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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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Xiaomi X Leica partner for ‘Imagery Technology’

Something coming in July

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Xiaomi just dropped a huge bomb on their social media channels announcing a partnership with renowned camera maker Leica.

In the post, Xiaomi said it is ” a global strategic partnership in mobile imaging.”

“Combining the legendary image and innovative technology, let’s look forward to a new era of mobile photography in July,” the post added.

In their official blog, Xiaomi and Leica noted that this is a long-term partnership. It also says the two companies “share the same ideas regarding mobile imaging.” They promise to explore more in mobile imaging “through extreme technological breakthroughs and aesthetic pursuits.”

There isn’t much to go on at this point but this move is monumental considering what the partnership did for Huawei years back. Xiaomi and its fans have plenty of reason to be excited. The partnership could catapult Xiaomi to an even more premium territory and put it in the stratosphere to compete against Apple and Samsung overall.

Huawei and Leica

Huawei and Leica officially announced their partnership in 2016. The first result of that partnership are the Huawei P9 and Huawei P9 Plus. Huawei’s standing as a premiere smartphone camera skyrocketed with the Huawei P20 and P30 series. The partnership went on with the P40 and P50 series but it appears it has indeed come to an end.

Gizmochina reported in 2021 that the Huawei and Leica partnership will reach its conclusion with the P50 series.

Huawei official statement

Below is Huawei’s official statement sent to GadgetMatch on May 23, 4:16PM (GMT+8)

Huawei Consumer Business Group and Leica Camera AG have worked intensively together since 2015. The cooperation between the two companies ended on March 31 of 2022. 

 The two companies highly appreciate the partnership. The cooperation was based on each company’s excellent technical know-how and mutual trust resulting in ground-breaking innovations in the field of smartphone photography. 

Together, Huawei and Leica Camera have created new imaging standards and technical capabilities, bringing convenient and high-quality experiences to consumers worldwide, through which they have recorded the most memorable moments of their lives. 

Huawei is grateful to its global consumers for their support and will continue providing them with the ultimate in mobile photography experiences through its continued pursuit of innovation.

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Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1

And Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 1

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The second half of this year’s smartphones are coming. Naturally, each smartphone needs a capable processor to make itself more special among today’s crop of devices. Signaling the start of the next slate of devices, Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1.

A lot of current lineups have already launched for the year. However, we’re still missing some of the more premium offerings today. The new Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 will power the next generation for the year. And, according to Qualcomm, the chipset will deliver 10 percent faster CPU and GPU performance. It will also use 15 percent less power, squeezing out an extra hour of usage.

The chipset will focus more on performance. Even if the smartphone heats up from all the gaming, the processor can keep up with delivering sustained performance.

Though the list of confirmed devices is still a bit sparse today, companies have already promised to use the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1. These include Honor, iQOO, Lenovo, Motorola, OnePlus, OPPO, realme, vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE. As expected, gaming brands are also signing up like ASUS’s Republic of Gamers and Black Shark.

Ironically, that’s not even the gaming processor, according to Qualcomm. The company also released the Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 1, which reportedly touts a 20 percent boost to GPU performance. Honor, OPPO, and Xiaomi are already making phones with the chipset.

SEE ALSO: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 beats Apple A15 Bionic in early tests

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Netflix is losing a lot of long-term subscribers

People are switching

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The Netflix revolution was indeed televised. However, after enjoying years of success as the streaming platform of choice, a lot of users are now leaving Netflix for greener pastures. Over the past few months, the company has struggled to patch its failures. A recently released data report does confirm that the platform has a right to worry. More and more long-term subscribers are reportedly cutting their subscriptions short.

According to The Information, around 13 percent of Netflix cancelers in the past quarter are from accounts that have been with the platform for over three years. The data, which was reportedly obtained from Antenna, pegs cancelations at around 3.6 million Americans, a big increase from the 2.5 million of the past five quarters.

Though 13 percent isn’t exactly a giant figure, it’s still a blow to Netflix’s empire. While streaming platform rightly focus on gaining new subscribers, losing the loyalty of long-term users isn’t something to shrug off.

Since announcing lost expectations, Netflix announced ways to save on costs and retain its subscribers. Other methods include canceling projects, opening a games division, and potentially charging users more for account sharing. Naturally, not every plan hits users the same way.

In the meantime, other platforms — like Disney+, HBO, and Hulu — are attracting more users with more varied and exclusive content. Regardless, Netflix is skidding down a slope. Only time will tell whether its latest strategies will stave off more losses.

SEE ALSO: Netflix is experimenting with livestreaming content

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