Windows 10 is now available

windows10

Microsoft has started the Windows 10 updates. New version of Windows is available for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 users for free. 

It’s 29th of July. That means that Windows 10 is finally available. Users with Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 should receive their free copy from Windows Update. If update is not available, it’s also possible to download and install it by using a specific tool from Microsoft website.

Windows 10 brings a fresh new user interface and unifies the Metro UI and the traditional desktop to one modern desktop. Live tiles are now in the Start menu, which is now back in its familiar place, down left corner.

Windows 10 introduces Windows users to multi desktops that Linux and Apple users have been enjoying for years. User can add multiple new desktops and keep their work and home desktops separated.

There are still many unclear thing for me in the Windows 10. For example after removing all the live tiles from the start menu, it seems to be impossible to remove the left blank space.

We might be writing a full review of Windows 10 after a few weeks of use but it depends if there’s any surprises or problems.

Three new Motos released

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Motorola has released its new Moto lineup for 2015. There are three new devices, X Style, X Play and G. 

Moto X Style is the new flagship for most of the markets. It packs a 5.7″ QHD LCD display, Snapdragon 808 SoC, 3GB of RAM and 16/32/64GB of storage. Camera is now 21MP but only F/2.0. Front facing camera has 5MP and front facing flash. Batterywise Motorola has stepped up their game with a 3000mAh battery and TurboPower charging that gives up to 10 hours of use with just a 15min charge. Moto X Pure Edition is the same device but unlocked and with no carrier bloatware.

Moto X Play is a more affordable version and it’ll not be available in the States. Screen is 5.5″ and 1080p. SoC is Snapdragon 615 with 2GB of RAM and storage is limited to 16GB or 32GB. The Play version has a bigger battery than its big brother. The 3630mAh battery promises a two day battery life.

The 3rd generation Moto G is the most affordable option with under $200 price tag. Unfortunately specs are not as good as we were hoping. 5″ display is only 720p, Snapdragon is only 410, not 600 series as we would have wanted and there’s still only 1GB of RAM in the 8GB model. Luckily at least the 16GB variant has 2GB of RAM. Cameras are 13MP and 5MP and battery is 2470mAh. Whole package is IPX7 certified and it’ll survive being submerged in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.

All three models support expandable storage via microSD card up to 128GB. Moto X models have all the usual suspects when it comes to Moto features. Moto Voice, Moto Assist, Moto Display and Moto Actions are all in. There’s also a new Chop Twice to quickly turn on the flashlight Quick Capture to take a screenshot. Some of these features are not available for the Moto G due to the not so capable hardware.

It’s hard to estimate the importance of this launch. The Moto X is now huge. It’s a little bit smaller than the iPhone 6 Plus or Nexus 6 but much bigger than the last years Moto X. Success of these devices depends on many things. Samsung and Apple are launching their new flagships soon and if new Motos can’t get to the stores before them, it’s game over. If Moto X was smaller, it’d have better changes to fight for the market share against the very best phablets.

Moto X Play is not going to be available in the States but it might still be significant launch as it has the huge battery. Many people want better battery life and the Play version is perfect for them. Pricing and availability is still a mystery so we don’t know how competitive the device will be.

Moto G was a disappointment for us. Hardware is still fine but just fine. Moto G has mostly kept its specs same since the first generation and at the same time Asus and Alcatel are pushing out some serious specs with just a little bit more money. Pro for the Moto G is surely the software. Motorola has been good at keeping its UI clean and stock, and updates have been really fast. Moto G is going to be available soon.

OnePlus 2 released

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Chinese manufacturer OnePlus has announced their new smartphone, OnePlus 2. The device was launched with “2016 Flagship Killer” title and the manufacturer was not shy about its new device being able to earn the title. 

The OnePlus 2 packs solid specifications. 5.5″ display is still 1080p but SoC is now Snapdragon 810 with eight CPU cores and an Adreno 430 GPU. Amount of RAM depends on the storage as the 16GB version has 3GB of DDR4 and the 64GB variant packs an extra 1GB. The new home button integrates as a fingerprint scanner. The home button itself is still capasitive, not physical as in Samsung or Apple phones.

OnePlus 2 is one of the first smartphones to ship with the new USB type-C connector for faster charging and easier usage with reversible connector. The battery is now 3300mAh and the battery life is a bit worse than in OnePlus One according to MKBHD’s video linked below.

Cameras have been updated. 13MP rear camera now has optical image stabilization, laser focus and 720p@120fps slow-mo video. Front facing camera is now 5MP and shoots 1080p video.

OnePlus decided to go with a metal body. Rear panel is still removable and replaceable but the battery is non-removable. The metal trim around the device is made out of aluminum and magnesium.

Prices for the device are $329 for the 16GB/3GB variant and $389 for the 64GB/4GB version. An invite is still needed to buy one.

MKBHD – Five OnePlus 2 Impressions!

Rumors: Moto G and Galaxy S6 Mini

When it comes to official news and releases, the summer has been really quiet but there’s been more than enough rumors. The most recent rumors are about Motorola’s new Moto G and Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Mini.

Moto G was unboxed early and photos were released in Facebook. The packaging reveals most of the specs. The upcoming affordable Moto is going to feature a 5″ HD display, 1.4GHz quad core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and 13MP + 5MP cameras.

Motorola is likely continuing with almost stock Android but it’s unsure if they are including the always listening features from Moto X devices to this cheaper version. Moto G is also getting the Moto Maker treatment at least in the US.

Samsung is reportedly getting ready to release a mini version of their flagship in August. The S6 Mini is rumored to pack much lesser specs than the big brother but it’s common for the mini versions. Only Sony has been making their Compact version almost as well equipped as their flagships.

Pictures of the S6 Mini reveal S6 design with just a smaller footprint. For now there’s no sign of S6 Edge Mini.

Sources:

Moto G: Pocketnow

S6 Mini: PhoneArena

Rumor: Xperia S-series flagships

 

Rumors claim that Sony will bring a new S-series of flagship Xperias later this year. The new lineup won’t affect to Z-series and will be in different price range

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Currently Sony’s flagship lineup is the Z-series which after a couple of years of 6 month upgrade rhythm has been a little messed up this year. Officially Z3 is still flagship as Z3+ is just an upgraded version and Z4 is the Z3+ in some markets and Z4v is the Verizon version and all those have a little different specifications. Confusing isn’t it?

Now, according to rumors from Germany, Sony has fortunately changed their strategy a little bit. WinFuture claims that there will be a new flagship lineup. Xperia S60 and S70 would be in a different price range than the current Z-flagships. The site also knows the price ranges. S60 would cost under 700€ and S70 under 840€. The new flagships should be released before IFA 2015

We have no idea about the specifications but if the S-lineup will be just normal flagship lineup, not any luxus kind of thing, we should expect a Snapdragon 820 CPU, QHD display and premium built quality with IPxx ratings. We know just one thing, both models will have 32GB of internal storage.

If the rumor is true, Samsung and Apple should have a serious competitor. Unfortunately Sony is famous of not pushing its products to all the carriers in the States. If they want to compete against the best, they should really get the S-series to all major carriers and have big marketing campaigns. Apple and Samsung currently have so fanatic user community that converting them will be difficult.

Tab S2 released, specifications and thoughts

Samsung has updated its high-end tablet lineup. The new Galaxy Tab S2 comes in two sizes, 9.7 and 8.0 inches and in two colors, black and white.

 

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Updates are minor but significant. The most noticeable difference between 1st and 2nd generation is the difference in aspect ratio. The Tab S2 now adopts the same screen sizes, aspect ratios and resolutions that iPad has used for years now. 4:3 aspect ratio and 2048×1536 resolution in both models.

02Also the S2 packs faster CPU and GPU package but loses greatly in battery capacity. Battery size in Tab S 9.7 was 7900mAh and Tab S2 only pack a 5870mAh. The same numbers of the smaller versions are 4900 and 4000. This is due to the trend to make devices thinner. The new Tab S2 is only 5.6mm thick which is whole millimeter thinner than the Tab S.

The Tab S2 still keeps Samsung’s AMOLED displays that have unbeatable contrast and blacks in less power consuming and thinner package than competing IPS LCD displays.

This time Samsung didn’t mention the word video in their press release for once. That’s possibly because of the changed aspect ratio. 4:3 is not perfect for videos but as iPad keeps selling with that aspect ratio, it was a logical step for Samsung to try it out.

Gone is the all plastic design as Samsung’s new design made its way to the tablet lineup. Design is mostly from Galaxy Alpha or Note 4 as the back is still plastic but there’s an aluminium trim with chamfered edges surrounding the device.

There’s WiFi only and LTE models of both screen sizes and in two storage configurations, 32GB and 64GB. Storage is expandable via 128GB MicroSD card. Prices start from 399€ for the 8.0″ WiFi only modela and 499€ for the 9.7″ model.

New Galaxy Tab S2s are directly competing against Apple’s iPads. Rumors have told us that iPad Air 2 might not be updated this year. We will see how this affects the tablet market as sales are down compared to the peak years.

Samsung Press Release

Top 5 upcoming smartphones July 2015

2015 has been a great year. Competition between manufacturers and price ranges has been tough. There has been ultimate flagships like Samsung Galaxy S6, LG G4 and HTC One M9 but also new affordable smartphones are rising all the time. Asus ZenFone 2 packs high end specs with very affordable price and the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 does the same.

After a rather quiet summer, the fall is going to be full of great smartphone releases. I’ve listed my top 5 upcoming smartphones below. Add your top 5 to the comments.

TOP 5 – Motorola Moto G

Last two years Motorola has dominated the cheap Android market with their Moto G. It packed stock Android and brilliant specs to the price. Now it has competition. Asus and Alcatel have entered the affordable market with their flagship spec devices and Motorola should release something rather great to keep the title of the best cheap Android phone.

The upcoming Moto G should have a great display, likely a 1080p but for the price it’s not going to be AMOLED. Newer Snapdragon SoC’s are really capable so some 600-series one would be nice. Also it should have the latest stock Android and fast updates to Android M. All that should be under $200 and Motorola would have the best budget smartphone in the market.

TOP 4 – Apple iPhone 6s Plus

Apple always gets most of the attention when they launch the new iPhones. This year is not going to be different. New Apple phones are going to sell like crazy no matter what they put to the table. I chose the Plus version to my list because it’s competitor to the Note series. Plus also – at least last year it did – packs better specs than the non Plus model. Apple won’t most likely change the resolution or the size of the screen but they’ll include the force touch technology and possibly a better camera.

My wish is that Apple would add some productivity and take more advantage of the big screen. That would force Samsung to make even better Note next year as this years Note is probably going to launch before the new iPhones.

TOP 3 – OnePlus 2

OnePlus has teased their upcoming smartphone for a while now. We know its price and most of the specs and we know that one is going to need an invite to get the phone. But is the competition from mid range smartphone too much. We have some brilliant new high-end spec smartphones for even more affordable price.

OnePlus’ success depends on the upcoming reviews. The price is coming up and the specs are not that mind boggling compared to others but the camera and the software can make the difference. Personally I don’t see OnePlus 2 being as successful as the One was.

TOP 2 – Google Nexus 5

As always, Google is going to release the new Android version in the fall. With it, there’s going to be a new Nexus and this year it’s most likely going to be a new Nexus 5. First Nexus 5 was announced back in 2013 and this new version is bringing Nexus back to more humane screens sizes after the hideous 6″ Nexus 6.

According to rumors, Huawei is going to make the new Nexus. Some leaked benchmarks already showed that it’s going to contain a 10-core Snapdragon 820 SoC and a QHD display. Along with Huawei’s premium design and the newest Android, the new Nexus is going to be the second most interesting smartphone of the fall.

TOP 1 – Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Samsung finally made a drastic change with the S6. They got rid of 40% of the bloatware and unwanted features as well as changed the design completely. The result was brilliant. Except the fact that the S6 has too small battery and display. Note 5 is going to be different. The Note is going to have a huge 4100mAh battery and keep the screen size in 5.7 inches.

This year the new Note is going to launch before new iPhones to give Samsung a little boost when trying to get some new Galaxy users. This means that Apple might need to think about adding some features to the new iPhones. Productivity and using the screen real estate have always been Note’s pros so if loyal Apple users shall watch what competitors have to offer, Note might win greatly.