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Nov
10

We know that you're probably bracing yourself for the deluge of Black Friday deals that are going to come at you over the next few weeks, but we just had to tell you about some very exciting Samsung Galaxy S9 deals that we just noticed.

Phone retailer Mobiles.co.uk is now selling Galaxy S9 deals on contact starting from just £15 per month! That's not a promotion, not a sale and not a 'limited time only' give-us-your-money now hard sell. It appears, very simply, to be its new cheapest tariff for the superb 2018 flagship Samsung smartphone. Don't believe us? Then compare it to today's other best Galaxy S9 deals in the UK.

The catch, if you can really call it one, is that you have to pay £240 upfront for the privilege. But if you have the money to splash, then the total two year cost just can't be beaten. And you even get an extra tenner off by using TechRadar's EXCLUSIVE discount code - simply enter 10OFF when you get to the checkout.

This £15 per month Galaxy S9 deal in full:


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Nov
10
Facebook launches Lasso video app to bring back the teens
Posted by David Nield on 10 November 2018 10:30 AM

By most accounts Facebook isn't much of a hit with youngsters these days – it's just not cool enough, and is crawling with parents and grandparents – so enter Lasso, a new video and music sharing app that Facebook hopes will win some of its lost teens back.

Coincidentally, Lasso isn't hugely different from TikTok, one of the up and coming apps currently proving popular with the younger generation. Both focus on sharing short video clips and popular music tracks with small groups of friends, and both come packed with a bunch of camera and filter effects to play around with.

"Lasso makes it easy for anyone to create and share short videos with fun filters and effects," says the app description. "Follow creators, search hashtags, discover popular viral video trends and join in by putting your own spin on them."

Lasso is the new Lifestage

Of course Facebook has a long history of launching new apps to try and ride the wave of whatever is proving a hit with the kids at the time – Lifestage, anyone? Facebook Rooms? Most of these spin-offs end up being largely ignored by the majority of users.

When that doesn't work, Facebook simply buys up the competition, as it did with TBH, an anonymous commenting app that was gaining traction with teens before Facebook picked it up and promptly shut it down. Going further back in time, there are the big money acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram too.

We'll wait and see if Lasso fares any better than Facebook's previous attempts to recapture some of its mojo. The free app hasn't been officially announced by Facebook yet, and is only available to download for Android and iOS in the US for the time being.

Via Engadget


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Nov
10
Should I buy a MacBook Air?
Posted by Nate Drake on 10 November 2018 10:00 AM

The MacBook Air is a series of subnotebook computers from Apple. It has a full-sized keyboard, a machined aluminum case and a thin light structure. The first model was released in 2008.

The MacBook Air comes with a display size of 13.3 inches. An 11.6” model was introduced for a time in 2010. Since then all MacBook Airs come with a solid-state drive and Intel Core i5/i7. 

Since Apple’s discontinuation of the white MacBook in 2011, the Air is now considered the company’s entry-level laptop, and has been designed to be ultra-portable.

This year Apple released a new thinner and lighter MacBook Air with much-improved screen resolution. It has also updated the hardware making it the most expensive Air model to date. 

However, the previous 2015 MacBook Air is still fast and sleek enough to warrant some attention. With Black Friday fast approaching, this model might offer the best value for money.


Pricing

Prices of the 2015 MacBook Air starts at $999 (£949, AU$1,499). This will get you Intel Core i5, 128GB SSD and 8GB RAM. You can boast your processor to the Intel i7 for an extra $150. Storage can be increased to 512GB for a further $400, bringing the total purchase price to $1549.00 (£1,384, AU$2,339).

The new MacBook Air’s basic price is $1199 (£1,119, AU$1,849). This includes 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD and the 8th generation Intel Core I5 processor. The standard MacBook may cost $1299 (£1,249, AU$1,899) but it comes with 256GB SSD and is actually lighter than the new MacBook Air. However, the screen is only 12-inch compared to the Air’s 13.3-inch, and the battery doesn’t last as long.

As for the MacBook Air, the RAM can be increased to 16GB for a further $200/£180/AU$320. Storage comes with a price. Upgrading to 256GB, costs $200, bringing the cost of your machine to $1599. You can get a 1TB SSD for an extra $1000 but this will bring the total cost to $2599.

Software

Like all Apple computers, the MacBook Air comes with the native operating macOS. This can present a steep learning curve for users migrating from Windows. Help is at hand however, from Apple’s extensive Support website, which provides basic walkthroughs and explanations of Mac-specific terminology.

If you are looking for a break from Windows but are not too enthusiastic about the cost of the MacBook Air, then you might want to try the Acer Chromebook 15. It runs on Google’s Chrome OS and costs $349 (£279, about AU$560).

Like Windows, Apple has its own App Store along with iTunes for purchasing music. The Air comes with the standard apps such as notes and maps. Apple free office suite ‘iWork’ apps can be downloaded via the App Store free of charge.

The Air now comes with Mojave operating system pre-installed. This bring three new apps into the fold; Stocks, Voice Memos and Home.

If you find the change to macOS too jarring, you can even install Windows 10 on the MacBook Air via the pre-installed ‘BootCamp’ utility.

The MacBook Air is a great option for budding and professional photographers. Now that the new model has 16GB RAM it is ideal for running software such as Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.

Hardware

The MacBook Air (2018) now comes with retina display, Touch ID and a Force Touch trackpad. Apple promises the battery will provide up to 12 hours web browsing/movie playback and up to 30 days on standby.

The new Air has a 13.3-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display. It weighs 2.96lbs which is slightly less than one of its main competitors, Microsoft’s Surface Book 2, which costs the same as the standard MacBook Air but weighs 3.38lbs.

Traditionally, critics of Apple devices have complained that they’re overpriced relative to Windows devices with similar specs. Given that the Surface Book with similar hardware is the same price as the MacBook Air, maybe Microsoft users may now feel ready to make the switch. This becomes even more likely in light of how readily the MacBook Air can run Windows 10 alongside its own macOS.

The MacBook Air also has two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports. Devices using this  connector can achieve much faster data transfer speeds than regular USB. As part of Apple’s plan to make the MacBook Air as slim as possible, the device uses USB-C, which means that in order to connect to regular USB devices, you’ll need to purchase a separate adaptor.

Expansion

If you choose to purchase a MacBook Air there are several add-ons at checkout. These include AppleCare+ for Mac, USB-C to USB adaptor and USB-C to lightning cable. You can also browse through extras such as the Magic Mouse 2, leather sleeve cover and Microsoft Office for Mac.

Should I buy a MacBook Air?

If you’re an Apple lover on a budget, the MacBook Air is the most inexpensive option for portable Mac devices. You can even save a few more dollars or pounds by opting for the 2015 MacBook Air instead of the most recent model. 

Both have virtually identical hardware specifications. However, if portability is your main concern and you can spare the extra cash the smaller, lighter MacBook may be a better choice.

Users taking their first tentative steps with macOS can also take comfort in the fact that the MacBook Air is now no more expensive than popular Windows devices such as the Surface Book 2. 

Microsoft Office is also available for Mac and the MacBook Air can run Windows 10 if the transition proves too much. Although Chromebooks are readily available for a fraction of the price, they come with their own OS, meaning they cannot run the full desktop version of popular editing apps like Adobe Photoshop.


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Nov
10
Switching broadband deals can save you a packet, new research reveals
Posted by Luke Edwards on 10 November 2018 09:04 AM

You've probably suspected it in the past, but now comes the research to back it up. Broadband providers are taking advantage of the loyalty of their customers to the potential cost of hundreds of pounds a household, according consumer charity Which?.

Specifically users whose contracts have ended but remain with the provider appear to be losing out. The problem is that some introductory deals will end and then bump up the monthly charge without the paying customer either noticing or realising why. In nearly all cases they have the option at that stage to seek a better deal.

TalkTalk was singled out as having nearly 90 percent of customers staying loyal for 3 years or more. In some cases costs were bumped by as much as 54%, which is about £162 per year.

“Broadband customers will be outraged to discover that their reward for loyalty is often a substantial price hike, with no improvement to the quality of service they are getting," said Alex Neill, Which? Managing Director of Home Services. “Anyone who thinks they might be out of contract should look to switch to a better deal - a few minutes of your time could potentially save you hundreds of pounds a year.”

Switch to bag the best broadband deals

Fret not though, as that's where TechRadar's deal hunting skills can help. If you're one of those people affected, you can change to a better deal as there are lots of great offers out there.

Check out our best broadband deals guide or simply check out the price comparison below where you'll be able to find the cheapest prices on your ideal internet package. 


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Nov
10
Best Android phones in UAE for 2018: which should you buy?
Posted by Abbas Ali,John McCann on 10 November 2018 04:39 AM

If you're on the hunt for the best Android smartphone around, you've come to the right place. We've put all the major Google-powered handsets through their paces to give you our best Android phones round-down.

There's one key way in which Android is massively different from its Apple-branded smartphone competition - the number of phones out there running Google's hot mobile OS.

Update: We've updated our best Android phones list with the OnePlus 6T and Huawei Mate 20 Pro.

The big names are all here; Samsung, LG, Huawei and OnePlus are at the fore. The many variations in screen size, processor power, software features and design makes finding the best Android phone for you extremely tough.

To help find the most fitting Android phone for you, we've rounded up the best Android handsets out there today, rating the phones on hardware performance, OS upgrade potential and, of course, how shiny and nice they are to have and boast about to work colleagues.

So here they are - the best Android phones money can buy today. 

Best Android phones 2018

Samsung has once again taken the top spot of the best Android phone in the world right now.

Samsung's latest Galaxy S9 Plus is in the top position of this list thanks to an incredible design, amazing display and some truly great power packed into the phone.

Everything that has made Samsung phones great over the last few years has been packed into this 6.2-inch device - that's almost bezeless too - and comes with top of the range hardware and some easy to use Android software.

Samsung has added a dual-camera to the rear to enhance low-light photography, plus there's a better located fingerprint scanner and 960fps slo-motion video recording.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

Best Android phones 2018

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the best phone from the Chinese firm to date, offering up a heady mix of design, power and performance with a party piece in the form of an in-display fingerprint scanner thrown in too.

The Mate 20 Pro packs a huge 6.39-inch display giving you a lots of space for gaming and movies, and its QHD resolution and HDR10 support ensures everything looks great.

It also comes with three rear cameras, nabbing the excellent 40MP wide-angle and 8MP telephoto lenses from the P20 Pro - but the third sensor is new. It's an ultra-wide 16MP snapper allowing you to cram even more of your surroundings into each shot.

The Mate 20 Pro is a full-featured phone for a full-featured price - it even has a few tricks you won’t see elsewhere, and more powerful specs than most of its competitors.

Read more: Huawei Mate 20 Pro review

Best Android phones 2018

It's a Samsung one-two, with the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 the latest handset to enter our best Android phones lists - and it's come in high.

The Galaxy Note 9 boasts a huge screen and a huge amount of power under the hood, plus there's the iconic S Pen stylus which slides into the body of the phone for safe keeping.

It means the Note 9 offers a huge array of productivity functions few phones can compete with, but the overall package isn't quite as finessed as the Galaxy S9 Plus - not to mention its high price tag.

For power users who want a phone that will doing pretty much anything they ask of it, the Galaxy Note 9 is a top choice.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Best Android phones 2018

What's this? A Huawei phone at number two? Your eyes do not deceive you, the Huawei P20 Pro really is second in our best Android phone rundown.

After years of threatening the top players in the smartphone game without really worrying them, 2018 has seen a significant uptick from the Chinese firm and the beautiful P20 Pro.

The triple camera setup on the rear of the P20 Pro provides great flexibility - and an excellent low-light mode - while the battery life comfortably gets through a day.

Then there's the eye-catching, two-tone finish on the rear which really sets the P20 Pro apart from the competition.

Read our full review: Huawei P20 Pro

Best Android phones 2018

The price of flagship phones are rising every year, but you don't need to pay top dollar for a top-notch experience.

OnePlus offers flagship phones at a lower price point and while its first few handsets didn't trouble the established names, its more recent efforts have really pushed the likes of Samsung, Apple and co. 

You get the latest flagship power under the hood, a huge screen, dual rear cameras and an in-display fingerprint scanner included with the OnePlus 6T.

The OnePlus 6T is a good-looking and powerful smartphone that can compete with handsets from the larger and more established brands on the market while undercutting them in price.

Read more: OnePlus 6T review

Best Android phones 2018

The Samsung Galaxy S9 is a great smartphone, but it's not quite as good as its bigger brother which boasts an extra camera on the rear and more screen real estate.

There's still a lot to love about the S9 though with an expansive 5.8-inch Infinity Display, powerful chipset, 4GB of RAM and excellent 12MP rear facing camera.

Its battery life isn't quite as strong as the S8 it replaces, and visually it's almost identical to its predecessor. However, the small changes are welcome and it's an impressive all-round offering.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy S9

Best Android phones 2018

The LG G7 ThinQ is a confident step up from its predecessor - the LG G6 - with LG allowing itself to be a little bolder with the design and features on its latest flagship Android phone.

Its display comes with an ultra-bright mode which boosts brightness to an eye-dazzling 1000nits, handy if you're desperately trying to Instagram your latest snap from the beach.

The AI built into the camera can recognize what you're shooting and adjust the settings accordingly, to give you the best shot.

There are two cameras on the rear of the G7 ThinQ, with the secondary snapper offering up a super-wide angle lens to give you a different perspective on things. We just wish LG would drop the 'ThinQ' part of the name.

Read our full review: LG G7 ThinQ

Best Android phones 2018

With average phone sizes rising,  the Galaxy S8 Plus at 6.2-inches has become the gold standard. 

Everything we love about the Galaxy S8 is available here as Samsung has decided to only really changed the sizes of the screens rather than fiddling with the spec inside the device.

That same powerful 12MP camera and top of the range power setup is here to do everything you want it to as well as the new biometric tech that may allow you to unlock your phone faster than ever before.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Best Android phones 2018

The Honor 9 is not an innovative handset, and it won’t offer you much you haven’t seen on a smartphone before.

However, Honor has managed to create an all-around great handset that offers everything you’d like in a phone in an attractive, easy-to-use and top-of-the-range package.

But the highlight feature is still that it’s around half the price of some of the major flagship phones, and it’s hard to find a reason not to recommend the Honor 9 if you’d like a cheaper alternative to some of the big names.

Read the full review: Honor 9

Best Android phones 2018

The Xperia XZ Premium is the flagship smartphone Sony fans have been waiting for, bringing together an eye-popping display, strong snapper and solid battery life.

Those who love watching films and TV shows in 4K can do so on the move with the 4K screen on the XZ Premium - no other phone on this list can boast that - while the front-facing dual speakers also enhance videos and gaming.

If there's an area the XZ Premium does lack in, it's design. The flat glass front and rear are sleek, but the plastic edges of the phone detract from the 'Premium' part of the name.

Make no mistake though, this is a proper, fully-loaded Android flagship which easily holds its own against the competition.

Read our full review: Sony Xperia XZ Premium


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Nov
9
New Amazon deal with Apple offers a new way to buy the iPhone and iPad
Posted by Mark Knapp on 09 November 2018 10:48 PM

If you've shopped online for a new iPhone or iPad and tried to check Amazon, you've probably run into a bunch of third-party sellers. But, soon Amazon will have its own offerings of new Apple products, including the iPhone XS, iPhone XR, and new iPad Pro.

"Amazon is constantly working to enhance the customer experience," Amazon told TechRadar in a statement. "And one of the ways we do this is by increasing selection of the products we know customers want. We look forward to expanding our assortment of Apple and Beats products globally.”

The new Amazon deal, first spotted by CNET, will limit the sellers of new and used Apple products on Amazon to Apple-authorized resellers. Meaning you'll likely see fewer different product pages for the same Apple product. You'll also see newer devices at retail price, and with any luck, you might catch some Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals with Amazon directly offering these products.

Quick links to early Black Friday deals

The deal includes Apple and Beats devices, according to CNET (though not all products, as the Apple HomePod won't be sold), and it affect both the US and UK, along with several other European countries, Japan, and India.

It's not clear exactly when Amazon will begin offer Apple's new products directly, but it will be in the coming weeks. One date that is clear though is the January 4, 2019, cutoff for independent sellers. After that day, only Apple-authorized resellers will be able to keep listings for new and used Apple devices.

If Amazon begins to sell the new Apple products before Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the new listings combined with existing reseller offers could largely expand the online availability of iPhones and iPads for holiday shoppers.


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