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Nexus 5 vs OnePlus One: stock vs custom ROM performance





The Nexus 5 is still one of the most popular devices in the United States, even though it has become outdated over the past year. Google and Motorola have launched the Nexus 6 already, which comes in with a much larger body, and a much higher price. The OnePlus One counters the tendency of OEMs to increase their prices and provide hardware that is the latest and greatest in the game with up-to-date hardware and a much more affordable price. That notion is valid for the Nexus 5 as well, as it is one of the cheapest stock-Android devices that you can get, and it still comes with flagship specifications. The nickname of the OnePlus One is the flagship killer, and with good reason: the specs and price add up to amazing value and bang for buck, but that doesn’t mean the Nexus 5 isn’t worth its money, especially now.

Google and LG have collaborated on the Nexus 5 and launched the stock-Android device in October 2013. More than a year has passed since, but the smartphone is still high up there in the list of favorite Android devices across the U.S. There are many people out there who still believe that the Nexus 5 is just as future-proof as any other phone launched this year, and most of those opinions motivate their choice with software. The best feature of the Nexus 5 is the fact that it runs on stock Android, which means that there’s no bloatware on top and that the OS is clean, and not skinned. That contributes to way better performance compared to phones which use bloatware and skins, such as TouchWiz, Optimus, Xperia, MIUI, ColorOS and more. Moreover, when you own a stock Android smartphone like the Nexus 5, you’ll be among the first people to receive fresh updates from Google, which is always a plus when thinking about upgrading your smartphone.

The OnePlus One doesn’t boast with stock Android software, but it does boast with a few very interesting things. One of these is that rooting the OnePlus One will not void your warranty given by the company, which means that you can customize your phone as much as you want to, and the company won’t hold it against you if your phone has issues later in its lifetime. The OnePlus One was created with the aim of giving smartphone enthusiasts as many customization options as possible, starting with the crowd-favorite custom ROM, which is by default on the phone, CyanogenMod.

CyanogenMod is one of the best custom ROMs for Android smartphones that you can find out there, and while it does have a few bugs here and there, it is mostly a smooth software experience for most users. The Nexus 5 also has the possibility of running CyanogenMod 12, the latest installment from the company, although there are fewer users who would prefer fiddling with flashing a custom ROM instead of using the stock Android interface that comes out of the box. The OnePlus One comes with CyanogenMod 11s, and while you can install unofficial versions of CyanogenMod 12s, a stable version is on its way and should be released in the next two weeks. Although the OnePlus team promised that both CyanogenMod and OxygenOS, the company’s own custom ROM would be released by the end of March, they have missed their deadline once again.


There’s no big difference in performance between the Nexus 5 and OnePlus ONe

Before getting into how well these smartphones perform and what the differences are between the UI, let us see what hardware specifications they have so that we can get a better idea of what is running their proprietary interfaces. First off, the Nexus 5, although older, boasts with rather current specs, some of which can be seen even on recently launched devices like the HTC One M9. The Nexus 5 display is a 4.95 inch True HD IPS+ display with a 1080*1920 resolution that amounts to a really nice 445 ppi pixel density. It’s got good viewing angles, good outdoor visibility, a nice design with pretty thin bezels around the screen and a pretty light weight of 130 grams.

The OnePlus One gets a much larger LTPS LCD display measuring 5.5 inches with a resolution of 1080*1920, which adds up to a slightly lower 401 ppi pixel density. The OnePlus One is definitely the phablet out of the two, but the screen to body ratio is actually better on this one. You get a very similar design, with thin bezels, but the weight is heavier at 162 grams. The display is pretty good and although it isn’t as saturated and bright as the one on the Nexus 5, it looks rather appealing. Some people have had issues with their touchscreen not working properly or weird smudges showing up on the screen, but from what we gather, these issues are rather isolated, so you might have to be really unlucky to get a defective unit in your mail.

The Nexus 5 comes with a rather outdated Snapdragon 800 CPU with four cores clocked at 2.3 GHz, and backed by an Adreno 330 GPU and 2 GB RAM. You get either 16 or 32 GB internal storage, and you don’t have a microSD card slot to supplement storage space in case you need it. Turning to the cloud might be your only alternative in this case, but the 32 GB version is usually enough for most power and average users. Since we’re talking cloud, I would recommend ditching microSD cards in favor of cloud storage, because as it turns out, microSD cards tend to fail. A lot. Just my two cents. Performance is flawless with this hardware setup on the Nexus 5, thanks to the stock Android OS that it comes with, which keeps memory and processor use at a minimum, all the while keeping the phone cool. Gaming is exempt from this, though.

The OnePlus One isn’t far ahead when it comes to specifications, so its Snapdragon 800 CPU with four cores clocked at 2.5 GHz, backed by an Adreno 330 GPU and 3 GB RAM doesn’t make too much of a difference. CyanogenMod uses up a bit more memory than stock Android, as it’s basically a skin, so to speak. Custom ROMs are usually built around Android, so you still have something on top of the stock software, which will impact performance, but not as much as you would expect in the case of CyanogenMod. Since the processor is a bit faster and it’s got more RAM to work with, it does seem to be just a bit snappier than the Nexus 5. But the difference is truly minimal, as a good deal of processing power goes towards the extra 0.5 inches of display that needs to be powered and ran.


Nexus 5 specs are just a bit inferior

When it comes to camera, the Nexus 5 definitely doesn’t shine in this aspect. Many Nexus 5 hands-on videos and reviews demonstrate that the camera setup is rather bad, which is something people seem to associate with the Nexus brand. In my personal experience with the Nexus 5, I found the camera satisfactory for my needs, but that’s about it. Since I’m not a fan of smartphone photography and rarely shoot more than the occasional cat photo and video, it didn’t bother me. But power users are rather disappointed with the Nexus 5 camera performance on the whole. Android 5.0 Lollipop has improved the software a bit, but there’s no change to write home about. The numbers are: 8 MP rear camera with autofocus, optical image stabilization and an LED flash and a 1.3 MP camera on the front. It’s not bad, to be fair, but it’s not good either. But this comparison is not about camera performance.

The OnePlus One handles camera surprisingly well, for the price. It gets a 13 MP sensor on the rear with autofocus and a dual-LED flash, but there’s no optical image stabilization, so your videos will be shaky. The OnePlus One camera performance and experience is surprisingly good, although it still can’t rival with what the Nexus 6 or the Galaxy Note 4 can do. It does rival with the Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8, though. It produces good photos, even in low-light conditions, as per most people. The front facing is a 5 MP sensor, which is decidedly better than what the Nexus 5 front camera has to offer.

The final thing one might want to know about a phone before talking about performance is the battery size. The Nexus 5 has a non-removable 2300 mAh battery, while the OnePlus One battery measures a whopping 3100 mAh. Both these phones go the mile when it comes to battery life, and most Nexus 5 reviews and OnePlus One reviews say that the battery life of both is average and slightly above average. Both these phones will go through two days of moderate to light use, but that’s about it. Unless you do some power saving by turning brightness down, deactivating certain features and disabling certain apps, you’re not going to get a shiny battery life out of either. But compared to other devices, such as the Galaxy S5, LG G3, Galaxy Note 3, Nexus 4 and others, the battery life on both the Nexus 5 and OnePlus One are admirable.

Moving on to performance, I must say that this is a though one to compare. First of all, both the Nexus 5 performance and OnePlus One performance are exemplary. Although both get bugs, and both tend to annoy users from time to time, the overall performance rating for each is really good. If we take a look at benchmark results from various tests, their results point out the obvious: the Nexus 5 and the OnePlus One are very close in scores to each other. In Antutu benchmarks, the OnePlus One scored about 1000 points higher, which goes for GeekBench and GFXBenchmarks scores as well. In 3DMark, the difference was below 100 points in favor of the OnePlus One. Those general results demonstrate that there shouldn’t really be any difference in performance between these two, regardless if they run stock OS like the Nexus 5 or a custom ROM like the OnePlus One.

In real life tests, you would expect these minor differences to show drastic differences between performance. But truth is, both the Nexus 5 and OnePlus One run the generic gaming, social media and camera apps smoothly, without any hiccups. If we disregard some of the bugs in CyanogenMod 12 and some of the bugs in Android 5.1 Lollipop, such as the memory leak bug, then both these devices are as smooth as silk. The OnePlus One is better in one category, as I’ve come to understand from my own tests: gaming. Gaming is smoother on the OnePlus One, but the Nexus 5 doesn’t stutter either. It’s a difference of load times and framerates, and to be fair, the differences I’ve noticed are minimal.

When watching videos, the OnePlus One does use up more battery than the Nexus 5, but the experience on both is really great. The same goes for social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others, where refresh doesn’t impact performance and the devices will not show any sign of unresponsiveness. The occasional crash will happen, but that’s something to be expected from every smartphone on the market. Although gaming is slightly better on the OnePlus One, it does have a slightly slower camera response, but not as much as to make you throw the phone out the window for causing you to miss a shot. Neither of the cameras have great response times, especially if you try accessing them from the lock screen, but they are average.

There’s not much to say about the difference between the Nexus 5 performance and OnePlus One performance, which means that the Chinese company did a rad job with their flagship killer. Although the prices aren’t that far away from each other at this point, both being a bit outdated, the OnePlus One does demonstrate that good performance doesn’t have to cost you an entire month’s paycheck. The Nexus 5 is also an affordable phone, which in conclusion demonstrates the same thing. Software and software optimization tends to matter more than hardware in most cases, as seen on TouchWiz-heavy Samsung Galaxy smartphones, which perform worse than our two competitors right here.

In conclusion, although it’s not a surprising one, you’d get top notch performance from both the Nexus 5 and the OnePlus One. If you’re a stock Android fan and appreciate that Nexus 5 updates come in quickly, then Google’s phone is definitely for you. If you’re a fan of custom ROMs and like fiddling around with your smartphone, and don’t mind that updates are usually very late, the OnePlus One should be your pick. I would personally prefer the OnePlus One, but my decision is based on design and display size, rather than software updates and performance. Which would you prefer? Currently, the OnePlus One costs $300 for the 32 GB version and $350 for the 64 GB version. The Nexus 5 price on Amazon is between $340 and $430 for the 16 GB version, while the 32 GB version will set you back between $370 and $500. depending on the seller. If price is important to you, than be sure to check in with the OnePlus website every Tuesday, as you can order it online.

As part of the editorial team here at Geekreply, John spends a lot of his time making sure each article is up to snuff. That said, he also occasionally pens articles on the latest in Geek culture. From Gaming to Science, expect the latest news fast from John and team.


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.

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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 HaloMinecraftFalloutCall of Duty, and Destiny 2 themed boxes), and film/TV merchandise with Harry PotterFireflyMarvel, 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.


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.

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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.

Thousands of users reported Google Drive issues

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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