Apple’s Most Affordable 5G iPhone Projected To Get A Billion Android Users To Switch 

Apple is currently rumored to launch a third-generation of their iPhone SE in early 2022, this time with 5G support. According to analyst’s from JP Morgan, the upgrade “has the potential to attract more than a billion non-premium Android users.”

According to Reuters, the third-generation of the iPhone SE could lure nearly 1.4 billion low-to-mid-end Android phone users to switch, as well as around 300 million older iPhone model users.”  

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“Apple’s trade-in program for non-iPhones is admittedly not as attractive as the iPhone trade-in values, it could nonetheless lead to an average starting price range of $269 to $399 for the 5G iPhone SE, which is still very competitive,” analyst Samik Chatterjee, said.

In a separate note, J.P.Morgan said “consumer demand for major upgrades like 5G models is expected to remain strong and also a priority for supply, even as it wanes for most hardware products including smartphones, TVs and PCs.”

According to online rumors, the iPhone SE third-generation is expected to feature the same physical form as it currently has; the equivalent of a 2017 iPhone 8. The phone will likely have a 4.7 inch LCD display, an upgraded processor, and of course, 5G capabilities. 

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Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that the new phone will likely have either an A15 Bionic processor, as seen in the iPhone 13, or an A14 Bionic chip, as seen in the iPhone 12. Either way, it will be a major upgrade for the SE models. 

JP Morgan’s analysis also found that for the fiscal 2022 year, iPhone SE “unit sales are expected to rise to 30 million units and annual iPhone shipments are expected to reach 250 million units; 10 million units higher than a year earlier.”

The report itself doesn’t specify exactly how or why the potential “billion” Android users will switch, but based on past market trends when it comes to switching from Android to Apple every time a new device is released, it makes sense that more users would be making the switch this time around to take advantage of a much cheaper 5G capable smartphone. 

There is currently no predicted date as to when Apple will release the next generation of SE models, however, it will likely take place at some point in the spring.

7 Apps Everyone Must Have On Their Smartphone

Smartphone purchases always seem to increase around the holiday season. Whether you’re getting your child their very first smartphone for having a great first semester at school, or maybe finally treating yourself to a much needed upgrade after a tough year, many are reaching for a new iPhone or Android device this year. Current smartphone users already know that there’s a multitude of standard apps one should download on their device to keep their lives balanced and organized, here’s a list of seven of the most popular ones available for all iPhone and Android models:

Pzizz: This app is the sleep-schedule assistant you didn’t know you needed. If you’re the type of person who may suffer from insomnia, and depend on taking a daily power nap to get through the day, this app is perfect for you. You can simply choose what type of sleep you want to achieve, quick nap, sleeping through the night, etc., and then the app will offer a ton of features, sounds, or passages that will help you relax and drift into a peaceful slumber. 

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LastPass: You’ve likely heard of this app or one that’s similar to it. When we’re setting up a new device of any kind, it can be so tedious to have to log back into our multiple social media, email, and streaming accounts. LastPass cuts out the middleman and stores all your passwords in one place for easy access. The app is also packed with security features to ensure that no one besides you has access to it. 

DropBox: One of the most popular apps and services on the market is Dropbox. Dropbox acted like the cloud before the cloud even existed by granting universal access to all of your documents, photos, files, etc. on any device that has access to the internet. You could go to a random library five miles from your house and log into Dropbox and automatically have access to whatever you decide to store on there!

Authy: Authy is another password-protection app that can also store downloadable documents, photos, files, emails, etc. The app uses two-factor authentication which is thought to be the “best way to protect yourself online.” The cyber security app guarantees to protect your information from any hackers or outside parties that you wouldn’t want having access to your information. 

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Freedome VPN: Speaking of cyber security, VPN services have grown in popularity a lot within the past few years. These services basically protect your internet connection to guarantee that outside platforms and individuals don’t have access to what you’re doing on your device. The app runs easily in the background while you use your phone to protect it from any and all data breaching. 

Speedtest: This app is more a necessity for tech-lovers and individuals who are on their devices/internet constantly for business reasons. Speedtest easily can test the strength of any WiFi connection and can help you better manage what services are using the internet in the background of your device and potentially slowing it down as a result. 

Tile: Finally, one of the most popular innovative apps that’s on the market right now is Tile. Users simply buy these small tiles on Amazon and then place them in anything that they tend to lose. You can place it within your luggage, laptop bag, wallet, and backpack. When you lose something you can simply go to the app on your phone and it will automatically show you exactly where that tile is located.

Woman on her Smartphone

How To Make Your Smartphone Run Faster And Live Longer

All smartphone users can relate to the experience of having your phone slow down or just stop working completely after you hit the two year mark with the device. iPhone/Android users especially know the pain of having your device crack under the pressure of storing all your photos and apps, leading to a reduced battery life, and less than enjoyable experience everyday. 

We need our phones for just about everything, so if you’re a smartphone user who’s noticed that your device has become much more slow/dies a lot easier than it used too, there are a few manual changes you can make that could help extend your phone’s life and avoid making another $500+ investment. 

The most basic fix that we’ve all tried is simply restarting your device. It may seem silly, but more times than not restarting any of your smart devices can help fix any bugs/issues you may be having. Simply quit every application and clear every notification from your phone and turn it off for at least 30 seconds; this gives your phone enough time to properly shut down every application. If you have a phone that’s lacking in storage when compared to other models, doing a weekly restart of your device has been proven to help your device’s performance and battery life. 

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Another simple solution is to check if your phone is due for any sort of software/app updates. A lot of smartphones have the option to automatically update your apps every time a new version is released. This is a smart function to have turned on, because when you have to update every app manually, you can forget to do it after a while and the more those updates build up, the slower your phone will become. 

The same can be said for software updates. One of the major benefits to any sort of system update on your devices is that every update is supposed to be designed to help your phone run smoother, and with less issues. Again, depending on your settings your phone may not notify you when a software update is available, so make sure you check that and update your device frequently. 

We use our phone’s everyday, and within those phone’s we all have a solid 5-10 applications that we all cycle through daily. Other than that we have a myriad of random games we downloaded on a whim one time, a few apps for specific doctors/services we use maybe once or twice a year so we can’t get ourselves to delete the app itself, and much more. Unused applications/old text messages are the two main killers of phone storage; besides photos, obviously. 

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The settings in your phone should tell you how often you use certain applications, and how much storage each one is taking up, so make some sacrifices and delete all the apps that you haven’t touched in more than a month. You can also change your settings to automatically delete your text messages if you haven’t gone back to a specific thread of messages for a certain amount of time. For example, you can set it so that your phone will delete any texting conversation if you or the other person hasn’t contacted the other within a week, two weeks, month, etc. 

As previously stated, besides messages and applications, photos take up the most amount of storage on a phone and they do it fairly fast. When your storage is full, your phone is likely to run a lot slower and run out of battery a lot quicker. It would be beneficial to you to own some sort of external hard drive or SD card to put all your photos on once you reach a high enough number. 

Obviously you can also upload all of your cell phones pictures to your computer as well, but an external hard drive will give you that additional layer of security. Services like Google Photos also offer free unlimited storage for photos if you have a google account. The Google Photos app automatically uploads every picture you take/save onto your device and makes it accessible for you anywhere you go where you have access to the internet/ability to sign into your Google account. 

So no matter what solution you try, make sure you do the research and truly exhaust all your options before biting the bullet and buying a new phone. More times than not, the solutions are indeed as simple as they sound and will work.

Industrial Factory

What To Expect From CES 2020

CES stands for “Computer Electronics Show,” and every year technology lovers and business owners alike get together to hear from some of the world’s biggest tech names about what’s to come in the next year. Smart TVs took the spotlight at last year’s CES event, giving high definition entertainment a whole new look with the implementation of 8K quality and curved screen technology. So what does CES 2020 have in store for the world’s digital future? 

CES: Unveiled” was an event that took place the night before the actual show, in which reporters were able to come and get a first glimpse at all the new technology being introduced. This way they could gauge what gadgets, software, and trends would be the most talked about before the massive crowds flood the Las Vegas arena the following day. Remember, not all gadgets or concepts are released to the general public after CES, as some of the exhibits are meant to show technology lovers what some companies are striving to perfect in the future. 

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First up, Samsung wanted to keep riding the TV high that came from last year’s CES event, so they announced their new Sero TV. Sero TV was made with the mobile user in mind, as it literally turns to be vertical from traditional landscape mode when you hit a button. The orientation-changing television is meant to make mirroring from your phone much easier, and in this new age where a lot of online video content is modified to adjust to vertical mobile screens, this television wants to take that to the next level. 

Kohler, an appliance company, partnered with Amazon to bring the fantasy of a “smart home” even more to life with Alexa-powered showers. The two companies plan on releasing a shower head with Alexa enabled speaker technology for all of us who love to listen to music in the shower. Additionally, Kohler intends on releasing a lot more bathroom tech throughout 2020, including a new “intelligent” toilet system. 

CES tends to always have a robotic energy about it, quite literally. Every year new types of robo-friends are brought to the CES floor and this year will be no different. This year, CES will be introducing a bread-making robot, Sony’s Aibo Dog, and Buddy, the cute companion robot. Companion robots, and those that are meant to perform just one human task, such as bread making, are fairly common for this event. A cat robot, however, is new. 

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Startup company Elephant Robotics is developing a new robotic feline friend that they’re calling MarsCat. According to reports from CES: Unveiled, the “bionic feline can walk, stretch, play with toys, avoid obstacles and bite its nails. It can also recognize human faces and knows 20 commands and phrases, including ‘sit’ and ‘come here.’”

Segway has developed a new line of single-person transport systems called “Segway S-Pods.” The S-Pod is an electric pod meant for indoor travelling and can accelerate up to 24 miles per hour. Users control the speed and direction with a single knob on the arm rest of the pod. 

Colgate and Oral-B, two of the country’s top dental product providers, wanted to get a piece of the CES action this year, so they both announced their versions of “dental tech innovation.” The Oral-B iO electric toothbrush is meant to work with an app on your phone to tell you when you’re brushing your teeth too hard or too softly. The app also ensures that you’re brushing for a full two minutes, and are covering as much of your mouth’s surface area as possible. 

Colgate, on the other hand, is developing their own electric toothbrush that can detect any sort of “biofilm” build up in the gums. Additionally, it “notifies users when they need to brush longer in one area of their mouth. A light ring around the toothbrush will turn blue when buildup has been found. A white light displays when teeth are clean,” according to reports.

For the rest of what was announced during the CES: Unveiled event, click here. Media outlets will be posting all week about what new and exciting innovations come out of CES this year.   


4 Best Offline Messaging Apps For When You Don’t Have Internet

Messaging using internet applications has become one of the most popular ways in which we communicate with one another. Smartphones have the capability to use our internet connection as a messaging line. If you’ve ever texted someone who was internationally travelling, you most likely have used an app like WhatsApp, which allows you to message any number from any location using just your internet connection. 

However, even in this digital age, there are multiple instances where internet connection can still be inaccessible. Whether it be a financial, geographical, or political situation that’s preventing one from having a solid connection to the cyber world, everyone should have the right to digital communication in the 21st century if they want it. Luckily, apps that are made specifically for offline messaging, messaging without any internet connection, are rising in popularity. Here’s a list of offline messaging apps that are being discussed in the tech community now. 

Bridgefy is a new app that’s available for both iOS and Android devices. The app uses your phone’s Bluetooth radio connection in relation to other smartphones around you as a messaging line. Using your smartphone, Bridgefy will immediately connect you to any other smartphone user within a 300 foot radius, it doesn’t even require your actual phone number. In order to add and message a person they need to be pre-saved in your contact list and then you’ll be ready to text. While 300 feet may not seem like a large range of space in relation to texting, if you’re in a situation where your town experiences a complete blackout and you need to check on your loved ones nearby, this app would be perfect for you. 


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Bridgefy Co-Founder Jorge Rios 

It’s important to note that offline messaging is a relatively new concept. All of these apps can only be used if they’re communicating with someone who is also using the same app. The internet runs so many aspects of the planet’s inner workings, so individuals in tech development don’t really focus on projects that are based on the issue of being “offline.” However, the world is a large place that is still underdeveloped, so creating offline messaging capabilities, no matter how minor, is huge. 

FireChat is another offline messaging app available for both iOS and Android devices. Like Bridgefy, FireChat uses a bluetooth connection as a messaging line. However, FireChat only works with devices within a 200 foot radius. Additionally, the app requires users to make an account with them in order to use it. While both of these features may seem like a major disadvantage, FireChat also has the ability to connect to regular WiFi. This may not seem like a benefit, considering we’re talking about offline communication capabilities, however, FireChat can use WiFi for messaging even when there’s no cellular connection or service (for example in a plane or underground). Users have reviewed that the messaging lags, however, the app is free and is offering the ability to message using WiFi exclusively, so it’s a give and take. 

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Briar is an app that’s only available on Android devices, however, it’s definitely worth mentioning. Like Bridgey, Briar doesn’t require users to register with their actual phone numbers, instead it’s simply your name and a set password. Now, you and your fellow Briar users can message without cellular or internet connection. You can add contacts by entering in your friends’ “codes” which every user receives once they sign up. 

Finally, we’re going to throw it back to one of the original modes of close-range, wireless, internet free communication: using a walkie talkie. No, I don’t mean you should actually go out and buy a set of walkie talkies, although that’s also not a bad idea instead, download the Two Way app. ‘Two Way: Walkie Talkie’ is an app that’s available for both Android and iOS devices. Two Way doesn’t require your phone number, email, password, internet or cellular connection; it literally works like a Walkie Talkie. You and your friends/family just need to be within a close enough range and tuned in to the same channel to talk. Due to the fact that the app is meant to be exactly like a real walkie talkie, if people within the surrounding area tune into your radio channel, they can listen in and communicate themselves if they wanted to, so be careful. This app is a simple solution to offline communicating with people in your area; which can be extremely helpful in situations of natural disaster or if you’re with a group of friends and get separated. 

While offline communication is currently as advanced as a simple walkie talkie, these solutions can be extremely beneficial depending on the circumstances. So while we all wait for the tech world to create a device that lets us talk to whoever, whenever, regardless of internet and cellular connection, these free apps should do the job in the meantime.


Satya Nadella: Reshaping Microsoft and the Future of Technology

Though his executive decisions have inspired criticism, time has shown that under Nadella’s leadership Microsoft is poised to once again dominate the industry with a suite of innovative, useful products and services.

Apple Watch

How to Choose a Heart Rate Monitor

Monitoring your heart rate during a workout can provide you with a plethora of data relating to your performance and overall level of fitness, which can be tremendously valuable to people interested in tracking their progress in developing cardiovascular fitness over time. However, not every heart rate monitor is the same, and different models offer different levels of performance. Additionally, each brand of heart rate monitor offers a unique set of features, and while many products connect via Bluetooth to a smartphone, not every heart rate monitor is compatible with every fitness app. As such, this article will examine some of the top-selling heart rate monitors on the market to help you decide which is right for your individual needs.

In general, heart rate monitors come in two forms; either they strap to your chest, or your wrist. Chest strap heart monitors boast superior accuracy, particularly when one’s heart rate is especially high during an intense workout, whereas heart rate monitors used on the wrist generally offer smartwatch features as well, including sleep tracking, notifications from your phone, and automatic detection of exercise.

If you want the most accurate, highest-quality heart rate data during workouts, the Polar H7 Transmitter and Strap is likely your best choice. This device provides data with a level of accuracy similar to an ECG, which is widely considered the gold standard in heart rate measuring technology. The device takes advantage of low energy Bluetooth to transmit data to your smartphone while preserving battery life, and works with the Polar Beat app which lets you check your heart rate in real time. Additionally, the Polar H7 costs around sixty dollars, which is cheaper than most other wrist-based solutions, though the device of course does not offer smartwatch-like features of any sort. However, if your only concern is collecting highly accurate data about your heart rate while exercising, the Polar H7 is likely your best bet. Another option is the Scosche Rhythm24, which attaches to one’s forearm, which may be a more comfortable configuration for some.

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Most smartwatches that are sold today include fitness tracking features, including a wrist-based heart rate monitor. These products use small LEDS positioned on the underside of the watch to measure minor variations in skin color, which correspond with one’s heart rate. Though this technology is fairly accurate for measuring one’s heart rate while at rest, they tend to produce less desirable results as one’s heart rate becomes elevated. Additionally, not every wrist-based heart rate monitor measures with the same degree of accuracy, as recent research shows that results can vary dramatically between products. However, as they are generally integrated with smartwatch features, for most people, particularly those who take a more casual approach to their fitness, the trade-off can be worth it.

The most accurate wrist monitor tested in the previously-mentioned study is the Apple Watch, which was found to vary from the chest-based solution by just 1.5 beats per minute, a degree of accuracy which should be fine for most people. While not primarily a fitness-focused device, the Apple Watch offers an impressive array of health features, even including the ability to conduct an ECG and check for potentially serious heart conditions. While the Apple Watch is perhaps the most elegant and sophisticated smartwatch on the market, the product has some major drawbacks. For one, it’s only compatible with iPhones, so if you have an Android smartphone, you’re out of luck. Additionally, the Apple Watch is one of the most expensive smartwatches on the market, as the newest model starts at a base price of $399.

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Luckily for Android users, plenty of alternatives to the Apple Watch exist, many of which can be purchased for a dramatically-lower price. The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, for instance, costs $100 less, and offers a very similar set of features, including the ability to conduct an ECG and can even measure users’ blood pressure. In terms of its ability to measure heart rate, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 includes an upgraded heart rate monitor compared to its predecessor, and should provide most people with reasonably accurate results. 

Of course, these are but a few of all available heart rate monitoring solutions. As such, when you’re deciding on which device to buy, you should take your individual needs and preferences into consideration and do some independent research. Heart rate monitors can be great tools for monitoring your fitness over time, and as an added bonus many include other useful health features as well.

Google Android

Google Introduces “Ambient Mode” for Android Devices

Google is known for their constant innovations for their various products, most notably the Android operating system that powers most smartphones. The newest version of Android, Android 10, introduces features like a system-wide dark theme, more sophisticated UI navigation controls, and improved location and privacy tools. While Android 10 continues to roll out to devices from a variety of manufacturers, Google is also looking to improve the Android experience in other ways, most recently in the development of a so-called “Ambient Mode,” which passively displays information on the phone’s display while it is charging and allows the user to interact with the phone in a limited way.

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Google unveiled the feature in a Youtube video which shows Ambient Mode running on a Pixel phone and details the various features of the update. The video describes Ambient Mode as “Android’s proactive Google Assistant,” and Google Product Manager Arvind Chandrababu said that the goal for Ambient Mode is to anticipate users’ needs and allow them to accomplish tasks as quickly as possible. In doing so, Google hopes to move users away from an “app-based” way of doing things, in which users scroll through their list of apps and choose the one that matches what they want to do, to an “intent-based” way of doing things, in which the phone is intelligent enough to adapt to the user’s intent. This is part of Google’s broad philosophy of “ambient computing,” the goal of which is to make the integration of computing into users’ lives as seamless and invisible as possible.

While this philosophy is certainly very ambitious, the announcement of Ambient Mode represents only a small step towards that lofty goal. Though Google has said that Ambient Mode will be available on Android 8.0 and above, the number of devices that are announced to support the feature is limited, including relatively esoteric devices like Sony Xperia phones, Nokia phones, and Xiaomi phones, with no mention of more popular devices like the Samsung Galaxy line of devices or even Google’s own Pixel phones. Additionally, Ambient Mode in its current form is surprisingly limited, as it offers no customization features whatsoever, allowing users to adjust a limited number of quick settings, control compatible smart home devices like lightbulbs and thermostats, and view notifications like weather and calendar alerts. 

While the extent of Google’s control over the smartphone operating system ecosystem is impressive, a number of factors prevent the company from offering the highest-quality products possible. For years, one of Google’s most damaging problems has been the fragmentation of its software lineup. The company has released  — and discontinued — a large number of messaging apps, for instance, and each of these apps is mutually incompatible with others. The problem is made worse by the fact that many smartphone manufacturers build their own messaging apps for their phones; for instance, the Samsung Galaxy s9 comes with an app called “Messages,” which, confusingly, is not the same as the “Messages” app developed by Google.

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For this reason, text messaging on Android phones isn’t nearly as sophisticated or robust as iMessage, the app that comes standard on all iPhones and allows advanced features like read receipts and typing indicators, which are by and large absent on Android. In an attempt to correct this shortcoming, Google has recently announced that it would activate RCS compatibility on its Messages app for all Android phones in certain countries, which enables many of the messaging features that iPhone users have enjoyed for years. However, the problem of app fragmentation remains, as only people who are using an app that incorporates RCS compatibility can use these advanced features. As of now, Ambient Mode seems to be plagued by this same shortcoming, due to the feature’s limited availability and functionality. If the company’s prior conduct is any indication of future events, the likelihood of Ambient Mode being rolled out to most Android devices in a timely fashion seems low, as most Android smartphone owners are still waiting for the latest version of Android and other features to arrive on their devices.

Motorola RAZR

Motorola Joins the Foldable Phone Trend with its RAZR Refresh

Many of us who used cellphones in the early 2000’s remember the Motorola RAZR, a flip-phone that at the time functioned not only as a powerful telecommunications device but as a stylish status symbol in the era before the iPhone introduced smartphones to the masses. Now, nearly two decades after the launch of the original product, Motorola is banking on their customers’ nostalgia for this pre-iPhone era with a refresh of the original RAZR, featuring the same clamshell design with a folding screen, a similar technology as was included in the recently-released Samsung Galaxy Fold. After months of rumors, leaks, and speculation, Motorola has finally introduced their hotly-anticipated new flagship, simply called the “Motorola razr,” to the press. The media generally had a positive impression of the unique new device, despite only being able to spend a short amount of hands-on time with it. The razr is set to launch in January 2020 for $1,499, and only time will tell how reviewers react after being able to spend more time with the phone and use it in their day-to-day life.

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Fundamentally, the razr’s design is unlike any smartphone that’s been released as of yet. When closed, the phone resembles its years-old namesake, with the most notable difference being a larger, higher-resolution “quick view” display. The phone has a camera on its exterior, which functions both as a selfie camera and a rear-facing camera when the device is unfolded. For I/O, the phone has only a singly USB-C port with no headphone jack. The device is thin, even when folded, and features an attractive, simplistic design, with the Motorola logo adorning the back. In fact, Motorola says the device is exactly as thin as the original RAZR from 14 years ago. Members of the press praised the device’s hinge, which feels sturdy and allows the phone to fold completely flat when both opened and closed. The small “quick view” display present on the exterior is meant for simple tasks, like checking notifications and toggling settings as well as taking selfies.

There’s no denying that for most people the razr is a novelty device, with its most attractive characteristic being its immediate “wow” factor.

The device opens to reveal a 6.2” plastic OLED display, resembling a standard smartphone display with a slightly taller-than-average 21:9 aspect ratio. Otherwise, the device’s specifications are dissapointingly mid-range; the 16-megapixel camera isn’t going to win any photography awards, as it features only a single lens and a mediocre resolution, and journalists compared it to the cameras featured on flagship devices from several years ago. The front-facing camera, meant primarily for video calls, is even worse at just 5 megapixels. The phone’s processor is a nearly two-years-old Snapdragon 710, and while it is more than powerful enough to handle most ordinary smartphone tasks, it pales in comparison to devices released this year at half the price. The razr includes a reasonable 6 GB of LPDDR4 RAM, but its battery, at a capacity of just 2510 mAh, will likely struggle to provide a full day’s worth of use for power users. There’s no support for external storage, but the included 128 GB should be enough for most people. Motorola clearly needed to make some compromises to enable the device to be so thin, but these compromises are particularly hard to swallow given the phone’s hefty price tag, as it’s far pricier than nearly all other premium devices on the market.

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That being said, the razr is a fascinating device, and potentially represents the future of smartphone design. When folded, the phone is smaller than virtually every other smartphone on the market, making it ideal for people with limited pocket space. And as the RAZR is the most successful flip phone ever, consumer nostalgia is likely to drive sales, as the phone is undeniably cool. Though some journalists worried about the long-term durability of the device, as the similar Galaxy Fold had a number of devastating issues with reliability prior and even after its eventual release, engineers at the press event announcing the device were confident in the strength of the hinge’s complex design. The phone is water-resistant but not water- or dust-proof, and the device’s folding design may even help with its durability, as the phone’s main screen is protected when in its folded position, obviating the need for a case or screen protector. The main display’s crease is mostly invisible, whereas the Galaxy Fold’s crease is prominent, and folding displays generally are prone to damage from strong pressure or sharp objects.

There’s no denying that for most people the razr is a novelty device, with its most attractive characteristic being its immediate “wow” factor. Nonetheless, it is shaping up to be a perfectly usable and decent smartphone for those willing to pay up and for those looking to impress their friends with their unique and eye-catching device.

Girl on Computer

Who is the Pixelbook Go For?

There’s no question that the Pixelbook Go is an impressive-looking device. Multiple reviewers have praised the product’s sleek build quality and carefully considered design, in addition to its unusual twelve-hour battery life. But for a laptop that starts at $650, it offers little in the way of features. Instead of the traditional, more powerful Windows or macOS operating systems, the Pixelbook Go runs Chrome OS, a platform designed to handle Google’s Chrome web browser and do little more. To its credit, the Pixelbook Go has the hardware chops to perform this task excellently, but its constrained featureset may leave prospective buyers skeptical of its practicality, particularly considering the expansive spate of options available at this price point.

Though the company is often praised for the build quality and design of its products, including its flagship Pixel line of smartphones, Google has been known to introduce consumer products that fail to take off in the competitive personal electronics market. Take, for instance, last year’s Pixel Slate, a ChromeOS tablet starting at $599 with a premium look and feel that offers even less functionality than the company’s laptops, especially without its optional $199 keyboard case or $99 Pixelbook Pen. Even though this expensive tablet runs Android apps, many are not optimized for the Pixel Slate, leading to an unreliable user experience when dealing with third-party software. The Pixel Slate supports split-screen multitasking, for instance, but many third-party apps are not yet compatible with this feature. While the product was nonetheless praised by reviewers for what it was, it was a commercial flop, and Google seems to have shifted its focus away from ChromeOS tablets towards laptops at least for the time being.

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While the Go is significantly cheaper than Google’s premium version released earlier this year, its price point, at essentially twice the cost of Chromebooks by other manufacturers, puts the product into a class all of its own. For that additional price, consumers are treated to impressive hardware specs that ensure the task of browsing the web, even when using multiple tabs and accessing content-heavy sites, remains fast and smooth. Chrome on the Pixelbook Go runs about as well as it does on any other laptop on the market, with the exception of Google’s own, more expensive 2-in-1 hybrid Pixelbook. And the Go features a high-quality, 1080p display, which, combined with a battery life that lasts all day and then some, renders the device perfect for extended Netflix or Youtube binge sessions.

The problem with the Pixelbook Go is the existence of laptops running exactly the same software almost as well for half the price or less. For $299, Samsung’s take on the Chromebook concept features a display of the same resolution and a similar, attractive design, with specs that are likely more than adequate for the tasks one might seek to accomplish within the confines of the Chrome web browser. And for $100 less, Asus’s Chromebook C423 features a lower-resolution screen but can handle light web browsing with ease. Consumers willing to spend $650 on a laptop are likely better off purchasing one that features a full operating system like Windows or MacOS, rather than what is in essence little more than a stripped-down version of Android. At this price point, Windows laptops with similar specifications are abundant, including Microsoft’s own Surface Laptop, and while they may not share the attention to detail of the Pixelbook Go’s build quality, the boost in functionality their more sophisticated software environments offer more than makes up for it. 

With all that being said, I still wouldn’t say the Pixelbook Go looks like a bad product. It’s simply one with an unclear market. While people who buy the Go are likely to be satisfied with their decision, the fact of the matter is that any number of better value propositions exist at and below its price point. As such, though it appears to be an acceptable device with some impressive specifications, it’s hard to recommend the Pixelbook Go to anyone when considering its alternatives.


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