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Samsung Galaxy S9+ takes top spot on DxOMark

Beats the Pixel 2 and iPhone X

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One of the biggest questions on everyone’s mind whenever a new smartphone launches is, “How good are the cameras?” While it’s often subjective and difficult to gauge from early photo samples, imaging authority DxOMark’s numeric ratings provide a good idea of where a handset’s cameras stand.

The latest entry is Samsung’s Galaxy S9+. It launched during Mobile World Congress earlier this week and is the first Galaxy S smartphone to own dual cameras of any sort. The setup turned out well for Samsung, as the cameras have been bestowed the highest rating ever on DxOMark’s mobile scoring.

With an overall score of 99, the Galaxy S9+ is a point higher than the previous king, the Pixel 2, and two points above the 97 of the iPhone X and Mate 10 Pro. That’s an impressive feat considering how strong the competition was during our own camera shootouts.

Here’s the breakdown of the numbers:

Where the Galaxy S9+ truly shines is in the still photos department. Its 104 points are way above the previous top score of 101 by the iPhone X. Meanwhile, the 91 video score is quite good, too, losing only to the 96 of the Pixel 2.

DxOMark praises the Samsung flagship for having no real weakness. The Galaxy S9+ is strong in all aspects, and performs well in any lighting situation. Other advantages are the secondary lens on the back for optical zooming (something the smaller Galaxy S9 doesn’t have) and a true portrait mode that blurs out the subject’s background.

But before Samsung can celebrate, they have to accept that it’s still early in 2018. With flagships from Huawei coming out soon and both Google and Apple releasing even better smartphones later this year, these rankings can easily turn to another’s favor.

We’ll have to get the Galaxy S9+ in our hands for a full review before we can attest to these scores. Stay tuned for that.

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Sony confirms Android Pie rollout schedule

Updates coming in October to March

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Months after launch, the coveted Android Pie is still the rarest operating system out in the wild. With Android’s notoriety, the new operating system’s incredibly low distribution rates don’t come as a surprise. Currently, only the top smartphones have tasted a piece of Pie. Even then, new adopters are only slowly trickling in.

Surprisingly, Sony has accelerated their upgrade schedules, leaving other brands trailing in the dust. Already, the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact are receiving Android Pie updates. Meanwhile, the new XZ3 comes with the operating system fresh out of the box.

Today, the company has announced further updates to the old schedule. Within the next few weeks, Sony’s older models will receive the new update. Starting October 26, Android Pie will roll out to the XZ Premium, the XZ1, and the XZ1 Compact. Meanwhile, the XZ2 Premium can enjoy the new operating system starting November 7.

Additionally, the XA2, the XA2 Ultra, and the XA2 Plus will get Android Pie on March 4.

Notably, the announced phones are older than Android Pie’s current lineup. This is the most concrete schedule that Android has enjoyed. While other brands have promised future updates, not many have fulfilled their end of the bargain.

That said, expect the same dismal adoption rates in the future. Even now, the preceding Android Oreo still hasn’t taken over a sizable share of the smartphone market. While Sony’s announcement is a step up, can we expect other brands to step up as well?

SEE ALSO: Sony unveils Xperia XZ3 with best-possible specs and features

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Xiaomi confirms manual sliding camera mechanism of Mi Mix 3

This phone is going to be one-of-a-kind

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Image credit: Xiaomi

Xiaomi is on a roll just a few days before they officially announce their newest smartphone — the Mi Mix 3. After confirming a couple of advanced specifications, the Chinese company posted a teaser video about the phone’s much-speculated camera mechanism.

Apart from having 10GB of memory and uber-fast 5G connectivity, the Mi Mix 3 has another special feature: manual sliding mechanism. We’re slowly going back to the good old days of slider phones, but the Mi Mix 3’s implementation is for the cameras.

Fortunately, Xiaomi still refrained from putting a notch on the new Mi Mix phone and resorted to another design option. The OPPO Find X and Vivo NEX are notch-free, borderless phones using pop-up cameras, but both differ in application. As for Xiaomi, they wanted something a bit different. Here’s the teaser:

At last, Xiaomi confirmed the design of the Mi Mix 3’s cameras and, frankly, this is something we are looking forward to. The video shows the manual sliding cameras of the Mi Mix 3; it’s quite similar to the Find X’s but without the use of a motor.

Here are more photos of the Mi Mix 3 taken from the teaser:

Apart from the mechanism, the teaser also unveiled a few things about the Mi Mix 3. First, it supports facial recognition to enable face unlock and authentication. The front cameras will have dual sensors with a resolution of 24 megapixels. And lastly, the phone supports contactless payments.

Xiaomi will have a number of features to talk about during the Mi Mix 3 launch that’s happening on October 25 in Beijing.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi confirms 10GB RAM and 5G connectivity of the Mi Mix 3

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ASUS ROG Phone tops AnTuTu benchmark for Android in September 2018

As it finally hits stores

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Even though ASUS announced the ROG Phone during Computex a few months ago, it’s only now we’re seeing the gaming smartphone hit store shelves. Since these are retail units we’re talking about, benchmark scores are also making their way to performance charts.

AnTuTu has released its latest standings, encompassing all Android phones benchmarked during the month of September 2018. As expected, the ROG Phone is at the very top.

With a score of 299,706, ASUS’ one and only gamer-centric phone surpasses the likes of Xiaomi’s Black Shark and the latest (for now) OnePlus handset.

It’s certainly a strong showing for ASUS, and proves that the ROG Phone was worth the wait. It’s currently shipping in the US with a starting price of US$ 899, but a host of accessories can easily drive that price up.

But before we give the crown to ASUS, it’s important to note that these numbers are only for Android devices. When taking Apple’s iOS products into consideration, the ranking changes quite a bit.

AnTuTu’s other September 2018 chart, which includes only Apple devices, shows that the iPhone XS and XS Max haves scores of 348,581 and 348,148 points, respectively. They blow away whatever the Android camp currently has to show, and prove that Apple is still the leader in raw performance.

However, all this could change come November once all the new smartphones are tested. We have the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, Razer Phone 2, OnePlus 6T, and Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 to consider soon.

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