The Morning After: NASCAR's using esports to fill in for canceled races

Richard Lawler
Senior News Editor

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Need something familiar to relax with after a long week? Try out the new Nokia-branded phones that were just announced. That includes handsets that an exec said "are supporting the highest number of 5G new radio bands, by far, that you've ever seen in a single design, to date."

On the other hand, if 5G isn't your thing -- and not because you've watched a few too many conspiracy videos on YouTube -- then there are cheap Android Go handsets that are the first ones with Google's new camera app and even a few candybar-shaped feature phones for good measure.

-- Richard

Can telehealth save us?The Engadget Podcast

This week, many of us found out exactly which meetings could've been emails. On the podcast, Cherlynn and Devindra explore the rise of telehealth during the global coronavirus pandemic. It's not all serious conversation; our hosts also dive into the gaming hardware news from this week, as well as a few fun recommendations to help you hold it together.

Listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, Pocket Casts or Stitcher.

iRacing is stepping into the big time.NASCAR is replacing canceled races with esports featuring pro drivers

Fox Sports and NASCAR have announced an inaugural eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series that will replace canceled NASCAR races with "simulation-style" esports competitions. These will involve top-tier competitors, too -- you can expect Dale Earnhardt Jr., Bobby Labonte, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin among other racers and luminaries from various NASCAR series.

The first event takes place on March 22nd at 1:30 PM ET and will air on FS1 and the Fox Sports app.

The best comments will feature in a roundup on Engadget.We want to know what you think of your Pixel 3a

If you picked up the Pixel 3a or 3a XL over the past year, either at launch or during a sale, we would like to hear how you feel about yours. Did it offer you good performance despite stepped-down specs? Have you experienced any slowdowns after months of use? Is the camera as excellent as you'd like? Or did you just buy it for the headphone jack? Tell us all this and more in a user review on our Pixel 3a or 3a XL product page.

Stellar sound quality.Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 review: Pricey and impressive

The good news: This time around, Sennheiser has fixed the unreliable touch controls that plagued earlier earbuds, extended the battery life and added active noise cancellation. However, Billy Steele explains the bad news in his review: A $299.95 price makes them tough to recommend over competition like Master & Dynamic's MW07 Plus ($299) or Sony's WF-1000XM3 ($230~).

Better lighting everywhere.Microsoft's DirectX 12 Ultimate brings ray-tracing effects to more games

Microsoft has introduced a DirectX 12 Ultimate framework that makes ray tracing and other visual effects both more efficient and more flexible. A new inline ray-tracing technique gives developers more control over using lighting effects in ways that make sense for their specific games. GPU shaders can invoke ray tracing without talking to the CPU, and streaming engines can more efficiently load ray-tracing shaders as you roam around an open world.

But wait, there's more...

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