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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

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Samsung says the Galaxy Z Flip’s display is definitely glass

Thin, but definitely glass

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Following this take down by JerryRigEverything, people have started to question whether the display on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is really glass. Samsung says it certainly is.

Speaking to CNET, a Samsung Display representative says the glass is 30 microns (0.03mm) and is “produced using an intensifying process to enhance its flexibility and durability.” Samsung then injects a “special material” to achieve a certain durability.

The company didn’t elaborate on what the special material is but said that it helps make the glass “tough, yet tender.” The glass, Samsung says, is supplied by a company called Schott.

Schott has been in the glass business for nearly three decades. The company also confirmed to CNET that they deliver ultra-thin glass to Samsung.

Glass for sale

Samsung is so confident with the glass they developed for the Galaxy Z Flip that they’re even selling it to competitors. Dubbed as Ultra-Thin Glass (or UTG), it’s up for grabs to anyone who wants to buy it.

Will this help push the foldable tech forward? We’ll have to wait and see.

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Apple iPhone 9, iPhone SE 2 rumor roundup

Newer iPhone parts in an old body

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Image by GadgetMatch

It hasn’t even been a full two months since 2020, but rumors about the next cheapest iPhone have been overflowing since October last year. Whether it’s about the price, renders, specs, and even in-store pre-orders, leaksters can’t keep their mouths shut.

Disclaimer: Everything you see here are just leaks and rumors and nothing has been confirmed yet.

iPhone 8-like design (plus red color option)

Image by GadgetMatch

The images we made are based from OnLeaks and Svetapple’s renders. They both show that the design is based from the two-year-old iPhone 8. Ming-Chi Kuo, a prominent iPhone leakster, has further solidified that this next iPhone will have the same form factor. The materials will mostly feature an aluminum and glass sandwich. It’s never early to tell that a stainless steel frame is unlikely going to happen considering the minimal cost of production.

While it’s unfortunate that both the Max and Pro series of iPhones never had a Product (RED) option, Kuo has confirmed that this model will come with the special colorway. Though there are no news whether this iPhone will have a gold finish or not.

Same 4.7-inch Retina Display (and Touch ID isn’t dead yet)

Image by GadgetMatch

With the same design in mind, the second generation iPhone SE will most likely have a Retina Display found on the iPhone 8. Although the 4.7-inch screen size has been evolving since the iPhone 6 from five years ago, expect little to no display improvements other than the inclusion of Apple’s True Tone technology.

It’s also expected that it’ll have Touch ID (instead of Face ID) to keep manufacturing costs low.

iPhone 11-grade performance

Image by GadgetMatch

We’ve heard that the next A14 Bionic Chipset is reserved for the upcoming iPhone 12, so the iPhone 9 will likely feature the A13 Bionic Chipset found on the iPhone 11 series. The RAM might be limited to just 3GB like the iPhone X and iPhone XR, but it’ll still have a major bump in processing power. Who knows? It might even beat the iPhone XS and XS Max altogether considering the inclusion of a newer processor.

iPhone XR-esque camera sensor

Image by GadgetMatch

Remember when the iPhone SE had an edge by having the same sensor as the iPhone 6s with 4K video over the 5s’ lackluster camera? Apple might just do the same with the SE’s successor. Although no specifics were given, it’s probable that this will still ship with a single-rear camera setup with a larger image sensor — similar to the iPhone XR.

Launch date and pricing

Image by GadgetMatch

It’s rumored that the base model of the iPhone 9 or SE 2 (with 64GB of onboard storage) will cost around US$ 399 — which was the same retail price as the iPhone SE when it was launched four years ago.

As reported by the popular leakster Evan Blass weeks ago, it might be launched around mid-March. Consumers should expect less units though due to the 2019-coronavirus strain (COVID-19) outbreak that halted a lot of businesses and production lines in China and parts of Asia.

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TONE e20 is a smartphone that prohibits you from taking nudes

A must-have security feature

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Image by GadgetMatch

You read the headline right! TONE e20 is a smartphone with an unusual feature. It was made by the startup Japanese brand TONE Mobile. Before you start whining how “ridiculous” this phone is, the company’s goal is to protect innocent children and teenagers from creepers, pedophiles, and child predators.

The TONE Camera app has a “smartphone protection” feature that prohibits the user from taking nude photos (and even videos). It’s equipped with a special AI algorithm that detects if the image being taken is deemed “inappropriate”. Once detected, a warning shows for up to two seconds. The photo won’t be saved to the gallery nor linked cloud services.

If a child takes a sensitive photo, his/her parents (or guardians) will be notified with the pixelated image and the location where it was taken. The company says they don’t store data through servers. If you’re an adult who’s fond of taking nude selfies, it will also be disregarded right away.

This phone also has a double biometric authentication for extra protection. There’s the fingerprint scanner that works even when you wear gloves. The face recognition system relies on its 2-megapixel front camera which can detect your face even in dark environments.

Speaking of cameras, it has a dual rear camera setup. You have a 12-megapixel sensor for your regular shots. Meanwhile, the 13-megapixel camera shoots “super ultra-wide angles” with a 120-degree field of view. Its HD+ display measures at 6.26 inches. Inside, there’s an octa-core 2.0GHz processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage with an expandability of up to 256GB through microSD slot.

The TONE e20 retails for only JP¥ 19,800 (roughly US$ 178). You simply get what you pay for with this smartphone with an added security feature that no other phone manufacturer has thought of.

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