Huawei Nexus 6P vs Galaxy Note 5 – beast to rule them all
In a matter of days, Google will be revealing the Nexus 6P, the first device that the company is releasing in conjunction with Huawei, one of the biggest Chinese smartphone manufacturers in the world. Dubbing the device Nexus 6P came from a handful of leaked benchmark results, as well as leaked images that reveal what the handset will look like when it is launched. The Nexus 6P release date is set for September 29, when Google will be unveiling its new line-up of Nexus devices. The Nexus 6P release will be accompanied by the LG Nexus 5X release, and maybe even a new Nexus 7 2015 tablet launch.
With Google focusing on making stock Android the best user experience by combining the software with custom-made hardware designed specifically for power users, companies like Apple and Samsung are most likely worried about the launch event. The entire Android community has been looking forward to the event of next week, especially because last year’s Nexus launch was not as impressive as they had hoped it would be. The Nexus 6 was perceived as too big and too expensive for the target audience that Google wanted to bring over, while the HTC Nexus 9 came off as an average tablet with little more than high-end audio quality to offer.
Google is revamping things this year, as it has taken on Huawei as the entirely new partner in the business. The Nexus 6P will represent a joint effort between the two companies to make a relatively affordable, yet high-end smartphone that demonstrates how stock Android should work in the smartphone industry. But Google and Huawei have stark competition to go up against from both Apple and Samsung.
A few weeks ago, Apple launched the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, while Samsung this Summer unveiled the brand new Galaxy Note 5 and its edgy cousin, the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus. These four flagships smartphones are the biggest threat to the Nexus 6P and vice versa. iOS and Apple fans are also curious about the new phone and many have even put off ordering the iPhone 6S Plus in order to wait and see what Huawei and Google have to offer.
Apparently, the Nexus 6P will have quite a lot to offer when it is launched and many fans as well as skeptics think that this time around, the new device will have significant impact on the world of Android smartphones as a whole and will help Google gain more market share. Topping Apple at this time still sounds impossible, but let’s see what kind of shot the Nexus 6P has by comparing it to one of the most well-received devices of the year, the Galaxy Note 5.
Although the Galaxy Note 5 isn’t too much of an upgrade compared to last year’s Galaxy Note 4, Samsung worked its butt off to introduce features that would be appealing to fans, and wireless fast charging is the best example in this case. The Galaxy Note 5 is the fastest charging device on the market when you’re thinking about wireless charging, and that adds a lot of appeal to the phone, even though many would have still chosen a removable battery instead.
The Nexus 6P will also feature wireless charging, but we don’t know how fast it will be. Quick Charge 2.0 will be on board thanks to the Snapdragon 810 CPU that Huawei and Google are using in the new device, which is pretty cool since it means the Nexus 6P battery can be charged to 80 % in about half an hour. The wireless charging feature is not a sure thing, as skeptics believe Google won’t be implementing it in the smartphone, but we hope to see it anyway.
When speaking about the Galaxy Note 5 and Nexus 6P, one thing the two devices will definitely have in common is screen real-estate. The Nexus 6P display will measure 5.7 inches and will feature a QHD resolution IPS LCD panel, which will be similar to the 5.7-inch QHD Super AMOLED panel that Samsung used in the Galaxy Note 5. While Samsung’s device is most likely going to be crowned the smartphone with the best display, the Nexus 6P display might hold some surprises of its own. The Super AMOLED panels that Samsung makes are considered the best ones on the market, so Google will have a tough time topping that.
Nonetheless, the massive high-resolution screen of the Nexus 6P will definitely provide for a high-end user experience that will let users view 4K video without a hitch and support high-end 3D games beautifully. The experience with high-resolution displays is highly appreciated in the community of Android fans, although many believe QHD resolution does not yet have its rightful place in the industry. Since it’s more expensive and the human eye can rarely tell the difference, some say an FHD resolution would be a more sensible choice that would also keep the Nexus 6P price down.
Since we’re on the topic of pricing, lets get that out of the way. Fact of the matter is that the Nexus 6P price is a mystery and will remain as such for a couple more days. Rumor has it that the Nexus 6P price will be closer to the iPhone 6S price than anything else, as analysts as well as industry insiders suggest to expect a price tag between $550 and $750 for the Nexus 6P. While we do hope for the flagship to be more affordable, leaks point towards a more premium price, with the Nexus 5X being marketed as the more affordable option. The iPhone 6S Plus price is set at $750 for the base model, and that’s a good price to get inspired by.
Although it might end up being a bit more expensive, the Nexus 6P price will still be within the relatively decent limits, similarly to the newly launched Huawei Mate S. If that costs about $600, we should expect a similar price tag to be slapped on Google’s flagship too. The Nexus 5X price will be closer to the OnePlus 2 price tag, as sources tell us to expect the base model to cost around $350 unlocked, which is a rather appealing price for such a future-proof phone.
Performance is going to be the highlight of the Nexus family this year, and the Nexus 6P is no exception to that. When introducing Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Google made it clear that a visual overhaul is not what the update is about, rather improving performance and adding new features, as well as optimizing the entire user experience. With that in mind, Google is going to outfit the Nexus 6P with top-notch hardware.
Leaked Nexus 6P specs reflect that ideology as benchmark results list the Snapdragon 810 and 4 GB RAM in the specs sheet. Although there are doubts about the Snapdragon 810 living up to expectations, most people who have tried devices that are already using the SoC have expressed a positive opinion towards it, with only a handful of mentions of overheating issues. With the updated software and hardware, the chipset should be able to offer seamless performance on stock Android.
Samsung went with in-house processors for the Galaxy Note 5, which proved to be a very good decision. People were already impressed with the performance of the Galaxy S6, but the Galaxy Note 5 really proved that the South Korean smartphone giant knows that it’s doing when it comes to CPU. Although the company will most likely turn to Qualcomm in the future, too, the Galaxy Note 5 comes with an octa core Exynos processor that is equipped with fast charging and fast LTE. It’s backed by 4 GB RAM and performance results for the handset are exemplary.
For the Nexus 6P to surpass the performance of the Galaxy Note 5, software and hardware will have to work together seamless. Huawei has a good track record when it comes to performance, so expectations are very high. Seeing as stock Android is much easier to handle by hardware, performance might end up being even better on the Nexus 6P than the Galaxy Note 5, which has the burden of TouchWiz on top, which might slow down the user experience on occasion. Nonetheless, Samsung did a great job with TouchWiz features that make use of the new S Pen stylus, so Google has got its work cut out for it.
When it comes to cameras, Samsung has been the leader for the past few years, with users saying that their phones manage to top all the other smartphones out there when it comes to the camera performance. As such, the Galaxy Note 5 features a 16 MP camera with optical image stabilization, autofocus and dual-tone LED flash. The front camera measures 5 MP. 4K recording and a neat camera app filled with tools complete the setup of the Note 5.
The Nexus 6P will have an unusual camera setup, judging by the leaked information and photos. Huawei and Google slapped a dual camera on the device, most likely comprised of a depth sensor and a 16 MP camera with OIS and autofocus, as well as a dual-tone flash. The front camera will most likely be a wide-angle 5 MP sensor and unfortunately, it won’t have a flash. The rear camera will benefit from new features and tools, though, such as 4K recording, slow-mo recording and a manual mode like none other.
The Galaxy Note 5 can take stunning images that even the iPhone 6S Plus can’t surpass, which is quite admirable. Just like the Galaxy Note 4 before it, the Note 5 demonstrates that a smartphone can actually come close to DSLRs when it comes to user experience and picture quality. Of course the two cannot be called equals as professional photographers agree, but that doesn’t mean Samsung didn’t do a good job. The Nexus 6P has stark competition, so we’re curious to see if the camera will be better than with previous devices (which weren’t renowned for their camera performance).
Nexus 6P features also include a fingerprint sensor, but no heart rate sensor and stylus, which means the Galaxy Note 5 might take the lead in this field. Nonetheless, NCF, Bluetooth 4.1, fast charging, fitness tracking, gesture control, voice control, palm rejection and USB Type C are all said to be part of the Nexus 6P feature list. While the Galaxy Note 5 has all of this and more, and boasts with a very good battery life, too, its weak point is software. That’s where the Nexus 6P needs to excel in order to surpass the Note 5 at least in popularity.
Although the Nexus 6P release date is still to come, we already have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Based on the hundreds of leaks and photos that flooded the internet in the past few weeks, the Nexus 6P is going to be a beast at performance. With that being said, all that remains is to wait for the event to get all the official information about the new handset family and find out more about pricing and availability. Until then, those of you who are thinking of getting the Note 5 should wait just a couple more days because they might change their minds.
[update] Nexus 6P features have multiplied, as FCC documents confirm the presence of a microSD card slot on the device. How’s the Note 5 going to size up next to that? Although many might applaud the reported addition of the slot, others might expect a worse performance because of it.
4 Most Interesting Crossovers in Gaming
Gaming crossovers are a great way to bring in new people and drive up interest in a title. With that being said, crossovers aren’t as rare as they once were. More and more gaming companies are now embracing crossovers, to the point that some may say that it has lost its appeal. And while this is true to some degree, there are still crossovers that are really effective when it comes to adding a whole new dimension to a game. To prove our point, we’ve put together a list of five of the most interesting crossovers.
Forza Horizon 4: Halo
Forza Horizon 4 is the eleventh installment in the Forza series. The Forza series is known for its ability to emulate realistic racing conditions and offer accurate representations of real-world cars. And while they’ve partnered with car manufacturers before, Forza Horizon 4 features one of the most interesting collaborations in the entire series.
For a series that prides itself on realistic racing, Forza also knows when to cut loose and have a little fun. Nothing exemplifies this more than the Halo crossover that features Master Chief and the iconic Warthog.
Fortnite: Travis Scott
Fortnite is no stranger to crossovers. But if we had to pick one as the most interesting it would have to be the Travis Scott concert. Not only did this crossover include custom skins and emotes but it also paved the way for one of the most unique digital experiences of 2020.
The Verge’s article on the Travis Scott crossover details that the crossover included an interactive digital concert that turned the Fortnite island into a music stage. What’s great about this crossover is that it hints towards a future wherein music and video games will be working hand in hand to deliver immersive musical experiences to millions of people from all over the world.
Merge Dragons: Rick and Morty
When you think of the popular TV show Rick and Morty, a fantasy puzzle game isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. This is what makes this Rick and Morty crossover so interesting. The sheer absurdity of this crossover shows what gaming collaborations can achieve when one thinks outside the box. The game features original dialogue spoken by the characters that matches their characteristics from the show. It is a fun addition to the puzzle game.
However, this crossover shouldn’t be too surprising as Rick and Morty have appeared in other games, demonstrating how they have become pop culture icons. The comic nature of the duo makes them perfect for every type of genre, including slot games. Foxy Bingo’s pop cultured-themed slots include an official Rick and Morty game that features the iconic imagery and characters from the show. The show has also produced its own game in the form of the Pokémon-clone Pocket Mortys. One thing that all of these games have in common is that they maintain the show’s penchant for fun and wacky adventures. This is seen in Merge Dragons with the exclusive cow-dragon hybrid featured in the crossover event.
Mortal Kombat 11: Rambo
While crossovers in fighting games aren’t exactly new, Mortal Kombat has always had a knack for creating interesting crossovers for their iconic fighting game. One way that they’ve done this is with the inclusion of popular film characters. The franchise has had everyone from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Jason of the Friday the 13th franchise appear in their games.
However, the latest iteration of the game may have topped all of the previous crossovers. This is because Mortal Kombat 11 features John Rambo of the legendary Rambo franchise as one of its available fighters. To add to this, CNet’s article on Mortal Kombat 11 details that Sylvester Stallone voiced the digital John Rambo. This is certainly a treat for fans of the popular action film franchise, as they can finally play as one of the most influential action heroes of all time.
Loot Crate vs. The Curiosity Box: A Beginner’s Guide to Subscription Mystery Boxes
With all the loot box shenanigans we’ve witnessed this year, you might have, while searching for more information, accidentally stumbled across something by the name of Loot Crate. Unlike the reviled loot boxes, Loot Crate isn’t a digital gambling scam. Instead, Loot Crate is a physical, subscription-based mystery box you receive in the mail that contains a bevy of geek-related material. Moreover, Loot Crate isn’t the only available service. Alongside the vanilla Loot Crate Classic, the Loot Crate company supplies geeks with anime-themed items with Loot Anime, gaming swag with Loot Gaming (Loot Crate also sells Halo, Minecraft, Fallout, Call of Duty, and Destiny 2 themed boxes), and film/TV merchandise with Harry Potter, Firefly, Marvel, and Star Trek themed boxes. Loot Crate also has a rival in the form of Geek Fuel, which is more expensive than Loot Crate Classic but contains more (and more expensive) merchandise. While I don’t have a Geek Fuel box to compare to a Loot Crate, I received a different subscription box for Christmas, The Curiosity Box. This mystery box is a joint venture between the company behind Geek Fuel and the YouTube Channel VSauce, which is admittedly cool. So, without further ado, let’s get into what sets apart a Loot Crate from a Curiosity Box and determine which is right for you.
WHAT’S THE SAME
On the surface, Loot Crate and The Curiosity Box seem similar. They arrive in big cardboard boxes and contain random items. Well, not precisely random; each box focuses on a different theme, and the items provided center around that theme. While a lot of geeks subscribe to these boxes for various bits of swag, perhaps the biggest draw is the exclusives. The companies behind these subscription services make deals with other firms to create unique pieces of merchandise that are literally impossible to find anywhere else, aftermarket/marked up eBay sales notwithstanding. Some of these exclusives are just color variants of readily available products, such as a glow in the dark Funko POP Groot figure and orange Quantum Mechanix Tribble.
Most exclusives, however, aren’t available elsewhere in any other form and include items like the The Walking Dead art print, the Yeti temporary tattoo, the tower of magnetic rings, and “collectible” pins.
Furthermore, while most exclusives are decorative, some are practical items, such as a pen shaped like the Sledge Saw from Dead Rising 3 and light-up beverage coasters with periodic symbols.
Finally, these subscription boxes have some of the most awesome, exclusive, geeky shirts this side of ThinkGeek or Hot Topic.
The exclusive items tend to be the best pieces of merchandise in each box and are usually worth the price of the subscription alone. Usually.
Let’s get this out of the way: the most obvious differences are the prices and subscription models. Loot Crate Classic is about $20 per box and comes once a month, while The Curiosity Box is well over $50 and arrives once every three months. More importantly, these boxes are designed for two completely different audiences. The Loot Crate (and likely by extension Geek Fuel) is aimed primarily at adults or older teenagers and provides geek-related decorations and practical items, such as the Dead Rising 3 pen, Star Wars and Deadpool fridge magnets, and a Mega Man car air freshener.
Also, Loot Crate tends to include non-exclusive products that are part of a series. Case in point, during my brief stint with Loot Crate, I received (among other things) a Kidrobot Glow in the Dark Ooze Action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle vinyl figure and a Funko ReAction Alien figure. I got Donatello and the titular Alien, respectively, but I easily could have found Leonardo or Ripley in my Loot Crate subscriptions instead. However, since The Curiosity Box is almost exclusively made up of exclusive items, there is no element of randomness and everyone receives the same merchandise.
While Loot Crate caters to the video game, movies, comics, television, and everything pop-culture side of geekdom, The Curiosity Box is more science oriented and is designed for the family. For example, parents who bought the Summer 2017 Curiosity Box got to enjoy a t-shirt, a set of periodic table beverage coasters, a magnetic ring tower, a t-shirt, and a Nikola Tesla (as a sloth) enamel pin, while children will have fun with a temporary tattoo, a unique embroidered sticker patch, a solar system wall decal and poster set, a mobile microscope, and a castle cross-sections book. Finally, the Summer 2017 Curiosity Box came with the Universe Sandbox 2 Steam game, which is fun for all ages.
Since each Loot Crate and Curiosity Box contains new themes and items, you might find the contents of one particular box more to your liking than another. For example, one Curiosity Box contained a “grow your own glow in the dark crystals” kit, while another included a plush of The Curiosity Box’s mascot, the orange octopus Inq. Meanwhile, past Loot Crates have contained a Batman mug, a Doom Marine Funko POP figure, and the One-Punch Man manga.
While I only have personal experience with Loot Crate and The Curiosity Box, they are not your only options for subscription boxes. Geek Fuel is another decent mystery box, and it has come with its fair share of good products, including a South Park: The Fractured But Whole shirt, a Loony Toons Kidrobot blind box vinyl figure, and an exclusive Legend of Zelda pixel sword power bank. While I cannot recommend the Loot Crate, Curiosity Box, or Geek Fuel (or other) subscription boxes enough, you should research each to know what you should expect from these services. Sure, you technically can’t know what to expect since each box is supposed to be a mystery, but look into each specific subscription and figure out which one is right for you. Which do you think tends to have the best exclusives? Which box caters to your interests? These questions are important and will severely impact your enjoyment. Of course, luck also plays a big role, but that’s also part of the fun.
Google Drive will Shut Down in 2018
It seems like yesterday when Google introduced Google Drive 5 years ago. Back then, people didn’t have a good grasp about what Cloud Storage did. Nowadays, there are many Cloud Storage services that it’s only a matter of preference to choose one for your file keeping needs. However, what struck me as an oddity was how Google Drive will pull their Google Drive service come 2018.
That’s right, Google Drive will completely shut down on March 12, 2018. With the software no longer being supported on December 11, 2017. People will have several warnings about this, for now, so they will have plenty of chance to switch to the new version of Drive, Backup and Sync.
This new program is basically a combination of the features between Google Drive and Photos. It’s readily available now for Windows and OSX systems and will be the new host for the Cloud storage. Alternatively, users can get a hold of Drive File Stream, which will become available on September 26, 2017.
The core differences between DFS and BaS come when you compare how they help customers. As shown in the image below:
A day without Google Drive.
It seems like users will have their first experience without Drive today though. Because as of this morning, the service was down for many users who constantly used the GSuit app. According to the independent site Downdetector, more than 7,000 users are experiencing issues with the service. This has been going on since 10:04 AM EDT, but the number of reports has been lowering afterward. You can check the stats here.
It’s a shame to see Google Drive go. To be frank, it was my preferred Cloud Storage option besides MEGA. However, it’s not a huge inconvenience considering they are not shutting down a Cloud Storage service altogether. So we at least have that.
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