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Among the countless PFP (profile-picture) projects that have long saturated the greater NFT market, Doodles has maintained its status as one of the most influential and beloved NFT endeavors. While the collection of colorful line-drawn characters that has swept across the globe ranks high on the list of top PFPs, in terms of both popularity and sales volume, there’s much more to these seemingly simple Doodles than meets the eye.
From first-of-its-kind token mechanics and high-profile collaborations to extravagant in-person events and much more, Doodles has traversed the ups and downs of the NFT ecosystem and come out on the other side as one of the most successful Web3 brands around. While it might be impossible to chronicle all the twists and turns that led to the project’s rise to prominence, this guide will lay out everything you need to know to understand Doodles.
Credit: DoodlesWhat is the Doodles NFT collection?
Doodles is a collection of 10,000 generative NFTs created by Evan Keast, Scott Martin, and Jordan Castro. The team uses the “working aliases” Tulip, Burnt Toast, and Poopie, respectively. Before Doodles, Keast and Castro were already well-established in the NFT community, as they had previously helped build the legendary CryptoKitties NFT project with Dapper Labs. Martin, meanwhile, had been minting his pieces and growing his creative brand within the NFT space for about a year.
Doodles features original art created by Martin, who produced hundreds of unique visual traits for the collection. However, the project ultimately followed in the footsteps of predecessors like CryptoPunks, Bored Apes, and Cool Cats by randomly mixing and matching these individual traits to create the full Doodles collection.
Within the Doodles ecosystem live humans, cats, pickles, apes, sentient flames, skeletons, aliens, and more. As with nearly all generative avatar collections, Doodles NFTs come in varying degrees of rarity. Although the Doodles team has never officially released a catalog of what traits are the rarest and most common, over time, numerous third-party services have released their unofficial rankings.
DoodlesWhen did Doodles launch?
Doodles launched on October 17, 2023, at 0.123 ETH per mint. At the time, the price was considered relatively high. Before Doodles, most PFP projects implemented mint prices below 0.1 ETH; however, the founding team chose this higher price point to ensure an initial treasury of ~420 ETH.
During the project’s rollout, Doodles tried something that had seemingly never been executed by a PFP project. About a month before the project went live for minting, the team closed the Discord when membership numbers reached just over 1,000. This made it so that no new members could join, creating extra exclusivity within the project’s community.
This decision received mixed reviews, as it effectively gave whitelist access (priority minting) to a select few. Yet, as the Doodles mint date drew closer, the project’s following continued to grow, and the decision to close the Discord started to be seen as an innovative way to reward early NFT project supporters.Building a community for Doodles
Shortly after the supply of Doodles sold out, the Discord server was reopened, bringing a slew of new collectors and enthusiasts into the community. In the following months, various NFT influencers and big-name celebrities joined Doodles as collectors, further solidifying the project as one of the hottest PFP NFT communities.
While numerous avatar projects market themselves as community-centered, Doodles seems to have been all about empowering their community from the start. The Doodles website states that owning a Doodle and voting on community proposals “makes the roadmap collaborative.” This facet of the project has become increasingly clear over the last few months alone, thanks largely to its voting system and anti-scam/pro-artist culture.Community Voting
The entire Doodles ecosystem is basically one DAO, and every Doodles owner has a say in what that DAO does. Early on, Keast laid out how the DoodleDAO treasury would work, stating that 1 Doodle = 1 Vote toward any decisions regarding the DoodleBank.
So far, Doodles members have been able to vote on proposals for Doodles team scaling, live events, funding a 3D Doodles project, and more. The Doodles Forum and Doodles Discord allow an extra level of discourse for each proposal.
While proposals have become less frequent as the project has matured, initiatives have become much more paramount to the future and overall success of Doodles as a brand. This is likely due to the project’s leadership, which has seemingly continued to set a viewfinder for the horizon.Anti-Scam/Pro-Artist
As one of the most popular projects on the market, Doodles quickly inspired numerous derivative and knockoff projects. The Doodles team seemingly anticipated this issue, as they had already implemented a derivative approval system within their Discord.
Developers were incentivized to submit official proposals to create projects inspired by the main Doodles collection. Numerous projects proposed within the Doodles community have been put to a vote, with collections like Noodles and Pukenza coming as a direct result of the 1 Doodle = 1 Vote system.
A scam alert channel was also implemented in the Doodles server, promoting a “see something, say something” mentality. Many fraudulent accounts and projects have been reported, and it seems the channel has helped mitigate several unapproved Doodles knockoffs and potential scams.Doodles: To the moon
we like it here, but let’s explore what’s next. chúng tôi doodles (@doodles) February 2, 2023
Although the Doodles floor price remained between 1-5 ETH for months after launch, things started to pick up towards the end of 2023. Around this time, Keast and the rest of the Doodles crew began to release short animations teasing something new. This led to a spike in secondary sales and some of the largest Doodles sales ever.
While a quick uptick in purchases and trades (a “pump”) typically happens when a project team makes a major announcement or rolls out a collectors reward, Doodles’ managed to keep the momentum going even a month after making their announcement. The news? Space Doodles NFTs.Doodles as an entertainment platform
One of the most interesting aspects of the Doodles project is its crossover from the blockchain into the real world. This is because Doodles is endeavoring to be much more than a simple PFP project. As co-founder Keast has said multiple times, the ultimate aim of Doodles is to become a comprehensive Web3 entertainment company, and the crew has already taken numerous steps to help make this goal a reality.
In partnership with world class organizations, expect the magic of the Doodles brand to manifest in music, animation, collectibles, games and live events. chúng tôi doodles (@doodles) June 28, 2023
Doodles has created multiple immersive in-person experiences coinciding with annual NFT events, including Heart Basel Miami and, most recently, the 2023 Doodles Genesis Factory, launched alongside chúng tôi The activation further helped communicate Doodles’ desire to show up and show out, providing a stage for unveiling many upcoming Doodles initiatives, including Doodles’ first fundraise, Doodles 2, Doodles Records, and more.
As revealed during an interview with HYPEBEAST, the founders aim to “bridge Web3 and the real world and connect NFT enthusiasts through community initiatives such as installations, concert merchandise, and more.”
In 2023, Doodles made a move that further solidified its commitment to becoming a web3 entertainment company. Via Twitter, the team announced that Doodles would acquire award-winning animation studio Golden Wolf, citing that “narrative storytelling, world-building, and character development will be at the center of everything we do.”
Although the full scope of how a Web3-powered tech company might leverage a PFP project to accomplish all this remains to be seen, we’ve long heard similar sentiments coming from the Bored Ape Yacht Club and World of Women, both of which are now managed by Madonna and U2’s manager, Guy Oseary.Doodles controversy
Despite the Doodles team’s emphasis on community and dedication to IRL events, there have still been times when their holders felt they fell short. Specifically, the team’s communication has, at times, been sparse compared to others in the PFP sector.
Because of Doodles’ failure to engage with its community for most of the second half of 2023, many in Web3 faulted the devs — speculating whether the project might turn into a rug pull or otherwise fizzle out. In hindsight, it was clear that the team was hyper-focused on formulating the project’s next iteration (Doodles 2). Still, even when the silence was broken, and this truth came to light, the damage had already been done to Doodles’ reputation.
All in all, this controversy inspired the Doodles team to make amends by promising to open a more robust line of communication to collectors going forward.The future of Doodles
As the NFT space continues to evolve, many have remained in awe of the accomplishments achieved by this project and its founders. Currently, the collection has amassed around 274,000 ETH in secondaries. While Doodles still has quite a ways to go before they’re seen as a true contender for the PFP NFT crown currently held by the Bored Ape Yacht Club — which has generated upwards of 1 million ETH to date — the collection of vibrant characters has undoubtedly won the hearts of countless NFT enthusiasts.
Moreover, the Doodles project shows no signs of slowing down, even as crypto prices continue to fluctuate greatly since its conception. The company has onboarded a range of talent to the team, including former President of Billboard Julian Holguin as CEO, 776 Co-Founder Katelin Holloway on the board of directors, and Pharrell Williams as Chief Brand Officer.
And as the Doodles Web3 entertainment company continues to grow, so too have its initiatives. Here are some things the Doodles community has to look forward to.Doodles Fundraise
In the summer of 2023, it was announced that 776 Management — a venture capital firm created by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian — would lead Doodles’s first round of funding. Although the amount of financing was not disclosed, a subsequent September 2023 announcement made it clear that the round was a success.
Aside from 776, 10T Holdings, Acrew Capital, and FTX Ventures pooled $54 million in funding for Doodles. With this funding, Holloway believes that Doodles has the tools to “[develop] the next digital frontier of how we experience and create content, unlocking the real value behind NFTs,” according to the September announcement.
Following the close of its funding round, Doodles looks primed to develop itself into a truly global IP via “ventures in music, culture and entertainment industries.” Of course, the technology that made Doodles possible in the first place is still at the center of everything: the blockchain. “Reimagining storytelling through the blockchain, Doodles is changing the way the world connects and interacts,” Holloway said in the release.Doodles 2
Doodles 2 is undoubtedly the most exciting next step in the Doodles’ lengthy and continuously developing roadmap. Yet again, Doodles seems to be foregoing the route of a companion project to launch a unique new initiative aimed at onboarding more users into Doodles and to the greater NFT ecosystem. How? At the beginning of 2023, it was announced that Doodles 2 would be hosted on the Flow blockchain. The team behind the influential project hopes that the decision will help further mass adoption of the Doodles project and better communicate their conviction in the future being multi-chain.
Marketed as “A Doodle for Everyone,” Doodles 2 centers around dynamic NFTs built on Flow. With the new endeavor, Doodle holders will be able to personalize their NFTs to parallel their digital identities.
“When we say Doodles 2, what we really mean is a customizable Doodle. […] Unlike the original collection, Doodles 2 has two different types of NFTs,” Castro said in an interview with nft now. “The first one is the Doodle. Think of it as a mannequin, a base character. You can customize different attributes on your Doodle. And these are all on-chain properties. The second type of NFT is the wearable. And those wearables can be combined with your Doodle to create the style that you’re going for.”
A letter to our community chúng tôi doodles (@doodles) January 25, 2023
The launch of Doodles 2 hinged on something called the Dooplicator. Previously said to be one of the most enigmatic facets of the Doodles ecosystem, the tool has been said by the Doodles team to have “perpetual utility beyond Doodles 2.” By activating the Dooplicator, holders were empowered to “Dooplicate” traits from their original Doodle to receive wearables for their Doodles 2 NFTs.
The next step came by way of the Doodles Genesis Box, which in contrast to the Dooplicator, is a one-time-use item. Unveiled at the aforementioned Genesis Factory, this collection of 24,000 NFTs ushered in second-edition wearables and something called the Doodles 2 Beta Pass — which will eventually provide holders access to a private beta of the create-your-own Doodle tool.
Although Doodles 2 was immediately centered around customizable wearables, Castro made it clear that holders should expect more to come, including wearable collections to be released through marquee drops, featuring in-line products and brand collaborations with partners, musicians, and creators.
With Doodles 2, the crew is seemingly seeking to create a Doodles microeconomy where everyone can buy, sell, and trade wearable NFTs. But that’s not all, as it was announced that additional features would include the ability to swap between a full-body or PFP perspective and unlock an animated version of an owned NFT, complete with original music.Doodles Records
Another new sector of the overarching Doodles brand that Doodles enthusiasts can look forward to is Doodles Records. While little is known about the supposed record label, Doodles Records: Volume 1 has been announced to include original music with executive production from Pharrell, hand-drawn album art from lead Doodles artist Scott Martin, and limited edition wearables for Doodles 2.
The first volume comes in partnership with Columbia Records and will feature music that Doodles 2 owners will be able to layer into their new animated NFTs.The slow burn of Doodles
Beyond the general hype cycle of price increases and celebrities being onboarded into the Doodles community, the influential PFP project has continued to persevere. Although the team behind the endeavor may have once opted to keep quiet until they have something to say, nowadays, they’re regularly hyping up their community for what’s to come — even if it’s only to speculate about their intentions for growth down the line.
Sentiment aside, it’s clear Doodles is planning to take their community on a wild ride over the next few years. With millions of dollars in capital sitting in the Doodle bank, the Doodles team has made their initial treasury holding — which was worth over $1.5 million at the time of the project’s launch — back many times over.
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In our five-part UK network review series , we take a look at the UK’s major networks and major virtual network operators (MVNO), including the plans and services they offer and whether they’re about to be snapped up or buying a rival in the biggest shake-up of the UK market in a decade. In today’s final segment, we look at the major MVNOs in the UK and exactly what they offer.
While there are only four major networks in the UK, there a dozen more virtual networks, that offer mobile services running on one of the networks’ infrastructure. While some of the MVNOs are for specific customers and not readily available for all to buy, other MVNOs aim to challenge the existing status quo with unique plans and aggressive competition.
In today’s series, we’re looking at five of the major MVNOs; BT Mobile, iD, Tesco Mobile, GiffGaff and Virgin Mobile.
Formed: March 2014
MVNO Network runs on: EE
Offers 4G: Yes
Offers Pay Monthly: SIM only, no handsets
Offers Pay As You Go: very small range of PAYG handsets (six to choose from)
Owns spectrum: Yes (acquired through spectrum auction for £187 million):
2 x 15MHz of 2600MHz
1 x 20 MHz of 2600MHz (unpaired)
Quad Play services: Yes: BT Mobile, BT Vision, BT Broadband and BT phones.Summary:
BT had a long history in the UK telecoms industry under its Cellnet and (then) O2 guises until the latter was sold to Telefonica in 2005. Since its exit from the telecoms industry, BT has continued to offer mobile services to some of its business customers and in March 2014, BT Mobile became an MVNO in the UK running on EE’s network.Price Plans:
To remain as competitive as possible, BT Mobile launched by offering the UK’s cheapest 4G contracts for just £5 per month (for existing BT Broadband customers). In total, there are only three SIM Only plans available to choose from:
£5.00/m: 200 minutes, Unlimited Texts, 500MB 4G data
£12.00/m: 500 minutes, Unlimited Texts, 2GB 4G data
£20.00/m: Unlimited, Unlimited Texts, 20GB 4G data
If you live in a house with BT Broadband, you’ll get the prices listed above, otherwise if you don’t have BT Broadband, you’ll have to pay an additional £5 per month surcharge.
What is quite interesting is that while EE offers a maximum of 10GB data on SIM Only for £28.99 per month, BT offers double the data for almost half the price. Sounds odd right? Well, there’s a catch. From our personal experience, we can reveal that BT Mobile plans are capped at around 30Mbps on 4G (meaning there’s no access to the superfast LTE-Advanced double-speed 4G network). That being said, BT Mobile is certainly interesting for all customers who don’t need the fastest speeds.
All BT Mobile customers also get the following perks:
BT Wi-Fi: Free and unlimited access to more than 5 million hotspots
Spend Caps: Monthly spend caps on all bills, including roaming caps and usage alerts via SMS
Unlimited 0800 calls and voicemail: unlimited calls to 0800 numbers and voicemail free of charge
BT Sport Lite: all BT Mobile customers can watch live Barclay’s Premier League football, Aviva Premiership Rugby and Scottish Premier League games for free.Conclusion:
Overall, BT definitely has one of the most compelling MVNO offerings on the market and its packages could even compete against the established major networks. Its acquisition of EE will see the network become a major player that is capable of beating not only the existing MVNOs but all the major networks as well.
Three’s buyout of O2 could prove to be the biggest challenge that BT Mobile faces in the very near future and Vodafone should certainly not be ruled out as rumours persist that they are interested in buying chief TV rival, Sky. Whatever does happen in the UK telecoms and terrestrial services markets, BT is set to be at the heart of it and BT Mobile will definitely have a part to play.
Formed: May 2023
MVNO Network runs on: Three
Offers 4G: Yes
Offers Pay Monthly: Handsets and SIM Only
Offers Pay As You Go: Handsets and SIM Only
Owns spectrum: No
Quad Play services: NoneSummary:
Related: Three Network Review (2023): Everything you need to knowPrice Plans:
iD Mobile’s plans are split across three tiers for handsets and three tiers for SIM Only plans. Its Handset packages are:
ShockProof Plan: Similar to the GoTo plan, the ShockProof plan offers calls, texts and data for between £7.50 per month and £12.50 per month on a 24-month contract only. This plan includes a £5 buffer each month and is designed for people who have a limited budget and allows you to cap your monthly spend (to the price plan plus the buffer).
TakeAway plan: this is by far, iD’s best plan and arguably one of the most compelling packages on the market. Costing between £25.50 per month and £45.50 per month on a 24-month contract only, the plan includes calls, texts and data with the added benefit of being able to use your inclusive minutes, texts and data free of charge in 22 countries around the world.
The network’s handset plans are certainly compelling and its 30-day rolling SIM Only plans are somewhat similar apart from one key difference:
GoTo Plan: just like the handset plan, this offers calls, texts and data for between £7.50 per month and £20 per month on a rolling contract. The plan ranges from offering 500MB 4G data for £7.50 per month to unlimited data on the £20 SIM only plan, although the latter is currently only a launch offer and is only likely to be offered for a limited period of time.
ShockProof plan: Just like the handset package, this lets you fix your monthly spend and offers calls, texts and data. The plan comes with a £5 buffer on top of your allowances (which can be increased via its website) and like the GoTo Plan, offers between 500MB data (£7.50 per month) and Unlimited data (£20.00 per month) although the latter is a special launch offer.
DataOnly plan: this is perfect for anyone who only needs mobile data and offers 4G data for between £5 per month and £20 per month. The £5 per month plan offers 500MB data while the top plan offers 20GB data for £20 per month and is perfect if you find yourself needing data on the go (as it can be used in a mobile WiFi hotspot).
If there’s one thing that’s disappointing about iD Mobile’s plans, it is that you have to be tied into a long 24-month handset contract in order to use your allowances abroad as the TakeAway plan isn’t available on SIM Only. However, the network does say that it is constantly evaluating its offering so this may change at some point in the future.
Rather than offer the traditional perks that other networks offer, iD Mobile aims to market itself as a network built around you. The company claims to offer the ability to choose the perfect package and plan to suit you, the ability to add extras whenever you want and the only network to offer you the maximum control and flexibility over your package.Conclusion:
Tesco MobileKey Details:
Formed: May 2003
MVNO Network runs on: O2
Offers 4G: Yes
Offers Pay Monthly: Handsets and SIM Only
Offers Pay As You Go: Handsets and SIM Only
Owns spectrum: No
Quad Play services: NoneSummary:
One of the oldest MVNOs on the market, Tesco Mobile initially launched as a small MVNO but has risen to become one of the biggest in the UK. Sold directly through Tesco Phone Shops (in larger Tesco supermarkets) as well as via the Tesco Phone Shop website, Tesco Mobile has gained customers through an attractive offering and clever marketing to existing Tesco customers.
Tesco Mobile operates in the UK, Ireland, Slovakia, Hungary and Czech Republic and 90% of the company is owned by Tesco (or a subsidiary), with O2 owning the other 10%. Until January 2023, the supermarket offered Tesco Broadband, Homephone and Blinkbox (video-on-demand) but these were sold to TalkTalk as part of a debt reduction scheme and it’s rumoured that Tesco Mobile could also be sold to serve a debt bill that currently sits at £22 billion.Price Plans:
Tesco Mobile’s price plans are very similar to O2 in that the company splits the cost of your monthly package into payments for your phone and airtime. Like O2 Refresh – which Tesco’s Anytime Upgrade package is built on – you pick a handset to buy at 0% interest and a plan and then make two direct debit payments each month; one for your phone and one for your plan.Conclusion:
Overall, it’s unsurprising to see Tesco Mobile offer a Refresh-style Anytime Upgrade pay monthly package like one of its parents O2 but the plans themselves are actually quite competitive. Many people have questioned whether O2 Refresh is actually worth the split payments and personally, I’ve found that its incredibly useful, especially when I want to upgrade early or need to pay off a contract as a phone is broken. Like O2, Tesco Mobile doesn’t offer handsets without the split payment contract so you may need to look elsewhere if you’re not happy with the Anytime Upgrade offering.
Formed: November 2009
MVNO Network runs on: O2
Offers 4G: Yes
Offers Pay Monthly: No.
Offers Pay As You Go: Offers SIM Only. Handsets available either outright or on finance
Owns spectrum: No
Quad Play services: NoneSummary:
GiffGaff is the only MVNO that’s technically run by a network themselves as it runs on the O2 network and is owned by O2’s owners, Telefónica. The network is definitely the most unique in the UK as it doesn’t employ call centres and instead, is run by an online community who answer questions and solve queries within 24 hours.
Along with its unique structure, GiffGaff is also unique in its package offering as the network offers handsets on finance but doesn’t offer pay monthly contracts. All GiffGaff phones are unlocked as well, meaning complete flexibility in the way you use your phone.Price Plans:
GiffGaff only offers Pay As You Go deals but if you don’t have the money available to buy a new phone outright, the company can also finance the deal for you (through a partnership with RateSetter).
The way it works is simple: choose your phone, then choose how long you want to pay it back over (6, 12, 18 or 24 months) and choose how much you want to pay up front (£25, £50, £100, £200). Then you choose a goodybag (aka a Pay as You Go bundle) to go with your phone and together, they form the basis for your monthly cost. The unique thing about GiffGaff Phones is that – at least according to the GiffGaff website – you can change your goodybag at any time and there’s only a soft credit check to valid your identity, which doesn’t leave a mark on your credit score.
The cost of the credit isn’t too much either, with the average interest set to between 9 and 10 percent. As an example, the Galaxy S6 costs £489 outright (which is cheaper than the RRP) and a 24-month finance agreement with £25 upfront works out to be £535 in total (again cheaper than the RRP). Increase the upfront cost and the overall monthly cost goes down, as it does if you choose to pay it over a shorter period of time.
Related: Vodafone Network Review (2023): Everything you need to know
GiffGaff have a choice of Goodybags available as well, offering both 3G and 4G services for those who need them. All goodybags come with free calls and texts to other Giffgaff users and cost between £5/m and £20/m for a 3G goody bag and £12/m and £18/m for a 4G goodybag. Here’s the different goodybags available:
Overall, GiffGaff is certainly a unique network and it definitely has a unique proposition. By offering contracts (and PAYG handsets) at cheaper than its rivals with less stringent rules, the network can appeal to all users who are disillusioned with their existing network.
The unique finance offering will definitely appeal to customers who have difficulties getting accepted for traditional pay monthly contracts and in some cases at least, the finance option can still work out cheaper than buying the handset outright from the manufacturer.
Despite being a non-traditional MVNO thanks to its community-run structure, GiffGaff continues to grow and has a loyal band of users that shows no signs of abating. As other networks introduce even more complex plans and contracts that can be difficult to understand (and may work out rather expensive), GiffGaff’s unique plans could see an increase in its subscriber base.
Given that O2 is currently in the process of being bought out by Three UK, it’s unclear what the future holds for GiffGaff or whether Telefónica will exclude GiffGaff from the deal. Whatever does happen, at least for now, GiffGaff has a bright future ahead of it.
Virgin MobileKey Details:
Formed: 1999 (2007 as part of Virgin Media)
Also known as: Virgin Media Mobile
MVNO Network runs on: EE
Offers 4G: No
Offers Pay Monthly: Handsets and SIM Only
Offers Pay As You Go: Handsets and SIM Only
Owns spectrum: No
Quad Play services: Yes (Virgin Media): Broadband, Mobile, TV, LandlineSummary:
The world’s first MVNO, Virgin Mobile was formed in 1999 as a joint venture between Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and One2One. Virgin Mobile enjoyed several years of growth and awards – that were coupled with behind-the-scenes power struggles and courtroom battles between the two parent companies – before merging with NTL:Telewest in April 2006.
Less than a year later, NTL:Telewest rebranded to Virgin Media in February 2007 and became the first quad-play company offering broadband, television, landline and mobile phone to customers. Virgin Mobile remains an important MVNO in the UK, especially as its fixed-line internet arm – Virgin Broadband – is the second largest UK broadband provider with 20% of market share (according to Ofcom data at the end of 2013).Price Plans:
Virgin Mobile offers the latest handsets and a range of packages in the same format as O2 Refresh and Tesco Mobile (see above). The network’s Freestyle lets you split the cost of your handset from your airtime but what makes it unique is that Virgin Mobile doesn’t run on O2; Freestyle is the first UK tariff that is doesn’t use the O2 network to explore the split tariff concept.
Freestyle is also unique as – unlike other providers – it offers every handset with every one of its packages. This means that you can buy the latest phone with a basic plan and offers the most flexibility on any UK tariff. As an example, the Galaxy S6 is available for £31 per month (£26 per month for the handset, £5 per month for the airtime) which, although it does have low allowances – 250 minutes, Unlimited texts and 250MB data – is one of the cheapest deals on the market.
The key thing that it’s worth remembering is that Virgin Mobile only offers 4G to business customers so its cheap tariff comes with the caveat of vastly slower speeds, especially as EE has arguably the UK’s fastest 4G network. Other perks available to Virgin Mobile customers is Wi-Fi on the London Underground at no extra cost, “exclusive perks” that include V Festival and cinema tickets and unlimited free voicemail that doesn’t come out of your inclusive allowances.Conclusion:
UK MVNOs: Final Thoughts
ASUS ROG Phone 3
See price at Amazon
There are a few drawbacks to the phone compared to its rivals. It doesn’t support wireless charging and doesn’t have an IP rating. It also lacks a headphone jack, although one is included on the AeroActive 3 cooling fan accessory.
What experts think of the ROG Phone 3?
David Imel / Android Authority
Our own David Imel reviewed the ROG Phone 3 and loved many things about it. He said it’s the fastest phone on the market at the time of writing and sports fantastic speakers and great cameras. He also loved the 144Hz display and the shoulder buttons that are even better than the ROG Phone 2.What other reviewers from around the web think
To give you the best overview of the ROG Phone 3, I took a look at a bunch of reviews of the phone from other publications. The overall opinion of reviewers from around the web was similar to David’s. Most of them highlighted the smooth display of the phone, the great performance, loud speakers, and the large battery. They also felt that the device’s lack of wireless charging and an IP rating is a significant drawback and mentioned that the phone’s design isn’t for everyone.
However, not everyone was in the same boat regarding the cameras. While David and many other reviewers loved them, some had different views. For example, Tech Radar’s David Lumb said that the phone’s cameras are “so-so,” while PCMag’s Steven Winkelman wasn’t impressed with the macro lens of the phone, saying it produces “flat photos with mushy detail.” Other cons of the phone highlighted by various reviewers include that while AirTriggers are generally great, they only work with select games.
ASUS ROG Phone 3 alternatives
There are plenty of great alternatives you should keep in mind when deciding whether or not to get the ROG Phone 3. One of them is the REDMAGIC 6, which is lighter on specs but much lighter on your wallet, too.
Then there’s the Black Shark 4 series, which offers a bit less in some areas and more in others. For example, you get a smaller battery but faster 120W charging. The regular model is a better choice if you’re on a budget, while the more expensive Pro version is for those who want a bit more with its Snapdragon 888 chipset.
David Imel / Android Authority
Unfortunately, ASUS doesn’t have a great track record for software updates. The ROG Phone 2 launched with Android 9 Pie and was updated to Android 10 in March, six months after the OS launched. For reference, the OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro got Android 10 just 18 days after its launch, while Samsung rolled out the update to the Galaxy S10 series around two and a half months after becoming available.
It also got Android 11 this July. Luckily for all of us, the ROG Phone 3 has been tapped for an H1 2023 release of Android 12. This means it should see the update sometime before July.
A: The phone comes in a single color called Black Glare.
Key ASUS ROG Phone 3 specs
See also: All Google Pixel phones released so far
Google announced the phone on May 11, 2023. Pre-orders started on July 21 and it hit general sales on July 28.
In the case of the Pixel 6a, it has a lower-quality display, a lower-quality camera system, less RAM, a smaller battery, and no choices when it comes to internal storage (it’s locked to 128GB only). It looks a whole lot like the Pixel 6, though, including the iconic camera bar across the back.
What experts say about the Google Pixel 6a
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
In our review for the Pixel 6a, we gave it 4/5 stars and our Recommended badge. We lamented the choices Google made when it comes to cutting corners to keep the price down. We wished Google either made more cuts to bring the price lower or kept the price the same but offered a better value.
Allison Johnson at The Verge: Allison gave the Pixel 6a an 8/10, which is similar to our score. She praised the performance, camera, and battery life. She criticized the refresh rate of the display and the slow fingerprint sensor, which is a problem that dogged the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
Philip Michaels at Tom’s Guide: Philip gave the Pixel 6a the same score as we did, which was 4/5 stars. Like us, Philip praised the performance and camera but wished the battery life and build materials were better.
Lisa Eadicicco at Cnet: Lisa gave the Pixel 6a a score of 8.7 out of 10, representing one of the higher scores we’ve seen. Once again, she loved the performance and camera but criticized the display and value when compared to the Pixel 6.
Back in May, we asked our readers if they were going to buy the Pixel 6 or the Pixel 6a. It turns out that even with the Pixel 6a being cheaper, our readers weren’t swayed. The majority would rather spend the extra $150 to get the regular Pixel 6.
Of course, over 41% of responders did say the Pixel 6a was on their list, so it’s not like our readers hate the phone. It just once again shows that Google didn’t hit the price out of the park with the Pixel 6a as it has done with previous A-series phones.Google Pixel 6a specs
In the specs table below, we break down what you can expect from a Pixel 6a. Overall, there are a lot of alterations that make the phone much weaker than the Pixel 6.
No. The Google Pixel 6a has a similar camera system to the Pixel 5a. The Pixel 6 has a much better camera system than both phones.
In other words, the camera quality of the Pixel 6a will be lesser than the quality of the main Pixel 6 series. Once again, this is proof that spending an extra $150 on the regular Pixel 6 might be worth it if you can afford it.
Google Pixel 6a camera examples
The Pixel 6a has a 4,410mAh battery.
Display: The Pixel 6a has a 6.1-inch display with a 60Hz refresh rate. This is smaller and less smooth than the Pixel 6’s 6.4-inch display with a 90Hz refresh rate. The Pixel 6a’s display is also covered with Gorilla Glass 3, an older and weaker glass than the Pixel 6’s Gorilla Glass Victus.
Power: The battery inside the Pixel 6a is smaller than the one in the Pixel 6. The Pixel 6a also lacks wireless charging, which the Pixel 6 supports.
RAM and storage: The Pixel 6a has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The Pixel 6 has 8GB of RAM and an option for a 256GB model.
Camera: The Pixel 6a has a 12.2MP wide-angle lens paired with a 12MP ultrawide. On the front, it has an 8MP selfie camera. Meanwhile, the Pixel 6 has a 50MP wide-angle, a 12MP ultrawide, and an 8 MP selfie camera. In brief, the Pixel 6 camera hardware is much better than what you’ll find in the Pixel 6a.
Features: There are some features the Pixel 6 supports that the Pixel 6a won’t, such as motion mode.
Colors: The Pixel 6 comes in three colorways: Sorta Seafoam, Kinda Coral, and Stormy Black. The Pixel 6a comes in three colorways as well, but they are slightly different: Chalk, Charcoal, and Sage.
See our full comparison of the Pixel 6 vs the Pixel 6a.
What are some good Google Pixel 6a alternatives?
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
When it comes to a phone’s cost-value ratio, few devices can compare to the Pixel A-series. Google crams a ton of value into its budget phones, which makes competitor devices seem a bit weaker in comparison. However, if you’d rather not get a Pixel 6a but stay in the same price bracket, here are some alternatives:
Samsung Galaxy A53 ($449): Samsung’s Galaxy A series has some serious pedigree nowadays. The Galaxy A53 is the newest phone that would compare to the Google Pixel 6a. You’ll get a bigger phone with more cameras on the back as well as a higher-quality display. You’ll also get a microSD card slot so you can add more storage. However, Google’s camera software is generally better than Samsung’s, and buyers might appreciate the slightly smaller footprint of the Pixel 6a.
OnePlus Nord 2 (£399(~$492)): You’ll need to not live in the United States for this one, but if you have access to it, it’s worth a look. It’s certainly not the best OnePlus device you can get, but it offers the core package at a decent price.
Apple iPhone SE (2023) ($429): Obviously, you’ll need to exit the world of Android for this one. However, if all you want is a phone that does the very basics and isn’t nearly as big as the Pixel 6a, this could be a good option. Just don’t expect any high-end features at all.
Where to buy the Google Pixel 6a
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
Google Pixel 6a: $449 / £399 / €459
Google launched the Pixel 6a on May 11, 2023, and it went up for pre-order on July 21, 2023. It’s now fully available in stores, as of July 28, 2023. The phone is available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, India, and the United States.
In the US, Verizon sells the phone, though with an increased price of $599. This is due to Verizon’s 5G network requiring mmWave support, something the Pixel 6a doesn’t offer in the unlocked standard model. For the record, this is the same situation that happened with the Google Pixel 6.
The phone has an IP67 rating. This means it is water-resistant in up to 1m of water for less than 30 minutes.
No, it does not charge wirelessly.
No, there is no charger in the box with the phone. You will need a charger with a speed of 18W or more to see the fastest charging speeds.
The Pixel 6a has the same update promise as the Pixel 6 series. That’s three Android upgrades and five years of security patches.
No, the phone doesn’t support either of these features. You will need to connect wired headphones through the phone’s USB-C port, and there is no option to add more storage than the included 128GB.
Quibi is yet another video-streaming service founded by a titan of the entertainment industry. Jeffrey Katzenberg has some serious Hollywood clout as chairman of Disney during its animation renaissance and co-founder of DreamWorks Animation. While Katzenberg certainly has the credentials, how does Quibi hope to differentiate itself in an already over-crowded field? Read on to find out what Quibi is all about and whether or not you should subscribe.What Does Quibi Even Mean?
Quibi stands for “quick bites” and doubles as the ethos of the entire platform. Quibi is hoping to pioneer a new way of consuming television. All of the content on Quibi will take the form of short, episodic TV and movies divided into “chapters.” This means that viewers can watch an episode from start to finish in five to ten minutes.
The idea stems from the fact that most people have periodic downtime in their day. Whether that’s on their daily commute to work or while they’re putting together something for dinner, Quibi hopes to fill these gaps in our day with content. Because Quibi is designed to be watched in moments of spontaneity, Quibi is only available on mobile devices.What Kind of Content Will Quibi Have?
Quibi isn’t going to simply chop up existing TV shows into more manageable run times. Instead, Quibi is investing heavily into original content made specifically for this new format. With approximately $1.75 billion to play with, Quibi is courting big name stars and creative talent to develop their shows. With that sort of cash, Quibi is aiming to cover all of the bases.
Are cooking shows your thing? How about immersive prestige dramas? Are you a reality junkie? Do you love to laugh? What about being scared senseless? Quibi is aiming to scratch virtually every entertainment itch you can imagine.
Furthermore, Quibi will also feature non-scripted content such as documentaries and shows dedicated to news and popular culture. At launch, Quibi will be home to approximately 50 different shows, but expect that number to increase as time goes on.
One of the most interesting facets of Quibi is its unique approach to the way we hold our devices. Quibi employs “Turnstyle,” a sort of pan-and-scan technique that seamlessly makes the best use of your screen real estate, whether you’re holding it in landscape or portrait.Criticisms of Quibi
Despite being only a few days old, Quibi already has its critics. The biggest complaint about the new streaming service seems to be the fact that Quibi is available exclusively for mobile devices. Because of this, Quibi is not available on TVs in any way, shape or form. There is no Quibi app available for Android TV or other smart TV platforms. Additionally, there are no apps for the Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV, Roku, game consoles or other streaming boxes. Furthermore, Quibi does not support Chromecast or AirPlay, so you can forget about casting your Quibi shows to your TV.Quibi Pricing Structure
Unlike other short-form video platforms like YouTube and TikTok, Quibi is a premium service. This means that there is no free option, so if you want to watch, you’re going to have to pony up those credit card details. That being said, Quibi is a bit cheaper than the competition. Quibi subscribers have a choice of two pricing tiers.
The base option is $4.99 per month; however, you’re going to have to sit through the occasional ad. Alternatively, you can opt for the premium tier which will run you $7.99 per month. These prices aren’t exactly cheap, and the folks at Quibi seem to recognize that. Because of this, Quibi is offering a 90-day free trial in the hopes of getting you hooked. But be quick – the 90-day free trial expires at the end of April.How Do I Get Quibi?
As we mentioned earlier, Quibi has been designed exclusively for mobile devices, and it doesn’t look like that will change any time soon. For better or worse, this means that everything Quibi has to offer is going to be delivered to you solely through the screen of your phone.
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At today’s launch here in Beijing Xiaomi Co-founder and CEO Lei Jun took to the stage and announced the Xiaomi Mi3 Android smartphone and the 47-inch Xiaomi TV, sorry guys there was no Xiaomi Tablet, Xiaomi laptop, Xiaomi games console or Red Rice WCDMA announced.
So what can we tell you about the Xiaomi Mi3 flagship phone?
Xiaomi Mi3 Design
The tipsters, insiders and sketchers got it right! The Xiaomi Mi3 does have a kind of Nokia Lumia look to it. It’s a design I secretly hoped for and I have not been disappointed when the final design flashed up on screen or I finally got the phone in hand!
The body of the Mi3 is alloy and measure in at 144 x 73.6 x 8.1mm. A large 3050mAh battery is sealed in to the stylish body (it is not user removable) and the SIM card fits inside a tray in the top of the device.
Multiple colours will be available and there is also an iPad style Smart Cover available for the phone to which protects the front and rear and also acts as a stand while watching movies.
5-inch 1080 display
The screen size and resolution didn’t come as a surprise either, and measures in at 5-inch with a FHD resolution of 1920 x 1080 and a pixel density of 441ppi.
No mention of if Xiaomi have decided to use Gorilla Glass or similar, however the OGS panel will still function accurately with wet hands or while wearing gloves. This isn’t to say the phone is waterproof, but if you happen to have wet hands or it is raining you can use the phone.
After having some hands on time with the Mi3 I can tell you the screen is a bright and crisp as any other 1080 phone, but no more so.
We had heard that Xiaomi would use either a Tegra 4 processor or Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, what we didn’t expect though was for 2 versions of the Mi3 with choices of both!
International Xiaomi Fans will only be interested in the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 unit which works with China Unicom here, and will support most international bands. The Tegra 4 version of the phone will only be of use to Chinese customers who use China Mobile’s own brand of 3G.
Interestingly Lei Jun mentioned that the Mi3 uses the most powerful version of the Snapdragon 800 CPU (8974AB), and even mentioned that the processor Xiaomi has chosen is faster the the S800 Samsung will have announced they will use.Gizchina News of the week
To show us how powerful Antutu scores of both Mi3 models were shown showing that the Tegra 4 model is the most powerful with a score of 36,582 while the S800 model get’s 36,026.
The Qualcomm version will run a 2.3Ghz processor with Adreno 330 graphics.
Both phones have 2GB DDR3 RAM and use faster 120mps memory for storage.
The rear camera on the Mi3 is a 13 mega-pixel sensor from the Sony stable with an Aperture of F2.2, 28mm wide angle lens. Images taken with the rear camera are really bright and crisp with tons of detail.
The front camera isn’t as great as we had hoped and is just a 2 mega-pixel sensor , but it has a larger 30mm wide lens, F2.2 aperture and the camera app features a more tuned version of the current ‘Beauty function’ to enhance facial features.
Speaking of the camera app, it has been updated with more adjustments than before allowing you to tweak every setting to get the perfect shot.
Other great features include the 3050mAh battery, Cirrus Logic and Dirac HD stereo sound, and a new immersion feature which changes the intensity of the phone vibration depending on what is shown on the screen (a great feature for games).
Like the Xiaomi Mi2A the Wifi has been updated to the faster 5Ghz frequency as well as 2.4G.
There is also built-in NFC, and enhanced GPS which will use the built in gyroscopic sensor to direct you if you loose GPS while heading in a tunnel.
USB OTG, Bluetooth 4.0, WIFI Direct, Mirracast and more are also included in the feature packed new phone.
Pricing and availability
The base model of the Xiaomi Mi3 with 16GB of memory will go on sale for 1999 Yuan ($320) while the top of the range model with 64GB is 2499 Yuan ($408). Both versions will be on sale in China for those of us with F codes from mid October.
There was no mention of an International release, but when Hugo Barra took to the stage he did say he planned spreading the word of MIUI and Xiaomi around the world, so it is likely still on the cards!
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