Qualcomm 8cx benchmarked: Faster than Intel’s i5 8250U?

Qualcomm first announced its 8cx laptop processor back in December of 2018. The chip promised to bring two times the performance of its previous chip, the Snapdragon 850, while at the same time bringing 60 percent better battery life and new features like H.265 and dual 4K monitor support.

Today, we got our first look at PCs running the new Qualcomm 8cx chipset. Qualcomm has partnered with PCMark and 3DMark to produce ARM 64-native benchmarking apps for the platform and pitted the chip against Intel’s most comparable laptop CPU, the i5 8250U.

Read more:

As a recap, the Qualcomm 8cx is a 7nm chip with a TDP of 7 watts, while Intel’s i5 8250U is based on a 10nm process and has a TDP of 15 watts. Based on these specs alone, it’s no surprise that Qualcomm is achieving about two times better battery life. The real surprise here is application benchmarks and graphics performance.

Qualcomm 8cx - Application Benchmark test

In a standard application benchmark test, the 8cx was neck-and-neck with Intel’s offering. The 8cx beat the i5 8250U in some tests and fell slightly behind in others. This is fairly massive because it shows that a chip with half the power consumption of an Intel CPU can deliver just as good day-to-day performance.

In graphics benchmarks, Qualcomm’s 8cx beat Intel by a good amount. The graphics score in 3DMark’s Night Raid was between 6138 and 6266, while Intel measured between 5172 and 5174. Take this with a grain of salt though, because the display on Intel’s model was a 2k panel, while Qualcomm used an FHD panel.

Qualcomm 8cx - Graphics test

The benchmarking session showed just how competitive Qualcomm has gotten already. Its Always Connected PCs (ACPCs) allow users to pull down data extremely quickly wherever they are, especially with the new 5G modem Qualcomm is offering to laptop OEMs. With graphics performance on par with Intel’s equivalent offerings, it shouldn’t be long before these laptops start flying off store shelves.

Qualcomm 8cx PC - Lenovo Project Infinite head on
Qualcomm 8cx PC - Lenovo Project Infinite top down on keyboard
Qualcomm 8cx PC - Lenovo Project Infinite Lenovo logo

Alongside the benchmarking session, Qualcomm announced a partnership with Lenovo for the development of the first 5G Always Connected PC. Lenovo is calling this laptop Project Limitless for now, but we didn’t get much more detail than that. Qualcomm told us that this laptop will be running on a 45 watt-hour battery and will use the Qualcomm 8cx SoC and 5G modem, but until we hear more details that’s all we have to go on.

Another interesting thing to note is the total lack of 5G modem competition. With Intel pulling out of the market completely and Huawei currently in disarray, it’s likely that Qualcomm will own this market for a good while.

What do you think about 5G Always Connected PCs? Are you looking to pick one up once they start shipping next year? Let us know in the comments section below.

OnePlus 7 Pro update delivers camera tweaks: Expect better HDR, low light shots

OnePlus 7 Pro shooting a photo at angle

The OnePlus 7 Pro is one of our favorite smartphones of 2019 thus far, even if the camera quality didn’t meet our expectations. Fortunately, the brand is taking action with a new update, delivering several key improvements.

The OnePlus 7 Pro update (Oxygen OS 9.5.4.GM21AA) was spotted on our review unit, and weighs in at just 182MB. In terms of standout tweaks, the firm said it improved photo quality in HDR and low-light scenarios. You can check out the changelog below.

System

  • Optimized Double Tap To Wake and Ambient Display
  • Optimized audio delay with the Bluetooth headset when playing games
  • General bug fixes and improvements

Camera

  • Improved image quality in HDR scenarios
  • Improved image quality in low light
  • Fixed white balance issue in several scenarios
  • Fixed focus issue in several scenarios

The improvements come a few days after the firm pledged to deliver camera-related tweaks, also detailing its testing procedure in the process.

Editor’s Pick

“Every time when there is a photo sent to us due to negative feedback, our engineers are requested to find the same light condition and object of same color and texture to simulate the photo in order to reproduce the same problem,” a staff member noted on the forum, adding that it received dozens of photos each day.

This OnePlus 7 Pro update also arrives after it emerged that the phone is using a 13MP 2.2x telephoto zoom camera, cropping the image to deliver 3x “lossless” zoom at 8MP.

NEXT: Arm Cortex-A77 — Everything you need to know

Which noise-canceling Sony headphones should you buy?

We’re a virtual company made up of tech experts from across the globe, but we’re also avid music lovers who love getting the best experience at the best price. We’re here to help you do the same.

Sony WH-CH700N

Budget-friendly

$148 at Amazon

Pros

  • Affordable noise canceling
  • Easy to pair with NFC
  • Long battery life
  • More comfortable earpads

Cons

  • Charges via Micro-USB
  • Flimsy build quality

Sony’s entry-level option, these headphones don’t offer the best noise-canceling in the world, but they’re still handy for travel and deliver great sound for the price.

Sony WH1000XM2

Best in class

$348 at Amazon

Pros

  • Powerful noise canceling
  • Convenient gesture controls
  • Ambient Sound mode lets you hear your surroundings
  • Great sound quality

Cons

  • Charges via Micro-USB
  • Price hasn’t changed since the release of the 1000XM3s

Though they were once Sony’s top-of-the-line noise-canceling headphones, the 1000XM2s have become difficult to recommend.

If you have the extra money to shell out, the WH1000XM2s offer superior noise canceling, audio quality, and conveniences, but they haven’t seen any price reduction since the release of the followup 1000XM3s — which you should absolutely buy instead for the same price. The cheaper CH700Ns won’t steer you wrong for the money you’ll save, however, and many actually prefer its comfort over the more expensive models.

What’s the difference?

You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on headphones, but you probably won’t regret it if you do.

It’s hard to compare headphones at such different price points, but it gets a little easier when you remember that they’re intended for different users. Yes, of course the WH1000XM2s are better headphones than the WH-CH700Ns for more than twice the price, but not everybody needs to spend over $300 on headphones. For the vast majority of people, the CH700Ns are more than good enough, and they’re a significantly better value.

If, on the other hand, you’re a frequent traveler who doesn’t want to sacrifice audio quality, the 1000XM2s are worth the extra money. Not only do they sound better, but the active noise cancellation is significantly more powerful than the CH700N’s “digital” passive equivalent. It also features an Ambient Sound mode that uses the built-in microphones to filter select audio from your environment back into the headphones so that you can still hear and hold conversations.

Category WH-CH700N WH1000XM2
Price $148 $348
Dimensions 8.71in x 2.72in x 10.28in 7.29in x 2.92in x 9.81in
Weight 0.53lbs 0.61lbs
Noise-canceling Digital Active
Color options Black, Blue Black, Gold
Wired option Yes Yes
Extra features Visual EQ through Headphones Connect app Visual EQ through Headphones Connect app, Google Assistant, Ambient Sound, gesture controls
Battery life 35 hours 30 hours
4K Streaming No Yes
USB Micro-USB Micro-USB

Understanding the WH1000XM2’s extra features

Sony has built in touch sensitivity on the right cup of the WH1000XM2 that allows you to quickly jump in and out of Ambient Sound mode by placing your hand over the cup, or tap and swipe in various directions to play, pause, or skip between tracks without having to pull out your phone. Once you get used to using these gestures, it quickly becomes hard to imagine going back to living without them.

You can also enable Google Assistant on the WH1000XM2s by using Sony’s Headphones Connect app to assign it to the Ambient Sound button on the left cup. Google Assistant works just the same as it would on a phone, answering queries and changing songs through voice commands.

Still, even without the gesture controls and active noise cancelation, the CH700Ns are a great deal for casual music listeners. Sony advertises a whopping 35 hours of playback on the rechargeable battery, and you can easily pair the headphones to your NFC-capable phone by just tapping it against the left ear cup — of course, simply putting the headphones into Bluetooth pairing mode works just as well. Many people even prefer the comfort of the CH700Ns’ lighter earpads, something you may value if you wear your headphones for extended periods.

Why you shouldn’t buy the WH1000XM2s

Even if you’ve determined that the 1000XM2s suit your needs better than the CH700Ns and you’re willing to spend the extra money on them, there’s a major problem with these otherwise great headphones: they’re still $348, even after the release of the followup 1000XM3s.

Typically, when a new product is released, the previous model will either be discontinued or see a sizable discount. Sony apparently missed the memo, as the 1000XM2s still retail at their original $348 price point alongside the identically priced 1000XM3s. The newer headphones offer notably better noise cancelation and sound quality, as well as a USB-C port and quick charging.

To be clear, you should still pick up the 1000XM2s if they happen to go on sale, as they often have in the past. Amazon also offers refurbished models for $250 with a 90-day warranty — not a terrible way to get these excellent headphones at a more reasonable price.

WH-CH700N

Budget-friendly

$148 at Amazon

Hard to argue with for less than $150.

Sony’s entry-level option, these headphones don’t offer the best noise-canceling in the world, but they’re still handy for travel and deliver great sound for the price.

WH1000XM2

Best in class

$348 at Amazon

Still some of the best noise-canceling headphones around.

It’s hard to recommend the 1000XM2s for the same retail price as their successors, but they’re still fantastic headphones that are absolutely worth buying on sale or refurbished.

Beats Powerbeats Pro review: Beat it, AirPods

Beats Powerbeats Pro earbuds on a book.

The Powerbeats Pro have the same over-ear hook design as the standard Powerbeats, but they ditch the wire connecting them.

Apple and Beats fans can finally marvel at a great pair of true wireless earbuds. While these are $100 more than the AirPods, they sound significantly better and provide a more stable fit. If you’re on the fence, there are plenty of reasons to take the plunge and invest in Beats.

Read the in-depth review by SoundGuys

What are the Beats Powerbeats Pro like?

Beats Powerbeats Pro in charging case, aerial view.

The charging case is larger than the AirPods’ and charges via a Lightning cable.

These are how true wireless earbuds should have been designed from the start. The unobtrusive ear hooks take the pressure off the ear canal for a more balanced, stable fit. Additionally, the dedicated nozzles make these sound infinitely better than the AirPods.

Battery life is impeccable: these provide just under 11 hours of playback on a single charge.

The earbuds sport a minimalist design and come in four colors: black, ivory, navy, and moss. Don’t let the clean look fool you, though; these are packed to the gills with sensors. Both housings have proximity sensors which automatically pause media playback when the earbuds are removed. Plus, the microphone array uses accelerometers to detect when you’re speaking. The same sensors automatically power the earbuds off when dormant.

Controls are a bit different than the AirPods as the Powerbeats Pro have tactile volume rockers for each earbud, while holding the “b” symbol lets you deny incoming calls. These also benefit from the new H1 chip, so hands-free Siri access is enabled.

The H1 chip is also responsible for the Powerbeat Pro’s insane battery life. Listeners get 10 hours, 52 minutes of playback on a single charge when used with an iPhone XS Max, which is remarkable for true wireless technology. The case holds an additional 1.5 charges, allowing for more than 24 hours of playback. It also supports fast charging whereby five minutes in the case affords 1.5 hours of playback. 

Although the Powerbeats Pro aren’t waterproof, they are IPX4-certified. You can’t submerge them, but they should withstand any terrestrial workouts. If you’re an iPhone-using athlete, these are the best workout earbuds you can get. The fit is more stable than the Jabra Elite 65T and integrated volume controls can’t be found on Jabra’s earbuds. That said, if you prioritize durability and value, the Elite 65T earbuds are the smarter pick. 

Related: Are the AirPods 2 worth it?

How do the Powerbeats Pro sound?

Beats Powerbeats Pro in a man's' hand.

The ear hooks prevent any undue jostling.

Editor’s Pick

The Powerbeats Pro support the AAC Bluetooth codec and sound good. Beats’ bass-heavy sound is recognizable yet inoffensive. Much of the bass response is attributed to the nozzles and ear tips. By creating a proper seal, outside noise is less likely to undermine low-end reproduction. This makes your music more clear.

Highs also receive a nice boost, which makes treble notes easier to hear above vocals and general instrumental noise. Vocals and string instruments sound about three-quarters as loud as bass and treble notes. While this doesn’t matter much for athletes who just want a strong beat to follow, it may be aggravating for casual listening. Most consumers will thoroughly enjoy the Powerbeats Pro’s sound signature, though.

The distinct nozzles make the Powerbeats Pro sound remarkably better than the AirPods.

If you’re taking calls with the Powerbeats Pro, voice transmission is clear enough. Those with particularly low voices will sound a little muffled. Even then, however, the inaccuracy is bearable. Wind noise is filtered out fairly well by the downward-facing microphones, making these great for on-the-go calls.

Should you buy the Powerbeats Pro?

The Powerbeats Pro remedy the AirPods’ most offensive flaws. Fit is no longer an issue and bass reproduction actually sounds good. That said, they are $100 more than the new AirPods with a standard charging case. Athletes and anyone sick of having their iPhone earbuds fall out of their ears may find the tradeoff justifiable. If you can stomach the Powerbeats Pro’s price, they’re absolutely worth it.

A Very Good Boy highlights latest Fortnite Item Shop Update

All the latest goodies from the shop to add to your collection!

The Fortnite Item Shop has updated once again, and players can now hop in and pick up some new gear, including brand new cosmetics, gliders, and other items.

Today’s update brings with it a bunch of dog-themed items, with the Doggo outfit and Chew Toy and Ruff accessories. With these new items in the shop, players can live out their best lives as a full-grown dog, or check out the Plague and Scourge outfits that are also back in the shop today.

Alongside the bevy of skins and pickaxes, players can also pick up some cheaper items to add to their arsenal. Today, the Munitions Expert and Assault Trooper outfits are in the game, along with the Peely Pick harvesting tool and Globetrotter glider. For those looking for more emotes, the Clean Groove and Crazy Feet dances are in the game.

A very good boy

Doggo

1,500 V-Bucks

Give a dog a bone

Chew Toy

500 V-Bucks

It’s a rough life

Ruff

300 V-Bucks

The doctor will see you

Plague

1,500 V-Bucks

A deadly foe

Scourge

1,500 V-Bucks

Give us a hand

Herald’s Hand

800 V-Bucks

Find your way home

Lamplight

800 V-Bucks

A weapons master

Munitions Expert

1,200 V-Bucks

Front line fighter

Assault Trooper

800 V-Bucks

Don’t slip

Peely Pick

800 V-Bucks

Soar through the world

Globetrotter

500 V-Bucks

Bust a move

Clean Groove

500 V-Bucks

Psycho steps

Crazy Feet

500 V-Bucks

As is the case with every day, the Fortnite item shop updates every day at 8 pm EST, which means the clock is ticking on your ability to pick up any of these items.

Updated May 25, 2019: The store updated with all the latest goodies for you to enjoy!

Deal: Become a data guru with the Data Mastery Bundle for just $39

The AAPicks team writes about things we think you’ll like, and we may see a share of revenue from any purchases made through affiliate links.

Essential Data Mastery Bundle

Data management and analytics are the supporting pillars that keep businesses together. Adding these skills to your resume could be your ticket to a lucrative career in many fields.

To begin, check out the Essential Data Mastery Bundle, a comprehensive learning kit that’ll teach the necessary skills to start earning a bigger paycheck.

Essential Data Mastery Bundle

This bundle includes seven parts and over 36 hours of training in MongoDB, MySQL, Big Data, and more. You may not recognize some of these words, and that’s okay. Once you’ve completed the online learning kit, these tools will become second nature to you.

If some of the technical terms already scare you, don’t be. This bundle dilutes all the complex topics into simplified modules using hands-on examples. You’ll learn how to manipulate, extract, manage, and analyze data of all different sizes.

The Essential Data Mastery Bundle:

The Essential Data Mastery Bundle would normally run you $661, but for the next few days, you can get it for just $39.

If you’re ready to level-up your career, then hit this button below to commence.

This deal not quite right for you? To see all our hottest deals, head over to the AAPICKS HUB.

Three UK review: Everything you need to know (May 2019)

Three is technically the U.K.’s second-youngest network — formed in 2003 — but many consider it to be the youngest, since industry leader EE was formed from the ashes of T-Mobile and Orange. Three’s age matches its status and its name: other networks boast vast amounts of capacity at all levels of the spectrum, but Three only offers 3G and 4G services.

Don’t miss: Picking the best U.K. carrier | Best Android phones you can buy in the U.K.

Despite being the smallest in the market, Three is owned by one of the world’s largest multinational conglomerates, CK Hutchison, and it’s this backing which is allowing it to shake up the market.

In this Three network review, we’ll analyze the network including its coverage, plans and what lies ahead for the U.K. carrier.

Network technology

Three’s network currently uses the following frequencies:

Frequency Protocol Class
2100MHz UMTS / HSDPA / HSPA+ / DC-HSPA+ 3G
800MHz LTE 4G
1500MHz LTE 4G
1800MHz LTE 4G
2100MHz LTE 4G

Three’s U.K. network has always been data-focused, with the network prioritizing the data-capable 3G standard ahead of the voice-centric GSM 2G standard. Other networks offer 2G services as a backup plan, but Three only offers 3G and 4G services. The carrier covers over 98 percent of the population with 3G, and over 99 percent with 4G.

4G LTE

Three was the last mobile network to offer 4G LTE in the U.K.. It didn’t switch its 4G network on until December 2013 and it then only covered four major cities. It wasn’t until late 2014 that the carrier’s coverage reached another 450 locations. Today, Three offers the lowest level of population coverage out of the big four carriers, but its 97 percent overall coverage is still comprehensive.

Editor’s Pick

Its 4G network was originally planned to operate in the 800MHz spectrum, but Three was also granted license by the regulator in 2012 to operate in part of the 1800MHz obtained through the creation of EE. Although limited in capacity, the 800MHz support means Three’s indoor and long distance 4G coverage holds up well.

While its rival networks all introduced 4G services at a premium to customers before almost dropping 3G contracts in their entirety, Three chose to tease its delayed network with a campaign offering LTE to all customers at no extra premium. The carrier’s early All You Can Eat data proposition drew in millions of customers looking for unlimited data.

4G is standard across all the U.K.’s networks these days, but Three still offers some compelling deals for the data hungry consumer.

Three 5G plans

5G logo

Three will launch its 5G network in the second half of 2019. This puts the network at the back of the pack for its 5G rollout, though all networks are starting slowly to begin with.

The carrier also hasn’t detailed its broader rollout plans. Aside from a couple of vague commitments to stock 5G devices such as the HTC 5G Hub and Huawei Mate X, Three has yet to confirm launch cities, phones, prices, or packages.

Three coverage checker

You can check to see if Three has the best mobile network coverage for you using the Three coverage checker.

VoLTE and Wi-Fi Calling

Three supports Wi-Fi Calling on selected Apple, Samsung, LG, Google, Motorola, Alcatel, ZTE, Razer, Sony, and Huawei/Honor phones.

4G Calling (VoLTE) is offered by Three under the moniker “4G Super-Voice.” Selected Samsung, Apple, LG, Huawei, Sony, Lenovo, Microsoft, Razer, Motorola, and ZTE phones are supported.

MVNOs

Three leases its network to 11 mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) in the U.K.. The most notable of the bunch is iD Mobile — an MVNO network offered by the mobile retail giant Carphone Warehouse.


Three UK plans and devices

Backs of the Huawei P30 Pro, Google Pixel 3, and Samsung Galaxy S10

Pay Monthly Handsets

Three’s Pay Monthly handset (PAYM) plans offer a range of inclusive allowances, up to unlimited minutes and data. However, the actual plans and prices available depends on which handset you go for.

All of Three’s PAYM contracts come with unlimited texts and most come with unlimited calls. All contracts will tie you in to a 24 month contract for your new handset. Packages on leading flagships can start from as little as 1GB of data per month. At the most expensive end, you’ll also find unlimited data packages, complete with no caps on tethering (personal hotspot).

The only caveat with some of the less expensive packages is not including the Go Binge perk (more on that below) which only kicks-in on any plans over 4GB.

Overall, Three may not offer the bells and whistles that other networks do but what it does do is offer benefits and features its customers actually use. From no worries about going over data allowances to roaming abroad for free, the U.K.’s smallest network offers one of the best no-nonsense packages on the market.

Phone brands

Three stocks a wide range of phones from a variety of manufacturers on Pay Monthly. Below is the full list of the major brands:

  • Samsung
  • Huawei
  • Apple
  • Google
  • OnePlus
  • Honor
  • Xiaomi
  • Razer
  • Alcatel
  • ZTE

Three is also one of the few carriers to offer premium phones on Pay as you go and these are all unlocked as standard.

Pay Monthly SIM Only

Like every network, Three also offers SIM Only packages for customers who prefer to buy their phones and contracts separately. Three offers four different plans on either 1 month, 12 month, or 24 month contract terms with data ranging from 4GB to unlimited data. The 24 month plans represent some of the best value SIM Only packages from any U.K. network.

Here’s the current range of available Three SIMO plans:

Minutes Texts Monthly data 24-month price 12-month price 1-month price
Unlimited Unlimited 4GB + Go Roam & Hotspot £10.00/m £12.00/m £16.00/m
Unlimited Unlimited 12GB + Go Binge, Go Roam & Hotspot £13.00/m £15.00/m £19.00/m
Unlimited Unlimited 30GB + Go Binge, Go Roam & Hotspot £18.00/m £20.00/m £24.00/m
Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited + Go Binge, Go Roam & Hotspot £20.00/m £22.00/m £26.00/m

Pay as You Go Plans

Like many networks, Three splits its Pay as you go (PAYG) offerings into packs, with different amounts of minutes, texts, and data each month. To simplify its offering and make things easier for customers, Three’s 3-2-1 package offers easy to understand call charges for customers who go over their allowances or choose not to use a pack.

3-2-1 is Three’s way of not overcharging customers and the carrier has a big point: if a single minute costs a fraction of a penny, why do some networks charge 40 pence per minute on PAYG? 3-2-1 means you’ll pay just 3p per minute, 2p per text and 1p per MB of data if you go over your allowances or don’t have an active pack.

Compared to the competition, 3-2-1 is vastly cheaper and it’s a great reason to buy a Three PAYG plan, especially if you use your handset infrequently. Considering even PAYG customers get access to 4G without charge and your PAYG credit never expires, the case to choose Three on PAYG is certainly strong.

Those who want PAYG bundles can buy an add-on pack with set allowances. This offers up to unlimited data, however, you don’t get the Go Binge perk and other useful add-ons will cost you extra.

Here’s the current range of available Three PAYG plans:

Pack Cost Minutes Texts Data Duration
£10 Unlimited Unlimited 2GB 30 days
£15 Unlimited Unlimited 5GB 30 days
£20 Unlimited Unlimited 12GB 30 days
£27.50 Unlimited Unlimited 36GB 30 days
£35 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 30 days
£90 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 90 days

Three Perks

Go Binge

Go Binge is an initiative that allows users to stream from Netflix, Apple Music, Deezer, Snapchat, and other services without eating into their data allowance. This is available on all contract plans with 12GB of data and above.

Go Roam

Previously known as Feel at Home, Go Roam allows customers to use their call, text, and data allowance in over 70 destinations around the world at no extra cost. You can find a full list of the countries in the scheme here.

Three app

The Three app lets users view bills, PAYG allowances, check upgrade eligibility, and chat with Three’s customer service via live chat.

Mobile broadband

O2 offers a range of mobile broadband products like USB dongles, Mobile Wi-Fi routers, and data only SIMs. Here are the data-only SIM plans at the time of writing:

Data 24-month cost 12-month cost 30-day cost
1GB n/a £7.50 n/a
2GB £7 £8 £10
5GB £10 £11 £15
10GB £13 £14 n/a
15GB £16 £17 £20
20GB £13 £20 £23
40GB £22 £23 £30

Three’s main mobile broadband products are the Huawei AI Cube and Three HomeFi smart hotspots which connect up to 64 and 32 devices, respectively. These are intended as home broadband alternatives and offer unlimited data tariffs from as low as £22 a month.

Tablets, accessories, and smart home

Three stocks various tablets on contract and Pay as you go deals. This includes high end tablets from Samsung and Apple as well as more budget tablets from Alcatel and Huawei.

Three also has a dedicated store for accessories which sells cases, headphones, screen protectors, chargers, action cameras, and smart speakers.

Broadband, landline phones, and quad-play

Unlike a number of its rivals, Three does not offer any quad-play services to its customers, nor has it mentioned any current plans to offer quad-play services in the near future.

The closest Three has come to offering home internet packages is the aforementioned HomeFi or Huawei AI Cube, both of which run on Three’s 4G network, rather than traditional telephone or fiber lines.

Three HomeFi


Final thoughts

Three’s network has certainly undergone major transformations and improvements over the past few years. At first the company had the worst coverage in the U.K. but that’s changed drastically over the years. Things would have changed even further had the company been allowed to go through with its buyout of O2, but the sale was blocked by the European Commission in mid-2016.

From unlimited data and Go Binge, to Go Roam for free international allowances, Three offers a lot to its customers and almost always undercuts the opposition on pricing. Its network has also become more reliable over the years, and while the company still falls behind O2 and EE in customer service surveys (but ahead of Vodafone), customer satisfaction has been consistently on the up for years.

In short, if you want data and don’t want to break the bank, go to Three!


Are you a Three customer? Let us know your views on Three in the comments and don’t forget to vote in our poll below as well.

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

Swim with the Fishes in latest Fortnite Item Shop Update

All the latest goodies from the shop to add to your collection!

The Fortnite Item Shop has updated once again, and players can now hop in and pick up some new gear, including brand new cosmetics, gliders, and other items.

Today’s update brings back a handful of fish-themed items, including the Fishstick outfit and a handful of assorted item sprays that are themed all around fish. In keeping with the sea theme, the Chomp Sr. and Chomp Jr. outfits are also back in the shop, alongside the Laser Chomp glider.

Alongside the bevy of skins and pickaxes, players can also pick up some cheaper items to add to their arsenal. Today, the Taro and Nara outfits are in the shop, alongside a wide variety of other items, including the Rapscallion and Garrison outfit, the Tri-Star harvesting tool, and the Prismatic glider.

Just keep swimming

Fishstick

1,200 V-Bucks

Watch out

Slippery

500 V-Bucks

Don’t make that face

Fish Face

300 V-Bucks

An underwater friend

Fishy

300 V-Bucks

Daddy Shark

Chomp Sr.

2,000 V-Bucks

Baby Shark

Chomp Jr.

1,500 V-Bucks

A shark…with laser beams!

Laser Chomp

1,500 V-Bucks

A ninja warrior

Taro

1,500 V-Bucks

A true friend

Nara

1,500 V-Bucks

Hold the line

Gatekeeper

500 V-Bucks

A flying fish

Flying Carp

800 V-Bucks

A shady fellow

Rapscallion

1,500 V-Bucks

Salute!

Garrison

800 V-Bucks

Three swings

Tri-Star

800 V-Bucks

A shiny entrance

Prismatic

800 V-Bucks

Flip around

Cartwheelin’

500 V-Bucks

Not right now

Busy

500 V-Bucks

As is the case with every day, the Fortnite item shop updates every day at 8 pm EST, which means the clock is ticking on your ability to pick up any of these items.

Updated May 24, 2019: The store updated with all the latest goodies for you to enjoy!

Price drop! Nintendo Switch Adapter just $34 (this weekend only)

The AAPicks team writes about things we think you’ll like, and we may see a share of revenue from any purchases made through affiliate links.

Nintendo Switch Bluetooth Audio Adapter

Sometimes you don’t want a pesky headphone cord dangling between you and your Nintendo Switch while you’re pulverizing waves of fighters in Super Smash Bros Ultimate. That’s why the Nintendo Switch Audio Adapter lets you use any Bluetooth headset you want.

The result? You can enjoy the full immersive sound of your gaming without keeping yourself anchored to the headphone jack on your system.

Feel the impact of every Final Smash attack.

The adapter plugs easily into the Switch’s docking port and draws power from the system directly, so you don’t need to worry about buying batteries. It also supports a dual connection setup so you can stream audio to two pairs of headphones. Handy for when you and a buddy are passing time with some ferocious Mario Kart action.

You can even stream to your household set of Bluetooth speakers, for when you really want to feel the impact of every Final Smash attack.

The Nintendo Switch Adapter at a glance

  • You can stream Switch audio to Bluetooth headphones or speakers.
  • A Simple dual connection setup lets two headphones connect for multiplayer mode.
  • The Battery-free design lets the adapter power from the Nintendo Switch directly.
  • A Qualcomm chipset provides ultra-low latency transmission with aptX or aptX Low Latency codecs.
  • It lets the Switch stand upright or on a flat surface while plugged in.

The Nintendo Switch Bluetooth Audio Adapter retails for $60, but right now it’s on offer for $39.99. Better still, if you add it to your cart and enter the promo code WEEKEND15 at the checkout, you’ll pay just $34.

The promo code is only valid until March 27, so don’t miss out. Hit the button below to find the deal.

This deal not quite right for you? To see all our hottest deals, head over to the AAPICKS HUB.

Google Duo’s group video calling is now live for everyone

You’ll now be able to talk to eight people at once with Duo’s group calling feature.

What you need to know

  • Google’s rolling out group video calls to everyone on Android and iOS.
  • Group calls will also be end-to-end encrypted.
  • Duo is also picking up a data saver mode for India, Brazil, and Indonesia.

Google Duo customers in a few markets picked up group video calling earlier this month, and the feature is now going live for everyone on Android and iOS. The feature lets you talk with up to eight people at a time, and like regular calls, group calls are end-to-end encrypted.

Google is also rolling out a few additional features in its largest market, India. Google says that nearly 60% of all Duo calls in India included someone outside of the top eight cities, and it’s rolling out a data saver feature in the country. Users will be able to use up to 50% less data with the feature enabled, and it works both on Wi-Fi and cellular networks. Data saver is also going live in Brazil and Indonesia, and will be making its way to other markets shortly.

From Google Duo’s product manager Shweta Vaidya:

India is already the largest market for Duo globally, and we’re committed to building for India, helping people have a seamless and delightful experience connecting with their loved ones face to face. As a part of that commitment, we are happy to announce two new features on Duo today: Group Calling and Data Saving Mode.

Finally, Google is adding video messages to Duo, which let you record a quick message and customize it by adding text or emoji. The feature is now live on Android, and will be heading to iOS soon.