And 2019, is set to be even better.These gems transcended premium phones and reached midrange and budget devices as well as innovations from less-known brands like Vivo and Oppo. We can all appreciate the effort made by niche phonemakers to try something new.
What made 2018 phones shine — and it was one of my eight-plus years of phone reviewing — was the consistently high standard of quality. The phones were powerful and fast and packed with exciting software and hardware. The best low-light camera on the planet has produced some amazing photos.
These are the 15 best 2018 smartphones to gift as gifts
Even the lesser-known specimens that didn’t make our top lists received high marks for their rock-solid performance. Even among the more affordable devices, we saw an array of riches that anyone would be proud to own. The sheer number of quality phones was the top-selling trend this year. However, not all trends are winners.
You rail against the growing presence of notches removed from screens, and headphone Jacks are still on the chopping block. In 2018, prices rose with Apple, Samsung, and Huawei securing the $1,000 starting price of a premium phone. In mature markets like the US, where even No. No. 1 global brand Samsung, and No. 3 Apple experienced a slump. Apple stopped reporting the number of iPhones that it sold. You can see that 2018 was the year of the phone. how to text someone who has blocked you
It only gets better with every passing day. Rising competition will mean higher costs and a shifting landscape in 2019. While most 4G phones will continue to follow the status quo, there are at least two new tracks that are being developed alongside them.5G smartphones from Samsung and LG, OnePlus, and others promise to deliver exponentially faster data speeds while foldable phones are poised for radical new designs that combine a smartphone and tablet.
These are the top winners and losers of 2018
and how they soared ahead. A peek at the newest phone categories in the mobile world. Chinese brand Vivo surprised us last January with their first-ever in-screen fingerprint reader. The optical sensor takes a photo of your fingerprint to verify dat TEMPyou are you.
Although the dis method was not reliable and it was questionable in terms of security, other brands such as Huawei and OnePlus embedded fingerprint scanners underneath the screen. Qualcomm, the largest mobile phone chipmaker in the world, has now announced an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner that uses sound to identify your print. It is likely that most premium Android phones will have one by next year.
In 2018, there were many excellent camera phones. The Pixel 3, iPhone XS, XR, Galaxy S9 and Note 9, Huawei P20 Pro as well as Mate 20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro were all excellent for video and photography. Huawei’s Pro handsets also have a Night Site mode that allows for low-light shots.
AI smarts are being used by more cameras to match lighting scenes to the best settings, such as the Note 9 and Huawei’s phones. Super slow-motion video (especially from Sony’s XZ3 premium) was also available on many high-end models.\Although there was not much change in this area, wireless charging and water-resistant coatings are still a top standard for the upper echelons. These features are not required on phones like the OnePlus 6T.
They tend to be cheaper.OnePlus was the latest company to discontinue support for the headphone jack. However, Samsung, LG, and other companies remained strong. If rumors are true that the 2019 Galaxy S10 will have the last headphone jack, then things could change for the headphone Jack in 2019. A Note 10 in August that loses its headphone connector would signal the end of the native 3.5mm port for wired headphones.No matter what phone you buy, you want long battery life. This is contrary to power-hungry advances like larger screens and more complex photo processing.
Let’s discuss the $1,000 price tag
Your battery life will decrease the more you spend streaming video or navigating directions. The chip inside of the battery is more powerful than ever, so battery life can be a bit longer in 2019. We can’t ignore the discrepancy between what we get and what we promise. We were disappointed that the Galaxy S9’s battery was not as long-lasting as we would like, but that the S9 Plus took our on a full-day ride.The Galaxy S9 phones come with wireless charging and a headphone socket.
Angela Lang/CNETMany of the TEMPhas are related to how the chip is assembled by the smartphone makers’ software layers. Apple is the exception, as it controls both software and processors in-house. Although the iPhone’s battery life is good, it pales in comparison with top Android smartphones. The $1,000 phone is here to stay. Sarah Tew/CNETThe iPhone X’s $1,000 starting price shocked the world last year. Samsung followed suit with the Note 9 in 2018, which was also a shock to the world.
(See which one was better value for money). There is no doubt that phones are becoming more expensive. Here are the numbers. The upward trend in prices and the shift to 5G suggest that these prices will continue rising. It is also likely that unlimited plans will cost more. Justin Denison, Samsung’s SVP for mobile, stated this month that “if you generate enough value”, “Tan consumers are ready to pay.
The same applies to today’s LTE phones. In 2019, phones will use more AI, and their software capabilities will continue to grow. As Google rolls out new updates to Google Assistant as well as Google Duplex for Android, phones will continue to develop. These apps can make reservations for real people and may soon be able to field incoming calls.
These changes are not the only ones.
This is how OLED panels achieve their amazing results. An OLED panel’s pixels can be turned off completely. This allows the panel to produce contrast ratios and blacks that are superior to LCD screens, where liquid crystals can only block some light from the backlight. An LCD screen with local dimming cannot match the OLED’s ability to turn individual pixels on or off. OLED displays can also produce more colors because they have higher saturation levels. OLED panels can produce more precise colors by using more colors. OLED panels with higher saturation levels will produce more vivid colors.
An OLED may seem more efficient than an LCD. It doesn’t require a backlight to turn individual pixels off and it can power the entire display. However, OLED displays can have a negative effect on battery life. OLED displays offer good battery life, but you can’t expect to have a longer runtime due to the better image quality.
Let’s look at the top deals that I find right now after we have a better understanding of the benefits of OLED laptops. I’ve included mainstream laptops at affordable prices as well as high-powered laptops currently on sale at a discounted price. A Chromebook. You can buy a cheap Chromebook with OLED displays. These prices and discounts were valid at the time this article was written. I will update this story as new sales occur and I find more deals.
5800H eight-core CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX3050 graphics. This display has a resolution of 2.8K (2.880×1,800 pixels) and a 16-to-10 aspect ratio, which allows for more vertical space and less scrolling. A generous 16GB RAM and a large 1TB SSD are also included. The convertible Inspiron high-end Inspiron has a 16-inch 4K touchscreen display, 16GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce X450 graphics, and a 512GB SSD. A 1080p webcam will make you appear more clear during video chats than a standard 720p camera.
You can have an OLED display on your Chromebook! The two-in-one Chromebook Chromebook Duet 5, from Lenovo, is proof of this possibility. The device features a 13.5-inch OLED display that can be detached and has a full HD resolution. It is powered by an 8-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 8GB RAM. The 128GB SSD is quite large for a Chromebook. This Chromebook is a great deal for $499, and it’s occasionally reduced by $120. Keep an eye on its sale price to return.
It’s more difficult to switch between iPhone or Android if our phones are tied to our daily necessities like wallets, credit cards, and cars. This concept is not new. The industry has been moving in this direction for many years. The changes in iOS 16 & Android 13 will bring significant refinements to Apple and Google’s respective approaches, which will likely accelerate such efforts.
Replacing the wallet in its physical form
Both Apple’s iOS 16 preview and Google’s Android 13 preview were focused on the digital wallet. The biggest update to Apple Pay will be a new option called Apple Pay later. This splits the purchase cost into four equal payments over six weeks. Apple Wallet ID cards can be used to verify age in apps with iOS 16. Apple added digital ID support last year.
During its I/O conference last week, Google revealed a major overhaul to its Wallet application that brings it up-to-date with Apple. Google Wallet, which is similar to Apple Wallet, will store personal documents such as payment and transit cards, vaccination records, and student IDs. Google also works with government agencies to provide digital IDs.
Together, the updates by Apple and Google represent another step towards their common goal of making physical wallets obsolete. This shift will inevitably lead to us becoming more dependent on mobile devices. Google reiterated its ambition in May, just before revealing the latest updates at Google I/O.
In reality, these days, there are only two things that I don’t leave behind: my wallet and my phone,” Sameer Samat (Android and Google Play’s vice-president of product management) said on stage. “So, the question is: can my phone replace my wallet?”Corey Fugman was Apple’s senior director of Wallet and Apple Pay. He made similar comments during Monday’s WWDC keynote.
He stated, “With Apple Wallet, we’re working tirelessly on our goal to substitute your physical wallet.”Many people have already adopted the idea of replacing credit cards with mobile-based payment apps. According to a report by eMarketer, Apple Pay usage in-store mobile payments systems will surpass 50% of smartphone users in the US in 2025.
Your phone is everywhere
Google’s visual search tool provides details about products on busy shelves. Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNETApple and Google is not content with simply replacing the wallet. They also want to make smartphones more useful offline. Both companies have also released camera-based smartphone apps that can make it easier to find real-world points of interest. A second theme is the increasing interconnectivity of mobile devices with home appliances, cars, and speakers.
Both Apple and Google believe that the camera will play an important role in our interaction with the world. You can now translate text into other languages with iOS 16’s new camera option in Apple’s Translate app. The company demonstrated this during its WWDC keynote presentation. By simply tapping text in a photograph, you can track flight status and convert currency.
Google I/O showcased an ambitious extension of its Lens app, called “scene Explorer”. This essentially extends its search power to the real world. To find the perfect product, you would simply use your phone’s camera to scan a shelf of products. The screen would display ratings and information. Prabhakar Raghavan, Google’s head of search, cited as an example the ability to buy nut-free snacks and scent-free lotions in a physical store.
Although the execution might be different, the concept is identical. Our phones are used to order food, taxis, and other household necessities with the touch of a button. Apple and Google now want our phones to be an integral part of completing those tasks in real life, and the camera will play a significant role.
Apple and Google have both refined their visions of how to turn our phone into appliance hub that connects to other appliances. Google explained how Android13 would improve your phone’s ability to connect to other devices. This includes support for fast pairing and automatic audio switching. It also allows you to sync your messages with your computer and phone more easily. The new split-screen was also revealed by Google.
Apple simplified managing HomeKit devices through a new iPhone home app
The car is perhaps the most important area Apple intends to expand the iPhone’s reach. The company teased, a redesign of its CarPlay software. It looks almost like an automobile operating system, complete with widgets and app icons that look similar to the iPhone and Apple Watch. Smart homes and connected cars are not new concepts. Both have been part of Apple’s and Google’s strategies for years. However, iOS 16 and Android 13 clearly show how Apple and Google envision these devices communicating and interacting.
people and Google have made the smartphone more personal as the link to everything, from your credit card to your car’s thermostat and car. Your iPhone will receive a new lock screen this fall. It includes support for Apple Watch-Esque widgets as well as new effects for background images. Google’s Material You is expanding with premade color sets that are available for use across all operating systems.
iOS 16 and Android 13, beyond new wallet functionality and camera tools to scan real-world objects, there’s more. These updates are not only a sign of how important the phone has become in our offline and online lives but also indicate where the industry is headed. There are some steps you can take to avoid getting a crappy solar deal.WichienTep/Getty Images
Although there is no reason to believe that unethical sales tactics are common, they do happen. An industry expert can help you avoid a solar panel purchase that isn’t going to deliver. You will need to do some research, be able to identify the issues, and consult experts when needed.
How to prepare for your trip
The booming residential solar industry is surrounded by fierce competition. There are many sales strategies that companies employ, whether they use in-house sales staff or third-party firms. The only way to reach Tesla’s solar arm is through online inquiries. Although there are industry guidelines to protect consumers, tactics can vary between companies and, as the Detroit report showed, can be dishonest.
A solid understanding of key solar topics will help you identify when a salesperson is not following those guidelines. The federal solar tax credit is often promoted by salespeople. You get a portion of your tax refund when you install solar panels and other related technology. In 2022 you will get 26%. It will expire in 2024 at 22% unless extended by the US government.
The tax credit is not a government check or rebate. It’s a credit that you can use against the taxes that you have to pay each year. To get the full benefit, you will need to pay federal income taxes and enough to match 26% of the cost of your system. This is what you may not even notice: New Solar ShinglesA salesperson claiming that your electricity bill will disappear once you have installed solar could be exaggerating.
Your net metering agreement, electricity use, and the base rate paid by utility customers will all affect the amount of your bill. While solar panels can reduce your electricity use and save you money, the impact on your bill will be different. Before you go solar, make sure you know how your utility will compensate you. These rates aren’t necessarily fixed.
California’s regulators If the electricity cost is not rising faster than your utility’s, leases or PPAs can help you save money. Online, you can see how much your electricity has increased in the past. Another issue is the installation of solar panels on your roof. The panels that produce the most electricity in the northern hemisphere are those that face south.
However, east- and west-facing panels can also be used
In areas where there are high time-of-use rates and solar production, panels facing west may be of use. This is because more expensive electricity can be offset by panels facing the west. Your solar panels will produce less electricity if they are shaded by a treeschmidtz/Getty Images
Installers should have a plan in place for dealing with shaded roofs. Solar panels will not work well if you cut down trees or place them elsewhere. You should also make sure your roof is in good condition. Additional costs may be incurred if you have to take panels off your roof in order to repair it. These issues should be addressed before you sign a contract and have panels installed on your roof.
Any installer should be able to give you clear answers to all these questions. Installers who force you to sign without you having read the contract or asked all your questions are red flags. According to the Federal Trade Commission, you have three business days to cancel any door-to-door sales that you regret signing.
Battery life is longer
The Apple Watch’s Achilles heel has been its battery life. The Apple Watch lasts me about a day and a half. However, Fitbit trackers or watches can run multiple days on one charge. For example, the Fitbit Sense can usually function for up to two days before needing to be charged, while the Fitbit Versa3 can last for six days, according to CNET’s reviews. Keep in mind that battery life can vary depending on how you use it.
Even if the Apple Watch has a three-day battery, I would love to see it last longer than that. It would be sufficient to bring my Apple Watch with me on weekends without needing to charge it or pack a charger. This would make the Apple Watch a more useful sleep tracker. Because I prefer to use the Apple Watch for exercise and activity tracking, I haven’t used it to track sleep much. However, extending the time between charges might change this.
Apple has found a way to get around this problem by increasing the Apple Watch’s charging speeds with the Series 6 or 7. This is a good thing. For example, if you have an Apple Watch that you wear overnight, you can charge it during your morning routine to ensure you still have enough juice for the day.
Recovery features for workouts
My Apple Watch can tell me many things such as how many calories I have burned and my progress towards my fitness goals. It can’t tell me if I need to rest. Because I am so obsessed with closing my Activity Rings, it is sometimes difficult for me to exercise when I need to rest. Sometimes I feel I can push myself harder but still choose a simpler workout. The Apple Watch would be great to help me make those decisions based on my body signals, recent activity, and sleep.
Oura, Fitbit offers metrics such as readiness scores. A readiness score, as the name suggests, indicates whether your body can handle a hard workout or not. Based on your score, both Oura and Fitbit can offer you advice and help you adjust your goals. These apps may tell you to pay more attention to your feelings and to get enough sleep if you have a low score. If you get a high score or an average score they may suggest that you do a moderate exercise program.
If you’re not making much progress towards closing your rings, the Apple Watch can push you to move. The Apple Watch can also be congratulatory if you have had an active day. It doesn’t have a specific metric to prioritize recoveries, like Oura’s readiness scores or Fitbit’s. While the Mindfulness app and Apple Fitness Plus’ mediation programs are helpful, it would be great to see recovery integrated into the Apple Watch’s goals and metrics in an effective way.
Although it may seem minor, these tips can make a big difference. A low readiness score and a reminder to take things easy on days I feel tired is a great way to validate that I don’t have to do a complete workout every day if I don’t feel like it. Because they are easy to overlook, the mindfulness reminders on my Apple Watch don’t go far enough. It is usually more indicative of how I feel based on my sleep and activities, so it feels more meaningful than a reminder to take deep breaths.