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OnePlus Two vs Samsung Galaxy Note 5: most anticipated





The OnePlus Two and the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 are two of the most anticipated smartphones of the year 2015, and with good reason. For one, the OnePlus Two is already promising, seeing as its predecessor, the OnePlus One is still the flagship killer and a must-have smartphone. The Galaxy Note 5, on the other hand, is anticipated and hyped because of two things: the enormous success of the Galaxy Note 4 last year (and still going) and the features and new storage capacities introduced with the Galaxy S6. Now the question arises: will the OnePlus Two be able to beat the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 5 or will it only be a flagship killer for less-endowed flagships, like the HTC One M9, for example?

The answer lies in truth: when the OnePlus Two release date and launch is official, we will know what the device has to boast with and when the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 becomes official, we can make an accurate comparison between the two. But until then, we have only rumors and inside information, which is unconfirmed, to go by. Nonetheless, by using that information, we can estimate what the OnePlus Two and Galaxy Note 5 will end up sporting and thus make a sort of educated guess about which will be the better purchase for the average smartphone user. Lets dive right in and see what we know so far about both the OnePlus Two and Galaxy Note 5.

Because the OnePlus One was and still is such a huge success, it’s sensible to start with the OnePlus Two and what we think we know about the device. Remember to take all the info in this article with a grain of salt, seeing as almost none of it is officially confirmed by companies or official entities. We have our reliable sources that tell us what we should expect, but we can’t put our entire trust in them and say that these are the specs for sure, because the info is subject to change as prototypes improve and a final version is chosen by engineers and developers within OnePlus and Samsung. What we know about the OnePlus Two release date is at least confirmed, as Carl Pei himself said we should expect the phone to land in Q3 2015, which means: soon.

What’s neat is that OnePlus is taking an interesting approach with the OnePlus Two this year, announcing bits and pieces of the phone ahead of time. Even though the OnePlus Two release date is not set in stone, the folks at OP are trying to gather attention from their fans and from the media, so that we know what’s coming. And what they’ve announced is already very exciting. On their official blog and social media channels, the Chinese company announced that the OnePlus Two specs will include two major (I mean major) features: the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 (found in the LG G Flex 2 and HTC One M9) as well as the USB Type C port. OnePlus is among the first companies to announce the new USB standard that they’re using, and we’re happy to learn that the OnePlus Two will be keeping up with the times.


The OnePlus Two has two confirmed features already

But that’s all that the company has officially confirmed right now. We are expecting to see yet another OnePlus Two announcement today, so keep your eyes peeled for that, because this post will be updated as soon as the info hits. Until then, the rest of the specs are a mystery. Unless you get a bit of inspiration from insiders and take an educated guess based on the OnePlus One flagship killer.

As such, our insiders tell us that the OnePlus Two camera will be a massive 16 MP shooter with optical image stabilization and flash, and it will be able to compete against the already acclaimed Galaxy S6 camera, which is good news. The front camera will allegedly measure 8 MP, but we do think 5 MP would be enough and OnePlus might take that road instead to reduce costs and keep the OnePlus Two price as low as possible when it is launched globally (via the invite system, of course).

According to our sources, the OnePlus Two “display will be considered a compromise by many and a feature by even more”. Although they did not give us specifics or an explanation for this sentence, we can analyze it and come up with a rather simple explanation: 1080p. QHD is the new standard for many, and even though people are aware of the fact that QHD doesn’t have too many benefits aside from excellent VR experiences, it’s still a trend.

But OnePlus does not necessarily follow trends, rather they follow performance and functionality when it comes to designing a phone that aims to please every Android user out there. As such, the most plausible explanation that we’ve found for that quote: 5.5 inch 1080 display with Corning Gorilla Glass 4. That would be ideal, in my opinion, and I think many would agree with me. Since the OnePlus Two will be a phone made with power users in mind, and not VR entertainment as a leading feature, a 1080p screen has enough benefits: it keeps cost down and battery life. Speaking of battery life!


OnePlus Two concept image

The OnePlus Two battery will be rather massive, while the design will not suffer any huge changes. OnePlus is said to take the high road with the new smartphone, and compromise on design in order to offer fans what they truly want: good battery life. As such, the OnePlus Two is said to sport a massive 4300 mAh battery unit which will provide for at least 3 days of heavy use, which sounds idyllic af. Whether that’s true or not, we will hopefully find out next week, as our sources tell us the next OnePlus announcement will involve the battery.

They also say wireless charging and extra-fast charging will be included in the OnePlus Two package, and we’re definitely excited about that. Wireless charging has taken off as a trend pretty nicely in the past few months, and it seems like a sensible feature to include in a device meant to kill flagships or competition, if you will. Although many power users say that they would prefer a bigger battery without wireless charging, many people are interested in the opportunity, especially since home automation and smart home accessories are already sporting wireless charging tops.

Moving on to storage and memory, our insiders tell us that the Snapdragon 810 will be backed by 3 GB RAM and 64 GB internal storage in the OnePlus Two, but they also say there will be a possibility to buy a 128 GB internal memory variant of the phone, for $50 extra on the price. That sounds pretty acceptable and I’m sure many of you would have no problem spending an extra $50 on that amount of internal storage. Moreover, OnePlus will adopt some kind of fast computing and storage technology, similar to what Samsung did with the Galaxy S6. Although that would bring costs up a bit, fans will most likely be delighted to have a future-proof phone for a $350 price that can beat down the overhyped Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. But it will it beat down the upcoming Galaxy Note 5? Now that’s a tough one.

The OnePlus Two is shaping up to be one of the best releases of the year, and if the Chinese company manages to keep costs as low as they did with their original flagship killer, we’re mostly talking about the hit smartphone of 2015. Or at least, that’s what we hope we are doing all the time. Nonetheless, the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is just as anticipated and hyped, if not more so. That’s because Samsung has done some great things with the Galaxy Alpha, Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge and of course, the newest in the line-up, the Galaxy S6 Active. It is said that the Galaxy Note 5 will take inspiration from all of these gadgets, which sounds positively mind blowing.


Another OnePlus Two concept. Which do you like?

Samsung designed the Note line-up for power users and office users, and as such, will definitely slap a pretty large display on the next device. The Galaxy Note 5 display is said to keep the 5.7 inch size, but resolution will be bumped up to 4K and it will be launched with a new Samsung Gear VR headset to pair it with. The 4K display is a bit scary, seeing as it will most likely eat up a lot of battery life and might even impact the Galaxy Note 5 performance. Nonetheless, that’s what people are telling us, and that’s what Samsung is actually telling us with talk of their first 4K smartphone display in the news. The high resolution display will definitely bring the price up, so we expect the Galaxy Note 5 price to jump further than $800 for the unlocked unit. That makes it more than double the estimated OnePlus Two price, which is a slight bummer.

Besides the 5.7 inch 4K display, the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 will feature an entirely new octa core Exynos chipset that is said to work even better than the Galaxy S6’s Exynos 7420 CPU. It is said the Exynos 4722 is the governing chipset inside the Galaxy Note 5, and besides being a fast and powerful chipset, it will also facilitate super-fast charging and data exchange. We won’t know for sure until the Galaxy Note 5 release date comes around, but everything sounds very neat already, even though it’s early to speculate.

Speaking of early, the Galaxy Note 5 release date is said to be set for September 2015, with the official launch coming around globally in November 2015. That means that by Christmas this year, the Galaxy Note 5 will be one of the favorite office gifts one could ever possibly want. For more than $800, I bet it will be the most luxurious office gift, too.


Does the Galaxy Note 5 look better than the OnePlus Two ?

Storage and memory on the Galaxy Note 5 are said to be the same as on the Galaxy S6, namely 32, 64 and 128 GB internal storage. RAM will stay at 3 GB, but there’s rumors about a new 4 GB RAM variant coming out too. Whether that’s true or not is uncertain. We’re leaning towards the 3 GB RAM variant being the only existing Galaxy Note 5, but we could be wrong. Wireless and fast charging will be included in the new flagship, as well as a full metal unibody and an upgraded stylus S Pen.

Sources tell us that TouchWiz will receive a massive overhaul with the launch of the Galaxy Note 5, and it might even be replaced with a new UX, whose name has not been disclosed yet, unfortunately. The new UX from Samsung will allegedly feature even more stylus tools and even more new interaction features for multitasking. These kinds of features were a hit with the Galaxy Note 4, so Samsung is sure to at least repeat them, if not improve them.

The camera of the Galaxy Note 5 is said to be the same as on the Galaxy S6, namely a 16 MP camera on the rear with optical image stabilization, laser autofocus, LED flash, 4K recording and a neat manual mode for photography enthusiasts. The front camera will also get a bump to 8 MP, so that the package is complete and Samsung fans can get the best smartphone user experience there is on the market. That is, until they try the OnePlus Two, with its cheap price and equally good features.


Thick Galaxy Note 5 = big battery

The battery of the Galaxy Note 5 is the most uncertain aspect of the entire phone. While some say it will sport a small 3800 mAh battery, other say mAh count will go above 5000, which would be the correct road to take. A 4K display is bound to eat up a lot of resources and implicitly, battery life, so Samsung needs to find a balance between ergonomic design and a big battery. We believe and trust that Samsung can find a middle ground and solve this issue. As such, the Galaxy Note 5, besides being made out of metal, will be rather thick, but with a curvy body that will fit into your hands like a stress ball would. We hope that’s true, what do you think?

That’s all we can muster up about the OnePlus Two and the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 at this point. Since neither of these devices have confirmed specs sheets as of yet, take the entire comparison with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, if our predictions turn out to be true (and they’re bound to), people are going to have to make a touch decision this year: OnePlus Two or Samsung Galaxy Note 5?

If I were to choose, I think the OnePlus Two offers inherently more bang for buck than the Galaxy Note 5 does. I say this because a 4K display seems useless to me, and that’s what will add most to the cost and price of the phone. Otherwise, the Galaxy Note 5, if TouchWiz is toned down, revamped or even replaced, would be an excellent office accessory and daily driver. But the OnePlus Two will be affordable and high-end, and that’s what I prefer compared to a gimmicky, expensive smartphone. Just my two cents. Care to share yours?

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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