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Oppo launches mobile photography contest; winners get the N3 smartphone

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Chinese smartphone manufacturer Oppo has launched a new global mobile photography contest that gives participants a chance to share their stories with photographs. Dubbed It’s Your Turn, the three-week contest centers on three themes: “Selfie Showdown”, “Our World”, and “Inspiring Moments”, and will see winners getting the company’s N3 smartphone.

To take part in the contest, you can either directly visit the contest’s official page or share your photos on social media websites like Facebook. “The Facebook accounts of OPPO’s global and country sites will share photos uploaded by participants on a regular basis,” the company said. Read more »

The $399/year Google Earth Pro service is now available for free

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If you are a Google Earth user, here is some good news: the Pro version of the service, which was previously priced at $399 per year, is now available for free. This means that you can now use detailed imagery of the service as well as its advanced tools – that help you measure 3D buildings, print high-resolution images for presentations or reports, and record HD movies of your virtual flights around the world – all without paying a penny.

“Starting today, even more people will be able to access Google Earth Pro: we’re making it available for free,” Google said in a blog post. “To see what Earth Pro can do for you – or to just have fun flying around the world – grab a free key and download Earth Pro today. If you’re an existing user, your key will continue to work with no changes required.” Read more »

iPad Plus with a 12.9″ display and 7mm thin profile leaks

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Information originating from China suggests that Apple hasn’t given up on a large, 12.9″ iPad and has even decided on its name. Called the iPad Plus, the upcoming 12.9″ slate is taking after the naming scheme of the iPhone 6 Plus and won’t be called Pro as previously suggested.

Furthermore, a schematic of the tablet gives us a basic idea of the bezels of the tablet. The 12.9″ is a large footprint by itself, but it will also have bezels similar to these of the iPad Air 2. Read more »

Raspberry Pi 2 unveiled, $35 for quad Cortex-A7 and Windows 10

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Out of the blue the new Raspberry Pi 2 is official. It’s a successor to the B+ model and features the same hardware arrangement (1x Ethernet, 4x USB 2.0), but a much upgraded CPU – a quad-core Cortex-A7 at 900MHz. The best part is that Microsoft will provide a free Windows 10 version!

All this for the same $35 price tag. Read more »

Canon EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R specifications leak

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Canon is expected to announced the EOS 5DS and the EOS 5DS R full-frame DSLR cameras this week. The specifications for both models have already been leaked.

Both models have 50.6 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, 61 point AF system with 41 points being cross-type, dual DIGIC 6 processor, ISO 100-6400 range (expandable to ISO 50 – 12800), 5fps burst mode, 1.3x and 1.6x crop modes, 100% field of view, 150,000 pixel RGB-TR metering sensor, 252 zone TTL metering, 1080p30 video, mini HDMI output, microphone input, and 3.2-inch LCD with 1.04 million dot resolution. Read more »

Google Now update for Android brings support for 40 third party apps

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Google has updated its Google app for Android with support for 40 new third-party apps, including Airbnb, Urbanspoon, eBay, Waze, Instacart, Pandora, and The Guardian. This means that you’ll now see lots of new Google Now cards, giving you information that’s helpful to you, right when you need it.

“In the morning, catch up on news of the day with cards from The Guardian. On your commute, Pandora can give you recommendations for music to play, based on what you like, or you can be reminded to complete your daily French lesson on Duolingo,” the search giant said in a blog post. Read more »

AT&T offering $100 bill credit for the Galaxy Alpha on Next program

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AT&T has launched a new limited-time offer that will net you a $100 bill credit on every purchase of a Samsung Galaxy Alpha. However, as with any offer, there are some caveats: the offer is limited only to online orders, and you need to purchase the device through the carrier’s Next program.

For those who aren’t aware, the AT&T Next program allows you to purchase a device with no down payment and then pay for it in monthly installments ranging from $15 to $50 per month depending on the device. Read more »

Tech21 Evo Mesh case for iPhone 6 review

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Tech21 Evo Mesh case is part of the company’s extensive iPhone 6 lineup. The protective cover is made for users who like to keep their smartphone intact without breaking the bank for an all-out rugged solution.

Based in London, Tech21 creates mobile accessories with a science-first approach. The company has been in the business since 2005 and is the first to use shock-absorbing polymers in its products. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy A3 and Galaxy A3 Duos battery life test

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The Samsung Galaxy A3 passed our review gauntlet with ease and now its time to take a closer look at the phone’s battery life performance. This is one of the thinnest Android smartphones the company has ever made, so the battery isn’t really huge – 1,900mAh.

However, the phone doesn’t sport battery hungry specifications either. We have a 4.5″ Super AMOLED qHD display and a Snapdragon 410 chipset with a quad-core Cortex-A53 CPU. It all sounds like a classic recipe for a solid battery life, so let’s dig right in and see if this is the case. Read more »

‘The LEGO Movie Video Game’ for iOS game review

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The LEGO Movie Video Game is a video game based on the LEGO Movie (shocking, I know). It’s essentially a top-down isometric action-adventure game based on the story and characters of last year’s successful LEGO Movie.

A version of this game was released on the PC and consoles but is different from the iOS version, which has been made from the ground up for the mobile platform. The gameplay is somewhat similar but it is mostly just cutscenes from the movie interspaced with several short levels featuring the movie’s characters. Read more »

Xiaomi Redmi 2 battery life test

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Xiaomi Redmi 2 stopped by recently and we did what as we always do – a thorough hardware and software inspection for our traditional in-depth review. The Redmi 2, unlike its Redmi 1S predecessor, is a dual-SIM device with LTE connectivity, courtesy of the Snapdragon 410 chip inside the newcomer.

The Redmi 2 battery has 10% higher capacity, while the display and overall performance have been kept the same. We are eager to check how the new hardware and MIUI v.6 are doing with the 2,200 mAh battery unit. Read more »

Weekend poll: Hottest phone of the week

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In the last week of January we saw the introduction of a wave of new phones from major players in the industry. Motorola, ZTE, HTC, Asus, Samsung and Meizu outed smartphones to compete in the mid-range and upper mid-range segments.

So now, it’s only logical to ask you which one got your interest most. Motorola outed the Moto G 4G (2015) on Friday, but throughout the week we welcomed the ZTE Blade 6, HTC Desire 526G+, Asus Zenfone C, Samsung Galaxy J1 and Meizu m1 to our database. Read more »

Weekly poll results: Windows 10 gets lots of fan love

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Windows 10, the embodiment of the One Windows concept Microsoft is keen to pursue, appears to be uniting users as well. Our weekly poll results are in, and paint a picture of future success for the Redmond giant.

The all-important new OS carries a lot of weight on its shoulders and needs to succeed if Microsoft is to stand a chance at more than marginal presence in the smartphone world. The dominant position in the desktop market seems stable but shouldn’t be taken for granted. Read more »

House of Marley Liberate XLBT wireless over-ear headphones review

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The Liberate XLBT are House of Marley’s first wireless headphones. The headset is the bigger brother of the Liberate on-ear model I reviewed recently.

Wireless headphones are becoming increasingly popular, so it is hardly a surprise that House of Marley wants a piece of the action. Hit past the break to find out if the Liberate XLBT headphones are worth your attention and money! Read more »

Benchmarking Android 5.0 Lollipop performance on the Galaxy S5, HTC One (M8), LG G3, and Nexus 5

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Most major manufacturers recently rolled out the Android 5.0 Lollipop update to their respective flagships and we were more then eager to test how their performance has changed now that Lollipop is here. The speed comparison will be done on our usual battery of synthetic benchmarks.

So, does Lollipop improve performance or make it worse? Read on to find out. Read more »