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h.ear on headphones

It seems like with every new phone, Sony has a new accessory to plug. Presenting the pun-ful "H.ear On" headphones. They're over-ear cans that are supposedly at their best when playing back Sony's Hi-Res Audio. Of course, they'll need to paired with a compatible device -- like one of its new Xperia Z5 family. For the audiophiles: the H.ear On are closed-back headphones with fairly low impedance (24 Ohm) 40mm drivers, 5Hz - 60,000Hz frequency response and 103dB/mW sensitivity. For the rest of you: pretty colors! They'll cost $199.99 this November and come in an "exciting array of colors" including bordeaux pink, cinnabar red and (our favorite) lime yellow.

Sony Xperia Z5 family

To say that Sony's mobile division has had a tough time lately would be an understatement. As the company puts out half-hearted efforts like the Z3 and Z3+, sales have been dropping steadily. We're now at the point where Sony is losing more than $1 million per day just keeping the division going. Something has to change. Sony has to take smartphones seriously, and this is its attempt to do just that. Meet the Xperia Z5 family, which includes the world's first 4K phone display, "next-generation" cameras and some tiny, tiny fingerprint scanners.

There are basically no downsides to using Android anymore, but one of the few remaining bummers is that most great mobile games hit the iPhone first. That was the case with the wonderfully tranquil and beautiful snowboarding game Alto's Adventure that came out this past February, but fortunately that'll be rectified soon. Developer NoodleCake is working with the team that originally created Alto's Adventure to port the game over to Android and the Kindle Fire, and it should be ready to go soon. Unfortunately, that's not now, but you can stay tuned to the Alto's Adventure Twitter feed for updates. And if you're an iOS user and haven't tried this game yet, do yourself a favor and give it a go -- it's an endless runner that manages to somehow be relaxing, a rare combo.

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Sony's press events at IFA are the very model of efficiency, with nearly every division of the company announcing some new product in just under an hour. The highlight of the show is likely to be the the Xperia Z5, a premium device that was unfortunately leaked last week. Still, while the headline act may not be a surprise, there should still be plenty of exciting things for the company to whip out on stage. If that sounds like fun, then come back to this page at 4:00pm CEST / 3:00pm GMT / 10:00am ET / 7:00am PT for the madness to begin.

[Image Credit: AP Photo/Steffi Loos]

Popcorn Time

Popcorn Time may have won an army of fans with its "Netflix for Torrenting" service, but its rapid rise in popularity has also caught the attention of Hollywood and its legal teams. The Wall Street Journal reports that the studio behind The Expendables movies is suing 16 users of the Popcorn Time service, after they were allegedly found to have illegally downloaded and shared copies of straight-to-DVD Pierce Brosnan film Survivor.


Sony is taking over IFA 2015 for the next hour or so. Based on recent leaks and rumors, the Japanese company is expected to announce a new smartphone -- but it could more than one. Aside from that, Sony will likely also introduce other type of devices, as well as go over some of its recent products across different categories. The press conference starts at 10AM ET, and you can watch it live from Berlin via Sony's website. Of course, we'll be there too, so make sure you tune into our liveblog right here.

TV-Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert is going from talking about tech to getting involved with it. He's joining the ranks of comedian Kevin Hart and former Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger as a celebrity voice for Waze, the crowd-sourced mobile GPS app. Based on the video below, his audible suggestions don't go quite the distance we'd hoped in terms of hilarity but that's probably for the best. I mean, explaining to a cop that the reason you totaled your car was because The Late Show's new helmsman said there was a bear in the road and you needed to punch its face with your bumper probably wouldn't go over well -- for you or CBS's legal department. Sadly the former Colbert Report host's' voice will only be available through September 22nd.

[Image credit: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP]

Today at its IFA 2015 press event, Huawei unveiled the Mate S, a follow-up to last year's fingerprint sensor-enabled Ascend Mate 7. The device, which has now shrunk in size from 6-inches to a more manageable 5.5-inches, is a refresh that borrows the all-metal looks of its predecessor. But more so than looking back to the Ascend Mate 7, Huawei's new flagship draws heavy comparison to Apple's marquee smartphone: the iPhone 6 Plus.


Today on In Case You Missed It: Australia's tourism board is winning the selfie game by offering a selfie that merges tourist's own selfies with the same scene, expanded, taken with a second camera. Land Rover is demoing a trailer concept system that allows drivers to see what's behind a trailer with a video feed. And Grand Theft Auto V fans cobbled together an amusing wildlife documentary from the game that is worth a watch.

Huawei's upmarket take on an Android Wear watch has been a long time coming; we first saw it back in Barcelona at MWC shortly before the Chinese company stopped talking about it completely. Well, it just ended its vow of silence to confirm you can buy one of your own starting on September 17 (though if you're a little too eager, you can pre-order one now).

Moto X Play

The Moto X Play occupies a strange space in the company's 2015 lineup. It's an affordable, mid-range handset that does a decent job of keeping pace with the flagships. But at £249 ($382 including the UK's 20 percent sales tax), it's not that much more affordable than the company's top-tier X Style, and it's a lot pricier than our favorite budget smartphone, the Moto G. That's not to say there aren't benefits to splashing out on the X Play. You'll get a larger, higher-res display than on the G, an all-new 21-megapixel camera, a capacious 3,630mAh battery and a whole lot more. If you've got your heart set on a Moto, could these additions be worth the extra cash? It really depends on what you want from a smartphone.

It's been a few months now since we first clapped eyes on the ASUS ZenWatch 2, the company's second stab at an Android Wear timepiece. Today, we've got a smattering of new details to go along with those first impressions: specifically, price and availability. The larger 49mm model will cost around €149 (about $170), while the dinkier 45mm variant will set you back €169 ($190). Both will be hitting store shelves worldwide in October. If you need a reminder, the wearables feature a new metal crown, AMOLED screens and a Snapdragon 400 processor. They also support a magnetic charger cable -- an improvement over the old plastic cradle -- and superior dust-and water-resistance ratings of IP67. It'll debut in three colors, silver, gunmetal and rose gold, along with a plethora of rubber, leather and stainless steel straps to help you match your personal sense of style.

Intel generated a storm of interest when it launched the HDMI-based Compute Stick, but is anybody willing to buy a tiny, under-powered PC? Who knows, but ASUS has just launched its own model that trumps Intel's in nearly every way. It's a lot less clunky-looking and one-ups Intel's Atom CPU with a Cherry Trail model, while adding an extra USB 3.0 port and headphone jack for good measure. Otherwise, it has the same 2GB of RAM and 32GB storage, and works in the same way: you plug it into any HDMI TV, add a keyboard and mouse, then compute away on Windows 10.


ASUS is one a rare few companies that's both a mainstream PC manufacturer and a respected name among the gaming community. Its ROG (Republic Of Gamers) line is a favorite, with giant laptops like the G751 earning top marks from gamers and reviewers alike. We're looking forward to its replacement, the ROG G752, but first let's talk about the GX700 in the image above. ASUS is only teasing this laptop, but it's going to have an overclockable Intel K-series Skylake processor, the latest graphics from Nvidia, and, a 17-inch 4K display. Oh... and that giant thing you see next to it? That's apparently a water-cooling system. Details are scant, but an educated guess would suggest you'll only be able to overclock the GX700's processor and graphics when you're docked to it. I don't know whether to laugh or take out my wallet.

If you wanted an insane looking router with an almost as-insane boast, then say hello to ASUS' new router. Touting it as the best for gaming, 4K streaming and smart home networking, the RT-AC5300 router will apparently give speeds that are 67 percent faster than first-gen, tri-band routers. It's calling it the world's fastest WiFi. ASUS is promising up to 1Gbps connections over 2.4GHz and up to 2.167Gbps on each of the two 5GHz bands -- that's a lot of data. Google just got a new router challenger.

German artists from Lab Binar have created an elaborate light show exhibition set in an abandoned textile factory. It's aimed at showing the "schizophrenia" of the textile industry -- the beauty of fabrics versus the brutality of making them. The trippy production (below) was created for a textile museum in Auburg, Germany, and is divided into two parts. The first features a noisy score using samples of the original weaving machines and staccato, black and white projected images. The second, set to Kraftwerk-style synth music, shows colorful fabrics created in the factory between 1806 and 1988.

It's nearly ASUS' turn to take to the stage at this year's IFA conference, and so we invite you to join us here in Berlin, albeit virtually. The company's teased a couple of announcements on the social medias, hinting at a new smartwatch and a PC-on-a-stick, among other things. The press conference will kick off in around 30 minutes, so head on over to the livestream page if you'd like to pull up a seat next to us and find out what ASUS has in store.

Acer Predator 6

Acer's at IFA in force this year, showing off a wide array of gaming PCs, laptops, tablets, and now, a phone. The Predator 6 looks a lot like the company's new gaming tablet, with some super-gnarly black-and-red styling and four front-facing speakers. Details are thin on the ground at the moment, but inside is an unspecificied (but probably this) MediaTek deca-core processor with 4GB of RAM and dual haptic feedback motors for rumbles. It has a 6-inch HD display, it runs Android, and around the back there's a 21-megapixel camera. We don't have pricing or release date on this just yet, but rest assured we'll keep on poking Acer until someone gives us more info.

Acer Predator family

Acer revealed an aggressive new design for its duo of Predator gaming desktops earlier this month, but at IFA today, the company's focusing on powerful portability. Acer's been pretty open about its plan to introduce Predator laptops and a gaming-centric tablet, but details have been sparse. Now, we've got the full skinny, starting with the new Predator 15 and Predator 17 notebooks. If you hadn't guessed already, the main difference between the two is their screen sizes. The Predator 17 sports a 17.3-inch 1080p display, while the smaller model's 15.6-inch screen comes in full HD and 4K options.