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  • 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.

  • The Gearburn Podcast #18: should headphone jacks stay or go?

    The headphone jack's reign as king of smartphone audio is fading as Apple, HTC, Lenovo and Google all make moves to cut it out of their latest phones. This week on The Gearburn Podcast, Hadlee Simons and Andy Walker talk the pros and cons of the trusty 3.5-millimeter jacks. On the face of it, Andy argues, there is no real reason manufacturers should want to rid devices of headphone jacks. Regular headphones are cheaper, they work immediately and they allow you to listen to music and charge your phone at the same time. But, of course, there are two sides to every story...

  • 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...

  • BlackBerry KeyOne hands-on: a dying donkey, or an inspired dark horse?

    Remember BlackBerry? Remember those budget Curve devices that introduced a slew of people to the internet? Remember BIS? The service that offered users a seemingly uncapped internet service for a set fee each month? We do, and we miss that BlackBerry. Dearly. Current "BlackBerry" isn't exactly what it used to be back in the 2000s. Yes, that ergonomic keyboard hasn't gone anywhere, and much of the spirit of the company lives on through its latest devices. But TCL -- the same company behind Alcatel's phones -- are now making the phones, and simply slapping that fruity embellishment on their rear covers. While...

  • 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...