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Three's 100GB data bargains now include iPhone XR deals - don't miss out

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 04:07

It's safe to say Three has been running the show recently when it comes to big data mobile phone deals. The network has taken dominance over the competition in recent months on a number of handsets and now it has dropped an absolute winner on one of our favourite handsets - the iPhone XR.

Here's what you need to know. You're getting the iPhone XR, complete with its stylish colouring and largest Apple battery on the market with 100GB of data. The price you're paying to get that heap of internet usage - just £42 a month and £29 upfront.

Take a quick gander through our guide to the best iPhone XR deals and you'll see that absolutely crushes the competition in pricing. Not to mention the fact that with 100GB of data, you're set to stream for hours, game for days and social for...well, the whole month straight. And because you'll be on Three, you also get access to the network's usual Advanced Plan perks like roaming in 71 destinations worldwide and access to Three's Wuntu app for weekly offers and the odd free coffee.

You can see this offer in full down below in all of its big data goodness. Or, if it's just not quite what you were looking for, check out our guide to the best mobile phone deals for everything currently available.

This big data iPhone XR deal in full: So what's so good about the iPhone XR?

As one of the best iPhones currently on the market (well, until the iPhone 11 comes out!) there is a lot to love with the iPhone XR. Above everything, the battery really stands out. This is the largest and best performing battery on any Apple device at 2942 mAh.

Sporting Apple's Liquid Retina display and a powerful A12 bionic chip, going for Apple's more budget flagship doesn't have to mean taking a hit on specs.

Read our full iPhone XR review

Categories: Tech News

Should you use a smartwatch or fitness tracker if you have a skin condition?

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 04:00

When I started using a Fitbit Versa Lite to track my steps (and, in theory, exercise, if I ever did any), I quickly noticed that the fitness tracker was irritating my skin.

I’ve got a history of skin conditions, with eczema rearing its head from time to time. Before long, a rash started to form on my arm, and after a little while longer using the device my skin started to peel away too.

That’s a grim image, I know, and it was quite an alarming thing to happen on my wrist. Was I just allergic to the silicon Fitbit strap or was I wearing it too loose, causing it to shake and rub? 

Was the eczema even involved, even though smartwatches don’t contain anything that usually brings it out for me?

To find out more about how skin conditions could be exacerbated by wearable technology, I spoke to Dr Anjali Mahto of the British Association of Dermatologists. 

Mahto has written extensively on the subject of skincare and conditions, and I posed the question of whether smartwatches and fitness trackers should be avoided when you’ve got a skin condition.

How does wearable tech affect skin conditions?

Our first question for Mahto was about which skin conditions can be affected by wearables: “It’s possible for inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis to be exacerbated by wearable technology.” So while not all skin conditions can be affected, some of the most common can.

“Tight fitting clothing, jewellery or watches would generally not be recommended for people with an inflammatory skin condition as they can cause a flare-up of the condition from rubbing the skin.” Mahto elaborated, and this is probably exactly what caused my initial reaction.

The Fitbit Versa Lite

If you’ve not got a skin condition, you’re not in the clear though. “Straps can be a perfect environment for bacteria to grow,” so your skin isn’t exactly going to be clean even if it doesn’t affect you. 

Mahto continues, “This bacteria is usually harmless, however if somebody has broken skin due to an inflammatory skin condition there is the risk of infection, although this is not a commonly reported problem.”

What should you do if you react to your fitness tracker or smartwatch? “This is likely a sign that the device is causing issues, and you should consult your GP or dermatologist if you’re worried about a change in your skin.”

How can you use wearable tech if you have a skin condition?

If you’ve got a condition like eczema or psoriasis, but are in love with your smartwatch or fitness tracker, don’t worry - you don’t necessarily have to lose your favorite gadget. Instead, there are some steps you can take to avoid harmful use.

“It’s important to allow your skin to breathe by not wearing [wearables] for long, extended periods of time,'' Mahto told us. 

While you might appreciate the waterproof nature, or sleep tracking functions, it might be worth taking your device off in the shower or while you’re taking your post-work nap to let your skin breathe.

Remember to take your watch off now and again

In my experience, I found regularly changing which wrist I wore the Fitbit Versa Lite on also gave my skin the time off it needed.

Mahto continued “It would also be recommended to ensure you clean your skin where you’re wearing the device, as well as cleaning the device itself with an anti-bacterial solution.” 

A June 2019 study from Tic Watches found that smartwatches can be three times as dirty as an average toilet. Fitness trackers were found to be eight times as dirty as the average toilet, but regular cleaning is the advice that the site gives. 

If you’re in the market for a smartwatch, and have a skin condition, you should also bear in mind what the wearable is made of. Mahto said, “Contact allergies are very common, particularly nickel allergies. Therefore, devices which contain nickel could lead to skin problems such as itchy rashes.”

I also found that changing the Versa Lite’s band from a silicon one to cotton helped, and there are plenty of Fitbit Versa bands to choose from. There are plenty of different fitness trackers and smartwatches, and bands for them, that by shopping around, you can find one that doesn’t affect your skin.

Categories: Tech News

New Zealand vs Australia live stream: how to watch today's rugby match from anywhere

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 03:24

When it comes to Rugby World Cup warm ups, they don't get much bigger than this. The All Blacks versus the Wallabies going head-to-head to assert dominance in their hunt for rugby's biggest prize. And the best bit? You can watch all the action and assess the teams' form with a New Zealand vs Australia live stream and this guide. 

And it's the Wallabies who will go into the game on top, after beating New Zealand in the first leg of the Bledisloe Cup, 47-26 in Perth - denying the All Blacks yet another Rugby Championship in the process. As such they've only made one change to the starting line-up for this next game as lock Adam Coleman replaces injured Rory Arnold.

On the other hand the All Blacks have decided to dump their wonder wingers Ben Smith and Rieko Ioane and centurion prop Owen Franks. If Australia can win at Auckland, for the first time in 33 years, they will return home with the cup. Having lost their last 22 tests in New Zealand, it's a tall order.

As such this should be a very exciting, hard fought game, and you can watch it all where you are using this New Zealand vs Australia live stream guide.

How to watch the rugby from outside your country

Down below, there's the local broadcast options if you're in Australia or New Zealand, as well as the UK, US and Canada.

If you're abroad this weekend and try to live stream the rugby online from your country's broadcaster, you'll be annoyed to discover that it won't work due to geo-blocking. Thankfully, using a VPN service will allow you to watch today's rugby union action no matter where in the world you are.

How to live stream the Wallabies in Australia for FREE

How to watch the All Blacks in New Zealand

How to stream New Zealand vs Australia live in the UK 


How to watch New Zealand vs Australia: US live stream

How to live stream New Zealand vs Australia in Canada

Categories: Tech News

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus unboxing and first 24 hours

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 02:12

With the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus finally in hand, we're able to do an unboxing, offer details about what's included, and tell you how the phone performs. 

We're on our way to a full Note 10 Plus review, but need more time to test things like battery life and the camera. That means we'll be doing 24-hour and 72-hour recaps of our findings, updating you on our feels toward the phone in real-time.

In the last day, we got to inspect the Note 10 Plus size and build quality (it's big, but feels thinner than other Note phones), run a few performance tests, and take a few photo samples with the front and rear cameras – including some lowlight shots.

Samsung built an impressive phone – but one at an impressively high price at a time when there are several other options out there including several Samsung phones, like the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 Plus. Is the S Pen stylus worth the extra cash?

Here are our early findings after unboxing the Note 10 Plus.

Note 10 Plus unboxing

We got the Note 10 Plus in the reflective Aura Glow finish, meaning it takes on the colors of its surroundings, often exhibiting a cool rainbow effect. This is different from the cool Ocean Blue and Lavender Purple colors on past Note phones that has a matte finish.

Plastic-wrapped Note 10 Plus: Opening the Note 10 Plus box, the first thing that we noticed is the phone is sitting there protected in plastic on the front and back. Yes, you can peel both sides without worry, unlike the troubled Galaxy Fold, in which the plastic film over the screen was essential to its functionality. Not the case here.

S Pen: The Aura Glow version of the Note 10 Plus comes with an S Pen in a deep blue color, one that's smaller and thinner than prior S Pens. And yet its functionality has improved with more tech inside: a gyroscope and accelerometer have been added to enable motion controls – that's in addition to the Bluetooth LE we saw in the Note 9.

USB-C charger: Our favorite part of the Note 10 Plus unboxing was seeing the newish 25W USB-C charger, offering fast charging speeds out-of-the-box. You may not know this, but the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G came with the same 25W charger. 

But the Note 10 Plus is going to be a significantly more popular phone, so it'll be a first for many fans who are used to Samsung's old USB-A charger block and slower 15W charger speeds. There's a USB-C-to-USB-C cable included in this box, too.

Other tools: There's a SIM card ejector tool, USB-A-to-USB-C adapter, and a claw-like tweezer tool for replacing S Pen stylus tips when they wear out.

What's not here: Normal headphones. That's because the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus doesn't have a 3.5mm headphone jack, instead relying on the USB-C charging port and the included USB-C headphones for personalized audio. 

Samsung is among the last phone manufacturers to axe the standard headphone port in a flagship phone. Bonus: The USB-C headphones are AKG earbuds, so they're at least of good quality if you don't opt for wireless earbuds.

Also not here: A 3.5mm-head-jack-to-USB-C adapter to use normal earbuds. They're inexpensive on Amazon if you need one.

Big, but thinner, and the pinhole has shrunk

The Note 10 Plus is a mighty big phone – its 6.8-inch screen has me yearning for the innovation of the Samsung Galaxy Fold. It's meant for extra-big hands, whereas the 6.3-inch Note 10 screen is suitable with big-to-normal-sized hands.

The phone can fit in jean pockets fine, but summertime shorts with smaller pockets or almost all back pockets? It's just begging to slide out when I sit down. We had that happen to us with big glass phones like this before. This one is just bigger.

It's just begging to slide out of the pocket of my summertime shorts when I sit down.

What helps is the fact that the Note 10 Plus is 7.9mm thin, meaning it's slimmer than last year's Note 9 by almost a full millimeter. It's still easy enough to wrap in one hand without a Note 10 case, but you'll need two hands to operate it properly.

I did run into a few jarring false touches when tightly gripping this massive handset, often encroaching on the sides of the curved screen. But it's not as bad as when I first started playing with Notes (starting with Note 3) when they had extra-sensitive displays compared to an iPhone.

The center-aligned punch-hole front camera isn't as distracting as you might think. So far, it's easy enough to ignore and is 26% smaller than the Galaxy S10 punch-hole. 

The most likable perk: the outline of the front camera lights up when you take a timed selfies (like the S10 series does, but this will be a first for Note users). That's incredibly handy when you're taking a group selfie and non-Samsung-phone-owning friends want to know where to look. 

Note 10 Plus performance

This is the fastest Samsung we've tested, and we have the Note 10 that's packing the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset and 12GB of RAM. It doesn't have the souped-up Snapdragon 855 Plus chip that's appeared in a few Android phone in recent weeks, but it's no slouch.

At the end of the day, the tit-for-tat numbers don't matter nearly as much as some people like to claim. This phone is incredibly fast.

With a Geekbench multi-core score of 10,849, it's among the fastest Android smartphones we've ever tested. But it's not the fastest phone. That title still belongs to the iPhone XS, soon to be replaced by the likely far speedier iPhone 11.

What's important is that these raw benchmark numbers tell us that the Note 10 is fast enough to run the top 3D games for years to come and also act as a device to link up to Windows 10 and handle desktop-like apps in Dex mode. At the end of the day, the tit-for-tat numbers don't matter nearly as much as some people like to claim. This phone is incredibly fast.

First Note 10 camera samples

We're still using the camera in a variety of situations, and our next update before the full Note 10 review will include many photo samples and comparisons to the Google Pixel 3, iPhone XS Max and Huawei P30 Pro.

But here's a taste of what we're seeing so far.

The actual still photos exhibit bright and punchy colors, more saturated than the often dull, but color-accurate pictures out of a current-gen iPhone. It's a lot like we saw on the S10 Plus.

The big Note 10 camera upgrade is in its video capabilities, so we'll be testing video stabilization in side-by-side comparisons. Is it really better? Can it compete with GoPro's in-camera EIS stabilization? That's something we're testing on Sunday in the 72-hour update. 

We need the sun to set and rise a few times before we get full use of the camera in a variety of scenarios.

Ongoing tests for a full review

We have a lot more to say about the Note 10 Plus, and we should. This is Samsung's most advanced and most expensive non-folding smartphone. But we can't come to a conclusion with a star-rating just yet. One-day reviews aren't our thing.

We're going to be testing the Note 10 battery life, both in labs and in the real-world (so far, it's excellent), and continue to snap photos with the camera in good light, medium light, and low light. There are four cameras on back (if you include the Live Focus depth sensors) and one embedded in the front display.

Clearly, unboxing the Note 10 was just step one. We have a few more tests to run before we stamp a final review score on this device and figure out where it goes in our best phones list.

Categories: Tech News

Epic Games Store update brings new features

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 01:20

The Epic Games Store has rolled out a new update which introduces a few new features, including that long-awaited cloud save support. 

Epic Games Store users have been noticing for a while now that cloud saving has been in testing and, in a blog post, Epic confirmed that 17 games on the store now have cloud saving enabled, adding that the list will only grow over time. 

All Ubisoft titles on the store already support cloud saves thanks to Uplay integration and any upcoming games that support cloud saves will have them enabled at launch. 

What's new?

Outside of cloud saves, the update also introduces keyless integration for Humble Bundle users. Now, if you link your Epic account with your Humble Bundle account any purchases you make will automatically appear in your Epic library without the need to type in a redemption key. Epic has said this is just one step in a larger plan to form partnerships with other “highly reputable digital game sellers” in order to establish an open ecosystem for players. 

Product pages have also been given a refresh, meaning more informative games descriptions and additional images and videos so that you can get a better idea of what you’re buying. 

As far as the future is concerned, Epic has said that, among other things, it’s in the final stages of its new patch optimization for developers which will reduce patch download sizes and, therefore, download times. As well as this, game libraries will soon have a new look which will see more games displayed at once and allow for filtering and sorting for easier navigation. 

Epic Games does still have a longer-term roadmap with some more significant features and updates to come—a shopping cart and achievements are among the features that are still some months away. 

Categories: Tech News

Pokemon Sword and Shield trailer reveals some new battle mechanics

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 01:00

The Pokémon World Championships are taking place right now and that makes it the perfect time for Nintendo and Game Freak to drop some brand new Pokémon Sword and Shield information, including a new trailer. 

The new details revolve around the game’s updated and layered battle system which will have some new attacks and abilities as well as some new items to use. 

New abilities will include Galarian Weezing’s Neutralizing Gas, which, as the name suggests, will neutralize the abilities of all other Pokémon on the battle field (including those of your teammate as the trailer shows with the failure of poor Rotom’s Levitate). We're not sure what happens if two Galarian Weezings go head to floating head and we're even less sure we want to find out. 

In a similar vein, Corviknight is shown to have a Hidden Ability called Mirror Armor which will allow it to reflect any stat-lowering effects back at its opponents. 

Hidden Abilities, it’s been confirmedin a blog post, are slightly more special than standard abilities as they’ll only feature in Pokémon that have been caught in Max Raid Battles (so a Corviknight you catch from a normal encounter won't have the Mirror Armor ability). 

These Max Raid Battles, coincidentally, are the way to encounter another kind of special Pokémon: one that's capable of Gigantamaxing. If you’re really lucky you might go into a Max Raid Battle and come away with a Pokémon that can Gigantamax and has a Hidden Ability but that’ll be a very rare event and you’ll have to take part in a lot of Raids. 

The first new held item revealed in the trailer is Room Service, which will lower the speed of the Pokémon holding it during Trick Room. The other is Eject Pack which will switch the holding Pokémon out of battle if its stats are lowered, allowing you to replace it with another from your team. 

New moves are always exciting and the trailer reveals one called Breaking Swipe, an attack capable of hitting two Pokémon at once and lowering their attacks. 

Max Moves

The biggest (and we mean that literally) detail to come from the trailer is with regards to the new Dynamaxing mechanic. 

You can Dynamax any Galar region Pokémon as long you have the Dynamax band (making this different to the aforementioned Gigantamaxing, which only some Pokémon species can do) and those you ‘make big’ will never feel the inconvenient effects of flinching. Even better, their powerful Max Moves will have secondary effects that could see your team gain advantage in battle. Max Geyser, for example, is a Water-type Max Move that will bring rain to the battlefield, strengthening Water-type moves and weakening Fire-type moves, something that could really give you the edge.

Finally, a few more details on the Online Battle Stadium have been confirmed. Players with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription will be able to connect over the internet and compete in single or double battles. These battles can be ranked or casual, with the former involving facing trainers of similar ranks to try and earn points to move up, while the latter is, well, just for fun. 

Pokémon Sword and Shield will release on Nintendo Switch on November 15. If you’re attending Gamescom 2019 this month you can get hands on with the game at Nintendo’s booth on the show floor. 

Categories: Tech News

Best Adidas backpacks: 5 great options to consider

Fri, 08/16/2019 - 16:51

Adidas has managed to straddle the worlds of sports and fashion masterfully, creating clothes and accessories that are on-trend and incredibly functional - precisely the qualities you want from the best college backpack.

Whether you’re after a bold Adidas logo on your next backpack, or a simpler, cleaner look with three stripes or a small crest, there are plenty of options available.

Compared to Nike alternatives, Adidas backpacks tend to include less padding on the inside, so might not be as good at keeping your tech safeguarded. That said, they are generally a bit more affordable, with the entry-level option costing less than £20/$25/AU$35, despite being as much a fashion statement as a means of transporting your stuff. 

Adidas also clearly places a focus on comfort, with padded shoulder straps, and the capacities inside are ample. The Creator backpack offers over 40 liters of space inside, with most Nike backpacks capping out at 25-35 liters.

As for the type of backpacks we’ve selected, for a back to school bag we’d recommend staying away from anything leather, and we’ve also kept the price below £70/$80 (around AU$120), as well as opting for plenty of compartments.

Additionally, if you suffer from sweaty-back-syndrome, as most people do, a bit of breathing space and padding on the back of the backpack should help and in its higher-end bags, that’s precisely what Adidas offers. 

We’ve ultimately picked five of the best Adidas backpacks for students across a range of prices, covering multiple styles, so there should be something suitable.

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, and unique features, to help you pick through the maze of choices available to you.

The Adidas Linear Classic Daily is the epitome of cheap and cheerful, despite the fact that it still delivers a stylish aesthetic with prominent Adidas branding.

Being the smallest backpack on our list, this definitely won’t work for power users who need maximum space for all their tech, kit, and books. Younger students in particular though will find the Linear Classic Daily to be an excellent choice. 

Available in six color options, including pink, red, blue and black, you can match it with your personal style, and the main zip also has a white accent, adding a distinct design element.

With a front pocket, you can keep stationery or other smaller items to hand, and while there’s no designated laptop compartment, it’s perfect for books and sports kit.

Padded, adjustable shoulder straps mean the Linear Classic Daily is comfortable to wear, and when you need to take it off your back, the handle at the top of the bag means you can hold it in one hand with ease.

If you want a backpack with racing stripes, a bit more space inside and a padded laptop component, the 3-Stripes Power Backpack is an excellent balance of affordability and versatility.

It looks excellent, playing vertical lines off against a two-tone backdrop. You can pick it up in some unique colors, including a reverse Kill Bill/Bruce Lee style yellow on the black scheme, along with four different tones of blue, black, or an off-white.

The TPE coated base is durable and water-resistant, so you needn’t worry about resting the bag on a wet locker room floor, and it features a padded laptop sleeve, one central zip section, and a front zip pocket as well.

The side mesh slip-in pockets provide space for bottle storage, while the top carry handle means it can be easily shifted off the shoulder on a full train carriage and carried in one hand.

Meanwhile, adjustable side compression straps mean you can shrink it down when it’s empty, so things don’t shake about inside too much, and adjustable ergonomic air mesh shoulder straps deliver breathable comfort.

Mature, sophisticated, clean - if this sums up your desired back to school vibe, then the Premium Essentials Modern Backpack from Adidas is for you. With a two-tone/textured look, it’s stylish without being too busy, and the small but prominent Adidas crest on its front pops nicely.

The Premium Essentials Modern backpack is only available in black, though the textured base is a dark grey, which plays well against the upper portion’s inkiness. 

It features two side pockets, an outer zip laptop compartment that can take up to a 15-inch laptop, and there’s a front zip pocket too for smaller bits like keys and pens.

Inside, there are also open compartments for pens, USB cables, and other small items, and there are adjustable compression straps either side too. The backpack also includes a chest strap to secure it in place for long bouts of walking.

With pockets and compartments for days, the Adidas Top Loader gives you space to stow your kit and stay organized 24/7, whether you’re exercising at sunrise or dancing in the moonlight (and inexplicably want to do that with a backpack on to make it that much trickier).

This tall, smart backpack’s look is tailored to compliment whatever you’re wearing, with its black body, vertical strap on the front, elongating it, and slip-in side pockets, as well as a convenient handle for one-handed carrying.

A contemporary take on the classic backpack, the drawcord at the top keeps everything inside in place when you want to clasp it closed, and when you want your kit locked tight, you can double that up with a zip too.

The laptop portion isn’t padded, but there’s a small tablet sleeve as well, so if you have both they can be neatly stowed away. By contrast, the shoulder straps are padded, and there’s a chest strap/buckle too to keep everything snug.

Whether you’re creating magic in the classroom, within a video editing suite or on the field, the Creator 365 is one of the most voluminous backpacks we’ve come across, able to take almost 45 liters of stuff, and sporting a separate slot for your laptop and your sports shoes.

The shoulder straps are engineered to take the heavy weight that comes with plenty of space, whether it’s school books, tech, sports kit, or all the aforementioned, and the chest strap will help with posture too.

The Creator 365 also includes a front zip pocket for quick access, an internal slip pocket for a tablet, and side compression straps, so when it isn’t full, it can be compacted for convenience. The bag also has laser-cut ventilation holes dotted around it as well as an air mesh back panel so that it can breathe from the front to the back.

Categories: Tech News

Streaming-only Xbox console rumors squashed by Microsoft

Fri, 08/16/2019 - 16:20

Contrary to rumors, Microsoft is not working on a streaming-only Xbox console. In an interview with Gamespot, Microsoft’s executive VP of Gaming Phil Spencer set the record straight: the company isn’t working on a streaming-only Xbox console at the moment.

After the Redmond company announced last year that it is working on a game streaming technology (known as xCloud), as well as new game consoles, Spencer said that Xbox fans may have taken that to mean that a streaming console is in the works. 

The May 2019 release of the disc-less Xbox One S All-Digital Edition only fueled those rumors further. However, while this new console doesn’t play physical disc, it does require for games to be downloaded before you can play them.

We’re not that close to full-time game streaming yet

The good news is that Microsoft’s gaming division is still hard at work in making that console-quality game streaming service a reality. It’s indeed full steam ahead for this game-streaming technology.

According to Spencer, “We are not working on a streaming-only console right now. We are looking at the phone in your pocket as the destination for you to stream, and the console that we have allows you to play the games locally."

Dubbed Project xCloud, this technology is intended to complement Microsoft’s console hardware and give gamers the ability to utilize Xbox functionality through their other devices, perhaps with as little lag as possible. Currently in beta testing at the company, Project xCloud will be in public beta for select markets as early as September and to the rest of the gaming world by 2020.

As for whether or not a streaming-only Xbox console might still be in the stars, who knows? With the direction Microsoft is taking, a streaming-only console could still happen someday. Although, if this game streaming service proves to be a success, we probably won’t need one.

Categories: Tech News

Firmware security has barely improved over last decade

Fri, 08/16/2019 - 15:40

A new survey of over 6,000 firmware images has found no improvement in firmware security over the last 15 years as well as lax security standards for the software running connected devices from Linksys, NETGEAR and other major hardware vendors.

The survey was carried out by chief scientist at the Cyber Independent Testing Lab (CITL), Sarah Zatcko who explained that firmware security is worse off than many thought, saying:

“We found no consistency in a vendor or product line doing better or showing improvement. There was no evidence that anybody is making a concerted effort to address the safety hygiene of their products.”

The CITL study surveyed firmware from 18 different vendors including ASUS, D-link, Linksys, NETGEAR, Ubiquiti and others. The team analyzed over 6,000 firmware versions created from 2003 to 2018 as part of the first logitudinal study of Internet of Things (IoT) safety.

Firmware security

Researchers at CITL studied publicly available firmware images to compile their study and evaluated them based on the inclusion of standard security features such as the use of non-executable stacks, Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) and stack guards which are used to prevent buffer overflow attacks.

CITL found that firmware from commonly used manufacturers failed to implement basic security features and this was also true when the researchers tested the most recent versions of the firmware.

There was some good news including the fact that almost all of Linksys and NETGEAR's recent router firmware included non-executable stacks. However, other common security features like ASLR or stack guards were not implemented according to CITL's data.

The researchers documented 299 positive changes in firmware security scores over the 15 years covered by the study but they also found 360 negative changes during the same period. Analyzing the entire data set actually showed that firmware security appeared to get worse over time. The poor scores these devices earned suggest that many companies making IoT devices have not adapted their practices to account for the increased risks that come with connected devices.

Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting connected devices because when compared to Microsoft's Windows, Apple's macOS and Google Chrome, they are easy prey.

Via The Security Ledger

Categories: Tech News

Formjacking attacks target customers at checkout

Fri, 08/16/2019 - 14:50

Cybercriminals are increasingly hijacking online forms such as login pages and shopping carts as they hunt for personal financial information (PFI) according to new research from F5 Labs.

The firm's Application Report 2019 examined 760 breach reports to discover that formjacking, which collects data from a user's web browser and then moves it to an attacker-controlled location, remains one of the most common attack tactics on the web.

According to F5 Labs data, this attack method was responsible for 71 percent of all analyzed web-related data breaches throughout 2018.

Senior Threat Eveangelist at F5 Networks, David Warburton explained how outsourcing parts of web application code led to formjacking's rise in popularity among cybercriminals, saying:

“Formjacking has exploded in popularity over the last two years. Web applications are increasingly outsourcing critical components of their code, such as shopping carts and card payment systems, to third parties. Web developers are making use of imported code libraries or, in some cases, linking their app directly to third party scripts hosted on the web.  As a result, businesses find themselves in a vulnerable position as their code is compiled from dozens of different sources – almost all of which are beyond the boundary of normal enterprise security controls. Since many web sites make use of the same third-party resources, attackers know that they just need to compromise a single component to skim data from a huge pool of potential victims.”

Formjacking

By examining breach data, F5 Labs found that 83 incidents in 2019 were attributed to formjacking attacks on web payment forms which impacted close to 1.4m payment cards.

The firm also found that 49 percent of successful attacks occurred in the retail industry, 14 percent were related to business services and 11 percent were focused on manufacturing. 

However, the transport industry was the biggest victim of formjacking attacks that targeted personal financial information and during F5's window of analysis, 60 percent of all credit card related thefts happened in this sector.

Injection vulnerabilities have been around for some time but F5 Labs believes that they remain a growing and evolving problem as shifting industry trends have led to new risks and the widening of attack surfaces.

To prevent falling victim to formjacking, F5 Labs recommends that businesses create an inventory of web applications, patch their environment, scan for vulnerabilities, monitor for code changes, enable multifactor authentication and monitor for newly registered domains and certificates.

Categories: Tech News

China may be finally softening its VPN stance

Fri, 08/16/2019 - 13:07

As part of China's ongoing efforts to attract foreign investment, the city of Beijing has unveiled its plans to allow overseas firms to invest in VPN services within a trial zone by the end of the year.

Foreign investors will soon be allowed to invest in VPN services though foreign ownership in VPN providers will be capped at 50 percent according to the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Commerce.

The State Council approved the relaxation of its restrictions back in January in an effort “to attract foreign telecom operators to come and provided VPN services for foreign-invested companies in Beijing” according to Beijing Municipal Bureau of Commerce.

Senior emerging Asia economist at AXA Investment Managers, Aidan Yao provided further insight on the new policy to the South China Morning Post, saying:

“The long-term implications are China is open for business, and continuing to embrace globalisation and the multipolar world order by further integrating itself into the global system. These latest measures are also significant as they are targeting the services and consumption related industries, which are the engines of future growth.”

VPN services

The new policy is part of a three-year plan by the Beijing Municipal Government to open up the service sector after the city's economy slowed to 6.3 percent during the first half of 2019.

China's Great Firewall currently blocks access to 135 of the world's top 1,000 websites and foreign firms must rely on VPN services to get around the country's restrictions in order to do business.

According to the municipal government, online games as well as video and audio programs will also welcome foreign investment but they will be required to meet Chinese data security standards. However, foreign investment in online news, publishing, audio and video is still technically banned in China.

By opening up investment in VPN services to foreign firms, China may finally be softening its historically hard stance on VPN usage within its borders.

Via South China Morning Post

Categories: Tech News

Broadband deal of the week: free Amazon Echo Plus with Vodafone's fastest fibre

Fri, 08/16/2019 - 12:35

We have to say, this broadband deal has us somewhat stumped. Vodafone has taken both of its fibre broadband deals and priced them at the same monthly cost. Confusing? Yes. A great time to seize a bargain on some superfast fibre internet? An even bigger yes.

It means for just £23 a month (or only £20 for existing Vodafone phone customers) you can get Vodafone's Superfast fibre 2 package - the exact same price as its Superfast 1 package, can you imagine which one we would recommend? 

The Superfast fibre 2 package boasts speeds of 63Mb, which makes the £23 a month you're paying for it astounding and the £20 existing Vodafone customers pay almost unbelievable.

As if that affordable pricing wasn't enough, Vodafone doesn't even charge any upfront fees and even more importantly (sorry, we're really excited about this one) it's also throwing in a FREE Amazon Echo Plus with all of its broadband deals. It really is an astonishing offer.

It feels like nobody told Vodafone they only had to pip the competition by a little bit because no other broadband deals come close to this. Vodafone's sale will be coming to an end on 10 September so you still have plenty of time to grab it. 

Vodafone's cheap fibre broadband deal in full:  Want more with your broadband deal?

While this is one of the best, affordable fibre broadband deals around, you can get even cheaper bills. You may not have heard of the ISP, but Onestream's Jetstream Lite Fibre costs a mere £18.99 per month. You do have to pay a tenner upfront though, so it works out as roughly the same as Vodafone in the long run. Plus, this deal does also offer the lowest average fibre speeds on the market at 17Mb.

While for those who want an added extra with their internet, BT could be the way to go. It costs £31.99 a month but comes with a £100 BT Reward Card on top of its faster 50Mb fibre speeds.

Read more:

Categories: Tech News

How to prevent employee burnout

Fri, 08/16/2019 - 12:35

The World Health Organisation now officially recognizes workplace ‘burnout’ as an occupational phenomenon, this is the first time it’s being directly linked in its classification of diseases as a work hazard. Why has it become such a prominent issue? 

If you look at the last ten years of the global economy, you’ll see it’s been a pretty wild ride. The economy had nearly collapsed by 2009, and since then it’s been rebuilt to new heights. That was the same year when smartphone and social media adoption began accelerating rapidly, and these technologies put enormous pressure on brands to move far more quickly than ever before. 

Brands were expected to deliver amazing customer experiences and drive revenue from new, digital channels. In fact, some people call our current era the “Post-Digital Era” because consumer expectations have reached a point where a rapid digital experience is a barrier to entry into any market, meaning brands that can’t deliver, likely one won’t survive. These new forces have put pressure on workers to stay connected to their employers via their devices from anywhere.

Unfortunately, technology has developed faster than etiquette. There’s still a perception that because we can connect with our work 24/7, that we must. Even when you’re not actively working, notifications and vibrations from phones are a constant reminder that there’s work to be done. After a decade, all this stress has proven to be unsustainable to the point that countries, like France and Japan, have instituted right-to-disconnect legislation and other reforms to help employees find balance. 

What role do you think business leaders should play in managing employee burnout?

There has been a proliferation of tools that were designed to improve employee flexibility, but they’ve since reached a point of diminishing returns where instead of consolidating communications, they are overwhelming us with messages and notifications. Business leaders need to think proactively about the role technology plays in the stress of their employees and try to streamline their stacks to make sure technology is supporting your team, and it’s not just another distraction or burden.

Rather than enabling your team to work 24/7, your technology should encourage flexibility and allow employees to disconnect. Leaders need to lead by example on this front as well, and support boundaries for their teams. In a survey we conducted about stress in the workplace, over a quarter (28 percent) of UK workers said receiving texts or emails from their boss outside of work hours has a high impact on their stress levels. Of course, this also means organizations need to adopt better practices for planning projects, so there’s less need for last-minute scrambling to hit goals. 

What role does enterprise technology play in relation to employee stress and happiness?

When information is structured and accessible to people who need it to do their jobs, enterprise technology can reduce stress and accelerate work at the same time. People like to be productive, and they get frustrated when they feel technology isn’t enabling it. But when technology gets in the way of productivity, it’s going to add to stress - and there are a few common ways that technology prevents productivity.

  • Communication overload: There’s so much communication going on within a system or across a stack of systems that it’s nearly impossible to separate the signal from the noise;
  • Fragmentation: You spend a good chunk of your day trying to find information that you’re pretty sure you’ve seen - you’re just not sure where. This slows down projects and causes teams to operate off different sources of information, meaning some may be outdated, incomplete, or irrelevant;
  • Usability: Technology that is difficult or slow to use, which leads to frustration for anyone trying to operate it. In today’s post-digital age, enterprise technology should be as intuitive as the personal apps we all use daily on our phones.

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of reducing stress and frustration around execution. We recently conducted a survey that found that Collaborative Work Management (CWM) software users in the UK were 61 percent more likely than non-users to say they have a “very good” relationship with their managers. They were also 152 percent more likely than non-users to say their company’s mission resonated with them “very strongly,” which goes to show that if you can enable people to work smoothly, they’re going to find happiness in the workplace.

How can companies declutter their tech stack to help address employee burnout?

A decade ago, bottom-up adoption of technology was a fast-growing trend, and as a result, companies went through a period with a vast array of overlapping and redundant technology that varied from team to team. It was a good trend at the time in that it re-engaged workers when enterprise technology was woefully outdated, but it led to problems with privacy, security, and information fragmentation. 

CIOs need to audit their systems and see how many apps are in use within their teams and examine the gaps created by those systems. It’s in those gaps that painful, manual processes exist for workers who need to ensure information is synced between them. 

In an ideal world, the various teams in a company will plan projects and collaborate in a single, unified solution. Realistically, it may take multiple systems, but they should be integrated in a way that effortlessly allows work and updates to move from team to team and from system to system to support cross-functional collaboration, and use automation to break down silos and eliminate routine tasks.

Collaborative work management helps companies provide flexible working. But how else  does it help to manage employee burnout?

There are some psychological forces behind burnout, and one of them is the concept of perceived control, which means people experience less stress when they feel they have some ability to control their situation. CWM software actually does give people control over their work, giving them the ability to intake work in the way that works for them, design workflows, and also view projects and assignments in a customized way. 

Another major cause of stress is the frustration of waiting for people to do what you need them to do to move projects forward. The challenge is that people often don’t know the priority of work, or have the context they need to get started. And CWM provides clarity to priorities and can keep all relevant conversations, documents, and schedules in one place. 

There’s the issue of what I call hidden work - or tasks that are work but aren’t necessarily tracked in a project plan. Scheduling meetings, responding to emails, versioning documents - these are all tasks that take up a lot of our work time, whether we realize it or not. CWM can automate or reduce a lot of these functions, giving people more time to focus on the work that drives results. 

Unrealistic expectations are also a struggle, and the challenge is that management doesn’t have visibility into their team’s workload. CWM platforms can provide a clear picture of an employees capacity for delegating tasks, setting deadlines, and prioritizing work. Fifty-one percent of UK workers say that receiving assignments with unrealistic deadlines has a high impact on their stress, and resource management can help keep tasks balanced across a team. 

Since realistic deadlines are achievable deadlines, resource management can actually increase team capacity. They also track work further down the pike, so teams can begin planning further out and reduce last-minute panics about unseen deadlines - which should help reduce those late night emails and messages.  

How can companies make sure that they’re utilising all their tools properly to make sure they’re not wasting their employee’s time?

Most workers have lived through at least one failed technology deployment in their careers, so when you introduce a new tool, there’s going to be some eye-rolling. Change management is vital in any transformational program, and especially in one that requires a daily habit change from a large number of people. You can spend a lot of money on technology and have it fall flat because no one adopts it, so you need to have a plan. Context and clarity in communicating with your workforce about why you’re implementing a change are critical.

Start with “why” and look at it through the lens of “what’s in it for me,” to help sell the idea to your workforce. The better you can define the connection between the application and outcomes (business and personal), the more supportive and enthusiastic your users will be in adopting it. We always encourage our users to start with critical use-cases - solving an immediate need first and then build upon that success to broaden the use through other use-cases.

It’s also critical that a solution is flexible enough to accommodate the diverse preferences of your workforce. You probably aren’t going to have much luck forcing people to use a tool that makes people work the way it works, you need a tool that works the way they work, but with optimizations. 

Putting the work in upfront to select the right tool and deploy it effectively will pay dividends in the long term.

 

Andrew Filev is the founder and CEO of Wrike, a cloud-based work management platform.

Categories: Tech News

Bluetooth security flaw leaves millions of devices open to attack

Fri, 08/16/2019 - 12:10

A new Bluetooth vulnerability has been disclosed that would allow an attacker to more easily brute force the encryption key used by devices during pairing to monitor or even manipulate the data transferred between two paired devices.

The vulnerability has been given the name “Key Negotiation of Bluetooth attack” or “KNOB” for short and it affects Bluetooth BR/EDR devices using specification versions 1.0 to 5.1.

News of the KNOB vulnerability was revealed in a coordinated disclosure between the Center for IT-Security, Privacy and Accountability (CISPA), ICASI and ICASI members including Microsoft, Apple, Intel, Cisco and Amazon.

The flaw itself allows an attacker to reduce the length of the encryption key used for establishing a connection and in some cases, the length of the encryption key could be reduced to just a single octet making Bluetooth devices much easier to access.

KNOB vulnerability

A security advisory on Bluetooth.com, provided further insight on how the KNOB vulnerability functions, saying:

"The researchers identified that it is possible for an attacking device to interfere with the procedure used to set up encryption on a BR/EDR connection between two devices in such a way as to reduce the length of the encryption key used. In addition, since not all Bluetooth specifications mandate a minimum encryption key length, it is possible that some vendors may have developed Bluetooth products where the length of the encryption key used on a BR/EDR connection could be set by an attacking device down to a single octet." 

After figuring out the Bluetooth keys of two devices, attackers could then monitor and manipulate the data being sent between them. This would even allow them to inject commands, monitor key strokes and carry out other types of malicious behavior. Fortunately, ICASI has not yet seen this attack method used maliciously nor have any devices been created to initiate this type of attack.

Exploiting the KNOB vulnerability would also be difficult because both devices need to be Bluetooth BR/EDR, the attacker would need to be within range of the devices while they establish a connection and the attack would also need to be repeated every time the devices paired. The Bluetooth specification has also been updated to recommend a minimum encryption key length of seven octets for BR/EDR connections to resolve this vulnerability.

Via Bleeping Computer

Categories: Tech News

Get double data on a range of flagship devices with these O2 mobile phone deals

Fri, 08/16/2019 - 12:08

These days, a small data plan just doesn't hack it. You want to stream Netflix on the go and scroll through Twitter to your heart's content and you should be able to! Luckily, a recent promotion from retailer Mobiles.co.uk is offering double data on a range of flagship phones, taking away the worries of a tiny data cap.

With offers on the likes of the Huawei P30 Pro, Google Pixel 3a, Samsung Galaxy S10e and the iPhone XR, this promotion has offers for everyone. Heck, even brand new Samsung Galaxy Note 10 deals are included. And, with data caps ranging from 4GB all the way up to 70GB, you can rest assured in the knowledge you won't be running out of data anytime soon.

We've selected the best offers from this deal and listed them down below for you to compare. Or, if you can't see your dream phone contract in there, check our guide to best mobile phone deals for all of the options on the market.

These double data mobile phone deals in full:

With the exclusion of the Galaxy S10e, you can apply the code 10OFF at the checkout with any of these offers to save an additional £10 on the upfront spend:

Mobiles.co.uk - Best Online Retailer award winner

Not sure if Mobiles.co.uk is the right retailer to buy from? Having won Best Online Retailer at the Mobile Choice Awards last autumn, you can rest easy knowing Mobiles.co.uk is a safe bet.

With some of the market's best pricing, fast delivery and excellent reviews - you can see how they managed to bag that title.

Categories: Tech News

Cheap TV deals at Best Buy: 4K TVs starting at just $199

Fri, 08/16/2019 - 12:04

If you're looking for a cheap TV deal you've come to the right place! Best Buy's three-day anniversary sale is going on right now, and includes massive savings on 4K TVs. Prices start as low as $199.99, with offers on a range of screen sizes from top brands including Samsung, TCL and Vizio.

Our top Best Buy TV deal is the Vizio 50-inch smart 4K TV, which is on sale for just $299.99. That's a $50 discount, and the lowest price we've found for the V-Series TV. It features Dolby Vision HDR for a life-like picture with bold, bright colors and sharp contrast.

The smart TV also has Chromecast built in, which allows you to stream thousands of movies and TV shows from the Chromecast app on your phone or tablet. There's also SmartCast, which works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, so you can use your voice to browse movies, change the channel, adjust the volume and more.

Shop more of the best cheap TV deals from Best Buy below, and keep in mind the sale ends Sunday, so you should take advantage of these steep discounts before it's too late.

Best Buy TV deals:

Shop more of best cheap TV deals and sale prices that are currently going on.

You can also learn more about our top-rated TVs with our guide on the best TVs of 2019: the big-screen TVs worth buying this year.

Categories: Tech News

Apple AirPods get a redesign from original Macintosh team – and they look a bit silly

Fri, 08/16/2019 - 11:34

True wireless earbuds may seem like tech from the future, but have you ever imagined what they might look like in a few years?

Frog, the company that designed the iconic Apple Macintosh have, and its conceptual Apple AirPod alternatives are certainly out there, with a radical design that leaves your ears totally exposed. 

The open-hoop true wireless earbuds – which Frog have called Unum – are placed around your ears, so your ear canal is left completely uncovered, unlike traditional earbuds, which sit against your ear canal. 

When you wear in-ear headphones, they create a seal against your ear canal, preventing environmental noise from ruining your music, as creating better noise isolation. 

The future of true wireless?

Frog says that the conceptual wireless earbuds would use "advanced micro-drivers and acoustic design to precisely channel the sound into the ear", without completely blocking out the world around you. 

Why is this necessary? Well, Frog envisions a future where voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant are so ubiquitous, that "the constant connection to our personal headphones will be too isolating of a social experience". 

As such, the company believes that we will need headphones that "support long augmented audio experiences without disrupting their real world communications". 

It's an interesting concept, but it's hard to say whether people will adopt such a striking design for their in-ear headphones; that being said, the Apple AirPods were widely mocked for their long stems when they were released in 2016, and are now among the most popular true wireless earbuds ever. 

Could the upcoming Apple AirPods 2 look anything like this? We'll have to wait until the imminent iPhone 11 launch at the very earliest to find out. 

  • Looking for more future tech news? We'll be at IFA 2019, where we're expecting to see lots of cool new audio devices
Categories: Tech News

Oppo Reno 2 launch date teased, as well as details of the phone's camera

Fri, 08/16/2019 - 11:31

If you were tempted to buy the Oppo Reno or Oppo Reno 10x Zoom, two of the most intriguing phones to come out so far in 2019, you may want to wait a second – as it looks like they're just about to receive a successor.

On Twitter, Oppo India shared a photo showing off the Oppo Reno 2, with some important pieces of information regarding the upcoming phone, as well as a date that the phone series will drop.

That date is August 28, although the photo states that the phone will be out first in India, so we'll likely have to wait a little longer before seeing the phone elsewhere. IFA 2019 is just around the corner, so we could see the handset drop in Europe then.

We've contacted Oppo to see what else we can find out about the device, as well as when (or if) we'll see it elsewhere, and will update this article when we find out.

What do we know about the Oppo Reno 2?

All we know about the Oppo Reno 2 is in the image the company shared – but Oppo has been showing off its new tech for a few months now, so there are some other new features that we may see in the device too.

Firstly, what the image shows – a rough outline of the Oppo Reno 2 confirms it has the trademark 'shark-fin' pop-up segment, as well as four rear cameras. The original Oppo Reno only had two snappers, although the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom had three, so it's most likely that this outline shows the Oppo Reno 20x Zoom – that's what we're expecting the 'plus-sized' Oppo Reno 2 to be called.

The reason for this is that the image boasts "Quadcam with 20x Zoom". All in all, we're expecting this quad-camera smartphone to be the newer plus model, and perhaps the base Oppo Reno 2 will have three cameras.

Another cryptic tweet says "new angles have new possibilities". This could either refer to a lens like the Motorola One Action's 'Action Cam', which flips the image 90 degrees so you can hold the phone vertically but film in landscape, or perhaps an ultra-wide angle lens with a significantly increased field of view.

It's worth noting this latter Tweet was from Oppo's global Twitter account, so it's likely we'll see the phones outside of India before too long.

We'll find out for sure on August 28, when Oppo drops its new line of devices.

What else can we guess about the Oppo Reno 2?

Over the last few months, Oppo has shown off two new pieces of smartphone tech. One of these we could see in the Oppo Reno 2, the other we don't imagine so.

The first of these is Oppo's under-display camera tech. This hides the front-facing selfie camera literally under the smartphone's screen, so it's not in a notch that takes up space, or a potentially fragile pop-up section.

However since the outline of the Oppo Reno 2 in the shared image has the distinctive shark fin, it's clear that Oppo has opted to use this to house the front-facing camera again, so there would be no need for an under-screen camera just yet.

The other piece of tech is Oppo's 'Waterfall Screen'. This is a form of curved screen that bends round the front of the device at a steeper angle than other curved screens, like in the Huawei P30 Pro, to create a premium-looking display.

We could see the Oppo Reno 2 boast a Waterfall Screen, and it would certainly be a distinct feature compared to the original Oppo Reno, but there's no way of knowing for sure whether these tech improvements will be used in the Reno series at all.

Categories: Tech News

Motorola One Action announced with a never-before-seen camera feature

Fri, 08/16/2019 - 07:08

Motorola's smartphones tend to be budget champions, but lots of them also come with weird and wacky features, and now the company has topped itself with the launch of the Motorola One Action.

The Motorola One Action, the latest phone in the One line after the Motorola One Vision, comes with some of the features from this predecessor, like a 21:9 6.3-inch display, and a 'punch-hole' front-facing camera, but there are new features too – and one huge new addition which provides the phone's name.

This feature is the 'Action Cam', one of the One Action's three cameras. It's a camera that lets you record in 4K quality with a 117-degree field-of-view and, most intriguingly, it can twist video 90 degrees around, so you can hold your phone vertically while filming horizontally.

Recording video in this way sounds like a novel experience, and we'll make sure to test it out fully when we get our hands on the device.

The other two cameras are a 12MP main snapper and a 5MP depth sensor. Since the Action Cam has an ultra-wide-angle lens, it's likely you'll be able to use it in lieu of a dedicated wide-angle rear camera.

Motorola One Action: other features

The Motorola One Action runs on an Exynos 9609 chipset, and while Exynos processors are designed by Samsung and usually reserved for Galaxy smartphones, previous Motorola One phones have used them.

The battery size is 3,500mAh, and the device supports 10W fast charging – those specs aren't exactly mind-blowing, but they're appropriate for a budget smartphone. There's also a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is indicative of the phone's affordable status.

In terms of memory, the One Action has 4GB of RAM, and you'll be able to fit 128GB of your files and media on it, although there's expandable storage if that's not enough.

You can pick up the handset immediately in the UK, and it will set you back £219 (roughly $265, AU$390), so it's definitely an affordable phone, but it's just slightly too expensive to fall into our grouping of the best cheap phones. There's no word on a US or Australian release date or price, but we'll update you if we find anything out.

If you're interested in the phone, we've briefly tested it out, so check out our Motorola One Action hands-on review to see how we found it.

Categories: Tech News

Motorola One Action announced, with a never-before-seen camera feature

Fri, 08/16/2019 - 07:05

Motorola's smartphones tend to be budget champions, but lots of them also come with weird and wacky features, and now the company has topped itself with the launch of the Motorola One Action.

The Motorola One Action, the latest phone in the One line after the Motorola One Vision, comes with some of the features from this predecessor, like a 21:9 6.3-inch display, and a 'punch-hole' front-facing camera, but there are new features too – and one huge new addition which provides the phone's name.

This feature is the 'Action Cam', one of the One Action's three cameras. It's a camera that lets you record in 4K quality with a 117-degree field-of-view and, most intriguingly, it can twist video 90 degrees around, so you can hold your phone vertically while filming horizontally.

Recording video in this way sounds like a novel experience, and we'll make sure to test it out fully when we get our hands on the device.

The other two cameras are a 12MP main snapper and a 5MP depth sensor. Since the Action Cam has an ultra-wide-angle lens, it's likely you'll be able to use it in lieu of a dedicated wide-angle rear camera.

Motorola One Action: other features

The Motorola One Action runs on an Exynos 9609 chipset, and while Exynos processors are designed by Samsung and usually reserved for Galaxy smartphones, previous Motorola One phones have used them.

The battery size is 3,500mAh, and the device supports 10W fast charging – those specs aren't exactly mind-blowing, but they're appropriate for a budget smartphone. There's also a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is indicative of the phone's affordable status.

In terms of memory, the One Action has 4GB of RAM, and you'll be able to fit 128GB of your files and media on it, although there's expandable storage if that's not enough.

You can pick up the handset immediately in the UK, and it will set you back £219 (roughly $265, AU$390), so it's definitely an affordable phone, but it's just slightly too expensive to fall into our grouping of the best cheap phones. There's no word on a US or Australian release date or price, but we'll update you if we find anything out.

If you're interested in the phone, we've briefly tested it out, so check out our Motorola One Action hands-on review to see how we found it.

Categories: Tech News

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