Linus Reviews HTC One M8 for Windows


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siah1214
According to that article it was removed because it didn't display ads and allowed users to download videos, both of which are against the T&C. I'd be surprised if it wasn't removed. Given how popular YouTube is Microsoft should have done everything in its power to work around Google's demands, as Apple has done.

Microsoft actually did remove the ability to download and the ability to skirt around content restrictions.  Google wasn't happy with that and basically said that they had to write the app in HTML5 (unlike the Youtube apps on Android and iOS) and forced them to take it down again. 

You can research it yourself, there's a lot of articles out there (including on Neowin) about the whole fiasco.  Sorry, Google was being a jerk here, no matter how you try to write it off that's the only legitimate explanation. They were and are anticompetitive when it comes to Windows Phone (they at one point blocked WP7 and 8 users from accessing maps.google.com, allegedly because they don't support webkit, even though they'd worked fine before) 

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ATLien_0

I'll agree on Google services. While I am perfectly happy with the current Google support the average consumer isn't nor do they know its mostly Google's fault. They will just blame Microsoft for lack of support, as well as other apps. 

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+warwagon

The funny thing is a lot of the apps people want are made by developers other than the company who's service they want to use. Because the company doesn't care enough to write an app for WP, so someone else has to do it for them.

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Dashel

Terrible review by your average Google-monkey, what a whiney douche.  Lets sweep the cloud issue under the rug and ignore how much better it integrates with a superior cloud (he pushed that under the rug early) to ###### and moan about what a n00b he is?  This is everything that is wrong with your average phone store 'advisor'.

 

The MS cloud is the advantage and their edge.  Your cloud should dictate your device not vice versa.  And once you have a better cloud, the need for 20 apps to do the same things is not only inefficient, it makes the fight over apps even more laughable to begin with.

 

At least he does highlight why the notification center is still a boneheaded idea for WP. 

 

An enthusiast phone? lol?

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Stokkolm

They have an almost 1:1 business model copy of iOS, but they are failing because they lack the historical advantage of iOS. Windows Phone offers a decent alternative to iOS users except they have to counter the reality that users have invested heavily in iOS content and they haven't convinced developers to target their platform first. They also locked the platform so much that they are almost always behind on trends. Like the restrictions mentioned in the video that prevent wearables for properly targeting Windows Phone if they wanted to at present, for instance. There was also the missing Bluetooth LE support that prevented things like the FitBit from coming out with Windows Phone support at the same time as iOS (I think this has been added now).

The review is about an HTC phone that runs Microsoft's OS, how can you say they have a 1:1 business model with Apple?

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+LogicalApex

The review is about an HTC phone that runs Microsoft's OS, how can you say they have a 1:1 business model with Apple?

I said "almost 1:1"... The only major departure from Apple with Windows Phone though is the inclusion of other OEMs besides MS. Although, with the dominance that Nokia/Microsoft has over Windows Phone sales I'm almost convinced that any third party Windows Phones are due to MS subsidizing them (for instance, MS may have given HTC a break on its "Android Licensing Fee" if they shipped the phone being discussed here).

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tsupersonic

Everyone keeps saying WP is severely lacking, but no one lists what? I get the apps are lacking. That's a real and serious problem for WP. But what about the OS is lacking? Is it lacking anything anyone actually cares about? If you have all the apps you personally want, is it "lacking"?

 

I know I'm a minority, but I prefer WP to the others. I use it because I like it most. The UI is super clean, easy to use, but powerful enough to customize to my own workflow. Its the goldilocks between the iPhone and Android. Like many users, I'm not really interested in Snapchat or Yo, or whatever the latest app we all install this week. I use my phone to communicate with people, SMS, calls, social stuff, twitter, FB, etc, banking and a few select apps. For the sake of the platform, yes, they need LOTS more developer support and something may come along at some point that I may wish I could have, but for now, I have what I need and I like that I can chose the phone UI I like best.

 

I have seen numerous articles lately where reviewers express that they love the UI of WP and its a real pleasure to use, but they cant recommend it, or cant use it themselves because its missing apps. That tells me there is something compelling about WP, but its just missing that one thing - apps. That may or may not be an issue for everyone. Its not for me, its not for my parents, its not for my inlaws, who got Android phones and haven't installed one single app in the six months since they got them.

My main reasons for not using WP, basic functionality like repeat message notifications are missing. On Android, I can replace the stock messaging app with something like GoSMS that gives me multitude of features and customizations.

 

Customizations in general are limited on WP, making folders on what is an otherwise cluttered "start" screen is a really inefficient way of viewing information. On Android, you can make your homescreenS (yes, plural), any way you want with widgets that provide actual information/content without delving into a specific app.

 

On Android, if the OS is lacking something, you have actual first party apps or even an excellent third party app selection. The so called "fart apps" are there are on every platform, but what is scary is that consumers on WP will fall for the "scam" apps that they think are official apps. People want apps, and you guys are thinking about app selection from an enthusiast perspective. That ultimately is the bottom line, because you can have the best phone hardware but without good software, you're not getting anywhere. 

 

I used to love the WP UI, but at a quick glance, Android gives you far more information and is just more efficient, imo.  

 

Also, don't pin me as a fanboy or hater. All these fanboy wars are just flat out stupid. Why someone pledges their allegiance to a specific company is beyond me. Look at how emotional people are in this thread, calling Linus names... I made all these points above for Android, yet, but I don't use an Android phone anymore. I want Windows Phone to succeed and be a true competitor, but MS has a long way to go, and many challenges to overcome.

 

Final points, no one is wrong - everyone has their needs on what a platform should/shouldn't do, hence why everyone uses different phones. Most importantly, at the end of the day, it's just a phone OS, and life is way too short to be arguing about which OS/product is better, so enjoy what you use!

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BajiRav

WP users: go and try an Android M8 before commenting (note UI completely customizable).

How is that even remotely relevant? :laugh:

 

 

I said "almost 1:1"... The only major departure from Apple with Windows Phone though is the inclusion of other OEMs besides MS. Although, with the dominance that Nokia/Microsoft has over Windows Phone sales I'm almost convinced that any third party Windows Phones are due to MS subsidizing them (for instance, MS may have given HTC a break on its "Android Licensing Fee" if they shipped the phone being discussed here).

Windows Phone is now priced at $0. HTC pays more to Microsoft for M8's Android variant.

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vcfan

Windows Phone has virtually no edge over Android or iOS platforms.

you guys keep grouping ios with android when criticizing windows phone. iPhone is soon about to be neighbors with windows phone in the sub 10% marketshare category. almost there, just need less than 2% and they are there.

but just off the top of my head, some edge windows phone posseses over android

runs faster and smoother

is more secure

has better battery life

is cheaper for OEMs

updates bypassing carriers

universal apps

has a phone called yezz billy

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George P

Being able to replace the stock apps is something I expect fully, I mean right now there's different "browsers" on WP, sure they all use the same IE11 engine in WP8.x BUT the UI is different and the feature sets are different.  Look at UC Browser for example.   You can also switch to using a different calendar app as well, there are alternatives to that to.  Really the only thing you can't not use is the sms/mms app and the phone dialer.  Those two things can't be changed, but people who want to switch the default SMS app and use something else, yeah, that's as niche and minor as you can get at this point.  Do people still use SMS that much?   I mean you have all the other social and IM apps on there, FB, whatsapp and so on.   SMS is dead or close to it, otherwise the carriers wouldn't be giving out so much free SMS as part of their plans.  :P

 

As far as some other little things missing in the OS, with uservoice doing it's thing and MS speeding up updating of WP, I expect lots of the little things to make their way in there soon.   Expect update 2 to hit preview next month or early November I'd say.

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simplezz

This is why Windows Phone fails. What's funny is all the fanboys saying it has reached feature parity with Android/iOS :laugh:

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simplezz

Microsoft actually did remove the ability to download and the ability to skirt around content restrictions.

Only after releasing it and being threatened with legal consequences. Microsoft knew when it was writing the app that it broke the Youtube T&C, yet it went ahead with it anyway. MS thinks it deserves special treatment like we're back in the 90's and it still dominates the computing world. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but we're not, and it doesn't. MS needs to abide by the terms and conditions of third party services or not produce an app at all.

Google wasn't happy with that and basically said that they had to write the app in HTML5 (unlike the Youtube apps on Android and iOS) and forced them to take it down again.

HTML5 is the standard third party API for Youtube. Any app that doesn't use it is breaking the terms and conditions of the service.

Google can use any API's it wants because it owns the service and app on Android and iOS. Microsoft can't and must use the same third party API as everyone else.

You can research it yourself, there's a lot of articles out there (including on Neowin) about the whole fiasco.  Sorry, Google was being a jerk here, no matter how you try to write it off that's the only legitimate explanation.

No, MS was being a "jerk" because of its sense of entitlement and the expectation of special treatment in a world it no longer dominates. It's about time Microsoft got knocked down a peg or two :D

They were and are anticompetitive when it comes to Windows Phone (they at one point blocked WP7 and 8 users from accessing maps.google.com, allegedly because they don't support webkit, even though they'd worked fine before)

They blocked IE because it isn't standards compliant. In fact, Microsoft even changed the agent string so it now impersonates webkit browsers like Chromium, even though it doesn't fully support HTML5 properly. IE has always lagged behind other browsers.
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theyarecomingforyou

Terrible review by your average Google-monkey, what a whiney douche.

You do realise he uses an iPhone, right? Plus there's no need for the personal attack - it doesn't do anything to support your position.

 

The MS cloud is the advantage and their edge.  Your cloud should dictate your device not vice versa.  And once you have a better cloud, the need for 20 apps to do the same things is not only inefficient, it makes the fight over apps even more laughable to begin with.

If the cloud is an advantage then Microsoft needs to communicate that, as I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. Google and Apple have the cloud too and I'm unaware of anything that Windows Phone's cloud implementation does better than the competition, certainly not anything that would shift devices.
 

Everyone keeps saying WP is severely lacking, but no one lists what? I get the apps are lacking. That's a real and serious problem for WP. But what about the OS is lacking? Is it lacking anything anyone actually cares about? If you have all the apps you personally want, is it "lacking"?

You need to look at it the other way. What does Windows Phone do better than the competition? Its app store isn't better; its developer support isn't better; its feature support isn't better; its hardware isn't better. Plus, he points out in the review the apps that are missing.

 

Consumers are already invested in iOS or Android - they've bought apps, they've synchronised all their contacts, they've got used to the interface, etc. In order to move to Windows Phone it needs to be obviously better than the competition and that's simply not the case, something supported by Windows Phone's small and declining market share.

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Pas

all i can say is i've owned quite a few iphones in the past and my current lumia 1520 is the best phone i've ever had. i refuse to use any android device. people out there who degrade windows phones obviously have never used one for longer than a few hours. i admit using the os requires a bit of a learning curve but after a couple of days it's great. granted, the number of apps is lower than there is for ios and droid but how many weather and calculator apps do i need? every single app or game i used on my iphones i now have the same app or equivalent on my 1520.

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ctebah

you guys keep grouping ios with android when criticizing windows phone. iPhone is soon about to be neighbors with windows phone in the sub 10% marketshare category. almost there, just need less than 2% and they are there.

but just off the top of my head, some edge windows phone posseses over android

runs faster and smoother

is more secure

has better battery life

is cheaper for OEMs

updates bypassing carriers

universal apps

has a phone called yezz billy

 

 

Yes but WP has to triple its current base for it to be anywhere close.  Not happening any time soon.

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Dot Matrix

Only after releasing it and being threatened with legal consequences. Microsoft knew when it was writing the app that it broke the Youtube T&C, yet it went ahead with it anyway. MS thinks it deserves special treatment like we're back in the 90's and it still dominates the computing world. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but we're not, and it doesn't. MS needs to abide by the terms and conditions of third party services or not produce an app at all.

HTML5 is the standard third party API for Youtube. Any app that doesn't use it is breaking the terms and conditions of the service.

Google can use any API's it wants because it owns the service and app on Android and iOS. Microsoft can't and must use the same third party API as everyone else.

No, MS was being a "jerk" because of its sense of entitlement and the expectation of special treatment in a world it no longer dominates. It's about time Microsoft got knocked down a peg or two :D

They blocked IE because it isn't standards compliant. In fact, Microsoft even changed the agent string so it now impersonates webkit browsers like Chromium, even though it doesn't fully support HTML5 properly. IE has always lagged behind other browsers.

IE is standards compliant. Where have you been?

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HawkMan

holy crap.  this review highlight all that is wrong with WP

 

i love windows.... but they just did not create an appealing OS for phone.  

was it their fault, or the fact they were too late, and too sucky, so no developer support...

 

does not matter.  actually, i am kidding... MS messed up big. unfortunately..  

i was thinking of buying WP for the longest time.  but it was just never appealing overall.

 

 

i WOULD LOVE TO LOVE WP.   but overall, it still does not provide what i expect of it (not just apps... OS functionality)

 

I've moved from Android to WP and my GF uses iPhone. There is no needed basic functionality needed in WP that other mobile OS' have.  The only complaint is the lack of apps. but if that was a real argument then iOS would be the only choice anyway since the majority of apps I would be interested in are only on iOS or better on iOS anyway.  As for OS fucntionality I find it has better or as good as the other two. 

They blocked IE because it isn't standards compliant. In fact, Microsoft even changed the agent string so it now impersonates webkit browsers like Chromium, even though it doesn't fully support HTML5 properly. IE has always lagged behind other browsers.

 

Chrome doesn't fully support HTML5. in fact NO browser does so... oops. 

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neo158

IE is standards compliant. Where have you been?

simplezz is from an alternate 1990s where IE5 is still the dominant browser :p

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siah1214

simplezz is from an alternate 1990s where IE5 is still the dominant browser :p

Microsoft could release a free cure to ebola and cancer and simplezz would still find a reason to whinge and moan about it.  Not going to waste my time on his drivel.

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Dashel

My main reasons for not using WP, basic functionality like repeat message notifications are missing. On Android, I can replace the stock messaging app with something like GoSMS that gives me multitude of features and customizations.

 

Customizations in general are limited on WP, making folders on what is an otherwise cluttered "start" screen is a really inefficient way of viewing information. On Android, you can make your homescreenS (yes, plural), any way you want with widgets that provide actual information/content without delving into a specific app.

 

On Android, if the OS is lacking something, you have actual first party apps or even an excellent third party app selection. People want apps, and you guys are thinking about app selection from an enthusiast perspective. That ultimately is the bottom line, because you can have the best phone hardware but without good software, you're not getting anywhere. 

 

Final points, no one is wrong - everyone has their needs on what a platform should/shouldn't do, hence why everyone uses different phones. Most importantly, at the end of the day, it's just a phone OS, and life is way too short to be arguing about which OS/product is better, so enjoy what you use!

 

The customizations you are looking for are so niche that its not even worth bringing up.  Inefficient way of viewing info?  Its silly to say that then follow it up with the example of widgets/homescreens which isn't even in the same league as Metro.  Maybe if their first party apps didn't blow so badly they wouldn't have to keep paying for alternatives.  More efficient?  Not so much.

 

Look at the top 100 app list for Android right now, its a joke, just less so than the ###### they preinstall.  As is the corresponding widget list.  I find it hilarious that you guys fixate so over apps and 'customization'.

 

Please, leave the boohoo enjoy what you use BS at the door as long as you tow the notion that emphasis on app selection isn't an (very questionable use of) enthusiast perspective.

You do realise he uses an iPhone, right? Plus there's no need for the personal attack - it doesn't do anything to support your position.

 
If the cloud is an advantage then Microsoft needs to communicate that, as I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. Google and Apple have the cloud too and I'm unaware of anything that Windows Phone's cloud implementation does better than the competition, certainly not anything that would shift devices.
 

You need to look at it the other way. What does Windows Phone do better than the competition? Its app store isn't better; its developer support isn't better; its feature support isn't better; its hardware isn't better. Plus, he points out in the review the apps that are missing.

 

The minute he uploaded this trash to YouTube and proclaimed himself a 'tech enthusiast' (lulz) he deserves all the personal attacks that come for such hubris.  The issue is his choice of cloud and his lack of foresight on how that works with devices not in the fiefdoms these same yahoos are content with.

 

If you can't tell the huge differences between Google and Apple's clouds, how can you possibly compare to what MS has created?  Again, the things you place importance on are molehills.  The hardware is equal or better, features are equal or better, its clearly a better enterprise device, and you just repeated 'apps' twice, which is a minor issue.  Plus it has meaningful personalization, not a need for radical customization.

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tsupersonic

The customizations you are looking for are so niche that its not even worth bringing up.  Inefficient way of viewing info?  Its silly to say that then follow it up with the example of widgets/homescreens which isn't even in the same league as Metro.  Maybe if their first party apps didn't blow so badly they wouldn't have to keep paying for alternatives.  More efficient?  Not so much.

 

Look at the top 100 app list for Android right now, its a joke, just less so than the ###### they preinstall.  As is the corresponding widget list.  I find it hilarious that you guys fixate so over apps and 'customization'.

 

Please, leave the boohoo enjoy what you use BS at the door as long as you tow the notion that emphasis on app selection isn't an (very questionable use of) enthusiast perspective.

A typical fanboy post, very defensive. You clearly don't understand that the simple fact of everyone wants something different from their smartphones and there is no platform that fits everyone needs... I use iOS, where there is no customization beyond creating folders and changing the wallpaper, similar to WP customization - locked down. On Android, you can change anything from the launcher to how the icons look to adding widgets, basically limitless customization. I see advantages to both UI sides, so this is subjective. Yes, I do find Metro/iOS to have an inefficient UI. A quick count of how many emails I have or how many messages I received is absolutely useless at a very quick glance. Having a scrollable widget that shows me the emails, and phone calls/messages is much more useful information - all this is in the notification bar also. If I don't have to go into the app, it's saving me time, therefore efficient. 

 

First party Android apps don't blow. Hell, developers care enough about the platform to make it even available, which is not even true for WP, which is absolutely disappointing from both third party developers and Microsoft. Why would developers create apps. for a platform that doesn't have a big market share? I'm talking about average consumers caring for all these apps. 

 

Yes, enjoy what you use. My requirements are a stable OS (which all three are), with plenty of actual apps that people want to use (right now that's not WP's strong suit). We use different products, so what? Seriously don't get so overly defensive, it's just a phone. 

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Dashel

We aren't talking about universal things everyone needs in a smartphone.  We are talking about a review that cites it as good for 'no one' simply because he feels it doesn't fit people's needs - i.e. his, ex-MS developers, or whatever gadget dorks feel is a zomgz deal breaker.

 

Everyone can be well served by WP is the message he isn't hearing because he is too busy looking for an app for that.

 

Why is going into an app such a chore for you?  Can you not multi-task between the two apps easily?  WP has rough edges here and there, but never have I thought, damn, I really don't want to take the time to open mail to read mail.

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Mr. Gibs

The funny thing is a lot of the apps people want are made by developers other than the company who's service they want to use. Because the company doesn't care enough to write an app for WP, so someone else has to do it for them.

And those apps are usually better than the developers official apps (even their iOS and Android versions)
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babyHacker

Say what you want, at least this guy used it extensively.A lot of reviewers (especially for Windows 8) use the product very little and decide they hate it.

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FloatingFatMan

I've moved from Android to WP and my GF uses iPhone. There is no needed basic functionality needed in WP that other mobile OS' have.  The only complaint is the lack of apps. but if that was a real argument then iOS would be the only choice anyway since the majority of apps I would be interested in are only on iOS or better on iOS anyway.  As for OS fucntionality I find it has better or as good as the other two. 

 

Chrome doesn't fully support HTML5. in fact NO browser does so... oops. 

 

 

Actually, there is ONE basic feature in Android that WP doesn't have, and I'm sorely missing it since I got my 930 a few weeks ago.  Individual control over Bluetooth profiles.  On Android, you can decide what profiles connect to what services on your BT devices, which meant I could disable the audio profile to my car's handfree kit and keep the headset connection.  This stops voice guidance on the satnav from interfering with my car stereo and only phone calls can cut in.

 

On WP, there's no way to do this, so every single sound the phone makes cuts out my stereo for several seconds at a time, which is extremely irritating.

 

So far though, that's the only thing I'm really missing. For everything else, there are equivalent apps, or you just don't need an app (YouTube is a case in point here. Why are people clamoring for an app when the website goes into mobile mode on IE11? It works perfectly).

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      The top of the headset has an adjustable metal band which can expand or contract to fit one's personal preference. Both ear-cups feature soft memory foam padding which is touted to be glasses-friendly by Turtle Beach. In my personal experience, they made the entire experience incredibly comfortable and cushioned the ears very nicely. Extended periods of gameplay do not tire out the ears and they don't get sweaty or itchy.



      On the back of the left ear of the headset, there are three buttons, a USB-C charging port, an LED light and two mappable control wheels. The buttons include a Bluetooth button, a power button and a mode button which toggles the Superhuman Hearing audio mode. Users can easily alter the function of the last button through the mobile or PC application.

      The LED light indicates the power and Bluetooth connection status. As for the two wheels, one controls the master volume and the other changes the mic audio though it can be customized for other purposes as well. Apart from the mic, the other assignable options are toggling the Bluetooth volume and Superhuman Hearing volume. On the front of the left ear cup, there is a mic neatly tucked away inside the body of the headset. It supports flip-to-mute functionality which is highly convenient amid intense gameplay.

      Performance


      Sound-wise, my entire gaming experience with the Stealth 700 Gen 2 was extremely good. The audio quality is truly premium and playing with Superhuman Hearing on adds another dimension to gameplay. Having used Razer for a long time, I would compare it to the Surround Sound experience. You can hear exactly which direction someone is coming from or shooting from. The distance of the sound is also replicated really well and the positions of targets, enemies, vehicles or even animals can be understood due to the direction and loudness of the audio.

      The soft memory foam plays a huge role in making the ride far more than agreeable. They are almost like two tiny pillows encasing your ears while playing. Unfortunately, despite their large nature they do not manage to block out external noise much which can be very distracting. On the upside, the mic is really great as my team members had absolutely no issues hearing me with the Stealth 700 Gen 2 headset on.



      During my testing, I did have some other issues with the audio device. Setting the PS4 aside, it took horrendously long to connect the headset with other devices. I tried to connect it to several phones and for some reason, it just wouldn't connect to certain ones. Weirdly, most of the smartphones that were rejected by the headset were Xiaomi handsets.

      Another problem was that once the Stealth 700 Gen 2 finally connected with my PC, the Turtle Beach application failed to acknowledge the connection so I couldn't customize anything without my phone. Though I could use it for audio playback, I couldn't play around with the mappable features or adjust the sound through an equalizer.



      Battery life
      The wireless Stealth 700 Gen 2 headset has a 1,000 mAh battery which can last for up to 20 hours of usage. To my pleasure, I found this to be very accurate. As for the charge time, it takes about an hour and a half to charge this thing up fully from scratch. Considering the long-lasting battery life, this isn't as much of a bother.

      Conclusion


      All things considered, the headset is almost perfect when it comes to usability and sound quality. If you're lucky, you won't face any iffy connectivity problems as I did. It is also likely that the Xbox version without the USB transmitter works much smoother.

      For a price of $149.95, I'd say the Stealth 700 Gen 2 is an excellent buy - maybe even the best in that price range. It provides premium quality gaming audio for a decent price and has great battery life. Despite being a gaming headset, it's an added plus that the wireless headset connects with smartphones as well.

    • By Rich Woods
      Lenovo Yoga 9i 15 review: Big, powerful, and a workhorse convertible
      by Rich Woods

      This year, Lenovo's flagship consumer convertible PC is called the Yoga 9i. This follows two years of being the Yoga C900 series, and prior to that, the Yoga 900 series. Yes, Lenovo has struggled with branding as of late, but the product is still solid, and the latest 15-inch Yoga 9i is here. And to be clear, it's the successor to the Yoga C940 15.

      And when I reviewed that, I called it the rare workhorse convertible. That hasn't changed. It still has a 45W Intel Core processor and Nvidia GeForce graphics. Of course, the ninth-gen CPU has been replaced by 10th-gen, but also, the GeForce graphics have been bumped up to a GTX 1650 Ti.

      While the powerful internals are what makes it stand apart from its 14-inch sibling, the Yoga 9i series is just awesome. It has the best audio quality that you'll find in a laptop with the powerful Dolby Atmos rotating soundbar, and it has a built-in pen garage. The screen supports Dolby Vision HDR, and it's just an all-around solid package.

      Specs
      CPU Intel Core i7-10750H Graphics Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti 4GB GDDR6 Body 13.99x9.39x0.69-0.78in (355.5x238.5x17.5-19.7mm), 4.41lbs (2kg) Display 15.6" FHD (1920x1080), IPS, 500nit, VESA HDR400, Dolby Vision Memory 16GB LPDDR4, 2933MHz Storage 1TB PCIe NVMe Ports (1) USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
      (2) Thunderbolt 3 (Power, DP 1.4, data)
      (1) 3.5mm audio Battery 69Wh, Rapid Charge Express Connectivity Intel Wi-Fi 6 802.11 AX201 + Bluetooth 5.0 Audio Rotating Sound Bar with Dolby Atmos Speaker System certification
      2W x 4 (2x woofer, 2x tweeter) Input 6-row, multimedia Fn keys, numeric keypad, LED backlight
      Buttonless glass surface multi-touch touchpad Material Aluminum Color Slate Grey OS Windows 10 Home Price $1,799.99
      This model is sold at Bestbuy.com, but not at Lenovo.com. It was provided by Lenovo.

      Day one
      Design
      The Lenovo Yoga 9i 15 that was sent to me comes in Slate Grey, and it's made out of aluminum. Yes, it seems to look the same that it has in previous years, and frankly, it's a bit dull. I've often criticized Lenovo for the gray aluminum laptop look. Just take a look at HP's beautiful Spectre x360 15 and you'll see what I mean.



      I will point out that Lenovo is doing some cool things with design on its 14-inch Yoga 9i, which is available in all-black and with a leather cover. It's pretty great. That's exclusive to the 14-inch one though, at least for now.



      On the left side of the PC, there are two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a 3.5mm audio jack, and an AC power port. Yes, you'll need to use Lenovo's 135W proprietary power adapter instead of USB Type-C, since this powerful machine requires more power than you'd get over Power Delivery. In fact, these ports don't even support Power Delivery, so if you wanted to use a USB Type-C charger for a slow charge, you can't even do that.

      Those Thunderbolt 3 ports do support DisplayPort 1.4, so you should be able to connect an 8K display to one port if you wanted to (I don't have an 8K display to test). Those ports also make it possible to dock the PC and use the Yoga 9i as your desktop. It has the power to handle all tasks for most people, and the display output for your high-resolution monitors.



      On the other side, there's a lone USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port. USB 3.2 Gen 1, also known as USB 3.1 Gen 1 and USB 3.0, is good for 5Gbps data transfer speeds. The combination of two USB Type-C ports and one USB Type-A port isn't uncommon for consumer laptops, but I'd still hope for a second USB Type-A port on a big device like this. That's a very minor complaint though; after all, one USB Type-A port should be fine for on-the-go, and if it's docked at home, you'll have extra ports that way.



      You'll notice on that side that there's also a pen garage. This is one of my favorite things about premium Lenovo convertibles. The pen doesn't get away like it does if it's magnetically attached to the side, but you still always have it with you. It's also always charged. The only downside is that it's not a full-size pen, so if you want that, you can purchase any number of third-party products.



      Finally, the Yoga 9i 15 comes with a Dolby Atmos soundbar in the hinge. Lenovo calls it a rotating soundbar, because no matter which orientation you're using the device in, you've still got audio firing right at you.

      Dolby Vision display and Dolby Atmos rotating soundbar
      Lenovo does have both FHD and UHD options for the screen. This time around, the firm sent me the FHD model, which should get better battery life. They both support Dolby Vision HDR, and they're super bright at 500 nits.



      Honestly, there's a big trade-off to be had here. Obviously, battery life drops off dramatically when you switch to UHD, but FHD just doesn't look as good. And the bigger the screen, the more noticeable it is. For a 15.6-inch panel, I feel like a higher resolution is pretty necessary, especially on something like the Yoga 9i, which is meant to have an excellent media consumption experience. As always, I wish there was a QHD option.



      The Yoga 9i 15 has narrow bezels all around, and the top bezel is a bit bigger. Lenovo also used its reverse notch, which we're seeing across the lineup, and it has a privacy guard built into it. The reverse notch provides an easy way to lift the lid, and it also gives Lenovo some extra space to pack in the webcam and other sensors. There's no IR camera for Windows Hello though.



      I mentioned earlier that the Dolby Atmos rotating soundbar provides the best audio that you can get from a laptop, and I'm pretty confident in that statement. It has four 2W speakers built into it, and a comfortable volume for listening to music is around 25% for me. For most laptops, it's around 90%, because regarding the general market, quality has gotten a lot better, but volume has not. This laptop offers both quality and volume. This thing can fill the room.

      The Yoga 9i is the ultimate media consumption machine. With a beautiful Dolby Vision screen and the Dolby Atmos rotating soundbar, movies and TV shows look and sound great, and music gets loud. You can also use it for some Full HD gaming if you want. And of course, it's good for work too, as those video calls while working from home will sound crystal clear.

      Keyboard and trackpad
      The full-size keyboard on the Lenovo Yoga 9i 15 has a numpad to the right of it, something that I'm not personally a fan of on laptops. It's big enough for it, of course, but if you don't want to use the numpad, you have to align yourself to the left.



      The backlit keys are a lot shallower than you'd find on a ThinkPad, and that always kind of fascinates me. Both ThinkPads and Lenovo's Yoga consumer laptops have fantastic keyboards that are both comfortable and accurate to type on; they're just different. It's like Lenovo decided at some point that its business customers want something different from consumers.



      There's a fingerprint sensor to the bottom right of the keyboard, which is fine. Honestly, I expect it to be there being that there's no IR camera for Windows Hello facial recognition. At least there's one method for biometric authentication.



      The Microsoft Precision trackpad is clickable, and it's both fast and responsive, as you'd expect from any Precision trackpad. I do wish it was a bit bigger, a common point that I like to make on larger laptops. The real estate on the aluminum palm rest is there; why not use it? This is something that Dell finally took advantage of this year with its XPS 15 and XPS 17.

      And of course, the other method of input is the pen, as I mentioned above. It comes in a pen garage in the PC, so you can always break it out if you need it.

      Performance and battery life
      The Yoga 9i 15 that Lenovo sent me includes an Intel Core i7-10750H CPU and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU with 4GB GDDR6 memory. The CPU is a 45W processor with six cores and 12 threads, just like the Core i7-9750H that we got in last year's model, although the turbo frequency on this one can reach 5GHz.

      You might also recall that last year's Yoga C940 15 also has a GTX 1650 GPU; however, that was one that was using GDDR5 memory. This year's model uses the superior GDDR6 memory, and that's definitely something you should take note of when looking at the GTX 1650 in any device.



      These are powerful internals, and frankly, I used this machine for everything. I edited video, played games, watched shows, listened to music, took handwritten notes, and I just typed articles. It's an amazing all-around PC. Speaking of performance, FHD gaming does just fine with what we have here, and so does FHD 60fps video editing.

      Sadly, as usual, the powerful internals don't translate well to battery life. I only got about five hours of real-world work, and that was on a good day and not including doing more power-hungry tasks like video editing and gaming. I thought the FHD screen would help it to do better than it did, but that wasn't the case. I'm not upset about it though.

      A big part of choosing the right PC for you is finding the right balance between power and battery life. There's always a trade-off to be made, and you have to see how it fits into how you want to be able to use the PC. Of course, if you want better battery life, you can take a look at the 14-inch model that has a U-series CPU and integrated graphics.

      For benchmarks, I used PCMark 8, PCMark 10, 3DMark, and Geekbench.

      Lenovo Yoga 9i 15
      Core i7-10750H, GTX 1650 GDDR6 Lenovo Yoga C940 15
      Core i7-9750H, GTX 1650 GDDR5 HP OMEN 15
      Ryzen 7 4800H, GTX 1660 Ti Dell XPS 15 9500
      Core i7-10875H, GTX 1650Ti PCMark 8: Home 3,936 3,915 4,756 3,652 PCMark 8: Creative 4,693 3,788 6,028 4,839 PCMark 8: Work 3,817 3,918 3,989 3,322 PCMark 10 5,159 5,144 5,639 5,136 3DMark: Time Spy 3,643 3,511 6,037 3,743 Geekbench 5 1,232 / 5,608 1,188 / 7,946
      Comparing this year's model to last year's, it's no surprise that there are few big changes in the scores. The CPUs between the two generations are very similar.

      Conclusion
      It's not the prettiest laptop I've seen by a long stretch, and as always, I wish there was 4G LTE and an IR camera, but as I mentioned, I was able to use the Lenovo Yoga 9i 15 for anything I wanted to. That goes for video editing and gaming to work and consumption.



      It has the powerful internals for powerful tasks like video editing and gaming. At the same time, it's also just an incredibly well-built machine with a great keyboard and trackpad, so it's excellent for general productivity as well.

      But let's talk about just media consumption. The beautiful screen supports Dolby Vision HDR and the Dolby Atmos soundbar provides audio that's second to none. The built-in pen is appreciated too. I was able to use this machine for taking handwritten notes and for signing documents.

      I think that with Lenovo's Yoga 9 series, the company provides one of the best all-around experiences out there. If you want to check it out, you can find it here.

    • By Hamza Jawad
      Microsoft shares the innovative ways in which its ElectionGuard software is being utilized
      by Hamza Jawad

      Image via Microsoft Last year, Microsoft unveiled ElectionGuard - a voting system aimed toward showcasing security and affordability for the voting process in elections. Since then, the tech giant has released the software on GitHub and even piloted it in an election in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. Today, Microsoft has highlighted some of the unique ways in which ElectionGuard is being used in various projects.

      For starters, VotingWorks - the firm which partnered with Microsoft in the aforementioned Wisconsin elections - recently incorporated ElectionGuard into Arlo, its open-source auditing software. Arlo was then used to conduct a risk-limiting audit in Inyo County, California to show a link between the election and the audit results, with voter privacy being maintained during the process through the software.

      Moving on, ElectionGuard was successfully used to encrypt votes cast using a mobile app, developed by technology firm Markup, which facilitated remote voting for the leadership of the U.S. House Democratic Caucus. No personal devices were used during this voting process, and House-managed iPhones were utilized instead. Similarly, Canadian company Neuvote created a hybrid mobile voting system that enables voters to "cast and confirm a paper ballot from a smartphone or tablet while watching the process on their device". The electronic vote record which is cast is secured through ElectionGuard. On both these projects, Microsoft has been assisted by the U.S.-based firm InfernoRed.

      In the future, Microsoft plans to share more on ElectionGuard's use in ensuring voting confidence when it comes to traditional voting systems.