First OnePlus 6T camera sample appears via CEO: Is it a low-light champ?

OnePlus 6T teaser Twitter

  • OnePlus CEO Pete Lau has posted a photo taken with the OnePlus 6T.
  • The photo shows a city at dusk, but it’s unclear if this was taken in auto or night mode.
  • Little else is known about the camera experience, but we’ll find out more on October 29.

The Oneplus 6T launch event is around the corner, and we already have a good idea of what to expect from the phone. How its camera will handle is less certain, but OnePlus CEO Pete Lau has dished out a tantalizing glimpse of its capabilities on social media.

The executive published a photo sample on Weibo (h/t: GSMArena), showing a city at dusk/night. We don’t know if the photo was edited, while EXIF information isn’t available either. Nevertheless, the clouds and buildings seem well-realized. The sky isn’t noise-free though but, all in all, it seems like a good low-light snap. Check it out below (we’ve resized the image to fit the page):

A OnePlus 6T camera sample by Pete Lau. weibo.com/liuzuohu

It’s unclear whether this is the phone’s normal mode or a night mode as seen on the likes of Huawei‘s phones. In Huawei’s case, the night mode intelligently stacks and aligns multiple frames in order to reduce noise and simulate a long shutter speed. If this were taken via a normal/auto mode, however, it would make for a great demonstration of the setup’s light-gathering capabilities. But we won’t complain if this photo is the result of a night mode.

Editor’s Pick

The OnePlus 6T is set for an October 29 reveal, and we already have a few confirmed details. The new phone will ship with Android Pie and an in-display fingerprint sensor, but will lack a headphone jack. Other expected features include a Snapdragon 845 chipset, dual-camera setup, and an OLED screen with a tiny notch.

The new phone would also mark the latest device to arrive in October, following in the footsteps of the LG V40 ThinQ, Google Pixel 3, Huawei Mate 20, and Razer Phone 2.

What do you think of the sample snap? Give us your thoughts in the comments.

NEXT: Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro hands-on — Cameras, cubed

Gboard’s new floating keyboard is a blessing for multitasking

Gboard floating keyboard

  • The latest Gboard update sees the addition of a floating keyboard feature.
  • This can be useful when multitasking or typing with one hand.
  • Gboard isn’t the first keyboard to get this feature.

Google has introduced a floating keyboard to Gboard and it makes multitasking significantly more convenient. Google added the feature to Gboard version 7.6 and it went live on October 19, according to 9to5 Google.

You can find the new feature by tapping on Gboard’s Google icon and then tapping the overflow menu. From here, you can turn the floating keyboard on and off or, if you think you will use it a lot, add it to Gboard’s easy access bar.

Once the floating keyboard is enabled, you can drag it around your screen and resize it as you see fit. Exiting the mode is achieved in exactly the same way as turning it on.

Multitasking without Gboard floating keyboard
Multitasking with Gboard floating keyboard

This is particularly useful for split-screen multitasking. Before the update, when you had two windows open and wanted to type something, the keyboard would show up in its usual place at the bottom of the screen. This would either cover up most of the bottom window or — as in the picture above — push the bottom window into the top window.

Both scenarios could be pretty annoying if you wanted to copy some information from one window into another. For example, when typing bank details into a payments app. The new floating keyboard means you can instead position the keyboard as you see fit, ensuring you can see the important info.

Editor’s Pick

As well as multitasking, the floating keyboard could make one-handed typing much easier as you can make the keyboard smaller and position it in a way that is comfortable for you.

Gboard isn’t the first keyboard to implement a floating feature. SwiftKey has offered the feature for years now. However, the Gboard addition is likely to be welcomed by users who want to use the floating feature without having to switch keyboards.

Next up: 10 best Android keyboards

There are a lot of big phones out there, but which is right for you?

Let’s face it: big phones are here to stay. Samsung first made people want them with the original Galaxy Note, and we have not looked back since. Even companies like Apple, which stuck to smaller smartphones for years, eventually followed the trend with the iPhone 6 Plus in 2014.

There are now more options than ever when looking for a smartphone with a big displays — it’s easy to get overwhelmed. This is especially true right now, as the fall has brought a ton of new phones, many packing large screens.

Whether you are undecided or simply want a second opinion, here is our list of the best big phones available right now. 


Best all-around: Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is one of the best big phones you can buy

Want a big 6.3-inch AMOLED display and equally-large 4,000mAh battery? They’re here. Looking for at least 6GB of RAM and at least 128GB of expandable storage? Look no further. Hate notches? There isn’t one in sight. The Note 9 even comes with the series’ characteristic S Pen, which now adds tons of extra functionality via Bluetooth. The phone has no peer when it comes to its sheer number of features.

Why you should buy

  • The bright and large display is the best on the market,
  • If you can think of a software feature, it probably has it.
  • The S Pen brings features that no other phone has.

Why you might want to pass

  • The phone starts at $1,000.
  • Bixby continues to not be particularly good and its button cannot be officially remapped.
  • Based on precedent, software updates will be slow to arrive.

Learn more about the Galaxy Note 9


Best Galaxy Note 9 alternative: LG V40 ThinQ

LG V40 ThinQ in hand showing home screen

The story of the LG V40 ThinQ starts and ends with its five cameras — three around back and two up front — something no other phone’s done. Even though we were not very kind to the V40 ThinQ, the phone has potential options not seen in other phones.

Why you should buy

  • The phone can take regular, wide-angle, and telephoto shots.
  • The 32-bit Quad DAC pumps out great audio through the headphone jack.
  • The Google Assistant button is actually useful.

Why you might want to pass

  • The images do not live up to the hype.
  • The features do not justify its almost-$1,000 price tag.
  • Based on precedent, software updates will be extremely slow.

Learn more about the LG V40 ThinQ


Best big phone with stock Android: Google Pixel 3 XL

Pixel 3 XL - best big phone for stock fans

It might not have the bells and whistles of the Galaxy Note 9 and V40 ThinQ, but the Pixel 3 XL focuses on speed, ease of use, and being helpful. We didn’t call the Pixel 3 XL the Android iPhone for “the clicks” or lulz, but because it is the Android phone designed to appeal to everyone else. Its value is more than just specs on paper.

Why you should buy

  • The software is extremely fluid and gets updates directly from Google.
  • The single rear camera delivers an excellent and consistent photo-taking experience.
  • The learning curve is one of the smallest we have seen from an Android phone.

Why you might want to pass

  • You do not want to spend $899 on a smartphone.
  • Most of its headlining software features will trickle down to existing Pixels.
  • There is a lack of widespread availability.

Learn more about the Google Pixel 3 XL


Best big phone on the cheap: Honor 8X

It’s not as flashy as the Galaxy Note 9 or as fluid as the Pixel 3 XL, but the Honor 8X one of the best mid-tier smartphones and one of the best affordable big phones you can buy. This is a supersized phablet that comes in at under 300 euros (~$345), yet it delivers snappy performance and a stunning design. Look no further than the Honor 8X if you want a smartphone to make your wallet happy.

Why should you buy

  • The 3,750mAh battery has no problem surviving two days of use.
  • The premium design, performance, and storage options are a cut above your typical mid-tier smartphone.
  • You can buy four Honor 8Xs for the price of one Galaxy Note 9.

Why you might want to pass

  • The camera performance is hit or miss.
  • Dated hardware choices, such as a Micro-USB port and single bottom-firing speaker.
  • There is no IP rating.

Learn more about the Honor 8X


Best non-Android: iPhone XS Max

In any discussion of big phones, the iPhone XS Max is the elephant in the room. Notch haters will gravitate to the top, but everyone else will focus on the smooth performance, fantastic display, and great cameras. It may be cliche, but the iPhone XS Max is what happens when hardware and software meet in the middle as equals. Also, you really don’t have many other options for non-Android these days, with Windows Mobile pretty much dead.

Why you should buy

  • The A12 Bionic and iOS 12 optimizations deliver excellent performance.
  • The display rivals the Galaxy Note 9.
  • The phone slots in nicely with the rest of Apple’s ecosystem.

Why you might want to pass

  • The phone starts at $1,099.
  • The software does not make proper use of the large display.
  • Reports of phones not charging and antenna problems.

Learn more about the iPhone XS Max


We will continually update this list as manufacturers release more phones. You should also look out for the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and Mate 20 X, though we haven’t had enough time to fully review them. Perhaps one or both will make the list soon!

If you feel like we left something out or believe we nailed it, let us know in the comments below!

We asked, you told us: The Note 9 is for power users, but the Mate 20 Pro is a close second

Huawei Mate 20 fingerprint reader

With the release of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, there’s finally an Android smartphone made for power users that competes against the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. With that said, we decided to ask all of you if you would rather buy the Mate 20 Pro or the Galaxy Note 9.

Spec-for-spec, the two handsets are almost identical. Both feature QHD+ displays that are over six-inches in size, high-quality CPUs, and 6GB of RAM — although the 512GB Note 9 model comes with 8GB. Other than the software experience that either manufacturer installs on its phones, the only significant differences is the inclusion of the headphones jack and S Pen found with the Galaxy Note 9.

Which is the better power user phone: Huawei Mate 20 Pro or Galaxy Note 9?

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Results

As you can see from the four polls that we ran, the Galaxy Note 9 barely beat out the Mate 20 Pro. Coming in with an average of 55 percent of the votes, Samsung’s flagship keeps it power user Android smartphone crown.

Unsurprisingly, it appears that the deciding factor for a majority of the voters came down to the standout features found in each device. For Galaxy Note 9 voters, they stated that they preferred the Samsung Experience, S Pen, the high-quality display, and the headphone jack. Mate 20 Pro voters overwhelmingly commented most about the larger 4,200mAh battery and how power users required the longer battery life.

Noteworthy comments

Here are some of the comments from across the polls – many stern in their vote for the Galaxy Note 9 or Mate 20 Pro:

  • Huawei mate 20 Pro is better for power user because of its new Kirin 980 processor based on 7nm manufacturing process.
  • the note 9 at least it’s doesn’t have that god dammed fugly notch!
  • How can you possibly consider the Note 9 a power user’s phone? Samsung Experience is awful, and is way too locked down to actually do anything.
  • though the mate 20 pro is a beast,it still can’t match the smartness of a bluetooth s pen ;that’s why we call it note
  • Mate by far. Samsung devices have terrible battery life and they always lag. Hell I’d put my Mate 10 Pro up against the Note 9 in the battery department.
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9 for me, personally. Mainly due to the fact that it and every future Samsung Note device most likely will be available here in the USA on my current carrier, Verizon Wireless.

And then there’s those that voted based on the fact that they never used a Huawei phone before:

  • My vote is kind of flawed because I own a Note 9, currently using it, and I’ve never used a Huawei; any Huawei.

That’s it for this week, everyone. As always, thanks for voting, thanks for the comments, and don’t forget to let us know what you thought of the results below.

UK Deals of the Week: Huawei Mate 20 Pro with free Huawei Watch GT, wireless charger

Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro

Welcome to your weekly round-up of the best U.K. deals of the week for Android phones, network plans, accessories, smart home tech, and a little of whatever else is on offer in the world of mobile!

Editor’s Pick

This week’s deals include a killer bundle on the brand new Huawei Mate 20 Pro, a heavy discount on a refurbished Google Pixel 2 XL, a huge saving on Sennheiser headphones, and much more.

""Amazon Prime Day 2018: Deals, dates, and everything else you should know

Below are the most enticing deals we’ve seen this week hand-picked with a little help from the folks over at HotUKDeals – the U.K.’s biggest deal-sharing community.

Phones

Huawei Mate 20 Pro (SIM Free, 128GB) w/ free Huawei Watch GT and Wireless Charger (worth £259) – £899 @ Various

Google Pixel 2 XL (Refurbished, SIM Free, 64GB) – £389 (was £464) @ Envirofone

LG V30 (SIM Free, 64GB) – £459 (was £559) @ Carphone Warehouse

Sony Xperia XA2 (SIM Free, 32GB) – £199 (was £249) @ Carphone Warehouse

Accessories

Lenovo HX03F Smart Watch – £15 (was £28) w/code DLN6CK90 @ Dresslily

Sennheiser Momentum-on 2.0 headphones – £69 (was £169) @ HMV

Qi certified RavPower 10W wireless fast charging pad – £7.49 Prime / £11.98 non-Prime w/code HDGAQQDW @ Amazon (Sunvalleytek-UK)

Tech

Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote – £34.99 (was £39.99)

Xiaomi Indoor Temperature and Humidity Monitor – £7 (was £22) w/code DLSOHOT20 @ Dresslily

More UK content:

Have you seen any amazing deals this week? Be sure to share your finds in the comments.

Huawei CEO confirms it is working on foldable phones with 5G

The Huawei logo.

  • Huawei has confirmed it is working on a 5G foldable phone.
  • CEO Richard Yu made the admission at the Mate 20 Pro launch event.
  • The release date, however, remains a mystery.

Huawei CEO Richard Yu has confirmed the company is working on a 5G foldable phone. When asked about foldable phones at the Mate 20 Pro launch event, the CEO answered: “We are working on foldable phones. Foldable phones with 5G,” reports Digital Trends.

We have long known that Huawei is working on both foldable phones and phones that support 5G. However, this is the first time we have seen the two technologies linked by the company.

Previous reports have suggested that Huawei could release its foldable phone at the beginning of next year. On the other hand, Huawei has said its first 5G compatible device won’t launch until June 2019.

Editor’s Pick

This could bring up the possibility that the company is working on two versions of its foldable phone: one with 5G support and one without. Alternatively, the release date of the foldable phone could quite simply have been delayed, something that wouldn’t exactly be unheard of in the world of foldable devices.

Giving its foldable phone 5G support makes a lot of sense for Huawei. The company is heavily invested in 5G technology and, as well as its phones, it is — sometimes controversially — involved in the supply of 5G infrastructure equipment.

The first 5G networks are currently set to begin operation by the end of the year. As well as Huawei, Samsung, LG, and ZTE are known to be working on phones that are 5G compatible.

Next up: 5G: When will your smartphone get it?

The Verizon Google Pixel 3 is SIM-locked, even if you get it at Best Buy

Google Pixel 3

  • The Verizon variants of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL appear to be SIM-locked to the network.
  • If you want to unlock them, you must activate the phones on Verizon’s network and wait up to 24 hours.
  • Previous Pixel phones, including the Verizon variants, were all unlocked out of the box.

If you thought about purchasing the Verizon variant of either the Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL because it would be easier to do so, you might want to rethink that decision.

The folks at Android Central recently purchased the Verizon version of the Pixel 3 XL through Best Buy. Disappointingly, they found that neither T-Mobile nor AT&T SIM cards worked. A thread on Reddit corroborated the report and added that a customer service representative said this was part of Verizon’s updated unlocking policy.

Android Central

Droid Life reached out to Verizon, which confirmed the practice. If you buy the Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL through retailers, you must first activate the phone on Verizon. The carrier said the phones are “automatically unlocked overnight” if you request it, though it could be up to 24 hours before this happens.

Verizon implemented this policy as a way to deter device theft during shipment, though the policy also ignores the agreement the carrier made after it purchased Block C spectrum.

Editor’s Pick

If you want an unlocked Pixel 3, the easiest way is to buy it from the Google Store, but this shouldn’t have to be the case. The previous Pixel phones were unlocked out of the box, including the Verizon variants, so you could just throw in whatever SIM card and they would work.

We’d avoid picking up the Verizon variants of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL unless you’re happy to stick with that carry, just to save yourself the unlocking hassle. 

This tiny phone makes the new Palm handset look like a giant

KY-O1LNTT Docomo

  • Japanese carrier NTT Docomo has announced a new, credit card-sized phone, the Kyocera KY-O1L.
  • It is thought to be both the world’s thinnest and lightest phone.
  • It is missing some key smartphone features, though.

Huawei recently announced the Mate 20 X, a super-sized phone with a 7.21-inch display. While some people will no doubt be excited to get (both of) their hands on it, others will be looking back fondly to a time when phones were a bit more portable.

For those people, there is the Kyocera KY-O1L (spotted by The Verge). This is a credit card-sized device that weighs only 47g and is 91mm x 55mm x 5.3mm. NTT Docomo, the Japanese carrier that will release the phone, claims that it is both the thinnest and the lightest in the world.

Editor’s Pick

Of course, if you want to buy such a small phone, you have to willing to make some sacrifices. There is no camera, for starters, while the screen is a 2.8-inch e-ink display. The battery is only 380mAh, although it will presumably still far outlast your regular device. The phone does, however, have LTE functionality and a basic web browser.

To be fair, the KY-O1L actually nicely designed and there are definitely times when I could see myself opting to take a device like this out instead of my regular phone. However, it’s apparently going to cost 32,000 yen (~$284.39), which is a lot for what it offers.

The phone is currently exclusive to Japan, but an alternative for those in the U.S. could be the tiny new Palm phone. Although, Palm isn’t exactly making it easy for people to buy one.

Next up: The tiny Palm phone wants to be your current phone’s little sister

What do you do if you are a bankrupt company? Make a $5,000 phone, of course!

  • British luxury phone maker Vertu rose from its bankrupt ashes and announced the Aster P.
  • The Aster P retains the company’s gaudy design style, materials, and exorbitant price tag.
  • The phone is only available in China, however.

Do you remember Vertu, the British smartphone maker that made outlandish luxury smartphones and went bankrupt over a year ago? To hell with that bankruptcy, Vertu said, as GizmoChina reported that the company unveiled the gaudy Aster P earlier today.

Before we talk about anything else, just look at it. A titanium frame runs along the sides, with the back made out of crocodile and lizard leather and the display covered by sapphire crystal glass. Sapphire should stand up to scratches better than glass, though the former is more brittle and more prone to cracking than the latter.

That red button on the right is not just there to look good. It acts as the “concierge” button that gives you 24/7 access to your own personal butler. That might be overkill, but do not pretend like you do not want a butler to do your rich person things for you.


There is even a small metal “door” that, when opened, shows you the etched signature of the person that assembled your phone. As with previous Vertu devices, each Aster P is individually assembled. Both doors open gull-wing-style to reveal the dual SIM slots.

Overall, the only words that come to mind are “this exists.” Vertu smartphones have a knack for making me both sick and ashamedly admire their designs, and the Aster P is no different.

There is not much to write home about when it comes to the rest of the phone. The Aster P features a 4.9-inch AMOLED display with 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 chipset, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, 3,200mAh battery, 12-megapixel rear camera, and a 20MP front-facing sensor. 

Editor’s Pick

Finally, the Aster P runs Android Oreo out of the box.

Weirdly enough, the Aster P was only announced for release in China. You can pre-order the phone for a whopping 35,800 yen (~$5,167) if you want the phone in either Ink Black or White. If you go for Dazzling Gold, prepare to put down a wallet-shredding 98,000 yen (~$14,146).

Way to make four-figure phones like the Galaxy Note 9 and iPhone XS Max feel like phones for plebs, Vertu.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 coming next week carrying 10GB of RAM (no joke)

A teaser render of the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3. Weibo

  • Xiaomi has revealed some new features arriving with its Mi Mix 3 flagship next Thursday.
  • The phone will have 10GB of RAM and 5G internet support.
  • It will be the first smartphone from a major manufacturer with these characteristics.

Xiaomi has confirmed the Mi Mix 3 will launch on October 25, and has given us a taste of what we can expect from it. Posting on Weibo earlier today (via GizMochina), Xiaomi said the new Mix device would feature 10GB of RAM and 5G support.

We don’t get a good look at the smartphone, only its outline via a couple of teaser images (below). There seems to be little point in secrecy, though, as Xiaomi Global Vice President Manu Kumar Jain already revealed the phone in August (his image is above).

Editor’s Pick

Still, the renders look pretty and they reaffirm the Mi Mix 3’s implementation of a pop-up camera system like on the Oppo Find X. One of our main gripes with the previous Mixs (Mixes?) was their front camera’s awkward positioning at the bottom of the phones, so this is a welcome change.

As for the 10GB of RAM speculation, this would be the first smartphone from a major manufacturer to carry such memory, pending the surprise release of the rumored Oppo Find X 10GB RAM model. The big question is whether 10GB of RAM is warranted on a smartphone. The short answer is “hahahah, nope.”

Mi Mix 3 teaser renders from a Xiaomi promotion. Weibo

Meanwhile, most of us won’t feel 5G’s benefits for quite some time, but this should help to ‘future proof’ the handset (that is, if carriers can sort out 5G in the next two years before the phone is past its best). Xiaomi may include global frequency band support like it did with the Mi Mix 2.

The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is likely to be a costly smartphone and may be hard to come by in the West. It may be about as flawed as its predecessors, too. But the Mi Mix series has been consistently surprising, and can’t wait to find out what Xiaomi has dreamt up this time. Look out for it launching next week on Thursday, October 25.

Gimme’ your thoughts on the Mi Mix 3 in the comments.

Read next: Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 review