Forget Apple And Google, This Surprise Phone Is 2020’s Unlikely Brilliant Device


As a new class of over-priced mechanical marvels and ultra high-end smartphones emerges, ‘affordable’ handsets are becoming more powerful and cheaper. September’s bloated launch schedule is solid proof of that. 

Manufacturers have to strike a balance between cost, performance, build quality and some special extras to stand out from the crowd. Because of this, when I’m not reviewing a phone, I’ll plump for a Google Pixel because I think they offer most of the above with some unique AI features thrown in. Read why that’s so important here. 

But rivals are starting to crowd Google’s space, with Apple reportedly dropping the entry level iPhone 12 price to $649. I’m eagerly awaiting my Pixel 5 review unit to arrive, but until that lands it is Samsung’s new Galaxy S20 FE 5G that has taken my sim card hostage. And it’s growing on me, fast. Here’s why.

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The 120Hz refresh rate is such an important display feature in 2020. It makes a huge difference to your smartphone experience. That refresh rate is aided by Samsung’s Super AMOLED technology, which remains unmatched. There’s no QuadHD option like on more expensive Galaxy phones, but I’m not missing it.

I usually opt for FHD at 120Hz on my Galaxy Z Fold 2, instead of 60Hz at the higher resolution because the fluidity is noticeable and addictive, particularly when gaming or watching videos. A 120Hz refresh rate on Samsung’s excellent display tech, at this price range, is an important differentiator.

The 4500mAh battery, too, borrows from age-old mid-range phone principles: it’s cheaper, it’s worse, but it lasts. On moderate usage, the FE lasts comfortably past 24 hours.

PS5 3D Audio, Surprise Game Collections, & A Blizzard Studio Shutdown | Save State


In this video, Persia talks about the PS5’s new 3D audio feature and how it will work for your headset but not for your TV speakers at launch. Sony also showed of its Pulse 3D wireless headset, which it says will be the best way to experience the PS5’s 3D audio capabilities. A few confirmed games to support this feature are Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Demon’s Souls, and Resident Evil Village.

Persia also talks about the surprise announcement and release of two collections from Bethesda. The first collection includes four Wolfenstein games in all: The New Order, The Old Blood, The New Colossus, and Youngblood. The second is The Arkane Collection and includes Prey, Dishonored, and Dishonored 2, along with the standalone Dishonored 2 expansion Death of the Outsider. Bethesda also confirmed to GameSpot that both collections will be playable on next-gen consoles through backwards compatibility.

Lastly, Persia talks about Bloomberg reporting that Blizzard will be closing its offices in Versailles, France. The Versailles office was responsible for marketing, providing customer support, and localizing Blizzard games across Europe.

This is your Save State for Monday, October 6th.

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PlayStation Plus Seemed To Add Surprise Free Game


Update: Bloodborne appears to no longer be available via PlayStation Plus, and it’s price is once again listed at $20.

PlayStation Plus’s free games for October 2020 are racing game Need for Speed Payback and action-RPG Vampyr. However, seemingly out of nowhere, Bloodborne has also been made free for PS Plus subscribers. It’s unclear if this is a mistake, as Sony did not announce the From Software action game as one of this month’s free offerings. You’ll want to claim this as soon as possible, as it could be an error and fixed shortly.

Bloodborne was PlayStation Plus’s offering all the way back in March 2018 and is included in the PS5’s upcoming Plus Collection, which grants subscribers a library of backwards-compatible PS4 games on the next-gen console.

Bloodborne is remembered as one of the best PS4 games. It received a 9/10 in GameSpot’s Bloodborne review for its agile and brutal combat, phenomenal creature and world design, and interconnected world that “makes every discovery a wonder.”

“The finest treasures are found within the city of Yharnam and the forests, lakes, and purgatories beyond it,” critic Kevin VanOrd wrote. “I finished Bloodborne in less time than I did Dark Souls II, yet I treasure it more in spite of its few missteps. In death there is life, and in blood, there is redemption. More hyperbole, yes, but for a game this theatrical, only hyperbole will do.”

Next month, we see the remake of From Software’s first PlayStation exclusive launch alongside the PS5. Demon’s Souls is being helmed by Bluepoint Games, which is known for its quality remasters and remakes like Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection and Shadow of the Colossus. We recently got our first look at Demon’s Souls gameplay, which showcased zero loading times when warping between zones and the

POLITICO Playbook: The latest September surprise


TWO DAYS BEFORE the first presidential debate between President DONALD TRUMP and JOE BIDEN, and just 37 days ahead of Election Day, The New York Times dropped what it promises is the first of several stories detailing TRUMP’S tax returns — a prize journalists, congressional committees and prosecutors have been seeking for years.

THE REVELATION seems to have caught the White House flat-footed, with the president left claiming that the paper hadn’t contacted him — though his company’s lawyer is quoted in the story — and that the article was “fake news.” The BIDEN campaign has already cut an online ad in response.

NYT’S RUSS BUETTNER, SUSANNE CRAIG and MIKE MCINTIRE: “Long-concealed Records Show Trump’s Chronic Losses and Years of Tax Avoidance”: “Donald J. Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency. In his first year in the White House, he paid another $750. He had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years — largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.

“As the president wages a re-election campaign that polls say he is in danger of losing, his finances are under stress, beset by losses and hundreds of millions of dollars in debt coming due that he has personally guaranteed. Also hanging over him is a decade-long audit battle with the Internal Revenue Service over the legitimacy of a $72.9 million tax refund that he claimed, and received, after declaring huge losses. An adverse ruling could cost him more than

Surprise Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Beats Google Pixel 5 With Two Features


Samsung has stolen (some of) Google’s limelight by releasing a surprise budget handset days before the Pixel 5 launch. 

The phone, Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE (“fan edition”), also looks like it has been priced startlingly close to the rumoured cost of Google’s next flagship at $699. To get the cost down, Samsung has had to make some sacrifices in the camera and design department. 

But the Korean company’s penchant for overpowering its devices with top specifications is still present, most notably in the 120Hz FHD+ Super AMOLED screen. 120Hz displays are rare for ‘budget’ devices. A new standard for other mid-tier phones has truly been set. 

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Specification rumours for Google’s anticipated phone suggest that the search company has also upped its game and listened to long-supporting (suffering?) Pixel owners. The Pixel 5 will reportedly feature a hugely improved 4080mAh battery and, this may shock some long-time Pixel buyers, an ultra-wide lens. Yes, Google finally caved (apparently, we’ll definitively know next week). 

There may not be much between the two affordable phones. So what can Samsung’s handset do to tempt away potential Pixel purchasers?

The Xbox partnership is quietly excellent value for money 

Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE supports the company’s now trademark 120Hz refresh rate. The difference between 120Hz, 90Hz and 60Hz – the latter being the refresh rate most phones in this price tier support – is huge. The fluidity of 120Hz is noticeable all over the phone, especially when combined with the 6.5-inch display.

It’s fortunate, then, that Samsung has bundled the FE with the very capable MOGA XP5-X Plus controller. There is also three months free of Xbox Game