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Japan vs South Africa live stream: how to watch today's Rugby World Cup 2019 quarter-final from anywhere

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 23:30

Japan have reached the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals for the first time in their history off the back of four wins and some superb performances. Today's game provides another test of their underdog status, but they can draw strength from their famous 32-34 win over South Africa in the 2015 RWC. You can watch the action as it happens with our Japan vs South Africa live stream guide.

South Africa come into today's match as the highest scoring team of the 2019 Rugby World Cup having thrashed Canada in their final Pool match, but today's game provides much sterner opposition. 

Japan's path to the knockout stages has been full of battling performances, and one wonders how much their resilient defending in the closing stages of their crucial last match agains Scotland will have taken out of them. Easily one of the best teams to watch in the tournament so far, if the hosts can get beyond their fatigue and harness their noise home support, they could well pull off another shock.

While confidence will up among the ranks of the Springboks, the team has a number of major injury doubts with scrum-half Herschel Jantjies, Cheslin Kolbe and Francois Louw all doubtful, with coach Rassie Erasmus placing Ruan Pienaar on standby.

You can watch all the action from pretty much anywhere on Earth by following our Rugby World Cup Japan vs South Africa live stream guide below.

How to watch the 2019 Rugby World Cup from outside your country

If you're abroad this weekend and try to watch your domestic Rugby World Cup coverage, you'll be metaphorically rucked off the ball due to geo-blocking. That stops you watching your home feed online wile in a foreign country.

That's where the use of a VPN comes in, as it helps you tune into those fixtures no matter where you are in the world without resorting to some dodgy feed on Reddit. And best of all, it's really easy to do (or read on for details on how to stream coverage from South Africa, the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the USA).

Live stream the Springboks match in South Africa

How to stream Japan vs South Africa live in the UK 

How to watch a live of Japan vs South Africa in Australia

How to watch Japan vs South Africa live in New Zealand

How to live stream Japan vs South Africa in the US
  • Hulu with Live TV $40 per month - Hulu with Live TV includes CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN.
  • FuboTV $35 for the first month - FuboTV gives you the first month at a discounted rate but after that the price increases to $45 a month. The service includes CBS, Fox, NBC and the NFL Network but does not come with ESPN.
  • DirecTV Now $50 per month - DirecTV Now includes CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN and for $5 extra you can add the NFL Network.
  • YouTubeTV $40 per month - YouTubeTV gives you access to CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN.

Live stream Rugby World Cup 2019 match in Canada

Categories: Tech News

Wales vs France live stream: how to watch Rugby World Cup 2019 match from anywhere

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 15:59

Having finished top of Pool D after beating Georgia, Australia and Uruguay, Wales could quite rightly say that things are going to plan so far in Japan. Who will book their place in the semi-finals? Watch all the action as it happens with our Wales vs France live stream guide.

While it's fair to say that some of those results have flattered Wales somewhat, its often a mark of a title winning side when they're able to win matches without being remarkable.

A real test of their 2019 Rugby World Cup winning credentials should come on Sunday. They'll be up against a French side that had to settle for second place in Pool C following the cancellation of their group-deciding match against England, despite beating Argentina, Tonga, and the USA.

Wales will feel quite rightly confident ahead of this quarter-final having dominated the French in recent times with seven wins in their last eight meetings. They've also received a major injury boost going into the game with Dan Biggar declared fit for selection again after sustaining a concussion against Fiji.

Barring a close clash with Argentina, France haven't really had to go to war yet in Japan, with real battles reported to instead have been going on behind the scenes amid allegations of in-fighting within the Les Bleus camp.

Can the French channel that fire into a passionate performance on the pitch, or will the Welsh roll on with another win? You can watch all the action from pretty much anywhere on Earth by following our Rugby World Cup Wales vs France live stream guide below.

How to watch the 2019 Rugby World Cup from outside your country

If you're abroad for any of the Rugby World Cup and don't want to miss out on catching the coverage from your home country, you'll inevitably find it geo-blocked when you try to stream online. But don't sweat. With the option of a VPN, you can tune into those fixtures no matter where you are in the world without resorting to some dodgy feed on Reddit. And best of all, it's really easy to do (or read on for details on how to stream coverage from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA).

How to stream Wales vs France live in the UK 

How to watch a live stream of Wales vs France in Australia

How to watch Wales vs France live in New Zealand

How to live stream Wales vs France in the US
  • Hulu with Live TV $40 per month - Hulu with Live TV includes CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN.
  • FuboTV $35 for the first month - FuboTV gives you the first month at a discounted rate but after that the price increases to $45 a month. The service includes CBS, Fox, NBC and the NFL Network but does not come with ESPN.
  • DirecTV Now $50 per month - DirecTV Now includes CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN and for $5 extra you can add the NFL Network.
  • YouTubeTV $40 per month - YouTubeTV gives you access to CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN.

Live stream Wales vs France match in South Africa

Live stream Rugby World Cup 2019 match in Canada

Categories: Tech News

The Pixel 4 isn't getting the feature-rich RCS texting Google has pushed for

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 12:59

The new Pixel 4 phones might be loaded with the latest features and software care of Android 10, but Google is evidently still struggling in its push for Rich Communication Services (RCS) messaging. 

Neither Verizon nor T-Mobile are supporting the new messaging standard for the Pixel 4, with Sprint the only clear carrier to support it, 9to5Google reports.

SMS has been the standard for text messaging for a long time, but as far as features go, SMS is from the smartphone stone age. Chat apps like WhatsApp and iMessage have ever increasing feature sets that stack on top of the ability to send basic text messages. They include read receipts, typing indicators, and high-quality media. 

Google has pushed for RCS, looking to get carriers to use the system, as it brings many of the features of other messaging apps while still going through carriers. IT has even aimed to use its own servers for this to cut out the carrier middleman.

A game of carriers

There are a few reasons why RCS might not be here yet. For one, Google's Pixel phones have previously not been widely available from mobile carriers in the US. Verizon had been the sole carrier partner for all Pixel phones right up to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a

So, it shouldn't be a surprise that T-Mobile and Verizon aren't supporting RCS on the Pixel 4 yet. It does make Sprint's support for the system stand out a bit. 

Oddest of all is Verizon's lack of support. Verizon had previously allowed for RCS messaging on Pixel 3 phones, but that didn't come at the launch of the phone. Verizon also added support for the Samsung Galaxy S9. It's possible support will come at a later date for Verizon, and it may for T-Mobile as well. 

AT&T's use for RCS for the Pixel 4 could be more of a long-shot, as the carrier has its own Advanced Messaging service that offers a similar feature-set.

So, for Pixel 4 users and Android users in general looking to take advantage of RCS's feature, it may be time to take a look at some other messaging apps.

Categories: Tech News

New LEGO sets are designed for people who are always glued to their smartphones

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 11:00

One of the biggest complaints of parents is that their children are always glued to their smartphones; it’s almost as though the world now exists just as much digitally as it does physically. That hasn’t phased LEGO, though, despite being widely known as a manufacturer of toys – physical toys – and its latest kits now blur the boundaries of physical and digital play.

Those kits are LEGO Hidden Side, a series of ghost-themed sets (that, notably for LEGO, aren’t based on a pre-existing franchise)... that take on a second life when you’ve made them. This second life is on a Hidden Side smartphone app, which lets you interact with the sets using augmented reality (AR).

On the app, you have to solve puzzles by interacting with the set, by using your smartphone camera to scan the set and recognise the changes you make. Take a look at all eight Hidden Side sets on LEGO's website.

So you may fondly remember playing with your LEGO Knights, Rock Raiders or City kits, opening up the buildings, playing with the minifigures; but your kids might remember doing the same thing while looking at their smartphones. 

That’s not a sad sign of the times though, or the indication of the death of a beloved toys manufacturer – instead, it’s just another side-effect of the digitization of our lives, and an example of a long-running brand innovating to stay with the times. 

What’s it like to play with a LEGO set on your phone?

If you’re scared of your kid spending even more time on their smartphone, never fear; you actually have to construct the set before you play with it on your phone. If you’ve got a pulse, there’s a good chance you already know the joy of constructing a LEGO set, so we’ll start where the digital experience comes in.

You have to download the LEGO Hidden Side app first; we found it didn’t work on every phone we tested it on, so it’s worth checking if your handset is compatible by checking on the App Store or Play Store ahead of time.

When playing with Hidden Side, there are two modes: Hunter and Ghost, and both bring various gameplay elements, as well as different real-world interactions.

Hunter mode is the one that incorporates AR into gameplay: you have to scan your set, then complete puzzles by manipulating it in real life. This can consist of moving minifigures to locations, or modifying parts of the set (we tested the school bus, and you had to spin elements to display different colors).

There’s a fair amount of moving about necessary for Hunter mode, and in our experience the tech works quite well. The app was quick to notice when we’d made the changes it asked, even on mid-range phones we tested it with.

Ghost mode doesn’t use the sets themselves, although it does use them as a setting, so you don’t actually need to be around them to play. It’s a third-person action mode, whereby you need to traverse a map collecting elements that you can then use to interact with the digital set in the middle.

The Ghost mode seems designed so that you can use Hidden Side to play with LEGO even when you’re not around the kit; it adds an extra layer of gameplay that doesn’t tether you to the model in the real world.

Completing challenges in either Hunter or Ghost mode earns you various collectibles, although the point of this is unclear. LEGO told us it’s planning to add more features though.

What was it like designing LEGO Hidden Side?

LEGO has dabbled with software and gaming before – there are plenty of LEGO apps, as well as Traveller’s Tales video games and LEGO Dimensions, a toys-to-life video game with physical minifigures. LEGO Hidden Side, though, is perhaps the biggest project by the company to have an even split in the physical and digital worlds.

To understand what caused LEGO to embrace this divide, we spoke to Roberto Marchesi, senior digital creative lead for LEGO Hidden Side, to better understand the project.

First, we asked about the aforementioned digital-physical divide. “Today, kids are constantly moving between the physical and digital worlds, this blurring of lines is what inspired The LEGO Group’s exploration into a ‘phygital’ play experience.

Kids are constantly moving between the physical and digital worlds

Roberto Marchesi

“New research shows that kids see no difference between the two [physical and digital creative play] and can shift effortlessly between each world. By keeping a hand in each world, children can experience multiple parallel play universes, get immersed and move fluidly and frictionless from one environment to another”

So LEGO Hidden Side was designed to mirror the new way younger generations see the world, but what about the actual tech that powers the app and gameplay? And how did that affect the design of the eight sets?

“Each new theme has a unique set of challenges, and what really stood out with LEGO Hidden Side was the need to create models that managed to balance the relationship between the physical and the digital play. Our models had to appeal as standalone sets, be built to AR tech specifications and work as gameplay enablers.

That’s a lot more than most LEGO sets, which only need to tick the first of those boxes, and it sounds like the team had to work much harder to tick the others: “A collaboration between model designers, tech programmers, and game developers was established.“

“Technology also played a role in the development of the models as it was crucial for the app to work universally on all sets from the assortment. The design process for the sets was an interactive back and forth where play experience, theme and AR all had to achieve a balance.

“Ultimately, the kids are the judges of outcome. They need to like the models, understand how to use AR, and have fun playing. It is essential that all areas be balanced and ultimately support each other.”

Lastly, we asked whether we could see Hidden Side-style tech, with its interplay between physical and digital play, to other LEGO series, but Marchesi told us “the LEGO Hidden Side models are at the centre of the AR experience,” and that’s certainly true – the characters in the sets are ghost hunters, using their smartphones to hunt ghosts (just as you do in the app). This wouldn’t exactly work in, say, a medieval-themed set – obviously they didn’t have smartphones back then!

Saying that, Marchesi left us with a hint at the future of LEGO AR sets: “AR has the potential to enrich any of our sets, both during the building process as well as role playing moments.” so potentially we’ll see this kind of interplay between physical LEGO sets, and apps in the future. 

Categories: Tech News

Save 40% on Now TV's Sky Sports pass - your next month of sport action sorted

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 09:49

As if the Now TV Sports pass wasn't already tempting enough - offering you full access to all 11 Sky Sports channels without the commitment of a full Sky sub - it has now gone and slashed the price by 40% for the next month.

So that means a chock-full schedule of sporting action for the next month for the eye-catching price of only £20.

There are plenty of reasons why you'd want to take advantage of this deal. For starters you'll be treated to some crucial Premier League matches including Man United vs Liverpool this weekend and the crunch Liverpool vs Man City game coming on November 10. 

Not to mention it's the start of NBA season next week and Sky Sports have the exclusive coverage in the UK. Or is F1 more your scene? With the season finale around the corner, Sky Sports is the only place to watch the Mexican, USA and Brazilian Grand Prix. While Sky Sports is also showing six NFL games a week including Cincinnati Bengals vs Los Angeles Rams in London this weekend.

Plus, it's entirely commitment free, so you could take full advantage and use the Now Sports Pass for one month and then cancel it. Plus unlike some Now TV deals this offer is available to all Now TV customers both new and existing - just as long as you don't currently have an active Sky Sports pass.

So whether you're looking to watch Formula 1, football, cricket, golf or something else - this is the deal could be right in your ballpark. But you'll have to hurry, this deal is only valid until Sunday, October 27.

What other Now TV deals are there?

Now TV deals are not just great for sports fans - it has many other bundles and packages to suit everyone else too. These packages and passes include Sky Cinema, Sky Kids and Entertainment. If there isn't an offer at the moment for you keep your eyes peeled on our Now TV passes and offers page, it's got regular updates on offers and deals.

If you're looking for a Sky TV deal so you can access more channels such as recording live TV, HD and 4K viewing with possibly bigger savings - you're in luck. We've got a guide for you below with all these deals outlined and explained in detail.

Categories: Tech News

Best gaming keyboard 2019: the best gaming keyboards we've tested

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 08:56

It’s in your best interest to invest in one of the best gaming keyboards, especially if you're serious about gaming and especially when you've just dropped a bunch of cash on the best gaming PC. Trust us; you’ll need the best gaming peripherals to back you up. As much as you'll be tempted to save some money, pick up a $10 keyboard and call it a day, do yourself a favor and resist.

If you don’t, you’ll only be doing yourself – not to mention, all your new PC games – a disservice by not picking up one of the best gaming keyboards. Much like with the best gaming mice, a gaming keyboard can help considerably with giving you the best and most immersive gaming experience. The best gaming keyboards, unlike many other PC components and peripherals, can actually make you better at the PC games you play, especially if you've invested in a mechanical keyboard.

Plus, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming soon, it's worth taking a look at the best gaming keyboards 2019 has to offer, as you could see some killer deals.

What exactly makes the best gaming keyboard? Before you to pick up the best gaming keyboard for your needs, make sure to consider the kind of switches you want. Membrane switches might be the worst for gaming, so finding a mechanical keyboard is the most ideal. Of course, don’t forget about RGB lighting – it wouldn’t be 2019 if your desk isn’t lighting up like a Christmas tree.

Plus, you'll be happy to know that if you don’t have a large budget, there’s an excellent gaming keyboard for you on this list. If money isn’t an issue, there are also a ton of feature-rich keyboards on it that boasts all the bells and whistles.

Let’s dive into all the best gaming keyboards 2019 has on offer – during PC Gaming Week 2019, no less – all of which have been tested and reviewed by us.

The best gaming keyboard 2019 at a glance:
  1. SteelSeries Apex Pro
  2. Razer Huntsman Elite
  3. Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo
  4. Logitech G513
  5. Alienware Pro Gaming Keyboard AW768
  6. Cooler Master MasterSet MS120
  7. Corsair K63 Wireless
  8. Corsair K95 RGB Platinum
  9. Havit Low Profile Mechanical Keyboard
  10. Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition

The SteelSeries Apex Pro’s svelte aesthetic and clever OLED display are just the appetizers. The SteelSeries Apex Pro gets our coveted 5-star rating for many reasons, the biggest of which are its stunning and solid build, custom actuation and comfortable – not to mention, quiet – magnetic switches. Performance-wise, it’s among the best gaming keyboards we’ve tested yet, which makes its $199 price tag worth the splurge.

Read the full review: SteelSeries Apex Pro

Razer Huntsman Elite

If you have the need for speed, then the Huntsman Elite is your best bet, thanks to its new optomechanical switches. That sounds like a mouthful, but essentially, it means that Razer has managed to combine mechanical switches with optical sensors. This unthinkable allows the Huntsman Elite to take its actuation to the next level, and you would be hard-pressed to find a faster keyboard on the market. Switches aside, it’s also remarkably comfortable to type on. Plus, it’s covered with more RGB lighting than you can shake a stick at. Sure, it needs two USB cables for power and costs a small fortune, but with tech like this, it’s absolutely worth it.

Read the full review: Razer Huntsman Elite 

Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo

The Roccat Vulcan 120 should be at the top of your gaming keyboard wish list, if you want one that looks and feels good. This svelte keyboard uses Roccat’s own Titan switches, rather than the Cherry MX switches found on most other keyboards on this list, and we can vouch for how superb they are. This gaming keyboard combines amazing tactile feedback with quiet and comfort. It really isn’t hard to see why this is one of the best gaming keyboards on the market today.

Read the full review: Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo 

Logitech G513

One of the biggest issues with Cherry MX Red keys is that even though they’re good for gaming, they’re not really ideal for typing anything other than your Steam credentials. That’s exactly why the Logitech G513 and its Romer-G Linear switches steal the show. With its brushed metal finish that is, miraculously, practically immune to fingerprints, it all adds up to one of the best gaming keyboards to date.

Read the full review: Logitech G513 

Alienware Pro Gaming Keyboard AW768

When you think Alienware, “value” isn’t the word that comes to mind. But, this time around, the Alienware Pro Gaming Keyboard AW768 is a genuinely great deal. At under 100 bucks or quid, you’re getting the toughest gaming keyboard fitted with mechanical keys, dedicated macro keys and slick aesthetics. It’s not the most feature rich keyboard in the game, but at this price, it really doesn’t need to be. One of the best gaming keyboards in 2019, the Alienware Pro Gaming Keyboard AW768 gets the job done, and looks good while doing it.

Read the full review: Alienware Pro Gaming Keyboard AW768 

Cooler Master MasterSet MS120

Not everything has to be super high-end to be good, and the Cooler Master MasterSet MS120 is the perfect example. Though this one’s a keyboard and mouse set, the keyboard is the star of the show. Sitting at just under a hundred bucks, the MasterSet’s keyboard is affordable while being up there with its more premium ‘mem-chanical’ competitors in terms of quality. The switches on offer bring a ton of tactile feedback and deep travel. It’s quiet as well, so you can furiously pounding away during an intense late-night Overwatch match without worry. The Cooler Master MasterSet MS120 is, without a doubt, one of the best gaming keyboards under $100.

Read the full review: Cooler Master MasterSet MS120 

Corsair K63 Wireless

We have tested many wired gaming mice over the last few years, but we haven’t seen that many wireless gaming keyboards and even less that we actually liked. That is, until the Corsair K63 Wireless keyboard entered the scene. The computer peripherals company took what made the wired version of the K63 so great, and put it into a wireless version – without compromising on much at all. Packing tight Cherry MX Red switches, full RGB lighting and convenient media controls, the K63 wireless is proof that wireless keyboards can be very capable in 2019, even for gaming.

Read the full review: Corsair K63 Wireless 

Corsair K95 RGB Platinum

A $159 price tag on a gaming keyboard might a tad too steep, but the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum, one of the best gaming keyboards we’ve tested in the last year, really does give you a lot of ounce for your bounce. We’re not talking the more trivial bells and whistles like fancy RGB lighting either – although since we are on the subject, this one’s got a whole lot of them, not to mention its integrated 19-zone light bar and the 16.8 million color options, to boot. By bang, we actually mean its 6 dedicated macro keys, 8MB on-board storage and aircraft-grade anodized brushed aluminum frame.

Read the full review: Corsair K95 RGB Platinum

Havit Low Profile Mechanical Keyboard

You might be thinking that if you’ve seen one of the best gaming keyboards, you’ve seen them all: big, garish hunks of metal with bright RGB lighting. Well, the Havit Low Profile Mechanical Keyboard will surprise you. While it definitely has the RGB lighting (honestly, how could it not?), it leaves the rest of the cliches in the past where they belong. Appealing and responsive, this keyboard is only as big as it needs to be, and is thus extremely comfortable to type as well as game on. There are no multimedia buttons, but we’d happily make that trade any day for a keyboard this good at such a low price.

Read the full review: Havit Low Profile Mechanical Keyboard  

Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition

Shelling out more than $100 for a great gaming keyboard is to be expected if you’re even slightly serious your gaming performance. But the beauty of Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition is that it manages to deliver fast performance without being the most expensive keyboard in town. True, there aren’t a lot of features here, which puts it behind many of its feature-rich rivals, but it makes up for that by being small and boasting a removable to make it perfectly portable for on-the-go gaming.

Read our full review: Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition

Welcome to TechRadar's PC Gaming Week 2019. We're celebrating the most powerful gaming platform on Earth with in-depth articles, exclusive interviews and essential buying guides that showcase everything PC gaming has to offer. Visit our PC Gaming Week 2019 page to see all our coverage in one place.

Bill Thomas, Gabe Carey and Michelle Rae Uy have also contributed to this article

Categories: Tech News

Mac Pro 2019: release date, price and specs

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 08:43

Mac Pro 2019 was unveiled at Apple's WWDC 2019 event, where the company showcased the latest update to its powerful professional PC, brimming with some of the latest high-end hardware to make it Apple’s most powerful machine for years.

The Mac Pro 2019 we saw at WWDC 2019 comes with up to a 28-core Intel Xeon processor, on top of 1.5TB of 6-channel ECC system memory, which means that you’ll be very hard pressed to find any task that's too demanding for the new Mac Pro.

We caught a first glimpse at the new Mac desktop successor to the Mac Pro 2013, and you’ll be happy to hear that this model allows for modular upgrades, just in case having up to a 28-core Xeon processor doesn’t cut it for you down the line.

The Mac Pro 2019 features a stainless-steel frame that abandons the cylindrical 'bin' look of the 2013 model in favor of a more conventional tower chassis that hearkens back to older Mac Pro models. Visually though, the front and back are filled with uniquely designed vent holes, distinguishing it from the more traditional and cleaner look.

The power and design come together when you open up the computer from the top. You can lift off the aluminum housing for 360-degree access to just about every component.

Along with the Mac Pro 2019, Apple is also rolling out a new professional monitor – the Pro Display XDR – which comes with a matching design that compliments the Mac Pro 2019’s new look. This monitor features a 32-inch Retina 6K display (the world's first), and boasts the next level in high-dynamic range (HDR) or what Apple calls Extreme Dynamic Range (or XDR).

This 32-inch 6K display comes with a Nano-Texture surface meant to reduce reflections without affecting the overall image quality.

Additionally, because every single LED is calibrated at the factory level for HDR, Apple is able to deliver high-dynamic range like never seen before. Apple achieves this by using a unique lattice cooling pattern on the back of the display in order to maintain 1,000 nits of brightness at all times – with 1,600 nits of peak brightness. This monitor is able to produce stunning images, as well, thanks to its 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio.

These specs all combine to deliver a new technology Apple has dubbed Extreme Dynamic Range or XDR, the next generation of HDR.

This monitor will set you back monstrous $4,999 (about £3,950, AU$7,270) for the standard version, and $5,999 (about £4,730, AU$8.720) for the Nano-texture equipped version.

The Pro Display XDR looks stunning.

Naturally, the new Mac Pro 2019's companion screen is sold separately, as is the color-tweaked keyboard, mouse and trackpad. That's always been the case with Mac Pro configurations – it's going to be an investment for everything, which also means that it’s not for everyone.

In fact, Apple is targeting the new Mac Pro 2019 at production crews and serious creators. This isn't a computer made for the average consumer, as you'll find the spec and price to be far in excess of what you’ll likely need – and can probably afford.

Cut to the chase
  • What is it? Apple's new dedicated desktop
  • When is it out? September – November 2019
  • What will it cost? Starts at $5,999 (about £4,730, AU$8.720)
Mac Pro 2019 release date and price

Apple announced the Mac Pro 2019 release date for "fall 2019," which means that it will most likely arrive between September and November. Apple has favored October for a lot of its prior hardware launches, and that falls into this release window.  We should hopefully know more about the Mac Pro at Apple's iPhone 11 launch, giving us a better understanding of when we can expect the new pro computer.

The Mac Pro 2019 price begins at $5,999 (about £4,730, AU$8.720). That’s for the base configuration with an 8-core Intel Xeon processor (CPU), Radeon 580X graphics processor (GPU) and 32GB of ECC memory (RAM).

Remember however that the Pro Display XDR – for $4,999 (about £4,000, AU$7,150) – is a separate purchase, as is the Pro Stand for $999 (about £800, AU$1,400) and VESA Mount Adapter for $199 (about £160, AU$285).

We only know the price for the base model at the moment, but a recent estimate suggests it could cost as high as $45,000 (around £35,000, AU$65,000).

A new design

Folks who were indifferent with the older Mac Pro's design will be happy to know that Mac Pro 2019 has been created to be far more industrial and modular. The Mac Pro's leanings are more traditional with the combination of brushed aluminum and heat sink holes adorning the outer shell, which unfortunately makes it look like an industrial cheese grater.

It's brutal and sends the message that 'this is for working, not for looking good.’ Still, it’s slightly portable as it is rack-mountable, and you can screw wheels on the bottom to cart it around an office or studio.

We'll get to the performance of the new Mac Pro in just a second, but one thing that's worth mentioning about the new model is how much innards you can pack inside such a small space.

In fact, one music producer told us that beforehand one would have to use multiple machines to mix a score, whereas those three or four could now be squeezed into the body of Apple's Mac Pro 2019.

Apple has also fitted the Mac Pro 2019 with a unique cooling system to maximize airflow while keeping the noise down. Even with the massive fans, this powerhouse won’t distract you from your work.

There's also the benefit of the multiple Thunderbolt ports placed on top of the machine, allowing for easier access inside.

Mac Pro 2019 specs and performance

When it comes to specifications, Apple isn’t pulling any punches, stuffing some seriously impressive hardware into the body of the new Mac Pro 2019.

The rear view of both the Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR.

The base model sports a new 8-core Intel Xeon processor, putting a lot of horsepower for multitasking at your fingertips. The Xeon line of CPUs are created for professional workstations – and, this can be configured up to a Xeon processor with an astonishing 28 cores.

The more cores, the better it can run multiple tasks at once – so the processor powering the new Mac Pro will indisputably handle even the most exacting creative tasks without a problem.

Just like Apple’s other prosumer computer, the iMac Pro, the Mac Pro 2019 boasts an AMD graphics card, beginning with the Radeon Pro 580X and up to the Radeon Pro Vega II, which features 32GB of high-bandwidth memory – 1TB/s to be precise. That makes it the highest memory bandwidth of any GPU.

If that’s not enough, you can also load it up with the AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo, which features two Vega II GPUs for a total of 64GB of memory – making it the world’s most powerful graphics card.

The removable lid and shell via the semi-circle handle.

These GPUs are placed into the Apple MPX Module, which easily slot into the Mac Pro, providing quiet operation while being kept cool by the Mac Pro’s own cooling system.

Remarkably, the Mac Pro 2019 can have two MPX Modules installed at once. This means that if you have the need – and the budget – you can install two Vega II Duos for a crazy 128GB of video memory and 56 teraflops of graphics performance.

All this output needs a lot of power, which is why there's a 1.4kW power supply driving the machine. However, the noise is fairly muted despite the fans inside, and when seeing it running at full power, we didn't feel a large amount of heat emanating from the rear, nor heard anything like a light aircraft trying to take off.

This kind of graphical grunt will demolish most video encoding and rendering tasks – even at resolutions of 8K and above. While we’d love to imagine what the gaming capability of this level of firepower would be, this machine is going to be purely of interest to video professionals that have to render ultra-high resolution footage quickly.

Seeing it in real time, you could see and feel the raw power of the rendering capabilities of the Mac Pro 2019. 3D imagery could be manipulated in real time with multiple shading and lighting changes, meaning the need to ship projects off to a rendering farm might not be necessary for many tasks in the future.

One creative artist estimated the raw power of the extra cores gave him around four times the performance previously available, meaning he had far more time to allot to his artwork and creative process rather than standing around to see if the images and videos had shown as intended.

Being able to manipulate 8K streams so flawlessly is more than impressive - an engineer we spoke to claimed that using the Mac Pro 2019 was akin to when '1080p was finally able to be used properly,’ meaning that the speed of manipulation was finally able to be used properly.

Memory-wise, the Mac Pro 2019 supports six-channel memory and comes with 12 slots, which allows you to install up to 1.5TB of RAM. 

Not a bad look for Apple's newest professional gear.

Memory-wise, the Mac Pro 2019 supports six-channel memory and comes with 12 slots, which allows you to install up to 1.5TB of RAM. 

In a demonstration, this allowed a full orchestra-worth of instruments to be rendered within that RAM space, which means that a rack of PCs can now be swapped out by a single Mac Pro unit, with the output slickly creating right in front of our eyes.

Again, this makes the Mac Pro 2019 a workstation that’s designed to breeze through multitasking. PCI Express slots also make a comeback, with eight in total, to offer plenty of options to expand the Mac Pro’s capabilities in the future.

Even at the entry level with a 8-core Intel Xeon processor with a max turbo boost of 4.0GHz and 32GB of ECC RAM, you should be able to handle most situations. The Mac Pro 2019 is definitely not meant for everyday computing, not that most users would feel comfortable paying such a high price.

The entry model Mac Pro comes with a 256GB SSD, which is the only part of the specifications that seems a bit low since that doesn't offer much storage space these days.

However, you'll have the option to upgrade it with up to a 4TB drive. That's a gigantic SSD and will be a major bonus to any video editors considering this machine. Unfortunately, you will be expected to shell out at least $2,000 (about £1,580, AU$2,900) more to upgrade to such an enormous drive. On the upside, most creative professionals have their own, more powerful external SSD drives anyway, so a smaller storage space isn’t really a deal breaker.

The fact that the new Mac Pro 2019 offers such high expansion possibilities is notable, however. This desktop system boasts eight PCIe expansion slots, so you can keep the Mac Pro current with the latest hardware for the foreseeable future. This is backed up by the new Apple Afterburner accelerator card, which lets users play back multiple 8K RAW video streams. This should be especially handy for video editors that shoot in very high resolutions.

You'll be able to upgrade the RAM as well. Even if you only pick up the 32GB model (which is expensive enough as it is), the new Mac Pro features 12 physical DIMM slots, so you can upgrade your system memory as your needs change.

Apple will facilitate new graphics cards with its new MPX module, a PCIe expansion card that not only allows you to slot in more powerful graphics cards, but will also feature native Thunderbolt integration and 500W of power. You can have two of these cards in the Mac Pro, allowing you to use two Radeon Pro Vega II GPUs at once.

The best part? Getting access to the innards of the new Mac Pro 2019 is remarkably easy, thanks to the unique chassis design. The outer aluminum housing is also designed for easy expansion, as it lifts off in one motion, granting easy access to the entire system. 

These specs certainly sound impressive on paper (if, perhaps, a little overkill for most people), and we cannot wait to see how the Mac Pro 2019 really performs in a full review.

Images Credit: TechRadar

Categories: Tech News

macOS beta may have given us an early look at the 16-inch MacBook Pro

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 08:01

More encouragement for those of you waiting for that rumored 16-inch MacBook Pro – images of what may well be the laptop has popped up in the code for the macOS Catalina 10.15.1 beta.

French site MacGeneration spotted the icons, which look a lot like the icons for the current 15-inch models. The bezels around the display are thinner though, and there's a giveaway "16" reference in both of the filenames.

Those thinner bezels would fit in with what we've heard so far about the laptop. The available colors, apparently, are the standard silver and space gray.

Rumors about the new model in Apple's line-up – which would have the biggest screen yet on an Apple laptop – have been rumbling all year, and the consensus seems to be that a launch will happen before the end of the year.

Notable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo started the excitement back in February with news that a new 16-inch MacBook Pro was on the way – complete with a redesigned look.

Since then the rumors and speculation have ramped up. Sources in Asia have been putting the cost of the new laptop at around $3,000 (roughly £2,310 or AU$4,375 with a straight currency conversion, though Apple will probably tweak prices internationally).

Besides that bezel thinning, the word on the Apple street is that the upcoming 16-inch MacBook Pro is going to ditch the butterfly keyboard that Apple has had so much trouble with since introducing it on its laptops.

We've seen widespread reports of sticky or unresponsive keys on current MacBook Pro keyboards, so it's perhaps no surprise that Apple wants to shift to a design that's a bit more robust.

Via MacRumors

Categories: Tech News

Capcom has plans to revive some of its dormant franchises

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 07:50

Capcom has been riding high on some big successes recently, with Devil May Cry 5, Monster Hunter World and its Resident Evil 2 remake all receiving critical praise and selling well. 

Hoping to build on this success, the publisher has said that it’s looking to bring back some of its still-valuable franchises that have been “dormant” for a while, in addition to making the most of its current fan favourites. 

This news comes from Capcom's 2019 financial briefing for investors in which the company laid out its intentions to “continue to strengthen our development structure and promote further systemization to grow our pipeline of new titles geared toward the global market” by both “maximizing the revenue from current core IP” and “actively looking to utilize dormant IP. “

Blast from the past

The franchises Capcom is looking to bring back have, of course, not been revealed just yet. Whatever they are, though, Capcom will be sure that they’re “developed in-line with the highly stringent, world-class quality standards” that the publisher believes led to the success of Monster Hunter World, Devil May Cry 5 and Resident Evil 2. 

Of course, for those slightly beleaguered by the seemingly incessant dredging up of games gone by, Capcom’s future will not be entirely about remakes and revivals. The report also makes it clear that for long-term growth there are plans “to develop new brands as well.”

Capcom isn't short of titles fans would be happy to see return so it'll be interesting to see which it chooses and how it experiments with them to bring a more modern touch. 

Categories: Tech News

Microsoft: Why our new Surface line-up really does have something for everyone

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 07:30

Microsoft recent Surface launch was full of surprises, as the company took the wraps off a folding phone (the Surface Duo) and PC device (the Surface Neo).

But alongside these headline-catching launches were the latest generation of the company’s Surface devices, with new additions to the Laptop, Book and Pro lines.

But with so many new offerings coming to the market, how does Microsoft look to ensure it stays focused on its self-declared aim to “enable people to achieve more”?


"As we release multiple generations of the products, we get a lot of feedback,” Aidan Marcuss, CVP, Devices Portfolio and Operations at Microsoft, told TechRadar Pro at a recent company media event.

“We've taken a big step forward in growing and adding whole product lines that address customer feedback and customer needs.”

"There's not some master spreadsheet somewhere that says, 'here's every product that should exist', and we're going to work our way through it,” he adds. “But thinking about it from a customer end...each time we add a new product line, it's very intentional, saying that we got feedback, or the technology has enabled something.”

Microsoft’s new devices look to be an ideal partner for all kinds of users, both enterprise and consumer, with Marcuss saying the company has taken on feedback from all kinds of users. 

In particular, the current trend of businesses refreshing their device portfolios in the continued switch to Windows 10, as well as the growing demand to have the latest technology in the workplace for maximum mobility and productivity, has seen Surface devices become popular choices for firms across many verticals.

“Our industry goes through big shifts, and it kind of feels like we're in one of those moments where a lot of enterprises are modernising across a number of dimensions at once - and a device is a really important part of this.”

Along with hardware upgrades and design changes, Microsoft’s new Surface products feature improvements in terms of security and serviceability, with the latter making it easier than ever to adapt a device for particular users and purposes.

But it seems that the sheer range of devices could be the key to seeing Microsoft’s continued growth in the hardware space.

As Marcuss notes, “we don't just want to innovate, we want to build products people can rely on for multiple generations.”

Categories: Tech News

Sure, AMD is doing amazingly right now – but don’t count out Intel just yet

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 07:00

AMD has had one hell of a 2019 so far – at least when it comes to its processor business – with great reviews and stellar sales that have seen it gobble up more market share than it has done in over a decade.

While it’s undoubtedly been thrilling to see AMD claw its way back out of obscurity and become a real force to be reckoned with in the CPU industry again, it feels like a few too many of us have been overly hasty in writing off Intel.

Sure, AMD’s been on a hot streak right now, and you’d be crazy if you didn’t think that has caused some rather worried discussions over at Intel, but you’d also be equally loopy if you thought that Intel’s vast dominance over the CPU market would be under any serious threat… for now.

Under the spotlight

What AMD’s recent successes has done is put every move Intel makes under the spotlight, leading people to question everything it does – and wonder whether or not it is in response to AMD’s resurgence.

Take Intel’s recent price cuts for its Cascade Lake-X processors, and its budget Core i5-9400F CPU. Now, this could be framed as Intel getting spooked by AMD, and cutting its prices in response. Considering the new threat AMD now poses, that’s a theory that’s not without merit – but of course it doesn’t tell the whole story.

First of all, making drastic price cuts to your products is not something a company – especially one as successful as Intel – does on a whim. This can take months of planning – if not longer – while taking into consideration all kinds of impacts the price cut will have. I’m not just talking about the impact to profits either – cutting prices on products can alter the perception customers have of them. Make a once premium product too cheap, and it can lose a lot of appeal – especially if it’s then competing against products from competing companies who have much more experience and success at producing budget products… like AMD.

So, while it’s tempting to picture Intel cutting prices all over the place in a bid to halt AMD’s rise, it’s unlikely that’s what’s happening.

A more generous reading of the situation – for Intel, at least – is that the company has finally decided to make its products more affordable – the perceived Intel premium, which leads to its products being more expensive than the competition, has often been criticized by customers. Cutting prices could also lead to bigger sales – after all, getting your products into the hands (and PC cases) of more people is always a good thing.

Releasing more wallet-friendly devices could also be a nice PR win for Intel – though at the moment AMD seems to be stealing all the limelight.

Tricks of the trade

It’s also worth remembering that while AMD is certainly doing well with its new processors, Intel isn’t resting on its laurels – something the company has certainly been guilty of in the past. Instead, the company has some innovative and exciting new tech coming out.

One of the best side effects of AMD’s recent successes seems to be Intel no longer taking its market lead for granted. Now, this could me doing exactly what I was cautioning against only a few paragraphs earlier – reading anti-AMD motives in Intel’s behaviour when none exist – but it certainly feels like Intel is coming up with some of its most exciting products in years. From consumer processors with huge core counts, to upcoming CPUs that look like they could be beasts when it comes to overclocking, there’s some great stuff coming out of Intel’s corner.

Of course, there’s also the fact that it’s coming out with its own Intel Xe graphics card to compete with AMD and Nvidia – and we should be seeing it by mid-2020.

Athena? Nice!

There’s also one area that Intel’s dominance remains unchallenged: laptop processors. Again, we have seen an increase in AMD-toting laptops recently – and Microsoft releasing a Surface Laptop 3 with an AMD variant was a huge coup for the company – but Intel easily remains king in this regard – not just in sheer number of products available, but in performance as well.

And, while news of Microsoft no longer using Intel hardware exclusively in its Surface devices got a lot of people excited, it’s worth remembering that Microsoft is still releasing Surface devices with Intel CPUs. Those are the versions that will likely sell the most and (this is me making a slightly controversial prediction before our full review of the products are finalised) will perform better as well.

We’ve also had time with a number of upcoming Project Athena laptops. These are devices from some of the largest manufacturers in the world who have worked closely with Intel to produce laptops that are incredibly powerful, and yet also offer hugely improved battery lives and always-on connectivity. From what I’ve seen of these laptops already, they could be real game changers.

Intel has also made huge strides in improving the integrated graphics of its processors. I met up with Intel last week for its Open House event at the Science Museum in London, UK (an absolutely brilliant choice of venue, by the way), and got to see first hand some very thin and light laptops running games at impressive visual quality and at high frame rates – all using the integrated graphics of Intel’s 10th generation Core processors. Again, this is seriously impressive – and exciting – innovations from Intel, and something I don’t see AMD matching any time soon.

So, yes, AMD is doing amazingly well, and that is great to see. No one likes a monopoly. But don’t count out Intel just yet – the company has a lot of tricks up its sleeve to keep us consumers on its side – and in the end, that’s great news for us.

Categories: Tech News

AMD Ryzen 9 3950X beats out Threadripper 2950X in leaked benchmark

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 06:56

AMD’s Ryzen 9 3950X should be with us soon – with the chip expected to arrive in November, following a delay of a couple of months – and we just got a better idea of the sort of performance we can expect from the CPU.

This comes courtesy of alleged Geekbench 5 results for the processor spotted by TUM_APISAK (a regular leaker of CPU and GPU info).

The Ryzen 9 3950X actually appeared in two benchmarks, and in one case, the chip was nestled in an Asus Prime X570-P motherboard (backed with 64GB of RAM) where it recorded a single-core result of 1,276 and hit 15,401 in multi-core.

The second benchmark in a Gigabyte B450 Aorus Pro WiFi motherboard witnessed a slightly higher score of 1,314 for single-core, but a considerably lower result of 11,140 when it came to multi-core. While both PCs were seemingly using DDR4-3600 memory, note that in this latter case, there was a much smaller quantity of 16GB system RAM (which doubtless had a bearing on things).

Ripping performance

Tom’s Hardware, which spotted the above tweet, also highlights the comparison made between the Ryzen 9 3950X and the Ryzen Threadripper 2950X. And that’s interesting to look at given that these are both 16-core (32-thread) chips with a base clock of 3.5GHz (albeit with 300MHz more boost for the 3950X, although that’s single-core – incidentally, the CPU’s all-core boost ran between 4.2GHz and 4.3GHz during these Geekbench tests). The 3950X has double the L3 cache (64MB), too.

At any rate, in the comparative match-up highlighted, AMD’s Ryzen 9 3950X beats out the Threadripper 2950X by 14% in single-core, and just under 4% in multi-core. And it does this with a TDP of 105W compared to 180W with the Threadripper.

That would appear to be a pretty glowing reflection on the efficiency of the Zen 2 architecture of AMD’s incoming Ryzen flagship when compared to 2nd-gen Threadripper – although of course, 3rd-gen Threadripper chips are just around the corner.

And comparing consumer Ryzen processors to high-end desktop Threadripper models doesn’t strictly make sense, because they are obviously aimed at these different respective markets – and the latter has other benefits for the sort of heavyweight computing tasks it is designed to carry out. Like quad-channel memory for Threadripper rather than dual-channel, and 64 PCIe lanes versus 24 with consumer Ryzen.

So it isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison as such, but still, it’s an interesting one to draw nonetheless.

As ever, it’s well worth underlining that we can’t be sure if these Geekbench scores are genuine, and indeed there is only so much you can infer by looking at results from a single benchmarking utility, anyway.

Categories: Tech News

Three has slashed prices on its best Huawei P30 and P30 Pro deals ahead of Black Friday

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 06:27

In the week or two running up to Black Friday, we tend to see retailers across the country slicing their prices left, right and centre. But Three seems to be ahead of the curve, already chopping down prices on some of its best mobile phone deals.

These price drops fall on two devices in particular - the Huawei P30 and Huawei P30 Pro. Sitting comfortably in the 3rd and 9th position of our best smartphones guide, these are the top-tier kind of phones we get truly excited to see come down in price.

For those looking to score a bargain, the Huawei P30 deal will be for you, coming in at just £27 a month for a whopping 100GB of data. Want to upgrade to the camera supreme Huawei P30 Pro? At £34 a month for that same 100GB of data, your paying far less than what you normally should for a phone like this.

We've listed everything you could need to know about these Huawei phone deals below. Even with the host of Black Friday phone deals we'll soon be seeing, this feels like one of the best offers we're going to see for a while.

How good is the Huawei P30 Pro?

Before the ban took place, the Huawei P30 Pro was receiving praise as one of the most innovative devices out there, with a lot of that praise aimed at its camera. Sporting an incredible 50x zoom camera, smart AI camera features and an overall impeccable quality, nothing can quite match it.

Backing up the camera is a high quality inifinity display screen, tonnes of power and a massive battery. In other words the Huawei P30 Pro is here battling for the spot of the world's best smartphone – with a few reservations.

Read TechRadar's Huawei P30 Pro review here

Read more:

Categories: Tech News

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will have enhanced modes for powerful consoles

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 06:05

Xbox One X and PS4 Pro players will have the ability to choose whether they want to prioritise performance or visual quality in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

Those who opt for “Performance” mode in the game will play with a higher frame rate of up to 60 frames per second, while those who opt for “Quality” will see the frame rate capped at 30 but will be able to enjoy better visuals. The resolution offered in either mode has yet to be confirmed. 

The two modes were confirmed by Fallen Order producer Paul Hatfield in an interview with We Got This Covered at a recent preview event for the game.  During the interview, Hatfield also pointed out that while “Performance” mode will be aiming for 60 frames per second, it won’t always hit it.

These are the enhancements you're looking for

That the game offers these modes isn’t entirely surprising; they’re something we’ve seen quite a lot since the launch of PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. However, to have them confirmed will be welcome news to owners of those consoles looking to make the most of Jedi: Fallen Order. For standard PS4 and Xbox One users, it seems that the game will run at a standard 30 frames per second. 

Of course, you won't need to worry about any of this if you're playing the game on PC, for which the recommended specs have already been confirmed

With the release of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order drawing closer, this is the latest in a flurry of news and activity around a game that, only a few months ago, it felt we didn’t know enough about. 

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order developer, Respawn Entertainment, also recently confirmed that the game has now gone gold, almost a month ahead of its November 15 release date. 

The news was confirmed on Twitter where Respawn posted a picture of its team with the caption: "We are proud to announce that Jedi Fallen Order has gone gold! We can’t wait for you to embark on this adventure across the Galaxy with us on 11/15. May the Force be with you!”

With development at an end and positive previews rolling in, it looks like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is on firm footing ahead of its November launch. 

Categories: Tech News

Huawei Nova 5T is the trendy flagship smartphone with 5 AI cameras

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 05:24

Huawei’s Nova series is popular for bringing flagship-tier specs & features at a tempting price tag but the Nova 5T takes things to another level. Packing 5 AI powered cameras and performance levels on par with flagship devices, the HUAWEI nova 5T is a force to be reckoned with. We’ve got the Midsummer Purple version here with Nova’s refreshed branding. Let’s talk about what makes this the best Nova phone yet.

The four lens setup on the back uses a 48MP HD lens as its main sensor. There’s a 16MP Ultra Wide Angle lens that allows you to capture more of the scene, and a macro lens for getting shots up close. The tiny sensor off to the side is a dedicated 2MP bokeh sensor for taking shots with blurred backgrounds.

Aside from the impressive camera lens array, the Nova 5T leverages its dual Neural Processor Unit (NPU) to deliver the best image quality. The camera software comes with AI baked-in and takes your shots to the next level by making all the important decisions for you. 

The AI on the cameras can recognize up to 22 scenes and determine the best camera settings on the fly to create the ideal image. If you’re in a poorly lit area or if there’s a lot of backlight in your shot, then the AI enabled HDR+ kicks in to brighten up the foreground. And when you feel like making things more dramatic, the AI Portrait Color video mode can isolate human subjects and retain their color profile, while desaturating colors around them. 

If you are a fan of shooting videos then you would definitely want to take a look at the slow motion recording capabilities of this phone which can shoot at 960fps using the Super Slow-Mo feature. This can help you create some stunning videos that are very artistic. 

For selfie snappers, the Nova 5T comes with a top spec 32MP AI-enabled camera on the front. This camera is no lightweight, and can recognize up to 8 scenes through AI and give you the best result depending on your surroundings. Enhanced AI beautification ensures that your selfies always look stunning and ready for social media. The 4-in-1 pixel fusion and HDR+ allow you to take clear and brightly lit selfies in dimly lit conditions. 

Another impressive feature of the Nova 5T is its flagship-level processor that gives it some serious pixel crunching power. It sports the same Kirin 980 octa-core processor found on the P30 Pro, and is built in a 7nm design. It is further supported by 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. In terms of battery power, you can enjoy a massive 3750mAh battery with 22.5W Huawei SuperCharge that charges the phone back up to 50% in just 30 minutes. 

Looking at the design of the Nova 5T, you’ll see that it fits right in with any top flagship smartphone. It has a slim and rounded profile coming in at just 7.87mm. On the front there’s a 6.2-inch Full HD+ Display with a punch-hole on the top left, which gives you an almost all-screen experience. A side-mounted fingerprint sensor unlocks the phone in a quick 0.3 seconds and also doubles as a power button.  

The back is made up of a refined finish provides a unique texture and accentuates lighting contrasts, creating a multi-layered 3D effect on a flat surface giving it a holographic look. Huawei also plays with a unique with take on traditional typography, rearranging the letters in “nova” to create a youthful monogram. It almost looks like two people reaching out to each other giving a sense of togetherness. 

The AI benefits on the phone are not limited to the camera alone. There are several AI features on the NOVA 5T that makes using the phone a smart experience all around. First off, the AI optimizes performance on the phone which helps extend battery life. It also makes gaming a less taxing experience through GPU Turbo 3.0 which boosts performance and graphics in a way that doesn’t drain battery life. 

The AI Movie Editor is another cool feature that can identify specific faces in your media library and create video highlights for each person, while the Spotlight feature goes through your videos to create highlight clips ready for sharing online. 

Despite all these high-end features, top performance and plush design, the Nova 5T’s price starts at just AED 1,599 making the Nova 5T an attractive option for those looking for a flagship-grade phone.

Categories: Tech News

LG G9: what we want to see

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 04:00

The LG G9 could be launching in early 2020, so we’d expect rumors about LG’s upcoming flagship to start rolling in soon.

Once they do, you’ll find all of them below, but there are already a few things that we’ve heard or suspect, so read on for hints about the LG G9 release date, specs and features.

Plus, we’ve also come up with a list of what we want – and in some cases what we don’t want – from the LG G9, to make it a substantial improvement on the LG G8.

Cut to the chase
  • What is it? The next LG flagship phone
  • When is it out? Possibly February
  • What will it cost? Its price will likely rival other high-end handsets
LG G9 release date and price

The LG G8 was announced at MWC 2019 on February 24, so there’s a high chance the LG G9 will land at MWC 2020, which runs from February 24-27. It may even be announced just before that, as sometimes big announcements are made before the show officially kicks off.

For now that’s just a guess, as there aren’t any LG G9 release date rumors yet, but at the very least we’d expect it will be announced during the first half of 2020. However, there may be a few weeks or more between when it’s announced and when it goes on sale, based on past form.

As for price, all we can do there is guess, but the LG G8 launched for $819 (around £640 / AU$1,200), so the G9 might have a similar price.

LG G9 news and rumors

So far there aren’t really any rumors about the LG G9 specifically, but there are some LG patents that could point to features.

For example, one patent shows an LG phone with no physical buttons – a move which could free up internal space, improve the look, and allow for a slimmer handset. The design in this patent also shows a quad-lens camera, which would be a first for LG.

Another patent shows a camera with a ring around it, which could be a zoom lens of some kind. Images of both these designs can be seen below.

What we want to see

The LG G8 is a very interesting, very flawed phone. For the G9 we want something just as interesting but without the flaws. The following suggestions could help LG achieve that.

1. Bring back the hole-less speaker….

The LG G8 has a number of experimental features, the most successful of which is arguably the hole-less vibrating Crystal Sound speaker.

This essentially removes the top speaker and causes audio to vibrate through the display instead, and it worked well in our tests. LG claims this also makes the phone more waterproof. Plus, it could help remove even more bezel, so we’d like to see the feature make a return in the LG G9.

2. .…But not the Hand ID tech

One less-than-successful LG G8 experiment was Hand ID, a feature which allows the phone to read the blood pattern in your veins and use that to identify you and therefore unlock the handset. So it’s an alternative to a fingerprint scanner or facial recognition.

On paper it sounds cool, but in practice we found it was barely functional. But even if it worked reliably we’re not convinced that it would be much of an upgrade on the standard biometric security options, so we’d like to see this ditched.

3. Add an in-screen camera

One exciting new feature we’d like to see LG add for the LG G9 is an in-screen camera. Coupled with the hole-less speaker that could allow for a truly bezel-free design, which would be nice, especially since the LG G8 actually has quite large bezels.

4. Freshen up the design

Speaking of the design, we’d like to see that improved all-round. The LG G8 looks rather ordinary, failing to stand out from or even match many flagships visually. Getting rid of the notch would be a good start, but we’d really like a design that wows us. That would help the LG G9 make a great first impression.

5. Boost the battery

The LG G8 has a 3,500mAh battery, which is on the small side by flagship standards and in our time with the phone led to predictably mediocre life. The battery pack was boosted to 4,000mAh in the LG G8X ThinQ (a sort-of successor), so there’s hope that the LG G9’s might be bigger, but 4,000mAh is really the minimum we’d want.

 6. Extra lenses

The LG G8 and LG G8X ThinQ both have dual-lens rear cameras, which, in the face of the triple-lens iPhone 11 Pro, quad-lens Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus, and penta-lens Nokia 9 PureView, isn’t very many.

Not that the number of lenses is all that matters, but it can be a good start, as assuming the lenses all do different things, a greater number can make for a more versatile camera. So we’d like to see at least one more lens on the LG G9.

7. New innovations

As much as we tend to find LG’s smartphone innovations hit and miss, we applaud the company for trying, as it ensures its flagships almost always stand out.

We want that to continue to be the case with the LG G9, so as well as a return of the hole-less speaker, we want something new that we’ve never seen on a phone before. Granted, that often ends in as much failure (Hand ID) as successes (Crystal Sound speaker), but it's still a way for LG to stay different.

Categories: Tech News

Say cheese - five phone deals to compete with the Google Pixel 4 on camera quality

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 03:58

The Google Pixel 4 has finally landed, packed full of brand new camera tricks, features and software. But does the new handset also represent the best deal you can get on a camera phone?

There was a time where no one could touch Google in terms of camera quality but now all of the top dogs of the phone world are catching up. Huawei P30 Pro deals land you a scarcely believable 50x zoom, the iPhone 11 has shown Apple can compete and the Galaxy S10 has paired affordability with an impressive camera.

Don't get us wrong, Google Pixel 4 deals are certainly impressive, costing less than the Google Pixel 3 on launch and it is clear Google has gone big on its camera this year, but with so many impressive camera phones around, is it right for you?

We've listed five excellent mobile phone deals to compete with the Google Pixel 4, all on some of the world's best camera phones so you can choose the option perfect for you.

  • Considering switching sides? Compare the best iPhone deals with our guide
Categories: Tech News

New Zealand vs Ireland live stream: how to watch Rugby World Cup 2019 quarter-final from anywhere

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 17:33

Ireland's shock defeat to Japan placed them on a path they would never have wanted. Their runners-up status in Pool A has lead them to an unenviable 2019 Rugby World Cup face-off with heavy pre-tournament favourites, the All Blacks. And you can watch the action as it happens -from basicaly anywhere in the world - with our New Zealand vs Ireland live stream guide.

The All Blacks have been in imperious form in the Pool stages of the tournament, and look in good shape to win their third title on the trot. 

Nevertheless, the Irish famously won the last encounter between the two sides in a victory that caused many pundits to tip them for glory in Japan.

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has been somewhat ruthless with his team selection, with the experienced Ben Smith and Ryan Crotty both missing out of the match-day VX. In comes the in-from Anton Lienert-Brown, while lock Brodie Retallick has been deemed fit enough to start.

Joe Schmidt's Ireland side will feel like they are due a big performance and know that the seemingly invincible All Blacks do have a vulnerability when faced with their rush defence. 

It's likely to be the tie of the round, and you won't need to miss a moment of the action no matter where you are on Earth, by following our Rugby World Cup New Zealand vs Ireland live stream guide below.

How to watch the 2019 Rugby World Cup from outside your country

If you're abroad this weekend and try to watch your domestic Rugby World Cup coverage, you'll be metaphorically rucked off the ball due to geo-blocking. That stops you watching your home feed online wile in a foreign country.

That's where the use of a VPN comes in, as it helps you tune into those fixtures no matter where you are in the world without resorting to some dodgy feed on Reddit. And best of all, it's really easy to do (or read on for details on how to stream coverage from Ireland, the UK, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Canada and the USA).

How to stream the RWC quarter-final in Ireland for FREE

How to watch the All Blacks in New Zealand

How to stream Ireland vs New Zealand live in the UK for FREE

How to live stream New Zealand vs Ireland in Australia

Live stream New Zealand vs Ireland match in South Africa

How to live stream New Zealand vs Ireland in the US
  • Hulu with Live TV $40 per month - Hulu with Live TV includes CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN.
  • FuboTV $35 for the first month - FuboTV gives you the first month at a discounted rate but after that the price increases to $45 a month. The service includes CBS, Fox, NBC and the NFL Network but does not come with ESPN.
  • DirecTV Now $50 per month - DirecTV Now includes CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN and for $5 extra you can add the NFL Network.
  • YouTubeTV $40 per month - YouTubeTV gives you access to CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN.

Live stream Rugby World Cup 2019 match in Canada

Categories: Tech News

This rugged phone has an awesome “Predator” heat-viewing mode

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 16:59

If there’s one smartphone feature that captures everyone’s imagination, it is the thermal camera.

Already available in the likes of the Cat S60 or Cat S61, this feature allows you to generate a colourful image based on the levels of heat source around you.

Until recently though, such a feature was only available either as a standalone product - usually courtesy of FLIR - or on smartphones that were not exactly cutting edge or cheap.

Blackview wants to change that and has taken to Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platform to make it happen. The BV9800 Pro will get a FLIR Lepton thermal sensor as confirmed by the Chinese vendor and at a bargain price.

See in the dark

The first 200 devices will cost just $399, with the next 300 selling for $429, and $469 after that. The camera will use the IMX586 48-megapixel sensor from Sony, the same as that used in the Honor 20 Pro and the OnePlus 7T.

Also in the device is a 6.3-inch FHD+ display, a big 6.58Ah battery, 6GB of RAM, 128GB onboard memory, a Mediatek P70 8-core SOC and a 16-megapixel front facing camera.

There’s no VOC sensor but it does feature Android 9, IP69/Mil-STD-810G certification, wireless charging, air pressure detection and face/fingerprint unlock.

It is too early to know if it will succeed - the campaign has just started - however given the fact that Blackview is a known name in the ruggedised market, it would be a massive disappointment if didn’t happen. Expect a review of the BV9800 Pro soon.

  • Don’t take risks. Have your data protected with a provider from our best cloud storage guide
Categories: Tech News

The best cheap headphone deals and sales in October 2019

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 16:59

Our comparison tech has been working hard to find you the best headphone deals and sales from a variety of top headphone brands that include Apple, Beats, and many more.

We cover all the best headphones released, including over-ear headphones, noise-canceling headphones, and wireless headphones. However, friends still ask if they should buy a pair of no-brand cans they've seen piled high by the checkouts at a supermarket or clothing store. The answer is usually: probably not.

We get it. Headphones can be cheap. Like, dirt cheap. But as tempting as it is to go for those suspiciously low headphone prices. We'd advise spending just a little more, and you'll find a pair you'll love and can use for years to come.

The good news is you don't have to spend much at all. Some of the pairs we recommend below barely cost much more than a cinema ticket.

It’s with that in mind that we've narrowed down a list of headphones that not only sound good and feel good but are priced appropriately for all you cost-conscious audioholics out there.

The best Black Friday headphone deals and prices

While there are terrific current offers that you can shop below, the upcoming Black Friday holiday is also an excellent opportunity find killer headphone deals. To help you find the top savings, we've put together a guide on the best deals during Black Friday 2019.

So what’s a good deal?

First have a think about whether you want in-ear, on ear or full size headphones. 

Full-size pairs are often the most comfortable, but smaller on-ear sets tend to look better and, obviously, take up less space. The sheer popularity of on-ear headphones has also led to deals just as sweet as those of some tiny in-ear buds too.  

If the budget is very restricted you may want to stay away from big glamorous brand like Beats. Lower-cost names like Skullcandy often get you similar results for much less money. And you may be surprised by how much its headphones have grown up in recent years. 

Without further ado, here are the best headphone deals we found this month.

We're not sure how Skullcandy crammed such excellent-sounding drivers into such a cheap headset, but somehow, some way, it absolutely did. The Skullcandy Grind is one of our favorite wired on-ear headphones – it's cheap, sounds incredible and looks awesome. Also, while most headphones make a statement using a logo, branding on these headphones is subtle, with a small logo stamped onto each of the sidearms. While Skullcandy isn't super transparent about the specs of its headsets, the Grind offers exquisite sound quality, complete with beefy bass response and articulate delivery of mids and highs. We tried a wide variety of music samples to see if we could find a weak point in these cans and, nope, we couldn't. The only weak point here is that it doesn't have volume controls built-in. But that's not a huge bummer.

When looking for a good pair of wireless in-ear headphones, We’re always on the hunt for something that sounds good (duh!), feels comfortable to wear for long periods of time and, most importantly, doesn’t fall out mid-workout. The Anker SoundBuds NB10 does all of the above perfectly. 

What you'll love most about the Anker SoundBuds NB10 is its warm sound and spectacular bass response. The low-end isn't as heavy-handed as some other in-ear headphones, but that demureness makes it great both when you’re at the gym and when it’s time to hang up the towel and head home for the night.

Why should you pick the Optoma NuForce BE Sport3 instead of the Momentum In-Ear, because it's one of the cheapest (and best-sounding) in-ear headphones we've ever found. And, good news, it's usually on sale to boot. Not only are these earbuds IP55 rated, making them rain, dust and sweat resistant, but they also have really balanced sound that works well for every genre and incredible noise isolation. They're perfect for the gym because they weigh just 18 grams and don't need to connect to your phone via a dangling, easy-to-knock off cable. Optoma says the frequency response goes from 20 to 20,000Hz, and it has a sensitivity of 102dB +/-3dB at 1kHz. On the debit side, though, there are some horror stories out there of the BE Sport3's batteries being a bit difficult to work with, so keep that in mind.

You may know Marshall for its guitar amplifiers, often used on stage by rock stars and amateurs alike, but the company does way more than just amps. In the past few years, Marshall's produced several lines of headphones, a Bluetooth speaker or two and even a smartphone. Marshall's headphones have been universally solid offerings that target the fashion-conscious more than the audiophile. Its latest offering, the Marshall Major II Bluetooth, is the company's first wireless headphones and it continues Marshall's trend for focusing on fashion and fun rather than pristine sound quality and a great build.

When it comes to headphones, the general consensus is that you very much get what you pay for. But with AKG's K92, what you're getting is so much more. These headphones offer a level of sound quality that far outstrip their budget price tag. That being said, these are some of the largest cans you might ever find, and therefore might not be the best choice for anyone out there who has a petite noggin. Specs-wise, however, it's all good. The K92's professional 40mm drivers offer an extended 16 - 20,000Hz frequency response with a 113 dB SPL/V sensitivity level. It has a cable length of about 9 feet (3 meters) and weighs around 200 grams. 

When the BackBeat Sense first launched a few years ago, it was way too expensive for the everyday audio listener. Sure, these headphones are good, but were they $200/£150 good? Probably not. Thankfully, it’s possible to find them for a much more reasonable price if you shop around. The design yields comfort and appeal. Its sound performance, battery life and features all deliver without a hitch. There are one or two problems here, but for a sweet set of headphones at this low of a price point we can't be harsh on 'em. These cans are worth every penny for someone looking to leap for a classy-looking set of wireless headphones.

The Amazon Echo Buds were released this past September with an affordable starting price of $129.99. The earbuds include Active Noise Reduction technology that was developed by Bose and feature an advanced microphone that allows you hands-free access to Amazon Alexa. The Alexa-enabled earbuds allow you to skip songs, adjust the volume, ask questions, and more completely hands-free. The sweat-resistant earbuds provide up to five hours of battery life and come in three different sizes for a secure and comfortable fit.

There’s a lot about the AirPods that we like. They sound great, their battery life and charging speeds run laps around the competition, and it’s hard to overstate just how seamless the pairing process is. Unfortunately, they can be rather expensive if you don't get them on sale. Considering the holidays are right around the corner, we expect to see these awesome wireless in-ears on sale sooner rather than later. Don't miss them! 

The Beats Solo 3 Wireless ace their wireless tech, with very solid Bluetooth, good range and class-leading battery life. There’s a huge difference here compared with often-flaky cheap Bluetooth sets. Their bass response is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, too – it’s not meant to be neutral or accurate, but by providing meaty thuds without major boominess, the Solo 3 Wireless do what Beats headphones should. 

Categories: Tech News