Remember your first-ever gaming console or handheld? I personally hope so because I want you to play along with me. Can you guess the top best-selling consoles and handhelds of all time?
Alright, it’s time to roll your sleeves up and strap up: Some of these will surprise you. I’ll be listing off the all-time best-selling video game consoles starting with the 10th on the list.
10. PlayStation 4 (2013)
Alright, alright. It’s too soon to flip tables. The official count of units sold is at 76.5 million. That can change considering this is still in stores. Not to mention, there are a ton of game releases that will reel in more people to getting the PlayStation 4.
Clench your butts because you’re in for a ton of surprises. We’ve literally just begun.
9. Game Boy Advance (2001)
Honestly, I did not think the Game Boy Advance would beat the PS4. Thought the Game Boy Color was a colorful brick? This was a bigger one. You’d be pretty surprised: Nintendo sold 81.51 million of these. Can the PS4 beat it? It’s well on its way.
8. PlayStation Portable (2004)
Ah, Sony’s first attempt at handhelds. The PlayStation Portable (PSP) was released to compete with the Nintendo DS as part of the seventh generation of video games consoles. They sold 82 million of these. There was a clear winner of the handheld wars though, and you’ll find out pretty soon. I won’t spoil anything but you can take a pretty reasonable guess. Interestingly enough, the PSP was announced during E3 2003 and was unveiled in E3 the year after.
7. PlayStation 3 (2006)
With the release of the PlayStation 3, came its role as the direct competition to consoles such as Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Nintendo’s Wii. There was an absolutely clear winner despite its sales at a whopping 83.8 million. We might need to send a virtual hug to Sony because following this one is…
6. Xbox 360 (2005)
Is this here because so many had the dreaded “red ring of death” back when the console launched? Just kidding! The Xbox 360 narrowly won the console war against the PlayStation 3 with 84 million sales. Sure, we had to deal with the lunacy of forcing the Kinect down our throats, but the console brought us three Halo titles and Gears of War. Multiplayer was the far superior experience between the two consoles. Who didn’t enjoy kids screaming swear words as you spawn-camped them in a game of Call of Duty?
5. Nintendo Wii (2006)
This one is a clear leap from the Xbox 360 because it reached 101.63 million sales. Remember the days when everyone would either injure themselves or break something because of some furious Wii remote action? Nintendo took a dramatic new direction with the Nintendo Wii and it was an incredible success, forcing the console to be in short supply for the first year of its release. The Nintendo Wii didn’t just bring motion controls and pointless accessories to the world, the console also focused on families and keeping fit. Remember that one time your aunt or uncle totally broke character and started flailing wildly playing Wii Sports? They’re probably still aching all these years later.
4. PlayStation (1994)
Now we’re entering the old school. The Sony PlayStation debuted back in December of 1994, meaning this daddy of console gaming is older than Kendall Jenner. This was long ago when the world hadn’t seen a Toy Story movie. The PlayStation brought the world a lot of iconic titles during its lifespan, like Final Fantasy VII and Metal Gear Solid. It makes every bit of sense that the console sold a massive 102.49 million. I can still hear the jingle the console played every time you hit that power button.
3. Game Boy / Game Boy Color (1989)
Oh hey, it’s the grandpa of handheld gaming! Could you imagine a time when you had to keep the lights on to do some late-night gaming or had to pause your game when the sun got too intense? The Game Boy was almost the size of a brick but went through an intense diet regime when the Color version came out. It even had some sweet curvature on the rear. Handheld gaming had never been sexier. It’s no surprise that Nintendo sold 118.69 million of these.
2. Nintendo DS (2004)
Handheld gaming clearly brings in a ton of money since there’s a second Nintendo handheld in the top three, but it’s not the 3DS. The Nintendo DS introduced a clamshell design with two screens for gaming, one being a touchscreen. Nintendo graced us with a stylus pen that you were always destined to lose. Young or old, I have never heard of anyone who didn’t lose theirs. Can you guess how many of these handhelds were sold? 154.02 million. Yes, boys and girls: a whopping 154.02 million Nintendo DS units!
1. PlayStation 2 (2000)
Yay, Sony did a thing! Securing the top spot with over 155 million sales is Sony’s PlayStation 2. Must feel great knowing all four consoles are top-10 material, huh? But where do you begin with the PS2? It was an all-around beast that destroyed the competition at the time and featured a huge library of games — we’re talking over 1,850! This console brought us Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Vice City. It also debuted the Kingdom Hearts and the God of War series. It’s difficult to avoid loving this console.
Well, there you go, folks: the top 10 best-selling consoles and handhelds of all time. Did you guess some of these right? To be honest, I was pretty surprised that the Nintendo 3DS didn’t make it to the top 10, but worry not: It was the eleventh — almost making it to this list.
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Cherry Mobile Flare S7 Plus hands-on: A step-up
The company’s greatest contender
Cherry Mobile recently launched their new Flare S7 series, which is essentially their main smartphone lineup for the year. The greatest offering among the bunch is the Flare S7 Plus, a device with all the specifications and features you’d expect from a 2018 phone.
Since it’s from Cherry Mobile, you’d expect the phone to be cheap, right? Price-wise, it is, but that doesn’t mean it’s just another affordable phone.
Here’s what I got to say about the Flare S7 Plus.
Cherry Mobile has officially joined the notch wagon with a borderless 6.18-inch display. It’s a Full HD+ panel with a 19:9 aspect ratio, and it’s Cherry Mobile’s best display yet.
It’s vibrant and produces vivid colors, but the user interface kind of ruins the beauty of the display. It’s best to download your preferred third-party launcher and customize to your heart’s content.
Unlike with other midrange phones, the Flare S7 Plus’ notch is pretty wide and there’s a reason for it. The phone is equipped with more advanced facial recognition hardware including an IR camera. This ensures higher accuracy, faster unlocking, and even better face detection in low-light.
If you’re not a fan of face unlock, you can always resort to the fingerprint sensor placed on the back of the phone. Based on my usage, the fingerprint reader is faster most of the time than the face unlock. Good thing you have the best of both worlds.
Now that we’re on the back of the phone, let’s talk about another special feature of the Flare S7 Plus. Finally, Cherry Mobile embraces a more elegant design using a glass back and metal frame. I was told that they used Gorilla Glass 3 on both sides, so it won’t scratch easily in your pocket or on the table.
Since we we have a glass back, it’s possible to put in wireless charging and the company did just that. Simply place the phone on any Qi standard wireless charger, and let the magic happen.
It’s not exactly magic per se, but it’s amazing to have your phone charge by placing it on a table. This phone costs less than half of most flagships that don’t even support wireless charging.
Of course, you can always charge this phone’s 3050mAh battery through the reversible USB-C port, which also doubles as the audio port because, sadly, the Flare S7 Plus doesn’t have a 3.5 headphone jack. Cherry Mobile bundles a 3.5mm to USB-C adapter inside the box, so you can still use your legacy headphones as you please.
Powering the Flare S7 Plus is a MediaTek Helio P60 processor. We have already tried the capabilities of this chipset with the OPPO F9, and it definitely delivers great performance. If you’re into benchmarking, you’ll be glad to know the Helio P60 scores higher than its competitors.
The phone also comes with 4GB of memory and 64GB of expandable storage which is pretty standard nowadays. It boots Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box, but there’s no word when Android 9 Pie is coming.
The gaming performance of the Flare S7 Plus is above average, which is what you can expect from the Helio P60. The Mali-G72 MP3 GPU works well with intensive games, but you must reduce the graphics quality a bit to get consistently high frame rates.
As for the cameras, the Flare S7 Plus has capable shooters that are probably the fruit of Cherry Mobile’s investment in improving their R&D when it comes to picture quality. The phone has dual rear shooters using a main 16-megapixel RGB sensor and a secondary 5-megapixel depth sensor. In the front, there’s another 16-megapixel selfie camera that’s paired with the IR sensor when needed. Check out the samples below:
An additional feature of the front sensors is FlareMoji. Using the IR sensor and facial recognition, you can animate cutesy characters. Check this out:
It’s essentially like Apple’s Animoji, but the tracking is nowhere near as smooth as with the iPhone. Anyhow, it’s still enjoyable to use.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
For just PhP 11,999 (US$ 225), the Flare S7 Plus offers a lot. You get a great premium phone with midrange power, beautiful display, and a plethora of extra features like wireless charging and an IR face scanner. The software UI is quite a letdown, but you can always download a launcher from the Play Store.
If you’re wondering what the Flare S7 Plus is in other markets, it’s also called the BLU VIVO XI+ and they share similar specifications and design.
What does the GPU Turbo do to your phone?
Is it more than just a marketing gimmick?
It’s been two months since Huawei rolled out the GPU Turbo update to its smartphones. Promised with a 60 percent increase in performance and reducing 30 percent on power consumption, a lot of fans and users were excited after the announcement.
Back then, everyone (including me) was hyped about lag-free games and longer battery life while playing. However, upon receiving the update, I began to wonder: Has GPU Turbo delivered what it promised?
What’s inside the update?
The Game Suite app, which comes with the update, offers an uninterrupted gaming feature, hiding all notifications when enabled (except for calls, alarms, and low-battery alerts).
Mistouch prevention is another feature to avert users from clicking the back and home button while playing — perfect for when you want to focus on your game.
To some older smartphones like the Huawei Mate 10, the Game Suite App offers three performance modes: Gaming mode, which improves game performance but increases power consumption; Smart mode, which balances performance and power consumption; and Power saving mode, which saves power but reduces game performance.
For the newer Huawei P20 Pro (which I’ve been using) and Honor Play, it only has a gaming acceleration mode to toggle on or off.
Thoughts on the reduced power consumption
Because I used the Mate 10 before and recently transitioned to the P20 Pro, I’ve experienced the GPU Turbo update in both phones and I can guarantee that they’ve delivered on lowered power consumption.
With Game Suite, I can put my phone on power saving mode to further save battery. For instance, I was only able to drain the Mate 10 down to 15 percent during a 12-hour road trip despite switching between the games I play and other apps, such as Messenger, Netflix, Spotify, and taking photos and videos every once in a while. The same goes for the P20 Pro.
As a power user, I already get a lot of things done with these highly efficient smartphones and GPU Turbo; these allowed me to do more on a single charge. However, it’s a different case for gaming.
Improved gaming experience, but there’s a catch…
When I started playing games on gaming mode (or game acceleration mode on the P20 Pro), I could run Mobile Legends: Bang Bang on a high frame rate with the highest graphics setting available. Compared to how the game stuttered and lagged during 5v5 clashes, with GPU Turbo, it now runs smoothly, as if I have a smartphone made for gaming.
As shown above, most mobile games will notify their users about the possible repercussions of higher frame rates and using the best settings available. To prove that a smartphone with GPU Turbo can handle this, I sought out to confirm my suspicions.
After asking fellow Huawei users, I found out that after installing GPU Turbo, energy consumption is a lot faster than before. Their smartphones also heat up more easily, especially when playing games with the game acceleration mode on. This isn’t part of what was promised, and it’s pretty disappointing.
It’s not yet perfect
In my experience, GPU Turbo tries to boost performance above a smartphone’s limit hoping that users can experience better gameplay.
GPU Turbo can’t choose when to perform its best. It’s an update that is constantly running in our smartphones without any way to switch it off. We can only hope that Huawei will address these issues for the next batch of updates.
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