Which Android phone is the best?

It’s a simple question with not such a simple answer. Since everyone values different things in a phone, the ‘best’ Android phone to you might not be the ‘best’ to someone else. So we’ve pinpointed the things people care about the most in a phone and given you the best Android phone for each.

Best Overall – Samsung Galaxy S10+


Pricey, but otherwise an exceptional phone. All of its specs and hardware are top notch, has great battery life and a triple camera set-up to capture stunning photos. This Android phone really is the jack-of-all-trades!

Best Camera – Google Pixel 3 XL


If photography is your number one concern, this is the phone for you. While sporting only a single rear camera, the Google Pixel 3 XL takes photos better than arguably any other smartphone on the market that are spectacular even under low light. It has more than just that going for it though and is certainly near the top of the pack in almost every other aspect too.

Best Value – OnePlus 6T


Despite being considerably cheaper than many of the more expensive high-end phones on the market, it can very easily compete with them. It mightn’t have all the bells and whistles, but for an above-average phone for a good price, this is the best Android for you.

Best Compact – Samsung Galaxy S10e


With many manufacturers making their phones bigger, it’s good to see Samsung hasn’t forgotten about those who prefer a smaller, lighter phone that’s easier to handle. It sports many of the same features as the much larger Galaxy 10S+, but at a better price in a more user-friendly size. The reduced size does come with drawbacks such as less battery life, but this is still the best Android phone of its size.

Best Battery – Huawei P30 Pro


For a phone that can last the distance, this is the one you want. The Huawei P30 Pro has the best battery life out of any smartphone on the market, while also a top competitor in photography, performance, display and virtually every other area. While it’s the champion in battery performance, this is one Android phone that won’t disappoint in any area.

Best on a budget – Moto G7


If it’s just the general features of a smartphone you need at a price that’s affordable, this is easily the best Android phone. It has respectable performance specs, 1080p display and even a fingerprint scanner and dual cameras. Here’s a phone that you can count on to get the job done, despite its low price.

So which Android phone is the best in your opinion? Let us know in the comments!

Duct Tape Workshop
Shop 2. Ponsonby Central
136-138 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
Auckland 1011



Do you buy the iPhone XR, XS or XS Max?

Of the latest iPhones from Apple, the iPhone XR, the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max, the big question is which is the better buy. Other than the obvious size and price differences, there are some notable factors that distinguish these phones apart. So let’s take a look at each one and find out which one is better for you.

  • Display: The XR is the odd one out here. While the XS and XS Max both have a Super Retina HD Display, the XR has a Liquid Retina HD display. For superior image quality, the XS and XS Max are the way to go. However the XR still offers a great display experience at a lower price.
  • Display Size: The XS is the best suited for single-handed operation, with a screen measuring 5.8-inches. The XR is a bit bigger at 6.1-inches. You may need both hands to navigate the 6.5-inch display of the XS Max, which is about the same physical size as the iPhone 8 Plus, but obviously that bigger screen comes with its advantages.
  • Battery Life: A bigger phone means a bigger battery, and a bigger battery means a longer battery life. The iPhone XR and iPhone XS Max both win this one, having up to an hour’s extra charge over the XS. All have wireless charging capability, so it all comes down to whether you’ll need that extra hour of charge.
  • Camera: The iPhone XS and XS Max both come with equally magnificent cameras, with dual 12-megapixel and telephoto lens. The iPhone XR has a single 12-megapixel lens that can still take great photos, but the XS and XS Max clearly win this round.
  • Capacity: All three phones start with a 64GB storage size, however only the XS and XS Max offer up to 512GB of storage. The maximum available on the iPhone XR is 256GB, which is still plenty for most people. However if you require the larger storage size, the iPhone XS and XS Max both have what you’re looking for.
  • Colours: Perhaps not a key factor, or maybe the most important point of all, the colours available vary depending on the model you choose. The iPhone XR comes in Blue, White, Black, Yellow, Coral and Red. The iPhone XS and XS Max come in the more traditional options of Silver, Space Grey and Gold.
  • Price: The iPhone XS Max is the most expensive of the three but does trump the iPhone XS in a few areas. This is even more true for the iPhone XR, which has the lowest price but lacks some of the features of both the iPhone XS and XS Max.

While the three phones have their differences, hopefully you’re now closer to knowing which is the one that you should buy. Do you prefer a bigger sized phone or something more compact? How important to you is the price? Let us know which you prefer!

Duct Tape Workshop
Shop 2. Ponsonby Central
136-138 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
Auckland 1011

Why the Google Pixel 3/3 XL is so good

Google recently launched its third generation of its Pixel smartphone series. You’ll no doubt be wanting to know whether these new phones are worth your attention. The answer to that is yes of course. This is Google after all. Nothing they do is half-baked. In particular, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL boast a display and camera technology that you’ll find most impressive.

The Display

The Pixel 3 sports a 5.5-inch 18:9 display and is actually slightly smaller than its predecessor, the Pixel 2. But thanks to a more refined design, the bezels on the Pixel 3 are smaller and the screen is bigger than that on the Pixel 2. The larger Pixel 3 XL has a 6.3-inch 18.5:9 display.

Size aside, the OLED display is just beautiful. Google spent a lot of time calibrating the Pixel’s display. Users can choose between “Natural” mode and “Adaptive” mode. “Natural” mode gives near-perfect image quality, while “Adaptive” mode focuses on aesthetics, boosting colours to make the display that much more pleasing to the human eye.


The Camera

What really placed the Pixel 2 as a top camera smartphone was not so much its hardware, but the software processing. The Pixel 2’s camera is still regarded as one of the best on any smartphone, yet Google has still managed to up its game with the Pixel 3/3 XL and in much the same way.

The camera hardware has barely changed at all, but better sensors and processing technology mean a there is a noticeable improvement in image quality. There is also a new “Night Sight” mode for low-light photography as well as incredible zoom capability which stitches multiple images together to create one high quality image.


So has the Google Pixel 3/3 XL piqued your interest? Let us know if you’re thinking about getting Google’s latest smartphone!

Duct Tape Workshop
Shop 2. Ponsonby Central
136-138 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
Auckland 1011

Apple’s upcoming lineup: new iPhones and more!

Apple has quite a few new toys in store for us later this year. New iPads, MacBooks, accessories and most notably, the new iPhone X range. It will consist of three brand new iPhones modelled after last year’s innovative new iPhone X. We’re here to cover all of Apple’s upcoming new products to get you excited!



6.5″ OLED iPhone

Dubbed the ‘iPhone X Plus’, this will be the biggest addition yet to the iPhone family. Based on the original iPhone X’s near bezel-less design but about the size of the iPhone 8 Plus, this new iPhone will offer the largest display of any other iPhone. There’s been talk of it stepping up the iPhone’s photography capabilities by implementing a triple rear-camera. There’s also evidence that this will come with dual-sim capability.

If you want only the most advanced iPhone, this is going to be your pick!


5.8″ OLED iPhone

The successor to the iPhone X, we can expect this phone to be an upgraded version to the original. There’s also a rumour that this and the 6.5″ model will be available in a new Gold colour in addition to the original iPhone X’s Space Grey and Silver.

The smaller size does mean it won’t quite be on par with the 6.5″ OLED, but make no mistake. This is going to be one impressive new iPhone!


6.1″ LCD iPhone

With slightly thicker bezels, an LCD screen rather than OLED, a single rear camera and no 3D Touch, this iPhone isn’t as impressive as the two above, yet it’s expected to outsell both of them. The reason is the price tag. These factors have set up this iPhone to be much more affordable. An aluminium chassis rather than steel is another difference that has allowed Apple to reduce costs when manufacturing this iPhone.

As for colours, this model may be available in a very different set of options: Gray, White, Blue, Red and Orange.

It still comes with Face ID and in the iPhone X style, so if you’re not after all the bells and whistles and looking to save a dollar, this’ll be the one for you!


Apple’s other new products:

  • 11” and 12.9” iPad Pro (supporting Face ID)
  • New MacBook
  • Mac Mini
  • iMac (CPU upgrades)
  • New low-price notebook model
  • New 1.57” and 1.78” Apple Watch
  • New AirPods and AirPower


Duct Tape Workshop
Shop 2. Ponsonby Central
136-138 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
Auckland 1011

How to maximise your iPhone/iPad battery life

Our iPhones or iPads never seem to last quite as long as we want them to before they need charging, and as they get older, their capacity to hold a charge drops. Fortunately, we’re here to help with some easy tips on how to make your battery last longer before it needs charging again, and before it eventually needs replacing.

ios11-iphone8-settings-general-software-update-on-tapAre you using the latest updated software?

Apple are periodically updating iOS, the software that runs your iPhone/iPad. Often those updates can include better power-management, helping your battery last longer.

To make sure you’re using the latest version of iOS, you’ll first need to be connected to a reliable source of Wifi and have your iPhone/iPad on charge. Tap Settings > General > Software Update. Then choose when you want your device to update.


Find out where your power is being used

Some apps and services are greedier than others when it comes to your iPhone/iPad’s power usage. Opening Settings > Battery will show you what’s using the most juice and might give you some ideas on which apps you could use less or which need closing.



battery.pngLow Power Mode

When your iPhone/iPad drops to 20% battery life (and again at 10%) it will ask if you want to turn on Low Power Mode, which automatically conserves power through a number of methods such as adjusting screen brightness, optimising device performance and disabling animations. This can make all the difference, helping that last bit of juice carry you to the end of the day.

However you can actually turn on Low Power Mode whenever you want, even when your battery is above 20%, making your iPhone/iPad last that much longer. To do so, just go into Settings > Battery.

Other useful tips:

  • When storing your device for a long period of time, drain the battery to about half and make sure it’s powered off. Keep it in a cool, moisture-free environment and re-charge to 50% every 6 months.
  • Lower your screen brightness in the Control Panel, or turn on Auto-Brightness under Settings > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations.
  • Turn off Location Services for certain (or all) Apps by tapping Settings > Privacy > Location Services to stop your iPhone/iPad using up power on unnecessary location tracking
  • Disable Push Notifications for certain (or all) Apps under Settings > Notifications to stop apps from constantly waking up your iPhone/iPad and using power
  • When in areas with weak or no signal, turn on Airplane Mode in the Control Center and your iPhone/iPad won’t waste power trying to search for reception
  • Make sure you are using a genuine Apple Lightning Cable when charging to ensure the best possible charge and to prevent potential damage caused by third-party chargers

Duct Tape Workshop
(09) 361 1234
Shop 2. Ponsonby Central
136-138 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
Auckland 1011


New iPhone X Rumours: iPhone X ‘Plus’ & ‘Budget’ iPhone X

3 new iPhones are currently in the pipeline, due to release later this year. Each are a variation of last year’s groundbreaking iPhone X, including a revamped iPhone X, a bigger iPhone X ‘Plus’ as well as a more affordable ‘budget’ iPhone X. There had been talk of a smaller option modelled after the iPhone SE, however it appears that idea has been shelved for the time being. Here’s everything we know about the new additions to the upcoming iPhone X line-up: the iPhone X ‘Plus’ and the ‘Budget’ iPhone X.

iPhone X ‘Plus’

Set to have the biggest display on an iPhone yet as well as talk of a whole new set of bells and whistles including a triple-camera and dual-sim capability, this is looking to be a truly impressive smartphone.

Physically it’ll be about the same size as the iPhone 8 Plus, which had a display of 5.5 inches. However because this model retains the iPhone X’s near-bezel-less design, it’ll have a much bigger display of 6.4 inches.

Huawei was first to the party with the triple-camera technology with the P20 Pro and it is truly impressive. Now that Apple is apparently jumping on the bandwagon, we can expect the iPhone X Plus to easily be a top competitor for the best smartphone camera.

As for colour choices, it’s expected to be available in the standard Silver and Space Grey options. However there has also been much excitement around a new Gold colour.


‘Budget’ iPhone X

This model will feature a cheaper 6.1-inch LCD display instead of an OLED screen like on the current iPhone X. An LCD screen doesn’t offer the same image quality as OLED and may use more power, but it does mean this model will be less expensive.

Other ways Apple is expected to cut costs to make this model more affordable are:

  • single rear camera
  • lack of 3D Touch
  • less investment in performance
  • slightly thicker bezels
  • aluminium chassis (unlike the current iPhone X’s steel chassis)

This iPhone may be available in as many as 5 different colours: Gray, White, Blue, Red and Orange.


Fast Charging Cable

On top of all this, there’s evidence that Apple plans on scrapping their traditional Lightning to USB Cable in favour of their new fast charging Lightning Cable. These new cables are expected to come with the new iPhone models, meaning users will get fast charging straight out of the box.


Duct Tape Workshop
Shop 2. Ponsonby Central
136-138 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
Auckland 1011

Are you ready for the iOS 12 iPhone & iPad update?

iOS 12, the latest update to Apple devices, is coming this Autumn, and it’s not just for the new iPhones and iPads. Even users of older models such as iOS 12 the iPhone 5s and iPad Mini 2 will see the benefits from the new update. So let’s get right into it and see what goodies Apple has in store for us!

It’s Faster!

Performance is the key thing Apple has been raving about with iOS 12, and those with access to the beta version have confirmed it’s not just talk. iOS 12 has been optimised to open apps faster, power on quicker and reduce lag. To give you some numbers, Apple boasts up to 70% swipe to camera, up to 50% faster keyboard display and up to 2x faster app launch under heavy workload. Owners of older iPhone/iPad models in particular may have previously noticed their device starting to slow down. Well this one’s for you!


Augmented Reality

AR just keeps getting better and better and iOS 12 supports all the latest AR capabilities. The big new feature here is being able to send your friends AR objects in Messages and Mail, who can then view it in real world. ARKit2 also lets developers create better and more immersive AR experiences, so you can expect AR to continue to evolve. There’s even a new app called Measure which uses your device’s camera to measure real world objects.


Monitor and control device usage

Screen Time is a new feature which tracks how much time you spend on your device and specific apps. It also allows you to put a cap on that time spent, which can be useful for limiting kids’ screen time or for those who have a bad habit of spending too much time on their favourite apps!

screen time

Other Features Include:

  • FaceTime support with up to 32 people at once
  • Memoji: a customisable Animoji just for you!
  • 4 new Animoji: Koala, Ghost, Tiger and T-Rex
  • New camera effects
  • Better notification management
  • Scheduling for Do Not Disturb mode
  • The new For You tab is an intelligent way to share your best photos
  • An optimised Photo Search engine
  • Siri Shortcuts to your favourite apps
  • Improved privacy

Duct Tape Workshop
(09) 361 1234
Shop 2. Ponsonby Central
136-138 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
Auckland 1011

6 tips to maximise Samsung Galaxy S9/9+ battery life

Samsung’s new Galaxy S9 and S9+ didn’t come with any improvements to the battery over last year’s models, so you may find yourself wanting more out of your phone’s battery. Here are 5 easy ways to make your Galaxy S9/S9+ last longer.

Change Display options

If you’re willing to sacrifice some display features, you can save quite a bit of battery life. First open Settings > Display where you’ll be able to adjust the screen Brightness, Screen resolution and Screen timeout. The lower you set them, the more power you’ll save. It’s also a good idea to turn off Auto brightness.


Disable ‘Always On Display’

With ‘Always On Display’ turned on, your phone will constantly display the clock, calendar and any notifications and alerts. While convenient, it does sip away at your battery. To instead turn off your screen when you’re not using it and save a bit of battery life, go to Settings > Lock Screen & Security > Always On Display > and switch it to OFF.



Isolate the problem

If your battery is draining faster than normal, there’s probably a particular app (or apps) that’s responsible. Find out how much power each app is using by going to System > Device maintenance > Battery. Here you can also use Save power to clear all apps running in the background.


Uninstall/Disable unused Apps

New phones come packed with various features and bloatware that you’ll probably never even use, yet will still eat up their fair share of the battery. For any apps you aren’t using, hold down on the app’s icon and hit either Disable or Uninstall if you’re given the option.


The Galaxy S9/S9+ has a feature that will automatically find ways to save power, improve performance and free up space. To use it, go to Settings > Device Maintenance Optimize and hit OPTIMIZE NOW.


Power saving mode

If things get desperate, there’s always power saving mode. This disables certain features and limits performance in order to conserve battery life. Go to Settings > Device Maintenance > Battery and choose between Mid (Medium power saving mode) or Max (Maximum power saving mode). Medium power saving mode will still give you access to all of your apps, while Maximum power saving mode only leaves you with your phone’s most basic functions.


Duct Tape Workshop
(09) 361 1234
Shop 2. Ponsonby Central
136-138 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
Auckland 1011

The New iMac 2017

This year’s new range of iMacs are very impressive with even more to come in the iMac Pro at the end of this year! So let’s dive right in and take a look at what makes Apple’s latest range of desktop computers so good.



The 21.5 inch model (Left) alongside the 27 inch model (Right)

Design & Display

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Apple’s stayed true to the same steel and glass design for the last 5 years, and that’s probably a good thing. It’s simple, yet sleek and aesthetically pleasing. But while it may look like its predecessors, the iMac 2017 has really kicked it up a notch since the previous iMac 2015. The 21.5 inch model comes with either Full HD display or 4K Retina Display if you’re willing to pay a little extra. The 27 inch model has an even more impressive 5K Retina Display and matches the quality of screens used in film production.

Features & Hardware

On the back you’ve got 3 USB ports, 2 Thunderbolt ports, an SDXC card slot and (thankfully) a headphone jack! All models come with a standard HD FaceTime 1.2-megapixel camera as well as the ability to run VR. Performance specs vary depending on what you get, but all models feature the latest in Kaby Lake Processors. If you go all out you can get a massive 2 TB SSD with 64 GB of RAM on the 27 inch model! That’s a very fast computer with so much storage space you wouldn’t know what to do with it all!


So what can this new iMac do? Well it’ll soon be running macOS High Sierra, Apple’s newest computer operating system set to launch later this year. It brings many improvements to the table. Coupled with a massive storage space, it can hold tonnes of movies, photos, songs or any kind of media and files, making it perfect for work or just as a personal computer. And for gaming enthusiasts, the iMac’s top of the range graphics, lightning fast performance and VR capabilities makes it perfect for that too. A better question to ask might be: what can’t this new iMac do?

Duct Tape Workshop
(09) 361 1234
Shop 2. Ponsonby Central
136-138 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
Auckland 1011

iPhone 8/8 Plus: What’s the Verdict?

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, Apple’s latest addition to its line of smartphones, has been released! But with the iPhone X just around the corner, is it worthwhile? The iPhone 8/8 Plus is a significantly less expensive alternative to the X but with many of the same new features and is a cut above the iPhone 7. So if you’re considering an upgrade, we’re here to fill you in on all the details for Apple’s latest iPhone release.

Fantastic Camera

The iPhone 8 takes amazing pictures, despite having the same 12 MP sensor in the back as its predecessor. Like the 7 Plus, the 8 Plus has a dual camera and both models have 7 MP front cameras. So what’s changed? Namely the faster processor, which has improved the iPhone’s ability to take pictures on the move and make them sharper and clearer. There are also several new things you can do with the iPhone 8’s camera, including being able to shoot 4K video at 60 frames per second!


iOS 11, Apple’s Latest Operating System

The iPhone 8 comes fully equipped with iOS 11 and all of its new features, so expect to see an improved user interface, new fonts and Augmented Reality (AR) capability.

It’s Fast!

With the same powerful A11 processor as the iPhone X, this is one speedy phone! The better processor not only improves speed, but other areas of the phone such as the camera.

Wireless Charging

That’s right, since the iPhone 8 is sporting a sleek glass back, you don’t even need to plug it in to charge it! Just place it on the charging pad and let it do its thing. While we’re on the subject, the iPhone 8 Plus actually has the highest battery life of the three new models, better than the iPhone X!

wireless charging

The iPhone 8 isn’t a huge step up from the 7, but it does have some notable improvements. So if you haven’t upgraded in a while and the iPhone X is looking a bit pricey, the iPhone 8 or 8 Plus could be for you!

Duct Tape Workshop
Shop 2. Ponsonby Central
136-138 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
Auckland 1011