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Unread 2019-03-14, 10:57 PM   #11626
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Samsung Galaxy Buds What I don't like



The only downside to this extremely compact design, as opposed to the "stick" design brought to the fore by Apple AirPods, is that the Galaxy Buds are a bit difficult to take out of your ears on quick notice. Because most of the body of the earbud is touch-enabled, it's tough to remove an earbud without also triggering the touch control because there's very little area to grab; and once they're out of your ears, they really need to go into the case for fear that you'll touch the capacitive pad while handling them any other way. It's a worthwhile trade-off so you don't have the issues with comfort or the earbud getting snagged on anything, but taking the earbuds out of your ears gracefully isn't something you think about until you've lived with them.



Tiny earbuds can be a bit fiddly to get out of your ear without also triggering the touch controls.
Because the Galaxy Buds can be a bit fiddly to quickly remove from your ears, I was excited to try out the "ambient sound" feature that will duck down whatever audio you're listening over Bluetooth and amplify the sound around you. You can turn on ambient sound permanently (don't do this), or map it to a press-and-hold on one of the earbuds. While great in principle (Sony's WH1000MX3 do this well), ambient sound just doesn't work well on the Galaxy Buds.


It's fine if you need to hear a brief loud announcement at an airport or train station, or if you're walking down the street and need to perceive where emergency vehicle sirens are coming from, but it's useless for having a quick conversation with someone or getting anything from a relatively quiet room. The sound amplification isn't strong enough, and rather than pausing your Bluetooth audio, it keeps it playing and drops it to about 10% volume, so you get this weird cross-talk between your quiet Bluetooth audio and outside sound that's quite disorienting.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Should you buy them?




Most people won't spend over $100 on any pair of earbuds, and that's especially true for what is likely to be a secondary pair of earbuds. But if you can justify spending around $80 for something mid-range like the SoundCore Liberty Airs, the $50 jump to the Galaxy Buds is worth it for the improved comfort, touch controls, call quality and case design.



4 out of 5
The Galaxy Buds are a great pair of headphones with excellent comfort for hours of daily headphone use, but also the right design to be a good choice for hitting the gym or going on a run. The wireless connection is strong, the battery life is long, music and call quality are solid, and the case is compact and well-designed. If the $129 price tag doesn't immediately price you out of the Galaxy Buds, you should absolutely consider them as your next pair of truly wireless earbuds.
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Unread 2019-03-14, 11:10 PM   #11627
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Lite but mighty Google Pixel 3 Lite: News, Rumors, Release Date, Specs, and More!

Here's what we know about the mysterious mid-range Pixel phone.





oogle's Pixel 3 and 3 XL smartphones are two of the very best Android devices you can buy — if you have at least $800. We've heard talk of a mid-range Pixel phone for a while now, and at some point in 2019, it looks it could become a reality in the form of the Pixel 3 Lite/Pixel 3a.
Here's everything we know so far about Google's third entry in the Pixel 3 series!
The latest Pixel 3 Lite news

March 14, 2019 — The Pixel 3 Lite might actually be called 'Pixel 3a'



We're still waiting on Google to announce its mid-range Pixel phone at some point this year, and when that finally happens, it looks like it may go by a name other than Pixel 3 Lite.
As spotted by XDA when digging through code in Android Q, there's a reference to "Pixel 3a XL" as "sargo" — a codename the mid-range phone has been going by for a while now.
If this is legit, that means Google's new handsets would be called Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL instead of Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 XL Lite.
January 17, 2019 — Pixel 3 Lite gets shown off in its entirety in hands-on video


The Pixel 3 and 3 XL were leaked extensively before their official unveil, and the Pixel 3 Lite is continuing in much the same way. Thanks to a three-minute hands-on video of the unreleased phone, we have a much better understanding of what to expect from the device. The Pixel 3 Lite shares the same design aesthetics as its siblings, albeit with a single 8MP camera up front.
The phone will also feature more modest hardware in the form of a Snapdragon 670 chipset, paired with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The rear camera is the same 12.2MP shooter that's featured in the Pixel 3 and 3 XL, so it'll be interesting to see if Google is able to offer the same level of image quality with the Snapdragon 670 platform.
What's particularly interesting is the fact that the phone features a headphone jack at the top. No word as yet about an official launch, but it does seem likely that we'll hear much more about the Pixel 3 Lite in the coming weeks.

December 27, 2018 — Pixel 3 Lite will reportedly be sold on Verizon in the U.S. next spring

Ever since the Pixel 3 Lite first appeared, it's been uncertain if the phone would be launched in the United States. Thanks to a new report today from Android Police, that uncertainty is being laid to rest.
According to "a source familiar with the company's plans", Google will be launching both the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 XL Lite on Verizon in the U.S. in early Spring 2019.
That's as specific of a date as we have right now, and unfortunately, there's still no word on how much the phones will cost.
While not mentioned anywhere in the report, it's expected that the two Lite versions of the Pixel 3 will also be sold via the Google Store similar to the proper Pixel 3 and 3 XL that are currently available.
December 9, 2018 — Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 Lite XL compared to Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL in new renders, 360-degree video

We've seen an increasing amount of chatter and renders, and the latest batch of high-quality renders have appeared in a collaboration by 91mobiles and OnLeaks that features the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 Lite XL — am I the only one that still thinks the name order there is a little weird? — spinning like a turntable to show off its size and ports, including a 3.5mm headphone jack sitting up top, slightly off center as it did on the original Google Pixel.
Alongside the video, 91mobiles has a comparison of the spec differences between the Pixel 3 series and Lite series, and most of it meshes with what we've heard before. The Pixel 3 Lite XL looks like it will sport a notchless 6-inch screen, giving it the same 18.5:9 aspect ratio as the Pixel 5.6-inch screen on the Pixel 3 Lite. With a big battery, a Snapdragon 670 instead of the Pixel 3's Snapdragon 845, a headphone jack, and a plastic build instead of glass, the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 Lite XL could indeed be tempting at the right price point, but the two details still missing are a concrete price and a release date.
With only 3 weeks left in 2018, we'll likely have for the new year to see this new mid-range Pixel, but how long into January — or February — will we be waiting? And will the price tag that arrives with it make the wait worth it?
November 26, 2018 — Pixel 3 Lite compared to Pixel 3 XL, iPhone XR, and more in new pictures


A little over a week since the Pixel 3 Lite broke its cover for the first time, a site by the name of Wysla has shared new hands-on photos of the phone — this time comparing it to other devices that are currently on the market.


One of the most obvious comparisons for the Pixel 3 Lite is with the behemoth that is the Pixel 3 XL, and when placed side-by-side with the 3 XL, we can see just how much smaller the Lite actually is. While the Pixel 3 XL has a huge 6.4-inch screen, we're only expecting a 5.56-inch panel on the Lite model. Compared side-by-side with the regular Pixel 3, the phones look almost the same (save for the Lite's slightly larger bezel).
Other pictures go on to show the Pixel 3 Lite next to the original Pixel, iPhone XS, iPhone XR, iPhone 5S, and Nokia 3310.
November 16, 2018 — Mid-range 'Pixel 3 Lite' appears in photos with headphone jack and same great camera



Google's Pixel 3 and 3 XL are undoubtedly two of the best Android phones you can buy. However, with prices starting at $799 for the base Pixel 3 and going up to at least $899 for the XL model, they certainly aren't cheap. Thankfully, at least according to one Russian blog, a mid-range "Pixel 3 Lite" could soon be on its way.
Rozetked published a post on Friday, November 16 to share hands-on photos and reported specs for the Pixel 3 Lite that's codenamed as "Sargo." That's a codename we've heard murmurings of before, and rumors of a mid-range entry in the Pixel series have been circulating since April.
As you can see from the photos, the Pixel 3 Lite looks a lot like the regular Pixel 3. It has what appears to be a plastic back, USB-C for charging, a single 12MP rear camera that's said to be "the same as the regular Pixel 3", and a colorful power button. The bezels surrounding the display are quite a bit thicker, and instead of an AMOLED panel, the Pixel 3 Lite supposedly has a 5.56-inch 2220 x 1080 IPS screen.


You'll also find two speaker grills on the bottom frame flanking the USB-C port instead of front-firing ones, and to the delight of a lot of you reading this, there is a 3.5mm headphone jack up top (something the Pixel 3 + 3 XL lack).
Other rumored specs include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 (contrasting with an earlier rumor that it would use the Snapdragon 710), 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage with no microSD expansion, and a 2,915 mAh battery that supports Quick Charge 4.0.
It's unknown which markets will get the Pixel 3 Lite, but pricing is said to be around $400 - $500 with a release expected either before the end of 2018 or at some point in Q1 2019.


All the big details

Where does the Pixel 3 Lite fit with the Pixel 3 and 3 XL?

As the name suggests, the Pixel 3 Lite will be offered as a less premium, more affordable version of the regular Pixel 3 and 3 XL. Up until now, all Pixel phones have been focused on the flagship market. As such, it'll be interesting to see Google's take on a phone under the Pixel brand that's designed to be accessible to more people.
What specs are we anticipating?

Final specs for the Pixel 3 Lite obviously aren't confirmed yet quite, but in any case, here are some of the specifications we're currently looking forward to based on the latest rumors/leaks.

Operating system Android 9 Pie Display 5.56-inches
2220 x 1080
IPS Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 RAM 4GB Storage 32GB Battery 2,915 mAh Camera 12.2MP (same as Pixel 3)
When will the phone be released?

Right now, the closest thing we have to a release date for the Pixel 3 Lite is either at some point before 2018 is over or in Q1 2019.
How much is it going to cost?

With the Pixel 3 and 3 XL having starting prices of $799 and $899, respectively, Google definitely has room to go down.
It's expected that the Pixel 3 Lite could cost somewhere in the ballpark of $400 - $500, so while it wouldn't necessarily be a budget phone, it would be a heck of a lot more affordable than its older siblings.
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Unread 2019-03-18, 08:42 PM   #11628
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Report confirms derpy Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL names


Last week, the folks at XDA Developers spotted the "Pixel 3a" and "Pixel 3a XL" names while digging through some code in the Connectivity Monitor app on the recent Android Q beta release. Today 9to5Google has been able to confirm, via an independent source, that those names aren't just placeholders for something else. For some reason that escapes us, Google is actually going to give the pair of upcoming mid-range phones the awkward "3a" moniker.

9to5Google was also able to confirm some of the specs for the two new devices. The Pixel 3a will sport a 5.6" display, and the Pixel 3a XL (sigh) will have a 6" display. The phones will be offered in three colors: white, black, and Google's typical understated but seemingly random third option. It will also have the Active Edge pressure-sensitive sides for the Assistant, Titan M security chip, an eSIM, 18W fast charging over USB-C, and 64GB of storage.
Other details, like final prices, battery size, and the precise SoC — either a Snapdragon 670 or 710, according to rumors — remain unconfirmed. 9to5Google was unable to verify the precise launch date for the phones, though its source speculated that our earlier report that it would launch on Verizon in the spring is probably true.
Given that the pace at which information is trickling out seems to be picking up, we'll probably hear more soon. If our earlier report about Verizon availability was correct, we should see a formal reveal within the next three months.
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Unread 2019-04-18, 03:06 PM   #11629
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The upcoming Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL have been in the news quite a bit recently, but today we’re finally getting a first look at what the phone’s official design will look like. Unfortunately, the new leak really doesn’t give us any new information about the phone or its design. Apart from the May 7th launch date shown as the date on the screen and what appears to be a new wallpaper for Google’s new mid-range Pixel smartphones, we’re still left with the same details as before.
The image shows that the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL will feature a 3.5mm headphone port, symmetrical bezels above and below their notch-less displays and volume and power keys along their right edge.

Since these phones were first leaked last November, we’re pretty eager to get our hands on them. While the rumored specs of the two phones indicate that we’re looking at mid-range devices, the pricing details we’ve seen so far suggest that Google will be selling the phones for only a little less than last year’s OnePlus 6T. On the plus side, the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL are both expected to have the same camera sensors for their main and front-facing cameras, though Google will be omitting secondary front-facing camera which features a wide-angle lens on the standard Pixel 3 smartphones.
Would you be willing to spend $500 or so on a mid-range Pixel 3a?
Source: Android Headlines
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Unread 2019-05-01, 02:14 PM   #11630
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Pixel 3a Rumored to Cost $399





Google is preparing to announce something Pixel-related on May 7, just as Google I/O kicks off. We are expecting an announcement for the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL, the two mid-range phones from Google that have endured months and months of leaks. While we know almost everything about these phones at this point, we still have no idea how much Google will charge for them. Being Google, we’ve worried that the prices would be unreasonably high for the product being offered. Today, we’re getting a rumor that squashes that a bit.
According to YouTube channel This is Tech Today, who received images of the Pixel 3a box from a source, the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL with 64GB storage will be priced at $399 and $479, respectively. There could be 128GB models too, but pricing for those has not been revealed.
At that price, you are getting specs like a 5.6″ (Pixel 3a) or 6″ (3a XL) 1080p display, Snapdragon 670 processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, 3000mAh (3a) or 3400mAh (3a XL) battery, fingerprint reader, fast charging, headphone jack, and the Google software experience. The 3a line should also feature a Pixel-worthy 12MP camera.
Is that a good price? It’s not an offensive price. That’s $100 more than the Moto G7, which has similar specs. The Pixel 3a line differs by having a newer processor (670 vs. 632) and NFC chip. The Pixel 3a also benefits from the fact that it’ll get software updates regularly for years, unlike Motorola’s mid-range line, and should have a really, really good camera.
You buying?
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Unread 2019-05-01, 06:04 PM   #11631
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Here is the Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL and All of Their Colors and Features





The trickle of Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL leaks has been steady, but we’re now going to fully open the floodgates. We have every single thing you need to know about the Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL before they are announced next week on May 7.
Ready?
Before we get going, here are some pictures of the three colors that will be available: white, purple, and black . We’ve got all of the angles covered too in case you wanted to see those fun-colored power buttons.
As for Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL features, expect an “extraordinary” camera with Google’s Night Sight on board, the same as the fabulous Night Sight found on the regular Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. In addition, you’ll get a portrait mode, Motion Auto Focus, and unlimited Google Photos storage.
Fast charging is here too, with 7 hours of use in just 15 minutes. Because these are Pixel devices, 3 years of security and OS updates are included, as are things like Screen Call.
What about specs? What you’ve read so far is correct. The Pixel 3a will have a 5.6″ display, while the Pixel 3a XL will have a 6.0″. They’ll have 12.2MP Dual Pixel cameras, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, 8MP front shooters, 3000mAh (3a) and 3700mAh (3a XL) batteries, squeezy Active Edge sensors, rear fingerprint readers, and Android 9.0 Pie.
We don’t have a further confirmation on price, but that was rumored to be $399 (3a) and $479 (3a XL) earlier today.
Need proof? Here are some promo images that’ll accompany launch.

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Unread 2019-05-06, 04:19 PM   #11632
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Pixel 3a specs and features leak once more just a day before Google I/O





I/O 2019 starts tomorrow and we're just about ready to bet the house on Google launching a couple of new phones. Pictures of the Pixel 3a and 3a XL have leaked onto the internet in the past couple of weeks, leaving us with fewer surprises to discover. Well, the suspense has been cut down even further with the publication of specification and feature sheets.

Roland Quandt of WinFuture posted the sheets on his Twitter account. The sheets, which were translated to English from another language, are for the Pixel 3a — no 3a XL to be seen here.











The big items here are the 5.6-inch 1080p OLED display at a 19.5:9 aspect ratio, a fingerprint sensor, dual front-facing speakers, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 chipset paired with Google's Titan M secure enclave, 4GB of LPDDR4X RAM, and a 3,000mAh battery — the 3a is complaint with USB Power Delivery 2.0 at 18 watts. As for cameras, we're looking at pretty much the same package to the one the Pixel 3 had: the rear unit is 12.2MP with an aperture of f/1.8 and is also 4K-capable while the selfie shooter is 8MP at f/2.
Unlike the flagship Pixel 3, Google sees fit to outfit the 3a with an analogue headphone jack, though it has not gone as far to bring microSD expansion.
Android 9.0 Pie will be on board. Google will guarantee software updates for at least 3 years after release, though it will only warranty the phone itself for 2 years.
All in all, it's a fairly mundane bill of goods. The features pamphlet doesn't add much sparkle, either: Some of the highlights include Google Assistant, Night Sight, Portrait Mode, and unlimited original-quality storage on Google Photos. The odd mention of "Google Wizard" likely owes to a translation error — last week, Kellen of Droid Life dropped Pixel 3a marketing materials with write-ups of pretty much all of the same features mentioned in the sheet.
The cherries on top of Quandt's spill are new front-to-back renders of the Pixel 3a in the "Just Black" color.

Previous

Next

We're less than a day away from learning all about the Pixel 3a and 3a XL. If you want to brush up on the timeline of rumors, we've got you covered here.
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Unread 2019-05-07, 02:15 PM   #11633
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Google officially confirms Android Q is launching with a Dark Theme


Series: Android Q Feature Spotlights

Google has just started talking about Android Q on stage at I/O and has now officially confirmed that the new version of the OS will come with the glorious, long awaited Dark Theme. The company says the new look will help you save battery on your device, since black and grey don't need as much light and thus power as white and bright colors.

We've been expecting and awaiting this feature for a long time already. Starting with Q beta 1, battery saving mode stopped showing those ugly orange backgrounds beneath the navigation and status bars, and instead revealed a dark mode. When the preview first stared, there weren't many apps that properly switched their colors according to the current mode. However, Google updated more and more of its applications with support for just that. Dark Mode is probably also supposed to turn on automatically at dawn in the long run.


Something went wrong. Please make sure you added the video correctly.

Video URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwE7frQOjfE

Now, we finally have official confirmation that Google embraces dark colors as much as white spaces. Let's just hope that the company becomes more consistent and decided whether it wants to use black or dark grey. Google needs the mode to be picture perfect at launch to gain any traction with third-party developers.
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Unread 2019-05-07, 03:10 PM   #11634
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Android Q Beta 3 is heading to 21 phones — here's the full list

Google is once again expanding its beta program, with phones from 13 OEMs now on the list.



Google expanded the Android beta program last year, and with Android Q that list is getting bigger. Google has announced that Android Q beta builds — starting with Beta 3 — will be available on a total of 21 phones from 13 OEMs, with the likes of ASUS and Realme joining the list.
In addition to the Pixel phones, the latest Android Q beta will be available on 15 third-party phones. Here's the full list:

  • ASUS ZenFone 5z
  • OnePlus 6T
  • Xiaomi Mi 9
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G
  • Nokia 8.1
  • LG G8
  • Essential Phone
  • Huawei Mate 20 Pro
  • Sony Xperia XZ3
  • OPPO Reno
  • Tecno Spark 3 Pro
  • Realme 3 Pro
  • Vivo X27
  • Vivo NEX S
  • Vivo NEX A
  • AndroidAfterDark

Like last year, you'll be able to manually install the beta builds on each phones, with the steps differing based on manufacturer. We'll have more to share on how you can install the builds as they go live, but if you have any of the phones on the list, you should be able to get started with Android Q before everyone else.
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Unread 2019-05-07, 03:14 PM   #11635
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Google sneaks in new navigation bar for Android Q





The I/O keynote is over, but there are already new features surfacing for Android Q that were only briefly brushed upon during the presentation. Beta 3 sports a new iPhone-esque navigation bar that drops the back button and replaces it with a gesture that isn't limited to the bottom of the screen anymore.

The Verge had a chance to get an early look at Q beta 3 and gives us some insight on how the new system navigation works. First off, the back button is gone. And Google found a radical way to replace it that might, no, will spark controversy. To go back, you need to swipe from either edge of the screen. The gesture is not accommodated by a sliding animation as it is on iOS, but Google's inspiration is pretty clear here. What's not clear is how Android will handle sliding out drawer menus now. We've found some information at Android Developers that explains how developers have to opt out specific areas of their apps from the back gestures in order to maintain functionality. The DrawerLayout, the class responsible for sliding drawers, is automatically opted out.
When we take a look at the slimmer, longer navigation pill strip, the lack of a back gesture there makes sense – there simply isn't another swipe direction left. A swipe up reveals your home screen. To get to the recents screen, you swipe up a bit and move to either side. Finally, you swipe to either side to switch between apps directly. The Verge doesn't yet know how to access Google Assistant through gestures, or if that's even (going to be) possible. To take advantage of the smaller area the new navigation strip now needs, app developers can set up transparent system bars in their products.
Image credit: The Verge
While I imagine that there will be lots of schadenfreude and mockery, I'm happy with Google's full embrace of gestures. Android Pie's solution was half baked and introduced no real advantage over using on-screen buttons.
You can activate the new navigation gestures through settings in Q beta 3, which is rolling out right now. Just search for System navigation and choose Fully gestural navigation, which even gives a detailed explanation how the rethought system works.
We've seen evidence of this new navigation system long before Google officially started the Q beta program, and then some more through ADB commands in beta 2. Also, Google tested similar back gestures in Chrome for Android.
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Unread 2019-05-11, 12:34 PM   #11636
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Google Pixel 3a is easier to repair than Pixel 3, according to teardown

iFixit

Teardown specialists iFixit have dismantled the Google Pixel 3a, finding that the mid-range device is easier to repair than the Google Pixel 3 flagship.

The website gave the Pixel 3a a repairability score of six out of 10, compared to the Pixel 3‘s four out of 10 score. Google’s latest phone also achieved a better score than the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S10 and Huawei Mate 20 Pro (and tied with the iPhone XR).

Editor's Pick








iFixit praised the Pixel 3a’s use of “standard T3 Torx” screws, repair-friendly adhesive for the battery, and modular components. It wasn’t all rosy for the mid-range phone though, as the website criticized the number of long, thin ribbon cables, and the “thin and poorly supported” display. iFixit also confirmed that the phone’s so-called gOLED display is made by Samsung, and that the Pixel Visual Core chip is indeed missing.

Is the device worth buying though? Well, our own Dhruv Bhutani wrote that the phone was “definitely worth a recommendation” in his Google Pixel 3a XL review.

“If you find yourself playing a lot of games or pushing your phone’s hardware with a whole lot of apps, it’s hard to make a case for the Pixel 3a XL. For everyone else, Google finally has a really good option that gets you the core flagship experience at a fraction of the cost,” Dhruv said.
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Unread 2019-05-13, 01:40 PM   #11637
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ADB's backup and restore functionality will go away in future Android release




ADB is the main command line tool for interacting with Android devices. It can be used to sideload APKs, copy data, and more. Starting with Android 4.0 ICS, a feature to backup and restore applications (and their data) was added, but that functionality will be removed in a future Android release.
A new commit to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) adds a deprecation warning when using ADB's backup and restore features. In non-technical terms, it means the feature still works, but it will be removed at a later date (perhaps in Android R).

It's not immediately clear why the functionality is being removed, but there could be a few different reasons. The growing use of app bundles means that restoring backups to devices other than the original source is becoming more impractical. Android also has more built-in options for backing up app data than it did in the Ice Cream Sandwich era.
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Unread 2019-05-13, 01:41 PM   #11638
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Android electronic ID support targeting driver's licenses first, passports later




Smartphones already store tons of privileged information from credit cards and boarding passes, but they may soon replace our driver's licenses, our passports, and maybe even our keyfobs, too. We got a hint of this with the reveal of a new support library back in March, now, Google has laid out a roadmap for Android devices to store identity credentials in a future version of the OS. That roadmap, however, is highly dependent on how the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) will implement its standards on electronic IDs.

Talking with VentureBeat, Android Platform Security chief Rene Mayrhofer confirmed a lot of what was already discovered about the IdentityCredential API. It would allow a secure enclave to store personal information, then link that component directly to NFC so that the data can be authenticated even when the phone's CPUs aren't powered. But the work will be immense: Google is working on new Jetpack libraries and supplemental APIs to make the hardware abstraction layers feasible for OEMs to make the feature compatible with their own secure enclaves — this likely means that Pixel phones will get the first crack at IdentityCredential.
Android is attempting to get ahead of the ISO's official recommendations on mobile driving licenses — ISO/IEC CD 18013-5 has been in the works for almost 3 years with Google being a party to the committee. Alas, the standard has yet to firm up to a point where Google feels confident integrating its electronic ID libraries into Android Q or the AOSP master, but the hope is the framework will be ready and adaptable to the ISO standard by the time it is published.
Mayrhofer says that the ISO will then be able to focus its attention on other credentials as well.
“As far as I can see the ISO discussions going, the future passports discussions will probably wait for [mobile driving licenses] to first finish, and then adopt quite a bit of data," Mayrhofer said. "This is exactly why we want to make sure that the API that we drop into the Android framework is spot on to implement all of what mobile driving license needs, plus more generic behavior to be open to other types of ID.”
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Unread 2019-05-13, 05:53 PM   #11639
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Google explains why the Pixel 3a has a headphone jack





Last week when Google announced the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL would include the headphone jack, I nearly pulled my hamstring jumping for joy. While the news is still good, Google’s official reasoning is dubious. When interviewed at Google I/O 2019, product manager Soniya Jobanputra said “We really felt that consumers at this price point and this tier really needed flexibility [for the headphone jack].” This insinuates only those with limited funds want a headphone jack

On a surface level, her logic makes sense. After all, the Venn diagram of people considering budget phones and people who buy cheap wired earbuds — rather than costly wireless ones — presumably has plenty of overlap. That, however, is where the rationale peels away.
Just because a consumer can afford wireless earbuds, doesn’t relinquish the desire for choice. Assuming it does benefits Google in the immediate future since Pixel users are more likely to just buy the Pixel Buds or proprietary dongle. Ultimately, consumers will flock to flagships that feature more not less. This whole debacle is silly given how the headphone jack was an industry before Apple removed it.
Affordability aside, it’s been said ad nauseum how wired audio outperforms wireless audio. Audiophiles spend the most on headphones and are willing to pay a premium for what’s being billed as a budget feature. Dongles may seem a passable alternative, but they’re not. They eliminate the option to charge a phone while listening to music and introduce a host of compatibility issues across Android devices.
Being able to afford more expensive audio accessories doesn't relinquish the desire for choice.
Although it’s nice to see Google bring the headphone jack back for budget consumers, Jobanputra’s statement is worrisome. The phrasing “… at this tier …” alludes to the real possibility that the Pixel 4 will release sans-jack. Doing so will only continue the headphone jack whiplash we’ve been experiencing the past two years.

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Unread 2019-05-15, 12:37 PM   #11640
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New Google Pixel 4 leak suggests massive change is coming










The Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are still around four months away, but today YouTuber Jon Prosser from Front Page Tech has shared some new information about the flagship series that suggests a massive change could be on the way.The Google Pixel 4 could ditch all physical buttons


According to Prosser’s sources, the Pixel 4 series will ditch all physical buttons in favor of an uninterrupted aluminum frame. Rather than including clickable power and volume keys, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will reportedly make their debut with a set of capacitive touch alternatives along the right side.

The reason for this major change was not disclosed, but it could potentially have something to do with an existing feature. The Pixel 4 series, like previous generations, is expected to support Google’s Active Edge squeezable frame. In its current form, the feature is limited to certain sections of the aluminum frame where physical buttons don’t interfere. However, by replacing these keys with capacitive alternatives, the internet giant could potentially extend the feature along the entire side of the device.

Regardless of Google’s reasoning, a massive change such as this one will undoubtedly be met with heavy criticism. Many will argue that it’s also highly unlikely but, while this leak should be taken with the usual pinch of salt, according to Prosser the source of the information is credible.




Say goodbye to physical buttons


For those of you that aren’t aware, last year Prosser provided a constant stream of accurate Pixel 3and Pixel 3 XL information over a month before their launch. Moreover, he confirmed the existence of the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL before anybody else.
Stereo speakers and a punch hole display seem extremely likely



In addition to the details above, Jon Prosser’s source also corroborated a number of recent leaks and rumors. Specifically, he verified the presence of a camera cut out on the Pixel 4’s display and the subsequent lack of a notch.

The new display will be paired with uniform bezels and an extremely thin chin. Despite this, however, Google is reportedly retaining the front-facing stereo speaker setup found on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 lineups.

Accompanying all of this will apparently be a new in-display fingerprint scanner which will replace the rear-mounted one found on current Pixel devices. Unfortunately, though, it’s unclear at this point if Google will opt for an optical scanner or a superior ultrasonic sensor like the one used on the Samsung Galaxy S10.




Google Pixel 4 concept render


Elsewhere on the Pixel 4 flagships should be a new dual-camera setup on the rear. It’s unclear at this point if Google will pair its second sensor with a telephoto zoom or super-wide-angle camera, but rumor has it the setup will be aligned horizontally in the top-left corner rather than vertically as seen on many smartphones these days.
Google Pixel 4 specs, features, and release date


Like the Galaxy S10, LG G8 ThinQ, and OnePlus 7 Pro, the Pixel 4 series is expected to arrive powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855. This chip should be accompanied by 128GB of storage and, for the first time ever, 6GB of RAM rather than just 4GB.

As you’d expect from a Google smartphone, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will ship with the latest version of Android straight out of the box. In this case, it should be Android 10 Q – the update is due for release in August.

Other features that can be expected include an IP68 water and dust resistance rating, a larger battery paired with faster charging, and support for 4G LTE networks. Google is presumably preparing its first 5G-ready smartphones, but 5G connectivity is unlikely to make its way into the Pixel 4 line.

Lastly, in regards to a release, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will most likely be announced during the second week of October. Pre-orders will presumably commence the same day prior to a release the following week.




The Pixel 3 XL



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Unread 2019-05-20, 12:35 PM   #11641
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Google Pixel 3a XL unboxing and first look



Something went wrong. Please make sure you added the video correctly.

Video URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlHM2zyZlqM


Hands-on the budget flagship Pixel 3a XL from Google. Does this phone bring you back to the good ol' Nexus days?
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Unread 2019-06-12, 01:52 PM   #11642
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Google confirms Pixel 4 with multiple rear cameras




We've seen the Pixel 4 leaks and rumors ramping up lately, but today Google surprised us all by giving us an early look at its next flagship Android phone.
The official Made by Google account on Twitter today shared a photo that shows the Pixel 4 with multiple rear cameras in a square housing. The bottom of the phone's backside has a Google "G" logo like past Pixel phones. "Well, since there seems to be some interest, here you go! Wait 'til you see what it can do. #Pixel4", Google tweeted.


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Unread 2019-06-20, 04:42 PM   #11643
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Samsung VP says Galaxy Fold is "ready to hit the market"





Samsung's Galaxy Fold should have been on the market for several weeks at this point, but the company delayed the launch after the first batch of review units began failing at a high rate. It pledged to modify the foldable display so it wasn't as prone to failure, but news has been hard to come by since then. In a recent appearance, Samsung Display Vice President Kim Seong-cheol said that the Galaxy Fold is almost ready to launch.

Several reviewers found that the Galaxy Fold was prone to collecting dust between the screen layers, and that could lead to damaged OLEDs. Uneven pressure on the display when folding may also have contributed to the problems. Kim Seong-cheol says that's mostly fixed now.
"Most of the display problems have been ironed out, and the Galaxy Fold is ready to hit the market," he said at an industry conference yesterday. Let's unpack that a little. Fixing "most" of the display problems doesn't seem like the best course of action. Ideally, Samsung would fix all of them before launching a $2,000 luxury phone. Still, he says the phone is ready to hit the market. Perhaps Samsung has resigned itself to the fact that some limitations of foldable displays are unavoidable right now.
We hope to hear specifics on the new launch date in a few weeks. At that point, we'll find out how fragile it is.
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Unread 2019-06-20, 04:42 PM   #11644
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Gmail for Android starts getting first bits of dark mode



Those of you going insane at the amount of white in the latest Google app redesigns have probably been calming yourselves by thoughts of forthcoming dark modes. Most recently, the Google app, Files by Google, Google Drive, and Google Keep have received dark UIs of their own, and Gmail might just be next. The latest Gmail APK contains our first look at a dark mode, though it's sporadic and only in settings.

The screenshots above depict what we're seeing on Gmail v2019.06.09. The dark mode doesn't currently have a toggle and comes on and off when it wants to, but here's a first look. It only shows up in settings, not the main window or sidebar. We know, it's not much so far, but hopefully this will appease some of you who've been waiting for dark mode on one of Google's most-used apps.
If you just have to have a look at this Gmail dark mode for yourself, you can grab the Gmail v2019.06.09 APK at APK Mirror. Again, there's not much to see aside from the images above, but do as you please.
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Unread 2019-06-20, 04:43 PM   #11645
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[Update: Buttons aren't dead] The Galaxy Note 10 won't have a headphone jack or physical volume and power keys (rumor)



Speaking to a source familiar with the company's plans, Android Police has learned that Samsung will likely begin its wind-down of the headphone jack - and even physical keys for functions like volume and power - with the Galaxy Note 10. The Note 10 will have no 3.5mm connector, and exterior buttons (power, volume, Bixby) will be replaced by capacitive or pressure-sensitive areas, likely highlighted by some kind of raised 'bump' and/or texture along the edge (i.e., a faux button). We don't know if it's Samsung's intent to carry over both of these changes to the Galaxy S11 in 2020.
Both changes had been previously rumored, but we can now provide stronger confirmation.
The Note line has always been fertile ground for Samsung's more forward-looking changes to its smartphones' industrial design and general philosophy, as it's a phone that's long been adored by some of Samsung's most ardent fans - the sort of people who tend to be early adopters of new technology.
Removing the headphone jack would almost certainly result in excoriation from some of those fans, who have long held that Samsung's steadfast adherence to the 3.5mm jack is one of their big reasons for sticking with the brand. But in 2019, Samsung virtually stands alone in the high-end phone space in this regard. Google, OnePlus, Huawei, and Apple have all abandoned the headphone jack on their premium devices. Even many budget phonemakers have started to purge it: Xiaomi's Mi 9, Honor's 20 Pro, and Oppo's Reno all lack the familiar connector. It really does appear to be fully on the way out, and I imagine it's just a matter of time before this trickles down even to budget phones.
Samsung is likely to argue that removing the jack creates precious volume for more battery capacity, though there are also benefits in terms of reducing design complexity and increasing ingress resistance from dust and liquids (Samsung's latest offering, the Galaxy S10, still gets an IP68 rating even with a headphone jack). The same argument likely applies to the buttons, which are another potential failure point that could theoretically be eliminated. One of the lesser-known upsides to removing those keys is removing their cutouts, which tend to be the weakest points in the unibody aluminum frames most premium phones are constructed from. This could possibly allow Samsung to create a thinner, lighter phone design without compromising on structural rigidity.
Our source confirms existing rumors about multiple models of the phone, with two sizes anticipated to be available - one larger, one smaller (though "small" is only by Note standards).
If history is any indicator, we can expect Samsung to announce this phone mid-summer, likely in August.
Update: 2019/06/20 7:34am PDT by David Ruddock We've received new information from a reliable source indicating Samsung has, in fact, halted plans to debut pressure-sensitive "faux" buttons on the Galaxy Note10. The phone will have traditional physical power and volume keys (but no Bixby key). While we're not sure why the company changed course—and we can confirm that was the case, Samsung did seriously plan to get rid of them—it seems for whatever reason that Samsung decided the world wasn't ready for its take on HTC's phony buttons.
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Unread 2019-06-24, 03:50 PM   #11646
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Fresh Pixel 4 leak gives us another look at Google’s unreleased flagship






Google’s upcoming new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are the worst-kept secret in all of tech right now because, well, they’re really not a secret at all anymore. Once a set of Pixel 4 design files was stolen from the factory where Google’s new Pixel phones will be manufactured, renders showing the phone’s new design were posted on the web. Rather than just sit idly by while it’s new smartphone design is tossed around the internet like every other smartphone maker does, Google bizarrely decided to officially reveal the new design for the back of the Pixel 4. You can see Google’s official reveal in the image at the top of this post, and it looks exactly like we thought it would following that early leak.

Of course, just because Google posted an image of the back of its upcoming Pixel 4 doesn’t mean the rumor mill is just going to pack it up and go home. There’s still plenty of information that hasn’t been confirmed and gadget fans won’t be happy until everything is out in the open. We still have a long wait ahead of us before Google’s new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL hit store shelves this fall, but the leaks will undoubtedly keep flowing between now and then. Case in point: A new set of Pixel 4 renders was posted by an industry insider, and they show the pure Android phone from a few more angles than Google was willing to share with its official teaser.
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In case you missed last week’s leak, let’s revisit it for a moment:


As you can see, these renders of the Pixel 4 were likely made by a third-party accessory maker with access to the same stolen design files that were used to create the first set of renders that hit the web. Apart from the creative colors and the notch at the top of the display in that first image (the actual phones will reportedly have normal bezels above the screens, like it’s 2016), they’re likely a good representation of what we can expect from Google’s Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL later this year.
If you want another look at the Pixel 4 in a color that will actually see the light of day later this year, don’t worry because we’ve got you covered. Twitter user @xiaomishka has posted accurate renders of unreleased smartphones in the past, and he’s back with a new look at the Pixel 4.

Here’s a closer look at that image:
Image Source: Xiaomishka, Twitter
The renders appear to have been made by the same accessory maker that leaked the renders we saw last week, and they’re pretty spot on as far as what we expect from Google later this year. Both the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are expected to be announced in early October with a release to follow within a couple of weeks.
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Unread 2019-06-27, 05:37 PM   #11647
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These stunning Galaxy Note 10 Pro renders will make you forget all about Samsung’s awful Galaxy Fold






When Samsung first announced the Galaxy Fold earlier this year, you might have been impressed. In fact, the prospect of a smartphone with a foldable OLED display might have been so exciting to you that you managed to force yourself to overlook how terrible the Galaxy Fold’s design truly is. Then, reality smacked you in the fact when we were reminded yet again what happens when Samsung cares more about being first than about releasing the best product it can possibly make. Instead of being smart and taking its time, Samsung tried to rush the Galaxy Fold out the door to beat Huawei to market, and the company ended up with a piece of junk. In fact, it was such a piece of junk that Samsung had to cancel the phone’s release because review units started breaking within hours of reaching bloggers’ hands. It was a massive embarrassment for Samsung, and it was the result of putting hubris ahead of the company’s customers.

I knew the Galaxy Fold would be a mess long before it was ever announced. In fact, I began warning people of how bad it would be more than a year ahead of the phone’s unveiling when rumors of Samsung’s first foldable smartphone began picking up steam. I could have never predicted what a debacle the phone’s launch would end up being, of course, but Samsung has never excelled at innovating and releasing first-generation products. What Samsung does excel at, however, is iterating and refining existing devices to make them better. If you want a Samsung flagship phone that’s going to be a sleek, stunning powerhouse as opposed to a piece of junk with an awful design, the upcoming Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10 Pro are just what the doctor ordered. And once you see these new renders, you’ll forget all about how bad the Galaxy Fold is.








The first-generation Galaxy Note phone was ugly and clunky, just like the first-generation Galaxy Fold. Where the Note line is concerned, however, those days are long gone. Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10 Pro are expected to be two of the sleekest and most powerful smartphones the South Korean electronics giant has ever made, and a new set of renders gets up close and personal with the higher-end model.
Image Source: LetsGoDigital
Created by Dutch gadget blog LetsGoDigital, these new Galaxy Note 10 Pro renders take everything we’ve seen so far in leaks and bring it to life. The Pro model shown here is expected to have specs that are mostly in line with the base Galaxy Note 10, but it’ll have a larger display and additional sensors in the rear camera array.

Image Source: LetsGoDigital
These new Note 10 Pro renders also give us a good look at the phone’s hole-punch display, which has a centrally located selfie camera hole instead of having it in the top-right corner like Samsung’s Galaxy S10 line. Some will say it looks better while others will say it looks worse, but the bottom line is the selfie camera couldn’t have been situated in the top-right corner because the rear camera is in the same corner on the other side of the phone. There simply isn’t enough room inside a modern smartphone to place front- and rear-facing cameras in the same spot.
Samsung will unveil the Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10 Pro in early August and both models are expected to be released less than two weeks later.
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Unread 2019-07-08, 03:44 PM   #11648
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New Google Pixel 4 XL renders show large forehead and bottom-firing speakers


Last month, Google broke with tradition and showed off the rear of the Pixel 4 way before it's due to launch. This was in response to a pretty vague and unattractive initial render produced by @OnLeaks, but this time he's back again with something more tangible. His latest renders show a Pixel 4 XL with a large forehead and bottom-firing speakers — at least there's no hideous notch, I guess.

As usual, these renders are based on CAD schematics given to case makers and the like, but @OnLeaks has a stellar track record so we are safe to assume the final design will be very close to what we see here. The much-maligned notch from the Pixel 3 XL is no longer, and instead, we see a sizeable forehead with two cameras and some other sensors. It's likely to have the same standard plus wide-angle selfie cam setup as the previous generation, but more interestingly, OnLeaks says there is another space on the right-hand side that could house the required sensors for an iPhone-esque Face ID feature.

The display is said to be around 6.25 inches diagonally, with the phone's dimensions given as 160.4 x 75.2 x 8.2mm, and a camera bump taking the thickness up to 9.3mm. We don't learn anything new about the rear camera setup, but recent leaks have suggested the secondary module could be a telephoto lens while it's been speculated that the third one could be a ToF sensor.

As expected, there's no fingerprint sensor on the back this time, which could mean an in-display sensor or a reliance only on facial recognition for unlocking. Once again, there's no headphone jack, and more worrying still, there doesn't appear to be the dual front-facing speakers we've come to love from the Pixel lineup. We see a small earpiece in the forehead, which could also double as a speaker as with the Pixel 3, but then we also see what look like two speaker cutouts either side of the USB-C port on the bottom edge. This would be a huge disappointment if it turns out to be the case.
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Unread 2019-07-10, 03:22 PM   #11649
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Android Q Beta 5 has a new dark boot screen, but not for all Pixels





One of the rumored additions in Android Q Beta 5 was a dark boot screen on Pixel devices, which would address a common complaint that rebooting your phone at night flashes you with a bright light. The feature has made an appearance in the latest beta, but not for all devices.
Starting with Android Q Beta 5, the Pixel boot screen has now switched to a dark background, but the rest of the animation is identical. The boot sceen doesn't seem to be affected by dark mode being on of off — it's simply always dark (after the first reboot with Q, anyway).
The one annoying caveat is that, at least for now, the new background isn't available on all Pixels. We couldn't get it working on anything other than a Pixel 3/3XL, and our friends at 9to5Google are reporting the same. There doesn't appear to be a technical reason why the earlier Pixels can't have a dark boot animation, but perhaps they will in a later Q release.
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Unread 2019-07-10, 03:24 PM   #11650
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Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ official press images leak, showing off new gradient color scheme



The Samsung Galaxy S10 is a month away from its official launch, but we already know a great deal about it. Blurry pictures and renders have already been leaked, but now the first press images are available, and we know a little more about the 5G model.
The below images come from WinFuture, and they match what we've already seen in renders. The Note10 will ditch most of its remaining bezel in favor of a centered in-screen camera hole, and the stylus we all know and love is still present. At least two colors will be available — silver and black.

Previous

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Meanwhile, Ishan Agarwal on Twitter has posted images of the Note 10+, which looks nearly identical. The only visible differences are that the plus model is a bit bigger, and there are more sensors on the back of the phone (next to the camera).


SamMobile is also reporting that the 5G version will come in storage capacities of 256GB, 512GB, and... 1TB. That will make the Note 10 one of the few phones currently available with that much storage, matching the highest-end Galaxy S10+. I don't know what anyone needs that much storage for, but maybe you really need to record 4K video all the time.
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