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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

Gaming

Steam announces when next sales are

Autumn, Winter, Spring

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Christmas is right around the corner. If you want to get a head start on buying something for yourself, it’s important to know when the biggest sales are. Now, gamers have a date on when they can bust out their wallets. Valve has officially announced when the autumn, winter, and spring Steam sales are happening.

The next sale — the traditional Autumn Sale — will happen between November 22 through 29. It’s quite a big gap for a head start, but it should give gamers a healthy library to play when the Christmas vacation starts.

On the other hand, if rush shopping is more you, the Winter Sale will happen between December 22 through January 5. It’s a Christmas treat.

If you’re familiar with Steam’s usual calendar of sales, you might not have heard of a Spring Sale before. Traditionally, the platform holds the Lunar New Year Sale in lieu of a seasonal theme. This time, Steam is keeping things consistent. The newly dubbed Spring Sale will happen between March 16 through 23. It’s also a later date than the previous Lunar New Year Sale.

Steam sales are usually a treat for gamers who play on a PC. Though the platform frowns on gigantic 95 percent off discounts now, platform-wide sales events can still house delectable bargains. Now, whether or not you’ll have time to play all of them is another story altogether.

SEE ALSO: Steam: No more 95% off sales

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WIKO 10 smartphone introduced to the Philippines

French brand joins entry-level segment

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WIKO 10

French brand WIKO is entering the Philippine market and challenging competitors, introducing the WIKO 10 smartphone in the country.

Operating on Android 12, the entry-level WIKO 10 will have identical specs and features like most counterpart devices in its segment.

First off, it is powered by a Helio G37 chipset and a 5,000mAH battery that support for 22.5W WIKO SuperCharge and wireless reverse charging which powers smaller devices like a smart band or wireless headsets.

With 4GB of memory and 128GB storage, the phone may also be used for gaming, given that it has a multi-stage overheating current control mechanism incorporated.

The display is a 6.74-inch (1600 x 720) large full-screen LCD with an aspect ratio of 20:9. 

When it comes to the camera setup, the smartphone has a triple camera setup at the back bannered by a 50MP main shooter (F1.8) that has a Smart HDR feature. In front is an 8MP selfie camera.

Other features include:

  • Dual SIM
  • microSD slot
  • 4G LTE
  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Fingerprint scanner

WIKO Buds 10 also released

Alongside the phone’s launch, WIKO has also announced the WIKO Buds 10, a pair of wireless earbuds with Bluetooth 5.2 technology that offers up to 30 hours of usage with its charging case.

The earbuds have a 12mm dynamic driver to deliver high-quality audio with deep bass. It also has environmental noise cancellation. What sets this pair apart from the others is its built-in dual mics for voice capturing.

Pricing, availability

The WIKO 10 will be available in three colors: Klein Blue, Silver, and Black. It will retail for PhP 8,990 on Shopee, Lazada, and authorized WIKO stores and kiosks.

The WIKO Buds 10, meanwhile, will be sold for PhP 1,499.

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Password-less logins: OPPO joins FIDO Alliance

Advancing authentication standards

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OPPO Find X5 Pro

OPPO announced that is has joined the FIDO Alliance, an open industry association that develops authentication standards to reduce reliance on passwords worldwide.

As a part of the alliance, OPPO will support the development and implementation of the latest FIDO standards for password-less logins by utilizing cryptography and the protocols defined by the association itself.

The smartphone brand will actively use FIDO standards on its smart devices. They will work with FIDO’s other affiliates to provide users a faster but more secure sign-in experience across their devices. 

Launched publicly in 2013, the Alliance was founded by renowned global companies such as PayPal, Lenovo, NokNok Labs, Validity Sensors, Infineon, and Agnitio.

The first deployment of FIDO authentication happened in 2014, involving the Samsung Galaxy S5. Users were allowed to login and shop online with just a swipe of a finger wherever PayPal is accepted.

The Alliance’s latest authentication specification, FIDO2, provides a secure and convenient technical framework supported by companies including Google, Microsoft, and Qualcomm.

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