Bitcoin approaches $6,000 despite regulation

Bitcoin closed in on another milestone Friday, as the digital currency approached £6,000 for the first time to put its gain in 2017 to above 500 percent. The push higher comes just three days after bitcoin suffered its biggest one-day drop in a month on rising concern that regulators are increasingly targeting digital currencies. It’s added almost £500 in value in the past two days alone while reaching a record high.

The end-of-week rally is another sign that the threat of oversight won’t damp enthusiasm for digital currencies. Bitcoin was quick to shrug off China’s move to tighten its grip on trading, extending an eight-fold increase over the past year to a record high on Oct.

13. Four days later, bitcoin fell as much as 8.4 percent after the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said “tokens” used in initial coin offerings can fall within its oversight.

The U.S.

Securities and Exchange Commission has already said tokens from some ICOs can be deemed securities under its oversight.

Now read: Bitcoin mania rockets[1]

References

  1. ^ Bitcoin mania rockets (mybroadband.co.za)

Best MMORPG games of 2017

MMORPGs, or massively multiplayer online role-playing games, are huge in more ways than one. As well as providing a platform for hundreds of gamers to play together at the same time, MMORPGs bring in a whopping amount of money – as much as 10 billion dollars a year, and capture an audience in the tens of millions. We’ve come a very long way in the world of MMORPGs – gone are the text-based multi-user dungeons of yesteryear, replaced by incredibly intricate and graphically impressive MMORPGs available today.

But while it’s great that the world of MMORPGs has developed, it also offers a problem; with so many great MMORPGs available to play, which should you put your time and effort into? We’ve spent some time playing some of the most infamous MMORPGs around, and here’s our roundup of the best. You might want to check out our roundup of the best upcoming games of 2017[1].

World of Warcraft

Released back in 2004, World of Warcraft is a genre-defining MMORPG enjoyed by millions of players around the world.

While other MMOs may offer features more impressive or complex than what’s available in WoW, no other MMO manages to tie it all together in such a neat and user-friendly way. Whether your interest be in raiding, PvP, dungeons or simply exploring exotic worlds, World of Warcraft has you covered – and then some. The endgame content is nothing short of superb, featuring a host of bosses and dungeons that’ll keep gamers engaged and entertained time and time again.

Even when the DLC is a little underwhelming, as was the case with Warlords of Draenor, fans can’t get enough of the game and demand more from Blizzard.

Elite Dangerous

Best MMORPG games of 2017

In terms of Space-based MMORPGs, it’ll be hard to find a game more impressive and extensive than Frontier’s Elite Dangerous (and the subsequent Horizons DLC). The game offers the ability to explore the entirety of the Milky Way in impressive 1:1 scale, meaning that planets are planet-sized and the distance between them isn’t a stone-throw like in other Space exploration games. But it goes way beyond that: it offers granular controls over your ship and its modules, the ability to upgrade your ship for whatever you want to focus on – pirating, trading or exploration – and you can even land on planets in the hope of finding Thargoid ruins.

The best part is that you can join a Wing with friends and fly in a squad of three, taking on other online players of NPCs dotted around the galaxy. If you’re a bit of a space nerd and love the idea of exploring vast and exotic galaxies in incredible detail, Elite Dangerous is for you.

RuneScape

Best MMORPG games of 2017

You can’t talk about MMORPGs without mentioning RuneScape, one of the oldest and most infamous MMORPGs around. Starting out way back in 2001, RuneScape still provides users with new and engaging gameplay 16 years on – and in a world where MMOs pop up and disappear with the blink of an eye, that’s impressive.

You’re dropped into the world of RuneScape with a few basic items and a rough sense of where to go, but from that point it’s entirely up to you what happens – and that’s what RuneScape players love, the freedom. The emphasis on choice meaning you can be anything from a professional monster slayer to a lumberjack, and everything in between. Those that remember the game may remember the questionable 2D sprites in a 3D environment, but that’s no longer an issue – the game looks more vibrant than ever, although the quality will never match the likes of World of Warcraft.

That’s okay though, as it meant the developers could spend time on giving the game a little more ‘personality’.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

Best MMORPG games of 2017

When Final Fantasy XIV was first released back in 2010, gamers hated it. In fact, they hated it so much that Square Enix rebuilt the entire game with a new team, dubbed Realm Reborn, which was released in 2013. The second iteration of the game was a huge improvement on the first and does a much better job at rekindling the love for the Final Fantasy series.

The key feature of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is the innovative class system. The game lets you swap between classes whenever you like, and there’s even a way to share abilities between classes. It gives you the freedom to find your perfect play style, and keeps the combat fresh.

Combine that with an engaging storyline and you’ve got an impressive Final Fantasy MMORPG.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Best MMORPG games of 2017

While it wasn’t a very popular MMORPG in its early days, it’s now renowned for its impressive storyline and voice acting. While most MMORPGs offer a single overarching narrative, The Old Republic has eight different class stories to experience, all as exciting and engaging as the rest. From fighting your way across the galaxy as an imperial agent to murdering everybody as a Sith warrior, there’s something for everyone.

The game has expanded on the storytelling element in recent years, offering a series of DLC providing what some call “the best tales ever told in an MMO”. If you want your MMORPG to have an engaging storyline, The Old Republic is for you.

The Elder Scrolls Online

Best MMORPG games of 2017

While The Elder Scrolls Online got off to a rather rocky start when it was first released back in 2014, a number of updates has turned it into one of the best and most popular MMORPGs on the market. It’s mainly due to the impressive PvP system that allows hundreds of online players from three factions go head-to-head in battle to control the continent of Cyrodiil and, of course, the Elder Scrolls.

It’s an impressive sight, if nothing else. Alongside the impressive PvP offering, TESO features a range of quests and dungeons to complete, alongside other standard MMOPRG features. Another great feature of TESO is the ability to change class whenever you like, or even create a hybrid of classes.

It’s great fun, and well worth a play.

References

  1. ^ Best upcoming games of 2017 (www.techadvisor.co.uk)

The best Android phones 2017

Your buying guide for the best Android phones in 2017

We’ve reviewed all the major flagship phones available at the moment but plenty more are on the way this year, so the right handset for you might be just around the corner. The Sony Xperia XZ Premium[1], HTC U11[2] and OnePlus 5[3] are all available now. Devices coming soon include the Nokia 8 and 9[4], with next year’s flagships like the Galaxy S9[5] already on the horizon.

Android has the largest market share in the smartphone world, but while Apple’s share is divided between just a few iPhones with obvious differences between them, there are hundreds of Android phones available to buy. The choice gets even more confusing when you consider that each Android phone manufacturer has multiple Android phone product lines, each with its own features and benefits. If you’re still considering an iPhone, see how Apple’s phones stack up in our overall round-up of the best smartphones,[6] and once you’ve made a decision you might want to check up our pick of the best phone deals[7] right now.

In our best Android phones chart we focus primarily on flagship devices, with the exception of where a phone lower down the range stands out for its excellent value, feature set or performance. The phones in this group are those most likely to be bought on a contract, however, and their initial cost will be largely irrelevant.

If you are buying them SIM-free you should check out our best SIM-only deals[8], but if budget is a primary consideration for you, also see our round-ups of the best budget phones[9] and mid-range phones[10].

Specifications to look for in an Android phone

When we talk about flagship smartphones, we really just mean the top model in a company’s phone line-up. You’d usually expect to pay between ?500- and ?600 for it SIM-free, or around ?40- to ?50 a month on a contract. The best Android phones 2017

But cheaper phones can have flagship specs – and especially when you consider some of the surprisingly affordable Chinese phones[11] we review.

In 2017 a flagship Android phone specification will look something like this: o Android 7.0 Nougat o Slim, lightweight metal/glass design

o 5-6in Quad-HD IPS display with Gorilla Glass 4 o Qualcomm Snapdragon 820/821/835 processor or comparable octa-core chip o 4GB+ of RAM

o 32GB of storage, plus microSD support o Fingerprint scanner o 12Mp and higher primary camera with dual-tone flash, optical image stabilisation, laser autofocus and large apertures, plus support for 4K video recording

o 5Mp and higher selfie camera o 4G LTE Cat.9 o Dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi

o Bluetooth 4.2 o NFC, GPS, GLONASS, OTG o Circa-3000mAh battery with fast charging

Looking for phones like the Galaxy Note 8 and Pixel XL? We’ve got a separate chart especially for larger devices, aka phablets, so you can see them ranked here.[12]

Best Android phones 2017 UK – Android phone reviews

1. Samsung Galaxy S8[13]

The best Android phones 2017

Samsung has taken the best phone around and made it even better with an impressive Infinity screen and premium design. It ticks a shedload of boxes – as you’d expect from a flagship.

It’s the best phone of 2017 so far, but it is expensive and the biometrics are a let down. The OnePlus 5 is already a strong competitor, and we’re keen to see what Apple can offer in way of a challenge with its iPhone 8.

Read our Samsung Galaxy S8 review[14].

2. LG G6[15]

The best Android phones 2017

The LG G6 is no doubt a striking smartphone. Metal and glass shimmer while the huge 18:9 screen is impressively brought to life with the improved software and its rounded corner design.

It is a more refined smartphone than both the G4 and G5, and should appeal to a broader audience – even if its features aren’t the same globally. There’s a lot to cover with the G6, and it’s a complicated phone to assess. The differences in hardware and the tweaks in software mean that is a phone that reveals itself to you slowly than the immediacy of, say, a Samsung Galaxy S.

The design looks uniform at first until you realise how well it all comes together. LG has quietly managed to build a mature phone with next to no bezels and some genuinely unique tweaks to software, leaving it feeling fresher and more creative than any Android phone we’ve seen for a while. The age-old question for LG though – will people buy it?

Read our LG G6 review[16].

3. Google Pixel 2[17]

The best Android phones 2017

The Pixel 2 is a boring phone until you turn it on.

The uninspiring hardware melts away to present you with a bleeding edge vision of the Android future, with machine learning fully integrated. It’s not quite there yet, but this is where we are heading. The camera, one lens down on some competitors, is better than all of them in most situations thanks to the superior software onboard.

You only get that benefit when you buy Google hardware, and the company is finally realising the end to end product that Apple has been making for a decade. If you want a smartphone to fawn over and make your friends jealous with, you won’t want the Pixel 2. But it’s faster than the Galaxy S8 and takes better photos.

It delivers the best overall camera and software experience on any Android smartphone to date.

Read our Google Pixel 2 review[18].

4. OnePlus 5[19]

The best Android phones 2017

The OnePlus 5 is a logical refinement of the young company’s back catalogue. It marries solid design with excellent software in a package under ?500. But a year ago, it did this all for a sliver over ?300.

The phone feels like the end of OnePlus phase one and a bridge to whatever the company does next. It might not be the obvious bargain price OnePlus is known for but it’s still significantly cheaper, is incredibly fast and has improved cameras. There are downsides with no waterproofing, Quad HD screen or wireless charging.

We strongly recommend considering this phone if you’ve been tempted by the Galaxy S8 or LG G6 but can’t stretch to them – the fact it’s in that conversation is testament to OnePlus’ continuing impressive achievements.

Read our OnePlus 5 review[20].

5. Sony Xperia XZ Premium[21]

The best Android phones 2017

The Sony Xperia XZ Premium is a stunning smartphone, both in terms of design and performance. The mirror-like look isn’t for everyone due to the appearance of smudges, but it helps provide an elegant, high-end look. The 4K HDR display is one-of-a-kind, bright and vibrant, and shows off snaps taken by the impressive Motion Eye camera perfectly.

The camera itself can handle almost anything you can throw at it, although performance does slip in low-lit conditions and the super slow-mo video mode takes some practice. If you’re looking for a gorgeous high-end smartphone with a huge focus on display and cameras with above average battery life, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium is a solid option.

Read our Sony Xperia XZ Premium review[22].

6. Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus[23]

The best Android phones 2017

We’re really impressed by the Galaxy S8 Plus, just as we are with the regular S8. Samsung has done a great job of making last year’s phones even better.

Both offer the infinity edge screen and most people will be better off saving money and going for the S8 unless you specifically want the Plus’s larger display. Otherwise it’s hard to find any other reason to buy it over the smaller phone.

Read our Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus review[24].

7. HTC U11[25]

The best Android phones 2017

There’s a lot to like about the HTC U11 and while it certainly has flagship level specs, it’s hard to differentiate in the market against the likes of Samsung and LG. The glossy and colourful design is fresh but won’t be for everyone, even though we’re glad it’s finally waterproof.

The key is wether you want the squeezable Edge Sense feature which is useful at times but not something we’re blown away by.

Read our HTC U11 review[26].

8. Google Pixel 2 XL[27]

The best Android phones 2017

The Pixel 2 XL is a fantastic phone. It’s well designed, well built and looks great. The screen issues could put you off, and don’t forget there’s no headphone socket or microSD slot.

This is where the Galaxy S8 Plus comes in: it’s slightly cheaper and has both of those features and matches the Pixel in just about every area. The Pixel does win out on camera quality – just – but has the advantage of quick updates to future Android releases and unlimited photo and video storage for three years.

Read our Google Pixel 2 XL review[28].

9. Huawei P10[29]

The best Android phones 2017

The Huawei P10 is an impressive beast – it’s gorgeous, powerful and the dual cameras are a huge improvement over the 2016 flagship, the P9. Portrait mode works better than expected, photos are crisp, vibrant and detailed and even the selfie camera has had a meaningful upgrade.

Huawei’s EMUI, one of the most controversial Android overlays, is much better to use than with previous smartphones, and offers machine learning algorithms that should speed up your phone the more you use it. Even the price is competitive at ?499. The only downside?

Despite being of a high capacity, the battery life of the P10 isn’t great, and some users may find that they have to plug it in to top it up once or twice a day, just to get through.

Read our Huawei P10 review[30].

10. Xiaomi Mi6[31]

The best Android phones 2017

This really is an amazing phone, and only the Chinese software puts us off recommending it for a UK audience.

It is crazy fast, crazy beautiful and crazy priced.

If you know your way around Android go and get one, and you won’t be disappointed.

Read our Xiaomi Mi6 review[32].

References

  1. ^ Sony Xperia XZ Premium review (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  2. ^ HTC 11 news (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  3. ^ OnePlus 5 review (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  4. ^ Nokia 8 and 9 (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  5. ^ Galaxy S9 (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  6. ^ best smartphones, (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  7. ^ best phone deals (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  8. ^ best SIM-only deals (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  9. ^ best budget phones (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  10. ^ mid-range phones (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  11. ^ Chinese phones (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  12. ^ best big phone (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  13. ^ Read full review for Samsung Galaxy S8 (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  14. ^ Samsung Galaxy S8 review (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  15. ^ Read full review for LG G6 (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  16. ^ LG G6 review (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  17. ^ Read full review for Google Pixel 2 (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  18. ^ Google Pixel 2 review (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  19. ^ Read full review for OnePlus 5 (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  20. ^ OnePlus 5 review (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  21. ^ Read full review for Sony Xperia XZ Premium (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  22. ^ Sony Xperia XZ Premium review (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  23. ^ Read full review for Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  24. ^ Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus review (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  25. ^ Read full review for HTC U11 (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  26. ^ HTC U11 review (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  27. ^ Read full review for Google Pixel 2 XL (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  28. ^ Google Pixel 2 XL review (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  29. ^ Read full review for Huawei P10 (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  30. ^ Huawei P10 review (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  31. ^ Read full review for Xiaomi Mi6 (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  32. ^ Xiaomi Mi6 review (www.techadvisor.co.uk)