The Morning After: The best smartphones under $300


Aside from who’d win in a fight between Elon Musk and the ghost of Steve Jobs, the question I’m asked most is how to find the best budget-friendly smartphone.

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Samsung

As an insufferable early adopter/power user, I’m used to spending $1,000-plus on my daily addiction, but you don’t have to get a great capable phone in 2024. This time around, our top picks cost between $100 and $300, so we truly mean . (In fact, our picks undercut my go-to recommendation of the Pixel 7A, which is hovering above $400.)

Take a look at our guide, which includes devices from OnePlus, Samsung and Moto.

— Mat Smith

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The parent company blocked access to all its other adult entertainment websites.

You’ll have to get your kicks elsewhere, Texas. Pornhub is now inaccessible in the state, after the US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled Texas can enforce its age-verification regulations for porn websites. If you try, you’ll be met with a message: “Dear user, as you may know, your elected officials in Texas are requiring us to verify your age before allowing you access to our website.” As you might have guessed, Texas now tops the list of states for VPN searches as its residents look for a workaround to access their favorite adult content.

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What’s next for Android and the company’s AI products.

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Google

Google revealed the date for this year’s I/O conference in really annoying fashion. It asked folks to complete a tedious logic puzzle. Once enough people finished all 15 levels and got a marble to its destination repeatedly, they got the date.

The keynote will give us a look at upcoming Pixel and Android features — and maybe a bit of hardware. Please?

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Next, the company plans to test relighting its Raptor engine in space.

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SpaceX

The third time’s the charm as SpaceX attempted another test of its Starship rocket. The Starship launched at 9:25AM ET on Thursday morning. Shortly after launch, it completed the hot-staging separation from its Super Heavy Booster, and the Starship successfully ignited the second-stage Raptor engines. While SpaceX said both the booster and Starship were going to return to Earth at “terminal velocity,” thus making any recovery of them impossible, it looks like Starship didn’t make it to splashdown, breaking up on re-entry (according to initial data).

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