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Hands-On

  • Quantum Break first impressions: a game, a decision, and a TV show

    Last night, I finally got some hands-on time with Remedy Entertainment's upcoming title Quantum Break. It's made by the same crew that created the Alan Wake titles, and it shows. Of course, there are some things that I cannot talk about just yet, but what I can say is that Quantum Break -- so far -- is a fun title. Bearing in mind my playtime consisted of around an hour or so. After some intro bits, the protagonist Jack Joyce (Shawn Ashmore) and brother William Joyce (Dominic Monaghan) escape from a lab and have to fight their way through the secret armed...

  • Yo-Kai Watch preview: a charming collect-em-all-a-thon

    The Yo-Kai Watch series of games has been out in Japan since 2013 but it only started making its way to the West late last year. It's similar to the likes of Pokemon or Digimon in regards to collecting creatures and battling with them, but there's something that gives it a unique and compelling charm. The plot is relatively simple and one that's very 'anime' as well. While searching for bugs in a nearby forest, your character (a boy or a girl) stumbles on a mystical capsule machine. Upon inserting a coin into it, the machine releases a Yo-Kai named Whisper, who...

  • Far Cry Primal preview: the search for Oros

    The Far Cry series has always been about guns, soldiers, and killing. According to some fans, the series has grown stagnant over the years. Ubisoft is trying something new with Far Cry Primal by setting it in 10 000 BC and giving it a more natural aesthetic. I've managed to get in a few hours with the game, which released this week. This is only a preview article and a review will follow once I've finished the main storyline. Far Cry Primal starts with having your clan hunt mammoths. Apparently it's been a few days since your group last ate and they're...

  • Hisense Infinity KO hands-on: rough and tumble

    Hisense isn't a brand you'd generally associate with ruggedness, but its new smartphone is looking to change that emphatically. Dubbed the Hisense Infinity KO, the company has gone with the "life is hard on you, but even more so on your phone" approach, so it's built a tank in the confines of a smartphone. Lifeproof is a term you'll hear more of from the company in its marketing material, and it does fit the device fairly well on first inspection. That term insinuates a few bold claims too, a set of claims that waterproof master Sony doesn't dare make. But Hisense...

  • CyanogenMod 13 first impressions: bringing Marshmallow to the masses

    Now that Android Marshmallow is out in the wild, Android enthusiasts everywhere, at least those without Nexus devices, will be waiting to see when it’s their turn to upgrade from Lollipop. Numerous manufacturers have already released their lists of which devices will see the upgrade as well as those that are scheduled to be left behind. This is normal and should come as no surprise, however, for those not wanting to wait, (for instance, me), Cyanogenmod has delivered. Named CyanogenMod 13, the custom OS had been updated to Android 6.0 Marshmallow and nightlies for a few devices, including my Moto G...

  • Xiaomi Mi 4 hands-on: it’s almost here, South Africa

    Xiaomi: it's a brand some won't know but many have heard of. It's often called the Apple of China (which is itself a term steeped in incredibly irony) and demonstrates the weight this relatively new company has on its shoulders. Its plans to enter the South African smartphone market haven't exactly been secret either. Although we've known since September that the company was looking at launching its devices to African markets, we had no idea when exactly. Finally, we do. In less than two weeks, Xiaomi devices will be available to purchase South Africa. There'll be two smartphones on offer initially, including the Xiaomi...

  • Samsung Gear S2 hands-on preview: touch me, tease me

    There are many gimmicky devices floating around in the consumer cloud. Smartwatches are arguably the lousiest of the lot, with manufacturers promising you all and more this world has to offer on the small wearable screen. They rarely deliver on this promise. While there are some great examples of smartwatches, don't get me wrong, including the likes of the Sony SmartWatch 3 and the Apple Watch, I still don't see a reason to buy one. There's no intrinsic need for them. Bread. Water. Air. Sure. But smartwatches? The hardware isn't really the limiting factor either. Some feature internals that could power...

  • Huawei Mate S hands-on preview: middle child syndrome

    When we first gained word of the Huawei Mate S at IFA 2015, it definitely sounded like the Chinese company was leaping bounds beyond the Mate 7 and the P8 -- two fabulous phones in their own right. Generally, that's what an S version of your product should be: a step above and beyond its predecessor in generally every way. But the Huawei Mate S doesn't force me to ignore its two stablemates, or the the iPhone 6S, for that matter, what is arguably the best example of an "S" phone. Recently we got our paws on the Huawei Mate S...

  • Sony Xperia Z5 Compact hands-on preview: that familiar feeling

    I'm a big Sony smartphone fanboy, so much so that I believe the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact was the greatest Android phone ever made. While, yes, that does sound decidedly subjective, there's a good reason why I say this. The camera was a peach, the screen was great, it was small, light and the battery lasted an age. It was quick when it needed to be, and thrifty when I didn't require it, and it wasn't the worst looking thing on the planet either. So, how do you upstage, or build on a device that can almost do it all? Well,...

  • LG G4 Stylus hands-on preview: yep, yet another G4 variant

    It's safe to say that LG's recent mid-range phones have suffered from an identity crisis, well, largely because most of them have been awful when compared to their flagships. I only have to think about the LG G4 Beat, and it's predecessor the G3 Beat, and the number of awkwardly named devices as well. But sometimes, naming a device after its parent flagship is a good idea. Although I don't endorse it. The LG G4 Stylus is one such example of a slight bucking of the trend, and it follows the other trend that the Samsung Galaxy Note pioneered all those...