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5
Oct

Apple Stores in Europe Offering Free Coding Sessions for Code Week


EU Code Week runs from October 6-21, and during the event Apple will offer more than 2,000 free coding sessions, with at least one free session every day in every Apple store in Europe. Like previous Today at Apple events, these sessions are open to all customers, and Apple says they are designed to help people of all ages and skill levels learn to code.

Sessions include “How To: Get Started with Coding,” “Teacher Tuesdays: App Design & Coding Basics,” and “Kids Hour: Sphero Maze Challenge.”

“Coding is a critical skill that gives people of all ages the chance to create and share their ideas with the world,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Apple has long believed coding is the language of the future, and we’ve created a range of tools to make it fun and accessible for everyone. We’re thrilled to offer thousands of sessions in Apple stores for EU Code Week, and can’t wait to share our love for coding with young people and educators across Europe.”

Additionally, schools and coding organizations across Europe will be able to offer their own Swift workshops through Apple’s Everyone Can Code curriculum and the new coding challenges created for EU Code Week. One Swift Playgrounds app challenge is the “Incredible Code Machine,” and is designed for entry-level coders.

In the press release announcing its participation in EU Code Week, Apple touted a few milestones in the Swift coding language and Today at Apple coding sessions. According to the company, over 75,000 attendees have taken part in more than 14,000 coding sessions at Apple stores in Europe over the past year. Apple also says that there are now 1.5 million jobs across Europe attributable to the company’s iOS app economy.

Interested users in Europe can find local coding sessions on the Code Week website and on Apple.com.

Tag: Europe
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5
Oct

Review: iOttie’s iON Wireless Charging Stand Offers Upright Charging and an Attractive Design


When the first iPhones launched with wireless charging capabilities, many of the first wireless charging accessories designed for the new devices were the plain, flat wireless charging pads.

Now that companies have had time to innovate and come up with more efficient charging solutions, we’re seeing more and more upright wireless charging stands, like iOttie’s new iON Wireless Charging Stand.

Upright wireless charging stands offer several benefits over the flat wireless charging options, and are by far my favorite charging solutions for the iPhone X and new iPhone XS models. With a wireless charging stand, it’s impossible to place the iPhone at the wrong position for charging to start automatically, which is not the case with flat charging solutions.

When I’m using a flat pad, I have on multiple occasions put the iPhone a little bit left or right of the center of the built-in charging coil, which means it won’t charge. Then I have to adjust multiple times and double check to make sure everything is lined up.

With the little shelf that’s available on upright stands, there’s basically no room for error when positioning the iPhone, so it’s better for peace of mind, especially when charging an iPhone on a wireless charger at night. And, in addition to the no-hassle charging, upright stands offer the benefit of being able to look over and see the iPhone’s screen at a glance.


iOttie’s iON Wireless Stand, like its flat charger, is one of the more unique wireless charging accessories I’ve run into. It’s actually almost identical in design to the iON Fast Charging Pad Plus and the iON Fast Charging Pad Mini, but it’s a stand instead of a pad.

The iON Wireless Stand is covered in an attractive tweed-style fabric that’s available in gray, beige, and red, with the gray pictured in my images. It’s a little more professional looking than your average plastic charging stand, so I think it’s a great option for an office. It does, of course, look just as attractive at home on a desk or a night stand.

Size wise, the stand has a fairly small base (right around two inches square) so it’s not going to take up as much room as one of the flat charging options.


At the bottom of the iON Wireless Stand, there’s a grippy rubber pad to make sure that it stays in place on a flat surface without slipping around, and a plastic shelf at the bottom of the charger holds the iPhone in place. The shelf is covered with the same rubber material to ensure your iPhone is secure.

My phone didn’t slip or move while on the iON Wireless Stand, but these upright chargers are more prone to being knocked over or bumped which is something to be aware of. There are no side bars holding the iPhone in place on this stand, so if you give it a good knock, your iPhone runs the risk of falling off.


iOttie designed the iON Wireless Stand to be just a bit narrower in width than the iPhone X and XS, so when your phone is on the stand, the stand is hidden from view from the front.

At the back of the stand, there’s a USB-C port where the USB-C to USB-A cord plugs in to the charging brick that’s included with the stand. On the right side, there’s an LED that lights up while charging is taking place. The LED is a distraction, but it’s not so bright that it can’t be used at night in a dark room.


What I like about the iON Wireless Stand in addition to the fabric design is the 65-degree angle of the charging plate that the iPhone rests against. It’s in an ideal position for looking over at the iPhone when a notification comes in or glancing at the time at night. It can double as a stand for watching portrait or landscape videos.

Speaking of landscape mode, you can charge an iPhone on the iON Wireless Stand in either portrait or landscape orientation because there are two coils inside of it, which means the corresponding coil in the iPhone lines up properly in either position.


Like iOttie’s other wireless charging options, the iON Wireless Stand charges compatible iPhone models at 7.5W, the maximum wireless charging speed for Apple’s current crop of devices. Android devices charge at a faster 10W pace.

7.5W charging is not all that much faster than 5W charging in most charging conditions, but it is going to give you a little more juice.


I drained my iPhone X to 1 percent battery life, put it in Airplane Mode, and put it on the iON Wireless Stand to charge for an hour, which is the same testing protocol that I use for all wireless charger reviews.

In a one hour period, the iPhone X charged up to 38 percent, which is in line with the charging speeds that I saw from iOttie’s other 7.5W charging options and 7.5W charging pads from other companies.

Wireless charging is temperature dependent so the 38 percent metric was with the ambient room temperature at about 74 degrees. When it’s colder in the winter, I’ve seen 7.5W wireless chargers charge to about 45 percent within an hour.

I tested the iON Wireless Stand with a standard Apple Silicone case, but iOttie says it’ll work with cases up to 7mm thick.

Bottom Line

Now that Apple has embraced Qi wireless charging, there are hundreds of wireless charging accessories on the market at a range of price points. You can get cheap 5W wireless charger on Amazon for about $10 and there are a lot of 7.5W chargers out there now that aren’t too much more expensive.

At $49.95, the iON Wireless Stand is pricier than those plain charging pads you can get on Amazon, but I think for some people, the convenience of an upright stand and the design of the iON may be worth the price.


When compared to other premium upright wireless charging stands from Logitech and Belkin, iOttie’s solution is competitively priced at $20 less, making it an attractive choice for those looking for a quality charging stand.

How to Buy

iOttie’s iON Wireless Stand can be purchased from the iOttie website for $49.95 or from Amazon for $44.95.

Note: iOttie provided MacRumors with an iON Wireless Stand for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received. MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon and may earn commissions on purchases made through links in this article.
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5
Oct

Samsung’s cheaper phones may join the Galaxy S9 in getting wireless charging


Samsung is expected to add wireless charging, a desirable feature seen on its Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9 devices, to cheaper smartphones in its Galaxy A and even Galaxy J series. Wireless charging is an established technology found in many devices already; but the vast majority of phones that provide it are expensive. Samsung’s decision is part of its push to make its cheaper phones stand out in a very crowded market.

A further problem with wireless charging, and why it’s not usually considered for cheaper phones, is that you need to purchase a wireless charging pad separately. Prices for these products vary, but official equipment from the manufacturer can be an expensive accessory. To change this, Samsung is apparently producing a new wireless charging pad that will cost the equivalent of $20 — cheap for an official product.

According to ETNews, where the news has been published, the wireless charger pad will be announced in October. Although it’s not mentioned, this may coincide with Samsung’s Galaxy A announcement event on October 11. The new device, likely to be the 2018 Galaxy A9, may include wireless charging as a feature. Samsung’s Galaxy A phones are cheaper than the range-topping Galaxy S and Galaxy Note phones, which can cost $1,000 or more.

Samsung has included wireless charging on its phones for three years, and recently Samsung Mobile CEO DJ Koh said the company was changing focus from high-end devices to its midrange phones. Koh even went so far as to say cheaper phones might see new features before the more expensive ones. Including wireless charging on the Galaxy A series, and selling a cheaper wireless charger, may only be the beginning.

Increasing the value of cheaper phones will help Samsung regain market share in several key markets, where it can’t rely on the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note phones to be big sellers. For example in China between April and June of this year, Samsung didn’t feature in the top five manufacturers by market share at all, according to Counterpoint Research, and at the beginning of 2018 the company only managed a one-percent share. Apple has 8 percent of the market, while Huawei leads with 26 percent.

Samsung will announce a new Galaxy A series phone on October 11 during an online event.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Samsung’s Wireless Charger Duo can charge two devices at the same time
  • Mophie vs. Belkin vs. Anker vs. iOttie: Finding the best wireless charging pad for iPhones
  • Here’s everything we know about Apple’s AirPower wireless charging mat
  • Nomad creates a wireless charging pad just for the Tesla Model 3
  • The best wireless phone chargers for your iPhone or Android



5
Oct

Nokia 7.1 vs. Honor 8X vs. Moto G6: Budget phone battle royale


If you’re shopping for a new Android smartphone and you don’t want to spend too much, then you’re spoiled for choice right now. There are lots of attention-worthy options on the market that won’t break the bank. The Moto G6 is probably the best known, but the Honor 8X has an awful lot to offer, and the Nokia 7.1 is an exciting new contender.

We decided to pit these three relatively cheap phones against each other to find out which is best in various categories. In the end, there can be only one winner.

Specs

Nokia 7.1
Honor 8X
Moto G6

Size
149.7 x 71.1 x 8 mm (5.89 x 2.79 x 0.31 inches)
160.4 x 76.6 x 7.8 mm (6.31 x 3.02 x 0.31 inches)
153.8 x 72.3 x 8.3 mm (6.01 x 2.85 x 0.33 inches)

Weight
160 grams (5.64 ounces)
175 grams (6.17 ounces)
167 grams (5.89 ounces)

Screen size
5.8-inch PureDisplay IPS LCD
6.5-inch IPS LCD
5.7-inch IPS LCD

Screen resolution
2280 x 1080 pixels (435 pixels per inch)
2340 x 1080 pixels (396 pixels per inch)
2160 x 1080 pixels (424 pixels per inch)

Operating system
Android 8 Oreo
Android 8.1 Oreo (under EMUI 8.2)
Android 8.0 Oreo

Storage space
64GB
64GB, 128GB
32GB, 64GB

MicroSD card slot
Yes, up to 400GB
Yes, up to 400GB
Yes, up to 128GB

Tap-to-pay services
Google Pay
In certain markets
No

Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
Kirin 710
Qualcomm Snapdragon 450

RAM
4GB
4GB, 6GB
3GB, 4GB

Camera
Dual 12MP and 5MP rear, 8MP front
Dual 20MP and 2MP rear, 16MP front
Dual 12MP and 5MP rear, 8MP front

Video
TBA
Up to 1080p at 30 frames per second
1080p at 60 fps, slow-mo video

Bluetooth version
Bluetooth 5.0
Bluetooth 4.2
Bluetooth 4.2

Ports
3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C
3.5mm headphone jack, MicroUSB
3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C

Fingerprint sensor
Yes
Yes
Yes

Water resistance
No
No
No

Battery
3,060mAh

Fast charging

3,750mAh
3,000mAh

TurboPower Charging

App marketplace
Google Play Store
Google Play Store
Google Play Store

Network support
T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint
T-Mobile, AT&T
T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint

Colors
Midnight Blue, Gloss Steel
Black, Blue, Red, Pink
Black, Deep Indigo

Price
$350
$200+
$250

Buy from
Amazon, Best Buy, B&H
Honor
Motorola

Review score
Hands-on review
Hands-on review
3.5 out of 5 stars

Performance, battery life, and charging

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

These three phones are very different in the processor department. The Moto G6 trails the pack with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450, the Honor 8X is faster with Huawei’s Kirin 710 inside, but the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 in the Nokia 7.1 is the best performer. The G6 offers 32GB of storage with 3GB of RAM, or 64GB of storage with 4GB of RAM — we definitely recommend the slightly more expensive, higher capacity model if you can get it. Honor’s 8X is backed by 4GB of RAM with 64GB of storage or 6GB of RAM with a whopping 128GB of storage. The Nokia 7.1 has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. All three have a MicroSD card slot for expansion. The only one we have minor qualms about in the performance department is the lowest capacity Moto G6, which isn’t as smooth as we’d like when switching between apps.

All three of these phones have decent sized batteries in them that will see you through a normal day with change. The Honor 8X has the biggest battery by a distance, but it also has a much bigger display, so we expect that to balance out. We’re pleased to see fast charging support out of the box for the Moto G6 and Nokia 7.1, but the Honor 8X loses points here. Sadly, wireless charging hasn’t filtered down to budget phones yet.

Winner: Nokia 7.1

Design and durability

A glance at these phones is enough to make you realize how far budget phone design has come in the last couple of years. We’re seeing design trends like glass backs, metal frames, and highlights, and shrinking bezels reach well beyond the top tier now. It used to be easy to pick the budget phone out of a lineup, but that’s no longer the case. The Moto G6 is the oldest phone here and it shows. We’ve never been keen on the big, signature round camera module on the back and it still has sizable bezels with a fingerprint sensor on the front. Both Nokia and Honor have shrunk the bezels right down, embraced the notch, and moved the fingerprint sensor onto the back.

We’re fans of the bright red finish on the Honor 8X, which dances in the light, and it looks nice in blue, too, but it is important to note that this is a very big phone that can be tricky to manage one-handed. The Nokia 7.1 has adopted the notch, but that allows for a relatively large screen in a compact device and we love the copper highlights in the white “steel” version. Both the Honor 8X and the Nokia 7.1 are beautiful budget phones, but Nokia edges the win.

Winner: Nokia 7.1

Display

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

While the Honor 8X wins on size, it also has the least sharp display here, but the quality is good. The Moto G6 is a decent middle ground, though we did feel it lacked brightness during our testing. The Nokia 7.1 runs away with this category. The 5.8-inch PureDisplay in the Nokia 7.1 has a wide 19:9 aspect ratio and support for HDR10, which is a real rarity in budget phones. It even upscales standard definition content and adjusts, not just brightness, but also contrast to match your environment and stay legible. If size is the most important thing to you, then the Honor 8X is going to be your pick, but the best display here belongs to the Nokia 7.1.

Winner: Nokia 7.1

Camera

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Another trend that has filtered down to budget phones is dual lens cameras. The Moto G6 pairs a 12-megapixel lens with a 5-megapixel lens, as does the Nokia 7.1. Both also have 8-megapixel front-facing cameras. The Honor 8X is a little different, pairing a 20-megapixel and 2-megapixel lens on the back and boasting a 16-megapixel selfie-camera. The adoption of dual lenses allows for a better bokeh effect, where your subject is in sharp relief and the background is blurred. All three offer support for HDR, but the Zeiss optics and speedy phase detection autofocus in the Nokia 7.1, give it an edge. You can also take shots with the front-facing and rear cameras simultaneously with “bothie” mode on the Nokia. The Honor 8X is inconsistent, but when it nails a shot it does really well and it offers good bokeh, slow-motion video, and a night mode for low-light shots. Both are generally better than the Moto G6, but we need more time with the Nokia 7.1 to decide whether it’s better than the Honor 8X.

Winner: Tie between Nokia 7.1 and Honor 8X

Software and updates

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

We used to appreciate the extras that Motorola added to its phones, and it tended to exercise a light touch in the past, but with the Moto G6 we saw more bloatware creep in on top of Android 8.0 Oreo and updates have begun to slow under Lenovo’s watch. The Honor 8X comes with the slightly newer Android 8.1 Oreo, but it has the EMUI on top, which can take some getting used to. The Nokia 7.1 is an Android One phone, which means it runs stock Android as Google intended. It is launching with Oreo, but Android 9.0 Pie update is scheduled for the end of November and it’s guaranteed to get monthly security updates for at least three years and version updates for at least two years.

Winner: Nokia 7.1

Special features

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

We like Moto Actions on the Moto G6, which offers some useful gesture shortcuts such as the ability to turn the phone over to mute it. The Honor 8X has a handy comfort mode that reduces blue light from the screen, which is ideal when you’re reading in bed. There are also A.I. options in the camera, though we’re not convinced that the AI always improves shots. The Nokia 7.1 is mercifully free of gimmickry and bloatware, with the HDR display taking top billing as a standout feature that should attract to you to this phone.

Winner: Tie

Price

The base model of the Moto G6 is a very reasonable $250. We’re not sure about the price for the Honor 8X as it has yet to get a U.S. or European release, though based on prices elsewhere we think it will be between $200 and $280. If you import there might be some other costs to pay. The Nokia 7.1 is a bit more expensive at $350, but it’s widely available at Best Buy stores and from a number of online retailers.

Overall winner: Nokia 7.1

It has the best design, the best display, the fastest performance, and offers the best software experience: Picking the Nokia 7.1 as our winner is easy, but it also costs significantly more than the Moto G6 and the Honor 8X. The good news here is that all three are decent phones that represent great value for money. The days where Moto’s G series ruled the budget roost are gone, because we’d place it last here, though if you live outside the U.S. and can get your hands on a Moto G6 Plus, it’s a better match for these contenders.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Honor 8X vs. Honor 7X: Battle of the beautiful budget phones
  • Motorola Moto Z3 vs. Moto Z3 Play
  • LG V40 ThinQ vs. V35 ThinQ vs. V30: Which of LG’s big phones is best for you?
  • Moto G6 vs Nokia 7 Plus vs Honor 7X camera shootout
  • LG V40 ThinQ vs. LG G7 ThinQ: Which LG flagship is right for you?



5
Oct

How does your Pixel 2 look one year later?


Google’s phones are still holding up quite nicely.

Google’s Pixel 2 and 2 XL smartphones are officially a year old, and next Tuesday, we’ll be introduced to their successors in the form of the Pixel 3 and 3 XL.

google-pixel-2-one-year-later-review-3.j

Last year’s Pixel phones are still darn good devices, but after a year of use, how do they hold up against general wear and tear?

We checked in with the AC forum community regarding this question and this is what our members had to say.

avatar2910658_12.gifmustang7757
10-01-2018 07:16 PM

Mine still looks mint condition, had it 3 months after launch.

Reply

avatar752687_8.gifTraderGary
10-01-2018 08:08 PM

Since launch.
Looks like fresh out of the box.
Of course it went in a Google Live Protective Case within minutes. 😎

Reply

avatar30578_26.gifdavidnc
10-01-2018 08:16 PM

Had my Pixel 2 XL Panda since late November still looks new. every week or so take it out of the cheap clear tpu case to clean it

No screen protector

Reply

avatar2313781_23.gifMike Dee
10-01-2018 07:17 PM

Had mine since early November last year. Spotless…..

Reply

What about you? How’s your Pixel 2 looking all this time later?

Join the conversation in the forums!

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

  • Pixel 2 FAQ: Everything you need to know!
  • Google Pixel 2 and 2 XL review: The new standard
  • Google Pixel 2 specs
  • Google Pixel 2 vs. Pixel 2 XL: What’s the difference?
  • Join our Pixel 2 forums

Best Buy
Verizon
Google Store
Project Fi

5
Oct

Take your PS4 gaming to new heights with these awesome arcade pads


Among Android Central’s ranks is a legion of gamers who play many different titles on many different platforms using many different accessories. We work tirelessly to find the best things you can buy to enhance your PlayStation 4 experience.

razer-panthera-hero.jpg?itok=wPeDBNB-

The Razer Panthera checks all the boxes on everything a good arcade pad needs. With components of the same grade as real arcade machines and full customization, this is a complete package.

Our pick

Razer Panthera

razer%20panthera.jpg?itok=8oDkU-iW

  • $200 from Amazon
  • $200 from Newegg

This arcade pad has everything you need.

Razer offers the best total fight stick package for the PlayStation 4. It has all the customizable fighting buttons you need, plus all the other PlayStation-specific components that others just don’t have.

Who should buy this arcade pad

If you’re serious about stepping your game up in fighting games like Street Fighter, BlazBlue, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and more, you need an arcade pad. These things offer superior range of motion, more ergonomic button placement, and more customization than any gaming controller ever could.

Is it a good time to buy this arcade pad?

Yes, there’s never been a better time to buy the Razer Panthera. Released in 2016, this arcade stick is expected to be around for the long haul. Razer still regularly offers software updates to ensure continued compatibility with all the latest fighting games. There are no major discounts expected anytime soon, with arcade pads being one of the few gaming accessories which maintain a steady price tag throughout their product lifecycle.

Reasons to buy

  • High-quality Sanwa components
  • Customizable buttons and joystick
  • Supports all PS4 functions
  • Internal storage for included tools

Reasons not to buy

  • Proprietary connection cable

The Razer Panthera has it all

At its $200 range, the Razer Panthera offers a bit more than other arcade pads it competes with. The biggest thing it has going for itself is customization, with the ability to change out any of its Sanwa buttons, as well as the ability to swap between ball- and bat-style tops for the joystick. Internally, the honeycomb-shaped mounting board gives you a full

Razer includes dedicated buttons for each button on the PlayStation 4’s DualShock 4 controller. That gives you as many as 8 main face buttons, 2 side-mounted buttons for the Share and Options buttons, 2 smaller buttons for clicking L3 and R3, and even access to the PS4’s unique trackpad features.

There’s no arcade pad more flexible at this price point.

Overall, the Razer Panthera is well-built. With a weight of 7.44 pounds, you never get the sense that you’re holding some cheap pretender. It sits across your lap with enough stability to give you a comfortable grip, and if you’re putting it on a more sturdy surface you’ll be glad about the rubber non-slip feet fixated on the bottom.

There are a few other things which make this arcade pad a winner. One of those is the Tournament Gaming Mode, which allows you to deactivate the Options, Share, and PlayStation buttons. This is useful for folks who have problems accidentally hitting those buttons during the heat of battle, something you have to avoid during official fighting game tournaments where even mistakenly causing a pause is enough to get you disqualified. We’re also giving a hearty nod to its ability to be used on PlayStation 3 and PC out of the box thanks to its 13-foot screw-lock USB cable.

Alternatives to the Razer Panthera

Razer is actually a bit of a new player in this space. Longtime incumbent Hori still offers one of the best alternatives, however. And for those on a tighter budget or looking for entry-level gear, Mayflash offers a tremendous product.

Runner-up

HORI Real Arcade Pro 4 Kai

hori-real-arcade-pro-4-kai.jpg?itok=QYP0

HORI offers high quality without the nonsense.

$150 from at Amazon

HORI doesn’t offer the customization as other high-end sticks, but you still get top-tier quality and all the control you’ll never need.

The HORI Real Arcade Pro 4 Kai uses the company’s proprietary HAYABUSA joystick and buttons for smooth and accurate input. Its buttons are completely reconfigurable, it works with the PlayStation 3, Playstation 4, and PC, and it can be had in a variety of colors.

Value pick

Mayflash F300

mayflash.jpg?itok=AEg0WrTV

An affordable choice that anyone can use.

$56 at Amazon

Great for beginners, this arcade pad offers a low entry cost and has the ability to get better over time.

Kind of like a nice wine, the Mayflash F300 is affordable and can get better with time. It can be used with pretty much any gaming console (including the PlayStation 4) and even your Android phone, too. And once you get more room in your budget, Mayflash makes it easy to swap out its ordinary joystick and buttons for higher quality Sanwa Denshi parts.

Bottom line

Razer once again grabs the attention of the gaming world, this time with the Razer Panthera tournament fighting stick. Its native compatibility with the PlayStation 4 and all its top fighting games, as well as top-of-the-line parts and construction, earns it our pick of the best arcade pad for the console.

Razer could have stopped short of anything more than a box with buttons, but the company took care to give the user the sort of freedom and control that most mainstream options wouldn’t. That includes a customizable joystick and buttons and an internal design that supports any mods you could want.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

100x100_10430309.jpg?r=1

Quentyn Kennemer plays everything. Thought to be born with a controller in his hand, he appreciates games as a form of art and knows way too much about some of them. You can catch him on Twitter opining about gaming, tech, and football.

100x100_10339244.jpg?r=1

Jaz Brown has extensive experience with arcade controls. From the grease soaked sticks and buttons on arcade cabinets in the pizza joints of the 80’s and 90’s, to the building of custom arcade cabinets, he knows the difference between fantastic and sub-par controls.

5
Oct

The Galaxy Note 9 in ‘Cloud Silver’ is a truly wonderful sight


galaxy-note-9-cloud-silver-7.jpg?itok=Me

This is a gorgeous new color, and it’s available in the U.S. first.

Samsung loves to roll out new colors of its flagship phones a couple months after launch, and the Galaxy Note 9 is no exception. This time, we’re getting a brand new “Cloud Silver” color of the stylus-laden phone, and in a rare move the U.S. is actually the first country in the world to get it.

Not only does it stand out distinctly from the current blue and purple models that are out in the wild in the millions, but it’s also beautiful. Take a look.

Samsung has this whole dual-tone color-shifting finish thing down to a science, and it’s in full effect on the Cloud Silver version. All of the glass is ostensibly a dull mirrored finish of a silver color, but the metal band has more of a subtle blue hue to it. The contrast of the light blue to the silver doesn’t immediately hit you until you have it your hands, and it really works — this doesn’t feel like two disparate colors that weren’t meant to be together.

Samsung really knows how to make its phones pop and charge color depending on light.

Both the glass and the metal have a color-shifting personality depending on the lighting as well — and they each react differently. In direct sunlight, the glass is bright silver and primarily mirrored — not quite on the level of the Galaxy S7, but close. The metal, on the other hand, goes to a dull polished silver look in the sunlight and takes a back seat to the glass. In darker environs, the glass shifts to more of a blue or slate look, and isn’t nearly as shiny as before. The metal also looks much darker, and you notice more of its light blue finish as well.

The Cloud Silver Note 9 is a fantastic color choice for someone who doesn’t want to stand out so much as to go with the bright blue or very purple colors available before. It has a classy look without being boring like the black color — a very nice balance. And best of all, it’s available both from Best Buy and also directly from Samsung, right alongside the other colors.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review
  • Galaxy Note 9 vs. Note 8
  • Where to buy the Galaxy Note 9
  • Galaxy Note 9 specifications
  • Is the Note 8 still a good buy?
  • Join our Galaxy Note 9 forums

AT&T
Verizon
T-Mobile
Samsung
Amazon

5
Oct

Google’s ‘Smart TV Kit’ leaks, includes Home Mini and 3rd-gen Chromecast


What? A leaked Google product?

google-smart-tv-kit-1%20cropped.jpg?itok

Google’s big hardware event is nearly upon us, and leading up to this, we’ve already learned a lot about the Pixel 3, Pixelbook 2, and Home Hub. Now, we have eyes on a new “Smart TV Kit” that’ll bundle a Google Home Mini and 3rd-generation Chromecast.

You can actually purchase a similar bundle at Walmart that includes a Home Mini and current 2nd-gen Chromecast, but this new bundle comes with the 3rd-gen model that was also previously leaked.

There’s no official word on pricing for this updated bundle, but we’d expect it to have a similar cost to its predecessor at $74.

Do you plan on getting this Smart TV Kit when it’s likely announced on Tuesday?

Google Pixel 3: News, Rumors, Release Date, Specs, and more!

5
Oct

Moto G7 renders reveal a waterdrop notch and dual cameras


There’s also a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor and headphone jack.

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Last year’s Moto G6 was a really good budget phone that crammed a lot of tech into a competitive $250 price tag, and next year, we’re expecting Motorola to improved upon its winning formula once again with the Moto G7. Thanks to MySmartPrice and @OnLeaks, we now have our very first renders of the upcoming phone.

Similar to the G6, the Moto G7 will have a curved glass back, USB-C port for charging, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. There’s now a speaker grill joining these two ports on the bottom frame, suggesting that this could be used in conjunction with the front-facing speaker at the top of the phone to create stereo audio.

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Also on the front of the phone is a large 6-inch display with a smaller bottom bezel and waterdrop-style notch at the top that houses the front-facing camera. To make the bottom bezel smaller, the fingerprint sensor has been moved to the back on the Moto “M” logo right below the dual rear cameras.

Exact specs are still unknown, but the current rumor mill is suggesting an unnamed octa-core processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB of internal storage, and a 3,500 mAh battery. Add that together with Android 9 Pie available out of the box, and this could be one of the best affordable phones we see next year.

Moto G6 review: Finding success in compromise

5
Oct

Game of the Week: Beat down endless waves of zombies in Kung Fu Z!


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Update October 5, 2018: This week, we’re recommending the action-packed idle game Kung Fu Z!

Kung Fu Z

So, it happened again. I’ve gotten sucked into another idle clicker game that just hits you with a one-two punch of addictive grinding and a retro-cool look and soundtrack.

Kung Fu Z is an action-packed idle clicker game that combines the gameplay of a classic beat-em-up brawler with the endless addictive nature of an idle clicker, with a dress-up element that’s full of fighting game easter eggs that’ll keep you coming back for more.

If you’ve never played an idle clicker game, the way it works is you progress through the levels collecting coins and upgrading your gear until you reach a point where you can’t progress further. You then have the option to become a “master”, which resets your progress and gifts you a ton of gems which you can spend on permanent upgrades to your fighter’s power, HP, or other attributes that will help you progress further on your next outing.

It’s a really casual style of game that will quite literally play itself while it’s closed, allowing you to return to the game to fight against bosses and spend your coins. Kung Fu Z features a ton of awesome outfits for you to unlock and dress your fighter up in, along with cool special moves to unlock along the way. It’s a mindless distraction but it sure looks cool as hell as you’re punching and kicking your way through hordes of zombies, with subway and frenzy sections offering a bit more of a structured challenge.

You can check out Kung Fu Z for free, with in-app purchases available for exclusive character upgrades and the option to watch ads in exchange more in-game gifts.

Download: Kung Fu Z (Free w/ads, IAPs)

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