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Quality Control On Premium Smartphones Seems Lacking

When you're dropping $1,000 on a smartphone it's reasonable to expect that what you receive is going to be well built, from quality components and with software which is properly optimised for that hardware.
For Google and Apple, responsible for both hardware and software on their devices, it really is the minimum we should be able to expect as customers.
Yet somehow both have managed to deliver devices with significant failings in both hardware and software.
Google's Pixel 2 XL is probably the biggest culprit, but the Pixel 2 is not perfect either. The larger Pixel has an average (that's being kind) OLED screen, but has also had problems with the touchscreen, Bluetooth and camera app. The smaller phone has a locked bootloader issue.
The iPhone X has had the cold weather touchscreen issue, green lines on the display, blue shift (although to a much smaller extent than the Pixel 2 XL), poor audio reproduction, with crackling on the upper speaker, and it ships with a che…
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Who Is The Second Biggest Smartphone Manufacturer? It's Not Huawei Or Apple

Looking at global smartphone sales figures it's clear who is the biggest manufacturer of mobile phones in the world. Samsung. It plays big in every sector of every market and comfortably outsells everyone one else by some margin. 
Who's the second biggest? According to the sales charts its either Huawei or Apple, who are waging a sales war to achieve that accolade. Unfortunately, the way most analysts present their results skews the positions of the top five OEMs.
The second biggest smartphone maker in the world is BBK Electronics. Who? A Chinese OEM based out of Guangdong province, that's who.
The reason BBK's name is never found on the sales charts is because of its branding of devices. Becasuse BBK is actually the company that owns the Oppo, Vivo and OnePlus brands and manufactures the phones that go out under those names.

In both Q2 and Q3 of 2017, combined sales of Oppo and Vivo phones made BBK the second biggest smartphone vendor worldwide. Whilst Apple may reta…

Did Siri Shortcomings Force Apple To Delay HomePod

Apple's HomePod smartspeaker was due to begin shipping to customers next month, but today Apple delayed it until 'early 2018'. Unlike an iPhone X, the HomePod seems to be a particularly simple piece of technology to assemble and production yields should be high.
This suggests that something other than the hardware has caused Apple to delay the launch until after its prime selling season and my guess is that thing is Siri.
Siri lags behind other virtual assistants when used on the iPhone or iPad, even with the benefit of a screen to display information. If it struggles to cope with complex queries or instructions on a smart speaker, with no display to back it up, the user experience is going to be horrible.
Having taken some flak for poor quality control for its latest software on its latest devices, it's more than likely Apple is avoiding damage to the HomePod's reputation by holding back until it has an experience which is at least as good as Amazon Alexa or Goog…

Some Phones Do, Some Phones Don't, But Can You Tell Which

Since Google announced Android Oreo almost exactly three months ago, a lot of new Android phones have been announced.

Not a lot of them are coming with Oreo installed though.

We've seen recent launches from OnePlus and Razer fail to deliver the latest Android build. Samsung, LG and Nokia all announced new flagships around the time of Oreo's launch, yet when they reached retail shelves they were still running on older versions of Android.

None of these phones have seen an update yet.

In fact you can count the number of phones running Android  on one hand. Google's Pixels, Sony's XZ1, XZ1 Compact, XZ Premium, HTC U11, U11+ and U11 Life and Huawei's Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro. Of those only the original Pixels, Sony XZ Premium and HTC U11 haves seen upgrades.

Android is so fragmented that the version which comes installed on a newly announced smartphone is a complete lottery. 

It's one of the key reasons why I think the smartphone market will still fall Apple's way, given…

New iPad Ad Signposts Apple's Future Direction

This is Apple's latest iPad ad, which showcases many of the new features in iOS 11. It also makes a statement about Apple's future vision for computing. The iPad is touch and stylus friendly and packs versatility that a Mac could never deliver. 
It's a signpost to a world where the deeply flawed MacBook Pro no longer exists and Macs live on desks if they exist at all. 
Of course, this isn't actually Apple's vision at all, just one they've copied from Microsoft. And whilst the versatility and power of the Surface Pro (and its many PC lookalikes) makes for a real and uncompromised experience, the iPad user will bump up against its limits all too often. 
This advert tells a great story but its one which isn't reflected in real world usage. I'd also question whether it's healthy or wise for Apple to depict a child so absorbed by technology that her only direct  interaction with another child is to briefly show them her screen

Tesla Launches A 500 Mile Truck With Hot Hatch Acceleration

Tesla launched its promised Semi today and it managed to beat expectations in many areas. The truck will have a 500 mile range, rather than the expected 300 miles, will charge to a 400 mile range in around half an hour and can go from 0-60 in five seconds.
The days of being stuck behind slow moving heavies may just be numbered.
Tesla says the Semi will achieve the performance figures whilst fully loaded, and it is prepared to guarantee the powertrain for one million miles. 
The result is a truck with a per mile cost of ownership around a third of that of a diesel powered equivalent. 
Elon Musk threw in a surprise announcement to close the show. A new Roadster, successor to Tesla's original vehicle. As well as being the fastest accelerating production car ever, the new Roadster packs a battery pack which gives it a range of 1000km - a first for an electric vehicle. 
A good day for Tesla then, just the thing to draw attention away from its issues with building cars in volume. 
The …

OnePlus 5T Arrives Packing 18:9 Screen

OnePlus has announced its latest device - the 5T, packing a new 6" screen which fills the face of the device thanks to its 18:9 aspect ratio. Its a 1080p screen at 400dpi, which is a bit of a disappointment. The screen is AMOLED though, so colours should pop.
The 5T also gains a Face ID clone, which promises to be as awkward as the real thing on the iPhone. At least OnePlus has retained the fingerprint sensor, which means you can unlock your phone without having to hold it up to your face.
For the rest, it's much the same as the outgoing 5, a Snapdragon 835, 6 or 8GB of RAM and a USB-C port at v2.0 only. Dash Charging is still one of the, if not the, fastest way of juicing up a phone.
It also retains Android Nougat - which is something of a disappointment too. Joining Oreo in the MIA box are waterproofing and memory expansion. 
The cameras have been updated, with both having the same focal length, meaning no more zoom, but improved performance for the pictures you're mor…