Apple’s new iPhone names are stupid

Apple’s newest iPhones are here, and with them come Apple’s worst, least logical iPhone names to date: iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.

Last year, we had a wonderful “Uh, what?” moment when Apple launched what were clearly the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus but decided to name them the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Then Apple promptly threw an iPhone X (pronounced “Ten”) into the mix. We should have seen Apple’s disregard for naming conventions coming. 

Now we have the XS, XS Max, and XR in front of us. So, let’s just jump right into how stupid these names are.

Letters, numbers, or wait, which was it again?

Let’s get this out of the way: Plenty of people are going to look at the iPhone X, XS, XS Max, and XR, and they are going to pronounce that X “Ecks.” Even Tim Cook looks like he’s struggling when he says “iPhone Ten.” That’s left us with the way-too-on-point of excessively expensive iPhone XS sounding like “iPhone Excess” when it comes out of a lot of mouths. “Excess Max” just takes it to another level. 

Maybe Apple hoped to train us to say the X as “Ten” with last year’s phones. There were no S models to confuse us last year, and they said “iPhone Ten” plenty during the launch event. But this year the X is an S model, which puts one letter next to another letter, and if we’re saying “S” we may as well say “X” while we’re at it.

The issues don’t stop there. The iPhone XR seems to have pulled an R out of nowhere. What’s it mean? We assume it doesn’t mean “racing.” And, though the XR is clearly the budget model of the bunch, it lacks a true budget price, so we can at least see why Apple didn’t try calling it the iPhone XC.

Then there’s sizing. iPhone XS looks like it could be extra small, even though it isn’t. And, the iPhone XS Max further confuses that. It also seems Apple has decided “Plus” at the end of an iPhone implies a 5.5-inch display, so it decided to go with “Max” for the largest iPhone this year, despite it coming across as a bit Google/Android-y (cough, cough, Google Home Max). And, that “Max” may sound a bit too much like “Macs.”

What’s next?

With good naming conventions gone the way of affordable iPhones, we might have to worry about what’s next for future iPhones.

We could see this going a lot of ways next few years:

  • For the standard model: iPhone XI, iPhone X1, iPhone XIS … iPhone XIVS
  • For the large model: iPhone X1 Max, iPhone XS Maxx
  • For the cheaper model: iPhone XR2(D2), iPhone XSTUV, or iPhone XQ

Whatever Apple does, we hope it’s at least better than the naming convention for iPads and MacBooks. The last thing anyone wants is to go to the store and learn about the new “iPhone 5.5-inch 2019” and the “iPhone 6.5-inch (Early 2019).”

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iPhone XS vs Samsung Galaxy S9

With the iPhone XS freshly announced, Apple’s new flagship naturally stands ready for comparison to a whole host of other smartphones. The most logical competitor is Apple’s fiercest rival: Samsung. So, let’s take a look at how the new iPhone XS stacks up against the Samsung Galaxy S9.

One thing that we’ve already noticed is how many ways the two devices are similar. From their sizes and some aspects of their design, they’ve got a good bit of overlap. Except this time, since Samsung led the charge for bezel-reduced designs, Apple’s not likely to take Samsung to court for the similarities.

Design

Neither the Galaxy S9 nor the iPhone XS have the most original designs. Both of them are mostly upgrades on last year’s flagship models with little change to the look. The Galaxy S9 has little visibly changed from the Galaxy S8, and the iPhone XS looks a lot like the iPhone X. 

In size, the two phones are closely matched. The Galaxy S9 measures 147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5mm next to the iPhone XS’s slightly shorter, shallower, but wider 143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7mm. The iPhone XS is built with a glass front and back and a stainless steel frame, while the Galaxy S9 uses an aluminum frame, but is otherwise all glass as well. 

The aluminum in the Galaxy S9 may have helped it trim a few grams. It’s weighs 163g, just a hair less than the 177g iPhone XS. 

Both have a premium feel with that mix of metal and glass, and both have tried to ensure their phones don’t break too easily. You’ll find a dust and water-resistance rating of IP68 on both, though Apple notes the iPhone XS is rated for 30 minutes at depth of 2 meters underwater compared to Samsung’s 1.5-meter depth.

Samsung has used Gorilla Glass 5 to keep the Galaxy S9 from turning into a shattered mess after a shallow fall, though we’d still suggest a Galaxy S9 case. Apple has a custom design that it says is “the most durable glass ever in a smartphone,” but we’ll just have to wait and see how that translates to a flat drop onto concrete.

The Galaxy S9 has a USB-C port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a microSD card slot - three things the iPhone XS doesn’t have. To get more storage on the iPhone XS, you have to buy it up front. Headphones can connect to the iPhone XS wirelessly, or through the Lightning Connector at the bottom of the phone. Both phones have stereo speakers, with Samsung noting that the Galaxy S9’s speakers are tuned by AKG and support Dolby Atmos.

Apple’s iPhone XS has a notch at the top of the display where it houses the front-facing camera and sensors for Face ID unlocking. The Galaxy S9 doesn’t have a notch, but does have bezel at the top and bottom of the display, with the front-facing camera and sensors for iris scanning and facial recognition above the display. Samsung also has a fingerprint scanner on the rear of the phone, while Apple has ditched the scanner.

Display

The Galaxy S9 and iPhone XS displays aren’t all that different. Both are 5.8-inch OLED panels, though Samsung’s is Super AMOLED. The Galaxy S9 display is also a sharp 2,960 x 1,440 resolution, which gives it an incredibly dense 570ppi. In contrast, Apple’s iPhone XS display is 2,436 x 1,125 for 458ppi. 

While Samsung gets the edge in the pixel department, Apple boasts broader HDR support with a 60% increase in dynamic range. The Galaxy S9 is certified for Mobile HDR Premium content, but it doesn’t support Dolby Vision. The iPhone XS does support Dolby Vision as well as HDR10, the later being an upgrade over the Dolby Vision-supported iPhone X.

On paper, there are clear differences between the two displays. But, in the real world, you’re not likely to notice that much difference underneath the glass. Both are going to look plenty crisp, with great contrast ratios. The most noticeable thing is going to be Apple’s screen notch and Samsung’s elegantly curved display along the sides.

3D Touch and a 120Hz touch-sensing screen are differentiators the iPhone XS has, but those aren’t major selling features. The Galaxy S9 will still feel plenty smooth swiping around, and it 3D Touch-like control even if it doesn’t use actual pressure-sensing tech.

OS and power

Here’s where the iPhone XS and Galaxy S9 really separate themselves. The iPhone XS is running iOS 12 on Apple’s proprietary A12 Bionic chipset, which introduces the Neural Engine for some advanced photography, video, and image processing. The Galaxy S9 runs Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box, though should see an update to Android 9.0 Pie early next year (probably around the same time the Samsung Galaxy S10 launches). 

The Galaxy S9 runs on a Snapdragon 845 chipset, which is great, but Apple has been showing the superior power of its custom chipsets, and we expect the A12 Bionic will be smashing just about all the smartphone chipset competition it gets benchmarked against. The Neural Engine is likely going to give it the edge in AR applications as well. That said, both phones are going to feel incredibly fast, and OS preference will play a big role in deciding a which phone is more worth your money.

Neither phone is rocking a major battery either. Samsung’s Galaxy S9 has a pretty typical 3,000mAh battery. Apple doesn’t state the size of the battery in the iPhone XS, but we believe it’ll be somewhere slightly below the 3,000mAh mark. The iPhone X had about a 2,700mAh , and Apple says the XS will last 30 minutes longer than last year’s X. With big, bright displays, both phones should be handling about a day of use, but two days is out of the question for serious users. 

Both phones support wireless and fast charging, but the iPhone XS doesn’t come bundled with the charger needed for fast charging, while the Galaxy S9 does. And, Samsung often offers bundles that can include one of its wireless charging docks.

On the storage front, both phones start with a base storage of 64GB. But, the iPhone XS can go all the way up to (an absurd) 512GB of built-in storage. That much storage will cost you, but we’ll get into that later. The Galaxy S9 can go up to 256GB with built-in storage, but you can upgrade it even further than the iPhone XS via the previously mentioned microSD slot. ‘

The iPhone XS offers Apple’s Siri virtual assistant, while the Galaxy S9 comes with Samsung’s Bixby and the option of Google Assistant. This is another matter of preference, but while we have found Apple’s Siri to be falling behind next to Google and Alexa, Bixby is consistently the poorest performer in our tests. 

One advantage Samsung does gain in this category comes from the ability to use the Galaxy S9 as a portable computer. By plugging it into a Dex Pad, you can connect to a keyboard, mouse, and external monitor to run the Galaxy S9 like an Android-based computer. So, for an all-in-one solution, Samsung pulls ahead.

Camera

We’re going to have to wait until we’ve had ample testing time with the iPhone XS cameras to call this faceoff. But, there’s little doubt you’ll be looking at phenomenal photos from either phone’s cameras.

The new iPhone XS has a dual-sensor system on the rear with a 12MP, f/1.8 wide-angle camera and a 12MP, f/2.4 telephoto camera. The latter gives the iPhone XS 2x optical zoom. There’s optical image stabilization in both cameras, and Apple has a Quad-LED True Tone flash paired with the sensors. On the video front, they can capture 4K video at up to 60fps and 1080p slo-mo at up to 240fps. 

The Galaxy S9 only has one image sensor on the rear, but it’s 12MP with optical image stabilization. Samsung has given it a neat trick, too, with the ability to change aperture between a fast f/1.5 and f/2.4. Since the Galaxy S9 rear camera has 1.4-micron pixels, and the iPhone XS wide-angle camera does as well, the wider aperture offered by the Galaxy S9 should at least give it stronger low-light performance. But a lot of this comes down to software and your personal preference on how photos turn out. When it comes to video, these phone offer the same 4K video recording resolution. Neither has a clear advantage before we dive into camera tests.

The front-facing cameras are a little different. Samsung has an 8MP sensor on the front of the Galaxy S9 with a wide f/1.7 aperture. It should perform better in low-light than the iPhone XS’s 7MP, f/2.2 front-facing camera. Between Samsung’s AR Emoji and Apple’s Animoji and Memoji, their offerings are fairly similar, though.

Price

Samsung takes a staggering lead in the price competition. The Galaxy S9 starts at just $719 (£739 / AU$1,199) for the 64GB model. And, since it isn’t brand new, Samsung Galaxy S9 deals aren’t hard to find, especially if you’re into freebies by way of bundles.

The iPhone XS, on the other hand, starts at the headache-inducing $999 (£999 / AU$1,629), the same price as last year’s iPhone X. And, that’s also for the 64GB model. For Apple’s 512GB iPhone XS, the price leaps up to $1,349 (£1,349 / AU$2,199). 

With the Galaxy S9 costing about a quarter less than the iPhone XS, this part of the contest quickly goes to Samsung.

Takeaway

With the Galaxy S9 and iPhone XS, you’ve got two incredibly capable and dazzlingly designed phones. Since they are both more of internal upgrades than overhauls of last year’s flagships though, you won’t be getting the freshest new looks.

Both give you large, bright, and color-rich OLED screens that will impress your eyes equally, even if the on-paper specs are in Samsung’s favor. Similarly, Apple would appear to have the edge in the camera department, but only proper testing will show whether Apple’s dual-lens rear camera is better than Samsung’s single lens. And, when it comes to how powerful they are, Apple is probably going to show advantage in benchmarks, even if typical users will experience super smooth, snappy performance from both.

For anyone who hasn’t picked sides on the Android vs iOS battle, there’s one serious factor that’ll likely decide this face-off, and it’s price. With both phones offering so much and plenty similar between them, the huge price difference that lands heavily in Samsung’s favor makes the Galaxy S9 a better value than the iPhone XS.

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Cheat code: Fortnite players found a dirty workaround for the Note 9 exclusive skin

Samsung landed a great deal when it got Fortnite on Android to come exclusively to the new Galaxy Note 9 and Samsung devices in beta. And, it drew on the player base's furor for skins by offering a free, exclusive skin for anyone who played on a Note 9 or Galaxy Tab S4. The catch: some players realized they didn't have to buy the devices to play for that skin, Polygon has reported.

Some gamers have tried getting the Fortnite Galaxy skin by going to stores that had the Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy Tab S4 on display, and used those devices to unlock the skins. All they needed to do was get Fortnite installed on the device and play three matches using their Fortnite account. They also had to hope no one had already beat them to it.

It's a bold move, and one Samsung has tried preventing. The Verge spotted a tweeted sign from Samsung indicating that the demo phones wouldn't download Fortnite or the games skin. So, it would seem Samsung got wise to the scheme.

While it seems likely it will only get harder for gamers to try this sneaky technique to get the exclusive Galaxy skin, the alternative is paying hundreds of dollars to get a Samsung device. And, anyone who just wants a cool skin may simply keep looking for another clever workaround.

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OnePlus may partner with T-Mobile to launch the OnePlus 6T

OnePlus's half-way upgrade from the OnePlus 6 has yet to be officially announced, and though we've come across plenty of rumors about the OnePlus 6T, perhaps the biggest news for the phone is that T-Mobile will sell it directly through a partnership with OnePlus. 

The partnership, which was explained to CNET by people familiar with the arrangement, includes an October launch date, and it entails the OnePlus 6T being customized for T-Mobile's network. Though this would be an exclusive partnership, OnePlus is still expected to sell a standard version not tied to T-Mobile.

When the deal comes to fruition, it will be very different than the strategy OnePlus used for its original OnePlus One, a phone that was hard to get your hands on even if you wanted one. Back then, the company was so small it used an invite system to sell phones (and drum up some hype at the same time). 

If all goes according to plan, it appears OnePlus could finally have a phone that any customer walking through a T-Mobile store could just chance upon.

OnePlus for the people!

Bargain hunters have always had a lot to like from OnePlus, and any that are in a T-Mobile store will probably have a hard time missing the flagship looks and lower price of the OnePlus 6T.

With both T-Mobile's unlimited data plan and OnePlus's phones offering great value to shoppers, a partnership like this could go a long way toward cementing OnePlus's place as a true value champ while also making it a household name.

Of course, this makes us wonder, will the T-Mobile version come in magenta?

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Moto Z3 release date, price, news and features

It’s getting close to time for Motorola to release the rest of Moto Z3 lineup of phones. Last year’s Moto Z2 Play and Moto Z2 Force launched around this time last year, and the Moto Z3 Play recently made its debut. But, we still expect at least one more variant of the Moto Z3, and this time there are likely to be special Moto Mod bundles added to the mix.

The launch of the Moto Z3 Play, as well as updates to the Moto G line, have given us a pretty good idea for what Motorola has in store this time around. The new Moto Z3 Play fits into the mid-range smartphone market, but the premium Moto Z3 Force should complete the family. 

It’s not clear whether Motorola will launch any other variants in the Moto Z3 family, as last year there were only two Moto Z2 models. By comparison, the first series of Moto Z phones had three distinct models.

Cut to the chase

  • What is Moto Z3? The latest flagship and mid-range modular smartphones from Motorola
  • When is Moto Z3 out? The Moto Z3 Play is out now, and the Moto Z3 Force is launching in August
  • What will Moto Z3 cost? $499 (about £380, AU$630) for Moto Z3 Play and likely $720 (about £550, AU$903) for the Moto Z3 Force

Moto Z3 release date and price

We don’t expect any dramatic shifts in release schedule from Motorola for the new Moto Z3 Force, since Motorola didn’t shift up with the Moto Z3 Play. As with past launches, the Play variant came first, and it will be followed by a Force edition. 

The Moto Z2 Play went on sale in June of last year, three months after the Moto G5. And, the Moto Z3 Play launched this June for pre-orders. We expect a Z3 Force edition to launch in August. 

For prices, we don’t expect much to change from previous years. The Moto Z2 Play sold for $499 (£379.99, about AU$630), and the Moto Z3 Play replacing it hits the same US price point. Similarly, we expect the Moto Z3 Force to replace its predecessor at the $720 (about £550, AU$903) price point.

An early leak had suggested one twist in the release. That comes in the form of special bundles for the Moto Z3 family that would pair the phone with a select Moto Mod. The rumored bundles are a Power edition, Style edition, Gamepad edition, and Projection edition. We saw the Moto Z3 Play launch bundled with a battery mod. For the Moto Z3 Force and any fancier bundles, we expect the prices to be the base price of the phone plus a discounted Moto Mod.

Moto Z3 design and display

Not much about the Moto Z3’s chassis is believed to be changing. Since the Moto Z3 will continue to support existing Moto Mods, much of the phone has to remain the same, namely the length, width, camera position, and Moto Mods connector.

The Moto Z3 Play moved to a slightly thicker chassis than its predecessor, and got a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. At the same time, it dropped the 3.5mm headphone jack. 

Repositioning the fingerprint scanner also would makes sense on the Moto Z3 Force, as it’s all but guaranteed to feature an expanded, 6-inch display with an aspect ratio of 18:9. The all-screen look has been trending among flagships, and showed up on the Moto G6 and Moto Z3 Play. The resolution of the mid-range Moto Z3 Play display is Full HD+, so the more premium Moto Z3 Force will likely have a sharper Quad HD+ display.

Since both the Moto Z2 Play and Moto Z2 Force use AMOLED displays, as does the new Moto Z3 Play, it’s likely the rest of Z3 family will continue with this display technology. The Moto Z3 Force’s display should continue to feature Motorola’s ShatterShield protection as well.

Moto Z3 specs, camera and battery life

With dual-sensor camera setups gracing the Moto G6, we can expect the more premium Moto Z3 family to also include dual cameras across the line. The Moto Z3 Play landed with a camera setup featuring a 12MP primary sensor and a 5MP secondary sensor for depth. The Moto Z2 Force already featured dual 12MP sensors, so the Z3 Force will likely have a further upgraded dual-sensor arrangement.

The internals are where the Moto Z3 Play and Moto Z3 Force are expected to differ most. The Moto Z3 Play has a Snapdragon 636 chipset - a natural upgrade from the Moto Z2 Play’s Snapdragon 626 chipset. It also packs 4GB of RAM and 32GB or 64GB of storage. 

The Moto Z3 Force, being a flagship, will most likely make the jump to the Snapdragon 845 chipset powering many other Android flagships, such as the Samsung Galaxy S9. It’s uncertain whether Motorola will offer more RAM or storage than it did previously. The Moto Z2 Force came with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage in the US, and 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage internationally. More wouldn’t be a surprise though, given the capacities of the Moto Z3 Play.

One aspect of the Moto Z3 lineup that’s not looking so favorable is the battery. The Moto Z3 Play kept its 3,000mAh battery, which may struggle to power its larger display. The Moto Z2 Force had a diminutive 2,730mAh battery, and if the Z3 Force doesn’t expand this, it will likely struggle with full-day battery life, too.

Just like the Moto Z3 Play, the Moto Z3 Force will almost surely run Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box, with timely updates to Android P highly probable.

We’ll continue to update this page as we confirm details on the launch of the Moto Z3 lineup, so check back in regularly for the latest Moto Z3 specs and features.

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Another leak for the unannounced Sony Xperia XZ3 ‘reveals’ design

Earlier this week, online retailer Mobile Fun listed the price and details of the Sony Xperia XZ3 with price and specs for the UK. 

Now the same retailer has shared a set of images of the Xperia XZ3 in Olixar cases, and all of this comes without Sony even announcing that there is such a phone.

The rendered images of the Xperia XZ3 line up nicely with leaked photos we've seen before. They show off a slight, and we mean slight, redesign from the Xperia XZ2 - if the renders from Mobile fun are real, and not just created from rumors on the web.

Sony would appear to remain obstinate about getting rid of screen bezels like many other smartphone manufacturers are doing. With little changing, the 5.7-inch screen of the XZ2 appears to continue on into the next generation, even if it does get a resolution upgrade.

The most notable change in design is the inclusion of a second camera sensor on the back of the Xperia XZ3.  The flash, camera, and fingerprint scanner are still all lined up vertically, but now there's second camera in the mix. 

The dedicated camera shutter button also remains intact on the side of the phone.

Beyond these physical features, the leaked images do little to tell us more about the phone. Other rumors have suggested 6GB of RAM to go with a Snapdragon 845 chipset, a 3,240mAh battery, and higher-resolution camera sensors. 

But, with Sony still quiet on the subject, there's still a bit of healthy uncertainty whether this is an actual phone or perhaps a re-tooled Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium. 

Curiously, the leaked info we received with these case images mentions a 5.1-inch display, which could even point toward a new compact model - but we'll wait for the surely-impending launch before making any assertions.

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A yellow Galaxy Note 9 S Pen? Leak teases Samsung’s wild new color

We know the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is coming August 9, and now we've got one more solid hint at what it's going to look like. The latest leak from Evan Blass, who leaks phone renders left and right, shows a redesigned Note 9 and S Pen in line with other leaks.

Blass's Galaxy Note 9 image was tweeted in responses to a caption-less photo posted by Marques Brownlee of the back of a jet engine that looks similar to the tip of a pen.

This leak further highlights Samsung's commitment to this yellow S Pen, which we've seen in other leaks and even in Samsung's official Note 9 launch invitation. 

The image also shows the boxier design for the dual-sensor camera setup and the slim fingerprint scanner moved below that. This change has also shown up in other leaks. It also shows that one of the camera sensors appears significantly smaller than the other, a change from the similarly sized sensors on the Note 8.

Stay tuned for all the Galaxy Note 9 details when it launches on August 9.

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Google Assistant update adds Continued Conversations to listen for follow-up commands

There's a new Google Assistant update available today, and it's going to make issuing voice commands to the AI assistant a lot less tedious

Continued Conversation, first shown at Google IO in May, allows Google Assistant to automatically listen for followup commands after it answers the first question or command. 

This means you won't have to say "OK, Google" before every question or command in natural conversation. The Continued Conversation ends when you say, "thank you," or "stop," or when Google Assistant detects no speech for 8 seconds.

Not all at once, though

Google isn't delivering this feature to everyone at once, though. Continued Conversation is rolling out. 

Only the English-language Google Assistant in the US is getting the update for now, and it's coming first to Google Home, Home Mini, and Home Max. Users outside of the US, or users who have Google Assistant set to a different language won't be able to use Continued Conversation yet.

For those of you who that want to activate the feature, you'll need to access your Google Assistant settings, select Preferences, and then toggle on Continued Conversation. You'll still need to say, "OK, Google," or "Hey, Google," to start a conversation, but after that, Google Assistant will listen for followup questions and commands.

Now, we just have to wait for the John Legend voice to roll out.

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Google Pixel 3 leak points to a single rear camera – and that’s okay

Most Google Pixel 3 XL leaks so far have pointed towards a single sensor camera on the back. Now, a case appearing to be for the Pixel 3 XL adds further credence to the rumor that there will still be just one rear camera, as spotted in an image by PhoneArena.

The leaked images show the front and back of a simple lavender case. The front view shows a purported Pixel 3 XL inside.

Source: PhoneArena

That side lines up with rumors that the Pixel 3 XL will have a notch at the top and dual front-facing cameras. The rear of the leaked image shows cutouts for a fingerprint scanner in the usual spot for a Pixel as well as cutouts for a single camera sensor and a flash.

No second sensor, no sweat

While it seems like just about every smartphone maker is embracing the dual-sensor setup for rear cameras, at least for the larger versions of flagships like the Galaxy S9 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus, it may seem a bit strange that Google is still holding out.

Of course, with a little reflection, there should be little to fear from Google sticking with a single sensor for the Pixel 3 XL. Last year's Pixel 2 XL only had a single rear camera sensor, and when it launched, it was rated the best smartphone camera on the market by DxOMark, stumping even Apple's and Samsung's best dual-sensor setups.

If Google keeps up with past trends, its new camera on the upcoming Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL will once again leap to the front of the pack, and it'll do so one sensor at a time.

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Ranked: The 10 best iOS 12 features

Big changes are coming to your iPhone and iPad with iOS 12, Apple announced at its WWDC 2018 keynote. That's the good news. The bad news is it's a lot to take in.

There are plenty of new features and improvements to get excited about if you look beyond the technical jargon and tools that only developers care about.

iOS 12 should bring a lot of performance and stability improvements to Apple users' devices. Apple boasted about significantly faster launch times for apps and the camera. And, many of the nasty iOS 11 problems will hopefully be vanquished by iOS 12.

As good as performance upgrades and bug fixes are, the real fun is in the features. So, we've picked out top 10 features that iOS 12 will bring.

1. Siri Shortcuts

Siri Shortcuts are Apple stab at IFTTT, offering a simple way to automate tasks on your iOS devices. In iOS 12, Siri will be able to interact with more apps, and custom commands can get the voice assistant to perform scripted tasks. 

One example shown on the WWDC stage was asking Siri for help finding lost keys, which Siri would understand as a command to access the Tile app and ping a Tile tracker attached to a keyring. Before, this would require you to dig into the slow Tile app when you've already lost something. It's frustrating. 

This type of automation is incredible handy and a welcome addition to iOS.

2. Group FaceTime

iOS 12 will no longer make you FaceTime with your family members all squashed together onto the same camera in a 1:1 video call. FaceTime will be able to support up to 32 simultaneous users. 

The dynamic roster of video chatters along the bottom is impressive. The UI raises up someone to a bigger window as they talk. Group FaceTime will also support filters for each users video stream, and it will dynamically shift focus to show who in the FaceTime call is talking. 

3. Tongue tracking

Sure, this pick might be a little tongue-in-cheek, but it's great to see Apple's facial tracking technology recognizing one of the most versatile and pose-able muscles in the human body. This will mean even more opportunities to get silly with Apple's Animoji and new, personalized Memoji.

4. Continued support for legacy devices

Whether this is a feature or not is debatable, but iOS 12's support for older devices is a great aspect of the operating system. iOS 12 will run on the iPhone 5S and higher, the iPad Mini 2 and higher, the iPad Air and higher, and the iPod Touch 6th Gen. When it comes to operating systems, Apple does a great job of not leaving users behind.

5. Grouped notifications

This one has been a long time coming. iOS users may have access to the best games and apps, but all of those can load the phone with notifications that become a true hassle to sort through. This is something Android users haven't had to suffer through in recent versions of the operating system, such as Android 8.0 Oreo. With iOS 12, Apple users will see notifications grouped by app, making life much more manageable.

6. Seriously, Siri Shortcuts

We really want to stress that Siri Shortcuts look like the killer feature for iOS 12. Asking Siri to find your keys is going to be fairly basic when it comes to things this new tool will allow. Expect to be able to do so much more. Depending on the software integrations available and just how many smart, IoT devices you have, you could tell Siri, "it's party time," and she could turn the AC on, close the blinds, change the lighting, and text your friends, "come over and boogie." If that's not the future... well, we'll just keep thinking.

7. ARKit 2

ARKit 2 is moving things forward for augmented reality. It is going to improve the ways games can be played, as multiple users will be able to share the same AR experience across multiple devices. AR tools are coming as well. Apple showed off the Measure tool, which can use an iPhone's or iPad's sensors to take an accurate measurement of real-world objects.

8. Phone behavior tracking

As much as Apple wants you to have an iPhone, it doesn't want to you to start hating how much time you spend on your phone. So, with iOS 12, Apple is going to help users keep tabs on how much they use their devices and which apps they spend the most time with. It will also all users to give themselves (or their children) time limits, so they don't accidentally spend all day on Instagram when they really should be playing with the new tongue tracking feature.

9. Do Not Disturb at bedtime

iOS 12 goes even further at helping you maintain your balance of phone time and non-phone time. Apple is introduction more advanced Do Not Disturb settings. You'll still be able to keep notifications from playing a noise, but now you'll also be able to prevent them from even cluttering your screen. This way, if you do need to take a peek at your phone while you have Do Not Disturb on, you won't be tempted or distracted by the whole horde of notifications waiting for your return.

Easier photo sharing

Apple is making Photos smarter. In addition to making it easier to search through your treasure trove of photos, iOS 12 will make sharing with friends easier. When Photos detects other people in your pictures, it can suggest you share them with those people. Sharing isn't a one way street though, and iOS 12 will let you poke your friends to encourage them to also share photos they have of you. As a bonus, all of that sharing is done via iMessages and encrypted end to end.

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The best unlimited data plans in the US right now

Finding the best unlimited data plan takes a lot of work because every US carrier seems to be offering something different In 2018,  there are a lot of tiny variations that aren't always easy to spot when you're shopping or comparing unlimited plans. 

AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and others are all ready to sell you on unlimited data plans. It can be dizzying since we just spent a bunch of time digging into the nitty-gritty to figure out which carriers are really offering the best prices and features in their unlimited data plans.

From a huge range of small MVNO carriers to the four major mobile networks, we sorted through all the unlimited data plans offered in the US in 2018. The best unlimited data plans will combine limitless data with all the talking and texting you could dream of each month. But, it just gets better from there – the best unlimited data plans won’t limit features like HD video streaming, Wi-Fi hotspot use, or the actual amount of high-speed 4G LTE and 3G data that you can use.

We want to save you the trouble of having to figure out what a carrier is actually offering. We know how straining all the fine print can be on the eyes. 

So, after culling through all the unlimited data plans on offer, we’ve narrowed down the results by cutting out carriers that throttle your data speeds at a certain point. This means only carriers that rely on throttling to address network congestion have made it through. Everything else fails to fit our definition of the word “unlimited”.

We’ve also focused simply on the base tier of unlimited data plans for individual customers: no family plans making it seem like a carrier has a good deal, when in fact you need three more people to sign up with you; just the lowest cost plan that offers unlimited data, talk, and text. This means deals on phones and the value of extra perks like free Netflix or HBO aren’t factored into the rankings. 

Now that we’ve cleared up how we picked, let’s get straight to the rankings.

Best value unlimited plans:

Best deal: MetroPCS unlimited plan for $50 (runs on T-Mobile network)

MetroPCS offers the best value unlimited plan on the market right now. For mobile phone users that want to pay as little as possible while getting as much data as possible, MetroPCS is the right carrier. 

MetroPCS runs on T-Mobile’s powerful network (though sometimes spotty in rural areas, in our experience). And it’s unlimited plan costs $50 with all taxes and fees included in that price. Users can stream use as much data as they want, and call and text to their hearts’ content. Some added perks are music streaming that doesn’t count against your data, Wi-Fi calling, and Scam ID. 

There are some limitations to the plan. Users who exceed 35GB of data use in a month can see their speeds throttled during times of network congestion. This MetroPCS plan also doesn’t allow customers to use their phones as Wi-Fi Hotspots. Still, the plan remains highly competitive, with a soft data cap much higher than a lot of its similarly priced and even more expensive competitors.

Alternative pick: Boost Mobile Unlimited Gigs plan for $50 (runs on Sprint network)

Boost Mobile’s Unlimited Gigs plan comes strikingly close to the offer from MetroPCS. Some customers will actually get more out of Boost Mobile’s plan if they regularly need to get data to other devices, or if they find the Sprint wireless network more reliable.

For $50 (all taxes and fees included in that price), Boost Mobile customers get unlimited talk, text, and data. Boost Mobile has a soft cap for data on this plan at 23GB, and it will throttle customers who use more than that when the network is congested. It also limits video streaming quality to 480p+. 

Similar to our top pick, Boost Mobile allows unlimited music streaming from its popular streaming partners, like Spotify and Pandora, with none of that data counting toward users’ data caps. Also, though Boost Mobile has a tighter limit on high-speed data, it does allow for up to 8GB of Wi-Fi Hotspot usage each period.

Other contenders in this category:

Top of the Big 4:

3. Best offer: T-Mobile ONE plan for $70

At first glance, the T-Mobile ONE plan doesn’t look like it’s the best deal, but we factored everything in, and it added up. One big point in T-Mobile’s favor is that the $70 monthly fee is exact: all taxes and fees are already included. Sprint's plan appears cheaper at first, but its plan has some more limits that keep us from recommending it over T-Mobile.

T-Mobile has the highest soft data cap of all four major carriers. It won’t begin deprioritizing T-Mobile ONE customer data speeds until after they’ve used 50GB. That means customers who truly plan to get their money’s worth of unlimited data will get more mileage from T-Mobile. One constraint is that video streaming is limited to DVD quality.

There are extra perks as well. Tethering is allowed at up to 3G speeds. Customers can use their phone while traveling in Canada and Mexico with unlimited talk and text and 5GB of 4G LTE data, along with some usability in more than 140 other countries. Plus, T-Mobile throws in a free Netflix subscription that didn’t even factor into our consideration.

4. Alternative pick: Sprint Unlimited Freedom plan for $60

Of the big four carriers, Sprint offers the lowest base price for its unlimited data plan. The Unlimited Freedom plan is just $60, though taxes and fees go on top of that. The big reason that Sprint fell short of T-Mobile in our ranking is that its Unlimited Freedom plan has a much lower soft cap of 23GB compared to T-Mobile’s 50GB cap.

Where Sprint does make up some for its smaller data cap though is the way customers can use their data. Sprint allows streaming in Full HD (1080p), which is a big step up from the DVD quality that T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T limit streaming to. Sprint also allows 10GB of Wi-Fi Hotspot usage (though exceeding 10GB will auto-buy another 10GB for $10). Of course, being able to use all the data means it will be easier to hit the 23GB soft cap and risk data deprioritization. 

The extra perks from Sprint’s Unlimited Freedom plan include global roaming and a free subscription to Hulu. 

Base plan: Verizon GoUnlimited plan for $75

Verizon's base unlimited data plan is a bit more expensive than the competition, and the $75 starting price for individual plans doesn't factor in taxes and fees. But, with that price comes uncapped data, calls, and texts, and 4G network coverage that consistently ranks higher than all of the other major carriers.

Verizon's GoUnlimited plan offers DVD-quality streaming, and it allows unlimited Wi-Fi hotspot usage at 600Kbps. Customers can also use their service for data, calls, and texts in Canada and Mexico.

Though this is a true unlimited data plan, customers may experience reduced data speeds when the network is congested.

Base plan: AT&T Unlimited &More plan for $70

AT&T's base Unlimited &More data plan starts at $70 for a single line when auto-pay and paperless billing are enabled. Taxes and fees are an additional price. But, the cost gets you onto AT&T's network, which ranks highly in the US and works with popular GSM phones.

That AT&T '&More' in the plan name also has some meaning for customers. AT&T adds in over 30 live TV channels on the service via the WatchTV app, giving customers access to thousands of shows and movies they can stream without ever running out of data.

The plan doesn't allow Wi-Fi Hotspot usage, limits streaming to DVD quality, and can see reduced data speeds during times of network congestion. But, customers do get unlimited texting to 120 countries, and free roaming in Canada and Mexico. 

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The 10 best phones for kids: the top phones meant for children

The best phone for kids come in all shapes and sizes, from one-button touch-to-call safety devices, to battle-tested Samsung phones with drop protection, to the cheapest iPhone if you want them on your iCloud family storage plan.

It's still a hard pick when shopping for the littlest person in your life. We’re here to help you find a phone for your child, pre-teen, or teen – any age, really. We're experts on picking phones for kids, just as much as we can aptly chose the best phones in the US and best phones in the UK for adults.

We’ve factored in important aspects, such as parental controls, durability, function restrictions, GPS tracking, and cost. 

The best phones for kids are going to be very simple devices primarily meant to open a line of communication with parents. For teens, we went ahead and aimed for low-cost simple phones that enable calling and texting without too many features for your kids to get caught up in. For high-school students, we included affordable smartphones that offer a good balance of value and function while retaining solid parental controls through Android and iOS.

Since newer iPhones and Android phones running the latest operating systems (like iOS 11.4 and iOS 12 beta) come with ample parental controls build in, parents should feel comfortable picking out these phones for teens and pre-teens at their discretion. All the details parents need for enabling parental controls on iPhones can be found here. Details on Android parental controls are available here

For the young ones:

The Relay, by Republic Wireless, is an incredibly simple communication device meant just for kids. It functions much like a walkie-talkie, so your child won’t have to navigate any complex menus to get ahold of you. 

The Relay connects over 4G LTE and Wi-Fi, and it includes build-in GPS, so you can pinpoint your child’s location  through the companion app on your own phone. The Relay’s design is sturdy and water resistant, so it can handle a day of play with your child.

The Relay is still in early stages, so new features like music and a voice assistant aren’t here yet, and shipping takes a while. Mobile network connectivity is also limited to the US, but Wi-Fi will work internationally.

For $149, the Relay comes in a bundle. It’s also available individually for $99 or in a pack of three for $199.

See the Relay here

Verizon users in the US have an enticing option for their kids in the LG GizmoPal 2. This is a wrist communicator that your kids can get into. It has a colorful design, simple controls, and handy water resistance. It also offers GPS tracking, so you can check in on your child’s location or find the watch if lost.

Parents can set up four authorized telephone numbers to call the GizmoPal 2, and the screen will display who’s calling. Parent’s can also set the GizmoPal 2 to automatically answer their calls, which can be handy in cases where their child might be playing and not notice the call.

The GizmoPal 2 is compatible with iOS and Android, and costs $79. For a newer model, Verizon also sells the LG Gizmo Gadget for $149.

See the LG GizmoPal 2 here

For pre-teens:

Nokia’s iconic 3310 is back, and with its combination of very long battery life, simple features, and durability, it’ll make a great pick for your pre-teens. The Nokia 3310 3G is made of plastic, so your kid doesn’t have to be too careful about dropping it. They also won’t need to remember to charge it every day, as the battery can last close to a month on standby.

The Nokia 3310 3G has everything your child needs to stay in touch, with calling and texting available. You won’t have to worry about them surfing the web on this one. Plus, they can take pictures to show you what they’re up to in school or with their friends.

The Nokia 3310 3G costs $59 in the US. A non-3G Nokia 3310 is also available in the UK for £49.99.

See the Nokia 3310 3G here
See the Nokia 3310 here

If your kid wants a phone that doesn’t look too childish, the BLU Tank Xtreme 2.4 is a good option. It’s incredibly affordable, and built rugged, so your pre-teen can stand to be a little careless with it. The plastic and rubber frame should be able to handle the occasional drop, and an IP65 rating means it can shrug off a splash of water now and then.

The BLU Tank Xtreme 2.4 has the basic talk and text your kid needs to stay in touch, and it has a long-lasting battery, so you won’t need to remind them to charge it all the time. Availability is limited to the US, though UK users may be able to use this phone on the 900 and 1800 GSM bands.

See the Blu Tank Xtreme 2.4 here

The same qualities that make the Jitterbug Flip a good choice for seniors make it a good pick for your kids. It is incredibly simple to use, with basic calling and texting functions as well as a simple camera. The user interface sticks to large, easy-to-read text, and the buttons are easy to press. The battery is long-lasting as well. 

The Jitterbug Flip is only available in the US, and service is sold by GreatCall. At $74, the Jitterbug Flip is a bit more expensive than the others, but you can rest assured that it will be a simple phone for your child to get used to.

See the Jitterbug Flip here

For teens:

The Moto E5 is not just one phone but rather a family of affordable phones with varying features. Despite their difference, they all make great budget picks for your teen. While many budget Android devices can be running on outdated hardware or software, the Moto E5 is up-to-date with recent processors and Android 8.0 Oreo. 

The Moto E5 Plus is available to Sprint customers in the US for $288, and boasts a large battery, 6-inch display, and dual-camera setup. The Moto E5 Play is toned down a little bit, making it more budget friendly at $99. In the UK, a standard Moto E5 and the Moto E5 Plus will be available in the near future. Aside from the basic Moto E5, all the others include a water-repellent coating that will help make sure your teens don’t ruin their phone.

See the Moto E5 here

If you want to get your teen a highly capable smartphone but worry they might destroy it and waste a lot of money, the Galaxy S8 Active is right up your alley. It has all of the performance a flagship Android phone calls for, but it’s built tough.

The Galaxy S8 Active screen is sharp, the camera is great, and the battery is forgiving if your teen forgets to charge it one night. All of that is packed into a chassis with an IP68 and MIL-STD-810G rating. In other words, it can handle a lot of carelessness. We dropped one screen-first onto a stone floor from five feet up, and the screen was fine. 

The Galaxy S8 Active is available in the US on Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile for $850. Customers on other networks and in the UK can look instead at the Galaxy S8 and any of the best Galaxy S8 cases.

See the Galaxy S8 Active here

The iPhone SE may not be the latest iPhone, but it’s still supported by Apple with the latest iOS 11 updates. Despite its age, it still performs admirably with Apple’s A9 processor, and it will offer your child all the smartphone functionality they could need. The perk of its age is that it comes at a very low price for an Apple device. 

One of the main drawbacks about giving your teen an iPhone SE is that it’s not built to be incredibly durable. Fortunately, this is an issue that can easily be fixed with an affordable iPhone SE case.

See the iPhone SE here

If price isn’t a big concern and you plan to buy a case (or your teen has proven themselves to not be reckless), the iPhone 7 or iPhone 8 make for great options. Your teen shouldn’t feel held back by any lack of capabilities (or style) on these newer devices, while you can rest assured that the parental controls on iOS will be enough to keep an eye on your teen’s use.

Though the upfront price will be higher, software support for these newer iPhones should last longer, so you won’t have to worry about upgrading any time soon. As an added bonus, the iPhone cameras are great, so you’ll get to see a lot of beautiful shots of what your teen is doing.

See the iPhone 7 here
See the iPhone 8 here

The Moto Z2 Play fits nicely in the middle as a pick for teens. It features mid-range hardware at a mid-range price. The screen is protected by Gorilla Glass, and the internals are safe from splashed water with a water repellent nano-coating. 

A 3,000mAh battery and quick charging will help ensure your teen’s phone has power when they need it. Moto Mods will also give your teen options for enhancing the features or their phone, such as adding a more advanced camera or doubling the size of the battery. 

The Moto Z2 Play is available on most networks in the US with a retail price of $399, but deals will likely be available. In the UK is retails for £379. 

See the Moto Z2 Play here

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The 10 best phones for seniors

In 2018, the best phone for seniors will vary depending on your comfort with technology. There’s more than one right answer here compared to our usual recommendations of the best phones. Luckily, there are also a wide range of phones that cater to seniors’ unique needs that can make a perfect fit for the most tech-savvy grandparent or even the senior that just wants a way to communicate with their family.

Large and simple displays are a smart pick for any senior, as almost no one has eyes that grow sharper over time. However, the needs can vary from here. Where health is the primary interest, some of the best phones for seniors will feature one-touch emergency response features. Where dropping the phone may be an issue, durability or a variety of available phone cases is of critical importance. No phone comes with everything, though – at least, not yet.

Whatever the situation may be, we have the top phone picks for seniors today, and we’ll make it clear what the advantages of each are.

Senior-focused phones:

The Jitterbug Flip is a basic flip phone with features made to suit seniors well. It doesn’t have any of the smartphone functionality a more tech-savvy senior might want, but it has large, easy to read interface, simple navigation, and a loud speaker. The result is a phone that’s simple for anyone to use, so there’s no steep learning curve for seniors who aren’t used to cellphones.

A few extra features are made specifically with seniors in mind. The Jitterbug Flip features an M4/T4 rating for hearing aid compatibility. It also has a 5Star button so seniors can quickly get help in an emergency.

See the Jitterbug Flip here

If some aspects of the Jitterbug Flip sounded good, but more smartphone features are appealing, the Jitterbug Smart combines senior-focused design with smartphone functionality. Best of all, it offers all of this at a reasonable price.

The Jitterbug Smart has all the typical phone features, plus texting, email and internet access, as well as rear- and front-facing cameras. The 5.5-inch touchscreen display allows for typical smartphone navigation, but Jitterbug has used simple menus for easy navigation. Like the Jitterbug Flip, this model is compatible with hearing aids, earning an M4/T4 rating. And, it supports 5Star emergency response through a pre-installed app. 

See the Jitterbug Smart here

Just as its name implies, the GrandPad is a smartphone/tablet that offers easy ways for seniors to stay connected. It doesn’t require nearly as familiarity with tablet and smartphone functionality as typical Android and iOS devices require. It rocks an 8-inch, Full HD display with large, easy-to-read menu buttons for simple navigation, and it connects via 4G LTE on consumer Cellular or over Wi-Fi. It can also charge wirelessly on its dock, so you won’t need to worry about keeping track with finicky wires and power plugs.

Relatives can set up and manage the GrandPad for their love ones, populating the contact list with email address and phone numbers. One major consideration here is that this can help screen potential phishing attacks or spam callers, since they shouldn’t be able to reach the GrandPad. 

The GrandPad will let seniors stay in touch through email as well as voice and video calls. It also supports a stream of social media, so seniors can see what they’re family members are sharing without needing to have their own accounts.

See the GrandPad here

Phones for tech-savvy seniors:

For the tech-savvy senior, there’s no simpler option than the iPhone 8 Plus. It offers premium features and performance on a 5.5-inch display that’s plenty sharp. The iPhone 8 Plus doesn’t come cheap, but it comes with the peace of mind that any issues can quickly be searched on the internet. 

Staying in touch with family is easy on the iPhone, and that powerful iPhone 8 Plus can ensure that connecting is fast as well. Seniors with an iPhone can also benefit from the nearly seamless transition between an iPhone and iPad whenever they might want an even larger screen. For the seniors buying this smartphone, an iPhone 8 Plus case is advisable, as it features an all-glass design that won’t hold up well if dropped frequently.

See the iPhone 8 Plus here

To save some money but sacrifice little, the iPhone 7 Plus is also a great option. The iPhone 8 Plus was largely an iterative upgrade to the iPhone 7 Plus. So, with the older phone, you’ll still get a crystal clear 5.5-inch display, snappy performance from the hardware, and an easy-to-use operating system with iOS 11 (soon to be iOS 12).

Just like the newer model, the iPhone 7 Plus benefits from a massive horde of cases available to choose from. Though an iPhone 8 Plus case is a smart purchase, it’s not as essential as it is with the iPhone 8 Plus. This is because the older iPhone has an aluminum chassis, meaning there’s less glass that can shatter if dropped.

See the iPhone 7 Plus here

Samsung comes in with a great smartphone pick for seniors thanks in no small part to the Galaxy S9 Plus’s massive 6.2-inch display. With that large display, users can turn up the text size and still fit plenty on the screen. A fingerprint scanner, iris scanner, and facial recognition also mean unlocking the phone is easy. 

With the latest and great Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810 chipset, the Galaxy S9 Plus is also highly responsive. Its impressive cameras will also make it easy to stay in touch and share with family members. It may be pricey, but it’s a fully featured phone, and an IP68 rating means you won’t need to buy a replacement because a little water splashed on it (though we still recommend a case if dropping is a concern). Factor in Bixby’s ability to help users navigate menus and change phone settings, and you’ve got a wonderful smartphone for tech-savvy seniors.

See the Galaxy S9 Plus here

The OnePlus 6 can offer a fairly clean Android experience for seniors, so the user interface isn’t overly complicated. Plus, it has the powerful internals and dazzling 6.28-inch display to make it a fitting rival of the Galaxy S9 Plus at a substantially lower price.

It may not be the cheapest OnePlus, but it’s one of the most affordable flagship smartphones right now. And, it features minor water resistance, so a splash now and then or getting caught in the rain shouldn’t be an issue. However, like many of the other more expensive phones on this list, we recommend a OnePlus 6 case with this one to protect it from drops.

See the OnePlus 6 here

For an extra-affordable but still competitive pick, the Moto G6 is a great option. It’s price is close a third of what the other flagship smartphones cost, but it includes many of the same features. It has an elegant, metal-framed design with a glass back and front (so a case would be wise). And, for seniors, it’s sharp Full HD+ display measures 5.7 inches across, giving plenty of room to increase fonts as needed.

Competent internals, a fingerprint reader, and special gesture controls round out the experience with the Moto G6. It has all the capabilities one could need to stay in touch, and a water-repellent coating helps ensure the occasional mishap doesn’t ruin that functionality.

See the Moto G6 here

Simple phones for seniors:

Some seniors might not want all the fancy tech of a smartphone, and senior-branded phones like the JitterBug may go too far toward being easy to use. Enter the new Nokia 3310. It’s a simple, easy to use feature phone with all the basics need to keep in contact with family and friends, and a long-lasting battery to keep the connection going. 

The Nokia 3310 supports calling, texting, and even a bit of social media. A basic camera can help seniors share with their family and friends as well. Plus, it’s a durable little phone, so the occasional drop shouldn’t be much of a worry. On top of all that, it’s affordable.

See the Nokia 3310 3G here
See the Nokia 3310 here

The Alcatel GO FLIP is another simple feature phone with some modern upgrades. While it looks and works like an old-school flip phone, it boasts 4G LTE connectivity (though it’s only available in North America) for fast web-surfing and emailing. That 4G connectivity also allows the GO FLIP to offer seniors better call quality using Voice-over-LTE. 

It has a camera for sharing photos and 720p videos. It can be loaded up with music and connected to headphones via a 3.5mm jack as well. For those hard of hearing, it has an M4/T4 rating for hearing aid compatibility.

See the Alacatel GO FLIP here

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Samsung Galaxy J6 is set to make a budget-friendly splash

Samsung has announced the latest in its budget smartphone offerings with the new Galaxy J6. The new handset will bring some of Samsung's higher-end design and features, like the Galaxy S9's AR Emoji to the budget market.

Front and center for the new Galaxy J6 is a 5.6-inch screen that covers a good percentage of the phone's front. With this style of reduced-bezel display showing up in more and more premium phones, availability in more affordable phones will likely be welcomed by customers. 

Said screen also uses a Super AMOLED panel for excellent contrast ratios. The resolution is a lower 720 x 1,480, but on a screen of its size, that still produces an adequately crisp pixel density.

Samsung Galaxy J6

Inside the Galaxy J6, an octa-core processor clocked at 1.6GHz runs Android 8.0 Oreo on 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, and will be powered by a 3,000mAh battery. Samsung hasn't clarified just what model processor will be used, and that may be due to regional variations. Storage is expandable up to 256GB with a microSD card.

The Galaxy J6 will include a 13MP rear camera and an 8MP front-facing camera, both of which will feature an LED flash. Samsung's AR Emoji will also be functional on the J6. A fingerprint scanner on the rear will offer easy unlocking. Samsung plans to release the phone in the UK later this year, though the verdict is still out on a global release. 

This launch comes shortly after Motorola's Moto G6, which is another budget smartphone going big on the display. The two may soon be going head to head for the attention of budget-minded shoppers.

  • Check out our list of the best cheap phones (US) (UK)
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Moto G6 now available at Amazon Prime-exclusive price

Motorola's latest budget champion, the Moto G6, has finally launched. And there's good news for Prime subscribers. It's now available as an Amazon Prime Exclusive phone. That means that this already impressive budget phone just got even more affordable.

Motorola's Moto G line has long been known for its solid budget offering. It paired decent internals, some higher end features, and a design that has continued to veer toward premium with each passing year. The Moto G6 continues in the tradition with amazing success.

The new Moto G6 features the most premium design yet seen in an affordably phone with 3D glass, an aluminum frame, a dual-sensor camera on the back, and a thin fingerprint scanner on the front. The centerpiece of the new smartphone is its leap into high screen-to-body ratio territory with a 5.7-inch Full HD+ display that offers a lot of screen space without making the phone unwieldy. 

From the outside, the Moto G6 looks like other premium smartphones. The camera may not be as capable, and the processor and internal storage won't be as fast or capacious. But, at the price, it speeds through tasks well enough on Android 8.0 Oreo, and microSD support means storage space is easy to upgrade.

The Moto G6 is available here for $234.99 and supports AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, and in the US, Google's Project Fi.

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