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Pixel and Pixel XL make you care about photography and Google’s new Assistant

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Google Pixel views

Google’s highly anticipated, and heavily leaked, smartphones are now official. They’re high-end, strong on software, and effectively replace the Nexus series as Google’s flagship smartphone lineup. Without further ado, here are the Pixel and Pixel XL.

It seems like all the Google Pixel leaks we’ve seen in the past week were indeed legit. If you’ve been following our coverage, you would’ve already had a clear look at the design and specifications of the internet giant’s latest smartphones.

Google Pixel main photo

As expected, the only difference between the two handsets is size: The Pixel has a 5.2-inch AMOLED screen with a Full HD resolution, while the 5.5-inch Pixel XL has a noticeably better Quad HD AMOLED panel. The difference in measurements extends to the batteries, wherein the Pixel and Pixel XL have 2770mAh and 3450mAh capacities, respectively.

The lack of major differences is a big deal, because you aren’t forced to choose a larger phone just for its beefed-up features. This is something Google failed at with the Nexus 6P and 5X; the former was equipped with flagship-level specs, but the latter had the pocketable size nearly everyone wanted at the time.

Whether you go big or small, you’re treated to a metal unibody with a glass coating around the fingerprint scanner mounted at the back. With a thickness of 7.3mm for both handsets, they won’t win any style awards, but the inclusion of a 3.5mm audio jack will delight a lot of traditional audiophiles.

The shared internals include a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of memory, storage options of 32GB and 128GB, and fast charging through a USB Type-C port, but what really stands out is the camera. Having a 12.3-megapixel main shooter and 8-megapixel selfie camera with no optical image stabilization whatsoever may not seem special, but the real-world performance says otherwise.

Google Pixel angles

If you recall our recent article on the iPhone 7’s DxOMark rating, you’d know that the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge’s camera is the benchmark’s king with 88 points. Well, with the release of the new Google phones, the Galaxy has been unseated by the Pixels’ 89 points — the highest ever recorded in DxOMark’s mobile phone database. Impressive!

In case you’re wondering, the phones are manufactured by HTC, but Google is keeping this piece of information under the rug. The company wants Pixel to feel like a fully integrated Google product. To do that, the brand’s new virtual assistant is at the forefront of the Pixel phones.

Along with Android 7.1 Nougat, the Pixel phones are the first to come with Google Assistant, which is the company’s answer to Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana. Google spent a ton of time explaining all the core functions at the event, but in a nutshell, the virtual assistant is really efficient at catering to your personal requests. The more you use it, the smarter it gets.

With the improved artificial intelligence, you can search through photos with ease and listen to your favorite music on the fly, all done by voice command. Google Assistant is pretty much the replacement of Google Now, the now obsolete assistant of every other Android device.

Google Pixel colors

The color options are quite humorous; you have Quite Black, Very Silver, and Really Blue. What isn’t funny, however, is the pricing. Prices begin at $649 for the smaller Pixel — as much as you’d spend on a brand-new iPhone 7. The 128GB variant costs $749, while the larger Pixel XL goes for either $769 or $869 for the 32GB and 128GB storage options, respectively.

On the bright side, the phones come with unlimited cloud storage on Google Photos at original quality and full resolution. That’s great value, and might make the 32GB storage option enough if you have a reliable internet connection on hand.

You can pre-order as early as today if you live in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, or Germany. Fans in India will have to wait until October 13 to begin ordering.

[irp posts=”11910″ name=”OnePlus 3 and 3T imitate Pixel in latest update”]

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Essential fires 30 percent of workers, announces new mobile device

No, it’s not a smartphone

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Despite enjoying a year in smartphone royalty, Essential just isn’t that essential anymore. Preceding the Essential Phone’s launch, the startup gained substantial hype owing to its ownership. Headed by Android co-founder Andy Rubin, it promised an unrivaled Android experience wrapped inside a beautiful package.

Truly, the first Essential Phone garnered positive reviews across the board. Among others, it was one of the more beautiful phones in 2017. Unfortunately, the phone’s price deterred most users from switching. Naturally, the startup’s first outing failed to meet expectations.

Drawing from this initial disappointment, Essential hinted at an eventual buyout a few months ago. Moreover, Rubin cancelled the Essential Phone 2’s development. However, months later, the startup (and everyone else) clearly exaggerated its demise. The company and its plans for a second phone still exist.

Sadly, its continued existence is still in dire jeopardy. The company has recently announced major layoffs in its workforce. As of today, Essential Products has fired 30 percent of its employees.

Despite the astonishing number, the startup has maintained its silence on possible reasons for the pink slips. One can only assume that this stems from its failed sales targets. Regardless, Essential remains hopeful for the future. “We are confident that our sharpened product focus will help us deliver a truly game-changing consumer product,” according to a spokesperson for the startup.

Reportedly, Essential is already working on a second mobile device for the future. Unfortunately, the planned device will not succeed the Essential Phone. Instead, it will leverage artificial intelligence to deliver an autonomous mobile experience.

Notably, the startup hesitates to use the word “smartphone.” While the device can make calls and send messages, it hopes to do more. For one, it can call, message, and plan events on its own without user input. Essentially, the device will replace humans as the primary digital communicators.

By the end of this year, Essential will out a prototype for this device. By then, the startup will finally reveal a possible roadmap for the future. Presently, the future-less startup’s survival is anything but assured.

SEE ALSO: Essential Phone is now a true Pixel-like flagship Android phone for only $399

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Xiaomi confirms 10GB RAM and 5G connectivity of the Mi Mix 3

Are we ready for these advancements?

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Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S | GadgetMatch

Xiaomi is set to announce their latest flagship phone — the Mi Mix 3. While the phone has been leaked a number of times already (but not as much as the Pixel 3), there are some features we’d like to get early confirmation for. Thankfully, Xiaomi gave us two teasers than confirmed not just one, but two major features of their upcoming smartphone.

When Xiaomi announces the Mi Mix 3, it’ll be the first phone to officially have 10GB of memory. OPPO did try to make a 10GB version of the Find X, but it’s probably sitting in their office at the moment.

To be honest, we’re not sure if it’s logical to have a phone with 10GB of memory, but we’re already at that stage. The Mi Mix 3 will probably have a lot more memory to spare than most standard laptops people currently own.

The second confirmed feature is something we’re already expecting — 5G connectivity. The Mi Mix 3 is one of the world’s first 5G-capable phones. It could even be the first widely available 5G phone if Xiaomi will release the Mi Mix 3 to its key markets immediately.

A lot of users probably won’t be able to take advantage of 5G for now, but this will make the Mi Mix 3 future-proof.

Other than these two, not much has been revealed yet about the Mi Mix 3. Xiaomi is teasing the phone as a device wherein art meets technology. Well, the existing Mi Mix series is already proof of that, but the Mi Mix 3 will surely bring something new to the table.

The Mi Mix 3 will be officially announced on October 25 in Beijing, which signals that the phone will be available in China first. We’re expecting the phone to retail internationally shortly after, just like the Mi Mix 2S.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi teases Mi Mix 3 in full, reveals pop-up mechanism for cameras

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Malaysia

Vivo Y81i arrives as affordable full-screen smartphone

Notch and all

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Vivo may be becoming more aggressive in the midrange and premium segments, but that doesn’t mean they’re letting go of the budget range just yet.

The Y81i is a testament to that, and it just unveiled itself in Malaysia. It’ll retail for MYR 599, which converts to around US$ 144.

It’s similar to the recently launched Y81 in a lot of ways, including the notched 6.22-inch 720p display, 13- and 5-megapixel rear and front cameras, and 3260mAh battery.

The main differences — and reason why this model is cheaper — is the lower-end MediaTek MT6761 processor, 2GB of memory, and 16GB of storage for the Y81i.

There’s no fingerprint scanner on board, but it does come with face recognition for quick unlocking.

The available colors are black and red. No word yet when this will reach other countries.

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