Helping You Define Your Lifestyle

How Will the iPhone 8 Stack Up Against the Samsung Galaxy S8?

Apple released the last major iteration of the iPhone back in September 2016. With the Samsung Galaxy S8 already on shop shelves, it’s inevitable that the iPhone 8 will be unveiled relatively soon. As the pioneers of the modern smartphone gear up to unveil their latest creation (we’re not sure when this will be, but analysts expect the phone itself to be released in no more than three months), tech sites across the internet are almost overloaded with rumors and supposed leaks about the latest model.

In any case, we know that it’s going to be a big one, as it will mark the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone. So, today, we’re going to take a look at what the phone might feature, and compare it to the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Battery Woes

Starting with battery life, it’s going to be an uphill battle for Apple from the get-go. Their last model, the iPhone 7, failed to wow many tech-enthusiasts thanks to its mainly incremental upgrades. Even though it had a touted battery life increase of 10%, many people failed to see the benefits of that transition into their daily lives; it’s still very much a smartphone that’s going to be running low on power by 5pm if you’ve been using it even moderately throughout the day.

Following the disastrous fallout from their Galaxy Note 7 debacle (including, not least, phones which would spontaneously burst into flames), Samsung decided to push the game forward with their latest release. The S8 has a battery life of around 15 hours in real-world use, and this is a huge deal for customers who are tired of having to remember to bring their chargers with them (or having to race home to try to keep their phone alive).

Expecting the same battery life from modern smartphones that we used to see in cellphones of old is foolishness, but there are still big gains to be made for a manufacturer that can produce something that lasts for even 24 or 48 hours without needing a recharge.

Shortage Issues

KGI Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo (a particularly reliable speculator with regards to upcoming cell phones) has mentioned that Apple could struggle to produce a decent supply of the OLED panels that the iPhone 8 will be using. This could cause production to be delayed by as much as several months.

With the impressive Galaxy S8 already on the market, it’s not unreasonable to think that Apple’s mainstream customer base could become impatient with such a wait and instead make the switch over to its Android rival.

Guts and Bones

The innards of the iPhone 8 are speculated to include an A11 processor with between three and four gigabytes of RAM. This, couple with the inevitably optimized operating system and software, will more than likely make it a vastly superior performer to the S8 when it comes to benchmarking. This isn’t a huge surprise; Samsung can only optimize the Google-produced Android for their phones so much, while Apple have the luxury of developing their own bespoke systems which are expertly tailored to work with the hardware as fluidly as possible.

Camera

In recent releases, Samsung has been pretty dominant when it comes to cameras for their phones. In fact, Apple’s efforts look fairly mediocre in comparison. While neither phone can match something like the exceptionally-equipped Pixel XL phone, the iPhone 7 and Galaxy S8 both provide decent cameras. However, they struggle to produce the dynamic spectrum of light and color required to produce really exceptional pictures (especially in low-light conditions).

So, how will the iPhone fair when it’s finally released? Only time will tell. With the expected release only a few months away, it’s bound to be a telling time of whether or not Apple can deliver the goods when their back is up against the wall!

How to Use Poker as a Mindfulness Practice

Most common mindfulness practices are fundamentally simple. Things like deep breathing, counted breaths, and short breaks and walks can help to calm us, clear our minds, and generate simultaneous states of relaxation and awareness. As much purpose as these small, simple practices have though, there are also some more involved activities that can assist with the development of greater mindfulness. And it may surprise some to learn that the game of poker is among them.

Gaming and Meditation

It is first important to understand that a link has been established between gaming and meditation in general. For a long time there were a lot of misconceptions about gaming as an active, almost violent practice meant solely for young people. But perceptions have changed over time. We now understand that people in all age groups play games of all kinds, and we further accept that a lot of these games have meditative qualities. Gamer testaments and a few scientific studies alike have indicated that the right game can have a soothing effect on one’s mental state.

This is the case with poker as well. A passion for many around the world, it’s a unique game that doesn’t necessarily fall under the umbrella of traditional “gaming” as we tend to think of the term. It is nonetheless similar with regard to mindfulness, however. Approached with intention, it can be a calming, almost meditative hobby for players.

Mental and Emotional Calm

When considering the game of poker specifically, one tends to think first of strategy, luck, and mathematics. In some sense, these are the building blocks of any given game of poker, and it will of course be important for any aspiring player to learn how they all factor in. However, what really helps successful players to win at poker is a sound mindset. The manifestation of a sound overall poker game requires that players learn to accept defeat and to avoid getting too high from a win. It demands reasonable approaches to betting and competition, clear-eyed social interaction, and the ability to operate without ego.

Add those factors up, and what success in poker really demands is mental and emotional calm. Players need skill and strategy to be sure, but above all else they need to be able to clear their minds of various pressures and shut out hasty impulses. This in and of itself is nearly a form of meditation, and certainly serves as a sort of training for mindfulness practice.

Focused Meditation

Beyond helping players to establish a general sense of mental and emotional calm, poker also leads to an ability to focus that, in its own way, is meditative. Generally, a focused meditation is described as the practice of focusing on something intently as a way of staying in the present moment and slowing down inner dialogue. It more or less means zeroing in on one subject to the exclusion of all else for the purpose of clearing one’s head — which is pretty much exactly what one has to do in poker! Even the slightest distraction can be a problem, and while the game demands a lot of attention it still makes for such narrow focus that one can clear one’s mind in a useful and soothing way.

Even given all of these benefits, poker does not comprise an entire mindfulness or meditation routine. For those interested in working on these aspects of personal wellness though, it’s always good to have one more option! Some will find this simple, popular card game to be legitimately beneficial.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like our piece on how to boost your energy, especially useful as we enter a new year and search for fresh motivations!

Earfree Nitebuds: For Better Sleep

Earfree Nitebuds, the two-in-one speaker and pillow that plays calming music, improving the quality of your sleep, is launching on Indiegogo.

The idea for the Nitebuds sleep pillow came from people who used to sleep with earphones in. Many of us who have trouble sleeping at night use earphones to listen to calming sleep music, but sleeping with earphones in is just too uncomfortable. Using earphones while you sleep can cause pain and inflammation in the ear; plus, earphones tend to fall out in the middle of the night. But the adverse effects of earphones on ear health is undoubtedly the most critical of these issues.

Nitebuds puts music IN the pillow to solve the problems caused by conventional earbuds. All you have to do is lay your head down on the pillow to be serenated with lovely music. There’s no earbuds involved – so you can roll around in bed all you like without having to worry about damage to your ears or earbuds falling out.

Nitebuds are simple to use. Just place the speakers in the special sleep-aid pillow, then use Bluetooth to pair your smartphone and begin your music therapy. Once your music is playing, Nitebuds’ crater-shaped design enhances the acoustics, making you feel like you’re listening in on a concert hall performance. This design also prevents the sound from leaking out, giving you the same quality of sound at a 30% lower volume, so as not to bother whoever’s sleeping next to you.

The Nitebuds app also provides free ASMR music and ambience, soothing the brain and easing any anxiety. This white noise works has great benefits on mental health and attentiveness, making the sleep music from the Nitebuds app particularly effective at inducing a natural sleep.

Nitebuds uses 3D mesh material for full, fluffy comfort. The mesh also helps the music play through the pillow without getting muffled, plus high-quality microfiber cotton is also used to give the perfect amount of depth and coziness. The microfiber cotton is also a renewable, biodegradable material, which means Nitebuds is eco-friendly, too.

Even though Nitebuds is electronic, the speaker and pillow are fully separable, meaning the pillow can be washed without issue. If you want, you can even use the pillow by itself without the speakers, or even place other items inside the pillow to help you sleep.

For instance, if you find yourself sweating a lot in those hot summer nights, you can place ice-packs in the pillow to help cool off. Or, when you’re stressed out and in the mood for aromatherapy, the CYPRESS insert can be used for some phytoncide healing.

Also, if you have a preference for a specific pillow height, just use the COTTON insert to adjust the pillow’s height to your preference.

You can back Earfree Nitebuds – the high-tech pillow that serenades you to sleep – by finding their campaign on Indiegogo.