Sunday, May 20, 2018

OnePlus 6 vs Pixel 2 XL: Which One to Buy?

Google’s Pixel 2 XL is still one of the best Android phones available, but a lot of great phones are on the way in 2018. Including the impressive new OnePlus 6. If you’re looking for a new phone these should be at the top of your list, and here’s why. We’ll go over what you need to know about both and help you decide which phone is right for you.

OnePlus is quickly becoming a household name thanks to high-end phones for half the price of the competition. The new OnePlus 6 is no different and delivers a beautiful 6.3-inch screen and dual cameras for only $529.

Google makes some of the best Android phones around, but the OnePlus 6 is comparable for a lot less money. It features a design that looks like a mix between the Galaxy S9+ and the iPhone X, and it runs the latest Android 8.1 Oreo. Here’s how the two compare.

A big part of your buying decision will be what you need and how much you can afford. The Pixel 2 XL is still probably the better phone, but it might not be the better value. And that’s where the OnePlus 6 shines. It’s the best bang for your buck. Basically, you’ll have to decide if the few extra features are worth the higher price tag. Especially considering the OnePlus 6 has the latest hardware from 2018, not 2017 like the Pixel 2.

The Pixel 2 XL went on sale back in October of 2017, so you already know exactly what to expect and what Google’s offering. And while the OP6 is similar to the OnePlus 5T, a lot changed. In fact, this new phone from OnePlus could give the Galaxy S9+ and the next iPhone a run for their money too.

Both of these phones have huge screens, tons of power, plenty of storage, and a good camera. And while the OnePlus 6 actually has two cameras and newer hardware inside, that doesn’t instantly make it better than the Pixel 2. There are pros and cons with each, and you’ll have to decide which ones are more important to you.

OnePlus 6 vs Pixel 2 XL: Display

OnePlus 6 vs Pixel 2 XL: Display

First things first, the biggest difference between these phones is the screen and screen size. 

This year, the OnePlus 6 delivers a beautiful 6.28-inch 1080p HD AMOLED display. That’s bigger than the Pixel 2 XL, which only comes in at 6-inches. Both phones are using a 2:1 long and skinny aspect ratio, and a nearly bezel-free design. That said, the OnePlus 6 really has an edge-to-edge design, with the notch and all. Google’s Pixel 2 XL has somewhat small bezels, but they’re bigger simply because of the dual front-facing speakers. 

Basically, it comes down to this. If you hate the iPhone X style notch, get the Pixel 2 XL. That’s because OnePlus copied the iPhone and has a notch on the top front. You can hide it with software, but then you’ll have a bezel just like older phones.

With the Pixel 2, you get a good AMOLED display with a higher Quad-HD resolution and no notch. The OnePlus 6 isn’t bigger physically either, thanks to those small bezels. So don’t worry about the “in-hand size”. 

Skip those boring intros on Netflix with your Chromecast


  • The Android version of the Netflix app now lets you skip TV intros when you use a Chromecast.

  • The skip button shows up at the bottom of the controller interface.

  • The button does not yet show up on the latest iOS version of Netflix.

That feeling of euphoria when you watch episodes of your favorite show can quickly fade when you sit through the intro, time after time. You can always fast forward, but we are lazy creatures. If there is an easier way to get the same thing done, why not go for it?

That is why it is good to know that you can now skip TV intros on Netflix while you use a Chromecast or similar device, reported Android Police.

The new skip button shows up in version 6.3.0 of the Netflix app on Android and appears at the bottom of the screen. The button should go away after you watch a show for some time and re-appear when you watch another episode.

Android Police

It makes sense for the skip button to only show up on the controller interface of the app. The Chromecast does not add any new input functionality to whatever screen you connect it to, unless you pair it to a Google Home.

Editor’s Pick

At the time of this writing, the skip button does not show up in the iOS version of Netflix’s controller interface. We do not know if that will remain the case or change over time with an update.

Also, Netflix did not update its help page to specifically point out the Chromecast’s support of the skip button. That could change with some sort of official announcement or an update to the iOS version.

In the meantime, make sure to update Netflix to the latest version on your Android device. While you are at it, check to see if you have one of several devices that gained support for HDR on Netflix.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Noob to ninja in 10 steps: This C Programming bundle is just $39

C programmingFinding a good way to break into C programming can be tough. However, coding knowledge is fast becoming an essential part of many modern industries.

If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to make your own programs, apps, and games, then we’ve got good news! You don’t have to go to school for years and get a computer science degree. Nowadays, everything you need to learn is available at your fingertips through the form of online courses.

These courses can be pretty pricey, but every once in a while we stumble across bundles and temporary price drops. That’s why we’re spotlighting The Complete C Programming Bonus Bundle. The deal ends next week, but if you grab it before it’s gone then you can get 10 courses for the price of one!

c programming

This set of learning kits comes with everything you need to go from programming noob to coding master. 84 hours of tutorial experience, coursework, and projects curated by veteran programmers, including the author of ‘The Little Book of Ruby’.

C is a solid first language to learn since most programming languages are themselves today implemented in C. However, this bundle also introduces you to C++, Python, and Ruby. Together these are four of the most widely used languages out there, and you’ll have a grounding in all of them.

Normally these courses would cost you $928 if you bought them separately. Right now, however, you can snag all of them for the cost of the lowest priced course in the bundle: just $39.

Here’s what you get:

This bundle is only available for the next few days. If you’re ready to stop stalling and start developing a valuable life skill the easiest and least expensive way possible, click the link below to check it out!

The AAPicks team writes about things we think you’ll like, and we may see a share of revenue from any purchases made through affiliate links. To see all our hottest deals, head over to the AAPICKS HUB.

Looking for a new phone or plan? Start here with the Android Authority Plan Tool:

This smart tool lets you filter plans by phone, price, data tiers, and regional availability. Stop overpaying for cell service you hate and a phone that you’re tired of. Use our Compare Phones & Plans tool to fully customize your mobile experience and painlessly transition from one carrier to another!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

PUBG Mobile update brings a new desert map and more

  • You can now download PUBG Mobile version 0.5.0.

  • The update includes a new desert map, new missions, a local quick team feature, and more.

  • The update does not include a first-person perspective or the ability to choose your region and flag.

It might not be the 1.0 update that round-number enthusiasts ache for, but PUBG Mobile’s 0.5.0 update introduces its fair shares of features and improvements.

The first new feature is Miramar, a new desert map that includes new vehicles and weapons. It seems that the new map does not support PUBG Mobile’s Arcade mode, though that could change in a future update.

Next up are progress and activity missions, which offer rewards as you level up and based on your activity, respectively. New missions open up as you progress through levels and continually play PUBG Mobile, though activity missions show up on a weekly basis.

Progress missions dole out certain amounts of in-game BP, though you can also do things like join a crew or give BP to a friend to net additional BP.

The update also includes a local quick team feature. If you have people physically near you that also play PUBG Mobile, you can enter a six-digit code to team up with them. This is more of a quality-of-life inclusion that does not require you to search for folks by their usernames.

Editor’s Pick

Along with the local quick team feature are synergy and connections. We are not entirely sure how the system works, though it sounds like you will need to interact with your friends in-game to build synergy. You can then build connections once your synergy is high enough.

Finally, the update includes language-specific chat channels, the means to collect rewards for every new tier you reach in Season 2, a shop that lets you preview and buy outfits and items, and a Secret Stash that lets you buy special discounted items.

Keep in mind that the update does not include the ability to choose your region and flag. Tencent said that is a feature it looks to add “later on,” but did not provide a timetable. Also, the update does not include a first-person perspective, though it might arrive in a future update.

The PUBG Mobile update is available on the Play Store and weighs in at over 700MB.

Huawei Android 8.0 Oreo Update Details

The Huawei Android 8.0 Oreo update is available now or coming soon for multiple devices, including budget device like the Honor 7x and Mate SE. Google’s latest software arrived in mid-2017, but many Huawei devices are only just now getting it in May of 2018. Here’s what you need to know about any and all Huawei Android 8.0 Oreo updates.

While Google recently released a beta of Android P, most manufacturers like Huawei are still trying to finish the original Android Oreo update. Huawei still has multiple devices that need the latest software before they can move on to what’s next. So while they make great phones, updates aren’t a strong point.

Read: What’s New in Android Oreo

Huawei’s latest devices like the Mate 10 Pro already have Oreo, but other older devices don’t, at least not yet. And while the company hasn’t confirmed a list of devices yet, they are working hard on Huawei and Honor Oreo updates. Including new updates for the Huawei P10 Plus, a beta for the Honor 7X, and making announcements for others.

As expected, popular smartphones from all major manufacturers will see an update to Android 8.0 or 8.1 soon. Well, if they didn’t get it already, or come with it out of the box. We’ve seen a lot of movement from Huawei, Sony, LG, and even Samsung. Multiple companies have beta tests well under way, or near completion. And others already updated every phone they offer, like OnePlus. This means throughout March and April tons of devices will get the new software.

That said, you’re here to learn about Huawei Android 8.0 Oreo software updates. We have a large list of devices we believe will get it, and some that won’t. We’ll continuously update this list as more information becomes available, or Huawei sends out more updates and betas.

Huawei Android 8.0 Oreo Updates

As we’ve seen in prior years, Huawei is pretty quick to software updates. And while many were hoping for a December arrival, that didn’t happen. Then, we waited with nothing exciting in January or even February. Now, we’re May is just about to start, and only a few have arrived. Why the delay? Well, that’s because Huawei has a heavily customized and user-friendly EMUI skin over stock Android. This adds a lot of extra features or controls, but at the expense of slower software updates. EMUI 8 is great, but it took a long time to arrive.

Before we get into what’s new with Android 8.0 Oreo or EMUI 8, here’s a list of devices we believe will see an upgrade to Oreo within the first half of 2018. As more updates arrive, this list may expand and grow. Keep in mind that there are several versions of some of these phones, so we won’t list them all.

  • Huawei P10

  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite

  • Huawei Mate 9

  • Huawei P9 models

  • Huawei Honor P8 Lite

  • Huawei GR3, NOVA 2

  • and more

Again, this list is in no particular order and some might be missing. Additionally, devices like the new Huawei Mate 10 already have Oreo. As announcements get made by Huawei, we’ll confirm the details here. Furthermore, we’re seeing Oreo arrive for the U.S. unlocked Huawei Mate 9, so be on the lookout for that.

Additionally, the Huawei P10 and P10 Plus are up next and getting Android Oreo in mid-March. We’re seeing the update for both models in multiple regions around the globe. Huawei confirmed the details on Facebook, and if you didn’t get it yet it should arrive soon.

In closing, we also want to list a few that won’t get an update to Oreo. Again, we’re not 100% sure on the entire list, but a lot of phones won’t get Oreo updates. Like the Honor 5, Huawei Y3, Honor 7, Mate 8 (maybe), and Huawei Y3, Y5, Y6, and Y7, to name a few. Most of these phones aren’t available in the US either, so keep that in mind.

Honor Android 8.0 Oreo Updates

Honor is the sub-brand of Huawei or a sister brand that delivers excellent phones at a slightly more affordable price point. Honor phones are quite popular in the United States, so we’ve added them to the list. Additionally, Honor recently confirmed these nine devices will get Android 8.0 Oreo and EMUI 8.0 updates.

  • Honor 7X (beta ending)

  • Honor 8

  • Honor V8

  • Honor Note 8

  • Honor 8 Lite

  • Honor 9

  • Honor 9 Lite

  • Honor V9

  • Honor V10

Furthermore, Honor unveiled that some of these updates just started while the others will arrive in Q2 and Q2, but that’s the only information they’re sharing so far. Technically Q2 ends in June, so they only have two months left. That means we’re expecting a TON of updates in the next month or so. So far, the Honor 8 Pro and Honor 9 have updates.

The biggest news is the Honor 7X is getting Android 8.0 Oreo starting April 30th. This delivers the latest EMUI 8.0 and tons of new features. This is the same software most of Huawei’s highly acclaimed phones already have.

Huawei confirmed that multiple updates would begin during Q2, and we’re starting to see signs of that already. Again, expect a lot of movement throughout May and in June.

Huawei Android 8.0 Oreo Update Release Dates & Details

So when will your Huawei or Honor phone get an update to Android 8.0 Oreo? Well, that’s a hard question to answer. Android manufacturers are slow to make announcements, keep details close to their vest, and rarely share exact dates. That’s because they change and evolve as new bugs get found or fixed.

While we’ve seen announcements from SonyMotorolaHTC, Samsung, and others, Huawei is staying mum on details. The only actual information we have is from Huawei’s sister brand, Honor, as we shared above.

That said, the international Huawei P10 and P10 Plus finished its Android 8.0 Oreo beta back in January, at least in select regions. And the update is rolling out on Rogers in Canada as April comes to a close. The Huawei Mate 9 in the US has the latest software, and we’re even seeing the Huawei Mate 10 Lite get Android 8.0 Oreo too.

We’re seeing a lot of updates here in April and May of 2018 and expect more to continue. If your phone doesn’t have Oreo yet, it should get it within the next month or so. The Huawei Mate SE Android 8.0 Oreo update started on May 13th, and the Mate 9 (USA) is getting another build of Oreo right now too.

Things are subject to change and we’ll continuously update this post as we learn more. Just know that a bunch of betas recently ended in March and April, and lots of updates are coming this month or in early June.

What’s New in Android 8.0 Oreo

There are lots of new Android O features that you can use to do more with your phone and tablet. Huawei smartphone owners will enjoy faster speeds, longer battery life, picture-in-picture mode, smart text selection, improved notifications, and autofill framework for your trickiest of passwords. In addition to everything else in Oreo. Then, Huawei specifically added its floating navigation dock, AI customizations, and camera tweaks.

The bundled notifications are easier to manage, and picture-in-picture mode is a welcomed new feature as well. Here’s a bigger list of the many new features of Android 8.0 Oreo.

Here is a detailed list explaining some of the many new features. And while there are plenty of changes, you’ll only notice a few at first glace. Some of these are a faster experience with dynamic icons, smarter notifications, picture-in-picture, and all kinds of small tweaks. Additionally, expect software improvements, bug fixes specific to each Huawei device, and other changes along with the upgrade to Oreo. A lot of the changes are behind the scenes but will make a big impact on our smartphones and tablets. Then, EMUI will address problems and add several features from Huawei themselves. Features specific to your phone, or for something it has to offer.

Read: Android 8.0 Oreo vs Android 7.0 Nougat: What’s New

We’re excited to see how Huawei integrates some of the best Oreo features into its devices or changes them to fit their needs.

Final Thoughts & What’s Next

In closing, stay patient because if you don’t have the update yet, it’s almost here. Software upgrades for multiple phones are just around the corner. We’re expecting Android 8.0 Oreo for a slew of Huawei and Honor devices in May. Even a few Huawei tablets will get it. Most likely all the flagship phones and popular budget devices will get it first, then some of Huawei’s lower-end devices will follow later this summer. We could see a few for tablets, and eventually other devices later in 2018. Additionally, we could see Android 8.1 Oreo, or the company will jump straight to Android P.

While Huawei and Honor are two different groups, they’re both working hard to deliver the best features and latest software to your device. Again, we’re expecting a lot of announcements in the near future, then more in May as Google shares more information and releases another version of Android P. Keep in mind that Android P won’t arrive until the end of the year, and Oreo is still the main focus for Huawei and Honor.

Black Ops 4 Features Wishlist: 7 Changes We Want

What will the new Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 features be this year? It’s ben a long three years since we started playing Black Ops 3. Activision filled this time with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Call of Duty: WWII which took us to the space filled future and back to the trenches of World War 2. Now it’s back to Treyarch who is coming into a year dominated by Battle Royale games and under the gun to deliver a bigger and bolder Call of Duty experience.

With an uphill battle in front of them, Treyarch and Activision will need to up the ante with better graphics, compelling gameplay and new features. We will soon learn more about Black Ops 4, but until then, here are the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 features we want to see in 2018.

Treyarch will take the covers off Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 on May 17th and we will learn more about the game in June and throughout the summer in the lead up to the October release date.

Here are the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 features, game modes and changes from Call of Duty: WWII, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3.

Modern Setting for Black Ops 4

Modern Setting for Black Ops 4

The setting for Call fo Duty varies dramatically from one year to the next, and we want to see Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 arrive in a modern setting with modern guns. 

While I personally love the movement in Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, the community as a whole definitely wants boots on the ground gameplay, which can still be accomplished well in a modern setting. 

Give us Black Ops 4 in Iraq, or at the very least in a setting where we get to use modern weapons and not relics from World War 2. Treyarch could also go a little bit into the past with a setting in Vietnam and still deliver a more modern feel. 

We expect to learn about the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 setting in May as Treyarch reveals the setting for the game as well as other details. Where do you want to see Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 take you? 

10 Best Third Person Shooter Games for iPhone

These are the best third person shooter games for iPhone. Exciting games you can play on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. If you love peeking around corners and getting headshots, these are worth downloading today. With thousands of games on the App Store, sometimes it’s hard to find great options. That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you and made a list of the best shooters in 2018.

Whether you’re looking for battle royale games like Fortnite, super fast and intense shooters, or Grand Theft Auto mayhem, we have you covered. Most of these apps are free and offer tons of entertainment. Or, are good enough that you’ll want to spend a few bucks.

Read: 10 Best PUBG Like Battle Royale Mobile Games

First-person shooter games are a blast, that’s for sure, but they’re a dime a dozen. If you’re looking for a slightly different style, you’ll be happy to know there’s no shortage of 3rd person shooters for iPhone. And, more arrive all the time. As more games hit the app store throughout 2018 we’ll update this list. While you wait, try some of the great games in our slideshow below.

These third person shooter games will have you sweating and on the edge of your seat waiting for another enemy. We’ll outfit you with next-gen armor suits, give you tons of grenades, or hand you a sniper rifle. Some games have dangerous missions to complete, co-op modes, and more. We even have multiplayer third-person shooters like Shadowgun Deadzone.

iPhone games continue to get better each and every year. These days the iPhone X delivers console-quality graphics but that means you need a newer device. If not, some of our games have graphics sliders so you can control the experience based on your device. Lowering the graphics for a better gaming session.

Read: Best FPS Shooter Games for iPhone in 2018

Mobile gamers will notice a lot of poor copies of other games, or PC and console ported over for touchscreen controls. These typically don’t offer the best experience, but some come close. We’ll recommend some of the best we’ve found. Great games like Overkill 3, which is basically Deadspace for iPhone.

We have a little of everything. So, check out our slideshow below for the best third person shooter games for your iPhone or iPad.

PUBG Mobile

PUBG Mobile

Yeah yeah, everyone has heard of PUBG. If you haven’t played it though, you should. 

Hands-down one of the best and most popular third-person shooter games on the planet right now is PUBG. Well, if you don’t count Fortnite.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, aka “PUBG” is a very popular last-person standing shooter. They do offer a FPS mode, but third person views are the best so look over rooftops and spot enemies.

PUBG Mobile is available now for Android or iPhone and is your best bet for a shooter right now. PUBG has excellent graphics, aim assist, plenty of customization, and millions of players so you’ll never have a dull moment. You can even get controllers or accessories on Amazon to help you master the controls. 

Download PUBG for iOS Devices

Sunday, May 13, 2018

The fate of ZTE may be in the hands of President Trump

  • President Trump tweeted today he wants to give embattled smartphone company ZTE “a way to get back into business, fast.”

  • He posted that he is working with China’s president Xi Jinping to help save ZTE.

  • He added that he instructed the U.S. Commerce Department “to get it done!”

A few days ago, things were looking bleak for China’s smartphone company ZTE. The company admitted earlier this week that it had ended its “major” business operations, due to a hardware supply ban placed on it by the U.S.

Now, it looks like ZTE found an unexpected, and very powerful, ally: President Donald J. Trump,

In a Twitter post today, President Trump stated he was working with China’s president Xi Jinping to help give ZTE “a way to get back into business, fast.” He added that he felt that t00 many jobs in China had been lost, and that he has instructed the U.S. Commerce Department “to get it done!”

ZTE has 75,000 employees in China.

This post, like many from President Trump, came out of left field, especially since the U.S. government has been highly critical of ZTE’s business practices in the past. In 2012, it was discovered that ZTE shipped smartphones to Iran. However, the company’s phones used hardware and software from the US, which had a trade embargo with Iran.

ZTE agreed to be fined for this violation in 2017, and also agreed to dismiss four of its senior employees, and discipline 35 other staff. However, earlier this year the Commerce Department claimed ZTE had not yet disciplined the 35 other employees, so it put a seven year ban on the company, preventing it from using any hardware or software products based in the US.

ZTE has since stated the U.S. ban was “unfair” and planned to appeal the decision. This new message from President Trump may be the company’s only real hope of staying alive. It’s possible Trump may be using ZTE’s situation as a bargaining chip with China so he can negotiate a new trade deal with the country.

However, other parts of the U.S. government, especially its intelligence agencies, have other issues with ZTE. They feel the company’s phones, along with phones made by Huawei, are a major cyber security threat. U.S. intelligence assesses that both companies could use their phones to spy remotely for the Chinese government (both ZTE and Huawei have denied these claims in the past).

After President’s Trump’s tweet today, U.S. House of Representatives member Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the US House Intelligence Committee, wrote his own Twitter post that pointed out these concerns, claiming that Trump should “care more about our national security than Chinese jobs”.

It would appear that the situation surrounding ZTE just got a lot more interesting, and its likely to take some more twists and turns before it is all over.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Xiaomi smart home gadgets get Assistant support and US launch this month

Xiaomi Mi Bedside Lamp

  • Xiaomi will launch several smart gadgets in the U.S., complete with Google Assistant integration.

  • The Mi Bedside Lamp is first to be released, arriving later this month.

  • Google says it supports over 5,000 smart home gadgets, but Amazon claims support for 12,000 devices.

Xiaomi is known predominately for its low-cost, yet highly-capable smartphones, but the company also has a host of other gadgets in its extended ecosystem. These are most prevalent on its home turf in China, but the company has now announced it will launch several smart home gadgets in the U.S., complete with Google Assistant support.

The Mi Bedside Lamp, Mi LED Smart Bulb, and the Mi Smart Plug will all receive Google Assistant support, the company revealed. This initial range of Xiaomi smart home gadgets will be coming to the U.S. market, starting with the Mi Bedside Lamp this month, the firm added. The company didn’t immediately confirm pricing and availability.

The news comes a few days after Google first confirmed it was bringing the Assistant support to Xiaomi smart home lights.

Google Assistant grabs new features

It’s not the only Google Assistant news we have this week, as Google made plenty of announcements about it at the I/O 2018 developer conference. New features include six new Assistant voices, a Pretty Please function to teach your kids manners, integration with Google Maps, and AI voice calls.

Editor’s Pick

Nevertheless, when it comes to actual device support, Google Assistant is reportedly behind its main rival, Amazon Alexa. Google claims support for more than 5000 connected devices, while Amazon says it supports over 12,000 gadgets.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Here are the prices and places that will sell the Moto G6 and E5 lineups

Moto G6


Motorola unveiled the Moto G6 and Moto E5 lineups back in April (although we saw leaks well before then). Now the company has posted a release letting us know where we’ll be able to buy the new smartphones.

The company was kind enough to tell us where we can get them and for how much, but unfortunately still hasn’t let us know release dates for most countries.

Still, we now have most of the pricing and locations to buy the Moto G6, G6 Play, G6 Plus, Moto E5, E5 Plus, and E5 Play, which means that release dates must be right around the corner.

Here’s what we do know:

Moto G6 – $249

Will be available in the U.S. at Verizon Wireless, TracFone Wireless, Ting Wireless, and Republic Wireless. Will also be available universally unlocked at retailers including Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Target, Fry’s, and B&H Photo.

The device is available today in Brazil and next week in Mexico. It will roll out over the coming months in various countries in Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and North America.

Moto G6 Plus – 299 Euros (~$357)

Will be available today in Brazil and next week in Mexico. It will roll out over the coming months in various countries in Asia Pacific, Europe, and Latin America.

There is no word from Motorola on if the Moto G6 Plus will see a North American release.

Moto G6 Play – $199

Available today in Brazil and next week in Mexico. It will roll out over the coming months in various countries in Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and North America.

Will be available in the U.S. prepaid at Boost Mobile, Cricket Wireless (under the name Moto G6 Forge), Verizon Wireless, Virgin Mobile, and postpaid at AT&T. It will also be available at Republic Wireless and Ting Wireless. Will also be available universally unlocked at retailers including Best Buy, Target, Fry’s, and B&H Photo.

Will be available in Canada prepaid and postpaid at Bell Canada, SaskTel, and Virgin Mobile. It will be also be available postpaid at Videotron and offered to both prepaid and postpaid customers at Freedom Mobile.

Moto E5

Moto E5 – 149 Euros (~$178)

Will roll out over the coming months in various countries in Asia Pacific, Europe, and Latin America.

There is no word from Motorola on if the Moto E5 will see a North American release.

Moto E5 Plus – 169 Euros (~$202)

Will roll out over the coming months in various countries in Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and North America

The device will be available in the U.S. prepaid at Boost Mobile, Cricket Wireless (under the name Moto E5 Supra), and postpaid at Sprint.

Moto E5 Play – No Pricing Available

Will be available in the U.S. prepaid at Boost Mobile, Cricket Wireless (under the name Moto E5 Cruise), Verizon Wireless, Virgin Mobile and postpaid at Sprint. It will also be available through Xfinity Mobile.

Will be available in Canada prepaid and postpaid at Bell Canada, Chatr Mobile, Fido, Lucky Mobile, Rogers, SaskTel, and Virgin Mobile. It will be also be available postpaid at Videotron and offered to both prepaid and postpaid customers at Freedom Mobile.

NEXT: More shake-ups at Motorola as president steps down

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

15 Common Galaxy S9 Problems & How to Fix Them

Samsung’s Galaxy S9 is one of the best phones available right now, but nothing is perfect. Following the March release date, we’re seeing a lot of reports about Galaxy S9 problems. The same goes for the bigger Galaxy S9+. With that said, these are some of the most common problems and how to fix them.

Read: 9 Best Galaxy S9 Screen Protectors 

You don’t need to call Samsung or go to a carrier store for help. Most problems can easily be fixed right from home. We’ll walk you through the biggest complaints and offer fixes or resources to address them. Keep in mind that everyone uses phones differently, so some problems are likely unique to your situation. Either way, here’s where to start.

Galaxy S9 Touchscreen Sensitivity Problems

The first real “problem” we’re hearing about so far is regarding the touchscreen. Some users are reporting the Galaxy S9 screen doesn’t register taps or touches in certain areas, or they’re having sensitivity problems. Most of the complaints are from Galaxy S9+ owners, as it has a bigger screen. That said, we’re seeing reports on Reddit and all over the official Samsung product forum.

So far, it looks like people with screen touch problems are getting replacement devices from Samsung. That said, we’re not sure how widespread this issue is yet, or if it’s just a few unlucky owners.

First, go to Settings > Advanced Features > and scroll down to and select Touch sensitivity. This will increase the sensitivity of the screen and potentially fix your problem. Additionally, you can open your phone dialer and type *#0*# then select “touch” from the list of options. This is a hidden menu to test aspects of your phone. We don’t recommend messing around in here, but you can quickly see if your screen has a problem. We’ll update as soon as we know more, or Samsung issues another statement.

How to Fix Galaxy S9 Apps that Aren’t Full Screen

A big problem we saw with the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 is about apps using the full screen. With a big 5.8 or 6.2-inch Quad-HD screen that’s long and skinny, some apps don’t use the entire space. We’re seeing this again on the Galaxy S9. This is simply because of the aspect ratio, similar to 16:9 widescreen movies back in the day having black bars.

Most apps and games scale up to fit the entire screen, but some don’t. If so follow these steps to fix the issue.

  • Pull down the notification bar and head to Settings (gear-shaped icon near the top right)

  • Tap on Display

  • Select the option labeled Full screen Apps

  • Find any app that isn’t highlighted and switch full screen mode to on

At this point, most apps should work fine and developers already fixed this. If not, you can force them into full screen mode. Now it will automatically scale to the new 18.5:9 aspect ratio and fill your entire display with content. Additionally, when you launch an app if it doesn’t look right hit the recent apps button and look for a green “expand” icon. If available, this will instantly toggle full-screen mode on or off for that specific app.

If you notice apps or games look funky after you make the change, just switch it back. We’re expecting most apps to work, and if not, developers will release updates soon.

How to Fix Galaxy S9 Fingerprint Scanner Problems

Finally, the Galaxy S9 has a fingerprint scanner that’s easy to tap, right in the middle of the phone. However, Samsung’s new register system is causing a few problems. Whether you’re just getting errors trying to unlock your phone or the fingerprint scanner isn’t working right, we have a few tips.

For one, Here is a guide to setup the Galaxy S8 fingerprint scanner correctly. Those same steps apply to the Galaxy S9. The reason we say that is because if you follow Samsung’s instructions on the Galaxy S9, it asks you to “swipe” your finger across the sensor. This registers and saves your print far faster than tapping 8-10 times to slowly train the phone to recognize your fingerprint.

We’re assuming Samsung added the swipe method to make setup easier, but that might also cause you to have errors. Delete your fingerprint, and redo it. Don’t swipe, but tap at multiple different angles so it really gets a good scan of your finger. We also recommend redoing any saved prints after you install a case.

How to Fix Intelligent Scan Face Unlock Problems

One early Galaxy S9 problem we’re already hearing about is over the new Intelligent Scan face unlock system. If you don’t want to use a pin or fingerprint, you can scan your eyes or face. With the Galaxy S9 Samsung combines the Iris scanner and the facial scanning technology into one. So if one fails, it tries the other. The goal was to make it work better, but we’re not sure they succeeded.

That said, we’re hearing some people are experiencing problems. Make sure the first time you scan your Iris, Face, or do Intelligent Scan you’re in a brightly lit environment. Having enough light is crucial to getting an accurate reading.

Read: 175 Helpful Samsung Bixby Voice Commands

Additionally, we’re hearing Samsung already started sending out a quick software update for the Galaxy S9. The two big changes are improvements for face unlock, and camera fixes. Those go together and will improve face unlock. Get the latest software, or make sure you scan your eyes and face when you have enough light. We’ll report back if we hear more from Samsung about this problem.

Galaxy S9 Freezing & Unresponsive Problems

Are you having problems where the Galaxy S9 keeps freezing or is completely unresponsive? We saw a lot of those complaints on the Galaxy Note 8, and we’re starting to see a few for the S9+ too. You might experience this in the contacts app or phone dialer while trying to make a call. Sadly, we don’t have any complete fix that will prevent your phone from freezing.

Read: 20 Best Galaxy S9 Cases

However, we can help you fix it when it happens. If your S9 is frozen or unresponsive press and hold both the power and volume down buttons at the same time, and hold them down for 7-8 seconds. The phone will turn off, reboot, and start fresh. Here is more information for those in need.

How to Fix Galaxy S9 App Drawer Button Missing

Not only are you missing a physical home button like the first six Galaxy S phones, but if you updated from an older phone you’re probably missing the app drawer button too. Some owners are getting frustrated that they can’t find all of their installed apps. Here’s how to fix it.

This is a “feature” and not a problem. Samsung did this by choice, but thankfully we can quickly switch it back to the old style.  Press and hold down on any blank space on your screen. It will zoom out to an edit and layout page, and give you setting or wallpaper options. Tap the gear-shaped settings button. Next hit the option in settings labeled “Apps Button” and select the “show apps button”. This way you’ll have a button that launches a tray with all of your apps.

Or, if you’re coming from an iPhone select “Home screen only” if you want all the apps on your home screen like iOS.

How to Fix Galaxy S9 Slow Wired or Wireless Charging

Another problem you might face is slow wired or wireless charging. We’re already seeing a few complaints that fast charging isn’t working for some users. Fast charging lets the Galaxy S9 go from 0-50% in about 25 minutes, instead of taking hours like older phones. If you don’t use the right cable and the wall plug that came in the box, you won’t get these fast speeds.

One report said the cable that came in the box was the problem, and when he used a different cable fast charging worked just fine. We’ve reached out to Samsung and will report back if we hear more. Buy some extra USB Type-C cables, and use the wall wart that came in your box.

When you plug-in the phone you want to see “fast charging” as shown above. If you don’t, unplug it and plug it back in. Or, try a different cable.

Additionally, your phone might get a little hot. That’s completely normal. Worried Galaxy S9 owners can head to Settings > Battery > and turn off the “Fast Cable Charging” which allows the phone to recharge extremely fast. It will take over 2 hours to charge instead of 80-90 minutes, but it won’t get as hot.

How to Fix Galaxy S9 WiFi & GPS Problems

With every phone release, we see reports about WiFi problems. We’re already starting to see comments about poor performance, WiFi drops, connection issues and slow browsing speeds. This is almost never a problem with the phone itself, and usually something else.

Read: 10 Cool Things the Galaxy S9 Can Do

If you used Samsung SmartSwitch to transfer everything from an old phone, the WiFi password likely transferred and connected automatically. That’s nice, but that might also be your problem.

Those experiencing Galaxy S9 WiFi problems have a few things they can try. First, we recommend you forget your WiFi network and re-enter the password on the phone. Do this by heading to Settings > Connections > WiFi. Push and hold your home internet connection and tap forget network on the pop-up. Then search for a WiFi connection, find yours, put in the password and it should work. Better yet, reset your network to default settings. We’ve found unplugging power to the router for 10+ seconds will give it a fresh start. Then try connecting your Galaxy S9.

We haven’t heard too many complaints about GPS yet, but we usually do with every new Galaxy phone. Drop us a comment below if you’re experiencing any issues with GPS or WiFi.

How to Fix Galaxy S9 Bluetooth Problems

Just like the Galaxy S8, we’re seeing a few complaints about Bluetooth problems. Google made a lot of changes to Android 8.0, so we’re expecting most of the BT complaints to fade away. Plus, this is likely a compatibility issue with your accessories or car stereo.

If you can’t see devices or do see them and they won’t connect, you’re not alone. Sometimes the connection is poor and audio cuts out too. Thanks to Bluetooth 5.0 on the Galaxy S9 most people shouldn’t face any big issues. If you’re experiencing problems try reconnecting to your Bluetooth devices or drop a comment at the official Samsung product support page. If anything surfaces we expect a quick update from Samsung.

Users can also head to Settings > Apps > and find “Bluetooth” and clear the cache. This will erase all pairings, which fixed problems on the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 last year. Otherwise, try our biggest tip for ANY problem, and reboot your phone. Yup, just a single reboot usually fixes just about everything.

How to Fix Galaxy S9 Screen Resolution

Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and S9+ both have big 2960 x 1440 Quad-HD screens. However, to save battery life and improve performance they’re only displaying at 1080p. If you want the full Quad-HD nearly 4k resolution you paid for, you can turn it on in the settings menu.

You probably can’t tell the difference between 1080p and Quad HD, but will enjoy the longer battery life. However, here’s how to change it.

Navigate to Settings > Display > Screen resolution and slide it to the far right for the full WQHD+ and hit apply. This might help some of the scaling issues on certain apps too if they don’t use the full screen.

How to Fix Galaxy S9 Wet Speaker Problems

Like its predecessors, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ are IP68 dust and water-resistant. Meaning they can handle depths of 5ft for around 30 minutes and will come out working just fine. Even the new dual speaker configuration can handle all that water.

However, if the speaker or grill gets wet your sound might end up muffled. This isn’t an actual problem, and probably nothing permanent either.

Samsung uses a coating on the inside of the device and what they call “surface tension” to keep water out of both speakers. Not to mention there’s a grill over the front top speaker. If your music or speaker doesn’t sound right you just need to let it dry. Or, tap it gently against your hand to push any water out of the speaker. Most likely there’s nothing wrong with your phone, just give it time.

How to Fix Galaxy S9 Camera Problems

We haven’t seen any major Galaxy S9 camera complaints, but a day-one update did specifically mention improvements to the camera. Samsung already has some fixes in the works for something regarding the camera. Only unlocked models received that, but expect carriers to push it out shortly.

In the meantime, drop us a comment below if you are dealing with any Galaxy S9 camera problems. If so, try heading to Settings > Advanced Features and turn off Smart Stay. This feature caused problems in the past and could be your solution today.

Reboot the Galaxy S9 to Fix Most Problems

Before we share our last tip, try a simple reboot. Almost every problem we hear from friends, family, or see online can quickly be fixed by rebooting your Galaxy S9. Not receiving text messages, reboot your phone. The sound isn’t working, reboot the phone.

Simply press and hold the power button on the right side of your Galaxy S9, then tap restart. Within about 1 minute you’ll be up and running with almost every problem gone.

A quick reboot should also fix the problems users are facing while making phone calls. We’re hearing reports of muted voices and other distortion. However, a permanant fix is included in the May maintenance update, which started rolling out on May 5th.

How to Factory Reset the Galaxy S9

Most owners won’t experience any major problems with the Galaxy S9 or S9+. If you tried everything we mentioned earlier and checked with your carrier for help, we do have one last step for you. A last resort to fix big problems is doing a factory data reset. This will erase all user data, apps, messages, and content from the phone. Only do this if something is seriously wrong and not working right.

Keep in mind that you might want to backup any data before you proceed. Go to Settings > General Management > and hit Reset to get started.

The entire process will take a few minutes, restore the original software as it was out of the box and delete everything. Galaxy S9 owners can use Samsung SmartSwitch or Google restore to get all their apps back. Again, this is the last resort if you have major problems. If this doesn’t fix it, consider reaching out to Samsung or your carrier for a replacement phone.

What’s Next?

Samsung’s fancy Galaxy S9 is still fairly new. We’ve only received two updates here in the United States. Future updates can and will fix some of these small problems. As more users get one, we expect this list to grow. As it does we’ll continuously update this post to help you get the most from your phone.

In closing, here’s what you need to know about what’s coming next. This is Samsung’s first phone with Android 8.0 Oreo, so expect bug fixing updates in the coming months. Samsung is still working out a few glitches, and the May update had a bunch of improvements on board. Then, they’ll likely start on Android 8.1 Oreo or jump right to Google’s recent Android P reveal. Especially now that we know Android P will arrive earlier than any prior release thanks to Project Treble.

For now, drop us a comment below with any other issues you’re experiencing and we’ll do our best to help. Otherwise, sit tight and bug-fixing updates are coming soon. In the meantime, consider buying some of these official Galaxy S9 accessories made by Samsung.

15 Best Official Galaxy S9 Accessories

Galaxy S9 HyperKnit Case

Galaxy S9 HyperKnit Case

Most of the Galaxy S9 accessories will be familiar to Samsung users because a lot of them are similar or the same as other years. However, the one that we like the most is brand new. 

Our first recommendation is the all-new Galaxy S9 Hyperknit Nylon case from Samsung themselves. Yes, this case is made from real Nylon and has a comfortably soft yet durable fabric that covers the entire case. 

Samsung explains it as a unique, soft, lightweight yet durable cover that protects your phone. It fits like a glove, it’s thin, and you’ll be proud to show it off. Sadly, this only comes in a sleek gray color or Nylon Red. 

Get it from Samsung for $34.99


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