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Motorola X Play

It's fair to say that the Moto X Play is the phone that no one expected from today's big event. Think of it as something in-between a Moto G and a Moto X. It's got the specs of a mid-ranger like the original Moto X, but the pop-off covers and more practical design of the Moto G line. It's actually a fairly attractive phone; a little big for my tastes, perhaps, but everything feels well-built and sturdy, even if not mind-blowingingly so. In my limited time with it, the 1.6Ghz Snapdragon 615 processor seemed plenty fast enough, and its 5.5-inch 1080p display looks very pretty (although it pales in comparison to the higher-end Style's Quad-HD panel). Perhaps the only thing Play owners will be able to laud over Style owners is the phone's enormous 3,630mAh battery, which Motorola claims is good for two days use, and supports quick charging.

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It's a little hard not to look at the Moto G as one of the less interesting devices we saw today -- after all, it got unveiled in India well while plenty of us were sleeping and it was quickly overshadowed by the unlocked beauty of the Moto X Style. Motorola clearly doesn't see it the same way. The Moto G has been the best-selling smartphone in the company's history, and it had to make sure that this year's model struck a crucial balance between price and performance. We just got our own unit to fiddle around with, and so far, Motorola has another cheap champion on its hands.

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Digital photo, movie and music collections may have been growing over the years, but luckily hard drive capacity is keeping pace, albeit in increasingly smaller packages. Western Digital recently launched its most capacious My Passport Ultra drive yet, boasting 3TB of storage in an array of colorful shells. You can keep your files at the ready with the safety of 256-bit hardware-based data encryption and USB 3.0 transfer rates of up to 5 GB/s. Using WD Backup, you can also set up scalable automatic backups of desktop folders and files to the portable drive or fling them to the cloud for safe keeping. WD has provided us with a trio of these devices this week so three lucky Engadget readers can try to stuff them full of data. As usual, just head on down to the Rafflecopter widget for up to three chances at winning one these 3TB My Passport Ultra drives from WD.

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Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo following its crash

After nearly 9 months of investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board has an official explanation for Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo crash. As suspected, the accident happened when the co-pilot triggered the "feathering" system (moving the tail wings to increase drag for reentry) well below the intended Mach 1.4 speed -- the premature resistance led to the suborbital craft breaking up and plummeting into the Mojave Desert. More details are forthcoming, but Virgin Galactic says that it welcomes the findings. Hopefully, the lessons learned prevent future accidents and keep private spaceflight on track.

[Image credit: AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu]

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Our sun blasts out over 50 percent of its energy as "near-infrared" light, but solar cells only harvest visible light. As a result, the best commercial panels only convert about 20 percent of solar energy to electricity. Researchers from UC Riverside have now figured out how to "upconvert" infrared energy into much more useful visible light, a process that could make solar panels up to 30 percent more efficient. To do it, the team combined semiconductors with organic molecules, resulting in a material that essentially helped them "reshape the solar spectrum," according to lead researcher Christopher Bardeen.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So if you've ever wished you could get a Nexus 6, but with all the Moto Maker customizations, you're in luck, cause that's pretty much what the Moto X Style Pure Edition is. It's got the same basic shape and design as the Moto X you love, just super-sized to 5.7-inches. At its thickest, the Moto X Style is a surprisingly beefy 11.06mm. That's not exactly chunky, but it's certainly thicker than many other super svelte flagships out there. You don't necessarily notice the extra bulk though, because the edges taper down to a more manageable 6.1mm. What you do notice is the heft. The 179g body feels substantial. But not in a holding a brick way, more in a premium way. The Moto X Style feels like it was made from durable high-end parts and materials, not from cheap flimsy plastic.

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Moto Surround at the Motorola event

Hold on, folks -- Motorola's big event wasn't done when it unveiled a trio of new smartphones. The company has also launched two sets of Bluetooth headphones, the in-ear Surround (shown above) and over-ear Pulse (below). Besides the form factor, you're choosing based mostly on longevity. The bigger Pulse lasts a healthy 18 hours on a charge, while the tinier, waterproof Surround will get you a smaller but respectable 12 hours of listening. They're both available today, starting at $60 for the Pulse and bumping up to $70 for the Surround.

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Moto X Play

While we expected Motorola to refresh the Moto X and revise the best selling Moto G, we weren't anticipating a big-screened handset for those on a budget. The new water-repellent Moto X Play is designed to be exactly that: it's powered by a 1.6GHz Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor with 2GB of RAM and features a slightly smaller 5.5-inch Full HD display, 21-megapixel rear-facing and 5-megapixel front-facing cameras and a whopping 3,630mAh battery that Motorola says will last around two days on a full charge. If you liked Droid Turbo's longevity, then Moto X Play could be your new favorite -- especially because its "TurboPower" quick-charging technology will get you back up and running in no time.

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Moto X Style

Motorola's Moto X Style has an extra trick up its sleeve. If you get the unlocked Pure Edition in the US, it'll reportedly work on any US carrier, including LTE -- you won't have to give up fast data to get the phone you want on your network of choice. It'll cost $399 at Amazon, Best Buy and Motorola when it arrives in September, or about "$200 to $300 less" than comparable flagship phones.

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The Moto X is alive and well in 2015. The latest iteration of the highly customizable flagship, dubbed the Moto X Style, has a giant 5.7-inch Quad HD screen with the tiniest of bezels. It also has a six-core Snapdragon 808 processor, 3GB of RAM, front facing stereo speakers, a 21-megapixel camera and "TurboPower" quick charging technology. But what you really care about is those lovely customizable elements, like the back plate and metallic accents. Those luxurious leather and wood pieces you love are back, of course. But there's also a new silicone finish for the rear of the device that has a "soft feel" and a "warm look." Though, we're reserving judgment until we get to grope it ourselves.

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Today on In Case You Missed It: Our society's most influential nerds wrote a letter urging the United Nations to ban autonomous weaponized robots out of fear of their potential killing capacity. IBM is redesigning its data centers to recycle air by forcing hot air through silica, getting cooler air cheaply. And researchers at Vanderbilt University designed a tiny pincher surgical tool that is only two millimeters thick, for use with smaller parts of the body.

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Weeks of leaks and an early Moto G unveiling in India didn't keep Motorola from putting on a show here in New York (oh, and London too). And why should it? We're expecting to see a brand new Moto X take the stage this morning, and if we're really lucky, we might catch a glimpse of a shiny new Moto 360 to go with it. The most puzzling angle of all is Motorola's insistence that today will change our "mobile relationships," but hey -- it's still early and there's plenty of time for bizarre, corporate rationale. Bring it, Moto.

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If you're a Motorola fan, you already know that the company is going to reveal a bunch of new stuff today. But did you know that you can watch a live stream of the whole shebang starting at 6AM PST/9AM ET? You can get your first look at the Moto X with its rumored 5.5-inch 1080p display and 21-megapixel camera, and possibly even a Moto X Sport version with a dustproof and waterproof body. You'll also see the new Moto G and possibly even see a refresh of one of the few Android Wear watches anybody likes, the Moto 360. You can check the live stream video below, but to get the real dirt, be sure to tune in to our live blog as well.

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Never accuse us Engadget editors of not knowing who reads our site. That's the whole point: We know you guys, and we know that you don't always read through to to the end (and that some of you, unfortunately, don't read at all). So for all of you -- the folks who like to write "tl;dr" in the comments -- we're introducing mini review videos that cut straight to the point in 30 to 45 seconds. Think of it as the simple review card you all know and love, brought to life. You'll be seeing a lot of these on our site, and to kick things off, we're starting with a product we reviewed just last week: the ASUS Chromebook Flip.

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Motorola has just revealed its third-generation Moto G in the US, and its best-selling device now has a waterproof shell and Moto Maker customization. As rumored, it's mostly similar to the last model, spec-wise, but has gotten a little better across the board for about the same price. The $180 device packs a 5-inch, 720p screen, 1GB RAM and 8GB of internal memory, as before. But it now has a quad-core Snapdragon 410 chip, 2GB RAM option and Android 5.1.1 Lollipop "with zero bloat" out of the box, according to Motorola. And the Moto G now has a 13-megapixel Nexus 6 camera module, which should make for considerably better photos than the previous 8-megapixel unit.

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The UK's Transport Systems Catapult has launched its new "Visualisation Laboratory." It's called that because it depends on virtual reality to, in the agency's own words, "help generate innovation and overcome problems in the UK's transport network." The facility plans to install several VR systems in that lab, but its first and main one's already in place: an omnidirectional treadmill around 20 feet in diameter paired with an Oculus Rift DK2. The system called Omnideck6 lets you walk and run -- even crawl, since it was originally developed for military training -- in all directions within VR environments.

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When Olympic athlete Ashton Eaton finishes an event, he feels better after dousing himself with a bottle of water, but that's not a very elegant way of keeping his head cool. That's why the decathlete teamed up with Nike to build this prototype face mask that's designed to reduce the temperature of his head and face. Essentially, the Nike Cooling Head is a heatsink for your skull, with a mesh that holds tiny veins of water close and tight to the contours of your face. When an athlete is trying to chill down after a fast sprint in hot weather, all they have to do is pull this out of a refrigerator and strap it on.

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Twitter has upgraded its notifications for iPhones and iPads, making them interactive to enable quicker responses. For instance, if you get pinged about a new message while using another app, the improved notification box that pops up allows you to favorite or reply to that tweet without leaving the program you're using. In addition, the latest version of Twitter for iOS adds a button next to your avatar when you compose a tweet, which gives you easy access to drafts you've never gotten the chance to publish. Don't bother unearthing old stolen jokes, though -- Twitter's bound to delete them anyway. You can download the update right now from iTunes; it might not be a major one, but both features are clearly useful if you're always in a hurry.

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Twitch Booth

It might be easy to broadcast your gameplay on Twitch, but engaging with the audience, attempting to be entertaining, playing whatever game you're streaming proficiently and keeping an eye on chat for trolls simultaneously is the exact opposite. A new feature from the Amazon-owned company should make at least the latter part a bit simpler, though. When you set your native tongue in "Broadcaster Language Mode," only folks who choose your selected language can chat. Basically, it's a way to help prevent people from using a different language to say stuff that'd otherwise get them banned.

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Periscope's latest version for iOS comes with a handful of useful features, including one for folks suffering from notification overload. Now, you can "mute" broadcasters you follow so you don't get a pop-up every time they go live. Don't worry about missing their shows, though -- their updates still appear on your feed. The global feed has also been revamped to feature broadcasts relevant to your interests and language preference. Plus, you can now take advantage of iOS 8's Handoff feature, which means that you can start watching a show on an iPhone or an iPad and transition to a MacBook without issues, and vice versa. Android users might notice that the the revamped global feed is now also available on their devices, and Periscope promises that the mute option will soon follow it to Google's platform.

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