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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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Lenovo Legion Phone Duel price and availability in the Philippines

Gift for yourself this holiday season?

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Legion Phone Duel

Lenovo has joined the mobile gaming fray with the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel. You can now grab this gaming smartphone in the Philippines.

It’s powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragong 865 Plus SoC — the best in the business at the moment. It also comes with up to 16GB LPDRR5 RAM and a 512GB UFS 3.1 internal storage. It has a 6.65-inch AMOLED display with 144Hz refresh rate with a 240Hz sampling rate that should bode well for all your mobile gaming needs.

The Legion Phone Duel supports 90W Turbo Power Charging. This can take you from 0 to 50 percent in just 10 minutes and straight up to 100 percent in only half an hour. You can charge the phone on either USB-C ports. Yes, there are two. One in the usual bottom of the phone, the other on its side — a perfect spot for charging while you’re gaming.

Read our Lenovo Legion Phone Duel review for a more comprehensive look at the phone.

Pricing and availability

The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel comes in only two variants. Color, configuration, and pricing are as follows:

  • Blazing Blue — (12GB+256GB) — PhP 39,995
  • Vengeance Red — (16GB+512GB) — PhP 49,995
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Mate 40 Pro is now the world’s smartest smartphone

Nabs top spot in AI benchmarks

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Besides the inclusion of 5G, another key feature in modern phones is AI compatibility. Smartphone makers are packing in the smartest chipsets inside daily drivers today. Already, the current state of AI powers more improved cameras and assistant features. That said, AI benchmarks are now more important than ever. Now, after a new test, the Huawei Mate 40 Pro is now the world’s smartest smartphone, nabbing the top spot in AI benchmarks.

On AI Benchmark, the Mate 40 Pro scored 216.6 on the rankings. Notably, the second placer — the Xiaomi Redmi K30 Ultra — scores only 135.3 on the same scale. The third placer — the iQOO Z1 — scored a similar 133.0 score. Both second and third place smartphones are considerably lesser than the new winner.

The Redmi K30 Ultra and the iQOO Z1 both sport the MediaTek Dimensity 1000+ chipset. On the other hand, the Mate 30 Pro comes with the new Kirin 9000 processor.

Though the Kirin 9000 is impressive, Huawei has already announced the termination of the Kirin lineup as we know it. Because of ongoing American regulations, the company has no more access to necessary components for the chipset. As a result, they are in a mad dash to either compensate for lost components or find alternative suppliers.

SEE ALSO: Samsung overtakes Huawei as the world’s top phone seller

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Galaxy S21 series will launch in several colors, leak says

Including gray, pink, and violet

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After the first Galaxy S21 leaks recently, more details have suddenly popped out of nowhere. Of course, with the reportedly early launch date, it’s not surprising. The Galaxy S21 will apparently debut earlier than usual this time around. Now, here’s one more detail for the hype train. According to a new leak, the Samsung Galaxy S21 series will launch in several colors.

According to notable leaker Ross Young, the following colors are already “100%” confirmed. The starter Galaxy S21 launches in Gray, Pink, Violet, and White. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S21+ launches in just Black and Silver. Finally, the leading Galaxy S21 Ultra comes in Black, Silver, and Violet.

The color scheme strikes similar to the recently launched iPhone 12 series. Specifically, the starting model will come in more colorful variants. The premium variants, however, ship in more premium colors.

If your favorite color isn’t listed, I wouldn’t lose hope yet. Usually, Samsung releases more colors after the initial launch. For example, the company recently launched BTS variants for the Galaxy S20 series.

Besides the listed colors, the leaker also confirmed the lineup’s production lines in Brazil, Indonesia, and Vietnam. With that data already “confirmed,” it’s likely that Samsung’s schedule is well on its way to completion. If the previous reports are true, the Galaxy S21 series will debut sometime in early January.

SEE ALSO: This is what the Galaxy S21 might look like

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