22.September 2018 NEW YORKNow60°F
AdminSeptember 21, 2018
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2min43

Samsung has developed and marketed the Galaxy Note series in 2011, which is composed of high-end Android-based smartphones and tablets. Recently, the company released its latest product from the Galaxy Note series: the Samsung Galaxy Note 9.

Now, it may seem like there are no major changes done to the Note 9, but it is actually jam-packed with a lot of new features. As some people would say, it is a massive and extremely expensive device that is packed with virtually all high-end features found in every device on the market today.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Bright and vivid screen
  • Water-resistant
  • Great camera
  • Excellent overall performance
  • DeX without the dock
  • Wireless charging
  • Sizeable storage capacity
Cons
  • Extremely expensive
  • Bulky and wide
  • Least optimal placement of fingerprint scanner
  • Bixby is not good enough

Specifications

The Note 9 boasts a 6.4-inch quad HD+ AMOLED display and an octa-core Samsung Exynos 9810 and octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845. It is powered by a 4,000mAh battery and weighs around 205g. As for the camera, the Note 9 has a dual camera, with the 12MP rear camera and 8MP front camera. It also comes with an option between 6GB or 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 512GB of internal memory.

The Note 9 is possibly the best performing Android device on the market. Moreover, it is perfectly capable of maintaining a high-level performance for a long period without overheating, which was quite evident when playing Shadowgun Legends, for instance.

Design

When talking about design, the Note 9 doesn’t look much different than the Note 8. In fact, I’m sure most people will be hard-pressed to spot the difference between the two. The Note 9 sports a curved front and is sandwiched with metal rims, which particularly feels modern.

If there is a difference in terms of design, then that would be the placement of the fingerprint sensor: it is now located below the camera and not beside it, which is where it was placed for the Note 8.

Even though it isn’t exactly an optimal placement for the sensor, it appears to be an improvement because people no longer end up smearing the camera sensor when they unlock their phone.

The color scheme for the Note 9 is blue with a sharp-yellow S Pen. Other available colors are lavender purple, standard black, and copper.

Display

Compared with other smartphones on the market, the Note 9 perhaps has the best display, with its 2960 x 1440 panel and sloping “Infinity” edges. Furthermore, the Note 9 can fully support HDR content.

On top of that, the Note 9 uses an OLED panel instead of LCD, which is a good decision for Samsung because it uses less power and will only power the required pixels. As a result of that, the Note 9 can perfectly display black or dark scenes.

Camera

The camera for the Note 9 is exceptionally brilliant. It could capture a rich amount of detail, even when using the telephoto lens and under various lighting conditions. In fact, it could still capture excellent shots even under low light conditions.

Perhaps the only disappointment is with its AI element, which is said to optimize scenes for shots and spot blurry images and peoples with their eyes closed. Well, sometimes it works just fine; however, it often created oversaturated images that didn’t look natural. In addition to that, it is unable to spot people with their eyes closed most of the time, which is quite frustrating.

Overall Impression

Source: Techcrunch

If you’re looking for a phone that could do anything, then I would recommend the Note 9. It is a powerhouse phone that basically has everything.

It is bulky and a bit difficult to handle, but that is a compromise that I can make for having such an amazing phone. The camera is exceptional, the display is top-notch, and there are a number of features that just shouts excellence. Most importantly, the battery life is really good, which is further optimized by the OLED display.

The Note 9 is indeed one of this year’s best phones in the market. If you’re willing to spend a lot of money on a phone, then the Note 9 will prove to be worth every cent.


AdminSeptember 14, 2018
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2min64

If you’re planning on buying an iPhone X, I suggest that you read this article first. After almost a year that it was released, do you know how most people perceive the iPhone X, which Apple believes to be their best smartphone yet?

Well, to answer that question, the iPhone X isn’t all that bad but it isn’t all that good either. Yes, it certainly has all its good sides, but there are also some things that make some people shake their heads and wonder why they ever paid so much for the said device.

Apple believes to be their best smartphone

So, why do they think so?

The Face ID feature didn’t live up to expectations

Despite all the hype about the iPhone X’s face recognition technology, or what they call Face ID, it isn’t as great as what the California-based technology giant led us to believe.

Perhaps it’s because people have gotten so used to the old way that the iPhone works. Instead of creating a more magical user experience for its users, the iPhone X surprisingly ruined the user experience instead.

The thing that is most frustrating about the Face ID is the fact that when it doesn’t work, users have to key in their passcode, which is both startling and unpleasant. Even though it is mostly good, Face ID is still materially worse compared to Touch ID, which was the fingerprint system that Apple used in older versions of the iPhone.

Simply put, Touch ID was quicker and more consistent in virtually every situation as opposed to Face ID.

iPhone X’s face recognition technology

The iPhone X user experience is a major disappointment

Additionally, the user experience for the iPhone X is actually a major step backward and causes frustrations for many. In order to unlock the phone, you first have to raise the phone to your face (which is called “raise to wake”) so that the phone can recognize you and finally swipe up to reach the Home screen.

The process typically takes around 2 to 4 seconds if all is working properly; however, most of the time it doesn’t (because of notifications on the lock screen) and so you’d have to swipe 2 or 3 more times to get to the home screen.

When compared to the way we unlock the previous iPhone models, that is, pressing the iconic physical Home button, the new approach seems to be a lot slower, inefficient, and inconvenient. For people who check their phone multiple times a day, this definitely sounds like a hassle.

 iPhone X user experience is a major disappointment

It’s a lot more difficult to navigate through the device

It has become quite difficult and awkward to navigate around the iPhone X. Instead of swiping up from the bottom, users now need to swipe down from the top right edge, which honestly is hard to do with just one hand operating the device.

Also, the new navigation gesture of swiping up from the bottom in order to close an application is quite tricky, especially on applications where you need to do a lot of swiping. Instead of just swiping to make that turn, you might accidentally switch or close the application instead

One last thing that is disappointing about the iPhone X is its susceptibility to breakage. In fact, according to some sources, the device can easily break at a single three-foot drop, which is way worse than its predecessors. SquareTrade even called the iPhone X as the most breakable iPhone they’ve ever tested.

Overall, I think that the iPhone X is a pretty good phone, owing to its super nice camera and a sizeable battery life. However, for the price of $999, I think that most people were somehow expecting for more.


AdminSeptember 12, 2018
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2min64

Prior to 2011, several developers have already applied the theme of “last man standing” or battle royale to numerous games, but it wasn’t until early April of 2012 when it became a worldwide phenomenon. Minecraft, which was inspired by the Hunger Games films, was the first known game to offer battle royale modes to its players.

Soon after that, many other games such as DayZ, Rust, PUBG, and Fortnite began popping out and growing quickly in popularity. This year, another battle Royale-themed mobile game entitled Shin Megami Tensei Liberation Dx2 has been released under SEGA Games Co., Ltd., a Japanese multinational video game developer and publisher with headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.

Shin Megami Tensei Liberation Dx2

Brief Game Introduction

Shin Megami Tensei Liberation Dx2 is a spinoff of Shin Megami Tensei, which is a post-apocalyptic role-playing video game developed and published by Atlus. The game is set in modern day Tokyo and appears to have an apocalyptic feel to it.

A player starts off as a “Liberator”, that is, someone who is capable of summoning demons using their phone and commanding them in battle in order to fight the dark forces that are bent on eliminating humankind. At the outset, players are given their very own collection of demons that they can freely use in battle.

Operating out of a hideout, players can then choose from a wide range of options for leveling up their demons. Aside from undertaking main story missions, players can also choose to complete event missions, which are worldwide events that are rolled out during certain dates.

Shin Megami Tensei

Storyline and Battle Modes

Shin Megami Tensei Liberation Dx2 stars some young people that are fighting off a demonic invasion, one of whom is a famous YouTube star who turns to social media in order to get some leads. As a player, you join the group as a newcomer and is immediately assigned to investigate demonic disturbances in Akihabara.

The game is a mix of dialogue-heavy storylines and series of battles. Now, the story is split into tiny chapters, which is ideal for a mobile game and can be considered both ridiculous and dark, which are characteristics that are present in every game in the series. Personally, I believe that the scenarios are extremely well-written, which is owing to the talents of Makoto Fukami, and I believe that will hook players to keep on playing the game.

The sequences mostly aren’t interactive, but they are detailed and look really great. The game also presents players with a diverse cast that they will surely come to love. Most of it, of course, is thanks to Tatsuro Iwamoto, who designed the characters and is well-known for his work on the Ace Attorney series.

Meanwhile, the battles themselves give the feeling of a classic SMT although it is streamlined for the mobile experience. Most monsters and moves are kind of familiar, as well as the trial-and-error element where you need to try and find the enemy’s weak point in order to succeed. In addition, the controls are great as it even lets you play with one hand in portrait mode.

In-app Purchases

Since the game is free-to-play, there are bound to be some in-app purchases offerings that will help generate some income for the developers, that is, aside from the ads that frequently pops on the screen.

great mobile game experience

 

Of course, you can always choose not to purchase anything. In case you do decide to purchase some gems, which is one of the game’s currencies, the rate for 90 gems is $3, which I think is a bit expensive. Also, you will notice that there are times when the game is obviously trying to get you to spend some money. For instance, it will offer some form of discounts or some limited edition grabs, which I think will appeal more to players who are extremely competitive and obviously rich.

Overall, the game has the two most important elements, which are story and combat, neatly in place. It offers great graphics and is easy to play, which I think is necessary for a great mobile game experience.


AdminSeptember 10, 2018
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2min109

The Xperia series, which features Sony’s flagship phones, usually have a short lifespan. Xperia XZ2 had just been released about six months ago, and now it already has a successor: the Xperia XZ3.

Sony definitely made the right choice for Xperia XZ2 when it scrapped the usual design for something more modern-looking, as well as improving the battery life and the software. Now, with the Xperia XZ3, it seems that Sony finally has something to compete against the Samsung Galaxy S series and Apple’s iPhone.

Xperia XZ3

First Impression

At first glance, Sony’s new Xperia XZ3 seems to be similar to the Xperia XZ2, but it has some subtle changes that will greatly improve the mobile experience for its users.

A stunning display can make a difference in the whole experience with any gadget. Sony seems to invest in that idea with their latest flagship and decided to concentrate on offering the best screen on any smartphone.

Xperia XZ3’s new screen technology, a 6-inch HDR OLED display, makes the smartphone even more appealing and takes it to a level ground with the best smartphones on the market today. Sony has definitely taken a big step forward with the Xperia XZ3 using this display technology.

Sony’s new Xperia XZ3

Pros

  • Vivid display technology
  • Improved design
  • Water and dust-resistant

Cons

  • Bad fingerprint scanner placement
  • No headphone jack

Xperia XZ3 Overall Mobile Review

  • Display

Compared with the other upgrades done on the Xperia XZ3, the screen is definitely the key highlight and the core upgrade. It replaces the tired IPS LCD display tech that we’ve seen on most Sony smartphones.

The 18:9 aspect ratio and no-notch design that we’ve seen on the Xperia XZ2 is featured here, but it also features a new tech that Sony is using for the first time on its phone range: the OLED technology, which is also used for Sony’s A1 TV range.

The display technology produces vivid video and images and makes a genuine impact; in fact, its QHD+ resolution alone is enough to make videos look great.

The Xperia XZ3 also features an ability called Side Sense, which allows its users to quickly open up apps on the phone by double tapping on the side of the display.

  • Design

The Xperia XZ3 showcases a 3mm aluminum frame around the external of the phone, which is sandwiched and protected by Gorilla Glass 5. The Xperia XZ3 comes in four different colors: white silver, black, forest green, and Bordeaux red.

The base portion of the Xperia XZ3 includes a USB-C port, which is used primarily for charging. Unfortunately, there is no 3.5mm headphone jack on Xperia XZ3, so you’ll have to use USB Type-C earphones or Bluetooth headsets in order to privately listen to some audio. Alternatively, it also features the company’s impressive stereo speakers.

Interestingly enough, the Xperia XZ3 is also IP68 dust and water-resistant, and so you won’t have to worry when you accidentally drop your phone in the bath or in a puddle of water.

Xperia XZ3 Overall Mobile Review

  • OS and Specs

The Xperia XZ3 uses the Android 9 Pie OS, so you’ll easily get your hands on the latest Android OS with this phone. It also features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset and a 4GB of RAM.

The phone offers no more than one storage variant, which is 64GB, but it is extendable up to 512GB by making use of its microSD support.

  • Battery and Camera

The Xperia XZ3 sports a 3,300mAh battery that will get you through the day owing to the OLED display, which is quite power-efficient compared to LCD. As for charging the Xperia XZ3, users have two options: using the USB-C slot or going wireless.

The phone has two cameras, the rear camera with a 19MP and the front camera with a 13MP. The cameras on the Xperia XZ3 comes with all the top-end features including super slow motion, which is a highlight of Sony phones and being able to film in 4K HDR. That is something that no other non-Sony phone can offer.

Price and Release Date

For those who are interested in the Sony Xperia XZ3, it will be available from October 5 in the UK. There is no release date yet for the US or Australia, but I imagine that it won’t belong.

Sony Xperia XZ3 Price and Release Date

The Sony Xperia XZ3 is priced at £699 in the UK. It will probably have similar pricing in the US to the Xperia XZ2, which was $799.


AdminJuly 9, 2018
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1min247

Have you ever wondered how Reddit would look like if it was in dark mode? Now, you don’t have to wonder because Reddit is finally rolling out a top-requested feature among its users: native night mode.

Reddit Introduces Native Dark Mode

It was first announced on Reddit’s blog post that the desktop night mode theme is now available for everyone to use, after being rolled out to employees for testing a few months ago. Native night mode offers users a black theme rather than the classic white; it’s an option that is suited for those who enjoy browsing late into the night.

Reddit notes that night mode already exists in its native mobile applications and also in the old desktop webpage by using the Reddit Enhancement Suite browser extension.

The Reddit team also shared some details about what it took to develop the theme. To be more specific, the company had to unify the way the colors are displayed both on the site and in the application.

Reddit Native Dark Mode

How to Enable Native Night Mode?

If Reddit’s new redesign is already updated in your desktop, then accessing the feature is pretty straightforward; just go to the top right of your screen in your desktop web browser, click on your username, then click on the toggle for native night mode in the drop-down menu.

For those who are still on the older Reddit design, you can simply access the native night mode by updating into the new layout. In order to do so, go to the Options tab in your Preferences. Next, scroll down to “beta options”, then click the box that says “I would like to beta test features for Reddit” and hit “save options”. Now, a new option will appear for “use the redesign as my default experience”.  Tick this option, mash the “save options” button, and then you’re all set to try out the native night mode for Reddit.

How to Enable Native Night Mode

Why Choose Native Night Mode?

Well, if you could still remember, Twitter already introduced a night mode for its desktop site back in 2017, whereas YouTube started to roll out a dark mode on its mobile applications on iOS and Android just March of this year.

I think it is a good option to have for people who find browsing in a white theme much harsher on their eyes, especially at night. In fact, it is common knowledge that browsing websites with particularly bright color schemes late at night can be very uncomfortable as it can cause strain in the eyes. Some people also find that the bright colors negatively impact the quality of their sleep, especially for those who tend to bring their devices to bed.

In a recent blog post, Reddit said: “The design team worked hard on creating a smaller color system, using one already in place for our native mobile applications as a basis. This has also allowed us to guarantee that the experience was consistent over all our platforms. It has also improved the precision for our colors since relying on a key that automatically changes with native night mode removes the probability of overlooking how a component should look in native night mode.”

Native Night Mode


AdminDecember 11, 2017
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2min834

Recently, Google released their stylish and comfortable set of wireless headphones – The Pixel Buds. Even though they rank highly on our list, there are some limitations that prevent them from hitting the top spot.

One of the biggest drawbacks of the device is that the Google Assistant runs only with Android Marshmallow or higher. Fast pairing over Bluetooth works only on devices with Android Oreo or Nougat. Not only that, but the device’s most notable feature that translates a foreign language directly is limited to Google Pixel & Pixel 2 phones. So we have some unique features, but the limitations are killing the fun with the device.

However, if you are an owner of a new Android smartphone and you are sick of cables, then Google’s first wireless earbuds might be the right for you.

Design

The earbuds come in a fabric enclosure that’s used as a charging base as well. They can be easily stored in the pocket and it’s easy to pull them out of the case, but then you have to careful when fitting them inside because they have a braided cable. Note that the Pixel Buds aren’t completely wireless such as the Apple AirPods.

To connect the device to your phone, you have to enable the Bluetooth on your phone and you will be ready to go.

The Pixel Buds can be placed in the outer ear, which allows noise from the reality to mix with your music. So, if you are looking to concentrate on a task by listening to music, those earbuds aren’t the one for you. Moreover, Google hasn’t included a clip on the cord to attach to your clothing.

To operate with those headphones, all you have to do is tap on the right earbud to perform one of the following tasks: answer a call, pause or play. To raise the volume you have to swipe forward and reverse the action if you’d like to lower it. By double tapping it, you can check your notifications or listen to your upcoming calendar events.

For the Google Assistant feature, you have to hold a finger on the right earbud and let it go when you are finished with the command. It’s suitable for responding to messages, switching songs, and much more.

Connecting them with other devices such as Apple ones requires pressing a button located inside the case of the headphones to enable pairing mode. It’s fast but not as intuitive as Apple’s Airports.

Performance

Looking at the Pixel Buds as wireless headphones only, the performance is quite pleasant. In terms of sound quality, you will be delighted, but you have to position them properly inside your ear to achieve the ideal sound.

The battery life is just as advertised by the company for up to five hours of continuous use per charge. If you are using them more rarely for messages and phone calls, then the battery can reach up to eight hours. Moreover, the case allows 24-hours recharging time, so that’s a great advantage.

What makes them unique is the Google Translate feature that would translate almost any foreign language into your native one. If you need to speak with somebody, it will decode their language directly into your Pixel Buds, which is fascinating.

However, the microphones of the device had a trouble understanding our commands when we tried using Google Assistant on crowded streets. Not only that, but it requires an internet connection and you can’t change your songs directly if you don’t.

All in all

Google’s latest headphones aren’t perfect like their competitors, but they rank highly when it comes to sound and battery. They are suitable for Google’s latest devices, but if you are an individual who constantly changes their devices, then you are going to have a hard time with them.

The Google Assistant needs a lot of work as well and you can’t customize the gestures required to perform actions. Yeah, the Translating feature is unique, but it’s not enough to put these earbuds above others. Individuals keen on Apple products would never switch their AirPods for these and there are many other brands that provide much more customer’s satisfaction at lower prices when it comes to wireless headphones.



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