Trending March 2024 # A Great Phone That Happens To Have A 2Nd Display – Siswoo R9 Darkmoon # Suggested April 2024 # Top 9 Popular

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When I first learned that Siswoo had made a dual-screen phone, I got to thinking why? What really are the benefits of a secondary E-ink display? After a good search around and a lot of consideration I came up with 2. 1) An E-ink display uses less power and can prolong battery life, and 2) An E-ink display is better for reading in bright sunny conditions.

The first point can be seen as mute if you consider that having a second display by nature will take extra power from a phone, and that another display means less room for a larger battery. But this isn’t quite fair, at least for the R9 Darkmoon.

I’ve used the Siswoo R9 Darkmoon more than anyone (well anyone not at Siswoo) and with my hands on with the phone I came to the opinion that it isn’t fair to think of the R9 as a dual screen phone, it is much more than that.

First of all the build quality of the phone is above anything that similar Chinese manufacturers are able to achieve. The finish and fit of the alloy chassis is simply stunning, and the phone itself is surprisingly light-weight considering what it has to offer.

The front ‘main display’ is a really vibrant piece of kit. It’s 5.2-inch (the same size as I enjoyed on the Vivo Xshot) and boasts a Full HD resolution with a lovely 2.5D curve that matches the smooth alloy body.

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Siswoo even managed to do well with the cameras, giving the R9 Darkmoon a 13 mega-pixel main camera and 8 mega-pixel front, and if you want to share your photos quickly there is even NFC on board.

You see, even before we mention the Siswoo R9’s rear 4.7-inch E-ind display it is already shaping up to be a really well put together phone.

Now back to the point about battery life and the use of a secondary display. Siswoo have actually been working very closely with E-ink to ensure that users of the phone have a smooth transition from one screen to the other. The E-ink display does mean the battery in the R9 is just 2500mAh, but when not in use it doesn’t add to battery drainage. When the E-ink display is switched on it becomes the primary display, and uses such a small amount of power the battery life runs in to days!

And yes, viewing in direct sunlight on the E-ink rear panel is stunning, you simply cannot compare the E-ink panel for reading to a standard screen! Even one of high-resolution.

Siswoo R9 Darkmoon Gallery

Since Siswoo announced their R9 Darkmoon we have seen rival phone makers reveal that they too have dual screen phones, but we worry that the second display is going to be the main selling point of those phones, and the rest of the device (build, hardware, design) is going to be left to the last minute and rushed.

It’s interesting to see Siswoo, a comparably new phone maker, produce a product like the R9 Darkmoon. Every aspect of the device has been carefully considered to make it the best phone Siswoo have ever made, and the price reflects that. Its also impressive to see that Siswoo have managed to create a phone that can been seen as premium in its own right, rather than ‘just another dual screen device’.

We hope to receive a Siswoo R9 Darkmoon once production begins and the phone is officially onside, so keep your eye’s peeled for the full review.

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Realme X2 Pro Review: A Phone That Will Surprise You

Our Verdict

 Although it may sound cliché, Realme is trying to redefine the mid-range phone market with the X2 Pro, offering an unprecedented level of performance that will only be surpassed by much more expensive handsets. We especially like the variety of models and configurations to choose from, something which means you can get a 90Hz screen for under £400. For this and many other reasons which are outlined below, this phone is easy to recommend.

Although the initial lineup of Realme phones in Europe is somewhat limited (they can be counted on the fingers of one hand), the brand’s reputation and popularity has grown relatively quickly.

The Realme X2 Pro is the company’s most expensive model, but it is still among the most competitively priced phones at under £400. Also check out the Realme X50 Pro 5G.

In return you get the latest Snapdragon 855+ processor from Qualcomm, which reaches a clock speed of 2.96 Ghz and so will be free from any performance issues whatsoever. Let’s run through the different models and pricing.

Pricing and availability

The Realme X2 Pro is aiming to be the brand’s flagship model, combining speed, power and performance whilst maintaining a design that you typically only find in premium smartphones.

Realme has positioned the X2 Pro at a very interesting price point, and it comes in two different finishes – Neptune Blue and Lunar White. We tested the latter, which is particularly striking as the tones changes as they reflect the light.

We like the fact that there’s a variety of configurations to choose from, with Realme allowing you to choose between three different combinations of RAM and storage.

This is, of course, reflected in the price. The phone starts at £399 (€399) for 6GB/64GB, with another 8GB/128GB model and the maxed-out version we tried, which gets you 12GB/256GB for £499(€499).

Unfortunately, the only place we could find to buy the phone in the UK is Clove Technology, where you’ll pay £539.99 for the 8GB/128GB version. However, it might be worth importing from Spain, where you can pick it up the highest-specced model for just €449 on Amazon.

When you buy the phone, there are also additional discounts on some accessories, including two generations of wireless earbuds and a more robust cover to add to the one already in the box. Head to the Realme website to see the full range. 

Nonetheless, it faces strong competition from the best mid-range phones on the market.

Design and build

During its unveiling in Madrid, which we had the opportunity to attend, the company compared the X2 Pro to the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Xiaomi’s Mi 9T Pro, specifically in the areas of photography, battery life, charging speeds and screen quality.

If you’d like, you can read our in-depth reviews of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and the Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro.

There are plenty of notable design choices with the X2 Pro. Aesthetically we can’t ignore the generous 6.5in screen, but this shouldn’t make the phone unmanageable for most people. However, at 199g it is among the heaviest phones of 2023.

It differs slightly from other Realme phones on the back, with the quad camera setup moved to the centre of the phone as opposed to one side. The four lenses are aligned in a vertical row, although the camera module does protrude slightly from the back of the device. This can easily be fixed by applying the included silicone case.

The phone is a notorious fingerprint magnet, although the effects less noticeable on the lunar white model. The screen also suffers from smudges, but they are only visible when the screen is off. There is a teardrop notch here to house the 16Mp selfie camera, alongside an in-screen fingerprint scanner.

The glass back blends seamlessly into the curved edges of the device, which help with gripping the device when case-free.

It’s worth mentioning here that we were pleasantly surprised by the responsiveness of the device, as well as its strong performance in benchmark tests.

90Hz screen

At 6.5in, the X2 Pro adds just 0.1 in to the screen size of the regular X2, coming in with a 2400×1080 OLED panel. However, the most surprising thing here is the 90Hz refresh rate, something which is very surprising to see on a phone at this price point. Realme has likely been inspired by its successful implementation on the OnePlus 7T and 7T Pro.

Additionally, a maximum brightness of 480 nits means that outdoor visibility should be fine, even in direct sunlight. This should also help people who suffer with chronic tiredness or eye conditions such as presbyopia, as it makes reading on the phone easier.

The higher refresh rate can be toggled in settings, and makes a surprising difference when playing intense games or certain videos. However, it’s worth remembering that the 20:9 aspect ratio will leave black bars at either end of regular video, which is produced in a 16:9 format.

There are also options in settings to activate a blue light filter to combat visual fatigue. This is in addition to changing font sizes and customising the display to suit your tastes.

In everyday usage, you will notice the fast and smooth performance throughout the user interface, and there’s no latency even when multitasking or playing graphic-intensive games. Having 12GB of RAM definitely helps in this regard.

Performance

In terms of performance, the X2 Pro comes with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 Plus, its flagship processor for 2023. Combined with an Adreno 640 GPU, graphics performance is similarly impressive.

Qualcomm say this chipset is suitable for elite level gaming, so it should be able to compete with some of the best gaming phones on the market. The phone has some features perfect for mobile gaming, such as specific vibrations and excellent haptic feedback.

It offers a number of other useful tools, including the ability to respond to messages without leaving the game and easy screen capture and recording tools at your fingertips.

The UFS 3.0 memory storage also ensures data transfer speeds are among the best out there.

This stellar performance is exemplified in the chart below, where it is compared to some similarly priced handsets. These even include major players like OnePlus and Google.

Cameras

The four rear camera setup is headline by a primary 64Mp sensor. Raw files shot with this lens will be in a stunning 9280×6944 resolution, meaning you could print a 3.6m poster without losing resolution.

A second 13Mp telephoto lens provides 2x optical zoom, which can be extended to 20x with the help of software. We loved the UI in the camera app, which allowed us to quickly switch between modes at the touch of a button.

2x optical zoom is the standard so it’s nice to see that here, but we would recommend using the 20x hybrid zoom sparingly as sharpness can quickly be lost.

The third sensor, an 8Mp wide-angle, extended the field of view to 115 degrees, while the fourth and final time-of-flight (ToF) lens allows for greater depth measurements. As a result, sharpness is impressive both at the point of focus and the edges of the images.

Looking at the same image from above zoomed to 5x, the variation in brightness and colour information (known as noise) is much more noticeable.

In portrait mode, it’s nice to be able to choose how much background blur you want in your shots. You can choose anywhere between 0 and 100%, with it set to 60% by default.

There’s also some special modes available here, including Beauty, Nightscape and Chroma Boost. We were pretty impressed with the results, as they allow a lot of flexibility when shooting even before filters are applied.

The X2 Pro supports slow motion up to 960fps, and you can even use the ultra-wide camera to achieve this effect. You can get some great shots as a result, particularly with an ultra-stable mode activated.

The aforementioned Nightscape mode is quite impressive, but it can’t compete with the dedicated low light modes on the likes of the iPhone 11 Pro or Google Pixel 4.

Battery and fast charging

In order to compensate for the 90Hz display on the X2 Pro, Realme has included a large 4000mAh battery.

However, the more surprising thing here is the included Super VOOC Flash Charge, which supports an incredible 50W. This technology is known for its use in Oppo phones, where it has had great success.

The X2 Pro charged unlike anything we’ve seen before, reaching a full 100% in just 30 minutes. We can confidently say it’s the fastest charging we’ve ever tested on a phone, and should be a key factor in the decision over whether to purchase this phone.

What’s more, the X2 Pro includes a new heat dissipation process that allows it to cope with any significant temperature rises. A gel helps spread heat across the whole device, ensuring no one component will overheat as a result. This should help it cope with more intensive graphical processes, as well as the staggering new charging standard.

The battery itself lasted 8 hours and 37 minutes in our testing, meaning it should be able to comfortably exceed a day’s usage for most people. This is a similar result to the Redmi Note 8T, but significantly less than the incredible 13 hours and 13 minutes we recorded on the Xiaomi Mi Note 10.

Android Pie with ColorOS 6.1

ColorOS also has better optimisation for bezel-less screens, with easy access to the most popular functions and an improved notification bar that can be customised, depending on the style of display cut-out.

The aforementioned Hyper Boost allows you to easily switch between high performance and power-saving modes as it adapts to your own usage patterns.

The game assistant mode allows you to simplify managing notifications and creates easy shortcuts to the most common functions while gaming.

The Oppo Reno 10x Zoom was one of the first phones to come with this new version of ColorOS 6, and you can read our review of that phone here for a more in-depth look at the new software.

Verdict

The Realme X2 Pro has plenty of notable strengths, and the fact so many of premium features are being offered at this price point makes it easy to recommend.

We can’t think of any other phone which is offering a 90Hz display at this price point, not to mention the ultra-fast charge which will give you nearly 100% battery in the time it takes to have a shower or eat lunch.

It is worth mentioning some of the deficiencies with the X2 Pro, including the absence of an official IP rating for water and dust resistance, and no support for wireless charging. However, you can quickly forget about the latter when the wired charging is so impressive.

The quadruple rear camera system does not disappoint, producing photos with great sharpness and vivid colours that stand out. It has everything and more that most people are looking for in a phone, including great cameras, superb gaming performance and super-fast charging.

We are extremely satisfied with the end result, even if there is room for improvement in some aesthetic and design aspects. At 199g, we hope the next device is just a little more lightweight too.

Note: This story was originally published in Spanish on our sister site, PC World Spain.

Related stories for further reading Specs Realme X2 Pro: Specs

Connectivity: Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, NFC, 3.5mm headphone jack, dual stereo speakers

Main cameras: Quad sensor w/ 64MP (main), 13MP (tele), 8MP (wide), 2MP (depth)

Display: 6.5in 90Hz Super AMOLED Full HD+ (2400×1080) screen

Storage: 64GB (UFS 2.1)/128GB (UFS 3.0)/256GB (UFS 3.0)

Battery: 4000mAh w/ 50W SuperVOOC fast charging

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+

Colours: Neptune Blue, Lunar White

OS: Android 9 Pie w/ ColorOS 6.1

Dimensions: 161 x 75.7 x 8.7mm

RAM: 6GB/8GB/12GB

Front camera: 16MP

Weight: 199 grams

How To Become A Great Facebook Group Admin

If you own a business, run a non-profit, or have something similar that you want to spread a message about, Facebook is a great place to do it. With nearly 2.5 billion users, you can get great results from the social media platform. There are two ways to do this: you can start a Page or a Group.

Facebook pages are visible to everyone online, not just on Facebook, and are discoverable through search engines. These are useful if you want people to get information about your topic. Facebook users can become fans and interact with your posts.

Facebook groups allow users to get more personally involved with the topic. Membership in a group will enable them to post directly on the group feed and message other members. You can discuss issues and share related content with the group.

Creating Your Group

1. Go to your Facebook home page.

4. Give your group a name.

5. Add at least one friend to your group.

6. Select the privacy of your group. Private groups allow only the member to see the content. Anyone can see the content in a public group.

7. Choose whether to hide your group or make it visible.

9. Add a cover photo and a profile picture for your group. A cover photo should be 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall on the desktop. However, mobile users will only see an area 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall, chosen from the middle of the image.

Include information like:

Who you are.

The purpose of the group.

Who the group is for (and not for).

Rules and expectations for the group. Be specific. Make sure the rules are unambiguous because you will have members who will push the boundaries.

What the members can expect from the group.

Managing Group Members

Allow only legitimate members into your group. The best way to do this is to have your members answer specific questions to get into the group. This is also an excellent place to list your rules. Make one of the questions an agreement to follow them. Before approving the member, make sure their profile appears genuine, and see how long they’ve been a member of Facebook. Spammers will often have very new profiles.

Creating Engagement

Another way to increase engagement is to post regular updates. These can be anything from videos to pictures, polls, or questions. The biggest tip is to make these posts interactive. You want your members to respond to them in some way. Give each post a call to action such as “Respond with an emoji” or “Comment with your answer below.”

Offering regular events such as Facebook Lives, Watch Parties, or free challenges will create activity in your group, too.

Delegating Responsibility

It is your responsibility to moderate the activity in your group. There are group admin tools that can help with moderation, but there is no better way to do it than to keep a set of human eyes (or more) on the content. Consider making some of your more active members into moderators if your group is getting large.

You can also give your most reliable members admin privileges if you want them to have even more access to the page. Admins can do everything a moderator can do as well as remove or add new moderators and manage group settings such as the group name, cover images, and privacy settings.

Tracey Rosenberger

Tracey Rosenberger spent 26 years teaching elementary students, using technology to enhance learning. Now she’s excited to share helpful technology with teachers and everyone else who sees tech as intimidating.

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Luna Display Turns An Ipad Into A Mac Mini Display

How to Use iPad as Mac Mini Display for Any Mac with Luna Display

Your iPad becomes a wireless display for Mac mini, which is a stationary hub. The processing power of Mac mini and edge-to-edge retina display of iPad are at your fingertips.

You need to put a few things into place:

Your Mac mini (or any MacBook Pro/Air, iMac that has USB Type C port.)

Any iPad (except the first generation iPad.)

Luna Display

Accessories: A Bluetooth keyboard case, Mouse, and Apple Pencil (Second Generation)

Strong Wi-fi network

Step #1. You need to download Luna for Mac app on your Mac mini; for this purpose, keep your existing external display connected to the Mac mini.

Step #2. Next, launch System Preferences on your Mac mini.

Step #4. Connect your iPad to the same Wi-fi network as your Mac mini.

Note: If Wi-fi is not available, you can connect your two devices using a USB cable.

Step #5. Then you are required to download Luna Display app on your iPad.

Step #6. When both apps are installed on both devices, open Luna Display app and follow on-screen instructions.

You will be asked to insert Luna device into Mac mini.

Step #7. It is time to disconnect the external display from your Mac mini.

Note that if you use FileVault, you’ll still need an external display to unlock your drive whenever you reboot.

There you go!

Video: iPad touchscreen Mac Mini Setup

Now you can use your iPad as a Mac mini display.

Since Mac mini is shipped without a display, Luna Display finds a suitable usage for Mac mini users. One should not limit the use of Luna Display to Mac mini as users can always use this dongle with MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or an iMac.

Users, who wanted to experience superior graphics on iPad, can now use programs like Photoshop and Final Cut Pro on iPad.

When you wish to go back to iOS on your iPad, simply swipe up like you used to bring home screen on your iPad. Coming back to macOS is equally easy; just tap on Luna Display app to go back to macOS.

Is it a good deal?

Only if you have both devices at home or office. You should not buy an expensive iPad only to use it as your Mac mini display.

Luna Display: A sincere effort to rework Apple ecosystem

Apple is creating competition among its own devices; my article (linked above) hints at this point. For the last three years, Apple has made tremendous efforts to improve its iPad 12.9″ as the company knew that the large-screen tablet has nearly replaced laptops, though it hasn’t replaced computers yet.

Makers of Luna Display have not failed to sense this practice of Apple, as they note, “Anyone with a close eye on Apple will notice there’s a common theme with each hardware announcement: Apple is always trying to outdo itself by creating more powerful standalone products, as if each product is slowly creeping up on the boundaries of another product.”

Summing up…

While Apple could not (or they don’t want to) combine the iPad and Mac mini, Luna Display has successfully done this. Users will surely welcome this product to make their life more comfortable and mobile.

Related Posts:

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Jignesh

Jignesh Padhiyar is the co-founder of chúng tôi who has a keen eye for news, rumors, and all the unusual stuff around Apple products. During his tight schedule, Jignesh finds some moments of respite to share side-splitting content on social media.

What Happens When You Block A Number On Iphone

There’s someone bugging you with incessant phone calls and unsolicited messages. Blocking the person seems like the right thing to do but you’re not sure if that will stop the person from reaching you.

In this post, we’ll explain what happens when you block a number on iPhone and other Apple devices.

Table of Contents

But before that, let’s walk through the process of blocking a contact or phone number on your iPhone.

How To Block Phone Numbers on iPhone

There are about five different ways to block someone on an iPhone. You can block contacts from the Phone/Dialer app, the Messages app, FaceTime, and the Mail app. It’s also possible to block someone via the Contacts app.

Block Phone Numbers in the Phone app

Do you get annoying telemarketing calls or robocalls on your iPhone? Head to your device’s call log and contact list and block the number/person behind the calls.

Open the Phone app, go to the Contacts tab, and select the person or contact you want to block.

Scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap Block this Caller.

Tap Block Contact on the confirmation prompt to proceed.

If the number is unsaved, head to the Recent tab, tap the info icon next to the number, and select Block this Caller.

Block Phone Numbers in the Messages app

If an unknown number or saved contact keeps spamming you with unsolicited texts, block the person directly within the Messages app.

Launch the Messages app and open the conversation or text from the number. Afterward, tap the person’s name or number, tap Info on the next page, select Block this Caller, and tap Block Contact.

Blocking a contact will equally block all numbers associated with the contact. If a contact card has more than one phone number, the person won’t be able to reach you from all phone numbers after blocking the contact.

You can block unknown numbers and unwanted callers using third-party caller ID apps. Proceed to the next section to learn how the native iOS “Block” feature prevents unwanted calls, texts, and emails.

Now that you know how to block a number on an iPhone, let’s examine what happens when you do so.

Text Messages and iMessage

Blocked numbers cannot reach you via SMS or iMessage. Whatever messages a blocked contact sends to your phone number will not be delivered to your iPhone.

The blocked individual may get charged for the message(s) by their mobile carrier. The text message or iMessage may even appear as “Delivered” on the blocked person’s device, but you won’t receive the text(s).

We should mention that text you send to blocked contacts (via iMessage) won’t get delivered. But you can send SMS and MMS messages to a blocked number/contact.

Phone Calls

Like text messages, you also won’t receive phone calls from blocked contacts. Your iPhone won’t ring when they call you, and neither will the call attempt appear in your device’s call log. You also won’t get a missed call notification.

When someone you blocked calls you, the caller is automatically diverted to your voicemail. You won’t get a notification for the voicemail. Plus, the voicemail won’t appear at the top of the Voicemail tab in the Phone app. You’ll have to scroll to the “Blocked Messages” section of your iPhone’s voicemail inbox—located at the bottom of the voicemail tab.

A blocked caller might also get a service response that your number is busy or unreachable—depending on your cellular carrier.

FaceTime Audio and Video Calls

If the person you blocked uses FaceTime, they won’t be able to reach you via FaceTime audio and video calls. When they place a FaceTime call to your number, the call rings on their device but you won’t get a notification on your iPhone.

Interestingly, you can still reach blocked numbers via FaceTime audio and video calls.

Mail and iCloud

What happens when you block a number on your iPhone? iOS blocks all phone numbers and email addresses associated with the contact. Therefore, the person won’t be able to send you emails from the blocked address in the Apple Mail app.

If you don’t want emails from blocked contacts delivered to your inbox, head to the Mail settings menu and modify the “Blocked Sender Options.”

That’ll automatically file emails from blocked contacts to the Trash folder in the Mail app.

Mind you, blocked email addresses can still send you emails via third-party email apps like Gmail, Outlook, etc. Don’t want to receive emails from blocked addresses in third-party apps? Head to the apps’ settings menu and block the address/contact.

Manage Blocked Contacts

iOS maintains a list of blocked contacts in your iPhone’s Settings menu. There are several ways to view a full list of blocked contacts on your iPhone.

To delete a phone number or email address from the list, select Edit, tap the red minus button next to the number and select Unblock. Afterward, tap Done to save the changes.

Say Bye to Unwanted Calls and Messages

Blocking a contact or phone number is the best way to avoid unwanted spam calls and messages. The block feature in iOS prevents incoming calls, SMS, MMS, iMessage, FaceTime, and emails.

While email blocking works across all Apple devices linked to your iCloud email, other forms of blocking are device-specific. A blocked number can reach you via phone calls or SMS if you change your phone or insert your SIM in a new iPhone or Android device.

Additionally, a blocked contact may still be able to reach you via calls and texts on third-party apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, etc. If you don’t want to receive messages from the contact on these apps, block the person’s number in that app’s settings menu.

Playstation Plus: A Great Idea Bereft Of Content

Expected since E3 if slightly hazy in terms of specifics, Sony’s PlayStation Plus subscriber service is now available for gamers willing to part with $50 a year. All you need is the latest 3.40 firmware update, a credit card number, and a bit of disposable income.

I just pulled it down–a trifle slow coming, through whether size or traffic-related I couldn’t say–and ran through the subscriber options to see whether it’s worth $50.

3.40’s Free Side

Not everything in 3.40 takes credit cards. For instance: You can now edit video content saved to the PS3 and upload that video to YouTube or Facebook. Using the feature’s as simple as tapping on the Video Editor & Uploader icon–two stacked dots topped by a triangle. I had to download an additional 44MB update to get started, after which a simple “add,” “edit,” and “finish” interface let me import and tinker with various video slices. A note warns that video copied to the system prior to the 3.40 update won’t work (it’ll have to be recopied) nor will “copyright-protected” content, for obvious reasons.

System Auto-Off now defaults to 2 hours and offers several alternative settings (1, 3, or 5), though why you can’t just plug in a number manually seems odd. Why not 4, 6, or for that matter, 10.5?

Perhaps the best new gratis feature is five-star rating support–long overdue, and available on the Xbox 360’s LIVE service since 2008–which lets you rate PlayStation Store content. Scan around the Store and you’ll notice games are already racking up ratings by the hundreds.

Next: PlayStation Plus Troubles…

PlayStation Plus Troubles

The first icon lets you subscribe to the service itself. Tapping it brings up two options: A $49.99 one year package (currently offering an additional three bonus months) or a less ardent $17.99 three-month alternative. Both offer full access to the full service, which includes full game trial versions (try before you buy), early access to demos and game purchases, and exclusive discounts and free games from the PlayStation Store.

I opted for the $50 annual subscription, at which point a disclaimer popped up warning that “automatic funding [would] be set to on,” and that if my “wallet” didn’t have enough funds when the automatic subscription came due, “it [would] be automatically funded from the credit card on record to cover the renewal cost.”

Lucky me, when I went to confirm (with $0 in my wallet) I received the dreaded 80023102 error, which like most PS3 error codes told me absolutely nothing about how to solve the problem. A Google search turned up dozens of posts (like this one) from people unable to add funds to their wallets. I backed out of the Store to my account settings, and sure enough, my credit card information was out of date. Shame on me, but really–how hard would it be for Sony to offer a simple message saying as much at point of purchase?

Next: Behind the Paywall

Behind the Paywall

What do you get for $50 a year? At this point, not much. I counted nine total PP options, including a trial version of inFAMOUS, free full versions of Rally Cross ($5.99), Age of Zombies ($4.99), a Warhawk Fallen Star content pack ($1.99), a Fat Princess: Fat Roles expansion pack ($4.99), and Wipeout HD (19.99), a lone sci-fi theme, and–wait for it–two Fat Princess avatars.

Additionally, Midway and TikGames-Creat Studios were offering a handful of specially priced items, including stuff like Midway’s Mortal Kombat II (regularly $4.99, discounted to $2.50) and TiKGames-Create Studios’ Wakeboarding HD (regularly $14.99, discounted to $11.99).

But that’s it. All told, it’s more like a sampler platter of what to expect–trial versions, freebies, and discounts–when the service finally ramps up. I though that’d be now, but alas, we’re left to hypotheticals and unofficial conjecture about a holiday content fulfillment period.

Conclusion? Just Wait

So is it worth $50 a year? Clearly not yet. The potential’s there, sure, but Sony needs more content in a hurry, and content that caters to a much broader palette of player tastes, before it can justify the $50 annual price tag. It’s not enough to tally up what’s there and stipulate that it exceeds $50. I’ve already played and beat inFAMOUS. I’m not that into racing games like Wipeout or strategy-lite stuff like Age of Zombies or Fat Princess. And I don’t get much of charge from revisiting oldies like Mortal Kombat II, Gauntlet II, Rampage, and Rampart, all of which cost me extra dough anyway.

Unless any of that stuff really and truly appeals to you (or you’re just big on Sony charity) I’d pass on PlayStation Plus and wait for the service to fill up the cupboards. The content as-is feels like a press demo, not a public rollout. Give it a few months to blossom. Besides, how hard could it really be to add a few dozen more games, freebies, and discounts?

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