• jonmorris

    Honor today announced the arrival of its latest, and arguably most impressive phone yet: The Honor 8 Pro. It marks the start of a new line of phones from the trendy startup that’s part of Huawei’s ever growing empire. Jonathan Morris of jmcomms.com published the following:

    Some of you will already be well aware of this phone, as a rebrand of the Honor V9 that went on sale in China earlier this year. It was always pretty likely that it would make an appearance here after a while, and here it is.
    Think of it is as cross between the current flagship Honor 8, and the Huawei Mate 9 – with some of the software features from the latest Huawei P10.

    Honor 8 Pro: The phone built for speed
    Rather than waffle on, let me list the highlights:
    A 5.7-inch QHD LCD display, designed for immersive VR experiences – and made possible to enjoy straight away because the Honor 8 Pro box itself converts into a Google Cardboard VR headset. A 4,000mAh battery. Take note Samsung! The same Kirin 960 chipset as powering the Huawei Mate 9 and Huawei P10, which has a GPU that offers a staggering 180% performance increase over the Kirin 955 used in last year’s flagship Huawei P9. A 12-megapixel f/2.2 dual-camera, with wide aperture mode, and now offering a standalone monochrome mode like the Leica-branded Huawei models 6GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage and a memory card slot Available in three colours (blue at launch) £474.95 retail price
    All of that represents a lot of phone for the money, and alongside the Honor 8, a personal favourite of mine, Honor now has something to suit those who found a 5.2-inch screen too small, but perhaps didn’t want to sacrifice performance and functionality for the cheaper Honor 6X that had a 5.5-inch display.
    While the Mate 9 and Honor 8 Pro aren’t entirely separated at birth (the Huawei phone having a 5.9-inch screen and a pseudo-stereo sound system in landscape mode), there are still many similarities and, like the Honor 8 vs the Huawei P9, the Honor phone actually offering more functionality in some areas.
    Take the Mate 9 with a Full-HD display on all but the more expensive Pro models, whereas Quad-HD is standard here. Likewise, 6GB is standard on the Honor, compared to 4GB.
    What the Mate 9 does offer over the Honor 8 Pro is a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor coupled to a 12-megapixel colour sensor, but the Honor 8 camera is still a great performer to this day and can hold its own to a lot of the competition.
    Read my full review and check out my photo and video gallery. The Honor 8 Pro supports fast charging (9V/2A), whereas the Huawei models supports even faster ‘super’ charging. The other thing to note is that, for now at least, no UK network will be stocking the phone. The only way to get one is direct from Honor’s online store itself.
    The Honor 8 Pro can be pre-ordered from today, in platinum gold, midnight black or navy blue. Take my advice and get the blue. It may not have the wonderful shimmering effect on the back, but it’s still the most stylish of the three.
    To help make up your mind, there’s no need to wait for a review as it’s already here!
    The Honor 8 Pro should start being delivered to customers around April 20th.

    More info: Honor 8 Pro Store
     
    This article was originally published by Jon on his website jmcomms.com and is copyright to Jonathan and his website

  • Stuclark

    They're the most important phones of the year so far, so lets have a head to head battle to see which one comes out on top.

    Comparing phones 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 decissions and some may need explaination. For example, the S8 wins the screen category purely because it has the highest ppi (pixels per inch) rating; screen size has been ignored; and the G6 wins the rear camera category because the dual lens feature allows for more flexibility, even if the S8 / S8+ camera has a slightly better f stop rating.
    (the winning phone in each category is shown in dark green and gains 2 points. Where no obvious winner exists, or where the size of the S8+ is a contributing factor, "highly commended" scores are in light green and gain 1 point)
    Feature LG G6 Galaxy S8 Galaxy S8+ Construction Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Candybar, aluminium & glass Size 148.9mm x 71.9mm x 7.9mm 148.9mm x 68.1mm x 8.0mm 159.5mm x 73.4mm x 8.1mm Weight 163g 155g 173g Screen 5.7" 2880x1440 564ppi 5.8" 2960x1440 570ppi 6.2" 2960x1440 529ppi Battery 3300 mAh 3000 mAh 3500 mAh Processor Snapdraggon 821 Exynos OctaCore Exynos OctaCore RAM 4GB 4GB 4GB Storage 32GB + MicroSD 64GB + MicroSD 64GB + MicroSD Camera (rear) Dual 13Mpix f/2.4 (125deg) & f/1.8 (71deg), IOS, HDR10, AssistedZoom 12Mpix f/1.7 "dual pixel" IOS 12Mpix f/1.7 "dual pixel" IOS Camera (front) 5Mpix f/2.2 IOS 8Mpix f/1.7 IOS 8Mpix f/1.7 IOS Connectivity 3G, 4G, LTE 600Mb, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 4.1, USB 3.1 3G, 4G, LTE 1000Mb, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 3G, 4G, LTE 1000Mb, WiFi AC, NFC, GPS, Bt 5.0, USB 3.1 Android version Android 7.0 Android 7.0 Android 7.0 Fingerprint Sensor Yes, rear (middle) Yes, rear (left) Yes, rear (left) Protection Waterproof (IP68), Shockproof Waterproof (IP68) Waterproof (IP68) Charging QuickCharge 3.0 QuickCharge 3.0, Wireless Charging QuickCharge 3.0, Wireless Charging Price £ 649 £ 689 £ 779 Availability 27th April 2017 20th April 2017(pre-order delivery) 20th April 2017 (pre-order delivery) Total points 14 18 17 The table speaks for itself, with the highest score, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is the winner, narrowly beating it's larger brother, the Samsung Galaxy S8+.

  • Stuclark

    Just before MWC 2017, Samsung told us that they wouldn't be launching their flagship Galaxy S8 at the trade event, instead they'd be releasing it "some time soon". This should have been everything LG needed to steal a large chunk of important market share from their arch rivals. Unfortunately, it looks like they missed a trick; here's why...

    With Samsung out of the picture, LG rightly stole most of the press attention at MWC with the launch of their G6 handset, which, in the most part, is a very nice piece of kit. However, in order to fully capitalise on Samsung's delay, they needed to do one thing, do it well, and do it quickly...
    Get the phone into the hands of users before Samsung launched the S8.
    ... they didn't. At the time of writing (after Samsung have launched the S8, *and* anounced it's worldwide availability), we still don't know when a large number of key markets, including Europe, are going to get the G6 (and only in Korea is the phone currently available, leading to a huge number of grey import sales). Epic fail!
    The Samsung phone bests the LG phone in most ways, apart from ergonomics and the lovely Quad-DAC audio chipset in the Asia-only version of the G6. However, consumers are a fickle bunch, and if they could have gotten the G6 faster, before they knew when they'd have to stump up almost £700 for Samsung's latest, they would have forgone Quad-DAC and Wireless Charging (only available on US G6s), to have the latest phone in their hands.
    Overall, this is a massive mistake for LG. They had the world eating out of their palm and they missed it. Maybe they couldn't ramp production quickly enough, but if that were the case they should have run a pre-order system like Samsung and Apple do to keep the buzz going. If production quantities were not the issue and maybe the phone's variant models were the issue, LG should have scraped all that this-feature, that-feature crap and given the whole world the same phone, like Samsung do.* They didn't do that either.
    All I can say is... oops!
    *Samsung and others vary the frequencies in use for LTE and on some handsets add CDMA support, but mostly their specs stay the same for all world handsets. LG produce 3, 4 or 5 physically different variants of a phone, some missing feature A, some feature B etc.

  • Stuclark

    After what has been the longest, least secure lead-up to a phone launch, Samsung have finally taken the covers off (sorry, Unboxed) their Galaxy S8 and S8+ phones. And the biggest news? Guess what, all the rumours were true!

    We already know the spec of these phones, but I'll run over it again for clarity. I've got to be honest, these are the best spec'd phones on the market at the moment.
    Format: Candybar; non-modular aluminium sides & glass front & back construction Screen: 5.8" QHD+ 2960x1440 570ppi (S8), 6.2" QHD+ 2960x1440 529ppi (S8+) Size: 148.9mm long x 68.1mm wide x 8.0mm deep (S8), 159.5mm long x 73.4mm wide x 8.1mm deep (S8+) Weight: 155g (S8), 173g (S8+) Battery: (non-removable) 3000 mAh (S8), 3500 mAh (S8+) Processor: Exynos Octa-core (most markets), Qualcomm SnapDragon 835 (US market) Cameras (main): Dual-pixel 12MP camera (F1.7), supporting IOS, Camera (front): 8MP (F1.7) RAM: 4GB Storage: 64GB UFS2.0 internal storage, plus MicroSD slot Conectivity: 3G, 4G, LTE (600Mb download), WiFi, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, USB 3.1 Android version: Nougat 7.0. Samsung Experience 8.0 Colours: Black, Grey, Blue, Pink (with more to come) Fingerprint sensor: Rear, to the side of the camera (right hand side when the screen is face down) Waterproofing: IP68 dust and waterproofing Charging: Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0 and Wireless charging Cost: £689 (S8), £779 (S8+) Availability: UK release on 28th April. Pre-orders shipped on 20th April if ordered before 19th That cost, it's huge! Samsung really are trying to copy Apple here...




  • Stuclark

    Microsoft have anounced that the Windows 10 Creators Update will start rolling out to all and sundry on 11th April 2017.

    This edition of Windows 10 has already reached RTM, with Windows Insiders getting the RTM build last week. In a change from previous releases, Microsoft didn't tell insiders that they were testing an RTM candidate build, they've just kinda admitted it by letting world and dog now know that build 15063 is indeed RTM.
    Microsoft's full release notes are online, but they've got and muddied the water by including info on Surface Book and Surface Studio (both nice bits of kit, if MS want to lend me a couple) but they have mentioned a few of the highlights in Creators Edition. Oddly though, (and in their words it will be "because there are so many awesome updates") they've missed out, or glossed over some of the changes which will matter most in the real world.
    Without further ado, the changes I think we need care about are:
    VASTLY improved scaled application redering - this is especially important for those pesky apps like Adobe Photoshop, which until now have been fairly un-useable on a high res laptop display Improved OOBE experience, particularly centred around metered or walled-garden style wireless connections. It might not sound like much, but I bet a whole raft of people benefit from this without even realising Loads of Windows Ink improvements; again they sound small, but when you use Ink a lot (or even a little) they make a huge difference Gaming Mode - this is massive for Microsoft; it's a whole bunch of updates and technologies to tie Windows 10 and X-box even more tightly together. You can now "cast" or broadcast / video share a game as you're playing it, and you can interact with people watching your cast in real time. MS are really wooing game developers with this release, and these features show that off in spaded Edge: Yep, as far as Microsoft are concerned, Edge is *the* browser that we should all be using. In the release notes (linked above) they make repeated and multi-asterixed claims about how Edge is now better than Chrome* (they don't pick a fight with Firefox... interesting...) and how it reneders more quickly, detects more phishing sites and upholds your battery better. I have to say that other than a few glaring omissions, I can actually now use Edge as my main browser, and I only swear at it occassionaly! ... there are loads and loads of other little things, like being able to have folders in the start menu. No, not the Applications list, like we've been able to do since Windows 95, this time we're talking about the tiled bit. Personally I don't know why you'd ever want to do this, especially not on a desktop, but I guess it makes sense in Tablet and Phone modes.
    Here's a fuller list of changes I stole from another site (thanks ElReg)
    Action center shows download progress for apps Auto Numlock when typing a PIN Beam Streaming: new FTL streaming protocol, start broadcasts from Game Bar Braille support (in Ease of Access settings) Compact Overlay mode ("Picture in Picture") for UWP applications Cortana "pick up where you left off" feature Custom color accents in color settings Download Windows 10 themes from Store Dynamic lock: lock PC automatically when paired phone is not connected Edge browser: many new features Epub support in Edge and Book section in Windows Store Game Bar (Windows + G) – quickly record, broadcast or snaphot images from current game Game Mode – optimize PC for gaming Gaming section in Windows settings Improved Hyper-V admin client with zoom and auto-resize options Mono audio (in Ease of Access settings) More touchpad gestures, eg create or remove virtual desktops Narrator improved with form field navigation (Ease of Access) New icons for Windows Update and Share New inking features including left-handed option Night Light option in Display settings Option to install apps from Store only Paint 3D application Photos app: many new features PowerShell more prominent eg in Windows-X menu Protractor tool in Sketchpad app Redesigned camera app RegEdit has new Address Bar, for easier navigation Separate process for each Windows Service on PCs with enough RAM Start menu: show or hide app list Storage Sense setting automatically frees space Toast notifications support progress bars Troubleshooting option in Modern settings USB Audio 2.0 native support Virtual touchpad for external displays Windows Defender new notification icon and security center Windows Services for Linux improved, Ubuntu Xenial by default Windows update no longer reinstalls removed applications

  • Stuclark

    Another day, another build... they're coming thick and fast now - late yesterday evening (UK time) Microsoft released Insider Preview build 15063 to the fast ring.

    As is to be expected at this point in the release cycle (very close to a final Creators Update build), there's no new features in this build, just some more bug fixes. The fixes themselves are fairly boring, but one of the "known issues" from this build caught my eye:
    So, Microsoft, your internal testing has started on the upgrade process from the last public build .... well, well, well, you clearly feel very close to release. Unfortunately, the upgrade path for Windows Mobile isn't working quite as well yet:
    As ever, the full release notes are here for your perusal.

  • Stuclark

    Phew, it's getting a bit busy around here ... scorching a trail in the wheel tracks of 15060, Microsoft have now released build 15061 to insiders in the fast ring.

    I can't recall any other time during the entire Windows 10 development cycle when we've been given two different builds on the same day, but Microsoft obviously felt it necessary this time around, as we're getting a build that's one up from the previous one, but with an extra four bug fixes (not, interestingly, any of the one which were "known issues" in 15060) - here's the full release notes.
    Oh, and the bloody build identifier is back ... I wish Microsoft would just make their mind up about whether it is or isn't visible on all insider builds.

  • Stuclark

    Builds are coming thick and fast this week, but the actual "jumps" in build ID are slowing... this can only mean one thing (that's that we're getting close to a release candidate build)... Microsoft duly presents Windows Insider Preview build 15060

    The full release notes are here, but to summarise, this build is about more bug fixes ... not an awful lot this time round (only 7 listed, of which only 1 could be described as a major "issue", and even then it was easy to mitigate), and um... that's about it.
     
    There's 6 outstanding "known issues" with this build, which is actually the same as the last build, because Microsoft have gone and added 3 new issues to counter the one's they've fixed, but overall, I'd say this build is pretty good (as have been the last couple, actually).
     
    It can't be long now... Spring is (almost, definitely) upon us soon..