World’s first Blockchain phone is here. And you can buy it in Bangladesh

The time when Blockchain becomes a thing is upon us. Other than being used in cryptocurrencies, there will now be general use of this technology. Sirin Labs, A Swiss-based company has developed a Blockchain smartphone. They call it the Finney! Sirin Labs will launch Finney in Bangladesh. 

BTRC (Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission) has cleared the import, which will begin from August 27. Index Group will be the one to import this.

What is blockchain?

Blockchain is mainly a bunch of blocks that contain records. For example; name, address, time, transactions, and the list goes on. Now several blocks like these are open to the public and are decentralized. And these blocks will update themselves with new information; and will link up to one another via cryptography. So, despite being out in public this technology is very secure.

Now, the Bangladesh government has planned to send graduates to learn and train for blockchain technology to Japan and India.

Features of the phone

The phone will be priced at $999. After being approved in August, it is said to be available in the market from October 2019. The Finney will run on Android OS 8.1x and Sirin OS 3.01. It will also have Cold storage crypto wallet, major cryptocurrency support, crypto wallet application, Token conversion system, and an Embedded D-apps store. Internal memory on this is 128gb which is expandable up to 2tb. The phone comes with a second screen on top of it and it has a water resistance of IP15.

Best smartphones you can get under BDT 25,000

It is not always possible to buy expensive high-end smartphones. Especially, for those living in a budget. Here are a small recommendation of budget smartphones, all under Tk. 25,000. These smartphones pack a hefty amount of features that will satisfy your phone needs.

Samsung Galaxy A50

Best smartphones you can get under BDT 20,000

The Samsung Galaxy A50 was released in March of 2019. The smartphone comes with 6.4 inches of Super AMOLED glass notched touchscreen. It has a pixel density of 403 ppi and a 4000 mAh battery. It comes packed with fast charging to keep it going through the day. It’s also rocking an Exynos 9610 chipset that houses eight cores; either 4 or 6 gigabytes worth of ram and either 64 or 128 gigs of internal storage. In case that was not enough, it also offers expandable microSD storage up to a whopping one terabyte.

On the camera side, it boasts triple cameras on the back and one selfie camera.

The triple cameras on the back consist of 25 megapixels, 8 megapixels ultra-wide unit. The last one has 5 megapixels with a depth sensor. These also allow for video recordings at up to 1080p resolution and thirty frames per second and HDR functionality. The selfie camera is 25 megapixels. This allows for video recording at 1080p resolution and thirty frames per second and HDR functionality.

Besides these, A50 has a headphone jack, USB-C, Bluetooth 5.0, a fingerprint sensor under the screen, NFC, accelerometer, 4G, dual sim capabilities and other great small features. The screen to body ratio is an incredible 84.90%. Running everything under the hood is Android Pie (9.0) which is the latest version of Android. All this comes in only at a weight of 169 grams.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy M10, the phone designed to win Bangladesh back

Samsung Galaxy M20

Best smartphones you can get under BDT 20,000

The first thing to mention for this smartphone is the teardrop notch on the screen. The screen itself is a 6.3 inches capacitive touchscreen. Packing a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels and a pixel density of 409 ppi. The battery is 5000 mAh with fast charging.

Samsung Galaxy M20 comes with the Exynos 7904 chip and two variants for storage options. One option is to get 4 gigabytes of ram and 64 gigabytes of internal storage. Another option is to get 3 gigabytes of ram and 3 gigabytes of internal storage. Both allow expandable storage in the form of MicroSD slot up to one terabyte.

The M20 boasts dual cameras on the back and one selfie camera. The selfie camera is 8 megapixels and HDR-enabled which also records videos at 1080p resolution at 30fps. These also have HDR functionality and record videos at 1080p and 30 fps.

One of the dual cameras is 13 megapixels and the other is a 5-megapixel ultra-wide.

All the usual necessities also make appearances as expected. From USB Type-C to a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, Bluetooth 5.0 and 4g capabilities, dual sim and of course, a 3.5 mm headphone jack. Running everything is Android Oreo (8.0) which is upgradable to Android Pie (9.0). The whole smartphone weighs a respectable 186 grams.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy M40, midrange beast

Honor 10 Lite

Best smartphones you can get under BDT 20,000

The Honor 10 Lite comes in a total of five different variants. There is a 6 gigs ram version that can either have 64 gigs of internal storage or 128 gigs of internal storage. There are 64 gigs of internal storage option that either has 3 or 4 gigs of ram. Finally, there is a 32 gigs internal storage option with 3 gigabytes of ram. No matter which version you choose, you will also be getting expandable storage via micro SD card up to 1 terabyte. Although, the SD card will take up one sim slot.

Best smartphones you can get under BDT 20,000

The smartphone sports a 6.21 inches LCD capacitive notched display at a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels and a 3400 mAh battery. On the back, it’s a dual-camera setup. One of the cameras is 13 megapixels and the other is 2 megapixels. They can record videos at 1080p resolution at 60 fps. The selfie camera is 24 megapixels which also records videos at 1080p at 30 fps. Both the front and back cameras have HDR functionality.

This device is geared towards taking selfies.

Under the hood, on the hardware side, running everything is the Hisilicon Kirin 710 octa-core CPU. On the software side, it comes with the latest Android operating system, Android Pie (9.0), with EMUI 9.1 on top of it. The Honor Lite 10 also comes with a 3.5 mm headphone jack, rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, fast charging capability, and other miscellaneous features. It does not have a USB Type-C port though. Altogether, the device weighs only 162 grams.

Avail an exclusive discount of BDT 200 on any purchase above BDT 1000 in PriyoShop.com! Use the code HIFIPUBLIC to get the discount. Offer valid till 30th September.

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The Best flagship phones you can buy in Bangladesh

Choosing a phone is one of the most important purchasing decisions. It is also a very expensive decision if you are buying an expensive top-of-the-line flagship phone. The smartphone market feels saturated and it may feel overwhelming to choose from so many. You need to deliberate which phone offers the best combination of the features suited to your needs or lifestyle. For most of us in Bangladesh, value for money is one of the most important factors. so, this list prioritizes that consideration. No iPhone here. Sorry (not sorry).

About the list

Only one phone per company has been included. In-depth specifications have not been included for all phones, check out our reviews on some of the phones and you know, Google.

1.    Samsung Galaxy Note 9

The Best Flagship phones you can buy

The Note 9 is a good follow up and a significant upgrade over the Note 8. It retains the premium build quality of the Note series, as a more productivity oriented model than the average smartphone. The design and the features on this are aimed at people who value portability and productivity.
The phone has an octa core Exynos 9810 processor along with 6GB of ram. It has excellent battery life with fast charging capability.

The glass back and the Corning Gorilla Glass covering the glass makes this phone good to look and firm in build. The Galaxy Note 9 adopts a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2960 x 1440 pixels. It has good brightness levels and sunlight legibility. The device panel has a wide selection of color. These colors show up on the vivid display, making it a worthy contender as the best display on a smartphone today.

It has a dual rear camera setup with 12mp sensors; both cameras have Optical image stabilization and one camera is a telephoto with 2x optical zoom capability. In simple English, this means that you can capture detailed photos with excellent color saturation and minimal noise. The 8mp front camera has live autofocus. The general consensus in Bangladesh is that more megapixels mean that it is a better camera. However, that is not the case and quite evident when comparing this phone to other ones.

2.    Huawei Mate 20 Pro

The Best Flagship phones you can buy

The Mate 20 Pro might very well be the surprise contender for phone of the year. The phone is packed with the best hardware that you can get right now.

The phone looks and feels great. This is due to the gradient color scheme that Huawei has adopted for their premium models. The Mate 20 Pro features 6.3-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 3120 x 1440 pixels. It has a high pixel dense screen of 538 ppi which supports seamless HDR10.

The Kirin Hisilicon 980 octa core processor and 6GB of RAM ensures high performance and low battery consumption. It runs on Android 9.0 Pie with EMUI 9.0 skin. The device supports wireless charging and can be doubled up as a charging plate for other wireless charging capable smartphones. It has a long battery life of 4200mAh.

There are three Leica cameras in the rear, a 40mp primary wide angle lens, a 20mp super wide angle sensor and an 8mp telephoto sensor along with a dual tone LED flash. The camera app has a great selection of features and can support 4k videos at 60 fps. The single 20mp front camera can capture HDR photos.

3.    LG V40 ThinQ

The Best Flagship phones you can buy

First off, this has been hailed as the audiophile’s phone, a title the V Series has become known for. The Quad DAC makes its audio output equivalent to that of hi-res dedicated DAP (digital audio player) and an accurate playback even at very high volumes. You’re getting serious high definition audio output almost exclusive to audio players on a smartphone.

The V40 ThinQ is the first phone to feature five cameras on it, with three sensors in the back and two out front. The telephoto lens in the back is the most interesting out of the cameras in this list; it is 12mp with 2x optical zoom and a 47 degree field of view, making it particularly handy for portrait mode. One of the coolest new features is Triple Shot. When Triple Shot is enabled you can snap a picture using all three of the rear cameras, one after the other. Once the photos have been captured, the phone can process them into a six-second video with music added automatically. Record 4K videos at 60fps with the device. I personally think this is the best camera on a phone this year as opposed to the mostly disappointing Google Pixel 3XL.

 The CPU is powerful with 6 GB RAM and a display with 537ppi. The phone only falls short in the software and battery life departments. Otherwise, this is personally the phone of the year for me.

4.    OnePlus 6T

The Best Flagship phones you can buy

The OnePlus 6 may have made a bigger splash on the market; OnePlus 6T is more than an incremental update. Most new models tend to be, but not this one. The reason the phone is on this list include the teardrop shaped notch on the 6.41 inch Optic-AMOLED display. This is a pleasant change to large unsightly one on the OnePlus 6. Another welcome change is the on screen fingerprint scanner replaces the OnePlus 6’s one on the back.

True to the company’s reputation of being able to hold its own against the market leaders’ premiere options, the OnePlus 6T provides above average performance at processor performance, audio, gaming etc. However, the OnePlus 6T does not excel at any one particular feature. The Snapdragon 845 processor is decent with an Adreno 630 GPU. The minimalistic Oxygen OS on top of the Android 9 Pie can make an interface feel bloated. There are three cameras, 16+20MP dual on the back and a 16MP front selfie camera. A brilliant value for money.

5.    Pocophone/ POCO F1

The Best Flagship phones you can buy

This phone arguably redefines what a flagship phone means. The Pocophone is the first product of Xiaomi’s Poco sub-brand. This phone has a Snapdragon 845 processor with up to 8GB of RAM and 256 GB of internal storage. The best part? It is available at the starting price of 24,000 taka locally. That too, at a time when processors of that quality are priced at over 30,000 taka.

The fast smartphone is equipped with a massive battery life. As it resonates with the rational consumers’ demand of more features at lower prices, this phone will hopefully set the tone for the future of the smartphone market. There have been complaints about minor software issues and average camera performance along with Xiaomi’s behavior as a company after the popularity it has enjoyed at release. We didn’t expect such features at such prices, but now we have it. So go get it.

Would your list of top 5 flagship phones look different? Let us know!

Google launching game streaming service “Stadia”

Remember that streaming service for gaming everyone wouldn’t shut up about? Although it wasn’t even here yet?

It’s here.

Google’s stadia

Google is launching the Stadia cloud gaming service at the San Francisco GDC (Game Developers Conference). CEO Sundar Pichai spoke about the company’s ambition to make Stadia a platform for everyone. Google hopes to stream games to all devices. But as of now, Stadia will stream games to the PC, laptop, tablet computers, TV and mobile phones.

How it works

Pichai and Phil Harrison, former Microsoft and Sony executive unveiled Stadia onstage. According to Harrison, YouTube will be used to add to the service. This comes in the form of a new feature, which allows one to view a game clip from a YouTube creator and hit a “play now” button to instantly access streaming service to the game. And this feature doesn’t require one to download or install any games. You can play through the google chrome browser. The feature was previously hinted at during Google’s trial period of Stadia deemed “Project Stream”. Many Chrome users accessed Assassin’s Creed Odyssey through the browser and streamed mostly seamless gameplay.

Part of the demonstration was moving gameplay seamlessly from a phone to a tablet and then to a TV.

A Stadia controller will also be launched and will work with the service by connecting through Wi-Fi. It will make moving games between devices smoother, and also being able to use one controller for all your devices is kind of cool. Games can be run at 4K at 60 FPS at launch, and up to 8K resolutions with 120 FPS will be made available in the future. A custom GPU will be released for Google datacenters, partnering with AMD. The GPU is expected to be more powerful and efficient than the ones used in the PS4 pro and even the Xbox One X.

Doom Eternal will be one of the launch titles for Stadia. And a cheeky reference to The Elder Scrolls series was also made courtesy of an image with a sword, a potion flask and a knee with an arrow sticking out. Make of that what you will. Google is planning to use State Share for players to share gameplay instances, down to specific parts of the game.

Competition looms in the horizon

In short, this has the potential to change the landscape of the gaming industry, if done right. And although Google seem like the first of the pack to unveil a firm offering, they are to face stiff competition from Microsoft and Amazon who are to release similar service later this year. Things are starting to get very intriguing indeed.

Samsung wins best brand award

Samsung Mobile has been recognized as Bangladesh’s No. 1 Handset Brand by Bangladesh Brand Forum. The South Korean electronics giant was also announced 3rd best brand in refrigerator category. Top officials of Samsung Bangladesh received the awards on behalf of Samsung Mobile and Samsung Consumer electronics during the award ceremony on December 8, 2018, at Le Méridien Dhaka.

The objective of the Best Brand Award is to exhibit and celebrate the success of the brands, achieved through excellence in meeting the needs of the Bangladeshi consumers. Bangladesh Brand Forum partnered with Nielsen Bangladesh to identify the top brands of Bangladesh, with the aim to acknowledge the brands that have established themselves to a meaningful height in terms of business value and contribution to consumer life.

On this occasion, Md. Muyeedur Rahman, Head of Mobile, Samsung Mobile Bangladesh said, “We are extremely proud to have received this award. It is an indicator of our customers support towards our products and services. As we continue to thrive as a brand, Samsung remains dedicated to creating innovative possibilities and experiences for our consumers through our products and services. Our heartfelt gratitude and thanks to all our customers, partners and stakeholders without whom this was not possible.”

This Bangladesh Brand Forum is a platform for recognizing the success of the business community of Bangladesh and portraying their achievements in brand building. The program was launched to find the most loved brands of Bangladesh based on the nationwide survey conducted by Nielsen Bangladesh and giving away a prominent publication consisting of winning brand stories to all the attendees as the Bangladesh Brand Forum tradition.

Oppo F9: stylish but underpowered

The new Oppo F9 has taken the market by storm. With its one-of-a-kind notch, it certainly looks very unique. It also has very powerful cameras on its front and back. However, a notch and a couple of cameras alone don’t make a good phone great.

Display and appearance

The new Oppo F9 is a very sleek and stylish phone. The F9 is covered in Corning Gorilla Glass 6 on both sides and has a big 6.3-inch IPS LCD screen with minimum screen bezel and a very small water drop notch. The F9 has all the standard sensors you would come to expect, including a fingerprint one on the back.

The Oppo comes in three different colours, and they all look very fashionable. The gradient colour scheme is very unique and really helps the phone stand out amongst its peers. All in all, it’s a phone that wouldn’t be out of place in the hands of a supermodel, as Deepika Padukone has shown already.

Camera

Oppo is the self-proclaimed selfie expert. So it should come as no surprise how powerful its cameras are. The front camera is a whopping 25 megapixels and our testing at launch proved its power. The back cameras are also quite powerful, at 16 and 2 megapixels respectively. Oppo has targeted the selfie-taker with their tagline, so this is only expected.

Pouting is easier with the Oppo F9’s AI assisted mammoth front camera, which has a whopping 25 megapixels.

The Oppo F9 also features AI integration with the cameras. The cameras can automatically pick up what kind of photo you are trying to take and adapts to it. The image quality of the camera can be easily compared with the best in the market right now.

Battery

Another Oppo F9 marketing gimmick has been the fast charging capability of the phone. The Oppo F9 has VOOC technology, which makes charging very quick. In fact, the phone’s tagline claims that the phone can muster 2 hours’ worth of talk time with only 5 minutes of charging.

The Oppo F9 has a 3500 mAh battery, which makes this an impressive claim. It’s safe to say the claim is mostly true – we got 4% of charge in less than a minute.

Chipset and power

So far, the phone has looked quite good. This section is where that changes. With so many premium features packed into a phone that costs a fourth of the average iPhone, some concessions had to be made. The phone packs a very mediocre Mediatek MT6771 Helio P60 chipset.

It does have an octa-core CPU, but it is paired with a Mali-G72 MP3 GPU. This makes the phone considerably less powerful than a flagship should be. The phone comes in 4 and 6 GB RAM variants. Both have 64 GB of internal storage. It has a dedicated slot for memory expansions of up to 256 GB. The Oppo F9 has 4G dual sim capability also.

Verdict

The Oppo F9 has quite a few things going for it. It has really quick charging, and the only phone in the same price range that has similar quick charging is the Lenovo Z5. The display is beautiful with possibly the nicest looking notch we’ve seen yet. The cameras are world class and can go toe to toe with every flagship in the market. The price, at 28,990 and 31,990 BDT for the 4 and 6 GB variants, is pretty low for a flagship quality phone.

Yet, there are some huge shortcomings for the Oppo F9. The power of the phone leaves much to be desired as they seem to be the only ones using Mali GPU’s in this day and age. For casual users and selfie addicts, this is a good phone and comes recommended. However, the mobile gaming community and others who want a lot of power in their phones would find the Oppo F9 to be lacklustre at best.

Huawei Nova 3i launched in Bangladesh

The successor to the famed Huawei Nova 2i has just been released in Bangladesh, called the Nova 3i. The nova 3i improves upon almost every aspect of it’s predecessor. Its design has been revised to match the 2018 smartphone aesthetic.

The device was launched in Bangladesh at an event today, held at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon, Dhaka. Country Director Aaron Shi introduced the phone in the press event.

The main selling point of the smartphone is the amazing AI-assisted photography. Featuring two camera sensors at the back and two up front, the smartphone is indeed a stunner when it comes to photography.

Another highlight feature of the smartphone is the brand-new Kirin 710 chipset with AI capabilities. The Kirin 710 is a massive leap ahead of the dated Kirin 659 previously used in Huawei’s entry level smartphones. A benchmark by GSMArena shows the Kirin 710 losing the battle by almost a 5% difference, which is huge. Huawei advertises this chipset as the next generation of their mid-level chipset, touting it as the successor to the 6xx series chipset.

The phone’s UI features Huawei’s very own EMUI 8.2, a UI that builds an entire ecosystem built with Huawei services and partners. Services include AI shopping and AI communications, which streamlines the user experience and adds value to other services. The UI also offers AI gallery, claiming to intelligently select pictures when you search for it on your phone’s gallery app.

The smartphone features 128GB ROM and 4GB RAM, enough to satisfy multitasking needs. In addition to the upgraded chipset and chunky RAM, Huawei also promises extra under-the-hood optimization called GPU Turbo to optimize its graphics capabilities for selected games such as PUBG and Mobile Legends.

The smartphone is available for pre-order from August 1st to August 10th and will be available in physical stores from August 11th. It will cost 28,990BDT. Customers who pre-book the smartphone will receive an attractive gift box with 5GB of free Grameenphone internet. 6-month EMI facility can also be availed to purchase this handset. With competitive pricing and a brand-new chipset, the Huawei Nova 3i is a surely compelling purchase in the saturated smartphone market in Bangladesh.

Lenovo Z5: Hype or Quality?

The Lenovo Z5 made headlines across the internet when it was originally announced. The Vice President of Lenovo released sketches and pictures suggesting a fully bezel-less screen along with flagship beating specs and an enormous 4 terabytes of internal storage. For a phone that’s classed as a budget phone, it was quite the boast. Now that it has been released, it’s safe to say that all of these were blatant lies, but that doesn’t make this a bad phone to get. I got one for myself last month and it’s a phone that has its own pros and cons like any other.

Specs

The Lenovo Z5 comes with a mid-line Snapdragon 636 processor with an octa-core 1.8 GHz CPU. The GPU used on this device is the Adreno 509, which is admittedly a fairly high end GPU for a phone. With 6 GB of RAM and 64 or 128 GB of internal storage which can be expanded with a memory card, it’s safe to say that the phone has no shortage of memory. It comes with a built in Chinese version of Android 8.0. The specs on this phone are not the best in the world, but certainly up there with the best budget phones out there, either equaling or outright beating other budget phones. It comes with a 3300 MAh battery that can be charge very quickly thanks to its type-C USB quick charging. The phone is sure to run most if not all games on the Play Store at the highest graphical quality, which might make gamers pick this up over other phones in its class.

The specs on this phone are not the best in the world, but certainly up there with the best budget phones out there, either equaling or outright beating other budget phones.

Display and Appearance

The phone looks absolutely gorgeous. Built with glass on the front and back, it really looks like a premium phone bought for a lot more money than it actually costs. However, it is not completely bezel-less, as the VP of Lenovo had alluded. It has an iPhone X-esque notch and a chin. The screen is an IPS LED screen that displays brilliant colors 402 ppi density with a 1080p resolution. The screen is 6.2 inches, and the screen-to-body ratio is 83.6%.

Camera

The camera was also hyped to be something special. While it certainly is very good, it’s not as good as it was rumored to be. The dual back camera has a resolution of 16 MP and 8 MP with dual LED dual tone flash. It has an AI camera as rumored but it’s not as groundbreaking as it was supposed to be. The camera has the standard features of HDR, panorama and the rest that you can find in most phones these days. The front camera is a bit of a letdown. While the 8 MP camera does a fine job during daytime or in good lighting, it really breaks down in bad lighting situations.

The phone looks absolutely gorgeous. Built with glass on the front and back, it really looks like a premium phone bought for a lot more money than it actually costs. However, it is not completely bezel-less, as the VP of Lenovo had alluded.

Miscellaneous

The phone comes with a headphone jack, a rarity in the post iPhone 7 age. It has a slot for a second sim, which is also the SD card slot. It has a really good speaker built into the phone, to the point where I really didn’t feel like using my earphones, at least when not in public. It has a fingerprint sensor on the back, as well as accelerometer, proximity sensor and other standard sensors.

Verdict

The Lenovo Z5 is a very good phone to get for the price. Priced at around 200 Euros, expected it to be around 25,000 in Bangladeshi Taka when it reaches our shores. However, it is nowhere near as good as it was marketed to be, and that certainly takes a few points off of the overall score for the phone. I would still recommend it to the reader if you want to purchase a phone without killing your wallet, while also having a luxurious looking phone that plays games well.

E3 2018: 5 great games you might have missed

It’s hard to not be distracted by E3 2018‘s huge announcements and dazzling trailers for the next installments of popular series or brand new video-game franchises. Nestled among those bright lights and earth-shattering presentations were brief looks at smaller indie titles that looked just as amazing. Here are 5 games you might have missed out on this E3.

Tunic

During the Xbox presentation at E3 2018, a little fox made a big splash. Tunic is an isometric action adventure that takes the adorable character through lush, sunlit forests and dark, mysterious ruins on a quest to unlock an enigmatic glyph language and defeat the rampaging monsters. The glyphs are even part of the game’s text, making their translation a vital part of your adventure. The calming colors and soothing soundtrack immediately make the game stand out, but don’t let them lull you into thinking Tunic will be a laidback lark around the island.

Sable

Shedworks’ Sable might be the prettiest game of E3 2018 and for a good reason. The narrative adventure from Gregorios Kythreotis and Daniel Fineberg looks like it was torn straight from an ‘80s-inspired graphic novel. The game leans on the kind of detail and simplicity you’d expect to see in The Louvre. It’s an open-world, coming-of-age tale of discovery, bound to be a true Breath of The Wild descendant that fills every corner of your body with butterflies.

My Friend Pedro

My Friend Pedro is a gun-fu ballet 2D action-platformer in which a talking banana assists a man with glowing eyes in the mass execution of geriatric gangsters. No matter how I describe it, I can’t do this game justice. Please go watch the gameplay trailer for this game and enjoy the masterful juxtaposition of thoughtful platforming and a brutal murder party. Video games, ya’ll. And kudos to Devolver for taking chances in these single-dev productions and giving platforms for these great games to shine.

The Messenger

In The Messenger you play as a young ninja tasked by the “Western Hero” to transport a scroll that is key to your clan’s survival. Meanwhile, a demon army has launched a full-fledged assault on your village. The visuals look similar to old-school Ninja Gaiden games, but The Messenger promises to expand itself from traditional platformers. There are several portals located throughout each level that seamlessly transition the game from 8 bit to 16 bit. Transporting to two different eras in gaming history serves a crucial role puzzles within the platform too.  The Messenger clearly looked to the past, but its eyes are dead-set on the future.

Daemon X Machina

Nintendo opened its big E3 presentation with a wild new mech game from Japanese developer Marvelous Entertainment. Called Daemon x Machina, the game features incredibly fast-paced robot action, along with a cel-shaded art style similar to anime. Aside from how cool it looks, it’s the pedigree behind it that promises this game’s production value. Driving forces behind the Fire Emblem, Armored Core and Macross franchises are working on this game and it shows on the gameplay. The game’s entire color palette- a mix of vivid reds, oranges, turquoise and mustard yellow- makes it stand out.

The demise of the laptop – a device hopelessly out of touch or a victim of circumstance?

To say that the laptop revolution changed the way people got work done would be a gross understatement.  From the late 80s all the way up till the late 90s, laptops were changing the way people were working, but the true jump to mainstream popularity came in the early 2000s. With Apple joining the race, the laptop’s upward trend among the masses was guaranteed. And the appeal is easily understood. The pinnacle of human technology, the computer, mobilized into a system portable enough to put in your bag and use anywhere without the need for a socket is a very appealing concept.

Fast forward to today though, and you will see a completely different landscape. Laptops, while still selling well, have lost most of their momentum. A decade or so ago, the laptop was so dominant in the market, it would regularly outsell the desktop to become the dominant hardware platform for computing. Does this mean that laptops are heading the way of the dodo and you should expect to see one in the next history exhibit?

Calling certain hardware obsolete or predicting its demise is nothing new in the industry. And while many have actually gone down the cruel road of demise, some have defied expectations and remained firmly in the industry. A good example of this is the desktop computer itself. Many users and experts alike back in the day had predicted that with laptops being able to do 80 percent of the work, the desktop is nothing but a bulky expensive waste. Here we are in 2018, and the desktop computer is not just here, it’s flourishing, with regular innovations to hardware pushing the envelope further.

The laptop has come a long way – but is it on its way to the grave? Macintosh Portable, left; Macbook Touch Pro Concept by Handy-Abovergleich, right.

If the PC managed to defy expectations, can we not expect the same from the laptops? After all, many of the innovations made on the desktop side do filter down to laptops, and the market, although, small, is still big enough for most manufacturers to keep on churning out new models on a yearly basis.

Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that while desktop PCs face no immediate threat, the laptop just has too much competition. Let’s take a moment to discuss these

Tablets

When Apple launched the iPad way back in 2010, they had successfully managed to reinvigorate the tablet space, and thus, inadvertently, created a huge competition for the laptop market. Suddenly, you had all the functionality of the laptop, minus its bulk, with a much more functional interface. Plus, you could pair it with a wireless keyboard, so the argument for a physical input also goes out the window. While the tablet itself is now suffering a decline in demand, it still slashed up the laptop market quite badly.

Smartphones

Perhaps the real reason why the laptop is going the way of the dodo is because of the advent of the smartphone revolution. Combining things like a telephone, camera, audio player and a computer into an all-in-one that can fit in your pocket and run the whole day made for something no one can really turn away from. Within a very short span of time, the smartphone had become a mainstay in society. As time went on, the smartphone kept getting more and more powerful hardware capable of getting more done, encroaching slowly but steadily on the laptop’s monopoly of working on the go. Nowadays, you will find many versions of programs you normally had to use on PCs and laptops on smartphones, further cementing its place as the go-to technology.

Docking smartphone

You might now say that while smartphones do pack a lot of hardware, a professional would not use the small displays found on smartphones or its lack of any peripherals. Well, the smartphone has an answer for that as well; docking stations. Hooking up your smartphone to a small device which then displays to a big monitor with a full-screen version of your OS, as well as options to connect peripherals like keyboards and mice only solidifies the smartphone’s role as a productivity juggernaut.

Current market trends also show a decline in the popularity of laptops.

The first fatal trend is that young people are already choosing smartphones over laptops. Many retailers will concur that the use of laptops and desktops among younger people is on the decline. Most millennials these days use their smartphone as their only computing device, according to a recent report, and that number will keep growing.

The second fatal trend is that the industry is supporting the move to ARM over Intel. Intel and Intel-compatible chips have powered desktop and laptop platforms for decades while the smartphones and smartphone apps run on ARM chips. And once laptops, especially laptops, run ARM chips, they’ll run a mobile based OS instead of desktop grade OS. And at that point, they’ll essentially be identical to docking solutions, but more expensive.

The third and final fatal trend lies with your wallet. Smartphones are amazing and continue to be amazing. The new phones have cameras that rival DSLRs. They have performance that rivals many entry level desktop PCs. They run increasingly amazing apps, including professional-quality apps. Unfortunately, all of that comes at a cost; they’re expensive.

Customers are ready to pay from Tk 50,000 to Tk 70,000, all the way up to Tk 1,00,000 and more for a phone. People are ready to pay such obscene amounts because from their perspective, smartphones are worth it. This is especially true if they don’t have to fork out Tk 1,00,000 or more for a decent laptop as well.

Does this all mean that laptops will disappear from the face of the planet forever, only to be brought up in history lessons to kids somewhere down the line? Other than extreme use cases like professional work such as video, photo, and graphics work or hardcore gaming, the laptop won’t have much to do. But if it weren’t for the laptop lighting the path to mobile hardware development, perhaps that smartphone on your desk hopelessly binging about some notification would never have been born.