News

Google Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL still great for photos, now with 90Hz panel

All leaks mostly confirmed

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The Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4XL are now official confirming most of the leaks that came out leading up to its launch. So what’s different, what improved, and what stayed the same? We’ll go through all of that right now.

No fancy waterfall displays, just thoughtful design

Google appears to be taking plenty of cues from Apple in the design department in the sense that not much has changed. Looking at the device up front, you might mistake it for the Pixel 2XL. That’s because Google is doing away with the notch but it’s keeping the thick bezel for a reason that we’ll get to later on.

On the back, the most notable difference is the square holding its dual camera setup. Yes, just two. One main shooter and another one that’s “roughly 2x telephoto.” Google says, “While wide angle can be fun, telephoto is more important.”

The back is also moving away from the two-toned design we’ve grown to associate with the Pixel. In its place is a solid glass back with only a single color and a frosted matte coating.

The power button is still a different color from the rest of the phone depending on the variant you choose.

Still the best camera on a smartphone?

Plenty of people are eagerly waiting for the Pixel just to see well they will fair in the camera department. Based on the latest numbers by DxOMark, the Huawei Mate 30 Pro currently holds the crown but that might be quickly taken away soon.

The hardware on the Pixel 4 are as follows: 12.2MP main camera with f/1.7 aperture, plus a 16MP f/2.4 telephoto zoom lens that supports hybrid zoom. But the Pixel has always been more than just hardware.

The true crowning glory of the Pixel cameras is Google’s computational photography. And that applies even on the telephoto lens. It combines both the 2x telephoto lens along with Super-Res Zoom to produce high quality, zoomed in images.

There’s now also what Google is calling Live HDR+. It basically means the HDR application happens real-time. Basically, whatever you see right before you take a shot is the photo that you should expect to come it.

That same feature allows Double Exposure — separate slides for highlights and shadows on Pixel 4 before you take your shot.

Computational photography also lends a huge hand in white balancing along with a wider range for portrait mode, and improved night sight.

That front-camera setup

Again, just like on the iPhone, there’s now a lot going on in that thick forehead bezel.

It’s not home to a bunch of new sensors that work together towards a more secure face recognition suite. There’s the selfie camera, a pair of IR cameras, flood illuminators, and DOT projectors.

Google says it’s the first smartphone equipped with a radar. It enables Motion Sense which Google claims is the fastest and most secure face unlock feature on a smartphone. It also allows you to control the Pixel 4 without touching it — similar to the Air Gestures that Samsung first tried a few years back.

Overall equipped with better hardware

Displays with high refresh rate might be a growing trend and the Pixel doesn’t want to be left behind. The phone is equipped with a 90Hz panel, similar to the one on the most recent OnePlus smartphones.

The rest of the device also gets a spec bump. Powering the Pixel 4 is Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC along with 6GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of storage. Nothing to write home about as the numbers pale in comparison to other flagships in 2019. But, again like the iPhone, the Pixel isn’t exactly about the numbers.

You might also be happy to know that both the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL have an IP68 rating.

Pricing and availability 

The Google Pixel 4 starts at US$ 799 and will start shipping on October 24. It will come in three colors: Just Black, Clearly White, and Oh So Orange. It will be available through all major US carriers.

News

Foldable iPad coming in 2024, report says

With a carbon fiber kickstand

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Only a few things are as mythical as Apple’s first foldable device. For years, Apple has reportedly worked on foldable technology in hopes of eventually releasing an iPhone or an iPad with the form factor. Now, years later, more and more reports are revealing optimistic developments for the company’s first set of foldable devices.

According to a new one from Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will likely release the first foldable iPad sometime in 2024. With the new device, the company hopes to revamp the iPad lineup, releasing a more varied mix to boost shipments.

Additionally, Kuo states that the device will come with a carbon fiber kickstand. Besides offering a unique form factor for the lineup, the kickstand’s material will also decrease the device’s weight, making for a lighter iPad.

It’s still some time away from now. Even if Kuo hit the nail on the head with this report, Apple can still change plans between now and 2024. Besides an iPad, the company is also reportedly working on a foldable iPhone to take on Samsung’s dominance in the industry. However, like the enigmatic iPad, not much is known about the foldable iPhone. Given the increasing abundance of reports about the foldable lineup, we will likely learn more as the year progresses.

SEE ALSO: Apple testing E Ink displays for foldable iPhone

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Gaming

It’s easier to get a PlayStation 5 now, Sony says

More supplies worldwide

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Still struggling to get a new PlayStation 5? If dwindling console stocks are keeping you down, Sony has announced a reprieve for queue waiters. The company promised that supply for the console will greatly increase ahead of the PlayStation VR2’s launch in February.

Since the console’s launch back in 2020, scalpers and bots have persistently plagued the industry, taking supplies away from most gamers. Over the years, the impact of supply problems gradually dissipated. Today, it’s easier to buy a PlayStation 5, but supply can still be an issue in some parts of the world.

During CES 2023, Sony initially hinted that PlayStation 5 stocks should increase even more this year. Now, Sony is making it even more official. Today, the company officially posted that it’s easier to find one in retailers globally.

For users hunting for the console in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe, Sony recommends going to the official PlayStation store to buy one.

To promote the increased supply, Sony has also released a new promotional video for the PlayStation 5’s exclusives set to imitate a news show.

Only a month into the year, 2023 is already looking to be a great year for the platform. Later in February, Sony is set to launch the new PlayStation VR2. The console will also host a flurry of notable exclusives including Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Assassin’s Creed Mirage, and Street Fighter 6.

SEE ALSO: PlayStation launches ‘The Year of Play’ campaign

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Entertainment

Netflix confirms One Piece adaptation coming this year

Plus a new poster

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Netflix continues its huge gamble on anime adaptations. Over the past several years, the platform produced a couple of live-action versions of classic anime shows. To the company’s dismay, neither of the adaptations were received well. Still, the gamble continues to truck on. Netflix has confirmed that the upcoming One Piece adaptation is coming this year.

The live-action adaptation isn’t exactly new. Netflix first announced the title back in 2020 but offered only a few developments concerning the show’s production. Now, we have a release window and a poster.

To be fair, the new poster doesn’t show much except for Luffy’s back. A wider shot shows a bit more including the rears of all the Straw Hat Pirates and a shot of the Thousand Sunny in the distance.

Likewise, Netflix has not shared what the synopsis of the One Piece adaptation will be. Historically, the platform’s live-action adaptations start from the very beginning, taking viewers on a compressed tour through the original anime show’s plot.

That said, the company has a long uphill climb to legitimize its live-action anime adaptations. Despite featuring Willem Dafoe as Ryuk, Netflix’s previous Death Note adaptation quickly receded into a forgettable title. Additionally, Cowboy Bebop was canceled after only one season.

SEE ALSO: Netflix Southeast Asia movies to watch

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