Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The best smartphone of 2020: Top smartphones in the UAE, Saudi and Middle East

Our best smartphone list brings you the best phones available right now in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Middle East. If you already have your mobile OS alliance set you'll want to check out either our ranking of the best Android phone or best iPhone.

If what's on offer in our best smartphone list is a little too pricey for your taste, then don't fear, as we've also got a list of the best cheap phones available right now.

With the first quarter of 2020 behind us, we've already seen some impressive phone launches such as the Galaxy S20 series, the Oppo Find X2 Pro and the Huawei P40 series. While some of these phones are still being extensively tested by us, the Galaxy S20 series has found its place in our best phones roundup- though it might not be the one you expected.

We know that it's not all about the high-cost, super spec phones all the time so we've made you a handy list of all the top smartphones that you can get on the market right now, assessing what really matters to you.

We test these phones rigorously, making sure that we check every angle and feature - but most importantly, considering whether they've got a decent battery, great screen, strong design and a cracking camera.

On top of that, they can't be too exorbitant in price either - not everyone wants or can afford a supercar of a handset, so we've made sure there are plenty of options for you there.

So let's get started on our list of the top phones - you can see them quickly below, and then we're set to talk you through the very best phone in the Middle East right now.

Best phones at a glance

  1. Samsung Galaxy S20/S20 Plus
  2. iPhone 11
  3. Huawei P30 Pro
  4. iPhone 11 Pro
  5. Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
  6. iPhone 11 Pro Max
  7. Samsung Galaxy Note 10
  8. Oppo Reno 10X Zoom
  9. OnePlus 7T
  10. Samsung Galaxy S10e

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus

The Samsung Galaxy S20 is the best smartphone available right now. That covers both the S20 and the larger Galaxy S20 Plus, as there's very little difference between the two handsets aside from size and a couple of specs.

They take the very best of what's on the smartphone market and put it together in a compelling package that we loved testing.

Screen: Both these devices have phone screens that are a cut above the rest, and each is capable of a 120Hz refresh rate that will allow for far smoother scrolling and gameplay on your phone's screen.

Battery life: The battery life on the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20 Plus isn't the best we've ever seen on a smartphone, but larger batteries than the S10 series allow these devices to last longer and it'll be enough for your day.

Both devices come with wireless charging, and there's also a Reverse Power Share feature that allows you to top up your friend's phone too.

Camera: Samsung has improved the camera suite on the Galaxy S20 devices compared to the Galaxy S10. It may not look far better on paper, but larger pixels and improved software adds to the flagship experience.

Mini verdict: The S20 and S20 Plus are packed full of the best Samsung has to offer, and it comes together to give you the best smartphone experience around right now. If we had to pick one, we'd go for the bigger screen, larger battery slightly improved rear camera of the Galaxy S20 Plus, but both phones deserve their best phone crown.

Read more: Galaxy S20 review | Galaxy S20 Plus review
Price comparison:
The best Samsung Galaxy S20 deals
The best Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus deals

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus

The Samsung Galaxy S20 is the best smartphone available right now. That covers both the S20 and the larger Galaxy S20 Plus, as there's very little difference between the two handsets aside from size and a couple of specs.

They take the very best of what's on the smartphone market and put it together in a compelling package that we loved testing.

Screen: Both these devices have phone screens that are a cut above the rest, and each is capable of a 120Hz refresh rate that will allow for far smoother scrolling and gameplay on your phone's screen.

Battery life: The battery life on the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20 Plus isn't the best we've ever seen on a smartphone, but larger batteries than the S10 series allow these devices to last longer and it'll be enough for your day.

Both devices come with wireless charging, and there's also a Reverse Power Share feature that allows you to top up your friend's phone too.

Camera: Samsung has improved the camera suite on the Galaxy S20 devices compared to the Galaxy S10. It may not look far better on paper, but larger pixels and improved software adds to the flagship experience.

Mini verdict: The S20 and S20 Plus are packed full of the best Samsung has to offer, and it comes together to give you the best smartphone experience around right now. If we had to pick one, we'd go for the bigger screen, larger battery slightly improved rear camera of the Galaxy S20 Plus, but both phones deserve their best phone crown.

Read more: Galaxy S20 review | Galaxy S20 Plus review
Price comparison:
The best Samsung Galaxy S20 deals
The best Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus deals

iPhone 11 review

Image Credit: TechRadar

There's a new hero for iPhone fans, with the iPhone 11 offering the best mix of features and price. In fact, the iPhone 11 is so good that it has risen close to the top of our best smartphones list and is the iPhone we recommend to anyone.

The specs here aren't as impressive as they are on the iPhone 11 Pro or iPhone 11 Pro Max, but the trade-off in a lower price for this device makes it a must-have for many Apple fans.

Screen: This isn't the best screen you'll find on an iPhone, but it's still a vibrant display that's large enough to watch video on.

Battery life: The easiest way to describe battery life on the iPhone 11 is good, but not great. You'll get around a day of usage from the iPhone 11, but it's not as good as the Pro Max.

Camera: Expect a similar experience from the camera on the iPhone 11 as on the iPhone XR. If you want the best camera on an iPhone, you'll want the Pro, but it's still an impressive shooter on the rear of the standard 11.

Mini verdict: The iPhone 11 offers some of the best features from Apple in a more affordable package. Many will be happy with what the iPhone 11 can do, but others will want to look toward the high-spec iPhone 11 Pro or Pro Max to get the very best.

Read our in-depth iPhone 11 review
Price comparison: The best iPhone 11 deals

Best Android Phone Camera

Image Credit: TechRadar

The Huawei P30 Pro is so close to being the best smartphone right now, and for some it will take top spot in their minds.

It's the best phone we've used when it comes to photography with 5x and 10x zoom capabilities and fantastic low-light performance.

Screen: The large 6.47-inch screen on the P30 Pro may 'only' have a Full HD+ resolution, but it's bright, clear and colorful providing an excellent canvas for your apps and games.

Battery life: There's no worry when it comes to the P30 Pro potentially running out of juice, the battery life here is excellent. We regularly got to the end of the day with 30% or more left in the tank.

Camera: The cameras are the P30 Pro's real party piece, providing staggeringly good 5x and 10x zoom, and a digital 50x zoom with gets you insanely close to objects far off in the distance. Its low-light capabilities are also top-notch.

Mini Verdict: The P30 Pro not only sets a new standard for Huawei, it sets a new standard for the entire mobile industry. Its cameras are quite simply astonishing, the design is eye-catching and the power plentiful. It’s a true flagship smartphone. 

Read more: Huawei P30 Pro review

iPhone 11 Pro

Image Credit: TechRadar

Want something a bit more from your iPhone? You're in luck with the iPhone 11 Pro as it features some improved spec including a more high-end rear camera that can compete with the very best.

It'll cost more than the iPhone 11 did on the page before, but if you're after one of the top iPhones this is the best option with a smaller display than the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Screen: It's not the largest screen on the market, but it looks great compared to the iPhone 11 and will suit you if you're looking for an iPhone with a smaller display.

Battery life: The battery life is slightly longer than the last few generations of the iPhone, but don't expect anything game changing here when it comes to the length your phone will last for.

Camera: Apple has put most of its focus into the rear cameras on this device, and while the design of the rear of the phone has been controversial these cameras can create some truly stunning photography that competes with the very best camera phones.

Mini verdict: You'll have to spend a bit extra to get the iPhone 11 Pro, but it's well worth it if you want a phone that sports iOS 13 but comes with top-end features.

Read our in-depth iPhone 11 Pro review
Price comparison: The best iPhone 11 Pro deals

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus is one of the largest phones there is, but this stylus-toting handset is our second favorite phone you can buy right now.

It's expensive, but it features some of the best specs you'll get on a smartphone in 2019.

Screen: The screen on this phone is huge and the Infinity-O cutout means there's little interruption to the display here, allowing for an immersive experience.

Battery life: We found the battery life on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus to easily last the whole day, plus the fast charging tech means you're able to pump it up quickly when you're nearing 0%.

Camera: The camera setup on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus isn't the best on the market, but it's impressive and offers a lot of fun features that you may want to play around with.

Mini Verdict: Samsung's Galaxy Note 10 Plus is a remarkable device, but it's only for those who want a large phone and don't mind spending that bit extra on a device. The S10 Plus will be more suitable for most, but the Note 10 Plus is a great phone too.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus review
Price comparison: The best Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus deals

iPhone 11 Pro Max

Image Credit: TechRadar

The iPhone 11 Pro Max is the biggest phone Apple has created, and it's also the most high-spec'd phone from the company.

It's expensive even by iPhone standards, but it features an all-screen, notch-toting, almost bezel-free design with masses of power under the hood. The big upgrades compared to the iPhone XS Max are the improved cameras and boosted power.

Screen: The 6.5-inch OLED screen on the iPhone 11 Pro Max really grabbed our attention - it's fantastic for video streaming and gaming.

Battery life: This is some of the best battery life we've ever experienced on an iPhone, with further optimizations within iOS and a larger cell inside the phone itself. It's still not game-changing, but it's better than other Apple handsets.

Camera: The triple camera setup on the iPhone 11 Pro Max is fantastic. This is the first time Apple has implemented three rear cameras, and it offers a great experience. Plus, it can be fun to use.

Mini verdict: If your hands are as big as your bank balance, the iPhone 11 Pro Max takes Apple's smartphone to a whole new level with an improved camera and more.

Read our in-depth iPhone 11 Pro Max review
Price comparison: The best iPhone 11 Pro Max deals

Yeah, that's right - Samsung now offers two versions of its S Pen-toting Note range, and this one comes with a lower spec than the one you've read about earlier in this list.

The Galaxy Note 10 is better for those with smaller hands, thanks to its much smaller display and smaller dimensions, but the battery life suffers a little for that.

Screen: This may be a Samsung Galaxy Note handset, but the display isn't anywhere near as big as you'd expect. It's a 6.3-inch display with an Infinity-O cutout for the selfie camera.

Battery life: The battery is where the Galaxy Note 10 begins to suffer a little as we found it regularly ran out before the end of a full day, but it's enough for average usage.

Camera: The rear camera of the Galaxy Note 10 is similar to all other flagship Samsung phones released in 2019, and it's good but not the best we've seen on a smartphone.

Mini verdict: The Galaxy Note 10 isn't as high-spec as the Galaxy Note 10 Plus, but if you want a stylus on a smaller phone than the gargantuan Plus then you may want to opt for this.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Note 10 review
Price comparison: The best Samsung Galaxy Note 10 deals

Image Credit: TechRadar

The Oppo Reno 10x Zoom boasts an attractive pop-up selfie camera, cutting-edge chipset and competitive camera lineup, making it one of the best phones available right now.

Odd name aside, there's a lot to like with the Reno 10x Zoom, and if you're looking for something a little different for you next phone this could be just the ticket.

Screen: Thanks to the pop-up selfie camera, there's no notch intruding on the display and with almost zero bezel you're treated to an eye-popping 93.1% screen-to-body ratio. It just looks great.

Battery life: The battery on the Reno 10x Zoom lasts for about a day of medium-to-heavy use, and a day and a half if you use it a little less. That's what we expect from a modern smartphone, so no issues here.

Camera: Despite what its name may suggest, this phone actually offers up a whopping 60x zoom, which gets you alarmingly close to objects far in the distance. It's a digital zoom, so quality degrades a little, but even the 5x optical zoom is impressive.

Mini verdict: The Oppo Reno 10x Zoom is a stylish phone – between its sleek look, asymmetrical pop-up and delicate back colours, it looks great – and, surprisingly for a Chinese smartphone with its own UI, the software is good to look at too.

Read our full Oppo Reno 10x Zoom review

Image Credit: TechRadar

If you're looking for an affordable flagship phone which doesn't have any major compromises on features or functionality, stop looking and check out the OnePlus 7T.

Screen: One of the highlights of the 7T is its large 90Hz display. It can compete with most top-end handsets and offers great colour accuracy and response.

Battery life: The OnePlus 7T battery provides all-day use from a single charge. It's unlikely to go much further than a day, but it's what we've come to expect these days.

Camera: The OnePlus 7T camera feels like a significant improvement over the OnePlus 7, with some impressive software wizardry on tap to optimize your images.

Mini verdict: The OnePlus 7T is the best 'T' upgrade to any OnePlus phone to date and an attractive proposition for those who find the OnePlus 7T Pro too bulky.

Read our full: OnePlus 7T review

Like the look of the new S10 and S10 Plus, but not a fan of their lofty price tags? Well fear not, as Samsung has catered for you with the Galaxy S10e.

The Galaxy S10e has many of the flagship features of its pricier siblings, while offering a more palm-friendly size and a few compromises to help keep the cost down.

Screen: You don't get a QHD resolution here, instead you'll have to accept a Full HD+ 5.8-inch screen - but the Super AMOLED display provides plenty of colour and pop.

Battery life: We found battery life lasted a day on a single charge - which is what we've come to expect from phones - plus its wireless charging and Wireless PowerShare making topping it up, and you other devices, even easier.

Camera: The dual camera setup on the S10e isn't quite as good as the triple cameras on the S10 and S10 Plus, but they're still highly capable snappers producing quality photos with ease.

Mini verdict: It’s hard not to recommend the S10e to anyone who prefers a smaller phone. Size queens, look elsewhere - this smartphone is for folks who want to text and browse apps one-handed without compromising performance.

Read our in-depth Samsung Galaxy S10e review
Price comparison: The best Samsung Galaxy S10e deals

You're at the end of our best smartphone guide, but that doesn't mean we can't help you still - if you're stuck on which model is for you, we've got a tool that can compare all the phones together and you can decide which one suits you best based on the cost.

The cheapest active VR headset could be the perfect remote working tool

It’s been three years since Royole, a little known Chinese company, wowed crowds in Las Vegas with its groundbreaking all-in-one virtual reality (VR) headset, the Royole Moon.

The device has some great features that could make it the perfect tool for remote working, and it's currently on clearance sale for just over USD 390 at AliExpress (roughly GBP 315/AUD 640).

Two advanced AMOLED displays combine to produce a gigantic virtual 800-inch curved screen. The Moon displays content in Full HD 1080p resolution, at over 3,000 pixels per inch, with an ultra-high contrast ratio of 10,000:1 and a blisteringly fast image response rate of 60Hz.

The Royale Moon features active noise cancellation, reducing external sound by 92% (or 22dB) and isolating wearers from their surroundings. This means users can wholly immerse themselves in a presentation, working document or video without distraction - although this could be a little daunting for claustrophobic individuals.

The headset supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and HDMI connection from smartphones, game consoles, PCs, laptops and more. It also comes with 2GB of memory and 32GB storage to save your favorite movies, videos, images, and audio directly to the device.

As for the caveats, the headset unfortunately runs on a proprietary fork of Android, as opposed to a stock version. Its battery pack is convenient enough but leans on a microUSB port to charge, and there’s also no microSD slot for additional memory.

Get fit in isolation with the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 and save AU$150

Fitness is being promoted everywhere from social media to news articles, and for good reason – exercise promotes healthy habits and is extremely beneficial for your mental health. If you’re wanting to jump on the bandwagon (or have already), you can track all those calories you’ve burnt with the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 and save a cool AU$150 all in one go!

The Galaxy Watch Active 2 is the latest addition to Samsung's Tizen watch range - it’s slimmer, lighter, and arguably more comfortable than its predecessor and includes a rotating digital bezel.

This quality smartwatch features a stunning 1.2-inch 360 x 360 display and is smaller compared to a lot of other smart-wearables out there, making it less clunky and more stylish. 

In addition to this, Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 sports top-end fitness features with 39 workout modes, a heart rate and ECG sensor, and a health app with stress and sleep monitoring.

With the discount applied, this is an incredible deal on a top-of-the-line smartwatch that’s sure to keep you on track so you can smash your fitness goals. You can grab the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 in either Black or Rose gold directly from Microsoft until April 19.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered out now on PS4

Yesterday, we reported on a leak which stated that a Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 remaster was on the eve of release, and that has now been proven entirely accurate, with the game now officially available to download from the PlayStation Network.

While the game is only available on PS4 for the time being, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered will also arrive on PC and Xbox One on April 30.

Predictably, the remaster boasts a number of visual enhancements, such as HDR support and resolutions of up to 4K on consoles, while the PC version will be fully optimized, offering uncapped framerates and ultra-wide monitor support.

"No Russian."

As the name would suggest, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered will only include the single-player portion of the beloved game. Thankfully, that means the inclusion of such classic missions as 'Cliffhanger', 'Takedown', and the highly controversial 'No Russian'.

Of course, multiplayer enthusiasts haven't been left entirely in the cold – those who purchase the game will also receive the Underwater Demo Team Classic Ghost Bundle for immediate use with the current Call of Duty: Modern Warfare game and the free (and standalone) Call of Duty: Warzone battle royale mode. 

The bundle includes a new UDT Ghost Operator skin, two weapon blueprints, a weapon charm, new finishing move, voice quip, animated calling card, emblem and two Battle Pass tier skips.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered has been priced at $19.99 (£19.99 / AU$35,95). You can check out the action-packed PS4 trailer below.

Apple buys Dark Sky weather app and shuts down the Android version

Dark Sky for iOS is one of the most popular weather apps available, and Apple has clearly taken notice, because now the tech giant has officially acquired the “hyperlocal” weather app.

Compared with other contenders in the same category, Dark Sky is noted for having more granular detail on the weather at a user’s actual location, offering “down-to-the-minute forecasts” via a pleasing user interface.

News of the acquisition was announced via a blog post from the app developers which also outlined the key changes that the purchase will bring. Most notably among them will be the discontinuation of the Android and Wear OS version of the Dark Sky apps.

“The app will no longer be available for download. Service to existing users and subscribers will continue until July 1, 2020, at which point the app will be shut down. Subscribers who are still active at that time will receive a refund.”

That same July 1, 2020 cutoff applies to weather forecasts, maps and embeds from the Dark Sky website, which will be shut down on that date.

Along with the death of the Android app, Dark Sky’s API (application programming interface) will no longer be available for others to use, meaning that other popular apps like Carrot Weather that rely on the API will have to find an alternative solution, although they’ll be given until the end of 2021 to do so.

For those currently using the iOS app, “there will be no changes at this time”, according to Dark Sky, so you can continue to purchase the app via the iOS app store. 

With that said, it’s very possible we could see Apple’s own weather app get a makeover at some point down the line given how well-received Dark Sky’s user interface and hyperlocal capabilities are, so here's hoping.

Upgrade to Business Class with HP, AMD and Microsoft - the perfect team

The HP Probook range packs some great design and features at an attractive price point. And that’s more true than ever in the ProBook 445r G6 which packs the latest Ryzen 5 3500U APU with Microsoft Windows 10 Pro.

Available for preorder from Ebuyer from only £458 excluding VAT, this is a laptop made for SMB, providing business-class features that will boost productivity and efficiency, while keeping micro businesses agile and mobile.

At the heart of the 445r is AMD’s fastest mobile APU (Application Processing Unit), the second generation Ryzen 5 3500U which combines four CPU cores and Radeon Vega 8 integrated graphics.

This translates into a smoother performance when handling different applications at the same time. Editing a presentation while doing a video conference for example will no longer mean a stuttering session.

There’s 8GB of system memory - with a free memory slot for an easy upgrade route to 32GB RAM, a fast 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD and a large, flicker-free 15.6-inch IPS full HD display with a super thin bezel - rather than the usual VA panel. The absence of any legacy components helps keeping the weight of the laptop to under 2Kg.

Other useful features include an IR HD webcam to allow Windows Hello functionality with dual microphone array, a plethora of ports, a fingerprint reader and a spill resistant keyboard with a numeric keypad.

Note that although there are four physical USB ports, only the three USB Type-A ones can transfer data and charge devices; the fourth one, a Type-C connector, can only be used for charging and for connecting to a compatible display.

The large 45Wh battery will ensure that you have a long battery life and HP’s Fast Charge technology means that you will be able to recharge up to 50% battery life in just 30 minutes.

Users will appreciate how well designed the laptop is as well. Despite having a big screen, it has an ultraslim chassis in a refined, new, natural silver finish that includes a 3D forged aluminum keyboard deck and durable stamped aluminum top cover.

Microsoft’s best business operating system ever

Windows 10 Pro is included with the Probook 445r G6 which brings a number of advanced ready features like BitLocker device encryption, Windows Information Protection (WIP), mobile device management (MDM), automatic updates and the ability to easily pair devices with Windows Server.

These features are not available on Windows 10 Home; small businesses greatly benefit from the superior security and productivity benefits of Windows 10 Pro.

HP’s expertise in security enterprise management

HP business laptops have some of the most extensive security management features in the industry and the Probook 445r G6 is an excellent example of what’s on offer.

There’s an absolute persistence module, HP’s proprietary BIOSphere, DriveLock and Automatic DriveLock, Password Manager, Secure Erase and Security Manager. All this is geared towards making the device far more secure than your standard SMB laptop by fortifying usual vulnerable points like the firmware.

Get on a winning team

Each HP laptop comes with a one-year standard parts and labour limited warranty along with a one year limited warranty on the battery; that can be upgraded to three year onsite warranty.

Businesses should also add Microsoft Office Home and Business 2019 or Office 365 Business Premium to benefit from Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook.

Ebuyer can provide businesses the flexibility they need to maximise budget and protect cash flow with a variety of options to purchase the tech they want. Choose from finance options including flexible repayments and a credit account (subject to status) or contact Ebuyer’s specialist Solutions Team about the benefits of leasing IT equipment. 

Best email hosting providers of 2020

Email hosting is much like web hosting services. Getting hold of an email account is easy – sign up with an ISP, register with Google, buy a web hosting account – but free and standard packages won't always deliver the quality that professional users need.

Email hosting plans are an easy way to get a more efficient and reliable service. Exactly what's included depends on the provider, but you might get support for larger attachments (up to 50MB), 50GB or more storage space for your inbox, online storage for easy file sharing, bundled apps like Microsoft Office online, Exchange and Active Directory support for business users – not to mention 24/7 support if anything goes wrong.

Your email will work with a custom domain (address@yoursite.com), and it's typically straightforward to set up. You can use an email hosting plan to effectively replace your web host's service, or you can try one without having any hosting at all.

With quality services priced under $1 per month per user, and free trials available, it's easy for anyone to check out the email hosting market. Whether you're after an individual account or would like to cover your entire business, read on for five great providers that you might want to check out first.

The best email hosting at a glance

  1. Bluehost email hosting
  2. Rackspace email hosting
  3. Fasthosts email hosting
  4. Office 365
  5. Zoho Mail


If you are a small business with a small headcount and don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on email accounts, then consider this. From EIG-owned Bluehost comes an exclusive business email package for TechRadar readers where you get unlimited email accounts and email storage for as little as $2.75 when paying for three years; that’s a mere $99 for the duration of the term. Is it truly unlimited though?

Bluehost says that they do not enforce any official limitations. Furthermore, they add “while email account creation is unlimited, these rely on the file storage available on the account. Therefore customers need to be operating within the Terms of Service to ensure resources are available to fully enable email functionality. Customers operating within the Terms of Service have yet to come up against technical boundaries for email, domains, or websites”.

What’s the catch then? For a start, while you get POP3 and IMAP4 plus 24/7 support, this is more of a barebone solution. You get to choose between three webmail applications (the equivalent of Outlook.com or Gmail.com); Horde, Roundcube or Squirrelmail.

You can of course configure an email client like Mail for Windows 10 or Mozilla Thunderbird to read your emails offline. Creating a new email address is a doddle thanks to an easy user interface.

Texas-based cloud computing giant Rackspace has a wealth of hosted business-oriented email products for all levels of users.

Even the bottom-of-the-range Basic plan is well-specified, with 25GB mailboxes, spam and virus filters, and it’s accessible via Outlook, webmail, or by mobile users. Mailboxes are priced at $2.99 each per month with a minimum of four required per order, but there are no long-term contracts, just monthly bills which you can cancel whenever you like.

The next-step-up Plus account brings 30GB of cloud storage, ActiveSync support, Office-compatible apps and instant messaging for $3.99 a month, which is also better value than most.

An extended Plus account adds unlimited storage space via archiving. That might be handy if you think a 25GB inbox is too small, but we're unsure if it's really worth the $6.99 price tag.

More demanding users can check out Rackspace's Hosted Exchange 2016 plans. Specs include 100GB inboxes and support for 50MB attachments, and the starting price is $10.99 per mailbox per month.

There are cheaper services around, but quality matters, too, and Rackspace does better than most. All plans include a 100% uptime guarantee, and top-quality 24x7x365 support via chat, ticket or phone to quickly solve any issues that might crop up.

Email hosting can seem expensive, and that's largely because the big companies are forever competing to offer the largest amounts of inbox and file storage space. That's great if you need it, but not so much for light email users looking for a bargain.

Fasthosts Standard Email plan is a stripped-back email hosting plan which offers the bare essentials for a very low price.

Signing up gets you two email addresses with 2 x 2 GB mailboxes. You'll also get an antivirus, POP3 and IMAP4,  24/7 support, and webmail access. That's limited, but look at the price: just $2.60 (£1.99) a month on the annual plan (at the time of writing, you can get 50% off). If your users genuinely don't need the gigabytes available elsewhere, Fasthosts more basic package could make a lot of sense.

Fasthosts also offers a more capable Exchange Email product with a 50GB inbox, access via Outlook's web app, and even a free domain for the first year. It's priced at $5.8 (£4.49) per month for 5 or more users with the annual contract. You can also choose a 100GB inbox for $13 (£9.99). As before, Fasthosts is focusing on price more than power, but if you only need a basic Exchange account, there's plenty of value here.

Microsoft Office 365 isn't just a powerful suite of productivity apps. It also throws in a very capable email package, and for less money than some providers charge for email alone, which could make the service worth a place on your shortlist.

Microsoft Office 365 Business Essentials offers support for 150MB attachments, for instance, three times the size allowed with even some premium competitors. 50GB of storage per user (and a custom email domain address) means you'll be able to keep your messages for a very long time, and there's 1TB of online storage available in your OneDrive account.

Access to Office Online enables working with Word, Excel, OneNote and PowerPoint documents from within your browser, and there's a whole range of business-friendly extras: calendars, online conferencing, intelligent search, workflow automation and more.

If you don't have Office 365 already, the Business Essentials price of $5 a month (for annual billing) looks like good value to us. If you're solely interested in business class email, though, Microsoft's Exchange Online Plan 1 provides Exchange accounts for $4 per user per month on the annual plan.

Zoho Mail is a hosted email service with a bundled online office suite, and a stack of other extras. Several of the newest features Zoho Mail introduced, are: Offline Mode, undo mail, recall mail, huge attachments (up to 250MB) and a few others.

A free plan gives you 25 mailboxes with up to 5GB per user, a 20MB attachment limit and webmail access. A referral scheme could get you support for a further 25 mailboxes (at the time of writing the referral program wasn't available due to remodeling).

If that's too basic, the Standard plan gets you IMAP and POP support, 30MB attachments and 30GB of storage, 5GB file storage space, and support for working with multiple domains. That's more capable than some of the premium competition, and includes the same productivity tools as the free suite, yet still only costs $3 per user per month, billed annually.

Zoho's Professional plan gets you 100GB of storage (per user), 40MB attachments, support for Active Directory groups, and more. It's yours for $6 per user per month (billed annually), not bad at all for the storage space and features you're getting. Also, Lite plan is available with less features, but it's only $1 per user per month, billed annually.

10 things to look for in your next email hosting

If you want to host email accounts together with your website, then you should look at these email features before signup.

Most hosting companies will offer the ability to host your own email (something like email@yourdomain. com). Your package will include a number of email accounts – usually between 1-10 for basic hosting.

You’ll be given access to your own email control panel to set up your accounts. Using email requires two things: an email server and an email application, this could be an email client such as Outlook, or alternatively access to Webmail like Gmail or Yahoo.

The email server is a piece of software that runs on the server and is constantly connected to the internet. It receives and processes any mail sent to it and sends out any mail you send.

The email client is an app that runs on your PC, phone or tablet and enables you to send, receive and organise your emails, e.g. Microsoft Outlook. The client checks the mail server for messages and downloads them for viewing. It is a control panel for reading and writing messages.

The good news is that most email clients can connect with most email servers, you can even connect multiple email servers to work with multiple email accounts.

So your work and personal emails can be accessed from the same email client. The more popular email clients such as Outlook give you more features (calendars, tasks etc.) than using webmail.

Webmail is a web-based email interface that can be accessed in a web browser is often faster and more convenient because it accesses the stored data more directly without the user having to download software locally.

Emails can be checked from any device with access to the internet. Email protocols are a set of rules that help the client to send the information to or from the mail server. Two of the most common email protocols are POP and IMAP:

1. POP (Post office protocol) Applications like Outlook will use POP to download emails from the server to your computer and then delete them on the server.

2. IMAP (Internet message access protocol) IMAP is more advanced than POP, with IMAP, emails are stored in the mail server and can be accessed from any clients anywhere if they all use IMAP. 

Mail data is kept on the server as well as your computer, until you delete the mail. When comparing hosting packages, be sure to choose one with full IMAP support.

Exchange Exchange is the gold standard email protocol – the most expensive option of the three, but for good reason. It’s a Microsoft protocol that gives you the power to sync tasks like IMAP does, but with the added ability to share contacts and calendars among employees.

If you can afford to pay the extra cost (around $9.99 per month per mailbox), you will reap the benefits of its advanced functionality and tools which can be used even when you are on the move. 

You might also want to check out our other website hosting buying guides:

Windows 10 bug that broke internet connectivity gets patched – here’s how to install the fix

Windows 10 has got a fix for the nasty bug that’s disrupting the internet connection of some folks trying to work from home, which is obviously less than ideal given the Covid-19 outbreak, and the large numbers of people trying to do just that because they’re on lockdown.

As we recently reported, this problem was caused by a previous cumulative update for Windows 10, which broke internet connectivity in some cases, preventing important apps like Office 365 or Microsoft Teams (and many more besides) from getting online.

Affected users are those running a VPN (or proxy) who might experience net connectivity issues with some applications (or the system may indicate there’s no internet connection, even if there actually is – a more minor glitch where connectivity isn’t actually disrupted).

Of course, this is a much bigger problem than normal right now, given that many more people are running VPNs because they’re working from home, and they need the extra security of a VPN tunnel for accessing remote company systems which contain sensitive business data.

Microsoft promised that a fix would be available swiftly, and the target date was early April – but the software giant has evidently given this a major priority, because a patch has now been issued for Windows 10 before March is out.

It comes in the form of another cumulative update which you should only install if you have experienced this particular issue. Let’s just hope that it’s an update which doesn’t have any other side-effects, of course (given that a cumulative update was how this flaw manifested in the first place).

How to install the fix

Note that Windows 10 users won’t get this new fix from Windows Update, as is commonly the case (at least not yet, at the time of writing). Rather, it is necessary to grab this one manually and install it that way. Luckily, this is a simple process which we’ll explain in full now.

If you’re running Windows 10 November 2019 Update or May 2019 Update, head over to the Microsoft Update Catalog here and download the relevant version for your system. All you need to do to install the file is double-click on it once downloaded, and then follow the instructions.

Version 1909 is the November 2019 Update and version 1903 is the May 2019 update (as you’ll see, there’s also a version for those running Windows Server). Almost all users will need to download the relevant patch for x64-based systems, if you’re running 64-bit Windows 10, which is highly likely. The x86-based patch is for the very small minority still running 32-bit Windows 10 (perhaps on a very old PC which was given an in-place upgrade from 32-bit Windows 7, for example).

And if you’re running a machine with an ARM processor, rather than an Intel or AMD CPU, you should grab the ARM64-based cumulative update.

If you want to check what version of Windows (or indeed CPU) you are running, click on the Start menu, and then the Settings cog, then click on System, and then at the bottom of the menu on the left-hand side, click on About. This will give you the specifications of your device including the type of processor you’re running, and whether your system is 64-bit or 32-bit (under where it says System Type).

Those using Windows 10 October 2018 Update (1809) should head here, and again pick up the relevant download for their version of Microsoft’s operating system as discussed above.

Folks running Windows 10 April 2018 Update (1803) need to grab the cumulative update here, and finally, users way back on the Fall Creators Update (1709) should visit this page for their download.

Remember, it’s worth stressing that you only need to get this particular cumulative update if you are experiencing internet connectivity problems as we mentioned at the outset. Don’t install this patch unnecessarily if you aren’t having any such issues around getting online with your Windows 10 PC.

Via Bleeping Computer

Huawei P40 contains some US components

The recently-launched Huawei P40 smartphone is powered by a number of US components despite a government ban on companies from the country doing business with the Chinese mobile giant.

Last year, the US Department of Commerce effectively blacklisted Huawei on national security grounds.

Huawei has denied any allegations of wrongdoing but nonetheless was barred from access to important technologies such as chips and the Android mobile operating system.

Huawei P40 teardown

The P40 is the first major flagship to be affected by the ban and offers an insight into how the restrictions are affecting the company. A teardown by the FT found that although Huawei has made significant progress on reducing its dependency on US components, several modules have found their way into the device.

The company already produces its own processors and other components, while it has managed to source new suppliers from China, South Korea, and Taiwan. However less commoditised items are more difficult to replace.

Radio Frequency (RF) modules require significant amounts of time and money to develop and are significant barriers of entry to overcome. This helps explain why the P40 features modules from Qualcomm, Skyworks and Qorvo.

These companies will have permission from the Commerce Department to work with Huawei, with FT confirming the existence of a Qualcomm licence. Washington is issuing individual licences to firms who want to sell non-sensitive goods to Huawei, with many companies arguing the ban would deny them valuable revenue streams.

It is not clear who has been given a licence so far, with Micron and Microsoft among the most high-profile recipients. Google has confirmed it has applied for a licence to deal with Huawei, a move which would allow Android to return to the company’s smartphones.

Huawei is also facing difficulties in the telecoms market with the US urging countries around the world to exclude Huawei from their rollouts of 5G, again on national security grounds. Washington has yet to produce any evidence to support its claims and the pressure has so far yielded limited results.

iPhone 9 release date, price, news, leaks and everything we need to know

The iPhone 9 looks set to launch in the near future, finally bringing a new cheap iPhone that many have been waiting for since the iPhone SE was unveiled back in 2016.

However, where the previous budget model from Apple was designed for those that love a smaller phone, the new iPhone 9 (or maybe iPhone SE 2) looks set to be larger, aping the design first used on the iPhone 6. There may even be an iPhone 9 Plus.

While the cheaper iPhone 9 is likely to be popular in most countries, Apple will likely be bringing this out to also service more emerging markets, where cheaper phones sell well. These territories might have been able to buy the older iPhone 8, but offering a 'new' iPhone to them will have significant marketing power.

The new, lower-cost handset from Apple was originally expected to launch in March, but it wasn't unveiled alongside the iPad Pro 2020 or New MacBook Air

We're still waiting on more information regarding the iPhone 9, but we've heard rumors start to appear with greater frequency, so it looks pretty likely we'll see the cheap iPhone launch in the next month or two (as long as Apple can actually make the phones).

Latest story: iPhone 9 cases are supposedly being sent to stores, suggesting the phone could launch in a matter of days, and based on the name on the cases it might just be called 'iPhone' rather than iPhone 9 or iPhone SE 2.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? A new, cheaper iPhone model
  • When is it out? Maybe March announcement, unclear on release
  • What will it cost? Perhaps around $399 / £379 / AU$679.

iPhone 9 release date

Right, straight away we're into one of the more problematic elements of the iPhone 9 launch - when it will actually be.

The planets were starting to align around a March launch event, likely on March 31, where the iPhone 9 would possibly be shown off alongside new AirPods.

However, with the recent outbreak of the coronavirus, smartphone production has slowed worldwide and the factories in China usually used to create the iPhone have been partly shuttered.

Tim Cook recently said that the factories had begun to return to full production, to offset investor worry that the new phone wouldn't be launched as quickly as first thought.

It's also been reported that the iPhone 9 has entered its “final stage of engineering validation”, which further suggests it's almost here, as does a more recent claim that the iPhone 9 has now entered mass production.

iPhone SE

The iPhone SE at launch

But all that hasn't stopped Apple from needing to put out a press release confirming that revenue wouldn't be as high as previously thought, thanks to the outbreak, stating: "worldwide iPhone supply will be temporarily constrained".

The most recent launch news takes the form of cases for the phone apparently being sent to major retailers, with instructions not to merchandise them until April 5. That's this Sunday at the time of writing, so it's possible the iPhone 9 will launch before then. Sunday itself is very unlikely, as Apple usually launches products on week days.

Reports also suggest Apple's workers are adapting to working from home and the company is still planning a full suite of product launches this year, so that bodes well.

iPhone 9 price

The iPhone SE price began at $399 / £379 / AU$679, and we'd expect a similar amount for the iPhone 9.

According to noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (get ready for hearing a lot of that name, as a lot of the current rumors are based on the researcher's notes - but they're usually rather accurate) the iPhone 9 price will be the same.

That means starting at $399 (probably £399, AU$600 given Apple pricing conventions), according to the findings for TF Securities - and reiterated again by Kuo later.

However, in 2016 the cost of high-end phones was about half as much as it is today - the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra launched for a maximum of $1400, so to see a smartphone being unveiled for just under $400 seems rather novel.

Whether that is the price remains to be seen - the design and spec list (which we'll dig into a little later) are a little better than the iPhone 8 - and that still retails for $449. 

iPhone 9... or the iPhone SE 2?

There's a lot of confusion currently about the name of Apple's forthcoming budget phone. Some case-makers have gone early and tried to predict that it'll be called the iPhone SE 2 - and usually, they're pretty on the money. 

However, to go for the iPhone SE 2 title would be an odd move from Apple, given the last model came out four years ago.

And if anything, the next version of the 'budget' iPhone feels more akin to the iPhone 5C, taking the same innards as the 'main' handset but making it cheaper in a number of ways.

iPhone 8

The iPhone 8

So that leads us back to the iPhone 9 - the iPhone 8 was the last Apple phone to put large bezels above and below the screen (along with the Touch ID button), so the iPhone 9 would be a continuation of that line, and reports have suggested that it will indeed be the case.

But then you run into the issue of the iPhone 9 sounding like a real downwards step from the iPhone 11, currently one of the world's best-selling phones. 

While it's understandable - the iPhone 9 will be much cheaper - subconsciously it sends out a message that this phone is 'lesser', which is why Apple has usually come up with something more random (such as SE, 5C or XR) to help disguise the fact.

Another possibility then is that Apple ditches the extra numbers and letters altogether and just calls it the iPhone, much like its basic iPad range is just called iPad. A recent case leak suggests this might be the case, but it's not a theory we've heard otherwise.

So what will it be this year? Truthfully, we're currently stumped. If it follows the current nomenclature, we could see the iPhone 11 with a suffix - so the iPhone 11R, iPhone 11SE or some other random letter (Apple never explained what the 'C' stood for on the iPhone 5C).

For now, the iPhone 9 seems to be the best bet.

iPhone 9 design and display

As alluded to previously, the design of the iPhone 9 looks set to be almost identical to that of the iPhone 8, the iPhone 7, the iPhone 6S and the iPhone 6. Why change a winning formula, hey?

Well, actually, Apple did precisely that when it moved to the 'all-screen' phones of the iPhone X and later - but it hasn't stopped manufacturing the iPhone 8.

Some detail comes from Kuo once more, and has since been seen in renders from note leaker @Onleaks, as you can see below.

In its guise as the iPhone SE 2, the new budget iPhone has been 'seen' in a number of forms over the last two years, from a hybrid of the original SE (with angular metal sides) and the iPhone 6-8 range (with a more rounded glass front). 

Those at 9To5Mac have seen mentions of devices believed to be the iPhone 9 and iPhone 9 Plus in iOS 14's code that give a few hints at the design to expect. It's expected the smaller phone will feature a 4.7-inch display along with a Touch ID button.

That probably means you won't be able to use Face ID on this phone. At least that means no notch, right? It's expected the iPhone 9 Plus will be a similar, but slightly larger design than this phone but we don't currently know how big it'll be (if it even happens).

iPhone 9 specs

A variety of sources, including Ming-Chi Kuo - and also reported elsewhere - have suggested the specs list will look something like the below:

  • 3GB RAM
  • A13 chipset (the same as used in the current iPhone 11)
  • 4.7-inch LCD screen
  • Touch ID button
  • Single camera (MP still unknown)
  • 32-64GB storage starting option
  • No headphone jack

Let's break down those specs a little and see if we can't find out where the costs savings might be coming.

The first is the RAM, which is 25% lower than the iPhone 11 - and that's low in modern times, which means some apps might not run as smoothly.

If there was only 32GB of onboard storage, that would suggest that the iPhone 9 was  true budget phone, and would only interest those not particularly bothered about having a high-power phone... the amount of apps and media you could save on there would be pretty stingy.

However, most rumors put the iPhone 9 as having 64GB of onboard storage, which would be more than enough for most, but doesn't explain where the cost savings are coming from.

The 4.7-inch LCD screen isn't going to be high-res, with the same 750x1334 resolution as seen on the iPhone 8 - which will be a cheaper component. It'll be more than decent, but won't have the sharpness as the iPhone 11 nor the color-dripping beauty of the iPhone 11 Pro's OLED screen.

There have been plenty of rumors tipping the iPhone 9 to have Face ID facial recognition on board, or a fingerprint sensor baked into the power button - but more rumors (and our educated guess) would say that the home button / fingerprint sensor combo will remain.

And, sadly, there's almost certainly no headphone jack on board the iPhone 9 - simply because Apple's too far down the road of saying it's not needed on a smartphone to go back now.

So let's say goodbye to that port if you're an iPhone fan, and get saving for some cheaper AirPods Pro Lite.

iPhone 9: what we want to see 

We’ve come up with a wish list, filled with features that we want to see in the new iPhone 9 or iPhone SE 2.

Some of them are pleas to Apple to not remove key specs, while others dare the company to try something new. 

A headphone jack

First things first: the iPhone SE has a headphone jack and we'd very much like it if Apple kept things in place for the iPhone SE 2.

If Apple doesn't mess with the design of the next iteration, there's little reason to see it removed. However, rumors point to a new look, so fingers are crossed that the 3.5mm headphone jack doesn't get left on the cutting room floor.

A better battery

From a value perspective, the iPhone SE is high on the charts if you're looking for a phone that will last you through the day. As we discovered in our in-depth battery test, the SE swept the floor of the other popular iPhone models of the time, like the iPhone 7 and iPhone 6.

Its prowess at saving power makes sense. The screen is smaller and its boxy design doesn’t force Apple to slim down on the battery in the way that it might for a slimmer, sleeker chassis used with its core iPhone products.

While we're short on complaints about the SE's battery performance, it can only get better, right? We'd like to see Apple pushing some boundaries with its next phone with numbers that take it even higher.

Improved performance

One of the more impressive things about the SE is that it fits in a similar set of specs found in the iPhone 6S. A punchy palm-sized smartphone that could handle everything that its fancier iPhone brethren could for a more digestible price.

That's 2016 power though, and in 2020 we're hoping Apple gives the iPhone SE 2 the latest chipset and a bump in RAM.

A refreshed design

There's no arguing that reviving the iPhone 5 design for use with the iPhone SE was a good idea. After all, it's a winning design, first debuted on the iPhone 4, that set Apple far ahead of its competition in terms of build quality.

However, there comes a time when even the best design ideas need to be left to the side. And when looking toward the release of the iPhone SE 2, that time is now. 

We'd love to see something drastically different, all while sticking to the ergonomic four-inch size that SE fans are accustomed to.

Of course, if the design changes at all it will probably now take the form of a shrunk-down iPhone XR, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

A chance

That's right, we want Apple to give the iPhone SE 2 a chance. There's still a market out there for people who want an iPhone that sits comfortably in the palm, can be used one-handed without inducing a drop risk, and doesn't take up every square inch of a pocket.

The iPhone SE form factor is loved by its fans, and while the iPhone SE 2 won't be a best-seller for Apple it will show that the Cupertino firm is listening to some of its most loyal fans.

Apple Watch 6 looks set to track sleep, but watchOS 7 may not work with your watch

Consistent leaks and rumors have suggested the Apple Watch 6 is set to come with sleep tracking and blood oxygen monitoring features, and it seems those two features may come to other smartwatches too.

According to trusted sources speaking to The Verifier, watchOS 7 and the Apple Watch 6 is where we'll see the new features debut. That means these features may also be available on your current Apple Watch, when the software rolls out.

That won't be the case for much older devices though. This report says the Apple Watch 3 and above will get access to the new tools, suggesting the Apple Watch 2, Apple Watch Series 1 or the original device won't be compatible with watchOS 7.

A blood oxygen monitor has been included on the Apple Watch in its various iterations in the past, but the feature has yet to be turned on or made usable. It seems that may change in watchOS 7.

We won't know about any of these features until Apple's WWDC 2020 event that is set to take place in June, which is where we're expecting the company's new software to be unveiled. Covid-19 concerns has meant Apple will take this event online, but the company still intends to unveil its new software in some form online.

It's likely we'll hear about iOS 14, macOS 10.16 and the next version of iPadOS at that event. We're unlikely see the new Apple Watch 6 device, though, until the company's expected September event where we may also see the iPhone 12.

A new report from Bloomberg has also suggested Apple employees continue to work on new products from home during the Covid-19 pandemic. That may mean we continue to see new devices on schedule despite the company having to ask a lot of its employees to work from home.

The report specifically refers to a new version of the Apple Watch, which other rumors have suggested may get a Touch ID fingerprint sensor and new workout modes alongside the updates listed above.

HomePod 2 and new Apple TV on course for 2020 release date

The world may be coming to terms with new social isolation orders to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, but some companies are taking to it like ducks to water – iPhone maker Apple among them.

According to a new report from Bloomberg, Apple employees, despite now working remotely, are going full steam ahead to get the company's 2020 slate of products into the hands of consumers, despite the disruption to their usual working practices.

From new iPhones to iPads, new iMac to new MacBooks, the perennials are all accounted for. But perhaps more interestingly, the report suggests that 2020 will see the debut of a HomePod 2 smart speaker and a new Apple TV set-top box – the oft-overlooked members of the Apple hardware family.

Soon to be revealed?

While the details of each product of course remain shrouded in secrecy, the report states that all remain intended for 2020 release dates.

It seems that Apple is having to relax certain elements of its standard working practices in order to achieve this, too. Ever since a prototype iPhone 4 was lost in a bar by an Apple employee back in 2010, it's had strict rules on how its new devices can be used out in the real world.

But according to the report, Apple has "started allowing engineers to take home early versions of future devices to continue work during the lockdown period. Previously, the company allowed select employees to take home nearly compete devices such as iPhones for real world testing."

One of the anticipated OnePlus 8 phones might be absent at the launch event

The OnePlus 8 series launch event is happening on April 14, and while we were expecting three phones to be launched (the base handset with a Lite and Pro variant), it seems that may not be the case.

No, according to multiple reliable leakers the OnePlus 8 Lite isn't to be unveiled on April 14. Instead it will apparently land later, and with a different name.

Firstly, Max Weinbach stated that the OnePlus 8 Lite would actually be called the OnePlus Z, as a spiritual successor to the OnePlus X from 2015 which was a budget alternative to the OnePlus 2. This handset would likely be for fans who are put off by the fact that OnePlus phones are slowly getting more and more pricey.

Oppo, a phone company owned by the same parent company as OnePlus, took a similar route in expanding its Oppo Reno series with the Oppo Reno Z, and Apple is rumored to be doing the same with the iPhone 9 for people who don't want to pay for a pricey iPhone 11.

As for the later launch, Ishan Agarwal tweeted that the OnePlus Z might come later in 2020, and that it could herald the beginning of a whole new OnePlus range.

This, presumably, would be a series distinct from the OnePlus 8T range - which we're also expecting later this year - and would be aimed at a different audience to the main devices.

Most phone companies have multiple lines of smartphones coming out, like Samsung with its Galaxy S, Note, A, M and J phones available in some combination depending on region, so it wouldn't be surprising if OnePlus did the same.

It sounds like OnePlus could be trying to come up with a budget line to sit under its main line, like how Xiaomi has the Redmi brand to hit that market.

We'll likely find out later in the year though, with the April 14 launch dedicated to the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro by the sounds of it. TechRadar will be reporting on all the news from the event, as well as our analysis and opinions, so stay tuned for that.

iPhone 9 launch date might be soon as cases are seemingly being sent to stores

A number of rumors had suggested the iPhone 9 might land soon, and it’s now looking very likely that they were right, as cases for the phone are reportedly being sent out to major retailers in the US, such as Best Buy.

This claim, along with a photograph of one of the cases, comes from a tipster speaking to 9to5Mac, and if true this would likely mean the iPhone 9 could launch imminently, since physical stock of cases is unlikely to be sent long before the launch.

As for exactly when the iPhone 9 would launch though, that’s still unclear. The source claims that retailers have been told not to merchandise the cases until April 5, but that’s a Sunday, which is a very unlikely day for a new product launch.

However, it’s unlikely that Apple would want the cases known about before the iPhone 9 is announced, so we could well see it land before then – which would mean an announcement sometime before the 5th.

One leak had even previously pointed to an announcement on March 31, which is today at the time of writing, but with no other sources backing that up we’d take it with a pinch of salt.

Still, the only real reason to doubt a launch soon is the disruption caused by the coronavirus, but a number of reports claim Apple is getting back on track. Most recently a Bloomberg report suggested that Apple employees have largely adjusted to working from home and numerous Apple products are on track to launch this year.

The iPhone 9 wasn't specifically mentioned, but the likes of new budget iPads and the iPhone 12 range were, so there's no reason Apple's budget phone couldn't be on target too.

As for the case image itself, that doesn’t show us much, other than a camera cut-out in the top left corner of the rear, which is where we’d expect to find it. However, there are two things to note.

Firstly, the image is of a UAG case, which is a big-name brand that might well have launch information in advance, so it’s very believable that its cases could have been sent out to retailers based on accurate launch timing information.

Second, the phone is referred to as ‘New iPhone 4.7" 2020’, which tells us firstly to expect a 4.7-inch screen, as had been rumored, but secondly doesn’t include either of the possible names we were expecting for the new iPhone. Previous rumors had pointed probably to iPhone 9, or failing that iPhone SE 2.

The slightly bland description here probably just means UAG wasn’t sure of the final name, but it’s always possible that Apple is ditching the numbers and just calling its most basic phone the iPhone, much like its most basic iPad is just called iPad. It’s likely that we’ll find out for sure very soon.

Via GSMArena

Samsung Display to discontinue LCD panel production by the end of this year

Samsung Display is the global leader when it comes to panels, not just limited to smartphones. A significant but expected change is reported to go in place later this year when it will end all LCD production.

Samsung Display has been the supplier of choice for most smartphone and television brands across the world, with customers spanning from Apple to OnePlus and everything in between. LG happens to be the closest competitor, which is significantly smaller in terms of market share.

Reuters reports that Samsung is on its way to ending all LCD panel production by the end of this year, after fulfilling the pending orders to its partners. Currently, there are two production lines at its South Korea campus, and two LCD-only factories in China. One of the former will eventually be upgraded and converted into a facility that can produce superior “Quantum dot” displays, while the fate of the latter is yet to be finalized.

One of the key reasons for this shift is to curb the oversupply of LCDs while there is a global slowdown for smartphones and TVs. Moreover, most manufacturers are also looking to leap on to OLED displays, which are generally considered to be superior. With the prices of OLED panels going down due to advancements, we’re now seeing them feature even in budget smartphones.

Samsung’s displays are generally considered to be the best in the business, especially when it comes to smartphones. Aspects such as high resolutions, triple-digit refresh rates, HDR capabilities, physically curved sides, in-display biometrics, and never-before-seen peak brightness levels have all been democratized in the recent past.

Even LG made a similar announcement earlier this year that LG DIsplay Co will halt LCD production for TVs in late 2020.

How to watch Joe Wicks' PE lesson - live now

We're well into the week now, and if you're one of the millions of people suddenly aware they want to get fit, a man named Joe Wicks is trying to be the PE teacher for the UK (and increasingly, the entire world).

The online phenomenon is seeing hundreds of thousands of people crowding around their TVs, iPads, smartphones and more and flinging their limbs around in new and strength-giving ways at 9AM BST each day.

While it was originally dubbed as 'just for kids' during self-isolation, we've been doing it daily and it's certainly not easy. Our stiff muscles tell that story...

The man many will know as the Body Coach has also pledged the following rather nice thing on his Instagram:

"So I've decided that as long as I’m the nations P.E. teacher, every single penny of the money generated on these videos is going to the place where we need it the most right now. All of it is going straight to the NHS, to support the real heroes right now."

So you'll be getting fit and helping those on the front line - that's something we can get on board with.

We'll be updating this article with the live video below - check back regularly and we'll put the link below.

Want to get the best out of the workout? Here's a quick list to make those morning workouts a little easier:

Or, if you don't want to buy a whole new TV to get easy smarts, a Chromecast or Roku stick will allow you to easily stream to your TV too:

What time does Joe Wicks’ kids workout start each day?

If you’re itching to get your fix of Wicks live each day, then you’ll need to have YouTube open and waiting at 9AM BST each day. 

(If you're in other parts of the world and don't want to get up ridiculously early each day to watch live, we've got the recent uploads listed at the bottom of this article).

The sessions last for 30 mins, and include a warm up and cool down, and two repetitions of the circuits he walks (or sprints) you through.

How do I watch Joe Wicks’ PE sessions?

If you‘re interesting in getting involved with The Body Coach as it happens, and can cope with irrepressible enthusiasm as this hour, then you’ll need to have your YouTube portal open on your TV, tablet or smartphone at around 8:55AM BST.

Once ready, navigate to The Body Coach’s YouTube channel on your TV, phone or iPad (more on how to do that below).

You won't see him on camera straight away - but try to memorise all the items on his shelves as there's a daily spot the difference for the die-hard fans.

(If you want to watch it on catch up each day, at a time that suits you, then you can just follow the same instructions above, where the previous workouts will be posted to catch up on.)

How to watch Joe Wicks’ kids workout on a TV

The best way - if you’ve got the space - is to watch the workout in front of a TV. There are myriad ways to get YouTube on your tellybox, thus making it simpler to get active.

Using your smart TV

The easiest way is if you've got a smart TV into your life - open up your smart hub and navigate to YouTube, where you can follow the searching instructions above to find The Body Coach TV, with a new video going live each day at 9AM GMT.

If you don't see it straight away, then it should appear just before 9AM - and Wicks gives you a few minutes to get ready too.

Using Google Chromecast

Alternatively you can use streaming sticks - one of the simplest is Google's Chromecast, which plugs into your HDMI socket and will stream content from your phone to the TV.

Fire up YouTube on your smartphone or tablet and look for the icon below in one of the corners:

(The same icon will also show you any compatible smart TVs or streaming sticks on your network that you can 'cast' the show to - you might be surprised which devices are already enabled).

The Chromecast isn't too expensive either, and is a simple way to turn your TV smart - allowing you to stream a multitude of services (like Netflix and other streaming platforms) from your small phone screen to a larger display:

How to watch on a Roku stick:

More advanced than a Chromecast, the Roku stick turns your TV into a smart hub easily too. When plugged in, hit the 'source' button on your remote and navigate to the HDMI port where your Roku stick is located (or, with some modern TVs, just pressing the 'Home' button on the Roku remote will achieve the same thing).

From there, open the YouTube app and navigate to the Body Coach TV at 9AM GMT...  or fire it up on your smartphone or tablet and look for the 'cast' icon above, tap it and see if the Roku is listed (which it should be if all devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network).

How to watch Joe Wicks’ PE workout on an iPad

You’ve got two options here: if you’ve already got the YouTube app downloaded onto your tablet, then just search for ‘The Body Coach’ and click the icon at the top of the screen for ‘Body Coach TV’.

From there you’ll see a list of all the videos, and at 9AM the new option should pop up - although you may need to refresh.

You can achieve the same thing if you don’t have the iPad app by heading to your Safari or Chrome browser and clicking the link to the The Body Coach’s YouTube channel - you can play the video directly from there, and hit the full-screen option in the bottom right-hand corner.

How to catch up on Joe Wicks' other PE workouts

If you missed anything, or want to browse previous workouts, they're all available on the same YouTube channel above - or you can watch them right here:


Popular Posts


Blog Archive