Stream your favorite shows and play your favorite games all with one device.

The Nvidia Shield TV with game controller is down to $169.99 on Amazon. This price matches a deal we saw more than a week ago during Best Buy’s early Black Friday sales, and you can find this price at Best Buy this time, too.

In fact, if you don’t want the game controller (you should, but that’s none of my business), you can get the Nvidia Shield TV with just the remote for $150 at Best Buy.

The Nvidia Shield TV has improved over previous iterations. Heck, this one gives you access to Amazon Prime Video, which is a step-up by itself. Sure, the Shield is more expensive than a Roku but the Shield is a gaming console, too, and a decent one at that.

Features include:

  • Connected Google Life – Access all your Google content and smart home features with Google Assistant, share your Google Photos in 4K, and cast your favorite apps to your TV with Chromecast 4K.
  • 4K HDR Powerhouse – Watch Netflix and Amazon Video in crisp 4K HDR, and YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, and VUDU in 4K. Apps like HBO Now, Spotify, and ESPN meet all your entertainment needs.
  • NVIDIA-Powered Gaming – Cast games from your GeForce-powered PC to your TV in 4K HDR at 60 FPS. Get NVIDIA-powered cloud gaming on demand with GeForce NOW. And enjoy exclusive Android games only on SHIELD.
  • Smart Home Ready – Google Assistant lets you control your entertainment and smart home with your voice. Add SmartThings Link to wirelessly connect lights, speakers, thermostats, and much more.
  • Get YouTube Red for 3 months free – $29.97 in value. Explore uninterrupted music, ad-free videos, and exclusive original movies and shows from your favorite YouTube creators. Limited-time offer ends 12/31.

The Nvidia Shield has 4.3 stars based on 927 user reviews.

See at Amazon

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It’s always a tough balance between listening to customers and having a central vision.

OnePlus held its first ever in-person launch event in New York City this past week. The OnePlus 5T clearly wasn’t a groundbreaking product deserving of a launch event in itself, but OnePlus used this gathering more so as an opportunity to talk directly to fans and curious onlookers alike. Presenters took an inordinate amount of time talking about things the company had already done. Talking about the history of how OnePlus phones are made, and how OxygenOS was born out of user feedback. The core of the presentation focused on the philosophy inside OnePlus that the customer comes first — not just in how they’re treated when buying the phone, but how the phones are made from the start.

If OnePlus wants to grow beyond the enthusiast community, does it have to start being a bit more opinionated?

OnePlus says that development of OxygenOS begins and ends with community engagement, coming up with new features that are fed to beta testers who give feedback that is directly integrated into the future builds. Tweaks and changes to amazingly mundane things like interface colors, animations and boot sequences all have hundreds of community members chiming in with strong opinions. The name “OxygenOS” itself was chosen as a suggestion from a OnePlus forum member. And OnePlus isn’t shy about the fact that it listens to the same community when it comes to making hardware decisions on its phones. It’s the reason why the OnePlus 5T has 8GB of RAM, a headphone jack, a physical mute switch and the like.

For an enthusiast-driven company like OnePlus, it makes sense to lean on the very fanatics buying your phones for input on what those products should be. The feedback loop can be powerful, and it almost guarantees sales up to a certain point. But the question is, if OnePlus wants to grow beyond this enthusiast group, does it need to start being a bit more opinionated again?

OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei said that the company learned a big lesson with the OnePlus 2. After seeing wonderful success with the OnePlus One, the company “got cocky” according to Pei — this led to some questionable decisions, like the ever-frustrating set of hoops to jump through to get the phone, and odd hardware choices like the removal of something as simple as NFC. OnePlus has certainly swung back in the other direction now, with wide open sales, much-improved customer service, and phones that don’t skimp on the necessities.

OnePlus has completely changed how it treats users, but now it needs to move forward.

Now with that equilibrium achieved, I think it’s time for OnePlus to take the reins once again. Looking at the progression from OnePlus 3 to the OnePlus 5T, I just don’t see enough innovation happening. Some 85% (or thereabouts) of the phone experience is identical over the course of 18 months. That’s a nod to how good of a phone the OnePlus 3 still is today, but also a point of realization that OnePlus needs to step up the innovation a bit. The OnePlus 5T is a good, solid phone for a really great price in a world of ever-more-expensive flagships — but it sure isn’t innovative, new, exciting or important in the market in any respect.

OnePlus has worked out the kinks, got things running smoothly and most importantly shaken (most of) the bad blood the public has from past poor decisions. So now, I’m looking for OnePlus to do something truly new, fresh and exciting. There’s a fine line between consistency and complacency, and that’s precisely where OnePlus is walking right now.

And with that, a few more lingering thoughts on the week:

  • In reviewing the OnePlus 5T, I’ve taken a break from writing about the Pixel Buds. Rest assured a proper “review” will be landing soon, though.
  • Google got many things right with the Pixel Buds, including the comfort, battery life, and sound quality. But they’re very expensive, and the advanced features leave something to be desired.
  • I’m initially quite satisfied with the Pixel 2 XL’s display after the latest software update to improve the tuning via a “saturated” display mode.
  • It still isn’t a drop-dead gorgeous panel, but it sure is above average. The display stands in the way of the Pixel 2 XL being a truly great phone, but I don’t find it a big enough issue to stop me from recommending it at this point.
  • You’ll notice that after initially pausing our recommendation of the Pixel 2 XL in our review, we’ve moved back to recommending it as originally found in the first testing period.
  • All that being said, I still like the smaller Pixel 2 more. I’m a sucker for a “small” phone, and it’s just a much more compelling device with its much lower price.

Have a great week, everyone — particularly those of us in the U.S. who are likely to spend some time with family for the long Thanksgiving weekend.


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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

Great audio chops and being built to withstand the apocalypse makes the V10 the one phone I’m holding on to.

I’ve never used a phone more than a year. Before I came to work for Mobile Nations I got a new BlackBerry every year (except for a miserable affair with a Palm Pre) and nowadays I seem to change phones at least two or three times a year. But the LG V10 is still charged and in my carrying-around bag.

Changing phones stops being fun after the first 20 or so times.

And I still use it quite a bit. I love the way it’s built with the rubber textured back and solid steel frame but that’s not why I keep it around. Neither is the woefully old software the reason. I just love the way it sounds.

I carry three phones counting the V10, and even I think that’s a bit ridiculous. But like everyone ever in the history of consumer electronics, I can’t find the one thing that’s perfect for everything. The Pixel 2 is what I use for any work stuff. We need to know what happens with Android from Google and how things work before another company gets in there and changes, fixes, or breaks things. It’s also a really damn good phone and would be my choice if I had to pick just one.

I also carry my BlackBerry KEYone in case I actually have to do anything more than type out a short and typo-filled message. Any BlackBerry fan will tell you that the right keyboard can be a lifesaver if you need to do a lot of work with your phone, and now that a great BlackBerry keyboard phone is part of the Android ecosystem it’s pretty damn wonderful.

But neither of these phones nor any other new phone I have here plays my music the way the V10 plays my music. The HTC 10 did, but because it’s not built like a weapon of mass destruction it didn’t survive as long as the V10 has. And the V10 sounds even better now than it did when I first got it. Like many music players or stereo parts, it got even better with a little age after the parts burned in a bit. I’m not exactly sure why that works the way it does, so I chalk it up to dust being magical. But it works like that. But I do know that the V10 is the best music player and fun device I’ve ever had and neither of its successors nor any other phone since comes close.

The V10 is the best music player I’ve ever had. And my wife would be quick to mention that I’ve had too many of them.

Besides playing the tunes the way I like them to be played, the V10 has a great camera, records sound better than any other phone I’ve tried, and is as connected as every other Android device. I often think that some company (looking at you, Samsung) needs to make a good music player that has Google Play support but doesn’t need to be imported from Japan for $1,000. But really, that’s exactly what my V10 is. Google Maps, Twitter, Facebook, and all the rest of the apps we love are there along with every streaming service and premium audio support. It’s better than a good PMP because it can double as a phone if I wanted it to.

I know it’s not going to last forever. If I get lucky and never meet Mr. Bootloop I reckon I can get a couple more years out of it. I just hope someone makes a replacement that I like as well between now and then.

I can’t be the only one hanging on to some old phone because it makes a great second-duty device. At least I hope I’m not. Holler at me if you’re doing something similar and keeping an old phone around because it’s so damn good at a few things.

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The 2017 model of PlayStation VR has made some easy to miss, but fantastic changes.

PlayStation VR has been delivering awesome videos, games, and experiences for over a year now. While the original PlayStation VR is a great headset, Sony now has an updated model for 2017 that has made a number of small changes to the design of this VR headset. Everything from the earbuds, to buttons, extending all the way to the processor box has been updated.

Here are all the changes we’ve spotted!

Read more at VRHeads

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

British customers can snag some decent extras with their OnePlus 5T thanks to O2.

As has been the case in the past, O2 is the carrier partner for the latest phone from OnePlus and it’s making a pretty big deal about its launch. There’ll be a handful of pop-up shops opening on November 21 for folks to go down and buy, as well as a bundle that includes extra data and free Xbox Live Gold when you buy on a new contract.

The information is being sent out by OnePlus to previous customers and it dropped in our inbox this morning detailing a pretty nifty bundle. O2 will be offering 50GB of data per month for the price of 10GB as well as a free 12-month subscription to Xbox Live Gold, because, reasons. The only catch is that it’s a limited time offer and you have to pre-order or buy the OnePlus 5T before December 6 to claim the Xbox Live offer.

The 50GB tariff will cost £49 a month with a £9.99 upfront payment for the 64GB model and £52 a month for the 128GB.

The pop-up shops will be open from 2 pm on November 21 and will be the first places in the UK folks can get their hands on the new phone. And maybe some swag.

These Pop-Ups will be open at O2 stores at London 134 Oxford Street as well as London Westfield Stratford, Manchester Arndale and, for the first time, also in Belfast at O2 Castle Lane.

O2 will also be selling off-contract but with a £15 charge for pay-as-you-go credit, with both storage sizes available for £449 for 64GB and £499 for 128GB. They’ll probably not be available at these pop-up stores for long and lines are to be expected so if you’re keen, get yourself down to your nearest nice and early.

See at O2

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The days are officially too short and too cold for many of us, so spend your time indoors talking to friends.

In a few days, the holiday season officially begins in the U.S. That means turkey dinners, Black Friday shopping and the end of Daylight Saving Time makes it dark before you get home from work. Winter time is fun for some things, but cold and dark is generally not a good for happiness.

While you’re mentally preparing for a family dinner complete with politics and religion and every other awkward thing being discussed over turkey and cranberry sauce, remember you have at least one place where nobody cares about any of it and you can relax and have a little fun. This place, right here.

We plan to take a friend to see some history this weekend. She’s never had time to see the sights whenever she’s visited my little section of the world before, so anything built in the 1700′s is fair game. Yeah, that’s not old if you live across the pond but for this part of the world it is. Living a stone’s throw from places like Harper’s Ferry means plenty of things to see.

Besides, I like taking photos of all the old stuff like the spooky church above.

I’ll have a nice Thanksgiving, and hope each of you can do the same. But that’s next week, so let’s hear what everyone is up to this weekend!

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

Set it and forget it.

This Otium fast wireless charger dock is down to $13.96 with code CISLSVRY on Amazon. The lowest this charger has ever gone before was $16. We’ve never seen a cut down to $14 through direct price drops.

This device works with any phone that uses wireless charging, including the new iPhone X or Android smartphones.

Features include:

  • Lighting charging technology leading a 1.4 times fast charging for this wireless phone charger
  • The wireless charger work even with a case on the phone. Works with most cases.
  • Enjoy the latest charging technology with your iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X on this wireless charger
  • The Fast Charge Mode is compatible only with Samsung Galaxy Note 8 S8, S8+/S8 Plus, Note 5, Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge. Other Qi-enabled devices will charge at standard wireless charging speeds
  • Charge your phone either horizontally or vertically. Keep watching movies or enjoying your music or making a call while charging on the stand.
  • Temperature control, surge protection, short-circuit prevention and more protect you and your phone..
  • No Wires, No Beeps, No Lights: Sleep-friendly. Forget about all tangled up wires, beeping sounds and annoying lights and invest in this modern mobile phone charger! Its LED indicator will automatically shut off after 10 seconds.

This device comes with a risk free 30-day return policy and is covered by a one-year warranty.

See at Amazon

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

Alongside the launch of its new phone, Razer also has a new set of earbuds up for grabs.

Designed to complement the Razer Phone, the new Hammerhead USB-C is a new take on Razer’s Hammerhead buds, but, as the name would suggest, designed with a USB-C connector.

Given the Razer Phone lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of going all-in on USB-C, that’s good news for anyone picking up the new smartphone. Of course, they’ll work with any old phone with USB-C you have laying around as well.

In terms of build, the Hammerhead USB-C packs all of the same specs as its Hammerhead siblings. The audio is powered by 10mm dynamic drivers, which Razer claims are larger than most similarly priced earbuds. That larger size should help to produce deeper bass tones and clear highs. As you might expect, the Hammerhead USB-C buds also pack an in-line remote and come with a custom carrying case.

As for raw specs, here’s a look at what makes the Hammerhead USB-C tick:

  • Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20kHz
  • Impedance: 32 ± 15% Ω
  • Sensitivity: 102 ± 3 dB @ 1 kHz
  • Max input power: 10 mW
  • Drivers: 10 mm with Neodymium magnets
  • Cable length: 1.3 m / 4.27 ft.
  • Approximate weight: 0.06 lbs (28.0 g)

Razer’s Hammerhead USB-C earbuds are available and shipping now directly from Razer for $79.99. For more, check out Windows Central’s in-depth review of the Hammerhead Bluetooth variant.

See at Razer

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

A quick look at some of Alcatel’s offerings for 2018.

Alcatel’s not the most popular phone brand around, but the company has proven to be able to kick out some really solid handsets for not a lot of cash (one of the most recent examples being the Alcatel Idol 5). Evan Blass shared an image of the company’s higher-end lineup for 2018 back in October, but we now have higher-resolution shots of all the handsets that were previously leaked.

(Left to right) Alcatel 5, 3V, 3X

The devices include the Alcatel 5, 3V, 3X, 3, 3C, and 1X – ranging from highest to lowest-end in that order. There aren’t any accompanying specifications to go along with the images, but that doesn’t mean we can’t infer anything about what’s being shown off here.

In regards to the most premium of the bunch, the Idol 5 features a pretty unique design that should help it to stand out a fair bit. There’s a pretty large top bezel, but very slim ones on the bottom and sides. The phone appears to be made out of metal, but strangely enough, there’s only a single camera. If you want dual cameras, you’ll have to go with either the Alcatel 3V or 3X.

(Left to right) Alcatel 3, 3C, 1X

A glass construction appears to be present for the 3V, 3X, 3, and 3C, but the cheaper 1X features a plastic one. The 1X is also the only phone of the bunch that doesn’t have a fingerprint sensor.

It’s unclear when in 2018 Alcatel will release these phones or how much they’ll cost, but if past devices are anything to go by, we’ll be looking at competent Android handsets that are very competitively priced.

Alcatel Idol 5 review: One of Cricket’s best

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

How to set up PlayStation VR

17 November 2017

Get the best start in life with PlayStation VR with our handy set up guide!

So you’ve picked up a shiny new PlayStation VR, and brought it home, excited about the possibilities of having a VR headset run on your PlayStation 4 console. Before you can put the headset on, and jump into your favorite game, you’ll need to get everything set up. Everything that you need to get set up is sitting right inside that big blue box.

While Sony does include a fairly conclusive set of instructions in the box, there are some tips and tricks to ensure that your setup process is as simple and easy as possible.

Read more at VRHeads

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