Comfort for less.
As part of its daily deals, Amazon has the Casper Sleep Essential mattress on sale for 20% off, dropping the prices to as low as $280. All of the sizes are available in this sale, so you’ll want to make sure to check it out before the day is over. The Essential mattress has a 3-layer hybrid foam to offer great support, breathability, and comfort. It sleeps cool thanks to the open cell foam top layer and offers minimal motion transfer so you won’t wake your sleeping partner as you toss and turn all night.
If you’ve been eyeing a Casper mattress but had a hard time justifying the price in the past, this deal makes it hard to resist. All of the sizes are 20% off, making the prices:
- Twin Mattress – $280 (Was $350)
- Twin XL Mattress – $320 (Was $400)
- Full Mattress – $400 (Was $500)
- Queen Mattress – $480 (Was $600)
- King Mattress – $580 (Was $725)
- California King Mattress – $580 (Was $725)
Make sure to pick up a bed frame and box spring foundation to complete your new mattress setup. Casper does offer a 100-night risk-free sleep trial, so if you end up not liking it you can always return it at no cost to you. It’s backed by a 10-year warranty.
As headphones get smarter, the market gets bigger.
The number of consumer gadgets that come out each year is impossible to keep up with, but even so, there are always couple niches that seem to be more popular than everything else. Some years it’s smartphones, game consoles, tablets, etc.
For the past couple of years, headphones have been standing out more and more than just about anything. New options are constantly hitting the market with new features and varied price tags, drawing in new buyers who previously weren’t interested.
Why is this happening? Why is an accessory that was first debuted in 1958 now all the rage once again?
Being forced to go wireless
Prior to Apple having the courage to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack from the iPhone 7, wired and wireless headphones coexisted with one another in a wide open field. Wireless headphones were fun, but since most phones had a headphone jack, it made sense to save a few bucks and buy a less expensive wired option.
Wireless headphones have gone from being the exception to the norm.
This arrangement was fine, albeit not very exciting. Pro audio brands strived to make the best-sounding cans they could, but when it came to consumer-focused headphones, there wasn’t a lot to differentiate one from the other. You had over-the-ear-headphones, earbuds, and that was about it. They played music, most were wired, and you had to pay a bit more for wireless options.
However, once one of the world’s largest consumer tech brands decided to do away with the headphone jack and move towards wireless audio solutions, that all changed.
With smartphone OEMs dropping the 3.5mm port left and right, headphone brands had to adapt to a world that was rapidly making it less convenient to use wired audio products. As such, we saw a surge in wireless audio options unlike anything before. Bose introduced Bluetooth functionality to its QuietComfort line for the first time in 2016 with the QC35s, Apple’s AirPods popularized truely wire-free earbuds, and this trend is something we’re still seeing right now.
This past week at IFA 2018, both Sennheiser and Audio Technica — two of the world’s most respected audio brands — just announced their first completely wireless earbuds ever. Hell, even Grado just announced its first pair of Bluetooth headphones.
Big names are now throwing lots of weight and money behind wireless headphones/earbuds even though the sound quality is admittedly worse compared to wired. Why?
Along with the convenience of having no wires and the headphone jack being MIA, something else is also happening that’s just as important.
Adapting to an assistant-filled world
Headphones are getting smart. Like, really smart.
Thanks to devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, it’s quickly becoming the norm to do things like check the weather, make calls, do Google searches, and more all with your voice without ever touching a phone. Not only is this sort of interaction more natural, it’s also considerably easier than tapping away at icons on a display.
With speakers now pulling double duty as audio outlets and smart accessories, it only made sense for headphones to follow this theme, too.
Last year, the Series II of the Bose QC35s were released for the sole purpose of adding Google Assistant to the lineup. The Google Pixelbuds feature the Assistant and real-time language translation. Mobvoi’s TicPods allow you to use the Google Assistant or Siri for voice commands. Audio brands, both big and small, and dedicated to making their gadgets as smart as can be.
And for good reason, too.
As voice interaction becomes more common for things we’d normally do on our phones, smart headphones start to look much more appealing to people for more than one reason. Sure, great sound-quality will always be a plus, but now headphones can pull double duty as extensions of our phones and make our lives a lot easier in the process.
Instead of companies like Bose and Sony just appealing to audiophiles, they’ve also found a market (read, new customers) of people that want all their devices to be connected.
What do you think?
It seems pretty clear to me why headphones are so popular, but what do you think? Am I on the money or totally off base? Let me know in the comments section below!
Headphone buyer’s guide: How to choose the right pair
Lowest barrier of entry for you to start your smart home is right here.
The TP-Link smart plug is down to $15.29 on Amazon, which is a new all-time low. It normally sells for closer to $25, and right now you can get a two pack of TP-Link smart plugs for just $30. The mini version, which takes up less space, is available for $26.99 if you’d prefer it.
This is one of the easiest ways to start adding smart home elements to your appliances. It needs no hub and comes with a free app. So all you have to do is plug it in, connect it to your Wi-Fi, download the free app, and you can turn whatever you’ve plugged into it on and off with your phone.
If you do already have an Echo Dot or something similar, you can connect it to that easily to enable voice control. The smart plug has 4.3 stars based on more than 18,000 user reviews.
Amazon is also offering Alexa owners a way to grab a smart plug and bulb for just $10 each, so don’t miss out on those offers.
See on Amazon
For my money, nobody builds a better summertime smartwatch than Casio. The company’s ProTrek series has it all: alti-barometers, rugged casings, standalone GPS, and dual-layer displays that offer incredible readability in direct sunlight. Even occasional outdoorsmen such as myself can appreciate the ProTrek F10 and F20 for the sheer boldness of their oversized designs, while those in search of more petite wearables have understandably gone elsewhere.
With the ProTrek WSD-F30, Casio seems to have gotten the memo that bigger is only better up to a point. It’s still a thick watch, barely half a millimeter thinner than the F20, but it’s now almost 4 millimeters narrower, which makes a real difference on the wrist. Casio has also made the watchband more flexible, while also adding notches for more granular sizing options. On the tech side, the older LCD watchfaces have been swapped out for a higher-resolution OLED panel, while the monochrome secondary display now includes health info alongside the time.
Most exciting for fans of Android-powered wearables is the fast that the WSD-F30 is our first look at the newly renovated Wear OS. It was tough to get the F30 out of its locked retail demo mode long enough to get more than fleeting impressions of the new software, but the UI’s simple mechanic of swiping in from the cardinal compass directions became second nature almost immediately.
For more, check out the ProTrek F30 Hands-On above, and be sure you’re subscribed to MrMobile’s YouTube Channel so you don’t miss the full review once the time comes for a real-world test drive!
Stay social, my friends
- The Web
The S Pen isn’t the only difference.
Though very similar, the Galaxy Note 9’s plus-sized battery, and the ability to take notes using the exceptional S Pen, make it worth the extra money over the Galaxy S9+.
A great, big phone: Samsung Galaxy Note 9 ($1000 at Amazon)
A Galaxy Note just wouldn’t be right without the S Pen. Samsung’s unique stylus has always been a highlight of the Note series, allowing users to jot down memos and draw with up to 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity. It’s useful off the screen, too; hovering the S Pen over the display creates a floating cursor, which is great for quickly highlighting text and even scrolling through web pages, and the button on the S Pen opens a menu of shortcuts to various apps.
With the Note 9, the S Pen has been further improved with a supercapacitor that allows for remote use through Bluetooth. You can use the button on the S Pen to trigger functions from a distance, ranging from taking photos to controlling media playback, and much more.
The Galaxy S9+ already has a pretty sizable battery at 3500mAh, but it’s no match for the Galaxy Note 9’s larger 4000mAh cell. While 500mAh may not sound like much at first, the Note 9 has much better endurance than its Galaxy S counterpart, easily lasting through a full day and into the next.
Higher storage options
Another big reason to invest the Note 9 is its higher capacity options for internal storage. Sure, you can add a microSD card to either phone, but sometimes even that isn’t enough to hold all of your data. There’s still a $200 price between 128GB models of the S9+ and Note 9, but the former maxes out at 256GB for $860.
The Note 9, on the other hand, starts off at 128GB for $1000, and moves all the way up to a baffling 512GB of internal storage for $1250, doubling the maximum capacity of the S9+. Combine that with a microSD card and you can reach all the way up to a terabyte of storage in the palm of your hand. That storage upgrade also includes a bump from 6 to 8GB of RAM, for what it’s worth, though you likely won’t notice that increase in most situations…
A better DeX experience
… That is, unless you launch into DeX. While the majority of consumers may not care about this feature, Samsung has put a lot of focus on improving the DeX desktop experience on the Note 9. You don’t have to buy a specific DeX dock anymore; plugging in any USB-C to HDMI adapter will launch the Note 9 into desktop mode.
You don’t need peripherals like a keyboard or mouse anymore, either — though they’re still good to have. The Note 9 can function as a trackpad for the desktop monitor, and you can even use the phone in mirrored mode or as a secondary display. DeX is becoming much more flexible and, in turn, more useful for more people.
A Great Big Phone
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
$1000 from Amazon
An incredible phone with a huge price to match.
The Galaxy S9+ is great, but the Note 9 is even greater. It does everything the GS9+ does, but adds in a larger screen, more storage, longer battery life and an S Pen stylus.
Robovacs are a great way to keep your house clean with minimal effort, and today you can get this affordable highly-rated option for even less.
Not a fan of manual labour? Let the popular Eufy RoboVac 11 clean your floors for you. Right now it’s just £167.99 at Amazon, down from its usual selling price of around £210. This price is limited to today only, so act fast if you’ve been waiting to pick one up.
It offers an hour and a half of constant, powerful suction, has a wide rolling brush to clean the floors well, and comes with a remote to help you control it. It is suitable for hard floors and thin carpets, and has object and ledge detection to stop it bumping into your things or falling down stairs.
Over 850 reviewers give it an impressive average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.
For more UK deals coverage, be sure to keep an eye on Thrifter UK, sign up for the UK newsletter and follow the team on Twitter.
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Which PlayStation 4 games have been boosted for the PS4 Pro?
Console manufacturers have long used a “tock” model of updating hardware. Until now.
The releases of the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X represent a “tick” in the development of their consoles. These are not releases of new consoles build from the ground up, but improvements on the existing hardware. Without going into vast detail and promotional talking points, these improvements mean more power.
Note: This is a constantly-updated list. Check for often for the latest Enhanced PS4 Pro games!
What does this mean for a PS4 Pro gamer?
There are many shades of grey, but mostly it means higher resolution graphics and more frames per second. Due to the fact that that it is being left to game developers to decide how they utilize the new processing power in the PS4 Pro, there is no uniform level of improvement.
There are myriad other graphical tweaks developers are implementing, such as enhanced textures and deeper draw distances. For the purposes of this list, however, we are just going to take a highest numbers claimed for resolution and framerate.
Note: Some of these resolutions come with various caveats in regard to lowering other settings in order to achieve highest graphics quality. This means that console only players will be getting a chance to dip their toes in the previously PC owned world of setting tweaks. There are also a few games that are listed as adaptive 4K. In short, this means that the system will scale resolution up or down on its own. When there is less action on screen you are likely to have higher resolutions, whereas moments with tons of elements being rendered at once may see the resolution lowered.
- A Way Out – improved framerate
- Abzû – 2400X1350 with an “increased framerate”
- Arizona Sunshine VR – 1920X1080
- Ark: Survival Evolved – 1080p detail mode, 720p normal at uncapped framerate. 1080 with 30 fps target, 720 with 60fps target
- Assassin’s Creed: Ezio Collection – Native 4K at 30fps
- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – unspecified enhancements
- Assassin’s Creed Origins – 4K dynamic
- Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate – 2880X1620 at 30fps
- Batman Return To Arkham – 1920X1080 at 30fps
- Battleborn – 4K at 30fps
- Battlefield 1 – 2880X1620 at 60fps
- Battlezone VR – 3360X1890
- Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition – 4K
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 – 4K
- Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare – 4K
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered – 4K
- Call of Duty: WWII – 1620p
- Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy – 2560X1440
- Danger Zone – 4K checkerboard
- Darksiders: Warmastered Edition – 4K at 60fps “in moment to moment gameplay”
- Dark souls 3 – 1920X1080 at up to 60fps
- Days Gone – 4K checkerboard at 30fps
- Death Stranding – 4K (Release in 2018)
- Detroit: Become Human – 4K checkerboard at 30 fps
- Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – 4K
- Destiny 2 – Adaptive 4K
- Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition – 4K
- Dirt 4 – 60 fps, improved shadows and textures
- Dishonored 2 – 2560×1440
- Dishonored: Death of the Outsider – 1440p at 30fps
- The Division – 4K
- DOOM – 2560×1440
- Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen – 1440p resolution
- Dragon Quest 11 – 4K checkerboard resolution
- Dynasty Warriors 9 – 4K at 30 fps or 1080p at 60 fps
- The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim Special Edition – 4K
- The Elder Scrolls Online – 4K
- Elite: Dangerous – 1080p performance mode at 60 fps or quality mode with unlocked framerate between 30 and 60 fps
- The Evil Within 2 – 1260p resolution or improved framerates
- F1 2017 – 4K
- Fallout 4 – 1440p
- Far Cry 5 – improved resolution or graphics modes
- Farming Simulator – 4K
- Fe – 1260p
- FIFA 17 – 4K up 60fps
- FIFA 18 – 4K with HDR support
- Final Fantasy 12 – 2560×1440
- Final Fantasy 14 – 3200×1800 at 30 fps or 1080p with unlocked fps
- Final Fantasy 15 – 3200X1800
- Firewatch – 2560X1440
- For Honor – 2560X1400
- Fortnite – increased resolution, 60FPS
- Full Throttle Remastered – 4K
- Ghost of Tsushima – 4K and other unspecified enhancements
- Ghost Recon: Wildlands – 2560X1440
- God of War – dynamic 4K with HDR support
- Grand Turismo Sport – 4K
- Gravity Rush – 3840X2160
- Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice – 60fps
- Helldivers – 4K at 60fs
- Here They Lie – 4K
- Hitman – 4K at 60fps
- Homefront: The Revolution – 4K
- Horizon: Zero Dawn – 4K
- Hustle Kings – 4K 60fps
- Infamous: First Light – 3200X1800
- Infamous: Second Son – 3200X1800
- Injustice 2 – 2560X1440
- Jurassic World Evolution – HDR
- Killing Floor 2 – 4K
- Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX – 4K at 60fps
- Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue – 4K
- King of Fighters 14 – 4K
- Knack – 3072X1728
- Knack 2 – 1800p
- LA Noire – 4K
- The Last of Us Remastered – 2560X1440 max. 1800p at 60fps or 2160 at 30fps
- The Last Guardian – 3840X2160 at variable frame rate. 1080p locked at 30fps
- Lawbreakers – 2560×1440 at 60fps
- Lego Harry Potter Collection – 2560X1440 at 60fps
- Let It Die – 2560X1440
- Life is Strange: Before the Storm – 4K
- Little Nightmares – 2880X1620 at 60fps
- Madden NFL 18 – 4K or 1080ps at 60fps
- Mafia 3 – 2560X1440
- Mantis Burn Racing – 4K at 60fps
- Mass Effect: Andromeda – 3200X1800
- Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain – 2560×1440 with more stable 60 fps
- Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – 4K or 1080p at 30fps
- Middle-earth: Shadow of War – 4K cinematics and 1080p
- MLB The Show 17 – 4K, 2560X1440, or 1080p with “enhanced frame rate”
- Monster Hunter: World – 1800p checkerboard at unlocked framerate between 30 and 60 fps
- Mother Russia Bleeds – 3840X2160
- MotoGP 17 – 2560X1440 at 60fps
- NBA 2K17 – 4K at 60fps
- NBA 2K18 – 4K at 60 fps
- Neon Chrome – 4K
- Nex Machina – 3360×1890 at 60fps or 1080 at 60fps locked
- Nier: Automata – 1080p at 60fps
- Nioh – 1080p display: 1920×1080 (Movie Mode)
- No Man’s Sky – 3200×1800
- Outlast 2 – 2560×1440 at 60fps
- Overwatch – 4K at 60fps
- Oxenfree – 60 fps
- Paladins – 4K
- Paragon – 1080p at 60fps.
- PaRappa the Rapper Remastered – 4K (dynamic).
- PES 2017 – 4K at 60fps.
- Prey – 1080p with improved texture, shadow, lighting, and particle effects
- Pyre – 4K at 60 fps.
- Ratchet & Clank – 3200×1800
- Resident Evil 2 remake – 4K at 30fps or 1080p at 60fps
- Resident Evil 7 Biohazard – 3840×2160
- Resogun – 4K
- Rez Infinite – 3840 x 2160 at 60fps
- Rime – 60 fps with HDR support and improved shadows, textures, reflections
- Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration – 4K at 30fps
- Rocket League – 4K
- Shadow of the Colossus – 4K at 30fps or 1080p at 60fps
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider – 4K at 30fps or 1080p at 60fps
- Skull & Bones – unspecified enhancements
- Skyforge – 4K with HDR support
- Smite – 4K at 60fps
- Snake Pass – 2688×1512 at 30fps
- Sniper Elite 4 – 1920×1080 resolution at 60fps
- Steep – unlocked frame rate up to 60 fps
- Super Stardust Ultra – 4K at 60fps
- The Surge – 4K at 30fps
- Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization – 60fps
- Tekken 7 – 1080p at locked 60 fps
- Tethered – 4K at 60fps
- Thumper – 4K at 60fps
- Titanfall 2 – 2560×1440
- Trackmania Turbo – 2880×1620 at 60fps
- Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End – 2560×1440 at 30fps
- Uncharted 4: Lost Legacy – 4K at 60fps.
- Until Dawn: Rush of Blood – improved rendering
- Verdun – 3200×1800 at 60fps.
- Victor Vran: Overkill Edition – 2880×1620 at 60fps
- Viking Squad – 3840×2160 at 60fps
- Warframe – improved frame rate and performance
- Watch Dogs 2 – 3200×1800
What Remains of Edith Finch – improved frame rates
- Wheels of Aurelia – 3840×2160 at 60fps.
- Wipeout Omega Collection – 4K (dependent on motion blur settings) at 60fps
- The Witcher 3 – 4K
- The Witness – 4K at 60fps
- World of Tanks – 3200 x 1800
- XCOM 2 – improved anti-aliasing
With all the various upgrades to existing games that will now be available on the PS4 Pro there is a decent argument for a PS4 Pro owner to revisit some of the games that may have sitting on the shelves gathering dust. The only difficulty will be tracking what sort of upgrades will be getting applied to each title.
What games will you be re-playing on your PS4 Pro?
Why are we reviewing PlayStation 4 games on Android Central? Let us explain.
- PS4 vs. PS4 Slim vs. PS4 Pro: Which should you buy?
- PlayStation VR Review
- Playing PS4 games through your phone is awesome
Shop and save!
Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer for most, but not everything about it has to be sad. In addition to scoring most of us an extra day off of work, it brings along a bunch of great sales that you can shop. Many popular tech gadgets, accessories, and more are on sale right now.
From 20% off the entire Philips Hue lineup to discounted slow cookers, smart plugs, PC accessories, and more, there are lots of great deals that you’re going to want to check out. Odds are you don’t want to spend your day searching for the best deals, so we’ve rounded them up in one place to make it easier for you.
Some of the deals you won’t want to miss include:
- Philips Hue starter kits, bulbs, and accessories – 20% off
- Amazon Echo Dot – $39.99 (Was $50)
- TP-Link Smart Plug – $15.29 (Was $22)
- Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet – $79.99 (Was $100)
- Super NES Edition Nintendo 3DS XL – $149.99 (Was $200)
- Logitech Circle 2 Indoor/Outdoor Security Camera – $139.99 (Was $180)
- Corsair K70 LUX RGB Mechanical Keyboard – $109.99 (Was $160)
- KitchenAid Cold Brew Coffee Maker – $58 (Was $80)
- Casper Essential Mattress – Starting at $280
- Sun Joe 14-inch Electric Mower – $59.99 (Was $150)
- Instant Pot DUO80 8-quart multicooker – $89.95 (Was $130)
Our friends over a Thrifter have a ton of other great deals that are available right now, so be sure to check them out as well. Any other deals catch your interest this weekend? Be sure to drop a comment if you’ve spotted something we haven’t, and let us know what you like about it!
The latest software has some bugs, but is available for anyone to download.
After a couple weeks running in a closed beta, OnePlus has opened up its Android 9 Pie update for the OnePlus 6 to any willing participant. The new update is the first public taste of the actual OxygenOS-customized version of Android 9 Pie, as early builds during the Developer Preview stage didn’t have a full suite OnePlus tweaks and additions.
If you’re willing to deal with a few bugs, you can get the latest and greatest software right now.
The new software include’s Android Pie’s new gesture navigation system in addition to all of the other great features of the latest Android release. OnePlus has added its accent color customization, an adjustable Do Not Disturb mode and a new Gaming Mode 3.0 as well. Expect even more customization to come with future open beta builds as development continues.
As is typically the case with beta builds, there are known bugs and problems with this first open beta release. OnePlus says that Google Pay will not work on this build, and Google Play may complain that your device “is not certified.” If you’re willing to deal with those known issues and some occasional instability, you can head to the OnePlus forums and download the file for your own phone. Note that there are different update processes depending on whether you’re currently on the stable build or the original developer preview.
How many of you are ready to make the jump up to the open beta now that it’s available? Let us know in the comments below how the installation goes on your OnePlus 6!
- OnePlus 6 review
- OnePlus 6 vs. OnePlus 5T: How much changes in six months?
- OnePlus 6 vs. OnePlus 5: Should you upgrade?
- These are the official OnePlus 6 cases
- The OnePlus 6 doesn’t work on Verizon or Sprint
- Join the discussion in the forums
Grab some extra storage for all your phones, tablets and consoles.
The SanDisk Extreme 64GB microSDXC card is down to just £17.99 today only at Amazon UK. It usually sells for around £25 and today’s offer marks the lowest it has ever been available for, making it the perfect time to pick one (or more) up.
The card can be used to expand the storage of your phone, tablet, Nintendo Switch or action cam and comes with an SD card adapter for broader device compatibility. It’s rated A1 for faster app performance and has a read speed of 100MB/s and write speed of 60MB/s. It’s also shock, temperature, water, and X-ray proof.
If you need a little more storage, you can also grab an all-time low price on the huge 400GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC which is down to £106 from around £150, or the 256GB version of the same card which is just £70. The SanDisk Ultra 200GB microSD card is reduced to £43 right now, too.
For more UK deals coverage, be sure to keep an eye on Thrifter UK, sign up for the UK newsletter and follow the team on Twitter.
See at Amazon UK