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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • Huawei joins virtual reality game with its own headset

    Huawei has followed Samsung and LG's path by announcing its own virtual reality headset. Huawei VR was revealed at the Chinese launch of the P9 and P9 Plus, Engadget reported, adding that the device was compatible with the new flagship phones as well. So what makes this so different from Samsung's effort then? Well, not much. The Huawei VR uses a similar setup to the Gear VR, allowing you to slot your phone into the headset. The phone then provides the processing power, screen and sensors required for the experience. The headset then allows you to watch movies, play games and enjoy other experiences. There is...

  • HTC 10 review roundup: a return to glory for the Taiwanese company?

    HTC's latest high-end smartphone has people pleasantly surprised, as the company played it safe to produce what seems like a great device. This contrasts with LG and Huawei's radical approach to mobile devices this year - but is the HTC 10 playing it too safe? Ticking all the boxes? Ron Amadeo of Ars Technica said that the Taiwanese firm had built a no-nonsense phone that can rival the best of them. "The HTC 10 is a refreshing phone that manages to be great without any nonsense or gimmicks. Compared to the Galaxy S7, you're getting a better body, better software, louder speakers, more capable expandable storage,...

  • 5 emerging Chinese smartphone brands you should know

    Huawei has pretty much become a household name across the continent, while Xiaomi is catching up in this department too. There's more to the Chinese smartphone industry than these two companies though. Here are several more mobile manufacturers you should put on your watchlist. Oukitel One of the newer entrants in the market, this fledgling company first attracted attention with its innovative U6 smartphone, featuring a traditional display on the front and an e-ink screen on the back. The company made an even bigger splash last year when it launched the K10 000 smartphone, a hefty brick of a device that broke the Guinness...

  • Huawei P9 vs LG G5 camera shootout: which mobile snapper is best?

    The Huawei P9 possesses quite possibly the most innovative camera setup on the market. Featuring dual 12MP cameras at the back, the Chinese company has certainly put the hype train in motion. So when we went hands-on with the device, courtesy of local tech writer Brendon Petersen, we decided to pit it against our LG G5 review unit. The LG G5 is no slouch either, packing a 16MP main camera and 8MP wide-angle camera on its back. We opted to only shoot with the 16MP camera. As for shooting conditions, we opted against changing any settings or enabling HDR, merely shooting with the...

  • The latest Windows 10 Mobile update is a meaty one

    Windows 10 Mobile is a step up from Windows Phone 8.1 in a few ways, but it could definitely do with more features and polish. Microsoft's latest update shows that the platform is well on its way though, introducing quite a few additions and tweaks to Windows Insiders. Notifications get some love The Action Center and notifications are the first items on the list, as Microsoft has decided to group all notifications from one app under one heading instead. Notifications themselves have also seen some visual changes, with large images now possible in the notification, Microsoft confirmed in a blog post. Finally, one more neat notification...

  • Latest Android N preview brings Vulkan API support, more emojis

    Google engineers are quietly beavering away on Android N, the latest version of its all-conquering mobile platform. Last month, the company introduced the first preview for developers, giving us a peek at a host of upcoming features. Now, Google has released its second developer preview, giving us a look at a few more hitherto unannounced features. First of all, the new preview delivers support for the Vulkan graphics API, which offers a massive boost over the platform's current APIs. Vulkan also harnesses multiple cores for faster performance. The second big addition is the inclusion of "launcher shortcuts", which allows users to post a shortcut of an app's functions/sections to their homescreen. Related: Android N: what...

  • Here are your mobile gaming picks of the week

    We're back for a second running of our mobile gaming picks feature, where we choose some of the more notable and entertaining mobile titles of the week. It's a healthy variety of games in this edition, with something for almost everyone, so check them all out below! Space Marshals (free as part of promotion) It's been out for a fair while now, but isometric cover-shooter Space Marshals has gone free on iOS, from its original US$5 price. And it's worth a download, it must be said. The game sees you tracing a path with your finger from cover to cover, employing pistols, grenades...

  • Google sets sights on better accessibility in Android

    Smartphones are amazing tools, but there's no doubting that platform-holders can do a little better when it comes to accessibility. Apple has done a good job of implementing tools in this regard, such as Assistive Touch, zoom support, Braille Display connectivity, VoiceOver screen reading and more. Now, Google is upping the ante with its own technologies. Google beefs up voice commands Most prominently, the company has announced a closed beta for a new app, called Voice Access. The app lets people navigate through their phones without using the touchscreen. Google says that people who might want to use the app include those with paralysis, tremors and...

  • This is HTC’s greatest mobile phone ever

    The tech industry's spotlight will be cast on HTC this week when it reveals its latest high-end smartphone on Tuesday. Between a 12-megapixel main camera to rival the Galaxy S7 and powerful internals, leaks are painting a very positive picture of the unannounced phone. However, for the hardcore tech addict, the new phone still pales in comparison to arguably HTC's greatest phone yet, the HD2. Released way back in 2009, the device was pushed out with Microsoft's decidedly uncool Windows Mobile 6 operating system, then upgraded to WM6.5. Under the hood, the phone screamed with a 1Ghz single-core processor, 448MBs of available RAM and a microSD expansion...

  • So, what else can you do with a dual-camera smartphone?

    Both LG and Huawei have revealed high-end dual-camera smartphones recently, upping the photography stakes in a big way. "Is it a simple case of two is better than one?" the casual observer might ask. We give you a few reasons why dual-camera phones are worth considering. All your photos can be refocused after the fact HTC showed this feature off in a big way with 2014's One M8, revealing a phone with an added depth sensor. So not quite two cameras but more than close enough. Almost every photo taken with the One M8 could be refocused after it was snapped - no need...