Google’s Pixel 4 ships October 24, starting at $799

The rumors and leaks have been pretty relentless. In fact, over the past three days, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL have gone up for preorder on at least two different sites. While it’s true that Google’s never been particularly great at keeping this stuff under wraps, this was pretty silly.

Anyway, the Pixel 4 is finally official, and it’s basically exactly what we were expecting from this year’s Google flagship. The device now features face unlock, another addition that brings Pixels in line with the competition, though Google claims it’s the fastest available. Using a new radar chip, the device is able to start the unlock when you reach for the phone and then fully unlock when it sees your face.

Radar also gives the device gesture recognition, via Motion Sense The concept is similar to what you’ll find on other Android handsets, but it’s significantly more sophisticated, distinguishing accidental gestures from intentional ones Use these, this can do things like skipping songs, turn the screen on and wave to your animated Pikachu wallpaper (actual example). All of the processing is done on device and users can turn it off for privacy.

Google Pixel 4 Soli

The 4 maintains the familiar Active Edge squeeze, which launches a newly upgraded Google Assistant. As rumored, there’s a new recording app, which is capable of transcribing conversations in real-time. From the demo, at least, the feature is pretty impressive, with a more accurate transcript than I’ve seen from most AI software. Interestingly, it all works on-device, meaning that you can use it in airplane mode — and that that conversations aren’t automatically uploaded to the cloud.

The company finally embracing a multi-camera set up on the back of the device. Google had been one of the few holdouts on that front, instead insisting that its AI/ML was perfectly capable of producing shots as good as any multi-camera setup.

Google Pixel 4 Camera

And while it’s true Google’s managed to get a pretty solid camera with this combo, the Pixel 4 gets a pair of cameras on the back, in the iPhone 11-esque square camera array. There’s a wide angle and telephoto14- and 16-megapixel on the back. That, when coupled with the computational photography Google has been pushing for a number of years now ought to make this a solid competitor. 

The camera utilizes a combination of optical and digital zoom (Super-res Zoom) to take some pretty impressive close up shots. It also looks to be pretty impressive on low light shots, improving on earlier Night Sight offerings. Live HDR+, meanwhile, is able to approximate final HDR shots in real time to give users a better idea of what the final photo will look like.

Google Pixel 4

Dual Exposure controls, meanwhile, give users more direct controls over brightness and shadow, and thus more control over HDR. White balance gets a bump using AI training. Learning based light balance is adopted from Night Sight and now available on all photos to get more realistic shots. Night Sight gets a bump as well, and is now capable of taking better shots of things like a starry sky using long exposure times.

Machine learning is also being used to calculate depth in real-time, so users can get a broader depth of field with subjects at different distances. Oh, and Annie Leibovitz is a fan, apparently. Arguably the world’s most famous photographer has been taking the phone for a spin, shooting an impressive series of portraits on the new handset. The results are pretty stunning — and very iconically hers.

“What’s great about the camera phone,” Leibovitz said, “it’s a brand new language, and it’s really great this is for everyone to use.”

As with its predecessors, the Pixel 4 comes in both a standard and XL version, at 5.7 (full HD+) and 6.3 inches (Quad HD+), respectively. The Pixel 4 XL got an A+ from Display Mate, according to the company, thanks in part to the addition of a 90MHZ refresh rate.

The handset is up for pre-order, starting at $ 799. It starts shipping October 24 in Just Black, Clearly White and the new/limited edition Oh So Orange.

Gadgets – TechCrunch

Microsoft’s new Surface Pro 7 finally has USB-C, ships on October 22

Today at its special hardware event, Microsoft unveiled the new Surface Pro 7. The new Surface Pro finally brings USB-C to the convertible laptop category of Microsoft hardware, which will be a welcome addition for fans who’ve been waiting for the company to adopt this now-prevalent connection technology.

The latest generation Surface Pro starts at $ 749, preorders start today, and it’s available on October 22.

Like its predecessors, the Surface consists of a 12-inch tablet component with a folding kickstand for adjustable angle viewing. There’s also a detachable keyboard cover accessory, and a Surface Pen stylus that allows for writing, drawing, note-taking and more.

The Surface Pro also features ‘studio mics,’ new microphone array builds into the new Surface Laptop as well.

Screen Shot 2019 10 02 at 7.38.29 AM

“Studio mics are optimized for your voice their place perfectly tuned, so that we capture what’s coming from your mouth rather than all the background sounds around you,” said Robin Seiler, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Devices who presented the new device on stage at the event. They’ll also be used for Microsoft’s Your Phone app, which is a recently released Windows feature that connects your smartphone to your computer for calls, messaging and more.

Surface Pro is the most popular two-in-one on the market, according to Microsoft, with over 75% of Fortune 500 companies purchasing Surface devices, according to Seiler.

Microsoft emphasized the creative potential of the Surface Pro in a video featuring an artist named Connie using the Pen for digital painting, and Seiler showed off the productivity angle via a live demo of various features of Office on the two-in-one.

Screen Shot 2019 10 02 at 7.26.23 AM

 

Gadgets – TechCrunch

GoPro teases next-generation action camera announcement for October 1

GoPro’s successor to the Hero 7 is likely coming on October 1, as the action camera maker has posted a teaser with the date to its official website. The tagline “This is Action” appears over a fast cut mash-up of variety of shots, including off-road racing, underwater diving and what looks like close-up footage of Frank Zapata (or someone else with a jetpack) flying around, along with the date.

The mostly shadowed image above is the closest we get to an official product shot, but we’ve seen leaks sourced from photo-focused rumor site Photo Rumors that suggest a redesign with added expandability options for advanced accessories including front-facing display monitors and external flash. These leaks also include some potential specs, like a new GP2 chip to help with on-board image stabilization, better lenses and image quality, and a new 12MP sensor, in addition to the new optional housing and accessories.

this is action gopro

GoPro’s Hero 7 introduced HyperSmooth stabilization, which provides gimbal-like results without the actual gimbal thanks to advanced digital stabilization technology that GoPro developed in-house. But the company also saw the introduction of its strongest-yet competitor in the market this year with the DJI Osmo Action, a GoPro-like action camera from drone and gimbal-maker DJI, which is at least on par with the Hero 7 in terms of stabilization and quality, with added features aimed at the vlogging market like a built-in front-facing display.

The slogan “This is Action.” could actually be interpreted as a dig against its newest rival, since Action is capitalized and the DJI camera is literally named the “Osmo Action.” Hopefully GoPro does indeed get a little spicy about its competitor, since it’s a market that could definitely stand to benefit from some genuine competition in the higher end of the category.

Gadgets – TechCrunch

Google will unveil the Pixel 4 and other new hardware on October 15

Google will reveal the next Pixel in greater detail at an event happening October 15 in New York, the company confirmed via invites sent to media today. We already know the Pixel 4 will be revealed at this event, because Google has already dropped some official images and feature details for the new Android smartphone, but we’ll probably see more besides given that the invite promises “a few new things Made by Google.”

Here’s what we know so far about the Pixel 4: Everything. Well okay, not everything, but most things. Like it’ll use Google’s cool Soli radar-based gesture recognition technology, for both its updated face unlock and some motion controls. Infinite leaks have shown that it’ll have a body design that includes a single color/texture back, what looks like a three-camera rear cluster (likely a wide angle, standard and zoom lens), a 6.23-inch OLED display on the XL with image resolution of 3040×1440, with a 90Hz mode that will make animations and scrolling smoother.

unnamed

The animation Google sent out with the invites for its 2019 hardware event.

It also has rather large top and bottom bezels, a rarity for smartphones these days, but something that Google apparently felt was better than going with a notch again. Plus, it has that Soli tech and dot projectors for the new face unlock, which might require more space up top.

In terms of other hardware, there are rumours of a new ChromeOS-based Pixelbook plus new Google Home smart speakers. We could also see more of Stadia, Google’s cloud gaming service which launches in November. Google could also show off additional surprises, including maybe Chromecast updates, or an update to Google Wifi to take advantage of the newly certified Wifi 6 standard.

Basically, there could be a lot of surprises on hand even if the Pixel 4 is more or less a known quantity, and we’ll be there to bring you all the news October 15 as it happens.


Android – TechCrunch

Google will unveil the Pixel 4 and other new hardware on October 15

Google will reveal the next Pixel in greater detail at an event happening October 15 in New York, the company confirmed via invites sent to media today. We already know the Pixel 4 will be revealed at this event, because Google has already dropped some official images and feature details for the new Android smartphone, but we’ll probably see more besides given that the invite promises “a few new things Made by Google.”

Here’s what we know so far about the Pixel 4: Everything. Well okay, not everything, but most things. Like it’ll use Google’s cool Soli radar-based gesture recognition technology, for both its updated face unlock and some motion controls. Infinite leaks have show that it’ll have a body design that includes a single color/texuture back, what looks like a three-camera rear cluster (wide angle, standard and zoom lens lily), a 6.23-inch OLED display can the XL with image resolution of 3040×1440, with a 90Hz mode that will make animations and scrolling smoother.

unnamed

The animation Google sent out with the invites for its 2019 hardware event.

It also has rather large top and bottom bezels, a rarity for smartphones these days, but something that Google apparently felt was better than going with a notch again. Plus, it has that Soli tech and dot projectors for doing the new face unlock which might require more space up top.

In terms of other hardware, there’s less in terms of solid info to go on, but there are rumours of a new ChromeOS-based Pixelbook plus new Google Home smart speakers, and we could also see more of Stadia, Google’s cloud gaming service which launches in November. Google could also show off additional surprises, including maybe Chromecast updates, or an update to Google Wifi to take advantage of the newly certified Wifi 6 standard.

Basically, there could be a lot of surprises on hand even if the Pixel 4 is more or less a known quantity, and we’ll be there to bring you all the news October 15 as it happens.

Gadgets – TechCrunch