Google is undeniably king of the search engine world, but other engines are worth talking about, especially when it comes to privacy. In the second in a series of blog posts reviewing alternative search engines, I find out more about DuckDuckGo.

Following the review of Ecosia in celebration of Earth Day, the next search engine I’m reviewing is DuckDuckGo, so get your disguise on as we’re going incognito. No, literally. This search engine sells itself on its tight privacy controls. With the roll out of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in May 2018, privacy is a subject being discussed more and more, and the conversations could lead to consumers becoming more aware of their privacy and data protection rights.

What’s it all about then?

DuckDuckGo vs Google - Dog HidingDuckDuckGo states it will not track your IP address or user agent when you’re searching, nor does it share or collect any personally identifiable information about its users. So if you are concerned about your data being collected, and sold on for marketing purposes, or even used for criminal activities – this might be the search engine for you.

The privacy limits extend to not tracking you, as you go in and out of private browsing mode. You’re staying under the radar. Don’t you worry.

Duck, duck, wild goose chase – how is the search functionality?

You can adjust the settings, much like other search engines, to filter the results you see. You may choose seeing results that are safe, moderate, or no holds barred, to customise it to your preferences. You can further refine results by selecting your country, and by allowing content from a certain time period to appear.

DuckDuckGo vs Google - SERPs - Browser Media

It is interesting to see that the only exact replication of results is where Browser Media sits, nicely in position two. The results are different, but both SERPS are serving helpful results, except both engines did return non-UK businesses on page one – Google returned a Denver based business and DuckDuckGo served up a Delhi and Brisbane based business, as well as the same Denver business:

DuckDuckGo vs Google - SERPs 2 - Browser Media

Because your IP address is not being tracked, no specific location criteria are used in the searches via DuckDuckGo. This means you may not find the coffee shop around the corner, unless you specify where you are looking for said coffee shop within your search query.

Additionally, search history is not taken into account. So, whilst it feels much less creepy than other engines, it also won’t be so tailored to your searching habits. You will see the same page of results as the next person using DuckDuckGo when entering identical search terms.

I’ve been digging around a bit to find out what people think of the results DuckDuckGo returns, and it is a fairly mixed response.

DuckDuckGo vs Google - review - browser media

via sitejabber.com

One comment referred to DuckDuckGo changing the search titles and returning incoherent results. So instead of returning pages showing the price of gold, when the user typed in GLD (the investment symbol for gold), the search title was changed to God.

Other comments referred to small irritations when getting the results back. For example, not listing the number of results found, so the searcher is not helped in regards to whether their search should be expanded or filtered differently. As well, complaints have been made about the engine hijacking results when a user tried to use a different engine. Further to this, ‘apparently’ the engine became incredibly tricky to get rid of, not showing up in the program or app lists on desktops and devices.

On the flipside, the review site has many comments defending DDG, with users stating that they found the results to be appropriate, and it was just a case of learning how to use the engine better. I would tend to agree, queries may simply need a word or two added to serve up better results.

DuckDuckGo vs Google - review 2 - browser media

via sitejabber.com

There was also the usual amount of conspiracy theory talk – suggesting that certain search engines are paying folk to write false negative reviews. Such cynics…

How are they doing?

DuckDuckGo vs Google - number of search queries - browser media

via duckduckgo.com/traffic.html

It is hard to gauge how many users DuckDuckGo has since it does not track personal information…

…but we do know that it received over 16.2 million search queries on Monday 24 April.

Therefore, using some pretty basic maths, I have deduced that DuckDuckGo had 188 searches per second on average that day:

16,249,713 ÷ 86,400 (number of seconds in 24 hours) = 188.08

In comparison, Google averages 40,000 enquiries per second.

DuckDuckGo is placed next to Google Hungary, Croatia, and Nepal in the percentage market share tables – and just below Ask that has 0.14% share.

DuckDuckGo vs Google - DuckDuckGo's marketshare - browser media

via netmarketshare.com

DuckDuckGo vs Google - devices - browser media

Quack to the future – what impact could DuckDuckGo have on marketers?

Data from Google Analytics about DuckDuckGo will not particularly benefit marketers since no useful visitor information is tracked. It means you can’t mark your target audience based on age, gender, nor location, for example.

In addition, the engine is reported as referral traffic, rather than organic, which can be misleading when analysing traffic, but can be changed with an advanced segment. A rule is required to instruct Google Analytics that each time DuckDuckGo is seen as referral traffic, to change the medium to organic. For more on advanced segments, read Libby’s blog post on the subject. For further details specifically about the issue described above, this piece should help.

If you’re interested in paid search, bear in mind that they don’t do remarketing ads. Sponsored ads, much like all of the other engines, will appear at the top of the SERP. However, due to the audience seeing the ads being an unknown, how can anyone be sure the ads are being seen by the right audience? It seems a bit pot luck for my liking.

Although, with the GDPR roll out next year, perhaps this engine is wise not to be keeping records on its users. And if, as a consumer, you’re concerned about your privacy when browsing the internet, and do not want to be tracked when carrying out searches, this engine is the one for you.

This article was published in browsermedia.co.uk

Categorized in Search Engine

Do you want it?

A steady stream of customers and sales from Google? A never-ending supply of leads, customers and sales for your local business? Who wouldn’t want that? It’s yours for the taking, if – you choose the right strategy.

Make the wrong decision and you can do a significant amount of harm to your business.

Okay, what decision are we talking about here?

We’re talking about your search strategy


When you’re looking for search engine traffic you have two options to work with.

  1. Universal search places an emphasis on optimizing for blended search results – SERPs that can include images, books, video, knowledge graph results, rich snippets, news updates, tweets, or reviews.
  2. Local search focuses on driving customers offline to a brick and mortar business. This strategy focuses on local sites, events, blended search results like local packs, knowledge panel, and reviews.

What would happen if a business chose the wrong strategy? Couldn’t be all that bad, could it?

Actually, yes.

If a local business decides to focus their attention, time and resources on universal search their “success” makes everything worse.

Why?

A local business needs to attract local customers (shocking, I know). The problem with universal search is the fact that it scoops visitors up indiscriminately.

Visitors, not customers.

Universal search casts a wide net, drawing anyone in if they use the right queries. If you’re attracting visitors outside of your service area, that’s a disaster in the making.

If a digital or non-local business relies on local search exclusively it’s death by starvation.

Their business starves slowly as they struggle to get the traffic, leads, sales they need to survive.

Start with goals to avoid the struggle


Local search is laser focused – it’s surgical and precise. Universal search, on the other hand, is a bomb of awesomeness. The results are dense and far reaching, which is perfect if you’re not focused on customers from a specific geographic location.

You’ll have to decide which strategy is best.

But how?

It’s simple. Start with your goals. Have a…

  • Local business focused on local customers? You’re strategy is pretty obvious. Focus your attention on a local search strategy, using tactics that extend your influence and reach in your service area.
  • Regional, national or non-local business? Use universal search to cast a wide net, attracting a large amount of customers from a variety of sources and channels.
  • Running a business with multiple locations or focus areas? Use a mix of local and universal search to drive engagement and response. If you’re running a bricks and mortar business side by side with a digital offering, you’ll need to optimize for both using both universal and local search strategies. Create a clear delineation between the two, maintaining separation in your approach.

Have a goal in mind? Fantastic.

There’s a bit of overlap with each strategy so let’s break the tactics down for each.

Strategy #1: Local Search


When it comes to local results, Google offers two main options.

The local three pack, which lists three businesses.

vietnamese restaurant new york

Here’s the problem. Google uses proximity to determine who makes it into the local pack. That makes ranking difficult if searchers aren’t in your area. To complicate things further, there’s a growing amount of ads in the local three pack and organic results. It’s harder to rank for these keywords but it’s not impossible as we’ll soon see. Then there’s…

The knowledge panel which focuses on one business specifically.

obao restaurant new york city

The three pack typically shows up for more generic searches (e.g. Vietnamese restaurants near me). The knowledge panel typically appears for very specific searches (e.g. Obao restaurant new york city).

Which local search tactics work best for locals?


    1. Find local and social profiles. You’ll want to find the tools that have the greatest impact in your industry or vertical. Restaurants depend on Yelp, Trip Advisor, Zomato. The key here is focusing on sites with a local emphasis.
    2. Register/claim profiles. Feed Google information about your business. Your name, address and phone number, hours of operation, website, social media profiles, etc. Track these profiles and keep them maintained.
    3. Build strong profiles and five star reviews. Reviews are powerful because they rank well for both branded and location-specific queries. This is huge because top ranked results get more clicks than listings without. Focus half of your local search efforts on getting reviews. Consistency is key here; work to consistently attract reviews. A positive review from a week ago is more valuable than one from 3 months ago.
    4. Participate in the community. If you’re a restaurant, register for local food fairs. If you’re an agency, focus on entrepreneur programs and events. Participate in workshops, meetups, seminars and events. This gives Google a sense of your standing in the community.
    5. Get locals to vouch for you via citations. Get links from .edus, Ask for reviews from powerful local influencers, Reach out to relevant or complementary non-profits, volunteer with local organizations. Share your activity via link building, PR, news reports and interviews. Focus your attention on serving so you don’t burn bridges.
    6. Create partnerships with local groups. Partner up with relevant local organizations. What if your local area doesn’t have a local organization to promote your interests? Create your own! Just make sure it serves the local community.
    7. List your business in local directories. Local directories with strong domain authority (e.g. Angie’s List, BBB, Facebook, Foursquare, CitySearch, etc.) help to boost local awareness of your brand.
    8. Use paid clicks to build local awareness. Piggyback on local searches, then present an irresistible offer to locals. A lead magnet, free offer, workshop or trial are great places to start.
    9. Rely on video and display to drive searches. Video and display ads drive search clicks after two weeks. A paid search campaign will entice customers to search for your business on Google, improving the odds of three pack and one box placement.
    10. Create high quality, hyper local content. Use trusted sources and authority domains to create and host local content. If you’re hosting your blog, focus your attention on building your domain’s trust and authority via link building from other trusted brands. Guest posting still has value if you’re able to point visitors/customers back to your site. Providing value for visitors = maximizing search value.

Did you catch it?

The factors that get you the coveted local three pack or one box? It isn’t simply about out-ranking your local competitors. It’s about outclassing them.

Becoming the de facto option in your local community. The smaller your city the easier for you to do.

Strategy #2: Universal Search


Sites with a strong universal ranking typically don’t have the local three packs we see with local businesses. What if they’re looking to target a local audience?

Which tactics would work best?

  1. Find the formats that matter most. Do customers in your niche or vertical prefer video? Are they looking for lots of images? Social media content via Facebook and Twitter? Figure out what your target audience wants, then create content that gives it to them.
  2. Create long form content. Focus your attention on creating quality content that’s deep and comprehensive. Create content that consistently addresses their desires, goals, fears and frustrations.
  3. Differentiate content with the right ingredients. There are four ways to create what Rand Fishkin calls “10x content.” (1.) Create content with depth (2.) differentiate with amazing, high quality design (3.) Create drama with stories and psychological triggers, or (4.) with data that’s proprietary, exclusive, surprising, thorough, or compelling.
  4. Split content up into a wide variety of formats. Use the four differentiation factors to double, triple or quadruple the performance of your 10x content. Create a long form blog post, then expand on your content with an embedded YouTube video from your channel. Post images and diagrams on Pinterest or Imgur. Create and share slides on SlideShare.
  5. Syndicate content across the web. Syndicate your posts via guest posting or contributor spots. Share to Medium and LinkedIn. Share content on niche forums like Reddit. Build quality backlinks from brands with strong domain authority focusing on a mix of follow/no-follow, authoritative, and fresh links.
  6. Tie all of your content together. Create lead magnets, incentives or offers to attract and convert customers. Tie all of your content together to bring customers into your sales funnel and marketing ecosystem.
  7. Filter and qualify customers. If you’re looking for local customers, use local channels to share your 10x content. If you’re casting a wide net, filter and qualify customers (e.g. via lead scoring or marketing automation) to maintain quality.
  8. Sort visitors into performance buckets. Use tools like BuzzSumo to identify visitors who are more likely to share and lead scoring or automation tools to identify potential customers. Provide Lurkers with incentives to engage, then let them sort themselves.
  9. Re-create top performers, improve poor ones. Universal search can’t survive without thorough, quality content. Learn from both top and poor performing content – identifying the who, what, why, where and how. Who read this? What did they think/do after reading this, where did they share it, how do I create more or refine what I have?

Even when it’s intended for a local audience, universal search depends on content.

Deep, comprehensive content.

The difference is the fact that this content is optimized around the channels that matter most to your target audience.

But what do these strategies look like in action?


Let’s search for some Greek food to find out.

When we enter the generic search query “greek restaurant chicago” we see the local pack.

Greek Islands is at the top of the list. So let’s narrow our search a bit with the query “Greek Islands Chicago.”

Aha! They have the coveted one box. But why?

Look again and the answer jumps out at us. They’ve completely outclassed their nearest competitor and not by a little bit.

They’re dominating.

They’ve gone all-in on their local search strategy. They have…

  • 879 photos and 1,396 reviews on Yelp with a four star rating.
  • 923 reviews on Trip Advisor with a four and a half star rating.
  • 1,486 votes on Facebook with an average rating of four point six stars.
  • 486 reviews via Google Reviews with an average four and a half stars.
  • They’re chock full of citations, being reviewed and listed on Menupages, Urbanspoon, DoorDash, OpenTable and Zagat.
  • They’ve received (and continue to receive) media mentions and critic reviews from Chicago Reader, Thrillist, the Michelin Guide, 10BEST, The Infatuation, and quite a few more outlets.
  • Their website has their NAP (name, address and phone), critical hallmarks for a local business, but aside from that it’s pretty bare bones.
  • Their restaurant has its own Wikipedia entry.

Greek Islands shows up for both generic and branded search queries. They’ve received a lot of attention from Google. They’ve done the work, invested the time, and it shows.

They’ve earned it.

What about universal search?


To get a sense of this in action, let’s look at… Google. A quick search of the branded term “Google” displays blended results.

Google has created an ecosystem around their product. Each product provides users with deep comprehensive content that’s focused around a particular topic or product.

  • Media outlets create deep, comprehensive content around the products in Google’s ecosystem.
  • Google’s Twitter profile provides references and anchor points to their content.
  • Google believes in Dogfooding; they create comprehensive content via their YouTube channels.
  • Their Facebook page is filled with helpful and educational resources used to teach users about their products, services and even their values.
  • Sitelinks lead users to deep content via Google Classroom as well as other apps and results like Think with Google.

You’re not Google but you can use universal search just as effectively.

Many businesses don’t.

But many businesses miss the secret behind these two strategies. Did you catch it?

Local search, universal search – they work best when they’re used together.

The Greek Islands used Local and universal search. 879 photos via Yelp. Deep, comprehensive content via amateur and professional reviewers. Content on Wikipedia, video features on the Food Network’s The Hungry Detective.

The Greek Islands blended local and universal search to maximize their results, and it worked like gangbusters.

What if these strategies backfire?


What can go wrong, will go wrong as they say. Review marketing, reputation management – these strategies go hand in hand with local search.

Build a quality business and you’ll reduce the backlash.

Focus your attention, time and resources on the details that matter most to customers, to you. Then, when things go wrong, be first, be kind, be helpful or you’ll be gone.

If these strategies backfire, these same strategies will be there to bail you out – if you’re a decent human being with a quality business.

You are, aren’t you?

That’s why you’ll get it…


A steady stream of customers and sales from Google and other search engines. A never-ending supply of quality customers and sales for your local business. It’s yours for the taking, if you make the right choice.

Make the wrong decision and you’ll do a significant amount of harm to your business.

Choose carefully, build a quality business.

Focus your attention, time and resources on that matter most. Local search is laser focused, surgical and precise; universal search, a far reaching bomb of awesomeness.

Choose the strategy that’s best for you and you’ll get the results you’re looking for.

You know you want it.

This article was published in business2community by Andrew McDermott

Categorized in Search Engine

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus are finally here, boasting perhaps the best specs we’ve seen in a flagship phone yet. But they’re not the only flagship phones around — some pretty excellent devices have launched in the past six months or so. Like, for example, the Google Pixel XL.

But how do the two “plus”-size phones compare when it comes to overall power and performance? We pit the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus against the Google Pixel XL to find out.

Specs

 

Google Pixel XL

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Size 154.7 × 75.7 × 8.5 mm (6.09 × 2.98 × 0.33 inches) 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm (6.28 x 2.89 x 0.32 inches)
Weight 5.93oz 6.1oz
Screen 5.5-inch AMOLED 6.2-inch AMOLED
Resolution 1,440 × 2,560 pixels (534 ppi) 2,960 x 1,440 pixels (529 ppi)
OS Android 7.1 Nougat Android 7.0 Nougat
Storage 32GB/128GB 64GB
MicroSD Card Slot No Yes
NFC support Yes Yes
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Samsung Exynos 9 Series 8895 (International)
RAM 4GB 4GB
Connectivity GSM, CDMA, HSPA, EVDO, LTE, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi 4G LTE, GSM, CDMA HSPA+, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
Camera 12.3MP Rear / 8MP Front 12MP Rear with OIS / 8MP Front
Video 4K 4K
Bluetooth 4.2 5.0
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Other sensors Barometer, gyroscope, accelerometer, proximity sensor, compass Barometer, gyroscope, accelerometer, proximity sensor
Water Resistant No IP68
Wireless charging No Yes, PMA and Qi-compliant
Battery 3,450mAh 3,500mAh
Ports USB Type-C, Headphone USB Type-C, Headphone
Marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Color options Quite Black, Very Silver, Really Blue Silver, Black, Orchid Grey, Blue (International), Gold (International)
Price $649 Starts at $840
Availability UnlockedVerizon Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-MobileUnlocked
DT Review 4 out of 5 stars 4 out of 5 stars

When it comes to specs, it’s truly a case of newer is better. For starters, the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus has the latest and greatest Qualcomm chipset, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, while the Google Pixel XL has the Snapdragon 821. The Snapdragon 821 was certainly a good chip for its time, and still is relatively powerful, but not against the newer Snapdragon 835.

So just how powerful is the Snapdragon 835? Well, we don’t know exactly just yet, but early benchmark results suggest the device is at least 15 percent more powerful than its predecessor.

Of course, the processor isn’t the only thing to note in the specs department. It’s expected that we’ll start seeing more phones with 6GB of RAM over the next year or so, but for now Samsung has stuck safely with 4GB, putting it on par with the Google Pixel XL when it comes to RAM.

Next up is storage. The Google Pixel XL offers either 32GB or 128GB of storage, while the Galaxy S8 Plus only comes in 64GB — so while the base model of the Galaxy S8 Plus has more than the base model of the Pixel XL, the Pixel XL has more options. Of course, then there’s the microSD card slot in the Galaxy S8 Plus, which lets you expand your storage by up to 256GB.

The Galaxy S8 has a better processor and the ability to expand on storage, so it’s the winner in the performance department.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Design

Both the Google Pixel XL and the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus are relatively stylish phones, and both feature some unique design choices by Google and Samsung respectively. The Google Pixel XL, for example, has a half glass back, which was somewhat criticized when the Pixel was first launched. The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus, on the other hand, features a full glass back, helping it look very sleek and stylish.

The S8 Plus on the front, though, looks very much like a Samsung device that has evolved. Ultra-slim bezels coupled with the familiar Edge display make for a gorgeous smartphone that has an 83 percent screen-to-body ratio. The Pixel XL, on the other hand, is quite the opposite with glaringly large bezels that only seem to take up a lot of room for no reason.

On the right of the Google Pixel XL, you’ll find the power button and volume rocker, while the bottom sports the USB-C port and the top the 3.5mm headphone jack. On the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus, you’ll find a dedicated Bixby button below the volume rocker on the left of the phone, while the power button sits alone on the right. The bottom features a USB Type-C charging port and, thankfully, a headphone jack.

The dimensions of the phone are interesting. While the display on the 6.2-inch S8 Plus is much bigger than that the 5.5-inch Google Pixel XL, the phone is only a tad taller — that’s thanks to the much smaller bezels on the Galaxy S8 Plus. On top of that, the phone is phone is slightly less wide, and a little thinner, but not by much.

Design is largely subjective, but this one’s a no-brainer — the S8 Plus takes the cake.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Display

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The two phones aren’t too different in the display department as they both feature AMOLED screens. While the Google Pixel XL has a pretty decent 5.5-inch display with a resolution of 1,440 × 2,560, Samsung’s Galaxy S8 Plus offers a massive 6.2-inch display with a resolution of 1,440 x 2,960 — so you get a slightly higher resolution to accommodate for the larger panel, but the Pixel XL packs slightly more pixels per inch.

The Google Pixel XL features a pretty standard display, but the Galaxy S8 Plus utilizes the famed “Edge” panel on the sides of the device, which offers some more functionality. The S8 Plus is also premium HDR compliant, so you can be sure to see accurate colors, deep blacks, and an overall vibrant display.

Because of the higher resolution, classy curves, and HDR-ready display, the Galaxy S8 Plus is the winner.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Battery life and charging

Google Pixel XL
Google Pixel XL

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The battery is obviously an area that Samsung will want to be careful about — especially considering the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco. The Galaxy S8 Plus offers a battery with a capacity of 3,500mAh, which isn’t slightly larger than the 3,450mAh battery on the Google Pixel XL.

That doesn’t mean that the Galaxy S8 Plus will last longer on a single charge — in fact, it probably won’t. The display is the single biggest user of battery life, and considering the fact that the Galaxy S8 Plus’ display is larger and has a higher resolution means there’s a chance the S8 Plus could take up a lot more battery.

Thankfully, Samsung’s S8 Plus supports wireless charging, offering users more options in how they want to charge their phone. That helps it win this contest.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Camera, software, durability, and more

Camera

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Google Pixel and Pixel XL were highly praised for their camera, and rightly so — the camera is an increasingly important part of the smartphone.

When it comes to raw specs, the Google Pixel XL offers a 12.3-megapixel rear-facing camera with a f/2.0 aperture and electronic image stabilization. The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus carries over the same camera as the Galaxy S7 — a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera with a f/1.7 aperture.

The front-facing camera on both devices are packed with 8-megapixels, and they’ll likely offer similar quality shots. The specs on the two phones are ultimately pretty similar, but in our camera tests the Google Pixel outperformed the Galaxy S7, so we’ll have to crown it the winner here.

Winner: Google Pixel XL

Software

While both of the two phones feature the latest and greatest Android Nougat version, software is a pretty big point of difference for the Google Pixel XL. The Pixel series replaces the Nexus program as offering Android as Google intended it — so you won’t find any bloatware other than pre-installed Google apps. Pixel owners will also get timely security and version updates as soon as Google rolls them out — it’s why the Pixel XL is on Nougat 7.1. The S8 Plus will likely stay on Android 7.0 Nougat for quite some time.

The Galaxy S8 Plus has Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface, which looks far better and isn’t quite the performance hog we remember on prior devices. The S8 Plus also offers Samsung’s all new personal assistant Bixby, which even has a dedicated button on the side of the phone. Bixby can recognize objects via the camera app, can perform touch actions via voice, offers personalized information based on time and location, and allows you to set reminders. What’s great is if Bixby isn’t for you, you can still access Google Assistant by pressing and holding the home button, like on the Pixel XL.

On top of that, the Galaxy S8 Plus features software like Samsung Pay, which is available at far more locations than Google’s Android Pay on the Pixel XL.

Still, while Samsung may offer a few more features in its software over Google, we think the importance of getting timely Android version and security updates are pretty important. We’ll have to go with the Pixel XL based on Samsung’s track record.

Winner: Google Pixel XL

Durability

Google Pixel XL
Google Pixel XL

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Smartphones should last for at least a few years these days, and a part of that means being able to withstand a least a drop or two. Unfortunately, the heavy use of glass on both of these phones limits that. For starters, the Google Pixel features a half glass back, so it would be easy to crack it if you dropped it. That’s magnified on the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus, however. The device not only features the curved edge, but it also has a glass back — so dropping it could be disastrous.

The Google Pixel XL isn’t waterproof, and that’s where Samsung gains the upper hand. Like the Galaxy S7, the Galaxy S8 Plus has an IP68 dust- and water-resistance rating, meaning it’ll be able to withstand up to 1.5 meters of water for as long as 30 minutes.

We’d recommend a case for both these phones, but the Galaxy S8 Plus wins this round. At least Samsung offers some protection over water.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Extra features

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Both the devices have plenty on offer, but the S8 Plus has a few features that don’t seem to fall into any other category. For starters, the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus lets you connect your phone to an external monitor through the DeX dock, after which you can use the device like a desktop computer. The dock basically puts the phone in Android freeform mode, and optimized apps can be resized. It’s really a pretty cool feature, and we’re hoping to see more Android phones adopt this functionality.

There’s also iris scanning and facial recognition technology, which you can use to unlock your phone.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Price and availability

Google Pixel XL
Google Pixel XL

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Google Pixel XL started shipping towards the end of 2016, and you can buy it through Verizon or through the Google Play Store. The device starts at $770, which isn’t cheap — and if you want to get the higher storage option you’ll be looking at a total cost of $869. Sadly, Google has been having inventory problems and it’s extremely difficult to find the smartphone in stock. Estimated shipping times are often more than a month.

Samsung hardly has inventory issues as it’s better equipped to make smartphones in huge quantities. The Galaxy S8 Plus hit shelves on April 21.

  Google Pixel XL Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
AT&T N/A $850 or $28.34 per month for 30 months
Sprint N/A $850 or $35.42 per month for 24 months
T-Mobile N/A $850 or $30 per month for 24 months with a $130 down payment
Verizon $770 or $32.08 per month for 24 months $840 or $35 per month for 24 months

That’s a lot more expensive, but you are getting double the storage of the base Google Pixel XL, and a much-improved processor. We have to hand it to Samsung due to Google’s poor stock issues.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Overall winner: Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

There’s really no question here — the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus is a better phone. It’s more powerful, has a better display, and has cool features like desktop mode with the DeX dock. That’s not to say that the Google Pixel XL isn’t a good phone — it’s actually an excellent one, but newer is generally better in the tech world, and it’s no different here.

Source : Digital Trends By Christian de Looper

Categorized in Others

Microsoft says a PC running its Edge browser will last 77 percent longer than Firefox, and 35 percent longer than Chrome.

To prove its point, Microsoft has once again employed a time-lapse video of three unplugged Surface Books side by side streaming video for several hours with Chrome, Edge, and Firefox.

The Surface running Edge lasts 12 hours and 31 minutes, while the Chrome device peters out after nine hours and 17 minutes, with the Firefox unit lasting seven hours and four minutes.

Microsoft released similar video last June, again showing Edge outlasting its rivals, which prompted a reply from Google showing Chrome's battery improvements.

To counter any claims of bias, Microsoft has published the methodology it followed for the test. The Surface Books featured an i5-6300U processor at 2.5GHz, with 8GB RAM, and an Intel HD Graphics 520 GPU.

The devices were running Windows 10 Pro Build 15063.0 or the Creators Update, with Edge 40, Chrome 57 64-bit, and Firefox 52 32-bit. These are the newest version of each browser.

Microsoft says it gave each device the same "realistic" user setup, but switched off some key tasks that could have interfered with the tests. The display was set to 75 percent brightness, and volume was muted, while location, Bluetooth, updates, and the ambient light sensor were disabled. Quiet hours was enabled, each device was connected to a wireless network, and Windows Defender was running. Windows Battery Saver mode was set to activate at 20 percent battery and the cache on each browser was cleared.

Microsoft attributes Edge's battery performance to "encouraging HTML5 content over Flash, improving the efficiency of iframes, and optimizing hit testing".

Besides improvements to energy efficiency, Edge in the Creators Update brings feature updates, as well improvements to responsiveness and performance.

In the Speedometer browser benchmark that Google used to show 'real-world' performance improvements in Chrome's V8 JavaScript engine, Edge has seen its scores double over the past two years, according to Microsoft.

The new Edge also introduces a number of key technologies for the future of the web, including the WebVR to bring the web to VR headsets, Web Payments, WebRTC, Web Authentication, and Web Assembly.

source : zdnet.com

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