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22
May

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8 Plus: Which should you choose?


Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are finally available, bringing 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch smartphones to the flagship party. 

The two devices have plenty of great specs and features on offer but how do they compare? Here is the difference between the Galaxy S8 and the S8+, to help you choose which to buy.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8+: Design

  • Same design and colour options
  • S8+ is the larger, heavier device
  • Slim bezels, no home button and rear-mounted fingerprint sensor

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ feature an identical design, though as you’d expect from the names, the Plus is the larger version. The S8 measures 148.9 x 68.1 x 8mm and weighs 155g, while the S8+ measures 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1mm and hits the scales at 173g.

Both devices continue with the metal and glass sandwich design and both have a dual-edge “Infinity” display, rather than one being flat and one being curved as was the case with the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge.

There are very slim bezels at the top and bottom of the displays on both devices, no physical home button on the front of either and both have a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor to the right of the camera lens. They are also both IP68 waterproof and they both offer USB Type-C and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The only real decision here is how big you want your phone to be.

  • Samsung Galaxy S8 review

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8 Plus: Display

  • S8 has 5.8-inch display, S8+ has 6.2-inch, both Quad HD+ resolutions
  • Both 18.5:9 aspect ratio
  • Both AMOLED Infinity Displays with Mobile HDR Premium

The Samsung Galaxy S8 features a 5.8-inch display, while the S8+ has a 6.2-inch screen, meaning a 0.4-inch difference between the two devices. This physical size variation is almost the only difference. 

Both devices have an AMOLED Infinity Display meaning they are both curved and both have an aspect ratio of 18.5:9 compared to the standard 16:9, meaning they appear taller than a conventional phone. The only difference in the real world is that the increased size of the S8+ gives you a more engrossing experience when watching video or movies.

Resolution is the same for both at 2960 x 1440 pixels, resulting in a pixel density of 570ppi for the Galaxy S8 and 529ppi for the Galaxy S8+. It means both will offer super sharp detail but the Galaxy S8 has the slight edge in terms of numbers thanks to it being a little smaller allowing for a few more pixels to be packed in per inch.

Both the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ have Mobile HDR Premium and they are both certified by the Ultra HD Alliance for the technology. Essentially, it means both these devices are ready for HDR compatible content, which can be found on Netflix and Amazon Video.

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ review

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8+: Camera

  • 12MP Duo Pixel rear camera on both S8 and S8+
  • 8MP front-facing camera with autofocus on both
  • Bixby Vision on both

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ both have the same 12-megapixel Duo Pixel rear snapper as their predecessors, featuring an f/1.7 aperture and OIS, while the front-facing camera resolution has been bumped up on both devices to 8-megapixels and autofocus has also been added.

Augmented reality, filters and stickers have all been added to the new devices too and both models integrate Bixby Vision, which is a visual search feature that uses the camera to scan and return information.

Samsung is also using multi-frame image processing on the two new devices, whereby the camera takes three pictures in order to create one better and more detailed image. Ultimately, the S8 and S8 Plus have the same camera capabilities as each other, unlike the Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and it’s a fantastic camera too.

  • Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Galaxy S7: What’s the difference?

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8 Plus: Hardware

  • Both have Exynos 8895 or Qualcomm SD835 chipsets
  • 4GB of RAM, 64GB storage, microSD on both
  • S8+ has larger battery capacity

Like their cameras, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ have the same hardware capabilities, except in terms of the battery capacity. The devices will likely feature either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor or the Exynos Series 8895 chip, depending on the region, and both will offer 4GB of RAM, 64GB internal store and microSD support.

Aside from the display size, battery capacity is the other differentiating factor between the S8 and S8+, with the smaller model coming with a 3000mAh capacity, and the larger with a 3500mAh cell. That means the bigger phone last longer, which isn’t surprising. If you’re a power user, the larger device will cope better.

As we mentioned previously however, both have USB Type-C and they both offer support for both fast charging and wireless charging.

There is iris scanning capabilities on both the Galaxy S8 and S8+ and both have a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device. It’s also possible to use the pressure sensitive home button built into the bottom of both displays.

  • Samsung Galaxy S8 vs LG G6: What’s the difference?

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8+: Software

  • Android Nougat with TouchWiz on both S8 and S8+
  • Bixby voice assistant on both
  • Both compatible with Samsung DeX

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ both launch on Android Nougat with TouchWiz on top so the software experience is be identical. It’s similar to the Nougat experience on the Galaxy S7 but it adds a few extra features, including some from the Note 7.

One of the new features is Bixby, Samsung’s AI system that will be available on both the Galaxy S8 and S8+, naturally, but it won’t launch in all countries straight away. There is a dedicated button on the left side of both devices that will launch Bixby however and rather than just a rival to Google Assistant, Bixby hopes to take things that little bit further.

Both devices will also be compatible with Samsung DeX, which allows the handsets to connect to a monitor for a desktop view of the devices using a special docking station.

  • What is Bixby? Everything you need to know about Samsung’s assistant

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8 Plus: Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ are almost identical. They offer the same beautiful design, aside from the physical size, and they have the same camera capabilities and software experience. 

The Galaxy S8 is the smaller and more manageable of the two for those with slightly smaller hands, but both can be operated one-handed. The Galaxy S8 has the slightly sharper display, though you aren’t likely to notice with the human eye, while the S8+ has the larger battery capacity and will last longer.

The S8+ is the more expensive of the two by £90 at £779 compared to £689, but you do get that slightly larger display and a bigger battery. The decision will ultimately come down to budget and whether you are after a slightly bigger device.

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22
May

LG X Venture rivals Galaxy S8 Active for extreme smarts


There have been several rumours about a forthcoming rugged version of the Samsung Galaxy S8, the Galaxy S8 Active, but it seems that LG has beaten its Korean rival to the punch.

The LG X Venture is a ruggedised, water and dustproof handset designed specifically for those who lead a more active lifestyle.

It is IP68 rated, which means it can survive being submerged in water down to 1.5 metres for up to 30 minutes. It’s also dust tight, so can be taken off-roading or the like.

There are three physical buttons on the front so it can be used in cold climates, while wearing gloves, and there is even a Glove Mode that, once turned on, recognises gloved screen taps and swipes.

LG

It comes with a 5.2-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) screen, is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor and has a mighty 4,100mAh battery. This can be charged speedily, with Quick Charge 2.0 charging the phone from empty to 50 per cent in 48 minutes.

The front-facing camera is 5-megapixels, while the rear is 16-megapixels. There is 32GB of storage on-board, with the ability to expand that by a further 2TB through microSD card. The phone sports 2GB of RAM.

It runs Android 7.0 Nougat and weighs 166.5kg, measuring 154 x 75.8 x 9.29mm. There’s a fingerprint sensor too.

The LG X Venture launches in North America first, available from today. Some areas in Europe will follow, along with regions in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. Price is yet to be revealed.

22
May

Far Cry 5 revealed, heading to Montana for some good ol’ hillbilly mayhem


Ubisoft will fully reveal Far Cry 5 on Friday 26 May, but in the meantime has released several vignettes showing that the new chapter will be set in the North West of America.

The series is heading to Montana and, from brief teases in the videos, looks to include some hillbilly action. What’s the betting that the main villains this time around exhibit traits made famous in Deliverance?

There’s also some really sinister things going on in the four teaser trailers released so far, if you look closely. Hint: check out the bell in the church bell tower and what’s making it ring.




The time period in which the new game is set isn’t clear, although it’s likely to be modern day. There will certainly be some scares, we reckon, although we hope that there’s also plenty of the dark humour of Far Cry 4. Pagan Min is one of the best gaming bad guys we’ve ever faced – one of the funniest too.

We have to wait until this Friday before finding out the release date for Far Cry 5, or the formats it will appear on. The worldwide reveal will happen at 2pm BST on that day though, so mark it in your diary.

Oh, and welcome to Hope County!

22
May

Twin Peaks (2017): The return, how, when, and where to watch it


If you’re a fan of Twin Peaks, you be frothing with excitement that the series has returned after a 26-year absence from our TV screens.

The first episode has aired in the US and UK as part of a simulcast between Sky and Showtime. If you missed it though, there are still plenty of opportunities.

Here is our round-up of the return of Twin Peaks, including when and where you can see the new series in both the UK and US.

What is Twin Peaks?

The original Twin Peaks was a TV drama created by Mark Frost and cult film director David Lynch. It premiered in 1990 on ABC in the US (BBC Two in the UK) and aired until 1991. There were two series originally, which are available in Blu-ray and DVD collections. You can also watch it on-demand on certain services, including Sky in the UK, with both series available in HD as part of Sky Box Sets.

A prequel movie, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, was also released in cinemas in 1992.

The main plot follows a seemingly straight-forward murder investigation in the American town of Twin Peaks, headed by FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan). However, the killing of homecoming queen Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) turns out to be anything but.

The show was known for its creepy tone, campy characters, off beat humour, surrealism, melodrama and supernatural elements, all of which are also trademark characteristics of Lynch and his work.

It was announced in 2015 that the show would return for a new limited series.

Dear Twitter Friends, the rumors are not what they seem ….. It is !!!Happening again. #TwinPeaks returns on @SHO_Network

— David Lynch (@DAVID_LYNCH) May 16, 2015

David Lynch is directing all the episodes of the new series, which is being shown on Showtime in the States and Sky Atlantic in the UK.

It was originally slated to premiere in 2016, to coincide with the show’s 25th anniversary, but was delayed to 2017. Better late than never.

Many original cast members, including MacLachlan as FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper, appear in the revival.

When will Twin Peaks (2017) return?

Showtime started broadcasting the new series at 9pm ET on Sunday 21 May, with a two-hour premiere. Sky simulcasted the opening on Sky Atlantic at 2am Monday 22 May in the UK. You can still catch it though, as it is to repeat the episode at 9pm on Tuesday 23 May.

Following the premiere, Showtime Anytime and On Demand subscribers now have access to episodes three and four. They will also air on Showtime on 28 May at 9pm and Sky soon after, each week.

How many episodes are in the series?

There are 18 episodes in total. After episodes three and four air on 28 May, single episodes will air in the subsequent weeks.


22
May

‘Angry Birds’ will celebrate its 10th anniversary with another movie


How will you celebrate the 10th anniversary of one of Finland’s biggest exports? No, I’m not talking about electrical machinery or oil — I mean Angry Birds. Well, Columbia Pictures and Sony are doing so with a sequel to the furious fowl’s silver screen debut, aptly titled The Angry Birds Movie 2. A Rovio blog post details that the film will be released September 20th, 2019 and that Thurop Van Orman and John Rice will serve as director and co-director, respectively. Maybe the production team can come up with a better title in two years’ time.

While those names might not be familiar, what they’ve worked on prior should be. Orman has a credit on Adventure Time and Rice has storyboarding for and animation on Rick and Morty and The Simpsons on his resume. Voice actors haven’t been confirmed, but it’s a pretty good bet that the original cast (Peter Dinklage, Maya Rudolph and Jason Sudekis, among others) will return for some family-friendly porcine genocide.

Why is this getting a sequel? Well, when the budget for the first was $73 million and it raked in $349,779,543 according to Box Office Mojo, a second installment was all but guaranteed — kind of like the inexplicable Now You See Me trilogy.

Source: Rovio

22
May

Ask Alexa to play your favorite shows on a Dish Hopper DVR


If you’re a Dish subscriber, it just got ridiculously easy to control your TV. The satellite provider has introduced an Alexa skill that lets control any Hopper DVR or Wally using an Amazon Echo. You can ask the set-top box to tune into a specific channel, search for shows (including on Netflix) or directly control playback without touching a thing — you just need your voice. You can’t record shows, alas, but this could be worthwhile if you want to change channels from the kitchen.

The Amazon tie-ins aren’t done, either. Amazon’s Fire TV devices now have a Dish Anywhere app that lets you watch your subscription in any living room. You’ll need a Hopper connected to a Sling Adapter for the full mix of live, recorded and on-demand TV, but this could come in handy if you’re visiting a friend and want to watch a channel they don’t get. These are the only TV media players to support Dish Anywhere, we’d add — there are hints of broader support in the pipeline (they’re the “first” to get the app), but you’ll have to spring for Fire TV if watching on your phone or tablet just won’t cut it.

Via: The Verge

Source: Dish (1), (2)

22
May

New in our buyer’s guide: The Galaxy S8 and Gear VR controller


Last month we updated our buyer’s guide with a bunch of stuff and whaddya know: six days later we published our glowing review of both the Galaxy S8 and S8+. With scores of 91 and 92, respectively, both deserved a spot on our shortlist. And those aren’t even the only Samsung products being inducted into our guide today: The Gear VR controller was also a no-brainer. Rounding out the list, we’ve added BlueAnt’s Pump Zone wireless exercise headphones — we’ve been testing them and feel they’re worth their (sharply reduced) asking price. Find all that and more in our buyer’s guide, and stay tuned for more additions next month.

Source: Engadget Buyer’s Guide

22
May

Report: Facebook’s first original shows have been delayed again


Soon, Facebook won’t just be a place where people’s personal videos go viral — it wants to become a destination for original videos, too. The push began in earnest in 2016 and the social giant hired notable names from CollegeHumor and MTV to develop made-for-Facebook shows soon after, but the launch schedule has gone awry. Recode reports that while the first batch of videos was intended to go live as early as this spring, we’re probably not going to see them until at least the middle of the summer.

Recode’s anonymous sources make it sound like the trouble lies in product development rather than video production. It’s not clear, for instance, whether this original programming will get a dedicated hub on Facebook’s front page, or if the actual content creators and publishers will be responsible for hosting them on separate pages. That Facebook is keeping mum about the true cause of these delays is no surprise — here’s hoping they’re being a little more transparent with their video partners.

In the long run, though, this might not be the biggest setback. After all, Netflix and YouTube are already prime destinations for online video and Facebook will need plenty of time and great content to even think about overtaking them. The nature of the original programming Facebook has been chasing — which reportedly includes big-budget prestige series and licensed content as well as more low-cost fare — make it clear that Facebook wants to be taken seriously as a media platform. Needless to say, it’s in for a long fight. Still, the delay most likely means the window for Facebook to generate buzz around these new video properties at the hype-filled Cannes advertising festival in June is closed.

In the meantime, Facebook is still working on different angles in its bid to become a source of indispensable video online. It recently closed a deal with Major League Baseball to live-stream 20 games for free (without blackouts, natch) and a partnership with eSports company ESL will see 5,500 hours of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive go live on Facebook.

Source: Recode

22
May

Nike’s latest Apple Watch bands match your VaporMax shoes


You probably haven’t thought about color-coordinating your smartwatch with your running shoes, but Nike is willing to give it a shot. The sportswear brand is launching four Apple Watch bands that are designed to match its upcoming Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit “Day to Night” runners. If you’re determined to look the part while you run (and track) a half-marathon, you don’t have to give up Nike’s sweat-friendly perforated strap.

The bands will be available on Nike’s website on June 1st, when the shoes are available, for the same $49 as you’d pay for one of Nike’s less vibrant bands (we’ve asked about international availability). Apple’s online store will have them sometime shortly afterward for an identical price.

Will there be a flood of people scrambling to snap up both a band and the footwear? Probably not, but this is a rare experiment in designing a smartwatch band that syncs up with other apparel. Even New Balance and other rival brands tend not to think about this kind of coordination. And look at it this way: if you’re just hoping to get a strap that stands out, this is much more accessible than that limited edition NikeLab Apple Watch.

Via: MacRumors

Source: Nike

22
May

Apple Music’s new film chronicles Bad Boy’s hip hop legacy


Apple Music’s latest documentary is all about Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Bad Boy Records. From the looks of the trailer below, it will chronicle the label’s ascent and downfall — in many ways, mirroring Combs’s career — and will of course touch on the death of Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace. Last night at the Billboard Music Awards, Diddy debuted the trailer and spoke a bit about Biggie’s legacy. Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story comes from Live Nation Productions, an offshoot of the concert-promoter/ticket-seller/venue-owner amalgam.

It most closely follow’s Apple’s documentary about Cash Money Records in terms of subject matter, but the Cupertino company has been producing music docs at a pretty steady clip. Just this month, we’ve also seen announcements regarding singer Harry Styles’ haircut (seriously) alongside more serious fare like a documentary about music-business legend Clive Davis.

Apple has gone on the record saying that temporarily exclusive albums have been getting pushback from labels and that video was its next avenue for expansion. In late April, Apple Music’s Jimmy Iovine said the service would have 10 different series by year’s end. Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story premieres June 25th.

Source: Billboard, Live Nation (YouTube)

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