opinion

OnePlus: the unexpected rise of a new superstar

OnePlus: the unexpected rise of a new superstar

There are literally dozens of smartphone brands in the market today, even more so in China, where the mobile market thrives on cheap components and knock off designs. That is why very few smartphone makers from that region ever gain international renown. Even the likes of OPPO and Vivo, long time players in this game are overshadowed by the big league players. So when a never before heard Chinese startup named OnePlus dared to challenge the status quo, some wonder if its execs were smoking something. It turned out, it wasn't all hot air after all.

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Steam Summer Sale: 10 RPGs worth checking out

Steam Summer Sale: 10 RPGs worth checking out

We've found ourselves smack in the middle of the Steam Summer Sale, and for many RPG fans, this time of year is both one of great excitement and one of horrible choice paralysis. There's somewhere in the area of 1,500 RPGs available on Steam, and until July 4, the vast majority of them will be offered up at a deep discount. How do you know which one to buy? While I've yet to make my way through all the RPGs Steam offers, I have put together a list of 10 of my favorites, in the hopes that it may help some of you indecisive types find your next favorite game.

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Google phone might not be the best move for Android

Google phone might not be the best move for Android

It's like the early 2000s again. With Apple finally launching the first ever iPhone, there is talk about Google doing something similar. Of course, that happened and it didn't, with the Nexus line the closest thing to a "Google phone". Fast-forward nearly a decade, Google is rumored to once again try its hand at actually becoming a smartphone maker too. Like Apple. It doesn't make business sense, of course. But what if it were true? What if Google din put out a "gPhone"? It definitely can, like the Pixel C Android tablet. But if it did, this non-Nexus Google-made Android smartphone would be an atrocity for consumers. Here are the reasons why.

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The $4 smartphone is real, and it could change the world

The $4 smartphone is real, and it could change the world

In a market as competitive as smartphones, you can bet that every once in a while a company is going to come around and shake things up. Today that company seems to be India's Ringing Bells, which has announced that it will begin delivering its Freedom 251 smartphone to eager consumers on June 30. What's making these customers eager isn't the phone's list of specifications or some form of brand loyalty, but rather the handset's price - coming in at Rs 251, this phone is sporting a price tag that's a whopping $3.70.

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Manufacturers should stick to Android, despite Google exerting more control

Manufacturers should stick to Android, despite Google exerting more control

Huawei was recently reported to be in the process of developing its own OS as a contingency plan. It isn't unique nor first in that regard. Samsung has long been believed to have invested in Tizen for that very purpose. Both of these independent pieces of news share a common theme, a common goal: being free of total dependence on Google. That concern has recently resurfaced with whispers of Google desiring to exert more and more control over Android. But whether that is true or not, and it is likely to be true, Android hardware makers will be better off remaining with Android, with or without Google.

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What smartwatches are still getting wrong

What smartwatches are still getting wrong

It's been more than three years since the first modern commercial smartwatches, the Pebble and the Sony SmartWatch, hit the market and this wearable device category still hasn't taken the industry by storm. In the meantime, less powerful and less featured smart fitness bands are flooding the market and is giving some well-deserved and long overdue attention to healthier lifestyles (at least hopefully). These two device categories sometimes share some features, like notifications and activity tracking. Sometimes they even share in price tags. And yet smarwatches aren't regarded with the same esteem and market share as their health-centric cousins. The issue might not just be because smartwatches answer the problems wrong. They might also be answering the wrong problems.

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Oculus is shooting itself in the foot with DRM

Oculus is shooting itself in the foot with DRM

When you release the "next big thing" in your particular corner of the market, a company relies on a few things to ensure its success. One key component is making sure that the product delivers on all of its promises. Another is to rely on brand recognition to get people to purchase it. And finally, you have to make sure that you don't manage to upset your user base before they even get your product into their hands. Oculus seems to be struggling pretty hard with that last part, currently.

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It might be too late for a Nokia Android phone

It might be too late for a Nokia Android phone

The Nokia-branded Android smartphone we've demanded since before the company's ill-fated commitment to Windows Phone is finally coming, but it may be too little, too late. News today that Nokia will license its name for the next ten years to a new line of phones and tablets, only running Google's platform rather than Windows 10, seemed initially to be the perfect opener to Google I/O 2016, but it also raises one big question: does anybody still care about a Nokia device?

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You don’t need a $1,000 Chromebook

You don’t need a $1,000 Chromebook

Yesterday, HP announced the Chromebook 13, a laptop that runs Google's basic ChromeOS. Chromebooks have grown in popularity over the last few years because they can be lightweight, feature good battery life, and won't cost you as much as a similar device that runs Windows of OS X. Which makes me wonder why we're seeing Chromebooks that cost over $1,000.

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Galaxy Note 6 won’t be a compelling upgrade at this rate

Galaxy Note 6 won’t be a compelling upgrade at this rate

When you're as popular as Samsung, you really can't escape scrutiny, whether you fail or you succeed. When your earnings are sloping down, all eyes are on whether your next big product can save your coffers. When that flagship turns out to be a superstar, however, they're going to check if the one after it will be able to live up to that new standard. Such is the fate that awaits the Galaxy Note 6, even while it's still a good 5 months away. But if the recent leaks are any indication, it might have a harder time than its predecessor to enamor consumers.

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The PC isn’t dead, we just don’t know what it means anymore

The PC isn’t dead, we just don’t know what it means anymore

Apple has positioned the iPad Pro, both sizes, to be the tablet that replaces your laptop, ruffling the features of both PC and Mac users. Microsoft has also been singing that song, though less harshly, about its Surface Pro tablets. And a good number of tablet, sometimes even smartphone, users have testified how they're able to not only live but even work out of their mobile devices. All of these different tunes seem to have similar chorus: "The PC is dead". That, however, is quite far from the truth, especially considering we might not really know what the word "PC" means anymore, let alone what qualifies as "dead".

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The Internet of Things keeps letting me down

The Internet of Things keeps letting me down

It can be tough sometimes, being an Internet of Things cheerleader. A world of devices that silently talk between themselves should be making my life easier; instead, it's giving me a serious headache.

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