Early in 2014 a new startup smartphone manufacturer OnePlus created quite a unique buzz among the technology sector when they announced their first product, a super powerful high-end smartphone that would cost half or even ⅓ of the mainstream flagships (Samsungs, HTCs and Apples). It received immediately its famous nickname “The Flagship Killer” and the moniker was was later mimicked by many others. The One turned out to be quite a success both in sales figures and in reviews and now it is my pleasure to lay my hands on its successor, OnePlus Two.
On paper UMI X3 has nicely balanced quality components, a big 5.5″ screen, beautiful design and a massive battery for a great price. How good is it in real life use?
China has many smartphone manufacturers that the West has not even heard of and some of them specialize in making clones of famous big brand phones. The design of such phones is already proven and the manufacturers can mix in different components to achieve a specific (often luringly low) price point. Landvo S6 is a Samsung Galaxy S6 clone with a very affordable price tag but how does it fare in real use?
My personal picks are:
- Xiaomi Yi action camera (without LCD) for $67.29 (~61 €)
- SJCAM SJ4000 action camera (with LCD) for $77.99 (~70 €)
- Yizhan Tarantula X6 quad-copter (with a standard camera mount + ~7 min flying time per charge) for $54.99 (~49 €)
- Xiaomi Miband smart bracelet (tracks the quality of sleep, counts steps + distance traveled, helps to have a healthier life) for $13.79 (~12 €)
GoPro cameras are the epitome of action cameras but they are still too expensive for many amateurs. Chinese companies soon realized that there was a huge demand for similar cameras that offer decent quality at a much lower price. One of these companies is SOOCOO and in this review I will test their action camera S60.
There is a huge demand for high-quality and affordable tablets in a market dominated by over-priced Apple and Samsung ones. The Chinese market is so saturated with a plethora of brands never heard of in the West that it is very difficult to know which ones are really good and which ones should be avoided. The Cube Talk 9X is one promising Chinese tablet with monster hardware and a moderate price tag. But how does it perform in real life?
Lenovo is currently (early 2015) the third largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, after first-place Samsung and a runner-up Apple, and has a wide selection of models to target all consumer segments from low-range to high-range. Lenovo K910 VIBE Z sits at the upper part of mid-range with high-quality components from well-known companies such as Qualcomm and Sony. It is a very exciting Android smartphone with well-thought components and a decent price tag ($260/210 €) but how does it perform in real life?
My Lenovo VIBE Z K910 test unit was shipped with a 1.x version of Lenovo’s custom Android, VIBE UI. Google Apps (gapps) were also pre-installed and everything worked like a charm. Problems began when I updated to the VIBE 2.0. Suddenly all Google apps (Gmail, Play Store, Maps, Google account sync) stopped working. Installing gapps on VIBE UI 1.x is a well documented process and there are many great tutorials available. However, the procedure does not work with 2.0. Here is how I was able to install them anyway. Continue reading