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Happy Saturday, dear readers! In case you weren’t already aware, Mother’s Day is next weekend, which means you have about a week or so to pick up a gift if you were planning on doing so. We’ve assembled a wide array of picks in our Mother’s Day gift guide, but, if want a quick suggestion, Apple’s third-gen AirPods are on sale once again at Amazon and Best Buy for $149.99, nearly matching their best price to date.
In many ways, Apple’s latest pair of earbuds are tailor-made for iPhone users. The third-gen earbuds feature automatic device switching, head-tracking spatial audio, and deeper Find My integration than the prior model, helping you to better pinpoint their location if you happen to lose them. They also sound better than the second-gen model, offer IPX4 water resistance, and remain a great pair of earbuds for making phone calls despite their shorter stems, which give them a more subtle look even if they are still the most recognizable pair of earbuds in existence.
Read our AirPods (third-gen) review.
Apple’s third-gen AirPods have a new design and sound significantly better than their predecessors. They also add new features like head tracking for spatial audio.
If you own a PS5, you owe it to yourself to claim all the games still being offered via the PlayStation Plus Collection — a premium perk Sony plans to eliminate on May 9th. And if you’re not currently a PS Plus member, you can get 12 months of the PS Plus Essential tier for $48.49 (about $12 off) at Eneba when you use offer code USPlus before 7AM ET on May 8th.
The PS Plus Collection was Sony’s way of quickly bolstering the number of launch titles for the PS5 and showcasing the console’s backwards compatibility. It was also a small sampling of what was to come with the new PS Plus Extra and Premium tiers, allowing PS5 owners to play God of War (2018), Bloodborne, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, and a bunch of PS4 hits without having to plunk down extra cash. Now, Sony is taking the initial perk away, so you best pick up all 19 games while you still can.
Fortunately, if you claim these games with the base-level Essential plan, you’ll always have them registered to your account, even if your subscription lapses and you resubscribe later. The biggest barrier to entry is that you must claim them on a PS5 console — though, you can play them on a PS4 after doing so.
A membership to PlayStation Plus Essential allows PlayStation 4 and PS5 owners to play games online, download free monthly titles, use cloud save backups, and take advantage of discounts on the PS Store.
Next week is Google I/O, and while we can’t guarantee that Google won’t announce a new pair of wireless earbuds during its big developer event on Wednesday, we’re doubtful. That means now is as good a time as any to pick up a pair of the Google Pixel Buds Pro, which are on sale at Woot for Verge readers for $149.99 ($50 off) with offer code PIXBUDSVERGE.
Google’s premium set of earbuds are to Pixel phones what the AirPods are to iPhones. They provide solid sound, multipoint Bluetooth support, and up to seven hours of battery life with active noise cancellation turned on, along with a comfortable fit and a few Pixel-specific features. These include easy access to controls via your phone’s native settings pane and head-tracking spatial audio, the latter of which allows for a virtual surround sound experience regardless of the orientation of your head. Not every feature is a slam-dunk — the transparency mode, in particular, could use some work — but they remain the best pair of earbuds you can buy if you’re a Pixel owner.
Read our Pixel Buds Pro review.
Google’s Pixel Buds Pro are the company’s first earbuds to include active noise cancellation. They combine impressive sound, great battery life, and good comfort — all without the connection issues of earlier models. Right now, Verge readers can buy them at Wellbots for just $149.99 with promo code PIXBUDSVERGE.
There are lots of iPads these days, but only one of them offers you that tablet experience in a portable size that’s perfect for reading. The iPad Mini is that iPad, and the latest model is currently matching its all-time low of $399.99 ($100 off) at Amazon and Target in the 64GB, Wi-Fi configuration. Alternatively, if you need more space, the 256GB model is discounted at Amazon for $539.99 ($110 off), a price you’ll see at checkout.
The tablet’s 8.9-inch display and overall design mean it’s basically a shrunken-down iPad Air — and that’s perfectly fine. It’s comfortable to hold on the couch or at your desk for long periods of time, which makes it great for reading lots of articles, comics, manga, books, etc. Dedicated e-readers like Amazon’s Kindle may have a slight edge due to their glare-free displays, sure, but the Mini is also a tablet you can use to get other stuff done. Plus, pairing it with a second-gen Apple Pencil — which also happens to be on sale for just $89 ($40 off) at Amazon right now — makes for a nice note-taking experience.
Read our iPad Mini (2021) review.
Apple’s revamped iPad Mini ditches the home button and opts for a larger edge-to-edge display. It also comes outfitted with a faster processor, support for USB-C, and a top-mounted power button that moonlights as a Touch ID sensor.
A few more discounts to kick off your weekend
- Let’s face it: we all know how spotty Wi-Fi can be. Thankfully, if you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive way to add an ethernet jack to a room wirelessly or shore up your network connection across a small area, TP-Link’s RE315 Wi-Fi Extender is down to $31.99 ($18 off) at Amazon, nearly matching its best price to date.
- 8Bitdo’s Ultimate C 2.4g Wireless Controller, which launches on May 31st, is now available for preorder at Amazon for $29.99. It’s essentially a barebones version of the Ultimate 2.4G Controller that lacks customization, however, it still works with both Windows and Android — as well as the Steam Deck — and comes in a pair of handsome pastel colors.
- Case-Mate’s Fuel Charger is still matching its lowest price to date at Amazon, where you can snag it in a frosted white for $16.60 (about $13 off). The portable charger provides up to 30 watts of power via USB-C and features a foldable plug that allows for easy storage, though, it’s the old-school transparent design that really seals the deal (no pun intended).
- Nomad is offering a selection of iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus cases for 20 percent off through June 1st. What’s more, Verge subscribers can take advantage of an additional 20 percent off when they enter promo code VERGE14 at checkout, meaning you can pick up one of Nomad’s luxe Modern Leather Cases right now starting at just $32.
- Silo, a brilliant adaptation of Hugh Howey’s novels of the same name, has officially landed on Apple TV Plus. Thankfully, if you’re not already a subscriber to Apple’s premium streaming service, Best Buy is offering both new and returning subscribers a three-month subscription for free. All you need to do is follow the provided instructions after making your purchase. Read our Silo review.