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Huawei Mate 40 Pro hands-on: Modernizing the Mate

The Mate series is Huawei’s high-end suite of flagship devices. Last year’s Huawei Mate 30 Pro had a premium design, a stupendous camera, and fantastic battery life. It’s a year later and Huawei has announced its successor. The Huawei Mate 40 Pro is here, and it seeks to modernize the Mate line.

Read more details about the Huawei Mate 40 Pro

With a faster display, a faster chipset, and faster charging, the Mate 40 Pro is Huawei’s answer to the 2020 premium flagship smartphone race. Here’s our early hands-on experience with the latest Huawei device.

Design and display: Baby steps

Huawei Mate 40 Pro held in the hand showing the rear mystic silver finish

Credit: Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

It’s clear that Huawei is out to compete with Samsung, Oppo, and Apple in the high-end space. The Mate 40 Pro’s glass and metal design looks elegant and sleek, especially in this Mystic Silver model color. This new colorway gives off different colors depending on the lighting conditions. It takes the circular camera theme from the Mate 30 Pro and the large punch-hole selfie camera from the P40 Pro Plus to modernize the design.

The Mate 40 Pro looks and feels like a Mate 30 Pro and P40 Pro Plus hybrid.

Let’s take a tour of the Mate 40 Pro. On the top are a speaker, microphone, and IR blaster. The left is completely bare. On the right side is a red power button and separate volume rocker. The bottom presents a USB-C port, microphone, speaker, and dual SIM tray. There’s a large circular camera bump on the back of the device.

The phone feels weighty and sturdy in the hand. The buttons feel rather stiff, which oftentimes makes them tricky to press. The rails feel comfortable and grippy, while the frosted glass on the back is contrastingly slippery. The included clear case combats this and I’ve defaulted to using it in the case for the time being.

See also: Huawei P40 Pro review: Refinement done right

The optical in-display fingerprint scanner feels responsive. However, it isn’t the quickest in-screen scanner on the market. Haptics feel crisp, though not as good as the Pixel 4’s or iPhone 11’s. The hybrid stereo speakers are loud but rather tinny.

Huawei Mate 40 Pro showing the home screen at an angle on a bench

Credit: Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

The 6.76-inch Flex OLED 90Hz display is an incremental upgrade over the previous device’s panel. The curved edges make the phone look and feel sleek but mean that glare can be a problem under direct light. The panel suffers from a slight brightness shift off-axis too. That said, it’s sharp, bright, and responsive. The 90Hz refresh rate makes the Huawei Mate 40 Pro feel more up to date than the Mate 30 Pro’s 60Hz panel.

Related: 90Hz smartphone display test: Can users really feel the difference?

We’d have liked to see a 120Hz display here given the projected price point and target market. The Huawei Mate 40 Pro’s direct competitors sport higher-resolution or higher-refresh-rate panels. This puts the Mate 40 Pro at a disadvantage right out of the gate, but we’ll run our suite of display testing to see how it stacks up in real life.

Performance and software: Solid progress

Huawei Mate 40 Pro held in the hand on the snapchat app gallery page

Credit: Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

Huawei’s system-on-chip nomenclature has deviated from its three-digit naming convention. The chipset powering the Huawei Mate 40 Pro is Kirin 9000, the first 5nm SoC with an integrated 5G modem. This puts it in a good position to compete with Qualcomm’s latest and greatest Snapdragon 865 Plus SoC, in both processing and cellular performance.

Huawei’s Kirin 9000 is the first 5nm SoC with an integrated 5G modem.

With 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, the Mate 40 Pro feels quick and snappy. I have yet to experience any lag or drops in performance. I played a couple of 3D games and found those to run fine, too. Zipping through the OS and App Gallery was as quick as you’d expect from a flagship smartphone. This is undoubtedly helped by the 90Hz display.

Huawei Mate 40 Pro close up of the punch hole selfie cameras

Credit: Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

The Huawei Mate 40 Pro comes with a slightly smaller 4,400mAh battery than the predecessor’s 4,500mAh cell. Included is a beefier 66W SuperCharge brick instead of last year’s 40W plug. Wireless charging has also been upgraded — this time it’s 50W, up from the Mate 30 Pro’s 27W.

Read more: How fast charging really works

Huawei’s software naming scheme has taken a different route. Historically, the firm has numbered its EMUI software the same as the Android version number. Unfortunately, EMUI 11 is based on Android 10, not Android 11. This means that right out of the gate, the software is out of date. This is likely due to the ongoing Huawei trade ban. We don’t know exactly when Huawei devices will get Android 11.

Like with other Huawei phones from the past year, there are no Google Play services on the Mate 40 Pro.

EMUI 11 looks and feels very similar to EMUI 10, with a few notable updates. There are new always-on display themes and a tweaked settings menu. Also included are Petal Search suggestions in the pulldown, accessible from the home screen.

Read more: Huawei’s Play Store alternative has gotten better, but it’s the apps that count

Continue reading: Everything you need to know about the Huawei ban

Cameras: Incremental upgrades

Huawei Mate 40 Pro taking a photo

Credit: Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

At the heart of the Huawei Mate 40 Pro’s camera system is its huge 50MP RYYB we’ve seen before on the P40 Pro. This is still the largest camera sensor ever put into a mainstream flagship smartphone at a whopping 1/1.28 inches. The RYYB setup means the sensor swaps the conventional green subpixels in favor of yellow ones, which can pick up more light, improving low-light performance. We found this sensor to be fantastic in the P40 Pro and so we expect the same from this newer model.

Accompanying the main camera on the back is a 20MP ultra-wide sensor. Along with this is a 10X optical periscope zoom lens that outputs 8MP images. Then there’s a second 12MP telephoto camera. Finally, there’s a 3D camera for depth-sensing. Around the front is the main selfie shooter accompanied by an ultra-wide lens. Both of these reside in the large pill-shaped punch hole and output 12MP images.

Read more: Camera zoom explained: How optical, digital, and hybrid zoom work

Huawei Mate 40 Pro angled close up of the quad camera module

Credit: Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

Huawei is offering Ultra HD 4K 60fps video on both front and rear sets of cameras. It’s also allowing the rear shooter to capture 720p slow-motion footage at a whopping 7680fps — a feature introduced by its predecessor.

This stacked camera setup means business and looks to take on the competition with its sheer pixel power. Its large sensors should help it in low-light, and its feature-rich camera app should allow users to take exactly the photo that they want.

We’ll be sure to extensively test the Mate 40 Pro’s camera suite for Android Authority’s Huawei Mate 40 Pro review, coming soon.

In summary: Modernizing the Mate

Huawei Mate 40 Pro rear panel angled on a bench

Credit: Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

The Huawei Mate 40 Pro is a modernized version of last year’s device. It’s got faster charging, a faster chipset, and a faster display. All of this wrapped in a more 2020 package gives you a phone that looks set to compete in Europe and China with the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, iPhone 12 Pro Max, and the Oppo Find X2 Pro.

What do you think about the Huawei Mate 40 Pro? Let us know in the comments.

Android Authority

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A new major smartphone maker has just landed in Europe

Vivo X51 holding it in the hand showing the rear housing

Credit: Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority
  • Vivo has come to Europe and the UK.
  • The Vivo X51 5G is the first phone to hit the markets.
  • It’s essentially a renamed Vivo X50 Pro.

Vivo is generally ranked as one of the top six or seven smartphone manufacturers in the world, and it’s been gradually growing its global footprint in recent times. The brand launched in several markets in the Middle East and Africa last year, and it’s now launching in Europe and the UK.

The first phone as part of the Chinese brand’s entry into Europe is the Vivo X51 5G, which is essentially a Vivo X50 Pro with minor tweaks to software. Much like the X50 Pro, the X51 5G packs an upper mid-range Snapdragon 765G chipset, a 90Hz FHD+ OLED panel, and a 4,315mAh battery with 33W wired charging. The latter sees your phone going from zero to 100% capacity in a respectable 68 minutes.

The biggest reason to get the X51 5G might be the cameras though, packing a 48MP f/1.6 main camera (IMX598) with “gimbal” OIS for superior stabilization. Our own Dhruv Bhutani thought the X50 Pro’s identical camera setup yielded “incredible” low light images and “exemplary” 4K/60fps video performance. So we’re definitely expecting the same results from the X51 5G.

Other rear cameras include an 8MP ultra-wide camera and a pair of zoom-related shooters. An 8MP periscope lens handles 5x optical zoom shots, while a 13MP sensor handles 2x snaps and portrait shots. A punch-hole cutout up front plays host to a 32MP shooter.

Vivo X51 holding in the hand showing the home screen

Credit: Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

So what are those aforementioned tweaks to software, then? Well, Vivo notes that it worked with Google to make FunTouchOS more in line with stock Android and “close to European user habits.” It’s unclear if these changes are purely for European/global users or if it’s part of a wider revamp of Vivo’s Android skin. We’ve asked the company for more details and will update the article accordingly. Still, we’re glad to see a more stock-like look and feel as prior versions of Vivo’s skin looked like a poor iOS imitation.

Vivo also addressed software update commitments, although it may have left us with more questions than answers.

“Based on our long-term cooperation with Google, Vivo products will comply with Google’s Android security update rules. We provide software support during a period of four years, and Google security updates up to three years for X51,” the company told us in a briefing. We’re not really sure what “software support” entails but we’re guessing this doesn’t mean Android version updates, as security update pledges tend to outlast version update commitments.

In any event, other notable Vivo X51 5G features include Android 10 (with Android 11 coming “soon”), Bluetooth 5.1, dual-SIM connectivity, an in-display fingerprint sensor, and NFC. The phone starts at £749 for the sole 8GB/256GB variant in the UK. There’s no word on Euro pricing, but Vivo says the phone will be available in Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Poland.

Vivo also noted that it’s in talks with retailers and carriers about stocking phones. Looking for flagship Vivo phones like the Nex series or Vivo products other than phones in Europe? Well, the brand says you should “watch this space.”

Next: Who is BBK, the world’s second largest phone manufacturer?

Android Authority

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Samsung Galaxy S30 leaks mad early in renders from reputable source

  • Reliable leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer (aka @OnLeaks) just posted renders that allegedly depict the Samsung Galaxy S30.
  • The phone has a new camera design that makes the bump much more subdued.
  • This is a very early leak for the Galaxy S series, suggesting Samsung could launch the phone earlier than usual.

Earlier today, reliable smartphone leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer posted some images that he claims are of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S30. Usually, Galaxy S phones don’t start leaking like this until late December or early January. However, since there are multiple rumors suggesting Samsung could launch its newest flagships much earlier than usual in 2021, these early leaks appear to back up those rumors.

You can see the leaked images below. Keep in mind that Hemmerstoffer has a ton of clout when it comes to leaks such as these, but these are still leaks. As such, take them with the proverbial grain of salt.

Samsung Galaxy S30 renders

Samsung Galaxy S30 Leaked Render OnLeaks 2

Credit: OnLeaks

For the record, Hemmerstoffer says these renders are for the vanilla Galaxy S30, i.e. the smallest of the series as far as we know. He says it roughly measures 151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9mm. That last measurement increases to 9.0mm when you include the camera bump, though.

Speaking of the camera bump, it looks to be far more subdued in this design as compared to the Galaxy S20 series (and especially the Galaxy Note 20 series). We can’t conclude anything from the renders alone, but it does seem Samsung incorporated the bump module directly into the body of the phone. If that’s true, that’s a pretty brilliant way to keep the module’s thickness for the benefit of better photo quality while not increasing the thickness of the phone by as much.

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As expected, the renders also show off a centered selfie camera within a display cutout (no in-display selfie cam this time around) and the lack of a headphone jack. It appears Samsung is fully committed to going without the 3.5mm port in its flagships for good.

What do you think about these designs? Answer the poll above and then hit up the comments!

Android Authority

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Sony’s new $5,000 hologram display, and more tech news you need to know today

Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Friday, 16 October 2020.

1. Sony is trying to bring holograms to the world (again)

Sony's new $  5,000 hologram machine

Not for the first time, a major industry player is working on making holograms happen.

Sony’s new idea is a $ 5,000 15.6-inch display, built on a metal wedge, with stereoscopic 3D.

  • It’s called a Spatial Reality Display or ELF-SR1, and places like The Verge and Engadget had them arrive from Sony to test out.
  • It’s not new, as such. The effect has been used in 3D TVs and so on, but generally always fallen short of being more like a fun feature rather than truly useful for most people, even professionals.
  • But this is without glasses, which is a bonus.
  • Looking Glass also sells one, for $ 3,000, though it’s a little bit different.

What it does:

  • The Verge: “I plugged it into a powerful gaming computer, and fired up the first demo. A tiny, intricately detailed Volkswagen Atlas materialized in front of my face — and when I pressed a button, it floated right up out of the screen. A couple minutes later, I was watching a 4-inch tall anime girl dance her heart out inside Sony’s contraption, tapping her feet atop a floor of hexagonal mirrors. It’s the magic of stereoscopic 3D.”
  • Sony’s camera tracks your face and eyes, making real-time adjustments as you look at models, pictures, and so on.
  • It’s by no means perfect. It works for one viewer only, and it’s really an in-person effect only, not really demonstrable in our 2D world.
  • The Verge suggests the 3D illusion can be broken as you lean in too far, or move sides.
  • And people who witnessed it at the time, all the way back at CES, weren’t overly impressed, including my own colleagues here.
  • But things have evolved! And while I doubt anyone interested purely in consumer technology is lining up to buy (me included, I’ll leave it well alone) it might be something for engineers, scientists, architects, animators, and content creators in Hollywood and so on.
  • Sony has released an SDK for both Unreal and Unity.
  • Somewhat enjoyably, Sony will show this off at a virtual demo sign up on October 22nd at 3pm ET, but the 3D effect can’t really be shown so… who knows what we’ll see?

2. Samsung mocks Apple’s lack of charger, but how long until it backpedals? (Android Authority).

3. Google is finally going to close out Hangouts sometime in 2021. Chat will become Hangouts. Chat is part of Gmail. Hangouts disappears. Got it? (Android Authority).

4. Google Search is getting new AI tools to decipher your terrible spelling (The Verge).

5. Early iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro AnTuTu benchmarks are at odds with Apple’s claims for the A14 Bionic. Better, yes, but not 50% better? Will wait for more official benchmarks (

6. This is really interesting: Microsoft will give GameStop a share of Xbox’s digital revenues, which is, I think, unprecedented. And proves that physical retail is important enough that even Microsoft feels compelled to support it. We don’t know the magnitude of GameStop’s cut, either. (Ars Technica).

7. Sony gives in-depth look at PlayStation 5 UI in new video. 11 minutes of menus would normally not be interesting, but Sony’s new interface is much busier than the sparse PS4 (The Verge).

8. Twitter updates its ‘Hacked Materials’ policy after NY Post controversy (Engadget).

9. “I cannot in good faith recommend this Japanese desk tent”. The video is the kind of deadpan dry humor I needed (Gizmodo).

10. There’s “an email to a former board member” doing the rounds of VC Twitter and it is excruciating to read (Twitter).

11. The dire working conditions for Ring’s call center employees in the Philippines (NBC).

12. Old Faithful might not survive global warming (Earther).

13. “What’s older than we think?” (r/askreddit).

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Google Pixel 5 initial review: The best premium Pixel

The Google Pixel has been a premium product since its inception in 2016. Google wanted the series to rival the iPhone. That is, to have such a tight integration between software and hardware that the experience wasn’t just usable, it was delightful. Until now, however, the company has demanded a premium price to make this happen, but the fact is, Google just doesn’t yet have the die-hard fan base that Apple does. Because of this, Google has had a hard time moving units over the years.

This year, the Mountain View company is taking a different approach. Google is a software company first, and while it still wants the Pixel 5 to be its flagship smartphone for the year, it’s cut some corners to bring the price down to a more affordable level. While last year’s Pixel 4 started at $ 800, the Pixel 5 costs just $ 700.

Was the move worth it? Find out in our Google Pixel 5 review.

About this Google Pixel 5 review: So far, I’ve used the Google Pixel 5 over a period of four days. The phone was running Android 11 on the October 2020 security patch. Because we don’t believe four days is enough time to conduct a full Google Pixel 5 review, we’re offering you our initial review, with an update in the form of a full Google Pixel 5 review coming a bit later.

Google Pixel 5 Google’s first 5G smartphone
The Google Pixel 5 may not be the high-end Pixel we were expecting, but it’s a pretty compelling mid-range option. Google is going back to basics with the Pixel 5, ditching higher-end features like face recognition and the quirky Motion Sense gestures.

Design and display: Refining the basics

Google Pixel 5 display 1

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority
  • 144.7 x 70.4 x 8.0mm, 151g
  • Rear-mounted fingerprint sensor
  • Chrome power button
  • Aluminum and bio-resin design
  • IP68 water and dust resistance
  • 6-inch AMOLED (2,340 x 1,080)
  • 19.5:9 aspect ratio
  • Minimal bezels
  • Hole-punch selfie cutout
  • 90Hz adaptive refresh rate

When you look at the Google Pixel 5, it is immediately recognizable as a Google phone. It follows the same general design ethos as the Pixel 4a and Pixel 4a 5G and also snags various design elements from last year’s Pixel 4 series. The rounded design and squircle-shaped camera module have become staples for the Pixel series for two years running. The Chrome “G” logo near the bottom of the phone’s back side should help if you were still having trouble determining the phone’s origin.

This year, Google has brought back the rear-mounted fingerprint reader, which is a nice case of foresight on Google’s part considering the ongoing pandemic. The bottom of the phone houses a USB-C port and speakers. The right side sports the volume rocker and a chrome power button. These buttons take a bit of force to press and are fairly clicky, but I noticed they don’t feel quite as clicky as the Pixel 4a’s.

The body of the Google Pixel 5 is made of aluminum, with a special “bio-resin” composite (that’s sciencey jargon for plastic) poured on top. This gives it just a little bit more of a gritty feeling than the Pixel 4a, but the speckled look makes me wish it was even more coarse, like that of the sandstone OnePlus One. While the aluminum and bio-resin combo doesn’t feel quite as premium as the glass Pixel 4, it should certainly be more resistant to breaks and cracks, on the rear at least.

The Pixel 5 also sports IP68 water and dust resistance. This is a spec we expect to see in most flagship devices. It’s a relief to not have to worry about using your phone out in the rain. Combined with the aluminum and plastic design, the Pixel 5 should be quite sturdy overall. I’m a fan.

The display of the Pixel 5 is an FHD+ adaptive AMOLED that can achieve a refresh rate of 90Hz. Adaptive means it can dynamically switch between 60Hz and 90Hz depending on what the phone is doing, and it feels great. I’ve been a bit spoiled by the extremely fast 120Hz and 144Hz displays of other flagship devices, but the 90Hz display on the Pixel 5 didn’t bother me one bit.

Google Pixel 5 notch hole macro 1

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

The quality of the Pixel 5’s display is nothing short of fantastic. The colors look incredible and everything seems to pop right off the screen. The display of the Pixel 4a was one of the best we’ve tested this year, and there’s no doubt the display of the Pixel 5 touts similar quality. It’s just great.

This year’s Pixels have fantastic displays, and the Pixel 5’s is especially great.

There is a punch-hole in the top left side of the Pixel 5’s display. It houses the front-facing camera. I’m personally a huge fan of punch-hole selfie shooters because they’re about the same size as a notification icon, so they don’t feel like they’re in the way. My roommate hates the design, but this is a highly personal design opinion.

Overall, the Google Pixel 5 doesn’t feel quite as premium as the Pixel 4 before it, but it nails all the design choices that bring a good experience to a phone. While Google undoubtedly went more simplistic this year, I don’t think it needs to be fancy in its designs. Pixels are portals to the quintessential Google experience, and that’s all they really need to be.

Performance and battery: Less is more

Google Pixel 5 in hand 1 1

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
  • X55 5G mobile platform
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 128GB of storage
  • No microSD card expansion
  • 4,080mAh battery
  • 18W wired charging
  • Wireless and reverse wireless charging

Possibly one of the most controversial decisions Google made this year was not using the current flagship processor from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 865. Instead, it opted for the tuned-down Snapdragon 765G, which keeps several core features like 5G but cuts down on throughput to the camera as well as core processing speeds.

Many people may be upset that you can’t get a Pixel that competes with other flagships on a raw performance basis this year, but I’d wager that Pixels don’t need to be the fastest phones on the market. The whole point of the Pixel experience is a move towards ambient computing. That is, using your phone less and getting the information you need with your voice. Plus, the Pixel UI is so well-tuned to Pixel hardware, you probably won’t notice any slowdowns unless you’re playing the most demanding games the Play Store has to offer.

In everyday use, the Pixel 5 performed adequately. I didn’t notice any performance issues or slowdowns, and the phone jumped between apps with ease. There were no apps kicked from RAM due to the healthy 8GB of memory, while the 90Hz display made everything feel fluid. That being said, I don’t game on my phone very often, and there are sure to be plenty of dedicated gaming Pixel 5 reviews if you look around.

In benchmarks, the Google Pixel 5 performed well enough, but it certainly wasn’t the highest score for a Snapdragon 765G device. The Google Pixel 5 notched a score of 2,633 in Geekbench 4 single-core and 5,994 in multi-core. In comparison, the OnePlus Nord scored 2,853 and 7,896 in Geekbench 4 single- and multi-core tests, respectively.

One spec that the Snapdragon 765G does hold on to compared to the 865 is 5G connectivity. The Pixel 5 uses the slower Qualcomm X52 modem vs the X55 you’ll find in the flagship variant, but if you’re getting mid-band 5G in your area you could still see a nice boost in speeds. I was hanging with a friend on a rooftop recently and noticed I was pulling 150Mbps down on Google Fi 5G. If you’re on Verizon, the Pixel 5 supports mmWave 5G as well, which can pull down even more insane speeds.

5G probably isn’t a game-changer for most people, but it can pull some impressive speeds if you have coverage.

The Pixel 5 sports 128GB of storage, which should be adequate for most people. It is a bit funny that even the $ 350 Pixel 4a sports the same capacity, but that’s more of a positive for the Pixel 4a then a negative for the Pixel 5. Expandable storage would have been a good way to set the Pixel 5 further apart from the Pixel 4a or Pixel 4a 5G, but Google’s aggressive storage offloading via apps like Google Photos should make this a healthy capacity for most.

Another pretty massive change this year is the move to a much bigger battery on the Pixel 5. The phone sports a 4,080mAh cell. While that’s not quite as massive as some competing phones, it’s easily the biggest cell ever in a Pixel phone. For comparison, the Pixel 4 sported a 2,800mAh battery and used a more power-hungry processor in the form of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855. Considering the Pixel 4’s abysmal battery was the weakest point about the phone, the bigger cell is a welcome change.

In daily use, the battery life on the Pixel 5 was quite good. On an average day, the phone lasted nearly eight hours of screen-on time, equating to taking the device off the charger at 8:30 AM and seeing it die around 11 PM the next day. On a heavier day where I shot plenty of 4K video, used almost exclusively mobile data, and didn’t have service for a good portion of the day, the phone pulled closer to six hours of screen-on time. I took it off the charger at 7:30 AM that day and it had 10% left when I went to bed at 12:30 AM. Not bad.

The Pixel 5 ships with an 18W fast charger. While that’s an acceptable charging speed, it’s starting to feel quite slow compared to its competition. This was fast around the era of the original Pixel, but since then, even mid-ranged devices can hit 30W of charging, with other devices like the Oppo Find X2 Pro or OnePlus 8T hitting 65W from a cable. I feel like I say this every single time I review a Pixel, but I’d really like to see faster wired charging speeds from Google.

Google Pixel 5 on windowsill

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

That being said, Google has managed to pack wireless and reverse wireless charging into the Pixel 5. Considering this phone’s chassis is mostly made of aluminum, this is one of the first metal phones to rock wireless charging. To do this, Google cut out a hole in the aluminum chassis for the wireless charging coil, then coated the body in the bio-resin plastic we talked about earlier. Smart stuff.

Wireless charging is a spec that isn’t strictly necessary, but I’m extremely happy to see it on Google’s flagship Pixel. It’s one of those extra little bits that make the Pixel 5 worth choosing over the Pixel 4a or Pixel 4a 5G. Considering I have multiple wireless chargers hanging out around my apartment, it’s easy to keep the phone topped up at all times.

Camera: Wider with better video, otherwise more of the same

Google Pixel 5 taking a photo 3

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority
  • Main: 12MP
  • Wide: 16MP
  • Selfie: 8MP

Up until the Pixel 3, Google touted its impressive photo quality from a single camera using computational photography. But by the time the Pixel 4 launched, there was enough pressure from the rest of the industry to add another sensor. Weirdly, the Pixel 4 used a 2x telephoto sensor in addition to its main lens, which was a controversial choice considering it was touting the capabilities of its super-res zoom tech at the same time.

Go in-depth: Behind the scenes: Google’s Pixel cameras aren’t trying to be cameras at all

This year, Google is adapting to the blowback of the Pixel 4. It instead opted to add a wide-angle camera to the Pixel 5. This gives you three effective zoom ranges if you count the 2x super-res zoom from the main sensor. I’m personally happy to have a 0.6x wide-angle camera represented.

The main camera on the Pixel 5 is the same 12MP sensor we’ve seen effectively since the beginning of the Pixel line, and by and large, it looks wildly similar to images from the Google Pixel 4. The biggest difference I’ve noticed between the two phones is a shift towards warmer images, which will likely look a bit more pleasing to many people.

As stated earlier, the wide camera is 0.6x zoom, which gives you a decent amount of range but isn’t quite as wide as some other flagships on the market. The color profile does seem fairly similar to that of the main camera, but there’s a strange shift in view when you switch from standard to wide mode.

While the quality of the Pixel cameras has been considered incredible for many years, the unwillingness to adapt to change is starting to make Google’s cameras look a bit long in the tooth. Pixels have always had a pretty high amount of contrast and sharpness, which looked good when there wasn’t a ton of information from the sensor. However, now that camera sensors on other smartphones are getting larger, Google’s processing feels like a bit more of a crutch.

The comparison I can make here is that of programming for individual use cases versus creating an algorithm that will cover all cases. While the Pixel 5 can make people look quite good when it recognizes faces using semantic segmentation, busier scenes involving people will often process people like the rest of the scene. And while portrait mode can be good at cutting things out with a depth map (though it still struggles with hair), a larger sensor with real depth of field would work perfectly every time.

Look, Pixel 5 images look good in general, but scenes with a lot of detail in them can look busy and overly contrasted. It’s fairly easy to see when a camera has a small sensor. Even with the Pixel’s fantastic processing, you can still tell. While I don’t think most people are going to dislike images from the Pixel 5, it’s a bit frustrating to not see a fundamental size change after so much time. Like I say every year, hopefully, next year.

The sample images in this review have been compressed to optimize load times for the website. If you want to view all the images taken for this review in full resolution, you can do so here.

Almost everyone will like photos from the Pixel 5, but a bigger sensor would have maintained its reputation as the king of smartphone cameras.

That being said, this wouldn’t be a new Google flagship without some fun computational imaging features. And while none of the new features will blow the lid off your head as they have in previous Pixels, they’re still pretty cool.

The first new camera feature is called portrait light. This emulates a floating light source that you can shift around the scene and vary in intensity to add or reduce contrast to a subject’s face or clothes. It works quite well. You can use it on any photo, as long as there is a person detected in the image. You can even use it on old images, or images that haven’t actually been taken with the Pixel. Pretty slick. This feature will be coming to Google Photos down the line, but it’s on Google Pixel 4a 5G and Google Pixel 5 first.

The second feature is actually a nod to video, which is nice to see on a Pixel phone. This feature is called Cinematic Pan and uses slow-motion video and software cropping to produce some incredibly smooth pans. In use, this looks quite good, and it’s nice to see Google caring more about video features. There’s also a new stabilization mode menu, which will let you select between Standard, Locked, Active, and Cinematic Pan depending on what kind of movement you’re doing.

Portrait mode can now work in low light in conjunction with Night Sight. This will allow your subjects to stand out from the background even in low light, something only cameras with bigger sensors can usually do well. This feature is cool, and especially welcome considering the small sensor. Even against the huge Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra sensor, the Pixel 5 can still hold its own.

On the selfie side, we’re seeing what we’ve seen from previous Pixels. This is the same 8MP shooter you’re used to. It takes nice images overall, especially with the help of semantic segmentation. You can use portrait mode and Night Sight in selfie mode too, which offer 1.2x and 1.4x crops respectively. Selfie video has a time-lapse mode, which offers playback in 1x, 5x, 10x, 30x, and 120x speeds. This should be beneficial for people who want to vlog with their phones.

Speaking of video, Google has allowed for some pretty nice features here. Those include 4K 60fps recording, slow motion, a time-lapse mode, and four different stabilization modes. You’ve got Standard mode for light movement, Locked mode for far away still shots as if the phone was on a tripod, Active mode for heavy movement or running, and the Cinematic Pan I mentioned earlier.

Here’s a sample of 4k 30fps video footage in standard stabilization mode. Overall, I think the footage looks quite grainy, with a lot of noise in the shadows. I’m glad Google is adding all these new video features, but it would be a lot better if the sensor was bigger so the phone could capture more light.

Google’s camera app is quite good, though. Most features are very easy to find and the phone doesn’t feel like it’s got too many features you’ll never use. There are primary function tabs on the bottom with some extra features around the shutter, and deeper settings in the pull-down menu. I’m a fan.

The addition of a wide-angle camera was a good move, but I can’t stress how much I would love to see Google use a bigger sensor on the next Pixel. Processing on that small 12MP sensor will still be perfectly fine for most people, but when you compare it to other flagships shipping lately, the quality difference starts to show.

Software: Brilliantly simple

Google Pixel 5 Android norification tray 1

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority
  • Android 11
  • Pixel Launcher

The Google Pixel 5 ships with Android 11, running Pixel UI on top. This is widely considered one of the best skins on Android due to its tight integration with things like the Google Assistant. Google also, you know, makes Android, so you’d hope its take on the operating system would be good.

Android 11 added features that we previously lamented for not being in Pixel devices. It’s refreshing to finally have things like native screen recording. The new conversation notifications, on the other hand, are a handy way of grouping your important notifications from the non-important ones. Having your smart home controls a power button hold away is super convenient too. This is a legitimately great version of Android, and you can read more about its best features here.

Several software features are exclusive to Pixel devices. Call Screening, Now Playing, and Google Recorder are just a few, and it’s undoubtedly true that you’ll get one of the most intelligent Android experiences on a Google Pixel phone. Almost all of Pixel’s unique features are things you’ll actually use and not gimmicks too. That’s not something that can be said of every smartphone.

Another important part of the Pixel software experience is that Google guarantees software updates and support for at least three years. That means the Google Pixel 5 will definitely receive Android 14, and will likely end up with Android 15 as well. Very few Android smartphones guarantee this much software support. This makes the Pixel devices some of your best options if you want to continuously upgrade to the latest version of Android. Moreover, owning a Pixel means you also have access to Android betas, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Google Pixel 5 specs

  Google Pixel 5
Display 6-inch OLED
2,340 x 1,080 resolution
90Hz refresh rate
19.5:9 aspect ratio
>1,000,000:1 contrast ratio
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
2x Cortex-A76
6x Cortex-A55
Titan M Security Module
GPU Adreno 620
Storage 128GB
No microSD slot
Cameras Rear
Main: 12.2MP, f/1.7 aperture, 1.4µm pixels, optical + electronic image stabilization
Secondary: 16MP, f/2.2 aperture, 1 micron pixel, ultra-wide (107-degree FoV)
4K at 60fps/30fps

8MP sensor, f/2.0 aperture, 1.12µm pixels, fixed focus, 83-degree FoV

Headphone jack No
Battery 4,080mAh
18W charging
12W wireless charging
Reverse wireless charging
IP rating IP68
Sensors Proximity / ambient light sensor
Pixel Imprint fingerprint sensor
Spectral and flicker sensor
Software Android 11
Dimensions and weight 144.7 x 70.4 x 8mm
Colors Just Black, Sorta Sage

Google Pixel 5 review: Value and competition

Google Pixel 5 Google logo macro

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority
  • Google Pixel 5: $ 699

At $ 699, the Pixel 5 easily undercuts a lot of other flagships on the market, but if you’re looking at devices from a raw specs perspective, it could seem a bit lackluster. That being said, Pixel phones offer a lot more value than raw performance from their tight integration with Google apps and services to their fast, guaranteed updates. Pixel devices are also genuinely a pleasure to use, and I think there’s a lot of value in that alone.

Google Pixel 5 Google’s first 5G smartphone
The Google Pixel 5 may not be the high-end Pixel we were expecting, but it’s a pretty compelling mid-range option. Google is going back to basics with the Pixel 5, ditching higher-end features like face recognition and the quirky Motion Sense gestures.

If you’re looking for power, something like the OnePlus 8T comes in at just $ 50 more at $ 749, but sports 65W wired charging, a 120Hz display, and far more cameras… for better or worse. It also flexes a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor. Unfortunately, it drops wireless charging. Check out our full review here for more info.

Another option around this price range is the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, which also has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor, multiple cameras, and a 120Hz display. If you’re a fan of Samsung devices, this is one of the most affordable options with this much power. Check out our full review here to learn more.

If you’re a fan of iOS, Apple just announced the iPhone 12 Mini, which also matches the Pixel 5’s price of $ 699. The iPhone 12 Mini has a much faster processor in the form of the new Apple A14 Bionic, but it loses out on refresh rate and the quality of its personal digital assistant. While we haven’t been able to do a full review on this device yet, we’ll share our thoughts soon.

If you’re someone who needs more power for things like gaming or better video, you might want to look at more specialized options like the Asus ROG Phone 3, the Sony Xperia 1 II, or Sony Xperia 5 II. That being said, those phones start closer to $ 1,000 or more, so they’re not really in the same ballpark.

Personally, I think $ 649 would have been a better price for the Pixel 5. The price difference between the Google Pixel 4a and Google Pixel 4a 5G is $ 150. Google slapping an extra $ 200 on the price tag for an aluminum frame, wireless charging, IP68 water and dust resistance, 2GB more RAM, and a 90Hz display seems a bit excessive. Considering the Pixel 4a 5G is effectively a perfectly balanced mix of the Pixel 4a and the Pixel 5, a similar $ 150 price difference would have seemed more appropriate.

Google Pixel 5 review: Should you buy it?

Google Pixel 5 in hand 3

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

Personally, I’m a huge fan of the Google Pixel 5. It has a genuinely wonderful display, fantastic battery life, and all the small things I love like wireless charging and IP68 water resistance. Additionally, the extremely tight integration with Google’s apps and services, unique features through Google Assistant, and guaranteed updates for three years add a lot more value than a spec sheet can tell.

If you are willing to spend $ 700 and you’re sure you want an Android phone, I can definitely recommend the Google Pixel 5. It may not have the fastest processor, the quickest charging, the highest refresh rate display, or the biggest camera sensors, but the Google Pixel 5 does the basics better than almost any other smartphone on the market. The Google Pixel 5 is genuinely a pleasure to use.

That’s been our initial Google Pixel 5 review. We’ll update it in the following days with more insight and impressions about Google’s new premium phone. Stay tuned!

Android Authority

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Nest unveils a colorful, more affordable smart thermostat

nest thermostat 2020 price colors

Credit: Google
  • Nest has unveiled a new Thermostat that’s focused on simplicity and affordability.
  • It still helps you find energy savings and monitor your HVAC, and it’s more colorful.
  • Pre-orders start in North America on October 12 at a price of $ 130.

Nest hasn’t significantly updated its Thermostat line in three years, but it’s finally ready to deliver a new model in 2020 — and it won’t surprise you to hear that the focus is on price rather than sheer capability.

The new Thermostat is still simple to set up and use. You don’t need a common wire to get started, and you can touch or tap the edge to control your home’s climate. Of course, you can still use voice control through Google Assistant devices in addition to the Nest app on your phone.

nest thermostat 2020 price

Credit: Google

Instead, the focus is on a sleeker, more colorful design with charcoal, fog (think seafoam green), sand, and snow colors framing a “smooth mirror” display. The interface involves simple swipes and taps on the side — there are no buttons or elaborate touchscreen controls here. The updated Thermostat also relies on a pair of AA cells for backup rather than a built-in battery, so it may be easier to keep running without professional help.

You still have access to common Nest features on the 2020 thermostat, including a Savings Finder to improve efficiency and alerts for heating and air conditioning (HVAC) problems. Certain power utilities, like ComEd and Duke Energy, will also give you rebates and rewards.

As we said at the start, though, price appears to be the main focus for the new Nest Thermostat. The new version will be available to pre-order in the US and Canada on October 12 for just $ 130, significantly below the $ 169 official price for the Thermostat E. That makes it more immediately tempting compared to rivals like the Ecobee 3 Lite, and it might pay for itself that much sooner if there are significant energy savings available for your home.

Next: The best Nest Home apps

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5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week – Android Apps Weekly

AAW 9th Dawn III screenshot
Welcome to the 349th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Here are the big headlines from the last week:

Credit: Joe Hindy / Android Authority
  • Google re-branded its G Suite package to Google Workspace. It’s functionally the same stuff. Google plans to include more collaborative features in the future and that apparently warranted a name change. Additionally, Google expanded pricing for small and large firms along with a few other changes. You can find out everything you need to know about it here.
  • Google is adding some clearer account alert notifications this week in several of its apps in the near future. The purpose is to better communicate to people when something is actually really wrong versus when something is just kind of wrong.  The alerts are improving in a variety of Google apps. Hit the link to learn more.
  • The App Store and Google Play debacle continued this week in two separate stories. The first was a House report in the US that said Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, and other companies have monopoly power and should be separated out a bit to prevent actual monopolies. We highly recommend hitting the above link to read more about that because there is a lot of info. Additionally, Google chose to defer its 30% mandatory commission in India for the time being due to retaliation from Indian start-ups.
  • Nvidia wants to tackle some of the issues with video calling. It launched a new developer platform, Nvidia Maxine, this week to help with that. The platform helps with things like eye correction, face alignment, and other small things to make video chatting a little better. It can also upscale 360p video to 720p pretty reliably, adds in virtual backgrounds, filters out background noise, and even translate language in real time. It could be a really big deal for video chat apps and services.
  • Google Assistant had some big announcements this week. The first is making Google Assistant work better with smart displays by letting people buy things straight from them and some other neat features. Additionally, Google announced deeper integration with third party apps, kicking it off with partnerships with 30 apps, including popular ones like Discord and Walmart. Hit the various links to learn more.

9th Dawn III

Price: $ 9.99

9th Dawn III is a new open-world RPG. It’s a fairly large game with a bunch of content, including over 1,400 items to collect, 270 unique enemies, and a ton of places to explore. For the most part, you dungeon crawl, collect gear, customize it, and go right back out to adventure again. The game adds in some stuff like fishing, cooking, gem collecting, and play Fyued (a card game) to round out the experience. The mechanics are easy enough to grasp for most people and the game has a lot more depth than it would seem from its graphics. It’s a bit expensive at $ 9.99, but you’ll easily get your money’s worth if you finish it.

Project Cheat Codes

Price: Free / $ 1.99

Project Cheat Codes is something a bit different for gamers. It aims to be a one-stop-shop for video game cheat codes. The developer has two main goals. The first is to keep the installation size as small as possible and the app omits any flashy graphics specifically for that purpose. The other is to include as many cheat codes for as many games as possible. It’s obviously a daunting effort but the app already has a decent and quickly growing collection of games. This one might be a pretty excellent gaming tool if the developer keeps at it. The premium version runs for $ 1.99 and we think that’s fair.

Project Cheat Code screenshot

Credit: Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Sword Master Story

Price: Free to play

Sword Master Story came out of pre-registration this week and it already has a bunch of downloads. It’s a hack-and-slash action RPG with some gacha mechanics. Players collect characters, level them up, and use them to fight off bad guys. At its core, it’s not all that different from most other gachas. There is a set number of characters and the upgrade paths are fairly similar to most others in the genre. However, some people seem to enjoy its mechanics and story even if the translations are a little rough. The game has a few bugs here and there but it has some promise if the developers keep up with it.


Price: Free

InstaMocks is a neat little app for screenshot enthusiasts. It lets you take screenshots and then mock them up inside of a device. People can use it to dress up their screenshots a bit. The app is mainly for developers, themers, bloggers, and similar types to make good looking screenshots for display on social media or the Play Store. Still, anybody can use the tool. It features over 40 devices, a built-in text editor, and you can work with up to 10 screenshots at once. It’s also a free tool.

InstaMocks screenshot

Credit: Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Masketeers: Idle Has Fallen

Price: Free to play

Masketeers: Idle Has Fallen is the latest idle game in a genre crowded by 2020 releases. This one seems to be pretty good. Players collect masks to give them power and defeat bad guys. As you progress, your team can kill bad guys faster and earn more stuff at a faster pace. The combat portion of it is pretty neat even if it’s surrounded by familiar idle game ideas. Still, it feels a bit better and deeper than your standard idle experience. This is another one that has a lot of potential as long as the developers keep up with it.

Thank you for reading! Try these out too:

If we missed any big Android app or game releases, tell us about them in the comments.

Android Authority

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Fitbit Sense finally gains ECG functionality in some countries

fitbit sense review heart rate sensor

Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority
  • The Fitbit Sense’s ECG functionality is now available in some countries.
  • Some users in the US, UK, and Germany now have access to an ECG app in the Fitbit app store.

The Fitbit Sense made its debut in August as the company’s new flagship smartwatch. It’s loaded with sensors, chief of which is a new ECG monitor. While users in some countries had to wait for ECG functionality to be enabled subject to local laws and testing, it now seems that the feature rollout is gaining momentum.

Some users posting to the Fitbit subreddit have now confirmed that the ECG sensor’s smarts are now available through a new Fitbit app. This corroborates Fitbit’s confirmation to Android Authority that the functionality would be available in October. Notably, the rollout isn’t seemingly limited to the US. Those posting to the thread also reside in the UK, while others have checked in from Germany.

In some markets, the app is simply called “ECG” but that title will likely change based on the country’s dominant language. The app’s called “EKG” in Germany, for instance. Nevertheless, the app is now listed on the Fitbit store in some markets and allows users to perform an ECG scan with the Sense. The ECG, or electrocardiogram, allows users to gain insight into their heart’s performance and possible conditions, like irregular or erratic heartbeats.

The Sense is the first Fitbit to gain the functionality and now puts it on par with the Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, and Withings ScanWatch.

Next: The best Fitbit smartwatches and fitness trackers you can buy

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It’s official: the iPhone 12 is coming at Apple’s October 13 event

apple october 13 iphone 12 event

Credit: Apple
  • Apple has announced a “Hi, Speed” event for October 13 at 1PM Eastern.
  • It’s expected to introduce the iPhone 12.
  • An ARM-based Mac, new audio devices and other products might also appear.

You won’t have to wait long to hear about the iPhone 12. Apple has announced (via John Paczkowski) a long-rumored October 13 event where it’s expected to unveil the iPhone 12, an ARM-based Mac laptop, and possibly more. It’s expected to be a virtual, pre-recorded event and will start at 1PM Eastern.

The invitation for the “Hi, Speed” event doesn’t reveal much by itself, but it’s evident performance will play a key role. The iPhone 12 should live up to that billing if rumors are accurate between 5G support and a fast A14 Bionic chip, but it could also be a reference to Apple’s expectations that ARM-based Macs will outperform their Windows counterparts.

The iPhone 12 at Apple’s event is also rumored to represent the first significant design change since the iPhone X, with a flatter design (reminiscent of the iPhone 4 and iPad Air) and possibly a narrower notch for the front sensors. You’d see significant size changes as well, with an iPhone 12 “mini” at 5.4 inches, two 6.1-inch models (the standard iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro), and a larger 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max. OLED screens might be common across the range, and you might also see updated cameras and storage capacities.

Related: iPhone 11 Pro Max vs Galaxy S20 Ultra camera shootout

What any Mac refresh would entail isn’t as clear. While it’s expected to use a variant of the A14 (possibly an A14X), rumors have circulated of the first ARM-based Mac laptop being either a 13-inch MacBook Pro or a revival of the old 12-inch MacBook. There has also been talk of a redesigned entry-level iMac that might share design elements with newer iPads or the Pro Display XDR.

These might not be the only products at Apple’s October 13 event. It’s claimed to be readying its first Apple-branded over-ear headphones, possibly called the AirPods Studio, and might introduce a smaller, more affordable HomePod speaker. Given that Apple appears to be pulling third-party audio products from its stores, those might be real possibilities. A Tile-like item tracker might also show, and you might get a release date for macOS Big Sur.

This promises to be a crucial event for Apple. The iPhone 12 line may be key to keeping Apple profitable in the midst of a grim smartphone market, not to mention fending off competition from Samsung, Google, and others. And if an ARM-based Mac laptop or desktop appears, Apple may have to make a good first impression if it’s going to convince computer buyers that they should leave x86 behind.

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The Google Pixel 5 is here, but should you wait for the OnePlus 8T?

OnePlus Nord vs Pixel 4a Pixel in focus camera module against OnePlus Nord background

Credit: Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

The wait is finally over. The Google Pixel 5 is here! With a more attractive price point than ever before, there’s a lot to like about Google’s latest flagship. However, the Pixel 5 isn’t without competition. The new price puts it right up against more cost-effective brands, including the ever-popular OnePlus.

Value for money has been a cornerstone of the OnePlus ethos for years, while Google is relatively new to the super mid-tier game. But Mountain View is a quick study, building on the success of the affordable Pixel 3a with its new lineup. So, is it worth waiting a few more weeks to see what the Shenzhen brand has in store with the eagerly-awaited OnePlus 8T, or is Google’s phone a safe buy today? Let’s take an early look at the OnePlus 8T vs Google Pixel 5.

Related: The best Google Pixel 5 alternatives

Google Pixel 5: Buy now?

Google is offering its first 5G-ready flagship smartphone with the Pixel 5, but unlike more expensive flagships it is using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G SoC to power the handset — the same chipset found in OnePlus’ budget phone, the OnePlus Nord. The integrated modem and the lower performance point are a boon for battery life and price, but that comes at the cost of peak performance compared to similarly-priced devices. That’s not to say that Google’s flagship is slow; there’s 8GB RAM for smooth multi-tasking. The phone will handle all your day-to-day needs and even most games just fine.

Deep dive: Snapdragon 765G vs Snapdragon 865: How will the Pixel 5 stack up?

What the Pixel 5 lacks in brute power, it makes up for in features. Google includes wireless charging, an IP68 rating, and a great 90Hz display. Let’s not forget three years of Android updates either. That’s pretty much everything that you’d want from a flagship handset, and many brands charge much more for these features. Google has struck a nice balance between performance, features, and price.

The US Pixel 5 model also supports mmWave. This promises even faster 5G data speeds on compatible networks than sub-6GHz 5G. Although this brings the price up a tad to $ 699, it’s a little more expensive than non-US versions of the handset. Still, that’s quite cheap for a mmWave phone.

Google is offering its best in class phone cameras for the most affordable price ever.

Of course, you’re also getting one of the industry’s best smartphone cameras. The formula feels very familiar, with a 12MP main sensor, an 8MP selfie camera, and Google’s software smarts to spruce up the results. The Pixel 5 throws in a new 16MP wide-angle sensor for a little more shooting flexibility, but it’s a considerably more retrained package than the quad-camera setups permeating the market. Still, quality is better than quantity, and the Pixel 5 almost certainly won’t disappoint here.

There’s also software to consider too. Fans of “stock” Android may prefer to pick up the Pixel 5 today. After all, you’re getting the latest Android 11 out of the box and three years of updates. Android 11 includes the new conversation notification, notification history, chat bubbles, a screen recorder, and media control features. Google’s OS is as feature-rich as any other these days.

$ 699 .00
Google Pixel 5

Buy it Now

Google Pixel 5 Buy it Now
$ 699 .00

OnePlus 8T: Should you wait?

OnePlus logo 1

We might be waiting on the finer details about the OnePlus 8T’s features, but what we can say for certain is that it will be the preferred pick for the performance enthusiast if the leaked specs are correct. The premium-tier Snapdragon 865 trounces the Pixel 5’s Snapdragon 765G in gaming, heavy lifting, and AI scenarios. Day-to-day, there’s unlikely to be much noticeable difference between the phones. Yet, there’s no doubt that the OnePlus 8T will win out where extra performance is concerned.

The 8T tweaks the existing OnePlus 8 formula.

There’s an overkill 12GB RAM model rumored, and OnePlus is also set to offer a 256GB storage option for media lovers, doubling the 128GB maximum storage option from Google. The OnePlus 8T looks set to win hands down here. The phone is also 5G-ready, but likely on with sub-6GHz support, if you’re on a compatible network.

The OnePlus 8T is also confirmed to support 65W wired charging and is rumored to house a bigger 4,500mAh battery. That’s twice as fast as previous 30W Warp Charge implementations. The phone should also have its own FHD+ 120Hz display, but is reportedly missing the wireless charging and IP rating of the OnePlus 8 Pro and Pixel 5. There’s a quad-camera setup on the way, with a 48MP main sensor, 16MP wide-angle, 5MP macro, and a 2MP monochrome lens. This is a very flexible package that offers more options than Google. However, we’ve had some reservations about the overall quality of OnePlus’ camera setups in the past, particularly when it comes to more gimmicky low-resolution cameras.

Read more: OnePlus 8T: All the rumors and everything we know so far

When it comes to software, OnePlus’ much-lauded Oxygen OS has taken a controversial turn recently. OnePlus’ Oxygen OS 11 software is a bit more heavy-handed on the UI tweaks than previous generations. The OS offers some handy new features though. Those include a new always-on display, tweaks to Zen Mode, and dark mode scheduling. Google’s take on Android is far from bare-bones either, but Android enthusiasts may start leaning towards Google’s implementation.

OnePlus 8T vs Google Pixel 5: Should you wait?

google assistant hold for me pixel 5

Credit: Google

We don’t know exactly how much the OnePlus 8T will cost just yet, but rumors point to a competitive price. One that looks set to see the phone go head to head with the Google Pixel 5.

Rumors point to a €599 ($ 695) entry point for the OnePlus 8T. That’s a smidgen cheaper than the €629 launch price for Google’s Pixel 5, but pretty much the same as the Pixel 5’s $ 699 US price with mmWave in tow. An Amazon Germany listing (now taken down) mentioned a price set at €693.18 (~$ 815) for the more beefy 12GB RAM, 256GB variant of the 8T, which is a bit more expensive. While final and regional pricing may vary by a small amount, these two handsets definitely fall into the same affordable 5G phone category.

Pick OnePlus for raw performance, Pixel for refined software

On paper, the OnePlus 8T should be best placed to cater to performance enthusiasts and will have a speedier 120Hz display too. It’s also expected to offer a more flexible camera setup, more internal storage, and should shave a few dollars off the price tag. However, it’s the Pixel 5 that offers a slightly wider range of features including wireless charging, 5G mmWave in the US, a more refined imaging experience, and perhaps the better software experience too. It’s a very close call between the two, as expected.

The OnePlus 8T looks set to be another very competent handset from OnePlus, but the formula feels very familiar to the OnePlus 8. If you weren’t contemplating a OnePlus handset already, there’s no major reason for fans of Google’s ecosystem to delay any further. Especially after such a long wait for the Google Pixel 5!

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