As the hype is now over the arguably cheapest flagship smartphone for the year 2017 is out, let's now take a look at the best and the worst parts of the OnePlus 5.
The combination of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, 8GB or RAM and 128GB of internal storage are specifications that no other phone on the planet can deliver at the moment. Consider the fact that the Galaxy S8+ with 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage, which is its closest competitor in terms of specs, costs more than a thousand dollars in China and India. The OnePlus 5 with 2 extra gigs of RAM and a brilliant dual camera setup costs about $539! Say what you will, no other phone can beat the OnePlus 5 in terms of price-to-performance value. Add all of this to the super smooth and ultra useful Oxygen OS and we have an instant winner on our hands.
It looks like an iPhone 7 Plus and that's not a good thing. In a world where a lot of people blame Android smartphones for copying Apple iPhones, the OnePlus 5 took a step backward by copying the iPhone 7 Plus in terms of the design and losing its own unique appeal in the process. Also, there was the initial false claim of 2X optical zoom (it's actually 1.6X as it was found later) and an AMOLED display that needed to be QHD this year.
Should You Buy it?
To be honest, nothing can match the feeling of actually using a Galaxy S8/S8+ and its curved QHD+ Super AMOLED display and bezel-less design, but then again those phones cost twice as much (unless you get it on a deal). Having said that, there is no smartphone in existence today that can match the experience offered by the OnePlus 5 at under $550. If that's your budget, you just cannot go wrong with this one.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
Even in 2018, Apple, Samsung and Google were competing only with each other in the smartphone camera battle and the Pixel 2 was leading only by the narrowest of controversial margins. Right now though, only the Google Pixel 3 is still on the top 3 list, with the likes of the iPhone XS Max and the Note 9 not even making it anywhere onto the top 5 spot! According to the latest rankings on DXOMARK, the top three positions are held by the Huawei Mate 20 Pro (116), the Huawei P20 Pro (109) and the Google Pixel 3 (107). While these results have not been officially published on their site yet, the leaked screenshot you see above has been all but confirmed by multiple reliable sources. Just in case you are not aware, DXOMARK is basically the most reliable and trusted benchmarking source when it comes to ranking D-SLR cameras and smartphone cameras after rigorous testing in various conditions.
It is clear now that the Chinese brands are not only offering similar hardware at better price points than Samsung or Apple, but they are actually producing better hardware too! The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is so far ahead of the curve that it's almost embarrassing for the rest of the competition to be honest. Consider the fact that
Samsung is taking secrecy very seriously this time around as they had taken the time to officially alert all its employees and supply chain partners against leaking any confidential info about the upcoming Galaxy S8 in particular. However, it doesn't seem to be working too well as someone working for one of Samsung's supply chain partners has leaked some information about the S8, almost as if in response to the warning/request.
According to the report, the Galaxy S8 will inherit the iris scanner from the Note 7, while also being endowed with a dual-lens camera setup at its back. To be frank, this isn't really much of news as we had reported this quite a while ago. Nevertheless, the new leak obviously strengthens those rumors even further. Other expected new features of the S8 include a Full Screen display without the physical Home button, a 10nm chip and 6GB of RAM. In spite of Samsung trying to keep the lid on tight, we are pretty sure more rumors and leaks will begin to pop up as the calendar continues to move towards February, 2017.
Saikat Kar (the-enthusiast)
It wasn't long ago when seeing a "Microsoft Edition" logo stamped on a Android powered phone by Samsung wasn't really something you would expect. However, things have now changed and Microsoft is out of the mobile game as a manufacturer. That doesn't necessarily mean though that Microsoft and Samsung still can't partner up and that's exactly what has happened with the Galaxy S8's launch.
Microsoft retail stores in the US will be selling a Microsoft Edition of the S8 and S8+. According to the software giant, "A Microsoft customization is applied to the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ Microsoft Edition when the devices are unboxed and connected to Wi-Fi." In addition to the Office tools already bundled into every regular device, this edition will also come with Cortana and Outlook.
If you are wondering what visual changes the Microsoft Edition Galaxy S8 and S8+ will be sporting, know that there will be none. It won't even cost you anything extra to pick it up. If you want, it is available for pre-order right now in America.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
Can't decided which is the Best Android Smartphone for you ?
Google released an online tool to help you choose the right Android Smartphone for you. The solution is available via the search giant's Android homepage.
The entire process features a nice graphical interface and is quite fun. You can select from twelve different criteria that you find important in a smartphone. They include photography, gaming, texting, and web browsing among others.
An option to select a dedicated carrier in the United States is available, though not necessary. You can further refine your search results by price and size. You can try out the new Google tool by hitting the source link below.
If you have a recent (more or less) Nexus device and you had enrolled your device for the Android Beta Program, we have good news for you because Android N Developer Preview 2 is now available for you to download via OTA. Alternately, you can also download the package and flash it manually if you know what you are doing. Google had promised that there would be five monthly updates to the developer preview before its final release in September this year and so far, they are right on schedule.
If your device isn't a Nexus however, you will probably have to wait for quite a while to get your first taste of Android N 7.0, because the official release date for the OS is set in September 2016. Add to that the amount of time the manufacturing company will take to develop its own compatible version for your smartphone model and we are looking at at least a month before one can expect an Android 7.0 update for a non-nexus device.
Sony customers might feel a bit more optimistic here as the Japanese company did release a preview of Android M 6.0 for a few of their smartphones in 2015. If you are a Samsung user, the chances of Samsung changing its poor record of late releases is not very good. On the positive side, their software department is indeed doing a good job these days, so maybe they will break the record this year. We will have to wait and see but experts estimate that Android N will come to Samsung devices in February or March 2017.
The Huawei Mate 9 could be running Android 7.0 right out of the box as soon as Google releases the OS in September. Lenovo Moto series of smartphones will be among the first to receive the updates as has always been the case; experts speculate that Moto smartphones will be running Android N by December 2016. One cannot underestimate HTC either these days as they had shown when the One A9 and One M9 got updated to Android marshmallow by December last year. If you are a HTC user, you will probably see the latest iteration of Android on your smartphone by end of December, this year.
A Virtual Private Network or VPN is typically a service to hide the original IP address of the user from hackers, trackers and everyone else, including the ISP itself. It makes for a more secure and private browsing experience that cannot be traced back to the user. Taking a closer look at the reasons why everyone should start using a VPN is often an eye-opener, so here are four of them everyone should know.
As mentioned earlier, a virtual private network protects the user from being traced by anybody on the Internet, as it hides the original IP address of the user. This means that no one, including your internet service provider, can possibly see your browsing history, as you will essentially become untraceable and invisible to everyone on the Internet.
Geoblocking is a concept that allows websites and search engines to filter content, based on a user's geographical location. This is the reason why you can't watch certain Netflix US shows from most of the Asian countries, as Netflix filters out some of the content based on the region. Google will do the same to your search result pages, so you will never be able to see unrestricted results.
If you want to access blocked sites, shows and SERPs, VPN Service by VeePN will let you do exactly that. As you will be able to set your IP address to any location in the world, it will essentially open up your computer to every site, search engine result page, and streaming service in the whole world.
Use Public Wi-Fi Safely
You probably already know that it isn't safe to use public Wi-Fi in a café, or anywhere else for that matter. But did you know that a VPN can actually protect you against hacking attacks, a common threat for public Wi-Fi users? Well, it can really do that, so if you love using Wi-Fi in your favorite café, you really need to start using a VPN!
Download Torrents Anonymously
Do we recommend downloading pirated material with a P2P torrent client? Absolutely not! Can you protect your identity with the help of a VPN if you do download torrents? You certainly can.
While a VPN is rapidly becoming a necessity because of its wide implementation possibilities, there are a few things that even the best VPNs can't help you with, and they should be noted as well.
• They are not antivirus replacements, and you will need a good antivirus to protect your computer on the Internet
• You will still have to pay for Netflix, Prime Video and other streaming services to access the content
• A VPN service provider will mask your IP, but you will still need your ISP for the Internet connection
In roughly a few weeks' time, the Galaxy S10 series of smartphones are going to come in with the latest processors, not to mention a whole range of others from different manufacturers will be launched as well. But what about now? Is it a good time to buy a gaming phone right now, or should you hold on to your money for a bit longer? Well, holding on to your money for a bit longer is definitely advised, but for those that need to buy a phone right now, here are a few models that won't let you down.
Galaxy Note 9
It's the latest flagship smartphone from the world's leading smartphone manufacturer with the latest SoC, a huge battery and a gorgeous 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display; it's hard to beat all that to be honest, especially once you factor in the included S-Pen stylus and the fantastic cameras.
Xiaomi Black Shark
The Black Shark is due to get an update this year with Black Shark 2, but till then, this one is a beast of a smartphone and by far, the most dedicated gaming phone on this list. In addition to all the bells and whistles like a 4,000mAh battery, SD 845 SoC with liquid cooling and a separate image processor, the Black Shark can also be fitted with Joy-Con like controllers on its sides, just like the Nintendo Switch. The controller compatibility makes the Black Shark arguably the best gaming phone in the market.
Lenovo Z5 Pro GT
Finally on this list, we have the only phone with the SD 855 SoC in the world right now. While others will catch up soon, as of now, Lenovo has the most powerful smartphone in existence and it's called Z5 Pro GT. Aside from the next gen SoC, the GT also has 12GB of RAM and a 6.4-inch FHD+ AMOLED display, making it an incredibly lucrative package. However, the 3,350mAh battery on the phone is a bit of a let down.
As mentioned earlier, waiting is advised, but if you are in a hurry and need a phone right now that can take care of all your gaming needs, these are the three to choose from.
If Clash of Clans and Clash Royale are anything to go by, people love the multiplayer elements in mobile games - the latter even spawned its own eSports series. With your mobile in your pocket at all times, you can quickly draw your gaming device to engage in a quick battle or complete a mission to climb further up the leaderboards. Competitive gaming has never been so convenient, and now there is an exceptional range of games for you to immerse yourself in and battle your way to the top.
Crossing a wide range of different themes and gameplay styles, there are our favourite mobile multiplayer games right now.
Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians
Created by top-tier video games company Ubisoft Entertainment, Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians boasts a diverse range of unique and iconic characters, a huge range of customisation features, strong progressive mechanics, and intense multiplayer elements. You can take on opponents in its strategic RPG battles, compete for leaderboard positioning in the player-vs-player arenas, and team up with friends in guilds to take on colossal boss battles.
The battle royale genre is still going strong across the world of gaming, but now there are even more titles to enjoy on your mobile. Free Fire, by Garena, has earned an exceptional rating for its mobile-optimised battle royale game. The survival shooter games don't take any longer than ten minutes, with 50 players in each game searching for weapons, vehicles, and hiding in bushes.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links
It's been out for a couple of years now, but Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links keeps on getting better. Through the iconic card game brought to the smallest screen by Konami, the mobile game makes it even easier to compete in duels, collect cards, and defeat players through multiplayer duels. The depth of the game will appeal to fans of the universe as well as lovers of online card games, while the controls and gameplay are simple and intuitive enough to hook anyone looking to duel.
While many mobile casinos offer a simple platform for you to log-in and play whatever game you want and then leave, Voodoo Dreams has decided to up the ante and invoke some much-needed excitement through multiplayer tournaments and duels. Through its mobile app or browser platform, you play in duels against fellow players in any game to win stars and XP, with the stars being your way of climbing up the tournament leaderboards.
Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade
There is no doubt that the mobile multiplayer gaming scene is getting very competitive, but it's through competition that innovative games come to life. Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade by Lilith Games is a massive game, boasting many of the best bits of other popular franchises. It features 11 unique civilisations for you to join, a single enormous map which all players battle to control, exploration and looting, unrestricted troop movement, alliance systems, a choice of legendary historical commanders, and real-time battles to allow for true RTS gameplay.
There you have it: five exciting mobile multiplayer game apps. They're all unique to each other in what they offer, but all come packed with multiplayer action with grand communities which you'll strive to conquer.