The 5 Best New Android Phones 

With a seemingly never-ending flow of great Android phones coming out all the time, it can be a little difficult to pick out the best from the rest. No need to fear, I’m here to help with my current favourites for the best Android phones out there right now. 

Google Pixel 2
RRP £629 

Despite its fairly unoriginal design failing to make much of a splash, Google have succeeded at delivering a standout phone with their use of software in the Pixel 2. The Pixel 2’s camera delivers some of the best results amongst its competitors and paired with its speed and battery life, you can’t really go wrong with this phone. You can pick up its bigger cousin the XL if you’re after a bigger screen and even more of the same. 

Samsung Galaxy S9+
RRP £739 

The Galaxy S9+ is the absolute premium Android phone on the market right now. The price tag comes with a great camera with switchable apertures, high-speed internals and a fantastic new OLED screen. The Galaxy S9+ simply feels good to hold and use, what more could you really want? If this is too much of a beast for you, then you can always pick up the standard Galaxy S9, although unfortunately, that does not include the camera apertures of the S9+ 

Razer Phone
RRP £699 

If you’re big into gaming on your mobile, then the Razer Phone is probably the best option out there for you at the moment. It’s 120Hz screen with a variable refresh rate really can’t be beaten when playing games on Android. The only major downside of this phone is in its cameras, which don’t quite stand up to its competitors.  

LG V30
RRP £599 

The LG V30 is a noticeable improvement on older LG models, and its design is probably the most visually consistent yet. This phone is packing some really outstanding audio performance, so if you listen to music on your phone regularly this will be a good choice. The screen and some of the UI elements aren’t anything to write home about, but at this price you’re still getting a lot of bang for your buck.  

Huawei Mate 10 Pro
RRP £699 

This is arguably the best phone to come from Huawei yet, and it is packed full of high performance hardware making it one of the most powerful phones out there. In comparison to its main rival the Samsung Galaxy 9+, you’re looking at a bigger screen and better battery life, although the camera isn’t quite up to the same stuff. 

And there we have it, my personal picks for the best Android phones on the market right now. Don’t worry if I’ve missed out on your favourite, when it comes to a lot of these phones it really is down to your own personal preference and what you’re looking to do with it.

Things to Try on the iPhone X 

So, you’ve decided to cash out your pension and pick up Apple’s latest iteration of their flagship mobile phones, the iPhone X. The new iPhone comes packed with new features, hardware and an all new interface for you to play with. Now that you have your new phone, here are a few things that you should try out. 

Use Animoji 

One of Apple’s more periphery changes to the new iPhone is the inclusion of new customisable animated emojis that use face mapping to apply your expressions to an animal, with options including a monkey, a lion and a fox. Animojis are a fun way to add a bit of personality to your messaging and are a particularly great way to show off your new purchase to your less lucky friends. 

Learn all the new Swipes and Button Presses 

The iPhone X has said goodbye to the home button which has been a mainstay in iPhones from the beginning and almost all other smartphones as well. To replace the functionality that the home button had, Apple have implemented a new system of gestures and side button presses to perform the same actions. For example, swiping down diagonally from the top left of the screen will bring up your notifications, and swiping down at the bottom of an app will return you to your home screen.  

Learning these new gestures is basically like learning a new language, so make sure that you follow the tutorials that appear when you first start up your iPhone X and look around online for some in-depth tutorials. You’ll soon be zipping around the new interface like a pro. 

Record Some 4K Video 

Probably one of the biggest positive additions in the iPhone X is its ability to film video in stunning 4K. The change from HD to 4K is as different as night and day, and with 4K your videos have never looked better. iPhones have always been a bit of a step above the rest when it comes to photo and video quality, but with the new 4K video you’ll be able to record videos that make the rest pale in comparison. 

Take Advantage of FaceID 

Apple really led the charge on the implementation of finger scanners in smartphones and you’re probably more than well aware of how positive an impact this has been for convenience. Finger scanning allowed you to unlock your phone, use Apple Pay, and access your accounts all with a single press. Now Apple are innovating once again with the addition of FaceID to the iPhone. Now you can do everything you could with finger scanning, but without having to touch a thing. FaceID uses your face as a password, ensuring that only you can gain access to your iPhone X. Neat, right? 

How to Optimise Your Android Phone 

Over time it is normal for your phone to slow down a little as it’s memory fills up and you install more and more applications. If your phone seems to have slowed to a crawl then don’t worry, I’m here to help with a few tricks to optimise your android phone. 

Restart it 

Before we get into the more complicated or drastic solutions to slower performance, it’s probably best to start with the simplest fix. Sometimes all your phone really needs is restarting. Restarting will clear memory and allow updates to apply. This can often fix some of the more common performance issues on your phone, so it’s well worth giving this a quick try before moving on to anything else. 

Uninstall Unused Apps 

If you’re anything like me your phone is probably filled with apps that you barely ever or never use. For me, these are often the apps that are the flavour of the month, or that I thought I’d be getting a lot of mileage out of at some point. I recommend having a look through your installed apps every couple of weeks and thinking about which ones you use. Android will even show you the last time that these apps were opened so you can see any that have gone unused for a shocking amount of time. 

While you’re clearing out your unused apps it’s worth looking into how to remove any of the bloatware that your phone came with preinstalled. These apps are rarely ever used, but the process of uninstalling them can change from manufacturer to manufacturer, so have a look around for some guides on how to remove your particular phone’s variety. You might be shocked at just how much space you end up clearing. 

Optimise Chrome 

You’ll probably be using Google Chrome as your web browser on your phone, so it is well worth optimising it to improve performance. The simplest way to do this is to activate the Data Saver mode through Chrome’s settings. This will help to cut down on your phone unnecessarily burning through the battery and using up your data. 

Keep Your Phone Updated 

While this is probably one of the most repeated pieces of advice out there, in regard to phone maintenance it really can’t be overstated. Making sure that both your operating system and apps are fully up to date will help your phone to run as smoothly as possible and use its resources efficiently. Software updates will also frequently come with solutions to security problems or flaws, so this can be really essential to protecting your data and phone.  

However, if your phone is reaaally old, be careful before you perform a full system update, as this might be too much for your phone’s older hardware to manage. If you’re at this point though, I’d really recommend upgrading your phone to a more recent model if possible. 

Factory Reset 

This should be your very last avenue of action to resolve issues with performance on your phone. A factory reset will completely clear out your phone and return it to the state it was when you bought it. This does mean that any files that are stored on your phone’s memory will be deleted, so be sure to move anything you want to keep over to some external or removable memory before resetting your phone. 

Must Have Creative Apps from Google Play 

Google Play is chock full of apps with more and more being added daily. Finding the perfect creative app for work or a hobby in such a crowded marketplace can be a little tricky. Luckily for you, I’ve prepared this blog with some of the essential creative apps available from the Google Play store.  

Adobe Illustrator Draw
Free 

If you’ve had any experience with vector drawing and painting, then you’re probably more than a little familiar with Adobe’s Illustrator software on desktops. The app is basically a lighter version of the desktop program, but it is robust enough to satisfy almost all of your vector creation needs, and with integration with Adobe CC, you’re pretty much set. 

Autodesk Sketchbook
Free 

I’m going to be very straightforward about this one. It’s probably the best app for drawing on an Android device, full stop. With a staggering number of customisable brushes and a predictive stroke feature that can help to turn any unsteady or not-quite-right strokes into smooth and steady additions to your sketch. Did I mention that all of that is free? 

Infinite Painter
Free 

This is another great app to use for art creation. With more than 80 brushes and editing tools galore, you can create some really outstanding digital paintings with this app. This app also comes with tools to allow drawing from a number of 3D perspectives, so that you can easily create 3D paintings with absolutely no fuss. 

Adobe Premiere Clip
Free 

Because of the high hardware requirements of real video editing, like obscene amounts of RAM and processing power, it’s unlikely that we’ll be seeing any robust video editing software on mobile for quite some time. However, if you’re looking to quickly cut some video together and layer in some audio, then the little brother of the industry standard Adobe Premiere is probably your best bet. 

Adobe Photoshop Express
Free 

In much the same vein as the Android versions of Adobe Illustrator and Premiere, Photoshop Express is a stripped-down version of the powerful desktop application. Photoshop Express will allow you to crop, filter, edit and re-colour your photos with just a few taps. You can do all of this for free, so there really is no reason to go anywhere else. You can even post your edits straight to social media so that there are no delays when posting that perfect selfie. 

The Best iOS Apps to Give a Try 

There is always something new to find every day on the App Store, with a constant tide of new games, apps and more being uploaded all the time. With such a big selection, you might have missed out on some really great apps, so in this blog, I’m going to cover just a few of what I think are some of the best iOS apps at the moment. 

Soon
Free 

This is a really useful app for organising all of those films, books and albums that you’ve been saying “you’re definitely going to try next week” for the last decade. You can add all of these pieces of media to your list to keep track of them before you inevitably forget, or you could take a look at the app’s suggestions to find even more things to check out. 

Cove
Free 

Keeping a journal can be a fun way to track your thoughts and feelings over time, and then look back to see what you felt on any one day. Cove offers a new novel way to keep a journal, by offering some simple musical creation tools to log your emotions. You can choose the basic tone of your feelings and then layer more music and sound over the top. It can be really interesting to look back and listen to your own creations after you’ve been using this app for a while. 

Great Little Place
Free 

It’s pretty much all in the name of the app. Great Little Place offers a list of recommendations of great little places to go for a day out or a bite to eat. This app is the perfect way to discover some of the lesser known establishments in your area, and you never know you might just find a new favourite to rave about. 

Lake
Free 

Colouring books for adults are all the rage nowadays, and not without reason. They can be a really pleasant way to lay back and relax and let out some of that pent-up stress from work. Lake is basically a colouring book in app form, with lots of colour palettes and painting options to choose with. The app comes with some colouring book for free, and you can unlock more with in-app purchases or with a subscription that gives you access to the lot. 

STACK
Free 

This is a pretty simple, but very addictive game based around your reaction times. Time your taps carefully as you hit moving shapes while enjoying the game’s attractive music and visuals. That’s about all there is to it, but it can make for a surprisingly attention-grabbing experience. 

Sky Guide AR
£2.99 

This is the only app on this list that has an upfront cost, but I think it is certainly worth the cost. Taking advantage of iOS 11’s augmented reality, Sky Guide AR allows you to point your camera at the sky and see constellations and other stellar objects highlighted in the night sky. More than just a novelty, this app can be a lovely way to learn more about astronomy and our place in the universe.