WhatsApp Launches Call Waiting

WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned cross-platform messaging and Voice over IP service, recently introduced its call waiting feature for voice and video callers.

The feature sends a notification if someone calls you while you’re on another call. You can click either of the two options:

  • Decline: Refuse to answer the new call and instead complete your current call.
  • End and Accept: Say goodbye to your current caller and accept the new call.

Call waiting also works when people use a landline or another app to contact you on WhatsApp. WhatsApp will ask whether you wish to decline or answer the incoming call.

This feature, however, doesn’t allow call holding yet. You can’t keep your first caller on the line while answering the second caller to say that you’ll be available as soon as you end your conversation with the other caller.

Call waiting was released for IOS users last November 2019 and for Android users this December. Before the feature was launched,  WhatsApp callers would hear (Name of your contact) is on another call ¨if the person they were calling had an ongoing conversation with another caller. Moreover, their call would be automatically rejected. Meanwhile, the person on the other line would only learn that someone else was trying to call through the ¨missed call¨notification.

You can go to the WhatsApp wbsite or the Apple Store to download the lastet versión of WhatsApp for IOS . Android users can also visit the app’s oficial website or go to Google Play Store.

Other Updates

Besides call waiting, WhatsApp’s updated version also offers the following new features:

  • It allows you to control who can add you to their groups. To set this up, go to Settings,
  • then Account, then Privacy, then Groups.
  • It gives you the option to use your fingerprint as a passcode to the app. To set this up, go to Settings, then Account, then Privacy, then Fingerprint Lock, and click Enable Unlock with Fingerprint.

Upcoming Features

Other features will also be activated in the near future:

  • Dark mode

Users have to join the WhatsApp beta program to activate this mode.

  • Self-deleting messages

Users will be able to set their message to “self-destruct” or disappear after a period of time: from an hour to one day, one week, one month, or a year. This feature is already in place in other apps like Messenger and Telegram.

WhatsApp to Be Unavailable in Older iOS, Android, Windows Phones

WhatsApp announced that the app will no longer operate on phones that run on Android 2.3.7 and older versions starting February 2, 2020. The same goes for iPhones running on iOS 8 and older.

WhatsApp said that it will run best on Android units running on version 4.0.3 and later, iPhones operating on iOS 9 and later, and JioPhones that run on KaiOS 2.5.1.

Individuals selling MacBooks or selling laptops online can tell affected phone users that they can still install WhatsApp on their laptops and MacBooks by going to the app’s website, the Microsoft Store, or the Apple App Store.

 

Teaching Music and Art through Technology

Technology  Nowadays, we can gain knowledge almost everywhere we look at the touch of a finger, and we can make the most out of this advantage. Technology can be used to teach our children music and art- two of the most important components of human civilization.

Musica and art move us as human beings, but why is that? Why does a Beethoven piece move us to tears? Why does a Botticelli painting bring us great joy?

Music and Art as Integral Components for Human Beings

As far as we can remember , human beings have always been drawn to music an art. Our ancestors have made countless figurines,paintings, engravings, and musical instruments, among others, to convey their thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

As human beings, we feel emotions when we see or hear certain cues. We interpret these cues by way of our emotions. For example, if we see someone who looks happy, you may feel a sense of calm or even happines. Compare that to what you might feel if you come across someone who looks angry. If you see a portrait of stern-looking individual, you may tend to feel a sense of dread.

Using Technology to Teach Music and Art         

Technology can be used to greatly improve productivity and learning. Here are a few ways with which you can incorporate technology into teaching at home or in the classroom:

  • Allow your child or student to share their input.
    • Use their input as feedback. You can ask them directly, or if there are several learners, you can use a number of online tools and applications.
  • Give your child or student enough room to create.
    • You can use videos, e-books, and other digital content to teach them art and music.
  • Make learning more engaging by making it interactive.
    • Use interactive tools such as an online whiteboard or have your learners use applications that work with their smartphones. Why not use a music video to introduce the class to the subject? You may also want to play music and use it as a writing prompt.
  • Gather necessary resources.
    • In teaching art, for example, use the Internet as a source for illustrations. You can zoom in on what details or images you want your learners to focus on and make them feel as if they are in a gallery or museum. For music, use samples or clips to allow your students to become familiar with a particular composer’s body of work, for example.
  • Invite a guest.
  • Use technology to connect with experts around the world. Applications such as Skype and Google Hangouts can be used to talk to an expert even if they’re in a different country.

If you’re thinking of utilizing technology to teach art and music, you need to have the right tools like a good, working laptop. If your unit can’t handle the task, you may want to sell your laptop online and get a newer model. Technology is a useful tool to teach valuable lessons on art and music, be it in the classroom or at home.

 

How to Record Screen Actions on Your iOS 11 Phone

There are times when you need to record what happens on the screen of our iPhone or iPad to show someone how to use an app or to report a bug.

Although capturing screenshots and making annotations will be just as helpful, a live video recording is often more effective when you have to explain a procedure or problem to a viewer or listener.

How to Include Screen Recording in Your Control Center

Phones running on iOS 11 or a later update carry the screen recording feature. You have to add the screen recording icon to the Control Center to start using it.

To do this, go to Settings, tap Control Center, and then click Customize Controls. From this menu, scroll down the array of tools and select Screen Recording.

How to Start Recording

To begin recording, return to the Home Screen then go to the iOS Control Center. You can head to the Control Center more quickly by swiping from the bottom edge of your screen on your iOS 11. If you’re using iOS 12 or later, swipe down from the top-right corner of your screen to the bottom-left corner.

You should then find the Screen Recording icon—a solid circle at the center and a thin circle outside of it—among your tools at the bottom.

Once you click on the button, recording begins automatically after a three-second countdown. To ensure that text and phone call notifications won’t interrupt your recording, disable your alerts or enable the Do Not Disturb mode before you start recording.

A red bar or time indicator will appear at the top of your screen once you begin recording. Tap on this bar once and click "Stop" when a box pops up asking "Stop screen recording?" You can also end the recording by opening the Control Center again and tapping on the screen recording icon.

The recorded video is saved in your Photos app as a 45fps MP4 file. It has a resolution of 900 by 1,600 pixels. You can go to the Photos app to view, edit, and share your video.

If you want to record your conversation while doing something on your iPhone or iPad, do a long press on your Screen Recording button then enable the Microphone Audio option when you start screen recording. Adding audio is best for tutorials.

Other Screen Recorder Apps

You may also opt to download free third-party screen recording apps for added features.

For example, you can use DU Recorder to do a livestream on YouTube, Facebook, or Twitch.

Meanwhile, you can edit the background color of your recording, change the canvas size, and shorten
your video by using the Record It! Screen Recorder app.

Screen Recorder Can Turn Your Phone into a Mini Production House

Besides using the screen recorder to explain a process or record your winning mobile game, the tool can also be helpful for bloggers and online traders, including those selling MacBooks or selling laptops online.

Instead of just writing your thoughts for a blog, you can make an audio commentary on a news report or make a review of a product by recording your voice while showing the website where the item or article appears.

You can also use the screen recorder to make a short video out of the pictures you’ve taken of a device or devices you wish to offer for sale.

Finding the Right Laptop for You: A Handy Guide

Are you looking to buy your first laptop? Or maybe you’re looking to sell your laptop online to upgrade to a newer model? Perhaps you’re an entrepreneur looking for a laptop that can grow with your expanding business needs? Here’s a quick guide to help you choose the right laptop for you.

Important Things to Consider

We’ve listed some of the important elements that you should consider when looking for a new laptop. And yes, sometimes brands don’t really play a big role in the selection.

Platform

The platform or the operating system allows you to use your laptop and run your laptop’s various programs and applications. Most laptops run on one of three operating systems, and choosing the perfect OS for you is really a matter of personal preference.

  • Microsoft Windows
    • It is the most widely used OS in the world and is known to be the most flexible of the three.
    • Its latest iteration, Windows 10, features Cortana, which is Microsoft’s virtual assistant.
  • MacOS
    • Apple’s flagship OS allows you to move seamlessly from your MacBook to your other Apple devices.
    • Its latest version, macOS Catalina, lets you use your iPad as a second screen for your MacBook.
  • Chrome OS
    • Google’s Chrome OS is a fast and simple OS ideal for people who work online and those who are always on the go.
    • Chromebooks now have Android app compatibility, which allows you to download, install, and run your favorite Android apps.

Laptop size and weight

Picking the right size and weight for your laptop will depend on what you’re planning to do with it. Laptop sizes usually start at the 11.6-inches range and can go up to 17.3 inches.

If you want a portable laptop, you can opt for smaller laptops (11.6 inches to 13.3 inches) with lighter weights, around 1-1.5 kgs.

Consider the balance between portability and performance. Remember, the bigger your laptop, the heavier it will be.

CPU

The CPU is the brain of the laptop that controls all of its functions.

If you’re going to be using your laptop for basic tasks, you can opt for a dual-core processor. However, if you’re into gaming or video editing, you might want to also consider the graphics card, RAM, and hard disk drive (HDD) or the unit’s solid-state drive (SSD).

Storage

It goes without saying that bigger hard drives allow for more storage. But if you tend to use advanced computer programs, you may want to opt for SSDs, which are faster and more reliable due to their build.

RAM

The Random Access Memory (RAM) is what enables your laptop to multitask. If you’re using advanced programs or are into gaming, you’ll need more RAM.

RAM generally comes in four sizes: 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB+, with the latter two being most suitable for running demanding and advanced professional software.

Other factors that you need to consider are:

  • Graphics
  • Display
  • Ports
  • Battery life
  • Connectivity
  • Build quality

It goes without saying that you should consider these features along with your needs and your budget. Be prepared to make some compromises along the way.

Apple Rumored to Release Five New iPhones in 2020

2020 is rumored to witness the release of several new iPhone models, according to predictions by some of the industry’s noted analysts.

Predicted iPhone Models

Another prediction by Samik Chatterjee, a J.P. Morgan analyst, sees the release of four new models in Fall 2020: the iPhone 12 5.4-inch model, two 6.1-inch iPhones, and a 6.7-inch model. According to Chatterjee, this new lineup will sport OLED displays.

Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that five models will be released, including what would be the follow up to the iPhone SE, the iPhone SE 2.

If both predictions are correct, we’re bound to see the following models in 2020, all of which are rumored to come in a flatter metal frame:

  • iPhone SE 2 (4.7-inch). This will be launched in the first half of 2020 and will resemble the iPhone 8, complete with the bezels and the Touch ID home button.

This model, however, will reportedly run on a faster A13 chip and will have 3GB of RAM. Unlike its counterparts, which will be launched in the fall of 2020, the iPhone SE 2 will have an LCD display and will only have a single-lens rear camera. This model will not have 5G support.

An additional prediction by Kuo sees the coming of the iPhone SE 2 Plus, which will reportedly have an all-screen design and will make use of the Touch ID fingerprint instead of Face ID. The fingerprint sensor will be built into the phone’s power button. The iPhone SE 2 will come in either 5.5 inches or 6.1 inches.

  • iPhone 12 (5.4-inch and 6.1-inch). Both models will have OLED displays and will be able to support 5G. According to Kuo, these are the “lower-end” models and will sport dual cameras.
  • iPhone 12 Pro (6.1-inch). The first of the “higher-end” models, the iPhone 12 Pro will have 5G support as well as 5G mmWave support. We might be seeing a return to form as the higher-end models are expected to look like the iPhone 4.
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max (6.7-inch). The second higher-end model in the iPhone 12 lineup, this will also reportedly have 5G and 5G mmWave support. These higher-end models will also be sporting three rear cameras and what Chatterjee calls “world-facing 3D sensing”.

Rumored Features

The newer models might have “ProMotion” displays similar to that of the iPad Pro. There are rumors that Apple is considering having a switchable 60Hz/120Hz display for the newer models.

Another reported innovation is the addition of Vertical-Cavity-Surface-Emitting-Laser (VCSEL) to its rear camera lens for the higher-end models. The VCSEL is mainly used to assist in augmented reality and range-finding.

Another prediction by Kuo sees the coming of a completely wireless, port-free iPhone in 2021. While it’s still too early to tell if any of these predictions will come true in the coming months, Apple fans will definitely have several things to get excited about. What do you think of these rumors? What features are you looking forward to the most?

Forgot Your iPhone Passcode? Here’s How to Unlock It

sellGetting locked out of anything you own is pretty upsetting. But there’s something about getting locked out of your iPhone that makes it feel a little bit more annoying than most things, especially if it’s because you forgot what password you used for it.

The fact that continuously failing password attempts ends up locking you out of your phone for a longer period just makes things worse.
Luckily, not all is lost when you find yourself locked out of your iPhone. Just follow any of these steps and your access to your iPhone will be back in no time at all.

Reset via iCloud

Apple’s iCloud is an online storage system for Apple users, which is perfect for saving your files in or moving them somewhere temporarily if you’re planning to sell your laptop online.
iCloud is also handy for remotely resetting your iPhone, assuming that you have the Find My iPhone feature enabled in your iCloud account.
First, sign in to iCloud with your Apple ID, then select the device you want to unlock from the list. Once selected, pick the Erase iPhone option to reset your phone. This will wipe your phone’s memory clean, but you can always restore them if you have a back-up prepared.
This method will only work if the iPhone in question is connected to the internet. Otherwise, it won’t show up on the screen. If this fails, you can try other methods below.

Reset via iTunes

The ability to sync two or more devices together is one of the many features present in Apple’s products. This feature becomes very handy for situations like forgetting your password.

However, you’re going to need a computer that your phone has synced up with for this method to work.
If you do have such a computer, then the rest is as simple as pressing a few buttons. Plug your phone into the computer, and load up iTunes. Head straight to the Summary tab of your device where you’ll see the Restore iPhone button.

Afterwards, follow the on-screen instructions, and wait for the process to finish. Be aware though that this method will wipe everything inside your iPhone. But don’t worry: if you backed it up, then everything should be fine. unlock from the list. Once selected, pick the Erase iPhone option to reset your phone. This will wipe your phone’s memory clean, but you can always restore them if you have a back-up prepared.

This method will only work if the iPhone in question is connected to the internet. Otherwise, it won’t show up on the screen. If this fails, you can try other methods below.
If your computer asks you to input your phone’s password, you can try using the recovery mode.

Use Recovery Mode

If you can’t use the first two methods, your last option is to do a complete reset.
First, you’ll need to turn off your phone. You’ll then need to plug it into a trusted computer while holding a button that’s specific to the phone model:
• iPhone 6s – Home button
• iPhone 7/7 Plus – Volume Down button
• iPhone 8 or later, iPhone X or later – Side button

Doing this step will make the recovery mode screen appear on your computer. Once it appears, click on the Restore button. You should be able to reset your phone after the process is finished. Repeat the process if you’re still unable to reset your phone, as it may need several updates.

Tips to Maximize Your Laptop’s Battery Life

Batteries are what make laptops portable. You can carry your laptop around and use it anywhere as long as it has enough battery life. It’s why most people who visit sites that sell laptops online also heavily consider battery runtime before buying. In this article, we’ll discuss methods you can do to maximize your laptop’s battery life.

Adjust the Screen Brightness

The biggest power drain for most laptops is the screen’s backlight. Doing something as simple as dimming the light will go a long way towards conserving battery life. You can add 30 minutes or more of battery life with this simple method. Function keys in practically every laptop have a shortcut to adjust the screen brightness easily. It varies depending on the brand and model, but you should spot it fairly quickly as it usually has sun-like symbols as a label.

Change the Power Settings

The power setting for Windows laptops is set to Balanced by default. This is good enough to balance performance with energy consumption. However, if your goal is to maximize battery life, change it to Power Saver instead. To do that, go to Control Panel and click Hardware and Sound. You should see the Create a Power Plan option, and you can select Power Saver from there. For Mac users, you can adjust energy-related settings in the Energy Saver pane. Just select the Apple menu, followed by System Preferences. Once you’re in the Energy Saver pane, click the Battery tab where you can adjust the Computer Sleep and Display Sleep settings.

Close Apps That You’re Not Using

Unless you absolutely need to multitask, it’s best to keep the running apps to a minimum. Multiple apps and processes running simultaneously in your system will drain your battery quickly. Chances are you’re not even actively using most of the apps that are running.

Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

There are other things we usually do with our laptop, aside from browsing the internet. If what you’re doing doesn’t require a connection, such as editing a document or watching videos from your hard drive, you can disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. These wireless devices, as well as the background apps and processes that use them, are significant sources of battery drain. For Windows laptops, you can use the Airplane mode as a quick way to simultaneously turn off your Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Monitor Your Battery’s Health

Batteries generally have a limited shelf life. Because of that, it is crucial to check for their health periodically. For MacBook users, you can do this by holding the Option key and clicking the Menu bar to see the battery’s status. You’ll know it’s nearing the end of its lifespan if you see a “Replace Now” or “Service Battery” message. For Windows users, run the command prompt as an administrator and type in powercfc/batteryreport. While your laptop battery won’t run forever, taking good care of it by following the methods we provided will ensure that you get the most out of it.

Some of Our Favorite Laptop Models with the Best Battery Life

Does your laptop battery die in the middle of work? Sometimes, you have no choice but to give it up. Generally, you could sell old laptops for an upgrade. More than that though, you’ll want a laptop with battery life that can withstand long hours of work and gaming. Luckily, you have a wide selection to choose from, and we gathered five of the best ones.

Apple Macbook Pro 15-Inch

With an 87-watt battery, the 15-inch Apple Macbook Pro promises 10 hours of battery life for web browsing and video streaming. The large battery wattage also powers the Macbook Pro’s high-resolution screen, dominant graphics processor, and Intel Core i7 or i9. This means that unless you need to use more than 16GB of memory, it’s best to limit your computer needs to the Core i7. This consumes less power, maximizing your laptop’s battery for an extended life.

Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS 13 has a battery life of 8 hours with its 4K panel and 12 hours with its 1080p model, with specs ideal for video editing. However, it does tend to push more pixels, affecting battery life. Unless you work in creative media, best to stick to the 1080p. In addition, the laptop features the Intel Whisky Lake Core i7-8565U, as well as a power profile that allows it to work efficiently for daily tasks such as online browsing, video conversion, research, and various office functions.

Lenovo Yoga C930

Both Lenovo Yoga C930’s Intel Core i5 and i7 use the same amount of power. Dealing with daily computing tasks can get you nine hours of battery life. However, streaming can take a toll and reduce the battery standard to just five hours. The good news is that the Lenovo Yoga C930 uses a USB-C form port, which easily provides more charger alternatives in case you leave your laptop charger at home. Moreover, this Lenovo unit charges quickly from completely dead to 50% in just half an hour.

Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1

Featuring an 8th generation Whiskey Lake processor, Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 is the perfect on-road companion, particularly for IT professionals. It boasts an impressive 18-hour battery life that can go toe to toe against extremely powerful brands like the Qualcomm Snapdragon PC. This 14-inch Dell Latitude packs enough power to last hours of continuous online surfing. The laptop, however, doesn’t run its Turbo Boost once the power and temperature exceeds a certain limit, so best to manage expectations when running through the last few hours of your work.

HP Spectre x360

The HP Spectre x360 is notable for its 12-hour battery life, easily outlasting many of its contemporaries. This proves to be true even when the device continuously plays a looped 1080p video. Moreover, the HP Spectre can perform exceptionally well on continuous web browsing and even when tasked with a heavy workload. While it is not a gaming or video editing laptop, it can still accommodate modern gaming at a low setting. For graphics-heavy work, the HP Spectre x360 requires the help of a discrete GPU to deliver more processing power.

Which iPads work as a second screen with Sidecar?

Boost Your productivity by using your iPad as a second screen for your Mac.

Prior to releasing macOS Catalina, you could have a second display for your Mac with the help of your iPad on thrid-party software.

With Sidecar, the new feature on macOs Catalina an IpadOS 13, you can now have your Mac display extended or mirrored on your iPad.

The Sidecar feature can turn iPad into graphics Tablet using the Apple Pencil. With it, you can also run macOS apps such illustrator, Final Cuto Pro, and Zbrush.

What You Need

Before getting too excited about Apple’s latest productivity offering, here are some basic things to remember:

  • You need a compatible Mac that runs on macOS Catalina. Note that while most Macs since 2012 can run Catalina, not all Macs support the Sidecar feature.
  • You need an iPad running on iPadOS 13.
  • You should be logged in to the same iCloud account (for both your Mac and iPad).
  • If you’re thinking of connecting your devices wirelessly, your iPad should be within 10 meters of your Mac.

Before we delve into the details, here are some of the Mac and iPad models that support Sidecar:

Macs

  • iMac 27-inch (late 2015 version or newer)
  • 2018 MacBook Air or newer
  • 2019 Mac Pro

iPads

To use Sidecar, your iPad must be able to support Apple Pencil (1st or 2nd generation). Here are some of the compatible iPad models:

Apple Pencil
  • 3rd gen iPad Air
  • 5th gen iPad mini
  • 6th gen iPad or newer
  • 1st–2nd gen iPad Pro 12.9 inch
2nd Generation Apple Pencil
  • 3rd gen iPad Pro 12.9 inch
  • iPad Pro 11 inch

Turning Your iPad Into a Second Screen

The process is pretty straightforward. You just have to make sure that both your Mac and your iPad meet Sidecar’s system requirements.

  1. You can connect via Bluetooth to use Sidecar wirelessly, as long as you’re within 10 meters of the Mac. Alternatively, you can connect your iPad to your Mac using your charging cable.
  2. To connect your devices, click on the AirPlay icon (rectangle icon with a triangle in the middle) found on your Mac’s menu bar.
  3. If you wish to mirror your Mac display (Mirror Built-in Retina Display) instead of extending it (Separate Display), go back to the AirPlay menu. Click on the option for mirror display.
  4. To finish your Sidecar session, simply click on the “Disconnect” button on your iPad’s sidebar. Alternatively, you can return to the AirPlay menu and click “Disconnect”.

Other Uses for Old Devices

If you’re thinking of upgrading your devices to further boost your productivity with Apple’s new Sidecar feature, don’t think of throwing out your old iPads or Macs just yet.

You can choose to refurbish your old tablet and turn it into a digital photo frame, for instance. Or you can also sell tablet units online or through a yard sale. Selling is a great way to keep old devices from the landfill while bringing extra cash into your pockets.

How Can I Charge My Phone If I Forgot My Charger?

Nearly everyone has a smartphone these days. If you rely heavily on yours for everyday activities, you can use up your battery before the day even ends. To replenish your power, you will need a compatible charger, and of course, an outlet.

However, there are other methods you can use in case you misplace or forget to bring a compatible charger. Technically, you can use fruit to replenish your phone’s battery, but you need a whole lot of it. On top of that, you will need extra. Needless to say, it’s neither convenient nor practical.

Thankfully, there are less tedious ways to power your phone without its charger.

Look for a Compatible USB Port             

Remember that the USB port must be compatible with your phone. If you brought your iPad’s USB charger, you can use it to power your phone. You can plug one end into your phone and the other into a USB port.

At work, you can plug the other end into a desktop or laptop computer. For those who are on the go, public spaces such as coffee shops, hotels, and airports usually have USB charging stations, where guests can replenish their batteries for free.

Use Your Power Bank

It’s always best to pack a power bank for emergencies. Most of these battery packs can store enough power to last you throughout the day.

Just make sure to charge your power bank before any trip. Keep it in your bag so you can charge on-the-go. All you need to do to replenish your phone’s battery is plug the device’s cable into your phone and wait until it is fully charged.

Charge Your Phone in Your Car

Most modern cars come with a built-in USB port for charging all kinds of mobile devices. However, if your car isn’t new, you can connect an adapter to the lighter port to charge your phone.

Start your car or place it in accessory mode. Plug one end of your charging cable into an adapter or a USB port. Then, plug the other end into your mobile device.

Place Your Phone on a Charging Mat

Smartphones have become ubiquitous in the digital era. To cater to the needs of their employees, companies often offer charging pads. These things can charge nearly every mobile device, including smartphones.

The best part? There are no messy cables. All you have to do is place your phone on the charging pad.

If your company doesn’t provide such a convenience, you might want to consider investing in one. You can keep it in your cubicle at the office, so you won’t have to worry the next time you forget to bring your phone’s charger.

Not all mobile devices support wireless charging. To enjoy these modern conveniences, your phone might need an upgrade. Instead of tossing aging smartphones in a drawer, sell cell-phone units for profit. You can use that money to buy a high-end smartphone and maybe more advanced accessories.

Reports:Samsung to Release New Galaxy Fold 2 in April 2020

Samsung is on a roll. With foldable devices forecasted to be the future of mobile phones, rumors have already spread that a new Samsung Galaxy Fold model will be launched in April 2020 even if the current model entered the market just two months ago.

Especially since this year’s originally scheduled launch of Galaxy Fold was delayed so Samsung could address issues with its screen. Reviewers who got hold of the smartphones for testing in the run-up to the April 2019 release reported that their units’ displays easily got scratched and pierced.

Ultra-Thin Glass (UTG)

Rumor has it that instead of the transparent plastic polyimide (PI) protective layer used for the screen of the original Fold, a scratch-resistant UTG layer will be used for the upcoming Galaxy Fold 2.  UTG is said to measure below 100 micrometers or just 3% the thickness of glass traditionally used for smartphone screens.

Design

This October 2019, participants got a preview of Fold 2 during the Samsung Developer Conference when the mobile phone developer showed a video of a new foldable phone “concept” with a clamshell or vertically folding design, a modern version of the old-school flip phone.

This “pocketable” square phone will, therefore, come close to the Motorola Razr, a reboot of the RAZR V3 sold in 2004, which also recently just went on sale.

Like the Razr, Fold 2 may also have a small display on the folded phone exterior to show important updates, such as the time and message notifications. This is the Fold 2’s smallest display at 4.6 inches. This external screen that allows you to use the phone even when it’s folded.

It will reportedly feature a 6.7-inch folding touchscreen and will be similar to the Galaxy S10 when opened. Meanwhile, the largest 7.3-inch main screen of the original Galaxy Fold is revealed once it is unfolded lengthwise as a tablet-sized display.

Selfie camera

Like the Galaxy Note 10, Fold 2 reportedly features a hole-punch selfie camera at the top of the inner display.

Insiders interviewed by  Bloomberg also said that the 2020 Fold will have two cameras that will serve as front cameras when folded and as rear ones upon being flipped open.

Pricing

Galaxy Fold 2 is expeted to sell for $1,500, compared to the first-generation Fold that’s worth $1,980. However, there are also speculations that Fold 2 might be sold over $1,500 due to UTG display.

Color options

Reports said that the new foldable product will be available in black, purple, and white.

Insiders say that Samsung codenamed its foldable phone growth strategy “Bloom” and aims to sell as many as six million units in 2020. That’s double IHS Markit’s projected global phone market growth of three million for the said year but just a million more than the forecast of Display Supply Chain Consultants.

Armed with lessons learned from its launch of the first Galaxy Fold, the phone maker is expected to sell cellphones with more confidence in 2020.

For Samsung to hit its growth target next year, Fold 2 must not only be as durable as its non-folding counterparts but also more reasonably priced than the Galaxy Fold.

What are the Best Laptops for 2019?

Choosing a laptop can be challenging, with several different factors other than price to consider before buying.

Determining which Laptop is the Best for You

When choosing which laptop would be the best for you, consider elements such as:

Size

It’s important to choose the right size, which will depend on your lifestyle. Laptops are usually categorized into the following display sizes: 11-12 inches, 13-14 inches, 15 inches, and 17-18 inches.

CPU

The type of CPU will depend on what you’re going to be doing with the laptop. The type of processor you will be getting will determine your laptop’s performance and will depend on your usual tasks.

RAM

The minimum for RAM is 8 GB and could go all the way to 32 GB if you want serious power. The more RAM you have, the more applications you can run. Your system can also process and retrieve data faster.

Battery life

If you’re planning on taking your laptop with you wherever you go, a unit with 8+ hours of battery life is a good choice to start.

The Best Laptops for 2019

The Best Overall Laptop: Dell XPS 13

The Dell XPS 13 seamlessly combines power, beauty, and price to give you optimal performance. Starting at around $900, this 13-inch unit runs on an 8th generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor and can have 8 GB to 16 GB of RAM.

The Best Budget Laptop: Acer Aspire E15

Starting at $698, this laptop gives you good performance without breaking the bank. You can effortlessly multitask as this is powered by an 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor. The Acer Aspire E15 also has up to 15 hours of battery life, giving you more time to do what you need to do.

The Best Laptop for Students: Asus ZenBook 13 UX333

Starting at $850, this laptop doesn’t sacrifice build for its quality and features. It runs on an 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor and has 8 GB RAM. This is a lightweight, powerful, affordable option that can keep up with the demanding needs of school.

The Best Business Laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme

The ThinkPad range has often been associated with the business market. The ThinkPad X1 Extreme, which starts at $1799, shakes things up with its super fast six-core Intel Core i7-8750H processor paired with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, which gives you more power to do more demanding work.

What to Do With Your Old Laptop

Sell It

You can sell used laptop units for extra cash instead of letting it collect dust at home. It’s an eco-friendly solution to getting rid of old tech, too. When you sell used laptop units, you’ll be able to give old tech a new lease on life.

Repurpose It

Another great solution is to repurpose old laptops. Turn an old unit into a media center or even an emergency Wi-Fi hotspot!

It is important to consider your needs and you Budget. While need to work out a compromiso as not all laptops will fit each criteria that you might have in mind this list hopefully points in the right direction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

OnePlus 8 Pro: Everything We Know So Far

It’s been an eventful past few weeks for OnePlus users out there, with recent releases and future model leaks keeping the community abuzz. The Chinese smartphone giant unveiled the OnePlus 7T model last September to rave reviews. With the inclusion of the 90Hz refresh rate display previously found on the 7 Pro variant, faster charging, and camera improvement, the phone is considered a major upgrade over its OnePlus 7 predecessor, which hit the market last May.

The 7T Pro, released a few days after 7T, had a more subtle difference in comparison to the 7 Pro model. This led to mixed reviews, with some debating whether to head to the nearest shops that sell cell-phones and buy it or wait for its next iteration. With fans recently getting an unauthorized sneak peek of OnePlus 8, we now also have a few information about OnePlus 8 Pro thanks to Twitter user @OnLeaks and 91Mobiles.

Punch-hole Display

Similar to the previously leaked OnePlus 8, the 8 Pro variant will also have a punch-hole display in addition to curved edges. The 7 Pro and the 7T Pro models also achieved a clean, bezel-less look thanks to the use of a pop-up selfie camera. Some may view a punch-hole in the upper-left portion of the screen as a downgrade, especially with Oppo recently unveiling the world’s first under-screen selfie camera. Ultimately, it should be a matter of personal preference as some may not find this as big of a deal.

Quad-Camera Setup

The 8 Pro will be the first of OnePlus phones to feature a quad-camera setup. Competitors like Samsung, Huawei, and Xiaomi recently released phones with a similar camera set up so it was expected for OnePlus to follow suit. The main, telephoto, and wide-angle sensors are vertically aligned in the middle back portion of the phone. The 3D Time of Flight (ToF) sensor and other supporting camera sensors are found on the left side of the three main cameras.

Other Specs and Features

The 8 Pro will retain the 90Hz refresh rate of the 7 Pro and 7T variants, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. OnePlus intends to keep this impressive feature for the foreseeable future. In addition, the 8 Pro model will include a USB-C port, located in between redesigned speaker grilles in the phone’s bottom portion. It will have 8GB of memory to go along with 128GB of storage. It hasn’t been confirmed whether it will support 5G but it likely will.

Release Date

We don’t know yet when the OnePlus 8 Pro will be available to the public. The 7 and 7 Pro models were released in May while the 7T and 7T Pro variant came out in September and October, respectively. With that in mind, expect an early 2020 release, perhaps during the second quarter, for the 8 and 8 Pro models. With all these leaks coming out, stay tuned for more information about the OnePlus 8 Pro in the coming months.

 

Nokia is Coming Back to the US

Nokia is finally coming back to the US years after it had shut its doors. Known for their virtually indestructible and ubiquitous cellphones, the Finnish tech company made some of the most widely-used phones in the world in the early 2000s. However, they struggled greatly ever since smartphones became the next big thing. They had to sell their mobile device divisions as a result.

What happened to Nokia?

Since Nokia was unable to adapt to the ever-increasing digital landscape, they had no other choice but to sell. Microsoft bought the company sometime in 2013. In only a matter of years, they had to shut it down completely. Nokia has been on a hiatus since then. However, thanks to another Finnish company called HMD, Nokia is back in business.

HMD bought Nokia’s naming rights. In 2016, the company also bought back the old mobile device division from Microsoft.

What has Nokia been up to?

Staying true to Nokia’s well-known reputation for making durable devices, HMD has spent a great deal of time and effort in creating affordable smartphones that are also well-built. They’ve rolled out revamped versions of the 3310 and 8110. Since the company has adapted well to the digital era, they’ve been creating decent smartphones. Like Nokia used to, HMD also continues to sell cellphone units for a reasonable price.

Now, HMD has its eyes set on entering the US market. Consumers who buy HMD-made handsets need to go through retailers like Amazon and Best Buy to get their hands on them. These consumers, however, represent a small piece of the US market. To make it big in the country, HMD handsets likely need to be available in cellular carriers, where Americans prefer to purchase their phones. Yet even if they don’t, their brand will continue to be visible to this promising market.

What Nokia handsets are available in the US?

Earlier this year, the company announced that it has partnered with Cricket Wireless, a more affordable subsidiary of the AT&T network. They’re also working hand-in-hand with Verizon. HMD provides exclusive Nokia phones for both of these carriers, and the 5.9-inch Nokia 3.1 is one of them. The smartphone features two rear cameras, built for capturing that perfect portrait shot. Under its hood, it has a 3,500 mAh battery. It can also hold as much as 32 GB worth of storage.

Nokia 3.1 is currently available to Cricket subscribers for $160.

As for prepaid Verizon users, they have the option to purchase the Nokia 2V, a smaller 5.5-inch smartphone with a massive battery life. It has front-firing speakers, making it an ideal low-budget device for casual online gaming.

Nokia V2 phone is available to prepaid Verizon users for $69.99.

 

Like the good old days, Nokia has some of the most affordable and durable devices in the market. Now they’re pushing out decent smartphones, including a reboot of the 3310 and 8110 phones, for a reasonable price. Even in 2019, a Nokia smartphone won’t cost an arm and a leg.

 

The HP Omen Obelisk, a Powerful and Upgradable Gaming PC

The HP Omen Obelisk Gaming PC is one of the most reliable gaming PCs on the market, showcasing the critical components of a gaming PC build. HP emphasized the Omen’s powerful components while downplaying the unimportant frills that bog down most prebuilt gaming PCs that we have today.

 

Features of the Omen Obelisk

The HP Omen Obelisk is a midrange gaming PC, categorized between the Pavilion and the Omen X. Although it’s more powerful than a gaming console, it has a plug-and-play feel and is designed to be used by more casual gamers. The Obelisk has a sleek and compact design, and it is ray-tracing-ready and VR-capable.

The Obelisk is equipped with 32GB DDR4. Its MOBO has a total of two DIMMs that can support 16GB module each for a total of 32GB as the ceiling for memory expansion. The Omen is packed with a 512GB SSD and a 2TB HDD.

 

Gaming Performance

The gaming PC can handle 1440p gaming with ease. The starting model is loaded with Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 and a sturdy Core i7-8700 (or an AMD Ryzen 7), but other beefier units can pack a Core i9-9900K. The Obelisk has a total score of 1385 on Cinebench. Running Battlefield I and Civilization VI, the gaming PC delivered over 60 FPS in all game settings, as well as in 4K resolution. Overall, the gaming PC is handy and can easily deal with most of the requirements of contemporary PC games, while still remaining affordable.

 

Overall Look

The Omen has a matte black case. You can personalize the casing with a customizable RB lighting and an optional transparent side panel. The Obelisk tower is 6.5 x 14.1 x 17 inches in dimension, which makes it fairly compact, considering that it’s packed with gaming power. The best part is the Obelisk is equipped with enough internal space that supports future upgrades. You can also easily remove the side panels without using any tools, enabling easy maintenance and upgrades. Overall, the gaming PC has an understated and functional look.

 

Improved Version of the Omen 870

The Omen Obelisk is HP’s response to the weaknesses of the Omen 870, making it easier to use. For instance, unlike those of the Omen 870, the Omen Obelisk’s front USB ports are flipped, so they’re facing the user and not away from them. The cooler radiator vents out of the top panel, and it has a rear case fan. With a liquid cooler, the Obelisk can run efficiently.

 

Access to the Omen Game Stream

The PC can support the Omen Game stream, so you can use the Omen to play your games on another PC and other Android devices. With this, you can play on another Windows system, while streaming off a more powerful Omen system over the Internet.

 

Understated but Packed with Gaming Power

Although the Obelisk may not appeal to those who want a flashier PC, its understated aesthetics, gaming power, and modest price compare well to PCs with almost the same specs but may cost hundreds more. That said, if you’re planning to sell your used laptop to buy a functional prebuilt gaming and office PC that packs enough power, the Omen Obelisk is a practical choice.

Moto G7 Power: A Midrange Phone with a Massive Battery

If you’re looking for an inexpensive but reliable phone, Motorola’s G lineup may just be one of the options for you. The Moto G lineup has been updated this 2019, and the new models offered in the G7 line include the G7, G7 Power, and G7 Play.

The G lineup comprises Motorola’s midrange phones, which are an upgrade to the Moto E smartphones, the company’s low-budget offering. The G phones fall just below the Moto Z, which is Motorola’s flagship phone. The Moto G7 Power is available for $249, making the G lineup ideal for people who want a reliable phone but are on a budget.

 

G7 Specifications and Performance

The three phones are equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 632, the first time this processor has ever been used. The G7 has 4GB RAM, the Power has 3GB, and the Play has 2GB. All the smartphones have dedicated microSD card slots for expansion.  

Motorola promises that the new G7 line has 110 percent better speed than the old batch. Geekbench indicates that the G7 has a 1237 single-core score and 4633 multi-core score, which is comparable to the Moto Z’s scores of 1322 and 4955.

For now, the G7 runs on Android 9.0 Pie, but it’s readily upgradable to Android Q once the new OS is released next year.

 

Battery Life

Although the 5,000 mAh battery makes the phone heavy at about 7 ounces, it is one of the G7 Power’s highlight features. Changing the screen setting to low resolution further extends the battery life, and the difference in display quality is only slightly noticeable.

 

Screen Resolution

The 6.2-inch screen with a 1520 × 720 resolution may sound unimpressive, but the G7 Power’s display still performs well for its capacity. The screen is bright and crisp, although it’s not in Full HD.

 

Camera Specifications

The G7 and the G7 Power have a 12MP main camera and an 8MP front camera, while the G7 Play has an 8MP front camera and 13MP rear camera. Moto G7’s gallery app is still Google Photos.

 

LTE Capability

Although the G7 phones have a slow Cat 7 LTE, their LTE bands are capable of handling all US carriers. The G7 Power and Play have the T-Mobile Band 71, which is not found in the regular G7.

 

Other Features

All three models are water repellent. The line isn’t heavy at all but has a solid feel. The phones may be too wide for one-handed use. But at 3 inches wide, they are still smaller than the easy-to-sell iPhone Plus model. The phones have an uncluttered build, and Moto’s convenient additions, such as always-on display mode and the option to launch the camera by twisting your wrist, are notable features of the new line. The phones have a rear-mounted fingerprint reader and a single speaker.

 

Consistent Performance

The G lineup has been consistent in terms of its value-for-money performance. The phones may be affordable, but they have a classy feel. And of course, there’s the G7 Power’s incredible battery. Given the Moto G7 lineup’s price value, these are some of the most competitive budget phones on the market today.

Motorola G6 Play Review: A Budget-Friendly Phone with Impressive Specs

Buying a budget smartphone doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the latest features. As flagship models get better each year, so do their cheaper alternatives. One of the best budget smartphones you can buy in 2019 is the Motorola G6 Play.

Today, you will find out if this Motorola smartphone is the bargain it seems.

Design

The latest generation of Motorola G phones features curved Gorilla Glass rear panels. For the Moto G6 Play, they replaced this with plastic to further knock down its price. Despite the cheaper alternative, its plastic panels look classy and high-end. That’s most likely due to the reflective elements on the top layer. Much like its expensive counterparts, the Moto G6 Play glistens as it catches the light. You will find an S-shaped pattern reflected across its rear panel when it does.

The Moto G6 Play isn’t made entirely out of plastic. Its sides are aluminum, but it has been coated with a special finish to maintain a cohesive look.

Specs and Features

While most budget phones that debuted last year came with a 16:9 aspect ratio, the Moto G6 Play stood out among the crowd with 18:9. That makes the smartphone great for console-style gaming and reading. On the other hand, its 720 x 1440 resolution is lower than other units in the G6 range.

The Moto G6 Play is powered by a Snapdragon 430 chip. Although it’s not exactly a very powerful chipset, it’s performance won’t disappoint. It can even support high-end gaming. The smartphone has 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage, which is quite impressive for its price. As it’s built with a memory card slot, you can extend its storage capacity to accommodate your favorite games, songs, photos, and more.

However, the real star of the show is its battery life. With a 4,000 mAh battery, the smartphone can last an entire day of intense usage. You can stream YouTube videos for an hour, text, surf the web, and snap some photos. The Moto G6 Play is also one of the only budget-friendly phones to offer authentic fast charging.

Price and Availability

Aside from its plastic panel, Motorola made a few other compromises to lower the smartphone’s price. The water-repelling nano-coating is one of them. Instead of a USB-C, the Moto G6 Play also features a micro USB port. On the bright side, if you’re all about fast charging, you will find it easier to plug in its cable as it can’t be jammed, as opposed to USB-Cs.

The Moto G6 Play is available on Amazon for $179.00 and on Walmart for $179.66. You can also acquire a 16 GB variant of this smartphone through Verizon Wireless for $129.99.

If you want an affordable phone for the new year, you should consider getting the Moto G6 Play. It has an excellent design, strong battery life, and impressive specs. You can trade or sell cellphone units through the right service providers to acquire this budget-friendly phone.

Razer Teases First Xbox One

Much like the many users of the Xbox, retailers that sell laptop units and gaming devices are hungry for any new information about the Xbox One. And so it’s welcome news every time Microsoft or Razer gives updates—even teasers—of what gamers and sellers can look forward to. In the past couple of months, Razer has been teasing two brand-new Xbox One products: a wireless mouse and a keyboard.

 

Renowned gaming peripheral brand Razer released the full photos of these products late last month. For reasons unknown, the updates mostly flew under the radar. But, with the coming 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on January 8, the company is now prominently advertising the Xbox One set.

 

Razer has yet to disclose the name of the set, though. There hasn’t been any detailed information about the products, too. That said, many are hopeful that with the teasers, their availability won’t be far behind.

 

The Microsoft and Razer Tandem  

 

Almost a year ago, Microsoft and Razer joined forces to produce a mouse and a keyboard set for the Xbox One. Microsoft has been dropping hints about the Xbox One keyboard and mouse support for a few years now, but for the most part, everything is unclear. With Razer in the mix, the support is finally becoming a reality.

 

The software royalty has partnered with Razer to enable the latter’s Chroma RGB lighting support in Xbox games. The Razer’s Chroma allows gamers to have assortments of colors to light up on their keyboard. The Chroma is also helpful in games like Overwatch where the colors can spot chances of cooldowns.

 

Razer also plans to let game developers take advantage of its API to deliver Chroma lighting effects on other video games. Microsoft will also allow developers to identify if a keyboard or mouse is available on an Xbox One. Also, some video games could only match up with keyboard and mouse users with similarly outfitted gamers. The developers will be responsible for balancing the games, and Microsoft will provide all the tools necessary to make sure video games can apply for the support in many different ways.

 

The Long Wait Is Almost Over . . . Hopefully

 

Xbox One users have been clamoring for mouse and keyboard support for some time now. The answer to the demand has been a long wait. The Xbox system was launched in 2013, and the support has finally arrived just in the latter month of 2018. The long wait wasn’t a result of neglect, but of extreme caution. Microsoft had long opposed mouse support because accurate mouse movements may give some players an unfair advantage.

 

But thankfully, with the teasers uploaded months ago, some key details have given Xbox One enthusiasts something to get excited about. Based on the photos, the set will include an Xbox button at the bottom right part of the keyboard. The box will also likely to contain a slide-out mouse mat. Xbox players have to wait until the CES to find out the exact cost of the products.

T-Mobile Confirms: A 5G Samsung Phone is in the Works

T-Mobile remained tight-lipped when Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint revealed their plans to introduce a 5G version of a Samsung phone in 2019.

T-Mobile’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Neville Ray, shocked the entire industry as he confirmed through a blog post that the tech giant is working on a 5G phone too. In his blog, he also called out the competition, saying that T-Mobile is the sole company intending to deliver an authentic 5G experience for everyone.

What is 5G Technology?

One of the most highly anticipated developments in the tech industry is 5G technology, which is the newest iteration of cellular mobile communications. As you probably already know, it succeeds 4G, 3G, and 2G systems. Compared to previous iterations, this emerging tech offers greater speeds, energy-saving, high system capacities, lower latency, and massive device connectivity.   

The 5th generation wireless technology has been the talk of the town since major carriers such as AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint announced that they will be introducing new 5G versions of a Samsung smartphone. While it’s believed to transform the future of applications, it’s also expected to usher in advances that will enhance every industry fueling the US economy. According to T-Mobile’s CTO, this technology has the potential to produce more jobs and create more opportunities for people.

In his blog post, Ray made it clear that none of the advantages of 5G technology will matter if companies like “AT&T, Verizon, and the cable monopolists” remain in control of the country’s 5G future.

T-Mobile 5G Spectrum strategy: What Makes It Special?

Ray explained that T-Mobile is focused on delivering an excellent customer experience, not for a select few, but for everyone who wants to benefit from this new technology. He said that in order for a company to do so, they must embrace a combination of low, mid, and high-band spectrum. As he mentioned, this is exactly what they are doing. He called it their multi-band 5G spectrum strategy, which is a fundamental part of their merger with Sprint.

As for other wireless companies, Ray said that their 5G strategy is rather restricted. They only intend to introduce 5G to a few select places. But with T-Mobile’s nationwide 5G strategy, they will most likely be forced to change their plan.

Ray confirmed that T-Mobile is working with Samsung on a 5G smartphone. There’s a lot of work to do given that the tech has yet to be commercially ready. When he penned this blog post last year, he said that it underperforms LTE. Much of the details surrounding this 5G smartphone has yet to be announced, but the phone is expected to come out within the year.

Are you excited about the 5th generation wireless technology? If you want to get your hands Samsung’s 5G smartphone, you might as well start saving for it. That’s definitely not going to come cheap. You can always sell cellphone units you’ve used before to save up some extra cash for an extra special phone.

Lenovo Launches Its Latest Model, The Z5s with Snapdragon 701 SoC and Triple Rear Cameras

Lenovo has finally launched its newest model, the Z5s smartphone last December 24. The piece is the company’s latest addition to its Z5 series that has the Lenovo Z5 Pro.

A lot of buzz surrounded this launch, as the Z5s has the sought-after Qualcomm Snapdragon 701 SoC within. The unit also boasts of sophisticated triple rear camera setup.

Lenovo continues their innovation by focusing on speed and power of their smartphone offerings.

Aside from the Z5s, they will also launch another smartphone soon – the Z5 Pro GT – the first model to be powered by Snapdragon 855 worldwide.

Retailers that sell cell-phones are poised to get a hold of these latest devices.

Here are some key specs that the newest offering, Z5s, has:

 

Specifications and Features

Lenovo Z5s has a 6.3-inch screen, which has an ideal screen-to-body ratio of over 90%. The big screen has a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels to satisfy image and video viewing.

The main draw for this model is the triple camera setup on the rear. There is a 16-megapixel main camera, an 8-megapixel secondary sensor, and a 5-megapixel camera functioning as the third sensor. Lenovo keeps things savvy up front as well, with a 16-megapixel camera right at the front of the phone.

Aside from the sophisticated optics, this smartphone sports a waterdrop notch and sleek bezels to complement the wide screen. It also has a fingerprint sensor.

Powerful octa-core processor thanks to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 710 enables convenient app use, video viewing, and gaming. In fact, it has Lenovo’s Game Turbo technology, to keep gaming sessions going without any glitches or overheating. Battery life is also optimal at 3,300 mAh capacity.

As for memory, storage option can go as high as 256 GB using a microSD card.    

For the back display, fans can choose among several color options: Honey Orange, Starry Black, and Titanium Crystal Blue. A glass casing with P2i nano anti-splatter coating keeps the device stunning.

 

Lenovo Z5s Price

This latest Lenovo smartphone is within the mid-price range. Starting price is CNY 1,398 or about USD203 for the most basic model with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. The 6GB RAM with 64GB storage capacity is available at CNY 1,598 or about USD 232, while the most powerful option is priced at CNY 1,898 or around USD 276.

And that’s not all. There is an exclusive edition launched alongside the standard Z5s. The Lenovo Zhu Yilong model sports the steepest price of CNY 1,998. This will be on sale a little bit later than the December 24 launch of the Z5s, starting January 12,.

With the sleek design, great screen aspect ratio and display, power and globally competitive price range, Lenovo has certainly ticked all the right boxes. Fans have clamored with reservations even before the launch, and with positive reviews left and right for this model, and it seems enthusiasts will continue to sing praises for this latest offering.

 

The Top 5 RGB Keyboards for Gamers

In terms of keyboards, the ‘RGB’ category is very specific. When you buy an RGB keyboard, you’re getting the complete RGB array of colors. You can actually see all shades, even if they’re subtle or intense. RGB keyboards have customizable multicolor lighting. In general, you can pick any color from the RGB color wheel to backlit your entire keyboard. You can also choose a color for a single key or for a group of keys.

If you’re shopping for your own RGB keyboard, here are five models that shops that sell laptop units highly recommend.

Razer Huntsman Elite ($199.99)

When it comes to gaming hardware, Razer is a brand that many people trust. With the Huntsman Elite, the global brand has elevated the standard of RGB keyboards. The Huntsman Elite features optomechanical switches. This means the keyboard’s mechanical switches are now integrated with optical sensors. This enables the Huntsman Elite to help you vastly improve your gaming performance.

Logitech G513 ($129.99)

One of the selling points of RGB keyboards is that they are great for gaming machines. The problem is most of them are just good for games. They are not flexible enough to be, at least, decent for regular typing. This is where the Logitech G513 comes in. The Swiss brand addressed this issue with a whole new linear switch. The G513 is basically an upgraded version of the Logitech G413, a crowd favorite for several years now. The makeover delivers a more streamlined, fully-featured keyboard. The G513 is practically resistant to fingerprints. Also, its frame is more compact and sleek, thanks to its brush metal finish.  

Corsair K63 Wireless ($89.99)

A wireless gaming mouse is not a shocker anymore. But, a wireless gaming keyboard is. The Corsair K63 Wireless is an RGB keyboard that delivers the full spectrum of the color wheel. Corsair meticulously transferred all the goodness of the wired version of the K63 into wireless hardware. Apart from the tight Cherry MX Red switches, the K63 wireless also includes hassle-free media controls for a more convenient gaming experience.  

Corsair K68 RGB ($115.98)

Even if you’re attentive to your surroundings, accidents happen. And when you’re on your desk, it’s the keyboard that suffers most of the time. Clumsy or not, the Corsair K68 RGB is a great keyboard because it is water-resistant. You don’t have to worry about sudden soda shower during an intense game. It is a sturdy gaming necessity that is powered by a first-rate software. It might get a little tricky when you first customize the lights. But once you figure it out, everything will be easy.

Cooler Master MasterSet MS120 ($69.99)

You don’t have to buy high-end products that cost an arm and a leg to get what you need. Case in point, the Cooler Master MasterSet MS120. For just about 70 bucks, you can have a set of a mouse and a keyboard. Admittedly, the mouse needs improvement, but the real star of the MS120 set is the RGB keyboard. It has switches that offer a variety of tactile feedback. It’s also relatively quiet. You won’t wake up anyone at night, even if you’re frantically playing a game and furiously typing away.

How to Make the Most Out of your iPhone’s 16GB of Storage

We can all agree that Apple, one of the most innovative tech companies in the world, needs to up their game in terms of storage space. It sounds ridiculous that entry-level iPhones, up to this day, only have 16GB of storage. For sure, the company can make concessions to at least increase the space to 32GB without affecting its bottom line, right?

We can also all agree that there are millions of people that still use an iPhone with only 16GB of storage. Retail shops that sell iPhone units can attest to this. If you’re one of those with a 16GB iPhone, don’t fret. You can still enjoy and even stretch your modest amount of storage space. You’ll only have to make some changes and be smart about it.

It’s vital you know which apps eat the most of your storage space, so you can make the right changes. The biggest space eaters are photos, videos, music, podcasts, and games. Obviously, you need to delete the unnecessary apps and media to give your phone some more room. To get an accurate view of your iPhone’s storage space, go to your “Manage Storage” tab.  

Here are a few more tried-and-tested tips to help you conserve your 16GB iPhone storage space:

Move Photos and Videos Elsewhere

Photos and videos are the likely reasons your iPhone keeps reminding you that you’re almost out of storage. This is particularly true if you’ve been using the same phone for years. Instead of sacrificing newer photo shoots or the resolution of your images, have a regular ‘media transfer.’ You can do it via the cloud of your choice or a traditional transfer where you plug in your phone to your computer. Another option is to use free apps like Google Photos where you can auto-upload your media files.

Once you’ve moved your photos and videos elsewhere, make sure to delete the local copies on your iPhone. Also, make sure to turn off your Photo Stream as it can organically store over 1000 images.

Use the World Wide Web

It’s important that you only install the apps that you truly need and the ones that you repeatedly use. For instance, you don’t have to install the Wikipedia app. If you need to access Wikipedia, use the web. Same goes with a dictionary app or a news site app that you don’t regularly read. If you can easily get the answer to your question through an online search, then use the web. You don’t have to install the app dedicated to it, especially if you’re only going to use once or twice.

Limit Your Music Playlist

If there’s a playlist that you can’t live without (aka when the Wi-Fi is down), then go ahead and put it on your iPhone. Otherwise, use streaming services like Spotify. Apple Music has a paid service that lets you upload all the tracks that you want online and stream them on your desktop or phone. Once you’ve managed your online music library, you can remove the local files on your iPhone to clear more space. Just don’t forget to uncheck the sync tick box for your iTunes.

Which Mechanical Keyboard Should You Pick for 2019

It may come as a surprise to many, but there are different kinds of keyboards. This is particularly true with gaming laptops. And many gamers prefer mechanical over standard membrane keyboards.

A mechanical keyboard has an actual switch under each key. Literally, every physical switch triggers a tactile feel and response time. As such, the switches of a mechanical keyboard can support as much as 50 million keystrokes. Membrane keyboards can only do about 5 to 10 million keystrokes.

If you’re on the lookout for the best mechanical keyboards available, here are the top three that markets that sell laptop units highly recommend.

Langtu X1000 ($36.95)

Most gamers prefer the Langtu X1000 for two reasons: it’s a decent mechanical keyboard and it’s reasonably priced. Langtu keyboards are specifically made for gaming and the X1000 has several special features that set it apart from other gaming keyboards. For one, it has a gaming level circuitry that consists of 104 keys, roughly a fourth of those are specific for anti-ghosting. The X1000 provides a higher range of flexibility. Also, the keys are specifically made to minimize hand fatigue.

The keycaps of the X1000 are fully removable too, which means effortless maintenance. Because they are easy to remove, cleaning or replacing them is also a breeze. For more gaming convenience, the keyboard also has a plethora of FN shortcuts. You can easily access a range of items without leaving an existing game. The Langtu X1000 also comes with a one-year warranty.  

Redragon K552 ($32.99)

When it comes to durability, the Redragon K552 leads the pack of mechanical and RGB keyboards. Not only is the K552 sturdy, but it’s also splash-proof. This is THE keyboard for clumsy users. More than its durability, this particular Redragon model consists of 87 non-conflict keys plus 12 multimedia caps.

The K552 caps also have an adjustable red backlight. You can easily modify the board’s brightness and breathing effect to your preference. The lights can be completely turned off as well if want to be inconspicuous. Much like with other Redragon products, the K552 is cost-effective. For just over 30 bucks, you can own a top-quality keyboard that can boost your gaming performance.

JAR-OWL J2 (Price Varies)

JAR-OWL is well-reputed for delivering high-quality gaming paraphernalia. The J2 is one of the brand’s most in-demand mechanical keyboards, and for good reasons. The JAW-OWL J2 features an eye-catching gold design with 104 distinct keycaps. Nineteen of these caps are non-conflict keys to help you set up the board the way you want it to be. The J2 keys are also known for their sturdiness. Each key can hold up against 60 million keystrokes.

The entire keyboard is backlit. Its backlight brightness can illuminate a room during the night. The J2 also comes with a dust cover to keep dirt from getting into the keys. The box also contains a wearable TPF rubber pad to ensure that the keyboard doesn’t slip to prevent desk scratches. Overall, the J2 is another decent mechanical keyboard. Its price varies depending on the vendor, but it is generally under $50.

How to Make the Most Out of your iPhone’s 16GB of Storage

We can all agree that Apple, one of the most innovative tech companies in the world, needs to up their game in terms of storage space. It sounds ridiculous that entry-level iPhones, up to this day, only have 16GB of storage. For sure, the company can make concessions to at least increase the space to 32GB without affecting its bottom line, right?

We can also all agree that there are millions of people that still use an iPhone with only 16GB of storage. Retail shops that sell iPhone units can attest to this. If you’re one of those with a 16GB iPhone, don’t fret. You can still enjoy and even stretch your modest amount of storage space. You’ll only have to make some changes and be smart about it.

It’s vital you know which apps eat the most of your storage space, so you can make the right changes. The biggest space eaters are photos, videos, music, podcasts, and games. Obviously, you need to delete the unnecessary apps and media to give your phone some more room. To get an accurate view of your iPhone’s storage space, go to your “Manage Storage” tab.  

Here are a few more tried-and-tested tips to help you conserve your 16GB iPhone storage space:

Move Photos and Videos Elsewhere

Photos and videos are the likely reasons your iPhone keeps reminding you that you’re almost out of storage. This is particularly true if you’ve been using the same phone for years. Instead of sacrificing newer photo shoots or the resolution of your images, have a regular ‘media transfer.’ You can do it via the cloud of your choice or a traditional transfer where you plug in your phone to your computer. Another option is to use free apps like Google Photos where you can auto-upload your media files.

Once you’ve moved your photos and videos elsewhere, make sure to delete the local copies on your iPhone. Also, make sure to turn off your Photo Stream as it can organically store over 1000 images.

Use the World Wide Web

It’s important that you only install the apps that you truly need and the ones that you repeatedly use. For instance, you don’t have to install the Wikipedia app. If you need to access Wikipedia, use the web. Same goes with a dictionary app or a news site app that you don’t regularly read. If you can easily get the answer to your question through an online search, then use the web. You don’t have to install the app dedicated to it, especially if you’re only going to use once or twice.

Limit Your Music Playlist

If there’s a playlist that you can’t live without (aka when the Wi-Fi is down), then go ahead and put it on your iPhone. Otherwise, use streaming services like Spotify. Apple Music has a paid service that lets you upload all the tracks that you want online and stream them on your desktop or phone. Once you’ve managed your online music library, you can remove the local files on your iPhone to clear more space. Just don’t forget to uncheck the sync tick box for your iTunes.

How to Put Free eBooks on Your Amazon Kindle

The Amazon Kindle is arguably the best eBook reader. Arguably is the operative word because Kindle is tightly linked to Amazon’s ecosystem. If you have the Kindle Fire, you won’t have a problem uploading and reading non-Amazon books on your reader. But if you have the other models—the Kindle, the Paperwhite, or the Voyage—it will take considerable effort to read content that doesn’t directly come from Amazon.

The good thing is that it will only take a little bit of your time to do so, and you can enjoy reading non-Amazon content on your Kindle reader. Here’s how to do it:

Email

The simplest—and most direct—way to upload non-Amazon eBooks on your Kindle is via email. You need your Kindle address to make this work. If you don’t know what it is, or you haven’t got one, simply:

  • Go to www.amazon.com/myk.
  • Choose “Your Devices.”
  • Pick the model of your Kindle from the choices.
  • Click “Settings.”
  • Check “Approved Personal Document Email List.”
  • Tap “Add a New Approved Email Address”
  • Input the email address you plan to send your eBooks from.

And you’re done. Just remember that your Kindle needs to be connected to a Wi-Fi or a 3G network before you can email your eBooks.

Sideload through a USB Cable

If you want to manually transfer your non-Amazon eBooks into your Kindle device, you can do so via a USB cable.

  • Connect your USB into your computer.
  • Go to your Amazon account.
  • Tap “Manage Your Content and Devices Page.”
  • Sideload the books you want to transfer from your computer to your USB.
  • Transfer the content of the USB to your Kindle.

This is the best way to transfer your non-Amazon books to your Kindle device if you don’t have Wi-Fi access or 3G Network. It’s an old-fashioned way to carry out the task, but an effective one.

eBook Sites

Some eBook sites that offer free content can directly transfer the downloaded books into your Kindle. Most of the time, it follows the email procedure. If you’re using an eBook site to send books to your device, make sure that the content is virus-free.

Calibre

Perhaps the most popular and most used third-party eBook software is Calibre. Markets that sell tablet units often recommend Calibre as well. It’s primarily a management app for your books. Its two main features are the Calibre library and the Calibre conversion.

With Calibre, you can easily convert your eBooks to other formats. To send your non-Amazon books via Calibre, all you need to do is to set up an account. From there, you can directly send the eBooks to your Kindle. Using the Calibre plugin, you can also quickly get rid of the DRM from EPUB eBooks for easy conversion.

 

Kindle devices support several formats besides the standard Kindle formats. These include PDF, TXT, MOBI, and PRC. Apart from Calibre, Amazon likewise provides a free conversion service to convert non-Kindle files like HTML, DOC, and DOCX into Kindle formats.

Apple Airpods Review: Are They Really Worth It?

The Apple AirPods have paved the way for the best wireless earbuds experience. Since its launch in 2016, fans have clamored to get their own pair from online and store retailers that  sell cell-phones.And while many naysayers criticize the brand for exorbitant prices, Apple AirPods have undoubtedly changed the way earphones are built.

Seamless design is what Apple is known for, and combining with superb sound quality, it makes sense that even after two years since its launch, the AirPods are still considered the most highly innovative and must-have earbuds.

So, are they worth the hype? Let’s look closer at what AirPods have to offer you.

 

Quality and Features

Let’s start with the sound quality. Apple AirPods chose to take a one-size-fits-all housing, which means the device size won’t be a hundred percent fit to your ears.

That means that outside noises are still able to seep in while you’re using your AirPods. Aside from that, people near you will likely hear your music. You may want to think twice about blasting those tunes off when you’re on the subway.

But all is forgiven with the sound quality. These pricey earphones do sound pretty great!

The sound has robust body and energy to it, and you can revel yourself in the sound whether you feel like relaxing on ambient tunes or pumping it up with glam rock.

There’s also a good proportion of layering in the soundstage, where each instrument has ample space without everything sounding too crowded.

Indeed, while there are other wired earphones that offer better sound quality, the AirPods provide the convenience of being wireless and guaranteed excellent listening experience.

Aside from being unable to isolate external sounds, other compromises include the limited four-hour battery life from a single charge. I personally find it a hassle to charge the AirPods constantly for daily listening.

While it mirrors the look of the traditional Apple EarPods, the main difference lies in the arm. The AirPods have thicker arms than the EarPods.

If you are a fan of the signature Apple design, you’re probably pleased with the overall design of this set. But it’s also worth noting that sticking with this classic EarPod style meant that the AirPods won’t be open to modern materials, such as silicon eartips that firmly lock the earphones in your ears in place.

 

Connectivity and Controls

In terms of connectivity, the AirPods are quite convenient compared to most earphones out there. Simply open the AirPods’ case next to your phone and select the option on your screen to pair the devices.

Once paired, these buds will automatically pair whenever you place them in your ears and disconnect when taken out. For Android users, you would have to connect via Bluetooth first then enjoy the same automatic pairing afterwards.  

 

Price

As with most Apple products, the AirPods command a hefty price. At USD159 in Apple and even pricier USD249 in Amazon, it’s certainly more expensive than most users are willing to spend on earphones.

But for purists, the wireless charging, seamless connection, and awesome sound experience warrants the cost of the AirPods.  

 

Comparing Apple’s iPhone XR to Google’s Pixel 3: Camera and Other Features Reviewed

If you’re on the lookout for a new phone right now, you’re probably considering two popular models: the Apple iPhone XR and the Google Pixel 3.

And it wouldn’t be surprising if you were in a dilemma about which of the two is better because these phones have a lot in common.

Both come in vibrant colors, have great quality cameras, and contain exciting new features. And the best part? These two are relatively affordable compared to the thousand-dollar models out in the market!

Before heading to stores and retailers that sell cell phones, read on about the major comparison points between these two options. This article can help you ultimately decide which brand to go for.

 

Authentication technology

Like the previous Pixel versions, Pixel 3 features a fingerprint sensor on the back of the device. Meanwhile, Apple uses the Face ID to authenticate the user.

If you prefer one to the other, consider this distinction. Some users prefer the reliability of the fingerprint sensor compared to the facial recognition software.

 

Camera features

The two devices have nearly identical hardware used on the rear cameras—both use a single, 12-megapixel camera that can take excellent shots.

While the hardware is pretty much similar, the difference lies in the software. For Google Pixel 3, there are added features that may edge out the iPhone in this category.

For instance, the Pixel 3 has “Night Sight,” an option for when you are taking pictures in sparse lighting. This results in brighter and clearer shots.  

There’s also a Photobooth mode that takes automatic shots when the device senses a smile or a funny look on your face.

Pixel 3 also improved their Portrait mode in order to do what the XR can and more. Both phones can edit the background depth in each shot. However, Pixel 3 does it one step further with options for background color editing and changing a shot’s focal subject.

Looking at the front camera, both iPhone XR and Pixel 3 sport quality cameras. The iPhone XR has a True Depth feature that uses portrait lighting and adds animoji and memoji for extra personality. Meanwhile, the Pixel 3’s selfie mode uses a wide-angle lens that can fit more people or background in the photo.

 

Operating System

The two devices have the newest smartphone OS, with the Pixel 3 running on Android 9 Pie and the iPhone XR on the latest Apple iOS 12.

 

Other Specs

In terms of storage, iPhone XR has a maximum capacity of 256 GB, higher than Pixel 3’s 128 GB limit. Apple’s XR also has a bigger display, with its 6.1-inch liquid retina screen topping Google’s 5.5-inch OLED display. However, Pixel 3 s smaller frame also makes it a tad lighter than iPhone XR.

 

Price

As with their other features, the two phones’ retail prices only has $50-difference. Pixel 3 is only slightly more expensive than the iPhone XR, with a starting price of $799 compared to XR’s $749.

 

Amazon Fire 7 Is on Sale for $40

The year isn’t even over, but it has already been an incredible one for tablet users all around the globe. A lot of companies debuted promising new hardware over the past few months, including budget-friendly Android tablets and stunning Chrome OS convertibles. Some of them might not exactly be affordable. However, if you’re patient enough, you might score great deals during the holidays.

On the other hand, you don’t have to wait that long to replace your old tablet. If you need new tech for something basic like playing tablet games or streaming on Netflix, consider getting an Amazon Fire 7. Not only is it a great piece of hardware, but it’s also budget-friendly.

 

Price

The Fire 7 is currently on sale for $39.99. Amazon knocked $10 off its street price to offer techies one of the best deals, if not the best, for this tablet. The sale applies to all color variants of the Fire 7 tablet—Black, Canary Yellow, Punch Red, and Marine Blue.

That’s not the only deal Amazon is offering today, either. They also lowered the price of the Fire 7 tablet’s Kids Edition. Now, anyone can get the device for $79.99, which is down from $99.99. Remember that these are limited-time offers. If you don’t want to miss out, place an order before the prices revert to normal.

 

Specs

Amazon’s Fire 7 tablet comes with a 7-inch IPS display. It’s thinner compared to its predecessor. The 2017 model is 9.6 mm while the 2015 edition measures 10.6 mm. That also makes it thinner than the Fire HD 8 and thicker than the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy tablet by 0.9 mm.

The Fire 7 is equipped with a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, and it has 8 GB of storage space. That may not sound like much, but you can always expand its storage capacity with a micro SD card. A 32 GB SanDisk won’t even cost $10.

In a single charge, the Fire 7 can last up to eight hours.

 

Features

The Fire 7 comes with Alexa support. Using your tablet, you can talk to Amazon’s virtual assistant and ask her questions. She can assist with your digital needs. With a single command, she can play your favorite song. She can check the weather or remind you of an upcoming meeting. The device offers its users access to the Amazon app store.

From there, you can download all your favorite apps. You can access video streaming platforms like Netflix, HBO, and Hulu. You may also download social media apps such as Facebook and Instagram.

 

Again, the Amazon Fire 7 deal is available for a limited time only, so place an order while you can. However, you don’t have to worry too much as there will be plenty of opportunities next month. The season of giving is right around the corner, which means companies are going to drop excellent deals in the next few weeks. Maybe it’s time to sell tablet units for an upgrade.

Exclusive Look: LG Hybrid-Mechanical Watch W7

Smartwatches are all the rage nowadays. And LG is keeping up with this trend by announcing its latest smartwatch – the Watch W7.

The Watch W7 is a hybrid mechanical accessory that features mechanical hands set over a Wear OS-powered digital display. Its hybrid tech means the user can turn off the smartwatch aspect without interfering with the timekeeping functionality – even after the battery dies.

LG has worked with the Swiss watch manufacturer Soprod SA in incorporating the mechanical movements of the W7, which, apart from keeping accurate time, includes an altimeter, a barometer, a stopwatch, and a compass.

Retailers that sell cell-phone and tablet units are looking to offer this elegant accessory starting this October. The smartwatch is priced at $450.

Let’s take a look at the distinct features of the Watch W7:

 

Specifications

Measuring 44.5 x 45.4 x 12.9mm, this watch is relatively big compared to other brands out there. The 1.2-inch touchscreen display may not provide the biggest display area for a smartwatch, but it’s placed atop the watch hands to give it a unique interface that non-hybrid smartwatches do not have.

This model uses Qualcomm’s Wear 2100 chipset, which has 768MB of RAM. If used as a smartwatch, the W7 can last up to two days. But as a mechanical timepiece, it can last for up to 100 days, at least according to LG.

 

Appearance

LG wonderfully combines classic and modern in this device.

It’s fashioned out of a sleek burnished steel case, with two buttons on either side of the crown. All three can be used to access the watch’s smart features.

It uses 22mm watchbands, which can easily be changed depending on whether you want a more formal or rugged look. But as it is, the palette and overall construction make this watch versatile enough to be worn almost anywhere.

The hands-and-display face may take some getting used to, though, because the hands tend to get in the way of the screen. You can address this issue by just holding the top right button to slide the content higher and move the hands to the 3 and 9 o’clock marks.

 

Applications

Compared to the Apple Watch or the Samsung Galaxy Watch, the W7 decidedly took the no-frills route. There is no heart rate sensor, no built-in GPS or LTE option, and it does not support NFC and Google Pay.

LG’s concept may be to focus on the traditional watch form and enhance its features, but for an accessory that costs $450, one would expect that there are a number of smartwatch features incorporated into the device. Otherwise, what’s the point?

The Verdict so Far

Based on the specs and features, the Watch W7 is all about blending the traditional timepiece aesthetic with the enhanced functionality of a smartwatch. You’ll appreciate the quality and overall look of this smartwatch. But the bare-bones smart features may not be enough for many to consider this watch over what’s currently being offered by more established brands.

Huawei’s New Honor 8X: A Sleek Device Well Worth the Price

Huawei has finally launched the latest model in their Honor line – the Honor 8X.

This much-anticipated release from one of the largest manufacturers in China has seen preorders skyrocket at many outlets that sell cell-phones Huawei’s Honor line is a popular mid-range option, as the smartphones always come with a sleek design, big screen, and great camera quality encased in a solid chipset.

Let’s take a look at what the Honor brand can offer with this latest model:

 

Specifications

The 8X features a 6.5-inch screen with a resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels.

The gadget has a 91 percent screen-to-body ratio, making viewing angles fantastic and satisfying for every user. In fact, the 8X is about the same size as the iPhone 8 Plus when examined side by side. For users who want something larger, the Honor 8X Max has a 7.1-inch panel, giving you more screen area.

The 8X showcases an impressive Kirin Octa-core processor. Combined with Huawei’s GPU Turbo, this will surely please many users as it guarantees faster processing and video loading.

As for charging, the Honor 8X uses a micro USB port, instead of the increasingly common USB-C standard, making it a bit disappointing in terms of versatility and convenience.

There are two options for capacity: 4GB/6GB of RAM and 64GB/128GB of memory storage, ample enough to store various content.

 

Photos

In this arena, the Honor 8X boasts dual 20MP and 2MP AI camera sensors, while the front camera offers 16MP capacity, producing good quality selfies and video calling capabilities.

The device’s camera sensors enable scene recognition and adjustments to deliver the highest quality shots each time. The camera also has a night mode that combines multiple exposure shots into a single image.

 

Battery

This device has a 3,750mAh battery pack, which will pretty much be utilized by the powerful Kirin 710 core. Unfortunately, there is no fast-charging option for this phone.

 

Appearance

Huawei Honor 8X features a back casing made of 15 layers of glass, with a metal frame on the edges – catching light beautifully and refracting it to create glistening patterns on the back of the phone. This model truly stands out as a sleek gadget.

There are a few classic color options: black, blue, and red. The back part has a fingerprint sensor, much like the previous 7X model.

 

Price

The new Honor 8X sells for 1,399 Yuan in China – about USD 205, GBP 155, or AUD 285 – but even with a mid-range price point, it feels far from being a budget device.

The powerful specs, AI capabilities, and shiny, metallic exterior all combine to bring a phone that is beautiful and equally functional for its cost.

 

Final Thoughts

The Honor 8X is a great product for those looking for a relatively affordable phone without compromising on performance and capacity. It’s quite unfortunate that it won’t be sold in the US – at least not yet – but it’s now available for purchase in Asia and Europe.

 

What the Latest iPad Pro Models Can Offer

Apple has launched brand new iPad Pro models during the brand’s ‘There’s More in the Making’ event last October 30th. These models, coming in 11-inch and 12.9-inch sizes, will be available online and in Apple stores on the 7th of November.

Retailers that sell tablets will surely get a surge of demand for these new devices, especially when Apple itself has mentioned that this is the tablet they have always wanted to make from the beginning.

Indeed, there are marked improvements and an array of extra features that make this latest model all the rage, but for the average consumer, will all of these be worth it? Let’s find out.

 

New Features

Like with the iPhone X, these new iPad Pros feature smaller bezels, making the screen larger than previous iPad models.

The design does away with the Home button, creating an uninterrupted screen view. Recognition software is all about the Face ID instead of Touch ID.

The screen boasts of Liquid Retina display, which, while being a new offering, is still pretty much the same in pixel density as on the 2017 model. That means, it does not really have the stunning sharpness that you get from an OLED display like the one on Samsung Galaxy Tab S4.

Even so, Apple mentions that the screen is great in other fronts: it offers pixel masking and anti-aliasing like on the iPhone XR, and has a new backlight design.

The processor is also bumped up with the A12X Bionic, even faster than the chip in iPhone XS. Storage reaches up to 1TB.

The rear-facing camera is still at 12MP, and unfortunately, still not the best specs in tablets.

 

Design Specs

The new iPad Pros showcase a slightly changed aesthetic, moving away from the smooth curves and into a more industrial look. The sides are reminiscent of the iPhone 4 or iPhone SE than the recent devices from the brand.

Still in keeping with the brutalist design is the color selection: Silver and Space Gray are the only options.

And they are also slimmer, both being only 5.9mm thick compared to the 6.1mm and 6.9mm of previous models.

A magnetic connector for the new Apple Pencil attaches on one side and is charged wirelessly.

But the big change is how Apple ditched the Lightning port for these latest iPad Pros. A USB-C connector replaces the space where the Lightning port used to be. This means greater versatility when using third party accessories, but it might be an issue for people who have lightning docks and headphones.

And there’s no headphones or headphone port either – you’ll have to get USB-C headphones, opt for an adapter or go wireless.

 

Price

The 11-inch version starts at $799, while the 12-inch version is priced at $999—surely a hefty price increase from last year. And with other accessories like the pencil or keyboard not included, these new iPads might prove a bit expensive for the average user.

Of course, as with many Apple products, the price doesn’t necessarily deter those loyal Apple users in its ecosystem. As long as there are useful upgrades, it will be up to consumers to see if the latest versions are worth it.   

Pre-order Now Available for the Newest MacBook Air, Mac Mini, and iPad

 

During Apple’s event entitled, “There’s more in the making” held in Brooklyn last October 30th, big news for consumers and Apple enthusiasts was announced.

For one, MacBook Air is still available, despite rumors that it will be folded into the MacBook line. In fact, the MacBook Air enjoyed a redesign, which we will discuss in detail in this article.

Aside from the news about MacBook Air, Apple also showcased a long-overdue update to their Mac Mini and iPad Pro devices.

Customers can order the new models direct from Apple’s website, and shipping and launching in stores that sell laptops start by November 7.

 

MacBook Air: What’s New?

The new MacBook Air features configuration and style updates.

The new look ditches the thicker aluminum bezel seen in the old MacBook Air models and displays thinner bezels framing the 13.3-inch Retina display screen.

Touch ID is still included, although it comes without the Touch Bar found on select MacBook Pro models. The laptop has a butterfly keyboard, Force Touch trackpad and two USB-C ports on its exterior.

The inside enjoys some upgrades as well with its 8th generation dual-core Intel Core processor. Storage goes up to a comfortable 1.5 TB. That means it’s thinner and lighter but more powerful.

The redesign also takes a greener approach with the body made from 100 percent recycled aluminum.

Price starts at a hefty $1,199, and fans can choose among 3 color options: gold, silver and space gray.

 

New Mac Mini Features

After 4 long years, the Mac Mini desktop has finally been updated. This “update of a lifetime” makes the new model superior in performance compared to its aged predecessor.

Sporting 4- and 6-core 8th generation Intel processors, with up to 64GB of RAM and a solid 2TB storage capacity, the new Mac Mini is certainly more powerful than the previous iteration. Four USB-C Thunderbolt ports line the edge of the device, along with 2 USB-A, HDMI and Ethernet ports.

Same with the new MacBook Air, this model also uses 100% recycled aluminum, but it only comes with the space gray color option.

Price starts at $799 and the most powerful model costs $1,099.

Latest iPad Pro

Apple made waves with their launch of 2 new iPad Pro tablets, an 11-inch model and a bigger, 12.9-inch tablet.

Both devices no longer have the home button, replaced by Face ID recognition. In terms of build, the bezels are notably thinner and corners are rounded, allowing for maximum screen space.

Upgrades on performance are also evident, with the tablets sporting Apple’s A12X Bionic chip and storage capacity of up to 1TB.

However, fans may need to get used to the big change in ditching the Lightning port in favor of a USB-C port.

In terms of price, the 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $799, while the 12.9-inch starting price is at $999.

 

Pre-order Apple’s Newest Suite of Devices

All of these fantastic chrome devices are hitting stores on November 7, but if you simply cannot wait, Apple is already taking pre-orders on these sought-after products.

Pre-order now if you want to get a hold of the device without standing in line at Apple stores!

Why You Should Get the New Apple Pencil

The latest version of the Apple Pencil was showcased at Apple’s special event last October 30, alongside the release of the 2018 iPad Pro tablets.

Fans will surely flock to retailers that sell tablets and get this much sought-after accessory. The new Apple Pencil offers exciting innovations that make it a must-have for artists and designers.

First, it’s the only one of its kind to auto-charge when attached to the tablet. With a magnetic mechanism, the new Apple Pencil attaches on the iPad Pro seamlessly and automatically.

Aside from that, the accessory includes a new touch sensor for taps and other gestures. Now, you can tap on your apps with this nifty tool!

 

Best Stylus Right Now?

As with most of Apple’s products, the Apple Pencil feels graceful and high tech when used. It’s beautifully connected with the iPad, with the scanning for the Pencil signal at 240 times per second.

The iPad even has predictive algorithms to sense where the Pencil is located.

These features make a supremely responsive stylus, perfect for scribbling and drafting notes.

Artists will revel at the precision the new Apple Pencil provides, especially as a pencil – it can draw a very narrow line, and it can adjust to the hand pressure and produce thicker lines.

This tool can also create a shading effect, like a charcoal pen’s strokes.

And while some may consider it lacking in some stylus function (not all functions of the finger are allowed), some still see this as a good thing, as the iPad is able to distinguish accidental screen touching from the palm.

The only real drawback is that it can only be used with the new iPad Pro, which has the special sensors embedded in the screen. Hence, you would need to buy the latest iPad Pro model in order to give this Pencil a go.

 

Engraving for the New Apple Pencil

Apple has announced its engraving service for the 2nd generation Apple Pencil. Like with the iPad tablets, owners can show a bit of their personality by designing their Pencils.

Engraving is free of charge, and users can place their custom order online through the Apple site. Do take note that if you get this service, you will have to wait a couple more days for your shipping to arrive.

Fortunately, you also have the option to pick up your order directly from the store.

 

Along with the 2018 iPad Pro tablets and the next generation Smart Keyboard Folio, the latest Apple Pencil is now available for pre-orders and will arrive in stores on November 7.

Priced at $129, it’s a tad expensive for a stylus, which is not surprising in the least given that it is an Apple product. There are cheaper options if you are after a no-frills stylus for your tablet.

But if you are thinking of getting the new iPad Pro, then the Apple Pencil is a worthy add-on. With the price come great features, which you could enjoy for a long time. Designers and artists will especially appreciate the upgrades on this latest Apple Pencil version.

 

How to Find Free iOS and Android Apps

It’s amazing that both the Apple App Store and Google Play allow you to return digital purchases when they do not work with your devices. However, in today’s hectic world, you sometimes forget the return window period and end up paying for an app that doesn’t work on your phone.

 

Is there a workaround for this? What if you can download a free version, test its compatibility with your device, and then pay for it later on?

 

Luckily, you can find fully-functioning free versions of iOS and Android Apps.

 

Look Around General Smartphone Stores

There are tens of thousands of free-to-download applications in both the Apple App Store and Google Play.

 

The best way to find them? Find the category that says “free.”

 

In the Apple App Store, here are the steps to find free apps:

  • Open the Apple App Store
  • Head to “Top Free”
  • See a list of free games to download
  • Any app with a “get” button is free to download

 

In Google Play, here are the steps to do it:

  • Launch Google Play
  • Click the categories that say “Top Free Games” and “Top Free Apps.” You also have options to see top grossing free games and apps
  • Any app with an “Install” button is free to download

 

Be warned that some of these free apps may be completely free to use, but their premium features may be locked behind a paywall. This means that if you like a certain premium feature, you’ll have to pay to unlock it or subscribe to it regularly.

 

Other Sources for Free Apps

Here are a few other places where you can find more free apps:

 

 

  • iOSnoops

 

iOSnoops is a website exclusive only to Apple iPhone users.

 

Its main difference from the Apple App Store is it can show paid yet discounted apps and formerly paid apps that are now free to use. You will not need iTunes or the App Store to download and install it, too. Now, you won’t need to switch to a different device to buy the apps that you need.

 

  • Subreddits

Reddit is a great place to find the newest apps from independent developers. Listings in r/Apphookup or r/GooglePlayDeals show you discounted paid applications in the top grossing sections of iOS and Android app stores.

 

While you won’t find any categorization in Reddit, using the Search sidebar may help you find a discounted or even free version of the app you want.

 

  • Search engine queries

You can find free iOS and Android apps with a few quick search engine queries. However, it is possible some results will lead you to piracy and torrent websites.

 

Be warned: when downloading from these sources, even from peer-sourced torrents, the apps might include viruses. These may also lead you to a third-party site that maliciously gains access to your information, leading to possible data theft. Use this step with extreme caution even if you find free versions of your favorite paid apps.

 

In case of problems, you can check online or go to stores that sell tablet or cellphone units to seek for help.

 

$350 Nokia 7.1 Brings Affordability and Quality to US Market

HMD Global’s latest Nokia smartphone, the Nokia 7.1, was unveiled last week. Fans of the brand will be excited to know that this one will be available at retailers that sell cell-phones in the US.

The mid-priced Android gadget boasts a durable design, which the brand is well known for, using extruded aluminum that feels like a solid piece of metal.

Let’s check out what this device has to offer:

 

Specifications

The Nokia 7.1 smartphone has a 5.8-inch, 2280 x 1080 HD display that can support high dynamic range content. This means that users can experience greater clarity and color accuracy in images and videos.

In an interview with Forbes, Juho Sarvikas, HMD Global Chief Product Officer, mentions that the device introduces the PureDisplay screen technology that gives users a premium viewing experience. SDR content can be viewed in HDR, which is the brand’s response to the growing trend of mobile video watching among online users.

This phone also comes with Snapdragon 636 SoC. In terms of capacity, buyers have a choice between 32GB with 3GB of RAM or 64GB with 4GB of RAM. Both options should be adequate to run your various apps, although they tend to feel a bit slow if you’re used to a more high-end unit.

The Nokia 7.1 has Android 8.1 Oreo pre-installed, but in succeeding weeks this will be updated to Android Pie.

In contrast to other smartphones with fewer add-ons, with the Nokia 7.1 you get a headphone jack, USB-C port, and a MicroSD slot. The brand has also added a fingerprint reader, and while it’s not the snappiest under the finger, it works well enough to be a convenient feature.

 

Camera Features

Nokia 7.1 has a dual camera setup on its rear, with the primary shooter having an improved light-gathering capacity. The manufacturers say that the camera performs better at low-light photography than its predecessors.

This smartphone has a “bothie” mode where you can use the front and back cameras simultaneously.

Appearance

As with other Nokia builds, this is as durable as you can get. The aluminum frame combined with the glass panel presents a nice, sturdy build. However, the glass picks up fingerprints, marring what would otherwise be a sleek look.

The design features a two-tone color treatment, with the main body either in dark blue or silver, while the edges show either silver or copper accents.

 

Price

With a USD 350 price point, this device is a great option in the US, where not many brands can compete with such an affordable but functional offering. In fact, most phones in this price range have minimal software support and have little design impact to satisfy users.

With a promised software update to Android 9 Pie by the end of October, the Nokia 7.1 will be a stylish, durable, and up-to-date device.

 

The Verdict

As a mid-range option, the Nokia 7.1 is a well-built, practical smartphone with powerful software encased in solid hardware. This is another quality model from the brand, and it can easily be among the best smartphones of the year.

LG’s V40 ThinQ: Everything We Know So Far

Since August, the entire tech world has set its sights on LG’s newest flagship, the V40 ThinQ. Truth be told, LG’s V series has always made the news because of its prolific launches. The new five-camera flagship phone is definitely no exception.

 

The tech company launched its LG V30S ThinQ just last March. Then, it followed up with its LG G7 ThinQ in May. Then, more recently, it launched the LGV35 ThinQ in June.

 

While LG’s recent mobile strategy indicated it would “row back” on smartphone launches, the company saw critics give its recent releases some positive notes.

 

Without further ado, here is everything we know about LG’s V40 flagship phone set for release this October.

 

The Confirmed Date in October

The LG V40 ThinQ launch is taking place on October 3, 2018. If you’re planning to head to New York for the event, that date’s going to be on a Wednesday.

 

The Verge was the first to announce LG’s V40 ThinQ launch date in New York. However, this was the only date and city announced.

 

LG is likely to host launch events in different other countries – probably one in their home country South Korea, and one in a European country. We’ll have to wait and watch out for other release dates upon their announcement.

 

Will It Cost a Fortune This Time?

The LG V35, its most recent release, had a price of $900 upon going on sale. We don’t think LG will skimp on the price of its newest phone. So, be prepared to shell out some big bucks once again.

 

Tech Advisor UK estimates the price to be around $1000. This is likely to be the amount given that the Samsung Galaxy S9 will cost you around the same amount.

 

Game-Changing Specs We Can Expect

The LG V40 ThinQ had recent advertisements featuring the South Korean boy group BTS showing off its major features, such as the acclaimed 5 cameras in the device.

 

According to Pocket Lint, the LG V40 ThinQ would feature a 6.3 or 6.4-inch QHD+ Display with a 19.5:9 ratio. Just like its predecessor, it would have a P-OLED display.

 

As per its commercial, the cameras will utilize the “ThinQ Moniker,” which makes it easier to take the best selfies and shots.

 

In any case, if you’re thinking twice if it’s worth it to sell tablet units and other devices you were previously using just to buy an LG V40 ThinQ, these specs should urge you to do so:

 

  • 6.4in P-OLED, Quad HD+, 19.5:9
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
  • 6GB of RAM
  • 64/128GB of storage
  • 12+16+12Mp rear cameras
  • 8+5Mp front cameras
  • Quad DAC, Stereo speaker boombox
  • 3300mAh
  • 159x76x7.8mm
  • 169g

 

We believe the V40 surpasses the earlier V35 in many possible ways. Looking at the V35’s specs, you can say the V40 ThinQ’s upgrade is definitely major. This should serve as one of the deciding factors should you consider saving up for this new offering from LG.

 

3 Reasons Why We Crave for the Newest iPhone Every Year

Every time Apple releases a new iPhone, people go gaga over it. They will line up outside stores that sell iPhones and even make the effort to pre-order the units, regardless of how high the price is or how long the wait would be. They will do anything just to make sure that they will be able to get a hold of the much-coveted gadget.        

Everywhere around the world, thousands of people are iPhone owners and loyalists. Wherever you go, whether it be in business areas, coffee shops, or bus stops, there will always be an iPhone user around. The iPhone obviously still dominates the smartphone industry.   

You might be wondering why people are going crazy over the newest iPhone every year. Here are the top 3 reasons for the yearly iPhone frenzy.   

New Phone Means New Technology

Based on history, iPhone has been known for breaking barriers and breaking the mold. When iPhone came into the picture, it changed the way the world looked at phones. The iPhone became an all-in-one device – a computer, a messaging tool, a source of entertainment, a planner and many more.

In other words, every tool that people needed back then ceased to exist because the iPhone had it all. At that time, it certainly was impressive to be able to give the people everything they needed in a pocket-sized gadget. So it is no wonder that every time Apple releases a new phone, people are all gawking to see the latest technology available.        

 

The Need for Speed

In this digital age, everything happens in super speed mode. The faster your gadget is, the better. The iPhone is still considerably the fastest among all other smartphones. Whether it is used for video editing or for opening a large file, nothing comes close to the speed of the iPhone. When lined up, Samsung Galaxy S9 is the closest to the iPhone, but it is still more than two times slower in speed. Then Google Pixel 2 XL, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Samsung Galaxy 8 are trailing far behind in terms of speed.

Nowadays, phones are not only used as a communication tool. People demand for phones that can be used for work and entertainment, with the speed to match it. Apple doesn’t disappoint its fans when it comes to answering these demands. It makes sure that the iPhone is able to deliver all those functions with grace and speed. And every time there’s a new iPhone, it’s safe to say that it will have better speed than its predecessor.          

 

Status Symbol

Whether people admit it or not, the iPhone, with its high-end price tag, is a status symbol. Most iPhone loyalists, when asked what kind of smartphones are available, would say “The iPhone and other phones”. It basically shows a clear distinction between the iPhone compared to all other smartphones, whose names do not even seem to matter when matched with the iPhone.        

The iPhone is quite keen on being able to deliver better technology, super speed, and other favorable benefits to its users, making the iPhone still a top choice when it comes to smartphones. For these reasons, the yearly iPhone frenzy could be expected to continue on.      

 

Asus ROG Zephyrus S Review: World’s Thinnest Gaming Laptop

The ROG Zephyrus S GX531 is currently the world’s thinnest 15-inch gaming laptop. Asus has stripped the title away from the new Razer Blade 15 with its slimmer screen bezels, making it ultra-light and portable. As one can expect from a high-end computer, it features some of the latest technology under its hood. Not to mention, it also comes with a hefty price tag. It might be wise to sell used laptop units before purchasing the new Zephyrus as it will cost quite a bit.

 

Design

The original ROG Zephyrus impressed the tech scene with its thin and light build that did not compromise its performance, but the same thing can be said about the Zephyrus S. Asus reduced the laptop’s screen bezels and thickness, enabling them to cram a 15.6-inch 1080 IPS screen in a compact chassis. It has a 144-Hz refresh rate and a 3ms response time.

The laptop measures 12 x 10.6 x 0.59-0.62 inches while its predecessor features a slightly wider and thicker frame at 14.9 x 10.3 x 10.66-0.7 inches. The Zephyrus S is also lighter than the original laptop, weighing only 4.63 pounds.

Asus made some significant design changes as well. Its keyboard-forward layout leaves no space for palm rests. It has RGB backlighting on the keyboard which can be turned on or off at will using the functions keys from the directional buttons. The Zephyrus S has a hinge-forward design, giving it a rear lip when opened. It also has two little yet noticeable arms that connect the screen from the main body, much like the hinges of the HP Spectre 13. Its all-metal chassis has been put through military-grade durability testing to ensure users that it stands up to the pressures and wear of daily use.

 

Specs

The Zephyrus S features next-generation laptop CPUs from Intel. It comes with the Intel Core i7-8750H, a six-core processor that makes this ultra-thin laptop powerful. It also features the Nvidia GTX 1070 Max-Q graphics card, the same one powering the Razer Blade. Hence, the Zephyrus S shouldn’t disappoint performance-wise. Unfortunately, it won’t be able to support Nvidia’s most powerful mobile GPU, the GTX 1080 Max-Q.

Asus has made it possible for a gaming laptop to be both powerful and ultra-portable through its one-of-a-kind Active Aerodynamic System. It opens the laptop’s bottom and lowers it to encourage airflow. Much like the original Zephyrus, this system activates automatically once the screen lid is opened. However, the gap is slightly smaller than before, now measured at 5 mm. This difference promotes 22% better airflow than standard designs.

 

Price and Availability

An Asus Zephyrus S with an Nvidia GTX 1070 Max-Q graphics card costs $2,199 on Amazon. It will feature an Intel Core i7 processor and 16 GB of RAM. In the U.S., one can opt to get a lower-tier version of the laptop, one with an Nvidia GTX 1060. It will have the same processor and RAM, and it will be available for $2,099. Once the Zephyrus S hits the shelves in the U.K. sometime in mid-October, the lower-tier model will be the only version available.

iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR: Prices, Specs, and More

At Apple’s annual September gathering, they finally unveiled the three highly-anticipated iPhones of 2018. The iPhone XS and XS Max are the latest flagship devices. The entry-level iPhone XR succeeds the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus with its Face ID and edge-to-edge display. Apple wasted no time assuring people of the massive upgrades that are underway. But they didn’t beat around the bush. Apple has made it pretty clear that the updates don’t come cheap.

Before you sell cellphone units you’ve barely used and upgrade to one of these latest devices, let’s have a quick look at each model.

 

iPhone XS and XS Max

Apple’s latest flagship smartphones, the iPhone XS and XS Max, are the exact same device but with different screen sizes. The iPhone XS has a similar design and body as its predecessor. Like the iPhone X, it has a 5.8-inch OLED Multi-Touch display with stainless-steel sides. Its slightly bigger sibling, the XS Max, has a 6.5-inch OLED Multi-Touch display. Apart from that, the smartphones differ in terms of price.

Both smartphones have dual 12-megapixel wide-angle and telephoto rear cameras similar to the iPhone X. They have an IP68 rating. That means the devices can be submerged in water at maximum depths of two meters for up to 30 minutes. They are equipped with Apple’s new A12 Bionic processor, which the tech giant claims to be 15% faster than the A11 chip that’s powering the iPhone X. The smartphones are available in silver, space gray, and gold.

The devices are available in 64 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB. The iPhone XS starts at $999 while the XS Max starts at $1,099.

Apple’s iPhone XS and XS Max are currently available for preorder. Shipment starts on the 21st of September.

 

iPhone XR

A more affordable and colorful alternative to Apple’s premium smartphone line is the iPhone XR. This entry-level device starts at $749 for 64 GB. It has a 128 GB variant that’s available for $799 and a 256 GB option that costs $899. The iPhone XR is built with a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display. Unlike the XS and XS Max, its body is made with aluminum and glass.

In terms of tech capabilities, the XR is believed to be somewhere between an iPhone X and iPhone 8. It only has a single rear camera, a 12-megapixel wide-angle shooter. It comes with advanced Face ID. Like the premium iPhone models, it’s powered by the new A12 Bionic chip, making it 15% faster than last year’s flagship device. Its battery also received quite the upgrade. The new model can last 1.5 hours longer than the iPhone 8 Plus.

In addition, the iPhone XR comes in six vibrant colors, reminiscent of the iPhone 5c. The smartphone is available in white, black, coral, yellow, blue, and (PRODUCT)RED.

Preorders for the iPhone XR will begin next month on October 19, and shipment will start on the 26th.

What We Know So Far About Apple’s iPhone 11

 

Technology is advancing at such a fast pace these days, with tech giants perpetually trying to one-up each other. If you purchase a new iPhone today, don’t be surprised if tomorrow you no longer have the latest gadget in town because of another new iPhone set to be released.

So if you’re planning on getting yourself an iPhone, we suggest waiting a few more weeks, because the iPhone 11 is just about to hit the shelves.

We all know that Apple prides itself on products that embody sophistication and functionality. Every new iPhone being introduced in the market will always be a sure hit.

No doubt, stores that sell iPhone units are already preparing for this new release. After all, they need to promote the existing iPhone models before the latest addition hits the market. As for us consumers, given how each new model will always have its pros and cons, we need to start doing our research and answer the same question we ask ourselves each year: Will switching to the latest model be worth it?

This new unit will surely be another game changer. Here’s everything we know so far about Apple’s newest iPhone, the iPhone 11.

 

Date and Price

Reportedly being released this September 2018, the iPhone 11—or maybe the iPhone XI, as its official name has yet to be confirmed—will likely be priced around $999, like the iPhone X. Some speculate it may also cost $100 less than its predecessor.  

 

Physical Features and Specifications

As for its look, the iPhone 11 may resemble the iPhone X.

Especially since the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are nearly identical to the iPhone 7, it looks like the tech giant isn’t too keen on drastically changing the physical design that we’ve come to love. This means we may still see an all-metal body that has a glass back for Qi charging. An edge-to-edge screen and a vertical camera may also be present.

Rumor has it that in terms of the iPhone 11’s colors, Apple might offer vibrant options like they did with the iPhone 5C, or introduce new ones like gold. The Apple iPhone 11 will likely have a 5.8-inch screen and a pixel density of 458 ppi.

Another rumor circulating is that Apple may ditch the lightning port in exchange for an industry-standard USB type port. If this is true, it would be the company’s first time adopting a universal connection for one of its phones.

One latest point of conversation is whether Apple will finally be offering a gadget with dual-sim capability. It has also been reported that the iPhone 11 will have three 12-megapixel cameras on its rear that come with the ability to zoom up to 5x. Although there is no news yet if it will be using a digital zoom, an optical zoom, or a hybrid.

 

And there you have it, everything we know so far about Apple’s upcoming star. Let’s see what September 2018 will bring!

The Best Smartphone, Tablet and Smartwatch for Students

Gadgets and gizmos aren’t just for entertainment. Shops that sell laptop units and accessories will tell you that college students are always hunting for devices to help them with their studies. Even high school students these days use gadgets in school. Most of the phones, tablets and smartwatches today are optimized for general use. But there are a few devices that are specifically designed for students.  

Below are top student-friendly devices that are also cheaper than most premium gadgets.

 

Tablets

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

  • Price starts at $578

From the very beginning, Microsoft Surface Pro 4 has been a favorite of universities that use gadgets as school tools. This convertible laptop-tablet is globally recognized and awarded for its functions and features.

This Microsoft-manufactured tablet has powerful specs. One of the features that makes it great for students is its weight and ergonomic form-factor. The Surface Pro 4 is very compact. You can easily put it in your backpack and bring it anywhere. Its convertible form-factor makes it a solid desktop replacement. It has a 12.3-inch PixelSense screen, which is great if you use your laptop throughout the day.

In terms of software, the Surface Pro 4 is powered by Windows 10 Pro, one of the most productive operating systems ever. And on a single charge, this MS laptop can run for nine hours straight.

 

Smartphone

OnePlus 6

  • Price starts at $529

If you want a phone that has practically the same features seen on premium smartphones, but without their hefty price tag, go for the OnePlus 6. This 2018 OnePlus flagship comes with a glass-based design, a solid battery life, and the most recent processor chip.

You can use it to store all your school activities and more, thanks to its massive 8GB of RAM. For its reasonably decent price, you’ll get a camera that is better than the one on the iPhone X. This feature is particularly valuable if you often take photos of your school activities or notes written on whiteboards. The camera can also act as an instant ‘photocopy’ machine if you have to copy notes on textbooks or journals.

 

Smartwatch

Watch Series 3 (GPS only)

  • Price starts at $329

Some may see a smartwatch as a ‘want’ instead of a ‘need’ for students. But in many instances, this is not the case. A smartwatch can make a student’s life easier in terms of paying bills, tracking fitness or even synching projects on multiple gadgets.

Much like the Surface Pro 4, the Watch Series 3 from Apple isn’t the most economical smartwatch in the market. But if you calculate performance over value, it’s a gadget that is worth investing in. Having a Watch Series 3 connects you online at any time of the day. Because it’s a wearable device, you can literally bring it anywhere you go.

The Series 3 is ideal for students with an active lifestyle or play sports. It is the best one for fitness and GPS tracking. It also plays music. And if you don’t have money on hand, simply access Apple Pay to pay for your lunch.

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.

 

The Latest Buzz on the New Samsung Galaxy Watch

The world went crazy when an accidental uploading of the rumored Samsung Galaxy watch went up in no less than Samsung’s official website.    

For a brief moment, the rumored new smartwatch showed up on Samsung’s website in the US.   It is said that its model number was not quite a match to the reported filings at FCC, so this might be a variant.    

 

A Few Hunches on Its Release Date

Markets that sell laptops, tablets, and cellphones are all on the look-out for what Samsung is cooking up.  The entire gadget industry is quite sure that the buzz about the new Samsung Galaxy watch is a positive sign of how people would welcome this new watch on the block.  

So when will Samsung launch its newest addition to its line?  A lot of rumors are running around that it might be launched during Samsung Galaxy Note 9’s release in New York on the 9th of August.  However, many think otherwise.   Experts believe that Samsung would hold off a bit because launching it together might take the attention off the Note 9.  

Another date to watch out for is the 31st of August.   Some say that the Samsung Galaxy Watch’s unveiling might be in Berlin during the IFA, Europe’s biggest tech show.       

Whichever one is true—Samsung will definitely not make us wait too long.   From its launch date, it is expected hit the stores within a month after.      

 

Possible Features to Watch Out For

What can we expect from the New Samsung Galaxy Watch?   What stepped-up features can we expect from its predecessor, the Samsung Gear S3?  

Currently, there are no definitive reports yet on what’s new with this upcoming watch but a lot are saying that it could have bigger batteries.  Samsung might have shifted from the use of 380mAh, which was used in Gear S3, to a 470mAh. Currently, Gear S3 already boasts its ability to last for 2 to 3 days. If we are to expect that this Samsung Galaxy Watch can offer more, it could be aiming to be recognized as the longest-lasting smartwatch around.     

Having bigger batteries may also be essential if reports about its additional features are true. They say that this new watch may have a built-in blood pressure monitor, which could use up a lot of battery life.

People are also buzzing if Samsung would be deviating from its traditional use of Tizen and go for Google’s Android Wear OS.   Although this rumor has been circulating, there is a greater possibility for Samsung to stick with Tizen.

Samsungs’ smartwatches have been using its in-house operating system.  It boasts of having voice control skills, powering Bixby, Samsung’s voice activated personal assistant.  With this, more are leaning on Tizen. After all, Tizen is the second most popular wearable OS (next to Apple’s watch OS).  

As more rumors circulate, the excitement about Samsung Galaxy Watch’s release heightens.  Expert’s assumptions and guesses add thrill and excitement for gadget lovers and enthusiasts.  People are definitely waiting for Samsung’s unveiling of their new smartwatch. Whichever may be true from all these speculations and assumptions, one thing is for sure, we are all on the lookout.        

 

Sources:

https://www.techradar.com/news/samsung-gear-s4

https://www.stuff.tv/features/samsung-galaxy-watch-preview-everything-we-know-so-far

https://www.cnet.com/news/was-samsung-galaxy-watch-leaked-by-samsung/

https://www.samsung.com/global/galaxy/gear-s3/

 

Things You Need to Know About the BlackBerry KEY2

If you ask stores that sell cell-phone units what the most frustrating phone-related thing that never happened is, you’ll likely get ‘BlackBerry’ as an answer. It’s true that the once omnipresent brand failed to keep up with trends.

Before, owning a BB phone says a lot about your status in life. If you had the Bold, Pearl or Storm model, you had swag. If you were using BBM, you were cool. But as more and more manufacturers released groundbreaking smartphones, BlackBerry slowly died a painful death.

 

The Rebirth of the BB Phone

Today, BB phones are back, thanks to the BB KEY2. Much like most rebirths, a number of significant changes are evident in KEY2. For starters, the old BlackBerry OS no longer exists. In fact, the company doesn’t make phones by itself anymore. The latest model of the BlackBerry was manufactured by TCL, but it’s under the BB brand. The 2018 KEY model is powered by Android 8.1 Oreo. BlackBerry’s contributed several productivity apps and a few DTEK security software.

Let’s get this out of the way so that old BB users won’t be disappointed: the Key2 is NOT the future of mobile phones. On the contrary, it’s a throwback to BB’s qwerty keyboards. Unlike most smartphones today that has all-screen keyboards, the KEY2 has physical, clickable keys. The actual keys are 20% bigger than the ones on the KeyOne released last year. They also have a Speed Key feature that lets you customize as much as 52 key actions from any menu.

Another throwback feature that the KEY2 has is the durability of old BlackBerry phones. These days, 90% of all smartphones are delicate and glass-made. But not this 2018 BlackBerry model. Instead, it has a solid aluminum exterior with leather-like grip at the back. Unlike its predecessor, the KEY2 is sturdier and more reliable.

Under the hood, the KEY2 has an upgraded chipset. Other notable features include a dual-lens camera, BB’s smart security and an improved BBM.

 

Is It Something You’d Like?

Without a doubt, the KEY2 is a much-improved version of the KeyOne. Arguably, the biggest drawback of the KEY2 is its design.  For people who enjoy a wide display, the KEY2’s screen can be annoying.  It’s not as wide as most smartphones today because the physical keyboard takes a lot of screen space. But for those who aren’t fussy about displays, this BB’s 4.5-inch LCD Screen (1620 x 1080) is adequate enough to enjoy watching videos, playing games and using apps.

If you’re into big phones with delicate designs, then the KEY2 won’t be your cup of tea. But if you want something that will stand out from the rest, this 2018 model is just the right device for you. They KEY2 does everything differently. It marches to the beat of its own drum. It has new camera tricks. Even the video playback is different from other smartphones.

BlackBerry Key2 was launched last June. It’s already available for pre-order in the US, UK and other regions via TLC. In the US, the starting price of the KEY2 is $649.

What Exactly Is 5G?

The world stands at the dawn of the latest mobile technology revolution: the 5G. This change offers a significant upgrade in speed and data capacity. At the same time, it puts forward a decrease in latency compared to its predecessors.

For key players who belong in the ever-evolving industry that sells cell-phones, laptops, and other mobile gadgets, major mobile providers and wireless carriers couldn’t be happier about the new advancement and are now preparing for the full rollout of the 5G. Wireless network and telecommunications companies like AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, and Charter have already shown plans on adapting to 5G to further the capabilities of their services.

It is also key to note that Intel and NTT Docomo—the Japanese telecom operator—are partnering up for the upcoming 2020 Olympics to maximize 5G technology, from video capture to even virtual reality technology. It is undeniable that the world’s telecom giants are already setting the foundation to create a better experience for their customers as well as for the general public.

As this new wireless revolution rolls out, here are the things you must know about 5G.     

 

What Is 5G?

5G (or fifth generation) is the latest wireless revolution about to happen to the world. It is a total game changer in the mobile technology industry. 5G aims to provide faster speeds and better responsiveness to wireless networks. Read: Internet connections will be quicker, links among network systems will be more rapid, and the age of information technology may be headed toward even greater heights.

 

5G Offers Faster Speeds

One of the main reasons why there is a demand for 5G is the rising need for higher bandwidth. Bandwidth is the rate of data transfer, whether uploaded or downloaded, using a network in a particular time span. It is expected that 5G, at a minimum, can provide 100 Mb/s, which is far more superior than 4G’s average download speed of 10 Mb/s.   

 

5G Has Lower Latency

Latency refers to the delay that a system component experiences when performing a specific action. With 5G, it is expected that this part of the process will be expedited in more ways than one. 5G data transmission is said to reach as high as 20 Gbps and have a latency of 1ms or lower. These numbers only come down to one thing: real-time feedback.  

From the user’s viewpoint, latency is currently mostly felt when responses lag. This significant change will benefit various sectors of the industry. Case in point: the gaming segment. For both casual and competitive video gamers, low latency is highly critical to have an optimized gaming experience. A player’s performance is directly affected when there is a delay in receiving the information from the game. 5G is expected to answer this concern and turn it into a thing of the past.   

 

5G Has Greater Connectivity Capabilities.

With higher speed, higher bandwidth, and lower latency, the complexion of the tech industry and the world outside of it evolves and becomes interesting. 5G networks will allow you to connect more devices to the Internet simultaneously without any bandwidth problems. Currently, service providers provide limited bandwidth for consumers’ Internet connection. Additionally, as the tech hardware advances—and this includes mobile phones, personal computers, and more—it is evident that more and more users are seeing the merit of having 5G connection.

So far, there are no concrete reports on when the full implementation of 5G will happen. But the future is looking quite bright with this game-changing tech on the horizon.

A Closer Look on the New Lenovo Smart Display

The world is always on the lookout and in search of the latest trending gadgets.  With the tech industry always trying to make life easier, we are all gushing over this new and stylish home-control system in the market—the Lenovo Smart Display.       

 

The New Style and Design

Its new look and design is at the top of the list of why Lenovo Smart Display stands out.   It has this sleek and minimalistic look that easily blends in with your other house items.  It actually looks like a tablet, supported by a stylish case. It has two variants, an 8-inch and a 10-inch model.     Both have white trims with different back finishes. The 8-inch is more conservative with its soft-gray finish while the latter has a bamboo-textured finish on it, making it stand out even more.

Now the new look was designed as such not only for aesthetic value.   Its quirky and unique frame gives some extra space for its speaker. This also allows it to stand and work both vertically and horizontally.  Simply put, this design is not only beautiful but also functional.

 

Closer Look on its Features

It has the ability to synch all your smart home appliances.  By simply saying “Hey Google” and giving a command, you can control everything in your home.  From your cameras to your home’s temperature, you can control everything with this gadget.  

With high definition screens on both models, videos are clear and vivid.  When connected to Nest Cam, the bigger screen definitely makes images look better and clearer compared to its competitors.  

In addition, the voice assistant feature makes it the ultimate kitchen help you would need.  This gadget is ideal for people who want to follow recipes through YouTube videos. The video and the voice assistant features combined makes following steps easier, compared to older versions of home-control systems.

Unfortunately, this device does not have the best audio prowess, as it was not specifically designed to wow us with its sound quality.  Although, it is fair to say that the sound quality could be rated good enough. When the sounds are also amped up, it could be a little hard to chat and give commands with the device.  However, this is quickly resolved when the volume is turned down. This device also gets additional points for having very good voice recognition. It is super sensitive that it will recognize its owner’s voice even with a whisper.           

 

Price Rates

This new gadget is already out in the market.   You can find it on the shelves of stores that sell cell-phones, tablets, and other gadgets, with July 27 as its release date.  The smaller version is priced at $199, while the 10-inch model’s rate is $249.  Its price range is close to its competitors’ selling price.

 

The Lenovo Smart Display’s elegant new look and voice assistant feature make it a winning home-control gadget.  Its price rate and its clever features make it hard for you not to want this device as a part of your home.      

 

iPhone X vs. Galaxy S9: Which Is the Better Camera Phone?

 

Year after year, the same thing happens: Apple versus Samsung, the iPhone versus the Galaxy. The latest version of this battle is the iPhone X versus the Galaxy S9. Stores that sell cell-phone units are often asked about these premium smartphones. In particular, their camera features. Let’s look at some of the vital camera features of the iPhone X and the Galaxy S9.

 

The Basics

The iPhone X has dual rear cameras. Like the past iPhone generations, the iPhone X has a fixed aperture. The rear camera delivers 7-megapixel still photos and 1080p video recordings. For its front-facing cam, the iPhone X presents the advanced TrueDepth camera. This feature offers special sensors that take the selfie camera to the next level.

The Galaxy S9 camera, on the other hand, is one of the first Galaxy units to offer a variable aperture. Therefore, it can adjust to different lighting conditions without losing sharpness. The S9 camera can also take very slow slow-motion videos.

 

General Shots

Using automatic settings, and with ideal lighting conditions, both phones are at the top of their game, though you’ll see minor variances in terms of texture and temperature. The iPhone X tends to produce photos with cooler hues. The S9 often produces photos with warmer tones.

Video recording on both phones at 1080p at 60 fps, the distinctions are also minimal and subdued. The S9 tends to generate more contrast and saturation. This makes the video stills look sharper and, sometimes, darker. On the flip side, the videos recorded on the iPhone X are brighter. As such, they look softer.

In terms of the shadows, both provide marginal harshness, but also minimal depth.

The two phones have optical image stabilization to their respective lenses. When tracking shots, the iPhone X produces steadier shots. However, the S9 provides smoother transitions via lighting changes.

 

Aperture

The aperture of the iPhone X is set at f/1.8. To adapt to various lighting conditions, the camera relies on image processing and shutter speed. Images shot with the iPhone X always look wonderful. However, because it has fewer aperture selections, there is a consistent look throughout the photos.

The Galaxy S9 camera has an adjustable aperture. As such, the lens can be adjusted based on the lighting conditions. The process imitates how the pupil in the human eye works. In the dark, the variable aperture widens to filter in more light. In a bright setting, the aperture becomes narrower.

 

Front-Facing Camera

Both smartphones provide a blurred background effect on their selfie cams. The iPhone X front-facing camera is slightly superior. The TrueDepth is a 7-megapixel, sensor-packed camera. As such, it’s much better at determining what elements to blur in the background. The S9 features a bit sharper sensor (8 megapixels) with a broader angle.

But when it comes to the portrait effect, both phones use a software. That means neither is as great as the images produced by their respective rear cameras.

 

The Verdict

Both the iPhone X and the Galaxy S9 cameras have their strengths and weaknesses. The S9 is a great camera phone if you wish to take your phone photography one step further. But you still need to put in some work to get better-looking shots. Alternatively, the iPhone X camera is a lot more consistent. It also does virtually all the work for you.

And as with many of these “battles,” it all comes down to what you need from a camera phone.

OnePlus 6 Updates: A Crimson Edition and a Few More Surprises

The OnePlus 6 is now available in stores that sell cell-phone units and accessories. It was officially launched a few weeks ago. Even with the large number of spoilers leading up to the grand unveiling, the new OnePlus flagship still offers a few surprises, one of which is OnePlus 6 in red.

 

The Lava Red Edition

Just a few months following the release of the OnePlus 5T, the company unveiled a red edition of the smartphone. The same is expected for the 2018 OnePlus model.

After its launch, Marques Brownlee, a famous tech YouTuber, posted a photo of two OnePlus 6 phones. One has a black rear and another, just peeking out, has hints of red. When the photos surfaced online, experts surmised that the company has taken a leaf from Apple’s playbook. And just a few days later, OnePlus confirmed that a red edition of their new smartphone would soon be available. The Lava Red OnePlus 6 features a shiny crimson finish with silver accents.

If red isn’t your color, OnePlus offers a variety of colors for its newest device. The OnePlus 6 is available in Midnight Black, Mirror Black, and Silk White. The dark-colored variants are the standard colors available for the phone. The white variant is a limited edition. The Lava Red variant is a special edition.

 

New Specs and Features

Much has been leaked about the OnePlus 6, but not all rumors were accurate. Contrary to what has been reported, the developers devoted considerable time on the phone’s speed. OnePlus aims to provide their customers with the best user experience possible. That means zero to minimal lag time. As one of their executives noted on their official site, “No lag, no frustrations.”

As such, the OnePlus 6 is outfitted with the latest edition of Snapdragon CPU, the 845. The processor chip is paired with an Adreno 630 graphics card. The phone also has 8GB of RAM. The company guarantees a 30% boost in overall performance compared to the phone’s predecessor.  The OnePlus 6 also delivers a 10% upsurge in battery efficiency.

The new flagship unit is 6.28 inches. It’s the biggest OnePlus smartphone yet. It has a full Optic AMOLED, high-resolution (2280 x 1080) display.

The OnePlus 6 is also the company’s first handheld device to be completely covered in glass.  The smartphone is spruced up with a layer of Gorilla Glass 5. And because it uses a new foam sealant and silicon, the OnePlus 6 provides a much-improved water-resistance. So even if you accidentally drop it in water, the phone won’t be damaged.

In terms of software, OnePlus’ flagship device is powered by Android Oreo. It has gesture controls and delivers the latest version of the firm’s Gaming Mode. The phone also supports Face Unlock.

In addition, the OnePlus 6 comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack and a USB-C port for fast charging. It also features Cat 16 network support, which makes the device the first OnePlus smartphone to enable Gigabit download speeds.

Google Inbox Is Finally Compatible with the iPhone X Notch

Nine months after the iPhone X release, Google has finally made its Inbox app compatible with Apple’s flagship phone. Last April, Google announced that an update for the iOS version of the app was underway. Though it took a few more months, the search engine giant has finally fulfilled its promise. Ask anyone, even the stores that sell iPhone units, and they’d tell you that it had been a long wait. For iPhone X users, this upgrade means there will no longer be unsightly black bars on the top and bottom parts of their phone.

 

Inbox by Gmail iOS App

Inbox, an app built by Gmail developers, makes it easier for you to keep your inbox organized all the time. It also helps you prioritize your emails. That way, you can quickly reply to the messages that need to be answered at once. The iPhone X-compatible Inbox app lets you:

  • Highlight important messages. The app notes the most important details of the email without fully opening it. A pop-up preview appears to let you know the gist of the email.
  • Bundle messages. With the Inbox, you can group similar messages together so that you can take care of them all at once. You can also delete the bundled emails with a single swipe.
  • Stay alert. The app reminds you about emails you need to get back to. You can also manually add a Reminders section to your inbox.
  • Snooze. Inbox by Gmail enables you to snooze messages that aren’t a priority. You can pencil them into your schedule whenever you want.
  • Search. The app helps you find whatever you’re looking for fast and easy. You don’t have to dig through your emails to get the information you need. All you have to do is search for it.
  • Access Gmail. Because Google built the app, it works well with Gmail. All your Gmail messages are easily accessible from the Inbox.

 

The Apple Directive

MacRumors recently reported that Inbox by Gmail has already gone through 13 updates. It’s only now that the development has focused on providing support for the iPhone X notch. In fact, the Inbox app is among the last Google apps to be fully compatible with Apple’s latest phone. Most iOS and Android apps upgraded early this year.

Since the release of the iPhone X, most iOS apps have gradually adapted their designs to accommodate the smartphone’s notch. Developers can’t evade the transition since it’s now a prerequisite demanded by Apple. The company issued a statement that by July 2018, all iOS app updates must support the iPhone X.

Apple also noted that all updates submitted to the App Store have to be developed with the iOS 11 SDK. Furthermore, the apps must support iPhone X’s Super Retina display. As such, developers need to ensure that their respective apps already support the notch before releasing an update. Otherwise, the app may never be kept up to date.

If you’re an iPhone X user, this directive is certainly good news. You’ll have more apps that are fully compatible with your premium phone.

Everything We Know So Far About the Samsung Galaxy Note 9

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9, codenamed the Crown, is almost here. Samsung continues to use the Note series to produce bigger and more powerful phones to complement the Galaxy S line. Based on numerous reports online, the 2018 Note model follows the same template.

 

Availability

The Galaxy Note 9 will be officially launched on August 9 at the Samsung Unpacked event in Brooklyn, New York. At the moment, this is the only timetable given by Samsung. With regards to when the smartphone will actually be available for purchase, it is estimated to go on sale in late August. Pre-orders are expected to be available on the day of the launch or soon after.

 

Software and Hardware

The Note 9 is said to look like the Galaxy S phones launched early this year, with a number of improvements here and there. Multiple reports posted several weeks ago revealed that there will be two versions of the Note 9. One will be powered by the Exynos 9710 chip, the other by the Snapdragon 845. The availability of the two versions will depend on the region or country you live in.

Last March, a speed test of the Note 9 surfaced online. The test revealed that the Note 9 will be a bit slower than the Galaxy S9, but a lot faster than the Galaxy S9 Plus. As for the display, the Note 9 could have the same screen size seen on the 6.3-inch Note 8. Minor camera upgrades from the previous Note line-up are also expected.

As per reports, the Galaxy Note 9 will run on Android 8.0 Oreo with a few tweaks. It’s also expected that the software will soon be updated to Android P. The phone will also likely boast an improved notification setting and battery optimizations.

What’s guaranteed is that the Note 9 will come with a stylus, a signature feature of the Note series.

 

In-Screen Fingerprint Sensor

Arguably the most hyped rumor about the Galaxy Note 9 is its fingerprint scanner. Several leaks show that the sensor could be incorporated directly into the phone’s screen. Multiple reports also indicate that Samsung has already executed multiple in-screen assessments. These tests are potentially about the plan to give the Note 9 a larger battery. The tests bode well with the rumor that the newest Note unit will not just have an in-screen scanner, but also a huge 3850mAh battery.

Then again, there are also reports saying that an in-screen fingerprint sensor won’t be seen on the Note 9. According to some tech analysts, the feature is meant for the Galaxy X (or S10) next year.

Reports about the in-screen sensor have been around for quite a while now for both Samsung and Apple. But both tech companies have failed to present the feature in time with their most recent devices. In fact, Apple completely ditched the plan for the iPhone X. Samsung, on the other hand, moved the scanner to its “future feature” checklist.

 

Stores that sell cell-phone units expect the Galaxy Note 9’s price range to start at $929.

 

The iPhone Lineup Is About to Get More Colorful

When it comes to Apple releases, there is no lack of rumors and speculations. As the expected fall release approaches, more reports are added to the ever-growing pile of spec possibilities. This time around, the buzz is all about colors. It appears that Apple plans to present a more colorful iPhone lineup by the end of the year.

 

A Splash of Color

Ming-Chi Kuo, a reputable tech analyst, recently reported that the iPhone lineup will have new color variants. According to Kuo, the entry-level unit will be available in five different colors. Now, if you haven’t heard yet, Apple is rumored to be launching three different models this year: two have an OLED screen (a 5.8-inch and a 6.5-inch unit), one has an LDC screen (a 6.1-inch unit). The 6.5-inch iPhone will be available in black, gold, and white. The 6.1-inch iPhone will be available in a variety of colors that include gray, blue, red, orange, and white.

It should be noted that the gray and white variants may be in reference to Space Gray and Silver, two colors that the company has utilized repeatedly in the past. Interestingly, the gold variant of the iPhone 8 is missing from the report.

Kuo also claims that the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone, which is expected to cost around $700, will feature a Face ID scanner. The phone will apparently look like the iPhone X from the front. However, there are still no solid reports on how it will look from the back.

Stores that sell iPhone units find Kuo’s predictions intriguing. This is particularly in reference to the new colors of the iPhone. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus units are available in a couple of colors, but primarily in red. The color variants of the iPhone X are gray and silver. Red-colored iPhones are not unheard of. The crimson color scheme is available for the company’s PRODUCT (RED) units, which are usually released a few months after Apple rolls out the new phones. But except for the iPhone 5C, Apple doesn’t normally go for vibrant colors like orange and blue for its handheld devices.

 

Beyond the Colors

Further than the variety of colors for the iPhone lineup, rumors are flying about the specs of each unit. The 6.5-inch phone is likely to add the same face-detecting features seen on other iPhone series. It’s also predicted to have the capacity to run two SIM cards at the same time. Yet another prediction is that the company could possibly add a third lens to its camera.

Now, although the LCD iPhone will have more color options, it’s likely to be missing a few premium features. This is the main reason why the predicted price of the phone is relatively cheap. The device may come without the dual camera and stainless-steel frame.

All are expected to be uncovered in the latter part of the year. Apple typically unveils their new products during fall. The tech company is also expected to release upgrades for its tablets and smartwatches.

Top 5 Unlocked Smartphones of 2018

A lot of stores that sell cell-phone units are asked about unlocked smartphones, and for good reason. An unlocked smartphone could be used on various networks. That means if you want to switch carriers, all you have to do is change your SIM card. You’re not exclusively tied to a service provider. If you have an unlocked phone, you don’t have to wait for your contract to expire if you want to sell or trade up your device.

If you’re shopping for an unlocked phone, here are the best ones available right now:

 

Samsung Galaxy S9+

The Galaxy S9+ isn’t tagged as Samsung’s “best-ever-selling smartphone” for nothing. The S9+ delivers top-end specs and features, and its hardware isn’t too shabby either. It has several connectivity ports, a headphone jack, a wireless charging port, and SD card slots. The Galaxy S9+ is also waterproof.

This year, Samsung’s flagship phone sports a new camera. It now has a sensor that enables professional-grade processing. It can easily get rid of noise and touch up fine details. It also sports a dual-aperture lens that is great if you want to combine light and detail in a variety of shots.

 

Google Pixel 2 XL

If you find the software of the Galaxy S9+ to be too complex or tiresome, go for the Google Pixel 2 XL. This nifty device is a crowd favorite for its clean, fast, and satisfying performance. As expected, the smartphone is integrated with apps and services from Google. It has pretty impressive software with a guaranteed three years’ worth of updates. The camera features of the Pixel 2 XL are also top-notch. Overall, the Google flagship phone provides a more consistent and user-friendly service.

 

OnePlus 6

Both the Samsung Galaxy S9+ and the Google Pixel 2 XL are quite expensive, even if you buy them unlocked. If you want to get nearly the same experience but prefer an option that won’t break the bank, go for the OnePlus 6. For just around $500, this smartphone features the latest specs wrapped up in a neat design. The software experience you get from the OnePlus 6 is similar to that of the Pixel 2 XL. Its camera features are not to be sneezed at as well. The only drawbacks are the average-looking display and the basic speaker.

 

Honor 7X

Honor 7X is yet another cost-effective handset with more-than-decent specs. One of its best features is its 5.93-inch 1080p screen. Its display provides HD video and photo quality with an 18:9 aspect ratio. The smartphone is powered by Huawei’s Kirin 659 Octa-Core chip. That means you can run multiple apps at the same time without any problem.

 

Nokia 2

Ever since the company started releasing Android phones, Nokia has become a favorite among those with a restricted budget. You can get an unlocked Nokia 2 for just $97. It’s one of the best smartphones in its price range. Yes, the Nokia 2 doesn’t have the premium specs you can get from the other phones on the list. However, it has a solid 4100mAh battery that can run all day.

 

To get an unlocked phone, you generally must pay the full price upfront. But shop around first. Some service providers offer special payment plans for unlocked phones.

Which Is the Better iPhone: The X or the 8 Plus?

For the first time ever, Apple has introduced two distinct flagship phones. On the one hand, you have the iPhone 8 line-up. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus sport a similar form factor to that of older generations of Apple phones. On the other, you have the powerful iPhone X, which has advanced features that no other smartphone possesses.

Stores that sell iPhone units are often asked about the similarities and differences of these two flagships. In a nutshell, the iPhone X and the iPhone 8 Plus are quite similar. But they also have some key differences. Let’s look at how similar—and different—these two premium phones are.

 

Size and Display

The iPhone 8 Plus is the bigger phone. But when measured diagonally, the display of the iPhone X is larger.

The main distinction between the two iPhones is the display. The display of the iPhone 8 Plus is 5.5 inches. It has a plus-size, full HD (1920×1080) LCD. It features the same Retina display seen on previous iPhone generations.

The iPhone X display is 5.8 inches. It has a cutting-edge, HD (2436×1125) OLED display. It also has a greater contrast ratio. As such, this “Super Retina” can support HDR videos.

 

Performance

Both iPhone models use the same processor chip: the six-core, 64-bit A11 Bionic with an integrated M11 motion co-processor. They also use the same sensory motor that triggers AI processing.

 

Battery

Both smartphones support Qi wireless charging. In their respective boxes, you’ll see a standard Lightning cable as well as a USB power charger. But these iPhones are capable of fast charging too. You just have to buy a USB-C power adapter and a USB-C to Lightning cable from Apple.

If the battery is a top priority, the iPhone 8 Plus delivers a slightly longer battery life.

 

Camera

In terms of rear cameras, the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X have the same dual-lens rear camera. They also have similar features for video recording.

For their front-facing cameras, the differences are specific. The iPhone 8 Plus sports the traditional, yet much improved, FaceTime camera. It can take 7-megapixel still shots with an f/2.2 aperture. It delivers 1080p video recordings. It provides a wide gamut of colors for taking pictures and Live Photos. It also has a Retina flash.

The iPhone X front-facing camera has all these features and more. Apple calls it the TrueDepth camera. This front camera has special sensors that help with facial recognition. These include an infrared camera, a proximity sensor, a dot projector, and a flood illuminator. The TrueDepth camera also supports Portrait mode and Portrait Lighting (beta).

 

Biometrics

Because the iPhone X is all screen, it doesn’t have a Home button. As such, Touch ID is also out of the picture. Instead, Apple presents Face ID so you can unlock the phone. The feature is also used to authorize payments via Apple Pay. On the other hand, the iPhone 8 Plus still uses the Touch ID.

 

Price

Unsurprisingly, the iPhone X costs more than the iPhone 8 Plus. The starting price of the iPhone X is $1000 while the iPhone 8 Plus starts at $800.

 

So, which is the better iPhone?

It’s hard to pick a clear winner. Both flagships provide top-notch features and a first-rate user experience. You can’t go wrong with either phone. In the end, it’ll come down to which specs or features you want more.

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.

Things You Need to Know about the Motorola One Power

Motorola is well-known for marching to the beat of its own drum. Rather than following the trends, the American telecom company generally has its own timeline and style, particularly with smartphones. But because the mobile phone industry is extremely dynamic, Motorola has decided to get caught up with the latest craze to attract more buyers. This is evident in the unexpected introduction of the Motorola One Power.

Based on several reports, the Motorola One Power is going to be an Android One device. On one of the leaked images that surfaced a few weeks ago, the Android One logo is clearly visible. With the sudden emergence of pictures of the new Motorola phone, stores that sell cell-phone units are now inundated with questions about it.

 

Here’s What We Know So Far

Although the world of tech hasn’t heard a lot about the Motorola One Power, experts believe that the company is almost finished developing their new smartphone. And with the leaked photos online, the tech industry is pretty much just waiting for the Lenovo-owned company to confirm the news.

SlashLeaks posted a picture of a device that is said to be the Motorola One Power. The image shows a notch on the screen. Although the screen of the smartphone is turned on, the only visible identifications are the Lenovo and Motorola (not just ‘Moto’) logos. Some noticeable features include the power and volume buttons on the right edge of the phone.

Leaked reports also state that the Motorola One Power is loaded with a Snapdragon 636 processor. It would have 4GB RAM and 64GB memory storage. The phone is assumed to be 6.2 inches. Its display would be full HD+ with 2280 x 1080-pixel density. This particular Motorola smartphone is also said to have a 3780 mAh battery that is designed for turbocharging. The One Power could also support a variety of charging speeds in accordance with the 3C qualification portal. These include the 5V/3A, 9V/2A, and 12V/1.5A speeds for charging.

It seems that Motorola is getting into the notch arena as well. And like most smartphones these days, a notch generally houses a front selfie-cam, an earpiece, and other sensors. There’s no indication that the One Power’s notch would provide anything different.  

When it comes to camera features, the Motorola One Power is expected to feature a 12MP+5MP dual camera system on the back. Its aperture is said to be f/1.8 and f/2.0. The smartphone would also have an 8MP front selfie-camera.

It also looks like the phone has smaller bezels. The leaked photos showed a phone with a forehead and a chin in which the Motorola logo is embossed. Interestingly, this is seen as a step for Lenovo to finalize the branding of the Motorola units. Rather than the usual Moto logos, the new devices will be identified formally as Motorola phones.

As of writing, Motorola hasn’t made any official announcement about the price and availability of the Motorola One Power. That said, their new smartphone is a likely a mid-range phone that will probably have a summer launch.

Will Apple Truly Remove the iPhone X’s Lightning Port?

When Apple introduced the iPhone 7 a couple of years ago, the tech giant stunned the world by ditching the headphone jack. The smartphone industry has still not fully recovered from it. There are many iPhone users who opted not to upgrade from their iPhone 6s because of it.

Now, a new Bloomberg report states that Apple considered doing away with the lightning connector. Apparently, it’s all part of Apple’s plan for a wireless future.

 

Is the World Ready for Wireless Charging?

Bloomberg reported that Apple designers plan to get rid of most of the external ports and buttons on their smartphones. That grand scheme includes getting rid of the iPhone’s charger. In fact, during the development process of the iPhone X, the designers considered removing the entire charging system. At that time, the plan wasn’t possible due to the weak structure of wireless charging. Also, adding a wireless charger to the iPhone X would significantly increase the cost of a phone that is already expensive.

Apple’s intention to ditch the lighting port is in line with Jony Ive’s plans in making the iPhone look like a thin sheet of glass. That said, the Bloomberg report didn’t specify how critical of a thought or a consideration it was.

 

Getting Rid of a Lightning Port: A Controversial Decision?

Apple is well on its way to carrying out their plans for a wireless future with products and tech like AirPods and AirPower in addition to W1 and W2 wireless chips. Stores that sell iPhone units can corroborate that the removal of the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 was a big controversy. But that doesn’t compare with the argument Apple will face if they remove the lightning connector.

Ditching the connector would trigger a significant change since the lightning port has several uses. It’s used for cable charging, data transfer and audio syncing. Getting rid of the connector will likewise prevent an iPhone to directly connect to different peripherals like adapters, docks, power banks and cables.  

But if the removal of the lightning connector will push through in the near future, it’s likely that several wireless alternatives will be offered. Most of these replacements will come directly from Apple too. For instance, you can sync your iPhone with iTunes via a WiFi connection. For game controllers, you’ll have options that are Bluetooth-enabled. Wireless charges that are upright can also double as a docking station.

Obviously, there would be a friction when this transition takes place. Think about the changeover that happened in 2012 when Apple ditched their 30-pin dock connector in favor of lightning port. It’s the same thing with the removal of the headphone jack on the iPhone 7. In both instances, the controversy eventually dwindled as most iPhone users came to accept and adapt to the new changes.

 

The Future of the Lightning Port

With Apple in rigid pursuit of a wireless future, it’s safe to say that the removal of the lightning port in the near future is almost a done deal. But at this time, the connector would live on for at least a couple more years: a much-needed time for iPhone users to get used to the idea of a cable-less future.

The Top 3 Windows Tablets of 2018

Over the years, Windows tablets have been steadily edging to the high ranks on the list of the best tablets from stores that sell tablet models. That is quite impressive considering they only represent less than a quarter of the entire tablet market.

On the other hand, that is also unsurprising since each year, non-Apple brands release their own versions of 2-in-1 tablets. Many of them are somewhat identical with one another, others provide noteworthy specs and features. Most of these tablets are sold with a keyboard and a pen. And all of them run some version of the Windows OS.

So which Windows tablet is the best?

 

Microsoft Surface Pro (2017)

Price starts at $799

The Microsoft Surface Pro is arguably the best Windows tablet available right now. If you want a new tablet but are unsure what to get, you can never go wrong with the Surface Pro. This is a 2-in-1 hybrid Windows tablet that provides all the things you need from a tablet and more. If needed, you can even turn it into a nifty laptop.  

The Surface Pro is a premium tablet in both design and performance. It has a top-quality magnesium body. Its eye-catching display is 12.1 inches. And unlike other tablets, its speakers sound exceptional.

This Microsoft tablet can go head-to-head with the latest versions of Apple and Samsung tablets. The only downside (for some) is its price. The Surface Pro can be quite expensive, particularly when you add the costs of the Type Cover and the Surface Pen, which are sold separately. But if you have the money to invest, this is a Windows tablet you won’t regret buying.

 

Lenovo MIIX 520

Price starts at $850

If you want a Windows tablet that you can use primarily for business purposes, buy the Lenovo MIIX 520. This tablet is hailed by many tech reviewers as one of the most efficiently-made laptops available. If you can’t afford (or don’t want) the Microsoft Surface Pro, the MIIX 520 is a great alternative.

Design-wise, this Lenovo tablet isn’t as fancy as the Surface Pro. That said, it still looks sleek with its full metal body. It also has a kickstand and the variety of ports you need in a business device.

Performance wise, it packs a punch. The MIIX 520 both has the 8th generation Intel Core i5 and Core i7 chips. The laptop is also available in different RAM and memory storage varieties: 4GB, 8GB and 16GB. Its SSD is upgradable to 1TB. In terms of display, the MIIX 520 has a full HD screen (1920 x 1200).

When you buy this Lenovo tablet, you’ll also get an Active Pen 2 stylus for free.

 

Acer Switch 3

Price starts at $450

If you have a tight budget but still hope to own a more than decent Windows tablet, go for the Acer Switch 3. This budget-friendly tablet comes with a built-in kickstand, a stylus (optional) and a keyboard. It has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. It is a relatively cheap device, but you can still get a lot from its internal hardware.  

The Acer Switch 3 has an Intel Pentium N4200 quad-core processor. Obviously, it’s not as powerful as tablets that run on Core i5, but for students and entrepreneurs, the performance of the Switch 3 is good enough. This is particularly true if you need a tablet mainly for web browsing or office/school work.

How to Properly Recycle Your Phone (and Even Get Cash Out of It!)

So, you finally have a new phone. The next thing you need to do is offload your old one. There are many ways to do so. You can always keep it as a spare phone in case you may need it in the future. You can also give it to a family member or a friend. You can even get cash or credits out of it.

Don’t worry if your old device has scratches or chips. You’d be surprised how many companies buy old phones that are still usable, not to mention how much you can get from your cracked phone. Even stores that sell cell-phone units often buy old smartphones. You just need to figure out if you want to get cash, credits, or a trade-in value for it.

 

Contact the old phone’s direct manufacturer.

All big tech companies have their own recycling programs. You can take advantage of that regardless of your phone’s operating system. Visit a branch of your old phone’s manufacturer and ask about their recycling program.

With Apple, they let you bring your old iPhone to any of their Apple Store. Alternatively, you can drop your phone in the mail. If your iPhone is relatively new, you may even receive a gift card you can use when you make a different Apple purchase.

Samsung, on the other hand, has a Mobile Take-Back Program. You need to send your old Samsung smartphone using a prepaid envelope and mail it back to the company. They will do the recycling for you to minimize the effect on the environment. Like Apple, you may also get some sort of freebie or gift card if you’re recycling a newer model of a Samsung phone.

The same process is available for LG and HTC users. These companies have a specific page on their respective sites that can inform you on how to recycle your old phone. HTC accepts old devices from other brands.

 

Go to your local retail stores.

If you don’t want to send your old phone back to its manufacturer, visit your local retail stores like Best Buy and Staples. Keep in mind that these retail stores, particularly Best Buy, won’t necessarily give you cash or credits when you hand them your old phone. But they would certainly dispose of your device properly and ethically. In fact, you can bring any old or broken gadget to Best Buy and they’ll handle the recycling for you.

Staples is another retail store that has an extensive recycling program for gadgets. If your old phone still works and is quite a new model, you can get some Staples credits back. You can use the credits to spend on something else from the store.

Another great alternative is to check with your phone carrier. The leading telecom providers in the US have their own recycling programs as well. Some of them offer a trade-in value that you can use when you buy a new gadget.

 

There are many ways you can dispose of your old phone properly. Get rid of through whatever means most suitable to your situation, but never dump it straight into the trash can.  

Xiaomi Announces Mi 8 Flagship Phone

Last May 31, 2018, Xiaomi announced their latest line of smartphones in celebration of their 8th anniversary. The new flagship line includes three new models: the Mi 8, the Mi 8 Explorer Edition, and the Mi 8 SE.

In 2017, Xiaomi ranked as the world’s 4th largest smartphone manufacturer. The Chinese tech company is known for selling cell-phones with a great price to performance ratio.

The new Mi 8 line has also been called the “best iPhone recreation yet.” With a striking similarity in appearance and features to the iPhone X, the Xiaomi Mi 8 will seem strangely familiar to iPhone users. But to those who can’t afford iPhone X’s steep price of $999, you’re in luck. The Mi 8 line offers phones that cost almost half the price of an iPhone X.

So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many are hyped for the release of these new phones.

The first phone in the series is the Mi 8. It comes with a 6.21-inch OLED screen and a notch that houses a 20-megapixel front-facing camera and a rear that offers a dual 12-megapixel camera. The model boasts a four-way curved glass shape with an aluminum frame. It has a Snapdragon 845 processor, ensuring fast and powerful performance.

In China, the Mi 8 is being offered at 2,699 yuan, or approximately USD 421.

Next is the Mi 8 Explorer Edition, which offers a few more features than the standard Mi 8.

With 3D face recognition, the Mi 8 Explorer Edition is the first Android phone to feature face recognition technology, which also explains its particularly steep price. There’s also talk of an Animoji feature to compete with Apple’s talking emojis feature.

Complete with an in-display fingerprint sensor that’s pressure-sensitive, a Snapdragon 845 processor, and 8GB RAM, the Explorer Mi 8 is definitely something to look forward to. And to top it all off, it even comes with a transparent back panel that’s been praised for looking quite sophisticated.

The Mi 8 Explorer Edition is reportedly going to be sold for 3,699 yuan or USD 577.

The last model in the new flagship line is the Mi 8 SE, the smallest model in the new Mi 8 series.

Powered by a Snapdragon 710 processor, the Mi 8 SE tends to run slower than the other models in the lineup. The 710, however, saves about 30% in power consumption and offers a performance 20% greater than the last generation of phones that had a 660 processor. It also features a 5.88-inch OLED screen and a 12 MP + 5 MP dual camera with enhanced low-light performance.

The Mi 8 SE is the cheapest model in the Mi 8 series, coming in at 1,799 yuan or USD 281.

The Mi 8 is reportedly already in Chinese stores and was released on June 5, with the SE and Explorer models coming in at later dates.

If you’re looking to make the switch to Android, Xiaomi’s new Mi 8 series is the perfect starting point. With high-definition camera set-ups and reliable performance, it might just be the time for you to sell your iPhone and snag the newest Xiaomi Mi 8.

Things You Need to Know About the Moto Z3 Play

Stores that sell cell-phone units confirm that more and more buyers are looking for good-quality smartphones that are also budget-friendly. Thankfully, there are tons of smartphone manufacturers that offer mid-level to low-cost phones that are more than just an ‘OK’ device. Case in point: the Motorola Moto Z3 Play.

The newest flagship Moto unit of Motorola is the company’s third offering of its cheapest Moto Mod-ready phones. The company’s previous offer, the Z2 Play, had relative success with its metal design, a huge AMOLED display and Moto Mod support. Unfortunately, the Z2 has a big battery and a slow processor. The good thing is that these downsides are resolved with the launch of the Moto Z3 Play.

 

What We Know So Far…

The newest offering from Motorola’s series of Moto Mods is the Z3 Play. It costs $499, which is a few hundreds cheaper than premium Moto Mods from Samsung and Apple. The Z3 Play has the same blueprint as the Z2 so it could retain its compatibility with other Moto Mods, but the Z3 is packed with new features. The most obvious is its bigger and better display. The Z3 boasts an 18:9 AMOLED panel that measures 6 inches from corner to corner. Compared to its predecessor, you can get a good 13% increase in the screen-to-body ratio.

The Z3 has smaller bezels on the front on the phone. As such, the fingerprint sensor, which sits just below the display of the Z2 is moved. The small cutout fingerprint sensor of the Z3 Play is side-mounted. Motorola opted for the side placement because when the sensor is put on the back, it will take a lot of space. Although the side panel is an unusual place to put the fingerprint sensor, particularly since it doesn’t double as a power button, it’s the only rational spot available. Otherwise, Motorola would’ve ditched the sensor, which could be a big downside.

Sensor issues aside, the Z3 Play is still a looker. Though it only comes in one color – the Deep Indigo –  the vibrant shades of teal and navy that create the dark indigo shade is pleasing to the eyes.   

Under the hood, Motorola’s new flagship Moto Mod runs a Snapdragon 636 processor with 4GB of RAM. For most users, this is more than enough power. But it falls short when compared to the Snapdragon 845 found in premium rivals like the Samsung Galaxy S9.

In terms of battery life, the Z3 Play features the 3000-mAh battery found in the Z2. Motorola offers a bonus when you purchase the new device unlocked directly from the company’s site or a certified third-party retailer. When you do, you’ll get a bonus $49 Power Pack mod for free. This pack adds an extra 2220-mAh of battery charge.

The Moto Z3 Play costs $499. It will be officially available in July. Pre-order is already underway for several retailers like Amazon Prime, Best Buy and Wal-Mart. The Moto Z3 Play will be available in the US through Sprint and US Cellular, and most likely through a data plan contract.

 

The Top Features of iOS 12

The recent WWDC confirmed what the experts and stores that sell iPhone units expected: the iOS 12 will focus more on strengthening system performance and less on major new features. It’s also geared at getting rid of bugs. That being said, the new OS does include several considerable upgrades and improvements.

The iOS 12 will roll out this fall. If you’re part of the beta team, it’ll come later this month. The new OS will be available on the same phones and tablets that are powered by iOS 11. Out of the many new features on the coming iOS 12, here are some of the best:

 

Screen Time

Screen Time is a new iOS 12 feature that will provide details on how long you’ve spent on your device. It will also take note of how much time you’ve consumed using specific apps. Screen Time can give you a break down on your app usage by category (ex. social media, games). It can also keep tabs on which programs send you the most notifications.

With the summary this new feature provides, you can set time limits for your app. The new system can also notify you automatically when you’re about to run out of the allotted time you’ve preset on each app. When your time runs out, a ‘Time’s Up’ message will pop out. If you wish to keep on using an app, just request for more time.

Apple likewise applies a higher range of usage data to Parental Controls. This is meant to give parents better supervision options and oversight on how often their children stare at their respective gadget screens.

 

Group Facetime

iPhones and iPads will soon be able to host more than a one-on-one video chat, thanks to Group FaceTime.

This amazing feature will be available on both iOS and macOS. The iOS 12 will launch group FaceTime sessions that can accommodate up to 32 people. When Group FaceTime is engaged, your window will get bigger when you speak. It will shrink when another person is speaking. To make the conversation livelier and more fun, both the Animoji and Memoji characters will be available during the video chat.

 

Animoji and Memoji

The Animoji is an iPhone X roster of animated characters that have recently expanded with the addition of a tiger, T-Rex, ghost and koala. With iOS 12 comes more interactive Animojis. Soon enough, the app can detect when you stick out your tongue and mimic its action.

Along with the improvements on Animoji is an even bigger progress in terms of personalized avatars, Apple’s Memoji. With it, you can create animated characters that resemble your own appearance. You’ll have options for skin colors and hairstyles. You can even choose outfits and accessories for your Memoji.  

 

Photos Upgrade

The Photos app in the new iOS will provide search suggestions automatically. It will also present a new tab called ‘For You’ that will recommend filters and effects most suitable for the photos you’ve taken. The Photos app will also offer sharing suggestions. When you share a photo with your friends, they’ll be prompted to share back their own photos or videos taken from the same event. All new features found on the Photos app are designed for Apple to compete with Google Photos.

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.   

The New Gmail to be Launched for General Availability in July

According to Google, the new version of Gmail will finally roll out to everyone next month. Only a number of users are currently using it via the Early Adopter Program (EAP).

From the outset, the search engine giant made it clear that it was only a matter of time before all Gmail users can enjoy the upgraded Gmail design. Google assured the general availability (GA) of the new Gmail in July. G Suite administrators have two options to space out the transition. They can let their users decide to opt-in following their own schedule, or make them wait a month.

However, you can’t hold on to the classic Gmail forever. Google will automatically transition users to the new version two months following the GA. After its availability, you only have 12 weeks to decide to opt-in or out before the decision is out of your hands.

 

The New Gmail

The upgraded Gmail features a variety of much-improved visual updates, all of which are centered around the Material Design theme of Google. The new version also includes several new features like an email snooze. It also has a Confidential Mode, which is a brand-new security option.

The restructured Gmail also integrates two-factor authentication. This allows users to require passcodes from email recipients before they can open a confidential email. The new Gmail also has a Smart Compose feature. This is an awesome addition that has the ability to finish sentences using AI and machine learning.

 

Testing Out the Current Gmail

You don’t have to wait for July to try out the new Gmail. Stores that sell laptop units recommend that users test it out now. Doing a manual upgrade lets you experience a new interface you can get used to before the GA.

Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Go to the Settings configuration. Look for and click on ‘Try the new Gmail.’ Wait for a bit as your Gmail will take a couple of seconds to refresh.

Step 2: Once the page is refreshed, you’ll be presented with a ‘Choose a view’ option. Pick a view that fits your needs.

The Default View efficiently utilizes the information per message. Icons are available at the bottom of each message. This view is ideal if you want to skim through your emails and read the important ones right away.

The Comfortable View rolls out more emails per page. It also presents the paperclip icon near the messages that have attachments.

The Compact View fits a lot more emails per page. However, it has a limited preview. It’s a great choice if you receive hundreds of emails, but don’t want to click through a horde of pages.

Feel free to experiment with the views to choose the right one. Go back to the previous configuration to change the display density.

If you want to revert back to your old Gmail layout, simply head over to the Settings cog and click ‘Go back to the classic Gmail.’ For now, you can play with the new layouts until the GA of the new Gmail.

4 of the Best Android Phones of 2018 (So Far)

Stores that sell cell-phone units have a bigger selection of Android phones: Samsung, Huawei, LG, OnePlus and Google, to name a few. The plethora of variations in display size, processor, software options and design can make choosing the best Android phone quite challenging. And with the major releases this year, the selection process will just be even harder. If you’re starting to get a headache just by thinking of the sheer size of options you have at hand, here is a list of the best Android phones of 2018 (so far) and their best features.

 

Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

Price starts at $780

It’s almost always a given that the best Android phones come from Samsung. A lot of phone experts would even say that the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is the best smartphone in the world, and with good reasons.  The latest Galaxy phone is number one thanks to its unbelievably cool design, awesome display and, more importantly, a number of truly brilliant features loaded into the phone.

Every little thing that has made Samsung smartphones outstanding over the last couple of years has been jampacked into this 6.2-inch unit. The Galaxy S9 Plus, with its exceptional features and functions, is also easy-to-use.

 

Huawei P20 Pro

Price starts at $865

A crowd favorite, particularly those who love photography, is Huawei’s P20 Pro. The company’s new flagship phone doesn’t have just two cameras often seen on smartphones today. The P20 Pro has three cameras on the back. Its primary camera has a 40-megapixel sensor that is even better than the ones from mid-level digital cameras.  

Aesthetics wise, the P20 Pro is gorgeous. It has a shiny back with perfectly curved sides. Huawei’s phone is so pleasing to the eyes even its notched 1080p display – which is an eyesore for other phones – is visually appealing. Without a doubt, the P20 is Huawei’s best smartphone yet.

 

LG G7 ThinQ

Price starts at $750

The LG G7 ThinQ is the company’s best smartphone in years. It’s a much-improved version of its predecessor – the LG G6. With the LG G7 ThinQ, the company opted for a bolder approach in both design and features.

The G7 ThinQ screen has an ultra-bright setting, which can boost brightness up 1000nits. This is a handy feature for those who love taking photos under a bright natural light. Its camera is AI-enabled, so it can make automatic adjustments based on what you’re shooting.

Honor 10

Price starts at $540

The best Android phones don’t need to break the bank. There are some smartphones that are both high-quality and budget-friendly. One of those phones is Honor 10.

Design-wise, the Honor 10 looks like the P20 Pro. It sports a mix of metal and glass design. In terms of hardware, Honor 10 ticks all the boxes of what matters the most. Its best features include a splendidly bright 5.84-inch 2280p x 1080p display, a good-quality rear camera and an all-day battery life. A bit of a drawback is its tendency to overexpose in bright light. But for the most part, Honor 10 is a wonderful piece of device.

 

Continue checking out this site as we update and add to our list of the best Android phones of 2018.

3 of the Best Gaming Laptops of 2018

Not so long ago, the best gaming laptops didn’t have much difference from other types of ‘best laptops.’ As long as the laptop had a Core i7 processor with 8GB of RAM and good-quality graphics, it can be considered as the best gaming laptop. But that ‘classification’ doesn’t fly anymore.

These days, stores that sell laptop units can tell you that the best gaming laptops are evidently different than the laptops used for online games in the past. In fact, during the Computex 2018, several laptop manufacturers tried to outshine each other with their high-tech gaming devices. While some of those laptops are yet to be released, below are three of the best gaming laptops available right now.

 

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

Price starts at $1799

If you’re a serious gamer, the GS65 Stealth Thin offers everything you’d want from a gaming laptop. It is thin (only 18mm) and light enough to carry around. Its portability is similar to a productivity notebook. But it also has the internal guts of a high-quality gaming computer. That means you’ll have a portable machine powerful enough to play the latest online games at max settings without lag or interruption. Its display has 4.9mm super-thin bezels.

In terms of performance, this MSI gaming laptop doesn’t disappoint. Its basic specs come with a GTX 1060 Max-Q GPU with a superior SSD and wireless network. In general, the GS65 can maintain framerates of over 60 in many games at a maxed-out setting. You can push the framerates to as much as 100 fps (and above) just by adjusting the settings and deactivating a few of its less visually-impactful options.

 

Alienware 17 R5

Price starts at $1550

When it comes to Alienware gaming laptops, it’s hard to ask what it doesn’t get right. This is particularly true with the Alienware 17 R5. It’s one of the first laptops with an overclock-ready, six-core Intel Core i9 processor. Its graphics card is NVIDIA GTX 1080 with a whopping 32GB of RAM. For many professional gamers, the Alienware 17 R5 just might be the most powerful gaming laptop right now.

With the number of features and the degree of power Alienware has packed into this laptop, it’s virtually possible for you to run anything at whatever resolution available. With potent hardware like this, the Alienware 17 R5 can easily hit a minimum of 120 fps on the most recent online games.

 

Dell Inspiron 15

Price starts at $900

It’s not a secret that gaming laptops are expensive. Some are even pricier than personal computers. If you have a limited budget, don’t fret. There are a handful of gaming laptops that won’t break your wallet, but are still considered a powerhouse. A good example of this is the Dell Inspiron 15.

The processor of the Inspiron 15 is Intel Core i5-7300HQ with 8GB of RAM. But what makes this Dell one of ‘the best’ is its graphics card. This Dell gaming device uses NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card that has a Max-Q design. If the Inspiron 15 gets tested against some of the most expensive gaming laptops, it’ll do just fine. And though this Dell laptop doesn’t have much of a visual impact, it still has sufficient horsepower to run the latest online games at maximum settings.

The 10 Best Fitness Trackers of 2018

Being healthy and fit isn’t just a trend, it’s a lifestyle. And to maintain that great lifestyle, you need the right gadget that will perfectly monitor your physical activity and health.

Fitness trackers are a great tool for anyone who wants to stay active, and there are plenty of great options out there with tons of exciting features. If you need a little help choosing the best fitness tracker for your needs, here’s a list of our favorites:

Moov Now

Released in 2015, Moov Now counts your reps, measures your motion to minimize injuries, analyzes your form, and even offers real-time coaching if you use it with the Moov app. With a budget-friendly price tag and an exceptional battery life lasting up to six months, this tracker is an absolute favorite.

Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro

Thanks to its awesome AMOLED display, Samsung Gear Fit 2 definitely looks fantastic on your wrist. This device keeps up with you while you’re on the go, with great notification management, offline Spotify support, and built-in music storage. It can be paired with any Bluetooth device anytime, anywhere.

Huawei Band 2 Pro

Packed with decent components for a totally reasonable price, Huawei Band 2 Pro is another great pick. This tracker features heart rate monitoring, step and sleep tracking, and an impressive battery life. The Band 2 Pro will look good on your wrist whether you’re in running gear or a business suit.

TomTom Spark 3

TomTom Spark 3 offers great features including GPS tracking, a heart rate monitor, and route navigation. What makes this fitness tracker exciting is you can directly upload music to it without needing any Bluetooth devices while on a run.

Amazfit Bip

Amazfit Bip features a stylish design and looks more like a smartwatch than a fitness tracker. Especially designed for accurate heart rate tracking and multi-sport tracking, this device highlights its always-on display and strong battery life lasting up to 45 days.

Garmin Vivofit 4

Vivofit 4 is one of the most impressive fitness trackers from Garmin. Its best feature is its super-long battery life that can last an entire year. You may not get phone notifications from this tracker, but you’ll definitely love its always-on color display, and you can wear it 24/7.

Garmin Vivosport

Compared to many fitness trackers, Garmin Vivosport comes with a more affordable price tag. It comes with built-in GPS and is great for tracking your jogging and cycling. This fitness tracker also offers a good battery life from a single charge even when using its GPS.

Polar M430

Polar M430 may not be as good-looking as all the other fitness trackers, but it’s reliable and accurate. This device is designed primarily for runners, monitoring pace, distance, speed, and cadence with daily activity tracking. Being highly functional and comfortable to wear, this tracker is a strong choice for tracking almost all kinds of exercise.

Garmin Vivosmart 3

Garmin Vivosmart 3 is especially created for gym-goers. Despite not having a GPS, this band should definitely be considered if you’re looking for a high-end fitness tracker. Its six-day battery life is also a plus.

Fitbit Charge 2

Having a big screen and comfortable strap, Fitbit Charge 2 is a great choice for jogging and for tracking your heart rate. You can also connect it to the GPS on your phone. Having newer features compared to other Fitbit gadgets, Fitbit Charge 2 is absolutely the best of its kind.

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.

Here’s Everything We Know About the Samsung Galaxy S10

It hasn’t been that long since Samsung launched the Galaxy S9 series, but the Internet is already abuzz with rumors about the Samsung Galaxy S10. Although the S10 is expected to be released a year from now, leaks about its specs and design are already flooding in.

Alas, the most recent rumor is quite disappointing for Samsung Note users. If you think that the Note 9 is going to be the first Samsung flagship to feature a fingerprint scanner, you’re mistaken. According to a report from The Chosun Economy in South Korea, this in-demand feature will make its long-awaited first appearance on the Samsung S10 and S10 Plus.

 

It’s “Beyond”

It has been revealed that the code name for the Galaxy S10 is “Beyond.” There are several reasons why code names are important. A code name generally indicates what the company plans and hopes to achieve with its new product.

The code name for the Galaxy S8 was “Dream,” which played into Samsung’s dream to surpass Apple. The Galaxy S9’s code name was “Star,” which highlighted the smartphone as the lustrous star of the Galaxy series. The S10’s code name “Beyond” is an indication that Samsung is devising a plan to redesign the form and function of its S series. It may also signify the company’s intent for the S10 to push through the declining sales of premium smartphones apparent this year.

With regards to the actual name of the smartphone, the “Galaxy S10” isn’t a 100% certainty. There are rumors that Samsung plans to bid farewell to many of its long-standing labels in favor of more engaging names. Some reports say that the actual name of the S10 could be “Galaxy X.” However, with the release of Apple’s iPhone X late last year, the name is an unlikely choice.

 

In-Screen Fingerprint Reader

As mentioned above, the highly-anticipated in-screen fingerprint scanning feature will make its Samsung debut via the Galaxy S10, according to numerous reports. ChosunBiz recently claimed that Samsung has already informed their suppliers that the fingerprint scanning feature won’t be available on the Galaxy Note 9. The company was ostensibly unsure of whether or not they’ll launch the feature on their next phablet that will be released this fall.

In April, The Bell reported that Samsung had already completed the design of the S10 and that it has an inlaid fingerprint sensor. According to the story, Samsung has collaborated with Synaptics, Qualcomm, and Aegis Tech to perfect this feature.

 

New Chipsets

Last February, Samsung made a $5.6 billion investment in a new factory whose main responsibility is to create 7-nanometer chipsets. The investment makes it possible for Samsung devices to use smaller chips. This would pave the way for Samsung to make various design improvements, thanks to the extra space it will have within the handset.

According to Phone Arena, the company will start beta-testing the chip later this year so that it will be ready for mass production in 2019. This is also the same period when the Galaxy S10 is expected to be released.

 

With all these rumors, it’s safe to say that Samsung is raising the bar once again with a stunning new smartphone. Tune in for more S10 updates.

Ataribox Now Atari VCS, Preorders Available Now

Ataribox is back with a new name, Atari Video Computer System or the Atari VCS. After a long wait, Atari opened preorders last May 30. The console, whose new name is a wonderful throwback to the original Atari 2600 from the ‘70s, will come with a classic joystick, modern controller, and a modern gamepad.

Although expected delivery is not until July 2019, thousands have already put their name down for the Atari VCS. There were unspecified technical issues in the past, but based on the still growing number of preorders made exclusively through Indiegogo, Atari has certainly succeeded in bringing excitement—and nostalgia—to the gaming community with its new video computer system. The gadget is a retro-inspired gaming platform based on PC Technology.

Atari presented the latest version of the console at the 2018 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. They are working hard with game developers and content creators to finalize all details of the Atari VCS’s production, and the company and their trusted partners in the gaming industry remain positive about next year’s release.

Atari understands how passionate the gaming community is about the brand, and they know how important it is to get everything completely right. It was quite a setback for them to delay the launching of the new console, originally intended to be released this year, but it was a worthwhile decision, no doubt better than releasing it with a single thing out of alignment.

Now that preorders have started, fans certainly seem to have gotten over the delays as they eagerly await finally getting their hands on the nostalgia-inducing new video computer system.

Described on its preorder page as a reimagined classic, Atari VCS will fit right into the modern living room, mixing modern lines and classic content. It’s slimmer compared to other iconic Atari products. Meanwhile, its logo draws inspiration from Atari’s rich history of graphic design from the 1970s and 1980s.

Atari execs promise that gamers will be able to play both classic Atari games and modern PC games on the new Atari VCS. Although the new console won’t be able to handle the most graphically intense PC titles, this could still exponentially increase the number of games available for the system.

Atari VCS is similar to Nintendo’s NES Classic and SNES Classic consoles. The interesting twist is its capability to play classic and modern games all in one gaming system. Plus, the console will bring a full PC gaming experience to your TV.

Atari VCS offers access to web browsing and streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify. Moreover, the VCS supports 4K resolution, offers internal and external storage, and features Wi-Fi, USB, and Bluetooth connectivity.

The company is indeed committed to perfection, as seen from the console’s design and its many exciting features, every detail a testament to the heritage of the Atari Brand. The Atari VCS is available to preorder until June 11 at 12 p.m. ET. Its price starts at $199.

OnePlus 6 Is Getting a Glass Back and Will Sport an All-Glass Design

With so many competitors in the market, OnePlus has done an admirable effort in keeping up with new technology and design innovation. With its usual quick updates every six months, there’s a new member of the OnePlus smartphone products. Its latest flagship product, the OnePlus 6, will feature an all-glass design and a glass back, much like the sleek designs that we see from the big brands. OnePlus has recently confirmed this news coming directly from their founder and CEO, Pete Lau, who made the announcement on the OnePlus forum. This overhaul comes second to the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 5 series, which were both metal-clad.

Design

The OnePlus 6 is adapting the design of the iPhone X’s display featuring a notch. With its reputation for prioritizing function over form, this is a big move on the part of OnePlus. It uses Gorilla Glass 5 in its all-glass design, giving it a striking look and feel. The OnePlus 6 is available in silk white, midnight black, and mirror black.

Specifications

Similar to the Samsung Galaxy S9 and ASUS ZenFone 5Z, the OnePlus 6 runs on Snapdragon 845 processor. It also boasts a considerable memory capacity, with 8 GB of RAM and three options for internal storage: 64 GB, 128 GB, or 256 GB. A 3.5mm headphone jack remains, similar to its predecessors.

For the selfie-conscious crowd, the OnePlus 6’s front camera is a good 16MP, perfect for crisp photos. The main camera, meanwhile, is equipped with optical image stabilization and has a variety of features. Users can experiment with the slow-motion video mode as well as the built-in video editor.

The fingerprint reader at the back of the unit is also the fastest available in the market today, unlocking the device in under 0.2 seconds. A notable feature that has been left out is wireless charging, but it isn’t that much of a deal-breaker considering the rest.

Other Features

There are a few cool features that are built into the OnePlus 6, including Face Unlock capability. It also supports 4k video up to approximately 60 fps. If you opt for the 256 GB variant of the OnePlus 6, it will run on OxygenOS, which is based on Android Oreo.

The OnePlus 6 is the first Gigabit LTE device from OnePlus, and it also includes a gaming mode that will ensure a stable connection with the least interruption while gaming. Lastly, OnePlus assures users that the OnePlus 6 can survive a rainy day or a clumsy drop into a puddle, even though it is not certified as a water-resistant device.

Pricing

Pricier than the OnePlus 5T, the OnePlus 6 retails at $529 for the 64 GB unit, $579 for the 128 GB unit, and $629 for the 256 GB unit. It’s a solid $30 more than what the OnePlus 5T costs, but the brand has made sure it is packed with value, so we are definitely not complaining.

LG G7 ThinQ Review

LG G7 ThinQ, the company’s newest smartphone, is a few features away from being a high-quality phone. It has premium specs, a sophisticated design, and a good battery life. But the thing is, the G7 ThinQ is also a lackluster device. The phone falls short of a solid visual identity. If the design of the device is your priority, the G7 may not be to your liking.

That said, given that LG’s flagship phone is likely less expensive than the competition, the G7 will delight many potential buyers. It won’t be as interesting as the iPhone X nor as advanced as the triple-camera Huawei P20 Pro, but it can satisfy many with its budget-friendly price tag.

Notable Hardware Features

The G7 ThinQ may not be as visually appealing as other smartphones, but it comes in more exciting colors than the standard black or gray. In particular, the Raspberry Red is a crowd favorite. The sides and the back of the smartphone are slightly rounded on the edges. The display subtly curves into the metal frame, which gives the device a softer look and feel.

While the many variants of the Samsung Galaxy feature an OLED screen, the G7 ThinQ display is LCD. Thanks to its stunning QHD+ display, the screen is vibrant, clean, and crisp. It makes the colors on photos and videos truly pop out.

A prominent hardware feature of LG’s flagship phone is the Super Bright Display. As the name implies, this mode can boost the phone’s brightness up to 1000 nits, which is said to be the highest on a smartphone. The Super Bright Display is best used when looking at the screen under bright light. To activate this special feature, look for the “Boost” button next to the brightness slider. Tap the button and crank up the brightness as much as you need.

The New Second Screen

Like the iPhone X and other high-end flagship phones, the G7 ThinQ has a notch. LG added a black notch that houses the phone’s camera and speaker. The notch, especially if you’re not a fan of it, can be annoying because it sullies the beauty of the display.

The good news is that LG has provided an alternative to the notch, the New Second Screen. It’s a small slice of display on the sides of the notch, containing the phone’s notification icons and other indicators. The New Second Screen is a workaround to hide the notch since enabling it fills the area with a black bar or a gradient.

The AI Cam

The G7 ThinQ offers a dual 16-megapixel camera on the back and an 8-megapixel camera on the front. One of the back cameras is wide-angle, while the other is telephoto. Perhaps the most notable camera feature of the G7 is its AI mode. LG’s AI Cam tries to smartly identify the objects in a scene so that it can adjust the settings for the best possible shot. The AI mode offers a variety of filters. If needed, you can also make manual adjustments.

 

The LG G7 ThinQ has a lot going for it. It also has a few weaknesses and flaws. If you can overlook its flaws, you have the option of a quality smartphone with a more budget-friendly price tag.

HMD Has Announced the Nokia 6.1 Smartphone

HMD Global, the manufacturer of Nokia smartphones, has launched an upgraded version of the Nokia 6 during the Mobile World Congress. The upgrades include improvements in specifications and slight tweaks in the design. HMD has also introduced the unit as a new member of Google’s Android One program.

The Finnish smartphone maker began its production of Nokia-branded phones in 2017. Among the first models that made it to the United States was the Nokia 6. In the mid-range smartphone arena, the Nokia 6 proves to be acceptable, though not really remarkable. Admittedly, there wasn’t much to get excited about with the announcement of their updates on the 2017 Nokia 6.

But the upgraded version, the new Nokia 6.1, is a different story. New and old Nokia users will enjoy this model. And though the upgrades look quite modest, HMD has surely upped their game in the phone’s user experience aspect.

Improved Design

One quick glance at the Nokia 6.1 and you will wonder if there is anything new about the phone. Yes, it looks a lot like its older self, but look closer and you’ll see the slight, but significant—and almost awesome—changes.

The bezels are smaller on the 5.5-inch display, which makes for its smaller form factor. But HMD has retained the aspect ratio at 16:9 so that slightly disappoints.

The new Nokia 6 still comes with the same aluminum casing, but the camera accent lines and the power and volume buttons have been changed to copper. The same copper accents are evident around the fingerprint sensor. The copper accents make the Nokia 6.1 look sleeker and more compact.

Updates on Specs

If the enhancements in the aesthetics appear to be minimal, the internal updates are the opposite:

  • The updated Nokia 6 uses Snapdragon 630 now from the Snapdragon 430 core of last year. This would boost its overall performance by up to 60 percent.
  • The latest version comes in two configurations: one has 3GB RAM and 32GB storage; another has 4GB RAM and 64GB storage.
  • There is a microSD slot which allows expansion of up to 128GB storage.
  • The new phone comes with a 3,000 mAH battery.

There are no big changes in the camera though. The rear camera has a 16MP lens with Zeiss optic technology. The front camera is 8MP with the option to take wide-angle photos (up to 84 degrees). It features Dual-sight technology, which allows the user to take “bothies”—photos taken simultaneously from the front and rear cameras.

The Android One

HMD has also stamped its mark by getting on board the Android One program. This allows Nokia users to enjoy near-stock Android features. The program also gives additional benefits like regular security updates and fast OS updates.

Last April, the updated Nokia 6 was launched overseas. The 3GB/32GB phone sells for $356. There are no announcements yet regarding the price of the 4GB/64GB model. There are also no confirmations yet on the schedule for the US launch, but these announcements will likely come soon.

Google Adds More Assistant Features to Wear OS

Last year, Google updated Android Wear 2.0 with an AI assistant. Since then, the tech giant has introduced increasingly more features to make the smartwatch more relevant. This year, the company is set to deliver a few new features to AI Assistant for Wear OS, which is the rebranded name of Android Wear.

The new name implies that Google is finally making time for its wearable platform. When the company first released Android Wear, it only worked on Android-operated smartwatches connected to Android smartphones. But when Google eventually added iPhone compatibility, the label “Android Wear” became somewhat inaccurate. Thus the change to Wear OS, which has a more neutral tone. Now, the new updates on Wear OS will include:

  • Contextually-aware chat recommendations
  • Audible answers to questions
  • Actions on Google for linked devices.

Over the past few days, Google has been steadily giving out information about Wear OS’s updates. It’s difficult to say just how much energy the company has put into Wear OS for their upcoming keynote conference. But for the time being, all pieces of information are focused on solid Assistant changes. The AI updates on Android smartwatches don’t come as a surprise, especially if the market notes how important Siri is for Apple Watch.

 

Google AI Assistant

Google’s Assistant-centric updates for Wear OS bring about cool features like smart suggestions. The Google Assistant gets wittier and smarter with this new feature. It provides follow up research based on your previous searches. For instance, when you ask about a concert scheduled on a specific weekend, the AI Assistant will provide all the necessary details you requested. In addition, you’ll receive other concert schedules happening on the same weekend or other planned events for the coming weeks.

Another amazing new addition is the ability to hear auditory answers rather than just reading them from the wearable’s small screen. This is a helpful feature, especially if you’re in a rush and can’t be bothered to get your reading glasses out to read the answer to your query.

Google is also introducing Actions on Google on their smartwatches. This means you can give commands to any of your linked smart products via the AI Assistant on your smartwatch. You can give a command for multiple tasks, too. As such, you can give commands to turn on the AC, schedule the garden sprinklers and ask about the weather simultaneously.

 

More Love for Wear OS

In the grand scheme of things, these updates are not earth-shattering. But they can be life-altering, especially if you’re always on the go and rely on your smartwatch to help you finish your tasks and errands. It’s also nice to see Google giving importance to Wear OS ahead of I/O. For the past conferences, Google wearables take the back seat in terms of updates and value. In fact, the tech giant has slightly dropped the ball in making much headway for their smartwatches. This is especially true if compared to what Apple has accomplished so far with their wearables. Hopefully, Google will have even more wonderful updates and key information to showcase for Wear OS soon.

LG Announced a Storage and Memory Update to Its V30 Phone Earlier This Year

LG, the South Korean electronics giant, is steadily gaining interest as the company goes public with a few surprises. During the recent Mobile World Congress (MWC), LG announced the LG V30S. The smartphone is the updated version of the V30 launched last year under the ThinQ brand. Like the LG ThinQ speaker, which is powered by Google Assistant, LG has put a plus on AI for this updated version.

Storage and Memory Changes

The V30 has an awesome design and a very decent camera. It supports wireless charging, retains the headphone jack, and has a microSD slot. The downside is its OLED screen that doesn’t quite satisfy, what with the $830 price tag. That’s a big issue that could drive away many buyers.

To counter this disadvantage, LG is reportedly making various updates on the V30S. The most notable ones are the storage and memory upgrades. The updated version V30S uses the exact design as the V30 and runs on Android Oreo. It has a dual camera, a screen with 18:9 display, a battery capacity of 3,300mAH, and the Snapdragon 835 CPU. The main update is on the memory: from 4 GB to 6 GB and from 64 GB or 128 GB to 128 GB or 256 GB.

LG Lens and New Colors

It’s also reported that the new phones will feature the LG Lens, which are akin to Google Lens used exclusively on the current Pixel phones. What the LG Lens does is it identifies and recognizes objects in the photo you are taking, using the angle and your current location. The tool will provide relevant results based on what the object or scene onscreen is.

There are new colors too, Platinum Grey and Moroccan Blue. There are also rumors about featuring a translation option like the Google Translate photo mode.

Software Updates and More

LG also announced software updates during the MWC:

  • For AI Cam, LG licensed the EyeEm Vision, which is trained to detect and machine-learn up to 100 million images. The tool pulls related keywords prompted by the image that it recognizes on your screen, whether it’s an object or scenery.
  • LG also tweaked the V30 camera to its V30S version with Bright Mode, which combines four pixels into one to take better pictures in extremely low-light settings.
  • LG added the QLens image detection tool, which works with Amazon, so you could shop with ease by taking a photo of a product you want to purchase. The tool could use some improvement, though, because of its disappointing inaccuracy.

New V30S Updates, New LG Users

With continuous updates on its lineup of tech products, LG could really use more efficient and accurate tools on its smartphones. The current lineup of smartphones that feature Google tools makes for the kind of camera technology that consumers are looking for these days.

Point-shoot-post has become the trend because of popular social photo apps like Instagram and Facebook. The V30S updates can encourage Android users to try this new LG device rather than the competition. With LG working closely with its partners, competitors are definitely in for a good fight.

Apple iTunes Has Finally Come to the Windows Store

Almost a year following its original announcement, and a few months later than initially planned, iTunes is finally on the Windows Store. This means Windows 10 S users can now enjoy Apple’s most popular app.

One Year (and More) in the Making

During a 2017 developer’s conference, Microsoft announced that an iTunes app would soon be available in the Windows Store. The original release date was at the end of that year. Microsoft revealed that a team had been working closely with Apple to make this happen. iTunes is one of the top searched apps, and its absence in the Windows Store hurt both companies.

The original plan to release the app in the latter part of 2017 didn’t transpire. But after several months of delay, both Apple and Microsoft have finally made good on that promise. The iTunes app is now available for download in the Windows Store. This easy access provides users the opportunity to purchase music, movies, and TV shows without hassle. It also provides them access to the Apple Music streaming service.

A Full-Fledged Version of iTunes

The new iTunes app that rolled out in the Windows Store last April is similar to what has long been accessible to most Mac and PC users. Since iTunes is an Apple product, it’s readily available on Mac. On the other hand, Windows users must first go to Apple’s website to download the app.

The iTunes app available in the Windows Store is most relevant for users of Windows 10 S, which is a more structured edition of Windows 10. This move is especially important because Windows 10 S is designed for economical computers and laptops used in classrooms. Most of these low-cost machines couldn’t run iTunes because their OS only allowed them to download apps found in the Windows Store.

Windows 10 S was launched around the same time that the plans for iTunes to be made available in the Windows Store was first revealed to the public. Now Windows 10 S users can easily access Apple’s digital media app on their computer. They can also listen to Beats 1 radio. By installing iTunes, they can also have their own Apple Music subscription.

The iTunes app installer is around 478 megabytes. It is a 64-bit app that supports both x64 and x86 systems. To successfully download the app, the Windows 10 version must at least be 16299.0. The app also needs to be installed on the computer’s internal hard drive.

Like in the past, those who don’t use Windows 10 S can freely use the standalone iTunes installer direct from Apple’s site. They can also download iTunes via the Windows Store if they want to receive updates.

How About Google Chrome?

There are rumors that Microsoft is finding ways to bring apps like the Chrome browser to the Windows Store. But there are also indicators that Google Chrome may never show up on Microsoft’s digital shop, since Google would need to remodel its browser to conform to Microsoft’s rigid app specifications. For the time being, the only hope for this to happen is if Google decides to develop a new version of Chrome that is tailored for the Windows Store, as they have done for iOS. However, this is less likely to happen.

Samsung Announced That the 16-Megapixel ISOCELL Slim 3P9 Image Sensor Is Now Available

Samsung is an electronics and technology products giant known not only for its lineup of smartphones but its imaging solutions as well. Aside from producing some of the best smartphones available today, Samsung also leads in semiconductor technology. A concrete proof of this is its announcement of the new 16MP ISOCELL Slim 3P9 image sensor with Plug and Play solution. The product is a camera module that has been pre-optimized and is OEM ready.

Upgraded Image Sensor

The ISOCELL Slim 3P9 has 1.0µm pixel size. It uses Tetra Cell technology, which allows slim smartphones to capture vivid and bright photos. Tetra Cell combines four pixels to allow the 3P9 to become a 2.0µm image sensor. This is used in front-facing smartphone cameras. Tetra Cell also uses the Phase Detection Auto Focus or PDAF for faster and more efficient focusing. The 16MP ISOCELL 3P9 camera allows mid-range phones to take better photos using their front cameras even under low-light settings. Images will appear clearer with the optimized 2.0µm pixel size.

Below are the features of the ISOCELL Slim 3P9:

  • 1.0µm pixels combined with the Tetra Cell technology for high-quality images using the front camera
  • Advanced PDAF that works more accurately with twice the auto-focus power compared to other PDAF sensors today
  • Electronic image stabilization via gyroscope

What’s more is that Samsung has also come up with a complete solution for the back-camera module that includes actuators and lenses. Samsung has optimized and tested its imaging solutions at the module level instead of just on the sensor alone. This allows manufacturers to just plug the Samsung camera into their phones and save ample time—up to four months—on development.

As for image stabilization, Samsung uses movement data generated by the gyroscope in the device for adjusting photos and videos. Traditional electronic stabilization technology only analyzes every frame in order to detect and then adjust for any movement.

The ISOCELL Slim 3P9 is available for OEM. Samsung’s tech partners now have access to the ISOCELL Slim 3P9 and the Plug and Play system. However, there are no sample photos yet. The first smartphones to use this new product from Samsung will most likely come out this summer. Until then, we can only imagine how photos will look when taken with this hardware component.

A Leader in Image Sensors

Samsung has bagged the Top Chipmaker recognition based on revenue and by selling more smartphone units than any other manufacturer last 2017. That doesn’t stop the company from its attempt to advance and take Sony’s spot as the top producer of image sensors. According to several reports, Samsung aims to double the production of its sensors before 2018 ends.

The move to increase production of its camera sensors is a good one for Samsung. This will cushion the effects as China continues to mass produce in the coming years. NAND and DRAM prices are expected to drop in the process. Getting a very good share of the market for image sensors would give Samsung an advantage and a leeway for potential future losses.

Anker’s Audio Brand, Soundcore, Is Releasing More than a Dozen New Speakers

Perfect timing to usher in the summer season, Soundcore, Anker’s audio brand, is releasing a bunch of new headphones and speakers. Soundcore develops high-quality products at a lower price, perfect for audio enthusiasts who are budget-conscious but want quality as well. These new speakers are great for their impeccable battery life, which is a specialty of the Anker brand. Here are a few of the new products they’re coming out with very soon:

Flare and Flare+

Even with their petite sizes, the Flare and Flare+ sure pack a great punch. They are water-resistant, which makes them perfect to take with you on a beach trip or by the pool. The Flare is priced at an affordable $59.99, and they come in several color options such as black, red, gray, and blue. On the other hand, the more advanced Flare+ retails for $99.99, with its louder sound and 20 hours of playback capability. The Flare+ will launch in August.

Space NC

These are headphones with over-ear cushions that are noise-canceling. They can last up to 20 hours of playback, complete with noise cancellation and 40 mm dynamic drivers. The design is sleek and chic with a matte finish. These headphones are priced at $99.99 and have been up for sale since last 14th of May. They will become available online at Amazon towards the end of May.

Liberty Lite

With the popularity of Apple’s AirPods, the Liberty Lite is Anker’s attempt at producing a better version. These were made to be a cheaper version of the Anker Zolo Liberty, which cost $99 and launched earlier this year. They are considered to be the first ever sweatproof sports earbuds available on the market, equipped with Anker’s innovative SweatGuard technology. The Liberty Lite earbuds are able to run for 3.5 hours after every charge. They will sell for $69 and are set to launch on June 18.

Split Series

The Split Series consists of 3 earbud pairs with varying battery lives and prices. They are sweatproof and designed specifically for athletes and active fitness enthusiasts. The Spirit is a set of in-ear earbuds that is priced at $39.99 with 9 hours of battery capacity, while the Spirit X is more hook-styled and has 12 hours of battery life, selling for the same price of $39.99. The Spirit Pro, on the other hand, is a premium choice at 10 dollars more with a 10-hour playback time and a Qualcomm chip.

More audio products are set to be announced by Anker in the coming weeks. Among the most anticipated is the Infini series, which are advanced soundbars for television and can also double as Bluetooth-capable speakers. The BassUp technology and the newest SweatGuard technology give these new Anker products an edge. The Anker Innovations brand is a leader in consumer and charging electronics and, with this new venture with Soundcore, they are looking to continue taking the lead, although quietly, in the audio game.

The Best Phones for Gaming on the Market Right Now

Smartphones are just that—smart. These devices are specifically designed to cater to human interests and to offer convenience, whether it’s for productivity or entertainment. One of the most prominent uses for smartphones, especially for the younger generation, is gaming.

Of course, not all smartphones are created equal. There are niches that big brands cater to, groups who have specific preferences such as the selfie-conscious crowd or the busy executives. This is why each phone is developed with a special feature that will sell to a specific group. As such, the gaming crowd is a particularly picky bunch, with their tech know-how and detailed specs preferences.

If you’re a part of this crowd and looking for a phone that will give you the ultimate gaming experience, here are the 5 best phones for gaming available on the market today:

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

After giving us a blast—literally—the previous year, Samsung has made a major comeback with the latest Samsung Galaxy Note 8. It is considered to be the most ambitious flagship phone that Samsung has ever released. It has a crisp Infinity Display and houses powerful internal support perfect for heavy gaming. Its screen measures 6.3 inches with an AMOLED display and an excellent resolution of 1440p.

Under its sleek hardware, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 runs on Snapdragon 835 SoC with an Adreno 540 GPU and an octa-core 2.35 GHz processor. It has a 6 GB RAM and 256 GB internal storage. As for battery power, it has a capacity of 3,300 mAh.

OnePlus 5T

The OnePlus 5T is the cheapest phone on this list, without sacrificing performance. It has a new edge-to-edge screen that will give you an excellent viewing experience with its 1080p display. It also houses a Snapdragon 835 SoC, Adreno 540 GPU, and an octa-core 2.45 GHz CPU. It has 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB internal storage. The battery power is also good, with a capacity of 3,300 mAh.

iPhone 8 Plus

Considered a top contender as the best gaming phone, the iPhone boasts excellent internals that will wow gaming fans. It is a classic iPhone with bezels at the top and bottom of its 5.5-inch display. The display is great with an IPS LCD 1080p, although not as great as the others on this list. As for its internals, it packs an A11 Bionic chipset, hexa-core CPU, and an Apple GPU. The downside is that it only has 3 GB worth of RAM.

Razer

A popular brand in the gaming community, the Razer phone lives up to its name. Its display features a reset rate of 120 Hz, making it the best display out of all the phones on this list. It has an IPS LCD of 5.71 inches with 1440p resolution. It houses a powerful Snapdragon 835 with Adreno 540 graphics and 2.35 GHz processor. As for storage, it has a staggering 8 GB of RAM, although it only has 64 GB internal storage. Among its best features is the battery power—an impressive 4,000 mAh battery pack that will last you through a gaming marathon just fine.  

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.

 

Alexa Blueprints: Amazon Just Released a New Way for Users to Customize Alexa

If you’re an Alexa user, you’ll find Amazon’s newly released Alexa Blueprints a lifesaver. Not only does it make using Alexa less complicated, it also lets any beginner, with or without experience, use Alexa pretty well with ease.

What is Alexa?

For those who haven’t heard, Alexa is a virtual assistant developed by Amazon. It was originally developed to be used in Amazon Echo and the succeeding Amazon Echo Dot speakers back in 2014. Given that it is a virtual assistant, it has voice interaction capabilities, along with music playback, to-do list functionality, alarm setting, podcast and audiobook playback, and the usual traffic conditions, weather reports, and the latest news updates. It can also function as a home automation system as it can remotely control smart devices.

Alexa is activated through a wake word, while on other devices, a user will need to press a button to activate the listening mode on Alexa.

What is Alexa Blueprints?

Almost four years later since Alexa’s launch, Amazon has developed Alexa Blueprints. Alexa Blueprints is a new way for users to customize Alexa, giving them the chance to add new skills and responses without having to alter Alexa itself. There are no coding skills needed. Users can now create voice apps of their own and teach Alexa how to respond to certain questions. Be it a slew of stories for the little ones or some trivia games, Alexa Blueprints can help even those who have zero coding skills customize their own experience.  

How does one use Alexa Blueprints?

Given that it is marketed to those who have no prior background in app building and coding, Alexa Blueprints is very simple to use. You can create a new skill or personalized response on Alexa by simply visiting blueprints.amazon.com, where you can select a template to work with.

There is a selection of 20 templates available for users to customize. The templates are arranged under categories of interest, such as Learning & Knowledge, Fun & Games, Storyteller, and At Home. Once you’ve chosen a design, it is pretty straightforward from there. You simply enter your information or the things you want featured in your app. After you are finished filling up the template with your desired content, you can publish Alexa’s new skill or response with just a quick click of a button. Once you’ve published it, this new skill or response will now be available on all your devices that are Alexa-enabled and linked to your personal Amazon account.

 

With Alexa Blueprints, there are no complicated steps, nor will you even need to look up how to use it. The templates are available for you to try out before you are ready to make your own. Advanced users can of course proceed to making more complicated skills and responses to their own liking. Alexa Blueprints is a great way to personalize Alexa for all its users, whether they are tech-savvy or not.

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.

Moto E5, Moto E5 Plus, Moto E5 Play Specifications and Price

Lenovo-owned Motorola didn’t just stop with the new Moto G6 Series this year. To accompany the G6 Series, they’ve also announced another line of smartphones to their roster: the Moto E5 Series. The Moto E5 series is currently composed of 3 models, namely, the Moto E5, the Moto E5 Plus, and the Moto E5 Play.

With the G6 right above the line, the Moto E5 series was actually created to accommodate a more entry-level segment. In fact, many have already named it as the ultimate budget phone of the year. However, this definitely doesn’t mean that the E5 falls behind the G6 in quality.

For a phone that’s friendly to the wallet, the E5 has a lot of promising features that are definitely worth more than the price it came with. The Moto E5 and E5 Plus will be available to the Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, and Latin America by June 2018. However, the E5 Play will be restricted to customers in the USA only.

For now, read on below to find out more about this series before it hits the shelves.

Moto E5 Price and Specifications

At an MSRP of EUR 149, the Moto E5 runs on Android 8.0 Oreo and it comes with a 5.7-inch LCD in 1,440 x 720 pixels. And for an entry-level phone, it has an impressive 13-megapixel camera—the best among the three.

The Moto E5 has a 2GB storage, expandable up to 128GB. It also has a notable battery capacity of 4,000 mAh—a far cry from the average of 2,800 mAh with other phones.

Moto E5 Plus Price and Specifications

The Moto E5 Plus is definitely at the top of the series with an impressive 5,000 mAh battery life and TurboCharge support. This system is said to provide extra power of up to 6 hours with just 15 minutes of charging time.

This phone also has a 6-inch LCD size, the biggest among the three. It is also the only phone in the E5 Series that has an 18:9 display ratio. Although its camera isn’t as advanced as the E5, it surely does not lag behind with its 12-megapixel camera. Also running on the Android 8.0 Oreo system, the E5 Plus has a storage of 3GB and is also expandable up to 128GB.

At EUR 169 MSRP, the E5 Plus is an entry-level phone that deserves to be at the top.

Moto E5 Play Price and Specifications

The price for the E5 Play has yet to be revealed, but based on its specifications, one can guess that this model will be the most budget-friendly of the three. With its display size at 5.2 inches, the E5 Play is obviously the smallest of the bunch. Its camera is also at the lower end of the spectrum with a resolution of just 8 megapixels.

And compared to the generous battery life of both the E5 and E5 Plus, the E5 Play has an average battery capacity of just 2,800 mAh. Also running on Android 8.0 Oreo, the phone has a 2GB storage, expandable up to 128GB.

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!

Thin, Powerful, and Secure as the Surface Laptop

Microsoft has definitely stepped up their game when it comes to creating innovative laptops that can rival Apple’s MacBook. Released only June of last year, the Surface Laptop comes in a sleek non-convertible clamshell design that draws minimalists and tech geeks alike.

Availability and value for money

The Surface Laptop starts at $799 dollars, and it carries an Intel Core m3-7Y30 processor. It has a RAM of 4GB and SSD storage up to 128GB. For upgrades on the specifications, the price will go higher depending on what you want.

Considering its price, the most basic Surface Laptop features would do fine for most users who will mostly use Windows Store apps on it. The Windows 10 S operating system restricts users to Windows Store apps, which are not as resource-hungry as other apps and will not cause the laptop to slow down. It also saves on a lot of battery power.

Overall, even for the most basic user, the Surface Laptop is a premium notebook comparable to other laptops in its league, and it is definitely worth the money.

Design

One of the most attractive attributes of the Surface Laptop is its sleek design that screams efficiency and modernity. It is 13.5 inches wide and is considered to be among the most attractive laptops ever produced by Microsoft. It features a lid and body fully built with aluminum, giving it that premium look. This material choice has kept the Surface Laptop light and durable, eliminating the risk of dents and scratches as compared to other materials. Its keys, however, are made of plastic, but the keyboard is covered with the Alcantara fabric, giving it that soft, velvety feeling when used.

The Surface Laptop’s speaker is placed behind the keyboard, using the gaps between the keys as the grille. This is a feature that has kept the laptop from being too bulky. When it comes to its weight, it is somewhere in between Apple’s MacBook, which weighs only 1.08 kg, and Dell, which weighs about 1.29 kg. With a weight of 1.25 kg, it’s light enough to carry around in your bag for daily errands and you can easily carry it with one hand.

Specifications

The Surface Laptop features a vibrant screen with PixelSense touchscreen display that is made with Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The screen resolution is pretty impressive at 2256 x 1504, with 201 as its pixel density. The laptop’s screen is taller than it is wide, with an aspect ratio of 19:9, giving users more room when they are working. It’ll have an impressive widescreen display when used to view photos and videos, especially movies.

 

Overall, the Surface Laptop is a thin and powerful premium notebook that will give you your money’s worth. Its design is elegant with just the right amount of the modern industrial vibe with its aluminum cladding. It is efficient enough for your daily tasks at home or at the office, and light enough to carry around when traveling.

ZTE is the First Company to Bring a Smartphone Running Android Go to the US

In this rapidly advancing digital age, choosing what phone to purchase is just one among the many dilemmas gadget consumers face. More than ten years since Apple released the first iPhone, the number of smartphone users has been growing steadily. In fact, almost half of the world’s population today owns a smartphone.

We all have our own preferences and reasons for purchasing a phone. The most popular brands that sell cell-phones today continue to stay competitive in terms of quality in order to keep up with the market’s demand. Before purchasing, smartphone buyers take into consideration several factors such as affordability, camera features, storage, performance, and hardware. Those who are looking for a variety of choices when it comes to hardware design and price tend to opt for Android.

Just last year, Android Oreo Go Edition, more commonly referred to as Android Go, was introduced to the public.

What is Android Go?

Android Go is a simplified form of Android crafted to perform well on less sophisticated mobile phones with limited processing power and RAM. It takes up less storage space precisely because it provides apps that are stripped-down variants of the default Android apps – giving you Go editions of YouTube, Maps, Gmail, and others. Even lightweight versions of Instagram and Skype are now available.

Another highlight that the operating system offers is the chance for you to save on mobile data. For instance, on YouTube Go, you can see how much data will be used for the resolution you choose in streaming a video. This is particularly useful for people living in countries having very costly data plan packages with not much to choose from.  

ZTE First to Bring Android Go Smartphone to the US

The ZTE Tempo Go, now available for only $80, was released in the US earlier this year. It looks pretty plain and basic. It’s designed with a 5-inch screen with a resolution of 854 x 480, 1 GB RAM, 8 GB storage, and a 5 MP rear camera. It also includes a 2MP front camera and a 2,200 mAh battery capacity.

The phone’s specs are quite minimal and may not be highly impressive compared to the best-selling smartphones out there but with Android Go, users can still enjoy a smooth experience at par with the standard Android – and at an even remarkably affordable price.

ZTE was among the six companies to announce its Android Go smartphone at the Mobile World Congress this year. Alcatel is also expected to release a smartphone running Android Go in the US this year.

Although Android Go was designed to primarily target countries where lower priced phones sell more than famous expensive brands, ZTE was sure to include the US in their market. Through this, US buyers with not much to spare when it comes to phone-shopping can also relish in the advantages of a cheap but good-quality smartphone.

When they first came out, smartphones weren’t as accessible as they are today. Thanks to the ZTE Tempo Go and other phones powered by Android Go, you can now enjoy the benefits of a smartphone costing below $100, which nonetheless gives you the experience you’re looking for.

The News and Rumors About Apple’s New iPhones 2018

It’s never too early to talk about the up and coming iPhones. Now that the highly-anticipated iPhone X has hit the shelves, everyone’s turning their attention to the 2018 model. And most are hoping it will be better than the last — or should we say, hoping all three iPhones are significantly more advanced.

Yup, you read that right. You might be seeing three new iPhones this fall.

Apple seems to have an entirely new vision for their flagship line, and they’ll be turning that into a reality this year.  But what does that mean for the consumer?

Will prices hit the roof? Will you have to sell cellphone units that are preloved to afford a new iPhone? Will they be worth the upgrade?

Here’s everything we’ve heard about this year’s line-up:

Three iPhone Models: Sizes, Specs, Prices, and Names

Earlier this year, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that the poor demand for the iPhone X will lead the Cupertino-based tech giant to discontinue the 5.8-inch models. According to him, the notch holding the device’s sensors is partly to blame for its unpopularity as it gave consumers the impression that the device comes with less usable space than the iPhone 8 Plus.

Kuo believes that Apple will eventually get rid of the iPhone X. Instead of using it as a lower-cost alternative in the succeeding year, the device will be discontinued in the summer of 2018. Replacing the 10th-anniversary iPhone is a trio of devices which will be available in various sizes, specs, and prices.

Sizes

The first in the lineup is supposedly a second-generation version of the iPhone X. Much like it, the device will feature the same 5.8-inch OLED display.

The second is more of an iPhone X Plus version. It is the largest in the lineup and will also sport an OLED display.

The last and definitely the cheapest of the three is a 6.1-inch iPhone. Unlike the other two, this model won’t have an OLED display and several other iPhone X features.

Specs

All three devices will feature the TrueDepth camera system that will be able to support FaceID. That means you won’t be seeing more of home buttons and Touch ID fingerprint sensors in Apple’s flagship smartphone series.

The 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch iPhones are expected to come with the same features as the iPhone X while the 6.1-inch variant won’t be equipped with most of them. For instance, the smartphone will have an aluminum frame instead of a stainless steel one. It will only have a single lens for the rear camera, and it may not even support wireless charging.

Prices

By cutting the aforementioned features, Apple will be able to keep the cost low for the 6.1-inch smartphone. As for the 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch devices, it might still be priced at $999 and $1,099, respectively.

Names

Since Apple is rumored to be gradually moving past the iPhone X, you probably want to know if, at the very least, the moniker will stick. The company might decide to adopt this new naming scheme to usher in this big change in their flagship series. However, we won’t know until Apple makes it official.

The same goes for the rest of the information mentioned above. Apple has neither confirmed nor denied these statements. Hence, you must take all of it with a grain of salt.

Must-Know Google Pixel 2 Features

Most gadget experts and stores that sell cell-phone units recommend the Google Pixel 2. Along with its plus-size version, the Pixel XL 2, these Google devices are considered to be the best smartphones available today. The Google Pixel 2 is an excellent addition to the current lineup of Android-powered phones as it provides a variety of impressive features and remarkable hardware.

If you already own a Pixel 2 or are planning to get one, here are a handful of its underrated features and some helpful tricks to ensure you make the best use of the smartphone.

Calibrate the “At a Glance” Widget

The Galaxy Pixel 2 has an exclusive feature called At a Glance. It’s a widget located on the top-right part of the phone’s home screen. It shows a variety of information such as weather details, traffic updates, and calendar appointments. The widget offers customization options, albeit only a couple, so you can personalize it to your liking. To do so:

  • Choose a blank part on your phone’s home screen.
  • Long press it until the Home Settings and At a Glance option pop up.
  • Configure the settings for calendar events and other details according to your preferences.
  • Save your customized content.

For the time being, the option to reposition the widget is still unavailable, unless you install a different launcher.

Activate the Split Screen

Much like any other Android smartphone, the Galaxy Pixel 2 virtually enables you to do your own thing. You can customize the settings to your specifications. You can load as many apps as you want. You can even run multiple apps simultaneously. Pixel 2 users, in particular, can activate split-screen view to start multitasking. To power up this feature:

  • Launch the Recents key. It’s the square key located at the bottom-right side of the navigation bar.
  • Double tap the key to roll out the last two apps you’ve used.
  • Long press the icon until the screen horizontally splits into two. The top part will launch the most recent app you’ve opened. You can choose another app for the bottom part of the split screen. It must be noted, though, that the app you choose should already be running in the background.
  • Long press the icon again to return to full screen.

Not all apps work on split screen but plenty enough do, and the feature makes multitasking so much easier.

Customize the Display Mode

Both the Galaxy Pixel 2 and 2 XL offer several unique display modes that enable users to personalize the on-screen colors of their smartphone. If you prefer a different display mode other than the preset OLED screen, there are more options available. To personalize your display mode:

  • Launch the phone’s Settings.
  • Tap Display.
  • Choose Advanced to show more options.
  • Tap Colors. You’ll get three color choices: Natural, Boosted, and Saturated. Natural is the default color scheme. Boosted is sRGB with added 10% saturation. Saturated has the most intense color scheme.
  • Choose the display mode you want and then click Save.

 

For die-hard Android users, the Galaxy Pixel 2 is an excellent choice if they need a phone upgrade. Since it’s powered by Google, it features many of the search engine’s notable tech innovations. For iPhone users switching to a Google phone for the first time, the Pixel 2 is both a perfect introduction to Android and a worthy investment.

Alienware Advanced Gaming Mouse AW558 Review

Dell has joined the gaming peripherals market with the launch of four Alienware peripherals: two keyboards and two mice. For many tech experts and retailers that sell laptop gaming accessories, these peripherals make sense. Alienware is mainly a gaming brand. When a gamer buys a new Alienware system, it’s only logical to purchase the brand’s peripherals to match the system. Thus far, the four new gaming gizmos are well-received by the market. But the Alienware Advanced Gaming Mouse AW5588, in particular, is getting a lot of positive feedback.  

The Advanced and the Elite

The two Alienware mice are the Advanced Gaming Mouse or AW558 and the Elite Gaming Mouse or AW958. The AW558 features the PixArt PMW3325 while the AW958 comes with the PWM3360. The two mice are supported by the Alienware Control Center. Both also have programmable buttons and use the RGB AlienFX Lighting. Each has nine buttons. Apart from the standard left click, right click, scroll wheel, two left-side navigation buttons, and DPI switch, three thumb buttons are also available.

These Alienware mice are almost identical, but one is pricier and has additional features. The AW558 costs $39.99 while the AW958 is sold for $74.99. The added feature of the latter is swappable side panels so gamers can customize the grip to their liking. The Elite model also has detachable weights to calibrate the mouse’s weight based on the gamer’s preference. The two gaming mice also enable players to toggle through DPI settings. For the Advanced Gaming Mouse, it’s three steps on-the-fly. For the Elite Gaming Mouse, it’s five steps on-the-fly.

Is the AW558 Enough for Serious Gamers?

The Advanced Gaming Mouse is a budget-friendly accessory that offers more than just basic mouse features.

All-in

This advanced gaming gizmo is made by Alienware, one of the most trusted manufacturers in the gaming market. The AW558 features a noteworthy design that helps gamers immerse in their virtual combat. It’s the perfect mouse for new players and amateur gamers. It’s also a good back-up accessory for serious gamers.

Precise

The AW558 delivers instant response and sharp sensitivity control. Its maximum DPI is 500 with three on-the-fly settings so gamers can switch actions in seconds. It also boasts a decent optical sensor.

Long-lasting

This sturdy gaming mouse is specifically designed to withstand countless virtual fights without wearing down or inducing pain or discomfort. It has an extended grip that provides thumb support. It also features high-capacity Omron switches to ensure efficient functionality as much as 10 million clicks.

Tied up with Dell’s RGB Lighting

The AW558 complements the AlienFX, Dell’s own version of an RGB lighting system. The AlienFX provides a more in-depth gaming experience, thanks to its striking lighting effects. Both Alienware mice can be customized using the Alienware Control Center.

 

For serious and professional gamers, the features and functions of Alienware’s Advanced Gaming Mouse AW558 are fairly standard. But overall, it’s easy to use and fast enough to sustain a competitive game, making it a decent choice for new game enthusiasts and amateur players.

What to Expect from the Samsung S9

Among all the gadgets that vigorously sell, cell-phone units seem to have the fastest turnover. People buy phones, easily grow tired of them, and immediately exchange them for newer models. And the manufacturers sure don’t get tired of releasing new ones every season.

Samsung is one of the top companies that deliver smartphones of great quality. They go head to head with Apple and release units that are on par with iPhones.

Next month, the Samsung S9 will finally be launched, and a lot of avid users cannot wait to see it. What can we expect from it? What innovative features will it offer this time?

The Samsung S9 Specs

The official launch is still a month away, but people have already been raving about Samsung S9. Apparently, the specs and features will no longer come as a surprise. Thanks to online gossip, we already know what we’re looking forward to.

The handset will be powered by the Samsung Exynos CPU. It is expected to have a 5.8–6.1-inch QHD and Super AMOLED curve display. Moreover, it has a 4GB–6GB RAM and a 64GB storage that expands up to 400GB with a microSD card.

Like the most recent S-series phones, S9 can support an LTE connection with speeds up to 1.2Gbps. The batteries are at 3,000–3,500 mAh and can support wireless charging.

Other extra features include a fingerprint scanner at the back and an iris scanner in front. It also has a dual vertical rear camera and an 8MP front-facing camera.

The handset also has stereo speakers and a smart Bixby AI assistant. It is expected to be water- and dust-resistant as well. And although its design hasn’t been officially made public yet, it is said to come in titanium gray, lilac purple, coral blue, and midnight black colors.

More Info on Samsung S9

Samsung will go live with the launch on February 25 through their Unpacked app. Consequently, the fans are dying to see if all the details in the rumors are true. There have been leaks saying that pre-orders have already started for the Galaxy S9 and S9+ specifically.

But some say that pre-orders for S9 will start just a few days following the launch, perhaps by the 1st of March.

Many are curious to know how much it’s going to cost them to purchase this highly innovative phone. Reports reveal that the price will start at around a whopping $1,100.

This is a hundred dollars more expensive than the Samsung S8. And as for the S9+, the price is expected to start at around $1,225.

Meanwhile, a lot of people have been raving about a tweet from Roland Quandt containing images of the S9 that looked official. The fans have gotten even more excited since these are the clearest photos of the phone that have been published so far.

Indeed, much is expected of the Samsung S9 after the successful release of its predecessors in the S-series. We definitely hope it will be worth all the wait.

2018 MSI Gaming Laptop Releases

While 2017 ushered in more Virtual Reality headsets and drones, it looks like 2018 is going to be quite an exciting year for pro gaming. Groundbreaking advances in gaming technology were unveiled at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which was held last month in Las Vegas. MSI, for instance, had quite the line-up. Here are two of the best of their up-and-coming gaming laptops:

 GE63 Raider RGB Edition

Since its debut, the GE series has remained an all-time favorite of gaming enthusiasts. The GE63 Raider has been out for some time now; however, MSI is launching an RGB Edition, which is slated for release quite soon.

Design

MSI has taken functional lighting to a whole new level with this one. The latest addition to the series is equipped with an RGB-lit back panel and keyboard that can display over 24 million colors across its 12 zones. That includes the USB port. But aside from it looking cool, there’s a functional aspect to these RGB lights. Gamers can set the lights as indicators for in-game statistics, notifications, etc.

Performance

Details remain scarce. Though the laptop is going to be powered by an Intel Core i7 CPU, MSI has not announced its generation. Additionally, it might come with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 or 1070 graphics, and at least 32 GB of RAM.

Price and Release Date

As of this writing, MSI has not revealed pricing details of the GE63 RGB Edition nor have they announced a specific release date. But the laptop is expected to come out sometime in the second quarter of the year.

 GT75VR Titan Pro

MSI broke new grounds with their latest premium gaming laptop, the GT75VR, which comes with massive improvements to its design as well as performance. Above all else, this is MSI’s first virtual reality-ready gaming laptop.

Design

With its backlight control, gamers are able to customize each key according to their liking. Let’s face it — looks can be just as important as performance. On the other hand, there’s more to the SteelSeries Rapid Mechanical RGB Keyboard than its backlight. The keyboard boasts a total travel distance of 3 millimeters and only 1.5 millimeters of actuation. Last but not the least, the design features an elevated palm rest, providing gamers with better ergonomics and comfort, perfect for a long gaming binge.

Performance

The GT75VR is the epitome of high level gaming. It is the first gaming laptop to be equipped with NVIDIA’s next generation GeForce GTX 1080 GPU, which provides desktop-level performance. With these GPUs, enthusiasts should also be able to enjoy an exceptional VR experience. Though an optional feature, enthusiasts can enjoy the GT75VR in Full HD with a 120Hz refresh rate and a 3ms response time.

Price and Release Date

MSI has yet to set a date or a price for the GT75VR.

With two impressive laptops on the way, there’s no point in holding off on replacing your gear. Now is the time to get rid of or sell used laptop units and buy yourself a faster and more powerful one.

References:

https://www.msi.com/Laptop/GT75VR-7RF-Titan-Pro

http://www.shacknews.com/article/103123/ces-2018-examining-the-msi-pc-laptop-and-monitor-lineup

https://www.msi.com/blog/MSI-Unveil-the-Latest-GE63-Raider-RGB-in-CES-2018-And-the-worlds-1st-Launch-of-GT75-with-Killer-1550-WiFi

 

 

How to Recycle an Old Laptop

Out with the old, in with the new. This mantra especially applies to technology today. Innovations here and there change rapidly and a lot of old stuff are being disposed and forgotten.

You buy one laptop model and use it for a few years (hopefully), and then you find yourself upgrading to another one. So what happens to the old one?

Before finally throwing your old laptop away, consider recycling it. Yes, you read that right. You can recycle an old laptop too.

This article will tell you some steps you can perform so that you don’t immediately put your pre-loved computer to waste.

Cleaning Your Hard Drive

But wait! Before you dissect and recycle your laptop, be sure to wipe out your hard drive. This helps maintain privacy and security.

You would never want to deal with someone else stealing your private information or even your photos and videos. Identity theft is a huge issue today, so save yourself the hassle by making sure your files are completely deleted.

FYI, when your files are in the trash bin, that doesn’t mean they are completely deleted. If you don’t know how to do this, you can go to your manufacturer’s service centers and have them wipe out your drive for you.

Putting Your Hardware to Good Use

Even when your laptop is already too obsolete in terms of systems and processor, you can still make use of its hardware. Creativity is the key here. Think of as much ways as you can to reuse the parts and convert them into something that’s also useful.

You can put out the parts and put together a home file server, for instance. A file server doesn’t have to have high-end parts anyway– only basic and functional parts. You can use this as storage for numerous files and data.

If only selected parts of the laptop remain working, you can find each one its own purpose and do conversion. For instance, the internal hard drive can be converted to an external one. You can seek help from a tech expert or find a tutorial to do this.

Put out the most random parts too and practice your DIY skills. Perhaps you can reuse the cooling fans, the circuit boards, even the monitor frames as art pieces. After all, junk art is a thing nowadays.

Donating Instead of Throwing

If your laptop is still functional, why not share it to an institution that needs it? There are tons of organizations and schools out there that have no budget for computers.

Perhaps they can just have your laptop refurbished a little so they can use it. Letting somebody else benefit from it is still better than just throwing it.

You should seriously consider recycling your laptop, not only to get your money’s worth, but to help the environment too. There have been reports that found too much electronic waste in garbage disposals. This is really hazardous and this can be detrimental to us in the future.

 

 

 

 

Phone Releases to Watch Out for in 2018

The year 2018 will be a good year for retailers who sell cell-phones. Gartner, a research company, projected a 2% increase in smartphone sales this year compared to 2017.

This is not just good news for business-minded people. The arrival of better, high-quality phones also means a lot for other consumers. Many people today do not only use their smartphone to connect with loved ones and friends. Some also use it for business purposes. If you are planning to treat yourself to a new unit this year, here are some phone releases you should watch out for:

 Nokia 9

Nokia made a huge comeback last year as they finally launched Android handsets. Last September, they released their flagship phone Nokia 8. It looks elegant with its impressive QHD display, but tech experts claimed there is nothing so unique about it.

Rumor has it that the Nokia 9 will be waterproof. The rear cameras, according to the news, will have a wide-angle and a zoom function. With the arrival of Nokia 9, many consumers will surely be happy because the phone’s target market includes people looking for budget high-quality phones.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Samsung’s upcoming flagship phone is expected to come out during the last quarter of 2018 because the company is still addressing some durability issues.

For now, we can hear a lot of rumors about the features of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. It is believed that Note 9 will retain the Note 8’s infinity display screen, fingerprint scanner, and front-facing camera. Furthermore, news surfaced that Note 9 will be lighter compared to its predecessor.

iPhone X Plus

It may be too early to talk about the next iPhone because iPhone X just came out three months ago. The iPhone X is Apple’s most revolutionary phone to date. It ditched the home button and uses facial recognition, which is more secure than fingerprint locks according to Apple.

The iPhone X already has cool features, so what else should we expect with iPhone X Plus? Believe it or not, the company is about to launch four more new smartphones this autumn so we are looking forward to that!

Huawei P20

This coming March 27, Huawei will unveil the P20 in Paris. What keeps the Huawei P20 interesting is the three cameras on the back. Recently, the Chinese smartphone maker only used dual cameras for their units so this one will be something new for Huawei consumers.

New BlackBerry

The company announced during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018 that they will produce two new handsets this year. So far, we heard that one of the new upcoming BBs will be a successor to the KEYone. The phone, which was first released in April 2017, boasts a good battery life and accurate keyboard. The only problem is its small screen, since a majority of consumers today prefer a big smartphone. Will BlackBerry release a bigger KEYone? We will soon find out!

Which among these phones are you looking forward to see? Hopefully, with the arrival of these new flagship phones from these giant smartphone brands, we will also see better apps.

7 Apps and Items that Consume Too Much Storage Space

It’s almost always the case when you get a new smartphone: you’d think you have an abundance of storage space. You may also think you can never fill up the huge space. After all, you only take a few photos and play a couple of games. But just after several months, you have a full phone and zero clue why.

If that scenario sounds familiar, it’s time to weed out the apps and data that eat too much of your phone’s storage space. For Android devices, the Storage pane can display exactly what consumes too much space on your phone or tablet. You may also manually check each app to see how much space they take up.

To start clearing out space, take note of the following apps and items that you can undoubtedly delete without regrets.

All Your SMS, App Messages, and Group Chats

It’s okay to save and store important messages and memorable conversations. But it’s an altogether different thing to save every single message you have from every person you’ve chatted with. It’s more than likely you don’t need to save text messages dated years ago. You don’t have to keep random ads like data freebies or buy and sell tablet promos. Check all your messages across all platforms – SMS, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, etc. – and delete the conversations you don’t particularly need.

Duplicate Photos

It has become the norm these days to take countless photos (or selfies) to get that “perfect shot” for Instagram. If that’s your deal, it’s all good. But once you have your perfect shot, make sure to delete the other 50 imperfect photos so you can save storage space.

Screenshots

Much like duplicate photos, screenshots also take a lot of digital space. If you’re fond of taking screenshots for your DIY projects, make sure to delete the photos once they’ve served their purpose. If the screenshots are for work, send and save the files on the cloud after taking the photos. This way, you can delete them right away.

Apps that You Never (or Rarely) Use

Go through your apps to see which ones you never (or rarely) use. At times, you get excited about free apps that you just start to download everything that catches your fancy. But it’s unlikely that you often use the free apps you’ve installed on your phone. To free up some space, uninstall the apps that you never (or rarely) use. They just take up precious digital space. Worse, they can slow down your device.

Videos (of anything)

Videos take up a great deal of storage space. If you have a newborn child, a pet, or a toddler, it’s almost impossible not to record every little thing they do. Again, that’s alright. But every now and then, move the videos to your cloud storage to free up space on your smartphone.

Cached Data

The longer you use your phone, the more data you store in its cache. And at times, some cache data are just junk. Make sure to delete the junk routinely to prevent consuming too much space.

Instagram Photos

Instagram provides a handy feature where you can save both the original picture and the photo posted on the app. It’s less likely that you need two copies of the same picture. Tweak the app setting to disable saving both photos.

Don’t let yourself miss out on what’s important just because you don’t have enough storage space left to save anything else. Regularly check on the items listed above and don’t be afraid to let go of what’s unimportant.

 

6 Gadgets, Tech and Services that Met Their Demise in 2017

Much like with living things, a life cycle also happens to technology. Every year, there are services and gadgets that are discontinued to make way for better tech and devices.  In 2017, we lost a number of once-renowned services and gizmos that have lost their “mojo” some time ago.

Here’s a list of the noteworthy tech and gadgets that expired last year.

 

Windows Vista

After a decade since its launch, Microsoft pulled the plug on Windows Vista. On April 11, the giant software company discontinued what is arguably the most disparaged version of One Microsoft, and for good reasons. Before its death, the system hasn’t been updated for the longest time, which means there are also no security updates.

 

iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle

After making the iPod Classic obsolete three years ago, Apple terminated two more iPods from its product lineup last July. The iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle are now considered archaic. The last remaining iPod device is the Touch version, which is more than just a standalone media player.

 

AOL Instant Messenger

One of the most prominent fixtures during the start of the Internet era is AOL Instant Messenger.  After a hard-fought battle to stay afloat, AOL Instant Messenger permanently logged off in 2017. With its demise is the termination of its buddy lists, fun blooping noises, and away messages.

Some blamed the death of AOL Instant Messenger on the cultural shift that happened when social networks began popping up here and there. With social platforms like Facebook and modern messaging apps like WhatsApp, AOL had a hard time coping with the change they bring.  

Also, on the same day that their instant messenger expired, AOL deactivated their forums on CompuServe.

 

Amazon Underground

Just after a couple of years of offering freebies like in-game materials and apps compatible with Android, Amazon threw in the towel on its Underground software. Though Amazon continues to run its own app store for Android programs, the company has deemphasized it as merely an alternative to Google Play. And without the appeal of freebies, users have little to no more need for a third-party app source.

Google Talk

After a 12-year run, GChat is out. The messenger service of Gmail, formally referred to as Google Talk, bade goodbye last June. Discontinuing GChat is a step forward for the giant tech company in streamlining its extensive messenger app lineup.  

 

Delicious

Delicious, better known as del.icio.us, is a Web 2.0 icon. It enabled users to save and share website bookmarks online. In 2005, Yahoo acquired the site and planned to officially close it in 2010 as part of the company’s purging of mediocre products. But Delicious was passed around more than once. With each new operator comes the intent to remodel the site. Alas, no one did know how to do it. As a final push, its rival, Pinboard, bought the site for next to nothing. The company promptly set the once popular website to read-only mode.

 

Which of these obsolete services and gadgets will you miss the most?

5 Practical Ways to Use Your Old Tablet

When you plan on buying a new tablet, what will you do with your old device? You have a number of choices available. If you’re feeling generous, you may give the tablet away to a loved one. Alternatively, you can donate the gadget to the local nursing home or recreation center. If the tablet is damaged, you may return it to the manufacturer for them to properly recycle or refurbish the unit. If it’s still worth something, you can even sell your old device.

Repurposing your old tablet to give it a brand-new purpose is perhaps the most practical thing to do. Here are some tips to look into:

 

Streaming Media Machine

Your old iPad or Android tablet can be converted into a streaming video and music device. Most streaming services for iOS and Android are compatible with virtually any brand of tablet. Hook up the old device to a Hi-Fi stereo or a Bluetooth speaker to make it even better. For music streaming, you can connect it to Spotify or Pandora. For convenient Netflix streaming, pair the tablet with a Chromecast.

 

Home Security

An alternate way to reuse your old tablet is to transform it into a camera that you can access from just about anywhere. Specifically, you can turn your old tablet into a home security camera. You just need a couple of apps for this to work. If your old tablet is pretty sophisticated on its own, you may even link it to other gizmos to establish motion alerts.

This is a good, practical tip if you have pets at home that you want to monitor throughout the day.

 

Smart Remote Control

Turn your old tablet into a smart remote control to make many of your web-based activities easy and convenient. Even if you don’t own a specialized smart remote control, most smart televisions and standalone devices such as Android TV, Fire TV, and Apple TV provide remote applications for handheld devices. Use the apps to convert your old tablet to a working smart remote control. This can help you to better streamline your web-based programs, streaming services, and user interfaces.

 

(Another) Desktop Monitor

If you want a dual-screen desktop, save money and use your old tablet. Again, there are several apps that can turn your tablet into a computer monitor either through a USB connection or via Wi-Fi.  In particular, Apple tablets have a better external display, so iPads would really work well as another desktop monitor.

 

e-Reader

Let’s assume your old tablet is almost on its death bed. You can still repurpose it before it finally retires by giving it a lightweight job. The best you can do in this scenario is to use it as an e-Reader.  Reading apps like Amazon and Kobo can give you access to its vast library. If you already have eBooks on your computer, you can easily transfer them into your old tablet. If you already own an e-Reader, you can sync the eBooks between the two gadgets. You can leave one at home and have the other one with you when you’re traveling.

Don’t just throw away your old tablet even when you have a new one. By repurposing it, your old gadget can still serve you well.

4 Gadget Trends for 2018

It seems like every year, there are brand new gadgets and gizmos that take things to the next level. The technology available right now is so much more than what we had a couple of years ago. And its progress is expanding all the time. So, as 2018 is just a few days away, let’s see what gadget trends we can expect to wow us even more.

 

Mainstream Virtual Reality

Unlike other smart technologies, virtual reality (VR) had a rather slow start. The buzz began with basic VR headsets. They weren’t as prevalent as other gizmos. The older VR headsets needed extra accessories that were also pretty expensive. Also, users were required to have technical knowledge to make them work.

But thanks to the steady VR developments made this year, 2018 will be all about taking VR mainstream. A good sign of this prediction is the launch of the Facebook Oculus Rift. The site’s VR feature is created using ‘outside-in’ tracking techniques that boost accuracy.

Advanced Security Devices

2017 was all about smart devices. Now, 2018 will be about using those smart devices in many incredible ways. One of these amazing methods is keeping homes secure. There will be an influx of gadgets that provide homeowners more control over the security of their homes.

These days, video doorbells are becoming the norm. This smart security device gives people the ability to see who’s at the door even if they’re not physically at home. It’s expected that more and smarter improvements will emerge next year, most of which will improve the technology of existing security devices like the incorporation of mobile apps and cloud backups.

Wearable Gizmos

Wearable devices have been around for quite some time now. The likes of pedometers are used by consumers worldwide. By 2018, experts anticipate superior options for wearable gadgets. Wearable pollution trackers, for instance, are developed to monitor the air quality that surrounds people.

The demand for breathalyzer wristbands will also increase next year. This wearable gizmo enables users to check their blood alcohol content. The wristband detects chemicals through the sweat on the skin. Even fitness trackers will be upgraded in 2018. Fitness tracking rings are expected to sell like pancakes since they have the same capabilities as wristbands, but in a much smaller package.

Internet of Things

The notion of “Internet of Things” has considerably grown over the years. The concept refers to a network of devices, gadgets, software, and connectivity that helps improve the life of its user. 2018 will undoubtedly see an evolution and expansion of gadgets that can be linked to one another. That means the connection will go beyond mobile phones and computers.

Smart devices will soon launch long drawn-out ideas such as smart locks for the home. The increase in linked devices will guarantee that the Internet of Things will be easier, faster and more accessible to all. The interconnection of web-based elements is a trend that has been discussed for some years now, but 2018 will be the year for its absolute growth and progression.

 

So, which 2018 gadget trend are you excited about?

Tips to Optimize Instagram Stories

Social media has made it possible for everyone to document their everyday lives. What gastronomic delight you’ve eaten, what weird coffee concoction you had, what #OOTD you wore to an event, what books you can’t wait to read, and anything and everything in between.  These are the typical content of Instagram Stories – seconds-long tidbits shared on the app just for 24 hours.

If you’re a business or a brand, the list of reasons to use Instagram Stories is never-ending. Done correctly, this Instagram feature can boost brand engagement. Above all, the number of people you’re able to reach is much greater than on Snapchat, Instagram’s toughest competition.

Now, you may know the basics of Instagram Stories, but there are a few not-so-hidden tools that you can use to make your photos and videos more fun and engaging. Here’s one that is the most effective for business and personal brands:

Stickers

Once you have a picture or a video ready, jazz it up with fun Instagram stickers. To access the variety of online decals available, tap the sticker icon seen in the upper right-hand corner of your mobile screen. Alternatively, you can just swipe up from the bottom of your screen.

Size: Add the sticker to your story. Pinch it to increase or decrease its size. To change its position, either tap or drag the online decal around the frame.

Variety: Instagram offers unique stickers all the time. They even release special ones relevant to an event, a celebration or a season. Just check the option before you share your story to see if there’s a timely sticker you can use.

Location: You can boost engagement using stickers by adding your location. Type in wherever you are. If you’re in a big city or a famous landmark, there’s a good chance that you can get a special geographic sticker of your location. Once your viewers tap your location sticker, they’ll be presented with photos and Stories from other Instagram users that have used the same geo-sticker.

Hashtag: This works pretty much the same as the location sticker. To make it work, choose the hashtag decal and simply type in the tag you want to use.

Poll: A poll sticker is great for business purposes or just for fun. Instagram Stories offers a two-option sticker poll. You can customize the possible replies if you don’t want to use the standard “yes or no” answer.

 

A Bonus…

To make your Stories more interesting, use Snapchat filters.

From the now infamous dog face to the vomiting rainbow, filters on Snapchat have become a well-loved means to engage with your followers. Instagram, unfortunately, doesn’t offer the same filter variety and creativity.  A clever trick to fix this problem is to take a Snap of yourself using a fun Snapchat filter. Save the Snap to your camera roll. Open your Instagram Stories and access your funny Snap. You can add stickers to make it livelier and more engaging.

 

For stronger brand recall, share several Instagram Stories throughout the day.

Gadget Gift Ideas for Foodies

A coffee lover. A budding cook. A chocoholic. A proficient gourmand. A seasoned chef. There is a neat gadget out there that is perfectly tailored to the needs and palates of these foodies. Here’s a list of some of the best gizmos designed for food lovers and rulers of the kitchen.

Auto-Measure Spice Carousel

Fiddling around for a quarter of a teaspoon of dried oregano can get annoying very fast. Estimating is a big no-no, too. The perfect solution for accurate spice measuring is the Auto-Measure Spice Carousel. With it, cooks and foodies don’t have to dig into the cabinet drawers for little measuring spoons. The cool gizmo features 12 of the most used spices. It also has a dial that releases spices in quarter-of-a-teaspoon batches.

Prep Pad

Prepping food, especially for busy health buffs, is an important step that can’t be missed. It can also be time-consuming, especially with the manual calculation of nutrients. It gets harder when the fresh foods don’t have a label. The Prep Pad cuts all these steps in half. Foodies can get the nutritional data for raw foods, even if they don’t come with labels. The gadget connects wirelessly to any Apple unit. Upon connection, it’ll show all the nutrition facts depending on the food’s weight. The info will appear on the Countertop app available on the Apple Store. The best benefit of the Prep Pad is its ability to sync with Jawbone UP. It can monitor the user’s daily activity and suggest the best post-workout meals.

Electric Salt and Pepper Mills

For fancy foodies who love freshly-cracked pepper on their food, the Electric Salt and Pepper Mills will be a definite hit. The dual gadget is a high-tech version of the typical salt and pepper dispenser. They have sensors that instantly trigger the blades when the mills are flipped over. The blades automatically stop whirling once they’re in an upright position.

Mr. Coffee 10-Cup Smart Optimal Brew

For coffee lovers who are lazy to get out of bed or have hectic mornings, Mr. Coffee 10-Cup Smart Optimal Brew is the perfect foodie present. It readies the morning coffee without the drinker getting out of bed. Using the WeMo app, the user can set a timetable for the much-needed caffeine fix. This schedule can be changed at the eleventh hour or turned off remotely.

Digital Measuring Cup

This kitchen gadget may look like a standard measuring cup, but it’s nothing common or ordinary. The Digital Measuring Cup is loaded with fantastic digital features. It makes cooking and baking faster, easier, and more fun. The usual measurable ingredients like oil, flour, milk, sugar, and water have their own weight setting. The digital cup has a built-in conversion unit. And as a bonus, it also doubles as a weighing scale for meat.

Plated

For home cooks and professional chefs who have busy schedules, Plated is a godsend. It is a subscription service that delivers fresh ingredients anywhere. It also provides gourmet recipes that can be made using the distributed ingredients. Best of all, the fresh foods are individually packed and portioned according to the given recipes

 

Shop for these kitchen gizmos and online services for your foodie loved ones. And perhaps, you’ll get a free meal out of ‘em!

How is Facebook Local Different from Foursquare?

Facebook has a quest to be the one-stop source for anything and everything. That’s evident with its new app, Facebook Local. The app delivers an impressive push into helping people find things to do, places to go, and services to try, all of which are based on the recommendations of others.  

Sounds familiar? It should be since it’s basically an app that merges the primary services of Yelp and Foursquare. But since it’s Facebook, the social media giant, Facebook Local has its own twist.

 

What Makes Local Different from Yelp and Foursquare?

Facebook Local is a refurbished variation of Facebook Events. Its goal is to assist people in finding and locating nearby activities and services to try. Its other goal is to make Facebook a much more visible and usable player in the local search.

Using the app, users can look for places such as cafes, theaters, restaurants, and gyms. They can also search for events like concerts and festivals. Facebook Local requires users to log in using their Facebook accounts. As such, it can use locations that a user’s friends have liked or events they’ve RSVPed to using the site.

Activities and locations are searchable in three ways: by name, by category, or by browsing the site listings. The categories include food, drinks, fitness, movies, music, and health. Results are sorted by popularity, distance, relevance, and rating. Keywords can also be used for easy look-up. Choosing a location displays its operating hours, address, as well as Facebook rating. Users can even get directions using a third-party map, view the event, or look at the place’s website or Facebook Page.

When people install the app on their phone, they can accept or decline Facebook’s request to track their locations. Also, they can set up a city as their preferred search recommendation, even if they don’t live there.

The home tab of Facebook Local also features places and events broken down into three subcategories: For You, Events, and Guides. “For You” provides services and activities trending in the neighborhood. It also shows the events that Facebook friends have RSVPed to. “Events” details local activities and functions arranged by day in chronological order. “Guides” divides activities and events by interest such as arts, culture, music, games, and fundraisers.

 

Facebook Gains through Facebook Local

Facebook hasn’t released any information yet if Facebook Local will soon feature ads. As such, it’s still ambiguous how the app can specifically contribute to the company’s ROI. But, its indirect benefits are more obvious.

Regardless if the users allow the app to track their location or not, they still must set an area when using the app. This helps Facebook measure people’s interests in that particular location. Choosing specific places further indicates interest. This is particularly true if users take action, like calling a restaurant or getting directions.

And even if users don’t give the app authorization to track their locations, they could have previously allowed Facebook to do so. The social media giant has empowered brands to retarget the users that have RSVPed to their activities or stopped at their physical stores. Facebook, at some point, can retarget Facebook Local users to benefit the site’s ecosystem.

The Best Gadget Stories of 2017

The year has brought us cutting-edge gadgets and sophisticated social platforms. It seemed like a new flagship phone had to be reviewed every other week. And there’s a never-ending cycle of new gadgets and gizmos.

Here is our short list of the best gadget stories of 2017.

Apple AirPods

Technically, AirPods launched in 2016. However, it was almost the end of December when they were made available to the public. Even then, it was hard to buy a pair. So, in a way, AirPods are 2017 babies. And they were worth the wait. Some tech experts say that Apple’s latest ear accessory is the best output the company has launched in a long time.

Think of the AirPods as the upgraded version of the EarPods, but without the wires. They basically have the same functions and properties. Although with the AirPods, the controls are tapped onscreen rather than through the wired remote. That being said, the absence of the wires plus the extra sensors on the AirPods made a massive difference. Obviously, you no longer have to deal with the tangles. But more importantly, there is no more reverberating noise in your ears.

Nintendo Switch

There’s a long list of Nintendo controllers and they’ve always been unexpected, but in a good way. What users can expect is that they are all manufactured to make the games even better. But through the Nintendo Switch, the video game company showed the value of “teamwork” between hardware and software. The company’s hardware generally differentiates itself from the competition through its awesome controllers.

The Nintendo Switch is basically a multi-touch screen, much like a smartphone. It has easy-to-detach controllers on both ends. To make a standalone wireless controller, the Switch’s controllers are separated and recombined using a plastic handle. The screen is put on a dock connected to a monitor. Think of it as a home gaming console and a Game Boy rolled into one.

Amazon Echo Show

Alexa is phenomenal. Amazon’s smart assistant is functional, fun, and clever enough to work on both simple and complex tasks at home. In fact, it’s pretty great as a voice assistant. But incorporating a 7-inch screen to it makes a huge difference. With Amazon Echo Show, you get visual feedback based on your commands. You also can do other new things, like monitor security cams and make video calls. It has features that are accessible with just a simple voice command for everyone in the household.

eSight 3

In this era of web-connected gadgets, it’s great to find devices that provide solutions to problems of a higher order. For instance, the eSight 3 is an over-eye visor. This nifty gadget helps legally blind people get around. It uses a special combination of a high-def camera and a video display. eSight 3 provides a live feed on OLED displays positioned in front of the eyes of the wearer. The gizmo is compact and doesn’t need the use of hands. More importantly, it can do pretty much everything a blind person needs – from reading to providing directions.

 

What about you? What are your favorite 2017 gadgets?