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Rough On Technology? Then Look For These Features In Your Next Smartphone

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Smartphone with cracked screen

If you are tired of handling your smartphone with kid gloves, it might be time for you to upgrade to something sturdier. No phone is indestructible, but rugged smartphones come pretty close. You can drop them, splash water on them, and trust that the screen won’t crack and that the battery won’t be screaming for juice before the day is over. They say dog is a man’s best friend, but rugged smartphones may be a close second.

Here are some features you should keep an eye out for if you’re hunting for the Rambo of smartphones:

Rugged Design

The word “rugged” refers to more than tougher perks or thicker frames; the best “rugged” smartphones also undergo a military-grade assessment. In order for a phone to meet military-grade durability standards, it has to withstand shock, dust, water submersion, high temperatures, and strong vibrations. These phones are built to deliver, without losing the functionality of a regular smartphone. Most durable phones will be advertised with a “rugged” tagline, but make sure to ask or inspect the listed features.

Battery Life

There is no point having a durable smartphone if it’s back on charge before it can prove its worth. So look for a battery that is 3500mAh or higher, as this should give you about two days before your next charge. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for features like fast wired or wireless charging in order to maximize your time spent unplugged.

Dust and Water Resistance 

Not all rugged phones are created equal when it comes to dust and water resistance. While most of them can withstand sand, dust, or salt mist, water resistance varies by phone. Some phones can handle splashing, while others can be submerged in water for a set amount of time and up to a certain depth. Check for an IP68 water/dust resistance feature, like the one on the Samsung Galaxy S8 Active available from T-Mobile, for the best results when choosing a phone. This means your phone will be water resistant when submerged up to 5 feet for a total of 30 minutes.

Shatter Resistant Screen (Heavy Falls)

Sometimes regular smartphones can feel like handheld mirrors. All it takes is one drop or bump, and you’re looking at a cracked reflection and a payment in the near future. With a shatter resistant screen and a drop proof phone you can forget looking at those cracks or bills again. These phones have been drop tested and can even sustain falls of five feet or more.

Display Screen

While the emphasis is placed on shatterproof screens and avoiding unnecessary cracks, there are several other useful features to look out for. Some screens come with glare resistance, making them easy to use in the sun. Where you might usually shade your phone with a hand or adjust the brightness, these phone screens work the same come cloud or sunshine.

Another handy feature to keep an eye out for is wet screen technology. While more of a luxury, this feature makes sure that your finger tracking isn’t affected by screen dampness. It’s a handy add-on, especially if you work in damp environments.

Carriers

While not a perk in and of itself, choosing the right carrier is almost as important as choosing the right phone. When you’re relying on your carrier to keep you connected, you want one with low downtimes, low latency, and high speeds online.

A carrier with low latency means you will generally experience smaller delay times when loading websites, and high speeds enable you to download content quickly. T-Mobile has the highest ranking for speed across the board, with Verizon and AT&T slightly behind. Choosing the right carrier can drastically improve your user experience.

In fact, if you’re locked into a contract, the carrier is something you’ll have to deal with for a while. Before you make up your mind, be sure to check out the mobile coverage map in your area, as well as the quality of the service. The last thing you want is to be stuck somewhere with no reception or an unreliable phone when you need it the most.

Hopefully by referring to this guide, you can choose a phone that is durable, reliable, and near unbreakable, so you can forget about cracked screens, overheating, and water damage for good.

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Apple Introduces New (RED) iPhone 8 / Plus Special Edition

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Apple iPhone 8 (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition

Apple is doing it again, unveiling (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition versions of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, which sport a beautiful glass enclosure, now in red, with a matching aluminum band and a sleek black front. Other than that, it’s exactly the same as other iPhone 8 models.

Not only do the new phones look great, but as part of Apple’s long-time partnership with the (RED) campaign, a portion of the proceeds go directly to fighting HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa through the Global Fund. Since partnering with (RED) in 2006, Apple has raised over $160 million for this great cause.

“We are proud to support (RED) with this bold new iPhone and hope customers think it is as special as we do,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of Product Marketing.

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition will be available in 64GB and 256GB models, with pricing starting at $699. Pre-orders start tomorrow, and you’ll be able to buy it at Apple stores on Friday. So if you’ve been thinking about getting a new iPhone, here’s your chance to support a worthy cause while getting a great phone. But don’t wait too long, as these will sell out before you know it!

And don’t feel left out iPhone X users, as you can still support the cause by purchasing a dark red leather folio ($99), which is crafted from specially tanned and finished European leather for a luxurious look and feel. This case will be available for purchase starting tomorrow.

Apple iPhone 8 (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition

What do you think of the iPhone 8 (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition?

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It’s Not Your Imagination, Apple Admits They’re Slowing Down Older iPhones

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If you’ve noticed your older iPhone getting slower and slower with each iOS update, it’s not your imagination, but rather a questionable feature that Apple finally owned up to today that purposely “limits the performance of older iPhones” that have battery issues.

While some are quick to point the finger at Apple and claim that this is a case of planned obsolescence, that may not be the case at all. You see, lithium-ion batteries degrade over time, which can sometimes cause phones to suddenly shut down in order to protect their components.

Apple claims that their software updates for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6S, iPhone SE and iPhone 7 are designed to “smooth out” peak power demands, prevent these surprise shutdowns and ultimately prolong the lifespan of batteries.

When asked for a statement, Apple tried to justify this decision:

Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components.

Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions. We’ve now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future.

But here’s the problem with that. These updates can leave your phone running REALLY slowly, forcing many people to update their phones earlier than they wanted to, when in reality they could have just replaced their batteries (for a much cheaper price) and kept using their existing phones.

Of course, Apple doesn’t want that, as no one would be upgrading to the “latest and greatest” iPhones, since the current phones pretty much do everything that most people need. Heck, that’s why I kept my iPad 2 for all these years, until it became so painfully slow that it was unusable.

Me, I’ll just continue trading in my iPhone every 2 years for the new one, as it’s basically an even trade. 🙂

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Razer Designed Its First Smartphone With Gamers In Mind

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Razer Phone

Razer is best known for their high-performance gaming systems and peripherals, but with mobile gaming on the rise, it only makes sense for them to get a foothold in this lucrative market. Today, the company unveiled their first smartphone, the Razer Phone, built specifically with gamers in mind.

If the Razer Phone looks familiar, that’s because it’s essentially an updated version of the Nextbit Robin that launched on Kickstarter in 2015 (Razer bought the fledgling smartphone maker earlier this year and folded the company into its hardware division).

But don’t think of the Razer Phone as a simple rebadge, as they’ve employed some specific tweaks to serve its gaming-specific audience, like placing the volume buttons in the center so you won’t accidently hit them while playing games or watching movies in landscape mode.

Razer Phone

You will enjoy a stunning screen backed by UltraMotion technology that delivers refresh rates up to 120 Hz. This means, zero lag or stuttering—just fluid, buttery smooth motion content for you to enjoy. With a Quad HD display boasting wide color gamut, everything looks vibrant and sharp. And the 16:9 aspect ratio better matches movies and TV than other smartphones on the market.

With Dolby ATMOS, enjoy a cinematic sound experience all around you from a pair of front-facing speakers and dual amplifiers. And when you’re listening with headphones (though sadly there’s no headphone jack), hardware certified by THX guarantees audiophile quality sound for your entertainment.

Powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 with 8GB RAM (plus 64GB of expandable storage), you get the ultimate viewing and gaming experience, backed by superior battery life for longer enjoyment. Fine tune your experience with Game Booster, confident that best-in-class thermal design produces less throttling to fully maximize the phone’s power and performance.

Razer Phone

Equipped with a 4,000 mAh battery (one of the largest capacities found in any smartphone), the Razer Phone provides the absolute freedom to watch, listen and play as much as you want without ever being caught with a red battery bar.

Overall, we think the $699 Razer Phone will appeal to serious gamers, especially if they’re already local to Razer. But it’s a competitive segment, going up against the likes of the Galaxy Note 8, LG V30, HTC U11, OnePlus 5, and Huawei Mate 10 Pro, all which have similar specs.

What do you think of the Razer Phone?

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