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Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus review
7:13 pm | February 28, 2022

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

Two-minute review

Before getting to to the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus it's worth noting that we now have a Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus hands-on review, as the S22 Plus's successor has been unveiled. You might also want to check out our Samsung Galaxy S23 hands-on review and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra hands-on review. So the S22 Plus is no longer one of Samsung's latest flagships. That doesn't mean it's not worth considering though.

That said, of the three members of Samsung’s 2022 flagship line, the Galaxy S22 Plus feels like the one that most people will forget about.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 is the one that’s easy to recommend: it’s small enough to fit comfortably in your hand, and has a low price that won’t immediately alienate buyers. And then there’s the S22 Ultra with its high price but its S Pen stylus, premium design and plentiful rear cameras which will interest those looking for a super-powerful handset.

Between those two phones, it’s harder to get excited for the Galaxy S22 Plus, the awkward middle child in Samsung’s 2022 family. It mostly has the same specs as the S22, and a similar design, but with a bigger screen and battery. Oh, and its price is a significant step up, too.

Like Samsung’s other S22 mobiles, the Galaxy S22 Plus remains one of the best phones in many different fields, but its high price and lack of upgrades over the S21 Plus make it look less appealing given the competitive actions of most rivals. Compared to the Xiaomi 12 Pro, OnePlus 10 Pro or Realme GT 2 Pro, or even affordable and capable alternatives like the Moto G200, Realme GT and OnePlus Nord 2, this is a really tough sell.

There are certainly some points in its favor. The Galaxy S22 Plus is great for taking portrait shots, and the camera app’s Portrait mode is fantastic both at the artificial background blur and for the range of effects and filters you can utilize. The camera app is great, and Single Take (which basically picks the best picture from a burst) remains a huge selling point for the company’s phones.

We also have to commend Samsung for being one of the few phone companies putting out vibrantly colored phones - we tested a pink S22 Plus, and other options include green, blue and violet. How many companies are putting out pink phones these days?

And in many other areas, this is a powerful phone, with a top-end chipset, decent battery life and great main camera. 

But while in many ways it's one of the best Samsung phones, it’s not a perfect phone, and we have quite a few gripes, too. With a flat edge, it’s not particularly comfortable to hold, and OneUI remains a sluggish-feeling software that’s slightly slower than other Android forks to use. Its display quality, charging speeds, and build quality are all decidedly average, too.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

Plus, it’s exceedingly expensive - we shouldn’t be calling a phone that costs this much ‘average’ in any way, and the overall use experience of this mobile is more comparable to mid-rangers than similarly priced Android or iPhone rivals you might be considering instead.

With a few discounts this phone might prove popular, but at its current price, it’s hard to recommend.

If, however, you're looking for the perfect Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus audio partner, you may want to check out our Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro review.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus price and availability

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus price starts at $999.99 / £949 / AU$1,549 - and if you winced at that, you’re not going to like the prices for its other variants, which you can find listed below.

For context, the standard Galaxy S22 starts at $799 / £769 / AU$1,249 while the lowest price for the S22 Ultra is $1,199.99 / £1,149 / AU$1,849. Last year’s S21 Plus cost exactly the same as the S22 Plus, so at least we’re not looking at a more expensive phone, even though the size decrease from last year made us hope for a lower price to match.

Either way, that’s a supremely expensive smartphone - but then again, Samsung’s S-series devices aren’t designed for people on a budget.

The Galaxy S22 Plus went on sale February 25 in the US, March 3 in Australia and March 11 in the UK.

You'll note that those dates were a while back now - long enough ago that you can often find the S22 Plus at a discount. In fact, it came out long enough ago that there's now a Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus, so S22 Plus prices are likely to further fall.


We both love and hate the way the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus’ design.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

We love the way it looks. The phone comes in white, black, green, pink, gray, cream, pale blue, and violet (the latter four are only available via Samsung’s website), so you have loads of choices in the shade with some great options. The Contour Cut camera bump is fairly distinct and chic, as far as smartphone lens mounts go at least, but it certainly makes the phone look distinct.

The hate factor becomes apparent when you pick up the phone though, as it just doesn’t feel comfortable. This is partly because of its palm-stretching size, but also thanks to its angular edge. It’s not quite as sharp as the iPhone 13’s totally flat edge, due to its slight curve, but it still digs into your hand when you’re using the device.

Beyond that, this is your standard Android phone. There’s a USB-C slot but no 3.5mm headphone jack, and both the power button and volume rocker are on the right edge (and are fairly easily reachable even when using the device one-handed).

The S22 Plus is a little on the big side, with dimensions of 157.4 x 75.8 x 7.6mm, but the ‘Plus’ in the name should mean that’s no surprise. It weighs 195g, so it’s not overwhelmingly heavy.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

One difference between this and the S21 Plus is the material - while that device was clad in plastic, this newer one uses glass, in particular Corning Gorilla Glass Victus Plus which is a hardy version of the material. This means it’s scratchproof and won’t disintegrate after a single drop. There’s also IP68 protection against dust and water submersion, so the device will survive a quick drop in the tub.


Samsung’s Galaxy S devices used to be industry-leading for its amazing-looking displays. While the S22 Ultra gets to keep this title, we’re not sure the S22 Plus deserves it. That’s not to say the display is bad looking, but it doesn’t stand out from the crowd.

The screen is 6.6 inches across - that’s 0.1 inches smaller than the S21 Plus’ - broken up by a fairly small punch-hole cut-out for the front-facing camera. The bezel around the display is pretty small.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

With a resolution of 1080 x 2340 (or FHD+), the S22 Plus has the same resolution as most other Android phones save for super-cheap or super-pricey phones, and thanks to its cost, we would have thought the Plus falls into that latter category. The Ultra has a screen with a 1440 x 3088 resolution, and we would have liked to see something similar here.

FHD+ is fine for most tasks though, as only select streaming services or games offer content that’s a higher resolution than that anyway. There’s also a refresh rate of 120Hz, which means motion looks pretty smooth when you’re swiping between menus or playing games.

While the resolution is pretty average, the S22 Plus wins some points in other display areas. Its max brightness is very high at 1,750 nits, and thanks to the AMOLED screen, contrast is impressive.


The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus has the same four cameras as its non-Plus counterpart: that’s a 50MP f/1.8 main, 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide and 10MP f/2.4 telephoto for 3x optical zoom on the back, and a 10MP f/2.2 front-facing camera on the other side.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

That camera combination is somewhat of a remix of the S21’s sensors, with only the ultra-wide and front-facers the same, and the most notable difference is the jump from a 12MP to 50MP main camera. 

This upgrade is welcome as the 50MP sensor  is a large one, so it ‘sees’ more light, resulting in brighter images and more vibrant colors. This is most noteworthy for low-light photography, as we managed to capture some surprisingly bright-looking snaps at nighttime, but also helps during the day to make colors stand out more.

The S22 Plus doesn’t quite have the camera versatility of its Ultra sibling, most notably with a greatly reduced zoom distance - max digital zoom is just 30x here. Still, some of its great features are here too, particularly Samsung’s fantastic Portrait mode which is second to none at isolating a subject, adding great-looking ‘Bokeh’ background blur, and letting you add a range of effects to the snap.

The rear trio works well together - jumping between ultra-wide, standard photos and zoom in the camera app is seamless, and pictures taken retain the same color profile, too. Ultra-wide pictures were a touch distorted, but not much - we had to specifically look for this to find it.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

The front-facing camera might sound iffy at just 10MP, but in practice images looked great, with vibrant colors and clear features. That was particularly true of Portrait mode on this camera, which was fantastic at balancing exposure - no overly bright background was going to ruin this selfie, no chance!

Video recording goes up to 8K, which we’ve no idea why any average user would  use. There’s also 4K recording at up to 60fps, and using a sub-8K-resolution also lets you use image smoothing and stabilization.

Some useful modes are present here, including Samsung’s Single Take which lets you record a video of a subject, and the camera app will pick out the best still shot from it and will edit it for you. This is a great way of letting AI do all the heavy lifting when you’re taking a snap.

Camera samples

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus camera sample

A sunset shot taken on the main camera (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus camera sample

An ultra-wide shot (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus camera sample

A 1x zoom shot (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus camera sample

A 3x zoom shot (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus camera sample

Some balls taken in macro mode (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus camera sample

A selfie taken without Portrait mode (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus camera sample

A selfie taken with Portrait mode (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus camera sample

Taken using Night mode during the nighttime (Image credit: Future)

Performance and specs

When it comes to performance, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus has two identities: in most of the world, it packs Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, while in Europe it uses Samsung’s Exynos 2200. Both are roughly equal in terms of performance, though Qualcomm’s processor generally has a slight edge over Samsung’s.

For our full review, we used the Exynos-powered phone, and it ran  well. When we put the device through a multi-core benchmark test using Geekbench 5, it returned a score of 3,431. That’s a very high score, and one of the highest we’ve seen from a Samsung phone too, but a few 2021 devices beat it, including the Xiaomi Mi 11, Realme GT, OnePlus 9, and ZTE Axon 30 Ultra. Those devices all use the Snapdragon 888, the predecessor to the 8 Gen 1, which points towards the Exynos chip being a tiny bit weaker.

We’re only talking about a couple of hundred points in the test though, and in practice, most people won’t notice that kind of difference. The phone is great for gaming as it loads titles quickly, doesn’t stutter during sessions, and lets you load up the top-graphics settings for games.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

There’s 8GB RAM here which is just about as much as any smartphone needs, and it’ll be useful for people who like jumping between different apps all the time. Storage comes in at 128GB or 256GB, but there’s no expandable storage, so you better be happy with whichever option you pick (or just use cloud storage).

Both chipsets are paired with 5G modems, so both of these phones let you connect to next-gen networks which is useful for streaming and gaming on the go.

We found the audio quality a tiny bit tinny when the phone was on higher volumes, but it was fit for something like gaming or taking video calls.


The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus comes with Android 12, with Samsung’s One UI laid over the top. At the S22 launch, Samsung pledged that its new phones would get at least four years of software updates, which will take you to Android 16 in 2026.

Android 12’s big feature is Material You, which lets you recolor aspects of the user interface to match your wallpaper, and that’s also here, to an extent, though it doesn’t affect too many aspects of the home screen and menus.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

One UI feels a little bit slower than lots of rival user interfaces like Xiaomi’s MIUI, OnePlus’ OxygenOS or even stock Android. The different animations for swiping between menus, opening apps and unlocking the phone all take a little longer than we’d like, and together these factors make navigating the phone feel sluggish.

Don’t get us wrong: using the S22 Plus isn’t the same as using a cheap phone. But it doesn’t quite feel like a flagship in terms of navigation either. This is something we’ve found with previous Samsung phones and it’s the case here, too.

Battery life

Many Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus reports criticized the phone’s battery life, but we can’t go that far. From our time testing the phone, the 4,500mAh battery saw the phone through a day of use just fine. Sure, the mobile didn’t last long into a second day, but most premium phones don’t.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

Obviously intensive tasks like gaming, streaming lots of media or recording high-res footage will drain the battery quickly, but even with bouts of all three we found the phone lasted a day just fine. It certainly had more lasting power than the S22 Ultra, which we tested separately.

If there’s something that does make us narrow our eyes in doubt, it’s the charging speed. Samsung claims that the phone charges at 45W, a figure that’s hard for average users to test given that the phone doesn’t come with an in-box charger. But when we used an 80W charger on the phone, it still took over two hours to power from empty to full.

That’s not 45W charging, and we’re not the only reviewers who’ve found issues with Samsung’s claims of 45W charging. It seems that the powering speed is closer to 20W, which really isn’t good for a phone that costs this much.

There’s also reverse wireless powering at 15W and reverse power-sharing at 4.5W (which lets you power up other devices using the Plus as a wireless charging pad). 

Should I buy the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus? 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

  • First reviewed February 2022
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review
6:26 pm | February 25, 2022

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Two-minute review

If we were to judge the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra on nothing but its cameras and, in particular, the optical and digitally-enhanced zoom capabilities, we might call it the best smartphone ever.

Or at least, the best phone of 2022. Its successor has since been announced though, so check out our hands-on Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review for first impressions of that. We also have a hands-on Samsung Galaxy S23 review and a hands-on Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus review.

Of course, even before its successor landed, it wouldn't have been fair to judge the S22 Ultra as the best based on its cameras alone – every handset is the sum of its design, features, components, utility, and value – but taken as a whole, this Samsung Galaxy Series-Galaxy Note hybrid is an excellent, albeit massive Android handset that not only ticks all the important boxes, but delivers more features than you may ever want or use.

The design is an echo of, but also more forward-leaning than, Samsung’s last Note device. It really is a hybrid. There will be no complaints about the ultra-high-resolution, 6.8-inch screen, which offers brilliant colors and smooth motion at 120Hz, but is smart enough to stop down all the way to 1Hz, when that’s all you need, to save on battery life.

The camera array is strong. Sure, it’s not a complete overhaul of the Galaxy S21’s camera system, but that was already pretty darn good. This is arguably better – the Optical and Space Zooms are simply marvels of modern technology.

We also love the thin and light S Pen, and we’re thrilled that it’s finally integrated – literally – into the Galaxy line. It does so many things so well, and for productivity-focused mobile users it could be a godsend.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra full back

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra's back is black, satin Gorilla Glass Victus+ (Image credit: Future)
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Specs

Display: 6.8-inch, Quad HD+
Dimensions: 77.9 x 163.3 x 8.9 mm
Weight: 229G
Screen refresh: 120Hz
Screen brightness: 1750 nits
Glass: Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+
Water resistance: IP68
Selfie camera: 40MP resolution
Main camera: 108MP resolution
Telephoto camera: 2 10MP resolution sensors
Ultrawide: 12MP resolution
Battery: 5000mAh
Memory: 8GB or 12GB available
Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB available

Samsung’s One UI 4.1 software is mostly good, even if it does create some duplication of browsers, photos, and messages apps. Other tools, like Expert Raw, a freely downloadable Samsung app that gives you full access to all the camera controls and lets you capture and save RAW format photos, and the video-conferencing app Google Duo, which both do an excellent job of showing off the phone’s power and versatility, are the real highlights here.

Performance-wise, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 4nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor acquits itself nicely (no, it doesn’t beat Apple’s A15 Bionic). The point is, we couldn't find a single app that was sluggish or disappointing on the mobile monolith.

Battery life was more of a mixed bag. We did get a full day of solid use (18 hours or so), but we thought we might get more out of the massive 5,000 mAh battery and high-performance, energy-efficient CPU.

Ultimately, though, this is the kind of device that can make you forget what’s come before it. If you were used to a smaller-screen device, you’ll feel cramped if you ever go back to it. If you struggled in the past to take photos of the moon, you’ll wonder why Apple hasn’t figured this out yet. If you wished that your device had just a little more power to complete those raw image-editing tasks, your wish has been granted.

Part of Samsung’s new S22 lineup, but looking nothing like its siblings, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is to the casual observer a Galaxy Note in a shiny, new coat. It does have a much bigger and bolder camera array (lifted pretty much intact from the S21 Ultra), but it’s otherwise a canny adjustment of the Note aesthetic or, as Samsung might call it, the “Note Experience.” Still, this adjustment leaves it as easily the best Samsung phone.

If you're looking for the perfect Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra audio partner, you may want to check out our Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro review.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Release date and price

  • Starts at $1,199.99 / £1,149 / AU$1,849 for 128GB storage and 8GB of RAM
  • Storage options up to 1TB, no microSD slot for expansion

A device that combines the best of Samsung’s S Series and the Note’s more industrial design and capabilities doesn't come cheap. The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra starts at $1,199.99 / £1,149 / AU$1,849 for 128GB storage and 8GB of RAM.

There are naturally bigger storage options (that also include more RAM), which can take you all the way to a 1TB model ($1,599.99 / £1,499 / AU$2,449 ). 256GB will run you $1,299,99 / £1,249 / AU$1,999, and 512GB is $1,399.99 / £1,329 / AU$2,149. 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

(Image credit: Future)

Choose your storage options wisely, because none of the Samsung Galaxy S22 phones come with a microSD card slot for upgrading your storage space.

The good news is, prices are often lower than that now that the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is getting on a bit - and they're likely to drop further now that the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has arrived.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Design and display

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Screen

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra's AMOLED screen measures 6.8-inches diagonally. (Image credit: Future)
  • Screen is 6.8-inch OLED with WQHD+ resolution
  • Armor Aluminum frame with Gorilla Glass Victus+
  • S Pen housed in a silo in the phone

An inarguably beautiful device, the 6.8-inch Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra – owing to its Note roots – doesn’t look much like the Galaxy S22 Plus. It starts from the original Galaxy Note 10 design but takes it forward with even more premium materials.

The frame is a solid Armor Aluminum that rigidly resists bends. Polished on the outside to a near-chrome finish, the metal is sandwiched between two Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+ plates. The front glass is high-gloss, and the back is a warm satin finish; both do a decent job of repelling fingerprints. The phone’s IP68-rated body also handily resided the water we ran over it.

The above finishes come in seven color options: Phantom Black, Phantom White, Burgundy, Green, Graphite, Sky Blue and Red. The dark green is sexy, but we’ve fallen in love with the inky Phantom Black of our test device.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

(Image credit: Future)

Did we mention that this is a big phone? Its dimensions are 163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9mm, which is taller than a 6.7-inch Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, but, somewhat surprisingly, at 229g, lighter than Apple’s biggest handset. Small hands will struggle with the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. The curved edges make the Galaxy S22 Ultra comfortable to hold, but the lack of edges also makes it feel slippery as a fish – albeit a fish made of hard glass and metal.

There are two flat surfaces, on the top and bottom of the device. The top plane is a mostly unbroken slab of metal, with one tiny drill-through hole for a microphone. The bottom surface houses the SIM slot, USB-C charging port (the phone ships with a USB-C cable but no charging brick- BYOB is a thing now), speaker grille, and the S Pen.

If you’re in any doubt that this is a Note in S Series clothing, you need only to press that slight bump on the base and pop out the familiar and light S Pen. It’s all the things a Samsung S Pen should be, giving up nothing for its new Galaxy S22 Ultra home. More on the stylus later.

The 6.8-inch AMOLED screen is another highlight. It supports up to 3088 x 1440 pixels (WQHD+) resolution, which works out to 500 ppi. The iPhone 13 Pro Max, by contrast, has 458ppi on its 6.7-inch 2778 x 1284 screen. It’s worth noting that the S22 Ultra’s default resolution is 2316 x 1080 (FHD+), which Samsung says uses somewhat less battery life – although halfway through our testing we switched to WQHD+ and didn’t notice much, if any, battery performance loss.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra base

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra edge

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra wet screen

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra wet screen (Image credit: Future)

Everything from games and videos to apps looks fantastic on the display, which now has the ability to smoothly shift from a 1Hz refresh rate all the way up to a butter-smooth 120Hz. Such adaptive technology can be hard to notice because, for instance, 1Hz might be used for the home screen or a word processor, while 120Hz might be called on for gaming.

The point is, when the imagery should be clean and smooth, it is. The lower refresh rates primarily help to conserve battery – there’s no need to update the screen more than a hundred times per second if nothing is moving.

With a peak brightness of 1750 nits and Samsung’s new Vision Booster technology, the screen does a decent job of maintaining visibility even in direct sunlight. Naturally, though, this means the brightness gets turned up to 100%, which will impact your daily battery life.

Hidden under the screen, roughly a third of the way up from the bottom edge, is the effective ultrasonic fingerprint reader. We found it easy to both register a finger and use it to unlock the phone. The other biometric security option is facial recognition, but Samsung warns that this isn’t as secure as other options, like a PIN or fingerprint.

There’s also a small drill hole through the screen for the 40MP front-facing camera.

Put simply, this is a lovely screen for viewing and writing.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Cameras

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra camera array

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra camera array (Image credit: Future)
  • Main camera is 108MP with f/1.8 aperture and an 85-defree FOV
  • Two telephoto lenses with 10MP sensors, one ultrawide 12MP sensor
  • Optical zoom up to 10x, Space Zoom enhanced up to 100x

When people say, “So, it’s basically a new Samsung Galaxy Note, right?” we have to flip over the phone to show them the camera array, which is a dead ringer for the one on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. 

Don’t worry, though – this is not some Frankenstein’s monster of smartphone design. Because Samsung has done away with the contour box that popped the whole thing up a millimeter or so above the back of the S21, the S22 Ultra’s array of five lenses looks perfectly at home.

The cameras don’t just look similar – they’re almost the same. There are two 10MP telephoto lenses: one is f/2.4 with a 36-degree field of view (FOV) and the other is f/4.9 with an 11-degree FOV. There’s also a 12MP ultrawide with a 120-degree FOV, and then there’s the 108MP main wide camera (f/1.8) with an 85-degree FOV. 

However, the technology backing these lenses has gotten an upgrade. While the image sensors haven't changed since the S21 Ultra, Samsung has done some work on optical image stabilization, digital image stabilization (for a better Super Steady system), and image processing. The result is better performance from all the lenses, but especially in the zoom arena. 

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra’s zoom capabilities simply blow away anything we’ve ever seen before from a mobile phone camera. Obviously, the 3x and 10x optical zoom are not only solid but offer clear images of distant objects with enough clarity that you can crop in on details without seeing much pixelation.

The 30x and especially 100x Space Zoom is where, at least in previous iterations of Samsung’s technology, you’d see significant artifacts in your photos.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 1x

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 1x (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 3x

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 3x (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 10x

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 10x (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 30x space zoom

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 30x space zoom (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 100x space zoom

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 100x space zoom (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Now, however, these images are shockingly good, at least at first glance. Sure, you can’t crop in too much without the images breaking down into a Picasso-like mess, but untouched, these can be perfectly shareable images.

Part of this has to do with the stabilization, which at 100x, basically takes control of the lens and holds a subject (like the moon) in the frame. It can feel a little like you’re no longer in control of the lens, but it does do a good job of countering your shaky hands.

Wide and ultrawide images also benefit from some new pixel sorcery. With the Galaxy S22 Ultra, Samsung introduced Adaptive Pixel. This takes nona-binning (first introduced with the S21 Ultra), which takes nine pixels of information and combines them for better color and contrast, and combines it with the full resolution of the 108MP wide-angle original. That lens also gets an auto-focus assist from what looks like a fifth lens on the back of the phone - it's actually a Laser Auto Focus sensor. If you look closely, you can see the little red laser light peeking out from behind the glass.

Virtually every image we shot looked great, even if we did detect a hint of over-saturation (it wouldn’t be Samsung if they didn’t over-saturate the image).

The front-facing camera, meanwhile, uses tetra-binning to combine four pixels into one for a high-quality 10MP image.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Nightography selfie

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Nightography night sky shot

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra long exposure pro camera settings test

(Image credit: Future)

Samsung’s lenses, stabilization, image sensors, and algorithms also make what the company calls ‘Nightography’ possible. While we don’t like the marketing term, the phone’s night-time and low-light photographic skills are clear. It can brighten a night sky to near daytime, capture the moon or your face in poor lighting, and has some long-exposure skills too.

The front and rear cameras do a nice job with portrait photography, courtesy of a Portrait mode that’s getting good enough to separate stray hairs from a bokeh background. Samsung told us this is due, in part, to its new depth map technology. The presets, which include the ability to create a virtual backdrop (a chromakey color is used so that you can easily substitute some other background later) are pretty good, as well.

You can also shoot some high-quality 4K video at 60fps, and up to 8K at 24fps. We were pleased with the results.

We were less impressed with the phone’s Portrait Video capabilities, which come nowhere close to the magic of Apple’s iPhone 13 line’s Cinematic mode video (it needs a face in frame to work). The auto-framing capability, which literally zooms the camera in and out to keep people in frame, doesn’t seem all that useful – we suspect it needs more refinement.

One thing we do appreciate about Samsung’s video shooting capabilities is that, unlike an iPhone, it lets you shoot video, hit pause, and continue shooting while keeping the entire shoot in one video file. Apple should add this feature ASAP.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Camera samples

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Space Zoom photo of almost full moon

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Space Zoom photo of almost full moon (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Space Zoom shot of the moon through trees

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Space Zoom shot of the moon through trees (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Space Zoom bird photo

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra sunset photo

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra ultrawide camera photo

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra optical zoom test

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra optical zoom test (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra front facing camera Portrait Mode test

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra front facing camera Portrait Mode test (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra portrait mode test

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra portrait mode test (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Space Zoom photo Freedom Tower from 3 miles away

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Space Zoom photo Freedom Tower from 3 miles away (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Pro Camera test full control shutter speed ISO

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Pro Camera test full control shutter speed ISO (Image credit: Future)

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: S Pen

  • Very light and versatile
  • Take notes on the lock screen

Aside from the awesome cameras, the main reason you’d spend all that extra dough on a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is for the integrated S Pen. The light and versatile stylus is hidden inside the phone’s body; it’s small, thin, and feels so easy to lose that you’ll wish there were magnets in the S Pen and on the body of the S22 Ultra to hold these companions together when you don’t slip the stylus inside the phone.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra S Pen

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra S Pen (Image credit: Future)

With the S Pen, you can take notes on a lock screen (they’re white ink on a black background), or open the phone and access a slide-in menu of eight customizable options. 

These include taking notes, viewing them, making smart selections of anything on the screen, drawing on a screen capture, live messages, doodling in augmented reality, translations, and PenUp, a community space where you can learn how to draw with the S Pen and share your creations with others. 

All of these features work as advertised, and offer fast ways of grabbing content, marking it up, and sharing with friends and coworkers.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra with S Pen on top

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra drawing with the S Pen

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra S Pen software menu

(Image credit: Future)

In our estimation, the S Pen is a wildly useful implement and, despite its small size (small for this reviewer’s hands anyway), it’s an effective drawing implement. We opened Sketchbook and had a great time drawing, especially because the pen and screen recognize pressure and angle.

The S Pen is also a solid productivity tool. We scrawled some notes in Samsung Notes and then let the system convert the scribbles to real text. It didn’t miss a word.

Overall, there’s a lot you can do with the S Pen, but it also follows the 80/20 rule – most of us will use 20% of the features, 80% of the time.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Software

  • Android 12 with Samsung One UI 4.1
  • Some apps, like Messages, are duplicated with Samsung and Google versions

While the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is an Android 12 phone - and one of the best Android phones at that - it’s also running One UI 4.1, the latest version of Samsung’s Android interface software. Like most Android overlays, this one isn’t primarily there to enforce a bespoke design aesthetic on top of pure Android; rather, it duplicates some utilities, like the web browser and photos apps, and adds tons of smart software touches and useful tools, like Samsung’s new Wallet, that should enhance the Android experience

Samsung’s onboard photo and video-editing capabilities, for example, are strong. We especially like the ability to magically remove an object from a photo, which worked like a charm on a photo of a dozen donuts – instead of eating them, we just selected them one by one and removed them from the original image. The software did leave behind a few telltale artifacts, but you'd be hard-pressed to tell what was there before we digitally removed a donut.

There’s also a freely downloadable Expert Raw app, which gives you access to all the pro shooting tools (ISO, white balance, focus, shutter speed) and lets you shoot raw images, which we then edited on the phone in Adobe’s Lightroom app.

It’s not great, however, that there’s both a Messages app and a Samsung Messages app. The icons look similar, but they’re two distinct apps. It’s this kind of nonsense that will always keep the Android messaging system slightly behind iOS’s iMessage. We want one system – the new RCS (Rich Communication Services) is fine – and complete cross-app compatibility.

Samsung has made a lot of noise about Google’s updated Google Duo video conferencing utility, which makes its debut on the S22 Ultra, and it does work as advertised. We made a Duo call to a friend, which looked and sounded good on both sides, and then quite effortlessly shared views of our screen, apps like Twitter, and played a YouTube video that we were both able to enjoy.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra connecting phone to Windows 11

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra connecting phone to Windows 11 (Image credit: Future)

Samsung is also strengthening its partnership with Microsoft, and we had no trouble adding our Microsoft account, which includes OneDrive and the Office Suite. It was also easy to connect the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra to our Windows 11 PC. 

We started the process on the phone, and then we had to visit a URL on the PC (it was supposed to pop up automatically, but didn’t) where we found a QR code. We pointed the S22 Ultra camera at the code, and the phone then guided us through the rest of the set-up process.

With the connection complete, we were able to control our phone through the desktop using our mouse; we even ran Asphalt 9 for a hot second before the connection crashed.

While, in our tests, it wasn’t immediately clear how having these platforms blended in this way benefits the user, we think the ability to quickly access on-phone data, messages, and calls is surely part of the attraction.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Specs and performance

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra with camera app open

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra with camera app open (Image credit: Future)
  • A 4nm processor, Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in most of the world
  • UK and Australia get Samsung Exynos 2200 chipset

Over almost a week of intense testing, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra never let us down. It’s a fast and powerful phone. The 4nm processor (in our test phone it’s the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset – UK or Australia will get Samsung’s own Exynos 2200 chipset.) doesn’t outperform Apple’s A15 Bionic in Geekbench benchmarks, but raw numbers never tell the full story.

For what it’s worth, here are the numbers for our device, which shipped with 12GB of memory and 256GB of storage). 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Geekbench benchmarks


Single Core: 1236
Multi-Core: 3417

OpenCL Score: 5866 

Apple’s numbers are better, but the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra didn’t feel any slower across all tasks. Perhaps the only situation where we detected a small stutter was on 8K video playback (that’s 8K video that we shot with the very same phone). 

This is also a gorgeous and quite powerful gaming phone, and handled my Asphalt 9 race through Barcelona without a single hiccup.

Call quality was generally excellent. We could hear our caller clearly, and they told us we were coming through equally clear. The 5G performance (we were on T-Mobile in the US) was, by turns, excellent and average – it seemed to depend on how close we were to a decent 5G tower.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Battery life

  • Large 5,000 mAh battery and wireless charging
  • Could not meet our expectations for battery life

Like the Galaxy S21 Ultra, the S22 Ultra features a beefy 5,000mAh battery and wireless charging. In our tests, the battery was good for a full day of varied activity (roughly from 7am to 11pm) but not much more (this was the same for mid-range and high-resolution screen settings). 

We were a little surprised that such a large battery didn’t provide a day and a half of battery life. Perhaps the new 4nm chip isn’t as efficient as Samsung had hoped. 

Samsung Galaxy S22 S Pen

(Image credit: Future)

The phone has a built-in vapor champer and heat-sync material. Even so, we detected some warmth on the back of the phone when performing a variety of tasks, including web browsing, photography, and gaming, for extended periods. We wonder if Samsung might be able to improve battery performance with some software tweaks.

As noted above, the phone doesn't ship with a charger, just the USB-C cable to connect to one – a potential shock for people upgrading from the previous Note. Also, the in-the-box package no longer includes a set of earbuds, and while this at least makes some sense, as the phone no longer has a 3.5mm headphone jack, you start to feel like Samsung is asking for more money while giving you less.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is probably not for everyone. It’s giant, expensive, and might be overkill for people who simply want a nice screen, decent photos, and a good on-screen social media experience. For those who want more, say a phone that is ready to run Raw photo editing apps, mark up screens and images, create detailed works of art and take zoom photos that will make you the envy of all your iPhone-carrying friends, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is worth every dime.

Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra?

Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra?

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

Don't buy if...

Also consider...

If the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review has you curious about the fastest smartphones on the market, you can read our full roundup of the best phones you can buy. 

First reviewed: February 2022

Kobo Sage review
9:40 am | February 16, 2022

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

Two-minute review

The Kobo Sage is ostensibly a more refined version of the now three-year-old Forma, one-upping Amazon’s Kindle Oasis by offering an 8-inch display that also boasts stylus support. It’s the first ‘mainstream’ Kobo ereader to come with the latter but, unlike the Elipsa (a bigger and more niche device), you’ll need to buy the Kobo Stylus separately.  

To further justify its premium price, the Sage has a noticeably improved chassis. Although it’s still plastic (unlike the metal body of the Kindle Oasis), it’s a step up from the slightly janky design of the Forma. The body has a cleaner and more elegant look with less distinct sections; it’s effectively just one front piece and one back piece that are cleanly sandwiched together.

Fitting into the sleeker chassis is the latest in E Ink displays. The 8-inch screen is now a Carta 1200 panel that enables faster page turns (Kobo claims it’s 20% more responsive than the previous-gen E Ink display) and has a higher contrast ratio that makes text appear sharper. Additionally, the new touchscreen integrates a ‘digitizer’ that allows handwriting and drawings to appear smoothly and clearly on the display.

Under the hood are even more notable changes, starting with a 1.8GHz quad core processor (inherited from the Elipsa) to keep the device running smoothly no matter how much you read or write on it. More importantly, there’s now 32GB of internal storage to store thousands of ebooks, notes and audiobooks.

Like the Libra 2 that launched alongside it, the Sage now has Bluetooth support built in. This allows you to pair a set of wireless headphones so you can listen to those aforementioned audiobooks, but note these have to be purchased directly from the Kobo Store, and can’t be sourced from elsewhere.

Despite all these improvements, the one area the Sage is a letdown is battery life. Unlike the Kobo Libra 2, which got a new 1,500mAh battery, the Sage sticks to the same 1,200mAh pack used in the Forma. It’s a strange choice, as the quad-core processor seems to suck up a lot more juice and, even after a recent firmware update that promised improvements, battery life on the Sage seems to max out at about 20 hours.

Somewhat frustratingly, though, the Sage’s design improvements over the Forma make the latter, older reader very hard to recommend at its current price, which is just $10 / £20 / AU$30 less.

If Kobo can address the battery issue, the Sage will get a lot closer to qualifying as the perfect package for anyone seeking a premium ereading and note-taking experience, especially since it packs OverDrive, Pocket and Dropbox integration too. With its sub-par battery life, however, it’s difficult to recommend for users who plan to use it exclusively for reading.

Kobo Sage on a table with headphones

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Price and availability

  • Announced October 2021
  • Launch price of $259.99 / £239.99 / AU$439.99
  • Kobo Plus available in select markets

The 8-inch Sage is Kobo’s most premium ebook reader (not counting the 10-inch Elipsa, which we consider a note-taking device first and ereader second) and as such it carried a high-ish price of $259.99 / £239.99 / AU$439.99 on release. As of February 2023, there has been a slight increase across all markets, and the Kobo Sage is now priced at $269.99 / £259.99 / AU$459.95.

For comparison, Amazon’s 32GB Wi-Fi Kindle Oasis is a touch more expensive at $299.99 / £259.99 / AU$449, but the Oasis does include an aluminum chassis, whereas the Sage uses soft-touch plastic (not to mention more functionality thanks to stylus support); the Kindle is undeniably the more premium option here. 

Depending on where you live, the Sage’s price is still a significant 50-60% step up from the next Kobo model down – that’s the 7-inch Libra 2, which sells for $189.99 / £169.99 / AU$299.99 and shares a very similar design in a slightly smaller (and arguably more convenient) size.

The Sage is now broadly available across the major regions that Kobo ereaders are sold in (North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania) and can be purchased directly from the Kobo online store in select markets.

Brightness settings on the Kobo Sage

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Design and display

  • Slightly refined body
  • 8-inch display
  • Latest E Ink screen tech

In many respects, the Sage is a more refined and polished version of the 2018 Kobo Forma. Both have an asymmetrical design and big 8-inch screens as their main draws, with the latter providing a significant step up from their 7-inch siblings in terms of visual real estate. That size difference may not sound like much on paper, but (as you can see in the side-by-side comparison image below) if you compare the Sage to the 7-inch Libra 2 in the flesh, you’ll find that the former is a surprising degree larger. 

Kobo Sage key specs

Kobo Sage sleepcover and stylus

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Display: 8-inch E Ink Carta 1200
Storage: 32GB
Processor: 1.8GHz quad-core
Battery: 1,200mAh
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB-C
Weight: 240.8g

The display on the Sage and Forma provide roughly the same amount of physical space as the page of a printed paperback and their bigger screens give you more flexibility when it comes to font size, and also means onscreen images are bigger – both elements that lead to a generally more comfortable reading experience. The larger display also makes reading comics and graphics novels a more pleasing experience, with fewer frames and speech bubbles getting cropped as compared to the Libra 2.

From a tech standpoint, the Sage’s screen has had a generational upgrade from the Forma – employing an E Ink Carta 1200 panel versus a Carta 1000 one – however both displays share the same 1,440 x 1,920 pixel resolution, so they’re essentially the same in terms of sharpness, packing in 300 pixels per inch (ppi).

In many respects that generational jump is a subtle one. As mentioned earlier, Kobo claims a 15% improvement in contrast on the Carta 1200 and while it’s true that when compared side by side, black text on the Sage appears ever-so-slightly darker than on the Forma, we suspect some of that may be down to the Sage screen’s panel being fractionally darker overall – it’s whitepoint is slightly yellow, as compared to the Forma’s marginally bluish hue.

One area where the Sage’s screen upgrade does become apparent is with images; there’s a clear improvement when rendering gradients, in particular. On the Forma, subtle changes in color (like you’ll see on clouds, clothing and skin tones) can often result in what’s called ‘banding’, where similar colors get smooshed together and rather than blending into one another, you end up with distinct different colors separated into clear layers or ‘bands’. The Sage’s next-gen display almost eliminates this issue and makes reading image-heavy content (like comics, online articles you’ve saved via Pocket, or just books with lots of pictures, diagrams or graphs) a more natural experience.

Kobo Sage and Kobo Libra 2 side-by-side

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Physically, the Sage has also seen some notable changes – although arguably not all of them are positive. The chassis design feels more robust and is undeniably cleaner, friendlier and overall just more attractive as compared to the Forma. Much of that comes from the new seamless, single-piece front face, which is only broken by the two page-turn buttons.

In the hand, the page-turn buttons are, physically at least, a step up from the Forma. While they’re in an almost identical position, they’re sleeker and more distinct – very reminiscent of the Kindle Oasis – and provide a cleaner and more satisfying click action, making the Forma’s buttons feel sloppy and spongy by comparison. Despite the similarity of the page-turn buttons to those on the Oasis, the Sage’s are a bit longer and widely spaced apart.

The robust soft-touch plastic back remains a single molded piece like on the Forma, wrapping around all four sides and coming up to meet the screen, which is now flush with the bezels as on the Kindle Oasis. Kobo’s designers have also moved the power button, so it’s now on the back of the reader rather than the spine, and it’s also round and significantly larger (similar to what’s on the Kobo Libra H2O and Libra 2 models).

The charge/data port is now a far more convenient USB-C – ereaders are one of the final categories that have been hanging onto the (now-ancient) USB micro-B, so this change is arguably well overdue.

One change we’re not so enamored with is the Sage’s thicker body, which is where we assume most of the device’s extra weight comes from; it’s 20% heavier than the Forma, at 241g vs 197g. And that is something that’s definitely felt in the hand – and almost doubly so if you’re using it with a cover, which takes the Sage to 400g on the dot; that’s considerably heavier than all but the chunkiest of paperbacks.

Kobo Sage's USB-C port

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Features and ease of use

  • Stylus support
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • 32GB storage

The Sage brings with it the same flexibility and range of features that we’ve come to expect from Kobo’s ereaders. On the hardware side, that means there’s IPX8 waterproofing, and on the software front there’s useful things like wide file-format support (ePub, PDF, TXT, RTF, Mobi, CBZ/CBR, BMP, PNG and more), the ability to sign into Adobe Digital Editions to read DRM-protected ePubs or PDFs you’ve bought from third-party ebook stores, and the potential to sync web articles via the Pocket ‘read-it-later’ service.

A more recent addition is Dropbox integration; it’s only available on the more premium Kobo ereaders, having debuted on the Forma. This allows you to save your personal digital library in the cloud and transfer ebooks and files back and forth wirelessly, without the need to ever plug your ereader into a computer.

And let’s not forget the quintessential Kobo feature – baked-in OverDrive support. Every Kobo ereader has this, including the Sage, and most libraries in countries where Kobo is available now allow users to borrow ebooks via the app – all you need is a library card.

Completely new is support for audiobooks, albeit at the requirement of pairing Bluetooth headphones. That’s thankfully easy to do, and similar to how it works on a phone. There’s one major audiobook caveat though – for the first time Kobo has shut its open-door and inclusive ecosystem by only allowing audiobooks purchased from its own store to play on the Sage (or Libra 2). Still, the catalogue is vast and you’ll find many popular titles on the Kobo Store.

In order to accommodate those audiobooks, the Sage comes with 32GB of internal storage by default – there's no long a smaller (and cheaper) option for those who might just want to stick with books.

Audiobook playback on the Kobo Sage

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Also new is the addition of a dark mode, thanks to that new generation of E Ink screen tech. Available under the Settings pane, this allows you to invert the default colors to display white text on a black background… or pretty much how dark mode works on phones and computer screens. It’s important to note that dark mode inverts colors only for ebooks you’re reading – the home screen remains the usual black on white.

If you’re not a fan of dark modes, then Kobo’s proprietary ComfortLight Pro technology should ease the strain on your eyes. This is available on pretty much every Kobo ereader and involves a series of white and amber LED lights embedded just under the bezels. If you like reading at night, then setting the light to automatically change from cooler hues to a warmer yellow light is possible. If you’d prefer a vibrant white screen, though, all amber LEDs switch off. This tech works remarkably well as the light is projected absolutely evenly throughout the screen, with no evidence of gradients, bright spots or shadows.

When it comes to the interface, the Sage retains an almost identical fixed setup as the Forma, which again largely revolves around books. A bank of icons across the bottom gives you quick access to the main areas and features: Home, My Books, My Notebooks and Discover (aka the Kobo Store and OverDrive library lending) as well as More for secondary areas, like settings, saved articles, activity tracking and so on. On that main home screen, a strip across the top displays the four most-recent titles you’ve had open with cover previews, and below this are two large tiles linking to My Books and a selection of titles from a specific author. Directly underneath those tiles are text links – the left to the Kobo Store, and the right a dynamic notification that cycles through various options; spruiking Kobo Plus subscriptions, what’s new in the latest firmware, or reminding you about saved Pocket articles, for example.

Kobo Sage in sleepcover with stylus

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Somewhat frustratingly, there’s still no way to customize the home screen – you can’t move elements around or replace less-used features with others (and reduce some repetition; there’s effectively two links to both the Kobo Store and My Books areas with the default setup). We’d love to be able to permanently pin a link to My Articles on the home screen, for example, rather than having to dig into the More menu to access it.

Arguably the biggest feature addition on the Sage is stylus support. If you’re old-school and like to jot down notes in margins of books or feel the need to doodle on the page, the Sage is the first mainstream ereader that lets you. However, as we’ve mentioned above, the Kobo Stylus is an additional accessory that needs to be purchased separately at a cost of $39.99 / £39.99 / AU$69.95. As with the larger Elipsa, the UX on the Sage includes a ‘My Notebooks’ tab on the homepage from where you can access all your notes and lists, and even upload those to Dropbox or transfer to a computer, if desired.

Notes app on the Kobo Sage

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Reading experience

  • Sharp, high contrast display
  • Redesigned page-turn buttons
  • Heavy in the hand

Reading on the Sage is for the most part a first-class experience. The large, sharp, high-contrast screen delivers great-looking text and images, and the speedy new processor makes page turns and other interface actions both fast and responsive. In many respects, however, the Sage’s improvements over the Forma are only marginal – and depending on your preferences, some of them could arguably be a step backwards.

Firstly, as we touched on above, the Sage feels heavier in use. While that weight isn’t too much more than on the Libra 2’s 215g, its distribution across a larger surface area does subjectively make it feel heavier and more fatiguing over the long term. In comparison,  we could single-handedly hold both the Libra 2 and Forma in the air for long periods of time but, even when not in its standard case (which takes the weight to 241g), the Sage does eventually start to feel heavy.

That’s not the only physical issue with the Sage – the ‘improved’ page-turn buttons now require a firm press to ensure they register. It’s possible to press hard enough that they’ll actually physically ‘click’ underneath your thumb, but not actually trigger a page turn. While the buttons operate as intended the majority of the time, they’re broken frequently enough that it does become frustrating – and interrupts your reading flow – because it’s not always obvious that the page hasn’t turned and you end up re-reading a line or two on top of the old page before you realise the error. It’s a flaw that we’re frankly surprised made it through quality-assurance testing. Ultimately, we tried to avoid using the Sage’s page-turn buttons and just resorted to tapping the screen all the time – that element, at least, works without fault. 

Redesigning the power button from that of the Forma was a good move by Kobo; its position on the back means it’s now easy to locate just by touch, and it provides a nice, crisp click that isn’t prone to accidental pushes. However, the new position means it’s not quite as simple to use one-handed unless you have something to rest it on (a bit of a pain if you’re, say, standing up on public transport). And if you’re using it with the sleepcover designed specifically for the Sage by Kobo, it’s completely covered up, unlike the two Libras that have cutouts in the cover to access it. This might seem like a minor irritant, but when your device has gone to sleep due to inactivity, the only way to switch it back on is to close and open the sleepcover, as opposed to just reaching for the button.

Text displayed on the Kobo Sage

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Writing and drawing experience

  • Stylus available as additional accessory
  • Smooth writing experience
  • Handwritten notes can be digitized and saved

As mentioned earlier, the Sage’s headline act is stylus support. This is an entirely optional extra, with the Kobo Stylus available for separate purchase at a cost of $39.99 / £39.99 / AU$69.95. If you choose to get the stylus, you’ll quickly find there’s nowhere to safely stow it (for that, you’ll need to pony up for the battery-equipped PowerCover, at $79.95 / £69.95 / AU$129.95), and chances are high it could just roll away and hide under some piece of furniture.

If you do manage to hold on to it, you’ll find it’s powered by a single non-rechargeable AAAA battery (it's thinne than the standard AAA battery), has a replaceable plastic nib and two buttons about an inch down the shaft – it’s the same pen that ships with the Elipsa. It’s all-metal body feels great in the hand and writing with it is quite natural. Using it also feels quite intuitive and you get used to the buttons very quickly – one lets you highlight text while reading, the other allows you to erase whatever you’ve done on the screen.

Writing or drawing with the Kobo Stylus is almost real time, with minimal lag before marks appear on screen – a few milliseconds at most. However, the 8-inch screen is still relatively small, so the margin space you have is limited on screen, and scribbling marginalia can feel cramped. That said, Kobo’s devs have been clever enough to realize that changing things like font style/size or margins will mess with the placement of notes, and have built in an option to switch back to the settings that were in place when the note was made.

Writing with the stylus on the Kobo Sage

(Image credit: TechRadar)

As well as being able to scribble in the margins of selected books (including sideloaded and Kobo Store-bought ePubs – with marginalia available under the Annotations section), the Sage also provides a dedicated My Notebooks app as on the Elipsa. This lets you create virtual notebooks, each with its own title and (theoretically) infinite pages inside it – a new blank page is created as soon as you enter anything on the ‘last’ one.

Within notebooks, there’s also the capacity to convert handwritten notes to digital text, and this generally worked well (even with our less-than-perfect handwriting), although it can sometimes take 20 or more seconds for the conversion to complete, depending on how much you’ve written.

If you’re a doodler, there’s a variety of pen styles to choose from (ballpoint, fountain, calligraphy, brush and highlighter), plus five widths and five shades, giving you plenty of flexibility to create quite detailed black-and-white art. However, with only two levels of pressure sensitivity and inability to zoom in, it’s not at the same level as a dedicated graphics tablet (or even an iPad) when it comes to image creation.

If you think you’ve made a mistake at any point, whether while writing or drawing, the eraser button on the stylus will let you remove any marks you’ve made (stroke by stroke) by just tapping it, making quick work of deleting whole words or lines.

Despite being able to scribble in margins of books, there’s sadly no way to attach a written note to highlighted text – as with other Kobo ereaders, text highlighting only supports typed notes using an onscreen keyboard. It feels like implementing handwriting here (even if it then needs to be converted to digital text) would have been a no-brainer – perhaps it’ll be made possible with a future firmware update.

Kobo Sage battery indicator

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Battery life

  • Poor battery life for an ereader
  • USB-C charging port
  • Additional PowerCover accessory works like a portable charger

One of the main reasons for choosing a dedicated E Ink reader over a small tablet (like an iPad mini or Kindle Fire, for example) for digital books is that ereaders provide significantly improved battery life – or at least they’re supposed to.

The Sage packs the same size li-ion battery as the Forma – a 1,200mAh pack – but sadly doesn’t offer anywhere near as much battery life as its older sibling. During our initial testing, we got no more than a maximum of 15 hours on a full charge (and that’s restricting use to just reading – no writing or browsing the Kobo Store), which is rather dismal for an ereader. 

We suspect the new quad-core processor and new digitizing layer in the screen (both of which are required for stylus support) are in large part responsible for the additional drain, but it’s worth noting that even if you’re not using the stylus (or don’t even have one paired) the Sage still depletes its battery much more swiftly than its predecessor.

A firmware update that arrived late in our testing did improve battery life marginally, extending reading-only time with the Sage up to about 18-20 hours, depending on backlight brightness and use. That’s a good improvement, but still far shy of the 35-40 hours you’ll get with the Forma, or the 50+ hours we achieved on the Libra 2.

Why Kobo decided to stick with a 1,200mAh pack for a device with a significantly more powerful processor is unclear (the Forma has a single-core 1GHz chip, while the Sage has jumped to a 1.8GHz quad-core CPU), especially since it gave the Libra 2 a 1,500mAh battery. Perhaps this oversight (if it truly was one) was only realized late in the device’s development, and Kobo’s answer was to create the PowerCover we mentioned earlier – that’s essentially a magnetic sleepcover with a built-in 1,200mAh battery, essentially doubling the battery capacity. We weren’t sent a PowerCover for testing, so we’re not certain on how much more life it would add, but it should theoretically offer another 15-20 hours. 

The Sage’s shortish runtime isn’t the only slightly underwhelming element when it comes to the battery – we found it also takes up to 3 hours to fully recharge. Despite that shiny new USB-C port, the Sage generally takes longer to recharge than the Forma – the latter goes from about 10% to full in 2 hours. While the Sage initially charges at about the same rate, once the 90% mark has been hit it seems to switch to a very slow trickle-charge setting, meaning the last 10% takes about an hour to complete.

Should I buy the Kobo Sage?

Kobo Sage sleepcover and stylus

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

[First reviewed February 2022]

Bright Data review
12:00 pm | February 14, 2022

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

Bright Data  which was previously known as Luminati Networks, is a web data giant which offers a comprehensive range of proxies in countries and cities  on a global basis. It has over 15,000 customers, and holds over 3,300 patents. 

Need residential proxies? The company has 72 million shared and exclusive IPs across 195 countries. They're sourced from user devices, but if you're looking for more reliability and speed, Bright Data also has 700,000 proxies sourced  directly from ISPs.

Mobile proxies give you IPs from real mobile devices on either 3G or 4G networks. Most proxy providers don't offer them: Bright Data has more than 7 million, making it the largest peer mobile network. 

If your needs are simple, the company's data center proxies offer great performance at a much lower cost. But even here, Bright Data outperforms most of the competition, with a 1.6+ million+ proxy pool spread across 3,000+ subnets, and both country and city-level targeting.

Using Bright Data in a basic form can be as easy as setting up its Chrome extension, which has over 70,000 users. There's no coding involved and it's only marginally more complicated than using a commercial VPN. However, it is more geared towards intermediate to advanced users as the less experienced have issues frequently, that the Chrome extension rating of 2.7 stars out of 5 bears out.

Bright Data's open source Proxy Manager also bypasses the need for coding, and manages to add  many powerful and advanced features: SSL decryption, intelligent routing, custom rules to reduce bandwidth use, and more.

Additional products add web scraping and related abilities. Web Unlocker can solve CAPTCHAs and automatically retry for better success rates; Data Collector fetches hundreds of standard data types (Google search results, Amazon products, social media profiles, YouTube contents) using your search terms; Search Engine Crawler gets you precisely geo-targeted search results for any keyword, on every search engine.

Whatever you're using, support for unlimited concurrent sessions helps to maximize performance. A quoted 08.16% residential proxies uptime guarantee suggests Bright Data is confident about its tech, but if you do run into problems, support is available 24/7 to get your project running smoothly again.


(Image credit: Bright Data)


Bright Data has multiple pricing options for each of its four IP address types: data center, residential, static residential and mobile.

Simple pay-as-you-go plans are available. Residential IPs are priced at $15 per GB,  and mobile IPs are $40. There are also IP proxies that come in at $0.50/IP, and $15/GB of data. Finally, there is the datacenter proxies, coming in at $0.80/IP and $0.110/GB.

Committing to a monthly payment gets you traffic and IP at a better price. For example, $500 a month for the Starter cuts residential proxy costs to $12.75 per GB, while mobile traffic drops to $34 per GB. Another benefit of a plan is the dedicated account manager.

Signing up for a year of service at a time garners additional savings. Opting for the $1,000 a month Advanced plan gets you datacenter proxies for $0.56 per IP and $0.077, for instance, with residential proxy traffic at $10.13 per GB. At the top of the scale, the Advanced+ plan costs $2,000 a month and asks $0.50/IP and $9.75 per GB for ISP proxies, and $9.45 per GB for residential proxies.

Finally, there is a custom plan, which can scale on an unlimited basis. It requires contact to build this plan to you needs and specs. 

There are trials in some situations, although the rules are quite complicated. You can get a 7-day trial, for instance, and you're signing up for a company, and you can verify company registration and ownership, and you're spending at least $500 a month. 

These prices are above average, and you can get lower starting prices with most providers. Smartproxy's Micro plan enables dipping your toe in the residential proxy waters from only $80 a month, and its $12.50 per GB on the Pay as You Go plan is only fractionally higher than Bright Data. And you can bring this down to $8 per GB for a very reasonable $400 a month, while Bright Data asks $2,700 a month  and still charges more per GB .

In fairness, Bright Data does deserve some credit for its pricing flexibility, though, and the Pay-As-You-Go option makes it easy to see if the proxies have the quality to justify their price. 

Startup Wizard

(Image credit: Bright Data)

Signing up

Getting access to Bright Data starts with handing over your details to create an account. It's all set up in a few seconds, and the website redirects you to Bright Data's web dashboard.


(Image credit: Bright Data)

This prompted us for the type of product we needed - datacenter proxies, mobile, residential and so on - before displaying a basic cURL request to see how the service works.

The site next asked us to verify our identity. It's a hassle, but Bright Data has found a way to make it more acceptable. Hand over your credit card, PayPal, Alipay or Payoneer details, the company charges you $1, but credits you with $5. There's no commitment and you're not automatically charged again, but having a positive account balance does mean you're able to access Bright Data's dashboard and run maybe 5-6GB of datacenter proxy texts.


(Image credit: Bright Data)


If you're new to the proxy world, or just used to much smaller providers, Bright Data's web dashboard could be an intimidating surprise. No simple text boxes with lists of proxies here: instead, there's a bunch of summary information, charts where you can monitor your proxy use later, and a sidebar with icons for various areas of the service: zones, the Chrome extension, proxy manager, API setup, reports, account settings, billing and more – and many of these have their own complexities to explore.

 Before you get overwhelmed, be sure to check out the guides in the 'Start using Bright Data' section of the support site, though, and you'll begin to see it's not quite as involved as it first looks.

Create a Zone

(Image credit: Bright Data)

The site first asks you to create a Zone, for instance. Turns out this is really just a group of settings which defines your project: the type of IP addresses you'd like to use (data center, residential, static residential, mobile), your preferred IP type (shared, exclusive), the IP country, state, city, carrier and more.

Once you've created a zone, you can customize it in many ways, for example limiting zones to particular domains, or adding specific domains which you don't want to target.

The value here is you can create multiple zones, each with their own settings and permissions, and reuse them with particular project types. (Bright Data allows you up to 50 zones for free, with the option to add more as needed.)

When  you don't need any of these interface or management extras, you can access all the usual data you need - it’s literally just a click or two away. Zone Details page lists your proxy user name and password, for instance; gives you the ability to add trusted IPs to an allow-list; and can display your allocated IPs, or download a file containing your IPs in the form IP:PORT:USERNAME:PASSWORD.)

There's still significantly more to learn with Bright Data than almost all of the competition. But it's not difficult, and these extra layers are handy for heavy-duty users or anyone with multiple projects to manage and will value these levels of granular control.

Going further

Bright Data's web dashboard may be stuffed with proxy-handling technology, but it's not all the company has to offer. There are other tools to help you access, use and manage your proxy projects.

Bright Data Proxy Browser Extension is a Chrome add-on which enables using your proxies direct from the browser. At its simplest, you can use it much like a VPN: choose a country, connect, then visit your target sites, run searches and do whatever else you need.

As this is Bright Data, though, of course the proxy is also amazingly configurable. You can change the user agent, of course. Customize DNS. You can even allow others to use the extension without giving them your Bright Data login, very handy when you need help in managing a project.

Proxy Manager

(Image credit: Bright Data)

Bright Data's Proxy Manager is an open-source desktop tool which is crammed with ways to automate and optimize your proxy projects.

You can create custom rules to define which requests are routed through the proxy and which can use your regular connection, for instance, cutting costs. And smart handling of connection problems includes the ability to automatically retry on failures, or blacklist IPs which give you bad results.


(Image credit: Bright Data)

Bright Data also provides a custom API. You'll need some development experience to use that, but the Bright Data web dashboard does a lot to speed up the process by making it easy to automatically generate the necessary code.

At a minimum this could involve choosing your zone, exit node country and destination side. Additional options encompass routing, DNS preferences and your choice of user agent (Chrome, Firefox, IE or none).

By default, this generates example shell code, but Node.js, Java, C#, VB, PHP, Python, Ruby and Perl scripts are just a click away. If that's not enough, there are also custom instructions on how to set up a browser or other custom software with the details it needs. (We're not talking some generic text about 'go here to set up proxy', either – this has the proxy name, port and user credentials you need to configure the software for your chosen settings.)


(Image credit: Bright Data)

It's a comprehensive setup to get you up and running with minimal effort. You'll probably have plenty more work to do to get everything working as you expect, but the Bright Data support pages have further details and code samples to ease the process..

Final verdict

Bright Data is more expensive than most providers, has only a limited free trial, and can be far trickier to set up. But its huge network including mobile proxies, flexible billing, 24/7 support and highly powerful and configurable tools make it a must-try for serious users and demanding projects. 

We've also highlighted the best proxy and best VPN

Hostinger web hosting review (2023): Pros, cons and features tested
1:08 pm | February 9, 2022

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

Founded in 2004, Hostinger is an experienced Lithuanian web hosting provider with 1,000+ employees and more than a million subscribers around the world.

Datanyze' Web Hosting Market Share report ranks Hostinger in 36th place, used by around 71,000 companies, for 0.5% of the hosting market. Hostinger isn't just building its own service, though: it has developed and launched new brands and products, including web host Hosting24 and the free 000webhost

In this review, we test Hostinger by creating a functioning WordPress website and signing up to Hostinger's Premium shared plan. We then monitor our site's performance, including speed and uptime and have a go using all the features available in the plan. We also go as far as utilizing Hostinger's customer support with a real issue we came across during our test. 

Hostinger plans have many features

Hostinger plans have many features (Image credit: Hostinger)

What sort of hosting plans does Hostinger offer? 

Hostinger offers cheap shared hosting for small to medium low-traffic sites. VPS hosting and cloud hosting give your website more resources for extra speed, making them suitable for more demanding, business-critical sites. (How demanding? A good VPS can run a WordPress site with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month.)

Hostinger doesn't have any dedicated server products, which is bad news if you're looking for the maximum performance and reliability. 

But by way of compensation for at least some users, Hostinger is one of the few big hosting names to offer pre-configured Minecraft server hosting from under $10 a month.

Which plan is right for you? Next, we'll explore Hostinger's shared, VPS and WordPress hosting range, break down what they offer, what they don't, and help identify the best choices for you.

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Hostinger shared hosting

Shared hosting works just as the name suggests: your site is stored on a web server along with many others, and everyone shares the server costs and resources. It's cheap and relatively easy to use, and although this is the slowest hosting type, shared plans may still be able to handle sites with tens of thousands of visitors a month.

Hostinger's shared hosting starts with the Single plan. It's cheap at $1.99 a month over four years ($3.99 on renewal), and has some welcome features: free SSL, easy WordPress installation and management. But it also has many limits: support for one website, no free domain, 50GB storage, a single email account, 100GB bandwidth, backups are weekly only. If you know exactly what you need, and this works, great; otherwise, it's best ignored.

The Premium plan is still cheap at $2.99 a month initially ($6.99 on renewal), but lifts or removes all those limits: there's support for 100 websites, a free domain, 100GB storage, 100 email addresses and unlimited bandwidth. Backups are still only weekly, which is a significant weakness.

The top-of-the-range Business plan adds the much-needed daily backups, though, and throws in Cloudflare's CDN (Content Delivery Network) for maximum speeds. It's priced from $4.99 a month for the first four years, $8.99 on renewal.

These are feature-packed products that performed very well in our speed tests, and are great value for what you're getting. The Business plan is our pick of the range. It's more capable than products twice the price from some other hosts, and Hostinger suggests it can handle sites of up to approximately 100,000 visitors a month.

Also consider HostGator, whose feature-packed shared hosting is great value, speedy in testing, and has some surprising bonus features for demanding users (free SSL upgrade and a dedicated IP in the business plan). 

Hostinger WordPress templates

Hostinger WordPress templates (Image credit: Hostinger)

Hostinger WordPress hosting

WordPress is the world's favorite website creator, a versatile platform which works for everyone from hosting newbies building a tiny family site, to international corporations with the most business-critical web projects.

Hostinger has strong WordPress support across most of its ranges, ensuring there's a solution for just about everyone.

The Single WordPress plan is extremely basic (supports one website, a single email address, no free domain, few resources, reduced speeds.) But it has easy WordPress installation, weekly backups, and (Hostinger claims) can handle up to 10,000 visitors a month. The plan's real appeal is its price, though, at only $1.99 a month over four years, $3.99 on renewal. It could work as a cheap way to learn WordPress, assuming you're only building the most basic of sites.

The Business WordPress plan is our pick of the range. It's significantly more expensive at $6.99 a month over four years, $16.99 on renewal. But it has far more capable specs - 100 websites, 100 email addresses, free domains, handles up to 100k visitors a month - and adds valuable extras including staging (a valuable website testing feature) and Cloudflare CDN (a major speedup plus). This is a capable plan with the power to cope with more demanding personal and small to medium business sites.

If your needs are even greater - you've several business-critical sites, or maybe a busy web store where speed is absolutely vital - then Hostinger's 'Hosting for Agencies' range might help. It has all the same WordPress features, but makes it easier to manage and control access to multiple sites, and boosts performance by giving you far more server resources.

The Agency Pro plan is our pick of the range: it gives you twice the resources of the Business WordPress plan, but it's still very affordable at $14.99 a month over four years ($49.99 on renewal).

Consider IONOS, too. Its Business WordPress plan has free SSL, a free domain and daily backups, but it's just $0.50 a month for the first year, ideal if you're looking to learn WordPress and see if it's right for you. 

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Hostinger VPS hosting 

Signing up for VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting gets you a private area in a web server with your own system resources. This automatically gives any VPS a speed advantage over shared hosting, and the more resources your plan includes (CPU time, RAM, storage space) the faster it's likely to be. If your site has 100k visitors a month or more, or it's especially demanding and 

Hostinger offers eight VPS plans, giving you plenty of choice. They start cheap at only $3.49 a month over four years ($6.99 on renewal) for an extremely basic 1 CPU core, 1GB RAM and 20GB storage VPS, but they ramp up from there, and the top-of-the-range VPS plan offers 8 cores, 16GB RAM and 250GB storage for $77.99 a month over four years ($131.99 on renewal).

The range is fair value, but it won't work for everyone. One reason Hostinger's prices are low is that their VPS plans are unmanaged. That means Hostinger doesn't monitor the operating system, set up the firewall, install security patches or do anything similar: you're left to manage the server's system software yourself. That's manageable for experts, and if you know what you're doing, the extra control can even be an advantage. But it's a potentially complicated hassle for everybody else.

There are some technical limitations, too. Hostinger's VPS plans get a 100Mbps connection to the outside world, for instance, which sounds good, but it's less than many top providers, and could get swamped if you're running busy sites with many simultaneous visitors.

If low prices are a must, consider IONOS. Its most basic VPS starts at $2 billed monthly, even a 6 core, 12GB RAM system is only $35 a month billed annually ($18 for the first six months), and all plans include a 400Mbps network connection.

But if it's choice you're after, look at Hostwinds. It has cheap unmanaged VPS from $4.99 billed monthly, but there's a managed VPS range (where Hostwinds does all the low-level server management for you) starting at only $8.24 a month. All plans are more configurable, there's Windows hosting if you need it, more powerful systems at the top of the range, and 1Gbps network speeds keep performance high even at peak times.

Zyro's editor

Zyro's editor is very easy to use (Image credit: Hostinger)

Does Hostinger have a website builder?

If you don't have a website yet, and WordPress seems a little intimidating, a website builder may be the easiest way to get started. Typically, they'll have a gallery of pre-built website designs you can use to get started. Adding pictures, videos, maps and other page elements is as easy as dragging and dropping, and customizing the content with your own text and photos works much like any editor.

Hostinger has its own website builder, which comes with unmetered traffic, unlimited free SSL certificates, web hosting, up to 100 websites, free domain, free email, ecommerce features, plus more.

We found it to be a simple and straightforward tool that we could use right away. No need to spend an age scrolling through feature lists, comparing plans or wondering what you can afford: just hand over your email address to create an account and you can start building right away.

The editor is relatively basic, but the online shop’s what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) editor will give you tools to create detailed descriptions with HTML titles.

Hostinger website builder costs $2.79 per month and is a decent website builder for personal use and small sites. There's not enough power here for business applications, and even if your site took off and became a real success, there's no upgrade path to help you cope with the extra demand.

HostGator’s Gator website builder is worth considering as a value alternative. It's fractionally more expensive, but has more features, and supports an unlimited web store for physical and digital products. If features are more important than price, Wix has more templates, more features, more power in every area, and is an absolute must for your shortlist.

WooCommerce for online stores

WooCommerce is a great platform for building web stores (Image credit: Hostinger)

 Can you build a web store with Hostinger? 

Hostinger doesn't have a specialist ecommerce website builder plan like we see with many providers, but there are a couple of routes you can take to begin selling online.

The simplest option, as we've discussed above, is to sign up with Hostinger's website builder service. With Hostinger Website Builder, users can add up to 500 products to their online store and over 20 popular payments are currently supported. It could be enough to run a simple home business.

If you need something more capable, the alternative is to sign up with one of Hostinger's other hosting plans, then install and use a specialist ecommerce platform. WooCommerce is probably the best-known option. It's a hugely capable WordPress plugin, which Hostinger can automatically install on any hosting plan, and includes all the product cataloging, inventory managing, payment taking and worldwide shipping integrations you need.

If you're happy with Hostinger's shared or VPS hosting, and you're willing to take the time to learn about WooCommerce and web stores in general, this could be a cost-effective solution.

But if you'd like hosting with specific web store features, and more help in getting your project online, it's worth considering some alternatives. Bluehost has an excellent WooCommerce hosting plan with payment processing and a stack of essential sales and marketing tools. IONOS has even more options, including a simple online store builder, a WooCommerce plan, and hosting for a bunch of other ecommerce platforms: Magento, PrestaShop, OpenCart and more.

Hostinger's performance

We rounded off the review by using to monitor our test website from multiple locations around the world, logging response times and any downtime.

Our test site was hosted on Hostinger's most basic shared hosting plan, but still managed a solid 100% uptime record over 10 weeks of monitoring. recorded a response time range of 171ms to 1.73s, with an average of 382ms, over the last seven days of testing. Starter shared hosting plans typically manage 200-400ms with an average peak of 700-800ms, so Hostinger is clearly on the slow side when it comes to response times.

Page load times matter too, though, so we used Dotcom Tools' Website Speed Test to measure our site performance from 16 locations around the US and Europe. This time the results were much better at 878ms, putting it in the top 25% of providers.

A mixed story, then, but keep in mind these are comparisons based on the cheapest shared hosting plan from each test provider. Some of those plans cost 5x to 10x the $1.39 you could pay with Hostinger, so on balance we think the company did reasonably well.

Hostinger's GTmetrix grade

Hostinger's GTmetrix grade (Image credit: Hostinger)

How fast is Hostinger?

Our web host performance tests start by measuring uptime, the proportion of time your website remains accessible to visitors. We set up a test WordPress site on a Hostinger shared hosting package, then used to access it every five minutes for 14 days and report the results.

Hostinger achieved 99.98% uptime, which was a little disappointing (because we expected a perfect performance over such a short test) though still very acceptable overall (because it's still significantly better than the 99.9% uptime guarantee offered by most web hosts).

We measure website load speeds with help from GTmetrix, which accesses a test page and reports how long its main content takes to load (a value known technically as Largest Contentful Paint, or LCP). A low LCP means your website is likely to pop up onto the screen more quickly, keeping visitors happy.

Graph showing Hostinger's performance

Hostinger's performance (Image credit: Hostinger)

Hostinger scored here with a speedy LCP of 0.607 seconds, the second fastest result in our last 15 tests, just behind HostGator. It's not significantly ahead of the competition - most providers have an LCP in the 0.60 to 0.80 area - but it suggests Hostinger isn't cutting corners to hit its low shared hosting prices. It really can compete with the likes of Bluehost and HostGator.

One-off load speed checks are important, but we also like to see how a site performs when it's busy. To do this, we use the stress-testing service k6 to unleash 20 virtual users on our site and measure what happens.

Hostinger's results showed some drops in performance at peak load, but that's what we would expect for a shared hosting package. Overall, it was able to handle 15 requests per second throughout the test, a typical result for most providers.

These are broadly positive results, and show Hostinger performs better than most budget hosts. But keep in mind that our figures are based on testing a shared plan, and if you're opting for VPS, dedicated hosting or any other product, your experience may be very different.

Hostinger hPanel

Hostinger hPanel (Image credit: Hostinger)

How easy is Hostinger to use? 

Hostinger doesn't offer cPanel to its shared hosting users, opting to use its custom hPanel platform, instead. Custom control panels make us wary, probably because most of them are underpowered in the extreme, but hPanel is a rare exception.

It looks similar to cPanel, for instance, with server details (location, IP address) in a sidebar, and colorful icons representing individual features, organized into sensibly-named groups: Domains, Emails, Files, WordPress and so on.

Most functions are accessible to even novice users. Create an email address, for instance, and you're only asked for the address and a password. But a sidebar adds more advanced tools, from importing existing emails, to setting up SPF and DKIM records (to authenticate emails and protect against phishing) in just a few clicks.

Custom control panels still aren't good news for hosting experts, as all their cPanel experience doesn't count for much; they're left to browse the menus and options, much like anybody else.

Overall, though, hPanel offers a good mix of power and ease of use, and the platform provides everything you need to get your site up and running quickly.

Hostinger support

Hostinger has live chat support but not phone support (Image credit: Hostinger)

How good is Hostinger's support? 

Unusually for a top hosting provider, Hostinger doesn't have telephone support. There's 24/7 live chat, though, and email or ticket support if you prefer.

We opened a ticket asking how we could install WordPress on a subdomain. That's not a complicated technical issue, but it's more involved than a simple product question, and gave us a better chance of getting an interesting response.

The reply arrived only 17 minutes later, just about as speedy as we could expect for ticket support. (Who needs live chat, anyway?)

The text used more jargon than we’d like, but was accurate and included all the detail we needed to figure out a solution.

Live chat is also available whenever you need it. We never waited more than a couple of minutes for a response, and agents were just as quick at identifying our issues and coming up with relevant and useful advice.

A web knowledgebase is on hand if you prefer the DIY approach. We'd recommend ignoring the Search box (it does a poor job of finding the best articles), and just browse the categories further down the page. There are hundreds of articles arranged into topics such as hPanel, cPanel, DNS, SSL Certificates and more.

These articles are often short, and not always organized or presented as you'd expect. The site does have plenty of useful advice on carrying out specific tasks, though, even when they're not about Hostinger's own services. 

If your domain is managed by another registrar, for instance, most hosting providers don't give you any real advice on how to modify DNS records. But Hostinger has separate articles for managing DNS at Bluehost, GoDaddy, IONOS, Namecheap, HostGator, SiteGround,, DreamHost’s, and many more: 30+ providers in total. 

There's clearly work to do here, but Hostinger scores well in most areas, and overall delivers a far better quality of support than most budget providers.

Final verdict: Is Hostinger right for you?

Even Hostinger’s cheapest shared hosting plan lets you create a professional email address, and you can create multiple email addresses with the more expensive plans. This simple offering makes Hostinger stand out, and is quite useful.

Hostinger is a great option for beginners simply because the service is straightforward to use and comes with a lot of additional help and support. Its low pricing is also extremely attractive and because Hostinger doesn't hold back on features and add-ons including in each package, it's definitely value for money in our opinion.

As we mentioned above, we wouldn't recommend its shared hosting plans for extremely busy websites but Hostinger performed adequately during our test so you may not need to completely rule them out if you're looking for an affordable option.

Hostinger FAQs 

What payment types does Hostinger support?

Hostinger accepts payment via credit card, PayPal, Google Pay, Alipay and Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies via CoinGate. 

Does Hostinger offer refunds?

Hostinger has a 30-day money-back guarantee covering its hosting plans and some other products. These include SSL certificates, often excluded by other hosts.

It's good to see Hostinger's policy covers renewal fees as well as your original purchase, something else we don't see with all hosts.

There's a final bonus in a limited four day warranty for some domain registrations and domain name transfers (see the official Refund Policy for the list.) Sure, four days isn't long, but most hosts don't offer any domain-related refunds at all.

Hostinger uptime

Hostinger uptime (Image credit: Hostinger)

Does Hostinger have an uptime guarantee?

Hostinger has an uptime guarantee of 99.9% per month, similar to many other budget hosts. 

If Hostinger doesn't hit that target, you can contact the company and request a credit of 5% of your monthly hosting fee.

Capping your compensation at 5% is one of the least generous guarantees around. Other hosts typically give you much more. For example, ScalaHosting promises to credit users with a free month of hosting if its uptime drops below 1% (that's around seven hours and 18 minutes of downtime.)

Hostinger data center locations

Hostinger data center locations (Image credit: Hostinger)

Where are Hostinger's data centers?

Hostinger has data centers in the USA, UK, Netherlands, Lithuania, Singapore, India and Brazil. That's far more than most hosts, and they're also more widely spread (many hosts barely step outside of the USA and Europe.)

The advantage of having a lot of data centers is that more users can choose to host sites close to their audience, for the best possible performance.

There's just one potential catch: some plans don't support all the data centers. The Shared, Cloud and WordPress plans can be hosted in all seven, but Hostinger's Linux VPS plans can't be hosted in Brazil or India.

Check the small print of individual plans to find out more, or take a look at Hostinger's 'Where are your servers located?' support document.

What is my Hostinger IP address?

Log into Hostinger's hPanel

Find your plan in the Hosting list, and click its' Manage button to the right.

The left-hand sidebar displays your hosting plan, server location and IP address.

Hostinger Nameservers

Hostinger Nameservers (Image credit: Hostinger )

What are Hostinger's nameservers?

Before using an existing domain with your web hosting, it may be necessary to point the domain to Hostinger's nameservers.

The hPanel, Shared and Cloud plans use the nameservers and

The cPanel plans use the nameservers and

How do I cancel a Hostinger product?

Log into Hostinger's hPanel.

Click Hosting in the menu at the top of the screen, then click Manage.

Scroll down and click Deactivate Account.

Choose whether to cancel your hosting account immediately, or when your subscription expires, and click Continue to complete the cancellation process.

NetNut Review: Pros & Cons, Features, Ratings, Pricing and more
11:38 am | February 8, 2022

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

Let’s face it, every proxy provider makes big claims about its speed, but Tel Aviv-based NetNut takes it even further than most: 

'Unbeatable prices', the website boasts, with speeds that are 'Lightning- fast' and ‘The fastest in the market,’ ensuring you  'Never Run Out of IP Addresses.'

This is more than just marketing spin, though. While most proxy providers use peer-to-peer (P2P) networks to source their residential IPs, NetNut works with a company called DiviNetworks to acquire them directly from more than 100 ISPs globally. With the usual reliance on end users replaced by direct ISP connectivity, NetNut eliminates a major performance bottleneck to ensure it can scale up better to handle large-scale tasks.

As a very welcome bonus, because these IPs aren't tied to real user devices, you don't have to worry that they'll go poof at any moment. Also, you get to decide how long to keep them for.

These static residential proxies are NetNut's premium product, with 1 million IPs in over 50 countries with 24/7 availability. But if they've overkill for your project, the company also offers more than 52 million rotating residential proxies worldwide (including P2P-sourced IPs), and 110K+ US datacenter for simpler scraping tasks.

NetNut pricing

(Image credit: NetNut)

NetNut: Plans and pricing

NetNut used to have a focus on the high-end business market, but these days it has plans for just about every level of user.

The company's US datacenter plans start at just $100 a month for 100GB bandwidth, for instance. There are no concurrency limits to get in your way, so you can run as many connections as you need. The starter plan doesn't have live support - it's email-only - but that's no great surprise as this plan is called ‘Starter.’

Ramping up to the Advanced plan gets you 250GB bandwidth for $185 a month, with live support thrown in (although chat is via Skype, which is hardly convenient.) The $350 Production plan offers 500GB bandwidth and a dedicated account manager, and at the upper end of the range, the Master Plan costs $1000 a month for 2TB traffic.

These plans are not the lowest priced you can find, especially for smaller needs, and you might find better deals at specific price points. The Smartproxy Micro plan gives you 8GB traffic for only $80 a month, for instance, which looks relatively cheap. But NetNut scales up well, and overall, its prices are competitive with the top proxy providers.

NetNut's rotating residential proxy comes in a choice of six tiers. The cheapest gives you 20GB for $300 monthly, or $15/GB. Moving up the scale gets you more bandwidth and also extra features. For example, the $800 Production plan supports 100GB traffic, and adds IP allow-listing and a dedicated account manager. And the top-of-the-range $4,000 a month Master plan offers 1TB of traffic, and adds API access and City/ State selection.

NetNut's Datacenter Proxies follow the same pricing pattern. At the bottom is the Starter Plan for $100/month, which provides 100GB, but has only email support. Higher tiers add live support, along with a dedicated account manager.

There are also mobile proxies available, at a cost that starts at $950 monthly for the 50 GB plan.

Again, these are reasonable value for customers with substantial needs, but could be expensive for simpler applications. Beware the feature restrictions, too: even budget providers typically include IP allow-listing, but that's a premium feature here. Read the small print carefully and make sure a plan is giving you everything you need.

There is some good news, though. NetNut offers a free 7-day trial, although this is a short time to get set up, and see how the service works for you. 

NetNut: Features

(Image credit: NetNut)

NetNut: Features

NetNut's ISP-sourced proxies bring several benefits, as we've seen. Essentially, you get the stability and performance of data center IPs, combined with the resilience and stealth of residential IPs.

These IPs are accessed via what NetNut calls its 'Super proxies,' load balancers which accept the request and allocate you 'The IP address which is most likely to be available in the requested location.' 

There’s no limit to the number of concurrent requests you can send, and in fact NetNut recommends that users initiate as many concurrent sessions as possible for best results. They claim to have customers who send more than 30 million requests every day.

NetNut says that you can use its proxies with all websites, including search engines. The company also offers optimized private proxy pools based on your target to ensure maximum success rates.

Extension Missing

(Image credit: Google)

The company doesn't offer much in the way of management tools to simplify your use of the service. Smartproxy has its multi-session X Browser, a zero-coding Smart Scraper tool, a Firefox extension, and more. Unfortunately, NetNut used to have a Chrome extension, which is removed from their website, and we couldn't find it when searching the Chrome store. Too bad, as the Chrome browser is more popular than FireFox.

NetNut: Interface and use

Signing up for NetNut's data center proxies is simple: just choose a plan and hand over your cash (credit cards and Alipay are supported.) If you're after the residential or ISP proxies, you'll need to contact the company and a representative will walk you through the signup process.

NetNut: Dashboard

(Image credit: NetNut)

Logging into the NetNut site took us to its web dashboard. This is fairly basic, with little more than the details of your plan, account and billing information, and areas for assorted metrics and usage stats.

We also were not quite sure how to get started. There's a FAQ, but it's the pre-sales type, lacking in the kind of useful detail. We did also look at the blog, which was more useful, and regular and recent content that will be of help to novice users.

NetNut: Setup Guide

(Image credit: NetNut)

There is some relevant information in the Setup Guide. Sign up and NetNut sends you an email with very basic details, and an Implementation Guidelines page had sample code for C#, Ruby, Java, PHP, Python, Node.js and cURL to cover the likely use case scenarios. The problem here is that these are just a few lines of text, with no background explanation at all, or even any working examples. For example, the entire 'Proxy with sticky IP' section is just these two lines:

proxy server:

proxy user: username-dc-country_code-sid-any_number (up to 8 digits)

Uh, what are the country codes? What's the significance of the eight-digit number? These aren't difficult problems, but we expect better presentation, and frankly a little more guidance from a service when you might be paying thousands of dollars a month for.

If you run into difficulties, you could contact support. This is less convenient than usual, with email-only contact on the lesser plans and live chat via Skype, and response times aren't always good (we asked what had happened to the Chrome proxy extension one Sunday evening, for instance, and there was still no reply by the next morning.) But the team has no issues with general operation questions, and we've found they give helpful and accurate advice for most setup and troubleshooting issues. We also did find links for WhatsApp, Telegram and Discord and a live chat, but no phone number. There are also direct emails, with a separate one for sales, and another for support.

NetNut: Final verdict

NetNut's ISP-sourced proxies give it a major advantage over the standard rotating residential competition, but the company doesn't make much effort to simplify setup and usage. Furthermore, compared to the competition, it's relatively costly for small-scale use. It does deliver the features you need for most applications, though, and the seven-day trial shows the company is confident in the service. If you've a demanding project and regular rotating proxies won't do, give NetNut a try, and see if it fits your bill.

We've also highlighted the best proxy and best VPN

Storm Proxies review
3:14 am | February 7, 2022

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

Storm Proxies is a small-scale proxy service provider which, at first glance, might not look like it has much to offer - but the reality could be a little different.

The company's over 7,200,000 proxies can't match the millions you'll get from the top competition, for instance. Geo-targeting is mostly limited to very wide regions (USA, EU, Worldwide; US city coverage is Cheyenne, Los Angeles and New York.) Support is limited, and you only get a short 24 hours to try out the service.

But on the plus side, Storm Proxies isn't trying to pretend it's something it isn't, a one-stop solution to all your proxy needs. It does have worthwhile products to offer, including rotating dedicated and residential HTTP/HTTPS proxies, and dedicated proxies targeted at social media, ticket, sneaker and other sites. And great value pricing could make it a smart choice for small-time scrapers, social media managers and anyone else on an extreme budget.

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(Image credit: Storm Proxies)

Storm Proxies: Plans and pricing

Storm Proxies offers three types of proxies. These are rotating residential proxies, private dedicated proxies which offer data center IPs, and backconnect rotating proxies which have a mix of data center and residential IPs. 

Each of these proxies offers have multiple plans, all of which offer unlimited bandwidth. Instead of capping data transfers, Storm Proxies limits its their accounts by other factors. 

For instance, the private dedicated proxies limit accounts on the number of IPs. The smallest plan offers just 5 private proxies for $10/month, while the top most one offers 400 private proxies for $640400/month. All of these plans can run 100 concurrent threads, and supports multiple subnets. 

Backconnect rotating proxies are priced on the number of simultaneous connections. For $39/month you can run 40 simultaneous connections from a single access IP, all the way up to $97 a month for 150 simultaneous connections from up to three access IP’s. 

Finally, there’s the rotating residential proxies, and these with prices get based on the number of ports. Each port can run a maximum of 50 simultaneous connections. Each plan gets a certain number of ports that it can run, with access to the full 700k residential IP proxies, along with unlimited bandwidth. These plans start at $50/month for 5 ports, and go all the way up to 50 ports for $300/month. 

Other variations include proxy rotation times (there are 3, 5 and 15 minute options available.) The service also offers smaller and larger plans as well as specialized plans for specific targets, such as for sneakers or tickets. For example, you can get 5 private Twitter proxies for only $15 a month, which includes unlimited bandwidth.

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(Image credit: Storm Proxies)

Storm Proxies: Signing up

Storm Proxies does its best to point you in the right product direction. When we chose a regular residential IP rotating plan, for instance, the site warned 'these proxies are not for scraping search engines,', and pointed us to its dedicated rotating proxy page, instead. 

With the product identifiedFind the product you need, when trying to purchaseand Storm Proxies goes to unusual lengths for credential verificationto verify your details, asking for your name, email address and even phone number-  (you'll even be sent a code to verifyverification code by text, so this has to be correct.) 

Providing this level of personal detail always makes us uneasy. Still, if it means fewer customers abusing the service, and so fewer IP bans, there's a benefit for everyone.


(Image credit: Storm Proxies)

Payment is supported by credit card (Visa, Amex, Mastercard an Discover), or PayPal, and Amazon Pay, but handing over your cash is still a little more difficult than it needs to be. The payment form assumes you're in the US, and rather than asking you to enter any PayPal account address, demands you use a US PayPal account and enter a zip code. There's a quick fix - choose your own country from the menu top-right - but this is still an odd issue we've not seen anywhere else.


(Image credit: Storm Proxies)

Storm Proxies: Interface

We are pleased that Storm Proxies' web dashboard is just about as simple a setup as we've ever seen. An opening page displays your plan, renewal date and a Cancel link; and (for instance) your Residential Rotating Proxies page lists your proxies in IP:Port form, with a single access IP and a US or EU location selector. 

This is implemented in the most basic way possible, too. You'd hope the Access IP would set itself to your current IP by default, right? Unfortunately, this is not the case as But no: it's set to, and it requires a manual change to do something else you must change it manually. 

And, well, if you've got a list of 100 proxies, user might expect thatthe least the dashboard could do a is give you a Save As CSV or TXT, yes? Uh, no: it's just a plain textbox, and you'll have to do a copy and paste job to transfer your proxy details to anywhere else. 

Individual plans have their own technical limitations, too. As we mentioned, residential rotating proxies only support IP authentication, for instance, and you're only allowed one access IP, a hassle if you need to access the service from more than one network or device. Squid Proxies supports up to ten IPs, for more convenience. 

Our residential plan had no control over IP rotation time, either as: it gets's fixed at 5 minutes.

Storm Proxies: Interface and use

Although our Storm Proxies dashboard looked like it had been thrown together by someone in an afternoon (and that's with some time for a couple of not so short coffee breaks), there's a plus side: there is a minimal to no learning curveyou've almost nothing to learn. 

If you've some proxy experience, you'll figure out what to do at firsta glance. Here's the list of proxies; it's in IP:port format, so users don't have to worry about usernames and passwords.; you just need to put your real IP in the Access IP box, copy and paste the proxies and you’re ready to go. 

Even if you're a newbie, don’t won't waste your time wandering around looking for advanced settings- there simply are not any to be found, because there aren't any.


(Image credit: Storm Proxies)

If you do run into any difficulties, Storm Proxies has a help site with advice. It's also basic in the extreme, although some articles do highlight details which aren't easy to spot elsewhere. 

For example, the 'What gateway to choose for rotating proxies?' article recommends that 'the number of threads for the harvester should not exceed 25% of the number of threads allowed for your account,' which is not something most users might have guessed otherwise. 

If the you don't find an answer is not inn the knowledge base, then you can contact Storm Proxies support directly. The company claims to offer 24/7 Premium Support,', but there's no live chat, and its own stats aren't that impressive: the company says '45% of emails are replied [sic] under one hour,', but it may take up to 24 hours to reach all the rest. Not a disaster, but not what we'd call 'Premium,', either. We also think the lack of a direct phone number, a chat, or a direct email are areas this service falls short, with the single option for direct contact a support portal.

Storm Proxies: Final verdict

Storm Proxies won't win over anyone with the shorter length of its feature list, and some of its issues, such as the inability to target specific countries outside the US, make it unusable for many proxy-related tasks. 

But if you can live However, for those that can work within its limits, Storm Proxies gives you a capable basic service from just a few dollars a month, that can scale to larger plans as your needs grow and that's just fine with us. Go give it a try.

We've also highlighted the best proxy and best VPN

Oxylabs Review: Pros & Cons, Features, Ratings, Pricing and more
2:04 am |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

If you've got the idea that many proxy service providers exist in a very grey area, you'd probably be right. Oxylabs works hard to explain how it's different, though as this Lithuanian-based provider operates purely in a legit white zone since 2015.

The company has over 100 million proxies spanning 195 countries worldwide, so you're not left wondering where they came from. The website boasts that they're ethically sourced 'from vetted suppliers that are under strict obligations to inform end-users about their participation in a proxy network and acquire consent from them.'

Rather than a focus on small scale Ticketmaster or sneaker proxies, Oxylabs pitches its service for big business use cases, for example ad verification, brand protection and SEO monitoring.

And while small providers leave you crossing your fingers and hoping they deliver what they promise, Oxylabs uses only certified data centers and upstream providers, and its plans are even insured by Lloyds (that's coverage for 'Technology Errors & Omissions (Technology E&O) and Cyber insurance', if you're curious.)


(Image credit: Oxylabs)

Oxylabs: Plans and pricing

Oxylabs has a rather large portfolio of products that includes residential, data center, mobile, rotating ISP and SOCKS5 proxies.

You can also opt for general purpose search engine or e-commerce scraper APIs. There's even a Web Unblocker plan which leverages AI and machine learning for a high success rate. Oxylabs claims it has ‘Human like browsing’ to bypass CAPTCHA’s, has adaptive HTML parsing, dynamic fingerprinting and JavaScript rendering to automatically retry if it runs into any problems.

Oxylabs’ dedicated datacenter proxies start at $180/month for your choice of 100 US datacenter IPs, or60 in the rest of world, which works out to $1.8/IP. The cost comes down with higher tiered plans, such as to $1.2/IP with its top-end $6000/month plan that includes 5000 US IPs, or2500 in the rest of the world.

Residential proxy plans start at $300/month and offer 25 GB of bandwidth, which comes to $12/GB. At the other end of the residential proxy spectrum, you’ll get 100 GB at $800/month, which translates to only $8/GB. For those at the smaller end of the spectrum, there is also a Pay As You Go plan available for the more occasional user. 

The cheapest residential proxy plans can be purchased online, allowing you to get started with the service right away. The higher end plans do ask you to contact sales, where you talk to a representative about your precise requirements for a custom quote.

Some plans offer a 7-day free trial.

Oxylabs: Features

Oxylabs charges above average prices, but browse the feature list and it becomes understandable. Its products are built for large-scale projects, with few of the limits you'll find elsewhere.

There are no restrictions on concurrent sessions, for instance, and there are no extra charges, either. Just go ahead and do what you need to do, and Oxylabs should be able to cope.

Geo-targeting allows you to work at the country, state or city level for maximum flexibility with your projects. Compare that to the extreme budget end of the market, where, for instance, some Storm Proxies plans have only two targeting options, US and EU, and you can see what you're paying for with Oxylabs.

Subnets also have no set limits either. The company says that if you buy 1000 proxies (for instance), you can generally have from 4 to 1000 subnets, 'depending on your business needs.'


(Image credit: Oxylabs)

Furthermore, there's support for authenticating proxy access by username and password, or a trusted IP address. Some providers limit you to a set number of IPs, and on the lowest tiers you're only allowed a single one. Oxylabs doesn't just allow you to add as many specific IPs as you need, you can even add ranges (

However you set up your requests, Oxylabs claims excellent performance, with an average 99.95% success rate and 0.6s proxy speed across its over 100 million residential IP’s.

It’s beyond the scope of this article to fully talk about Oxylabs web scraper IPs, known as Web Unblocker, but they're just as comprehensive as the rest of the service. It can perform human like browsing, and even get past CAPTCHA’s. The SERP Scraper API targets cities across 195 countries, extracts the precise data points you need from all kinds of search engine pages, and delivers them in CSV or JSON. 

You can even decide where to store the data, if the standard S3 or Google Cloud storage isn't right: now that's seriously flexible.


(Image credit: Oxylabs)

Oxylabs: Interface and use

Purchase an Oxylabs plan, log into your new account and you're taken to the company's web dashboard- the one-stop proxy management hub.

There's more to learn and do here than with most of the competition, but for good reason: as we've seen Oxylabs has significantly more features than just about anybody else.

Sub User

(Image credit: Oxylabs)

When getting started, for instance, you're prompted to create one or more sub-users to help manage your projects. This isn't just about authentication via a username and password, though, as you can also opt to limit the traffic a particular sub-user can consume, which is a handy way to manage your bandwidth allocation.


(Image credit: Oxylabs)

It's similar elsewhere in the dashboard. Oxylabs isn't doing anything particularly complicated, it's just giving you extra powerful options that are lacking elsewhere. While regular proxy lists just come in plain text, for instance, Oxylabs can show them in JSON. And a Statistics page shows you how your projects are proceeding in full detail, including target domains, traffic used, number of requests, errors and more.

A knowledge base covers everything you need to know, from the dashboard basics to more advanced options to help customize the service for your precise needs. 

The Integrations page has useful tutorials on how to work with Jarvee, Octoparse, Puppeteer, Proxifier and many other third-party tools, for instance. Also, the more technical Developer's documentation  is excellent with high quality articles and guides for using the service.

If you need more, though, Oxylabs offers live chat 24/7, andwe got helpful responses within a couple of minutes. You can raise a ticket, or send an email, but we did not find a direct phone number to just talk to your account manager. Others claim to have 'premium' support, but Oxylabs actually delivers it, and it's great to have that level of resource available when you're managing a heavy-duty proxy project.

Oxylabs: Final verdict

Oxylabs is a premium service at a premium price, and its high starter fees, bandwidth costs and steeper-than-average learning curve mean it's overkill for most small scale and freelancer projects. For those that have a need for a top-quality provider and you'll make good use of its many features, including the comprehensive list of multiple proxy types, then Oxylabs should be right at the top of your proxy provider shortlist.

We've also highlighted the best proxy and best VPN

Smartproxy proxy service review
3:16 am | February 5, 2022

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

It may not have quite the profile of the big-name proxy service competition, as Smartproxy is a relative newcomer starting in 2018. It still is an excellent platform which delivers a pile of proxy features and functionality for a very fair price for its over 50,000 users.

The company's 50+ million rotating residential IPs across over 195 worldwide locations in every country you can think of should cover you for most applications, for instance, and there are also 40K regular US Datacenter proxies (with dedicated proxies if you need them.) There are also city specific proxies for all major cities, everywhere from Berlin, Houston, Moscow to London.

Also, don’t think that you’re restricted by concurrency limits or per-proxy pricing, either. You're able to use the entire pool with unlimited connections, and the Smartproxy website claims 'your social media bot can juggle thousands of accounts per minute.'

Unlimited connection requests don't help you much if they're blocked, but Smartproxy offers various ways to avoid that trouble. Its '100% successful' Search Engine Proxies enable hassle-free Google scraping, while its X Browser generates unique user profiles to reduce the chance of IP bans or captchas. There’s also over 10 million mobile proxies on 3G, 4G, and even 5G networks.

If you've already got your own preferred scrapers, SEO or proxy managers, no problem, Smart Proxy works with just about anything. Its integration page points users to setup guides for ScrapeBox, Octoparse, Apify, Jarvee, Follow Like, NikeSlayer and a whole lot more.


(Image credit: Smartproxy)

Plans and pricing

Smartproxy prices start at just $7.50+VAT billing monthly for its Teeny Dedicated Datacenter plan. While the price is low, that gets you only 3 IPs, but there's no traffic limit and you're allowed unlimited targets. All plans work on HTTP(s) and SOCKS5 protocols.

Smartproxy's other plans have higher monthly prices for more proxies.  The Mini Datacenter plan gives you 50 IPs to spread around its 40,000 rotating US datacenter proxies, for instance, with one proxy user at a cost of $95 +VAT monthly. 

Need more? The Main plan delivers 200 IPs for $320+VAT per month. There are also Enterprise plans available that start with 500 IPs monthly for $750, and can scale to even higher levels if needed. 

Residential proxies start at $12.50/month, giving you 15GB of traffic (that's $12.50 per GB.) As with the datacenter plans, opting for a higher subscription can save you money. The Regular plan offers 50GB of traffic for $400 (that's $8 per GB), and if you ask Smartproxy for a quote, the company says it can offer 1TB or more traffic at 'industry leading prices.' 

A limitation is that there's no free plan and no trial, but you are protected by a 3-day money-back guarantee. Hand over your cash, and if the service doesn't live up to its promises, ask within 3 days and you'll get a refund. Also, there are only monthly prices, and we did not find discounts for committing to the annual plan. 

There's support for paying via credit cards, PayPal, Google Pay and also Apple Pay.

These are fair prices, generally less than you'll pay with Bright Data and some other top names. Although if your needs are simple, you can get started more cheaply elsewhere. Squid Proxies, for instance, gives you 10 dedicated data center proxies for $24 a month, with no bandwidth limits.


(Image credit: Smartproxy)

Getting started

Signing up with Smartproxy gets you access to its web-based 'smartdashboard', where you can view and manage your products.

We started in the Authentication section, which allowed us to define how we could access our proxies. Smartproxy defaults to username:password authentication by default, but it also supports allow-listed IPs (potentially more convenient as there's no need to set up login details, Smartproxy knows your requests are legitimate simply because they come from your IP address.) 

It’s certainly an advantage to have both (for example, competitor Squidproxiyes only has IP-based authentication), however, Smartproxy only allows very short lists on the lesser plans. Its Micro option on the Residential Plans only allows a single allow-listed IP address, for instance, and even the next tier up, Starter, limits the account to just three. 

Smartproxy's Endpoint Generator uses your authentication and other preferred options (location, rotating or 'sticky' session type, endpoint:port or HTTP output format). It can also generate a proxy list. It’s as easy as copying and pasting this into your preferred software (or savinge and importing it as a CSV or TXT file) and you're good to go.


(Image credit: Smartproxy)

Smartproxy Apps

Smartproxy also supplies some custom apps of its own to help you get more from your proxies.

X Browser is a multi-session browser for Windows and Mac which enables creating multiple Chrome profiles, each with a different fingerprint. Profiles can be customized, via options for a timezone, OS type, webRTC, proxy location and more. Once it's set up, you're able to open new Chrome windows for those profiles, each assigned a different IP, with a click.

Chrome Extension

(Image credit: Smartproxy)

Smart Scraper also has a Chrome extension  which, in theory, allows you to select and extract elements from a web page, then save them in JSON and CSV, no coding required. It is easy enough to add to the Chrome browser, with a link provided directly from the SmartProxy page. From there, you can specify a location, and a choice of proxy rotation. A subscription plan is required for use.  

Proxy Generator is a Windows and Mac desktop app for generating proxy lists of up to 49,999 lines.

There's also a simple Chrome and Firefox extension which enables testing the proxies direct from your browser. In a click or two you can set up your authentication, choose a location, a session type (rotating proxies or 'sticky') and get connected.

We weren't impressed by the non-functional Smart Scraper, and you may not need all (or maybe any) of these apps. X Browser and the browser extensions worked well for us, though, and it's good to see a service which gives its users these extra options.

API Documentation

(Image credit: Smartproxy)


Smartproxy's support starts on its website, where there's a simple FAQ, some more in-depth tutorials, and a scattering of code examples (C#, Golang, Java, Node.js, PHP, Python, Ruby). We also found a blog which gets multiple new articles a month, and also case studies.

Although the individual articles are generally short, there's more content than you might expect. The Setup Guide section alone has eight areas (Browser, Operating System, Smartphone, Proxy Managers, Sneaker Bots, Social Media Tools, Scrapers and SEO Tools.) Choosing a Browser took us to more tutorials for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Internet Explorer, Ghost Browser, Smartproxy's own browser extensions, and others including FoxyProxy and SwitchyOmega. Overall, there is plenty to take in.

If you can't find what you need on the support site, you could turn to live chat on the website. That didn't help us very much: we posted a chat message, waited for a few minutes, the site said it would reply via email, instead, and we still hadn't received anything twelve hours later.

You could just send an email, instead, though, and when Smartproxy's Support did reply, its answers were helpful and told us precisely what we needed to know. A final option is that there is a Discord community option to solve your issue with some fellow user input.

Final verdict

Smartproxy isn't the most powerful proxy service, or the cheapest, and also lacks a free trial. However, its vast proxy network including mobile proxies, and handy library of management apps along with 24/7 help available via chat should deliver everything you need for most applications. 

We've also highlighted the best proxy and best VPN

Epos Now Point Of Sale (POS) Review: Pros & Cons, Features, Ratings, Pricing and more
5:11 pm | February 1, 2022

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: | Comments: Off

Epos Now is the product of ePos Inc, a UK-based technology company. ePos was founded in 2011 and unveiled its POS (point of sale) system built for small and mid-sized retailers in the same year. 

Epos offers a flexible system for different types of businesses. The company offers different types of hardware that make it easy to receive payments from customers and run your business. It is based out of Norwich, England. 

Epos Now also have a multi-purpose Epos Now Order & Pay POS system.

Unsure which POS to choose? Read our guide on how to choose the right POS system for your business,

So let’s take a closer look at this UK-based POS outfit to see how it stacks up against the competition, and find out whether it’s the right fit for your business.

Epos Now POS: Plans and pricing

Epos offers specialized hardware to its customers, and you can buy them separately or in a single bundle. The company provides what it calls "The Complete Solution" and this bundle includes a Pro-C15 payments terminal, Epos Now software, a receipt printer, and a cash drawer. The typical cost of this bundle is £399, but Epos was running a discount when we reviewed it that brought down the price to £84.

If you don’t want to buy the bundle as a whole, you can pay separately for just the devices you need. A barcode scanner on the website was listed for £95. We found printers priced between £155 and £300. Weight scales were priced from £600 above and staff swipe cards were priced from £39 and above.

Some devices were listed for rent rather than outright purchase, including the Epos handheld POS terminal starting from £19 per month and a kitchen display system starting from £15 per month. Renting is a preferable option for businesses that don’t want to pay a significant price upfront. However, note that an upfront purchase is ultimately cheaper than renting the device for a long time (renting is best reserved for short-term use).

The good thing about Epos is that you must not use the company’s hardware. You can use your point-of-sale hardware and pay for the Epos software system. If you buy hardware from Epos, you can expect it to arrive between 5 and 10 business days after the order, and you can get help to install Epos Now on the hardware.

For transactions, Epos charges a flat fee of 2.6% + $0.10. Larger businesses can negotiate a smaller fee if they have such a high volume that Epos is willing to compromise on its fees to have them as a customer. 

Special Offer

Save money on a complete EPOS solution from eposnowView Deal


Epos Now offers a number of hardware bundles including industry specific ones for retail and hospitality (Image Credit: Epos Now) (Image credit: Image Credit: Epos Now)


The features included with Epos Now depend on whether you choose the company's Retail or Hospitality package (Image Credit: Epos Now) (Image credit: Image Credit: Epos Now)

Epos Now: Features


Epos offers different hardware options including

The Complete Solution

This is a bundle that includes 

- A Pro-C15 terminal running the Windows operating system. It has a water-resistant screen and solid-state drive to keep information.

- An all-metal cash drawer where you can safely keep your cash payments.

- A thermal printer to print customer receipts automatically.

- Epos Now payments software

This bundle is called “The Complete Solution” but in reality, it’s actually not. You have to get a separate device to accept payments from customers’ cards to make it complete. In that case, you can choose from one of Epos’s card machines; Link, Pro, and Pro+

- Link is a compact machine where customers can insert, swipe, or tap their cards to pay you.

- Pro is a device that allows customers to pay you by inserting, swiping, or tapping their cards. It has a built-in receipt printer, unlike Link.

- Pro+ allows you to both accept payments and access complementary features like sales reports.

Epos does not sell its hardware upfront. Instead, it rents them out starting from £15 per month. If you’re not comfortable with renting, then you can buy your own hardware upfront and connect it to the Epos platform. 


As Epos Now is a cloud-based POS system, you can access your reports and back-office data from anywhere on any device with a web browser (Image Credit: Epos Now)

Payment Processing

Epos offers software to collect payments from your customers. You can charge all major credit and debit cards including the likes of Visa and Mastercard, or your customers can use digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay. The platform's payment processor uses encryption to protect customers' details and is PCI-compliant.

The fee for processing payments is a flat 2.6% + $0.10 on every successful transaction. All transactions are collected at the end of each day and wired to your bank account after 2 days.

Integrations (App Store)

Epos lets developers build apps to add functionality to its software. You can download these apps from the official Epos App Store. Examples of such apps include LoyaltyDog to create and manage customer loyalty programs, Xero for accounting, and Appointedd for restaurants to take bookings.


Epos Now has more than 80 integrations and with its API available to customers, you can even add custom integrations to the system (Image Credit: Epos Now)

Epos Now: Interface and use

One of the things you’ll hear Epos customers often talk about is the user interface, and not really in a positive way. We observed many complaints of the system being difficult to set up and understand. Epos needs considerable changes to make its system more user-friendly and intuitive.  

Epos Now: Support

Epos offers direct customer support through email and live chat. You can send a message to the company's support email address or login and get connected via live chat between 9 am-6 pm GMT on working days. There's also the Support Centre where you can access a plethora of articles and user guides concerning all the platform's features. Likewise, there's an official online community where you can seek help from other users. 

Epos Now: The competition

There’s no shortage of point-of-sale systems rivaling Epos. Toast POS and Shopify POS are two major competitors that we’ll highlight. Toast is designed specifically for restaurants and hospitality businesses and offers much more features than Epos in that arena. Shopify is a general point-of-sale solution that’s more intuitive and offers more features than Epos but costs more money. 

Epos Now: Final verdict

Epos is a run-of-the-mill point-of-sale system that’s suitable for all kinds of businesses; retail, hospitality, barber shops, etc. It lets you accept payments from your customers with ease and reasonable fees. Yet, there’s not much differentiating Epos from the competition. It’s just yet another point-of-sale system that you can adopt.  

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Further reading

You may also like our articles on the best POS systems for restaurants, small businesses, and retail, or How to choose the right POS system for your business and 9 inspiring ideas on how to use POS system customer data.