The 6-inch OnePlus 5T costs $500 and you can unlock it with your face

The OnePlus 5 launched earlier this year, but the Chinese company has already announced a revised version called the OnePlus 5T. It carries many of the same high-end specifications, but it looks far more contemporary — all at a reasonable price.

Here’s everything you need to know about the all-new OnePlus 5T, and you can check out our OnePlus 5T hands-on review for more.

Bezel-less design

The first thing you’ll notice about the OnePlus 5T is its design. The back of the phone looks incredibly similar to the original OnePlus 5, with a dual-sensor camera on the top left-hand corner accompanied by a small flash. One of the biggest changes is how the fingerprint sensor is on the rear, instead of the front like previous OnePlus phones. The reason? We’ll have to turn the around for the answer.

oneplus 5t hands on review home

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The biggest difference between the OnePlus 5 and the OnePlus 5T is the screen. You now have a 6.01-inch AMOLED screen over a 5.5-inch one. The phone’s body is still very similar to the OnePlus 5, and that’s because the company has dramatically slimmed down the top and bottom edges around the screen. This “bezel-less” design is a major smartphone trend this year, and you can see it in phones like the LG G6 and the iPhone X. According to OnePlus, the display offers a hefty 80.5 percent screen-to-body ratio — which puts it a step ahead of the LG G6 as you’ll find in our bezel-less phone comparison.

Due to the size, you now have an 18:9 aspect ratio like the LG V30 and the Google Pixel 2 XL; and the display packs a resolution of 2,160 x 1,080 pixels, like the Huawei Mate 10 Pro.

The selfie camera on the phone now also can help you unlock the phone by scanning your face. It’s not secure like the iPhone X’s Face ID, but it’s meant for convenience.

Same specs

As is the case with all OnePlus phones, you’ll find staggeringly impressive specifications here for the price. Like the OnePlus 5, the OnePlus 5T is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor, and you get the same options for either 6GB or 8GB of RAM. That much RAM isn’t really necessary for a phone, but if anything it helps future-proof the device for any future technologies that require a lot of memory. Those RAM options are accompanied by either 64GB or 128GB of storage, and you’ll want to get the amount of storage you want, because there’s no MicroSD card slot (though there are dual-SIM slots).

When it comes to software, the OnePlus 5T runs OxygenOS 4.7, which is based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat. It’s last year’s version of Android, but thankfully the company is planning an update to bring the phone to Android 8.0 Oreo. A beta will be available before the end of the year, and the official roll out will take place in the first quarter of 2018.

The battery is the same as the regular OnePlus 5, with a 3,300mAh capacity, and you’ll still be able to charge it up quickly with OnePlus’ proprietary Dash Charge technology. OnePlus claims a half-hour charge can give the 5T enough power for a day.

oneplus 5t hands on review dual camera

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The camera on the phone is similar, but quite different from the OnePlus 5. You still have two dual lenses on the rear, but gone is the telephoto lens. Instead, it’s replaced with a 20-megapixel lens with a much wider f/1.7 aperture. It’s intended to improve low-light photography. It’s still used to capture depth for Portrait Mode, but photos won’t be as cropped as before, and it relies a little more on software. You also won’t be able to get a 2x optical zoom, even though the 2x option is still present on the camera — it’s inferior digital zoom.

The main camera is the same 16-megapixel lens with an f/1.7 aperture. As far as video goes, the phone is able to handle 4K recording at up to 30 frames per second, and you can shoot slow-motion video at 120 frames per second in 720p. The front-facing camera is rated at 16-megapixels. We’ll have to wait and see how these cameras perform in real-world tests, but at least on paper they seem quite capable, and we liked the OnePlus 5‘s camera a lot.

Price and Availability

The OnePlus 5T will be available starting on November 21 in countries all over the world, including the U.S, Canada, France, Spain, Germany, U.K., China, and Hong Kong. There’s only one color option, and it’s Midnight Black.

The best thing about OnePlus phones, however, has long-been the price. In the U.S., it will set you back $500, or 500 euros in Europe, or 450 british pounds in the U.K. It’s $20 more in the U.S. than the OnePlus 5, but it stays the same in many other countries overseas. That’s still a lot of money considering the low price of the original OnePlus One, but you’re getting performance and specifications that match most $650+ flagship smartphones.

Update: OnePlus has officially unveiled the OnePlus 5T. 

Editors’ Recommendations

Habla español? Now Google Assistant does too, on phones at least

Si hay algo frustrante en el mundo de la tecnología para aquellas personas que no hablan inglés, es la limitación que imponen usualmente los servicios en tecnología que no hablan otro idioma además del inglés.

Esa limitación se hace mucho más evidente, cuando se evidencia que las grandes empresas de tecnología quieren que utilicemos sus Asistentes hasta en la sopa, pero cuando los vamos a utilizar nos damos cuenta de que no entiende nuestro acento extranjero cuando hablamos inglés.

Google quiere cambiar esta situación y acaba de anunciar que el Asistente de Google por fin estará disponible en español, aunque claro está, únicamente en los celulares por ahora.

La actualización llegará en las próximas semanas a algunos celulares que funcionen con sistema operativo Android 6.0 o posterior, que tengan 1.5 GB de memoria y 720p de resolución y a finales de este año, llegará a los iPhone de Apple.

Un vocero de Google nos confirmó que la actualización se limitará por ahora a los teléfonos Android, pero añade que en el futuro llegará también a las bocinas de Google como la Google Home y la Google Home Mini, aunque no se sabe exactamente cuándo.

El idioma español estará disponible en Español de los Estados Unidos, Español de México, de España y con esta actualización, también estará disponible en italiano. Según el comunicado de Google, puedes pedirle al Asistente que reproduzca tu canción favorita, que te diga la temperatura local, o incluso podrás preguntarle cosas chistosas como si sabe nadar.

La Asistente de Google ya habla francés en Canadá y Francia, alemán en Alemania, inglés en Australia, portugués en Brasil y por supuesto, inglés en los Estados Unidos, Canadá y Australia.

Sin duda es un paso muy importante y ambicioso para Google y no nos aguantamos las ganas de probar la Asistente en nuestros celulares apenas la actualización esté disponible. Por supuesto, les estaremos contando qué tal funciona este sistema de inteligencia artificial de Google.

Recomendaciones del editor

Asus Chromebook Flip C101PA review

There’s a reason why Chromebooks are popular in schools — they’re lightweight, speedy, and secure. Chromebooks don’t rely on apps you download and install, leading to smaller storage capacities, and lower pricing. The Chrome OS operating system is provided free to OEMs as well, making Chromebooks extremely price-competitive in a Windows-dominated laptop market.

Enter our Asus Chromebook Flip C101PA review. This $300 mini-laptop is based on an optimized Rockchip six-core processor, 4GB of memory, 16GB of storage, and a battery promising up to nine hours of use on a single charge.

The Flip C101PA appears to be a smaller version of the Flip C302CA we reviewed in February. That model had an Intel-based processor, a larger screen, a higher resolution, and a higher price tag of $500. Asus, it seems, wants to provide the same 2-in-1 Chromebook experience for less. Like its cousin, the more affordable Flip supports Google Play and its library of Android apps. Does that make it a worthwhile alternative to a tablet?

It’s the best of both worlds

The Flip C101PA is a merging of two worlds — the web-based app productivity of Chrome OS (although some can work offline), and the locally installed apps of Android. All of this is enjoyed on a 10.1-inch screen with touch. Technically, it’s a 2-in-1 device with a 360-degree hinge enabling you to position it in four ways: Laptop, Tent, Stand, and Tablet.

Overall, it sports a rounded metal body with a silver finish. The keyboard area is silver too, complemented by black keys and a black bezel surrounding the screen. There are no sharp edges whatsoever, and you can even see a small, metallic trim running along the sides of the device. The only drawback to this compact clamshell 2-in-1 design is the bulging 360-hinge, and the gaps it creates between the screen and keyboard area.

When closed, the 2-in-1 Chromebook measures just 0.6 inches thin. We did a triple-take when FedEx delivered the unit, as we were expecting something much larger. It’s extremely small – kid-sized, you could say – but it’s a high-quality product in its presentation and overall build.

It’s more than just a tablet

You won’t find a multitude of ports here. The left side merely sports the volume buttons and the power button.  On the right, you’ll see two USB 3.1 Gen1 USB-C ports, one of which is used to recharge the device.

The Chromebook Flip 101PA could easily replace your smartphone as your Facebook-trolling tool.

Other ports consist of a USB 2.0 Type-A port, a microphone/headphone combo jack, and a MicroSD card slot. Video output is handled by the two USB-C ports (HDMI, DisplayPort), so you’ll need the appropriate adapter. You can also cast the screen and its contents using a Google Chromecast device.

Because there’s no Ethernet port, you’re solely relying on a wireless connection. The label on the Chromebook’s box says it provides Bluetooth 4.0 and Wireless AC connectivity, the latter of which relies on a 2×2 setup, meaning it relies on two incoming antennas, and two outgoing. Theoretically, it’s capable of reaching speeds of 867Mbps, but the Android apps we used to monitor the connection all saw a capped speed of 100Mbps no matter what access point we used.

Get bouncy with your typing

We rather liked the keyboard, though it doesn’t provide any backlighting. It spans the entire base from left to right, and there’s no numeric keypad, enabling larger keys for your fingertips to love. Each key feels delightfully springy when pressed, and as with other Chromebooks, you’ll find device-specific commands replacing the typical function keys. These control screen brightness, volume, and help navigate through web pages.

ASUS Chromebook Flip C101 review kybrd

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

The touchpad is small, but that’s expected given the size of the device. There are no embedded right and left-click buttons, but rather the entire touchpad area is one large clickable surface. It supports up to three fingers, enabling gesture commands like swiping left and right, drag and drop, scrolling, and sliding. It felt a little jerky at times when moving the cursor across the screen, but worked well enough.

The display gets touchy

Of course, the Flip C101PA shines as a tablet. Once you flip the screen over into tablet mode, the keyboard shuts off.

The 10.1-inch display has a density of 150 pixels per inch, an aspect ratio of 16:10, and an out-of-the-box resolution of 1,280 x 800 (marked as “best”). The device’s settings let you scale the screen as if it were displaying 1,440 x 900, however, this only makes interface elements smaller, so more can be fit on-screen. The display’s real resolution of 1,280 x 800 does not change.

Unfortunately, the specifications don’t state what type of screen technology Asus is using in its 2-in-1 Chromebook, but clearly admits it supports only 50 percent of the NTSC color space. The color depth and richness associated with devices sporting larger, high-resolution displays just isn’t there, but you may not notice unless you physically compare the Flip C101PA’s screen next to an iPad. It does the job, and is plenty bright even in outdoor scenarios.

The audio is best in tent mode

Backing this screen are two speakers mounted on the bottom of the keyboard. The sound is good, given that the speakers are typically pointing away from your ears. The audio punches up through the keyboard, but you can’t help but get a narrow sensation when processing the audio in your brain. This is due to the dampening of the treble as the sound moves through metal and plastic before reaching your ear.

ASUS Chromebook Flip C101 review chrome

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

The best non-headphone audio you’ll hear from the Flip C101PA is when the device is set to tent mode. In this case, the keyboard is positioned behind the screen, exposing the two speakers on the bottom which are then pointing in your direction.

While audio quality depends on how the device is used, we are pleased with volume and quality overall. It won’t impress audiophiles – or anyone, really – but it’s at least usable, which is better than many devices in the Flip’s category.

The processor is little, and big

Backing the big audio and 10.1-inch screen is Rockchip’s six-core RK3399 all-in-one processor. It falls within a new classification system called “OP,” which means the chip is optimized specifically for Chromebooks. Given Rockchip’s processor falls under the OP1 umbrella, we assume it’s one of the first to fit into this new classification system.

What’s interesting about this chip is that it’s based on ARM’s processor architecture called big.LITTLE. There are essentially two clusters of processor cores inside the chip: four clocked at 1.51GHz for normal, low-power use, and two clocked at 2.02GHz for high-performance scenarios. All six cores don’t work simultaneously. The two power-sucking cores kick in only when heavy processing is required.

You get the best of two worlds in a compact device — the benefits of an Android tablet, and the security of a Chromebook.

When we loaded up Geekbench 4 to test its performance, the processor scored a mere 1,333 in the single-core test. Because the benchmark is Android-based, the results can only be directly compared to processors running in smartphones. Plus, you should also consider that Android isn’t native to Chromebooks, so we may not see the processor’s full potential using the app. With that in mind, we still think the results are worth discussing.

Rockchip RK3399’s single-core benchmark fell between Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 and Samsung’s proprietary Exynos 7420 chip. It even fell behind the recent Windows 10-based Acer Switch 3, which managed a 1,385 score in Gerekbench using Intel’s Pentium N4200 processor.

In the multi-core benchmark, the Chromebook only scored 3,200, putting it between the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 and Samsung’s Exynos 5433 processor. It fell behind the new Acer Switch 3, which reached a higher 4,502 score in Geekbench.

Of course, for $300, you likely don’t expect the Flip to be a performance monster. It’s fast enough for watching Netflix, writing documents, working on school assignments, and playing low-resolution games. It’s a tablet, not a laptop, at its core.

This flippin’ 2-in-1 lacks space

The model we tested only provided 16GB of space, 6GB of which was consumed by Chrome OS and Android. That leaves around 10GB of available space to use, so you’ll need to rely on the MicroSD card slot for additional capacity. It supports the SDXC standard, meaning you can use MicroSD cards with capacities of up to 2TB (the largest card you can buy right now is 400GB).

Asus Chromebook Flip C101PA Compared To

That said, Chromebooks are designed for using applications based in the cloud, not installed locally on the device. The specifications show that Asus provides a 32GB version as well, but that’s still not a lot of space given the Flip C101Pa supports Android apps. Then again, 16GB of storage shouldn’t be a surprising amount given the device’s overall cost, and its tablet-based roots.

Android gaming is decent

The Flip C101PA relies on the Mali-T860 MP4 component integrated into the Rockchip processor, which is only clocked at 600MHz. You’re simply not going to run games at a 1080p resolution with this chip, but we benchmarked it anyway, to see what the integrated graphics could do.

For starters, we loaded up Epic Citadel for Android, which consists of various scenes spread out through a castle and its courtyard. It’s an older benchmark, and in 2017 isn’t visually stressful, so we’re not surprised the 2-in-1 managed an average framerate of 60 frames per second using the Ultra High settings. We saw the same framerates using the 1,280 x 752 and 1,440 x 856 resolutions.

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Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

In 3DMark, we loaded the Ice Storm benchmark and saw 60 frames per second in the first segment, and 50.3 frames per second in the second segment. Ice Storm only benchmarks the device at 1,280 x 720 resolution, so we decided to give the Sling Shot test a try, which tests at 1,920 x 1,080 resolution. The integrated graphics choked miserably, cranking out a mere 6.9 frames per second in the first segment, and 3.1 frames per second in the second segment. Ouch.

Overall, it seems the Asus Chromebook Flip C101PA can handle some light gaming, but won’t perform well in serious titles. Given its price, though, we think modest gaming performance is excusable.

It’s a great on-the-go clamshell

Overall, you get a lot of bang for your buck for such a small, inexpensive device. The 0.6-inch thick convertible design makes the Flip C101PA highly portable, and it weighs a mere two pounds, so you’re not struggling with a bulky, heavy system. The rounded edges and metal chassis adds to its easy portability, especially for kids who are prone to dropping and bumping their devices.

It’s extremely small – kid-sized, you could say – but a high-quality product in its presentation and overall build.

By comparison, Acer’s $450 Switch 3 2-in-1 measures 0.39 inches thick without the removable keyboard, and 0.64 inches with the keyboard intact. It weighs 1.98 pounds as a tablet, and 2.76 pounds as a laptop. Outside the obvious processor and operating system differences, Acer’s 2-in-1 packs a larger screen at 12.2 inches, making it slightly less portable than the Asus Chromebook.

On the battery front, Basemark’s stressful test drained the battery over 324 minutes. Next, using the iMacro Chrome extensions – which continuously loads websites until the battery dies – the Chromebook lasted 484 minutes, over an hour longer than the larger Chromebook Flip C302CA. The Flip C101PA did a better job in our video loop test too, lasting 536 minutes versus the Flip C302CA’s 485-minute duration. It even outlasted the Acer Switch 3, which managed only 290 minutes.

Recharging the battery takes around 90 minutes.

Nope, no bloatware here

The beauty of Chrome OS is that you don’t have bloatware installed right out of the box. By default, Chromebooks include Google’s web-based applications such as Gmail, the Chrome browser, YouTube, Google Docs, and so on. Non-Google web apps include the “Legends” games from Spacetime Studios, Tweetdeck, Facebook, and so on.

ASUS Chromebook Flip C101 review trackpad

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Google Play is also installed on the Chromebook out-of-the-box. Android apps initially run in a smartphone-like windowed mode. You can maximize these apps to fill the entire screen, but only if you restart the app. Not all apps are optimized for tablet-sized screens — such as Titan Quest, which crammed the viewpoint and interface into one corner of the screen while leaving the remaining space black.

We experienced performance issues while using certain features of Chromebook. For instance, we wanted to check the screen’s brightness level, but the section simply wouldn’t expand to reveal its settings no matter how many times we clicked and tapped. This happened quite a few times throughout our interaction with the device, so we’re not sure if they were related to software, slow processor performance, or a combination of both.

Warranty

The label on the back of the Chromebook indicates a one-year warranty. According to Asus, this covers hardware failure and factory defects for 12 months starting from the time you purchase the product.

Our Take

The Asus Chromebook Flip C101PA is a tablet at heart despite its 2-in-1 form factor, only it’s based on the web-focused Android-loving Chrome OS platform instead of a full-fledged Android install. It competes with similar products such as the Samsung Chromebook Pro and the Acer Chromebook R 11, but serves as a great alternative to similar Windows-based devices as well. It seemingly sets out to replace your tablet and Bluetooth-based keyboard setup, or as a durable, lightweight, secure computing device for the student.

Is there a better alternative?

If you’re willing to spend the extra bucks, the larger Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA model may be a more performance-friendly option. It has the same 2-in-1 “flip” design, but packs a higher resolution and an Intel Core-branded processor to handle the load. You could even splurge on the Acer Chromebook R 13 packing a 2-in-1 form factor, a 13.3-inch FHD screen (1,920 x 1,080), and twice the storage for $400. However, based on our review score, the Flip C101PA may be a better solution than Lenovo’s IdeaPad 100S that costs a few more bucks.

Despite the underlying mobile-focused processor, the Flip C101PA competes with affordable Intel-based 2-in-1s sporting Windows 10, like Acer’s recent Switch 3. There’s a $150 difference between the two, but with Acer’s product, you’re buying into the Intel processor, screen size, screen resolution, extra storage space, detachable keyboard, and Windows 10. Meanwhile, hackers generally don’t target Chrome OS, and given the platform is free, you see lower pricetags on Chromebooks. In the case of the $300 Flip C101PA, you get Android compatibility, too.

How long will it last?

In the smartphone and tablet world, devices are obsolete just months after you buy them. This applies to mobile-focused Chromebooks, too. The device itself is a great long-term product in that it’s durable, remains updated through Google, and is highly secure. But it won’t last forever, as you’ll eventually see Android apps refusing to update because your current hardware is obsolete.

Should you buy it?

If you’re on the market for a lightweight, tablet-like device, then the Flip C101PA is a steal for $300. Despite its limitations, it delivers a good experience at its price point. It’s a simple, function device with no serious flaws, and we think that’s all most budget-conscious readers want.

Grab a new Samsung Galaxy Tab E from Verizon for just $10 and change per month

Samsung and Verizon have buddied up to bring the 2017 version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab E to Verizon, offering a decently powerful tablet that should be perfect for those bed-based Netflix binges at a reasonable price.

The news isn’t all that surprising — Verizon has offered previous iterations of the Samsung Galaxy Tab E, and while the tablet certainly isn’t flagship quality, it still has a lot to offer.

Under the hood, the specs aren’t amazing but they should offer plenty for most basic users. The device offers 1.5GB of RAM, coupled with 32GB of storage — though thankfully if you want more storage you can get more through the MicroSD card slot. The battery on the tablet comes in at 5,000mAh, which is capable of lasting 24 hours of use on a single charge. The display comes in at 8.0-inches, with a resolution of 1280 x 800.

verizon samsung galaxy tab e

When it comes to software, the device ships with Android 7.1.1 Nougat, and it’s unlikely that this tablet will be a focus for Samsung to bring to Android 8.0 Oreo.

Perhaps the best thing about the tablet is that it comes with support for 4G LTE, so if you’re looking for a budget tablet that you can bring on the road with you and not lose a data connection, then this may well be the right tablet for you. The rear-facing camera on the tablet comes in at 5 megapixels, while the front-facing cam is 2 megapixels. Safe to say, you probably won’t be buying this tablet for its camera.

So how much will the new Galaxy Tab E on Verizon set you back? Well, you have a few options. You can get the tablet for as little as $10.41 per month for 24 months, $150 with a two-year contract, or you can just pay $250 outright to get the tablet without having to deal with plans or monthly payments.

The Galaxy Tab E is an entry-level tablet, and while it may seem enticing there also may be better options for you in your price range. If you’re looking for something slightly more powerful, it may be worth looking into Samsung’s Galaxy Tab A series, which is a little more expensive but has a lot to offer.

Editors’ Recommendations

Bezel-less Vivo V7 and its astonishing selfie camera break out of China

In the same month Xiaomi made its first major push into Europe, smartphone competitor Vivo has also made its first big move outside of China, by announcing the Vivo V7 for international release. But while Xiaomi is concentrating its plans on Spain, including building a retail store network there, Vivo has chosen Russia as its first new market, along with Taiwan, Singapore, and parts of Africa.

Vivo is a big player in China, and is frequently listed as one of the top five smartphone brands in the world, but its name isn’t as well-known internationally as Xiaomi, or even other Chinese phone brands making waves in Europe like Meizu. The Vivo V7 is its calling card, and its release comes just a short time after Vivo signed a $4 billion technical partnership with Qualcomm, where it will share patents and work on emerging mobile tech, such as 5G, together. Vivo means business, and more international releases are expected in 2018.

Why should we pay attention? Let’s look at the Vivo V7. It’s a sister device to the V7+, and embraces that most fashionable 2017 phone trend, the full screen display. It measures 5.7 inches and takes up 83 percent of the front panel, emphasizing the slim bezels at the top and bottom of the device. The resolution is a disappointing 1440 x 720 pixels, though, which seems very low for a modern smartphone. The Vivo V7+ is slightly larger with a 6-inch screen, but is otherwise identical.

The other big feature is a 24-megapixel selfie camera with a portrait mode, a comprehensive beauty mode, HDR, and a soft light flash. Vivo has long sold its phones on the basis of taking great selfies. It also operates the V7’s face unlock system. The V7’s selfie camera has a higher pixel count than the 16-megapixel rear camera, which can also take portrait-style shots using its single lens.

The V7 has an unnamed Qualcomm Snapdragon octa-core processor with 4GB of RAM, 32GB of memory, and a MicroSD card slot. There is a fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone, which comes in either black or gold colors. Android 7.1 Nougat is the operating system, with Google Play and other Google services, but with Vivo’s own user interface over the top. It’s called Funtouch, and it’s not familiar to us. Expect it to deviate from stock Android considerably though.

Around $300 will secure a Vivo V7 if you use an importer to get one; but beware, it’s not configured for networks in the United States, therefore may not connect to the fastest 4G signal.

Vivo is an interesting company, and has close ties to both Oppo and OnePlus. It has recently shown off a working version of an in-display ultrasonic fingerprint sensor — something Apple and Samsung both failed to integrate into its 2017 phones — with Qualcomm, which combined with the new partnership, highlights why we think it’s potentially one to watch in the future.

Editors’ Recommendations

Android Oreo only on 0.3 percent of active devices, Nougat jumps to 20 percent

According to the Android Developer Dashboard, Nougat devices now account for 20.6 percent of active Android devices together. Marshmallow is still the reigning king with an API level at 31 percent — with Lollipop still trailing close behind at 27.2 percent. Following the release of Oreo in August, the latest operating system is only on 0.3 percent of devices.

In contrast, Apple’s iOS 11, which was released in the middle of September, was installed on 52 percent of devices as of November 6.

Although Marshmallow’s 31-percent market share may sound like a small percentage, it accounts for a lot of phones, especially considering there have been well over 1.4 billion Android devices activated since September 2015. And it highlights one of Android’s biggest problems — fragmentation. Google issues monthly security updates and rolls out version updates to all of its supported Pixel, Nexus, and Android Go devices, but these are not always released in a timely manner by manufacturers and carriers for other devices.

It’s important to keep in mind, though, that Google’s survey doesn’t account for the millions of Android smartphones in China, as the search giant only collects data from devices that access the Google Play Store. The Play Store is not available in China.

Version

Code Name

API

Distribution*

2.3.3 – 2.3.7 Gingerbread 10 0.5 percent
4.0.3 – 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich 15 0.5 percent
4.1.x Jelly Bean 16 2.2 percent
4.2.x 17 3.1 percent
4.3 18 0.9 percent
4.4 KitKat 19 13.8 percent
5.0 Lollipop 21 6.4 percent
5.1 22 20.8 percent
6.0 Marshmallow 23 30.9 percent
7.0 Nougat 24 17.6 percent
7.1 Nougat 25 3.0 percent
8.0 Oreo 26 0.3 percent

*The data above is from Google. It was collected during a seven-day period ending on November 9, 2017. Any versions with less than 0.1 percent distribution are not shown.

Android 7.0/7.1 Nougat saw some gains this month and other Android versions decreased in share, while Marshmallow stayed relatively steady at 31 percent. Android 8.0 Oreo on the other hand, only saw a 0.1 percent increase since last month.

Android’s notoriously bad fragmentation was the catalyst for Project Treble, a system-level change in Android O that bypasses much of the testing currently required by manufacturers, chip makers, and carriers. But it isn’t backward-compatible — older Android devices are stuck on the old upgrade cycle.

We will continue to update this post as Google updates its Android distribution figures.

Update: Android Nougat 7.0 and 7.1 are currently installed on 20 percent of devices. The Android Developer Dashboard also shows Android Oreo is currently installed on 0.3 percent of devices.

Editors’ Recommendations

Build.com’s In-Home Preview lets you test-drive your appliances in AR

You can’t exactly take your furniture for a test drive (not yet, at least), but the next best thing just may be the introduction of augmented reality to a growing number of home improvement platforms. The latest to jump on the AR bandwagon is Build.com, an exclusively online home retailer that is not opting for a brick-and-mortar experience, but just may be the next best thing. With “In-Home Preview,” the company is leveraging Apple’s ARKit development platform, and promises to “take users beyond just visualizing how a product will look in their home.” In fact, folks can now interact (virtually, of course) with various appliances, turning a faucet on and off, moving handles, and more.

It’s a pretty nifty feature that allows you to remodel your home with a bit more information than you might’ve had previously. For example, if you’re looking to revamp your kitchen, you can scroll through Build’s iOS app, and select a faucet that best matches your existing appliances. But not only will you be able to “see” what it looks like once installed, you’ll also be able to play around with it, adjusting the water temperature (if you turn it to hot, you’ll see steam), changing water flow and spray patterns, and more.

Similarly, those hoping to install new lights can check out various lighting fixtures, rotate them 360 degrees, or even move them up and down and down by virtually adjusting a chain. And if you want to see how you would switch these lights on and off, you can do that too from within the app.

Different finishes can also be applied to suit various aesthetics, and as it stands, the AR experience includes products from Delta Faucet, Kichler, Hansgrohe, Progress Lighting, Miseno, and Park Harbor.

“Customers have always told us how important it is to ‘touch and feel’ products before making a purchase. Now, we have a way to bridge that physical world with the digital,” said Dan Davis, Build.com’s chief technology officer. “Our website offers more than 800,000 products and we are aiming to have over a 1,000 available in the ‘In-Home Preview’ feature.”

The Build.com app is now available for the iPhone and iPad. You’ll need to have iOS 11 and have an iPhone 6s or newer model in order to take advantage of the AR functionality. The Android Build.com app does not currently support AR, but it is rumored to arrive as early as 2018.

Editors’ Recommendations

Weekly Rewind: Bill Gates’ smart city, a robo pillow, our Black Friday favorites

A lot can happen in a week when it comes to tech. The constant onslaught of news makes it nigh impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of this week’s top tech stories, from Bill Gates’ smart city to a movie shot on an iPhone — it’s all here.

Count down to Black Friday with our favorite deals available right now

best black friday deals

Calling Black Friday the Super Bowl of commerce is like calling the sun “kind of hot.” Every year, on the morning after Thanksgiving, consumers across America wake up at the crack of dawn, bellies full of half-digested turkey, and sprint to their favorite stores hoping to nab items at ridiculously low prices.

While there are some people who revel in the consumer chaos, most of us are just looking to save a little bit of cash as we head into the holiday season. So if you’re trying to avoid the madness altogether, join us as we count down to Black Friday with our favorite deals available right now.

Read: Count down to Black Friday with our favorite deals available right now

Shot on an iPhone, Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Unsane’ is set for a 2018 release

Steven Soderbergh

Iconic director Steven Soderbergh is no stranger to employing unique, abnormal methods to produce films. After bursting onto the scene — and winning the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival — at age 26 with 1989’s Sex, Lies, and Videotape, he has made a litany of unorthodox movies. These include the surreal pseudo-biopic Kafka and films like Schizopolis and Bubble, which defy traditional narrative structure.

With Unsane, set to release in March 2018, Soderbergh is up to his old tricks — or, more accurately, he’s breaking out some new ones. Deadline reports that Soderbergh apparently shot the film on his iPhone (no, we don’t know what model). The film is a thriller, so perhaps it’ll turn out to be one of those found footage-style affairs.

Read: Shot on an iPhone, Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Unsane’ is set for a 2018 release

The 6-inch OnePlus 5T costs $500 and you can unlock it with your face

OnePlus 5T Main

The OnePlus 5T will be available starting on November 21 in countries all over the world, including the U.S, Canada, France, Spain, Germany, U.K., China, and Hong Kong. There’s only one color option, and it’s Midnight Black.

The best thing about OnePlus phones, however, has historically been the price. In the U.S., it will set you back $500, or 500 euros in Europe, or 450 british pounds in the U.K. It’s $20 more in the U.S. than the OnePlus 5, but it stays the same in many other countries overseas. That’s still a lot of money considering the low price of the original OnePlus One, but you’re getting performance and specifications that match most $650+ flagship smartphones.

Read: The 6-inch OnePlus 5T costs $500 and you can unlock it with your face

Bill Gates is building his own city, and he’s loading it with smart tech

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Bill Gates used his smarts to become one of the most successful people on the planet, so it only makes sense that he would make a smart city. Earlier this month, a group headed by Gates’ investment group Cascade Investment LLC purchased a large plot of land just outside of Phoenix, Arizona to build this vision of a smart future.

The vision for Gates’ smart city is one with “high-speed digital networks, data centers, new manufacturing technologies and distribution models, autonomous vehicles, and autonomous logistics hubs,” according to a statement from Belmont Partners, the real estate developer on the project. Few people live in the area now, but Belmont said in a statement the projected population of the smart city will be comparable to Tempe, Arizona, which is home to more than 182,000 Arizonans.

Read: Bill Gates is building his own city, and he’s loading it with smart tech

Somnox is a robotic pillow that lulls you to sleep by ‘breathing’

 somnox robotic pillow 1 mainpicture

Thanks to the plethora of stories about sex robots in the news, you would be forgiven for misunderstanding us when we tell you that the key to a good night’s sleep may be going to bed with a robot. In fact, we’re referring to the Somnox sleep robot, a newly launched soft robotic pillow that is designed to be the perfect sleep companion to help you get some quality shut-eye.

The kidney-shaped huggable bot breathes steadily along with you, providing a physical sensation that, its creators claim, will subconsciously influence your own breathing rhythm. If that’s not enough, it can also offer up some soothing audio to help you relax.

Read: Somnox is a robotic pillow that lulls you to sleep by ‘breathing’

With hydraulic stilts and solar power, this ‘hurricane-proof’ home defies nature

arkup floating hurricane proof home mobile 1

After a decade of relatively tranquil seas, the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was literally one for the books. Nearly two months after Irma ravaged Puerto Rico, more than half of the country is still without electricity — a true testament to the power of this storm system. Unfortunately, as surface ocean temperatures continue to rise, we can only expect more powerful storms in the future. With this in mind, perhaps this ingenious floating “hurricane-proof” home will allow humanity to better weather the challenges of an increasingly tempestuous planet.

Architect Koen Olthuis and housing startup Arkup recently unveiled a series of “livable yachts” at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Olthuis’ architectural firm, Waterstudio, has produced floating structures for the past decade. We’ve covered flood-proof homes in the past, but these floating structures have been designed to handle not only rising waters but also the powerful winds (up to 156 miles per hour) associated with Category 4 hurricanes.

Read: With hydraulic stilts and solar power, this ‘hurricane-proof’ home defies nature

The RipRow balance board will whip you into mountain biking shape

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What do you get when you mash up a pedal-free exercise bike, a rowing machine, and a balance board? Quite possibly something like the RipRow, the mountain biking training tool you never knew you wanted, but now may find yourself desperately keen to get hold of.

Now that we’re firmly out of summer and veering rapidly in the direction of winter, the thought of using your cold and wet weekends to go mountain biking suddenly becomes a lot whole lot less appealing for most of us. It’s also important to hold onto your core strength, coordination, balance, and sense of confidence on a bike during the off-season months. This is where the rugged-sounding RipRow comes into play. While stationary gym bikes have been around for a long time, a machine that’s built specifically with mountain biking in mind has been in much shorter supply. Until now, at least.

Read: The RipRow balance board will whip you into mountain biking shape

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These $99 true wireless earbuds are cheaper and sound better than AirPods

Crazy Baby's Air Nano wireless earbuds only cost $99.
Crazy Baby’s Air Nano wireless earbuds only cost $99.

Image: raymond wong/mashable

There are three reasons why Apple’s AirPods are considered the best true wireless earbuds you can buy: They’re small, pair really easily to iOS devices, and only cost $159.

Everyone from Samsung to Jaybird to Bose have their own alternatives, but they cost even more. $159 for AirPods is a great price, but Crazy Baby, the company behind that crazy Mars levitating Bluetooth speaker, thinks it can offer even better sound for an even lower $99.

You may not have heard about Crazy Baby, but they’ve actually got some experience building true wireless earbuds.

The startup launched its first true wireless earbuds, the Air, last year on Indiegogo, and it was an immediate hit. It racked up over $2.7 million in crowdfunding, smashing its goal by 5,513 percent.

The $169 wireless earbuds were praised for their great Hi-Fi sound quality and small size. The new Air Nano promises the same sound for only $99.

Not only that, but the Air Nano will come in 10 different colors to really cater to a more price-conscious demographic.

Image: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

I had never tried the Air earbuds before, so I set my expectations accordingly. When the company brought the earbuds over to our office, I was expecting budget sound.

However, after listening to the both the Air and the Air Nano, I was pleasantly impressed by how similar the audio quality was despite the newer bud’s smaller bullet-like size and design.

The splash-proof wireless earbuds use the original Air’s same CSR chip to deliver great sound. I’m not sure exactly what this marketing speak is, but I can tell you they sounded better than my AirPods. There’s more bass and a little more separation between the mids and highs. 

Image: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

I only had a brief listen so I can’t say how well they “burn in” over time or even how well they isolate external sound while on the loud subway, but at least the fit is tight and comfortable. There’s no getting around the fact they look like bullets in your ears like the Erato Apollo 7’s I reviewed last year. 

Battery life appears to be on the weak side, though. The earbuds themselves last for 3 hours of music listening on a single charge, which is less than the 5 hours you get from AirPods and Google’s Pixel Buds. The case gives you another four extra charges for an additional 12 hours of battery life.

Image: raymond wong/mashable

At the very least, they charge up fast. Five minutes of charging in the case gets you 1.5 hours of music listening.

The era of true wireless earbuds is here and products like the Air Nanos will drive costs down until they’re affordable for everyone. The question is, at what point does the balance between sound and price mean an inferior audio experience? Who knows, but for now, we’re just happy someone’s making good-sounding wireless earbuds that cost $99, because not everyone can afford to drop more on them.

Air Nano is currently funding on Indiegogo and has already surpassed its goal, receiving over $219,000 as of this writing. If it beats the original Air wireless earbuds at the end of its crowdfunding, this might be a brand to keep an eye on.

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Google Pixel Buds vs AirPods: Two very different sets of Bluetooth earphones

From operating systems to smartphones, competition between Apple and Google has effectively defined an era of technology. With the release of the AirPods last December, Apple established a firm grip, if not a stranglehold, on the market for fully wireless buds. Meanwhile, Google just dropped the Pixel Buds, which aren’t completely wireless but do boast some neat, unique features.

Frankly, these two sets of earbuds are quite different. For starters, Apple’s AirPods are fully wireless, meaning zero strings attached, and they’re one of the few to cut all the cords while retaining great usability. Google’s Pixel Buds are tethered, meaning, while they do connect to your phone wirelessly, a wire connects the buds. And that’s just for starters. We don’t expect anyone to find themselves choosing strictly between the two (at least, not if they did their homework), but because it’s Apple and Google, comparisons will be inevitable. With that in mind, here’s a thorough rundown of both buds to help you get a handle on their strengths and weaknesses.

Apple AirPods
google pixel buds apple airpods table 2
Google Pixel Buds
google pixel buds apple airpods table 2
Dimensions 0.65 x 0.71 x 1.59 inches (earbuds), 1.74 by 0.84 by 2.11 inches (charge pod) 0.8 x 0.8 x 0.8 inches (earbuds), 2.6 x 2.6 x 1.1 inches (charge pod)
Weight .14 ounces each (earbuds), 1.34 ounces (empty charge pod) 0.25 ounces each (earbuds), 1.5 ounces (empty charge pod)
Sensors Dual optical sensors, motion-detecting accelerometer, speech-detecting accelerometer Accelerometer, capacitive touchpad
Microphone Dual beam-forming microphones Microphone
Battery life About 5 hours listening or 2 hours talking (earbuds), 24 hours total (with charge case) About 5 hours (earbuds), 24 hours total (with charge case)
Connectivity Bluetooth (earbuds), Lightning (charge pod) Bluetooth (earbuds), USB-C (charge pod)
Audio formats MP3, AAC, & SBC codec when streaming MP3, M4A, AAC, WAV, WMA(v9)
Compatibility iPhone 5 and later, iPad mini 2+, iPad Air+, iPad Pro, iPod Touch (6th gen) (iOS 10+); Apple Watch (WatchOS 3+); MacOS Sierra or later Android devices (Android 5.0+), Apple devices (iOS 10+); see requirements for Google Assistant & Translate here
Waterproofing No No
Price $159 $159
Available from Apple Google
Our review score 4 out of 5 stars 3 out of 5 stars

Design

Apple AirPods review

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

While the fact that one pair connects the buds by a wire and one doesn’t is the biggest difference, there are many others when it comes to design. The tall, thin AirPods (available in white, and white only) represent the pinnacle of Apple aesthetics, bathed in a glossy finish with no interruptions other than chrome tips and small holes for the speaker units and microphones. The AirPods are designed to hang from your ears, which seems precarious (and looks a bit odd), but they actually do a relatively impressive job of staying put, even through mild exercise. The AirPods’ little charging pod is sleek and small, looking a bit like a floss container. Multicolor LEDs indicate the battery life, and a magnetic clasp keeps it closed. The earbuds also snap into place magnetically, which works well, in our experience.

The Pixel Buds, by contrast, don’t emanate quite the same aura of class and style. The earpieces themselves — the part that inserts into your ears — feel well made, but the plasticky finish on the outer pads feels slightly cheap. The buds don’t fit the ear canal particularly well, readily leaking sound in and out, though at least they stayed put in our testing. The braided tether (reminiscent of a referee’s whistle cord), is comfortable if not altogether stylish, though its designed to wrap around the top of your ears, which never felt right for us. On the bright side, at least they’re available in three cool colors (white, blue, and black). The Pixel Buds case is square, and bigger than the AirPods’ case. It looks and feels cool, with a soft woven texture, but the case doesn’t close very easily — you’ve got to wrap the cable around the outside and it always wants to peek out. It doesn’t help that the whole case (especially the lid) feels flimsy. As with the AirPds, LEDs indicate battery life, and magnets snap it shut.

Winner: Apple AirPods

Setup

Apple’s AirPods are an absolute cinch to setup, especially for iPhone users, pairing to your phone automatically in seconds. With just a flip of the case’s lid, the buds show up in your phone’s Bluetooth menu, and a quick tap to connect gets you rocking. For iCloud users, all of your Apple devices should automatically recognize the buds, and sound switches between them with a swipe and a click. For non-iOS phones, a small button on the back of the case forces the buds into pairing, again requiring you to simply open the Bluetooth menu and connect.

Google attempted a similarly simple connection process, but in practice things aren’t quite so easy with the Pixel Buds. Many reviews (including ours) report trouble auto-pairing to Android devices (compatible with Android 6.0 or higher), the Pixel 2 phone included. In theory, a pop-up display should automatically tell you you’re connected quickly after opening the case. If that doesn’t work, however, you’ll need to hold down the nearly invisible pairing button inside the case, which is also how you connect to iPhones. Even then, we had some trouble getting the buds to show up in our Bluetooth menu, though others have reported having an easier time with it.

Winner: Apple AirPods

Battery life

This is an easy one, as Google has aped Apple here. Both pairs offer five hours of playback time per charge, and a total of 24 hours with the charging case off the grid. While we’ll call this a tie, we will say that five hours per charge is great for truly wireless earbuds, but not so for tethered buds, most of which offer 8-10 hours or more per charge at this price point.

Audio quality

Google Pixel Buds Review

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

When it comes to both the AirPods and the Pixel Buds, audio performance is decidedly average. The AirPods sound extremely similar to the EarPods (you know, the basic pair that comes with a purchase of any Apple mobile device) — perhaps a bit better in the treble department, but not much. The Pixel Buds offer more bass, which probably suits the casual listener better, but it didn’t particularly impress us. Sound isolation is not a strong point for either product, which means sound from the outside world will leak in.

Bottom line: If you’re a true audio lover in search of the best possible sound quality for the money, you probably shouldn’t buy either pair of these headphones. There are plenty of superior tethered options at or below this price point, including the V-Moda Forza Metallo Wireless for one. If you insist on fully wireless buds, The Headphone from Bragi offers much better sound, though without a charging case its six hours of playback time will be more limiting.

Winner: Tie

Features and functionality

Google Pixel Buds review

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Here’s where stuff gets interesting. As we mentioned before, the AirPods and the Pixel Buds are largely aimed at different audiences (and not just because some people have iPhones while some people have Androids or Pixel 2s). All the AirPods’ features are designed to improve ease of use, while the Pixel Buds aim higher but, unfortunately, forget about the little things.

The AirPods are packed with neat tricks that just work. Take one out, and music playback will automatically pause, thanks to the buds’ accelerometer. Take both out, and the AirPods will enter sleep mode, saving precious battery life until reinsertion (once replaced, they activate quickly). If one AirPod dies, the other can keep going — a nice feature, considering many will just use one bud for taking phone calls. Want to check battery life? Just hold the charge pod near your iPhone and it’ll tell you how much juice is left in both the buds and the case.

As you might expect, Siri is here too. Tap the outside of an AirPod to activate her, then speak to her as normal. She’ll notify you of phone calls, set alarms, and answer questions; her music control abilities are limited to Apple Music, though.

The Pixel Buds are equipped with impressively accurate onboard touch controls; tap to play and pause music, or swipe to control volume. The big draws here, though, are twofold: Google Assistant integration and instant language translation. Tap and hold the right earbud to activate Assistant (you’ll need a paired device running Android 6.0 or later), and the Assistant can do everything you’re used to. It responds quickly and understands commands without issue.

The translation function is slick, too. Tap and hold the right bud like you would for Assistant, and say “help me speak [insert one of 40 supported languages].” It’ll open a special version of the Google Translate app on your phone, which you’ll then hold up between yourself and the person who’s speaking the language you need translated. The Translation function works well, but there’s a huge caveat: It only works with Google Pixel phones. If you’ve got one, great! If not, we don’t recommend buying one just to use these headphones. Perhaps just as importantly, you can use Google Translate on any Android phone without the Pixel Buds at all, greatly reducing the benefit there.

The Pixel Buds have more features and more ambition, but the AirPods’ features are more universally useful and better implemented. Point, Apple.

Winner: Apple AirPods

Availability, compatibility, and price

The AirPods work with both Apple devices (iOS 10+) and Android devices. When connected to Android, Siri is disabled, but you can double tap on either earbud to play and pause music. Similarly, the Pixel Buds are compatible with both Apple (iOS 10+) and Android (5.0+); predictably, on iOS, Google Assistant won’t work, though Siri will.

Both sets of earbuds are available at their respective websites (though the Pixel Buds were on backorder at the time of publication) and both cost $159. Nothing more to see here.

Winner: Tie

Conclusion

how to replace a lost or broken airpod charging case apple airpods 0001 review

The Pixel Buds offer inoffensive audio quality, impressive Google Assistant integration, and a few neat tricks for Pixel owners. Unfortunately, the AirPods are simply better, eschewing cables and coming complete with lots of useful — and, more importantly, reliable — features. As we’ve mentioned multiple times, we don’t think the two products are even really competitors. They’re that different. But if, for some reason, you’re forced to choose one or the other (and you don’t own a Google Pixel phone), the AirPods come out on top every time.

Editors’ Recommendations