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Google launches Nest Mini, looks eerily similar to Home Mini

More features at the same price

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It’s obvious Google’s new Pixel 4 duo is hogging the limelight, but the company also announced a new Nest Mini speaker. Google is changing the name of its Google Home Mini and integrating it into its Nest line of products.

The integration lets the brand position the product in the “smart home” section and not just limited to a speaker. The Google Home Mini was released in 2017, a smaller, more affordable speaker than the Google Home that came before it.

With all the same Google Assistant capabilities and a more affordable US$ 49 price, the Google Home Mini proved to be one of Google’s best sellers. The Nest Mini will also cost US$ 49 and is available for preorder today and in stores in the US and other countries on Oct. 22.

Nest Mini was mounted to the wall, which is a new option, along with a new color, Sky blue, to add to the Chalk, Charcoal and Coral options.

The company says the Nest Mini also now includes a third microphone that’ll help in noisy environments. There’s a machine learning chip powering proceedings, making the Google Assistant better than ever.

Another useful addition is, there’s now LEDs on both sides of the fabric mesh, indicating where the volume touch points are. That fabric covering is now more eco-friendly; it’s made of 100 percent recycled plastic bottles. All Google Home and Nest speakers let you call devices from the Google Duo app as well.

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Realme X2 Pro with Snapdragon 855+, 50W charging launches

The new flagship killer?

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Realme has been on a tear in 2019 and the company has no plans of stopping  after finally launching the Realme X2 Pro. It’s filled to the brim with latest features and will be going up against Xiaomi’s K20 Pro as well as the OnePlus 7T.

After its official unveiling in China and Europe last month, the Realme X2 Pro has now made its way to India. The phone has a premium design consisting of glass and metal.

On the front is a 6.5-inch Full HD+ AMOLED panel with 90Hz refresh rate and a small water-drop notch on the top. Powering the phone is a Snapdragon 855+ processor along with 8GB RAM in the base variant. For authentication, an in-display fingerprint scanner has been provided along with support for face unlock.

The camera is a major highlight and the flagship phone houses a set of four sensors on the rear: a massive 64-megapixel primary lens, a 13-megapixel telephoto lens, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens and a 2-megapixel portrait lens. The front water-drop notch houses a 16-megapixel camera for selfies.

The battery capacity is 4,000 mAh and it comes with support for blazing-fast 50W SuperVOOC Flash Charge. Realme claims it can completely charge the phone within 35 minutes.

On the software front, Realme is sticking with Android 9 Pie and ColorOS 6.1 but an update to Android 10 is already in the works.

Realme X2 Pro is priced at INR 29,999 (US$ 417) for the 8GB+128GB option and INR 33,999 (US$ 475) for the 12GB+256GB variant.

The company also launched Realme X2 Pro Master Edition in Red Brick and Concrete color variants with 12GB+256GB configuration costing INR 34,999 (US$ 486). The sale for the Master Edition will start during Christmas.

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LG launches the first 8K OLED TV in Singapore

Massive display at a massive price

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Image credit: LG

Remember when LG launched their first 8K OLED TV at IFA 2018? Fast forward to November 2019, they finally made it available in Singapore — a first in Southeast Asia.

Just a refresher, the LG 88Z9 boasts a vibrant 88-inch OLED bezel-less display with a massive resolution of 8K Ultra HD (7680 x 4320). It’s composed of 33 million self-emitting pixels that make it stand out from the competition. The additional Cinema HDR, Dolby Vision support, Advanced HDR by Technicolor (up to 4K), Hybrid Log Gamma, and HDR10 (up to 8K) all make up for a perfect viewing experience.

The α (Alpha) 9 Gen 2 8K processor is responsible for upscaling native 4K (or Full HD) clips to 8K content, all while reducing noise. It also processes ambient lighting conditions to achieve the perfect level of brightness. There’s also an integrated 80W speaker system, which is clear and rich. The 5.1 Virtual Surround Sound and Dolby Atmos make it more immersive when watching flicks.

Other TV-inclusive features are the built-in Google Assistant and support for Apple’s AirPlay 2 and HomeKit. These provide easier controls over the TV even with just a voice command.

LG’s skilled engineers manually assembled each unit. The sophisticated Art Furniture Stand features a top-of-the-line aluminum and is carefully crafted by hand. There are only a limited number of units being produced to ensure quality in the long run.

To prove its durability, LG runs a series of TV tests. There’s an Aging Test which makes it run for 168 hours. It’s also placed inside a room above 40 degrees Celsius for 48 hours to ensure perfect performance in harsh conditions. At last, there’s an additional quality test where the TV is simulated in various viewing scenarios.

The LG 88Z9 Signature OLED TV currently retails at SG$ 59,999.

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Google Pixel 4 XL fails a bend test

Apparently, made of plastic inside

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Image source: JerryRigEverything

Prior to its official announcement, Google’s Pixel 4 was one of the most leaked phones in recent history. Even before Google could say a word, the world has seen the latest flagship from all possible angles. Unfortunately, the Pixel 4’s buzz died down immediately after the official launch. Even sadder, the smartphone’s latest appearance in the news is about a failed bend test.

As you’ve likely read from the headline, the Google Pixel 4 XL has failed a crucial bend test. Administered as always by the infamous JerryRigEverything, the test ended in a hopelessly broken flagship. Like most bend tests, the vlogger applied hand pressure twice — on a front bend and a back bend.

The first front bend concluded without a hitch. However, the second bend test cracked the phone’s upper and lower portions. Notably, the upper crack ran below the device’s camera, alluding to a clear divide between inside sections.

After the first video dropped, the vlog went deeper, hollowing out the Pixel 4 XL’s insides to discover the cracks’ true cause. Apparently, despite the glass and aluminum covering the outside of the phone, a huge chunk of the inside is molded in plastic. The design decision makes the phone lighter than other phones of similar caliber. However, it also reduces the phone’s internal integrity.

The Google Pixel 4 XL starts at US$ 899. If you’re planning on making this smartphone your daily driver, keep it out of your back pocket.

SEE ALSO: Google Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL still great for photos, now with 90Hz panel

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