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Pixel or Nexus? Everything we know about Google’s rumored phones so far [Updated]

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A week before a major product’s unveiling, we normally have a good idea of what to expect from the day of launch. Things are a little different now, with Google keeping its highly anticipated smartphones closely guarded until their official reveal on October 4. Still, this isn’t stopping everyone from following all the rumors and leaks. Here’s what we know so far.

There might be two phones named Pixel and Pixel XL

While Google hasn’t plain said they’re letting go of the long-running Nexus series, tons of rumors are pointing to the company scrapping the name in favor of the Pixel branding. As of now, there are only two Pixel devices under Google, and those are the Android-powered Pixel C tablet and Chrome OS-equipped Chromebook Pixel laptop.

How this unifies Google’s hardware lineups is still a mystery, but this could mean that the Nexus 6P and 5X smartphones are the last of their kind. In their place, we expect a 5-inch Pixel and 5.5-inch Pixel XL to take over as the search giant’s flagship offerings.

They’re going to be rectangular and made by HTC

google-pixel-leak

Although the line “Made by Google” has been attached to the Pixel handsets, HTC has been tagged to be the manufacturer of both phones. This isn’t the company’s first involvement, however; HTC made the very first Nexus smartphone called the Nexus One, and Google’s latest Nexus tablet, the Nexus 9, was also developed by the Taiwan-based brand.

Google has barely shown us anything so far, but if the leaked photos courtesy of Android Police have anything to say, there’s nothing out of the ordinary in terms of design. We’re looking at an all-metal body with a fingerprint scanner and single camera lens at the back.

Somehow, one of the phones also made its way into a commercial by Nest Netherlands. It matches quite well to the photos above, so there seems to be some legitimacy in the sources. Whether it was accidental or on purpose is the question, but that applies to practically every leak we’ve ever encountered.

Update: We now have what looks like finalized renders of the Pixel and Pixel XL, thanks to leakster Evan Blass. They once again match earlier leaked images, and prove that a new version of Android is coming along. The two phones look exactly the same, though.

Update #2: OnLeaks uncovered a clear 3D render video of the Pixel XL. Additionally, the source claims that the dimensions are 154.7 x 75.7 x 7.3mm (bottom) and 8.5mm (top). This means the camera hump adds a little more bulk to the frame.

Specs are what you’d expect

We’re nearing the end of the calendar year, and that means flagship phones will more or less have the same chipsets by now. We’ll most likely see Qualcomm’s top processor, the Snapdragon 821, inside both handsets, along with 4GB of memory, Full to Quad HD resolutions for the displays, and USB Type-C ports with fast charging capabilities. The IP rating, which is the gadget’s resistance to dust and water, is still unclear.

The bigger news is the possibility of Android 7.1 being on board. It hasn’t been too long since the original Android 7.0 Nougat version came out, but bug fixes and minor tweaks are always welcome. So far, the only upgrade version 7.1 is noted to have is the option to restart your phone directly from the “Power off” menu. It may sound really basic, but no stock Android phone has had it since the OS was conceived.

google-pixel-launcher

In addition, it looks like there’ll be a new launcher to accompany Google’s new phones. Aptly named Pixel Launcher, it’s just like the interface you’re accustomed to in other stock Android handsets, but there’s some much-needed design changes: The app drawer button is gone, the Google search bar has been replaced by a search tab and calendar widget, and the navigation buttons might be redone. You can actually install it now and see some of the features for yourself.

They’ll be priced like rival flagships

The Nexus brand has always been positioned as Google’s way of showing manufacturers how to do Android devices right. With Google having a close eye on the development process of its partners, the hardware maximizes the full potential of the software, and vice versa. To the joy of customers, some Nexus devices were even priced below its competitors despite having flagship-level parts.

Sadly, this might change with the arrival of the Pixel brand. Reports say that the smaller handset’s price will start at $649, and the bigger one at around $750. This would put the duo in direct competition against Samsung and Apple’s best. This rumor seems highly likely, since the two Pixel devices we mentioned earlier, the Pixel C and Chromebook Pixel, have eye-popping prices themselves. We don’t like where this is going.

[irp posts=”7034″ name=”Google’s Pixel strategy is doing exceedingly well, at a cost”]

Image credit: Android Police

News

OPPO Watch: Pricing and availability in the Philippines

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OPPO Watch

Announced months ago in China and launched globally at the start of the month, the OPPO Watch is also coming to the Philippines.

The OPPO Watch bears an undeniable resemblance with the Apple Watch. But the device has a larger 46mm variant with a 1.91-inch AMOLED curved display. Meanwhile, the 41mm variant has a 1.6-inch AMOLED display.

For now, only the 41mm variant will come to the Philippines.

It has five workout modes: Fitness Run, Fat Burn Run, Outdoor Walk, Outdoor Cycling, and Swimming. It has the usual plate of tracking measurements including heart rate and sleep tracking. It also comes with Google Fit in its software.

It does run Wear OS but with OPPO’s own customization. This means Google apps integration should be seamless.

The 41mm variant comes with a 300mAh battery, powering the watch for up to 24 hours normally and up to 14 days on Power Saver mode. It’s compatible with OPPO’s VOOC Flash Charging tech.

Pricing and availability

The OPPO Watch 41mm will be available in black for PhP 12,990 in all OPPO concept and online stores and exclusive e-commerce partner Lazada.

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Google is killing the Pixel 4 just nine months after launch

Making way for the Pixel 5

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Google’s flagship Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are now discontinued. The announcement is shocking because the phones were launched just nine months ago and the company just recently announced its younger sibling — the Pixel 4a.

It’s worth noting that Google usually followed an 18-month sale cycle with its previous offerings. Going off course from the usual trend, Google has already confirmed the imminent arrival of Pixel 5 along with the Pixel 4a 5G.

“Google Store has sold through its inventory and completed sales of Pixel 4 and 4XL,” Google said in a statement to Business Insider. However, some variants are still said to be available in other regions for the time being. If you’re lucky, you can still search for pending stock with an offline seller or even marketplaces like Amazon.

The Pixel 4 series wasn’t able to take-off and meet expectations because its sale was limited to a few regions. It’s the first phone to feature radar and backed with Project Soli, it could offer the fastest secure face unlock on a smartphone. It further helped enable motion gestures on the phone, something no other phone has been able to so far.

But, its unique selling point also became the biggest hurdle to its sale. Markets like India do not have any regulation around civilian radar usage and the phone couldn’t compete in such price-sensitive environments.

Even in developed countries, Apple and Samsung continued to dominate the premium segment. The phone is an excellent piece of hardware that churns out pictures that are often comparable to a DSLR. But, poor battery, marketing, and brand recognition just couldn’t make the phone an ideal iPhone competitor.

Watch our Pixel 4a Unboxing and Review.

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Computers

Apple’s macOS Big Sur Public Beta is now available for download

It can still run on your old 2013 MacBooks and iMacs

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Good news for MacBook and iMac users, you can now start testing out the Public Beta release of Apple’s macOS Big Sur.

Here’s a list of supported devices:

  • MacBook (2015 and later)
  • MacBook Air (2013 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (Late 2013 and later)
  • Mac mini (2014 and later)
  • iMac (2014 and later)
  • iMac Pro (all models)
  • Mac Pro (2013 and later)

If your Mac is supported, you can head over to Apple’s Beta Program Website to enroll your device for download.

Just a refresher, Big Sur is the latest macOS update that was announced during Apple’s WWDC 2020 event together with iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and watchOS 7. Other than performance improvements, you also get a revised look with a simpler and more seamless UI compared to older versions of California-touting macOS versions including  Catalina, Mojave, High Sierra, and Sierra.

Another addition to Apple’s continuous Mac improvements are the newest 27-inch iMac with Intel’s latest Core i9 chipsets, before they ditch Intel-based architecture and completely rely on their in-house ARM chipsets — starting with the upcoming Apple Silicon-powered MacBook that should be available in the market as early as 2021.

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