Stance’s app lets you record a message for your Congressperson, then leaves it on their voicemail


Want to call your senator or U.S. representative to let them know where you stand on an issue, but don’t have the time to hunt down their phone number, wait on hold, or continually redial to get past the busy signals? A new app called Stance aims to help. Instead of simply providing a way to call your reps, as many apps today do, Stance lets you pre-record your voice message to be left on the rep’s voicemail when the phone lines are freed up.

But wait!, you ask. Don’t congressional staffers answer the phones? How is Stance going directly to voicemail to play your message on their machine?

Simple. It only places the calls at night, so voicemail is sure to pick up.

The initial idea for the app came from Nathaniel Teichman, COO at a small audio startup called Ense, from Venmo co-founder Iqram Magdon.

Teichman explains he was inspired to build Stance after attending a political rally and hearing about the frustration people had when trying to call their reps.

“At the same time I was reading and hearing more and more about the importance of calling Congress,” he says. “I thought there must be a better way for people to get through so I met with a few coworkers and we realized we were in a position to come up with a better solution.”

The coworkers spent the next few weekends working on the app, which works on top of Twilio. They mapped out the call trees for each representative’s office, so the calls can get through. The app also uses Ense’s API to record, store and post the audio – which is why Stance is now an official company project within Ense.

Using Stance is pretty simple. The app uses your location to identify who your representatives are, including both House reps and Senators. You’re then taken to a screen where you can record your message.

The app doesn’t have a political agenda. Instead, it offers basic “how to” instructions that remind you to say your name and location, tell the rep how you stand on the issue and what you want them to do, and it suggests that you make your recording personal.

The recordings are saved until after hours then sent to the reps’ voicemail.

However, there is one big caveat to using Stance: it publicizes your recordings. (The app discloses this during the sign-on process, so it’s not a surprise.)

Your recordings are published to Stance’s website and they’re tweeted at the rep on Twitter, the company says.

The latter is meant only as another way of getting the rep’s attention, but tweets are not officially counted as outreach. However, many representatives have been overwhelmed with phone calls during the Trump presidency, and their voicemails remain full – sometimes, intentionally. Tweeting at least gives you another means of having your voice heard.

Of course, not everyone wants to have their messages made public – especially since they are leaving their full name and location. But at this time, there’s no option to set a voice message to private, which is something of an oversight.

That could dampen Stance’s potential usefulness for those who don’t want their political leanings to be publicized, or who want to share their thoughts on touchy issues more privately.

For example, if you were reaching out regarding your rep’s position on healthcare, you might want to make your message more meaningful by sharing your own struggles with health issues and discuss how the current system, the Affordable Care Act, has impacted your life. And you might not want that message posted publicly on the internet.

One of Stance’s co-creators, and Ense’s Head of Product, Ashwinn Krishnaswamy, pushes back on the privacy concerns, saying that “the public blowback hasn’t been as great as we thought.” That’s not entirely true, though – many of the initial App Store reviews are from people who don’t like the app’s public nature.

Krishnaswamy says that the team is still gathering feedback about the private versus public nature of Stances, however.

Stance is a free download for iOS or Android.

Rover and DogVacay merge to dominate the pet-sitting market


Putting an end to a fierce competition in the pet-sitting business, Rover and DogVacay have agreed to join forces. Rover will be acquiring DogVacay in an all-stock deal.

DogVacay’s investors, including Benchmark, Andreessen Horowitz, First Round and Foundation Capital, will now become Rover shareholders. Further terms of the deal were not disclosed, but “all of our investors are extremely happy with their return,” claimed DogVacay founder Aaron Hirschhorn.

Existing Rover CEO Aaron Easterly will be in charge of the merged business. Aaron Hirschhorn, who founded DogVacay, will stay involved throughout the integration. He’ll also be taking a board seat.

“We get to continue the mission, that’s what’s so exciting,” said Hirschhorn about the company sticking to its core business. The DogVacay website will remain in operation for the foreseeable future and the businesses will continue to run as they have.

Both had a very similar model, with a marketplace for pet sitting, dog walking and other pet-care services. Each take about a 20 percent cut from bookings. Total bookings on the combined sites amounted to $150 million for 2016. The growing businesses are not yet profitable. 

The newly combined company will be headquartered at Rover’s Seattle location. The DogVacay team will remain in Santa Monica, but with 22 positions set to be eliminated.

One of the new focuses will be to expand internationally. DogVacay already does well in Canada, which Easterly was enthusiastic about. They also plan to grow their dog-walking business and potentially introduce other pet-related categories.

“We’re going to be taking a close look at anything that can help people become amazing pet owners despite the challenges of modern living,” said Easterly. 

When asked about future plans, he hoped for an IPO someday. “We think being a public company is the most likely outcome,” he predicted.  

The safety dance: An inside look at how Samsung tests its batteries

In a small room in Gumi, South Korea, an entire football team is balanced on a battery. The battery does not survive.

The room is one of dozens in Building 6 of Samsung’s complex in the manufacturing city of Gumi, a 45-minute helicopter flight south of Seoul. The complex consists of enormous buildings dropped like LEGO bricks onto the ground, each big enough to hold tens of thousands of people – and each sitting directly adjacent to LG’s enormous complex of buildings. The biggest buildings in each group bear signs with company names spelled out in letters as big as those in the Hollywood hills, shooting daggers silently at each other in perpetuity.

More: Will the Galaxy S8 be safe? This is Samsung’s new 8-point battery safety check

The football team is simulated, of course – it’s a battery compression test, a steel chamber where a window lets us watch as a vise applies hundreds of pounds of pressure to a smartphone battery, to ensure it can survive. The test is measured in kilonewtons; one is equivalent to about 225 pounds of pressure, or a high-school linebacker standing on one heel on a battery. Batteries in Samsung’s new Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus smartphone are meant to withstand 13 kilonewtons – picture the 11 players of a high-school football team standing on each other’s shoulders on that battery, plus maybe the coach and defensive coordinator thrown in for good measure.

And the battery itself? Before my eyes a few weeks ago, one of the batteries for Samsung’s new S8 in that steel chamber began smoking, then sparking, and ultimately burst into flames. Was this really happening? Did that battery just fail that test? Was it a dud – or did an entire batch of batteries just go kerflop?

After a few minutes of back and forth, and conversations as heated as the test chamber itself, we learned the truth: Samsung’s test team had dialed the pressure way up to 20 kilonewtons (about 4,500 pounds of pressure), to show us what an explosion would look like.

It’s impressive, and clearly not something you want in your backpocket. And Samsung is doing everything it can to ensure that won’t ever happen again.

New Test Protocols

I came first to Seoul, then on to Gumi in early March to talk with Samsung about its batteries, after the disastrous recall of Galaxy Note 7 batteries that left the company with a billion-dollar blot on its balance sheet and the butt of countless jokes. The Galaxy S8 – unveiled today at a splashy event in New York City’s Lincoln Center – is the company’s flagship, and it needs to be flawless. The key question: How would the company ensure that there wouldn’t be a repeat?

Samsung, special to Digital Trends

“The Galaxy S8 was in the planning stages for several years … and gone through our toughest safety testing ever, the 8-point battery safety check,” explained Bookeun Oh, VP of Mobile R&D and the man in charge of battery technology development for Mobile division. “Even though the S8 battery has a slightly smaller capacity compared to the S7, the battery life is extended longer than that of S7 thanks to adding energy management software and incorporating energy efficient component.”

The company has learned from its mistakes, in other words, and improved on the technology in the batteries themselves to address problems uncovered in a lengthy post mortem.

Wearing antistatic gloves, they test phones at a furious pace like a pianist working through a concerto, prestissimo

“Furthermore, we focused on maintaining the durability of the battery over the long term, over hundreds of charging cycles. For example, after approximately 6 months of normal usage, the battery in the S8 will outperform previous batteries. While most batteries hold about 80 percent of their charge after 2 years in usual cases, this battery should be capable of 95 percent of its original capacity,” Oh told Digital Trends.

There’s theory and then there’s practice, of course. In theory, the Note 7 batteries were safe too. In Gumi, inside enormous Building 6, I witnessed first-hand how exactly Samsung was implementing a new eight-point safety check.

The Gumi complex is one of nine Samsung plants spanning six countries; the company has made nearly 3 billion phones since 1988, and currently churns out about a million per month.

On the Floor

Inside Building 6, we cover our shoes in protective cloth booties and step onto the factory floor, where conveyor belts and machines were already assembling the first batch of Galaxy S8 phones, destined for America and AT&T and more locally for Korea Telecom.

Manufacturing in Gumi is more robotic than assembly by hand: It takes just 13 minutes for 14 giant machines to join a circuit board and battery, slip it behind a display, and seal it all into a glass and metal housing. It takes 30 minutes total to make the phone, adding in the time required to install the operating system. In that time, only two or three people actually handle any given phone. Instead, robot arms grab components, and robot noses sniff for signs of organic compounds, traces that batteries might be failing. We see a robot cart hauling parts down a corridor, following a path made of silver reflective tape. It plays a tune, and pauses when we step in front of it.

Samsung, special to Digital Trends

This assembly line has become more automated for this new phone, Samsung tells us, but that doesn’t mean everything is. Much of the battery testing involves humans, and Samsung has clearly rethought the system: There are eight new tests that these phones will go through, in addition to the battery (sorry) of existing tests — life cycle tests, abuse tests, mechanical tests, abnormal charging tests, impact tests, and  thermal shock tests.

The new 8-point test plan details new tests, spanning durability, repeated charge/discharge cycles, X-rays, the hunt for something called TVOC, or total volatile organic compounds, and so on. We climb a set of stairs from the assembly line to a different floor, where Samsung unveils one of the new tests: accelerated usage.

After the Note 7 issues, Samsung realized real people use phones in ways that ordinary tests may not accurately simulate. So for first time ever, the company began simulating real world usage to gauge performance. Researchers analyzed consumer usage to uncover patterns: The average consumers browses the web for 31 mins a day, spends 12 minutes texting, talks for about 29 minutes, and so on.

And so, across a five-day test, Samsung’s technicians attempt to duplicate that.

It takes just 13 minutes for 14 giant machines to join a circuit board and battery, slip it behind a display, and seal it all into a glass and metal housing

We see stacks of phones charging and rapid charge and then discharging and repeating the cycle, over and over for entire days. Human testers run through the 44 most common functions on the phone, while an automated system runs through multimedia tests. They dunk the phone in water, and leave it there for 24 hours. We saw technicians running through tests for browsing and texting and emails and calls, with 5, or 7, or even 9 phones at a time. Wearing antistatic gloves, they bring up the same screen on each, select a function on each, moving through each at a furious pace like a pianist working through a concerto, prestissimo.

And on and on, in what seemed to be to be a needlessly confusing loop of tests. Samsung said 50,000 units would go through this test before the phone even hits store shelves – I’m sure they’ll hone the test procedure further in the months ahead.

In another area of the facility, Samsung conducts large scale battery testing. Shelving units sit side-by-side, each with four shelves holding dozens of batteries per shelf, charging and discharging over and over. There are 6,000 devices running when we pass through, Samsung says, although the room can hold 60,000. Cooling fans whir like those in desktop PCs, creating a sound like millions of bees humming away. Note 7 devices are mounted to the top of each shelf, silently watching and recording the test. There are maybe a thousand; Samsung recalled several million.

Learning from past mistakes

The tests roll on and on. There’s a thermal shock test, in which a battery is heated to 70 degrees Celsius (about 160 Fahrenheit) for 7 hours. We see a drop test, where batteries are dropped onto a steel plate 24 times from a variety of angles, from 1.5 meters up (about chest height). A cabinet nearby holds blocks of stone and concrete.

More: What’s in a Name? Meet Bixby – the smart sidekick who’ll help you use your digital gear

We see the famous butt test, where a simulated tushy in jeans sits on a phone over and over. And the water ingress test — essentially a firehouse aimed at a phone. And the water immersion test: will it survive when you drop it in the toilet?

And twist tests.
And camera tests.
And tests for tests.

DJ Koh is president of Samsung’s mobile division. He took office on Dec. 1, 2015, almost a year before the Note 7 fiasco. It was a dream job, he said, but it turned into a nightmare. The tests are his way of ensuring nothing like this will ever happen again.

“Heaven to hell,” he told me. “I do not want to stay in hell. It’s [been] too long.”

Garmin’s new Forerunner 935 will get you in shape — and help you stay that way

Why it matters to you

Getting in shape isn’t easy, but the new Garmin Forerunner 935 packs loads of features that simplify the process.

There’s a new fitness watch in town, and it’s a Garmin. On Wednesday, the company known best for its Fenix line of multisport accessories revealed its newest wearable creation: The Forerunner 935. And unlike Garmin’s Fenix watches, it places fitness first.

Three key features round out the Forerunner 935’s training software. The first, Training Status, analyzes your previous workout sessions and fitness level to determine how well you’re performing. The second, Training Load, takes a longer view, tabulating a week’s worth of workouts and adjusting the next week’s sessions accordingly. The third, Training Effect, susses out the aerobic efficacy of a single activity — if you’re falling short of the app’s benchmarks, it will let you know.

More: Garmin Vivofit 3 review

The Forerunner tracks a bevy of specific activities, too. When you’re cycling, it records dynamics like your “power zones,” the time you spend seated and standing, and more. In the water, it tracks your distance, stroke, pace, and personal records. And when your hiking, trail running, skiing, participating in paddle sports, or golfing, it will automatically recognize and track metrics.

Sensors out the wazoo enable all that tracking. The Forerunner 935 incorporates GPS/GLONASS location tracking, and a built-in altimeter provides real-time elevation information. A barometer and compass, meanwhile, predict weather changes by showing short-term trends in air pressure. And a VO2 Max sensor estimates blood oxygen content.

Like the Garmin’s Fenix watches, the Forerunner is compatible with Garmin’s Connect IQ store, which packs apps like virtual trainer TrainingPeaks. And it can connect to the Strava app to calculate a “Suffer Score” — a real-time measure of exertion based on your heart rate.

More: Garmin Forerunner 35 GPS running watch review

The Forerunner 935’s shipping with a new accessory: The Running Dynamics Pod, a clip-on pod that tracks activity. It clips onto a pant waistband or bag strap, recording cadence, ground contact time, stride length, and more on the Forerunner 935.

Additionally, the 935 is compatible with Garmin’s Varia cycling-awareness sensors, the Vector pedal-based power system, the Index smart scale, and the Elevate wrist-based heart rate.

“As a top-of-the-line GPS smartwatch, the Forerunner 935 not only provides users with insight into how their body is responding to fitness, but also offers data for every activity”

The Forerunner 935 comes with swappable watch straps and a battery that lasts up to 24 hours when GPS is active (or two weeks when it isn’t).  It starts at $500, and a package bundle with additional heart rate trackers for triathletes and swimmers will go for $650 later this year.

Facebook’s CrowdTangle lets publishers compare performance on social apps


Heavy with fake news guilt, Facebook is rolling out new social channel benchmarking for publishers in the CrowdTangle tool it acquired and made free last year.

CrowdTangle Intelligence lets news outlets compare their different accounts’ performance on up to five social accounts within any one social app, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Reddit. Publishers can then see which accounts got the most likes, comments, shares, new followers or posts over different date ranges and content types. For example, BuzzFeed could see which of its Facebook accounts, like BuzzFeed News, Tasty and Nifty, got the most followers in a month.

The tool is designed to “help publishers understand overall trends and more easily analyze what content is working and what’s not.” Thanks to charts and graphs, CrowdTangle Intelligence simplifies doing high-level reports and discovering trends to inform their publishing strategy.

If Facebook can improve the quality of what publishers share on its social networks, it will reap the benefits of better engagement. Assisting them on other social channels just makes the tool more valuable. Meanwhile, Facebook is trying to do whatever it can to make up for the way it let fake news spread uninhibited during the election, and how it’s absorbed a ton of the ad spend that used to go directly to news publishers. That’s why Facebook launched its big Journalism Project.

While directly dealing with fake news and its overt power over journalism is complicated, the best Facebook can do is try to lend a hand to publishers and readers in other ways.

500 Startups launches a short marketing ramp-up bootcamp for startups in Israel


As competition to get the best startups into incubators gets increasingly challenging, many firms may find themselves looking earlier and earlier into the life of a company in order to get their attention — and part of the company through an investment.

That also includes looking internationally, and 500 Startups is looking to tap into that by now getting Israeli startups into a short bootcamp and train them into the firm’s specialization: marketing and growth. 500 Startups is launching a four-week program in Israel that targets pre-seed and seed companies as they get to the stage where they begin marketing their products.

With a big staff specialized in marketing and growth, 500 Startups is basically betting that its brand as one that will attract companies looking to figure out how to quickly build a large customer base for their products. 500 Startups naturally competes aggressively with firms like Y Combinator to get the best startups into its programs, and targeting them earlier in their lifetime may help serve as a kind of pipeline to find those companies.

Of course it’s not necessarily for free, with 500 Startups taking 1% of the company for $25,000 earmarked to marketing experiments. The company is launching its first program with 9 business-to-business startups. Here’s a quick rundown of the companies in the first batch:

Wizer — create, analyze, collaborate and personalize the learning experience is as easy as making a worksheet.

Distribyte — a simplified cloud environment for companies seeking to expand their digital presence.

CybeReady — reduces the risks of phishing through automated end-user training.

Ubeya — Uber for temporary workforce in the events industry. Provides a SAAS platform for businesses from the events industry to manage their workforce. Connects between staffing agencies and event companies for staff on a daily basis.

ONDiGO — provides VPs of sales with visibility into their team’s performance, activity, and major KPIs. Sales-ops will see what works and what doesn’t in the company’s pipeline, account management, and customer success.

Udobu — helps better monetize live sports events for clubs and media rights holders struggling with inventory and capacity utilization as well as revenue generation issues.

MuvingApp — Create a visual inventory in less than 10 minutes. It facilitates a transparent, easier moving experience as well as a myriad of related services: packing, insurance and even connect utilities in your new house.

GreenQ — a smart waste management services were designed to meet the needs of collection vendors, system integrators, and municipalities.

Market Beyond — uncovers our customers’ blind spots in a fragmented e-commerce space by deriving insight from billions of e-shoppers’ decisions across the global e-commerce universe

Aiden closes $750,000 seed round in its quest to amplify marketers


Aiden, a London-based startup building a machine learning-powered personal assistant to save mobile marketers time and money, closed a $750,000 seed round today from Kima Ventures and a number of angels, including Nicolas PintoPierre Valade and Jonathan Wolf. The team first demoed the capabilities of its service on the stage of TechCrunch Disrupt as a Battlefield finalist. 

In recent years, marketers have begun to suffer information paralysis from the flood of new monitoring platforms on the market. Rather than create an entirely new end-to-end solution, Aiden merely wants to help marketers get at the data they need faster.

The Aiden conversational assistant aims to make querying for key performance metrics as easy as checking the weather on Amazon Alexa. From a technical perspective, the team is focusing their efforts in two places — natural language processing and expert systems.

The natural language processing work is intuitive; 90 percent of the challenge in building a system like Aiden is deriving the intent of any given user query. The time spent on NLP helps Aiden respond appropriately, no matter how a question is phrased.

The emphasis on expert systems, on the other hand, is a bit less textbook. Expert systems have been around in some form or another since the 1970s. The idea is that humans can encode their knowledge into computers that can later be recalled — creating the illusion of intelligence. But while most consider them to be out of date, expert systems embody the present ethos of human and machine collaboration.

Aiden co-founders Marie Outtier and Pierre-Jean Camillieri

Marie Outtier, co-founder of Aiden, is a marketer by trade. Her co-founder, Pierre-Jean Camillieri, built Aiden around Outtier’s knowledge of the industry. Because Aiden possesses baseline expectations for key performance indicators, it can proactively alert marketers when something seems out of balance.

When the company comes out of beta, it plans to target businesses with relatively high mobile marketing ad-spend — this tends to include a lot of startups. If it can straddle enough of the long-tail of marketing anomalies, this should allow companies to identify mismatches in ad-spend more quickly to more efficiently allocate limited resources.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is here with 646 new emoji

Image: samsung via emojipedia

Samsung announced the much awaited Galaxy S8 on Wednesday and here’s the most important part: emoji. Not just any emoji—the new phone comes with Samsung’s own version of Android 7, which features 646 new emoji, including gender and skin tone variations. 

Samsung is now up to date with Emoji 4.0, the update that featured new professional roles and gendered emoji. Along with all the originals you know and love, every male emoji now has a female equivalent, and vice versa. (The Samsung “technologist” emoji use Samsung computers, making them among the few users of those devices in the world.)

Now you also get “men with bunny ears,” “men with bunny ears partying,” and scientists, pilots, and teachers.

Some of the new Samsung emoji

Some of the new Samsung emoji

Image: samsung via emojipedia

And the most important thing: On Samsung’s fingers-crossed emoji, the infamous sixth finger remains.

Image: samsung via emojipedia

You can check out all of Samsung’s new emoji on Emojipedia here.

WATCH: A reusable sponge could be the latest solution to effectively clean up oil spills

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus vs. Google Pixel XL: Two plus-sized phones battle it out

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus are finally here, boasting perhaps the best specs we’ve seen in a flagship phone yet. But they’re not the only flagship phones around — some pretty excellent devices have launched in the past six months or so. Like, for example, the Google Pixel XL.

But how do the two “plus”-size phones compare when it comes to overall power and performance? We pit the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus against the Google Pixel XL to find out.

More: Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus: Our first take

Specs

Google Pixel XL

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Size 154.7 × 75.7 × 8.5 mm (6.09 × 2.98 × 0.33 inches) 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm (6.28 x 2.89 x 0.32 inches)
Weight 5.93oz 6.1oz
Screen 5.5-inch AMOLED 6.2-inch AMOLED
Resolution 1,440 × 2,560 pixels (534 ppi) 2,960 x 1,440 pixels (529 ppi)
OS Android 7.1 Nougat Android 7.0 Nougat
Storage 32GB/128GB 64GB
MicroSD Card Slot No Yes
NFC support Yes Yes
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Samsung Exynos 9 Series 8895 (International)
RAM 4GB 4GB
Connectivity GSM, CDMA, HSPA, EVDO, LTE, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi 4G LTE, GSM, CDMA HSPA+, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
Camera 12.3MP Rear / 8MP Front 12MP Rear with OIS / 8MP Front
Video 4K 4K
Bluetooth 4.2 5.0
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Other sensors Barometer, gyroscope, accelerometer, proximity sensor, compass Barometer, gyroscope, accelerometer, proximity sensor
Water Resistant No IP68
Wireless charging No Yes, PMA and Qi-compliant
Battery 3,450mAh 3,500mAh
Ports USB Type-C, Headphone USB Type-C, Headphone
Marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Color options Quite Black, Very Silver, Really Blue Silver, Black, Orchid Grey, Blue (International), Gold (International)
Price $649 $850 on T-Mobile, other carriers TBA
Availability Unlocked, Verizon Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile
DT Review 4 out of 5 stars First Take

When it comes to specs, it’s truly a case of newer is better. For starters, the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus has the latest and greatest Qualcomm chipset, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, while the Google Pixel XL has the Snapdragon 821. The Snapdragon 821 was certainly a good chip for its time, and still is relatively powerful, but not against the newer Snapdragon 835.

So just how powerful is the Snapdragon 835? Well, we don’t know exactly just yet, but early benchmark results suggest the device is at least 15 percent more powerful than its predecessor.

Of course, the processor isn’t the only thing to note in the specs department. It’s expected that we’ll start seeing more phones with 6GB of RAM over the next year or so, but for now Samsung has stuck safely with 4GB, putting it on par with the Google Pixel XL when it comes to RAM.

Next up is storage. The Google Pixel XL offers either 32GB or 128GB of storage, while the Galaxy S8 Plus only comes in 64GB — so while the base model of the Galaxy S8 Plus has more than the base model of the Pixel XL, the Pixel XL has more options. Of course, then there’s the microSD card slot in the Galaxy S8 Plus, which lets you expand your storage by up to 256GB.

The Galaxy S8 has a better processor and the ability to expand on storage, so it’s the winner in the performance department.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs. LG G6: Battle of the ultra-slim bezels

The hotly anticipated Galaxy S8 has finally arrived, and it’s just as impressive as expected. Samsung’s newest flagship features a curved screen, cutting-edge processor, a brand-new digital assistant, and more.

But the Galaxy S8 isn’t the only heavyweight on the mobile playing field. LG’s brand-new G6 is one of the best phones we’ve tested, and updates promise to make it better. To put an end to the debate, we pitted the two phones against each other in a specifications battle to the finish.

More: Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus vs. Google Pixel XL: Two plus-sized phones battle it out

Specs

Samsung Galaxy S8

 

LG G6

Size 148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0 millimeters (5.86 x 2.71 x 0.31 inches) 148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9 millimeters (5.86 x 2.83 x 0.31 inches)
Weight 5.47 ounces (155 grams) 5.75 ounces (163 grams)
Screen 5.8-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED 5.7-inch IPS LCD touchscreen
Resolution 2,960 x 1,440 2,880 × 1,440 pixels
OS Android 7.0 Nougat Android 7.0 Nougat
Storage 64GB 32 (64GB in select markets)
MicroSD Card Slot Yes Yes
NFC support Yes Yes
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Samsung Exynos 9 Series 8895 (International)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
RAM 4GB 4GB
Connectivity 4G LTE, GSM, CDMA, HSPA+, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi 4G LTE, HSPA+, 802.11ac/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
Camera 12MP rear with OIS, 8MP front 13MP rear dual with OIS and wide-angle lens, 5MP front
Video 4K 4K
Bluetooth Yes, version 5 Yes, version 4.2
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Other sensors Barometer, gyroscope, accelerometer, proximity sensor Barometer, gyroscope, accelerometer, proximity sensor
Water Resistant Yes, IP68 Yes, IP68
Battery 3,000mAh 3,300mAh
Charger USB Type-C USB Type-C
Quick Charging Yes Yes
Wireless Charging Yes, Qi and PMA Yes, Qi and PMA (U.S. only)
Marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Color offerings Black, silver, orchid gray, coral blue (international) gold (international) White, black, platinum
Availability AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile
Price $750 on T-Mobile Starting at $650
DT Review First Take 4.5 out of 5 stars

On the inside, the LG G6 isn’t all that different from the Galaxy S8. Both pack Qualcomm-made processors paired with an identical amount of memory (4GB of RAM). But generational improvements give the Galaxy S8 the edge, here.

The Galaxy S8 sports Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor, the newest in the company’s chip arsenal. It’s built on a 10-nanometer process, which crams 30 percent more parts into the same space than the previous generation of Snapdragon processors. Qualcomm gave Anandtech a preview at its San Diego headquarters, and a reference device packing the new processor outperformed older chips by close to 40 percent in multi-threaded tasks. That doesn’t account for Samsung’s tweaks, of course, but it seems that in terms of raw numbers, the Snapdragon 835 is the one to beat.

LG’s G6, on the other hand, boasts the slightly older Snapdragon 821 processor — the same powering the OnePlus 3T and Google Pixel.

In most apps, benchmarks, and real-world situations, the Snapdragon 835 appears to beat the Snapdragon 821 handily. Anandtech’s testing shows it achieving a score of 3,844 in 3D Mark’s Slingshot Extreme test compared to the Snapdragon 821’s 2,106.

There’s no question when it comes to processing power: The Galaxy S8 is far and away the winner. We expect it to handle games, apps, and day-to-day tasks much more efficiently than the G6.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S8