Features

8 things you must know about Android 8.0 Oreo

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The newest Android name has just been officially announced! Version 8.0 of the mobile operating system has a dessert name of Oreo, so what’s there to know?

Here are eight of the most important ones:

It’s the second Android version to use a brand name

We were rooting for Google to use “Oreo” for its eighth Android version, which hits the letter O in the alphabet, and they did! Most Android names are generic treats like Marshmallow and Nougat, so this should be something special!

This is not the first time that Google used a brand name — remember KitKat? Version 4.4 of Android was a marketing hit due to the agreement between Google and Nestle/Hershey to produce limited edition KitKat candy bars and collectibles.

Manufacturers are already working on updates

In the Android universe, a new version means another round of waiting for the update to reach your phone — unless you have a Google Pixel or Nexus device. So far, these manufacturers are scheduled to update or launch an Android Oreo device:

  • Essential
  • General Mobile
  • HMD Global Home of Nokia Phones
  • Huawei
  • HTC
  • Kyocera
  • LG
  • Motorola
  • Samsung
  • Sharp
  • Sony

If you’re wondering if your phone is part of the list destined to have Android Oreo, check out our list of devices that’ll receive the update.

Android Oreo promises longer battery life

As always, a new release promises longer battery life. With Android Oreo, Google has made improvements by limiting the activity of apps running in the background. True multitasking has always been a key feature of Android, but it consumes too much juice. Don’t worry, your 6GB or 8GB memory will not be put to waste; they’ll be just used more efficiently.

Picture-in-picture mode and notification dots are exciting and useful

Speaking of multitasking, the famous picture-in-picture (PIP) feature is going live on Android Oreo. It allows you to continue watching videos while using another app without having to hit pause. A shrunken video window appearing on top of other apps will let you do more while watching, and it’s perfect for YouTube, Netflix, and even video calling. Notifications got even better, too — you can check more with fewer taps.

Google redesigns and adds more emojis!

When the Android O Developer Preview was released to the public, we witnessed the farewell of Android’s unique blob emoji. The cute blobs were replaced with a redesigned emoji set that is more consistent with those from iOS, Twitter, Facebook, Samsung, and more. Android Oreo also gets 60+ new ones because we just can’t get enough of the overwhelming amount of emoji available.

Expect a cleaner home screen with adaptive icons

This feature is not exactly grand, but it’ll make a big difference to the unsightly icons that developers and users overlook. Apple’s iOS looks tidy and neat due to its uniform size and shape of icons. As for Android, it’s always a mess! With Android 8.0’s adaptive launcher icons, users will see a more consistent set of icons. It’ll not be as monotonous as iOS, as the icons will still come in various shapes.

Project Treble will deliver faster Android updates

Project Treble is the biggest change to the foundations of Android, according to Google themselves. While it may be the biggest, it’s something the end user might not notice. With Android O, Google worked closely together with device makers and processor manufacturers to address the concern of rolling out new updates. Project Treble takes on a modular approach by re-architecting Android updates, thus making it easier and less costly for manufacturers.

No news if it’s coming to Android One devices

Android One is still surviving, but we’ve yet to hear any confirmation that phones under this flag will get Android O. If we’re to base how Android One benefits the user, it should be able to get the update on newer models. Google is also working on a similar approach of giving the best possible Android experience on affordable devices with Android Go, but details about it are still limited.

SEE ALSO: List of devices getting Android 8.0 Oreo

[irp posts=”18548" name=”List of devices getting Android 8.0 Oreo”]

Hands-On

Xiaomi Mi 9 Hands-On: 2019 Flagship Killer?

BEAST!

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Top of the line specs, amazing cameras, and high-speed wireless charging. MWC hasn’t even officially started yet, so it might be premature to say this, but has Xiaomi just unveiled the 2019 flagship killer?

We recently got to spend time with Xiaomi’s latest flagship and this is our hands-on video.

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Hands-On

Samsung Galaxy M20 hands-on: Give the users what they want

Awakening of the sleeping giant

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Samsung has been the smartphone market leader for half a decade now, and its flagship phones continue to be an inspiration for everyone. However, while the brand is dominating in developed markets, it has taken a massive beating in the developing ones.

Thanks to players like Xiaomi, the South Korean brand has consistently lost market share in countries like India. Samsung slowly prepared itself to change strategy by the end of last year and intends to go hard in 2019. It announced the new Galaxy M-series lineup of phones in the budget segment and the M10 and M20 are the first ones to roll off the shelf.

The M20 has been launched in India for INR 10,990 (US$ 154) and comes with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. The option with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage costs INR 12,990 (US$ 182). The phone goes up against the Redmi 6 Pro, Realme U1, and even the Mi A2.

To start with, Samsung has opted to go with a basic design, consisting of a plastic body that is curved at the edges and is pretty glossy. The phone is extremely comfortable to hold, and the build quality is top-notch. Even the buttons are very tactile and bezels are smaller.

On the front is a 6.3-inch TFT display with a Full HD resolution and small water-drop style notch on the top. This is the first Samsung phone to feature a notch, and the display quality is surprisingly good. The color production is vivid and satisfying, while the viewing angles are perfect. It is easily visible even under direct sunlight.

For authentication, a fingerprint scanner is located on the rear and it is fast enough. You also have the option of face unlock and it works quickly in well-lit conditions. It has dual-SIM support and there’s a separate slot for microSD card, as well.

Powering the phone is an octa-core Exynos 7904 processor, which is considered to be on par with the Snapdragon 636. It is a very power-efficient processor with more emphasis on the cameras. Day-to-day tasks are handled smoothly and games like PUBG are playable with low graphics.

It has a dual-camera setup on the rear, consisting of a 13-megapixel primary shooter and a 5-megapixel wide-angle sensor. The pictures clicked during daytime are decently saturated but lack sharpness. Even focus tends to get slow in low-light conditions. The wide-angle lens works best in bright surroundings only and is a very handy tool. For selfies, it has an 8-megapixel shooter with built-in beauty enhancements.

It ships with Samsung Experience 9.5 out of the box and is actually well optimized. There is barely any lag and the UI offers a plethora of customizations and features. The company announced that the Android Pie update will be landing soon. Lastly, it has a massive 5000mAh battery that’ll get you through two days of usage.

Xiaomi has been successful because it offers users a balanced product that suits everyone’s needs. With the M20, Samsung goes down the same road. While the recently announced A-series phones were for photography enthusiasts, the M20 is good enough for everything.

The M20 is no disruptor, but an indication that Samsung is gearing up. And as a generation-one product, it’s performing fairly well.

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Cameras

Fujifilm Instax SQ20 hands-on: How good is it?

Trying out the new Motion Mode on doggies!

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Fujifilm’s sequel to their first ever digital/analog hybrid is here and it’s looking better than ever. The Instax SQ20 is one classy-looking instant camera but what can it do? With a set of built-in filters and new features like the Motion Mode, it looks like a promising device.

I finally try it out, with help from some doggies, on our hands-on video.

The SQ20 retails for US$ 199 in the US, PhP 12,999 in the Philippines, and SG$ 299 in Singapore.

In case you’re having trouble viewing, watch HERE.

READ ALSO: Fujifilm Instax SQ10 review

READ ALSO: Prynt Pocket unboxing and review: A printer that prints videos?

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