Android Authority Android News, Reviews, How To Thu, 13 Dec 2018 19:19:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 54cc39 Get fancy with Google Assistant’s two new British and Australian accents Thu, 13 Dec 2018 19:12:46 +0000

If you fancy a spot of tea and wish Google Assistant could say the same thing with an English accent, you’re in luck. If you live in the U.S., Google is rolling out two new English and Australian accents.

According to Google, it made the new British Racing Green and Sydney Harbour Blue voices with DeepMind’s speech synthesis model WaveNet. The model uses neural networks to create raw audio waveforms.

The results are more natural-sounding and realistic voices for Google Assistant. The British and Australian accents sound convincing enough when selected, so the technology is seemingly doing its job well.

Editor's Pick

To pick either of the two new accents, open the Google Assistant Settings menu. From there, go to the Assistant tab and select Assistant voice. You should be able to spot British Racing Green and Sydney Harbour Green.

The two accents work across all devices that support Google Assistant, including smartphones and Google Home speakers. Unfortunately, they only work for English speakers in the U.S. as of this writing.

All we have to do now is want until John Legend’s voice arrives for Google Assistant and we’ll be hunky-dory.

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Deal: Learn Wi-Fi hacking with Kali Linux for just $15 Thu, 13 Dec 2018 18:56:39 +0000 Wi-Fi Hacking with Kali Course

Wi-Fi is essential for homes and businesses, but it’s easily hijacked. Wi-Fi hacking is on the rise among the criminal fraternity, and it’s often all too easy.

Businesses are a regular target because they often have money and personal details of customers. Public Wi-Fi is a target too — people access it and have their guard down. While you’re banking on your smartphone in the coffee shop, are you sure you’re not being watched?

You can learn Wi-Fi hacking for ethical purposes. It could be to just fortify your home network or get paid to help out businesses by identifying vulnerabilities. Whatever your motivation, you’ll want to learn Kali Linux: the most popular ethical hacking tool for penetrating Wi-Fi networks.

Businesses pay ethical hackers to identify weaknesses in their systems.

Wi-Fi Hacking with Kali is an online learning kit you can use to become an expert in this dark art. It features expert-led video tutorials that are easy to follow, and you even get a certification to validate your training.

We’re spotlighting it today because it’s usually around $200 to enroll, but we’ve just seen a temporary price drop down to just $15. It’s lifetime access too, so you can slowly hone your expertise in your spare time.

The deal only lasts one week, and the clock is already ticking. Hit the button below to find out more.

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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Asus CEO resigns, mobile strategy revamp could mean loss of ZenFone Thu, 13 Dec 2018 18:31:28 +0000

  • Jerry Shen — long-time Asus CEO — will resign as of January 1, 2019.
  • With his resignation, Asus will revamp its mobile strategy to focus more on gaming and power users.
  • This means good news for those of you who love the Asus ROG Phone, but bad news for fans of the ZenFone.

Today, Asus announced that its longtime CEO Jerry Shen will be stepping down, via Engadget. Shen has been the head of Asus for the past 11 years. His resignation takes effect on January 1, 2019.

Shen will be replaced by two acting CEOs — PC business lead S.Y. Hsu and global customer service lead Samson Hu. It is not clear if those roles will be permanent or temporary.

Along with the announcement of Shen’s departure, Asus also revealed it will be revamping its mobile strategy going forward. According to Asus, more emphasis will be placed on gaming industry products and devices for power users — which means less emphasis on general consumer devices like the Asus ZenFone.

Editor's Pick

Although Asus didn’t make any clear declarations in regard to the ZenFone line, ASUS chairman Jonney Shih described the general consumer mobile market as a “bloody battlefield” in his interview with Business Next. Asus is primarily known as a PC/gaming company, so it makes sense to focus more on making gaming phones than it does ZenFones.

A change in mobile strategy at this point is a necessity, as Asus just had to list a one-time loss of 6 billion new Taiwan dollars (~$195 million) to cover “loss of inventory, royalties, production costs, and organizational adjustment expenses” in its mobile arm.

The most notable Asus smartphone of the year is the Asus ROG Phone, which is getting good reviews. Its wide-ranging line of accessories make it a versatile device, and is the most “gamer-centric” gaming phone of the year, as compared to the Razer Phone 2 and the Xiaomi Black Shark.

Click below to see how these gaming phones stack up against each other:

NEXT: Asus ROG Phone vs Razer Phone 2 vs Xiaomi Black Shark: Gaming smartphone deathmatch

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To make up for lost landline revenue, California could tax text messages Thu, 13 Dec 2018 17:36:28 +0000 An image of the California flag on a white pole with blue sky behind it. Wikimedia

  • There’s a proposal up for a vote soon in California which would tax mobile users for every text message they send.
  • The tax proposal is in part an effort to make up for lost tax revenue from people not using landlines as much anymore.
  • The telecommunications industry predictably opposes the proposal.

Most of us in the United States have unlimited texting on our mobile phone plans, allowing us to send as many as we like with little regard. However, if a new California bill gets passed in 2019, each and every text message Californians send could be taxed, via USA Today.

The tax bill is partially aimed at filling in gaps in California tax revenue related to landline phones. Each year, California makes billions from landline phone taxes — but since fewer and fewer people use landline phones, that revenue is drying up fast, and this new text message bill could help make up the difference.

In 2011, California made about $16.5 billion from landline taxes, while in 2017, the state only made $11.3 billion from the same revenue source.

Editor's Pick

Meanwhile, the amount of money the state spends on subsidizing phone service for poorer residents in the state is increasing fairly quickly. In 2011, California spent $670 million on phone service subsidies, while in 2017 the state spent nearly $1 billion.

The subsidies are related to the Public Purpose Programs, which identify certain telecommunications services as being “universal,” and thus necessary for all residents to have the ability to easily access. If California can identify text messaging as part of the Public Purpose Program, the state would earn tax revenue from “normal” users to then subsidize those who are less fortunate.

Predictably, the telecommunications industry opposes the bill, saying that it is “illogical, anticompetitive, and harmful to consumers.” Industry reps point to non-texting services — such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, etc. — as being platforms which handle the lion’s share of messaging nowadays. Since these services would not be taxed under this legislation, the carriers would be put at a significant disadvantage.

After all, if every text message you sent cost you money, why would you ever send a text message?

The proposal will not see a vote this year but is on the docket for early 2019.

NEXT: 10 best texting apps and SMS apps for Android

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Alleged press renders of the Huawei Nova 4 show off a stunning display design Thu, 13 Dec 2018 17:24:11 +0000 Alleged press render of the Huawei Nova 4. Droid Shout

Thanks to alleged press renders from Droid Shout, we don’t have to wait until December 17 to get a proper first look at the Huawei Nova 4.

The renders show off the circular camera cutout that we’ve come to know and salivate over. The cutout eliminates the need for the dreaded notch, though you’ll notice that the chin’s bezels are still slightly larger than the side and top bezels.

That’s because the chin is presumably where some sensors and the antennas live. There’s room up top for an earpiece, but not much else.

Around back is a triple-camera setup and fingerprint sensor. The most expensive Nova 4 reportedly features a 48-megapixel primary camera. The less-expensive variants reportedly make do with a 20MP main sensor.

16MP and 2MP sensors reportedly accompany the rear primary sensor on all variants.

Editor's Pick

The alleged renders also show off the Nova 4’s color options: black, red, blue, and white. Every color except black features a gradient around back. The blue option in particular looks stunning and is reminiscent of Huawei’s Twilight color on the P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro.

Elsewhere, the Nova 4 reportedly features a 6.4-inch display with Full HD+ resolution and a 19.25:9 aspect ratio, 25MP selfie camera, Huawei’s Kirin 970 processor, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 3,750mAh battery. The Nova 4 might support 18W wired fast charging.

As previously mentioned, the Nova 4 will launch December 17 in China. The Nova 4 isn’t the only phone to feature a circular camera cutout — the Galaxy A8s is Samsung’s first phone to feature its Infinity-O display.

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Holiday Deal: Mint Mobile offers 3 months of service for $20 Thu, 13 Dec 2018 16:45:18 +0000

This year for the holidays, Mint Mobile is offering 3 months of service for only $20. That’s $40 less than the normal price for this plan, which includes unlimited talk, unlimited text, and 5GB of LTE data.

Okay, sure. What’s the fine print?

Actually, there’s not much! Here’s the full breakdown:

  • This deal began on November 22 and is only here for a limited time — the deal ends January 1, 2019.
  • If you decide that Mint isn’t for you at any point during your first week, then you can collect a full refund.
  • Cannot combine this offer with any other offers.

No real strings or ‘gotchas.’ Straightforward, high-quality deals are kind of what we’ve come to expect from Mint.

So what exactly is Mint Mobile?

Mint Mobile is a T-Mobile MVNO (mobile virtual network operator). Basically, that just means it piggybacks off T-Mobile’s network and you can use any unlocked smartphone compatible with T-Mobile. Furthermore, if T-Mobile has solid coverage in your area, then you can expect the same coverage from Mint.

Editor's Pick

Not sure if your phone is compatible with Mint? Click the Bring Your Own Phone link at the top of the page to find out!

What is particularly nice is that Mint Mobile is the only T-Mobile prepaid subsidiary that sells its plans in multiple-month batches.

If you decide to give Mint Mobile a try, you can click the link below to grab 3 months of service for $20. The deal will only be available until January 1, so don’t delay! 

Red Hydrogen One review: Jack of all trades, master of none Thu, 13 Dec 2018 16:32:24 +0000 Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room — the Red Hydrogen One costs a whopping $1295. This is one of the most expensive devices in the market, topped only by fancy designer handsets and certain limited-edition smartphones. Is the Red Hydrogen One worth that much cash? Is any?

Is this phone worth that much cash? Is any?

Edgar Cervantes

The Hydrogen One was announced in July 2017 and doesn’t seem to have changed much since then, especially in its spec sheet. Most people would think you’re a bit crazy for shelling out for this gadget. But every phone has a market, and as niche as it may be, this smartphone should too — right? Red has a very loyal clientele, though they’re also quite demanding. While Red’s professional camera equipment may be expensive, it also competes with the best of the best in the camera industry. Pretty much only the (rich) pros buy Red gear, so let’s find out if the Hydrogen One can make it to some of those pockets.

Join us in our quest to solve the Red Hydrogen One enigma and unwrap the mysteries this very particular device has for us.

Red Hydrogen One review: Design

The RED Hydrogen One’s industrial design is bold. It follows no trends and doesn’t care to fit in with the rest of the industry. Those who want a unique design should really take a look at this phone. It was made to look and feel like an all-American tool, and the company did a good job at it.

The metal body is solid, with lined ridges that will ensure the phone doesn’t slip out of your hand like most other metal handsets do. Not to mention the edge grooves, which do an amazing job providing a firm grip on the phone. Not once did I feel like the device was in danger of falling out of my hands. I have chronic butter fingers, so hats off to Red for that.

The Red Hydrogen One's industrial design is bold. It follows no trends and doesn't care to fit in with the rest of the industry.

Edgar Cervantes

Other materials include plastic and carbon fiber. The current version is made of aluminum, which makes the phone feel sturdy, but is not as strong as the $1595 titanium model, which is coming who knows when. While aluminum is strong and light, I found it susceptible to damage. I once threw the Red Hydrogen One into my pocket along with an iPhone 8. The two had a metal-on-metal fight and Apple’s camera bump seems to have won. Now the Red has a gnarly scratch on the side (see image below). So don’t get too comfortable, the Red Hydrogen One has a solid build, but it’s not foolproof.

The huge bezels at the bottom and top of the phone are odd to find in a world of notches and growing screens, but remember this is a 2017 phone and Red doesn’t quite care about screen-to-body ratio. They were more worried about fitting the two cameras, LED light, sensors, and huge speakers in there (more on all that in a bit).

Along the sides we can find very solid volume buttons on the left, along with a power button, which is also a fingerprint reader, on the right. Some of you will be happy to know Red opted for having a 3.5mm jack. I also like that the SIM tray doesn’t require a pin and you can just pull it out with your fingernail.

Of course, there is also a dedicated camera button. It is Red, after all! I am a huge fan of camera buttons and this is a solid one with a two-stage shutter mechanism. It works like a charm, but we’ll have more to say about the camera later.

The other two cameras in the back are accompanied by a dual-tone flash. Along the bottom we can find Red’s screaming logo and a set of pins that will eventually connect to modules.

Wait — modules?

What might make this phone amazing in the future is its modularity.  The modules are coming in 2019, unless they get delayed to oblivion.

Red will release modules that can attach to the back and expand the device’s functionality. The cinema camera module will sport its own sensor and allow for attaching lenses to your device. This would be serious glass from manufacturers like Nikon, Canon, Sony, and Leica. Other modules can expand the battery and memory.

The modules are coming in 2019, unless they get delayed to oblivion.

Edgar Cervantes

The Red Hydrogen One will also work as a glasses-free 3D viewfinder for an upcoming 3D, 8K camera made in partnership with Lucid. This would make it easy to inspect content without having to offload the data and look at it through a VR headset.

The modules and the possibilities they may open for the Red Hydrogen One make it a much more compelling device for content creators. But these modules are not yet available and we can’t say we trust Red’s launch procedures too much.

Red Hydrogen One review: Display

Red’s made a lot of noise about this phone’s glasses-free holographic “4-View” (4V) display. We have seen 3D displays in the past with Amazon’s Fire Phone and the HTC EVO 3D. The feature was a gimmick back then and many would argue it still is. If the Red Hydrogen One will work as a viewfinder for a professional-grade 3D camera, that is a whole other story. What about the users who won’t be spending thousands and thousands on camera equipment?

I don’t mind gimmicks when you can simply ignore them and use the phone normally. This time, the 3D capabilities get in the way of your viewing experience, even when you are not using the feature. The technology that makes the glasses-free 3D experience possible makes the 2,560 x 1,440 IPS LCD screen look more pixelated than it should. This shouldn’t be an issue at 515ppi.

I don't mind gimmicks when you can simply ignore them, but the Red Hydrogen One's 3D capabilities get in the way of your viewing experience.

Edgar Cervantes

During our testing we also found it is not exactly the most accurate display. Color temperature is quite inaccurate at 8,514 Kelvin, and the average color error (Delta E200) is at a very high 5.9. Brightness is also not impressive, at just under 500 nits.

As a photographer I hated viewing my pixelated images in this screen.

Edgar Cervantes

It is not a pleasant screen to use, honestly. As a photographer I hated viewing my pixelated images on this screen. We certainly wish the screen was better. In fact, I was hoping it would be amazing, as it is meant for creative professionals. This is not acceptable for a device with a niche audience, especially one that cares for display quality.

If you are into the whole glasses-free 3D viewing experience, you will find this screen offers quite the pleasant experience. The technology is still a bit weird, but, oh boy, does it work. It easily beats Amazon’s and HTC’s attempts at it. 4-View images look good and the distance separation is stunningly clear. It is an unreal experience and you have to see it with your own eyes to really understand its capabilities.

In summary, this is a lackluster display, unless you really favor glasses-free 3D viewing. If you care for this 4-View content, you are in for a treat. Playing Asphalt 8 and watching professional-grade clips using the glasses-free 3D screen was an amazing experience. 3D fans will also find this phone more enticing as more apps, games, and movies become available in 4-View.

Red Hydrogen One – Performance & hardware

The Red Hydrogen One looks and feels like a beast, but much like a Chihuahua its bark is worse than its bite. The device performs well, though. Not once did I experience any significant lag or hiccups, but the same can be said about most mid-tier handsets nowadays. So what gives?

The Red Hydrogen One looks and feels like a beast, but much like a Chihuahua, its bark is more than its bite.

Edgar Cervantes

While the Red Hydrogen One does alright in our slew of benchmark tests, it doesn’t even get close to other current flagships.

This is something to be expected from a phone touting last year’s specs. The Red Hydrogen One runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, while all current high-end devices have upgraded to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845. Backing graphics is an Adreno 540 GPU. Not many of you will notice the difference, as benchmark scores are just numbers and the phone is actually pretty darn fast, but if you start pushing its capabilities, other phones will beat your more expensive machine to the curve.

The phone has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, plenty to multi-task and store your content. Oh, and if you do need more storage you can always throw a microSD card into the hybrid card slot.

Editor's Pick

There is also a massive 4,500mAh battery packed inside (more on that in the battery section), as well as a 3.5mm headset jack.

The fingerprint reader doubles as a power button and it works pretty well. It is not perfect, but it’s good enough to be considered a success. It works on the first try about about 80 percent of the time.

Red Hydrogen One review: Specs

 Red Hydrogen One
Display5.7-inch 3D LTPS-TFT
2,560 x 1,440 (WQHD) resolution
ProcessorOcta-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
GPUAdreno 540
Storage128GB for aluminum models
256GB for titanium models
Micro SDYes, supports up to 128GB
CameraRear: Dual 12.3MP sensors, phase detection autofocus, Dual LED, 4K video recording.

Front: Dual 8MP sensors.
Fingerprint scannerYes
Headphone jackYes
SoftwareAndroid 8.1 Oreo
Dimensions164.78 x 85.71 x 10mm
Weight263 grams
Colorsblack, gray, titanium

Red Hydrogen One review: Camera

Red's camera won't be winning any awards, but it also isn't half bad.

Edgar Cervantes

A phone from Red should be all about the camera, but this one really isn’t. It might be an amazing camera once the modules become available, or an incredible 3D viewfinder once you buy a 3D camera that likely costs a fortune. For now, don’t expect to grab this phone and start shooting content your Instagram buddies will get jealous over. The most interesting part of this camera is its 3D capabilities, and you probably know very few people with the right hardware to really enjoy that.

This camera won’t be winning any awards, but it also isn’t half bad. Let’s take a look at some shots and see what it can do.


In the image embedded to the right you can see plenty of detail in the subjects, a bright blue sky, and good hues. Things start looking darker in the shade, though, which shows the camera and software could definitely use better dynamic range. You can’t really tell much about the floor, truck, and tree behind me, something we have seen many other phones do better.

The photos below were taken during a cloudy day, which should offer softer, more diffused light that evens out the environment. Even then, the shaded trees lack detail. Exposure is on the lower side of the spectrum and colors are pretty mute. We thought this may be due to the subject being pretty far away, but when you zoom into the stones all detail is also gone there. As we mentioned before, the images are good, but other phones far surpass this one in camera quality.

Low light

Things obviously don’t get better when the sun goes down. We were underwhelmed with the Red Hydrogen One’s low-light performance. For starters, the image of the Christmas tree came out with obvious motion blur, and the camera couldn’t focus on it well. Believe me, I tried for better. This is the best of seven shots.

Dynamic range is also pretty bad, something we can see in all images below. The shadows are killed. And when they aren’t, the highlights erase the detail, as we can see in the image of me holding a pizza, as well as the image of the band.

These photos also get pretty noisy. The only one that isn’t grainy is the scooter image, because the phone over-softened excessively.


This camera unsurprisingly failed here too.

Edgar Cervantes

Since the camera had issues with shadows and highlights, I thought forcing HDR on (set to auto by default) might help. It didn’t seem to do much, though. I am glad I can see some of the details in the wood when put against live fire, but not enough for me to consider this good HDR.

I thought the strong lights and darker interior of Crazee Burger would make for a good HDR test. This camera unsurprisingly failed here too.


Let’s stop complaining. The camera is pretty good at getting detail given the right circumstances. It did pretty well at capturing individual strands in the grass ball. But then again, dynamic range sent it all to hell by overblowing the stones below, which weren’t really more lit up.

The image of the table and flowers did a bit better. You can notice individual grains of pepper and sugar in the shakers. The salt looks like a mush, but getting that right is asking a lot of a smartphone camera. Direct your attention to the plants and you can see detail in the foliage as you zoom in.

I don’t like how the last two images did, though. I feel like the lowlight environment made the phone use  more softening, which killed detail in the beer’s frost and pizza.


Portrait mode is something I always like to take a closer look at, just because most cameras have a hard time getting it right. This bokeh (blurry background) effect is a result of a small depth of field, which is caused by a mixture of glass selection, more zooming, and a wide aperture.

The Red Hydrogen One, though not perfect, definitely impressed me in the HDR department.

Edgar Cervantes

In essence, it’s a bit of a natural occurrence in photography. With smartphones this effect is done artificially, by using multiple lenses to tell what is in the foreground and background, in relation to the subject. The phone will then use software to blur out whatever shouldn’t be in focus. You can see how many phones could get this wrong, as figuring out what should be in focus is something phones often miss.

The Red Hydrogen One, though not perfect, definitely impressed me in this department. Look at the small pieces of hair in the first image. No other phone has gotten that so close to right in the past. There are still some outlining issues, but I believe the Red Hydrogen One does an amazing job at making bokeh look natural. Mistakes are not as obvious here.

Take a look at some of the other images without Portrait Mode on, though. This camera is actually pretty good at getting bokeh naturally.


Sadly, selfies are hardly ever good enough. This one catches quite a bit of detail and doesn’t “beautify” things by making them look horrendously fake. There is enough detail in the hair, even if it starts to fade in the shades. The natural bokeh also does a great job at focusing in our faces. It is a pretty neat selfie phone, but we have also seen others do better in this department.

Red Hydrogen One review: Software

The Red Hydrogen One uses Android 8.1 Oreo, and we are not sure when it will get Android 9.0. We wish it had the newest Android iteration, but other high-end devices also still rock the older software. We can’t really throw all the blame at the new smartphone maker for not being completely up-to-date.

Some of you will like the device’s nearly stock Android skin. The user interface is very clean, without many bells and whistles to get in the way. The notification center seems untouched. Pulling the app drawer requires a simple swipe from the bottom up, and when you access it all you will see is a list of your recent apps along with a clean grid of alphabetically ordered applications. Swipe to the left and you will find the Discover page. It really is as simple and close to stock Android as you can ask for, considering the significantly different concept Red is trying to accomplish here.

It really is as simple and close to stock Android as you can ask for, considering the significantly different concept Red is trying to accomplish here.

Edgar Cervantes

Red got playful with the applications surrounding its unique features. The phone has pre-installed apps like Holopix, Hydrogen Network, Red Player, and Red|LeiaLoft. Of course, the camera app is also unique to this device, but you already read about that in the previous section.

Let’s talk about each of these apps.


Holopix is the Instagram of holographic 3D, with far fewer people. People can share their 4-View images here, follow others, heart images, leave comments, look at trending topics, and more.

Hydrogen Network

This is a movie and video store for consuming 4-View content. The selection is very limited, but there are some cool options if you are willing to fork out the cash. Some content is free, but most movies range somewhere between $7.50 and $15.

Red Player

Not all gallery apps support 4-View content, so Red provided one for your enjoyment.


This is another store, but it offers games and apps. Again, the selection is not huge, but there is some cool stuff. We hope the portfolio of content grows if this technology takes off.

Red Hydrogen One review: Sound quality

Red was quick to boast its A3D Spatial Surround Audio speakers, which take up a huge portion of the device’s front. They definitely offer a 3D experience, moving sound from side to side, in tandem with what’s happening in the screen. It’s a pretty cool experience, but that is about as interesting as things get with sound quality.

Sure, the audio seems pretty full, with good highs and lows, but it also seems a bit muffled. Volume simply doesn’t get loud enough, too. Like anything else in this phone, it’s a cool experience bogged down by pitfalls.

Red Hydrogen One review: Battery life

A 4,500mAh battery seems like something to write home about, but during our testing we found out it really isn’t. This phone does a really good job killing it huge battery rather quickly.

The phone can survive through 12 hours and 21 minutes of continuous video playback with the screen brightness set to 200 nits. Likewise, it can survive 11 hours and 53 minutes of continuous website loading. That may seem like a lot, and those are surely pretty good numbers, but not for a phone with a 4,500mAh battery.

The Red Hydrogen One has the biggest battery in our test sheet, but it isn't even close to having the best battery life.

Edgar Cervantes

The Red Hydrogen One has the biggest battery in our test sheet, but it isn’t even close to having the best battery life. Devices like the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, Huawei P20 ProVivo V11 Pro, Samsung Galaxy Note 9, and Xiaomi Black Shark all beat it with smaller batteries.

Regardless, you will easily get through a full day of usage without much trouble.

Red Hydrogen One review: Final thoughts

For all intents and purpose, the Red Hydrogen One is a jack of all trades and a master of none. It does alright in most departments, but never really wins in any. This would be acceptable if the phone was priced accordingly, but this $1,295 gadget is beaten by pretty much all 2018 high-end handsets. Some of those get pretty darn close to half Red’s price. We simply can’t recommend any of you buy the Red Hydrogen One.

The Red Hydrogen One is a jack of all trades and a master of none.

Edgar Cervantes

While every smartphone has its niche, this phone’s is very small. If you are serious about video and don’t mind waiting, the upcoming battery and cinema modules could turn this into the holy grail for mobile creatives. If you want the 3D camera the Red Hydrogen One works as a 4-V viewfinder for, Red’s first handset might become an essential accessory.

Those accessories won’t come until 2019, by which time this phone will essentially have two-year old technology. Waiting could be a bit of a gamble too. Red hasn’t exactly proven it can meet deadlines.

If the modules and camera come in time, the Red Hydrogen One’s very specialized functionality will still serve a purpose to video and photo producers.

The Red Hydrogen One performs, feels, and works well. The only thing I truly couldn’t live with is the screen. The glasses-free 3D technology works amazingly, but it also lets down the screen in the all-important day-to-day usage.

I like the Red Hydrogen One for what it is: a concept.

Edgar Cervantes

You can get it from Verizon or AT&T, but I will pass. I like the Red Hydrogen One for what it is: a concept. As a consumer product, it is an overpriced phone with an interesting design. The tech itself is a joke at this price point. It shouldn’t have been released to the general market without the secondary products it needs to compete with other phones on the market.

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2019 iPhone will be thinner and lighter thanks to Galaxy S9 display tech Thu, 13 Dec 2018 15:58:33 +0000

  • Apple will reportedly use Samsung Y-OCTA display technology in at least one of the 2019 iPhones.
  • Y-OCTA from Samsung display will make the iPhone thinner and lighter, and cost Apple less money to produce.
  • The Y-OCTA Samsung display tech is currently used in both the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus.

According to ETNews, Samsung is going to sell Apple some of its “secret sauce” when it comes to display technology. According to the report, Apple will use a Y-OCTA Samsung display in at least one of its 2019 iPhones. This display is currently used in both the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus.

This wouldn’t be the first time Samsung has sold Apple display tech (most iPhones have Samsung displays in them), nor would it be the first time Samsung has sold a Y-OCTA display to another company (the Oppo Find X has it). However, this would be the first time Samsung has sold Y-OCTA tech to Apple.

Editor's Pick

Y-OCTA displays are beneficial for three reasons: they are thinner, lighter, and cheaper to produce over traditional displays. The reason for the displays being thinner and lighter is because Y-OCTA displays incorporate a touch-sensitive layer right into the display itself, rather than needing a layer for the display and then a layer of touch-sensitive material (and then glass on top of both). By eliminating a layer, the smartphone can be marginally lighter and thinner.

Reportedly, Samsung pitched Apple on using this display tech in order to keep its business. It’s no secret that Apple is trying to develop partnerships with other display manufacturers to lessen its reliance on Samsung. LG, for example, was reportedly going to supply some panels for iPhones this year, although that apparently did not come to pass. It’s possible Samsung is offering up the Y-OCTA tech as a show of good faith to keep Apple coming back for more.

It’s interesting to note that, so far, there hasn’t been a Y-OCTA display on the market with a notch. What could this potentially mean for Apple’s 2019 iPhones?

NEXT: Apple tipped to be working on own modem for iPhones, but don’t expect it soon

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Pokémon Go’s Trainer Battles are coming “later this month” (Update: Available now!) Thu, 13 Dec 2018 15:36:17 +0000 Pokemon Go Trainer Battles

Update, December 13, 2018 (10:36AM EST): Niantic announced that Trainer Battles are now rolling out in Pokémon Go.

You must be at least level 10 to participate in Trainer Battles. Eligible Pokémon have their CP capped, with Trainer Battle Leagues doling out the same rewards and give to both Trainers equally.

You can read much more about Trainer Battles in the link below.

Original article, December 4, 2018 (9:53AM EST): After weeks of teasing, Niantic has finally detailed the PvP mode coming to Pokémon Go “later this month.”

Trainer Battles will see players take on other Go players in real-time battles with teams of three Pokémon each, the developer said in a blog post.

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Expanding on the existing Gym battling system, players will have to choose between fast and charged attacks to defeat the opposing monsters.

Unlike in Gyms, however, battles won’t simply be governed by a Pokémon’s power level (CP). Instead, trainers that wish to battle will need to both choose a specific Trainer Battle League category which sets a maximum CP limit for each monster to keep things fair.

There’s also a new mechanic called Protect Shield, which players can use strategically to block damage a limited number of times per battle.

Pokemon Go trainer battles screenshots

Players can take on their pals registered as Ultra Friends or Best Friends at any time, but everyone else will have to be in the same location to initiate a battle.

A new feature is also being added which lets you train with your chosen team’s leader once per day to earn Stardust to level up your Pokémon.

“The Trainer Battles feature infuses the spirit of Pokémon Go with the classic concept of battling Pokémon, creating an exciting competitive angle for Pokémon Go Battles that also feels familiar to Pokémon GO and main series fans alike,” said Matt Slemon, Product Manager for Pokémon Go at Niantic. “The upcoming launch of Trainer Battles marks the very beginning for what we envision for this new dynamic social feature which will grow and evolve over time with new gameplay mechanics.”

Related: Niantic likely developing Harry Potter game exclusive to Samsung Galaxy Note

The introduction of Trainer Battles marks the final piece of the Pokémon Go puzzle, with all three pillars of the traditional Pokemon experience — catching, trading, and battling — all now present in the location-based smash hit.

It sounds as though the game’s evolution is far from over, however. In an interview with Eurogamer to mark the arrival of Trainer Battles, Niantic’s Matt Slemon teased the prospect of bringing famous characters from the games/anime into Go as opponents, as well as the possible addition of even more gameplay mechanics such as status effects or even Mega Evolutions.

What do you think of Go’s Trainer Battles? Let us know in the comments.

Up next: Fortnite Season 7 guide: Start date, Battle Pass, skins, map changes, challenges, and more!

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Blu Vivo Go with Android 9 Pie launches for $80, or $60 if you hurry Thu, 13 Dec 2018 15:05:12 +0000

A few weeks ago, details of a new Android Go phone from Blu leaked out. At the time, the Blu Vivo Go was reported to be priced at $89.99 when it launched. Today, the Vivo Go officially launches on Amazon, but its actual price is a bit lower at $79.99. Plus, if you buy the phone before 10:30 a.m. Eastern time (yes, that gives you less than 30 minutes), you can get the Vivo Go for just $59.99.

The specs for the Blu Vivo Go are decidedly low-end, but for $80 you are getting some features that show up on some phones with higher price tags. There’s a big 6-inch 18:9 display with a resolution of 1,440 x 720. Inside, you will find a  MediaTek MT6739 chipset (quad-core Cortex-A53 at 1.5Ghz), along with 1GB of RAM and 16GB of onboard storage, with a microSD card slot to add up to 64GB of additional storage.

You also get a dual rear-camera setup with the Vivo Go, but don’t get too excited. While the main rear camera is 8MP, the secondary sensor is just 0.3MP. That’s still enough for owners to create some depth of field effects with photos. You are also getting an 8MP front-facing selfie camera and a 2,600mAh battery.

The Blu Vivo Go comes with the Android Go version of Android 9 Pie, which means this version of the OS has been modified to run on low-end hardware, with apps that won’t take up as much storage space. Indeed, the Go version of Android Pie is only supposed to take up 2.5GB of space on any phone that has it installed.

Once again, you can snap up the Blu Vivo Go for just $60 on Amazon if you hurry, but even at $80 this phone might be worth getting.

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