Samsung Galaxy S8+ Beats iPhone 7 Plus in Consumer Reports’ Ranking

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ top-ranked phone by Consumer Reports
  • Samsung Galaxy S8 and S7 Edge takes the second & third spot
  • LG G6 takes the fourth spot while the iPhone 7 Plus comes in fifth

After the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, Samsung had a lot riding on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8+ this year. And if the latest Consumer Reports’ findings are to be taken into account, the two smartphones have performed exceptionally well, raking in the top two spots. Consumer Reports ranks the Samsung Galaxy S8+ as the top smartphone, followed by the Galaxy S8 in the second place.

Consumer Reports lauds the Samsung Galaxy S8+ for its narrow design and great battery life. The publication adds that while the LG G6 and the iPhone 7 Plus packed dual rear cameras, the Samsung cameras were top-notch and didn’t suffer due to the lack of a dual camera setup. The LG G6 stood in the fourth spot in the Consumer Reports rankings, while the iPhone 7 Plus took the fifth spot, Samsung’s own Galaxy S7 Edge was third.

The report also lauded Samsung’s bezel-less display design and the ability to survive under water. However, one thing that the folks at Consumer Reports were not so happy about, was its one-hand operation, and recommends its readers to try out the phones in the store before purchasing them. “Even on the smaller model, it will be hard for most users to reach the upper regions of the screen with their thumb,” lead phone tester Richard Fisco says in the report.

The cameras on the Samsung Galaxy S8+ and Galaxy S8 also received heavy praise. The report lauds its low-light imaging and video recording capabilities, and also says that the lack of dual cameras at the back is not something that is missed badly. “Finally, a few top-end cameras, including the iPhone 7 Plus and the LG G6, have dual rear-facing cameras, to enhance either zoom or wide-angle photography. The Samsung phones haven’t gone that route yet—and we don’t think they suffer for it,” the report states.Samsung Galaxy S8+ Beats iPhone 7 Plus in Consumer Reports' Ranking

This positive response will be welcome by Samsung, coming in as sort of redemption for last year’s Note 7 recall. The iPhone 7 Plus sits on the fifth spot, but that’s because it’s a phone that was launched almost nine months ago, and three of the smartphones ahead of it were launched rather recently. It will be interesting to see if the ranking changes once the much-rumoured iPhone 8 is released in a few months’ time.

Samsung Galaxy S8+

Samsung Galaxy S8+

Rs. 64,900
Buy
  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery life
  • Camera
  • Value for money
  • Good
  • Gorgeous looks and excellent construction quality
  • Brilliant displays
  • Phenomenal camera quality
  • Class-leading performance
  • Bad
  • No flat screen option
  • Nearly unusable fingerprint reader
  • Software stuffed with unnecessary features

 

HP Spectre x2 review: It beats the Surface Pro on value, if not performance

 

Our review of HP’s Spectre x2 12.3-inch 2-in-1 tablet begins with a simple question: Can HP continue its tradition of being an elegant, yet durable alternative to Microsoft’s Surface Pro flagship?

The answer is Yes. HP took the best bits from its Elite x2 tablet and the first-generation Spectre x2 tablet (2015), then updated the new Spectre x2 with the latest Kaby Lake chips. The Spectre x2 gives you more features for the money than the Surface Pro: Our $1,300 review unit included both the keyboard and the stylus right in the box (hear that, Microsoft?). It’s a shame this solid value is let down by middling battery life and a pesky fan.

 HP Spectre x2 2017man / ID

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Specs: Kaby Lake and an outstanding display
  • Kickstand, pen loop anchor the productivity
  • Extra software
  • Performance: Marred by mediocre battery life
  • Conclusion: Good value despite a few flaws

Specs: Kaby Lake and an outstanding display

HP will offer one $1,300 retail version of the Spectre x2 (the one we tested):

  • Model name: Spectre x2 12-c012dx
  • CPU: Core i7-7560U
  • RAM: 8GB  LPDDR-1600
  • SSD: 360GB PCIe NVMe

Four more SKUs will be available via HP.com:

An entry-level Core i5 version for $1,150:

    • Model name: Spectre x2 12t
  • CPU: Core i5-7260U
  • RAM: 8GB LPDDR-1600
  • SSD: 128GB PCIe NVMe

An entry-level Core i7 version for $1,230:

    • Model name: Spectre x2 12-c052nr
  • CPU: Core i7-7560U
  • RAM: 8GB LPDDR-1600
  • SSD: 256GB PCIe NVMe

Two higher-end Core i7 versions have these starting configurations and can be upgraded. This one starts at $1,670:

  • CPU: Core i7-7560U
  • RAM: 16GB  LPDDR-1600
  • SSD: 512GB PCIe NVMe

The highest-end one starts at $1,970:

  • CPU: Core i7-7560U
  • RAM: 16GB  LPDDR-1600
  • SSD: 1TB PCIe NVMe

 

BlackBerry’s profit beats expectations, shares surge

 

Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images

BlackBerry reported better-than-expected adjusted earnings for the sixth straight quarter, as the smartphone pioneer’s shift to the higher-margin software business paid off, sending shares soaring more than 15 percent.

The Canadian firm also said on Friday it expects to be profitable on an adjusted basis for the second year in a row, and generate positive free cash flow in the year ending February 2018.

Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry has focused on building a robust software business after scrapping production of its once-iconic smartphones, which lost favor with the arrival of sleek and fully-touchscreen handsets.

 

The company outsourced the development of its smartphones last year, signing a deal with Indonesia’s BB Merah Putih to make and distribute new BlackBerry-branded devices. It has also signed similar deals with China’s TCL and India-based Optiemus Infracom.

Adjusted revenue from the software and services unit, which includes mobile device management products and the QNX industrial operating system, rose 12.2 percent to $193 million in the fourth quarter ended Feb. 28, from the preceding quarter.

QNX is crucial to BlackBerry’s efforts in the self-driving vehicle industry. The company already has a partnership with Ford Motor to develop autonomous driving software, and CEO John Chen hopes to forge such deals with carmakers around the world.

Blackberry CEO: Good growth & 2 new phones by year end

Blackberry CEO: Good growth & 2 new phones by year end  Monday, 2 May 2016 | 12:18 PM ET | 04:02

Gross margin jumped to 60.1 percent in the quarter from 43.3 percent last year.

BlackBerry received more than 3,500 enterprise customer orders in the quarter, an increase of 16 percent from the last quarter.

“Looking ahead to fiscal 2018, we expect to grow at or above the overall market in our software business,” Chen said in a statement.

The company’s net loss narrowed to $47 million or 10 cents per share in the fourth quarter, from $238 million or 45 cents per share, a year earlier.

The prior-year quarter included a loss of $127 million related to the sale of certain assets.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned 4 cents per share. Analysts on average had expected the company to break even, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Operating expenses nearly halved to $229 million.

Revenue fell about 38 percent to $286 million. On an adjusted basis, revenue was $297 million, beating analysts’ average expectation of $289.3 million.

BlackBerry’s shares were up 16 percent at $8.06 on the Nasdaq in morning trading. The company’s Toronto-listed stock was up 15.4 percent at C$10.70.