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Is there any reason to get Verizon over Visible?

Enough of everything

Visible

$40/mo. at Visible

Pros

  • No contract
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Unlimited LTE data
  • Unlimited hotspot (5Mbps)

Cons

  • Fewer phones
  • No 3G or roaming access

Visible has an impressive set of features, especially considering the price. With one of the largest LTE networks combined with an unlimited package including hotspot connectivity, Visible is about as close as it comes to hassle-free wireless.

More is more

Verizon Wireless

From $35/mo. at Verizon Wireless

Pros

  • More coverage
  • Faster speeds
  • Larger phone selection

Cons

  • More expensive for one line
  • Contract required
  • Credit check required

One of the strongest and most consistent networks available, Verizon Wireless continues to set the bar in wireless service. With some of the fastest speeds and a massive LTE network with 3G and roaming filling in many gaps, it’s one of the best wireless experiences available.

Most people would prefer a cheap and simple cell phone plan over trying to guess how much data and how many minutes they’ll need over the next few months. While Verizon Wireless offers a large array of plans making it possible to find something that fits anyone’s needs precisely, Visible’s approach to giving you everything means that you will never have to wonder if you have enough data or minutes.

You’ll just have to think a bit more about whether you will have coverage.

Mostly the same network

Let’s be clear, Verizon Wireless postpaid customers will often have a larger and more consistent network thanks to prioritization. This means your speeds will be slightly slower on Visible but at an estimated 5-12Mbps download speed, most people should be quite happy with the service.

Verizon’s network will be noticeably larger if you stray away from more populated areas. This is thanks to Verizon customers getting access to not only Verizon’s older 3G towers but also LTE roaming towers. Verizon phones will connect the LTE if at all possible but if there is no signal available, they can fall back to the other networks.

Visible uses LTE exclusively and while the coverage is getting closer all the time to what Verizon has, the LTE network is still a bit smaller. Most people will find this to be an easy tradeoff considering that most people are still covered on Visible and Visible will let them use so much more of the network for less.

Visible Verizon Wireless
Network Verizon LTE Verizon LTE, 3G
Roaming None Yes
Credit check No Yes
International roaming No Available
International calling No Available
Data plans Unlimited only From $35/mo.
Unlimited plan $40/mo. From $70/mo.

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Let’s talk about 3G and roaming

Visible uses the Verizon LTE network for service and nothing else. This isn’t much of an issue for most people in the United States but can become apparent when you travel. Verizon’s LTE network is focused on providing coverage where most people live and work and for the most part it succeeds.

There are a few gaps and Verizon fills those by either relying on its older 3G network or buying data from other providers for roaming. Visible doesn’t get access to 3G or the roaming networks.

These screenshots were captured in August 2019 and may not be accurate today.

Make sure to check the coverage map for Visible and Verizon to ensure you have coverage in all the places you might need it.

It’s also worth noting that Visible doesn’t support any international calling or roaming. If you need to call another country or need service while traveling, you’ll need something else. Verizon does offer what it calls international TravelPasses for its plans. In Mexico and Canada, it comes to $5 per day, and in more than 185 other countries the cost is $10 per day.

Do you need an unlimited plan?

Probably not. Unlimited service mostly exists to offer peace of mind so people don’t need to think about how many bytes or messages they send. With Visible, unlimited is the only option. Visible’s unlimited plan can become an afterthought and you can use your phone to stream or browse without thinking about the cost.

Verizon offers unlimited plans as well starting at $70 per month for one line. It’s worth noting that if you plan to have multiple lines the price per line will come down. The price per line for entry-level unlimited service is $70, $60, $45, and $35 for one, two, three, and four lines respectively. This plan will be most comparable to Visible, though it lacks hotspot support.

Verizon’s more expensive plans offer features such as Apple Music, HD streaming, 5G support, and premium LTE data. The so-called premium LTE data is the same as normal LTE data except that it is prioritized during times of congestion. This will almost always be faster than Visible, but probably not significantly so. It’s nice to have but not really missed if you don’t.

Besides that, Verizon has shared data plans starting at $35 per month for 2GB of premium LTE data, $50 for 4GB, $70 for 8GB, and strangely $40 for 5GB if you scroll over. Even cheaper plans are available without data but I can’t recommend a plan without data on a smartphone.

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What if you have other devices?

Verizon offers hotspot service with it’s more expensive unlimited plans, starting at 15GB of premium LTE data on both the Play More and Do More unlimited plans and moving up to 30GB on the Get More Unlimited plan. This will be more than enough for most uses but could be an issue with a lot of streaming video.

It’s worth noting that 5G connections will get a fully unlimited hotspot but that requires both a 5G device and 5G coverage, which is in its infancy.

Visible, on the other hand, continues the trend of simplicity and offers unlimited hotspot data at a speed of 5Mbps. That should be enough speed for 480p and some 720p video streaming depending on the site. This is a good enough solution for most people that need to share internet on the go.

What phones work?

Both Visible and Verizon are more than happy to sell or finance a phone for you. Verizon does have a stronger offering of phones but Visible’s growing collection has something that will work for most people.

If you already have a device and you want to know if it will be supported, you’ll need to use the BYOD compatibility tools for both Visible and Verizon. Support on one doesn’t necessarily mean it will work on the other even though the Verizon network is used for both carriers.

Visible’s network is all digital, which means that all of your calls on Visble will use VoLTE. VoLTE is still a little new for carriers in general, so for now, extra care is being taken to make sure devices work flawlessly. The list of supported phones is expanding all the time so you will need to check for new phones on Visible’s help page.

Currently, all iPhones after the iPhone 6 are supported on Visible, as well as Samsung’s Galaxy S9 series, the Google Pixel 3 series, the G7 Power from Motorola, and the Visible R2 from ZTE.

So which should you get?

If you’ve confirmed you have coverage on Visible’s LTE network, Visible is your best bargain. While it is possible to build a cheaper plan on Verizon Wireless, you won’t get the same amount of data and you certainly won’t get Visible’s unlimited hotspot. As long as you know you’re covered by the Verizon LTE network, Visible is a simple and complete network that works for nearly every smartphone user.

Enough of everything

Visible

One plan fits all

$40/mo. at Visible

Visible’s simple unlimited plan with no contract on one of the best LTE networks available. Stay connected on more devices with an unlimited hotspot.

More is more

Verizon Wireless

The king of coverage

From $35/mo. at Verizon Wireless

Verizon is known for its fantastic data network and continues to stand above with plans designed to fit everyone’s needs and a ton of options available.

from Android Central – Android Forums, News, Reviews, Help and Android Wallpapers www.androidcentral.com/visible-vs-verizon-wireless
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Take the best photos with these Galaxy Note 10 photography tips

The Galaxy Note 10’s cameras are great, and one of the best features of the photography experience is just how easy it is to pick up and use without tweaking or learning about specific features. But as is the case with all of Samsung’s phones, there’s more below the surface if you want to get into it. Upgrade your Note 10 photography skills with these great tips and tricks.

Clean your camera lenses

There’s nothing Note 10 specific about this tip, but it’s worth remembering on every phone — because no other tip or trick matters if you don’t clean your camera lenses!

This is particularly important on the front-facing camera, which is far more likely to get dirty through the normal course of use of the phone. Even if you don’t feel like you touch the camera often, you definitely do — its hole punch positioning and the displays small bezels aren’t doing you any favors here.

You don’t have to carry around a specialized cleaning cloth — anything is better than leaving the lens dirty, so feel free to use your shirt or pant leg. It won’t damage the lens!

Turn on viewfinder grid lines

This is another one of those dead-simple tips that’s applicable to any phone and any situation: turn on viewfinder grid lines. To turn them on, go into Settings, and find Grid lines a couple sections down.

Samsung offers a rather odd “Square” option, but you’ll likely be better off with the “3 x 3” instead. If you’re not used to having grid lines on your viewfinder it’ll feel a little weird at first, but trust me you’ll get used to it quickly and it won’t take long to realize it’s totally worth it.

With grid lines turned on, it’s dead-simple to line up horizons on wide shots, and really easy to create well-proportioned scenes. You don’t have to have an amazing photographic eye — just trust the grid lines to help you get everything lined up well, and your photos will start looking better.

And if you’re up for some light reading, familiarize yourself with the tried-and-true rule of thirds.

Customize shooting modes

Samsung makes it easy to quickly switch between shooting modes with a swipe or a tap along the side of the viewfinder. But there are a lot of shooting modes there, so even though it’s easy to switch between them there’s a good chance you don’t use them all — or use them all the same amount. Thankfully you can arrange them any way you want, and even turn modes off in Settings and then Camera modes.

Here you can rearrange each of the 12 shooting modes by dragging them with the arrow anchors on the right side, and turn individual modes off or on with the checkboxes on the left. The only two modes you can’t turn off are the core “Photo” and “Video” modes — but that makes sense.

You may not think that customizing modes makes that much of a difference, but when you want to launch your camera quickly ane get to a shot on short notice, every second counts. Play with the different layouts and see what works for you.

Instagram mode is useful — and flawed

Samsung has a built-in “Instagram” mode that lets you shoot and share directly to Instagram stories. It’s a great idea, and it saves you time and hassle when taking photos that you know will go to Instagram anyway. You can shoot with all three cameras, unlike in the Instagram app, and photos are saved to your gallery before going to stories to be edited.

There are plenty of reasons to use the Instagram mode … and a few reasons not to.

Unfortunately it isn’t all roses here. The Instagram mode doesn’t improve the photo quality whatsoever compared to shooting in the Instagram app, which is a big downer, and you don’t have access to any of the Instagram filters or editing tools. Plus, Samsung tags every photo or video sent directly to Instagram stories with a Samsung Galaxy tag that links back to the Samsung Instagram account. It’s a little odd to see, and there’s no way to turn that off.

There are plenty of reasons to use the Instagram mode in the camera, and it may work into your regular camera use enough to put it within easy reach in the list of camera modes. However, it isn’t a complete winner, unfortunately, and there are many situations in which you’d prefer to shoot directly in the Instagram app instead.

Move the shutter button when needed

This is probably the least-known feature of Samsung’s camera app: you can drag a secondary shutter button anywhere in the viewfinder at any time. All you have to do is touch the shutter button and drag it away!

The shutter button stays put wherever you want, for as long as you want, and you can reposition it at any time. The original shutter button stays put and functional, so you can always use it — but now this floating shutter button can be placed wherever it makes sense for your thumb. This can be a huge help for those times where you need to have an awkward grip on the phone for a group selfie or a tricky rear camera shot.

To get rid of the movable shutter button, just drag it back onto the standard shutter button and it’ll disappear until you need it again. It’s a neat trick, and an incredibly valuable one.

Utilize the S Pen’s remote shutter

The S Pen’s camera functions are turned on by default, but you can configure it (and for other apps) in Settings, Advanced features, S Pen and Air actions.

By default, you press the S Pen’s button once to capture a photo (or start a video recording) or twice to switch between the front and rear cameras. Going further with the S Pen’s gesture capability, you can swipe the stylus to switch cameras, switch camera modes and zoom.

These remote actions are awesome for all sorts of scenarios. You can prop up the phone somewhere to capture a big group shot. Or simply to aid in a selfie where you can hold the phone but it’s awkward to press the shutter button. Or position the phone for a unique angle you’d never be able to get while holding it. At night it can be a great way to limit (or eliminate) hand shake when taking a photo with a longer shutter time.

Don’t be afraid to try Pro mode

Most people aren’t going to go anywhere near try the Pro mode because it just looks intimidating. But I encourage everyone to at least give it a try.

You can get really deep into Pro mode and tweak everything just like you would on a dedicated camera, but that’s not a requirement — you can easily pick and choose what you want to tweak, and leave the rest. Sometimes all you need to do is just tweak the white balance, colors or ISO — a few taps can change the entire look of the photo you’re taking, without having to know what the other settings are.

If you start to master Pro mode, you’ll not only open up possibilities for higher-quality photo,s but you’ll also be able to take a wider variety of shots. Auto mode takes a great, well-balanced photo on a consistent basis, but Pro mode lets you tweak things and take more artistic and eye-pleasing photos that would never come from an automatic mode.

Shooting at f/1.5 may provide better bokeh than Live Focus

Like every other phone, the Note 10 has a “portrait” mode that utilizes two cameras and clever software to simulate the quality of a high-end camera. But as we’ve seen time and time again, software-based portrait mode effects like Live Focus aren’t perfect… and in some cases they’re downright bad.

Sometimes you’ll get better bokeh using tap-to-focus than the Live Focus mode.

Sometimes your best way to get great bokeh is to just take a photo normally and let the camera’s super-wide f/1.5 aperture do the work naturally. After all, a wide aperture is a key component of getting natural background blurring in the first place.

You can force the camera to shoot at f/1.5 using the Pro mode (versus the other option of f/2.4), but you’ll find that it defaults to f/1.5 regularly when shooting in Auto mode as well. Just be sure to use tap-to-focus on the main subject of your photo, because with this wide of an aperture you can quite easily miss focus and get a soft subject.

Use the ultra-wide camera, but probably not at night

One of the best thing Samsung ever did for its camera setups was adding a third ultra-wide lens. The super wide 123-degree field of view gives a brand new perspective on scenes, and opens up possibilities for unique shots.

The downside of the ultra-wide lens is its low-light capabilities, which are … lacking. The 16-megapixel sensor has smaller pixels than the main and telephoto cameras, there’s no OIS (optical image stabilization), and its f/2.2 aperture doesn’t let in as much light. Add it all up, and the camera just doesn’t have what it needs to take crisp and appropriately bright low-light shots. Add in the inherent nature of wide-angle lenses introducing softness around the edges of the scene, and it’s not a great recipe.

Get out there and use the wide-angle lens. Give it a try in conjunction with getting really close to subjects; or back up and use the wide field of view to capture the massive scale of a scene. But don’t switch to it at night and expect its quality to come anywhere close to what the main camera can offer. In many cases, you’ll be happy to give up the wide-angle view in exchange for an overall quality increase.

Get your best shots with these accessories

UBeesize Flexible Tripod with Wireless Remote

$18 at Amazon

A little portable tripod can take your photography to the next level. Use it for late night shots, long exposures, or just interesting angles you couldn’t get on your own. It’s a perfect pair with the S Pen’s remote shutter.

Samsung 256GB EVO Plus microSD Card

$45 at Amazon

Double your phone’s storage with tons of extra room for photos, videos and more. You don’t have to go all-out with a massive card, but still get a ton of extra space for a good price.

Anker PowerCore 10000 PD battery

$46 at Amazon

You can’t take photos if your phone is dead. Whether you’re trying to take super-long exposures and videos, or just want to make sure your phone’s topped up at the end of a long night, a small portable battery is a great accessory.

from Android Central – Android Forums, News, Reviews, Help and Android Wallpapers www.androidcentral.com/galaxy-note-10-photography-tips-and-tricks
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How’s your Note 10 battery life been?

Checking in with the AC forums.

The Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ have been available for purchase for a little under a month at this point, meaning plenty of folks out there have had a chance to test the phones out and put them through their paces.

As a quick refresher, the regular Note 10 has a 3,500 mAh battery whereas the larger Note 10+ ships with a 4,300 mAh one.

Here’s the battery life some of our AC forum members have been reporting.

bbgpsuser
09-13-2019 07:16 PM

I get 25-36 hours of battery life.

Reply

o4liberty
09-13-2019 07:21 PM

I get 18 hours with 20% left on moderate usage only 10 hours on heavy usage.

Reply

Disk4mat
09-13-2019 08:04 PM

Im getting 4 days of light to average use with optimized power settings and loving it! I charged my phone yesterday afternoon and right now I am at 89%. My standby time blows away my Note 8.

Most features are enabled with exception of Location is always off unless I open Google Maps (Bixby routines then turns location on and off again after closing maps). Screen brightness is 25%. AOD is…

Reply

Carrie Greicar
09-14-2019 07:00 AM

I generally have 30% left when I put it in the charger when I go to bed

Reply

Now, we want to hear from you. How’s your Note 10 battery life been?

Join the conversation in the forums!

Get More Galaxy Note 10

Samsung Galaxy Note 10/10+



Galaxy Note 10 ($950 at Amazon)
Galaxy Note 10+ ($1100 at Amazon)

from Android Central – Android Forums, News, Reviews, Help and Android Wallpapers www.androidcentral.com/hows-your-note-10-battery-life-been
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Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha teased to feature an ‘over 100%’ screen-to-body ratio

The Mi Mix Alpha will be Xiaomi’s first smartphone to come with a ‘waterfall screen.”

What you need to know

  • Xiaomi has released a new teaser that suggests the upcoming Mi Mix Alpha will feature a screen-to-body ratio over 100%.
  • The Mi Mix Alpha is expected to come with a “waterfall display” similar to the recently launched Vivo NEX 3.
  • Xiaomi Mi MIX Alpha is slated to be unveiled at an event in China on September 24.

Vivo’s latest flagship smartphone, the NEX 3 went official earlier this week, featuring a Waterfall FullView curved display with a whopping 99.6% screen-to-body ratio. While Vivo isn’t expecting any other smartphone maker to match or exceed the NEX 3’s screen-to-body ratio this year, rival smartphone maker Xiaomi today released a new teaser which suggests its upcoming Mi Mix Alpha will have a screen-to-body ratio of “over 100%.”

One of the teasers posted by Xiaomi on its Weibo page today gives us a peek at the upcoming Mi Mix Alpha from the side. As can be seen quite clearly, the phone’s screen will curve along its sides, much like the Vivo NEX 3’s. This could possibly mean that the Mi Mix Alpha will have no room for physical buttons.

The other teaser released by the company hints at a screen-to-body ratio over 100%. Since more details have not been shared yet, we cannot be sure if Xiaomi is using the same calculation method as Vivo.

Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha will debut at a special event in China on September 24. Along with the Mi Mix Alpha, Xiaomi will also take the wraps off the Mi 9 Pro at the same event. Both smartphones are expected to have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ chipset under the hood and feature 5G connectivity.

How to fix MIUI push notifications in 2019

from Android Central – Android Forums, News, Reviews, Help and Android Wallpapers www.androidcentral.com/xiaomi-mi-mix-alpha-teased-come-over-100-screen-body-ratio
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Nest Hub Max review: Bigger, louder, and way more clever

I didn’t know I needed this, and now I’m looking to buy another one.

Google’s original Nest Hub was, in my opinion, a revelation. Smart displays had been awkward things, more of a solution in search of a problem than something clearly needed in the house. Amazon’s initial offering was fairly mediocre, Facebook’s Portal quickly disappeared, and the other options genuinely aren’t worth mentioning.

Google delivered a display that faded into whatever room you put it in thanks to some spectacular color and brightness tuning, and some software that actually made it a useful control center for a smart home. It also worked as a great Cast target, which is handy for people who want to watch some things on a smaller screen in a place like the kitchen or bathroom. And for $130, it was an obvious win.

This year, Google has an upgrade for folks who wanted a bigger screen and improved speakers. And with a camera on the front for Google Duo chat, there was room to experiment with some new features that made it more than mission control or entertainment. It all sounded cool when we heard about it earlier this year, but the four-month wait between announcement and launch left some questions about how well this Nest Hub Max would live up to its promises.

Better Faster Stronger

Nest Hub Max

Bottom line: Everything I already loved about the smaller Nest Hub, with WAY better speakers and some clever camera features.



Pros

  • Killer display
  • Fantastic audio quality
  • Camera features work surprisingly well

Cons

  • Rear-firing speakers can be awkward in places
  • Cast discrepancies are still weird
  • This isn’t really a “Nest Cam”

$229 at B&H

Nest Hub Max What excites me most

Out of the box, the Max really does look like a bigger Nest Hub. The display sits at that same familiar angle out in front of the speaker, complete with a thick bezel around the outer edge. This larger model doesn’t come in some of the fun colors the smaller model was available in, but since the front looks the same on all of them I didn’t mind that much. And as soon as you have this display set up and signed in to your account, the software immediately starts doing its magic.

The display is vivid enough to make ambient display images look like photographs.

When not in use, the screen dims to match the ambient lighting of the room, and the images you have selected to play as background look almost like photographs sitting in a large frame. You could easily walk through a room with this display on and not know it was a display, thanks to the color and brightness tuning. It fades into the background of the room when not in use, instead of constantly catching the corner of your eye like every other smart display. I can have this on my desk while I write all day, and never be distracted by it. There are so few displays out there calibrated this well.

About 12 seconds after you plug this in for the first time, you notice the other major different between this Nest Hub Max and the original Nest Hub; it is so much louder than its predecessor. In fact, it is noticeably louder and clearer than the original Google Home speaker as well. There’s a healthy amount of bass, which can of course be tuned however you prefer through the app, and even at 70% volume the microphones can pick up my voice from 10 feet away when speaking normally.

Google struggled for a generation to be as good as Amazon’s Echo platform when it came to microphone quality, but with the Hub Max it seems to have caught up. And it’s doing so with fewer microphones, which is impressive. Place this display on an end table or in your kitchen, and you will have more than enough speaker to fill the room and sound damn good in the process.

The software for this Hub is pure Google Home, which means with few exceptions it is the same experience you get from every other Google-powered smart display. You can connect to a host of smart home accessories with ease, either with your voice or through the menus on the UI. It couldn’t be easier: swipe down for smart home stuff, swipe up for hardware settings, swipe left for news and weather, swipe right to go back to the home screen. If you want to play audio or video, you can either request it through your voice or cast it from your phone to the display. It’s a dead simple system, and still works well for everything.

When you consider there are no moving parts involved in this camera, it really does feel like magic.

The impressive new Nest Hub Max features all surround the camera. There’s facial detection on top of voice match to deliver information straight from your Google account, which works exactly as described. Even when I was wearing sunglasses and a hat, the Hub identified me and gave me my reminders and access to my Spotify right away. But Nest Hub Max also recognizes my hands, and when it sees my hand raised it will pause or resume whatever is currently playing on the screen. This feature is reliable for me up to about six feet away, after which it starts to get a little iffy. In a well-lit room I can get that closer to ten feet, but in my kitchen or my darker office it works just far enough away to be useful because it’s far enough away that I can’t just reach out and touch the display.

Video chat through Google Duo is pretty cool here, too. The Nest Hub Max identifies the person speaking, and uses software to zoom in on that person during the call. And if you walk around, the software will follow you and stay zoomed in. It’s not quite as fast or as accurate as Facebook Portal with this particular feature, but it works well enough and handles multiple people in a room with ease. The zoom in feature also only works reliably within six to eight feet depending on your lighting, but the difference it makes for the person on the other end of the call is worth it. And when you consider there are no moving parts involved in this smooth animation, it really does feel like magic.

Nest Hub Max: What I wish was better

The speakers on Nest Hub were the only real pain point for a lot of people, and this was absolutely addressed with the Nest Hub Max. Unfortunately, those louder and deeper speakers aren’t really great for every spot in the house. Because these speakers are rear-firing, putting the display in a corner can lead to problems when playing bass-heavy music. On more than one occasion I found the bass crushing the rest of the song, and there’s only so much you can do with tuning to fix that. This isn’t a problem for most places I could have put the display, it just happened to be a problem for the one place I wanted to put it.

As simple as the software is to use, the way some things work on Google’s displays is still super confusing. I can cast Hulu and Spotify, but for some reason Netflix refuses to support smart displays and there’s very little warning as to why. You just can’t do it. Google’s messaging tries to avoid the subject, and to me that just confuses people more if they don’t understand how all of this works. This isn’t really a Google problem; Netflix needs to sort itself out and support this platform. But it’s on Google to explain Netflix is why this isn’t working, and I don’t think that message is clear right now.

I’m also not super excited by the “Nest Cam” feature on this Home Max. If you choose to, you can set the camera on this display up as a Nest Cam and be able to watch security feeds through the smart display. I can see how this would be useful, but I find labeling this a Nest Cam a little disingenuous. For starters, there’s no infrared light on this camera so it is now the only Nest Cam with no night vision. But you also can’t just set this up as a Nest Cam. If you want to use it, you have to migrate your Nest account to Google Home. For me, that’s a nonstarter right now. I still really like the Works With Nest features, and you lose all of those when you merge your account. Until Google sorts that out, this faux Nest Cam is unavailable to me.

Nest Hub Max: Should you buy it?

Last year, Google proved it could make a compelling argument for why smart displays were actually worth having. When designed well, they can be amazing digital photo frames with mountains of other useful features. And when you consider the price of a good digital photo frame, it continues to be a pretty good deal. Especially if you want something smart in your bedroom with no camera.

4.5
out of 5


The Nest Hub Max is for people who are sold on the smart display experience from Google and want something a little more useful. And in that respect, it’s a spectacular success. For $230 you get a great speaker with a phenomenal display and a genuinely useful video chat experience. And for people who use smart displays in the kitchen, being able to control the music without your voice and without smearing food on the display is amazing. If that excites you, this display is well worth your cash.

Better Faster Stronger

Nest Hub Max

$229 at B&H

One hell of an upgrade.

Everything I already loved about the smaller Nest Hub, with WAY better speakers and some clever camera features.

from Android Central – Android Forums, News, Reviews, Help and Android Wallpapers www.androidcentral.com/nest-hub-max-review
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What do I need to stream games from my PlayStation 4?

Best answer: Streaming games on the PlayStation 4 is as easy as pressing a few buttons and getting things going. Howver, if you want to take your stream to the next level, you’ll need more than just a controller and the press of a button. Depending on your preferences, you might need a camera, a headset, or even a capture card for more advanced streams.

Do I need anything to stream games on PlayStation 4?

Many people think that in order to stream games to an audience, or even your friends, that you need an expensive, fancy set-up on your computer. Thankfully, this isn’t the case, as modern day platforms like the PlayStation 4 allow you to stream games directly from the console, and to a variety of streaming platforms as well.

Steaming games from a PS4 is as easy as pressing the Share button on your DualShock 4 controller while you’re playing a game, and then hitting Broadcast Gameplay. From there, you’re given a handful of options as to how you want your stream to operate (stream quality, audio, and more) before you go live. Finally, you choose which streaming platform you’d like to broadcast to. Choose from Twitch, YouTube, or Dailymotion, and then you’re good to go!

Of course, there are some minor downsides to streaming straight off of a PS4. Displaying the live feed of comments in your stream shrinks your game screen a bit, and your viewers will see that as well. However, the ability to set up an easy stream within seconds is incredible, and couldn’t be any easier.

Pick up the basics

It may be easy to stream on the PlayStation 4, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have some items on hand to make your stream even better. Things like a microphone and camera are key to good streams, and luckily they aren’t too hard to come by.

When it comes to microphones, it doesn’t get much better than the Blue Yeti. This microphone has become the go-to for streamers, as it’s not only affordable, but provides high-quality audio and a solid variety of options. It’s also easy to install thanks to its USB and 3.5mm jack setup. If you’re looking to stick to headsets, consider picking up something like the HyperX Cloud Flight wireless headset. Not only does it provide a noise-canceling environment, but it also sports a solid, 30-hour battery life.

Being seen isn’t necessarily a mandatory thing in streaming, but it does help connect you to your audience. The PlayStation 4 Camera might not be the best in terms of quality, but it works well enough to help you in your streams. However, make sure not to use the camera as a microphone, as it picks up a lot of background noise and can cause streams to sound a lot messier than they should.

Get recording

Blue Yeti USB Microphone

$115 at Amazon

A gold standard in USB mics

Streaming microphones don’t get much better than the Blue Yeti. It’s a gold standard for a reason, and people looking to jump into streaming should look no further than to pick up one. It’s surprisingly affordable compared to other microphones, and offers a high quality feel, sound, and design.

Official webcam

PlayStation 4 Camera

$41 at Amazon

For when you want to broadcast your face

Your streaming experience won’t be complete without a camera. You don’t need to broadcast yourself in that way if you are uncomfortable, but it adds a level familiarity between you and your audience.

Game hands-free

HyperX Cloud Flight Wireless Gaming Headset

$136 at Amazon

Stream wirelessly

Sometimes you want to sit back and relax without the constraints of a professional microphone, and the HyperX Cloud Flight wireless headset is here for you. Its ability to provide a noise-canceling experience, combined with its excellent battery life (30 hours) and compatibility with both PC and PlayStation 4 make it a solid choice for any streamer.

Taking your stream to the next level

While streaming on the PlayStation 4 might be enough if you’re looking to stream for friends or just getting into the world of streaming, taking your stream to the next level will always involve a computer. If you’re looking to produce higher quality streams and take advantage of the highest possible video output, you’ll not only need a computer, but a capture card. Picking up something like the Elgato Game Capture 4K60 Pro — or any other product in the Elgato line — will certainly take your streams to the next level, but require more than just a PlayStation 4.

Once you’re ready to expand beyond the PlayStation 4 as a streaming option, you’ll then need to look into either building your own PC, or picking one up that will support your streaming needs. It can be a bit daunting, but if you’re just looking to get into the world of streaming, the PlayStation 4 is a great place to start, especially thanks to how simple it is to fire up a stream and get used to the idea of playing for an audience.

Stream to the next level

Elgato Game Capture 4K60 Pro

$275 at Amazon

Capture your games fully

The Elgato 4K60 Pro is the best of the best, and will capture games in full 4K60FPS with ultra-low latency, which is perfect for anyone looking to take their stream to the next level.

from Android Central – Android Forums, News, Reviews, Help and Android Wallpapers www.androidcentral.com/what-do-i-need-stream-games-my-playstation-4
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TCL’s glorious new 6-Series TVs are now available

QLED is a game-changer for the affordable line of Roku-powered televisions.

We pulled no punches back in August when we got a preview of TCL’s new 6-Series and 8-Series TVs, easily declaring that this year’s lineup is the one to beat. And you can now purchase the new 6-Series kit — still powered by Roku TV — and get one hell of a set for well under $1,000.

Here’s our summary, for those who didn’t bother to click through:

The 6-series is TCL’s most successful TV, and if you’ve looked at buying a TV below a $1,000 in the past few years, chances are you’ve stumbled across the 6-series. Combining the latest technology and display standards – such as HDR10, Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision – with 4K resolution results in an excellent experience.

New for 2019 is the addition of a QLED panel, which will solidify the 6-series’ position in the market as the best value for TV money. Combining QLED technology with a slim bezel results in an incredibly immersive experience, which is only magnified further when you launch a game on your console. As you do so, the TV will automatically switch the display to gaming mode, and either honor the settings you’ve previously configured, or use AI to fine tune the experience.

It doesn’t have the mini-LED technology of the 8-series … but the 6-series is the best bang for your buck TV in 2019. It was already this before the addition of QLED technology, and the new 6-series – which is available in 55-inch and 65-inch sizes — makes a great TV even better!

To be clear, this is the “mid-range” 6-Series. And when we say “mid-range,” what we really mean at this point is that it’s plenty of TV for most folks, way better than average, and an absolutely brilliant way to spend your money. It’s got 4K resolution, of course, HDR 10 and Dolby Vision, plenty of inputs, and available at just the right size.

What it is not, however, is the new TCL 8-Series. That’s still to come, with its glorious micro-LED panels that take things to an even higher (yet still relatively affordable) level. More to come on that in due time. For now, you can pick up a new 55- or 65-inch 6-Series for less than $1,000.

TCL 6-Series 2019 65-inch

$799 at Amazon

The right TV at the right price

TCL’s 6-Series is the perfect marriage of price and technology — and it’s gotten even better for 2019 with the inclusion of a QLED panel. If you have room for a 65-incher, it’s the way to go.

The smaller option

TCL 6-Series 2019 55-inch

$599 at Amazon

Smaller, and less expensive

If a 55-inch TV is more your speed, the 2019 TCL 6-Series Roku TV will serve you nicely.

from Android Central – Android Forums, News, Reviews, Help and Android Wallpapers www.androidcentral.com/tcls-glorious-new-6-series-tvs-are-now-available
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Google Chrome gets customizable themes on desktop, tab grouping on Android

Google says some more improvements are coming to Chrome later in the fall.

What you need to know

  • Google is introducing new features to its Chrome browser for both desktop and Android users.
  • The latest Chrome update allows desktop users to customize the browser with their choice of background, color, and theme.
  • New features that are being rolled out to Android users include new tab grid layout and tab grouping.

Last week, Google released the stable Chrome 77 update for Android, Windows, Linux, and iOS platforms, bringing a few new features and improvements. The company has now announced another new update that is rolling out for Chrome on desktop as well as on Android.

The Chrome Android app is getting a new grid layout, aimed at making it easier for users to select tabs and preview thumbnails of open tabs. Grouping tabs on Android devices is also now easier.

To group your open tabs in Chrome, simply drag and drop one tab on top of another in the tab grid layout. You can switch between the tabs in the group using the tab switcher at the bottom of the screen.

Both desktop and Android Chrome users can now get answers to their questions directly in the address bar. When you’re looking for results about sporting events or translations of a foreign word, the answers will now show up inside the address bar as you type the query.

Google has also introduced the ability to customize the background, color, and theme for Chrome desktop users. You can access the customization options from the “Customize” FAB that appears in the bottom-right corner. In addition to changing the background, you can now change the color of the entire browser depending on your preference.

5 reasons a Chromebook is better than an iPad and 5 reasons it’s not

from Android Central – Android Forums, News, Reviews, Help and Android Wallpapers www.androidcentral.com/google-chrome-update-adds-customizable-themes-desktop-tab-grouping-android
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The most valuable benefits of the American Express Business Platinum Card

Heads up! We share savvy shopping and personal finance tips to put extra cash in your wallet. Android Central may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express is the pinnacle of business credit cards that the company has to offer. With huge welcome offers and best-in-class rewards, it might be easy to forget that the card also comes with some of the most impressive benefits on the market. The benefits of the card focus on two areas: helping make travel enjoyable and helping you work when you get there.

Making travel enjoyable

When flying, accruing fees is almost inevitable. However, if you plan to travel on the same airline that charges those fees, you can get some of that money back. Select one qualifying airline and get a statement credit of up to $200 a calendar year for baggage fees, in-flight refreshments, and more.

When you get to the airport, you can breeze through security with Global Entry or TSA Pre ✔®, and the Business Platinum card is there to help cover the cost. Receive a statement credit every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or every 4.5 years after you apply for TSA Pre ✔® ($85). If approved, you can get expedited screening at select airports. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA Pre ✔®. This benefits extends to each additional card on your business account.

After getting through security, use your Business Platinum card as your pass to relax in one of the lounges. With more than 1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries and counting, the American Express Global Lounge CollectionSM* offers travelers more lounge options than any other card on the market. Enjoy access to The Centurion® Lounge and The International American Express lounges, or visit one of their partners including Delta Sky Club® when flying Delta or a Priority PassTM Select lounge once enrolled.

After landing, make sure your hotel was booked through Fine Hotels & Resorts, where you will receive complimentary benefits including a room upgrade upon arrival when available, daily breakfast for two people, guaranteed 4pm late check-out, noon check-in when available, complimentary Wi-Fi, and a unique amenity such as a food & and beverage credit or one-way private sedan transfer.

Making working abroad more comfortable

Once you’ve landed and checked into your room, feel free to get out of the hotel and work amongst your peers at one of WeWork’s coworking locations. As a Business Platinum Card Member, get one year of complimentary Platinum Global Access from WeWork. With this membership, you can access premium, inspiring workspaces, designed for productivity and focus, in 75+ cities and 20+ countries. To get this exclusive offer, make sure to enroll between 2/15/2019 and 12/31/2019.

To help make sure your tech is up to date and able to get the job done, American Express has joined forces with Dell. Get up to $100 in statement credits between January and June and up to $100 in statement credits between July and December for U.S. purchases with Dell on your Business Platinum Card when enrolled.

Use all the benefits

While these are defintely some of the best highlights of the benefits available to cardholders of the Business Platinum® Card from American Express, there are tons more available. From Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance, Baggage Insurance, and Travel Accident Insurance, to Extended Warranties and Purchase Protection, the Platinum card has a benefit for almost everything. If you travel for business and want to enjoy benefits at almost every booking, airport, flight, hotel, and city, the Business Platinum® Card from American Express is a benefits beast.

Platinum records

Business Platinum® Card from American Express

See at The Points Guy

Welcome Offer: Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® points. Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com. Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back. Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Get one year of Platinum Global Access from WeWork. With this membership, you can access 300+ premium, inspiring workspaces in 75+ cities. To get this exclusive offer, enroll between 2/15/2019 and 12/31/2019. $595 annual fee.

from Android Central – Android Forums, News, Reviews, Help and Android Wallpapers www.androidcentral.com/most-valuable-benefits-business-platinum-card-american-express-you-could-be-using
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These are the best mesh Wi-Fi routers you can buy

Mesh wireless networks, like our favorite kit from Eero, are the best way to rid your home of those dreaded dead spots where Wi-Fi can never seem to reach. Since they are also easy to set up and expandable to work in almost any home, they’re a popular way to do it! Here’s our pick of 2019’s best offerings to help you pick which works for you.

Best Overall: Eero home

Eero made one of the first consumer mesh Wi-Fi systems and the company keeps making them better with each revision. The current generation has the best blend of advanced networking features and “placeability” of any system available thanks to the small size of the Eero Beacon.

Eero uses a true tri-band mesh network to make sure the signal between every beacon and the devices attached is fast and routed in the most efficient way. A dedicated communication band between units keeps the traffic flowing and you’ll enjoy lower latency and the fastest connection possible. And it’s all done using small, easy to place beacons connected to a slightly larger base that connects to your cable modem.

Pros:

  • Can use an unlimited amount of beacons
  • Dedicated communication and backhaul radio
  • Beacons are small and easy to place
  • Easy setup
  • Great Android and iOS app

Cons:

  • Beacons have no Ethernet ports
  • Limited “power-user” settings

Best Overall

Eero Home

Small and powerful

Eero creates great experience thanks to a simple and stylish appearance and the technology to back it up. A dedicated backhaul keeps the connection smooth.

Best Value: TP-Link Deco

If you want to set up a mesh network that covers the whole house (up to 5,500 square feet) and don’t want to break the bank, grab a TP-Link Deco three-pack. You’ll get whole-house coverage without ever changing networks or hopping onto an extender, plus features like prioritizing and parental control. TP-Link also uses adaptive routing to make sure the whole network is as fast as it can be.

From a hardware perspective, you get plenty of speed on Wi-Fi with AC Wi-Fi delivering 400Mbps at 2.4Ghz and 867Mbps at 5Ghz. Two ethernet ports on each help you keep all of your devices connected, even the older ones. Not to mention, a smaller size than some, makes this an easy router to hide in any room’s decor.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • They look good
  • Native Alexa support
  • Easy setup

Cons:

  • No native support for Google Assistant
  • Limited “power-user” settings

Best Value

TP-Link Deco

Fast Wi-Fi on the cheap

TP-Link’s Deco mesh Wi-Fi system offers the most important features in a mesh system for less. It also looks great and is 100% Amazon Alexa compatible.

Best Range: AmpliFi HD

Mesh wireless systems may be designed to put a Wi-Fi signal just where you need it, but Ubiquiti’s AmpliFi HD system can also boast superior range. A kit with a single base station and two satellites can cover 10,000 square feet and that’s not an exaggeration — during testing we found it to live up to the claim.

It’s also fully featured with options you’ll need like family controls and guest access, and the base is configured with five Gigabit Ethernet ports like you’d find on a traditional router. You can also set everything up without an account or a smartphone if you’d rather use the web interface.

Pros:

  • Five Gigabit Ethernet ports on the base
  • Almost double the range of most mesh Wi-Fi systems
  • Smartphone app or account not required for setup
  • Easy setup
  • Can integrate more than one base unit

Cons:

  • Satellites are large and difficult to place
  • Satellites have no ethernet ports

Best Range

AmpliFi HD

Superior coverage

The AmpliFi HD covers a large area and can expand its mesh with more HD routers, a MeshPoint, or an Instant. It has four ethernet ports for older devices.

Most Secure: Google Wifi

Google Wifi is a great choice if you want a simple mesh wireless network that’s automatically updated with critical patches as soon as possible. Like other setups, you have a great smartphone app for setup and controlling the settings, and because it’s a Google Hardware product the researchers who find security flaws have a patch for it before they go public in many cases. If you need a Wi-Fi point somewhere like a toolshed or patio you can also daisy chain the units with an Ethernet cable to extend the range.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Each unit has two Ethernet ports
  • Can daisy chain units with cabling
  • Excellent Google Assistant integration
  • Fast security updates

Cons:

  • Google collects analytical data
  • Most settings require an active internet connection
  • Google account required to set up and use

Most Secure

Google Wifi

Fast updates

Google Wifi has easily become the standard for mesh Wi-Fi and holds onto that lead with a great app, plenty of software updates, and a modern aesthetic.

Best for Prosumers: Netgear Orbi

One thing most mesh wireless kits have in common is a lack of advanced setup and control options. If you need more control over your wireless network but still want full coverage in hard to reach spots that a mesh system can offer, Netgear’s Orbi system might be what you want. It’s easy to set up through a smartphone app, but you can also access the settings through a web app running on the router like other Netgear prosumer routers. If you need absolute control, Orbi is for you.

Pros:

  • Tri-band for fast and consistent speeds
  • 4 Ethernet ports on every unit
  • Easy setup
  • Full control of all network settings
  • Includes Netgear Armor anti-virus

Cons:

  • Can’t disable automatic updates
  • Many customers complain about tech support

For Prosumers

Netgear Orbi

Complete control

The Orbi system offers the coverage and convenience of mesh with the advanced settings, plenty of expansion, and the robust software expect from Netgear.

Fastest Speeds: Plume Superpods

Every mesh system on our list will provide reliable and fast Wi-Fi right where you need it, but if you want the absolute fastest possible wireless speeds you’ll want to use Plume Superpods. What’s special about them is how backhaul — the connection between nodes — is handled: Plume uses an adaptive tech that adjusts routing in real-time to pick the fastest channel for each and every packet of wireless data. Being easy to set up and looking good are icing on the cake.

One issue here that’s worth mentioning: Plume collects data about connected devices and websites you visit in order to enable its advanced security features. That’s something you need to know before you buy.

Pros:

  • Adaptive behavior changes network pathing as needed
  • 2 Ethernet ports on every unit
  • Easy setup
  • 5-year warranty
  • AI quarantine protection for “dumb” connected devices like cameras or sensors

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Plume checks websites for malware and can track usage
  • Plume collects data about connected devices to enable advanced protection

Fastest Speeds

Plume Superpods

Zoom Zoom

Plume Superpods use unique routing tech to make sure every bit of data is sent using the fastest method possible so you can get the most from your network.

Best for Gaming: Netgear Nighthawk XRM570

Netgear’s Nighthawk brand has become synonymous with great gaming performance. The XRM570 package brings the fast XR500 router into the mesh world thanks to the EX7700 WiFi Mesh Range Extender. In theory this extender can be used with pretty much any Nighthawk router but we would recommend sticking with the package or a more advanced Nighthawk router to make sure you have a great experience.

Thanks to this setup, you can keep your primary router with your gaming equipment for wired or strong wireless connectivity without sacrificing coverage. Of course, you’ll be losing out on some of the simple and easy to conceal designs of other mesh systems, but for a gamer, there aren’t too many performant gaming options with mesh support. And for me, the angular black plastic looks nice and would blend right in with my TV setup.

Pros:

  • Fast AC Wi-fi
  • Four LAN ports for gaming
  • Gamer aesthetic
  • Nighthawk prioritization software

Cons:

  • Large footprint
  • External antennas

Best for gaming

Netgear Nighthawk XRM570

Low latency for quick scopes

Netgear’s mesh push continues with a fast gaming router paired with a mesh Wi-Fi extender. The angular mesh point adds fast coverage and two LAN ports.

Best Wi-Fi 6: Netgear Orbi RBK852

At this time, Wi-Fi 5 or 802.11AC can deliver enough speed for pretty much anyone. But a Wi-Fi router isn’t something that you want to replace all the time. Some folks want to spend a little more (or a lot) today so they know their equipment will be up to speed for years to come. The Netgear Orbi RBK852 Wi-Fi 6 mesh router has support for a ton of devices with tech like MU-MIMO, the respected Orbi software, and eight concealed antennas.

Many Wi-Fi 6 routers feature software for mesh expansion but this is one of the first purpose built packages for a mesh network. Really, it’s the best of modern home networking with a flexible mesh and enough speed to forget about it for years. As an added bonus, the matte white interior combined with a polished gray frame looks really nice.

Pros:

  • Fast Wi-Fi 6
  • 2.5Gbps uplink
  • Compatible with Wi-Fi 5
  • Works with Alexa and Google Assistant

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Large footprint

Best Wi-Fi 6

Netgear Orbi RBK852

Over the top

The Wi-Fi 6 Orbi supports the Wi-Fi tech of today and tomorrow. This mesh won’t need replaced for years. A 2.5Gbps uplink is ready for fast fiber internet.

Bottom line

Mesh wireless systems need to do two things right: be reliable and provide coverage everywhere you need it. All the kits on our list do a great job at both. Sometimes, though, it’s the tiny details that decide which product is best for you.

Overall, Eero offers the best total package in our opinion. It’s fast with a dedicated backhaul channel so you can connect everything with no loss in speeds and it’s dead simple to set up. We also love the small footprint of the satellite devices and how easy they are to fit behind things like a bookshelf or desk.

Eero also has an excellent app that guides you through everything from setting it all up to adding more units or changing the user settings. The time and attention to detail in both the hardware and the app is impressive, and we think anyone in the market for a new WI-Fi setup would love what Eero has to offer.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Samuel Contreras When Samuel is not writing about networking at Windows Central, he spends most of his time researching computer components and obsessing over what CPU goes into the ultimate Windows 98 computer. It’s the Pentium 3.

Jerry Hildenbrand is Mobile Nation’s Senior Editor and works from a Chromebook full time. Currently, he is using Google’s Pixelbook but is always looking at new products and may have any Chromebook in his hands at any time. You’ll find him across the Mobile Nations network and you can hit him up on Twitter if you want to say hey.

Daniel Bader is the Managing Editor of Android Central. As he’s writing this, a mountain of old Android phones is about to fall on his head, but his Great Dane will protect him. He drinks way too much coffee and sleeps too little. He wonders if there’s a correlation.

from Android Central – Android Forums, News, Reviews, Help and Android Wallpapers www.androidcentral.com/best-mesh-wi-fi-routers
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