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Google Pixel 4 - Announced!


Google's October 2019 Event is over, and being a Pixel 3XL owner I was hoping for some improvements on what I felt was a pretty decent phone. There had been many many leaks on this phone and basically all of them were right. You can check out our article on the Final Leaks and Rumors surrounding the Pixel 4 if you like to see for yourself. If not, let me give you the rundown. 

Also check out Daniels live reaction unboxing at the video above.


DESIGN

The limited edition ‘Oh So Orange’ Pixel 4 (Source: Rabbit TV)

The limited edition ‘Oh So Orange’ Pixel 4 (Source: Rabbit TV)

The design is exactly as we had seen, block colour body rather than the dual tone, with a black camera module on the back, no large notch on the front for the XL, but instead a larger forehead which house some of the newer features to the Pixel of the Soli Radar chip and the Face Unlock Flood Illuminator. It is also coming in the colours that we thought it would do; ‘Just Black’, ‘Clearly White’ and the limited edition ‘Oh So Orange’.

In terms of the screen we are getting a 90Hz refresh rate OLED display on both, with the Pixel 4 having a 5.7” display, up 0.2” from the 3, and the Pixel 4XL will have the same size screen as the 3 XL with 6.3”. Both the phones are going to be slightly larger than their predecessors, with the 4 being 1.5mm taller than the 3 and the 4XL being 2.4mm larger than the 3XL.

 

CAMERA

So we are getting minor changes to both the actual build of the phone and the screen on the phone. But what I personally look for in a phone is a good camera, and with the Pixel 3XL having an extremely good camera, I was excited to see what improvements were going to be made. Unfortunately I was let down.

The hardware on this is no huge improvement over my current Pixel. Whilst we are getting a new camera module on the back, with a 16MP main camera and a 12.2MP secondary camera, we still have no Wide Angle but a new telephoto lens! That’s right, we hoped they wouldn’t do it, we didn’t want to believe the leaks but they were right. Come on Google, why do we still not have one? We touched on this in our Leaks and Rumors Article but you can always zoom in post, but you cannot take a wide angle image without a wide angle lens! In addition, we were right in thinking that there was going to be a single camera on the front, which is only 8MP, so no real improvements here, and it can only do 1080p at 30FPS. The Pixel 3 could do that, so why Google isnt trying to match both Samsung and Apple, who are able to do 4K on the front facing cameras, I don’t know. In terms of the rest of the video capabilities here you are, they are pretty much the same as the 3 but some are locked to specific FPSs:

Rear Camera

  • 4K @ 30FPS

  • 720P @ 240FPS

  • 1080P @ 30, 60 and 120 FPS

Front Camera

  • 1080P @ 30FPS

I am hoping that there are some major improvements when it comes to the software of the Pixel 4’s camera that would make up for the lack of improvement in the hardware. But whether those software improvements will come to the 3’s as well, we will have to wait and see.

Something new that is coming with the camera though is the Astrophotography, which was further shown off at the event. What this appears to be is an extended Night Sight of soughts but this astrophotography requires a 4 minute exposure time in order to take the image, so unless you want to stand perfectly still while it takes the picture, I’d suggest getting a tripod for it, unless you want to be in the picture, in which case you will have to stand still for the entire exposure time. Personally I see this as quite a gimmick but I could be surprised.

An example image of the Astrophotography from the Pixel 4 (Source: 9to5Google)

An example image of the Astrophotography from the Pixel 4 (Source: 9to5Google)

 

CPU & RAM

So whilst all the leaks have been right so far there was something that we did get wrong, the CPU. We thought that these were going to come with the Snapdragon 855+, which is essentially an overclocked 855. However, we are not getting any overclock at all, and are instead getting the Snapdragon 855 regular, which is the same processor you find in an S10. However, although that sounds great, the S10 had the best CPU at the time seeing as the S10 was released in March and the 855 was released in December of last year, but the Pixel could have had the 855+ which was released in July.

But we did get the RAM correct, with 6GB up from 4 on the 3XL. This is another questionable move, seeing as many phones come with 12GB of RAM nowadays.

 

PRICE

We also got the prices wrong, and in a good way this time. So from the leaks it looked like we were going to have to spend £730 for the 4 and £1,000 for the XL, but luckily those were overestimated prices and instead the Pixel 4 will start at £669, and the XL at £829. But whether that makes up for the lack of improvements, we will have to get one and find out!

The Pre-Order prices the for 4 and 4XL (Source: Google)

The Pre-Order prices the for 4 and 4XL (Source: Google)

 

CONCLUSION

So in the end I am not massively impressed. The design to me isn’t great, we are getting no huge improvements in performance or camera, and the only large camera update to me seems gimmicky but I am interested to see what kind of pictures it produces.

Until I have seen one for myself and had a go with it, I personally wouldn’t look to upgrade from my 3XL as there simply isn’t enough to make me want to upgrade, and if anything now could be the time to get a Pixel 3 if you’ve been wanting one as the price is sure to drop.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3, Surface Pro 7 & Surface Pro X - Unveiled!


So Microsoft just had their Surface Event in New York, and being a Surface user myself, and the only non-Apple user in the office, I decided to give it a watch to see what Microsoft had done to improve on the Surface lineup.


SURFACE LAPTOP 3

First off, let's talk Laptops. In terms of design, it doesn't seem that Microsoft is straying too far from what they currently have, which I am not complaining about. We are getting a larger 15” model as well as an improved 13.5” one. We’re getting 20% larger trackpad than we had on the Surface Laptop 2. Personally, I don't think that the trackpad was too small on the 2 but it would be good to have a larger one for sure, so I’m looking forward to that. And finally in terms of the chassis, Microsoft have removed the rubber bumper from around the screen on the aluminium models, making it the first metal bodied laptop to do so, what impact this will have on the screen we will have to wait and see, as that rubber bumper is there to protect the screen when you close the laptop.

The new Surface Laptop 3 is now modular, with a removable keyboard to access the hardware inside (Source: Microsoft)

The new Surface Laptop 3 is now modular, with a removable keyboard to access the hardware inside (Source: Microsoft)

But this is one of the things that Microsoft wanted to highlight as not an additional thing that draws you in, but the removal of something which draws you in, and speaking of removal, the Surface is now modular! As shown at the event, the top can be removed in order to access the hardware underneath, improving user reparability without impacting the design of the device which is really cool.

When it comes to performance, Microsoft have also raised the stakes here with the inclusion of an Intel Quad Core 10th Gen Processor, which they claim will make it two times faster than the two, which had the 8th Gen Quad-Core Processor, and 3 times faster than a MacBook Air, which uses an 8th Gen Dual-Core i5 Y Series. In addition Microsoft have collaborated with AMD to bring the AMD Ryzen Surface Edition to life, which gives it the fastest graphic performance of any laptop in it’s (the Surface Laptop 3) class.

Fast charge is now on all Surface products, claiming 80% in less than an hour (Source: Microsoft)

Fast charge is now on all Surface products, claiming 80% in less than an hour (Source: Microsoft)

One last thing I want to cover with the Surface Laptop 3 is the battery life. I personally have never had an issue with the battery on my Surface Laptop 2, and this time round Microsoft is claiming that same all day battery life that I’ve seen on the 2. However, what will be coming to the 3 is fast charging! Microsoft says that it would be able to charge the 3 to 80% in less than an hour which is as fast as some smartphones on the market right now, which is just crazy and I am intrigued to see if it lives up to that bold statement.

Microsoft have said that the Surface Laptop 3 is available to pre-order now, with the 13.5” starting from $999, and the 15” from $1,199, and will launch on the 22nd of October.

SURFACE PRO 7

But it wasn't just the Laptop that I was interested in at this event. As some of you know we not only covered the Surface Laptop 2 on the channel, but also the Surface Pro 6, so what have Microsoft announced with the Surface Pro 7?

The Surface Pro 7 (Source: Microsoft)

The Surface Pro 7 (Source: Microsoft)

Well, not a lot really. We’re getting the same 12.3” display as the Surface Pro 6, along with the familiar Surface Type Keyboard and Pen which also seem to have little upgrade. We do get new studio mics, which also come on the Laptop 3, for improved dictation and calls. It does also come with the 10th Gen Intel Processors, but that’s about it for improved internals. We also get the same fast charging capabilities that the Laptop has as well, however, according to the tech spec sheet for the Surface Pro 7, it will only have up to 10.5 hours of battery life which is a downgrade of 3 hours from the Surface Pro 6? Whether or not you see fast charging as a decent trade off for a reduced overall daily battery life is down to you, but personally I don't think it is.

The Surface Pro 7 is also available for preorder now, with a launch date of the 22nd of October, starting from $749.

SURFACE PRO X

So Microsoft doesn’t seem to have done much with the Surface Pro 7, but that could be because of the newly announced Surface Pro X, which is only available in Matte Black.

The Surface Pro X, featuring the new 13” edge to edge display (Source: Microsoft)

The Surface Pro X, featuring the new 13” edge to edge display (Source: Microsoft)

Microsoft’s tagline to this device is “Mobility. Productivity. Speed.” and seeing as it’s just 5.3mm thin at its thinnest point I can certainly see how the mobility part of this plays in. It comes with a 13” (2880 x 1920) edge to edge display whilst still fitting into the same form factor as the Surface Pro 7.

In addition to the mobility you also have a 13 hour battery life on this, coupled with fast charging as well. This seems like it would be a great little device for creatives to be using when out and about it pen and paper isn't your style.

The Pen can be placed in a small nook when not in use, which will also recharge it (Source: Microsoft)

The Pen can be placed in a small nook when not in use, which will also recharge it (Source: Microsoft)

Speaking of the pen, the stylus that Microsoft recommends with this, although it's sold separately, is its new thin design which hides away in a little nook in the keyboard (also sold separately) so that when its clicked in the tilted position the pen is invisible. Personally, I think this way of integrating the pen is a great design choice, but whether or not the flat style pen will be comfortable to use for prolonged periods of time? I have my doubts.

It also allows for custom processors, meaning that you could really make this thing your own, and it's almost a hybrid of the modularity of the Laptop with the form factor of the Pro, which is just incredible to see being done!

And finally for the Pro X, it now comes with LTE connectivity, thanks to Microsoft's own SQ1 Chipset. We have seen this on some laptops already and basically what this means is that you can use your tablet to answer emails and search the web for the next piece of inspiration, much like you would do with a mobile, and that really seems to be what Microsoft is shooting for with this thing. Whether or not it matches up is a different question for a different video and article.

Just like the other devices, it is available to preorder now and will launch on the 22nd, starting from $999.

 

CONCLUSION

To conclude it seems like we are getting some really impressive upgrades with the Surface Laptop 3 and Surface Pro X. I feel that maybe because of the announcement of the Surface Pro X the Surface Pro 7 has been left a little lacklustre, with not a huge amount going for it over its predecessor bar the upgraded processor.