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Updated: 1 min 43 sec ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Mobiles.co.uk £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

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

iD Mobile is offering 50GB data boosts on Samsung Galaxy S10 pre-order deals

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 11:09

So it finally happened, Samsung went and released its brand new trio of phones - the S10, S10 Plus and S10e. That was already enough to get us excited, but then iD Mobile - Carphone Warehouse's very own network - went and declared that it would be offering an almighty 50GB data boost on all its Galaxy S10 deals and now, our excitement is palpable.

Okay, that may sound a tad dramatic but this is a seriously intriguing offer and let us tell you why. iD is notorious for offering affordable mobile phone deals with low data, which is great considering some S10 and S10 Plus deals are a little...pricey. 

So in theory, with these data boosted plans you could opt for a more affordable 1GB of data S10 contract and end up with an effective 3GB each month overall. When you hit your data limit each month your data boost will kick in and carry you through to the end of the month. That way you don't have to compromise on price or data. And the data boost is available for the duration of the contract and beyond.

If this sounds like the ideal offer for you then scroll down to see our picks of the best boosted data deals and find out a bit more about who iD is.

Our pick of iD's data boosted S10 deals in full: What is iD Mobile?

iD Mobile is a sub-section of Carphone Warehouse so you can rest assured that it is a trustworthy source for your new phone deal. It piggybacks off the Three network's coverage, so pretty good for most parts of the UK. And you can use roaming in 50 destinations around the world.

Categories: Tech News

The best free personal finance software 2019

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 10:49

Whether you have a lot or a little, everyone needs to manage their money. Like so many areas of life, you can do things entirely by hand, or you can turn to software to make your life easier. There's a wealth – if you'll pardon the pun – of personal finance tools out there, but many of them involve having to put your hand into your pocket, dig deep and part with some hard-earned cash.

You could, of course, pay an accountant to take care of your money for you, but this involves and outlay that you might well prefer to avoid. Take a look through the selection of free tools we've collected together, and you should find something that suits your personal finance needs, making it easier to keep track of your money. This free personal finance software could hopefully save you some money too or, at the very least, see where you're currently spending it.

Image credit: The GnuCash Project

GnuCash is simple enough to be used for home finances, but flexible enough to be put to use by small businesses as well. While the software is easy to use, the fact that it's suitable for small business accounting is thanks to the inclusion of a number of extra features that you would not necessarily expect to find – support for payroll management and double-entry accounting, for instance.

Although relatively easy to use, this free personal finance software does really require some familiarity with accounting software, and it's simple to migrate from another program because you can import data in QIF and dOFX formats. Support for expense tracking makes this ideal software for preparing for tax season, and there are a huge number of reporting options to help you to make sense of your cashflow. The software is available for macOS, Windows and Linux, as well as Android, and it's highly recommended that you try out this great tool before you consider any of the paid-for alternatives.

Image credit: Wyatt Olson

Proving that free personal finance software doesn’t have to be complicated, Buddi keeps things about as simple as they can be. In a matter of minutes, you can set up all of the accounts you need and start keeping track of your incomings and outgoings.

Money can be easily pulled from and moved between different accounts, and Buddi can generate all sort of reports about your spending and earnings broken down in a variety of ways. If you're looking to save money, the program can help you to stick to a budget and for anyone who is completely new to the concept of accounting, the Buddi website has a number of helpful guides to help get you started.

On the downside, Buddi requires you to have Java installed which is not going to be to everyone's liking, and the software itself has not been updated for a little while. Neither of these two factors are enough to stop us from recommending that you take a look at the program – it could well be just what you've been looking for.

Image credit: MechCAD Software

Billing itself as an alternative to Quicken sets a high bar for AceMoney, but it's a target it manages to reach, even in its free, cut-down iteration. There's only support for two accounts in AceMoney Lite, but this should be enough for many people – and the full edition of the program is only $40 (around £30, AU$50) anyway. You can even use the program to keep track of your PayPal account.

Managing accounts in different currencies is no problem, but you'll have to enter data into this free personal finance software rather than having your transactions pulled in from your bank account. That said, if you download statements from your online bank account, these can then be imported to saved time with manual entry. AceMoney Lite also makes it easy to track your spending and investments, making it a great financial tool for anyone looking to take control of their finances.

Image credit: HomeBank

HomeBank will appeal if you work on multiple platforms, or don't use Windows by default. Available for Windows, macOS and Linux (there's also an Android app in development) HomeBank can be installed normally or as a portable app, and it makes the topic of personal finance easily accessible. If you've been using another program – such as Quicken or Microsoft Money – to manage your finances, you can import data to save having to start from scratch.

You can add an unlimited number of accounts to the program, and they can be linked to each other to allow for easy money transfers – it is all entirely dependent on manual editing, though. With enough data entered, it's possible to generate all manner of reports, including helpful predictive reports for car ownership and the like. Very much designed with the average person in mind, this is a personal finance app for people who hate personal finance apps.

Image credit: Buxfer Inc

Buxfer is an online tool that makes it easy to manage all of your accounts in one place – although there is also an Android app available. There's support for over 15,000 online bank accounts from all over the world, so you should find that yours is there, and then you can pull in all of your transactions without the need for manual entry.

Buxfer can also pull in data in from the likes of Quicken and Mint, help you manage budgets and forecast costs and earnings, and track investments with ease. You will have to spend time categorizing transactions manually if you upload them from your statements, but this isn't too much of a chore. You can set up alerts, track bills, and predict spending patterns; it's a highly versatile tool.

There is a free version of service available, but there are also three paid-for tiers ranging in price from $1.99 to $4.99 per month. It's worth taking the free version for a spin to see if it could do the job for you – this will let you work with up to five accounts, which is likely to be enough for most people.

Categories: Tech News

OnePlus 7 may gain pop-up selfie cam, leak suggests

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 10:30

Images purporting to show the OnePlus 7 have leaked online, which suggest the upcoming phone could have a pop-up selfie camera instead of the static front-facing snapper found on the OnePlus 6.

Two photos, posted on Twitter by @Steven_Sbw, are claimed to show the device. Both show it from the front, so we can’t tell a whole lot about the device, but there are a few significant differences from the OnePlus 6 that, if the images are genuine, would mean the OnePlus 7 is a big step up from its predecessor. 

Notable features of the images are the minimal bezel and lack of a notch on the display – instead, the screen is an unbroken rectangle. 

It appears the display has been flipped in one photo, judging by the sizes of the bezels above and below the screen being reversed from what you’d expect on any device and the side buttons being on the opposite side of the device.

The images do seem suspiciously similar to the Oppo Find X – the only differentiating factor between the device in the images and the Find X is the side buttons seem slightly lower, and the bezel below the screen looks a little bigger. 

OnePlus and Oppo are owned by the same firm, so it would be no surprise if the devices shared a similar look, but take the leak with a mountain of salt anyway. 

The lack of a notch brings with it the absence of any kind of visible front-facing camera on the device. Of course it’s inconceivable that the phone wouldn’t have a selfie camera – there would be no quicker way for OnePlus to halve its audience – instead the device likely has a pop-up camera as other Oppo devices do.

While the leak seems a little suspicious, both because of the unproven nature of the leaker and the device’s undeniable similarities with the Find X, many of the features it shows back up rumors and leaks we’ve already heard

We’ve heard that it’ll have no notch or bezel, and use a slide-out camera, and OnePlus itself has confirmed the phone will run a Snapdragon 855 processor.

Compared to other phones (we’re looking at you, LG G8 ThinQ and Samsung Galaxy S10) the OnePlus 7 hasn’t been the subject of many leaks, so there’s still a lot we want to find out about the device. Hopefully we’ll know more after MWC 2019, as we’re expecting the OnePlus 7 to launch mid-2019. 

Categories: Tech News

Hi-Res Audio: everything you need to know about the lossless music codec

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 10:23

As UHD TVs become more popular, consumers increasingly expect high-resolution content to match, whether they’re streaming from Netflix in glorious 4K, or upscaling old films on a state of the art Blu-Ray player. Visual quality clearly matters. 

But can the same be said for audio?

When you take the number of people on the hunt for fantastic televisions, audiophiles on the lookout for Hi-Res Audio seem rare by comparison. 

However, that could be about to change, with developments in the world of hi-res audio like Sony’s new LDAC technology and music-streaming websites like Tidal, making quality audio more attractive than ever. 

Here's why, and how, Hi-Res Audio could be the upgrade that makes perfect sense for superior sonics across all your devices, including your phone.

What is Hi-Res Audio?

Hi-Res Audio (HRA) is lossless audio capable of reproducing the full range of sound from recordings that have been mastered from better-than-CD quality music sources, a sound that closely replicates the quality that the musicians and engineers were working with in the studio at the time of recording.

Despite HRA recently gaining popularity, it isn't new. It has actually been around for over a decade and has a growing number of dedicated fans willing to fork out a bit more cash for the privilege of listening to Hi-Fi quality tunes both at home and on the go. The difference is that it’s becoming more accessible than ever. 

Despite sounding pretty amazing, it's not hard to understand the slow update of HRA – after all, the music files are a fair bit larger than MP3 or iTunes' AAC so they take longer to download and can gobble storage on mobile devices like penguins tucking into a fish supper.

Compared with iTunes and Amazon MP3 files too, HRA tracks are more expensive to buy and most popular digital music vendors don't even sell Hi-Res Audio tunes (yet).

Image credit: Burst / Pexels


There's also the fact that to listen to HRA you need the right hardware and software, with most playback devices including mobile phones, portable music players and laptops not equipped as standard to get the full benefit.

Even the world's most dominant multi-room music provider Sonos resolutely refuses to embrace Hi-Res Audio - because it says it's not mainstream enough - but others including the likes of Bose do.

But the barriers are starting to crumble. Fuelled by increasingly more affordable storage, better-quality playback hardware and faster, more affordable broadband and 4G downloading, HRA is arguably no longer prohibitively too expensive, nor are its files too large to download and store when compared with MP3.

Of course, it's important to choose your equipment carefully and to understand what it is that makes HRA different.

Oh, and if you're put off by the nay-sayers who claim humans can't hear anything beyond 20kHz just take the opportunity to listen to some HRA tracks and see – or hear – for yourself what a difference it makes.

What difference does Hi-Res Audio really make?

Let's look at some numbers: the highest quality MP3 track has a bitrate of 320kbps, CDs are transferred at 1,411kbps and a 24-bit/192kHz file is transferred at a rate of 9,216kbps - the latter being the level now considered HRA.

The increased bit depth of HRA improves the dynamic range, basically giving you a greater breadth of things to actually hear from the recording.

The best way of describing it is to imagine looking at a beautiful countryside scene on a sunny day through a smeared window. That's the MP3 version. 

Clean the windows and you have the CD with much greater detail and clarity. But open the window and you’ve got the Hi-Res version, where the eye can pick out pinpoint detail that you didn't realize was missing with the windows shut.

Once you're equipped with some decent Hi-Res gear the thing most likely to spoil the party will be poorly recorded or mastered music, like a great black cloud blocking out the sunshine.

Play your favorite tracks however and expect to be taken to unprecedented levels of enjoyment and make emotional connections you never imagined possible.

How can I stream/download Hi-Res Audio?

There are more options for streaming and downloading HRA than ever, and while these subscriptions and files will cost more than standard audio, the difference in quality is astounding. 

Click through the gallery below to see some of the best places to stream and download HRA:

What equipment do I need to play Hi-Res Audio?

The Samsung Galaxy S9
Image credit: Samsung

Choosing the right file type/streaming service for you really depends on how you listen to your music. For example, an Apple Mac can play most HRA files in iTunes but it won't accept FLAC. 

For this you need audio player software like VLC, which is free to download and, according to Home Theatre Review, it's "capable of 24/96 and 24/192 native Hi-Res output".

If you're looking for something less 'bare-bones', check out Audivarna Plus, which costs $74 (about £55 / AU$100) and comes with Tidal, Qobuz, and other Hi-res streaming services integrated. 

Using a PC? Check out JRiver Media Center, which costs around $60 (£45 / AU$80) and works on Windows, Linus, and Mac OS. 

If you’re taking your music on the go, you’ll need a Hi-Res supporting smartphone or portable music player. The Samsung Galaxy S9, S9 Plus and Note 9 all support HRA, as well as Dolby Atmos.

iPhones unfortunately don’t support Hi-Res Audio out of the box, but you can get around this by downloading a Hi-Res Audio app like Onkyo Music and using an external DAC (digital-to-analogue converter).

DACs (digital-to-analogue converters)

The Chord Mojo
Image credit: TechRadar

Any device that outputs music contains a DAC in some form. This is what allows your digital music file to be converted to the analogue signal that ends up driving your speakers or headphones.

But in order to get the most out of your music, you'll want to buy an external DAC to replace the low-quality audio chip contained within your device. This will need to be 'asynchronous' if you want your hi-res audio to really sing.

Without an asynchronous DAC the chances are you'll have timing errors, or jitter, present in your audio.

Good examples include the Chord Mojo ($599 / £399 / AU$899), which bypasses the computer's built-in DAC and converts the files to analogue at high resolution to massively improve your computer's tinny output. For smartphones like the iPhone, try the Chord Hugo 2 .

Portable music players

The HiFiMan SuperMini
Image credit: TechRadar

If your phone doesn't support Hi-Res Audio, you could get yourself a portable music player. While MP3 players aren't as popular as they were a decade ago, that doesn't mean the technology is outdated.

In fact, modern MP3 players do a significantly better job at storing your entire music library at a higher bitrate than your 2009 iPod Shuffle ever could. One of the best portable music players is the Onkyo DP-X1A, which supports a range of music formats, including FLAC, OGG, WAV, MP3, ALAC, and more.

 In terms of hardware, the device has two chipsets, one to power the overall device, and one to handle the DAC and amplifier – resulting in a noise-free experience.

It's by no means cheap however, and the $799 (£559 / AU$649) price tag may be enough to put off even the most seasoned audiophile. 

If you're looking for something cheaper, you could try the HiFiMan SuperMini. With a price tag of $399 (£400 / AU$399), it doesn’t have any onboard storage – you’ll have to buy a microSD card separately. It does, however, support a pretty huge range of audio formats, including FLAC, DSD, WAV, MP3, and AIFF, and audio with a sample rate of up to 192kHz.

HRA Headphones

The Sony WH-1000MX3
Image credit: Sony

If you're taking your Hi-Res Audio out and about, you'll of course need a fantastic pair of headphones. Currently, our favorite pair are the Sony WH-1000XM3, a dominant noise-cancelling pair of headphones that can beat out anything Bose has with both arms behind its back. 

That’s because, while Bose has done a tremendous job working out its noise-cancellation algorithm over the years, Sony has spent that time perfecting audio playback while simultaneously creating an adaptability algorithm that doesn’t just create a single sterile sound barrier, but multiple kinds that can adapt to whatever situation you’re in. 

Beyond being exceptional at keeping external noises at bay, Sony's headphones are Hi-Res Audio-ready, sporting aptX, aptX HD and LDAC codecs, plus offer will offer Google Assistant support right on-board. If you need a headphone that can live up to any challenge and excel in any environment, these are them.

They are a bit more expensive than your average non-noise cancelling headphone at $349 (£300 / AU$499), but they do make great commuting headphones.

The Grado GW100 Wireless headphones
Image credit: TechRadar

If you do most of your music listening at home, you could try some open-back cans like the Grado GW100 Wireless headphones. 

The GW100s feature an open-back design, which means the grilles are completely exposed on the outside of the earcups, allowing the drivers to direct sound both in and out of the cups. 

In closed cup headphones, this sound is trapped inside the cup, which is fantastic for noise isolation, but can lead to a narrow soundstage that makes it feel as if your music is coming directly from your own head – not exactly a natural mode of listening. 

In contrast, the free movement of sound in and out of the cups of open-backed headphones means the soundstage feels far wider, as if you’re listening to a musician play in a normal room. This is heightened by the supra-aural design of the GW100s, which further reduces the closed-off feeling you can get from closed-back headphones. 

With the GW100s, the effect of the open-backed design is to deliver a stunningly natural representation of your music, with a warm, expansive soundstage - and with aptX Bluetooth, the audio is of high quality.  

Again, they aren't cheap at $249.99 (£199.95 / AU$365), but they are less expensive than the Sony WH-1000MX3s.

HRA stereo speakers

The KEF LSX Wireless System
Image credit: KEF

Now onto speakers; while there are lots of fantastic smart speakers on the market right now, you can't beat a stereo speaker setup for high quality sound.

You can of course spend $4000 dollars on our favorite stereo speakers, the Definitive Technology BP9080xs. Right off the bat we want to make it clear that this stereo pair is a luxury item that is made only for the most avid audiophile on the market – most of us will likely be looking for something a little cheaper.

One fantastic set of stereo speakers is the KEF LSX Wireless System, which is available at a recommended retail price of $1099 (£1000 / AU$1895). When we tested them, we were impressed by the separation among the different frequencies , and the well-balanced sound.

If you're really looking after the pennies, check out the Edifier R1280T speakers. These compact desk/bookshelf style speakers back an impressive sonic punch and look good doing it, all while keeping the price tag under $100 (£90 / AU$140) for the pair.

HRA Streamers and Hi-Fi Systems

The Ruark R5 H-Fi System
Image credit: Ruark

If you're really dedicated to high quality audio, you could invest in a state of the art Hi-Fi system like the Ruark R5, which features a multi-format CD player, DAB/FM and internet radio tuners, as well as support for aptX HD Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi streaming.

 You can even hook it up to your turntable thanks to a dedicated RIAA turntable input, or charge your devices using the USB playback/charging port.

There’s no word yet on an official release date, but Ruark says the R5 will be available to buy in the next few months for £999 (around $1300 / AU$1800 based on current conversion rates.)

Another option is to get yourself a dedicated music streamer like the Cambridge Audio CXN. 

A review of the streamer by What Hi-Fi? says "All digital inputs on the CXN are capable of playing high-resolution files of up to 24-bit/192kHz, and they can be upsampled to 384kHz, too. That includes the USB type B input for your laptop, and the optical and coaxial inputs. There’s also a pair each of RCA and balanced XLR outputs, along with two digital outputs."

Like the Ruark M5, it doesn't come cheap at $899.99 (£700 / around AU$1275), so you might want to stick to streaming from your laptop, smartphone, or tablet – which, thanks to the increasing accessibility of Hi-Res Audio, can still sound fantastic.

Categories: Tech News

The Samsung Galaxy Fold has just made foldable-screen laptops more likely

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 10:13

Despite making a smartphone that could one day replace our laptops with the Galaxy Note 9, there wasn’t a huge amount to get excited about for us computing folk at Samsung's Galaxy S10 launch event. However, the Samsung Galaxy Fold, the company’s first foldable phone, could have huge ramifications for the future of laptops and tablets.

We’ve been hearing so many rumors lately of all kinds of manufacturers – from Dell to Lenovo and even Microsoft – looking at creating foldable laptops with flexible screens, but the Samsung Galaxy Fold is the first time we’ve seen a foldable device that appears to work as well as it promises, while remaining a desirable bit of kit.

Of course, every laptop by its very nature is foldable, but could we soon see laptops with a single, bendable, screen that acts as both a traditional display and a keyboard?

With Samsung proving that it can be done, I think we’re now even closer than ever before to seeing foldable-screen laptops.

Working it out

While we’ve seen plenty of patent drawings that show vague sketches of foldable devices, Samsung’s reveal of the Galaxy Fold showed us that it’s possible to design a stylish-looking foldable device.

Of course, Samsung isn’t the first company to produce a working foldable device, but others, such as the Royole FlexPai that we saw at CES 2019, felt more like early proof of concepts, rather than fully-fledged devices that you’d be able to buy (or want to show off).

The Royole FlexPai is a foldable tablet that's more of a proof of concept than a final product (Image Credit: TechRadar)

With the Galaxy Fold sporting a 4.6-inch HD+ Super AMOLED (21:9) display that folds out into a 7.3-inch QXGA+ (QHD+) Dynamic AMOLED (4.2:3) Infinity Flex display, it shows that this is a form factor that is viable and could conceivably be used for larger screens.

Samsung has also packed in batteries that offer a total of 4,380mAh over the two halves of the device, again showing how it could be possible for laptop makers to split batteries in a foldable laptop. 

A number of laptops have the ability to run off two batteries – for example the Microsoft Surface Book 2 has a battery both in the keyboard and behind the screen, for when the keyboard detaches and it’s used in tablet mode.

Software

It’s not just the hardware of the Samsung Galaxy Fold that proves that foldable laptops can exist. As Samsung explained at its launch event, it has worked with a number of developers to bring compatible apps to the Galaxy Fold, including WhatsApp, YouTube, and perhaps most interestingly of all, Microsoft Office.

The fact that Microsoft is working with Samsung to make its products compatible with a folding device, along with rumors that the company is working on ways to make Windows 10 work on foldable devices, means it appears very likely that we’ll be seeing foldable Windows laptops in the not too distant future.

We've seen patents for foldable laptops from the likes of Dell ( Image Credit: USPTO)

The price of flexibility

The final hint we can take from the Galaxy Fold’s launch in relation to possible foldable laptops is the price. When Samsung makes a premium product, it usually comes with a very premium price tag, and the Galaxy Fold is no different, with a staggering asking price of $1,980 (around £1,500, AU$2,800).

That’s hugely expensive for a smartphone – no matter how innovative it is – and if a lot of that price is down to the foldable tech, then I imagine that any foldable laptop, which will come with a larger foldable display, along with more powerful components, could see the price climb even further.

The bottom line is, when these foldable laptops do emerge, they are likely to be very expensive indeed.

Foldable laptops coming soon

So, while we were never in any doubt that foldable laptops are eventually coming, Samsung’s launch of the Galaxy Fold gives us a tantalizing glimpse of what a foldable laptop would be like. 

Even if you’re not interested in Samsung’s expensive flexible smartphone, it points to exciting times ahead for a new generation of laptops.

Categories: Tech News

Huawei Mate 30 Pro: what we want to see

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 09:47

While we're still waiting for the Huawei P30 range, it's the Huawei Mate 30 Pro, set to land later in 2019, that's likely to be the company’s biggest, best and most exciting handset.

Not much is known about it yet but a few rumors are starting to roll in, all of which you’ll find below. We’ll also be sure to update this article any time we hear any credible new information.

In the meantime, we’ve also come up with a wish list of things that we want from Huawei’s phablet flagship. Things that it might need if it’s going to compete with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S10.

Cut to the chase
  • What is it? The successor to the Mate 20 Pro
  • When is it out? Possibly October 2019
  • What will it cost? Likely to rival other top flagships
Huawei Mate 30 Pro release date and price

There aren’t any Huawei Mate 30 Pro release date rumors yet, but we have a pretty good idea of roughly when we’ll see it.

Huawei always announces new entries in its Mate range towards the end of the year, and more specifically it announced both the Huawei Mate 20 range and the Huawei Mate 10 in October of their respective launch years.

So an October announcement is our best guess. There’s no guarantee of that, especially as the Huawei Mate 9 was announced in November 2016, but at the very least the Mate 30 Pro will likely be announced in the last few months of 2019, alongside the standard Huawei Mate 30.

The Mate 30 Pro is likely to land in October. Image Credit: TechRadar

There aren’t any price rumors yet either, but the Huawei Mate 20 Pro cost £899 / AU$1,599 (around $1,150) at launch, so it’s likely that the Mate 30 Pro will cost at least that much.

It’s worth noting also that given Huawei’s ongoing issues in the US, the Mate 30 Pro probably won’t be available there.

Huawei Mate 30 Pro news and rumors

The only real Huawei Mate 30 Pro rumor so far comes from a Huawei patent, which shows a phone case with space on the back for extra camera lenses.

You can see the image below and based on that it looks like there could be room for five rear lenses, up from three on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.

Of course, patents don’t always become real devices, and even if this does get used it might not make it to the Huawei Mate 30 Pro, but it would make sense for Huawei to increase the number of lenses on its flagship, given that a number of other phones are rumored to be doing the same.

This could point to extra lenses on the Huawei Mate 30 Pro. Image Credit: Mobielkopen

Beyond that, we can be confident that the Mate 30 Pro will have a new generation of the company’s top-end in-house chipset. 

The current top version is called the Kirin 980 and made its debut in the Huawei Mate 20 range. Based on previous names we can guess that the next one will be called the Kirin 990.

The Mate 30 Pro might also support 5G. It won’t be the company’s first 5G handset – that’s coming at MWC 2019 in late February and is set to also fold, but by late 2019 a number of 5G networks will be starting to launch, so it could make sense to add 5G to a major flagship.

What we want to see

The Huawei Mate 30 Pro is likely to be a powerful, impressive phone, but for it to really stand out it could do with the following things.

1. An improved camera

The cameras on the Mate 20 Pro are generally very good, but in our review we found that shots taken with the ultra-wide-angle lens would sometimes have warped edges.

We also noted that the phone’s HDR skills weren’t a match for some of its top rivals, such as the Google Pixel 3 and iPhone XS, so these are two things that we’d like to see improved for the Huawei Mate 30 Pro.

2. More lenses

Three is good, more is better. Image Credit: TechRadar

While we’re on the subject of the camera, we’d also like more lenses. The three on the back is a good start, but with the likes of the Nokia 9 thought to be getting five lenses there’s always room for more.

This may well happen too, as early rumors suggest that extra rear lenses could be a feature of the Mate 30 Pro.

Similarly, we’d like to see an extra lens on the front of the phone, especially if it can be used to power Apple-calibre facial recognition.

3. No notch

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is a good-looking phone, but one element that could start to look dated in 2019 is its notch, since phones are starting to arrive with punch-hole cameras instead.

But ideally we don’t even want that for the Mate 30 Pro, what we’d like to see is a truly all-screen design with the camera and sensors somehow built into the screen. That might not be possible, but Huawei is often among the first to show new technology in handsets, so you never know.

4. A slicker interface

One ongoing issue with all of Huawei’s phones is the heavy EMUI overlay the company sticks on top of Android.

We’d like to see the Huawei Mate 30 Pro stay closer to stock Android. Better yet, ditch EMUI entirely and use Android One – which would also ensure software updates could be offered rapidly.

5. An improved in-screen scanner

The Mate 20 Pro's scanner needs work. Image Credit: TechRadar

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro has an in-screen fingerprint scanner and it was among the first phones to sport one. It’s a cool feature but in the Mate 20 Pro’s case it’s not perfect.

It’s only on a small area of the screen, so can be hard to find without first turning the screen on (which brings up an icon). It also isn’t perfect at recognizing prints.

That’s all forgivable since it’s the first generation of the tech, but by the time the Mate 30 Pro launches, Huawei will have had another year to perfect it, so let’s hope it will use the time wisely.

6. A 3.5mm headphone port

Like many phones, the Mate 20 Pro lacks a 3.5mm headphone port, but we’re still not convinced that it’s time to abandon wired headphones.

There are lots of arguments for the convenience of wireless headphones and the fact that the space used for the port could better be used for other things.

This is all valid, but many of us still have wired cans that we don’t want to bury just yet. Some of us also don’t want to have to charge our headphones, and when it comes to sound quality wired can still have the edge.

7. Something new

Most of the things listed above are focused on perfecting the Mate 20 Pro, but what we really want to see for the Huawei Mate 30 Pro is something completely new and exciting.

Some sort of futuristic feature perhaps or a completely new, completely dazzling design. We’ll leave the specifics to Huawei, but in the face of the Samsung Galaxy S10 and the iPhone 11 it’s likely to take more than impressive basics for the Mate 30 Pro to truly stand out.

Categories: Tech News

Samsung Galaxy Fit release date, price, news and features

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 09:31

The Samsung Galaxy Fit has now been announced alongside the smaller, lower-end Galaxy Fit E.

It doesn't look like this is set to be the Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro sequel we had all expected though. Both are far cheaper devices with less premium looking designs than Samsung's last fitness tracker.

The company announced the new trackers alongside the Galaxy Watch Active and Galaxy S10 family. Below we'll run you through all of the details you need to know about both the Galaxy Fit and Fit E.

Cut to the chase
  • What is it? Samsung's next fitness tracker duo
  • When is it out? Unveiled February 20, out later in the year
  • What will it cost? Main tracker costs $99 / £89
Samsung Galaxy Fit release date and price

An exact release date for the Samsung Galaxy Fit has yet to be unveiled, but the company has said it hopes to bring the tracker to market at some point during Q2.

Previous rumors have suggested a May 21 release date in the US, but we can't confirm that yet. For the price, we know it's set to cost $99 / £89 but we don't currently have information for Australia.

The Galaxy Fit E meanwhile is set to cost $35 / £35, but we don't know pricing for Australia yet.

Samsung Galaxy Fit design and display

Image Credit: Samsung

The Samsung Galaxy Fit is a far less premium looking fitness tracker than the Gear Fit 2 Pro, but it sports a 0.95-inch Full Color AMOLED display with a resolution of 120 x 240.

That's 282 pixels per inch, and should offer a clearer picture than a lot of other fitness trackers with black and white displays.

The Galaxy Fit E's screen is a lot less impressive, with a 0.74-inch black and white PMOLED display and a resolution of 64 x 128. That's 193 pixels per inch.

Both trackers come in black, while the Galaxy Fit also comes in a silver shade. The Fit E is available in both white and Canary Yellow, which should be suitable for you if you're after a bolder design.

These have similar designs to other fitness bands, with thin straps and they're lightweight too. The Galaxy Fit is only 24g even with the silicone strap while the Fit E is 15g with its strap included.

The Galaxy Fit is 18.3 x 44.6 x 11.2mm while the Fit E is a bit smaller in every way at 16 x 40.2 x 10.9mm. If you're looking for a lightweight and easy to wear fitness tracker, these are sure to be suitable for you.

Both trackers are also waterproof up to 50 meters, allowing you to take them in the pool without having to worry about frying them.

Samsung Galaxy Fit fitness

Image Credit: Samsung

Fitness is likely the reason you're looking at this health band, and Samsung has packed it full of basic features. Both are capable of step-tracking and will automatically monitor your movements so they'll know when you've started a walk, run or bike ride.

The Galaxy Fit range can also track general dynamic workouts, but they don't come with the sizable selection of automatic exercises that you'll find on the Galaxy Watch Active. Instead, you'll find 90 different types of workout within the Samsung Health app that you'll have to manually select before you start them.

Samsung has also said there are both sleep analysis and smart stress management features on both trackers, but we've yet to learn exactly what they'll be able to do. 

Both trackers feature heart rate monitors - although we don't know what type of tech is being used here - but only the Galaxy Fit features a gyroscope.

The Galaxy Fit features a heart rate tracker, but you won't get that if you opt for the Fit E. Neither of these come with GPS either, and there's no clarification on whether the Fit will include Connected GPS features.

Samsung Galaxy Fit specs

Image Credit: Samsung

Samsung has retooled its software for the new trackers with a new design called Realtime OS, which the company believes is more intuitive. According to Samsung, the new design is "simple and intuitive".

The chipset inside the Galaxy Fit is an MCU Cortex M33F 96MHz. We don't currently know what sort of power it will provide, but it's sure to power the tracker well enough to run basic services.

The Galaxy Fit E has an MCU Cortex M0 96MHz. Samsung has also included a small amount of storage on the Galaxy Fit and Fit E, but this won't be for your own use so you won't be able to play music through these.

The Galaxy Fit charges wirelessly and has a 120mAh cell inside that the company expects to last for "around a week". The cell inside the Fit E is a 70mAh one and the company also expects that to last for around a week.

Categories: Tech News

Best phone for gaming in India: the top mobile game performers

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 08:39

With the increasing popularity of games like PUBG Mobile and Fortnite, smartphone manufacturers are cashing in on the trend with their take on gaming smartphones. While it is not true that normal smartphones can't run games, largely the experience differs when you play a game on a dedicated smartphone that's made for gaming. 

Having said that, there's still a dearth of good gaming titles for phones which is why gaming smartphones target a very niche audience. Currently, PUBG Mobile is all rage in India and you'll need a high-quality device for the best gaming experience. Some of the highest-rated phones in our top 10 list are simply the best devices on the market with top-tier specs, sharp displays and long battery life. Our recommendations consider processor and GPU speeds, RAM size and other odds and ends.

The top gaming phones don't just play the best smartphone games without a hitch, they’ll also maintain the best visuals and performance for games coming over the next few years. Think about the phones below as future-proofing your next device into the year 2020.

We've examined all the options and chosen the best phones for gaming based on the factors above. Here's our top ten list:

The OnePlus 6T is one of the best smartphone to play PUBG Mobile in India. It's one of the fastest Android smartphones available in the market and even though you get the best Android experience on Google Pixel, the OnePlus 6T is just faster at everything. The phone is also available with 6GB/8GB RAM and 128GB/256GB internal storage options.

Any game you play on the OnePlus 6T, it is sure to run faster, smoother and without any frame drops. For instance, PUBG Mobile on the OnePlus 6T is able to snappily run with HDR graphics and Ultra frame rate settings. So, if you want solid battery life, terrific power to play games and cutting-edge features like the in-screen fingerprint scanner, the OnePlus 6T is a really good option to choose from.

Read the full review: OnePlus 6T review

If you're on a lookout for the best iPhone to play games on, you might as well go with the best. In this case, that's the iPhone XS Max. The 6.5-inch Super AMOLED screen on the iPhone XS Max is the biggest ever on an iPhone and supports HDR playback for an enhanced viewing experience. Its larger battery manages to stay working nearly a full hour longer than the standard iPhone XS.

That, coupled with the fact that the iPhone XS Max is powered by the A12 Bionic processor which is 40% more efficient and 50% more powerful than the older Apple processor. For gamers, speed is a very crucial element when it comes to online gaming and the iPhone XS Max is able to run titles like Clash Royale, Asphalt 9 and PUBG Mobile with much ease. All this in Apple's sleek and modern look – though it's the most expensive mainstream phone on the market, even before including all the bells and whistles.

Read the full reviews: iPhone XS Max, iPhone XS

The Asus ROG Phone is a powerful phone with plenty of extra features to entice gaming enthusiasts. With an overclocked Snapdragon 845 chipset, a screen with a refresh rate of 90hz and 4,000 mAh battery in tow, the phone gives you solid performance.

It has a couple of added features for gamers such as the air triggers which are essentially touch-sensitive buttons on the top-right and top-left of the phone (when held in landscape) are cool, customizable ways to play that a typical smartphone just doesn't have. The phone has a cooling system which consists of a carbon cooling pad, copper heat dissipation unit and a 3D vapor chamber for improved CPU cooling efficiency. Staying true to its Republic of Gamers army, users can buy additional accessories such as the clamshell case, Nintendo Switch-styled controllers, to augment their gaming experience on the Asus ROG phones.

The additional gaming-centric features make the Asus ROG phone a perfect phone for serious gamers, while casual gamers can go for a phone like the OnePlus 6T.

Read our full review: Asus ROG Phone

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is a very iterative device, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it isn’t the best Android gaming phone on the market. Not only does this have one of the biggest, brightest and highest res displays on the market – it’s all backed up by the latest Snapdragon and Exynos CPUs on the market today. 

You’ll have an advantage over the competition in games like Fortnite, as you’ll be able to see more clearly, and with more frames per second. Even when you’re done playing your games, you won’t be ashamed to carry the Note 9 in public, unlike some more gamer-y devices, as it has a smooth and modern aesthetic. 

While the Note 9 doesn't have the fancy toys or RGB lighting that the next couple gamer-designed phones have, it has a serious advantage: availability. You can pick up a Note 9 in most physical or online gadget outlets. Sorry, Asus ROG and Razer phones.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Note 9 

The POCO F1 is the most talked about budget flagship around the globe since its launch last year. It brought the flagship level hardware to as low as Rs 19,999. The phone not just offers a powerful chipset, but also has a good screen for gaming.

A vapor-cooling chamber inside helps to keep the device going even when tasked with graphic intensive titles like PUBG Mobile. The technology, which Xiaomi calls ‘LiquidCool’, uses dedicated copper pipes that are looped around the inside of the phone. 


Read full review: POCO F1 review

We’ve lumped the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus into one spot, because they both offer nearly the same incredible smartphone gaming experience with only a minor difference in screen size. 

The Snapdragon 845, Adreno 630 graphics, and 4GB of RAM (6GB in the S9 Plus) make both of these phones incredible performers both in game and out. And, since the market of other Android phones boasting the new Snapdragon 845 hasn’t caught up, Samsung easily snags this seat.

But, a powerful chipset isn’t all that earns the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus its ranking. The S9 has a plenty large and plenty sharp 1440 X 2960, 5.8-inch display, and the S9 Plus has an even larger 6.2-inch display with the same resolution. Both are Super AMOLED and support HDR10 for stunning visuals.

The new Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus also feature Samsung’s Game Tools, which can help with taking screenshots, recording gameplay, and keeping notifications out of the way. Let’s not forget that Samsung also has the impressive Gear VR headsets that offer super sharp virtual reality experiences with the Galaxy S9’s and S9 Plus’s pixel-dense displays.


Google’s biggest and best smartphone, the Pixel 3 XL, also has what it takes to be a great gaming smartphone. It’s 6.3-inch pOLED panel offers plenty of real estate for gaming without having your thumbs cover everything up. That display resolution is 2960 x 1440 pixels, so the visuals will be crisp with excellent contrast. 

Like many of the other phones on this list, the Pixel 3 XL is running a Snapdragon 845 chipset, which delivers smooth gaming performance with most gaming titles. Of course, the Pixel 3 XL is also capable of delivering VR content with the Daydream View headset. An added bonus is that the large 3,430mAh battery will make it easy to game on the go.

Read our full review: Google Pixel 3 XL review

Categories: Tech News

Video: Bigger than life selfies with the Huawei Nova 4

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 08:30

Huawei’s Nova series has been known to push the limits when it comes to the front camera and taking selfies. Last year’s Nova 3 launched with an impressive 24 megapixel front camera and went on to become immensely successful. With the latest Nova 4, you’re getting a larger 25 Megapixels sensor with AI capabilities on the front camera.

What this means is that you’re not just getting a camera with great quality but a smart camera that can analyze the scene and select the best settings for the shot. Huawei has great experience with AI and photography with rear cameras, as seen with the Mate and P series. All of that expertise is now in the front camera on the Nova 4, powered by the AI capable Kirin 970 chipset and 8GB of RAM.

While it’s easy to have photos look good on a regular phone screen, we wanted to see just how good the resulting selfie from the Huawei Nova 4 really was by getting it professionally printed out.

To do that, we headed out to a park to stake some selfies and printed them out. We started with a small postcard size print and just kept going bigger and bigger till we reached a life-sized print.

Consumers can purchase the HUAWEI nova 4 online and across select retailers in the UAE at a price of AED1799.

Categories: Tech News

From VOOC to Super VOOC – OPPO heralds a fast charge revolution

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 07:44

OPPO has introduced the world's fastest flash charge, Super VOOC. Recently, the company also announced licensing its VOOC flash charge technology, which is already used by more than 100 million smartphones worldwide. This phenomenal number of VOOC users is a testimony to consumers’ trust in the technology. By licensing this proprietary technology, OPPO seeks to drive the development of the flash charging industry and jointly build a VOOC flash charge ecosystem with industry partners, to provide a superior flash charging experience for consumers everywhere.

The world's fastest charging solution – a 5-minute charge, for 2 hours talk time

The VOOC Flash Charge has already become an industry standard for flash charge.  VOOC is a low voltage, fast charging technology that reaches four times the charging rate of conventional charging technology (5V/1A). With just 5 minutes of charge, you can have 2 hours of talk time, and 10 minutes of charge gives you 40% battery.

As an upgrade of VOOC Flash Charge, Super VOOC is designed to elevate the charging experience. The Super VOOC Flash Charge was first added to OPPO’s latest flagship Find X smartphone, boasting 50W speeds to fully charge the device in just 35 minutes. Super VOOC uses the industry's first series dual-cell, which takes 35 minutes to fully charge a 3400 mAh battery, and just an additional 5 minutes to fully charge a 4000 mAh battery.  

Certified by international safety authorities

Certified by the German safety authority, TÜV Rheinland, VOOC Flash Charge is building a technology ecosystem. Further, OPPO has cooperated with Rheinland Laboratory to conduct a strict safety test on super flash charging proposals. In addition to the Super VOOC version of Find X, the OPPO R17 Pro, also equipped with Super VOOC Flash Charge, passed TÜV Rheinland’s rigorous safety evaluation. The assessment includes 1,000 trial tests, which by far exceeds the industry requirement, as well as 600 independent fast-charge/discharge battery life tests and 10,000 hot plug tests on charging terminals. These test results confirm the safety and reliability of the mobile flash charging technology.

With Super VOOC Flash Charge, OPPO has five-core protections, which check the safety level when the phone is charging. All nodes, including the charging plug, USB cable, mobile phone, and battery, are separately protected by specialized chips. Amongst these, OPPO has customized a VCU intelligent control chip which manages the voltage, flow and temperature throughout the whole system.

Bolstered by global certification and extensive intellectual property strategic partnerships, OPPO is bringing consumers a more secure and effortless flash charging experience.

The coolest flash charge, enabling you to safely use your phone during charging

OPPO always gives top priority to product safety while pursuing a faster charging speed. The cumulative sales of over 100 million VOOC Flash Charge mobile phones can also prove OPPO's ability to control product quality. VOOC replaces the heat-generating step-down circuit with the all-terminal MCU smart charging circuit, enabling low-voltage charging and transferring heat to the adapter. This allows you to safely use your phone during charging, without it getting hot.

Continuous R&D efforts

OPPO strives to provide a superior mobile experience to global users through technological innovation. By further expanding the licensing of VOOC Flash Charge, OPPO aims to create a VOOC Flash Charge ecosystem with its partners, enhancing VOOC Flash Charge’s influence in the industry and enabling a greater number of consumers to enjoy a more exceptional flash charging experience.

With unwavering dedication to driving R&D, OPPO has established a robust technological foundation with VOOC Flash Charge, which has applied for more than 1,000 core patents worldwide. In addition to optimizing existing schemes, OPPO continues to innovate flash charging technology, with marked progress in Super VOOC since it was first announced at Mobile World Congress in 2016.

Categories: Tech News

Microsoft is bringing Mixed Reality to phones with a new Hololens mobile app

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 07:32

Microsoft's HoloLens is a powerful but pricey mixed reality headset that's found uses in industrial design and on the battlefield. Now, it looks set to become much more accessible for home users and smaller businesses, with apps for mobile devices that remove the need for costly hardware.

In April, Microsoft is releasing a version of its Dynamics 365 Remote Assist app for Android. This will let you share a video from your phone with another person, who can then add annotations that will appear over the live feed on your screen.

The Android app won't contain all the features of the version designed for HoloLens headsets, but all the essentials will be there.

iPhone and iPad owners, meanwhile, will soon get a tool called Project Visualize for displaying models in augmented reality.

Mixed messages

Both of these apps are aimed at business rather than home users, which could be a sign of things to come for Windows Mixed Reality. A recent report suggests that Microsoft will no longer pay commission on Windows Mixed Reality headsets sold to consumers on the Microsoft Store.

We had been hoping to see a new generation of Mixed Reality headsets for gamers, but it now looks like Microsoft might be focusing on the more lucrative business market instead. It will be interesting to see what changes the second-generation HoloLens brings to tempt businesses when it's announced later this year. 

Categories: Tech News

Oscars live stream: how to watch the 2019 Academy Awards online from anywhere

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 07:25

Roll out the red carpet, dust off your tux or ball gown, and prepare those long-winded speeches - the 2019 Academy Awards is approaching fast. Whether you're a massive movie buff or just somebody that loves to see 'who' that stars are wearing, the Oscars is always a must-see climax of the movie awards season. And following our guide will let you work out the best way to get an Oscars live stream from wherever you are this weekend.

It now seems to be part of Oscar tradition that the lead-up is dogged by controversy. This year it was the turn of the Kevin Hart host fiasco and the u-turn pulled on having certain winners announced during ad breaks. But if we can forget about that for a moment and concentrate on the silver screen, it's looking like an intriguing 91st Academy Awards ceremony.

Front-runners for the best movie prize are Roma and The Favourite, showing once again that the Academy is beginning to increasingly honour more offbeat choices - the former being a black-and-white Mexican film, the latter a dark comedy about Queen Anne of England and her ladies in waiting. Meanwhile, Black Panther became the first ever superhero movie to be nominated for the top award.

For the individual prizes, we may see Lady Gaga take home two Oscars on Sunday, one for Best Actress and the other for Best Original Song (both for A Star Is Born) and Rami Malek is likely to take home the Best Actor gong for his portrayal of Queen-singer Freddie Mercury.

In total, 24 little gold men will be handed out at the Dolby Theater and you can watch it all as it happens. Follow our guide to watching a 2019 Oscars live stream from absolutely anywhere in the world.

How to watch a 2019 Oscars live stream from outside your country

Keep scrolling if you want to know your viewing options in the US, Canada, UK and Australia (pssssst, it's absolutely FREE Down Under!).

But it's worth noting that if you're away from your country this Oscar night and were hoping to watch your home coverage on your laptop or mobile, it will inevitable be geo-blocked. Annoying, but definitely not unsurpassable...by using a VPN, you can change your IP address to a location back in your own hometown or country that will then allow you to stream the event as if you were sat back at home.

How to watch the 2019 Oscars: live stream in the USA
  • DirecTV Now $50 per month - DirecTV Now also includes CBS, Fox, NBC, and ESPN.
  • PlayStation Vue From $45 per month and the ideal choice for PS4 owners thanks to its access to the likes of ESPN, NBC, Fox, Disney and other essential networks. Crank up the price and you can add the likes of Showtime and HBO, too. 
  • YouTubeTV $40 per month - YouTubeTV also gives you access to CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN.

The bonus of the above options is that they all have some kind of free trial. So if all you care about is getting an Oscars live stream and not much beyond, these are well worth a look.

How to stream the Oscars live in Canada

How to watch an Oscars live stream in the UK for FREE

How to live stream the Academy Awards for FREE in Australia

How to watch an Oscars live stream in India Best Picture nominees at the 2019 Academy Awards

The big prize of the night is the Best Picture award - we still don't know why they don't just call it 'best film'. There are eight nominees competing for it this year...

Black Panther

BlacKkKlansman

Bohemian Rhapsody

The Favourite

Green Book

Roma

A Star Is Born

Vice

Categories: Tech News

Get almost £350 off a Dell XPS 15 at Currys PC World’s big payday sale

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 07:15

As the end of the month looms, and payday rolls around – for many of us, anyway – Currys PC World has decided to roll out some discounts to tempt you into parting from your hard earned cash, with 10% off certain laptops and desktop PCs.

These ‘payday deals’ comprise of a 10% reduction across all Lenovo’s desktop PCs, although note that this excludes gaming machines. So you can take your pick from amongst Lenovo’s merry lot of towers, more compact PC boxes, and all-in-ones – just use the code LENDESK10 at checkout to secure your discount.

Also, the retailer is knocking off 10% from all Windows laptops which have an Intel Core i7 processor, although again this excludes gaming notebooks, and also Microsoft’s Surface range, and any clearance models. So just bear those caveats in mind, and use the code INTELI710 at checkout.

Here are a couple of deals which caught our eye in both these respective categories. Bear in mind that these discounts run from today until February 25 (next Monday).

Categories: Tech News

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