Flip phones deserve a shot because phones all look the same now

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Photo by Avery White for The Verge

As more folding phones get released, I’m seeing more people ask an important and honest question: does anybody really need this? There are many different answers but I think the most important one is simply this: not at the prices we’ve seen so far, no.

But if prices can come down and build quality can go up, I can see all sorts of cases for folding phones. The easiest case to make is for something like the Galaxy Fold, a phone that unfolds into a little mini tablet. In both of my reviews of that device, I came away disappointed in the execution but interested in the idea. Little tablets are nicer than giant phones, and making one more portable seems like a good idea.

A flip phone is a tougher call, though. For the Motorola Razr, there…

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Google appeases Stadia subscribers with the first new game announcements since launch

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Following a troubled launch last year, Google has announced that five specific new games will arrive on its cloud gaming service Stadia “in the coming months,” finally giving us some additional titles we can look forward to playing.

Sure, Google already said last month that Stadia would receive more than 120 games this year, including ten exclusives, but it hadn’t named a single new game between its November 19th debut and now — right before early adopters’ three-month Stadia Pro trials are about to expire.

Stadia’s new set of games includes Panzer Dragoon Remake and the Serious Sam Collection, as well as three games that will actually come to Stadia before they arrive elsewhere — Lost Words: Beyond the Page, a puzzle game with a heavy…

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Robert Pattinson’s Batman revealed in new teaser video

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Robert Pattinson is the new Batman, and thanks to a new teaser, we just got a first look at what he looks like in the famous batsuit.

Matt Reeves, who is directing the new Batman movie, shared a screen test of Pattinson in the new suit, and many Verge editors, myself included, are very here for it.

I loved Christian Bale as Batman, and I never thought another actor would really replace him as the Batman in my mind. (I never saw any of the movies with Ben Affleck as Batman, but my understanding is that they weren’t great.) But based just on this short video, I think Pattinson could have a real shot at becoming my favorite version of the caped…

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EA reassigns future Need for Speed projects to Burnout developer Criterion Games

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EA says that future games in the Need for Speed series will be developed by Criterion Games, while the series’s previous developer Ghost Games will be rebranded as a support studio to aid in various projects under the EA umbrella, according to GamesIndustry.biz.

Criterion Games is best known for creating the Burnout series. However, the studio previously produced two games in the Need for Speed series — 2010’s Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and 2012’s Need for Speed: Most Wanted, which are some of the more popular installments in the franchise.

Personally, I felt that 2012’s Most Wanted was a high point in the series because it felt like a spiritual sequel to Burnout, while maintaining the identity of Need for Speed. Meanwhile, my editor…

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Apple’s new 16-inch MacBook Pro is now available refurbished, starting at $2,039

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Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verg

Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro is now available through the company’s refurbished store starting at $2,039. This model from late 2019 has an improved keyboard, lots of power, and what The Verge’s Dieter Bohn thinks are the “best speakers on a laptop.” It’s usually very expensive, starting at $2,399 for a new machine and moving up from there. But starting today (via MacRumors) you can decide between several refurbished models through Apple’s online store.

The base $2,399 configuration is now $2,039 and it comes with a six-core 2.6GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and AMD’s Radeon Pro 5300M integrated graphics chip.

The higher-end $2,799 model is also discounted to $2,379 refurbished (which is actually $20 less than the…

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How to use Pokémon Home to move your pokédex between games

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Pokémon Sword Shield

Pokémon Home is a new cloud-based storage service available as an app for Android and iOS phones and tablets, as well as the Nintendo Switch. One of its most alluring features is that it allows you to keep your pokédex handy wherever you might be — for a fee. Better yet, it allows you to form a unified pokédex, pulling in the pokémon you’ve caught in previous games so you can deploy them in, say, Pokémon Sword or Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! (Pokémon Go support is still in development for the Home app.)

Given that Pokémon games span so many years and various console platforms, getting all of your pokémon into Pokémon Home involves more steps the longer your journey dates back — less if you’ve only gotten started with the recent Pokémon…

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AR Pianist app is fun to watch, but that’s about it

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Image: Massive Technologies

AR and VR company Massive Technologies has just released an app called AR Pianist which superimposes virtual musicians on pianos to give you “piano concerts from the comfort of your living room.” The app was first teased last December, when a tweet went viral with a video that showed virtual pianists popping up on-screen as the camera scanned across several different pianos.

Here’s the thing: My one colleague, Nilay Patel, says AR Pianist is “so cool,” while my other colleague, Thomas Ricker, says it’s the “AR equivalent of a fart app” (as in: use once and delete). Who’s right?

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Apple files patent for a smart home system that could configure itself

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

An Apple patent published today reveals an idea for a system that could automatically detect smart home devices and potentially configure them for the room they’re in (via Patently Apple).

As Apple points out in the patent, there are a lot of good smart home devices and technologies available now. But it can be very challenging to actually configure those devices to make a fully integrated smart home, due to factors like different types of wireless protocols, connector types, incompatible devices between vendors, and more. Apple has patented a system that could make connecting all of your smart things easier by automatically detecting a new smart device, what room it’s in, and authenticating it for you to use.

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The Galaxy S20 is the first high-refresh display phone many people will own

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Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Samsung’s Galaxy S20 lineup innovates on many fronts. For most consumers, the S20 will be the first 5G device they ever lay their hands on, the first phones with Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 865 processor, and the debut of Samsung’s much-hyped 108-megapixel sensor (at least on the S20 Ultra). But the most important feature the S20 lineup is going to introduce to most phone owners might be the one that isn’t actually that new at all: the high-refresh 120Hz display.

Of course, there have been various high-refresh display devices in the US before: Apple’s offered a high-refresh “ProMotion” mode on its iPad Pro lineup since 2017, and the Razer Phone introduced the technology on smartphones later that year. Since then, it’s appeared in a…

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From the Strategist: The best roller skates

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Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Not long ago, we wrote about how rollerblading is back — but that’s not the only fun way to pass the time with wheels strapped to your feet. Roller-skating — which first became popular in the ‘70s, about two decades earlier than roller-blading — has also glided back into popular culture of late, thanks to shows like Euphoria, in which Zendaya & Co. tie on some pairs of old-fashioned skates and hit their local rink. But even though roller-skating predates rollerblading, there are lots of new roller-skate brands on the market, making new styles of the Technicolor wheeled footwear of your childhood dreams for all experience levels and budgets.

Of course, if you’re thinking about investing in a new pair of skates, there are things to look…

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These deals make for good last-minute Valentine’s Day gifts

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, so time is nearly up for you to think of a nice gift for your significant other, spouse, or close friends. Spending time with them over dinner is always a good bet, but in case you want to buy them something, we’ve found a few last-minute gifts that should make them happy — at least, once the packages arrive in the mail.

The Beats Studio 3 wireless noise-canceling headphones in shadow gray (new in box with a one-year warranty) are $190 at Daily Steals, which is even more affordable than the excellent sale price we saw during Black Friday. (You can find a few color options at Best Buy for $200, though they are $350 at most other retailers.) Click the link below, then put in the exclusive offer code VERGEBEAT3…

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Xiaomi’s Mi 10 flagship 5G phones launch in China

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Xiaomi’s latest flagship the Mi 10 Pro. | Image: Xiaomi

Xiaomi just took the wraps off its latest 5G phones, the flagship Mi 10 series. Both the Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro feature 6.67-inch 2340 x 1080 OLED displays with a 90Hz refresh rate, Snapdragon 865 processors, dual-mode 5G, Wi-Fi 6, up to 12GB of RAM, wireless charging, and quad-camera configurations with a trendy 108-megapixel main shooter that can record 8K video. Both phones will ship in China first before going international.

The flagships were expected to make their European debut on February 23rd ahead of the big MWC phone show in Barcelona. That was before the event was canceled over concerns with the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Xiaomi says a new launch date will be announced soon.

The Mi 10 Pro is the higher-specced version…

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Motorola Razr undergoes iFixit’s ‘most complicated’ teardown yet

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Image: iFixit

iFixit has posted a detailed teardown of Motorola’s foldable Razr, giving us our best look yet at the the inside of the device and its complicated mechanical hinging mechanism. Although iFixit praises the “numerous feats of engineering” that the company pulled off with its design, it says that its complexity made the Razr the “most complicated phone-based contraption” its ever taken apart.

There were several reasons for this. Motorola’s gratuitous use of glue makes the device tricky to open in the first place, and even then there are plenty of flex cables that are easy to accidentally snap, creating “booby traps” for would-be repairers. It’s so complicated that iFixit says it’s surprising that Motorola is able to offer screen repairs for…

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Sonic the Hedgehog review: fast casual

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Image: Paramount

When the first trailer for Sonic the Hedgehog was released in 2019, fans were horrified by CGI Sonic’s beady little eyes and human teeth — an uncanny valley horror. He had a face that was asking a lot of a mother to love, let alone moviegoers. So Paramount pushed back the movie’s release date and brought in animator Tyson Hesse, art director for Sonic Mania Adventures, to lead the redesign. Not only did the animators go above and beyond in fixing Sonic to look more like his video game origins, but they might’ve saved the movie.

The new Sonic is so adorable that it almost makes up for a pretty generic plot and a human cast that play the roles of “heroic” and “bad” so straight, they could be extras in The Good Place. To run away from…

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Apple’s free learn-to-code Swift Playgrounds sandbox arrives on Mac

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Nearly four years after it launched as an iPad-exclusive in 2016, Apple’s Swift Playgrounds app is now available for Mac as part of Apple’s Catalyst app initiative, designed to help bridge the software gap between its macOS and iOS platforms (via 9to5Mac).

The free app cleverly disguised as a video game teaches kids how to use Apple’s Swift programming language, and to maybe build apps of their own. Now that it’s on Mac, it might be easier for kids to publish those Swift apps, too; they can now use those skills on the same laptop they’d need for the company’s Xcode software. Xcode isn’t available on Apple’s tablets.

Apple’s product page also says your code will seamlessly move from iPad to Mac as you write it, and the new app comes…

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How to use Safari’s tools to protect your privacy while browsing

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

If you’re a Mac user, then you have a copy of Safari on your computer — it’s the default browser for macOS. If you do use it, you’ll be happy to learn that, like other major browsers, Safari has been provided with a number of safeguards to enhance user privacy.

Tracking is a major threat to online privacy, and there are several different methods for tracking users, from first-party cookies (usually used to store your preferences) to third-party tracking cookies (which gather information about your online activity). There’s also fingerprinting, which involves collecting details about your system’s configuration to build an identifiable fingerprint used to track you across the web.

Below, we walk you through how to adjust your settings on…

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Industry vet Geoff Keighley is skipping E3 for the first time in 25 years

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The Game Awards 2019 - Show

Photo by JC Olivera/Getty Images

Yet another big name has dropped out of E3 2020. Today, veteran broadcaster Geoff Keighley, who has hosted and produced the E3 Coliseum for the last few years and has long been a fixture of the event, announced that he wouldn’t be attending the show this year. No specific reason was given, but you can read Keighley’s statement in full below:

For the past 25 years, I have attended every Electronic Entertainment Expo. Covering, hosting, and sharing E3 has been a highlight of my year, not to mention a defining part of my career.I’ve debated what to say about E3 2020. While I want to support the developers who will showcase their work, I also need to be open and honest with you, the fans, about precisely what to expect from me.

I have made…

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You should play this extremely chill game about serving coffee to vampires and elves

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There’s something supremely satisfying about the ritual of making coffee: the smell, the heat, the way all of the tiny details eventually become second nature. For some, the process can be as important and gratifying as the end product. And it turns out that can be true even when you’re brewing a virtual cup.

Coffee Talk is a game about, well, coffee and talking. It’s a sort of visual novel where you play the proprietor of a coffee shop in an alternate version of Seattle. It’s still 2020, and it still rains every day, but the world is also full of magical creatures. Your patrons include not only humans, but also vampires, elves, werewolves, mermaids, and other mythical beings. The cafe is only open after midnight — fans of Netflix’s…

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Pokémon Home is out now on the Switch, iPhone, and Android

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The Pokémon Company International released its cloud service, Pokémon Home, for the Nintendo Switch and mobile devices. For the next month, Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter will be available for free before switching over to Premium on March 12th.

Pokémon Home acts as a storage unit where users can move pokémon to other linked and compatible games and trade. The Premium version — which is available for $2.99 a month, $4.99 for three months, or $15.99 for a year — allows for 6,000 pokémon in storage and the ability to transfer from the bank. The Premium mobile version also lets users host their own Room Trades and expands the number of pokémon that are placeable in the Wonder Box and GTS at once. The basic, free version only allows for…

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Dell’s XPS 13 with a 10th Gen Intel Core i5 processor is $400 off

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Dell is hosting a Presidents’ Day sale ahead of the US holiday on Monday, February 17th. Plenty of laptops, desktops, monitors, and more are discounted. But some of the best deals it offers are available for a short window of time. Dell’s XPS 13 with a 10th Gen Intel Core i5 processor is one of those deals.

Starting at 11AM ET, you can buy the Dell XPS 13 for $799. It usually sells for $1,199, and here’s a look at some of the specs you’ll find inside. It has a 13.3-inch 1080p display, a 10th Gen Intel Core i5-10210U Comet Lake processor, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB PCIe solid-state drive, and two Thunderbolt 3 ports.

This isn’t the brand-new design that Dell debuted at CES 2020, which virtually eliminates most of the bezels around the display….

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