• Rumors

    by Published on 08-22-2017 06:45 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors



    Google has so far released two Pixel-branded Chromebooks—the original in 2013 and a refresh in 2015, pictured directly above. According to Android Police, there will be a new Chromebook Pixel announced alongside the new Pixel phones later this year. Perhaps this one will be available for purchase in Canada? Please...?

    This third iteration of Google's own high-end notebook may or may not be an evolution of Project Bison, an Andromedia-powered notebook/tablet convertible with the following specs:

    12.3 inch screen
    8 or 16 GB of RAM
    32 or 128 GB of storage
    Optional Wacom stylus (sold separately)

    The existence of Project Bison was leaked to Android Police last fall; since then a new name has started popping up in the commits on Google's Chromium code review—this device, referred to as Eve, also seems to be a convertible with a Wacom digitizer. It could be the continuation of Project Bison, or something entirely new.

    For what it's worth, Bison was thought to retail for $799 USD. That's significantly cheaper than the first two Chromebook Pixels, and more in line with 2015's Pixel C tablet.

    Sources: Android Police, Chrome Unboxed

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    by Published on 08-21-2017 07:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Rumors,
    3. Apps



    I'm having a hard time believing that this is in any way official artwork for the next version of Android, but I can't fault the source—Evan Blass rarely, if ever, get's this stuff wrong. If he's right, expect Android Oreo to be made official by the end of the day.

    It would be the first confectionery co-branding since Android KitKat, almost four years ago. That version of the platform introduced the Android Runtime as a technology preview which would eventually replace the Dalvik Virtual Machine; Oreo's most welcome feature will likely end up being Project Treble, a reworking of the OS as a modular base to enable more efficient OEM customizations and (hopefully) faster software updates for end users.

    Google has scheduled a web event to coincide with the solar eclipse rolling across the USA later today. Their livestream will start broadcasting at 2:40pm Eastern Time, so we won't be in the dark about the next version of Android for much longer...

    Sources: @android, @evleaks

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    by Published on 08-11-2017 07:30 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors



    If you say so...

    Wareable scored a nice little scoop with some exclusive renders of Project Higgs—aka the Fitbit smartwatch—which they insist is the final design for the product. I use the term "design" loosely here, because I think this thing is as ugly as hell, only slightly less hideous than Fitbit's existing Blaze.

    Note that the Fitbit logo takes up a full fifth of the front face.



    The back of the watch has a deliberate protrusion to better lock on to your heart rate. Wareable is speculating that the blue light at the bottom is a pulse oximeter for measuring blood oxygen levels. Whatever the case, it looks super-uncomfortable.

    The strap looks like it has a proprietary connection but can at least be swapped out. That's a good thing, as Fitbit's straps have a tendency to break. A lot.



    There will apparently be three available colour combinations, none of which will do anything for its looks. You'll only ever want to wear this for a night out if that night out is at the gym.

    Mind you, this derision and disdain is coming from a self-professed smartwatch design snob; what do you think of Fitbit's smartwatch?

    Source: Wareable

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    by Published on 08-08-2017 06:30 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors



    Yesterday this photo of a developer unit was leaked to GSM Arena. It's believed to be the Pixel 2—the smaller, HTC-made device (codename: "walleye") with the 4.95 inch screen, rather than the LG-made Pixel 2 XL ("taimen") with the 5.99 inch display.

    With all the stickers and tape the back of the unit honestly doesn't look like much; fortunately, the anonymous leaker also supplied a photo of the front of the phone.



    Sorry, make that two phones... The bad news: the massive chin and forehead of the original Pixels have been carried over, but this time around they are at least partly justified by front-facing stereo speakers, a feature last seen two generations ago on the Huawei Nexus 6P.

    And now the really bad news: multiple sources, including Evan Blass, are reporting that there will be no headphone jack on either of this year's Pixel phones. Because #courage...?

    Sources: GSM Arena, Venture Beat

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    by Published on 08-01-2017 07:00 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors



    Looks like that Thai dude was legit after all...

    Photos of Samsung's Galaxy Note8 that surfaced on Facebook in mid-July have been corroborated by Evan Blass, the most trusted leaker out there. He tweeted the photo above at 3:30am Eastern Time last night, confirming that this year's iteration of Samsung's famous phablet will be its first phone with a dual camera setup. And unfortunately, like the S8 and S8 Plus, the fingerprint reader will be almost directly beside it.



    After tweeting a press shot of the front of the phone yesterday afternoon, a Twitter follower whipped up this handy side-by-side comparison with the Galaxy S8. It might not be 100% accurate in terms of scale, but at least shows the differences in design.

    The Galaxy Note8 is expected to be made official on Wednesday, August 23rd at an event in New York City.

    Sources: @evleaks (1) (2), via Android Police

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    by Published on 07-31-2017 07:00 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors



    Samsung's Galaxy Active line seems to be quite popular with Android users, enough so that unlocked versions of the exclusive-to-AT&T devices are readily available on Amazon and eBay. And it's pretty easy to see why: who wouldn't want a flagship smartphone with a bigger battery and more durable casing?

    A ruggedized version of this year's Galaxy S8 was inevitable, and we now have an early look via a leaked training manual to Android Police. The specs:

    Snapdragon 835 processor
    5.8" Super AMOLED QHD display, Gorilla Glass 5
    4 GB RAM / 64 GB storage plus microSD
    12 MP F1.7 rear camera / 8 MP F1.7 selfie cam
    4,000 mAh battery
    IP68 + MIL-STD-810G durability
    Android 7.0 Nougat

    The older version of Android may disappoint some, and here's something likely to annoy everyone: the formerly-reprogrammable "active" button will now only launch Bixby.

    The Galaxy S8 Active is expected to be available in two colors, Meteor Gray and Titanium Gold (American spelling deliberate for our friends on AT&T). The price has yet to be confirmed, but the phone's launch is imminent, possibly as early as August 1st.

    Source: Android Police

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    by Published on 07-28-2017 07:30 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors



    Evidence of Nokia's comeback as an Android OEM continues, with a new report of some 500 design patents transferred back to the company from the former owner of its smartphone business. The most recognizable of the bunch would have to be the user interface from the Lumia camera app, seen above.

    The trademarks associated with the app—PureView, PureMotion, etc.—remain the intellectual property of Microsoft Mobile Oy; the patents, however, were apparently triggered by the sale of some other assets by Microsoft to a third party last year. This leaves Microsoft's mobile business with about 200 design patents remaining. Sure would be a shame for those to go to waste.

    With the Lumia camera UI back under the Nokia banner and the renewed partnership with Carl Zeiss, Inc., the Nokia 8 that's due next month might give this year's Pixel some stiff competition in the camera department!

    Source: Nokiamob

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    by Published on 07-18-2017 07:00 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors



    Okay, so forget the previous leak that will appear above or below this post... this is the Nokia 8, confirmed by none other than Evan Blass himself. Notice the Zeiss logo on the camera lens assembly—happy days for Nokia fans! I'm also liking the navy blue trim; according to the source, Nokia's first proper Android flagship will also be available in a blue/gold or copper/gold combination, and also "steel".

    With all the conflicting information the specs sheet isn't yet 100% clear; all we know for certain is that the 8 will have a Snapdragon processor and QHD display. Its European variant will likely have dual-SIM support, though there may be single-SIM versions as well. The phone has already made an appearance at the FCC as model number TA-1012.

    As for the Nokia 9, Blass doesn't believe that it exists.

    The Nokia 8 could launch as early as July 31st, and a Scandinavian site has indicated a retail price of €589, or about $675 USD. Taxes are notoriously high in Europe, though, and VAT means that all taxes are included in the sticker price. In other words, it may sell for a little cheaper than that.

    Who's ready to rock a Nokia again?

    Source: WinFuture via VentureBeat

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    by Published on 07-14-2017 06:30 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors



    One final leak to close out the week, and it's a fairly big one: according to Android Police this is an accurate render of the device that has been given the codename taimen, otherwise known as the 2017 Pixel XL. Or possibly Pixel 2 XL? AP doesn't yet know what the actual product name will be.

    Key aspects of the new phone's design include much smaller bezels all around (as is the style of the time), a 2:1 screen aspect ratio, a larger camera lens assembly and a squeezable frame. This HTC gimmick might seem odd on an LG-made device, but there is evidence that Google has been working on this idea for years; for all we know they could have licensed their patent to HTC.

    A separate but equally reliable source has supposedly leaked the specs to XDA:

    Snapdragon 835 processor
    5.99 inch 1440p OLED display
    4 GB RAM / 128 GB storage
    Single rear camera with dual LED flash

    Expect the price to be almost prohibitively expensive, as is also the style of the time...

    Sources: Android Police, Mobile Syrup, XDA

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    by Published on 07-11-2017 07:00 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors



    If the source is to be believed then what we're looking at is the rear camera assembly on Samsung's forthcoming Galaxy Note 8. Only thing is, I've no idea as to the legitimacy of the source—it's literally some Thai dude on Facebook. But that didn't stop the tech press from enthusiastically re-sharing it. Guess I'm similarly guilty. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯



    This is supposedly a full press render of the phone from the same source. But since it was shared on Facebook the image's resolution is limited to 800 pixels wide—less if you remove the empty space around the image, like I've done here.



    And here's a render of a Note 8 and case from a separate but equally dubious source, some random person on Twitter. It's possible that this person took the Thai person's render and Photoshopped a case onto it. Or it could be entirely legit.

    From what I've read there seems to at least be a consensus that the Note 8 will sport dual rear cameras. As such, moving its fingerprint reader to the right of the flash (and presumably iris scanner) assembly will hopefully result in less accidental finger presses on the actual lenses. We'll know for sure when Samsung makes its official announcement sometime in Q3.

    Sources: Facebook, Twitter

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    by Published on 07-10-2017 07:30 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors



    Welcome to Moto Mondays, our semi-regular feature where we detail the latest in a steady stream of leaked Android smartphones from Motorola. Today's edition comes from a pretty reliable source: Motorola's own site for the Chinese market. It looks to me like the image above has been removed; here's where it came from if you want to verify for yourself.

    The Moto Z2 has already appeared on AnTuTu and GFXBench, so the specs for the device are already known:

    Snapdragon 835 processor
    5.5 inch QHD AMOLED display
    4 GB RAM / 64 GB of storage
    Dual 12 MP rear cameras / 5 MP selfie cam
    Android 7.1.1

    The AnTuTu benchmarks actually show another variant of the Z2, with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. This is widely thought to be the Moto Z2 Force, which will sold in the USA by Verizon as the Moto Z2 Force Droid. This year, however, there may be other non-Droid editions of the Z2 Force sold by U.S. carriers as well.

    All should become clear when Motorola officially announces the remainder of their 2017 phone lineup on Tuesday, July 25th. Hopefully this early look will allow Moto fans to better plan their 2017 smartphone purchase.

    Sources: DroidHolic (1) (2), PhoneArena

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    by Published on 07-07-2017 06:45 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors



    While we await the North American début of the Nokia 6 (come on, unlockable bootloader!) here's an early look at its bigger sibling, via some promotional materials that someone leaked to a Chinese tech blog. The blurry photo on the left shows a top-mounted headphone jack, bottom-mounted stereo speakers and a USB-C connector. The less blurry photo on the right shows what looks like an edge-to-edge display and multiple colour options.

    The rumoured release for the Nokia 8 is July or August—in China, anyway—and specs are thought to be as follows:

    Snapdragon 835 processor
    6 inch 2K display
    6 GB of RAM / 128 GB of storage

    What's especially interesting is the price: 3188 CNY, which converts to about $469 USD. That's $10 cheaper than the starting price of a OnePlus 5.

    Could these leaked materials be fake? Absolutely. There is ample evidence of another Nokia flagship, the Nokia 9, which seems to have a design language more in line with the already-released 6. Whatever the case, it's going to be an interesting year for Nokia and Android fans!

    Sources: CNMO via BGR, Nokia Power User

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    by Published on 07-05-2017 06:45 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors



    Evan Blass is at it again...

    Yesterday he tweeted the above image of the soon-to-be-made-official Motorola Moto X4—I added in some artwork for the device that I found on a separate Blass story posted to VentureBeat. The phone's specs are purported to be as follows:

    Aluminum body with IP68 dust and water protection
    5.2 inch FHD screen
    Snapdragon 630 octa-core processor
    4 GB RAM / 64 GB storage + microSD
    8 and 12 megapixel rear cameras / 16 megapixel front camera
    3,000 mAh battery
    Android 7.1 Nougat

    The X4 will be released sometime in Q4 and, according to Blass, will be the first non-Google smartphone available to subscribers of Google's Fi network. It's hard for this Canadian to get too excited about any new Motorola handset, as in this country Moto has traditionally been more interested in selling to carriers rather than direct to consumers. It looks promising for our American friends, though.

    Sources: Evan Blass (1) (2) via Liliputing

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    by Published on 06-26-2017 06:45 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors



    ... Vivo?!!

    It's true, a little-known Chinese Android OEM is expected to succeed where Samsung failed, and beat Apple to market with the world's first optical fingerprint sensor. The teaser above was tweeted from Vivo India last week, and this YouTube upload is currently blowing up over on r/Android. Don't blink or you'll miss it:



    According to Gizmochina the video was originally uploaded to Weibo about two weeks ago, and is a prototype device looking similar to the Vivo X9 Plus. This might not even be the first time Vivo has been first to market with new mobile phone innovations; Gizmochina also claims that the X9 and XPlay 6 Dual were the world's first "Hi-Fi" smartphones, though the late-2016 release date of those two devices don't exactly jibe with earlier audiophile efforts from the likes of LG.

    The Shanghai edition of Mobile World Congress is set to kick off Wednesday, so we won't have too long a wait to see if Vivo makes good on their promise. Funny thing is, Vivo is a subsidiary of BBK Electronics, who also run Oppo and OnePlus. Can you imagine the #HYPE if it was the OnePlus 5 that brought an embedded fingerprint sensor to its worldwide audience of rabid fans?

    Links: @Vivo_India, Gizmochina, MWC Shanghai, reddit, ZDNet

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    by Published on 06-14-2017 07:45 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors



    A respected Brazilian tech blog has leaked this image of the OnePlus 5, along with a confirmation of specs and, crucially for OnePlus's frugal customers, the price. If you think that no company could have the audacity to produce such a derivative-looking phone, think again—Android Police revealed a partial view last week, and then OnePlus themselves went ahead and did the same.

    This week's Tecnoblog leak is significant because it appears to answer almost all of the remaining questions about the phone. Here's the spec sheet, with a little help from Google Translate and reddit:

    Screen
    5.5 inches
    1920 x 1080 pixels
    DCI-P3 Colors

    Processor
    Snapdragon 835

    RAM
    6 or 8 GB
    LPDDR4X

    Storage
    64 or 128 GB
    Dual-Band UFS 2.1

    Battery
    3,300 mAh
    Dash Charge

    Rear Cameras
    20 MP, f/2.6
    16 MP, f/1.7

    Other
    Bluetooth 5.0
    LTE Cat 12
    Fast Fingerprint Reader (0.2 seconds)

    Price
    $479 USD

    That starting price, if true, is a pretty big deal; an unlocked iPhone 7 with only 32 GB of storage is currently going for almost $300 USD more at Apple.com. It would also be a big win for prospective OnePlus buyers, as blogs were reporting a rumored price tag as high as $650 USD just a few weeks ago.

    And the homage to Apple shouldn't really surprise OnePlus fans, as co-founder Carl Pei is on record stating that the genesis of OnePlus was to bring an iPhone-like hardware experience to the Android platform. He certainly appears to have done that!

    Source: Tecnoblog (Portuguese) via r/Android

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    by Published on 06-13-2017 07:00 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors



    Two stories about this year's Pixel phones are topping the charts over on r/Android this morning. Details are obviously scant as the devices aren't due until later this year, but there already seems to be a consensus among those in the know that Google has three code names ready for production.

    Actually, make that two, because one of them has been cancelled.

    Android Police reports that "muskie", intended as the 2017 update to the Pixel XL, has been shelved. A leak to 9to5Google suggests that the device had insurmountable issues with battery life.

    The good news is that an even bigger phone, code named "taimen", will supposedly fill the XL slot left vacant by muskie. Plot twist: while the smaller Pixel phone, "walleye", is expected from HTC, evidence suggests that taimen will be manufactured by LG. Both OEMs have a long and storied history with Android; HTC made the very first Nexus One and LG made the Nexus 5, possibly the best Nexus phone ever.

    So hardcore Android fans needn't worry about the pedigree of their 2017 Pixel. Hopefully Google is worrying about adding dust and/or water resistance, and getting rid of the 2016 model's ungainly chin.

    Sources: 9to5Google, Android Police

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    by Published on 05-23-2017 07:00 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors



    This summer could prove to be a bit more exciting than usual for Android fans; the hype machine for the OnePlus 5 has already begun spooling up, and there's also this: a leak from a French Android blog showing off what appears to be a prototype Nokia 9.

    There's good reason to mention Nokia and OnePlus in the same breath; based on what we know so far, the two potential flagships are more evenly matched than you might initially think. Here's a rundown of reported specs from GSM Arena:

    Nokia 9
    Snapdragon 835 CPU, Adreno 540 GPU
    5.3 inch QHD IPS display @554 ppi
    64/128 GB of storage, 4/6 GB RAM
    Dual SIM + microSD support
    Android 7.1.1

    OnePlus 5
    Snapdragon 835 CPU, Adreno 540 GPU
    5.5 inch QHD AMOLED display @534 ppi
    64/128/256(?) GB of storage, 6/8 GB RAM
    Dual SIM support
    Android 7.1.1

    There are some things about both devices that we don't yet know. For starters, its unclear if the Nokia 9 will even be available in North America, and what bands it would support here if it eventually is. A release date for the Nokia is another unknown, whereas the OnePlus 5 is expected before the end of June.

    The biggest and perhaps most important unknown is price. The OnePlus 5 could retail for as low as $450 and as high as $650 USD, or about $600 to $900 CAD. GSM Arena speculates that the Nokia 9 could sell for as high as €700 EUR—that's almost $800 USD!

    I guess my dream of a Nokia/OnePlus price war isn't going to happen...

    Sources: FrAndroid via Android Central, GSM Arena

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    by Published on 05-17-2017 07:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Rumors



    So Google I/O kicks off today in Mountain View, California at 10 am Pacific Time. What's going to be announced? Potentially everything you see below.

    I'm not kidding. Superstar Android blogger Ron Amadeo of Ars Technica has assembled what he's calling the Google Tracker, a list of every known project that Google and/or its parent company Alphabet, is or may be working on. There's no guarantee that everything on this list will see a major announcement at the conference, but at least some of it likely will.

    Android Oreo? Fingers crossed...!

    Android O Developer Preview 2 and other Android features
    "Copyless Paste" comes to Gboard
    Android Pay goes hands free
    Android One comes to the US
    What exactly do "Android Extensions" do?
    Google's two "post-app" projects make progress
    New Android TV and Android Wear features at I/O
    Google Hardware, year two
    The Google Home/Google Wi-Fi combo device
    Three(!) new Pixel phones
    A standalone VR headset
    Things the Google Hardware team should probably make
    Android in your car
    The Google Assistant comes to Android Auto
    Android Automotive—The Android Car OS
    Google's Other OSes
    Fuchsia—Google's second smartphone OS dumps Linux
    Android for PCs—is the "Andromeda" Chrome OS/Android hybrid still happening?
    Google Allo's futile attempt to become relevant
    Google takes on Slack with (yet another version of) Hangouts
    Will Google Play ever arrive in China?
    Chrome gets an ad blocker?!
    Material Design on the Web
    Alphabet's "fiscal discipline era" starts a moonshot massacre
    Waymo—Building a totally integrated self-driving vehicle solution
    Verily—The "Google Healthcare" division is actually doing well
    Calico—Death still isn't cured
    DeepMind would like to play a game
    Will Nest ever ship a new product?
    Sidewalk Labs wants to build... a smart city?!
    Is anything left of ATAP?
    The futuristic Google Campus is finally under construction
    Tune in May 17 for even more Googleyness!

    Sources: Ars Technica, Google I/O

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    by Published on 05-15-2017 07:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors

    Ah, you beat me to it! Adding in some additional details to draw folks here from the front page...



    You can't deny it, nine devices in one leaked photo is both impressive and efficient. Details are scant, but here's my transcription of what's in the slide, from top and bottom, and left to right:

    Moto Z Play – 5.5 inch FHD, supports Moto Mods
    Moto Z Force – shatterproof display, Moto Mods, Gigabit LTE
    Moto X – 5.2 inch FHD, 3D Glass (?) SmartCam (?)
    Moto gS – 5.2 inch FHD, full metal body
    Moto gS+ – 5.5 inch FHD, dual cameras
    Moto E – 5 inch HD (720p) display, 2.5D / FPS (?)
    Moto E Plus – 5.5 inch HD, 5,000 mAh battery
    Moto C – 5 inch FW (854 x 480 pixel) display
    Moto C Plus – 5 inch HD, 4,000 mAh battery

    There's some additional information out there about the Moto X; according to Blass it will actually be called the Moto X4, and Android Police has some additional specs:

    Snapdragon 660 processor
    64 GB storage / 4 GB RAM
    3xCA (3x carrier aggregation)
    IP68 dust and water resistance
    Turbo charging

    AP suspects that the "3D glass" is just a display with curved edges à la Samsung, but doesn't have any ideas about what the "SmartCam" could be.

    What do we think of the 2017 Motos?

    Sources: @evleaks on Twitter (1) (2), Android Police, Liliputing

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    by Published on 05-08-2017 07:31 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors

    The Verge is confident that the OnePlus 3 and 3T's successor will go on sale this summer. It's widely expected to be called the OnePlus 5, since the number 4 has unlucky connotations in Chinese culture. I've read elsewhere that the phone will be available before the end of Q2, which would make sense—the OnePlus 3 made its début on June 14th of last year.

    With just over a month to go, here's what we know about the device so far...



    This could very well be an actual OnePlus 5—not a final production unit but rather a testing mule, similar to what's commonly used in the car industry. It was caught (or deliberately planted) in Carl Pei's Instagram feed, and shared via Twitter over the weekend. Note the dual cameras on the device, which will probably be aligned as above...



    ... Rather than stacked on top of each other as in this render, found on an Oppomart.com listing and shared by GSM Arena. The specs on that listing are as follows:

    - 5.5 inch quad HD screen, 2560 x 1440 pixels display resolution
    - 2.45 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 quad-core processor
    - 6 GB LPDDR4 RAM, 64/128 GB USF 2.1 storage
    - 12 MP rear dual-camera, 8 MP front camera
    - Front fingerprint scanner supported
    - Oxygen OS base on Android N, Dash Charge 2.0
    - Estimated availability: ships from beginning of June, 2017

    But wait, there's more!



    According to TechnoBuffalo this is an "about" screen from the Hydrogen OS-powered Chinese variant of the phone, showing off a whopping 8 GB of RAM!

    If you're a OnePlus fan or in the market for a new and unlocked Android device, you might want to hold off on any phone purchases until next month...

    Sources: GSM Arena, TechnoBuffalo, The Verge, Twitter

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