobile gamer, prepare to carry a USB power bank around with you as you’ll need to top up before too long.

Using Geekbench 4’s battery rundown test, the G7 managed 5 hours and 54 minutes. That’s not bad considering the capacity, but it is noticeably less time than you’ll see from the OnePlus 6 and its 3300mAh battery.

Postive

  • Does get me through the day most days

Negative

  • Very heavy users will struggle

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OnePlus 6 – Best Tips and Tricks [Oxygen OS 5.1] http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/oneplus-6-best-tips-tricks-oxygen-os-5-1/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/oneplus-6-best-tips-tricks-oxygen-os-5-1/#comments Mon, 21 May 2018 08:18:50 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?post_type=article&p=37441

OxygenOS was made for power users and fans of customization, it is built for the enthusiasts who prefer a cleaner Android experience.  In our OnePlus 6 Tips and tricks video above we show you how to get the most out of your smartphone, here is the video script in case you don’t want to see […]

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OxygenOS was made for power users and fans of customization, it is built for the enthusiasts who prefer a cleaner Android experience.  In our OnePlus 6 Tips and tricks video above we show you how to get the most out of your smartphone, here is the video script in case you don’t want to see just how sleek the OnePlus 6 is in person!

Usually, if you want to take screenshots, on pretty much any Android Phone, you can press the Power and Volume down button simultaneously to capture a screenshot. With the OnePlus you can just swipe up or down with three fingers and you are good to go. To activate this, just go to Settings, Gestures, Three Finger Screenshot activate it and done. After taking a screenshot, you can also expand it and take a scrollshot, by tapping the third symbol from the left. It will scroll down until the page ends or you touch the screen. The Result: You got yourself a very long screenshot.

In the gestures Menu, you can activate even more. You can long press the fingerprint sensor to take a photo, flip the phone to mute it, double tap to wake up the phone from standby and activate music control, which is pretty cool since you can pause music, or change the song simply by drawing gestures, while the screen is off. This also works with letters you can assign actions to. Draw them to trigger that action. Oh you need a flashlight, there you go.

This Next tipp is something you might be looking for. As you know, the OnePlus 6 comes with a Notch. I like it, you might not. Before you start painting the left and right to black, just go to Settings, Display, Notch Display, to deactivate it. The only thing that will be displayed there now are status symbols.

In the Display settings, we have some more options. There is night mode, which filters blue light emissions and can also be automatically timed. This is something we have on many phones, but more interesting is reading mode. You can either activate it completely or set apps, which should only run in reading mode. Here the display gets black and white with the temperature changing depending on light conditions. This makes reading at night much more pleasant. These last two settings can also be activated over the dropdown menu.

Instead of an always on display, you can set up an ambient display or lift up display. As the name suggests, it only works if you either lift the device, or a notification comes in, showcasing notifications, the clock, date and battery percentage. You can also choose between four clock themes here.

The Theme of the menus can be changed as well. You can choose here between Default, Light and Dark Mode. Under Screen Calibration, you can choose color gamuts like Default mode, sRGB, DCI-P3 or adaptive Mode and even custom temperatures. It´s something I really miss on other phones. Except that, you can also set the font size, LED-Colours and more in the display settings.

Under Settings, Buttons, you can do multiple interesting things. One of which is to invert the buttons of the navigation bar, assign each button a long press or double tap action, activate double tap power button to launch the camera or even change the navigation bar by tapping Navigation Bar & Gestures. Besides the fixed and hidden navigation bar setting, you can also set navigation gestures, where the bar disappears and you can navigate with simple gestures like on the iPhone X. I like this setting since it´s intuitive and gives me more screen.

Another Menu in the Settings is Status bar. Here you can choose the battery icon style and if the network speed should be displayed, but the best thing is the icon manager, where you can hide certain status symbols, you don´t want to see anymore.

Under Settings, Apps, you can manage Apps, settings, permissions and more. The interesting thing here is the Parallel Apps menu allows you to clone certain apps like, Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram and more. Multiple accounts are no problem this way.

Let’s navigate to Settings, Security and Lock Screen, where you can set up Face Unlock. Just Scan your face shortly and you can unlock your device with super speed. If you don´t want it that fast, you can set up, that you´d like to swipe first. It also works well in the dark, but for cases where it doesn´t, you can also turn on assistive lighting here.
You don´t want people to access certain apps? Activate the app locker for these apps in the security settings and even hide notifications from these apps.
If you want to lock away files instead, just go to the file manager, Lockbox and set a pin. Afterwards, select the file you want to hide, click the three dots on the upper right and move it to the lockbox.

Another cool feature can be accessed through the status menu. Click on this blue button here and you can set a second space that is separate from yours for guest users, other users and so on. This way multiple people can use the phone, without messing things up for the other. This way you can also hide secret things from others, like your partner for example.

The last tip is about the homescreen menu, which can be accessed by swiping your fingers together, or by a long press on an empty space. Here you can set wallpapers, widgets, but more importantly access settings, where you can change the look of the homescreen, for example with downloadable icon packs. You can activate or deactivate double tap to lock, notification dots, the shelf you can access by swyping right on the homescreen, change the layout and more. Pretty useful menu.

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How ZTE US ban will disrupt the Smartphone Supply Chain http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/zte-us-ban-will-disrupt-smartphone-supply-chain/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/article/zte-us-ban-will-disrupt-smartphone-supply-chain/#respond Thu, 26 Apr 2018 09:52:23 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?post_type=article&p=37143

Last week the US government moved the ban ZTE from buying American technology would not only cripple the Chinese smartphone maker, but it would affect the entire global telecommunication supply chain. The ban would stop ZTE from exchanging technology with vital partners like Qualcomm, Intel & Broadcom.  Chinese media are reporting that even though the […]

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Last week the US government moved the ban ZTE from buying American technology would not only cripple the Chinese smartphone maker, but it would affect the entire global telecommunication supply chain.

The ban would stop ZTE from exchanging technology with vital partners like Qualcomm, Intel & Broadcom.  Chinese media are reporting that even though the company’s parts inventory should last another month, production has already slowed to a near standstill.

With production suddenly coming to a halt and many suppliers are left holding stock destined for ZTE.

Many US companies have started to disclose what the US ban will cost them. ZTE accounted for 3% of NeoPhotonics revenue last year and expected 2018 to increase to 5%. At $25 a chipset, Qualcomm is taking a huge hit as IHS estimates that they sold around 46M phones last year, half of which were sporting Qualcomm.

There a few companies that could step up to fill this void. Japanese vendors such as NEL could supply coherent DSPs; HiSilicon, a subsidiary of Huawei, also makes such devices but may not want to supply them to a competitor of its parent company. Meanwhile, while Chinese and Japanese optical module vendors could offer 100 Gigabit Ethernet modules, many if not all of them leverage U.S.-sourced components that could be subject to the ban.

The ban stems from a March 2017 settlement between ZTE and the US commerce department. ZTE was found to have violated US sanctions between 2010-2016 by shipping telecommunication equipment to Iran and North Korea. They were found guilty of hiding these transactions through the use of a shell company.

ZTE acknowledged the wrongdoing an is paying $1.9Billion in fines and a suspended denial of export privilege. The ban is currently 7 years.

“I don’t think there is anywhere they can go for critical components,” wrote Andrew Schmitt, founder and lead analyst at Cignal AI, in an article over at Lightwave. “The only other suppliers for some of the devices are in Japan and it isn’t clear at this point what direction they will take with ZTE. Even then, there are components like WSS modules and tunable lasers that have no non-U.S. sources. The situation is the same for other businesses – control plane processors, software, FPGAs, Qualcomm chips for mobile phones. The Dept. of Commerce effectively signed a death warrant for ZTE.”

Source Nikkei

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Meitu V6 Review – You won’t find a better Selfie phone http://www.mobilegeeks.com/review/meitu-v6-review-wont-find-better-selfie-phone/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/review/meitu-v6-review-wont-find-better-selfie-phone/#respond Tue, 10 Apr 2018 08:13:22 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?post_type=review&p=36898

If you’re after a phone that takes the best selfies on the planet, then you’ll want to pick up a Meitu. The V6 is luxury, 18-carat gold rivets in the back, 4 cameras and a leather finish that has both men and women stopping to ask what kind of phone I’ve rested on the table. […]

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If you’re after a phone that takes the best selfies on the planet, then you’ll want to pick up a Meitu. The V6 is luxury, 18-carat gold rivets in the back, 4 cameras and a leather finish that has both men and women stopping to ask what kind of phone I’ve rested on the table.

Meitu V6 Design

The Meitu V6 is a luxury device through and through. In a world where manufacturers are moving towards smaller bezels, Meitu is not scared of making them bigger. The curves at the top and bottom have a bit of historical significance in the selfie phone world, they are an homage to the Casio Casio TR line which could command well above asking price for a year after it hit the streets.

The V6 has a hand-stitched calfskin leather in four colors Edinburgh Blue, Melbourne Green, Morocco Powder (pink), and Rotterdam Orange. it has real 18K gold rivets on its back and gold colored metal frame to match.

The top bezel of the V6 is huge thanks in part to the dual cameras. The lower bottom doesn’t miss out on the size too as it houses a circular fingerprint scanner. The Meitu V6 rounds off the design with its boomerang-shaped front-facing stereo speakers at the top and bottom.

Camera

The front and rear cameras are each 12MP and they are 4 of them, two on the front and two on the back. With an aperture of f1.8, 6P lens comes with fourth-generation dual ISPs and optical image stabilizer (OIS) technology.

The V6 packs 4 cameras in total, two on the front and two on the back. The back camera uses two 12MP Sony IMX362, the second back camera is for professional Bokeh camera, the front and back both adopts OIS technology which can finish real-time focus within 0.13 seconds.

The front camera has a  has a smart LED light and two sets of dual tone LED flash that can do a great job in very low light conditions. This Meitu V6 has a new AI technology and we love the way it works. Meitu doesn’t disappoint with the ton of filters and beauty enhancements built into the camera app. There are also live filters for video recording. Since this is a camera-centric phone, it is easy to understand why it has 128GB of storage.

Once you leave the camera app and want to edit the photos on Meitu Beauty Cam easy photo editor, Makeup+, Selfie city or Poster Lab. They come pre-installed apps, which you can of course download on either the Google or Apple app stores.

Front Facing Camera

The Meitu V6 has a great front facing camera, even with no filter the quality of the photo is amazing! Their Beaty mode is powered with AI which we’re hearing a lot these days. But it’s really important to be able to keep skin detail but get rid of imperfections. I’ve got a whole series of selfies for you to be able to see what’s possible with the camera beauty mode as well as the preloaded apps.

No filter at the end of the day, uneven makeup and everything. Trust me, I think i looked rougher in real life than this photo portrayed.

Meitu MakeUp+

Meitu MakeUp+ is an app that’s available for download on both iOS and Android, and it will make any of your photos look amazing no matter what your front facing camera looks like (within reason of course). The number of modification you can make to a photo are insane, arrange the position of your nose, it’s size angle, your hair color (which by the way so many people believed I actually colored my hair) just to name a few.

There are a ton of filters being added all the time from Asian influencers you’ve probably never heard of

Rear Camera

Depth Effect with the rear-facing camera even works when there is a hole in the object!

The Camera on the V6 has a lot of options, within the app itself you have backlight and normal, playing around with these can give you different effects for how the camera implements HDR.

Here you can see on a typical street in San Sebastian the first photo is normal and the second is backlight you can see the difference when you look at the top of the buildings and the color of the sky.  

You can even see the setting works well on the front facing camera as well.

backlight with manual beauty adjustment with a focus on dark circles

We did find that food photos took a lot of work to look good if you check the restaurant photos that have low light (which is a lot!) the photo’s lack dynamic range and brightness.

Display

The Meitu V6 has a 5.49” FHD OLED display, we’ve mentioned it before, it’s got big bezels. The colors are pretty accurate though the display is on the warm side. We like that the display is bright enough to use in full sunlight, the auto brightness works well and when you’re using the phone in the dark the lowest brightness is dark enough. We do have one complaint about the display, we do like sharing videos with friends, and the viewing angles aren’t very wide. You’ll be able to share a video comfortably with one other person, add any more and it will start to look a bit washed out.

Software

The Meitu V6 runs MEIOS 4.1, adding face ID, which can unlock safely by 106 facial features to unlock the phone. You shouldn’t actually take this to mean that this is very secure, you should just see it as a convenient way to unlock your phone. We are genuinely surprised how well it works, Samsung’s facial unlock is significantly worse!

Our Meitu V6 came preloaded with Google Services, in fact, Taiwan is currently the only location outside of China where the Meitu is sold. They’re looking at Japan and perhaps the West, reviews like these are meant to help test the waters on how a phone like this might do. Sure, the price tag is currently pretty expensive on Amazon you can buy it for $999 (but it comes without Google..ugh, and from our first test unit that didn’t come with Google Meitu hasn’t made it easy to sideload Google’s services).

MEIOS is a very Chinese OS, there is no app drawer and there are fingerprints of translation all over the app, it’s in English and Chinese (traditional/simplified). We do love little details like the one below when the power dips below 5% you get this cute reminder, accept that you’re going into low battery mode or accept it… I see.

Like many Chinese makers that we’ve reviewed, there are compromises that you have to make if you are going to pick up their phones. You get lots of great options in terms of little things like availability in notifications, dual sim (that has good options for which sim is getting data and/or taking phone calls), silent mode and others.

Like OPPO, who we have reviewed extensively, you can get used to the lack of app drawer but you have to overlook the problems with the details like the one above and the haphazard way that the settings or organized. It’s not easy to find settings in MEIOS, the structures aren’t very logical. If you’re used to a flagship phone like a Pixel or Samsung the approach to Android is very different. If you come from IOS then it will be even less so, the Android system is a hybrid and Android and iOS have been aligning a bit more and more over the last few years. However, unlike Huawei or OPPO they’re less and less like the best of both world’s it feels cheap which is the opposite of the entire handset experience (especially the phone).

The thing is, if you’re after the best selfie phone on the market you might be willing to overlook this. I know more than a few women in Taiwan who would end our friendship to steal this smartphone from me, yes Tina I’m looking at you. She doesn’t mind the small quirks, annoying but you learn to navigate them, she is currently on an ASUS ZenFone 5, and I could make the same complaints that I have about ZenUI than I have about MIEOS.

Meitu has also run into quite a few issues with privacy concerns, their Apps ask for too many permissions and if you check Cnet’s article their response to the accusations is very Chinese. Wechat needs them for it’s platform, which is a platform that is the best in the world at tracking activities and preferences.

To enter the western markets I often wonder why companies like these don’t go the route of Android One.

Performance & Battery Life

On a day to day basis, the UI performed well apps opened quickly and you could switch beteen them with no issue. Benchmark wise it’s very average, and definatly not what you expect from a phone with such a high price tag. However, we get that these things are becoming less and less important since it’s the actual performace of the phone that matters.

The Meitu V6 runs Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box. It has a 3100mAh battery and comes with the usual connectivity features.

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HTC U11 life review http://www.mobilegeeks.com/review/htc-u11-life-review/ http://www.mobilegeeks.com/review/htc-u11-life-review/#respond Mon, 04 Dec 2017 18:00:54 +0000 http://www.mobilegeeks.com/?post_type=review&p=35868

HTC recently launched the U11+, its new flagship, and the U11 life, a mid-range phone with the look and feel of the U11. I’m a big fan of the U11 — other than the lack of headphone jack, it’s a great handset with an impressive camera that just missed the slim-bezel, ultra-widescreen trend by a […]

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HTC recently launched the U11+, its new flagship, and the U11 life, a mid-range phone with the look and feel of the U11. I’m a big fan of the U11 — other than the lack of headphone jack, it’s a great handset with an impressive camera that just missed the slim-bezel, ultra-widescreen trend by a few months, something the U11+ now remedies. But what about the U11 life? Can HTC really deliver a U11-like experience for half the price? I just spent a few weeks using an unlocked, US-spec, U11 life review unit, so let’s find out.

Design

If you’ve seen the U11, you know exactly what the U11 life looks like. At first sight, it’s hard to tell them apart. The U11 life has a smaller 5.2-inch display (vs. 5.5-inch) with similarly massive bezels, and the same gorgeous liquid blue back, but with a single LED flash (vs. dual LED) next to the camera. Look closer, and there are other small differences. The USB Type-C port isn’t centered along the bottom edge, but offset to the right — a clear nod to past HTC phones, like the iconic One M7.

Pick up the U11 life, and that great first impression falls apart. It just feels cheap, unfortunately. While many mid-range handsets are made of aluminum and glass these days, HTC chose to replace the U11’s glass back with acrylic (plexiglass) and the machined aluminum frame with molded plastic. I’m puzzled here: the acrylic back is a passable substitute (even if the blue hue doesn’t quite match the U11’s), but the plastic frame — complete with visible molding marks —  is just disappointing at this price point.

Gone too, are the U11’s machined aluminum power/lock key and volume rocker, replaced with plastic buttons that just don’t have the same pleasant tactile feedback. At least the IP67 rating and notification LED carry over to the U11 lite, along with Edge Sense, which is interesting if not somewhat gimmicky.

Display

The U11 life features a 5.2-inch 1080p Super LCD 3 IPS panel with a standard 16:9 aspect ratio. It’s a lovely screen — bright, with punchy colors, good contrast, and decent viewing angles. This display definitely stands out at this price point, but if anything, the colors are a bit too saturated by default. I’d prefer using another color profile about two thirds of the way between the existing sRGB and Vivid settings. Otherwise, I have no complaints.

Camera

On paper, the U11 life’s cameras aren’t anything special. Both feature 16MP sensors and f/2.0 lenses (with phase-detection AF in the rear). There’s no IOS here, presumably to keep costs down. I’ll admit that my expectations were low considering I’ve been spoiled by the latest crop of flagship shooters (hello there, Pixel 2), but I was surprised with the U11 life’s imaging performance.

As you can see from the camera samples, the U11 life takes nice photos. While HTC uses commodity hardware here, it more than makes up for this with excellent camera software — both in terms of experience and image processing. The HDR Auto mode is particularly well sorted (thanks no doubt to Qualcomm’s ISP), and it’s nice of HTC offer a manual (Pro) mode on a mid-range phone. Good stuff.

What’s missing, then? I’d like to see the UltraPixel mode from the U Ultra make a comeback. This setting improves low-light performance by lowering the resolution to 4MP and binning pixels. Video recording is fine, by the way. The U11 life supports up to 4k capture (1080p maximum in front) with high-resolution audio, but lacks the U11’s 3D audio feature. All in all, I think most people will be happy these shooters.

Reception and sound quality

I tested the U11 life in San Francisco, CA and Portland, OR on T-Mobile’s LTE network and didn’t experience any issues with reception, call quality, or data speeds. Unlike the U11 and its excellent 2-way BoomSound Hi-Fi speaker system, the U11 life just features a single speaker on the bottom edge. It’s fine for phone calls or the occasional YouTube video, but it’s nothing to write home about. Adjust your expectations accordingly.

Despite being a mid-range phone, the U11 life lacks a headphone jack. This is vexing to say the least, especially since HTC doesn’t include a USB Type-C to 3.5mm adapter in the box. On the plus side, the handset is bundled with HTC’s USonic USB Type-C earbuds with active noise cancellation, and like the U11, it supports aptX-HD and Airplay for high-quality wireless audio playback.

Specifications

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, octa-core, 2.2GHz
RAM 3/4GB
Internal storage 32/64GB
External storage microSD
Screen type IPS
Screen size (inches) 5.2
Screen resolution 1920×1080 pixels, 424ppi
Rear camera 16-megapixel, f/2.0, phase-detection AF
Flash single LED
Front camera 16-megapixel, f/2.0
Dimensions (mm) 149.1 x 72.9 x 8.1
Weight (g) 142
Battery capacity (mAh) 2600
Removable battery No
Fingerprint sensor Yes
Operating system Android 7.1.1, Sense UI/Android 8.0, Android One
Colours Brilliant Black, Sapphire Blue, Ice White
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual band
GPS Yes, A-GPS, GLONASS
Bluetooth Yes, v5.0
NFC Yes
Infrared No
USB Type-C
Headphone jack No
FM No
SIM single SIM, nano SIM
Radios 2G/GSM/EDGE, 3G/WCDMA/HSPA, 4G/LTE Cat 12

Performance and battery life

The U11 life is powered by Qualcomm’s new mid-range Snapdragon 630 and features 3GB RAM and 32GB of built-in storage (with microSD expansion up to 256GB). Basically, this means you’ll enjoy good performance and solid battery life in all but the most demanding situations. Sure, the U11 handles games better, but for most tasks, you’d be hard-pressed to notice any difference in performance.

I didn’t have any problems with battery life despite the smallish 2600mAh cell. The U11 life easily powers through an entire day on a charge, with often juice leftover for the next day. And unlike many other mid-range phones, the U11 life features NFC, which, together with the fingerprint reader in front, enable Android Pay.

Software

There are two U11 life models available. The “default” version I’m reviewing runs Sense UI on top of Android 7.1.1 (Nougat), and the Android One version — which is not available in the US — runs pure Android 8.0 (Oreo). Like with the U11, Sense UI remains lightweight, fast, and a pleasure to use. HTC’s done a great job at keeping things as stock as possible while adding useful touches. This goes a long way in bringing that U11 experience to the U11 life.

Like the U11, the U11 life features Sense Companion and supports both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, but unlike HTC’s flagship, you have to choose which assistant is listening by default when the phone is locked (the U11 responds to both “OK Google” and “Alexa” voice triggers).

Pricing and conclusion

You can look at the U11 life in two ways. On the one hand, it provides 80-90% of the U11’s awesome DNA for about half the price ($350 unlocked or $300 on T-Mobile). That’s impressive. At the same time, the U11 life is a little too expensive and feels a little too cheap to really hit the mark in this very competitive mid-range segment.

So it really comes down to your priorities. If you’re looking for a flagship-like experience on a budget then by all means, go for it. But if you’re really price sensitive and looking for quality materials and standard mid-range features (like a headphone jack), then perhaps the U11 life isn’t the right handset for you.

I’ll tell you this: when I first touched the U11 life, I was put off by the plastic build, the lack of headphone jack, and the price. But once I actually started using this phone, all this melted away. At the end of the day, there’s no substitute for a great experience, and HTC delivers.

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