The Google Pixel and Pixel XL: Everything we know so far

We’re at the start of the month when Google is supposedly bringing out two new Android reference smartphones, and we’re nothing but excited. This territory used to be called Nexus, the brand name Google used to indicate that these were what Android devices are supposed to be like, but times are a-changin’ – we hear that the brand name will be changed to Pixel this year, although we don’t really know if it will just be the handsets (and the Pixel C hybrid from last year, or if it will include tablet devices. So here’s everything we think we know so far, and we’ve ranked these factoids from being unlikely, possible, very likely, and sure.

So what is the Google Pixel?

The Pixel will be the new reference Android smartphone for Android, and it will be bringing a bigger variant which will be called the Pixel XL. The Nexus brand name will be forgotten, unless Google revives it in upcoming devices. Two device is par for the course for the mothership, as with the years past.

htc-nexus-sailfish

The Pixel and Pixel XL will surely come with Google’s latest and greatest Android version, and it will be priced very near the flagship models from other manufacturers.

CERTAINTY: Very Likely

Manufacturer

Countless leaks of these new smartphones point to HTC being the manufacturer of the two smartphones. This is a sort of homecoming for Google back to the Taiwan-based manufacturer, with HTC producing the original Nexus One phone. Last year, Google went with Huawei for the Nexus 6P and to long-time partner LG for the Nexus 5X. HTC is in a little bit of a rut these days, and it seemed pretty nice of Google to help out one of its partners. Hopefully, the Pixel and the Pixel XL will help build back consumer confidence in HTC.

CERTAINTY: Very Likely

Launch Date

xl_googlepixeltweet-650-80

This one we are pretty sure of. Google themselves tweeted a teaser video that they will be having a launch event on October 4, and the video contained the outline of a handset. We know that invites have gone out, and we’re expecting Google to unveil the Pixel and the Pixel XL on that date. What we aren’t sure of are the other devices that might be launched together with these two smartphones.

CERTAINTY: Sure

Design and Display

Again, the numerous leaks and rumors have given us a good idea at the aesthetic design and display spec of the Pixel and the Pixel XL. The Pixel will be the smaller of two, sporting a 5-inch form factor with the display going up to Full HD (1080p). The Pixel XL will have a 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED display. If you notice, these are noticeably smaller than the Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P from last year, but it seems like Google wants to give the phones more manageability in daily usage.

pixel-leak

From the leaks, we can see that the design of the Pixel and the Pixel XL will be similar – probably an aluminum unibody make, and a round fingerprint scanner at the back. Rumors say that there will be a two-tone finish at the back of the phone, with the top half covered with glass. That’s an interesting design choice, but we will have to see come October 4.

CERTAINTY: Screen size, sure. Other design cues, possible.

Chipset, camera, battery

Different screen sizes aside, tech pundits and other sources say that both phones may sport similar internal specs. That makes sense for HTC to do. Both smartphones will most likely be powered by the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset. Google may go with 3GB RAM for the Pixel, while the Pixel XL will most likely come with 4GB RAM. Storage configurations will be standard at 32GB and 64GB, though it is likely that Google will offer a Pixel XL variant with 128GB internal storage.

pixel-rear-leak

The 12MP main camera at the rear of both phones is rumored to be the Sony IMX378 sensor, an upgrade from the IMX377 sensor on both Nexus phones from last year. A lot of the rumored camera features like OIS, PDAF, and LaserAF are all coming from the HTC 10 design as well. Hopefully, Google will also bump up its native Android camera app to give more features to users.

[embedded content]

The Pixel is reportedly sporting a 2,770mAh battery, while the larger Pixel XL will come with a 3,450mAh battery. These are not the highest numbers around in terms of battery capacity, but the new battery saving features in Android Nougat combined with a power efficient SD821 chipset should theoretically be better than last year Nexus devices. Both phones will adopt the USB Type-C port, and will support fast charging via the SD821 chipset.

CERTAINTY: Very likely

Software

If Google is indeed launching the Pixel and the Pixel XL on October 4, they will no doubt come with Android Nougat out of the box. Rumors say that Google saved a lot of features for the launch of these reference phones, pointing to the probability that Android Nougat 7.1 could be launching with these two phones. But this may not be all.

android-7-0-nougat

Google has been playing with a new hybrid OS called Andromeda – a mash-up of Android and Chrome OS. Rumors say that Google may tease a developer version of Andromeda for these Pixel devices.

CERTAINTY: Android Nougat, sure. Andromeda, possible.

Virtual Reality

google_daydream

Google has been pushing technology to its virtual reality (VR) efforts. In Android, that VR platform will be called Daydream, and the Pixel and Pixel XL will surely be Daydream capable. The Daydream VR platform is expected to be fully unveiled to the public at this launch date, and we’re excited to see how these two phones will handle VR.

CERTAINTY: Very likely

Cost and sales

Solid rumors say that the Pixel (the smaller one) will retail at USD$649. If this is true, then the Pixel will be significantly more expensive than the Nexus 5X that came before it. By assumption, that will put the Pixel XL very near iPhone 7 Plus pricing. This is a curious move for Google if ever, as Nexus devices have always tried to balance pricing and feature set. The Pixel and the Pixel XL sound like they are real premium flagship devices.

xl_googlepixelleak-650-80

Rumors also say that you will have two weeks to decide whether the Pixel or the Pixel XL is worthy of replacing your current phone, with sales reportedly starting by October 20.

CERTAINTY: Possible

Conclusion

Google is making big changes to its reference phone and hardware policy this year. 2016 will usher in the Pixel brand name and relegate Nexus to the background. Also, Google might be trying to compete with Samsung and Apple at the top of the flagship pile, if the pricing information on these two handsets are true. It remains to be seen if the actual hardware will convince buyers to shell out come launch date.

‘Legend of the Skyfish’ brings Little Red Hook to a marine fantasy world

Legend of the Skyfish is a new puzzle game that will get you hooked over the weekend. It’s another action adventure that will challenge your wits and speed to the core. It’s more than just a puzzle game as you’ll have to go on a journey with the Little Red Hook to fight against the Skyfish. Don’t be deceived by the name as Skyfish is one monstrous enemy. You will have to go with the Moonwhale to combat.

This game will also change how you look at fishing because you will be using the fishing pole as a mighty weapon. Along the way, you can upgrade the pole to make the journey more interesting. Discover the beautiful hand-painted art as you go through each action puzzle. In every level, you will meet enemies so unique-looking that you will never forget.

Legend of the Skyfish features 45 beautifully handcrafted levels and enchanting background music. Fight the giant bosses in epic fights and prove that you are the best and smartest. This will remind you a bit of Zelda but it a cuter way. You can say it’s a classic adventure of some aqua fantasy where the Little Red Hook uses a fishing pole as a sword.

Download Legend of the Skyfish from the Google Play Store

Samsung Galaxy Apps app updated with better user interface, Wear category added

Samsung just updated its very own Galaxy Apps. It’s one of those routine upgrades that delivers minor improvements to the app. There’s no major or new feature added but the interface looks much better now. It’s cleaner and looks easier on the eyes. With the updated Galaxy Apps, we’re also introduced to a new facility for push notifications for future Samsung promos.

Officially listed as Version 4.2.01-7, the update also brings a special category section for the watch faces. This is obviously for the Gear smartwatches. If you own a Galaxy Gear, you can quickly access the Galaxy Apps app to view all related offerings. Just check the Gear section and you’ll be shown a list of available watch faces or apps to download.

The Galaxy Apps is where you can find apps for the Galaxy smartphone, tablet, or Gear smartwatch. It’s a one-stop-shop for all Galaxy-related apps. Of course, you can always get apps from the Google Play Store but in Galaxy Apps, you can see all apps relevant to your Samsung device in one place.

Update is available straight from the Galaxy Apps Store. Visit the app and see if a new software version is ready for download.

galaxy-apps-updated

VIA: SAMMOBILE

‘Pumped BMX 3’ released with more top riders, crazier bike stunts

After almost two years, Noodlecake Studios is once again ready with another Pumped BMX adventure sports game. The last one was released back in December 2014 which let us to digitally live our biking dreams. This Pumped BMX 3 is the final instalment to the hit series according to the game developer so make sure you download it and start riding high and impress us with more stunts.

Pumped BMX 3 now features more dirt bikes to choose from. There are also more riders and more levels where you will be showing off new stunts. There are more challenges you need to finish but don’t worry, the devs added more awesome BMX tricks that you can combine.

About 24 new bike tricks are possible starting with those spins, grinds, and flips. One of your many goals is to get higher scores than the other riders. You need to finish each and every challenge–over 720 of them within 60 levels! These challenges are spread across six environments from the woods to the mountains to the wetlands and foothills.

If you’re really into the sport and not just the mobile game, you’ll be happy to know that more dirt jumpers are featured. The top ones like Dennis Enarson and Chase Hawk are now included so choose your rider, customize your bike, and start dirt jumping your way to victory.

[embedded content]

Download Pumped BMX 3 from the Google Play Store

E FUN rolls out Nextbook Ares 11 2-in-1 Tablet with Android OS

E FUN has been around for years but it has yet to become big in the industry. It may not beat the top ranking OEMs today but we know the brand as a reliable manufacturer of affordable tablets. E FUN Nextbooks are often announced during CES each year beginning with the Jelly Bean-powered 7GP tablet back in 2013. Earlier this year at the CES 2016, the company showed off the Nextbook Ares 2-in-1 Android tablet.

The Nextbook Ares 11 2-in-1 tablet can be an ideal choice for an Android tablet because it allows you to do mobile computing with more speed and efficiency. The tablet arena isn’t exactly as loud as before but there are those who still need tablets for web browsing, social media, and gaming. The new Nextbook is a tablet and laptop in-one–more like a hybrid mobile device. The tablet transforms into a laptop with the detachable keyboard.

The device runs Android OS and comes equipped with an 11-inch LCD screen with 1366 × 768 resolution, Intel Atom Z3735F processor, 1GB RAM, and 64GB built-in storage. E FUN offers a Windows version of the Nextbook Ares 11 but the company is trying to convince us that the Android variant is more recommended because of its many advantages.

E FUN’s VP of sales said:

“There are many reasons why people select an Android tablet. It offers so many advantages over other operating systems, that it fits virtually seamlessly into any application. Our Nextbook Ares 11 2-in-1 tablet is the embodiment of what the Android operating system offers tablet users.”

Why choose Android over other platforms? Five simple reasons: Storage, Google Play Store, Customization, Platform, and Value. Most Android tablets offer microSD card slot for storage so even when built-in storage is small, you can have more storage. The Google Play Store allows Android apps to run so your device is more useful and entertaining. Android also offers customization so you can say the tablet is really yours. Set it up according to your preferences.

The Nextbook Ares 11 is affordable under $200. That’s very cheap for a tablet that is rich in features. You can get the Nextbook Ares 11 2-in-1 tablet from Walmart in stores and online for only $179.

SOURCE: E FUN