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Monday, February 12, 2018

Snapdragon 845 speed test: Galaxy S9 should be insanely fast - CNET


"There's little doubt the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S9 will be fast. And on a warm, sunny day at Qualcomm's headquarters in San Diego, California, we found out exactly how fast that might be.
The Galaxy S9 is expected to be one of the first phones in 2018 to use Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 chipset. The chipset is the phone's brain. You can't run the operating system, connect to the internet or process photos without it. The Snapdragon 845 also comes with advanced features that will produce more colorful photos and videos, longer battery life and biometric security that guards your privacy with your fingerprint or face.
snapdragon-845-benchmarking-2Here's the Snapdragon 845 reference device, running a graphics test…"

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Why You Don't Need an iPhone X—Or Any Other Expensive New Phone

"In the not-too-distant past, buying a mid-range phone meant a woefully out-of-date operating system, sluggish performance straight out of the box, and cameras that could easily be outperformed by the webcam on the front of your laptop.

That situation has changed, and has been changing for a while. Today’s mid-rangers come with at least Full HD screens, performance that won’t make you want to throw them at the wall in frustration, and cameras that do a fine job unless you’re trying to shoot photos in the shadows or enter a photography competition.

The Moto G5 Plus, for example, has a good claim to being the best budget phone of the year. For less than $300, you get a capable Snapdragon 625 processor, a 5.2-inch 1,920 x 1,800 pixel screen, and a generous 4GB of RAM—that’s the same amount of RAM as you’ll find in, say, the Samsung Galaxy S8.

We’re not trying to pretend there’s no noticeable difference in performance between the various phone tiers, because there is, but whether it’s actually worth the price markup is another question. When’s the last time you ventured outside the likes of WhatsApp and Twitter to do something that really pushed your phone’s hardware?...

Why You Don't Need an iPhone X—Or Any Other Expensive New Phone

Why Comparing Smartphone Specs is a Waste of Time

"...Even when manufacturers claim a chip is 30-percent faster than its predecessor, it’s going to depend on what you’re doing with it. The speed of the associated memory, the architecture of the processor chip, even the way your favorite apps are written can all have an impact on just how responsive your apps actually are. Unless you’re editing 4K video or playing the most demanding mobile games, those speed benefits might not be noticeable.

More RAM allows your phone to hold more stuff—whether apps or files or background renders—in memory at the same time, but again a phone with more RAM isn’t necessarily going to operate more smoothly than its rivals. The OnePlus 5T goes all the way up to a whopping 8GB of RAM, compared with 4GB on the Google Pixel 2 and 3GB on the iPhone X, but Apple can still achieve top-class performance thanks to the efficiency of its internal memory management.

Image: Alex Cranz/Gizmodo

There’s another factor to consider, which is that Android apps have to be designed to run on many different types of devices and configurations, whereas iOS apps largely know exactly what hardware they’re going to be dealing with. That makes for a more streamlined app execution process, and fewer demands in terms of free RAM.

Both processor speed and RAM are worth looking up on your next purchase, but just remember there’s a lot more to the story than these specs or any benchmarks you see quoted on the web. More so than your laptop or your desktop, your smartphone’s performance is reliant on all of its internal circuitry working in unison, which means isolating just one or two key specs isn’t all that useful for comparing them...

Why Comparing Smartphone Specs is a Waste of Time

Three Things Wrong And Three Things Right With Apple's New MacBook Pro

"...Many of the changes also contributed to the biggest advantage of the new MacBook machines. By going for thin and light, by working with more efficient silicon, smaller components and thinner screens, even the most powerful MacBook Pro machines are thinner and lighter than ever before.

Major steps forward are easy to see, and when they are in hardware the numbers in the specifications do not lie. And getting more power, longer battery life or a lighter machine are all hard benefits to turn down. But the MacBook Pro has lost something in the last few years. It has lost the small touches, the human commitment to higher quality that lifted it above the competition and gave customers little surprises at every turn.

As the MacBook Pro becomes ‘the standard’ laptop of the world at the top of the digital mountain, the loss of these human elements is perhaps the hardest loss to take..."

Three Things Wrong And Three Things Right With Apple's New MacBook Pro