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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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The instax Mini 9 comes with a retro craft bundle for the holiday season

For all your scrapbooking dreams

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The holiday season is here!

If you’re still struggling in coming up with a gift idea, Team Instax might have just curated one for you. Fujifilm partnered with Craft Easy to create the instax Mini 9 Craft Kit.

The craft kit comes with a unique, retro tin box that comes in five colors — each with an accompanying message and particular design. Inside you get a Mini 9 camera, a pack of film, as well as crafting materials including wooden clips, washi tapes, and a set of fun stickers. This special bundle could be a great gift for only PhP 4,499 (US$ 89).

instax Mini 9

The instax Mini 9 is an instant camera that lets you take better selfies that you can print thanks to the built-in selfie mirror placed next to its lens. There’s also a close-up lens attachment if you want to photograph your subjects closer. Lighting can easily be adjusted, too, with its brightness adjustment dial. To operate the camera, you only need two AA size alkaline batteries. Happiness is just one click away!

The Mini 9 is available in Flamingo Pink, Ice Blue, Lime Green, Cobalt Blue, and Smoky White. The camera retails for PhP 3,999. It’s available at Fujifilm authorized dealers nationwide.

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OPPO Reno2 F now available in Nebula Green

More color options for the discerning buyer

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OPPO is investing more and more on its Reno lineup. Last October, it unveiled the Reno2 F in the Philippines, essentially replacing the F series. Now, the phone is available in a new color option: Nebula Green.

Still priced at PhP 19,990 for the 8GB + 128GB configuration, OPPO is offering a PhP 500 discount for its Enco Q1 earphones when you buy this color option. To get the new variant, visit any OPPO stores nationwide or their online stores on Lazada, Shopee, Akulaku, Argomall, Abenson, and MemoXpress.

Pay Day Treats promo

To entice more customers, OPPO is also rolling out their Pay Day Treat promo from November 16 to 17. Buyers of any Reno models or the A9 2020 receive free vouchers from Zomato, Grab, Viu, and iWant.

To know more about the promo, visit their Facebook page or their website.

The OPPO Reno 2F is a more affordable variant of the Reno 2 with a focus on great camera experience. It has a quad-camera setup, a nice 6.5-inch AMOLED display, and a Helio P70 processor. Powering the device is a 4,000 mAh battery with support for VOOC Flash Charge 3.0. Additionally, it has a headphone jack and a MicroSD card slot which are rare finds these days.

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Xiaomi and Realme are Lazada’s best tech brands in 11.11 sale

The competition is getting intense

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The competition between Xiaomi and Realme is heating up. Realme, a relatively new brand in the market, is going toe-to-toe with Xiaomi for value smartphones in the Philippines. And if Lazada’s 11.11 sale is an indicator, the two are competing for the best in the country.

Xiaomi is still king

In the recently held 11.11 sale on Lazada, Xiaomi reigned supreme as the best-selling tech brand in the mobile phone and tablet category. The company’s best-selling products are the Mi Smart Scale and the recently launched Redmi Note 8 and Note 8 Pro.

Both midrange phones are priced competitively while offering quad cameras, decent performance, and huge battery life. In particular, the Redmi Note 8 has a Snapdragon 665 processor, 6.5″ HD display, a 4,500mAh battery, and a quad-camera setup. It is priced at PhP 7,990 for the base 3 + 32GB model.

…but Realme is catching up

However, Xiaomi’s reign might be short-lived if Realme continues its strong, fast growth in the country. It placed no. 2 under the mobile phone and tablet category during its first Lazada 11.11 sale. The company witnessed a 966% growth from its September 9 sale.

Realme 5 took the spot for the best-selling smartphone, with competitive specifications of a Snapdragon 665 Processor, 6.5” HD display, 5,000mAh battery, quad-camera setup, and a price of PhP 7,990.

The Realme 5 makes a good alternative to the Redmi Note 8, which has almost the same specs and pricing. However, Realme 5 takes the edge slightly with bigger battery capacity and higher storage for the base variant at 64GB.

It is no wonder that Xiaomi’s intention behind the Redmi Note 8 and Note 8 Pro is to offer competitive phones that match Realme’s offering. Surely, their rivalry is in full swing in the country. But Realme has a lot to go before beating Xiaomi globally — it’s the “sales volume king” in China’s Singles’ Day sales event.

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