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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • Gearburn’s definitive guide to Snapdragon smartphones [Update]

    We'll be periodically updating this article as more Snapdragon chips get announced. From general tasks to 4K video support, your smartphone's processor plays a big part in the overall experience. And Qualcomm's Snapdragon range powers scores of smartphones around the world. Not all of these chips are created equally though, so we looked at what you should be paying for phones with Snapdragon processors. Do bear in mind that some phones might fall above our pricing guidelines, owing to manufacturer greed, notable hardware features or other factors. The entry-level processors: Snapdragon 200 series The Snapdragon 200 series, including the 200, 208, 210 and 212 processors, are the...

  • LG V30 to pack improved audio chops, company confirms

    Last year's LG V20 (review) was arguably one of the best all-round phones for audio recording and playback, offering quad-DAC hardware and extensive audio-related features. Now, LG has announced that the V30 will be packing an upgraded quad-DAC, enabling two new features in the form of digital filters and sound presets. "Digital filters, normally only available in expensive digital audio players, improves the pre- and post-ringing of the impulse response with filters that can be customised to personal tastes. In developing sound presets, LG engineers studied the characteristics of popular tones and identified the best combination of sounds to create four...

  • Galaxy S8 owners might want to root their phone for this camera mod

    The Samsung Galaxy S8 (review) manages to build on the foundation of the excellent Galaxy S7 in quite a few ways, seeing quite a few improvements. In saying so, these improvements are largely incremental in the camera department -- although multi-frame image processing is a handy addition. But where there's a will, there's a way. And XDA forum-goer zeroprobe has released the Zero Camera Mod, delivering a smorgasbord of new features to S8 users. For starters, the mod enables 60fps video recording at 1440p (as opposed to the S8's default of 1080p/60fps) and HDR video in 4K and 1440p. Galaxy S8 owners wanting more out...

  • 4 HTC smartphones that defined the company over the years

    A new report by Bloomberg suggests that HTC is investigating the possibility of selling its divisions or the company outright. Now, this might not come to anything, but there's no denying that the mobile world will probably be poorer for HTC potentially leaving the industry. So with that in mind, here are four of the most notable smartphones made by the company in its long history. HTC Canary Back in the early 2000s, Nokia's Symbian and Microsoft's Windows Mobile were the two dominant smartphone platforms. And the HTC Canary was the first Windows Mobile device around. The phone's spec sheet makes for entertaining reading,...

  • Half Life writer posts Episode 3 ‘fanfic’

    Fans have been clamouring for a continuation of the Half Life story, with Half Life 2: Episode 2 being the last proper game in the series. Now, series writer Marc Laidlaw has posted what he calls a "fan-fiction" account of Half Life 2: Episode 3. The synopsis, which was posted to his GitHub account, quickly gained attention on reddit. And the write-up, told from the usually silent Gordon Freeman's perspective, sees Freeman and Alyx searching for a lost research vessel in the Arctic. The journey to the Arctic predictably sees them encountering Combine installations, old arch-enemies, teleportation, Vortigaunts and, of course, the infamous...

  • HTC exploring sale of divisions, self – report

    Taiwanese mobile company HTC hasn't had the easiest few years, having been toppled from its position as one of the most popular smartphone manufacturers a long time ago. Now, Bloomberg has reported that the company is exploring a range of strategic options, from bringing in an investor and spinning off its Vive VR division to selling the entire company. The report, citing "people familiar with the matter", also claimed that HTC has held talks with companies, such as Alphabet. One of the sources added that a full sale wasn't likely, owing to the diversity of its businesses. Bloomberg's sources said that the company...

  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium review: more than a one-trick pony?

    I've made no bones about my indifference towards Sony's smartphones over the last two years or so. The Z5 range was more of the same from the company (although the Premium and side-mounted fingerprint scanners were interesting), while the Xperia X (review) felt like an overpriced retread. Then the Xperia XZ Premium was revealed at MWC 2017, and you know what? I was actually excited again. Yeah yeah, the 4K HDR screen is pretty crazy on paper but I didn't care about that. No, it was the allure of the slowest slow motion recording around -- 960fps at 720p, compared to...

  • Take a look at our final XZ Premium slow-mo montage

    Our Sony Xperia XZ Premium review has finally gone live, and we're pretty happy with the flagship. There's the powerful Snapdragon 835 processor, a capable 19-megapixel main camera and water-resistant design. The phone's biggest selling point is the super slow-motion though, making for some crazy footage when you get it right. We wouldn't recommend you buy the phone solely for this reason (owing to technical hurdles), but this slow-mo montage is pretty lovely nonetheless. Check out the video below:

  • Xbox One X local release date ‘cannot be confirmed’

    The Xbox One X is scheduled to launch in the USA and other major markets this holiday season, delivering a super-powered version of Microsoft's current machine. But Xbox South Africa has called on local gamers to hold their horses. "Xbox South Africa would like to communicate to its fans that the clearance certification for the Xbox One X to land locally, is still in the approval process and has not yet been finalised," the company wrote in a press statement. "Until this has been done, the local arrival date cannot be confirmed for either availability or pre-orders." "Ensuring that Xbox One...

  • M6 Note: another dual-camera Note launched this week

    Samsung isn't the only company launching a Note device this week, as Meizu revealed the M6 Note budget phablet as well, ostensibly taking on the Redmi Note 4 (review). It makes for a rather important launch for the Chinese firm, as it's the company's first Snapdragon-toting handset, after years of relying on Samsung and MediaTek for chips. So how does it fare against Xiaomi's best then? For starters, both devices pack a power-efficient yet mid-range Snapdragon 625 processor and 5.5-inch full HD screen. Meizu's phone offers 3GB or 4GB of RAM and 16GB/32GB/64GB of expandable storage. The Redmi Note 4 offers 2GB/3GB/4GB...