How Mobile Phones are Changing the World

There’s a good chance that you never leave home without your phone – in fact, many people would sooner set off without their wallet or keys than forget their phone, so dedicated are we to the latest mobile devices. Far from simply keeping us in contact while on the move, or improving the marketing reach of businesses, mobile technology has adapted to offer so many services to so many people. These phones are shrinking the world to a point that boundaries seemingly no longer exist, and they’re liberating those who may previously have had a very limited worldview – people are now using their mobile phone to manage their livelihood or receive an education.

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It’s so much more than a phone
When it comes to comprehending how mobile phones have been able to change the world, it’s perhaps worth recognizing that they’re no longer merely transportable telephones. That device in your hand is an organizer capable of scheduling your life, a means of connecting people from around the world in no time at all, a social media manager that has revolutionized how we update and maintain our circle of friends, a dictionary, a games console, and an encyclopedia with access to an ever-expanding internet. Thanks to technology, everything that you need and so much more is now safely nestled in a device little bigger than your palm, or even smaller, and that knowledge is being used to educate, empower, and communicate, as well as enabling you to play Angry Birds while you commute to work – for some, their mobile phone is useful; for others, it’s a total game-changer, and even a lifesaver.

Shrinking the world
If the trusty smartphone has become a handy piece of kit here in the US, spare a thought for those living in the developing world, for whom mobile phones have become a lifeline. It’s estimated that out of 3.2 billion phone users worldwide, some 2 billion live in the developing world, which is a stark contrast to just ten years ago; as well as making lives easier and shrinking the world, mobile phones have become a necessity for those otherwise disconnected from the rest of their country, let alone further afield. For women in developing nations, for example, the mobile phone and its accompanying technology opens numerous doors. Now able to access employment opportunities, internet banking and financial independence, improved healthcare and government services, and education, women are empowered – often for the first time. Then there are those living in the Middle East, who have for so long lived in a world so far removed from our own. Thanks to entrepreneurs such as Ehsan Bayat, who founded the Afghan Wireless Communication Company, these developing countries are able to do business on a global stage, keep up to date with technological updates, and revel in the benefits of social media and networking that we take for granted. While telecommunications may have come to the Middle East and similarly developing nations far later than those in the West, suppliers such as Afghan Wireless are ensuring that the industry is booming at last.

Connecting businesses
In terms of personal and entertainment use, mobile phones have been a game-changer, but for businesses, they’re the latest piece of essential kit. From the birth of apps and the increasing ease with which businesses can now connect with customers and clients, to the use of CRM management, email servers, and conference calling technology that many phones are now blessed with, very few businesses can function without mobile phones. Indeed, this smart device, despite its small stature, is taking independent and local businesses into the big leagues, and helping more established brands to hone their marketing, networking, and social media capabilities. Indeed, most businesses now employ a BYOD policy, or provide team members with a nifty bit of kit, which allows business-to-business platforms to better mobilize, and employees to work from anywhere in the world – and at any time. These opening floodgates of communication have been absolutely vital for some of the biggest developments in every kind of industry, proving that the mobile phone has a lot to say for itself.

Looking towards the future
If you’re in awe of what your phone can do now, just wait and see what mobile devices of the future will be able to achieve. Take augmented reality, for example, which is already creeping onto our mobiles by way of the games we play; soon this revolutionary technology will allow users to identify points of interest and gather information pertaining to where they are and what they’re doing, further shrinking the world until we effortless traverse its surface. Other developments being touted by those who have seen where mobile devices are heading include flexible screens, which will enable developers to fit so much more into a mobile’s capabilities; voice control, which is already revolutionizing the ways in which we access content on our devices; and 3D screens. Banking, shopping, and social media will blend even more seamlessly with the real world – how would you like to control almost every aspect of your life via a single device?

The mobile phone of tomorrow will do everything that today’s device does relatively happily, and yet it will once again turn technology on its head; while your mind may be blown, entire lives are going to change – and we can’t wait to watch it happen.

Florida police have cell phone surveillance tech

You may or may not have heard of a StingRay— it’s a controversial surveillance device that, by acting like a cell tower, can find your cell phone’s location and other info. Now photos of what’s reportedly a related device called a Harpoon have surfaced and show it ostensibly in the posession of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

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Published by Vice Motherboard, a photo shows a stack of devices with what looks like the word “Harpoon” on them; a second photo reveals a label from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) on the back of equipment.

What’s a Harpoon? A document posted by Ars Technica describes it as a “high-power filtered amplifier” that boosts the performance of the StingRay devices as well as another system called the KingFish.

A lawyer from The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) who was shown the photos by Vice said that it was “consistent with what we know about how these devices are typically used,” according to Vice Motherboard, which acquired the photos and other documents via a leak. “They’re put inside a police vehicle and to anyone on the outside there would be no indication that the police are driving around with a powerful surveillance device.”

DISTRICT JUDGE SAYS EVIDENCE IN ‘STINGRAY’ CASE CAN BE SUPPRESSED

State or local police use StringRay-type tracking devices in 23 states across the country, from Washington and California to Pennsylvania and New York, according to a map published by the ACLU.

“FDLE does not discuss investigative tactics,” Molly Best, a public information officer for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, told FoxNews.com by email in response to an inquiry on the topic.

The company connected with the Harpoon device is called Harris. “We are unable to comment for your story,” Jim Burke, the director of global public relations at Harris Corporation, told FoxNews.com in an email.

This July, a United States district judge ruled to suppress evidence that authorities gathered after using a StringRay device— in that case, the Drug Enforcement Agency used a StingRay-type “cell-site simulator” to find a suspect’s New York City apartment.

Later, the DEA entered the apartment and found drug paraphernalia, but the judge deemed that that was an “unreasonable search” because of the use of the StingRay.

Sharp brings dark and light Star Wars phones to SoftBank in Japan

Around this time last year, Verizon celebrated the long awaited arrival of The Force Awakens fittingly with a couple of limited edition Motorola Droid Turbo 2 handsets with themes tied to the star of the upcoming film.

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No word on any sort of follow up promotion for Rogue One (though the Moto Z would lend itself well to a little space opera cosplay), but SoftBank customers in Japan will be able to get their hands on a pair of pretty solid tie-ins early next month.

As their name implies, the pair of Sharp-produced Star Wars mobile phones are tied a bit more broadly to the franchise. There’s nothing specific to Death Star plan nabbing here, instead its just a pair of handsets tied to the dark and light side of the Force – so chose you allegiance closely, because you’ll be stuck with it for a couple of years at least.

The 5.3-inch handsets come in dark and light colors, along with force-aligned Android 6.0 skins and live wall papers (X-Wing or Tie Fighter).

There’s a movie player app that gives you free access to The Force Awakens, a Star Wars: Force Collection game and themed emojis and ringtones tied to the franchise. The phones also come with metal figurines taken from the upcoming Rogue One film.

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As for, you know, actual specs, they’re decent, with a Snapdragon 820, 3GB of RAM, a 3,000mAh batter and 22-megapixel rear-facing camera. The phones will arrive in Japan on December 2.

Online Phone Tracking America & Mobile Number Tracking Eurasia

Online GPS Mobile Locator Using Cell Phone Number. GPS Phone Tracker is the first free website for finding any phone signal using only number. Now you can start tracking your friends, kids or spouses. Phone tracker app can locate your lost or stolen cell phone in less than 20 seconds!

Try out gps phone tracker free online for having experience about how to track someones phone without them knowing. Just enter a phone number which you want to lookup, then receive your locations via Android, iPhone or Windows mobile device!

GPS Phone tracking is not just a fantasy seen in movies and style TV shows. You can now find any cell phone and input it into find my phone search tool to get real time results. Each phone leaves a magnetic field to the environment or region where it is. These fields are continuously recorded for a time.

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This app tries to follow these digital tracks via public satellite records. The most advanced tracking services will give you access to different types of functionality including street level satellite mapping and setting of secure areas for alerts. It is worth bearing in mind that locate my phone app is not as accurate as GPS tracking systems due to the triangulation method that gives an exact area the mobile phone is in. However in some towns and urban areas, these zones can be as small as 150 or 200 meters. More than enough to know that your child or your workers are where they should be! This free service will allow you to test it throughout 2016 in your area.

Available Countries:
USA, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, Greece, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Singapore, Malaysia, Brazil, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, India, South Africa. Home Page Here

Free Samsung GEAR VR after Purchase Samsung Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge Smartphone

Free Samsung Gear VR With the Purchase of a Samsung Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge Smartphone

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Immerse yourself in virtual reality fun with a Galaxy smartphone and the Samsung Gear VR headset. Whether you want to experience movies on the big screen or enter your favorite gaming world, simply snap in a Galaxy smartphone to make it possible.

Get a Samsung Gear VR headset free with purchase of a Samsung Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge smartphone (unlocked or with a plan).

Shop Galaxy unlocked smartphones
Shop Galaxy smartphones with plans

How to get your free Samsung Gear VR:
1. Purchase or lease an eligible Galaxy device at Best Buy from 9/8/16–10/9/16
2. Go to the Samsung promotions page and use the drop-down menus to fill out your information and generate an offer claim form
3. Submit the offer claim form with an image of your receipt by 10/17/16
4. Claim form will be reviewed within 4-6 weeks after submission
5. Once your claim is approved, you will receive your Samsung Gear VR within 12 weeks

BestBuy Site Here

Best Antivirus programs that you should have in your system

Here are the top Anti-virus softwares for you to choose from

You can never be too careful with the level of protection present inside your computer and while Windows Defender has done a fair job in shielding your machine, there is nothing quite like having an antivirus program. According to AV-TEST, which is responsible for testing out multiple protection applications, we have been able to categorize each and every one of them depending on which area they perform the best. Let us start.

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Best antivirus for Android security

There are two antivirus programs that fall into this category; Bitdefender Mobile Security and Sophos Mobile Security. Now, we’re not yet through because this award was also split into two subcategories. One was for best app overall performance, which Bitdefender Mobile Security won, while the best app protection features went to Sophos Mobile Security.

Best antivirus for repairing tools

Just like the first antivirus, this one was also divided into two sub-categories. The award for the best repair operations for tools built into security products went to Avira Antivirus Pro, while the second award, which was the best standalone repair and cleaning tools went to Virus Removal Tool.

Best antivirus for performance

Antivirus programs can consume a lot of system resources, and if your computer does not feature an impressive configuration, it will result in severe performance reduction. For this award, tests were carried in showing which program would have the least impact on a Windows PC. In the consumer class, the award was a tie between Bitdefender Internet Security and Kaspersky Internet Security while, while on an enterprise level, the award was given to Bitdefender’s Endpoint Security.

Best antivirus for usability

Apart from delivering less strain to the computer, a user-friendly interface also needs to be taken into regard, to which Avira Antivirus Pro and Kaspersky Internet Security won the awards for the consumer class. On the enterprise level however, the award was snagged by Intel Security’s McAfee Endpoint Security.

Best antivirus for overall protection

For the consumer and enterprise class, Symantec was the clear winner, with its Norton Security antivirus, which grabbed the best-in-class title in the consumer class while the company’s Endpoint Protection took the title in the corporate category.

How to Add Recycle Bin to Android SmartPhone

You might have familiar with the usability of Recycle Bin on a Computer. It gives an option to restore the deleted files or folders.

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Although its not helpful in our daily use but its very helpful in that situation when we delete a file accidentaly.

On Android Device, there’s not any feature like Recycle bin, but there are a lot of free third party apps available on Play Store by which we can add recycle bin feature to android. Just like computer, Recycle bin for android will give you a option to restore deleted files on android.

There are a lot of Recycle bin apps for android but will prefer to best. So, Dumpster will add the feature of a Recycle bin on your android phone. Its the perfect one !

Add Recycle Bin to Android

#1 – First of All, Download and Install the Dumpster App to Your Android

#2 – After Installing the Dumpster, Open the App & Accept the Terms & Conditions when prompted.

#3 – On the Next Screen You’ll be Asked to Choose the Desired File Types. That are the File Types You Want to Have a Option to Restore.

Pro – Allow Root Acces If Your Device is Rooted For Better App Access

And thats all. You job to add recycle bin feature to android is done. Just try it by deleting any file type & go to restore it.

So, By this way you can add recycle bin on your android. We have shared the best app to add recycle bin to android.

Dont shy to comment below if you’re encountering any issues to add recycle bin to android and dont forget to share this topic with your multi talented friends.

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Microsoft to announce Surface Phone on October 6th

Recent rumors suggest that the software giant will reveal a Surface Phone during its Windows 10 Hardware event on October 6th.

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Microsoft has scheduled its Windows 10 Hardware event on October 6th. As expected, rumours are taking over the world of internet, preparing us even for the first transformer in history.

However, the facts point to a much more practical and realistic revelation, given that the company is craving to get back to the smartphone industry.

For starters, let’s all take a deep breath and agree to something that we all have been knowing for a long time, but only a handful of people dares to admit openly; Microsoft’s Lumia series was a failure, even though Nokia – the once world leader in the smartphone industry – was involved in the manufacturing process.

The whole ecosystem was not enough to support and give a sufficient boost to all the services and apps that had to go against the equivalent of Apple’s and Google’s operating systems and services.

Apple is currently attracting the spotlight with its new iOS 9, as well as the latest addition to the iPhone family, the 6S and the 6S Plus. Google, on the other hand, is also developing the new Nexus phone and making slight, but notable improvements on its Android OS.

So, how could Microsoft answer to its two arch rivals, you ask?

Well even though it is just a rumour for now, when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. The company could easily surprise us with a Surface Phone. Its Surface Pro tablet line-up has met great success – and for a good reason we may add –, so combine that with the Windows 10 Mobile, which is set to be unveiled on the same day, and you get the perfect product at the perfect time.

According to the same rumours, this Surface Phone could easily prove to be a hard to beat challenge, even for the iPhone 6S Plus or recently launched Galaxy S6 Edge+. Whispers brought by the wind talk about a 5.5-inch AMOLED display with a 1440 x 2560 resolution, a 64-bit Intel processor and 4GB of RAM, which might be the greatest proof that Microsoft visions the Continuum in the upcoming Windows 10 Mobile platform.

That would essentially allow users to fit the power of a Windows 10 PC into a 5.5-inch handset.

Best budget SmartPhones under $200

Just a few years ago it was near impossible to find a capable smartphone for a decent price. Most of the high-end offerings used to cost anywhere from $600 to $900, and most low-end devices were somewhataffordable, though they couldn’t keep up with simple day-to-day tasks. Luckily a few manufacturers have made great strides in the budget-friendly market, and now it’s easier than ever to find a perfectly capable device for under $200.

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In a budget-friendly market that’s increasing rapidly in size, you might find it challenging to find a device that best suits your needs. With that said, let’s take a look at the best budget smartphones for under $200!

1 – Asus ZenFone 2

The recently-announced Asus ZenFone 2 offers flagship-level specifications, a premium build and a smooth software experience, which is why we name this device the best all-around smartphone you can buy right now for under $200. The device caught headlines when it launched at CES 2015, mainly for it being the first smartphone that came with 4GB of RAM. While that’s certainly an impressive feature, there’s a lot more to the story. In our full review, we took a look at the higher-end model, which features 4GB of RAM, a quad-core 2.3GHz Intel Atom Z3580 processor and 64GB of on-board storage. However, since that model is available for $299, today we’re taking a look at the lower-end option. The base model features a quad-core 1.8GHz Intel Atom Z3560 processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of on-board storage.

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It also comes with a vivid 5.5-inch 1080p LCD display, which we understand might be a bit too large for some users. Even so, the phone’s curved design makes one-handed use easier and the rear-mounted volume keys are an excellent departure from the norm. Placed on the very top, the power button can be difficult to reach much of the time, but thankfully the phone supports double tap to wake. And despite the phone’s chassis being made entirely of plastic, it still feels plenty premium. Even though the device only comes with 16GB of internal storage, Asus has provided a microSD card slot for expandable memory – a feature many users have come to appreciate over the past year or so, despite Samsung ditching the port with its latest Galaxy S6 flagship. The ZenFone 2 also has a 13MP rear-facing camera and a 5MP front-facing camera that will take sufficient pictures for most users out there.

On the software front, the phone ships with Android 5.0 Lollipop running underneath Asus’ ZenUI software overlay, which some users may not like. That said, this most recent build of ZenUI is much-improved over past versions, and many of the UI elements are very similar to “vanilla” Android. Asus has been diligent about updating its devices’ software in a timely fashion over the past few years, so folks who buy this device will probably have a positive software experience for (hopefully) two full years.

The ZenFone 2 is available for use on AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S., among many other carriers and markets throughout the world. It also has dual SIM card support, which is a feature we’re always happy to see on low-cost smartphones.

2 – Motorola Moto G (2nd Gen.)

The followup to the original Moto G holds a lot in common with its predecessor, though in this case, that’s not a bad thing in the slightest. For just $180, Motorola’s Moto G (2nd Gen.) offers its users very impressive specifications, a high-end build and an incredible software experience. For those who think the ZenFone 2 is too big, the Moto G (2nd Gen.) is the next best device. It has a 5.0-inch LCD display with 1280 x 720 resolution, making the device very easy to hold in the hand. Although it doesn’t feel as premium as the ZenFone 2 in terms of build quality, a few features stand out that make this a very well-rounded device.

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Since the overall size of the chassis is much smaller, the power button on the Moto G is much easier to reach than the one on our first pick. Additionally, the front-facing speakers on this device are much louder and clearer than the ZenFone 2’s single rear-facing speaker. Unfortunately, the Moto G isn’t nearly as fast as the Zenfone 2, but it’s still more than capable of handling everyday tasks. The power-efficient quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor clocked at 1.2GHz is enough for basic tasks, but the 1GB of RAM makes the Moto G feel sluggish at times. Luckily, the near-vanilla build of Android helps manage RAM usage pretty well, but it still can be a problem when opening more than a few apps at once. The jump from 1 to 2 GB of RAM is a major one, at least right now, and that’s where I think the Zenfone 2 really has an edge over the Moto G.

The Moto G also comes with just 8GB of internal storage, though you have the option to add an extra 64GB via the microSD card slot. Also present on this device is an 8MP rear-facing camera and a 2MP front camera, which is nothing to get excited about. The phone also has a non-removable 2070mAh battery, which should be able to get most light users through the day on a single charge.

When purchasing a Motorola device, one thing is for certain – you’ll likely receive timely updates for two full years. Motorola has been very good about updating its devices as of late, and the Moto G (2nd Gen.) is no exception. The phone comes with a near-vanilla build of Android with a few of Motorola’s software enhancements on top. Most Motorola phones feature a great software experience, so we think you’ll be pretty happy with this offering if you’re looking for a simple, functional software experience.

There is a Moto G variant that supports 4G LTE connectivity, though it will run you more than $200. The model we’re looking at today only supports speeds up to HSPA+, so keep that in mind before you choose this device over the 4G-capable ZenFone 2.

3 – Xiaomi Redmi 2

Announced January 2015, one of the latest products from Xiaomi continues to surprise us when it comes to specs, build quality and software experience. The Redmi 2 is a great option for folks who want to experience Xiaomi’s MIUI while still maintaining a tight budget. There are two models available, the first of which featuring 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. While the attractive $150 price point may entice you, we’d wager to say that the higher-end Redmi 2 Pro is more worth your time. Featuring 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, the Redmi 2 Pro costs around $20 more than the Redmi 2 proper, which may be a good option for those who don’t mind spending a little closer to $200.

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Today, though, we’re looking at the $150 Redmi 2, which is surprisingly solid and very comfortable in the hand. It has a 4.7-inch 720p LCD display, with quality coming really close to that of the Moto G and viewing angles being just as good or slightly better than those on the Zenfone 2. The rear-facing speaker on the Redmi 2 seems to be louder than the speakers on both the ZenFone 2 and Moto G, although the Moto G still has the least amount of audio distortion overall.

On the performance front, the Redmi 2 is just about as fast as (if not faster than) the Moto G, though both devices are still a tad slower than the ZenFone 2. Both the base and pro models of the Redmi 2 have quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 410 processors, which are still perfectly capable CPUs. The Pro model should be faster and much better with multitasking, however, since it has 2GB of RAM compared to the 1GB found on the base model.

You’ll get 8GB of internal storage with the Redmi 2 (16GB with the Pro model) with expandable memory up to 64GB, though MIUI doesn’t allow applications to be moved or installed on the microSD card. This is both a positive and a negative for the end user. On one hand, installing apps externally can free up a ton of space on your device. But much of the time, apps installed on the microSD card can act up, which is obviously something that should be avoided. The Redmi 2’s 8MP rear camera is overall pretty good. Featuring a higher dynamic range than on the ZenFone 2, the Xiaomi offering produces much more noise in low-light environments. It also has a removable 2200mAh battery that should get most users through a full day on a single charge with roughly three hours of screen-on time.

The Redmi 2’s 8MP rear camera is overall pretty good. Featuring a higher dynamic range than on the ZenFone 2, the Xiaomi offering produces much more noise in low-light environments. It also has a removable 2200mAh battery that should get most users through a full day on a single charge with roughly three hours of screen-on time.

The Redmi 2 runs Xiaomi’s MIUI V6 atop Android 4.4 KitKat, which will likely turn some users off from this device. MIUI is a pretty heavy Android skin, and it has been criticized for taking some inspiration from a certain fruity tech company, but the experience is truly unique and different compared to vanilla Android. Xiaomi releases occasional updates for the Redmi 2, and if you flash the developer ROM, you can even receive an update every Friday. The company is pretty optimistic with its release timelines, so hopefully we’ll get to see Android 5.0 Lollipop make its way to the device in the coming months. The ZenFone 2 and Moto G are likely to receive Android updates much faster than the Redmi 2, so keep that in mind if quick updates are important to you.

While the Redmi 2 is slightly better than the Moto G overall, availability is a major challenge with this device. You can’t officially buy the phone in the U.S., which means you’ll have to import it. Importing the device won’t get you the standard one-year warranty that many people expect, and the models available for import are not intended for the U.S. market either, meaning that carrier support isn’t always what you may expect.

The Redmi 2 has dual SIM card support. But unlike the Moto G, which fully supports both AT&T and T-Mobile HSPA+, the Redmi 2 has limited support for U.S. carriers, depending on the specific variant. There is a variant that supports WCDMA 850 / 1900 / 2100MHz, which is fully compatible with AT&T and partially compatible with T-Mobile, depending on your specific coverage area. I wouldn’t recommend buying the Redmi 2 unless you’re on AT&T, and even then, please make sure to confirm that you’re getting the right variant.

I like to think of the Redmi 2 as being the option for users wanting something different – it’s a great phone, but it is difficult to get and carrier support can be complicated.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0

The price is right for the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0. Starting at $229, the 8-inch model is the first Samsung budget tablet to boast a price as modest as its specs. (UK availability has yet to be announced, but the US price converts to around £230.)

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Running the latest version of Android, Google’s operating system, the Tab A features Samsung’s robust and user-friendly TouchWiz interface and — on top of that — it offers a few useful and fun software perks. In addition to in-app bonuses for games like The Hobbit: Kingdoms and Pac-Man Friends, the Tab A includes free limited subscriptions to publications such as The New York Times, The Economist and many more. However, the value of the Tab A is on the inside, not the outside.

Like the standard budget tablet, the plastic-laden construction of the Samsung Tab A is unimpressively pedestrian. Plastic builds are Samsung’s M.O., and the Tab A exudes this, managing to feel flimsy and cheap. Despite this, it’s still comfortable, thin, lightweight and compact in size.

Samsung tends to overprice its entry-level tablet models, so the low price tag on the Galaxy Tab A 8.0 is an extremely welcome development. The Samsung Galaxy Tab A is a solid budget tablet that excels in giving you the most bang for your buck.

Design
The Samsung Tab A 8.0’s design is on-trend. It’s slim, lightweight and — to the undiscerning eye — it looks a bit like the iPad Mini. Unlike the Apple tablet, though, the Tab A 8.0 is wrapped in plastic.

Its smooth back panel is comfortable against your fingertips, and its rounded edges make it easy to grip, yet the quality of the plastic gives it a cheap feel. At 0.29-inch (7.4mm) thick and 0.69-pound (313g), it’s not the slimmest or the lightest tablet, but it’s definitely in the ballpark.

On the top-right edge you’ll find a power button with a volume rocker and microSD card slot below it, while the bottom edge houses the Micro-USB port, headphone jack and single speaker.

As an 8-inch tablet, the ability to hold it in one hand is a design benefit of its smaller build. I didn’t have a big issue with this, though I can see how those with smaller hands could have problems comfortably gripping the Tab A.

Features
Running Android Lollipop 5.0, the Tab A features Samsung’s TouchWiz overlay. The skin is user-friendly, easy to navigate, and chock full of software goodies.

It comes stocked with Microsoft Office apps, including Word, Excel and Powerpoint. It’s a nice addition, especially for students and those interested in a portable workstation, however without a keyboard the software isn’t convenient to utilize.

As an owner of a new Galaxy tablet, you get a few free perks. The “Galaxy Gifts” include 3-month trials of Evernote Premium, Audiobooks by Audible and The New York Times, as well as a 6-month trial subscription to The Economist and Blinkist. There’s also in-app bonuses for a few games and select apps. These “gifts” are common for Samsung’s high-end models, so it’s nice to see them on the budget-friendly Galaxy Tab A 8.0.

If you’re already entrenched in Samsung’s Galaxy, the SideSync 3.0 app is useful for streamlining your devices. The app mirrors your phone’s screen, so instead of taking out your phone to respond to a text message, you can simply do so using the tablet. It comes in handy whenever you’re carrying around both devices, but only need to use one.

The Galaxy Tab A 8.0 also features a multi-window function. For a pretty basic tablet, it smoothly handles running two apps are once. Not all apps are capable of utilizing the function, but common, frequently used ones like the Google Play Store, Gmail and Chrome can. It won’t replicate what your laptop can do by any means, but for basic multitasking, it’s a nice convenience.

Hardware
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A houses a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU, 1.5GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage, with a microSD card slot that’s expandable up to 128GB.

Performance
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 isn’t a fast performer, but once settled into a task or activity, it tends to run without a hitch. Checking email, surfing the Web, streaming video and playing simple mobile games are all smooth sailing.

Large games and apps take awhile to load — anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds — and if downloading apps or updates, performance slows down and lag can occur — though this is typical of most budget tablets.

The Galaxy Tab A 8.0 features a 1,024×768-pixel resolution screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio. Unfortunately, text can appear pixilated, though it doesn’t make it hard to read — it’s just a stark reminder that you’re not exactly rolling with the best.

Fortunately, HD video still looks sharp and crisp. However, heavy video-watchers might want to think twice about picking up this Samsung model; the 4:3 aspect ratio adds to letterboxing (the thick black bars above and below the video), meaning the video doesn’t fill the screen, and the solitary speaker provides lackluster audio quality. Also, since it’s on the bottom edge, the speaker is easy to block — though that might be for the best.

Gamers should also be weary of the Galaxy Tab A. In 3DMark benchmarks, it ranked the lowest in almost all tests against comparable models. I didn’t have many hiccups while playing games with the Galaxy Tab A, however these benchmarks indicate that if you’re heavy on the gaming, you can do better.

The standard pair of cameras on the Galaxy Tab A 8.0 are decent for a tablet. Both the rear 5-megapixel and front-facing 2-megapixel cameras produce clear, in-focus photos, but sharpness at full resolution looks soft around the edges and color saturation falls on the dull side.

According to Samsung, the Tab A should last around 13 hours, and based on my experience, I believe it. On a full charge, with moderate-to-heavy use, I got two days out of it. After one test run, the Tab A got 11.1 hours. Check back after we’re done testing it in the CNET Lab for the final result.

Conclusion
Samsung releases more tablets per year than any other manufacturer, so it’s nice to see it finally couple its low-end models with affordable prices to match.

In comparison, the Acer Iconia Tab 8 has a higher screen resolution at 1,920×1,200, and it packs a useful micro-HDMI port. Despite this, the Galaxy Tab A, (aside from gaming) consistently performs smoother for most tasks, rendering it a more practical choice for everyday use.

Samsung’s own Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 can be currently found for $200, and it houses an IR blaster, meaning you can use it as a remote. Yet, the Galaxy Tab A still manages to one-up it with the latest version of Android OS and the included software perks.

Starting at $229, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A doesn’t quite make the list for best tablets under $200, but once the price inevitably drops, it likely will. Until then, it still offers smooth performance and more software goodies than comparable models.