Alvin Thomas takes an in depth look at the best smartphones that are currently out in the market, that money can buy.
There are a few things you need to know about the Google Pixel before you actually purchase the smartphone. Firstly, it is Google’s first standalone phone, meaning, there’re no other manufacturer tag associated with it (although it is made by HTC). Secondly, it will definitely burn a hole in your wallet (because it is expensive). Heck, it even looks like an iPhone 7. But we’re simply nitpicking here as the specifications truly set the phone apart from the competition. For instance, underneath the Google skin you get a very fast Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor with 4GB of RAM and either 32GB or 128GB worth of storage, making it quite the performer. The Pixel also allegedly has the “world’s best smartphone camera”. Pre-book yours from your nearest electronic store from RO250 onwards.
The iPhone 7 Plus may look and feel the same as its predecessor but we would be lying if we said it was the same. Sure, its design is a little dated, and its sheer size makes it a little tricky to hold but that’s not enough to debunk Apple from being one of the best smartphone makers in the world. Inside, the iPhone 7 Plus receives a spanking-new and concord-fast A10 Fusion processor; a new 12megapixel snapper with 2x optical zoom and to top it off, a completely overhauled iOS 10 operating system. These specifications, alongside the Samsung Galaxy Note 7’s explosive exit from the market has definitely put the 7 Plus on top. Get yours from Lulu for a hefty RO320.
Chinese brand OnePlus has nothing to prove here. The underdogs first entered the market in 2013, making it one of the newer entries in the smartphone industry. But since its release, it has seen great success and a substantially huge market following. Now in its fourth generation (the OnePlus 3T), the new flagship takes on smartphones like the Google Pixel and even the S7 Edge, and also gives them a run for their money. With only a slighter bump in price compared to its predecessor, the OnePlus 3T packs an HD screen, a fingerprint sensor, an excellent camera and even a Snapdragon 821 chipset and 6gigs of RAM. It will be available soon at all local electronic stores.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is almost a year old now but it still manages to have nearly every other smartphone beaten in terms of aesthetics and performance. Granted, the specifications are late-2015 so there’s a chance some phones will probably have a slight edge over the S7 Edge. However, with its brilliant-looking dual curved Super AMOLED screen displaying at a crystal-clear 2K resolution, power-packed octa-core Exynos chipset and 4GB of RAM, it still packs quite a punch. As a matter of fact, the S7 Edge could seamlessly process every single application we were able to throw at it, and also snap some of the best pictures with its dual-pixel-ready 12megapixel camera. This, along with a nearly bezel-less design truly sets this smartphone apart from the rest. Yours for a hefty RO240 (prices may vary) from all leading electronic outlets in Oman.
App of the Week
With more smartphone makers dumping the memory card slot in favour of internal storage, users are often left in limbo when it comes to storing files. And often, it’s not the fault of the user, as smartphones now snap images and even record videos at high resolutions, leaving the phones with little or no storage space at all. Dropbox eliminates the need for internal storage, as it brings all your files to your fingertips. All you need is an internet connection and a smartphone. You can store all your files on the cloud system, and choose to retrieve them at your will. Download for free from Google PlayStore and iTunes.
Gaming has always been a part of mobile phones, with the earliest of games appearing in 1994. However, it became a norm in all mobile handsets in 1997, following Nokia’s introduction of the “Snake”. And as we preview the best smartphones currently out there, it is only fitting for us to take a trip down memory lane, and trace the roots of gaming on our mobile phones.
It didn’t take us long to find a game worthy enough to be reviewed, either. With more than 13 editions to its name, the Asphalt series has to be one of the longest-running titles in the mobile gaming industry.
Launched in 2004 by Gameloft, Asphalt Urban GT was the only popular game with hardcore (and rich) gamers, due to its availability only on Nintendo DS and N-Gage, both of which were expensive products at that time.
However in 2007, Gameloft redefined the gaming industry with its Asphalt Urban GT 2. Sporting a superior graphics engine and a crafty storyline, the game took users by storm. It was also available on mobile phones with JAVA and J2ME capabilities (almost all colour-screen phones), meaning anyone with a mobile phone could have a piece of the action.
The gameplay was similar to that of its PlayStation rivals such as Burnout and Need for Speed, where players should eliminate opponents by bumping into them or taking down cop cars. The game also featured a special appearance by the Pussycat Dolls, who were quite popular at that time.
Fast forward to 2016, and Asphalt is still one of the best gaming titles ever to be featured in Google Play and iTunes. Dubbed the Airborne, the latest incarnation of the game was unveiled in 2013 but has since been updated frequently. Now, it possesses some of the best graphics ever to be displayed on a smartphone.
Since then, locations have also been fine-tuned, and cities such as Dubai, San Diego, Beijing and many others have been added. The game also features more than 140 licensed cars, from 24 cars in 2007.
Even after all these years, the underlying, arcade-esque gaming-style has been retained, and players still have to evade cops and ram opponents to receive points. The only major difference is that you can play with your accelerometer, as opposed to pressing physical buttons.