After Apple and Qualcomm’s long-lasting feud finally settled, Intel decided to abandon its modem business as it had lost the hopes of producing 5G tech for future iPhones.
However, now an article from the Wall Street Journal claims that the Cupertino tech giant is “in advanced talks” to buy Intel’s modem chip division within the next week, “according to people familiar with the matter”.
- Apple and Qualcomm share spoils in court ahead of major ruling
- Intel abandons plans for 5G smartphone modems
Apple’s decision for making good with Qualcomm was largely driven by Intel’s inability to deliver a 5G-capable smartphone modem in time to satisfy Apple’s own roadmap for a 5G iPhone release.
However Qualcomm was already ahead of the game, with its 2019 flagship smartphone processor, the Snapdragon 855, being the first to be compatible with 5G connectivity thanks to an embedded modem.
If the purchase does go ahead, Apple will be kickstarting its own foray into researching 5G technology, acquiring $1 billion worth of staff, patents and research that Intel accrued over the course of a decade.
While the first wave of 5G iPhones will still likely use the established Qualcomm technology, Apple’s potential acquisition of Intel’s modem division could further the Cupertino firm’s push to bring as much iPhone production in-house as possible.
Apple has taken increasing control over the years of the components that form its flagship products in order to avoid outsourcing where it can – the graphics chips in its iPhone and iPad lines are one such example, and rumors are all pointing to the company designing its own ARM-based processors for its Mac line-up.
While the news of Apple acquiring Intel’s modem division is currently only rumored, it certainly does gel with the company’s intentions of late.
Any photographer worth their salt knows that at some point, they’re going to be losing lens caps – either while out in the field or somewhere at the bottom of their bag. Most of us have spares, but for those who don’t Canon may have an answer to your problems.
The Japanese camera manufacturer has recently filed a patent (number 2019-113645) in its home country for a barn door-like lens cap that simultaneously works as a lens hood as well.
First spotted by Canon Watch, the “invention works as a lens hood function at the time of shooting and as a lens protection function at the time of non-shooting, thus eliminating the need for lens cap attachment / removal and barrier opening / closing operations”.
The idea behind Canon’s design is that it will be permanently attached to the lens, so losing another lens cap might be a thing of the past.
However, Canon only uses the term “digital camera” in the patent, so whether the new lens cap design will make its way to the new RF-mount lenses or the older EF, EF-M or EF-S lenses remains to be seen. Instead, the patent seems to be for lenses with extending barrels that are typical for point-and-shoot snappers.
There have been solutions for the lost lens cap problem in the past – Canon is by no means the first company to try and solve this issue.
The Olympus LC-63A lens cap has been around for a very long time now, and was designed to fit on the XZ-1 and XZ-2 compact cameras. It’s attached to the lens barrel via a screw mount and automatically opens and shuts when using a button on the camera itself.
For those of us with multiple lenses for DSLRs or mirrorless cameras, Kuvrd (as in ‘covered’) launched a very successful Kickstarter campaign in 2017 for a silicone-based one-size-fits-all lens cap that claimed to be waterproof, dirt-proof, shock-absorbent, portable and malleable, but it wasn’t designed to be permanently attached to the lens itself.
While Canon’s design is still just a patent, it would be nice to see a major manufacturer provide a solution to a common problem that most photographers face.
The official release notes for iOS 12.4 suggest this is an incremental update, with the one standout feature: the return of Walkie Talkie functionality on the Apple Watch.
Apple disabled the Walkie Talkie feature earlier this month due to an eavesdropping vulnerability, while noting that no one actually took advantage of the security flaw.
The Apple Watch ECG app – which takes electrocardiogram measurements – is also expanding its reach to Canada and Singapore after debuting in the US and Europe. It can allow user detect atrial fibrillation (AF).
Bigger changes coming to iOS 13
Thanks to an ongoing public beta, you can test out iOS 13 Dark Mode, the new QuickPath swipe keyboard, enhanced photo editing tools, and a redesigned Reminders app.
watchOS 6, meanwhile, is getting its own on-wrist App Store, a tip calculator and a way to protect your hearing, or at least a way to warn you of really loud noises.
- Download it now: How to get iOS 13
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 needs to seriously impress consumers to hold folks' attention, and we're hearing plenty of Galaxy Note 10 leaks and rumors suggesting it might just pull that off.
We've even seen the Galaxy Note 10 name on an image at Samsung's Korean campus, and heard Samsung CEO DJ Koh name-drop the soon-to-be-announced handset during a round-table interview.
In fact, the Note 10 launch date has been confirmed as August 7, with an event happening in Brooklyn, New York. It's coming - and soon.
We're cautiously optimistic about the phone's official launch, as while the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is full of worthwhile features, in a lot of ways it felt like a small upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 released the previous year.
So while we're eagerly anticipating the next version of Samsung's notable stylus-packing phone, we’re hoping for more from the Samsung Galaxy Note 10. We want robust, recognizable changes and upgrades that justify its inevitably gigantic price tag.
We’ve listed all we've heard about the phone below - including leaks, rumors, and some educated guesses at the specs and features of the Galaxy Note 10. Beyond that, you’ll find all we still hope to see in the smartphone.
Could the upcoming smartphone top our list of the best Android phones? We'll have to wait to find out.
Cut to the chase
- What is Note 10? The next stylus-toting flagship from Samsung
- When is Note 10 launch date? Confirmed to be August 7, 2019
- What will Note 10 cost? More than most other phones
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 release date and price
The official Galaxy Note 10 launch date is August 7, 2019, with a Samsung Unpacked press conference happening in Brooklyn, New York at the Barclays Center.
Once the Galaxy Note 10 is announced it will likely be at least a couple of weeks before you can buy it, so don’t be surprised if it doesn’t hit stores until late August 2019.
We've heard a leak regarding the price of the Note 10, which points the price for a 256GB model as €999 (around $1,125, £900, AU$1,600). That's quite the step up over the Note 9 price, but it's not that much expensive than a Samsung Galaxy S10.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 design and display rumors
We've finally got a leak of what could be the Note 10 in a trio of photos: a single central punch-hole on the front display housing a selfie camera, no visible speaker (indicating a possible sound-conducting screen), and a vertically-aligned triple rear camera setup.
You can see the images in the video below:
Rather low-quality images of the Note 10 also came from the FCC in the US, which accidentally released images of the phone, along with measurements.
Our previous close look at the possible design of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 came via another video (below).
Here you can see a curved screen, a single-lens punch-hole camera on the front, a triple-lens camera on the back, a metal frame, and no Bixby button or headphone jack.
A case leak also suggests there's no headphone jack - though some other leaks below disagree.
The phone also apparently has up to 12GB of RAM and either a Snapdragon 855 or Exynos 9820 chipset, depending on region.
The source adds that the screen is apparently 6.3 inches, likely with a 1440 x 3040 resolution, and that the dimensions may be 162.6 x 77.4 x 7.9mm - though we'd take all that with a pinch of salt, as it would mean a smaller screen yet a larger body than the Note 9. Plus, one other rumor we've heard is that the Note 10 will apparently have a 6.66-inch screen. And we've heard that not once, but twice already!
That's up from 6.4 inches on the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and while we'd take this with a pinch of salt it's believable, given that phone screens keep getting bigger, and given that the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is 6.4 inches and we'd expect the next Note to be bigger than anything in the S range.
However it's possible there will be two different Samsung Galaxy Note 10 models, as we've heard rumors that as well as a 6.75-inch phone Samsung will release a smaller Note 10 only in Europe.
The larger of the two (or more) models might be called the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Pro, as that's a name that we've heard rumored now.
The screen of this Pro is apparently 6.75 inches, 1440 x 3040 and said to support HDR10+, while the rest of the specs apparently include up to 12GB of RAM, and a Snapdragon 855 or Exynos 9820 chipset, depending on region.
It's worth noting that leaked case renders for both models match the designs above, so they could well be accurate.
But there are other sources that say the Note 10 will have a 6.4-inch screen while the Note 10 Pro will have a 6.8-inch one - which is slightly larger than we'd heard before. Finally, they add that the Note 10 will start in a 128GB size, while the Note 10 Pro will start at 256GB, rising to 1TB.
Another source meanwhile says that while the Note 10 Pro will have a microSD card slot, the standard Note 10 won't.
The Note 10 is also almost certainly going to have a curved Super AMOLED screen, and it will probably be a very good one, with one source claiming there will be no better screen in the second half of 2019.
You can probably expect water resistance too, given that all recent Samsung flagships have that.
A few different rumors have given us a clearer idea of the color choices Samsung might offer for the Note 10. It seems the company will be offering a red version as well as a gradient finish, which we expect to be the silver version of the phone.
Other color rumors include Black, White, Silver and Pink, which suggests we won't get a Lavender Purple version like we did on the Galaxy Note 9.
There may be some hope for those who want to see the headphone jack retained on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, as a different case leak appears to have a small indentation for a headphone jack. Another source has also said it has one, but for now we're not certain whether it does or not.
It doesn't help that another rumor specifically stated that ditching the headphone jack freed up space to add another 100mAh of battery capacity in both Note 10 and larger Note 10 Pro models. But that's not the wildest thing to come from that prediction: it claimed that the S-Pen stylus would get some form of gesture control, while the phone would get a 'Zoom Audio' style feature to only save one source of audio while recording video.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 camera rumors
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Pro could have a quad-lens camera according to one report.
That's a claim we've now heard multiple times. In fact, we've even seen leaked renders showing four lenses, along with a design that's otherwise similar to leaks of the standard Note 10.
You can see cases with camera cut-outs for both models below. Note that one has more cut-outs than the other.
The camera hardware meanwhile is apparently the same as the Note 9 (though that doesn't necessarily rule out extra lenses).
The source of the renders says that the extra lens is a Time of Flight (ToF) depth-sensing one, with the other lenses apparently being a 12MP main one, a 12MP telephoto one, and a 16MP ultra-wide one.
One leak has suggested the Note 10 will have the same 12MP main sensor used in all Samsung phones since the Galaxy S7, which would suggest the renders showing a 12MP primary camera are accurate.
A source has said that the camera position for both the front and rear lenses will be different on the Note 10, with the rear moving from a horizontal to a vertical arrangement, which would match most leaks.
According to the source, these camera changes are the main design changes to the phone, so the Galaxy Note 10 might look a lot like the Note 9.
The source of these claims has since followed them up with sketches of what seems to be the Note 10's camera block (below), showing the vertical arrangement with three lenses. They also claim that the front-facing camera will just be a single-lens one, as we've seen elsewhere.
One respected leaker has also suggested the Galaxy Note 10's main camera will have three apertures, of f/1.5, f/1.8 and f/2.4, instead of the usual one aperture smartphone cameras have. This would make it very versatile at shots in different lighting conditions and for different fields of view.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 battery life rumors
We've also heard rumors that the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 (or at least the Pro version) could have a 4,500mAh battery - up from 4,000mAh on the Note 9. And it might charge fast, with multiple sources suggesting it will exceed 25W (the Galaxy S10 is only 15W). One claim points to it reaching as much as 45W.
Then again, another source disputes that, saying that actually it will just be 25W, so we're really not sure at the moment.
There's also some dispute about the battery size, with a source saying that both the Note 10 and Note 10 Pro will have a 4,170mAh battery.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 features and spec rumors
One report has a radical prediction: the Note 10 won't have physical buttons. Instead, the phone will use touch sensors, like the capacitive pads we've seen on the Nubia Red Magic Mars and elsewhere, for users to fiddle with volume and power. Presumably, it would also replace the notorious Bixby button with a touchpad.
Having said that, another source has disputed this claim, saying there will in fact be physical buttons. Plus, the leaked renders we've seen all show buttons.
In terms of chipset, we've heard the Note 10 will have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset in most regions, as the Galaxy S10 had, but in the US it'll run on Exynos 9825, a high-end chipset we haven't seen before.
Another, slightly less radical but still impressive feature is Sound-on-Display (SoD), which means the screen vibrates to create sound instead of a front-facing speaker, and we've heard the Galaxy Note 10 might have this. We've seen SoD in a few phones already, namely the Huawei P30 Pro and LG G8 ThinQ, but it's still an important feature if the phone does end up having it.
In more vague news, the Galaxy Note 10 is apparently codenamed 'Da Vinci'.
Given that Leonardo da Vinci was a famous painter that could hint at upgrades to the S Pen, though exactly what those upgrades would be is unclear. Leonardo da Vinci was also very talented in lots of other ways though, so this could equally be a suggestion that the Note 10 will be a very versatile phone.
Beyond that we can take some educated guesses as to what the Note 10 might offer. For one thing, based on past form it will probably use the same chipset as the Samsung Galaxy S10.
That means either a Snapdragon 855 or an Exynos 9820, depending on where you are in the world. They're both top-end though.
The Galaxy S10 also has an in-screen fingerprint scanner and a camera cut-out in the screen, rather than a notch or big bezels, so those are likely features of the Note 10. Indeed, both of those things have been rumored.
What we want to see
While there’s no Samsung Galaxy Note 10 news just yet, we have a good idea of what we want from it. You’ll find our seven main suggestions below.
1. A customizable Bixby button
As much as Samsung might want us to use Bixby in favor of Google Assistant the reality is that for the most part it’s just not as good, and Google has so much of a head start that we doubt it ever will be.
That wouldn’t be an issue except that Samsung insists on putting a physical Bixby button on its Note phones, so for the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 we either want this to be removed or to be customizable, so you can set it to launch something other than Bixby.
The good news is this should happen, because it's a feature that since writing this wish Samsung has started bringing to its phones - maybe the South Korean company really is listening to us.
2. HDR video recording
Many high-end handsets can now record HDR video, but the Galaxy Note 9 can’t. It’s a shame, because it’s a noticeably weak point in a camera that’s otherwise great.
So we really want to see HDR recording offered by the Samsung Galaxy Note 10. And not just any HDR, but 4K HDR (which is also offered by some rivals), so it can shoot videos that look as good as its photos surely will.
3. An in-screen fingerprint scanner
The Note 9 has a fingerprint scanner on the back, which allows for slim bezels on the front (though still more of a bottom bezel than we’d have hoped to see) but arguably makes it slightly trickier to reach than a front-facing scanner.
We also noted in our review that it’s too small and too close to the camera, making it easy to accidentally hit that instead and smudge the lens.
So for the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 we want the scanner on the front, but rather than being under the screen we want it built into the screen, like the Galaxy S10 and some other phones are now doing.
4. A completely new look
So we’d like to see a design overhaul for the Samsung Galaxy Note 10. It can keep the water resistance and the curvy screen, but hopefully the rest of the design will change to something fresher and more modern.
5. A lower price
There’s no getting around the fact that the Note 9 is a very, very expensive phone and we’re expecting the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 will be at least as pricey.
But we’re hoping it won’t be. If Samsung can shave a couple of hundred dollars/pounds off the price then it could have far wider appeal.
6. Improved facial recognition
The Galaxy Note 9 has both an iris scanner and facial recognition, but - as we note in our review - even combined these sensors are no match for Apple’s Face ID, so we’d like to see real improvements here for the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.
That will probably mean packing in more and better cameras and sensors on the front so it can build up an accurate 3D picture of our face.
That could be expensive and make removing the bezel trickier, but if it leads to a fast, secure scanner that works in almost all lighting then it might be worth it.
7. An even longer-lasting battery
For the Galaxy Note 9 Samsung upped the range’s battery size to 4,000mAh, delivering over a day of life in the process.
That’s good work, but we want to see further improvements for the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, especially given that batteries wear out over time, so if you plan to hold on to the phone for two years or more you might notice significantly reduced life by the end.
On that note, if Samsung can make the battery degrade slower that would be appreciated too.
- The flexible Samsung Galaxy Fold has finally been announced
Image Credit: TechRadar
If you're shopping for an affordable smartphone, you're probably looking at a Nokia phone or a Motorola handset, as both solidly corner the budget phone market.
Motorola devices cover a variety of low price points, which means if you need a phone that won't put you out of pocket, you're likely considering one. Of course, choosing among the company's many phones can be a task in itself.
Just to be clear: none of Motorola's phones effectively compete with flagship devices like the Samsung Galaxy S10 or iPhone XS, but they don't come with a commensurately huge price tag, either. Instead, you're getting phones that are reliable and fairly well specced for their cost.
Motorola has various ranges, like the Moto Mod-supporting Moto Z phones, or the more affordable Moto G main series, - though there are outliers like the Motorola One Vision which runs Android One. If you aren't clear on how they differ, it can be hard to work out which you should pick up over the others.
To help you pick which device is the best you can get, we've made a handy guide of all the best Motorola phones you can buy.
New Motorola phones are always being released, though, so this list could change monthly as we review the handsets and revise the list accordingly. Keep checking back to TechRadar when new phones release to see how they fit in this ranking.
The Moto Z4 is a safe move from Motorola - it looks nearly identical to its predecessors, with only minor shifts in size and shape - but that likely arises from the company's decision to keep supporting the Moto Mods, which require phones to keep roughly the same shape.
Thus, the phone doesn't look like it's changed. Look closer and you'll find some improvements, like an expanded 6.4-inch screen to the edges (around a top notch), an in-screen fingerprint scanner, and the return of a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Gone also is the dual 12MP lenses in the rear camera bump; instead, the Moto Z4 follows the midrange (and Google Pixel-like) trend of dropping lenses and using software to make up for it. We found the Moto Z4 took slightly better photos with its lone 48MP rear camera, and similar improvements with its 25MP selfie lens.
The phone is speedy enough, though its performance might drag on over the years: instead of packing an older but still flagship chipset like its predecessor, the Moto Z4 opted for a Snapdragon 675 - a new, but definitively midrange option. This is more speculation - we'll have to see whether this chipset lasts longer than we expect - but the phone's 4GB RAM (only option) isn't promising for longevity either.
Read our in-depth review: Moto Z4
The Moto Z3 is still a solid pick in the Moto line, with a comparable (if not slightly faster) chipset than the Moto Z4. Best of all? It's still the cheapest way to access 5G through the 5G Moto Mod. When this Moto add-on first came out, it made the Moto Z3 the first 5G-capable phone to hit the market in the whole world.
Of course, there are a lot of caveats to that fact – namely, that the mod is only coming to Verizon in the US, and will only work in that carrier's very limited 5G coverage areas – but it's still an impressive claim for a sub-flagship phone.
Yes, the phone doesn't have the beastly specs of top-tier flagships – but at half the price, the Moto Z3 boasts impressive value. It sports a Snapdragon 835, which is respectable if dated, and comes in two average if unimpressive versions: 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, or 6GB of RAM and 128GB of space (expandable via microSD to up to 512GB).
That's enough for streaming multimedia and moderate gaming, which look good on the phone's 6-inch (2160 x 1080) AMOLED display. Combine that with basic dual 12MP rear cameras and an 8MP front-facing selfie shooter and you have a good phone sitting somewhere below the OnePlus 6T and lesser-performing midrange phones. The phone's glass back and side-mounted fingerprint scanner are similarly middle-luxe – a good compromise if you want performance at a lower price.
Read our in-depth review: Motorola Moto Z3
The Motorola Moto G7 Plus is the top performer of the brand's G7 family, which counts four phones this time around. The G7 Plus is the standout model, though it may not reach your region: Motorola confirmed the device isn't coming to the US.
But if you can pick the phone up, you won't be sorry. For sub-midrange price, you'll get a Snapdragon 636-powered phone with a decent 4GB RAM and 64GB of storage (expandable up to 512GB). The phone even has one up on the more powerful Moto Z3 with its 3.5mm headphone jack.
So why the G7 Plus and not, say, an older (but still hefty) Moto Z2 Play? Simple: Android 9 Pie out of the box. That leads us to recommend the phone even over other more powerful Moto phones (like the Moto Z2 Force, which is nearly identical to the Z3), and the G7 Plus has other benefits of a later release date, like speedier Fast Charging and a higher screen-to-body ratio.
Read our in-depth review: Motorola Moto G7 Plus
No, Motorola One Vision is not inspired by the Queen song, but it is one of the royalty of Moto handsets – its clean and clear Android One operating system (OS) cuts away the bloat and excess of normal Android, and the phone itself has an attractive and clean design.
The Motorola One Vision's 21:9 aspect ratio may be questionable to some, however, as the jury's still out on whether this is the future of smartphones or just an annoying gimmick.
If you're on-board with the phone's unwieldy length, and don't mind its weak specs in a certain few areas, the Motorola One Vision sits at a happily affordable price point and does impress in a few major ways.
Read our in-depth review: Motorola One Vision
Why list the Moto G7 here? Sure, it's slightly less powerful than the G7 Plus, but it's also available in more regions (including the US), so we're covering our bases in case you don't want to pay international shipping on your budget-plus phone.
You don't miss much going for the G7, either: its Snapdragon 632 chip is a bit less powerful, sure, and its frame is plastic instead of aluminum. But the rest of its specs are essentially the same, which means you're getting a phone that's nearly as nice at a discount.
That means 4GB of RAM and 64GB of space, a 6.2-inch LCD display and dual 12MP + 5MP rear shooters/an 8MP front-facing camera for a great price. Plus it comes with Android 9 Pie right out of the box.
Read our in-depth review: Moto G7
If you're looking for the ultimate Moto value, think about digging back into the reserves. The Moto Z2 Force came out in mid-2017, but it's still a relative powerhouse – and you can find it for a bit cheaper than the newer Moto Z3.
Despite over a year between releases, the Z2 Force packs the same Snapdragon 835 processor as its successor. Its screen is even higher resolution at 2560 x 1440, though its 5.5 inches are smaller than the Z3's display.
Unfortunately, the Z2 Force shows its age in its chin and top bezels, which are significantly larger than those on phones released today. But if you don't mind not sporting the sleekest phone on the block, the Z2 Force has most of the newest top-tier Moto phone at a lower price.
And it works with Moto Mods -- including, eventually, the Moto Mod 5G, which will expand functionality to the earlier Z2 phones at some point after it's released on April 11.
Read our in-depth review: Moto Z2 Force
The third phone in the budget Moto G7 line is the G7 Power, which doesn't vary much from the standard G7 – aside from its enormous battery. Yes, for those of you who tire of recharging your phone everyday, here's one with a 5,000mAh battery.
Other phones have reached such heights, but they're either expensive flagships (like the gaming-focused Huawei Mate 20 X) or battery-focused brick-thick novelty items (like the Energizer Power Max P18K). The G7 Power is a much more affordable, sensible and normal-looking phone than others that offer its level of battery capabilities.
Otherwise, the phone is basic but not bottom-tier, with a Snapdragon 632 and either 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage (in the US) or 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage (elsewhere). Its 6.2-inch LCD screen is large but not terribly impressive (1570 x 720px). But in combination with the giant battery and an accessible price of $249 / £179 (around AU$330), the Moto G7 Power is a great bargain.
Read our in-depth review: Moto G7 Power review
We’re weeks away from the Samsung Note 10 launch on August 7, but the rumor mill is running at full steam. The latest claims the smartphone will get a few radical new features, like gesture controls through the S-Pen audio and video that only records audio from one source.
Other details seem to confirm previous rumors, like a two-model release (the standard Note 10 and a larger Note 10 Pro), but the more exciting claims are new. According to Greek site TechManiacs, which cited a knowledgeable source, the S-Pen will support gesture controls to navigate and produce context-appropriate sounds (if you’re using it to highlight text, it will make sounds like a highlighter marker, for example).
The rumor also mentions the Note 10’s video will include ‘Zoom Audio,’ a feature first introduced in the LG G2 way back in 2013. It essentially promised to record one source of sound and block out the rest, but the results were mixed.
Perhaps the most concrete prediction is the removal of the Bixby button. Instead, you’ll allegedly be able to summon the voice assistant with the power button, sort of like we could do – briefly – with the delayed Samsung Galaxy Fold.
The ‘normal’ predictions are still out there
Even the lower-key predictions seem a bit out of step for the Note line. For instance, the source claims the larger Note 10 will weigh 198g, while the smaller will be 168g - which is far lighter than the 201g of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9.
Further, the source claims the smaller Note 10 will only come in FHD+ and the larger in QHD+, which is also odd given the Note 9 had a QHD+ (1,440 x 2,960) resolution. In other words, the source predicts that the smaller model will be a bit downgraded compared to the flagship specs of its predecessor.
Heck, the rumor even predicts the more diminutive model will have a 6.3-inch screen (compare that to the 6.4-inch Note 9). This could align with a prior rumor alleging that Samsung has a smaller Note 10 planned to exclusively launch in Europe, but even that sounds a bit odd.
Some claims are less crazy: eliminating the 3.5mm audio jack gave Samsung room to add 100mAh of capacity to both Note 10 and Note 10 Pro’s battery, enlarging the former’s battery to 3,500mAh and the latter to 4,300. That capacity gap alone suggests a noticeable size difference between the models, though the disparity affects recharging, too, with the smaller capping out at 25W while the larger allegedly reaching 45W of fast-charging potential.
Other predictions are in line with previous rumors, like starting the larger Note 10 Pro at 256GB of storage and only giving the option of 12GB RAM.
It goes without saying that this set of rumors is the wildest we’ve heard yet for the Note 10 - and we’ve only got a couple weeks before we find out whether they’re true.
- Via WCCTech
- Excited for the Note 10? We expect it to rank very high in our best Android phone list
Update: Added Outward and A Plague Tale: Innocence
The best PC games with cash to splash are quickly evolving, but so are the best indie games you may have never heard of.
One of the great things about our best indie games list is that most of these more obscure titles, unlike AAA game publishers, don’t try to squeeze you out of every penny every chance they get. Free from corporate influence and constant badgering for your money, the best indie games give players the pure artistic vision of the developers – most ideally experienced on one of the best gaming PCs.
But, make no mistake: just because the best indie games don’t make a lot of money, doesn’t mean they can’t keep up with the latest AAA hits in scope and ambition. In fact, the opposite is true. The best indie games can easily rival mainstream games in both quality and scope. And, since they don’t have to rely on tired tropes just to sell millions of copies, like their AAA counterparts, they’re essentially artistic masterpieces and offer a more unique experience.
If you want to dive into the best indie games, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a list of all the best indie games on the PC market today, from in vogue indies like Return of the Obra Dinn and Outward, to classic titles like Braid and Dwarf Fortress.
If you’re looking for the next great indie title, keep reading. And, don’t worry, we’re going to keep this list updated with all the latest and greatest indie hits.
Linux, Windows or Mac - which one is best for you? Watch our guide video below:
Michelle Rae Uy, Bill Thomas, Joe Osborne, Kane Fulton and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article
It’s not out yet, with Double Fine promising it’ll be out ‘soonish,’ but Ooblets is already on our radar. Being developed by first-time studio Glumberland, and backed by Double Fine, the game is described as some kind of combo between Pokemon, Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing, capturing our attention – and probably yours, too. The game combines an art style oddly reminiscent of post-apocalyptic sensation, Adventure Time, with gameplay that revolves around gathering creatures called ooblets in the town of, uh, Oob.
In the game, you’ll be able to train and battle your ooblets against other ooblet trainers. At the same time, you’ll have to balance your ooblet training with the real-world responsibilities of being a farmer. That’s right; drawing influence from the likes of Stardew Valley, you can cultivate, produce and decorate your house with various trimmings as well. You’ll also be able to join an Ooblet Club comprised of friends (NPCs) you’ll meet along the way.
If you don’t know what to do just yet, you can just walk around aimlessly to discover new shops and buildings that suit your interest. Better yet, you can open up your own shop to sell produce that you’ve grown yourself on the farm, as well as items that you’ve scavenged throughout the world. And, you can feed the leftover crops to your ooblets to watch them level up and learn new techniques to be used in the turn-based, RPG-style battles.
At first, Jonathan Blow's masterpiece appears to be a simple pastiche of Super Mario Bros, with a middle-aged curmudgeon replacing the titular plumber, but still seeking to rescue a princess. But, the longer you spend in the game, the more that’s revealed to you, progressing from a series of time-bending puzzles to quiet reflective texts. That doesn’t stop it from being the smartest puzzle game since SpaceChem, however. Blow himself has subtly hinted that the ultimate story may revolve around the atomic bomb.
First released as PC freeware by Japanese designer Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya in 2004 after five years of 100% solo development, Cave Story predates this recent indie renaissance by a few years. Because of that, it's often been omitted in indie gaming discussions.
However, this classic more than deserves to be on every best-of list, and not only for its loving homage to the classic action platforming games of the Super Nintendo era. It also boasts awesome music and a breathlessly vibrant world, not to mention, the hugely intuitive controls as well as gobs of secrets and weapons that are simply too fun to use. If you've yet to enjoy this one, you need to put it at the top of your list already.
From family-owned and operated Studio MDHR, Cuphead has resonated with millions of people around the world, many of whom normally wouldn’t touch a run-and-gun platformer with a ten-foot pole.
While its gameplay was inspired by classic games such as Mega Man and Contra, most gamers will likely compare it to a Fleischer Studios cartoon like Betty Boop. Because Cuphead uses a hand-drawn art style similar to a 1930s animation, it’s been universally praised for its gorgeous visuals.
Cuphead is more than just its stunning visuals, however. It’s a series of 19 challenging and engaging bosses, with platforming bits interspersed between them. It already made our list of the best indie games, but then Studio MDHR has announced that the Cuphead: the Delicious Last Course DLC, slated for 2019, will include a new isle to explore, new bosses to conquer and, most importantly, a new character to master.
This dark and moody action-adventure stealth game by Asobo Studio is hauntingly beautiful, already making our best indie games list even though it’s only been released in May 2019.
Set in the 1340s during the Black Death pandemic in the French countryside, you’re Amicia, a young noble girl whose parents were killed by the Inquisition. You must now traverse battlefields and villages with her brother Hugo to find a cure for his mysterious ailment. Along the way, you must scare away ravenous rats as well as stun (or kill) guards and hostile villagers with your sling and special ammunition supplies.
Despite the ghastliness and rawness of the Middle Ages and the Plague, A Plague Tale: Innocence is a complete stunner and a game who almost never want to end.
Among the hardcore gamers we know, Spelunky is the go-to drug. Even today, several years after its release, some of them still play it consistently, despite having completed it many times over. That's because this ostensibly rogue-like platformer with a definite end is tough, varied and highly randomized.
It also has more dark secrets than a presidential candidate, which means that there are a number of ways to finish it, and its daily challenges are a sure-fire way to public humiliation.
Does humor belong in video games? Well, if the Stanley Parable has its way, it’s a resounding ‘yes’. This game is hilarious without being dumbed down. Players follow (or don’t) a very British narrator who changes the world around you, based on your choices.
No choice is punished, and every playthrough will be fresh with new humor and weird goings-on. In fact, being trapped in the closet in The Stanley Parable is more moving and funny than the majority of other games, indie and otherwise.
If you missed out on this ironic gem back when it first launched, you’ll be happy to know that the developer announced the Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe edition for 2019, touting fresh content, more endings and a console release. This Ultra Deluxe edition actually sounds pretty tempting, even for us – and we played it a whole lot when it first came out.
- Further reading: Retro-me-do! Digitiser's Mr Biffo on his top PC games of all time
It took more than nine years to make, but Owlboy is certainly worth the wait. Originally designed for PCs and released in late 2016, this clever indie game masterpiece is now available to experience on Mac and Linux as well – and there’s even a Nintendo Switch version! Owlboy revolves around a race of owl-human hybrid characters called, aptly enough, Owls. Of them, you control Otis, an Owl who is censured by his mentor for his inept flying skills.
The story sees Otis’ village destroyed by pirates who have conflict with the Owls. As a result, Otis has to work with an assortment of villagers in-game to take out enemies. Of course, before the boss battles arise, you’ll need to manage allies accordingly, as each character comes with their own set of unique skill sets to use in conjunction with one another. If you’ve ever played and enjoyed a Kid Icarus game, this is one’s for you. If not, well… play it anyway.
Similar to The Stanley Parable, Gone Home falls into the unofficially christened ‘walking simulator’ genre. Where it diverts from the clever and philosophical Stanley Parable, however, is its focus on life’s difficult realities, as opposed to light humor.
After coming home to your childhood house following an overseas visit, you play as 21-year-old Kaitlin Greenbriar who is greeted by an empty house. While gameplay is limited to scavenging through notes to find out where your family is, the compelling story is extremely emotional and gripping, as long as you keep an open mind. After all this time, Gone Home still stands out as one of the best indie games out there.
Only SpaceChem has mixed learning with entertainment as successfully as The Kerbal Space Program. The game is simple - design and build a spacecraft to take the cutesy Kerbals to the Mun and beyond.
Its intelligent use of real physics, however, means that you'll find yourself following NASA as you’re building multi-stage rockets and space stations as well as exploring the Kerbal's strange universe on EVAs, before bringing your discoveries back for research on the Kerbal planet - that's if you can get off the ground at all. It's a huge, complex, challenging and fun game that manages to be super smart without being preachy.
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is the exact opposite of something like Kerbal Space Program – it’s an action roguelike par excellence. You play as a young boy forced to kill his damned siblings, mother and possibly the Devil, using only tears that he shoots from his eyes, naturally. This indie games is matched only by the equally visceral Nuclear Throne. With dozens of weird items to collect, endless procedurally-generated levels and many secrets, the Binding of Isaac is a very dark take on the exploratory model established by Spelunky.
Don’t let its pixel art graphics put you off – Undertale isn’t a game that would have fit on the Super Nintendo. That’s because, in Undertale, the decisions you make have a huge impact on how the game ends and, more importantly, how it continues in New Game Plus.
While playing Undertale, you’ll realize just how much freedom the game gives you. Despite its highly inspired and very intense boss matches, you’ll make it through the entire nine or so hours of Undertale as a total pacifist, if you choose to. Plus, when you go through the game a second time, you’ll bear the weight of the consequences from your previous run. What’s even better is that Undertale is out now on the Nintendo Switch, so you can take this masterpiece of game design wherever you go.
From developer Playdead, Inside is very much like its predecessor, Limbo, in some ways, only with an added layer of depth that often inspires wonder. This is mostly a result of the unspoken narrative, which revolves around yet another nameless boy. In Inside, the boy is running away from a group of men who – if you fail to stay out of their sights – will try to mercilessly kill you.
It isn't quite clear why the boy is running from these men or why you should even care since you don't know who he is, so Inside will leave you begging for answers. The bleak, lifeless setting of Inside is more than worth the price of admission. Its minimalist art style alone is avant-garde enough to feel right at home in a museum. Factor in the fact that this game is both fun to play and dripping with curiosity, and you won’t doubt that Inside is one of the best indie games money can buy.
Developed single-handedly by Eric Barone, Stardew Valley is a technical feat for that little fact alone. If you’ve ever played a Harvest Moon game, you’re already familiar with its premise – you may just not know it yet. Stardew Valley is an addictive farming simulator, which lets you interact with townees to the point where you can literally marry them.
Stardew Valley isn’t just farming, however – it’s a whole bunch of other things at the same time. You can go fishing, you can cook, you can craft stuff. You can even go explore procedurally-generated caves to mine for items and even fight slime-monster-things. You should keep in mind that your health and energy are finite however, so you'll want to keep your character rested and fed to avoid suffering from exhaustion. Pass out, and you’ll lose a considerable amount of money and items you’ve worked hard to attain. Stardew Valley will have you playing for hours on end, for better or worse. (Definitely better.)
From Canadian game developer Alec Holowka, creator of the award-winning Aquaria (also featured on this list), and independent artist/animator Scott Benson, Night in the Woods is an unconventional side-scrolling adventure game that revolves around a 20-year-old protagonist named Mae who drops out of college and moves back in with her parents.
Featuring a story largely based around dialog choices and mini games that put a spin on mundane tasks, like carrying boxes up the stairs and eating perogies, Night in the Woods is a timeless coming-of-age tale. Not only will you experience middle class America through the eyes of a personified cat, but virtually every interaction in-game will have you laughing aloud. And now that it’s available on the Nintendo Switch, you can now take it wherever you go.
If you’re a fan of the recent wave of games inspired by Dark Souls, you’ll absolutely love Hollow Knight. You take control of the Hollow Knight, and lead them through the deceptively adorable landscape to take on bosses and other difficult challenges. Much like Dark Souls, it’s not immediately clear what you’re actually supposed to be doing as the narrative is intentionally obtuse.
The Dark Souls inspirations don’t end there, either. It also embraces Dark Souls’s ‘tough but fair’ philosophy, and the game is only as hard as you make it. In fact, you can overcome anything as long as you have patience and learn from your mistakes. Hollow Knight takes these lessons from Dark Souls and injects them into a MetroidVania, with all the side-scrolling and upgrades you could possibly want. You can even play it on the Nintendo Switch now.
If you’re looking for a game that’s as unforgiving as it is fun, look no further than Dead Cells. It takes gameplay inspiration from so many places – from roguelikes to MetroidVania. There’s even a hint of Dark Souls in there, creating a unique action game that will test your limits and skills.
Each time you play this game, it will feel new. And, while you’ll lose some progress each time you die – and you will die a lot – the game will become even more rewarding as the complex and fluid combat becomes second nature. In the final release of the game, you get access to over 90 weapons, skills and abilities that will let you tailor your gameplay however you want.
Whatever you do, don’t get discouraged if you fail. Get up and try again, as Dead Cells will only reward you in the end, which is why it has our vote for one of the best indie games in 2019.
Introversions was one of the earliest 'indie' companies, rolling out games like Uplink, Defcon and Darwinia while Vlambeer was still in short pants. After years of struggling to design a hit, they've finally found huge success with Prison Architect, a game where you build, staff, outfit and manage a maximum security prison, of all places.
With smart prisoners willing to do anything to escape, you'll struggle to keep them all locked up or from rioting - and turn a profit. It's eminently playable, even more so in the near future as Paradox has acquired it and plans to make it available on all platforms.
These days, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an RPG that will really push you to your limits. Luckily, Outward, with its focus on survival and tough combat, is here to satisfy that need. There isn’t much in the way of story, but you’re placed in the middle of the world of Aurai, where you’ll struggle to survive. You’re not a hero, however, just the everyman trying to survive in a harsh world.
In many ways, Outward is like The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. There’s a heavy emphasis on exploration, but you aren’t given quest arrows or any kind of waypoint. You have to rely on your own ability to use a map, along with any directions that are given to you by quest NPCs. If you’re looking for an RPG game that will challenge you, this is one of the best indie games you’ll ever play.
Dwarf Fortress is its own genre and its own industry. This is a game that has to generate the entire geography, mythology and history of its massive world before you set foot in it. It then tracks every single one of the dwarfs you're managing down to the hairs on their legs, and the particular horrible elephant murder that they’ve witnessed and are now carving on an ornamental chair.
Your task is simple: to keep the dwarves alive as they carve out their subterranean kingdom. Though given that insanity, monsters and starvation plague them at every stage, it isn’t easy. Plus, dwarves, always, always mine too deep.
Run. Jump. Die. Repeat. That’s basically the gameplay loop of Super Meat Boy, a fiendishly addictive 2D platformer that’s also bloody hard, with an emphasis on bloody. Gallons of blood is spilled as the game’s eponymous meaty hero leaps over deadly drops, spinning saws and walking chainsaws in a bid to rescue his girlfriend, Bandage Girl, from the evil Dr Foetus. Obviously.
With solid controls, lots of humor and vibrant graphics, Super Meat Boy leapt onto the PS4, Vita, and Nintendo Switch in style.
It might not be Playdead’s most recent game, but Limbo is eternal. Five years after its release, and the game’s haunting storyline still has an effect on us. You play the Boy, a child with glowing eyes who is cast into Limbo to find his sister. Making your way through a bleak and dangerous world full of hostile silhouettes, giant spiders and deadly gravitational fields, you’ll need to think on your feet and perfectly time your movements, if you were to survive.
Limbo is much more than a simple platformer: it's an experience, and one that will have you pondering the very essence of life by the time you finish. Deep, profound and absorbing, it's among the best indie games that everybody should take time out to play.
If you're looking for a retro-inspired multiplayer archery combat game (aren't we all?), TowerFall: Ascension is the pick of the lot. Fast, frenetic and teeth-gnashingly hard in hardcore mode, the game's mechanics are simple: fire arrows at your enemies or jump on their heads to stay alive until the round ends.
Arrows that don't hit are embedded in walls, making for tense scenarios when you have to traverse the map while dodging enemies to retrieve them. As such, practicing until you achieve Robin Hood-esque levels of accuracy is key. Ascension is best experienced with friends in local multiplayer mode, which is reminiscent of Super Smash Bros' most manic moments.
It’s not often that a platformer is able to balance challenging and engaging gameplay with an emotional and thought-provoking narrative. Celeste, however, pulls it off, making it one of our best indie games picks. From the developers of Towerfall, Celeste follows the story of Madeline, a young girl who decides to face her mental health issues by climbing to the top of the mysterious Celeste Mountain. In doing so, she learns more not only about the mountain, but about herself as well throughout the process.
An inevitable classic, Celeste integrates the obvious jump, air-dash and climb controls into a brutal series of platforming challenges in upwards of 700 unique screens. If that’s too easy, you’ll unlock B-side chapters along the way, designed for only the most intrepid of hardcore players. You don’t even have to worry about waiting an eternity between each respawn, as Celeste brings you back from the grave in an instant, a welcome departure from the typically extensive load screens.
Have you ever wanted to land on an alien planet, and build a factory? Yes, it’s an unusual premise, but we promise that it works in Satisfactory. You’ll land on one of three planets of varying difficulty, where you’ll be tasked with building and automating a factory to exploit the world around you.
The premise sounds bland, but being able to roam these beautiful worlds in first person while scavenging materials and fighting off hostile wildlife makes it all that more exciting. Plus, is there anything better than sitting back and admiring something you worked hard on?
Satisfactory is in early access right now, and exclusive to the Epic Games Store, but if you can get past all that, you’re sure to get hours of wholesome simulation out of it.
After the raging success that was the original Nidhogg, it’s a shame to see the superior sequel get thrown under the bus. Nevertheless, despite its controversial art style, Nidhogg 2 packs a refined, stunning look that the first version, a cult-classic, wouldn’t dare compete with, which is one of the reasons why it’s on our best indie games list.
In still frames, we can see how this could get misconstrued, but fortunately, it’s the fun and addictive local multiplayer gameplay that makes Nidhogg, well, Nidhogg. And it’s all there in Nidhogg 2. Additionally, every time you respawn, you get one of four unique weapons that only bolster the challenge.
Esteemed indie designer Jon Blow's follow up to Braid may look like a wholly different adventure, being 3D and all. However, the two are more thematically alike than you might think. The Witness, at its core, is another puzzle game that tells an absorbing story through said puzzles.
This puzzler takes place in an almost equally impressionist – albeit heavily Myst-inspired – world, but it's story is far more nuanced and mysterious than Blow's earlier work. At almost every corner of this island that you've simply woken up on (or beneath), there is a clue as to how you got onto this island and why you're here.
Don’t get us wrong, we liked Bastion. Still, we can’t deny that Transistor was SuperGiant Games’ best work to date – not to mention, one of the best indie games to hit the streets today. Much of that has to do with the combination of action-based and turn-based RPG elements contained within its cyberpunk futurescape. Likewise, in classic SuperGiant fashion, those mechanics are complemented with a stunning art style and a music score so stunning it’ll make you want to buy the soundtrack.
Leaving key gameplay beats up to the player, the story isn’t so variable. Transistor’s main character, Red, is a renowned singer in the city of Cloudbank. However, she’s been attacked by a group of vicious robots who call themselves the Process, operated by another group called the Camerata. In her journey, she finds the Transistor, a mysterious sword with the voice of a man. Soon enough, she’ll learn more about him and how he will shake up her world.
It’s weird to think that Oxenfree came out before the first season of Stranger Things, and yet, the two coincidentally have a lot in common. The 80s-inspired heavy synth music composed by scntfc, for one, highlights some truly gripping sci-fi horror revolving around – you guessed it – a group of teenagers stuck on an island.
The story involves a handful of uniquely written characters, namely the main character Alex, along with her stoner friend Ren, her newfound stepbrother Jonas, her dead brother Michael’s ex-girlfriend Clarissa and her best friend Nona, with whom Ren happens to be in love with.
The plot is explained through branching speech dialogues, kind of like Life is Strange or modern-day Telltale games, and it offers five different endings depending on your choices.
Exploring a surreal wilderness seems to be the trend these days – and not just in real life. Developer Campo Santo's debut, Firewatch, only serves to keep it going in gaming. Set in the wilderness of 1989 Wyoming, you're playing Henry, a fire lookout that's all alone in the woods after exploring something strange in the distance.
That is, except for your partner on the other line of a walkie-talkie: Delilah. She's your only point of contact as you explore the wilderness. Will you make it back alive? Will the decisions you make help or harm the relationship with your only lifeline to the outside world, your boss? But don't worry about those questions just yet – as with any adventure in the Great Outdoors, take some time to appreciate those forestscapes first!
Rust is one of the more successful indie titles – not to mention, one of the best indie games – of recent times. By the end of 2015, it had sold more than 3 million copies. That’s not too shabby considering it wasn’t even finished — the game has been on Steam's Early Access scheme since being released in December 2013.
It seems people can't get enough of the Day Z-inspired survival sim. It sees you use your wits and bearings to survive its harsh open world, with nothing but a rock… at least, in the beginning. After gathering the resources you need to build a house and weapons to fend off attackers (other online players, in other words), Rust progressively becomes more intense as you defend your growing base — or attempt to breach others'.
Fans of the original Overcooked will not be disappointed by its second installment in the chaotic couch co-op series from British indie game developer Team17.
This time around, your mission is to defeat the 'Un-Bread' (zombie baked goods) that have taken over the Onion Kingdom, by battling through brand new recipes including sushi, pizza and burgers in increasingly chaotic kitchens with up to three other people.
To add to the frenetic fun, you must deal with obstacles including random fires, collapsing floors and interfering passers by, all while getting your orders out to the pass in time.
Things get complicated incredibly quickly. Relationships, friendships and family bonds will be tested as you work together to complete your recipes on time. Overcooked 2 is a fun and challenging couch co-op game that will make you truly understand the meaning of "too many cooks spoil the broth” and is well-deserving of its spot in our best indie games list.
The natural progression of survival games, SCUM takes what predecessors like Rust and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds both succeeded at, only better by iterating in impressive ways. It offers a unique twist, combining the frenetic gameplay of battle royale games with the slow, thoughtful tactical of a survival sim.
SCUM, unlike other similar games, is very heavy on the simulation side of things, however. You shouldn’t expect to run in guns blazing, as you’re going to get tired quickly (just as you would if you tried running outside in person with a ton of stuff in your backpack). But, if heavy statistic systems is something your into, this might be one of the best indie games for you. It’s like spreadsheets with a physics engine.
Just don’t go in expecting a polished experience, not for now. However, developer Croteam promises to add more features over time, and as they’re backed by Devolver, you can trust that the game is going to shape up into something great.
Every so often, there’s a game that perfectly balances aesthetic, gameplay and narrative – where everything feels like it just fits like puzzle pieces. The best indie games always excel at this, and Return of the Obra Dinn is the epitome of that. A mystery taking place on a derelict ship, your mission is to figure out how the crew of this lost ship died, disappeared or worse.
The entire game has this old-school visual styling that, combining it with the simple controls and gameplay technique that make it feel like a nostalgic sort of adventure. Right from the settings menu, you’ll get to choose what kind of monitor you’d like to emulate – we picked an old school Macintosh option – that should give you an idea of the type of retro revivalism on offer here.
Critical thinking, exploration and a ton of reading is essential in Return of the Obra Dinn. If that all sounds appealing to you, and you’re happy with retro aesthetics, you will love this game. In fact, it’s one of the best indie games in a season marked with AAA decadence.
If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably spent hundreds of hours playing Roller Coaster Tycoon during your childhood. These days, while there have been plenty of amusement park simulators over the last few years, they’ve never quite hit that spot. That is, until Parkitect.
Parkitect might just be the closest we have to those early aughts park simulators currently, and we’re absolutely in love. From the cartoonish art style to the realistic simulation and Steam Workshop integration, Parkitect is one of the best indie games 2019 has to offer.
For years, thatgamecompany has been behind some of the best indie games on the market, but most of them had been exclusive to PlayStation. One such game was Flower. Serving as a kind of a precursor to the beloved Journey, Flower puts you in command of a flower petal, surfing through the wind.
You’ll activate different colors of flower beds to affect the environment, which will also get you different colored petals, until you have an entire trail of color surfing the wind. It’s an incredibly relaxing and creative experience, which also gives you an insight on the industrial world we all find ourselves living in. Trust us, give it a shot as it’s one of the best – not to mention, most legendary – indie games ever.
The best computers are more powerful now than ever. They’ve evolved to the point of boasting eight-core processors and super high-end graphics cards, some of which offer real time ray tracing – things that would not have been possible only a few years ago. So stay on the cutting edge in 2019, and get one of the best computers included on this list. Even if most of what you’ll do is use Facebook and surf the internet.
Luckily, the best computers on the market are also more affordable than ever, which means that whatever your budget is, you'll find one that's ideal for you and your needs. You can pick up a solid PC or even an all-in-one desktop for around $500 (about £390, AU$715), for example. Plus, many of them will last you a lifetime – because the best computers are upgradeable, it’s easy to keep them current by fitting in new and improved PC components, like fast SSDs, more RAM and maybe even the best graphics card.
With so many options on hand however, deciding on the best computer for you, your needs and your budget may not be that easy. So we gathered all the best computers out there, paying close attention to those that hit that sweet spot between price and performance.
Go through our list of the best computers and pick out what you like, depending on what you need and can afford. Here are our top picks for the best computers 2019 has on offer.
The Dell XPS Tower looks low-key. That is, it looks like that PC your parents used to have shoved underneath the desk when you were a kid. However, its no-nonsense exterior hides an array of exciting components. One of the best computers available right now, the Dell XPS Tower is fitted with up to an RTX 2070 graphics card, a 9th-generation Intel Core processor, and a spacious hard drive and/or SSD. This excellent special edition PC configuration is only available in the US, but UK and Australian readers can pick up the regular Dell XPS Tower and then beef it up, though there are some limitations such as the graphics card options topping out with the GTX 1060.
Read the full review: Dell XPS Tower Special Edition
The Surface Studio quickly rose to fame as one of the best computers for artists when it was first released. It’s no surprise, therefore, that its sequel has taken up the mantle. Packed with a Kaby Lake mobile processor and Nvidia Pascal graphics, the Surface Studio 2 has a lot more power than the original, and it can handle anything you throw at it for the next couple of years, at the very least. It’s also inherited that gorgeous PixelSense display with Surface Pen support, allowing it to retain the privilege of being one of the best all-in-one – not to mention, the best computers on this list – for creatives.
Read the full review: Surface Studio 2
- See more like this: the best all-in-one PCs
If you want an outstanding desktop experience, but you don’t have a ton of space on your desk, then Intel Hades Canyon NUC might just be the computer for you. This small bare-bones PC has a ridiculously fast 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor and discrete-class AMD Radeon graphics. Throw some RAM and storage in, and you will be conquering the best PC games without breaking a sweat. Granted, it won’t stand up against a full-sized desktop. But, when you’re short on space – or you’d rather have a PC that looks like a set-top box – this is one of the best computers to consider.
Read the full review: Intel Hades Canyon NUC
With the Aurora R7, there’s no stopping Alienware in making its way back to the top of the best computers, especially for gaming. The Alienware Aurora R7 isn’t just one of the greatest gaming PCs; it’s also among the best computers money can buy. It boasts blazing fast performance with its 8th-generation Intel Core processor and GTX 10-series graphics, all that power conveniently hidden away in its appealing and sleek chassis. It’s also surprisingly affordable, considering the power under the hood. Did we mention that this PC is also easily upgradeable, despite the unique form-factor?
Read the full review: Alienware Aurora R7
- See more like this: the best gaming PCs
If you’re looking for a computer that will look just as good in your living room as it does in your home office, then the Corsair One i160 is your best bet. It hides an unbelievable amount of power inside its sleek, compact chassis, packing a Coffee Lake Refresh processor and Nvidia Turing graphics – not to mention a whopping 32GB of RAM. This is an absolute monster, and will chew through any game you throw at it, even on that nice 4K TV you just bought. Just prepare yourself, as that high price tag might send you reeling.
Read the full review: Corsair One i160
It’s easy to think that Apple is overpriced, but your wallet might be spared if you jump on the Mac mini bandwagon. The Mac mini 2018 isn’t just a small form-factor PC that looks adorable, but it’s also packed tight with high-end desktop parts. And, that’s all for a much cheaper price than any other Mac on the market, making it a solid investment for anyone who already has a slew of Mac-ready peripherals or a Mac fan who doesn’t want to spring for a Mac Pro. Plus, unlike many of Apple’s recent products, the Mac mini is partially upgradeable – you can boost your memory up to 64GB of RAM.
Read the full review: Apple Mac mini
- See more like this: the best Macs 2019
Don’t confuse the HP Pavilion Wave for a fabric-woven old Mac Pro wannabe, as it is something else entirely. This compact Windows machine packs 6th-generation Intel Core processors, coupled with optional discrete AMD graphics and uniquely integrated Bang & Olufsen speakers. It’s also wrapped in an urbane fabric exterior, definitely making it the most fetching of the best computers to have on your desk or even a bookshelf. Plus, it radiates crisp sound as you browse the web or watch movies.
Read the first look: HP Pavilion Wave
Some people have issues with desktop PCs, as they tend to be bulky. The Intel Core Compute Stick has really made that moot. Looking more like a thumb drive than an actual PC, this little renegade can connect to any display with an HDMI input. It starts out with a lowly 1.33GHz Intel Atom processor running Linux, but can be configured up to an Intel Core m5 processor. This is one of the best computers to literally slip in your pocket, whether you need to get some work done during your daily commute or squeeze in some PC time while you’re on vacation.
Specifications (as reviewed)
|Product||Dell XPS Tower Special Edition||Microsoft Surface Studio 2||Intel Hades Canyon NUC||Alienware Aurora R7||Corsair One i160||Apple Mac mini (Late 2018)||HP Pavilion Wave||Intel Compute Stick|
|CPU||Intel Core i7-8700||Intel Core i7-7820HQ||Intel Core i7-8809G||Intel Core i7-8700K||Intel Core i9-9900K||Intel Core i3-8100||Intel Core i5-7400T||Intel Atom x5-Z8500|
|Graphics||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070||Radeon RX Vega M GH graphics||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti||Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti||Intel UHD Graphics 630||AMD Radeon R9 M470||N/A|
|RAM||16GB DDR4||32GB DDR4||16GB DDR4||32GB DDR4||32GB DDR4||8GB DDR4||16GB DDR3||2GB LPDDR3|
|Storage||256GB PCIe NVMe SSD, 1TB HDD (7,200 rpm)||1TB PCIe SSD||118GB Intel Optane SSD 800P Series (NVMe), 512GB Intel SSD 545s Series (M.2 SATA)||512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD, 2TB HDD||480GB M.2 NVMe SSD, 2TB HDD||128GB PCIe SSD||1TB HDD||32GB|
Bill Thomas and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article
Image Credits: TechRadar
- While you’re at it, we’ve also found the best gaming desktop PC you can buy
Documents obtained by the publication reveal that the firm partnered with China's state-owned Panda International Information Technology on projects in North Korea for at least eight years, beginning when the late Kim Jong Il visited the company's headquarters back in 2006.
Huawei was responsible for providing cellular infrastructure, network management and encryption while Panda provided software and also transported Huawei gear to the country.
- Huawei ban: the global fallout explained
- FireEye unmasks new North Korean threat group
- US Government starts to relax Huawei ban
Koryolink allowed North Korea to spy on it citizens with interception gateways that let law enforcement intercept calls, texts, data and faxes sent on the network. Meanwhile government elites used North Korean made encryption to prevent their conversations from being monitored. According to the Post's report, Huawei was asked to test how well the encryption functioned while Panda provided supporting software.
A spokesperson for Huawei told the Post that it “has no business presence” in North Korea though they would not say whether the Chinese firm had worked with the country in the past. The company no longer maintains Koryolink as it was replaced by the ZTE-supported Kang Song network which launched in 2013.
If working together with North Korea wasn't bad enough, Huawei may have also broken laws and sanctions against the country while doing so. Experts believe that the firm's 3G gear used for Koryolink also included at least some US components. Back in 2014 Panda was banned from receiving equipment from the US and as a result, Huawei may have violated the American export ban if any of its equipment included at least 10 percent of components from the US.
The Chinese firm also tried to keep its work in North Korea secret by giving the country the codename “A9” in its official documents. While working with Iran and Syria, Huawei used similar codenames to avoid detection.