Moto G 3rd gen vs Moto G 2014: make or break?
The new Motorola smartphone line-up was said to be very important in the history of the company, capable of making or breaking Motorola as an international big player. Motorola launched quite a few new phones, including reboots for the acclaimed Moto X in the form of the Moto X Style and Play, as well as the new Moto G 3rd gen, which is the best release this year. The new Moto G 3rd gen aims to improve everything about the previous edition, the Moto G 2014, and does it gracefully, already having hundreds of positive reviews online and in the press.
With the Moto G 3rd gen, Motorola is not only trying to give people affordable Android smartphones that can fulfill the purposes of daily drivers, but also stylish, powerful and durable options to current smartphones out there. When the Galaxy S6, HTC One M9, LG G4 and iPhone 6 prices are upwards of $500 for unlocked phones, the Moto G 3rd gen price is a breeze. Not only is it cheap at $187 for an unlocked unit, but it also comes with excellent bang for buck. That means that Motorola managed to create a smartphone that compromises little to be affordable, and that’s not something you see very often with mainstream manufacturers.
Chinese manufacturers like Mlais, Doogee, Mstar, Elephone, Ulefone and others can easily compromise on their design or performance, and stay super-affordable at the same time, but their compromises usually involve users switching phones after a year or two. The Moto G 3rd gen price and performance are not compromised in any way, and compared to the Moto G 2014, they are future-proof. Most people who will buy the Moto G 3rd gen might not have to upgrade their smartphone collection for another 2 or even 3 years, seeing as Motorola packed every necessary feature into the new mid-ranger. Although the Moto G 3rd gen and Moto G 2nd gen are not intended to be flagships, they both enjoy the popularity of a flagship, which denotes quality.
The Moto G 3rd gen is a clear upgrade to the Moto G 2nd gen and it improves in key areas that were a problem with the predecessor. Before getting into the differences, let’s see what the new Moto G 3rd gen design, specs and performance have to offer. Since reviews are mostly positive and people are already hyped about the new mid-ranger, you must already know that the Moto G 3rd gen is an interesting arrival on the scene, and you should check it out regardless of your purchasing intentions. To get a grasp of where mid-range phones lay in the current industry, looking at the Moto G 3rd gen is the perfect way to see where they are going.
Motorola decided to go simple with the Moto G 3rd gen, and their decision seems to be paying off. People have been saying that they would rather have a better battery life than a neat, premium design, and the Lenovo-owned company took their requests into consideration and acted upon them. Companies like Motorola are not always known for trying to please fans, but with the Moto G 3rd gen, Motorola is certainly trying to prove that they are in fact listening to customers, which is good.
No matter where you look, the Moto G 3rd gen is improved. Although the display is the same as on the Moto G 2nd gen, everything else has received a refreshing new style and property, which make the 2015 Moto G quite appealing. The overall design hasn’t changed that much, but the small changes do give the Moto G 3rd gen design a more appealing finish. It comes with the same plastic case with a removable back, but the speaker grills on the front have been replaced by curved dimples that look and feel better. Moreover, Moto Maker is now available for Moto G 3rd gen, which means you can pick and choose your back panel and accents’ colors and materials.
The back of the Moto G 3rd gen comes with a metal panel that holds the camera and flash and acts as a design element atop of the Motorola logo dimple in the middle of the phone. Button placement is on the right, which is convenient for its 5 inch 720p display, and the materials of the phone benefit from something extra. The Moto G 3rd gen is not waterproof, but it does come with an IPx7 certification, which means it’s water resistant to a certain degree. That in turn means that dropping it in water, splashing it with water or getting rained on won’t destroy your phone, which is a must feature for phones released in 2015.
These few features of the Moto G 3rd gen are already pointers that the Moto G 2nd gen can be called outdated. The 2014 Moto G isn’t water resistant, it doesn’t work with Moto Maker and it doesn’t have the neat metal accent on the back. As I said earlier, although changes are minor, they do bring out the best of the Moto G 3rd gen. With the appealing design, you would have expected a slightly better screen, but hey, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and 720p isn’t that bad for the price. If you consider the rest of the specs of the Moto G 2015, you won’t be that focused on the display as to turn its inferiority into a deal breaker.
Compared to the Moto G 2014, the Moto G 3rd gen gets a slight bump in specs. Instead of the Snapdragon 400, it comes with a 64 bit Snapdragon 410 with an improved infrastructure that promises better performance than what we can observe on the Moto E. Although it’s the same processor as on the Moto E 2015. the Moto G 3rd gen CPU has been tweaked and upgraded to be more powerful and last longer. It is backed by either 1 or 2 GB RAM, depending on how much internal storage you want. You can choose between 8 and 16 GB ROM, but you also have a microSD card slot available for extra expansion. If there were a removable battery in the Moto G 3rd gen, many people would have been even more excited, I believe.
The battery and camera of the Moto G 3rd gen are where Motorola did most of the upgrading, and fans say they chose well. Instead of the 8 MP shooter with LED flash on the rear, the Moto G 3rd gen camera is a massive 13 MP shooter with dual-tone LED flash. On the front, the 2 MP camera of the Moto G 2014 has been replaced with an 8 MP camera that comes with auto HDR, which is nice. The camera upgrades are significant, and while sample shots are few at this time. most of us believe the Moto G 3rd gen camera is a big winner in the mid-range smartphone category and in its own price range as well.
The Moto G 3rd gen battery also received a big upgrade compared to its predecessor, measuring 2470 mAh instead of the 2070 mAh of the 2014 edition. Although wireless charging is still not present (which is a bummer) and wireless charging has not been adopted, the bigger battery and improved processor should eventually lead to a three-day battery life on moderate use. In our experience, the Moto G 3rd gen lasted very well when it comes to intensive use, handling up to 6 hours of screen on-time, which is something you rarely find, especially in the mid-range category.
Although the upgrades are minimal, the Moto G 3rd gen is demonstrating in real time that affordable smartphones can be future-proof. The presence of stock Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, 4G LTE, dual SIM card slots and Motorola’s own application suite make the new device a versatile and practical gadget that boasts with excellent performance records. Although there’s always room for improvement, the bang for buck on this one demonstrates that a phone doesn’t have to cost $500 to qualify as a quality daily driver for the average smartphone user. Anyone looking for a budget smartphone with mid-range specs should pick the Moto G 3rd gen up. You won’t be disappointed.
The new smartphone line-up from Motorola, including the Moto X Style, Moto X Play and Moto G 3rd gen is definitely a “make” and not a “break” , as some suggested. Motorola is not failing and it’s actually beginning to do better than HTC is, which is unsurprising to many. The new Moto G 3rd gen is made with fans in mind, and the only thing that could turn the tables for Motorola at this point would be a rubbish shelf-life or false advertising when it comes to the waterproof certification. These things still need to be tested by the public, so even though the Moto G 3rd gen is already a good phone, we should wait a couple of months to pronounce a final verdict. At the moment, we’re leaning towards “make”, clearly, but you never know.
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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