Dragon Blogger Technology http://www.dragonblogger.com Gadgets, Video Games, Blogging Tips, Technology and Giveaways Mon, 22 Dec 2014 14:00:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 Photography Tips for iPhone 6 and Mac http://www.dragonblogger.com/photography-tips-iphone-6-mac/ http://www.dragonblogger.com/photography-tips-iphone-6-mac/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 14:00:23 +0000 http://www.dragonblogger.com/?p=46693 With thousands of Appleheads lined up on their sidewalks, Apple stores released iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in September 2014. The new iPhones have some significant upgrades to both its camera and its operating system that significantly change how it takes pictures compared to iPhone 5s. Some of the changes are good, and some [...]

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With thousands of Appleheads lined up on their sidewalks, Apple stores released iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in September 2014. The new iPhones have some significant upgrades to both its camera and its operating system that significantly change how it takes pictures compared to iPhone 5s.

Some of the changes are good, and some of them aren’t, but you can find ways to compensate for them by using photo editing apps on your Mac.

iPhone 6 Camera Improvements

Jim Harmer of “Improve Photography” recently published an in-depth video and blog post reviewing the iPhone 6 Plus camera. After taking thousands of photos with the new iPhone 6 and running it through some tests in his lab, he found that in some ways, the new iPhone improved upon its predecessors and in other ways, it didn’t. You’ll take better low light photos with the iPhone 6 Plus, and both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus incorporate technology that significantly improves focus. However, the iPhone 6 camera doesn’t do portraits as well as the iPhone 5s.

Low Light Photos: The biggest improvement in the iPhone 6 camera is the way that it photographs objects in low light. The iPhone 6 Plus incorporates optical image stabilization, which moves the camera around to compensate for trembling hands and hard taps on the red shutter button.

Thanks to optical image stabilization, the iPhone 6 Plus can take low light photos using a much slower shutter speed. Optical image stabilization is exclusive to iPhone 6 Plus; the iPhone 6, like its predecessor, has digital image stabilization.

Phase Detection Autofocus: Another major improvement is the iPhone 6 camera sensor’s phase detection autofocus (PDAF) capability. With PDAF, the sensors interpret, based on the amount of light they receive, whether an object is back or front focused. Autofocus then uses the sensor information to adjust the lens, and when perfect focus is achieved, the iPhone 6 camera indicates that it’s ready. PDAF capability eliminates many of the older iPhones’ image sharpness issues.

Problems With Portraits: Despite these improvements, the iPhone 6 camera doesn’t always perform as well as its predecessors. The biggest problem is its local tone-mapping algorithm, which makes contrast on iPhone 6 cameras significantly worse. The iPhone 6 camera doesn’t render human skin as well as its predecessors, so portraits tend to have a cartoonish look. You can compensate for some of these issues by using photo editing software on your Mac. But remember, if you store photos on your Mac’s hard drive, back it up often, and to use antivirus for Mac protection to keep your photos from being wiped out.

Photo Editing on Your Mac

To compensate for the way your iPhone 6 makes human images look like Pixar characters, you can use Photoshop or other photo editing tools for Mac to improve local contrast.

It’s best to fix local contrast before looking at overall photo contrast. Avoid overdoing it with local contrast tools. When you adjust the whole image, you don’t want to have to redo your local contrast work. In Adobe Photoshop, you can adjust local contrast by looking under Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask.

  • Adjust radius and amount. If the spot that you want to enhance has large light-dark transitions, try increasing the radius value. A low-resolution image works best with the radius set under 30 pixels. For the amount, set it between 5 and 20 percent.
  • Avoid adjusting threshold unless absolutely necessary. The threshold should usually remain set at zero. If you adjust all three indicators, you’ll probably end up with unwanted color changes.
  • Work with layers. If Unsharp Mask doesn’t provide the changes you want to see, try doing some blending using the luminosity setting. Pick Layers > New Adjustment Layer > Curves. Then, drag the diagonal line very subtly until both ends are curved in a slight S-shape. This move will affect both contrast and color. If you don’t like the color changes, switch to Luminosity in the drop-down panel at the top left corner of the Layers palette. When you do this, color saturation returns to normal.

The Perfect Image

Take plenty of photos with your new iPhone 6 to get the hang of how it works. Then, experiment with editing them on your Mac, and protect them with virus protection and regular hard disk backup.

 

iPhone photographer image by Jay Wennington from Unsplash.com

Cloudy day low light landscape image by Charles S. from Unsplash.com

Mac and iPhone image by Aleksi Tappura from Unsplash.com

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PureOverclock Amazing Winter Giveaway: Week 3 http://www.dragonblogger.com/pureoverclock-amazing-winter-giveaway-week-3/ http://www.dragonblogger.com/pureoverclock-amazing-winter-giveaway-week-3/#comments Sun, 21 Dec 2014 14:00:28 +0000 http://www.dragonblogger.com/?p=46667 PureOverclock isn’t stopping and Week 3 of their Amazing Winter Giveaway brings even bigger prizes for 28 lucky entrants who are chosen as the winners. This week’s sponsors include: Primochill DeepCool Phanteks NZXT XSPC Gamdias and Antec Enter the Giveaway Here (and broke out all prizes below) PureOverlcock’s Winter Giveaway! Week 3 The prizes are [...]

Author information

Justin Germino

Working in the IT Industry for over 13 years and specializing in web based technologies. Dragon Blogger has unique insights and opinions to how the internet and web technology works. An Avid movie fan, video game fan and fan of trying anything and everything new.

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PureOverclock isn’t stopping and Week 3 of their Amazing Winter Giveaway brings even bigger prizes for 28 lucky entrants who are chosen as the winners.

This week’s sponsors include:

  • Primochill
  • DeepCool
  • Phanteks
  • NZXT
  • XSPC
  • Gamdias
  • and Antec

Enter the Giveaway Here (and broke out all prizes below)

PureOverlcock’s Winter Giveaway! Week 3

The prizes are broken out over 28 WINNERS this time, and you can see how the prize packs will be awarded as follows.

XSPC

  • Prize #1 –  5 Bottles of ECX Ultra Concentrate Coolant
  • Prize #2  – DDC D420 Combo

DeepCool Prizes

  • Prize # 3 STEAM CASTLE YE

  • Prize #4 DQ750 PSU
  • Prize #5 DQ750 PSU

Phanteks Prizes

  • Prize #6 PH-TC14CS – any color

  • Prize # 7 PH-TC12DX – any color
  • Prize # 8 PH-TC14PE – black
  • Prize # 9 PH-F140SP_LED – 2 fans

NZXT Prizes

  • Prize # 10 One Black S340 and Grid+
  • Prize # 11 One White S340 and Grid+
  • Prize # 12 Kraken X61 and Grid+
  • Prize # 13 Grid+
  • Prize # 14 Grid+

Primochill Prizes

  • Prize #15 Prize Pack 3
    • PrimoChill 1/2” OD PETG Rigid tubing – 4×12” pack – Clear
    • PrimoChill 1/2” OD PETG Rigid tubing – 4×12” pack – Clear
    • 10pack Primochill G1/4 Revolver Rigid Compression Fittings – Knurled Grip Black
    • Primochill Rigid Tube Benders
    • Primochill Rigid Tube Bending kits (Silicone, gloves etc)Yes all of that above is going to one person!
  • Prize # 16
    • Choice of True
    • Choice of Maxcord
  • Prize # 17
    • Choice of True
    • Choice of Maxcord
  • Prize # 18
    • Choice of True
    • Choice of Maxcord
  • Prize # 19
    • Choice of True
    • Choice of Maxcord

Antec Prizes

  • Prize # 20 1100V2 Gaming Case
  • Prize # 21 1100V2 Gaming Cases
  • Prize # 22 1100V2 Gaming Cases
  • Prize # 23 Edge 550
  • Prize # 24 Edge 650
  • Prize # 25 Edge 750
  • Prize # 26 1900 Case -Red

Gamdias Prizes

Thanks to all of the great sponsors!

DeepCool NZXT phanteks-logo primochill

 

Author information

Justin Germino

Working in the IT Industry for over 13 years and specializing in web based technologies. Dragon Blogger has unique insights and opinions to how the internet and web technology works. An Avid movie fan, video game fan and fan of trying anything and everything new.

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ARCTIC P614 BT Bluetooth Headphones Review http://www.dragonblogger.com/arctic-p614-bt-bluetooth-headphones-review/ http://www.dragonblogger.com/arctic-p614-bt-bluetooth-headphones-review/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 14:00:47 +0000 http://www.dragonblogger.com/?p=46641 Review of the ARCTIC P614 BT Bluetooth Headphones and how they sound paired with a Smartphone, PC and confirming they won't work with PS4

Author information

Justin Germino

Working in the IT Industry for over 13 years and specializing in web based technologies. Dragon Blogger has unique insights and opinions to how the internet and web technology works. An Avid movie fan, video game fan and fan of trying anything and everything new.

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ARCTIC was kind enough to send us a pair of the P614 BT Bluetooth Headphones to review and I would have to say that I am very glad I had the opportunity to test out these comfortable and really high quality headphones.  I will first come clean and say that the first unit they sent us to review had tons of pairing problems with both PC and the iPhone, stuttering dropping Bluetooth and I asked for a replacement unit as I suspected the initial unit I received was defective.  Sure enough it was, the 2nd unit I received worked flawlessly pairing and staying connected to my iPhone 5S, iPad 2, HTC One Remix and my son’s Kindle Fire HDX too!  I also did some pairing with my Windows 8.1 PC though I had to get a newer Inatek 4.0 Bluetooth Receiver which only costs $8.99 to make it work, I had a ton of trouble with the Bluetooth 2.1 built into my motherboard and so I disabled the built in Bluetooth and used a separate USB Bluetooth receiver and it had no issue.

Video Unboxing of the ARCTIC P614BT Bluetooth Headphones

To correct a statement in the video, there is actually an L or R in the inner part of the headband but it is the same color as the metal so I missed it upon first inspection, so you can tell that which earcup is left and which is right, but to just say plainly the cup with the controls is your left ear cup.  This was a bit opposite of what I was used to, but it didn’t take me too long to get used to going to my left ear to mess with volume or track skips.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The ARCTIC P614 BT has a very comfortable foam padding not only on the earcups but also on the headband as well, it fits over my head well with or without a hat and it snugly presses against my ears without putting too much pressure.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

As you can see from the image above, there is a L in the circle at the top of the metal area just above the earcup, it is hard to see in light because the groove creates a shadow which obscures the letter, but it is there and easier to see with your eyes, but harder to take a photo of.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The volume controls work well and is also the “multi-function button” meaning the button is used to set it in pairing mode and execute any function on it as well.  The only odd thing about the volume controls is that when wearing the headphones, DOWN is actually making the sound louder, UP makes the sound lower.  Not sure why they put + as the bottom rocker and – as the top rocker but this is the opposite way to lower/raise volume from every other headset I have ever tested and when first using it I was raising the volume, when I meant to be lowering the volume.

 

Speaking of volume, I decided to crank up the ARCTIC P614 BT headphones to see how loud they can get on Spotify and with my other programs on the iPhone and the volume on the headphones don’t  change the phone volume, they are independent so this means you can get EXTREMELY loud volume and not realize it and I was really impressed at just how loud the volume can get.

I had some initial trouble pairing it with my Windows 8.1 PC but realized soon that my ASUS motherboard had older 2.1 Bluetooth Drivers that were not working very well, so as I mentioned at the top of the article I installed the Inatek Bluetooth 4.0 receiver and it had no trouble pairing with the ARCTIC P614 BT headphones.  I was able to watch YouTube, Netflix and tested the video/audio sync and noted that there appeared to be no delay between video I was seeing on screen and the audio projecting into the ARCTIC P614 headphones, I even watched YouTube and Netflix from the iPhone 5S and again the audio seemed perfectly in sync with the video to me.

Spotify was another story on the PC, for the Windows, Mac and Linux Spotify clients apparently Spotify is one of those apps that just don’t work with A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) technology that high quality Bluetooth Audio Devices use, after troubleshooting for a long time I found this thread https://community.spotify.com/t5/Help-Desktop-Linux-Mac-and/a2dp-bluetooth-and-Spotify-don-t-work-together-on-laptop/td-p/159506 and there was no workaround music would pause/glitch and interrupt on Spotify, but only for the PC.  The Spotify app on both Android and iOS had no trouble whatsoever, so this was very specific to the Spotify client in Windows.

Windows Media Player, Chrome Browser (Netflix / YouTube) had no audio issues at all with the ARCTIC P614 Bluetooth Headset, so my next test was to do some microphone recording to see how the quality of the mic was with the ARCTIC P614 BT Headphones.

This was an Audacity Mic test with the ARCTIC P614 without any filtering or audio modification applied, I wanted you to hear it natively and there is a tinny/canned effect and I noticed that on the PC the Bluetooth would have tiny audio artifacts at random intervals.

 NOTE, this is REALLY POOR MIC QUALITY for Bluetooth to Windows 8.1 for ARCTIC 614P BT but it isn’t the headphones, it is more likely a Bluetooth issue.

So then I tested the Apple Voice Recorder on the iPhone 5S to see if the mic sounded more clearly and again Bluetooth just works better on iOS and Android devices than on Windows PC, because the audio quality (again no processing was much better on the iPhone Voice Recorder app.  You can see how good the quality is for the iPhone 5S, the clarity is 100x better than with Windows 8.1 Bluetooth.

Overall the ARCTIC P614 BT Bluetooth headphones were fantastic, comfortable and provide a very nice sound quality, these would make an excellent pair of Bluetooth headphones for mobile devices, though were a bit more problematic on a Windows 8.1 machine but I attribute this to Windows not having proper Bluetooth audio support in most cases.  The headphones did occasionally have audio artifacts but only when moving the source or headphones around at fast speeds, or if you get over 20′ away from the Bluetooth source, overall the sound quality was not only good, but volume was fantastic and there was virtually no noticeable lag between watching video and hearing the audio over Bluetooth.

This is a 4.5 star product in my book, the only thing I wish the headset would have had is some audio control software (iOS/Android app) to control and set bass/treble and some more audio controls.  It also could an audio jack so that you can plug it in as a manual headphones for versatility in case you have a device like the PlayStation 4 where you want to use these headphones if only they would plug into the PS4 Controller.  The are exceptional for the price at under $50 and worth it as I have not tested any Bluetooth headphones under $100 that have matched the quality of these.

Author information

Justin Germino

Working in the IT Industry for over 13 years and specializing in web based technologies. Dragon Blogger has unique insights and opinions to how the internet and web technology works. An Avid movie fan, video game fan and fan of trying anything and everything new.

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Dragoncast Episode #18: Hobbits, Comics and Movies Oh My!!! http://www.dragonblogger.com/dragoncast-episode-18-hobbits-comics-movies-oh/ http://www.dragonblogger.com/dragoncast-episode-18-hobbits-comics-movies-oh/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 01:50:35 +0000 http://www.dragonblogger.com/?p=46656 The Dragoncast is the Dragon Blogger podcast and this is episode 18 where Brian, Victor and Kona talk about Hobbits, Comics and Movies.

Author information

Brian Alford

Brian Alford

What's up! I'm Brian Alford and I reside just outside of Indianapolis, Indiana. I am very passionate about video games and I also am the host of a video game podcast. I love to write and enjoy entertaining people

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It’s time once again for another new episode of Dragon Cast as we welcome one of our new co-hosts, Kona, to our show. On this episode we talk about some of our favorite movies from 2014 as well as some movies that we are looking forward to next year. Also we discuss the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer that was finally released not to mention Kona watched the trailer right before the show started so gets to tell you her thoughts on the trailer first hand as well as our opinions on the new movie set to be released next December.

Speaking of Star Wars remember how we were supposed to have Jeremy Bulloch, or for what those of you know him better as playing Boba Fett, on our show a few months back. Well due to some very unfortunate technical difficulties we ended up not being able to provide that episode. However, fear not Star Wars fans! We have spoken to Jeremy and he is wanting to come back on again and do the show with us. We are really looking forward to having Jeremy on the podcast with us again and this time for you all to finally hear! More details will come once we find out for sure when but it should be sometime next month.

We hope you enjoy this all-new episode. We are working hard on our schedules to make sure we can provide as many episodes as possible. In the new year we hope to provide more entertainment and some humor as well as some guests on our show. If you or someone you know is in the entertainment or tech industry and they would like to talk about their upcoming projects or new products please let them know or if you yourself have any we would love to have you on our show! We want to use this show as a platform for those of you who need to get your projects and/or products out their so if you would like to be a guest on our show please send an email over to brian.alford@dragonblogger.com and we will set up a time to have you on.

Listen to the Dragoncast Here!


We host our podcast with Soundcloud, and recently I have been looking at Soundcloud Manager a program to help promote and boost your Soundcloud productions, so if you run a podcast or have audio tracks on Soundcloud, you can check out Soundcloud Manager yourself.

 

Author information

Brian Alford

Brian Alford

What's up! I'm Brian Alford and I reside just outside of Indianapolis, Indiana. I am very passionate about video games and I also am the host of a video game podcast. I love to write and enjoy entertaining people

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Getting Postbox to Work with High Resolution Displays on Windows http://www.dragonblogger.com/getting-postbox-work-high-resolution-displays-windows/ http://www.dragonblogger.com/getting-postbox-work-high-resolution-displays-windows/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 14:00:05 +0000 http://www.dragonblogger.com/?p=46659 Fixing Postbox issue with high resolution displays so that you can somewhat read your emails and menu items.

Author information

Justin Germino

Working in the IT Industry for over 13 years and specializing in web based technologies. Dragon Blogger has unique insights and opinions to how the internet and web technology works. An Avid movie fan, video game fan and fan of trying anything and everything new.

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So very recently I received the new Razer Blade laptop as a Christmas gift, and yes I am one lucky son of a gun who has an AWESOME wife for getting me this amazing present.  One thing about this 14″ laptop is that it has a 3800×1800 display which is super fine resolution for a 14″ screen, the one thing I didn’t anticipate was that some software actually won’t adjust or look proper on the 3800×1800 resolution screen being so small as to have the GUI be non-functional or menu items being so crushed they overlap each other.  One such application that has trouble with high resolution displays is Postbox which I use for my mail client.

However, there is a work around that isn’t perfect but at least makes it passable.  To work around the issue you need to modify your Postbox config editor a bit.

  • Go into your Tools > Options > Click on Advanced Button

  • Then click on Config Editor and accept the warning, don’t worry if you break anything you can always re-install Postbox.

  • Search for devpixel and you will find the layout.css.devPixelsPerPx parameter which has a default of 1.0

You can adjust this up as needed until you get a value that works, start with doing 1.2 and then to 1.5 which is the highest that Postbox recommends you go to.  On the 3800×1800 resolution monitor 1.5 worked fine, I did not need to try going higher though since Postbox mentions you could have UI issues with going above 1.5 I would say stay at this number or lower and see if it works for you.

With 4K displays becoming more commonplace I think Postbox needs to put an update in to accommodate high resolution displays sooner rather than later, but for now this is a passable workaround.  If your curious, the new Razer Blade is fantastic and an incredible gaming laptop!

 

 

Author information

Justin Germino

Working in the IT Industry for over 13 years and specializing in web based technologies. Dragon Blogger has unique insights and opinions to how the internet and web technology works. An Avid movie fan, video game fan and fan of trying anything and everything new.

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SMARTPHONEAIDES 5.1A 3 Port USB Car Charger http://www.dragonblogger.com/smartphoneaides-5-1a-3-port-usb-car-charger/ http://www.dragonblogger.com/smartphoneaides-5-1a-3-port-usb-car-charger/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 14:00:14 +0000 http://www.dragonblogger.com/?p=46630 If you need to charge multiple USB devices at the same time while traveling in your car the SMARTPHONEAIDES Rapid 3 Port USB Car Charger is good choice.

Author information

Justin Germino

Working in the IT Industry for over 13 years and specializing in web based technologies. Dragon Blogger has unique insights and opinions to how the internet and web technology works. An Avid movie fan, video game fan and fan of trying anything and everything new.

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I was testing out a new product review service called Tomoson and they paired me with SMARTPHONEAIDES so that I could review their 5.1A 3 Port USB Car Charger, I have reviewed many car chargers before so this was both a review of a product I was quite familiar with but also a test to see how this brand awareness service works as well.

First and Unboxing Video and discussion about the SMARTPHONEAIDES 5.1A 3 Port USB Car Charger

Then I can just let you know that it works, I used it for several hours and charged 2 devices at first (iPad 2 and iPhone 5s) later I plugged in an HTC One Remix into the 3rd slot and all 3 devices were charging at the same time.  They charged for quite a while while driving and the adapter itself did not get hot, which I have had some get very warm to the touch before.  The compact size, 3 port capacity make this an ideal portable car USB charger if you need to charge several USB devices at the same time, though the 2.0A isn’t ideal for charging tablets, so it really has 1 true tablet charging port and 2 Smartphone ports, but the Kindle Fire HDX will charge fine in the 2.0A port just slower than the 2.1A output port.

Overall for the price you get 3 usable and fully functional USB charging output ports in a very small form factor that is not obtrusive, the product met all my expectations in the review, and the only room for improvement would be if they could have squeezed out 2 full 2.1A output ports.

Disclaimer: Tomoson partnered us with SMARTPHONEAIDES and provided us a 3 Port USB Car Charger, so that we could do a thorough and accurate review. All opinions are 100% mine and mine alone.

 

 

 

Author information

Justin Germino

Working in the IT Industry for over 13 years and specializing in web based technologies. Dragon Blogger has unique insights and opinions to how the internet and web technology works. An Avid movie fan, video game fan and fan of trying anything and everything new.

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10 Super Quick Blog Marketing Tips http://www.dragonblogger.com/10-super-quick-blog-marketing-tips/ http://www.dragonblogger.com/10-super-quick-blog-marketing-tips/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 15:44:16 +0000 http://www.dragonblogger.com/?p=46639 Gaining success with your blog is all about working smartly on it. Granted, time spent online is  best spent implementing and executing your strategy to do exactly that, that’s why we’ll keep this one short. Looking for super quick blog marketing tips? Check out the following. Internal Linking Always think about how you can provide [...]

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Gaining success with your blog is all about working smartly on it. Granted, time spent online is  best spent implementing and executing your strategy to do exactly that, that’s why we’ll keep this one short. Looking for super quick blog marketing tips? Check out the following.

social media

Internal Linking

Always think about how you can provide the best value to your readers at all times. When you craft new content think about old content that you can link out to which compliments or provides extra information, resources or suggestions for the topic in question.

Eye on Competitors

Monitor what other blogs in your space are tackling with their content. What are they doing that gets results? Look to them as signposts for where to take your content and what kind of experience to provide your audience.

Series or Follow Up Posts

Break down huge content or repeating themes into follow up posts or a series of posts. This way you’ll pique readers interest and increase the likelihood of them returning to your blog in anticipation of the next chapter.

Outreach

Reach out to your email list of friends and see if you can get feedback on your content as well as suggestions on how to improve it. Do the same with Facebook groups, canvas your audience for future content ideas too.

Commenting

Improve your visibility and authority by commenting on other high authority blogs that share a similar audience to yours. Read the post with care and posit useful comments that add something to the discussion.

Influencers

Identify and develop relationships with influencers, later ask them to link to you or help share your content. Base influencers on their level of reach and authority and always keep things personalised and respectful when it comes to interacting with them.

Conferences and Talks

Look to add to your reputation and authority outside of your blog. Represent yourself in real life situations, conferences, talks and meet-ups. Pitch for speaking opportunities and present to better bolster your blog’s reputation.

Signature

When it comes to email signatures across devices make sure your blog is integrated with your sign-off. There are many tools that can help you do this that also show and highlight specific posts too.

Contest

Run some kind of giveaway, contest or competition that provides engagement with your audience and the chance to get something by participating. Make sure this ties in with your blog topic or message.

Syndication

Look to push your content on syndication sites like Stumbleupon, Delicious and Reddit. Learn how each one functions and which ones are best suited to helping to promote the type of content you produce.

Implement these super quick blog marketing tips today and success will surely be one step closer, but this is merely a guide there are so many other syndication and social networking services spawning up all the time, you should be able to incorporate media, images and leverage things like Instagram, Pinterest, Vine and other networks as well to get attention and capture the more visual social media network audiences as well.  If you have information or press release type of information being created or published consider reaching out to PR firms as well and see if you can spread out a press release which many sites will publish for free and also generate buzz.

 

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IZEA MarketPlace offers Influences More Opportunities http://www.dragonblogger.com/izea-marketplace-offers-influences-opportunities/ http://www.dragonblogger.com/izea-marketplace-offers-influences-opportunities/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 15:36:02 +0000 http://www.dragonblogger.com/?p=46636 This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of IZEA for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine. Many people who have followed my site for years know that I have been using the various IZEA platforms since 2008 when I first started blogging.  IZEA themselves started back in 2006 and is the largest [...]

Author information

Justin Germino

Working in the IT Industry for over 13 years and specializing in web based technologies. Dragon Blogger has unique insights and opinions to how the internet and web technology works. An Avid movie fan, video game fan and fan of trying anything and everything new.

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of IZEA for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Many people who have followed my site for years know that I have been using the various IZEA platforms since 2008 when I first started blogging.  IZEA themselves started back in 2006 and is the largest sponsorship ecosystem in the world partnering with bloggers to find brands to work with and help showcase while giving brands additional mediums to get more exposure to their brand. What I love about IZEA is that they were always paying attention to and following Google Terms of Service regarding sponsorship and were the first of any of the platforms I used to require disclosures before even the FTC started requiring them, as well as making sure that nofollow was a standard for all sponsorship links.

IZEA has been working with bloggers and online personalities for years and recognized early on that Social Media was becoming more established as a way to reach audiences for brands and offered platform sponsorships for social media properties before as well.  Well now IZEA Marketplace goes 1 step further consolidating all of IZEA sponsorship programs into a single platform that is flexible enough to aaccommodateall the major social media channels while being adaptable enough to integrate with future ones.

Tumblr bloggers for example can integrate, as can personalities and people who only use Instagram or Facebook without having a WordPress or Blogger blog.  Heck, you can just be doing YouTube and integrate your YouTube channel if you want to get brand sponsored opportunities to do vids on products and brands you love too.

If you haven’t tried the IZEA network yet then I highly recommend you sign up with IZEA and see what they have to offer, it is a great way to get yourself recognized by brands, partner with brands you already know and follow and earn a little bit from your online social properties as well as help establish you if you are a blogger or social media personality looking for endorsements, brands and more.

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Justin Germino

Working in the IT Industry for over 13 years and specializing in web based technologies. Dragon Blogger has unique insights and opinions to how the internet and web technology works. An Avid movie fan, video game fan and fan of trying anything and everything new.

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PlayStation 4: A Year in Review http://www.dragonblogger.com/playstation-4-year-review/ http://www.dragonblogger.com/playstation-4-year-review/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 14:00:15 +0000 http://www.dragonblogger.com/?p=46540   As much as last year’s E3 was pretty disappointing for Microsoft, Sony’s E3 however went in the complete opposite direction and it’s only been going up every since. Sony put a stamp on the eighth generation of console gaming by doing everything right for gamers by not requiring them to be connected online in [...]

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Brian Alford

Brian Alford

What's up! I'm Brian Alford and I reside just outside of Indianapolis, Indiana. I am very passionate about video games and I also am the host of a video game podcast. I love to write and enjoy entertaining people

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2013-06-10-playstation_4_logo

 

As much as last year’s E3 was pretty disappointing for Microsoft, Sony’s E3 however went in the complete opposite direction and it’s only been going up every since. Sony put a stamp on the eighth generation of console gaming by doing everything right for gamers by not requiring them to be connected online in order to enjoy games as well as telling gamers that they can do what they wish with the games that they purchase which in turn caused a joyous cheer from the E3 crowd. Not to mention being very price competitive by being $100 cheaper than the Xbox One (at the time).

The PlayStation 4 released to much anticipation on November 15th of last year and in a 24 hour period the PlayStation 4 had already sold 1 million units. The PlayStation 4 was selling fast and by December 3rd the PlayStation 4 had already achieved 2.1 million in sales worldwide. As far as the games go Killzone Shadow Fall became the best selling game PlayStation 4 game selling 2.1 million copies in January of 2014. The most anticipated exclusive for the PlayStation 4, Infamous: Second Son finally released on March 21 of this year with more exclusives coming such as The Order 1886 and Uncharted 4.

Sony’s console has done nothing but blowout the Xbox One in sales however Microsoft finally came out on top in the month of November 2014 beating out the sales of the PlayStation 4 which is more than likely due to Microsoft lowering the cost of their console down to $349 to be more competitive to that of the PlayStation 4. Sony is still on top in the total sales figures reaching 13.5 million as of September. The race is getting close though for both consoles now with Xbox leading the charge with exclusives, but the one thing that Sony has going for it is the indie game department.

Resogun, one of the best looking indie games on the PlayStation 4. Really shows the power of the PS4.

Resogun, one of the best looking indie games on the PlayStation 4. Really shows the power of the PS4.

Sony made sure this time around to be the leading force in the indie games department starting right off by giving PS Plus subscribers access to two free games on day one. One of those games, Resogun, is one of the highest rated indie games available on the PlayStation 4 which offers fast paced shoot em up action as well as online co-op. Other indie games available that are exclusive to the PlayStation 4 are The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, Don’t Starve, Hohokum, Transistor and Mercenary Kings. There are also a lot of upcoming  indie games on the horizon as well such as Starbound, No Man’s Sky and The Witness.

An all new service provided by Sony, PlayStation Now, was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show back in January which gives games the ability to rent games for at different price levels depending on how long you want to rent the game for. The beta was closed until July when Sony made the beta public. PlayStation Now is still in beta, but the biggest disappointment to PS Now is that some of the games to rent can be more expensive renting them than it would be going to your local video game store and purchasing them. Hopefully Sony introduces a subscription service similar to that of Netflix which is what I was really hoping would be the case.

Share Play is accessible through party chat with the time displayed on how long someone can play.

Share Play is accessible through party chat with the time displayed on how long someone can play.

Back in October Sony released update 2.0 for the PlayStation 4 introducing the new Share Play feature. Share Play allows gamers  the ability to share their games with anyone so long as they have PlayStation Plus. The best part about Share Play is that you are able to play your friends games without even having to have a copy of the game yourself which means you can play through an entire game without even having to purchase it. The only downside is that gameplay sessions are limited to only an hour however you are able to save your progress to the cloud and can jump right back into a new session leaving you where you left off. Also the 2.0 update introduced background themes for the PlayStation 4 that you can purchase right off of the PlayStation Store.

As we enter the second year of this console war I really believe things are starting to pick up. With Xbox One outselling the PlayStation 4 in the month of November and all of these new games coming out the console war is starting to pick up it’s pace. Not only that but with Sony announcing their entrance in the virtual reality by way of Project Morpheus I am really looking forward to seeing where things go for Sony from here and so far I must say that it is looking good from here on out.

Also in case you missed out on my “Xbox One: A Year in Review” article. You can check that out here as well. Head on over to http://www.dragonblogger.com/xbox-one-year-review/

 

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Brian Alford

Brian Alford

What's up! I'm Brian Alford and I reside just outside of Indianapolis, Indiana. I am very passionate about video games and I also am the host of a video game podcast. I love to write and enjoy entertaining people

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Showcasing the THL 4000 and it’s Glossy KitKat Goodness http://www.dragonblogger.com/thl-4000-glossy-kitkat-goodness/ http://www.dragonblogger.com/thl-4000-glossy-kitkat-goodness/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 19:00:05 +0000 http://www.dragonblogger.com/?p=46557 WOO-WOO! All aboard the train to trip the light phabtastic! Hahaha, how are all of you great folks doing today? Me, well I’m doing alright, but blessed is a better adjective, however. Anyway, though you’ve already read the title, let’s get away from the formals here and get to the real story. Today I present [...]

Author information

Ronald "DMNKLR" Smith

My name is Ronald "DMNKLR" Smith and I'm a family man, nerd, geek, gamer, PC modder and many other things. I'm a very passionate individual who also enjoys the arts, time with my wife and children, as well as socializing with people in general. I also enjoy a good read, though not much holds my interest well - the same goes for just about every other form of entertainment. Additionally, I'm very particular and critical, though I try to be so with as much tact as possible. I've worked in many fields over the years, from retail to computer repair, and even an assortment of factories. As a result, I can relate to many folks in ways others can't. Feel free to contact me if you feel the need.

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WOO-WOO! All aboard the train to trip the light phabtastic! Hahaha, how are all of you great folks doing today? Me, well I’m doing alright, but blessed is a better adjective, however. Anyway, though you’ve already read the title, let’s get away from the formals here and get to the real story. Today I present to you, from those wonderful folks over at Gearbest.com, one of the latest in affordable phablet technology… the THL 4000! One of the more affordable in THL’s line of mobile devices, which are named according to their battery capacity, the THL 4000 is definitely a beastly competitor in the market.

THL 4000 THL logo 01

To start off, the THL 4000 comes in either black or white (this seems to be a fairly going standard these days), but there’s definitely a lot more going on in this package. Let’s just go ahead and get down to the nitty gritty, shall we? Here we go with the bullet lists…

Basic Information:

  • OS: Android 4.4.2 “KitKat”
  • CPU: 1.3GHz Quad Core MTK6582
  • GPU: Mali-400 MP
  • RAM: 1GB RAM
  • ROM: 8GB, external memory = TF (MicroSD) card slot for cards up to 32GB (not included)
  • Wireless: GPS, Bluetooth, 3G, WiFi: 802.11b/g/n (includes WiFi Display, for supported HDTVs)
  • Network type: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz, WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100MHz
  • Screen type: 4.7 inch IPS screen, 960 x 540 (qHD) resolution
  • 2.0MP front-facing camera, 5.0MP rear camera with auto-focus, 1.4 micron pixel size

 

THL 4000 02Click photo for full view.

Media & file support:

  • (video) MP4, 3GP, AVI
  • (photo) BMP, JPEG, GIF, PNG
  • (audio) MP3, WAV, AAC
  • (MS Office) Word, Excel, PPT
  • (e-book) TXT, PDF
  • Live wallpaper support: Yes
  • Android APK games

 

THL 4000 03Click photo for full view.

The current list of supported languages is as follows: English, Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Melayu, Deutsch, Español, French,Italiano, Nederlands, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Turkish, Greek, Russian, Arabic, Persian, Hindi, Thai and Simplified/Traditional Chinese. In addition to that, there are some other nice little hardware and software features. Starting with a gravity sensor, the THL 4000 also has Java support, video calling, an FM radio tuner, and the standard MMS messaging and web browser options as well. The THL 4000 is also a fairly lightweight device, entering the ring at a meager 0.105 kg / 0.231 lbs., and with dimensions of 140mm x 68mm x 11.2mm / 5.5in x 2.7in x 0.4in. It operates off of a single 4000mAh rechargeable battery, which is included in the box, as well as a screen protector and a back cover.

THL 4000 03

One last note, is that I mentioned that the THL 4000 is affordable, well I wouldn’t leave you hanging to wonder what that means. Currently, Gearbest.com is selling this phablet at $99.99 USD + free shipping, however they also gave me the promo code 4000CN to share with you, which drops it down to $84.99 USD + free shipping. Seeing as this is an unlocked device, that is quite an attractive and affordable price tag, indeed.

If you already have one of these, or are going to buy one, I’d love to read any feedback you can give (just leave a comment below). Until then, I’m Ronald DMNKLR Smith, for Dragonblogger.com, wishing you and yours happy blessings, and reminding you that I want to know what you want to know about. Good day, everybody.

Author information

Ronald "DMNKLR" Smith

My name is Ronald "DMNKLR" Smith and I'm a family man, nerd, geek, gamer, PC modder and many other things. I'm a very passionate individual who also enjoys the arts, time with my wife and children, as well as socializing with people in general. I also enjoy a good read, though not much holds my interest well - the same goes for just about every other form of entertainment. Additionally, I'm very particular and critical, though I try to be so with as much tact as possible. I've worked in many fields over the years, from retail to computer repair, and even an assortment of factories. As a result, I can relate to many folks in ways others can't. Feel free to contact me if you feel the need.

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Indie PC Game Review: Why So Evil http://www.dragonblogger.com/indie-pc-game-review-evil/ http://www.dragonblogger.com/indie-pc-game-review-evil/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 14:00:14 +0000 http://www.dragonblogger.com/?p=46528 This is going to be my first brief PC game review here for DragonBlogger.com, and instead of starting with a Triple A title I had the opportunity to start my game reviews (there will be more hopefully) with an indie title called “Why So Evil” which is developed by Zonitron Studios and published by Grab [...]

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Ahmed Kazim

Ahmed Kazim

Hi, I'm Ahmed Kazim and I've been a gaming freak since like 7-8. I'm also a geek-o-nerd who keeps looking around for latest development in hardware/tech/gadget industries so expect some quick news from me. I'm also interested in anime (Japanese animation) and can't stand a day without music and gaming.

The post Indie PC Game Review: Why So Evil appeared first on Dragon Blogger Technology.

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This is going to be my first brief PC game review here for DragonBlogger.com, and instead of starting with a Triple A title I had the opportunity to start my game reviews (there will be more hopefully) with an indie title called “Why So Evil” which is developed by Zonitron Studios and published by Grab The Games, a well known community on Facebook that search outs the best deals available on games and do some awesome giveaways.

header

 

Intro And Plot:

A little bit about the developers, there seems to be only two active members in the team and Why So Evil is their very first game . Why So Evil is a puzzle game where you play as a Green Cube (don’t know why it reminds me of Green Lantern though I don’t even watch it) that must meet with the Blue Cube which is the objective (seems pretty easy right?) but there are a few obstacles between Green and the Blue cube that you must pass before you could reach the Blue Cube. Something I really liked about the game is the title for it is precisely accurate regarding the gameplay, Why So Evil!

 

Soundtracks:

Without further ado let’s start the review with Soundtracks. I have to say, it was a let down on the soundtrack as there seems to be only 2 background songs that interchanges with each other after a few minutes into the game. Only if you aren’t concentrating on the game, you’ll get easily bored by the soundtrack. I consider quality soundtracks as a “must” have for any game that needs to stand out today where anyone with a little bit of knowledge can produce a game. Personally I had the in-game music muted and was listening to my playlist on soundcloud.com.

 

Graphics:

Again not so much appealing if you don’t already play some old school or retro-style games. The main board or you can say the platform and the obstacles do change its designs and colors as you progress through a few levels, and they do match the theme most of the times. There are also some levels where you have to see through fog and flames to pass it or even a giant vertical wall blocking the view, which was actually good to see.

2

 

There’s not really much to talk about the graphics or the soundtracks, but where this game stands out is the gameplay. There reason I said the game perfectly matches the title is because the game becomes really hard after a few levels and sometimes it makes you want to rage quit, or even hammer your keyboard with your head (almost did that!).

 Gameplay:

As mentioned above, you play as a Green Cube, but what are the obstacles you say? Well it’s just some moving or rotating or even chasing cubes that if you touch or get dragged away by them from the platform, you die. Ohhh but wait, that’s not the only way you can die, there are some portals that if you touch, you would spawn either out of the board or in really difficult situations/positions. Here’s some advice, if you get spawned out of the board, try to maintain your moving velocity and aim your cube towards the board.

Level 19 and 1 death? Hmmm

Level 19 and 1 death? Hmmm

Well there’s more, if you manage to cross about 25 levels, the level design becomes too complicated and hard that sometimes your only options is to move your cube either left or right, or forward or backward at a time otherwise it’s confirmed call to your death. Oh and once again that’s not all, some levels are designed so smartly that you’d think you have completed the most difficult part of the level, just to see yourself being dragged away by a normal White Cube off the board the very next moment.

Some Information:

There are a few things you should know about the game before starting it since it doesn’t have any kind of tutorial or description about other cubes which actually make the game more difficult. So let me break it down.

  • White and Grey Cubes – Movable in all directions
  • Purple and Pink Cube – Rotates in circular motion and moveable in all directions, counts as a death on 2 contacts
  • Brown Cubes – Will chase you till your death
  • Red Cubes – Moveable in 4-way, insta-kill on contact.
  • Portals – Teleports you to different places depending on level
  • Keys – Move cubes that are blocking your path to Blue Cube

But all of this information is based on how far I’ve played the game, so there may be more kind of cubes and traps out there. And no, I was not able to complete the game. I was only able to get to level 30 or 31st out of 50 levels before rage quitting it (yup, it happened). This is the second game in my whole life in which I had to rage quit; first was CS:GO where all my teammates were noob. If you want to feel what a gamer’s rage quit feels like, give this game a try but with extreme precautions as you might be risking your hardware.

3

 

 

Slippery Cube?

Getting back to the gameplay, there’s reason why I couldn’t go any further. The level where I was stuck had a path where you could only move either backward/forward or left/right as mentioned above, seems pretty easy with a cube right? Well it would have been that way if only the cube wasn’t slipping on the platform. Yes, the cube is actually slipping on the surface throughout the game, unless you provide enough velocity that the cube starts to roll. There were some levels which I completed without even rolling the cube, thanks slipperiness! I’m not sure if the developer created the game like this, or it just happens to be in the game somehow but if it’s by the developers, well played.

Conclusion:

Concluding everything, I very much like the idea of going with a Cube which makes it much harder and unpredictable to move instead of a circular ball which would rather make it rather easy; Oval is another thing. There are some levels where there were actually two floors, but you can’t see it clearly because of the viewer’s angle of board. You can’t really differentiate between the floors unless something moves below it. 

There is a total of three modes in the game (Practice, Noob and Normal) that doesn’t really work when you click on them on the UI after the first level, and also the UI is pretty basic or just like a normal Unity menu. Personally I think that just adding a few good quality soundtracks, a remake of the UI, removal of the slipperiness of Cube and a better viewer’s angle would win this game the “Most Rage Quitted” game of the year award. It’s meant to be a rage quitter by the description. And ohh the 2 player mode is just awesome if you’re looking for a reason to beat your friend when he messes up.

At a price point of $5 on Steam and being an indie title, I would rate this game 3.5/5. It’s currently on sale at Amazon for $1.25 though.

Author information

Ahmed Kazim

Ahmed Kazim

Hi, I'm Ahmed Kazim and I've been a gaming freak since like 7-8. I'm also a geek-o-nerd who keeps looking around for latest development in hardware/tech/gadget industries so expect some quick news from me. I'm also interested in anime (Japanese animation) and can't stand a day without music and gaming.

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Elephone P6000, handheld awesome! http://www.dragonblogger.com/elephone-p6000-handheld-awesome/ http://www.dragonblogger.com/elephone-p6000-handheld-awesome/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 19:00:38 +0000 http://www.dragonblogger.com/?p=46568 Hello again folks! I’m Ronald DMNKLR Smith, for Dragonblogger.com, bringing you another awesome mobile device, from those great folks over at Gearbest.com. On today’s menu, we have the Android-based Elephone P6000 cellular telephone! One of the first features you’ll notice about the Elephone P6000, is that it’s available in only 2 colors – black and [...]

Author information

Ronald "DMNKLR" Smith

My name is Ronald "DMNKLR" Smith and I'm a family man, nerd, geek, gamer, PC modder and many other things. I'm a very passionate individual who also enjoys the arts, time with my wife and children, as well as socializing with people in general. I also enjoy a good read, though not much holds my interest well - the same goes for just about every other form of entertainment. Additionally, I'm very particular and critical, though I try to be so with as much tact as possible. I've worked in many fields over the years, from retail to computer repair, and even an assortment of factories. As a result, I can relate to many folks in ways others can't. Feel free to contact me if you feel the need.

The post Elephone P6000, handheld awesome! appeared first on Dragon Blogger Technology.

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Hello again folks! I’m Ronald DMNKLR Smith, for Dragonblogger.com, bringing you another awesome mobile device, from those great folks over at Gearbest.com. On today’s menu, we have the Android-based Elephone P6000 cellular telephone!

elephone logo ronald smith dragonblogger gearbest

One of the first features you’ll notice about the Elephone P6000, is that it’s available in only 2 colors – black and white. “Elephone, I want you baby, it don’t matter if you’re black or white!” *twangalangalanglang, twang, twang* Oops, I just had a little Michael Jackson moment, haha. Anyway, without further ado, we’re off to the bullet lists! *pew-pew*

Basic Information:

  • OS: Android 4.4.2 “KitKat”
  • CPU: 64-bit 1.5GHz Quad Core MTK6732
  • GPU: Mali T760 Quad-Core
  • RAM: 2GB RAM
  • ROM: 16GB, external memory = TF (MicroSD) card slot for cards up to 64GB (not included)
  • Wireless: GPS, Bluetooth, 3G, WiFi: 802.11b/g/n
  • Network type: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz, WCDMA 900/2100MHz, 4G LTE-FDD 800/900/1800/2100/2600MHz
  • Screen type: 5 inch capacitive IPS screen, 1280 x 720 (720p HD) resolution, covered by impregnable glass.
  • 2.0MP front-facing camera, 13.0MP rear camera with flashlight.
  • SIM: Dual SIM, Dual Standby; one is SIM slot, the other is Micro SIM slot.

Elephone P6000 04

Elephone P6000 01

Media & file support:

  • (video) MP4, 3GP, AVI, H.264, H.265
  • (photo) BMP, JPEG, GIF, PNG
  • (audio) MP3, WAV, AAC
  • (MS Office) Word, Excel, PPT
  • (e-book) TXT, PDF
  • Live wallpaper support: Yes
  • Android APK games

Elephone P6000 03 Click photo to view full size.

Elephone P6000 02

The current list of supported languages is as follows: English, Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Melayu, Cestina, Dansk, Deutsch, Espanol, Filipino, French, Hrvatski, Italiano, Latviesu, Lietuviu, Magyar, Nederlands, Norsk, Polish, Portuguese, Romana, Slovencina, Suomi, Svenska, Vietnamese, Turkish, Greek, Bulgarian, Russian, Ukrainian, Hebrew, Arabic, Thai, Khmer, Korean and Simplified/Traditional Chinese. Some additional features to mention are Video Calling, web browser (standard feature), Sound Recorder and FM tuner. There are also a Micro USB slot and a 3.5mm audio port (such as for earbuds/headphones. Included inside the package, in addition to the Elephone P6000 cell phone, is a 2700mAh rechargeable battery, a user manual, a USB cable and a charger.

Scaling just 143.5mm x 71.6mm x 8.5mm / 5.65in x 2.82in x 0.33in, and weighing in at a mere 0.165 kg / 0.36lb., the Elephone P6000 is easily comparable – in both size and weight – to the rest of the current market. The price tag makes it even tastier. Gearbest.com is currently selling this beauty at just $169.99 USD (41% off MSRP) + free shipping, but as per usual, they also gave me a promo code to share with you. Simply use the code EPCN at checkout, and it’ll drop the price to $145.99 USD + free shipping. It is currently on pre-order, until December 30th, 2014, so if you want this great deal, I suggest that you hurry and snag it as quickly as possible.

Until next time, I’m Ronald DMNKLR Smith, for Dragonblogger.com, wishing you and yours happy blessings, and reminding you that I want to know what you want to know about. Good day, everybody!

Author information

Ronald "DMNKLR" Smith

My name is Ronald "DMNKLR" Smith and I'm a family man, nerd, geek, gamer, PC modder and many other things. I'm a very passionate individual who also enjoys the arts, time with my wife and children, as well as socializing with people in general. I also enjoy a good read, though not much holds my interest well - the same goes for just about every other form of entertainment. Additionally, I'm very particular and critical, though I try to be so with as much tact as possible. I've worked in many fields over the years, from retail to computer repair, and even an assortment of factories. As a result, I can relate to many folks in ways others can't. Feel free to contact me if you feel the need.

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