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OnePlus 5 – Short Review

Released on the 20th of June this year, OnePlus released their next flagship phone the OnePlus 5. I ordered and received this phone shortly after it’s release and after four months of use thought this was a good time to write a review.

This is a short review, touching on some key points and facts that you can read in a minute or two – if you want a full review hit Google.

Hardware wise the OnePlus 5 comes in a single form factor – there are no “Plus” or “XL” models. There are three colour options; Black, Gray and Gold.

  • The rear body is metal meaning no wireless charging.
  • The front has two capacitive buttons and a home button/fingerprint reader that is static like the iPhone 7.
  • The phone features a dual camera setup at the back allowing for good zoom and potrait mode photos.
  • The phone is charged using a USB-C charger, fast charging is provided using the OnePlus “Dash” charger.
  • It’s a dual SIM phone, you can load two SIM cards and calls/texts sent to both come through and you can decide which SIM to call/text from at the time of use. Only one SIM can be selected for mobile data.
  • The processor is a Snapdragon 835 and GPU is the Adreno 540 (Used in the flagships Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Google Pixel 2).
  • Screen is a 5.5″ 1080p AMOLED display – great for battery life, viewing angles and deep blacks.

There are two variants of the phone you can select, these are;

  • 6GB RAM and 64GB Storage
  • 8GB RAM and 128GB Storage

I opted for the top spec model with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage costing me £499 at release making this hardware wise a higher spec phone than the current flagships Galaxy S8 and Pixel 2 – however my personal opinion is that 6GB of RAM is plenty therefore only opt for the 8GB/128GB model if you need the additional storage or are limited on options of preowned handsets.

These phones run a variant of Android titled OxygenOS which has a near stock experience with some welcome additions. Some examples of these are the ability to have on or off screen buttons, swap the “Back” and “Recent Apps” button, my favourite is customising what long holding on a button does (My screen locks when I hold the home button).

The downsides with these phones are their life cycle, less than six months after release it looks like OnePlus has stopped manufacturing and is focusing on their next phone. Also the OnePlus 5 has no water/dust resistance like the competition.

My personal opinion, this phone feels premium and provides a fast and smooth Android experience with lots of flexibility. Getting your hands on one may become difficult but I highly recommend this phone and have no intention on moving onto any other premium offerings this year.

Introduction to RClone

If you look online for an application to sync your data between different sources such as local filesystem or cloud – you don’t need to look far as there are loads on offer.  Start to consider the specific requirements and the options become incredibly limited – but one option is perfect and the bonus is that it’s free! Let’s talk about Rclone

So firstly Rclone is promoted as “rsync for cloud storage” which is a good description, I’ll not compare too much to rsync here though.  If you have data on a storage solution (Full list covered on website) and want to copy/move/sync it to another then Rclone is a perfect tool to do this job.

I’ve already addressed that Rclone is free and will confirm that it is available on a variety of Linux distributions, Mac OS and Windows.  It is perfect for both one off and regular transfers, using the supplied literature on the website on Linux you can quickly and easily create a shell script and cron job to handle your data backups 100% hands off.

I use Rclone on my home server (Windows Server 2008 R2) to keep an online backup to my unlimited Google Drive. The reason I use Rclone for this is encryption, as the data is transferred it’s content in addition to file and folder names is encrypted. Getting the perfect hands off approach on Windows is as simple as creating a batch script and then a scheduled task for the batch script.

One important consideration is that rclone has no GUI and is 100% command line driven. An application does exist to provide Rclone with a GUI but I’m still testing this and will post an update once I’ve completed testing – one comment at this time is that the setup of remotes still requires some input via CLI on the GUI version so there is no getting away from it.

For those using Rclone in a Linux environment can take advantage of FUSE and mount a remote as a filesystem. This isn’t an option in Windows at this time but workarounds do exist (Example – run Rclone on a Raspberry Pi and configure the directory of the mount as a samba share… no Raspberry Pi, consider a Virtual Machine).

Before using Rclone I looked and tested a number of alternatives but Rclone ticks a lot of boxes and is pretty hard to beat in a number of areas. Below is a video walking through the basic setup in a Windows environment.

Anker SoundBuds Sport Bluetooth Wireless Headphones Review

At the start of this week I ordered a set of these headphones from Amazon for the rather low price of £16.  Link to the product page here if you like what you read.

What are they? Basically they are in-ear headphones, earphones, earbuds or whatever other name you may like to use. There are loads of options available at this price point, I selected Anker based on previous positive experiences with their aftermarket batteries.

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