The best TechRadar reads you may have missed

It’s been a big few days in tech, from the full reveal of the Xbox Series X first-party launch titles through to our review of the OnePlus Nord. Kick your week off right with this run-down of all you need to know from the week that was.

As well as all the top stories from last week, we’ve also got ongoing reporting from the currently-developing Garmin outage story, including rumors that it may be related to a hack and not merely technical downtime.

Prefer getting TechRadar straight to your ears rather than your eyes? Scroll down and you’ll find the latest episode of our Noise Cancelling Podcast for in-depth commentary on the latest tech news, too.

cheap game pass ultimate sales price deals

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Bill Thomas

After showing a ton of new and exciting games at the official Xbox Games Showcase, Microsoft made one thing abundantly clear to me: I’m already set for the next generation – at least when it comes to Xbox first-party games. 

Practically every game shown off at the event is coming to the best gaming PCs, which means that I don’t have to worry about dropping tons of cash on new hardware in November. I can just scrape by with the hardware I spent thousands on back in 2018.

And, at the end of the day, that comes down pretty much entirely to Games Pass Ultimate, a service I’ve been subscribed to since it officially came to PC back in June 2019. It doesn’t look like I’ll be unsubscribing any time soon, either. 

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OnePlus Nord

(Image credit: TechRadar)

 John McCann

The OnePlus Nord represents an emphatic return to the combination of style, features and affordability that made the brand stand out when it arrived on the smartphone scene in 2014 with the OnePlus One

It offers an almost-flagship experience, at a comfortably lower price tag than the OnePlus 8 series, blending premium design, slick performance and great cameras for a heady mix of smartphone satisfaction.

The difference between 2014 and 2020 however, is that the market has moved on significantly, and OnePlus is no longer the challenger brand looking to upset the apple cart. The OnePlus Nord finds itself in a crowded mid-market filled with equally feature-rich devices, making it tougher for the phone to stand out.

The OnePlus Nord price is eye-catching though, and the handset offers plenty for your money. OnePlus says the Nord is “pretty much everything you could ask for”, and it’s got a point.

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(Image credit: Future)

Gareth Beavis

There’s nothing worse than grabbing a personal best in a run or cycle and then finding out you can’t brag about it to the world. 

OK, there are plenty of things worse – and actually, that kind of behavior probably isn’t healthy – but for those of us in denial, the recent Garmin outage is something that’s causing a lot of consternation.

Since July 23, the fitness brand has been suffering from a lack of connectivity, which was originally down to ‘maintenance’. This means anyone trying to upload a run, swim, cycle, yoga session or any kind of fitness workout to the Garmin Connect service is unable to do so. Click below to read more on this ongoing story.

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Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time

(Image credit: Toys for Bob/Activision)

Vic Hood

There’s always a level of concern when a popular game series changes hands, like when Halo was handed from Bungie to 343 Industries or when Tomb Raider’s development was taken over by Square Enix. So it’s understandable that Crash fans were somewhat apprehensive when Toys for Bob announced it was taking over Crash Bandicoot from Naughty Dog. Sure, Toys for Bob handled the Crash N. Sane Trilogy well, but could the developer make a brand new, fully-fledged Crash Bandicoot game? 

We can to tell you that, from playing three levels of Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time, Toys for Bob seems to have nailed it.

The Crash Bandicoot series may be laced in nostalgia, but more than a decade since the last mainline entry, the platformer needed a serious shake up to bring it into the modern era – and that’s what Toys for Bob has done. 

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(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Kim Key

We don’t all want to look like Henry Cavill, a beefcake of a man putting together a meaty gaming rig. 

Some of us would like to get away from the severe black and chrome battle stations and build something that fits our personal aesthetic. A “cute” gaming PC. 

But, what makes a battle station cute? It’s all about customization. From tower cases to SSD covers, there are ways to break from the stereotypical “gamer setup” without breaking the bank.

So, let’s look at how you can build a beautiful PC that suits your tastes and style perfectly.

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(Image credit: Samsung)

Amber Bryce

Whether you’re bingeing box sets and gaming the days away, TV has provided a much-needed escape during these uncertain times. 

But just as technology continues to advance, so does the way in which we watch TV. While your grandparents might reminisce of the days in which they would gather round a small box to watch crackled black and white monster movies, people nowadays expect a fully-immersive experience; one that enhances what they’re viewing on screen and envelopes them in its narrative. 

Thankfully, 2020 has seen plenty new and exciting TV technologies enter the fray. While many of them were first shown off or teased at the CES 2020 expo earlier this year, it’s only now that most of these technologies are entering the market or starting to see their potential realized on  a large scale.

Here we’ll delve into five of these new TV technologies to see how the future of TV watching is changing – and help you seek out the features you’ll want on your next TV upgrade.

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Samsung Galaxy Unpacked invite 2020

(Image credit: Samsung)

James Rogerson

Samsung is holding a big event on August 5, dubbed Unpacked 2020, and the company has already confirmed that it will be showing off five new devices at the event, but what will they be?

Well, while nothing is certain just yet, we’re pretty sure the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 will be among them, given that Samsung typically uses its Unpacked event at this time in the year to unveil new models in the Note range.

But that still leaves four other things. Below we’ll run you through the most likely Unpacked announcements, along with what we know so far about each device.

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Fitness tracker

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Suzie Dundas

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that 2020 is the year of staying local and getting outside. With so much vacation travel put on hold – and so many people finding themselves with additional free time – spending time hiking, biking, and enjoying the great outdoors has never been more appealing. 

While wearable fitness devices aren’t new to the market – heart-rate monitors and basic fitness trackers have been available to consumers since the early 2000s – they can still be quite expensive, especially with features like GPS tracking, music storage, sport-specific modes, and solar charging. Combine the steep price tag with the current economic impact of COVID-19, and it’s easy to see why buyers are considering used and pre-owned trackers. 

But is there ever a time when buying a used tracker is better than buying a new one? What are the risks? What should buyers ask before purchasing? And how should buyers evaluate whether it’s worth springing for a new tracker or if a used version will suffice?

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Can’t find the time to keep up with tech news? Looking for some awesome lockdown listening? We have you covered with the Noise Cancelling podcast, which is brought to you by TechRadar and our sister sites Laptop Mag and Tom’s Guide.

The show is presented by Gareth Beavis, Global Editor in Chief of TechRadar, and features Sherri L. Smith, Editor in Chief of Laptop Mag.

This week our guests are Scharon Harding of Tom’s Hardware and James Peckham, TechRadar’s Phones Editor, who join us (remotely, of course) to talk about the last seven days in tech.

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