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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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Google is working on a snoring, coughing detector

Might show up for the Pixel first

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Snoring can be a curse for you and the people you sleep with. Unfortunately, outside of anecdotal evidence, it’s hard to pinpoint how bad snoring can get. Some devices have developed features to detect and measure snoring. Google, joining other companies with the feature, is reportedly developing snore and cough detection for the Pixel.

First reported by 9to5Google, Google Health Studies added a new study exclusive for Google employees. The study specifically revolves around collecting audio during sleep. Google also explains that the study will eventually help Android build features that can help users fix their sleep quality.

According to the source, the upcoming detector will be a “bedside feature” that will measure nocturnal snoring and coughing. However, despite recording audio, it still promises to have the user’s privacy in mind. It’s expected that the feature will drop for the Pixel first before moving on to other Android devices.

Snoring detection isn’t new, of course. In fact, Google is already familiar with the feature, since Fitbit, a company that Google owns, offers the feature for some of its smartwatches. In Fitbit’s case, the feature contributes to the wearable’s entire suite of wellness tracking.

However, it’s a double-edged sword. While the feature can be helpful, it’s also a massive battery drain, since it requires the device’s power the entire night. Hopefully, battery efficiency is a focus in Google’s eventual take on the feature.

SEE ALSO: Google’s AI created these photos, and they look so real

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PSVR2 is launching with over 20 major games

Horizon VR game still headlines

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Samsung had a lot to say during its latest investors meeting. Besides unveiling its general plans for the future, the company also teased the devices that are coming in the near future. For a while now, that future lineup includes the PSVR2. If you were thinking of buying the virtual reality wearable for yourself, Sony has good news for you. The PSVR2 will have over 20 major titles on launch.

Naturally, if you buy a pricey piece of hardware, you usually want it to come with a good set of ways to use it. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case with new gaming devices. For example, the PlayStation 5, despite being out for almost two years, still doesn’t have the most expansive lineup of games that every gamer must play.

Thankfully, the PSVR2 won’t follow in the same, sparse footsteps of the gaming console. According to the meeting (via Video Games Chronicle), the wearable will launch with over 20 first- and third-party games. The headliner is still Call of the Mountain set in the Horizon universe, of course. Unfortunately, the presentation didn’t reveal any other games in the lineup.

If anything, virtual reality gaming has been growing for a while now. In recent history, the market has seen notable titles like Half-Life: Alyx and Beat Saber.

After facing a potential delay, the PSVR2 is expected to launch sometime next year.

SEE ALSO: PSVR2 might be delayed to next year, report says

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Foldable Pixel reportedly delayed to next year

Google isn’t happy

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For years, Samsung has been the most dominant force in the foldables market. Though other brands, especially Chinese ones, have brought their own devices to the table, Samsung’s lineup of foldables are undeniably strong, flaws and all. That said, other giants are working on their own entrants. However, it will take a lot longer before the crowd really fills up. According to reports, Google has postponed its own foldable Pixel for next year.

Reported by TheElec, Google has reportedly decided to delay the first foldable Pixel. The company was supposedly unhappy with the current iteration of its prototypes. The next target launch window is next spring. Notably, the device, which has been in development since last year, is sourcing its screen from Samsung Display.

Currently, not much is known about the foldable device yet. Previous reports have speculated on a 7.57-inch main screen (and a 5.78-inch screen when folded), though. A more recent one has also dropped “Pixel Notepad” as a potential name for the device.

Regardless of the status of its foldable Pixel, Google is enjoying a lot of success with its new lineup of smartphones. Last year, the Pixel 6 series refreshed the company’s slate of devices, bringing new hype for the company. This year, Google is continuing that trend with the Pixel 6a and the upcoming Pixel 7 series.

SEE ALSO: Upcoming Google foldable might be called Pixel Notepad

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