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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 will re-evaluate fake Supreme partnership after criticism

They incited the ire of the hypebeasts

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Recently, Samsung China committed a public relations boo-boo. After launching the Galaxy A8s, the Chinese branch announced a future partnership with Supreme, the popular lifestyle brand. Unfortunately, the partnership was not with the original Supreme brand. Rather, the partnered party is Supreme Italia, a knock-off brand based in Italy. At the time, Supreme NYC (the original) and Samsung China knew about Supreme Italia’s status. Regardless, Samsung China still went for the deal.

Now, the company is re-evaluating the partnership once again. According to Samsung leaker Ice Universe, Samsung China issued a statement about the partnership. Translated from the original Mandarin, Samsung said: “Recently, Samsung Electronics announced at the Galaxy A8s conference that it will cooperate with Supreme Italia in the Chinese market. We are currently re-evaluating this cooperation, and we deeply regret the inconvenience caused.”

Based on the original Weibo post, Samsung China received a significant amount of criticism for the snappy decision. Further, it didn’t help that Leo Lau, Samsung China’s digital marketing manager, defended the controversial decision.

Despite not having rights in the country, Supreme maintains a healthy following in China. However, because of the lack of selling rights, Chinese Supreme fans resorted to off-brands like Supreme Italia.

However, it doesn’t excuse Samsung China. With the decision, the Chinese branch has been assaulted by criticisms from both Supreme fans and Samsung’s higher brass. Regardless, the company has a lot of brand equity to lose by being associated with a knock-off brand. With a re-evaluation, the brand is working to restoring some lost credibility.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Flex might cost more than $2,500

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Huawei midrange phones will soon have 20W SuperCharge

Another flagship feature for midrange phones

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Smartphones nowadays are not just about displays, performance, or cameras. Ultra-premium phones already have the capability to quickly fill up their batteries in just 30 minutes, just like the OPPO Find X Lamborghini Edition.

Huawei‘s new Mate 20 Pro with SuperCharge 2.0 technology also has incredible fast charging speeds (70 percent in 30 minutes) using its own 40W charger. But, what about midrange phones?

Image credit: ChargeLab

If this leaked document is real, it appears Huawei is already working on putting SuperCharge technology on its upcoming midrange phones.

According to the leaked information, the fast charger uses a charging protocol that produces half of the Mate 20 Pro charger’s power. So, instead of charging at 10V/4A with a 40W charger, the upcoming standard applies 10V/2A with a 20W charger. Also, it’ll have the reversible USB-C as its interface.

Huawei is expected to announce its new charging technology in 2019, but there’s no exact timeframe for now. There are rumors about plans to introduce it along with the P30 series, which should go official as early as the first quarter.

The charging tech could also be used by Huawei’s sub-brand Honor, so there’s a chance that it’ll be available on more affordable phones, as well.

Source: ChargerLab

SEE ALSO: Huawei pledges $2 billion to secure cybersecurity of hardware

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Samsung to supply Apple with cheaper OLED panels in 2019 — report

Will Apple lower their price as well?

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It’s no secret that despite the war fans are raging, Samsung and Apple are good business buddies. There’s a piece of Samsung in your iPhone X, XS, or XS Max — the display. The Korean company is the sole supplier of OLED panels for the current iPhones and they have a solution to keep the cost down.

The gorgeous displays of OLED-touting iPhones take a good chunk of the overall production cost and they drive the product’s price high. To address this, Samsung is reportedly offering a more affordable option by incorporating the so-called Y-Octa panels with in-cell touch technology.

Cheaper doesn’t mean worse, because this technology is used by Samsung on the Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy S9 phones which have one of the best mobile displays in the market today. It’ll allow Apple to design a thinner, lighter, and hopefully cheaper iPhones in 2019.

According to inside sources, the Y-Octa panels were already offered by Samsung for the production of this year’s iPhones, although Apple wasn’t quite happy about it, yet.

Could this mean iPhone prices will drop next year? It’s a long shot, but we do hope so.

SEE ALSO: Galaxy Note 10’s screen is larger than iPhone XS Max’s, leaks say

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