News

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”]

Accessories

Apple is likely working on a midrange AirPods Pro

Coming mid-2020

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Have you bought into the wireless earbuds trend? Despite performing at a lesser capacity than wired earphones, wireless earbuds have infiltrated every major player in the tech industry. Currently, Apple, Huawei, and Samsung all sell their own variant of the growing market.

Now, Apple looks to expand their own catalog even further. According to Chinese publication Digitimes, the AirPods maker is developing a budget-friendly version of last year’s AirPods Pro — the AirPods Pro Lite.

Supposedly, Universal Scientific Industrial (USI), a Taiwan-based manufacturer will likely acquire orders from Apple for the upcoming device. The Taiwanese company is working with other manufacturers from China and the US to fulfill the orders.

According to the report, the AirPods Pro Lite will arrive sometime in the middle of the year. However, given the current situation in China, the device’s development might run into a few delays, especially if Apple pursues China-based manufacturers.

Because of the name, the AirPods Pro Lite will likely carry a price tag between the regular AirPods and the premium AirPods Pro. That puts it around US$ 199.

Despite being an accessory, the AirPods lineup is still one of Apple’s most successful products in the current generation. Of course, it helps that the audio accessory almost comes as a requirement for iPhone users.

SEE ALSO: Unboxing the Apple AirPods Pro

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Galaxy S20

Samsung Galaxy S20 series: US pre-order details

Samsung credits up for grabs!

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Samsung’s first-ever full 5G lineup — the Samsung Galaxy S20 series — can now be pre-ordered in the US!

The Samsung Galaxy S20 series consists of the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+, and Galaxy S20 Ultra. Here’s a quick breakdown on what you’re getting with each device.

Galaxy S20
Galaxy S20+ Galaxy S20 Ultra
Display 6.2″ Super AMOLED, 120Hz 6.7″ Super AMOLED, 120Hz 6.9″ Super AMOLED, 120Hz
Processor Snapdragon 865 Snapdragon 865 Snapdragon 865
Storage and Memory
  • 128GB + 12GB
  • Expandable via MicroSD up to 1TB
  • 128GB + 12GB
  • 512GB +12GB
  • Expandable via MicroSD up to 1TB
  • 128GB + 12GB
  • 512GB +16GB
  • Expandable via MicroSD up to 1TB
Battery
  • 4000mAh
  • 25W charging
  • 4500mAh
  • 25W charging
  • 5000mAh
  • 45W charging (45W charger sold separately)
Cameras (Rear)
  • 12MP, F2.2 Ultra Wide
  • 12MP, F1.8 Wide-Angle
  • 64MP, F2.0 Telephoto
  • 12MP, F2.2 Ultra Wide
  • 12MP, F1.8 Wide-Angle
  • 64MP, F2.0 Telephoto
  • Depth Vision
  • 12MP, F2.2 Ultra Wide
  • 108MP, F1.8 Wide-Angle
  • 48MP, F3.5 Telephoto
  • Depth Vision
 

Camera (Selfie)

10MP, F2.2 10MP, F2.2 40MP, F2.2

 

The new flagship S series — while having top-of-the-line numbers in terms of specs — wants you to focus more on the experiences it will provide.

For instance, the new zoom capabilities on the main telephoto cameras are noteworthy. Samsung is calling the feature Space Zoom with the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+ capable of up to 3X lossless zoom and up to 30X hybrid zoom. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S20 Ultra can handle up to 10X lossless zoom and a whopping 100X hybrid zoom.

Pre-order details

Between February 21, 2020, and March 5, 2020, consumers who pre-order can get a US$ 100 Samsung credit with a Galaxy S20, US$150 Samsung credit with a Galaxy S20+ or US$ 200 Samsung credit with a Galaxy S20 Ultra. Pre-order consumers can build their own Galaxy Ecosystem and redeem their Samsung credit for curated bundles or select products like Galaxy Buds+, QLED 8K TVs, chargers and more.

Consumers who trade-in an eligible device on samsung.com, Best Buy or the Shop Samsung app can get up to US$ 700 towards purchase of a device in the Galaxy S20 line. The offer is for a limited time.

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Lifestyle

First-ever Star Wars virtual run happening on May the 4th

Open to runners in Southeast Asia

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If you bought any of the Star Wars running sneakers that came out in late 2019, this is the perfect time to put them to use and “Run with The Force” with Southeast Asia’s first-ever Star Wars virtual run.

The run is happening on Star Wars day, May 4 — a date derived from the iconic phrase “May the Force Be With You.” Registration is now open and interested participants can clock-in their run distance. Upon registration, you will be prompted to choose either the light side or the dark side. Runners may run on run on treadmills or any running path they choose.

This run is made possible in collaboration with Social Fitness app LIV3LY. The Star Wars Virtual Run is open to runners from the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Runners may opt to run solo in the 5.4km (Individual) or pair up with a friend in the 40km (Individual or Group of Two) where the distances can be completed all at once or over a period of time.

The distance needs to be completed by May 31, 2020 in order to be eligible for the Finisher Trophies. Finishers of the 40km distance will receive an additional The Empire Strikes Back 40th Anniversary Trophy.

Registration can be done through the MOVE by LIV3LY app. Participants will have to activate the MOVE Run Tracker in the app before they are able record their distances from May 4 to 31.

Limited edition merchandise will also be available for purchase through the app including a Star Wars Pass Holder and a Mobile Phone Stand. The merchandise on sale will be exclusive to Southeast Asia and available in limited quantity only. The Finisher Trophy and any purchased merchandise will be sent to the registered address of the participants upon completion and verification by LIV3LY

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