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📱 Apple's iPhone 15 event, 📷 GoPro Hero 12 Black review, 👀 Google Pixel 8 Pro leak, 🪐 Starfield out now
Read today's banner-ad-free tech headlines, and our 👍 winners & 👎 losers
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You know that summer is ending when we start reviewing an endless supply of new gadgets and prepping for Black Friday. I’m building up The Shortcut team – all thanks to paid subscribers – to help you get the very best tech advice as we look ahead to the holiday season.
What’s already here? The GoPro Hero 12 Black review from Kevin Lee and me, as we tested out the new king of action camera. Looking ahead, the Google Pixel 8 is set to launch in October. And next week, stay tuned to hear more about Apple’s iPhone 15 launch, as previewed in today’s email.
Details below ⤵️
📆 Your Calendar
🌠 Out now: Starfield is out now (biggest Xbox game in years)
💰 Doom’s Day: PS Plus price hike kicks in (get your discount now)
🟦 Sept 11, Mon: Discover Samsung sale begins (week-long deals)
🍎 Sept 12, Tues: iPhone 15 launch event date confirmed
🩸 Sept 19, Tues: Mortal Kombat 1 (pre-order live) release date
📦 Sept 20, Wed: Amazon’s launch event everyone forgot about
💻 Sept 21, Thurs: Microsoft Surface launch event (we got our invite!)
❤️ Sept 22, Fri: Love is Blind Season 5 comes to Netflix
⚽️ Sept 29, Fri: EA Sports FC 24 (pre-orders live) release date (formerly FIFA)
🪚 September 29, Fri: Saw X releases in cinemas ahead of Halloween
📱 Oct 4, Wed: Google Pixel 8 & Pixel Watch 2 launch date (we got our invite!)
Let’s get on with this week’s newsletter ⤵️
Today’s tech 👍 winners & 👎 losers
👍 📱 Winner: We don’t have to wait long to see what Apple has up its sleeve
Mark your calendars and set your clocks: Apple’s iPhone launch event takes place on Tuesday, September 12 at 1pm ET / 10am PT / 6pm BST. It promises to include a slew of exciting announcements for those who are already invested in Apple’s ecosystem. But what can we expect to see?
Well, we’ll finally get confirmation of the all-important iPhone 15 Pro Max release date, as well as confirmation on all the features that are rumored about the next iPhone. Expect a Dynamic Island on every model, color-matching cables, USB-C, a new Action Button, and a periscope lens on the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Here’s what else you can expect to see:
⌚️ A small update to Apple Watch and a new titanium Apple Watch Ultra
🤔 AirPods could be updated to include USB-C
📆 iOS 17 and macOS Sonoma will get a release date
🥽 We might get some more information on the Apple Vision Pro
👍 📷 Winner: GoPro has made another awesome action camera
I’ve been testing the GoPro Hero 12 Black for about a week, and even though I need a little bit more time to give you a final review score, I can already tell you that this camera is my new favorite way to take video. Here’s some early impressions based on my hands-on review:
✅ 👑 GoPro Hero 12 Black becomes the king of reliable action cameras
✅ 🗼 Mount it on a normal tripod thanks to a 1/4-20 mounting thread
✅ 🌔 HDR video option enhances the quality of 4K footage
✅ 🎛️ Easy mode for novices, time code sync for experts, AirPods/Bluetooth headphone support for everyone
❌ 🤔 Still a learning curve to master the very best features
❌ 🤼♂️ New competition – Insta 360 & DJI – offering tempting alternatives
❌ 🙅♂️ Some people won’t be happy that the sensor size is the same
👎 😅 Loser: Google can’t stop leaking its own phones
Google has a bad habit of leaking its new phones before their official reveal, and it’s happened yet again with the Google Pixel 8 Pro. Eagled-eyed users noticed Google prematurely uploaded a site that let you view its flagship smartphone from every angle, and it confirmed a few features ahead of the company’s Made By Google launch event. Here’s what you need to know:
👀 The Google Pixel 8 Pro sports a very similar design to the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro
🌡️ However, there’s a new temperature sensor
🙏 It also retains the SIM card slot, unlike the iPhone 14 models
🎨 Expect three colors: pale blue, porcelain and black
👍 💪 Winner: The Switch 2 might be more powerful than rumors initially suggested
Nintendo’s Switch successor is tipped to launch next year, meaning there’s plenty of time for rumors and speculation before Nintendo makes any sort of official announcement.
The latest leak suggests Nintendo’s new console will launch with Final Fantasy 7 Remake, one of the best PS5 games. It also implies that the Nintendo Switch 2 will be more powerful than we thought, though we sincerely doubt it will be able to rival the PS5 in terms of raw horsepower.
🙂 Final Fantasy 7 Remake would make a great launch title for Nintendo’s new console
🙅♂️ It’s currently exclusive to PS5, PS4 and PC
👍 The PS5 version runs at 60fps and at a higher resolution
🤷♂️ It’s unlikely the Switch 2 version will match that, but you never know
👍 🎨 Winner: It’s always fun to see what new color variants Apple will release
We’re less than a week away from Apple’s iPhone 15 launch event, but what colors can we expect to see? Well, we can make a pretty good guess that Apple will release five colors for the iPhone, including a yellow iPhone. In terms of the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, there will likely be four color options available, though expect more muted tones to match the new titanium frame.
💛 We’re expecting to see a black, white, blue, orange/coral pink and yellow iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus
🖤 The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max colors will be silver, black, titanium and dark blue
😢 There won’t be a gold or deep purple iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max color this year
🌸 Apple tends to wait and launch another iPhone color during the spring
👍 🪐 Winner: Bethesda’s first IP in 25 years has been well-received by critics
You’ve probably already seen countless people talking about their experiences in Starfield, but the game has only been available to those who stumped up the cash for the Starfield Constellation Edition or subscribed to Xbox Game Pass and paid for the Starfield Premium upgrade. However, it’s now available to everyone.
🙌 Starfield has now launched on Xbox and PC
🥳 It’s one of the biggest games of the year and the first new IP from Bethesda in almost three decades
👩🚀 Explore countless planets, mine resources, take on space pirates, and join Constellation to solve one of the galaxy’s biggest mysteries
❌ The game isn’t available on PS5 (even though someone created a petition)
Sony's PS Plus price hike is now in effect
👎 😢 Loser: A 12-month PS Plus sub is up to 35% more expensive as of today
The price of a 12-month subscription to PlayStation Plus Essential has now increased by 33%, and PS Plus Premium will cost $40 more a year. Sony announced it raise the price of its PS Plus subscriptions so it can “continue bringing high-quality games and value-added benefits”, but don’t expect to see any changes soon. With a lack of day-one releases, no cloud gaming, and Sony’s high pricing this generation, this latest price hike is difficult to swallow. Here are the new PS Plus 12-month prices:
📈 PlayStation Plus Essential - $79.99 USD (was $59.99)
💰 PlayStation Plus Extra - $134.99 (was $99.99)
💸 PlayStation Plus Premium - $159.99 (was $119.99)
Use our PlayStation Plus discount code to save on a PS Plus Essential membership.
👍 🏆 Winner: If you’re looking for a new Xbox controller, buy the GameSir G7 SE
It’s rare that a product completely surpasses your expectations, but that’s exactly what we found during our GameSir G7 SE review. This is a controller that not only exceeds Microsoft’s official Xbox Wireless Controller but also gives the expensive Xbox Elite Wireless Series 2 Controller a run for its money.
With its Hall effect sticks and triggers, it’s practically immune to stick drift, and it’s packed with customizable features so you can set it up just to your liking. Oh, and did we mention it costs $49.99 and comes with one free month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate? It’s a steal.
👏 If you can get past the fact the GameSir G7 SE is wired, this is one of the best Xbox controllers out there
💪 It uses Hall effect analog sticks and triggers which last longer and provide greater sensitivity
🎮 There are also two back buttons and you can create three custom profiles
👌 Simply download the GameSir Nexus app and you can tweak all sorts of settings to suit your preference
👍 🚀 Winner: Backward compatibility could get a boost on Switch 2
A new report will excite fans who already own a ton of Switch games, as Nintendo’s next console could enhance existing titles like Tears of the Kingdom. Developers were apparently shown two tech demos of Switch 2 behind closed doors at Gamescom 2023, one of which was Breath of the Wild running better than we currently know it.
Another demo showed the technical impressive The Matrix Awakens Unreal Engine 5 demo running on Switch 2, with advanced ray tracing and Nvidia’s DLSS upscaling technology. It means that Nintendo Switch 2 could be more powerful than we initially thought.
📆 Switch 2 is expected to be released towards the end of 2024
💪 New reports suggest it could offer PS5-like performance, albeit with compromises
👉 The Matrix Awakens Unreal Engine 5 demo was made for PS5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S
🤞 We’re hoping the Switch 2 will be backward compatible with older Switch games
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