New Selfie Portrait Feature on OnePlus 5 and OnePlus5T

The tech industry is always trying to answer the growing demands of the market.  It is no wonder that you hear about updates for gadgets left and right.  The businesses that sell cell-phones, laptops and other gadgets are always on the lookout for these updates to make sure that their target consumers are informed of the latest updates.    

 

OnePlus Creators Take Pride in Fixing User Issues

The creators of OnePlus are no different as they pride themselves for valuing customer feedback.  This actually isn’t new for this company as they have been quite open to their users’ requests and feedback.  In fact, they have previously checked something off from their user’s request list – the roll out of their ultra-fast face unlock feature on their older phones.  The same thing goes for the Project Treble support on the OnePlus 5 and the OnePlus 5T. There are several other fixes that this company rolled out after listening from their users.     

To add to that list, after receiving numerous requests on their Open Ears forum about OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T’s photo capability limitations, they want people to know that they are listening and that they can hear them loud and clear.  OnePlus simply wants to tell their users, “We hear you!”

The company recently released the news that made their users gush with excitement.   Their users were happy to hear that their previous phone models, the OnePlus 5 and the OnePlus 5T will get an upgrade: the Selfie Portrait Mode Feature.  This news was initially heard in their latest Open Ears forum in India before it was broadcasted in official forums.    

 

The Selfie Portrait Mode Feature

This feature was originally only available in the OnePlus 6.  The portrait selfie mode feature came in as a software update, shortly after its launch.  People went gaga over it, as this feature allowed its users to have the feel of using a wide aperture DSLR lens.   This feature gave its users an ability to manipulate their photos and add more technical drama in their images. This update was welcomed by the public with open arms because it does not require dual front facing lens.  It is quite similar and comparable to the Google Camera app on the Google Pixel 2, which is purely software-based and downloadable, making it very accessible.

It is interesting to see how this would play out with OnePlus5 and OnePlus 5T’s 16MP front cameras.   Most users and gadget enthusiasts will probably find this as a very appealing feature, especially since OnePlus phones aren’t exactly known for their outstanding photo-taking abilities.  Now this feature definitely amps up these phones’ photo prowess.

There is no exact release date yet from the creators of OnePlus, but it is safe to assume that porting this feature wouldn’t take too long.  As this feature is completely software-based like what they have with the OnePlus 6, porting this feature to their previous models doesn’t seem too far fetched or too impossible.  In the meantime, stay tuned and keep your fingers crossed as we anticipate the official release date of this upgrade.

 

Things You Need to Know About the Moto G5 and the G5 Plus

Five years ago, Motorola introduced the Moto G line-up. Since then, the company has released smartphones that are both cost-effective and powerful. Today, Motorola aims to continue delivering excellence with the Moto G5 and G5 Plus. Stores that sell cell-phone units concur that Motorola, once again, nailed the brief. The G5 line-up strikes the ideal balance between excellent hardware and reasonable cost.

 

The Overview

The Moto G5 is a regular, mid-range handset. It has a 5-inch 1080p display. It features a 13-megapixel rear camera. It is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 430.

The Moto G5 Plus is the enhanced version of the G5. Its screen is 5.2 inches. Though its rear camera is only 12 megapixels, its configuration is more advanced. The G5 Plus is powered by a faster Snapdragon 625.

Both the G5 and G5 Plus come with tons of key specs and features. Out of the box, they run on Android 7.0. They also have fingerprint sensors and dual-SIM functions.

 

The Highlights

Motorola finally ditched the clunky plastic body that covered the Moto phones in the past. This time around, the G5 and G5 Plus are covered in a part-metal casing. The chrome bits represent what the company has tried to do with the fifth-generation line-up—glam it up. For years now, the display of the Moto G phones has been persistently practical. As such, display-wise, they look cheaper than their value, even tacky at times.

Now, although the edges of the phones are still made of plastic, the back part isn’t as curved as before. The Plus model also has a larger metal part.

The front panel on both phones is mainly similar to what the G4 series displays. That means you can still see large bezels. The great thing here is the addition of a fingerprint sensor to the G5. In the past, this feature was limited to the Plus model. Even the design of the fingerprint sensor has significantly improved.

Another major difference between the two phones is their thickness. The G5 is thicker at 9.5mm, while the G5 Plus is slimmer at 7.7mm. The regular model weighs 155 grams, and the Plus model is 145 grams. The Moto G5 is thicker because it has a detachable back cover and a removable smaller battery.

The two G5 phones can carry two SIM cards that can work at the same time. They also have a microSD card. You can see these slots underneath the G5’s back cover. Meanwhile, the slots on the G5 Plus are clustered together in one tray. The G5 Plus is also the only phone in the line-up that supports NFC, but still depending on the user’s region.

According to Motorola, both the G5 and G5 Plus models will get quarterly security updates. It’s possible that the company will provide more updates if carriers and regulators loosen their restrictions. In the US, the G5 Plus is the only model officially available. Its price starts at $229. The G5 can be purchased in Europe for €199.

Post Father’s Day Gift Ideas for Tech-Savvy Dads

Even if you missed Father’s Day celebration this year, you can still make it up to your dad. With the help of experts and stores that sell laptop units, we’ve listed some of the best (post) Father’s Day gift ideas for tech-savvy dads – or any parent, for that matter. Some of these gizmos can help your father make his everyday life more productive, while others are for pure entertainment.

 

Fujifilm X100F

Price starts at $1,199

If you have the budget for it, give your photography-enthusiast father the Fujifilm X100F. This high-end digital camera is arguably the best model in Fujifilm’s series of fixed-lens digicams with APS-C-size sensors. The X100F has a wide-angle lens that is ideal for street photography. It also has a relatively compact design so your dad can easily bring it with him anywhere and anytime.  

 

Fitbit Charge 2

Price starts at $150

If your dad is tech-savvy health nut, the perfect gift to give him is the Fitbit Charge 2. But even if he dislikes exercising, this fitness band can motivate him to start taking care of his body.

With the Fitbit Charge 2, he can easily monitor – and often improve – his fitness routine. The fitness device can help him track his daily activities as well as his sleep patterns. It has a built-in battery that can last up to five days on a single charge. If you own a Fitbit Charge 2, you can even set up a little competition with your dad to keep both of you moving – literally and figuratively.

 

Garmin Drive 50

Price starts at $150

It’s common for men to dislike asking for directions from other people. If your dad gets lost a lot, but has the same I-don’t-need-to-ask-for-directions syndrome, then the Garmin Drive 50 is a perfect Father’s Day gift for him.

This nifty navigator is a GPS device that is safer to use than a smartphone giving directions.  The Garmin Drive 50 can notify your dad of road hazards like sharp turns. It can also alert him of speed changes, and updates him on changing routes ahead. To top it all off, the Garmin Drive 50 also provides an effective road guide using identifiable landmarks and buildings.

 

Apple Watch

Price starts at $320

When it comes to gadgets and gizmos, Apple is a brand that you can’t overlook. Even if your dad has little knowledge of the new devices available, it’s almost impossible for him not to have heard about Apple.

For a Father’s Day present, ditch the iPad or the iPhone. Instead, give your dad the Apple Watch. More than a fitness tracker, the Apple Watch can send and receive messages. It has tons of apps that go beyond fitness and exercise routines. If your dad has an iPhone, he can also sync the Apple Watch to his smartphone to have full access of his multimedia files. The Apple Watch is also water-proof. Even if your dad forgets to remove it before taking a post-workout shower, this clever gizmo would just be fine.

 

Any of the gift ideas above can make anyone’s heart sing. Spoil your dad today with these gifts that he can enjoy for a long, long time.   

Meet the World’s Most Powerful Acer Chromebook Spin 13

From what we gathered from their global press event, Acer is dominating the market with their premium releases this summer. From the ultimate gaming laptop Predator Helios 500 to the most powerful Chromebook to become available on the market, they are definitely at the top of their game.

Eric Ackerson, Acer’s Senior Product Manager, introduced the new Acer Chromebook Spin 13 as the world’s most powerful Chromebook. With it being the first ever Chromebook on the market to have the 8th generation Kaby Lake U-series processor, we are inclined to agree.

 

Specifications

Set apart from others in its league, the Chromebook Spin 13 is packed with 8th generation Core i5 or i3—depending on the buyer’s preference. It comes equipped with a RAM of 16 GB and 128 GB of storage. This makes the Chromebook Spin 13 ideal for professionals or individuals with heavy workloads.

It has a 13.5-inch, 2256×1504-pixel touchscreen with a uniquely square 3:2 aspect ratio. Its full HD screen is suitable for high productivity and web browsing. Its touchpad is made of Gorilla glass, making it smooth and responsive. On its sides are two Type-C 3.1 ports, a Type-A USB port, and a slot for a microSD.

Chromebooks have access to Google Play and also support Android apps, eliminating the usual restriction that comes with a device that runs on Chrome OS.

 

Design

The Chromebook Spin 13 looks well-built, fitted with a matte-finish aluminum chassis with diamond cut edges, as opposed to the regular Chromebook with plastic cladding. Its bezels are also incredibly thin, giving it a wider screen. It looks sleek and sturdy, unlike many of the other Chromebook devices available on the market.

 

New features

The Chromebook Spin 13’s hinges allow it to be converted from laptop to tablet and even inverted for presentations. It also comes with a Wacom EMR stylus that is stored in the chassis. Acer claims that it can run for up to 10 hours of continuous use. It is designed to be a convertible Chromebook that is capable of heavy work, perfect for busy students and professionals. It can also transition seamlessly from work mode to movie marathon mode—all you have to do is flip the screen.

 

Price and release date

So far, no price has yet been announced by Acer, but it is expected to be a tad steeper than that of the usual Chromebook device. Rumors have been circulating that it will start at $400 for the non-convertible version and $500 for the convertible version. If these predictions are accurate, the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 will be considerably more affordable than the Pixelbook, which costs $1,199.

The release date also remains mysteriously unannounced, but we are hoping it will be very soon.

 

With powerful specs underneath that premium design, the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 brings Chromebooks up the ladder of portable computing devices. Powerful, presentable, and portable—the trifecta of productivity that is perfect for professionals and students who are looking for an affordable and efficient device to work with.

What Is Android P? The Next Version of Android

If you’re an Android user, Android P is about to take over your digital life. During Google’s 2018 keynote event, which took place May 8–10, the tech giant highlighted its aim to make smartphones flexible for its users. This is mainly done through a comprehensive UI cleanup. The majority of these changes and updates will be on Android P, which is a follow-up to last year’s Oreo release.

There’s still time away before the new Android OS becomes available to the public. But even in its beta form, Android P is already exhibiting a great deal of promise. And while certain features and specs are bound to change before its official release, for the time being, here’s what you need to know about Android P:

Gesture-Based System

In 2011, Google launched the three-button navigation system—Back, Home, and Recents—via Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Since then, the system has grown to be an iconic Android feature that users have come to know and love. After seven years, this beloved navigation system will be replaced by a brand new gesture-based system. With the new Android OS, Google will heavily rely on gestures for user interface navigation.

This is how the new system works:

  • To go to Home, click the Home button.
  • To access the Recents page, swipe up.
  • To launch the app drawer, either make a long swipe or do a double swipe.

The Back button will appear on certain apps, and only if needed.

These combined actions of taps and swipes can be a bit confusing. But experts anticipate that Google will present a more sophisticated and polished version of the new gesture-based system in the final build.

Round and Vibrant User Interface

The visual improvements in the new Android OS are not as extreme as the changes made from KitKat to Lollipop. But Android P will certainly display noticeable changes compared to Oreo. Two obvious updates are easy to spot: the rounded corners of icons and the more colorful icons seen in Settings.

Another noticeable thing about Android P is its vibrancy. It has a more lively and dynamic feel compared to previous versions of the operating system. But this isn’t much of a surprise. Between the new gesture-based system and improved animations, Android P is definitely Google’s most animated OS yet.

Petit Four or Popsicle?

Google has already presented tons of information about Android P, but its official dessert-themed name remains undisclosed. There are a lot of speculations floating online, but the top contenders are Petit Four and Popsicle.

It’s not common knowledge, but prior to Google settling on alphabetized dessert names, Android 1.1. was known internally as Petit Four. As such, it’s likely that Android 9.0 will be named after this tiny, delicate French cake.

Alternatively, the new Android operating system may be introduced as Android 9.0 Popsicle. This isn’t a far-fetched idea since Google already used a frozen dessert before, the Ice Cream Sandwich.

Since Google hardly ever reveals the names of new OS versions during conferences, we can likely expect the announcement a few weeks before Android P’s release date.

 

How to Block and Filter Phone Numbers on Your iPhone with the Tools in iOS

Our phones receive tons of notifications, and they’re usually more than enough to keep us busy throughout the day. As we try to catch up with every single notification, we would often receive unsolicited calls or messages—in other words, spam.

Not to mention, there may be some people in our lives we’re not so keen to get in touch with. Whatever the personal reason may be, all you want is to rid your phone of unwanted messages. Whether it’s a telemarketer or someone we’d rather not talk to, we all have that one person we wish we could easily delete from our phone.

The good news is there are actually two easy ways to achieve this. The best part of it all is that you can do it discreetly without letting them know that you’ve blocked them. This guide is written for those who currently own an iPhone. So, for all iOS users out there, read on below to find out how to block and filter phone numbers on your iPhone.

Block This Caller Option

The easiest way to block a number is by using the Block this Caller option. As long as you have the sender or caller’s record on your phone, you will be able to use this option.

One way is to access the person’s number through the Phone app. To start, simply tap on the Phone app and head over to the Recent section. Find the number you wish to block, and you will see a blue “i” icon next to it. Tap on the “i” and scroll down to find the Block this Caller option. After you’ve tapped the option, you are now freed from the caller or sender.

Another way is to block the person through the Messages app. All you have to do is to find the conversation with the person, and you will see the blue “i” icon. Tap on it and find the Block this Caller option below.

Call Blocking Management

If you would like to access a list of all the contacts you’ve blocked, you may do so through the Call Blocking Management settings.

To access this list, you would need to head over to Settings. From there, you will find a list. Tap on Phone or Messages and it will bring you to another set of options. Go to Blocked or Call Blocking and Identification to manage all blocked contacts.

 

Once there, you will be able to see all the numbers you’ve blocked. If you would like to unblock someone, find the Edit tab in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. After tapping on it, you will find a red minus symbol beside each blocked number. To unblock, tap on the symbol.

Alternatively, you can also block someone while on the Blocked or Call Blocking and Identification page. Below the list of blocked numbers, you’ll find a Block Contact tab. Tap on it and search for the number you’d like to block.

Sony Xperia XZ2 vs. Galaxy S9 vs. iPhone X

No one can deny that smartphones are in the prime of their development today. The bad news is that consumers are becoming even more confused as to which smartphone to purchase.

As of today, the Sony Xperia XZ2, Samsung Galaxy S9, and the iPhone X are at the top of the list. Perhaps you’re looking for the smartest phone of the bunch and would still like to get your money’s worth. Here’s the rundown on the best qualities of each phone:

Design

Smartphone designs today are not very different from each other. But if there’s one aspect that consumers still take into consideration, it would have to be the overall size of the device. If bigger means better for you, the Sony Xperia XZ2 wins this round by a few millimeters. Alternatively, if you prefer something slim, the iPhone X is your choice among the three.

Display

In relation to the phone size, many people look to the display as well. Despite being the bigger phone in size, the Sony Xperia XZ2 has the smallest resolution among the three. It comes with a display size of 5.7 inches, while both the iPhone X and the Samsung Galaxy S9 have a display size of 5.8 inches. However, the Samsung Galaxy S9 wins by a couple of pixels in resolution.

Camera

For all the photo junkies out there, you’ve probably already heard that these smartphones offer the best in photo quality. But if you’re looking for the ultimate choice, you might be interested in getting the Sony Xperia XZ2. With an impressive 19-megapixel camera, there’s no other phone that can give you a crisp and clear photo. On the other hand, both the Samsung Galaxy S9 and the iPhone X are at a tie, both having 12-megapixel cameras.

Hardware

There are definitely some consumers who don’t care too much about appearances. But what matters most is what’s on the inside. Bearing this in mind, both the Sony and Samsung phones have the higher system memory at 4 GB RAM, while the iPhone X comes with only 3 GB RAM.

And no conversation about hardware will be complete without a comparison of storage. As we all know, the highest storage memory of an iPhone X at the moment is at 256 GB, while both the Sony and Samsung phones have their built-in storage at 64 GB with possible expansion up to 400 GB.

Battery life

When it comes to battery life, the Sony Xperia XZ2 clearly wins this round, having a capacity of 3,180 mAh. This number significantly means that it has the longest music and video playback time as well. At the other end of the scale, the iPhone X has a capacity of only 2,716 mAh, falling behind the 3,000 mAh Samsung S9. Now that we have listed the best smartphone for each category, the choice is yours to make. We hope that this simple guide was able to help you make a decision. Enjoy your new phone!

HP Spectre x360 Convertible Laptop Review

HP Spectre x360 Convertible Laptop Review

Are you on the lookout for the best laptop in the market today? You’re in for a big decision as there are tons of choices out there.

It can be quite tough and tricky to pick one that best suits your needs and wants. The big brands continue to sell laptops that are competitive both in quality and performance. And as you look at the various brands, models and specs, your decision will vary too.

In this article, we will see how one of the most well-reviewed convertible laptops today — the HP Spectre x360 convertible laptop – fares against others.

HP Spectre x360 Specs

HP has already made a name in the electronics industry. The brand isn’t new to us, and their laptops speak of the company’s good reputation when it comes to quality.

The Spectre x360 lives up to the expectations of people who are looking for a 2-in-1 laptop. The unit’s exterior looks amazing, with a carefully crafted chassis that comes in two colors — ceramic white and dark ash silver. The pale gold and copper luxe accents make the laptop glow even more too.

The Spectre is also ultra-thin at only 10.4-mm in height, and lightweight at only 1.1kg.

One of the most notable features of this model is its hidden hinges. It makes it possible for you to completely fold the laptop in an instant. HP drew its inspiration from the mechanism of a high-quality cabinet.

The entire unit is made of aluminum carbon fiber coat. These materials do not only make the laptop look sleek and classy; they also make it durable.

As per hardware makeup, the Spectre poses great enhancements on its keyboard. It is now illuminated, so you wouldn’t have to worry about working or surfing the net in the dark. This especially helps when you’re in a plane, too.

The touchpad is wider so you can navigate through your display more conveniently. It also has built-in multi-touch support.

As for battery life, you can count on the Spectre. It lasts up to 11 hours and 15 minutes in total. It also adopts Fast Charge technology that will last you an entire day of not charging. The battery is slim but contains more power than other HP models.

The unit was also upgraded to the 8th generation Intel core processor. It supports both Intel Core i5 and Intel Core i7 quad-core U-series systems. This is a bonus for customers who want to upgrade to a much speedier laptop.

Spectre’s storage is another bonus. It has 1TB PCle-based storage that is 17 times faster than the average hard drive. The Spectre x360 model is sold for $1,149.

Overall Verdict    

If there are any cons to buying the HP Spectre x360, these would include the stiff volume buttons and the narrow view. However, the cons are relatively minimal. So if you are looking for a bang for the buck, this unit is an excellent option. It’s speedy, sleek, high-performing, and easy to use, giving you almost everything you’re probably asking for.