Blog Archives

The iPhone XS and XS Max just destroyed the iPhone X – and every Android phone – in benchmarks

The first iPhone XS and XS Max reviews are out, which means the first official benchmarks are also available, comparing the 7nm A12 Bionic chip to the best chips powering the hottest Android phones in town. Until now, we only saw leaked Geekbench scores for the A12 Bionic, which revealed the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR will all be a lot faster than the competition, but thanks to a new review we have a bunch of other benchmark comparisons available.

The folks at Tom’s Guide put the iPhone XS and XS Max through a variety of tests, including Geekbench 4, 3D Mark Slingshot Extreme, and GFXBench 5.0, and also measured video editing speeds as well as app opening times.

Android phones only managed to beat the new iPhone in the 3DMark Slingshot Extreme, with the OnePlus 6, Galaxy Note 9, and Galaxy S9+ scoring better in the graphics test than the new iPhones.

The new iPhone XS models won everything else, crushing the competition at intensive tasks such as transcoding a 2-minute 4K video clip to 1080p.

The conclusion is simple, and not at all surprising:

Based on our testing, the A12 Bionic processor inside the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max make these the fastest phones you can buy. Android phones powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 chip are speedy, but they are a step behind Apple’s phones.

What’s more interesting is that the iPhone XR packs the same A12 Bionic as the XS phones, which means the cheaper 2018 iPhone will be just as fast as the XR — the iPhone XR does have only 3GB of RAM, 1GB less than the XS versions. The comparison doesn’t mention the XR because the phone hasn’t been released yet.

The only Android phone to ship with a 7nm chip under the hood will be the Huawei Mate 20 Pro that’s set to launch next month. With Huawei caught cheating in benchmarks recently, reviewers will pay particular attention to the Mate 20’s scores when it comes out.

Android 9 Pie, thoroughly reviewed

The time has come for our annual deep dive (~19,000 words) into the latest Android release.

On sale for $400, the Razer Phone isn’t a gaming phone any more – it’s just a great deal

Late last year, renowned illuminator of gaming peripherals (and builder of great laptops) Razer released its first phone. At the time, the concept of buying a phone specifically for gaming was still a joke, but it turns out that Razer was ahead of the rest of us. The explosion of Fortnite into a billion-dollar game this year has settled any debates about whether mobile gaming is “real” gaming, and the smartphone industry — which has seen its sales stagnate recently — have hired a moving van to get on board the bandwagon.

Razer is already working on a Razer Phone 2, but the original is still a stellar device. It has specs that can still compete with the best: 8GB of RAM, 5.7-inch display, and a 4,000mAh battery. The only knock is that it uses the Snapdragon 835 processor, which has recently been overtaken by the Snapdragon 845. The star of the show, however, remains the 120Hz screen, which boasts a higher refresh rate than other smartphones for better graphics and — you knew this was coming — more accurate gaming.

From our review last November:

The real star of the show here is the display, which isn’t just extremely sharp and crystal clear, but also has a trick up its sleeve that gamers will adore: a 120 Hz refresh rate. The Razer Phone’s “UltraMotion” screen is a real treat whether you’re browsing the web or playing games. It’s incredibly smooth — and if you’ve ever played with a new iPad Pro, you know what I’m talking about — and makes even something as simple as catching a creature in Pokemon Go feel like an entirely new experience. The phone also dynamically adjusts its refresh rate based on what you’re doing, so it doesn’t burn through precious battery life if you’re not doing something that would benefit from the added smoothness.

Anyway, it’s on sale today for $399 directly from Razer. Normally, smartphone half-off deals or buy-one-get-ones require adding a line, buying insurance, or selling one or more organs in the promise of distant bill credits. In this case, there’s zero terms and conditions — you just enter the code WOOHOO at checkout, and the $699 pricetag turns into $399.

Fortnite reaches 15 million Android downloads without Google Play

Epic details technical, security hurdles of “indie” mobile launch

Mobile app that spies on people leaked customer payment records, karmic balance restored

A mobile app that can help people spy on Android and iPhone users, whether they’re spouses or children, has leaked millions of sensitive records, including passwords, call logs, text messages, contacts, notes, and location data. What’s more disturbing is that mSpy, the app in question, just suffered the second major security breach in three years. So you’re probably better off not using it going forward.

Security researcher Nitish Shah first discovered the breach. But his alerts were ignored by the company until KrebsOnSecurity contacted mSpy:

Before it was taken offline sometime in the past 12 hours, the database contained millions of records, including the username, password and private encryption key of each mSpy customer who logged in to the mSpy site or purchased a mSpy license over the past six months. The private key would allow anyone to track and view details of a mobile device running the software, Shah said.

The exposed database also contained other sensitive data, including iCloud username and authentication token of mobile devices using mSPy and iCloud backup files. Also, transaction details of mSpy licenses purchase in the last six months were exposed, including the name of the buyer, email address, mailing address, and amount paid.

mSpy’s chief security officer contacted KrebsOnSecurity to assure the blog that steps were taken to prevent the leak, and imply that the data wasn’t misused:

We have been working hard to secure our system from any possible leaks, attacks, and private information disclosure. All our customers’ accounts are securely encrypted and the data is being wiped out once in a short period of time. Thanks to you we have prevented this possible breach and from what we could discover the data you are talking about could be some amount of customers’ emails and possibly some other data. However, we could only find that there were only a few points of access and activity with the data.

As the report points out, it’s unclear who’s behind mSpy, but the company does say it has over one million paying customers, and many of them will not be happy to hear about these security issues. The full report also details the previous mSpy security breach, and it’s worth a read, during which hackers posted on the Dark Web the customer data they had stolen.