Video boost, Magic Editor, and a pro camera mode
Google's Pixel phones are known for their camera performance. With the Pixel 6 series in 2021, the company raised the bar to another level in the imaging department for other flagship Android phones to beat. Then, with 2022's Pixel 7, Google made all the right upgrades to deliver an even better imaging experience. Based on all the leaks, the Pixel 8 series is set to bring a big leap in camera quality. And a new leak gives us a fair idea of what to expect from the upcoming Pixels.
An October 4 launch date may have been revealed, too
While Samsung only started shipping the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and the Galaxy Z Flip 5 last month, the company's focus has already shifted to three other products expected to break cover imminently — the Galaxy S23 FE, Galaxy Tab S9 FE, and the Galaxy Buds FE. Going by the leaks we've come across over the past couple of weeks alone, it seems like Samsung isn't really trying to hide the Fan Edition lineup's arrival, with the official launch merely being a formality at this point. We're now encountering yet another leak courtesy of Samsung Argentina, highlighting all three Fan Edition devices in all their glory.
Have your pick among Sky Blue, Peony Rose, and others
We're counting down to the launch of the Google Pixel 8 and the Pixel 8 Pro, scheduled to break cover on October 4, with pre-orders likely commencing a day later. Thanks to leaks over a period of time, we've managed to decipher some of the flagships' hardware elements. Much like in the years past, the Pixel 8 series will be the first to ship with the newest Android operating system i.e., Android 14. Color options, on the other hand, are a different matter, as Google annually updates the available colors with each Pixel smartphone refresh. Per Google's own admission, we know there will be a Pink shade of the Pixel 8, while a new Sky Blue trim of the Pixel 8 Pro is also said to be on the cards. A new leak has now spilled the beans on all the color options of the two flagships, just under two weeks out from their release.
Samsung really wants to roll out One UI 6 for the Galaxy S23 ASAP
Samsung bungled its initial One UI 6 announcement in early August. But after several false starts, the company has been on a roll, regularly releasing new beta builds for the Galaxy S23. Since the program went live in August, Samsung has dropped three beta One UI 6 firmware and a couple of hotfix builds. Less than a week after the third One UI 6 beta was released, the fourth beta is out for the Korean giant's 2023 flagship phone.
The beauty of foldable screens comes with a hefty price tag for mishaps
Smartphones are a vital tool but also a potential weak point. We all love exploring the newest bells and whistles, but the ease with which they can break and the ensuing repair bills serve as stark reminders of their fragility. Not long ago, I experienced this firsthand when someone inadvertently knocked my Pixel 6 from my grip. A day and $300 later, with a screen that felt a tad different, I had it back. A significant inconvenience for a brief slip-up.
Android 14 QPR1 beta lets you choose if you want the outer screen to be on when folding
The Google Pixel Fold was released in late June as the company’s first attempt to take on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold and the clampdown on foldable smartphones that Samsung has held since releasing the original Fold in 2019. While it is not the best version of a foldable phone we’ve ever seen, we think it’s a decent rough draft and a sign of things to come on future Google smartphones that fold and flip. Samsung phones run a modified version of Android called One UI, the latest version of which is One UI 6. Samsung has a sneaky useful feature in its OS on the Z Fold 5 that keeps the display on when folding the phone, which the Pixel Fold has not had up to this point. That’s all changing with a new setting in the Android 14 QPR1 beta that borrows the feature from Samsung.
This is the very first foldable smartphone from OnePlus
The foldable window is swinging wide with users craving a move to the Flip side, as Samsung puts it. With demand remaining buoyant, it seems like every tech company is rising to the occasion to make a name. We may have thought we had seen it all, but younger companies like OnePlus are showing us more. The company is making bold steps with its upcoming foldable, and while manufacturers do their best to keep things undercover until their official launch dates, there always seems to be an information loophole.
Adaptive alert vibration is coming to more Pixel phones in Android 14 QPR1
Given the Google Pixel 7a is a mid-range device, you'd expect its bigger (and more expensive) siblings — the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro — to have all the features it packs. While that is mostly the case, the Pixel 6a and Pixel 7a have a buzz-worthy vibration option, which is missing from the more expensive Pixels: Adaptive alert vibration. With the upcoming Android 14 QPR1 release, Google could finally fix this feature disparity by bringing adaptive alert vibration to its 2022 flagship Pixels.
Google's next phones aren't even here yet, and we're already seeing leaks for next year's A-series entry
We're less than two weeks out from Google's official unveiling of the Pixel 8 series (along with a newly-refined Pixel Watch 2). You'd think, this close to an event, that any leaks would be directed towards the company's upcoming fall lineup. In classic Google fashion, you'd be wrong. In a strange turn of events, we're getting a very early, very unofficial look at what seems to be next year's Pixel 8a, even while its big brothers have yet to hit store shelves.
A flip phone could be in the works with a novel 360-degree hinge
Foldables bring a breath of fresh air to stagnated innovation in smartphone design. Samsung and Motorola have so far been leading the pack with their excellent range of foldable handsets, but a lot of other companies are either planning to or have already jumped on the bandwagon. Even after a couple of ineffectual attempts in the past, it looks like Microsoft still wants to make foldable phones, but with a new design direction — one that resembles the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5.
The Galaxy S23 FE is rumored to break cover next month
Samsung's had a bit of a love-hate relationship with its Fan Edition devices. The company released the Galaxy S21 FE early last year, which left no room for an FE variant of the Galaxy S22. The global semiconductor shortage also played a big role in the South Korean electronics juggernaut's decision not to release an FE trim of the early 2022 flagship. But things are different in 2023, with the company expected to unveil the Galaxy S23 FE any day now, while leaks over the past several months have provided us with the much-needed context about this midrange smartphone. In another sign that the phone's release isn't too far away, India-based tech leaker Abhishek Yadav has come across a poster teasing the Galaxy S23 FE's imminent arrival.
A new rumor says Samsung could switch to a 5x periscope shooter
If you want a phone with insane zoom capabilities, Samsung's Galaxy S23 Ultra is your only choice. The Korean giant has been offering 10x optical and 100x digital zoom on its flagship phones since the Galaxy S21 Ultra in 2021. While many of the top Android favorite phones also feature a periscope lens, they are limited to 5x optical zoom. However, the Galaxy S24 Ultra might lose its title of the telephoto king, as Samsung is seemingly set to ditch the 10x shooter from its 2024 flagship.
A major breakthrough as an everyday smartphone connects seamlessly with a satellite
Space-based telecommunications aren't exactly new. But while previous endeavors have had companies like Nokia mulling over 4G connections on the moon, a recent breakthrough puts terrestrial 5G connectivity quite literally in the stratosphere. AST SpaceMobile, in collaboration with AT&T, is hyping up a noteworthy achievement in telecommunications. Together, the two companies successfully established the world’s first 5G connection for voice and data between an everyday, unmodified smartphone and a satellite in space.
The One UI 6 beta is coming to last year's flagship, while the S23 is getting a hotfix
Over the last few years, Samsung has typically rolled out a new One UI beta release for its flagship Galaxy S and foldables before eventually expanding the program to its mid-range devices. This year, though, the Android 14-based One UI 6 program rollout has been weird, with the Galaxy S23 getting the update first after several false starts. Based on the Korean giant's track record, the Galaxy S22 should have been the next in line to get the beta One UI build. Instead, the One UI 6 beta firmware went live for the Galaxy A54 and A34. Samsung is now finally doing justice to Galaxy S22 owners and has expanded its Android 14 beta program to its 2022 flagship phones.
How Google developed and evolved the Pixel camera bar
The Google Pixel 6 and Google Pixel 6 Pro were a new start for Google in many ways. They were the first to introduce the company’s home-made Tensor chipset and the first to use the new Pro model moniker, replacing the XL versions of old. The new release also brought a new design language dominated by a camera bar that stretches across the top of the back of phones from the Pixel 6 onwards. Google has now spilled some beans on the design process, the challenges, and the tweaks it made to the camera bar over the years.
You'll now get suspected spam warnings for SMS messages
From its inception, Google Voice has positioned itself as an advantageous Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service that effortlessly connects users over the internet. The service, essentially free with a US number and Google account, worked well but had largely remained devoid of significant user-centric updates until recently. In March 2023, it incorporated a touch of Material You design for a sleeker user interface. Going back a little further, December 2022 heralded the enhancement of call safety with warnings for spam calls, and now that feature appears to be extending to SMS messages sent to your Google Voice number.
This could be the revival every Samsung fan craved
The Samsung Galaxy S23 models are among the best Android phones you can buy, but Samsung usually follows up with a Fan Edition (FE) model later the same year. This year’s Galaxy S23 FE launch is nearing, but ahead of the official launch, leakers have revealed the phone’s technical specifications and hardware design in a series of photos. Now, a prolific leaker has shared a short video showing us the phone’s exterior design in a neat 360-degree view.
Google’s 2024 Tensor SoC may not pack major upgrades
Google jumped into the world of custom mobile chips with the Pixel 6's Tensor G1. It was not a fully custom-designed SoC, as the company partnered with Samsung's LSI division and used one of its reference designs as the base. With the Tensor G2, Google's customizations went further to deliver better AI and ML performance. Google reportedly planned to switch to its fully custom in-house Tensor chip with the Pixel 9 in 2024 but delayed the plans by a year. A new leak now sheds light on the Pixel 9's Tensor G4 and the company's custom chip efforts.
Feast your eyes on these four eye-popping color choices
Phone makers used to offer a few limited color options for budget phones, and in the US, they mostly sold black and white variants in the past. On the other hand, Samsung delights its fans with a flurry of colorful options for both its flagship phones and cheap handsets like the Galaxy A family and Fan Edition models. The Galaxy S21 FE, in particular, shipped in lavender, white, olive, and graphite color schemes. The next iteration might also arrive in several hues, and a new leak may have just revealed all of them for the first time.
More of the same
If you're in the market for a flagship Android phone, you can't do better than the Samsung Galaxy S23 series. While there are multiple improvements in this year's lineup, fast charging is an area where Samsung has been historically lackluster. We discovered pretty early on that the Galaxy S23 lineup would not feature any fast-charging upgrades, and it now seems like this unfortunate trend may continue with the Galaxy S24 series next year.