Tech News

Rumored Apple credit card could be how you pay for the iPhone XI

Latest Tech News - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 06:43

You already splash the cash on its technology, but would you pay for Apple gear using a fruit-branded credit card? 

A Wall Street Journal report states that Apple is trialling its own credit card among its staff, with financial giants Goldman Sachs helping to bring the idea to life. According to the Wall Street Journal's sources, $200 million dollars has already been pumped into the project.

The card is said to make use of Mastercard's payment technology, and provides users extra benefits such as retail perks as well as an Apple-designed app interface for tracking spending on a very fine level.

  • Empty list
Apple bucks

So what's the benefit for Apple? It users may enjoy the perks of a familiar and slick UI, as well as the brand-loyal kudos of sticking with its services, but for Apple a credit system is an easy way to accrue interest payments on its users' purchases.

Apple has already made inroads into similar services with its Apple Pay system, its wireless payment technology from which it take a small cut of purchases fulfilled with the service.

With its own credit card, Apple would be going up against the likes of Monzo in an increasingly disruptive space. From pricey international charges and lacklustre tracking systems, financial services have long been overdue a tech-fuelled revamp from a consumer perspective. With Monzo leading the charge, it'd be a particularly Apple-like move for the company to perfect the art in a growing market.

Categories: Tech News

Adobe Creative Cloud brings back its brilliant Black Friday prices - save up to 40%

Latest Tech News - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 06:42

Have you been umm-ing and ahh-ing over whether you should finally get that Adobe Creative Cloud subscription? Well now could finally be the time, as Adobe has brought back the same discounts that we were loving over Black Friday. That means reductions of up to 40% from one of the biggest names in creative software.

This offer applies to the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, that essentially means all of Adobe's 20+ applications all put together in one package. This subscription will give you access to Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects and all of the other key pieces of software.

- Head straight to Adobe to grab this cut-price Creative Cloud software

On top of all that, Adobe also throws in 100GB of cloud storage, Adobe Portfolio, Adobe Fonts, and Adobe Spark with premium features - that's a lot of value for your money.   

This deal will be available until 6.59pm ET / 3.59pm PT / 11.59pm GMT on March 1 (that's only one week away!) so make sure you grab this impressive discount before it's gone. 

Adobe Creative Cloud in the US - 25% off Adobe Creative Cloud in UK, Europe and Japan - 40% off

UK, Europe, Middle East, Africa

Categories: Tech News

The best Fitbit Versa bands and accessories

Latest Tech News - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 06:35

Fitbit may offer lots of great fitness-focused devices, but we love the Fitbit Versa for an all-day wear smartwatch that'll keep tabs on your workouts, as well as offering up apps and notifications to your wrist in style. 

There are a few different customization options for your Fitbit Versa, from the different shades of metal body on offer, as well as the straps. 

But you're bound to get bored of whichever you choose, so we've collected together our favorite straps, including those from Fitbit, third-party sellers and the best Fitbit headphones created by the brand.

These are products that we haven't had in our test labs, but based on our experts' opinion and knowledge of the most reputable brands around, we think these are worth looking at.

Our selections, ranked from cheapest to most expensive, take into account online reviews, brand reputation, product capability or unique features to help you pick through the maze of choices available to you.

Image Credit: Caseflex

There are hundreds of different Fitbit Versa straps to choose from on Amazon, but many might give you a great choice of colors and really fall down in the quality department - trust us, we're talking from experience. 

The key to buying anything strap - or anything else for that matter - on Amazon is to have a really good read of the reviews and ignore any that seem obviously fake. 

We've tried a fair few third party straps and the simple, silicone ones on offer from Caseflex are some of our favorite, there's a great choice of colors, including purple, dark red and orange, the silicone seems to be suited to sensitive skin and the buckle is of a high quality for such an affordable accessory. 

Image Credit: CAVN

You might not think of a Fitbit as something that needs a screen protector, but in fact it can be every bit as susceptible to damage as your phone’s screen, especially if you’re waving it around while exercising.

So a screen protector is useful and while there are a number of options, including some quite bulky full-body protectors, this simple option from CAVN will probably be enough for most users.

It’s made from tempered glass and designed to be water-proof, scratch-resistant and ultra-clear, which coupled with its slim design that only covers the screen means you should barely notice it’s there – but you’ll be very thankful that it is next time your Versa has an accident.

Image Credit: Hagibis

The Fitbit Versa comes with a dock in the box, but that’s only designed to fit the Versa. This alternative charging dock from Hagibis can also hold a smartphone at the same time.

Note that we said ‘hold’ rather than ‘charge’, because this only charges the Versa, but the design ensures that both phone and Fitbit are oriented in a way that makes it easy to see their screens, so you can comfortably watch videos on your phone while it’s on the dock.

It has anti-slip pads to keep it in place, it can charge your Fitbit without removing the strap (and without scratching your tracker) and it could make for a perfect addition to your desk or nightstand.

Image Credit: Fitbit

If the horween leather straps from Fitbit don't appeal to you, try one of the brand's stainless steel options instead. We love this matte black stainless steel strap with links, which instantly ups the cool style points of the Versa, transforming it from gym buddy and smartwatch to high-end accessory instantly. 

Granted it's more expensive that silicone options or third party straps, but it's going to be fantastic quality and you're investing in an item of jewellery more than just an accessory. 

Image Credit: HUMENN

If you prefer to wear a leather or stainless steel strap with your Fitbit Versa during the day, you're still going to need a sweat-proof and pool-friendly option for when you workout and for a reliable but cheap option we recommend this strap from HUMENN. 

It comes in a range of colours and has a sporty look that's similar to the style of some Apple Watch straps. Costing peanuts it might not match up to Fitbit's straps in terms of quality, but for a quick switch out for your workouts, it's a solid option. 

Image Credit: Fitbit

Unlike other wearable brands, Fitbit offers up a huge range of additional straps and accessories for its products. And as it's one of the newest - and most stylish - of the Fitbit range yet, there are plenty of Versa straps directly from the brand you can choose from.

The main choice of materials are classic, which is a sporty silicone, horween leather and stainless steel. We recommend you opt for a Versa with the classic silicone strap to start with because it'll wear better when you're at the gym or in the shower, but invest in a leather strap for special occasions or for workwear.

There are lots of colors to choose from, but the midnight blue is a firm favorite because it's a little less sporty-looking than the black and adds a hint of style to the rounded 'sqircle' look of the Versa.

Image Credit: Fitbit

Fitbit has made a pair of headphones specially for the Fitbit Ionic and luckily they work well with the Versa too.

Fitbit claims the headphones are sweatproof, which makes them comfortable to wear during workouts. If you're looking for a pair of Bluetooth headsets we can definitely recommend, be sure to check out our full guide of the best running headphones right now.

Looking for a different Fitbit?
Categories: Tech News

The true value of a cloud-native policy

Latest Tech News - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 06:00

It has not taken long for cloud computing to disrupt the technology world. In just over a decade initial skepticism of cloud as a novelty has given way to broad consensus that cloud is the new normal, and is here to stay.

In fact, a report by analyst firm Gartner says cloud computing is approaching the highest level on its disruption scale and will act as a necessary foundation for future disruptions. Furthermore, it suggests the worldwide public-cloud service market grew to $246.8 billion last year.

Industry watchers, academics, and governments increasingly assert that cloud is more than just a like-for-like replacement for traditional methods of computing. Instead, cloud is seen as truly revolutionary—reinventing IT functions, fuelling new services, driving innovation and democratising the barrier to entry for disruptive start-ups. 

However, it is important to note that the continued evolution of cloud and its ability to support economic growth on a global level will be impacted by regulation and policy decisions around its usage. As such, understanding and evolving policy decisions around cloud computing has never been more important for businesses and large enterprises looking to drive efficiency, boost security and accelerate innovation.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

What is a cloud-native policy

Cloud-native is not just about considering cloud before other options, it’s about adapting the way that governments organise their work to take advantage of what’s currently on offer and what’s can be used to increase efficiencies. 

For example, with a cloud-native approach, public sector organisations are able to take advantage of emerging cloud technologies - from IoT to machine learning - to create technology services and applications that are resilient, flexible, and forward thinking. It signals an important shift away from years of favouring on-premises data centres and a move towards cloud being used as default. 

At its heart, a cloud-native policy is there to create value. Whether it be through spurring innovation, creating new business models or improving security posture and compliance governance, it is helping governments to increase efficiency, reduce costs and drive innovation. 

Cloud policies enabling growth 

The good news is that well-designed cloud policies are already enabling organisations around the world to quickly and seamlessly adopt the scalability, security and cost-savings, inherent within cloud technology.

For example, since 2017 we have seen national governments, state governments, and large government agencies issue new policies in favour of public cloud adoption. Key examples include, the Government of Australia issuing its Secure Cloud Strategy, replacing the Government Cloud Computing Policy that was released in 2014; the Government of Argentina promoting a Cloud First policy and the U.S. Department of Defense issuing a directive to “accelerate the adoption of cloud architectures and cloud services, focusing on commercial solutions”.  

These policies demonstrate how cloud-first is fast becoming the norm in governments across the globe. However, the industry has evolved in the last 12 months, we have also seen the introduction of cloud-native policies, designed to further accelerate the way that public sector organisations derive benefit from the cloud.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Enhancing security and compliance 

Security and compliance are critical issues for governments. The introduction of regulations such as GDPR in Europe mean that concerns over the use and governance of data are at an all time high. As such, having the right policies in place to protect data has never been more vital. It is here that cloud-native plays a key role.  

By proactively selecting cloud over on-premises infrastructure, governments can enhance their security posture - while also boosting flexibility, scalability and cost efficiency. The best cloud platforms come with world-class security baked in enabling customers to automate security and governance controls, and streamline auditing and detection processes - reducing the risk of human error. Additionally, cloud provides security controls built-in throughout the IT management process instead of relying on auditing security retroactively, meaning that threats are identified and tackled in real time.

The result is an automated environment that meets or exceeds assurance, governance, security, and compliance requirements. Crucially, it allows the public sector to demonstrate the implementation of the security standards that are written in their policies and makes it easier to ensure compliance with local and global regulations.

Cloud native - the future of compliance

There is no doubt that cloud computing is the next frontier in how we consume IT services. However, further adoption, innovation and growth centres on having the policies in place to put cloud not only first, but as the default for all application and technological development.  

From agility and cost savings, security and compliance, to privacy and governance, cloud is enabling governments to break boundaries and remove the complexity and human error that can put data at risk. Going forward, we believe that by having a cloud-native policy, governments and institutions can continue to capitalise on the innovation that cloud can offer and support the services that will make a real economic difference, now and into the future.   

Ian Massingham, Technical Evangelist at AWS 

Categories: Tech News

BlackBerry completes billion-dollar security deal

Latest Tech News - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 05:52

BlackBerry has continued it growth as one of the leading global tech firms with the landmark takeover of AI security firm Cylance.

The former smartphone giant has confirmed that its $1.4bn deal to buy Cylance has gone through, officially making BlackBerry a billion-dollar cybersecurity firm.

Founded in 2015 by former Intel and McAfee staffers, Cylance deploys AI and machine learning-powered security solutions, and counts major Fortune 100 companies among its 4,000 worldwide clients.

BlackBerry security

BlackBerry will now hope that Cylance’s technology can help it build and grow its BlackBerry Spark service, a secure communications platform that the company is developing for IoT devices, as well as boosting its work in creating secure endpoints.

“Today BlackBerry took a giant step forward toward our goal of being the world’s largest and most trusted AI-cybersecurity company,” said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO, BlackBerry. 

“Securing endpoints and the data that flows between them is absolutely critical in today’s hyperconnected world. By adding Cylance’s technology to our arsenal of cybersecurity solutions we will help enterprises intelligently connect, protect and build secure endpoints that users can trust.”

Categories: Tech News

Opera Touch for iPhone now lets you block annoying cookie prompts

Latest Tech News - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 03:01

Opera Touch – the mobile browser designed specifically for one-handed use – has a new feature for iPhone users who's sick of tapping buttons to accept cookies whenever they visit a new site.

From now on, iOS users will have the option to skip popups and accept cookies by default. To activate it, go to the app's settings, select 'Cookie dialog blocker' and toggle the tool on.

The feature made its debut in Opera Touch for Android in November 2018, and proved so popular the developers decided to roll it out more widely.

It uses a combination of CSS rules and Javascript heuristics, and has been tested on over 15,000 popular sites. Opera says it will be adding more sites as the feature matures.

The way the cookie crumbles

Cookie prompts became commonplace after the implementation of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) last year. Their purpose is to let you know what data the website's owners gather using cookies, and give you the opportunity to opt out. However, many web users are willing to accept cookies if it means they can browse uninterrupted.

"The cookie dialog blocker is a tool which allows users to block those dialogs that break their web experience," Maciej Kocemba, product manager for Opera Touch told TechRadar. "So when you enable the feature, it will just hide the dialogs but cookies will still be enabled. This feature is about removing the dialogs and not really about whether you accept a cookie or not. It works as if you just ignored the dialog and continued to read a site without closing the prompt.

"Going a step deeper, the cookie blocker in Opera Touch has a further setting: the 'Automatically accept cookie dialogs' checkbox. If you enable the cookie blocker, this part will be switched on by default. This means in practice it will, in some cases, click the 'Accept' button for you to get rid of more dialogs. If you disable this checkbox, the browser won't give sites your acceptance. It's all under your control."

Categories: Tech News

OnePlus 5G phone to be announced in Q2 2019

Latest Tech News - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 02:26

Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus has announced that it will unveil its first 5G phone in Q2 2019. For this, it has partnered with Finnish telecommunications company Elisa which operates majorly in Estonia and Finland. The statement comes as OnePlus prepares to showcase its 5G prototype phone during the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019 which kicks off from February 25.

Elisa is one of the earliest carrier partners with OnePlus where the phones are still selling like hot cakes. The telecommunications company has already established a 5G network in places like Tampere, Jyväskylä, Turku and Helsinki. It is not working towards making other parts of Finland, 5G-ready.

OnePlus 5G prototype being showcased during MWC 2019

On collaboration with Elisa, OnePlus CEO, Pete Lau said [translated], “5G means enormous reform. It changes not only the technology industry but also the lives of people everywhere, whether it is gaming, healthcare or the use of augmented reality. We have worked for a long time to develop 5G innovations and are happy to work with partners like Elisa to create something special. With 5G, we can imagine the future from a new perspective.” 

With 5G, users will be able to experience faster Internet speeds, low latency, and even cloud gaming. 

“Elisa has one of the most advanced networks in the world, and we started building the 5G network among the first in the world. We want to provide our customers with the best possible device to enjoy the benefits of 5G. OnePlus is a natural and good partner for us, offering an excellent operating system and devices that fits nicely with gaming,” said Antti Ihanainen, Business Director at Elisa.

The OnePlus 5G prototype phone will be shown off at the Qualcomm booth during MWC 2019.

Categories: Tech News

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus has the best phone selfie camera ever, says DxOMark

Latest Tech News - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 01:08

It was only officially launched yesterday, but the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is already earning top marks for its photo-taking prowess from DxOMark, the industry standard for all things smartphone camera-related. 

Last month, DxOMark announced a new test for smartphone selfie cameras designed to tell you which phone's front-facing camera setup is best overall. Well, the Galaxy S10 Plus, with its dual selfie sensors and second RGB depth camera, has already won that distinction, earning a terrific overall score of 96 on the DxOMark Selfie scale. 

Citing "good target exposure on faces in most conditions" and "pleasant skin tones, white balance, and color rendering", the review also praises the selfie camera's "detail in bright light at all shooting distances".

Of course, not everything scored so highly – DxOMark notes that the camera's narrow depth of field can result in "soft faces in group portraits and to soft background details" and that its selfies also exhibit "dull colors in low light".

Not to be outdone by the selfie camera, the Galaxy S10 Plus's rear cameras also earned a first-place score, earning a joint number one position alongside the Huawei Mate 20 Pro with an overall score of 109 on the DxOMark Mobile ranking.

According to DxOMark, the Galaxy S10 Plus "comes with the best camera we’ve seen on a Samsung smartphone, and will no doubt be one of the devices to beat in 2019."

Of course, TechRadar will soon put the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus and its siblings through their paces in our own in-depth reviews. In the meantime, you can check out our hands on reviews of the Galaxy S10, S10 Plus and S10e.

Categories: Tech News

Samsung Galaxy S10-lineup in India: price, pre-booking, launch offers and more

Latest Tech News - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 00:49

Samsung’s latest flagship lineup, the Galaxy S10E, Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+ have made their way to India. The new Galaxy flagship smartphones were unveiled on February 20 at an Unpacked event held in Barcelona, Spain. Interested buyers can now pre-book these smartphones in India and starting March 8, all the variants of these three phones will be available across online stores as well as in brick-and-mortar shops.

The Galaxy Buds wireless earbuds will also be available in India alongside the three smartphones.

Samsung Galaxy S10E, Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+: Pricing and availability

The Samsung Galaxy S10-lineup will start at Rs 55,900 for the Galaxy S10E 128GB variant. It’s also got a 512GB storage variant but that will not be available in India. There’s a possibility that Samsung could add the high-end variant at a later point but currently, the S10E only comes with 128GB onboard storage which is expandable by up to 512GB using microSD card.

Prices of the Galaxy S10 start at Rs 66,900 for the 128GB variant and Rs 84,900 for the 512GB storage variant. While the latter will only be available in white colour, the former comes in black, white and blue colour options to choose from.

Samsung is also bringing its top-of-the-line Galaxy S10+ 1TB storage variant which is priced at Rs 1,17,900 and comes in a beautiful ceramic built with white and black color options to pick from. Likewise, the 512GB storage variant of the phone also comes in the ceramic finish and will retail at Rs 91,900. Its 128GB variant is priced at Rs 73,900 and comes in black, white and blue colours.

Pre-bookings for all the variants of the Samsung Galaxy S10 series is now live on Samsung India Store, Flipkart, Amazon India, Paytm and Tata CLiQ. Users will also be able to pre-book either of the three phones at select retail shops.

Customers who pre-book the Galaxy S10 will start receiving their orders from March 6 with the general availability starting from March 8 pan India.

Samsung Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Buds: Pricing and availability

Alongside the flagship S10 smartphones, Samsung also announced its new wireless earphones, Galaxy Buds. As a part of the launch offer, customers who pre-book either of the Galaxy S10 phones are eligible to buy the Galaxy Watch at Rs 9,999 and Galaxy Buds at Rs 2,999. Normally, the Galaxy Watch retails for Rs 29,990 while the wireless earbuds are priced at Rs 9,990. 

Samsung Galaxy S10E, Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+: Launch offers

Customers who pre-book the phones will get an upgrade bonus of up to Rs 15,000 while HDFC Bank is also offering a flat cashback of Rs 6,000. In addition to this, there are some attractive EMI offers for interested buyers of the Galaxy S10 phones.

Categories: Tech News

Best 4K TV 2019: the definitive Ultra-HD TV buying guide

Latest Tech News - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 19:54

Even though it's just begun, 2019 is going to be a great year for 4K TVs. From new QLED TVs from Samsung, to preposterously cool OLEDs from LG, this is going to be one of the most exciting years in recent history.

'But TVs are always changing' you might think. 'What makes this year a good year?'

Moreso than any other year before it, these screens pack in more technology than ever. To that end, you can expect more models High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Wide Color Gamut (WCG) that really make the most of those extra pixels. 

  • While the vast majority of the screens you'll find below are from last year's stock (hey, it's not our fault the year's just begun) we do have our eyes set on some of the best 4K TVs of 2019 that we saw during CES 2019. To that end, keep an eye out for reviews of the LG Signature Series OLED TV R, Sony Master Series Z9G and TCL 8-Series, all of which will be reviewed in the next year.  

But with so many options out there, narrowing down a year's worth of high-caliber screens to just eight is a tough job. That said, the list you'll find below is what we believe to be the best 4K TVs on the market. 

If you recently bought something in the 40-inch TV range that was great and you don't see it on this list, it doesn't mean we've intentionally snubbed it. Unfortunately best-of lists are tiny and we can only squeeze so many screens on here. We're always adding more screens to this list, so be sure to check back this time next month.

What is 4K? Watch the video below to find out:

What are the best 4K TVs in 2019?

Samsung Q9FN 4K TV

After an underwhelming debut, Samsung’s QLED technology really needed to bounce back in style in 2018. It didn't surprise us in the least, then, to discover Samsung threw the kitchen sink in with its new Q9FN QLED Series of 4K TVs. 

As well as being even brighter and more colorful than last year’s equivalent model, Samsung's 2018 flagship screens use a completely different lighting system to combat its predecessor’s contrast problems: Full Array Local Dimming rather than edge-lit LED lighting. The FALD panel works in tandem with Samsung QLED Quantum Dots to produce a picture that's brighter and more colorful than near any we've seen come from the South Korean manufacturer. 

Do those features alone make Samsung Q9FN the best 4K TV on the market? No, but throw in technology like HDR10+ and Q HDR EliteMax – what Samsung bills as its maximum High Dynamic Range experience that’s exclusive to the Q9FN – and there's very little doubt in our mind that this is Samsung's best TV ever.

Read the full review: Samsung Q9FN QLED TV (65Q9FN)


At the top of our list for 2018 is the LG C8 OLED – available in both 55 and 65-inch iterations. It's here because it combines an impressive picture, an extensive set of features, an attractive design and its unrivaled smart platform, to deliver one of the best TVs we have seen to date. It’s not as bright as an LCD TV but those deep blacks make a huge difference to the dynamic range of the image. It’s also capable of vibrant and gorgeous colors, not to mention an astounding level of detail with native 4K content.

There are other OLEDs worth considering this year (see: Sony's A1E and A8F OLED or LG's own E8 and W8 OLED models) but we think the OLED C8 offers the best price-to-performance ratio of any TV under the sun in the year 2018.

Read the full review: LG OLED C8 (OLED55C8, OLED65C8)

Sony’s second-generation OLED flagship, the A9F, is coming at a good time – just as Samsung and LG have stepped up their games with the Samsung Q9FN QLEDand LG E8 OLED, Sony has fired back with a phenomenal OLED of its own.

Much better than last year's A1E, the A9F is unquestionably Sony’s best OLED offering to date, and would've been the best OLED of the year if the C8 didn't exist. 

While we experienced some minor issues (notably Black level crushing on Dolby Vision, and that Netflix Calibrated mode), niggles are to be expected on a set as ambitious as this. If you can live with the slightly idiosyncratic design, and afford the asking price, it’s a glorious UHD display.  

Read the full review: Sony Bravia A9F OLED


Having potentially pushed the hardware capabilities of its current OLED screen technology as far as they can go, LG has for 2018 turned its attention to the software that drives these screens – and this shift in focus has yielded surprisingly impressive results, improving and even removing many of the residual niggles associated with 2017’s already in truth outstanding 4K OLED sets.

The E8 OLED loses a bit of ground sonically from its predecessor, and it can be hard to justify the cost when stacked against the almost identical C8 OLED - but, if none of that stops, you rest assured that the E8 is still one of the best 4K TVs of 2018.

Read the full review: LG E8 OLED (OLED55E8, OLED65E8)

Sony Bravia X900F 4K TV

Short and sweet, the 65X900F is a brilliant mid-priced 4K TV. Every one of the improvements Sony has introduced over and above last year’s already excellent X900E series – better processing, more brightness, slightly more backlight dimming zones, improved motion performance – delivers the goods, resulting in picture quality that humbles many more expensive TVs. 

Its Android TV system and some generally minor backlight clouding stop it short of perfection, but it’s hard to imagine any similarly priced upcoming 65-inch UHD rival getting the better of it. 

Read the full review: Sony BRAVIA XBR-X900F

TCL 6-Series 4K TV

If you have deep pockets and a checkbook filled with blank checks, we’d tell you to reach deep and shell out for only the best 4K TVs on the market – LG’s crazy-thin OLED W8 or Samsung’s ultra-bright Q9FN QLED. But that’s not always realistic: for the vast, vast majority of us, our budget to spend on a 4K UHD TV is limited to somewhere under $1,000 – and often it's even less than that. 

To that end, it’s absolutely fair to say that the TCL 6-Series is the best TV you can possibly get in this price range. Its performance per dollar is unmatched and its picture quality – despite a few minor flaws – will truly impress you.

Said simply, if there’s a better value 4K TV on the market, we’ve yet to see it.  

Read the full review: TCL 6-Series (R615, R617)

Samsung Q7FN QLED 4K TV

While Samsung’s Q7FN isn't quite the pinnacle of 4K QLED technology – that honor is reserved for the Q9FN – it is a great compromise between price and performance, offering a bright screen, three forms of HDR and incredibly accurate colors for  $1,799 (£1,999, AU$3,699).

Ambient Mode adds a design aesthetic sure to please even the keenest of eyes and its low-latency game mode makes it a competent companion for the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro. HDR+ mode helps liven up HD/SDR content and of course 4K/HDR content has an eye-watering sheen when viewed on this set. While the Q7FN isn’t quite a home run, it’s still a solid swing at the mid-range for 4K UHD TVs.

Read the full review: Samsung Q7FN QLED TV

Vizio's 2018 P-Series is a great choice if you're after a TV that performs at an above-average level with great pricing. It has a number of top-shelf features with good black levels, but has its share of problems, too, like some audio reproduction issues and a slower operating platform. 

Thankfully, there’s nothing to complain about with the TV’s 4K HDR performance. In fact, considering how much work it takes for other screens to come close to natural colors, the P-Series is supremely good right out of the box.  

Read the full review: Vizio P-Series 2018

Categories: Tech News

Sony's Xperia 1 will reportedly replace its flagship XZ smartphone range

Latest Tech News - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 19:48

The rumors and leaks have begun to intensify in the lead up to Sony's showing at MWC 2019, with the most recent one pointing towards a Sony Xperia XZ4 with a very tall screen.

While that design still seems to be on the cards, the company is reportedly planning to drop its XZ naming scheme, opting instead to rebrand the upcoming flagship handset as the Sony Xperia 1, according to a new tweet from trusted leaker Evan Blass. 

Along with the device's apparent new moniker, Blass has also included a high quality render of the supposed handset, revealing the previously reported triple camera setup on the phone's rear and a stylish purple finish.

Image credit: Evan Blass

The phone's rumored 21:9 'CinemaWide' display is present and accounted for in the leaked image, and we can also see a series of side-mounted buttons.

We can assume the buttons on the top half of the device are its volume rocker and a combined fingerprint scanner/power button, but the ones on the lower half are more mysterious – could we be looking at dedicated buttons for an AI assistant and camera shutter?

Of course, we expect everything to be properly revealed by Sony as its MWC press conference, which is scheduled for February 25.

Categories: Tech News

Best laptop sales in Australia: Cheap laptops to buy in February 2019

Latest Tech News - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 19:03

If you're looking for a cheap laptop or a mammoth saving on a premium portable computer, you've come to the right place. We've scoured the web for savings – from the usual suspects to the niche deal sites – and rounded up all the genuine and worthwhile specials in one neat place. We've covered everything from budget browsing machines to high-performance powerhouses, so you'll no doubt find something to match your needs.

Up the top, we've highlighted a selection of the latest deals that we've sniffed out, so you can reap the rewards of having your finger on the pulse. Below that we've covered some of the more popular laptops that often come up on special, and then included a quick list of the best prices on TechRadar's pick of the latest best laptops.

If you're from the US or the UK, check out our selections of the top laptop deals in the US or in the UK.

Best laptop deals this week

We'll keep on updating the list of deals as and when we find them. Below, you'll find up to date prices on TechRadar's favourite laptop, so keep an eye out for those savings.

The best deals on our favourite laptops

Over the years we've reviewed plenty of laptops and, as a result, we've seen what to avoid and what to jump on when there's savings to be had. We'll keep track of the prices of some of the best we've seen so that you can snatch up a bargain when they do show up. Check out the prices below and see if anything has dropped enough to tickle your fancy.

Saying that we're very happy with Dell's XPS 13 is a huge understatement. The slim profile, revolutionary design and small frame bely its powerful performance and gorgeous 13-inch screen. Typically you'd have to weigh up portability and performance, but the XPS 13 has managed to strike a fine balance between the two. With Intel's latest Kaby Lake processors plus lighting, quick storage and memory, the XPS 13's starting price is certainly an impressive one. We're so chuffed with it that it's still one of our favourite Ultrabook, and has taken the top spot as the best Windows laptop and the best overall laptop.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 13

Asus has nailed it with the overhauled ZenBook Flip S 2-in-1. Adding top of the line processing power, plenty of memory and a speedy PCle solid state drive available in some of the models, this laptop shows off a beautiful new design to perfection, giving you the ability to use it as a laptop or a tablet. While it costs a pretty penny as compared to some of the competition out there, it would be our top recommendation if money isn't a factor.

Read the full review: Asus ZenBook Flip S UX370

While this may not be a great leap from the previous generation of MacBook Pros with Touch Bar, the 2018 model is definitely the best Apple has produced to date. The Cupertino firm has ramped up performance for the 13-inch MacBook Pro 2018, more so than the bigger 15-inch model as well. A thin OLED display at the top end of the keyboard can be customised to for various functions, and also offer Touch ID for secure logins. And although it retains Apple's signature design, it doesn't come cheap, but you can argue with the choice if you're a diehard Apple fan.

Read the full review: Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar 13-inch (2018)

Our earlier choice of gaming laptop, the Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501 has been knocked off its perch by MSI's GS65 Stealth. With cutting edge components, including an 8th-gen Intel Core i7-8750H processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 GPU, it makes the top spot in gaming laptops. It's also cheaper than the ROG Zephyrus GX501. And it doesn't look like a hunky gaming laptop either; with subtle design tweaks, the GS65 Stealth can pass off as a work or study laptop without anyone being none the wiser.

Read the full review: MSI GS65 Stealth

Dell's XPS 15 laptops were already some of the best you could buy, but this beautifully redesigned 15-inch 2-in-1 competes with the Dell XPS 13 in every respect, with the convenience of becoming a tablet when needed. It's one of the most aesthetically pleasing devices in its category and also boast plenty of power. Under the hood is a new Intel Kaby Lake G-series processor featuring 'discreet-class' Radeon graphics – meaning with the power comes a bit more noise.

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

If you're after some more further info on the best laptops, check out some of our other dedicated articles:

Watch the video below for the top 7 things to consider when buying a laptop. 

Categories: Tech News

Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime to retire in April

Latest Tech News - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 16:47

In April of this year, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime will retire. 

Fils-Aime shared a goodbye message via the company’s Twitter profile and in it announced that upon his departure, the US branch will be helmed by Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Doug Bowser.

Fils-Aime, who has worked at Nintendo for the last 15 years, helped launch the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo 3DS, as well as the Wii U and Nintendo Switch – four consoles that represent the highs and lows of Nintendo’s hardware history. 

In the time since, Fils-Aime has re-shaped Nintendo’s culture, being a face for a company that hid behind mascots and directly presenting information to audiences around the world in Nintendo Directs. 

“In April I’ll be dropping the title that’s meant so much to me, President of Nintendo of America,” Fils-Aime said in his video sendoff, “But I’ll retain one that means even more: Nintendo fan. From the bottom of my heart, thanks again for everything. You are the best.”   

In a statement to coincide with Fils-Aime’s departure announcement, Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa thanked Fils-Aime for all that he’s done and said that the former face of the company’s US branch would be sorely missed: “While we will miss him and we wish him the very best in his retirement, we are also pleased to have such an able successor ready to step into that role. Doug Bowser and the rest of the team will ensure a seamless transition and continued momentum for Nintendo.” 

A new era for the Mushroom Kingdom 

For years, Reggie Fils-Aime was the face of Nintendo of America. He appeared frequently in press conferences and videos alongside President Satoru Iwata and distinguished Creative Fellow Shigeru Miyamoto - even when the company hit a rough patch with the Wii U. 

But Fils-Aime leaves behind a legacy, one that includes the revitalization of the Nintendo World Championship and three of the most successful consoles of all-time including the Wii, Nintendo 3DS handheld and Nintendo Switch. 

What will Nintendo of America look like now that Bowser is at the helm? 

Despite the ironic name, Bowser has been working alongside Fils-Aime for the last four years and seems intent to build on the legacy Fils-Aime leaves: “It has been my great fortune to work with and be mentored by Reggie for four years at Nintendo of America,” Bowser said. “And rest assured, we will continue to build on his work to evolve and expand our brand, furthering Nintendo’s global mission of creating smiles. There are millions more of those to come.” 

Categories: Tech News

This exclusive Samsung Note 8 deal is the perfect alternative to a pricey new S10

Latest Tech News - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 13:50

Unless you've been cut off from the internet for the past couple of days, you've probably heard that Samsung has released a few new devices in, what is currently, the biggest phone launch of 2019 so far. 

You may have also heard that these phones aren't exactly cheap, which is why we think this new TechRadar exclusive Note 8 deal is the best choice when it comes to a new Samsung phone deal.

For just £28 a month you can get this 9GB data Note 8 from Fonehouse, no upfront costs, no catches, just a great tariff. It blows the rest of the market's best Galaxy Note 8 deals to kingdom come.

You can see all the details of this deal down below or, if you're feeling like splashing out on Samsung's new releases after all, check out our Galaxy S10 deals or Galaxy S10e deals pages.

This cheap Note 8 deal in full
Categories: Tech News

HTC has a new standalone VR headset that's still not for you

Latest Tech News - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 13:37

HTC has been a busy bee today, announcing not only new touch controllers for the upcoming HTC Vive Cosmos, but also a new standalone headset.

Meet HTC’s newly announced headset is the Focus Plus and its main focus *rimshot* is it now comes with dual six-degrees of freedom (6DoF) controllers for a much more immersive, completely untethered VR experience. 

The original HTC Vive Focus only came with a single three-degrees of freedom (3DoF) controller that only offered rotational tracking (i.e. up, down, left and right). This new headset’s controllers will allow for a full transitional movement, which includes tracking whether the user has stepped forward, backward, side-to-side or shifted vertically.

Other than those new ultrasonically tracked controllers, not much has changed on the virtual reality headset itself. The Vive Focus Plus still features a 2,880 × 1,600 (1,660 × 1,600 per lens) resolution AMOLED display. You'll also find the same underlying Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor power this headset to deliver completely self-driven VR experiences.

Engadget reports the Vive Focus Plus will feature "next-gen" lens for “no more god rays." However, we’ve also seen a conflicting article from Road to VR that speculates HTC will stick to the same Fresnel lenses as found on the original Vive Focus. 

We’ve reached out to HTC for more clarity on the lenses and will update this article as soon as we hear back.

The HTC Vive Focus Plus is slated to launch in Q2 of 2019, but has yet to announce pricing. We'll also have to see and wait about whether this headset will come to mass market as it's currently only marketed to the enterprise sector.

Categories: Tech News

Why the Nintendo Switch VR support rumor is a genius idea

Latest Tech News - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 13:13

The Nintendo Switch is the most versatile home console ever created. To call it a home console even is to do it an injustice, as its battery-powered handheld mode allows it to act as a supercharged portable games machine too.

But its detachable controllers and central tablet-like core processing-and-display unit might make it even more versatile still – the Nintendo Switch could be getting VR support.

It’s a rumor that’s been doing the rounds for few years now. Back in 2016, a patent was uncovered suggesting that the Nintendo Switch could be getting an accessory that would turn it into a mobile VR viewer, in much the same way that the Google Daydream View works. Data miners also discovered a screen splitting mode, ideal for VR, hidden within the Switch’s firmware.

Image Credit: TechRadar

While we’ve been yet to corroborate the report ourselves, Nintendo World Report cites “multiple sources” who claim to have knowledge of soon-to-be-revealed Nintendo Switch VR details – including talk of first party franchises getting a VR mode. Its rumor lands close to news of the formation of a VRM Consortium, which sees 13 Japanese companies teaming up to develop VR business opportunities – and Nintendo acting as an observer.

Pair this with comments from Reggie Fils-Aime, President and COO of Nintendo of America, confirming that Nintendo is tinkering with VR projects, and the stars seems to be aligning for a Nintendo Switch VR mode and accessory.

The perfect VR fit

There’s lots to love about this idea. The Nintendo Switch’s unique form factor, with its detachable central unit, makes it easy to house within a portable, wire-free headset for VR, with the aforementioned VR screen-splitting mode ensuring that you’d get a 3D ‘screen-per-eye’ view of the action.

But what sort of headset would this be? How about a DIY one? Google Cardboard proved years back that a few bits of cardboard and some goggle optics, paired with a mobile screen, was all you needed for convincing VR on the go.

And Nintendo has been planting the seeds for build-your-own toys for close to a year now with its Nintendo Labo sets – pop-out cardboard build kits that have turned the Switch into everything from a fishing game (complete with rod) to a cardboard costume that turns you into a stomping robot – complete with pulleys that help the Switch track your movements.

It’s something that third party manufacturers have already seen the potential for – just take a look at the NS Glasses for instance (pictured up top, and below) – with only middling success, primarily because the software support just isn’t there yet.

Image Credit: Exklim NS Glasses

Mario World VR

But, though few have tried it outside of Japanese arcades, it wouldn’t even be the first time Nintendo has toyed with VR software. Mario Kart VR has been in arcades for over a year now, co-developed by Namco. And while the experience is limited to a single track, it’s exhilarating to sit right inside the Mario universe, lobbing shells and banana skins at your racing rivals.

The colorful nature of many first party Nintendo titles are perfectly suited to VR too. Just as Switch classics Super Mario Odyssey and Zelda: Breath of the Wild lean on a lavish cartoony art style rather than aiming for photo-realism, so too could Switch VR titles, taking the strain off the underpowered hardware. There’s no need for 4K ray-tracing in the Mushroom Kingdom.

And oh boy: can you imagine the Mushroom Kingdom in VR? If any readers have had the joy of trying the superbly inventive Astro Bot: Rescue Mission on the PlayStation 4, you’ll know that VR can be transformative for platformers.

Image Credit: Sony

In the PlayStation VR title, the space-bound hero runs all around levels that render all around you, with the game hiding secrets around corners, and room-filling bad guys looking to make mincemeat out of your avatar. Nintendo has a knack for re-inventing the wheel when it tries its hand at a new format or genre, and the mind boggles at what would happen if a mini Mario was running around at my feet, or I was given the opportunity to don Samus Aran’s visor for a Metroid VR title.

That’s not to say Nintendo hasn’t made missteps in a similar arena before – the Virtual Boy is a cautionary tale for anyone considering strapping a gaming device to their faces. But this time around, it feels like all the pieces are in place, as if Nintendo has had a genius plan for unleashing Nintendo Switch VR all along. If that’s the case, I can’t wait to strap myself in.

  • Best VR games: the top virtual reality titles, whatever platform you choose
Categories: Tech News

5G could solve major 4G congestion

Latest Tech News - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 13:07

Ahead of 5G's global rollout, mobile analytic company Opensignal has published a new report analyzing 4G speeds worldwide to better understand how 5G will solve the congestion problems of today's 4G networks.

The firm's analysis of 77 countries has revealed the enormous extent to which 4G speeds drop during peak hours when the highest amount of users are on the smartphones.

Today's 4G networks suffer from huge fluctuations in speed throughout the course of a day and depending on the country, the 4G download speeds a user experiences at one hour could be as much as 30 Mbps faster than what they experience just a few hours later.

The most consistent countries of those analyzed by Opensignal formed a diverse list that included several countries in Asia and Europe as well as Qatar, South Africa and Canada.

Regional differences

In general, European countries landed higher in the ranks of the firm's consistency charts with fast average speeds and smaller fluctuations. The Czech Republic was the most consistent country in Europe and the difference between the best 4G download speed and worst speed over a 24 hour period was 20 percent.

In North America, the US and Canada differed greatly when it came to 4G speeds. Canada was among the fastest countries worldwide in terms of average speed and it was also among the most consistent while the US landed in the middle of Opensignal's consistency rankings.

The greatest differences in download speeds were seen in the Asia Pacific region with South Korea at 47.1 Mbps and Singapore at 45.4 Mbps while India (6.5 Mbps), Thailand (8.2 Mbps), Indonesia (9.6 Mbps), Cambodia (8.6 Mbps) and the Philippines (9.4 Mbps) struggled to reach even double digits.

Opensignal argues that 5G will provide a blanket of capacity that will help mitigate 4G congestion so that consumers can experience the best mobile download speeds possible.

Categories: Tech News

Google launches hybrid cloud beta

Latest Tech News - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 12:20

Adopting a hybrid cloud traditionally means committing to a cloud vendor and purchasing new hardware but Google has taken a different approach with its Cloud Services Platform (CSP) by offering customers a software-based, hybrid offering.

The new platform, which was announced at Google cloud Next last year, brings Google Cloud services into your existing on-prem infrastructure using the power of Kubernetes and Istio.

CSP, which is launching into beta today, simplifies building, running and managing services both on-prem and in the cloud. 

Google's new platform gives businesses the freedom to modernize their applications at their own pace while innovating faster and improving operational security and governance.

Google Kubernetes Engine

CSP is built on top of the Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) and the platform includes a managed Kubernetes service called GKE On-Prem that provides remote lifecycle management to your on-prem clusters in order to help keep them updated and secure.

GKE On-Prem also saves businesses time and money by allowing them to use their existing hardware. Users will be able to write once and deploy to the cloud or on-prem. CSP was designed in such a way that organizations can integrate their existing networking, storage and identity capabilities so that they can move to the cloud at their own pace.

Additionally, the introduction of CSP Config Management allows users to create multi-cluster policies out of the box. These configurations can be rapidly deployed across all of your clusters whether they reside on-prem or in the cloud.

The GCP Marketplace even gives organizations access to a variety of enterprise-ready, open-source and commercial Kubernetes applications.

Google Cloud's Vice President Eyal Manor explained how CSP fits into the company's hybrid strategy in a blog post announcing the beta, saying:

“CSP represents a foundational element of our hybrid strategy, which integrates with our build, deployment, and monitoring tools to provide a modern DevOps environment that accelerates development velocity.”

Categories: Tech News

See the best special offers and freebies you can get with new Galaxy S10 deals

Latest Tech News - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 12:17

Buying new stuff makes you feel good. That's just science. It's about endorphins...or something. And when it comes to tech, there's nothing newer or more impressive to buy right now than the Samsung Galaxy S10 that was launched to much pomp and circumstance on Wednesday.

If you simply want to know what the best tariffs out there are, then we'll point you in the direction of our dedicated Galaxy S10 deals page. Or if you want to know where to buy the handset outright, our Samsung S10 SIM-free price page will cater to those needs.

It can be quite bewildering seeing all those offers from different retailers. Everybody seems to have an angle on why they are the best place to order your new S10. So if you're somebody who loves an added perk with their purchase, then we've collated the most eye-catching special offers here. Keep reading to see what's out there and start preparing for that endorphin rush.

Free Galaxy Buds Save up to £350 from Samsung with a trade-in £1,000 voucher prize draw Up to £400 cashback 50GB data boost from iD All-you-can-eat data
Categories: Tech News

Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music finally gets Spotify support

Latest Tech News - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 11:28

If you're a Spotify Premium subscriber, you can now download and listen to playlists on the Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music.

Since the reworked Garmin Vivoactive 3 was announced in the middle of 2018, users have been limited to your own MP3 files or a Deezer subscription to listen to music away from your phone.

Now that Spotify support has landed on the watch, you can download and listen to playlists, albums, tracks and podcasts directly from the watch using Bluetooth headphones.

The update matches support that we've seen included on the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus range as well as the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music. We also hope to see it come to future watches produced by Garmin.

The Vivoactive 3 Music comes with enough space for up to 500 songs so you should be able to upload even the heftiest running playlist directly to your wrist to get you through a couple of marathons without having to replay tracks.

You'll have to sync your playlists over Wi-Fi before you head out on your run to be able to listen away from your phone though. 

To get it set up, you can download the Spotify app directly from the Garmin Connect IQ store and sign in with your Premium account details.

  • Looking for a running watch? Try our best Garmin ranking
Categories: Tech News