• Stuclark

    Having told everyone that the LG V30 is the best phone available at the moment, I thought I should finally put my money where my mouth is and do a full hands-on head to head comparison.

    The raw specs show the V30 to be the better handset (or at least they did in previous reviews), but what will I think after a week of using both?
    Firstly, here's an up-to-date comparison table based upon our latest testing criteria. Comparing phones is always a somewhat emotive opinion on the part of the person doing the comparison, so I have tried to keep this one based upon facts rather than feelings. Some may argue with some of the decisions and some may need explanation. The winning phone in each category is shown in dark green and gains 2 points. Where no obvious winner exists, "highly commended" scores are in light green and gain 1 point)
    Feature LG V30 Galaxy S 8 Construction Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Size 151.7mm x 75.4mm x 7.3mm 148.9mm x 68.1mm x 8mm Weight 158g 155g Screen P-OLED 6.0" 2800x1440 538ppi S-AMOLED 5.8" 2960x1440 570ppi Screen / Body Ratio 81.2 % 83.6 % Battery 3300 mAh 3000 mAh Processor Snapdraggon 835 Exynos OctaCore RAM 4GB 4GB Storage 64GB / 128GB + MicroSD 64GB + MicroSD Camera (rear) Main: 16Mpix f/1.6 (71deg)& Wide: 13Mpix f/1.9 (120deg), Phase Detection Autofocus, Laser Foucs, IOS, HDR10, Assisted Zoom 12Mpix f/1.7, Phase Detection autofocus,  IOS, HDR Camera (front) 5Mpix f/2.2 (90deg) 8Mpix f/1.7 Connectivity 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 Operating System Android 7.1.2 Android 7.1.1 Biometrics / security Fingerprint (rear - middle), face detection, Knox Fingerprint (rear - left), iris detection, face detection Protection Waterproof (IP68), Shockproof Waterproof (IP68) Charging QuickCharge 3.0, Wireless Charging QuickCharge 3.0, Wireless Charging Price £ 799 £ 869 Availability Now Now Total points 9 9 As can be seen, the phones are very closely matched when comparing the raw specs. The S8 wins out in a few categories purely because it is smaller (weight, screen resolution, screen / body ratio), whereas the V30 wins out in battery size and camera ability (due to having two of them). This means that any "winner" is going to be based pretty much purely on user experience; performance in the real world; and other personal views of the differences between the two.
    Screen
    The S8 clearly has the best screen when comparing resolution and dpi, but the V30 is no-where near as bad as some reviews make out; indeed for 98% of the time it looks just as good as the Samsung one. Sure, it's a pity it can't run at the same resolution as the S8, but that's un-noticable in the real world (I never run my S8 at full res due to how it kills the battery), and the "colour banding / backlight inconsistencies"  issues which have been reported regarding the V30 are completely non-existent unless you actually go looking for them, in which case the S8 (certainly in my experience) does just as badly!
    Battery
    This is a clear win for the V30 - in a typical day's usage of commuting, being used at the office and at home, my S8 will go through 60 - 70% of it's battery, sometimes more, getting as low as 10% before it's put back on charge. In the same time periods and with the same overall usage pattern, I have yet to see the V30 use more than 55% of it's battery. The difference in size of the batteries may not be significant, but that coupled with the slightly lower res screen (although my S8 is never driven at full res, whereas the V30 is) seems to make a huge difference to daily usage.
    Charging
    Both these phones support QuickCharge (or technically Samsung's name for the same tech) and both do well. Charging via USB cable, even when plugged in to a PC rather than a "charger" is admirably fast on both handsets; the V30 feeling like it has a slight advantage in speed. However, when charging wirelessly (using one of Samsung's wireless charging pads) the S8 is noticeably quicker and seems to run the charger "harder", as evidenced by the charger's cooling fan coming on frequently. That said, the V30 is still perfectly capable of recharging itself wirelessly over a 4 or so hour period.
    Handling
    This is somewhat more of a personal preference decision... Both handsets are lovely to hold, although the V30 is obviously bigger than the S8, it's shorter although slightly wider than the S8+ and Note 8. The differences are not that significant (1.8mm longer, 7.3mm wider, 0.7mm thinner), but the width feels a lot wider than that 7.3mm would have you believe. It feels more like a "normal" format phone rather than the elongated stick that is the S8. Ultimately this makes one-handed operation a bit harder as there's further for thumb and finger to reach, but it's not uncomfortable by any means. You notice how much thinner it is too. All that said, for my hands, the S8 is the better fit.
    UI and UX
    Touchwiz hasn't exactly had the best reputation in times past, but it's come a hell of a long way recently. I actually quite like it, and I found myself wishing I could apply it to the V30. That's not to say the V30 UI is bad - it's not. It is far more stock-Android than the S8, but it's still got some useful additions from LG. For example, if you long press on any application icon, the V30 will pop up a context menu for you with the most commonly used functions of that application. And best of all, this works for all applications, not just the pre-installed LG ones.
    On the other hand, much as Touchwiz on the S8 is now pretty great to use; Samsung have still been pretty restrictive in some areas - for example it's impossible to change the default Gallery application on the S8, but is very easy to do on the V30, and personally I find their settings app to be confusingly laid out.
    Features
    Both phones are pretty comparable on features. The V30 obviously has more versatility in it's camera application (due mostly to having 2 rear camera), but the S8 has possibly the better colour reproduction in those photos.
    The only significant difference I could find is that the V30 doesn't (yet) allow WiFi calling or VoLTE. Both these features are supported by LG's software, but for some reason they are disabled in the SIM free UK firmware I have. (LG allow the phone's bootloader to be unlocked, so that along with root access will allow you to enable both these features in the phone's build.prop file)
    Living with the phone
    Possibly the most awkward one to answer - initially on getting the V30 I was disappointed and kept wanting to go back to the S8. However, having used the V30 exclusively for 6 days now, my mind is far less clear. Ultimately I want a mix of the two - the features of the V30 with the UI of the S8. The biggest difference can be seen in the battery performance, and on that count the V30 wins absolutely hands down!
    ... so which is the winner...?
    I fully expected to end up with a firm favourite here, with an obvious decision about which phone to keep. Unfortunately that hasn't proven to be the case and I now like both to equal amounts, albeit for different reasons. Therefore, I'm going to sit firmly on the fence and say ... Both!

  • Stuclark

    Earlier today Microsoft released Insider Preview build 17046 to the fast ring. This is another Redstone 4 build, part of the expected 1803 release of Windows 10. Read on to find out what's new.

    There's a few useful changes in this build, along with the usual skew of bug fixes (and new bugs, this being a fairly early RS_4 build). Highlights include:
    Yet more changes for Edge - this time you get the ability for Edge to auto-fill address info on forms. Access to UWP applications (Metro apps to you and me) settings directly from the application icon in the Start Menu. This is way, way simpler than the old Settings > Apps & Features > App > Settings route you used to have to take, and a big UX win. Yet-more emoji changes. To be honest, these bore me - they're hardly core-OS functions. Here's the full MS release notes: https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2017/11/22/announcing-windows-10-insider-preview-build-17046-pc/#j8WGYt6Wkvq76y4i.97

  • Stuclark

    Last Friday, Microsoft released another "Redstone 4" Insider Preview for Windows 10. This is the secondrelease since the Fall Creators Update was pushed out to the public, and looks like being the release that re-starts the MS weekly release schedule.

    There's not so much that's new in this release, but there are a *hell* of a lot of fixes for stuff that broke in the previous, 17035 release. One new feature of note though is the SDR brightness on HDR hardware control. As Microsoft put it:
    In addition to this, there's a few more input and handwriting tweaks, plus those aforementioned bug fixes. Here's the complete listing: Windows 10 17040 release notes

  • Stuclark

    Last Friday, Microsoft released the second in their "Redstone 4" round of Insider previews for Windows 10. This is the first release since the Fall Creators Update was pushed out to the public, and so it is quite a large one.

    What's new in this build? Quite a lot actually; here's the highlights from Microsoft's list:
    More changes and improvements to Edge - there's now the ability to "Mute" a tab (such as when opening those sites that start an annoying video advert).
    There's lots of changes regarding input and typing, especially for Japanese character sets.
    You can now buy Microsoft hardware from the Windows Store (if you're in the UK, US or a couple of other places)
    Oh, and there's a nice feature called Near Share (only works with Windows 10 builds of 17035 or greater) allowing wireless sharing of data between two machines in close proximity.
    The full Microsoft release notes are here: https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2017/11/08/announcing-windows-10-insider-preview-build-17035-pc/#qFAA8CXrAT4lYO3X.97

  • Stuclark

    With the announcement today of the OnePlus 5T, I decided to include it in the latest of our FIGHT: series of comparisons. So, without further ado, I give you the OnePlus 5T pitted against our three previous winners, the Sony ZX Premium, LG V30 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

    Comparing phones is always a somewhat emotive opinion on the part of the person doing the comparison, so I have tried to keep this one based upon facts rather than feelings. Some may argue with some of the decisions and some may need explanation. The winning phone in each category is shown in dark green and gains 2 points. Where no obvious winner exists, "highly commended" scores are in light green and gain 1 point)
    Feature One Plus 5T Sony ZX Premium LG V30 Galaxy Note 8 Construction Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Size 156.1mm x 75mm x 7.3mm 156mm x 77mm x 7.9mm 151.7mm x 75.4mm x 7.3mm 162.5mm x 74.8mm x 8.6mm Weight 162g 195g 158g 195g Screen Optic AMOLED 6.01" 2160x1080 401ppi IPS LCD 5.4" 3840x2160 807ppi P-OLED 6.0" 2800x1440 538ppi AMOLED 6.3" 2960x1440 521ppi Screen / Body Ratio 80.0 % 68.4 % 81.2 % 83.2 % Battery 3300 mAh 3230 mAh 3300 mAh 3300 mAh Processor Snapdraggon 835 Snapdraggon 835 Snapdraggon 835 Exynos OctaCore RAM 6GB / 8GB 4GB 4GB 6GB Storage 64GB / 128GB 64GB  + MicroSD 64GB / 128GB + MicroSD 64GB / 128GB / 256GB + MicroSD Camera (rear) Main: 20Mpix f/1.7 & Wide: 16MPix f/1.7, OIS 19Mpix f/2.0, Predictive Phase Detection & Laser autofocus EIS, HDR, Panorama Main: 16Mpix f/1.6 (71deg)& Wide: 13Mpix f/1.9 (120deg), IOS, HDR10, Assisted Zoom Tele: 12Mpix f/2.4 (45deg) & Wide: DualPixel 12Mpix f/1.7 (77deg), IOS, 2x Optical zoom Camera (front) 16Mpix f/2.0 13Mpix f/2.0 5Mpix f/2.2 (90deg) 8Mpix f/1.7 Connectivity 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 2.0 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 Operating System Oxygen OS 4.7 (Android 7.1.1) Android 7.1.2 Android 7.1.1 Android 7.1.1 Biometrics / security Fingerprint (rear - middle) Fingerprint (side), face detection Fingerprint (rear - left), iris detection, face detection Fingerprint (rear - left), iris detection, face detection Protection None Waterproof (IP68) Waterproof (IP68), Shockproof Waterproof (IP68) Charging Dash Charge Fast Charging, Wireless Charging QuickCharge 3.0, Wireless Charging QuickCharge 3.0, Wireless Charging Price £ 499 £ 650 £ 799 £ 869 Availability Late November 2017 Now Now Now Total points 8 5 8 8 ...this newly altered scoring card has produced yet another set of mixed results. While the LG V30 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8 are still kings of the hill, the Sony ZX Premium has dropped back, and the OnePlus 5T has taken it's place. However, this is mainly due to it's impressive camera specifications; should the camera prove to not be as good in reality as it is in numbers (as has been experienced on the OnePlus 5), then we may need to revisit this comparison.
    As it stands right now, our new 2017 list of winners contains:
    LG V30
    Samsung Galaxy Note 8
    OnePlus 5T
     

  • Stuclark

    In the fifth of our comparison articles, I've decided to compare the various flagship phones from all the major manufacturers. In this, part 2 of that fight, we have Mi, HTC, Sony & Huawei. The winner is quite interesting, (as is the outright looser), so read on to find out what the numbers tell us...

    Comparing phones is always a somewhat emotive opinion on the part of the person doing the comparison, so I have tried to keep this one based upon facts rather than feelings. Some may argue with some of the decisions and some may need explanation. The winning phone in each category is shown in dark green and gains 2 points. Where no obvious winner exists, "highly commended" scores are in light green and gain 1 point)
    Feature Huawei Mate 10 Pro Mi Mix2 HTC U11+ Sony ZX Premium Construction Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium, ceramic & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Size 154.2mm x 74.5mm x 7.9mm 151.8mm x 75.5mm x 7.7mm 158.5mm x 74.9mm x 8.5mm 156mm x 77mm x 7.9mm Weight 178g 185g 188g 195g Screen OLED 6.0" 2160x1080 402ppi IPS LCD 5.9" 2160x1080 403ppi SuperLCD 6.0" 2880x1440 538ppi IPS LCD 5.4" 3840x2160 807ppi Screen / Body Ratio 80.9 % 80.8 % 78.0 % 68.4 % Battery 4000 mAh 3400 mAh 3930 mAh 3230 mAh Processor Kirin 970 (AI Engine) Snapdraggon 835 Snapdraggon 835 Snapdraggon 835 RAM 6GB 6GB / 8GB 4GB / 6GB 4GB Storage 128GB 64GB / 128GB / 256GB 64GB / 128GB + MicroSD 64GB  + MicroSD Camera (rear) Main: 20Mpix f/1.6 & Wide: 12Mpix f/1.6, 2x Lossless Zoom, Leica optics, Phase Detection autofocus 12Mpix f/2.0, Phase Detection autofocus, IOS, HDR, Panorama 12Mpix f/1.7, Phase Detection autofocus, IOS, HDR, Panorama 19Mpix f/2.0, Predictive Phase Detection & Laser autofocus EIS, HDR, Panorama Camera (front) 8Mpix f/2.0 5Mpix f/2.0 8Mpix f/2.0, HDR 13Mpix f/2.0 Connectivity 3G, 4G, Gigabit LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 4.2, IR, USB 2.0 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.0 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 Operating System Android 8.0 Android 7.1 Android 8.0 Android 7.1 Biometrics / security Fingerprint (rear - middle), face detection Fingerprint (rear - middle), face detection Fingerprint (rear - middle), face detection Fingerprint (side), face detection Protection Splashproof (IP53) None Waterproof (IP68) Waterproof (IP68) Charging QuickCharge 3.0 QuickCharge 3.0 QuickCharge 3.0 QuickCharge 3.0, Wireless Charging Price £ 799 £ 520 £ 799 £ 650 Availability Now Now November 2017 Now Total points 8 5 6 10 ...The winners from part 1 were the LG V30 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8, both with 10 points. Adding in the results from this round, it seems we have a 3-way tie at the top of the table, along with a shock defeat at the bottom.
    Without further ado; the winners of the Mobile & Gadget best smartphone of 2017 (this week) award are:
    LG V30
    Samsung Galaxy Note 8
    Sony ZX Premium
    ...and the looser (by 1 point)
    Apple iPhone X

  • Stuclark

    In the fifth of our comparison articles, I've decided to compare the various flagship phones from all the major manufacturers. In this, part 1 of that fight, we have Google, Apple, LG & Samsung. The winner is quite interesting, (as is the outright looser), so read on to find out what the numbers tell us...

    Comparing phones is always a somewhat emotive opinion on the part of the person doing the comparison, so I have tried to keep this one based upon facts rather than feelings. Some may argue with some of the decisions and some may need explanation. The winning phone in each category is shown in dark green and gains 2 points. Where no obvious winner exists, "highly commended" scores are in light green and gain 1 point)
    Feature Google Pixel 2XL iPhone X LG V30 Galaxy Note 8 Construction Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar,stainless steel & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Size 157.9mm x 76.7mm x 7.9mm 143.6mm x 70.9mm x 7.7mm 151.7mm x 75.4mm x 7.3mm 162.5mm x 74.8mm x 8.6mm Weight 175g 174g 158g 195g Screen P-OLED 6.0" 2280x1440 538ppi AMOLED 5.8" 2436x1125 458ppi P-OLED 6.0" 2800x1440 538ppi AMOLED 6.3" 2960x1440 521ppi Screen / Body Ratio 76.4 % 82.9 % 81.2 % 83.2 % Battery 3520 mAh 2716 mAh 3300 mAh 3300 mAh Processor Snapdraggon 835 Apple A11 Bionic Snapdraggon 835 Exynos OctaCore RAM 4GB 3GB 4GB 6GB Storage 64GB /128GB 64GB / 256GB 64GB / 128GB + MicroSD 64GB / 128GB / 256GB + MicroSD Camera (rear) 12.2Mpix f/1.8, IOS, Phase Detection autofocus, HDR Dual 12Mpix f/1.8 & f/2.4, Phase Detection autofocus, IOS, 2x Optical zoom Main: 16Mpix f/1.6 (71deg)& Wide: 13Mpix f/1.9 (120deg), IOS, HDR10, Assisted Zoom Tele: 12Mpix f/2.4 (45deg) & Wide: DualPixel 12Mpix f/1.7 (77deg), IOS, 2x Optical zoom Camera (front) 8Mpix f/2.4 7Mpix f/2.2, HDR, panorama 5Mpix f/2.2 (90deg) 8Mpix f/1.7 Connectivity 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 2.0 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 Operating System Android 8.0 iOS 11.0.2 Android 7.1.2 Android 7.1.1 Biometrics / security Fingerprint (rear - middle), face detection Face ID Fingerprint (rear - middle), face detection Fingerprint (rear - left), iris detection, face detection Protection Waterproof (IP67) Waterproof (IP67) Waterproof (IP68), Shockproof Waterproof (IP68) Charging QuickCharge 3.0 Fast Charging, Wireless Charging QuickCharge 3.0, Wireless Charging QuickCharge 3.0, Wireless Charging Price £ 799 £ 999 £ 799 £ 869 Availability Now Now Now Now Total points 5 4 10 10 ...So there we have it; a newly altered scoring card produces a different result. Whereas the LG V30 had walked away with the "best phone" prize on our previous scoring matrix, now we've included screen / body ratio and a couple of other changes, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has jumped up to claim joint first place.
    See part 2 of this comparison for more of the 2017 flagship phones, and maybe a full on, definite winner...

  • Stuclark

    In the fourth of our comparison articles, I've compared the newly announced Hauwei Note 10 and Note 10 Pro to our (OK, my) old favourite the LG V30 and the "king" of Samsungs, the Galaxy Note 8.

    Comparing phones is always a somewhat emotive opinion on the part of the person doing the comparison, so I have tried to keep this one based upon facts rather than feelings. Some may argue with some of the decisions and some may need explanation. The winning phone in each category is shown in dark green and gains 2 points. Where no obvious winner exists, "highly commended" scores are in light green and gain 1 point)
    Feature Huawei Mate 10 Pro Huawei Mate 10 LG V30 Galaxy Note 8 Construction Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Size 154.2mm x 74.5mm x 7.9mm 150.5mm x 77.8mm x 8.2mm 151.7mm x 75.4mm x 7.3mm 162.5mm x 74.8mm x 8.6mm Weight 178g 186g 158g 195g Screen AMOLED 6.0" 2160x1080 402ppi IPS LCD 5.9" 2560x1440 499ppi AMOLED 6.0" 2800x1440 537ppi AMOLED 6.3" 2960x1440 521ppi Screen / Body Ratio 80.9 % 81.6 % 81.2 % 83.2 % Battery 4000 mAh 4000 mAh 3300 mAh 3300 mAh Processor Kirin 970 (AI Engine) Kirin 970 (AI Engine) Snapdraggon 835 Exynos OctaCore RAM 6GB 4GB 4GB 6GB Storage 128GB 64GB  + MicroSD 64GB / 128GB + MicroSD 64GB / 128GB / 256GB + MicroSD Camera (rear) Main: 20Mpix f/1.6 & Wide: 12Mpix f/1.6, 2x Lossless Zoom, Leica optics, Phase Detection autofocus Main: 20Mpix f/1.6 & Wide: 12Mpix f/1.6, 2x Lossless Zoom, Leica optics, Phase Detection autofocus Main: 16Mpix f/1.6 (71deg)& Wide: 13Mpix f/1.9 (120deg), IOS, HDR10, Assisted Zoom Tele: 12Mpix f/2.4 (45deg) & Wide: DualPixel 12Mpix f/1.7 (77deg), IOS, 2x Optical zoom Camera (front) 8Mpix f/2.0 8Mpix f/2.0 5Mpix f/2.2 (90deg) 8Mpix f/1.7 Connectivity 3G, 4G, Gigabit LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 4.2, IR, USB 2.0 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 4.2, IR, USB 2.0 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 Android version Android 8.0 Android 8.0 Android 7.1.2 Android 7.1.1 Biometrics Fingerprint (rear - middle), face detection Fingerprint (front - middle), face detection Fingerprint (rear - middle), face detection Fingerprint (rear - left), iris detection, face detection Protection Splashproof (IP53) Waterproof (IP67) Waterproof (IP68), Shockproof Waterproof (IP68) Charging QuickCharge 3.0 QuickCharge 3.0 QuickCharge 3.0, Wireless Charging QuickCharge 3.0, Wireless Charging Price £ 799 £ 699 £ 799 £ 869 Availability November 2017 November 2017 Now Now Total points 5 4 10 10 From these figures, the Huawei phones can't quite match up with the latest from LG and Samsung; the V30 and Note 8 taking the top spot by some way.
    It's not all as bad as it looks though as camera quality is very hard to judge by numbers alone, and the only real let-down for the Huawei Mate 10 Pro are it's relatively poor waterproofing and lack of wireless charging.

  • Stuclark

    Update: Earlier today (10th October), Microsoft essentially admitted that build 16299.15 IS the Fall Creators Update by releasing it to the "Release Preview" ring of the Windows 10 Insider Preview program.

    Last week, Microsoft pushed out Windows Insider build 16299.15; an updated build of the previous Insider Preview build 16299.1. Considering this is the same base build, but a newer compile of it (with bug fixes), could 16299.15 become the Fall Creators Update RTM build?
    The timing is certainly about right, and this would also follow what Microsoft did with the original Creators Update builds (namely fixing on a "base" build and then issuing incremental updated builds until all the blocking bugs were eliminated); and having been running 16299.15 for most of the last week, it certainly seems stable.
    Microsoft's release notes for this build don't indicate it *is* the final build; but I guess we'll only learn that as we get closer to 17th October. (read the Update 2 line in the release notes)