Gaming

The Roots, Jimmy Fallon, and Ariana Grande perform her new single with Nintendo Labo

We have no words left to say

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It’s been four months since Nintendo challenged the world’s creativity by launching Labo, a DIY cardboard set that lets you transform your Nintendo Switch into, well, just about anything.

We’ve seen bits and pieces of glorious creations on the internet since, including this guy who turned his Nintendo Switch into a music production studio:

There’s also this dad who built a robot with his kid, who is now the robot:

Even courier UPS, self-proclaimed experts at packing things in boxes, says Nintendo Labo inspired them to be more creative with cardboard and made what they dubbed the Labo Toy-Con-tainer:

And of course, how can we forget Dami Lee’s inspiring tutorial on building, coding, and making music on Nintendo Labo?

As you can see, making something out of cardboards is no easy feat — programming the Switch to play one chord on the Labo-guitar alone takes a lot of time and brain cells to figure out.

But on The Tonight Show, Ariana Grande, Jimmy Fallon, and The Roots made possible what’s seemingly impossible: They performed Ariana’s new single “No Tears Left to Cry” with cardboard. Yes, cardboard! See for yourself:

Seriously, how cool is that? It’s not clear whether they built and coded their own instruments; my guess is they didn’t. But the fact that they learned and played all those cardboard instruments, and performed an entire song with them, together, is one of the most impressive things I’ve seen on the internet.

Let’s see that again:

If Nintendo Labo doesn’t restore your faith in humanity — and humanity’s creativity — I don’t know what will.

Features

9 Best Gaming Smartphones (Q2 2018)

Choose your weapon for mobile gaming!

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We’re almost midway through the year, so it’s time to update our Best Gaming Smartphones list! Our initial list during the first quarter of 2018 included six suggested phones, but for the second quarter, we now have nine. Some have stayed, and there are definitely new entries.

Without further ado, here are our top picks for the best gaming smartphones:

Apple iPhone 8

Whether you like iOS or not, you can’t deny that iPhones (especially the latest releases) are one of, if not the best mobile gaming platform. Apple’s devices run smoothly and are favored by developers so it’s a no-brainer that games released for iOS are guaranteed to be in tip-top shape. We chose the iPhone 8 Plus here because of its larger display at 5.5 inches and bigger battery compared to the iPhone 8’s, and it doesn’t have a notch that gets in the way like with the iPhone X.

SEE ALSO: Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus Review

Motorola Moto Z2 Play

Motorola’s game-changing Moto Mod accessories make their Moto Z series special. If you pair the Moto Z2 Play with the Gamepad Moto Mod, it’ll be an instant portable console. The Gamepad adds dual control sticks, a D-pad, and four tactile action buttons which mean you don’t have to rely on touch controls anymore. Also, the Moto Mod magnetically attaches to the phone with no wireless pairing required and has its own built-in battery. The gaming accessory works with the powerful Moto Z2 Force, as well. The phone is already due for an update, and the Moto Z3 Play’s announcement is just around the corner.

SEE ALSO: Moto Z2 Play Review: To mod or not to mod

Nokia 7 Plus

Nokia is definitely back in the game and the Nokia 7 Plus is our choice from their arsenal. Why? It’s got a flagship-grade processor and it runs pure Android. It’s like having a Pixel-like device but at a fraction of the cost. The tall aspect ratio is also a good feature for better gaming.

SEE ALSO: Nokia 7 Plus: The Android One midranger

OnePlus 6

The latest OnePlus 6 phone is now out and it’s definitely one of the best smartphones you can buy for gaming. It’s powered by the latest Snapdragon 845 processor and comes with 6GB of memory — a combo that’ll surely deliver without hiccups and lags. The display notch can get in the way of your game though, but that can easily be fixed in the Settings menu.

SEE ALSO: OnePlus 6 is officially a complete Android flagship phone

Razer Phone

When we were shortlisting our gaming smartphones, the Razer Phone was already on the top of the list. The phone is focused on being a true gaming smartphone since it’s made by Razer. It’s got the latest specifications to play popular and demanding games, a 5.7-inch IGZO panel with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate, front-facing stereo speakers, and a long-lasting battery. It also has other features to make it a daily driver, but you can immediately tell that the Razer Phone is built for gaming.

SEE ALSO: Razer Phone Review: Best smartphone for gaming?

Samsung Galaxy S9+

We’re replacing the Galaxy Note 8 with the latest Galaxy S9+. The premium Galaxy phone comes with the latest specifications — may it be the Snapdragon or Exynos variant. It also has one of the most beautiful phone displays with curved edges that make gaming more immersive.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ Hands-On: AR Emoji and super slow-mo

Sony Xperia XZ2

Another fresh entry on the list is Sony with the Xperia XZ2. It has powerful specifications and a gorgeous HDR display just like the other phones here, but it has something that makes it standout: the Dynamic Vibration System. You can feel the game (or even video) on the Xperia XZ2 thanks to its DualShock-like vibration system that mimics a similar experience on PlayStation controllers.

SEE ALSO: Sony Xperia XZ2 Review: Flexing more camera muscles

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S

When Xiaomi launched their latest borderless flagship phone earlier this year, it was the fastest Android phone on AnTuTu’s test and even in real-world usage! Packed with the latest Snapdragon 845 processor and up to 8GB of memory, the Mi Mix 2S will be able to run even the most demanding mobile games. It’s also priced competitively just like the OnePlus 6, but this one doesn’t have a notch. 😉

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S Review: Faster, smarter

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 (AI)

We’re putting two Xiaomi phones on the list, because why not? While we wait for the successor to the Mi Max 2, the best budget-midrange phone from Xiaomi is the Redmi Note 5. It can handle the latest titles, although they might not be at the highest settings. For a budget phone, it’s already an impressive feat to be able to run popular titles, so no complaints here.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Hands-on: The new budget smartphone king?

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Computers

Samsung launches new devices and faces old problems: Weekend Rewind

Samsung has their work cut out for them

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Here are this week’s top stories on GadgetMatch.

1. Samsung faces legal trouble, while the iPhone X enjoys the top spot

Six years after Samsung was first found liable for infringing on five iPhone patents in its own smartphone designs, they are now ordered by a California jury to pay US$ 539 million in damages to Apple. CNET reports that the infringements in question occurred on Samsung phones sold in 2010 and 2011. All this comes after a March 2018 report says that the iPhone X remains the best-selling smartphone in the world, while Samsung’s new flagships the Galaxy S9 and S9+ share the no. 5 and 6 spots. Samsung sure has their work cut out for them.

2. Samsung announces new phones around Asia

We’re still a few months away until we see Samsung’s new premium flagship, but there’s no stopping the Korean company from announcing phones for other budget segments. New Galaxies launched this week around Asia, including the Galaxy S Light in China, Galaxy A6+ in the Philippines, and the Galaxy J6, J8, A6, and A6+ in India.

3. HTC unveils notchless U12+

HTC has a new flagship and while it packs top of the line specs, it’s unique in so many ways for a phone launched in 2018. Instead of carrying a notch, it sports a 6-inch Quad HD+ screen with an 18:9 ratio. It comes in Ceramic Black, Flame Red, and a color called Translucent Blue, which allows users to see the inner workings of the phone through the translucent back panel. Read more about the phone here.

4. Essential is up for sale?

According to reports, Essential is canceling the Essential Phone 2, and is now focusing its efforts on an undisclosed home tech product. Essential also reportedly enlisted the help of the Credit Suisse Group to find potential buyers for the whole company, including its entire library of patents (which houses the Essential Phone), and the company’s engineering team. Read the report here.

5. Acer launches new laptops and desktop PCs

It was Acer’s big week as they announced a slew of products at their annual Global Press Conference in New York. There’s the powerful Predator Orion 5000, gaming laptop beast Predator Helios 500, affordable Acer Nitro 50, and lightweight 15-inch Swift 5. There’s also a Special Edition Predator Helios 300 in white and it’s gorgeous.


Weekend Rewind is our roundup of top news and features you might have missed for the week. We know the world of technology can be overwhelming and not everyone has the time to get up to speed with everything — and that includes us. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the rewind.

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Computers

Acer Predator Orion 5000 First Look

Smaller but powerful

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If the name sounds familiar, you’re probably thinking about the gigantic Orion 9000 from IFA last year. The Orion 5000 is a smaller model, but don’t think for a second that it’s any less powerful.

It has Intel’s latest Core i7 processor as well as Optane memory, which can make load times even faster. You can configure it with up to two GTX 1080 Ti graphics cards that run at the same time, and IceTunnel 2.0 technology makes cooling smarter.

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