Android Authority https://www.androidauthority.com Android News, Reviews, How To Thu, 21 Jun 2018 19:24:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 54cc39 https://www.androidauthority.com/wp-content/uploads/feed/aa-mascot-192x192.png?v=1.0.2 https://www.androidauthority.com/wp-content/uploads/feed/aa_icon_feed.svg?v=1.0.2 TouchPal hopes its AI personal assistant will make your typing experience more interactive https://www.androidauthority.com/touchpal-keyboard-ai-assistant-878793/ https://www.androidauthority.com/touchpal-keyboard-ai-assistant-878793/#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 19:24:48 +0000 https://www.androidauthority.com/?p=878793

  • TouchPal announced its Talia AI personal assistant for the TouchPal Keyboard Pro.
  • Talia offers quick suggestions, which include one-tap paste, currency conversions, GIF predictions, and more.
  • The TouchPal Keyboard Pro also includes its own set of AR emoji.


One of the most popular keyboards available on Android, TouchPal includes helpful features like GIF search, gesture typing, and more. Thanks to the latest version of the TouchPal Keyboard Pro, you can add AI personal assistant to the list of features.

Called Talia, the digital assistant pops up as a small bubble on the top right of the keyboard. Talia brings up quick suggestions as you type, though the small bubble does not obstruct what is on the screen.

Quick suggestions include “Swift Paste,” a one-tap paste feature that suggests an option to paste whatever you copied from elsewhere into an empty input field. Other quick suggestions include currency conversions, basic calculations with no more than two numbers, smart replies, GIF predictions, weather forecasts, and dining recommendations.

GIF predictions look at common phrases you might type, such as “wow” and “sad.” Instead of you looking for an appropriate GIF, Talia suggests one for a word and replaces the word with the suggested GIF.

Editor's Pick

Dining recommendations, meanwhile, pop up when Talia recognizes words related to food. Once you make a selection from the list of nearby restaurants, Talia sends you the restaurant address and Yelp link. Because this feature relies on Yelp, it might not work in your region.

In addition to Talia, TouchPal Keyboard Pro also includes its own set of AR emoji. Just like on Apple’s iPhone X and Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, TouchPal’s AR emoji lets you record an animation and share it to others. The emoji do not depend on specialized hardware, however, so expect animations to be hit and miss.

The new features go a long way to differentiate TouchPal Keyboard Pro from its competitors. Features like gesture typing and GIF search have become standardized across other keyboards, such as Google’s Gboard and Microsoft’s SwiftKey.

The features also go a long way to justify its premium status. Even though you can download an ad-supported version of TouchPal Keyboard Pro, you can get rid of the ads if you pay $5 each year.

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AT&T’s free TV service for unlimited customers will have 31 channels for launch https://www.androidauthority.com/att-watchtv-service-878739/ https://www.androidauthority.com/att-watchtv-service-878739/#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 18:48:44 +0000 https://www.androidauthority.com/?p=878739

  • AT&T has revealed the live cable TV channels that will be available for its unlimited customers.
  • The new WatchTV service will include 31 channels at first, while there are plans to include more in the future.
  • AT&T will revamp its unlimited plans next week as well: Unlimited &More, and Unlimited &More Premium.


As promised by its CEO last week, AT&T has revealed more details about its new “skinny” live-streaming TV service, WatchTV. It will offer 31 cable TV channels at first, and the company plans to add even more in the future. They will be free to access for AT&T’s unlimited wireless customers, and others will be able to access the service for $15 a month.

The AT&T WatchTV channel lineup will include all of the cable TV networks owned by WarnerMedia, which AT&T now owns as part of its $85 billion purchase of Time Warner that was completed last week. It also includes cable TV channels owned by AMC Networks, Discovery Communications, and A&E Networks.

  • A&E
  • AMC
  • Animal Planet
  • Audience
  • BBC America
  • BBC World News
  • Boomerang
  • Cartoon Network
  • CNN
  • Discovery
  • Food Network
  • FYI
  • Hallmark Channel
  • Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
  • HGTV
  • History
  • HLN
  • IFC
  • Investigation Discovery
  • Lifetime
  • Lifetime Movies
  • OWN
  • Sundance TV
  • TBS
  • TCM
  • TLC
  • TNT
  • Tru TV
  • Velocity
  • Viceland
  • WE

AT&T also stated that WatchTV will add more channels in the future including Viacom-owned networks like BET, Comedy Central, MTV2, Nicktoons, Teen Nick, and VH1.

AT&T will revamp its current unlimited plans next week alongside the WatchTV launch. The cheaper of the two plans will be called Unlimited &More, and will cost $70 a month for one line. In addition to the free access to WatchTV, Unlimited &More will include a $15 monthly credit to use for DirecTV Now, which is AT&T’s full-featured live TV streaming service. It includes access to many more cable channels than WatchTV and a cloud DVR service.

The second of AT&T’s two unlimited plans will be called Unlimited &More Premium and will cost $80 a month for one line. In addition to all the features in the Unlimited &More plan, the Premium tier will throw in 15GB of high-speed mobile hotspot data a month, a higher quality video streaming experience, and the use of the $15 credit for either DirecTV Now, the DirecTV satellite service or AT&T’s U-Verse internet service. Finally, the Premium plan lets users pick one premium cable or streaming service they can watch for free. The choices include HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz, VRV, Amazon Music, or Pandora.

We will have more details about AT&T’s unlimited plans when they go live sometime next week.

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Amazon brings Moto G6 Play and Moto Z3 Play to Prime Exclusive range (Updated) https://www.androidauthority.com/amazon-moto-g6-play-moto-z3-play-prime-exclusive-878651/ https://www.androidauthority.com/amazon-moto-g6-play-moto-z3-play-prime-exclusive-878651/#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 18:09:30 +0000 https://www.androidauthority.com/?p=878651 Moto Z3 Play smartphone in blue in a person's hand.

The Moto Z3 Play

Update: In addition to Amazon, the Moto Z3 Play is also up for pre-sale at Motorola.com, BestBuy.com, and B&H.


Original article: Amazon has introduced the Motorola Moto G6 Play and Moto Z3 Play to its Prime Exclusive phone collection. The phones join a host of handsets available for those subscribed to Amazon’s Prime service, including several other Moto phones like the Moto X, Moto G6, and Moto G6 Plus (5th gen).

The handsets are up for pre-order now ahead of a release on June 29. The Moto G6 Play costs $189.99 while the Z3 Play will set you back $449.99. This isn’t an amazing deal on the G6 Play — you’ll save only ten bucks with Prime membership — but the Z3 Play would otherwise cost $499.99; you’d be bagging yourself about a 10 percent discount on that phone. 

Amazon has further sweetened the Z3 Play deal by offering a free Moto Smart Speaker mod (powered by Alexa) with pre-orders — usually worth $149.99. 

Editor's Pick

Both handsets arrive with built-in Alexa support on Amazon, something that you won’t find on the non-Amazon versions. Double press the power button on either phone and it will launch the digital assistant, which also powers Amazon’s Echo speakers. You can still use Google assistant with a long press of the home button, though, if you prefer the Google alternative. And you can get Alexa free at the Google Play Store anyway, so it isn’t a big feature for the Prime Exclusive phones, really.  

Amazon Prime currently costs $119 per year; take a look at our “Is Amazon Prime really worth it?” article to find out what it offers.

If you’re already a Prime subscriber and like the look of the G6 Play or Z3 Play, check them out at Amazon via the buttons below.

Pre-order now: Moto Z3 Play for $449.99

Pre-order Now: Moto G6 Play for $189.99

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Official press renders show off the Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro’s notch and colorway https://www.androidauthority.com/xiaomi-redmi-6-pro-renders-878709/ https://www.androidauthority.com/xiaomi-redmi-6-pro-renders-878709/#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 17:54:27 +0000 https://www.androidauthority.com/?p=878709
Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro
Weibo

  • Xiaomi’s official press renders of the Redmi 6 Pro show off the phone’s design.
  • The renders confirm several of the phone’s key aspects, including the controversial display notch.
  • Xiaomi confirmed the Redmi 6 Pro will launch June 25.


With the Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro set to launch in a matter of days, the company put to rest any doubt over the phone’s design with its official press renders.

Published on Xiaomi’s Weibo page, the press renders seemingly show off the Redmi 6 Pro’s aluminum shell. Color choices include gold, pink, blue, red, and black. The renders also show off the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, vertically-aligned dual rear cameras, the Mi branding around back, and the ever-lovable display notch around front.

Unfortunately, it looks like Xiaomi sticks to Micro-USB for the Redmi 6 Pro instead of USB Type-C. It also looks like the phone sports two speaker grilles at the bottom. Odds are only one of the grilles actually houses a speaker, while the other might contain a microphone.

From what we learned so far, the Redmi 6 Pro reportedly features a 5.84-inch Full HD+ (2,280 x 1,080) display with a 19:9 aspect ratio, dual 12MP and 5MP rear cameras, 5MP selfie camera, Snapdragon 625 chipset, 4,000mAh battery, and Android 8.1 Oreo underneath MIUI 9.

Editor's Pick

The phone reportedly comes in two flavors: one with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, and the other with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Regardless of the version, the Redmi 6 Pro reportedly includes AI functionality that might allow for AI-powered scene recognition and more.

Xiaomi confirmed that the Redmi 6 Pro will launch Monday, June 25 alongside the Mi Pad 4 tablet, which uses a Qualcomm processor for the first time in the tablet series. Be sure to stick around and check for updates once the devices go official.

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After a week with YouTube Music, my heart is still with Spotify https://www.androidauthority.com/youtube-music-spotify-876155/ https://www.androidauthority.com/youtube-music-spotify-876155/#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 17:10:54 +0000 https://www.androidauthority.com/?p=876155 YouTube Music icon

I remember the moment I first heard about Spotify. While I was shopping a news report came on the radio about a service that would let me listen to unlimited music from every artist, legally, for free. In a world of CDs, iTunes, and computer destroying torrents, it sounded too good to be true. I downloaded the program the second I got home and haven’t looked back since.

During this time I grew to love what Spotify offers. The music catalog is beyond what I could have ever imagined, the personalized playlists know what I want to listen to better than I do, and I look forward to the yearly roundup more than Christmas. 

Recently, Google started rolling out its YouTube Music service. Initially, there was some confusion about where YouTube Music would fit into Google’s music streaming plans. However, it’s become clear the new service will eventually replace Google Play Music, linking directly with YouTube.

Also read: 10 best music streaming apps and music streaming services for Android

This simplification piqued my interest. After Joe Hindy’s hands-on with the service a few weeks ago, I thought it could be a good chance to take a break from Spotify and give YouTube Music a go for a week. This isn’t a full-on YouTube Music vs Spotify comparison, but rather my personal experiences switching to Google’s new streaming service.

YouTube Music looks almost exactly the same as Spotify

As Spotify has been my main music player for about seven years, I expected using YouTube Music would be a step into the unknown. Upon signing in, it was actually incredibly familiar.

The background is black and the text is white, just like Spotify. Artist pictures are circles. Album, song, and playlist pictures are all squares — just like Spotify. Without the YouTube branding at the top of the app, you’d be hard-pressed to tell the two apart. In fact, the layout is so similar I accidentally used Spotify instead of YouTube Music a few times.

youtube music vs spotify

YouTube Music to the left, Spotify to the right. Can you tell the difference?

Of course, for a Spotify user these similarities make everything feel really intuitive. However, Google borrowing so much from a rival seems a bit uninspired.

Despite the similarities in how the apps look, one big difference was instantly clear. When I use Spotify, everything is tailored to my tastes, using data from the seven years I’ve used the service. When I first used YouTube Music, all I got was a page of new releases and top hits.

This wasn’t too big a deal. As I used the app more, the suggestions got better. After a week of listening I was pretty happy with the music being pushed to me by Google. 

YouTube Music's integration with YouTube works really well

YouTube Music’s main differential is its integration with YouTube. People who sign up to YouTube Music have access to all the live performances, b-sides, and demos available on YouTube, through the app. More importantly, you can listen to these songs in the background or with your screen off as you would any other song. This means YouTube Music has a ton of songs no other streaming service can offer.

This feature was useful to me straight away. One of my favorite recordings, The Modern Age EP by The Strokes, is only available on YouTube. As far as I know, you can’t even buy an MP3 version. With YouTube Music, however, I was able to listen to it through the app on my phone.

The YouTube integration is done really well. I was worried including videos in the search results would confuse things, but its pretty clear which search results are from YouTube and which aren’t.

This seems like a pretty massive box to tick for YouTube Music, but other than listening to that one EP, I barely used the YouTube integration at all.

When listening to music on the go, I would pretty much always rather listen to the main version of a song than a b-side or live recording. I don’t spend much time watching music videos. When I occasionally want to listen to a song on YouTube, it’s just as easy to do so using the regular YouTube app anyway.

I’m sure there are people who will get plenty of use from the YouTube integration — I’m just not one of them.

YouTube Music has plenty of playlists, but I prefer those offered by Spotify

The music catalog is another place where the service offered by YouTube Music is basically the same as Spotify. Other than the occasional hole — Doolittle by the Pixies, for example — the app had pretty much every song I wanted to listen to. 

Considering that listening to music is the number one use of either platform, it’s kind of strange that the catalog of songs available feels like such a side note. Every streaming service has pretty much all the songs you could ever want. The extras can make or break a platform.

One of Spotify’s perks is its playlists. This is definitely something I expected to miss during my time with YouTube Music. YouTube Music was still decent in this area and had a few playlists I ended up listening to.

Like Spotify, the service has plenty of themed playlists like Driving, Summer, Workout, and more. I particularly enjoyed being recommended a Cloudy Day playlist when the sky was grey. I’m not entirely sure what I did to make it recommend a Drink Alone Time playlist.

YouTube Music Playlist

This was the suggested playlist theme at 5:30 p.m. on a Friday.

I really missed Spotify’s personalized playlists, like Discover Weekly, Radar, and Time Capsule. I spend a lot of time listening to these on an average week and I discover a lot of new music through them. The only similar one I found on YouTube Music was called Your Mixtape. I enjoyed listening to it, but it didn’t quite fill the gap.

Final thoughts: Am I going to go back to Spotify or stick with YouTube Music?

At the end of the week, I was pretty impressed with YouTube Music. The integration with YouTube works well, even if I didn’t really use it much. I also enjoyed the playlists, though Spotify’s are better.

I don’t think YouTube integration is a big enough reason to get me to move. I’m pretty comfortable with what Spotify offers, love the playlists, and I have some brand loyalty to the service, since I’ve been using it for years.

At the same time, I don’t necessarily think Spotify is a better service for everyone. If I was already signed up to YouTube Music, Spotify’s podcasts and playlists probably wouldn’t convince me to switch either.

There are plenty of slight differences and each service definitely has positive and negative points. At the end of the day, 95 percent of my time on either app is spent simply listening to music. Really, both YouTube Music and Spotify do a great job of that.

Next up: Apple Music vs Spotify vs Google Play Music

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You can now opt-in to Pocket Cast’s open beta program https://www.androidauthority.com/pocket-casts-open-beta-program-878769/ https://www.androidauthority.com/pocket-casts-open-beta-program-878769/#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 16:53:34 +0000 https://www.androidauthority.com/?p=878769 Pocket Casts

  • Pocket Casts announced an open beta for the eponymous podcast app.
  • The first open beta update is already available.


Even though Google launched its own podcast application, Pocket Casts remains the top paid app in the News and Magazines section on the Play Store. Previously available as a closed beta, Pocket Casts announced the beta is now available for anyone and everyone.

To join the open beta program, visit the sign-up page and click the “Become a Tester” button at the bottom. You also have the option to download Pocket Casts if you have not done so already. Once you do that, you should see beta updates immediately.

Funny enough, the first open beta update is already available. The update fixed the issues where podcasts change episode download URLs after episodes are released, bulk mark as played broke up the Up Next order, and the app icon dynamic top filter crashes if the title is empty. The update also includes a faster podcast refresh server.

Keep in mind that, whether closed or open, the beta is a slightly broken version of the standard Pocket Casts app. Updates should arrive relatively quickly to squash any bugs, though new ones will likely arise to take their place.

Editor's Pick

On the flip side, beta testers get early access to the latest features. Those features might include the striking Material Design refresh we saw in May, though Pocket Casts did not say when we might see the visual overhaul.

Pocket Casts also remained quiet on what features we will see following the company’s takeover in May. At the time, Pocket Casts CEO Owen Grover said the app will not harvest user data and not rely on advertising as another source of revenue.

On a related note, I am a terrible person and will use this opportunity to plug sister site SoundGuys’ new podcast. You can subscribe to it and download Pocket Casts at the links below.

Next: Google Podcasts: Everything you need to know

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Speaking to Google Home will now be more natural with Continued Conversation https://www.androidauthority.com/google-home-continued-conversation-878770/ https://www.androidauthority.com/google-home-continued-conversation-878770/#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 16:02:58 +0000 https://www.androidauthority.com/?p=878770

  • Google is rolling out the previously announced Continued Conversation feature for Google Home speakers.
  • Google Home owners will be able to chat with Google Assistant without having to use the “Hey Google” command for follow-up requests.
  • This should allow for a more natural conversation with Google Home devices.


Google previously announced plans to add what it called Continued Conversation to Google Home speakers at the Google I/O conference in May. Today, the company announced that the ability to chat more naturally with Google Assistant is now beginning to roll out to all of its Google Home speaker models.

Read more: Things you didn’t know you could do with Google Home

This new feature will let users ask Google Home to perform follow-up tasks to an initial request without having to use the “Hey Google” or “OK Google” command first. You can turn on this feature now by going into the Google Assistant app, tapping on the Settings menu, selecting Preferences, then hitting the toggle for the Continued Conversation option.

While you will still have to start a new chat with the “Hey Google” or “OK Google” command with your Google Home device, any immediate requests after that will eliminate that need.

It will only be available for U.S. English users at first, and there’s no word on when it will expand to more Google Assistant speakers and devices.

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Google Account gets a refresh, Google Assistant starts rolling out a new look https://www.androidauthority.com/google-account-navigation-security-features-878711/ https://www.androidauthority.com/google-account-navigation-security-features-878711/#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 15:46:27 +0000 https://www.androidauthority.com/?p=878711

  • Google Account support features are getting a refresh with new features and an updated user interface.
  • It includes an updated support section and a faster way to access your Activity controls.
  • Some users are also reporting new features are rolling out to Google Assistant.


Many people who use Google’s online services like Gmail, YouTube, and others may not be aware that they can monitor and control access to those features through one Google Account. Today, the company announced it is rolling out a refresh of the Google Account controls, including a better user interface.

Read more: How to set up a Google Account

In a blog post, Google stated that one of the new features is a way to use search so you can find specific Google Account settings, including how to change your password. There’s also a new dedicated support section to get help on all aspects of your account, including answer to questions provided by the Google community.

The new design includes placing your Google Account Activity controls in the Data and Personalization tab. You can choose which activities are saved in your account. Also, you can view the  Privacy Checkup that will alert you to security issues and show you how to keep your account secure. This Google Account revamp is rolling out now for Android devices owners, and will be available later for iOS and web users.

Android Police

In addition to this Google Account refresh, Android Police reports that some users are seeing the new Google Assistant experience that was first announced in May during Google I/O. It includes a new overview page that has features like the current weather, upcoming events, direction to travel to and from work, with traffic information, and suggestions on what you might want to do with Google Assistant. It’s unclear if this rollout will be for all Google Assistant users immediately, or if this is designed as a soft rollout.

If you’ve seen the new Google Assistant refresh, let us know in the comments.

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Earn up to $121k per year with the C# bootcamp https://www.androidauthority.com/c-sharp-bundle-878316/ https://www.androidauthority.com/c-sharp-bundle-878316/#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:47:50 +0000 https://www.androidauthority.com/?p=878316 C#Last week we spotlighted a great discount on a C coding bundle. If you liked the idea but thought it looked a bit tricky, then check this out. We’ve just got wind of a similar offer on the ultimate C# bundle.

C# (pronounced ‘C sharp’) is similar to C but it’s easier to learn. That’s why Microsoft developed it.

Here’s how we reckon the process went: Take C, update it to make it more powerful, simplify the code so it’s easier to learn, and you’ve got C#. If it wasn’t such a branding nightmare we imagine they would have called it ‘C plus’.

C# developers earn $55k - $121k per year - Gooroo.io

Its’s worth learning too. It has mainstream adoption on the Microsoft and Unity platforms. Big software developers such as Blizzard Entertainment and Electronic Arts use it. Developers love the language for being pleasant to use and well-designed, plus Gooroo.io reports that they earn $55k – $121k per year.

The package on offer right now is The Complete C# Coding Bootcamp – a bundle of 11 courses produced by a variety of experts in the industry. No stone is left unturned In over 89 hours of interactive tutorials and projects.

C#

Taking these courses also gives you a host of other skills for your tool box: Microsoft Visual Studio programming, HTML, and CSS to name a few. You’ll also come to terms with Eclipse, Unreal Engine, Unity, and other programming environments.

Here’s the C# Bootcamp:

The 11 courses sell separately for a combined $765. But until this deal expires, you can purchase the lot for just $41. That means you make a cool 94% saving.

Each of the 11 courses offers you lifetime access once purchased, so there’s absolutely no hurry if you don’t happen to have all 89 hours to spare right now.

Over 1,800 keen minds have already signed up. If you’d like to join them, hit the button below to go to the deal!

The AAPicks team writes about things we think you’ll like, and we may see a share of revenue from any purchases made through affiliate links. To see all our hottest deals, head over to the AAPICKS HUB.


Looking for a new phone or plan? Start here with the Android Authority Plan Tool:

This smart tool lets you filter plans by phone, price, data tiers, and regional availability. Stop overpaying for cell service you hate and a phone that you’re tired of. Use our Compare Phones & Plans tool to fully customize your mobile experience and painlessly transition from one carrier to another!
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Pop-up cameras: Which does it better, the Vivo Nex or Oppo Find X? https://www.androidauthority.com/oppo-find-x-vs-vivo-nex-pop-up-camera-878305/ https://www.androidauthority.com/oppo-find-x-vs-vivo-nex-pop-up-camera-878305/#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:02:25 +0000 https://www.androidauthority.com/?p=878305 Oppo Find X

In less than the space of a week, we’ve seen the release of the Oppo Find X and Vivo Nex — two highly anticipated phones that take a similar, yet markedly different approach at solving the most challenging design conundrum OEMs are currently facing:

How do we make a truly full-screen phone without ditching the front-facing camera?

Many have tried to tackle this dilemma with varying levels of success and ingenuity. Xiaomi, for example, initially relocated the selfie camera to the smaller “chin” bezel with the Mi Mix series, before eventually succumbing to the most popular solution: the notch.

Circular notches, wide notches, thin notches, notches you can hide, or blatant iPhone X-style copycat notchesyou may hate it, but the prevailing attitude in the industry is firmly pro-notch at the present time, with a screen cutout viewed as a small price to pay to get rid of those nasty bezels.

Vivo Nex

Enter Vivo and Oppo, two Chinese companies, both owned by the BBK Electronics group, that have gone back to the drawing board and designed a pair of phones with mechanized, pop-up camera modules and bezel-less displays freed from any notch-tastic interruption.

Yet, while both the Vivo Nex and Oppo Find X offer a similar solution to the same overarching problem, there are still significant differences between the two. The question is: which is better?

Begun, the pop-up wars have

Let’s start with the Vivo Nex, which takes the Apex concept phone’s front-facing camera we saw at MWC 2018 and transforms that device’s whacky gimmicks into a sleek, consumer-ready reality.

When using the phone for general use, the front-facing camera module is tucked away inside the upper frame of the phone. Tap the camera app and switch to the front-facing camera mode and a square panel containing the 8MP (f/2.0) lens automatically slides out vertically, ready to capture those all-important selfies. The whole process takes less than a second.

To its credit, Vivo has already addressed concerns about possible mechanical failures leading to potentially expensive repairs. Here’s Android Authority’s Kris Carlon on the subject in our recent hands-on:

Vivo assures me that the front-facing camera can push up to 500g in repeated trials and its micro-stepping motor, independent drive ICs and control algorithms allow the camera to move with absolute precision. With a special buffer structure design, the camera has also undergone reliability tests such as drop resistance and dust resistance tests. According to Vivo, the camera can be raised and lowered repeatedly up to 50,000 times and withstand up to 45kg of thrust force when extended.

As the Nex is brand new to the market, it’s hard to argue with Vivo’s lofty claims. Bar a swathe of catastrophic mass failures, we’re unlikely to know whether or not Vivo’s pop-up camera is reliable enough until it’s been subjected to regular use for at least six months, if not longer.

The Oppo Find X, meanwhile, goes full hog with the pop-out concept by effectively hiding an extra chunk of the phone inside its body.

The increased dimensions leave enough room for a 25MP front-facing camera, a small earpiece/speaker, and an IR blaster capable of scanning your face to create a 3D depth map — a bit like the iPhone X’s Face ID — to improve the biometric security of the phone’s face unlock feature.

That’s not all though, as the Oppo Find X doesn’t just hide away the selfie shooter in this mechanism — it houses the primary rear cameras too. Here we have a 16MP (f/2.0, PDAF) and 20MP (f/2.2) lens combo and a dual-tone flash.

Again, durability concerns are inevitable, but Oppo claims the module can be raised and lowered over 300,000 times.

Does Nex or X mark the spot?

In general, the Nex and Find X share many of the same pros and cons. Any gadget with moving parts is far more susceptible to failure than those with a static build. With both phones already sporting ridiculously high screen-to-body ratios, you’d be forgiven for not wanting to have to worry about your camera failing to appear as well as any screen damage.

Editor's Pick

Both camera pop-ups are also bound to get a little dirty over time. Most users carry phones in their pockets and bits of lint are inevitably going to get stuck inside the mechanisms with repeated use.

In our review of the Find X, our very own David Imel noted that bits of fluff got stuck in the large module’s crevices quite often. The Nex’s smaller, flatter pop-up should, in theory, leave far less room for any pesky clumps of dirt.

Durability-wise, Oppo’s flagship fares far better in terms of raw numbers, with the Nex’s 50,000 raise-and-lower promise paling compared to the Find X’s 300,000. However, the reality is that Oppo doesn’t just want the Find X’s module to be more durable than the Nex’s, it needs it to be.

By neglecting to include a fingerprint sensor, Oppo is throwing all of its modern (i.e. not PIN or password) security eggs into the face unlocking basket, much like the iPhone X. Unlike Apple’s ultra-expensive phone, however, the Find X’s face unlock tech is all located in the pop-up and must be summoned every time you want to unlock the phone.

That’s instantly a massive usage increase that’s further compounded by Oppo’s decision to hide the rear lenses within the pop-up — the same rear lenses that lack much of the physical depth found on the very best camera phones out of a necessity to accommodate the pop-up’s wider design.

Compare this to the Nex, which sports an impressive, static rear camera, and a cutting-edge in-display fingerprint sensor. And yet the Nex’s smaller module doesn’t come without its own unique set of grumbles…

The most obvious drawback is the lack of room for any of the traditional sensors or an earpiece speaker. The former means you’re stuck with basic face unlock tech of the kind we’ve already seen duped by photographs on multiple occasions.

The latter, meanwhile, has been replaced with what Vivo is calling “Screen SoundCasting” which is a fancy way of saying it creates sound by vibrating the display. If it’s anything like the Xiaomi Mi Mix’s take on sound-conduction technology it may pale in quality when compared to dedicated hardware.

Wrapping up

When pitted against each other, it’s difficult to argue that the Nex doesn’t come out on top from a pragmatic perspective.

The rear camera is left unburdened by the smaller pop-up design and Vivo has smartly pushed its in-display fingerprint sensor as a key feature, meaning you won’t have to rely on its mechanism anywhere near as often as the Find X.

The Vivo Nex is inelegant but practical, while the Oppo Find X compromises its functionality but has an immediate, enduring wow factor.

But as we all know by now, the smartphone industry isn’t a simple case of function over form, and that’s why I believe we’re far more likely to see OEMs follow Oppo’s lead if pop-ups become the new norm (and that’s a huge if).

Editor's Pick

Judged purely on the design of the pop-up mechanism itself, the Vivo Nex is a rough-edged, basic-looking square nub that juts out of an otherwise streamlined product sporting curved edges and a gorgeous elongated display.

The Oppo Find X’s module, on the other hand, slinks out of the phone and looks like a natural, futuristic extension of the device’s eye-catching design. It’s constantly pleasing to watch the pop-up in motion, and that is undoubtedly a huge boost in Oppo’s favor.

The Nex is inelegant but practical, while the Find X compromises its functionality but has an immediate, enduring wow factor that will grab consumers’ attention.

Based purely on empirical criteria, the Nex should be the winner in my book, but there’s a reason you’ve been seeing GIFs of the Find X in motion all over social media.

Who wins? You decide!

But this is all just my opinion (man) and we’re interested in hearing what you, our readers, have to say on the matter.

Do you prefer the Vivo Nex’s design? Let us know by voting in the poll below to see if we can come to some kind of consensus on which phone — the Vivo Nex or Oppo Find X — represents the best blueprint for pop-up camera phones.

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