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.
Quite a few of you may argue that smartphones don't really need 6GB of RAM and it might even be true in some cases. However, the fact is that they are here and some months down the line, even more models with 6GB RAM will start making appearances. That being said, if you want to feel the absolute sense of supremacy that comes with owning one of these beasts, here are the ones that we would recommend.
OnePlus 3 ($399)
There is no two way about it, the OnePlus 3 is a real flagship killer with its beastly specs and the Oxygen OS, which runs pretty close to stock Android. Apart from the 6GB of RAM, the OnePlus 3 also sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chip (2.15GHz), Adreno 530 GPU, 3,000mAh battery, brilliant 16-mp/8-mp rear and front cameras, a 5.5-inch 1080p AMOLED display and 64GB of non-expandable storage. At this price, you will probably have a hard time finding a better phone to be honest.
Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe ($499 for 64GB/6GB)
The Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe is another flagship smartphone with specs similar to the OnePlus 3, but a slightly larger 5.7-inch 1080p display. The beautifully made phone feels as premium as it looks. Internal storage options include 64GB/128GB/256GB variants, but the Zenfone 3 Deluxe also offers a micro-SD card slot. It has a larger rear camera sensor of 23-megapixels as compared to the OnePlus 3, but we all know that megapixels do not determine the actual quality of the photograph.
LeEco LeMax 2 (Around $400 for 64GB/6GB)
This is the only smartphone on this list that sports a 5.7-inch Quad HD display and it instantaneously makes this a winner in the display department. Based on Android Marshmallow 6.0 and LeEco's own EUI, the Le Max 2 is a beautiful device. However, it doesn't support expandable storage, nor does it have a headphone jack unfortunately. The 21-megapixel camera is quite a capable one and the front camera is better than most of the competition. The 3,000 mAh battery is a decent performer, considering that it powers the flagship SD 820 CPU, along with the Quad HD 5.7-inch panel.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
The Xiaomi Mi Mix is currently the most talked about smartphone in the world, thanks to the brilliant design it brings to the plate with a near bezel-less display which boasts of a screen-to-body ratio of 91.3%. Nevertheless, we will surely see a lot more of the same design from other manufacturers next year, so here's a list of the best bezel-less smartphones that are coming in the near future.
Samsung Galaxy S8
There were rumors, but after a hint by Samsung senior engineer Park Won-sang, it's almost a certainty that at least one version of the S8 is going to feature an edge-to-edge Super AMOLED display with more than 90% screen-to-body ratio.
Apple iPhone 8
If we take a report by Barclays Research seriously, then Apple is about to mark the 10th anniversary of the iPhone with a curved edge-to-edge OLED display.
Huawei "Quad-Edge screen"
We don't know the name of the phone yet, but what we do know is that a Huawei phone is coming with an all-screen display that's curved on the four corners and it's being termed as the "Quad-Edge screen."
Meizu Pro 7
If the rumors surrounding the Meizu Pro 7 turn out to be true, then it's going to sport a 2160 x 1080 AMOLED display, with a screen-to-body ratio of more than 96%!
What do you think about the borderless design? Are they the future of smartphone displays, or just a temporary fad?
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
People have been playing cards since time immemorial and although we may not realize it, there have been thousands of different games invented throughout the history of mankind itself. However, never before have the numbers been so high as they are today. Not only do most traditional games have multiple digital versions available now from different developers, hundreds of brand-new card games have also made their way onto smartphones, computers and tablets which were created exclusively as video games.
In spite of there being massive variety in the genre, most of them are not worth playing. Some are just very poor adaptations of classics, while a lot of the newly introduced games lack any originality or interesting aspect to them. If you are looking for a good card game to play online and actually enjoy it, you are in luck. We have carefully selected a handful of excellent games from across the industry that represent some of the best work in this particular gaming genre.
Hearthstone by Blizzard is widely believed to be the most influential card-based video game of all time. Set in the World of Warcraft MMORPG universe, it has inspired countless clones ever since it came out back in 2014, and till date, remains one of the most played turn based, collectible card games in the world. Once you play Hearthstone, it is possible that you may find a large majority of the modern digital card games to be far too similar.
Admittedly, there are developers who have improved upon the original formula and some of their offerings might even present a better experience because of that, but that's debatable. Either way, Hearthstone remains a must play game for anyone who is looking to get into the whole online card collecting video game genre.
Blackjack is at least 400+ years old, as the first mention of the game was reportedly found in a short Spanish story, written way back in the year 1601! It is surprising that in spite of the card game being so ancient in its origin, none of the other contemporary, older or younger traditional card games have managed to adapt so well to the digital format.
Blackjack in a live casino takes the experience even further, as it blurs the otherwise distinct line between virtual and real casino card games. If you like classic casino games in general and card games have always been your thing, you will find both virtual and live casino blackjack variants to be quite amazing.
Gwent: The Witcher Card Game and Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales
Gwent was originally introduced as a side-game in the epic RPG, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Even as a side-game, Gwent became extremely popular and people who never even played a single RPG before, decided to give it a try just for the sake of playing Gwent.
3 years later in 2018, the legendary developers CD Projekt Red released their standalone card game, Gwent: The Witcher Card Game. It was a fleshed-out version of Gwent that has since been improved massively and supports various multiplayer modes for an immersive and addictive experience online.
Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales is a single-player RPG campaign expansion for Gwent: The Witcher Card Game, but it's also a standalone card game with its own 30-hour+ storyline and unique gameplay elements not shared by the main game. Whether you have ever played Wild Hunt or not, rest assured that you will fall in love with Gwent.
The Elder Scrolls: Legends
Elder Scrolls 6 will probably be released in a dystopian future in the real world, if the latest reports from 2020 are anything to go by. However, as far as card games are concerned, The Elder Scrolls: Legends is a far more polished game that's solid in 2020, as compared to how it was back in 2017 upon release. If you want a break from all those Hearthstone clones out there, try Legends because Bethesda has cleverly added more depth to the card game with a tricky rune system, allowing for more strategic players to shine through. You can check out a detailed review on IGN to know how Legends also utilizes a nifty lane mechanic to set it even further apart from Hearthstone.
Each of the titles here will appeal to a separate group of players, but whichever ones you decide to try out, rest assured that you won't be disappointed.If you are wondering why Uno or Exploding Kittens did not make it onto the list, then that's entirely because their online counterparts are just not good enough to represent how good the card games feel while playing them in real life.
I love emojis and apparently, so does Google. The latest iteration of the Android OS adds 72 new emojis to the list. Apart from the new Unicode 9 emojis, there will also be more details such as skin color modifiers added to some of them. In fact, Google has actually made some of the emoticons clearly recognizable as male or female, while earlier they were gender-neutral. If you are wondering why they did that, it was done to give the emojis a human-like look to make them more relatable. This of course, takes a toll on the inclusivity of the emoticons worldwide, even with the modifiers.
Take a look and tell us if you like the new emojis or did you prefer the less human-like ones we used to see earlier. Personally, I think that while it may be more relatable for certain people, especially with the little modifiers, the original ones had a charm of their own. However, the new move will allow for better cross-platform recognition. This means that your friend on the iPhone will finally be able to see the emoji you had sent her without any compatibility issues.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)