P.O. BOX 12979 READING PA 19612
PH. 1-908-372-0453 FAX: 1-908-688-1105
Best On-Ear (Supra-aural) Headphones: Welcome to TechRadar's guide to the best on-ear headphones you can buy in 2018.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a classic right? Our favorite part, and the one that's most applicable here, is the part about the beds being too small, too big and finally, after a lot of trial and error, the one that was just right.
In the world of headphones, on-ear headphones (also called supra-aural headphones) are the middle child between bulky over-ear headphones and diminutive in-ear earphones. For most folks, they're just right.
Their name comes from the fact that their cushions sit on, rather than over, your ears. This means they're more compact and can travel with you without taking up a ton of room in your bag. Conversely, they're bigger and more comfortable to wear for long periods than in-ear headphones.
The reason you'd pick this form factor over the other two is that you're a traveler, a commuter or a home listener who needs a bit of noise-cancellation without the bulk of over-ears. It's a winning combination, honestly, and a form factor that we've tested extensively over the years.
To that end, and to help you pick out a great pair of on-ear headphones, we've put together a list of our top-rated on-ear headphone reviews, so that you can do all your research and make a purchase in one place.What are the best on-ear headphones?
For your money, you can't do any better than Grado's SR60e. The third-generation of the Brooklyn, NY-based company's Prestige Series is its best and most refined yet.
The SR60e in particular is a smart choice if you're looking for an entry-level set of headphones that sounds like it should cost you way more than it does.
Their open-backed ear cup design makes them a more breathable experience than what most on-ear headphones can deliver, although this does mean that they're not ideal for use in loud environments where sound can 'leak' in and disrupt your listening.
That said, in terms of pure sound quality, they're our gold-standard when it comes to on-ears.
(Our review is for the SR60i, but the newer SR60e headphones are largely similar in design and performance)
Read the full review: Grado SR60e
There is a lot to love about the Philips Fidelio NC1 headphones: Not only are they a joy to wear and offer up great sound reproduction, but they're also one of the lightest and most compact ANC headphones around. They're best suited for frequent travellers who don't want to lug massive cans around with them all of the time but also don't want to compromise on sound quality. To that end, they offer superb sound that's balanced and warm and while I would love to see a wireless range, the cable offered in the mix is dextrous enough to not worry about it.
Read the full review: Philips Fidelio NC1
In recent years AKG has dominated the budget and mid-range headphone space. While most other headphones at these price points chase after the bass-addicts, AKG has been content to stick to what it knows best; namely headphones that offer a balanced, refined sound you'd normally find in more expensive cans. With the AKG N60NC Wireless headphones the company appears to be stepping out of its comfort zone a little. The aluminium accented design is more flashy than AKG’s usual fare, and the noise-cancellation combined with wireless operation pushes the N60NCs to the upper end of the company’s normal price points.
Read the full review: AKG N60NC Wireless
The V-Moda XS are the perfect travel buddy for audiophiles. It’s balanced and detail-rich sound is a pleasure to listen to, plus, it’s built like a tank. While the bass could use a little more impact, we had little complain about the sound. However, that said, the XS has a loose fit on the head and barely blocks out any sound, which isn’t ideal for working out or for commuters. If you're a sedentary listener, however, these are great. In terms of competition, the Klipsch Reference On-Ear II are an excellent alternative that can block out more external sound. However, the trade off is the extended and exciting highs of the V-Moda XS as the Klipsch has more high frequency roll-off.
Read the full review: V-Moda XS
If you can afford the steep price, the Master & Dynamic MW50 will not disappoint. These headphones are a simply work of art and feel every bit as expensive as their price commands. They sound great with all types of music and are one of the most comfortable on-ear headphones we’ve ever tested. Those looking for value, however, will want to look elsewhere.
Read the full review: Master & Dynamic MW50
The Klipsch Reference On-Ear II is the follow up to the previous year’s excellent Reference On-Ear model, a previous resident of this list. Admittedly, this year's model doesn’t change much in terms of design or sound – but why fix something that’s not broken?
That said, Klipsch kept it simple with the Reference On-Ear II, concentrating on sound, comfort and portability that will please audiophiles. Only diehard audiophiles will even consider this wired-only headphone after looking at the price tag, but those who value sound and comfort above all else will be happy with the Klipsch Reference On Ear II.
Read the full review: Klipsch Reference On-Ear II
The Samsung Level On Pro Wireless are one of the few headphones we've tested that feel like they're meant as a package deal for another device. Yes they'll work with every Bluetooth and 3.5mm jack-equipped device on the market, but you're better off sticking to a Samsung device in order to squeeze every ounce of aural goodness from the UHQ audio codec.
But it's one of the comfiest pair of cans on the market, and one of the best noise-canceling, too. If it had a better sound quality for the vast majority of cell phone users it would be an easy recommendation but it really makes the most sense at checkout when purchased alongside Samsung's Next Big Thing.
Read the full review: Samsung Level On Pro Wireless Headphones
The Bowers and Wilkins P5 Series 2 aren't the most feature-rich option, but in terms of sheer sound and build quality, they easily raise the bar for the competition to follow.
They look fantastically stylish, and sound just as good. So long as you have the money, there's not much else in the on-ear market that can match this package.
Read the full review: Bowers and Wilkins P5 Series 2
You, like everyone else, probably wants a set of headphones that nails the tricky blend of design, useful features and incredible sound. You might think that you need to flush your savings to enjoy such a pair of cans. Protip: you don't.
The Audio-Technica ATH-S200BT are a well-built, great-sounding, long-lasting pair of headphones. Their features constantly outweigh their modest price and we can’t get enough of that 40-hour battery life. While technological advancements usually mean a premium price, that's just not the case with the Audio-Technica ATH-S200BT.
Read the full review: Audio-Technica ATH-S200BT
While the Samsung Level On Pro Wireless are best paired with a Samsung Phone, the Beats Solo 3 Wireless come into their own when paired with an iOS device thanks to its W1 chip that makes for excellent wireless connectivity.
At first glance, the Solo 3 Wireless appear almost identical to the Solo 2 headphones that proceeded them. The majority of the changes Apple made to its class-leading cans come internally, baking its mobile phone know-how into these headphones to ramp-up their wireless skills and maximise battery life.
In terms of wireless performance, these $299 (£249/AU$399.95) headphones are as reliable as any out there. However, you can get significantly better sound quality at the price. (See: entries one through nine.)
Read the full review: Beats Solo 3 Wireless
- Check out TechRadar's exhaustive guides to the best headphones to buy today including the best on-ear headphones, the best in-ear headphones and the best over-ear headphones.
- For some more specialist pairs, take a look at our guides to the best wireless headphones and the best noise-cancelling headphones. Our guide to the best true wireless earbuds is also here to help with the brand new form-factor.
- Looking for some headphones you can take in the pool? Check out our guide to the best swimming headphones.
The Sonos One smart speaker has become one of the most popular speakers over the last 12 months and demand stepped up a notch recently as the stylish soundbox has made its way on to plenty of Christmas wishlists.
Which is why we're super stoked to see this late discount arrive to knock a decent amount from the RRP. So if you missed out on any Black Friday offers, don't worry as there's still time to save a cool wedge of cash. We regularly keep our eye on the full range of Sonos deals and these one are very tempting.
Looking to pick up a cheap Sonos One in the UK? We've got you covered there too with a £20 discount at Amazon. Not to be outdone by the Stateside offer, there's a £50 discount available too if you opt for two Sonos One speakers instead.
If you're going for a pair of Sonos One speakers, you can choose black, white or one of each for your bundle. We rarely see this with discounted bundles to be honest, more often than not you're forced to pair up two of the same colour.
If these Sonos prices are a bit steep though, other smart speakers are available for much less. Take a look at our guide for Amazon Echo deals or Google Home prices for some alternative options. If audio quality is key for you though, then these Sonos options may be better for you.
According to a fresh rumor, Nvidia will reveal its GeForce RTX Mobility graphics cards at CES 2019, supposedly on January 6, which would be in the pre-show run-up to the official start of the event (on January 8).
Wccftech claims that the launch will happen on January 6 – or at least around that timeframe within a couple of days – and that laptops with GeForce RTX graphics cards inside them should be available to buy in February (and possibly even at the end of January).
So we really haven’t got long to wait, assuming this rumor is on the money, and if you were thinking of buying a notebook with graphics performance being a concern, you might want to hold on and see what happens with the fresh products that should (hopefully) be emerging in just a couple of months.RTX 2080 delay?
Nvidia is apparently set to unveil the GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q and vanilla RTX 2070, along with 2060, 2050 Ti and 2050 models which may carry the GTX branding rather than RTX (as lower-end mobile GPUs, relatively speaking – or at least where ray tracing is concerned).
As for the flagship RTX 2080 Max-Q, this could also show up at CES, but equally, its launch could come later down the line, which is what previous speculation contended.
Speaking of that previous chatter from the graphics grapevine, it also mentioned a 2060 Ti GPU, but it seems this won’t be in the mix after all.
As ever, take all this with the usual liberal sprinkling of condiments, but the fact that we’ve heard several rumors now certainly reinforces things – and it makes sense for Nvidia to be on the go with new laptop GPUs at CES.
- These are the best graphics cards you can buy in 2018
The most common question people ask when buying their first DSLR is whether to side with Canon or Nikon. Indeed, even more experienced photographers tied to one system often think about what they would gain by switching sides.
The fact is that both companies make excellent DSLRs. Nevertheless, at any given point they each have slightly different offerings on the market, and so it follows that some models will be better suited to your specific needs than others.
To that end, we’ve rounded up the main DSLRs currently available from the two (bar the most senior models designed for professionals) and compared them with their rivals in the same price bracket.
With both Canon and Nikon now both offering a range of mirrorless cameras as well, we'll also take a look at both systems.
Whether you’re a photographic novice looking for your first camera, an enthusiast keen on exploring a range of options or a more advanced user looking for a full-frame powerhouse, read on to get the best idea of what your money gets you.Canon vs Nikon: Entry-level DSLRs
If you’ve got up to £500/$500 or so to spend on your first DSLR, you’re very much spoilt for choice. Not only do you have a raft of brand new models to consider, but there are also many older ones that manufacturers typically subject to discounts and cashback offers to hook you into their system.
Currently, the cheapest options are the Canon EOS 1300D (known as the EOS Rebel T6 in the US), Canon EOS 4000D (known as the EOS Rebel T100 in the US), Canon EOS 2000D (known as the EOS Rebel T7 in the US) and Canon EOS 200D (known as the EOS Rebel SL2 in the US), as well as the Nikon D3400 and the newer Nikon D3500.
What's the difference then? At the bottom end of the scale is the EOS 1300D / EOS Rebel T6, which features a 18MP sensor and can shoot at only 3fps, while there's a 9-point AF system featured. Then there's the EOS 4000D - similar in spec to the EOS 1300D / EOS Rebel T6, but the newer camera isn't worth the extra cash as it features a plastic lens mount and pretty horrible 2.7-inch display and is best avoided.
The new EOS 2000D / EOS Rebel T7 is the next step up and is worth the extra money thanks to the jump in resolution, from 18MP to 24.1MP. The EOS 200D / EOS Rebel SL2 is the most advanced Canon of the bunch. It has the latest 24.2MP sensor and features Canon's brilliant Dual Pixel CMOS AF system for quick Live View focusing and shoots at a slightly faster 5fps. There's also a really useful vari-angle touchscreen. That said, it sticks with a similar 9-point AF system as the other two cameras.
Over at Nikon and both the D3400 and D3500 have 24.2MP sensors and can shoot at 5fps, and each is furnished with an 11-point AF system.
With very similar headline specs, Nikon’s D3500 actually features a newer design of sensor, even though they share same resolution. Handling has also been refined, with a larger handgrip for improved comfort. That's not forgetting the battery life, which has jumped from an already impressive 1,200 shots to 1,550 shots.
Overall then, there's not a huge difference between the offerings from Canon and Nikon, but our pick would have to be the D3500. It's not perfect, but what it does do, it does very well and is incredibly easy to use for the first time user.
If you’ve got a little more to spend you've got perhaps even more choice. From Canon you've got the Canon EOS Rebel T5i (known as the EOS 700D outside the US), Canon EOS Rebel T6i (EOS 750D), Canon EOS Rebel T7i (EOS 800D) and the EOS 77D.
Starting with the EOS Rebel T5i / EOS 700D, and it's starting to show its age now, with the 18MP sensor not a match for the latest 24MP sensors. It's pretty cheap, but we reckon it's worth trying to save up a little more and go for a newer camera if you can.
The Nikon D5300 is starting to be harder to come by, but it has many advantages over the EOS Rebel T5i / EOS 700D. These include a 24.2MP sensor with no low-pass filter, a 39-point AF system, a larger 3.2in LCD screen (though there's no touchscreen functionality) and Wi-Fi built into the body.
Collectively, this adds up to a much better proposition over the Canon, although we weren’t so crazy about the D5300’s AF speeds in live view when we reviewed the camera either. Otherwise, we were left with positive impressions and the price means it should be a very tempting proposition for many.
For a little more cash the Canon EOS Rebel T6i / 750D is also well worth a look. Handling is great, and we love the way the touchscreen controls have been implemented and overall, it's a very solid option.
All three of these DSLRs now though have been superseded by newer models, with the EOS Rebel T7i / EOS 800D, EOS 77D and D5600 the latest offerings from Canon and Nikon.
The direct successor to the T6i / 750D, the EOS Rebel T7i / EOS 800D comes with a newer sensor (though the resolution remains the same at 24.2MP) that delivers better noise performance at higher ISOs and a greatly improved AF system. The EOS 77D is pretty much identical to the T7i / 800D as far as spec goes, but offers more body mounted controls - useful if you're a slightly more experienced user.
That leaves the Nikon D5600, which features a 24.2MP sensor that produces very detailed images, along with an articulating touchscreen, decent 39-point AF system and polished handling. These all combine to make the D5600 one of the most well-rounded entry-level DSLRs available, but it's probably just edged out by the EOS Rebel T7i / EOS 800D for overall performance.
- Best Canon lenses: 10 top options for Canon APS-C DSLRs
- Best Nikon lenses: 10 top options for Nikon APS-C DSLRs
All three occupy a similar kind of price bracket but there are differences. The Canon EOS 80D is a brilliant enthusiast DSLR with an articulating LCD touchscreen, a Dual Pixel CMOS AF system that provides continuous focus in stills and movies and an all-cross-type 45-point AF system. It's a system that works brilliantly, although the comprehensive AF settings may overwhelm some. Nevertheless, with 7fps burst shooting also on board it’s very much recommended if you reckon you’ll be shooting both action and videos. It also has a high quality 24.2MP sensor that is able to capture a good level of detail while keeping noise under control. A great enthusiast DSLR that packs a decent performance.
The D7500 might have replaced the D7200, but don't discount it. Packed with features, a decent performance and a excellent 51-point AF system, the D7200 is topped off with a cracking 24.2MP sensor to make it an ideal camera for enthusiasts – especially if you already own some Nikon lenses. It might be getting on a bit, but this makes it an ever better buy.
That leaves the new D7500. This latest addition to Nikon’s DSLR line-up represents the biggest revamp we’ve seen in the D7xxx series since the D7000 replaced the D90. The combination of Nikon's 20.9MP sensor and EXPEED 5 image processing engine from the D500 (see below) in an even more compact and affordable body make it a very tempting proposition, especially if you shoot action.Pro-spec APS-C DSLRs
Two further models are nestled between these and the full-frame offerings from each manufacturer.
The Canon EOS 7D Mark II and more recently launched Nikon D500 each provide action photographers with a compelling proposition. While their sensors are more or less evenly matched at 20.2MP and 20.9MP respectively, the D500’s sensor lacks an anti-aliasing filter, which should help it to capture slightly better detail.
Up until the D500 was released, the EOS 7D Mark II’s 65-point all-cross-type AF system sounded impressive, but Nikon’s D500 has trounced this with a 153-point AF module with 99 cross-type points (although only 55 of these can be manually addressed by the user).
Both cameras can shoot at 10fps, but the D500 promises up to 200 Raw frames versus the 31 Raw frames from the Canon, although both can capture JPEGs indefinitely at this rate. Together with 4K video recording, a broader ISO range and a larger, higher-resolution, touch-sensitive screen that can be tilted relative to the camera, the D500 outguns its rival in many areas.
The fact that it only offers 20MP may put some off, and all of its advantages very much come at a steep price. If price is no issue than the D500 is very much on top, with its strong spec sheet and excellent performance meaning that it should remain relatively future-proof, but there’s no question that the EOS 7D Mark II is currently the better value deal.
Most people looking at a DSLR at this level are after a one that’s furnished with a full-frame sensor, and both manufacturers provide a range of solutions.
The EOS 6D Mark II is the newest out of the three options and pips its two Nikon rivals in the resolution stacks, with a 26.2MP full-frame sensor, compared to 24.3MP resolutions found in both the D610 and D750. That's not the whole story though as we found that the dynamic range performance of the Nikon's was that bit better.
The EOS 6D Mark II's 45-point AF system is a little too weighted to the centre of the frame for our liking, but the vari-angle touchscreen with Canon's brilliant Dual Pixel CMOS AF system makes up for it.
The D610 by contrast is getting on a bit, but that does make it the cheapest full-frame camera here. It's still well-spec'd too, with a solid 39-point AF system with 11 cross-type points, which is great for all-round use.
So what about the D750? Like the D610, it might be showing it's age a little, but this is still a very well-rounded enthusiast full-frame DSLR. You get a tilting LCD screen with a decent resolution (no touchscreen control though), a refined 51-point AF system with 15 cross-type points, while image quality is also measurably better than the D610’s. In fact, we didn't have too many gripes with it when we came to review it. Particularly if low-light shooting or video is key, the D750 is our pick of the bunch.High-end options
Canon and Nikon each have a number of options at the £2000/$2500+ end of the full-frame scale, but the main four are the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Canon EOS 5DS (and its EOS 5DS R sibling), Nikon D810 and Nikon D850.
Let's start with the 50MP EOS 5DS - this has held the crown for the high resolution DSLR for a while now, but all those pixels means it's not incredibly versatile - it's great for landscape photographers and those that work in a studio, but a little restrictive elsewhere.
The 30.4MP EOS 5D Mark IV still packs in a decent amount of pixels, and is a much more versatile proposition, with a great 61-point AF system, excellent handling and a decent 7fps burst shooting.
The EOS 5D Mark IV was until recently, our pick of the best DSLRs out there, but the arrival of Nikon's 45.4MP D850 has eclipsed it. In a nutshell, this is high resolution camera that packs in a high performance. The sensor delivers excellent results, while the 153-point AF system and 7fps burst shooting mean it's at home shooting pretty much any subject. The best DSLR you can buy right now.
That just leaves the 36.3MP D810 - it might have been replaced by the D850, but it's still a great DSLR and you should be able to hunt it down at a great price now as well.
Choosing between Canon and Nikon doesn’t restrict you to DSLRs as the two companies also have mirrorless options in their current lineups. Admittedly, both were a little late to the party, and Nikon recently retired its small 1 series of mirrorless cameras, so it’s Canon that currently has the widest selection here.
The baby of the family is the EOS M100, a tiny, wirelessly connected camera that has a flip-up screen and Canon’s video-friendly Dual Pixel CMOS AF system to recommend it. This makes it particularly suitable for vloggers and anyone wanting a more serious camera that’s still suitable for capturing selfies, although it lacks a microphone port for more serious audio recording and also doesn’t have a viewfinder.
The next model along, the EOS M6, also lacks a viewfinder, although the the presence of a microphone port makes it more appealing to video users. Its slightly higher asking price is reflected in a more serious assortment of controls: a beefy grip that provides superior handling, together with a dedicated exposure compensation dial and a hot shoe that accepts an optional viewfinder) are just the tip of its highlights. The lack of a silent shooting option, however, is somewhat odd for a mirrorless camera, and its build quality could be better too.
The EOS M5 is much the same as the EOS M6 in its controls and intentions, although the fact that it’s fitted with a centrally positioned electronic viewfinder makes it more DSLR-like in style and operation. Its LCD still flips around to face the front, but does so at the bottom of the camera, which is decidedly less ideal for video use. Still, 7.4fps burst shooting and the same Dual Pixel CMOS AF option as its siblings shows it to be primed for capturing action as well as static subjects.
None of these models offer 4K video recording, although the fourth option, the EOS M50 / EOS Kiss M does. Sadly, Canon’s Dual Pixel AF system does not work when recording 4K videos, but the fact that that the camera offers a more advanced DIGIC 8 processing engine and a newer and more efficient Raw format gives it a few advantages over its cheaper siblings. It’s also very competitively priced right now, and boasts a 2.36million dot electronic viewfinder and a Vari-angle touchscreen, although its lacklustre build quality matches that of the EOS M6. Furthermore, like the other EOS M options here, it suffers from only being compatible with a few native lenses right now.
Canon's EOS M-series models certainly have their charms, but the real excitement in Canon and Nikon’s mirrorless systems is at the enthusiast/professional end of the scale.
Both companies have announced fresh mirrorless systems in recent months, and all three cameras released so far – namely Canon's EOS R and Nikon's Z6 and Z7 – have been blessed with full-frame sensors.
The EOS R is Canon’s first full-frame mirrorless camera, with a spec sheet that places it somewhere between the enthusiast-level EOS 6D Mark II and pro-grade EOS 5D Mark IV DSLRs. On top of a new 30.3MP full-frame sensor and 4K video capabilities, it benefits from a clear 3.69million-dot EVF and a responsive 3.2in touchscreen that flips out to face the front, together with a fast AF system that works brilliantly across stills and video.
It’s also compatible with a new line of lenses – four of which have been released so far and many promised to land shortly – but Canon has ensured that existing EOS users are catered for via a choice of three adapters, each allowing for EF lenses to be used on the newer system without hassle. We’re not sure about a couple of design decisions Canon has made for he model overall, but handling is great and build quality exemplary. Image quality also looks to be very promising from what we’ve seen so far.
Nikon kicked off its own Z series just ahead of Canon with two full-frame models, the Z6 and Z7. The two cameras have pretty much everything in common, save for a handful of key differences.
Thanks to its 24MP sensor, 12fps burst shooting option, a 273-point AF system and a significantly cheaper price tag, the Z6 is a camera with wide appeal. With a 45.7MP sensor at its heart, the Z7 is a better match for anyone involved in capturing more sedate, resolution-gobbling applications, but its more densely packed 493-point AF system and a very respectable 9fps burst mode mean you shouldn’t necessarily rule it out if you tend to shoot moving subjects with any regularity.
The two cameras sport a new lens mount and three native lenses have been released already, with many more planned over the next few years. And, as with the EOS R, you can mount decades’ worth of existing lenses on the body through the optional adaptor.
We love the way the Z7 handles and both image and video quality is very impressive. The use of XQD memory cards has proved to be controversial, however, and battery life isn’t quite as strong as that of certain competitors, notable Sony’s A7 series of full-frame cameras.
If you’re looking to get started in virtual reality (VR), or are hoping to show some friends VR for the first time, it’s not a great idea to dive right into the wildest games out there.
The best PC VR games for beginners shouldn’t be too chaotic – there’s a good reason headset makers list comfort levels for games.
Adjusting to movement in VR can be tricky, especially for anyone sensitive to motion sickness.
If the in-game camera moves much while the player stays stationary, they can quickly start feeling queasy.
That’s before factoring in the need for players to familiarize themselves with the controls in VR and the objectives of the game.
Because there’s a lot to get used to and the potential for discomfort, the usual top picks for VR aren’t going to be the best PC VR games for beginners.
Instead, we’ve focused on games that keep movement simple, comfortable and that give players time to adjust to the VR world.
While the games on this list aren’t placed in order of quality, we’ve put them in a loose order with the more comfortable games coming first.Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a perfect beginner VR game for a number of reasons. For one, players can learn the game outside of VR. Once playing in VR, everything is kept simple. There are no flying objects to avoid or enemies that will spring up. Instead, the player in VR will focus on manipulating and disabling a bomb as players outside of VR will try to provide instructions on defusing it. It’s a fun game for groups, and a comfortable one for first-time VR players.
A great VR game doesn’t have to put the player into the perspective of the protagonist. Moss is a compelling action-adventure game that uses VR as a way to look around the world as players guide the mouse protagonist through puzzles and combat. Beginners can enjoy the familiar platformer-style gameplay while getting comfortable with using their own perspective to look around in VR.
What better way to enter VR than with a familiar mobile game? Fruit Ninja is almost perfectly adapted to VR. This version lets new players stand perfectly in place as fruit and the occasional bomb fly up in front of them. There’s no complex movement required, just the addictive satisfaction of stabbing and slicing bushel after bushel of colorful and cartoony fruit.
Not only is I Expect You to Die one of the best PC VR games for beginners, it’s simply one of the best VR games. All of the levels are seated, so player comfort is high, making it easier for beginners to enjoy. Once in the game, players will take on the role of a spy challenged with a series of clever escape room-like missions. The game is loaded with clever interactions that are great for learning how realistically players can interact with the VR world.
Space Pirate Trainer is a great step up from Fruit Ninja VR. The gameplay is fairly straightforward, and plays like a basic Galaga-esque arcade game adapted for the modern VR age. Players stand on a platform in space as a variety of flying droids attack. They can walk around their VR environment by walking in the real world, which helps avoid any motion sickness, and use an assortment of weapons to battle the droids.
Beat Saber is an amazing VR game, with exciting and frantic gameplay. Players have to follow the music as they slash through colorful cubes with correspondingly colored blades. The graphics are like something straight out of Tron, and cutting up cubes will be a blast for fans of Star Wars and Guitar Hero alike. Since the player is mostly stationary, beginners can get used to VR while playing, though the flying cubes and obstacles hopefully won’t psyche them out.
After getting a bit more comfortable in VR with some of the other titles on this list, Lone Echo is a great next step. The gameplay can get intense, as you jump into the role of a robot on a space station helping the captain of a mining operation. Of course, a space game like this wouldn’t be great if things didn’t go wrong. Beyond the compelling story, what makes this title great for beginners is the movement mechanics: using thrusters in zero-g and pushing off surfaces to move around. While it’s a bit less comfortable than simply standing in one place, we’ve found it to be substantially less nauseating than using a joystick to walk in-game.
Superhot VR is an exciting title for beginners as they’ll have the opportunity to get comfortable with VR at their own pace. That’s made possible thanks to the game’s core mechanic: time only moves as fast as the player moves. For the most part, players will be standing in one spot, turning around, ducking and leaning. These are all generally comfortable movements in VR. And, they’ll be forced to get more and more comfortable, as the game throws them into more and more challenging situations, with waves of heavily armed enemies coming from every direction.
Supported content on TechRadar means the article has been created in partnership with a developer, publisher, manufacturer or other relevant party. When you see this disclosure note in an article, it means that the article idea has been approved by another company – a developer, hardware maker, or publisher – but that otherwise the content is planned, written, and published by TechRadar without any further approval. This is distinct from sponsored content on TechRadar, which is created entirely by a third party, and not the TechRadar editorial team.
Identity fraud just isn't going away, and it continues to be a growing concern. If you're (quite rightly) concerned about falling for one of the many scams that have been doing the rounds on the internet, then our guide to the best identity theft protection tools will help you put your mind at ease.
Millions of people every year are hit by ID theft - the number of victims in the US alone in 2017 is thought to be in excess of 16 million people. These scams varied in their methods, but pretty much every one depended on a criminal assuming the stolen identity of someone else in order to withdraw money, take out loans, make payments and more.
However, there are ways to help protect yourself, with the best identity theft protection services offering tools to help you spot potential scams. The best identity theft protection services we list here all offer access to credit reports that can help you easily keep track of your financial accounts.
The best protection isn't cheap – you could pay $30 (£20) a month – but don't let that put you off. Some companies offer basic tools for free, and there are plenty of low cost, high value plans for UK and US citizens to choose from.
- This is our best antivirus buying guide
IdentityForce Inc. is a Massachusetts-based corporation which provides identity theft services for individuals, businesses and government agencies.
Protection starts with access to credit reports from the top three agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Web access, iOS and Android apps enable checking your details at any time.
A comprehensive monitoring network offers near real-time alerts for issues including searches on your credit report, changes of address, accounts being opened in your name, fraudulent use of your social security number, your details appearing in court records or on the sex offender register, and your data being sold on the dark web. If a problem is found you'll be speedily alerted via SMS and email.
There are some interesting bonus features. PC-based anti-phishing and anti-keylogger software tries to keep malware at bay and prevent hackers stealing your data, while a Social Media Identity Monitoring suite scans your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Google+ streams for malicious links, hacked and imposter accounts, and more.
No service can offer a 100% protection guarantee, but if you do become an identity theft victim, IdentityForce has a capable identity restoration team to get your life back in order, and an insurance policy will refund you up to $1 million for ID theft-related losses and expenses.
Founded in 2005, LifeLock is a US-based identity theft protection company which was recently purchased by Symantec for $2.3 billion (£1.6 billion).
The service provides in-depth monitoring of credit and loan applications, court and criminal records, change of address requests and any data exposed on more than 10,000 websites, looking out for any signs of others using your details.
If a potential issue crops up, smartly designed mobile apps give you near real-time alerts of what's going on. Should someone apply for an auto loan in your name, for instance, you don't just get to hear about it a few days later when your credit report updates: instead, the app sends you an immediate notification asking if this application was yours. Say no and LifeLock's support team jumps into action to investigate.
If a thief manages to bypass your defenses anyway, LifeLock's ID recovery specialists will help you get your life back. Unlike some services, that doesn't mean they'll advise you who to call – they'll do the heavy lifting for you, making those calls, filling in forms and more. In really serious situations, you're covered by up to $1 million for losses and expenses due to identity fraud.
Unsurprisingly, all this power doesn't come cheap. LifeLock's high-end Ultimate Plus account costs $29.99 a month, 50% more than similar products from IdentityForce and ID Watchdog.
It's hard to beat LifeLock's features and functionality, though, and the service does offer good deals in some areas. The starter LifeLock Standard plan gives you social security number and credit alerts for $9.99 a month, and you can protect up to five devices with Norton Security Online for free in year one, and only $3 a month after that. Not only is that impressive value, but securing your devices could prevent the leaks that allow ID theft to happen in the first place.
One of the biggest names in consumer credit reporting, Experian now maintains information on more than a billion businesses and individuals worldwide.
The company's IdentityWorks is a capable service for those in the US, offering access to their credit report and score, raising alerts when there are any significant changes, and keeping a careful eye on the dark web for any signs of the user’s personal data.
Available for as little as $8.33 when billed annually for a single individual on the IdentityWorks Plus, it provides with an affordable entry to all-year identity protection. Two adults and up to 10 children will pay only twice that amount.
You don't have to be a financial geek to understand what's on offer, as Experian has gone to unusual lengths to make everything accessible and clear. While just about everyone claims they can show you your credit report, for instance, the Experian site offers a sample report to show you exactly what you'll get.
If you do sign up, you'll discover a straightforward web console that presents your details in as simple a way as possible, although experts can drill down to payment histories and other details in a few clicks.
CreditExpert doesn't offer any particularly surprising features, and its price is much the same as the other big names at $19.99 a month. Its ease of use is a major plus, though, and a 30-day trial provides a risk-free way to check out IdentityWorks's abilities.
In a world where the competition regularly charges eye-wateringly high subscription fees, Noddle's appeal is easy to spot: no-strings free access to your credit report, for life.
The free service does have a significant caveat. When you first log in, Noddle displays your current credit report, but after that it's only updated every 30 days. If you're unlucky on the timing, you could have an identity thief take out a loan in your name, and not know about it for as long as four weeks.
The commercial Noddle Alerts plan steps up its protection by alerting you within 24 hours concerning any significant changes to your credit report. It's priced at only £20 a year in the UK, which is excellent value when other services can charge around £15 a month for little more.
A separate Noddle Web Watch plan monitors the dark web for any sign of your personal details being sold online, which might give you an early warning of identity theft attempts. It's also priced at a very reasonable £20 as a standalone plan, or you can buy both Noddle Alerts and Noddle Web Watch for £30 a year.
Noddle's services have their issues. The website has more ads and marketing tie-ins than usual, and although the reports are informative, they're not quite as well-designed as some of the big-name competition. But it does deliver a strong set of features for a very, very low price, and if you're looking for a bargain, Noddle offers one of the best identity theft protection deals around.
Virgin Mobile had one of the best deals on SIM only contracts we'd seen in a long time over Black Friday, so we were obviously quite sad when it finally came to an end. But luckily, the start of December seems to have signalled the return of Virgin's great SIM only deals - especially if you need lots of data.
Virgin is offering a few festive SIMO deals but the one that really stopped us in our tracks is the 30GB of data package for just £16 a month. That is incredibly cheap for that much data and we're going to tell you now that no other major network can match that price.
If you don't want to spend quite as much as that then don't fear because Virgin has also doubled the data on its 3GB tariff, now giving you 6GB of data for £10 a month. Maybe you didn't feel like 30GB was enough? Well for the streaming and surfing fanatics out there it also has an unlimited data plan for just £25 a month, another unbeatable deal. If any of these deals take your fancy you will want to act fast, as they all end on December 19.
You can see all of these deals below or if none of them quite match what you're looking for try our best SIM only deals page to find your perfect deal.Virgin Mobile's 30GB of data SIM
- Or check out all of the best SIM only deals in the UK today
A new leak suggests that AMD is working on up ten new Ryzen 3000 processors, including a chip that offers a huge 5.1GHz clock speed over 16 cores.
The leak comes courtesy of AdoredTV, a YouTube channel which claims to expose a range of details about AMD's upcoming Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 CPUs.
You can view the whole video below, and while the information provided is certainly exciting, we should point out that the specifications and prices mentioned in the video (which we'll go into in more depth in a bit) are unconfirmed at the moment.AMD Ryzen 3 3300 series
According to the video, AMD will release three new entry-level Ryzen 3 processors. The Ryzen 3 3300 is a six-core, 12-thread CPU with a 3.2GHz base clock, 4GHz boost, 50W TDP and a price of $99 (about £80, AU$140).
Next is the Ryzen 3 3300X, again a six-core, 12-thread processor, this time with a 3.5GHz base clock and 4.3GHz boost, 65W TDP and a price of $129 (around £100, AU$180). Both of these CPUs are rumored to debut at CES 2019.
Finally, the Ryzen 3 3300G is a six-core, 12-thread CPU with a 3.0GHz base clock, 3.8GHz boost and 65W TDP. Unlike the other Ryzen 3 processors, this one will apparently come with an integrated Navi 12 GPU with 15 compute units, making it the first ever six-core desktop APU from AMD.
It will cost $129 (around £100, AU$180) and is hinted at being released in the third quarter of 2019.AMD Ryzen 5 3600 series
Three mid-range Ryzen 5 processors in the 3000 series have also been rumored.
The first, the Ryzen 5 3600, comes with eight cores and 16 threads, a 3.6GHz base clock, 4.4GHz boost, 65W TDP and a price of $178 (around £140, AU$240).
Then, there's the Ryzen 5 3600X which is again an eight-core, 12-thread processor clocked at 4GHz, with a boost of 4.8GHz, a TDP of 95W and a price of $229 (around £180, AU$320). Both of these could be revealed at CES.
There's also the Ryzen 3600G, an eight-core, 12-thread CPU with a 3.2GHz base clock, 4GHz boost clock and TDP of 95W. This comes with a 20 compute unit Navi 12 GPU, making it AMD's first 8-core desktop APU. It is rumored to cost $199 (around £160, AU$270) and will release third quarter of 2019.AMD Ryzen 7 3700 series
For the high-end market, the rumors suggest that AMD is readying two Ryzen 7 processors. These will apparently both be CPU-only, so no integrated graphics, and will use similar architecture to AMD’s EPYC 2 server chips.
So, they will apparently have two Zen 2 dies that make up 12 cores and 24 threads.
The Ryzen 7 3700 will have a base clock of 3.8GHz and a boost of 4.6GHz, a TDP of 95W and a price of $299 (around £230, AU$400).
The Ryzen 7 3700X will have a base clock of 4.2GHz and a boost of 5.0GHz, with a TDP of 105W and a price of $329 (around £260, AU$450). Both could be unveiled at CES.AMD Ryzen 9 3800 series
AMD is also rumored to be preparing two seriously-impressive enthusiast-class Ryzen 9 CPUs, which will apparently feature two full 8-core Zen 2 dies, which gives them 16 cores and 32 threads.
The Ryzen 9 3800X comes with 16 cores, 32 threads, a 3.9GHz base and 4.7GHz boost clock, 125W TDP and a $449 (around £350, AU$600) price tag. It’s rumored to be unveiled at CES.
Finally, there's the Ryzen 9 3850X, which is a 16-core, 32-thread CPU with a base clock of 4.3GHz base clock, 5.1GHz boost, 135W TDP and a price of $499 (around £400, AU$700). This is rumored to release in May.
Not only are these rumored specs seriously impressive, the prices are worth noting as well, as they are a lot cheaper than the AMD Threadripper 1950X, a 16-core CPU priced at $999 (£999, AU$1,439), or the Intel i9-7960X, which costs $1,700 (£1,500, around AU$2,300).
If these specs and prices are real, then AMD's Ryzen 3000 series will be a very formidable family of processors, and something that Intel may struggle to match when it comes to price and power.
Ofcom has proposed BT and KCOM deliver the government’s Universal Service Obligation (USO), which will allow anyone in the UK to request a minimum standard of broadband connection.
Commercial and government-funded rollouts of superfast broadband mean that 95 per cent of the UK population now has access to fibre services, however there is a recognition that some homes and businesses are at risk of being left behind.Broadband USO
Under the terms of the USO, anyone in the UK will be able to legally demand a ‘decent’ broadband from 2020. The USO will initially define this as a 10Mbps service, although it’s possible that this could be increased in the future.
Ofcom is tasked with delivering with the USO and invited interested parties to come forward in September. Eight providers applied to be a provider, but only BT, KCOM and Hyperoptic met Ofcom’s financial, technical and coverage criteria.
Hyperoptic has since withdrawn from the process so Ofcom has suggested BT deliver the USO on a UK-wide basis outside Hull, while KCOM will deliver it in the Hull area.
A number of other and smaller regional firms had put their hat into the ring, raising hopes that Ofcom might decide on multiple providers in different parts of the UK, but this has not been the case.
Other providers are still able to apply before the consultation closes in February and Ofcom hopes the fist “demands” will be made at the end of 2019.
BT had offered to fund and build 10Mbps broadband for everyone in the UK in place of the USO, but this proposal was rejected by the government last year.
- Here are the best broadband deals for December 2018
Well it had to end eventually. We couldn't believe it when Onestream first got in touch in November to tell us about the ludicrously cheap broadband deal it wanted to run for Black Friday. We've been pretty giddy ever since (largely because it has been exclusively available on TechRadar), but that all finishes this Friday.
Yep, it has finally decided that the insanity has to come to an end this Friday December 7. Hundreds of people have signed up for 12 months of £9.99 broadband bills since the offer went live a few weeks ago, and the egg timer is almost all out of sand.
So what's the deal? Onestream is offering this affordable broadband for just £9.99 per month with 11Mb average speeds and line rental for a year. Not to mention a free router and, despite the price, no usage caps whatsoever so you can stream to your heart's content.The BEST EVER broadband deal - ends Friday Today's other best broadband deals in the UK
You won't be surprised to hear that nobody else gets close to Onestream's super cheap tariff. But that's no good for you if you want something a little bit faster.
If you want to crank things up to a fibre deal, then look no further than Plusnet at the moment. The monthly cost is a very attractive £23.50, but then it's also throwing in £60 cashback.
- Or head to our dedicated best broadband deals guide
If you’ve been thinking about making a high-end GPU purchase from Nvidia’s latest crop of cards, then you might be interested to learn of a major discount on the current flagship GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, which has been reduced by £225 over at eBuyer.
The retailer is selling Zotac’s GeForce RTX 2080 Ti AMP Edition graphics card for £1,159.98, knocked down from the usual asking price of £1,384.97.
Okay, so this isn’t the cheapest model on the market, but the AMP Edition is a beefy 2080 Ti card with a boost clock speed that pushes up to 1665MHz. Plus there’s likely good overclocking headroom, with triple 90mm fans, and active fan control technology that can increase airflow and therefore cooling to where it’s most needed.
It’s also well worth bearing in mind that you get a five-year extended warranty with this GPU, for extra peace of mind when it comes to a big purchase such as this.
We’ve just seen the big reveal of the Titan RTX, which will take the crown as the top Nvidia GPU when it’s launched in December, but that card has an asking price of a staggering $2,499 (around £2,000, AU$3,400) – and the 2080 Ti is plenty fast enough, in all honesty.
In our review of the GeForce GTX 2080 Ti, we noted that it was powerful enough to facilitate 4K gaming with high frame rates as a single graphics card solution. At any rate, if you’re tempted, grab the deal below…
- These are the best graphics cards of 2018
The workplace of the past had well-defined structure, employees would come into a physical space with hierarchical management and specified core working hours. With the gig-economy flourishing, the traditional work environment had to become competitive to remain attractive to retain talent.
Traditional workplace practices have been transformed due to the working habits of new generations; which has been enabled by the change in technology allowing individuals to work in any location but still allow open communications and collaboration. This revolutionary technology has defined the future of the workplace by creating a remote working culture.
The changes can be seen as the demise of the office, but these are the five key ways new technologies has brought positive change to the workplace.Collaboration
Teamwork even with remote workers has improved significantly with the introduction of new tech.
With increased channels of communication there is a way to connect with colleagues with increased flexibility beyond long face to face meetings and the inbox. With these new channels there is also an increase in communication with clients and external stakeholders.
A collaborative workforce is needed to share knowledge, ideas and increase creativity. Having easy and open communication channels allows employees to share quickly without eating into their worktime.Efficiency
Time management in the workplace has considerably optimised with the introduction of new tools, allowing to see what available resources are needed and used for tasks, improving worker productivity.
Combined with easier communication it is easier to understand where emphasis on projects need to be placed. The connection between employees and external stakeholders can be managed through constant streams of communication. Allowing for quicker turn-around times for results.
This efficient way of working has been enabled by the introduction of tools that monitor time spent on projects and what resources are used. This information can also be used to plan and strategize future work.Security
With new technology comes new risk.
A potential downside in the modern workplace is security. Many companies are targeted with phishing attempts and hacks and business data can be compromised. However, there are many measures that can be placed to ensure that devices are secure and aren’t easily accessible to the wrong people.
Having strong policies and procedures in place can ensure that workers are equally responsible for the protection of sensitive information.Profitability
Innovations have impacted the bottom-line. This is great news for both the company and its employees.
Increased productivity that comes with the improved time management, the ease in collaboration and communication; that ultimately creates a quicker turn-around in results all feeds into a more stable and financially healthy company with less waste.
From a employee prospective there is increased job-security, potential pay-rises and benefits that come with the growth of a company.Happy workforce
With the improved flexibility for the workforce allowing individuals to adapt their working styles and have a better work-life balance. Employees are much happier, happier employees tend to work harder and have more of a drive and motivation. These factors will help overall improve a business and its objectives as it will have a more loyal determined workforce.
The traditional workplace may have allowed greater emphasis on control for the employer but in reality, the shift of remote-work and technology that allows flexible work-patterns has created a better synergy amongst colleagues and more creative and streamlined approaches to the task at hand.
So even though the demise of the 9-5 is the current problem employers face. The technology that is needed for an effective future workplace structure already exists. Employers need to embrace the change to ensure they are ready for the workplace of the future and that employers are able to attract and retain staff who will have the expectations of a fully flexible environment.
Jon Loftin is Head of Unified Communications at PowWowNow
As the name suggests, 5G is the fifth generation of cellular mobile communications. The key benefits of 5G over 4G LTE are much higher data rates (1-20 Gbit/s), much lower latency (1 ms), and increased capacity as the network expands.
What does this actually mean for the average consumer?
- Higher data rates allow consumers to download content more quickly e.g. a consumer could download a full HD movie in less than 10 seconds on a 5G network vs. ~ 10 minutes on a 4G network.
- Lower latency means users will experience less delay / lag when requesting data from the network - a latency of milliseconds, which are imperceptible to a human.
More broadly, the 5G network will advance mobile from largely a set of technologies connecting people-to-people and people-to-information to a unified connectivity fabric connecting everything to everything (X2X); 5G will act as a critical enabler for Massive IoT, Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CAV), remote critical control etc. Cars will be connected to the roads and cities they are navigating; doctors to the medical devices of their patients; physical infrastructure and assets to those tasked with maintaining and managing them. The promise of 5G is to enable billions of new connections that are fast, secure, and instantaneous.
Understanding the vast amount of data generated from the 5G revolution intelligently will be a key challenge in unlocking the full potential of 5G to vastly improve our lives, as promised.Simulated realities
At SenSat, a leading European AI company based in Shoreditch, London, we are developing powerful technologies that can ingest and understand numerous real-time datasets, root them contextually in physical real world geometry, and then generate tremendously valuable spatial intelligence. How?
SenSat create ‘digital twins’ of real-world locations by capturing high resolution 2D and 3D data, using leading data-capture technologies. For example, as the UK's largest drone data provider and the UK Department for Transport’s Pathfinder Infrastructure Partner, we can autonomously capture physical geometry 400x faster than other manual data capture techniques.
We then infuse real-time spatial datasets onto these digital twins, creating ‘simulated realities’, which are exact digital environments that mirror what is happening in the real world.
SenSat can then use sophisticated machine learning techniques using these simulated realities to solve complex spatial optimisation problems, allowing for faster and better decision-making.Barriers to 5G rollout
Indeed, the rollout of 5G in the UK is one of these complex spatial optimisation problems.
The first commercial rollout of 5G networks in the UK will utilise relatively long wavelength bands of spectrum that have already been auctioned / are expected to be auctioned in 2020.
As Qualcomm’s tests in Frankfurt and San Francisco demonstrated, achieving required data rates for 5G in the real world (Gbit/s) will require using mmWave spectrum (>30GHz).
However, mmWave spectrum suffers from short transmission paths and high propagation losses. The shorter wavelength (measured in mm) makes mmWave highly sensitive to physical structures, facade materials, temporary obstructions, weather, etc. - all of which cause absorption and refraction, resulting in significant signal attenuation / loss.
As a result, line of sight (LoS) transmission from base stations (called ‘small cells’) to devices will be required to maintain sufficient 5G data rates. This will require mass densification of urban areas with new small cells to propagate mmWave 5G.
The ultimate ‘cost’ of rolling out 5G will be proportional to the number of small cells needed to be installed for this ‘mass densification’ of urban areas - reducing the cost of this rollout requires reducing the number of small cells needed to be installed, optimising their location, and improving the logistical efficiency of installation.Optimising the location of small cells
This complex non-linear optimisation problem requires an understanding of:
- mmWave propagation: because of its extreme sensitivity to the physical environment, ensuring adequate propagation to provide sufficient 5G data rates is a non-linear problem e.g. doubling the data rate may require a >2x increase in the number of small cells, depending on the complexity of urban areas. Data needed: permanent physical topography (vegetation, buildings), temporary topography (mass urban transit patterns), weather etc.
- Data demand: understanding data demand/use in various locations is also key to understanding the required number of small cells. Data needed: land use, land type, footfall data etc.
- Logistical constraints: improving logistical efficiency of the rollout of small cells will reduce overall rollout cost e.g. reducing the number of building owners, and local authorities that need to be contacted for permission to install small cells will lower the cost of rollout. Data needed: land ownership, traffic and transport data etc.
As the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport identified earlier this year, “there is currently no single platform capable of ingesting the many and varied datasets required to deliver a comprehensive platform suitable for understanding mmWave propagation for 5G”.
SenSat’s proprietary technologies are solving complex physical geospatial problems like this.
In the case of 5G: SenSat can use simulated realities of major urban areas to extract actionable insights using machine learning techniques; we combine multiple datasets (land use, land ownership, data use) rooted in physical urban geometry, to generate intelligence that can optimise the location and reduce the number of small cells for installation. This reduces the rollout cost for telcos of 5G, and ultimately, the cost of 5G for consumers.
James Dean, CEO and Founder of SenSat
- We've also highlighted the best business phones
BT has confirmed it is removing all Huawei equipment from EE’s 4G core network as part of a long-running programme to bring the mobile division in line with the rest of the business.
The telco was one of the first companies outside China to agree a supply deal with Huawei back in 2005 but had pledged not to use the kit in its core network to ease any security concerns.
Huawei has since become a major partner for broadband and mobile providers around the world including several from the UK. This includes EE, which used Huawei kit for its core 3G and 4G networks prior to its 2016 acquisition by BT.
The FT says BT has already removed most of the kit used in T-Mobile’s 2G networks while BT has confirmed to TechRadar Pro that the process was ongoing.
Huawei will remain a key supplier in EE’s 5G rollout, with its radio access network (RAN) expected to play a key role in connecting customers.
“In 2016, following the acquisition of EE, we began a process to remove Huawei equipment from the core of our 3G and 4G networks, as part of network architecture principles in place since 2006,” they said.
“We’re applying these same principles to our current RFP for 5G core infrastructure. As a result, Huawei have not been included in vendor selection for our 5G core. Huawei remains an important equipment provider outside the core network, and a valued innovation partner.”
Political pressure on operators to stop using Huawei kit in their networks has increased in recent months.
Huawei kit in the UK is subject to monitoring by a dedicated GCHQ unit, but the head of MI6 has recently suggested operators should consider the role of Chinese manufacturers in digital infrastructure.
The company has already been frozen out of the US market, although it does provide equipment to a number of smaller players in the country, while Australia has banned its operators from using Huawei equipment in their 5G rollouts on national security grounds. The company’s role in 5G rollout in New Zealand is currently under review.
It has also been reported that the US is urging its allies to take similar actions.
The main basis for these fears is a perception that Huawei is linked to the Chinese government and that the use of the company’s equipment risks the possibility of backdoors that could be used for espionage.
Huawei has repeatedly denied such accusations, pointing out that it works with security agencies around the world and that it sells products to more than 500 operators in 170 countries without issue.
- Here are the best mobile phone deals for December 2018
It seems that EE has joined the festive fun, dropping some Christmas deals on flagship devices and SIM only contracts.
EE has included some big data plans with the Google Pixel 3, Samsung Galaxy S9 and iPhone 8 so you don't have to scrimp on data this Christmas. If you were more interested in getting a SIM only deal, EE has that as well offering up a 30GB of data 4GEE (superfast) SIM for £25 p/m.
Going with EE does have its perks. You get six months of free Apple Music, calls and texts using Wi-Fi, data caps to stop you going over your limit and not to mention it is the UK's fastest 4G network.
But you are paying a premium to get these features and you can get some of these devices cheaper elsewhere. So if you're looking to save as much money as you can this Christmas, check our phone deals page for the best contracts on the biggest phones.
These festive EE deals in full
- Samsung Galaxy S9 - £10 upfront cost, £48 per month for 24 months, unlimited minutes and texts, £100 cashback (4G Essential plan)
- Google Pixel 3 - £30 upfront cost, £53 per month for 24 months, unlimited minutes and texts (4G Essential plan)
- iPhone 8 - £10 upfront cost, £53 per month for 24 months, unlimited minutes and texts (4G Essential plan)
The RRP of the Galaxy S9 may still be around the £700-mark, but the phone deals stars have aligned so that you can now get the brilliant 2018 Samsung flagship for just £399 - the lowest we've seen the SIM-free handset since release.
And we're not talking about some dodgy online retailer you've never heard of or a suspicious looking ebay or Amazon Marketplace trader. John Lewis is among the retailers that's able to offer the all low SIM-free S9 price.
The reason the S9 is looking so cheap right now is a combination of factors. Firstly, the Black Friday period generally saw the smartphone fall in cost, and many outlets have maintained the lower price tag. But then Samsung announced a new promotion allowing you to claim chunky sums of cashback across its devices, with £100 up for grabs on all Galaxy S9 deals. That instantly brought the overall cost of the S9 down to £399. Winner!Where can I get the £399 Samsung S9 deal?
You've got a couple of options. For starters, UK retailer Fonehouse is selling the phone for £499 outright. So once you apply the £100 cashback, then you end up with the S9 for that sub-£400 price. Nice and easy.
But if you'd sooner buy from a name hat's a bit more familiar, then John Lewis is another great option. Ordinarily, it stocks the SIM-free Galaxy S9 for £569 - still a very handsome price, when you consider the £100 cashback. But then using its price match offer, John Lewis should let you knock the extra £70 off as well.How to claim your Samsung cashback
Samsung has full instructions - along with terms and conditions - of how to claim the £100 cashback on the S9.
The long and short of it is that you need to claim it within 30 days of purchase and need to give Samsung the IMEI number (basically the serial number) of the phone you've bought, together with proof of purchase.
Once everything is verified, voila! You'll get the £100 straight to your chosen bank account within the next 30 days.
It's always exciting when big tech companies like Apple, Google, or Samsung reveal their new patents – after all, patent filings aren't limited by the constrictions of current technology, and they give us a potential glimpse into the future.
However, Samsung's latest patents have left us scratching our heads, as they're for for a completely bezel-less phone with screen on nearly every side, and a hexagonal phone which also appears to have screen on most or all of its six sides.
Although Samsung's Galaxy S7 Edge already features a display that extends to the sides of the screen, no manufacturer has managed to create a completely bezel-less smartphone. Current models rely on bezels where the side of the palm rests on the phone to stop users from inadvertently activating the screen with their hand.
Samsung's latest patent takes the Edge concept a step further, outlining a screen that reaches the very bottom corners of the phone, as well as the top and bottom edges.No bezels, not ever
Why the tech company has filed this patent is unclear – users of the Samsung's Edge display will tell you how easy it is to accidentally activate the screen on this type of phone, and we can imagine it being a problem with this proposed design.
Even more baffling is the fact that in the same patent Samsung also provided the blueprints for a phone with six sides instead of the usual four.
It's important to remember that filing a patent doesn't mean the inventions will actually be made, let alone sold to the public. That being said, it's always fun to see what tech companies have cooking behind the scenes.
Just a short while ago, Valve discontinued its Steam Link – the little box that lets you stream games from a PC to the TV in your living room – and for those who lament the demise of the device, the good news is you can now make your own with a Raspberry Pi.
That’s because Valve has released the Steam Link app for the Raspberry Pi 3 and Raspberry Pi 3 B+ models running the Raspbian Stretch operating system, albeit only in beta at this point.
You can find instructions on how to install and fire up the app on your Pi in Valve’s announcement post right here.Work in progress
Initial feedback seems fairly positive, with one gamer observing that the Pi works pretty well as a replacement device, although (anecdotally) there is possibly a little extra lag (in the order of 5ms or so) compared to using the Steam Link. And that would make sense, plus you have to bear in mind that this is still beta software, so it will continue to be polished and honed.
It’s great to see Valve make such a move, and give Raspberry Pi owning folks options on this front. Although if you’re unsure about the aforementioned instructions – or you’re running into problems during installation of the app, as seems to have happened to the odd user in Valve’s forum post – then fret not, because we’ve got a full tutorial in the works on making your Raspberry Pi a Steam Link.
This will explain everything in easy to follow steps, so keep your eyes peeled for that one, because it’ll be with you soon enough.
- Maybe you’ll stream games from one of our best gaming PCs
Honor has announced that it will launch a new flagship smartphone on January 22, 2019, with the Honor View 11 the most likely name for the new handset.
The launch event will take place in Paris, France and Honor revealed some details about the phone alongside the invite we were sent.
First up, the invite itself gives us a clue to one feature of the Honor View 11, with a pinhole camera design teased through the outline of a handset with the moon sneakily placed in the top left of the phone.
It suggests that the front-facing camera will be completely surrounded by the screen, rather than being located in a notch which cuts into the side of the screen - it's similar to the rumored Huawei Nova 4 which is due to launch on December 17.
However, Honor's claim that it "will be the first to demonstrate the in-screen camera display" may be false if the Nova 4 rumors turn out to be accurate.
The invite to the Honor View 11 launchFlagship power
Unlike the Huawei Nova 4 - which is tipped to be a mid-range phone - the new Honor View 11 is set to be a flagship device with the firm confirming the "upcoming device is equipped with the advanced Kirin 980".
The timing of the Honor View 11 launch event ties in nicely with the phone it's set to the replace, as the Honor View 10 was launched in December 2017, and went on sale in January 2018.
The View 10 packed in a 5.99-inch display, a top-end chipset, 6GB of RAM and dual rear cameras, so that's the minimum we expect from the Honor View 11.
TechRadar will be reporting live from the Honor View 11 launch event in Paris on January 22 to bring you all the latest on this new handset right here.
- Ready to get replaced: Honor View 10
With the fanfare surrounding the arrival of Nikon's first full-frame mirrorless cameras, the Z6 and Z7, it's easy to forget that a couple of Nikon's full-frame DSLRs are getting a little long in the tooth.
The D750 is now over four years old, having been announced back in 2014, while Nikon's most affordable full-frame DSLR, the D610 was launched back in 2013. Rumors have been circulating for the past year or so that we'll see a replacement for these popular models, and it looks like 2019 could finally be the year we see a D760.
According to NikonRumors.com, Nikon is expected to officially announce a replacement for the D750 – most likely called the D760 – in the first half of 2019, with shipping starting in the second half of the year.
What about a replacement for the D610? According to the rumors, the D610 will be discontinued, with the D760 replacing both models to become Nikon's sole entry-level full-frame DSLR camera.
As far as the D760's specification goes, rumors suggest (although bear in mind that these will get much more accurate as the launch gets closer and new information comes to light) that it will shoot 4K video, while the ISO button will move to the area near the shutter release – something with seen on other recent advanced Nikon DSLRs.
We may also see the welcome addition of an AF-On button on the back of the camera (something that was missing on the D750), while the D760 could get a AF joystick selector, and we can expect minor changes to the overall button placement compared to the D750. The new camera is also set to get an overhauled AF system – there's no additional details on this, but expect more AF points than the current 51 available on the D750.What about the resolution?
We're speculating now, but we wouldn't be surprised if the new D760 used Sony's rumored full-frame 36MP sensor (or a variant of it). This new sensor promises 10fps shooting speeds at a depth of 16bit, while it's also claimed that it will feature on-chip phase-detect AF, improving the D760's live view performance.
The sensor is also said to use a new dual-gain ADC mode, which promises to improve dynamic range by almost two stops.
As always, we'll bring you more details of Nikon's plans as soon as we have them.