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Blu’s New G9 Pro Brings High-End Features with a Bargain Bin Price – Review Geek

Rating:
9/10
?

  • 1 – Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 – Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 – Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 – Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 – Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 – Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 – Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 – Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Price: $249/$199

Blu G9 Pro
Cameron Summerson

Back at the end of May, Blu Products released the G9—an affordable phone with decently high-end features. Today, it’s launching the G9 Pro, an upgraded G9 with some features that are often reserved for much more expensive devices.

Here’s What We Like

  • High end features for a budget price
  • Wireless charging
  • Good fit and finish
  • Absolutely stellar price to performance ratio

And What We Don’t

  • The screen may be cooler than some users like
  • Portrait mode on the front camera is still laughably bad

At just $250 retail ($199 launch price), the G9 Pro offers a lot of bang for the buck—maybe more than any other phone I’ve seen even at double the price. Here’s what you get:

  • Display: 6.3-inch 19.5:9 FHD+ Infinity Display (1080×2340/409PPI) w/ teardrop notch
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz Octa-Core MediaTek Helio P60
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 128 GB, microSD card slot
  • Cameras: 16 MP main shooter, 5 MP depth sensor, 20 MP night mode camera; 24 MP front camera
  • Ports: USB-C, 2.5 mm headphone jack
  • Headphone Jack: Yessir
  • Battery: 4,000 mAh w/ Quick Charge and Wireless Charging
  • Fingerprint Sensor: Rear-mounted
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 2.4/5 GHz (a/b/g/n), 3G 850/900/1700/1900/2100, 4G LTE 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/28, dual-SIM
  • US Carrier compatibility: T-Mobile, AT&T, Metro, Cricket, Straight Talk
  • Android version: Android 9; June 2019 Security Patch (Promised updates to Android 10 and two years of security patches)
  • Price: $249 (Launch price of $199 “for a limited time)

Nicer Hardware Than You’d Expect for the Price

Okay, so there’s a lot to cover here, but I want to start with the most surprising feature: it has wireless charging. This is generally reserved for the highest of high-end gadgets, so I was pleasantly surprised to see it on the G9 Pro. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a $250 phone with wireless charging, so it’s super cool to see Blu incorporate it here. It’s also 10-watt wireless charging, which is among the fastest wireless charging rate currently available. Impressive.

The back of the Blu G9 Pro
Cameron Summerson

I’ve used a lot of different Blu phones over the years, and one thing has become clear to me: the phones keep getting nicer while the price points stay relatively the same. The G9 Pro is an exemplary device in this regard because it’s probably the classiest looking (and feeling!) Blu handset I’ve ever used. It’s a striking device—the “Nightfall” chameleon finish is hot.

The overall fit and finish of the phone is nothing to scoff at either. It feels decidedly more premium than the G9 (as it should), but also comes off has higher-end than the more costly Pixel 3a. It looks and feels better than Google’s affordable phone, with performance that is at least on par with that of the 3a, as well. All in all, it’s a great little package. Oh, and it has a headphone jack. A headphone jack!

The headphone jack and USB-C port on the Blu G9 Pro
Cameron Summerson

My biggest complaint about the standard G9 was the display, which has been noticeably upgraded on the G9 Pro. The panel in the Pro features the same 6.3-inch size, but a much more reasonable 1080×2340 resolution (409 PPI), making everything much crisper and defined. That said, it is a very cool display, which may be jarring for anyone coming from an OLED panel. Still, much like everything else on this handset, it’s great for the money. The biggest complaint I have about this phone is the haptic engine—it just feels sluggish and cheap.

The triple camera array on the back is also a nice touch, with sensors specifically for depth (5 MP) and night mode (20 MP) alongside the 16 MP primary camera. The 24 MP front camera is another decent addition for the selfie-loving crowd, though the phone’s software-based portrait mode is laughable at best when using the front camera. The rear shooter does a much better job with portrait photos since it has a separate depth sensor and doesn’t rely on software tricks to adjust the depth of field. But either way, keep your expectations in check for the camera—it takes very good photos for a $250 phone, but it won’t compete with the current crop of flagship smartphones.

examples from the G9 Pro's front facing camera
Left: Portrait mode; Upper-right: Beauty mode; Bottom right: no filter Cameron Summerson

Here are a few more examples:

And one of the rear camera’s portrait mode feature, whch is much better than what the front offers:

The Blu G9 Pro's portrait mode
Cameron Summerson

Clean Software Makes for a Snappy Experience

If you read my review of the G9, then you already know what to expect here—the software is literally identical on the G9 Pro. It’s a slightly modified version of Android 9, with the most notable changes in the Quick Settings panel and Settings menu—they’re both very white. I still wish it had dark mode.

The Settings menu is also slightly rearranged compared to the layout that you’ll commonly find on other Android phones, with a focus on simplicity here. Everything is still easy enough to find for anyone familiar with Android’s “normal” organization (if such a thing even exists), but it does take a bit of getting used to.

The Blu G9 Pro's screen
Cameron Summerson

The other big addition on the G9 Pro is a FaceID-like feature called…Face ID. In practice, it’s quite fast. But keep in mind that without all the additional hardware needed for 3D depth mapping (like the iPhone has) this is still a pretty insecure way of protecting a phone. In other words, it’s a neat little novelty, but I recommend against using it as any form of real security on your phone. The good news is that there’s also a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, which is a real form of security.

Finally, let’s talk about performance. This is where the G9 Pro gets a significant upgrade over the G9—it’s a lot faster and more fluid. The MediaTek Helio P60 in the Pro model performs significantly better than the P22 found in the non-pro G9 despite being the same clock speed (2.0 GHz) and number of cores. It’s just a better chip. If you like benchmarks, I did a few of those. Here’s the G9 Pro compared to the G9 and Pixel 3a. You’ll find that the G9 Pro is right there with the 3a…but at around half the price.

Conclusion: This is the Best Phone Blu Has Ever Released

Overall, the Blu G9 Pro is a very impressive phone and the best Blu phone I’ve ever used. It looks and feels great, has the performance of phones that cost twice as much, packs a very usable triple camera array, and is guaranteed to get updated to Android 10 (plus two years of security updates). For $250, you simply won’t find a better smartphone out there. And the launch price is just $199 for a limited time, making it even more of a bargain.

Rating: 9/10

Price: $249/$199

Here’s What We Like

  • High end features for a budget price
  • Wireless charging
  • Good fit and finish
  • Absolutely stellar price to performance ratio

And What We Don’t

  • The screen may be cooler than some users like
  • Portrait mode on the front camera is still laughably bad





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4 Ways to Run Any Program as an Administrator in Windows

When you open most programs in Windows, they don’t run as an administrator, even if you’re signed into an admin account. This is due to a feature called User Account Control (UAC), which lets you only run apps with admin privileges when necessary.

It might seem annoying, but this protects your PC. By not granting your account unneeded privileges, you avoid potentially compromising its security.

However, oftentimes you need to run a program as an administrator to make changes or troubleshoot. Here’s how to run any Windows program as an administrator, and how to fix admin-related problems when they arise.

1. The Standard Method to Run Programs as Admin

Chrome Run As Admin Start Menu

Whether you want to launch a program from your desktop, Start Menu, or File Explorer, right-clicking on it will show a Run as administrator option. Once you click this, you’ll see the UAC prompt to run the program with admin rights.

This is reliable but does take a few extra clicks. You can even do it with icons on your Taskbar—right-click them once to bring up a menu, then right-click the name of the app in that menu to show the Run as administrator option.

Windows Run Taskbar Program As Admin

2. Use the Keyboard to Open as Admin Faster

As with many operations, you can use keyboard shortcuts to more quickly launch programs as an administrator. To do so using only the keyboard, press the Windows key to open the search bar, then you can immediately start typing the name of the program you want to open.

Once it’s highlighted, hold Ctrl + Shift and press Enter. This will launch the UAC prompt, and you can press the Left arrow key followed by Enter to accept it without touching the mouse.

In some places, you can hold Ctrl + Shift when clicking a program icon to launch it as an admin. However, this was inconsistent in our testing.

3. Try a Geeky Method to Run as Admin

Task-Manager-Run-as-Admin

For something a bit different, you can launch programs as an admin through the Task Manager. Use the Ctrl + Shift + Esc shortcut to open it, and expand it with More details if needed.

Click File > Run new task and enter the name of the executable you want to run. Use the Browse button to locate it on your PC if needed. Make sure to check Create this task with administrative privileges, and click OK to run it.

4. Always Run Programs as Administrator

Maybe there’s a certain program you want to run as an admin every time. In that case, you can set it to do so instead of using one of the above methods each time you launch it.

Start by searching for the app you want to modify. Right-click its entry in the search results and choose Open file location to show its main executable. On this, right-click again and select Properties.

In the resulting window, switch to the Compatibility tab. Near the bottom, check the box labeled Run this program as an administrator, then hit OK when you’re done. Once you’ve done this, the app will prompt you to launch with admin permissions each time you open it.

Windows Always Run As Admin

We recommend using this with caution. You shouldn’t give an app admin permissions unless you actively need to; running apps as an admin every time makes it easier for malware to gain control.

If you’d like, a slightly safer solution is to create a shortcut for the app and set that to run as an admin all the time. First, right-click the executable and choose Send to > Desktop (create shortcut) to place a shortcut on your desktop.

Next, right-click that shortcut and choose Properties. In the resulting dialog box, switch to the Shortcut tab and click the Advanced button at the bottom. Here, check the Run as administrator box.

Windows Run Shortcut as Admin

After doing this, only that shortcut, not the main executable file, will run with admin rights.

Run as Administrator Not Working?

Sometimes, you’ll find that none of the above methods to run a program as admin will work. If this happens, you can attempt a few different fixes.

Review UAC Settings

As mentioned earlier, User Account Control in Windows


User Account Control and Administrator Rights on Windows 10




User Account Control and Administrator Rights on Windows 10

Whether you use an Administrator or a Standard Windows account, what matters is your User Account Control security level. Here’s what you need to know.
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lets you control how programs run with admin rights. If you’re logged into an administrator account, you’ll have to provide confirmation when a program wants to run as an admin. Those logged into standard accounts have to provide administrator credentials to do this.

To check your current setting, type uac into the Start menu and open the Change User Account Control settings option. Here you’ll see four levels of UAC to choose from.

Windows 10 User Account Control Settings

From top to bottom, these are:

  • Always notify when you make changes to Windows settings or apps make changes. This is equivalent to Windows Vista’s original UAC implementation.
  • Notify only when apps try to make changes. This is the default setting and the one most people should use.
  • Notify only when apps try to make changes, but don’t dim the desktop. This is the same as above, except the UAC window does not darken the desktop.
  • Never notify. This disables UAC prompts altogether. We don’t recommend this setting, because when using an admin account, it automatically approves all requests to run as administrator without your permission. And if you’re using a Standard account, it automatically denies all admin requests.

Thus, if you have UAC disabled, you won’t be able to use the Run as admin command properly. Make sure you have it turned on, then try again.

Make Sure You Have Access to an Admin Account

To use UAC properly, you need to have access to an administrator account


How to Get Admin Rights on Windows




How to Get Admin Rights on Windows

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. If you don’t have an administrator’s password or you’re typing the credentials for an account that’s not an admin, it won’t work. Thus, you should make sure you have your user accounts straight.

The easiest way to check this is to enter netplwiz into the Start menu to open the User Accounts panel. Here you’ll see a list of all users on your PC and what group they’re in. Double-click one and switch to the Group Membership tab to change an account’s permission level.

Windows 10 Users and Groups Panel

Of course, you’ll need to be logged in to an admin account to change this. If you’ve forgotten the password to all admin accounts, you’ll need to reset your lost Windows password


How to Reset Your Lost Windows 10 Password




How to Reset Your Lost Windows 10 Password

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. Should you continue to have issues after this, try making a fresh account and see if that makes a difference.

Run an SFC Scan

An SFC, or System File Checker scan will check for corrupted Windows system files and try to repair them. It’s worth a try if you’ve gotten this far without a solution, though you’ll need to have admin permissions to do so.

To use it, press Win + X and select Command Prompt (Admin) or Windows PowerShell (Admin) in the resulting menu. Then enter the following command:

sfc /scannow

Once it’s done, you’ll see a message if it performed any fixes.

Try Safe Mode

If you’ve double-checked everything above and find that you still can’t run programs as an admin properly, you should next try booting in Safe Mode


How to Boot Into Windows 10 Safe Mode




How to Boot Into Windows 10 Safe Mode

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. This will disable all but the essential services from running, allowing you to see if any third-party services are interfering with the run as admin function.

Run Windows Programs as Admin Wisely

You know several different ways to run Windows programs as an administrator, and how to solve issues with this function when they arise. Remember to always think twice when you use admin privileges. Doing so grants a program full control over your computer, so you should only authorize apps you trust.

To make sure the user accounts on your computer are secure, see our guide to locking down Windows accounts


How to Lock Down Windows User Accounts




How to Lock Down Windows User Accounts

Letting people use your computer while you’re gone could lead to problems. We show you how to restrict Windows features on standard or child accounts so others can’t access sensitive info.
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.



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Does Bleach Go Bad? – LifeSavvy

white cotton towels, fresh from their bleach treatment in the washer
Sandra Cunningham/Shutterstock

Chlorine bleach is a handy and powerful cleaning agent you can use around your home. But unlike many other cleaners, it has a relatively short shelf life. Here’s what you need to know.

If you’ve ever opened a bottle of bleach and been surprised that the room didn’t immediately smell like the pool at the YMCA, you’ve encountered a well-expired batch of bleach. To understand why your bottle of bleach smelled like nothing (or maybe very faintly like the beach instead of a swimming pool) you just need to look at the chemical composition of bleach.

The jug of chlorine bleach you bring home from the store is mostly water with enough chlorine (in the form of sodium hypochlorite) to create a concentration. That concentration depends on the brand and intended application, but it’s usually around 3-8% bleach. From the moment the mixture is bottled, it begins slowly breaking down. That breakdown turns the sodium hypochlorite into sodium chloride (table salt) and oxygen.

While the bleach will still smell like bleach for many months, it only takes around one year at room temperature (65-70°F) for the bleach to completely decompose into plain old salt water. At this point, you should dispose of it by pouring it down the drain in your laundry room or down the toilet and purchase a fresh bottle next time you’re at the store.





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You Can Now Pre-Order Mario Kart Tour on Mobile

Mario Kart Tour is finally ready for release. After an extended delay, Nintendo has announced that Mario Kart Tour will be available on Android and iOS in September 2019. Which is a full 18 months after Nintendo originally announced its latest mobile game.

Nintendo Ventures Into Mobile Gaming

In 2015, Nintendo announced that it was investing in mobile gaming. And not mobile gaming on the 3DS but mobile gaming on smartphones and tablets. At the time we asked whether Nintendo going mobile would be good or bad for gaming


Nintendo Going Mobile – Good or Bad For Gaming?




Nintendo Going Mobile – Good or Bad For Gaming?

Nintendo has just done a 180 and announced that it will be creating games for mobile devices. What does this imply, and is it a good idea?
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. And the jury is still out.

Nintendo started its foray into mobile gaming with Super Mario Run, which was free-to-try but with a hefty fee to unlock the whole game. We have since enjoyed Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, a host of Pokemon titles, and, most recently, Dr. Mario World.

When Is Mario Kart Tour Being Released?

The next game on Nintendo’s release schedule is Mario Kart Tour, which will be available on Android and iOS from September 25, 2019. You can pre-order Mario Kart Tour on iOS and pre-register your interest on Android right now.

Mario Kart Tour will be free-to-play, with extra courses, characters, and other elements available to those willing to pay for the privilege. The game looks visually impressive, and if the gameplay matches the visuals then Mario Kart Tour could be a winner.

Mario Kart Tour should immediately feel familiar to anyone who has previously played a Mario Kart title. You choose a character, and then hopefully drive them to victory on a range of different courses against a range of different characters.

As you would expect, the controls have been simplified for mobile. You can turn your character’s kart either by tilting the device or dragging your finger across the screen. And drifting can either set to be automatic or controlled manually.

Download: Mario Kart Tour on Android | iOS

The Best Local Multiplayer Games on Mobile

We’ll only know how good Mario Kart Tour plays when it’s released on September 25, 2019. And we suspect the free-to-play mechanic will make or break this title. In the meantime, here are the best local multiplayer games on Android and iOS


The 8 Best Local Multiplayer Games for Android and iPhone




The 8 Best Local Multiplayer Games for Android and iPhone

Here are the best local multiplayer mobile games to play on Android and iPhone.
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.





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How to Create a Google Form with Branching Logic

Google Forms Logo

When you create a survey with Google Forms, you can use conditional questioning to send respondents to specific pages based on their answers. Here’s how you can use branching logic to send people to questions that pertain to their responses.

The first thing you want to do is open the Google Forms survey where you want to use logic branching. If you don’t already have a survey prepared—or if you haven’t ever used Forms before—check out our beginner’s guide to Google Forms to help you get started.

RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide to Google Forms

Once you have the survey open, separate the questions that will have branching logic into different sections. You can create a new section by clicking on the icon that looks like two rectangles.

Click the icon with two rectangles.

Give each section a title. Doing this makes it a lot easier to differentiate each section and link answers together.

Giving a section a descriptive title will help you later on when you need to link the section to an answer.

To add more questions to your form, click the plus sign (+). If the questions already exist in your survey, drag them directly into the section where you want them to appear.

Click the plus sign (+).

Note: Branching logic works only for questions that use multiple choice or drop-down answers in them.

Choose either Multiple Choice or Drop-down questions to utilize Branching Logic.

Next, click on a question to add branching logic to. Click More (three dots) in the bottom-right corner and then click on “Go to Section Based on Answer.”

Click the three dots, and then click "Go to section based on answer."

From the list of answers, click the drop-down menu and then select the section you want it to connect to when someone chooses it.

Click the drop-down menu next to an answer, and then choose which section you want it to redirect to.

If you don’t want a respondent to skip a question, you can make it mandatory to answer by toggling the “Required” switch at the bottom of each item.

Toggle the "Required" switch to make sure the question is mandatory.

From here, go through the sections and set up the logical links for each question that needs it.

When you get to the end of a logic chain, click the drop-down menu at the bottom of the section and then choose “Submit Form” from the list of options.

At the end of a branching logic chain, click the drop-down menu at the bottom of the section, and then choose "Submit Form" from the list.

Whether you have multiple sites for an event and want to know how many people will be at each or want to create a fun choose-your-own-adventure story, Google Forms makes it easy to do with branch logic.





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