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OxygenOS 11 will come with major design changes

Eerily similar to OneUI

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OnePlus fans have always sworn by OxygenOS for its stock-like Android experience. However, that may soon change with the release of OxygenOS 11, the latest iteration based on the upcoming Android 11.

OnePlus dropped these changes on the latest developer preview of OxygenOS last August 11.  While these may change before the final release, some of them are already causing a stir among many fans and Android users.

Inspired by OneUI

The biggest takeaway from OxygenOS 11 is its likeness to OneUI. Clearly, OnePlus took some design inspiration from Samsung’s skin. The big headers and large empty spaces are straight out of OneUI’s playbook. Almost all system apps — settings, contacts, messages, and weather app — from OxygenOS 11 have been redesigned with this design principle. Even the drop-down notification shade and Shelf gets the redesign treatment.

Photo by dsmonteiro from OnePlus

To OnePlus’ credit though, this new version of OxygenOS is much more coherent on adhering to its own design language. OnePlus’ brand redesign culminated with a brand-new font, and it is debuting as OnePlus Sans here.

Always-on display makes a debut

Another big thing debuting on OxygenOS 11 is always-on display (AOD). Technically, OnePlus’ phones had an always-on display in the form of ambient display. However, the implementation in the new version of OxygenOS is much closer to how other phone manufacturers implement AOD. The company even threw some slick new AOD styles, including the unique “Insights” style.

Zen Mode, Gallery, dark mode, and RAM optimizations

Some of the apps get new additions and optimizations for OxygenOS 11. Zen Mode gains a new sharing feature that enables users to share their sessions with other users. The gallery app, on one hand, has a revamped explore tab that automatically creates stories based on taken shots.

Users can now set dark mode to toggle automatically too. There are tweaks to the dark mode and more system apps now support it too.

Furthermore, OxygenOS 11 brings RAM optimization that should address aggressive app killing in the background. This is a small but welcome change considering that OnePlus ranks among the worst offender for aggressive RAM optimization.

Developer preview out now

Users who are willing to try out OxygenOS 11 may do so by downloading it directly from OnePlus’ website. As of now, it is only available for technically-inclined users of the OnePlus 8 series. A public beta is not long in the tooth now, considering that stable Android 11 is almost here.

All-in-all, OxygenOS 11 is set to be a major design change that will surely polarize long-time OnePlus fans and users. Perhaps, this change will be another in the long line of controversial decisions that OnePlus did in an effort to catch up with major phone manufacturers.

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Pixel 5 will include a bigger battery, RAM, and Snapdragon 765G

Price rumored between USD 600-700

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It’s only a few days away before we saw the unveiling of Google’s latest flagship, Pixel 5. However, that doesn’t stop the leaks from pouring in. Detailed specs of the upcoming device have been leaked, leaving little to speculation.

Detailed specs of the Pixel 5

According to WinFuture, Pixel 5 will have a 6-inch display set at FHD+ resolution. Google is keeping the 90Hz refresh rate here, a feature already introduced on the company’s 2019 flagship.

An interesting tidbit is the use of flexible OLED for the display. With the flexible OLED, Google is able to shrink the bezels of the device on each edge. Leaked renders suggest uniform bezels on all sides. This is a nice, tiny must-have for people irked by asymmetrical bezels.

Major changes for the Pixel 5 include an all-aluminum design for the flagship. However, this conflicts with past rumors suggesting that the flagship may include a polycarbonate plastic back. The polycarbonate rumor might still be in play since earlier leaks indicated that Google will introduce reverse wireless charging this year. Still, it is interesting how the company will refine the Pixel’s design.

Overall, the design of the Pixel 4a will carry on Pixel 5. A display cut-out upfront will house the 8MP selfie camera. Unlike last year’s Pixel 4, this year’s Pixel flagship will use a fingerprint sensor on the back for authentication.

In terms of the rear camera, Pixel 5 will sport a dual-camera setup once again. The setup consists of a 12.2MP primary camera with a 16MP wide-angle camera. A new interesting addition this year is support for 4K 60FPS video recording. In recent years, Pixel owners have been complaining about the lack of such a feature that is already present on other flagships.

A major change this year is the battery capacity of the Pixel 5. Google is reportedly fitting a 4,080mAa battery this time around, with 18W wired charging for top-ups. The large battery actually eclipses both Pixel 4’s 2,800mAh battery and Pixel 4 XL’s 3,700mAh battery.

WinFuture also confirms long-rumored specs for the upcoming flagship. This includes a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G with support for 5G networks. Finally, RAM is getting a boost to 8GB, which is 2GB more than last year. Storage options begin at 128GB. Expect a USB-C port, dual bottom-firing speakers but no headphone jack on the device.

Of course, the flagship will run Android 11 out of the box. Considering that this is a Pixel device, expect three years of updates as a standard. Still, it is exciting to see if Google will up the ante and promise additional years of software updates, especially with Samsung setting the bar high.

Pricing and availability

Rumors indicate retail pricing of around US$ 600 – 700 with the Pixel 5. If that holds true, this year’s Google Pixel 5 will deliver serious competition for upper-midrange and value flagship phones. A September 30 unveiling is likely considering that Google has announced a major event for that day. The much cheaper Pixel 4a 5G is also likely to debut that day, along with other products from the company.

Source: WinFuture via XDA-Developers

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Xiaomi Mi 10T series to launch on September 30

Pixel 5 launches on the same day

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Xiaomi follows a two flagship per year cycle and it launched the Mi 10 series earlier this year. Now, the brand’s all set to launch its successor — the Mi 10T series. It’s now confirmed to make its global debut on September 30 in Germany.

The Xiaomi Mi 10T series is likely to boast of three options, the original Mi 10T, an amped-up Mi 10T Pro, and a slightly affordable Mi 10T Lite. The new series is important for the brand because it intends to take-on premium giants like Apple, OnePlus, and Samsung.

The Mi 10 Ultra is also a solid device but limited to China. The new series can bridge the gap and go against the soon-to-launch OnePlus 8T, Pixel 5, and iPhone 12.

Specifications of the phones haven’t been confirmed yet, but it’s safe to assume it’ll have the latest Snapdragon 865 Plus processor, 5G connectivity, and a display with a higher refresh rate. It’s also common to see a quad-camera setup on Xiaomi phones and the Pro variant can have a 108-megapixel camera sensor.

The Lite option is said to sport the recently announced Snapdragon 750 SoC that can deliver cutting-edge performance without being too heavy on the pocket.

Adding to this, Xiaomi has a reputation for delivering products with very aggressive pricing. The company has renewed its premium focus in markets like India, where the Mi 10 launched after a long sabbatical. With steadily growing demand, there’s a lot of space for more brands.

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Samsung Galaxy S20 FE launches with ‘fan favorite’ features

The FE or Fan Edition kind of makes sense here

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You ask, Samsung provides. That’s the whole idea behind the member of the Galaxy S20 series — the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (Fan Edition).

The South Korean company says this phone is their way of bringing together “fan favorite” features from the Galaxy S20 series at a more wallet-friendly price.

Those features include a super smooth display, AI-powered cameras, advanced processor, fast connectivity, all-day battery, expandable storage and streamlined design. Basically, awesome screen, awesome camera, long-lasting battery life. But expanded. Lol.

FANtastic display, capable cameras

Let’s dig into it. The display measures 6.5 inches. It’s flat, FHD+, and Super AMOLED with a 120Hz refresh rate for that buttery smooth scrolling experience. It’s also HDR10+ certified.

The Galaxy S20 FE also has an Infinity-O display. It means there’s a signature punch hole at the top-middle part of the screen. Inside that punch hole is the 32MP front-facing camera for shooting selfies and filming your vlogs or TikToks if you’re into that sort of thing.

Speaking of cameras, the Galaxy S20 FE is equipped with a triple-camera module. Here they are:

  • 12MP Ultra Wide Camera, 1.12μm, F2.2 (123 degree field of view)
  • 12MP Wide Angle Camera, 1.7μm, F1.8
  • 8MP Telephoto Camera, 1.0μm, F2.4

It’s not too different from the camera setup of the Galaxy Z Fold2 (save for the telephoto lens). Here’s what photos look like on this very similar camera array.

It also has Space Zoom which is capable of 3x Optical Zoom, up to 30x Super Resolution Zoom, OIS, and tracking AF (that’s auto focus, not the other AF you were thinking).

Snapdragon or Exynos?

In the US, it’s equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865. As of writing, we have no information if this will be the case in all markets. However, it’s safer to assume that if your market got Exynos 990 on the earlier Galaxy S20 series, then that’s likely what you’re getting on the Galaxy S20 FE as well.

This particular variant supports 5G, but again, as is the case in certain markets, Samsung may opt to release a 4G-only option. We’ll just have to wait and see.

For battery capacity, Samsung slapped on a 4,500mAh battery on this thing with support for support for fast charging, wireless charging, and wireless powershare (the reverse wireless charging thing).

It has either 6GB or 8GB of RAM depending on the market with 128GB of internal storage that’s expandable to up to 1TB via a MicroSD card.

Signature Galaxy S20 look

It has that signature Galaxy S20 series look with — simple and understated (or plain and boring depending on your disposition in life).

The Galaxy S20 FE comes in a really colorful set with a total of six options to choose from: Cloud Red, Cloud Orange, Cloud Lavender, Cloud Mint, Cloud Navy, and Cloud White. Not entirely sure what the ‘Cloud’ is for but hey, it is what it is.

There’s also an option to add Samsung Care+. It’s the companies support service where you can get a personal set-up session with a Samsung Care+ Pro, 24/7 dedicated support via phone or chat, discounted screen repair, extended warranty and coverage for accidental damage.

Pricing and availability

In the US, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE starts at US$ 699 and will be available starting October 2, 2020. There are carrier and Unlocked by Samsung versions.

Consumers can get a Galaxy S20 FE 5G for US$ 249.99 or US$ 10.42 a month with eligible trade-in value up to $450 on Samsung.com and the Shop Samsung app. The offer is for a limited time.

Pre-orders for the Galaxy S20 FE 5G and S20 FE 5G UW begin on Samsung.com September 23, 2020 at 10:30am ET.

Consumers who pre-order the Galaxy S20 FE 5G between September 23, 2020 and October 1, 2020 can get a US$ 70 Samsung Credit to expand their Galaxy with cases, wearables and more.

In the Philippines, pricing hasn’t been revealed yet but it will also be available some time in October.

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