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Author: Samuel Gibbs

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Galaxy Fold: Samsung investigates as screens break in first days



Flexible screen failed on several £1,800 tester devices in run-up to public release

The screen at the heart of Samsung’s new Galaxy Fold phone, which literally folds in half, has been failing in testers’ hands within days, prompting concerns about the durability of the £1,800 device.

The company distributed the device to publications across the US on Monday before its release to the public on 26 April. But within two days testers were reporting that the all-important central flexible screen started to break under normal use.

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Microsoft Surface Studio 2 review: in a class of its own



Stunning all-in-one PC that slides to become drawing tablet is held back by high price and old chips

The Surface Studio 2 is Microsoft’s beautiful all-singing, all-dancing, all-in-one desktop computer that is quite unlike anything else on the market. But then it should be with prices starting at more than £3,500.

Straight out of the box it’s obvious that the Surface Studio 2 is no ordinary computer. Its gorgeous, pixel-dense 28in screen appears to float, held effortlessly by two chrome articulated arms that are invisible when you’re sitting directly in front of it. The small grey pedestal below looks like a weighted stand, but contains the full workings of the PC.

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Smart speakers: five ways to get one on the cheap



Want to dip your toe in the voice-controlled world of Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant? Here are best, cheapest ways to start

Sales of smart speakers are soaring despite some people’s concerns over privacy, with Amazon’s Alexa leading the charge into homes in various Echo devices and Google’s Home and Assistant snapping at its heels.

They come in various shapes, sizes and prices, but if you just want to dip your toe into the burgeoning voice-powered world, what’s the cheapest way to get Alexa or Google Assistant into your home?

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Apple launches second generation AirPods with wireless charging



Bluetooth earbuds have longer battery life, hands-free Siri and new wireless charging case

Apple has launched a new version of its hugely popular wireless earbuds, the AirPods, with long-anticipated wireless charging and longer battery life.

The second-generation AirPods look identical to the previous version, complete with a white stalk that looks like a set of earphones with the cables cut off. But now the earbuds last longer when used for phone calls between charges and support hands-free access to Apple’s Siri voice assistant.

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Amazon’s cheapest Kindle now has a better screen and a front light



Higher contrast, better touchscreen and Paperwhite-like light among improvements

Amazon has released a new version of its cheapest Kindle e-reader with an improved screen and a reading light, a feature previously held back for its more expensive devices.

Costing £10 more than the previous generation, at £69.99, the new Kindle has a 6in e-ink display with an adjustable front light that projects from the sides to make the screen readable in the dark.

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Apple launches new iPad Mini and iPad Air



Updated models bring small tablet back into line with the iPhone XS and iPad Pro

Apple has updated its long-in-the-tooth but popular smallest tablet, the iPad Mini, and the larger iPad Air.

Both models have been brought up to parity with the iPhone XS and the iPad Pro with Apple’s A12 Bionic processor, which is up to three times faster than that in previous versions, which have chips dating back to 2014.

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Five of the best noise-cancelling headphones



Blocking out annoying sounds on flights or the commute with these options priced from £80

Daily life is stressful enough without being subjected to the noise of others. Thankfully noise cancelling headphones can help by actively blocking oppressive distractions, whether it’s for flights, the commute, or just in the office, with effective options costing from £80.

Here’s a quick guide to separate the wheat from the chaff.

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Samsung Galaxy S10+ review: a simply stunning screen



A fantastic display bolted to great cameras, a strong battery, an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner and even a headphone socket

The Galaxy S10+ may be Samsung’s most important phone in years, but at £899 does the huge screen, triple camera and fancy ultrasonic fingerprint scanner make for a worthy upgrade?

One thing is obvious: the Galaxy S10+ is not the future of smartphones. That would be the Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X, devices with folding screens that cost £2,000-plus. Instead the the Galaxy S10+ is one of the finest examples of today’s smartphones. Iterative but excellent. And you won’t need a mortgage to buy it.

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Best smartphone 2019: iPhone, Samsung, Huawei and Google compared and ranked



Our updated list of the top iOS and Android mobile phones – at the best prices right now

Need a new smartphone but don’t know which one is the very best? Here’s a guide comparing the current top-end smartphones from Apple, Samsung, Huawei and others to help you pick the best handset for you.

There has never been a better time to buy a new flagship smartphone with many quality handsets available at a wider range of prices than ever before. Whether your priority is two-day battery life, fantastic camera performance or a spectacular screen, there’s plenty to choose from.

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