Huawei MateBook X Pro review: A serious alternative for Windows 10 users

Huawei might be having a tough time with its smartphones right now, but there’s certainly nothing wrong with their laptops. The new MateBook X Pro has just launched in the UK and this new laptop is packed with enough features to have even the most avid MacBook owners sitting up and taking notice.

Some might even find themselves a little baffled that this laptop hasn’t shipped straight from the Apple design studio in Cupertino, with the MateBook X Pro boasting a ludicrously similar style to the popular MacBook Pro.

That said, Huawei has improved on the design seen on the most recent 13-inch MacBook Pro from Apple, by thinning down the bezels around the screen and including a few more port choices – without sacrificing thinness of the design. It’s clear where Huawei got its inspiration from, but its nice to see the company adding its own twist to the formula.

And while it’s possible to tease Huawei for its Apple-esque design (and brand name), the Chinese firm can’t be faulted for the way the MateBook X performs.

We’ve been putting this laptop through its paces and there’s bucket loads to love – in fact, we’d go as far as to say we’re quite smitten with it.

Firstly, it looks great and its appearance will certainly turn a few heads when you pull it from your bag to make that next PowerPoint presentation. At 1.3Kg it’s also pretty light and it certainly won’t weigh you down when we all get out of lockdown and back to work.

As mentioned above, Huawei has helpfully included two USB-C and a standard USB-A port, which means you shouldn’t ever face the nightmare of not having the right dongle when someone hands you a bunch of files on a flash-drive.

The Chinese firm also includes a multi-use USB-C dongle in the box, which adds a load more ports – something that Apple should consider in the future as owners of their expensive new MacBooks currently have to splash out on a handful to pricey accessories to make their laptops complete.

For your daily emails and essays, the MateBook X Pro has a lovely keyboard, which offers a great typing experience with plenty of travel in the keys and a satisfying tap as you bash out your thoughts.

If the display is up there on your list of vital features then you won’t be disappointed as the MateBook X Pro arrives with a simply stunning 13.9-inch FullView touchscreen display that pushes right to the very edge of case. With a 91 percent screen-to-body ratio – you get more room for your content without the overall size of the machine becoming too cumbersome.

With Apple not including an edge-to-edge screen on its new 13-inch Pro, it really makes you realise what fans of those popular laptops are missing out on as the MateBook X really does look spectacularly good.

Along with looking great, the MateBook is also very capable when it comes to sheer performance. The model we tested gets the blisteringly fast 10th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, which means there’s oodles of power for your daily digital tasks.

These latest brains should also mean this laptop is fully future-proofed for the next few years of Window 10 updates.

Other nice additions include a fast fingerprint scanner for secure access to your PC and there’s some reasonably loud speakers which should help if you want to watch a movie at the end of your day’s work.

Although it’s not up to Apple’s Force Touch standards we’ve also been relatively impressed by the trackpad. It still has its quirks such as randomly clicking on things when you don’t want it to and you can’t tap at the top of the pad but this isn’t anything unusual on Windows laptops which remain well behind Apple when it comes to this technology.

Luckily, if you get fed up with the pad there’s the option to tap on the display with this laptop featuring a very good 10-point touch screen.

So it’s all very positive for the MateBook X Pro but we do have some niggles.

Firstly the screen is very shiny which does give it a premium appearance but is a nightmare for reflections especially when heading outside.

Because that display is also bezel-free there’s nowhere to put the web camera which means Huawei has been forced to pop it somewhere else. Their way of beating this issues is to hide it under the F5 function key on the keyboard which is a nice idea until you try and use it with your colleges getting a less than flattering shot of the inside of your nose – not the best look for your next Zoom call.

Battery life is also a little erratic at times and we certainly wouldn’t head out for the day without packing your charger.

Finally, there’s the price as the i7 model costs a rather hefty £1,699. That’s almost the same as the higher-specced MacBook Pro 13-inch and there’s no question that Apple’s laptop offers a more premium and robust finish.

Huawei MateBook X Pro review: Final Verdict

If you’ve never considered a Hauwei laptop before, prepare to mightily surprised. The Chinese tech firm might be famed for their flagship smartphones, but they’re now making first-class PCs.

The Huawei MateBook X Pro looks great, features a sublime screen, and has enough power to breeze through the most memory-hungry tasks.

You’ll also find a tactile full-sized keyboard, which is a joy to use as well as plenty of bonus extras like booming speakers, plenty of ports and a fast fingerprint scanner. There are a few niggles, including that ridiculously reflective screen, weird web camera, and slightly plastic feel.

At £1,699 it’s not cheap – not ideal in this highly competitive market. Unlike Apple, which is the only manufacturer capable of building macOS laptops, Huawei doesn’t have that luxury at all.

This is simply another Windows 10 machine and the competition is tough in this crowded space with the likes of Dell, HP, Lenovo and even Microsoft all vying for your attention.

All in all, Huawei has made a solid laptop that has plenty going for it and is definitely worth a look when gadget stores finally reopen after lockdown. While there are some niggles, these might be more forgivable if you stumble across a hefty discount on the MateBook X Pro in the coming months.

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Mega broadband boost: Your download speeds could soon get infinitely faster

Dire download speeds are something many of us have become used to but things could be about to get infinitely faster. Boffins at Monash, Swinburne and RMIT universities have tested and recorded some ludicrously fast internet speeds capable of downloading 1,000 high definition movies in a split second.

The research took place in Australia and is now the quickest ever recorded speed in the country – in fact, it could also be the fastest ever seen in the world. Crucially, the speeds were recorded outside of the lab using the existing infrastructure used by millions of broadband customers in Australia.

It’s hoped that the new technology will fast-track the next 25 years of Australia’s telecommunications capacity, but also the possibility for this home-grown technology to be rolled out across the globe.

Due to technical constraints, demonstrations of this magnitude are usually confined to a laboratory. But for this study, researchers achieved these incredible speeds using existing communications infrastructure where they were able to efficiently load-test the network. To make this happen, the researchers used a new device that replaces 80 lasers with one single piece of equipment known as a micro-comb, which is smaller and lighter than existing telecommunications hardware.

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Australia is currently placed 62nd in the world ranking of global internet speeds, with an average download speed of 43.4 Megabits per second (Mbps). This is almost five times slower than Singapore’s lightning-quick average download speed of 197.26 Mbps.

This speed is only just behind the UK with Brits currently subjected to downloads that average just 66.99Mbps. Both countries clearly need a boost and this new technology could do just that.

“We’re currently getting a sneak-peak of how the infrastructure for the internet will hold up in two to three years’ time, due to the unprecedented number of people using the internet for remote work, socialising and streaming. It’s really showing us that we need to be able to scale the capacity of our internet connections,” said Dr Bill Corcoran, co-lead author of the study and Lecturer in Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering at Monash University.

“What our research demonstrates is the ability for fibres that we already have in the ground, thanks to the NBN project, to be the backbone of communications networks now and in the future. We’ve developed something that is scalable to meet future needs.

“And it’s not just Netflix we’re talking about here – it’s the broader scale of what we use our communication networks for. This data can be used for self-driving cars and future transportation and it can help the medicine, education, finance and e-commerce industries, as well as enable us to read with our grandchildren from kilometres away.”

The fastest available speeds in the UK currently come from Virgin Media with its Gig1 service offering downloads of over 1Gbps – that fast enough to beam a full HD movie to your TV in 45 seconds.

However, using its next-generation of broadband, researchers were able to send maximum data down each channel, simulating peak internet usage, across 4THz of bandwidth allowing thousands of movies to be download in just a few seconds.

Professor Moss, Director of the Optical Sciences Centre at Swinburne University, said: “In the 10 years since I co-invented micro-comb chips, they have become an enormously important field of research.

“It is truly exciting to see their capability in ultra-high bandwidth fibre optic telecommunications coming to fruition. This work represents a world-record for bandwidth down a single optical fibre from a single chip source, and represents an enormous breakthrough for part of the network which does the heaviest lifting. Micro-combs offer enormous promise for us to meet the world’s insatiable demand for bandwidth.”

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End of the Pirate Bay? Torrent site in trouble as tough new blocks kick-in

Automatic blocks on infamous torrent repository The Pirate Bay seem to be extremely effective, new research into the anti-piracy measures. The latest study, which focused on the Netherlands, showed roughly 80 percent of those surveyed stay away from The Pirate Bay due to the difficulties accessing the site after the introduction of the block. The UK has already employed similar measures to stop people being able to easily access the torrent repository. However, there has not been a huge amount of scientific study into whether these blocks actually work to dissuade those hoping to illegally download films, television shows, eBooks and more for free from The Pirate Bay.

The latest research, which was prepared by Kantar for anti-piracy group BREIN in the final few months of last year, surveyed more than 20,000 Dutch respondents about their download habits. It showed 80 percent stopped using the site after the blockades were implemented.

That’s a very impressive turnout for the blocks. However, it doesn’t quite tell the whole story.

For example, did those surveyed stop using The Pirate Bay after the block because they had found an alternative – or did they stop downloading torrents entirely? Frankly, there is no way to tell at the moment with the current research.

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As it stands, the Netherlands only blocks The Pirate Bay. However, it seems clear that anti-piracy group BREIN will hold-up this research as evidence that more torrent websites should be blocked using the same measures.

It’s unclear whether Pirate Bay is worried about the type of dynamic blocks being deployed effectively in the Netherlands and the UK. After all, the torrent database is used by a number of other sites – so blocks on the Pirate Bay could also have repercussions on other popular clients. So, this could have much wider consequences beyond just The Pirate Bay.

The Pirate Bay has started to experiment with other options beyond the traditional torrent downloads, including a Netflix-like streaming service.

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For those who don’t know, torrents are small files that contain the keys to downloading whatever content you’re after. It points you in the direction of users across the world with the content saved on their machine, so you can download whatever video, software, or music you’re looking for in small parts from hundreds or thousands of others.

As such, you’ll need a separate torrent app to make sense of these files and download the actual content to your machine.

The advantage of using torrent files means that Pirate Bay doesn’t have to shoulder those eye-watering costs. Instead, all of the torrent files on the site total a few gigabytes at most – with the full files that users download stories on users’ computers across the globe. Unfortunately, this does mean as soon as users delete the original file or decide to stop sharing it, the file is no longer available to torrent from Pirate Bay.

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If you own a 4K TV, you’ll be VERY pleased with the latest change from Netflix

Netflix is boosting the quality of your next movie, comedy special or boxset binge. The Californian company is reversing the dip in streaming quality introduced in March. The temporary measure was introduced in a bid to reduce the impact on broadband networks across Europe as countries went into lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Despite the vast majority of people in the UK still being encouraged to stay at home to work and study, Netflix is clearly confident that UK broadband infrastructure can handle a return to the typical streaming quality. And it’s not alone. Despite an increase in outages nationwide [], the latest report from telecoms regulator Ofcom states UK’s broadband speeds have withstood a surge in demand during the COVID-19 lockdown with the majority of consumers maintaining a good connection throughout the crisis so far.

Netflix sends out multiple quality bit streams for every video quality option it offers. Depending on how much you pay a month for your Netflix subscription, this could include Standard Definition (SD), High Definition (HD), and Ultra High Definition or 4K quality (UHD). In order to reduce strain on broadband cables across the UK, Europe and in Australia, Netflix agreed to remove the highest bandwidth stream. So, the highest possible bit rate for UHD streams was no longer available.

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“If you are particularly tuned into video quality you may notice a very slight decrease in quality within each resolution. But you will still get the video quality you paid for,” Netflix Vice President of Content Delivery Ken Florance said at the time.

Those watching on a 4K TV who pay for the most expensive monthly subscription plan and have a fast fibre broadband connection should start to see the highest quality streams back online. This is a staggered roll-out – in order to assess the impact – so not everyone will already be back to the highest quality stream.

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“We are working with ISPs to help increase capacity. In the last month alone we have added four times the normal capacity. As conditions improve we will lift these limitations,” the video on-demand company confirmed in a statement to Android Central.

Netflix was not alone when it introduced these measures. Apple, Amazon and YouTube were also quick to place restrictions on the highest quality video streams in order to ease the strain while vast swathes of the population were in strict lockdown.

Like Netflix, a number of these have eased these limitations. Apple reverted its Apple TV+ video service, which includes the award-winning The Morning Show and Saving Jacob, to normal at the end of April.

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Windows 10 forgot password: How to reset your Windows 10 password

Built to run across multiple platforms, from PCs, tablets and smartphones, Windows 10 was designed to do just about everything for everyone. Key to accessing the Windows 10 OS is the administration password. Although developer Microsoft does not make it easy to reset your password, Windows 10 users do have some options.

Use password reset disk:

Using a password reset disk is Microsoft’s official method to reset a lost Windows password.

The only negative to this method is it requires a Windows 10 password reset disk before your password is lost.

If you have created a password reset disk, you can easily set a new password for signing in to your Windows 10 computer.

At the Windows 10 login screen, click on your account, type your password incorrectly and attempt to log on.

A Reset Password link will appear beneath the password field following a failed log-on attempt.

After clicking on the Reset Password link, Windows 10 will start the Password Reset wizard.

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Simply insert your password reset disk and then click Next.

Next, select the password reset disk that contains the userkey.psw file and tap Next.

Now enter your new password and password hint then tap Next.

If successful, a confirmation window saying, “You’ve successfully reset the password for this user account” will appear.

Finally, click on Finish to close the password reset wizard.

Unfortunately, if you have already forgotten your Windows password and do not have a password reset disk, it is too late to create one.

Login with other sign-in option:

Those who can still log into Windows 10 with PIN, picture password or another administrator account, can likely open an elevated Command Prompt and reset Windows 10 password easily.

Simply press Windows logo key + X on your keyboard to open the Quick Access menu and click Command Prompt (Admin).

To reset your forgotten password, type the following command and press Enter.

Replace account_name and new_password with your username and desired password respectively.

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Reset Microsoft account password online:

Most users are now using a Microsoft account to log into Windows.

When you forget your Microsoft account password, just use another computer to visit the Windows Live password reset page on the Microsoft website.

This method allows you to reset the Windows 10 password online.

This is relatively easier than resetting local account password.

Forgot Microsoft account password:

This method requires users to have access to the alternate email account or phone number provided when signing up the Microsoft account.

Those without access to those anymore, will be unable to verify their identity with Microsoft.

In that case, users can convert Windows 10 Microsoft account to a local account from a boot media.

This means they can log back into Windows 10 without losing files.

Reset Windows 10 password with MSDaRT:

DaRT (Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset) is a toolset from Microsoft.

This helps IT professionals recover the computers that have become unusable.

Boot your computer with DaRT Recovery CD and then launch the built-in Locksmith Wizard tool.

This allows users to reset the Windows 10 password of any local account.

Restore Windows 10 to previous state:

Some may not wish to use any Windows 10 password reset software or their hard drive is encrypted with BitLocker.

In this case, they can restore their computer to the most recent restore point.

This includes using an old password they do remember.

However, programs that have been installed since the restore point will have to be installed again.

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Why Vodafone is trying something VERY different to BT and Virgin Media

Vodafone chief executive has spoken out about his vision for the network, following the news of rivals O2 and Virgin Media merging to create a vast new carrier to take on BT, which owns EE, Plusnet, and its own BT mobile network. And it seems Vodafone will be taking a very different approach to its rivals, which are increasingly merging and collaborating to offer customers bigger bundles of different services and larger areas of 3G, 4G and 5G coverage.

According to analysts, the recent announcement of a merger between O2’s mobile network and Virgin Media’s fixed-line broadband infrastructure is likely to leave Vodafone looking incredibly isolated as a mobile-only company in the UK.

But that doesn’t seem to worry Vodafone chief executive Nick Read, who says the network will remain the strongest competitor to BT when it comes to serving business customers.

Enterprise contracts make up 50 percent of Vodafone’s operations in the UK. Vodafone offers both mobile and fixed-line connections to business customers thanks to the purchase of Cable & Wireless Worldwide’s fixed network back in 2012. Although it doesn’t quite have the same scale as Virgin Media and BT when it comes to consumer fixed-line broadband, the company will not be looking to merge with a rival firm to change that anytime soon.

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Not only that, Vodafone says it remains the “co-best” mobile network in the UK alongside BT’s EE division, which was the first carrier to launch a 5G network in the UK early last year.

“We are the main competitor with BT in business and the major challenger in consumer, so we are happy with our organic strategy. Meanwhile, any integration is very complex. [The O2 merger] gives us an opportunity to maintain and enhance our position in the marketplace,” said Vodafone chief executive Nick Read.

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Analysts believed the Virgin Media – O2 merger would be a blow to Vodafone’s bottom line. That’s because Vodafone had recently won a lucrative contract to use its mobile network to power Virgin Media’s mobile business, known as Virgin Mobile. Previously, BT’s EE network of masts were used to connect all Virgin Mobile customers.

Following the merger, Virgin Media customers with SIM-only or Pay Monthly customers will use O2’s network.

The news comes as Vodafone announced plans to dramatically extend its unlimited data offer to thousands more customers. All NHS staff and 250,000 care workers are now able to access six-months of unlimited 4G mobile data using the MyVodafone app.

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Windows 10 install: How long does it take to install Windows 10?

Support for Windows 7 ended in January 2020, meaning developer Microsoft is urging users to upgrade to Windows 10 in order to keep computers running securely and smoothly. Windows 10 Home costs £22.99, while the more powerful Professional suite costs £78.75.

How long does it take to install Windows 10?

There is no definitive answer to the time it takes to install Windows 10 as installation time depends on several factors.

These include internet speed, your computer’s hard disk speed and your computer’s configuration.

Another significant factor is the size of Windows 10 – the Home version of the operating system is approximately 3.5GB in size.

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Windows 10 minimum requirements:

The release you are intending to install is likely to be compatible with your hardware configuration if you already running any of the versions of Windows 10.

However, if you are about to upgrade an older computer running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, you should ensure the device meets the minimum hardware requirements:

Processor: 1GHz or System on a Chip (SoC)

Memory: 1GB for 32-bit or 2GB for 64-bit

Storage: 32GB for 64-bit or 32-bit

Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver

Display: 800×600

How to do a clean installation of Windows 10:

A clean installation is the best option to erase the hard drive to start from scratch when your device is having problems.

This method can help to resolve performance, startup, shut down, memory and issues relating to apps.

This approach is also an effective method to delete viruses and most malware.

And this, in addition, can also improve battery life on laptops and tablets.

Developer Microsoft also recommends this installation method you should use to start fresh with a copy of Windows 10 on a hard drive replacement or clean up a computer before giving it away.

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How to prepare a computer for Windows 10 clean install:

Experts recommended taking the following steps before installing a clean copy of Windows 10, in order to minimise the chances of problems and data loss.

Backing up files: The clean installation process erases everything on the main drive, so it is consequently advised to create a backup of your files as well as a temporary full backup of the entire system.

Upload files to OneDrive: This creates a backup of key files in many ways.

The OneDrive backup option also automatically uploads your profile folders, including Documents, Pictures and Desktop.

Copying files to external drive: Those with a large amount of data should consider making a copy of the files to an external hard drive.

In addition to making a copy of files, it is a good idea to make a list of your install apps and their product keys to know the apps later requiring re-installation.

Backing up entire device: It is also good practice to create a full backup of your current installation, in case something unexpected occurs, and you need to rollback or to recover files that were not backed up with the previous steps.

Downloading device drivers: Windows 10 is very effective at detecting and installing most device drivers automatically.

Users should, however, always download at least the essential drivers ahead of time in case the setup fails to add these drivers correctly.

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Windows 10’s next update has a bug that will NOT be fixed before release, Microsoft admits

Microsoft is due to launch its next blockbuster update to Windows 10 this month. However, the Redmond-based company is waiting until the last possible moment to roll out the so-called May 2020 Update in order to fix a zero-day vulnerability in the operating system.

For those who don’t know, a zero-day exploit is one already known to hackers and other cyber crooks. That means Microsoft needs to put its foot down to get a fix out to Windows 10 users worldwide – so it makes sense the company would want to hold off an update due to launch in the coming weeks to include the requisite patch.

But unfortunately, despite taking the extra time to bundle the fix, the next Windows 10 update still won’t be perfect.

The company has conceded that there are still problems in the update that will not be rectified before it pushes out the new software to users worldwide. Microsoft has confirmed there will need to be another patch in the pipeline to address the known issues.

Microsoft explains: “We are aware of an issue where using the DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) tool to repair corruption on systems running the May 2020 Update does not always report the correct status. This will be fixed in an upcoming servicing release.”

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Unfortunately, it’s impossible to say when Microsoft will have its fix ready for the one billion users running Windows 10 worldwide.

However, that could take a while. Especially as Microsoft clearly doesn’t see it as important enough to fix the primary May 2020 Update when that launches later this month.

As well as the fix for the zero-day vulnerability, the next Windows 10 update comes with some new features and tweaks. Cortana sees some of the biggest changes in the May 2020 Update.

No longer cooped-up in the taskbar – like in the earliest versions of Windows 10, Cortana can now be moved and resized like any other windowed application. And it’s not just the way Cortana is accessed that has changed. Microsoft has also bestowed the chatty AI assistant with a number of other features.

With the upgraded Cortana, you’re now able to ask the assistant to search your inbox by asking to “show me emails from [name]”. You can also ask the assistant to send a message by asking: “Send an email to [name] letting them know I’m running late”. If you use Microsoft Teams, Cortana can also help you drop into a meeting with a simple “Join my meeting” command.

Unfortunately, it’s not all shiny new features. Microsoft has dropped some features in order to streamline the chatty assistant, including Bing Instant Answers, jokes and other assistant conversations, as well as timer support.

Windows Search has also been improved. The system-wide search feature can now correct your spelling mistakes – so typos won’t stop you from finding the right Word document or email. Not only that, but the Quick Search feature can also help you find information from the web like the latest weather forecast in a new user interface.

Microsoft has also boosted Virtual Desktops so they’ll keep settings between reboots. You can also now rename individual desktops to make them easier to sort as you work. Microsoft has also added more options to the Settings panel. That means you won’t have to dive into the Control Panel as frequently, something Microsoft is keen to transition away from as Windows 10 continues to evolve.

There are also a few other useful tweaks, including the ability to monitor the temperature of your graphics card from Task Manager, as well as a streamlined Swift Pair feature that makes it quicker to connect and disconnect Bluetooth devices like mice, keyboards, and headphones.

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Should you leave your Android smartphone charging overnight – does it damage battery?

Those concerned about the practice should remember all smartphones are different. You should consequently always consult the manufacturer’s manual about the best way to charge your phone.

This is because every manufacturer from Apple to Google provides specific instructions for charging your smartphone.

Doing so correctly will help maintain the longest possible battery life for your phone.

It’s also vital that you only use the official charger shipped with the device as many unofficial and cheap plugs may not have been safety checked which can lead to fire and other hazards.

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Should you leave your Android smartphone charging overnight?

Users really should be able to leave their phone plugged in overnight without any disastrous consequences.

Phones such as Android are smart enough to be left plugged in overnight without damaging the battery.

The devices boast sophisticated software capable of pausing the charging process when the battery reaches full charge, even if it is remains plugged in.

A battery in a modern Android phone can last for as long as you have the smartphone.

A brand-new smartphone battery can have up to 500 charge cycles available in it before the battery’s performance starts to degrade.

Phone batteries measure their lifespans in charge cycles, not years.

A charge cycle is when a capacity of up to 100 percent is discharged.

If, for example, an Android phone has 80 percent charge, then 30 percent is used, and you charge it back to 80 percent, then use 30 percent of the charge again, this represents one charge cycle.

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Tips for charging an Android smartphone:

A smartphone can, of course, be used while it is charging, although it may take a little longer to reach full battery life.

Another helpful tip is simply switching off the phone while charging.

This technique charges a phone faster simply because nothing on the device is using the battery or power.

Apps that are open and still working in the background can also slow down the charge.

Charging your phone through your computer or laptop will not damage the battery.

This method will, however, often take longer to charge your phone, as the speed of the charge depends on the cord and the type of USB port used by the computer.

However, charging a phone from your laptop is arguably better than doing so through an outlet.

Doing this puts less strain on the phone’s lithium-ion battery and its internal workings as they accept the charge.

It’s also worth remembering that most modern Android phones now feature wireless charging which allows the battery to be boosted without needing to be plugged in. Users simply place the device on a Qi-compatible charger for an instant refill.

Tips for improving a smartphone’s battery life:

Features including Bluetooth, GPS and Wi-Fi are some of the biggest battery drains on smartphones.

This is explained because they are always looking for possible connections, networks and data.

Quit these features in a phone’s settings except when you need them to save power.

Having active Wi-Fi is notorious for placing a drain your battery, even if it is not be used.

It is far more energy-efficient to use Wi-Fi than to use cellular data, so switch to Wi-Fi instead of 4G when you can to save your phone’s battery life.

Simply dimming the screen can also boost the performance and you can always check to see what is causing battery drain in the phone’s settings.

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Virgin Media: How to watch Amazon Prime and Netflix on your set-top box

Virgin Media customers now have the ability to enjoy Amazon Prime and Netflix content through their V6 box. This includes a wealth of Amazon Originals from Good Omens to The Grand Tour.

How to watch Netflix on your Virgin Media TV box:

Virgin customers can log in to the app using their existing Amazon Prime account information.

The Amazon Prime app has been automatically downloaded to all Virgin TV V6 boxes and includes access to Amazon Prime Video’s range of high-def TV shows and movies.

Amazon Prime Video will be fully integrated into the V6 box functionality.

Customers can consequently easily search for and discover Amazon Prime Video programming directly via their TV.

David Bouchier, Chief Digital Entertainment Officer at Virgin Media, told vodzilla.co.uk: “Giving our customers the telly they love in one place is at the heart of what we do.

“This is why, from today, Prime members or those subscribing directly to Prime Video with a V6 box will have seamless access to a huge array of blockbuster entertainment – from Amazon Originals like Good Omens and The Grand Tour to thousands of TV series and movies.”

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How to access Netflix through your Virgin Media TV box

To access Netflix do the following steps:

• Press Home on your remote

• Select Apps & Games

• Select All Apps

• Select Netflix

If you’re already a Netflix subscriber, you can access the app through Search & Discover or by pressing Red on channel 204.

Just sign in with your existing login and start watching. You’ll only have to log in the first time you use it.

If you use Netflix regularly, you can add it to My Favourite Apps to access it quicker. To do this:

• Highlight Netflix in Apps & Games

• Press Thumbs Up to add it as a favourite.

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If you change your mind, you can remove it as a favourite app by pressing Thumbs Down instead.

More than 110 TV channels of essential entertainment, plus ultrafast M100 fibre and home phone are available for £33 a month for 12 months.

You then need to pay £54 a month for a 12 month contract.

You can also enjoy more than 230 TV channels of top TV, plus ultrafast M100 fibre and home phone. For £45 a month for 12 months.

You then need to pay £78 a month for a 12 month contract, following a £35 set up fee

Virgin also offers all 280 TV channels, plus lightning-fast M500 fibre, home phone and a truly unlimited Virgin Mobile SIM for £89 a month for 12 months.

This will then cost £139 a month for a 12 month contract, following a£ 35 set up fee.

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Selecting Search button from the remote or Search & Discover on the home screen can let you find hidden classics.

You can catch up on all the soaps – with no adverts – the latest drama series, reality TV or binge an entire show in one go.

Disney+ has now arrived in the UK, meaning fans can receive a free week-long trial.

A Disney+ subscription costs £60 a year, offering access to Disney and Pixar films, and Star Wars series such as The Mandalorian.

Although Sky will no longer doing new installations during coronavirus lockdown, people can access Sky shows via NowTV.

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There are no current free Netflix or BT deals but BT does have monthly passes to access its content.

You can download the Virgin TV Go app for Apple, Google Play or Windows and watch from your smart device.

This is ideal for family members wishing to watch different shows via the app, while others watch on the box.

People can also download the Virgin TV Control app and use their phone as an extra TV remote to browse the TV guide and set and manage your recordings wherever they are.

Those watching a show on live TV can press Record, allowing them to pick up the action when they stream the recording in another room by pressing My Shows.

Simply scroll down to Other Boxes and select the box you wish to watch from.

Now choose the show you wish to watch, press Play and pick up where you left off.

Viewers can also choose shows they have previously recorded on a different box and watch it in a different room.

Watch your favourite shows in 4K quality

Virgin Media is home to the UK’s first dedicated UHD entertainment channel. The HD channel is number 999 on the box and you can watch documentaries, dramas and BT Sport Ultimate on the 4K-ready box for the best quality viewing.

Plus, if you subscribe to Amazon Prime Video and Netflix you can watch them via the box with 4K-ready for Ultra HD viewing too.

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