Features

5 of the Best Free-to-Play Console Games

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There are plenty of free-to-play games on mobile and PC, but did you know that you can also enjoy video games on your PlayStation 4 and Xbox One without having to spend a single cent? Here are five free-to-play console games you should check out!

Warframe

Live out your high-tech sci-fi power fantasy of being a badass ancient space warrior in super-powered exoskeletons in Warframe.

Shoot, dodge, and slice your way across the solar system against grotesque monsters, cybernetically enhanced aliens, and clone armies with the help of your friends. Choose from a variety of frames and weapons, each with their own unique abilities and highly customizable, so you can always shake up how you play. You can earn just about every piece of equipment from gaining in-game credits by accomplishing all sorts of quests or by simply trading gear with other players.

The game has been available on the PS4 since 2013 and XB1 since 2014, with a steady community of millions and a constant stream of new content.

Let It Die

“It’s like a hack-and-slash roguelike kind of thing!” so says Uncle Death of Let It Die. What your bespectacled, skateboarding Grim Reaper guide means by that is you’ll be using an assortment of melee weapons to smash, cut, chop, bludgeon, beat, etc. deranged, half-naked goons in levels that always change their layout and loot whenever you revisit them or you die.

And you will die. A lot.

But, it’s okay! You have a home base that you can improve permanently with the resources you gain from ascending the mysterious Tower of Barbs and with the literal human bodies you can kidnap from other players’ headquarters, so there’s always progress to be made.

It’s a surreal and stylish single-player third-person action-brawler/dungeon-crawler exclusive to the PS4.

Killer Instinct

The over-the-top fighting game violence of the 90s is alive and well today with the modern reboot of the 1994 arcade classic Killer Instinct.

It’s Ultras and c-c-c-combo breakers with some old favorites like Jago, Glacius, and Orchid, plus a bunch of new fighters and systems in a way more polished current-gen package. The Instinct and Counter Breaker mechanics introduced in this version deepen the gameplay experience for more hardcore fighting game fans to explore, too.

With over three seasons of content to check out since its 2013 release and a different character to try every week for free, XB1 owners with a competitive drive should try out this game available only on Microsoft platforms.

The Tomorrow Children

Is your job emotionally unrewarding? Do you feel detached from the very community you’re part of? Find fulfillment (or something like it) in the oddly relaxing resource-gathering, town-building PS4 exclusive The Tomorrow Children.

Mine for minerals in far-away caverns with a trusty pickaxe. Find matryoshka dolls to populate your town. Construct facilities with the materials and currency you earn to unlock more productive ways to gather even more resources. Defend your home you worked so hard to build from the occasional marauding monsters!

Do it by yourself or with friends and strangers. It’s all for the good of rebuilding society in this strange, gleaming white post-apocalyptic void, as our enigmatic yet charismatic dear leader says!

Paladins

Heard all the hubbub about Overwatch but don’t think spending $60 on an online multiplayer-only hero-shooter is worth it? You can have a somewhat similar experience on your PS4 or XB1 for free with Paladins.

Skirmish against other players over capture points and payloads with a colorful cast of characters. Mow down enemies with Tyra and her trusty AK; charge into the frontline and cover your team with Fernando’s energy shield; keep your comrades alive while bouncing around the battlefield as Pip; sneak behind enemy lines and take down key supports as Skye.

A couple more heroes are available in the basic version, so you can have plenty of fun trying out different ways to play or going all-in on a style you really like. All the other champions can be unlocked with earnable in-game credits, allowing you to eventually get them all! Just remember that it’s still in beta so expect minor bugs and balancing tweaks.

SEE ALSO: 5 must-have Nintendo Switch games that aren’t Zelda

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Reviews

Google Pixel 4a Unboxing & Review: Unbelievably Good?

A direct contender of the iPhone SE and OnePlus Nord

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Google’s ‘a'(ffordable) line-up may be long overdue because of the pandemic — but after several months of waiting, we finally have one on our hands.

Cheaper than last year’s US$ 399 Pixel 3a, the US$ 349 Pixel 4a might just be the most affordable flagship killer contender you can get over the 2020 iPhone SE and the OnePlus Nord.

But can the mid-tier specifications and less-fancy phone features justify its affordable price tag? Head over to our in-depth Pixel 4a review here.

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Best Smartphones

Best Budget Smartphones below $200

August 2020 Edition

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Welcome to GadgetMatch’s list of the best smartphones priced below US$ 200! Each month, we update our selection with the budget-friendly phones we believe are most deserving of your hard-earned savings.

Even though the spotlight has been on high-end smartphones this entire year, there have been a few surprisingly good entry-level handsets coming out lately, as well. So good, in fact, that we had to reassess our entire list.

Here they are in no particular order

Redmi 9 (PhP 6,990 / US$ 141)

Quality build with baseline specs that can handle, well, the basics. This is what the Redmi line has been offering and that remains true with the Redmi 9. You’ll have to be bit creative with some of the apps you install (always go for the Lite versions), but the pre-installed Google apps run smoothly and should be more than enough to power you through.

Hands-On: Redmi 9

Redmi Note 9 (US$ 200)

This is a routine appearance for the Redmi Note line. Xiaomi continues to lord over the budget segment by offering fairly capable smartphones at such an affordable price.

Review: Redmi Note 9

Realme 6i (US$ 196)

Realme finally releases a budget phone with a USB-C port! That aside, everything here is standard Realme — which is great. Its cameras leave much to be desired but what this is a budget phone after all. It does pretty well everywhere else — can game, handle your usual daily things, and has an impressive battery life.

READ: Realme6i 

OPPO A5s (US$ 117)

The OPPO A5s perhaps is best looked at as a transition device more than anything else. It does what you expect out of budget smartphones. It’s good to have “for now” but you might look elsewhere for a more reliable daily driver.

REVIEW: OPPO A5s

Samsung Galaxy A20 (US$ 190)

Samsung’s revived Galaxy A-series proves that the company cares about every price segment. The Galaxy A20, in particular, is the most well-rounded below US$ 200 thanks to its ultra-wide camera, AMOLED display, and hefty battery.

REVIEW: Samsung Galaxy A20

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Best Smartphones

Best Midrange Smartphones from $200 to $400

August 2020 Edition

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When premium phones are out of financial reach and entry-level handsets just don’t make your cut, something in between is the next best thing. This is our updated list of the best midrange smartphones retailing from US$ 200 to US$ 400.

Formulating this category was tricky, since you can’t set an exact price and some of these devices are, in fact, the flagship phones of their respective brands. To simplify things, we chose a price range that simply sits between our other lists for best budget, upper-midrange, and premium smartphones.

Here they are in no particular order:

realme 6 Pro (PhP 16,990/ US$ 339)

This is the only smartphone in this segment that offers a 90Hz screen refresh rate. It’s one thing if that’s the only thing it’s good at, but the realme 6 Pro has a 64MP quad-camera setup, a really clean UI, and Snapdragon 720G along with 30W VOOC charging. We’re convinced this is the best Android phone in this segment.

Review: realme 6 Pro

realme 6 (PhP 13,990/ US$ 280)

It’s pretty much everything its “pro” sibling is except it’s instead powered by a Helio G90T processor made for gaming. the RAM and storage combo is no slouch too (8GB/128GB) and yes, it also has a 90Hz screen refresh rate. Solid. Value.

Review. realme 6

iPhone SE (US$ 399)

One of the world’s fastest processors, a fantastic camera, at a midranger’s price. If we told you, we’re talking about an iPhone you probably wouldn’t believe us but here we are. The iPhone SE’s design is dated, but everything about its performance is near-flagship or flagship 2020 levels.

REVIEW: iPhone SE

Huawei Nova 7 SE (PhP 19,990/ US$ 399)

Barely making the price point, Huawei phones are facing a unique problem with the lack of Google Mobile Services. That said, Huawei Mobile Services is making a headway. But the reason the phone lands on this list is because of its 5G capabilities. This is one of the most affordable phones to support 5G and that has to count for something.

Hands-On: Huawei Nova 7 SE

Samsung Galaxy A51 (US$ 320)

Samsung’s on a roll with their Galaxy A-series. The Galaxy A51 builds on everything that was already great with the Galaxy A50 and A50s and just makes it even better. Much like everything on the Galaxy lineup this year, the Galaxy A51 sports a look that as of posting is still undeniably Samsung.

Pixel 3a (US$399)

The Pixel 3a barely makes this price range by being just a hair under $400. The camera alone easily makes this crème de la crème of this bunch. Add to that the vanilla Android experience and of course being in the priority list of Android updates, this is the Pixel to get for Android purists.

HANDS-ON: Pixel 3a

POCO X2 (INR 19,99/ US$ 279)

The future of Pocophone was up in the air for a while, but all of that was finally put to rest when the brand finally released the POCO X2. This isn’t exactly the successor to the POCO F1. In fact, this is just a rebranded Redmi K30 Pro. But it’s still a step in the right direction for a brand that quickly captured everyone’s attention only to go completely silent for over a year.

REVIEW: POCO X2

Samsung Galaxy M31 (INR 15,99/US$ 224)

This battery-powerhouse of a smartphone has never quite made it to more markets, but it has gotten a significant amount of attention thanks to its 6,000mAh battery. Something this long-lasting appears to still be one of the priorities of smartphone buyers.

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