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LG Watch Urbane 2 vs Samsung Gear S2 – data champions





The LG Watch Urbane 2 is finally official and the shipping process for the device has been given the go. Just in time for the an updated Android Wear, which brings in native LTE support, since it’s the age of hybridized devices. With already pretty well-established competitors like the Samsung Gear S2, I thought a comparison between the two was in order for those who haven’t shelled out any cash just yet. Both are unique in their fields as they are among the few mainstream wearable devices that offer data connections and untethered user experiences, the LG Watch Urbane 2 using Google’s OS while the Gear S2 touting Samsung’s in-house Tizen.

LG introduced the LG Watch Urbane 2 alongside the LG V10, the company’s new dual-screen, dual-camera, 4K video champion smartphone. The wearable is the company’s newest attempt at taking on the increasingly scary competition from Apple, Huawei, Samsung and many more. Corroborating its release with Google updating its wearable OS with LTE support is working in favor of LG, while Tizen might be the first draw-back for the Samsung Gear S2 – depending on your preference, of course.

Wearables are becoming more popular thanks to the Apple Watch, but Android Wear support from the community hasn’t been as strong as many would have expected it to be. That’s about to change with LG Watch Urbane 2, though. Samsung has a pretty good hold on wearable lovers with its Gear line-up of devices, as last year’s rectangular Gear S was a success thanks to the 3G connection that it could uphold. This year, the Gear S2 is even more popular thanks to the redesigned circular watch face and the improved Tizen operating system. However, it lacks the fast LTE connection the LG Watch Urbane 2 is hyped for.

The original Watch Urbane was launched last year to moderate excitement, as the wearable was a bit expensive and featured the same specs as the LG G Watch R, the company’s first circular smartwatch. The new LG Watch Urbane 2 not only improves upon its design, but also adds support for 4G LTE, which might just be a first in the wearable industry. Other wearables could support 3G or GSMA connections, but that’s about it. Now, we can enjoy 4G LTE on our wrists, if that’s important to you.

The LG Watch Urbane 2 comes with a multitude of features aside from LTE which might make owners of its predecessor think of upgrading their device collection. The device is much improved compared to last year’s model, with a better higher-resolution display, better performance and battery life, more features, better design and of course, an improved Android Wear software on board, which counts a lot when thinking about a device you use to save time – not waste it.

The design of the LG Watch Urbane 2 remains true to the classic appeal of the original model, but the stainless steel body and fully circular watch face have a more sophisticated, metallic finish that sets it apart and gives it that sassy appeal rich folks like. The watch is also slightly smaller and more maneuverable and might appeal more to ladies or people with smaller wrists who found the first edition or the LG G Watch R too large for their preference. There are various band colors available, including Space Black, Opal Blue, Luxe White and Signature Brown, but unfortunately, they can’t be exchanged. Apparently, LG chose to house some of the hardware for the LG Watch Urbane 2 within the strap of the watch, removing the possibility of customization.


Under the hood, the LG Watch Urbane is outfitted with high-end hardware and a multitude of different features that pertain to wearable device fans. There’s a Snapdragon 400 CPU running things, 768MB RAM, 4 GB internal storage, a 1.38-inch fully round OLED display with a 480*480 resolution that adds up to 348 ppi. An optical heart rate sensor, pedometer, light sensor and an IP67 certification are also part of the specs sheet. A massive 570 mAh battery should make the LG Watch Urbane 2 a champion in battery life, with an anticipated autonomy of at least three days. It’s too early to tell at this point whether those claims will be met.

The LG Watch Urbane 2 features a 4G LTE and 3G connection and also comes with built-in GPS, so you don’t even need a phone in order to use it. Nonetheless, it is compatible with Android and iOS devices, so no matter where your loyalty lies, you can go for one of these if the rectangular, expensive Apple Watch doesn’t do your preferences justice. Although the LG Watch Urbane 2 price is pretty high at $500 if you buy it unlocked (Verizon seems to have it), AT&T will knock $300 off the price if you’re willing to pair a two-year contract with the wearable. That’s still rather hella expensive for a wristwatch, if you ask me, but hey, LTE on your wrists!

Let’s just state the obvious: the Gear S2 is cheaper than the LG Watch Urbane 2 and it still offers a data connection. How much speed do you need to update Google Now or the weather on occasion? It seems like shelling out an extra $200 for faster internet on your wrist is wasteful, but if we consider the design of the LG Watch Urbane 2, there might be some worth to it = depending on preferences, of course. The Samsung Gear S2 price is $300 for the base model, while the Gear S2 Classic will set you back $350. Verizon has a bit of an offer with a contract, but it’s not much, while AT&T might have the cheapest contract you can get in on, if you’re into that kind of thing.


The Samsung Gear S2 and LG Watch Urbane 2 both look great

The Samsung Gear S2 is similar in design to the LG Watch Urbane 2, although the S2 Classic is much closer in appearance and feeling – as well as features. The Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic both feature premium metallic designs and rotating bezels around the display, which you can use similarly to how you would use the crown on the Apple Watch – navigating through menus. There are two buttons on the sides as well. The Gear S2 could be called Samsung’s minimalist approach to wearable design while the Gear S2 Classic is actually quite similar to LG’s design language. The LG Watch Urbane 2 would have done well with the rotating design, but LG chose to place 3 buttons on the sides instead for shortcuts.

The Samsung Gear S2 comes with a 1.2-inch display with a resolution of 360 x 360 pixels, that adds up 424ppi, which is rather decent and better than the LG Watch Urbane 2 resolution. NFC, Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi and a 3G connection are also available on the device. The added 4G LTE connectivity in the Watch Urbane 2 helps LG’s wearable become a bit more appealing compared to the Samsung Gear S2.

The Gear S2 comes with a 350 mAh battery in the 3G model, which is less than what the LG Watch Urbane 2 battery has to offer. With that in mind, we expect LG’s model to be the champion at battery life, but extensive testing has not been conducted on either of these wearable devices. We expect good battery life to be part of both user experiences, but we reckon the LG Watch Urbane 2 should perform better in this department in the long run. We’ll have to see about that, but things are looking good so far for both devices.


When it comes to hardware and software, the Samsung Gear S2 has the disadvantage of running on Tizen, which restricts access to the Google ecosystem, which might be a problem for Android fans. Compatibility is also a downside for the Gear S2, seeing as it is only compatible with Android phones. Samsung said it would develop iOS compatibility in the near future, but hasn’t updated on the matter as of yet. The LG Watch Urbane 2 holds a significant advantage with its cross-platform compatibility  with both Android and iOS handsets and Android Wear mobile operating system.

Under the hood, the Gear S2 features a Exynos 3250 processor from Samsung, 512 MB RAM and 4 GB Internal storage. Performance on the device is exemplary, but we expect the LG Watch Urbane 2 to perform better, depending on how well Android Wear and the chosen hardware work together. Seeing as Google and LG are usually in it together, we expect stellar performance from the watch. We just hope it doesn’t turn battery life into another problem along the way.

The Samsung Gear S2 also features fitness tracking abilities that have been praised by users and an IP68 certification, which is a bit higher than that of the LG Watch Urbane 2, making the wearable a tad more durable. The device is also more customizable, as you can change watch bands pretty easily. There isn’t any built-in GPS on the Gear S2, so that once again restricts the user’s options.

The LG Watch Urbane 2 is a comprehensive release from the company and it proves that wearables are indeed evolving to become more practical and more useful in our daily lives. The same could be said for the Samsung Gear S2, which is a cheaper, yet just as futuristic option. Android fans might not be familiar with Tizen at first, but Samsung has it down when it comes to wearables – most of the time, and the user experience on the device is pretty neat. Also, you can get used to it pretty fast. Ultimately, it comes down to how far you’re willing to go to have the latest tech. In my opinion, the LG Watch Urbane 2 is a bit overpriced and the Gear S2 has enough features to keep any serious wearable user happy. LG’s wearable certainly looks like a watch everyone would like to have, but 4G on the wrist just hasn’t convinced me to spend half a month’s paycheck on an accessory. However, I’m a cheapskate that bought a smartwatch and never felt it was helpful, my conclusion might be biased. Do you think the LG Watch Urbane 2 ended up being overpriced?

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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