The bargain Moto G 5G Plus takes 5G mainstream before the iPhone 12 1

The bargain Moto G 5G Plus takes 5G mainstream before the iPhone 12

With a starting price of £299, the Moto G 5G Plus is going to be the most mainstream and affordable way to get a 5G phone and it’s a seriously enticing prospect.
For years now the Moto G series has been the pinnacle of the ‘cheap phone’. It’s a fuss-free product that tends to focus on usability rather than shiny specs, and the Moto G8 is currently our pick for the best budget phone you can buy.
But the new Moto G 5G Plus feels like the next-generation of the G series; taking everything a step into the future and kicking off the next few iterations of the device.
While this could have been called the Moto G9 (or more likely G9 Pro), the focus is really on the 5G connectivity. We’ve seen flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S20 and OnePlus 8 Pro feature the tech for the past year. And more recently it’s trickled down to mid-range devices, such as the LG Velvet and Moto Edge, but this is one of the first to bring it to the wallet friendly £299 price point (or £349 if you want a little more RAM and double the storage).
With such a low starting price this should be the first phone that can make 5G commonplace and prove that it’s not a tech that you need to spend upwards of a grand to get.
What makes the Moto G 5G Plus feel even more like the beginning of a new line of excellent budget phones is that it doesn’t stick 5G support onto the phone and then skimp everywhere else. Scan the spec sheet here and you’ve got a device that, on first look, certainly feels likeRead More…

Fast Charge: It won't be an iPhone that brings 5G to the masses – it'll be a Moto G 2

Fast Charge: It won’t be an iPhone that brings 5G to the masses – it’ll be a Moto G

The iPhone 12 is the current darling of the tech world, with daily rumours and ‘leaks’ hitting the headlines at a near frenzied pace and readers lapping them up just as fast.
Nearly all of them have Apple fans outright salivating, with rumours talking about everything from a new and improved 120Hz screen, to a radially reworked rear camera. But, the biggest selling point for it, according to industry rumblings will be its status as the first 5G iPhone.
This is a key factor that, according to some industry commentators, will be a key turning point that will help make 5G a mainstream technology. But for me, that argument’s a little misguided.
For those that missed it, 5G’s been a hot topic in the world of mobile since EE launched 4G in the UK many moons ago. Which is why when you walk into any phone store you’ll see 5G branding plastering every wall and advert. And on paper there’s a lot of reasons to get excited about the tech.
After all, gigabit-per-second speeds will change the way we use phones, opening the door for next generation cloud services like GeForce Now and 4K HDR movie streaming on a phone – two key things that are simply beyond 4G’s slower data rates.
Related: Best cheap phone
But that leads us to the key question. If 5G’s so great, why are so few people using it at the moment? One big reason is the fact the tech only works in select locations, so if you’re outside a city hub there’s little chance you’ll get to use it, even if your phoneRead More…

The iOS 14 launch is far more important than the iPhone 12 3

The iOS 14 launch is far more important than the iPhone 12

Apple has finally unveiled iOS 14 and, while it may not be as sexy, for me it’s far more exciting than the iPhone 12. Here’s why.
I’ve loved watching WWDC since I was a kid. The sheer pace at which new stuff is announced and the instant gratification from downloading the likely very shoddy first beta are hard to beat when it comes to tech launches.
And yes, I prefer the launch of Apple’s latest software to that of its flagship phone for the simple reason that software makes far more difference to me than hardware. The iPhone 12 will, and of course this is just based off early rumours, be faster, pack a better camera and feature a design reminiscent of the Best iPhone ever (aka the iPhone 5).
But I won’t use or notice these features every day. They won’t change how I use an iPhone. iOS 14, on the other hand, will.
Related: How to download iOS 14
The software part of the phone is its most important feature, as it’s the thing you interact with every time you use the phone. Bad software is a dealbreaker and it’s the reason why it can often be hard recommending certain super-cheap Android phones. These might tout specs that would make the iPhone SE 2 feel inadequate, but the day-to-day experience can’t compete. Heck, I even found it hard to wholeheartedly recommending Samsung phones a few years ago as the software was such a pain. Thankfully that’s no longer the case with the Galaxy S20 series.
Many articles have used the tired cliche of ‘evolution rather thRead More…

Fairphone’s beating Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi and Sony in a key area 4

Fairphone’s beating Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi and Sony in a key area

Fairphone might be less well known than Samsung, OnePlus and other major manufacturers, but the phone maker is pushing ahead in terms of software support. Fairphone has just announced that the Fairphone 2 will be getting a software update – five years after its release.
Fairphone 2 users can now upgrade to Android 9, making it one of the only Android phones released in 2015 to continue to receive support.
The Fairphone 2 was initially released on Android 5 and has continued to receive updates over the last five years. This puts it ahead of major rivals including Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi and Sony, which 2015 models received support for two to four years, respectively. While you can continue to use these handsets, unsupported devices are more vulnerable to security flaws than supported phones.
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Fairphone’s trademark is its ethically-produced, sustainable handsets, so it makes sense that the company would encourage users to delay upgrades as long as possible. The original Fairphone was the world’s first commercially available modular smartphone and the company continues to market affordable replacement parts for the Fairphone 2 to promote longevity.
Many major phone manufacturers limit software support for their phones to encourage consumers to upgrade. However short life cycles turn valuable resources into e-waste, while smartphone production contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.
“The focus on releasing new products every year, which have a short Read More…

Apple is more prepared to make the Surface Duo than Microsoft 5

Apple is more prepared to make the Surface Duo than Microsoft

This week fresh rumours emerged suggesting Apple is working on a new foldable, that sounds eerily familiar to Microsoft’s upcoming Surface Duo – a move which in turn led to fresh rumblings claiming the iPhone maker is plum out of ideas. But for us here at Trusted Reviews, that’s hogwash. Here’s why. 
For those that missed it, the latest Apple rumour comes from tipster Jon Prosser, who tweeted that Apple’s ‘foldable’ will be composed of two separate display panels on a hinge – just like the Duo. According to Prosser, the iPhone will have round, stainless steel edges and no notch, but a small forehead on the outer display for Face ID. The memes are funny — but it doesn’t look like they just stuck two phones together.
Even though they’re two separate panels, when the displays are extended, it looks fairly continuous and seamless.
— Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser) June 15, 2020 Related: Microsoft Surface Duo
This isn’t the first we’ve heard of Apple’s Surface Duo competitor. Apple actually filed a patent for the dual-screen technology almost three years ago in June 2017, though the patent was only approved this March.
And while there’s no getting around Microsoft got its product into the public eye first, I still think Apple has a better chance of success than the Duo.
While Microsoft may be ahead of the game in terms of development – it showed off a polished-looking device eight months ago – Apple has a history of mimicking Microsoft’s coRead More…

Samsung's mastered limited edition smartphones with the BTS Galaxy S20 6

Samsung’s mastered limited edition smartphones with the BTS Galaxy S20

Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S20 Plus and Galaxy Buds Plus BTS Edition today and – despite not being much of a K-pop stan – I actually really like it. Here’s where.
Countless limited edition phones have hit shelves over the past few decades and, while the more unique ones certainly catch our attention, that doesn’t necessarily translate to success. Some look flashy but lack a loyal following, while others appeal to a certain fanbase but aren’t exactly practical to own (try pulling out your Samsung Matrix phone during a job interview).
Samsung has hit the nail on the head with this collaboration with the Galaxy S20 Plus BTS Edition sitting somewhere in between.
Read our review of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus On the surface, the limited edition smartphone just looks like the regular Galaxy S20 but in a pink-ish purple. Look closer and you’ll spot a tiny purple heart on the camera module and the K-pop group’s logo under the Samsung logo.
It’s subtle, but effective – unique enough that BTS fans could spot each other in the wild, yet inconspicuous enough that anyone could buy the phone without having to memorise the group’s wikipedia page in its entirety.
The phone is available in 5G and LTE variants and comes with pre-installed BTS-inspired themes and fan app Weverse, though I assume you can override these themes with more standard Samsung options. The phone also comes with decorative stickers for BTS fans looking to opt for a less subtle look, as well as photRead More…

48 hours with the Sony Xperia 1 II: 4 things we've noticed so far 7

48 hours with the Sony Xperia 1 II: 4 things we’ve noticed so far

We’ve finally got our hands on the Sony Xperia 1 II and it’s currently being put through its paces for our full review.
Until that arrives, here are some of the thoughts I have had from my first few days with Sony’s ambitious 2020 flagship.
1. This is the best looking Sony phone to date
Sony might not have gone as wild with the Xperia 1 II design as it did with the PS5, but this is still a really nice phone that is very well built. It’s very tall thanks to the 21:9 display, which might put some off, however the flat sides help it sit comfortably in your hand.
You’ve also got a headphone jack on the top, a very good capacitive fingerprint sensor on the side and a camera shutter button – all features that are missed off most top Android phones these days.
2. The 21:9 display is impressive even if it makes the phone a little hard to hold
Once you get over the slight awkwardness the tall display brings, the actual quality of the screen is excellent – especially if you’re big into watching media on your phone.
This is the only phone that packs a 4K OLED display, with full HDR 10 bit colour support. It also ditches the notch completely for a full screen with no distractions.
While it’s hard to notice the 4K resolution on such a small screen, fire up a compatible video on YouTube and the sharpness makes itself noticeable. This is an excellent display for media and for watching 21:9 content on Netflix. The tall screen does mean you’ll be stretching lots of 16:9 oRead More…

I really hope the iPhone 12 looks like this 8

I really hope the iPhone 12 looks like this

The fabled iPhone 12’s release rapidly approaching and we might have just gotten a glimpse at its design thanks to a fresh ‘leak’. While we here at Trusted Towers always take these things with a pinch of salt, if it does end up looking anything like the leaked image then I am very excited about Apple’s next flagship.
A number of models apparently showing off the design of the upcoming iPhone 12 and fancier sibling the iPhone 12 Pro have appeared on Twitter, once again suggesting we’re in for a big redesign this year.
The models – which could be used by case designers hoping to develop products for the phone – show three main devices all of which ditch the current rounded look you’ll find on the iPhone 11 series. In its place is a far more angular device, with flat sides. The sides are squared off, just like the rumored #iPhone12 #iPhone12Pro
— 🇳🇿JinStore® (@Jin_Store) June 14, 2020 It’s a look we’ve seen before, both on the recent incarnations of the iPad Pro and the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5. These remain three of my favourite Apple products of all time due to their industrial looks. It makes so much sense to bring this classic Apple style back to the iPhone 12.
2020 has so far been a year with minimal design innovation (well, maybe let’s not count the PS5 in that. Over the last six months we’ve seen lots of products launch with almost identical designs to their predecessor. You can see this in everything from Apple Read More…

Fast Charge: Sony Xperia 1 II beats the Galaxy S20 in this one key area 9

Fast Charge: Sony Xperia 1 II beats the Galaxy S20 in this one key area

After months of waiting, we’ve finally got our hands on the Sony Xperia 1 II and first impressions are very good. This is an Android phone that does things a bit differently and looks to offer certain buyers a viable alternative to the behemoth Samsung Galaxy S20 series.
Take the screen, for instance. Sony remains the only manufacturer using a 4K OLED panel on its phone and it’s easily one of the sharpest out there as a result. It is also taller than just about every other phone thanks to the 21:9 aspect ratio, giving it a far more cinematic feel.
Sony also decided against packing the camera sensors with 48, 64 or even 108-megapixels, focussing instead on using its Alpha camera smarts to set the snappers apart from the crowded marketplace.
But it’s a far smaller decision that has really caught my eye and got me all misty-eyed about phones from a few years ago. Instead of copying pretty much every Android phone in 2020 and using a fingerprint sensor buried underneath the display, Sony has stuck with a physical sensor built into the power switch on the side.
Related: Best phone 2020
The Galaxy S20 uses an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor Since they were first introduced on phones a couple of years ago, in-display sensors have caused me constant issues. The optical versions used on phones like the OnePlus 8 Pro are fast but require the portion around the sensor to light up before they can be used, while Samsung’s ultrasonic variety take an age to unlock.
You knRead More…

Opinion: Apple needs to 'borrow' this Android 11 feature for iOS 14 10

Opinion: Apple needs to ‘borrow’ this Android 11 feature for iOS 14

Google has just unveiled Android 11 and if you’ve got a Pixel phone (or anything from the Pixel 2 onwards), you can download the beta right now. There are numerous new features, but one handy tweak has caught my eye and I’d love Apple to include something similar in iOS 14.
With Android 11 installed, you can now press the power key to bring up a handy new menu filled with quick actions. As you might expect you can restart or power off the phone and get quick access to your Google Pay cards, but Google has also added in smart home controls here too.
This means you’re just one button press away from having direct access to all your smart home gear, be it Hue bulbs or a Nest Thermostat, and it’s really easy to either turn things off immediately or alter the brightness or temperature.
Related: Everything we know about the Pixel 4a Having this kind of smart home control so easily accessible and not hidden behind an app, or even in a settings panel, makes me much more likely to actually use it on a consistent basis.
As an iPhone user, this small tweak would be seriously welcome in iOS 14 (or looking forward to iOS 15). Currently, you can access any smart tech you have tied to the Home app by swiping down the Control Center and pressing the Home icon. This is fine, but having it accessible with a press of the power key makes so much more sense and is less fiddly. I’ve only been using Android 11 for the past day, but this has already stood out as a great, well-designed UIRead More…