News

Google Pixel 2 has hidden chip for image processing

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The Pixel 2 doesn’t have much to prove anymore in terms of camera quality; Google’s flagship smartphone already has the highest score ever on DxOMark, a popular source for camera comparisons. That won’t stop Google from improving on it even further, though.

It was recently discovered that the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL contain a hidden image processing unit (IPU) called the Pixel Visual Core. It’s designed by Google and completely separate from the phones’ primary Snapdragon 835 chipset.

Google claims that utilizing the extra power can lead to faster HDR+ (high dynamic range) processing of up to five times at less than a tenth of the needed energy, resulting in better-looking photos at smoother rates.

As you can see in the image below, the custom chip even has its own memory and eight individual cores:

The kicker here is that this IPU won’t be activated until Android 8.1 Oreo becomes available on the Pixel 2. This means the Google phones have been holding back with their image processing until now, and could experience a boost in camera performance once the next version of Android rolls out.

Why Google didn’t bother mentioning this during the Pixel 2’s launch is a mystery, but it’s possible they want to save their trump card for the right moment. Still, hardware experts were able to tear down the phones and figure out the secret before the search giant could take the next step.

This is officially the first in-house chip made by Google, and it’ll be openly available for third-party app developers to take advantage of, as well.

SEE ALSO: Google Pixel 2 already has original Pixel’s biggest flaw

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News

iPhone 13 Pro, Pro Max now support Apple ProRes video

Launching with iOS 15.1

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Smartphone cameras have progressed far beyond mere selfies and Instagram shots. Our phones can now take professional shots with the snap of a finger. In fact, some brands have even committed to taking Hollywood-caliber films with known directors and actors. Taking it to the next level, Apple is making it easier for filmmakers to do so by making ProRes video available for the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max.

Apple hasn’t been shy about the creative capabilities of the iPhone’s two Pro models. The company previously promised ProRes support back in September during the new series’ launch. Finally, Apple is launching the feature with the iOS 15.1 update released recently.

Apple ProRes video is commonly known as the video format friendlier for video editing. The format makes editing easier on Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro X. It minimizes video compression and maintains image quality. Apple first launched the format back in 2007, but the format has slowly eked its way to more devices throughout the years.

Currently, ProRes is dependent on Apple’s new A15 Bionic chipset. As such, older iPhone models won’t get the format.

The feature is currently shipping out with the recent iOS 15.1 update. If you’re trying to get the feature, make sure you have the update installed first.

SEE ALSO: iPhone 13 Pro Max vs iPhone 12 Pro Max: Camera Shootout

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Honor 50 and Honor 50 Lite launch globally

With Google Mobile Services (GMS)

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Honor’s bounce back smartphones since parting ways with Huawei is something we’re keeping an eye on. Today, they just launched the Honor 50 and Honor 50 Lite — both still with traces of its Huawei lineage but with Google Mobile Services.

This new pair of smartphones hasn’t strayed too far from Huawei. But operating independently from the company blacklisted in the USA means gaining access to what Huawei lost — Google Mobile Services or GMS.

Honor 50

The Honor 50 is recognizing the growing trend of short-form videos. With this in mind, they put a 32MP front-facing camera with a 90-degree viewing angle so you can shoot for TikTok, Reels, or YouTube Shorts.

On the back, meanwhile, you’ll find the 108MP main camera flanked by an 8MP ultra-wide angle camera as well as throwaway additions 2MP depth, and 2MP macro cameras.

It has a 6.57-inch, 75-degree curved AMOLED screen that supports 120Hz refresh rate. If you’re into mobile gaming, it also has a 300Hz touch sampling rate so remain competitive. Powering the device is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778 5G chip with a Turbo X GPU, again for high performance and lag-less mobile play.

It comes with a 4,300mAh battery with support for 66W Honor SuperCharge technology for fast wired charging. You can go from zero to 70 percent in just 20 minutes, claims Honor.

The phone runs on Android 11 but with Magic UI 4.2 on top for its own unique Android flavor.

Honor 50 Lite

The Honor 50 Lite shares much of the same features. Some key differences are its 6.67-inch FullView display and the 64MP main camera.

Pricing and availability

The Honor 50 comes in Frost Crystal, Emerald Green, or Midnight Black. There’s also the special HONOR Code edition. Honor describes it as “an innovative colorway incorporating the “HONOR” logo across the back cover.”

Pricing are as follows:

  • 6GB+128GB — EUR 529 (around US$ 614)
  • 8GB+256GB — EUR 599 (around US$ 695)

Meanwhile, the Lite version comes in just the 6GB+128GB variant and retails for EUR 299 (around US$ 347).

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Gaming

Players finally meet as HoYo FEST kicks off in SEA this November

It’s a grand meetup!

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hoyo fest

miHoYo, the global interactive entertainment developer and publisher behind hit multiplayer games such as Honkai Impact 3rd, Tears of Themis, and Genshin Impact, announced that HoYo FEST is coming to Southeast Asia this November.

The interactive festival shall be held in six countries: Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

The annual celebration will allow for fellow players to finally convene and meet each other off their screens and in real life, allowing for an opportunity to relive memorable, happy, and touching moments in the game together.

Gaming world-themed cafés

All HoYo FEST-related events will be held at collaboration cafés themed after Honkai Impact 3rd, Tears of Themis, and Genshin Impact between November 5 and December 14.

These specific cafés will offer special set menus on dine-in, takeout, and delivery options. Ordering via takeout and delivery also gives customers an additional printed tote bag and cup sleeve.

The interiors will be furnished in the styles of Honkai Impact 3rd, Tears of Themis, and Genshin Impact in order, which is accompanied by photography zones.

That way, fans and players will be able to enjoy exquisite foods and immerse themselves in a real-life feel of the game worlds while bonding with new friends they’ve only previously met in-game.

Mystery gifts and exciting merchandise

Ordering collaboration combos or spending a certain amount of money at a café also entitles guests to an exciting mystery gift box.

The pop-up stores found only at specific cafés will also sell a variety of exclusive Honkai Impact 3rd, Tears of Themis, and Genshin Impact merchandise, to be distributed only by the staff of the collaboration cafés.

Preparations for the celebration are underway, so Captains, Travelers, and Attorneys should brace themselves for upcoming surprises.

Festival Schedule

  • Honkai Impact 3rd: November 5 to November 16
  • Tears of Themis: November 19 to November 30
  • Genshin Impact: December 3 to December 14

Collaboration Cafés

  • Singapore: Aniplus Cafe
  • Malaysia: my Burger Lab
  • Thailand: NANA Coffee Roasters Ari
  • Philippines: Moon Rabbit Café + Restaurant
  • Indonesia: Warung Koffie Batavia
  • Vietnam: To Be Announced

For more event details and pandemic precautions, please visit the miHoYo official website: https://mhy.link/686SLBA6.

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