A smart phone decision!

smartphones

If you’re on the market looking to upgrade your smartphone, you might get lost looking at all the offerings currently available. Since all current smartphones are more than capable of handling whatever you throw at them, i will refrain from going through detailed spec sheets. Instead, I’ll try to focus on specific features that are offered by the various manufacturers that would make you choose their handset over others.

LG: The current flagship smartphone from LG is the G3. Having a 5.5″ QHD screen, the G3 holds the highest pixel density among all phones to be highlighted in this article. What’s more impressive however, is it’s compactness a.k.a. screen to phone size ratio which stands at spectacular 76.4%. To get a better idea of what I’m talking about here, check the picture below comparing it to the 5.5″ screened iPhone 6 plus (note that when bent, the iPhone 6 plus is actually the shorter phone). Another highlight feature of the G3 is laser focus, which LG says improves the camera’s auto-focus time.

Ip6 M8 .

HTC: The HTC one (M8) is undoubtedly the most premium android phone on the market offering an impeccable build quality surpassing that of any other phone maker (we’re looking at you apple). The aluminum-clad 5″ screened M8 offers dual speakers but a so-so camera. Also, having been on the market for a while now, its price is easily accessible. Note that the same applies to the G3.

M8

SONY: The Z3 is the latest entry in Sony’s Xperia line of smartphones. Building on the features of the Xperia Z2, the Z3 offers a 5.2″ screen, dual speakers, a 20.7 Mp camera with a larger than standard camera sensor, noise cancellation and high-resolution audio, all tucked inside a water-proof glass body with aluminum edges. An impressive feature that will grab gamers attention is ‘PS4 remote play’ that allows you to stream PS4 games using your wifi network to the phone. In regards to build quality, The Z3 just falls short of beating that of the M8 but comes very close. Note that Sony offers a compact version of the Z3 called Z3 compact (duh!) providing the same experience in a smaller (4.6″) more ‘pocketable’ device. Both phones are promised to provide a 2-day battery life.

Z3

SAMSUNG: The Korean manufacturer is infamous for flooding the market with endless iterations of its Galaxy lineup. The Galaxy S5 is its current flagship offering a 5.1″ super saturated screen, a solid camera, a heart-rate sensor and a fingerprint sensor (a la iPhone 5s/6/6 plus) tucked in a water-resistant plastic body. The S5 is the least premium-feeling device among all android flagships. Samsung also recently released the Galaxy Alpha (aimed at competing with the iPhone 6) offering a 4.7″ screen in a plastic, metal-framed body.

S5

APPLE: The iPhone 6 and 6 plus are Apple’s latest gadgets. Having a respective 4.7″ and 5.5″ screen, both phones provide the usual simplicity and ease use of iOS while offering a fingerprint scanner and an enhanced yet protruding 8 Mp camera with improved auto-focus in premium looking devices. On a subjective side note, I hate how the back of both phones look and much prefer the 5/5s in that perspective.

iPhone

When looking to purchase a new smartphone, my advice is to look for the one that provides you with the features you need or might need in the future, and of course all while considering its price.

For example, photography oriented users might lean more towards the Z3 or even the S5. Others looking for the most premium looking device would go for the M8 and iPhone siblings. If you consume lots of multimedia the choice would definitely be the M8 and Z3 for their dual speakers (and the Z3’s audio capabilities). Looking for a smartphone that’s not afraid to get wet you got the water-resistant S5 and the water-proof Z3.

photos via phonearena using their phone size comparison tool.

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Latest trend: Trashbag skirts!

VeroModa Skirt

Well it seems like the latest trend at Vero Moda is trashbag skirts! I wonder if anyone would actually buy this.

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The new Unica Dark

unica-dark

Gandour’s Unica is among my favorite chocolate wafer bars, so I was curious to try the new dark version ever since I started spotting billboards of it last week.

I picked it from a nearby mini market today and I found it to taste really good, in fact I now prefer it over the original Unica as I generally prefer dark chocolate over milk chocolate anytime.

Best of all, Unica Dark’s price is exactly as the regular Unica, 500L.L for the big size, which keeps it among the cheapest snacks!

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Gebran Bassil busted in New York

Men will always be men, but that’s definitely not valid when you’re representing Lebanon at the United Nations in New York and meeting with the Emirati minister of foreign affairs!

This video below shows Gibran Bassil asking one of his assistants about some woman called “Caroline”, then when the Emirati minister seemed surprised about his question, he responds with a hand gesture that he was asking because she’s so hot and wishes she was present with them in the meeting!

Quite embarrassing I say!

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Almaza trolls Apple by copying Heineken

heineken

IMG_6544.JPG

I know Almaza is actually owned by Heineken, but it is still uncool.

Check here to see how other brands took a jab at Apple for the iPhone 6 Plus bendgate.

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Batman fans, this is for you!

If you’re a Batman fan, you’re gonna love this. The Piano guys made this epic video highlighting 50 years of Batman music, film, and BATMOBILES.

 

On a side note, Batman v Superman: Dawn of justice, the sequel to “Man of Steel” is due out in March 2016. Can’t wait!

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Marrouche Hamra closed down for bankruptcy

marrouche hamra

According to this photo by Amer Tabsh, Marrouche Hamra has been sealed with red wax today following a court order after going bankrupt.

The place has been serving one of the best chicken garlic sandwiches in Beirut for ages now and I just can’t understand how did it go bankrupt… I mean people remained loyal to Marrouche over time even though sandwiches were selling for a relatively high price (7,000L.L) because they were really tasty, yet for some reason it ended up getting sealed with red wax!

I really hope it re-opens again because Sidany Street in Hamra will never be the same without Marrouche, at least to me!

Update:

It turns out Marrouche’s owner, Maher Marrouche, is facing financial difficulties which somehow led to the closure of the restaurant.

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Sorry, but we like to rip you off!

psn plus961

If you are a gamer like me, you might have noticed a not so subtle increase in the price of PSN (PlayStation Network) cards. These were previously priced at 22$ for the 20$ card and 55$ for the 50$ card. Currently the latter is selling for a whooping 65$. So you can forget about the digital purchase of games since the amount you’ll be saving on the game’s price you’ll be paying on the price of the PSN card.

If you know the reason for this increase kindly share in the comment section!

P.S: the prices mentioned above are from Virgin Megastore.

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Stunning Milky Way time-lapse video from Lebanon

This is one awesome compilation of Milky Way time-lapse videos taken at several location in Lebanon and Wadi Rum in Jordan. They were all shot and edited by fellow blogger Moophz.

Aside from stargazing, Moophz has a very interesting computer security blog, and you can also follow him on twitter.

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Shopping & Shipping from the US made easy

amazon

So you decided to spend your hard-earned money on a gadget you’ve been eyeballing for a while, but you noticed that it costs a fortune less in the United States. Well, shopping and shipping from the US has never been easier specially with some major US retailers (see Amazon) accepting non-US credit cards. I’ll be mainly focusing on Amazon since it is where you will find the cheapest prices online.

In order to make a purchase on amazon you will need the following:

  • An Amazon account.
  • A US suite address (an address in the US where your goods will be shipped; explained later on)
  • A credit/internet card.

How it works?

In order to ship from Amazon or other online US retailers to Lebanon, you will first need to have a US address that your goods will ship to. This address will be given to you by the shipping provider you will choose. That being said, There are many providers to choose from, the most widely known being Aramex’s shop and ship service, and DHL’s borderlinx service. I personally use borderlinx and I am satisfied with their service so far. I advise that you compare both offerings (and others) and decide which suits your needs best.

Next step is to add your credit card information as well as your billing and shipping addresses to your Amazon account. To avoid any confusion i’ll explain what these addresses exactly stand for:
Your billing address is the address associated with your credit/internet card. This is provided by your bank.
Your shipping address is the US address (suite address) that is provided by your shipping provider.

And that’s about it. You are now ready for your first purchase. You will be notified by email once your items have shipped from Amazon to your US address. You will also be provided with a tracking id so you can continuously check on the delivery process. Once the items have reached your US address, you will be notified of that as well by your shipping provider. Once shipped from the US, expect your items delivered to your doorstep in 1 business week max. You will receive 2 invoices: one from customs, the other from your shipping provider. Mabrouk!

Since the main objective of online shopping is to pay less, here are some tips to optimize your savings:

  1. Look for the cheapest seller.
  2. Make sure your item is eligible for free shipping (mentioned next to the item price).
  3. Choose “standard shipping” on checkout (all the items I have bought using “standard shipping” got delivered to my US address in 4 days tops which is totally acceptable in my opinion).
  4. No matter which provider you are shipping with, always consolidate your packages in order to PAY LESS shipping fees (benefits of consolidating packages explained here).
  5. Before proceeding with your purchase, check the Lebanese customs tariffs in order to know the customs fees applied on the type of product you are buying (note that you pay 0% custom fees on laptops and computer parts!)

Some useful links:

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