Category Archives: Shopping

Nokia announced its first Android smartphone for China

In a low-key affair, HMD Global — the Finnish company that snagged exclusive rights to Nokia’s branding — has launched its first Android smartphone. Dubbed the Nokia 6, the phone will be exclusively offered on China’s JD.com for ¥1,699 ($245).

The phone itself is crafted out of aluminium, with HMD Global describing the process as follows:

It takes 55 minutes to machine a single Nokia 6 from a solid block of 6000 series aluminium. It then receives two separate anodising processes, taking over ten hours to complete, with each phone being polished no less than five times. The end result is an aluminium unibody with the highest level of visual and structural quality.

In terms of hardware, the Nokia 6 offers a 5.5-inch Full HD display with 2.5D curved glass, Snapdragon 430 SoC, 4GB of RAM, 64GB storage, microSD slot, dual-SIM connectivity, 16MP camera at the back with PDAF, Dolby Atmos sound with stereo speakers, Bluetooth 4.1, LTE, 3000mAh battery, and a fingerprint sensor. The phone runs Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box.

With 552 million smartphone users, China is a “strategically important market” for HMD Global, which is why it is launching its first handset in the country. The brand is set to launch six phones under the Nokia name this year, so we should hear more about its plans at Mobile World Congress. It looks for exiting times ahead with Nokia re-entering the market after Microsoft has taken it over.

Win a Sony PlayStation 4 Pro 1TB with the Acme Blog

We are coming closer to the Holidays and so we are giving away another Gadget. This time we got a brand new Sony PlayStation 4 Pro 1TB up for grabs!

And this is how you can win:

Just participate below and have the chance to win. Please note that this competition is International. The device will be either shipped via Aramex/DHL or handed over in person in Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

Win a Sony PlayStation 4 Pro 1TB

Here are some infos on the PS4 Pro:

PlayStation 4 Pro – The super-charged PS4
PlayStation 4 Pro allows games to deliver far more detail and unprecedented visual precision.

SPECTACULAR GRAPHICS 4K TV owners can experience higher quality visuals, such as 4K quality resolution, as well as faster and more stable frame rates. HD TV users will also enjoy enhanced gameplay experiences on PS4™ titles in 1080p, along with higher and more stable frame rates.

ULTIMATE PERFORMANCE Double the power with an incredible combination of visual quality and performance in a console.

ENHANCED GAMEPLAY Supporting faster frame rates for super-sharp and smoother on-screen action.

HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE (HDR) TECHNOLOGY Visuals are more realistic, strikingly vivid and truer to what the human eye sees in the real world.

ULTIMATE SHARE PLAY AND REMOTE PLAY Share or stream your games in stunning detail with visuals of up to 1080p and 60fps.

MORE CONNECTIONS Features 2.4GHz/5GHz Wi-Fi mode options and HDMI 2.0 output.

Acme Blog Book Recommendation: Grow the F*ck Up

The Festive Season is just kicking in and we can recommend you a pretty great book to either ask for or gift to somebody.

Growing up is hard work, you have to get a job, pay your bills, get student loans, buy a house, pay your mortgage, mow your lawn, fix your car, get married, make sweet love to your wife, and then you die. There’s a lot to figure out in the middle there, and this book tells you how to get through it all. With a 44 step how-to, the Grow The Fuck Up book teaches late teens and young adults important lessons they won’t learn at home or in the classroom, and gives you a satirically blunt crash course on how to become an adult and how to get through life. Lessons include how to manage your money, preparing for a job interview, using a credit card, turning off thewater to your house, writing a resume/cover letter, and more.

grow-the-fuck-up-book-2084The best thing is you can as well get is as an ebook on your phone or tablet! Check out the link to buy it: [LINK]

Amazon to spend $1 billion to conquer the Middle East !

Amazon is said to spend $1 billion on buying local e-commerce giant Souq.com. Given that the website was almost an exact copy of Amazon in many ways this just makes sense.

Amazon is one of the world’s largest retail destinations, but it doesn’t have much traction in the Middle East. That’s why rumors that it’s looking to buy Souq.com, the Amazon of the Middle East, make so much sense. Bloomberg is reporting that Jeff Bezos and crew might spend up to $1 billion on the site to gain a foothold across Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Neither party is talking about the deal, but if it’s getting reported in an august financial publication like Bloomberg then it must be serious.

Souq has looked to solve challenges that aren’t so prominent in the US and other countries where Amazon is dominant. Inc. profiled the company a few months ago, revealing that the retailer had to develop a new payment platform for a region where credit cards aren’t ubiquitous. So, users are able to shop for products by topping up a prepaid card available at various brick-and-mortar retail outlets. Another issue is logistics, since some regions don’t have as sophisticated delivery services as others — but perhaps that’s something that Amazon can help with.

I would be pretty happy about having the real deal available instead of Souq.com.

Amazon Prime in Europe gets a price hike

On February 1, 2017 the Amazon Prime membership fee for new signups will be 69 EUR/year (before 49€). The discounted annual membership fee for Amazon Student will then be 34 EUR/year. Customers who use an unbinding trial membership will be charged after their trial membership with the fee displayed during signup.

Existing members, whose next payment is due before July 1 2017, will pay 49 EUR for another year of a Prime membership or 24 EUR for an Amazon Student membership.

The price for Prime was in 2007 at the market launch at 29 euros. At that time, the package included only the free premium shipping. 2014, Amazon increased the price to 49 euros annually as the video-on-demand service instant video became a part of the offer. For the current price increase Amazon does not give a reason. On the side of the new business conditions, it says: “As we continually expand Prime’s benefits to meet growing customer demand, the cost of deploying these services has increased over the years.”

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In an international comparison, the European Prime is still comparatively favorable at 69 euros. The US offer costs $ 99 annually (about € 90); in England, customers pay £ 79 a year (about $ 89). So its still fine. I am running on a European Prime model but i just recently renewd, so it won´t bite me until late next year.

Microsoft launched the Surface Studio – an all All in One Computer

So – Microsoft has shown off its own all-in-one PC to the market targeting the market leaders Apple and Lenovo. The Surface Studio is aimed at professional users. The installed hardware is top notch: Intel processors from the Skylake series are used, up to 32 gigabytes of memory are available. For proper graphicspower, Microsoft gives the Surface Studio a Nvidia card of the type Geforce GTX 980M. The special feature is that the technology is not behind the display, as with most all-in-one PCs, but in the stand. This keeps the device very slim and looks classy. The touch screen monitor measures about one centimeter in thickness, if offers 28 inches of image area and serves rich 13.8 million pixels. Microsoft calls it PixelSense display – trying to establish a marketing term similar to Apple’s retina. Practical: microphones for voice control via Cortana are integrated, as well as a web camera for Windows Hello and Videochats.

Exciting: With the surface dial, Microsoft presents a new control element, which remembers visually a volume control and shows circular functions on the display. But expensive: The equipment was a high price to accept, moreover, Microsoft with the Surface Studio aimed at companies – but even the likely to swallow at 2.999 US dollar (just 2.750 euros) per Surface Studio in the basic version. The top version with an i7 Processor and 32GB Ram will set you back 4.199$.

Netflix Shrinks! There are fewer and fewer films and series on offer every month…

I used to love Netflix. I could get great Movies, cool Series and whatever I liked on their. Over the years this changed a lot and so I have finally decided to dump Netflix in favour of Amazon Prime Video.

Thousands of films and series have disappeared from the Netflix offers in recent years. The US streaming service wants to go a different way as it seems- it is increasing own productions and even wants to go to the cinema as well.

Worldwide, more than 80 million people are using Netflix. In 2010 the streaming service started in the US, and in 2014 numerous European countries were added, including Germany. Since January 2016, Netflix has been available in 190 countries on Earth. Alone in the past quarter, 3.57 million new customers came, as Netflix announced. The profit fell 75 percent year-on-year to 51.5 million dollars – far better than investors had expected.

Despite all these successes, Netflix’s offering is shrinking. The streaming portal has been changing its entertainment offer for some time now and this development has not even yet been completed.

In the future, in-house productions will account for around 50 percent of the Netflix collection, as the magazine “Variety” reports. The supply of foreign content, ie licensed films and series, would fall to half. Netflix wants to provide a target group-oriented offer and above all with exclusive content among the users.

There are no official figures on how many films and series Netflix has on offer as they are not revealed by the group.

In 2014, a Reddit user compared the IMDB Top 250, the best rated films at the largest film database on the Internet, with the Netflix offer. He found out that 49 of the 250 top films were also available at Netflix. Two years later, the number fell to 31 films, 12 percent less than in 2014.

Also the figures of the blog “Exstreamist” show that Netflix is shrinking. According to them, the offer of the streaming service has almost halved since 2012. Four years ago (on the US platform) a total of 11,000 films and series have been available, today, according to the “Exstreamist” there are only 5,300. The platform “Unogs” comes to the same conclusion.

I see it with a sad eye leaving Netflix behind after all these years, but I see just no value any longer in keeping it. Only House of Cards does not give me this value – There is not much more than what I get out of Amazon Prime Video.

Are you a Netflix user too? What is your opinion ? Sound off in the comments.

Reviewed: The Yongnuo EF YN 50 mm f/1.8 lens

The other day I got shipped a Yongnuo EF YN 50mm f/1,8 lens over for trying it out. Yongnuwhat you might ask- for good reason. But  Yongnuo is not completely unknown in the camera world, though I knew them more for reasonable priced good quality gear before such as triggers and flashes mostly compatible for Canon and Nikon.

We had reviewed the Canon EF 50mm f1.8 STM some tme ago on the Blog and this is a good comparison to make to the original.   The “nifty fifty” is in general a must have lense in any camera bag in my opinion.

The first big difference between the two is the price. The Yongnuo EF 50 mm f/1.8 is for sale for about 55 euros. This is a 50 mm f/1.8 fixed focal length lens with AF, which can also be used on a camera with a full-frame sensor. On a camera with an APS-C sensor, this is an ideal portrait lens.  The Canon Version of the  EF 50mm f1.8 STM sets you back 111€ at Amazon right now.  That is half the price, and while still not very expensive to a Canon lense I can see people who would think about getting the Yongnuo one. Not everybody has a need for high end Photography gear and has other priorities in daily spendings. No matter if you got a family of 5 or you are styuyding on a tight budget. So this 50€ do make a difference.

But what do you get on the quality side? Are the images any good ? Let´s have a closer look on this.

Build Quality

Optical is looks quite a lot like the Canon, agreed.Biggest surprise however was when unpacking the lens there was a plastic film on the front and rear lens elements for protection against possible scratches. I have never seen this before on any other lens I bought. If you would start shooting immediately without removing this film, you probably would end up being very disappointed with the image quality.  While Canon has changed away from the plastic mount, the Yongnuo still has a black plastic lens mount on it. It probably won´t be an issue anyways.

Manual Focussing is not easy on the Yongnuo neither, I did not like it on the Canon and it is the same here. The ring with which you can focus manually at the front of the lens is very narrow in my opinion. It does work, but the focus ring could be a bit broader in my opinion.

Sharpness

As far as sharpness is concerned, there is no difference from the Canon 50 mm f/1.8 STM. At full aperture, the sharpness is far from optimal. You get a dreamy picture, which can create a unique mood for portraits and low-light shots. After stopping down two stops, the highest sharpness is reached, and the Yongnuo, as the Canon,  gives nothing up to much more expensive lenses with the same focal length.

Sample Pictures

Shot in the Dark with Flash img_1197 img_1201 img_1214

Verdict

The Canon 50 mm f/1.8 lenses (versions II and STM), with shop prices of around 110 euros, are not the most expensive lenses in the Canon range. And the Yongnuo is another 50% cheaper.Looking at the image quality,  there might be some small differences to discover between the Canon and the Yongnuo, but on these tiny tiny differences you don´t have to worry about if you are an amateur or beginner level photographer on a Canon SLR camera.  We do certainly recomment the Yongnuo EF YN 50 mm f/1.8 lens. If you wonder why I used the Canon 750D instead of the 5D: Users looking in this price range are probably having rather an entry level camera then a full frame one.

Yongnuo EF YN 50 mm f/1.8

55
Yongnuo EF YN 50 mm f/1.8
8.5

Value for Money

10/10

    Picture Quality

    8/10

      Distortion

      8/10

        Build Quality

        8/10

          Pros

          • Large aperture of f/1.8 with associated dreamy look
          • good image quality
          • 50% or more less expensive than the Canon 50 mm f/1.8 (II/STM)

          Cons

          • partially noisy with AF
          • Less sharp at full aperture

          The Star Wars Lego Death Star is now available

          The new Lego Star Wars Death Star is finally avaialble to purchase in the Lego online Store.  While it does not defer too much from its predecessor. It looked like the old Death Star, just with a few new minifigures and minor cosmetic changes. I do not really understand why LEGO basically re-released the Death Star just a year after its retirement in almost identical way.

          For all intents and purposes, it’s the exact same model as 10188 Death Star, just with a few new updates. LEGO are positioning this set as being an updated version of the 2008 with a few improvements incorporated by LEGO designers. So what’s new after all? Well, LEGO has added over 200 bricks and elements as well as 3 new minifigures.  Nothing more, nothing less.

          Here are some official information from the press release:

          • Includes 23 minifigures: Grand Moff Tarkin, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, Imperial Navy Officer, Imperial Officer, 2 Stormtroopers, 2 Death Star Troopers, 2 Emperor’s Royal Guards, 2 Death Star Gunners, Death Star Droid, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, C-3PO, Han Solo, Han Solo (disguise), Luke Skywalker (Tatooine), Luke Skywalker (disguise) and Luke Skywalker (final duel), plus R2-D2, an Imperial Astromech and a Dianoga trash compactor monster.
          • Features a superlaser control room, Imperial conference chamber, hangar bay with moving launch rack and detachable TIE Advanced with space for Lord Vader inside, Emperor Palpatine’s throne room, Droid maintenance room, detention block, trash compactor, tractor beam, cargo area, turbo laser with spring-loaded shooters and seats for the 2 Death Star gunners, and 2 movable turbo laser towers.
          • Weapons include 3 Lightsabers, 4 blasters, 3 blaster pistols, 4 blaster rifles, 2 force pikes, 2 Force Lightning elements and a bowcaster.
          • Load up and fire the turbo laser’s spring-loaded shooters to keep the rebels at bay.
          • Maneuver Lord Vader’s TIE Advanced into position and prepare for launch.
          • Battle the Royal Guard in the throne room and then take on Palpatine himself!
          • Help Leia escape from the detention block and swing to safety with Luke across the chasm!
          • Will Obi-Wan shut down the tractor beam and help the rebels defeat the Empire?
          • Can you spot the Dianoga trash compactor monster?
          • Recreate other unforgettable scenes from the classic Star Wars films.
          • The perfect addition to any LEGO® Star Wars collection.
          • This set offers an age-appropriate building experience for ages 14 and over.
          • Measures over 16” (41cm) high, and 16” (42cm) wide.

          If the new Version with the additional parts is worth to you a 100€ price jump over the old version is left to you -But I would go for it.

          [LINK]