Tech News

Samsung's Galaxy Book 2 is available in Australia at long last

Latest Tech News - Mon, 02/25/2019 - 20:22

Released in the US back in November 2018, Samsung's second generation Galaxy Book has finally arrived on Australian shores, available to purchase starting today (February 26). 

As the first Samsung 2-in-1 to be powered by a Qualcomm 'system on a chip' (Snapdragon 850 to be exact), the Windows 10-powered Galaxy Book 2 brings LTE connectivity via the processor's built-in modem.

Galaxy Book 2 users also get 4GB of memory, 128GB of solid-state storage, a 12-inch Super AMOLED display with a 2,160 x 1,440-pixel resolution and AKG-tuned twin speakers with built-in Dolby Atmos.

And, unlike most other 2-in-1s on the market, accessories like the device's S Pen stylus and detachable keyboard cover are included in the box. Customers who pick up the Galaxy Book 2 before March 31, 2019 will also receive a bonus Samsung Multiport Adapter (valued at $179) at no extra cost.

Priced at $1,599, the Galaxy Book 2 is available from Samsung's online store and via Telstra. The device will also be coming to Vodafone stores, though a precise date has yet to be determined.

Categories: Tech News

Amazon Prime Day in Australia: What to expect during Prime Day 2019

Latest Tech News - Mon, 02/25/2019 - 20:13

While Amazon Prime Day is now a well-established annual bargain-hunting phenomenon in overseas markets, Australia has had just the one so far. That’s because Amazon entered the Australian e-commerce market late, arriving Down Under in December 2017 to an underwhelming response.

Despite that, Amazon made every attempt to quickly improve its catalogue of products and has expanded its warehouse network by adding a second one in Sydney.

With its Aussie ambitions growing, Amazon finally debuted Prime Day Down Under in 2018, offering some excellent bargains across every category to its Prime members.

Amazon raised the price of its Prime subscriptions in the US by 18% last year, leaving Australia with one of the cheapest fees globally. With benefits including free expedited shipping, early access to Lightning deals, and free subscriptions to Prime Video and Prime Music, it’s well worth considering signing up for Amazon Prime even if it's not just for Prime Day 2019.

Australia wasn’t the only country to debut Prime Day in 2018 – Singapore, the Netherlands and Luxembourg joined the bandwagon as well – making it one of the most successful Prime Days in Amazon history. 

But was it worth all the hype, and will it do better in 2019? Let’s find out.

Image credit: Amazon

What is Amazon Prime Day?

Amazon Prime Day began in the US in 2015 as a celebration of the company’s 20th anniversary, with more deals on offer than Black Friday at the time. Today, Prime Day is Amazon’s members-only sale held once a year, historically in July. While it began as a one-day sale, 2018 saw the offers last for 36 hours.

To make the most of Prime Day you’ll need to get yourself an Amazon Prime membership which, in Australia, will set you back just $6.99 a month or $59 a year. 

Signing up for Prime means you’ll have free access to Amazon’s streaming services, including Prime Video, Prime Music and Twitch. Members also get free access to Prime Reading and Prime Photos for all their ebook and storage needs. 

Most importantly, a Prime membership gets you free shipping on domestic purchases, no matter the price of the product, and free delivery for international goods costing over $49 bought from the global section of Amazon’s Aussie storefront.

How did Amazon perform on its first Australian Prime Day?

According to statistics from Hitwise, Amazon got over over 3.2 million visits (on both the US and Australian sites) on Prime Day 2018, with Aussies preferring the US storefront despite a ban on shopping from overseas sites after new GST laws were passed. That ban, however, has been lifted, which could be good news for Australian shoppers this year.

Data from Hitwise shows that Aussie shoppers searched for mobile phones and game consoles the most in the lead up to Prime Day 2018, with Amazon’s own Echo and Kindle products amongst the 10 most viewed items on Prime Day itself.

The high volume of visits resulted in a nice number of sales for the e-commerce giant with a conversion rate of 7.77%, the highest rate that any top Australian retailer has reached.

Prime Day 2018 earned Amazon a whopping US$1 billion in sales.

Image credit: Amazon

Prime Day 2018: the best-sellers from last year

Prime Day 2018 saw Amazon sell over 100 million products around the world and over one million smart home devices – not just Amazon ones but Philips Hue lights, Hive thermostats and various manufacturers’ smart plugs. It was the biggest day ever for Echo devices, Fire tablets for kids, Kindle e-readers and Fire TV products.

A lot of the products that went on sale globally aren’t available on the Australian storefront. According to Finder.com.au, Amazon Australia only had about a tenth of the deals offered to US customers and significantly fewer than those available to Canadian and UK members. Where the US typically offered 2,800 deals at any given time, the Australian version only had 340. On the upside, discounts were more generous.

That said, Amazon is still relatively new in Australia, so we can hope it does better this year. And despite the low volume of deals available Down Under, Amazon did sell a whole load of gaming consoles, particularly the Nintendo Switch.

The latest console from Nintendo had over 71,500 page views, followed by Sony’s PS4 Pro at over 31,000 views, according to Hitwise. In fact, the Lightning Deal on the Nintendo Switch was offered twice and both times saw the console sell out within seconds of the deal going live.

Best deals from Prime Day 2018

While the Nintendo Switch and the PS4 Pro were last year’s bestsellers, some of the discounts on other tech products were also rather significant.

For example, the Xbox One S 1TB Minecraft Bundle was on sale for just $199, down from its usual $398 listed price. Bose’s very popular and excellent QuietComfort 35 II noise-cancelling headphones dropped down to a low of $329 a set, although it was even cheaper over the Black Friday sale period in 2018.

Amazon’s own Echo devices saw significant price drops, with the original Amazon Echo smart speaker selling for just $109 over the Prime Day sale, while the Echo Dot dropped down to just $39 a pop. Even the basic Kindle ereader saw a great discount of $30, bringing the price down to a very affordable $79.

Image credit: Nintendo

What to expect from Prime Day 2019 in Australia

Amazon has been expanding its catalogue ever since it arrived on Aussie shores, and we’re fully expecting the online marketplace to outdo the 2018 offers.

First and foremost, though, expect to see Amazon’s own products to receive significant price drops. Prime Day 2019 would be a great time to nab yourself the 2018 range of Echo devices, including the All-new Echo Dot and Echo Plus.

You’ll also find great offers on other smart home products, including the Philips Hue starter kits and bulbs, and also on robot vacuums like the iRobot Roomba 960. Expect the Amazon-owned, and rather expensive, Ring Video Doorbell 2 to receive a discount as well.

With more TVs available on Amazon Australia now, we think Prime Day 2019 would be an ideal time to upgrade your home entertainment system, especially if you’re in the market for a good 4K smart telly.

We saw premium headphones receive great discounts on Prime Day last year, as well as over the Black Friday shopping period, meaning you’ll definitely be able to snag a pair of Bose or Sony headphones for less.

Amazon has also partnered with Samsung to offer Aussie customers an easy one-stop shop for all of the South Korean manufacturer’s products. We’re hoping that some of these, including the latest Galaxy S10 range of handsets, see a slash in prices on Prime Day this year.

And avid readers are definitely going to be able to pick up a Kindle, even the premium Kindle Oasis, at a cheaper price.

What does Prime Day mean for Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

Amazon has historically prioritised Prime Day over Black Friday – according to Digitalcommerce360.com, 67% of the 2018 Prime Day deals available overseas were lower than comparable deals on the preceding Black Friday.

In Australia, though, we saw some prices drop lower during the Black Friday sale period as compared to our first ever Prime Day. Perhaps Amazon was testing the waters, and we fully expect the company to outdo itself during both sales in 2019. But Prime Day is more important to the firm, and we’d expect its discounts to be deeper this year, especially on its own devices.

Prime Day: why does it matter more to Amazon?

There are some crucial differences between Prime Day and Black Friday. The first is that Prime Day is Amazon’s own day. It’s right there in the name which, of course, refers to Amazon’s Prime membership program and associated services. Amazon doesn’t own Black Friday, and that means ultimately it’s just another retailer shouting for attention – a massive retailer with a really loud voice. Black Friday is a sales event for the entire retail sector. With Prime Day as its own take on November sale period, it makes it much harder for rivals to muscle in on something that Amazon has effectively created from thin air.

The second and more important difference is that Black Friday doesn’t create new spending. It just moves it slightly. As we’ve discovered in recent years, the money people spend over the Black Friday period is money they were probably going to spend anyway: all Black Friday really does is concentrates pre-Christmas shopping in the last week of November. 

Prime Day spending is different in two ways. First of all, people aren’t spending the money they’d already planned to spend on Christmas presents. And secondly, they’re buying mainly for themselves, not for others.

There’s another key benefit for Amazon. Its global bestsellers on Prime Day weren’t just Amazon devices; they were Amazon devices that connect to Amazon services. Fire TVs, Kindle Fires, Echo devices, Alexa remotes. Each one of them connecting to Amazon Prime, and each one of them requiring a Prime membership to buy in the first place. So when Black Friday rolls around, Amazon will have a whole bunch of Prime members for whom shopping on Prime is the default, and who might want to enhance their Amazon-powered smart homes with Amazon-branded Black Friday deals.

Prime Day means that for Amazon, Christmas now comes twice a year.

Categories: Tech News

The best Netflix series in the US (February 2019): fantastic Netflix shows

Latest Tech News - Mon, 02/25/2019 - 19:48

Best Netflix Shows: Welcome to TechRadar's guide to the best shows and TV series you can stream on Netflix in the United States. 

These days Netflix plays host to some of the best TV shows on the planet, bar none. From originals like The Good Place, Bojack Horseman, Dark, and Riverdale, to syndicated content like Archer, Black Mirror and Breaking Bad, if you need to unwind with a great TV show, there's only one place to go.

That means, if you're anything like us, you spend a lot of time in front of the Netflix screen. That also means you run out of shows to watch. 

To help you keep that IV bag of great TV content dripping, we've scoured the video streaming service to create a guide to the best Netflix shows in the US right now. We keep this list constantly updated with the latest television shows that you should be watching, so check back soon for more highlights.

February / March update: There were some surprise hits in February, from the cult comics classic The Umbrella Academy that's now in its first season on Netflix to season two of The Dragon Prince. In March things will get a bit dark with the debut of the third season of Santa Clarita Diet (March 29) as well as the fifth season of How to Get Away with Murder on March 31. If blood, guts and comic books aren't your scene, Arrested Development's second half of the fifth season drops on March 15. 

So where should you start? Our list starts with the most recent releases - so start at the beginning with the latest options or dive straight in to the best of the best, the choice is yours. 

Why focus on Netflix? Why not hit up Hulu or tackle Vudu, Crackle or Vimeo? Well, those services are great but, in our opinion, Netflix has the most variety and probably the best shows of any of the other services. 

That being said, there’s never been a better time to binge watch, so get stuck into our gallery and let us know if your favorite show isn't on the list. 

Live in the UK, the UAE or Australia? We have guides for those, too!

Check out our Amazon Prime vs Netflix video below:

We've got some bad news, true believers: Netflix will no longer play host to Marvel TV shows. The companies announced their separation in late 2018, and sealed the deal in February of this year with the cancellation of Jessica Jones and The Punisher. 

That said, for the foreseeable future, you'll still be able to watch episodes of all the existing Marvel shows, which now include Daredevil, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and the one-time crossover event, The Defenders.

But don't dawdle, there's no telling what tomorrow will bring for the heroes (and villains) of Hell's Kitchen. 

Seasons on Netflix: 3

While we were disheartened to hear that Netflix would end its long-running partnership with Marvel Studios on shows including Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, we were treated in February to The Umbrella Academy - a comic series written and developed by former My Chemical Romance frontman Gerald Way. The comic series, which is currently in its third run, has attracted a huge cult following (not unlike My Chemical Romance) and Netflix scooped up the rights to the series.

That said, the show isn't as great as its Marvel forerunners - but it scratches the itch for super-powered TV shows without relying on iconic (and expensive) IPs.    

Seasons on Netflix: 1

The long-awaited reboot of everyone's favorite teenage witch is finally here, just in time for Halloween - all 10 episodes of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina are available to stream now on Netflix.

From the looks of it, the new series is pretty dark as Sabrina navigates the mortal world and her supernatural heritage.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Dancing Queen is a reality TV show meets documentary, which follows former RuPaul's Drag Race contestant Justin Johnson (AKA Alyssa Edwards) in his day job as the owner and director of children's dance company Beyond Belief. 

Fans of Dance Moms, Drag Race, and Queer Eye will love this heartwarming series - but be warned - with only eight episodes on Netflix, it's dangerously binge-able. 

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Created by Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin, and Jennifer Flackett, Big Mouth is a fictionalization of Kroll and Goldberg's teenage years in Westchester County, New York. 

The series is all about puberty, with Nick's raging hormones personified by Maurice the Hormone Monster, who wreaks havoc on his anxiety-ridden teenage life. 

Season 2 has just hit Netflix, and it's still as graphic as ever in its frank portrayal of the ups and downs of being a teenager and dealing with a changing body (don't watch this one with your parents).

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Critically acclaimed comedy The Good Place is back for a new season, continuing to follow the afterlife of a recently deceased woman who is sent to heaven by mistake.

The last season ended on something of a cliff hanger, so fans will be pleased to know that there will be a new episode every week. A great cast, clever writing and an original concept make this a must-watch.

Seasons on Netflix: 3

Starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill, Maniac is a dark comedy miniseries, which follows two strangers as they embark on a pharmaceutical trial for a drug that claims to solve the users problems, permanently.

In the first day of its release, the show has been met with widely positive reviews, and the entire first season is available to stream on Netflix.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Bojack Horseman is back for a brand new season, following glowing reviews for the previous four. 

Following the life of  washed up actor Bojack as he struggles with alcoholism, toxic relationships, and family issues, the series is just as heartwarming as it can be heartbreaking. For those who are worried it may be too dark for them, fear not - there's loads of slapstick humor, word play, and stunning animation to keep everything balanced.

Seasons on Netflix: 5

Coming of age show Atypical is back for a new season, with Keir Gilchrist reprising his role as Sam Gardner, an 18-year-old with autism. Season two follows Sam as he starts thinking about colleges, and his family as they struggle to come to terms with a betrayal. 

Sam may be the show's protagonist, but it's his little sister Casey who steals the limelight in the new season, as she tries to balance school, her running career, friendship, and love. 

Even if you left education a long time ago, it's difficult to shake that feeling of 'back to school' at the beginning of September - with that in mind, why not try out a few high school themed shows on Netflix?

A good place to start is American Vandal, a mockumentary that examines the aftermath of a school prank that sees teachers' cars vandalized. The light-hearted ribbing of serious true crime documentaries like Making A Murderer and The Staircase has received great reviews, and the second season is set to arrive on Netflix on September 14. 

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Before the new season drops on October 10, you can still catch up with the first two seasons of Riverdale, the teen drama based on the infamous Archie comic book series. 

If you were a fan of Archie comics as a kid, this interpretation of the beloved characters is far darker and more mysterious than you'll remember, revolving around the murder of a local boy while the characters attempt to navigate high school, relationships, and family.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Orange Is The New Black is back for its sixth season and is a show that consistently one of the best to watch, with its superb tale of life in a women's prison. It's so popular that its makers have announced that the show will be running until at least season seven.

That being said, the show is dark. Tensions and issues with the US prison system brought to the forefront and while the comedy from the first few seasons is still there, it's slathered with a fair bit of drama. 

Seasons on Netflix: 6

ESPN might've had the world of sports documentaries well in hand with its 30 for 30 series. But that was before Netflix got the crazy idea to make one of its own. Inspired by an article in GQ magazine, Last Chance U follows student athletes who are one step away from never playing football again. On top of the pressures on the field, students face problems in the classroom where class absences and the fear failing hit harder than a defensive lineman. It's gritty, heart-wrenching and exactly the kind of series that gives you something to root for all while biting your nails.

Just in time for football season, the third season of the show – which follows a new team in Independence, Kansas – is now available.

Seasons on Netflix: 3

Before we continue on with recommendation, Shameless comes with a warning: this show, a dramedy about a poor family in Chicago, really is shameless. Frank, played by William H. Macy will scheme his way to his next drink ... even if that means taking his own kids' lunch money. If you have ethical problems watching less-than-admirable people doing whatever it takes to make ends meet, Shameless isn't for you.

All that said, those that don't mind a bit more ... unscrupulous cast of characters will seriously enjoy Shameless's grittier, sex- and money-driven take on the Modern Family comedy.

Seasons on Netflix: 8

13 Reasons Why tackles tough subject matter in a way that's both heartfelt and shocking in equal measure. The show is a high school drama that revolves around a student, Clay Jensen, and his friend Hannah Baker. Hannah commits suicide, and the first season covered the 13 reasons why that happened. 

As you'd expect, a lot of the topics and themes in 13 Reasons Why might be distressing for some viewers. So really bear that in mind if you're planning on watching it soon - and consider who you're planning on watching it with, too. 

That said, if you can stomach the source material, 13 Reasons Why offers a well-wrought candid look at the societal pressures put on teens in the technological age.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Netflix has had a rocky road with sci-fi adaptations - the Wachowski's Sense8 had grand ambitions but didn't quite hit the sweet spot for everyone. Altered Carbon is hoping to change that, with its unique blend of dystopian science fiction. Based on the book of the same name by Richard Morgan, the show has sparks of brilliance ( Joel Kinnaman is great) but is also occasionally ridiculous in its outset (James Purefoy hams it up throughout). It strives to be more than it actually is but we admire what it's trying to do. Oh, and it looks fantastic in 4K.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

If you feel like you've been getting too good of sleep recently, American Horror Story is all-too-happy to fix that for you. You'll find seven seasons of the show on Netflix, each of which centers around a different plot line and unique set of fears. Not sure if clowns are all that scary? Watch American Horror Story. Think porous materials are harmless? Again, watch American Horror Story. Anything you love can and will be used to scare you silly.

[Update: American Horror Story: Apocalypse, the eight season in the anthology series is out now on FX. We're not sure when it will be available to stream on Netflix, but we will update this article as soon as it lands.]

Seasons on Netflix: 7 

Given that Archer is set at the International Secret Intelligence Service (unfortunately abbreviated as ISIS), recent terror atrocities have meant the animation has been getting headlines for the wrong reasons. But don't let this unlucky nomenclature put you off. 

Archer is a brilliant send-up of spy movies of yore, complete with some of the best voiceover talent - many of which have been pruned from the cast of Arrested Development. Now in its ninth season, Archer is still one of the best cartoon comedies around.

Seasons on Netflix: 9

If it wasn't for Netflix, Arrested Development would have stayed as a three-season wonder. The streaming giant decided to take a gamble and fund a fourth season of Mitchell Hurwitz's brilliant family comedy and we are glad it did. While splitting the family up for most of the season meant some of the spark had disappeared - this was done to fit in with the actors' busy schedules - the fourth season proved that there was still a lot to like about the dysfunctional Bluth family. 

Filled with season-long in-jokes, perfect site gags and spot-on wordplay, Arrested Development is a comedy that needs to be watched on repeat - and even then you will find something new to laugh at.

Seasons on Netflix: 5

Freddie Highmore was one of the sweetest child actors around in his younger years, playing cherubic children in the likes of Finding Neverland and the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Now he's a fully fledged adult he's taken a much darker turn as future Psycho psycho Norman Bates in the show Bate Motel. A prequel of sorts to the Psycho movies, Bates Motel is a fantastic spin on the horror tale, ramping up the relationship Bates has with his mother - a cold and calculating Vera Farmiga - and sprinkling breadcrumbs along the way that point to how he became who he became. 

Seasons on Netflix: 5

Better Call Saul is better than Breaking Bad. That’s a sentence we never thought we would write, but it’s now three seasons and it is flawless TV. It doesn’t have the menace or fear that propelled Walter White in Breaking Bad, instead it takes its time to paint a picture of Saul Goodman, someone that was in Bad mainly for comic relief. 

In his own show, though, creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould have created a well-rounded, means well character whose descent into criminality is a slow burn. Although some characters have started to appear from Breaking Bad, the show doesn’t beg for the appearance of Walter White or Jesse - it’s now it’s own thing entirely.

Seasons on Netflix: 4

Season 4 of Black Mirror is out now and is the darkest, most varied season of the show yet. Comprising six episodes of varying (almost feature) length, Charlie Brooker has concocted another dose of dystopian satire that riffs off everything from Star Trek to, well, schlock-horror The Driller Killer.

Before Black Mirror, Charlie Brooker was best known for his snarky looky at the news in Weekly Wipe and his fantastic, caustic look at meeja types in London’s Shoreditch. Now the show has given him superstar status. For good reason, it’s fantastic TV with each episode taking on a different dystopia topic, mostly framed around technology going very long. The third season was commissioned by Netflix and is in 4K, with most of the episodes being feature length.

Seasons on Netflix: 4 

More addictive than the meth pushed by Walt and Jessie, Breaking Bad is brilliant binge-watching television. The initial plot is simple: a straight-laced teacher is told he has cancer and to make sure he leaves his family with the best possible life, he turns to drug making and dealing. There's method to his madness as he ends up being pretty good at it. Creator Vince Gilligan has created such a good group of characters, he is currently mining the same world again with Better Call Saul. But that has some way to go reach the highest highs that Breaking Bad offers.

Seasons on Netflix: 5

The words 'food porn' get thrown around a lot these days, and typically are preceded by a hashtag and proceeded by us viciously rolling our eyes. But Chef's Table is the real deal – 4K footage of some of the best chefs in the world making their signature dishes and doling out morsels of philosophy to keep your mind just as engaged as your stomach. 

Parts of the show come off as a bit too heady for the source material and are prone to veering a bit off course (there's multiple scenes where a particular chef talks about polygamy for some odd reason) but overall most of the chefs come off as genuinely eccentric masters of their craft. 

Seasons on Netflix: 4

Wish your fairy tales were a bit ... darker?  Dark is a German-language supernatural thriller in which the disappearance of two children in a small town brings the fractured relationships and dark pasts of the people living there to the surface. 

Adding a touch of Scandinavian crime thriller to American drama, Dark is an example of foreign-made TV from Netflix that translates into every territory.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

If you like your cultural analysis with a dose of humor, Dear White People is the show for you. Starring Logan Browning at the conflicted Sam White, Dear White People navigates the tricky grounds of race relations in America in the post-Obama-but-yet-not-post-racism era. The first few episodes back away from hitting on anything too heavy but come episodes five and six, you get a biting sense of why this show is so needed at this point in our history. Funny, clever and dripping in wit, Dear White People isn't so much an attack on American ideals as it is a series about exploring, explaining, defending and deliberating the issues facing people of color in the US.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Created by Netflix and Vox Media, this handy and smart series takes a look at some of the most popular ideas and tech around today and explains them in a way that's poignant in its presentation without feeling overwhelming to take in. 

From the racial wealth gap, cryptocurrency amd why diets rarely work through to K-Pop and the stock market, it's an insightful look at the problems, ideas and trends around today and the stuff that could shape tomorrow. At the very least, it gives you enough knowledge to have a really good debate down at the pub. 

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Co-created by and starring the ever-brilliant Brit Marling, The OA consists of eight episodes that rival Stranger Things for, well, strangeness. 

Marling is a blind woman who comes back after disappearing for many years. Her sight is restored and she has a tale to tell. Although there are eight episodes they vary wildly in length - from 70 minutes to 30 minutes. The whole thing has been made to make you feel uneasy and it does a great job of that.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

The long-awaited second season of the female wrestling comedy GLOW is finally here. The Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling have returned and this time they’ve been commissioned for a full series of their trashy, hot-pink, hairspray-fuelled wrestling show led by their coked-up director (played by Marc Maron). Early reviews suggest the second season could potentially even outshine the first for its refreshing female-fronted cast and writers and its brilliant balance between empowerment and exploitation. It’s a must-watch.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Based on the life of comedian Bill Burr, F is for Family is a funny and endearing cartoon set in 1970's American suburbia, and centers around Burr's father Frank Murphy. 

A little like an even more adult version of The Simpsons, the series is all about 70's nostalgia, with musical, costume, and cultural throwbacks interspersed with Frank's profane rants at his misbehaving children and long suffering wife Sue.

Full to the brim with laugh-out-loud moments, the series is just as heartwarming as it is hilarious. 

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Calling The IT Crowd the British version of The Big Bang Theory is an insult to one of the greatest 'nerd' comedies of all-time. Even though the show ran for a scant four seasons, it remains one of the best parodies of modern geekdom. If you need a break from all the murder mysteries and crime fighting shows on the streaming service, the IT Crowd is a harmless, hilarious take on life in the world of IT and thoroughly deserves its cult status. 

Seasons available on Netflix: 4

 And there was us thinking that Daredevil's subject matter was dark. Jessica Jones is another tale set in Hell's Kitchen that may be under the Marvel banned but is about as far removed from the bromance of Thor and Iron Man that you are likely to see. 

Breaking Bad's Krysten Ritter is superb as the titular Jones, a private detective with superpowers and super issues. This is nocturnal noir that moves in the same circles as Daredevil - figuratively and literally as both characters will eventually team up in the Defenders. It may not have the bone-crunching violence that Daredevil is famed for, but there's enough booze, sex and black humor on the screen to make this a cracking comic-book caper that's strictly adults only. 

The second season arrived in March 2018, adding 13 new episodes to this great show. Don't miss our full Jessica Jones review!

Seasons on Netflix: 2

This awkward rom-com has been penned by Judd Apatow and it's yet again another hit for Netflix Originals. It's a similar bedfellow to Master of None, but it improves on the themes of dating, love and city life with characters that are more rounded and a touch more believable as they fail, give up and start over again in rapid succession. Community's Gillian Jacobs is great as the prim Mickey, while Paul Rust is effortless as slacker Gus. The show stealer, though, is Apatow's uber talented daughter Iris who plays a frankly horrible child star.

The 'will they, won't they?' shenanigans continue in the second season - those expecting a plot-heavy season will be disappointed, though, as Love meanders through its storylines - which is no bad thing (and more realistic) if you ask us.

Love's third and final season, the third, is also ready to watch. You can finally lay this rocky relationship to rest. Phew. 

Seasons on Netflix: 3

Luke Cage is back for a second season and this time he's brought some of the other TV superheroes along for the ride. This season sees Cage teaming up with the Iron First for what is an other assured stab at the Luke Cage mythos. 

After making his debut in the first series of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage is now firmly rooted in Hell's Kitchen and over two seasons (and two shows), the character has matured into something of a powerhouse. The second season still suffers from the same slump the first did, but after the mediocre The Defenders and the plain bad Iron Fist, this is a breath of fresh air. 

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Mad Men is more addictive than the cigarettes Don Draper is trying to market us. If you've never watched it, essentially Mad Men is a show about everything we now consider taboo in glaringly harsh light. Set in 1960s America, inter-office intercourse is par for the course, along with ashtrays overflowing with cigarettes, sexism at the highest levels and a complete disregard for morals so long as it serves the characters on their climb to the top of the corporate ladder. Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and his assistant Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) shock and entertain us by showing the lifestyles of the advertising executives who got the public to buy cigarettes long after they knew the health risks.

Seasons on Netflix: 7

True crime stories are so hot right now, evidenced by the immense popularity of the podcast Serial and HBO's The Jinx. Netflix's original series Making a Murderer however, is probably the hottest of them all, documenting and recounting the trials of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey, two working-class Americans accused of the murder of 23-year-old photographer Teresa Halbach. Over its 10 episodes, the show exposes the failings of the Wisconsin justice system in blood-boiling detail. Having spent 18 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, Steven Avery is exonerated based on new DNA evidence.

 However, shortly after his release, he becomes the prime suspect in Halbach's murder, and Avery is put through the ringer once again by law enforcement figures that seem to have it out for him. What follows is an anger-inducing sequence of events that involve forced confessions, unconvincing (and possibly planted) evidence, dodgy lawyers and a complete presumption of guilt from almost everyone involved. Compelling, infuriating and tragic, we guarantee you won't be able to stop watching Making a Murderer once you've started.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Master of None takes Ansari out of Amy Poehler's shadow and brings him into his own, showing audiences a side of the comedian that anyone in their mid-20s or early 30s can relate to. Like Louie, Master of None covers the oddities of everyday life, incorporating all the heartfelt moments and awkward situations that come with the territory. 

If you haven't watched it, now's a good time – the second season just arrived.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

David Fincher is no stranger to Netflix, he's heavily involved in House of Cards as producer and directed the first episode, but Mindhunter is Fincher going ... well, full Fincher. It's based on John Douglas' book of the same name and charts the life of an FBI profiler whose job it is to track serial killers. It's set in the '70s and all 10 episodes of the show ooze appeal. It's a sinister mashup of Silence of the Lambs and Mad Men and stars the superb Anna Torv - of Fringe fame. 

Fincher directs four episodes and the whole thing has been written by Joe Penhall who wrote the screenplay for The Road. 

Seasons on Netflix: 1

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction has a simple but fantastic premise: What if, instead of having David Letterman host a late night talk show, he sits down with some of the most prominent people in entertainment and politics and just talks to them, person-to-person. There's no big band to play him off, no goofy segments to fill time, and no commercial breaks. It's just Letterman and his guests for 50 minutes at a time. The inaugural episode stars former US President Barrack Obama, which in and of itself makes it worth watching.

Seasons on Netflix: 0.1 (There's only one episode out right now)

Narcos is that wonderful thing: a TV show that doesn't scrimp on controversy. Based on the exploits of Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar, the show examines the criminal's rise to the top of one of the biggest drug rings the world has seen, while constantly trying to avoid the clutches of the DEA.

Uncompromising, uncomfortable but completely unforgettable, Narcos is exactly the sort of thing that Netflix should be commissioning. It's also the sort of thing that HBO would have snapped up just a few years ago - which is very telling as to where television is today. 

The third season of Narcos is out now! 

Seasons on Netflix: 3

Based on the manga of the same name by Hajime Isayama, Attack on Titan is an action -packed anime that's set in a world where humans live in cities protected by enormous walls to protect them from gigantic humanoid monsters called Titans who devour them at any opportunity. 

When a Titan breaks through the wall of protagonist Eren Yeager's hometown, he vows to get revenge by joining a group of soldiers who battle them. Although the show has a dedicated fan following, the second and third seasons are yet to be released on Netflix.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Zooey Deschanel is adorkable - a word that we hate to use but describes her character of Jess perfectly. The plot lines are thin here but the comedy is sheer gold as Jess lives with a gaggle of guys who just can't seem to get their lives together. Now going into its last season, Jess has a man-crush and while we don't want to ruin the surprise here, the long journey from single life to nearly married is one well worth taking.

Seasons on Netflix: 6

We always knew Amy Poehler was funny. Sketch after sketch on Saturday Night Live proved she had the comedic timing of a professional stand-up mixed with the creative capacity of an executive producer. Each episode of Parks and Rec is a chance to see Poehler do what she does best, with an excellent supporting cast of Nick Offerman, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza and Rashida Jones behind her every step of the way. While we were sad to see the show come to a heart-wrenching conclusion this year, the finale in February was the perfect excuse to go back and binge-watch the entire series from start to finish.

Seasons on Netflix: 7

Need a dose of feel-good TV to help cope with today's rocky political landscape? Check out Queer Eye, a show about being the best you with help from five of the coolest dudes on the planet. The show just entered its second season and we're still loving the premise of taking people stuck in a rut and hoisting them to the self-respecting, self-loving person we all want to be. 

Seasons on Netflix: 2  

Santa Clarita Diet is sort of like if the show Dexter met Modern Family. It stars Drew Barrymore as the stereotypical TV mom, with one simple, but quite interesting difference: she likes eating people. 

This brand-new show on Netflix is a great send up of the family sitcom, taking all the tropes that make Modern Family and the like so successful, then turning them on their head, and then eating their head. And be warned: when things are eaten it's all very grizzly – so much so that it could give The Walking Dead a run for its money. That said, it's probably best to put the kids to bed first.

The second season of Santa Clarita Diet came to Netflix in March 2018, and proves this high-concept show isn't a one-season blow-out. 

Seasons on Netflix: 2

It shouldn't work but it really really does. This modern retelling of the Sherlock Holmes stories is as good as it gets. Benedict Cumberbatch is everything you want in a Holmes - someone that wallows in wit, weirdness and warmth. While Martin Freeman plays Dr Watson as he plays all his characters - he's the everyman that has to learn how to deal with his extraordinary colleague. Episodes are scarce but each one is feature length, which gives them time to breath. Let's just hope these two superstars can find time in their busy schedules to keep doing the show.

Seasons on Netflix: 4

When it comes to TV and movies, the '80s is the nostalgia decade of the moment. Whether it's Jeff Nichols' Midnight Special that plays like a Steven Spielberg film, if Spielberg still made films like he did in the Eighties, or The Goldbergs and Red Oaks mining the decade for laughs, filmmakers can't get enough of the shell suits and Sony Walkmans.

Stranger Things is another brilliant homage to this era. Leaning heavily on Spielberg, John Carpenter and Stephen King the story revolves around a small town, a group of friends, a missing person and a dodgy science lab. Writing anything else would give away the myriad twists in a show that is full of brilliant creepy fun.

The second season of Stranger Things will be available to stream on Oct. 27.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Is The Crown Netflix's crowning glory? Not quite, but it is a sumptuous look at one of the world's most famous families: the Royal family. 

Charting the early years of the relationship between the Queen (Claire Foy) and Prince Philip  (former Doctor Who Matt Smith), the show was written by Peter Morgan and, at £100 million, is one of the most expensive TV series ever made. Which means there's enough pomp and ceremony to keep those pining for a Downton Abbey replacement happy.

The second season continues to chart the queen's life, tracing major events from 1957 to 1963. We're ready for season 3, in which Olivia Colman takes over the lead role.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

If The Great British Bake Off or Zumbo's Just Desserts makes you feel inadequate, you should try Nailed It!, the baking show for people who suck at baking. The series sees three contestants per episode take on two impossible baking challenges, with the "winner" receiving $10,000. (Winner is a term we use loosely, of course.) 

Hosted by the infectiously upbeat Nicole Byer and suave French pastry chef Jaques Torres, this show is guaranteed to make you smile.

[Update: The Christmas edition, Nailed It: Holiday is out now...perfect watching for a cosy night in.]

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Adapted from the comic book of the same name (mins the ***), The End Of The F***ing World is f***ing brilliant. It tells the tale of two teenagers on a journey; both are loners on the run but one of them just happens to be a bit of a psychopath. It's funny, but brutal TV. It's British and co-funded by Channel 4 and there's a fantastic edge to everything in it - and it's perfectly bite-sized, too at just under 20 minutes an episode. It's so good, it's destined to get a second season. The first ends so perfectly, though, it's actually a real shame that this will happen.

Seasons on Netflix: 1 (and it needs to stay that way)

Categories: Tech News

Huawei Mate X apparently has a hidden camera - and might get an extra display

Latest Tech News - Mon, 02/25/2019 - 18:41

In an exclusive chat with TechRadar at MWC 2019, Huawei’s CMO, Herman Zhu confirmed that there was a ‘secret’ camera underneath the foldable Mate X’s current array.

We noted that the Mate X changed the side of the phone that had a screen turned on, flipping automatically when taking a picture. 

When quizzed, Mr. Zhu said that this was Huaweil’s technology, and said there was a hidden fourth camera that nobody knows about.

He wouldn’t elaborate beyond that, apart from gesturing below the current three camera array on the rear. 

If we were to speculate, we’d guess that there’s an additional sensor below there that’s capable of working out what’s in front of it - and a closer look at the images we have, using some contrast enhancements, does seem to indicate another sensor there.

We’ll find out more in the future about whether the Mate X is hiding some extra technology, which wouldn’t be surprising given how far off availability of the foldable phone is, but we’ll wait and see precisely what it features when we get more time with a final version.

The third place

There was one other surprise from Mr. Zhu - according to the CMO, Huawei’s ambition is to add another screen to the Mate X. 

Not an actual physical screen (like the LG DualScreen accessory), but a tweak to the Mate X’s user interface that would see the ‘spine’ of the device - when folded - displaying other information.

The separate screen of the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

It would be similar to the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, which used the curved side to pack icons and novel things like rulers or a news ticker - but we’ll have to wait and see if it actually appears, and how Huawei might make it work.

MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world's largest showcase for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest phones, tablets, wearables and more. TechRadar is reporting live from Barcelona all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated MWC 2019 hub to see all the new releases, along with TechRadar's world-class analysis and buying advice about your next phone. 

All images credit: TechRadar

Categories: Tech News

Google Fi customers will get 5G from Sprint's network

Latest Tech News - Mon, 02/25/2019 - 17:14

Google Fi customers will get 5G, too – and unsurprisingly, they’ll get it through the service’s existing partnership with Sprint and use the latter’s 5G infrastructure once it’s rolled out, the companies announced in a press release.

As a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), Google Fi already leases telecom networks from Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular and Three to provide service to its customers. So it’s not much of a surprise that Fi picked one of those to secure 5G functionality for its customer base.

But it is interesting that an MVNO has struck a deal that presumably gets them 5G at the same time as a telecom’s primary customers. Per the press release, Sprint’s 5G network is launching in the first half of 2019 and “when this rolls out, Google Fi customers with Sprint 5G compatible 'Designed for Fi' phones in a 5G coverage area will be automatically connected to the network.”

  • Here are all the 5G phones we know about
  • What is 5G anyway – and how much faster is it?
  • Check out all the news from MWC 2019

That restricts Google Fi 5G hopefuls a bit, unfortunately. Despite opening Fi up to phones from Apple, Samsung and OnePlus, this means only Designed for Fi phones (seen here) work with Sprint's network. They'll need to be Sprint 5G compatible, too, though it’s unclear what that includes. 

MVNO 5G with caveats, coming to cities first

Sprint’s 5G network will start in nine cities in the first half of the year, covering downtown metropolitan areas in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. 

Google Fi users will get 5G in these areas and automatically switch to Wi-Fi or LTE networks when moving between them, as the service works now. Of course, they need the right phone to use 5G at all, and they’ll need to be in a 5G coverage zone, naturally.

These zones might be smaller than you’re used to with LTE. Sprint isn’t launching its 5G service on millimeter wave as it lacks licenses to broadcast on the airwaves, instead opting for the 2.5GHz mid-band spectrum, which is faster than LTE but doesn’t reach as far, per The Verge. To augment coverage, Sprint will rely on its Massive MIMO radio tech, which it started rolling out last year to enable the company to offer both LTE and 5G on the same radio.

Categories: Tech News

Lenovo's first noise-cancelling headphones challenge Bose and Sony

Latest Tech News - Mon, 02/25/2019 - 15:31

This year, Lenovo will release two new noise-cancelling headphones that will carry its Yoga moniker into the audio realm. The new headphones — the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC and Lenovo Yoga ANC — are expected to go on sale around June and July, respectively, and compete with the Microsoft Surface Headphones

According to Lenovo, the on-ear headphones are intended to be companions for the company’s laptop series for which they’re named after, but they should still work with any device, be it Windows, Android, iOS or otherwise.

In terms of technical details, Lenovo claims the headphones will use both traditional active noise-cancellation (ANC) and something called electronic noise-cancellation (ENC) that’s used on the microphone to block out noise while you’re making calls. 

That being said, while other headphones are more focused on blocking out commuting or traveling noise (the sound of a jet engine or drone of a bus, for example), Lenovo’s headphones are intended mostly for office use.

That fact will help separate the Lenovo Yoga and ThinkPad X1 ANC from other similar style headphones like the Sony WH-1000XM3 and Bose QuietComfort 35 II, and puts them closer in line with the Microsoft Surface Headphones. 

In terms of battery life, Digital Trends reports that they'll boast around 15 hours with noise-cancellation turned on, and around 20 hours with noise-cancellation off.

The Lenovo Yoga ANC will go on sale in July for $170 (around £129, AU$235), while the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 ANC will go live in Europe in June for around $150 (£115, AU$200) with release in other territories to be determined.

Categories: Tech News

Android is now even more secure

Latest Tech News - Mon, 02/25/2019 - 14:40

Android users looking for improved security are in luck as the FIDO Alliance has announced that Google's mobile OS is now FIDO2 Certified.

Users with smartphones running Android 7.0 or higher can now take full advantage of their device's built-in fingerprint sensor for secure passwordless access to websites and native apps that support the FIDO2 protocols.

Developers will also be able to add FIDO strong authentication to their Android apps and websites through a simple API call.

Google's Product Manager Christiaan Brand praised the announcement, saying:

“Google has long worked with the FIDO Alliance and W3C to standardize FIDO2 protocols, which give any application the ability to move beyond password authentication while offering protection against phishing attacks. Today’s announcement of FIDO2 certification for Android helps move this initiative forward, giving our partners and developers a standardized way to access secure keystores across devices, both in market already as well as forthcoming models, in order to build convenient biometric controls for users.”

FIDO2

FIDO2 is already supported by the world's leading web browsers including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox with preview support available on Apple's Safari.

FIDO2 is comprised of the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Web Authentication specification and FIDO Alliance's corresponding Client to Authenticator Protocol (CTAP). Together, these standard allow users to more easily and securely login to online services with FIDO2-compliant devices such as fingerprint readers, cameras and FIDO security Keys.

Executive Director at the FIDO Alliance, Brett McDowell explained how greater availability of FIDO2 would encourage developers to make their sites passwordless, saying:

“FIDO2 was designed from day-one to be implemented by platforms, with the ultimate goal of ubiquity across all the web browsers, devices and services we use every day. With this news from Google, the number of users with FIDO Authentication capabilities has grown dramatically and decisively. Together with the leading web browsers that are already FIDO2 compliant, now is the time for website developers to free their users from the risk and hassle of passwords and integrate FIDO Authentication today.” 

  • Protect all of your devices from the latest threats with the best antivirus
Categories: Tech News

Nubia Alpha is a wearable that thinks it's a foldable phone

Latest Tech News - Mon, 02/25/2019 - 14:10

Nubia has bridged the gap between wearable and smartphone with the Nubia Alpha, a device with all the features and functionality of a phone but which wraps around the wrist like a fitness band.

Unveiled by Nubia at their press conference at MWC 2019 the Nubia Alpha is a strange hybrid device – and a rather fascinating one.


Nubia has bridged the gap between wearable and smartphone with the Nubia Alpha, a device with all the features and functionality of a phone but which wraps around the wrist like a fitness tracker. Its 4-inch 960x192 OLED screen follows the strap of the watch around the wrist,  covering roughly half the wrist.

The Nubia Alpha doesn’t exactly have smartphone specs, with 1GB RAM and 8GB internal memory, and only 500mAh battery power, but with a 4-inch flexible OLED screen it doesn’t really need it. The device is even kitted out with a 5MP front-facing camera, so it truly does come with all the functions of your phone.

Nubia suggests the device will last 1-2 days of regular use, or a week on standby, which we’ll test when we get our hands on it for a review.

You can use the Alpha to call and text, and use a variety of apps and the internet, without a connection to a smartphone, which sets it apart from many other fitness trackers which connect via Bluetooth to your smartphone. Instead it uses eSIM technology, so it won't necessarily replace your phone.

The Nubia Alpha is running Nubia's own operating system, designed more as a wearable OS than a smartphone one. One interesting feature of this is air controls, which let you scroll through, or backtrack out of, a menu just through hand gestures. 

If you use wearables for their fitness tracker possibilities you’ll find the Alpha sporting all the necessary functions like heart rate monitoring and sleep tracking. It can also store and play music, using the Nubia Pods. These wireless earphones are launching along with the Nubia Alpha, and link with the device.

There are two versions of the device launching – Bluetooth and eSIM models, with the latter available in a gold variety. The Bluetooth model will launch for €449 (roughly $510, £390, AU$710) in Europe, North America and China, sometime in the second quarter of the year.

The eSIM versions will be available a little later, releasing in April in China followed by a crypic "Q3" for Europe and "Q4" for North America. The black version will cost €549 (around $620, £475, AU$870), and for the 18K gold finish you'll be paying €649 (about $740, £560, AU$1,030).

MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world's largest showcase for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest phones, tablets, wearables and more. TechRadar is reporting live from Barcelona all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated MWC 2019 hub to see all the new releases, along with TechRadar's world-class analysis and buying advice about your next phone. 

Categories: Tech News

Security flaws in 4G and 5G revealed

Latest Tech News - Mon, 02/25/2019 - 13:48

A group of academics have discovered three new security flaws in 4G and 5G networks which they say could be used by attackers to intercept phone calls and track the locations of smartphone users.

This is the first time that vulnerabilities have been found that affect both 4G and the upcoming 5G standard in relation to law enforcement's use of cell site simulators often referred to as “stingrays”.

Syed Raiful Hussain, Ninghui Li, Elisa Bertino, Mitziu Echeverria and Omar Chowdhury all contributed to a research paper titled “Privacy Attacks to the 4G and 5G Cellular Paging Protocols Using Side Channel Information" which details how these new vulnerabilities can defeat even the latest protections in 5G designed to make it more difficult to spy on mobile users.

The researchers are set to reveal their findings at the Network and Distributed System Security Symposium in San Diego this week.

Torpedo, Piercer and IMSI-Cracking attacks

The first of the attacks the group discovered is called Torpedo which exploits a weakness in the paging protocol used by carriers to notify a phone before a call or text message comes through. The researchers found that several phone calls made and canceled within a short time period can trigger a paging message without alerting the target device to an incoming call and this can be exploited by an attacker to track a victim's location. Once a victim's paging location is known, an attacker can then hijack the paging channel to inject or deny paging messages.

Once the Torpedo attack has been carried out, attackers can then launch a Piercer attack which allows them to determine an international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) on a 4G network. The IMSI-Cracking attack can then be used to force an IMSI number on both 4G and 5G networks where IMSI numbers are protected with encryption.

These attacks put even the newest 5G-capable devices at risk from stingrays and Hussain points out that all four major US carriers are affected by Torpedo. Attackers can carry out these attacks with just $200 worth of radio equipment.

Outside of the US, almost all cell networks are vulnerable to these attacks including several networks in Europe and Asia.

Hussain and the other researchers have reported these flaws to the GSMA and the industry body representing mobile operators will likely fix the Torpedo and IMSI-Cracking flaws first. Fixing the Piercer vulnerability will be up to carriers though Torpedo remains the priority as all of the other flaws depend on it to work.

Via TechCrunch

Categories: Tech News

How to watch This Time with Alan Partridge online: stream from the UK or abroad

Latest Tech News - Mon, 02/25/2019 - 13:39

AHA! He's back. The king of the Norfolk radio waves has managed to land another TV gig at none other than the BBC itself. Alan will no doubt be happy to share his presenting skills with the nation, along with lots of digs at those who thought he was all washed up after his book was pulped. The seri should be a night of belly laughing with quotes we'll be using for years to come – and you can watch it all online from anywhere you happen to be.

Following on from Steve Coogan's Mid Morning Matters, Alpha Papa and Alan Partridge's autobiography – the same writing team are back, including Neil and Rob Gibbons, to open this new special. So hopes are definitely high for side–splitting fun. That's right Partridge naysayers - smell my cheese, you mothers!

Alan last presented live television in the nineties, but that was axed after he accidentally shot and killed a guest live on air (oh Alan!). So expect there to be a few teething problems for this comeback. But, no doubt, it will end up being as hot as the innards of an apple turnover.

The mock–live show, which sounds similar to The One Show and expect to see familiar faces like Alan's assistant Lynn – whose life is"technically not worth insuring" according to Alan – played by Felicity Montagu and the more recently added Sidekick Simon played by comedian Tim Key.

Watching in the UK is easy enough thanks to BBC television and the BBC iPlayer, but for those outside the country you can still watch Alan Partridge online by using a VPN service. How to get one of those, and which is best for you, can be found out below.

How to watch This Time with Alan Partridge online for free in the UK:

To watch This Time with Alan Partridge in the UK, you simply need to have paid your TV licence and have a connection to a BBC One broadcast. 

It's also possible to watch the show via the internet live using BBC iPlayer or TVPlayer.com. You can also watch the show after it has aired using BBC iPlayer which is on a host of devices including smartphones, tablets and smart TVs.

And if you're outside of the UK but still want to watch This Time with Alan Partridge online as it goes out, then there's an easy way to get around any geographical restrictions. Read on to take advantage of our nifty little VPN workaround.

Stream This Time with Alan Partridge from outside your country

If you're out of the country but still want to watch This Time with Alan Partridge live, it's still possible - and without too much faff. You can get around geo-blocks and watch via a dedicated TV streaming website as long as you appear to be in the UK. This is possible using the combination of a VPN and TVPlayer.com.

Which VPN is best for you? Our tip-top fave is ExpressVPN . Read on to find out all you need to know about how to use that to watch This Time with Alan Partridge in three simple steps:

Watch Knowing Me, Knowing You, I'm Alan Partridge and Alpha Papa online

Alan has had a glittering career before this BBC appearance, of course. And you can enjoy every hilarious minute by watching old episodes of Knowing Me, Knowing You, I'm Alan Partridge and the feature film Alpha Papa – all online right now. Here's how.

Watch Knowing Me, Knowing You online

Lots of classic episodes of Alan in his prime are available in the form of his hit interview show Knowing Me, Knowing You. You can watch this online in a number of ways.

There are plenty of clips and guest interviews on YouTube for quick and easily digestible tidbits. For full episodes head over to either Netflix, Google Play or TalkTalk TV.

Watch I'm Alan Partridge online

Thanks to the massive popularity of I'm Alan Partridge you watch the old episodes back online now – and yes, they're still funny.

Your options include: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, PlayStation, Google Play or Microsoft.

Watch Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa online

This feature film was massive and, as a result, is available to watch nearly everywhere online. Deep breath now, here's the list:

Amazon Prime Video – Subscribe 

BFI Player - Subscribe

Rakuten – £1.99

Amazon – £2.49

Google Play – £2.49

YouTube – £2.49

PlayStation – £2.49

Microsoft – £2.49

BFI Player – £3.50

Apple – £3.49

Sky Store – £3.49

Categories: Tech News

Sony will make a 5G phone, but only when the tech rolls out

Latest Tech News - Mon, 02/25/2019 - 13:17

Think that Sony isn't interested in 5G just because the Sony Xperia 1 doesn't support it? Think again. 

Sony is showing off a new prototype 5G device at MWC 2019, and the company has confirmed to TechRadar it won't be pursuing 5G in the consumer space until 5G is fully offered by mobile networks.

Instead of packing it inside a commercially available phone - think LG V50, Huawei Mate X or Samsung Galaxy S10 5G - the company is showing off a prototype that's never intended to come to market.

Patience at Sony

The device is being shown on both Sony and Qualcomm's booths at the show. The prototype is sporting Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855, which is the same chipset as inside the Xperia 1. 

The Snapdragon 855 is capable of supporting 5G - that's the chipset inside the LG V50 - so why won't Sony's latest flagship support 5G?

Mitsuya Kishida, President of Sony Mobile told TechRadar, "Obviously, we are heavily cooperating with our partners to develop for 5G, and depending on the country and the customers need we will introduce the 5G model accordingly. 

"It will be a separate model and depend on the country, again. How to introduce the solution is going to be different for our customers."

However, he did confirm that Sony was intending to have a device on the market when the 5G wave of phones fully begins.

Whether that means we'll see a variant of the Xperia 1 - much like how Xiaomi has plans to rereleased the Mi Mix 3 with a new 5G version - or a completely new phone remains to be seen.

It's also a benefit of Sony's schedule of releasing a new flagship phone every six months too.

"Being the first in 5G... that’s not what we’re trying to achieve."

Mitsuya Kishida, President Sony Mobile

By the time 5G begins its rollout later this year, Sony may be ready to introduce the Xperia 2 that is likely to still sport the Snapdragon 855 but may be ready with 5G compatibility. 

Kishida continued, "Being the first in 5G... that’s not what we’re trying to achieve. I’m really happy that our engineering skill and the speed of development towards 5G, I’m very comfortable with that."

One of the other reasons for Sony avoiding 5G at this stage is also down to the effect it can have on the design of the phone too.

Silke Schild, head of external communications at Sony Mobile told TechRadar, "We don’t want to compromise on the design [of the Xperia 1] either, integrating additional antennas etcetera."

That may mean the next phone from Sony is set to be thicker and heavier so it can support 5G, but we likely won't know that for quite a while now and it may be IFA 2019 at the earliest for us to next hear about a flagship Sony handset.

MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world's largest showcase for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest phones, tablets, wearables and more. TechRadar is reporting live from Barcelona all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated MWC 2019 hub to see all the new releases, along with TechRadar's world-class analysis and buying advice about your next phone. 

Categories: Tech News

Mobile phones are too fragile for European businesses

Latest Tech News - Mon, 02/25/2019 - 12:52

New research has highlighted the fact that businesses in Europe are spending more than ever on mobile phones for their employees as increased costs and loss of productivity from phones being too fragile for the work environment helps make the case for rugged devices.

Cat phones and the Bullitt Group conducted a survey of mobile phone buyers at 497 European Businesses to reveal that 69 percent are spending more on company phones than ever before with more than half of respondents saying repair and replacement of broken devices is a growing problem for their business.

In the last three years, 99 per cent of business phone buyers have had to deal with damage to company phones and 86 percent say that there has been damage significant enough to require repair or replacement to an employee's device.

According to the survey, the most common causes for device repair are broken screens (69%), physical breakage (47%), water damage (44%) and faults caused by dust or sand getting into the device (21%).

Impact on productivity

Productivity also goes down significantly when employees are forced to go without a mobile phone while it's being repaired or replaced.

Of those surveyed, 31 percent of businesses reported a major impact on productivity while a further 40 percent reported a notable impact on their productivity. Long repair times exacerbate this issue with just 21 percent saying repairs take up to one working day while the majority (63%) said repairs can take from two days up to a working week. Additionally, 16 percent of respondents have seen some repairs take even longer.

According to research from CCS Insight, one in three European consumers have experienced a broken smartphone screen in the last three years. Without insurance, replacing a broken smartphone screen is not cheap and can cost anywhere between $170 to $400. These costs can escalate even further in a business setting where buyers procure multiple devices for their workforce.

CCS Insight's Chief of Research, Ben Wood provided further insight on the findings of the survey, saying:

“The fragility of modern smartphones has become a real issue. It is little surprise that business are looking for more rugged devices given the costs associated with repairing smartphones and negative impact on productivity when a device breaks.” 

Categories: Tech News

The best free SEO tools of 2019

Latest Tech News - Mon, 02/25/2019 - 12:40

Techradar, one of the largest technology websites in the world, is visited by millions of users each month, the majority of them coming through Google and other search engines.

The web is awash with SEO tools and resources, but it pays to do your homework first and pick your kit carefully. Just like the practitioners within the search marketing industry itself, there's the good the bad and, well, the ugly. Here is our list of six of the best free tools around today.

1. Google Search Console

Even if you're not headstrong on SEO, whatever the size of your site or blog, Google's laudable Search Console (formerly Webmaster Central) and the myriad user-friendly tools under its bonnet should be your first port of call. The suite of tools gives you valuable information about your site at a glance: it can assess your site's performance and observe potential problems to troubleshoot (like negative spammy links), help you ensure your site is Google-friendly and monitor Google's indexing of your site. 

You can even report spam and request reconsideration if your site has incurred a penalty. Plus, if you don't refer to their Webmaster Guidelines now and again, well, you've only yourself to blame if you go wrong. Search Console is constantly updated, and new features are on the way, such as new URL inspection tool or the new sitemaps report.

 2. SEOQuake 

SEMRush’s SEOQuake is one of the most popular toolbar extension adored by millions. It allows you to view multiple search engine parameters on the fly and save and compare them with the results obtained for other projects. Although the icons and numbers that SeoQuake yields might be unintelligible to the uninformed user, skilled optimisers will appreciate the wealth of detail this add-on provides. 

Gauge details about number of visitors and their country, get a site's traffic history trended on a graph, and more. The toolbar includes buttons for a site's Google index update, backlinks, SEMRush ranking, Facebook likes, Bing index, Alexa ranks, web archive age and a link to the Whois page. There’s also a useful cheat sheet and diagnostics page to have a bird’s view of potential issues (or opportunities) affecting a particular page or site.

 3. Google AdWords keyword planner 

Knowing the right keywords to target is all-important when priming your web copy. Google's free keyword tool, part of Adwords, couldn't be easier to use. Plug your website URL into the box, start reviewing the suggested keywords and off you go. Jill Whalen, CEO of HighRankings.com is a fan and offers advice to those new to keyword optimisation: "make sure you use those keywords within the content of your website. 

It's really a question of being descriptive as keyword phrases typically describe what you offer. Think about the fact that you're trying to answer someone's question at the other end of the search engine. They're typically searching Google because they have a question or a problem to solve. Make your website answer those questions and solve those problems and it will be the one to show in the search results."

 4. Google Optimise

Yet another Google tool on that list (not a surprise isn’t it). Optimise is not for the faint hearted and will make even seasoned SEO experts uncomfortable. SEO isn't all about rankings and without the right balance of content that engages with your visitors and drives conversions, you're earnest optimisation could be wasted. 

Google’s free service helps take the guesswork out of the game, allowing you to test your site's content: from simple A/B testing of two different pages to comparing a whole combination of elements on any given page. Personalization features are also available to spice things up a bit. Note that in order to run some of the more complicated multivariate testing, you will need adequate traffic and time to make the results actionable, just as you do with Analytics.

 5. Live Keyword Analysis

Any seasoned search engine optimisation specialist will tell you keywords matter, and while simply clawing keywords into your text arbitrarily can do more harm than good, it's worth ensuring you have the right balance. Live Keyword Analysis is a breeze to use: simply type in your keywords and then paste in your text and your keyword density analysis will be done on the fly. Don't forget to proof and edit your text accordingly for optimum readability. A must for website copywriters especially as you don’t need to register or pay for anything.

6. Ahrefs

Google's Pagerank algorithm underpins most of what makes the current world wide web work the way it does. Understanding backlinks (sites linking to you) allows website owners and publishers to understand what link opportunities they might be missing out on. Enter Ahrefs, arguably one of the most powerful players out there.

They maintain one of the largest live backlink indexes currently available with 16 trillion known links, covering 200 million root domains. While Ahrefs isn't free, the backlink checker feature is, which provides a useful snapshot that includes your domain rating, the top 100 backlinks, top 5 anchors and top 5 pages, the strict minimum to provide with a feel of what Ahrefs has to offer.

Categories: Tech News

Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti graphics for laptops could be in the works

Latest Tech News - Mon, 02/25/2019 - 12:20

Hotly following the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti that just launched days prior, apparently we can expect a laptop version of the graphics card to come out soon.

A new mobile Nvidia GPU codenamed 'N18E-G0' popped up in Notebook Check’s database, and the outlet strongly suspects this could the GTX 1660 Ti-class GPU meant for laptops. The codename lines up with those for existing notebook-based graphics processors, including the RTX 2060 (N18E-G1), RTX 2070 (N18E-G2) and RTX 2080 (N18E-G3).

Unfortunately, Notebook Check doesn’t list any specific specs for this rumored GTX 1660 Ti for notebooks. However, we can make some assumptions based the original desktop version. The chip is almost guaranteed to be built upon a 12nm Turing architecture and feature GDDR6 memory – but, it probably lack any ray tracing or tensor processing cores.

Currently, one of the most inexpensive gaming laptops featuring RTX graphics is the $1,499 MSI GL63 in the US, and that’s on a model with only an Intel Core i5-8300H CPU, 16GB of memory and a 256GB drive. Internationally, the most-basic MSI GL63 runs for a little more at £1,649 in the UK and AU$2,499 in Australia, thanks to having a higher-tier Intel Core i7-8750H CPU inside.

Comparatively, a laptop featuring a mid-range Nvidia GTX 1060 from the Pascal line of mobile GPUs could be had for as little as $1,099 (about £820, AU$1,450), as with the Acer Predator Helios 300.

Although it's far from confirmed, we hope a mobile version of the GTX 1660 Ti will help bring down the price of Turing-powered gaming laptops to more approachable levels.

Categories: Tech News

Lenovo teases first 5G laptop powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx

Latest Tech News - Mon, 02/25/2019 - 12:14

Lenovo may very well be the first out of the gate with a laptop using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx processor, the company teased during an MWC 2019 press conference.

The company kept mum about the product in the works beyond the fact that it will use Qualcomm’s new 5G connectivity modem for the 8cx platform, Anandtech reports. Given how premium (and pricey) the projected slate of 5G-supporting phones and other products have been, expect Lenovo's device to be expensive.

And yet, ever since the Snapdragon 8cx's debut in December 2018 during Qualcomm’s Tech Day event in Hawaii, and even following CES 2019, we haven't heard of any Snapdragon 8cx products in the works until this Lenovo device. Which is very, very strange.

Given that following the initial announcement of Snapdragon on Windows 10 laptops – way back in late 2017 – was paired with not one but three devices using the technology, this is rather disconcerting.

Why so slow to start?

As to why we’ve not seen a single Snapdragon 8cx laptop on the market yet is anyone’s guess, but there are some likely causes. One, laptop makers are likely reticent to pick up on Snapdragon 8cx given the poor performance of the previous platform (Snapdragon 850) and the speed at which Qualcomm moved on from it to this version.

Two, many laptop makers likely were – and still are – waiting for 5G to truly take off before investing into Qualcomm’s latest PC platform. And, three, it’s likely that some laptop makers are waiting to see how competitors use Qualcomm’s processor before making a move.

Regardless, adoption of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx might be an uphill battle, especially if Lenovo’s first laptop to use the processor isn’t a slam dunk.

Categories: Tech News

Lenovo unveils new ThinkPads at MWC

Latest Tech News - Mon, 02/25/2019 - 11:53

Lenovo has announced a number of new additions to its ThinkPad line at MWC 2019 alongside a new portable monitor and a pair of headphones designed for today's mobile workers.

The latest line of premium ThinkPad T and X laptops, which includes the T490s, T490, T590, X390 and X390 Yoga, continue the firm's efforts to drive innovation that matters to end users.

Today's mobile workers want truly connected devices and the latest ThinkPad laptops deliver with high performance Wi-Fi and optional LTE-A global WWAN capability. For users who need even greater roaming connectivity, the ThinkPad T490 includes Cat16 LTE-A support with 4X4 Ultra Connect antenna configuration for up to Gigabit speeds and maximum signal strength.

The ThinkPad T490S, X390 and x390 Yoga also feature Intel's new Wi-Fi 6 Gig+ technology with Bluetooth 5.1 for premium Gigabit wireless connectivity.

Added security with ThinkShield

To help its users stay protected wherever they are and to secure its devices throughout their entire lifecycle, Lenovo has included its end-to-end security solution ThinkShield.

The Match-on-Chip fingerprint reader on all of its latest ThinkPad laptops enhances the privacy of fingerprint information by ensuring the biometric image never leaves the chip which allows it to deliver a more secure identification for both login and online transactions. 

The company's new devices also include a physical camera cover called ThinkShutter that is available on both RGB and IR webcams to protect users from malicious webcam hackers while ThinkPad PrivacyGuard activates screen privacy at the touch of a button and can PrivacyAlert can even warn you if someone is snooping over your shoulder.

Lenovo has also made significant improvements to the ThinkPad BIOS by updating it with a new modern GUI and implementing new manageability enhancements. Administrators can now set remote supervisor or privileged access passwords for better BIOS-level security and they can also restrict port access, delete all data from the hard drive suing Secure Wipe or remotely manage system deployment with WiFi PXE Boot or HTTPs Boot.

However, the new BIOS' most impressive ability is its new self-healing feature that will revert to a known good backup copy in the event of BIOS corruption or a malicious attack.

MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world's largest showcase for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest phones, tablets, wearables and more. TechRadar is reporting live from Barcelona all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated MWC 2019 hub to see all the new releases, along with TechRadar's world-class analysis and buying advice about your next phone.   

Categories: Tech News

The best iPhone 7 deals in February 2019

Latest Tech News - Mon, 02/25/2019 - 11:31

It may now be in its terrible twos, but Apple's iPhone 7 remains one of the best mobiles we've ever used and the price of iPhone 7 deals is way less than its successors.

So forget those iPhone 8 deals. Laugh in the face of iPhone XS deals and move on from those iPhone XR deals If you like the idea of buying an iPhone but aren't that enthusiastic amount the kinds of costs attached to them, then the iPhone 7 could be an ideal middle ground.

That said, other than the fantastic 20GB+ tariffs knocking around on EE and O2 and a few standout three deals however if you were hoping for Vodafone deals you will be sad to hear that they're just not so competitive right now.

On this page you'll find all of the best iPhone 7 deals you can get right now. Whether you're looking for unlimited data, a free phone or any other type of tariff, you can use our comparison chart below to choose the cheapest option out there. Scroll down to find the best deal for you.

And don't forget that you'll get £10 off the handset cost if you get your iPhone 7 from Mobiles.co.uk - you just need to enter our exclusive 10OFF discount code when you get to the checkout.


See also: iPhone 8 deals | iPhone 7 Plus deals | iPhone 7 SIM-free | Samsung Galaxy S8 deals | Best mobile phone deals | iPhone deals 

Top 5 best iPhone 7 deals in the UK today

At the top of our guide you'll see what we've chosen as this month's best value iPhone 7 deals in the UK. These are chosen purely on the basis of value - unlike some other sites we don't manipulate the order of these deals for commercial gain! And if you're loyal to a particular network, we've picked out the best deals on the four major networks - those being EE, O2, Three and Vodafone. 

Vodafone has a habit of having great iPhone 7 deals one day and then removing them all in a instant so if you don't see any Vodafone deals then it is likely they are in one of those times.

Categories: Tech News

Best blogging platforms of 2019

Latest Tech News - Mon, 02/25/2019 - 11:20

The popularity of blogging (which originally derives from ‘personal web log’) continues, whether for profit, or just to have a voice on the web, since over a decade ago when it first captured the internet as the ‘next big thing’. Some blogs are standalone sites, but others are a more personal section that fits into a larger, corporate web site.

In order to blog, a blogging platform is required, which takes care of formatting the content in the form of text and images, and provides a framework for getting it onto a website. The blogging platform also makes it easier for a search engine to categorize the blog entries, and to be able to take advantage of marketing and advertising opportunities.

So before you start cranking out posts, and welcoming your virtual visitors from around the world, you need to choose the best blogging platform to suit your needs. Check out these great options.

Blogger

Ask any old-time blogger about what platform they started their blog with, and chances are they'll answer that it was Blogger. To this day, Google’s offering in the blogging space still retains several advantages, including that your existing Google account already means you have a Blogger account.

A broke startup blog will appreciate that it is free to use, and it will even provide the blogspot.com domain name, as well as the option for a custom domain name. It is also one of the easier platforms to use, and provides a choice of templates that can be flexibly modified.

As it is a Google offering, it easily integrates with other Google products, including Google Analytics that can provide information about your website’s visitors that should be used to help grow traffic. Also, your blog can be integrated with Google’s Adsense, that will analyze your content, and display relevant ads to monetize your blog, so you can pay for the coffee as you sit in Starbucks and blog into the night.

With all that going for it, is there any reason not to use Blogger? Well, the problem is that as your blog grows, its simplicity means that you may outgrow Blogger at some point. In addition, it can be difficult to transition from Blogger to another platform. 

WordPress

WordPress is a popular blogging platform which is used on a claimed 30% of web sites, that offers an excellent balance between ease of use, and more powerful options.

They can handle all the details, and take care of the domain name, the security and the hosting for a one stop shopping option. WordPress offers hundreds of themes, with flexibility in fonts and options for a custom look. They also offer expert support, and credit card payments can be accepted via an available plugin.

Pricing starts at the Personal plan for $5 (€4, £4) monthly billed annually, which removes all WordPress advertising. There is also a free tier available, which is suitable for a noncommercial blog as there is WordPress advertising, and no way you can monetize it. 

Jekyll

The latest version of Jekyll (3.8.5) is a “simple, blog-aware, static site generator.” Content gets created in TXT files, which get placed into folders. Then you build your site via Liquid language templates. Jekyll then merges the content and the template together, and voila, a website is generated that can be uploaded to a server. For those that need a host, there is integration with Jekyll to host the website for free on GitHub.

While there is a comprehensive ‘quick-start guide’ on the Jekyll website, it hardly offers the simplicity of some competing blogging platforms that can do this all from a web interface. However, the benefits that Jekyll offers are the advanced features, which include options for paginating posts, available plugins, templates, and community maintained themes. It also supports blog migration from other platforms.  

The plus here is that there is no cost to the platform, but the downside is that there is only community support, and the work takes place in the Ruby development environment, so many newbies will be put off. 

Tumblr

While some blogs are well developed, and blur the line between a blog, and a full fledged website, at the other end of things we have Tumblr. It seems to be doing something right as it claims a staggering 450+ million different blogs.

It focuses on the more concise end of the spectrum, with an emphasis on shorter content, like just an image, or link, that can appear as more of an alternate social media platform. Content is definitely more short-form, with posts consisting of a variety of material, for example, pics, jokes, quips, Spotify tracks, and video (just remember that adult content is no longer welcome). Like a social media platform, you can also follow other blogs, and republish posts you like to your own blog.

The pro is that Tumblr is quite simple to use, costs nothing, and is ideal for use on a mobile device. However, this is not ideal for a more developed blog, as the content remains in the Tumblr ecosystem, and there is no way to monetize it.  

Typepad

Typepad is a fully developed blogging platform, designed for the professional blogger. It offers a ton of flexibility, including the ability to publish from email, a web browser, or mobile. It also easily integrates with Google Analytics, and has its own affiliate plan.

Typepad supports design customization with a Theme Builder for a custom look, and the option for creating your own custom template or modifying a theme with custom CSS. Typepad is also fully hosted, and has support available. 

After the initial 14-day trial, plans start at $8.95 (£8) per month for up to four blogs with unlimited storage. 

Categories: Tech News

Best camera flash 2018: dedicated flashguns for Canon and Nikon DSLRs

Latest Tech News - Mon, 02/25/2019 - 10:45

The same flashgun won’t suit everybody. Some of us want something small, lightweight and simple to use, others might want a high-end model that’s really power-packed and full of advanced features. It’s equally true that some flashguns are vastly more expensive than others and, if you’ve got an entry-level DSLR, it doesn’t make sense to spend more on your flashgun than your camera.

Whatever level of sophistication and price point you decide on, a flashgun is an amazingly versatile accessory. It’s supremely portable and can make a huge difference to the quality of lighting in almost any scenario, from night-time shots and gloomy interiors, to portraits on a bright sunny day. 

With TTL (Through The Lens) flash metering, dedicated flashguns can team up with your camera to enable automatic exposures in all sorts of shooting conditions. It’s generally easy to apply flash exposure bias if necessary, to fine-tune the power setting, or to use fully manual flash power if you prefer to be in control.

Mid-range and high-end flashguns tend to have motorized zoom heads. These can automatically track the focal length or zoom setting of the lens you’re using, narrowing the beam of light for telephoto shots to make more flash power available. For extra wide-angle coverage, a flip-down reflector is usually included in the head of the flashgun.

Most flashguns also have bounce and swivel heads. These enable you to bounce the light output off walls and ceilings, instead of firing it directly at the subject

Most flashguns also have bounce and swivel heads. These enable you to bounce the light output off walls and ceilings, instead of firing it directly at the subject. This can give a much softer quality of light that’s vastly more flattering for portraits. The softness of the light increases with the size of the light source so, if you bounce the light from a small flashgun off a large surface like a white wall or ceiling, it effectively becomes much bigger. The trade-off is that the intensity of the light reaching the target is reduced, so a flashgun with a larger maximum power rating or ‘Guide number’ become preferable.

Another option is to use the flashgun off-camera. This enables the creation of ‘modelling’ with shadows, which gives images a much more three-dimensional look, rather than typical ‘flashgun’ lighting which can appear very flat. Many modern flashguns feature wireless master/slave connectivity for off-camera flash. This enables you to trigger the flashgun via an infrared link from a compatible DSLR, or in some cases from an RF (Radio Frequency) wireless trigger, as well as using multiple wirelessly connected flashguns to create more exotic lighting effects. Let’s take a closer look at the top 10 flashguns for both Canon and Nikon DSLRs.

Best Speedlites for Canon DSLRs in 2018

Canon makes a range of Speedlite flashguns to suit a range of price points and requirements, ranging from small and simple models to fully pro-grade options. We’ll look at all of those first, in price-ascending order, and then move on to the most appealing Canon-dedicated flashguns from independent manufacturers, including Hahnel, Metz, Nissin and Phottix.

Small enough to slip into a spare pocket, this is a seriously downsized flashgun, running on two AA batteries instead of the usual four. It also lacks an LCD screen and onboard controls, so you need to make all adjustments from the host camera’s flash control menu. Even so, it’s compatible with high-speed sync and rear-curtain modes, and enables TTL flash exposure compensation and the use of manual power settings. There’s a manual push-pull mechanism for selecting either 28mm or 50mm zoom settings but no swivel facility, so you can’t bounce the flash off the ceiling if you’re shooting in portrait (upright) orientation, at least when the flashgun is mounted in the camera’s hotshoe. On the plus side, wireless slave mode is featured for off-camera flash. Performance is good overall and, in our tests, maximum output power isn’t much less than from the bigger Canon 430EX III-RT at corresponding zoom settings. One drawback, however, is that recycling after a full-power flash takes more than twice as long, at just over five seconds.

A sizeable step up from the Canon 270EX II, this flashgun has a full set of onboard controls and an LCD screen, enabling intuitive and versatile operation without resorting to in-camera menus. It also adds a motorized zoom head with a 24-105mm range, and complements the 0-90 degree bounce facility with 150/180 degrees of swivel to the left and right respectively. Useful supplied accessories include a carrying pouch and stand, diffusion dome and colour-matching filter for balancing flash output with tungsten lighting. Flash modes include high-speed sync and rear-curtain options, but there’s no programmable repeat mode. The biggest update over the Mk II is the addition of RF (Radio Frequency) communication, while the previous infrared slave mode is also retained. However, if you want to use the new flashgun as a wireless master, you can only do so in RF mode, which rules out pairing it with most Canon flashguns, as they only support optical transmission. There’s a little more power on tap than from the 270EX II and recycling after a full-power flash is more than twice as fast, at 2.2 seconds when using NiMH batteries.

In fully automatic ‘AI Bounce’ mode the 470EX-AI utilizes artificial intelligence to move its motorized head through 120 degrees of vertical rotation and a full 180 degrees to the left or right. It’s compatible with cameras launched in or after the second half of 2014, and works by firing a pre-flash pulse directly at the subject, then tilting vertically upwards and firing a second pre-flash pulse at the ceiling. The flashgun then calculates the optimum bounce angle and moves the head correspondingly. There’s also a semi-automatic AI Bounce mode, in which you can manually point the flash head in your desired direction. In other respects, the 470EX-AI is quite conventional. It lacks the RF (Radio Frequency) communication of the 430EX III-RT and both editions of the 600EX-RT. For wireless off-camera flash, it can therefore only operate via an optical link, and only as a slave, not a master. It also lacks a programmable repeat flash mode and a pull-out reflector card. Maximum output is slightly higher than that of the Canon 430EX III-RT and recycling is similarly swift, but batteries only last about two-thirds as long.

Built to satisfy the demands of busy professional photographers, the 600EX II-RT has a robust, weather-sealed construction. Upgrades over the 430EX III-RT include a power rating of Gn 60, a bounce range that dips to -7 degrees as well as covering the more usual 0-90 degree range, extended swivel to 180 degrees in both left and right directions, and a bigger zoom range of 20-200mm. A crucial addition is that the 600EX II-RT can work in master as well as slave wireless modes, with both infrared and RF options. RF linking increases the range from around 10m to 30m, with the extra benefit of being able to work around corners or through obstacles, as well as being more reliable than infrared in bright, outdoor conditions. The Mk II is cooler-running than the original edition, boosting continuous shooting stamina by as much as 50 per cent. As with most pro-grade flashguns, you can also connect an external power pack to keep the flashgun going for longer. A programmable repeat mode enables stroboscopic output, unavailable Canon’s lower-grade flashguns.

This Hahnel flashgun is available on its own or as part of two optional kits. The ‘Wireless Kit’ adds a hotshoe-mounting Viper RF trigger, and the ‘Wireless Pro Kit’ comprises two flashguns plus the RF trigger. The flashgun itself has a built-in RF transceiver enabling it to work in wireless RF mode as both a master and slave, over an impressive range of up to 100m. The addition of the Viper hotshoe-mounted trigger, with its on-board controls and LCD display, enables you to use one or more flashguns off-camera in RF wireless mode. A big difference compared with most flashguns is that the Hahnel is powered by a rechargeable Li-ion battery pack, instead of the usual four AA batteries. This enables a whopping 550 full-power flashes between recharging, and very rapid recycling speeds of just 0.7 and 1.5 seconds after a half-power or full-power flash respectively. Useful features include a 20-200mm motorized zoom head, a flip-down 14mm wide-angle diffuser and a pull-out catchlight/reflector card. There’s a full set of advanced flash modes, including high-speed sync, rear curtain and programmable repeat (multi-flash during a single exposure).

At first glance, this Metz flashgun looks a bit basic without any onboard controls. The reason for this is the inclusion of an intuitive touchscreen interface, which reduces button clutter around the back. The motorized zoom head has a 24-105mm range, with the usual reflector card and wide-angle diffuser built in, although swivel movement in the right-hand direction is limited to 120 degrees. For off-camera and multi-flashgun setups, the Metz includes both master and slave wireless modes. Typical of flashguns at this price point, there’s no programmable repeat flash mode. During our tests, maximum output was noticeably down on the specified Gn 52 rating, more similar to that of the Canon 430EX III-RT. Recycling speeds are a little pedestrian too, taking just over four seconds after a full-power flash when using NiMH batteries. Overall, however, it’s an attractive flashgun at the price.

This is Metz’s most sophisticated dedicated flashgun, with a host of up-market features and a powerful Gn 64 output rating. Highlights include a 24-200mm zoom range, a -9 to 90-degree bounce facility, and the availability of both master and slave wireless operation. There’s also an unusual secondary sub-flash module, which is great for adding fill-in lighting when you’re using the main head in bounce or swivel mode. Like the Metz 52 AF-1, intuitive on-board control is based on a touchscreen but, this time, it’s a colour rather than mono screen. Pro-grade enhancements include a programmable repeat flash mode and a socket for an optional external power pack. When using NiMH batteries, recycling speed is pretty quick after a full-power flash, at 3.4 seconds, but recycling takes more than twice as long with alkaline cells.

On the face of it, this Nissin flashgun looks pretty basic, with on-board controls that boil down to a single Set button and control wheel. Rudimentary adjustments can be carried out, like TTL flash exposure compensation but, for almost everything else, you’ll need to resort to the host camera’s menu system. A big attraction of this kit is that it comes complete with Nissin’s sophisticated ‘Air 1 Commander’ RF transmitter that slots into your camera’s hotshoe. The flashgun itself works in both infrared and RF slave modes. Additional, optical slave modes include ‘digital’ and ‘film’ options, both with manual power settings. The digital option disregards pre-flash pulses when triggering, whereas the film mode triggers on the first pulse of light, more useful when slaving from studio flash heads. High-speed sync and rear curtain sync are available, but there’s no repeating flash mode for sequential bursts within a single exposure. There’s plenty of power on tap, with a generous Gn 60 rating and a lengthy zoom of up to 200mm. Recycling speeds are super-fast, at around two or three seconds when using NiMH or alkaline batteries respectively. 

The price might be budget, but the spec of the Pixel X900 certainly isn't. Featuring an impressive Gn 60 rating at its longest zoom setting of 200mm, the head also has -7 to 90-degree vertical bounce and full 180-degree swivel in both lateral directions as well. Like the Hahnel Modus 600RT, the Pixel X900 sports a rechargeable Li-ion battery instead of the more typical four AA batteries. This sees the Pixel X900 able to fire a staggering 700 flashes at full-power before needing to be recharged. Recycle times are quick as well at just under 1.5 seconds for a full-power flash. Another useful feature is the built-in 4W LED light on the front of the flashgun should you want to illuminate your subject with constant light. The X900 can be used as a master flashgun for wireless shooting, it's also compatible with Pixel's KingPro transceiver. As you'd expect, there's a full set of advanced flash modes on tap, including high-speed sync, rear curtain and programmable repeat (multi-flash during a single exposure).

This high-end flashgun from Phottix boasts a Gn 58 rating at its longest zoom setting, although that only stretches to 105mm rather than the now often-featured 200mm. The head also has -7 to 90-degree vertical bounce and full 180-degree swivel in both lateral directions. Competing with own-brand, pro-spec flashguns, a programmable repeat flash mode is available, and the robust build features a weather-sealed mounting foot. There’s RF wireless connectivity with both master and slave modes. This is thanks to a built-in radio frequency transceiver, rather than a more simple receiver. The RF working range is 30m, and linking is compatible with Phottix Odin and Stratos radio triggers, as well as other Mitros+ flashguns. Recycling speed after a full-power flash with NiMH batteries is 3.5 seconds but recycling takes twice as long when using alkaline batteries.

Best Speedlights for Nikon DSLRs in 2018

Nikon markets its own range of Speedlight flashguns, ranging from small and simple models to fully pro-grade options. We’ll look at all of those first, in price-ascending order, and then move on to the most appealing Nikon-dedicated flashguns from independent manufacturers, including Hahnel, Metz, Nissin and Phottix.

If you like travelling light, you’ll love the SB-300. It’s only about half the size of most flashguns and less than a third of the weight. Even the power source is downsized, as it runs from two AAA cells instead of the usual four AA batteries. It’s not all good news, however, as the baby Nikon is also a lightweight when it comes to maximum power output, with a lowly Gn 18 rating. And while there’s a generous 120 degrees of bounce angle, so the flash can literally bend over backwards, there’s no manual or motorized zoom facility, and no lateral swivel. The latter means that you can’t bounce the flash off a ceiling if you’re shooting in portrait (upright) orientation, when the flashgun is mounted in your camera’s hotshoe. There’s no wireless slave mode either, so off-camera operation relies on a cable connection or separate wireless triggering system. As is often the case with super-small flashguns, there’s no LCD screen nor onboard control buttons, so all adjustments need to be made from the host camera’s menu system.

Although bigger than the SB-300, this Nikon flashgun is still smaller and lighter than most, and runs from two rather than four AA batteries. Drawbacks of the reduced size include the lack an LCD screen, which is substituted with basic status LEDs. There’s also no zoom head and no built-in wide-angle diffuser panel, nor a pull-out reflector card. On the plus side, the SB-500 does feature an additional LED ‘constant’ lamp, which is handy for shooting video and close-up stills. The wireless slave mode is a bonus (channel 3 only), but the commander mode only works with recent mid-range and up-market cameras from the D5500, D7200, D750 and D810 onwards. Maximum output is pretty respectable, representing a sizeable step up from the SB-300, although recycle speed is still sluggish, at nearly five seconds after a full-power flash when using NiMH batteries.

There are plenty of high-end features packed into the SB-700, including a switchable range of illumination patterns, a powerful 24-120mm motorized zoom range and a full set of wireless commander and slave modes. That said, wireless connectivity is limited to infrared and lacks the radio frequency option of the SB-5000. The control panel is wonderfully intuitive, except for the fact that you can only switch from TTL-BL (Balanced Light) mode to standard TTL flash by changing the metering mode on the host camera body. Maximum output isn’t quite as powerful as in some independent flashguns at similar prices, but should prove sufficient for most shooting scenarios, even in bounce/swivel mode. Recycling speed is nearly twice as fast as in the SB-500, at 2.7 seconds after a full-power flash when using NiMH batteries. However, recycling takes twice as long with alkaline cells.

Easily beating the SB-700 for maximum output, the SB-5000 has a powerful Gn 55 rating. It also boasts a bigger 24-200mm zoom range, adds a programmable repeat mode, and has a more comprehensive set of on-board controls. For rapid-fire operation, there’s a new integral cooling system that enables more than 100 continuous shots even at the full-power setting. Wireless connectivity gets a boost from the addition of RF as well as the more usual infrared linking. However, you can’t use the flashgun as a commander in RF mode, as it’s only fitted with a built-in receiver rather than a transceiver. Despite the generous maximum power output, recycling speeds are very fast at 2.3 seconds with NiMH batteries and just under three seconds with alkaline cells. If you want the best own-brand Nikon flashgun on the market, then look no further. However, there’s fierce competition from the likes of the Hahnel Modus 600RT, Metz Mecablitz 64 AF-1 and Phottix Mitros+ TTL Transceiver flashguns.

This Hahnel flashgun is available on its own or as part of two optional kits. The ‘Wireless Kit’ adds a hotshoe-mounting Viper RF trigger, and the ‘Wireless Pro Kit’ comprises two flashguns plus the RF trigger. The flashgun itself has a built-in RF transceiver enabling it to work in wireless RF mode as both a master and slave, over an impressive range of up to 100m. The addition of the Viper hotshoe-mounted trigger, with its on-board controls and LCD display, enables you to use one or more flashguns off-camera in RF wireless mode. A big difference compared with most flashguns is that the Hahnel is powered by a rechargeable Li-ion battery pack, instead of the usual four AA batteries. This enables a whopping 550 full-power flashes between recharging, and very rapid recycling speeds of just 0.7 and 1.5 seconds after a half-power or full-power flash respectively. Useful features include a 20-200mm motorized zoom head, a flip-down 14mm wide-angle diffuser and a pull-out catchlight/reflector card. There’s a full set of advanced flash modes, including high-speed sync, rear curtain and programmable repeat (multi-flash during a single exposure).

At first glance, this Metz flashgun looks a bit basic without any onboard controls. The reason for this is the inclusion of an intuitive touchscreen interface, which reduces button clutter around the back. The motorized zoom head has a 24-105mm range, with the usual reflector card and wide-angle diffuser built in, although swivel movement in the right-hand direction is limited to 120 degrees. For off-camera and multi-flashgun setups, the Metz includes both master and slave wireless modes. Typical of flashguns at this price point, there’s no programmable repeat flash mode. During our tests, maximum output was noticeably down on the specified Gn 52 rating, more similar to that of the Nikon SB-700. Recycling speeds are a little pedestrian too, taking just over four seconds after a full-power flash when using NiMH batteries. Overall, however, it’s an attractive flashgun at the price.

This is Metz’s most sophisticated dedicated flashgun, with a host of up-market features and a powerful Gn 64 output rating. Highlights include a 24-200mm zoom range, a -9 to 90-degree bounce facility, and the availability of both master and slave wireless operation. There’s also an unusual secondary sub-flash module, which is great for adding fill-in lighting when you’re using the main head in bounce or swivel mode. Like the Metz 52 AF-1, intuitive on-board control is based on a touchscreen but, this time, it’s a colour rather than mono screen. Pro-grade enhancements include a programmable repeat flash mode and a socket for an optional external power pack. When using NiMH batteries, recycling speed is pretty quick after a full-power flash, at 3.4 seconds, but recycling takes more than twice as long with alkaline cells.

On the face of it, this Nissin flashgun looks pretty basic, with on-board controls that boil down to a single Set button and control wheel. Rudimentary adjustments can be carried out, like TTL flash exposure compensation but, for almost everything else, you’ll need to resort to the host camera’s menu system. A big attraction of this kit is that it comes complete with Nissin’s sophisticated ‘Air 1 Commander’ RF transmitter that slots into your camera’s hotshoe. The flashgun itself works in both infrared and RF slave modes. Additional, optical slave modes include ‘digital’ and ‘film’ options, both with manual power settings. The digital option disregards pre-flash pulses when triggering, whereas the film mode triggers on the first pulse of light, more useful when slaving from studio flash heads. High-speed sync and rear curtain sync are available, but there’s no repeating flash mode for sequential bursts within a single exposure. There’s plenty of power on tap, with a generous Gn 60 rating and a lengthy zoom of up to 200mm. Recycling speeds are super-fast, at around two or three seconds when using NiMH or alkaline batteries respectively. 

Despite having a relatively small and lightweight build, this Nissin packs a real punch with a Gn 60 power rating. There’s a particularly smart colour display around the back, with an intuitive pictorial interface. Further attractions include a 24-200mm motorized zoom head, full 180-degree swivel in both left and right directions, and a neat range of supplied accessories including a pouch, stand and diffusion dome. Nissin has also squeezed in a secondary, constant LED light for video capture or close-up stills. Infrared and RF wireless slave connectivity are built-in but, to make the most of the latter, you’d need to buy the ‘Air 1 Commander’ RF transmitter which is sold separately. The maximum power output through the zoom range matches that of Nissin’s bigger Di700A flashgun, although recycling speed after a full power flash is just over a second slower. Overall, it’s a very versatile and powerful flashgun, with a refreshingly compact build.

This high-end flashgun from Phottix boasts a Gn 58 rating at its longest zoom setting, although that only stretches to 105mm rather than the now often-featured 200mm. The head also has -7 to 90-degree vertical bounce and full 180-degree swivel in both lateral directions. Competing with own-brand, pro-spec flashguns, a programmable repeat flash mode is available, and the robust build features a weather-sealed mounting foot. There’s RF wireless connectivity with both master and slave modes. This is thanks to a built-in radio frequency transceiver, rather than a more simple receiver. The RF working range is 30m, and linking is compatible with Phottix Odin and Stratos radio triggers, as well as other Mitros+ flashguns. Recycling speed after a full-power flash with NiMH batteries is 3.5 seconds but recycling takes twice as long when using alkaline batteries.


Categories: Tech News

Amazon 4K TV deal: the TCL 65-Inch 4K Roku TV is at its cheapest price ever

Latest Tech News - Mon, 02/25/2019 - 10:43

If you're looking to upgrade to a smart TV, then look no further than this fantastic deal from Amazon. Right now you can get the TLC 65-inch 4K Smart TV on sale for $829.99. That's a $470 discount and the best price we've seen for this Amazon's Choice Roku smart TV.

The TLC 65R617 offers smart capabilities and has the Roku TV built-in. This allows you to stream thousands of movies and TV shows from the home screen of your TV. You can access Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video and even your gaming console without having to switch inputs on the TV. The Roku also features an enhanced remote that allows you to use your voice to find movie titles, change channels, and even switch inputs. The 4K UHD TV features Dolby Vision HDR which delivers accurate colors and sharp contrasts for a powerful life-like picture.

This is a fantastic price for a 4K 65-inch TV with smart capabilities, and the lowest price we've seen from this TLC 6-series TV.  We don't know how long Amazon will have the TLC Roku TV discounted, so you might want to grab this deal while you can.

If you're looking for smaller screen size or a lower price tag, Amazon also has the TCL 55-Inch 4K Roku Smart TV on sale for $579.99. While that's not the lowest price we've seen for this TV, it's still an excellent deal for a 55-inch 4K smart TV and only $30 more than the Black Friday price.

Shop more of best cheap TV deals and sale prices that are currently going on and read our review on the TCL 6-Series Roku TV

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