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Pixel 3A And 3A XL Is Coming And Its Better Than We Thought

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Google I/O 2019

After a not-so-surprising introduction during the Google I/O, the Pixel 3A and 3A XL are officially part of mass information. Google dropped the curtains on their mid-range phones, and there’s a lot of interesting tidbits of tech features that will make you think about purchasing one for your self.

Pros

The Pixel 3A and 3XL are part of Google’s flagship line of smartphones but poised at a more affordable price of only $399 for the 3A and the 3XL with a bigger screen at $479, both relatively cheaper than the preceding Pixel 3 and 3XL–50% cheaper.

Although priced cheaper than their premium counterparts, camera features for both 3A and 3A XL remain at par with their more expensive versions. Suffice to say, the mid-range phones are hardly any different from the Pixel 3 or 3XL in terms of camera performance; both the Pixel 3 and 3A will have 8 megapixel front cameras and 12 megapixel rear cameras, and both have Google’s Night Sight feature that definitely gives it an edge compared to other mid-range phones available in the market. The 3A and 3A XL will also have the timelapse feature that’s going to be available on all Pixel phones.

Most of the issues faced by the previous Pixel lines might have been caused by carrier exclusivity to Verizon. Fortunately for the new Pixel 3A and 3A XL, Google will still keep Verizon but will also now include carriers like T-Mobile, Sprint, US Cellular, Spectrum Mobile (Charter) and C Spire. This means that these devices will be available from these carriers without the need to go through the hassle of only working with Google and Verizon for their devices.

The headphone jack is making a comeback. Considering that most phones available in the mid-range smartphone market still has its headphone jacks, it’s a great strategy for Google to bring it back on this particular set of smartphones. It’s unreasonable for them to ask mid-range consumers to purchase an extra set of Bluetooth or type-C earphones.

Cons

The first on this list is debatable. The processor included in the new Pixel 3A and 3A XL is definitely slower compared to the Pixel 3 and 3XL. Specifically, the 3A and 3A XL use a slower version with the Snapdragon 670 processor compared to Pixel 3’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 845. This is one of the deal breakers of having great features in a cheaper phone. However, it is debatable because it’s least likely that you will significantly notice the difference when performing day-to-day tasks but you might notice a bit more lag when using the smartphone for gaming, but nonetheless not much of an annoyance.

As previously reported, the Pixel phones aren’t big on the aesthetic department of developing their smartphones, as a matter of fact, it follows the same appearance from that of Pixel 3 and 3XL. However, the 3A and 3A XL have an even cheaper quality to it. The majority of the phones uses a polycarbonate cover or putting it simply, plastic. The screen’s still glass but also cheaper but not entirely bad. It’s definitely better compared to other mid-range phones available.

There are also some features you would expect Google to cut off for a more affordable smartphone. Specifically, features like face detection or on-screen fingerprint capabilities.

Probably what we’re most particular about is that the Pixel 3A and 3A XL phones have no water-proofing functionalities. In the age of modern smartphone development surely water-proofing should be a given.

Overall, the Google Pixel 3A and 3A XL are both commendable pieces of technology that will definitely hold its own in the mid-range market but will still have to compete with emerging brands such as Motorola and the countless Chinese manufacturers.

The Pixel 3A and 3A XL both are great phones to have based on performance and features that are packaged along with it as long as you’re willing to let go of some of the luxuries that more high-end phones have to offer.

For a more detailed specs list:

SpecificationPixel 3 APixel 3 XL
Display5.66.0
Resolution2220 x 10802160 x 1080
ProcessorSnapdragon 670
(2.0GHz and 1.7GHz, octa-core)
Snapdragon 670
(2.0GHz and 1.7GHz, octa-core)
RAM4GB4GB
Storage64GB64GB
Rear Camera12 megapixels12 megapixels
Front Camera8 megapixels8 megapixels
Battery3,000 mAh3,700 mAh
Water ProtectionN?AN/A
Wireless ChargingNoNo
Ports USB-C, 3.5mm headphone
jack
USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
Weight0.32 pounds0.37 pounds
Dimensions6.0 x 2.80 x 0.306.0 x 3.00 x 0.30
Price$399$479
Misc.Google Duplex spam
transcription,
Active Edge squeezable sides,
Night Sight
Google Duplex spam
transcription,
Active Edge squeezable sides,
Night Sight

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Business

What’s The Next Move For Huawei?

Huawei assures users that they will still be receiving security updates and after-sales services amidst the Google/Android ban. Sources also revealed that company is poised to launch its own OS, Hongmeng, anytime soon. Click To Tweet

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Huawei assures users that they will still receive security updates and after-sales services following the Google/Android ban.
Sources revealed that Huawei is poised to release its own OS, Hongmeng. Photo: Open Grid Scheduler | Flickr | CC0 1.0

Following the decision of Google and Android to ban Huawei from contracting their services in conjunction of the government-led war against the Chinese tech giant and the executive order released by President Donald Trump, Huawei crumbles to assure users that current owners of both Huawei and Honor phones will still be receiving security updates and after-sales services.

In a short, unsubstantiated statement, Huawei highlight’s the company’s contribution to the growth of Android globally as Android phones from the company has seen unprecedented growth while other smartphone vendors are shrinking or stagnant. While the company promises the continuance of the services provided by Android to their smartphone users, and the promise extends to those units that were already shipped and in stock in stores globally, no additional guarantees were made beyond that.

“Huawei has made substantial contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world. As one of Android’s key global partners, we have worked closely with their open-source platform to develop an ecosystem that has benefitted both users and the industry,” said a statement from Huawei.

“Huawei will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products, covering those that have been sold and that are still in stock globally […] We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally,” they added.

The revocation of Huawei’s license follows after the heightened crackdown by the U.S. government on Chinese companies. Previously, the Trump administration has been lobbying to its allies to ban Huawei’s 5G technology citing that the Chinese government can use the company for espionage and economic sabotage.

The latest blow against Huawei is the decision of Google to revoke the Android license of Huawei, forcing the company to use only the open source version of the operating system. A Google spokesperson confirmed that “Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices.”

Because of the ban, Huawei is now restricted from using the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), cutting the company off from critical Google apps and services that consumers outside of China expect on Android devices.

While existing phones from Huawei would probably be not affected by the decision, the future of updates and for those phones as well as any new phones Huawei would produce remains in question. But it seems like Huawei has prepared for the day that this would happen and already has a plan B in mind.

Earlier today, the China-based company released its very own operating system, Hongmeng. A source has confirmed that Huawei is set to officially launch Hongmeng, as the company has been working on it since 2012. The company has been testing the new OS on selected devices under closer door and closed environment. The source also said that the testing was accelerated for the new operating system to be ready for situations just like this.

Nonetheless, it is still unclear whether Hongmeng will be the official name of the OS from Huawei. Experts note that even if Huawei can successfully launch its operating system, the company will still be faced with the challenge of establishing an app ecosystem. It would take Huawei a lot of time to build apps that are compatible with the new operating system.

Huawei accounted for 19% of the worldwide smartphone market and became the second largest smartphone manufacturer, overtaking Apple, in Q1 2019.

The blunder faced by Huawei following the Google ban has caused severe market instability not only for Huawei but for the volatile US tech markets as stocks drop following the shocking decision. Huawei is dragging the entire tech industry with it as market uncertainty brought upon by the apparent tech trade wars. As Huawei’s future remains at the limbo, it brings with it the rest of the tech world.

“If this remains enforced, it’s going to create some opportunity, but companies are working with their compliance departments to get out of the way of this Huawei situation,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial. That’s difficult because “Huawei has its tentacles in so many parts of the technology sector. That’s why this is not a one-day event.”

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Google

5 Days After Release, Google ‘Pixel 3A / 3A XL’ Criticized For Poor Performance

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Google released new Pixel line, the 3a and 3a XL

Back in the days, when Google releases new hardware, the fascination towards these new product lines are apparent. Indeed, when it comes to devices, Google is the Picasso or the Michaelangelo of modern technology, who’s craftsmanship resonates into something spectacular.

Recalling the early days of the Google Pixel, and how demand strike due to the exceptional performance, Google was in the pinnacle of mobile success. The excellent taste of build quality, the incredibly smooth performance, and most importantly, the cameras. Every crisp detail witnessed on the Google Pixel sounded as if its the phone to beat.

Then came the Pixel 2 and 2 XL, which most of us concludes as the most solid Android device Google offered. The Pixel 2 and 2 XL is the perfect example of the common phrase don’t judge the book by its cover. The phone may not look like the future of smartphones, but it packs a beast that probably surpasses its successor, the Pixel 3.

Google Pixel Camera Feat
Google Pixel Camera. Photo: Maurizio Pesce | Flickr | CC BY 2.0

The Pixel 2 sports a 5-inch screen while its larger variant, the Pixel 2 XL, shows off an edge-to-edge 6-inch display with 18:9 aspect ratio. Priced at an exceptionally budget-friendly range, the Pixel 2 and 2 XL now runs on Android Q beta for better photo quality, water resistant, and a much easy Google Assistant button.

At some point, these two previous Pixel phones were a testament to Google’s years of hard work and experimentation to offer top-tier mobile performance. And that transpire into incredible sales turn around with both Pixel and Pixel 2 running out of stock. In 2017, Google sold 3.9 million Pixel and Pixel 2 phones. Although the Pixel and Pixel 2 are no exception to any smartphone flaws, these devices maintained a steady reputation for Google.

Now, heading to Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL, Google’s most expensive Android device yet; this is where Google Pixel phones fall into a downhill slope. Aside from its high price point, the Pixel 3 made its predecessor, the Pixel 2, the juicier option. Without a doubt, the camera is Pixel phones’ creme-de-la-creme, and it got better in Pixel 3 via its machine-learning software that enhances photo quality. But, its weak battery life and sparse memory management (sporting 4GB RAM while others do 6GB) suck the life out of the Pixel 3. A report from 9to5google.com revealed that six months after the Pixel 3’s release, owners are still facing an ample amount of issues that Google failed to address.

Google Pixel 3 XL with the Google logo.
Google Pixel 3 XL. Photo: Tony Webster | Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Continuing to its latest flagship, the Pixel 3a and 3a XL, Google’s budget-friendly alternative to the Pixel 3, the response towards the new Android device seem to fall short due to some shortcomings. Five days after its most awaited release, consumers in various forums and social media sites backlashed over the Pixel 3a’s poor performance.

Usually, Google is amassed of admirations and praises due to its unique and potent mobile craftsmanship. This time, however, as much as Google wants to mitigate the Pixel and Pixel 2’s success, it might have been the worst one yet.

Claims regarding Google’s Digital Wellbeing software slowing down Pixel 3’s performance is all over Reddit. A thread from Reddit user “ploewer” details that after turning the Digital Wellbeing feature, the Pixel 3 runs like a real flagship. Hence, a software that should be meant as a helpful tool for the device turned out to be an off-putting feat.

Google Digital Wellbeing is a transparent tool that monitors your usage and maintains the balance between life and tech. In a sense, it’s Google’s response to the increasing number of smartphone addictions. Well, the Digital Wellbeing software should not turn your Pixel 3 into a sluggish device. It should be a useful feat that runs in the background and tracks your overall activity in both apps and device in general. These data are valuable, especially if you’re aiming for a more productive day instead of spending most of your time staring at the screen.

If more evidence proves that the Digital Wellbeing software, indeed, slows down the Pixel 3’s performance, it’s a total let down, especially for a feature that intends to be useful. As of the moment, Google is yet to respond with regards to these claims from some Pixel owners. And as per its temporary resolution, the only thing to do is to disable the feature.

Pixel 3 and its budget-friendly counterpart, the Pixel 3a, is leading Google to massive setbacks. Pixel 3a and 3a XL owners complain about weaker camera performance. And the most glaring issue faced by most users is the device’s slower performance, a speed that rivals its predecessor in an off-putting way.

Undoubtedly, Pixel 3a/3a XL price cuts may be appealing to some consumers. However, this comes for some spec cuts too. So, did Google unwilling shuts Pixel 3’s hopes after 3a’s release? Or, is Google becoming a weary smartphone maker?

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Android

Android Q Is Now Available In Beta And Here Are Things You Should Be Excited About

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Today, over 2.5 billion devices in the world are powered by Google’s Android operating system. Good as it may sound for business, but that’s certainly a big number to satisfy and Google’s working double time to meet customer demands.

During Google I/O, they announced the new Android OS called Android 10 Q. They’re picking up unfinished business with last year’s Android 9 Pie, and I could almost hear everyone at attendance in the conference sigh ’Finally.’

There are tons of new features coming with the latest Android 10 Q that would undoubtedly make rivals like Apple have a hard time looking away.

I’m saying it now, Google’s updates on the Android 10 Q isn’t just for show. There are useful and practical features that would surely give it a boost against competitors.

Data Security and Privacy

For starters, in a critical time of discussing privacy protection in the digital age, Google has decided to take a more proactive role in trying to meet expectations.

One of which is allowing some functionalities on devices powered by Android 10 Q through more advanced AI tech. What Google presented was that information can now be processed locally without the need to send data from the device to their servers and back. In other words, Google won’t be having a copy of the information you put into their system.

Second of which is through allowing security updates to reach more users more efficiently. In the past, security updates take too long because they’re packaged along with major updates that manufacturers and sometimes also carriers take too long to ship. With what Google calls its Project Mainline, they can send security updates through the Google Play Store.

Project Mainline wouldn’t be able to perform complete software updates, but it will be good enough to mitigate issues on prolonged security updates, and it will also be able to detect and patch bugs faster.

Dark Theme

Like many other devices and applications, the Android 10 Q is also joining the bandwagon and will be introducing their version of dark mode.

As expected, it will be able to turn your device to black by toggling a few buttons. When using the battery saver mode, the dark theme will automatically be triggered since the great thing about Android 19 Q’s dark theme is its pure black versus the grayish black some developers opt for. In this sense, devices tend to save more energy.

Gestures

At first glance, the gestures on the Android 10 Q might seem familiar. That’s because it is. It’s pretty much copied from Apple’s gesture commands.

In Android 10 Q, there’s a thin white line at ghe bottom of the screen that you can prompt to perform gestures. You swipe up and drag across to go into a multitasking view. You swipe across it quickly to switch between apps.

But the difference it has compared to Apple and probably why it’s better is that the thin white line at the bottom is its own entity instead of being part of the screen. It doesn’t cover the bottom.

Moreover, and probably up for debate, Google has also decided to abandon the back button and replace it with a sideswipe motion. At the moment, it’s still to be determined whether it’s from the right of the screen across, the other way around or both. Personally, this is a great feature either way, but as a righty, I would appreciate it as a sideswipe motion from the right across the screen.

Live Caption

Probably the most significant feature introduced in the Android 10 Q is the Live Caption. Quite literally, it enables your device to place captions instantly. This can be used during video calls, videos and more.

What Live Caption does is transcribe audio when triggered. This can easily be set up in settings and once triggered, a black screen will pop up to place text as you’re watching a video or talking to a friend. Text size and screen space can also be adjusted to your preference.

Moreover, in line with Google’s commitment to privacy, Live Caption can process information locally on the device too. Although it may take a few seconds of lag it’s undoubtedly something in its early days and would surely take on more improvements in the future.

In fact, the feature is seen on Google’s other platforms, putting it on a mobile device is something still worth calling at the edge of innovation.

At the moment, it is only available for the English language but I reckon Google will soon work on making it possible for other languages as well.

Android | Twitter

The beta version of Android 10 Q is available today on more devices compared to other Android OS probably because Google wants more people to test it our before it officially launches as an Android OS update.

Here are the list of devices that can try out the beta version:

Give it a try and let us know what you think!

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