Tech News

Alcatel's new smartphones bring flagship features to budget buyers

Latest Tech News - Sun, 02/24/2019 - 11:00

Smartphone maker Alcatel has launched three new smartphones (and a tablet) at MWC 2019, as it looks to bring high-end features right down to the budget end of the market.

The most interesting of the three new arrivals is the Alcatel 3 (2019), which features a tall 19.5:9, 5.94-inch HD+ display complete with teardrop notch, octa-core Snapdragon 439 chipset, either 3GB or 4GB of RAM, the choice of 32GB or 64GB of storage, dual rear cameras, 8MP front camera, fingerprint scanner and face unlock.

The 13MP and 5MP rear cameras come with the ability to recognize up to 21 different scenes and automatically adjust settings accordingly.

That's an extremely strong spec sheet for a phone which will set you back just €159 (around $180, £140, AU$250) for 3GB/32GB and €189 (around $210, £165, AU$300) for the 4GB/64GB model. You'll be hard pushed to find another smartphone offering this amount of storage and RAM for the money.

The Alcatel 3L is very similar, with the only differences between it and its more expensive sibling being its quad-core Snapdragon 429 chipset, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, lack of a fingerprint scanner and less premium rear design.

It will cost €139 (around $160, £120, AU$220) when it goes on sale later this year.

Both handsets offer AR emoji, allowing you to become one of three animals on-screen, or a simple man or woman. The front facing camera tracks your facial movement and mimics your face, mouth, eyes and brows on the digital character on screen.

Lots of memory for not much money

The Alcatel 1S is an entry-level offering, with a 5.5-inch HD+ display, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, fingerprint scanner, face unlock, dual rear cameras and a 5MP selfie snapper for just €109 (around $120, £95, AU$170). You won't find another phone with this much storage at this price.

Finally, there was also an Android tablet on show in the form of the Alcatel 3T 10, an affordable big screen slate with a price tag of €179 (around $200, £155, AU$280).

It offers up a 10-inch display, 4G connectivity, dual front facing speakers, 4,080mAh battery and Android 9 Pie.

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

First look: TCL's 'affordable' foldable phone concept launching in 2020

Latest Tech News - Sun, 02/24/2019 - 11:00

Electronics manufacturer TCL, the brand behind Alcatel and BlackBerry smartphones, has confirmed at MWC 2019 that it will launch a foldable phone in 2020 which won't cost anywhere near as much as the Samsung Galaxy Fold.

It also had a concept foldable smartphone on show in Barcelona, Spain, although it was behind glass so we couldn't physically touch it or try it out.

The key takeaway here though is the fact TCL says its foldable device will have an "affordable price point". 

It wouldn't be drawn on just how much it's planning to charge, but it did tell us that it won't be producing a device which costs anywhere near $2,000 (the price of the Galaxy Fold).

A TCL spokesperson told us "it's not important to be first. We don't want to rush or be the first [to launch a foldable phone]. We want to bring something to the market that's really accessible and useful for the user."

That's why we won't see TCL, or its Alcatel or BlackBerry sub-brands, launch a foldable phone in 2019. It's happy to play the waiting game, see what rivals launch and then offer something more cost-effective next year.

Image Credit: TechRadar

The foldable phone challenge

TCL explained that it had to overcome three core challenges when designing its foldable phone concept. 

First up is the flexible display, which it has produced itself (with the help of sister company CSOT), so it won't need to rely on the likes of LG or Samsung to supply the panel - this could help to keep the cost down, but will likely mean a reduction in quality in comparison to those South Korean giants.

Next up was the challenge of the mechanics of the folding hinge, and TCL has developed a few different options for different form factors, allowing a display to be safely folded by 180 degrees.

Finally, it has had to develop a software solution to allow for larger applications, multi-tasking, gaming and more across a display which bends in half and potentially moves from one size and aspect ratio to another almost instantly.

While we were able to see the foldable display and hinge in the flesh, it's not clear how far TCL has got with developing the software. We hope it does a lot better than the Royole FlexPai, which suffered from major software issues when we got hands on with it at the start of the year.

Image Credit: TechRadar

Meet DragonHinge

The concept we got to see was snazzily named the TCL DragonHinge, which is a pretty awesome name for a phone if you ask us, but that's highly unlikely to be a name used for the final device.

It's technically the name for the patented casing and hinge TCL has created for its flexible displays, rather than the device has a whole.

We'd be surprised if the foldable concept phone we saw is the final device which launches next year, as it appeared to have a high-end spec line-up, including a 7.2-inch QHD+ (2048 x 1536) AMOLED display and four rear cameras - which doesn't sound very affordable to us.

This DragonHinge device also features a 90.73% screen-to-body ratio, ensuring bezels around the large display which folds in on itself - like a book - are kept to a minimum.

While the folding form factor is similar to the Samsung Galaxy Fold, there's no additional screen on the front (when folded), which means you'd have to open it up whenever you wanted to use it - potentially another cost-saving measuring.

As this is just a concept device, the design, specs and form factor could change entirely before TCL launches its first foldable device in 2020, and it had some other example designs of what we may be able to expect in the future.

These included a form factor more akin to the flip-phones of old, and a similar DragonHinge device which folded the opposite direction, keeping the screen on the outside of the device instead.

View our TCL DragonHinge foldable phone concept gallery below

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

Nokia 9 PureView launches with more rear cameras than any other smartphone

Latest Tech News - Sun, 02/24/2019 - 10:30

Nokia has announced its latest range of phones at MWC 2019, with a quartet consisting of the Nokia 1 Plus, Nokia 3.2, Nokia 4.2 and the flagship Nokia 9 PureView. 

It's the Nokia 9 PureView which is the standout smartphone here, with a market-leading five (yes, FIVE) rear cameras.

The Nokia 3.2 and Nokia 4.2 build on previous low-end generations, while the Nokia 1 Plus offers another super-entry level handset next to the bargain basement Nokia 1.

Nokia 9 PureView

The Nokia 9 Pureview. Image Credit: TechRadar

The most interesting device launched is the Nokia 9 PureView, a handset with five 12MP rear cameras. 

Two of these are RGB snappers and the other three are monochromatic, and with all five perched on the rear of the device along with a flash and time-of-flight hole, you'd be forgiven for thinking the phone looks like a creepy spiders' eye.

Nokia is marketing the handset strongly towards an audience of photography enthusiasts, with a partnership with Adobe Lightroom to help photographers with their post-processing, and Google Photo's reliable range of effects available to use with the device. 

Clearly HMD Global (the Finnish firm behind Nokia handsets these days) wants to give the great camera phones, like the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, Google Pixel 3 and iPhone XS Max, a run for their money.

You also get a 5.99-inch, QHD+ pOLED display, Snapdragon 845 chipset, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of RAM, 3,320mAh battery and Android 9 Pie.

The Nokia 9 PureView price is $699 (around £540, AU$980) and is expected to go on sale in the coming weeks.

New budget options

The budget Nokia 4.2. Image Credit: TechRadar

The Nokia 4.2 comes with a 5.71-inch HD+ display, Snapdragon 439 chipset, either 2GB or 3GB of RAM, the choice of 16GB or 32GB of storage, dual rear cameras, an 8MP selfie snapper, 3,000mAh battery and Android 9 Pie. It's set to cost $199 (around £150, AU$270) for 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, and $169 (around £130, AU$230) for the 2GB/16GB model. 

Next up is the Nokia 3.2, with a 6.26-inch HD+ screen, Snapdragon 429 chipset, 2GB or 3GB of RAM, 16GB or 32GB of storage, 13MP rear camera, 5MP front camera and Android 9 Pie. The Nokia 3.2 price is $169 (around £130, AU$240) for 3GB/32GB and $139 (around £105, AU$200) for 2GB/16GB.

Finally there's the Nokia 1 Plus is, with a 5.45-inch FWVGA+ display, quad-core MediaTek chipset, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, 8MP rear camera, 5MP front camera, 2,500mAh battery and Android 9 Pie Go Edition. 

The 1 Plus is aimed at developing markets, will be available from mid-March and is priced at just $99 (around £75, AU$140).

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

Nokia promises to 'double-down' on retro phone reboots in 2019

Latest Tech News - Sun, 02/24/2019 - 10:21

Yearning for an 8210? Wishing for an updated Nokia N-Gage? Desperate for a N95 re-imagining? Well, you may be in for a treat this year.

During the HMD Global press conference at MWC 2019, company CEO Florian Seiche took to the stage to reveal that over 10 million rebooted 3310 and 8110 handsets have been sold worldwide, and he revealed HMD will "double down" on retro phone reboots in 2019.

Seiche didn't reveal which iconic handsets were in line for a reboot, but none were announced in Barcelona. Instead, the only new feature phone on show was the Nokia 210.

Developing...

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

Best microSD cards of 2019: Flash memory for cameras, drones and more

Latest Tech News - Sun, 02/24/2019 - 09:54

If you're looking for the best SD and microSD memory cards for your camera or smartphone in 2019, then you've come to the right place, as in this guide, we've collected the best memory cards that can boost the storage space of your device.

The best memory cards will have fast data transfer rates which are essential for recording in ultra high definition (4K) resolutions as well, as your camera will be writing a lot of data to the memory card.

Of course, the best memory cards will also provide much needed extra capacity to your devices, allowing you to store more files.

In 2019, there is a huge range of devices that require memory cards, from phones and cameras, to laptops, security cameras, drones and much more - so our list of the best SD cards money can buy can help ensure you get the most out of your device.

In our list of the best SD and microSD memory cards, we look at value for money, speed and capacity, and our price checking software will make sure you get the very price.

The best microSD cards of 2019

The best SD card you can buy is technically a microSD card, albeit one that can be used full-size when married to the proper hardware. Despite not being the most resilient SD card on the market, the Samsung Evo Plus’ 100 megabyte per second (MB/s) read and 90MB/s write speeds are impressive nonetheless. Not only that, but there is a wide variety of sizes to choose from too, so whether you need 32GB of storage or 128GB, rest assured you’re in good hands.

If you do a lot of filming, especially in 4K, then you're going to want a reliable microSD card that can write large amounts of data fast, which is exactly what the Samsung Pro+ can do. It features a U3 rating and read/write speeds of 95MB/sec and 90MB/sec. The kind of speeds the Samsung Pro+ microSD card can handle will be largely wasted for day-to-day tasks, such as being installed in a smartphone, but for 4K video, this is a fantastic buy.

SanDisk claims this microSD card can read up to 95MB/s and write 90MB/s, and in tests it came pretty close to those speeds. This makes it a very fast card, and with smaller files it's even faster, which means this is a great card for action cams, drones or burst photography. Again, it's a bit on the pricey side, but if you don't mind spending a bit above the odds, you'll get a great microSD card for your needs.

The Lexar 1000x isn't the fastest microSD card here, but it has a lot going for it. For example, its read speeds are still some of the fastest around, and it's priced cheaper than many of its competitors. While it falls short with its write speeds, the difference won't be too noticeable for many people. It also comes with a microSD to USB 3.0 adapter, which makes it easy to transfer your files to a PC.

As you can probably tell from the number of entrants it has in our best microSD list, Samsung is excellent at producing fast, efficient and dependable microSD cards. The Samsung Evo Select is another great all-rounder that can happily sit in a digital camera, drone, phone or Nintendo Switch games console. While it doesn't necessarily excel in any one task, it is a strong performer that does the job well. Currently Samsung Evo Select microSD cards are only available from Amazon. While that makes hunting for a bargain a bit more tricky, it at least means you can buy with confidence from a reputable seller.

The SanDisk Ultra microSD is a brilliant microSD card for people who are looking for large capacities, with the latest version offering up to 400GB of storage space. That should give you plenty of room for storing high resolution images and video files. Write speeds are good, but they are not the fastest we've seen. If you shoot in 4K, that might be an issue, but for many people the slightly slower speeds are worth it for the amount of storage space you get.

If you're looking for a microSD card to put inside an action camera, like the Go Pro, then you want something that can record data quickly, while also being able to withstand drops, shocks and splashes. This is where the Kingston microSD Action Camera comes in - it's designed especially for action cameras. This means it has an incredibly robust design, as well as good read and write speeds. It's a bit overkill if you're just going to use it in a smartphone, so one of the other microSD cards in this list could be better suited to your needs.

Many microSD cards are low capacity, which is fine if you just need an extra bit of space in your smartphone or tablet, but if you're taking lots of high resolution images, or you want to take advantage of modern smartphone's support for microSD cards up to 2TB in size, then the Integral 512GB microSDXC Class 10 Memory Card is definitely worth considering, offering a huge 512GB of storage space. Of course, you can also get versions with less space if you don't need as much, but for those of you who need to store large files, this is the microSD card for you.

How to choose your microSD memory card
  • It's not worth looking for memory cards with capacities smaller than 4GB simply because the price premium you pay for twice or four times the storage is tiny.
  • Make sure you include the delivery price when doing the numbers as quite often you end up paying more for the postage than the drive itself, particularly for low-cost models.
  • If you plan to opt for large capacity cards (32GB or more), make sure that your device is SDXC compatible.
  • If you plan to move files to and from portable devices (tablets or smartphones), consider a microUSB card reader such as the Leef Access.
  • Avoid buying your memory cards from vendors with few feedbacks on auction websites as these drives might turn out to be fake. All the vendors listed below are tried and trusted ones.
  • For 128GB and above, SD cards are generally cheaper as users usually settle for 64GB as this matches the maximum supported capacity of most portable devices. In general, microSD cards with an adaptor cost less than the equivalent SD card.
  • Note that all the capacities are likely to be much less than stated when they are formatted.
  • SD cards are usually divided into classes which gives a rough idea of the minimum performance to be expected. A Class 4 card is guaranteed to deliver at least 4MBps while a Class 10 should surpass 10MBps.
  • Similarly, many vendors report their speeds in terms of "x" rating which is a multiple of 150KBps (the read speed of a standard CDROM drive). A 100x card can be expected to deliver more than 14MBps.
  • If you plan to buy microSD cards simply to store data, don't. Memory sticks, being cheaper and more robust, are a better choice.
Categories: Tech News

Instagram could be planning public Pinterest-style collections

Latest Tech News - Sun, 02/24/2019 - 09:30

Ever wished Instagram was a bit more like Pinterest? You could be in luck – code discovered in Instagram for Android suggests the app is about to launch a new feature to make your collections public.

First discovered by regular tipster Jane Manchun Wong and reported by TechCrunch, the feature would let you show off a collection of pictures to the wider world.

Instagram told TechCrunch the new option isn't currently being tested – so we don't know if or when it's going to roll out, or which countries it's going to appear in at first. It does look to be on the way though.

Collections in Instagram let you save photos privately in groups (themed around travel, cooking, friends, or whatever you like). The toggle switch that's been found would let you make one or more of those collections viewable by anyone else.

Testing, testing...

Instagram is constantly testing new features of course, and isn't shy about ripping off good ideas other people have – like the Stories concept that Snapchat introduced.

In this case it would be drawing inspiration from Pinterest, which lets users compile boards of images based around particular themes. It could also boost e-commerce activity on Instagram at the same time, making it easier to showcase groups of products for sale.

While it started as a simple photo-sharing app, Instagram has since grown to do just about everything else instead – including direct messaging.

And speaking of messaging, parent company Facebook – which smartly decided to buy Instagram nearly seven years ago – is apparently planning to integrate communication channels across Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram.

Categories: Tech News

Best external hard drives of 2019

Latest Tech News - Sun, 02/24/2019 - 09:22

Buying the best external hard drive for your needs is essential, so our guide to the top external hard drives can help make sure you buy the right one for you.

The reason why you'll need to think carefully when buying the best external hard drive is that you'll want something that can safely and reliably store your important documents, while also quickly and easily expanding the storage space of your PC, laptop or games console.

So, we've listed the best external hard drives money can buy in 2019. Each external drive on this page has been carefully picked to make sure it offers fast data transfer speeds – essential if you move lots of big files regularly – while also offering sturdy build quality so you don't have to worry about them breaking and losing your files.

When buying the best external hard drive for your needs, there are certain things you need to take into account. For example, you'll want to make sure you have a drive that offers fast data transfer speeds.

The biggest deciding factors when it comes to data transfer rates is the connection the drive uses, and whether it is a standard hard drive or a solid state drive (SSD). Many external hard drives use USB 2.0 connections, but for faster speeds you'll want USB 3.0 or ideally the newer USB Type-C connection. You'll need to ensure your PC or laptop also has a USB Type-C port.

You'll also need to think about how much storage space you need. The best external hard drives offer a range of capacities. We'd recommend 500GB to start with, as that gives you plenty of space to store your files without costing too much money.

However, if you deal in large files, such as high resolution photos and videos, then you may want to consider buying a bigger drive, with external hard drives offering terabytes (TB) of storage space.

Buying the best external hard drive for your needs involves figuring out how much space you need. You don't want to buy an external hard drive that's too small, and end up running out of space, but neither do you really want to pay over the odds for storage space you'll never need.

In this guide we list the best external hard drives with both traditional hard drives and faster (and more expensive) solid state drives.

Still, the best external hard drives are also dependable and rugged, so you can safely store your data without worry. The best external drives will also be light enough to carry in your bag, with large capacities so that you can keep your data safe when travelling.

There's a huge range of external hard drives on offer, so we've put together this list of the best external hard drives to help you find the perfect one for your needs.

An external hard drive you can buy without breaking the bank, Buffalo's MiniStation Extreme NFC could be your match made in heaven.

With compatibility for both Mac and Windows machines, the Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC is very flexible, and comes with a rugged case that's dust and water resistant, along with a built-in USB 3.0 cable.

Not only is your data kept protected from knocks and drops with the rugged shell, but it's also got 256-bit AES security features and NFC (Near Field Communication) features as well.

Essentially it allows you to unlock the drive to get to your files quickly and easily by tapping the supplied NFC card onto the drive's body. Pretty neat!

  • This product is only available in the US at the time of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro 

The latest generation of the Western Digital My Passport range of external hard drives has landed, coming in sizes from 1TB to 4TB. It features cloud storage and 256-AES encryption, along with WD's own backup software.

Best of all, it is a very good performer when it comes to data transfer speeds, beating many of its competitor. Unsurprisingly, it doesn't reach the top speeds of solid state external drives, but for external hard drives based on traditional HDDs, this is the drive to get.

If you'd rather have an external hard drive that took advantage of solid state drive (SSD) speeds, then the Samsung Portable SSD T5 is definitely the best external hard drive for you. Samsung has a brilliant reputation for external SSDs, thanks to products like the T3, and the T5 builds on its predecessor by adding a fast USB Type-C connection that ekes out every last drop of performance from the solid state drive inside. Of course, it's also backwards compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 if your PC doesn't have USB Type-C. It's expensive, but it's well worth the cash.

Read the full review: Samsung Portable SSD T5

The Adata SD700 will suit those looking for a rugged storage device that can provide ample capacity without costing too much. It performs superbly well and remains the only SSD we’ve seen that is IP68 rated. 

Thanks to the solid state drive that resides in this external hard drive, it's a lot faster than external drives that use traditional spinning hard drives - so you're getting great transfer speeds as well as rugged protection.

It also comes in capacities up to 1TB, so you don't have to worry about missing out on storage space just because it uses an SSD - this drive really does hit all the right notes.


If you're looking for the absolute largest capacity external hard drive, then the WD My Book Duo 4TB is the one to get, offering a huge 4TB (you can also get versions with up to 20TB) of storage space over two hard drives.

If you don't mind sacrificing some of the ample storage space you can set the drives up in a RAID array, so you have file backups of your files should one of the drives die.

This USB 3.0 drive has many of the features of a fully-fledged NAS device (including a high price), and if you have a router with a USB 3.0 port you could use this as a network attached storage device in its own right.

The device, which comes with two-year warranty, has 256-bit AES hardware encryption, and automatic backup software (WD SmartWare Pro).

Worth noting that the enclosure used is fully serviceable and that WD ships the drive already pre-formatted for Windows users (NTFS).

If you have a device with a Thunderbolt port, then this is a great option, as it provides twice the speeds of standard USB 3.0 drives. It's also not especially expensive compared to other Thunderbolt drives. The price is kept down due to its use of a traditional hard drive, rather than an SSD, which limits the potential speeds. It also comes with a USB 3.0 port for people without access to Thunderbolt.

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the WD MyBook Duo 

If you want to combine speed and capacity, then the Seagate Backup Plus Desktop Drive 5TB is definitely worth considering. It comes in a range of sizes up to 8TB and it beats the competition when it comes to read and write speeds as well.

On top of this storage and speed, you get a decent amount of peace of mind thanks to Seagate's lower than average failure rates, especially in bigger capacity hard drives.

You also get backup software, and the drive is compatible with both Windows and Macs, though it's formatted for Windows out of the box unless you go for a Mac-specific hard drive - though these are more expensive.

Even if we had mixed feelings on past versions of the My Passport Wireless, the 2016 “pro” variant of the external HDD restores faith in the Western Digital name. The design, for one, has been overhauled and no longer resembles the My Passport Ultra or My Passport for Mac. Instead, there’s now a more premium feel to the My Passport Wireless Pro. It resembles an external DVD drive, but considering the onboard SD card slot, don’t worry about getting it confused with anything else. For photographers, this will make the Wireless Pro stand out.

For everyone else, there’s a massive 6,400mAh battery built into the device. This lets the drive be used completely free of wires over 2.4GHz or 5GHz channels. When it’s wired up, however, don’t expect cutting edge connection tech, as the My Passport Wireless Pro uses only USB Type-B to Type-A. Completely absent is the latest and greatest USB-C connection.

Where the My Passport Wireless Pro compromises on affordability, it’s able to benefit in just about every other area. Of course, not everyone needs a wireless hard drive or SD card support, but for those who do, it’s almost essential.

Read the full review: Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro
 

You may have stumbled upon the LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive when perusing the Apple website for USB-C accessories. There’s a reason for that: the Porsche Design ships with both USB Type-C to Type-A and USB Type-C to Type-C connectors, making it a worthy candidate regardless of your setup.

It’s expensive for an external hard drive, don’t get us wrong, especially if you’re in the market for the top-end 4TB option. On the other hand, this is an HDD that could theoretically output speeds of up to 5Gbps, if it weren’t hindered by the limits of SMR (Shingled Magnetic Recording) technology.

Comprising five 800GB platters in a 15mm form factor, the LaCie Porsche Design Mobile is an excellent challenger to the Seagate M3, though it’s notably bigger in both weight and dimensions.

Sure, it packs an extra convenience factor in the form of USB-C, but it should be noted that the Porsche Design Mobile is still limited to USB 3.0 speeds. Plus, even an aluminum finish can’t prevent it from clashing with your Rose Gold MacBook. Nevertheless, LaCie’s offering is the best USB-C external HDD money can buy, at least for the time being.

Read our full review: LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive 4TB
 

Typically, iStorage hard disks cater best to governments and multinational organizations around the world, for good reason too – they offer tight security like no other drives around.

If someone tries to tamper with your iStorage drive, you can configure it to self-desturct. What's more, the data is encrypted by the 256-bit AES protocol, with multiple forms of protection in place to ensure the bad guys don't get in no matter how persistent. When you consider all that extra security, the prices won't scare you away either.

Sure, it's still expensive, four times the price of an equivalent 2TB drive, and unlikely to be the most nimble performer. But, you're paying for a product that's virtually uncrackable. Bear in mind, though, you'll get no help from the manufacturer if things go awry and you lose your password.

Read our full review: iStorage diskAshur DT

Gabe Carey and Matt Hanson also contributed to this article

Categories: Tech News

Best Linux laptops of 2019: the top open-source notebooks

Latest Tech News - Sun, 02/24/2019 - 09:11

If you want an alternative to Microsoft's Windows or Apple's macOS operating systems, then Linux, the open source operating system that's been knocking about since 1991, is the way to go, and in this guide we'll show you the best Linux laptops that come specially built for running the software.

Because none of the main notebook vendors – bar Dell – offer Linux as a base OS option, this leaves other smaller companies the ability to carve a niche for themselves.

Of course, you can install Linux on many existing laptops, however some manufacturers lock down their products that makes installing Linux instead of Windows a real pain - and you can completely forget about running Linux on a MacBook.

The five of the best Linux laptops you can buy today on this page have been fine-tuned to run a specific flavor of Linux (like Ubuntu, for example), which means they will run the popular open source operating system out of the box without any annoying fiddling about needed.

Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition

The XPS 13 retains its crown as the undisputed champion of the Ultrabook market, and one can only admire Dell for its unwavering Linux support on a flagship machine.

The laptop is customisable so you can configure it to be suitable for everything from routine office tasks to gaming, depending on how much you’re willing to pay.

If you wish, you can plump for the most expensive XPS 13, which has a 4K (3,840 x 2,160) InfinityEdge touchscreen. The slightly more wallet-friendly configuration runs with a Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) 13.3-inch InfinityEdge non-touch display. It’s also worth bearing in mind that the higher-res screen will tax the GPU and CPU more, and may affect battery life adversely.

As this is touted as a 'Developer' edition, it's surprising there aren't more customisation options. The basic model - which costs $1049.99 at the time of writing - comes with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, and cannot be upgraded during checkout. 

The more expensive version allows you to choose between the default 512GB SSD or to pay extra for a 1TB solid-state drive. All models come preinstalled with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and 8th-generation Intel CPUs.

System76 Serval WS

System76's Serval WS is the ultimate powerhouse of laptops. Available with a 15-inch or 17-inch display, it incorporates an 8th generation Intel Core i7 CPU which is usually found in desktop machines.

The Serval WS is highly customisable incorporating up to 64GB of system RAM and up to 12TB of storage. Buyers are also offered a variety of Nvidia GeForce GTX 10-series GPUs, and gamers will further appreciate the choice of either a Full HD or 4K display.

It's clear that a lot of thought and care has gone into the design of the Serval WS, given that each key on the keyboard comes with its own multi-colour backlight. The laptop, like all System76 models, comes preinstalled either with the firm’s own custom POP!_OS or Ubuntu Linux.

This notebook also offers impressive connectivity chops with both USB 3.1 Type-C and Type-A ports (the exact number of ports varies by model). One thing to be aware of is that this laptop is a fairly hefty beast, with the basic 15-inch model weighing 3.4kg and the 17-inch version tipping the scales at 4.17kg.

This heftiness is matched only by the weighty price tag: the base 15-inch model is equipped with a GTX1060 and a relatively basic 8GB of RAM and a 250GB SSD for storage, but costs an eye-watering $1,989 (around £1,515, AU$2,695).

Purism Librem 13

Purism embarked upon a quest to build the most secure laptop ever and (obviously) chose Linux (PureOS) to power the device – it is the only notebook vendor on the market to offer physical kill switches as standard on its laptops.

Instead of going mainstream, the company tapped into the crowdfunding community to gain more than $430,000 (around £300,000, AU$550,000) worth of funding, allowing it to adopt a stricter ethos than most firms when it comes to privacy, rights to free software and security.

The Librem 13 might look and feel like a bog-standard laptop but there's far more to it than meets the eye (for example, the company designed its own motherboards).

In addition, Purism’s commitment to Linux (and security in general) certainly goes beyond most of the vendors on this list.

System76 Oryx Pro

The Oryx Pro was built for Linux and indeed currently offers a choice of either Ubuntu 16.04 or System76’s own Ubuntu-based Pop!_OS 17.10 on purchase.

The chassis is made from lightweight aluminium with a matte black finish and you even have a choice of display size (15.6 or 17.3-inch). Graphics are provided by GeForce GTX 10 series GPUs and the Oryx packs an Intel Core i7 quad-core processor (with Turbo to 3.8GHz) into its thin frame.

The online store encourages you to customise the Oryx to suit your needs. By default you get 8GB of RAM and a 250GB SSD, but you can pay extra to upgrade to 64GB of system memory with a 2TB SSD if you wish – although the top-end configurations get very expensive here.

You can also choose between Nvidia’s GTX 1060 and GTX 1070 when it comes to the GPU, and it’s possible to add extra drives, or purchase a laptop bag designed to carry and protect your machine. The warranty of the notebook can be extended to provide coverage for three years.

System76 Galago Pro

On paper, the Galago Pro from System76 is an absolute beast of a machine, and yet it weighs less than most laptops which also have a 13-inch screen. This is a notebook that rivals the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition, featuring an aluminium chassis, and managing to make space for up to 32GB of RAM (yes, 32GB).

The Galago Pro has two hard drive bays. The 'OS Drive' in the first bay is a 120GB SSD by default but can be specified at up to 2TB when you order. You can also choose to install a second SSD in the other bay of up to 4TB capacity.

If that wasn’t enough, it has a 13.3-inch display with a resolution of 3,200 x 1,800, an Ethernet port, an SD card reader, two USB ports and a Thunderbolt 3/USB Type-C/mini-DisplayPort connector. In a nutshell, you will be hard pressed to get anything in Windows-land that can deliver this sort of compute power and storage capacity.

Categories: Tech News

The best mobile workstations 2019: the most powerful laptops for businesses

Latest Tech News - Sun, 02/24/2019 - 08:52

Welcome to our list of the best mobile workstations of 2019. On this page you'll find the top powerful business laptops that combine the power of desktop workstations, with the portability and convenience of the best business laptops.

The best mobile workstations, then, are devices that allow you to complete intensive tasks, such as video editing and rendering, while away from the office.

Thanks to advances in modern mobile technology, laptops are now more capable than ever before, with processor makers like Intel and AMD working hard to make mobile chips that can perform brilliantly at multitasking. 

Meanwhile, mobile graphics cards have also advanced, allowing for brilliant performance in laptops that remain thin and light.

This level of performance in a mobile workstation does come at a cost, however, as the parts they use, build quality and the level of after-sales services mean that these are an investment that can be expensive, but choosing the right one means you'll have a solid and dependable performer that will help you with your work for years to come.

Thanks to our price comparison tool, we can help take the sting out of the price tag by helping you find the very best prices for these excellent mobile workstations. So, read one for our list of the best mobile workstations money can buy in 2019.

If you'd prefer a Best Desktop Workstation roundup or, if you're interested in a business laptop that isn't necessarily a workstation, we've got you covered.

Because mobile workstations are so specialist - and come with such a high price tag - finding one that suits your business needs is important, and we're here to help with this list of the best mobile workstations in 2018.

Apple's most powerful laptop ever is also the best workstation laptop in 2018. It comes with the innovative Touch Bar that makes certain tasks much easier, but it's the powerful innards that really impress us with this mobile workstation. It features up to 32GB of RAM and a super-fast solid state hard drive, and comes with Intel's latest and most powerful processors. You can configure the MacBook Pro 2018 to match your needs and budget, and it all comes in Apple's trademark gorgeous design. If you're looking for the best mobile workstation that combines design and power, then this is a brilliant choice. As long as you have the budget.

 Read the full review: MacBook Pro (15-inch, mid-2018) review

Not only is the Razer Blade one of the best gaming laptops money can buy, it is also an excellent desktop replacement and mobile workstation for non-gamers, thanks to its excellent array of features and powerful components. It’s thin, powerful and includes some of the latest hardware money can buy.

Read the full review: Razer Blade review

HP's mobile workstation Ultrabook has already reached its third generation but the last one is still very much a best-in-class especially when it comes to sheer value for money. It is one of the cheapest workstations on the market to offer a professional dedicated graphics card, and the most affordable business laptop to come with a whopping half-decade warranty. HP opted for a 14-inch diagonal which may well hit a sweet spot for some.

Read the full review: HP ZBook 14 G2

HP calls it the perfect combination of brains and beauty and it is kind of hard to disagree. The G3 is essentially a mobile workstation that has been squeezed in an Ultrabook form factor. A 4K monitor adorns it and there's plenty of oomph under the hood. It is actually the only device known to us that comes with a Xeon CPU. Add in extensive ISV certification, a super-long warranty and MLD-STD 810G certification and you have a very attractive candidate.

Read the full review: HP ZBook Studio G3

Despite being just over 10mm thick and weighing just over 1.16Kg, the HP Spectre Pro 13 G1 manages to pack a proper Core i7 CPU with a full HD 13.3-inch display, a massive 4-cell 38Whr battery and three USB Type C connectors. 

This makes it a formidable mobile workstation that offers plenty of power for even the most demanding of tasks. If you want a laptop that offers similar performance to your work desktop PC, then this brilliant machine is definitely worth considering. Its  3 Year Next Business Day onsite warranty also means if something goes wrong with the device, you can quickly get it fixed without missing out on work.

Lenovo hails this model as the world's first multi-mode workstation, one that manages to combine power and creativity thanks to a 360-degree hinge that has, to some extent, set the standard when it comes to convertible or 2-in-1 designs. What's more, it is one of the very rare laptops to come with built-in Wacom Active ES pen technology, capable of delivering 2048 levels of pen pressure sensitivity and tilt recognition.

As with most of Dell's laptops you can configure the Precision 7720 to meet your needs, which makes it one of the best workstation laptops in the world. By boosting the processor, screen and GPU of this laptop (compared to its base model) you'll get an excellent laptop for heavy-duty work. The 17-inch screen (which can be upgraded to 4K), is brilliant for photo and video editing, but it does mean that it's a bit larger and heavier than other machines in this list. It's also pricey, especially if you configure it with the latest components, but it remains a brilliant 

The ThinkPad T-series is a no-nonsense design with a focus on robustness over style. Even so, the T460s' 18.8mm thickness is within 1mm of the MacBook, and it's actually lighter at 1.4kg. It's not as powerful as some of the workstation laptops in this list, but it's not as expensive either, which makes it a great choice if you're looking for an accomplished workstation laptop for less hardcore workloads, while also keeping to a budget.

Read the full review: Lenovo ThinkPad T460s

Categories: Tech News

Huawei unveils the future of file-sharing

Latest Tech News - Sun, 02/24/2019 - 08:46

Huawei has revealed what it says is a revolutionary new way to quickly share files between your phone and your PC.

At its MWC 2019 launch event in Barcelona today, the Chinese tech giant unveiled Huawei Share, a new service which means you can transfer files with just a tap.

Enabled via an NFC OneHop sticker attached to one of the company’s Matebook laptops, users can transfer text, photos or files almost instantly to and from their phones.

One touch

The company says Huawei Share will support transfer speeds of up to 30MBps, making it perfect for when you need to share things fast.

However you will need one of Huawei’s devices to utilise Huawei Share, as the service only works on the company’s EMUI 8.0 software and later – meaning it won’t be available in the US for the time being.

Huawei Share works both ways between phones and laptops, with users also to do a three-finger down swipe on the Matebook display to select an area to screenshot. Another nifty feature sees you just shake you smartphone and tap to record up to 60 seconds of real-time screen capture from the laptop across to your device.

 Users can also copy and paste text across devices thanks to the new “Clipboard Sharing” feature, allowing speedy copying of information across devices.

The launch came alongside Huawei’s reveal of three new Matebook models, with a premium Matebook X Pro device unveiled alongside new editions of its Matebook 13 and Matebook 14 models.

  • 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

Huawei Mate X: first look at a truly impressive foldable phone

Latest Tech News - Sun, 02/24/2019 - 08:45

The Huawei Mate X is shaping up to be the foldable phone that fixes our concerns over the yet-to-be-held Samsung Galaxy Fold, but expect to pay more for it.

We got to see Mate X smartphone and its folding Falcon Wing hinge in action, and although Huawei wasn't ready to let us touch it, we know a lot of details. 

For one thing. it'll be expensive. It cost €2,299 (about $2,605, £1,996, AU$4,769) with 512GB of internal storage and 8GB of RAM. It's been in the works for three years, according to Huawei, and will launch in the UK via carrier EE this year.

It's poised to be one of many foldable phones at MWC 2019. But from what we've seen so far, the Huawei Mate X holds a lot of promise, claiming to be 'the world's fastest foldable 5G phone.' Here's what we saw.

The foldable 8-inch Huawei Mate X screen

The Huawei Mate X folds out into a 8-inch Android tablet, with a 6.6-inch screen on one side and a 6.4-inch (technically 6.38-inch) screen on the other when folded up. Its screen size seems just right for what we've envision from the future of foldables.

This OLED display is bigger than Samsung's Fold, which is 7.4-inch unfolded with a folded 4.6-inch bezel-heavy screen... on just one side. Huawei knows it has a winner here in terms of size, one that Samsung can't address until the Fold 2.

When the Huawei Mate X is unfolded, there's no notch or corner cutout for the camera, either. Huawei's first foldable phone has a bezel-reduced FullView display.

The way it folds is a little different, too. The 8-inch screen folds so that it splits into two, broken-down displays faces the outside. Samsung's phone folds inward, with an extra small outer screen.

Dimensions and grip

Huawei calls its sophisticated-looking folding hinge the Falcon Wing hinge, and it allows the Mate X to lay completely flat, measuring just 5.4mm thin. The company says the hinge has 100 components inside of it.

For a comparison, this foldable phone is thinner than an iPad when it's laid out in tablet mode. Apple's only managed to get its form factor down to 5.9mm thin.

There is a prominent grip on the Mate X that Huawei says is an 'ergonomic curvature'. It's made a good case for why this grip exists: firm, secure holding in the hand.

Really, the grip exists for another good purpose: it's where a lot of the major components are stored. The camera system is here, so is a 2-in-1 fingerprint sensor / power button.

The Huawei Mate X will come in an Interstellar Blue color, according to the company, but you'll only see it on the thin top and bottom, and on the back unfolded. It'll also have a case to protect those screens. No word on if the case is included for free.

Specs and battery life

Huawei claims to have the word's fastest foldable 5G phone, and that's not a claim as to how fast you can unfold and fold this thing. That's what it sounded like at first.

No, the the company proudly claimed that "5G is on" in its super-charged Kirin 980 chipset, another knock to the fact that the Galaxy Fold will have a 4G LTE at its lofty starting price. Samsung didn't even mention the price of the 5G version.

It has the world's first 7nm 5G chip and sports a quad 5G antenna design, which can reach speeds of 4.6Gbps. You can download a 1GB movie in three seconds, says Huawei.

The company touts that these speeds are 10x current 4G LTE capabilities and it's able to pull them off in 2019 because it's in the middle of building 5G networks, so it's able to do live testing.

Here are more Huawei Mate X specs announced at the press conference: it'll come with 512GB of internal storage, 8GB of RAM, and support Huawei's smaller nano memory cards. 

The battery life, despite the 8-inch screen size, is massive at 4,500mAh. It seems to be broken up into two parts, like the Galaxy Fold. 

It's a bit bigger than Samsung's battery capacity, but then again the screen is larger, so it should even out.

The Mate X should also break records for charging. Huawei's 55W SuperCharge tech not only surpasses the 40W charging in the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, it can reach 85% battery life in just 30 minutes.

The camera system

Huawei didn't go into detail regarding how many cameras the Huawei Mate X has, but its camera system is located in down the spin hinge, which ends up with a USB-C port at the bottom.

The ideas behind the camera system on a foldable are impressive. You can finally see yourself when you take a selfie with the main camera; not having to choose between blindly snapping a pic with the the better rear camera and using an underpowered lower-megapixel selfie camera.

Likewise, when someone else is taking a photo of you, you can primp and adjust your hair with a live view. Using the 6.6-inch screen, you can see what they see on the 6.4-inch side. This is a real-world use case of a foldable phone for average consumers.

Early thoughts on price and release date

Huawei is known for undercutting Samsung, Apple, and other top-tier smartphone makers on price. But it'll actually be more expensive than the nearly $2,000 Galaxy Fold.

Obviously, the tech inside is expensive, and the fact that it touts 5G means it's pricey. Huawei needs to convince us its software is as good as or better than Samsung's, which looks to make multi-tasking as easy as possible in tablet mode.

We're also interested in finding out about the bendable screen durability. How does it hold up? Does the plastic covering scratch easily? Two outer screens seems prone to danger, even with a case.

We still don't have the official release date. The Samsung Fold comes out on April 26, so Huawei may be itching to compete with this first true foldable phone sooner rather than later in 2019.

We're just as eager to know if you'll be able to buy it in the US, where Huawei phones aren't sold due to government pressure over potential spying (or at least they're not easy to buy from reputable retailers in America).

The Huawei Mate X seems almost too good to be true in some ways. It has a larger 8-inch screen closer to today's tablets, and folds with two outers screens closer to the size of current flagship smartphones. That we can get behind.

Durability remains our biggest question, along with availability besides the newly announced EE carrier details. We'll have more on Huawei's first foldable in the coming days, as we're bound to hear a lot of additional details at MWC 2019.

All image credit: TechRadar

  • 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

Best business laptops 2019: top laptops for work

Latest Tech News - Sun, 02/24/2019 - 08:42

If you're looking to buy a new laptop for work, then this list of the best business laptops will help you choose. The best business laptops combine cutting edge productivity features with slimline designs and long battery life that provides mobility and productivity - essential functions for the modern workplace.

While compiling this list of the best business laptops, we've taken into consideration a number of key factors including power, battery life, feature set and sheer value for money.

This means that we've selected a wider range of laptops to suit most (if not all) budgets and hopefully all tastes; there's a mix of cutting-edge products and old favourites here.

Almost all of them come with the professional version of Windows 10 to enhance their business credentials.

We also have our very own price comparison tool that will compare prices and make sure you're buying the very best business laptop for the very best price.

If you're looking for a bit more power, then check out our list of the best mobile workstations, as well as our pick for the best business desktop PC.

Where to buy business laptops

Previous versions of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon have been the absolute best-in-class when it comes to business laptops, and this year's model is no exception, with Lenovo delivering a thinner and smaller design with practically no trade-offs. Despite its small size, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon comes with pretty much every feature you need in a productivity machine, making it the best business laptop money can buy. Thanks to a battery life of up to 15.5 hours, and a rapid charging feature that brings the battery back up to 80% capacity in only an hours, the X1 Carbon is an ultrabook that lets you keep on working while you're on the move.

Huawei may not be the first name you think of when looking to buy a new business laptop - whereas Dell and Lenovo are two names you'd more likely associate with notebooks for work, but the Chinese company has proved to be an excellent laptop manufacturer with its new MateBook X Pro. It has a beautiful design that will get appreciative looks in the boardroom, it's light enough to carry around with you, and it has powerful components and excellent battery life. It's also one of the cheaper ultrabooks on the market.

Believe it or not, Dell classifies the XPS 13 as a business laptop, albeit one that is geared towards a home office environment but businessmen (and women) will love the design. This ultraportable laptop – as Dell puts it – punches above its weight with Windows 10 Pro across the entire range as well as rather attractive pricing.

This award winning laptop (it won best laptop of the year from us and many others) manages to pack a 13.3-inch display into the chassis of an average 11.6-inch model. It was also refreshed in 2018 with even better components, for a much improved business laptop experience.

The laptop can be upgraded to 16GB of RAM and a 1TB M2 SSD drive. Battery life is exceptional as well with almost 22 hours of continual use when using productivity applications.

In 2019, Dell has once again given the Dell XPS 13 a boost when it comes to components, and the webcam is now placed above the screen for better video calls, which helps make the Dell XPS 13 2019 once again one of the best business laptops money can buy.

The 2018 model of the 13-inch Macbook Pro with Touch Bar is a brilliant upgrade to Apple's formidable laptop range, and it's one of the best business laptops money can buy. While Microsoft had the performance edge over last year's MacBook Pro, with the Surface Book 2, Apple has come out swinging with some seriously beefed up specs for the 13-inch MacBook Pro 2018. The 13-inch model can be configured with the latest Intel Core processors, all USB-C ports are not Thunderbolt 3, and you can have up to 16GB of RAM. If you want even more performance, the 15-inch version is worth considering, as it bumps the specs up even more.

HP was the only one of the three big laptop vendors who didn't have a flagship thin-and-light laptop: Dell has the XPS 13 and Lenovo, the Yoga 900.

That is now no longer the case with the introduction of the HP Spectre Pro 13 G1. This is a device that not only oozes luxury with a combination of colours and a clever design but also one that packs some incredible components.

Despite being just over 10mm thick and weighing just over 1.16Kg, it manages to pack a proper Core i7 CPU with a full HD 13.3-inch display, a massive 4-cell 38Whr battery and three USB Type C connectors. 

Lenovo took an existing form factor and refined it to deliver the new 2016-2017 ThinkPad E470. Powered by the 7th generation Intel Core processors, this particular SKU has a 14-inch FHD anti-glare display, powered by a discrete Nvidia Geforce 940MX 2GB GPU.

Equipped with a spill resistant keyboard, a TrackPoint and a 3+2 buttons click pad, the E470 has more than enough ports and expansion capabilities to keep the average user happy. Shame that it doesn't do DisplayPort, so no 4K output.

We’ve been waiting years for a new MacBook Air, and it’s finally here. Now thinner, lighter and with a Retina display for the first time, it’s easily the best MacBook Air we’ve ever used, and it makes it one of the best business laptops in the world as well, thanks to its thin and light design, improved hardware for better performance (including 8th-generation processors, more RAM and faster SSDs) and affordable price. We just wish that these were full-fat U-series quad core chips, rather than the Y-series dual-core fanless processors. Still, this means that you’re going to easily get all-day battery out of this thing, which makes it one of the best Macs for travel.

Read the full review: MacBook Air 2018 

Last year’s Dell XPS 15 was already one of the best laptops you could buy, but now that Dell has taken the beautiful redesign of the Dell XPS 13 and applied it here – while also making it a convertible. This makes it easily one of the best business laptops money can buy in 2018. It looks fantastic, feels great to use and it packs one of those new Intel Kaby Lake G-series CPUs featuring ‘discrete-class’ Radeon graphics. This means that this laptop packs serious power – even if it can get a little loud.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 

The Surface Book 2 (13.5-inch) is another entry from Microsoft in our best business laptop list, and it's worthy of its spot, as Microsoft has crafted one of the most powerful 2-in-1 laptops in the world. The Surface Book 2 has some powerful enough components to handle most day-to-day tasks, and even some light gaming and video editing if you go for a model with a dedicated graphics card. If you want a bigger screen, then there is also a 15-inch version of the Surface Book 2, which comes with more powerful components.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13.5-inch)

Chromebooks might not be the most obvious devices for business laptops, but the Asus Chromebook Flip proves that they can be excellent work tools. It comes with a full-fat Intel Core processor, full HD 1080p display and backlit keyboard. ChromeOS is now a more robust operating system with plenty of tools, and if you rely on web-based CMS or Google Docs to do your work, then the Asus Chromebook Flip is an affordable, well built and handy business laptop.

Check out our laptop buying guide video below.

Categories: Tech News

The best rugged tablets of 2019: the best drop-proof tablets you can buy

Latest Tech News - Sun, 02/24/2019 - 08:39

If you're looking for the best rugged tablets for your needs, then we can help. Here you'll find the best durable tablets that are ideal for working outside, or in environments where they may experience extreme temperatures, knocks and drops.

The best rugged tablets have been built to withstand the elements, with the latest shock-absorbing technology built in.  They have also been put through rigorous testing to make sure that they will endure all sorts of punishment.

This does mean that they come with a slightly higher initial outlay compared to standard tablets, but it's worth remembering that they can save money in the long one, as you don't need to repair or replace damaged rugged tablets as often – if at all.

While you won't get a rugged tablet that's as slim and light as the iPad Air 2, it doesn't mean you should have to lug around a chunky and unwieldy tablet either.

So, to help you find the best rugged tablet, we've put together this list, which gather the top shock and drop-proof tablets on the market today. 

If you're working outside, then the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-M1 is easily one of the best rugged tablets on the market today. This is thanks not only to its tough design that is shock resistant to to drops of up ton 180cm, but also because the display has been designed to be used outdoors in bright sunlight - so you'll still be able to use the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-M1 no matter how bright your surroundings are. The screen supports 10-finger multi-touch, it runs on Windows 10 Pro, it's water and dust resistant and comes with a configuration port for a variety of expansions (serial, LAN, 2D Barcode Reader, NFC).

If you're looking for a rugged Windows tablet that can withstand an impressive amount of punishment, then the Getac F110 is an excellent choice. Its durable body can withstand moisture, extreme temperatures and drops, without it being bulky or heavy. It is certified to MIL-STD 810G, 1P65 and MIL-STD-461F standards. The most recent version of this tablet comes with 6th generation Intel Core processors, so there's plenty of power here, and a dual battery system means you can easily swap them out without having to pause.

Dell is another well-known brand that produces rugged tablets. The Dell Latitude 7212 Rugged Extreme Tablet is one such device, and Dell has recently updated the model with more up-to-date components,including 7th generation Intel Core processors (though we'd like to see 8th generation chips included soon). For your money you get an excellently-built tablet that has IP65, MIL-STD-810G and IP-810G certifications (rather than merely meeting the standards in laboratory tests). Dell's customary high build quality is evident here, and while it isn't the most glamorous looking tablet, it does the job of withstanding harsh conditions, and accidental drops. It's quite an expensive tablet, but with improved components, and a range of specifications that you configure to better suit your needs, the Dell Latitude 7212 Rugged Extreme Tablet is well worth the price.

The HP ElitePad 1000 is a fantastic business laptop, and it can be configured to come in a rugged design that is IP65 and MIL-STD 810G tested. It can withstand a 6ft drop onto linoleum-covered concrete. It features an Intel Atom processor, which isn't the most powerful CPU, but it's still capable of handling most business applications.  Biometric security keeps your important data safe, and HP also offers a range of accessories, such as docking stations and additional batteries.

The Panasonic Toughbook CF-33 is a 2-in-1 rugged device, which means it has an attachable keyboard that allow it to work as either a laptop or as a tablet. When in tablet mode, the Toughbook CF-33 is an excellent durable machine , with MIL-STD-461F, MIL-STD-810G and IP65 certification, which means it can survive shocks, drops liquids and dust. The battery life is a bit on the short side compared to other rugged tablets on this list, but you can quickly swap out the battery when you need extra time. You can also buy extended batteries that double the run time from 10 hours to 20. This is an additional cost, however.

Unlike other rugged tablets on this list, the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2 isn't designed for industrial-grade protection. However, what it does provide is IP67 certification for dust and water ingress, and a battery that lasts between eight to 10 hours. Plus, it supports replaceable batteries, so you can keep on working even if you're away from a power supply, and it's drop-tested to 1.2 metres. A decent camera and NFC technology are included, and it's rounded off with Samsung's customary excellent build quality. The newer Galaxy Tab Active 2 improves on a lot of the features of the first Tab Active, with more RAM, better CPU and much more.

This 10.1-inch Android tablet can withstand drops up to five feet, as well as being water and dust resistant. While it's bulkier and heavier than non-rugged tablets, it's still portable enough to be easily carried around worksites. Its screen isn't the highest resolution, but with a 500 Nit backlight, it is excellent for use in direct sunlight. It's not the most powerful tablet on this list, but it's a more affordable alternative for people who want to use an Android device outside and on the road.

The Getac Z710 is a handy rugged tablet that does pretty much everything you'd want from an Android tablet, while coming in a rugged body. Design-wise the Getac Z710 is one of the better looking rugged tablets we've seen, and it comes with a number of business-orientated features that make it an excellent choice for enterprise use. The 7-inch screen is crisp and responsive to touch, but it does have a habit of showing off glare in direct lights. It has been tested for drops up to six foot, and is  MIL-STD-810G certified, while Corning Gorilla glass protects the screen from shattering.

Categories: Tech News

Huawei MateBook X Pro (2019) first look: MacBook Pro killer gets even better

Latest Tech News - Sun, 02/24/2019 - 08:30

During MWC 2019 in Barcelona, Spain, Huawei has pulled the curtain back on a brand new version of MateBook X Pro laptop with updated parts inside.

Essentially speaking, this update is a simple configuration refresh, with minor improvements to the laptop’s processor and graphics options as well as new Thunderbolt 3 support. It seems Huawei hopes to build on the critical acclaim its previous laptops have garnered by doubling down on its winning design.

Upon taking a close look at the Huawei MateBook X Pro, this isn’t the one to upgrade to if you already own last year’s model. However, newcomers will be impressed by Huawei’s knack for merging performance and panache.

Price and availability

For the new MateBook X Pro, Huawei isn’t yet discussing price, though the laptop will be available in the US this May, with a wider release to follow. While we don’t know exactly how much the laptop will cost, here’s what it will start with inside.

Huawei MateBook X Pro (2019) being unveiled at MWC 2019.

The entry level MateBook X Pro will include an 8th generation Intel Core i5-8265U processor with Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8GB of DDR3 memory and a 256GB SSD. If you want more power than that, then an Intel Core i7-8565U is available along with double the memory and storage as well as dedicated Nvidia MX 250 graphics.

Both MateBook X Pro options include the 13.9-inch, 3,000 x 2,000-pixel resolution touchscreen and fingerprint reader within the power button for biometric login via Windows Hello.

Design and display

This new version of the MateBook X Pro looks essentially identical to the 2018 model, which is no bad thing. The most glaring difference between the two models is that this one lacks the lotus flower logo, which Huawei appears to be moving away from entirely.

Huawei is selling the laptop in the same color options of “Mystic Silver” and “Space Gray,” and within the same aluminum frame measuring just 0.57 inches thin and weighing only 2.93 pounds as the previous version. That’s MacBook Air levels of portability.

Also like the MacBook Air, this model supports Thunderbolt 3 through one of its three USB-C ports, but it also offers a standard USB 3.0 port.

The MateBook X Pro uses the same super-sharp screen in 3:2 aspect ratio as before, producing 100% sRGB color with a 1,500:1 contrast ratio and 450-nit maximum brightness. Unsurprisingly, the display is gorgeous, with rich and vibrant color, and now supports a touch-based cut-and-paste tool made by Huawei.

We’re definitely impressed by the display’s massive 91% screen-to-body ratio, thanks to super thin bezels, but don’t necessarily think it was worth bringing back the webcam that hides beneath the keyboard. This decision is only going to turn away buyers that hold lots of video meetings.

Closing thoughts

The latest MateBook X Pro is just as impressive as the one that came before it, if not more so with increased power throughout. However, these updates are rather small, and therefore not going to be as keenly felt by upgraders from the previous model.

Without knowing how much Huawei intends to charge for the laptop, it’s difficult to pass even preemptive judgment on such a product. That said, while this version of the MateBook X Pro is more powerful than ever, we would have liked to see the laptop differentiate itself further from Huawei’s MateBook 13 or even 14.

  • 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.

Images Credit: TechRadar

Categories: Tech News

Huawei MateBook 14 first look: MateBook X Pro power without the panache

Latest Tech News - Sun, 02/24/2019 - 08:30

Huawei took the opportunity at MWC 2019 to debut one of its stranger choices for a laptop, at least at first glance: the Huawei MateBook 14.

The MateBook 14 aims to serve as a single step beneath the X Pro for consumers that want the same amount of power without arguably superfluous features.

Just how much better of an alternative will this laptop be for the cash-strapped MateBook X Pro fan? That will be tough to tell without an official price yet, but it’s looking like an impressive laptop nevertheless.


Price and availability

Unfortunately, Huawei isn’t yet discussing price for the MateBook 14, though the laptop will be available in the US this May, with a wider release to follow. While we don’t know exactly how much the laptop will cost, here’s what it will start with inside.

The entry level MateBook 14 will include an 8th generation Intel Core i5-8265U processor with Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8GB of DDR3 memory and a 256GB SSD. For those that want more power, an Intel Core i7-8565U is available along with double the memory and storage as well as dedicated Nvidia MX 250 graphics.

Both MateBook 14 options include the 14-inch, 2,160 x 1,440-pixel resolution touchscreen and fingerprint reader within the power button for biometric login via Windows Hello.

If you’re wondering what makes this laptop any different from the MateBook X Pro, then that lies largely in the screen technology and the ports on hand.

Design and display

The funny thing about the Huawei MateBook 14 is that it doesn’t simply look like a much bigger MateBook 13, or a marginally bigger MateBook X Pro, but rather a fusion of the two. This version of Huawei’s laptop uses the more smoothed, two-piece aluminum frame build of the MateBook 13 but also includes the webcam hidden beneath the keyboard of the MateBook X Pro.

Like all of its laptops, Huawei is selling the MateBook 14 in both "Mystic Silver" and "Space Gray" varieties, and the MateBook 14 measures 0.63 inches thin and weighs 3.28 pounds. That makes this Huawei’s thickest and heaviest flagship machine yet, but not by much.

That extra vertical space allows the MateBook 14 room for a relative bevy of ports compared to the MateBook X Pro: one USB-C 3.1 port (charging), one USB 3.0 port, one USB 2.0 port and an HDMI port.

As for the display, Huawei has ensured that it’s just as color accurate as its leading laptop’s, at 100% of the sRGB gamut. However, in the spirit of a lower price, the screen isn’t nearly as sharp, at 2,160 x 1,440 pixels, and the display’s contrast ratio (1,000:1) and brightness (300 nits) are a bit lowered in comparison.

The touchscreen supports the same proprietary, touch-based cut-and-paste tool that the MateBook X Pro does, which could make sharing screen shots and other content a little easier. Huawei also went with a taller 3:2 aspect ratio for this display, naturally.

The display’s massive 90% screen-to-body ratio, thanks to super thin bezels, is certainly impressive. However, we would have much rather Huawei sacrificed this figure a bit for a webcam above the display, as with the MateBook 13. This decision is only going to turn away buyers that find themselves in lots of video meetings.

Closing thoughts

The Huawei MateBook 14 may look indistinguishable from the new MateBook X Pro at first glance, but a closer first look reveals some major differences. These differences could serve audiences that want the MateBook X Pro power profile – without the extra niceties – rather well.

However, the true appeal of the MateBook 14 will ultimately come down to its price. The appeal of this laptop rests almost solely on just how much cheaper it will end up being than Huawei’s absolute best laptop. Will the MateBook 14 become the thin-and-light to beat, or will we all just be better off splurging on a MateBook X Pro?

  • 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.

Images Credit: TechRadar

Categories: Tech News

Three days with the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

Latest Tech News - Sun, 02/24/2019 - 07:58

As good of a phone as the Samsung Galaxy S9 was, it was an iterative upgrade over the Galaxy S8 and was released in a year where Android phone makers such as Huawei pushed real hard on their flagship products- overtaking Samsung in many areas. 

Samsung knew that it had to come up with something special with the Galaxy S10- especially considering that it’s also the 10th anniversary edition of the phone.

While the Galaxy S10 doesn’t go on sale until the 8th of March, we’ve been using it as our daily driver for the last three days. You’ll have to wait for our full review to find out how it compares to other phones, but here’s what we think of it so far.

It starts with the screen

While there is plenty to love about the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, the one feature that will mesmerize you is the screen. At 6.4-inches and edge-to-edge with a punch hole for cameras, the Dynamic AMOLED panel is breathtakingly gorgeous.

The 1440 x 3040 resolution makes it plenty sharp as well but those are specs that you’ll likely see on other phones. What sets Samsung apart is the quality of the screen- there is nobody in the industry that makes as good of a display and it clearly shows on the Galaxy S10 Plus.

 Traditionally, Samsung sets the colors to pop but on the S10, the default is set to the toned down “Natural” mode which is well calibrated. You can still change the screen mode to “Vivid” if that’s what you prefer the colors to pop. 

Another improvement Samsung has made is that these new OLED panels emit 61 percent less blue light and that is something you only realize when you switch the night mode on and don't see a huge difference. 

Have you been working out?

Once you’re done marveling at the screen, you realize how thin and light the Galaxy 10 Plus is for a phone with a 6.4-inch display. Folks around the office wondered if this was the non-plus version of the phone when they initially picked it up.

We’re not quite sure how Samsung managed to keep the weight of the phone down to 175 grams but if feels really light in your hands. It also not as slippery as last year's model. 

While we still prefer the size and in-hand feel of the regular Galaxy S10, the Plus is definitely smaller and lighter than you’d expect.

Ultrasonic sensor - Supersonic experience

The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is the first phone to use an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor. Although it's not as fast as a capacitive sensor, it works much more reliably than optical fingerprint sensors. The only time we struggled with the ultrasonic sensor on the Galaxy S10 Plus was when we took it inside a pool.

 Also, you don’t have to worry about the blinding light in the dark that the current generation of in-screen optical fingerprint sensors use. 

Rocking performance

The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus comes in two variants- the Snapdragon 855 for the US market and the Exynos 9820 for almost everywhere else in the world. We received the Exynos model for review which will also be the one that goes on sale in the Middle East.

The Exynos 9820 is an octa-core processor arranged in three clusters with four cores running at 1.95GHz, two cores at 2.31GHz and two more cores at 2.73GHz. Coupled with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, the Galaxy S10 Plus produced the highest Geekbench scores we’ve seen on an Android phone yet- 4473 for single-core and 10031 for multi-core.

It’s not just the benchmarks that the Galaxy S10 Plus is fast at- even everyday operations felt extremely zippy with apps launching and switching almost instantly. While we'll continue testing the speed, we won't be surprised if the Galaxy S10 takes the performance crown for Android phones.

Go wide or go home

With the Galaxy S10 line-up, Samsung has introduced a triple camera setup on its flagship phone. Like last year’s Galaxy S9, the primary camera is a 12MP sensor with a variable aperture while the secondary 12MP telephoto provides 2X optical zoom and bokeh effects. 

 What is new is the third sensor which is 16 MP at f/2.2 and 12mm for an ultrawide angle giving you good versatility when composing your images. Here are some sample shots from the Galaxy S10's camera in different lighting conditions. 

Samsung has introduced new scenes and AI capabilities on the Galaxy S10 bringing it more in line with the current generation of competing handsets. We’ll definitely be looking at the camera in greater detail in our full review.

More testing to be done

There are many more features on the Galaxy S10 Plus that need to be looked at in greater detail and require more time. For example, the S10 Plus is equipped with a massive 4,100mAh battery but that takes a few days to settle and measure. 

There’s also Wi-Fi 6 capabilities that aren’t present on any other phone and HDR10 video recording that will come with a software update. And last but not the least- the front cameras inside the punch hole. 

We’ll cover all of that in our upcoming review to see where the Galaxy S10 stands amongst other Android phones and whether it’s worth the price tag it’s asking for. But based on this quick look, we’re mighty impressed with what Samsung has done with the Galaxy S10.

Categories: Tech News

Chelsea vs Manchester City live stream: how to watch 2019 Carabao Cup final from anywhere

Latest Tech News - Sun, 02/24/2019 - 07:56

The final of English football's second cup has produced a top drawer final, with two of the country's finest clubs battling out the EFL Carabao Cup final. It's London against Manchester, and with our help you can get a Chelsea vs Manchester City live stream wherever you are.

Although the magic and mystery of a cup final means that predicting a winner is never easy, it's no surprise that the bookies have made Manchester City odds-on favourites for this one. They're in a rich vein of form, no less exemplified by a thundering 6-0 win a fortnight ago against...you guessed it, Chelsea.

So Chelsea will be seeking some serious revenge. But enigmatic manager Maurizio Sarri is under pressure at Stamford Bridge, failing to get his team to fire on all cylinders. Things aren't going at all well in the Premier League and the red side of Manchester dumped them out of the FA Cup on Monday. A bit of silverware could save Sarri some blushes - and his job.

Manchester City, on the other hand, breezed into the FA Cup quarter-final last weekend and their charge to the top of the league has been thrilling to watch. They thrashed Arsenal in the final of the EFL Cup 3-0 last year thanks to goals from Sergio Agüero, Vincent Kompany and David Silva, and Pep Guardiola's men will be confident of making it a fourth Carabao Cup win in six years.

So will it be Chelsea or Manchester City that gets to lift the trophy at Wembley today? Below we're going to talk you through the best ways to watch the EFL Cup action in the UK and the rest of the world so you can ensure you can easily live stream Chelsea vs Man City today.

Live stream Chelsea vs Manchester City from outside your country

Further down the page we have details of catching the Carabao Cup Final in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. All require some kind of subscription.

But if you've paid for that subscription but are outside the country this weekend, then you'll soon find your access geo-blocked when you try to watch. To stop feeling like you've wasted your money (and assuming it's within the services Ts&Cs), you could use a VPN to watch as if you were back at home.

How to live stream the Carabao Cup in the UK:

How to watch the EFL Cup: live stream in the US for FREE

Live stream Chelsea vs Man City in Australia

Live stream Manchester City vs Chelsea in New Zealand

Live stream the Carabao Cup final in Canada and more - for FREE

Categories: Tech News

Best rugged smartphones of 2019: Waterproof, shockproof and more

Latest Tech News - Sun, 02/24/2019 - 07:30

If you're after a phone that can withstand the elements, or survive accidental drops and knocks, then our list of the best rugged smartphones in 2019 is here to help.

Not only are the best rugged smartphones money can buy water and dust proof, they also come in shock-resistant cases, which makes them ideal for working outdoors. If you're a fan of outdoor activities such as hiking, canoeing and climbing, then these brilliant rugged smartphones are a great choice as well.

The best rugged smartphones will have undergone stringent IP68 tests to ensure that they meet military-specified standards for protection against vibration, shock, extreme temperatures, dust and water (albeit in controlled environments).

The best rugged smartphones will also offer extra features to distinguish themselves from the rest of the competition: some have infrared camera functionality, others have sound level meters and even VOC (volatile organic compound) detectors.

Finally, just bear in mind that while all ruggedized smartphones will be waterproof and dustproof (and therefore meet the IP68 specification), not all waterproof phones will be ruggedized.

So, read on to find out our top picks for the best rugged phones on the market right now.

The Cat S61 is, in our view, the best rugged smartphone money can buy in 2018. This is a brilliant flagship phone in its own right, and it's a significant improvement on its predecessor (the Cat S60) in almost every way. At 162 x 77 x 13mm with a weight of 259g, this is a substantial piece of kit, and one that feels reassuringly solid and robust. 

In fact, it features both MIL Spec 810G and IP69 certifications, meaning the phone is designed to endure even high pressure water jets which are common in many industries. There’s plenty of polycarbonate and rubber to absorb shock and protect the device from drops, and a metal frame to improve its overall structure. 

It also features handy tools not found elsewhere, such as an  indoor air quality sensor as well as a laser-assisted distance measurement tool, and it also comes with some decent smartphone specifications as well, including 4Gb RAM, a Snapdragon 630 SoC and a lovely 5.2-inch 1080p screen. It comes with Android 8.0 and will be kept updated with the latest versions of Google's operating system in the future.

Image credit: TechRadar

The AGM X3 is the third flagship rugged phone from the Chinese manufacturer, following on the X2, which is also listed in this best rugged smartphone guide. With the X3, AGM is looking to break into new markets outside of its native China. The company claims this is the most rugged smartphone on the market with IP68 certification, and not only is it tested to MIL-STD 810G standards, it's also noticeably lighter and thinner than many of its bulky competition.

Not only is it impressively rugged, but it's also packed with the kind of tech we'd expect to see in flagship phones from the likes of Apple and Samsung, including a top-of-the-range system-on-a-chip, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and bags of RAM.


Note: Gearbest is an online Chinese retailer, and while its quoted price includes delivery, it’s exclusive of any taxes that may be levied by HMRC or the courier companies on behalf of the vendor. If you want to buy tech from Chinese sites, we’d advise you read this first.

Image credit: Doogee

We were promised that the Doogee S90 would be unlike any other rugged smartphone on the market, and to be fair, that's what we got, with a modular design that lets you build a handset that best suits your needs. This modular approach means the Doogee S90 is bulkier than many of its competitors, so bear that in mind.

However, in our tests the Doogee S90 performed brilliantly, racking up some of the best numbers we’ve seen in our benchmarks.  Doogee confirmed that the price of the S90 after Kickstarter will be $369.99 (£285). The gamepad and the wireless charger will cost $29.99 (£23) each while the battery will be available for $39.99 (£31), the intercom for $49.99 (£39) and the night vision camera for $59.99 (£46).  

  • If you're interested you can buy the Doogee S90 from its Kickstarter

Image credit: TechRadar

Blackview has a range of rugged IP68 certified Android phones available and they tend to be both tough and affordable, if a little light on features. This latest model, however, comes in at a considerably higher price point and it has all the bells and whistles including PTT (push-to-talk) for walkie-talkie style communication. 

In fact, you'd be hard pushed to find another rugged smartphone that offers anywhere near the amount of features – and battery life – that the Blackview BV9500 Pro does. It's solidly built, which does mean it's a heck of a bulky device, but what really makes the Blackview BV9500 Pro stand out above the rest of the rugged set is its comprehensive list of features that make it ideal for outdoor use. 

We tested out the AGM X1 earlier this year and found that it was mighty likable. The X2, which has been just released, promises to push the envelope even further with a complete upgrade to the internals. An upgraded Qualcomm processor now runs alongside 6GB of RAM. There’s a 16-megapixel camera at the front and a pair of 12-megapixel sensors at the back, surpassing even established models like the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Other than the boosted battery capacity (6000mAh) and 128GB of on-board storage, there’s also a VOC (volatile organic compound) detector, which makes this an incredibly useful smartphone for the right audience. It does support NFC and USB Type-C but offers no wireless charging and it supports only one 4G SIM.

The industrial, rugged look of the Doogee S60, and the fact that it uses a microUSB connector – not to mention the rather silly sounding name – might put off some potential buyers here. But if you can overlook these downsides, then this device has a lot to offer – and it’s half the price of the above AGM X2. 

The S60 packs a powerful punch, with a Gorilla Glass 5 glass overlay on the display, plus it offers dual SIMs plus dual standby, a 24W quick-charge charger, NFC and even wireless charging (but no wireless charger). It is crammed with sensors and tools as well, which will come in useful for handymen (and women): there’s a barometer, a gyroscope, a coulomb meter, a sound level meter and even a bubble level.

The Ulefone Armor 2 is one of a number of recently released rugged smartphones that offer significant upgrades over their predecessors at a very affordable price, far cheaper than either the S60 or the AGM X2. Somehow it still offers similar core components (a Mediatek Helio P25 octa-core CPU, 6GB of RAM and 64GB on-board storage).

The camera subsystem is the weakest of the three but nonetheless on par with other top-end non-ruggedized devices like the Samsung Galaxy S8 (note that the pixel count is only part of the equation when it comes to gauging the overall picture quality). This phone’s battery capacity is slightly under par and there’s no audio connector, so you will need to use a converter. Like the S60, it is bundled with a virtual toolkit that contains a few tools; but there’s no sound level monitor.

The Blackview BV7000 Pro is a balanced product aimed at a wider audience beyond the traditional builders and ruggedized verticals. In use, the phone proved to be a capable performer and didn’t stutter or run sluggishly during our brief encounter. The screen is gorgeous – even in broad daylight – and little additions like ‘smart somatosensory’ (which uses hand-waving to trigger events), the customizable notification light, or Parallel Space, which allows for apps to be cloned and used by multiple users, are great differentiators.

There’s no wireless charging or NFC, plus you’re still limited to 802.11n Wi-Fi. For now, though, the BV7000 Pro provides an interesting compromise if you want a mid-range model that doesn’t give away your trade, can take a few pictures in torrential rain, and doesn’t break the bank.

The Zebra TC75x brings mid-range smartphone performance to ruggedized devices, albeit with a hefty price tag. The handset does more than make up for its cost, though, thanks to an impressive build quality and an enterprise-level application suite (and support). It is far more expensive than the rest of the competition, but then again, this rugged phone’s features put it at the cutting-edge of what is usually a rather slow moving niche.

A number of challengers have appeared on the market (Cipherlab, Cat, Unitech) but a successful product requires more than just a cheap price tag. Motorola’s legacy lives on and the wealth of expertise that the TC75x packs puts the device in a league of its own, both in terms of price and overall features.

Also consider

Other noteworthy ruggedized smartphones available on the market are:

The Cat S60 is a good choice if you want to have access to a portable, feature-heavy and very handy infrared camera.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Active is ideal for those who want a branded ruggedized smartphone with the latest technology inside.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Active is a smart move if you want the best value branded ruggedized smartphone.

The Homtom HT20 is the handset to go for if you want the absolute cheapest quality smartphone.

Categories: Tech News

Xiaomi Mi 9 and Samsung S10 5G will make you want to use wireless charging

Latest Tech News - Sun, 02/24/2019 - 07:13

Wireless charging has been a feature on flagship phones for years now. It first debuted on the Nexus 5 back in 2013, and since then manufacturers have toyed with the feature but we've yet to see major innovations in the space.

Whenever we ask the question to manufacturers who don't support wireless charging why the feature isn't included on its latest generation of devices, we're often greeted with the fact not many users think it's worthwhile.

That's then often backed up by research that says customers don't think the technology works fast enough. So what if a company has managed to find a way to make it faster?

That's what both the newly announced Xiaomi Mi 9 and Samsung Galaxy S10 5G are able to do.

25W fast wireless charging has just been announced on both of these phones, and Xiaomi claims it's latest flagship device can go from 0% to 100% in under an hour and a half.

Take last year's Xiaomi Mi 8 and website GTrusted found the phone would charge from zero all the way up to 100% in 110 minutes. So it's a big claimed improvement.

That test was conducted using old Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 technology, but that was a limitation of the charger included in the box. If you bought another charger, the phone was capable of Quick Charge 4.0 tech.

We don't have any stats for how fast it can charge with Quick Charge 4.0 charger, but if you're using the default charger in the box this newer phone is already capable of charging up wirelessly faster than last year's phone was with a cable.

Why use wires?

If that's the case - we haven't had the chance to test out Xiaomi's claim yet - then why wouldn't you just use wireless charging instead?

Samsung also announced last week that its top-end, super expensive Samsung Galaxy S10 5G would be supporting 25W fast wireless charging when it's on sale later in 2019, but it won't be that fast on other devices like the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 Plus.

This may be the game changer that makes people adopt wireless charging properly. 

Image Credit: Xiaomi

It's helpful to just place your phone on a pad and not have to worry about plugging it in, but so far charging speed has meant wireless is more suitable to overnight use rather than quickly pumping your phone up at your desk when you're there for a spare half an hour.

The next hurdle will be wireless chargers supporting 25W tech. Many are already prepped for 25W compatible devices, but if you haven't upgraded your charging pad for a while or you've gone for a cheaper Qi compatible charger you may find it isn't capable of these higher speeds.

As time goes on, and - perhaps more importantly - other devices begin to support 25W, we're sure to see fast-charging wireless tech take over the phone market in the next few years.

What about Apple?

Apple could especially be a driver in the space considering how it has embraced wireless charging since the iPhone 8. 

Rumors at the moment suggest Apple AirPods 2 will support wireless charging and two-way wireless charging - like we've seen on the S10 range and Huawei Mate 20 Pro - may also come to the iPhone 11 family later this year, if rumors are to be believed.

Image Credit: TechRadar

If the company is that dedicated to pushing ahead with wireless charging, it may be that Apple is also ready to embrace 25W fast-charging tech.

This may be the end for phone manufacturers saying wireless charging tech is too slow, but of course cost will be a major driver of whether it's on your next smartphone.

There's a reason it's debuting on the most expensive of Samsung's new S10 family, but it's a feature Xiaomi has managed to bring to a phone that only costs €449 (about $500, £390, AU$715).

Charging up the entirety of the Xiaomi Mi 9's 3300 battery is no mean feat in an hour and a half, so if Xiaomi can do that on a mid-range priced phone, why can't other flagship makers?

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

Italy vs Ireland live stream: how to watch Six Nations 2019 rugby online from anywhere

Latest Tech News - Sun, 02/24/2019 - 06:50

It's the third round of the 2019 Six Nations and the opening favourites, Ireland, are set to tackle the outsiders, Italy. You can watch all the action that's expected from a game of this magnitude using this guide on how to enjoy the Six Nations from anywhere you happen to find yourself. Get an Italy vs Ireland live stream with these details.

The reigning Six Nations champions, Ireland, have so far managed to beat Scotland in their last game, 22–13, but unexpectedly lost their opening game against England 20–32. Italy, on the other hand, have both their games - 20–33 to Scotland and 15–26 to Wales. Italy's advantage this time is that this game against Ireland is on home turf in Rome - can they spring a huge upset?

Historically it doesn't look good for Italy as in the last 24 games the team has only claimed victory once against Ireland, at the 2013 Six Nations where they won 22–15. The Italy captain, 35-year-old Sergio Parisse, suffered a concussion in a club game and so will miss out on this clash with Ireland. 

Ireland will also be missing players in the form of Garry Ringrose who is suffering from a hamstring issue, Will Addison with a back complaint and Rhys Ruddock with hamstring pains. Ireland do now have Chris Farrell cleared after a knee-injury. Iain Henderson and Tadhg Beirne are also back on the squad.

You can catch all the excitement with an Italy vs Ireland lives stream using the handy guide below which helps you get in on the action from anywhere you are in the world.

How to live stream Ireland vs Italy in the UK for free How to live stream the Six Nations when you're not in your country

If you're outside your country of residence - whether that be the UK or anywhere else - and try to start streaming the rugby via your native broadcaster, you'll soon discover that you can't as it is location restricted. Fear not, the action is still within your reach. All you need to do is download and install a VPN to effectively trick your computer into thinking that it's back home. That way you can enjoy your home coverage (as long as you do so in compliance with the broadcaster's Ts&Cs) without delving into the dangers of an illegal stream.


Live stream Italy vs Ireland in Australia

Live stream Italy vs Ireland in New Zealand

How to watch an Ireland vs Italy live stream in the US

Live stream the rugby union in Canada and more - for FREE

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