The Stuff Hot Five

Counting down the five things that have rocked our world this week

What do we really care about? And what should you really care about?

Each week, we'll be counting down the five most important things in our world right now. The new gadgets that we're excited about - and that you should be excited about too. The games and apps we're desperate to play - and that we want you to enjoy too. The best phones and tablets and cameras and laptops and smartwatches and all the rest that we've reviewed that week - and that you should go out and buy.

Think of it as a condensed version of the whole site. But don't forget to read the rest of it too, eh?

5) Chuck Norris punches your smartphone

Chuck Norris completed Destiny - without owning a games console. It should be no surprise, then, that his mobile game is a whirlwind of selfie stick-smashing, roundhouse kicking and horse head-wearing, that doesn’t actually require you to play it.

Oh, sure, you can instruct Chuck to perform specific moves, upgrade his weapons, garms and animal accomplices, and jump through rifts - but he doesn’t need you to do that. Leave him to it, come back to the app, and you’ll find that he’s defeated plenty of enemies in your absence.

Still, it’s a bunch of fun and easy to dip in and out of, with plenty of Chuck-themed quips chucked in for good measure.

Drop everything and download

4) Retro Freak goes old-school

This week brought confirmation that the much-vaunted NES Classic Mini is no longer being produced. Boo. Cue, then, a search for a worthy replacement - a console with which to, erm, console ourselves in the Mini’s absence.

Up popped the Retro Freak, a plastic box of diminutive proportions that’s capable of playing titles from 12 throwback games machines - including the NES, SNES, Mega Drive and (if you’re feeling dangerous) Game Boy.

Sadly, the hardware is cheap and a lack of pre-installed games make it an expensive way to get your old-school gaming fix. If you’ve a stack of cartridges sitting in a shoebox, though (or you’ve got some ROMs to stick on an SD card), then it’s a very capable all-in-one nostalgia machine.

Get your freak on

3) Sony sticks a whole lot of numbers in its new camera

Sony has something of a thing for topping out specs sheets. Just look at the XZ Premium. So it is with the newly announced Alpha a9 mirrorless camera.

Take its full-frame, 24.2MP CMOS sensor: it’s been stacked to make it 20 times faster than previous Sony shooters - which means continuous RAW shooting at a speedy 20 frames per second. It’ll focus better than a student after three coffees, too, thanks to a whopping 693 phase detection autofocus points - across which the a9 can perform 60 AF/AE calculations per second.

Oh, sure, it’ll cost you £4500 for the body only (not to mention £2500 for the G Master 100-400mm lens that goes nicely with it), but you’re getting a whole lot of numbers for your wonga.

2) Mario Kart swerves onto Switch in fine fashion

If you were one of the few who owned a Wii U, chances are you had the pleasure of playing Mario Kart 8 - probably one of the plumber’s best racing outings to date.

Happily, its transition to the Switch has only made it better. Yes, there aren’t any new tracks - but the gameplay remains just as excellent, while the updated Battle Mode (complete with eight revamped courses) is bags of fun in multiplayer.

Unless you played it to death - including all the DLC - on Wii U, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is well worth a purchase. It’s the same excellent game, sprinkled with added genius.

Mario, on the go

1) Samsung delivers the best smartphone in the world

Samsung could’ve stuck an octa-core chip and 4GB RAM, a 12MP snapper and a 3000mAh cell in its next phone and, judging by how astoundingly speedy the S8 is, it’d still have been a stellar flagship.

Samsung did that - while also plastering a whopping 5.8in AMOLED Infinite Display on the front. Despite its large diagonal, the phone is still palm-friendly (just), thanks to an 18:9 cinematic resolution which, paired with a barely-there frame, looks absolutely stunning.

Yes, its AI-assistant, Bixby, is a little limited at present and not all apps are optimised for 18:9, but the S8 is otherwise perfect. In fact, it’s so good that it jumped right to the top of our list of the top 10 smartphones you can buy right now.

Want more? Shell out £779 for the Galaxy S8 Plus and you’ll get better battery life and an even bigger screen to take Samsung’s new mobile even closer to perfection.

A frameless classic