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Four Tet - Live at Alexandra Palace London, 8th and 9th May 2019 Music Album Reviews

Kieran Hebden’s new live album reminds us that he is a stellar performer, not just a producer.
The British producer Kieran Hebden has one of the most distinctive signatures in electronic music. First, a gravelly drum machine; then, some jewel-toned synth pads; and, finally, a strip of harp or chimes or wordless cooing, unspooling like wrinkled ribbon.





Asus ROG Phone 2 Confirmed: Release Date, Price & Specs

The Asus ROG Phone 2 has been unveiled and looks like the gaming phone to beat in 2019. Here's everything you need to know.

The smartphone continues to put itself forward as a serious form of gaming device and Asus is back with the second generation of it Republic of Gamers handset. Here’s everything there is to know about the Asus ROG Phone 2, from release date rumours to feature speculation.

The gaming smartphone market is a competitive one, not only amongst Chinese manufacturers trying to cash in on the popularity of mobile eSports titles like PUBG Mobile, but well-established brands like Razer and Asus too. The ROG Phone 2 takes what worked well on the original and makes various improvements, too.

When Will The Asus ROG Phone 2 Be Released?
The ROG Phone 2 is now official following a launch in China

There's a little while to wait for the European and UK model though which we hear will arrive in September.
How Much Will The ROG Phone 2 Cost?
Although the phone has been announced, Asus hasn't confirmed pricing for it just yet.

However, the firm told The Verge that it will be similar to the original Asus ROG Phone, which cost £799 in the UK, and $899 in the US. it will no doubt be one of the most expensive gaming phones on the market, but also the one with arguably the best specs and features - see below.

What Upgrades Will The Asus ROG Phone 2 Offer?
Before the phone was announced Asus confirmed that the phone will be the first to use Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 Plus Mobile Platform. This is essentially a supped up version of the processor that is already in a lot of smartphones. Asus said Kryo 485 CPU will run at up to 2.96GHz, while the Adreno 640 GPU is clocked 15% faster than the current 855.

There will be up to 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.

The display is bigger at 6.59in and boosts the refresh rate to 120Hz to match the Razer Phone 2 - and you can choose 60- or 90Hz if needed. There's a 1ms response time and the touch input is rated at 240Hz.  The screen has 1080 x 2340 resolution (19.5:9 aspect ratio) and supports 10bit HDR. 

Do some hardcore gaming for a while and the components will get hot so Asus has a vapor chamber and vents that lead the heat out. There's also a second generation AeroActive Cooler II in the box. The fan clips to the phone and is four times quieter than the first model - it also doubles as a kick stand.

You don't want the phone to die after a couple of hours like a gaming laptop, so Asus has increased the battery size 50% to 6000mAh. It promises 7 hours of non-stop PUBG action. Then charges quickly with 30W ROG HyperCharge using a standard 3A cable with Quick Charge 4.0 support too.

Asus has although thought about things like Wi-Fi antenna placement to keep latency to a minimum.

The AirTriggers remain and have been improved so you can rest your fingers on them. Two vibration motors are better than before with a lower 20ms latency.

When it comes to audio, the ROG Phone 2 has stereo speakers that support DTS:X Ultra which Asus says are 2.5x louder than the speakers on the original. There's also a 3.5mm headphone jack and four microphones around the chassis to ensure clear audio no mattter which way you're holding the phone.

The phone is about gaming but you'll still want to take photos and video. So there's a 48Mp Quad Bayer flanked by a 13Mp sensor with 125° ultra wide-angle lens. There's no flip-up mechanism like the ZenFone 6 but the front has a 24Mp selfie camera.

Of course, with all these specs on-board it's not the most slender of smartphones weighing in a whopping 240g and measuring almost 1cm thick.
This wouldn't be an Asus ROG Phone without some accessories so you'll be able to get various attachments. One is the ROG Kunai Gamepad which sort of turns the handset into a Nintendo Switch with controls at either end. The controllers can also be attached together to make a wireless controller.

The Kunai Gamepad is also used in conjunction with the TwinView Dock II, which turns the ROG Phone 2 into a clamshell type device like a Nintendo DS. The second screen is also 120Hz and there's a 5000mAh battery to give you even more hours of gaming.

There's also various docks including the WiGig wireless display dock, Pro Dock or the Mobile Desktop Dock.

View my Flipboard Magazine.

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