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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • Is the R2000 Samsung Gear VR worth buying?

    Virtual reality has been around for ages, but the current wave of VR is nothing like the efforts of years gone by. Instead, we have elaborate graphics, sharp displays and proper head-tracking in place, nothing like the Virtual Boy of yore. And you don't need to spend US$600 on an Oculus Rift or US$800 for the HTC Vive to get a taste either, because there are cheaper experiences around, such as the Samsung Gear VR. Featuring a R1500-R2000 price tag depending on the retailer, the Gear VR manages to occupy a pleasant price/performance middle-ground in theory. It's not as expensive or quite as capable...

  • Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge review: meaningful evolution

    Unarguably the most popular high-end Android phone of the year, the Samsung Galaxy S7 is pretty much guaranteed to sell by the bucket load. On paper, this year's edition looks like the equivalent of an "iPhone Xs"; that is, it's an evolution of last year's design as opposed to an all-new approach to the formula. Are the phones worthy of a purchase though or did Samsung just play it too safe? Design You'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference between this phone and the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, which is fine because the S6 Edge featured a rather pleasant design. Boasting that glass back,...

  • 7 quirky, alternative smartphones we’d love to own

    The mobile industry might seem like a uniform world of generic designs, but if you look hard enough, you'll find some interesting devices out there. And believe it or not, but some of them are actually rather enticing. Here are a few quirky smartphones we wouldn't mind getting at all. YotaPhone 2 Image: Maurizio Pesce via Flickr Russian company Yota launched the first-generation YotaPhone a few years ago, but last year's YotaPhone 2 upped the company's game in a massive way. The most distinctive feature is the dual-screen device, featuring a traditional 5-inch full HD screeb on the front and (gasp!) a 4.7-inch 960x540 e-ink display on the back. In...

  • They got these 5 video games to run on the Xbox 360?

    The Xbox 360 was a veritable beast upon its launch in late 2005. Featuring 512MB of RAM, an advanced (for its time) ATI Xenos graphics chip and a powerful tri-core Xenon processor, it compared very favourably to the PS3 and gaming PCs of the time. Gaming tech moves at a fast pace though, so after several years, developers had to utilise all sorts of crazy tricks to get their games running on the last-generation Xbox. Here are a few notable titles that somehow managed to run on the Xbox 360. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare The last proper Call of Duty game released...

  • Animal Crossing, Fire Emblem to hit mobile, NX gets launch date

    Pokemon Go and Miitomo aren't the only Nintendo properties on mobile. The Kyoto gaming company has announced that Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem will be coming to smartphones as well. The company revealed the news in a conference call with investors and on its social media accounts, but didn't reveal much else about the upcoming mobile titles. It's unclear whether life simulation Animal Crossing would be a full-fledged game or a spin-off of the franchise, akin to Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. But an analyst told the Wall Street Journal that the game could be free-to-play, featuring in-app purchases for virtual items. Fire Emblem...

  • BlackBerry Priv finally gets some of that Marshmallow action

    BlackBerry has confirmed that Android 6.0 Marshmallow is now available on the Priv smartphone, several months after the phone was launched. The Priv (review) originally shipped with a well-received take on Android 5.1, bringing the DTEK security manager, the BlackBerry Hub, BlackBerry Keyboard and several other noteworthy additions to an otherwise spartan formula. What's new in this update then? First of all, the company has updated the DTEK security manager, giving it support for Marshmallow's granular permission controls. "Apps demand access to personal data, even when it's not necessary for the app to function properly. DTEK gives the power back to users to control what to...

  • HTC building two Nexus devices for Google – reports

    HTC's latest high-end smartphone has received mostly positive reviews, with praise for its hardware design, camera and restrained take on Android. So we're glad to hear that the company is crafting two Nexus smartphones for Google, running Android N. The news initially came via serial leaker Evan Blass, claiming that the new phones are codenamed M1 and S1. HTC is building a pair of Android N devices for Google internally dubbed M1 and S1 #nexus — Evan Blass (@evleaks) April 27, 2016 However, Android Police claimed that the new phones are codenamed Marlin and Sailfish respectively, citing an anonymous source. The website also noted a reference to...

  • Xiaomi to manufacture own mobile processor – report

    Chinese mobile powerhouse Xiaomi has rocketed up the sales charts in recent years, creating capable phones at affordable prices. So like several popular manufacturers, it's apparently decided to get into the chipset game. The Chinese firm plans to introduce its first in-house chip next month, based on traditional ARM-licensed technology, The Korea Times reported. "Xiaomi plans to release its in-house Rifle-dubbed mobile APUs at a company event, which has been set to take place (in) May," a component partner told the publication. The news would make Xiaomi the latest mobile firm to design its own processors, joining Samsung,...

  • Google Play Store to hit Chrome OS?

    Google's Chrome OS has become a worthwhile alternative to Windows for some users, offering a fast, cloud-based platform for computers. But Google is planning to up the ante in a big way if a redditor's find is to be believed. Reddit user TheWiseYoda found a tickbox titled "enable Android Apps to run on your Chromebook". The tickbox disappears after a second, but the user was able to screengrab the reference nonetheless. The user also found strings referencing the Google Play Store, along with the tagline "Over a million apps and games now available on your Chromebook". A second redditor dug a little deeper and...

  • 10 underrated Xbox 360 games that flew under the radar

    Yes, Microsoft's last-generation gaming console may have ceased production, but it still has plenty to offer. Featuring a game library of over 1000 titles, there really is something for everyone. But what about games then? We picked a few titles that flew under the radar. Blue Dragon This 2007 role-playing title was eagerly anticipated by gamers, as Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi was behind the story and had a hand in its development. The game saw players take part in traditional turn-based RPG action, albeit with a few tweaks (such as speed being a factor and the introduction of a shadow system), making for...