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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • Android Nougat: 6 key features Google’s adding to Android

    The latest version of Android is finally spreading to Nexus devices, bringing all sorts of welcome features in tow. There's the better Doze mode, seamless updating and Vulkan API, but there are also quite a few other additions to the world's most popular mobile platform. There's a data saver option We already had capable data management tools in previous versions of Android, but the biggest omission was a data saving mode of sorts. This was something that Windows Phones shipped with since Windows Phone 8. Fortunately, Android Nougat ships with a data saving mode, essentially killing the ability for background apps to access cellular data. "When...

  • FNB ConeXis is South Africa’s latest smartphone range

    First National Bank (FNB) is no stranger to selling smartphones, but its own branded phones? The bank has just announced the ConeXis A1 (below) and X1 (featured) phones, being manufactured by ZTE but "powered" (or rather, customised) by the bank. The devices even come with logos on the back of the device as well as garish FNB boot screens. Other examples of customisation include a preinstalled FNB banking app (duh) in place of the app drawer, the four main dock icons being customised to FNB blue (or whatever the colour is), as well as preloaded video content on each device. FNB ConeXis features As for the models,...

  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided review round-up: augmented or augward?

    The latest game in the Deus Ex series has finally been released, almost five years after Human Revolution first came out. Of course, the third game in the series received plenty of positive reviews, but does the follow-up make for a worthy title? Well, the reviews seem to think so... Tackle things in your own way The Deus Ex franchise has made a name for itself thanks to the free-form nature of missions, and Ars Technica's Sam Machnovech found the fourth title to be no different (saying that people should "buy the heck out of the game"). "Missions feed into each other in organic ways,...

  • Android Nougat spreads its sweet love to Nexus devices

    We've waited a long time for the latest version of Android to launch (no, the developer previews don't count), but Android Nougat is now rolling out to Nexus devices. Google confirmed the news on its Android blog, saying that the update would be launching on the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C and General Mobile 4G Android One handset. In other words, Nexus 5 owners are out of luck -- at least in an official capacity. "And there are many tasty devices coming from our partners running Android Nougat, including the upcoming LG V20 which will...

  • Sony Xperia X review: it has the bark, but desperately lacks the bite

    The Sony Xperia X is in a rather confusing place right now. It wasn't immediately clear at launch whether it's a new Sony smartphone flagship or if it complements the long-running Sony Xperia Z lineup. If one thing is clear though, it's that Sony's phone has a high-end price and pseudo-flagship features. What are you getting for the price? The spec sheet doesn't tell the whole story, but it does give you a pretty good idea of what you're getting though. In terms of pure horsepower, you've got a fast but not top-flight Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 processor and 3GB of RAM. So straight away, it's...

  • The PS4 Slim has seemingly leaked on Gumtree, Twitter

    A new listing appeared on Gumtree UK over the weekend, claiming to be the PlayStation 4 Slim. The ad, which has since been removed but is still accessible via Google cache, shows the box, as well as the new design on the front of the box. According to the seller, the console is a brand new 500GB model that's not in stores yet. As for a price, the seller wanted £295 but was willing to trade for a Macbook, iMac, iPhone 6S/6S Plus or Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. So just how real is it? Well, Twitter user shortmaneighty2 has managed to apparently snag a console,...

  • F1 2016 review round-up: the best F1 game in years?

    Last year's F1 2015 was the first Formula One title on current-generation consoles, offering a rather fantastic racing model and lovely visuals. Unfortunately, the game suffered from a lack of content, such as a proper career mode and game modes in general. Does F1 2016 deliver on this front though? Here's what the reviews are saying... The career mode gets some love Eurogamer's Martin Robinson gave the game a "recommended" badge, citing the title's ability to make all career sessions feel "meaningful". "The programmes themselves are mini-games that don't feel out of place amidst F1 2016's quest for realism. Simulate a qualifying run by hitting a...

  • Steppy Pants and Mr Robot: this week’s top mobile games

    Welcome to Gearburn's Mobile Game Picks of the Week, a weekly series in which Hadlee takes a look at the latest, most entertaining, or time-consuming mobile games on portable screens. Clear some space on your mobile device, because we've got a few games worth playing once again. I'm technically cheating with the inclusion of Deus Ex Go (only scheduled for release on Thursday), but you can't go wrong with Steppy Pants and Ketchapp Summer Sports in particular. Pac-Man Hats (free - Android) After the success of Pac-Man 256, the next major Pac-Man mobile title (not counting Pac-Man Bounce) is the rather offbeat Pac-Man Hats. The game takes...

  • Intel steps into VR arena with Project Alloy open hardware platform

    Mobile chip manufacturing isn't the only thing Intel had to announce this week, as the tech firm announced a virtual reality (VR) platform, dubbed Project Alloy. The new project essentially serves as an open design/platform, merging a VR headset with Intel's RealSense technology. The headset itself stands out thanks to its untethered nature, Intel explained. "Operate without pesky cords dangling from your VR headset connecting to the computer. The computing power is located in the Alloy Head-Mounted Device (HMD), which allows the user to experience VR untethered," the company said in a press statement. We're not sure how powerful the processing box is, but...

  • In the ARMy now: Intel to make mobile chips for manufacturers

    Intel may be the king of desktops and laptops, but it hasn't had the best of luck in the mobile arena. Its attempts to bring x86 architecture to mobile didn't pay off, as the company promptly cancelled most of its mobile efforts in this sector. Now, Intel has announced it's back in the mobile game, albeit in a different role. The company will be putting its foundries to good use as it makes ARM chips for customers instead. Chips based on the ARM architecture/instruction set power the vast majority of smartphones these days, including devices from Samsung, Apple, HTC, Sony, Huawei,...