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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.

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Indian telco launches a Zoom rip-off and it’s free

Definitely worth giving it a shot!

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Jio, India’s leading telecom operator has recently been in the news for a lot of reasons. The company has more than 30 percent of the telecom market in India and it intends to pivot, unlike any other telco we’ve ever seen.

The company has launched a Zoom alternative called JioMeet. The video conferencing app is expected to get a lot of traction amid calls to increase self-dependence and reduce the consumption of foreign products. However, it seems like the Jio team took too much inspiration from Zoom and thought of just directly mimicking it.

The app looks almost identical to Zoom’s offering, except for the minor color change here and there. The app is one of many in Jio’s portfolio.

However, the app offers a lot of high-end features like unlimited free calls in HD and supports for 100 participants in one go. Additionally, JioMeet does not impose a short time limit on a call’s duration.

On Zoom, you’d require a premium account to disable the 40-minute restriction on calls. Thankfully, the app is available on the Play Store and App Store for download directly, and no coupons or invite links are needed.

For security and privacy reasons, all its meetings are password protected. The host has the control to send the uninvited guests to the “Waiting Room” to ensure no gatecrashing. Obviously, standard features like screen sharing have also been included.

For desktop usage, the service can also be accessed through Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox browsers. On its official website, JioMeet claims all the meetings are “encrypted”.

In the last two months, the telecom operator has raised billion in funding from global investors like Facebook. The company also owns JioSaavn music streaming service and has its own entertainment unit that offers movies, shows, as well as live TV.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite arrives in the Philippines

New tablet option!

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

If you’re looking for a tablet that comes with a pen, then you might want to turn your attention to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite.

The tablet has a 10.4” WUXGA+ display with dual speakers by Dolby Atmos and sound by AKG. This allows for an immersive viewing and listening experience in one compact companion.

Inside it’s powered by the Exynos 911 with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage that’s expandable up to 1TB via a microSD card. It also has 7040mAh of battery. It’s running Android 10, naturally with One UI 2.0 on top as well as everything else you can expect from a Samsung mobile device.

It has a nifty Samsung Kids feature for access to age-appropriate and family-friendly materials. So, if you’re a parent, you can rest easy should you choose to let your child handle the tablet.

Pricing and availability

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is now available for purchase. It comes in Oxford Gray and Angora Blue and retails for PhP 26,990 (US$ 545). It comes with a Free Book Cover and the aforementioned S-Pen both in the box. You also get free 4 months of YouTube Premium.

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Honor 30 Lite, Honor X10 Max with Dimensity 800 now official

5G is getting quite affordable

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Phone makers are increasingly in favor of adding 5G support and hence, actively launching new phones. The recently announced MediaTek Dimensity 800 processor is the brain of these two new phones from Honor — Honor 30 Lite and Honor X10 Max.

The chipset is a midrange offering that brings along 5G connectivity without compromising on regular performance and intensive gaming. The two phones have a similar design language but the rear gets a new reflective layer depending on the color option.

Honor 30 Lite

Starting with the Honor 30 Lite — it has a 6.5-inch LCD display with Full HD+ resolution with 90Hz refresh rate. The phone has a quad-camera setup consisting of a 48-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 2-megapixel macro lens, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. For selfies, a 16-megapixel camera is located on the front.

The phone has a 4000mAh battery with support for 22.5W fast charging. The 6GB+64GB option comes for CNY 1,699 (US$240), the 6GB+128GB option costs CNY 1,899 (US$ 270), and the 8GB+128GB variant goes for CNY 2,199 (US$ 311). It’ll be available in Midnight Black, Phantom Silver, Summer Rainbow, and Wizard of Oz color options.

Honor X10 Max

Coming to the Honor X10 Max, it has a massive 7-inch LCD display with a Full HD+ resolution and up to 780 nits of brightness. The phone can support up to 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage.

On the rear is a 48-megapixel primary sensor along with a 2-megapixel depth sensor. For selfies, an 8-megapixel shooter is located in a tiny water-drop notch. Backing these internals is a 5000mAh battery with 22.5W fast charging.

The entry-level variant with 6GB+128GB costs CNY 2,099 (US$ 297) while the 8GB+128GB goes for CNY 2,499 (US$ 353). It’ll be available in Lightspeed Silver, Probing Black, and Racing Blue color options. Both the phones shall go on sale in China via Vmall.com

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