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Essential cancels Essential Phone 2, puts company up for sale

Another casualty for Android supremacy

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During its announcement last year, the Essential Phone quickly positioned itself as the mythical iPhone killer. Sadly, the hyped-up smartphone spent its considerable amount of resources just for a drop of blood. Now, all its past efforts are causing the company to go under.

Despite all the hype surrounding it, the Essential Phone debuted to tepid applause. While the phone did have its fair share of loyal fans, several complaints criticized its software issues and lackluster cameras. Additionally, it performed terribly in sales, losing handily to its rivals.

Regardless, Essential promised a successor. Unfortunately, they spoke too soon. The company has reportedly canceled all development on the Essential Phone 2.

According to reports, Essential is now focusing its efforts on an undisclosed home tech product. In a recent tweet, Essential founder Andy Rubin subtly confirmed that the company has dropped the sequel and started development on other products in its stead.

To add to the confusion, Essential has also enlisted the help of the Credit Suisse Group. Supposedly, the hiring aims to find potential buyers for the company. Essential’s offers reportedly include selling the whole company, its entire library of patents (which houses the Essential Phone), and the company’s engineering team.

Currently, Essential has not finalized any deals yet. However, the mere existence of talks indicates that the company is already flirting with the idea of throwing in the towel.

At the very least, Essential’s statements confirm that we are not getting an Essential Phone 2 from the company. However, if talks go as planned, Essential might still find its way back into the phone business in the future, particularly under a new manufacturer.

As of now, the Essential Phone 2 remains a dream for its steadfast fan base. Pretty soon, the company might fall as another defeated combatant in the fight against Apple’s supremacy.

SEE ALSO: Essential Phone gets official Android 8.1 Oreo update

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Google’s AI created these photos, and they look so real

From a new system called Imagen

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Have you ever seen art created by an AI? A few platforms today can generate amazing images based on a word prompt. Most of those are limited to more surreal images. You wouldn’t really mistake them for photos taken with a camera. However, Google, getting into the trend themselves, have a different goal in mind: photorealism.

It’s called Imagen, and Google just announced what it is and what it can do. Besides the more technical explanation, the announcement also revealed a few examples from the new text-to-image system.

While a few examples are still surreal (like an alien octopus reading a newspaper), quite a bit are uncannily real. One depicts a corgi riding on a bicycle while wearing shades. Another depicts a delectable chocolate dessert shaped like a bald eagle. If it weren’t for the “Imagen” logo at the bottom, these photos can likely fool anyone perusing the internet.

Google boasts that the new system can outclass the current leaders in text-to-image systems. Of course, the playing field is still a sparse one. AI isn’t taking over the world. Regardless, Google’s latest efforts are impressive.

Unfortunately, not everyone can test it out. Google is keeping the system away from the public for now. Given today’s susceptibility to false information, a well-made generated image (especially that of politicians or celebrities) can potentially disrupt news cycles.

Additionally, because of the sheer amount of data fed to the system, it is prone to using stereotypes for its images. For example, if you ask for an image depicting a CEO, it will likely churn out an image of a white male.

As such, Google wants to work on perfecting the system first before unleashing it to the world.

SEE ALSO: Sundar Pichai – Up Close & Personal at Google I/O 2022

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MediaTek launches its first mmWave 5G chip, the Dimensity 1050

Along with Dimensity 930 and Helio G99

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5G connectivity isn’t just about having 5G. If you’ve delved a bit deeper into what the network can do, you might have seen two types: sub-6GHz and mmWave. One is naturally different from the other. Compared to sub-6GHz, mmWave does carry more potential for the future. Marking this move to future, MediaTek has announced the Dimensity 1050 chipset, the company’s first mmWave 5G SoC.

When 5G first launched, the technology used sub-6GHz frequencies. These frequencies are practically the same as the ones used in 4G and older networks. On the other hand, mmWave uses frequencies above that, boosting what the network is capable of. It does, however, take more time to adopt mmWave technologies as it requires upgrades to both hardware and infrastructure.

The Dimensity 1050 chipset now offers both network compatibilities. According to MediaTek, the processor can deliver up to 53 percent faster speeds. Under the hood, it carries two Arm Cortex-A78 cores and a Mali-G610 GPU. Additionally, it supports UFS 3.1 and LPDDR5 memory.

Besides the Dimensity 1050, MediaTek also launched Dimensity 930 5G chipset for 120Hz Full HD+ displays and HDR 10+ video. The company also launched the Helio G99, a 4G processor for smaller phones.

Dimensity 930 smartphones will launch as early as this quarter. Meanwhile, Dimensity 1050 and Helio G99 smartphones will come out in the next quarter.

SEE ALSO: MediaTek announces impending release of Pentonic series

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Motorola confirms first Razr with Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1

Coming later this year

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When you buy a pricey foldable phone, you usually expect the top-of-the-line hardware to make your purchase worth every penny. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, a foldable device sells more for its form factor, rather than its specs. For example, when Motorola first resurrected the Razr lineup, the foldable had midrange chipsets. Now, for its upcoming entry, the lineup is finally getting the flagship.

Last week, Qualcomm unveiled its next chipset series. Squeezing more life from the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 series, the new Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 offers an improved flagship performance for coming smartphones later this year. Naturally, the stops have been lifted. Smartphone makers are now free to announce their devices with the new chipset.

Now, Motorola has confirmed that it will have one of the first Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 smartphones. And yes, it’s a Razr.

The company confirmed the smartphone through a teaser on Weibo. The graphic clearly depicts the chipset over a silhouetted foldable device, presumably from the Razr lineup.

However, the graphic does not hint when the smartphone will launch. Because of the timing, it’s incredibly likely that it will come later this year.

Though the company offers devices in the traditional slab phone format, it is also one of the foremost leaders in the foldable industry.

SEE ALSO: Motorola is working on its first rollable phone

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