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Blu Vivo 6 review: 6 things that are great and 3 that aren’t

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The Blu Vivo 6 is the US company’ first UK handset, and on paper it provides quite a compelling spec list for the retail price, but does it live up to its claims in real-world testing? I’ve been using one for the last couple of weeks to find out.

While most tech sites would give you 2,000 words on why the Vivo 6 is good or bad, we’re giving you just a couple of hundred, but rest assured, this phone has been fully put through its paces.

Blu Vivo 6
7.4 RATED
0 User rating (0 votes)
Pros
  • Great spec list for the money - Full 5.5-inch HD display, 4GB RAM and 64GB of storage are highlights at under £250
  • Display is sharp, colours are good
  • Tweaks to Android are mostly minimal and well thought out
  • Solid photos in bright conditions
  • Premium all-metal design
  • USB-C port
Cons
  • Display could be brighter - it's not an OLED, you could struggle on the brightest days outdoors
  • Battery life could be better - having the screen on drains about 11 percent every half an hour when doing things like playing games
  • There's no app drawer as part of the UI, which is down to personal preference but it would be easier to keep the home screen organised
Summary
Blu's Vivo 6 is by no means perfect - the battery could certainly last a little longer on average settings in an ideal world - but the £239 (£185 on Amazon at the time of writing) retail price makes it an attractive option for anyone wanting a phone with a mid-to-high end spec list without breaking the bank.
Design7.5
Hardware7.5
Software7.5
Camera7
Display7
Battery life7
Price8
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Comparison
A Design
B Hardware
C Software
D Camera
E Display
F Battery life
G Price
7.4 RATED
0 0 votes
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7.5
7.5
7
7
7
8
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7 RATED
0 0 votes
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5.9 RATED
0 0 votes
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4.5
7
5.5
6.5
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6
ABCDEFG

*This article may contain affiliate links. Any such links are provided independently of ratings. 

I’m a tech journalist and editor with lots of opinions. 10second.tech is a place for me to put those. All views expressed are personal, and not those of any titles for which I write in other capacities. As well as running this site, I also write for WIRED, Engadget, Trusted Reviews, and a number of other leading technology titles. I also run SexTechGuide.com.

You’re welcome to contact me via [email protected] if you have news or anything else to pass along, on twitter at @10sectech or @TheNextWoods

Tech startup founders that need media advice or PRs and brands that need content strategy advice should visit benwoodsish.com.

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How to restore the old @ Twitter replies on Windows and Mac

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Twitter always come under a lot of pressure from users for changes to its UI. This week, the humble @ reply was changed to streamline conversations and encourage more replies.

The changes, however, aren’t welcomed by many Twitter users:

And it’s not just working out what’s a reply and what’s not, it’s also damaging to brands.

https://twitter.com/lauraolin/status/847612421359325184

How to get back the old Twitter UI

Thankfully, changing back to the old way of viewing tweets isn’t difficult, you just need to download Tweeten for Mac or Windows. If you’d rather not install the desktop software, you can use the Chrome or Microsoft Edge browser plugins instead.

To enable the old style @ replies, or put back the ‘favorite’ rather than ‘like’ button, you need to right-click anywhere within the app. On the Windows version tested, navigating to the ‘Settings’ in the lower-left corner of the app doesn’t bring up the correct options, which is a little confusing. However, right clicking and hitting Settings will bring up the correct panel.

You can see the difference between the new and old style replies shown within Tweeten below.

The candid update note delivered to existing Tweeten users was also appreciated.

 – Tweeten [ Windows | Mac | Chrome | Edge]

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Moto Z Play review: An excellent Android phone, if not the most powerful

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The Moto Z Play is one of the cheapest ways to enter the MotoMods ecosystem, but is the phone any good on its own? And are those MotoMods worth the cash? Read our brief Moto Z review to find out, and then check out the MotoMods pieces.

We’ve been putting the Moto Z Play through its paces alongside a Hasselblad True Zoom camera mod and the JBL SoundBoost mod, which will be posted as separate reviews.

Moto Z Play review: Design and Hardware

The Moto Z Play looks similar to many other phones from the front, but turn it over and its differences become obvious – there’s a section of magnetic connectors at the bottom rear of the phone for docking the Moto Mods. The display is a bright 1080p panel crisp and accurate colours. It’s not as crisp as the 2K panel on the Moto Z, but there are still no real complaints here.

Powering things along is a 2.0GHz Snapdragon 625 processor and 3GB of RAM. Storage is pegged at 32GB, and this can be extended by popping in a microSD card.

The main rear camera has a 13-megapixel sensor with image stabilisation and auto-focus. On the front, there’s a more modest 5-megapixel selfie camera.

Most notably, the design includes both a fingerprint sensor that sticks out on the front, and a camera lens that prevents a flush finish on the back.  While the fingerprint sensor is nice and responsive, these are two design elements I’d prefer had come out a little different. The sensor also doubles as a button to turn your screen on and off too.

The battery, while sounding nothing special on paper, performed so well that the Moto Z Play can be considered near-essential if battery is your only priority. Even the much larger power pack on the 6-inch Meizu M3 Max can’t match it, and that was no slouch. Charging is via USB-C.

Check out the Moto Z Play review box for details on how well these performed and sample images. Reviews of the MotoMods will follow at a later date.

Moto Z Play: Camera and software

Let’s cut to the chase with the camera. The rear-facing 13-megapixel camera is going to do about as well as you’d expect any mid-range Android handset to do. That’s to say, it’s as good as the conditions you give it – and comes with the added advantage of supporting the Hasselblad TrueZoom add-on if you need a little more range to your snaps.

That’s not to say it’s bad, as it’s not, but it’s not replacing your DSLR either, and in low light, you should adjust your expectations.

Software-wise the Moto Z Play ships with Android Marshmallow, but it’s due to get an upgrade to the newer Nougat variant imminently – the rollout has started in China already. Of course, it’s not entirely stock Android and fans of the Moto Display will be pleased with the efficient notifications and battery-saving features. It supports some gesture controls too, like twisting your hand in a particular way to launch the camera app.

Moto Z Play review: Rating

Moto Z Play
8.1 RATED
0 User rating (0 votes)
£489Price
Android Marshmallow (6.0)OS
Pros
  • Good display
  • Excellent battery life - two days is entirely possible.
  • Moto software is useful but otherwise minimal
Cons
  • Distinctly average cameras
  • Dislike protruding camera lens
  • Value hurt by international pricing differences
  • Not the most powerful processor for demanding graphical tasks like VR.
Summary

The Moto Z Play is a much better phone than you might imagine at first glance. Its mid-to-high end spec list doesn't reflect the versatility of the MotoMods system, the sensible software tweaks or the impressive battery life.

It's not without it's problems, though. The design may be a bit of an acquired taste, and you're going to need to get used to the camera and fingerprint sensor protruding, whichever way you put down your phone.

Unfortunately, how good a bargain the Moto Z Play is depends on where you live. In the UK, it's still retailing for £489, but in the US it's currently on offer for $400. If you're a hardcore gamer, you can probably skip it, but everyone else might well want to consider it.

Design8
Hardware8
Software8.5
Camera7
Display8
Battery life9
Price8

Moto Z Play: Comparison

Comparison
A Design
B Hardware
C Software
D Camera
E Display
F Battery life
G Price
7.4 RATED
0 0 votes
7.5
7.5
7.5
7
7
7
8
ABCDEFG
7 RATED
0 0 votes
7.5
7
5
6.5
7.5
8.5
7
ABCDEFG
5.9 RATED
0 0 votes
6.5
4.5
7
5.5
6.5
5
6
ABCDEFG

*This article contains affiliate links that allow us to earn a small commission if you decide to purchase items. Any such links are provided independently of ratings. Please get in touch if you have any questions. 

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Review: The Mr Robot mobile game is confusing, annoying and I love it

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It’s not too surprising to see a successful TV series like Mr Robot spin-off a mobile game in an attempt to cash in a little more on the brand, but while these sorts of games tend to play like the cynical money-making machines they are, ‘Mr. Robot:1.51exfiltrati0n.apk’ gives you an experience that stays true to the series.

In a nutshell, the game is set within the narrative of the first season of the show, and begins with you (Elliot) finding Darlene’s phone on the ground at Coney Island. Rather than simply arrange to give it back to Darlene, something she actively avoids at the beginning of the game, which is a little odd, you then have to set about completing a number of tasks for her.

MRROBOTO2

All these tasks are carried out by (surprisingly interactive feeling) text message exchanges. There are a few nice touches throughout the game to keep the real-time feeling, and it’s hard not to crack a smile at some of the group SMS chats that take place or when a character makes increasing typos as they get more panicked.

While the game is, essentially, made up of choosing a response from the three available options, it manages to stay true to the TV show by keeping you on the edge of your seat – and then giving you that sinking feeling that you just screwed something up.

MRROBOT3

Another confession: as I write this now, I’ve just had to restart the entire game. I deliberately wiped my progress after getting stuck for too long, concluding that, yes, I had in fact screwed up somewhere earlier along the line.

There are almost no other mobile games that I’d even consider restarting (Plague and Trick Shot are the only exceptions that spring to mind) but I’m already looking forward to the next time that Mr Robot leaves me wondering just what the right this is to do.

In fact, I’m going to get onto that right now. If you want to check the game out (note: some players, while liking the game, feel it’s a little too short or rough for its price), you’ll need to cough up $2.99/£2.79. It’s available for both iOS and Android devices.

Mr. Robot:1.51exfiltrati0n.apk
7.5 RATED
0 User rating (0 votes)
$2.99 / £2.79Price
Android & iOSOS
Summary

Mr. Robot:1.51exfiltrati0n.apk is an unexpectedly fun game for me, and if you judged on scores alone, it wouldn't blow you away. But while it's simple in some ways - it's just messaging, ultimately - it manages to keep you engaged in the story and wanting to complete the next task.

Is it trying to capitalize on the popularity of the series? Without a doubt, but it's still a fun game that you can just pick up and play for a few minutes, and while some people won't like that it's a paid-for download, it's still less than the price of a coffee.

If you like the TV series, you'll probably like the game too, and it's not too often that happens.

Design6
Functionality7
User Experience8.5
Fun8.5
Price7.5
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