Does Moto’s new mid-ranger have enough wow factor?
The Moto X Play was a surprise announcement in this year’s Motorola line-up, a brand-new handset sandwiched between the top-end Moto X Style and third generation of the popular budget buy Moto G. However, the Moto X Play is more than just a mid-range option for those that want a better screen and faster performance than the Moto G offers, but can’t afford the Moto X Style (or Pure Edition, as its known in the US).
The Moto X Play houses a gigantic 3,630mAh battery that Motorola says will last two days, which is much larger than the Style’s own 3,000mAh power cell. It also boasts a 21MP rear camera, double the size of the camera housed on the new iPhone and, more importantly, it helps distinguish it from other reasonably priced phones like the OnePlus 2, Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 and Honor 6 Plus.
Become a mixmaster with this must-have app from Ninja Tune, Coldcut and Seeper
We’ve finally managed to tear ourselves away from Ninja Jamm to write this. It’s so hard to put down! Far from being a complete virtual music studio like Stagelight, this innovative remix app still has you mashing up beats, loops and samples. Not only is tapping and swiping involved, you even get to tilt and shake the device! Ninja Jamm is a collaboration between the Ninja Tune record label, technology collective Seeper and veteran DJ duo Coldcut, who also provide some of the content for remixing. You get to choose from around 35 tunes (by Ninja Tune artists) and sample packs, some of them free, including genres such as dubstep, house and trap. The ‘Jamm’ then starts playing and you can skip to different song sections and loop them indefinitely. The default screen sees you switching between eight loops for each of the four channels. Flicking a channel to drill mode lets you hold down one or more individual waveform clips to play them repeatedly and create custom loops. A stab matrix with slider is used to add scratch samples, while the effects screen offers crush, filter, delay and reverb for each channel. Even better, an XY pad enables you to apply multi-effects by moving two grid markers or tilting the screen. Finally, the Coldcutter automatically cuts up clips in various ways, with extra buttons for manual fills and glitches – or just shake the device. While there’s sadly no option yet to import your own samples – which would hugely expand the creative options here – mixing is addictively fun, and you can even record your Jamm and upload it to SoundCloud. If you own a tablet, it’s also well worth paying £0.99/$1.49 for the Share+ IAP which also gives you access to all of the tools on a single screen, an Android exclusive, to make mixing even easier.
It’s big and beautiful, but is it enough to crack Samsung’s dominance in the West?
Unboxing the P8 for the first time left us purring in excitement, as the unibody aluminium design is excellent. In an age where everyone is looking to be different, the P8 simply refines the already solid design work from the Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6 to provide an all-round classy device that doesn’t cut corners in its build or use of bezel space.
There’s a sleek white bar that circles the bottom of the device, which is purely for aesthetic purposes, and a plastic panel that houses the rear camera with an accompanying sensor. We can argue it’s merely a copycat, but when Samsung and Apple are at the top of the food chain, it’s their devices you need to take inspiration from.
If you’re a fan of The Martian, this innovative text adventure will engross you
This innovative title makes clever use of push notifications as you converse via text with young astronaut Taylor, whose starship has crashed on a strange moon and who urgently needs your advice to survive.
Everything’s played out in real-time (well, kind of), so you often have to wait for him to do something. While your input is limited to a choice of two options at each juncture, every decision affects how the story plays out and, therefore, Taylor’s chances of survival. Often it’s just guesswork, although there is the odd moral dilemma – for instance, should Taylor risk sleeping by the ship’s burning reactor for warmth or in the cold lunar desert to avoid radiation?
Get crystal-clear audio from anywhere in the room
British company Orbitsound is rapidly building up a reputation as a provider of high quality speakers and its latest offering is the A70. This is a long, thin, sleek Soundbar that is designed to provide excellent sound wherever the listener is in the room.
Thanks to its airSOUND technology and side-firing speakers, it ensures that sound reaches both ears at exactly the right time for an immersive experience. This worked really well when we tested it and blocking one ear resulted in a noticeably different listening experience. It felt like we were listening in surround sound despite the fact we were in front of, or at an angle, to a single speaker.