Meet the first mobile Steam Machine.

You may remember back at CES 2014 when Valve announced its initial Steam Machines partners. These were 12 third party hardware developers charged with creating very unique desktop based PC’s which would run on Valve’s Steam OS. Well now a new developer has entered the lineup with the first handheld based console.

Currently codenamed ‘SteamBoy Project’ and developed by SteamBoy Machine Team, the new handheld console is due to be released in 2015 and strongly resembles the current Steam Controller prototype. The console consist of two signature round trackpads, a 5 inch 16:9 touchscreen and 4 action buttons similar to those found on the Xbox 360 controller.

The SteamBoy Machine Team told The Escapist that whilst the exact hardware specifications are yet to be decided, the device is likely to include a quad core processor, 4GB RAM and 32GB of external memory. They have stated that the new handheld device will not be as powerful as the desktop machines, but they draw parallels between this and how the Playstation 4 compares to the PS Vita for example. They go on to claim that it should be capable of playing most of the Steam OS games.

The SteamBoy will be capable of streaming games, like its desktop cousins, and will be compatible with WIFI and 3G networks.

SteamBoy

For the YouTube sneak-peek check: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UM63RuEhgHU

 

Source: http://www.escapistmagazine.com

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Another alleged iPhone 6 photo

Another day goes by and yet another set of iPhone 6 pictures get leaked on line.

This time the two pictures show both the apparent 4.7 inch and 5.5 inch devices side by side. Again these pictures are consistent with previous leaks and further support the alleged-iPod touch inspired design.

 

 

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Source: Sonny Dickson, via Twiter

Rival Knights review

Rival knights is a brand new jousting game from the popular developer – Gameloft. The aim of the game is pretty simple – knock your opponent of their horse. Its pretty addictive too. What is interesting is that Gameloft are allowing you to download the app and play for free. Its true that the developer isn’t exactly known for offering free games however and you can rest assured that they will be making money from it (more on this later).

Gameplay is dead simple. As you charge down the jousting range you have to tap the touchscreen at the right time to increase your speed. You are then presented with a slow motion sequence where you have to aim your spear at the designated kill zone on your opponent. This can be anywhere from the chin to shoulder. If your lucky enough to get a perfect hit then you will be rewarded with more loot.

Skill is only part of the battle however. You can be the best jouster in the world but if you don’t have good enough stats then you will likely not succeed. Players can spend their hard earned loot on new equipment and this directly effects three skills areas: Speed, defence and strength. The better stats you have, the more likely you are to succeed against your opponent. The skill areas are effected by what equipment you spend your loot on.

In Rival knights you can improve your speed by buying new horses, your defence by buying new helms and armours, and your strength by buying new lances. All these items cost gold or gems to buy and you can upgrade your equipment if you like.You will get gold for completing battles and gems are rewarded for completing particular missions. Gems are quite hard to come by however so you will struggle to collect these through missions alone. Progressing through the game will allow you to unlock new equipment in the store.

Rival Knights

Although the App is free to play there is the option for in game purchases. Basically you can purchase more gold and gems for real money. Obviously this means certain people will have an advantage in the game through purchasing better equipment. This doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy the game for free however. You can still take part in all events and progress through the game, the only downside is that you will have to wait before you can play again. You need a seal (basically a token) to play every level and these only replenish over time, unless you buy more.

The single player mode is split into leagues. You start in league one and take part in different mission types on your way up. Some missions require you to merely beat the opponent but others will require you to perform to a certain level. For example you may need to perform a perfect start or a perfect hit to win. This adds a lot of variety to the action and the seal concept stops you from playing excessively and getting bored.

Rival_Knights

The campaign is only half the fun however with the multiplayer mode adding a lot of extra content. Here you can take part in different tournaments and ranking as high as possible will reap better rewards. If you don’t fancy talking part in full blown tournaments however you can merely challenge similarly ranked opponents. You will be able to have a look at their stats and see how you stack up. Completing online battles also rewards you with gold and gems. Within the online environment you will require online tokens to take part. These are exactly the same as seals and replenish over time (or for a fee).

The game looks great too. Gameloft are renowned for creating beautiful and engaging game environments and Rival Knights is no exception. The battle scenes are absolutely gorgeous to look at and beating your opponent will result in a lovely animation sequence. I have been reviewing this using the Samsung Galaxy S5 and on this device the game runs flawlessly with no lag whatsoever. I imagine older devices may find the graphics a little taxing however.

Overall Rival Knights is an absolute joy to play and is utterly engaging. Its strikes a good balance between real money purchases and skill level and without the correct technique you are nothing more than a shiny punchbag. This is one of those games you just cant put down and as such I’m giving it a top rating.

5/5

iPhone 6 and Samsung GS5 size up

GSMArena.com are leaking a brand new image of the iPhone 6, this time sized up against Samsung’s flagship – the Galaxy S5.

The image shows The iPhone 6 and the GS5 side by side and further strengthens previous leaks surrounding the new iPhones design. The iPod-touch inspired design is tipped to have new curvier edges with the larger of the two rumoured models having a 4.7 inch display.

The image shows the iPhone 6 is almost as large as the GS5, with slightly smaller side bezels but larger ones to the top and bottom.

GSMArena suggest that the latest iPhone device will sport a new 960 x 1704 resolution display with a ppi or around 416. It is also tipped to include an updated 8MP camera and Apples new A8 mobile processor. The new device will also showcase iOS8.

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Source: GSMArena.com

Google in talks with Virgin Galactic

According to Sky News, Google are in talks with Virgin Galactic in a deal with could land them a $30 million stake in the company. Another element of the deal would allow Google access to Virgin Galactics Satllite-launch technology.

Sky news reports that the talks have been ongoing for months and are part go Googles ‘ambitious project to put hundreds of satellites in low-Earth orbit in an attempt to extend internet access to billions of people’.

Virgin Galactic intends on sending its first commercial passengers into space later this year after a number of delays.

Source: Sky News

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo on its first test flight over the Mojave Desert, California

For more on the history of Virgin Galactic check this: http://livelystate.com/2014/03/06/the-story-of-virgin-galactic/

 

Iphone 6 leaks….again

Pictures of the up and coming iPhone 6 have been leaked by the Taiwanese celebrity Jimmy Lin.

One of the pictures shows Lin holding up what he confirms to be a 4.7 inch iPhone 6. Having previously accurately leaked pictures of the then unannounced iPhone 5 and 5c, this new leak brings with it a certain credibility.

Lin leaked two pictures on the Chinese site Weibo. Another picture shows a rear view of the device next to the iPhone 5s, and Lin confirms that it still maintains its external antennas and that due to its size the power button has moved to the right hand side. He also comments that the device has good grip in the hand.

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Lin has a history of accurate leaks and there could be some credibility to this leak. The pictures could however be faked and we will have to wait and see what the iPhone 6 actually looks like.

 

Via GSMarena.com.

Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite preview

Apple’s new OS – OS X 10.10 Yosemite is the latest incarnation of the popular Mac Operating System. Announced at Apple’s 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference Keynote speech in June, the new OS brings with it plenty of visual enhancements and a new focus on what Apple is calling ‘continuity’. The OS is due to roll out later this year and like Mavericks will be completely free.

The new OS will include a host of new features:

Design Overhaul.

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Inspired very much by iOS 7, Yosemite has received a major visual overhaul. Like its mobile sister, Yosemite has gone for a much flatter design with simpler icons and a translucent theme giving toolbars and sidebars a transparent frosted glass effect, much similar to that of Microsoft’s ‘Aero’ as showcased by Windows Vista. This all makes for a much more refined and simple design. There has been a number of aesthetic improvements with improved fonts and tool bar optimisations.

Seamless experience.

Apple have been talking a lot about creating a seamless experience between Apple products. Apple emphasised this much at the Keynote Speech and Yosemite has been heavily optimised to sync seamlessly with you iOS devices. Apple have put a lot of effort into this ‘continuity’ and it really shows. Now all of your i-devices will automatically detect the presence of each other and enable some pretty powerful features. For example you will be notified on your iMac of incoming mobile phone calls and actually be able to answer them or cancel them from your computer. This feature also greatly enhances the messaging experience by allowing greater control over text messages and iMessages.You will now be able to manage all your messaging needs from you Mac.

Apple’s sharing service ‘iDrop’ has also seen an improvement which makes your Mac compatible with you i-device. Previously files could only be shared between i-devices.

Another new sync feature is the inclusion of a cool little ‘Handoff’ button. In essence this allows you, for example, to compile a spreadsheet on your iMac and by simply pressing the handoff button, have the whole project instantly transferred to you i-device so that you can continue working on it on the move. This works with many apps including Safari and Mail.

Much improved notification centre.

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Apple have put a lot of effort into overhauling the notification centre. Firstly, a brand new ‘today’ feature has been added which is almost identical to what you will seen on your with your i-device. This displays daily information such as appointments and reminders.

Secondly Apple have now included the use of widgets into the notification centre. This will link in with stock apps such as Calendar and weather, but apparently there is scope for supporting many third party apps as well.

Spotlight.

The spotlight search has been vastly improved and also benefits from the new transparency theme. Launch spotlight and you will be greeted with a large window will will pull together relevant search results from sources which now includes Wikipedia, Maps and others. This also links in with the iTunes store displaying relevant movies and books etc.

Another cool feature is the ability to search for contacts and be able to message or ring them through Spotlight. Highlighting the relevant contact number will give a number of options to contact said person.

Safari.

safari

Like many of the other visual improvements, Safari has also received a good amount of polish. The toolbar has been much improved with favourites being incorporated into the URL bar along with the search feature which includes spotlight. For those of us who have dozens of tabs open at once, multiple tab support is also much improved. There is now the ability to scroll over tabs and the new super cool ‘tab view’ gives you a snapshot of all the tabs you have open, over all of you i-devices and in one place.

Other improvements include an enhanced ability to share content via mail, the ability to open up a separate window for private browsing and optimisations which give improved power efficiency. Apparently this means you can get an extra 2 hours endurance when watching Netflix!

Better Mail.

The male app has also seen some pretty nifty improvements. Sending larger attachments up to 5GB is now a breeze with the new ‘Mail Drop’ feature. Basically large attachments are uploaded to iCloud, in essence freeing up the email client. There is also a feature to annotate mail attachments within the app through a feature called ‘Markup’. The Mail app is even intelligent enough to detect what it is your drawing and convert it into a nifty rendered drawing.

 

OS X Yosemite brings with it a host of new and exciting features making for a pretty impressive, and valid upgrade to your Mac. The OS is stated to be released in the summer but developers will be able to take part in the beta from June 2. For the rest of us Apple has promised to allow the first million subscribers access to the beta. You can sign up for this with your Apple ID via Appleseed.

I for one am dead excited by the new seamless functionality between Yosemite and iOS8 and cant wait to get my hands on another iPhone. Apple are certainly very good at getting consumers to buy into their products and it will certainly be beneficial owning several Apple devices.

Dam you Apple, why do you make me want to buy all your products!!!

Foxconn confirms 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6

According to Apples manufacturing partner Foxconn, rumours surrounding the next iPhone coming in two sizes are true.  Foxconn has announced that it is in fact manufacturing a 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6.

The 4.7-inch variant is due to start shipping in July this year, with the 5.5-inch variant set to enter production in August.

 

Original press statement:

 

Foxconn to Land 5.5-inch iPhone Orders

5.5 and 4.7 inch iPhone will be manufactured by Foxconn in 2014

MUMBAI, India – June 2, 2014

Foxconn, world’s leading manufacturer of computer components and systems, is going to manufacture both 5.5-inch and 4.7-inch iPhone in 2014.

According the sources, Foxconn will supply 70% of the 4.7-inch iPhone shipments for 2015. The 4- and 4.7-inch iPhones will be the main sales force of Apple for 2014. Foxconn’s plants in Zhengzhou, China are expected to start supplying the 4.7-inch model in July and start manufacturing the 5.5-inch one in August.

 

Source: http://www.bgr.in/news/foxconn-announces-it-is-manufacturing-apples-iphone-6-with-4-7-inch-and-5-5-inch-displays/

What I love and hate about Samsung’s GS5

What I love and hate about Samsung’s Galaxy S5.

Samsung’s Galaxy S5 has been one of the biggest smartphone releases of the year. Its easy to see what people love about the device, but what about its flaws? Having owned the phone since release I can honestly say I have tested it to the max. Read on to discover what I love and hate about the device:

The things I hate:

Whilst the S5 is by no means an ugly device, it does leave a lot to be desired. Samsung never seem to listen to consumer feedback and even after 5 incarnations of the Galaxy smartphone Samsung has shown no signs of incorporating metal into its designs.

The micro USB port on the bottom is just stupid. I feel like a surgeon trying to get it plugged in to charge on a night. With the lights off its impossible. After a few beers…well I’m sure you get my point! Its by no means an easy task.

The screen always wakes up in my pocket. Ill be walking down the street when ill hear the touch tone key pad in my pocket. Or it will start dialling random numbers from my pocket. Perhaps the unlock button is too sensitive or just in the wrong place? It also regularly restarts itself because of the unlock button being depressed in the pocket. I have never had another phone cause so many issues from the pocket.

The external speaker is not very promising. Compared to the HTC One the S5’s speaker is a bit pants. Audio output via the headphones is also not as good as it could be and I’m always finding the volume doesn’t go loud enough.

I have found a number of software glitches. The whole voice activation has just stopped working all together. It started as an intermittent fault but now doesn’t work at all – even though it is enabled in the settings. Another problem is that sometimes apps don’t shut down properly and get stuck in the notification bar or on the lock screen. It means having to restart the device. The camera app is also a bit strange in that you cannot access the ‘mode’ option sometimes. I have no idea what causes this. Im not too concerned about this glitches however as I’m sure they will be resolved with future updates.

The finger print reader is s**t. There I said it. Its nowhere near as intuitive as that of the iPhone 5S as it requires two hand operation. It also rarely recognises my finger print unless I scan it exactly right – there is a sweet spot which is really difficult to master. The backup password option is also a bit frustrating as you are presented with the full qwerty keypad and have to use both letters and numbers as part of your password. On the iPhone you are just presented with a number pad. I wish you had this option with the Galaxy. The whole experience just lacks polish and is a little frustrating.

The things I love:

The device is very quick and responsive. Touchwiz is very smooth for once and switching between the home screens is glitch free. The device is ample powered and really eats through all the latest apps and games. The processor is clocked slightly higher than on the HTC One M8 which gives it a bit of an advantage. Im not sure why Samsung didn’t opt for 3GB RAM but it matters little as 2GB is just fine. Everything runs smoothly and the device is a pleasure to use.

The screen is easily the best I have ever seen. I was very impressed by that of the HTC One M8 but the S5’s Super Amoled HD display wins hands down for me. The colours really pop and contrast is excellent. Viewing angles are also very good and sunlight legibility is amongst the best I have seen. The screen really is stunning and has to be seen to be believed. Having owned an iPhone 5S for a number of months I find the S5’s screen really refreshing. I no longer have to squint to see things and browsing the internet is great. watching videos and playing games is also a really great experience on the S5 with the screen really bringing everything to life.

Battery life is excellent. I can use the device all day quite intensively and if I have less the 30% battery life when I go to sleep then its a bad day! there is also a battery saving mode if you need it. I use the built in pedometer all the time and as such I would have expected this to effect battery life. It doesn’t however. Smartphones rarely last more than a day on a full charge but I am really impressed with the S5’s endurance.

The camera is incredible. The device takes really quick and hassle free images. The 16MP snapper takes stunning images and also supports 4K video capture. Close ups look great and the ability to set the focal point is very cool. This is one area where the S5 trumps the HTC One M8. If you want a good camera then the S5 may be the phone for you!
Generally speaking the Galaxy S5 is a great smartphone with many strengths. I previously owned the HTC One M8 but of the two devices I do prefer the S5. The user experience is really nice and everything just seems to work as it should. Im sure the software issues mentioned above will get resolved with future updates and perhaps the finger print scanner experience will evolve a bit. I just wish Samsung would put a little more effort into the design. People are getting used to quality looking devices nowadays and Samsung just don’t seem to get it. The recent announcement that Samsung’s head of design has been relocated may prove to be a good move, indicating that the company may finally be upping its game and reconsidering its design philosophy.

Samsung Galaxy S5

Apple in Beats takeover talks

According to recent reports Apple is currently in talks with Beats technologies in a deal that could result in a $3.2 billion dollar takeover. This would be the largest acquisition in Apple’s history.

Beats Technologies, which was founded by Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre in 2008 is known for its funky headphones and popular music streaming service. According to the Financial Times the deal could be announced as soon next week.

What is very interesting is this change in strategy for Apples Tim Cook. Apple’s iTunes revolutionised the digital music industry when it was released in 2003 but in recent years has experienced a lot competition from the likes of  music streaming services such as Deezer and Beats. This latest acquisition likely shows Apples desire to offer its own music streaming service and maintain its current market dominion.

Personally I think this shows a big change in consumer habits. More people are streaming music than ever before and I think eventually music downloads will be a thing of the past. Streaming services offer a lot more versatility and enables people to consume as much media as they like but with minimal cost. Just like TV services are becoming more internet based, I think we will see a similar shift in the music industry. I don’t think people have a desire to own digital copies of movies and music albums anymore, and Apple’s acquisition of Beats could pave the way for a much less restrictive music experience.

I for one am pretty excited about what the future holds for Apple and the music industry.

Source: BBC

 

 

 

A day in the life of the HTC One M8

I was well impressed with the HTC One M8 when I first laid my eyes on it in the EE shop. Its sexy brushed aluminium chassis and gorgeous curves made the iPhone 5S look almost ugly. I just knew I had to have one so I ordered one immediately. Well it got delivered yesterday and I have well over a full day to form some initial opinions.

As mentioned the build is exceptional. The device feels solid in the hand, has a good weight to it and and the brushed metal finish is really luxurious. The volume rocker now protrudes from the chassis slightly making it easier to use and the power button has moved to to the top right. This makes the device much easier to use but the large size of the device makes one handed operation tricky, particularly if you have small hands. The nano SIM slot is situated to the left of the device, with the very welcome SD slot to the right. The build is one of the key selling points of this device and I think it feels more solid than the iPhone 5S. I am very impressed with the overall feel and quality of the device.

The screen is frankly beautiful. It is pretty much the same screen from the original One but is now slightly larger. It is very clear and colours are nice and vibrant. Sunlight legibility is also very good for a LCD display. I am also quite impressed with the viewing angles. One thing I find slightly annoying is HTC’s inclusion of on-screen buttons. Basically the Android buttons are now incorporated into the screen which means about a centimetre of real estate are being used up. This is fine for the apps which run full screen, but for a lot of games and apps the onscreen buttons are permanently present and don’t disappear. Its a bit annoying but perhaps this is just because of certain apps not being optimised. The bezel at the bottom of the device is also quite large but according to HTC it is not merely empty space.

Performance wise the device runs buttery smooth all the time and I have noticed no slow down or frame rate issues whatsoever. The One runs on a Snapdragon 801 processor with a Adreno 330 in tow. This makes for a great user experience and all is this enhanced by the beautiful Sense 6 User Interface. Sense runs seamlessly with Android Kitkat and makes for a great user experience. You can actually wake up the screen just by double tapping and you have the ability to unlock the phone by swiping upwards even with the phone locked. I am very impressed with the latest version of Blink feed. This looks lovely on the huge screen and is very customisable. I liked Blink Feed on the original One but now it just feels more refined. Zoe is pretty the much the same as on the old device, the only real difference is that it is now accessed through a separate app. Im guessing that this isn’t yet enabled however as upon opening the app it merely says “coming soon”.

For some the camera will be a bit of an off put. Its 4MP camera sensor will not inspire many but others will be impressed with the low light performance and intuitive depth sensor. My experience so far has been a mixed bag. It is by no means a bad camera but pictures do lack some detail. Colours also look a bit washed out in some pictures and other pictures can look a bit artificial. The low resolution also means you lose a lot of detail if you zoom in. Another downsize is that the snapper can only support 1080p video and 4K is a no go. I have had a play around with some of the camera effects and find these quite interesting. I particularly like the ability to change the focus point post image capture. The front facing camera has a 5MP sensor and as such selfies come out pretty good. This is a much higher resolution that most competitors.

As you might expect the front facing Boom Sound speakers are quite exceptional. Sound quality is excellent and the volume goes nice and loud. These are certainly better than what you will find in a Samsung or Apple product and are a key selling point for the M8.

My experience with the One M8 has been a very positive one so far. I absolutely love the build quality which is miles ahead of anything else. Unfortunately my device has a bit of a screen bleed issue. This manifests as two lighter strips that run horizontally across the screen. Its going to have to go back for this reason which is a shame because I really love the phone. Its worth mentioning that call quality is excellent, as can be expected from a HTC device.

A lot of people will have to make a decision between buying this or Samsung’s GS5. The GS5 certainly has a better camera and some extra gadgetry but build quality doesn’t even come close to that of the HTC One M8. Both devices are very good at what they do but one thing I can say is that if you buy the M8 you will certainly not be disappointed.

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Extraterrestrial life possible on Saturn’s moon Enceladus

The search for extraterrestrial life in our own solar system could have taken a step closer recently with the discovery of what is believed to vast lake of water secluded under the frozen surface of Saturn’s moon Enceladus.

Enceladus has amazed scientists since 2005 when huge geysers at its south pole were found to be spewing icy water out into space. Scientist knew this water must have been coming from somewhere but little else was known.

Scientists now believe that this lake of water is about 40km down under the icy crust where the moons rocky surface can be found.  Measurements taken from Nasa’s Cassini probe estimate this lake to be about the size of Lake superior in North America, or about 250 times the water mass of lake Garda in Italy.

The solar system contains many moons thought to contain water, but Enceladus is of special interest because of this water believed to be in contact with rock. The BBC points out “This could make for some interesting chemistry – the sort of reactions that might facilitate the emergence of life”.

Scientists now are pondering the question as to wether thee has been enough time for life to emerge on the icy moon.

 

Source: Science magazine via the BBC.

Samsung Galaxy S5 VS HTC One M8. Which is best?

gun-gun-metal-metal samsung-galaxy-s5-mwc-2014-colours

The Samsung Galaxy S5 and the the all new HTC One are two of the biggest handsets to be released this year. With both companies hoping to build on the success of previous models, we are sure to see some aggressive competition. The Samsung Galaxy S range has seen some of the most popular smartphones ever made and sales have matched and even beaten those of the ironing iPhone. For HTC however, It is no lie that they have been struggling lately. That said, the original HTC One won universal praise and is considered one of the best smartphones ever made. As such both companies will be hoping to top sales figures and claim the title of ‘smartphone of the year’. The question then, is which one should you get?

Design and build.

Yet again Samsung have stuck to their previous design philosophy by using an all plastic construction. The device does not look that dissimilar to the GS4 and still incorporates a aluminium look band which runs around the edges. The corners however are slightly squarer and the device now looks more like the Note 3. Samsung have gone for a leather look back for the device and although similar to that of the Note 3, it does look more plasticky. The Samsung Galaxy S5 is by no means an ugly device but the all plastic design started feeling old about three years ago. An added bonus with the GS5 however is that it is certified as water proof.

The original HTC One really challenged the excellent build quality of the iPhone with a mainly metal build. HTC have never in my mind built an ugly phone but the One was a step forward. The new HTC One M8 is even better that the original. HTC have now used a build which consists of 90% metal and the plastic rim of the original is gone. It is slightly taller and fatter than the original but it matters little. The HTC One is a stunning looking device.

There is frankly no competition here. The build quality of the HTC blows the GS5 out of the water (literally). Im frankly getting a little tired of Samsung’s choice of build materials and I really cant understand the reluctance to include a little metal. I probably won’t buy another Samsung because of this.

Specs

Both devices have some pretty awesome specs and use relatively similar hardware. Both use Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 801 processors with Adreno 330 GPU’s. These are some of the latest hardware components on the market and as such both devices are lightning fast. The GS5 however has a slight clock speed advantage at 2.5GHZ compared to the One’s 2.3GHZ. In reality however there will be little difference in performance. Both devices also sport 2GB RAM and will be available with either 16GB or 32GB internal storage. With regards to batteries, the Samsung’s is slightly bigger at 2800mAh vs HTC’s 2600mAh. Again there is little realtime difference as software optimisation will be a big element of battery life.

Its worth mentioning that the GS5 also incorporates a heart rate monitor and a finger print reader. It may be that this sways it for you, particularly if you are into your sports!

Its a difficult call to make with such similar specs, but with the GS5 wins technically with its higher clocked processor and slightly bigger battery. Not to mention the additional hardware mentioned above.

Screen

Screen technology is always a controversial issue with opinion playing a big part. This is an issue of LCD technology vs AMOLED technology. AMOLED usually produces more vibrant colours and better contrast, but LCD tends to produce more accurate colours and sometimes appears sharper. Personally I love the popping colours of a AMOLED display and Samsung have always made pretty awesome displays.

Samsung’s GS5 sports a 5.1 inch full 1080p Super AMOLED HD display with HTC’s One incorporating a 5 inch LCD 1080p IPS display. Both are incredibly good and are likely some of the best screens available. Technically the HTC has a higher pixel density with 441 pixels per once (PPI) compared to Samsung’s 431. This really wont make any difference however with the difference being marginal.

This is very difficult to call as it all comes down to personal opinion. Both screens are exceptional. Although I prefer AMOLED, I know plenty of people will prefer LCD. Lets call this one a draw.

Cameras

This isn’t going to be a straight forward comparison with both devices having different ideas about smartphone cameras. The samsung uses a 16mp auto focus snapper compared with HTC opting for an ultra pixel camera at 4MP. The HTC cant really compare to the Samsung with regards to pixel count as the GS5 is way higher. The Ultra pixel camera on the HTC however has supposed to capture more light and as such claims to be better in low light situations. Clearly however if you want larger high quality pictures then the Samsung will be best for you. HTC do have a trick up their sleeve however with the inclusion of a second sensor used to create debt. This means you can play around with the background and create 3d like images.

Its worth mentioning that the One incorporates a front facing 5 MP camera which is great for selfies. The GS5’s front camera has a lower 2MP sensor. That said Samsung have an advantage in that the GS5 records video in the 4K format whereas the One only supports 1080p. This may change however.

Whilst the HTC One’s intuitive camera can create some really cool effects, it cant really compete with the high pixel count of the GS5. Samsung are pretty good at doing cameras and as such this will be a win for Samsung.

Software

Both devices will come preinstalled with the latest version of Android – 4.4.2 Kitkat. Both will also include the latest UI’s (user interface) – HTC using Sense and Samsung Touch Wiz. HTC’s Sense 6 will include the innovative ‘Zoe’ app which allows you to put videos and pictures together into short clips. Blink feed is also included which works a bit like Flipboard. The GS5 has something similar called ‘my magazine’. The GS5 is also heavily fitness optimised and includes Samsung’s new ’S Health’ fitness tracker software which works with the imbedded heart rate monitor.

This is very difficult call to make with the GS5 perhaps being more desirable to fitness fanatics. However, I have said it before and I will say it again, HTC Sense is way better that Samsung’s Touch Wiz. This sways it for me and I reckon the HTC One is the better device where software is concerned.

Conclusion

Technically, judging by the comparisons above both devices are equally impressive. The GS5 has possibly a better camera and some cool but perhaps gimmicky add ons, but the HTC One is far better looking with a much nicer design. Really, both devices are exceptional and both should sell by the bucket load. It’s really going to come down to which one you prefer.

If you want my opinion then I prefer the HTC One. Build quality is a big motivator for me and the device looks much cooler that the GS5. It will likely last longer too. The camera isn’t really an issue for me as I only take casual images on my smartphone. The One’s ultra pixel camera is perfect for quick pictures and has loads of flexibility when it comes to adding cool effects. Also, as mentioned above I really cant forgive Samsung for continuing to use plastic. Its outdated and it feels cheap. Smartphones have become fashion accessories and I don’t think samsung are going to win any prizes.

Asteroid discovered with rings

If you thought that the only objects in the solar system with gravity capable of supporting rings was the gas planets then you would be wrong.

In a startling discovery scientists have now found an asteroid like object orbiting the sun between Jupiter and Neptune which has rings like Saturn. The object know as Chariklo only has a diameter of about 90 miles and is the first time such an object has been found to sport rings.

Chariklo is a centaur which has characteristics similar to both comets and asteroids and is the largest of such objects that orbits between Jupiter and Neptune.

The rings were discovered recently as Chariklo passed in front of a star. It is now thought that other centaurs may also sport rings.

Source: National Geographic.

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