Essential Phone vs Apple iPhone 7 Plus: Can the Android newcomer take out Apple?

The long-awaited and super interesting Essential Phone (PH-1) is finally here, and customers who pre-ordered the device should expect to finally get their hands on it in the next few days. The PH-1 has captured the imaginations of many thanks to its full edge-to-edge display and classy design — a design Apple is expected to follow for the upcoming iPhone.

The Essential PH-1 isn’t the only great phone around. While Apple may use similar design elements for its next phone, the company still has a capable phone already on the market: The iPhone 7 Plus. But just how do the two phones compare? We put them head to head to find out.

Specs

Essential PH-1

essential ph 1 vs apple iphone 7 plus

iPhone 7 Plus

samsung galaxy s8 plus vs iphone 7 thumb 289

Size 141.5 x 71.1 x 7.8 mm (5.57 x 2.80 x 0.31 inches) 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm (6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches)
Weight 6.53 ounces (185 grams) 6.63 ounces (188 grams)
Screen 5.71-inch LCD 5.5-inch LED
Resolution 2,560 x 1,312 pixels (504 ppi) 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (401 ppi)
OS Android 7.1.1 Nougat iOS 10
Storage 128GB 32, 128, 256GB
MicroSD card slot No No
NFC support Yes Yes
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 A10 Fusion with 64-bit architecture, M10 motion coprocessor
RAM 4GB 3GB
Connectivity GSM, CDMA, HSPA, EVDO, LTE 4G LTE, GSM, CDMA, HSPA+, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
Camera Dual 13 MP rear, 8MP front Dual 12MP rear, 7MP front
Video 4K at 30fps, 1080p at 60fps, 720p at 120fps 4K at 30fps, 1080p at 30 or 60fps
Bluetooth Yes, version 5.0 Yes, version 4.2
Fingerprint sensor Yes Touch ID
Other sensors Accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, compass, barometer Barometer, 3-axis gyro, accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor
Water resistant No Yes, IP67 rated
Battery 3,040mAh 2,900mAh, up to 13 hours of internet use on LTE
Charging port USB-C Lightning
Marketplace Google Play Store Apple App Store
Colors Stellar Gray, Ocean Depths, Black Moon, Pure White Gold, rose gold, silver, black, jet black
Availability Unlocked, Sprint AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile
Price $749 $729
DT review Coming soon 4 out of 5 stars

The Essential Phone makes use of the latest and greatest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, and it’s coupled with 4GB of RAM. The iPhone 7 Plus, on the other hand, uses Apple’s self-designed A10 Fusion chip, along with 3GB of RAM.

Apple’s processor is incredibly powerful, and iOS doesn’t require a lot of RAM compared to Android — it’s just a difference between the two operating systems. The iPhone 7 Plus will prove to be an extremely smooth device. In fact, when it comes to benchmarks, the Essential PH-1 scored 161,746 on AnTuTu, while the Apple iPhone 7 Plus scored a hefty 181,807 — putting the Essential PH-1 to shame. That’s not to say you shouldn’t get the Essential PH-1. It has the same processor as phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the HTC U11. It’s a high-performing phone, and will last you at least a few years of use. Benchmarks aren’t the best indicator of real-world use.

If you’re looking for a lot of storage, both phones have a lot to offer. Neither have a MicroSD card slot, but the iPhone 7 Plus has options for 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB of storage, while the Essential Phone comes only with 128GB of storage.

Both of these phones will perform well, but the iPhone 7 Plus is technically the better performer.

Winner: Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Design, display, and durability

daily app deals ios 8 2017 apple iphone 7 plus review

Both of these phones feature beautiful designs, but in very different ways.

For starters, the Essential PH-1 boasts a beautiful 5.71-inch edge-to-edge display, which covers almost the entire front of the phone save for a small notch at the top and a chin at the bottom. The back of the phone is shiny and minimal. You’ll find a fingerprint sensor here, below a dual-camera module and a few other sensors.

The iPhone 7 Plus is also well-designed, though a little less groundbreaking than the Essential Phone. On the front, the 5.5-inch display sits above Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor and home button. The design does look a little dated thanks to the chunky edges surrounding the screen. The rear is minimal like the Essential Phone, with the iconic Apple logo and a dual-camera module above.

Things are a little different when it comes to the display — the Essential Phone is the clear winner. Despite an LCD screen, you get a 2,560 x 1,312 pixel resolution, which is quite a bit more than the 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution on the Apple iPhone 7 Plus. You also get more screen in a smaller, lighter package with the Essential Phone.

But the iPhone takes the crown for durability, as it has a waterproof rating of IP67, meaning you can take it up to 1 meter underwater for 30 minutes. The Essential Phone isn’t waterproof.

Still, the Essential Phone features a more modern design, along with a higher resolution display. It takes the win here.

Winner: Essential PH-1

Battery life and charging

essential phone

The battery on the iPhone 7 Plus sits in at 2,900mAh, while the Essential PH-1 offers a 3,040mAh battery. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the PH-1 will last longer — the device has a much higher-resolution display, which means that it will be much more taxing on the battery. Still, early reviews suggest the PH-1 has pretty decent battery life. We’ll do more testing to confirm.

While the Essential Phone offers fast-charging, the Apple iPhone 7 Plus does not. Because of that, at least on paper, the Essential PH-1 is the winner here.

Winner: Essential PH-1

Camera

apple patent foldable phone iphone 7 plus bestof

The two phones have dual-camera setups, but they have slightly different specifications. The iPhone 7 Plus offers a dual 12-megapixel sensor with an f/1.8 aperture and optical image stabilization on the primary lens, and the PH-1 has a dual 13-megapixel sensor with an f/1.9 aperture.

Apple has long been known for offering an excellent camera on its devices, and the iPhone 7 Plus is no different. In our review, we hailed the dual-camera setup especially the benefit of having a 2x optical zoom. Apple also introduced Portrait Mode a few months later via a software update, and it offers DSLR-like quality portrait images.

Some early reviews suggest the Essential PH-1’s camera could be just as good. The device’s dual-cameras feature a monochrome and a color sensor. The camera doesn’t feature some of the dual-sensor features found on the iPhone, like Portrait Mode or HDR.

The iPhone’s camera is tried and true. While some early reviews say that the PH-1’s camera is great, others don’t quite agree.

Winner: Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Software

essential ph 1 vs apple iphone 7 plus white

Before we talk about software, we’ll say one thing — we’re not going to award a winner here. The Android vs iPhone debate is a long-running one, and everyone has their own preference.

Still, we can note some major differences between the two operating systems. Android is generally known to offer more customization, while iOS is easier to use. Essential offers a pure Android experience, similar to what you will find on the Google Pixel. It’s free of bloatware, unlike some Android devices.

Winner: Tie

Price and availability

The Essential PH-1 is available for purchase, and you can get your hands on it through the Essential website, Sprint or Best Buy. It doesn’t seem as though other carriers are offering the phone, and there’s no word yet on whether they will or not. We recommend buying the phone unlocked straight from Essential. The device cost $700, which is a premium price to pay for a phone.

The Apple iPhone 7 Plus is slightly more expensive, though it’s available more widely. It costs $770 for the 32GB version, and you can get it from all four major carriers, unlocked from the Apple website, Amazon, Best Buy, and so on.

Winner: Essential PH-1

Overall winner: Essential PH-1

Both the Essential PH-1 and Apple iPhone 7 Plus are excellent phones, but the Essential’s gorgeous edge-to-edge design and slightly lower price gives it the win here. The iPhone is technically more powerful and seems to offer a slightly better camera, but the PH-1 likely has a better battery and can charge back up quickly.

The race toward autonomous cars heats up as Fiat joins Intel, Mobileye, and BMW

Why it matters to you

Back in 2016, Intel, Mobileye, and BMW formed a consortium to develop self-driving technology. Now, Fiat has joined that consortium.

Fresh off Intel’s completed acquisition of Mobileye, the race toward a self-driving future has accelerated once again. On Wednesday, August 16, Fiat Chrysler announced that it would be joining these two companies and BMW in order to help develop autonomous vehicles. As more and more carmakers recognize the importance of driverless technology as a prerequisite for staying relevant in the digital future, FCA’s move certainly seems like the strategic choice.

“In order to advance autonomous driving technology, it is vital to form partnerships among automakers, technology providers, and suppliers,” FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne noted in a news release. “Joining this cooperation will enable FCA to directly benefit from the synergies and economies of scale that are possible when companies come together with a common vision and objective.”

Indeed, FCA doesn’t necessarily possess the capital needed to embark upon a self-driving journey on its own, so joining the BMW, Intel, and Mobileye consortium helps. When BMW and Intel created their partnership in 2016 alongside Mobileye, they noted that they were open to having new members join in order to accelerate the development of the technology as well as its implementation.

As James Hodgson, senior analyst at ABI Research, told Digital Trends, “This is a good move for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and much needed to help reduce its severe innovation deficit in autonomous vehicles, with the brand having very little to show to date compared to direct, mass-market competitors such as Ford and GM.”

As it stands, the BMW-Intel partnership claims to be on track to deliver 40 self-driving test cars by the end of 2017. And given that McKinsey believes that the autonomous car sector could be worth $2 trillion by 2030, conducting these tests sooner rather than later certainly seems to be a goal among all concerned.

“For the BMW/Intel/Mobileye consortium, the addition of another OEM (original equipment manufacturer) helps to build the critical mass around their initiatives, particularly with FCA being a volume player,” Hodgson told us.

So look out, friends. You could soon be seeing a whole host of self-driving cars from different companies, with Fiat Chrysler standing at the top of that list.

HP’s newest ProBook 400 G5 upgrades to Intel 8th gen notebook CPUs

Why it matters to you

HP’s Probook 400 combines 8th gen Intel Core processors with durable design and screen sizes up to 17 inches.

Intel announced it’s 8th generation processors today on its Facebook page and official newsroom, and it surprised some industry watchers by focusing on notebook “Kaby Lake+” CPUs rather than the “Coffee Lake” desktop CPUs that many expected. The newest members of Intel’s lineup are quad-core, multi-threaded variants that are best-suited for high-performance laptops, and HP is piggybacking on Intel’s statement with its own announcement if its new HP ProBook 400 G5 series

This marks the fifth generation of the ProBook 400 business-class machines, and HP has announced three new versions, the ProBook 430 G5, ProBook 450 G5, and ProBook 470 G5. In addition to a building a thinner design with new Natural Silver stamped aluminum chassis, HP is also touting the machine’s status as the first to ship with the new CAT-9 modem for faster WWAN speeds, and support the HP Elite USB dock.

The core specifications for each machine are similar, offering a range of CPU options from Celeron 3865U (on the 430 G5 and 45o G5) up to 8th generation Intel Core i5 and i7 CPUs. The 15.6-inch HP ProBook 450 G5 and 17.3-inch HP ProBook 470 G5 offer optional Nvidia GeForce 930MX graphics with 2GB of GDDR3 memory, and all models come standard with Intel HD integrated graphics. Memory is listed at 32GB DDR4-2400 DRAM, and a wide range of storage options are available including hard disk drives (HDDs), and solid-state drives (SSDs). Battery capacity on each model is 48 watt-hours, and support for HP fast charge technology means they can be charged to 90 percent in 90 minutes.

LIke previous ProBook models, the new machines have been tested to MIL-STD 810G standards, and they offer easy serviceability for upgrading and managing a fleet of systems. The HP Elite USB dock uses the ProBooks’ new USB Type-C connection to enable support of dual monitors, and to access an additional RJ-45 wired Ethernet connection. The dock also provides enhanced connectivity with up to five USB Type-A ports.

Here are the specifications for each new HP ProBook 400 G5 model.

HP ProBook 430 G5

Specifications

Display Size: 13.3 inches
Display Type: HD touch, anti-glare Full HD, HD anti-glare
Display Resolution: HD (1,366 x 768), Full HD (1,920 x 1,080)
Processor: Intel Celeron 3865U
Intel Core i3-6006U
Intel Core i3-7100U
Intel Core i5-8250U
Intel Core i7-8550U
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520
Intel HD Graphics 620
Memory: 32GB DDR4-2400
Storage: 1TB SATA 5400 RPM HDD
500GB SATA 7200 RPM HDD
500GB SATA 5400 hybrid HDD
512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe TLC SSD
256GB M.S PCIe NVMe SSD
128GB M.2 SATA TLC SSD
Expansion Slots SDXC Card Reader
Connectivity: Intel Dual-Band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2
Realtek Dual-Band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2
Ports: 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
2 x USB 3.0 USB Type-A
1 x HDMI 1.4b
1 x RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet
1 x audio headphone jack
Battery: 48 watt-hour lithium-ion
Inputs: HP Premium Keyboard, spill-resistant with optional backlighting
Clickpad with image sensor, multi-touch gesture support
Dimensions: 12.8 in x 9.21 in x 0.78 in (non-touch)
12.83 in x 9.21 in x 0.84 in (touch)
Weight: 3.28 pounds
Operating System: Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Price: Starting at $620

HP ProBook 450 G5

Specifications

Display Size: 15.6 inches
Display Type: HD touch, anti-glare Full HD, HD anti-glare
Display Resolution: HD (1,366 x 768), Full HD (1,920 x 1,080)
Processor: Intel Celeron 3865U
Intel Core i3-6006U
Intel Core i3-7100U
Intel Core i5-8250U
Intel Core i7-8550U
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520
Intel HD Graphics 620
Nvidia GeForce 930MX 2GB GDDR3
Memory: 32GB DDR4-2400
Storage: 1TB SATA 5400 RPM HDD
500GB SATA 7200 RPM HDD
500GB SATA 5400 hybrid HDD
512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe TLC SSD
256GB M.S PCIe NVMe SSD
128GB M.2 SATA TLC SSD
Expansion Slots SDXC Card Reader
Connectivity: Intel Dual-Band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2
Realtek Dual-Band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2
Ports: 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
2 x USB 3.0 USB Type-A
1 x HDMI 1.4b
1 x RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet
1 x audio headphone jack
Battery: 48 watt-hour lithium-ion
Inputs: HP Premium Keyboard, spill-resistant with optional backlighting
Clickpad with image sensor, multi-touch gesture support
Dimensions: 14.8 in x 10.4 in x 0.82 in (non-touch)
14.8 in x 10.4 in x 0.9 in (touch)
Weight: 4.64 pounds
Operating System: Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Price: Starting at $620

HP ProBook 470 G5

Specifications

Display Size: 17.3 inches
Display Type: Anti-glare Full HD, anti-glare HD+
Display Resolution: HD+ (1,600 x 900), Full HD (1,920 x 1,080)
Processor: Intel Core i3-7100U
Intel Core i5-8250U
Intel Core i7-8550U
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
Optional discrete Nvidia graphics (unspecified)
Memory: 32GB DDR4-2400
Storage: 1TB SATA 5400 RPM HDD
500GB SATA 7200 RPM HDD
500GB SATA 5400 hybrid HDD
512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe TLC SSD
256GB M.S PCIe NVMe SSD
128GB M.2 SATA TLC SSD
Expansion Slots SDXC Card Reader
Connectivity: Intel Dual-Band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2
Realtek Dual-Band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2
Ports: 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
2 x USB 3.0 USB Type-A
1 x HDMI 1.4b
1 x RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet
1 x audio headphone jack
Battery: 48 watt-hour lithium-ion
Inputs: HP Premium Keyboard, spill-resistant with optional backlighting
Clickpad with image sensor, multi-touch gesture support
Dimensions: 16.29 in x 10.87 in x 0.89 in
Weight: 5.5 pounds
Operating System: Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Price: Starting at $620

Pricing for the HP ProBook 400 G5 series starts at $620, and the machines will be available for purchase starting in September 2017. HP provides three-year warranties on the ProBook line in some countries, so check your local listing for more information.

A 2-in-1 that can game? Acer’s Nitro 5 Spin gets a boost from 8th gen Intel Core

Why it matters to you

If you liked the Acer Nitro 5 laptop, the company is putting a spin on its latest version sporting eighth-generation Intel processors and a convertible form factor.

Now that Intel is letting its eighth-generation cat out of the bag, OEMs are coming out of the woodwork with solutions based on the new processors. One of these is Acer, who on Monday introduced the Nitro 5 Spin 2-in-1, packing enough performance to appease the on-the-go mainstream PC gamer. That includes stuffing the laptop with a tasty GeForce GTX 1050 discrete graphics chip, and SSD-based storage pushing data along speedy PCI Express freeways. It’s the most powerful 2-in-1 we’ve seen yet — on paper, at least — beating even the HP Spectre x360 15-inch and Samsung Notebook 9 Spin in hardware specifications.

Here are the specifications:

Screen size: 15.6 inches
Screen type: In-plane Switching (IPS)
Screen resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
Processor: 8th Gen Intel Core
Graphics: GeForce GTX 1050
Memory: Up to 16GB DDR4
Storage: Up to 512GB PCI Express-based SSD
Connectivity: Wireless AC (MU-MIMO)
Ports (right): 1x USB 2.0 Type-A
1x SD card reader
1x Headphone jack
Ports (left): 2x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A
1x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C
1x HDMI
Audio: 2x Front-facing speakers
1x Subwoofer
Bonus features: Keyboard with red backlighting
Fingerprint scanner supporting Windows Hello
Dimensions: 15.01 (W) x 10.16 (D) x 0.70 (H) inches
Weight: 4.85 pounds
Battery: 48 Wh 3220 mAh 15.2 V 4-cell Li ion
Availability: October
Starting price: $1,000

As the specs show, the Nitro 5 Spin isn’t exactly out to compete with the big boys in the PC gaming market – that’s what Acer’s high-end Predator family is for. But there’s plenty of oomph here to get decent visuals and framerates in League of Legends, DOTA 2, and according to Acer, even Overwatch. The 2-in-1 can definitely power the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift headsets too, but meeting the 90 frames per second requirement for barf-free VR experiences likely won’t happen.

Unlike the regular Nitro 5, the Nitro 5 Spin has a special hinge to accommodate different ways to play PC games. It’s classified as a 2-in-1 PC, enabling you to switch its form factor between four modes: Laptop, Tent, Display (Theater), and Tablet. This should prove useful when you don’t want a gaming notebook heating up your lap. The Nitro 5 Spin includes the same all-aluminum chassis, black brushed hairline finish, and red accents found on previous versions.

Other features packed into the Acer Nitro 5 Spin include BluelightShield, which blue light emissions, an omni-directional ExoAmp Antenna maximizing the Wireless AC connection, and several technologies that provide “improved bass and multi-dimensional sound.” The sound will reverse too, during Tent and Tablet screen modes.

Taken as a whole, the Acer Nitro 5 Spin is arguably the perfect example of what Intel hopes the 8th gen Core will make possible. An entry-level gaming notebook that’s also a 2-in-1 wasn’t feasible with the more powerful 7th gen quad-core chips, but with the more efficient 8th gen models, it’s possible.

We’re eager to see how the Acer Nitro 5 Spin stacks up in the real world, but we’ll have to be patient. It won’t be made available in North America until sometime during October for a starting price of $1,000.

8th Gen Intel Core goes to work in HP’s milspec tested Probook 400 series

Why it matters to you

HP’s Probook 400 combines 8th gen Intel Core processors with durable design and screen sizes up to 17 inches.

Intel announced it’s 8th generation processors today on its Facebook page and official newsroom, and it surprised some industry watchers by focusing on notebook “Kaby Lake+” CPUs rather than the “Coffee Lake” desktop CPUs that many expected. The newest members of Intel’s lineup are quad-core, multi-threaded variants that are best-suited for high-performance laptops, and HP is piggybacking on Intel’s statement with its own announcement if its new HP ProBook 400 G5 series

This marks the fifth generation of the ProBook 400 business-class machines, and HP has announced three new versions, the ProBook 430 G5, ProBook 450 G5, and ProBook 470 G5. In addition to a building a thinner design with new Natural Silver stamped aluminum chassis, HP is also touting the machine’s status as the first to ship with the new CAT-9 modem for faster WWAN speeds, and support the HP Elite USB dock.

The core specifications for each machine are similar, offering a range of CPU options from Celeron 3865U (on the 430 G5 and 45o G5) up to 8th generation Intel Core i5 and i7 CPUs. The 15.6-inch HP ProBook 450 G5 and 17.3-inch HP ProBook 470 G5 offer optional Nvidia GeForce 930MX graphics with 2GB of GDDR3 memory, and all models come standard with Intel HD integrated graphics. Memory is listed at 32GB DDR4-2400 DRAM, and a wide range of storage options are available including hard disk drives (HDDs), and solid-state drives (SSDs). Battery capacity on each model is 48 watt-hours, and support for HP fast charge technology means they can be charged to 90 percent in 90 minutes.

LIke previous ProBook models, the new machines have been tested to MIL-STD 810G standards, and they offer easy serviceability for upgrading and managing a fleet of systems. The HP Elite USB dock uses the ProBooks’ new USB Type-C connection to enable support of dual monitors, and to access an additional RJ-45 wired Ethernet connection. The dock also provides enhanced connectivity with up to five USB Type-A ports.

Here are the specifications for each new HP ProBook 400 G5 model.

HP ProBook 430 G5

Specifications

Display Size: 13.3 inches
Display Type: HD touch, anti-glare Full HD, HD anti-glare
Display Resolution: HD (1,366 x 768), Full HD (1,920 x 1,080)
Processor: Intel Celeron 3865U
Intel Core i3-6006U
Intel Core i3-7100U
Intel Core i5-8250U
Intel Core i7-8550U
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520
Intel HD Graphics 620
Memory: 32GB DDR4-2400
Storage: 1TB SATA 5400 RPM HDD
500GB SATA 7200 RPM HDD
500GB SATA 5400 hybrid HDD
512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe TLC SSD
256GB M.S PCIe NVMe SSD
128GB M.2 SATA TLC SSD
Expansion Slots SDXC Card Reader
Connectivity: Intel Dual-Band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2
Realtek Dual-Band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2
Ports: 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
2 x USB 3.0 USB Type-A
1 x HDMI 1.4b
1 x RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet
1 x audio headphone jack
Battery: 48 watt-hour lithium-ion
Inputs: HP Premium Keyboard, spill-resistant with optional backlighting
Clickpad with image sensor, multi-touch gesture support
Dimensions: 12.8 in x 9.21 in x 0.78 in (non-touch)
12.83 in x 9.21 in x 0.84 in (touch)
Weight: 3.28 pounds
Operating System: Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Price: Starting at $620

HP ProBook 450 G5

Specifications

Display Size: 15.6 inches
Display Type: HD touch, anti-glare Full HD, HD anti-glare
Display Resolution: HD (1,366 x 768), Full HD (1,920 x 1,080)
Processor: Intel Celeron 3865U
Intel Core i3-6006U
Intel Core i3-7100U
Intel Core i5-8250U
Intel Core i7-8550U
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520
Intel HD Graphics 620
Nvidia GeForce 930MX 2GB GDDR3
Memory: 32GB DDR4-2400
Storage: 1TB SATA 5400 RPM HDD
500GB SATA 7200 RPM HDD
500GB SATA 5400 hybrid HDD
512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe TLC SSD
256GB M.S PCIe NVMe SSD
128GB M.2 SATA TLC SSD
Expansion Slots SDXC Card Reader
Connectivity: Intel Dual-Band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2
Realtek Dual-Band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2
Ports: 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
2 x USB 3.0 USB Type-A
1 x HDMI 1.4b
1 x RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet
1 x audio headphone jack
Battery: 48 watt-hour lithium-ion
Inputs: HP Premium Keyboard, spill-resistant with optional backlighting
Clickpad with image sensor, multi-touch gesture support
Dimensions: 14.8 in x 10.4 in x 0.82 in (non-touch)
14.8 in x 10.4 in x 0.9 in (touch)
Weight: 4.64 pounds
Operating System: Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Price: Starting at $620

HP ProBook 470 G5

Specifications

Display Size: 17.3 inches
Display Type: Anti-glare Full HD, anti-glare HD+
Display Resolution: HD+ (1,600 x 900), Full HD (1,920 x 1,080)
Processor: Intel Core i3-7100U
Intel Core i5-8250U
Intel Core i7-8550U
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
Optional discrete Nvidia graphics (unspecified)
Memory: 32GB DDR4-2400
Storage: 1TB SATA 5400 RPM HDD
500GB SATA 7200 RPM HDD
500GB SATA 5400 hybrid HDD
512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe TLC SSD
256GB M.S PCIe NVMe SSD
128GB M.2 SATA TLC SSD
Expansion Slots SDXC Card Reader
Connectivity: Intel Dual-Band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2
Realtek Dual-Band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2
Ports: 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
2 x USB 3.0 USB Type-A
1 x HDMI 1.4b
1 x RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet
1 x audio headphone jack
Battery: 48 watt-hour lithium-ion
Inputs: HP Premium Keyboard, spill-resistant with optional backlighting
Clickpad with image sensor, multi-touch gesture support
Dimensions: 16.29 in x 10.87 in x 0.89 in
Weight: 5.5 pounds
Operating System: Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Price: Starting at $620

Pricing for the HP ProBook 400 G5 series starts at $620, and the machines will be available for purchase starting in September 2017. HP provides three-year warranties on the ProBook line in some countries, so check your local listing for more information.

Your next computer will be nearly twice as fast as existing PCs

Three of the first laptops with Intel's new 8th-gen Core processors
Three of the first laptops with Intel’s new 8th-gen Core processors

Image: lili sams/mashable

Computers may no longer be tech darlings now that everyone uses their smartphones to do basically everything, but they’re about to get really exciting again.

About every two years, Intel introduces new processors that shape the computing industry and this year’s no different. Whereas the last two generations of chips were kinda like half steps in performance, the new 8th-generation “Ice Lake” Core processors are nearly twice as fast as 7th-gen “Skylake” chips

It’s a big bump up in performance and you’ll feel the speed even if you’re just browsing the web.

The first computers (laptops and 2-in-1s) with 8th-gen chips, available in Core i5 or i7 (U-series) flavors, will ship at the beginning of September with up to 145 designs available. Desktop processors will ship in the fall and then enterprise versions later.

Every new generation of Intel’s Core chips usually brings speed boosts, but the company’s really not messing around this time. With 14-nanometer process (it’ll shrink down to 10-nanometers later) and quad-cores (versus dual), new computers will see up to a 40% performance compared to Skylake-powered machines, and up to 50% faster speeds compared to a five-year-old system. 

In other words, if you’ve been using your laptop for around five years, which is usually how long the average person hangs on to their device — you will see considerably faster computing power with a new machine.

The new Intel Core chips that'll boost computer performance by 40%

The new Intel Core chips that’ll boost computer performance by 40%

Image: lili sams/mashable

Whether you’re browsing the web, editing photos or videos, juggling documents and spreadsheets, or consuming media, the 8th-gen chips are designed to make everything quicker.

Compared to a five-year-old computer, general multitasking is snappier with 2x performance, web browsing is 1.9x faster, and photo editing in Adobe Lightroom is 2.3x faster.

More graphic-intensive tasks like rendering 4K video will see huge gains thanks to the two extra cores. Intel says rendering video is 14.7x faster than a computer from 2012. A 1-minute and 46-second 4K video encoded in HEVC weighing 440MB takes a computer with an 8th-gen chip three minutes to render versus 45 minutes on a 5-year-old machine.

And speaking of 4K video, Intel’s further improved 4K video playback for devices with and without 4K screens. If you’ve got a relatively new laptop, 4K video playback should be no problem, but it usually comes at the expense of battery life.

Dell's classic XPS 13 laptop with super thin bezels is one of the first to get the new chips.

Dell’s classic XPS 13 laptop with super thin bezels is one of the first to get the new chips.

Image: lili sams/mashable

For 2-in-1s, the new chips will give 4K video a huge boost.

For 2-in-1s, the new chips will give 4K video a huge boost.

Image: lili sams/mashable

With 8th-gen chips, you should be able to watch local 4K video for 10 continuous hours and up to 11 continuous hours of 4K video streaming on YouTube. Of course, these figures will depend on your computer and its battery capacity, but this is the benchmark Intel wants PC makers to aim for.

Intel’s new chips sound impressive, and while I did get to see a few very short performance demos showing off how fast a new laptop with the new processor chewed through 4K video, there wasn’t a    laptop with a 7th-gen chip or a five-year-old machine for comparison.

I also got to check out a handful of concept computers in various form factors showing off what could be possible with Intel’s Core chips. I’m not allowed to share details beyond that, but Iet’s just say, they’re pretty cool and hopefully some hardware partners pick up a few of the weirder ideas.

Still, I’m extremely pumped for new computers coming out this fall. Personally, I’m praying Apple uses these new chips for future MacBook Pros. Nearly 2x performance boost? Hell yeah, I want.

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Best new songs to stream: LCD Soundsystem, Washed Out, and more

Every week, there are thousands of new songs hitting the airwaves — and it’s just too much for your two ears to handle. With all those options, you can’t be wasting your time on tracks that deserve a thumbs-down click — you want the best new songs to stream now.

But don’t worry, we’re going to save you the hassle. We listen to some of the most-hyped and interesting songs each week, and tell you which are worthy of your precious listening time.

Here are our five best new songs to stream this week. And don’t forget to subscribe to our Spotify page for a playlist of our weekly picks, which can also be found at the bottom of this post. Not sure which streaming service is best for you? Check out our post about the best music streaming services, or go in depth and learn the differences between Apple Music and Spotify to better weigh your options.

LCD Soundsystem — Tonite

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LCD Soundsystem channel their love of ’80s synthesizers, drum machines, and VHS videotapes in the music video for Tonite, the most recent single off the band’s upcoming album American Dream. Band members spin around on a circular stage in the nearly six-minute video, with a wide assortment of percussion and synthesizer gear surrounding each member and providing a cool visual complement to the lo-fi dance track.

Washed Out — Floating By (Live on KCRW)

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Afro-Cuban drum and piano grooves drive this live take from Georgia’s Washed Out. Thom Yorke-like vocals float over the top to create a heady but danceable single. The level of production is extremely high for a live-radio take, creating a compelling reason to check out the band if their current tour stops at a venue near you.

Julien Baker — Appointments

Over the past several years, Julien Baker has grown into one of her generation’s most heartbreaking songwriters. With a simple piano and guitar arrangement, and Baker’s signature vocal tone, Appointments — the lead single off of her upcoming sophomore record Turn Out The Lights — showcases the core of her songwriting ability. This is the kind of song that helps you through your worst moments, a beautiful ballad that offers just the right amount of hope.

(Sandy) Alex G — Bobby (Live on KEXP)

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Prolific indie rocker Alex G recently appeared on Seattle’s KEXP radio, performing a smattering of easygoing rock songs with simple and elegant arrangements. Slide guitar lines and rhythmic lyrics make Bobby the catchiest tune from the live-on-radio set. It’s the kind of song to help you unwind as you head home from a long day at the office.

KMD — True Lightyears

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Legendary underground rapper MF Doom originally launched his solo career after the tragic death of his brother, DJ Subroc, which marked the end of his original rap group KMD, in the mid-’90s. You can imagine listeners’ surprise when the group released its first new song in 25 years this week, via Adult Swim. The classic mash-up of vinyl samples and rhymes may feel a bit more like a Doom track than a KMD single — especially in that it showcases verses from Doom and Jay Electronica — but it pleasingly propels you through its short runtime.

That’s it for now, but tune in next week for more songs to stream, and check out the playlist loaded with our recent selections below:

Nokia 8 vs. iPhone 7: Can HMD’s Android flagship beat Apple’s aging iPhone?

The Nokia 8 looks like an Android powerhouse on paper. This is easily the best-looking Android phone with the most impressive spec sheet we’ve seen so far with the Nokia name attached, but how does it measure up against one of Apple’s finest? We decided to pit Nokia 8 vs. iPhone 7 to find out.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a Nokia flagship in the smartphone market. After an ill-fated romance with Microsoft, the Finnish brand briefly disappeared from the mobile market altogether, but now it’s back. Though the name is under license to another company, HMD Global, Nokia still has guidelines in place HMD has to follow.

The current Nokia renaissance really started with the revamped Nokia 3310 which sent a clear signal that people still have a lot of love for the brand. HMD Global then tested the Android waters with the budget Nokia 6, Nokia 5, and Nokia 3. But the Nokia 8 is its first go at a premium Android smartphone with an attractive design, top specs, and a price tag to match. Can it compete with the aging iPhone 7? Let’s find out.

Note: Before we dig in, it’s only fair to tell you upfront that HMD currently has no plans to release the Nokia 8 in the U.S.

Specs

Nokia 8

Nokia 8

Apple iPhone 7

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Size 5.96 x 2.9 x 0.31 inches (151.5 x 73.7 x 7.9 mm)  5.44 × 2.64 × 0.28 inches (138.3 × 67.1 × 7.1 mm)
Weight 5.64 ounces (160 grams) 4.87 ounces (138 grams)
Screen 5.3-inch IPS LCD 4.7-inch Retina HD LED-backlit widescreen
Resolution 2,560 × 1,440 pixels 1,334 × 750 pixels
OS Android 7.1.1 Nougat iOS 10
Storage 64GB 32/128/256GB
MicroSD Card Slot Yes No
NFC support Yes Yes (Apple Pay Only)
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Apple A10 Fusion with 64-bit architecture, M10 motion coprocessor
RAM 4GB 2GB
Connectivity 4G LTE, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi 4G LTE, GSM, CDMA, HSPA+, 802.11ac/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
Camera Dual 13MP rear with OIS, 13MP front 12MP rear with OIS, 7MP front
Video 4K at 30fps, 1080p at 30fps, 4K at 30fps, 1080p at 30 or 60fps, 720p at 240fps
Bluetooth Yes, version 5 Yes, version 4.2
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Other sensors Barometer, gyro, accelerometer, proximity sensor, compass, ambient light sensor Barometer, 3-axis gyro, accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor
Water Resistant Yes, IP54 Yes, IP67
Battery 3,090mAh 1,960mAh
Charger USB Type-C Lightning
Quick Charging Yes No
Wireless Charging No No
Marketplace Google Play Store Apple App Store
Color offerings Tempered Blue, Polished Blue, Steel, Polished Copper Rose Gold, Gold, Silver, Black, Jet Black
Availability Coming to Europe in September AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile
Price Starting at 600 euros (around $700) $650
DT Review Coming soon 3.5 out of 5 stars

HMD Global certainly hasn’t cut any corners in the Nokia 8’s engine room, because it’s packing a Snapdragon 835 processor with 4GB of RAM, which is exactly what you’ll find in Android’s current crop of top performers, from the HTC U11 to the Samsung Galaxy S8.

It’s a powerful pairing that’s fast, efficient, and capable of handling anything you’re likely to throw at it. Any concerns you might have about the software user interface slowing things down can be set aside, because the Nokia 8 is running a pure version of Android straight from Google.

The iPhone 7 sports Apple’s quad-core 64-bit A10 Fusion processor, which we know is a solid performer. There’s only 2GB of RAM in the iPhone 7, but because the platform works differently, that doesn’t necessarily mean performance is any worse. How much RAM you need in your smartphone is still a topic of some debate.

You can get the iPhone 7 in 32, 128, and 256GB configurations, while the Nokia 8 comes with 64GB of onboard storage, however, the Nokia 8 also supports MicroSD card expansion.

We need some hands-on time with the Nokia 8 to confirm, but based on what we’ve seen from other phones with the same components, there won’t be a big difference between the Nokia 8 and iPhone 7 on the performance front.

Winner: Tie

Design, display, and durability

Nokia 8 copper and blue

The Nokia 8 has nice curved edges and an aluminum unibody design that really shines if you opt for the glossy blue or copper colors, but HMD Global clearly didn’t get the bezel-less design memo, because there are chunky bezels at the top and bottom of the display. There’s also a fingerprint sensor on the front flanked by capacitive touch buttons. The dual camera module on the back is a lozenge shape with a metallic border. The antenna bands on the top and bottom edges spoil the look a little, but they’re a necessary evil if you want a signal. All in all, it’s a nice-looking phone.

Rumors abound that Apple has taken bold steps with the design of the iPhone 8 to maximize screen real estate, and there’s little doubt that, in the current smartphone crowd, the iPhone 7 is beginning to look a bit dated. Build quality is excellent, but the curved aluminum finish, broken by the antenna bands is very familiar by now, and there are big bezels around the screen.

Moving on to the display, the Nokia 8 walks it. The iPhone 7 sports a 4.7-inch screen with a 1334 x 750-pixel resolution, giving it a 326 ppi (pixel-per-inch) rating. The Nokia 8 has a bigger, 5.3-inch display with a 2560 x 1440-pixel resolution which scores a 554 ppi. Both are IPS LCD, but the Nokia 8 screen can go slightly brighter. In simple terms, the Nokia 8 screen is bigger, sharper, and generally better.

The iPhone 7 claws a little back in the durability stakes with an IP67 rating, which means it can handle a dunk in water, while the Nokia 8 is just splash proof with an IP54 rating. It’s not enough, though, to change the winner of this category.

Winner: Nokia 8

Battery life and charging

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The Nokia 8 has a big battery rated at 3,090mAh, while the iPhone 7 gets by with a 1,960mAh battery. We would expect the Nokia 8 to have longer battery life, but Apple is adept at squeezing great performance from its hardware and the iPhone 7 has a smaller, lower resolution display to power, so there might not be as much in it as you’d think. We’ll have to see how the Nokia 8 does in real life before we can make a definitive call here.

Sadly, neither of these phones supports wireless charging, but one area where the Nokia 8 has an advantage is charging speed. With support for Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 technology, via the USB Type-C port, we expect the Nokia 8 to charge up a lot faster than the iPhone 7.

Winner: Nokia 8

Camera

Nokia 8 aerial

One of the headline features for the Nokia 8 is the camera, which has been specially designed to support live-streaming to apps like Facebook Live. It can also stream from the front and rear camera simultaneously. That might sound a bit gimmicky, but if we just look at the camera hardware here, it’s tough not to be impressed.

The Nokia 8 has two 13-megapixel cameras on the back, each with f/2.0 apertures. One shoots in color and has OIS (optical image stabilization), the other is monochrome. The selfie camera is also rated at 13-megapixels with the same f/2.0 aperture.

By contrast, the iPhone 7 has a single 12-megapixel main camera with an f/1.8 aperture and OIS, backed by a 7-megapixel front-facing camera. The smaller f/1.8 number actually denotes a wider aperture, so it should be a little better in low light conditions, but there’s only one camera on the back. As we noted in our iPhone 7 review, Apple fans who want the best camera really should go for the iPhone 7 Plus, because it has that second 12-megapixel camera which allows 2x optical zoom and that cool bokeh effect.

It looks better on paper, but we’re reticent to call this one without taking some shots on the Nokia 8, so we’re going to mark as a tie for now.

Winner: Tie

Software

Apple iPhone 7

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

This is a tough category to pick a winner in because it really boils down to personal preference. If you’ve bought into Apple’s ecosystem already, then the iPhone 7 will give you a seamless experience. If you’re used to Android, then the Nokia 8 will suit you better. Truthfully, both platforms are excellent and sport all the features you need in a smartphone. You get more customization options with Android, but iOS has an extra sheen of polish.

We’re delighted to find that the Nokia 8 runs stock Android and the latest Nougat 7.1.1 flavor. We have also heard that HMD is already working on bringing the upcoming Android O update to the phone. On the other hand, the iPhone 7 is sure to continue getting iOS updates on release day for the foreseeable future.

Winner: Tie

Price and availability

This is where the Nokia 8 falls flat on its face, at least for people living in North America. The price is fairly high at 600 euros (around $700), and there are no plans to release the Nokia 8 stateside. It will go on sale in Europe and a few other markets from September, but don’t expect to see it on sale in the U.S.

The iPhone 7 costs $650 for the 32GB, $750 for the 128GB, and $850 for the 256GB model. It can be bought through the Apple Store, either online or in a retail store. You can also pick it up at all the major carriers in the U.S. and spread your cost with a monthly contract.

Winner: iPhone 7

Overall winner: Nokia 8

The design and software are going to come down to personal preference, but in most other respects the Nokia 8 is a superior device, at least at first glance. It has a better display, more power, and an interesting set of cameras. We need hands-on time to really put it through its paces, but on paper it’s a better phone than the iPhone 7. It’s worth remembering that the iPhone 7 is almost a year old, so if you’re really hankering for an Apple device, you should wait and see what the iPhone 8 has to offer.

Google is hoping to help news publishers with a few new tools

Why it matters to you

Google hasn’t always been the best of friends with news publishers, but the tech giant is trying to change that.

Google is looking make friends with the media. As per a new report from Bloomberg, the internet giant is developing a series of new tools with hopes of boosting subscriptions for news publishers. First, Google is revamping its “first click free” feature, which allows audiences to access articles from subscription publications by way of search. Separately, Google is looking into publishers’ tools relating to online payments, and honing in on potential subscribers. Of course, the ultimate goal is to ensure that both consumers and content producers stay online, and therefore, continue feeding into Google’s highly lucrative ads business.

According to Bloomberg, Google is first testing its new tools with the New York Times and the Financial Times. But don’t worry — other publishers will soon be allowed to join the party, too. “It’s clear from news publishers that they can’t live on advertising alone,” said Richard Gingras, Google’s vice president for news. “But it’s also clear that we’re seeing a shift in a market.”

Part of Google’s testing will involve allowing readers to see content that might otherwise be hidden behind a paywall by offering it, free of charge, through the company’s Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP platform. Google also wants to help companies like the Times identify folks they ought to target for subscriptions through these AMP pages, and determine just how much new audiences are willing to pay, and make it easier for them to subscribe.

“This is an area, clearly, where our knowledge about our users can be brought to bear,” Gingras told Bloomberg. “There is no singular subscription strategy that will work for each publisher.”

It’s unclear as of yet whether Google will be sharing revenue with publishers who are brought in to use these new tools, and Kinsey Wilsonan adviser to Mark Thompson, president and chief executive officer of The New York Times, told Bloomberg that the publisher has yet to discuss revenue terms with the tech giant.

But if Google finds a way to make this a lucrative deal for publishers, it could result in a feed of popular articles from a host of different publications.

This nefarious Trojan may impersonate your favorite ridesharing app

Why it matters to you

Be careful the next time you hail a ride through an app — a Trojan could be trying to steal your information.

Be careful the next time you hail a ride from your favorite transportation app. You could be inadvertently hailing much more than you bargained for. As per a recent report from Kaspersky Lab, a mobile Trojan “has been caught recently stealing bank data by impersonating the interfaces of taxi-booking apps.” How might you know if your smartphone has been infected? One telltale sign, the research firm notes, is if your ridesharing app prompts you to enter your credit card number. Seeing as your favorite apps should already have this information on hand, if it asks you to re-enter the data, you may want to proceed with caution.

While the Faketoken Trojan, the malware in question, has been around for quite some time, it has gotten more sophisticated as time has passed. Kaspersky calls the latest iteration of the malware “Faketoken.q,” and notes that the Trojan generally infects smartphones through bulk SMS messages with a prompt to download images. Once its necessary modules have been installed, the Trojan begins monitoring everything that happens on your phone.

“When Faketoken detects the launch of an app whose interface it can simulate, the Trojan immediately overlays the app with its own screen,” Kaspersky writes. “To achieve that, it uses a standard Android feature that supports showing screen overlays on top of all other apps. A whole bunch of legitimate apps, such as messengers, window managers, and so on, use this feature.”

The fallacious window looks just like your original app’s interface, but instead of proceeding as normal, the Trojan asks you to enter credit card information. And from there, well … we know how the rest goes.

Apparently, a number of apps have been attacked in this way, including mobile banking apps, Android Pay, the Google Play store, flight and hotel booking apps, and of course, ridesharing apps.

As it stands, it appears that the Trojan is largely relegated to users in Russia, but it may not be long before the malware comes our way, too. To protect yourself from any nefarious activity, Kaspersky recommends that you go into Android settings and prevent the installation of apps from unknown sources. Go to Settings, then Security, and then uncheck Unknown sources.

You should also pay close mind to the permissions an app requests prior to installation, even if you download the app from an ostensibly safe source (like Google Play). Finally, you might consider installing antivirus on your phone.