Android 8.0 Oreo whats inside

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What’s Inside Android 8.0 Oreo?

Today Google has released there new Android OS version 8.0. (Code Name Oreo) If you are interesting in watching the live stream announcement from Google then watch the video here.

The Android 8.0 Oreo Firmware has been released and you will find it here, with this link to access all of the new firmware images from Google. You will need to know the code name IE (sailfish Marlin) of your nexus or pixel device to make sure you download the right version. If you need help installing this firmware then check out my tutorial HERE.

Lets take a look.

RootJunky

 

Google and Apple Hate Italians

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Google and Apple hate Italians, Samsung hates the British but One Plus likes everyone.

First the back story

For those that don’t know me, I started writing for the RootJunky website about a month ago. My last post was a review of the Nexus 6P, it’s a great device by the way. Check out the review here. I ended that post with:

“Well it (Nexus 6P) may be the best value for your dollar unless you are Italian. Why am I picking on the Italians? Well I’m not, but come back to view my next post and find out who is”

So who is picking on the Italians? Well it looks like Google and Apples are teaming up against the country that brought pizza to the world.

Ok there are a few things that I should say right off the bat. I am not an economist or an accountant. I am not even a professional journalist. I am just a guy that likes tech and has opinions to share. This week I would like to share some interesting thing that I found when reviewing the price for the Nexus 6P.

I live in Canada and my good friend Tom the RootJunky lives in the USofA. It is standard knowledge that technology items are cheaper south of the border but after you work out the exchange it is usually a wash. A few bucks here or there, no big deal. While writing my review I had watched an angry Damir Franc rant about the price of the Nexus in German. I decided to investigate further.

Investigating prices

I started my investigation by picking a few countries spread throughout our little planet. I looked at the rate of exchange; this was in early november, and compared prices. Have a look at what i found out below.

6p

 

nexus 6P

If you compare the prices for the 32gb, 64gb, and 128gb models, Italians are paying an average of $285.58 extra for their phones. That sucks! Small wonder why Damir was so upset. He lives in Germany not Italy, but i am sure that most countries that use the Euro are very close in price. Things are not much better in New Zealand or the United Kingdom. My fellow Canadians are doing ok but the pacific side of the world, not so much. Australia is overcharged by $160, Japan by $130 and India by about a hundred dollars. Why? I have not clue. Honestly i don’t know why this happens. I decided to investigate a little further.

I thought to myself that this may be a Google thing? Perhaps Apple does it differently? Nope have a look at there numbers below.

6s

iphone 6s

The iphone 6s had nearly identical overcharges when compared to the 6p. Uk, Italy, Australia and New Zealand were within $15 dollars of the Nexus overcharge amount. Again, my hockey playing brethren had the best deal at $65 overcharge but those iphones are so damned expensive already. Japan did ok but India got treated like an Italian stepson by accounting department at Apple. Again I am asking why? Perhaps both companies have some long standing vendetta against spaghetti and are now planning to make the entire country suffer?

Did samsung come out any better? Not really. Their chart and numbers are below. Samsung was a little nicer to the Italians and India but they seem to dislike the people that brought us Dr. Who. Your average Brit is paying over $200 more than an american for the same phone. The south Korean company seems to like Canadians, as we are pay about $3 less than anyone else. As a Canadian all I can say is “sorry about that, eh.”

6 edge

Galaxy 6 Edge

Throughout this entire time I was researching prices, the question of why kept on coming around and I had not found a solid answer. While looking for that answer I did question my methods. I was using a dollar conversion rate from a random day in November, the prices I used for the phones were just pulled off of websites that were easily translated. My Japanese and Hindi are a little rusty so perhaps I could have found better prices had I been able to do some comparison shopping. Even with all my possible errors in approaching there is a pattern. Pricing is not even across the globe. There has to be a reason.

After looking at these three phones I started to think that this must be some kind of tariff effect. The taxes in these countries are set up to penalize technology. Not being an economist, I don’t understand the full workings of trade tariffs and taxes but we have all read about them from time to time and know that they exist and their basic workings. This was a pill I could swallow. It was not a perfect answer but the UK and European Union seem to pay higher rates for phones while Canadia seems to remain on par with the US. This pattern seemed repeatable. This seemed to make sense until i looked at OnePlus. Check out their numbers below.

1+2

OnePlus 2

OnePlus can somehow manage to be “fair” to everyone’s wallet, never mind what kind of bills you put into it. Looking at this kind of blows that tariff/tax idea out of the water. If OnePlus can keep their phones to within $107, why can’t everyone else? With OnePlus there are even some countries that are paying less than the United States. Canada, Japan and India pay less for the OnePlus 2 after conversation to US OnePlus .

 

Conclusion

I would like to know what others think but here is my two sense. Samsung, Google and Apple charge more because…… well I think it is because they can.  I don’t really think that any company would have it our for one country or another.  That is not how the world works, but the world does run on money.  OnePlus is a new company that is trying gain a reputation for giving its customers the best bang for your buck. You can’t do that and ask Italians to pay $280 more, all at the same time. OnePlus wants and needs the sale and that is reflected in the price. These other three phones are vying for premium spots in the market. They want you to associate them as top end. One way to do that is increase the price. If it is expensive lots of people will assume that it has value. That is my best guess.

What do you think? I would like to hear your thoughts on this, especial if you are from any of the listed countries.  Have you been able to find better deal?  Area you leaning toward other OEMs like OnePlus because they are giving you a fair deal?  I would be interested in hearing what you think.

 

Until next time

E. Tuesday

Nexus 6P

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Nexus 6 P

DSC_0255-minGoogle-Nexus-6P

What does it mean to be a nexus phone? Is it a cutting edge flagship? Perhaps something meant for developers and enthusiasts? A bang for your buck champion?  It should be easy but it is a hard thing to explain the nexus brand.  Nexus phones have meant a lot of different things to people over the years.  Even Google’s own vision has shifted a little after each year.  Each time trying to adjust, trying to find the perfect vision and never quite getting there.  Knowing that you can’t please all the people all of the time, Google decided to have two phones this year, two visions of perfection. We are going to look at the phone marked with a P, the Nexus 6P.

The one trait that has remained the same about nexus phones; they push the limits.  They try to take what is current and improve it.  They take new technology and implement it.  Has Google succeeded with this year’s vision? Let’s review a few key areas and find out.

 

Look and Feel

The first thing that I actually noticed about this phone was how thin it felt in my hand; then I notice how good it felt, sturdy and well built. That something that told my fingers “this phone needs to have some thickness to it” faded after using it for a while. The phone does have some heft (178g) and I like that.  Huawei has made a solid phone for Google and that is a feeling that has not faded.

 

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The speakers are on the front, the only place for speakers in my opinion, and they blend in very well with the front fascia.  The antenna lines on the four corners works well and I have even started to like the camera visor. Early leaks on the internet made the visor look as if it protruded out like an ugly growth.  Even now pictures don’t do it justice.  In the hand and in person the visor looks to be part of the phone, a natural extension.  The power and volume rocker are located on the right hand side.  They sit just above half way to allow some single handed use.  The SIM card slot can be found on the left side.  Look to the back for a fingerprint sensor.  Perfect placement!  I would like to see the volume and power back there as well.  LG really has something with their “Buttons on the back” phone design. I hope more companies take inspiration from their design. Overall this makes for a very elegant phone and I would like to stop there but I can’t.

On the bottom portion of the back side of the phone is a plastic cover.  The plastic cover is there for antenna signals access and covers a few screws used to keep this thing together. The plastic cover really hurts the phones look.  There is a lot of effort to match the plastic and aluminum but plastic is plastic and aluminum is aluminum. You can’t hide that. Most people will put a case over their phone and that will moot the point but I still find this to be a hard pill to swallow.  80% of the phone is beautiful; the plastic cover is the other 20%.

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Multimedia experience

At 5.7 inches this is a big and beautiful display.  The colours really pop and this is to be expected from an AMOLED screen.  If there is too much colour for your eyes to handle you do have a built in option.  You can use the sRGB colour mode found in the developer settings if you want the screen to pop a little less. The colours tend to be more true to life with the sRGB enabled.  I have used both settings and I have to admit that I prefer the default settings.  The popping colours look really great when playing any game.  It made the experience come alive, even if it looks to bold to be real.  The only fault I have with the display is the blue/purple haze that washes over the screen when viewing it on an angle. This is most evident when you have a complete white background.  The coloured background of various apps and games can make this effect nonexistent. Just make sure that you are viewing straight on when opening gmail.

Viewing angles aside, this phone seems to be made for Netflix.  The visuals come in clear and crisp with the 518 PPI (pixels per inch) screen and the speakers are great.  This combines to produce a fantastic multimedia experience.  Five minutes into any show or movie and you are hooked.  You will forget that you are watching this on a phone and just enjoy the entertainment.

The speakers were so good that I had to compare them with an HTC phone and their Boom Sound speakers.  I assumed the sound would have been closer but you can definitely perceive better sound emanating from the HTC.  I am not an Audiophile but even my dull ears noticed the depth of sound that came from One M9.  Both are great, both are loud, but HTC had a richer and fuller sound.  I hope that more OEMs bring front facing speakers to their designs; it really makes a world of difference to the multimedia experience.

Under the Hooddsc_0055

For those that like specs, the Nexus 6P does not disappoint.  Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 v2.1 is the chipset that powers this unit.  This Octa-core setup is split in two with a Quad-core 1.55 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A57 64-bit setup, mated to an Adreno 430 GPU.   Memory comes in at 3 GB of DDR4 RAM and your choice or 32, 64 or 128 Gigabytes of storage.

Does that translate to a fast phone? Yep it sure does!  This phone is like a big block V8 with Android 6.0 Marshmallow at the wheel.  It handled almost anything that I could throw at it.  Even jumping from Clash of Clans to Star Wars Commander and back again, was handled thoroughly.  Marshmallow many not have come with a change in design language but it put a lot of grease in the gears.  Everything is silky smooth. The phone did get a little warm under heavy use but not noticeably warmer than any phone I have played with in the past.  The only thing that made the phone hiccup or stutter was the camera.  It was an odd thing for me; I tried to replicate the stutter but could not get a consistent result.  Sometime is just wanted to be a little slow getting in or out of the camera app.  Thankfully this was the exception and not the rule. Speaking of the camera…….

Camera

When I first read about DxO Labs giving the Nexus 6p a place beside the Galaxy s6 I was impressed.  The new Samsung combination of hardware and software has walked away with all the prices this year.  Even Apple and Microsoft (Nokia) fanboys have been forced to admit that it is the best Camera of 2015.  The new iPhone 6s may change that but early reviews don’t give me that impression.  Either way the 6P had something to prove.

Does it live up to the hype? In my opinion, no.  Don’t get me wrong, it is a very good camera.  I would even say great comparing it to other nexus phones but I personally do not think it can hang with the Galaxy s6 camera.  Over all the pictures come out rather nice, but there is a tendency to overexpose the whites.  It reminds me of the large megapixel camera HTC was pushing.  Both cameras are great in low light but both tend to overexpose or wash out bright whites.  This may be an effect of larger pixels.  The pixels size for the 6P is 1.55 microns which really isn’t that large considering the HTC’s were 2 microns across each length.  It has the ability to record 4k video but the results are not always great.  Too much motion with the camera or the subjects and things get pixelated, fast. It also suffers under poor lighting conditions compared to the 1080p videos.

That is the bad news and the good news is……. there is lots of good news.  The camera has an eloquent and simply designed interface.  Some have said that it is too simple but I disagree.  Most people want to just point and shoot.  If you are a shutterbug you already have a dSLR camera for adjusting exposure and ISO, etc.  If you really want to have the dSLR experience with a smartphone you could always download and app and have your fun.  Personally I really like the simple design, it make it easy.

The 8 megapixel front facing camera is a dream.  The photos are nice and crisp with great low light performance. The camera will focus quickly and keep the colour very true to life.  It is really one of the best selfie cameras that I have used.  It does not have the “beautification” mode that some cameras sport, but I find that a blessing.   I would rather have my ugly mug look crisp and clear than that waxy makeup image that comes from “beautification” mode.

The 12.3 megapixel Sony sensor is for your rear facing photos and even though it does occasionally overexpose like I mentioned earlier, it is still a great camera.  It is generally quick to launch, fast to focus and the colour representation is pretty good.   The AMOLED screen can throw you off a little but set it to sRGB or put you picture on your monitor to show your true colours shining through.  With an aperture of F2.0 you can get some nice effects playing with your depth of field.025024

 

With an aperture of F2.0 you can get some nice effects playing with your depth of field.  Notice the focus on the background and then the for ground.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The indoor or low light performance is better than most but still tends to pixelate when there are not enough photons buzzing around.  Optical Image Stabilization would have helped out in this area and could have taken this camera from very good to great.

The video quality is better than most but I recommend sticking to the 1080p resolution settings.  4K sound awesome but the results are for from superior.  It is acceptable for basic scenes with little motion but the camera seems to handle 1080p much cleaner when pushed to the limits.  Try chasing your kids around with the video on you will see lots of pixilation at 4k.  With most TVs and monitor still pushing 1080 I don’t see the need for the 4k video at this time.  I just wish Google would have done it better if they were going to offer it. Even with the nitpicking it is a great camera and great phone.

 

Conclusion

 

When I started to write the conclusion, I was looking at value for your dollar along with what it means to be a Nexus phone.  I am going to leave price off to the side for now and discuss it in a follow up article.  So, that leaves us with the question of what is means to be a nexus phone.  Does this phone push the limits? Is it a cutting edge flagship? Perhaps something meant for developers and enthusiasts?

What I know is the Nexus 6P is the best you can get from Google today.  Does it push limits?  Camera and Battery have never been so good with Nexus phone but others have pushed their limits further. Is it a cutting edge flagship?  Yes, it can run with the flagship crowd but it is part of the pack, not the leader.  Is it meant for developers and enthusiasts?  Despite the e-fuse that will let everyone know this phone’s bootloader has been unlocked, I would say yes.  There are already all kinds of support for this device in the libraries of XDA.  That will only grow over time.

So Google has succeeded? Yes! This is the best Nexus phone to date, as it should be, it the newest.  Is it a perfect phone? No, but it comes close and for the money it may be the best value for your dollar.  This is a phone that you can recommend to anyone, the power users or the casual Facebook viewer will both enjoy this phone.  I comes close to being all things to all people.

 

 

 

Until next time

E. Tuesday

 

P.S.

Well it may be the best value for your dollar unless you are Italian.  Why am I picking on the Italians?  Well I am not but come back to view my next post and find out who is.

 

 

 

 

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Google’s New Nexus devices

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Google’s New Nexus devices where announced today at an event in San FranciscoGoogle’s event begian at 12PM ET / 9AM PT and there unveiled new hardware and software to the world. Lets start with the devices first you have the Nexus 6P from Huawei and the Nexus 5X from LG. Both are awesome devices with some great specs. Next we have the second gen chromecast that brings some new features and improvements to the table along with a Chromecast audio device that could turn into be something awesome or really flop its hard to say at this point. Of course there is also the long awaited new version or android 6.0 Marshmallow that will be coming on these new devices and also released to the other Nexus devices on October the 5th.

Chromecast 2015

chromecast 2

The New 2015 Chromecast is redesigned as you can see in the picture above and has some greatly improve wifi technology for better connection and streaming over your home network. The new design also just looks really cool. you can pick up the new Chromecast from the Google store today for just $35.00 and other retailers will have the device soon.

Chromecast Audio

chromecast audio

Chromecast Audio looks just like the new chromecast with the same design but has a couple different audio ports instead of a HDMI port. these ports include 3.5 mm jack with analog and optical digital audio output plus a Micro-USB for power. chromecast audio will allow you to covert any speaker you have in your house into a streaming cast connected device and Google will be adding multi device streaming later this year. You can pick up the new Chromecast Audio from the Google store today for just $35.00 and other retailers will have the device soon.

Huawei Nexus 6P

nexus-6p-1

Huawei has joined the Nexus world with there new device the Nexus 6P. I have recently picked up some Huawei devices like the Huawei Watch and the P8 lite and have been really impressed with there hardware so i am sure that this Nexus device will be more of the same. probably the biggest change that i am hoping to see with the 6P is the improved camera. Nexus devices have always had bad i mean bad cameras and i am hoping that this year Google finally figured it out. check the specs below they are looking pretty awesome. If you are interested in the Nexus 6p you can pick up the new Huawei Nexus 6p from the Google store today $499.00 – $649.00 and other retailers will have the device soon.

LG Nexus 5X

nexus5x-2.0

LG has taken another crack at there Nexus 5 with the new Nexus 5X. This is Google’s attempt at making a budget friendly device and I think they did a pretty good job at it. when you look at other devices at this price point you find things like the OnePlus 2 and the Motorola Moto X Pure Edition which i think are both pretty comparable. It will be interesting to see once i have the phone in hand and can compare all three. I have to say that the fingerprint technology in both of these devices and many other flag ship devices is awesome and i love this feature for security. If you are interested in the Nexus 5X you can pick up the new LG Nexus 5X from the Google store today $379.00 – $429.00 and other retailers will have the device soon.

Nexus device comparison and specs

                             Huawei Nexus 6P                       LG Nexus 5X

NETWORK Technology GSM / HSPA / LTE GSM / HSPA / LTE
2G bands GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 800 / 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1800 / 1900 / 2100 HSDPA B1/2/4/5/8
4G Network LTE B2/3/4/5/7/12/13/17/25/26/29/30 LTE B1/2/3/4/5/7/12/13/17/20/25/26/29
Speed HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE Cat6 300/50 Mbps HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE Cat6 300/50 Mbps
GPRS Yes Yes
EDGE Yes Yes
LAUNCH Announced Exp. announcement 2015, September 29 Exp. announcement 2015, September 29
Status Rumored. Exp. release 2015, November Rumored. Exp. release 2015, October
BODY
– Fingerprint sensor – Fingerprint sensor
DISPLAY Type AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors Capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 5.7 inches 5.2 inches (~69.8% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution 1440 x 2560 pixels (~515 ppi pixel density) 1080 x 1920 pixels (~424 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes Yes
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 4 Corning Gorilla Glass 3
PLATFORM OS Android OS, v6.0 (Marshmallow) Android OS, v6.0 (Marshmallow)
Chipset Qualcomm MSM8994 Snapdragon 810 Qualcomm MSM8992 Snapdragon 808
CPU Quad-core 1.56 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 1.82 GHz Cortex-A57 Quad-core 1.44 GHz Cortex-A53 & dual-core 1.82 GHz Cortex-A57
GPU Adreno 430 Adreno 418
MEMORY Card slot No No
Internal 32/64/128 GB, 3 GB RAM 16/32 GB, 2 GB RAM
CAMERA Primary 12.3 MP, 4128 x 3096 pixels, autofocus, optical image stabilization, dual-LED (ring) flash 12.3 MP, 4608 x 2592 pixels, optical image stabilization, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash
Features Dual recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, photo sphere, panorama, HDR Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, photo sphere, HDR, dual recording
Video 2160p@30fps, optical stabilization 2160p@30fps
Secondary 8 MP 5 MP
SOUND Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes, with stereo speakers Yes, with stereo speakers
3.5mm jack Yes Yes
COMMS WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot
Bluetooth v4.1, A2DP, LE v4.1, A2DP
GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS
NFC Yes Yes
Infrared port No No
Radio No No
USB Type-C 1.0 reversible connector Type-C 1.0 reversible connector
BATTERY
  • 3,450 mAh battery
  • Fast charging: up to 7 hours of use from only 10 minutes of charging
Non-removable Li-Po 2700 mAh battery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Googles Live event times and links

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Google’s Announcement event today

  • When: Today, September 29
  • What time: San Francisco: 9 a.m. — Chicago: 11 a.m. — New York: 12 p.m. — London: 5 p.m. — Beijing: 12 a.m. (September 30) — Sydney: 2 a.m. (September 30).
  • Live-stream: You can also watch the stream on YouTube on Google’s channel. Once i get a direct link i will update this post.

I will be watching this live event and hanging out on twitter to so come and hangout with me and we can chat about the event and new devices being announced. From what i have ready we should see a Huawei Nexus 6P, LG Nexus 5X, chromecast 2nd gen, chromecast audio device and Android 6.0 Marshmallow. All in all it should be a really fun show.

nexus-6p-1nexus5x-2.0