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OnePlus 2 vs Nexus 5X – performance and affordability





The Google Nexus 5X release date has just passed us by and preorders for the device are soon to start. Many of our readers have come forward in one way or another and asked us whether the Nexus 5X could be a better investment than the recently launched OnePlus 2. We are going to try and answer that question through a short comparison between the basic and most important features of the Nexus 5X compared to those of the OnePlus 2. There are major differences between these phones, but both have a claim at the kingdom of flagship killers. So which will end up being the flagship killer of 2016?

The Nexus 5X was launched by Google and LG with the aim of making stock-Android 6.0 Marshmallow accessible, affordable and powerful through hardware that is designed for it and for the power user that the phone is targeted at. Much like the OnePlus 2, the Nexus 5X emphasizes its software as much as it does hardware and promises a seamless user experience that integrates the Google ecosystem in a timely, easy way into your daily routine.

The OnePlus 2 runs on Android 5.1 and on the company’s own OxygenOS, which was developed by OnePlus developers and Paranoid Android team members together, making it a fully customizable, power user experience. While many miss CyanogenMod, made popular with the launch of the OnePlus One last year, the majority of OnePlus 2 customers believe OxygenOS is a close stock experience that is worth it thanks to the customization options that it offers.

The Nexus 5X software offers up customization as well, although not to the extent that the OnePlus 2. But there are other advantages for the Nexus device that are missing from the OnePlus 2, such as Nexus Protect, Google’s own warranty plan for Nexus devices and Google Fi compatibility, which is a huge plus for those living in the US and wanting to become part of Google’s new ecosystem through Google Fi.

The design of the Nexus 5X and OnePlus 2 is surprisingly similar, as both phones go down the same bottom line: simple, low-cost design. With metal frames and plastic bodies that feature grippy back panels, both handsets are a testament to simple design and grungy textures. Although the OnePlus 2 has the added benefit of styleswap covers that might make it much more interesting, the Nexus 5X design is more or less what fans wanted. The simple, cost-effective design of the phone makes for an affordable device for those that don’t care about standing out as much as they do about performance.


Connectivity is the same on both the OnePlus 2 and Nexus 5X, as both smartphones feature USB Type C ports, which are faster and easier to use, Wi-Fi, LTE, Bluetooth, fingerprint sensor (although the one on the OnePlus 2 is on the front, not on the back), The Nexus 5X has the added benefit of NFC, which is surprisingly missing from OnePlus’ 2016 flagship killer smartphone. Quick Charge 2.0 should be present on both, courtesy of Qualcomm, but neither feature wireless charging, which is a bummer for a 2015 smartphone.

The Nexus 5X display is a stunning example of design and engineering, as the 5.2-inch IPS LCD panel is not only perfect when it comes to size (various surveys conducted by research scientists as well as universities demonstrate that 5.2 inches is the preferred screen size for smartphones on a global scale), but also when it comes to the viewing experieThe 5.2-inch panel features an FHD resolution of 1080*1920, and while many would say QHD is the norm nowadays, most disagree. An FHD screen offers a top-notch viewing experience, and since QHD is still looking for content, it’s just not worth it yet, but it will be.

The OnePlus 2 display isn’t all that different, but it is significantly larger, in the phablet territory. The 5.5-inch LTPS display features the same FHD resolution as the Nexus 5X, but it’s not as sharp and crisp because the ppi (pixels per inch) count is lower due to the larger surface area. Nonetheless, the viewing experience on the OnePlus 2 is just as good as on the Nexus 5X, with minimal differences only noticed in high-resolution videos and games, and only rarely. The bigger screen might be more comfortable to those who are used to phablets, but for those still in the standard size game, the Nexus 5X display should be ideal.

Performance-wise, the OnePlus 2 is more powerful on paper and its current real-life performance tests are pretty positive, with only a few complaints of battery drain and sluggish behavior on the forums. The handset runs on the latest Snapdragon 810 CPU, backed by 3 GB RAM and 16 GB internal storage for the base model and 4 GB RAM and 64 GB internal storage for the higher-end version.

The Nexus 5X specs point to a weaker configuration, as the handset features a Snapdragon 808 CPU backed by 2 GB RAM and either 16 or 32 GB internal storage. The problem here, with both handsets, is that the base model has storage that is no longer viable for power users. That’s because after the OS takes up most of the available storage space on the phone, apps take up most of it and leave little if no room for media storage. The base model for both these smartphones should have features 32 GB at the very least, and that’s according to the majority of the Android community that has an online presence.


Although the Nexus 5X hasn’t been thoroughly tested yet, since it’s not even available, early impressions and opinions suggest a very good performance. We’ll see if it’s comparable to the already good performance of the OnePlus 2 once we get our hands on a review unit. Early benchmark scores for the Nexus 5X place it somewhere in the middle of the spectrum when it comes to performance, which might be disconcerting to power users. Nonetheless, waiting for early review to come in is the best idea, in my opinion. Upon a first look and comparison, the OnePlus 2 seems like the better choice for the power user, though.

Moving on to the camera setup, both Google and OnePlus have improved considerably compared to predecessors of their phones. The OnePlus 2 comes with a very good 13 MP camera that features optical image stabilization, dual-tone LED flash and laser autofocus. The front camera of the device measures 5 MP. The Nexus 5X camera on the rear measures 12.3 MP and features laser autofocus and dual-tone flash, 4K recording but no optical image stabilization.

Early camera samples from the Nexus 5X demonstrate that the handset is pretty good in low-light conditions, and that’s where Google wanted to focus their attention this time. The Nexus 5X release demonstration was very focused on indoor photography when it came to presentation of the rear camera, so we expect the Nexus 5X to be a champion at indoor photography. The OnePlus 2 is not too shabby, thanks to the enormous benefits optical image stabilization adds in all lighting conditions. Although we can’t name a winner yet, we’re very inclined to vote for the Nexus 5X, but we should see how the handset camera performs in normal lighting conditions, too.


Battery life has not been an issue with Nexus or OnePlus devices in the past, and it doesn’t seem to be one in the present. The OnePlus 2 battery is a massive 3300 mAh one, which has so far proven itself pretty capable of upholding about two days of moderate usage. The Nexus 5X battery life should be at least equal to that with its 2700 mAh battery unit inside. Since we’re still early with this comparison, we wouldn’t take this info for granted. Nonetheless, we trust the Nexus 5X battery life will be better than expected.

Last, but not least, pricing. The OnePlus 2 price is $330 for the base model with 3GB RAM and 16GB ROM, $390 for the higher-end version with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB ROM. The Nexus 5X price is set at $370 for the base model with 16GB ROM and at $430 for the 32 GB ROM model. As you can see, the Nexus 5X is the more expensive of the two, even though spec-wise, the two are surprisingly similar.

Considering the fact that the OnePlus 2 is only available via invite at the time, price doesn’t matter that much at this point. You can get the OnePlus 2 from various retailers like Everbuying, GearBest,TinyDeal and CooliCool without an invite, but you do have to pay a premium that usually goes over $450 per unlocked unit for the 16 GB model. If that sounds worth it to you, go ahead and do a quick search to find the best price for your area. The Nexus 5X is only available online however, so similar restrictions arise.


Google positioned the Nexus 5X release for power users, and emphasized that the online exclusive sale strategy that they are using this year is because the Nexus 5X is not made for first-time smartphone users who are not comfortable with buying devices online, rather it is made for experienced users who are familiar with online shopping for tech and with online resources in general. The same ideology applies to the OnePlus 2, if you think about it, although the invite system can be disconcerting at times.

Still, when thinking of bang for buck, the OnePlus 2 so far beats the Nexus 5X, because the latter is more of a mid-range device than a flagship one. The OnePlus 2 might end up being the flagship killer of 2016, but the Nexus 5X does have its obvious benefits like the ideal screen size and stock Android operating system that will most likely draw in power users more easily than the invite system ever could. Which would you choose, in the end?

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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