With the Christmas season being right around the corner, it’s time to search for presents and what could be more fulfilling than a new performant smartphone at an affordable price. Two big companies are launching this month one of their new products: Panasonic and Huawei.
Panasonic has already launched its new smartphone, the Panasonic Eluga Mark focused on top notch security for its mobile users. As for Huawei, the Enjoy 5s smartphone is supposed to be launched globally on 10th December. Both companies are experienced in manufacturing highly performant gadgets and no less is expected for their new smartphones that will be released a little bit before Christmas.
Another key factor is the affordable price that these two new smartphones promise, their price ranges will be between $150-200.
Design and Body
The design of both smartphones are quite similar expect for the camera position, Huawei going against the typical current of building the camera in the top center of the smartphone and actually positioning it in the top corner just like an iPhone. Both smartphones come in similar colors with slightly different names. If the Panasonic Eluga Mark can be purchased in Royal Gold and Metallic Grey, Huawei Enjoy 5s comes in Gold and Silver, basically the same colors.
Although similar in thickness the Panasonic smartphone is somewhat bigger than the Enjoy 5s, having 5.98″ x 3.03″ x 0.32″ (152 x 77 x 8.2 mm) in dimensions while Huawei’s body size is 5.65″ x 2.80″ x 0.30″ (143.5 x 71 x 7.6 mm). Both devices have dual-SIM capacity but Huawei Enjoy 5s has two different SIM-card slots a nano-SIM one and a micro-SIM one. Although both smartphones have fingerprint sensors implemented, Panasonic promises to have one of the newest technology that allows its users to configure up to 8 different fingerprints at a time.
Display, Resolution and Camera
While both smartphones are built with a IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with 16M Colors and have 720 x 1280 pixel resolution, Huawei has a 5″ display while Panasonic Eluga Mark has a 5.5″ display. When it comes to cameras it seems that both Huawei and Panasonic went for a 13MP primary camera and a 5MP secondary camera. Still, Huawei Enjoy 5s has a more interactive camera by having some features like face detection, panorama,Geo-tagging, touch focus and HDR implemented but when it comes down to video, the maximum capacity of both phones is of 1080p video recording at 30fps.
Performance, Storage and Connectivity
Finally one of the big difference between these two smartphones comes with their processor choices. Panasonic Eluga Mark is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615 processor with a 1.5GHz quad-core Cortex A53 and 1.0GHz quad-core Cortex A53 combined with the Andreno 405 graphics processor. On the other side Huawei Enjoy 5s is powered by Mediatek MT6753T processor, an octa-core 1.5GHz Cortex A53 alongside a Mali-T720MP3 GPU. As expected Huawei offers a slightly better performance as the company is renowned for being a competitor of Samsung Galaxy, smartphones or even iPhones. But we cannot ignore Panasonic because they are managing to slowly enter the smartphone industry with better performing and quality devices.
Although when it comes to internal storage both smartphones have 16GB storage capacity with 2GB of RAM, Huawei Enjoy 5s can extend its memory up to 128GB with a micro-SD while Panasonic Eluga Mark supports only up to 32GB micro-SD. Huawei Enjoy 5s is a slightly better performing smartphone than Panasonic Eluga Mark and does offer more storage space but when it comes to connectivity Panasonic seems to add the latest technology to their new smartphone. Both smartphones support 4G connectivity and have Wi-Fi 802.11, GPS and microUSB v2.0 connections but when it comes to Bluetooth Panasonic built its smartphone with the v4.1 Bluetooth version while Huawei kept it basic with v4.0.
Battery and Software
If you prefer better battery life and removable batteries because non-removable ones have a tendency of being annoying when you want to forcefully reboot your smartphone you should go for Panasonic Eluga Mark as it has a 2500mAh battery. Huawei Enjoy 5s might have added a better battery than the 2200mAh one it has considering that its processor is going to use more power.
Panasonic Eluga Mark as well as Huawei Enjoy 5s are Android powered smartphones supporting the 5.1 Lollipop Operating System. Unfortunately as both smartphones are mid-ranged devices they are not going to receive the updated 6.0 Marshmallow OS.
For affordable smartphones Huawei Enjoy 5s and Panasonic Eluga Mark have some decent specifications that exceed their price range. Huawei’s experience with smartphones is notable even in this mid-range device but Panasonic has built a competitor for Huawei’s smartphone and we can’t ignore the company’s experience with video and sound quality. In my opinion both smartphones could be a pretty awesome and affordable Christmas gift but if you are considering buying a smartphone for yourself although the first instinct would be to go for Huawei Enjoy 5s you might want to take into consideration trying out Panasonic Eluga Mark.
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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