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October 13 2019

12:00

DOOM Eternal is now releasing next March

id Software doubles down on DOOM's gory renaissance.

At E3 2018, id Software announced a new entry in the DOOM franchise. Dubbed DOOM Eternal, it's a continuation of the 2016 reboot that set the franchise on a new path. Here's everything you need to know about it.

Conquer Hell

DOOM Eternal

$60 at Amazon

Slay demonic forces

Prepare yourself for all of the blood and gore you can handle in DOOM Eternal, id Software's next entry in the franchise that is kicking the action up a notch for new and returning players.

What is DOOM Eternal?

<!--/video-->

For quite some time, DOOM was an IP that existed in a state closely resembling limbo. Sure, the games haven't been totally terrible, but it was clear how far removed we were from the glory years. That changed with the reboot of the franchise in 2016.

Aptly and succinctly titled DOOM, it was a huge success. It was one of the best feeling shooters to launch on contemporary consoles, and the game didn't shy away from the blood and gore that made the series what it is. (It also helped that the storyline wasn't cheesier than a box of Velveeta.)

DOOM was a huge success, so it's no surprise the developers want to take that formula and keep it going with DOOM Eternal. It'll be the first game developed with id Tech 7, which features 10 times the graphical fidelity that the previous engine was capable of. We're not even sure if that sort of leap will be possible for the PlayStation 4 version of DOOM Eternal to pull off, but it sounds like we're in for big improvements regardless.

What's going on in DOOM Eternal?

One of the things id Software wanted to do with the series is take it back even further. While DOOM was a nice ode to the classic no-frills shooting gallery, it didn't attempt to drum up cheap sales with overindulging nods to the original. It was a nice balance of a classic concept with modern gameplay, graphics, weapons, and devastating finishing moves.

Now that it can stand on its own merit, DOOM Eternal isn't afraid to be the fanservice game that'll rope in any remaining holdout players who didn't believe the reboot would do the series justice. There will be references to many of the classic elements of the original DOOM games, including throwback weapons and newer takes on veteran enemies such as the Zombieman, Arachnotron, Archville, and Pain Elemental. Those guys will be joined by newcomers known as the Marauder and Doom Hunter, among others.

The story picks up where DOOM (2016) left off, with you — playing as the menacing DOOM Slayer — to try and stop a demonic uprising. You find yourself on Mars, and your goal is to stop the man responsible for all of the chaos. His name is Samuel Hayden, a scientist who somehow bridged the gates of hell to Earth.

He was mostly genuine in his endeavor, as the only reason his research facility even attempted something like this was to help solve an energy crisis on Earth. Somehow, it never occurred to him that summoning a demon apocalypse was the wrong way to go about that.

Scrambling to come up with a solution, he released the DOOM Slayer to end the invasion, but he knew it was a dangerous creature that threatened all in the universe, and that he had to dispatch it once the deed was done. His failsafe was to banish the DOOM Slayer instead of killing it, but that plan doesn't seem like it'll end up working out in the long run.

What do you do in DOOM Eternal?

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Take the first gun you can find and go absolutely nuts on a horde of demons. Seriously, DOOM Eternal is all about killing. Kill as much as you can, as often as you can.

There will be no shortage of ways to go about doing that. Some of the weapons you can wield include a combat shotgun, a rocket launcher, a plasma rifle, a super shotgun, a heavy cannon, and even a whole ballista. Melee weapons will probably be the most fun, though.

The Crucible Blade is an energy sword imbued with demonic power. Or you could just wield the trusty old chainsaw. Your choice. Once your foes are weakened enough, you can finish them off with insanely cool Glory Kill executions, which lets you get your hands dirty and kill the things without the use of a weapon.

OK, so killing isn't all you do. There's still the matter of story objectives to tend to. These objectives typically don't amount to much more than "run here, press Square, run back, shoot demons along the way," but that's fine. DOOM Eternal should make that cycle a lot more interesting, however, with a twisted world to traverse in new ways. You can run up walls, zip around with a grappling hook, and dash around to get where you need to go, which means the level design should be even more interesting than it was in DOOM.

New to DOOM Eternal are "extra lives," which grant you a brief period of invincibility in moments where you'd otherwise die. These can be found at random and picked up by the player. It eliminates a pain point from the original game where dying meant you had to be whisked back to the beginning of a level to do it all over again.

Some hardcore DOOM players may not accept that help with open arms, though it does sound like you can refuse to pick these extra lives up if you're more of a purist. Really, it sounds like they were meant more for DOOM Eternal's Invasion mode, which we'll touch on right now.

Invasion Mode

DOOM Eternal will feature an exciting new mode known as Invasion. Invasion mode allows other players to join your game, but it's not what you think. They won't be helping you stop the demon army — they are the demon army. They'll be among the crowd of uglies looking to take you down and will have access to their own combat abilities to help them in that goal.

You don't have to play with this mode turned on if you just want to chill out and enjoy the campaign, but it should offer a nice change of pace for players who tire of dealing with the AI. And, of course, all the other usual multiplayer modes return, including Team Deathmatch, Warpath (King of the Hill), Domination, and Clan Arena.

Invasion Mode is set to release as a free update shortly after launch.

Is SnapMap coming back?

DOOM featured an interesting level creation tool that allowed you to create custom hellacious funhouses to share with folks all around the globe. Unfortunately, id Software doesn't deem it crucial to DOOM Eternal's feature set, so they've axed the feature to focus their efforts elsewhere.

Part of those efforts includes more post-launch single player content. Story-driven DLC should be more plentiful as a result, and we're sure more than just a fair share of that extra time went into the creation of the Invasion mode.

When can you play it?

DOOM Eternal is currently in development for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Google Stadia, and Nintendo Switch, but it only expected to launch on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. It will release on March 20, 2020.

Conquer Hell

DOOM Eternal

$60 at Amazon

Slay demonic forces

Prepare yourself for all of the blood and gore you can handle in DOOM Eternal, id Software's next entry in the franchise that is kicking the action up a notch for new and returning players.

Updated October 2019: Updated with its new release date.

October 12 2019

20:33

Pixel 4 pre-order page leaked on Best Buy Canada’s website

The page showed a spec comparison between the Pixel 4 and 4 XL.

What you need to know

  • Google is set to launch the Pixel 4 and 4 XL on October 15.
  • Best Buy put up the pre-order page for the new smartphones a few days too early.
  • It reveals all the phones' major specifications and features.

Continuing in the grand tradition of Google smartphones being leaked to the moon and back before launch, Best Buy Canada put the final nail in Google's ambitions of keeping any details about the Pixel 4 secret by uploading its pre-order page a full four days before the official launch.

The marketing materials on the page — which has now been taken down, to no one's surprise — tout the phones' best-in-class camera, unlimited cloud storage for photos, the new motion sensing gestures, and the next-gen Google Assistant as reasons to buy the latest Pixel.

The pre-order information also included the complete list of specs for the phones, as well as a comparison to Google's last generation flagship, shown below:

So, there we have it. Google was once again unable to keep its latest smartphones under the wraps until its official announcement. The only thing that this leak didn't cover was the Canadian pricing, though other leaks have shed some light on that as well (at least in Ireland).

Google Pixel 4: Leaks, Release Date, Specs, and News!

19:00

These are the best Alexa-enabled speakers you can buy right now

Alexa, one of the world's most popular digital assistants, is seemingly everywhere in 2019. Just about everything supports Alexa one way or another, with the most popular way to access the assistant being through smart speakers. We think the Amazon Echo (3rd Gen) is the best overall speaker for everyone, as it strikes a great balance of features and price. If that's not your thing, we have seven other recommendations to check out, too. Let's dive in!

Best Overall: Amazon Echo (3rd Gen)

At the top of our list, we have the Amazon Echo. This is the new 3rd Gen model that Amazon recently unveiled at its big fall hardware event, and we think it strikes the best balance of offering a great user experience while coming in at a competitive price tag.

The design of the Echo is as strong as ever, featuring a fabric cover that's available in four colors that should look great in just about any home. Underneath that striking housing is a powerful speaker that offers deep bass and 360-degree audio. In fact, this is the same sound quality that was previously limited to the more expensive Echo Plus.

Everything from podcasts to music sounds great on the Echo (3rd Gen), and while it isn't the very best money can buy, it's darn impressive for this price segment.

The Echo also comes equipped with a physical microphone mute button, can be paired with other Echo speakers for multi-room audio, and has a 3.5mm headphone jack that can be used for plugging your phone in and playing music directly through that.

Pros:

  • Great sound with powerful bass
  • Beautiful fabric design
  • Not too big — can fit in most rooms
  • Microphone mute button
  • Priced right

Cons:

  • Better sound available for more money
<!-- BEGIN RECO-BLOCK -->

Best Overall

Amazon Echo (3rd Gen)

The best overall Alexa-enabled speaker

Overall, the Echo (3rd Gen) is the best Alexa speaker for most people. Its sound quality, design, and price are all fantastic.

<!-- END RECO-BLOCK -->

Best Value: Amazon Echo Dot with Clock

The Echo Dot has long been one of the most popular Alexa speakers on the market. With the Echo Dot (3rd Gen) with Clock, you get everything that makes the Echo Dot great, plus a built-in digital clock.

A lot of people use smart speakers to ask for the time, and by building a clock into the Echo Dot, you now have one less command you need to call out. Amazon did this quite seamlessly, with the LED display showing the time shining from behind the fabric as if it was there the whole time. Along with the current time, it can also be used to display the outdoor temperature and any timers you have set.

Everything else about the Echo Dot with Clock is the same as the normal Echo Dot. Sound quality is surprisingly good considering its small size, you can fit it in virtually any room, and alarms can be snoozed just by tapping the top of it.

The Echo Dot is both a great entry-level speaker and if you already have a bunch of Alexa speakers and want another one for a smaller room (such as a mudroom or closet).

Pros:

  • It's wonderfully small
  • LED display shows the time, temperature, and timers
  • Good audio quality considering its size
  • Affordable
  • Works well with other Echo speakers

Cons:

  • Lackluster speakers compared to other picks on this list
<!-- BEGIN RECO-BLOCK -->

Best Value

Amazon Echo Dot with Clock

The best value Alexa-enabled speaker

To get the most bang-for-your-buck, pick up the Amazon Echo Dot with Clock. It's tiny, sounds pretty good, and has a digital clock!

<!-- END RECO-BLOCK -->

Best Cheap Speaker: Eufy Genie

Speaking of affordable Alexa speakers, we need to mention the Eufy Genie. This is the cheapest gadget on our entire list, making it a great fit for bargain-hunters.

The Eufy Genie is similar to the Echo Dot in size, making it easy to place in even the smallest of rooms. It takes up virtually no table or counter space, and while it doesn't look as flashy as the Echo Dot, it gets the job done.

You'll find a 2W speaker in the Eufy Genie, which is fine. It gets the job done for casual music listening and binging through your favorite podcast, but this is definitely the weakest option in regards to audio quality. Then again, when you're spending such a small amount of money, that's to be expected.

Alexa works on the Eufy Genie just like it does on any other speaker, allowing you to ask about the weather, control smart home devices, and get answers to any random questions that pop in your head throughout the day.

Pros:

  • Small size
  • Full-fledged Alexa experience
  • Microphone mute button
  • Ridiculously cheap

Cons:

  • Boring design
  • Lackluster audio quality
<!-- BEGIN RECO-BLOCK -->

Best Cheap Speaker

Eufy Genie

Best cheap Alexa-enabled speaker

There's cheap, and then there's the Eufy Genie. This Alexa speaker doesn't have the best sound or design, but the price is perfect.

<!-- END RECO-BLOCK -->

Best Soundbar: Nebula Soundbar Fire TV Edition

Let's take a quick break from speakers to talk about soundbars — specifically, the Nebula Soundbar Fire TV Edition. For Alexa fans, this is the soundbar to get.

The Nebula Soundbar is made by Anker, a company that's proven to know a thing or two about crafting quality audio products over the years. The Soundbar looks to keep that trend going, offering 2.1 "cinematic sound" thanks to a combination of two speakers and two subwoofers. That's equivalent to 100W of power, resulting in booming sound no matter what it is you're watching.

Alexa is also built into the Nebula Soundbar, allowing you to press the Alexa button on the included Voice Remote to ask the assistant whatever you'd like.

On top of being a soundbar and Alexa-enabled speaker, the Nebula pulls triple-duty by also functioning as a Fire TV device. When plugged into your television, it gives you access to the Fire TV ecosystem for streaming all of your favorite shows and music. In a home with lots of Alexa speakers, watching all your content through Fire TV just makes sense thanks to the tight integration between the two platforms.

Pros:

  • 2.1 cinematic sound
  • Adds Fire TV to your existing television
  • Supports 4K HDR streaming
  • Incredible value

Cons:

  • You need to use the remote to talk to Alexa
  • Expensive
<!-- BEGIN RECO-BLOCK -->

Best Soundbar

Nebula Soundbar Fire TV Edition

The best Alexa-enabled soundbar

When it comes to Alexa soundbars, the Nebula Soundbar is an easy choice. It has impressive speakers and works as a Fire TV streamer!

<!-- END RECO-BLOCK -->

Best Audio Quality: Amazon Echo Studio

Moving back to regular speakers, it's about time we said something about the Echo Studio. This is one of the newest additions to Amazon's Echo family, and it's shaping up to be one of the most impressive models we've ever seen.

The big draw to the Echo Studio is its sound quality. This is the aspect of the speaker Amazon is pushing the most, and for good reason. The Echo Studio is outfitted with five "strategically positioned speakers," with the goal being to provide you with room-filling audio that sounds great no matter where in the room it's placed.

Speaking of room placement, the Echo Studio will sense the size and shape of where you place it and adapt its speakers accordingly — ensuring that everything is tuned just right. Dolby Atmos is also onboard, as are "new music formats that have been mastered in 3D."

As if that wasn't enough, the Echo Studio goes a step further by functioning as a Zigbee smart home hub. So, if you have smart bulbs, switches, or other gadgets that use the Zigbee platform, the Echo Studio can act as a central hub for them.

Pros:

  • Five speakers for jaw-dropping sound
  • Dolby Atmos support
  • Speakers adapt to your room
  • Built-in Zigbee smart home hub
  • Unique design

Cons:

  • Large and expensive
<!-- BEGIN RECO-BLOCK -->

Best Audio Quality

Amazon Echo Studio

The best audio quality on an Alexa-enabled speaker

Audio quality is the name of the game with the Echo Studio. It has five speakers that adapt to your room and Dolby Atmos support.

<!-- END RECO-BLOCK -->

Best Display: Amazon Echo Show 8

The Echo Show series is Amazon's collection of Alexa speakers with displays slapped onto them, and right now, our current favorite is the Echo Show 8. This is the latest addition to the Echo Show family, sitting right in the middle between the Echo Show (2nd Gen) with its 10-inch display and the teeny-tiny Echo Show 5.

So, what makes the Echo Show 8 stand out from the other two Shows? The value proposition here is really strong. The 8-inch HD display is a great size; it's large enough so you can easily follow recipes and watch videos while being small enough so that it doesn't take up too much space on your countertop. The Echo Show 8 can be used on its own, or with an optional stand that allows you to change the viewing angle.

Above the screen is a camera that can be used for video calls, and when you aren't using it, there's a physical camera cover to give you some enhanced privacy. Audio quality on the Echo Show 8 is also promising, with two 2-inch speakers at 10W per channel almost matching the speakers on the larger Echo Show.

Tie all of that together with a competitive price tag, and the Echo Show 8 is a compelling option.

Pros:

  • Good-sized HD display
  • Powerful speakers
  • Camera with physical cover
  • Competitive price
  • Optical stand for more viewing angles

Cons:

  • Camera is just 1-megapixel
<!-- BEGIN RECO-BLOCK -->

Best Display

Amazon Echo Show 8

The best Alexa-enabled speaker with a display

If a display is what you're after, the Echo Show 8 is a fantastic choice. It has an 8-inch screen, a camera, and is priced nicely.

<!-- END RECO-BLOCK -->

Best Portable Speaker: Sonos Move

All of the Alexa speakers on this list are awesome in their unique ways, but there's one downside they all have in common — they have to be plugged in at all times. Well, all of them except the Sonos Move.

The Sonos Move is a wireless Alexa-enabled speaker, and while it does cost a pretty penny, it does just about everything right. Sonos is well-known for its excellent audio, and the Move is no exception to that rule. It's a joy to listen to, with audio that envelopes you and bass that kicks and punches with great force.

There's a handle on the back of the Move for carrying it around with you, and it's extremely comfortable. The Move is quite chunky, but the handle makes it easy for anyone to move it.

We're also impressed with the Sonos Move's battery life, well-designed charging dock, and water/dust resistance. Being able to use both Alexa and Google Assistant is a real treat as well, even if the microphones aren't always the most accurate.

Pros:

  • Room-filling sound with big bass
  • Built-in handle works incredibly well
  • Battery life is great
  • Water/dust resistant
  • Works with Alexa and Google Assistant

Cons:

  • Iffy microphone performance
  • Large and heavy
<!-- BEGIN RECO-BLOCK -->

Best Portable Speaker

Sonos Move

The best portable Alexa-enabled speaker

The Sonos Move is an Alexa speaker that you can take anywhere. It has a long-lasting battery and truly impressive audio quality.

<!-- END RECO-BLOCK -->

Best Multi-Purpose Speaker: Sonos One (Gen 2)

At the tail-end of this list, we've got the Sonos One (Gen 2). The Sonos One has built up quite the reputation over the years, and for good reason. This is an insanely powerful speaker.

For starters, Sonos's design and audio quality are as strong as ever on the One. This is one of the smallest and cheapest speakers the company sells, but it still looks and sounds incredible. For a speaker of this size, this is some of the best audio you'll come across.

You can talk to Alexa just as you would on any other Alexa speaker, but the Sonos One does something interesting — it allows you to switch to the Google Assistant! You can only use one of these at a time, but having that option to go back and forth between different assistants is pretty cool. There's also support for Apple's AirPlay 2, making this a great fit for those of you with an iPhone.

And, of course, the Sonos One works seamlessly with all of Sonos's other speakers. Sonos speakers are among the easiest to set up and pair, making it extremely easy to get multi-room audio working in no time at all.

Pros:

  • Rich, clear, and booming sound
  • Simple design
  • Works with Alexa and Google Assistant
  • AirPlay 2 support
  • Connects with other Sonos speakers

Cons:

  • Microphones can be hit-or-miss
<!-- BEGIN RECO-BLOCK -->

Best Multi-Purpose Speaker

Sonos One (Gen 2)

The best multi-purpose Alexa-enabled speaker.

You can do it all with the Sonos One. It supports Alexa, Google Assistant, AirPlay 2, and works seamlessly with other Sonos hardware.

<!-- END RECO-BLOCK -->

Bottom line

There's no shortage of Alexa-enabled speakers these days, but out of everything being offered, we think that the Amazon Echo (3rd Gen) is the one most folks should go out and buy.

No, it's not the very best Alexa speaker money can buy, but it does represent one of the best values out there. This latest model has considerably improved audio quality, meaning that music and podcasts sound better than they ever have. The design of the Echo is also a strong suit, with the classy fabric allowing it to fit nicely in any home.

Add that together with excellent microphone performance and that price tag, and the Echo (3rd Gen) is a compelling product. Whether you already have Alexa speakers in your home or are looking to buy your very first one, this is one that should be at the top of your shopping list.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Joe Maring is Android Central's News Editor. He loves talking about all things tech, but he has an especially strong interest in smart home gadgets. He also likes coffee and goes to Starbucks far too often. Have a tip? Send an email to joe.maring@mobilenations.com or hit him up on Twitter @JoeMaring1

19:00

The best battery cases for the Galaxy Note 8

Two years out, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is still a great device that lets you get more done — as long as you don't run out of battery life. If you've found your Note 8 battery can't make it through a full day of use anymore, you might want to consider a battery case that will offer you a bit of a boost on the go.

Slim it down

ZeroLemon 5,500mAh SlimPower Battery Case

Best value

Sold on getting a ZeroLemon case but wish they offered something a little less bulky? You should get the ZeroLemon SlimPower case, a more pocket-friendly design that offers half the battery capacity — but at half the price, too — for those who value good design over pure battery power.

$35 at Amazon

Still the most expensive

Mophie Juice Pack Battery Case

Mophie is a brand that stands behind its battery cases and offers replacements if yours stops working properly. This is generally a good thing. However, I specifically know this because so many Amazon customer reviews for the Note 8 case describe having to get multiple replacements from Mophie. Still a great looking case, but not the best of the bunch.

$59 at Amazon

Modular battery case

Mophie Charge Force Case with Powerstation External Battery Pack

Another option from Mophie is the Charge Force Case, which features leather trim and an attractive, reinforced plastic body, but its secret can't be seen: it's magnetic. The battery pack charges the Note 8 through the same Qi wireless charging as a regular charging pad, and you're able to simply remove the battery pack from the back of your phone when you don't need it.

$50 at Amazon

Goldilocks battery case

RUNSY 6500mAh Battery Case

Even with a 6,500mAh battery, RUNSY somehow features a slimmer design than even the 5,000mAh SlimPower ZeroLemon case. It's also a very well-reviewed case on Amazon, which is nice to see from a manufacturer that we're not too familiar with.

$50 at Amazon

Protect and charge

PowerBear 4500mAh Battery Case

Finally, we'll recommend the PowerBear battery case for the Note 8. It features a 4,500mAh battery and a rather sleek design for a battery case. This case is backed by a two-year warranty and also comes with a screen protector, which is a nice bonus.

$20 at Amazon

Boost your Note 8's battery

As the Galaxy Note 8 continues to age you may start seeing your battery life deteriorate more and more over time. While a portable battery pack can help out in a pinch, a battery case lets you have that extra juice on hand whenever the need arises.

It's worth keeping in mind that battery cases are also sort of notorious for durability or connectivity issues, especially after particularly nasty drops. Fortunately, the brands on our list offer good customer service so if you have any issues with the performance or durability, don't hesitate to reach out. The ZeroLemon SlimPower is our top pick because it's a trusted brand that offers a decent battery boost without adding much bulk. Meanwhile, the PowerBear 4500mAh Battery Case is your best value pick and should be a reliable option that's backed by a two-year warranty.

17:14

EMUI 10 and Android 10 are making their way to the Mate 20 Pro

The Mate 20 Pro is receiving the latest Android release.

What you need to know

  • Only some Dutch owners of Mate 20 Pros are receiving the update.
  • It includes the September 2019 security patch.
  • The Mate 20 Pro's successor, the Mate 30, does not come with Google services due to the US ban on Huawei.

Despite Huawei's recent troubles with procuring full access to Google's products as a result of its addition to the US Entity List, the company seems dedicated to providing its users with the latest Android releases. Dutch customers of the company's last-gen flagship phablet report receiving OTA updates for EMUI 10 (via DroidApp), the company's Android 10-based mobile operating system.

The update comes in at 4.4GB and is assigned build number 10.0.0.136. It brings with it several visual flourishes for the Kirin 980-powered handset's UI. However, only a limited number of users are seeing the update, so it is likely propagating on a rolling basis. You might need to wait for some time before getting a piece of the Android 10 goodness.

Interestingly, while the Mate 20 Pro does support Google Mobile Services, its successor and Huawei's latest flagship, the Mare 30 series, does not. Instead, it features an AOSP build of Android and you will not find, say, the Play Store or Google Maps on the phone. In that regard, the newer model may actually be a significant downgrade for some.

What are Google Mobile Services (GMS) and why does my phone need them?

17:08

Amazon fires delivery providers following allegations of poor safety

Three of the company's delivery partners reportedly were involved in various public safety incidents.

What you need to know

  • Amazon uses smaller 'delivery service providers' for last-mile deliveries to its customers.
  • The three companies in question have been engulfed in scandal due to pedestrian deaths.
  • The move will lead to as many as 2,000 layoffs.

Three of Amazon's delivery service providers — Inpax Shipping Solutions, Sheard-Loman Transport, and Letter Ride LLC — will be laying off more than 2,000 employees combined, reports BuzzFeed News, as the retail giant decides to take its business elsewhere.

Amazon has begun attempting to more directly control the provision of delivery services for its products through the use of an expanding network of delivery service providers like those above. The company controls most aspects of their operations and accounts for an overwhelmingly majority of the small firms' business.

The three firms in question were recently embroiled in scandal, with their drivers involved in at least two pedestrian deaths, while a 21-year-old Sheard-Loman driver was the victim of a fatal accident.

In what has become a hallmark of any Amazon story involving overworked employees, the report alleges drivers were required to meet strenous targets of delivering as many as 300 packages a day. Another omnipresent detail in any story involving Amazon workers these days: the drivers reported being forced to skip lunches and having to urinate in bottles to keep up with the breakneck pace of work required of them.

Amazon's issued the following statement regarding the development:

"We work with a variety of carrier partners to get packages to Amazon customers and we regularly evaluate our partnerships. We have ended our relationship with these companies, and drivers are being supported with opportunities to deliver Amazon packages with other local Delivery Service Partners."

This corresponds with reports from Inpax drivers who claim new delivery vendors operating out of the same warehouses are already hiring the laid-off drivers. And it's business as usual for Amazon.

17:00

The best replacement bands for your 46mm Galaxy Watch

The Galaxy Watch is a great match for any Android phone, especially since you can easily make it your own. Not only can you choose from several watch faces, but the watch bands are also easily replaceable to better match your style since the 46mm Galaxy Watch uses standard 22mm watch bands. Here are the best replacement bands for the Samsung Galaxy Watch 46mm!

Meshes with everyone

Fullmosa stainless steel watch band

Staff pick

Sometimes the feel of metal can be calming; being more stable than other material. If you need a band that you know is safe for you to use then stainless steel is the ticket. This adjustable mesh-style band is super comfortable and looks great too.

$14 at Amazon

Totally metal

V-MORO 22mm Stainless Steel Strap

This strap from V-MORO is made of heavy-duty stainless steel, and it can go on in an instant with the built-in clasp. It's available in black or silver to better match your watch, and it can be installed with the quick-release pins.

$15 at Amazon

Wooden wonder

LDFAS 22mm Wood Band

This band will definitely help you stand out from the crowd, with the red sandalwood in between each link. You can get this band in either black or silver steel, and both look great with the red wood. There's a clasp to get the band on and off your wrist, and quick release pins to join the band and watch.

$26 at Amazon

Super stretchy

Speidel Stainless Steel Watch Band

These stretch watch bands are my personal favorite because they're super easy to slip on and off, and they're the perfect fit. You'll likely need a jeweler's help to get that perfect fit, but it's worth it. This one from Speidel comes in either a straight end for easier installation or with a curved end to better match the contours of your watch.

$From 14 at Amazon

Timeless leather

Ditou leather watch band

Leather has long been used for watch bands and for good reason. Leather naturally customizes to the wearer as it gets worn, creating the perfect fit. It also enhances the look of the timepiece and fits in with nearly any situation.

$16 at Amazon

A bit less expensive

Fullmosa Genuine Leather Watch Band

If you prefer a thinner leather watch strap — or just want to save a few dollars — this band from Fullmosa is a great option. You can choose from 10 different bands and buckle color combinations to best match your style, and there's an included installation tool to get the band on your watch. The buckle is heavy metal, so it'll be nice and sturdy on your wrist.

$13 at Amazon

Get cuffed out

Coobes leather cuff

This impressive, wide cuff-style band comes in four colors and has a wide section right under your Galaxy Watch itself so that you won't feel the cold metal against your skin — just soft supple leather.

$20 at Amazon

For the fitness gurus

KADES Silicon Replacement Strap

The Galaxy Watch comes with a silicone band so it can be used when you work out, but this band is going to be a little better. There are more perforations on the band, so your wrist will breathe a bit easier. More perforations also mean a more exact fit, definitely important if you're monitoring your heart rate. The strap comes in nine different colors, and there are bundles if you want to get multiple colors.

$8 at Amazon

Buckle up

Ritche NATO nylon watch band

The Ritche NATO style watch band is another super durable watch band. This one is made from ballistic nylon and has a bit of tactical style while still being comfortable.

$11 at Amazon

Mix and match

CIVO NATO Strap 4 pack

If you want to swap out different bands to change up your style, this set from CIVO is for you. You get four straps of different colors and patterns, and there are 15 different bundles to choose from. The kit includes an installation tool, and a few replacement pins to keep the bands attached to your watch.

$14 at Amazon

Sporty style

Barton Elite silicone band

Barton Elite's bands come in 16 color styles, many of them two-tone, and they're made from a firm but flexible silicone. Each band comes with two lengths of the long side of the strap with holes, which allows you to find the perfect fit for your wrist.

$20 at Amazon

Classic canvas

Beafiry canvas quick release

A good canvas watch band is tough to beat. Beafiry makes a solid, durable band that complements your watch while being super comfortable.

$15 at Amazon

Accessorize your favorite wrist accessory

No matter what your style is, it's easy to find a replacement band for your Galaxy Watch. The watch takes standard 22mm straps, so any band that size will also fit your watch. And since watchmakers have used that size for centuries, it shouldn't be hard to find the perfect watch band for you.

A watch band that can mesh with a variety of looks while staying comfortable is key and the Fullmosa stainless steel mesh band does just that. You get a high-quality band that has so many clasp points that you're sure to get the perfect fit.

It's also hard to go wrong with a good ol' leather band. Whether you prefer more of a classic look with something like the Ditou leather band or to stand out a bit more with a cuff-style band from Coobes. Either way you'll have a strap that will last a long time. I like to keep a perforated silicone band in my rotation for workouts, and the band from Lwsengme is my go-to with its comfort and durability.

15:30

This $150 dash cam is down to $30 today

Disaster can strike on the road when you least expect it, and when it does, it pays to have an extra set of eyes to act as a reliable witness. But what happens when you need to capture a moment the human eye might miss? Meet the reliable $29.99 Black Box Dash Cam, the ultimate car crash failsafe.

The Black Box is a small yet powerful dash cam that attaches to your windshield. It contains a G-Sensor and motion detector that track changes in speed, allowing you to capture footage and audio at the moment of impact. And, with a 12 megapixel camera that films 1080p video and boasts a 120-degree field of view, every important detail will be recorded and made easily reviewable on the Black Box’s 3-inch LCD screen.

Driving safely doesn’t make you completely immune to accidents. At the very least, the Black Box 1080p Dash Cam will absolve you in the event of a collision for just $29.99, or 80% off.

Like this deal? Check out Vault — you’ll get four premium tools, including NordVPN and Dashlane, to supercharge your online security. Try it free for 14 days now!

Prices subject to change.

<!--BADGE:Android Central Digital Offers-->

15:00

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order gets a new story trailer

Respawn is taking us to a galaxy far, far away in a new single-player experience set after Episode III.

Star Wars Celebration 2019 gave fans the first look at Respawn's upcoming Star Wars game, Jedi: Fallen Order. It's the dark times now, so get ready. You'll need to abide by three rules to survive.

Don't stand out. Accept the past. Trust no one.

Use the Force

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

$60 at Amazon

Keep the Jedi alive after Order 66.

Step into the shoes of Padawan Cal Kestis as he evades Inquistitors hunting down Jedi throughout the galaxy. Using the Force may give you away, but it also might just be the only thing that'll save your life.

What is Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order?

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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a third-person action/melee game being developed by Respawn Entertainment, the creators of Titanfall and Apex Legends. We'll be wielding a lightsaber and using our Force powers to battle the likes of Inquisitors and new Purge Troopers who will be hunting any Jedi left after Order 66.

When does it take place within the Star Wars timeline?

It will be set after Episode III and before Episode IV, though we don't know the exact amount of time that has passed since Order 66. What we could glean from the trailer is that the Empire is thriving and there is a coordinated effort in place by the Inquisitors to hunt down any remaining Jedi. It looks like our Padawan has been on the run for at least a little while.

Lucasfilm Story Group was consulted during its development and this will be a canon story within the Star Wars universe, much like every new entry is since Disney's acquisition of the franchise.

Who is my character?

Players will step into the role of a Padawan named Cal Kestis. After the Jedi Order fell, he became a scraper on a planet called Bracca tearing apart derelict starships. If his face looks familiar, that's because his likeness and voice are provided by Gotham actor Cameron Monaghan. Little is known about his early life, but we do know that he gains a little droid friend called BD-1 that will accompany him on his journey. BD-1 even has a spotlight that can be upgraded to aid Cal.

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Here's how EA describes his adventure:

"Along the way, Cal will make new friends, like his mysterious companion Cere, as well as run into some familiar faces, all while being accompanied by his faithful droid BD-1. Cal's flight from the Empire is made even more dangerous as he is being pursued by the Second Sister, one of the Empire's elite Inquisitors, who seeks to hunt Cal down and extinguish this surviving Jedi. Assisting the Second Sister are the terrifying Purge Troopers, special Imperial forces trained to seek out Jedi and aid the Inquisitors in their dastardly work."

What we know of Cere is that she is a former Jedi Knight and will act as sort of a mentor to Cal, though their relationship isn't the traditional master and apprentice that you may be used to.

The developers were also very coy about the lightsaber that Cal wields and the role that it plays. When prompted for details on-stage at Star Wars Celebration, Respawn stated that saying anything would be giving away too many spoilers. What we did learn was that it may not even be Cal's own lightsaber, and it will "grow and evolve" over the course of the game.

Gameplay: Become a Jedi

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In addition to using our Force powers and lightsaber to fight enemies, players need to solve puzzles and perform some platforming to progress. As its store page reveals, we will be exploring "ancient forests, windswept rock faces, and haunted jungles" so you can imagine how these platforming puzzles will play a role in certain sections.

Jedi: Fallen Order developer Stig Asmussen said that the combat will be both accessible for new players and have depth for those that want a challenge. They want it to be easy for anyone to pick up and play while also appealing to the hardcore crowd. In combat, you will need to size up your enemy and identify and exploit its weaknesses with the powers at your disposal.

EA Play gave us our first look at gameplay in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, and it's everything we could have asked for. Cal meets Rogue One's Saw Gerrera on Kashyyyk as he searches for a Wookiee resistance leader. The gameplay features Metroid-like aspects in its platforming and puzzles, while the combat itself plays out more like a fight from Dark Souls. Respawn wants it to feel tactical so that you are blocking, parrying, and finding openings as opposed to mindlessly swinging your lightsaber and hoping for the best.

Will there be multiplayer or microtransactions?

No. Respawn CEO Vince Zampella stated at Star Wars Celebration 2019 that "It's a single-player story with no multiplayer and no microtransactions. It's a story game." Everyone rejoice.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order producer Blair Brown further reiterated on Twitter how happy he was to be working on "a single player story focused game again, no multiplayer and no MTX for #JediFallenOrder."

So you can put the pitchforks down, everyone. It looks like the EA curse that plagued Star Wars Battlefront hopefully won't touch Jedi: Fallen Order. And if you don't know what I'm talking about, well... there's a lot for you to catch up on.

If you're still skeptical, EA even said that they "won't be adding them." But of course, many will still need to see it to believe it.

When can I play it?

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is currently available to pre-order and will release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on November 15, 2019. There is a Deluxe Edition available which features a director's cut of behind-the-scenes features along with unique cosmetics. And GameStop is the exclusive home of the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Black Series Bundle, which will contain a 6-inch action figure.

Use the Force

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

$60 at Amazon

Keep the Jedi alive after Order 66.

Step into the shoes of Padawan Cal Kestis as he evades Inquistitors hunting down Jedi throughout the galaxy. Using the Force may give you away, but it also might just be the only thing that'll save your life.

Updated October 2019: We've added the latest information.

13:00

Key omissions make the Pixelbook Go the first one you won't want to buy

It's missing some of the best features of the original Pixelbook and the Pixel Slate and it's the first Pixelbook I really don't want.

I'm a big fan of Google's pricey line of Chromebooks. I used my original Chromebook Pixel until the wheels fell off and the battery would no longer charge, and unless I'm parked at my desk, I use the current Pixelbook for work and play anytime I need a computer. Chrome OS isn't the perfect operating system and there are "better" Chromebooks out there with newer and faster specs, but I have always liked the direction Google has taken when it comes to the hardware. I want my laptop to be thin, light, and powerful while lasting more than a few hours unplugged.

I think all this has changed now that I've seen more than I needed to see of the Pixelbook Go. It's the first Google-branded Chromebook that I'm not going to buy.

Who is it designed for?

It has a few things that users of the original Pixelbook may find to be worthwhile additions. There's a generational bump in hardware when it comes to the processor and that's going to mean better performance when you need it, and the updated Titan security chip means you can make sure your data stays between you and your Google account. I'm not dismissing either of these important features and they may be enough to get some to upgrade or more importantly, get people to buy their first Pixel-branded laptop.

Lack of Pixelbook Pen support on a 13-inch display and no fingerprint sensor could do the opposite, though. I like to play with the Pixelbook Pen but I don't find it to be extremely useful during my normal workflow. But I've seen and heard enough from people who swear by the Surface Pen or Apple Pencil to know that leaving it out isn't a good thing. The Pixelbook Go will surely support a more universal native stylus of some sort like every other high-end Chromebook but it's not quite the same and anyone who has used both will agree.

I also am not a big user of biometrics but I realize I am the exception and not the rule when it comes to using a fingerprint reader. Not including a fingerprint sensor on the Pixelbook Go is silly. The short-lived Pixel Slate has one and it works just fine so the omission seems strange. Do people who want a fingerprint sensor on their phones not want the same on a Chromebook? But Jerry — maybe Google is going to use the simple 2MP camera for facial recognition and you can unlock it the same way you can the upcoming Pixel 4! No. Facial recognition of any sort that only uses a camera is little better than no lock screen and that's been proven time and time again. Even Google says it's not secure at all.

Pen support and a fingerprint sensor are things nobody ever asked to be removed.

I do like the new look, even though I might be alone here. While a white Pixelbook looks stunning and has held up to dirty hands much better than anticipated, a softer rounded look in a muted "not pink" color had initially caught my attention. It closely resembles what Google has done with the Pixel phone and if you're a fan of rounder more ergonomic design you might like it, too. The ribbed underside is also an improvement and anyone who has used a Pixelbook on their knees for an extended period knows it.

I just need more than a new look. The Pixelbook Go offers nothing that my Pixel Slate can't deliver with the right keyboard accessory, and I get the feeling that this is why it's being made. Google abandoned tablets and rounded up some of the form factor of the Slate and created the Go. Too bad it left out some of the important bits. If it looks like it's something you would enjoy, by all means, ignore me. I can only suggest you spring for one with better specs than the basic model so you can keep it for the full six years of support it will receive

11:00

Roku Ultra (2019) review: Ultra convenience extras but not the ultimate high-end streamer - CNET

The 2019 Roku Ultra (2019) is a very good 4K streaming box that puts convenience at the fore, but lack of Dolby Vision and a high price compared to other Rokus hold it back.
00:07

Samsung 837 will be hosting a special Pokémon Go Community Day this weekend

Samsung 837 will be hosting a community day event on October 12th with giveaways and fun while Pokémon Go players catch all the trapinch they can.

What you need to know

  • Players who RSVP will receive a free Pokémon themed gift while supplies last.
  • The event runs from 10 am til 4 pm with Community Day running from 11 am til 2 pm.
  • Players will have a chance to win a Galaxy Note10.

Samsung has announced their first-ever Pokémon Go Community Day. Join fellow trainers for an adventure around Samsung 837 and NYC's Meatpacking District. Players who RSVP will receive a free Pokémon themed gift including in-game code for free Pokéballs or a rare mystery item while supplies last.

In addition to the opportunity to meet up with fellow trainers, Samsung will have dedicated trading stations, snacks and beverages, and an after-party hosted by community influencers PkmnMasterHolly and Mystic7. The hosts will be offering their personal tips, tricks and secrets to help players level up. One lucky player will also win a Galaxy Note10. Space is limited, so be sure to RSVP and show up early.

Samsung 837 is located in the NYC Meatpacking District, 837 Washington Street, New York NY 10014.

October 11 2019

21:00

Facebook Libra loses support from Visa, Mastercard, eBay, and Stripe

The news comes just a week after PayPal left.

What you need to know

  • Facebook's Libra Association has lost four more of its founding members.
  • This time around, Visa, Mastercard, eBay, and Stripe are pulling their support.
  • A week prior, PayPal dropped out of the group.

The idea of a Facebook-lead cryptocurrency raised a lot of eyebrows when it was first announced in June, though support from a laundry list of well-established companies gave it a feeling of legitimacy it would have otherwise lacked. However, that initial support is quickly starting to fade away.

On October 4, PayPal announced that it was leaving Facebook's Libra Association to focus on its own business ventures. Now, reports from The Verge, Financial Times and Bloomberg reveal that Visa, Mastercard, eBay, and Stripe are also leaving the group.

While Mastercard has yet to offer any comment regarding the news, Visa, eBay, and Stripe have spoken out. Starting first with Visa:

Visa has decided not to join the Libra Association at this time. We will continue to evaluate and our ultimate decision will be determined by a number of factors, including the Association's ability to fully satisfy all requisite regulatory expectations.

Per eBay:

We highly respect the vision of the Libra Association. However, eBay has made the decision to not move forward as a founding member. At this time, we are focused on rolling out eBay's managed payments experience for our customers.

As for Stripe's stance on things:

Stripe is supportive of projects that aim to make online commerce more accessible for people around the world. Libra has this potential. We will follow its progress closely and remain open to working with the Libra Association at a later stage.

Losing four of its founding members certainly doesn't bode well for Libra's future, especially considering that Facebook doesn't plan on launching it until sometime during the first half of 2020. On top of that, these announcements are coming out just a matter of days before Facebook holds its first meeting for the Libra Association on October 14.

Dante Disparte, Libra Association Policy Chief, responded to the news as well, saying:

We are focused on moving forward and continuing to build a strong association of some of the world's leading enterprises, social impact organizations and other stakeholders. We look forward to the inaugural Libra Association Council meeting in just 3 days and announcing the initial members of the Libra Association.

The Libra Association still has 21 members that have yet to leave (not including Facebook), but the fact that four companies have parted ways in just a week is anything but a good sign. Notable brands like Vodafone, Coinbase, and Spotify remain, but it doesn't seem unlikely that more departures could be announced in the coming weeks and months. Furthermore, with Mastercard and Visa now both out of the picture, Libra no longer has any support from a payment processor.

Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency will launch in the first half of 2020

21:00

How to enable 4K resolution on your PS4 Pro

One of the main selling points of the PS4 Pro is its power advantage over the PS4 Slim, allowing for crisper images and faster frame-rates. Not every game supports 4K resolution, but those that do are all the better for it. Though the PS4 Pro should automatically enable 4K resolution support when it detects a 4K-capable monitor, this isn't always the case. Here's how to enable 4K manually when your PS4 Pro just doesn't do its job right.

Products used in this guide

The best way to play PS games: PlayStation 4 Pro ($369 at Amazon)

The Guide

For starters, you'll want to make sure that your PS4 is indeed connected to a 4K-capable monitor, and that your display is also set to output at 4K resolution. How to access these settings may be different depending on the brand you are using. As for the PS4 Pro:

  1. Navigate to Settings from the home screen.

  2. Select Sound and Screen.

  3. Select Video Output Settings.
  4. Set the Resolution to 2160p - YUV420 or 2160p - RGB.

2160p - YUV420 allows the console to connect to older 4K displays that don't support higher HDMI 2.0 bandwidth. 2160p - RGB doubles the bandwidth requirement, so this is what newer 4K televisions will support.

Choosing Automatic will also ensure that your PS4 Pro defaults to the highest possible resolution for your specific display.

How to enable 4K for specific games

Certain games, especially on PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, feature multiple graphics options for you to choose from. These usually consist of a 4K at 30 frames per second (FPS) mode or a 1080p at 60FPS mode, but not always. Monster Hunter: World, for example, includes options prioritizing the frame rate, graphics, or resolution. If a game defaults to one or the other and you want to switch it, you can find these options within the game's settings. We've provided an example of what this will look like in The Last of Us Remastered.

If you've followed these steps, you should be gaming in glorious 4K so long as the game you are playing supports it. Hop in and have fun!

Higher resolution

PlayStation 4 Pro

$369 at Amazon

The best Sony offers

If you want quality exclusives along with the best performance possible on a Sony machine, upgrade to the PS4 Pro for 4K gaming.

Some games to pick up

Game of the year 2018

$20 at Amazon

God of War won Game of the Year at The Game Awards 2018 for good reason. It's a nearly immaculate experience in almost every way. On PS4 Pro, you can bump up the resolution and see it in all of its 4K glory.

The Last of Us Remastered

$15 at Amazon

The Last of Us was praised for its story and characters, and the remastered edition kicks the experience up a notch by allowing you to play in 4K.

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne

$50 at Amazon

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne is an upcoming expansion to Capcom's most successful game of all time, Monster Hunter World. Take the fight to Hoarfrost Reach and battle all-new beasties, returning threats, and grind all-new gear.

20:56

Google's lobbying efforts in DC have formed some controversial partnerships

Google is trying to appease conservatives so it can retain important protections under the Communications Decency Act, and it's working.

The Guardian broke a story that leaves a bad taste in the mouths of many — Google is making sizable financial contributions to groups that deny human involvement has anything to do with climate change. This is a stark contrast to the company's public statements on the matter, which all claim to support global action to ease the threat of global warming. And it's doing it to try and convince conservative lawmakers according to the Guardian's sources.

To be fair, Google isn't the only tech company with two faces on the climate change front and contribution to any group doesn't mean a 100% agreement with its agenda. A Google spokesperson tells The Guardian that "it sponsored organizations from across the political spectrum that advocates for strong technology policies". This time, though, it appears that contributions are aimed to have a direct effect on Google's protections under section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — a law that protects Google from being responsible for third-parties that use its services.

That's the subject of a companion article from The Guardian that's not getting nearly as much attention even though it's the more important headline. Conservative lawmakers are split on how section 230 should protect companies like Google. Some, like Senator Cruz from Texas, say Google shows bias against conservatives and shouldn't be protected under section 230 and be liable for all of its content while others are adamant that section 230 fosters growth and may even desire complete deregulation. Donating to the "right" political groups can win friends in the "right" places, and this may be the catalyst behind Google's actions.

It seems wheels in Washington won't ever turn without the right lubricant — cold hard cash.

In particular, the Competitive Enterprise Institute comes into play. The CEI is a strong proponent of the idea that climate change is a myth but strongly favors Google's protections under section 230. A recent letter to Congress says that section 230 creates new venues for conservative speech and that any lawmaker who is in favor of changing it are "well-meaning but mistaken". A CEI senior fellow has also defended Google against claims from 48 state attorney generals and their recent antitrust investigation.

When you look at all of this in a bubble, it seems as though Google has two agendas and hides its intentions from both sides. This is true, but it's also a look at how things work in Washington and how distasteful it all is. Google has a fairly liberal stance when it comes to things that affect us as people. Google favors education, promotes the welfare and well-being of people everywhere and tries to shape public policy in ways that help us — like investigating global warming and what we can do about it, for example.

No matter where you fall on the political spectrum you should expect consistency.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Google's other face is making huge donations to political groups that reject some or all of these ideas and may be doing so in order to curry favor among lawmakers so it can continue to operate as always and bank more money. Should Google — and Microsoft and Apple and Facebook — be protected under section 230 of the Communications Decency Act? I believe so and hope that my representatives in Washington agree. I don't want a company like Google to stack the deck under the guise of free-market or deregulation by offering large sums of money to any political action group. Any laws should stand or fall on their own merit and section 230 is no different.

But that's where we are today. Quid Pro Quo, Tit for Tat, You Scratch My Back and I'll Scratch Yours are how everything seems to happen in Washington and how anything helps or hinders us is no longer important. It's probably always been this way and the internet shines a brighter light on it all. That doesn't make it OK and we don't have to like it. No matter which side of the divide you may be on, we all deserve better than playing both sides — whether by necessity or not.

20:30

Protect your S10e in style with these great cases

Yes, the Samsung Galaxy S10e doesn't have that fancy new ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, but that means that screen protectors aren't a special brand of confusing. The side-mounted fingerprint sensor on the S10e adds a different challenge — and to be sure, there are far fewer cases around for the S10e right now than the larger models — but that doesn't mean we don't have some top-notch cases to protect the S10e's hole-punch screen.

Clear as crystal

Spigen Liquid Crystal Air

Staff pick

The Liquid Crystal line is my favorite clear case around — well, except for the sparkly Liquid Crystal Glitter variant — because it's thin, grippy, and doesn't get in the way. Perfect port cutouts and easy application make a good case great.

$12 at Amazon

Unique hybrid

Ringke Fusion-X

The Ringke Fusion-X is a unique hybrid case we can't get enough of. The clear back allows your S10e to shine through, and at the same time, there's a rugged bumper that offers reliable shock absorption and impact resistance. We also love how many colors it comes in!

$12 at Amazon

Redesigned favorite

Spigen Neo Hybrid

I love the Neo Hybrid Series, and it got redesigned for the S10 series with a new rear texture. That's right, friends, the Herringbone texture is gone, and I'm still not sure how I feel about that, but this case is still drop-dead impressive in four colors, including this lovely Arctic Silver!

From $14 at Amazon

Lush leather

Galaxy S10e Leather Back Cover

Samsung's leather case comes in seven colors from a downright garish pink and yellow to a darling Red, Navy, and Green. Whichever shade you select, this case is smooth, thin, and lovely.

$50 at Samsung

Smooth silicone

Galaxy S10e Silicone Cover

Samsung's official silicone case is perfectly sculpted to the S10e's every slope and curve, and no matter which color phone you get, there are one or two colors here that are sure to complement it fabulously.

$30 at Samsung

Tough guy

Poetic Rugged Clear Case

This clear case shows off the beauty of your phone's color while also protecting it with rugged edges. It features a clear polycarbonate back and the sides are made of a TPU lining with protective bumpers. You can get it in one of four colors.

$17 at Amazon

Hidden wallet

Spigen Slim Armor CS

Spigen's Slim Armor CS brings the best of both worlds into one sleek package. On the one hand, you've got a rugged dual-layer case with Air Cushion Technology to protect against serious drops/falls. At the same time, there's a hidden compartment on the back to store up to two credit cards!

From $16 at Amazon

Go bold or go home

Supcase Unicorn Beetle Style

This hybrid case combines a bold TPU bumper with a hard plastic back to let the Galaxy glimmer to shine through while keeping scratches and smudges at bay. This case is available in black, too, but the two-tone purple version is just darling, isn't it?

From $13 at Amazon

Battle-ready

Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro

Built-in screen protectors don't play nice with ultrasonic fingerprint sensors, but the S10e doesn't have one, so Supcase could build one into the Unicorn Beetle Pro case, along with a kickstand and some port covers to keep out the grime!

$20 at Amazon

Drop-dead durable

X-Doria Defense Shield Series

This 10-foot drop-tested case is proof positive that clear cases can be durable and drop-dead gorgeous without breaking the bank. This durable hybrid case comes in Red, Black, and Iridescent you have to see to believe!

$30 at Amazon

Grip it good

Speck Presidio Grip

This hard-backed case is one of the most distinctive styles on the market, with raised, rubberized ridges in a geometric pattern that is synonymous with prestigious case maker Speck. Available in five two-tone color combinations, the Grip will help protect your S10e from drops and sweaty slips.

$40 at Amazon

Thin as glass

Totallee Ultra Thin

Totallee's case is the biggest name in ultra-thin cases right now, and it comes in three styles: an opaque matte white, matte black, and a glossy TPU clear case. No matter which one you pick, you'll "totallee" be happy with this minimal case.

$30 at Amazon

Thin and soft

Spigen Silicone Fit

This is a new series for Spigen, a thin, grippy little case that's designed to hug your Samsung Galaxy S10e's every curve and give you protection from bumps, nicks, and dings without adding unnecessary bulk to your phone.

$12 at Amazon

Colorful as a candy bar

anccer Ultra Thin Fit

This thin case may not give you super-duty protection against drops, but the candy-shell coating it gives your S10E will provide it with scratch protection while keeping your ports free and unobstructed. There are two finish styles and five colors to choose from.

$12 at Amazon

Hard as stone

Spigen Rugged Armor

Spigen's entry-level TPU case is understated and dependable, giving you some drop and scratch protection without drawing unwanted attention on your shiny, breakable new phone. We appreciate how thin the case is, but another color other than black would be great to see.

$11 at Amazon

Patterned protection

Caseology Parallax

Caseology's been a company we've trusted with our phones for years, and the Parallax's unique cubist texture on the back is grippy, mesmerizing, and shock-absorbing, all in one. The hybrid construction allows for rugged protection in a stylishly slim size.

$12 at Amazon

Ready for anything

OtterBox Commuter Series

OtterBox is one of the most trusted names when it comes to cases, and its Commuter Series provides your S10e with incredible protection from just about anything. The case slides easily into pockets, comes in three colors, and is surprisingly lightweight.

From $18 at Amazon

Premium look, low price

HNHYGETE Soft Slim

This case looks like a card-slot wallet case at first glance, but sorry, it's just a dapper-looking TPU case. It has some nice angled edges to the back as well as a leatherish texture, complete with faux stitching around the back edge.

$6 at Amazon

Slim protection

GOOSPERY Protective PU Leather Bumper Cover with Card Holder

This thin leather hybrid case does feature slim card slots and darling detailing, and the TPU inner shell ensures that it grips your S10e well and absorbs more kinetic force in a dreaded drop. Available in Black, Dark Brown, and Brown, I like the Dark Brown best because it allows the tricolor accent to pop against the leather.

$12 at Amazon

Into thin air

ESR Essential Air

This crystal clear 1mm case is thin enough to feel like its invisible while still offering your phone protection from scuffs, slips, dings, and small drops. It won't bulk up your phone the way polycarbonate cases do.

$12 at Amazon

Crystal clear bargain

MoKo Crystal Clear

Clear cases are a bit like vodka: they're supposed to be colorless invisible that let the phone's beauty shine through. MoKo's bargain-priced model combines a rigid back with a shock-absorbing TPU bumper for thin, reliable protection.

From $7 at Amazon

You have endless case options for the Galaxy S10e

As you can see, there are a lot of case options for the Galaxy S10e. That's great if you like having a lot to choose from, but if you're feeling a little overwhelmed, we don't blame you one bit.

For most people, we'd recommend picking up the Spigen Liquid Crystal Air. Why? It allows the S10e's striking design to shine through, doesn't add too much bulk/weight, and it's affordable. That's a winning combination if we've ever seen one, and we think most of you will be quite happy with it.

If you'd like something a bit more luxurious, the Galaxy S10e Leather Back Cover from Samsung is the way to go. Is it expensive? Yeah, but the genuine leather looks fantastic and we love how many different colors it's available in.

20:02

Xiaomi's first 120Hz phone may have been uncovered in MIUI 11 code

120Hz display support is official in the MIUI 11 beta.

What you need to know

  • MIUI 11 has official support for up to 120Hz displays.
  • Display refresh rate can be toggled in the system display settings.
  • This would be the first 120Hz display phone Xiaomi brings to market.

Xiaomi looks to be working on at least one new phone with a 120Hz display, if the MIUI 11 beta is anything to go by. MIUI 11 has been in beta in China for about a month now and is rolling out to more Xiaomi phones worldwide, but it's what XDA forum member kacskrz uncovered inside the code that spells out an interesting future device from Xiaomi.

While the veritable Chinese company has released a handful of gaming phones like the Black Shark 2, only the Black Shark 2 Pro offers a high refresh rate display. Even still, the Black Shark 2 Pro is only 90Hz, while an upcoming phone looks to double the 60Hz refresh rate of traditional smartphones.

Right in the display settings within MIUI 11 is a clear refresh rate option. While most phones running MIUI 11 won't have the ability to select anything here, options are available up to 120Hz for hardware that supports the feature. That's some seriously smooth computing, and it comes with a battery usage warning to go along with it. As can be expected, a faster refresh rate means worse battery life since the visual processing load is increased. The "battery friendly" setting stays at 60Hz moving forward.

High refresh rate displays are still in their infancy, but that's been gradually changing, with several OnePlus models alone this year coming equipped with ultra-smooth panels. The big reason revolves around app compatibility, as most apps still only support a maximum of 60Hz. That, sadly, includes most mobile games which would be the greatest benefactor of the higher refresh rate. Still, if you've ever used a high refresh rate display, you'll know that it's extremely difficult to go back to anything else.

I refuse to buy another flagship without a 90Hz or faster refresh rate

20:00

The Oculus Quest isn't just for gaming — here are our favorite media apps

The Oculus Quest is an excellent device for VR gaming, but it's also an excellent headset for enjoying videos and other media. Whether it's streaming YouTube videos, streaming films and TV shows, or watching your own videos that are stored directly on the headset, these are the best media apps for the Oculus Quest.

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Watching the web

YouTube VR

Staff Pick

YouTube has billions of views for a reason; there's an almost unlimited amount of content. That only expands on the Oculus Quest with support for 360-degree videos on the headset and access to all of YouTube's other content on top of it.

Free at Oculus

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Shows and films

Netflix VR

Netflix has been in the streaming business for years. Its native app on the Oculus Quest puts a giant screen in front of your eyes and makes it feel like you're watching Netflix content in a cinema. It's a great way to watch an action flick, though your head might tire during longer viewings.

Free at Oculus

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Foxy viewing

Fox Now

This app lets you watch Fox shows live and on-demand. You can watch Empire, Gotham, Family Guy, The Simpsons, The Orville, Fox NFL Sunday, college football, and more. Just make sure to sign in with your participating TV provider.

Free at Oculus

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Time for a show

Showtime Anytime

You can log in to your Showtime account in this app and watch all of your favorite Showtime content, including Inside the NFL, The Affair, tons of movies, and more.

Free at Oculus

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Primetime

Prime Video VR

In this app, you can watch all of your favorite Amazon Prime content in a virtual theater. Movies, TV shows, and Amazon's original content can all be viewed inside your own private cinema.

Free at Oculus

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Viewing versatility

SKYBOX VR Video Player

This video player supports DLNA media streaming, can stream your PC to your Oculus Quest, and can help you view natively stored content. It supports up to 5K videos, and the PC client can even stream out the same content to multiple Oculus Quests at once.

Free at Oculus

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Social streaming

Bigscreen Beta

This video streaming application allows you to watch content with your friends. With it, you can stream your PC to your Oculus Quest, whether you want to watch video content or even stream PC games for all your friends to enjoy.

Free at Oculus

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Cloud and local viewing

Oculus Gallery

This is Oculus' own content-viewing application. It supports viewing videos from Facebook, Dropbox, media servers, and local storage. It also supports viewing photos, both in 2D and at 360 degrees.

Free at Oculus

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Stream and play on the Quest

The Oculus Quest isn't just for gaming. There are plenty of apps to stream videos and watch movies stored locally on your Oculus Quest, from your PC, or just on another service entirely. You don't have to put your headset away if you want to watch TV since you can do it all with the headset on. If you're looking for a versatile player that can handle local files and content from a media server, you should check out SKYBOX VR Video Player.

If you want to enjoy 360-degree videos and some of the most popular content from around the web, YouTube's own YouTube VR is a great choice.

All of these media players are free, and to be able to view all of the content that you'd like, you'll probably have to download a combination of them. They aren't exceptionally large applications, so there's no harm in downloading all of them to increase your options.

19:14

MIUI 11 beta rolling out to more countries on October 16

MIUI 11 brings a big visual refresh and plenty of new features with it.

What you need to know

  • MIUI 11 is one step closer to final form as the beta releases to India and other countries on October 16.
  • MIUI 11 brings about sweeping visual changes, such as a system-wide night mode, as well as plenty of new features.
  • Not all versions of MIUI 11 will be based on Android 10 — some will still be on Android 9 Pie.

MIUI 10 marked a huge redesign for Xiaomi's custom version of Android when it launched this time last year and, right on cue, the MIUI 11 beta is making its way to a slew of Xiaomi phones outside of China for the first time since the beta program began last month. A tweet from MIUI India clearly states that the MIUI 11 beta will be rolling out on October 16. That's the same day as the Redmi Note 8 Pro's release in India.

At this time, there's no clear list of countries that will be receiving the beta, but historically, a beta roll-out to several countries is not out of the question. MIUI India also tweeted about the new version's minimalist look, which includes the requisite system-wide light and dark modes and a visual refresh for most system apps and functions.

Included in this visual refresh is a suite of new icons and fonts, as well as visually enhanced tiles for things like ringtones and notification sounds. New animations and rounder corners bring MIUI 11 up to par with other custom versions of Android, like Samsung's One UI 2.0. Notifications are also more in line with other Android phones, bringing quick replies and other fast actions to the notification shade.

MIUI 11 will be bringing Android 10 to some devices, but like other MIUI updates in the past, some phones will remain on Android 9 Pie for its back-end. Since Xiaomi's MIUI is such a heavily skinned version of Android, though, it's less likely that you'll notice the difference between the back-end versions of Android in many cases.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro Hands-On

18:59

What to expect from Google on October 15 [#acpodcast]

It's the last episode of Android Central Podcast before Google's October 15 hardware event! Join Hayato Huseman, Andrew Martonik, and Daniel Bader for last minutes leaks and rumors about the products you can expect to be announced.

Listen now

  • Subscribe in Google Play Music: Audio
  • Subscribe in iTunes: Audio
  • Subscribe in RSS: Audio
  • Download directly: Audio
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Show Notes and Links:

Sponsors:

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