I can't lie, I've been a big fan of the Note series since the Note 3. Funnily enough, I had the original Note but thought it was too big and ugly. Didn't even bother getting the Note 2. I have then loved the Note 3, 4 and 5.
I had a Note 7 on order, but Carphone Warehouse mucked me about with my delivery date and I cancelled... just before they started bursting into flames. In a stroke of good timing, the Pixel XL came out and I bought that and followed it up with the Pixel 2 XL.
This year, partly because of what I see from the Pixel 3 XL leaks I decided to go back to the Note 9 and see how they've progressed since the Note 5.
I'm trying to make more of an effort with social media in general recently. I've posted a few times on Facebook in the last week, I've been putting some bits on Google+ and now I've signed up a specific account for AndroidAndyUK on Instagram!
Be sure to follow me.
I've been using the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 for over a week now and I can honestly say I love it. Whilst it's one of the heaviest devices I've ever owned, it doesn't really feel bulky in the hand. The screen is huge, bright and vibrant, the stereo speakers are loud and clear even containing a little base, the camera is up their amongst the best and the battery is now a monster with enough power for me to go two days without charging.
I thought I'd write a little something, just in case you've just emerged from a cave and hadn't seen the Pixel 3 XL leaks that have come from some Russian guy, who is apprently now trying to sell the Pixel 2 XL for around $2,000!
Really there are two things that have caught people's eye from the leaks. The main talking point seems to be the 'notch'...
I'm aware I've not posted much recently and now along comes loads of news in the same week. Let's start with a nice simple one, my thoughts on the Note 9 announcement.
Althought my last two devices have been Pixels, I owned the Note 3, 4 and 5 with the Note 3 and Note 5 being two of my favourite devices I've ever used. I don't think I even used a Note 7 or 8 though and having seen some videos on the Note 9, I have to say I'm really tempted to move back to Samsung.
It's been quite a big week for Google releasing new apps this week. It was only a few weeks ago they released a new (and improved?) Google News app, well this week we've been blessed with two more media consumption apps from the Big G.
The first I will mention is Google Podcasts. Previously Google would have us use Google Play Music for listening to our favourite podcasts, even then, it would only work if you're in the US. The rest of us had no options. Now, they've finally released a stand alone app for us to listen to our favourite podcasts on, like AndroidAndyUK (pictured to the right) for example!
The first thing you notice is it's a nicely presented app with a neat and simple layout. At this point though, it's not just the layout that's simple, the app itself seems rather bare. You search for an app you want and then subscribe.
There are features coming though. I don't know if it's official or I've just heard a rumour, but the hope is in the future it will transcribe all podcasts and you would be able to search for a particular discussion and jump right to it. Now that would be pretty cool!
The good people at BenQ got in touch with me this week to see if I'd like to try their new eReader Lamp. I wasn't really sure what that meant, but of course said I'd love to! What it actually is, is a table lamp that sits on top of your monitor. It's not quite as simple as that though, the BenQ ScreenBar eReader Lamp has five important features to make it stand out from other lamps.
The BenQ ScreenBar eReader Lamp features the following -
Up until very recently I thought it was too expensive to go 4K. I remember last year I noticed some quite nice 4K TV's for around £600, but decided against it as there still wasn't much 4K content available. I'm not sure what really changed my mind this month, but I upgraded both our living room TV (55") and my bedroom TV (40") to 4K HDR and wow... amazing! It's not even the 4K content, the 1080p I watch looks outstanding! I now understand what people mean when they say it looks too real. It's hard to explain, but every now and then you get a shot that just looks so real, you expect the director to walk in shouting 'cut!'.
It all began about 6 months ago when my brother splurged on a pair of Bose QC 35 ii's for his hour plus commute to work. Now, I remember hearing Bose noise cancellation before, a demo somewhere, sometime, but I don't remember it being as impressive as it was when I reviewed his Bose headphones. I almost instantly ordered my own set.
I then realised they weren't as perfect as I thought. Playing games I noticed quite a delay in the sound, from firing a bullet to hearing it fired was around a third of a second. It doesn't sound much but actually it's quite off putting. Also, ask a gamer what he thinks of playing competitively with a 300+ ping! So began my hunt for the perfect wireless noise cancelling headphones!
Google I/O has been on this week and with it came the beta release of Android's latest OS update, Android P. At this point we don't know what P will stand for, we don't even know what version this will be, will it be 8.2 or Android 9?
Some good news for non-Pixel types though, Android P Beta is available on many more phones than it's been allowed on in the past -
|Google Pixel||Google Pixel XL||Google Pixel 2||Google Pixel 2 XL|
|OnePlus 6||Essential PH‑1||Sony Xperia XZ2||Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S|
|Nokia 7 Plus||Oppo R15 Pro||Vivo X21|
I think it's very interesting to see OEM's like Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo on the list, well done Google!
Many people in the UK have never heard of Xiaomi, but they're actually the worlds 5th largest smartphone company with revenue of $15 billion in 2017. They aren't just limited to smartphones either, my pedometer is a Xiaomi product for example. They make drones, TV's, laptops and air purifiers to name just a few other products.
If you watched my Redmi 5 Plus review from last week, you'll already know that buying Xiaomi devices over here in the UK is a slow process, taking weeks and including a income tax Russian Roulette element when receiving the device. Maybe soon that will all change though.
At a recent 'Hack in the Box' security conference in Amsterdam, two researchers called Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell of the firm Security Research Labs revealed the results of a two year long investigation into Android security patches by vendors. In their study, they examined the firmware of 1,200 Android devices, to see if the patch level quoted in the OS was actually the patch level found on the device for patches released in 2017. They found what they call a 'patch gap' in many of the well known OEM's devices.
Every now and then I get asked about what equipment I use to make my YouTube videos. Well, once I got asked. Okay, once I told someone and now I'm going to tell you...
It doesn't take a huge amount of money to get a decent setup, but you do need to spend a little. If I get to a YouTube video and the lighting means the camera can't focus or the person can barley be understood as the audio is that bad, I quite often just move on. I think my setuo can be had for around £500, which I think is reasonable if you're serious about YouTube videos. So, lets take a look at the kit.