Microsoft has launched its annual Xbox summer sale, the Ultimate Game Sale, for 2016 and there are more than 170 digital items and games on offer with up to 75 per cent off.
Xbox Live Gold members get better bargains, but even if you don’t subscribe to the monthly service you can build a healthy Xbox One or Xbox 360 games library for a lot less than normal. Many major triple-A games are included too, so if you haven’t got one or two or them already, now’s the time.
With so many games discounted, we’ve decided to pick a few that stand out for us. If you spot any massive bargains that we’ve not included, let us and the rest of the readers know in the comments below.
Please also note that all the prices listed below are with the additional Gold member discount. The non-subscriber discount is about 10 per cent less than each game’s RRP.
Xbox Ultimate Game Sale 2016 bargains to look out for…
Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate
Xbox One – £20.99 with Gold
Ubisoft set its latest tale in London and with horse drawn carriage chases and “cor, blimey guv’ners” abounding it turned out to be a jolly good jaunt. Definitely worth just over a “score”.
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Borderlands: The Handsome Collection
Xbox One – £18.00 with Gold
Collecting remastered versions of Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, this set was always great value for money. Now even more so.
Dragon Age: Inquisition – Game of the Year Edition
Xbox One – £12.00 with Gold
Bioware’s two-year old RPG more than holds its own in recent company and the Game of the Year Edition comes with the three major DLC add-ons included. Not bad for £12.
Dungeon of the Endless
Xbox One – £5.99 with Gold
We’re big fans of this indie hit, which puts you on a dungeon crawl like few others.
Xbox One – £11.55 with Gold
Although the multiplayer-only game was overshadowed by others on its release, it is still a blast playing as the monster against a bunch of hapless heroes in five-player action.
Xbox One – £25.00 with Gold
One of the greatest games of last year is now very affordable indeed.
Far Cry 4
Xbox One – £9.60 with Gold
A simply brilliant first-person shooter that is made all the more brilliant by being available for less than a tenner. You can even get the Gold Edition, with all the DLC, for just £10 more.
Halo 5: Guardians
Xbox One – £22.50 with Gold
It’s the latest Halo, innit!
Just Cause 3
Xbox One – £18.00 with Gold
The massive, open-world blast was one of our unsung heroes of last year, so well worth a stab at less than half price.
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga
Xbox 360 – £5.99 – also works with Xbox One Backward Compatibility
With Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens now available, here’s a cheap and chearful set of all the previous games in the series (expect for Clone Wars, but we don’t talk about that).
Life is Strange: Complete Season (Episodes 1-5)
Xbox One – £6.40 with Gold
This is one of the best adventure games on the Xbox One and it’s now available for almost the same price as one episode when it was released as a series.
Metro Redux Bundle
Xbox One – £6.00 with Gold
Two full first-person shooters for six squids? You absolutely cannot go wrong. The remastered versions of Metro 2033 and Metro Last light are both decent on their own.
South Park: The Stick of Truth
Xbox 360 – £5.99 – also works with Xbox One Backward Compatibility
A follow-up is coming this December, so now’s the time to play the first South Park role-playing game. Clever and hilarious.
State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition
Xbox One – £10.00 with Gold
Another of our unsung heroes, we’re big fans of the open-world zombie survival game and this is a great opportunity to get it ahead of the sequel coming next year.
Star Wars Battlefront Deluxe Edition
Xbox One – £25.99 with Gold
It’s Star Wars Battlefront along with five exclusive in-game items for less than half its price on release.
Xbox One – £7.50 with Gold
This cute and emotional puzzle-platformer is worthy for anyone’s Xbox One collection.
Watch Dogs Complete Edition
Xbox One – £16.00 with Gold
Watch Dogs 2 is coming soon and you can get a taster of what to expect with the slightly flawed but still highly playable original. All the DLC is included in the Complete Edition.
CD Projekt RED / The Witcher III: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Xbox One – £17.50 with Gold
Still possibly the best game on this current generation of consoles – definitely in the top three. Just prepare to lose all your spare time after you get sucked into Geralt of Rivia’s world.
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Xbox One – £12.50 with Gold
Bonkers FPS set in an alternate universe where the Nazis won. Great fun, chaotic stuff.
Google’s DeepMind division is teaming up with another part of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) to see if it can improve patient care. The artificial intelligence company, acquired by Google in 2014, will use machine learning to analyze one million anonymised eye scans supplied by the Moorfields Eye Hospital. In addition, it’ll be crunching anonymous information related to patient diagnosis, age and treatment. The hope is that such an approach can be used to examine scans with greater efficiency, or with a higher degree of accuracy, than traditional methods, thereby leading to earlier detection and intervention of eye diseases.
Moorfields Eye Hospital is one of the oldest and largest health centres for ophthalmic treatment, handling more than 600,000 patient visits each year. Staff conduct “many thousands” of optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans each week — these are complex and can take time for healthcare professionals to analyze. If DeepMind’s research is successful, this workflow could be accelerated and, as a result, ensure that many people retain their sight. Some conditions, such as diabetic retinopathy, can be prevented or severely limited provided they are detected early enough. “But that doesn’t always happen,” DeepMind explains.
The Google-owned team in London has collaborated with the NHS before. It’s currently working with the Royal Free Hospital to develop an app that’s capable of detecting acute kidney injury (AKI). The system, it’s hoped, will immediately review blood test results, looking for signs of deterioration, and then send an alert should there be any problems to an appropriate member of staff. The project has been criticised, however, for the sheer volume of data — 1.6 million patient records, to be exact — that DeepMind now has access to. The company has since defended its cybersecurity capabilities and offered patients the chance to opt-out of the research.
In a blog post, DeepMind has stressed that the eye scans it’ll be using have been collected by Moorfields over a long period of time. “This means it’s not possible to identify any individual patients from the scans,” the company claims. “They’re also historic scans, meaning that while the results of our research may be used to improve future care, they won’t affect the care any patient receives today.” In addition, the company has submitted its research methodology for open peer review. “We’ll also submit any results from this research to peer-reviewed journals, as is normal, so others in the medical community can analyze them.”
DeepMind, if you need a reminder, developed the AlphaGo computer program that beat Go world champion Lee Sedol in March. (Another match is also on the cards.) If its algorithm is half as effective at analysing eye scans, medical professionals will be very happy indeed.
Via: The Guardian
Source: Moorfields, DeepMind
It’s not the camera, it’s the photographer, right? Actually, sometimes it’s both, as Huawei just proved. It recently posted a lovely image, complete with a lens flare, implying that it was taken with its photo-centric P9 smartphone. “The #HuaweiP9’s dual Leica cameras makes taking photos in low light conditions like this a pleasure,” says the Google+ post caption. The only problem? It was actually taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III equipped with a very pricey 70-200mm F/2.8 lens worth $4,500 total, as the EXIF data clearly proves.
In retrospect, it’s pretty obvious that this is not a smartphone photo. The 5D Mark III’s shallow depth-of-field has blurred out the background, and the lens flare has a polygonal shape, another DSLR signature. As some Redditors have pointed out, the detail in the hair is also a bit too fine for a smartphone camera.
Huawei technically never said directly that its smartphone took the shot, but it’s strongly implied. It has since taken down the photo and given a statement to Android Police, saying, “the photo, which was professionally taken while filming a Huawei P9 advert, was shared to inspire our community. We recognize though that we should have been clearer with the captions for this image. It was never our intention to mislead. We apologize for this and we have removed the image.”
This isn’t the first time that a marketing team has had this bright idea — Nokia used “simulated” images to show off its PureView cameras back in the day. As one commenter pointed out, however, the least Huawei could’ve done was use a professional camera from its branding partner, Leica — we hear they’re pretty good.
Apple is demanding price cuts on components for the new iPhone from its overseas suppliers to maintain its high profit margins, despite a global slowdown in smartphone sales, according to Taiwanese website DigiTimes.
The report claims several large Taiwan-based component suppliers such as Foxconn, Largan Precision, and Pegatron have already been affected, while strong competition in Greater China forcing the companies to “compete aggressively” over Apple’s orders by cutting prices.
Currently, Largan is facing strong competition from Japan-based Kantatsu over camera module orders, while Foxconn and Pegatron are seeing Apple adding new ODM partners such as Wistron for the production of its new iPhone.
Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 7 series in September. The smartphones are expected to retain iPhone 6s-like designs with faster Apple A10 processors, dustproofing and waterproofing, repositioned antenna bands, and faster LTE and Wi-Fi. A dual-lens camera and 3GB of RAM may be exclusive to the 5.5-inch model.
Other rumored features include a Smart Connector, stereo speakers, and a flush, touch-sensitive home button, but it is not entirely clear if each of those features are destined for the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus/Pro, no longer planned, or reserved for the alleged OLED-based iPhone with glass casing expected in 2017.
Tags: Foxconn, digitimes.com, Wistron, pegatron
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Australian carrier Optus has partnered with local singer and songwriter Troye Sivan to give away stylized variants of the Google Cardboard for a limited time. The carrier is running a contest through which fans can view a 360-degree video of a private soundcheck performance of Sivan’s latest single “Talk Me Down.”
You can head to your local Optus store to grab a free Cardboard viewer, and enter here (via Ausdroid) for a chance to meet Sivan in real life. The contest is open until July 21.
See at Optus Music
LG has added two new models to its mid-range X series in South Korea, the X5 and the X skin. The phones join the X power and the X cam as well as the X screen, which made their debut earlier this year.
That’s not to mention the X mach, X style, and the X max, which according to LG are designed to excel in one specific area. As for LG’s latest offerings, the X5 comes with a 5.5-inch 720p screen, 1.3GHz quad-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB storage, microSD slot, 13MP camera, 5MP front shooter, LTE, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, and a 2800mAh battery.
The X skin is designed to be sleek, with the phone coming in at a thickness of 6.9mm. It offers a 5-inch 720p display, the same 1.3GHz quad-core CPU, 1.5GB of RAM, 16GB internal memory with microSD slot, LTE, 8MP camera, 5MP front camera, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, and a 2100mAh battery. Both phones run Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box.
The X5 will retail for ₩200,000 ($175), and the X skin will debut for ₩231,000 ($200) in South Korea.
Samsung is said to be working on an alternative to the notification LED that includes an illuminated ring that around the camera sensor at the back. Called Smart Glow, the ring will light up for incoming calls and notifications, with users getting the ability to customize alerts based on colors. The feature will also allow you to take selfies using the rear camera. Smart Glow is likely to make its debut on the Galaxy J2 2016, based on leaked renders of the handset.
The Galaxy J2 2016 is slated to make its debut in India later this week, which is when we’ll get a more detailed look at how Smart Glow functions. What do you guys think of Samsung’s implementation of the notification LED?
Samsung launched an update for the company’s S Health app to coincide with the release of the Gear Fit 2. With this latest release, the company aims to make exercise more enjoyable and fitness goals more attainable. Having trouble getting into shape? Perhaps with Samsung adding some game-like elements to S Health, this will provide the motivation required to get going.
With the latest release of the app, you’ll be able to challenge friends to a one-on-one match. A target can be set and the first to reach the agreed goal will be named winner. During the match, S Health will monitor just how much you’d need to do to take the lead, providing automated support to pour yet more effort into keeping fit. No one wants to miss out on obtaining ultimate bragging rights.
The steps total displayed in the app can be compared against friends, those in your age group or from all around the world to see just how you rank against other S Health users. It’s a neat system that takes step counting to the next level. From the announcement:
“With the new S Health, you also have access to more comprehensive step count information. In addition to being able to monitor step count and distance walked data from each individual source—like your smartphone or wearable device—you can also estimate your total step count with the All steps option. Should you enable All steps, your total number of steps across all devices and select third-party apps will be displayed in the Steps Tracker and the S Health widget.”
As well as adding game-like functionality to S Health, Samsung also feature improved organization and user experiences. With detect workouts activated in the background, the app will automatically detect and log specific exercises, be it walking, cycling or even hiking. When you’re preparing to set out into the environment, the S Health dashboard can be configured and personalized to your liking.
A detailed weekly summary, rewards received, history of programs and a catalog of personal bests can be found on the updated My page. The app will even use this data to suggest goals and targets to work towards, so there’s always something new to keep things fresh.
Finally, S Health will enable you to measure your own heart rate without having to launch the app itself. Simply activate Quick Measure and you’ll now be able to place a finger on the heart rate sensor and wait for a reading. It’s a solid update, especially for those who rely on the app for fitness tracking. More details on what’s new can be found on the Play Store. This latest update is compatible with the Galaxy S6, Note 5 and S7.
OnePlus has confirmed the company will be raising the price of the OnePlus 3 in the UK, thanks to the pound weakening over the past number of years. Currently priced at just £309, the OnePlus 3 will set purchasers back £329 from July 11. The drop in value post-Britain’s Brexit referendum vote has led OnePlus to reluctantly make its handset more expensive to purchase.
You will still have a few days left to get the OnePlus 3 for £309 if you act quickly. From the announcement:
“Given the effects of the unstable markets on our extremely thin margins, we’re reluctantly going to have make some small changes to our pricing structure for the device. In practical terms for our customers, this means that from July 11, 2016 (that’s next Monday), the OnePlus 3 will be £329 in the UK.”
It’s worth noting that only the OnePlus 3 is affected. Pricing for accessories will remain the same.
Choosing a new smartphone isn’t as simple as it used to be. They may not come in more than one shape, but they do come in lots of different sizes, with plenty different features and most importantly, at plenty of different price points.
There are numerous factors that come into play when upgrading your smartphone. For some the camera is super important, for others it will be the battery life, or perhaps the addition of a fingerprint sensor.
These days it isn’t just the flagship smartphones that offer these features. There are a new breed of smartphones in town – the mid-rangers – that offer almost flagship specs but at a lower price.
That’s what this feature is all about: it’s for those looking for a new smartphone that isn’t necessarily bargain bucket, but won’t break the bank either. We have rounded up the best devices that sit between the £200 mark and the £350 mark, all fully reviewed here on Pocket-lint.
If £200 is stretching too far, then check out our best budget smartphones under £200 feature, or if you want a round up of the best smartphones across all budgets, we have a feature for that too.
For those after the top mid-ranger, click here to see the best smartphones for under £350