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Andy Rubin unveils the stunning Essential Phone for $699

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Andy Rubin Essential SmartPhone Android

After months of teaser and speculation, Andy Rubin has finally revealed the Essential Phone. The handset, like its name, stands away from the crowd, with its absolutely stunning design and unusual display (and not just because it comes from the creator of Android).

Essential Phone

The 7.8mm-thick, stunning phone has an edge-to-edge display with fewer bezels at the bottom, and a front-facing camera in the middle at the top of the screen, which is definitely a unique approach to smartphone design. The titanium build has a ceramic back, offering a variety of color choices — Black Moon, Stellar Grey, Pure White, and Ocean Depths. To make you (and people like me) feel happy, the Essential Phone has no annoying logos.

Essential Phone Black Moon

The Essential Phone is an Android smartphone, and comes with top-of-the-line specs for $699. The comprising specs include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 3,040mAh battery. The Essential has a 13-megapixel, f/1.85 dual-camera setup on the back with image fusion technology, while the handset embeds an 8-megapixel, f/2.2 hyperfocal lens with 16:9 aspect ratio and support for 4K video on the front. Did I mention about the headphone jack? Well, it doesn’t exist.

Essential Phone 360 Camera

Andy Rubin’s Essential Phone has a company as well. It comes with a tiny, attachable 360-degree camera, and a charging dock. Modularity is the approach here — something that we’ve seen from Motorola with the Moto Z Line. In addition, there’s a speaker — the Essential Home — that proactively helps you manage your life. The Essential Home is powered by Essential’s in-house Ambient OS.

The Essential Phone is currently available for pre-order in the US for $699; you can only choose between Black Moon and Pure White as of now, with Stellar Grey and Ocean Depths coming soon.

/ Essential

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HTC U11 Plus receives TENAA certification

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HTC U11 Plus TENAA

A new HTC phone has recently passed through TENAA certification, and it’s likely the U11 Plus. The images obtained are somewhat similar to what the leaks have suggested lately.

Spotted by Mobilissimo, the listing from TENAA reveals the device in pictures, but fails to provide any specific information. From the images, what we know is the upcoming HTC phone — likely the HTC U11 Plus — will have an all-display front with higher screen-to-body ratio (and no buttons), rear-facing fingerprint sensor, and a single camera setup on the back.

Meanwhile other reports coming from over the internet suggest the HTC handset will pack a 6-inch display, 12-megapixel rear and 8-megapixel front camera, and a Snapdragon 835 chipset.

/ TENAA

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Apple Pay Now Supports ANZ Eftpos Access Cards In Australia

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Apple Pay on iPhone

Apple Pay has expanded to support Eftpos cards from ANZ Bank in Australia. Eftpos (Electronic fund transfer at point of sales) is a popular debit payments network in Australia. The partnership will bring in-store Apple Pay support to 1.6 million ANZ Access cardholders, according to Eftpos.

Apple’s partnership with Eftpos should get more people to use Apple Pay as Eftpos is the most used debit card network in Australia, and offers a much lower processing fee to retailers as well as customers.

High fees have been one of the biggest hindrances for Apple Pay in Australia, but with today’s move things are starting to get better. When a debit card is used via Apple Pay in Australia, there’s about 0.55 percent fee to the merchant; however, Eftpos drops it significantly to 0.15 percent. (Thanks, Business Insider!)

“About 1.6 million ANZ eftpos Access cardholders now have the opportunity to make payments on an iPhone or Apple Watch, many of whom may not have had the opportunity to make in store mobile payments before,” said Eftpos acting CEO Paul Jennings.

“As Australia’s most used debit card network, we are thrilled to be providing ANZ eftpos Access customers with more payment choice, with added benefits of enhanced security and comfort.”

Eftpos ANZ users can switch between a Cheque and Savings account with ease. More details can be found on the Eftpos website. And yes, Apple has also updated its Australian version of Apple Pay website to reflect the Eftpos partnership.

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Google shares first unedited Pixel 2 photos and videos

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Google Pixel 2 Camera Sample

Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, which the company unveiled during its October event past week, have a highly rated camera. The cameras in both the Google phones have scored 98, the highest-ever on a smartphone camera in DxOMark’s rating.

Last year’s Pixel line-up scored 88X, which was the highest-ever on a smartphone camera back then, therefore it’s not surprising to see Google focusing more on camera lenses in Pixel phones. No matter how greater the rating figure is, it’s much more important to test the device in real world, and camera samples take a perfect stand to all the pixel-and-lens specs the company had touted during the product announcement.

Thanks to Google’s Isaac Reynold, who shared a bunch of unedited photos taken from the Pixel 2 camera, we now know (to some extent) how amazingly Google has improved Pixel’s camera. Reynold also posted two videos comparing the video stabilization that’s on offer with Pixel 2. Some of the sample photographs are attached in this post, while you can watch Reynold’s entire upload here.

For a quick recap, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL both have a 12.2-megapixel camera with f/1.8, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS), and laser and dual pixel phase detection autofocus.

/ Pixel User Community 

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