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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

Huawei to unveil an all-screen phone

It’ll be more than just a prototype

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With Xiaomi and OPPO showing off next-gen “waterfall” displays, Huawei too aims to be at the forefront of innovation. It’s already expected to join the foldable smartphone party with the official launch of the Mate X later this month, but that’s not all, an all-screen phone might be on the horizon.

A tweet from Jeb Su contains a teaser from Huawei showing an illustration of such a phone. The image says that the beleaguered Chinese manufacturer will announce such a device on October 17 in Paris, France.

Some companies have patents on similar tech, while others have even shown what such a concept would look like. If the following tweet is accurate, however, Huawei will actually unveil a commercial product next week.

We wouldn’t be entirely surprised if this latest device it has up its sleeve launched exclusively in China. The teaser image doesn’t give anything away, but we can expect it to house a waterfall display (like the Mate 30 Pro, but without a notch) on the front.

Earlier this year, Huawei rival Oppo demoed a concept, although the Chinese vendor hasn’t committed to an actual launch date.

Huawei’s press event is scheduled for next Thursday in Paris, according to the tweet above, or just two days after Google will launch its highly-anticipated Pixel 4.

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Samsung Galaxy A20s and A10s is now in the Philippines

Decent phones for an affordable price

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The competition in the budget segment is intense. Responding to Chinese manufacturers, Samsung Philippines stepped up its game and launched the revamped Galaxy A series. With no signs of stopping, the company recently launched the Galaxy A20s and A10s. These two devices cater towards millennials who love taking selfies and photos.

Galaxy A20s specs and features

The Galaxy A20s consist of triple rear cameras in a 13MP + 8MP + 5MP setup. The secondary 8MP camera has ultra-wide-angle lens that captures up to a 120-degree field-of-view. This makes it ideal for group photo ops since more people can fit in a single frame. Meanwhile, the tertiary 5MP camera is a depth sensor that aids in portrait shots. For selfies, the phone has an 8MP front camera.

Moving to the display, the Galaxy A20s is equipped with a 6.5-inch HD+ LCD display with a V-notch housing the front camera.

Storage and memory is on the conservative side with 4GB / 64GB as the only option. However, storage is expandable for up to 1TB with a MicroSD card.

Powering the device is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450. Power users can get a full day usage with 4,000mAh battery inside the Galaxy A20s. Should the device needs topping up, Samsung equipped a 15W fast charging in the box.

Galaxy A10s specs and features

The Galaxy A10s is a cheaper alternative to the Galaxy A20s. It has dual rear cameras in a 13MP + 2MP sensor. The 2MP secondary camera is a depth sensor for portrait shots. Selfies are handled by a 8MP front camera.

The Galaxy A10s has a 6.2-inch LCD display with a V-notch for the front camera.

To keep the costs down, Samsung put 2GB of RAM on this device. Storage is also limited with only 32GB built-in. Fortunately, it is expendable for up to 1TB with a MicroSD card.

Unlike its pricier counterpart, the Galaxy A10s features a MediaTek Helio P22 processor. However, it still keeps the 4,000mAh battery for a full day usage. Sadly though, fast charging is absent.

Pricing and availability

The Galaxy A20s comes with a price of PhP 9,990 while the Galaxy A10s comes at PhP 6,990. Both devices come in a choice of black or green.

Both devices are available at all Samsung retail stores and authorized dealers nationwide. To know more about these devices, visit Samsung Philippines’ official website.

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Gaming

Epic Games just destroyed Fortnite with a literal black hole

There’s an in-game reason, though (maybe)

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Are you currently wondering if (and why) Fortnite is down? If you’re trying to play the world’s biggest battle royale game, you’ll drop in on a strange sight — a black hole. To answer your first question, the game is currently down. However, Fortnite’s curious status is not because of server maintenance or a glitch. Instead, Epic Games has purposely shut its most profitable game down for the day.

Hours ago, Fortnite ended its tenth competitive season. Like most online multiplayer games today, Fortnite creates months-long periods — called Seasons — wherein gamers can rank up and subsequently gain prizes at the end of the period. However, unlike most games, Fortnite holds in-game events that significantly change the gameplay experience. For example, one of the earliest in-game events was a meteor that destroyed part of Fortnite’s map.

That said, Fortnite’s tenth season ended in a literal black hole that sucked up the entire map. Currently, the game will not start in the same lobby or map. Instead, the game only drops gamers into a front-seat view of the black hole. Fortnite is down. (Epic Games has also shut down the game’s official channels.)

For what it’s worth, the game is still churning out “some” content for viewers. Throughout its existence, the black hole has been broadcasting strange numbers for people patient enough to watch. The first set of numbers — 11, 146, 15, 62 — led viewers to a beach full of crabs when put into Google Maps. It’s a direct reference to crab raves, a meme popularized by the game’s popular Twitch streamers. Since then, the black hole released more numbers — 87, 14, 106, 2, 150. Currently, the new set doesn’t mean anything.

Further, gamers can also input the infamous Konami Code — Up, Up, Down, Down, B/O, A/X, Start/Enter — to access a Galaga minigame featuring a pizza and enemy burgers.

For now, Fortnite fans are stuck with this until Epic Games releases a more definitive conclusion. Most likely, the black hole will usher in a new era for the popular game. This might include an entirely new map or new gameplay elements.

Regardless, Fornite’s black hole is a huge gamble on Epic Games’ part. The developer has purposely shut down its biggest revenue stream for an event. It’s currently unheard of for an industry that values maximum efficiency.

SEE ALSO: Sony finally opens cross-play for Fortnite for the PS4

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