With a saturated smartphone market combined with millions of dollars worth of marketing leaves the consumer dumbfounded at the end. Everyone is saying that their products are the best, and even if we start doing our own research, it’s hard to differentiate between sponsored posts and honest reviews. Most reviews nowadays are sponsored, because how else could bloggers and anyone besides big news outlets afford a $700 phone each month? It’s a circle we won’t be getting out of anytime soon. However, that doesn’t mean we have to confide in what the commercials tell us when choosing our new smartphone.
We’ve compiled a guide on picking the perfect smartphone for the average consumer, focusing on the steps that everyone can consider before actually putting money down or signing any contract. People often find themselves undecided about smartphones and even more don’t even know how to choose a phone that’s right for them. Most of the times we are overwhelmed with all the choices and get bored, oftentimes settling to get it over with. And that’s with unlocked phones; carriers can complicate things even more.
Anyhow, choosing the perfect smartphone for you can be difficult, especially if you’re just getting into mobile tech and it will be your first smartphone, for whatever reason. Veterans in mobile tech also find it hard to pick the perfect smartphone out of the millions of options out there, because needs and how they’re met is a process that’s hard to identify when it comes to smartphones. There are many things we should pay attention to when picking a new smartphone, but here are a few of the most important ones you should consider before buying one.
Choose the OS – iOS, Android, Windows, BlackBerry, Tizen, Sailfish, etc
The first step in choosing the perfect smartphone is deciding what OS you want to make use of. The operating system of a smartphone determines what kind of apps and services you will be able to use and what ecosystem your device can be part of. Oftentimes, this is the most overlooked and yet most difficult step in picking the perfect smartphone, because few people who use smartphones actually have the know-how to understand the inner workings of software. That shouldn’t be a problem however, because modern operating systems can be easily identified and categorized thanks to the enormous advancements in software development.
iOS is the exclusive OS to Apple iPhones, so if you want to go for an iPhone, you will be stuck with iOS. Today, Apple’s own OS is at version 9 and the 10th version is anticipated to land sometime next year. There are pros and cons to iOS, but most of them have to do with company policy rather than the properties and features of the operating system itself. iOS is very user-friendly and first-time smartphone users will quickly become accustomed to how the software and user interface works.
That being said, the main benefit of iOS is its simplicity and streamlined performance – because it is faster than Android, most of the time – leaves room for a few cons, too. Being cemented in the Apple ecosystem brings some constraints with it to the smartphone user. iPhone users can’t customize their experience that much, they can’t really store anything on the phone unless they’re cool with using iTunes for everything – paying for everything, in the meantime.
Although iOS has progressed a lot in the past few years, ultimately the features that it comes with are behind what other operating systems have to offer. The restrictions that Apple sets on user experience can be disconcerting to someone switching from another OS and can be a turn-off for someone wanting to join the fun of owning a smartphone. Although iOS is a rather stable OS and it’s the best when it comes to software updates, it’s a mobile OS that’s suitable for beginners more than power users.
That doesn’t mean that power users can’t have a good time on iOS, but it does mean that they have to conform to the rules of the ecosystem.
Android is your next option when it comes to mobile operating systems. Android is the second most popular mobile OS in the world, after iOS of course. The benefits of Android are obvious in some areas, covert in others and missing altogether in some. Compared to iOS, the huge benefit of Google’s OS is that you can customize the hell out of it. You almost have no limits, especially if you’re a power user who likes to fiddle with software. If you’re willing to root your phone and risk bricking it, you can have a lot of fun with Android, since it’s open source.
Android isn’t as good with software updates, users of the OS always complaining that while Google announced a new version of the OS, say two months ago, 90% of the handsets on the market haven’t received the update. There are a lot of issues with smartphones running Android because of software updates, and that’s a bummer. Nexus phones bypass this issue, getting updates directly from Google, but those buying from other smartphone manufacturers have to rely on the companies to release updates or on their carriers, which is worse.
Google’s OS isn’t as private and secure as iOS, seeing as Apple is very keen on protecting each bundle of users’ data. It’s an admirable trait of Apple, and it would be nice if Google would allow for more security and privacy features in Android. However, there are more problems on this front than meet the eye. With new adware, malware, phishing scams, viruses and numerous other types of cyber attacks on Android emerging on a weekly basis, it’s hard to keep confident that Android is a safe place.
BlackBerry is an OS fit for business users and those who are mostly accustomed to it already. With awesome security features, all the encryption you would need and a lot of BlackBerry features, this OS is one of the best for work. If you’re more of a play kind of person, BlackBerry OS lacks a lot of apps and developers, and it’s not doing so well. However, the OS is still considered to be one of the best for productivity, so you should keep that in mind. With a fluid user interface and a lot of customization, BlackBerry OS can be a good choice, but it’s a risky one.
Windows 10 Mobile is the most advanced mobile OS, in my opinion, although it’s a lot less popular than iOS and Android. Windows 10 comes with universal apps, which means that the OS on a Windows phone is actually a full Windows 10 operating system. You can actually turn your phone into a full-blown computer with the help of peripherals and accessories. The problem with Windows 10 and Windows in general on mobile is the lack of apps.
There’s no Google ecosystem here, and Windows 10 needs to rely on Microsoft’s developers as well as third-party developers to make Windows 10 a fun place to be. At the moment, support for Windows 10 is lacking and many find that unless they’re not tied into the Google ecosystem, the OS is not right for them. If you are starting out with smartphones, Windows 10 could be a good choice, although you have to be aware that even popular platforms like Pinterest have so far refrained from releasing a native app for Windows 10. Nonetheless, things are bound to improve. Developers like the universal apps development platform that Microsoft put at their disposal, because they can design one app and see it run on computers, tablets, smartphones and who knows, even wearables in the near future, without extra effort.
Windows 10 is an excellent performer and most power users will appreciate the new and improved design of the user interface, compared to previous editions of Microsoft’s OS, such as Windows 8.1. With Windows Hello, the new security feature that uses biometric sensors to identify users, the Redmond giant added a new dimension of security to the mobile operating system and the desktop OS at the same time. That being said, Microsoft will collect a lot of data about you. Fortunately, you can work around that by modifying settings within the OS.
Sailfish is what you could call an underground OS. Alongside Tizen and other proprietary operating systems, its popularity is mostly restricted to Asia and Europe. You won’t see many people using Sailfish in the U.S., although it is a very stable operating system. The same goes about Ubuntu’s mobile version. The problem with these is the lack of support from developers. Since their use is not widespread, these operating systems remain in the background and go along with little support from the international developer community. However, there are benefits to these operating systems, too.
Most of them are much more private and secure than Android, iOS and Windows and offer smooth performance, as well as features unique to them. Each bear different design aesthetics in mind, but most of the time, they’re pretty similar to iOS and Android when it comes to the user interface. You can only do so much on a touch-based interface, you know. Your last option would be to disregard OS completely and choose the warrior’s path: install the firmware of your choice on the handset of your choice.
iPhones come with iOS, most Samsung phones have Android while some have Tizen, Lumia handsets come with Windows 10 by default and most big companies like LG, HTC, Asus, Lenovo, etc go the Android way when it comes to OS. Most companies release their flagships with Windows on board, too, although that’s not the case with Windows 10 right now. It might be in the future. The idea is that smartphone buyers are constrained by manufacturers: they can’t really choose their user interface for a particular phone they like. Advanced users can install their own firmware and custom ROMs to make their experience unique, but that comes with the risk of bricking your phone, so make a wise decision.
5 Reasons You NEED To Play The Final Fantasy VIII Remaster
After many years of fans begging Square Enix to remaster Final Fantasy VII, they finally listened and did just that. There were numerous excuses as to why the game’s re-release had lagged behind the re-releases of both VII and IX, with the most common excuse being that the game’s original code was lost years ago. However, the company made it happen and the game is finally available for modern audiences to play on modern hardware today. We’re going to give you 5 reasons why you should do just that.
First time available on modern hardware
As we’ve already said, this is the first time that the game is available on modern hardware. While the game originally launched for PS1 back in 1999, it later got a PC port in 2000. That means that is has been a whopping 19 years since a new version of the game has been available for purchase, and that wait was a brutal one. However, it is finally over and you can now play this classic game on PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch along with PC. If the lack of modern hardware support was stopping you from checking out, that excuse just got thrown out the window.
The visuals look better than ever
Thankfully, Square Enix did not just slap this port together quickly and throw it out there to shut everyone up. They did a terrific job of putting on a shiny new coat of paint for the game, with the character models in particular looking much better. While things like environment textures didn’t get quite the same amount of attention, this is nevertheless the best that the game has ever looked. It also helps that the game is simply beautiful from a design standpoint, with the game’s world being gorgeous to behold even though we’re dealing with the hardware limitations of 1999.
Quality of life improvements
While those who played the game 20 years ago will still be getting what is essentially the same experience, Square Enix did add some quality of life improvements to put it more in line with current JRPGs. These changes include the likes of increasing battle speed by 3 times, shutting off random encounters completely and even a cheat to give you max HP and limit breaks. While these may seem minor, these will go a long way to ease some of the tedium that many feel after some particularly long gaming sessions. Max HP and Limit Breaks will also make the incredibly tough Ultima and Omega Weapon boss fights a lot easier to deal with.
The Final Fantasy series is known for having its fair share of enticing side quests and mini games, but there isn’t a single one that is as addicting as Triple Triad. The game is essentially a card game that is played on a 3×3 grid, and each card has a certain number on the top, bottom, left and right sides. You need to place your cards in a manner that the numbers on your cards are higher than your opponents, and seeing as your card can be attacked from four different sides this can be tricky. You’re able to challenge many different characters to a match throughout the course of the entire game, and doing so comes with plenty of nice rewards that will make your quest easier.
The game is awesome
While our previous points focused on specific elements of the game, this one is a simple fact that has been true since 1999: the game is awesome. Unfortunately, releasing immediately after Final Fantasy VII (a watershed moment for gaming) put it under a very cruel microscope, with many knee jerk reactions simply saying it “isn’t as good as VII.” However, in the years that have passed people have revisited the game, and the consensus has definitely changed. This adventure that Square created is unlike any other in the series, being host to an ambitious and bizarre plot filled with some of the best characters the series has ever seen. If you’ve played the game before then this is the perfect time to experience this masterpiece all over again, and if you haven’t then what are you waiting for?
10 Huge Games Still Coming In 2019
2019 has been yet another good year for gaming so far, with several games releasing that will be big contenders for game of the year once the curtain closes. However, despite the year already being more than halfway over, there are still some huge titles on the horizon that are sure to make their own dents on the coming best-of lists. This article will list the 10 biggest games that are still coming in 2019.
A new game from Remedy Entertainment is always highly-anticipated, and Control is no different. The game is an action-adventure game in the same style as Alan Wake or Quantum Break, but with a supernatural twist. Players will control Jesse Faden, who possesses a variety of supernatural abilities like telekinesis, levitation and more. She will be using her abilities in order to defeat an enemy known only as the Hiss, which has corrupted reality. Control launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on August 27th.
It has been many years since the last game in the Borderlands series released, but the hiatus is finally coming to an end very soon. Those who have played previous games in the series will feel right at home with this game, as it’s once again a loot-driven FPS. The game will offer more zany characters and a charming and insane world to explore, all while dealing with new antagonists Troy and Tyreen Calypso along with their Children of the Vault cult. Borderlands 3 launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on September 13th, with a Google Stadia port release date being TBA.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon series is returning soon with Breakpoint, which will serve as a continuation of previous game Wildlands. The game is set in an open world environment called Aurora, which is a fictional island in the Pacific Ocean. Players will control Lieutenant Colonel Anthony “Nomad” Perryman, who is a special forces operative that was sent to the island to investigate a series of disturbances in the area. Breakpoint launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 4th, with a Google Stadia port coming in November.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Each new installment in the Call of Duty series is always huge, but Modern Warfare’s release marks a first for the long-running franchise. It will be the first game in the series that is reimagining of a previous game in the series, taking 2004’s original game and updating its mechanics and themes to match today’s world. The game will still have some of the beats that the first game had, but will also incorporate lots of surprises to make it a fresh experience. Modern Warfare launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 25th.
The Outer Worlds
Obsidian Entertainment’s The Outer Worlds is one that will be very highly-anticipated for fans of Fallout: New Vegas, as this game serves as a sort of spiritual successor to that game. It will be an open world RPG that allows you to explore many unique areas crawling with plenty of deadly foes. Players will also be able to encounter and recruit NPCs as companions that have their own personal missions and stories to take part in. The Outer Worlds launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 25th, with a Switch port also being in the works.
Luigi’s Mansion 3
It seemed very unlikely that Luigi’s Mansion would become a recurring franchise for Nintendo following the original GameCube game, but here we are. Luigi’s Mansion 3 is coming to Switch, which also means it will be the first home console release since the original game back in 2003. This time the game is set in a haunted hotel rather than a mansion, and Luigi has some new tricks up his sleeves to take down all those ghosts. Luigi’s Mansion 3 will launch exclusively for Nintendo Switch on October 31st.
If you’re looking for the most ambitious (and weirdest) game still coming in 2019, then look no further. Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding has perplexed gamers ever since its announcement, and each new trailer that releases just brings more and more questions to the table. It is Kojima’s first game since breaking up with Konami after the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phanton Pain (and the cancellation of Silent Hills), and it looks like Kojima has taken the newfound complete creative control to deliver something truly original. Death Stranding launches exclusively for PS4 on November 8th.
Pokemon Sword & Shield
At this point we all know what to expect from a new Pokemon game, and Sword and Shield seems poised to deliver even more cute creatures for players to capture and battle very soon. What sets Sword and Shield apart from its predecessors is that it will be the first home console release for the series, which is saying something considering the series has been around for over 20 years. Pokemon Sword & Shield launches exclusively for Switch on November 15th.
If you’re a fan of Shenmue then nothing needs to be said for the inclusion of the upcoming third game on this list. Fans of the series have been waiting nearly two decades for a follow-up to the second game, and in just a couple of months that will finally be delivered to them. Brought to life thanks to an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign, the game continues the adventure of protagonist Ryo Hazuki as he hunts down his father’s killer. Shenmue III will launch for PS4 and PC on November 19th.
id Software’s DOOM 2016 was one of the best FPS games to come along in years, so it’s a no-brainer that the follow-up would be on this list. Eternal is set to offer yet another intense FPS campaign for players to plunge into, while also offering a multiplayer component that greatly improves upon the last game’s underwhelming multiplayer mode. There will also be twice as many demon types than there was in the last game, meaning that the chaos level just got that much higher. DOOM Eternal launches for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia and PC on November 22nd.
5 Most Exciting Announcements From The Xbox E3 2019 Press Conference
Microsoft’s Xbox E3 2019 Press Conference has officially come to an end, and with it came plenty of big announcements to get excited about. Some new games were announced, whereas previously-announced games got new footage and/or release dates. In this article we’ve narrowed it all down to the 5 most exciting announcements.
New Xbox “Project Scarlett” Coming Holiday 2020
We’ve known for a while now that a new Xbox was in the works, but now we know when to expect it. Microsoft’s fourth console (which hopefully has a better official name than Xbox One did) will be a big step up from the previous console. Things like much faster load times, an AMD Processor that is four times more powerful than the Xbox One X, 8K Resolution and 120 FPS were all mentioned. A price and exact release date weren’t mentioned. It will also be launching with…
Halo Infinite Coming Holiday 2020, Launching On Both Xbox One and Project Scarlett
The wait for the next Halo game has been longer than ever before for series fans, and the announcement at E3 revealed that the wait will continue. Halo Infinite will not be launching until Holiday 2020, meaning it will have been 5 years since the previous game released with Halo 5. It will also be launching on Xbox One and Project Scarlett, meaning the new console will have a big launch title for fans to get pumped about.
Cyberpunk 2077 Coming April 2020, Stars Keanu Reeves
It’s hard to pick a game that people have been more excited about than Cyberpunk 2077, and after Microsoft’s press conference we’re even more excited. Not only is it coming in April of next year, but Keanu Reeves himself will be playing a “key” role in the game. Everything shown from the game has looked great so far, so hopefully it all pans out and we have another classic from CD Projekt RED come April 2020.
FromSoftware and George R.R. Martin Collaboration Elden Ring Announced
This one was actually leaked prior to the presentation, but Dark Souls developer FromSoftware and Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin are collaborating on a new game. The game is called Elden Ring, and it will be a departure from the developer’s most recent games as it will be open world. Very little information on the game is known at this point, as it is still in the early stages of development.
Phantasy Star Online 2 Is Coming West
It took a very long time, but the popular MMORPG is finally coming west. The game is coming to Xbox One in a free-to-play form in Spring 2020, so the wait won’t be that much longer. “There will be no limitations on game experiences,”says Sega, because they want to “provide all players with a fair and exciting experience.”
- Gadgets9 years ago
Why the Nexus 7 is still a good tablet in 2015
- Mobile Devices9 years ago
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Galaxy Note 5: is there room for improvement?
- Editorials9 years ago
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 – How bad updates prevent people from enjoying their phones
- Mobile Devices9 years ago
Nexus 5 2015 and Android M born to be together
- Gaming9 years ago
New Teaser For Five Nights At Freddy’s 4
- Mobile Devices9 years ago
Google not releasing Android M to Nexus 7
- Gadgets9 years ago
Moto G Android 5.0.2 Lollipop still has a memory leak bug
- Mobile Devices9 years ago
Nexus 7 2015: Huawei and Google changing the game