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9 min ago

MrMobile reviews the smartwatch on steroids — Casio's WSD-F10

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There's something about summer. The fresh air. The hot sun. And the ability to dive up to 50 meters with your MIL-STD-810G smartwatch.

In his latest video, MrMobile reviews the Casio Smart Outdoor Watch — also known as the WSD-F10 — an Android Wear smartwatch that can go pretty much anywhere, and withstand pretty much anything. While it lacks some key fitness features, like heart rate and GPS, it has everything a hike — or diver — could want, including directional, atmospheric, accelerometer, and gyrometer sensors.

But at $500, is it worth the expense?

See at Amazon

When you're done, be sure to subscribe to MrMobile on YouTube if you enjoyed this video!

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47 min ago

LG V20: Imagining a next-gen, 'phablet-class' LG phone

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LG

After the flop of the G5, LG could do just about anything with the anticipated follow-up to the V10. Let's look into our crystal ball and imagine how a larger, beefier LG smartphone might materialize.

The LG V10 was one of the more underrated phones of 2015 — in many ways, the logical conclusion of the plastic Android smartphone. The hardware was a weird mishmash of metal and plastic. Performance was fast. The screen was pretty good. The camera impressed. The software was kind of a mess. There was a removable battery!

LG augmented all this with some standout camera software features, a pair of front-facing cameras (one regular, one wide-angle) and a quirky second screen up top, which could show notifications in tickertape form, or let you quickly hop between apps.

The V10 was targeted at content creators and power users — a good chunk of the audience Samsung attracts with its Galaxy Note series. So a year on, and with Samsung in an even more dominant position, how might LG react? Let's take a look at a few possibilities for the V10's successor, reportedly coming to market as the LG V20 this September.

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3 hours ago

Where to buy Google Play gift cards

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Where to buy Google Play gift cards

Where can I buy Google Play gift cards?

Looking to buy a Google Play gift card for that special Android user in your life? We at Android Central just want to let you know that you're a good person.

Google Play gift cards just don't seem to be as ubiquitous as iTunes gift cards, but they're actually a lot easier to find than you think.

Here's where to find Google Play gift cards in your region!

USA

Denominations: $10, $15, $25, $50

In-store: You can find Google Play gift cards at the following retailers:

  • Target
  • Sam's Club
  • CVS
  • Kroger
  • Walgreens
  • Best Buy
  • 7-Eleven
  • GameStop
  • Dollar General
  • Rite Aid
  • Safeway
  • Walmart

Online:

The good ol' U.S. of A. is the only place where you can send someone Google Play credit online and you can even gift Google Play Music subscriptions. You just have to make sure that the recipient is registered for Google Play in the U.S. as well. To share the Google Play love:

Canada

Denominations: $15, $25, $50

In-store: You can find Google Play gift cards at the following retailers:

  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Sobeys
  • Safeway
  • Loblaw
  • 7-Eleven
  • Best Buy
  • Mac's/Couche-Tard
  • London Drugs
  • Walmart
  • Circle K
  • Provigo

Online:

You can't send Google Play credit from one Google Play account to another in Canada right now, but you can gift a Google Play Music subscription:

UK

Denominations: £10, £25, £50

In-store: You can find Google Play gift cards at the following retailers:

  • Tesco
  • Morrisons
  • Sainsbury's
  • ASDA
  • WHSmith
  • Currys PC World
  • Boots
  • Clintons
  • Wilko
  • McColl's
  • Co-op
  • Argos

Online:

You can send Google Play credit in the UK, but you can give the gift of tunes in the form of a Google Play Music subscription:

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Sponsored Post

Grab Samsung's 2A travel charger for just $9.95 today!

If you spend any amount of time traveling, you should ensure that you have a charger permanently packed in your bag. Samsung’s 2A travel charger is a great choice as it will get your phone charged up quickly, and it doesn’t take up much space. Right now you can pick one up for $9.95, a savings of $20.

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4 hours ago

Amazon launches its Dash grocery scanner in the UK to help you order stuff

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Amazon has launched its Dash grocery scanner in the UK to help consumers quickly and conveniently add items to their basket for easy checkout by scanning barcodes. Once the items have been added, all that's required is to complete the checkout process on a PC or using one of the official Amazon mobile apps.

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5 hours ago

LG V20 is coming later this quarter

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LG posted its second quarter earnings earlier today, in which the company revealed that a new phone in the V series will make its debut later this quarter. While LG didn't name the device, it is likely that it'll be called the V20.

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6 hours ago

LG posts Q2 profit in spite of $132 million loss from the mobile unit

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LG has announced its Q2 2016 earnings, recording an operating profit of $503.1 million (584.6 billion won) over revenues of $12.05 billion (14 trillion won). Strong sales of home appliances and TVs offset the mobile unit's operating loss of $132 million.

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8 hours ago

Here's what you need to know about LeEco, the Chinese brand that just acquired Vizio

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The brand you've never heard of is going to be everywhere soon.

Earlier this week, LeEco made its first major investment in the U.S. electronics segment with the acquisition of TV maker Vizio for $2 billion. Vizio is the second-largest TV vendor in the U.S. with a market share of 20%. While LeEco is a relative unknown in Western markets, it has a huge presence in China, and is making inroads into the Indian mobile segment.

To get an inkling as to why a phone company bought a TV maker, you'll need to know about LeEco's unique business model. LeEco isn't your traditional phone manufacturer. The brand started out as a video streaming service and is often dubbed the "Netflix of China" even though it started investing in original programming three years before the launch of Netflix. LeEco's diverse content portfolio is the main reason for its acquisition of Vizio, as the move gives the Chinese brand a foothold in the U.S. market for its streaming, internet TV, and cloud-based services. The acquisition allows Vizio to expand its global presence by leveraging LeEco's distribution and localised content streaming services.

LeEco isn't just into phones and TVs either. The vendor debuted an autonomous electric car called the LeSEE earlier this year, and has invested in California-based electric car maker Faraday Future. To date, these are the segments LeEco is doing business in: smartphones, smart TVs, video streaming, music streaming, live sports broadcasts, film production, cloud storage, electric cars, smart bikes, and even real estate.

Coming over to phones, LeEco is the first brand to eschew the ubiquitous 3.5mm jack for USB-C audio in its 2016 offerings, the Le 2 and Le Max 2. The vendor has announced that it will launch its first phone in the U.S. market later this year, but before it does that, it is looking to partner with content providers for its music and video streaming services.

Le phones

LeEco's phones for 2016 are the budget Le 2 and the flagship Le Max 2. Both phones offer USB-C audio, and very compelling hardware for the price. Highlights of the Le 2 — which retails for the equivalent of $150 in India — include a 5.5-inch Full HD display, Snapdragon 652 SoC, 3GB of RAM, 32GB storage, USB-C, and a 3000mAh battery.

The Le Max 2 retails for what amounts to $340, and for that amount you get a 5.7-inch QHD display, 2.15GHz Snapdragon 820 SoC, 4GB of RAM, 32GB storage, 21MP camera, USB-C, and a 3100mAh battery. There's a model with 6GB of RAM and 64GB storage that sells for $440, or $40 more than the retail price of the OnePlus 3.

Category Le Max 2 Le 2 Operating System Android 6.0 Marshmallow with EUI 5.8 Android 6.0 Marshmallow with EUI 5.8 Display 5.7-inch Quad HD display 5.5-inch Full HD display SoC 2.15GHz Snapdragon 820 Octa-core Snapdragon 652 Storage 32GB/64GB 32B RAM 4GB/6GB 3GB Rear Camera 21MP camera with Sony IMX230 sensor
PDAF 16MP camera with PDAF Front Shooter 8MP 8MP Connectivity Dual-SIM, LTE, Bluetooth 4.2 Wi-Fi ac Dual-SIM, LTE, Bluetooth 4.2 Wi-Fi ac Charging USB-C with fast charge USB-C with fast charge Battery 3100mAh 3000mAh


LeEco is able to sell phones for ridiculously low prices as it doesn't rely on hardware to drive profits. The brand sees phones, TVs, and even cars as delivery systems for its digital content platform. To this end, the manufacturer rolled out a free hardware day in China earlier this year, where it gave away phones, TVs, and accessories for free to those buying content subscriptions. LeEco is committing to what it calls the "ecosystem era", wherein hardware is irrelevant and consumers rely on content services to derive value from a particular device.

In 2015, LeEco managed to sell a modest 3 million handsets, but is forecasting 15 million sales this year.

Read our Le Max 2 review

Digital content ecosystem

In China, LeEco draws over 350 million monthly users for its digital content services, with the brand offering over 10,000 TV shows and 5,000 movies. The company started out as a video streaming service, but has since branched out into music, live sports, film production, and cloud storage over the course of the last five years. All of LeEco's content services are bundled into a single package dubbed the LeEco Membership.

Le Vision Pictures

Le Vision Pictures is the sixth-largest film distributor in China, and the production house has financed and distributed several Hollywood movies in China, including * The Expendables* franchise. The studio is now co-producing The Great Wall, starring Matt Damon. The production house has offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Los Angeles.

LeEco Drive

With LeEco Drive, you get 5TB of cloud storage as long as you subscribe to LeEco's digital content platform. The service is set to go live sometime later this quarter, and will be rolled out to Le 2 and Le Max 2 users through an OTA update.

Le Music

Le Music is LeEco's music streaming service. In India, the service is powered by Hungama, a local streaming provider that offers a catalog of 9.5 million songs. The catalog is much more extensive in China, where it is one of the largest streaming services available.

Le Vidi

Le Vidi is LeEco's video recommendation service, which offers a curated YouTube feed with a smattering of content from LeEco's partners. In India, that includes movies from Eros Now, a provider of regional movies.

Le Live

As the name suggests, Le Live delivers live TV to your phone. The channels that you'll be able to view are tailored for your region, and LeEco is also planning to stream live from music festivals.

LeSports

LeEco has invested nearly $1.35 billion in LeSports, with the venture now valued at $3.3 billion. The service has exclusive streaming rights to the Chinese Super League for two years, a three-year deal with the Major League Baseball to stream baseball games in China and Hong Kong, and live broadcast rights to the English Premier League in Hong Kong until 2019. LeSports also has broadcast rights from FIFA, UEFA, the ATP, NFL, and the NCAA.

TVs

LeEco sold 2.85 million TVs in China last year, earnings $86 million on sales of $2 billion. The brand already offers TVs directly in the U.S. via its LeMall website, selling over 30,000 units in the first week of its debut. The Vizio acquisition will allow LeEco to get its content ecosystem on the second-largest TV manufacturer in the country.

Furthermore, with most of its ecosystem bets envisaged for the long-term, the TV business is one of few areas where LeEco is making profits right now.

Faraday Future and Aston Martin

LeEco is also a major investor in Faraday Future, and the platform developed by the California company for its EV will be used by LeEco in the LeSEE.

Earlier this year, LeEco partnered with Aston Martin to roll out the Internet of the Vehicle in-car infotainment system. The brand is also working with the luxury car maker over the development of the RapidE electric vehicle, which will offer a power output equivalent to 1000bhp.

While LeEco is betting big on electric vehicles, some have questioned whether the brand will be able to deliver a consumer-ready vehicle given the sheer amount of money it takes to develop a car from the ground-up. Even if there's no clear timeline as to when we'll see an electric car from LeEco, the company has done a remarkable job of vertically integrating its services in such a short period of time.

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8 hours ago

Verizon starts selling the Moto Z and Moto Z Force

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You can now pick up the Moto Z Droid Edition and the Moto Z Force Droid Edition from Verizon, with both phones exclusive to the carrier until this fall. The Moto Z Droid Edition is available for $26 monthly, or $624 outright, and the Moto Z Force Droid Edition will set you back $30 monthly, or $720 outright.

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10 hours ago

Samsung posts highest profits in over two years thanks to the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

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Strong sales of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge have led to Samsung posting an operating profit of $7.22 billion (8.14 trillion won) in Q2 2016, up 18% from the same period a year ago. Overall revenue was $45.1 billion (50.94 trillion won), a 5% increase from Q2 2015.

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14 hours ago

Best cases for Honor 5X

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Best cases for Honor 5X

What are the best cases for the Honor 5X?

Whether you're looking for a simple, clear case or something a little flashier, the right case for your Honor 5X is out there. We went ahead and did the digging for you to find the best of the best cases you can get.

Lwang Nillkin Sparkle leather smart view window

Lwang Nillkin Sparkle leather smart view window

The Nillkin Sparkle case from Lwang comes in four colors, from the deep and subtle to the outstanding and vibrant. The hard plastic backing protects your phone while the leather flip cover protects your screen and gives you a little window into your notifications.

The clamshell design looks stylish and original. You get all-around protection for your Honor 5X with a finished, formal look that is suitable for work and play.

If you want the wallet look without any extra bulk, the Nillkin Sparkle case from Lwang is what you're looking for.

See at Amazon

DWay Armor Design with stand

 DWay Armor Design with stand

If you're the kind that's a little hard on your Honor 5X, your case needs to take extra care for you. The DWay Armor Design offers protection in six color varieties.

The dual-layer case will cradle your phone in spite of drops and bumps. The textured back and soft side bumpers give your Honor 5X a more rugged feel and look. If that's not enough, there's a built-in kickstand for hands-free viewing.

For a sturdier look and feel that will keep your Honor 5X extra safe, the DWay Armor Design is a solid choice.

See at Amazon

TUDIA Ultra Slim Full-Matte Arch case

TUDIA Ultra Slim Full-Matte Arch case

Not the flashy type? The case for your Honor 5X doesn't have to be an attention grabber. The four subtle colors of the TUDIA Ultra Slim case complement your phone without drawing attention to the device.

The TPU rubberized silicone case is soft, durable, and protective. Raised edges protect the screen from unfortunate encounters with hard surfaces, and the case gives you full access to all the phone's buttons and functions.

For a classic look that's a perfect match for the Honor 5X, get your hands on the TUDIA Ultra Slim Full-Matte Arch case.

See at Amazon

Spigen Liquid Crystal Ultra-Thin case

Spigen Liquid Crystal Ultra-Thin case

You're not stuck with only colorful cases to choose from; a clear case will show off the original hardware that makes the Honor 5X look so good. We like the Liquid Crystal case from Spigen.

The clear TPU case won't discolor over time, and you won't have to worry about smudges of fingerprints, either. A raised lip around the screen and camera cutout keep both sensitive areas protected from bumps, and the covered buttons keep their full functionality.

If you want to show off your Honor 5X the way it was intended to be seen, the Spigen Liquid Crystal Ultra-Thin case should be yours, all yours.

See at Amazon

Lwang Slim Fit Hybrid case

Lwang Slim Fit Hybrid case

Simple and straightforward, the second Lwang case on our list is the Slim Fit Hybrid, and its three color variations and reasonable price mean you could get one for each mood or outfit. Just sayin'.

The hard PC and flexible TPU combination add a nice grip to the slender Honor 5X, and the textured back surface prevents your phone from slipping off of smooth surfaces. There are precise cutouts for all the ports, buttons, and, of course, the camera lens.

Bonus feature: there are built-in air cushions in all four corners for a little extra drop protection. Sounds like a great deal to us.

See at Amazon


LK shock absorption hybrid case

LK shock absorption hybrid case

Let's say you like the look of Otterbox cases and you've been looking for that style to fit your Honor 5X. Look no further; we found a great plastic and silicone combination with the LK shock absorption hybrid case.

The soft bumper and anti-slip finish make it easy to keep a handle on your phone. The case is easy to snap on and off, and it's a snug fit. It's lightweight and gives you access to all the ports and buttons on your Honor 5X.

The six color combinations stand out and make your Honor 5X easy to find, and it's easy to see why the LK shock absorption hybrid case makes our list.

See at Amazon


Just in case

Which case are you using for your Honor 5X? Tell us all about it in the comments below, and give a shout if your case made our list!

Honor 5X

Newegg Amazon Honor

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18 hours ago

Best Android games with no in-app purchases

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Best Android games without in-app purchases

What are the best games with no in-app purchases?

There's something refreshing and low-stress about playing a mobile game without in-app purchases. Knowing that you're spending a couple of dollars to get an entire game that you can actually finish from beginning to end without being hounded to buy coins or gems or some other sort of in-app currency really makes the experience better.

(If you don't mind some in-app purchases, you should check out our roundup of the best Android games of the year!)

Here are the best Android games without those pesky IAPs!

Crashlands

This futuristic, story-driven crafting RPG is big on laughs, thoughtful gameplay, and FUN. Honestly, watch the trailer: it might just be the greatest of all time.

You play as Flux Dabes, a space-trucker who becomes stranded on an alien planet thanks to a jerk of an alien criminal called Hewgodooko. As you try to survive on this alien world, a plan for world domination slowly rears its ugly head and you become embroiled in the race to save the planet, all while trying to just retrieve your missing cargo and get your job done.

The crafting element comes into play as you defeat local wildlife, using their parts to create weaponry, furniture, health packs, and tons more. There are upwards of 468 different recipes for you to try, including a stem cell pack for replenishing your health (not even joking).

If you love a great RPG, and love to laugh even more, then Crashlands should be on the top of your list. It's worth the money. From a developer called Butterscotch Shenanigans, you really can't expect anything less.

Download: Crashlands ($4.99)

Leo's Fortune

Leo's FortuneLeo's Fortune

Who doesn't love an awesome platformer? Better yet, who doesn't love an awesome platformer with incredible graphics? Nobody, silly. Leo's Fortune is one of the most stunning platformers to ever grace Android.

You play as cute, mustachioed, green puffball Leopold on his quest to retrieve the gold that was so wrongfully stolen from him.

As you track down the cunning thief, you get to traverse gorgeous forests, barren deserts, pirate cities, and mountains, while solving physics-based puzzles and surviving terrible traps. As you follow the trail of gold, you unlock the mystery behind Leo's stolen riches.

Once you beat the game, you can unlock Hardcore Mode, wherein you attempt to beat the entire game without dying. You can also compete with friends in speed runs.

If you're into gorgeous-looking games with a fun story and consistently active gameplay, the award-winning Leo's Fortune is totally for you.

Download: Leo's Fortune ($4.99)

Grand Theft Auto

Grand Theft AutoGrand Theft Auto

If you're a console or PC fan of the Grand Theft Auto franchise, then why not extend your fandom to Android?

Rockstar Games has five great GTA titles for you to choose from and you really can't go wrong with any of them. Play through Liberty City Stories, San Andreas, Vice City, GTA III, and Chinatown Wars and get your shoot-'em-up, blow-'em-up, car-stealing fix on mobile!

Chinatown is your classic top-down GTA, while the other three are the third-person-shooters we've all come to love. On that note, these games are NOT for kids. The Mature rating in the Google Play Store isn't lying.

So, if you want full Grand Theft Auto games right on your phone, hit up the Google Play Store and go to town. Just remember that, since these are the full games you now and love, they will occupy a ton of space on your device.

Download: Grand Theft Auto ($4.99-$6.99)

Dumb Ways to Die

Dumb Ways to DieDumb Ways to Die

The title pretty much says it all, but whether it's the way each character dies or just the characters that are dumb is up to you entirely.

This game will frustrate you to no end, but in a fun, quirky, and always-entertaining fashion. You get to play 15 goofy mini-games, hoping to unlock all the characters and the ridiculous music video that started it all.

You'll have to contend with piranhas, snakes, platforms, bombs, and much more as you just try to keep some idiots alive (parents, you feel me?).

The best part of Dumb Ways to Die? It's FREE! Better yet, it's free and there aren't any in-app purchases. Download it now and prepare to be frustrated but laughing all the way through!

Parents, take note that this game is rated T for Teen, since it does contain some crude humor and blood.

Download: Dumb Ways to Die (Free)

Super Hexagon

Super HexagonSuper Hexagon

If you like a challenge, and I do mean an incredibly frustrating challenge, then give Super Hexagon a whirl and see just how patient you really are.

Gameplay is like every closing-door scene in an action movie where the opening gets smaller and smaller as the protagonists rush to escape, á la Indiana Jones.

Players have to navigate a triangle through a geometric maze of sorts that's spinning and continually collapsing into itself. If you hit a wall, that's the end; you have to start all over again.

The soundtrack is excellent and the three stages will keep you more than busy, especially as you unlock the near-impossible versions of each stage as you reach certain goals.

Download: Super Hexagon ($2.99)

Machinarium

MachinariumMachinarium

Enter a world set in a beautifully rendered, futuristic steampunk dystopia, where you play as Josef the robot, on a quest to save his girlfriend.

You'll have to solve a series of puzzles at each point in the game in order to advance to another part of the city, and you can even uncover easter egg back story scenes when you idle in certain areas.

As Josef, you tap items to solve the puzzles and brain teasers, but in an interesting twist on the genre, you can only tap whatever's in Josef's reach.

There is no dialogue and aside from the odd tutorial, everything is devoid of language. Instead, pictographic thought bubbles let you know what's on Josef's mind to help you work your way through the game.

If you like a great adventure game with a fun story and great graphics, Machinarium should be your dystopic go-to.

Download: Machinarium ($4.99)

World of Goo

World of GooWorld of Goo

One of the best puzzlers of all time is available for Android and should be on your device now. World of Goo lets you build all sorts of structures out of balls of goo, creating buildings, vehicles, and even giant tongues and zeppelins.

You get to play through four chapters and an epilogue, each containing multiple levels, which differ from each other in graphics and music, so everything feels fresh as you try and get your goo balls to the exit.

There's even a bonus game within the game called World of Goo Corporation where in you endeavor to build the tallest tower you can, using the goo balls that you acquired throughout the game. You can compete with players from all around the world and the developer, 2D Boy, is constantly updating the height of the tallest tower and how many goo balls are being used.

This is a light and cheerful puzzler that's head-scratchingly fun and addictive.

Download: World of Goo ($4.99)

Freja and the Sequel

Freja and the SequelFreja and the Sequel

If you're into some out-there humor and a quirky interactive story game, Freja and the Sequel might be just what you're looking for. It's your classic point-and-click adventure turned upside down by "humor, horror, and surrealism."

Freja, a computer nerd, is forced, at gunpoint, to develop a sequel to a popular video game and as she creates it, she becomes more absorbed in her work until reality itself comes into question and things start to get hella weird.

Throughout the game, you'll meet weird characters while solving some pretty tough puzzles, all while being stalked by a shadowy creature that resembles Freja.

This is definitely not a game for kids, since it contains quite a bit of swearing, some horror elements, drug references, and some perverse humor.

If you're looking for a break from the run-of-the-mill mobile games you're used to, then check out Freja and the Sequel and prepare to be pleasantly weirded out.

Download: Freja and the Sequel (Free)

Five Nights at Freddy's 4

Five Night's at Freddy's 4Five Night's at Freddy's 4

The horror masterpiece Five Nights at Freddy's is on Android and it's ready to scare your pants off and back on and then off again. The fourth instalment of the wildly popular franchise is very involved and will keep you on your toes as you try not to be mauled by horribly disfigured animatronics come to life.

You play as a child whose role in the saga is only discovered at the end of the game. You must defend your bedroom from Freddy Fazbear, Chica, Bonnie, Foxy, and worse, as you just try to survive until morning.

You have to keep track of both bedroom doors, your bed behind you, and your closet, where Foxy likes to hide, jump out of, and murder you.

With just your flashlight to protect you, clench your butt through six in-game hours of torment and terror. If you startle easily, this isn't the game for you.

Download: Five Nights at Freddy's 4 ($2.99)

Prune

PrunePrunePrune

If you've just been playing the horror-fest that is Five Nights at Freddy's 4, then you'll need a palate cleanser of the relaxing variety. Enter: Prune. This isn't your typical mobile game in a big way; this is a tribute to the beauty of trees and a calming lesson in the art of cultivation.

To start, you draw a line from the base, then your tree starts to sprout from that line. As time goes on, you have to trim certain branches off, which causes other parts of your tree to grow bigger and in other directions. At times, the sunlight will change and you'll have to shape your tree so that its branches can touch the golden rays.

This is just about as soothing as it gets for mobile gaming, bringing nature and technology together in a beautifully synergistic experience. Bask in zen and find your inner horticulturist while you gently grow your precious tree, branch by branch.

If you're looking for a calming experience to take you out of your world for a little while, then download Prune and chill out, man.

Download: Prune ($3.99)

Did we miss any great games devoid of IAPs?

Let us know if you've got any recommendations of your own in the comments below.

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