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Black Friday 2018: all the best UK deals as early offers get underway
Posted on Friday November 16, 2018

Preparation is key to getting the best Black Friday deals, so try this handy guide to what’s on offer in the UK

The countdown is on to Britain’s biggest shopping event – Black Friday – and with many high street retailers struggling, shoppers can expect to bag some good bargains.

This year Black Friday falls on 23 November and will be followed three days later by Cyber Monday, probably the busiest day of the year for online shopping.

Related: Amazon and high street chains kick off Black Friday early

Related: Black Friday: stay out of the red with our smart shopping guide

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OnePlus 6T review: you'd have to spend double to get better than this
Posted on Friday November 02, 2018

With in-display fingerprint scanner and speedy performance, this is the smartphone that brings all-screen design up a notch

The OnePlus 6T proves that cutting-edge technology doesn’t have to cost the Earth, bringing an in-display fingerprint scanner and a tiny notch for just £500.

OnePlus has kept things simple for years, offering top specifications for budget prices. The price has slowly crept up to not-quite-so budget, but the level of refinement and technology has also improved.

Screen: 6.41in full HD AMOLED (402ppi)

Processor: octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845

RAM: 6 or 8GB of RAM

Storage: 128 or 256GB

Operating system: OxygenOS based on Android 9 Pie

Camera: 16MP + 20MP rear dual camera, 16MP front-facing camera

Connectivity: LTE, dual sim, Wi-Fiac, NFC, Bluetooth 5 and GPS

Dimensions: 157.5 x 74.8 x 8.2mm

Weight: 185g

When you use the fingerprint sensor the night mode for the display is disabled temporarily and then fades back in once you’ve unlocked the phone

The phone comes with a screen protector already on it

The single bottom-firing speaker is loud and has a relatively large amount of bass for the phone, but is easily blocked while playing a game

OnePlus’s alert slider switches between silent, vibrate and ring and is still brilliant

Pros: good battery life, great screen, excellent performance, dual-sim, good camera, Bluetooth 5, great software, tiny notch, in-screen fingerprint sensor, alert slider

Cons: glass back but no wireless charging, no IP water resistance rating, no expandable storage, no headphone socket

Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: cutting-edge brilliance

Google Pixel 3 review: raising the bar for the Android experience

Google Pixel 3 XL review: big is still beautiful

Honor Play review: great all-round smartphone for under £300

Apple iPhone XS review: two steps forward, one step back

iPhone XS Max review: Apple’s supersized smartphone

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iPhone XR review: Apple's cheaper battery king
Posted on Wednesday October 31, 2018

With Face ID and a decent screen, this phone attempts a happy medium between quality and price – but £750 still isn’t a bargain

The iPhone XR looks to offer most of what made the iPhone XS a knockout for £250 less – but with a colourful body and a slightly larger screen is this the iPhone to buy?

With the iPhone XS and XS Max starting at £999 and £1,099 respectively, Apple has room to shoehorn a slightly lower cost, but still expensive, model in underneath.

Screen: 6.1in Liquid Retina HD (LCD) (326ppi)

Processor: Apple A12 Bionic

RAM: 3GB of RAM

Storage: 64, 128 or 256GB

Operating system: iOS 12

Camera: Dual 12MP rear cameras with OIS, 7MP front-facing camera

Connectivity: LTE, Wi-Fiac, NFC, Bluetooth 5, Lightning and GPS

Dimensions: 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm

Weight: 194g

Face ID is excellent, working just as well on the iPhone XR as it does on the iPhone XS

You need a USB-C to Lightning cable to fast charge the phone, but neither it nor a compatible charger are included in the box

The iPhone XR is water resistant to IP67 standards, which is the same as the iPhone X but worse than the iPhone XS

Wireless charging is great, but the iPhone heats up quite a lot while charging, more so than competitor phones

Pros: good camera, water resistant, wireless charging, Face ID, good battery life, good screen

Cons: no headphone socket, no fingerprint scanner, glass will break if dropped, expensive, no fast charger or USB-C cable in the box, no headphones adapter in the box

Apple iPhone XS review: two steps forward, one step back

iPhone XS Max review: Apple’s supersized smartphone

Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: cutting-edge brilliance

Google Pixel 3 review: raising the bar for the Android experience

Google Pixel 3 XL review: big is still beautiful

Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: the best big-screen smartphone by miles

OnePlus 6 review: top-end smartphone for half cost of iPhone X

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OnePlus 6T: cut-price flagship launches with in-screen fingerprint sensor
Posted on Monday October 29, 2018

Updated Android smartphone shrinks screen notch, offering cutting-edge technology for less

OnePlus is putting a stake in the ground with its latest smartphone, saying cutting-edge technology doesn’t need to cost the best part of £1,000.

The new OnePlus 6T, which starts at £499, has an all-screen design and large 6.41in FHD+ OLED display, but this time shrinks the notch at the top to a more bearable tiny teardrop shape, slims the chin at the bottom of the screen and fits a fingerprint scanner directly into the screen.

OnePlus 6 review: top-end smartphone for half cost of iPhone X

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Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: cutting-edge brilliance
Posted on Monday October 29, 2018

With in-display fingerprint and 3D face scanning, triple camera and long battery life, Huawei has pulled off something special

Huawei has made really good phones for years, but the Mate 20 Pro is the Chinese firm’s first truly cutting-edge device with a triple camera, 3D face unlock and an in-screen fingerprint sensor.

The Mate series of phones has always delivered one thing above all else – battery life. This year Huawei has gone out of its way to deliver even more.

Screen: 6.39in QHD+ OLED (538ppi)

Processor: octa-core Huawei Kirin 980

RAM: 6 or 8GB of RAM

Storage: 128 or 256GB plus nano memory card

Operating system: EMUI 9 based on Android 9 Pie

Camera: Triple rear camera 40MP, 20MP ultra-wide angle, 8MP telephoto, 24MP front-facing camera + 3D depth sensing camera

Connectivity: LTE, Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 5 and GPS (dual-sim available in some regions)

Water resistance: IP68

Dimensions: 157.8 x 72.3 x 8.6 mm

Weight: 189g

Bluetooth connectivity to a set of wireless earbuds was excellent

4G performance was far better than some rivals, holding onto usable signal in more places without draining the battery

The twilight colour does not have the hyper optical pattern on the glass back

The phone supports new nano memory cards, not microSD cards, which might prove difficult to buy

Huawei’s haptics are greatly improved, although not quite on a par with Apple’s

It is not available to buy in the US following Huawei’s effective ban by the Trump administration

Pros: long battery life, 3D face recognition, in-display fingerprint scanner, wireless charging, reverse wireless charging, brilliant camera, fantastic screen, good processor

Cons: EMUI not to everyone’s taste, nano memory not microSD, expensive, no headphone socket, Master AI can be overbearing at times

Google Pixel 3 XL review: big is still beautiful

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review: the do-everything phone

iPhone XS Max review: Apple’s supersized smartphone

Apple iPhone XS review: two steps forward, one step back

Huawei P20 Pro review – the three-camera iPhone killer

OnePlus 6 review: top-end smartphone for half cost of iPhone X

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Surface Laptop 2 review: Microsoft's sleeker answer to the MacBook Air
Posted on Tuesday October 23, 2018

This slim, powerful machine is the finest example of what a Windows laptop should be. If only it came with USB-C

The Surface Laptop 2 is Microsoft’s ultimate vision of what a Windows 10 laptop should be – simple, sleek and sophisticated, but still a little different.

The look, feel and operation hasn’t changed since last year, save for a slick new black paint job, which joins the default Microsoft silver, burgundy and blue.

Screen: 13.5in LCD 2256 x 1504 (201 PPI)

Processor: Intel Core i5 or i7 (8th generation)

RAM: 8 or 16GB

Storage: 128, 256, 512GB or 1TB

Graphics: Intel UHD 620

Operating system: Windows 10 Home

Camera: 720P front-facing, Windows Hello

Connectivity: Wifi ac, Bluetooth 4.1, USB 3.0, mini DisplayPort, headphones, TPM

Dimensions: 308.1 x 223.3 x 14.5mm

Weight: 1,252 or 1,283g

The Fn key can lock to either media or F keys with a little LED to show when active

Due to the angle of the side of the machine it can be difficult to plug the magnetic power cable in without lifting the side up for more leverage

The speakers are hidden beneath the deck of the keys and sound pretty good for a laptop

Pros: great keyboard, good trackpad, Alcantara, sleek design, USB-A port, great screen, great battery life, Windows Hello, powerful processor

Cons: no USB-C, no SD card reader, no fingerprint scanner, limited configuration options, Windows 10 Home not Pro, only Intel UHD 620

Huawei MateBook X Pro review: the slim, do-it-all MacBook Pro rival

Microsoft Surface Book 2 review: a powerful yet pricey laptop-tablet combo

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Tablet review: as good as Surface Pro but with USB-C

Microsoft Surface Pro review: very nearly almost the future of Windows PCs

Microsoft Surface Go review: tablet that’s better for work than play

Apple 13in MacBook Pro (2017) review: battery life to get through a working day

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Google Home Hub review: the smart display to buy
Posted on Monday October 22, 2018

This gadget is your Google Assistant, smart-home dashboard and digital photo frame in one – and it’s good for cooking, too

The Home Hub is Google’s first own-brand smart display, combining Google Assistant, advanced smart-home control and a digital photo frame into a neat and tidy package.

Google isn’t the first to market with smart displays. Amazon’s Echo Show put the company’s Alexa on a screen a year ago, while Google Assistant smart displays made by Harman, Lenovo and LG were released a few months ago.

The screen can be set to turn off or go very dim in darkness

Swipe from the left edge to go back one screen

Some answers are accompanied by sound effects, such as birds tweeting for sunny weather predictions

Manual tweaking of brightness, low-light mode and display settings are buried in a menu on the Google Home app

There’s a night mode you can schedule to reduce the volume of responses and block notifications apart from alarms and timers

You can use it as a Bluetooth speaker

The Home Hub can show you the video from any linked smart cameras

Pros: great touchscreen, minimalist design, Bluetooth, Google Assistant, can hear you well, excellent smart home control, great recipes, cheaper than the competition

Cons: no 3.5mm socket, fabric could get dirty in a kitchen, need to dig into the Google Home app to change almost any setting, only Google services

Google Home review: the smart speaker that answers almost any question

Google Home Mini review: a brilliant little voice assistant speaker

Google Home Max review: bigger and smarter sound

Amazon Echo Show review: smart speaker with a screen has great potential

Amazon Echo Spot review: cute smart speaker with a screen

Apple HomePod review: Siri lets down best sounding smart speaker

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Huawei Mate 20 Pro launches with in-screen fingerprint sensor
Posted on Tuesday October 16, 2018

Feature-packed Android phone is first widely available with scanner embedded in screen alongside 3D face unlocking

Huawei’s new Mate 20 Pro has a massive screen, three cameras on the back and a fingerprint scanner embedded in the display.

The new top-end phone from the Chinese firm aims to secure its place at the top of the market alongside Samsung, having recently beaten Apple to become the second-largest smartphone manufacturer in August.

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Amazon launches water-resistant Kindle Paperwhite
Posted on Tuesday October 16, 2018

Update of popular e-reader introduces thinner and lighter design, Bluetooth compatibility and audiobook support

Amazon has launched a new version of its popular Kindle Paperwhite e-reader, which is thinner, lighter and now finally water resistant.

The new 2018 Kindle Paperwhite is the second Amazon e-ink device to be given the water resistance treatment following the launch of the Rolls Royce of e-readers, the £230 Oasis, in 2017.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2015 review: the sharpest and best yet

Amazon Kindle Oasis 2017 review: the Rolls-Royce of e-readers

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Facebook Portal smart screen to launch amid concerns over privacy
Posted on Monday October 08, 2018

Company reveals details about voice-controlled device, which was delayed after data breach

Facebook wants to be invited into your living room. The company has revealed details about its Amazon Echo competitor, a voice-controlled, webcam-equipped smart screen named Portal.

Arriving in the US in November, Facebook Portal is a $199 (£152) 10-inch screen, with two speakers and a high-quality webcam attached, which the company hopes users will put in their living rooms and kitchens and use to launch video chats with friends and loved ones.

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Google launches DIY smart Nest Thermostat E
Posted on Monday October 01, 2018

Heating controller cheaper than previous model and consumers will not require a boiler engineer to install it

Google’s latest smart-home product is a cheaper smart thermostat that anyone can install themselves without the need for a boiler engineer.

The new £199 Nest Thermostat E is a two-part system consisting of a battery-powered heating controller called the Heat Link E, which replaces an existing wired thermostat or heating controller, and a smart thermostat that can be placed somewhere else in your home.

Nest Learning Thermostat third-gen: the simple, effective heating gadget

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The modern kitchen: with the help of electricity – archive, 26 September 1922
Posted on Wednesday September 26, 2018

26 September 1922 Kitchens revolutionised by electrical appliances and labour-saving devices

The modern kitchen differs in almost every respect from the average kitchen of thirty years ago. Conditions of work have necessitated radical changes to equipment. In a present-day kitchen there is no room for anything that is not of practical everyday use. Elaborate copper moulds and fancy dishes and crocks have given place to the plainest designs in earthenware and fireproof china. White wood furniture is no longer regarded as a necessary evil and a sign of respectability. The kitchen table is covered with linoleum or oil-baize; cupboards and dressers are stained and wax-polished to render them dustproof, and open shelves and spaces are discouraged since they make unnecessary work. In every point modern devices must require only a reasonable amount of time and attention to keep them in good condition. The cooking stoves in use to-day are a tremendous advance on the old-fashioned coal-eating ranges. Modern ranges are planned and equipped so that the fuel is used with the utmost efficiency and the heat can be perfectly controlled. Gas and electric stoves are universally popular both for the ease with which they can be used and for the efficiency with which they perform their work.

Related: Would you live in a house without a kitchen? You might have to

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Nest Hello review: Google's smart facial-recognition video doorbell
Posted on Thursday September 20, 2018

Excellent smart device comes with optional 24/7 video recording with facial recognition – and works as a doorbell too

Google’s new Nest Hello is a video doorbell that aims to be smarter than the rest with constant recording, face and object recognition.

The Hello is a direct replacement for a wired doorbell, working with an existing chime and requiring constant power, making it one of the high-end options for smart doorbells.

The Nest app runs you through full installation instructions that you can’t skip, even if you’ve had an electrician install the doorbell for you. Tedious.

The hyperlapse effect of scrolling through a full day’s video is really beautiful, watching the sun streak across the sky

I received far too many notifications for people passing by without a Nest Aware subscription, meaning I had to turn them off

Shadows of people walking are identified as people, setting off the alert even if the person isn’t actually in your motion zone

The Hello is weather-proof, but the backplate doesn’t fit all that tightly to the wall, so water can get in behind it if it’s exposed to torrential rain or similar

You’ll need a strong wifi signal for the doorbell and an uncapped broadband connection for the Nest Aware video recording

You can silence the chime for 30 minutes to three hours, but can’t schedule it to be quiet overnight or similar – you can toggle it on or off in the app manually though

Pros: HDR video, good night vision, good and fast app, great as basic doorbell, attractive, smart add-on features, with Nest Aware it is excellent as home-security camera, recognises guests via facial recognition

Cons: stringent wiring/power requirements, additional subscription almost a necessity, mount sits proud of the wall, privacy concerns of having a camera on your door particularly with facial recognition

Ring Video Doorbell 2 review: deal with doorsteppers from your sofa

Samsung SmartThings Hub review: an Internet of Things to rule them all?

Nest Learning Thermostat third-gen: the simple, effective heating gadget

Amazon Echo Show review: smart speaker with a screen has great potential

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Yuval Noah Harari: the myth of freedom
Posted on Friday September 14, 2018

Governments and corporations will soon know you better than you know yourself. Belief in the idea of ‘free will’ has become dangerous

Should scholars serve the truth, even at the cost of social harmony? Should you expose a fiction even if that fiction sustains the social order? In writing my latest book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, I had to struggle with this dilemma with regard to liberalism.

On the one hand, I believe that the liberal story is flawed, that it does not tell the truth about humanity, and that in order to survive and flourish in the 21st century we need to go beyond it. On the other hand, at present the liberal story is still fundamental to the functioning of the global order. What’s more, liberalism is now attacked by religious and nationalist fanatics who believe in nostalgic fantasies that are far more dangerous and harmful.

The main challenge liberalism faces today comes not from fascism or communism but from the laboratories

If governments succeed in hacking the human animal, the easiest people to manipulate will be those who believe in free will

Related: Yuval Noah Harari extract: ‘Humans have always lived in the age of post-truth. We’re a post-truth species’

If we understood that our desires are not the outcome of free choice, we would hopefully be less preoccupied with them

Related: Are we about to witness the most unequal societies in history?

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Why you should read this article slowly
Posted on Friday September 14, 2018

Amid fears of shrinking attention spans, it’s time to stop skimming our screens and try slow reading – it is rich in rewards

Are we doomed to read distractedly in the digital age? Technology seems to deter slow, immersive reading. Scrolling down a web page with your thumb feels innately less attentive than turning over the pages of a book. Reading on a screen, particularly a phone screen, tires your eyes and makes it harder for you to keep your place. So online writing tends to be more skimmable and list-like than print. At the top of a web article, we are now often told how long it will detain us, forewarned that the words below are a “15-minute read”. The online reader’s put-down is TL;DR. Too long; didn’t read.

The cognitive neuroscientist Maryanne Wolf argued recently that this “new norm” of skim reading is producing “an invisible, game-changing transformation” in how readers process words. The neuronal circuit that underpins the brain’s capacity to read now favours the rapid ingestion of information, rather than skills fostered by deeper reading, like critical analysis and empathy.

The Kindle has not killed off the printed book any more than the car killed off the bicycle

The slow reader is like a swimmer who stops counting laps and just enjoys how their body feels and moves in water

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Amazon launches Fire HD 8 tablet with new Echo-like dock
Posted on Thursday September 06, 2018

Company updates popular £80 tablet, improving camera and giving it new Alexa smart assistant capabilities

Amazon is updating its popular £80 media tablet with an improved camera and new Alexa capabilities that turn it into an Echo device with a screen.

The new Fire HD 8 looks almost identical on the outside to the previous version, with a robust plastic body available in a collection of colours. Inside is a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 1.5GB of RAM, a choice of 16 or 32GB of storage, an 8in 720p screen and stereo speakers, an improved front-facing camera, and 10 hours of battery life.

2017 Amazon Fire HD 8 review: easily the best tablet you can buy for £80

Amazon Fire HD 10 review: affordable tablet that’s great for Netflix addicts

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Google Home Max review: bigger and smarter sound
Posted on Thursday August 30, 2018

Big new Google Assistant smart speaker finally launches in the UK with best-in-class voice control aiming to be the life and soul of the party

Google’s big, premium Apple HomePod rival the Home Max is finally being released in the UK today, bringing Google Assistant to the high-end smart speaker market.

Announced in October 2017 and on sale in the US since November, the Home Max joins Google’s smaller Home and smallest Home Mini smart speakers as the big one. Google Assistant sorts voice commands, controls and questions exactly the same as Google’s smaller smart speaker offerings, but the way it sounds couldn’t be more different.

The dots in the middle switch orientation when you turn the speaker between vertical or horizontal

You can charge your phone from the USB-C port (but not quickly)

Volume controlled via the buttons on your phone in the Google Home app adjust the volume by between 4 and 6%, which is strange

Assistant will tell you if you’ve placed the Home Max upside down – it will still work though

There’s a good level of granularity in the volume control, meaning you can easily get the volume just right

Pros: Google Assistant is great, multi orientation, loud and punchy, can always hear you, Bluetooth and analogue in, native Spotify and multiple other music services, adaptive sound, granular volume control via percentage, good touch controls

Cons: variable volume in playlists, not much good for a non-Google user, smart speaker privacy concerns, better for some music genres than others, expensive

Google Home review: the smart speaker that answers almost any question

Google Home Mini review: a brilliant little voice assistant speaker

Apple HomePod review: Siri lets down best sounding smart speaker

Sonos Play:5 review: one of the best wireless speakers money can buy

Amazon Echo second-generation review: smaller, cheaper and better

Continue reading...

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review: the do-everything phone
Posted on Wednesday August 22, 2018

The phablet’s massive, beautiful screen, excellent performance and new Bluetooth stylus will have Note fans salivating

The king of the big, powerful phones is back for another generation, but is the new Samsung Galaxy Note 9 still the phablet to beat?

The Note series pioneered the big-screen smartphone in 2011 and over the last seven years it has been made larger and more feature-packed with each new version. Where the Galaxy S9 series is Samsung’s top-end phone for normal people, the Note 9 is the powerhouse for those that need the answer to the question “can I do that on my phone” always to be yes.

Screen: 6.4in quad HD+ AMOLED (516ppi)

Processor: octa-core Samsung Exynos 9810 or octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845

RAM: 6 or 8GB of RAM

Storage: 128 or 512GB + microSD card

Operating system: Samsung Experience 9 (Android 8.1)

Camera: dual 12MP rear cameras with OIS and dual aperture, 8MP front-facing camera

Connectivity: LTE, Wi-Fi, NFC, wireless charging, Bluetooth 5, GPS and Iris sensor

Dimensions: 162 x 76.4 x 9 mm

Weight: 205g

The Bixby button is still there and Bixby still isn’t great – it technically hasn’t even launched in the UK yet so we just get the US version

Both the phone and S Pen are water resistant to IP68 standards

To register a fingerprint you swipe down on the sensor once, but you must do so in the orientation you hold the device normally otherwise the results aren’t good

Intelligent scan, which combines face and iris recognition, works very well, but you still have to use your fingerprint for most apps

The screen is just about big enough to be a viable replacement for a 7in tablet, but you had better have big pockets

The stereo speakers are surprisingly loud and good

Wireless charging remains great

Pros: good battery, impressive screen, water resistant, brilliant camera, Bluetooth S Pen, microSD card slot, wireless charging, lasting performance, DeX without the dock, headphone jack

Cons: only Android 8.1, expensive, very big for hands and pockets, fingerprint scanner should be lower down the back, Bixby still not good enough

Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: the best big-screen smartphone by miles

Google Pixel 2 XL review: the best big-screened Android experience yet

Huawei P20 Pro review – the three-camera iPhone killer

Huawei Mate 10 Pro review: say hello to two-day battery life

OnePlus 6 review: top-end smartphone for half cost of iPhone X

Honor 10 review: premium phone that punches above its price

iPhone X review: Apple finally knocks it out of the park

Continue reading...

Nokia 8110 4G review: a nostalgia trip too far
Posted on Thursday August 16, 2018

The original was made famous by The Matrix, and some might want to drop this reboot out of the nearest window too

The new Nokia 8110 4G is the latest nostalgia trip from HMD Global, but is it more than just a remake of that “banana phone” from the Matrix?

HMD had a hit on its hands with the new Nokia 3310 from last year, which was a surprisingly charming dumbphone that cost slightly more than other basic Nokias because of the name.

Pros: 5-day+ battery life, headphone jack, dual-sim support, 4G, 4GB storage, microSD card slot, removable battery

Cons: expensive, tedious T9, not many apps, no WhatsApp, Spotify or Instagram

Continue reading...

Apple's six defining products - in pictures
Posted on Thursday August 02, 2018

As Apple becomes the first company to break $1tn market cap barrier its progress from garage-based startup to the all-conquering global company it is today can be charted in six products. Here are the computers, music players, smartphones and tablets that made Apple

Continue reading...

Wi-Charge harnesses light to free Amazon Echo Dot and Google Home Mini smart speakers from power cords
Posted on Friday November 16, 2018

Wi-Charge’s technology can eliminate power adapters and cords and keep the batteries in devices such as smart locks, smartphones, security cameras, and sensors permanently topped off.

Logitech G502 Hero review: A slight improvement on an old standard
Posted on Friday November 16, 2018

Rarely does a piece of hardware have the sticking power of Logitech’s G502 mouse. We originally reviewed the G502 back in 2014 in its first iteration, the Proteus Core, and both it and the later RGB-equipped Proteus Spectrum revision have been top mouse picks ever since. 

Now Logitech’s back with its third refresh, the G502 Hero. No, it’s not the long-awaited wireless version, but it does pack Logitech’s new and proprietary Hero sensor. Hence the name. And given that Hero was originally designed as an efficient wireless sensor...maybe it’s a sign of things to come?

To read this article in full, please click here

Talking Turkey: Presenting the best movies to stream over the Thanksgiving holiday
Posted on Friday November 16, 2018

We’ve picked 20 essential movies for you, with topics ranging from feasts to families.

OnePlus 6T tips: The 10 features to check out first
Posted on Friday November 16, 2018

OnePlus doesn’t subscribe to the once-yearly update cycle we see from most smartphone makers. Instead, it updates its hardware quickly, and adds new features with each iteration. The OnePlus 6T just launched around the world with one of the first in-display fingerprint sensors, and it’s now being sold in the U.S. via T-Mobile—a first for OnePlus, which previously sold phones unlocked, direct-to-consumer.

So, you’ve got a shiny new OnePlus 6T, but how can you make the most of it? By taking advantage of the 10 features we describe below. And if you don’t yet have a 6T, make sure to read Michael Simon’s OnePlus 6T review.

To read this article in full, please click here

Best media streaming devices
Posted on Thursday November 15, 2018

Roku Streaming Stick vs. Amazon Fire Stick vs. Chromecast vs. Apple TV, and more. Which streaming device is best for cord cutters? Our buying guide will help you pick the right accessories for your TV.

5 things to consider when buying a business laptop
Posted on Thursday November 15, 2018

There are many factors to consider when buying a new business laptop for yourself or others in your organization. To help you make the best decision, we’ve put together this quick guide to the things you should be looking out for when making your purchase.

Sponsored by HP.

How will you use it?

The most important question to ask before drawing up your shopping list is what the device’s day-to-day duties will entail.

If it’s just for producing reports, presentations, and spreadsheets, then all modern laptops will easily cope with these tasks. But if you need to replace a desktop machine, you're better off going for models with larger 15in or 17in displays, as they provide a more comfortable experience for users.

To read this article in full, please click here

If you think the Pixel 3 XL is ugly, take a look at the double-notch Sharp Aquos R2 Compact
Posted on Thursday November 15, 2018

Just when you thought you had seen every awful notch on a phone, Sharp is here to one-up them all. Like the Essential Phone, the Aquos R2 Compact has a small eraser-shaped camera notch at the top of the screen, which is all good. But when you get to the bottom of the screen it all falls apart.

Why? Because there’s a notch down there that wraps around the fingerprint sensor.

We know what you’re thinking, and no, we don’t know why Sharp didn’t just put the sensor on the back like with every other Android phone. We also don't know why it didn't just increase the size of the chin. But as it is, you’ll get a rectangular notch at the bottom of the screen that cuts around half of the fingerprint sensor, while the other half rests below the screen.

To read this article in full, please click here

Nvidia confirms 'limited' GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition quality issues
Posted on Thursday November 15, 2018

After weeks of numerous forum posts and social complaints about misbehaving graphics cards, Nvidia has acknowledged that its GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition has a problem.

“Limited test escapes from early boards caused the issues some customers have experienced with RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition,” a company employee wrote on the GeForce forums. “We stand ready to help any customers who are experiencing problems. Please visit www.nvidia.com/support to chat live with the Nvidia tech support team (or to send us an email) and we’ll take care of it.”

To read this article in full, please click here

Watch The Full Nerd talk RX 590, ray tracing in Battlefield V, and 2080 Ti news now
Posted on Thursday November 15, 2018

Join The Full Nerd gang as they talk about the latest PC hardware topics. Today's show covers all things graphics! From the Radeon RX 590 launch, to ray tracing enabled in Battlefield 5, to RTX 2080 Ti failures - we'll talk about all that and more. As always we will be answering your live questions so speak up in the chat.

If YouTube is not your thing uou can also watch us on Twitch, Facebook, and Twitter!

To read this article in full, please click here

A new Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ has arrived with Bluetooth 4.2 and dual-band Wi-Fi for $25
Posted on Thursday November 15, 2018

Raspberry Pi has introduced a new version of one of its most popular models just in time to stuff your stocking: the Model A+. And this time around, it’s even more attractive.

The Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ costs $25, $5 more than the previous generation, but has a lot more going for it. Just like the top-of-the-line Model B+, the new Model A+ has a 1.4GHz 64-bit quad-core processor, and you’ll also get dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4GHz + 5 GHz), a feature that was missing from the previous A+. And you’ll have to use it, since the A+ doesn’t have an Ethernet port. It does, however, have Bluetooth 4.2 on board.

To read this article in full, please click here

The awesome iRobot Roomba 690 is down to its lowest price ever today
Posted on Thursday November 15, 2018

Best water leak detectors for smart homes
Posted on Thursday November 15, 2018

Fires can be devastating, but water damage is a far more common risk. These smart devices will alert you if your home springs a leak, so you can take action quickly.

Go grab our favorite SSD, the 1TB Samsung 860 Evo, for less than $150 at Amazon today
Posted on Thursday November 15, 2018

Save 80% On The CompTIA Cyber Security Expert Bundle ($59)
Posted on Thursday November 15, 2018

XFX Radeon RX 590 Fatboy review: Pedal to the heavy metal
Posted on Thursday November 15, 2018

How can improvements to the GPU manufacturing process make graphics cards better? There’s no one solution, and today’s launch of the $280 Radeon RX 590 shows that Nvidia and AMD took two wildly divergent paths in the shift to the 12nm process.

Nvidia’s used the extra space and process improvements to cram its GeForce RTX 20-series graphics cards with radical, futuristic hardware devoted to driving adoption of real-time ray tracing and machine learning in games. The downside? The cheapest RTX option, the RTX 2070, starts at $500. AMD took a different tack: The Radeon RX 590 is essentially identical to the $240 8GB Radeon RX 580 under the hood, but shifting from 14nm to 12nm let AMD eke out much higher clock speeds than before—and prep a new graphics card that challenges the massive price gap between the $250 GTX 1060 and $370 GTX 1070.

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Flo smart water valve review: The high price of prevention
Posted on Thursday November 15, 2018

The Flo Water Damage Prevention System monitors and reports on your home’s water usage. It can also shut off the water supply to prevent catastrophic damage in the event of a leak.

Don't fret over FilmStruck's demise
Posted on Thursday November 15, 2018

Streaming video will remain a boon to movie history, even after FilmStruck shuts down.

OnePlus 6T review: Android's rebel phone goes mainstream—with a punkish purple streak
Posted on Thursday November 15, 2018

Black Friday 2018: The best early deals
Posted on Wednesday November 14, 2018

Black Friday is no longer just the day after Thanksgiving. Deals now roll out in a chaotic mass all throughout November.

Just a couple of years ago, most of those early discounts weren’t any good. But that’s changed.

While the deals that command headlines (those so-called “doorbusters”) are typically still available on only Thanksgiving or Black Friday, some worthwhile sales are already trickling out now. 

We’ve begun rounding up those here, so keep an eye peeled for further updates as the days tick by. We’ll add new deals as we spot them. And don’t forget: Holiday return windows have just expanded (many run into early January), so you can buy now and repent at leisure—assuming you can float the cash.

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Windows 10 preview build 18282 finally supports smarter Windows Updates, new light theme
Posted on Wednesday November 14, 2018

The headline feature of Windows 10 Insider build 18282 is probably the “light theme” for your Windows desktop. But the most useful addition is the new, Intelligent Active Hours designed to present unwanted interruptions from Windows updates.

The preview build, leading up to the next big update to Windows 10 due early next year (code-named 19H1), doesn’t boast any truly new features. Rather, these enhancements to existing features are conveniences you may try if you choose. Here they are:

The “light theme”

You’re probably aware of the existing Windows “dark theme,” which uses darker colors and accents to soften the vast expanses of white within Explorer, Edge, and so on. And you probably thought that the existing light theme was an alternative to that. Well, not so much, apparently.

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