Our favorite Samsung Galaxy S8 deal is $200 ahead of Black Friday 2017

There's an important Samsung Galaxy S8 deal in the US ahead of Black Friday 2017, and it's cheaper than the price you'll find anywhere on Amazon today.

It's $200 off the Galaxy S8 on Newegg for the superior International version of the smartphone – the one that comes unlocked to work on AT&T or T-Mobile.

It also just so happens to be the dual-SIM capable version of the Android phone, which makes it ideal for traveling outside of the US and connecting to both your existing number for calls and texts and a foreign SIM for cheaper data while abroad.

This version of the smartphone usually costs $799. You'll have to pay Newegg the full price, but that's generally the cost of buying a fully unlocked phone that isn't overtaken by carrier apps and bloatware.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus is also on sale and is even cheaper. In fact, you'll pay less for this 6.2-inch phone than you would the smaller 5.8-inch S8 from Samsung. How things change in a little over half a year.

It's cheaper and faster

Maybe the best news of all is the fact that this particular Samsung Galaxy S8 phone runs the Samsung Exynos 8895 Octa-core chipset.

The Exynos 8895 proven to be faster in our review testing compared to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset. The one thing Qualcomm's chip can do is connect to Verizon and Sprint's CDMA networks in the US. This phone cannot.

That's why this deal is beneficial to anyone solely on the AT&T and T-Mobile GSM networks, or one of the many other MVNO carriers in the US that supports GSM phones.

Saving $200 off our recommended versions of the Samsung Galaxy S8 is a good start to Black Friday one week before the deals even begin.

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news


The best Toys R Us Cyber Monday deals 2017

While Toys R Us Cyber Monday deals in the US may not be here until the end of the month, that doesn't mean you can't save on kids gifts right now. You know, the toys that are so cool you want to play with them yourself when the kids go off to bed? Yeah, there are deals on them at this very moment.

All of this is a lot easier thanks to the mega-savings that Toys R Us promises and always delivers on. This year, the US toy outlet is facing bankruptcy, and that means you may find even better Cyber Monday prices than you'd normally expect.

We've seen worthy discounts on Nerf blasters, Marvel action figures, kids tablets and even Power Wheel-style ride ons. And Toys R Us is always a good source of movie and video game deals, according to Cyber Mondays of years past. Oh, and have we mentioned LEGOs? Those are popular come the biggest shopping days of the year.

The best part about Cyber Monday 2017 is that the Toys R Us deals will be just as good online as in person in almost every case. You can shop the store without leaving the comfort of your couch. That makes sneaking away to buy toys in the middle of the night or super early in the morning a lot easier than before, making the surprise when your kids open their gifts that much easier to achieve. You gotta admit – those overjoyed faces make it all worth it.

So, what are the best Cyber Monday deals at Toys R Us? While we have time before we see big items like Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One on sale, we're already finding a lot of other early Cyber Monday deals you can consider putting away right now.

Cyber Monday quick links

Toys R Us Cyber Monday quick link

Early Cyber Monday deals in November

Toys R Us ads to leak ahead of time

There are no leaked ads detailing the Cyber Monday 2017 deals Toys R Us will have right now, but they should come in late November. Since Cyber Monday comes after Black Friday, Cyber Monday ads may not be officially released until after Black Friday.

One place to keep an eye on is the Toys R Us Cyber Monday page. You can bet that when deals do become available, they will be listed here. 

The Toys R Us Black Friday Preview is out in the wild, so you can peruse it's pages to get a sense of all the deals you can expect all the way through Cyber Monday 2017.

Once the Cyber Monday ads do arrive, however, they will offer all the information you need to figure out what deals are worth going after, and which you can skip. 

If you do find something you like, remember there’s no such thing as unlimited stock, and being able to quickly hop on the internet and press the buy button is the surest way to get the deal you’re looking for before it vanishes.

If ads are available early from multiple retailers, then it's a good idea to compare prices and make sure you’re buying products from the store with the deepest discounts. Toys R Us will likely have a lot of good deals, but they may not be the very best ones available on Cyber Monday.

Sometimes ads detailing the deals coming on Cyber Monday leak early, so keep checking here, as we’ll post these leaked ads when they become available. That way, you can plan your shopping strategy and find the best Cyber Monday deals. We're all about eliminating shopping stress, which is a good thing, right?

Expected Toys R Us deals

Cyber Monday might be about online shopping, but for Toys R Us, there will likely be a lot of overlap with the deals happening at the toy store on Black Friday.

Video games and gaming consoles are often on sale for Cyber Monday, so expect Toys R Us to have some significant deals in this category. The new Xbox One X is already out, and this fall is going to be full of new video game releases, like Star Wars Battlefront 2. New games and consoles aren’t cheap, so any Cyber Monday deal on these items is worth looking at. Lots of deals also include bundles of consoles and games together, so be on the lookout for those if you want the best prices on multiple products at the same time.

With a new Star Wars moving coming out later this year and Rogue One inventory getting old, expect some deals on everything Star Wars. Lego has had The Lego Batman Movie and will have The Lego Ninjago Movie this year, so related products may be popular and discounted. Disney and Barbie are also popular brands for deals, and should continue to be this year.

Cyber Monday may also be a good time to look out for big and expensive items you wouldn’t want to schlep out of the store yourself. If you’re looking for trampolines and Power Wheels, Cyber Monday will be a good time to do it as these will be delivered to your door (no need to squeeze them into your car).

Toys R Us Cyber Monday advice

There’s no pushing or shoving in online shopping, but there’s still serious competition among shoppers. Look for deals early and often if you know what you want to buy. Doing so will not only help you spot the best Toys R Us Cyber Monday deals as soon as possible, but it will also help you known when the listed deal price is actually a change from the regular price. If you just want to see the best deals and decide whether they’re to your liking, just reload this webpage regularly to see any updates

Since Cyber Monday will have a lot of people visiting the same retailer sites at the same time, you might want to use a VPN to avoid internet congestion. If the local servers for Toys R Us are too busy during Cyber Monday, you might not be able to access the site, but a VPN can help you route your internet traffic to another region where it’s not so busy, so you can get to the deals before they are all sold out.

One last thing you won’t want to do is wait around when you see a deal on a product that you know you want. If a product is popular and has a really great deal on it, chances are everyone else has seen it and it will sell out quickly. You don’t want to stare at that product all day only to click the purchase button and have the webpage tell you that it’s no longer in stock. If you know what you want from Toys R Us during Cyber Monday 2017, don’t wait until the following Tuesday to get it.

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Microsoft slashes Xbox game prices ahead of Black Friday for Xbox Gold members

It's a good day to be an Xbox fan, as Microsoft just slashed the prices on a whole pile of Xbox games through its online store well in advance of many other Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. 

You can take advantage of the deals right now if you're an Xbox Live with Gold Member, but everyone else will have to wait until November 23.

Even better, you can now pick up some of the games on sale in Microsoft's store as gifts. Just use the site as you normally would, but click "Buy As Gift" when you're checking out. You'll then be prompted to enter the intended recipient's email address, and then they'll get a code. Here's a more in-depth how-to if you need it.

Like a console Steam sale

The discounts and the amount of games for sale are frankly astounding, as some of the cuts go as deep as 64%. Many of the juggernaut hits of the year can be found in the sale, including Assassin's Creed Origins for $42 rather than the usual $60, and Destiny 2 for $39, compared to the retail price of $60.

The Evil Within 2 is half-off at $30, and the same goes for Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus

The sale also includes heavy discounts for older games, such as Overwatch for $30 (down from $60) and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition for $20, down from the usual $50.

Essentially, if a game you want has a listing on the store, there's a good chance you'll find a discount for it. 

On top of all this, earlier this week Microsoft announced that it intends to slash the price of the  Xbox One S down to just $189 for Black Friday, which makes this a perfect time to rack up some games if you plan on taking advantage of the offer.

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Best touchscreen laptops

Whether you like it or not it's undeniable that touchscreen have change the laptop landscape forever. From more touch-friendly operating systems to the explosion of drawing applications, there are more reasons to have a touchscreen on a laptop than ever before and the huge uptick in popularity of 2-in-1 laptops perfectly corroborates this.

While it might seem like every notebook has a touchscreen, not all digitizers are born equal. Sure most are good enough to detect when you're scrolling up and down a site, there are some particularly tuned for precise digital pen usage and have specialized features.

With all of this mind we've picked out the crème de la crème of touchscreen laptops for everyone from digital artists to digital note takers. Whether you're new and looking to be part of the touchscreen revolution or looking to upgrade to that next best thing, you've come to the right place.

The Microsoft Surface Pro is bar none the ultimate touchscreen device. Not only is it a tablet 2-in-1, rather than a laptop 2-in-1, it’s also completely designed around a touch interface and the Surface Pen. Whether, you’re an artist or need a reliable digital slate for taking notes, the Surface Pro is the finest touchscreen device on the market.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro

The Samsung Chromebook Pro can be likened to an extremely large Samsung Note 8 in that it has a stowable stylus and a great touchscreen handwriting notes. What’s more, every single thing you write down on the Chromebook Pro is saved to Google Keep, which then digitizes your handwriting into a text document for easy searching afterwards. Plus the Chrome OS device’s full access to the Google Play Store also allows users to play all their favorite Android games on a much larger screen than almost all other tablets.

Read the full review: Samsung Chromebook Pro

The HP Spectre x360 meets the happiest balance between tablet and laptop. As a tablet it has perfectly slim bezels for viewing all sorts of content and is lightweight enough to hold for long stretches. Then as a laptop it has great battery life to last through the day and you won’t find anything else with a more tactile keyboard.

If you’re looking a laptop with even more screen real estate there’s the 13.9-inch Lenovo Yoga 920. It’s sports just as many 4,096 levels of sensitivity as the Surface Pro but on a much larger 4K screen. This sharp-looking hybrid laptop also brings a touch of class with its unique watchband hinge and fully metal build.

Read the hand-on review: Lenovo Yoga 920

The Surface Book 2 15-inch offers the same great touch and pen experience as the Surface Pro, but on a much larger screen and exponentially more powerful hardware. Thanks to quad-core processors and potent discrete graphics, it’s ready to handle your most demanding art projects as well as playing the latest games.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Book 2 (15-inch)

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Monster gaming laptop deal: MSI will save you $450 before Black Friday

For PC gamers already in the holiday shopping spirit, MSI and NewEgg have a sick deal for you way ahead of Black Friday

What you're about to see is a VR-ready, ultra-portable gaming laptop for what most budget mobile gaming rigs cost.

For a limited time, MSI is selling its GS63VR Stealth Pro gaming laptop for just $1,149. That is, specifically, a $1,599 product for $300 off – with another $150 off through a rebate mail-in card.

Inside, this laptop is sporting a 15.6-inch, Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 display powered by a 6th generation Intel Core i7 CPU and Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics with 6GB of GDDR5 memory. Backing those processors are 16GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD + 1TB hard drive combo for storage.

This is but a taste of what you're bound to see in the coming days and week leading up to Black Friday weekend. Keep it locked to TechRadar for all of the latest in Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

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Best smartwatch: the top smartwatches you can buy in 2017

The smartwatch is the ultimate smartphone accessory. It can tell the time, of course, but it can also beam important notifications straight to your wrist, and run native apps.

What's more impressive is that many of today's best models can also perform a ton of novel tricks, such as enabling you to search the internet with your voice, tracking your exercise with GPS, and letting you check-out at the grocery store without reaching for your wallet.

Oh – and they look absolutely stunning to boot. If you're thinking that a smartwatch is a pointlessly geeky accessory… think again. These choices are well-made, powerful and can genuinely make you fitter through some smart nudges.

Choosing the smartwatch that's right for you isn't easy, but we hope to make the exciting process of getting paired up with your next (or first!) smartwatch as simple as possible.

The Apple Watch 3 (or Apple Watch Series 3, if we're being picky) is the best smartwatch you can buy right now. Yes, it's essentially just the Apple Watch 2 frame with some new innards… but they make a big difference.

The LTE connection is the headline event, although that's not really as useful as some might hope – plus it costs a lot more to use, and drains the battery.

What we like is the non-LTE version, which is a lot cheaper, and offers all the smarts of the Watch 2 but with a longer battery life and faster speeds when flicking through – that's the right kind of upgrade on the best smartwatch in the world, in our opinion.

It's still water-resistant so you can swim about when using it nor worry about getting it wet in the rain when you're out for a jog.

There's GPS onboard to make running that little bit easier plus it comes running the top watchOS 4 software. 

Read the full review: Apple Watch 3

Samsung Gear S2

Don't get too excited about this watch unless you live in the US: it's only available there and exclusive to T-Mobile.

If you do live in the States, get very excited about the fact you can own this watch for just $96, which is a – frankly – ridiculous price.

Yes, it lacks a heart rate monitor and some of the design and software flourishes that would make it a superb smartwatch, but for the price this is simply a must-buy (if you can).

Read the full review: ZTE Quartz review

Sony Smartwatch 3

The LG Watch Style (built in collaboration with Google) offers everything that's to love from the best Android Wear smartwatches, ditches the dreaded flat tire, then fills in the gap with cool, useful features and a whole lot of… style.

Roll that all up and you're left with an extremely alluring presentation that makes a mighty strong argument for Google's wearable platform. But there are some familiar wrinkles here.

Battery life is still a low point, and, as independent as Android Wear 2.0 claims to be, Google is still in the early days of filling the new Play Store with compatible apps that are enticing enough to bother with aside from its own. 

The Style's appeal lies more in what it will be soon, rather than what it is at launch.

That said, it’s easy to express why the Style is the only smartwatch we want to put on our wrists. For a recently-lowered price, it offers just as much utility as prior smartwatch attempts, but ups the ante with a slim, dashing design and several welcome features, like the voice-activated Google Assistant and a refreshed user interface that's full of clever tweaks.

Read the full review: LG Watch Style

Samsung Gear S2

Despite a serious lack of original apps, the Samsung Gear S3 is one of the best smartwatch options on the market.

The intuitive controls and Super AMOLED screen from the Samsung Gear S2 are back in full form here. Plus, GPS makes its full debut on the Gear S3.

While its look is more executive than the Gear S2, it rocks a IP68-protected build and can last up to 3 days of use before needing a charge – that's some of the best battery life we've seen on a smartwatch.

Samsung recently made the Gear S3 (and Gear S2, for that matter) compatible on iOS too, so if you're looking for a more traditional-looking alternative to the Apple Watch, you may have found your match.

Read the full review: Samsung Gear S3

LG Watch Sport would be the smartwatch to beat right now, because it's a full-featured fitness tracker wrapped in a smartwatch running Android Wear 2.0. 

While other smartwatches can do "fitness tracking" that just amounts to logging runs and calories burned, this watch tracks your all-important strength training, too.

However, despite supporting an LTE connection ( so if you pop a SIM card into the back of the watch, it can make and receive calls and data – without your smartwatch nearby) it's been limited to US-only availability.

It doesn't have the best battery life, despite its bigger-than-normal size, and apps are still being announced for Google's newly refreshed platform. But it's a nice step forward for Android Wear and smartwatches in general.

Read the full review: LG Watch Sport

Asus Zenwatch 2

If you’re in the market for an Android Wear smartwatch, the Asus ZenWatch 3 should be one to think about. It has a great display, useful hardware buttons and good battery life. And although it has been slow to adopt Android Wear 2.0, the long-awaited update is finally available.

It’s styling might not be for everyone, and it's lacking in a few sensors, but Asus did a commendable job designing a watch that looks more like a premium watch than a piece of lifeless technology.

Read the full review: Asus ZenWatch 3

Samsung Gear S2

The Fitbit Ionic was always going to be a tough move for the brand, trying to enter the world of smartwatches from fitness bands.

The effort succeeds in some places: namely fitness, as you might imagine, where you can track all manner of things, from running to weight lifting to swimming. There's also dedicated bodyweight coaching sessions in there, and you can pay for items on the go using Fitbit Pay.

Where it lacks is the price – it's expensive, and the amount you can do with it compared to other smartwatches is limited. However, if you're a Fitbit fan looking to do more with the a band, this is a nice option.

Read the full review: Fitbit Ionic review

The Apple Watch 2 was the best smartwatch around – until it got replaced. It's water-resistant, which means it's more durable than most of the other devices on this list and you won't have to worry about getting it wet in the rain when you're out for a jog.

There's GPS onboard to make running that little bit easier plus it comes running the newest watchOS 3 software. Design wise it's looking very similar to the original Apple Watch. It's no longer as expensive as it once was, either.

The downside is that stocks are starting to get severely limited as Apple has discontinued it on its wooden shelves – so you'll need to pick one up sharpish if you're looking for a good alternative to the Apple Watch 3.

Read the full review: Apple Watch 2

Moto 360

The second generation oto 360 certainly gets our vote as one of the best smartwatches when it comes to the design – and it's also one of the most comfortable wearables around.

The new size options give the Moto 360 the extra reach it needed the first time around. That, and the new-found comfortable fit (along with the added customization to the design), brings it all together as one of the best smartwatches of 2016, and still a strong option in 2017.

Read the full review: Moto 360

Still on sale as the 'budget' Apple Watch, this device is still well worth a look.

OK, it doesn't have the water resistance, LTE connectivity or GPS of the top Apple Watch 3, but it also doesn't have the price.

Being able to check when you've got a message, or see who's calling and be able to make snap decisions, still is possible here and great when you're exercising or in another situation where grabbing your phone isn't practical.

The new enhancements from Apple's watchOS 4 really do help this smartwatch leap forward, even if the hardware is years old now. It's now faster, more usable and comes with watch faces that make it feel more personal. 

Read the full review: Apple Watch

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Apple HomePod release date, news and features

Update: Apple HomePod won't be released in 2017 like the company originally planned. Apple told TechRadar that the speaker likely won't hit store shelves until 2018, saying "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. We’ll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018.”  

Original story continues below…

Unveiled at WWDC 2017, the Apple HomePod is Apple's answer to Amazon Echo and Google Home. It's a voice assistant-equipped speaker that will help with everyday tasks, control your smart home and play music on command. 

After first appearing on phones, voice assistants entered the home in a big way with the Amazon Echo, and now Apple's looking to get into the action. 

While Apple has had a voice assistant, Siri, on its phones for some time now, it has so far been left behind when it comes to smart speakers. Competitor Google brought its own voice assistant to dedicated hardware with the Google Home speaker last year. That all changes with the introduction of the HomePod.

We first heard reports of Apple employees testing the 'Apple Speaker' in their own homes in September 2016, and another round of rumors suggested home testing was still ongoing. More recently we heard rumors that the speaker was actually entering production, and eventually Apple finally confirmed the speaker at WWDC 2017. 

So, read on for all the information we have so far about Apple’s HomePod, and if you want to know what it's like to use in person, check out our HomePod hands on review

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? A smart speaker equipped with Apple’s Siri voice assistant
  • When is it out? Sometime in 2018 in the US, UK and Australia
  • What will it cost? $349 (around £265 / AU$430)

Apple Siri Speaker release date

The Apple HomePod was originally slated for release in December 2017 at a price of $349. At least that was the plan when the speaker was first announced.

Recently, Apple told TechRadar that while the company is excited to bring the speaker to the market, it'd need some more time to do so. To that end, the HomePod won't make its original release window and should be available to purchase in the US sometime in 2018 in both white and space grey.

No UK or AU pricing has yet been announced – but we'll keep you updated as we learn more.

Apple Siri Speaker features

The HomePod is equipped with 7 tweeters on its base, along with a 4-inch upward-facing woofer. You can also pair two of the speakers together for a stereo configuration – but no specific mention yet of the ability to use the speakers in a 5.1 home cinema configuration, as is possible with rival Sonos gear.

The speaker itself is around 7-inches tall, and Apple has promised that setup will be as easy as it was with the W1 chip-equipped Apple AirPods. You'll need an iPhone 5s or later running iOS 11 if you want it to be compatible with the speaker. 

Apple has confirmed that the new speaker will be spatially aware, so it should know how to optimise its sound to suit your home. It can detect the space that it's in, directing channels as appropriate depending on its location.

Hopefully this should mean its sound won't boom too much if its left in a corner, but we'll have to see how it performs in the real world before we can say for sure. 

The speaker is equipped with 6 microphones that it will use to listen for voice commands. You can not only use it to control music, but you can also ask it questions about the music that's currently playing, such as for the name's of participating band members. "Who is the drummer in this?" was one specific (and cool) query Apple highlighted at the speaker's reveal.

You can tell the speaker when you like songs in order for Apple Music to recommend more that's similar to the tunes that's currently being played. 

Apple boasts that the microphone array is intelligent enough to cancel out background noise so that the speaker can hear you over the sound of its own music. This is helped by its included A8 chip, which Apple claims is the most powerful processor to ever be found in a speaker. 

The A8 chip first appeared in the iPhone 6 back in 2014, so it's not the newest chip Apple has to offer – but that's still incredibly powerful for a speaker. 

The  HomePod is also compatible with a number of non-music features, such as reminders, giving weather information, and controlling HomeKit supported smart home devices. 

Interestingly Apple has also said that the HomePod is "a great way to send messages", suggesting that it will include iMessage integration. 

Although the hardware is powerful, we still have some reservations about Siri as a voice assistant. Siri has some significant problems compared to competing voice services, and we'll have to see whether the HomePod is able to address these issues. 

For example, at the moment Siri heavily prioritises Apple’s own apps rather than allowing you to use alternatives. Ask Siri to play some music, and it will only be able to play songs that are located in your Apple Music app. Apple has explicitly said that HomePod is designed to work with an Apple Music subscription. 

This is in contrast to both Alexa and Google Assistant, which both allow you to use a music app of your choice, rather than restricting you to Amazon Prime Music and Google Play music respectively.

Based on some developer digging, it doesn't look like third-party apps are going to be allowed on the HomePod – at least, not to begin with.

At least the interface looks seamless. Someone recently got a sneak peak at the interface for connecting to a HomePod and posted a screenshot on Twitter. It seems that the speaker will integrate seamlessly into the control center. 

Amazon has been especially open with allowing developers to integrate their services into its smart speakers. It allows the creation of ‘Skills’ which essentially act as apps for the smart speaker, and so far there have been over 10,000 of them created for the speaker

Another issue with Siri is that it can sometimes be a little…stupid. Ask it when the Mona Lisa was painted (that's 1503, art buffs), and the voice assistant will happily tell you that ‘the answer is one thousand, five hundred and three,’ rather than being intelligent enough to realise that the year should be read aloud as ‘fifteen oh-three’. 

Of course there’s always the chance that Apple will put significant effort into improving Siri before the HomePod is released in December. Google did a similar thing when it overhauled Google Now, creating Google Assistant, in the months before the Google Home was released.

Finally, comments by Apple VP Phil Schiller which suggested that Apple was thinking along the lines of a Siri speaker with an integrated screen – turned out to be false. 

A new challenger has entered the arena

Smart speakers are one of the most unexpected and cool technologies to have come out over the past couple of years, and interesting to see each of the technology giants repurposing their existing voice assistants to work in a home context. 

Apple isn't the only one with such a device on the horizon. Harmon Kardon is readying a home speaker equipped with Microsoft's Cortana voice assistant, and between that and Google's existing smart speaker efforts, the market is set to get crowded very quickly. 

Apple has a real chance of standing out when it comes to its home automation efforts thanks to HomeKit, but it's not as strong when it comes to integrating with non-Apple services such as Spotify. 

Hopefully the HomePod's audio technology will allow it to stand out against the competition. 

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news