LG Stylo 3 Plus launched with 5.7-inch display, Android Nougat

LG has launched a new smartphone in the US. Dubbed Stylo 3 Plus, the device is powered by Snapdragon 435 SoC with octa-core 1.4GHz processor, and sports a 5.7-inch full HD display. RAM is 2GB, while internal memory is 32GB.

The Stylo 3 Plus is available from T-Mobile (both online and offline). As for price, the carrier is selling the device for $9 down and $9 a month on Equipment Installment Plan. Alternatively, you can grab it for $0 upfront and $10 a month with JUMP! on Demand.

The phone will be available for purchase from MetroPCS sometime next month.

Accelerate electric car ownership by standardising charging points, say experts

(Credit: iStock)

(Credit: iStock)

Charging an electric car can be a bit of a nightmare, but experts are calling for regulation to make it easier.

Currently different vehicles need different types of charger, and there’s no standard adaptor that you can use with all of them, with the exception of the very slow and basic one which plugs into a standard three-pin domestic socket.

But if you want to top up on the go, at the moment you need to find a charging pointwith the right kind of socket for your car, and hope it belongs to a network you’re registered with. Today, there are more than 30 different organisations installing electric car-charging networks in the UK.

Some networks offer pay-as-you-go models, while others require a subscription fee, but each one requires the driver to register and carry a network-specific swipe card in order to use it.

It’s all very confusing, and it’s something that needs to change if electric cars are going to adopted more widely, according to a panel of experts at the Smart to Future Citiesevent in London today. “We’re not anywhere close to a charging network that is convenient,” said John Davies, who works with the UK government on developing smart cities.

He was reminded of chargers for phones, which varied hugely for years before being standardised across the majority of devices (iPhones being a notable exception) with the adoption of micro-USB. “We’ve had the experience already with these things and we still haven’t cracked it,” he said. “Ultimately it should be regulated to speed up adoption.”

Others agree, but suggest waiting for the market to come up with its own solution before laying down laws. “Regulation is always a tool that we have in our arsenal,” said Lucy Yu, head of innovation at the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles. “But we shouldn’t assume that the market won’t potentially resolve some of this. I remember with cash machines – 15-20 years ago you had to go and find a cash machine for your bank. Now we have Link machines, and there is a potential for that kind of thing coming to market here.”

Generally, the experts agreed that more investment is needed to increase electric car ownership, as well as improved battery technology to reduce so-called ‘range anxiety,’ – where people don’t feel confident embarking on long journeys because of perceived lack of charging points. “There is more investment in charging infrastructure needed,” said Yu. “In more urban areas, people are probably more interested in a faster charge, and less interested in long range.”

Yu also believes more could be done to encourage people to try electric cars. “On the softer side of things, there are potentially grants or tax breaks to kick-start that market,” she said.

Redmi 3S+

Power at last

4100mAh two-day battery / Metal body
Snapdragon 430 / 13MP PDAF camera
2GB+32GB / Fingerprint sensor

Image result for redmi 3s+

CPU, memory and battery
Redmi 3S+
Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor 1.4GHz max
Adreno 505 GPU
2GB LPDDR3 RAM
32GB eMMC 5.0 flash
Up to 128GB expandable microSD (VFAT format)
4000mAh (min) / 4100mAh(typ) battery
Dimensions
  • Height: 139.3mm
  • Width: 69.6mm
  • Thickness: 8.5mm
  • Weight: 144g
Camera
13MP PDAF camera
5-piece lens, f/2.0 aperture
Ultra-fast 0.1s PDAF technology
HDR, Panorama, Straighten
12 real-time filters
Countdown timer, Manual mode
1080p full HD video recording
5MP front camera
f/2.2 aperture
Beautify, 36 smart beautify profiles
Face recognition
1080p full HD video recording
Display
Redmi 3S+
12.6cm (5) HD display
1280 x 720 resolution
Reading mode, reduces harmful blue light rays
Colour temperature adjustment
Networks and
4G Dual SIM
Network bands
4G FDD-LTE
TDD-LTE
B3/B5
B40
3G WCDMA 900MHz / 2100MHz
2G GSM 900MHz / 1800MHz
Hybrid SIM slot

nano SIM + micro SIM, or micro SIM + microSD card

Dual SIM use

When two SIM cards are used simultaneously, the primary SIM can support
4G calls and data while the secondary SIM can support 2G calls only.

Connectivity
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Bluetooth HID
  • Wi-Fi 2.4GHz
  • Wi-Fi Display
  • Wi-Fi Direct

Supports 802.11 b/g/n, 2.4GHz Wi-Fi

Sensors
  • Electronic compass
  • Gravity sensor
  • Light sensor
  • Infrared
  • Proximity sensor
  • Gyroscope
GPS navigation
  • GPS
  • AGPS
  • GLONASS
  • BeiDou
Multimedia support
  • MP4
  • M4V
  • MKV
  • XVID
  • ASF
  • PCM
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • eAAC+
  • MIDI
  • MP3
  • AC3
  • FLAC

Supports: MPEG- 4 / H.264 / H.263 / DivX / MPEG2 / VC1 / Soreson / VP8

SAR information

SAR 1g limit: 1.6W/kg
SAR Value: Head: 0.617W/Kg, Body: 0.429W/Kg (max 15mm distance)

Package contents

Redmi 3S+, power adapter, USB 2.0 cable, warranty card, user guide, SIM insertion tool

How nanotechnology, flexible furniture, and digital ears could revolutionise rail

Rail travel could soon look very different, with new technology set to make journeys faster, safer and more efficient.

Professional Engineering visited Railtex, a trade show for the railways industry at the NEC in Birmingham, to get an early look at the latest innovations coming down the line from forward-thinking companies all over the planet. Here are four new technologies that caught our eye.

Switching seats

Getting a seat on the train to work is a daily lottery for many commuters, while for others it’s a distant dream. Meanwhile, travelling in the middle of day is generally much less arduous, with ample space and seating for most passengers. But the way railway carriages are configured has generally been set up for either one or the other – the New York subway, for example, has plenty of space for standing but not many seats; while suburban rail services into London tend to take the opposite approach.

That could be set to change with new types of seating which can be easily reconfigured. At Railtex, design consultancy PriestmanGoode unveiled a new seating system called Island Bay. It provides normal seating during off-peak hours and a higher density configuration that can add an extra 15 to 20 per cent more seats and increase standing capacity during busier times. The regular seats slide up to become more like high stools, giving room for the table to in the middle to fold out and become a regular seat.

Special delivery

Another form of convertible carriage could help take thousands of cargo trucks off the roads. The ‘adaptable carriage,’ developed by 42 Technology and funded by the Rail Safety and Standards Board allows seats and table in a passenger carriage to be automatically stowed away to create space for cargo. It takes under three minutes for 20 rows of seats to be automatically compressed and stowed in a typical passenger carriage using the unique sliding and locking mechanism. There’s also a sensor system to make sure no sleeping passengers get caught out by the transformation.

(Credit: 42 Technology)

A typical passenger carriage has the same amount of storage space as an articulated lorry. It’s estimated that there are 15,000 lorries’ worth of spare capacity just going in and out of London every weekday – with services running against the commuter flow at peak times particularly empty, for example. This extra space could, according to 42 Technology, be used for the delivery of high value packages from online retailers, or fresh foodstuffs.

“Adaptable Carriage could be a real game changer,” Zane van Romunde, the head of 42 Technology’s transport sector business, told PE. He said it could prove a key source of additional revenue for train companies. “This income could be invested in improved facilities and services for passengers or used to limit ticket price increases. The approach could also help reduce emissions, cut road congestion and speed up delivery of goods bought online.”

Keeping it clean

Nanotechnology could help fight vandalism, thanks to a product showcased at Railtex. Aqueous Guard, which is being distributed by Unipart Rail, is a ceramic coating for exterior and interior train surfaces. It’s a technology that’s been used in the marine sector for about a decade, particularly on luxury yachts.

Now it’s been tweaked and modified for use in the rail industry. It forms a coating that chemically bonds with the underlying layer. “It makes it almost like glass in terms of its appearance – so it fills all of the pores of a substrate,” Unipart product manager Mike Smith told PE. “It’s the pores of a substrate that enable something to adhere to it, including dirt and graffiti. This creates a glass-like finish that effectively fills all of those pores and creates a barrier that reduces cleaning significantly.” This means easier and less frequent cleaning. In the case of graffiti, it could actually act as a deterrent, said Smith, because spray paint will just run instead of sticking to the surface.

Some operators have seen a 70 per cent reduction in cleaning with the coating. It would take about eight to 10 man hours to apply to a typical UK train carriage, if coating the exterior, the cab and the toilets, for a cost of around £2000, depending on volume.

It was originally formulated for defence purposes, and Nasa used it for rockets, and has now been adapted for the rail industry. “From marine, they’ve taken that base starting point and developed it, adapted it, put different solvents in it to make it cure quickly,” said Smith. “So there’s quite a lot of adaptation to make it work in the industry and make sure it’s flexible and has the long life without cracking or yellowing.”

There are also safety benefits. A separate, diluted hydrophobic coating for glass creates a very thin barrier that repels water, allowing drivers to see the way ahead more clearly. An MIT study found that hydrophobic coatings could improve driver reaction time, and decrease fatigue.

Ears to the ground

Safety at level crossings is usually managed by traditional signalling systems, which use electronic sensors built into the rails to tell when a train is coming and transmit that information to the level crossing. The most common systems rely on an electrical circuit being formed between the train and the tracks.

But if the sensors fail, there’s no way of telling what’s coming down the line. A new technology developed by Norwegian company Wavetrain Systems is set to change that, though. The approach relies on audio detection – the sensors are attached to the rails much nearer to the crossing point, within 15 to 20 metres. They pick up the unique soundwaves created by approaching trains. The digital data is sent to a control unit, which can then activate warning signals at the appropriate time. This reduces the need for long lengths of cabling alongside the tracks, and allows the system to operate autonomously.

10 best mirrorless cameras in 2017

1. Fuji X-T2

A stunning camera perfect for enthusiast photographers

Sensor size: APS-C | Resolution: 24.3MP | Viewfinder: EVF | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle display, 1,040,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 8fps | Movies:4K | User level: Expert

See more Fuji X-T2 deals

Polished handling

Fast autofocus

No touchscreen

Not much else

Fuji’s update to the X-T1 may look similar at first glance, but there have been some big improvements and perhaps the biggest of all is the autofocus. A huge leap forward compared with the system found in the X-T1, AF tracking of moving subjects is very snappy, while the level of sophistication and customisation is impressive. Add in 8 frames per second burst shooting, a clever double-hinged rear display, bright EVF, Fuji’s excellent 24.3MP X Trans III CMOS sensor and plenty of body mounted controls and you’re left with one of the best cameras available today.

Read the full review: Fuji X-T2

Olympus E-M10 II

Olympus E-M10 II

2. Olympus OM-D E-M10 II

The brilliant E-M10 II ticks boxes you probably didn’t even know about

Sensor size: Micro Four Thirds | Resolution: 16.1MP | Viewfinder: EVF | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle display, 1,037,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 8.5fps |Movies: 1080p | User level: Beginner/intermediate

See more Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II deals

Compact size, lenses too

Excellent viewfinder

Smaller sensor than some

Pricier than original E-M10

We loved the original E-M10 for its size, versatility and value for money, but the E-M10 II adds features that take it to another level. The old camera’s 3-axis image stabilization system has been uprated to the 5-axis system in Olympus’s more advanced OM-D cameras, the viewfinder resolution has been practically doubled and the continuous shooting speed, already impressive at 8fps, creeps up to 8.5fps. Some will criticise the smaller Micro Four Thirds sensor format (roughly half the area of APS-C) but the effect on image quality is minor and it means that the lenses are as compact and lightweight as the camera itself. It’s small, but it’s no toy – the E-M10 II is a properly powerful camera.

Read the full review: Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II

Sony Alpha 7R II

Sony Alpha 7R II

3. Sony Alpha A7R II

Sony’s highest resolution full-framer is going down a storm

Sensor size: Full-frame | Resolution: 42.4MP | Viewfinder: EVF | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle display, 1,228,800 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 5fps | Movies:4K | User level: Expert

See more Sony Alpha A7R II deals

Huge, high quality images

Excellent quality viewfinder

Needs a faster AF point settings

Tilting rather than vari-angle screen

Despite being small enough to fit in unnoticed amongst other CSCs, the Alpha 7 series of cameras have a full-frame sensor. That means the sensor is the same size as a piece of 35mm film, which is good news for image quality and depth of field control. The A7R II has proved especially popular because it has a pixel count of 42.2 million, so it generates huge images that have bags of detail, and noise is controlled well. What’s more, it can also shoot high quality 4K footage and there are lots of professional-level video features available. In addition, there’s an excellent stabilisation system and Wi-Fi/NFC technology built-in.

Read the full review: Sony Alpha A7R II

Fuji X-t10

Fuji X-t10

4. Fuji X-T10

The X-T10 makes access to Fuji’s terrific X-mount system affordable

Sensor size: APS-C | Resolution: 16.3MP | Viewfinder: EVF | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle display, 920,800 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 8fps | Movies:1080p | User level: Beginner/intermediate

See more Fuji X-T10 deals

Excellent build and design

Value for money

High ISOs are JPEG only

Lacks X-T1’s weatherproofing

If the X-T2 is a little beyond your budget, then take a look at the X-T10. Sharing many of the same features as the outgoing X-T1, we love the compact DSLR-style body, great handling, superb Fuji image quality and film simulation modes. It may lack the weather-sealing found on the X-T1 and also sports a smaller (but still very good) viewfinder, but that doesn’t detract from what is a brilliant mirrorless camera. The 16-50mm kit lens is good, but if you can stretch to the 18-55mm, it’s worth the extra investment. That’s not forgetting Fuji’s growing range of premium lenses, both prime and zoom.

Read the full review: Fuji X-T10

Fuji XPro2

Fuji XPro2

5. Fuji X-Pro2

Classic styling houses a stack of features aimed at the enthusiast photographer

Sensor size: APS-C | Resolution: 24.3MP | Viewfinder: EVF & Optical | Monitor: 3.0-inch display, 1,620,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 8fps | Maximum video resolution: 1080p | User level: Expert

See more Fujifilm X-Pro2 deals

Clever viewfinder

Very good detail and colour

Fixed rear display

EV dial easily knocked

The joint flagship camera in the Fuji range alongside the X-T2, the X-Pro2 is designed for photographers who prefer to shoot with compact primes. Using the same 24.3MP sensor as the X-T2, the AF isn’t quite as advanced, it’s still very capable. Unique to mirrorless cameras though is the X-Pro2’s Advanced Hybrid Multi Viewfinder, offering both the option of an EVF and optical viewfinder, as well an Electronic Rangefinder feature that overlays a small version of the electronic finder in the corner of the optical one. One of the more expensive options out there, but you’ll be rewarded with a great shooting experience and pin-sharp images.

Read the full review: Fujifilm X-Pro2

Sony A6300

Sony A6300

6. Sony A6300

Forget any worries about slow focusing with this little beaut

Sensor size: APS-C | Resolution: 24.2MP | Viewfinder: EVF | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle display, 921,600 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 11fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Beginner/intermediate

See more Sony A6300 deals

Very capable autofocusing system

Excellent electronic viewfinder

Screen not touch-sensitive

Tilting rather than vari-angle screen

You don’t have to go full-frame to get the benefit of Sony’s great camera technology and this APS-C format model makes a great choice for enthusiasts looking for an alternative to big, heavy SLR. One of the challenges for CSC manufacturers has been to make their autofocus systems as good as the ones in SLRs. The A6300’s comes very close, especially in bright light; it’s able to track moving subjects around the frame and as they move towards or away from the camera. There’s also an excellent electronic viewfinder that makes it easy to see when the subject is sharp and correctly exposed. Image quality is very high and there’s built-in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity to allow to share images via a connected smartphone.

Read the full review: Sony A6300

Pen

Pen

7. Olympus Pen-F

Sleek retro styling partnered with a host of creative features

Sensor size: Micro Four Thirds | Resolution: 20MP | Viewfinder: EVF | Monitor: 3.0-inch vari-angle touchscreen display, 1,037,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 10fps | Movies: 1080p | User level: Intermediate/expert

See the best Olympus Pen-F deals

High-quality electronic viewfinder

Build quality and controls

Expensive

Small buttons

While the design follows that of the original film Pen-F camera from the 1960s, that’s pretty much where any similarities stop, with this modern-day Pen-F featuring Olympus’s latest 20MP Micro Four Thirds sensor. Unlike previous Pen models we’ve seen which rely solely on the rear screen for composition unless you want to invest in an optional attachable electronic viewfinder, the Pen-F incorporates a high-quality OLED EVF integrated into the body with with a resolution of 2.36m dots. There’s also an advanced 5-axis image stabilisation system built in to combat camera shake, while no Olympus CSC could be complete without a selection of Art Filters – the Pen-F has 28 to choose from. Offering plenty of customisation and a host of clever features, there’s also built-in Wi-Fi connectivity to boot.

Read the full review: Olympus Pen-F

GX80

GX80

8. Panasonic GX80/GX85

A stripped-down GX8, but its all the better for it

Sensor size: Micro Four Thirds | Resolution: 16MP | Viewfinder: EVF | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilti-angle touchscreen display, 1,040,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 8fps | Maximum video resolution: 4K | User level: Beginner/intermediate

See more Panasonic GX80/GX85 deals

Great features for the price

Consistent AF performance

Ergonomics could be better

Doesn’t use the latest 20MP sensor

With the GX80 (known at the GX85 in the US), Panasonic’s taken the well-liked GX8and streamlined some of the features to end-up with an appealing alternative that’s more competitively priced. Despite sacrificing the clever tilting EVF, resolution is actually improved on the fixed EVF on the GX80, and while it also forgoes the 20.3MP Micro Four Thirds sensor and replaced by the older 16MP chip, the AA filter has been removed for sharper images. The GX80 also comes with 4K video capture, with the ability to capture 8MP stills from recorded footage – it’s like a ultra-fast 30fps burst mode). Handling could be a bit more polished, but AF is fast and accurate, compact body and lens combination, very effective in-body anti-shake control and 4K video make this a very well-rounded camera.

Read the full review: Panasonic GX80/GX85

Sony Alpha 7II

Sony Alpha 7II

9. Sony Alpha A7 II

A more affordable way to go full-frame with a mirrorless system camera

Sensor size: Full-frame | Resolution: 24.3MP | Viewfinder: EVF | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle display, 1,228,800 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 5fps | Movies:1080p | User level: Intermediate/expert

See more Sony Alpha A7 II deals

High quality images

Full-frame sensor, affordable price

Needs a faster AF point settings

You’ll need a second battery

With 24 million pixels the A7 may not be able to able to capture quite the same amount of detail as its high resolution sibling, the A7R II, but as it has the same sized sensor you get the same level of control over depth of field. That means you can make your sharp subject stand out from a blurred background, while the level of detail is excellent. This second-generation model benefits from a number of improvements, including 5-axis image stabilisation, an all-magnesium body and a wide selection of supported video formats.

Read the full review: Sony Alpha A7 II

GH4

GH4

10. Panasonic GH4

Is it a stills camera or a 4K video camera? The GH4 is brilliant but conflicted

Sensor size: Micro Four Thirds | Resolution: 16.1MP | Viewfinder: EVF | Monitor: 3-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 1,036,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate:12fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Expert

See more Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 deals

4K video and 14fps continuous shooting

Metal chassis

Some fiddly and complex controls

Starting to show its age

The GH4 was a terrific, ground-breaking camera and its 4K video capabilities became legendary amongst professional film-makers. It’s also a very good stills camera capable of shooting top-quality 16MP images at up to 12 frames per second. You can even extract really good 8MP stills from 4K video shot at 30fps. But all this processing power has made the GH4 expensive, so unless shooting high-speed action stills and video is your speciality, you could be paying for power you won’t use. It’s a firm favourite amongst 4K film-makers and early adopters, however, and while prices have fallen since its launch in 2014, its reputation just seems to keep on growing. It’s been standing still just a little too long, though, with the GH5 expected in early 2017 with a host of improvements.

Read the full review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4

BITCOINS

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and a digital payment system[14]:3 invented by an unknown programmer, or a group of programmers, under the name Satoshi Nakamoto.[15] It was released as open-source software in 2009.[16]

The system is peer-to-peer, and transactions take place between users directly, without an intermediary.[14]:4 These transactions are verified by network nodes and recorded in a public distributed ledger called the blockchain. Since the system works without a central repository or single administrator, bitcoin is called the first decentralized digital currency.[14][17]

Besides being obtained by “mining”, bitcoins can be exchanged for other currencies,[18] products, and services (legal or illegal ones).[19][20]

As of February 2015, over 100,000 merchants and vendors accept bitcoin as payment.[21] According to a research produced by Cambridge University in 2017, there are 2.9 to 5.8 million unique users actively using a cryptocurrency wallet, most of them using bitcoin.[22]

Bitcoin logo.svg

Etymology and orthography[edit]

The word bitcoin occurred in the white paper that defined bitcoin published in 2008. It is a compound of the words bit and coin.[23] The white paper frequently uses the shorter coin.[24]

There is no uniform convention for bitcoin capitalization. Some sources use Bitcoin, capitalized, to refer to the technology and network and bitcoin, lowercase, to refer to the unit of account.[25] The Wall Street Journal,[26] The Chronicle of Higher Education,[27] and the Oxford English Dictionary[23] advocate use of lowercase bitcoin in all cases, which this article follows.

£43m investment for Scotland’s green industries

iStock-612864068

iStock-612864068

Scottish engineers could benefit from an investment of more than £43m in low-carbon infrastructure announced this week by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The investment from the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme, one of the largest in the last 10 years, will be shared across 13 projects across Scotland. Speaking at the All Energy Conference in Glasgow, Sturgeon said: “These projects have great potential to help us tackle climate change, and remain at the forefront of low carbon and renewable innovation. They will also bring economic benefits – in terms of savings and jobs – to local areas across the country.”

The projects to be funded in include an energy storage project in Shetland, low-carbon heat networks across Scotland, and the installation of a heat pump on the River Clyde to serve the Gorbals area of Glasgow. “The programme is providing excellent support in placing a high temperature river heat pump – the largest in the UK – at the Clyde to supply clean, low carbon heat to buildings in the Gorbals, helping us to collectively work to significantly reduce CO2 emissions in Scotland,” said Dave Pearson, director at Star Renewable Energy, which is involved in the project.

The renewables industry in Scotland employs more than 11,00 people, with 58,000 working in low-carbon industry.

Scottish Engineering, an association of engineers in the country, was approached by Professional Engineering but declined to comment.

Best smartphones you can buy right now: May 2017

Best smartphones you can buy right now: May 2017

With so many different (yet similar) smartphones from so many brands from across the globe, one may start feeling a bit lost. Which one of those many is the best phone you can buy right now, in spring 2017?

THERE IS NO ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL DEVICE

The spring months are a great time to get a new phone, especially if it’s an Android phone: after all, we have just seen the biggest Android phone makers unveil their best new handsets. The new Samsung Galaxy S8 series and LG G6 are already available, and they are among our top choices.

In fact, there is plenty of great choice currently: the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have proven to be safe buys, Google’s new Pixel phones have also garnered excitement (if you can find one). Some great phones are now sold cheaper: the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have lower prices, the LG G5 as well. New-comers like the OnePlus 3T have also made a great impression with solid performance.
There is no definite one-size-fits-all device, as is quite clear these days, and that’s why we explore all the options, trying to help you narrow down the choice to some outstanding devices that we think won’t disappoint you. We’re also breaking them down by categories: after all some people prefer a large, phablet-sized device, while others may want a more conventionally-sized pocket sidekick. We don’t go into all that much detail (for those details, make sure to read our in-depth reviews), but we do focus on the most important highlights for each phone. With no further ado, here are the best phones you can buy right now.

Contents:

Regular-size
Big phones (phablets)
$400 FlagshipsSuper compact phones
Affordable phones
Exotic phones

Best phone in a regular size:

Samsung Galaxy S8

Price: $750  full retail
Best smartphones you can buy right now: May 2017
Display 5.8″ at 1440 x 2960 pixels, Super AMOLED
Hardware Snapdragon 835 with 4 GB of RAM
Camera 12MP main cam with Dual Pixel AF, 8MP AF selfie cam
Battery 3000 mAh with Fast Charge
The Samsung Galaxy S8 is in many ways a revolutionary new phone: it features a larger, bezel-less display that takes up nearly all of its front and is gorgeous to look at, it sports an even more refined design, and it has become more powerful and smarter with the addition of the new Bixby assistant.
Yet despite its 5.8-inch display (keep in mind that you should not compare inch size directly with other screens, since this one has a different, taller aspect ratio of 18.5:9), it is not too big: it’s taller, that’s true, but its width is about the same as on the Galaxy S7 predecessor, so it is easy to handle in a single hand. The camera has received some improvements too: it shoots a little brighter images and seems to be able to get more definition in the details. The one thing where we don’t have so much change is the battery: it is good, but not great or revolutionary as other parts of this phone.

Apple iPhone 7

Price: $27.09 on a 24-month lease | $650 for full retail
Display 4.7″ at 750 x 1334 pixels, LCD
Hardware Apple A10 with 2GB of RAM
Camera 12MP f/1.8 main cam with 4K video, 7MP selfie cam
Battery 1915 mAh

PROS

  • Cleaner design
  • Impressive colors on display
  • Smooth and fast iOS 10 user experience, regular updates
  • Very good camera
  • Great optical stabilization in video
  • Longer lasting battery (but still not great)
  • Water-proof, dual speaker

CONS

  • No 3.5mm headset jack
  • Jet Black model scratches easily
  • Closed ecosystem
  • Less customization options than on Android
  • Pricey
The Apple iPhone 7 kills the headphone jack, but that’s not the only reason why there’s so much buzz around it.
Despite featuring practically the same design as the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6, it adds some significant improvements in everything else: the new A10 system chip is much more powerful, the new rear camera takes better pictures in low light, the front camera takes much sharper selfies, the battery life is better, the screen now has more eye-popping color, the phone is water-proof, and there is now optical stabilization that allows shooting smoother-looking video. Did we mention that the pitiful 16GB base model finally goes the way of the dodo and is being replaced by a 32GB version? For $100 on top of the price of that base model you can get a 128GB version. Add another $100, and you get 256GB of storage, as much as on many laptops, and the most we’ve seen on a mainstream phone.
Add to this the rich iOS ecosystem that continues to secure the best apps and games first, and one starts to understand why it’s so hard to argue against the iPhone 7.

Google Pixel

Price: $650 full retail
Display 5.0″ at 1080 x 1920 pixels, AMOLED
Hardware Snapdragon 821 with 4GB of RAM
Camera 12MP Sony IMX378 camera with EIS, 8MP selfie cam
Battery 2770 mAh

PROS

  • Premium design, solid build quality
  • Latest stock Android Nougat
  • One of the smoothest performers
  • One of the best cameras with great dynamic range
  • Promising new Google Assistant
  • Properly implemented Doze should bring improvements to battery life

CONS

  • Comparatively expensive
  • No microSD expansion memory slot
Google is now a hardware company. Its first foray into the creation of a Google phone has resulted in the Google Pixel family. The 5″ Pixel features a stylish, metal design and a clean build of the latest Android 7.0 Nougat with a promise for quick updates. The best about the Pixel is that it is one of the best (if not the best) performing phone out there and also one of the very best camera phones. Add to that a brand new focus on AI as the future and a fast and responsive Google Assistant, this phone shows a lot of what Google thinks a future phone would be able to do.

LG G6

Price: $700 full retail
Best smartphones you can buy right now: May 2017
Display 5.7″ 18:9 at 1440 x 2880 pixels, LCD
Hardware Snapdragon 821 with 4 GB of RAM
Camera 13 MP Duo rear camera, 5 MP selfie cam
Battery 3,300 mAh

PROS

  • Solid design, pocketable size
  • Excellent camera, useful wide-angle option
  • Very fast recharging capability

CONS

  • Battery life is good, but not great
  • A bit on the pricey side
The LG G6 marks a new era for LG: less experiments with crazy designs and a focus back on the essentials of great design and performance. The new G6 is not a revolutionary phone, but it still has the extremely cool bezel-less screen with a new, taller 2:1 format. It has also improved its already very good cameras: now you have two 13-megapixel shooter for the dual camera system on the back, so there is no abrupt switch in the camera when you zoom in and out. LG has also improved battery with the G6 to good (but it’s still not great), and coupled with nice software experience, the LG G6 is one of the best options for a new phone out there.

Huawei P10

Price: €600
Best smartphones you can buy right now: May 2017
Display 5.1″ at 1080 x 1920 pixels, LCD
Hardware Kirin 960 with 4 GB of RAM
Camera 12 MP Duo camera with Leica branding, 8 MP AF selfie cam
Battery 3,200 mAh

PROS

  • Stylish, thin design, quality build
  • Good battery life
  • Fast and reliable fingerprint reader
  • Plentiful 64GB base storage option
  • Very good camera quality
  • Good price

CONS

  • Huawei’s UI is still ugly
The Huawei P10 is a beautifully designed, stylish phone for a price lower than that of 2017’s flagships, yet with a similar level of performance and a very good camera. The bad news is that it will not be sold in the United States (at least initially), but it will be in all other parts of the world.
Under the hood roars Huawei’s own Kirin 960 system chip, which is indeed a powerful creation, and Huawei has improved the dual camera system. The idea is to be able to blur the background to images, a nice effect, but not quite as accurate as the Portrait mode on the iPhone 7 Plus. Still, it’s nice to have and you get a secondary, black-and-white camera that gives you a different perspective to images.

Sony Xperia XZ

Price: $650 | Review
Best smartphones you can buy right now: May 2017
Display 5.2″ at 1080 x 1920 pixels, LCD
Hardware Snapdragon 820 with 3GB of RAM, 32GB storage
Camera 23MP f/2 24mm main cam, 13MP selfie cam
Battery 2900 mAh

PROS

  • Stylish design with smooth Alkeleido metal finish
  • Very good battery life
  • Improved camera with great detail
  • Water-proof!
  • Great for gamers, games arrive first on iOS

CONS

  • Vapid user interface
  • Lacks cool features
  • Pricey
  • Super slow re-charge times
While we are perplexed by the high price of the Sony Xperia XZ, there is a lot to like about it as well. It’s a safe option meaning that it has a fast and reliable interface that works well, it has a decent keyboard typing experience and a very good camera that focuses quickly and captures detailed and good-looking images. The phone has also got a solid battery life and is water-proof. It does not get talked about that much, but this is certainly a nice set of advantages and while there is nothing particularly exciting about this phone (we’d even say it’s a bit boring), it will get the job done.

A large phone with a great camera (phablets):

Samsung Galaxy S8+

Price: $850 full retail
Best smartphones you can buy right now: May 2017
Display 6.2″ 18.5:9 at 1440 x 2960 pixels, Super AMOLED
Hardware Snapdragon 835 with 4GB of RAM
Camera 12MP camera with Dual Pixel AF, 8 MP AF selfie cam
Battery 3,500 mAh

Pros

  • Beautiful, stylish design
  • Immersive, bezel-less display with gorgeous colors
  • Base model has plentiful 64 GB of storage + microSD support
  • Water proof! Fast charge and wireless charge support
  • Fastest on Android, Snapdragon 835 system chip
  • USB-C, finally
  • Bixby assistant

Cons

  • TouchWiz icons look a bit ugly
  • Good (but not great) battery life
  • No dual camera system
  • Body is a fingerprint magnet
The Samsung Galaxy S8+ is the bigger of the two S8 siblings. Unlike Apple’s devices, though, we have no huge differences here except for the larger screen and the bigger battery. The S8+ is the same beautiful, full-screen phone that display an outstanding level of craftsmanship. It also features a bezel-less, 6.2″ display with a 18.5:9 aspect ratio (it’s taller than a regular display) that looks gorgeous. The fingerprint is now on the back alongside the camera. The S8+ comes with a new interface and the brand new context-aware Bixby assistant.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Price: $32.04 on a 24-month lease | $770 full retail | Review
Display 5.5″ at 1080 x 1920 pixels, LCD
Hardware Apple A10 with 3GB of RAM
Camera 12MP f/1.8 28mm main cam, 56mm secondary cam, 7MP selfie cam
Battery 2900 mAh

PROS

  • Secondary telephoto camera is a god-send for photo enthusiasts
  • Main cam has wider aperture, takes much better pictures in low light
  • Well-adapted interface for the larger screen estate
  • Great battery life
  • Improved display with impressive colors
  • Dual speakers! Water-proof!
  • Great for gamers, games arrive first on iOS

CONS

  • Physically larger than most its 5.5″ rivals, huge screen bezel
  • No 3.5mm headset jack
  • Jet Black model scratches easily
  • Pricey
  • Closed ecosystem

The larger iPhone was never a better iPhone than the smaller one. The iPhone 7 Plus, however, changes that for the first time, Apple includes an impressive secondary camera only in the Plus model, and it has more RAM. And this is important: the secondary camera is a small revolution in smartphone photography, enabling much better looking portrait shots and giving users the option to zoom much closer in pictures while losing little in terms of image quality.

Yes, the iPhone 7 Plus has no headphone jack (Apple says it’s because it needed the space for more essential components), but in exchange it has gained water-resistance and a louder, dual-speaker system. The Apple A10 inside the 7 Plus is also a big improvement: yes, common users won’t notice much of it, but go into image and video processing, as well as gaming and the gains are easily felt. Apple has also killed the pitiful 16GB storage option in favor of a much more sensible 32GB one, and there is a 128GB model and a 256GB version for heavier users. The only thing that still remains a sore short-coming of this otherwise excellent phone is its pure physical size: it’s a gargantuan phone with huge screen bezels.

Google Pixel XL

Price: $770 full retail
Best smartphones you can buy right now: May 2017
Display 5.5″ at 1440 x 2560 pixels, AMOLED
Hardware Snapdragon 821 with 4GB of RAM
Camera 12MP Sony IMX378 camera with EIS, 8MP selfie cam
Battery 3450 mAh

PROS

  • Premium design, solid build quality
  • Latest stock Android Nougat
  • One of the best cameras with great dynamic range
  • Promising new Google Assistant
  • Properly implemented Doze should bring improvements to battery life

CONS

  • Lacks exciting new features
  • Comparatively expensive
  • No microSD expansion memory slot
Google’s larger phone, the Pixel XL, is a beautifully crafted device with a metal body, a slight chamfer that makes it a more comfortable in-hand fit, and it’s also powerful on the inside. The big highlight of the Pixel XL, however, is without a doubt the stock Android 7.1 Nougat experience with the promise for timely updates in the future. It also showcases Google’s idea of a future, where AI will be more useful and the Google Assistant that helps you with your searches is a peek at that.

Motorola Moto Z Force Droid

Price: $30.17 on a 24-month lease | Review
Moto Z Force Droid

Moto Z Force Droid

Display ShatterShield 5.5″ at 1440 x 2560 pixels, AMOLED
Hardware Snapdragon 820 with 4GB of RAM
Camera 21MP with f/1.8 lens, 5MP selfie cam
Battery 3500 mAh

PROS

  • Modular design makes it the most versatile flagship Android phone
  • Fast and nearly stock version of Android
  • Very good camera

CONS

  • Can get quite bulky with modules
  • Camera interface is a bit underwhelming
The Moto Z Force Droid is a phone that makes some bold moves: it’s the first modular phone by Lenovo-owned Moto brand. Here’s how this works: you get a magnetic connector on the phone and you easily snap additional modules on top of that with no wires or other complicated connections. You can get a pico projector, a much louder and better speaker, easily swappable battery and regular back covers, and more.
The Moto Z Force Droid also features the excellent ShatterScreen tech that ensures that the display won’t shatter even if dropped from a few feet down on the hard concrete. Not that you should do this, of course. The near-stock software, the good camera and the few Moto tricks, make this one of the most exciting Android phones around.

Huawei Mate 9

Price: $600 | Review
Best smartphones you can buy right now: May 2017
Display 5.9″ at 1080 x 1920 pixels, LCD
Hardware Kirin 960 with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage
Camera 12MP f/2.2 main cam with OIS, 8MP selfie cam
Battery 4,000 mAh
The Huawei Mate 9 is one of the first major-league phones by Chinese phone and network equipment maker Huawei, and it’s excellent. Priced at $600, some $150 less than the price of iPhone and Pixel rivals, it offers impressive looks with a metal body and Huawei’s dual camera system on board. It features a somewhat foreign interface, but you get used to it and after using it for a while it will leave you impressed with its consistently smooth animations and transitions. It’s a powerful device with a beautiful display and plentiful storage, well worth your attention.

Best $400 flagship: the new category

OnePlus 3T

Price: $440 full retail
Best smartphones you can buy right now: May 2017
Display 5.5″ at 1080 x 1920 pixels, AMOLED
Hardware Snapdragon 821 with 6GB of RAM
Camera 16MP with PDAF, OIS, 16MP selfie cam
Battery 3400 mAh

PROS

  • Outstanding value
  • Stylish, premium design
  • Good-looking display
  • Very fast performance, impressively quick fingerprint
  • Plentiful 64GB storage in base model, new 128GB version
  • Very good and fast camera

CONS

  • No expandable storage
The OnePlus 3T is a phone that truly feels premium: gone are the experimental sandstone finishes that OnePlus used before, gone is the extremely annoying invitation system and coming to replace them is a phone that feels well-built and very solid. The OnePlus 3T might not have any gimmicky features that would make it espcially unique, but it does have that special $440 price tag in a world of similarly-specced $800 phones, and it does feature one solid and fast performance.
Powered by the top-end Snapdragon 821 system chip and with a whopping 6GB of RAM, the OnePlus 3T runs fast and has a well-performing camera. It’s hard to find a reason not to recommend it, at its outstanding price, it’s one of the best phones around.

Moto Z Play

Price: $450
Best smartphones you can buy right now: May 2017
If you want the phone with the best battery life in this list, the Moto Z Play is certainly that. With its economical Snapdragon 625 chip and specs that are not too demanding, this is the true 2-day battery phone and that is quite the gamechanger. Apart from that, it is just a good and thin phone. It is not particularly elegant with those huge magnetic connections, but you can add some neat Moto Mods to spice its looks, or at least use as easily exchangeable covers. The Z Play has also got a solid camera that is able to shoot 4K video and it has been updated to Android 7.0 Nougat.

Honor 8

Price: $400 | Review
Honor 8

Honor 8

Display 5.2″ at 1080 x 1920 pixels, LCD
Hardware Kirin 950 with 4GB of RAM
Camera 12MP f/2.2 main cam (no 4K), secondary lens
Battery 3000 mAh

PROS

  • Competitive price
  • Good-looking design, solid build quality
  • Fast and responsive fingerprint reader
  • Excellent battery life

CONS

  • Interface feels a bit strange and takes some getting used to
The Honor brand is new to the U.S. market, but after the successful and affordable Honor 5X, some phone enthusiasts have already set a curious eye on it.
The new Honor 8 is the brand’s new and more refined phone, and the latest one to join the “$400 flagship” battle arena. And it does so with a heavy bang: an extremely stylish phone made out of glass and with an innovative dual rear-cam system that allows creating a fake bokeh-like effect, the Honor 8 is a compact 5.2″ phone with the fast, but not fastest Kirin 950 system chip.

If you want something more compact:

Apple iPhone SE

Price: $400 for 32 GB | $500 for 128 GB | Review
Apple iPhone SE

Apple iPhone SE

Display 4.0″ at 640 x 1136 pixels, LCD
Hardware Apple A9
Camera 12MP main cam with 4K video, 1.2MP selfie cam
Battery 1624 mAh

PROS

  • Very compact and light
  • Unprecedented power at this form factor
  • Outstanding camera
  • Smooth and reliable software experience
  • Good battery life

CONS

  • Design feels dated, at least – not exciting
  • Loudspeaker lacks depth

Big phones are just not everyone’s cup of tea (at least not yet), and that’s why there is still a market for extremely compact devices that you can easily use with a single hand.

The iPhone SE is one of the best such phones you can get at the moment: in fact, it’s the only phone of such small sizes. It stands out not just with its size: even among Android compacts, it offers the fastest performance with a great and consistently reliable 12-megapixel camera that can capture 4K video and supports the fun Live Photos.

On top of that, the small iPhone SE features better battery life than even the iPhone 6s and 6: its smaller screen size and newer silicon allow for more effective use of battery. Add to that the affordable (at least in the US) price, and you have quite the appealing small phone.

Sony Xperia X Compact

Price: $500 | €450 full retail | Review
Sony Xperia X Compact

Sony Xperia X Compact

Display 4.6″ at 720 x 1280 pixels, LCD
Hardware Snapdragon 650 with 3GB of RAM
Camera 23MP 1/2.3″ main cam, 5MP selfie shooter
Battery 2700 mAh

PROS

  • Very compact for the screen size
  • Screen has high brightness
  • Very good camera
  • Good battery life

CONS

  • Questionable, all-plastic design
  • A bit too thick
The most notable alternative to the iPhone SE in the compact phone market is the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact.
Rather unfortunately for many, the way of evolution has proven to be towards larger and larger screen sizes and now it’s hard to get a contemporary Android phone with good performance under a 5″ envelope. The Xperia Z5 Compact, however, does deliver just that: a no-compromise performance courtesy of the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 810 system chip and Sony’s best 23-megapixel camera.
The Sony Xperia Z5 Compact features a 4.6-inch screen with slim bezels that make it a very compact device for its size, it has that signature eye-catching Sony design and remains usable with a single hand.

For those on a budget:

Nexus 5X

*Available on Google Project Fi only
Price: $250 full retail | Review
Nexus 5X

Nexus 5X

Display 5.2″ at 1080 x 1920 pixels, LCD
Hardware Snapdragon 808 with 2GB of RAM
Camera 12MP main cam, 5MP selfie cam
Battery 2700 mAh

PROS

  • Very affordable price
  • Stock Android, quick updates
  • Very good-looking display
  • Fast and accurate fingerprint reader

CONS

  • Plastic, uninspiring design
  • No expandable storage
  • Video capture is very shaky
The Google Nexus is back.
After a lackluster year for the Nexus series with the overwhelmingly gigantic Nexus 6 that even Google admits failed the modest sales expectations, this year Google brings the successor to one of the most demanded Nexus phones of all times: the LG Nexus 5. The new Nexus 5X is also made by LG and it shows the way forward for Android: it runs on the latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow, finally has a native fingerprint scanner and charges via the fast and reversible USB Type C connector. Those all pale in comparison with its biggest promise, though: a hugely improved camera. The Nexus 5X is the first phone to ship with the 12.3-megapixel Sony IMX377 image sensor, a 1/2.3″ sensor, one of the largest ever on an Android phone. It has large pixel and aspirations to be among the very best smartphone cameras. If that wasn’t enough, Google has priced the Nexus 5X at a very alluring price: just $380 for the 16GB model and $430 for the 32GB version.

Moto G5 Plus

Price: $230 for 32 GB storage, 2 GB RAM
$290 for 64 GB storage, 4 GB RAM
Best smartphones you can buy right now: May 2017
Display 5.5″ at 1080 x 1920 pixels
Hardware Snapdragon 625 with 2 / 4 GB of RAM
Camera 12MP Dual Pixel main cam
Battery 3,000 mAh
Pros
  • Very affordable price
  • Clean and fast build of Android
  • Very good performance
  • Fast and decent camera
  • Good battery life

CONS

  • Plastic design elements are a bit on the cheap side
The new Moto G5 Plus brings back the Moto G series to where it first started: an amazing value-for-the-money proposition. At under $300, this phone is great value: it ships with the latest Android 7 Nougat, it’s got very good performance and a clean interface, it’s got a decent camera and above average battery life.

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)

Price: €360
Best smartphones you can buy right now: May 2017
Display 5.2″ AMOLED at 1080 x 1920 pixels
Hardware Exynos 7 Octa with 3 GB RAM
Camera 16MP f/1.9 main cam, 16MP selfie cam
Battery 3,000 mAh
The new Galaxy A5 (2017) is more than just the sum of its parts: it’s a beautiful, stylish, compact phone that features water-protection, a rarity in affordable phones of this class. It also just runs well on Samsung’s new TouchWiz interface, it has got a rock solid battery life that could go to as much as two days, and it features cameras that do great in daylight. It’s biggest drawback is the poor video stabilization that makes all of your footage look as if it was recorded during an earthquake, but if you do not care too much about that, the A5 (2017) is a great phone. Remember that the Samsung A series are not officially sold in the United States.

Something exotic:

Xiaomi Mi 6

Price: $470
Best smartphones you can buy right now: May 2017
Display 5.2″ LCD at 1080 x 1920 pixels
Hardware Snapdragon 835 with 6GB of RAM
Camera Dual camera (12MP 27mm + 12MP 52mm)
Battery 3,350 mAh

PROS

  • Affordable price for top-grade hardware
  • Beautiful design
  • Interesting new dual camera

CONS

  • Lacks bezel-less design implementation
  • Only available in Asia
The Mi 6 is the 2017 flagship for Chinese Xiaomi. It builds up on the successful formula: top-notch hardware for an affordable price. The Xiaomi Mi 6 is also an improvement over the previously released Mi 5: it features a much more solid design, it’s got a brand new dual-camera system with a secondary telephoto lens, and it’s got a longer battery life. All of that comes at a price of less than $500, which is certainly impressive.

Xiaomi Mi Mix

Price: $800 full retail
Xiaomi Mi Mix

Xiaomi Mi Mix

Display 6.4″ at 1080 x 2040 pixels
Hardware Snapdragon 821 with 6GB of RAM
Camera 16MP f/2.0 main cam, 5MP selfie cam
Battery 4,400 mAh

PROS

  • Crazy 93% screen-to-body ratio
  • Ceramic back, stylish look
  • Fast performance

CONS

  • Pricey
  • No bezel design also means it’s easier to crack the screen if you drop the phone
  • Only available in Asia

Xiaomi is a company that has been growing quickly in China, but that does not sell its phones in the United States or Europe officially. And that’s a pity.

It’s Xiaomi Mi Mix is a limited-edition all-out crazy phone with a 93% screen-to-body ratio and a giant 6.4-inch display that fits in a body roughly the size of the 5.5-inch Apple iPhone 7 Plus. With a ceramic back that is very hard to scratch it also looks good. While currently the world is awaiting the 2017 Samsungs and Apples that will most certainly get this new bezel-less look, in China such a phone has already been available for months now. Sure, it’s pricey at $800, and yes, it’s only made for China, but your street cred would go way up if you can import this baby that will only work with AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S. You’ll definitely feel like you’ve come back from the future.

Xiaomi Mi Note 2

Price: $630
Best smartphones you can buy right now: May 2017
Display 5.7″ at 1080 x 1920 pixels, OLED
Hardware Snapdragon 821 with 6GB of RAM
Camera 23MP f/2.0 main cam, 8MP selfie cam
Battery 4,070 mAh

PROS

  • Curved glass and metal cutting-edge design
  • Fast performance
  • High quality audio

CONS

  • Only available in Asia
  • Glass design makes it prone to shattering
The less extravagant, but equally cutting-edge in terms of style and looks Xiaomi Mi Note 2 is really something that you should know about. Like a close cousin of the discontinued Galaxy Note 7, the Xiaomi Mi Note 2 features similar curves and elegance, but does not explode in your hands. It’s an extremely well-crafted phone, but unfortunately also one made only for Asia with its MIUI interface and other quirks. Still, if you want a phone that you can proudly show as a design masterpiece, this baby will work on AT&T and T-Mobile if you want to import it. Keep in mind that this comes with no warranties or proper service, though.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4

Price: $200
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4

Display 5.5″ at 1080 x 1920 pixels, LCD
Hardware Snapdragon 625 with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage
Camera 13MP f/2.0 main cam, 5MP selfie cam
Battery 4100 mAh

PROS

  • Stylish metal build
  • Outstanding battery life
  • Very affordable price
  • MIUI skin is rich in options

CONS

  • Made for Asia, not sold officially elsewhere
  • MIUI interface feels different
  • Hard to get
The Redmi Note 4 would be the ultimate affordable smartphone had Chinese company Xiaomi made it for the U.S. or Europe.
With a killer metal design, a fast and reliable fingerprint scanner, decently good-looking display and a fast performance with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, it is a heck of a deal for $200 or less (yes, that’s the full retail price). But it didn’t: the Mi Note 4 is not officially sold in the Western hemisphere, meaning even if you get it on eBay or some less-known third-party seller, you won’t get any proper warranty or service. The risk’s on you, but if you want to take it, we understand.

Honor Magic

Price: $710
Best smartphones you can buy right now: May 2017

PROS

  • Crazy curved, bezel-less design

CONS

  • Made for Asia, not sold officially elsewhere
  • Pricey
  • Hard to get
Xiaomi is not the only Chinese company to go all-out with a crazy flagship phone: Huawei spin-off Honor has the Honor Magic. This phone features curves all around and a nearly bezel-less design that screams ‘futurism’ like no other. Yes, it’s experimental, and sure, it’s another made-for-China device, but it’s definitely worth a look for the sheer craziness that went into this design. It’s also a powerful, flagship-grade product that delivers solidly in terms of performance and camera quality.

Main Site Phones Gadgets About Media Coverage Advertising Contact Tip Us Xiaomi sends invites for the launch of next Redmi smartphone in India on May 16, Redmi 4 expected

 

Xiaomi Redmi launch May 16

After teasing the launch of next Redmi smartphone last week and Amazon confirming that it will be available exclusively with them earlier this week, Xiaomi has sent out invites for the launch of the smartphone in India on May 16th. This could be the Redmi 4 was announced back in November in two variants.

xiaomi-redmi-4

Xiaomi Redmi 4 Standard version specifications

  • 5-inch (1280 x 720 pixels) HD IPS 2.5D curved glass display, 1000: 1 contrast ratio, 72% NTSC color gamut
  • Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 ( 4 x 1.2 GHz Cortex A53 + 4 x 1.5 GHz Cortex A53) 64-bit processor with Adreno 505 GPU
  • 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, expandable memory up to 128GB with microSD
  • MIUI 8 based on Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)
  • Hybrid Dual SIM (micro + nano / microSD)
  • 13MP rear camera with dual LED Flash, PDAF, f/2.2 aperture, 1080p video recording
  • 5MP front-facing camera, f/2.2 aperture
  • Fingerprint sensor, Infrared sensor
  • Dimensions: 141.3×69.6×8.9mm; Weight: 156g
  • 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS + GLONASS
  • 4000mAh (minimum)/ 4100mAh (typical) battery

Xiaomi Redmi 4 High-end specifications

  • 5-inch (1920 x 1080 pixels) Full HD IPS 2.5D curved glass display, 1000: 1 contrast ratio, 72% NTSC color gamut
  • 2GHz Octa-Core Snapdragon 625 14nm processor with Adreno 506 GPU
  • 3GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, expandable memory up to 128GB with microSD
  • MIUI 8 based on Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)
  • Hybrid Dual SIM (micro + nano / microSD)
  • 13MP rear camera with dual-tone LED Flash, PDAF, f/2.2 aperture, 1080p video recording
  • 5MP front-facing camera, f/2.2 aperture
  • Fingerprint sensor, Infrared sensor
  • Dimensions: 141.3×69.6×8.9mm; Weight: 156g
  • 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS + GLONASS
  • 4000mAh battery / 4100mAh (typical) battery

We should know the price of the Redmi 4 smartphone next Wednesday

No driverless revolution until after 2050, RAC chief engineer claims

Oxbotica's autonomous Geni vehicle (Credit: Oxbotica)

Oxbotica’s autonomous Geni vehicle (Credit: Oxbotica)

A driverless revolution in the UK is a long way off, with more than 30 years to wait before most cars on the road are autonomous, the RAC motoring service group’s chief engineer has said.

Speaking to Professional Engineering, David Bizley said existing traffic management problems and issues with the rapidly-developing technology meant the wait for viable, fully-autonomous vehicles will be longer than many people expect.

“If you think about the cycle with which the vehicle park turns over, I think it’ll probably be 2050 before a majority of cars on the roads are autonomous,” he said. “You may even find it takes that long for a majority of new vehicles leaving the showroom to become autonomous.”

In most self-driving trials so far, and semi-autonomous commercial roll-outs such as the Tesla S model, human drivers have been on standby behind steering wheels to take control when necessary. Bizley said he thinks it will be unlikely that such control-sharing examples will become common, with too much potential for humans to become dangerously distracted. He said car manufacturers will need to move to models with no human control, similar to prototypes in Google’s Waymo project, for the technology to become truly widespread.

His comments come after new research in Tucson, Arizona, found only 5 % of vehicles on the road would need to become autonomous to eliminate “stop-and-go” traffic, along with the accident risk and fuel inefficiency it causes. During field experiments a single autonomous vehicle circled a track with at least 20 human-driven cars. Under normal circumstances, human reactions and decisions lead to traffic bunching up, even in the absence of bottlenecks, lane changes, and other disruption.

tucson car

Cars drive around the track during the experiment in Tucson, Arizona (Credit: John de Dios)

The researchers found they could smooth the traffic flow for all the cars by controlling the pace of the autonomous vehicle, stopping traffic from bunching up and reducing fuel consumption by up to 40 %. They claimed self-driving cars could replace the need for variable speed limits, something which Bizley agreed with for motorway traffic.

However, he said the findings would “unravel” in city environments with complex junctions and lanes or if the number of vehicles increased significantly. “I think it’s probably confined to the relatively narrow situation of the freeway or motorway where the traffic is flowing reasonably freely. I don’t disagree with their figures on that but I think in other situations, particularly in urban situations, the percentage [of autonomous cars] will have to be much higher before you deliver some of these benefits.”

“Regulation needed”

Speaking to PE, Nigel Parkes, managing director of distribution company Pallet-Track, said legislation is also a major barrier to both driverless cars and lorries taking to UK roads. “We need to see far more understanding from government,” he said. “I think it is a classic example here, just like the Internet was, where technology ran away and the legislators were well behind.”

Driverless vehicles will change “everything”, said Stuart Young, partner at law firm Gowling, forcing the UK Government to survey regulation and identify all potential issues. “That challenge is magnified by the rapid development of technology, the need for international harmonisation and by some commercial participants adopting an aggressive approach to introducing the technology ahead of regulation,” he said.

The Government has adopted a “near-to-market” approach to regulation, he claimed, only forming a regulatory response as technology emerges. “While that is surely a prudent use of taxpayer money, I worry that it leaves government following the agenda rather than setting it,” he added.

Despite the experts’ concern about a lack of regulation, the Government has provided £8.6 million in funding for a self-driving fleet to be trialled in London and Oxford next year. The project, from groups such as Oxbotica and insurers XL Catlin, will culminate with a full journey from the capital to Oxford.