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

FCC disappointed with US carriers’ response to Hurricane Michael

  • FCC chairman Ajit Pai is not thrilled with the U.S. carriers’ slow restoration of their service in areas affected by Hurricane Michael.
  • Florida governor Rick Scott specifically called out Verizon for misleading customers with its network restoration progress.
  • All four major U.S. carriers offer bill credits, free service, or waived overage fees to customers in affected areas.

Even though Hurricane Michael is now a memory, its effects are still being met as the death toll continues to climb and power continues to be nonexistent in many neighborhoods. Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint experienced network outages of their own and continue to increase efforts to restore their networks. However, those efforts might not be enough to satisfy the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

In a recent statement, FCC chairman Ajit Pai slammed U.S. carriers for their slow efforts to restore service in areas affected by Hurricane Michael. Pai called the lack of full cellular service “completely unacceptable” and said the FCC will open an investigation into each of the carrier’s post-hurricane restoration efforts.

Pai also called on U.S. carriers to waive the bills of Florida residents in affected areas for October. Pai did not name any carriers in his statement, but we can guess that at least the four major carriers are the target of his wrath.

In a statement of his own, Florida governor Rick Scott specifically criticized Verizon and said the carrier misled the public with the statistic that 98 percent of Florida has service. Pai and Scott called for carriers to not penalize Florida residents who want to switch carriers in the wake of Hurricane Michael.

The carriers respond

In an email, Verizon said it will offer three months of free service to “every Verizon customer in Bay and Gulf counties.” On its network update page, Verizon also mentioned that it brought two new cell sites in service overnight and will deploy a new mobile cell site today. The carrier also set up two new charging stations for local shelters, but did not say when it expects to fully restore service.

Editor’s Pick

AT&T, meanwhile, said it offers bill credits to customers in Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gulf, Liberty, Taylor, and Wakulla counties. AT&T will continue to offer credits through October 21 and said service is “nearly fully restored in most affected areas.” AT&T also did not say when it expects to completely restore service.

On its Hurricane Michael update page, T-Mobile said service in North Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia are “almost fully recovered.” However, sites on the Florida Panhandle “will likely experience a longer recovery timeline.” T-Mobile did not provide that timeline on the website, though it offers certain Florida and George residents free calling, texting, and data if they are not already on an unlimited plan and are active postpaid or prepaid customers.

Finally, Sprint said it will waive call, text, and data overage fees between October 10 and October 18. The carrier also announced it provides 25 handsets and/or hotspots to any state or local government agency impacted by Hurricane Michael. Sprint did not say what progress on service restoration currently looks like, however.

Honor 8X launches in India – looks like a million bucks, available for less than $250

In a press conference in New Delhi, Honor announced the launch of its latest smartphone, the Honor 8X, in India. Honor has released a number of smartphones in 2018 — perhaps too many – but most of these offer exceptional value and build quality that punches well above their price tag. The Honor 8X fits into that portfolio easily.

Quintessential Honor Smartphone

The Honor 8X looks like the quintessential Honor smartphone, featuring a glossy textured glass back finish with its dazzling light reflecting properties, metal trim, notched display, and eye-catching looks all around.

The Honor 8X sports a 6.5-inch LTPS LCD display with a 2340 x 1080 resolution, producing a density of 397 pixels per inch. The 91 percent screen-to-body ratio and minimal chin are undeniably impressive, giving the handset more screen to work.

The combination of metal and gradient glass looks and feels great and the Honor 8X rivals the design and aesthetics of premium flagship handsets which cost significantly more.

Mid-range Specifications

While the display and design aesthetics appear premium, the hardware specifications for the Honor 8X hover somewhere between mid- and low-end. The Honor 8X runs Android 8.1 Oreo skinned with EMUI 8.2 on top.

Editor’s Pick

On the processing side, there’s a distinctly mid-range Kirin 710 SoC, which offers powerful Cortex-A73 CPU cores but a lower end Mali-G51 GPU. The handset comes in three memory variants with combinations of 4GB or 6GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of internal storage.

The handset’s microUSB connector with USB 2.0 data speeds feels dated though. Fast charging capabilities are included, but we’re capped at 5V/2A.

  Honor 8X
Display 6.5 inches
2,340 x 1,080
19.5:9 notched display
91% screen-to-body ratio
Processor HiSilicon Kirin 710
Octa-Core (4 x Cortex-A73 2.2 GHz + 4 x Cortex-A53 1.7 GHz)
GPU Mali-G51 MP4
RAM 4GB or 6GB
Storage 64GB or 128GB
Battery 3,750mAh
Cameras Rear dual cameras:
20MP (f/1.8 aperture) + 2 MP

Single front camera:
16MP (f/2.0 aperture)

Software Android 8.1 Oreo
Skinned with EMUI 8.2
Connectivity WiFi 802.11 ac (2.4 and 5GHz)
Bluetooth 5
GPS
GLONASS
Network 900MHz, 1800MHz, 800MHz, 2GHz
Bands 38, 39, 40, 41 (2555-2575 MHZ, 2575-2635 MHZ, 2635-2655 MHZ)
Band 1, Band 3, 1.9 GHz, I, VIII
Ports microUSB
3.5mm headphone jack
SIM Dual nano SIM
Dimensions 160.4 x 76.6 x 7.8mm
Weight 175g
Colors Black, Blue, Red, Purple

AI Cameras

There’s a familiar looking dual camera setup on the back of the Honor 8X. The primary sensor offers 20-megapixels of resolution with a f/1.8 aperture and Phase Detection Auto Focus. The 2MP secondary camera is used entirely for depth calculation, enabling re-adjustable aperture and bokeh after taking the picture. The front-facing camera is a 16-megapixel affair with a f/2.0 aperture.

Honor’s big selling point with all of its recent phones are their AI camera capabilities. The Honor 8X recognizes 22 different scenarios in which it can apply custom exposure and color corrections.

Pricing and Availability

The Honor 8X is a super-sized phablet with a premium design that stands out in a crowd with mid-range specifications sheet and dated hardware choices.

The Honor 8X comes in in blue, black, and red color variants and will be available for purchase in India starting October 24, exclusively on Amazon.in. The customers can also purchase 8X from www.hihonor.com/in.

The 4GB + 64GB variant is priced at 14,999 rupees ($203), the 6GB + 64GB variant at 16,999 rupees ($231), while the top variant with 6GB + 128GB will set you back with 18,999 rupees ($258).

What do you think of Honor’s latest mid-range smartphone, and would you like to pick up the Honor 8X? Tell us in the comments!

Samsung Galaxy S9/S9 Plus update hub: front-camera upgrade rolling out

samsung galaxy s9 update

Update, 10/16/2018, 04:09 AM ET: Samsung is rolling out the October 2018 security patches to the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, along with a front camera upgrade.

SamMobile spotted the 244 MB update earlier today; it’s said to be rolling out in Germany with firmware versions G960FXXU2BRJ3 and G965FXXU2BRJ3, though the accompanying screenshot SamMobile provided is in Dutch.

The changelog says the backlighting has been improved when shooting with the front camera and faces will now be brighter. It sounds like a small, but worthwhile upgrade, though the phones remain on Android 8.0 Oreo for the time being.

As the update is now rolling out in Europe, it will likely reach the U.S. in the coming days and weeks.

Meanwhile, it looks like Samsung is gearing up for an Android Pie beta program. These betas typically last until the year’s end, with the final update rolling out soon after. We should have more on this, including how you can sign up, soon.


Welcome to the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus Android update hub page. This page covers all major U.S. carriers with a quick reference table for each and a log with links to further details. It will be regularly updated with the latest Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus update information, but note that we won’t be covering general security patches in our list.

We recommend you bookmark this page so you can stay up to date with the very latest updates.

Samsung Galaxy S9/S9 Plus Android update

The Galaxy S9 series was released in February 2018 and became the first Samsung flagship to run Android 8.0 Oreo out-of-the-box. Since then, Google has released the Android 8.1 update and Android 9.0 Pie, but S9 owners are still waiting for any concrete rollout details.

Editor’s Pick

The Galaxy S9/S9 Plus will almost certainly pick up Android Pie, though we don’t know when. Samsung is likely to roll out a beta program for this in the run-up to 2019, as it has with previous updates to its Galaxy flagships, which some of you may be able to get involved with.

Despite supporting Project Treble, it’s yet to be seen whether Samsung will roll out major updates any faster than in the past.

It also seems likely that the S9 series will eventually be updated to Android Q, but we’ll no doubt have to wait until 2019 to hear more on that front.

Samsung Galaxy S9/S9 Plus update US

Samsung Galaxy S9/S9 updates – US Android 8.1 Oreo Android Pie
Verizon TBC TBC
AT&T TBC TBC
T-Mobile TBC TBC
Sprint TBC TBC
Unlocked TBC TBC

samsung galaxy s9 plus update

Verizon Galaxy S9 (SM-G960UZ*AVZW ) and Galaxy S9 Plus (SM-G965UZ*AVZW) update:

  • June 21, 2018: Verizon rolls out the June security update for the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus.

AT&T Galaxy S9 (SM-G960UZ*AATT) and Galaxy S9 Plus (SM-G965UZ*AATT) update:

  • The AT&T Galaxy S9/S9 Plus has yet to receive any noteworthy updates.

T-Mobile Galaxy S9 (SM-G960UZ*ATMB) and Galaxy S9 Plus (SM-G965UZ*ATMB) update:

  • March 14, 2018: T-Mobile rolls out Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus update, improves camera and face unlock stability.
  • June 22, 2018: T-Mobile rolls out a Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus update, which includes the June 2018 Android security patch, various bug fixes, and system improvements.
  • July 9, 2018: T-Mobile rolls out a Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus update, which includes RTT updates, enhancements to DIGITS, various bug fixes, and system improvements.

Sprint Galaxy S9 (SM-G960UZ*ASPR) and Galaxy S9 Plus (SM-G965UZ*ASPR) update:

  • The Sprint Galaxy S9/S9 Plus has yet to receive any noteworthy updates.

Unlocked US Galaxy S9 (SM-G960U) and Galaxy S9 Plus (SM-G965U) update:

  • June 25, 2018: Samsung rolls out an update with the June 2018 Android security patch, along with various bug fixes and system improvements.

International Galaxy S9 (SM-G960F) and Galaxy S9 Plus (SM-G965F) update:

  • June 6, 2018: Samsung adds support for dual voice over LTE (VoLTE) and voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) in India.
  • July 18, 2018: Samsung rolls out an update with the July 2018 Android security patch, along with stability improvements for AR Emoji and Super Slow-Mo.
  • October 16, 2018:

If you’ve received an update we’ve missed, hit the comments below or tip us!