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Leagoo Elite 5 review – Turn your phone into a remote control for smart devices

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The Leagoo Elite 5 is a brand new smartphone from China that’s now available to purchase at a deceptively low price. The reason I say this is because the smartphone only costs $132, a price that’s usually associated with low-end devices. That is not the case here, though, because the Elite 5 comes equipped with decent hardware, as well as a couple of very interesting and useful features. As always, there are pros and cons here, but we’ll need to take a closer look at what the Leagoo Elite 5 brings to the table before we can decide which of the two are more prevalent.

First Impressions

Right off the bat I was impressed by the company’s attention to the packaging. I know, I know, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, however, first impressions are always important and the Leagoo Elite 5 gets big points in this department. Not only was the box and everything inside it nicely designed, but Leagoo is also rather generous with the accessories. Apart from the smartphones itself, the box also includes a finely crafted leather view case, a plastic case, an USB cable coupled with an adapter, a screen protector, a pair of earphones, and even a little box of earbud replacements.

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In terms of design, the Leagoo Elite 5 looks really good for the most part, with relatively narrow bezels and round edges. The only complaint I have is that the device is unnecessarily large, though not by much. Sure, this is a 5.5-inch phablet so it should be big, however, the size of the top and bottom parts could have easily been reduced just a tad in order to make the smartphone a bit more compact. Aside from that, though, the Leagoo Elite 5 feels comfortable when holding in spite of its size. The shell is made entirely out of plastic and thankfully it’s pretty rugged, which allows for a pretty decent grip. The phone also seems very resistant and the back cover is thick enough that you don’t have to worry about doing any damage while trying to open it. Naturally, this also means that, overall, the phablet is somewhat thicker than most of its counterparts, which may or may not be an advantage depending on preference.

Get Leagoo Elite 5 at Banggood – $132

Specs

As mentioned before, the Leagoo Elite 5 comes equipped with decent specs, though they’re definitely nothing to write home about. When it comes to the processor, in particular, it seems like Leagoo could have done a bit better because the Elite 5 features an MTK6735 quad-core clocked at only 1.0 GHz. On the bright side, the CPU was built to support 64-bit architecture so it’s definitely not terrible in terms of performance. For the most part, the Leagoo Elite 5 can run pretty much anything you throw at it; just don’t have it run games that are very taxing, else you may end up disappointed and the phone will likely end up overheating. Another downside comes from the fact that the device only has 2 GB of RAM, whereas most other phablets have at least 3 GB these days. In short, you can expect decent performance from the Leagoo Elite 5, but as said, it’s nothing to write home about. The internal storage memory sits at 16 GB right from the get-go and you can use a microSD card to expand it by an additional 32 GB.

On the other hand, you may want to write home about the massive 4,000 mAh battery. The battery should easily last you for close to two days even on heavy use and the phone also has a rapid charge feature that allows you to bring the battery back to full health in no time. In addition, the Leagoo Elite 5 can also act as a power bank, which you can use to charge another device. This is done very easily by using the special cable provided by the manufacturer. I definitely recommend the Leagoo Elite 5 if you’re concerned about battery life and as an added bonus, the battery is removable so you can replace it with another one should it happen to break for some reason.

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Another strong selling point here is the camera combo consisting of a 13 MP primary shooter on the back and an 8 MP secondary selfie snapper on the front. The main camera is pretty standard and offers many of the features we’ve already come to know and love such as panorama, face beauty, and more. The selfie camera, however, is a bit more unique and actually capable of snapping some really nice pictures. Generally speaking, secondary cameras only offer 5 MP or less and they’re next to useless when the lighting is poor. This isn’t the case here. The 8 MP sensor on the Leagoo Elite 5 is definitely reliable, which is not something I can say about many other front-facing cameras I’ve tested before. As far as video shooting goes, the smartphone is only capable of going up to 720p and 30 fps. Not exactly stellar, but not terrible either.

Software

The Leagoo Elite 5 runs on a slightly modified version of Android 5.1 Lollipop called Leagoo OS 1.1. To be completely honest, the operating system is indistinguishable from the real thing so it’s pretty much like you’re running stock Android 5.1. The device is very light on bloatware and comes with maybe only one or two pre-installed apps that you may not find all that useful. Otherwise, the interface is quite elegant and easy to work with, much like you’d expect from any smartphone running on Android 5.1 Lollipop. I can’t really say I came across any major problems while testing the thing, so as far as I’m concerned the Leagoo Elite 5 is pretty solid when it comes to the software.

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Interesting Features

Most of the features found on the Elite 5 can also be found on other smartphones, but there are a couple that you don’t really see every day. The most interesting feature offered by the device is the universal infrared remote control function, which is exactly what it sounds like. This feature literally transforms your smartphone into a remote control that you can use to control other smart devices. It won’t work on everything, but there is a pretty huge selection of products that the Elite 5 can control, including TVs, DVD players, projectors, cameras, fans, air conditioners, light bulbs, and more. In addition, the Elite 5 also comes equipped with something called Leagoo Xender, another interesting feature that allows you to easily transfer files between your Android smartphone and an iOS device. Aside from those, there’s also HotKnot, smart gestures and, of course, 4G support is also included.

Get Leagoo Elite 5 at Banggood – $132

Final Thoughts

We have a $132 smartphone that likely would have costed quite a bit more if it was being manufactured by a major brand. As it stands, the Leagoo Elite 5 is far from being the most popular or the most powerful phone, but it’s definitely worth the price when taking everything into consideration. I mean, the design is really nice, the cameras are good (especially the secondary one), the battery will last you a long time, it runs on stock Android 5.1 Lollipop (kinda) and it allows you to control other smart devices. That said, the phone is indeed lacking a bit in the CPU and RAM departments, so the Leagoo Elite 5 is likely not very suitable for those who are in need of devices that can set a new standard when it comes to lightning-fast speeds and cutting-edge performance. For the regular user, however, the Leagoo Elite 5 is definitely a very solid and affordable choice.

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Gadgets

Spotify is providing refunds for Car Thing as it confronts a lawsuit regarding the malfunctioning of the streaming device

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Spotify is receiving ongoing criticism for its choice to terminate support for Car Thing, its in-car streaming device, which was announced in May. According to the company, the device will become inoperable after December 9, 2024. Gen Z users on TikTok are sharing videos to express their dissatisfaction with Spotify’s decision and its suggested measures, such as transitioning to Android Auto or CarPlay. The users point out that they often lacked access to integrated infotainment systems in their cars, which makes them a prime target market for a specialized player like Car Thing.

The streaming service’s in-car device hadn’t been on the market long enough to become outdated. The product was introduced in February 2022 but was subsequently discontinued within the same year. However, the company assured customers who had already purchased units that it would continue to provide support and maintenance. Prior to its release, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek indicated that there was a significant consumer interest in this product. During an earnings call with investors, Ek reported that over 2 million users had registered on the Car Thing waitlist in anticipation of its launch.

While Spotify did not disclose official figures, it is probable that Car Thing did not meet expectations or did not justify further investment in the current challenging economic climate. Spotify, on the other hand, terminated approximately 1,500 employees towards the end of last year. This followed previous rounds of layoffs earlier in the year that impacted hundreds of employees.

Car Thing users, on the other hand, are not concerned with the company’s financial issues; their primary concern is the functionality of the device or, at the very least, receiving a refund for the $90 cost.

As a result, some individuals have attempted to lodge their complaints directly with Spotify by sending direct messages on the X platform using the handle @SpotifyCares or by utilizing different email addresses associated with Spotify that have been shared on Reddit. As a result, certain users have reported that Spotify provided them with multiple months of a premium subscription as compensation for their inconvenience, whereas others have stated that they inquired with customer service and were informed that no reimbursements were being offered.

According to Spotify, they have recently implemented a refund procedure for Car Thing. However, the user must present evidence of purchase in order to be eligible for the refund.

Car Thing users were officially informed about the availability of customer support through a second email sent on Friday of last week, in response to the increasing criticism and dissatisfaction caused by the discontinuation of Car Thing. Within the message, Spotify provides users with the appropriate customer support link to contact the company. The email does not guarantee any reimbursements but states that users can contact us for inquiries.

Although a refund might appease a certain segment of the user population who are dissatisfied with Car Thing, numerous individuals are earnestly imploring the company through TikTok videos and comments on Spotify’s TikTok posts to refrain from rendering their device inoperable. (Indeed, grievances regarding the Car Thing have become so prevalent on Spotify’s videos that the algorithmically generated search recommendation on certain videos is “what is the spotify car thing.”)

“Spotify, I kindly request that you refrain from subjecting me to any further distress.” “I have a strong affection for my automobile,” expressed Carla, a TikTok user known as @carlititica on the platform.

“Depressed,” expressed another user, @nikkilovestech. “They seem to encourage people to use their phone, which is a source of distraction,” she stated in the video description while demonstrating a Car Thing mounted on her dashboard. In her video, she also addressed the issue of electronic waste resulting from the discontinuation of a fully functional product.

Spotify is still facing challenges regarding the discontinuation of Car Thing, despite the introduction of a refund process that has not been widely publicized. According to Billboard, Spotify is currently dealing with a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The lawsuit alleges that Spotify deceived customers by selling them a product that would soon become outdated, and then failing to provide refunds. The lawsuit was initiated on May 28th.

While Spotify is unable to provide a comment regarding the lawsuit, a representative did share the following statement regarding Car Thing:

The objective of our Car Thing investigation in the United States was to gain further insights into individuals’ auditory habits while driving. In July 2022, we made a public statement declaring our decision to cease any future manufacturing activities, and now we must bid farewell to the devices altogether. The deactivation of all Car Thing devices will occur on December 9, 2024, giving users until that date to continue using them. To gain further knowledge about the various methods available for listening to Spotify in your car, please refer to the For The Record section. Car Thing users can contact Customer Support for any inquiries by visiting: https://support.spotify.com/us/contact-spotify-support/

While the issues surrounding Car Thing may not impact all of Spotify’s user base, this development coincides with a period when users are already dissatisfied with being required to pay additional fees for features they consider essential to a music service, such as access to lyrics, a feature that Spotify recently made available only to paying subscribers. Furthermore, users are expressing dissatisfaction with Car Thing and are issuing ultimatums to discontinue their subscription to Spotify due to the introduction of paid access to lyrics.

Furthermore, Spotify raised its subscription fees last year, and Bloomberg has reported that another price hike is imminent in 2024.

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Mobile Devices

3 Video Games About Women’s Health

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Video games have transcended entertainment to become powerful tools for promoting health and wellness. One notable genre in this realm is fitness gaming, exemplified by titles like Hatsune Miku Fit Boxing, which motivates players to engage in physical activity to enhance their fitness levels. Building on this foundation, developers have ventured into women’s health with games designed to raise awareness and empower players to take control of their well-being. Here are 3 video games on women’s health that provide valuable health information and foster a sense of agency to uplift women around the world.

Tampon Run – Menstrual health

Created by Girls Who Code alumnae Andrea Gonzales and Sophie Houser in 2014, Tampon Run is an old-school 8-bit online game where the main character, Luna, lobs tampons to destroy enemies, who will confiscate the tampons if she lets them pass by. Interestingly, the concept of weaponized tampons is based on a real incident that occurred in 2013, where Texas state troopers confiscated tampons as potential projectiles, but not guns, from visitors observing a vote on abortion restrictions at the Texas State Capitol. The goal of Tampon Run is to destigmatize periods and menstrual products, which, up until recently, have not been properly studied to measure their absorbency, which underscores the need to address menstrual health so that women can get better care.

In between tossing tampons, Luna shares empowering messages about how periods are a natural part of women’s lives and should not be a source of shame or embarrassment. The game is available to play on the Tampon Run website and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store for iOS users.

PCOS Vitality – PCOS

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a complex hormonal condition and the leading cause of female infertility that affects approximately 5 to 6 million women in the US, according to the Endocrine Society. Common features of the condition include having irregular menstrual periods, hyperandrogenism, and polycystic ovaries. Additionally, some studies estimate that up to 88% of women with PCOS are overweight or obese. While there are weight loss programs helping women tackle PCOS, focusing on aspects like lifestyle, symptom management, diet, and other tips for how to lose weight with PCOS, the condition itself remains grossly under-researched. For some women, it may take years to confirm that they have PCOS, as there are other disorders that mimic PCOS signs and symptoms that must be excluded.

The lack of research has extended to a lack of awareness among the general population and is what clinicians from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland are trying to address with the 2023 game PCOS Vitality. Essentially a learning tool, the game takes users through a simple obstacle course. As you click toward the finish line, you are asked simple trivia questions about PCOS. The game is free to play on Focus Games’ website.

Bound by Blood – Period poverty

Period poverty refers to the lack of regular access to period products, painkillers, or underwear during a menstrual cycle. In the US, where 16.9 million menstruating women live in poverty, two-thirds cannot afford basic menstrual products. Period poverty has also been associated with mental health issues and urinary tract infections.

Available to play on the itch.io website, Bound by Blood was created by Jessica Gates in 2017 and aims to educate players about the reality of period poverty. Users take the character of Beth, a homeless woman who wakes up in her car and realizes that she’s started her period. Players then make a series of choices to try to stay as hygienic as possible in spite of lacking resources such as menstrual products and clean restrooms. There isn’t really a way to “win” the game, and it is instead a peek into the reality of life where period products are inaccessible and how this affects women’s quality of life.

Through these games, players not only gain valuable insights into various aspects of women’s health but also find themselves actively engaged in their own well-being. As developers continue to explore this emerging field, the potential for video games to serve as educational tools and catalysts for change in healthcare remains promising

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Consoles

Despite popular belief, PS4 sales in the UK skyrocketed last year

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PS4 sales in the UK climbed by a shocking 633 percent year-over-year in 2023, so apparently the old system isn’t dead yet. The previous year’s very limited supply of the system is likely a major factor in this figure, since the console’s lifespan was drastically reduced because of chip shortages caused by the pandemic. Still, it’s proof that PlayStation’s original platform has unmet demand.

With the very low prices of PS4 software (both in-store and online at the PS Store), this strategy makes a lot of sense. Plus, it’s future-proof, so there’s no harm in stocking up on PS4s while new-gen pricing is still high, since if you decide to switch to a PS5 in the future, you can transfer all of your purchases across. Not to mention that the majority of new releases still come out on the PS4, with several offering free PS5 upgrades.

While the percentage rise may seem huge, real PS4 sales will probably be much lower. It’s a sign that the gadget, which is now a decade old, isn’t completely dead yet, and we expect it to keep receiving maintenance for a while longer. Of course, this is great news for Sony, because the company would rather have PS4 players playing on its last-gen gadget than none at all, even if it would love to have them upgrade to PS5.

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