Moral Time

Sunday

Top 10 trending phones of week 50

7:54 AM 0
Top 10 trending phones of week 50

After over two months at the top, the Oppo F5 finally conceded the lead and the Xiaomi Mi A1 is now on the top spot. Those two are joined at the podium by the Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro.




Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 dropped a spot to fourth spot, ahead of the surging Huawei Honor 7X and Samsung Galaxy Note8.




Xiaomi Redmi 4 is back to claim seventh, while the iPhone X held onto eight.




The final two spots are occupied by the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy S8. The H1 Korean flagship returns to the top 10, knocking the Huawei Mate 10 Pro out. The OnePlus 5T is the other member of last week’s top 10 not to make the cut this time around.











Nokia 2 in for review

3:15 AM 0
Nokia 2 in for review

The Nokia 2 is here and enters the line for review. It packs modest specs in a modest package – 5-inch LCD, 1GB of RAM, a Snapdragon 212 chipset – but comes at an attractive price €99/$99. So who is it for? And what does it offer in exchange for that attractive price?


The Nokia 2 is for the buyer that needs the cheapest smartphone, but also wants good battery life. Traditionally, low-end phones had pretty poor endurance, but HMD aims to change that.



Our review will include a detailed battery test of the Nokia 2 but the specs sheet is promising. Couple a 4,100 with a low-res 5-inch screen and a low-power Snapdragon 212 and you have a good recipe for long-lasting battery. HMD promises you’ll get 2 days of use, which sounds quite impressive for this price range.


When you get your hands on the Nokia 2 you’re immediately surprised by its build quality. It feels solid and well made. The entry-level price means there are no luxuries like a fingerprint scanner or stereo speakers, but there is a metal frame and a grippy plastic back. The retail box has the necessities covered – a charger and cable – it’s microUSB as the Nokia 2 didn’t make the switch to USB-C.


The display is surprisingly good too. It’s resolution is only 720p but at 5-inches wide you won’t see any pixelation. The panel is contrasty and gets decently bright too.



The Nokia 2 comes with Android 7.1.1 that’s almost purely stock. Sadly that isn’t enough to make the Nokia 2 a snappy device. Even UI animations stutter a bit on the Nokia 2 while running intensive apps like YouTube causes noticeable lag.


We guess a bit of lag is par for course in this price range but it may put some buyers off. Of course the performance issues can turn out to be an issue fixable through software – we’ll check it out in detail in our full review.



Expect a complete rundown of software, performance, camera, battery life and more, coming soon.

Popular Theming App “Zooper Widget” has been Removed from the Play Store

2:56 AM 0

Theming an Android phone has always been popular among our readers. There are full fledged theme engines such as Substratum, but there are also apps that let you customize your launcher, icons, and more. Zooper Widget was one such app. It was a custom widget creator with extensive functionality, allowing users to create custom widgets, wallpapers, animations, and much more. It was one of the most popular apps in its category with over 1 million downloads, and many people still use it to customize their device to this very day.


Unfortunately, development on the app has been dead for quite some time. Zooper had been developed by Richard Blaney, but the app didn’t receive any updates after June 2014. In July 2016, Mr. Blaney stated that Zooper was no longer owned or developed by him and encouraged users to switch to alternative apps such as Kustom Live Wallpaper (KLWP) or KWGT. But now, the app itself has been removed from the Google Play Store.


Why it is gone from the Play Store is currently unknown. The app may have finally been removed by the developer, but we haven’t heard any updates from the creator so it’s possible it was taken down for another reason. Perhaps it violated some Google Play policy, and since it was abandoned there was nobody to address any issues.


Whatever the case, since Zooper Widget was abandoned for quite some time, it’s best that users take this time to switch to an alternative lest they face issues that can’t, and will never be, fixed. Applications like KLWP are more feature-rich, actively developed and supported, and have a flourishing community as well. We have an entire XDA Android Themes Forum set up for users interested in theming their devices, so check that out if you are looking for new ideas to inspire your next setup.




KLWP Live Wallpaper Maker

KLWP Live Wallpaper Maker


Price: Free+





Via: LumiqCreative (Google+)

Saturday

Top 10 phones of 2017: Best cameras

10:37 PM 0
Top 10 phones of 2017: Best cameras

Looking back on the year past is what December is all about, and we’ve been doing a little bit of that over the last couple of weeks. We started off by going over our battery charts to pick the phones that have the best battery life and then identified the top displays.


Now it’s time for the cameras. Oh, and mind you, we’re talking rear cameras. We’ll do another one of these specifically for front-facing shooters, because there are a bunch of selfie-focused handsets that don’t necessarily do an amazing job with their rear cams.


Google Pixel 2 XL / Pixel 2Computational photography FTW


Top Ten 2017 Cameras


We can go ahead and cautiously declare the Goolge Pixel our favorite camera for the second year in a row. The Pixel 2 and 2 XL build upon the already great original Pixel, swapping out the 1/2.3″ sensor for a smaller 1/2.6″ one, but this one has dual pixels for faster autofocus.


More importantly, though, the Pixel 2 and 2 XL use the 12 million phase detection agents for analyzing the depth of the scene, making possible the inclusion of a portrait mode with just one camera.


The dual pixels are half the story here, though – the other is Google’s photo library of millions of photos that the algorithm uses to figure out what’s part of the subject and what’s background, thus avoiding blunders like keeping your face in focus but blurring your hat or glasses. The whole thing works remarkably well, and makes us wonder why isn’t everyone doing it… Oh wait, who else has a library of millions of images.


Portraits are just one item on the list of things the Pixel 2 excels at. Daylight, lowlight, detail, colors, noise – it’s one of the most dependable cameras that you can rely on to take superb stills across all lighting conditions and scenarios.




Google Pixel 2 samples - f/1.8, ISO 53, 1/2342s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

Google Pixel 2 samples - f/1.8, ISO 54, 1/4673s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

Google Pixel 2 samples - f/1.8, ISO 151, 1/100s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

Google Pixel 2 samples - f/1.8, ISO 68, 1/100s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras


Google Pixel 2 samples


Samsung Galaxy Note8 / Galaxy S8The Note8 for portraits, the S8 for everything but


Top Ten 2017 Cameras


The Galaxy S8 is one of the classic easy to recommend all-rounders that will take great photos regardless of what you point it at. It’s got one of the most competent noise reduction algorithms which coupled with a bright aperture, large sensor and OIS, makes for class leading results in low light.


Same with the Galaxy Note8, and then some. The Note was the first Samsung phone to come with a dual camera – ‘better late than never’ sure is fitting here. Adding a telephoto cam to the S8’s wide-angle, means the Note8 gets a portrait mode (Live focus as Samsung calls it), plus some extra reach. Even though it’s still put on the sidelines when it gets dark, this telephoto shooter has proven superior to competing implementations.




Galaxy Note8/S8+ samples - f/2.4, ISO 32, 1/30s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

Galaxy Note8/S8+ samples - f/2.4, ISO 25, 1/2224s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

Galaxy Note8/S8+ samples - f/1.7, ISO 40, 1/1832s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

Galaxy Note8/S8+ samples - f/1.7, ISO 500, 1/10s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras


Galaxy Note8/S8+ samples


LG V30 / G6Open wide


Top Ten 2017 Cameras


After a selfie debut on the V10, LG’s concept for a dual camera that consists of a normal and an ultra wide shooter was promoted to the main cam on the G5, and has since been found in one way or another on the company’s high-end phones. The V30 is no exception and is the way to go if you want extravagant perspectives or action-cam-like shots with a wide field of view. If you don’t care for the V30’s more powerful chipset and its OLED display, the G6 will give you all the rest for a fraction of the price.




LG V30 samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/1537s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

LG V30 samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/1200s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

LG V30 samples - f/1.6, ISO 50, 1/3580s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

LG V30 samples - f/1.6, ISO 50, 1/213s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras


LG V30 samples


Apple iPhone X / iPhone 8 PlusThe original dual cam, now better


Top Ten 2017 Cameras


1x/2x is Apple’s choice and in 2017 we can see it on 2x as many phones in the company’s growing lineup as last year. Whether you opt for the X or the 8 Plus, you’d be in for the same pleasing results, including some of the better portraits out there. Worth noting here is that unlike the 7th-gen iPhones, this year’s models aren’t waging a war on color – if 2016 iPhone photos were dull and lifeless, the 2017 ones are top notch. Never gets old, this last one.




Apple iPhone X/8 Plus samples - f/1.8, ISO 20, 1/3205s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

Apple iPhone X/8 Plus samples - f/1.8, ISO 50, 1/90s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

Apple iPhone X/8 Plus samples - f/2.8, ISO 20, 1/1656s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

Apple iPhone X/8 Plus samples - f/2.8, ISO 320, 1/50s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras


Apple iPhone X/8 Plus samples


Huawei Mate 10 / Mate 10 ProMoody black and whites


Top Ten 2017 Cameras


Huawei pioneered the color+monochrome dual camera setup and has been sticking with it, much to the delight of black and white shooters the world over. You’ll say that shooting B&W quickly wears off and not every subject looks good without colors, and you might have a point. Which is fine, the Mates‘ color camera is there for you, taking some great shots itself. Low-light performance is class-leading too, and the two cameras can work together to create the all-important blurred background portraits – that’s a lot of checkboxes ticked.




Huawei Mate 10/Mate 10 Pro samples - f/1.6, ISO 50, 1/116s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

Huawei Mate 10/Mate 10 Pro samples - f/1.6, ISO 50, 1/4651s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

Huawei Mate 10/Mate 10 Pro samples - f/1.6, ISO 50, 1/1s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

Huawei Mate 10/Mate 10 Pro samples - f/1.6, ISO 500, 1/25s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras


Huawei Mate 10/Mate 10 Pro samples


HTC U11+/U11 U have what it takes


Top Ten 2017 Cameras


A struggling HTC can still make top-quality cameras – if in doubt, look at the U11+ and the U11 non-plus. The two rely on the same primary shooter, and single as it may be, it’s a really proficient one – the familiar 12MP 1/2.6″ dual pixel sensor, a variation of which can be found on a whole bunch of phones on this page. Must be for a reason.




HTC U11/U11+ samples - f/1.7, ISO 86, 1/3342s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

HTC U11/U11+ samples - f/1.7, ISO 78, 1/60s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

HTC U11/U11+ samples - f/1.7, ISO 112, 1/60s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

HTC U11/U11+ samples - f/1.7, ISO 628, 1/14s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras


HTC U11/U11+ samples


Nokia 8Modern-day nostalgia


Top Ten 2017 Cameras


The flagship before the flagship – the Nokia 8 is doing just fine waiting for the (alleged) 9. A color+monochrome configuration not unlike Huawei’s (only the resolution here is 2x13MP) gives you pleasing shots, day and night, plus the added option of shooting black and white for more artistic moments. Naturally, thanks to the two cameras, you can take portraits with blurred backgrounds – Nokia is riding that train too now.




Nokia 8 samples - f/2.0, ISO 100, 1/1404s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

Nokia 8 samples - f/2.0, ISO 200, 1/33s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

Nokia 8 samples - f/2.0, ISO 100, 1/192s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

Nokia 8 samples - f/2.0, ISO 800, 1/14s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras


Nokia 8 samples


Sony Xperia XZ1Megapixels galore


Top Ten 2017 Cameras


Sony’s leading in the megapixel race – even after relegating the 23MP camera to its midrange, the 19MP that replaced it in the high end is still millions of pixels ahead of the competition (Huawei’s 20MP monochrome doesn’t count). With this in mind it’s no wonder that the Xperia XZ1 is unrivaled when it comes to resolving tons of detail when the light is right. It’s not as awesome in the dark, but who’s perfect?




Sony Xperia XZ1 samples - f/2.0, ISO 40, 1/2000s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

Sony Xperia XZ1 samples - f/2.0, ISO 40, 1/1600s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

Sony Xperia XZ1 samples - f/2.0, ISO 40, 1/2000s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

Sony Xperia XZ1 samples - f/2.0, ISO 1250, 1/16s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras


Sony Xperia XZ1 samples


Xiaomi Mi 6Great iMiges


Top Ten 2017 Cameras


A little underrated and possibly forgotten by now, Xiaomi’s spring child Mi 6 is another one in the 2x zoom bandwagon. Its tele cam brings subjects closer in daylight, and steps aside in the dark – so just like the Note8 and the iPhones then. Much like them, the Mi 6 tries hard to separate subject from background in its portrait mode and succeeds most of the time – so just like the Note8 and the iPhones then. Outside of these special uses the Mi 6 takes excellent shots in a variety of scenarios – so just like the Note8 and the iPhones then. The Mi 6 is in a pretty decent company, we reckon.




Xiaomi Mi 6 samples - f/1.8, ISO 100, 1/1182s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

Xiaomi Mi 6 samples - f/2.6, ISO 100, 1/490s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

Xiaomi Mi 6 samples - f/1.8, ISO 2500, 1/12s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

Xiaomi Mi 6 samples - f/2.6, ISO 100, 1/474s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras


Xiaomi Mi 6 samples


Motorola Moto Z2 PlayWell played, Moto


Top Ten 2017 Cameras


The Moto Z2 Play is a midranger by specs, a flagship at camera. 12 million of 1.4-micron dual pixels, here behind an f/1.7 aperture lens – if those don’t ring a bell, maybe you should brush up on some top-tier Galaxy specs. The Moto Z2 Play puts its hardware to good use and produces high-quality images, day and night.




Motorola Moto Z2 Play samples - f/1.7, ISO 80, 1/3149s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

Motorola Moto Z2 Play samples - f/1.7, ISO 80, 1/3047s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

Motorola Moto Z2 Play samples - f/1.7, ISO 80, 1/454s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras

Motorola Moto Z2 Play samples - f/1.7, ISO 500, 1/17s - Top Ten 2017 Cameras


Motorola Moto Z2 Play samples