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Reviews

Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Phone - With Android

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Android
Reviews
Ubuntu

I ever so slightly regret the "upgrade" to Android. With a version less than the tablet, the UI changes are extremely noticeable, and the transition isn't as smooth. The device lags, and it just doesn't have enough processing power to give the necessary feel of goodness and elegance. On the other hand, you get tons of native applications that you can actually use, as opposed to the Ubuntu Touch idea. Shame really. For 'tis a compromise.
If you ask me, I wholeheartedly embrace the M10 tablet upgrade, but on the phone, you might as well keep Ubuntu unless you need the device for serious use. If it's just an opportunistic call/SMS thing for when abroad and such, or to loan to friends, the original combo is adequate. If you need apps, then Android is the way to go, but do not except any miracles. It won't be speedy, and it won't be too pretty. All in all, an okay player.

It is silly attaching sentiments to software or hardware, but I do guess I will fondly remember the Ubuntu phone attempt as a noble idea to make something great and fun. I could have kept the device in its original state, perhaps, but in the end, it would have ended in a pile of ancient stuff you keep around for a decade until you decide you need to throw it away to leave room for fresh memories and less ancient stuff. Having a flawless Android experience would have helped soften the edge, but as it is, it remains the bittersweet attempt at what could have been a revolution. The end.

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Also: Ubuntu Desktop weekly update – February 23, 2018

Endless OS Helps Tear Down Linux Wall

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OS
Reviews

The free version of Endless OS adheres to the free license policy. It includes preinstalled video and audio codecs that are free of patents. That can limit the types of files you can play. Non-included codecs are available for purchase at the Endless OS Store.

If you dislike managing frequent system updates and new release upgrades, you may have a special liking for Endless OS. As long as you have an Internet connection, the OS periodically checks for updates and automatically downloads and applies them in the background. You get a notification to restart.

Although this desktop design should be an ideal environment for touchscreens, Endless OS does not take to touch very well. This is a major feature weakness if you have a touchscreen laptop or desktop monitor.

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Tutanota: Encrypted Open Source Email Service for Privacy Minded People

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Reviews

If you are a privacy concerned netizen, try Tutanota. It is an open source email service for encrypted email communication. Here are the pros and cons of using Tutanota.
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KDE neon 5.12 review - Living on the edge

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KDE
Reviews

KDE neon 5.12 is a reasonable distro. It is MUCH better than Kubuntu Aardvark but not as sweet as my 2017 favorite, Zesty Zebra. That said, it had none of the horrible problems that I saw in the 17.10 release. It's fast, there were no real errors, you get multimedia playback out of the box, reasonable smartphone and network support, and the bleeding edge of what Plasma can deliver.

On the other hand, there are some really life-sapping annoyances in the system, which do not belong in year 2018, or even 2008 for that matter. Better hardware support is needed. The decorations need a cleanup. The software arsenal is thin. Discover needs a miracle. Overall, neon behaves like a developer-focused system, and it has that rough, test-commit feel about it. It does try to balance the best of all worlds - an LTS base combined with the latest Plasma, but that's no excuse for sloppy work or bugs.

It can do better, and we have the most splendid Kubuntu 17.04 as the golden benchmark from now on until the end of times, we few, we happy few, we band of geeks, for he who tests with me together, shall be my code brother, may his git ne'er be so vile, and the persons of all genders now in bed shall feel themselves accursed, and hold their VR sets cheap ... I think you get the idea. I got carried away. Let's summarize. KDE neon 5.12, fresh, cool, sleek, needs more apps, better package management, better overall peripheral support. But there's a lot of potential and hope, and I think we will see cool things in Plasma this year. 7.5/10. Worth checking.

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Honor 9 Lite review: Leader of the affordable Android pack

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Android
Reviews

As Huawei's budget brand, Honor handsets are well known for offering good value for money. With the Honor 9 Lite the 'good value' theme is raised a notch, thanks to an 18:9 aspect ratio 5.65-inch screen and no fewer than four cameras.

Judging by its name, you might expect the Honor 9 Lite to be a trimmed-down version of the Honor 9, but there are some significant variances that suggest the new handset is a step sideways rather than a step down.

The Honor 9's 5.15-inch 1,080-by-1,920 (16:9) screen is trumped here by a bigger, taller 5.65-inch 1,080-by-2,160 (18:9) display. There are also dual cameras front and back, whereas the Honor 9 only has dual rear cameras. At the time of writing the Honor 9 is selling for £349 (inc. VAT) direct from Honor, so the Honor 9 Lite's £199.99 looks very appealing.

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Huawei P Smart review

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Android
Reviews

With a decent 18:9 screen, the P Smart is a fine Android phone that should appeal to anyone looking for a cheap contract phone. However, the fact it’s so similar to the Honor 9 Lite (which costs £100 less when bought SIM-free) makes it hard to recommend, especially as the Honor has a couple of extra features – dual SIM and a second front camera – which the Huawei lacks.

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KaOS 2017.11 review - Chaotic and unfriendly

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Reviews

KaOS 2017.11 feels like a very buggy product. While I do like the Nvidia setup right from the start, this little gem is offset by pretty much everything else. Most other recent distros rarely had any issues with the LG RD510 laptop - apart from the ATA link reset on wake after suspend, which affects all of them - but KaOS is an exception to that rule with a rather depressing hardware record - Bluetooth, Wireless no-reconnect, smartphone support. And let's not even talk about Samba.

The responsiveness was quite bad, Kaptan did not work, and I wasn't enjoying the visual side of things one bit. In fact, I really do not understand the eye-killing choices that go with the default theme. All in all, there are very few redeeming factors to KaOS. If you're looking for something avant-garde, the Arch-based Antergos or Manjaro fit the bill rather well. If you want mainstream, Mint or Ubuntu or whatever. This falls somewhere in between, with nothing amazing in return. 2/10. Perhaps next time.

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Review: DietPi 6.1

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Reviews

DietPi makes it extremely easy to turn a single board computer into many different things. Installing and configuring Nextcloud, Kodi, etc., only require a few very basic steps. Every software package I tried installed with few issues, and worked great once installed. DietPi does almost all the hard work for the user, which makes it a great option for running on any single board computer or as a virtual machine. If you are looking for a lightweight and easy-to-use operating system for your single board computer, you cannot go wrong with DietPi.

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Kudos to Namib Linux for Making Arch Approachable

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Reviews

Namib is an ideal Linux distro for anyone who wants to ease into the Arch approach to computing.

Namib is a newcomer -- the third and current release (version 17.11) arrived late last year. However, it makes up for its lack of age by its performance. Namib makes Arch simple.

Surprisingly very user-friendly as well as compatible with older computers, Namib also is very stable.

Since Namib is based on the Arch philosophy, it uses rolling releases so you do not have to reinstall the entire operating system every time a major update occurs. The Pacman package manager handles new system components along with security and application updates automatically.

Namib is very up to date.

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LinuxAndUbuntu Distro Review Of PCLinuxOS

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PCLOS
Reviews

Definitely, check this distribution out whenever you get the chance. It doesn’t have all of the bells, whistles, and gimmicks that are found in other distros, but this one is still a very usable solid operating system. Installing it in VirtualBox wasn’t all smooth sailing; however, if you wish to install PCLinuxOS on a physical computer, you should have a positive experience with this Linux. Installing and updating packages to keep the system up to date is easy and straightforward, so is configuring your Plasma desktop.

The only major thing that occurred was not being able to enter the password when installing the bootloader. Minor issues did present themselves, but nothing that would greatly impact the overall experience with the system. So, PCLinuxOS isn’t perfect (well, what is?), but quite a solid distribution worth trying.

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