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The best TechRadar reads you may have missed

(Image credit: Sony)

It's Monday, the world's still turning and you need your quick tech-read fix. We're here to deliver, so dig into our weekly digest of the best TechRadar reads, bringing you up to speed on all the biggest news, best features and lust-worthy product reviews that our team has been working on.

From the much-leaked OnePlus Nord to samurai epic PS4 game Ghost of Tsushima, there's something here for everyone.

Prefer a listen than a read? Scroll down and you'll find the latest episode of our Noise Cancelling Podcast for in-depth commentary on the latest tech news, too.

OnePlus Nord

(Image credit: OnePlus)

7 things we've got left to learn about the OnePlus Nord

Tom Bedford 

We know the chipset, we know it's 5G-compatible, we know how many front and back cameras it has - we even know why it's called the OnePlus Nord

While it may feel like we know everything, there actually are a few things we haven't heard about the OnePlus Nord. So while this may be shocking to hear... OnePlus does have more to announce at the July 21 launch event.

For the most part ,these aren't the obvious things. We know the design, we know the price, we know its relation to OnePlus' other phones - but they're still things worth thinking about if you're considering buying the OnePlus Nord when it goes on sale. Here are the seven key things we still need to find out about the OnePlus Nord.

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(Image credit: Gtech)

Your electric bike really needs insurance – here's why

Cat Ellis

The best electric bikes are fantastic – they’re fun to ride, take the sweat out of commuting, and make cycling accessible to people who might not have enjoyed it before. 

They're also expensive. A cheap electric bike will set you back around a grand, and a mid-range bike will cost twice as much. It might be covered under your home insurance, but such policies will typically only cover bikes that were stolen while locked up at home, not swiped from a bike rack or damaged on the road.

There might also be an expensive premium to pay, and  your home insurance may put a cap on how much you can claim for a stolen bike, which could only be a fraction of what your e-bike cost. 

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Samsung Serif

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung OneConnect box is still a marvel, so why do so few Samsung TVs get it?

Henry St Leger 

If you’ve ever bought a new Samsung TV with the OneConnect box, you’ll know the perks to a sleek cabling solution – one that outsources all those pesky inputs and cable ports away from your sightlines, helping to keep the area around your TV clear and prevent yourself scrabbling around the back of the television to plug in a PS4 or soundbar.

A standard sight for Samsung’s designer TVs – like the painting-esque The Frame, the three-legged Serif, or rotating Sero – the One Connect box is an accessory that melds style with convenience, and it’s no surprise that Samsung had big plans for the device. It's been around in some form for several years, whether as an optional accessory or one bundled in with selected 4K TVs, and appeared in TechRadar's TV reviews since 2014.

The OneConnect box isn’t quite as widespread in 2020 as we might have expected, though. While Samsung’s nifty box was initially intended as a standard feature across its QLED range, you’ll now find it on a far smaller fraction of new TVs than in 2019.

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(Image credit: Sony)

Ghost of Tsushima review: killer katana action

Gerald Lynch

I’ve never played a game before that rewards you for writing a haiku poem, but that’s exactly what Ghost of Tsushima does. 

The long-awaited PS4 exclusive not only lets you live out your samurai dreams, slicing and dicing bandits and invaders alike, but also lets you fully inhabit the feudal Japanese setting that acts as its stage. 

What the game lacks in originality overall it makes up for with an impeccable commitment to respectfully rendering this historical era, resulting in a stylish smorgasbord of the best ideas seen in open-world gaming this generation, and a fitting swan-song to the PlayStation 4.

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(Image credit: Lewis Leong)

When the best headphones have such good software, does hardware even matter?

Olivia Tambini 

Once upon a time, the way a pair of headphones sounded depended largely on the way they were constructed; the size of the drivers, the quality of the materials, their shape and form factor.

Nowadays, however, digital signal processing (DSP) is an increasingly important deciding factor in the way our headphones sound – and as technology advances, this software is capable of improving the audio quality of headphones that would otherwise be held back by cheaply-made hardware. 

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Xiaomi Mi Band 5

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

Xiaomi's Mi Smart Band 5 is missing one of its best features for its global release

James Peckham

Xiaomi unveiled the Mi Band 5 earlier this year in China, where the fitness tracker sported some technology that's capable of competing with the very best from Samsung, Fitbit and more.

The same product has now been brought to the worldwide market - you can now buy the tracker in the UK, for example - but it's missing some core components that Xiaomi obviously thinks you don't need.

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(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Why we need slower, smoother games

Kim Key

While humans have evolved slowly, video games have changed at a lightning fast pace. Gone are the days of 2D graphics and static backgrounds. Video games create living worlds with 3D characters and scenery and it's enough to send the slow-evolving human body reeling. 

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(Image credit: Sony)

Ghost of Tsushima and The Last of Us 2 are making the wait for PS5 too easy

Gerald Lynch 

We’re just months away from the launch of the PS5 and its competitor, the Xbox Series X. The start of a new generation would, for me, normally be a moment of fanfare and heady anticipation. The piggy-bank would be broken, the launch-title wishlists drawn up and the calendar would be marked and counting down the days. But as the sun sets on the current gaming generation, I’m not that fussed. I’m in no rush to upgrade.

Why? The PlayStation 4 is still just so damn good – and its latest run of games like Ghost of Tsushima and The Last of Us 2 are even better.

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Ghost of Tsushima and Nintendo Switch 2: Noise Cancelling podcast episode 20

Can't find the time to keep up with tech news? Looking for some awesome lockdown listening? We have you covered with the Noise Cancelling podcast, which is brought to you by TechRadar and our sister sites Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide.

The show is presented by Gareth Beavis, Global Editor in Chief of TechRadar, and features Sherri L. Smith, Editor in Chief of Laptop Mag.

This week our guests are Adam Vjestica, Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, and Gerald Lynch, Executive Editor at TechRadar, who join us (remotely, of course) to talk about the last seven days in tech.

Gerald Lynch

Gerald is the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves his gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Based out of TechRadar Towers, London, Gerald was previously Editor of Gizmodo UK. He dreams of the day when he can pop on a VR headset and meet Lawnmower Man-era Pierce Brosnan. Sadly, Pierce doesn't share the dream.