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Game

Battlefield 2042’s day-one patch isn’t enough to stop tanking Steam reviews

Battlefield 2042 has officially launched after a turbulent early access period. Alongside the full game, DICE has shipped a day-one patch, but unfortunately, the update is minor and doesn’t appear to fix many issues players are having. While DICE promises that more updates are coming in the future, it seems the day-one patch hasn’t been enough to save Battlefield 2042 from fan blowback.

Battlefield 2042 day-one patch fixes

DICE detailed the contents of the day-one patch over on the Battlefield website. Even though it’s small, it still fixes some major issues, starting with the rubberbanding problems that many players have reported.

Rubberbanding is an issue where enemy players will seemingly teleport from one position to another, which obviously makes it hard to fight them in a competitive game like Battlefield. DICE says that it has “Implemented Server Side upgrades” intended to reduce the issue, so hopefully, players will encounter the problem less often – or not at all – in their multiplayer matches.

The update should also reduce stuttering on the Breakaway map, but DICE says that for the moment, it’s still exploring reports of stuttering on other maps. Those seem to be the two biggest fixes contained in the patch, but there are other changes too. For instance, the patch fixes several issues associated with Hazard Zone, including one that revealed players’ location on the map even when they weren’t supposed to be visible or hadn’t been spotted by other players.

While this update is small, DICE says it’s just the beginning for Battlefield 2042 updates. “Over the next 30 days, we’re presently scheduled to release two further updates, with our next update delivering more fixes and improvements that we’ve identified during this first week of Early Access, and a larger and more substantial update following that,” DICE wrote alongside the patch notes.

Battlefield 2042 getting massacred on Steam

If you needed any indication that the day-one update was not enough for players, you need only look at Steam. With the official launch of Battlefield 2042 comes the opportunity for players to review the game on Steam, and so far, disgruntled players are making their voices heard. At the time of this writing, Battlefield 2042 has received “Mostly Negative” feedback from players on Steam, with more than 13,000 reviews.

That, as you can imagine, is not good, and it suggests that Battlefield 2042 has a ton of problems that need to be fixed by DICE. Unfortunately, judging from those Steam reviews alone, it seems that Battlefield 2042 has a long way to go before the larger player base will think it’s in an acceptable state.

While the reviews mention an array of issues with the game, one consistent complaint we’ve seen is that Battlefield 2042 is poorly optimized. A number of players are also reporting issues with things like broken hit registration and bullet drop-off. Many also take issue with Battlefield 2042‘s Specialists, which replace more traditional classes from previous games and have been a contentious issue since they were first introduced.

This day-one patch could be a good first step toward that goal of getting Battlefield 2042 to a better place, but we’ll need to see the fixes that are included in these upcoming patches before we can know if the game is on the right path. When DICE shares more details about these upcoming patches, we’ll fill you in.

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Game

Engadget Podcast: Windows 11, Surface reviews and Facebook’s latest crisis

It’s not too often we get a new version of Windows and a new Android release! This week, Engadget Editor-in-Chief Dana Wollman joins Cherlynn and Devindra to chat about her Surface Pro 8 review, Windows 11, as well as the Surface Laptop Studio and Go. Also, Senior Editor Karissa Bell joins to talk about the latest news from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen.

Listen below, or subscribe on your podcast app of choice. If you’ve got suggestions or topics you’d like covered on the show, be sure to email us or drop a note in the comments! And be sure to check out our other podcasts, the Morning After and Engadget News!

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Topics

  • Windows 11 review – 1:15

  • Surface Pro 8 review – 14:57

  • Surface Laptop Studio review – 22:21

  • Surface Go 3 review – 32:00

  • Sustainability data is going to be a bigger thing in Google products soon – 36:17

  • Android 12 release / Pixel event announced for October 19 – 47:06

  • Twitch was hacked revealing lots of information – 48:57

  • OLED Switch review is up! – 50:03

  • Canon made a huge VR fish eye lens – 52:15

  • Catching up on the fallout from the Facebook whistleblower interview – 55:10

  • Picks – 1:18:23

Video livestream

Credits
Hosts: Cherlynn Low and Devindra Hardawar
Guests: Dana Wollman and Karissa Bell
Producer: Ben Ellman
Livestream producers: Julio Barrientos, Luke Brooks
Graphics artists: Luke Brooks, Kyle Maack
Music: Dale North and Terrence O’Brien

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Tech News

Amazon boots another tech brand to the curb seemingly over fake reviews

Anyone who frequently shops on Amazon knows a wide range of companies place little cards into the package promising a gift card, sometimes worth more than the product itself, for users who leave five-star reviews. To say it’s disconcerting to purchase a product based on a horde of high reviews and then find out they’re being paid for would be an understatement. As a result, Amazon has been stomping out brands, many of them from China, that are paying for reviews relentlessly, and another major company has now been delisted.

The latest tech company to get the boot from Amazon is called Choetech. The company is a Chinese tech accessory brand, and it appears that Choetech has been completely delisted from the platform. While the exact reason the company has been removed is unknown, it has likely been caught in the crackdown on paid reviews. Other major tech firms, including Aukey, Ravpower and Mpow, were removed from Amazon in the last few months.

Amazon has very strict guidelines for product reviews prohibiting sellers from posting reviews of their products, paying for reviews, or offering money and gift cards to incentivize users to post positive reviews. Amazon has always been clear about its zero-tolerance policy for violations of those guidelines.

Amazon’s guidelines state that companies caught running afoul of those guidelines will see their products immediately and permanently removed from the platform. Removing products from the store offered by companies paying for fake reviews is a clear win for consumers.

It’s good to see Amazon cracking down hard on companies that aren’t playing by the rules. I frequently shop from Amazon, and the number of products that come with cards offering gift certificates for 5-star reviews on Amazon is staggering. The fake reviews certainly influence my purchase decisions.

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Tech News

Amazon fake reviews scam revealed in data breach with massive potential

By now, most of us probably suspect that fake reviews on internet shopping sites are a real thing. Whether being offering so-called “free product trials” after buying something or encountering a review that makes the product a little too good to be true, it’s easy to assume that fake reviews are a thing that happens. Today, however, a new security breach is giving us a better idea of just how widespread this might be.

Earlier this year, the folks over at SafetyDetectives discovered an open ElasticSearch database that contained what they call a “treasure trove” of messages between Amazon vendors and Amazon customers regarding fake reviews. The vendors in question typically offered free products in exchange for positive reviews, and in all, SafetyDetectives says that as many as 200,000 people are implicated by the data breach.

More than 13 million records comprising 7GB of data was revealed by this ElasticSearch server, which was closed and secured several days after SafetyDetectives discovered it in early March. SafetyDetectives says that it was unable to identify the owner of that server, making it impossible to alert them that the server was sitting wide open. It’s clear, however, that the server contained communications between several different vendors and customers – not just a single vendor.

Information that was leaked includes email addresses along with WhatsApp and Telegram phone numbers belonging to vendors. Customer data that was leaked includes 75,000 Amazon profile and account links of those who were selling reviews, PayPal email addresses, email addresses, and “Fan names” that could include the first names and surnames of users.

Instead of communicating through Amazon, vendors and the people selling reviews would often communicate through other messaging apps. Review sellers, it seems, were often instructed to purchase the product from Amazon and wait a few days before publishing a positive review of it, often with instructions from the vendor regarding what to say and how to make the review seem credible. After that, they were promised a refund on the purchase price of item – which was often carried out through PayPal to avoid using Amazon’s systems – and were allowed to keep the item in exchange for their positive review.

Obviously, this has some pretty big implications for vendors and Amazon users who were participating in fake reviews, as accounts for both could be terminated and fines could be levied depending on where in the world these vendors and reviewers are based. If you have a moment, be sure to read through SafetyDetectives’ full report on this data breach, because there’s a lot of good information there – including tips on how to spot fake reviews on Amazon.

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Tech News

Samsung pushes back Galaxy Fold release to ‘run further internal tests’ following poor reviews

Update 1:10 pm ET: Samsung has issued a statement confirming the delay of the Galaxy Fold launch.

I guess it’s true what Kenny Rogers said: You gotta know when to fold ‘em. After announcing over the weekend that it was delaying Galaxy Fold launch events in Hong Kong and Shanghai this week, the electronics giant has now also reportedly pushed back the U.S. release date of its next-generation handset following a flurry of poor reviews and problems with the device, according to a statement from the company.

The Wall Street Journal initially reported that the Fold would be delayed “at least until next month,” but Samsung’s statement is even less concrete: “While many reviewers shared with us the vast potential they see, some also showed us how the device needs further improvements that could ensure the best possible user experience. To fully evaluate this feedback and run further internal tests, we have decided to delay the release of the Galaxy Fold. We plan to announce the release date in the coming weeks.”

The Fold was originally slated to start shipping this Friday, April 26. The $1,980 handset is Samsung’s first to feature a flexible OLED screen, and it was lauded as the future of mobile devices, with the ability to shrink a 7.3-inch tablet down to a pocketable phone.

samsung galaxy fold seam middle cr resizedSamsung

The Galaxy Fold and its ever-present crease reportedly won’t be shipping this week.

However, what was supposed to be a celebratory launch of the world’s first mass-produced folding phone has turned into something of a disaster for Samsung. Many of the early review units sent out have exhibited issues that rendered the device compromised or inoperable after just a day or two of use.

For example, Dieter Bohn from the Verge experienced a “small bulge” in the center of the screen after what he suspects was a “piece of debris” that got into the hinge. Steve Kovach of CNBC experienced a flashing and flickering screen that completely overtook his device. Mark Gurnam of Bloomberg, YouTuber Marques Brownlee, and Wall Street Journal reporter Joanna Stern all experienced issues after inadvertently peeling off the protective layer that Samsung now says shouldn’t be removed.

Samsung says it will “take measures to strengthen the display protection. We will also enhance the guidance on care and use of the display including the protective layer so that our customers get the most out of their Galaxy Fold.”

Pre-orders for the Galaxy Fold went live last week and quickly sold out, though it’s not clear how many devices were available for purchase. Also unknown is how many of those orders were canceled after problems began to arise.

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Tech News

iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro reviews call out massive leaps in photography, battery life, and value

Apple’s new iPhone 11 ($699), iPhone 11 Pro ($999), and iPhone 11 Pro Max ($1,099) go on sale Friday, and right on schedule, the first round of reviews are in. As expected, people are loving them—so much so that some current-gen iPhone owners might want to consider upgrading.

In fact, Nilay Patel from The Verge wrote exactly that: “I think the iPhone 11 cameras are so good that they’re worth a year-over-year upgrade from the XR; I don’t usually say that.”

That’s surprising, since the iPhone 11 doesn’t seem like a massive upgrade on paper. Yes they all have an extra camera, better battery life, and a faster A13 Bionic processor, but those three upgrades add up to a big leap, based on the first round of reviews:

iPhone 11

Nilay Patel, The Verge

The highlights

“All three cameras can take 4K60 video now, and if you record in anything less than 60 frames per second, you can switch between the wide and ultra-wide lenses with no color shifts or exposure changes, which is impressive. The only Android phones that compete with Apple in video are from Samsung. But Apple’s still ahead, and the gap is getting wider.”

The lowlights

“And that brings me to iOS 13 in general, which… is pretty buggy on all my iPhone review units so far. … I’ve seen some weird glitches and app crashes during my testing, and I’ve had to restart a couple of times to get things back on track. Apple told me some of these things will get cleaned up in iOS 13.1”

Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

The highlights

“The iPhone 11 is going to sell really well. And it should because it’s great. It has the best new lens, an ultra wide that takes great family photos and landscape shots. It has nearly every software feature of iPhone 11 Pro.”

The lowlights

“Unfortunately, the iPhone 11 (non pro) still comes with a 5W charger. This stinks. I’d love to see the 18W become standard across the line.”

Gareth Beavis, TechRadar

The highlights

“The results are startling, elevating Apple to the level of Huawei, Samsung and Google when it comes to taking low-light and night photos – and in some ways enabling it to surpass its rivals. Night mode can make photos shot at 1am look as if they were taken in late afternoon, and if you can get your subjects to remain still, you’ll take great snaps.”

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Tech News

Best Android phones 2020: Reviews and buying advice

Choosing the best Android phone for you is a big decision. The Android universe is teeming with options, from super-expensive flagship phones to more affordable models that make a few calculated compromises, to models expressly designed for, say, great photography. 

Chances are that whichever phone you buy, you’ll keep it for at least two years. So we’ve made picks for the best Android phone in key categories. Check out our summary Cheat Sheet, or keep reading for details on each pick and the runners-up. At the bottom of this article, we link to all our recent Android phone reviews—in case you have your eye on a model that didn’t make our cut.

We also have a rundown of how our favorite Android phones stack up against the iPhone 11, for the iOS curious.  

Latest Android phone news

Here are the latest stories:

  • Google has announced that the Android 11 beta will be announced via a YouTube stream on June 3. Developers have been using the new OS since February, and while there aren’t many features worth writing about yet, Google is teasing “news, updates, and announcements on connectivity, controls, safety, security, productivity, accessibility, and a whole bunch of stuff we’re not ready to tell you about yet.”
Android 11Google, modified by IDG Comm
  • The Google Pixel 4a is on the way, and it will reportedly bring a new screen size, faster processor, and new camera tricks. Rumors say it will have the same $399 price tag as well, which would make it an instant contender for the value buy of the year.

Best Android phone overall

You might think that we’ve forgotten to update this article, but nope, we still recommend the OnePlus 7T as the best phone of 2020—even though it released in 2019. While the newer OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro phones have better specs and 5G, they also bring much higher prices. That makes the $599 price tag of the 7T a downright steal, especially if you can grab it during a OnePlus sale, which could knock $100 off. With the Snapdragon 855+ processor, a 90Hz refresh rate, and a solid triple-camera system, the 7T has the best combination of specs, features, and good looks, even compared to newer phones with better specs. Read our full review.

Runner-up

Samsung’s S20 Ultra may be the most phone you can buy, but even if you have a thousand-plus dollars to spend, we’d still recommend buying a Galaxy S10+ instead. Sure it might have a slower processor, less RAM, and a slower display as compared to the S20, but Samsung’s S10+ is still a fantastic phone with more than enough performance for even the most die-hard Android users. And now it costs $150 less then it did when we recommended it last year. You might not technically be getting the best Galaxy phone, but for hundreds of dollars less, the S10+ is a no-brainer decision over the S20 Ultra. Read our full review.

Best Android phone for photographers

Yes, the Pixel 4 is the newest Google phone, but we have enough issues with it to recommend its predecessor for serious smartphone photographers. It might not have the dual camera that’s on the Pixel 4, but we can safely say you won’t miss it. Portraits and zoomed photos look just as good on the Pixel 3 as they do on the Pixel 4, and the experience is basically the same. Plus the Pixel 3 is cheaper, and you’ll get three years of free unlimited storage in Google Photos in original quality, a benefit Google took away with the Pixel 4. Add in Android 10, Live Caption, the Recorder app, and the new compact Assistant interface, and you’ve got the best parts of the Pixel 4 without the headaches. Read our full review.

Best Android phone for productivity

No matter what handset you’re upgrading from, the Note 10+ will be an improvement, likely a significant one. It’s not just the speed (though it’s basically the fastest phone ever made) or the display (which is pretty much flawless). From the bezels to the battery life, the Note 10+ is at the very top of its game, capping off Samsung’s strongest year in recent memory. Read our full review. 

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Tech News

Why Google deleted 100k reviews of Robinhood overnight

Overnight Google removed “at least” 100,000 negative reviews of the stock trading app Robinhood. After the app experienced massive blow-back from their decision-making process regarding GameStop and other volatile stocks this week, Robinhood’s users took to the app stores. It’s not immediately apparent what sort of moderation Apple’s done with their App Store for iOS, but for Google Play, Google’s confirmed that they’ve had to delete over a hundred thousand reviews in the very recent past.

This is not the first time this has happened. Google confirmed with Gizmodo that they did, indeed, delete said reviews as they do whenever their review rules are broken. Their rules against “coordinated or inorganic reviews” are certainly in play here – specifically the coordinated bit. The “inorganic” bit has to do mostly with the speed at which a set of reviews are registered.

If the Google Play app store’s review system’s main function is giving users a fair look at how well each app is received by users. As such, it’s important that Google doesn’t just dismiss the entirety of this event in reviews of said app. Especially when said app has to do with money, and the handling of money.

Last year it became evident that Robinhood had issues when trading was most lucrative. As it is with any service the relies on internet servers that cannot handle a sudden burst of traffic, Robinhood’s creators need to learn from their mistakes, and reinforce their support structure. The same is true of their response to major events like this GameStop, Reddit, hype-pump situation.

Take a peek at the timeline below to see where we’re at with Robinhood, Wall Street, and the massive kerfuffle that is the United States stock market in general. For now, play it safe and don’t invest more than you can afford to lose.

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