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Best of Nintendo from the past decade (2010-2019): From revolutionizing the handheld to more great Pokémon – iMore

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Nintendo decade retrospective

Pokemon Go image

Pokemon Go imageSource: Niantic

Hundreds of new Pokémon have been brought to the games in the last 10 years supplying us with over 800 Pokémon total. As the various online polls brought on by the news of “Dexit” showed, every Pokémon out there is someone’s favorite. Since Pokémon holds such a special significance to each person, we decided we’d list some of our favorites and then explain why we like them so much. Here are some of our favorite Pokémon listed in alphabetical order:

Appletun

Appletun Poke

Appletun PokeSource: The Pokémon Company

The last decade of Pokémon has seen Game Freak forced to lean ever more deeply into weirder, unobvious ideas for monster designs as their total roster crept up to 1,000. I welcome this newfound chaos with open arms and would like to submit what I think to be the pinnacle of design nonsense as also one of the best ever: Appletun.

Appletun evolves from Applin, an aptly-named apple-looking thing that is in actuality just a small worm that has burrowed into an apple to hide from birds. It’s an uncommon, but otherwise unaccomplished creature until exposed to checks notes a…second apple…whose flavor determines what kind of dragon it grows up into. If the apple is sweet, the worm merges with the apple and transforms into what amounts to a cross between a dragon and apple pie. Its Pokédex entry suggests that children eat its flesh.

This thing has no business existing in a game where, over a decade ago, all worms logically evolved into obvious bigger bug things. It is also one of my favorite Pokémon in the whole world and I am overjoyed Pokémon has existed long enough for this mishmash of ideas to exist. Long live Appletun. -Reb Valentine

Charizard

Charizard Pokemon

Charizard PokemonSource: The Pokémon Company

Ever since Pokémon Red and Blue released, we had the pleasure of knowing this awe-inspiring dual fire-type and flying-type Pokémon. Whether you fell in love with it playing Pokémon Red or Blue, or it tugged on your heartstrings in the anime, Charizard earns its place on this list. I mean, especially if the holographic Pokémon card has anything to say about it. Strong, intimidating, and a force to be reckoned with, Charizard has always been a favorite among fans. Even its iconic showdown with Pikachu made it into the Detective Pikachu movie. You can’t deny the popularity of this powerhouse; Charizard definitely deserves a spot on your roster. It’s a bummer that it takes so long to get one in Pokémon Sword and Shield. -Sara Gitkos

Eevee

Eevee Pokemon

Eevee PokemonSource: The Pokémon Company

Eevee is one of the best Pokémon ever created, and it’s far better than the franchise mascot, Pikachu. Eevee is like an adorable little puppy or kitty, and it looks like something that you can have in real life as a pet. I mean, honestly, who can resist the adorableness of Eevee when it gives you love in the games? Plus, the coolest and best part about Eevee are all of the possible evolutions that it can take. To me, it’s like watching a person grow and become their own, depending on their circumstances. With eight possible evolutions, you have most of your bases covered. I mean, you have Fire, Water, Electric, Dark, Psychic, Grass, Ice, and Fairy — you can have a solid team of Eeveelutions and be covered for most situations! The versatility of Eevee is ridiculously good. And with so many different possibilities, I’m sure there’s at least one Eeveelution that everyone loves above the rest. For me, I adore Jolteon, Vaporeon, Umbreon, and Sylveon. -Christine Romero-Chan

My favorite Pokémon is Eevee: Eevee is the pinnacle of what Pokémon is all about. With the potential to evolve into eight different types or just continue to be its own, Normal-type awesome self, Eevee has it all. You can have an entire team of Eevee and Eeveelutions and still not have them all. While Gen VIII didn’t give us a new type, it did give us a Gigantimax Eevee, finally proving that even without evolving Eevee is amazing. On top of all that, with its dog-like appearance and so much fluff, it’s also one of the cutest Pokémon out there. -Casian Holly

Gengar

Gengar

GengarSource: The Pokémon Company

Gengar has been my best boi for a couple of decades. On the original Pokémon Red/Blue, your first encounter with Gengar’s evolutionary line is in Lavender Town, which houses a graveyard tower filled to the brim with ghostly Pokémon. Lavender Town made a lasting impression on me as a kid, with Gengar’s Hypnosis/Dream Eater combo carrying me to victory against tons of friends at school.

Gengar is a popular Pokémon in general, making its way across various titles, complete with a huge array of merchandise and alternative Mega and Gigantamax forms. As the games progress, Gengar’s Pokédex description gets darker. G-Max Gengar transforms into a gaping portal, which, according to the Pokédex, is a literal gateway to the afterlife. Standing in front of Gengar’s mouth will allow you to hear the cries of your deceased loved ones. Few Pokémon are as creepy as they are cute.

I have to give an honorable mention to Sword/Shield’s Polteageist, which combines the best of my love of Ghost Pokémon and my love of tea. -Jez Corden

Gyarados

Gyarados Pokemon

Gyarados PokemonSource: The Pokémon Company

I think we can all relate to Gyarados. There are times we feel that we’re powerless and weak, just a floundering fish at the mercy of others. But then we evolve: we can burst out of our shell and grow, becoming more powerful than anybody could’ve imagined. We start off as Magikarps and turn into Gyarados. It may be cheesy, but I think this is why Gyarados resonates with so many. It’s such a huge departure from its previous form that it’s surprising. It’s also satisfying, especially because Gyarados is so powerful. -Carli Velocci

Ninetales

Ninetales

NinetalesSource: The Pokémon Company

Ninetales is a truly beautiful Pokémon to look at. She is the picture of grace paired with power, and I can’t help but love beautiful yet dangerous creatures. The variety in types of moves she can learn offers a good mix you can build up for a well-rounded Pokémon, from fire, to psychic, to ghost, and fire. She even has grass, ground, and dark moves you can teach her with the right TM. I love that you can tell that she is an intelligent creature, very true to her fox nature. If you’re good to her, she is good to you. Plus, who wouldn’t love this awesome Pokédex entry in Pokémon Sword?: “It is said to live 1,000 years, and each of its tails is loaded with supernatural powers.” -Alex Huebner

Noivern

Noivern Pokemon

Noivern PokemonSource: The Pokémon Company

It’s really hard for me to choose a favorite Pokémon because I like several of them for very different reasons. However, one of my absolute favorites is Noivern. I’ve always loved bats and dragons and this awesome guy is a mix of the two. On top of that, I love his coloring with the purple, green, and black getting broken up by the white fur. Whenever possible I always put him in my party. If Pokémon were real and I got to travel around with this guy, that’d be freaking awesome! I also love that his shiny variant is one of the ones that looks very different from his original coloring. It makes it far more exciting to find one and show it off. -Rebecca Spear

Pikachu

Pikachu Pokemon

Pikachu PokemonSource: The Pokémon Company

Adorable, sweet, and electric power, Pikachu is a Pokémon icon. This little mouse Pokémon’s popularity exploded thanks to a fun anime and Pokémon Yellow. Tiny, agile, and cute, Pikachu is a huge fan favorite. In fact, this electric-type critter has a few games where it’s featured as the main protagonist, like Detective Pikachu and PokéPark Wii: Pikachu’s Adventure. Detective Pikachu was even made into a movie (where he was voiced by Ryan Reynolds, no less). Pikachu is synonymous with Pokémon! Plus, just look at it! It’s not the strongest Pokémon, by any means, but he is the most recognizable. I can’t make a party without one. Who doesn’t need a quick, hyper-charged rodent on their squad? -Sara Gitkos

Sobble

Sobble

SobbleSource: The Pokémon Company

I’ve never played a Pokémon game before for any meaningful amount of time. So when I picked up Pokémon Sword, there were no pre-conceived biases of type or ability. I picked because the idea of water is calming, so I went with the water-type starter: Sobble. Sobble then proved himself worthy of being picked, as his water cannon ability was ridiculously overpowered. Pokémon several levels ahead, several in a row all fell, one by one. Different trainers, the braggadocios and calculating experts alike, all fell to the power of the water cannon. Sobble earned his place, and even after his evolution into Drizzile and later Intelleon, I will remember the little Sobster with fire in his heart and water at the ready. -Samuel Tolbert

Trubbish

Trubbish

TrubbishSource: The Pokémon Company

Leave it to the Pokémon Company to make a small sack of garbage with arms adorable. Trubbish is hands down one of the greatest Pokémon of all time from a design standpoint, but also a subtle political perspective as well. As an embodiment of our wasteful tendencies as a society, this cute little creature is a constant reminder that just because something is thrown away, doesn’t mean its gone. Our waste has consequences and just like our little pet Trubbish, we need to do a better job taking care of it. -Miles Dompier

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BMW M5 Drag Races Audi RS6, AMG E63, Panamera Turbo S – Motor1

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We are about to witness the greatest lineup of luxury rocketships take on a drag strip to see which is quickest. This popular formula perfected by the Germans takes a luxury sedan or wagon and injects mind-bending performance. The result is a practical and fast car fit for a family. All of the best from BMW M Division, Audi RS, Mercedes AMG, and Porsche work to build the best version of these mad performance cars, but who built the quickest?

First up we have the all-new Audi RS 6 Avant. This super wagon is the stuff of dreams combining a 600 horsepower twin-turbo V8 with the practicality of a family wagon. The RS 6 uses an 8-Speed automatic gearbox instead of the dual-clutch found in other Audi RS products due to the massive 590 lb-ft of torque. The RS 6 also uses Audi’s legendary Quattro All-wheel-drive system which is a massive help getting the 4600lb wagon off the line.

Next, we have the Mercedes E63 AMG S wagon built by the team at AMG that belives you shouldn’t have to choose between a family wagon and a twin-turbo V8. The E63 AMG S uses a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that produces over 600 horsepower. Power is routed through an AMG tuned 9-speed automatic and 4-Matic all-wheel-drive system.

The M5 Competition is the only sedan in this drag race of wagon greats, but let’s imagine for a moment that BMW finally came to its senses and built the M5 wagon we’ve always dreamed of. The M5 Competition follows a similar formula using a 625 horsepower 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission that sends power through an all-wheel-drive setup. 

Finally, we have the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo Turbo S E-Hybrid. This is Porsche’s clever way of saying they’ve built the most impressive hybrid performance wagon on earth. This 680 horsepower wagon uses a twin-turbo V8 that is augmented by electric motors. The results speak for themselves.

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Galaxy S20 Ultra camera: Testing its 108-megapixel camera, 100x zoom, more – CNET

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The Galaxy S20 Ultra is all about the camera.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Of Samsung’s three new phones, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is the one most stuffed with camera goodies. While Samsung redesigned the entire camera system (the company says S20’s sensors are three times larger than the Galaxy S10), it’s the 108-megapixel sensor and 100x AI-assisted zoom that make the biggest splash. Part of my job during my ongoing Galaxy S20 Ultra review is to evaluate if the photo experience helps justify the Ultra’s $1,400 price. 

I’ve already shot dozens of photos, peering at them closely from my computer screen and on the phone. It’d be overkill (and probably break your browser) if I shared them all here, so consider these the highlights. In the coming weeks, my colleagues and I will snap and analyze hundreds of photos and scores of video to drill down into exactly where the S20 Ultra’s camera stands, especially against top competition like the iPhone 11 Pro MaxGoogle’s Pixel 4 and Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro

These photos are not touched up or edited in any way unless stated. But note that they have been processed by CNET’s content image tool — you won’t see every pixel, but you’ll hopefully see enough to give you an early idea of the S20 Ultra’s camera performance. I’m also testing the regular and 8K mode video camera, but those files are huge and harder to share here. There will be plenty of footage in the final review, though.


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Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra’s 100x zoom makes snooping easier

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Galaxy S20 Ultra cameras

  • 108-megapixel main camera: You need to select the 108-megapixel quick setting to take a super high-resolution photo, otherwise images resolve to 12-megapixel (using nona-binning, which essentially creates one super pixel out of ever 9 individuals pixels. Part of the benefit of such a high-resolution image is to get more detail when you crop into a shot.
  • 12-megapixel wide-angle lens: Samsung enlarged the sensor, so this isn’t the same camera as on the Galaxy Note 10 or S10 phones even though it uses the same megapixels. The goal is to let in more light, for better image quality, especially in low light.
  • 48-megapixel telephoto camera: This gets you up to 100x “space zoom,” a feature that uses AI algorithms to take shots at extreme distance. The higher the zoom, the shakier your photo will be (a monopod or tripod is key).
  • DepthVision camera: I didn’t go out of my way to test this yet, but it’s meant to assist with various camera modes. You can’t take individual photos from it.
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Main camera and standard resolution.


Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

What I think so far

In abundant lighting scenarios, the S20 Ultra’s photos look fantastic: crisp and bright, with plenty of detail. Low light shots get a typical Samsung boost of brightness that you may love or find a little overly cheerful, but that comes down to your mood. Selfies look good, and there’s even a new feature to select a warmer or darker image tone than the default (to apply to the scene, not to skin).

At this early stage in my testing, the two marquee features confuse me. In some of my shots using the 108-megapixel camera option versus the main camera’s 12-megapixel resolution, the benefits of using 108 are clear. Cropping in or zooming in on the image, the superior detail practically punches you in the face. In others, I don’t see much difference. In others still, zooming in on the phone screen or in a full-screen image on the computer reveals mushier edges and more noise than the 12-megapixel counterpart.

I’m going to keep testing that.

The camera’s 100x zoom feature absolutely works, but at such distance, images are intensely blurry, and to me, fairly unusable beyond showing off the phone’s technological capability. I’m just not sure why Samsung didn’t stop at a really good 30x zoom, apart from one-upping competitors. I’m open to being convinced as I continue to learn about the feature and use it in the wild.

galaxys20ultra-archwaygalaxys20ultra-archway

Main camera and standard resolution.


Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

galaxys20ultra-yerbabuena-ultrawideanglegalaxys20ultra-yerbabuena-ultrawideangle

Ultra-wide angle shot.


Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

galaxys20ultra-teagalaxys20ultra-tea

Main camera, standard resolution.


Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

galaxys20ultra-flowergalaxys20ultra-flower

Main camera, standard resolution.


Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

*The 108-megapixel resolution version of this image was too large to load.

galaxys20ultra-flower-standardshotcropgalaxys20ultra-flower-standardshotcrop

Crop from standard resolution image.


Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

galaxys20ultra-flower-108cropgalaxys20ultra-flower-108crop

Crop from 108-megapixel resolution image.


Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

galaxys20ultra-magnolia-2galaxys20ultra-magnolia-2

Main camera, standard resolution.


Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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SF Museum of Modern Art. No zoom.


Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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At 10x zoom.


Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

galaxys20ultra-moma-zoom30galaxys20ultra-moma-zoom30

Now at 30x zoom.


Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

galaxys20ultra-moma-zoom100galaxys20ultra-moma-zoom100

Here we are at 100x zoom.


Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

galaxys20ultra-selfie-yerbabuenagalaxys20ultra-selfie-yerbabuena

Obligatory backlit selfie.

galaxys20ultra-table-plant-standardgalaxys20ultra-table-plant-standard

Shot on automatic mode with main camera, low-light conditions.


Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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Crop in of 108-megapixel version is impressively detailed.


Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

galaxys20ultra-cocktailsgalaxys20ultra-cocktails

Shot in automatic mode in low light conditions.


Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

This story will be updated often with new photos. Keep checking back for more!

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Galaxy S20 Ultra benchmarks: The new Android phone to beat – Tom's Guide

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The Galaxy S20 Ultra still can’t top Apple’s latest iPhones for performance. But the gap between the leading Android phone and Apple’s pace-setting flagships is more narrow than it was before Samsung’s latest phone came along.

That’s our takeaway after we had a chance to benchmark the Galaxy S20 Ultra, which is now available for pre-order in advance of its arrival in stores on March 6 along with the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20 Plus.

The Galaxy S20 Ultra, like the other members of the S20 family, runs on a Snapdragon 865 system-on-chip from Qualcomm. The Kryo 585 CPU in this new chipset promises a 25% performance improvement over last year’s Snapdragon 855 along with a 25 percent boost in power efficiency. Qualcomm says to expect a 25% improvement in graphics rendering over the previous generation from the Adreno 650 GPU included with the Snapdragon 865.

Along with the faster processor, the Galaxy S20 Ultra also benefits from 12GB of RAM. Last year’s Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 Plus featured 8GB in their base models (though you could pay up for an S10 Plus with 12GB of memory if you wanted).

Our testing definitely shows that the Snapdragon 865-powered Galaxy S20 Ultra delivers the best performance ever in an Android phone, beating last year’s pace-setting devices quite handily in most benchmarks. And while the A13 processor Apple uses in its iPhone 11 lineup still has the better numbers, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is at least in the same ballpark. (Previous Android phones were lucky to be in the parking lot outside the ballpark.)

Here’s a closer look at our Galaxy S20 Ultra benchmarks.

Galaxy S20 Ultra benchmarks: Geekbench 5

Geekbench 5 is a good indicator for a phone’s overall performance, and the Galaxy s20 Ultra turned in standout numbers on this test. Samsung’s new phone tallied a single-core score of 805 and a multicore result of 3,076.7. Compare that to the Galaxy Note 10 Plus, which features a Snapdragon 855 processor while matching the S20 Ultra’s 12GB of RAM — Samsung’s older phone had a single-core score of 736 and multicore result of 2,691. That means the Galaxy S20 Ultra improved on those numbers by 9% and 14%, respectively.

Geekbench 5 single-core scoreGeekbench 5 multicore score
Galaxy S20 Ultra (Snapdragon 865)8053,076.7
Galaxy Note 10 Plus (Snapdragon 855)7362,691
iPhone 11 Pro Max (A13 Bionic)1,3343,517
Galaxy Z Flip (Snapdragon 855 Plus)7522,685

The performance gains are bigger when you compare the Galaxy S20 Ultra to a phone without as much memory. The Pixel 4 XL features a comparatively modest 6GB of RAM to go along with its Snapdragon 855 chipset. Google’s phone produced a multicore score of 2,582, so the Galaxy S20 Ultra improved upon that result by 19%.

What the Galaxy S20 Ultra can’t do is match the numbers produced by phones running on Apple’s A13 Bionic processor. When we ran Geekbench 5 on the iPhone 11 Pro Max, Apple’s phone produced a single-core score of 1,334, well ahead of the Galaxy S20 Ultra. The iPhone 11 Pro Max’s multicore score of 3,517 is nearly 13% better than the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s numbers.

The Galaxy S20 Ultra’s numbers didn’t match the higher scores we got when we tested a Snapdragon 865-powered reference device in December, though we tested that device in a performance mode that prioritized performance over battery life. That phone got within 2% of the iPhone’s Geekbench 5 score. We imagine Samsung did some tweaking to the chipset so that it could deliver solid performance while still managing to keep the 6.9-inch phone powered up.

The story here, though, is how much better the Galaxy S20 Ultra compares to the iPhone relative to last year’s top Android phones. The OnePlus 7T, for example, produced one of the best multicore results we saw from an Android device in 2019 at 2,759, but the iPhone 11 Pro Max still outperformed it by 27%. The Galaxy S20 shortens that lag considerably.

Galaxy S20 benchmarks: Adobe Rush 

We saw more evidence of the gains that Samsung has made in a real-world test we like to perform using Adobe Rush. In this test, we time how long it takes to transcode a 4K video to 1080p after applying an effect and transition.

Apple’s phones historically smoke all comers in this test, with the iPhone 11 Pro Max taking just 45 seconds to complete the job. And that’s not a number the Galaxy S20 Ultra can match, as it finished the process in 1 minute, 16 seconds.

Still, that’s a solid result for the Galaxy S20 Ultra when you consider the track record of leading Android phones on our test. The Pixel 4 takes 1 minute, 31 seconds to transcode that video clip, while the Note 10’s time is three seconds slower than that. So the newer processor and extra RAM in the Galaxy S20 Ultra helped it shave 15 to 18 seconds off the time of last year’s flagship Android handsets.

Galaxy S20 benchmarks: Graphics tests

As in the rest of our benchmarks, the Galaxy S20 Ultra showed decent gains over last year’s top Android phones, though the iPhone continues to be at the front of the pack. In GFXBench’s Aztec Ruins Vulcan test (offscreen), the S20 Ultra produced 1,319 frames, or close to 21 frames per second. The iPhone 11 Pro Max was far ahead with 1,657 frames, or 25 fps.

Phone ProcessorGFXBench Aztec Ruins Vulcan
Galaxy S20 Ultra (Snapdragon 865)1,319 (20.7 fps)
Galaxy Note 10 Plus (Snapdragon 855)1,058 (15 fps)
iPhone 11 Pro Max (A13 Bionic)1,657 (25 fps)
Galaxy Z Flip (Snapdragon 855 Plus)1,124 (17 fps)
OnePlus 7T (Snapdragon 855 Plus)1,169 (18 fps)

But compare the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s numbers to those from other Android flagships. Both the OnePlus 7T and Galaxy Z Flip use the graphics-boosting Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset, but their respective scores of 1,169 and 1,124 frames were both behind the S20 Ultra’s results. And the Note 10 Plus lagged the field with 1,058 frames, or 15 fps.

Outlook

You’d expect a new flagship phone to top last year’s models quite handily, and on that front, the Galaxy S20 delivers. And while Samsung’s phone is a better match for the top iPhone, some might have expected a $1,399 to narrow the performance gap even further — especially since the A14 chipset that’s likely to power this fall’s iPhone 12 models will set a new standard.

Still, the gains we’ve seen the Galaxy S20 Ultra make in some of our real-world tests are encouraging. And given the major camera improvements Samsung has introduced to the S20 Ultra, performance is just part of the picture for justifying this phone’s four-figure cost.

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