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While it is true that Chinese manufacturers like Xiaomi and OnePlus had already closed the gap between their flagship products and that of their big-name competitors like Samsung and Sony by a lot, the cameras were still better on the higher priced devices till last year, albeit by a somewhat small margin in some cases. However, it looks like the Mi 8 has just managed close off that gap as well.


DxOMark Image Labs is the standard for camera benchmarks that is accepted by experts and consumers alike and it has just given the Xiaomi Mi 8 the same score as the Galaxy S9 Plus. At 99, both smartphones are tied for the fourth spot, with the Pixel 2 and the iPhone X following close behind with 98 and 97 respectively. In case you are wondering which smartphones are filling the positions of 1,2 and 3, they are the Huawei P20 Pro (109), HTC U12+ (103) and the Huawei P20 (102). We guess the excuse for buying similar hardware with double the price is starting to look weaker and weaker with every passing year.


Saikat Kar 


workplace-leader


Being a leader in your field of work is what many aspire to be, although not all who have this dream will be fortunate to achieve it. While at the same time not all who move up the ladder necessarily become good managers either.


LEAD FROM THE TOP

 

Whether you are in charge of one person or one hundred, the pressure that comes with the extra responsibility of leadership is not something that should be diminished, especially as a businesses success or failure is usually dependent on the orders from the top.


In the pursuit of business success having a good workforce is only half the battle, it's what you can do with your staff which is key. Get the best out of co-workers and your company will go from strength to strength.


However, on the flipside should you not got manage to unlock the true potential of your staff then it means you could be in for a rocky period ahead. One that could lead to a set of personnel cutbacks somewhere down the road.


Many have asked the question, just what makes a good leader in the workplace and it is one that in fairness does not have a definitive answer. The simple reason being is that no two sets of staff are the same.


EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT

 

Every group of staff that needs to be led will come from a mix of different backgrounds and will bring their own personal attributes to the table, while at the same time there are a number of different managerial styles that can be applied.


Therefore, it is all about trying to get the two components to mesh perfectly in a bid to help your business prosper and even though there are a number of different permutations in the workplace there are some central staples that can be applied across the board in regard to leadership.


Most people will have the point drilled into them that work is the most important aspect of their life, something that is not strictly true. There's no doubting that gainful employment is a key aspect especially as it allows people to live their day to day lives.


Unless the work that is being worked on is one that is more altruistic in nature such as charity or volunteer work, the chances are you are going to need some financial inducement for the job that you carry out.


FINDING THE BALANCE


At the same time though workers need to be careful they don't become a slave to a wage and make sure that they find the correct work life balance in their job. This is somewhere that good leadership skills can be displayed.


If a staff member seems deluged with work, then here is the time to step in and address the situation. Perhaps take time to chat to that member of staff and allow them to raise any concerns about the current workload.


From here you can delegate some of that load to other members of the team. It could be you have an excellent worker who cannot do their job to the best of their abilities due to them getting bogged down with the more unimportant facets that they have to deal with.


There's no question that you can push your staff to work hard, something that not only has a benefit to the business if results are delivered, but also because it means that it will allow them to develop both professionally and personally.


Driving through a big project and delivering on time may mean going the extra mile at times, but the sense of achievement that comes with it is a feeling that is very hard to replicate and brings a lot of personal pride.


However, as a leader of a team or group you need to make sure that your you don't push your staff too hard. There is a very fine balancing act that needs to be undertaken here, as you need to discover where their breaking point is.


And it is one that really you don't want to reach as that could then have serious repercussions for your business further down the line, it only takes a workplace meltdown to occur for a whole host of momentum to be lost.


It's a similar scenario to one you would find at a casino, one that comes with weighing up risk versus reward. The risk is asking too much from your staff and facing a negative backlash, while the reward is delivering your objectives on time.


GIVE SOMETHING BACK

 

If a big project is in progress and there is a large amount of work that needs to be done, then another key aspect of being a good leader is being able to motivate your staff during what might see like tough times.


You should be prepared to give something back, especially in regard to time. If someone is constantly working late, then why not give them a half day as an act of gratitude to say that their work is not going unnoticed.


Or why not establish Friday drinks in the final hour of the week, not only does it release the pressure of a busy few days, but it will also allow you and your team to bond on a more social level. If your team all get on with each other then they will be prepared to go the extra mile when it matters. Maybe you could allow them to play mobile slots during their lunch break or maybe have a friendly office game of Texas Hold'em poker, which is both fun and stimulating.


As a leader you can also take the team out for lunch say once a month. Again, it not only offers a more sociable element, but it also gets your staff out of the confines of the office and mixes up their working day.


That's not to say that's all about team lunches and drinks, ultimately there is still work that needs to be done. At the same time though a lot could be said for the phrase "do the job and not the hours" and the benefits that come with a more flexible approach.


If work is done by 4:30 and your staff are due to finish at 6, then why not send them home to say thanks for a job well done. An act that will boost morale and keep you in your staff's good books, showing that you can be a good person as well as a good leader.



If you were banking on the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 offering improved scratch resistance due to the Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection on top of its display, you might have to think again. According to a video posted by YouTuber JerryRigEverything, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 failed quite miserably in a basic scratch test. Keep in mind that the person testing the smartphone is an expert and has performed similar tests on multiple devices and according to him, the Note 7 is more prone to scratches than most of its competitors, in spite of sporting the Gorilla Glass 5 protection. This leads us to believe that Corning might have skimped on scratch resistance in favour of shatter resistance with the fifth version.



The YouTuber even went on to state in the description that he would be glad to make another video if Samsung or Corning came forward to explain what happened here. The flame test also showed less durability than the competition, but we are not as much concerned about that as the chances of our smartphone being exposed to sharp objects like coins, keys and rough surfaces are much greater than being engulfed in flames! If you are planning to pick up a Note 7 anytime soon, our advice would be to order a good quality tempered glass with it just to be safe.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)


 


A new application named Good Lock was released by Samsung about three weeks ago on their Galaxy Apps store. As the name suggests, the application is designed to work as a lock-screen app that will bring added functionality to the lock-screen as well as the notification settings. Today, it was introduced officially to the public and in that process; Samsung has also declared the compatible smartphone models. The Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, S6 Active, Note 5, S7, and S7 Edge form the current list of Samsung smartphones that can run the Good Lock app.


The software primarily focuses on making the lock-screen and notifications more productive, as well as offering alternate ways to utilize them. One can now place widgets on the lock screen itself, allowing the user to access any desired information without having to unlock the device. Good Lock also permits faster access to various other applications or settings that are used most regularly on the device. If you want to check out Good Lock, download it now from Galaxy Apps and give it a try, provided of course, you are in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore or South Korea. We are hopeful that the application will make its way to most other countries as well, albeit a little while later.


Rest of the story here.


 



Samsung is about to come out with two new flagship handsets next month, namely the Galaxy S9 and S9+, but it's going to be a while before we see the Galaxy Note 9. As of now, the Note 8 is the king of Samsung smartphones and therefore, it is only fitting that we take a look at how good the smartphone really is when it comes to playing games. We will be judging the Note 8 on three gaming categories; performance, display and battery life.


Performance



Both the Exynos 8895 chip powering the international variant and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC powering the US and Chinese versions are two of the most powerful Android chips of 2017; which means that you are not going to have to compromise on performance, irrespective of the variant you have in your country. Supported by 6 gigs of RAM, the Note 8's CPU and GPU runs through even the most demanding of Android games like hot knife through butter.


Display



The 6.3-inch, QHD+, Super AMOLED, HDR display in its 18.5:9 borderless form factor is without a shadow of doubt, the most beautiful smartphone display in existence at the moment and it is quite possibly the best when it comes to gaming as well. In fact, we found the 521 ppi screen density, alongside the reliable battery life and serious horsepower under the hood to be excellent for long sessions of playing live casino games, as well as the most demanding 3D games available on the Play Store. The bottom-line is, the Galaxy Note 8's display is unmatched in every possible way when it comes to gaming or watching high-quality content.


Battery Life


Now, the battery inside the Note 8 is actually smaller than that of the S8+ (3,500mAh) at only 3,300mAh, but that doesn't affect battery life too much to be honest. Sure, we could have used a larger battery, but unless you are looking to compare it with a Xiaomi device that's sporting a smaller display and a bigger battery at the same time, the Note 8 will not leave you high and dry in the middle of gaming. Even if you start to run out of juice by the end of a busy day, the ridiculously fast charging tech will recharge your smartphone from 0 - 100% in roughly 100-minutes!


As you have probably realized by now, the Galaxy Note 8 is the perfect gaming machine on the go and the in-built Samsung Game Launcher basically turns it into a portable console. So yes, the Galaxy Note 8 is as good as it gets when it comes to gaming or any other form of mobile entertainment for that matter.



Good Lock by Samsung was a "good" application at launch but it had quite a few serious bugs. The location settings popped up repeatedly, the colors were ordinary and most importantly, it sapped the battery severely. Samsung did address quite a few of the bugs in earlier updates, including the auto update issue, Home button issue and multiple problems with external SD cards. There were also a host of other bug fixes and add on features that were introduced by Samsung earlier, but this latest update takes customization options another step further.



The Good Lock Update v24.0.9 will add enhanced Routine color settings, more colors for the lock screen clock, a shortcut to Mobile hotspot on the Quick Panel and a new, bug free dark themed notification shade. If you have a Galaxy S7 or a Galaxy S7 Edge, you will see a new AOD Quick Setting as well. Considering that it has been out only for a month, it's good to see that Samsung is so dedicated to providing the best possible experience to its users. You can download and use the Good Lock app if you have any of the following handsets form the Korean OEM; Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Active, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge+, Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge.


Author: Saikat Kar (Tech-journalist and enthusiast)


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