Thursday, 29 November 2018

10 Best Gifts for Smartphone Lovers this Christmas

Christmas should be a time for mince pies, warm fires, and family fun, but in this modern world, the most exciting thing about Christmas for some people is upgrading their tech. One of the most popular gifts to give at Christmas time is a new smartphone, and this is a great idea for children and adults alike.

If you’re someone who doesn’t know an iPhone from a Samsung, then buying the perfect gift can be hard but you don’t need to worry, because we’ve done the hard work for you. Let’s take a look at the best gifts to buy for the smartphone addicts in your family this Christmas.


1. A Phone Case

If your loved one has just received an expensive new phone for Christmas you can be sure that they will want to protect it from damage anyway that they can. Although a phone case may seem like an inexpensive and thoughtless present, you would be surprised at how much thought you can actually put into choosing the right case. There are lots of different types available, some with backlights for taking photos, some that have a ring on that makes them perfect for selfie-takers and some which are super durable for the clumsiest among us.


2. Headphones

Headphones are always a great gift that are well received and you can really tailor them to any budget. If you have loved ones who love their music then you could try a high-quality pair of full headphones which they can use around the house. If your loved one uses their headphones on the go, then a smaller pair of earbuds might be better suited. Pro Tip: Be sure that the person your buying for has a phone with a headphone jack, if not, you may have to opt for wireless headphones.


3. A Power Bank

One of the biggest drawbacks with modern phones is battery life and smartphone lovers tend to be the people that are most affected by this. For someone who is addicted to their phone, there is no better gift to give than battery life. With a portable power bank, your loved ones can recharge their phones on the go and make sure that they never miss a Facebook update or an Instagram post.


4. Mobile VR

Mobile VR is still in its infancy, but it’s becoming more popular, and better. Devices like the Samsung Gear for are extremely popular for Samsung users and give access to over 800 VR apps. If your loved one loves VR and likes playing games and watching movies using their phone, this could be the perfect gift. Whilst devices like the Samsung Gear don’t come cheap, there are mobile VR devices at a range of different price points.


5. A Phone Tracker

If you or someone you know has spent hundreds of dollars on the latest smartphone, the worst fate imaginable is them losing it. The good news is, you can ensure they always know where their beloved phone is by treating them to a tracker this Christmas. Trackers like the TrackR Pixel are an affordable gift which can be attached to a smartphone case. The device works via Bluetooth and can help users to track down the location of the phone and it can even make the phone ring when on silent mode.


6. Car Accessories

For extreme phone addicts, putting down their smartphone when they are driving is a hard task, but you can help keep them safe this Christmas by decking their cars with smartphone accessories. Accessories like car phone mounts and chargers are a smartphone lovers best friend, as it means they can stay connected whilst on the road without sacrificing their road safety.  

7. App Store Vouchers

It can be really hard to get smartphone lovers gifts because it often seems like they don’t do anything but play on their phone, but the truth is that they probably spend a lot of money on the various apps that they use on a daily basis. Whilst some people feel it’s impersonal to give cash for Christmas, vouchers are a more acceptable present. It’s easy to find vouchers for all the major app stores, but be sure to find out which operating systems your loved ones are using, to avoid any disappointment on Christmas day.


8. A Smartphone Camera Lens

This gift is perfect for the selfie kings and queens among us. With the growth of social media platforms like Instagram, a lot of different products have become available to help us to capture the perfect snap. One of the better products is the detachable lens for smartphone cameras. Popular models such as the Moment Tele Lens make a great mid-range gift for Christmas and are sure to be a hit with young social media moguls.


9. Smartphone Remote Control Toys

These are gifts that are more exciting for the younger generation of smartphone lovers and are sure to sufficiently annoy everyone on Christmas day. There’s a good selection of robots available that link up and can be controlled using a smartphone. Popular models include tanks, planes and the Sphero BB-8 for the star wars lovers.


10. Bluetooth Speakers

This is the perfect gift for smartphone lovers who enjoy a good party. Bluetooth speakers link to smartphones easily and can provide a great backing track to any event. You may find that you’re Christmas day is overrun with cheesy Christmas tunes if you buy this as a gift, but they are sure to be a hit with the music lovers in your family.


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Thursday, 22 November 2018

The 10 Best Smartphones for Seniors

With Christmas fast approaching, it’s almost time to make one of the hardest decisions of the year: what to get granny for a present. Year after year you buy useless tea selections and pajamas, but you may feel like these gifts just aren’t worth giving. The best gifts to buy right now are tech items, but you may feel like buying tech for your older relatives is not an option.

Unfortunately for the older generation, rapid technological development has meant that some of them have struggled to keep up. Smartphones are now bigger, better and more complex than ever. Whilst this is good news for the younger generation, it can be hard to adapt for the older crowd.

The good news is, there are some devices available that are perfect for the older people.  Why not give the gift of technology this Christmas and buy one of these 10 smartphones for the technophobic oldies in your family.


1. Jitterbug Smart

The younger crowd may not have heard of this smartphone, because it was designed with older people in mind. The phone runs on a simple-to-use system, which is perfect for seniors that have yet to make the move across to a smartphone device. The system works in a much simpler way than android and iOS and whilst it offers fewer features than a top end smartphone, it still lets users access the internet make use of apps and make calls and texts. The price of the Jitterbug Smart is also very affordable, coming in at around $200AUD

2. ZTE Blade Z Max

If your granny or gramps struggles with vision, then the ZTE Blade Z Max could be the right device for them this Christmas. Of all the smartphones on this list, this device offers on of the biggest displays. At a whopping 6-inches, seniors can zoom in as much as they need to on text and view images clearly. The price is nothing to grumble at either, coming in at around $160 AUD

3. BlackBerry Key2

If typing using touchscreen is your Achilles heel then the BlackBerry Key2 is what you need. The device combines the large screen associated with most modern smartphones but also features and easy to use keyboard to reduce the likelihood of you sending incoherent texts by accident.

4. iPhone 7 Plus

If you’re hoping to get you granny or grandpa up to speed with you and your siblings, then an iPhone may be your only option. If this is the case, the iPhone 7 Plus is probably the best model for older people. Whilst it’s not the newest iPhone available, it’s still a good option for seniors, due to its large screen and powerful operating system. It’s also one of the cheaper iPhones available right now, coming in at $450 AUD less than the iPhone X.

5. PowerTel M9500

The PowerTel M9500 is perfect for anyone who is hard of hearing. The model offers users ‘loud and clear’ speakers that are compatible with hearing aids and features ringtone capabilities that are as loud as a train horn. There would be no more missed calls or broken conversations with this device, and it also has a simple-to-use system that even the biggest technophobes could master.

6. Emporia Smart

This smartphone is one of the most unique designs on the list. This smartphone is perfect for anyone that is transitioning from an old-fashioned handset and a smartphone. The device features a touchscreen that can be overlaid with a detachable keypad if needed. This is also perfect for people who are uncomfortable with a touchscreen as it also comes with a stylus and features a simplistic operating system.

7.  Doro Liberto 825

This phone has been made simple for users that are still getting used to how smartphones work. The main benefits of the device are large icons and in-depth tutorials on how to use the phones different features. This device can also be remotely accessed, so if your grandparents are having trouble using the phone, you can give them a hand, even if you’re not around.

8. Samsung Galaxy S8

The Galaxy S8 is one of the more affordable options in the Samsung range and could be a great choice for a senior. The device itself is powerful modern and packed with features, but it also has an easy mode which can help older people to navigate the device. The Galaxy S8 also has some more modern features that senior citizens might enjoy such as a great camera and good storage, perfect for storing 1001 pictures of your grandkids.

9. LG G7 ThinQ

This phone makes the list as it would be great for anyone who suffers from visibility issues. The device features superior brightness capabilities, which means the screen will be clear and visible, whatever the weather. The phone is also modern and easy to navigate, making it a good choice for a smartphone newb. The main drawback with this device is the price, as it costs considerably more than some other devices listed here, but if you have the money and you think the features would be advantageous, it could be worth the investment.

10. Unnecto Air 4.5″ Senior Phone

This phone has been designed specifically for seniors and has a ton of features that older people can really benefit from. The main advantages of this device are its large buttons, one-touch dialing and speed dial for emergency and SOS numbers. Although it runs on a basic system, it still has options to integrate with social media apps like Facebook and Whatsapp, so you don’t have to miss out on any of the fun. The phone also has features that help users to save pictures from different apps on the phone for easy viewing at a later date. In addition to this, if you have a loved one that is more vulnerable, you can also take advantage of the geofencing features, so you are alerted if they are wandering off into places they wouldn’t usually go.

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Monday, 19 November 2018

The 4 Wackiest Cell Phones of All Time

Smartphones these days seem to all follow the same basic design format. They have a huge touchscreen that takes up the whole front, a slick minimalist design, a rectangular shape, smooth rounded edges – I could go on, but I’m sure you get the picture.

And indeed, it seems that this formula works.

There must be a good reason for this design, as phones like the iPhone X which embody all these features have seen huge success. It may be the case that modern smartphone designs have now reached perfection. Perhaps we’ve simply reached the pinnacle of mobile phone design, and all modern phones have achieved the ideal of exactly what a smartphone should be.

However, it does mean that the current mobile marketplace is a little less colorful. Currently, there’s very little variety when it comes to smartphone design. it’s all gotten rather boring.

But let’s not forget that it wasn’t always like this.

Once upon a time, mobile brands which sought to innovate and stand out in a saturated marketplace frequently ventured into weird and wonderful territories. This led to some mobile phone releases which probably seemed a little weird back then, but now… they seem downright crazy.

So, in the interests of indulging our nostalgia, let’s look back at some of the wackiest cell phones of all time. Get ready for a blast from the past!

1. Siemens Xelibri 6

Remember back in 2003, before the selfie revolution, when people still used compact mirrors to check their appearance rather than their smartphone front-camera?

Well, you’ll just have to take my word for it. Compact mirrors were still very much a thing, so it’s only natural that Siemens thought, “hey, let’s make a smartphone that looks exactly like a compact mirror”. And this, the Xelibri 6 was born.

This phone was totally round, just like a mirror, and of course, had a flip screen. It also had two mirrors inside it so that you could do your makeup and text at the same time. However, it also meant that the keypad was weird and round, and the display was absolutely tiny so that it could be crammed right into the center of what was essentially a mirror.

It seemed more like a mirror and less like a phone, but there’s no denying it was interesting. It was also aimed almost exclusively at women, something which I can’t help but feel might be considered a little sexist now, 15 years later.

2. Nokia 7280

The Nokia 7280 is another fashion-centric design intended to appeal to women. Sticking with the makeup theme, this phone was meant to resemble a stick of lipstick – and it kind of did.

The best description I can give you to help you visualize it is to imagine a USB stick. But not one of those modern, slick, thin USB sticks. No, imagine a chunky, heavy, clunky USB stick. Now stick a tiny screen on one side of it, and a touch-spinner on the other side. You’ve probably got a pretty good image of what this phone looked like.

Just like lipstick, you could slide the end out to reveal the display. It also had some of what were – at the time – cutting-edge features, like FM radio and Bluetooth.

It was weird, it was pretty impractical, but boy was it interesting.

3. BlackBerry Passport

Blackberry’s day may have passed, but let’s not forget that a few years ago it was one of the most popular brands on the market.

Most of us associate Blackberry with models like the Curve. However, a much more interesting creation was the lesser known BlackBerry Passport.

The Passport, true to its namesake, looked a lot like a passport. It was as short and as squat, for sure, and was probably one of the widest, shortest phones of all time. It was somewhere between a square and a rectangle and, as you might expect, was difficult to operate one-handed.

You needed two hands to use it successfully, but it was still pretty difficult on account of its laggy performance and square touchscreen which didn’t run videos very well. However, what it lacked in substance it made up for in style – a certain kind of style at least.

4. Nokia N-Gage

Personally, I’d say the design of this phone was more awesome than it was wacky, but it was so out there that it definitely deserves a place on this list.

The N-Gage was designed to compete with the main handheld game consoles of the moment, such as the Game Boy Advance, and took a lot of inspiration for its design elements from such consoles.

It was wide and meant to be held the same way you’d hold a Game Boy Advance, with two hands. On the left was the multi-directional buttons and the call button, on the right was the keypad and the end call button, and in the middle was the display screen.

Unfortunately, while it might have looked a lot like a game console, it really couldn’t match them for gaming performance, and as such, it had a pretty short lifespan on the mobile market. Still, it was, and still is, an interesting and wacky mobile phone design that deserves our number 4 spot.

What Did We Miss?

We know this list is definitely not exhaustive. There’s plenty more wacky and wonderful mobile phones out there, but we just don’t have the time to cover them all, so we had to pick our favorites.

What wacky mobile phones do you think we missed? Let us know!

Thanks for reading!

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Monday, 29 October 2018

The Best Android Phones For Audiophiles

An audiophile is a Hi-Fi sound enthusiast – someone who demands the very best sound quality each and every time they listen to music.

If you’re a true audiophile, you’ll probably already have an awesome record player or hi-fi sound system at home, but what about when you want to listen to some music on the road? For that, you’re going to need a mobile phone with top-quality audio capabilities.

Once upon a time, that might have been hard to get, as mobile phone manufacturers were more concerned with making more powerful processors, longer battery lives, and better cameras.

Fortunately, though, mobile phones have come a long way in the last decade, and there is now a whole bunch of mobile phones out there that offer superb sound quality, which makes listening to music a real treat.

We’ve done the research, cherry-picked the best available, and condensed them into this list of the three best Android phones for audiophiles.

Why Android, you ask? Well, iPhones are great and all, but unfortunately, they’re just not known for their audio capabilities. Android wins when it comes to music playback, and that’s why you won’t find an Apple product on this list.

Now let’s get into it!

1. Razer Phone

Our number one spot goes to the Razer Phone, which is a surprise, as Razer has, up until now, been known as a brand which designs products specifically for gamers. Apparently, they’re branching out their appeal to audiophiles too – or perhaps gamers just demand the very best sound quality. Who knows?

Either way, the Razer Phone’s speaker quality is top notch. It actually offers the loudest speaker sound output of any phone currently on the market so if you really like to crank up the volume, this might be the perfect phone for you.

Thanks to the Phone’s Dolby Atmos processing, the sound isn’t just loud, it’s high-resolution too.

As an added bonus, the Razer Phone probably exceeds all your other phone expectations too. It’s got a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 8GB RAM, which means it’s powerful and will run games and apps smoothly. It’s also got a 12MP rear camera and an 8MP front camera.

The only real downside is that it doesn’t have a headphone jack. If you don’t mind going wireless, though, this is definitely one of the best phones for music out there right now.

2. Samsung Galaxy S9

There’s one reason and one reason only that the Samsung Galaxy S9 gets our number two spot – it has a headphone jack.

That’s right, while almost all other phone manufacturers (wrongly) decided that we all wanted to go wireless, Samsung held firm and stuck with the traditional headphone jack. And for that, they deserve commending.

The headphone jack means that you can bump up the sound quality even further by pairing your S9 with a pair of high-quality earphones or headphones.

Okay, we also lied when we said that there was only one reason that the S9 makes the list; there are a few more reasons too. For one, the quality of the speakers is excellent as Samsung worked with AKG to create them. They also made sure they added a driver to the bottom too, and the earpiece speaker can also output audio so that the audio doesn’t get lopsided.

It can also get loud – not quite as loud as the razer but still very, very loud. So loud that you’ll rarely – if ever – need to max out the volume.

The reason the S9 missed out on the top spot is simply that it doesn’t have a turbo-charged quad DAC, so it can’t quite match the superb sound quality of true audiophile headphones.

It also isn’t quite as powerful as the Razer as it has only 4GB RAM, nor is the front picture quality quite as good due to the fact that its front camera is only 5MP. Other than that though, it’s a great phone.

3. LGV30

Coming in at number 3 is the LGV30 – another device which, thankfully, still has a headphone jack. Not only does it come with a headphone jack, but it also comes in a bundle with a great pair of headphones to go in that jack. The headphones are from sound experts and high-end audio manufacturers Bang & Olufsen, so you can be sure that they’ll offer crisp, clean, high-fidelity sound.

Even better than the headphone jack though is the 32-bit, ESS Sabre ES9218P DAC. It converts those digital audio files into signals that your earphones can read and play, reducing harmonic distortion and increasing dynamic range in the process.

This phone is also more than up to the task of handling any power-hungry headphones you can throw at it.

The only problem – and the reason this takes the third spot – is the speakers. They’re good, but they’re not great, and definitely not able to produce the kind of sound quality that super-picky audiophiles would expect. It’s all about the headphone quality with the LGV30.

Still, no phone speaker on this list will match high-end hi-fi equipment anyway, so there is a good chance you’re only interested in the headphone quality for when you’re listening to music on the go. If so, the LGV30 might be the perfect option.

In terms of other, non-audio-related features, the LGV30 is a pretty good all-rounder. It has a Snapdragon CPU, 4GB RAM, and the best rear camera on the list – either 16 or 13MP depending on the model. The front camera isn’t quite as good, at just 5MP, but if you’re more interested in stunning landscape shots than selfies, it’s ideal.

Stop Reading, Start Listening!

That concludes our list of the best Android phones for Audiophiles – we hope you enjoyed it and got some inspiration for your next purchase.

Now, all there is left to do is purchase your new mobile and start enjoying the superb quality sound. Have fun!

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Thursday, 25 October 2018

Common Problems With the iPhone X

If you type iPhone X into google, it’s pretty easy to find hundreds of articles raving about how great the iPhone X is. Whilst there’s no denying that the iPhone X has some pretty awesome features, it’s always good to look at two sides of the story, especially if you are considering shelling out the considerable amount of money that it takes to buy an iPhone X.

In this article, we’ll delve into some of the most common problems that have been reported by users of the iPhone X, so you can have a look at the full picture before making the investment.

1. Unresponsive Display

A lot of users of the new iPhone have reported issues with their display. The most common display issue reported is the screen becoming completely unresponsive to the touch. Many users have said it happens most often when trying to pick up an incoming call, and they have no choice but to restart their phone in order to restore the device to its proper working order.

2. Face ID

Face ID is one of the jewels in Apple’s crown, and they don’t hesitate to advertise this as one the iPhone X’s futuristic features. Despite the undoubtedly cool idea, reports of issues have shown that Face ID isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

There are a number of reports that Apples best security feature is not so secure after all. In theory, Face ID should be the ultimate way of securing your phone as nobody else has the same face as you, but videos on YouTube and other sources have proven how easily hackable the software really is.

Even parents are at risk as, due to the similarity of their own children’s features, kids may be able to successfully unlock the device using their faces.

3. Not So Great Battery Life

When looking at advertisements and the hype around the iPhone X, it would be easy to think that the iPhone X is the superior model in every way. However, this may not be the case. When it comes to the iPhone’s battery life, some users have reported that the battery is surprisingly inadequate.

The iPhone X is a powerful phone, with a lot of great features, but if the battery life is only average, users will find it difficult to use their device to its fullest, without being tethered to a plug for most of the day. This is a common problem across the smartphone market right now. Smartphone power and features are improving, but the batteries that companies are using to power the phones are yet to catch up to recent developments.

4. Speaker Issues

One of the most important features of the new iPhone is the state-of-the-art speakers that they possess. For a lot of people, speakers are a big deal and, when you pay over $1500 AUD for a smartphone, you would expect features like the speakers to live up to their expectations.

Unfortunately, there have been a lot of reports of malfunctioning speakers on the iPhone X. The biggest problem reported is a buzzing sound when they speakers exceed 50% volume. This was also a problem that was reported for previous models of the iPhone and was fixed by a software update so hopefully, this will be the case for the iPhone X too.

5. Display Issues

The iPhone X’s OLED display was one of the most raved about features and, for many people, it is living up to its expectations.

However, some users are, unfortunately, experiencing issues with their display. One of the more worrying issues being reported is a green line that spans the width of the screen. For users experiencing this issue, fixing the problem may be difficult due to the way the OLED display is composed.

6. Call Answering Issues

This is one of the more unusual issues that users are experiencing on the new iPhone. Many people have reported a delay between the time the phone begins ringing and it registering on the display so you can answer it. This can be particularly problematic for people who are very busy and take a lot of calls back to back, as it can lead to missed calls.

7. Accidental Screenshots

Due to the lack of a home button on the iPhone X, the key command for taking screenshots has now changed. This has made it easier to accidentally take screenshots when you weren’t meaning to. Of course, this issue isn’t exactly something that’s completely out of your control, but it could probably get pretty annoying.

8. Hair Pulling

Yes, you did read that correctly. Although this is not so much a problem with the phone and probably wouldn’t be a make or break factor when you are deciding to purchase the phone, it’s still an issue that the iPhone X user have reported often.

Something about the design of the phone is causing people to get their hair – both facial and head hair – pulled when they are making calls or have the phone close to their face. It’s a bit of a strange issue, but it is a common gripe for iPhone X users nonetheless.

9. Wireless Charging Problems

Wireless charging is the future, or so we’re being told, but iPhone X users may not agree with you. Many users have reported experiencing interference with their wireless charging. There have been a number of reasons for this posited such as using folio cases, storing bank cards in your phone case or using a cheap wireless charger. It’s great to move forward to use more exciting technology but, when it doesn’t work the way it should, it can be annoying.

10.Screen Cracking

Anyone who’s had an iPhone before will know that the screens are very susceptible to smashing. Although this is more of a problem of personal clumsiness than an issue with the phone, it seems that the iPhone X is similar to its predecessors in this way. So if you are particularly clumsy when it comes to your phone, then you may want to choose something more robust.

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Saturday, 20 October 2018

How To Choose the Right Phone For Your Next Upgrade

With so many different models available on the market, upgrading your phone can seem daunting. Not only can it be difficult to part with your old phone, but it can also be a nightmare trying to find a phone that does everything you want it to for the right price.

It’s safe to say that the smartphone market is extremely saturated, so going phone shopping unprepared can definitely end in disaster. If you’re thinking about upgrading but aren’t sure where to start, this guide should help you to navigate the sea of smartphones and pick out the one that is right for you.

Decide on Your Favourite Operating System

Operating systems are all important when it comes to upgrading your phone. The two most common operating systems are IOS and Android, and the one you have currently may affect the decision you make when you upgrade.

Transferring data like songs, pictures and contacts can be more difficult to do if you are switching between operating systems so, if you are hoping to get your new phone up and running without too much hassle, then you may want to stick with the same operating system that you’re using on your current phone.

iPhone’s run on the IOS operating and upgrading from an old iPhone to a newer model is usually very simple, as most iPhones are synced with a computer that backs up all of your data. Once you log into the new iPhone using your current account details, you should be able to download anything you have saved quickly and easily.

Other popular phones models like Samsung run on Android. Switching between androids is also very simple and a lot of androids have external storage such as micro SD cards that can be transferred from phone to phone.

However, making the switch from Android to IOS or vice-versa can be a little bit more difficult and you may not be able to access everything that you purchased using iTunes, which is something to consider when choosing an upgrade.

Aside from that, it’s also quite difficult to get the hang of a new operating system, which is why most people choose to stick to what they know when it comes to upgrading.  

Think about your budget

When it comes to getting a new phone, how much money you have to spend is one of the biggest determining factors in which phone you choose. Even if you are getting the phone for free on a contract, more expensive smartphones will come with more expensive monthly contracts. If you are looking to save money, then you may want to opt for something a little cheaper.

The good news is, there are perfectly good smartphones available at a range of different price points. Before you start looking, have a good think about how much money you are willing to spend on your phone or your monthly payments and this can help you to narrow down your search. There’s no use looking at the iPhone X if you can’t afford it, so focus your time on researching models that are in your price range.

Decide What Your ‘Must Have’ Features Are

Everybody uses their phones for different purposes and this is one way you can narrow down your search for the perfect smartphone. Have a think about what you use your phone for the most, and think about what features you require.

If you’re a gamer, then focus your search on phones that have the power you need to play your favorite games. If you’re into social media and taking photos, then maybe a phone with a really great camera is what you’re looking for. Take some time to make a list of what your priorities are and then research what are the best models available for your needs.

Do Some Research on Different Models

Once you have decided on what different features you would like and how much you are willing to spend, you can begin to look for phones that meet your requirements. The best way to do this is online. Search your requirements to get ideas for models that might be good for you.

For example, if you’re on a budget, make a search for the best budget smartphones or if you want a great camera, find out which models of phone are best for photographers. Once you’ve got some ideas, you should have a look at the stats and see which phones are offering the best features for the best price.

Another great way of getting an insider look at how the phones run is by searching for reviews of models you are interested in. You can usually find comments from previous customers on shopping websites, telling how good or bad they thought the phone was. You’ll also be able to find review videos of more popular models on YouTube. Watching a few of these can help you to get a look at how they work in action before you think about buying it.

Go Into the Store and Check Them Out

Getting a look at the phones in action is the final step to choosing the perfect one for you. Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a few different contenders, head down to the mall and see what they look like in action. Most phones are available on display in large tech shops, so customers can have a chance to get a feel for the phone before they buy them.

Checking out a few phone shops can also be a good way to find out about deals and prices that are being offered by different retailers. Tech shops often run offers and deals and you may manage to get a bit of money off, or some free gifts if you decide to buy in-store. If you don’t find a good deal, you can always make a decision on which phone you want after viewing it and then buy it online.

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Thursday, 4 October 2018

10 Awesome Features You Can Expect from the Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Every year, hundreds of new smartphones are released and it can often be difficult to decipher the differences between the models. This year, one of the most popular phones released was the iPhone X. While the iPhone X’s features are regarded as being state of the art, Apple products are not for everyone, and one of the iPhone X’s major competitors is the Samsung Galaxy Note 9.

Samsung has long been in a head-to-head battle with Apple over its aim of creating the best phone on the market and that’s leaves many wondering, could the Note 9 be the best smartphone available right now? That’s difficult to say, but what we do know is that the Note 9 comes equipped with some pretty awesome features, so let’s take a look at them.

1. Improved Charging Capabilities

The Note 9 is regarded by Samsung as being one of the most powerful models in their range. The phone comes equipped with a powerful ‘all day battery’ that is designed to last longer than the average smartphone on the market. The battery is also designed to charge faster, which means less time waiting around for your device to charge up. This is great for anyone that works long hours with no access to a charger or travels a lot.

2. Ample Storage

With the Galaxy Note 9, you can choose from 128GB or 512GB of storage, which will ensure you never have to delete your favorite snaps or uninstall storage heavy apps. And if that amount of storage isn’t enough, there is also room for external memory cards, which can boost the storage up to its 1TB ready capacity. Compared to other phones available on the market right now, the Note 9 is one of the best options if you require a lot of storage.

3. Up to Date Processor

In contrast to other phones on the market now, this phone’s processor is regarded as being quite cutting edge. The Galaxy Note 9’s processor lets you take advantage of super fast internet speeds and gives you the capability to upload and download big files in an instant. This makes downloading videos, or large files easier and faster.

4. Dual Aperture

Dual Aperture is a camera feature that allows the user to take the perfect shot day or night. It adjusts to lighting in a way which mimics the human eye to ensure the best resolution, whatever the lighting conditions. This is a great feature for party people who love to take pictures on their nights out.

5. Infinity Display

The Note 9 comes equipped with a huge 6.4″ screen that is much bigger than competitors like the iPhone X. This makes the Note 9 perfect for people who like to get their Netflix fix via their phone or read and work on the go. There’ll be no need to zoom in to read the words on a screen this size. You even have options to split the screen and it’s easy to switch between tabs. When coupled with the overall power of the Note 9, users can expect perfect picture clarity, whatever they’re doing.

6. The S Pen

The S pen is a new feature from Samsung which allows the user to control their phone via a Bluetooth pen that is stored inside the phone. Whether you want to take a group photo or give a presentation for work, you can use the S Pen to get the perfect shot. As well as this, the pen also functions as a writing or drawing tool. You can use it to write notes, text, or draw on the infinity display.

7. Samsung Knox Security

Samsung Knox is one of the toughest smartphone security systems out there. It allows users to ensure everything on their phone is completely secure. Want to keep the kids out of a certain folder? or lock up some important work files? Samsung Knox security will allow you to customize which parts of your phone need the most security and adjust the settings to suit your needs.

8. Use The Phone Like A Desktop

If you are a person who has a busy life and needs access to a real desktop, this could be the feature for you. Sometimes, a smartphone just doesn’t meet the capabilities of a real desktop computer, but this one does. The Note 9 can be hooked up to a monitor via a cable and a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to function as a desktop computer when you need it to. If you need to do some document editing whilst you are away from the office, this could be the perfect solution.

9. Phone Lock Customization

Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to locking their phone. Some people like passcode security, others aren’t comfortable with anything less than face recognition, and those of us that have nothing to hide may even opt for no lock at all (crazy right?). With the Note 9, there is something to suit everyone’s preferences as it comes equipped with a wide variety of different lock features. You can choose between fingerprint technology, face recognition, or you can feel like you’re in a Sci-Fi movie and opt for an iris scanner. The possibilities really are endless.

10. Intelligent Camera

Gone are the days when people had a camera and a phone. Now we expect our smartphones to take pictures as clear as a high-quality camera – and the Note 9 does just that. If you’re selfie obsessed or a photography enthusiast, the Note 9’s camera shouldn’t disappoint. Aside from the Dual Aperture feature mentioned earlier, the camera is also highly intelligent and can detect your surroundings and adjust the settings accordingly. Whatever picture your taking, the Note 9 will help you to ensure that your picture is perfectly balanced and detailed.

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Saturday, 29 September 2018

10 Tips on Preserving Your Battery

Have you ever been lost in a new city and need to book a taxi ride home but you can’t because your phone battery is dead? I know I have. There’s little that’s more frustrating in life than having a dead battery in when you need it the most.

It’s not just us though, a lot of people suffer from this problem but few of us have any idea how to fix it. Today, we’re going to change that by figuring out why a lot of phones have a terrible battery life and how we can stop them from draining so quickly.

There are a lot of reasons that your battery isn’t retaining its charge, and there are some things you can do that may improve the situation, but first let’s take a look at the science behind it all…

How Does A Battery Work?

Batteries work in such a way that they have a certain amount of battery cycles. This means that your battery can be charged and drained a certain amount of times before you begin to see deterioration in the functionality of your phone.

The problem is that smartphone technology is developing so fast that battery developers don’t have time to catch up. Our phones are capable of running all sorts of apps, but these features use a lot of energy, thus causing the battery to use up charge cycles much more quickly.

In addition to this, software updates can cause older phones to struggle under the pressure and cause even quicker battery deterioration. In spite of all this, there are some things you can do to preserve those battery cycles and slow down the deterioration of your battery. Let’s take a look at how.

How To Improve The Battery Life on Android Phones

1. Check Up On Your Power Usage In Settings

Apps can be a major contributing factor when it comes to fast-depleting batteries. It’s often the case that apps are eating up your power even when you are not using them, so go into the settings, check out what’s going on, and remove any apps that are causing a problem.

The OS you are using could also be causing rapid battery loss, so you can try updating the OS to improve the battery life.

2. Get Rid Of Clutter

People tend to have hundreds of apps on their phones, of which they use only a few. Just having a lot of apps can contribute to the speed with which your battery drains, so it may be time for a clear out. Delete anything that you don’t use anymore; delete any games that you don’t play and you should see an improvement in your battery life.

3. Make Use Of Airplane Mode

Although Airplane mode was designed to use when you fly, what the function actually does is stop the phone from attempting to connect to cellular and 3G networks. Both of these functions really drain battery life, especially if you are in a low signal area, as the phone will have to work harder to try to connect to a network. If you’re running really low on charge and you want to preserve the battery for that little bit longer, switch to airplane mode, and you should be able to slow the process down a little bit.

4. Ditch Notifications

Most people have notification set up for pretty much all their apps. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and most other social apps send notifications regularly and this could be causing your phone battery to die faster. Of course, you may want to continue receiving personal message notifications, but if you really want to save battery life, then turn them off on the less important apps.

5. Turn Off Ambient Display

The ambient display allows apps and notifications to cause the screen to light up when they are received. If you receive a lot of notifications, this repeated lighting up of the screen can cause the battery life to drain much faster than when it is turned off. If you have a device that runs on Android 7 and above, you can also specifically select that notifications don’t light up the screen, but messages and other things still do.

6. Make use of Power Saver Mode

Power saver can be your saving grace if you are really trying to save the power on your phone. This function disables power draining features like location services and reduces the quality of animations. For newer model Androids, you also have the option of choosing ‘extreme power saving mode’, which disables data connections when the screen is locked and gives priority to important apps like GPS and messaging.

7. Get a Good Charger

Its no myth that cheap chargers are worse than certified or official chargers. If you want to have the best chance of maintaining your battery life and charging your mobile quickly, purchase a charger from the manufacturer or a certified third party.

8. Don’t Let Your Phone Overheat

All smartphones are susceptible to overheating, and your battery life can be affected by this. If your phone overheats regularly – or even gets too cold, for that matter – you will notice reduced functionality and battery life. Do what you can to keep it at a normal temperature. That might mean removing accessories that stop heat from escaping and keeping it out of direct sunlight.

9. Don’t Let Your Battery Die Too Often

Leaving the battery to completely burn out can be really damaging to the longevity of the battery. The optimal way to charge your phone is to keep the battery charged between 40% and 80% at all times. This will help the battery to run in a more healthy way, and the charge will be likely to last longer.

10. Use the Screen Dimming Function

If you are facing a battery life emergency, then dimming the screen as much as possible can help to preserve the last bit of charge. You can also use dimming functions to improve the batteries overall longevity too. For Android, you can make use of the adaptive brightness settings, which allows the phone to adjust the brightness of the screen automatically based on your surroundings, in order to reduce the amount of power the screen brightness is using up.

That’s all there is to it! That concludes our 10 tips for preserving your Android’s battery life. Hopefully, these will help you to improve your phone’s battery and avoid getting stuck in any more difficult situations without a charged phone in the future.

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Sunday, 23 September 2018

10 Tips for Charging Your Phone Correctly

One of the most frustrating things about current mobile phones is their battery life. As our devices have become more powerful and technologically advanced, battery manufacturers have struggled to keep pace. All those incredible apps and smart features that come with mobiles in 2018 drain your battery much quicker than they used to.

Because of this, it’s sometimes necessary to charge your battery twice, or even three times per day – particularly if you’re someone that uses it a lot – and that’s just not viable. So what’s the solution?

Well, it might seem obvious, but a surprising number of people don’t know how to charge their phone correctly. By ‘correctly’, I mean in a way that maximizes the battery life both in the short-term and in the long-term, and charges it quickly enough that you can go from 0% to 100% in no time at all, allowing you to fit in multiple recharges per day.

With that in mind, we’ve put together this list of 10 tips that will help you to charge your phone faster and more safely. Let’s get into it!

1. Don’t charge it to 100%

You might have thought that the best way to make sure your phone has enough juice to keep it going through the day is to charge it fully, right the way to 100%. Well, you’d be wrong. Why? Two words: battery life.

Most modern smartphones have lithium-ion batteries, and these batteries don’t respond well to being charged to maximum capacity. I won’t bore you with why that is – it’s far too complex and technical to get into here – but you’ll just have to take my word for it. If you charge them to 100%, you’ll cause a tiny bit of damage to the battery which will, over time, reduce its lifespan. If you do this regularly, after a few hundred charges your battery life will be dramatically reduced.

The good news is partial charges cause no harm whatsoever to lithium-ion batteries so aim to do frequent, short charges of between 10%-20% at a time if you can. If that’s not possible, just unplug your charger before it gets to 100%.

The exception to all of this is if your mobile has a nickel-based battery. Nickel batteries actually benefit from the total opposite due to something called the ‘memory effect’. This refers to when a battery ‘forgets’ its full capacity if its never being charged to it. For example, if you only ever charge it up to 80%, it might forget about the other 20% over time. Sounds weird, I know. Fortunately, you probably don’t have to worry about this too much anyway as very few modern phones still have nickel-based batteries.

2. Don’t let it run too low

In the same way that you shouldn’t ever let your phone charge all the way up to 100%, you shouldn’t let it deplete to 0% either. This actually damages the battery a little bit each time, which will cause the battery life to drop over the long-term. Try not to let it drop below 25% if you can help it.

If you want to be really safe about it, aim to keep your battery charged at between 65%-75% at all times as research shows this is the optimal amount to maintain battery life.

3. Don’t leave it at 0% for too long

If you do fail to keep your phone battery from running out, try to get it charged up again as soon as possible. If you leave it at 0% for too long, it can completely die. By that, I mean totally lose its capacity to hold a charge and refuse to turn on again even when plugged in.

Of course, this won’t happen over a few hours or even a few days. We’re talking about a phone that’s left for months with 0% charge. It does happen sometimes, though, when people store old mobiles in drawers. If you do, just remember to charge it back up to around 50% every now and then to prevent the battery from dying.

4. Use a fast charger

All chargers are not made equal. It’s possible to get ‘lightning chargers’ which are able to charge up your phone faster than regular ones – but only if your phone supports fast charging. Many new Android models do, so if you have one of these phones, pair it up with a fast charger and you’ll be able to charge much more quickly.

5. Turn it off whilst charging

It might seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning as most people still use their phone whilst it’s charging. If you can, go without it for a few minutes and turn it off. It will charge much quicker as there will be fewer things draining the battery whilst it’s charging up.

6. Stop touching it

If you really can’t turn it off – perhaps you’re waiting for an important call – then at least stop touching it. The screen is usually the biggest battery drain at all, so even just touching your phone to check the time uses up some charge. Try to leave it alone and the battery will charge quicker.

7. Use airplane mode

If you can’t turn it off and you can’t stop touching it, then at the very least switch on airplane mode. This will stop things like WiFi, GPS, and 4G from draining your battery so that it can recharge more quickly. You should also close any apps you’re not using.

8. Use a wall socket

If you just rely on the USB lead to charge your phone, it’s not going to charge as quickly. Instead of plugging it into your laptop, plug it into a wall for maximum speed. If you don’t have a plug and have to rely on the USB, at least aim for a USB 3.0 port as this will charge it quicker than a USB 2.0.

9. Keep it cool

Batteries charge slower the hotter they are. Therefore, you can reduce the time it takes to charge up your battery by keeping it cool whilst charging. This means taking off any accessories like mobile phone cases that might be trapping in the heat. It also means charging it in a cool room, out of the way of direct sunlight.

10. Get a portable charger

Ok, so the final tip is a bit of a cheat. It’s not exactly a way to charge your phone more quickly per se, but it is a way that you can avoid letting your battery deplete entirely and charge it up on-the-go. Buy yourself a portable charger and take it with you to work or wherever you’re spending your day. That way, if your battery starts getting low, you can top it up before it gets to 0% even if there isn’t a wall socket nearby.

That’s it for our 10 tips on charging your phone correctly. Have fun and remember – don’t let your battery ruin your day!

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Monday, 3 September 2018

The Best Mobile Phones for Kids

Back when mobile phones were invented, they were mainly used by adults. Often, when kids got into their mid-teens, their parents would gift them a hand-me-down phone to keep them safe when they were out with friends – but not anymore.

Now, the world is changing. Everywhere you look, you will see people staring at screens – and kids are no exception. In the modern day, the digital world is a children’s playground. For most children, smartphones and tablets are the way they learn, play, and interact with their peers. Many parents still do their best to monitor their children’s screen time and even limit it, but it’s becoming more and more important for children to be able to access online entertainment.

So that leaves many parents asking which device is right for their children. After all, it seems counter-intuitive to buy a 6-year-old the latest model of iPhone, only for the screen to be cracked in a day. However, it’s important that the model you choose is capable of running large gaming apps and browsing the internet. In this article, you can find some recommendations for the right smartphone to buy for your kids.

1. LG Q6

The LG Q6 would be the perfect phone for the clumsy YouTube enthusiast. The best feature of this model is it’s 5.5-inch Full HD display. If your kid likes watching YouTube or reading high-quality picture books this would be a great device for them. As well as its great screen, it also has a 3000 mAh battery, which will help you to avoid those stressful moments on long car journeys when the battery dies an hour in!

The LG Q6 operates on Android – a simple operating system that the kids can easily get used to, and one which has access to the thousands of apps available from the Google Play Store. It also has a great processor and a lot of RAM to ensure games run smoothly.

The Q6 is robust in design, making it a good fit for kids who are active (and break things easily). It’s also one of the cheapest on this list, with a sim-free value of around 445 AUD and cheap contracts available.

2. Nokia 5

The Nokia 5 is a budget-friendly option that may be perfect for your child’s first smartphone. It has similar specs and battery life to the LG Q6 with a slightly smaller screen.

The price, however, is its main selling point as it’s available sim-free from around 300 AUD.

Despite the low price tag, the Nokia 5 will still give your little ones access to all of their favorite apps using the Google Play Store, and is great for watching YouTube and gaming. The operating system is easy for kids to access and its sleek black design is something that they won’t be embarrassed to show off in front of friends.

3.iPhone SE

If your kids are demanding an iPhone, then this may be the right model for you.

The iPhone SE was brought out between the iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 and bears a strong resemblance to the iPhone 5s.

If your child is a keen gamer, this iPhone’s A9 chip will keep their favorite games running smoothly and lag-free, and the 4-inch, crystal clear retina display will ensure they keep up with the action.

The iPhone SE is also good for the socialite who loves to take selfies and keep up with friends. The HD camera will leave them looking picture perfect and the facetime capabilities mean they can stay in touch with both you and their pals.

Apple is also a great option for cautious parents as its security features keep your kids just a little safer than an Android phone will, and they can use TouchID security to ensure their friends aren’t breaking into their phones.

For iPhone standards, the SE is relatively affordable, coming in at around 625 AUD.

4. iPhone 6

The iPhone 6 is the slightly more expensive model of iPhone that still makes the list despite its price tag.

The iPhone 6, despite being slightly outdated due to the release of newer models, still holds its own against other phones years after its release.

If your child is concerned about having a new model that they can show off to friends, the iPhone 6 could be a good option. Its sleek and widescreen design is quite similar to the newer models and it also offers a lot of the same features.

It comes equipped with an A8 chip, which makes gaming on the device much smoother than it was on previous models and its 4.7-inch screen with retina display offers seamless clarity for any mobile activity.

As with most iPhones, the camera is much better than most other non-Apple smartphones in the same price range, so, if you have an amateur photographer in your ranks, this could be the right choice for you.

The price is the only downside to this phone, as it’s considerably higher than any others on the list. To buy this device sim-free, you’d be looking at spending around 730 AUD. At that price, this device may be better for older, more responsible children.

5. Samsung J3

One of the cheapest devices, and the only Samsung to make the list, is the Samsung J3. This model, which was brought out in 2017, is one of the most popular Android devices.

The main benefit of this device is the screen size. Its screen measures in at 5 inches, the optimum size for mobile gamers. It’s also equipped with a headphone jack, meaning that the kids can watch meme videos to their heart’s content whilst you enjoy some peace and quiet.

This device also has a great battery life compared to others in this price range, making it great for kids who love watching movies on their phones. 

This phone may be great for younger kids as the price is relatively low, costing only 319 AUD for a sim-free device.

That concludes our list of the best smartphones on the market for kids. Hopefully, this article has made it easier to find models that would be right for your little ones. Happy Shopping!

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The Most Expensive Smartphones In The World

It’s no secret that mobile phones have got more expensive in the past few years. We only need to take a look at the price tag on new flagship models like the iPhone X – which will set you back around au$1400 – to see how much buying a new phone can really hurt your wallet.

Of course, this makes a lot of sense. After all, phone technology has come a long way in the last few years, and many of us now value our phones amongst our most important and useful possessions. Seeing as we use our phones every day, many people don’t have a problem justifying paying a little more for a high-quality model.

However, there are some smartphones that are so ludicrously expensive that it’d be easy to think you’d have to be mad to buy them – either that or incredibly rich.

To show you the kind of smartphones we’re talking about, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most expensive smartphones in the world. These luxury smartphones are gadgets loaded with cutting-edge tech and top-end specifications.

They frequently built with rare and expensive materials which cost a small fortune, and they’re the kind of phone you really wouldn’t want to drop. If you did, it would set you back much more than the cost of a repair service were you to break it!

Let’s take a look at four of the most expensive, luxury phones of all time.

  1. iPhone Princess Plus

If you thought the iPhone X was expensive, say hello the iPhone Princess Plus. With a price tag similar to an average mortgage, the iPhone Princess Plus doesn’t come cheap. It costs around au$236,000 so, true to its name, you’d probably have to be a princess to afford this little gem.

And speaking of little gems – the iPhone Princess Plus is covered in them. Diamonds, to be specific. 318 of them, to be even more specific! Of these 318 diamonds, 138 are princess-cut, which is where the phone gets its name. It’s also covered from top to bottom in pure, 18-karat white gold.

The bad news is that the iPhone Princess Plus luxury features starts and ends with these aesthetic differences. Other than that, it’s just a regular iPhone. In other words, it looks incredible, but it doesn’t perform any better than a regular iPhone.

If you have a spare $236,000 lying around, though, and you think that all those diamonds and gold is worth an extra $235,000 over a standard iPhone, then this might just be the phone for you!

2. Lamborghini 88 Tauri

Who could be a better luxury smartphone manufacturer than a brand that already manufactures luxury cars?

Back in 2015, Tonino Lamborghini released their second luxury Android smartphone, the 88 Tauri. At over $8,300, this phone is much cheaper than the Princess Plus, but still expensive enough to make most people wince.

Unlike the Princess Plus, this phone at least backs up its premium price tag with some premium features. It isn’t just about aesthetics.

It features a quad-core 2.3 GHz processor, 3GB of RAM and 64GB storage space. The build quality is also excellent, as only the most durable and luxurious materials were used. Its frame is made from stainless steel and it comes with a classy, Lamborghini-esque leather coat.

In terms of processing power, the 88 Tauri doesn’t disappoint. It comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor and has a quad-core CPU which delivers the very best speeds, a 1080p display, and a 20MP rear camera.

All these features are especially great when you consider this phone is now 3 years old, but that’s not the real reason you’d fork out on this device. No, the real reason is the prestige that comes with owning a Lamborghini device.

3. Vertu Aster Diamonds Red Alligator

Vertu is one of the most famous brand names in the luxury smartphone scene. Their confusingly-named Aster Diamonds Red Alligator device was released in 2017 and costs around au$14,000.

Whilst this phone again comes with some fancy specs – like a 1080p display, Android Marshmallow OS, and a 2.3GHz quad-core processor – the real value comes from the aesthetic features.

The Aster Diamonds Red Alligator is wrapped in a stainless steel case which is covered in 55 white diamonds, hence the ‘Aster Diamonds’ part of the name. The ‘Red Alligator’ part comes from the fact that it’s also wrapped in classy-looking red alligator leather.

If you’re willing to spend the $14,000, you can also at least know that your device was made with some TLC, as every device is handmade to ensure uniqueness.

4. Gresso Regal Black Edition

This $6,950 Android smartphone is a more sophisticated alternative to the above. It doesn’t skimp on the luxury materials (it’s made from titanium and 18-karat gold), but it doesn’t shove them in your face as much as the other phones on this list.

No, the Gresso Regal Black Edition is more tasteful and sophisticated. It has sharp lines, elegant dark tones, and an understated, classic look. It also comes with a quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB of storage space and a full HD, 5-inch display.

If you’re looking for an unassuming, sophisticated phone, and you have $6,950 to spare, this might be the right luxury phone for you.

That’s All!

That’s about it for our list of the most expensive smartphones in the world. There are a few more luxury phones out there worth mentioning, but we don’t have time to cover them all, so check that out on your own time!

For those of you that aren’t part of the elite super-rich, you might also like to read one of our other articles on the best smartphones in 2018 to find something more suitable for the regular consumer.

Happy shopping!

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Best Android Phones That Cost Under AU$300 in 2018

Mobile phones have come a long way in the last few years and we’ve seen some incredible phones, like the iPhone 8+ and Galaxy Note 9, hit the market. But as the bar for top-end mobile phone performance has climbed higher and higher, so too has the price.

The latest flagship models are can set you back thousands of dollars, which makes them out of reach for many consumers who struggle to justify these costs. If you’re one of these consumers, don’t worry – we have good news.

Fortunately for those of us with a more modest budget, it’s not just the top-end phones that have seen huge improvement in the past few years. Phones have improved dramatically right across the board, from the lowest-priced budget phones to the most expensive, newest models. It’s now possible to get powerful smartphones with all the latest features on a budget.

To illustrate this, we’ve compiled a list of the five best phones for under $300.00 that you can get your hands on in 2018.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

1. Xiaomi Redmi Mi A2 Lite

This phone takes our number one spot as it’s simply a great budget phone. It runs Android One and comes with 4G LTE, and it’ll set you back just over $300 Australian dollars.  

You might have thought budget phones all come with low-resolution displays, but you’d be wrong. This used to be the case a few years ago, but now, budget smartphones frequently come with full HD displays – and the Xiaomi Redmi Mi A2 Lite is no exception.

It comes with a 19:9, Full-HD+ display and it also has a decent-quality dual-camera which takes pretty average photos. It’s not the fastest phone on the market, as you’d expect, but the performance is definitely usable and you’ll hardly notice any performance lag

It also comes with enough storage space for most people’s needs – 64GB. If you do need more, you can always buy a microSD card and add it to your phone for as much as 256GB extra storage space.

Overall, this is a great value phone.

2. Motorola Moto E5

This phone comes in at a close second on account of its price. It doesn’t offer as good performance or as many modern features as the Xiaomi, but the cost more than makes up for this.

At only $210 Australian dollars, this phone’s price tag makes it one of the cheapest budget phones that won’t make you want to throw it against a wall after a few days.

It’s got a slick design, attractive display, and it’s durable – what’s not to like?

It’s battery life also deserves a lot of praise as it’s much better than many other phones in a similar price range, and it even comes with a fingerprint scanner.

You could almost trick yourself into thinking this was an expensive smartphone – almost, but not quite.

3. Moto G6 Play

The Moto G6 Play costs around $300 AUD and takes our third-place spot on this list of the best budget Android phones in 2018.

Surprisingly, it’s almost as good as the other (more expensive) G6 smartphones but it has the added benefit of having an even better battery life. It’s also got some great features, such as a cool fingerprint sensor, headphone jack, and 18:9 display.

It has an attractive, well-made design which looks just as good as more expensive phones. Sure, it’s made from plastic and the build quality isn’t quite as good in terms of materials, but this isn’t as important of how it looks and feels in your hand.

4. EE Hawk

The lesser-known EE Hawk costs around $270 and is a bit of a dark horse in the budget smartphone market. When you consider the price tag, the build is pretty good and the Android software it runs on is clean and powerful.

In terms of performance, videos run without much lag but you’ll struggle if you plan on using it for gaming. The camera quality is also fairly low, so if Instagramming and taking photos is a priority, you might want to opt for a more expensive phone with a better camera.

Other Options

There you have it – 4 of the best budget Android phones in 2018.

Some other budget phones that are good but didn’t quite make this list include: Honor 9 Lite, HTC Desire 12+, Nokia 5, Vodafone Smart N8, and Alcatel 3V.

There’s also always the option of buying a Chinese smartphone. These are phones from lesser-known Chinese brands that you won’t find in the UK in phone shops on the high street. You’ll have to source them online, which can cause issues down the line if your phone is faulty. However, if you’re willing to give them a shot, they’re typically much cheaper than the big-name brands on the UK high street. Chinese phones typically offer mid-range specification at budget prices.

It’s also sometimes cheaper to buy sim-locked phones than it is to buy unlocked phones. This is because network providers want your business and will offer better prices on sim-locked phones for their network as an incentive to get you to sign up with them. If you go down this route, you may able to get better value for money and keep phone costs as low as possible.

As a final tip for getting the best value phone for your money, try to get a sim-only contract and buy your phone separately. This way, you can avoid the high interest and marked up prices that come with getting a phone on contract and save yourself some money.

That concludes our guide to the best android phones that cost under au$300 in 2018 – I hope you enjoyed it! Happy shopping!

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Thursday, 30 August 2018

The Top 3 Mobile Phones for Gamers

When most people think of gaming, they think of PCs, Xboxes or PS4s – consoles that you play on a big screen – but not mobile phones. Of course, we all know that that it’s possible to play games on mobiles, but it seems more like an afterthought; something to help pass the time whilst you’re waiting in line or sat on a bus on your way home.

The games we associate with mobile phones are more often than not addictive, low-graphics, mini-game-esque games like Temple Run, Flappy Bird, and others of a similar vein. In other words, games that are designed to kill some time, rather than offer an adrenaline-packed, hardcore gaming experience. Lately, however, this all seems to be changing.

Mobile phone gaming is on the rise. The biggest console and PC games of the year – PUBG and Fortnite – have come to mobile. These addictive, console-quality games are transforming the way gamers see mobile devices, and this is hopefully just the beginning. The trend of console-quality games becoming available on mobiles looks set to continue as top developers at E3 2018 promised to bring even more high-end games to mobile handsets in the years to come.

The upshot of all this is that, if you’re serious about mobile gaming, you’re going to need to plan ahead. As higher quality games move over to the mobile platform, the processing power required to run them smoothly rises, so you’ll need to get your hands on a device that is optimised for gaming performance. This means thinking about things like the speed of chipsets, amount of RAM, quality of graphics chips and screens, and app ecosystems.

That might seem like a lot of research but don’t worry, we’ve done the hard work for you! Just read on to find out all about the 3 best phones for mobile gaming in 2018.


1. iPhone X

It had to be an Apple device that bagged the top spot here. Why? Because of the App Store.

Whilst Android’s Google Play is great in its own way, the App Store is superior in terms of game availability. For some reason, the best games always seem to be released on iOS first. Take Fortnite, for example, which has still not yet been released on Android. With that in mind, if you want access to the most games, iOS devices are a clear choice.

But why the iPhone X and not the 8 Plus? Well, it has a bigger battery for starters, and that’s going to come in handy if you’re gaming often as games are notorious for draining batteries. In addition to this, it also has a 5.8-inch OLED display which is big enough and stylish enough to make those high-end game graphics really jump off the screen.

Another reason to go with iOS is if you’re into AR (augmented reality). iOS is leading the push for wider adoption of AR tech, and this includes AR gaming experiences. If you loved Pokemon Go or other AR games, grab an iPhone X and watch this space.


2. Razer Phone

Next up, we have an Android phone which was built with gaming in mind. The Razer was one of the first phones to be developed in response to the increasing consumer demand for mobile gaming and started a string of releases of phones built for gamers. These types of phones have high-end hardware specs and specific features that make them perfect for gaming.

For speed and power, the Razer has a whopping 8GB of RAM and Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. For visual performance, it has a 5.7-inch display with 1,440p resolution and a refresh rate of 120 Ghz. It also has the ‘Ultra Motion’ feature which syncs this refresh rate up with its GPU to ensure that all games run smoothly, with no frame-jumping or lag.  And for audio quality, it has high-volume twin speakers on the front which come with Dolby Atmos support.

In addition to these gaming-oriented specs, it’s impressive in other ways too. For example, it also offers excellent photo and video quality, as it comes with two 12MP rear cameras and an 8MP front camera, and a superb battery life due to its 4,000 mAh battery.

If it wasn’t for Apple’s superior App Store, this would have undoubtedly been at the top of this list. If you’re an Android-person though, you really can’t go wrong with the Razer for gaming.


3. Xiaomi Black Shark

This is another Android phone from a Chinese phone manufacturer that was released in April this year in China but has yet to be released over here. Its offers similarly impressive specs to the Razer and gets extra points for looking incredibly cool.

In terms of design, the Black Shark looks as cool as its name sounds. It’s black, it has neon lights around the main buttons, and it just feels right in your hand. In some ways, it actually looks and feels more like a handheld console than a phone.

The screen is 6 inches and offers 1080p resolution. Like the Razer, it has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset and 4,000mAh battery. It also comes with either 6GB and 8GB RAM, and 64GB or 128GB storage space, depending on which model you choose to go for. The lower-spec models cost around $650 AUD and the higher-spec models, around $750 AUD.

In terms of extra gaming-oriented features, the Black Shark has it all. There’s a cooling system like you would find on a PC integrated into the phone itself. That way, gamers can play for hours on end without the risk of overheating. If you want to feel really cool, you can also push the ‘Shark Key’ to boost the phone into a high-performance mode.

The camera on the Black Shark is actually even better than the Razer, with two 20MP cameras on the rear and a 12MP camera on the back.



There you have it, three great options for mobile gamers. Other notable mentions that didn’t make the cut include the iPhone 8 Plus, Galaxy S9 Plus, Sony Xperia XZ2 and the Nubia Red Magic. Hopefully, you’ve found something that matches your personal tastes.

Happy gaming!

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Thursday, 31 May 2018

How to Maximize Your Phone’s Lifespan

Even though smartphones are getting thinner and lighter, they’re still becoming more durable. Unlike early smartphones, today’s phones are typically tested to ensure their longevity, and technology is constantly evolving to make phones easier to use and less likely to become damaged through typical use. However, it’s still worth taking a few basic steps to prevent possible problems with your phone. Here are a few guidelines for avoiding common problems with smartphones and other smart devices.

Consider a Case

Cases add a bit of bulk to smartphones, but this extra size and weight provides protection against drops. Although a case won’t ensure you avoid a cracked screen or other damage, they do provide a bit of robustness that can mean the difference between an intact phone and a broken one. Not all cases are the same. If you have a history of dropping your phone, it might be worth investing in a more rugged case. If you’d prefer to preserve your phones look, consider a case that only covers the sides and not the back. As phones continue to become thinner, many people are finding they prefer a thicker device than is available on the market. Cases can provide a better feel for many people, and textured cases can help prevent your phone from slipping during long conversations.

Learn What Causes Scratches

Glass is a surprisingly hard material, and only harder materials can cause scratches. Metal, no matter how sharp, won’t scratch a smartphone’s screen, so don’t worry too much about car keys or other metal items causing scratches. One of the most common causes of smartphone scratches is sand, which can be harder than the glass on a phone’s screen. Wipe your phone screen gently, as wiping away sand or other small materials too harshly can lead to scratching. If you typically carry your smartphone in a purse or backpack, consider picking up a case that covers the screen to avoid scratching.

Updates Are Important

Smartphones are computers, and they need to be maintained like any other computer. Make sure to run security updates promptly, as failing to do so can leave your phone vulnerable to hacks, potentially compromising your information. App updates are important as well, as vulnerabilities in programs you run can lead to problems as well. If updates fail for any reason, make sure to talk with experts to find out how to resolve the issue.

Take Care of Your Battery

Modern smartphones are designed to maximize the life of batteries, but there are steps you can take to prevent premature wear. Try to avoid letting your battery drain completely, as doing so can shorten its lifespan; developing a habit of plugging in your phone every morning or evening can help keep it topped off. However, experts also advise against leaving your phone plugged in once its completely charged. Letting your battery drain a bit helps keep it functioning optimally. Note, however, that batteries inevitably lose their capacity, so consider picking a phone with a replaceable battery if you plan on using it for the long term.

Keep Your Phone Dry

Many phones on the market are advertised as being water resistant, and many that don’t advertise that feature can still function after being submerged in water. However, it’s still best to keep your phone dry whenever possible. Small cracks can make a water-resistant phone vulnerable to water damage. Furthermore, saltwater can still build up on a phone, potentially causing scratching and other issues. If your phone stops working after being submerged, give it time to dry completely before trying to power it on again. Note that the rice trick, which involves placing your phone in a container of rice, isn’t advised by most experts. It has little effect on drying out your phone, and small rice particles can become embedded in your phone. Silica gel packets, on the other hand, can safely speed up the drying process.

Be Wary of Non-Standard Apps

Android phones can be set to sideload apps, which lets you run programs not installed via the official store. Furthermore, third-party stores are common as well. Some people jailbreak their iPhones, which lets them run programs not found in the App Store. If you’re interested in running such apps, be careful, as malware is a growing problem with smartphones. These apps can sometimes capture information covertly, which can lead to identity theft and other problems. People often use their phones for banking and other critical tasks, so ensure any third-party app you install comes from a trusted source, such as Amazon or other established companies.

Avoid Temperature Extremes

Extreme temperatures can have a number of effects on smartphones. Hot and cold temperatures can shorten a battery’s lifespan, and phone screens and other parts sometimes fail to work properly in especially hot or cold temperatures. While those who live in hot or cold regions have little choice when it comes to smartphone temperatures, avoiding keeping a phone in a car when the temperature is hot can help you avoid issues. It’s generally best to keep your phone indoors as much as possible, especially if rain or snow is likely.

Streamline Your Apps

Today’s smartphones are often able to store a seemingly unlimited number of apps, but uninstalling apps to save space can be wise even if you have plenty of room left. Phone storage components wear down over time, and smartphones can spread information across the storage space to slow this degradation. Freeing up space offers more room for this process. Furthermore, uninstalling apps helps keep you interface from becoming cluttered, helping you find apps more quickly. Some apps run in the background, which can cost you bandwidth and lead to poorer performance. If you haven’t used an app in an extended period of time, think about if you’re likely to use it again in the future.

Smartphones are better than ever, and they’ll continue evolving over time. Although devices are more rugged and durable than ever before, a bit of caution and maintenance can go a long way toward ensuring your phone lasts as long as possible.

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