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Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL stick to proven single-camera setup

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Last year, Google did something every smartphone manufacturer should do, and that’s to create two sizes for a flagship phone without compromising the smaller unit’s specs — save for the screen size and battery capacity, of course. That’s why it’s a shame that Google didn’t follow their own lead and do the same for the newly launched Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

Let’s begin with the smaller Pixel 2. It’s 5 inches in screen size and brings back those thick bezels, except there’s a pair of stereo speakers making better use of the unsightly black space this time. The back is aluminum once again with a layer of glass on the upper area for greater wireless connectivity.

Unfortunately, there’s no audio port. Instead, you have to rely on the USB-C port for all your wired connections and Bluetooth 5.0 for everything else.

Specifications are what you’d expect from a flagship at this point in the year: a 1080p OLED, water and dust resistance, and most importantly, a pair of excellent cameras on the front and back, the latter of which finally has both optical and electronic image stabilization for sharper images.

Despite the lack of a dual-camera setup, they’re so good they achieved the highest DxOMark camera score ever on a smartphone — 98, which is considerably higher than the 94 scores of the iPhone 8 Plus and Galaxy Note 8. All that power doesn’t go to waste, either; Google has greater focus on augmented reality through live stickers and pulling off a portrait mode without needing a secondary depth-sensing camera.

Since this is produced by HTC, the U11’s squeeze feature is part of the package. Grip the Pixel 2 a little tighter, and you can activate an app or function of your choice, such as taking an instant selfie or getting Google Assistant to listen to you.

Colors for the Pixel 2 are Just Black, Clearly White, and… ehem… Kinda Blue. That Really Blue Pixel from last year was apparently too much for our eyes.

 

The Pixel 2 XL is what the Pixel 2 should’ve also looked like — thinner bezels and an overall sleeker look. Six inches in display size, the aspect ratio of the P-OLED 1440p display follows the increasingly popular 18:9 format, similar to what the LG V30 and Xiaomi’s Mi Mix 2 employ.

Other than that, the features and specs are mostly identical between both models. At the same time, Google didn’t really divulge much about the components in the first place, having said at the very beginning of the presentation that the focus would be less on numbers this time.

Early reports from other media outlets claim the pair have the Snapdragon 835 as a processor, 4GB of memory, 64GB of base storage, and a 12.2-megapixel rear camera. Available color options are simply black or white.

You can purchase the Pixel 2 for US$ 649 and the Pixel 2 XL for US$ 849 in Australia, Canada, Germany, India, UK, and the US. Pre-orders are accepted beginning today; shipping begins on October 19.

SEE ALSO: 24 hours in Beijing with the HTC U11

[irp posts=”21239" name=”24 hours in Beijing with the HTC U11"]

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip fails a scratch test

Scored as low as Galaxy Fold

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Today, the average smartphone has a tougher display than it did years ago. You can’t scratch a smartphone display as easily anymore, even without a screen protector.

That said, the arrival of the foldable smartphone sets the industry back by a decade. Because of the flexible display, the current standards don’t necessarily apply. Case in point, last year’s Galaxy Fold kept breaking down in controversial fashion. It was no surprise, though; the first foldable phones were built with plastic.

Now, 2020 has promised an improved generation for the foldable smartphone. Unfortunately, Motorola has proved the year wrong already. Reported previously, the new Motorola razr’s screen failed way before its advertised usage rate.

Recently, Samsung launched the new Galaxy Z Flip. This time, Samsung’s foldable phone advertised a glass screen, instead of the former’s plastic. As expected, eager reviewers subjected the new phone to the fiercest conditions. Like its contemporaries, the new foldable kid on the block failed.

Renowned stress tester JerryRigEverything brought the sharpest knives over the Galaxy Z Flip’s screen. As always, the tester used knives with increasing sharpness.

The Galaxy Z Flip started getting scratches as early as the second level of sharpness. For reference, most smartphones today usually last until level 6. Also, the previous Galaxy Fold and the Motorola razr both got the same low score.

Still, the Galaxy Z Flip’s failure is much more resonant this time around. Before launch, Samsung advertised a more resistant screen for the foldable display, owing to its glass construction.

Unfortunately, the boast might be a marketing ploy. The screen definitely lasted shorter than glass. If anything, it might not consist of 100 percent glass, having a mix of plastic in some way. Most of the time, Samsung has not commented on the surface’s actual composition.

However, in a statement to The Verge, the company clarified that “while the display does bend, it should be handled with care. Also, Galaxy Z Flip has a protective layer on top of the Ultra Thin Glass similar to Galaxy Fold.” If true, the knives were affecting the topmost layer, rather than the glass itself. Regardless, take good care of your Galaxy Z Flip.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Hands-on

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Realme X50 Pro 5G confirmed to have 65W fast charging

Fastest charging technology available right now

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Following the cancellation of MWC 2020, Realme has announced it will launch its next flagship product, the Realme X50 Pro 5G, via an online event.

The Realme X50 Pro 5G will be powered by a Snapdragon 865 processor, 5G support, a Full HD+ display, 12 GB of RAM, 256 GB of internal storage, 65W SuperDart fast charging ability, and the new Android 10-based Realme UI.

Unlike the Realme X50 5G, which comes with a 120Hz IPS LCD display, the Realme X50 Pro 5G will sport an AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate. Multiple cameras on the back are also certain, but it remains to be seen what image sensors make the cut.

 

At the Snapdragon Tech Summit in December, Realme was one of the notable smartphone makers that confirmed the use of the new generation of 5G chipsets for its upcoming smartphones.

OPPO’s Reno Ace is the only phone to support 65W fast charging today and Realme’s offering will be called SuperDart. Realme’s CMO Xu Qi Chase revealed additional information about the new charging technology over on Weibo, stating that the Realme X50 Pro will use a GaN charger which is more compact, efficient, and generates less heat.

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Lenovo’s new phone will supposedly score 600,000 on AnTuTu

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Since its inception, AnTuTu has dominated the benchmark conversation for mobile devices. Even today, smartphones are still touting higher and higher scores for their marketing campaigns. Naturally, when a device brags about a new top score, all eyes are focused on the new contender.

Today, Lenovo wants to hog all that spotlight. On Chinese social network Weibo, leaks have teased an all-new Lenovo phone that will supposedly score 600000 on the AnTuTu scale. It’s quite a huge boast for the Chinese smartphone company. Currently, Apple owns the highest-scoring phone on AnTuTu; the iPhone 11 Pro Max holds a score of 548239. On the Android side, the ROG Phone 2 holds the high score of 507051. Only Apple’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro 3 has a higher score — a whopping 720076 — but, of course, it’s a tablet and not a phone.

Image source: Weibo

Like the ROG Phone 2, Lenovo’s new phone will likely cater to the gaming market. One of the posters uses the slogan, “Game On.”

In another poster, Lenovo has confirmed the industry-leading Snapdragon 865 for the upcoming smartphone. A new AnTuTu high score is definitely in the realm of possibility.

Since it will go up against the ROG Phone 2, Lenovo will likely launch the smartphone under its own gaming line, Legion. No word on an official launch yet, though.

SEE ALSO: Lenovo IdeaPad S540 review: A professional’s daily driver

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