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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • After dual cameras and tiny bezels, is stock Android the next big trend?

    Stock Android is often seen as the holy grail by mobile enthusiasts, and it's easy to see why. Pure Android carries a consistent, lightweight visual design, free from the often garish themes used by manufacturers. And these themes often bring unnecessary slowdown and extraneous, uninstallable apps with them, even on the most cutting-edge smartphones. For this reason alone, stock Android is preferable for many enthusiasts. But arguably the biggest reason enthusiasts love stock Android is the promise of system updates. The lack of third party themes and software means that the update process is radically streamlined, as the extra software doesn't need to be...

  • Watch: the moment Valve disappointed its fans with new game

    Whenever video game colossus Valve announces a new game, it's almost guaranteed to be greeted warmly, to say the least. After all, this was the same company behind Half Life, Left 4 Dead, the Counter-Strike franchise and several other titles. However, as this week's announcement showed, if there's one genre that will be greeted with a negative reception, it's probably the collectible card game. This was the case when Valve showed a brief announcement trailer for Artifact, the Dota card game. The delayed "the Dota card game" line perfectly separates the rapturous applause from the mass disappointment. Check out the clip below.

  • LG V30 to use f/1.6 main camera, company reveals

    It seems like yesterday that LG and Samsung were sparring over who had the biggest aperture on their smartphones. The LG G4 (review) and Samsung Galaxy S6 (review) saw the two companies duking it out, with the former packing an f/1.8 main camera while the latter touted an f/1.9 aperture on its phone. Samsung then one-upped LG with the Galaxy S7 and S8, featuring a larger f/1.7 aperture main camera, while the G5 and G6 maintained an f/1.8 aperture on its main shooters. Now, it looks like we're ready to jump ahead with the LG V30, as the company announced this week...

  • Chromebooks: who sells them in South Africa?

    Chromebooks may have had a slow start back in the day, but we've seen sales steadily increase and Google's support remain unwavering. But what if you want one of these laptops in South Africa? Of course, Google's own Chromebook range isn't in SA, but we asked some of the bigger tech brands about their devices. Acer Search for Chromebooks available in South Africa and you're very likely to find Acer laptops as an option. "We definitely do have Chromebooks in SA. They can be found at WebAntics.com and other online stores as well," a representative wrote in response to a Gearburn query. Aside from...

  • Galaxy S8 Active now official: what’s new then?

    Samsung's Galaxy S8 Active has officially been revealed, coming in as an AT&T exclusive for now. Of course, it's not the first time we catch a glimpse of the phone, thanks to numerous leaks in the last few months. But rugged nature aside, what makes the new phone stand out from the vanilla Galaxy S8? For starters, the Galaxy S8 Active eschews the curved AMOLED screen in favour of a flat 5.8-inch 2560x1440 display, but we've also got the same Snapdragon 835/4GB RAM/64GB storage combo as the standard phone. The biggest change comes in the battery department though, as Samsung boosts the...

  • Google Chromebooks: slow progress on Android app support

    Google's Chromebooks are enjoying brisk sales over the past year or so, offering great battery life and Google's suite of tools in a laptop. The Google Play Store and Android apps have also been making their way to devices, albeit at a much slower rate than consumers would like. So what kind of progress have we seen since our June update of compatible Chromebooks? Not much, actually. We see a new addition from Acer, with its Chromebook 14 for Work CB5-471 hitting the beta channel. Meanwhile, HP's Chromebook x360 11 G1 EE and Lenovo's fourth generation ThinkPad 11e/ThinkPad 11e Yoga Chromebook graduate from...

  • UFO 50: indie dev stars to release 8-bit collection

    A group of indie developers, responsible for smash hits such as Downwell and Spelunky, have joined forces to release UFO 50, a collection of 50 8-bit video games. Set for a 2018 release on PC, the collection spans numerous genres, from platformers and RPGs to puzzlers and shooters. In an FAQ on the collection's website, the developers reassure consumers that the games, while somewhat shorter than many proper 8-bit titles, are full titles rather than minigames. "Completing the entire collection could easily take over a hundred hours," they add. UFO 50 will see 50 original 8-bit games being made by indie devs "The story...

  • Blu hits back over spyware concerns [Update: back on sale]

    Update, 8 August 2017: Blu has announced that its phones are back on Amazon after a "false alarm". Hey BLU fans! After a false alarm, BLU devices are now back up for sale on Amazon. https://t.co/XKqFyEiBI0#BLU #BoldLikeUs #Amazon — BLU Products (@BLU_Products) August 4, 2017 Original article: US smartphone brand Blu has issued a statement after a report found some of its phones were transmitting data to Chinese servers. Last week, security researchers found that the so-called Adups software on some of Blu's devices were sending data to China without the consumer's knowledge. The research seems to have triggered Amazon into suspending sales of...

  • Nokia 8: is this the camera app?

    The Nokia 8 hasn't seen the light of day yet, but we've already seen a steady stream of leaks over the past two months or so. Now, the latest report claims to show screenshots of the camera app. According to IT Home, the Nokia 8 camera UI seemingly confirms the dual-camera arrangement. In fact, one screenshot shows toggles for "RGB", "mono" and "dual lens" camera options, complete with corresponding icons. It's not quite clear why HMD is apparently offering RGB and dual lens options. Huawei's pioneering camera arrangement on the P9 didn't offer access to the RGB camera only, as colour...

  • Is Pixel 2 losing headphone jack? Reports say yes

    The Google Pixel 2 has recently leaked, courtesy of Venturebeat's Evan Blass, and it looks like more of the same for Google's flagship range. However, several reports have emerged which claim that the Pixel 2 will omit the headphone jack, becoming the latest smartphone to go this route. The headphone jack issue first popped up courtesy of OnLeaks and My Smart Price last month, posting CAD renders that showed no 3.5mm port. We then saw what seemed to be corroboration on Twitter late last week... "Just got another tip that Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 will both ditch the headphone jack. In...