Monday, 16 July 2018

BlackBerry KEY2 review

Who better than blackberry would be able to successfully manufacture and market a smartphone in 2018 with a QWERTY keyboard, this is the BlackBerry key2 and it's the only smartphone on the market to have a fully equipped QWERTY physical keyboard. The Key2 comes as a refinement of its predecessor the Key1, so exactly how much has the Key2 improved over the Key1? Let's find out together.
BlackBerry KEY2 Official Image

Maybe those from a younger generation haven't seen or heard of a blackberry phone, but when you do see one regardless of how old you are you'll know it right away, the Key2 keeps the blackberry’s classic form factor some kind of display sitting above some kind of keyboard, we'll get back to the keyboard in just a little bit. The key2 has a really nice textured back on the phone which makes us wonder why other manufacturers aren't doing this, it improves grip and prevents the phone from sliding through smooth surface.
Inside BlackBerry KEY2 Box

Above the classic blackberry logo is a new dual camera which can do two times zoom and take portrait shots, at the top there's a 3.5 millimeter headphone jack which works great with the included earbuds, there are even extra replacement tips included in the box. All the key twos buttons are now on the right side a volume rocker, textured power key and BlackBerry's convenience key, the keys themselves feel very satisfying and click and feel just like the keyboard. This isn't any kind of keyboard though it was referenced after the BlackBerry Bold 9000 keyboard one of the best the phone maker has ever designed, so the key tooth buttons have really good feedback and it's typing accuracy has greatly improved, the keys themselves are a bit roomier than the key1 and the keys are now matte instead of queasy even the fingerprint scanner is matte, it's also quick and reliable for unlocking the phone.

The backlit keyboard looks awesome in the dark and we appreciate the disappearing capacitive navigation keys, we kind of wish this display was taller and the navigation buttons were on screen so it wouldn't need to use the awkward 3x2 aspect ratio.

There's definitely a relearning curve when coming from a virtual keyboard in fact it took me a few days to get back into the groove of typing on these keys, the downside to this keyboard is it makes doing things with one hand more difficult this is definitely a two-handed phone of course it's not entirely impossible to type with one hand if you're determined enough.

Moving on to the display, there's a 4.5 inch with a funky 3 by 2 aspect ratio and for resolution think of 1080p except the wider dimensions are cropped off, this aspect ratio makes it awkward to watch anything on the screen most videos are either 4x3 or 16x9 so you'll definitely see letterboxing either above or next to the video. What this display is good for is viewing documents, writing long emails and maybe scrolling through twitter, well what it's not good for is viewing Snapchat or Instagram stories the weird aspect ratio crops all the top and bottom ends of the stories you watch and the stories you create are also cropped on taller displays this just makes for a bad experience with all platform stories in general. The LCD does get fairly bright but out in direct sunlight visibility is just average, there's a tab that lives just on the edge of the display and this is a shortcut to the BlackBerry hub you can peek at your calendar, hub emails, tasks and contacts the hub is a fully customizable email client that also shows you most apps notifications, you can filter notifications by app and there are even options to snooze notifications so you can get back to them later which is pretty cool.

D-Tech is another great BlackBerry tool, it's a fully comprehensive security suite and what makes this different from the regular permission settings that come on Android is that you can receive alerts when an app has requested a sensitive permission, we haven't realized how often are actually pinging our location until we see it on D-Tech, two other blackberry specific features are privacy shade and redactor, privacy shade makes it harder for people with wandering eyes to peek at your messages while the redactor lets you block out sensitive information before sending a screenshot or showing something to somebody.

If you love shortcuts then you'll love this phone each of these letters on the keyboard can be programmed to a short or a long press shortcut for a total of 52 programmable shortcuts ranging from calling your boss to toggling Bluetooth, there's also a new button on the keyboard called the speed key this lets you access your keyboard shortcuts without having to go back to the home screen first think of it as a shortcut for your shortcuts and if you thought 52 shortcuts was not enough there's a contextual and programmable shortcut key called the convenience key, it's the one right below the power button and you can program this to perform any shortcut, what's awesome is you can set different shortcuts whether you're home, in your car or in a meeting, by this point we have to say we're impressed by the extensive customization that BlackBerry has thought to put into its phones.

Performance is much improved over the Key1, the Key2 runs so much quicker and smoother thanks to the snapdragon 660, not only this but BlackBerry has also doubled the amount of RAM to 6 gigabytes for better multitasking, casual games run perfectly fine on the key2, its landscape games that are really awkward to play on this phone and if you hold the phone with the keyboard to the left it's really easy to block the loudspeaker with your palm, so games on the Key2 not a really good idea.

This choice of processor won't win any benchmarks but its power efficiency along with the smaller display definitely helped the phones 3500 milliamp hour battery reach a great endurance score at 86 hours, the phone is quick charge 3 compatible and the included charger brought the phone up to 47% in half an hour of charging, if you want to charge it even quicker though you can choose to use boost mode so the phone's power draw is reduced while charging to really minimize charging time.

Finally we've reached the camera, this camera system is made up of dual 12 megapixel sensors this setup uses a combination of a wide lens and a telephoto lens for shooting up 2 time zoom and bouquet portrait shots. You would think that this dual camera could shoot better than the Key1 single sensor camera, but that's not the case, the cameras photos are only averaged, in fact the dynamic range was not good details are not very good either and some of the pictures have noticeable noise, colors are just a tad oversaturated and contrast is too high, this is not a good recipe for balanced exposure. The Key2 HDR mode uses image stacking to expose better and to reduce noise, but setting HDR to automatic resulted in softer looking images set HDR all the way on and the pictures are softened even more, HDR is meant to help dynamic range, but we found that the Key2 HDR mode was more of a hit or miss situation, we even found the white balance to be inconsistent between shots on occasion. If you take the phone inside you won't find any better looking images, details are progressively worse and HDR won't make it any better in indoor lighting, HDR will soften the image. So if you're trying to take a low-light shot we recommend you take it with HDR off and then use an editing tool to adjust exposure.

Portrait shots were surprisingly good just a tad bit oversaturated for our tastes otherwise the bouquet was pretty much spot-on, selfies are on a whole different level this is an 8 megapixel camera and it takes below average selfies. The white balance is even more consistent here than on the main camera and contrast is still high, colors are oversaturated still and the selfie camera eclipsed highlights very easily so it struggles with dynamic range in general.

Moving on to video it's not very good either foliage was quite dark in 1080P, so resulting details were no good, again this is due to poor dynamic range switch to 4k and there's noticeable improvement in details. We really think the Key2 could have benefited from optical image stabilization, there's an enhanced video stabilization mode but it's only offered in 1080p video, we would not recommend shooting 4k video handheld unless you're using something like the DJI Osmo or you have it set down on the tripod.

The Key2 is such an excellent Blackberry, it's keyboard is A+ the UI is vastly customizable and versatile and the battery lasts well a day or two,  this makes it the perfect phone for road warriors like real estate agents or field workers who need to be in constant communication.

We feel that the phone could have improved in two categories, the display could afford to be a little bit sharper and brighter while the camera on this phone should have just been the same one from the Key1, it was a bit slow but it took very respectable photos, so we understand the Key2 is not a phone for professional photographers, we expected the Key2 camera to be the same or better than the Key1 and we're sad to say that blackberry really dropped the ball here.

Still it was so refreshing to see a phone that wasn't trying to emulate any other smartphones notches or antenna lines, the Key2 is uniquely and unapologetically a blackberry and nothing else. You'll definitely find better value in another phone like the Oneplus 6 or even the honor U10 both starting at less than $600 and have way better dual camera setups, but again those who do end up buying this phone are so on the keyboard.

Blackberry is still climbing its way back up as it regains relevance in the smartphone market, so for now the brand and the product remain in a niche category, many people have moved on from physical keyboards years ago, but for those who'd rather not and frankly don't like to take many pictures, the BlackBerry Key2 is an excellent choice.
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Monday, 9 July 2018

Huawei P20 Pro review

When it comes to smartphone cameras Huawei’s new flagship the P20 Pro promises some major innovation, it's got three cameras on the back including a 40 megapixel shooter, but do these bring some real advantages or is it just a gimmick? This is my Huawei P20 Pro full review.

Huawei P20 Pro

Huawei has brought an all-new design for this year's P20 pro, unlike last year's all-metal build now we have a build of all glass with a metal frame, this makes for a phone that is pretty eye-catching especially in the Twilight color, it's a gorgeous gradient from purple to green, the corners and edges are rounded and the glass back is curved. It isn't tapered though it feels thick and sturdy.

On the back you can see the P20 pro's unique feature, the like a branded triple camera setup. Huawei is warn-up every smartphone manufacturer around. One side effect of these cameras is a camera bump, so the P20 pro will wobble on a table unlike last year's P10, but an improvement over last year is that instead of just being a splash proof now there is full IP 67 dust and water resistance.

The P20 pro has a stereo speaker setup one speaker is bottom firing and the other doubles as the earpiece, the sound is clear and decently loud. The speaker's can even reproduce Dolby Atmos multi-channel sound, which is great with the right content.

Unfortunately Huawei decided to go without a 3.5 millimeter jack this time around so you'll have to plug in headphones to the USBC port or go wireless.

The Always-on fingerprint reader is front mounted just below the screen, it's really fast and responsive to your touch. If you don't want to use a fingerprint reader there's also a face unlock it's really fast just lift or wake up the phone and it's ready, since it uses the front camera it will bring up the screen to illuminate your face if necessary.

There's plenty of internal storage at 128 gigs, but there's no microSD slot and at the top is an IR blaster which can be used to control supported appliances around the house.

The screen is a 6.1 inch AMOLED with a tall 18 by 9 aspect ratio similar to the Matte 10 pros, the 1080p resolution is lower than the P10 plus is quad HD, but still looks sharp. You may have noticed that there's a screen cut out near the top this notch holds the selfie cam and the loudspeaker the trend started by Apple is making its way everywhere, it's not too intrusive though the screen space next to it is only used to hold notifications and status icons. You can also turn this space black to help hide the notch if it bothers you, regardless content stays underneath and won't be interrupted unlike on the iPhone and with the deep blacks of an AMOLED it all looks nice too.

There's very little color shifting unlike on other AMOLED screens, you won't have problems outdoors either the screen is bright up to 580 nits in auto mode and sunlight legibility is great.

The UI of the P20 pro is Huawei EMUY 8.1 over Android 8.1 Oreo, apps can be stored either on the home screen or in an app drawer and you can also swipe down from the home screen to open an app search bar. There are different options to choose from for navigation instead of having buttons on the screen you can also have an on-screen navigation bar or navigate using the fingerprint reader with swipes just like last year.

There's a theme store with a variety of designs and themes to choose from and Huawei is committed to providing timely Android security updates too.

The P20 Pro runs on a kirin 970 chipset with 6 gigs of RAM this chipset is also inside of the Huawei Matte 10 released last fall so it's not top-of-the-line anymore, though the most recent flagships with the snapdragon 845 perform around 30% better in benchmarks, the P20 pro performs well it's quite powerful and should be able to handle any task you throw at it, though it does start to run hot during more challenging ones.

The P20 pro packs a 4000 milliamp hour battery, battery life is great but shorter than they Matte 10 Pros, it earned an endurance rating of 89 hours in our proprietary tests. Charging is decently fast thanks to Huawei supercharge we got from zero to 46% in half an hour, sadly there is no wireless charging here even though the back is made of glass.

Now let's get to the biggest feature of the P20 pro the only triple camera setup available today, there's a 20 megapixel black-and-white sensor, the 40 megapixel color sensor and at the top an 8 megapixel telephoto lens. The cameras have OIS and used for different autofocus technologies, the P20 pro also uses AI to boost camera performance, the camera can detect various scenes and tune the settings accordingly you can really see the difference in colors though most of the modes are quite exaggerated, so they might not be to everyone's taste.

The default resolution for the color camera and actually all of the cameras is 10 megapixels, photos undergo optimization by combining information from all these two of the cameras at any time, the benefits of reducing the 40 megapixel resolution down to 10 are better sharpness and lower noise.

In good light 10 megapixel shots look great with good detail pleasing colors and plenty of dynamic range, they do seem a bit over sharpened upon close inspection but this could change with future software updates as I did with the Matte 10 pro. You can also opt for large 40 megapixel photos but you don't have the option for any sort of zoom and you don't get much more detail. The telephoto camera allows for 3 times optical zoom and five times hybrid zoom, the three times zoom has almost no loss in quality compared to the main cam, the five times looks good but it's not exactly lossless and some noise is visible but still this level of magnification is impressive, no other phone can provide such quality at a high level of zoom.
The 20 mega pixel monochrome snapper does well in daylight with sharp detail and wide dynamic range, but monochrome mode isn't the highlight feature, this camera is mostly used in conjunction with the other cameras to improve resolution.

In low-light photos produced for the main camera generally look good well exposed though with some visible noise and loss of detail, but if you're trying to make an even nicer picture after dark it's recommended to use the dedicated night mode, this allows for long exposure shots that you can take handheld without a tripod, thanks to advanced AI driven stabilization. The phone is actually making a composite of many photos and it takes a few seconds to process but the results are incredible while some of the shots do still come out blurry the keepers are quite stunning they look almost like they were taken on a cloudy day, showing colors and details that the naked eye can't even see in the dark.

The P20 Pro can also use these cameras to create a blurred background behind the subject in portrait mode, you are able to zoom for this type of shot and you can select various lighting effects like on the iPhone. One downside is that you can't change the level of blur in portrait mode, though strangely you can if you take portraits in aperture mode plus you can change their blur levels after they have been taken.

For selfies the P20 Pro has a 24 megapixel front-facing shooter they look good but focus is fixed so you have to be careful about how far away you hold the camera. You can take portrait selfies too which aren't too bad.

The P20 Pro can shoot super slow-mo video at 960 FPS for the 720p resolution, it's decent but in many ways Huawei version doesn't match up to his competitors by Sony and Samsung. If the captured motion is continuous it works out okay, though processing time after every recording can be annoying, if you're trying to catch a specific moment though it's impossible to control what will be slowed down clips are a short fixed length with a slowdown starting at some point in time after you hit the button.

The P20 Pro takes good videos in 4k though, they're nice and sharp and colors look natural without over processing, you can zoom with the telephoto lens too, unfortunately 4k videos don't have stabilization, but in 1080p stabilization is really good though videos do come out a bit softer and less detail than non stabilized ones.

To wrap things up, the P20 pro is an excellent phone it goes above and beyond last year's P10 borrowing premium features from the Matte series, like a large AMOLED screen, full water resistance and stereo speakers, but photos are where it really shoots, the 40 megapixel label is a bit misleading but at 10 megapixels the P20 pro does well in good light and it's unmatched in zoom and low-light capabilities.

Of course it's not perfect, it's running last year's chipset, the headphone jack is gone and it's a bit pricey too at around 850 Euros, but if you're after a well-balanced flagship phone that can take some awesome photos the P20 pro is worth looking into.
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Monday, 11 June 2018

Unboxing The World's Thinnest Gaming Laptop

In front of me I have a gaming laptop this gaming laptop actually claims to be the smallest, the thinnest 15 inch gaming laptop ever and it's from Razer and I think that's exciting and interesting, it is one of the downsides of gaming laptops, they tend to be bulky in order to fit in those heavy duty graphics that you're looking for then in light and gaming to this point haven't really gone together in a package that has made sense and Razer claims to have fixed that.

Here are the specification 

  • It’s the blade 15.6 inch 
  • There is the 144 Hertz gaming version of the panel of the display which is only 1080p and then there's the 4k version UHD at 60 Hertz the 4k version it's also a touchscreen if that's important to you 
  • Including the 512 gigabyte SSD gtx 1070 baked-in as well 


Very thin laptop box, the power brick is no joke that's a bit of a powerhouse and you can see that its proprietary, it has simple branding, simple product design, matte black finish it kind of looks like a tool it looks industrial I like that, you see the keyboard layout the speaker location what a perfect location for speakers why not a larger trackpad as well I noticed straight away, gtx 1070 max-q design and of course that 8th gen core i7 which is 6 cores 12 threads up to 4 point 1 gigahertz on your laptop and even though it's 15.6 inches in display size it's actually smaller than the previous version 14-inch razor blade laptop so they've packed more into less here.

We have Thunderbolt 3 USB 3 1 HDM,I a mini DisplayPort and a Kensington lock and then over on the left we have the power port 2 more USB 3 ones and an audio jack.

On the sides we have this crazy slim bezel and even the top which houses the front-facing camera is pretty slim comparative to what I've seen in the market and the trackpad very smooth texture as well as a precise response I am impressed at this point this is also a touchscreen so I could just reach up at any point and touch the display if I choose to.

Not liking the speaker's so much right now let me load up some SoundCloud I always sort of put him in like the average territory I think people are going to be more inclined to use headsets anyways, as it be arrows with the game on does these speakers sound a bit better and pub G here these speakers sound a little bit better.

Why a lot of people are gravitating towards razor in the first place they want the GPU and so on but as I said before there's different ways you can spec up this laptop to suit however you see yourself using it starting 1899 with a 1080p 60 Hertz display and then all the way up to the model that I tested here $28.99 for the 15.6 4k display and then the 144 Hertz versions in the middle, something to mention the weight of the device does change depending on your screen choice as well in the entry-level model actually the most portable it's gaming it's for gamers it can game but at the same time it sort of has the appeal that like a MacBook does for creative professionals where it's a simple design, it's not screaming at you I'm a gamer you don't just game on air that becomes your main laptop you spend a fortune on it so do you want it to only distinguish one part of you even though you do all these other things on that system it's your work laptop it's your creative laptop and it's your gaming laptop and I think Razer from a design and brand perspective has done a good job of finding that balance.

So there you have it the brand new blade I have a link in the description if you want to learn more about the specs or see the other models its power when you need it its simplicity when you don't it's kind of a do everything type of setup.
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Monday, 23 April 2018

OnePlus 5T Unboxing + 5 Things Before Buying!

This is the OnePlus 5T, alongside the OnePlus 5T, you get a Dash Charge USB-C cable, the power brick, quick-start guide, sync tool, and if you flip that quick-start guide, you get a not-that-great of a case, but it's still cool that they included it. So today, I want to break this down into five things to know before you potentially go out there and buy a OnePlus 5T, unless you're a OnePlus 5 owner, then you're probably a little upset. I'm sorry.
OnePlus 5T Unboxing

With that said, though, the first thing I want to talk about is pricing. Now, there were rumors that the OnePlus 5T could cost upwards of nearly 700 dollars. And if that upsets you, take a deep breath. You'll be happy to hear the OnePlus 5T starts at a 499. That'll get you 64 gigs of storage with six gigabytes of ram, or alternatively, you can double your storage and bump that RAM up all the way to eight gigabytes for 559.

Now, I've seen argumentatively, you can pick up an unlocked Galaxy S8 in the 500-dollar-range on Amazon, but to clarify, those are refurbished models. The cheapest new Galaxy S8 I've seen is about 630 bucks right now. I'm curious to hear, what sounds more enticing? A refurbished Galaxy S8 or a OnePlus 5T?

Next up is probably the biggest change of the OnePlus 5T, and that is the display. OnePlus has finally joined that 18 by 9, super-tall screen party. So it essentially is a six-inch display, 2,160 by 1,080, which may be a turnoff for some of you enthusiasts out there. Again, given the price point, I think the screen looks fantastic and if you need more resolution, you can hop up to a Galaxy S8 or even the fan-favorite, the LG V30.
OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T
OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T

What's nice about this though is if you stack it up side-by-side against the OnePlus 5, the form factor really hasn't changed, you are just getting a taller display. Because of the display, though, you do lose the fingerprint reader on the bottom, but effectively is moved towards the back in a much better location than the Galaxy S8 or Note 8. Its right smack in the middle and it works really well. Now, at the event, OnePlus was not shy to take shots at Google and their Pixel 2 display issues, and for those curious about the OnePlus 5T, I have not seen any blue shift on this phone, it looks fantastic. And again, the only potential drawback for some of you out there is it's a 1080p display.

Now from there, the third thing to talk about is the camera, or dual cameras, rather. It still features a 16 and 20 megapixel sensor, just like the OnePlus 5 did, but what's kinda weird, is that secondary lens is no longer a telephoto lens. It's the same exact focal length, the same exact aperture, and from what I understand, OnePlus is claiming that the secondary lens is going to be a low-light lens, so when it knows you're in a lower-light situation, it's going to opt to use that one instead. So with that, comes a couple different things.

  • One, portrait mode will still, in fact, work. The only difference is because those are the same focal length, the image will no longer be cropped. 
  • Then, number two, when you punch in on the OnePlus 5T camera, that zoom is purely digital. 

OnePlus 5T Dual Camera Lens

Same thing here is a shot, straight out of the OnePlus 5T camera, and as we zoom in, I got to say, I don't notice too much in terms of a quality loss, but it's still kind of weird to me that they opted for no telephoto lens.

Now, this here was one of my favorite shots. On a couple notes, one, this was using that fake, digital, telephoto zoom-in. And two, this was not using portrait mode, it was just straight out of the camera.
Now from there, as far as low-light goes, I actually got a pretty amazing test, thanks to Mr. Linus Tech Tips, and the event was super dark, so here is an example of the flash from the OnePlus 5T.
Looks very nice. From there, brace yourselves, this was straight low-light, no flash or anything, you're welcome. From there, here's a quick selfie shot from the OnePlus 5T. Nothing special or magical, but still really solid. I got to say, overall first impressions with the OnePlus 5T camera are really good.

Now, from there, the fourth thing to talk about is there is now Face Unlock, love the name, now on the OnePlus 5T. From what I can tell, OnePlus is not banking on this being the primary form of security on this phone, especially because you can only use it to unlock things. As far as purchases go, you must use your fingerprint to do those. With that said, though, setup was insanely fast and I think the unlock process may be even faster. No joke, you literally pick up the phone, hold it up to your face, and you are in the phone. So is Face Unlock a game changer on the OnePlus 5T? Nope, but it is a super fast and convenient way to get into the phone and for those who still want that trusty fingerprint reader, you get the best of both worlds.

Now, the last thing I wanna talk about is the OnePlus 5T isn't that much different than the OnePlus 5. The weird part is, the OnePlus 5 was not released that long ago, so I'm sure some of you out there who just bought that phone, got to be feelin' a little left out in the dark. They did this last year with the OnePlus 3 and 3T, so it's kind of setting a track record to not buy the first iteration of the phone.

The other kind of weird part, too, is it's so late in the year. We're getting closer to the Galaxy S9, or Samsung's prolly going to call it the Galaxy S10. Either way, though, it's really late in the year. And from there, I'm curious to know what you guys think of this. Now, at the event, OnePlus kind of defended this by comparing it to a software update, in the sense that if you have the ability to upgrade hardware, why wait a year?

For me, it just kind of feels like this is what the OnePlus 5 should've been. Based off of reactions on Twitter or at the event, I think most people would tend to agree. Granted, there are some pretty solid updates to OxygenOS, which is super clean and customizable. One feature in particular that I think is really cool, are parallel apps.

So for example, maybe you have two Twitter accounts, two Instagram accounts, two Facebook accounts, you can actually have a parallel versions of these, where you're logged in at the same time and choose which one you want to launch. From there, maybe the OnePlus 5 really didn't do it for you and you held off buying that, and now, the OnePlus 5T makes way more sense.

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Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Apple iPhone X Review: The Best Yet!

This is iphone 10 and it's my favorite iphone ever by far and there's no doubt that in the history of iphones this thing is iconic, it's more modern, it finally feels like a new iphone that's a big part of why I like it so much, but that's also the source for a few sore spots, there's a learning curve to this phone unlike any other iPhone.
Apple iPhone X Review

Every other iPhone ever has just been home button, rectangle screen, rounded corners, pretty much the same thing, you know what you're getting yourself into, you know exactly how to use it and if there's going to be one big new feature every year it takes you two seconds to learn it and you're good, iPhone 10 is different with this phone there's maybe three or four big fundamental changes to the way you use the phone.

It's very clearly still an iPhone you still mostly know how to use it, but there's a couple things that are different that you'll have to get used to, so on the outside is the shape we're used to the rectangle with rounded corners, but this is the first time the display itself actually has curved corners and it's pushed right up to the edges of the phone and it pushes everything to the corners and keeps all the front-facing sensors in the notch, the forsaken notch at the top it's actually not that big of a deal.

Just holding the iPhone 10 though it feels great, I think it's an awesome size, but if there were a bigger iPhone 10 plus I would totally get that, right now despite the larger display the 10 is definitely closer to feeling like an iPhone 8 than 8 plus, it still feels like a smaller phone compared to the others I've used and also thanks to the stainless steel sides it's definitely slippery and it's definitely going to slide out of your pocket at least once it happens to the best of them and it's crazy the silver it's so shiny and honestly we all know your phone is never going to look as good as it does fresh out the box unlike the more matte finish of the previous iPhone, I'm not convinced this super shiny finish on the iPhone rails is going to last like this we've seen this before in other products it definitely gets chipped and scratched, but D-brands got something new for the 10 “The Grip” so like the name implies this thing is supposed to be the best way to grip your phone.

Overall the iPhone 10 is a pretty complete hardware package as you'd expect from a thousand-dollar smartphone, the speaker's even though they aren't front-facing are still pretty good,
  • It’s water-resistant which gives you some nice peace of mind
  • It has wireless charging, 
  • It has no headphone jack 

It is now officially the most breakable iPhone ever thanks to having glass on the back.

The one part of the hardware of this phone I actually really don't like is the camera bump, but not just for the usual reason like rocking on a table I've just kind of accepted that at this point but because of the new orientation a couple times I've noticed it's easy to accidentally get your finger in the photo or video you're taking just because it's all up in the corner it might take a couple days to get used to that and stop getting your finger and the corner of your shots.
iPhone X camera bumps

What's really become the signature feature of the iPhone 10 is on the front and it is the notch up at the top of the display.

Apple have come up with the opposite solution which is “embrace the notch” so in all their software and all the software they'll promote is apps that wrap right around that notch and fill up the whole display, that's what an optimized iPhone 10 app looks like and since this is a taller aspect ratio apps will have to get updated to do this, developers will have to get on their horse and actually put in the work and update their apps to get them to fill up the display.

The only time I really think about the notch is when I'm watching videos, yes it gets kind of awkward here because when you're watching videos fullscreen the notch will cut off some of the display some of what you're trying to watch, so if you want to avoid that you can actually double tap and it'll bring in the video you're watching on this OLED display now you have some more bezels, but at this point now the video you're watching is so small you might as well not be watching it on a bigger screen it feels like the same size as the iPhone 8, so this whole thing is the main reason why I would actually want a plus size iPhone 10, as for the rest of the display it's great, Apple calls it a super Retina display, I just call it their first OLED in a smart phone ever finally and it's it's pretty awesome it's a 5.8 inch panel, high pixel density, it supports the p3 color gamut, HDR, it has true tone, it doesn't get as bright and saturated as Samsung's like note 8 and s8 displays, but it is still bright enough not too cartoonish with the colors, has a small blue shift when you tilt it off axis but so do many other OLEDs to varying degrees and it still has 3d touch although I pretty much stopped using that completely except for lock screen controls that I wish I could change, so the screen is awesome and it's a big part of why this phone looks so good from so many angles.

Of course, when you go to a full screen display like this you lose the home button, so that's why iPhone 10 replaces that home button with whole bunch of gestures this is the biggest learning curve of any iPhone ever, but it's still not that bad.

You swipe up from that bar at the bottom of the screen at any time to go home now anytime you see that bar it represents the home and whatever app you're in will close itself just like any other iPhone hitting a home button.

Swipe down from the top for notifications, but now swipe from the right corner for your control center and for multitasking again you have no home button so you swipe halfway up and then over to get through your recent apps, that'll get you to that same card style carousel as before, but overall once you get hang of this system once you get used to all this swiping which took me a couple days it felt pretty natural. I actually started trying to swipe up on other phones which shows you how weird how much I got used to that the one that took me the longest was multitasking because I started off thinking you had to swipe up then wait and then the cards show up, but that always felt so slow but what you really have to do to get this to work is you swipe up and over and I gets you to the cards way faster so that's a pro tip for anyone who is still swiping up halfway and waiting for the cards to show up like I was, you're welcome.

For those with small hands or who just really liked reach ability on the bigger iPhone you technically still have it, here it's buried in the accessibility settings but you can do the little swipe down on the bottom of the screen to bring the top corners within reach and that makes getting a top gesture is easier with one hand, I leave that on it's pretty useful sometimes.

Now of course, the other big change that comes with ditching the home button on iPhone 10 is he also just ditched that fingerprint reader which means as you may have heard they needed to replace that with face ID (facial recognition).

Face ID on the iPhone works really well most of the time, it's not perfect and I think touch ID was closer to perfect as far as fail rate goes but it's still impressively good and I still believe that touch ID is definitely still faster, but face ID can get better with software updates and with time as millions of people begin to use it I think that'll happen and it still also has some physical limitations that you can become aware of and avoid just like touch ID had some physical limitations that you could become aware of like when your fingers wet or it doesn't quite work because of stuff on your hands or if you have a glove on stuff like that you just know touch IDs not going to work so you put in the passcode.

Face ID has some physical limitations too, it works by bouncing thousands of little infrared dots off your face and back into the sensor and creating a map of your eyes nose and mouth it doesn't actually use the front-facing camera and it can learn a changing face over time it still recognizes you when you get a haircut or shave a beard or put makeup on, none of this stuff has a huge effect on the dot map that made of your face it also won't be tricked by a picture of you because that doesn't have the depth of your face and I can also work through some pairs of sunglasses again the ones where the infrared light can get through, but face ID has been known to fail when you're backlit or when there's like a ton of extra infrared light coming in basically from the Sun it's like how a dim flashlight doesn't work when it's really bright out same thing face ID is going to get blinded by all that extra infrared light just got to type in your passcode, but those times for me were few and far between, if touch IDs success rate was 99% to me it felt like face IDs success rate was like 95%.

I can add up when you unlock your phone hundreds of times a day, but again this can get better as it gets used more there's even some settings as well where you can turn attention on so it won't unlock if you're just holding the phone up to your face not only that but you have to be looking at your phone then it'll unlock and show all your notification data works pretty well for me just please don't do this while driving and even if face ID is this workaround to not getting the fingerprint reader underneath the glass in time for this phone, I still think that at its best facial recognition on a phone is closer to secure seamless authentication than a separate fingerprint reader ever would be because with this you just pick up the phone and it works you use it you login you pay for stuff you download apps etc, but if someone else picks up your phone it won't work it's that simple.

Then there is an emoji possibly maybe the most fun feature of iPhone 10, but you know it's hilarious these moving facial tracking and emoji are iPhone 10 exclusive, you can't get this on any other iPhone, so if you get one of these then you know the person that sent it has an iPhone 10 and weirdly enough if you send this to someone with an Android phone they just get a video message of this an emoji, but here's the thing an emoji is just using the front-facing camera, an emoji is working and continues to work even when you cover the depth sensors and the extra front-facing sensors all that stuff, it'll work when you cover everything except for it the front-facing camera which means they totally could have made these available for any other iPhone, but they didn't.
iPhone X emojis

iPhone 10 also has some slightly new cameras same exact sensors for both cameras as the iPhone 8 plus but slightly better glass and now both are optically stabilized so this is going to get you some meaningfully better performance with the 2x telephoto lens and zoomed in photos and zoomed in videos things like that which is good to see because I avoided using it with previous iPhones and as you'd expect photos from the iPhone 10 look awesome, I'm especially happy with how much dynamic range we're getting HDR on previous iPhone cameras used to be a lot less aggressive and I kept asking over and over for a little more a little more and now photos really pop the sky is like always so blue, details is there, color accuracy is tight, it's not as good as the pixel 2 camera just going to say that right up front, but this is a top 5 smartphone camera and no doubt and despite his tendency to overexpose I think it might be the best front-facing camera for video for any smartphone, they've also added portrait mode to the front-facing camera for portrait selfies on the 10, but it doesn't work nearly as well edges get blurred super hard almost to a comical amount when compare it to something like the pixel 2 or even the back facing camera, but the thing is pixel 2 does all this so much better because of machine learning and software, so in theory iPhone 10 can keep learning and get this good too, plus it already has better color accuracy so I'll be on the lookout for that software update.

Now you may have noticed we've made it all this way into an iPhone review without talking about any of the specs shows how important that is, but iPhone 10 is rocking the a11 Bionic chip and three gigs of ram and it's awesome in fact it's really good, I would say this is the most powerful mobile chipset in any smartphone right now the benchmarks are insane, but this isn't for iOS this is for all the things that run on top of iOS, the augmented reality apps, the image processing, the super slow-motion video all of that stuff, it obviously feels more modern because of all the swiping and the gestures now, but as far as functionality, it has all the same stuff and features you're used to, has all the same quirks you are used to, like iOS this notification system is still a mess since they don't group apps together this is still easily fixable but there's plenty of other things I wish would be different about iOS too, but it's Apple they're stubborn you'll get used to it.

Battery life on the iPhone 10 has turned out to be pretty great close to the iPhone 8 plus I would say again iPhone is a champ of standby time and it always has been so no problems there and it handles the biggest iPhone display ever pretty well thanks to it being an OLED, I haven't had any problems getting to the end of a single day with full use if you want to use that screen on time metric it's usually around 6 hours.

So the bottom line and the question that I get the most often about this phone is so what do you think? This is my favorite iPhone ever by far I really like it.

Is it worth $1000? Honestly I don't think people spending the money on this phone will be disappointed.

That's not to say this thing is perfect it clearly still also has its downsides,

  • The fact that it's all glass on the back more breakable that's a downside 
  • The notch on the front for a lot of people that's a downside
  • No headphone jack still a downside 

But those are all things that I think people who are buying this phone are already used to or were expecting and for that reason it's not a deal-breaker in 2017 so I'm happy to be carrying this phone, so if you were thinking about going out and getting this phone go ahead I think you'll like it too.

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Sunday, 8 April 2018

How To Turn Any Android Phone Into An iPhone 10

I got an email recently with a bizarre suggestion and a link to apps that let you turn your android phone into iPhone 10. Why would someone want to that? Obviously your android phone will not magically turn into iPhone 10, but what this guy did is an iPhone 10 launcher for Android.

One of the great things about Android device is that you can do some pretty weird stuff out of the box, you can install any launcher that you want and there’s plenty of good ones and weird ones.

Maybe there’s a little bit of practicality for individuals coming from iOS super familiar with the iPhone 10 gestures and want to switch over, truthfully I think this idea is more of novelty.

Nonetheless, I have been asked to check it out, so I went ahead and do so.

There are bunch of this apps on the Google playstore, I never imagine this eco system even existed anyhow, I selected the first one in the search result, Phone X launcher this particularly one already has over a million download.

Phone X launcher turns android into iPhone X, ios 11 & control center IOS 11 with iLauncher.

In the past I showed you guys an app that put the iPhone 10 notch on any android phone, Phone X launcher obviously goes a step further, but some of the implementation here is similar.

To start the Phone X launcher you pick an iOS inspired wallpaper, enable permission for notification access.

Firstly I tried swiping up my pixel 2 XL really felt like iPhone 10, at the top I have a different look and feel to the quoa to the reception meter after clicking it I got a notch on the launcher which really looks bizarre.
Install Iphone launcher on Pixel 2 XL

I think if you have the pixel 2 XL this is probably the last thing in the world you thinking about doing, maybe if you have some older android phone and you are sick of it for some reason and this may change it a little bit for you, gives you icon that looks like iPhone, anyway it puts you in the same territory so you can catch your width of the Apple universe and it’s funny you see chrome with safari logo, actually I can’t recommend it.

If you want to completely change the look and feel of your android phone, download something like Nova it’s also free and has about 50 million download and it’s real legit, you can change everything about the look and feel of your android phone.

With Nova you can change the size of logo, you can swipe out individual logo do lot of stuffs, I personally recommend this other than changing your android device into iPhone 10 interface.
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Thursday, 8 March 2018

The Apple Brand Ecosystem Explained

Have you ever asked somebody why they use an iPhone? I guess their reply would be "it's hard to break away from the apple ecosystem" what then comes to my mind is what is it about this Apple brand ecosystem you'll talking about? 


The Apple Brand Ecosystem Explained

There are tales all over the internet about this ecosystem in tech reviews and all kinds of iPhone videos probably every home pod video on the internet has that word or that phrase in it somewhere and even regular everyday conversations.

if you ask somebody why they use an iPhone it more or less comes down to the same answer sometimes it is just because it's the best all-around phone and they believe the hardware is superior that's sometimes but really often like really often the answer has something to do with the ecosystem.

More Lights on the Apple Ecosystem


Ecosystem a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment so in tech you know an ecosystem is just a community of interacting objects so Apple makes a ton of devices you know the iPhone, the iPad, the Mac, the Apple watch, the Apple TV, the home pod, air pods but they also make a lot of software and proprietary technology that ties them all together airplay, airdrop, continuity, iCloud. So once they can draw you into the ecosystem somewhere with one of their devices let's say an iPhone for example you get an iPhone like many people do then they can try to lure you to spend more money on other Apple products because they just work so well together.
Now most companies have a family of products that's not new it's not like Apple is the only one doing that but what makes this a unique ecosystem so successful maybe the most successful ecosystem ever is not only how well they work together but the walls they've built up around those things.

Living inside this Apple ecosystem is sort of like what we call a “walled garden” you may have heard that expression before meaning everything that's in the garden in these walls this is beautiful luscious garden everything is green it's everything you could ever want but these walls on the outside are really tall and they kind of don't want you trying to climb out or trying to explore beyond those walls.

Once you get a couple of Apple devices you start to get into the ecosystem, let's say you get an iPhone and a MacBook just those two things they make it as easy as possible you start using iMessage you start getting text messages on your phone and then you can reply to them on your computer super easy, blue bubbles everywhere your web browsing on your phone then you sit down in your computer and it shows up for you to pick up exactly where you left off. You have iCloud Drive so any files on one are always on the other anything about showing up airdrop, peer-to-peer sharing, legendary. You have tethering so the MacBook always has the iPhones internet wherever you go want to make a video call FaceTime is right there you can answer it on either device, you ask Siri to remind you for something it'll put it in the reminders app every time.

So okay now you're in the market for a SmartWatch, well I mean just you just get an Apple watch like what other options are there really now you can answer texts on your watch too, blue bubbles everywhere answer calls on your watch there's FaceTime still, ask Siri to set reminders on the watch it'll put them in the reminders app everything works together so beautifully, okay now you're in the market for a smart speaker it's a pretty new market a couple of options out there seems like it makes perfect sense to just go with the Apple one now suddenly wireless headphones are gaining steam you're in the market for some wireless earbuds air pods are right there they work perfectly you get the idea all these services and products are designed to be as good as possible yes  of course but they're also designed to be these little hooks to keep you in the Apple ecosystem to keep you giving them information and to keep you buying more Apple products as long as possible and the way to keep you using those products is to make those products as good as possible within the ecosystem and those are keywords within the ecosystem.

This explains the existence of so many Apple products that on the surface or from the outside from behind those walls can seem kind of limited or pointless or dumb especially in new markets where there's just the beginnings of competition, like why does the home pod exist in 2018 a smart speaker that only uses Siri, only uses Apple music, does not connect to Bluetooth, does not connect to anything that's not an iPhone, does not have a headphone jack because for that guy who uses Apple music and has an iCloud account and has an iPhone it's kind of perfect.

To be honest though I even been guilty of being in the ecosystem you know despite being I mean I use Android so I'm not tied in as deep I use some multi-platform stuff Spotify, Dropbox, things like that but I'm a Final Cut Pro Editor because Final Cut Pro is really good and Final Cut Pro is Mac only and it will probably pretty much always be Mac only.

So what about leaving what about getting out of the ecosystem well in Apple's case pretty much everything is tied to your iCloud account and if you want to get out of the ecosystem you have to rip that information out of your iCloud and sort of import it into that new service a lot of times much easier said than done, the more closely tied to iCloud that device is the more hooks it has into other parts of the ecosystem that make it harder to take out so accessories like air pods for example you know they work perfectly with things like your iPhone and your iPad and your MacBook because of the W1 chip they pair effortlessly we all know it just kind of works the Apple way but if you want to switch to another pair of headphones it's just that one hook in and you can move to another pair of wireless headphones and get away with it, now if you use Apple music and want to switch to Spotify because it's clearly better again it's like one hook but good luck trying to switch your entire library between the platforms entire companies have been born trying to make that process easier but trying to leave the iPhone to go to another phone that's not in the ecosystem is tough because there's a lot of hooks in to this all of your app purchases are gone if FaceTime is gone, your ear pods become useless, your home pod becomes useless you can't use the reminders app anymore, your Apple watch becomes a paperweight and iMessage is gone and then the iPhone the Holy Grail for shepherding people into this garden is so hard to leave that a new phone could come along with a better screen, better battery , no notch, a better camera, better battery life, a headphone jack and they'd still skip it because that ecosystem though it's kind of incredible.

Also by the way there's other ecosystems too there's Google's, Amazon's, Samsung's there's some more complete than others and just generally a notice ecosystems from everyone are expanding and evolving.

Two years ago you didn't really need smart appliances in your ecosystem as a tech company a couple days ago Amazon bought Ring for a billion dollars to get ahead on smart video doorbell so that's just kind of the world we're living in with all these companies building up their ecosystems some with little walls some with huge walls some are just as open as possible, the Google's for example is probably the most multi platform possible you want Google photos you can get it anywhere, you want Gmail you can get it anywhere, things like that are fun to see but it's still interesting to look at and evaluate Apples which has been closed off for so long the walls been built for so long that kind of makes its own weird case study.

Other than that, that's pretty much it. My only suggestion would be don't isolate yourself to just one ecosystem don't lock yourself in or if you already locked in maybe take a peek over those walls before it's too late.

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Thursday, 1 March 2018

Is the Samsung Galaxy S9 Worth the Hype?

New phone flagship from Samsung the market leaders, it’s S9 and S9 Plus with dual lens set up, the S9 and S9 plus comes in three different colors titanium gray, Lavender colour midnight black and coral blue, I personally like the titanium gray fingerprint shows a little less on the phone unlike black colour.
samsung s9 and s9 plus

At this point you probably saw couple videos on this S9 Plus, obviously the S9 Plus is a bit of iteration on the last one, there’s no overhaul happening here, anyway that’s ok though.

Visible Difference between Samsung S8 and S9

I used the S8 for a very long time it’s a comfortable hold it’s a nice little size, well here’s the thing in the meantime in the past year or so the competition in this marketplace it’s kind of changed to compel you to spend your extra cash no price increase here, in fact depending on how you purchase the device and which carrier you purchase the device from you might actually see a price reduction, I take that as a response to what’s happening in the market place and the quality you can get at lower price point.

 A couple things that I like about this device the movement of the fingerprint sensor underneath the camera lens, it’s something I complained about on the Samsung S8, what ends up happening you end up putting your finger in many cases on the camera lens and smudging it up sometimes manufacturers listen to the complain, you can see the evidence right on the S9.
s9 fingerprint

Other than this difference you would be hard-pressed place S8 beside S9, from the front view they are very similar in appearance now that could be a good thing that could be a bad thing.
s9 and s8 frontview

s9 and s8 backview


From the back view the movement of the fingerprint got better spot on the S9, easier to reach. The speaker grille which looks different now the single channel opening there on the old one the grille looked a bit different the reason for this is an improvement in the audio performance of the speaker, so Samsung requires Harman Kardon and improve in audio performance from the speaker unit firing audio from same location as well on the bottom.

All the rest of the stuffs you love are at the top headphone jack, USB type-C and the SIM tray with expandable SD card storage.

Display

Display OLED very pleasing to the eye is curved edge, I’m still a little bit undecided on whether or not I’m completely sold on that idea because when you are watching content you lose a little bit of it right it wraps around the edge which looks cool but do you enjoy content more or is just a novelty factor I’m not a 100% decisive on that recently have been using pixel to excel a lot now.
s9 and pixel 2xl

Camera

Camera on the S9 Plus for the first time ever has a variable aperture F 1.5 or F 2.4,I think for most of you this comes into play just in low-light situations, if you need more light it’ll trigger the larger aperture the portrait mode as well, I think this one it stacks up kind of nicely as of right now against the pixel 2XL, so it also got this super slo-mo mode that can shoot up to 960 frames per second so you tap the record button to start a recording and the slow motion starts when something moves within the square, 960 FPS is pretty wild 720P it’s a nice little gimmick you put that on social media like what are you doing how did you do it looks cool.

The S9 speaker if you try to cover up the audio on the bottom I’m still getting it through the earpiece at the top, the S9 does sound better than the S8, it is little more fold and pleasing.

The S9 options in video mode its unbelievable UHD 60 fps up to 4000 fps.

Do this devices do they justify the cost? I think the S9 has a real chance to be a major player in something that I could really recommend but right now I’m skeptical.

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Tuesday, 2 January 2018

How to Locate The Servers of Any Website

In a recent post I detailed how you can find out the location of anyone on the internet, here I will show you how to locate the web server of any website online.

Let’s say you want to find or you want to locate the web server of my website www.damtops.com, you want to know where my web servers are located, all you need do is follow this simple step below.

Firstly go to this link www.ip-tracker.org/resolve/domain-to-ip.php, after that simply enter the domain name whose servers you want to locate, then click Lookup Domain To IP.

It will display the IP address of the domain, as shown in the image below.

So all you need to do is go ahead and copy the IP address, go to www.ip-tracker.org and paste the IP address into the text box, now click on Trace IP With IP Tracker.

The next page will display the details of the IP address

It will show you the detailed location where the IP address is originating from.

With this simple trick you track the location of any website server on the internet.

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Monday, 1 January 2018

How to Track The Location of Anyone On The Internet

Internet is largest computer network and more than 3 billion people are using Internet, I mean my friends your friends my family your family everyone, almost everyone are using Internet in some way or the other ways, Now the question is can you track the location of a person using Internet? The answer is absolutely yes.
How to Track The Location of Anyone On The Internet

However, it’s impossible to hide your location on the Internet unless you’re using a VPN, I’m not going to talk about VPN in this tutorial, anyway in this tutorial we will be talking about how to track the location of a person using Internet.

Step 1:

Find Their IP Address

IP Address is something which we use to determine the location of a device which connected to the Internet, just like how you determine or how you describe your physical location by mentioning your physical address the same way on the Internet we use IP addresses to determine where a specific Internet connected device is located on the earth so using this IP address we can basically track or tell from where the Internet user is visiting or using the Internet.

So how do you actually know the IP address of someone, well you can basically create a domain for yourself and you can send the link of your domain to the person whose IP address you want to find and when that person visits you don’t mind using his Internet connection his IP address can be recorded, but creating your own domain and doing all this stuff may be a little bit complicated so you can follow this alternative and simple way to find the IP address of anyone.

Firstly, go to www.iplogger.org and you will see a web page like the image below, click on get IP logger code.

In this page you will see your IP logger link to record the statistics, just go ahead and copy it.

Now you need to send this link to the person whose location you want to track, you can send this link through Facebook, Whatsapp, Gmail or any platform you wish, you can even shorten the link if you want.

For this tutorial I will send this link to myself, so once a person clicks on the link he will be seeing pay something like the image below,  but in the background his IP address is also located and we’re going to see it.

Now go back to the IP logger tab and this time copy the link for viewing the statistics, highlight the link, right click and select Go to the following link.

The next screen will list out all the IP addresses that are recorded using your IP logger link and as you can see below the first IP address is basically my IP address and it is recorded when I clicked on the link.


Step 2:

Track the IP Address

Once you have the IP address you can go to www.ip-tracker.org,  scroll down and type in the IP address into the text box and click on search.

It’s going to show you all the following  information about that particular IP address which includes:

  • The location of that Particular IP address
  • It shows the country, the state, city and the postal code.
  • The name of the ISP Internet Service Provider.

So you just saw how we can actually track the location of anyone using the Internet.


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