At this time Samsung is still working on distributing their own Android 7.0 Nougat updates onto the S7 and S7 Edge devices around the world. Despite the slow and agonizing wait process there already has been a good handful of people in certain regions who already received the update. Notably we saw updated benchmark test’s performed on battery life on an S7 Edge device before and after the Nougat upgrade. The good folks at GSMArena and PhoneArena did an updated test on Marshmellow and then Nougat to try and take into account the integrity of the battery (due to wear and tear). Overall it does not seem to look good. Here are the results:
On the Galaxy S7, the Android Marshmallow OS battery life was rated at 397 minutes which is still excellent for a battery which must have seen degradation over the years worth of usage. Android Nougat, however, came to a close at 360 minutes instead which is noticeably less.
On the Galaxy S7 Edge, the Android Marshmallow OS clocked in at 403 minutes of usage in their tests still compared to 395 minutes compared to Android Nougat.
The update brings a lot of changes on the software front of the s7 and s7 edge platform. Ranging from a new UI, camera app overhauls, power saving modes and many new Android 7 features as well. Unfortunately, the first adopters of this new OS update began complaining about a drop in battery life for their S7 and S7 Edge devices. Phone Arena performed an investigation on this and found that there indeed was a connection between the drop in battery performance and Android 7.0 Nougat.
The overall numbers show that the devices are under performing by about 10% compared to when they were on Marshmallow. To test this the team kept the screen brightness at 200 nits and performed average usage tasks on each handset (on Marshmallow first to test the battery life after 1 year of usage, then Nougat).
The reason why the team re did the test on Marshmallow was to relieve the growing concerns over the age of the batteries (about 1 years old). Batteries naturally face degradation and lose battery life over time. Regardless, it is confirmed that there were no noticeable differences in battery life from when they first tested this at the beginning of 2016. It was only after upgrading to Android Nougat that we found a drop in battery life of approximately 10%.
The effects we see on battery life is all driven by the software. There were major changes and we assume there are still various bugs that will be squashed as we move forward. Samsung should be hard at work finding fixes and constantly pushing out proper updates to get rid of this strange phenomena that many see today. With proper optimizations to the software users should see a return to the glory days of long lasting battery performances in their S7’s and S7 Edge’s.
Apple’s tenth anniversary phone is set to launch in a few months. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has
already dropped hints that there are ‘exciting things in the pipeline’. The release is expected
around the end of this year. Will the iPhone 8 be as pathbreaking as it’s original counterpart
launched 10 years ago, or will be a mere upgrade. Don’t get me wrong, the iPhone 7 and the
iPhone 7 plus were great – they were among the best in 2016. But, there was nothing radical
about the design; it was rather a very good upgrade. Speaking of the iPhone 8, here are some
features likely to be introduced:
1. OLED display
The flexible plastic OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) display makes the device thinner that
allows Apple to consume less power and offers a better display with high contrast ratio.
2. Glass body
For the body, Apple is eventually going to move away from the aluminum used in the iPhone 5
and iPhone 6 series and replace the gorilla glass 4 used in the iPhone 4 (launched in 2011) by
sapphire glass protection which is unbreakable.
3. Faster A11 processor
Inside, the iPhone 8 is expected to have a 10-nanometer A11 chip that will be faster and efficient
than the A10 processor in iPhone 7.
4. Edge-to- edge display
The Apple iPhone 8 will have an edge-to- edge display, with no cut-out for the home button. It
would be able to sense and analyze fingerprints on any edge.
5. Wireless charging
The wireless charging range of iPhone 8 could be 15 feet. This feature was ruled out in iPhone 7.
6. No home button
Rumors suggest that iPhone 8 does not include a dynamic home button, i.e., the touch ID will be
built into the display. It might be sensitive to gestures. Besides that, the front camera will also be
built into that display.
7. Water resistant
Like iPhone 7, iPhone 8 might have improved with IP68-rated water resistant, which is the
advance of IP67- certified to iPhone 7 and iPhone plus.
As per International Protection Rating (IP code),
– IP first number – Protection against solid objects.
– IP second number – Protection against liquids.
I.e., In the IP68 rating – 6 refers to dust proof, and the number 8 refers to water resistant.
Apple usually releases its iPhone updates in September, so that we can expect iPhone 8 in
September of 2017.
As with every iPhone launch, sales are expected to skyrocket. Of course, many of us will have to opt for network locked phones. Do call us to ask if we can unlock iPhone 8. We have unlocked iPhone 7, iPhone 6 and other phones. Our permanent unlocking solution enables you to switch SIM cards between GSM carriers. Visit CellUnlocker.net to learn more.
Samsung released the Galaxy S7 in March of 2016. It is available in 32GB and 64GB model variants, both of which can be externally expanded up to 256GB. It is also available in black, white, gold, or silver. The Galaxy S7 has a 5.1″ super AMOLED touch screen with Corning Gorilla Glass, and supports Always-On Display. This model also has a 12MP camera, 2160p video recorder, and a 5MP front-facing camera. The S7 supports Samsung Pay (for MasterCard and Visa), Quick Charge 2.0, and is IP68 certified; dust and water resistant up to 1.5 meters and 30 minutes. The Galaxy S7 is one of the top Android devices on the market, with its octa-core processor and 4GB RAM, this device is a must-have! Once unlocked, it can be used with compatible carriers.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 Neo was released in August 2015, shortly after the Galaxy S5. It was available for Koodo, in Canada, in black, grey, or gold. The Galaxy S5 Neo has 16GB of internal memory and can be externally expanded up to 256GB. This device has a 5.1″ super AMOLED touch screen. It also has a 16MP camera, 1080p video recorder, and a 5MP front-facing camera. The S5 Neo supports FM Radio and is IP67 certified; water and dust resistant up to 1 meter and 30 minutes. Once unlocked, this phone can be used with compatible GSM network providers.
Samsung released the Galaxy S4 in April of 2013. It was available in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB model variants. It was also available in blue, white, or black. This model was released running Jelly Bean OS and can now be upgraded to Lollipop OS. The Galaxy S4 has a 5″ super AMOLED touch screen, with Corning Gorilla Glass. It also has a 13MP camera, 1080p video recorder, and a 2MP front-facing camera. With this device, you can simultaneously record video and images, tag your location, and much more! The S4 utilizes an octa-core processor and 2GB RAM for optimal speed and efficiency. Once unlocked, this phone can be used with compatible carriers locally and internationally.
Apple released the iPhone 7, alongside the iPhone 7 Plus, in September 2016. It’s available in matte black, jet black, gold, rose gold, or silver, and in 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB model variants. The iPhone 7 has a 4.7″ LED-backlit, IPS LCD, touch screen with 3D Touch Display and Display Zoom. It also supports Apple Pay (for AMEX, MasterCard, and Visa). This device has a 12MP camera, 2160p video recorder, and a 7MP FaceTime camera. This phone is IP67 certified; dust and water resistant up to 1 meter and 30 minutes. It also supports fingerprint sensory technology. Once unlocked, this phone can be used with compatible service providers around the globe!
Sprint released the iPhone 7 for their network in September 2016. It’s available in 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB model variants. It’s also available in black, matte black, silver, gold, or rose gold. This model was launched running iOS 10.0.1 and is now upgradable to iOS 10.2. The iPhone 7 has a 4.7″ LED-backlit, IPS LCD, multitouch touch screen, with scratch-resistant and shatter-proof glass. This device supports 3D Touch Display and Display Zoom. This phone has a 12MP camera, 2160p video recorder, and a 7MP FaceTime camera. The iPhone 7 also supports fingerprint sensor technology and Apple Pay for AMEX, Visa, and MasterCard. Once unlocked, this device can be used with compatible GSM networks worldwide!
You heard it, Google is soon releasing the next major overhaul for their Android Wear line up which they are calling “Android Wear 2.0”. In the past few years we have had a lot of different smartwatches released by a slew of manufacturers. Some people love wearing it everyday, while others, not so much. We know that our whole office along with many of our own friends do not actually wear them despite owning them. Even though these wrist watches have been available to us for 3 years or so the majority of the population simply did not find them as a necessity. With poorer battery life (for the high end models) compared to real watches and functions that can all be completed easily with higher visibility on your own smart phone, no wonder people tend to gravitate towards pulling out that classic smartphone instead.
Despite this Google was not discouraged but rather decided to push on to revamp the whole functionality of smartwatches. Manufacturers also did not stop but rather kept pushing out new models to sell. Google’s smartwatch development has yet to break out of the whole “wearable” niche and into the mainstream. Despite all of the various designs it just doesn’t seem to stick.
In light of all this Google went back to the drawing board and re designed what a smart watch should be. That is how they came out with Android Wear 2.0. With a more simplified design, new features, and a new way to have the watch operate independently from your smartwatch (most important point here) here we will look into the details.
2.0: Independent Smartwatch’s
The biggest and most important change we see in Android Wear 2.0 is the introduction of independent standalone apps. Gone are the days of having to always connect to your smart phone to function and in with the days you can perhaps truly walk around without your smartphone. Maybe we went too far there. Smart watches are still a little too basic to replace your smartphone entirely as there are still some apps that will need data syncing if there is something important to share between the two plat forms.
We are hoping that this big update will enable brand new ideas in how these smartwatches could be used and also usher in a new era of specializations.
Also included with this update, Google will be including the Google Play store to coming smartwatches running the 2.0 update. This enables users to browse and download smartwatch applications and install them directly. This eliminates the previous restriction of having to download a smartphone version on the smartphone first before transferring it to your watch.
2.0: New Watch Face Functions
Another big change in Android Wear 2.0 is the Complication API. This enables developers to implement their data from other apps onto their watch faces. This would enable higher levels of customization on top of the time told by the watch face. This could involve weather information, flight information, sensor based information, and much more. Clicking on the data shown on the watch face would allow the user to access the information in more detail.
2.0: Google Assistant Added
Google Assistant will now be integrated into Android Wear 2.0. We have already seen what the Google Assistant is capable of in our own smartphones so this would be a welcome addition to the smart watch game. Now users would be able to update their calendars, schedules, shopping lists, ask questions, and the usual dandy things you can ask the Assistant to do.
2.0: Mobile Payments Added
Keeping with the times with Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, Android Wear 2.0 will enable smartwatches to make payments as well. The hardware requirement would be an NFC Chip integrated into the watch. This system would utilize Google’s Android Pay in this case.
Using this system is very easy. All the user needs to do is hold the watch close to the payment terminal and NFC will take care of the payment. Transaction details will be view able on the watch itself.
2.0: Material Design Reintroduced
Google is keeping up with it’s Material Design styling in the UI. However, this time it has been brought over to the Smart Watches. Of course, the company has kept the optimizations good for the small display’s of the watches. For example, a new “curved layout” launcher rearranges the UI to fit a circular smartwatch and offers a circular scrolling and gesture experience.
The navigation drawer is available at the top of the screen and enables users to navigate between apps. The action drawer is available at the bottom of the screen and enables users to make different actions associated with the app opened currently. Buttons on the side of the smartwatch would present your apps in a sort of an arc. You can rearrange apps on this arc as well.
New rotational input support should help a lot in terms of comfort and well, it just makes plain sense for a round display.
2.0: New Notifications UI
Notifications have also received an overhaul in 2.0. Google has redesigned this so that notifications no longer cover up your watch’s screen and cause a sense of clutter. Rather, with a contextual color in the background (depending on the app opened) users should experience a bit more of a flow when receiving notifications while using an app on their watch. For example, the application; Hangouts, would cause the notification to be green. The UI uses darker colors now which should help with battery life (especially on AMOLED displays). A small notification is shown on screen. Raising your watch would enlarge the notification to full screen from which point you can swipe up or left and right to interact.
2.0: New Fitness Data Handle
Smaller and cheaper fitness trackers have stolen a lot of the spot light smartwatches offered. In light of this, Google worked hard to improve the capabilities of Google Fit. Their new Activity Recognition API enables the watch to detect activities such as walking or biking and then activate the associated fitness app based on the activity.
Google has given third party developers access to fitness data stored within the smartwatch. This should help out a lot in app content and variety on the Play Store. Specialist apps can now communicate with one another and keep everything (theoretically) flowing for fitness folks. Keeping progress an easy thing to track over a wide variety of activities.
2.0: Messaging and Input Overhaul
Owners of smartwatches today have the ability to send out messages or reply to messages by using voice input or actually typing on the tiny device screens. It may be more or less of a hassle for many. In 2.0 Google strives to make this experience a lot easier. With new support for handwriting, keyboard input, and a Smart Reply feature Google hopes this assists in faster responses during messaging.
Google implemented their Google Machine learning Algorithm to give users three quick response answers based off of the message. Because this is a machine learning system it learns from you over time which means improved responses the more you utilize this.
Apparently, in 2.0 Google also brought over the entire Android input method framework. We look forward to what developers will be able to do in creating their own custom input methodology as well as improving already existing methods of usage.
Upcoming watches and Updates
The next smartwatch that comes with Android Wear 2.0 will be the LG Watch Sport and Watch Style. Both of these watches will feature NFC mobile payments, Google Assistant, and standalone data capabilities with a built in 3G/4G modem.
Look out for more smartwatches on their way from companies such as Huawei, Asus, Motorola, and especially Samsung.
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