It pays to be a Prime member.
Update: This deal has returned!
Amazon has been dishing out discounts on its own hardware to Prime members for a few weeks now, and the latest device to receive the treatment is the Fire TV 4K. Right now, Prime members can pick one up for just $39.99, which is the same price as what we recently saw the refurbished version go on sale for. This is one of the best prices we’ve seen on this hardware, outside of Prime Day where it was just a few bucks less.
It offers 4K Ultra HD support, HDR-10 support, and comes with an Alexa Voice Remote. Plus, the Fire TV can stream from media services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO and many others, and the included remote allows you to search for your favorite content by using just your voice.
If you’re concerned about streaming due to a slow or weak Wi-Fi connection at home, this Amazon Ethernet Adapter for Fire TV devices can help you achieve a stronger connection for just $15 right now.
Now, if you’ve already made the move to a 4K TV and still don’t have a 4K streaming device, you’re missing out. Remember, you’ll need to be a Prime member to take advantage of today’s deal. If you aren’t already one, you can sign up now right now for a free 30-day trial.
See at Amazon
And, yes, you can once again customize the notch.
Even though the long-term future of Essential still remains a mystery, the company continues to update the Essential Phone faster than just about anyone else out there. The October 2018 security patch was just released earlier today, and right behind it, Essential’s already announced that the patch is rolling out to its customers.
Guess what’s back. Back again. Essential notch support is back. Tell a friend.You asked. We listened. Notch support returns in this release. pic.twitter.com/rXHpoO1dP3
— Essential (@essential) October 1, 2018
Along with the regular bug fixes that are found with this patch, Essential’s also bringing back notch support — allowing you to determine how the notch area of the phone is used by apps.
Even if an Essential Phone 2 never does happen, all other OEMs really need to take a note from what Essential’s doing here. Day-one update support like this is fantastic, and it’s something a lot of competing brands cough Samsung cough could take note of.
October 2018 Android security patch rolling out now
- Essential Phone review
- Essential Phone specs
- The latest Essential Phone news
- Join our Essential Phone forums!
Best answer: The NVIDIA Shield TV is still the best Android TV box you can buy in 2018. NVIDIA has done a great job offering software updates that continually make the Shield TV better than before, and the 16GB is a great option for any habitual streamer. So yes, it’s absolutely your best bet for an Android TV box in 2018.
- Amazon: NVIDIA Shield TV Smart Home Edition ($220)
- Amazon: NVIDIA Shield TV Smart Gaming Edition ($195)
NVIDIA is still King of Android TV
The NVIDIA Shield TV is a full-featured streaming box that runs on the latest Android TV software. That means it has both Google Assistant and Chromecast functionality built right in, along with a host of other great features. All of that makes the Shield a stand out product.
It also offers the best internal specs and features on a TV streaming box and comes packaged with a sleek remote that includes a built-in microphone for use with the Google Assistant. You’re can to plug in a keyboard and mouse or connect Bluetooth devices for both gaming or for more mundane things like entering passwords and searching.
The NVIDIA Shield still offers the best streaming box experience you will find in 2018.
On the software side, the Shield TV has been updated to Android 8.0 and NVIDIA has done a good job of keeping this product line up to date over the past three years. You’ll be able to access the best Android apps developed for the Android TV platform, which includes all the most popular services — YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Spotify and etc. — along with media streaming platforms like Kodi and Plex for those who have their own media collections they want to enjoy. Everything is delivered in an easy-to-use user interface that will offer home screen recommendations based on the services and shows you watch.
If the Shield just did streaming really well as it does, it would still be our top pick — but NVIDIA has also equipped the Shield TV with enough processor power for gaming. Not only can you choose from the growing library of games from the Google Play Store, but NVIDIA also has its own library of popular PC games you can download and play, along with game streaming services that let you cast your favorite games from your PC to your living room TV.
It’s better to bundle
You can buy the base NVIDIA Shield TV for just $177, which comes with the console and the media remote and that’s it. But really, if you’re interested in getting the most out of the Shield and all that it can do, you’re better off going with the Smart Home or Gaming bundles which include a SmartThings Link dongle or NVIDIA gaming controller respectively.
The SmartThings dongle is a great investment whether you’re set on using Google Assistant or Alexa to control your smart home devices, as the SmartThings hub works well with both AI assistants and supports a growing number of connected smart home devices, so adding all that functionality for an extra $50 is a pretty great deal if you’ve yet to invest in a pricey Zigbee or Z-Wave hub. Alternatively, if gaming is more your thing, consider that the NVIDIA gaming controller alone costs $60, so spending an extra $20 to get it here is a great deal — plus it works just great as a general remote for the Shield, too.
Do you really need the extra storage?
Deciding whether to go with the 16GB NVIDIA Shield TV or to opt for the more expensive NVIDIA Shield TV Pro that comes with a whopping 500GB will ultimately come down to how you consume media in 2018. For those who have a massive collection of movies and TV shows stashed away on an external hard drive, you might want to migrate it all over to the Shield and have it all accessible.
But if you’re the type who relies on Netflix, YouTube, and other streaming services for the majority of your home entertainment in 2018, the 16GB version will do just fine.
The NVIDIA Shield TV can be the anchor to not only your living room entertainment, but also the rest of your smart home devices. With Google Assistant now fully integrated into the NVIDIA Shield TV’s software
NVIDIA Shield TV Smart Home Edition
$220 at Amazon
Control your smart home with your Shield.
The latest Shield bundle includes a SmartThings Link that connects via USB to convert your Shield into a Zigbee and Z-Wave smart home hub. This lets you connect and control an ever-growing number of compatible smart devices right from your couch. A great deal that makes the Shield that much more useful.
NVIDIA Shield TV Smart Gaming Edition
$195 at Amazon
Save a bit and get a gaming controller.
The Smart Home edition is a great option for non-gamers, but if you’re interested in checking out the Shield’s gaming capabilities, you’ll want to get the Gaming Edition which includes the NVIDIA gaming controller and will save you $25.
One box to rule all the boxes.
Ever had one of those nights where you had to switch the controller in your hand several times just to get to the show you wanted to watch? Even on a casual day, I find myself switching between my TV remote and Xbox One controller. Maybe you have a Fire TV, too, with a Sideclick to help you out? Maybe… just maybe… you don’t need all those things.
The Caavo Control Center wants to unite all your streaming devices, consoles, and set-top boxes like the Amazon Fire TV Recast and give you easy access to all of them. The Control Center is essentially a tiny black box that sits in your home entertainment system and acts as the director for all the other tiny black boxes you own. You’ll be able to connect up to four of them plus a sound bar. It will support advanced video and audio formats like 4K, HDR, and Dolby Atmos as well, so you don’t have to sacrifice quality.
Since the box has to communicate with the TV to detect things like HDR or even adjust simple functions like volume, Caavo has to make it compatible with a lot of them. Right now, the Control Center works with the following brands: LG, Panasonic, Phillips, RCA, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, and Vizio. Of course you can still eliminate some of the clutter in your living room even if you still need to keep a remote around for an unsupported TV.
As far as the other devices that the box supports go, Caavo has a huge list of them on its website. These include everything from Xbox to Roku to iTunes. You can even add voice control using an Amazon Alexa device, like the currently discounted $30 Echo Dot, Google Assistant, or Siri. While awkwardly enough you’ll still need the remotes for device-specific commands, you can use the voice assistants to turn the Control Center on and off, search for shows, and plenty of other features.
Caavo isn’t the only one out there searching for universal control. The Logitech Harmony lineup includes tons of options if you’re looking to unite your home entertainment system, and some of them can be found at a cheaper price than the Control Center because they use functionality you already have (like your smartphone) to unite your devices.
The Caavo Control Center starts at $99.95. You can find it on Amazon and Best Buy, but probably the best place to buy it for the fastest shipping right now is the Caavo website. You’ll also have to subscribe to the Control Center Service Plan for $1.99 a month if you want extra features like universal search (showing you absolutely everywhere the shows you want to watch are available for streaming), voice control, editorial guides, app control, and more.
See on Amazon
Whether you’re looking for new tech gear or household items, we’ve got you covered.
We found plenty of great deals today that include big discounts on Robot Roomba Vacuum Cleaners, Philips Hue Starter Kit bundles, portable storage, and much more!
View the rest of the deals
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We’re a virtual company made up of tech experts from across the globe. We live and breathe Android phones, and we’re here to help you pick the best affordable flagship.
$290 at Flipkart
- Incredible value
- Flagship-level performance
- Outstanding battery life
- Notched display
- No NFC
- Limited availability
There isn’t a phone in the market today that can hold up to the POCO F1 when it comes to value. By offering a Snapdragon 845-powered phone for just $300, POCO has made every player in the smartphone industry stand up and take notice.
$529 at OnePlus
- Gorgeous AMOLED display
- Premium design
- Clean software experience
- No wireless charging
- Costly by comparison
The OnePlus 6 continues to be a great choice in the $500 segment, but it does end up looking expensive next to the POCO F1. OnePlus has steadily hiked the price of its phones over the last four years, and while the $529 figure is still around half what you pay for a Note 9, there are plenty of phones in this segment that offer a similar package.
When we’re talking about phones in this segment, we primarily focus on value. And right now, no device does that better than the POCO F1. The F1 fundamentally changes how we view phones in this category, and sets a new standard for affordable flagships.
POCO F1 redefines value in this category
In a lot of ways, the POCO F1 is like the OnePlus One. When OnePlus launched its first phone back in 2014, it took the industry by storm thanks to a combination of robust hardware and low price.
POCO is following the same formula with the F1. The phone has a basic polycarbonate chassis and a decent display, but that sets it apart is the fact that it costs just $300 and is powered by the Snapdragon 845 and has LPDDR4X RAM and UFS 2.1 storage as standard.
|Operating system||Android 8.1 OreoMIUI for POCO||Android 8.1 OreoOxygenOS 5.1.11|
|Display||6.18-inch IPS LCD, 2248×1080 (19:9)Gorilla Glass 3||6-inch Optic AMOLED, 2160×1080 (18:9)Gorilla Glass 5|
|Chipset||Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 8454×2.80GHz Kryo 385 + 4×1.70 Kryo 385||Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 8454×2.80GHz Kryo 385 + 4×1.70 Kryo 385|
|GPU||Adreno 630||Adreno 630|
|RAM||6GB/8GB LPDDR4X||6/8GB LPDDR4X|
|Storage||64GB/128GB/256GB (UFS 2.1)||64GB/128GB/256GB (UFS 2.1)|
|Rear camera 1||12MP, 1.4μm, f/1.9Dual PDAF||16MP, 1.22μm, f/1.7OIS, EISDual LED flash4K@60FPS, 720p@480FPS|
|Rear camera 2||5MP, 1.12μm, f/2.0||20MP, 1.0μm, ƒ/1.7|
|Front camera||20MP, 0.9μm, f/2.0||16MP, 1.0μm, ƒ/2.0|
|Charging||USB-CQuick Charge 3.0||USB-CDash Charge (5V 4A)|
|Water resistance||No||Splash resistant (no IP rating)|
|Security||Fingerprint sensorFace unlock||Fingerprint sensorFace unlock|
|Dimensions||155.5 x 75.3 x 8.8mm180g||155.7 x 75.4 x 7.8mm177g|
|Variants||Black, Blue, Red, Kevlar||Mirror Black, Midnight Black, Silk White, Amber Red|
The hardware on offer has allowed POCO to stand out in an increasingly crowded market, and take the fight to established players like OnePlus. The POCO F1 is by no means as refined as the OnePlus 6, nor does it have as many features. The lack of NFC in particular makes the F1 a dealbreaker in many Western markets, but there’s no arguing that it offers the best value in the handset space today.
The POCO F1 isn’t as refined as the OnePlus 6, but it doesn’t need to be.
Where the F1 truly excels is at battery life. With a 4000mAh battery under the hood, the phone delivers two days’ worth of usage consistently. Xiaomi has led the way in this category for some time now, and the F1 continues that tradition. If you’re in the market for a flagship that offers two-day battery life, look no further.
Nothing comes close at $300
By undercutting the OnePlus 6 by over $200, POCO has managed to offer a phone that breaks new ground when it comes to value. The phone will be making its debut in the UK and other Western markets over the course of 2018, but it will not be heading to the U.S. That’s a shame, because the F1 is the best example yet that you don’t need to shell out over $300 to get a flagship-tier phone.
$290 at Flipkart
Redefines the value segment
The POCO F1 is designed to offer the most amount of value for your money, and it manages to do just that. If you’re looking for the best hardware at the lowest cost, then the F1 is the device to get.
Refinement comes at a price
$529 at OnePlus
The OnePlus 6 is a more refined product, but at $529 it costs $200 more than the POCO F1. And that’s a lot of money when you consider both phones share the same internal hardware.
Best answer: You can’t use the Samsung Wireless Charger Duo to charge your Apple Watch. There are, however, other charging stand options that are designed to work with the Apple Watch alongside an iPhone — like the Bestand 2 in 1 Wireless Charging Stand.
Amazon: Bestand 2 in 1 Wireless Charging Stand ($40)
The Apple Watch requires a special charger
The Samsung Wireless Charger Duo is a great all-in-one solution for people who want to charge a phone and a watch with Qi wireless technology. The charger will actually work just fine with Apple’s latest phones — every model released since the iPhone 8 — but won’t work with the Apple Watch. While the Apple Watch technically charges over Qi like the phones, it has a specific implementation that requires a special charger. You can’t just set it on a regular Qi pad and expect it to work properly.
The Apple Watch is very particular about how it charges — you’ll need a specific charging stand.
Until Apple is able to figure out how to finish and ship its AirPower wireless charging pad, there isn’t really a device like the Samsung Wireless Charger Duo for people with both an iPhone and an Apple Watch. That doesn’t mean you have to stick with the regular magnetic Apple Watch charger, though — there are charging stand options that you can set up in a specific place and toss your Apple Watch on for both display and charging.
The Bestand 2 in 1 Wireless Charging Stand is the closest thing to Samsung’s dual charger, but it requires a bit more setup. It has a stand to wirelessly charge your phone on the left, and another portion that sticks out to the right for your Apple Watch to rest on. You have to use your own Apple Watch charger in the holder, and manage a couple of cables for both the phone and watch, but once you plug it all in, it’ll keep everything recharged and on display.
Bestand 2 in 1 Wireless Charging Stand
$40 at Amazon
A beautiful wireless charging stand option for your Apple Watch.
Samsung’s Wireless Charger Duo doesn’t work with your Apple Watch, so the next best thing is getting a different charging stand designed for the wearable. The Bestand 2 in 1 Wireless Charging Stand will get the job done, charging both your iPhone and your Apple Watch — it just requires a bit more setup than Samsung’s charger.
Best answer: The main differences between the Jaybird X3 and X4 are that the latter is fully waterproof and comes with new ear tips and an improved cord management system. These are solid upgrades, but not enough to spend another $130 if you already own the X3.
Amazon: Jaybird X4 ($130)
The Jaybird X4 are fully waterproof
Perhaps the biggest difference between the Jaybird X3 and X4 is with their durability against water. With the X3, you get water-resistance and sweatproof protection. A hydrophobic nano-coating keeps them protected against sweat, rain, snow, and moisture, but they’re not fully waterproof.
The Jaybird X4, on the other hand, come equipped with an IPX7 rating, meaning they’re guaranteed to survive up to one meter of water submersion for up to 30 minutes.
There’s a new style of ear tip + easier cable management
Jaybird always includes different types of ear tips with its products, and with the X4, the company added a brand-new Comply Ultra Foam Tip option. The Comply Ultra tips are made out of a thermo-reactive material that offers rich sound and enhanced durability while also conforming to the shape of your ears.
Something else to keep an eye out for is the new cord management system. Every pair of X4s come with a cord cinch pre-installed, and by sliding it up and down, you can quickly make the length of extra cable shorter and longer.
In my experience using the X4, this little bit of plastic makes the earbuds a lot easier to adjust than any of its predecessors.
Everything else is just like the X3
Aside from those differences, everything else about the X4 pretty much remains intact from the X3. Aesthetically, they’re nearly identical, although considering the X3 were simple and functional, you can’t ask for more. Sound quality is also similar, with a good mixture of bass and clarity.
Battery life is rated at eight hours of playback per charge (although in testing, we found that battery can last up to 10 hours). You can also customize your EQ settings in the Jaybird app and 10 minutes of charging will give you one hour of use. You can check out some more of the X4’s features in our review.
Not the biggest upgrade we’ve ever seen
Unless you absolutely need full waterproofing, you’re probably safe to keep your Jaybird X3s and wait to see what we get with the X5 next year. However, if you don’t have the X3 and need a new pair of wireless sport earbuds, you can’t do much better than the X4. They’re sweatproof, so they’ll remain working even in the most intense workouts, feature new ear tips that keep them in your ears, and pack enough of a charge for longer fare like marathons.
$130 at Amazon
Fully waterproof buds that look and sound great.
The Jaybird X4 may not be a drastic change over the X3, but that’s perfectly alright. Jaybird took a winning combo of sound and battery life, added IPX7 waterproofing + an awesome cable management cinch, and the end result is one of the best sporty earbud options around.
Eyes on the road!
Right now, you can pick up the iOttie Easy One Touch 3 car mount for just $17.95 at Amazon, which is within just a few dollars of its all-time lowest price. It normally sells for between $25 and $30, and rarely drops from that. iOttie is well-known for its vehicle mounts and their ease of use. They have a universal Each One Touch mounting system, which lets you store and remove your phone with just the press of a single button.
This model also can operate in three different modes, which allow the arm to be either nice and compact at 4.5 inches, or extend to over 8 inches. It can fit devices up to 3.5 inches in width, meaning it will hold even your new large iPhone or Galaxy Note 9.
See at Amazon
Everything is permitted, Nothing is true.
There are some pretty amazing titles for the PlayStation 4, and we’re here to keep you updated on all the new ones! Be sure to check in with us every week to see what new titles you should be expecting, or excited for!
Notable release this month
Here’s what we’ve found so far!
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Coming October 5
Take another trip in the Abstergo to refurbish the memories of your late ancestors. This time, you’re diving into Greece to become a Spartan. Judging by the trailers, and the information given to us on the PlayStation store, it looks like they’re combining all of the great aspects of the old Assassin’s Creed games to make one perfect one. Not only will you be fighting on land, scaling buildings and killing enemies, but you’ll also be fighting on the sea as well!
But, what’s the best part for me, is that you get to play as either Alexios or Kassandra. Yes, that means you can be a strong female lead in an Assassin’s Creed game! Other customizing options include gear, abilities, and your ship.
You can pre-order this title on Amazon for $59.99
See on Amazon
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
Coming October 12
Another excellent battle-royale game is coming to you from the developers over at Activision. This time you’ll be getting land, sea, and air vehicles, as well as RC-Xds and traps! Of course, as they do with new games, you’ll also see all new maps and modes. They’re even bringing back the create-a-class system with 10 different options, as well as a new “Gear” category. You can surely tell their ultimate goal was to make this PvP experience as customizable for you as they possibly could!
You can pre-order this title on Amazon for $60. You can also get the deluxe version of the pre-order for $100 that comes with the Specialist Outfit, signature weapon, 2,400 Call of Duty Points, Back in Black Maps, and a Black Ops Pass (that includes 4 new zombie experiences, 12 multiplayer maps, and 4 exclusive Black Ops characters). It doesn’t stop there either, as it’s noted on the page that the deluxe copy also “includes additional bonus content.”
See on Amazon
Red Dead Redemption 2
Coming October 26
You can pre-order the special edition on Amazon for $80, and it comes with an exclusive access to a bank robbery mission, a collection of exclusive story mode boosts, bonuses and discounts as well as 3 free weapons at the gunsmiths.
See on Amazon
Other PlayStation 4 games releasing this month!
- First of the North Star: Lost Paradise – October 2 – $60
- Mega Man 11 – October 2 – $30
- The Midnight Sanctuary – October 2 – $TBD
- WWE 2k19 – October 5 – $60
- Disgaea 1 Complete – October 9 – $40
- The Occupation – October 9 – $TBD
- Senran Kagura Burst: Re: Newal – October 9 – $70
- Razed – October 15 – $TBD
- Crayola Scoot – October 16 – $40
- LEGO DC Super-Villains – October 1 – $30
- Dark Souls Trilogy – October 19 – $80
- Soul Calibur VI – October 19 – $60
- Just Dance 2019 – October 23 – $40
- PAW Patrol: On a Roll – October 23 – $40
- Project Highrise: Architect’s Edition – October 23 – $40
- My Hero One’s Justice – October 26 – $60
- Call of Cthulu: The Official Video Game – October 26 – $60
- Monstrum – October 30 – $30
- Mutant Football League: Dynasty Edition – October 30 – $30
- My Riding Stables: Life with Horses – October 30 – $30
- Death Mark – October 31 – $70
Upcoming PlayStation Vita Releases
Nothing this month, stay tuned!
Upcoming Downloadable Content
Marvel’s Spider-Man: The Heist
Coming October 23
This is the first DLC coming to this title pertaining to the Marvel’s Spider-Man: City That Never Sleeps. This is a 3-part DLC story that starts with The Heist. You can find Marvels Spider-Man, the game, on Amazon for $60. You can find the City That Never Sleeps Bundle for $25 on the PlayStation store, or purchase the full game with all the DLC features included for $80 on Amazon.
See on PlayStation Store
Exciting Q4 games you might be seeing soon
- Hitman 2 – $60
- Fallout 76 – $60
- Battlefield 5 – $80
- Just Cause 4 – $60
- Dreams – TBD
- Team Sonic Racing – $40
- Kingdom Hearts 3 – $60
- Resident Evil 2 Remake – $70
What are you playing?
Which PlayStation 4 game are you looking forward to most? Let us know in the comments section or shoot me a Tweet and tell me all about it!
Updated October 2018: We will continue to refresh this list at the beginning of a new month to ensure you’re in the know when it comes to the PlayStation games being released soon!
- PS4 vs. PS4 Slim vs. PS4 Pro: Which should you buy?
- PlayStation VR Review
- Playing PS4 games through your phone is awesome