Apple’s HomePod delayed until next year

Apple has delayed the release of its HomePod speaker until 2018. In a statement to The Verge, Apple says that it needs more time to work on the HomePod. “We can’t wait for people to experience HomePod, Apple’s breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, but we need a little more time before it’s ready for our customers,” an Apple spokesperson said. “We’ll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018.”
The speaker was originally set to be released in December. Priced at $349, the HomePod is slated to take on higher-end sound systems like Sonos, as well as smart assistants like the Amazon Echo and Google Home.
The cylindrical speaker features a seven-speaker array of tweeters, a four-inch subwoofer, and a six-microphone array, which puts it right on par spec-wise with the best speakers in its price range, but where it may fall short is Siri, which isn’t really in the same class as Alexa or Google Assistant. That challenge is likely why Apple’s focus at the launch of the HomePod back at WWDC in June was music first and smart features second.
It’s unclear exactly why Apple had to push back the release of the HomePod, but pulling out of the holiday rush isn’t something that any company takes lightly. With no firm release date — early 2018 is vague at best — it could be a while before we actually see the HomePod on sale.
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Morning Skate: Who can stop the Tampa Bay Lightning? Right now, no one

Almost no one has been able to slow the NHL’s best team since the start of the season.
There aren’t many teams in the NHL that are as hot as the Tampa Bay Lightning are right now. After 19 games, the Lightning have just lost four over the first month and a half of the 2017-18 season, and only in two of those losses did they not gain any points.
So, after 19 games played, the Lightning sit first in the NHL with 32 points on the season. Tampa Bay is currently rolling on a five-game win streak, as they’ve lost just one game in the month of November so far. They’re near the top in the league in a bunch of statistics, including goals-for and goal differential, as their offense has been the most dynamic as it has ever been.
The addition of Steven Stamkos back into the lineup has rejuvinated the Lightning, who failed to make the playoffs last year by the skin of their teeth. Now, Tampa Bay has two forwards — Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov — above 30 points on the season after 19 games played.

That offense was on display in top form when facing former goaltender Ben Bishop against the Dallas Stars on Thursday night. The Lightning dismantled Bishop for a 6-1 victory, where five different players notched a goal in the dominant win. The Stars aren’t the first team the Lightning has dropped four-plus goals on, as Tampa Bay has had 12 games equalling or exceeding that total.
It’s clear as to why the Lightning are leading the NHL in GF on the year with 77 in 19 games. Their monstrous forward depth is difficult to contain, especially when Stamkos and Kucherov are at their best leading the team. And when they’ve needed it, they’ve gotten the goaltending required from Andrei Vasilevskiy, who has been fantastic in his own right this year with a .932 save percentage.
As it stands midway through the second month of the season, not many teams haven’t been able to stop the Tampa Bay freight train. And if the Lightning keep playing the way they have, not many teams will.
More hockey

Colorado Avalanche forward Vladislav Kamenev will miss “significant time” with broken arm after taking a hit Thursday night.

Radko Gudas was tossed from the Philadelphia Flyers game last night after a slashing game misconduct penalty, and he too might miss time if suspended.
The Red Wings will be without Luke Witkowski for 10 games as the switch forward/defenseman came back onto the ice after being ejected in a mid-game brawl.

The injuries are piling up for the Bruins, who placed both Brad Marchand and Anders Bjork on IR this week.

Jonathan Toews wants you to buy a “Toewster” with his face on it for charity. Yes, really.

Will there be another hockey team in Texas? The NHL held “preliminary discussions” with Rockets owner about adding team in Houston, per reports.

Scheduling and travel are the Coyotes enemy of the season, but they won their first regulation game last night!

Cam Atkinson has signed a seven-year, $40.25 million contract extension with the Blue Jackets.
If the Senators want to thrive on defense, Dion Phaneuf and Cody Ceci must be split up.

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Gregor Townsend ready to rewrite history as Scotland tackle All Blacks | Bryn Palmer | Sport

New Zealand defeats on European soil are not quite as rare as Scotland wins at Twickenham, but their scarcity highlights the mountainous task facing the hosts at Murrayfield on Saturday.
There have been a paltry four – two by France, two by England – in more than 50 Tests since 2000. And the All Blacks just do not lose to Scotland. In the 112 years since the first of their 30 encounters, the only Scottish crumbs of comfort have been two draws: 0-0 in 1964, the last Test match to finish pointless, and a 25-25 thriller in 1983, when Peter Dodds missed a touchline conversion following Jim Pollock’s late try to level the scores.

So do Scotland really have a hope of ripping up a well-worn script? Gregor Townsend is an articulate and intelligent coach who has already enjoyed one notable triumph over Australia in his time in charge, but delving into his own experience of facing down the All Black machine might be counter-productive.
Townsend never came close to beating New Zealand on the six occasions he faced them, from 1996 to 2001. He was part of Scotland sides that suffered some serious shellackings at Kiwi hands, including a record 69-20 defeat at Dunedin’s House of Pain in June 2000.
Townsend was at outside centre that day as the late Jonah Lomu ran in three of New Zealand’s 11 tries. Four years earlier, at the same Carisbrook ground, Townsend – playing at fly-half – scored one of Scotland’s three tries as they mustered 31 points, their highest tally against New Zealand. But that was only half the story. The All Blacks racked up 62, the electric Christian Cullen grabbing four tries.
Townsend’s admiration for the way New Zealand go about their business is obvious. “Their front five pass the ball more than any team in the world,” the Scotland head coach said.
“They pick a full-back [Damian McKenzie] who is only 5ft 8in but a wonderful player who proves you can be any size, and they play at a pace and tempo that really tests the boundaries of what you can do with a rugby ball.”
Townsend has unveiled a side with two injury-enforced changes, the prop Zander Fagerson coming in at tight-head and the South Africa-born Cornell du Preez handed a first Test start at No8.
On the other hand, he has 14 players unavailable and has to convince the remainder that the All Blacks are beatable. Maybe their fresh-faced optimism and relative lack of baggage against New Zealand will help.
Nine of the starting team – the backs Lee Jones, Huw Jones and Ali Price, the front row of Darryl Marfo, Stuart McInally and Fagerson, the lock Ben Toolis, the flanker Hamish Watson and the No8 Du Preez – will be facing the world champions for the first time, along with seven of the eight replacements.
Only the captain John Barclay, who made his debut in an embarrassing 40-0 Murrayfield drubbing in the 2007 World Cup, has cause to remember them with trepidation. But the burden of history does not appear to weigh heavily. “It’s just a stat,” insisted the flanker, whose move to Edinburgh next season was confirmed on Friday. “We have 80 minutes to try and change that record.”
The full-back Stuart Hogg, as you might expect, set the tone for the week. “We’re not going out to stand back, watch and admire the All Blacks, are we? They’re the best team in the world, so bring it on. We are more than capable of knocking them over. If you don’t believe that, you are in the wrong place.”
A succession of team-mates have taken up the baton. “There’s always going to be areas you can find to exploit and do damage,” insisted Toolis, whose Australian upbringing may provide additional motivation. “Deep down there’s always that aggressive edge in wanting to beat them in anything.”

“They’re a great side, but we know we can trouble them if we get it right,” added centre Huw Jones. “We can score tries against anybody.”
It is certainly difficult to imagine a scenario where Scotland edge a tense gruntathon. Ireland showed in Chicago last year that to beat the All Blacks you have to be brave and score tries, apply pressure with an inventive kicking game, scramble like mad in defence and convert every chance you get. The risk is obvious, the reward a potential game-changer.
The high point of the Townsend era to date, that summer win over the Wallabies, offers a template for how Scotland may pull off an even more improbable victory.
“We played with good intent that day, with a lot of accuracy,” recalled Barclay. “We have to play with the same intent, be aggressive and try to impose ourselves.”
That victory in Sydney has taken on a higher value since Australia toppled their admittedly weakened rivals in Brisbane four weeks ago.
Scotland have not been afforded the same generosity. New Zealand have named their strongest side available, with Codie Taylor at hooker for the injured Dane Coles their only change.
Is that a sign the All Blacks are taking Scotland, ranked sixth in the world, seriously? Townsend’s men should take it as a compliment. If they believe their bullish words, history could be in the Edinburgh air. If not, the gap between the two sides is likely to remain as wide as the Forth.
Last seven meetings since 2001
2001: Scotland 6-37 New Zealand
2005: Scotland 10-29 New Zealand
2007: Scotland 0-40 New Zealand (World Cup)
2008: Scotland 6-32 New Zealand
2010: Scotland 3-49 New Zealand
2012: Scotland 22-51 New Zealand
2014: Scotland 16-24 New Zealand
Scotland’s overall record v New Zealand
P30 W0 D2 L28 Points For 332 Against 900

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TCU traveling to a crucial game at Texas Tech without starting quarterback Kenny Hill

A first-time starter will replace him in a road game the Frogs need.
TCU starting quarterback Kenny Hill won’t play at Texas Tech on Saturday, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson said Thursday that strong safety Niko Small and kicker Jonathan Song also will not make the trip.
Linebacker Travin Howard will travel, Patterson said, but could be a game-time decision.
Patterson has not said why Hill or the other players are unavailable. No injury was apparent for Hill or Howard in the Oklahoma last week, and both spoke with reporters after the game. Typically, TCU does not bring injured players to the interview room.

Replacing the two-year starter, previously a sensation at Texas A&M, will be true freshman Shawn Robinson, a former four-star recruit who’s thrown 10 passes and carried the ball 13 times in his debut season.
“[Hill] was a little bit better today. We’ll see where he is on Saturday,” Patterson had said earlier in the week, somewhat puzzlingly. “But everybody wants to see Shawn Robinson at some point in time.”
TCU needs this win if it wants to reach the Big 12 Championship.
The Frogs hold a tiebreaker advantage over fellow contenders Oklahoma State and West Virginia, but likely still have to beat Texas Tech and then a struggling Baylor in Fort Worth in order to make it in.
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OnePlus 5 vs OnePlus 5T: What's The Difference?

Paul Briden

17/11/2017 – 12:25pm

We take a look at how one little "T" changes the OnePlus 5

OnePlus just announced the OnePlus 5T on November 16, an updated version of the OnePlus 5 flagship it launched in June this year. A turn-around time of five months and a new letter on the end might understandably leave many scratching their heads as to what all the fuss is about – what new tech has been crammed in this time around?
Let’s take a look!
OnePlus 5 vs OnePlus 5T: Specs
OnePlus 5 Specs

Dimensions: 154.2 x 74.1 x 7.3mm
Weight: 153g
Display: 5.5in Optic AMOLED, 1920×1080 pixel (401ppi)
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 MSM8998 (10nm) octa-core CPU
GPU: Adreno 540 (Qualcomm Snapdragon)
RAM:6GB OR 8GB (Storage Dependent)
Software: Android Nougat 7.1.1 With Oxygen OS 4.5.10
Connectivity: 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Type-C USB, NFC, GPS, Fingerprint scanner
Storage: 64GB OR 128GB
MicroSD: No
Primary Camera: Dual-Sensor; 16MP f/1.7 aperture with EIS (electronic stabilisation), 1/2.8″ sensor size, 1.12µm pixel size and 20MP f/2.6 aperture with 1.6x optical zoom 1/2.8″ sensor size, 1.0µm pixel size and phase detection autofocus, dual-LED flash, touch focus, face/smile detection, Auto HDR, panorama, 2160p video @30fps, 1080p video @30/60fps
Secondary Camera: 16MP f/2.0 aperture with EIS , Auto HDR, 1080p video
Battery: 3,300mAh

A quick glance at that spec sheet and you’d be forgiven for thinking not a lot has changed. Well, you’re kind of correct, and kind of not.
The OnePlus 5T has been re-designed on the outside which is probably its most obvious change, and most of this re-design has been done to accomodate the bigger display. The new screen is over half-an-inch larger on the diagonal and has the new trendy 18:9 widescreen aspect ratio, meaning it takes up the majority of the phone’s fascia.
This means the fingerprint scanner has moved round the back.
In terms of display tech, specs, and quality, the resolution has been upped slightly in order to maintain the same pixel density as the OnePlus 5. So, the OnePlus 5T display should be just as rewarding to look at, it’s just bigger. Which is nice.
Apart from this, another notable addition is a front-facing face scanner feature, similar to the iPhone X, however, OnePlus says it’s a 2D scanner not a 3D scanner, which it admits is a compromise on security compared to what Apple’s kit can do. But, it is a lot cheaper! Also, unlike the iPhone X, the OnePlus 5T still has the fingerprint scanner too!
The only other MAJOR change is actually quite a subtle one, but it makes a big difference. A few little tweaks to the dual-camera have taken away the fixed zoom but instead added improved low-light capture quality. Essentially the second 20MP sensor has been given the same f/1.7 aperture size so it allows in much more light. You can see the difference in this article here.
Oh, also, the rumours were true; the OnePlus 5T starts at £449, which is the same price as the OnePlus 5.

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OnePlus 5T hands-on: Behold the new mid-range king

The OnePlus 5T is a phone that should generate no shock headlines. It’s been leaked left, right and centre in the build-up to launch day, with benchmarks and even unboxing photos posted across the web. So it should comes as no surprise that, as the phone launches today, we all know about its core features.
The price isn’t changing either, which is a positive move, especially when so many other manufacturers are ramping up the cost of their own flagships, but what about the phone itself? Is it a positive upgrade or a so-so one?
READ NEXT: Apple iPhone X review
OnePlus 5T review: Key specifications and release date

6in 1,080 x 2,160 AMOLED display with Corning Gorilla Glass 5

2.45GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC with Adreno 540 graphics

64GB or 128GB of storage

6 or 8GB RAM

75 x 156 x 7.3mm, 162g

3,300mAh battery

Dual rear cameras: 16MP, f/1.7; 20MP, f/1.7

Front camera: 16MP, f/2

Price: £449 – 6GB/64GB; £499 – 8GB/128GB

OnePlus 5T review: Big features and first impressions
The big change is to the display, which at 6in is now half an inch larger than the OnePlus 5’s 5.5in screen. It’s also one of those funky, 18:9 aspect ratio, chassis-filling edge-to-edge displays so there’s barely any bezel to the left and right.
There’s a substantial half-centimetre or so black strip that runs along the top and bottom of the screen, but the size of the phone has barely increased. There’s a millimetre or so in it, if that, in terms of both width and height.
And, just as with the OnePlus 5, this is an AMOLED screen. That means it has perfect contrast and punchy colours. It doesn’t always mean accurate colours though, as OnePlus proved with the OnePlus 3. However, it appears the company has been listening to user feedback. A quick dig around in the settings for the phone reveals that OnePlus has provided several different profiles for you to play around with, including sRGB for more realistic colours while browsing the web and a DCI-P3 profile, which is best employed for watching video content.
The design of the chassis is also very, very similar to the OnePlus 5, to the extent that unless you sit the two phones right next to each other, it’s very difficult to tell the difference. The corners and rear panel are curved in the same way, the thickness hasn’t changed at all and, although it is a touch heavier than the 5, 172g still isn’t all that bad. Moreover, all the buttons are in the same places, the new dual camera is in the same location and so are the speaker grille, USB Type-C charging port and 3.5mm headphone jack.
Yes, the OnePlus 5T still has a headphone jack. REJOICE.
What it still doesn’t have just yet, which is a major disappointment, is a microSD slot for storage expansion and a dust- water-resistance rating. With almost all the OnePlus rival manufacturers now providing this feature, it’s about time OnePlus joined in.
OnePlus 5T review: Performance and battery
Despite the larger screen, I don’t expect there to be any change to the performance of the OnePlus 5T and that’s because the internal components are identical to before. That means you get a 2.45GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of storage, depending on the model you choose.
As we’ve seen so far this year, there’s very little variation in performance between phones with this type of configuration, and I’d expect the OnePlus 5T to deliver similar performance results to phones such as the HTC U11 and Sony Xperia XZ Premium. It won’t be as fast as an iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X, but that doesn’t matter. It’ll be as fast as anyone needs it to be and in the time I’ve had to try it out so far it’s been super responsive – as you’d expect a box-fresh Android phone to be.
The one thing you don’t get with the OnePlus 5T – and the same was true of the OnePlus 5 – is gigabit-class 4G connectivity. Although there still aren’t that many places in the UK where the networks have upgraded to the new speed, the OnePlus 5T’s 600Mbits/sec download ceiling and 2×2 MIMO antenna array will still likely result in slower connections than phones with 4×4 MIMO antennas are able to reach.
What the OnePlus 5T should deliver, however, is battery life on a par with its predecessor. The battery is exactly the same capacity as before at 3,300mAh and, although the screen this time around is larger, it isn’t much higher in terms of resolution. In combination with the Snapdragon 835 chip, which so far has proved a paragon of efficiency, I expect the OnePlus 5T to be an absolute beast when it comes to stamina, although it will have to go some to beat the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, however, which is the best of the current batch of flagship phones and regularly lasts me two days in normal use.
Still, even if the battery life is slightly worse, that wouldn’t be a complete disaster. Just like its predecessor, the OnePlus 5T uses OnePlus’ Dash Charge technology, and with the right cable and charger OnePlus is promising “enough power for the day” with a mere 30 minutes of charging.
OnePlus 5T review: Cameras
The OnePlus 5 had a dual camera array but it’s employed in a slightly different way in the 5T. Where the 5 offered one for wide angle shots and the other for telephoto, on the 5T both have identical focal lengths and fields of view, with the secondary camera concentrating on delivering superior image in low light.
Your main camera here remains a 16-megapixel, f/1.7 Sony IMX398 module while the second one is a 20-megapixel camera, also with an aperture of f/1.7 – this time, a Sony IMX376K. At the front is a 16-megapixel camera with an aperture of f/2.0, just like on the OnePlus 5.
Essentially, the second low-light camera works entirely automatically. Whenever it senses the ambient light levels have dipped to 10 lux or below it switches over to the 20-megapixel camera and in really dark conditions it can also use a technique where the camera merges the data from every four pixels into one to eliminate noise and grain.
The fact that both cameras now have identical focal lengths (7.22mm in case you were wondering) and fields of view should also mean portrait photographs are produced more effectively.
OnePlus 5 review: Software
OnePlus has also been busy adding improvements to its OxygenOS Android launcher. The camera app has had a tiny revamp that sees the various modes shunted into a small popup drawer just next to the shutter button. The idea is to make the camera app more easy to use one-handed.
And there’s also a host of other new tweaks, functions and customisations. Chief among these is the new Parallel Apps feature, which allows you to open more than one instance of certain apps so you can be logged into two or more different accounts. The list of supported apps includes Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tinder, Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Skype.
You can now unlock the phone with your face (in 0.4 seconds says OnePlus) and in the gallery app you can also search for photographs based on where you took them. In compensation for losing the capacitive keys from the bezel below the screen (sad face) the soft key button bar can be quickly hidden at the tap of an addition circular icon on the left-hand side. Whenever you need it again, simply swipe a thumb up from the bottom of the screen and it’ll stay there until you hide it once again.
It’s all good stuff.
OnePlus 5 review: Early verdict
It’s early days yet, and we haven’t yet had the opportunity to fully benchmark it, but the OnePlus 5T does look like another cracking mid-range smartphone.
It’s basically the same size as the OnePlus 5 but with a significantly bigger screen while the camera and software have both also seen an upgrade, too. It remains to be seen how good the screen actually is and battery life may be impacted by the extra half inch, but for now it looks as if OnePlus has another world-beater on its hands.

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EA Removes All Star Wars: Battlefront 2 Microtransactions Temporarily

EA has decisively responded to widespread criticism of Star Wars: Battlefront 2‘s loot boxes and premium in-game purchases by completely removing them from the game tonight. EA DICE General Manager Oskar Gabrielson issued a formal statement and apology announcing that, for the time being, all Star Wars: Battlefront 2 progression will be earned through gameplay.

Gabrielson’s cited causes for removing Battlefront 2’s premium options include perceived gameplay imbalance and the controversy overshadowing the game itself:

“As we approach the worldwide launch, it’s clear that many of you feel there are still challenges in [Star Wars: Battlefront 2’s] design. We’ve heard the concerns about potentially giving players unfair advantages. And we’ve heard that this is overshadowing an otherwise great game. This was never our intention. Sorry we didn’t get this right.”

The decision caps off a lengthy period of drama up until now, the night of Star Wars: Battlefront 2‘s worldwide release. Controversy erupted regarding Battlefront 2’s loot boxes as they existed in the game’s beta. In the following weeks, DICE changed what content was included in the loot boxes, but it was just the beginning. The online community grew angry over the time it takes to unlock heroes like Darth Vader, the PR response to the outrage, the rate of currency income, and more.

While EA and DICE’s decision may seem like some sort of conclusion to a marathon of controversies, the future remains uncertain. The removal of in-game purchases, according to Gabrielson, is only temporary. “Crystals,” the in-game premium currency, will return later. However, DICE plans to make significant changes prior to in-game purchases returning.
Exactly what those changes entail is uncertain at this point, but DICE does state clearly that “all progression will be earned through gameplay” for the foreseeable future. For now, DICE just wants Star Wars: Battlefront 2 to be judged on the game that it is, removed from its initial monetization:

“We have created a game that is built on your input, and it will continue to evolve and grow. Star Wars: Battlefront 2 is three times the size of the previous game, bringing to life a brand new Star Wars story, space battles, epic new multiplayer experiences across all three Star Wars eras, with more free content to come. We want you to enjoy it, so please keep your thoughts coming. And we will keep you updated on our process.”

Star Wars: Battlefront 2 releases on PC, PS4, and Xbox One tonight at midnight, November 17. A 10-hour “trial period” allowed for early access to the game via an EA Access subscription starting from November 9.

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Doom on Switch review: As fantastic as you think

Not since 1997’s Doom 64 has a Doom title seen the light of day on a Nintendo console. Now, in an era where Nintendo has lost much of its hardcore appeal in favour of a family-friendly appearance, such a partnership seems a bit bizarre. Doom’s focus on blood, gore and a muted red and orange palette seems at odds with the primary colours that fill almost every one of Nintendo’s major franchises.
But Doom is back on Nintendo and after its stellar 2016 reboot was so well received, I couldn’t be more excited to see it arrive on my favourite console of this generation. With Doom (2016), id managed to build a truly excellent game that looked gorgeous and ran like a dream. Its mix of brilliant gunplay, intense pace and unrelenting combat worked so well because idTech 6 let it run at 60fps or more without breaking a sweat, regardless of the platform.

READ NEXT: Why navigating through hell is an utter joy
Now it’s come to the Nintendo Switch, representing one of the first truly mature titles on Nintendo’s console, things are a little different. First up, 60fps has been dropped in favor of 30fps. Doom‘s resolution is a native 720p in handheld and clearly isn’t native 1080p in TV mode. Visually it’s also been pared back with textures not being anywhere near as detailed as PS4, Xbox One or PC releases and depth of field lacks in comparison.
Despite all those technical negatives, Doom on Switch is exactly what you want it to be. Not only does it have the inherent bonus point of letting you play Doom on the bus or train, but it still feels unmistakably like Doom.

The ferocious gunplay still exists, the relentless pace, the pounding music and the gore all remain intact. Even running at half the refresh rate of its siblings, id has managed to perform some sort of voodoo to get it feeling almost as smooth to play despite the hardware limitations of the Switch.
Doom is also an incredibly meaty package, offering up the entire, unaltered, Doom campaign complete with Arcade mode and all difficulty unlocks. You’ll also find all DLC is included out of the box and multiplayer has remained intact during the move to Nintendo’s console. All this content comes at a cost though, Doom is mammoth. Clocking in at 22GB, you’ll need a microSD card in your Switch to make this a viable purchase.

Video of DOOM on Nintendo Switch – id Software Developer Interview

READ NEXT: Here’s what the 1993 Doom UK champion thinks of Doom 2016
Due to the inherent portability of Switch, Nintendo’s console has an allure that no other version of the game can match. Doom multiplayer no longer means just playing online against faceless opponents or a select group of friends. Now you can actually take your Switch unit somewhere and meet up with others, letting you play Doom multiplayer in a way that’s not really been possible since the days of lugging your PC to a friend’s place for some intense Doom deathmatch LAN action.
It’s not all perfect though. The concessions id had to make to get Doom running on Switch won’t be to everyone’s flavour. If you’re all about having the performance, and can’t see why anyone would sacrifice that in the name of fun, don’t even think about trying to pick up Doom. If, however, you’re a fan of Doom or curious to see what all the fuss was about, and would like the flexibility of playing it on the go, Doom on Switch is everything you could ask for.
In fact, Doom is done so well I’m incredibly curious to see just how well Skyrim runs when it arrives on 17 November. If Bethesda can also pull Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus out of the bag too, Switch will have proved it’s more than a machine filled with Super Mario, Zelda and cartoony squid – a place where a very different type of game can also thrive, unshackled from the constraints of your TV.

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OnePlus 5T hands-on: A good thing gets even better – Hardware reviews

OnePlus has, as in the previous year, followed up with a small upgrade of its current smartphone. The new OnePlus 5T aims to convince new customers with a more modern look and a slightly different camera. We have already received the new OnePlus smartphone for testing, and these are our first impressions.

OnePlus 5T release date and price
The OnePlus 5T is new, but in terms of price, things stay roughly the same with just a slight hike. The smartphone costs $499 in the variant with 64GB memory and 6GB RAM. If you want more memory, namely 128GB and 8GB RAM, you have to fork out $60 more and pay $559.

OnePlus 5T design and build quality
The OnePlus 5T looks very familiar from behind at first glance – clearly, the appearance has only been slightly changed compared to its predecessor. The chic aluminium surface, which has been painted in three coats, has a nice surface and is relatively resistant to fingerprints. A new feature on the back of the 5T is the ceramic fingerprint sensor, which has has been moved from the front—because the edges of the display have been significantly slimmed down. The front of the smartphone is completely unadorned, only the front camera and the narrow grille above the earpiece interrupt the black glass surface, which is slightly bent at the edges.
Compared to the OnePlus 5, the 5T has only slightly increased in size, 2 millimeters in width and one in length—despite a 0.5 inch diagonal increase in screen size. The weight has increased by 9 grams. The camera protrudes from the housing, but the transition is a bit more fluid than with the OnePlus 5, and the processing of the new OnePlus 5T is excellent and offers no cause for criticism.

The rear of the OnePlus 5T offers space for the camera and the fingerprint sensor. / © AndroidPIT

The characteristic sandstone surface of the first OnePlus smartphones is long gone, but OnePlus offers fans of the 5T a smartphone case with this rough texture. There are also sleeves in carbon and wood look as well as a bright red silicone cover that feels very comfortable. Unlike the OnePlus 5 covers, the OnePlus 5T covers all the edges and buttons of your phone, except for the slider, for better protection. The delivery package includes a transparent cover that does not look like much, but reliably protects the smartphone from damage. 

OnePlus offers many different covers for the 5T. / © AndroidPIT

OnePlus 5T display
The OnePlus 5T’s display shows the biggest difference to the previous model. The diagonal has grown from 5.5 to 6 inches and the aspect ratio has been changed to the more fashionable 18:9. The resolution of the AMOLED panel is 2,160 x 1,080 pixels, the corners are minimally rounded. The standard setting of the display is characterized by very strong colors. The sharpness is fine, but some other top smartphones can do it a bit better. The typical OLED blue cast is hardly pronounced in the OnePlus 5T.

The 5T’s display is larger and longer than the OnePlus 5. / © AndroidPIT

The OnePlus 5T software offers a whole host of options for customizing the display. Five full picture modes are available in the System Preferences. The Adaptive Mode, in which the display dynamically adapts the display to the external conditions, is highly recommended. OnePlus now calls the automatic adaptation to particularly bright light Sunlight Display. Reading mode, which is easy on the eyes, can be set for selected apps and the intensity of the night mode can be regulated. So there are many possibilities to satisfy every taste.

OnePlus offers many options to customize the display. / © AndroidPIT


OnePlus 5T special features
The OnePlus 5T comes with a new feature, face detection to unlock the phone. This is basically as per usual with Android devices and although special sensors are not on board, OnePlus has apparently optimized the software considerably. With Advanced Facial Recognition, more than 100 points in the face are recognized and used to allow only the right person access to the smartphone. In the test, face recognition with the OnePlus 5T works excellently and almost lightning-fast. Even in the evening, the smartphone is reliably unlocked almost instantly, even when the lighting on the sofa is dimmed. Only when it really gets really dark does the front camera and thus the recognition reach its limits. But the OnePlus 5T doesn’t get confused with hats, large headphones or a scarf. Apple’s Face ID doesn’t work much better on iPhone X either. Respect OnePlus, good work!

The front camera works extraordinarily fast in face recognition. / © AndroidPIT

If you don’t want to unlock your OnePlus 5T with your face, you can alternatively use the fingerprint sensor. It sits on the back, but works perfectly and quickly. However, the round sensor is only minimally submerged in the housing and thus does not always feel comfortable. It’s easier to use a cover in this case.

OnePlus 5T software
Whoever thought that OnePlus was delivering the 5T directly with Android 8.0 Oreo was mistaken. OxygenOS 4.7.1 runs on the smartphone, which is based on Android 7.1.1 nougat. An update to a new version is already announced, but without date.
The operating system comes, as usual and loved by the fans of OnePlus, as an almost naked Android without bloatware and useless gimmicks. The look is chic and modern, the Google Assistant is available as language support. With App Priority, the frequently used apps on the OnePlus 5T are supposed to start very quickly. However, given the power of the smartphone, this shouldn’t be a problem anyway.

OxygenOS is tidy and free of Bloatware. / © AndroidPIT


OnePlus 5T performance
The OnePlus 5T has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and 8 GB RAM—there’s not much more you can do with a smartphone. The technical platform is identical to the OnePlus 5, which means that the performance of the T-model is also at the same level as its predecessor. That’s not bad, on the contrary, because both OnePlus smartphones run brilliantly and show no weakness in performance. Nevertheless, the 5T doesn’t have the leap in speed that most new top-of-the-range smartphones have compared to their predecessors. This is also reflected in the almost identical benchmark results.

OnePlus 5T Benchmarks

OnePlus 5T versus the OnePlus 5

OnePlus 5T
OnePlus 5

3DMark Sling Shot Extreme
3.622 Points
3.372 Points

3DMark Sling Shot
4.242 Points
4.183 Points

3DMark Ice Storm Extreme
40.813 Points
40.144 Points

Geekbench 4 Single Core / Multi Core
1.956 / 6.701 Points
1.960 / 6.667 Points

PCMark Work 2.0
6.738 Points
6.640 Points

PCMark Storage
4.845 Points
4.536 Points

So anyone who already owns a OnePlus 5 doesn’t need to worry: The revised successor is no faster than the previous flagship. For pure performance reasons, the OnePlus 5 does not need to be discarded in favor of the T-model.

OnePlus 5T audio
With its mono loudspeaker on the underside, the OnePlus 5T doesn’t shatter glass when it comes to sound. The sound is fine, but not outstanding. The smartphone does not come with headphones, so the OnePlus fan has to bring a headset with him. In the end, OnePlus customers continue to enjoy access to the headphone jack. The OnePlus 5T has three built-in microphones, which are used to suppress ambient noise, among other things.

OnePlus holds onto the good old jack plug. / © AndroidPIT

OnePlus 5T camera
The OnePlus 5T has a front camera with a 16MPl sensor from Sony (IMX371) and an aperture of f/2.0. at first glance, the selfies don’t look bad but tend to overexpose in bright light. The sharpness of the image should also be slightly better.

Other smartphones can do slightly better selfies than the OnePlus 5T. / © AndroidPIT

More exciting is the main camera on the back, which has two lenses but is no longer equipped with different focal lengths like the OnePlus 5, but instead the second sensor, a Sony IMX376K, is supposed to provide better images in poor light conditions. The resolution of the low light sensor is 20MP. The main Sony IMX398 sensor has 16MP, the aperture is f/1.7 on both sides, and whether the camera is a significant improvement on the OnePlus 5 is still to be found out in our upcoming extensive test of the 5T. The camera app looks tidy and at first glance comparatively simple, but also has a Pro mode with manual adjustment options.

The OnePlus 5T’s main camera has been optimized for low-light use. / © AndroidPIT

Portrait shots have their own mode with bokeh effect. / © AndroidPIT

OnePlus 5T battery
Like almost any current smartphone, the OnePlus 5T has a built-in battery that can’t be replaced without completely disassembling the phone. This is regrettable from an ecological and economic point of view, but it is unavoidable at the moment for stylish, slim enclosures. The battery has a capacity of 3,300 mAh and should easily last a day. OnePlus adds a dash charge charger to the 5T, which quickly refills the battery.

OnePlus 5T technical specifications

156.1 x 75 x 7.3 mm

162 g

Battery size:
3300 mAh

Screen size:
6.01 in

Display technology:

2160 x 1080 pixels (402 ppi)

Front camera:
20 megapixels

Rear camera:
16 megapixels


Android version:
7.1.1 – Nougat

User interface:
Oxygen OS

6 GB8 GB

Internal storage:
64 GB128 GB

Removable storage:
Not available

Qualcomm Snapdragon 835

Number of cores:

Max. clock speed:
2.45 GHz

HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 5.0

Early Verdict

The OnePlus 5T leaves a very good first impression. The display is very attractive and the 18:9 format provides a modern, contemporary look. The facial recognition release is a practical addition and works perfectly. The performance and features are beyond all doubt—this was already the case with the OnePlus 5 without the addition “T”. It’s a pity that the OnePlus 5T is not shipped with Android 8.0 Oreo. In the complete test, we will focus on the revised camera and the battery life.

OnePlus 5T
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Hands-on with Microsoft’s high-end Surface Book 2

Microsoft’s Surface Book 2 is the most powerful mobile Surface device yet. It easily blows away the Surface Pro, Surface Laptop and, of course, the old Surface Book. It’s also one of the odder devices in the lineup, though. It’s not just a Surface Pro with a rigid keyboard. It’s a relatively heavy base with a powerful processor and graphics card and a big battery — and it has a surprisingly light removable screen that turns it into a tablet and that features a less powerful processor and graphics chip.
Microsoft shipped me a top-of-the-line 15-inch Surface Book 2 review unit with the latest Intel Core i7-8650U CPU clocked at 1.9 GHz, a discrete Nvidia 1060 GPU with 6GB of RAM, 16GB of memory and a terabyte SSD. That’s $3,299 worth of Surface Book, though at the low-end, you can also get a 13-inch machine for $1,499 with an i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and an integrated Intel GPU. In between, there are a number of other 15-inch models with Nvidia 1050 GPUs and varying numbers for RAM and disk space.

There surely a world of difference between the performance of these low-end and high-end machines, so you get what you pay for. But Microsoft’s message here is pretty clear: the Surface Book 2 is basically a mobile workstation for those who want to edit videos and photos, play games on the road or just need a really powerful mobile machine to crunch numbers or compile a Linux kernel or two. It’s Microsoft’s challenger to the MacBook Pro and it’s not shying away from the comparison.
I’ve only had the Surface Book 2 on my desk for just over 24 hours, so this isn’t a definitive review (I have barely been able to run the battery down once in that time, after all). We’ll do that in a week or so, after I’ve had some more real-world experience with it.
Even after a short time with the new Surface Book, I’ve come away impressed (anything else at this price would be quite a disappointment, of course).
We can argue about its design — that rounded hinge that leaves quite a gap even when the laptop is closed wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea when the first version launched and while Microsoft has tweaked the hinge, the gap is still as prominent as ever. You may even call it ugly. But it sure makes it stand out in this crowded laptop market.

What you can’t argue about, though, is the overall quality of the build. The base is a solid piece of metal. The tablet/screen is securely attached to it (and the keyboard has a key that releases it from its base). The large chiclet keyboard has enough travel and gives you a good indication that you’ve pressed a button, making it quite comfortable to type on.
The touch-sensitive screen is bright and at a resolution of 3240×2160, you’re getting a higher pixel density than on the MacBook Pro. Thankfully, Microsoft and the software developers in its ecosystem have fixed most of Windows 10’s issues with high-density displays, so you can actually now enjoy the experience. The screen may just be a bit too glossy for some (too many laptop screens these days are), but it’s winter in Oregon and we won’t see the sun until next year, so I haven’t been able to test that.
Let’s talk about the key feature of the Surface Book 2 for a moment: the detachable screen. It’s surprisingly light, especially when you consider that it’s a 15-inch tablet with a promised five-hour battery life. But is it more than just a novelty? Microsoft argues that you can detach it and use it as a tablet, fold it around to go into “studio mode” for comfortable sketching, or detach the screen, turn it around, re-attach it for mobile presentation.
Some of these feel like niche use cases and I can’t quite see myself doing any of this on a regular basis but that’s probably a personal thing. I’d be quite happy with the Surface Book 2 if the screen didn’t detach, too (though at a lower price).

The power of the dedicated GPU should make for a pretty good gaming experience (though not at full resolution and the highest settings — it’s not a 1080, after all. We’ll run some benchmarks in the next few days.
Oh – and if you’re worried about having to use dongles for this laptop, don’t worry. It comes with a USB-C port, two regular USB-A ports, an SD-card slot and the usual Surface connector for charging and attaching the Surface Dock if you have one. And there’s a headphone jack, too. There’s no Mini DisplayPort like in the first-gen model, but you can connect up to two 4K monitors at 30Hz or a single 4k monitor at 60Hz via the USB-C port — or via a Surface Dock, of course. You can’t drive four screen by using both the USB-C and Surface Dock simultaneously, though.
What about the negatives? The fan, especially in the screen, tends to kick in a bit too often. It’s quiet but noticeable, even when the CPU load isn’t all that high. The screen can also get a bit warmer than I’d like. It’s also heavy. At 4.2 lbs, you’re not going to have to double-check that it’s in your backpack. And there’s the design with its odd hinge — but I already mentioned that.
Unlike the first-gen Surface Book, this one doesn’t seem to suffer from the regular blue screens of death and other issues that buyers of its predecessor had to deal with. I hope that remains true as I continue to use it.
Microsoft is clearly making a play for disgruntled MacBook users by throwing in a three-month subscription to Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography plan for the next two months, talking up how well Autodesk Maya and other apps work on the Surface Book 2, and — most importantly — by simply making this a high performance machine.
So will the Surface Book 2 get MacBook Pro users to switch? That probably depends on how much you love/hate Windows 10, but it strikes me as a good — and far more powerful — alternative to Apple’s current mobile offerings. And it’s copious amount of power that sets it apart from the masses (plus its detachable screen, but I just don’t know how big a selling point that’ll be for potential users).
The new Surface Books are available for pre-order now and will start shipping tomorrow.

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