Adobe Photoshop prices are set to rise: here are some great alternatives

Adobe is the latest in an increasingly long line of businesses that has announced it’ll be raising prices for its UK customers in response to the pound’s fluctuating value against the dollar.

The company behind popular, and for some essential, products such as Photoshop, Lightroom, InDesign, and Illustrator sent its customers an email stating that because of “recent changes in exchange rates” Creative Cloud subscriptions would be rising in price from March 6. 

Adobe’s official blog post on the subject is fairly scant when it comes to exactly how much the prices are rising, stating that Swedish and Brazilian customers will also see a rise and that “existing customers will receive information about their subscription pricing directly from Adobe.”

Price edit

It seems that the amount subscriptions are rising varies from user to user, with people taking to social media to express their annoyance that the price they’re paying is rising by anything from 10% all the way to 60%.

According to DigitalArtsOnline, students are being hit worst with their subscriptions rising by 60%.

Subscribers on annual plans won’t see their prices rise in March like monthly subscribers as their subscription has been paid, but after their annual term ends they’ll be subject to a price increase. 

We’ve reached out to Adobe to request the exact details of the price rises and we’ll update with their response.

Regardless of exactly how much costs are set to rise, Adobe’s creative software isn’t exactly cheap to start with. For those who rely on its products for their studies or freelance work, any increase could hit hard. 

Some worthy alternatives

Outside of professional spheres, the most widely used piece of software that’ll be subject to a price rise is probably Photoshop so in light of that we’ve decided to flag up some free alternatives. 

They may not have all the features that make Photoshop the first choice for professionals but for everyone else they’re worthy alternatives. 

Our first suggestion is GIMP which is by far the best free Photoshop alternative. It has fully customizable masks, layers, advanced filters, color adjustments and transformations as well as a wealth of user-created plugins and scripts which replicate popular Photoshop tools. 

Even better, it comes with an excellent in-depth user manual to help you get started without a fuss.  

Photo Pos Pro is another excellent alternative which has interfaces to accommodate both beginners and advanced users, the latter of which closely resembles Photoshop. If you find GIMP’s endless lists and menus intimidating and/or exhausting Photo Pos Pro could be the option for you. 

Its main drawback is the limit on save file sizes (1,024 x 2,014 pixels), but if you decide you like the basic version and want to upgrade, Photo Pos Pro Premium is currently discounted to £17.67 which is a reasonable price for a stellar Photoshop alternative. 

  • There are several other free alternatives that may appeal to you, the rest of which you can find here.

The best free stock photo sites 2017

Free stock photo sites

Stock photography has something of a bad rap – it’s often a bit cheesy (aptly illustrated by Tumblr blog Women Laughing Alone with Salad ) and even when you find something suitable for the project you’re working on, you might have to fork out for a costly subscription fee.

It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Thanks to talented and generous photographers, there are thousands of stunning original photos in the public domain. We’ve collected the five best free stock photography sites where you can find great pictures for all your projects.

All of their photos are free to use without attribution for personal, editorial or commercial purposes. However, there are still a couple of restrictions to bear in mind. The main limitations apply to photos of identifiable people, trademarked products and privately owned property (not only people’s homes, but also and some landmarks). Getty Images has an excellent guide to intellectual property, which is worth checking out before you get started. 

You might also be interested in our list of free alternatives to Adobe Photoshop. 

Unsplash features work by very talented photographers, including superb wildlife photography that you won’t find on other stock photo sites – free or premium

1. Unsplash

Stunning pictures from professional and semi-professional photographers

Unsplash is a well curated collection of beautiful photos donated by skilled photographers, and has been used to create some stunning work. https://madewith.unsplash.com There are fewer images than you’ll find on Pixabay, but the quality is more consistent.

Unsplash’s search tool is the fastest way to find a picture, but if you have a little time of your hands, check out Collections – groups of photos sorted by other users into themes like Light and Shadow, Street Life, and Into the Wild. You can create your own collections after signing up for an account. They’re ideal for inspiration, or gathering resources for a project.

As with all the stock photography sites here, it’s not necessary to credit the photographer, but Unsplash notes that it’s nice to add a simple credit with a link back to their profile as a courtesy. The picture featured here is by Carl Flor.

Unsplash

Pixabay’s landscape and nature photography are particular strengths, and there’s a great selection of portraits to use in your projects as well

2. Pixabay

The biggest collection of free stock photos and illustrations online

Pixabay is packed with well over a million public domain images – not only photos, but also illustrations, vector graphics, and even a handful of videos. Its selection of landscape photography is particularly strong, and the Editor’s Choice is well worth a look if you don’t have something specific in mind. 

Once you’ve found a suitable picture, choose an appropriate resolution (print projects will need a much higher resolution than online ones) and complete a Captcha to download the file. You can cut out the Captcha by signing up for a free account.

The vast majority of pictures on Pixabay are safe for work, but to avoid anything explicit appearing in search results, make sure you check the Enable SafeSearch box before browsing.

Pixabay

We love Ryan McGuire’s sense of humour. Use his quirky photos to bring your own work to life

3. Gratisography

A collection of fun and surreal photos that provide a breath of fresh air

If you’re looking for something a bit quirky, Gratisography – a collection of pictures by talented photographer and graphic designer Ryan McGuire – is perfect. Ryan’s photos often have a surreal edge, and are brilliant if you’re sick of dull stock photo clichés; there are no women laughing alone with salad here.

Gratisography doesn’t offer as much content as some other free stock photo sites, but Ryan’s creative eye makes up for that, and he adds new pictures every week. You can subscribe to his newsletter for update alerts, or keep an eye on his Twitter account.

It’s not essential to credit Ryan, but he appreciates it if you do.

Gratisography

Pexels features lots of photos of smartphones and laptops, which are ideal for interface mockups, but there are some wonderfully atmospheric images as well

4. Pexels

Free public domain stock photos from around the world

Anyone is welcome to upload photos to Pexels, and the site’s curators will pick out the best shots to populate its searchable collection of public domain images. You can search for something specific, or browse by themes including pastimes, emotions, and locations.

Pexels is a particularly good choice for web or app designers, with an excellent set of device images that are ideal for displaying interface mockups. A couple of images stray close to stock photo cheesiness (ideas that are tricky to illustrate spelled out with scrabble tiles, for example), but the vast majority are creative and original.

Pexels has a category dedicated to space photography, which looks amazing, but bear in mind that some of the material is from NASA – one of the organizations whose images should only be used in specific contexts.

Pexels

Many of Negative Space’s contributors hail from London, as their choice of subjects demonstrates

5. Negative Space

Free stock pictures from up-and-coming photographers 

Anyone with a camera is invited to contribute to Negative Space, which aims to give amateur photographers a platform to share their work with the world and support fellow creatives. 

As with Gratisography, you can subscribe to Negative Space’s newsletter for updates when new images are added, and because the content is refreshed so frequently, it’s well worth re-visiting to look for new pictures if you’ve been working on a project for a while. 

Negative Space is based in the UK, so much of the photography features British scenes. At the time of writing, the collection several shots of architecture in London, so it’s worth checking out this guide to intellectual property and the London skyline before using these.

Negative Space

LG G6 release date, news and rumors

Update: The LG G6 price could be higher than the G5’s according to a new rumor, while names of possible variants of the handset have also leaked.

The LG G6 will be the South Korean firm’s flagship smartphone for 2017, taking over from the questionable G5.

The LG G5 certainly wasn’t boring though. With two rear cameras and an accessory slot that allowed you to modify the hardware it was a phone that really thought outside the box.

But while these extras were great, it didn’t nail all the basics and failed to sell well, so there’s plenty of room for improvement for the LG G6.

Rumors for what LG is planning on its next flagship phone are growing steadily – here’s everything we know so far about the LG G6.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next flagship phone from LG
  • When’s it out? Launch on February 26 at MWC 2017
  • What will it cost? Likely around £490/$600/AU$820 SIM free

LG G6 release date

Hottest leaks

  • LG G6 launch set for February 26
  • LG G6 release date rumored for March
LG G6 rumored specs

Dimensions: 148.8 x 72.3 x 8.3mm
OS: Android 7 Nougat
Screen size: 5.7-inch with 18:9 aspect ratio
Resolution: 1440 x 2560
CPU: Snapdragon 821
Battery: removable
Rear camera: dual-lens
– Fingerprint scanner
– Wireless charging
– Headphone jack

The LG G6 release date is almost certainly February 26, as the company’s press conference is scheduled for noon in Barcelona.

LG’s actually spells out the time and date without mentioning the new phone, but it does frame the invite in a hint-driven 18:9 aspect ratio – the same as the rumored LG G6 extra-wide screen.

Furthermore, a YouTube video direct from LG confirmed it will be launching  in February 2017.

The video doesn’t confirm it’s the LG G6 either, but it would make sense as the LG G5 was announced in February 2016 and launched in April. The LG G4 also landed in April, so April 2017 seems a good bet for release date of LG G6.

If it’s launched in February, it may not take two months to come out as LG said the G6 is launching “in the very near future.”

A report from “industry insiders” also suggests the company wants to release the LG G6 closer to the announcement date and will push to get the phone on sale in late February or early March.

LG G6 design

Hottest leaks:

  • A luxurious look
  • A glass or metal body
  • No modules

LG G6 leaks hint at a more stylish look and solid build quality than we’ve seen from LG’s previous phone. An anonymous source told Korean site ChosunBiz LG will be using a tempered glass back on the new flagship.

LG G5

The contrasts with the LG G5, which had a painted aluminum body that some didn’t like. Being glass, it may not be as durable as a full-metal jacket would be, but that may be the price we pay for a better looking phone from LG.

Then again, LG might not be moving away from metal after all, with another source claiming the G6 will have “a highly reflective metallic material on the rear.”

Although we haven’t spotted leaked images of the back of the handset, we have seen the front in a leaked photo, and it’s showing a near bezel-less screen.

The closest we’ve come to getting a look at the back of the phone are screen renders from @OnLeaks that are supposedly based on an official factory CAD.

The leak adds that the dimensions are apparently be 148.8 x 72.3 x 8.3mm, which would make it a similar size to the LG G5, but marginally thicker.

Whatever design it gets, the focus according to LG is on “aesthetics and usability.”

The interchangeable modules – or what LG calls “friends” – are out by the sounds of things, with LG’s chief technologist Skott Ahn saying that LG is moving away from modular designs. 

It’s a decision we’ve been expecting, with an earlier report from the Electronic Times in Korea saying the same thing, while another source claimed the decision had been made in order to make the LG G6 waterproof.

LG’s first teaser video for the G6 features the word waterproof, so we can expect this to be the first phone from LG to feature a water tight design.

TechRadar’s take: LG is sure to be putting a lot of focus on the design of the G6, so expect something shiny and stylish.

LG G6 display

Hottest leaks:

  • Large, 5.7-inch Quad HD display
  • Minimal bezels around the screen
  • An ultra-wide 18:9 aspect ratio

There aren’t too many mysteries surrounding the LG G6’s screen, as LG Display itself has said that the company’s next smartphone (believed to be the G6) will have a 5.7-inch QHD LCD display.

They add that it has an 18:9 aspect ratio, so it’s longer than most screens, which makes it ideal for split-screen apps.

We’ve seen the top half of this display in a recent LG G6 photo leak, which backs up claims that it’ll have a 90% screen-to-body ratio with minimal bezel. 

Another leak of a prototype adds extra evidence the LG G6 will be slimming down the bezel further than ever before, as well as including chamfered edges.

Credit: Droid Life

Dubbed QHD+, this screen is 1440 x 2880, for a pixel density of 564 pixels per inch. It’s also apparently 30% less power hungry than the previous generation of LG QHD displays, as well as having smaller bezels, better touch performance, and being easier to view in direct sunlight.

That would make for a big change from the 5.3-inch QHD screen in the LG G5, but then changing things up is no bad thing.

However, it’s not 100% confirmed that this screen is coming to the G6, and it’s at odds with earlier rumors, including one which suggested LG is looking to make an OLED panel for its smartphones in the future, and maybe even curved ones.

LG already produces OLED displays for TVs as well as the Apple Watch Series 2, so it would make sense if the company installed one on the G6 – but it looks like it won’t be ready in time.

Lg G5

Another earlier leak, this time from Gear India, which includes renders of the phone, states the LG G6 will have a 5.3-inch QHD display, just like the LG G5.

TechRadar’s take: A 5.7-inch QHD screen has been all but confirmed, so that’s what we expect to see.

LG G6 camera and battery

Hottest leaks:

  • A dual-lens camera
  • A removable battery
  • Heat pipes to keep the battery cool

There aren’t any camera rumors yet, other than leaked renders which show a dual-lens snapper, just like the LG G5. Expect to see a return of both standard and wide-angle lenses, but likely with improvements – perhaps a higher megapixel count or greater optical zoom.

The main thing we’ve heard about the battery is that it may be removable, but not everyone agrees.

It shouldn’t be in any danger of overheating though, as LG has confirmed that it’s using heat pipes to pull heat away from the battery and other core components, as well as putting the battery through rigorous tests to ensure its safety.

LG G6 OS and power

  • Powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 chipset
  • This chip is at heart of the Google Pixel, OnePlus 3T

The LG G6 specs call for a powerful Snapdragon 821 chipset, which also appears inside the Google Pixel, Google Pixel XL and OnePlus 3T.

It’s plenty powerful and capable of running Google Daydream View VR games, but it’s soon to be dethroned by the better-equipped Snapdragon 835 chipset.

Why not go with the absolute best chip? Samsung is manufacturing Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 and likely hogged the first 10nm chips for the Galaxy S8. 

A minimum of 4GB of RAM is sure to be included too, as the LG G5 has that much, but a boost is likely, given that already some phones have 6GB.

LG G6 other features

Hottest leaks:

  • Super speedy wireless charging
  • A headphone port
  • USB-C port for charging

LG announced a brand new wireless charging transmission module a few days after it revealed the LG G5.

The charging module can pump your phone battery up to 50% in 30 minutes, the same charging rate we see from fast chargers on phones like the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge.

This may mean we see the introduction of wireless charging on the LG G6, but the same sources speaking to ChosunBiz suggest it won’t be ready for the next flagship phone.

But since then LG has made the tech available to the public, which suggests that it could be ready after all. Plus another industry source has also suggested it will be ready in time for the LG G6, so cross your fingers.

We’ve also heard that the LG G6 will have a headphone port. This isn’t particularly surprising, but now that Apple’s ditched the port from the iPhone 7 it is worth mentioning.

Finally, this almost goes without saying, but a fingerprint scanner is a very likely inclusion, especially as leaked renders show the LG G6 with one.

It might not just be the LG G6 that makes an appearance in Barcelona though, as names of eight possible variants of the G6 have also appeared including the G6 Compact, G6 Lite, G6 Prix, G6 Fit and G6 Sense. We wonder if the last two there could be wearables rather smartphones – but we’ll have to wait an see.

TechRadar’s take: We doubt LG will ditch the headphone port just yet. Fast wireless charging meanwhile could be a significant selling point, so LG is likely to want to include it.

LG G6 price

According to LG, the G6 will have a similar price to the LG G5, likely coming in at $500-$600 (around £400-£490/AU$685-AU$820).

However, a more recent rumor suggests LG will hike the retail price by around $50 (around £40, AU$65) because of all the extra tech the firm is packing into the G6.

There silver lining is that the LG G5 dropped in price pretty quickly, so if you’re patient you may be able to get yourself a better deal if you wait a couple of months.

The best Sony Xperia XZ deals in February 2017

2017 is now in full swing, and tempting offers for the very best smartphones are coming thick and fast. If you’re on the hunt for Sony Xperia XZ deals then you’ve come to the right place.

Sony has produced remarkable phone with one of the market’s leading cameras and fantastic build quality. The 5.2-inch screen is 1080p and looks fantastic, and there’s plenty of power underneath the gorgeous exterior to make the Sony Xperia XZ one of the most powerful handsets on the market – and it’s comfortable to hold as well, despite the large screen size.

Despite being so new, the Xperia XZ already has some amazing deals that lets you take home the handset without any upfront cost, and we’ve collected the best of those deals below.

More options: Sony Xperia Z5 deals | Sony Xperia Z5 Compact deals | Sony Xperia XZ deals | Sony Xperia XZ Compact deals

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The UK’s best Sony Xperia XZ deals:

The best Sony Xperia XZ deals

Read further down the page to see all our recommended Sony Xperia XZ deals, but these top three are what we think are the absolute best Xperia XZ deals out there in the UK today.

Sony Xperia XZ deals

best Sony Xperia XZ deals

Sony Xperia XZ | £50 upfront | Unlimited mins | Unlimited texts | 1GB data | £25pm
If you want a cheap deal with low 4G data then you’ll have to pay upfront this month on O2. This deal gives you the handset for a reasonable £50 upfront cost, unlimited minutes and texts and 1GB of 4G data each month, and the monthly cost isn’t too high at £25. This is an example of a deal that lets you pay upfront for a more manageable monthly payment and lower overall cost. Total cost over 24 months is £650

Get this deal: from e2save

Sony Xperia XZ deals

best Sony Xperia XZ deals

Sony Xperia XZ | Free upfront | Unlimited mins | Unlimited texts | 3GB data | £32pm
This Sony Xperia XZ deal is very good if you like a bit more 4G data to check Facebook and listen to Spotify while you’re out and about. This deal comes with 3GB worth of data each month, unlimited minutes and all the texts you need. The new handset from Sony is also now thrown in for free as well and you also get £72 cashback, lowering the monthly payments to just £29! The total cost of this deal over 24 months is £696

Get this deal: from Mobile Phones Direct

sony xperia xz deals

best Sony Xperia XZ deals

Sony Xperia XZ | Free upfront | Unlimited mins | Unlimited texts | 8GB data | £36pm
Now this is a very tempting deal for the Sony Xperia XZ on the Three network. You get the handset for no upfront cost, unlimited minutes and texts and a very nice 8GB of 4G data each month, which should be more than enough for most people. Best of all, the monthly cost is reduced to £34.75 thanks to £30 cashback.  Total cost over 24 months is £834

Get this deal: from Mobile Phones Direct

Now let’s break down the best Sony Xperia XZ deals by network…

sony xperia xz deals

Best Sony Xperia xz deals on vodafone

Best Sony Xperia XZ deals on Vodafone

Offers extras like Spotify and Sky Sports

Sony Xperia XZ | Free upfront | Unlimited mins | Unlimited texts | 1GB data | £32pm
This is the cheapest Sony Xperia XZ deal on Vodafone and it doesn’t require you to pay anything up front for the handset, and it’s had a big price drop since last year. You get the brand new handset, unlimited minutes and texts and a 1GB of 4G data, which should be plenty for most people who only occasionally browse the internet on their smartphone. The total cost of this deal over 24 months is £768

Get this deal: from Mobile Phones Direct

sony xperia XZ deals

Sony Xperia XZ | Free upfront | Unlimited mins | Unlimited texts | 3GB data | £32pm
This Sony Xperia XZ deal is very good if you like a bit more 4G data to check Facebook and listen to Spotify while you’re out and about. This deal comes with 3GB worth of data each month, unlimited minutes and all the texts you need. The new handset from Sony is also now thrown in for free as well and you also get £72 cashback, lowering the monthly payments to just £29! The total cost of this deal over 24 months is £696

Get this deal: from Mobile Phones Direct

sony xperia XZ deals

Sony Xperia XZ | Free upfront | Unlimited mins | Unlimited texts | 6GB data | £37pm
This is another good deal for the Xperia XZ this month, once again with no upfront cost. You get unlimited minutes and texts and a large 6GB of 4G data each month – perfect if you want to use the Xperia XZ’s fantastic screen to watch films on Netflix. Best of all, there’s a £60 cashback offer that lowers the monthly costs to £34.50.  The total cost of this deal over 24 months is £828

Get this deal: from Mobile Phones Direct

sony xperia XZ deals

Best Sony Xperia XZ on EE

Best Sony Xperia XZ deals on EE

The place to go if you want high-speed 4G

Sony Xperia XZ | Free upfront | Unlimited mins | Unlimited texts | 1GB data | £30.99pm
EE kicks off its February Sony Xperia XZ offers with this rather tempting deal, which gives you the new handset for no upfront cost. The monthly price of £30.99 is pretty great, though you do make some concessions with this, as 4G data is capped at 1GB a month, although you should still be fine if you don’t do much browsing when you’re not connected to Wi-Fi. Total cost over 24 months is £743.76

Get this deal: from Affordablemobiles

sony xperia XZ deals

Sony Xperia XZ | Free upfront | 1000 mins | Unlimited texts | 2GB data | £33.49pm
This deal is more generous with its data allowance, and the cost per month isn’t that much higher. You get the Sony Xperia XZ handset thrown in for free, along with 2GB of 4G data and unlimited texts. Talk time is capped, however, but at 1000 minutes that should still be enough for most people. The monthly cost is pretty great considering how new the Xperia XZ is. Total cost over 24 months is £803.76

Get this deal: from Affordablemobiles.co.uk

sony xperia XZ deals

Sony Xperia XZ | Free upfront | Unlimited mins | Unlimited texts | 5GB data | £35.99pm
This Sony Xperia XZ deal is ideal for internet addicts as you get unlimited calls and a generous 5GB of 4G data each month, which should be plenty for most people, letting you stream music from Spotify without too much worry. Again, you get the Xperia XZ handset for free. Considering the free phone and generous allowances, this is definitely a deal worth considering. Total cost over 24 months is £863.76

Get this deal: from Affordablemobiles.co.uk

sony xperia XZ deals

Best Sony Xperia XZ on o2

Best Sony Xperia XZ deals on O2

The network with extras like O2 Priority

Sony Xperia XZ | £50 upfront | Unlimited mins | Unlimited texts | 1GB data | £25pm
If you want a cheap deal with low 4G data then you’ll have to pay upfront this month on O2. This deal gives you the handset for a reasonable £50 upfront cost, unlimited minutes and texts and 1GB of 4G data each month, and the monthly cost isn’t too high at £25. This is an example of a deal that lets you pay upfront for a more manageable monthly payment and lower overall cost. Total cost over 24 months is £650

Get this deal: from e2save

sony xperia XZ deals

Sony Xperia XZ | Free upfront | Unlimited mins | Unlimited texts | 3GB data | £39.50pm
This is an excellent Xperia XZ deal for February. You get unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and a very nice 3GB of 4G data each month, which gives you plenty of wriggle room to download apps and games, stream movies and music and browse the internet. The monthly payments are impressively low as well for such a great handset – which is also thrown in without an upfront cost. Total cost over 24 months is £948

Get this deal: from Carphone Warehouse

Sony Xperia XZ | £59.99 upfront | Unlimited mins | Unlimited texts | 5GB data | £38pm
Here’s another good deal from Carphone Warehouse. You get the Sony Xperia XZ for an upfront cost of £59.99, along with unlimited minutes and texts and a very generous 5GB of 4G data each month – which is great if you love checking Facebook throughout the day, or playing songs on Spotify. Total cost over 24 months is £971.99

Get this deal: from Carphone Warehouse

Best Sony Xperia XZ on Three

Best Sony Xperia XZ deals on Three

The network with unlimited data

Sony Xperia XZ | Free upfront | 600 mins | Unlimited texts | 1GB data | £33pm  
This Xperia XZ deal gives you 600 minutes and unlimited texts each month, along with 1GB of data. The monthly allowances may be modest, but so too is the monthly cost, as you only need to part with £33 each month, making this an affordable way to get your hands on Sony’s latest. Total cost over 24 months is £792

Get this deal: from Affordablemobiles

Sony Xperia XZ | Free upfront | Unlimited mins | Unlimited texts | 2GB data | £35pm
This deal gives you a bit more freedom, as the talk time has been boosted to unlimited minutes, and the 4G data allowance has been doubled to 2GB, while texts remain all-you-can-eat. The price hasn’t risen too dramatically at £35 a month, but we’d actually recommend the deal below, which offers better value for money. Total cost over 24 months is £886

Get this deal: from Affordablemobiles

Sony Xperia XZ | Free upfront | Unlimited mins | Unlimited texts | 8GB data | £36pm
Now this is a very tempting deal for the Sony Xperia XZ on the Three network. You get the handset for no upfront cost, unlimited minutes and texts and a very nice 8GB of 4G data each month, which should be more than enough for most people. Best of all, the monthly cost is reduced to £34.75 thanks to £30 cashback.  Total cost over 24 months is £834

Get this deal: from Mobile Phones Direct

The best Sony Xperia X Compact deals in February 2017

This is a great time to look for a new phone, and even though the January Sales have ended, February as still brought loads of discounts. If you’re looking for the best Sony Xperia X Compact deals, then you’ve come to the right place

We’ve scoured the internet to bring you the best, and cheapest, ways to get hold of Sony’s new smartphone. The Xperia X Compact is another fantastic smartphone from Sony, and it comes with a 4.6-inch 720p display, which fits comfortably in the hand. Once again Sony has produced a phone with one of the market’s leading cameras. At 23MP it’s definitely high resolution, and the autofocus has to be seen to be believed: 0.03 seconds is all it takes to get a sharp, clear picture.

With a smaller screen comes a smaller price tag as well, and as you’ll see from the deals below, there are plenty of affordable ways to get your hands on this mini wonder.

More options: Sony Xperia X deals | Sony Xperia Z5 deals | Sony Xperia Z5 Compact deals | Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

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The UK’s best Sony Xperia X Compact deals:

The best Sony Xperia X Compact deals

Read further down the page to see all our recommended Sony Xperia X Compact deals, but these top three are what we think are the absolute best Xperia X Compact deals out there in the UK today.

Sony Xperia X Compact deals

best Sony Xperia X Compact deals

Sony Xperia X Compact | Free upfront | Unlimited mins | Unlimited texts | 3GB data | £26.50pm
This is such good deal for the Sony Xperia X Compact, it almost makes all other deals this month redundant. In fact it’s so good, we had to double check it wasn’t a pricing error! You get a nice 3GB of 4G data each month for just £26.50 a month – which is a lot cheaper than many other deals that don’t offer as much data. 3GB should be plenty for most people, and you also get unlimited minutes, all the texts you need and a free Sony Xperia X Compact handset as well. This deal is the cheapest it has been since the Sony Xperia X Compact launched, so now is a great time to jump on board. Total cost of this deal over 24 months is £636

Get this deal: from Carphone Warehouse

Sony Xperia X Compact deals

best Sony Xperia X Compact deals

Sony Xperia X Compact | Free upfront | 2000 mins | 5000 texts | 4GB data | £25pm
This is an example of a Sony Xperia X Compact deal getting much better in the month of February. Last month this deal was £35 a month, but a hefty £10 a month price cut dramatically lowers the overall cost of this offer. There’s still caps to talk time (2000 minutes) and texts (5000), but that should be enough for all but the most tenacious chatter boxes, and 4GB of 4G data should keep Facebook fanatics and Spotify addicts happy. Total cost over 24 months is £600

Get this deal: from Mobile Phones Direct

sony xperia x Compact deals

best Sony Xperia X Compact deals

Sony Xperia X Compact | Free upfront | Unlimited mins | Unlimited texts | 24GB data | £32pm
This Sony Xperia X Compact deal is incredibly tempting, especially if you love streaming movies and music on your smartphone. You get a huge 24GB of 4G data each month, and it only costs £32 a month – the same price as many other deals this month that ‘only’ offer 6GB or less. You also get unlimited minutes and texts, and there’s no upfront cost for the phone.  The total cost of this deal over 24 months is £768

Get this deal: from Vodafone

Now let’s break down the best Sony Xperia X Compact deals by network…

sony xperia x Compact deals

Best Sony Xperia x Compact deals on vodafone

Best Sony Xperia X Compact deals on Vodafone

Offers extras like Spotify and Sky Sports

Sony Xperia X Compact | Free upfront | Unlimited mins | Unlimited texts | 1GB data | £28pm
If you’re looking for the cheapest way to get hold of a Sony Xperia X Compact, and you’re not that bothered about mobile data, then this is a fantastic deal. The Xperia X Compact is yours without an up front cost, you get unlimited minutes and texts, and you get 1GB of 4G data each month – all for a very low monthly cost of £28, that’s lowered even further to £20 thanks to a very generous £144 cashback offer. The total cost of this deal over 24 months is £480

Get this deal: from Mobile Phones Direct

sony xperia x Compact deals

Sony Xperia X Compact | Free upfront | Unlimited mins | Unlimited texts | 3GB data | £28pm
This Sony Xperia X Compact is a new deal for  which offers better value for money than you might assume at first. This is because the initial £28 a month cost (which is impressively low anyway) is reduced further thanks to £50 cashback, which lowers the amount you spend each month to £25.92. For that cost you get a free Xperia X Compact, unlimited mins and texts and a very decent 3GB of data. The total cost of this deal over 24 months is £622

Get this deal: from Mobile Phones Direct

sony xperia X Compact deals

 Sony Xperia X Compact | Free upfront | Unlimited mins | Unlimited texts | 24GB data | £32pm
Now this Sony Xperia X Compact deal is incredibly tempting, especially if you love streaming movies and music on your smartphone. You get a huge 24GB of 4G data each month, and it only costs £32 a month – the same price as many other deals this month that ‘only’ offer 6GB or less. You also get unlimited minutes and texts, and there’s no upfront cost for the phone.  The total cost of this deal over 24 months is £768

Get this deal: from Vodafone

sony xperia X Compact deals

Best Sony Xperia X Compact on o2

Best Sony Xperia X Compact deals on O2

The network with extras like O2 Priority

Sony Xperia X Compact | Free upfront | Unlimited mins | Unlimited texts | 3GB data | £26.50pm
This is such good deal for the Sony Xperia X Compact, it almost makes all other deals this month redundant. In fact it’s so good, we had to double check it wasn’t a pricing error! You get a nice 3GB of 4G data each month for just £26.50 a month – which is a lot cheaper than many other deals that don’t offer as much data. 3GB should be plenty for most people, and you also get unlimited minutes, all the texts you need and a free Sony Xperia X Compact handset as well. This deal is the cheapest it has been since the Sony Xperia X Compact launched, so now is a great time to jump on board. Total cost of this deal over 24 months is £636

Get this deal: from Carphone Warehouse

sony xperia X deals

Sony Xperia X Compact | Free upfront | Unlimited mins | Unlimited texts | 5GB data | £38pm
No upfront cost, a healthy 5GB of 4G data and a more than manageable £38 per month cost – this deal has the perfect balance of cost versus allowances, making it one of the best deals this month for a Sony Xperia X Compact. The 5GB of data each month means you can stream music from Spotify without worryl. The total cost of this deal over 24 months is £912

Get this deal: from e2save

sony xperia X deals

Sony Xperia X Compact | Free upfront | Unlimited mins | Unlimited texts | 10GB data | £43pm
If 5GB of 4G data each month isn’t enough, then this deal from O2 could be for you, as it comes with a whopping 10GB of super-fast mobile data each month. Even with a lot of streaming, downloading and browsing, you’d be hard pushed to go over that limit. This does come at a price: £43 per month to be precise. However, you get a free Xperia X Compact and unlimited minutes and texts as well. The total cost of this deal over 24 months is £1032

Get this deal: from e2save

sony xperia X deals

Best Sony Xperia X on EE

Best Sony Xperia X Compact deals on EE

The place to go if you want high-speed 4G

Sony Xperia X Compact | Free upfront | 100 mins | Unlimited texts | 2GB data | £23.49pm
If you want to stick to EE and want the cheapest possible Sony Xperia X Compact deal this month, then this is the offer for you. You only get 2GB of data every month (up from 1GB last month), which is plenty for many people, especially if you’re often connected to a Wi-Fi network. You also take a hit on call time, with the amount you’re able to chat capped at 1000 minutes  (again raised from last month’s 750 minute cap). This isn’t too bad if you’re not much of a talker, especially when the monthly cost is so low. This deal is the cheapest way to get a Sony Xperia X Compact without paying a penny upfront, and its increased talk time and data cap is very welcome. Total cost over 24 months is £563.76

Get this deal: from Mobiles.co.uk

sony xperia X deals

Sony Xperia X Compact | Free upfront | Unlimited mins | Unlimited texts | 3GB data | £30.99pm
If you don’t want to pay anything upfront then this deal is worth considering. For £30.99 you get unlimited texts and a decent 3GB of data, which even if you’re a bit of a Spotify addict, you should be fine with. Calls are no longer capped, and you can fire off as many texts as your fingers can handle. The only downside of this deal is that it’s beaten by a more compelling offer below. The total cost of this deal over 24 months is £743.76

Get this deal: from Smart Phone Company

sony xperia X deals

Sony Xperia X Compact | Free upfront | Unlimited mins | Unlimited texts | 5GB data | £30.99pm
This is an excellent deal for the Xperia X Compact, and it’s even better than last month. You get the Xperia X Compact free, unlimited minutes and texts and a pretty hefty 5GB of 4G data each month, which gives you plenty of mobile internet to stream music from Spotify, Google Music or other services. Total cost over 24 months is £743.76

Get this deal: from Mobile Phones Direct

sony xperia X deals

Best Sony Xperia X on Talk Mobile

Best Sony Xperia X Compact deals on Talk Mobile

The low cost network from Vodafone

Sony Xperia X Compact | Free upfront | 500 mins | 5000 texts | 1GB data | £25pm
Many Sony Xperia X Compact deals come with unlimited calls and texts, as well as plenty of 4G data, which is not what this deal offers – but don’t dismiss it completely. While your call time is limited to 500 mins, and texts are capped at 5000 (which you’ll probably never send in a month). The monthly cost has also dropped considerably since last month (by £10 a month, which soon adds up), making this an even more tempting deal. Total cost over 24 months is £600

Get this deal: from Mobile Phones Direct

sony xperia X deals

Sony Xperia X Compact | Free upfront | 1000 mins | 5000 texts | 2GB data | £30pm
If you want a bit more data and talk time, then this Sony Xperia X Compact is worth considering. You get 1000 mins every month to chat to your friends and family, and 4G data has been boosted to 2GB a month, which gives you enough mobile data to browse the internet and listen to Spotify when out of the house. Total cost over 24 months is £720

Get this deal: from Mobile Phones Direct

sony xperia X deals

Sony Xperia X Compact | Free upfront | 2000 mins | 5000 texts | 4GB data | £25pm
This is another example of a Sony Xperia X Compact deal getting much better in the month of February. Last month this deal was £35 a month, but a hefty £10 a month price cut dramatically lowers the overall cost of this offer. There’s still caps to talk time (2000 minutes) and texts (5000), but that should be enough for all but the most tenacious chatter boxes, and 4GB of 4G data should keep Facebook fanatics and Spotify addicts happy. Total cost over 24 months is £600

Get this deal: from Mobile Phones Direct

10 best ways to share big files

True to its name, MediaFire is a trailblazer. Register for a free account and you get 10GB of storage. Connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts, install the mobile app, and refer friends to earn up to 40GB of bonus space. 

You can upload files either directly from your computer or the web, and generate a link which will allow others to download your files from the MediaFire website. 

Paid subscriptions begin from $3.75 a month (around £3, AU$5) and include 1TB of storage space, a hefty 20GB limit on file sizes, as well as eliminating annoying Captchas and ads. 

Another handy premium feature is one-time links which make sure that once your recipient downloads your files, they’re no longer accessible.

Moto G5 release date, news and rumors

Update: The Moto G5 Plus has appeared again, this time at the FCC with a 5.5-inch display and 3000mAh leaked in the filing.

The Moto G4, Moto G4 Plus and Moto G4 Play were some of the best budget phones of 2016, and we expect Motorola may have some big improvements in store for the next generation.

Word of the Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus has already begun leaking out and we may see Motorola’s new budget phones sooner rather than later.

If you’re after a low-cost, relatively high-spec phone upgrade soon, you should keep an eye on the Moto G5, Moto G5 Plus and Moto G5 Play.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next value-focused phone lineup from Motorola
  • When is it out? We expect May 2017, maybe earlier
  • What will it cost? Low price – expect around $199 (£169, AU$330)

Moto G5 release date

Motorola announced the Moto G4, Moto G4 Plus and Moto G4 Play in May 2016 and released the first two phones by June, with the G4 Play following in August.

We’d expect a similar release schedule for the Moto G5. Considering how Motorola has usually announced the G line in the past, we’d expect it to launch at its own event in May.

Moto G5 price 

Price will come down to what model of the phone you opt for, of course. The Moto G4 cost $199 (£169, around AU$330) and we’d expect a similar price point, if not a little higher for the Moto G5.

The Moto G4 Plus launched at the slightly higher price of $249 (£199, around AU$325) so we’d expect the Moto G5 Plus will be a similar price. However, the G4 Plus notably dropped in price quite quickly to make it only slightly more expensive than the Moto G4, so fingers crossed the Moto G5 Plus will do the same too.

The Moto G5 Play will likely be the cheapest phone in the range, as the G4 Play cost $149 (£129, AU$249).

Moto G5 design

Initially, we didn’t expect a major design change for the Moto G5 – the Moto G3 to the Moto G4 was a big change already – but recent leaks suggest the G5 range may be getting a very different look.

Leaked photos of what a source is calling the Moto G5 Plus suggests Motorola may be ready to graduate to using metal build materials on the cheaper Motorola range.

Studying the leaked image above, the size of the phone looks similar to the Moto G4, but it has a metal unibody design rather than plastic. There’s a large camera bump on the back of the phone and the Motorola logo is emblazoned just below it.

There’s a slot for your microSD and SIM cards, a volume rocker and power button on the right hand edge and a headphone jack at the bottom alongside the micro USB charging port.

Whether this leak is real is up in the air right now. It’s from a Romanian seller who advertised the phone as an early sample of the Moto G5 Plus on a marketplace site called OLX.

The source claims it will be announced officially in March this year, but it’s unclear where the photographed phone is from.

A press shot of the Moto G5 Plus has also leaked on Chinese social networking site Weibo, and it looks remarkably like the phone we’ve seen in the hands on shots.

If these aren’t real leaks, we’d expect it to be a similar design to previous Motorola phones, like the Moto G4. That said, any work Motorola can do to further blur the line between its budget and flagship lines will serve it well.

Moto G5 display 

A Brazilian outlet put up a listing for the Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus showing us what we’d originally expected. The Moto G5 should come with a 5-inch Full HD screen while the Moto G5 Plus will be 5.5-inch and also 1080p. 

The 5.5-inch display for the Moto G5 Plus has also appeared in an FCC filing in the US – adding more weight to the rumor.

There are no rumors for the Moto G5 Play yet, but we’d expect it to sport a 720p 5-inch display.

Moto G5 specs and features 

Both the standard Moto G5 and G5 Plus appear to have been submitted to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission – a US regulatory agency), as spotted by motog3.com, and both are listed as having a 3000mAh battery (the same size as the Moto G4’s), while the G5 filing also reveals NFC and a digital TV tuner of some kind.

The same specs were listed on a Brazilian site as well that revealed a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage in both the Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus.

Another leak also suggests there will be a 13MP rear camera and 5MP front-facing shooter on the Moto G5 Plus. Whether any of this will turn out to be true is currently unclear and we’ll have to wait a while to find out directly from Motorola.

Windows 10 gets Braille support and better caters for night owls

It’s preview build season, for sure, and Microsoft has pushed out another version of Windows 10 to testers, with the OS getting Braille support added along with improvements to ‘night light’ settings. Oh, and an absolute barrage of bug fixes.

Build 15025 has hit the Fast Ring and improves the accessibility armory of Windows 10 by introducing Braille support in Narrator (although note that this is still a beta feature).

Fire Narrator up and head to Settings > Ease of Access, then under Narrator settings, you’ll find the Download Braille button – click that to install support for the function, and then click the Enable Braille button (also in Ease of Access). You will, of course, need to possess and add a Braille display.

The Ease of Access section also got another tweak, with an option for mono audio to allow visually impaired users who are using a screen reader program to listen with just one earbud in and still hear every sound through that single speaker (in case they want to leave the other ear free to listen to the environment and conversations around them).

To sleep, perchance to dream…

Microsoft has also improved the night light settings which can be turned on when you’re working (or playing) on your PC late at night – it cuts down the levels of blue light, using warmer colors which are less likely to affect your sleep quality when you do hit the sack. The color temperature slider now works fully across its entire range, meaning it can be turned down to ‘very red’ (1200 K).

Preview build 15025 also witnessed an absolute raft of bug fixes, including solving an issue with games whereby after being minimized, the game was unable to be restored, plus extensions for the Edge browser should now all work correctly again.

For the full list of fixes, and also a number of issues to be aware of, check out Microsoft’s blog post here.

Pokemon GO broke the $1 billion mark

Pokemon GO was the biggest success in the mobile games industry for 2016, and it continues to rack up millions of dollars on daily basis. While it doesn’t generate the $18 million a day that it used to, it still manages to cash in with $1.5 to $2.5 million each day, seven months after its release in the US.

According to the app analytics company Sensor Tower, Pokemon GO managed to break the $1 billion mark in terms of revenue across all platforms. This makes it the fastest app to reach this milestone in mobile history, and it doesn’t show signs of stopping.

For comparison, Clash Royale, one of the most successful mobile games ever, was released exactly 11 months ago and it has yet to break the $1 billion mark. Additionally, in its first seven months it grossed half of what Pokemon GO did, or approximately $550 million.

The continued success of Pokemon GO, even during the cold months of the year, is thanks to the regular events, such as the Halloween Bash, among other things. And with major content updates rumored to be coming soon, it’s highly likely that the growth will continue.

source: SensorTower via TechCrunch

This neat Apple iPhone 8 concept has it all: smaller bezels, dual camera, and even a Touch Bar

Ah, concepts for future iPhone device, who doesn’t love these? 

We certainly do, which is precisely the reason why we got so excited about a particular YouTube video that has been making the rounds since February 1 and shows us what that rumored super-premium iPhone 8 could theoretically end up looking like. 

In particular, this latest concept takes a bunch of the more exciting rumors we’ve heard close to heart, most notably the oft-repeated one which claims that the iPhone 8 (and possibly the 7s and 7s Plus) will have minimum bezels at the front. The concept doesn’t feature a wrap-around, edge-to-edge display, but it does away with the top and bottom bezels of the iPhone’s front and fills them with display. 

Surprisingly, we see a home button here – render artists often go wild and ditch these, but it’s nice to see that this one has taken a more down-to-earth approach. This doesn’t seem to be your regular iPhone home button, though: the button itself and the surrounding portion of the display are envisioned as functioning similarly to the cool TouchBar on the new MacBook Pro. Different app-specific buttons and toolbars seemingly appear at the bottom of the iPhone’s display. We can’t lie, this seems pretty neat, though we are certain it will remain merely wishful thinking.
You can check out the full conceptual video of the iPhone 8 down below. After you’re done with it, make sure to get back to Mother Earth and check out our full rumor review for the iPhone 7s, 7s Plus, and the iPhone 8.