We asked, you told us: Playmojis are fun, but you don’t use them

Google Pixel 3 Love Playmoji

Augmented reality, much like virtual reality, never really took off the way that many believed it would. While some are using it in creative ways, most people aren’t walking around holding their smartphones in front of their faces, augmenting the world around them.

Despite this, Google continues to work on its AR Playground platform. For example, in just the last two weeks, the Silicon Valley company has released two new Playmoji packs.

So we decided to ask you, do you use Google’s Playmoji? Here’s what you had to say.

Do you use Playmoji?

Results

Unsurprisingly, 39 percent of those who participated in this week’s poll stated that they have never used Playmoji. Following that, 24 percent of the votes marked that they’ve used Playmoji once or twice and six percent said they use it all of the time.

As a Pixel owner, I can honestly say that I’ve used Playmoji when new AR packs were released, but I’ve never taken out my phone and dropped Iron Man into the scene because I thought it would enhance my photos. For me, the AR technology is fun to play with, but it isn’t something I would use once a day, week, or even month.

The sentiment towards Playmoji appears to remain unchanged for non-Pixel owners. While nine percent of the voters said they would use Google’s AR stickers, 22 percent said they wouldn’t.

As Google is rumored to be working to bring its AR Playground platform to other Android handsets, this statistic makes me believe the company’s efforts might be wasted.

Noteworthy comments

Here are some of the best comments from last week’s poll explaining why they voted the way that they did:

  • I showed it to my (young) son a couple of years ago with the Star Wars characters and that was that.
  • Basically it [Playmoji] is the new Google+ that is just gimmick, a pain to use, doesn’t solve any real problem and only creates a marginal entertainment value that hurts the battery more than anything else.
  • I really love the Childish Gambino pack!!! I use it sometimes when I remember BUT it uses a LOT OF BATTERY. It is fun and, sometimes, people feel surprise on how well it is implemented… BUT, you know, it is not useful at all (it’s more like a game that you play sometimes when you a bored)
  • My kids (5 & 3 yr old boys) love it.

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.

We asked, you told us: Most of you don’t use third-party email apps

Gmail Logo

One of the best parts of our smartphones is that if there’s a default app that we don’t like, we can go and download a third-party option. An example of an app that many replace is the pre-installed email app.

For that reason, we decided to ask you, what email client do you use? Here are the results.

What email client do you use?

Results

Unsurprisingly, 52 percent of the participants in this week’s poll stated that they use the Gmail app for checking their email. This result isn’t surprising as almost every Android device has Google’s email client pre-installed.

And as the Gmail mobile app can also be used with external email accounts, most people don’t have a reason to find another email client.

Coming in second is Microsoft’s Outlook client with 13 percent of the votes. The reason for this is likely because they use Outlook’s desktop client on their home and work computers.

And in third, we have Inbox by Gmail (R.I.P.). Since its launch, Inbox has been a vastly popular Gmail alternative thanks to its smart features and simplistic design. Thankfully, it looks like some of the app’s functionality might make its way over to the Gmail app.

Unfortunately, Google is shutting down the client in March which means the nine percent of our readers who still use it will have to find an alternative email app within the next two months.

Noteworthy comments

Here are some of the best comments from last week’s poll explaining why they voted the way that they did:

  • Nine for work emails and Gmail app for personal emails
  • Gmail for personal. Outlook for work Outlook also has my work calendar. 
    Editor’s Pick
  • I use the native one for each (Gmail, outlook and IOS mail) I like having them separate from each other
  • K-9 on the Android phone. Evolution on the laptop.
  • Inbox by Gmail. I hate Google for killing it, and will definitely not use the stock Gmail app. Thankfully, SparkMail is coming soon to Android, to which I’ll be shifting.
  • I used to use Newton until it went away, but see it’s now back. I switched to Pop, now called Spike, which is similar to Newton.

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.

We asked, you told us: Most of you keep phones between one to two years

HTC U12+ vs Pixel 2 XL

Smartphone manufacturers typically stick to a very strict release schedule which usually includes releasing at least one new phone every year. But with premium handsets costing anywhere between $700 and $1,000, it’s not feasible for many to buy a new phone every year.

Keeping a device for more than a year isn’t the end of the world, but it means that you probably won’t get all of the latest and greatest features. For some, this isn’t that big of a deal. For others, this is a reason to switch phones more often.

So we decided to ask you, are you switching phones every year, two years, or are you holding onto your handsets until they’re dead? Here’s what you had to say.

How long do you usually keep a phone?

Results

Unsurprisingly, most of you voted that you’re keeping smartphones for a least one to two years, with a large percentage of people holding onto handsets for over two years.

These results are even less surprising when you consider that most financing options usually last around two years. By the time that the device is paid off, it has been one to two years, and there’s a reason to upgrade.

In the grand scheme of things, you aren’t missing much by skipping a single smartphone generation. Yes, some of the new features introduced into Android and by the handset’s manufacturer won’t get added to older devices, but these tend to be minuscule.

Noteworthy comments

Here are some of the best comments from last week’s poll explaining why they voted the way that they did:

  • I keep my phones as long as they’re getting major Android upgrades. Since my Pixel 2 will be getting three years of upgrades that’s how long I’ll keep it.
  • For me the ideal would be to keep a phone for at least 2 years, my S7 Edge is going strong with almost 3 now
  • I buy a new phone when the apps I use advise me that support for my Android version will end. I’m on my second smartphone. First one bought in 2012. Second one bought in 2018.
  • I’ve actually had my Note 8 since the day it was released in September 2017, which is weird as I usually change phones every year, not longer than that. It is a great phone though, so no need to upgrade.
  • My carrier allow me to upgrade my 2 years plan 6 months early so I usually take up the offer if there’s a good deal. I usually buy a flagship Samsung device just before it get updated for 0 or very cheap up front, so while I don’t have the latest and greatest, I’m sure to get updates for the duration of my contract.
  • Buy a flagship, skip one version and upgrade to the following one. Repeat Mode. Reason – Device Hardware and Software are outdated in as early as an year these days.

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.

What version of Android are you running? (Poll of the Week)

Last week’s poll summary: Last week, we asked you if you’d ever buy a slider phone. Surprisingly, out of almost 56,000 total votes, the results were pretty much split down the middle – roughly 50.5 percent of voters said they wouldn’t buy a slider phone, while 49.5 percent said they would.


Android updates may be rolling out faster than ever before, but the majority of users still aren’t running the latest version of Android. At least, we think — Google hasn’t updated the Android distribution dashboard since late October 2018. At that time, Android 9 Pie wasn’t even on the chart, meaning it was installed on less than 0.1 percent of all Android devices.

See For Yourself

However, thanks to initiatives like Project Treble, third-party manufacturers have been able to roll out Android 9 Pie to their devices much quicker than ever before. We looked at the data and found many manufacturers averaging roughly 118 days before rolling out Pie to their devices, whereas the number was closer to 170 days for the Oreo update.

We want to hear from you. What version of Android is your phone running?

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

Next: Android Q: The top features we know about so far

We asked, you told us: Slider phones aren’t for you

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 - slider mechanism

In the quest to get rid of bezels, smartphone companies have made countless attempts to redesign smartphones. While most companies are now moving towards hole-punch displays, some are experimenting with sliding phones.

This design concept separates the screen portion of the phone from the rest of the handset. By doing this, the screen can include minimal amounts of bezel as the front-facing camera and other sensors are located behind the display on the main part of the device.

The primary issue with this design is that there are moving pieces. Whether the sliding mechanism is done automatically with a motor or the user has to slide the two pieces apart physically, something could break or get damaged. If that happens, you lose access to the camera and any other sensor hidden behind the display.

So with phones like the OnePlus 7 rumored to be using a slider mechanism, we decided if you would buy a slider phone. Here are your answers.

Would you buy a slider phone?

Results

Surprisingly, the results are almost split down the middle. While a majority of the 1,800+ voters who voiced their opinion on the website stated that they would buy a slider phone, the polls from Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube all skewed to “no.”

As outlined above, it appears that most people are against the slider form factor because there’s a chance that something might break. But on the other side, a lot of people said they were all for the change in style since it would stop companies from introducing phones with notches and hole-punch cameras.

Noteworthy comments

Here are some of the best comments from last week’s poll explaining why they voted the way that they did:

  • I’d prefer a simple bezel, instead of making the phone more complex, fragile and expensive.
  • I prefer the slider option over a notch or a punch hole in the display, and it could work as way to protect the front camera.
  • i would rather to not have front camera and no slider
  • Yeah why not, i rarely use the front camera anyway
  • Pros : • you can play with your slider • possible jack revival ( or sacrificed again for extra something ) • no notch, so full screen ( perhaps with small chin )
    Cons : • No IP Rating • possible broken slider cuz’ u playin it a lot

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.

We asked, you told us: The Pixel 4 / 4 XL is the most anticipated phone of 2019

Google Pixel 3 XL Camera

As there can’t be constant advances in technology, we occasionally have years that are just kind of boring. That is exactly what 2018 was. 2019 is the year that we could actually see a lot of advances and growth in the Android market.

So with all of that in mind, we asked you what phone you’re most excited to see announced in 2019. Here is what you had to say.

What phone are you most looking forward to in 2019?

Results

Sliding in just ahead of the OnePlus 7 / 7T, the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL took the crown with 18.8 percent of the votes. While the search giant’s flagships have always been a safe but boring option, it offers the best in camera performance, Android updates, and more.

After a lackluster launch of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, we can only hope that Google doesn’t drop the ball with its 2019 handsets.

As mentioned, the OnePlus 7 / 7T came in second with 18.1 percent of the reader’s votes. As the Chinese company has been producing some of the best smartphones for the price, this result isn’t all that surprising. With OnePlus’ push into the U.S. market and desire to be at the forefront of 5G, it could easily be one of the most popular brands in 2019.

And coming in third, we have the Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus. As the South Korean company’s two flagships are the world’s most popular Android handsets, this isn’t surprising. While the Galaxy line hasn’t seen many changes over the last several years, we could see some changes with Samsung rumored to be using an Infinity-O display with the S10 handsets.

Noteworthy comments

Here are some of the best comments from last week’s poll explaining why they voted the way that they did:

  • I guess I’m not surprised the Pixel has the most. It’s such a boring phone though . Let me guess, it’ll look pretty much the same? I hate that I think this way as I was a huge Nexus fan and want to be excited about the Pixel, but that ridiculous price tag!
  • The Android One program is very promising and Xiaomi didn’t disappoint with it’s Mi A2. Let’s see what’s coming up.
  • The Xiaomi Mi A3. All the goodness of a ‘flagship killer’ without the ridiculous gimmicks for half the price.
  • Waiting for the Moto z4 (hoping for a force variant) or the Nokia 9 pureview.
  • IDK why, but Honor V20. Man this thing is sexy

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.

We asked, you told us: Most of you didn’t buy anything for Black Friday/Cyber Monday

Following almost non-stop phone announcements since the beginning of fall, we ended the season with Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

During these two retail holidays, we saw countless sales for electronics big and small. Even better, some of those newly released smartphones were already seeing deep discounts.

So now that most of the sales are over, we decided to ask you if you ended up buying anything for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Here are the results.

Pick anything up for Black Friday/Cyber Monday?

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Results

Tallying up the results, we find that just over half of the voters decided to pass on sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Looking at the comments, it seemed like a lot of people just weren’t impressed by the items that had been discounted.

Even though 53 percent of those that voted didn’t end up buying anything, it looks like everyone else purchased an almost equal percentage of other electronics. Leading the pack were smartphone purchased followed by smart home gadgets and headphones.

Noteworthy comments

Here are some of the best comments from last week’s poll explaining why they voted the way that they did:

  • I was in the market to replace my old DSLR camera and my old HP laptop. I ended up going with a mirrorless Sony camera and picked up a Microsoft Surface Pro 6. I went into the red on Black Friday.
  • got a crazy deal on a 4k hdr 49″ smart TV at Target
  • Chromebook
  • Tablet deals sucked this year. I assumed the poor tablet sales would yield big discounts, but the only decent sales were for the amazon fire tablets, and they are all hamstrung by the Amazon ecosystem.

And then there was this person who got the best deal of the season:

  • A bottle of shampoo from Aveda. 20% off and free shipping.

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.

We asked, you told us: The OnePlus 6T was your favorite phone from #phonepocalypse

It might already be November 10, but it doesn’t feel that way after the #phonepocalypse that we just had last month. While we knew to expect big announcements from Google, OnePlus, Huawei, and LG, unveilings from Razer, Samsung, and Nokia kept us on our toes.

While there were still some phones announced in October that we didn’t include in this poll, these seven flagships were some of the heavy hitters unveiled in that 31-day period. So we asked, which handset was your favorite phone from #phonepocalypse?

What was your favorite phone from #phonepocalypse?

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Results

This was a tight race, but the results aren’t all that surprising. Coming in first, we have the OnePlus 6T with 31 percent of the vote. The Huawei Mate 20 / Mate 20 Pro and Google Pixel 3 / 3XL come in second and third place with 28 percent and 19 percent of the readers voting for it.

While we thought that the OnePlus 6T would be in the top three phones from #phonepocalypse, we didn’t expect it to come in first due to the amount of dislike for the removal of the headphone jack. Seemingly, the smaller teardrop notch and in-display fingerprint sensor were enough to bring it into the lead.

But let’s not forget the other players in this week’s poll: the LG V40 ThinQ, Nokia 7.1, Razer Phone 2, and Samsung Galaxy A9. The V40 didn’t do that well this week with only 10% of the votes despite it retaining a headphone jack and a large battery. At the end of the day, it shows that customers do want a good software experience, and that’s something a lot of people don’t find on LG’s phones.

No one anticipated the Nokia 7.1 and Samsung Galaxy A9 to get many votes, but it is shocking that the Razer Phone only received four percent of the vote. This might show that most buyers want their phones to do more than just focus on gaming.

Noteworthy comments

Here are some of the comments from this week’s poll. As you might imagine, it was hard for everyone to come to a consensus on which phone was the best:

  • OnePlus 6T > Huawei Mate 20 / 20 Pro > LG V40 > Galaxy A9 > Pixel 3 / 3 XL > Nokia 7.1 > Razer 2
  • The Mate 20 Pro might be a little beastlier than the 6T, but dang it all if I can’t have TWO 6Ts and a couple of sets of headphones for the price of the Mate 20 Pro. There isn’t THAT much of a difference to warrant the price. There just … isn’t. 
    Editor’s Pick
  • The slider phones are my favorites. The best phone is the Mate 20 Pro but money for value wise is the 6T
  • Nokia 7.1 : The notch finally made it to Nokia 😥😢Pixel 3/XL : 4GB Ram in 2018 ? On a 800 bucks flagship ? 😞 Plus the notch on the XL is purely 🤮 but nice stereo speakers. 🐼What happened to Panda ? “Not pink” is the same color as Apple’s “Just gold”🤬 buy yeah the best camera in the businessLG V4O : Amazing phone, killed by the Notch 🤮Razer phone 2 : Great phone, RGB light, Tough build quality, and finally decent photography 💯Samsung A9 : the camera layout is the only attraction here, and Pixel Proved than anything more of an optical zoom nearly useless 🤷

    Huawei Mate 20/P : The K980 was, at least to me, the main attraction of the phone, as the first 7NM cpu on an Android, and among the fastests of 2019. But it can barely keep up with the S845. So it’s a big NO. Plus there’s a NOTCH here too ,🤮

    6T : a great phone, Nice Waterdrop Notch, maybe the best UD fingerprint in the business. Probably still the best bangs for the bucks. 📱💰

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.

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.